Around Christmas time, most of our entertainment consumption becomes holiday orientated. Instead of binge-watching a show on Netflix, we search high and low for any sort of Christmas movie. Entertainment executives have certainly caught wind of this, as ABC Family's (I refuse to call it FreeForm) 25 Days of Christmas programming block clearly shows. However, despite all these options for Christmas entertainment, it never seems to be enough. That is where the Christmas specials of our childhood come in. Though most of us haven't watched these specials in years (mostly because they never seem to be on TV in anymore), they still make for some good obligatory Christmas entertainment. That is why we are gonna like five cartoon series' Christmas specials to check out over the holidays.
5. "Christmas Who?" (SpongeBob SquarePants)
Looking for a way to get the bizzareness that was the preview for the SpongeBob Broadway musical at the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade out of your head? This Christmas special from our favorite sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea is sure to do the trick. This special features our friends from Bikini Bottom preparing for their first ever Christmas. The episode is incredibly funny, and it has a catchy as hell song in it. If your're wishing for a great cartoon Christmas special, this one will grant it.
4. "Sabrina's Christmas Wish" (Bojack Horseman)
I know this is kinda cheating, since this list is supposed to look at specials from our childhoods, but I feel that this special is worth mentioning. This special features the ever nihilistic Bojack watching a Christmas special from his hit 90's sitcom Horsin' Around with his roommate Todd. The special is clearly a parody of the sitcom Christmas specials that rose to prominence in the 80's, but two things make this special work as well as it does. The first thing is the dynamic between Bojack and Todd. Todd's enthusiasm for the holidays is the perfect contrast to the ever bitter Bojack. I especially find Todd's defense of cheesy Christmas specials, with him claiming that such specials aren't traditions because good but rather good "because their traditions" hilarious. The other thing that makes this special work is Bojack as the sitcom father. Seeing Bojack as a Danny Tanner-esqe father figure is makes for perfect comedy when you know what a miserable piece of shit he usually is.
Every time a special is named "X Saves Christmas", you know what story you're going to get. More often than not, the special will feature a dastardly villain trying to ruin Christmas (with a plan that usually involves Santa Claus), and the main characters trying to save the holiday. This special is pretty much the same, but since its a special from Billy & Mandy, you know that some weird stuff will happen. In this special, we see that Santa has been turned into a vampire, and the gang from Endsville has to cure him before Christmas time. As with most Billy & Mandy episodes, this special contains a cynical, out-there sense of humor that you don't often see in cartoons from its era. On top of that, the special features entertaining guest performances from Gilbert Gottfried as Santa and Malcom McDowell as a foppish vampire.
In this Christmas special from the beloved Cartoon Network series, our favorite trio of dorks from the Cul-De-Sac of Peach Creek try to spread the true meaning of Christmas. Let me rephrase that, this special features Ed and Double D trying to install the true meaning of Christmas into Eddy. For you see, Eddy found and opened his Christmas goods early, only to find out that he only got Christmas-themed clothes. Bitter at this revelation, Eddy tries to get members of the Cul-De-Sac to "adopt" him, so that he could steal their presents on Christmas morning; all while Ed and Double D try to show him to error of his ways. However, if you know anything about Eddy in this show, you know that both plans do not work out so well. This special is full of Christmas related humor, from Eddy pretending to be Jimmy's guardian angel in order to steal his gifts, to the Kanker Sisters going through a story arc that parodys the Biblical story of the Three Kings. However, the character that steals the show is Rolf, whose outright bizarre Christmas celebration makes for the best moment in the special.
1. "Woodland Critter Christmas" (South Park)
South Park has had several Christmas specials over its run, most of them revolving around the mythical Mr. Hankey The Christmas Poo. This special, however, goes in a bit of different direction. In this episode, Stan meets a group of animals in the forest, where one of them is going to give birth to their savior (yes, they go there). The animals ask Stan to kill a mountain lion nearby, who is ready to kill the mother. The rest of the story, I am not going to spoil. All I can say, since this is a South Park Christmas special, poor taste is certain. Every twist and turn in this special is so raunchy and so out of nowhere, that you can't help but laugh. The story is also told through a narrator (in a style much like the one from How The Grinch Stole Christmas), who also gets a hilarious reveal near the end. After watching this special, no matter where you live, you will be thankful that you don't celebrate Christmas in South Park.