"The Fight Before Christmas" is the tenth Christmas-themed episode of the animated sitcom The Simpsons, and the first Christmas episode of the series to be produced in high-definition, originally aired on December 5, 2010. Aired as the eighth episode of the show's 22nd season, it features four short stories (similar to how "Simpson Christmas Stories" was done), including one where Martha Stewart appears, and one where Maggie imagines the Simpsons as puppets.
It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas in Springfield, but while Marge gets in the holiday spirit, the rest of the family are not feeling cheerful.
Bart, angry that he did not receive the dirt bike that he wanted last Christmas, stays up late to shoot Santa. He falls asleep and dreams that the Polar Express, with Otto Mann as the conductor, lands in front of the house and flies him to the North Pole, where after working his way up the corporate ladder, Bart is able to meet with Santa. Santa (Krusty) tells Bart that he is broke, and feeling pity since giving out free toys in exchange for cookies is not a sustainable business for him. Bart decides not to shoot Santa and leaves. It is revealed that Santa was lying, saying that children are dumb, afterward throwing a party. Upon leaving, the train is chased by police. Otto jumps off the train, leaving Bart stranded.
Lisa, who objects to Christmas trees on ecological grounds, dreams that it is December 1944 and that Marge - not Homer - is away at war. Due to Marge being taken suddenly for overseas deployment (by MPs Patty and Selma) while buying a Christmas tree last year, Lisa has grown to dislike all trees because of the emotion involved. Homer tries to comfort the girl, but they soon after get a telegram saying that Marge disappeared. After hearing the news, Lisa runs away to the place where she had last seen her mother, the Christmas Tree Farm. The owner of the place says that last year Marge had paid for a tree but never took it home, and then trims the tree to make it look like Marge. Lisa takes the tree home and the family decorate it together, believing it to be a symbol that Marge is okay. Marge is then seen assassinating Adolf Hitler in a movie theatre in France (a reference to Inglorious Basterds) as he watches a propaganda film of an evil Dumbo bombing London; she walks away from the scene before the theatre explodes. As Lisa wakes up, she declares that she will never take her stuffed elephant toy and the book The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich together to bed again.
Meanwhile, disappointed that she is alone spreading the holiday cheer, Marge sends a letter to Martha Stewart to help her save the family's Christmas. Martha comes to the rescue and transforms the house into the North Pole chalet Marge has always dreamed of, but when the family is noticeably absent from the perfectly trimmed holiday home, she realizes that it is Homer and the kids who make the holidays special; and then wakes up to Homer and the children taking her out for breakfast the next morning.
In a final short segment, the Simpsons, as puppets, get ready to go to Hawaii, and decide to have Moe be their housesitter. Mr. Burns then arrives (unexpectedly) at the Simpson home, saying he was visited by three ghosts the night before and wants to be happy and cheerful during the holiday season. Seeing their bags, and with Moe's girlfriend Katy Perry saying that it is Moe's bachelor pad, Mr. Burns learns that Homer feigned a neck injury to get a week off work. However, after calling the hounds, one of the hounds (a crude sock puppet) reveals they have none due to the budget being spent on Katy Perry, which does not seem to flake Mr. Burns. Afterward, the Simpson family, Mr. Burns, Katy Perry, and Moe all sing a rendition of "39 Days of Christmas". Finally, Moe attempts to kiss Katy Perry but is not tall enough to reach her mouth. Instead, he opts to "kiss her belly button".
- All uncredited.
- "Carol of the Bells"
- "Hark! The Herald Angels Sing"
- "Deck the Halls"
- "I'll Be Home for Christmas"
- "O Christmas Tree" - Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, and Yeardley Smith
- Selections for Tchaikovsky's Nutcracker:
- "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy"
- "Dance of the Reed Flutes"
- "It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas" - Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner and Yeardley Smith
- "The 39 Days of Christmas" - Hank Azaria, Nancy Cartwright, Dan Castellaneta, Julie Kavner, Katy Perry, Harry Shearer and Yeardley Smith
- "The Fight Before Christmas" is notable for being the third episode to have a part of it filmed in live-action. The previous two were the Halloween episodes "Treehouse of Horror VI", where Homer went into the real world at the end, and "Treehouse of Horror IX", where Bart and Lisa briefly appeared on Live with Regis and Kathie Lee.
- In place of the theme music, an instrumental version of "Carol of the Bells" plays over the opening credits.
- In Latin America, this episode was released as the seventh episode of the season for unknown reasons.
|Dan Castellaneta|| Homer Simpson|
Krusty the Clown
|Julie Kavner|| Marge Simpson|
|Nancy Cartwright|| Bart Simpson|
|Yeardley Smith||Lisa Simpson|
|Hank Azaria|| Chief Wiggum|
|Harry Shearer|| Mr. Burns|
|Pamela Hayden||Milhouse Van Houten|
|Tress MacNeille||Agnes Skinner|
|Karl Wiedergott||Additional characters|
- The Simpsons Wiki: The Fight Before Christmas
- "The Fight Before Christmas" at the Internet Movie Database
- "The Fight Before Christmas" at TV.com
- "The Fight Before Christmas" recap at TV Tropes
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