Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire

Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire is the 1st episode of Season 1 and the first full-length episode of The Simpsons. It aired on December 17, 1989. The episode was written by Mimi Pond and directed by David Silverman. The title of the episode is a parody of the festive song, "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire". "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" was nominated for two Emmy Awards in 1990, but lost to "Life on the Fast Lane", another Simpsons episode.


Homer, Marge, and Maggie attend Bart and Lisa's Christmas show at Springfield Elementary School. At home, Marge asks the children what they want for Christmas and Bart asks for a tattoo. When Marge, Bart, and Lisa go Christmas shopping the next day, Bart sneaks away and starts getting a tattoo at The Happy Sailor Tattoo Parlor reading "Mother". Discovering this, Marge interrupts the process at "Moth" and immediately takes him to a laser removal clinic and spends the family's Christmas money getting Bart's tattoo removed. Meanwhile, at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Homer learns that he will not be getting a Christmas bonus. When Homer returns home and hears about the loss of the Christmas money, he decides not to tell Marge his own very bad news.

Instead, he does the shopping himself, buying cheap presents from a variety store which sells nothing over $5. At Moe's Tavern, Homer meets Barney dressed in a Santa outfit. On Barney's advice, he secretly takes a job as a mall Santa. Bart discovers this secret after he rips off Homer's fake beard on a dare by his friend Milhouse, but agrees not to tell the rest of the family. Homer receives his paycheck and is dismayed to see that after deductions it is only for $13. Barney, who has received a check for the same amount, suggests betting it at the dog track. With encouragement from Bart, Homer agrees to gamble the paycheck and takes Bart with him to the track.

Although Barney recommended they bet on a dog named Whirlwind, Homer decides to bet on a last-second entrant named Santa's Little Helper, believing it to be a sign. Santa's Little Helper, however, comes in dead last and his owner abandons him. The dog follows Homer and Bart, who eventually decide to keep him. When they return home, Homer plans to tell the family about his misfortune, but they think he brought the dog as a gift and everyone has a merry Christmas.

During the ending credits, the family sings "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", but Bart adds rude lyrics, so Homer strangles him.