YMMV / The Santa Clause

  • Alternative Character Interpretation: A fan theory for the films is that Scott's boss in the first movie and Father Time from the sequels (both of whom were played by the late Peter Boyle) are actually the same person, and that Time secretly manipulated events from behind the scenes during the first film to help Scott embrace his destiny since he knew he would go on to become the best Santa of all time.
  • Angst? What Angst?: None of the elves seem to care that the previous Santa died when Scott takes over.
    • Fridge Brilliance: The previous Santa gave a little wave to Scott right before disappearing, and the Santa Clause says that he who puts on the suit must do the job until no longer able to, "by accident or design." Perhaps that Santa was ready to pass the job on, and gave the elves plenty of advance notice that he intended to go out with a bang and that someone else would be returning from his flight that year. Any angst they felt would already have been worked out by the time Scott showed up at the North Pole.
  • Designated Villain: Laura and Neil are not wrong to be concerned about what they perceive to be Scott's erratic behavior. In real life, if someone began acting like Scott was, they would want to get him as far away from Charlie as humanly possible. Also the cops later in the film are seen as trying to ruin Christmas by arresting Santa, but from their perspective, they're just holding someone who kidnapped a young boy.
  • Ensemble Darkhorse: Bernard the Head Elf. Full stop. There's a reason why the third one suffered.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: The adults all remember the toys they really wanted for Christmas, and the ones who were disappointed ceased believing in Santa and subsequently have no sense of magic or wonder in their lives. (So don't disappoint your children, parents, or else...)
  • Harsher in Hindsight: The Charlie Sheen quote from the second movie, where Scott believes that he "straightened out". Can be weird to watch knowing what Sheen has been up to as of late.note 
    • A featurette on The Santa Clause 2 DVD is hosted by Spencer Breslin, in character as Curtis, who continually remarks how much contempt he and Bernand have for each other, and even claims he feels Bernard is worried because he knows it's only a matter of time before Curtis takes over his job as Head Elf.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Scott takes Charlie to Denny's where aside from a Japanese party, only a few single fathers are seen eating with their children. By The New '10s, eating out at Denny's or Applebee's on Christmas Eve isn't that unheard of as many chain restaurants are open and have holiday-themed specials.
  • Idiot Plot: The elves at the North Pole do a remarkably poor job of preparing Scott for his job as the new Santa, even sending him back in a way that makes him think the whole thing was a crazy dream. He doesn't even believe it actually happened until he has to go back up to the North Pole, 11 months after the incident occurred. The entire system in which the Santa is chosen seems like it is doomed to eventually bring about the end of Santa.
  • Narm: Jack Frost's defeat in the third movie. Lucy gives him a hug. A magical hug. 'Cause she's "warming his heart." And he says "They said it could never be done!" WHO'S THEY?
    • All of the third movie, really.
  • Replacement Scrappy: Curtis in The Santa Clause 3. Not exactly hated, but the general feeling is that he's no Bernard, who was a fairly popular character due to his Deadpan Snarker tendencies whereas Curtis took the job way too seriously at times. The fact that he let slip to Jack Frost the method with which he'd take over the North Pole just because Frost prodded his ego a bit didn't help at all.
  • Sequelitis: This one hit the reindeer the hardest. Tim, too; his heart obviously isn't into it come 3, and he's upstaged completely by Martin Short. It also didn't help that in 3 one well-liked character was Demoted to Extra and another disappeared entirely with no passing mention. Heck, this trilogy's Rotten Tomatoes pages even provide the page image.
  • Special Effect Failure: The reindeer in the first film. CG has come a long way since 1994.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: The third movie's sequence where Scott never became Santa takes up far less screentime than one would think. Details over how things are worse for his family (such as Neil and Laura's break-up) are glossed over. Carol doesn't even appear during this sequence.