"Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" is the tenth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 21, 1997. Bart accidentally ruins Christmas for the Simpson family by burning down the tree and all their presents.
It was written by Ron Hauge, directed by Bob Anderson, and guest starred Alex Trebek as himself. Hauge was inspired to write the episode after learning of an orphanage that had been ripped off. The episode was included, among other Christmas themed episodes of the series, on a 2005 Christmas special boxed set on DVD. The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide criticized the episode as a rehash of older themes, but it was also described as one of The Simpsons' more memorable episodes in a review of the 2005 DVD boxed set release.
|"Miracle on Evergreen Terrace"|
|The Simpsons episode|
|Episode no.||Season 9|
|Directed by||Bob Anderson|
|Written by||Ron Hauge|
|Original air date||December 21, 1997|
Alex Trebek as himself
|Chalkboard gag||"Rudolph's red nose is not alcohol-related"|
|Couch gag||Somebody shakes up a snow globe, which contains the Simpsons sitting on a couch.|
Homer and Marge go Christmas shopping at a Try-N-Save megastore, where frenzied shoppers are snatching the holiday season's most popular toys. Homer, posing as a store cashier, buys toys that customers tried to buy from him.
At bedtime on Christmas Eve, the family makes last-minute preparations at home, Marge tells everyone that no one can open their presents until 7 AM the next morning and confiscates all of the alarm clocks. However, Bart drinks 12 glasses of water to wake up early and unwrap his gifts, one of which is a remote-controlled fire truck. He plays with it until it sprays water on an overloaded electrical socket, causing a fire that engulfs and melts the plastic Christmas tree and all of the presents beneath it. Bart hides the evidence beneath the snow in the front yard.
When the family comes downstairs to find the tree and presents gone, Bart makes up a story about how he caught a burglar taking off with their tree and presents. The police investigate and Kent Brockman does a human interest story on the case.
As a result of the report, everyone in Springfield gives them a new Christmas tree and $15,000. With the donations, Homer buys a new car. Driving it home, Homer gets stuck behind The Plow King and impatiently passes it. He drives the car onto a frozen lake, forcing everyone to jump out. The ice cracks, causing the car to sink and blow up.
The next morning, a guilt-ridden Bart admits the truth to his family. Though furious, they go along with the lie when Brockman and his news crew arrive to do a follow-up story. When a cameraman, with help from Santa's Little Helper, finds the tree's remains, the family is forced to explain the truth; Springfield's citizens, feeling scammed, shun them in public and mail them angry letters demanding they pay back the $15,000.
After a failed attempt by Marge to win the money on the game show Jeopardy!, the Simpsons arrive home to find everyone in Springfield gathered on their lawn and Marge thinks they have forgiven them. However, while that is the case, they steal all of their belongings, including Santa's Little Helper and Snowball ll, to cover the $15,000 debt. The family playfully fight over a tattered washcloth, the only thing they have left.
Writer Ron Hauge said he got the idea for the episode one day when he was heading to work. He was listening to the radio and heard of an orphanage getting ripped off, and they were getting back more than they gave. The spectators in the stands during Bart's dreams are various animators.
When Krusty says "15,000 Missoulians" it is a reference to Ron Hauge having lived in Missoula, Montana. When the Simpsons' car says "I'll Keell you", this is a reference to a Wiffleball bat in the writer's office that said that.
The episode has several references to Christmas films. The title is a play on Miracle on 34th Street while the scene where everyone rallies around to support the Simpsons is reminiscent of the last scene of the classic holiday movie It's a Wonderful Life. The film is further spoofed when Homer tells Lisa to stop playing the piano which parodies a similar scene involving George Bailey.
A Charlie Brown Christmas is also parodied when the senior citizens are dancing at the Springfield Retirement Castle—their dancing is based on the way the Peanuts characters dance. Marge appears as a contestant on Jeopardy! with host Alex Trebek guest starring. One of the stuffed animals Chief Wiggum is carrying is Binky from Matt Groening's comic strip Life in Hell.
In its original broadcast, "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" finished 23rd in ratings for the week of December 15–21, 1997, with a Nielsen rating of 9.8, equivalent to approximately 9.6 million viewing households. It was the second highest-rated show on the Fox network that week, following King of the Hill.
The episode received mixed to positive reviews from critics. The authors of the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide said "A deliberately mawkish Christmas episode that is low on good jokes (although the Simpsons watching their own fire on television is a good start) and a retread of any number of episodes where Bart does wrong, feels guilty and eventually has to fess up. The only real ray of sunshine is the closing moments when the neighbours get their revenge but the Simpsons find the family spirit after all."
In its review of a 2005 DVD boxed set of Christmas themed episodes of The Simpsons, The Journal described "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", "Miracle On Evergreen Terrace", "Skinner's Sense of Snow", and "Dude, Where's My Ranch?" among memorable episodes of the series.
In his review of the same DVD, Digitally Obsessed critic Joel Cunningham wrote that "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" is "a good one [...] A nice combo of humor, satire, and heartwarming holiday fuzzies". Andy Dougan wrote in Evening Times that the episode is "one of the darkest, blackest Christmas cartoons ever animated".
George Alexander Trebek (; born July 22, 1940) is a Canadian-American television personality. He has been the host of the syndicated game show Jeopardy! since it was revived in 1984, and has also hosted a number of other game shows, including The Wizard of Odds, Double Dare, High Rollers, Battlestars, Classic Concentration, and To Tell the Truth. Trebek is contracted to host Jeopardy! until 2022. Trebek has also made appearances in numerous television series, in which he usually played himself. A native of Canada, he became a naturalized American citizen in 1998.All Singing, All Dancing
"All Singing, All Dancing" is the eleventh episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on January 4, 1998. In the fourth clip show aired by The Simpsons, Homer claims he hates singing, so Marge shows family videos of musical numbers from the previous seasons of the series. Additionally, the episode itself takes the form of a sung-through musical, featuring spoken dialogue only at the start and end of the episode. The original material was directed by Mark Ervin and written by Steve O'Donnell. It was executive produced by David Mirkin. It features guest appearances from George Harrison, Patrick Stewart, and Phil Hartman, although these are all clips and none of them recorded original material for the episode.Barney Gumble
Barnard Arnold "Barney" Gumble is a recurring character in the American animated TV series The Simpsons. He is voiced by Dan Castellaneta and first appeared in the series premiere episode "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire".
Barney is the town drunk of Springfield and Homer Simpson's best friend. His desperation for alcohol is a frequent butt of jokes on the show, though Barney sobered up in the Season 11 episode "Days of Wine and D'oh'ses". Barney was inspired by the cartoon character Barney Rubble from The Flintstones and by several barflies from other television programs. In 2004, Castellaneta won an Emmy Award for voicing various characters, including Barney.
Barney can be seen in The Simpsons opening credits since 2009, passed out under a pile of leaves (but still holding his beloved bottle of Duff Beer) and being awoken by Bart Simpson skateboarding over his stomach, causing him to let out his trademark burp.Bart Gets an Elephant
"Bart Gets an Elephant" is the seventeenth episode of The Simpsons' fifth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on March 31, 1994. In this episode, Bart wins a radio contest and is awarded a full-grown African elephant that he names Stampy. After Stampy wrecks the Simpsons' house and eats all the food, Homer decides to sell Stampy to an ivory dealer. Bart runs away with Stampy to save his pet, but the family finds the two at a museum exhibit, where Homer sinks into a tar pit. Homer is saved by Stampy, and so gives the elephant away to an animal refuge instead.
The episode was written by John Swartzwelder, and directed by Jim Reardon. It introduced the fictional elephant Stampy, and marks the first appearance of the recurring character Cletus Spuckler. The episode features cultural references to the songs "Sixteen Tons" and "Do-Re-Mi", and the La Brea Tar Pits cluster of tar pits located in Hancock Park in Los Angeles, California.
Since airing, the episode has received mostly positive reviews from television critics. It acquired a Nielsen rating of 10.7, and was the highest-rated show on the Fox network the week it aired.Bob Anderson (director)
Bob Anderson (born 1965) is an American animation director on The Simpsons. He also contributed additional sequence direction on The Simpsons Movie.
After high school, Bob Anderson enrolled at the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art to pursue an education in animation. Before Bob graduated from The Joe Kubert School, he began his professional career. Hired by Broadcast Arts in New York City, he started work on a variety of commercials. In 1990, Anderson moved to Los Angeles to work as an assistant director for The Simpsons. In the fifth season, after fourteen episodes as an assistant to Jim Reardon and one episode for Mark Kirkland, he made his directorial debut with the episode "Bart's Inner Child" in 1993.Grift of the Magi
"Grift of the Magi" is the ninth episode of the eleventh season of the American animated television sitcom The Simpsons. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 19, 1999. In the episode, mafia boss Fat Tony successfully extorts a large sum of money from Springfield Elementary School, forcing Principal Skinner to close it down. However, a toy company called Kid First Industries, led by Jim Hope, later buys the school and privatizes it. Classes now start focusing on toys and marketing only, and soon a new toy called Funzo that resembles the children's ideas is released by Kid First Industries in time for the Christmas shopping season. Bart and Lisa decide to destroy all Funzos in Springfield but Gary Coleman, Kid First Industries' security guard, tries to intercept them.
"Grift of the Magi", which satirizes the commercialization of Christmas, was written by Tom Martin and directed by Matthew Nastuk. The episode features several guest appearances; Tim Robbins as Jim Hope, Gary Coleman as himself, Joe Mantegna as Fat Tony, and Clarence Clemons as a narrator that tells the viewers at the end of the episode how the story ends.
Around 7.76 million American homes tuned in to watch the episode during its original airing. It was first released on DVD in 2003 in a collection of five Christmas-related Simpsons episodes, titled Christmas With the Simpsons. Critics have given "Grift of the Magi" generally mixed to negative reviews, particularly because of its plot. The episode has, however, been praised for some of its gags and Coleman's appearance.Jeopardy!
Jeopardy! is an American television game show created by Merv Griffin. The show features a quiz competition in which contestants are presented with general knowledge clues in the form of answers, and must phrase their responses in the form of questions. The original daytime version debuted on NBC on March 30, 1964, and aired until January 3, 1975. A weekly nighttime syndicated edition aired from September 1974 to September 1975, and a revival, The All-New Jeopardy!, ran on NBC from October 1978 to March 1979. The current version, a daily syndicated show produced by Sony Pictures Television, premiered on September 10, 1984.
Both NBC versions and the weekly syndicated version were hosted by Art Fleming. Don Pardo served as announcer until 1975, and John Harlan announced for the 1978–1979 season. Since its inception, the daily syndicated version has featured Alex Trebek as host and Johnny Gilbert as announcer.
With over 8,000 episodes aired, the daily syndicated version of Jeopardy! has won a record 33 Daytime Emmy Awards as well as a Peabody Award. In 2013, the program was ranked No. 45 on TV Guide's list of the 60 greatest shows in American television history. Jeopardy! has also gained a worldwide following with regional adaptations in many other countries. The daily syndicated series' 36th season premiered on September 9, 2019.List of The Simpsons characters
Along with the Simpson family, The Simpsons includes a large array of characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, local celebrities, and as well as fictional characters. The creators originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokesters or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to creator Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the Canadian sketch comedy show Second City Television.The main episode characters, the Simpson family, are listed first; all other characters are listed in alphabetical order. Only main, supporting, and recurring characters are listed. For one-time and other recurring characters, see List of recurring The Simpsons characters and List of one-time The Simpsons characters.List of The Simpsons couch gags
The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. The opening sequence of The Simpsons features a couch gag: a "twist of events that befalls the Simpson family at the end of every credit sequence as they converge on their living-room couch to watch TV." The couch gag is a running visual joke near the end of the opening sequence.
The couch gag changes from episode to episode and usually features the Simpson family's living room couch. A typical gag features the Simpsons running into the living room, only to find some abnormality with the couch, be it a bizarre and unexpected occupant, an odd placement of the couch, such as on the ceiling, or any number of other situations, such as to make a pop culture reference. Longer couch gags have sometimes been used to fill time in shorter episodes, such as in "Lisa's First Word", "The Front" and "Cape Feare". The show's 500th episode "At Long Last Leave" showcases each couch gag that was used in the series.List of The Simpsons episodes (seasons 1–20)
The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Since its debut on December 17, 1989, The Simpsons has broadcast 662 episodes. The show holds several American television longevity records. It is the longest-running prime-time animated series and longest-running sitcom in the United States. On February 19, 2012, The Simpsons reached its 500th episode in the twenty-third season. With its twenty-first season (2009–10), the series surpassed Gunsmoke in seasons to claim the spot as the longest-running American prime-time scripted television series, and later also surpassed Gunsmoke in episode count with the episode "Forgive and Regret" on April 29, 2018.Episodes of The Simpsons have won dozens of awards, including 31 Emmy Awards (with ten for Outstanding Animated Program), 30 Annie Awards, and a Peabody Award. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 26 and 27, 2007 and grossed US$526.2 million worldwide. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. On April 8, 2015, show runner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution, although this was later reversed on July 22, 2017. Another two years later, on July 20, 2019, it was announced that Season 19 will be released on December 3, 2019 on DVD.On November 4, 2016, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 29 and 30. It reached its 600th episode on October 16, 2016, in its twenty-eighth season. The thirtieth season ended on May 12, 2019. On February 6, 2019, The Simpsons was renewed for seasons 31 and 32, in which the latter will contain the 700th episode.Season 31 will premiere on September 29, 2019.List of The Simpsons guest stars (seasons 1–20)
In addition to the show's regular cast of voice actors, celebrity guest stars have been a staple of The Simpsons, an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for the Fox Broadcasting Company, since its first season. The Simpsons focuses on the eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa and Maggie. The family was initially conceived by Groening for a series of animated shorts, which originally aired as a part of The Tracey Ullman Show between 1987 and 1989. The shorts were developed into a half-hour prime time series which began in December 1989. The series' 29th season began in October 2017 and 662 episodes of The Simpsons have aired. A feature film adaptation of the series called The Simpsons Movie, was released in 2007.
Guest voices have come from a wide range of professions, including actors, athletes, authors, musicians, artists, politicians and scientists. In the show's early years most guest stars voiced original characters, but as the show has continued the number of those appearing as themselves has increased.
The first credited guest star was Marcia Wallace who appeared in "Bart the Genius" in her first stint as Bart's teacher Edna Krabappel. Singer Tony Bennett was the first guest star to appear as himself, appearing briefly in the season two episode "Dancin' Homer". Several guest stars have featured as recurring characters on the show, including Phil Hartman, Joe Mantegna and Kelsey Grammer. Hartman made the most appearances, guest starring 52 times. Grammer, Mantegna, Maurice LaMarche and Frank Welker have appeared twenty times or more; Jon Lovitz and Jackie Mason have appeared over ten times, while Albert Brooks, Glenn Close, Michael Dees, Dana Gould, Terry W. Greene, Valerie Harper, Jan Hooks, Jane Kaczmarek, Stacy Keach, Kipp Lennon, J. K. Simmons, Sally Stevens, George Takei and Michael York have made over five appearances.
Two guest stars, Ricky Gervais and Seth Rogen, earned writing credits for the episodes in which they appeared. Grammer, Mason and three-time guest star Anne Hathaway all won the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for guest voice roles on the show. The show was awarded the Guinness World Record for "Most Guest Stars Featured in a TV Series" in 2010. As of May 12, 2019, there have been 826 guest stars on the show[A], with this figure rising to 831 if The Simpsons Movie is included.List of The Simpsons home video releases
The Simpsons is an American animated television sitcom created by Matt Groening for Fox. It is a satirical depiction of a middle class American lifestyle epitomized by its eponymous family, which consists of Homer, Marge, Bart, Lisa, and Maggie. The show is set in the fictional town of Springfield, and lampoons American culture, society, and television, as well as many aspects of the human condition. The family was conceived by Groening shortly before a pitch for a series of animated shorts with producer James L. Brooks. Groening created a dysfunctional family and named the characters after members of his own family, substituting Bart for his own name. The shorts became a part of the Fox series The Tracey Ullman Show on April 19, 1987. After a three-season run, the sketch was developed into a half-hour prime-time show that was an early hit for Fox.Throughout the years, many episodes of the show have been released on DVD and VHS. When the first season DVD was released in 2001, it quickly became the best-selling television DVD in history, although it was later overtaken by the first season of Chappelle's Show. The first eighteen seasons are available on DVD in Regions 1, 2, and 4, with the twentieth season released on both DVD and Blu-ray in 2010 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the series. The Simpsons Movie, a feature-length film, was released in theaters worldwide on July 27, 2007, and it was later available on DVD and Blu-ray worldwide on December 3, 2007 and on December 18, 2007 in the U.S. On April 8, 2015, showrunner Al Jean announced that there would be no more DVD or Blu-ray releases, shifting focus to digital distribution. Two years later, following fan protest, it was announced on July 22, 2017 that Season 18 would be released on December 5, 2017 on DVD with the possibility of further seasons if sales are strong enough. The release was the first since early-December 2014.List of United States Christmas television episodes
This article is a list of Christmas episodes of regular United States television series.List of one-time The Simpsons characters
The following is a list of one-time characters from the American animated television comedy series The Simpsons.
Some of the characters have returned to the show, sometimes in brief speaking appearances, or just 'in the crowd' scenes. Other characters originally intended to be one-time characters have ended up becoming regular cast members, such as Cletus Spuckler, Luigi Risotto, Disco Stu, Groundskeeper Willie, Crazy Cat Lady, Cookie Kwan and Lindsey Naegle.
For purposes of this list, "one-time" means they were central to an episode one time. Some of the characters listed here have appeared in later episodes, but only briefly. The characters are sorted by episode.List of recurring The Simpsons characters
The Simpsons includes a large array of supporting characters: co-workers, teachers, family friends, extended relatives, townspeople, local celebrities, fictional characters within the show, and even animals. The writers originally intended many of these characters as one-time jokes or for fulfilling needed functions in the town. A number of them have gained expanded roles and have subsequently starred in their own episodes. According to the creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, the show adopted the concept of a large supporting cast from the Canadian sketch comedy show Second City Television.Realty Bites
"Realty Bites" is the ninth episode of The Simpsons' ninth season. It originally aired on the Fox network in the United States on December 7, 1997. The episode sees Marge becoming a real estate agent, while Homer enjoys Snake's car. It was written by Dan Greaney and directed by Swinton O. Scott III.This episode has the final speaking appearance of Lionel Hutz, five months before the death of Phil Hartman. The episode's development grew out of a desire by the writers to do a show focused on Marge, where her job did not work out. The episode received positive mention in the book I Can't Believe It's a Bigger and Better Updated Unofficial Simpsons Guide, and is featured in the special 2003 DVD release The Simpsons: Risky Business.Ron Hauge
Ron Hauge is an American television writer and executive producer. Early in his career, Hauge was a contributor to National Lampoon. He then wrote for Seinfeld, In Living Color, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rocko's Modern Life, The Mouse and the Monster, and a short lived reincarnation of The Carol Burnett Show. In 1994, an episode of Ren and Stimpy that he co-wrote was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming One Hour Or Less).Hauge joined The Simpsons staff in its eighth season. He won an Emmy for writing the season eight episode "Homer's Phobia", which was his first episode. The Fox censor objected to the episode's exploration of the theme of homosexuality and stated that it was "unsuitable for broadcast". The censors were later fired and their replacements did not have any objections to the episode.The Simpsons (season 9)
The Simpsons' ninth season originally aired on the Fox network between September 1997 and May 1998, beginning on Sunday, September 21, 1997, with "The City of New York vs. Homer Simpson". With Mike Scully as showrunner for the ninth production season, the aired season contained three episodes which were hold-over episodes from season eight, which Bill Oakley and Josh Weinstein ran. It also contained two episodes which were run by David Mirkin, and another two hold-over episodes which were run by Al Jean and Mike Reiss.Season nine won three Emmy Awards: "Trash of the Titans" for Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Animated Program (for Programming Less Than One Hour) in 1998, Hank Azaria won "Outstanding Voice-Over Performance" for the voice of Apu Nahasapeemapetilon, and Alf Clausen and Ken Keeler won the "Outstanding Music and Lyrics" award. Clausen was also nominated for "Outstanding Music Direction" and "Outstanding Music Composition for a Series (Dramatic Underscore)" for "Treehouse of Horror VIII". Season nine was also nominated for a "Best Network Television Series" award by the Saturn Awards and "Best Sound Editing" for a Golden Reel Award.The Simpsons 9th Season DVD was released on December 19, 2006 in Region 1, January 29, 2007 in Region 2 and March 21, 2007 in Region 4. The DVD was released in two different forms: a Lisa-shaped head, to match the Maggie, Homer and Marge shaped heads from the three previous DVD sets, and also a standard rectangular shaped box. Like the previous DVD sets, both versions are available for sale separately.
The Simpsons Christmas episodes