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Christmas Specials Wiki

"The Best Christmas Story Never" is the first Christmas episode of the FOX animated series American Dad!, aired as the ninth episode of the show's second season.

Synopsis[]

The episode begins with the Smith family in the Langley Falls town square. Roger is horribly depressed and drunk, complaining that since landing on Earth sixty years ago he's accomplished almost nothing; Stan, however, is overjoyed, until he finds out that the Christmas tree has been banned due to its religious nature. He is further dismayed when more signs of secularism occur---the clerks at the mall aren't allowed to say "Merry Christmas," and the town goes so far as to rename the annual attacker, the Christmas Rapist, the "Holiday Rapist." Stan blames the whole thing on Jane Fonda---his logic being that her going to North Vietnam revitalized the "dying" hippie movement, and that since yesterday's hippies grew up to be modern liberals, modern liberalism is her fault. Stan finally becomes so enraged that he destroys the tree and the presents; the kids and Roger are horribly sad, and Francine is so mad she banishes him to the couch.

That night, Stan is visited by the Ghost of Christmas Past (a former Tooth Fairy named Michelle), who takes him back to 1970. Stan, however, runs away from her so that he can find and assassinate Jane Fonda, thus changing the future. The Ghost, unsure where he has gone, goes back to the present to get Francine; the two then return to the past to find Stan.

Stan has tracked Fonda down to the set of Klute, where he finds out that Donald Sutherland was the one who led her to politics, and changes his plan to assassinate him instead. He finds Sutherland at a Hollywood party, where he happens to meet Martin Scorsese and convinces him to give up drugs. Francine and Michelle then grab him and bring him back to the present, where they are shocked to discover the street desolate, with Soviet tanks patrolling. They eventually figure out what has happened---by getting Scorsese off drugs, they stopped him from ever making the movie Taxi Driver; as a result John Hinckley, Jr. never saw Jodie Foster in the movie and became obsessed with her, which resulted in him never trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan. This dented Reagan's popularity in the 1984 election, as the near-death experience made him appear stronger; in the new reality he thus lost to Walter Mondale, who then surrendered the country to the Soviet Union just 47 days into his presidency. The group then goes back to attempt to fix what Stan did.

Stan decides to make the movie himself; however, he quickly alienates Robert De Niro and decides to make the movie with John Wayne instead. Stan and Francine follow Hinckley into a movie theater and watch the new Taxi Driver behind him. After it is over, Stan asks Hinckley what he thought of it, and he says it was all right. Francine then asks him if he thinks Jodie Foster is attractive, and he reacts very badly to this, pointing out that she is 12 years old. This means that the future remains unchanged. The Ghost then transports them to March 30, 1981, and tells Stan that the only way to fix the future is if he shoots Reagan instead. Stan is shocked; he is unable to shoot his favorite president. Francine reminds him how much he wanted Christmas, and points out that it wouldn't exist at all if the Soviets ruled; Stan replies that he doesn't care about trees and presents, but would be happy as long as he had Francine and the kids. The Ghost then informs him that in the alternate future Francine and Stan may never meet, meaning also that Steve and Hayley won't exist. Stan then decides that he must shoot Reagan, and shoots him. Just as he does, the two suddenly transport back into their bed on Christmas morning 2006.

They are relieved to find out that history is back to normal, and after fixing the presents and tree, the family enjoys a happy Christmas. The Ghost appears to Stan one last time to give him a gift for saving her job--a brand new gun she says she bought the previous night. When Stan asks how that is possible, as the Brady Bill requires a week waiting period, she informs him that he only shot Reagan and not Brady, meaning that buying guns is incredibly easy. Stan rejoices that he changed the future for the better (in his own eyes), and says "this is the best Christmas ever."

In a subplot, Stan buys a "Best of Disco" cassette for Roger. When he goes back in time to 1970, the tape falls out of his jacket and is found by Roger. Playing it to executives, Roger becomes fabulously wealthy by inventing the Disco era. However, in 1981, disco becomes "dead" and Roger loses everything. Back in the present, Roger still talks of his time as the inventor of disco and the episode ends with that timeline still in effect.

Songs[]

Uncredited
  • "The Hustle" - Van McCoy and the Soul City Symphony
  • "That's The Way, I Like It" - KC and the Sunshine Band

Notes[]

  • The plot is similar to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
  • The picture that the carolers show to Stan of the Holiday (or Christmas) Rapist resembles the elf who photographed Hayley and Steve sitting on Santa's lap.
  • During the flashback on how the present was changed, Hinckley's last name is misspelled as "Hinkley" on the name of his ice cream business.
  • Leonid Brezhnev died in 1982 in real life, making it unlikely that Walter Mondale could surrender to him in the alternate 1985.
  • This episode was picked as one of the Top 15 episodes by co-creator Matt Weitzman[1]:
The first Christmas show we did set the irreverent tone for how we’d handle the holiday in the future. Our Christmas episodes rank as the 153rd reason why people decide not to kill themselves during this difficult holiday.


Cast[]

Voice actor/actress Character(s)
Seth MacFarlane Stan Smith
Roger Smith
Greg Corbin
Alan Greenspan
Wendy Schaal Francine Smith
Scott Grimes Steve Smith
Rachael MacFarlane Hayley Smith
Dee Bradley Baker Klaus Heisler
Mike Barker Terry Bates
Greg Berg
Chris Diamantopoulos Donald Sutherland
Robert DeNiro
Nat Faxon
Rick Hoffman Caroler #1
John Hinkley
Lisa Kudrow Michelle
Matt McKenna Alan J. Pakula
Sam Pancake Waiter
Eddie Kaye Thomas

References[]

See also[]

External links[]

20th Century
Movies
Miracle on 34th Street (1955 remake) (1973 remake) (1994 remake) • Die HardDie Hard 2Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkGeorge Balanchine's The NutcrackerTrapped in ParadiseJingle All the WayHome Alone 4The Family StoneDeck the Halls12 Men of ChristmasHome Alone: The Holiday HeistJingle All the Way 2Home Sweet Home Alone
Television episodes and specials
20th Television
M*A*S*H "Dear Dad" • "Dear Sis" • "Death Takes a Holiday" • "All About Christmas Eve"
Tracey Ullman "Santa Baby" • "Kay's Gift" • "Merry Catnip"
The X Files "Christmas Carol" • "Emily" • "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"
Malcolm in the Middle "Christmas" • "Christmas Trees" • "Pearl Harbor" • "Hal's Christmas Gift
Bones "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" • "The Santa in the Slush" • "The Goop on the Girl"
How I Met Your Mother "How Lily Stole Christmas" • "Little Minnesota" • "False Positive" • "Symphony of Illumination" • "The Over-Correction" • "The Final Page, Part 1" • "The Final Page, Part 2"
Glee "A Very Glee Christmas" • "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" • "Glee, Actually" • "Previously Unaired Christmas"
New Girl "The 23rd" • "Santa" • "LAXmas" • "Christmas Eve Eve"
The Mindy Project "Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party" • "Christmas Party Sex Trap" • "Christmas" • "When Mindy Met Danny"
Last Man Standing "Last Christmas Standing" • "Putting a Hit on Christmas" • "Elfie" • "Wedding Planning" • "Gift of the Wise Man"
Other shows "Christmas Story" • "The Worst Noel" • "Haus Arrest" • "Amends" • "Blue Christmas" • "A Christmas Story" • "Cookies for Santa" • "In God We Trust" • "Road to Tradition" • "Afternoon Delight" • "Christmas" • "The Glitch That Stole Christmas" • "Secret Santa"
20th Television Animation
The Simpsons "Simpson Christmas" • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" • "Marge Be Not Proud" • "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" • "Grift of the Magi" • "Skinner's Sense of Snow" • "She of Little Faith" • "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" • "Simpson Christmas Stories" • "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" • "The Fight Before Christmas" • "Holidays of Future Passed" • "White Christmas Blues" • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas • "The Nightmare After Krustmas" • "'Tis the 30th Season" • "Bobby, It's Cold Outside" • "The Way of The Dog" • "A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas" • "Manger Things" • Feliz Navidad
King of the Hill "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" • "Pretty, Pretty Dresses" • "Hillennium" • "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas" • "The Father, the Son, and J.C." • "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" • "Ms. Wakefield"
Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" • "The Best Christmas Story Never" • "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" • "Rapture's Delight" • "A Cleveland Brown Christmas" • "Road to the North Pole" • "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" • "Murray Christmas" • "Season's Beatings" • "Die Semi-Hard" • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" • "'Tis the Cleveland To Be Sorry" • "Minstrel Krampus" • "Christmas Guy" • "Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas" • "The 2000-Year-Old Virgin" • "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" • "Ninety North, Zero West" • "Gifted Me Liberty" • "Don't Be a Dickens At Christmas" • "Santa, Schmanta" • "Christmas is Coming" • "Yule. Tide. Repeat." • "The First No L" • "Christmas Crime" • "The Return of the King (of Queens)" • "Family Guy Christmas for Hulu"
Futurama "Xmas Story" • "A Tale of Two Santas" • "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" • "I Know What You Did Next Xmas"
Bob's Burgers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" • "Christmas in the Car" • "Father of the Bob" • "Nice-Capades" • "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" • "The Bleakening" • "Better Off Sled" • "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" • "Yachty or Nice" • "Gene's Christmas Break" • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "The Nightmare 2 Days Before Christmas"
Other cartoons "Hook's Christmas" • "A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman" • Olive, the Other ReindeerIce Age: A Mammoth Christmas • "The War on Grafelnik" • "Miracle on Culpepper Slims Boulevard" • "A Very Solar Holiday Opposites Special" • "Dip the Halls Adventure" • "Xmas with The Skanks Adventure"
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