1. Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire (1989)
It’s the one that started it all. Episode one. Numero uno. It’s also a wonderful festive tale of Christmas miracles in true Simpsons fashion. Homer doesn’t receive his Christmas bonus from Scrooge-like Mr. Burns and during a trip to the mall, Bart decides to get a tattoo which results in the family Christmas spending money being used on laser removal surgery. Homer takes up a Santa position at the mall to earn some extra money and when he receives only $13, Barney suggests betting it all at the dog track. One of the most nostalgic episodes and always fond to revisit.
2. Batman: The Animated Series – Christmas With The Joker (1992)
Batman: The Animated Series for me is one of the greatest cartoons of all time and its second episode was a Christmas one! The Joker escapes from Arkham Asylum in his classic fashion and takes over the TV stations to broadcast his Christmas special. After patrolling the city, Robin hopes for Batman to enjoy the holidays, but is cut short by the Joker’s schemes. There’s plenty of tricks in store for the Caped Crusader and Boy Wonder as The Joker is blowing up bridges, firing canons and cooking up Commissioner Gordon and others! A classic Batman episode!
3. Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Jingle Jingle Jangle (2004)
One of the few Ed, Edd n Eddy specials and this one sees Eddy unhappy when he discovers his Christmas stash from his parents. To his dismay all he is getting is clothes and seeks to spend Christmas with the other children in the cul-de-sac. Double D believes there’s still some good in Eddy as he reeks havoc at every house and Ed is just waiting for Santa Clause to arrive. The Canker Sisters portray the Three Wise Men with their offering of mould, franks, cents and fur and the 2000’s animation style makes for a warm and festive Christmas tale. Everybody celebrates Christmas in their own way which Eddy will find out.
4. The Fairly OddParents – Christmas Everyday (2001)
Not many Fairly OddParents episodes happen to centre on one episode, but this Christmas special does just that. Timmy enjoys everything that Christmas has to offer: toys, food, togetherness and wishes he could experience that everyday. Wanda and Cosmo, his fairy godparents, have to grant every wish Timmy make0,s thus making everyday Christmas. The effects start to take its toll on the town as people cannot work or buy more eggnog and the stream of presents have ran out. The other holiday mascots such as the Easter Bunny and Cupid are jealous their holiday’s are being overlooked. The fairies donate their magic to Santa each Christmas Eve and with such continuation, their powers are limited to change everything back. Crisis!
5. Pikachu’s Winter Vacation (1998)
Two delightful tales involving Pikachu and others where they are first left to watch over their cabin as Ash, Misty and Brock leave for Christmas shopping. Chaos ensues as Squirtle accidentally eats a Bulbasaur-shaped cookie that Bulbasaur wanted. Chasing each other causes the Christmas tree to collapse and Pikachu short-circuiting the electricity with a Thundershock. The second part sees the gang playing in the snow with a young Kangaskhan and sliding down a snowy hill on an Onix with a frozen lake nearby might not be such a good idea… Don’t worry, these stories aren’t as unhappy as they sound!
6. South Park – It’s Christmas In Canada (2003)
It’s Christmas time in South Park and a new law has been thrown into effect by the new Canadian Prime Minister stating all adopted Canadian’s must return home. Ike’s birth parents come to take him home and disagreeing with this unjust law Kyle decides he must speak with the new PM to change his mind. The townspeople of South Park decide they will give their money to the grieving Brofloski’s for Christmas and Cartman and co. will help Kyle in order to save their own Christmas. A wonderful spoof of The Wizard of Oz ensues as they reach Canada.
7. Bojack Horseman Christmas Special: Sabrina’s Christmas Wish (2014)
It’s Christmas Day and Todd convinces an un-festive Bojack to watch a Christmas special of his former show ‘Horsin’ Around’ which covers the orphan’s first Christmas and Sabrina’s understanding that you cant get everything you wish for for Christmas. The episode is filled with the same negative Bojack humour, but is interesting to take a look at the show within a show. Plays out exactly like late 80’s sitcoms.
8. Hey Arnold! – Arnold’s Christmas (1996)
One of the most heartfelt Hey Arnold! episodes with a look at Helga’s nicer side. Amazing to say that it is only the 11th episode of the show, and is filled with sentimental magic. Arnold pulls Mr. Wing as his secret Santa and needs to find out a great present for him. Mr. Wing seems to have everything except one thing… His daughter which he gave to soldiers to take care of during the war in his native country. Wing moved to the big city in the hopes of finding her and Arnold wants to try his best to reunite them. Helga wants nothing more than Nancy Spumoni signature snow boots, but maybe she’ll find out Christmas isn’t just about material goods.
9. Tiny Toon Adventures – It’s A Wonderful Tiny Toons Christmas Special (1992)
In What became the finale of Tiny Toon Adventures, the show takes its spin on Christmas classic It’s A Wonderful Life which sees Buster Bunny failing to run the Christmas special and wishes he’d never existed or been the show-runner of Tiny Toons. The episode features many references to the movie with a ‘Clarence bunny’ character to help show Buster what life would be like if he hadn’t existed and sees Plucky Duck as the dictator-like star of the show. Buster has to come to terms that the show is nothing without him and failure is okay because he has a great group of friends.
10. Johnny Bravo – A Johnny Bravo Christmas (2001)
It’s Christmas Eve and Johnny realises he has forgotten to send his and his ‘Momma’s’ letters to Santa and is worried he won’t get any free presents. With the help of Little Suzy and her cereal box address, they stow away on a plane to get to the North Pole. However, after falling through a the cargo door they are left stranded in the middle of nowhere. Like all Christmas miracles there are friends to help them on their way including a returning Donny Osmond. When reaching the North Pole, Johnny finds out his Momma’s Christmas list is only presents for him and feeling guilty and charitable he only asks for presents for her. Maybe he’ll get a girlfriend next Christmas. Also can we talk about how good 90’s Cartoon Network shows looked as they entered the new millennium?
There’s ten of my favourites, let me know some Christmas cartoon episodes and specials you love to watch in the comments below!