Plot: It’s Fry’s first Christm—Xmas in the year 3000. He becomes very depressed when thinking about how different the holidays are celebrated now compared to his era, and the fact that his family is no longer around to celebrate it with him. Leela, being an orphan and the last of her species, never even knew a family with which to celebrate Christmas. When Fry goes out to buy a nice gift for Leela to cheer her up, he meets Robot Santa, who has been programmed to see nearly everyone as naughty – and those who are naughty get ho-ho-holes shots through them.
Breakdown: While this special is not one I’ve held near and dear to my heart for years, it’s still a very enjoyable and fun Ch—Xmas special that I’ve grown to watch traditionally over the past few years.
It shakes off many Christmas special tropes and does press upon two serious aspects of Fry and Leela’s characters. We never really think about Fry missing his family much, but as the seasons go by (especially later ones) we learn that he truly does miss his family. Living in a world where everyone you ever knew or loved is dead is heartbreaking.
Leela’s situation is equally sad, if not moreso, since she never had a family to begin with and she was more or less treated as an outcast throughout her time at the orphanarium.
It’s sweet that Fry risks his life to get Leela a present for Xmas, even if it does lead into a near mistletoe trope.
The plot with Robot Santa is an interesting take on the character who definitely adds an entirely new spin to these Xmas specials. Robot Santa is one of my favorite versions of Santa ever. I don’t know why, but I still get all happy when he gives Zoidberg a present.
Other than that, we have Bender who is off on a side plot in a booze kitchen for down and out robots. He recruits some homeless robots to help him scam and rob people, and it’s the introduction to Tinny Tim (no typo). I have no clue why, maybe I’m a little sadistic, but I love Tinny Tim and his interactions with Bender.
This episode is not particularly hilarious nor is it horribly heartwarming, but it is funny, has many memorable moments and will tug at the heartstrings a bit. It’s a great episode to watch around the holidays or anytime. Now let’s all sing A Xmas Carol to play us out!
♪ He knows when you are sleeping,
He knows when you’re on the can,
He’ll hunt you down and blast your ass from here to Pakistan!
You better not breathe, you better not move!
You’re better off dead, I’m telling you, dude.
Santa Claus is gunning you down! ♫