Recap: The Simpsons S 9 E 10 Miracle On Evergreen Terrace
A Christmas Episode — Bart accidentally destroys the family's Christmas presents and blames the disaster on a burglar, resulting in the rest of the town opening its hearts and wallets for them, but when Santa's Little Helper finds the melted wreckage and Bart confesses that he lied, the town turns on The Simpsons and shuns them.
- As Himself: Alex Trebek, who doesn't take kindly to Marge's -$5200 loss, and later joins Springfieldians in repossessing the Simpsons' possessions.
- Bait-and-Switch Comment: When Marge and Lisa decorate their family's Christmas tree, Lisa comments that she's glad about not using a tree made of aluminum like in the past, suggesting they're using a real tree this time. Marge then reveals that they're using a plastic tree.
- Borrowed Catch Phrase: When Bart confesses that he's the one who ruined Christmas, Lisa strangles him, complete with a "Why you little—!"
- Cassandra Truth: Homer tries to warn his coworkers of a poison leak, but they think he's lying to steal their snacks.
- Christmas Episode: Probably the most depressing one since "Marge Be Not Proud."
- Cruel Twist Ending: Just when it seems the town has forgiven the Simpsons, we see the actual reason why the Springfieldians are at their house: They're repossessing the Simpsons' belongings.
- Downer Ending: The townspeople make off with all of the Simpson family's possessions (including the cat and dog) just so they can repay the debt, but the part where The Simpsons play with a lone washcloth and the show's penchant for resetting their continuity (unless it's a character dying) prevented this from being too depressing.
- Epic Fail: Marge losing so bad on Jeopardy that she now owes $5200 to Alex Trebek.
- Game Show Appearance: Marge goes on Jeopardy! to try to repay Springfield, but ends up with -$5200 instead.
- Irony: Bart sets fire to the Christmas tree with a toy fire truck.
- Lead In: Homer and Marge going to Try-n-Save, where Homer tricks the crowd by pretending to be a cashier and stealing gifts from other shoppers.
- Nightmare Sequence: Bart has a water-based one when he engineers a Potty Emergency in order to wake up earlier than the rest of the family.
- Present Peeking: Bart intentionally drinks lots of water to wake up early (but not before going to the bathroom). He goes peeking at the presents before everybody else, and he ends up destroying the tree and the gifts in a fire.
- Same Content, Different Rating: This episode aired with a G-rating, but it features Bart calling Homer's Christmas display craptacular, the seniors on pharmaceutical drugs, the Simpsons' prescriptions being looted, and Lisa giving Bart a Groin Attack.
- The Scrooge: When the townsfolk were donating money to the Simpsons, Mr. Burns asked if somebody had change for a button.
- Trope 2000: Bart's fire truck is called the "Inferno Buster 3000".