troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Western Animation: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

"It's the Christmas season. A time for telling colorful holiday stories. And my favorite story of all-time is about my grandma. She had this encounter with a reindeer."
Narrator

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is a Christmas Special adapted from the eponymous Elmo Shropshire novelty song and awkwardly shoehorning some of his other Christmas songs into the mix.

Grandma Spankenheimer is a kindly old woman who loves to spread Christmas joy in Cityville. She also owns the only piece of property in town not owned by the Own-All Corporation...but she refuses to sell, to the chagrin of Cousin Mel who just wants the money. Meanwhile, Jake, the film's main character, still fervently believes in Santa though his parents are trying to find a way to tell him the "truth." Of course, Grandma inevitably gets run over by a reindeer then vanishes. As the only two witnesses are Jake and his senile Grandpa, nobody believes them. During Grandma's disappearance, Cousin Mel finally claims the store, leaving only Jake to save the store by proving Santa's existence. By the climax of the special, Santa is on trial for his crimes against Grandma and Cousin Mel is on the verge of getting both the store and (she assumes) the millions of dollars Santa must have by suing the crap out of him. Will Christmas prevail over evil? Will Grandma be safe? Will the villains get their comeuppance?

The special premiered on former The WB network, and occasionally airs on its successor network, The CW, at Christmas. However, it is mostly known for its more frequent airings on Cartoon Network during the actual Christmas holiday and their Christmas in July events.


This show contains examples of:

  • Adaptational Villainy: In the song, Cousin Mel is only given a brief mention as playing cards with Grandpa after Grandma's death, and doesn't seem particularly malicious.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The song only describes Grandma being run over and the family being depressed at her death. The special throws in a plot to buy out Grandma's store, a scheme to sue Santa Claus, and even upgrades Cousin Mel, a minor character in the song with very little character development, to villain status.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After Cousin Mel admits to framing Santa they arrest her for the orchestrating the events leading to the disappearance of Grandma, framing Santa, and almost ruining Christmas.
  • Amoral Attorney: Cousin Mel's lawyer, I.M. Slime.
    • However, this is averted with the prosecutor, who outright admits that he doesn't want Santa to go to jail.
  • Ascended Extra: Cousin Mel is mentioned offhandedly in the song as someone who plays cards with Grandpa; in the special, she's the main villain.
  • Big Bad: Cousin Mel. Noticeable as the song really didn't have a villain and she was just an extra.
    • Santa would probably be the "villain" of the song, but that hardly works in a kids' special.
  • Bowdlerise: For some reason, The CW's broadcasts of this special cut out two scenes. One of them is the scene where the Spankenheimers are dressed in black.
  • Chekhov's Gun: There's a song about fruitcake, and Cousin Mel tries to sabotage a fruitcake. Not only does Jake use fruitcake to revive Grandma's memories, but he also used the same fruitcake Mel spiked against the court to drop the charges against Santa after someone brings up his hit-and-run with Grandma.
  • Cloud Cuckoo Lander: Grandpa is either senile or just weird - either way, it becomes a problem when Mel uses his mental state to gain power of attorney over him.
  • Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Bux seems to be one at first, but ultimately turns out to be kind and helpful. Cousin Mel, on the other hand, aspires to this trope (and mistakenly admires Mr. Bux as an example).
  • Creator Cameo: Elmo Shropshire, who sang the eponymous song, is the narrator and voice of Grandpa.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Grandpa's song; Mel and her lawyer's song.
  • Disneyfication: In the original song, Grandma is clearly killed. In this version, she is merely knocked out, suffers from amnesia, and is carried away to the North Pole for medical attention. (Though the characters mostly assume she is dead.)
    • She also got completely drunk before leaving and dying (eggnog is traditionally made with liquor). In the movie she's merely allergic, and the "medication" is for her allergy as opposed to being a sign of senility.
  • Easy Amnesia: Grandma suffers this after getting hit, leaving Santa and his elves clueless as to who she is (and thus unable to return her to the family).
  • Evil Redheads: Cousin Mel.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: One of the ways they try to find Grandma.
  • Fail O Sucky Name: Really, IM Slime?
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Let's just say that this didn't have a high budget and assume part of the budget meant all of the characters lost a finger on each hand.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Cousin Mel - depicted as a shapely woman in the film, though in the song itself, it was never clear if Mel was a man or a woman. (The original music video also depicted Cousin Mel as female, for the record.)
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar
    • When Jake explains Mel's attempt to contaminate Grandma's fruitcake. "What she didn't know was that the combined concoction had the exact effects of reindeer-nip!"
    Cousin Mel (in Grandma's store to Mr. Bux): Why don't we go somewhere romantic and consummate this deal?
    • "Grandma's Spending Christmas With a Superstar" ends with a pair of panties thrown at the singer's head.
    • Cousin Mel is clearly shown stuffing Mr. Bux's business card down her cleavage at one point.
  • Gold Digger: Cousin Mel is explicitly described as one by Grandma.
  • Good Lawyers, Good Clients: Subverted with the D.A., who counts as a good guy despite trying to get Santa thrown in jail.
  • Goth: Though Daphne Spankenheimer (Jake's older sister) behaves more like a typical mainstream girl throughout the film, the scene that depicts the family wearing black around Christmas time while Grandma's missing shows Daphne wearing a very gothic looking outfit (though she's smiling in the scene).
  • The Grinch: Mel
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Slime and Mel after their Disney Acid Sequence dance scene together.
  • Hollywood Law: In real life, Jake's evidence would have been thrown out of court because it was a fruitcake they had just made, not the same one from the scene of the accident.
    • Then there's the note that Santa left at the scene of the accident. It too would be inadmissible because there was no way to prove that it was left at the scene of the crime. The only thing they could prove is that Santa wrote it, but that wouldn't do jack. Then on top of that they say to dust the note for fingerprints (which supposedly would've implicated Mel) but Doofus had the note in his mouth, and Grandpa was holding it without gloves, so even if they had proved Santa had left it behind, they still wouldn't have been able to implicate Mel and her attorney, making her confession all the more baffling.
  • I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin: "Reindeer-nip". Reindeer (and apparently no other ungulates of any sort) will drop everything and come running at the slightest whiff of this stuff, and if an old lady happens to be between them and the goods, well, you've got yourself a novelty holiday song!
  • Off Model: Grandma's face on the milk cartons.
  • Punch Clock Villain: Pretty much anyone involved in Santa's trial other than Cousin Mel and I.M. Slime. Heck, the prosecutor admits that he doesn't want Santa to go to jail during his closing statement.
  • Punny Name: Austin Bux is rich, I.M. Slime is...a lawyer.
  • Running Gag: People complaining about fruitcake.
  • Saving the Orphanage: Saving Grandma's store is a critical plot point to the film. Ultimately, it's saved by the restoration and rescue of Grandma and Austin Bucks having a change of heart and instead of trying to buy the store, offers Grandma a more beneficial franchising deal that would allow her store to remain open and also spread more stores of the same type across the country.
  • Spared by the Adaptation: Unlike the original song, Grandma doesn't die in this one. She does get run over twice though.
  • Shout-Out
    • At one point, Grandma is reading a story about a little Christmas Tree.
    • "So, in conclusion, if the mitt fits, you must acquit!"
  • Smoking Gun: Type 2. Jake manages to acquit Santa of charges by bringing a fruitcake into the court case and exposing that Mel poisoned the fruit cakes. She admits her guilt and is arrested. As with all Type 2 examples, the new evidence is presented by someone bursting into the courtroom and presenting it without anyone questioning the legality.
  • Talking Animal: Santa's reindeer. Surprisingly, nobody finds this weird.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: A whole song is dedicated to how bad fruitcake is. But most egregiously, the Big Lipped Alligator Song started with Grandpa mishearing the word "sign" as "sing" and went on from there.
  • Title Drop: A kid does say the title phrase at one point.
    • As well as the song itself.
  • Unfortunate Names: The family is named Spankenheimer, the Dog is named Doofus and Mel's attorney is named I.M. Slime.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Cousin Mel hides Austin's phone number and Santa's letter.
  • Villain Song: "Grandpa's Gonna Sue The Pants Off of Santa", about how they're gonna get Santa Claus thrown in jail just to get rich.
  • Who Names Their Kid "Dude"?: A dog named Doofus.
  • Wingding Eyes: Cousin Mel exhibits the dollar sign variant.


Good Wilt HuntingWestern AnimationThe Grinch Grinches The Cat In The Hat
Robbie the ReindeerChristmas SpecialSouth Park

alternative title(s): Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer
random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
20565
34