Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

"Refrigerator Day" is the Christmas episode of the Jim Henson Television sitcom Dinosaurs, produced and originally aired on ABC as the twelfth episode of the show's second season.


Earl and Fran tell Baby all about Refrigerator Day.

The Sinclair family is preparing for the happiest holiday in Pangaea - Refrigerator Day, a day in which all the dinosaurs honor the invention that made modern civilization possible. When Baby asks what the holiday is about, his parents, Earl and Fran, and his maternal grandmother Ethyl all explain to him that, long ago, dinosaurs always had to be on the move to find food, until a wise dinosaur came up with the idea of storing food in a cold box, which allowed dinosaurs to settle down and start having families. "The key thing is, we get lots of presents," Charlene adds, at which point Robbie asks Earl if he's already bought theirs. Earl says he has indeed, and spent all his money on them, adding that they shouldn't have to worry about their finances because he's expecting to get a Fridge Day bonus. Fran reprimands her husband, saying that Refrigerator Day is not about spending money on presents, but about being thankful for what they have. She also reminds him, to his dismay, that they're supposed to not eat any food in the two days before Refrigerator Day, as a reminder of the hardships their ancestors faced before the invention of cold food storage.

Earl is told that he's not getting a bonus.

Later that day, at work, Earl finds himself staring longingly at Roy's lunch; when Earl asks Roy why he's not fasting, Roy says that he's "only fasting between meals". Mr. Richfield then calls Earl into his office, and Earl has a fantasy sequence about Mr. Richfield being very generous towards him and giving him three bonus checks. Unfortunately, the reality that happens is nothing like Earl's expectation - Mr. Richfield only wants him to sharpen some pencils. When Earl asks when he can expect his Fridge Day bonus, Mr. Richfield just laughs and callously informs Earl that he isn't giving his employees a bonus this year.

The Sinclairs' refrigerator is repossessed.

That evening, Earl calls the family together and, after Baby keeps interrupting to say that he drew all over the house, informs them that he's not getting his Fridge Day bonus. Robbie and Charlene don't see a problem with this, since Earl has already bought their Fridge Day presents, but Fran has to remind them that they have bills to pay. Earl tries to put a positive spin on this, thinking that this time of year, the bill collectors will understand why he can't pay his bills right now. But one screen-flip later, a repossession employee named Larry comes to take away the Sinclairs' refrigerator because they were half a day late on their last payment. Earl begs Larry to take some other appliance instead, but Larry says that his boss (who did give him a big Fridge Day bonus) likes to take the ones that put dinosaurs under the most pressure. With that, Larry carts away the refrigerator, and Earl can only wallow in despair ("I'm beneath dirt. I look up to dirt. I wish I was dirt. Dirt laughs at me!") and says this will be the worst Refrigerator Day ever.

Fran tries to return the gifts...

The next day, Earl is still crying about the loss of the refrigerator. Charlene gets the idea that they should return the kids' presents that Earl bought, in hopes that they'll get their money back and then buy back the fridge. Robbie and Charlene obviously aren't keen on the idea, but Fran tells them they must do it to help their father. Fran and the kids arrive at Kave Mart and tell a salesman named Richard they want to return their presents. Richard is willing to take the items, but is only confused by the Sinclairs saying they want money in return. After consulting with his co-worker Hank (and after further confusion arises between the two parties), Richard says they will only take the items for less than the wholesale price. Fran agrees to this deal, despite Robbie asking what kind of fridge they could possibly buy for the money they're getting.

...but they can only get enough to buy a cooler.

When they arrive home, we see the answer to that question is a styrofoam cooler. Fran explains to Earl that she and the kids returned the presents so they could get the money to buy back the refrigerator, but could only afford the cooler. Earl falls further into depression, to the point that he wants Baby to hit him with the frying pan, though Baby doesn't feel like it (Ethyl, on the other hand, is still willing to whack him with her cane). Fran attempts to cheer her husband by reminding him that they still have more than what their ancestors had - a loving family, a beautiful home, and their hopes for the future - but Earl is too stubborn to look on the bright side. Fran then says she still wants to do their annual Fridge Day pageant, but Earl whines that he doesn't want to.

The Sinclairs perform their Refrigerator Day pageant.

With Ethyl reading the narration from a book, Fran and the kids start performing their annual pageant about the story of the how the refrigerator was invented, in which they portray their constantly-migrating pilgrim-like ancestors. Earl again says that he doesn't want to participate when Fran tells him his lines are coming up, but he reluctantly relents. He at first delivers his lines in a sarcastic tone, but soon drops it as he starts getting more into the play. The story recounts how the wise father of the family (Earl's character in the pageant) heard a voice telling him to "build a box that is cold inside," so he got his family to stop migrating and they got to work on building the box. At first, though, the box was not instantly cold inside and they thought throwing it into the lake would fix the issue... until they realized it simply needed to be plugged in. After finishing the play, Earl finds himself in a much happier mood, telling Fran "I may not have a refrigerator, but I'm the luckiest man in town."

Richard gives the Sinclairs their refrigerator back.

Just then, the doorbell rings, and Robbie and Charlene go to answer it. In come Richard and Hank, who are bringing the Sinclairs' refrigerator back to them. When Earl asks why, Richard explains that his boss thought Fran's "return policy" concept was a terrific idea for them to get the edge over their competitors, become a monopoly, and better serve their customers. Furthermore, Richard and Hank's boss called a few favors and was able to get Earl his Fridge Day bonus, and they're even bringing back the kids' presents and also installing a few snow machines on the Sinclair's roof. Needless to say, Earl is all too happy to sign away the rights to the "return policy" concept to Kave Mart. When Richard comments on the little pageant he's noticed they just had, Earl says that it was the greatest pageant ever, saying that it really helped him remember what the holiday is all about (to which Richard responds by telling him the one they do at the store has an orchestra and laser effects). The episode ends on the Sinclairs celebrating as they plug their refrigerator (and all the lights attached to it) back in.



In 1993, the episode made its home video debut on the Dinosaurs: Special Holiday Edition VHS, which also included the series' Halloween-themed episode, "Little Boy Boo". It was later included on the Dinosaurs: The Complete First and Second Seasons DVD set, released on May 2, 2006.



Performer Character
Face Body Voice
Mak Wilson Bill Barretta Stuart Pankin Earl Sinclair
Allan Trautman Tony Sabin Prince Jessica Walter Fran Sinclair
Steve Whitmire Leif Tilden Jason Willinger Robbie Sinclair
Bruce Lanoil Michelan Sisti Sally Struthers Charlene Sinclair
Kevin Clash Baby Sinclair
Brian Henson Florence Stanley Grandma Ethyl Phillips
David Greenaway Pons Maar Sam McMurray Roy Hess
Steve Whitmire Sherman Hemsley B. P. Richfield
John Kennedy Jack Tate Thom Sharp Richard

External links

Jim Henson Productions and Related Shows
Sesame Street and related shows Christmas Eve on Sesame StreetA Special Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves ChristmasElmo's World: Happy Holidays!A Sesame Street Christmas CarolElmo's Christmas CountdownChristmas with Ernie & Bert • "Monster Monster Day" • Once Upon a Sesame Street Christmas • "A Furchester Christmas" • "Holiday at Hooper’s" • Sesame Street: The Nutcracker
The Muppets John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Muppet Family ChristmasThe Muppet Christmas CarolIt's a Very Merry Muppet Christmas MovieA Muppets Christmas: Letters to SantaLady Gaga & the Muppets' Holiday Spectacular • "Single All the Way" • "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas" / "Summer's Super Fabulous Holiday Surprise" • "It's a Wonderful Elf-bot" / "A Merry Litter Christmas"
Other shows and specials The Great Santa Claus SwitchEmmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas • "The Bells of Fraggle Rock" • The Christmas Toy • "Refrigerator Day" • Mr. Willowby's Christmas Tree • "Mrs. Zabarelli's Holiday Baton" • "A Berry Bear Christmas" • "Oh Christmas Tree" • "Cretaceous Conifers" • "Don's Winter Wish" • "A Song For Everyone" • "The Holiday Tree"
Merry Christmas from Sesame StreetJohn Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas TogetherA Sesame Street ChristmasElmo Saves Christmas: Holiday FavoritesA Green and Red ChristmasBob! from Sesame Street: Christmas Sing AlongHoliday Classics . It's Christmas Time
The Walt Disney Company
Animated shorts
Empty SocksMickey's OrphansSanta's WorkshopMickey's Good DeedThe Night Before ChristmasBroken ToysToy TinkersPluto's Christmas TreeThe Small OneMickey's Christmas Carol • "Jingle Bells, Something Smells" • "The Nutcracker" • "Mickey's Mixed Nuts" • "Mickey's Christmas Chaos" • Operation: Secret Santa • "Oh, Christmas Tree!" • "The Lights Before Christmas" • "Tinsle Tussle"
Animated Christmas JollitiesThe Nightmare Before ChristmasBeauty and the Beast: The Enchanted ChristmasMickey's Once Upon a ChristmasWinnie the Pooh: Seasons of GivingMickey's Magical Christmas: Snowed in at the House of MouseRecess Christmas: Miracle on Third StreetA Very Merry Pooh YearMickey's Twice Upon a Christmas . Disney Princess: A Christmas of EnchantmentMy Friends Tigger & Pooh: Super Sleuth Christmas MovieA Christmas CarolMarvel Super Hero Adventures: Frost Fight!
Live-action Babes in ToylandOne Magic ChristmasThe Christmas StarErnest Saves ChristmasA Mom For ChristmasIn the Nick of TimeThe Muppet Christmas CarolThe RefThe Santa ClauseThe Preacher's WifeThe Christmas TreeI'll Be Home For ChristmasSanta Who?The Ultimate Christmas Present 'Twas the NightThe Santa Clause 2Eloise at ChristmastimeThe Santa Clause 3: The Escape ClauseSanta BuddiesThe Search for Santa PawsGood Luck Charlie, It's Christmas!Santa Paws 2: The Santa PupsThe Nutcracker and the Four RealmsNoelleGodmotheredMarley
Television specials and episodes
Television specials "A Present for Donald" • "From All of Us to All of You" • A Disney Christmas GiftA Disney Channel ChristmasWinnie the Pooh and Christmas TooA Goof Troop ChristmasPhineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!Prep & LandingMickey's Christmas SpecialPrep & Landing: Naughty vs. NiceToy Story That Time ForgotDuck the HallsOlaf's Frozen Adventure
Television episodes Disney Television Animation "Jolly Molly Christmas" • "It's a Wonderful Leaf" • "Miracle at the 34th Precinct" • "Doug's Secret Christmas" • "A Christmas Cruella" • "Yes, Mikey, Santa Does Shave" • "Don't Be Elfish" • "A Kosher Christmas" • "A Dog for All Seasons" • "The Worst Holiday Ever" • "Holiday Time" • "Seven Days of Kwanzaa" • "Cheery Theerlap, Lloyd" • "The Blight Before Christmas" • "Pete's Christmas Caper" • "Clarabelle's Christmas List" • "Happy Holidays, Mr. Gruff!" • "A Very Possible Christmas" • "Topper" • "On Whiskers, On Lola, On Cheryl and Meryl" • "Hairy Christmas" • "A Giftmas Story" • "Season's Beatings" • "Dick Daring's All-Star Holiday Stunt Spectacular 5" • "Stitch and Santa" • "A Phineas and Ferb Family Christmas" • "A Cousin Kyle Christmas" • "Merry Fishmas, Milo" • "The Gift" • "Gingersnaps and Grumpy Snaps" / "Jollybells" • "Future-Worm and the 54 Days of Snordfest" • "Stump Day" / "Holiday Spellcial" • "A Christmas Peril" • "Tree Lighting" • "A Merry Mocap Musical" • "Last Christmas!" • "The Present" • "Green Christmas" • "How Santa Stole Christmas!" • "Froggy Little Christmas" • "Saving Christmas"
Playhouse Disney / Disney Junior "The Wishing Tree" • "Little Dog Lost" • "A Circus Town Christmas" • "Twinkle's Wish" • "The Christmas Wish " • "A Very Handy Holiday" • "The Wind-Up Toy Prince" • "Mickey Saves Santa" • "The Night Before Zipsmas / A Gift For Zooter" • "Flicker Saves Christmas" • "The Ayalas' Christmas Extravaganza" • "The Living Holiday Lights" • "It's a Winter Never Land!" • "A Very McStuffins Christmas" • "Holiday in Enchancia" • "Captain Scrooge" • "Winter's Gift" • "Toby's Christmas Critter / A Very Tricky Christmas" • " Navidad" • "The Mystic Isles: A Very Mystic Wassailia" • "Timon and Pumbaa's Christmas" • "Happy Hot Diggity Dog Holiday!" • "Happy Holiday Helpers" • "A Very Pug Christmas" • "The Latke Kerfuffle" • "A Very Muppet Babies Christmas" • "Summer's Super Fabulous Holiday Surprise" • "A Santa for Bob" • The Doc McStuffins Christmas Special • "Nanpire and Grandpop the Greats" • "Snow Place Like Home" • "Nancy and the Nice List" • "A Gargoyle Carol" • "The Lights Before Christmas" • "Elves for a Day" • "Festival of Lights" • "Tinsle Tussle" • "Santa Baby" • "The Fright Before Christmas" • "Merry Chickmas" • "It's a Wonderful Elf-bot" / "A Merry Litter Christmas"
Touchstone / ABC Signature "How the Super Stole Christmas" • "A Very Special Clone High Snowflake Day Special"
Marvel Animation (post-2009) "Nightmare on Christmas" • "It's a Wonderful Smash" • "Jingle Bell Rock" • "The Moon Knight Before Christmas" • "A Very Spidey Christmas"
Television specials The Walt Disney Christmas ShowChristmas at Pooh CornerA Magic Kingdom Yuletide SpecialThe Disney Christmas SpecialMickey's NutcrackerDisney's Christmas Fantasy on IceA Muppets Christmas: Letters to SantaGood Luck Jessie: NYC ChristmasJessie's Aloha Holidays with Parker & JoeyDisney Channel Fa-La-La-Lidays Celebrates a Radio Disney Family HolidayDisney Holiday Magic QuestChallenge Accepted! Disney Channel’s Epic Holiday ShowdownDisney Channel Holiday House Party
Television episodes Walt Disney Television "Christmas at the Circus" • "Christmas in Wonderland" • "Refrigerator Day" • "A Roman Holiday" • "Fountain" • "Happy Holidays" • "Heck of a Hanukkah" • "Xtreme Xmas" • "Escape Claus" • "Christmas at the Tipton" • "Christmas Break" • "Killing Me Softly With His Height" • "Present Problem" • "Happy Ha-Ha Holidays" • "A So Random! Holiday Special" • "A London Carol" • "Bro Ho Ho" • "So Random! Episode 18" • "Pair of Santas" • "sANTa's Little Helpers" • "Christmas Story" • "Jingle It Up" • "A Little Elf Esteem" • "A Duncan Christmas" • "Bark! The Herald Angels Sing" • "Merry Merry It Up" • "Oh, Christmas Nuts!" • "Big Dreams & Big Apples" • "Nanny in Miami" • "Fa La La La-A-Rooney" • "Mix-Ups & Mistletoes" • "Twas the Mission Before Christmas" • "silANT night" • "Twas the Fight Before Christmas" • "Girl Meets Home for the Holidays" • "Stan Steals Christmas" • "Merry Miss Sis" • "Secret Santa" • "Twas the Fight Before Christmas" • "The Girls of Christmas Past" • "Santas & Surprises" • "Joy-to-a-Rooney" • "Single All the Way" • "Cali Christmas-A-Rooney" • "Girl Meets a Christmas Maya" • "How the Griff Stole Christmas" • "Holly Holly Not So Jolly" • "The Christmas Curse" • "Agh, Humbug" • "Stuck at Christmas" • "A Killer Robot Christmas" • "Would You Wrather Get a Moose Angry?" • "Holiday Video Sketchtacular " • "Bah Humbugged " • "Merry Christmas Mr. Gooch " • "It's Christmas, Gabby Duran " • "Would You Wrather Lose Your Presents? " • "Summer Winter Wonderland " • "How the Syd Stole Christmas"
Touchstone / ABC Signature "It's a Marginal Life" • "Yule Better Watch Out" • "I'm Scheming of a White Christmas" • "Santa's Little Helper" • "'Twas the Blight Before Christmas" • "Some Like It Hot Rod" • "'Twas the Night Before Chaos" • "'Twas the Flight Before Christmas" • "Easy Street" • "Bright Christmas" • "A Very Topanga Christmas" • "Home for the Holidays" • "An According to Jiminy Christmas" • "Spirit" • "One Office Party Too Many" • "The Christmas Party" • "Secret Santa" • "Silent Night, Opening Night" • "Stalking Santa" • "Aru-Bah Humbug" • "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" • "The Gift of Maggie" • "Christmas Time" • "Light the Lights" • "The Miracle Song" • "Fake Plastic Snow" • "The Nutcracker" • "Two for the Money" • "Holidaze" • "Boom Crunch" • "Cold Turkey"
A Family ChristmasDisney's Merry Christmas CarolsMickey's Christmas Around the WorldAriel's Christmas Under the SeaA Pooh ChristmasThe Twelve Days of ChristmasDisney's Christmas CollectionDisney's Christmas Collection IIDisney's Family Christmas CollectionDisney's Snowy Christmas . Disney Santa Sing-AlongDisney's Princess Christmas AlbumDisney's Merry Little ChristmasA Green and Red ChristmasDisney's Holiday Celebration 2007Disney Channel HolidayDisney Holiday Magic 2009Disney Winter Wonderland 2010Phineas and Ferb Holiday FavoritesMickey's Magical Holiday 2011Disney Channel Holiday PlaylistHolidays Unwrapped . A Very Merry Disney Christmas . Disney Junior Holiday Hits . ICON: Disney Holiday . Disney Junior Holiday Hits 2 . Disney Christmas Magic
Disney Parks Christmas Day ParadeThe Magic of Christmas at DisneylandThe Magic of Christmas at Walt Disney WorldDis the Season25 Days of Christmas