In this year's Christmas episode (and the last episode of the year 2000), the kids are snowed in thanks to a freak blizzard and Principal Skinner must call upon his skills as a drill sergeant to keep the kids in line (which doesn't work, as Bart and the others lead a revolution).

!! Tropes:
* AngryFistShake: Homer does this when he refuses to leave the circus during a storm, demanding that they nourish the child within him.
-->'''Homer:''' NOURISH!
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: Bart shouts "di di mau" at Skinner because he's a Vietnam veteran, which is a grammatically incorrect way of saying "go faster." It's actually a ShoutOut to ''Film/TheDeerHunter.''
* AscendedToCarnivorism: Apparently Vietnamese elephants eat people.
-->'''Skinner''': [[MyGreatestFailure That elephant ate my entire platoon]].
* BaitAndSwitch:
** Principal Skinner told the students they'd watch a story about [[Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas a grinchy creature that almost stole Christmas]]. Then he showed "The Christmas that Almost Wasn't but Then Was."
** Earlier in the episode, the radio announced that all schools were closed, including Springfield Elementary ('''Bart:''' {{GASP}}) My Dear Watson Detective School. [[SubvertedTrope Then it mentions Springfield Elementary School]], and after Bart and Lisa cheered, it added, "...[[DoubleSubversion is open]]."
** Chief Wiggum appears to be [[YellowSnow writing his name in the snow]], then asks Lou to shake out the last few drops. It turns out Wiggum was using coffee he was pouring from a Thermos.
** Marge seeing the flexible female acrobats gives her ideas, making us think she's referring to sexual positions...but then when her thinking of using contortion skills to clean.
* BeyondTheImpossible: Although you won't see it on the TV version of the episode, after Milhouse tears up and crumples Lisa's slightly unflattery permanent record, it not only reassembles and ''un''crumples itself, the page then reasserts itself within the permanent record book, the book closes on its own, and then ''the drawer its in'' closes on its own.
* TheBore: Skinner refuses to shut down the school no matter what ''[[NonGivingUpSchoolGuy ever]]'' (even if that means forcing the students to risk getting killed because of the overly-icy roads and having to just sit around because there are no teachers), he picks the crappiest Christmas film in the history of the world to show during that time (he's the ''only'' one that shows anything other than pained boredom at seeing it) and he attempts to maintain control, even if that makes him a complete tyrant.
* BriefAccentImitation: Lisa and Homer briefly speak in a French accent at the beginning:
-->'''Marge:''' Ready for the circus, Homer?\\
'''Homer:''' Circus?\\
'''Lisa:''' ''Le Cirque de Pureé''. We've had tickets since ''Septembre''.\\
'''Homer:''' But I want to watch Brett ''Favre''.
* CallBack: When Ned tries to remind Homer of his Mr. Plow business, Homer responds, "I think I know my own life, Ned." This is a call back to a similar remark he made in "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS10E19MomAndPopArt Mom and Pop Art]]", when he screws up a ContinuityNod to "[[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E18BrushWithGreatness Brush with Greatness]]".
* ContinuityNod: Upon reading his permanent record, Bart read [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS2E1BartGetsAnF "Underachiever and proud of it?"]] and asked how old that thing was.
** Also, Flanders asks Homer whatever happened to his [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS4E9MrPlow Mr. Plow]] business (for those who don't know, an unseasonably warm winter and Komatsu Motors repossessing the plow Homer never made payments on is why Homer doesn't have his Mr. Plow business anymore), and points out that he still has the jacket (which Homer kept around because [[GeekyTurnOn Marge likes it when Homer wears it in bed]]).
* {{Contortionist}}: Marge watches some of these perform at ''Le Cirque de Pureé''.
-->'''Marge:''' Oh, look at those exotic positions! Watching those women is giving me ideas... ''([[IncrediblyLameFun imagines herself contorting her body as she cleans the bathroom]])''
* EndOfEpisodeSilliness: On the way home from rescuing the kids, the car fumes get to Homer again and he hallucinates Lisa as a camel and Bart as a harem girl.
* EpicFail:
** When Homer attempted to make a snow angel, he ended up making a snow devil instead (which, according to Homer, ''always'' happens).
** At one point during the movie the kids were watching, the film broke in half and the projector caught fire. Nelson then mocked Skinner, saying he should've gotten a DVD, to which Skinner replied it '''''was''''' a DVD.
* FridgeLogic: Invoked when the students rummage through the file cabinets while Skinner is tied up.
--> '''Nina''': Hey, look how much Skinner makes. $25,000 a year!\\
'''Students''': Wow!\\
'''Bart''': Let's see. He's forty years old, times 25 grand. Whoa! He's a millionaire!\\
'''Students''': Wow!\\
'''Skinner''': I wasn't a principal when I was ''one''!\\
'''Nelson''': Plus, in the summer, he paints houses!\\
'''Milhouse''': He's a billionaire!
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar:
** When Groundskeeper Willie has enough of Skinner, he says "You can't slap your Willie around anymore!"
** Skinner asks the hamster to "chew open my ball sack", meaning the sack for the dodgeball balls in which he is trapped.
** The aforementioned scene of Chief Wiggum writting in the snow.
* GymClassRopeClimb: As revenge for Skinner being a hard-ass, Bart and the other classmates force Skinner to climb a rope. Skinner protests that it's physically impossible.
* HalfwayPlotSwitch: The episode starts out with the Simpsons attending a French-Canadian circus, but then a snowstorm rolls in and blows the circus away.
* HandWave: Flanders explains his car's lack of airbags by saying "The church opposes them for some reason."
* HydrantGeyser: Homer crashes a fire hydrant on Ned's car, trapping both of them when the water freezes over.
* ImStandingRightHere: While Homer and Flanders were trying to drive to school to rescue the kids, Flanders once believed they ran over something. Homer said he hoped it was Flanders.
* InstantlyProvenWrong: When Bart moans that everyone is off except the students of Springfield Elementary, Marge denies that, saying that adults still have to go to work... only for Homer to come in happily saying that he doesn't have to go to the power plant thanks to the snow.
* JerkassHasAPoint: While Skinner was needlessly strict, he was also trying his best to keep the elementary school children safe. Even when he gets his comeuppance he's essentially proven right, because he manages to collapse Bart's snow tunnel using only a few quick jabs with a mop. Bart's plan of the children, Skinner and Willie using it to escape could easily have gone badly wrong ([[ZigZaggedTrope then again, Willie and the others say the tunnel is pretty firmly built and Skinner has to poke on it for a while with tools to destroy it, so if anything it just cements him even more as an unwitting tyrant]]).
* LeadIn: Homer watching a football show on television. He finally accepts going to the circus when Marge and Lisa's insistence makes him miss one of the hosts' zings, and he moans about how he will never be able to catch up with the rest of the narration.
* LockedOutOfTheLoop: After Chalmers arrives at the end, demanding an explanation for what happened at the school, Bart says that there ''is'' an explanation... whereupon Chalmers leaves, since "[he's] happy" that at least ''an'' explanation exists.
* MushroomSamba: The fumes getting inside the car cause Homer to hallucinate that he's a sultan with a harem and a hose full of salad dressing.
* MustacheVandalism: When the kids take over the school, Milhouse decides to draw mustaches on paintings of former Presidents. He does it to portraits of UsefulNotes/WarrenHarding and UsefulNotes/WoodrowWilson but doesn't know what to do with UsefulNotes/WilliamHowardTaft, who already has a mustache.
* NotDistractedByTheSexy: During one of Homer's hallucinations, he is entertained by some [[BellyDancer belly dancers]], but shoos them away:
--> '''Homer''': Enough. I grow weary of your sexually suggestive dancing.
* OhCrap[=/=]RuleOfThree: The kids shouted the first time when a snow storm got them stuck inside school, the second when they realized it'd make them miss Christmas, and the last and loudest [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking when Principal Skinner announced his lame Christmas movie could be watched again]].
* OutOfCharacterMoment: When kids are burning books, Lisa is with them which is confusing considering that Lisa promotes education and would of at least tried to sway them from burning certain books.
* {{Padding}}: Invoked: "The Christmas That Almost Wasn't, But Then Was" features a song that is apparently ''[[UpToEleven two hours]]'' long.
* RageBreakingPoint: Skinner thwarting Bart's escape attempt and destroying his escape tunnel winds up being the straw that breaks the students' back. However, it's downplayed in that, once it's clear he's trapped, Bart rallies the students into taking over the school.
** However, it's played straight when Willie refuses to take any more abuse from Skinner after protesting destroying Bart's escape tunnel.
* ScreamDiscretionShot: The kids scream twice when they realize that A) the school has been showed in, and B) they're gonna miss Christmas. Then Skinner comes out of the classroom to announce that he has fixed his crappy Christmas movie DVD. Cue an outside shot of the school as the kids scream loudly.
* ScrewThisImOuttaHere:
** Not wanting anything to do with a school being open during a snow day, the teachers instead attended an "emergency caucus" (which turns out to be a day at a ski resort).
** The hamster after Principal Skinner orders him to chew through his (dodge) ball sack.
* SelfServingMemory: {{Parodied|Trope}}.
-->'''Ned:''' Hey, whatever happened to the plow from your old snowplow business?\\
'''Homer:''' I never had a snowplow business.\\
'''Ned:''' Sure you did -- Mr. Plow. You're wearing the jacket right now.\\
'''Homer:''' I think I know my own life, Ned. ''(proceeds to sing the Mr. Plow jingle)''
* ShoutOut: The title of the episode is a parody of ''[[Literature/MissSmillasFeelingForSnow Smilla's Sense of Snow]]''.
* SpoilerTitle: ''[[ShowWithinAShow The Christmas That Almost Wasn't But Then Was.]]''
* AStormIsComing: When the weather starts acting up, Sideshow Mel exclaims these words, adding, "I can feel it in my bone."
* StylisticSuck: InUniverse. ''[[ShowWithinAShow The Christmas That Almost Wasn't But Then Was]]'' is very much this, considering the reindeer are obviously cardboard cutouts, an elf appears onscreen for no reason other than to say he's happy, a stagehand appears onscreen, a sequence supposedly lasts two hours where a hobgoblin serenades a shepherdess, and the plot, despite the title, has almost nothing to actually do with Christmas. Unsurprisingly, it bores the kids to death.
* TookALevelInJerkass: Principal Skinner. First, he keeps Springfield Elementary open despite every other school closing and all the teachers going on a ski trip, resulting in them being snowed in. Then, [[WellIntentionedExtremist in his efforts to prevent anyone from ending up like his platoon in 'Nam]], refused to let anyone leave even when they had the proper means to, becoming tyrannical. This reached its peak when he actually demanded that the escape tunnel Bart had dug be ''caved in'', something even Willie felt was unnecessary. [[LaserGuidedKarma This act ended up biting him in the butt when he got trapped in the collapsing tunnel and as a result, lost control of the school]].
* WritingLines: Bart forces Skinner to write, "I ain't not a dorkus" (which Skinner calls "a grammatical nightmare"). Bart also shows [[AssholeVictim little sympathy to Skinner's complaints about a cramp in his wrist]], demonstrating that all his years of doing it have left Bart with a wrist that "sounds like a cement mixer".