Overlooked Christmas Specials – Nostalgia Critic

More robotic Santas need to kill people. Here are the Nostalgia Critic’s Overlooked Christmas Specials.

About Doug Walker

Creator of 5 Second Movies, Nostalgia Critic, Bum Reviews and more.

331 comments

  1. OMG FIRST FIRST FIRST!!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

  2. Futurama’s Christmas episodes has been my annual tradition for many years!

    • I love Santa in that episode. Yeah, in the other episodes (when he’s voiced by Dan Castalenetta) he’s funny. But John Goodman just owned it. Also, of all Santa’s appearances, he was the funniest in this show:
      * Did either of you stop to think about Dr. Zoidberg’s feelings!?
      * You would dare bribe Santa? I’m going to shove coal so far up your stocking, YOU’LL BE COUGHING UP DIAMONDS!
      *My god Bender, framing an orphan!? That’s so naughty, I’m going to add it to my list right now!
      *You’ve all been very naughty VERY NAUGHTY indeed. … Except you Dr. Zoidberg this is for you.
      *Let’s get joll on your naughty asses!

    • I’m curious how Futurama fans view Invader Zim’s Most horrible X-mas ever since it falls in a similar story vein?

  3. I don’t know about anyone else but I remember the Disney Christmas Carol quite well. I believe they show it in primary school,

  4. I love the mickey mouse special.

  5. Anything Rifftrax mocks in relation to the cheap K. Gordon Murray Santa Claus film is golden, like Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny, Santa’s Village of Madness, and the recent live riff of the film. Praised be Craig!

  6. I remember the Dexter’s Lab Christmas Special, where Dexter tries to prove that Santa isn’t real, gets into a dogfight with him, and then shaves off his beard, to prove his theory.

    The Spongebob one was also great. It was funny, surprisingly sad and very heartwarming.

    • The Dexter one was terrible, but Christmas Who? (the Spongebob episode I assume you’re referring to) was really good, as was the stop-motion special from last year.

  7. I wonder if/when you’ll do a top 11 “Christmas Carol” specials.

  8. The Thin White Duke

    I remember loving the Disney Christmas Carol when I was a kid. I had it on VHS (that long ago). It is that version and the Alistair Sim adaptation that I know the best.

  9. You forgot the Community Christmas special. You would loooooove it

    • Yes, “Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas” is one of my favorites. Also the first one (I forgot the name) when they have a fight at the end is good, but nothing beats Community and claymation.

    • The season 3 Community Christmas special, “Regional Holiday Music,” is fantastic as well, though more in a broad comedy way rather than emotional nuance. The whole episode is a prolonged take-down of Glee, and it’s just so gloriously cruel yet righteous in its assault of that show’s entire rationale. Though not among my favorite episodes (again, the emotional elements aren’t as strong as they could have been, especially coming on the heels of the excellent Dean-centric episode “Documentary Filmmaking: Redux”), “Regional Holiday Music” is perfect for those looking for a bitter take on the holiday season.

    • Came here to say that too. It’s a great one.

  10. I wouldn’t call this a classic, but one special that rather amused me was Matt Groening’s “Olive the Other Reindeer.” Santa lost one of his reindeer, and he said that he’ll have to rely on “all of the other reindeer,” so a dog named Olive thought that Santa was referring to her, and therefore thinks that she’s a reindeer, on top of that. Also, the villain of the movie is a mailman, because Christmas is probably the most stressful time for postal workers. 🙂

  11. Okay, this has gone beyond simple omission to actively ignoring it. Where. The. Fuck. Is. Love. Actually? Its omission from the top 11 was crime enough, this is just unbearable.

  12. The last episode of Thunderbirds (Give or Take a Million) was a Christmas episode, though not really much of a Thunderbirds episode now I think about it (one website I saw many years ago pointed out that if you don’t see anything blow up in the opening titles for this weeks episode you know it won’t be as good).

  13. ThatManWithTheHeadband12

    Look, I know you bailed on Hey Arnold very early on, as you described in your Nicktoons review, but MY GOD, Arnold’s Christmas is one of the best Christmas specials of all time. How many Christmas specials have Vietnam War flashbacks separating a father from his infant daughter so she can have a better life?

    Also, Holidays of Future Passed was an exquisite Simpsons episode from 3 seasons ago that’s not only a great Simpsons episode from *insert shark jumping season here* onwards, but for the entire run of the show

    • Of all the Christmas specials on Earth, Arnold’s Christmas is the only one that could ever emotionally move me in any way. That hits me harder than any other Christmas special.

      A notable mention goes to the only good Doctor Who Christmas special: “A Christmas Carol” (sorry, I accidentally skipped “The Snowmen” so I don’t know about that, but the rest aren’t very good at being Christmasy).

    • I am right there with you brother. Why does no one ever talk about Arnold’s Christmas? I watch it at least once every single year and every time I have trouble holding back a tear or two. Incredibly underrated.

      Doug, heart to heart, I really do insist that you check it out.

    • For that matter, I don’t go a year without watching Arnold’s Thanksgiving. Hey Arnold! is just a great show period.

  14. I’m so glad you mentioned Mickey’s Christmas Carol. It is still one of my favorite tellings of the story and not just because I’m a sucker for the classic Disney characters. I think it’s short running time worked in it’s favor so as too have all these beautifully animated scenes without dragging the story on.

  15. I like the Futurama Christmas. And some of the Riff Trax. I also watch the Mickey Christmas Carol. Here are a few of my other Christmas shows I like to watch.

    The Real Ghostbusters: X-mas marks the spot. Real fast the Ghostbusters destroy Christmas by capturing the three ghost in Scrooge’s apartment.

    Kim Possible- A very possible Christmas: Ron Stoppable decides to take on one of Kim’s enemy so she can have Christmas with her family.

    *Code Name Kids Next Door- Operation Naughty: The delightful children from down the lane break into the north pole dressed as the kids next door. To ruin Christmas for other kids.

    Side Note on KND. Some of the elves are spoofs of the X-Men.

  16. Channel Awesome is a mistake…
    It’s pain to find new NC videos there is no need to make a new site, its not like people come to watch anyone else but NC. Everyone else is grossly unpopular compared to NC. Same with getting that studio, no one cares about that fat girl or black guy. I don’t even remember their names that how much I don’t give a crap about them. TGWTG.COMm would be find by itself if it was just NC changing things or adding people to the site just fuck stuff up. Like I didn’t even know you guys moved to a new site if I didn’t click on a video from tgwtg.com

    • exactly that’s why the Channel Awesome site was redone so all the non-Doug Walker reviewers can get a fair exposure not to mention the other site was a poorly designed hard to navigate mess, and how stupid you must be to NOT be able to find doug’s videos

    • Actually, they’ve been needing to redo the site for quite awhile. Some of the links were seriously broken and it was much harder to navigate. Yeah, boo-hoo that that the Nostalgia Critic now gets nearer equal billing with the other reviewers. It’s not like any of them have good shows too or anything… OH WAIT.

      Have you watched any of the other shows on here? I started with the Nostalgia Critic myself, but there’s only one of him and so many times you can watch the same episodes, and they don’t come out every day. But I noticed that some of those other people I hadn’t tried before reviewed something that I liked and was interested in, so I tried it, and lo and behold I’ve become a fan of several different reviewers on here. Doug’s still top dog around here, no denying that, but he brought in other people for a reason, and now that the site is no longer just him calling it “thatguywiththeglasses.com” doesn’t quite fit anymore.

      • Yeah. That’s what I like about the new site. It’s not focused on just one show. I started out with just Doug. But then I expanded. Now I watch Doug, Brad, Louis, and Lindsay.

        • I’ve become a fan of Paw, Nash, iRawss, Erod, MikeJ, Cinema Snob, Sage, Todd in the Shadows, Film Brain, Count Jackula, Horror Guru, and Linkara all because I got bored and decided to try something new. I still have occasional dry spells, but not nearly so much as before thanks to casting a wider net.

    • As wordforger said, definitely check out some of the other shows. After years of ignoring the others, I finally tried out Bad Movie Beatdown by FilmBrain. It took one or two episodes to get used to his purposefully over the top voice, but now I love him almost as much as the critic.

      And for what it’s worth I think that Tamara and Malcolm (not fat girl and black guy) are hilarious and welcome additions to the videos.

    • FataMorganaPseudonym

      Obvious troll is obvious.

      • Yes. Because there is no bigger focus on anyone else, at all. Doug still gets an entire column, and the banner is only characters from the NC. (Except the guy on the right, who I think is Brad in his Gameshow host setup.)

    • Seriously have you even tried watching any of the other producers? There is a lot of good talent on this site. Linkara’s Atop the 4th Wall, Nash’s What the fuck is wrong with you and Here there be dragons, Film Brain’s Bad Movie Beatdown, Paw’s Music Movies, Mike J’s Shameful Sequels.

      Stop being a close minded asshat.

    • I prefer MikeJTV, myself. He tends to do more stuff I’ve actually seen. It’s rare that Doug reviews a movie I’ve watched. (What will it take to get him or anyone on this site to do Dark City?! ARG! And a DECENT Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter review would be great too!)

      But I hate how things aren’t separated like they were. I don’t like having the movie reviews mixed in with Infomeralism.

    • I watch other reviewers here, not just Doug. I like Blockbuster Buster, Linkara, the new Shark Jumping reviews, Brad Tries, Todd In The Shadows, I even liked Paw before he disappeared off the face of the Earth! (seriously, what the hell happened to him?!)

      And those two guys? Malcom and Tamara.

  17. You know what you should do for your next editorial?

    The “Top 12 NEW Best Christmas Songs”.

    Songs that people don’t often sing at Christmas time as opposed to the usual classics such as “Jingle Bells”, “Oh, Christmas Tree”, “Joy To the World”, “Santa Claus is Coming to Town”, etc.
    You could include new Christmas songs such as “All I Want for Christmas Is You”, “The Christmas Shoes”, “Do They Know It’s Christmas”, “A Baby Changes Everything”, or “It’s Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”, etc. Christmas songs that aren’t often sung by people but do play around the holidays and probably should deserve to become newer household classics that will be sung for years to come. And maybe some of the songs I mentioned wouldn’t make the countdown, but it’d still be interesting to hear what you would say about newer Christmas songs instead of the simple classics.

  18. The Most Horrible Xmas ever ! Invader zim christmas special!

    you cant get better than that

    • I was gonna say, “Most Horrible Xmas Ever” is among the best episodes of the series. It serves as the defacto finale for the show, and provides some rich world-building in its callbacks to previous episodes and introduction of new characters (Mini-Moose, the most perfect instantaneous integration of a new character into a cast ever). It was great to see Invader Zim go out on such a high note, even as the uniform excellence of season three made losing Invader Zim that much more painful. I’m well due to give this show another look, and “Horrible Xmas” will definitely be a chief priority.

    • I’m glad I wasn’t the only one to recall “Invader Zim,” for when I think of St. Robot-Nick, I think of “The Most Horrible Xmas Ever.”

      …although NOW I’m thinking of “The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog” Christmas special that involved Princess Sally. Heh.

      Looking back, though, I think my three favorites are still “Home Alone,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” and “Die Hard.”

    • “But Zim and Dib were wrong that day. Santa wasn’t destroyed. Santa lives on.”
      “In the hearts and minds of us all? Hee-hee!”
      “No… in space! Gathering power! And every year he comes back, and that’s why we live in these protective domes!”

    • I was rather disappointed not seeing any mention of Invader Zim’s version as well.

  19. Pinky and the Brain Christmas special is one of my all time faves

    Also, check out Doctor Who Christmas specials.

  20. Coincidentally enough, I watched Tokyo Godfathers yesterday and I think it’s my new favorite Christmas movie. To me, the overlooked Christmas specials include:
    The 1999 version of Annie
    A Muppet Family Christmas
    Arthur’s perfect Christmas (even when they cram in other holidays)
    Adventures in Odyssey audio series makes some good Christmas episodes too (Especially Gifts for Madge and Guy)

    • Oh, wow, I love A Muppet Family Christmas! It was the first thing my family watched after my father came home from being deployed overseas. That brings back happy memories.

      • *gasp* I was hoping someone would mention Muppet Family Christmas! I love it soooo much! It’s great seeing all of Jim Henson’s (muppet) characters all together in one place before his passing!

        Speaking of other Muppet related Christmas Specials, I’ve always loved Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree with (high as a kite) Robert Downey Jr., Leslie Nieelsen, and Stockard Channing!

        Meet Me in St. Louis is a great one too! Although it takes place through the year, the iconic moment is Judy Garland singing “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” to Margaret O’Brien. It’s kinda cheesy, but it’s still a wonderful movie!

        Ooh, Garfield’s Christmas Special too! I don’t remember if it was in one of Doug’s other Christmas Special videos, but that one has always been a favorite of mine since I was a kid! I always loved the part with Grandma (voiced by Pat Carroll aka Ursula from The Little Mermaid), sitting with Garfield in her lap, reminiscing about her departed husband, and how they celebrated Christmas when Jon’s father was little.

        • Also muppet and Christmas (and excellent), The Christmas Toy.

          Rugby the tiger, Apple the doll, Mew the cat toy!
          I’d describe the plot, but then someone will claim it to be Toy Story’s but they did it first and better!

      • ZOMN Muppet Family Christmas and Muppet Christmas Carol are always top on my must-watch list!

        MFC not only has all the Jim Henson characters in one place, it really is about family love – everyone’s quirkiness, the reminiscing, the warm fuzzy feeling of seeing loved ones for the first time in a while. The music is also great – The traditional songs are arranged well and then the Fraggle Rock characters sing “Pass It On” – not a Christmas song but it fits well with the mutual sharing of the holiday. Unfortunately, I think the extensive amount of music is also why it’s so hard to find: They would have to make deals with all the music companies to get it on a wide release. (In fact, the only versions I have at home are a VHS of a live recording and a Bootlegged DVD)

        The Muppet Christmas Carol takes the original story and adds musical numbers and muppet-brand slapstick, especially when Gonzo (as Charles Dickens) chases after the story to narrate it. Despite the additions the story is true to the original and it knows when to tone down the humor. That being said, the soundtrack is what really makes the movie for me. It establishes the exposition in a memorable way and stays with me after the movie is over. In fact, I’m a fan of the “extended” version when they use “The love is gone” in the Christmas past segment. not only does it give the song a reason for existing, but at the end of the movie the words change to “the love is found” which helps the it come full circle musically.

    • I’d go so far as to hold Tokyo Godfathers among my favorite films of all time. The themes of loneliness and family as so potent that they’d work even if the Christmas overtones weren’t there, and the air of magical realism is perfectly balanced, never taking things too over the top or getting too harsh. The film also does some really interesting things with its incorporation of the holiday’s spiritual elements.

      I was genuinely saddened by Satoshi Kon’s passing; I was a junior in college when it happened and I believe Paprika had just seen its American release. I love everything by the man (also recommended: Millennium Actress, possibly his best film overall), but Tokyo Godfathers will always hold a special place in my heart.

    • I’m actually pleasantly surprised that someone else remembers Adventures in Odyssey. Sure, Focus on the Family have been relative pricks lately, but back when I listened to those cassettes (Because either it never played on the radio near me, or I just never tuned in… never figured out which) the stories, while corny in their own right, had a certain amount of charm. I’d like to say Prairie Home Companion sealed my appreciation for radio dramas and storytelling, but Odyssey started it.

      And agreed. Their Christmas specials were quite nice.

  21. Another overlooked Christmas special: the one done by Richard Williams featuring Alister Sim reprising the role of Scrooge. Beautiful animation, but I think you may have already mentioned that in a previous special.

  22. I’m going to have to check out “Mickey’s Christmas Carol”.

    • Um…which one? I mean, there was The Toy That Saved Christmas (barely remember), that one where Bob and Larry try to start a career in the theater business with a play using a Star of Christmas (thought was okay, though maybe that’s just my memory of the credits song talking), and probably a lot of others.

    • Was that the one with the wooden puppet? I remember enjoying that as well. I’d be interested to see how it holds up.

  23. I love Tokyo Godfathers, so glad it was included on this list! I also used to watch Mickey’s Christmas Carol on VHS a lot as a kid.

    Another Christmas special I really enjoy is Abed’s Uncontrollable Christmas from “Community,” a sitcom episode that pays homage to the Rankin/Bass specials, complete with claymation, some songs, and a nice mix of melancholy with a warm, uplifting spirit.

  24. Invader Zim’s Christmas episode and Blackadder’s Christmas Carol for me.

  25. Tokyo Godfathers was a nice one to include. Now that you bring it up, I might actually watch that one again. It really was a good movie.

    The thing I love most about that first Futurama Xmas episode was the evil version of Deck the Halls that played when Santa was on his shooting spree. Such a simple thing but so brilliant.

  26. I LOVE Tokyo Godfather!! It definitely deserves more love!

  27. Scrooged with Bill Murray is the best A Christmas Carol movie ever!

  28. i will also add, the Looney Tunes version of the Christmas carol just because Daffy Duck being haunted by the cliches of the Christmas Carol while Buggs bunny is so genre awareness is very funny, it has good comedy, some cute moments and a good combination of what Looney Tunes character plays what Carol character

    also not really overlooked but the Doctor Who Christmas episodes are very enjoyable for how silly they can get

  29. GoodfellaSeinfeld

    I really enjoy both the Flintstones Christmas Carol and White Christmas. Seriously, how is that one constantly overlooked by the general public?

Leave a Reply