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Bad Santa

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From his beard to his boots, he was covered with ammo
Like a big, fat, drunk, disgruntled Yuletide Rambo
And he smiled as he said, with a twinkle in his eye
"Merry Christmas to all! Now you're all gonna die!"

You can't spell "Santa" without "Satan"... wait, what?

Sometimes, the Anthropomorphic Personification of a beloved holiday just can't take the stress anymore. This may simply lead to shameful behavior, or it might end in a full-blown violent rampage. Alternately, there may be an impostor bringing shame to the red suit. Or instead of cracking under stress, he was Evil All Along. Or maybe an ordinary Mall Santa is just a Jerkass. Either way, we have a Bad Santa Claus on our hands. And remember what Laocoön said about Greeks bearing gifts.

For children brought up with the "commercialized" form of Christmas, Santa Claus can be seen as something of a symbol of divine judgment as well as a jolly child-friendly icon, making the Bad Santa almost like a combination between the Knight Templar and the Monster Clown. It isn't uncommon for the Bad Santa to herald his appearance with a twisted form of the 'naughty or nice' list — usually with severe penalties for whoever is judged "naughty".

See also The Krampus, a trope based on a concept often confused with this one, and Usurping Santa, when a bad person becomes Santa.

An extreme form of Paranoia Fuel, given the disturbing nature of a killer or monster masquerading as a figure trusted and admired by children. Named after the movie of the same name. Usually runs a Santa's Sweatshop. If it's the real deal, it's a case of Adaptational Villainy. If not, it usually ends up fighting the real deal, Badass Santa! To see an exaggerated version of Bad Santa, see Santabomination. Compare Fallen Cupid, the corruption of another holiday icon. The presence of this usually leads to An Ass-Kicking Christmas.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In The Big O there is an episode with a crazed man in a Santa suit that unleashes a giant Christmas tree on the city.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Fremea and her classmates argue over whether or not Santa is real. While looking through textbooks, they find a reference to a version of Santa who abducts children, scaring the daylights out of them. Later, Fremea becomes brave enough to declare that if this evil Santa ever shows up, she will protect them.
  • The "winter version" of the Shichinin Dougyou in Ga-Rei. They're a group of seven evil spirits...dressed like Santa Claus.
  • In Haré+Guu Guu goes her way to portray Santa like this to the jungle kids who only remember bits of the Santa's mythos. Her portrayal includes Jason Voorhees-hockey mask and a coffin instead of a sleigh, among other things.
  • In Hayate the Combat Butler, Hayate's work ethic is represented by an obnoxious, sarcastic Santa Claus. Who is revealed to be Mikado (Nagi's Grandfather). He also wouldn't give Hayate any presents.
    Young Hayate: Mr. Santa Claus, why do you never bring presents to my house?
    Santa: Because your family is poor.
  • In Majokko Tsukune-chan, Santa is first bombed, then sniped by Devil Santa, who wants to deliver the presents himself. Santa is then reincarnated as Mecha Santa, who proceeds to battle Devil Santa.
  • Mazinger Z: In episode 56, set during winter, Dr. Hell proved to be The Grinch when he unleashed a Mechanical Beast -Satan Claus P10- that resembled an evil Santa riding a jet-propelled sleigh, using a whip that fired missiles.
  • Laura of Mnemosyne dresses up as Santa in one episode then proceeds to blow stuff up and shoot people after saying "Ho ho ho."
  • The horror manga Presents portrays Santa Claus as being able to see how the future will be affected by giving what a child most wants on Christmas. The scenarios we see all involve the children growing up to be criminals, horribly negligent gold-diggers, or (in one case) instigators for nuclear holocaust. Santa responds to these cases by gruesomely killing the then-innocent children with their own presents to prevent those futures from happening. Unlike some other examples here, this Santa is sometimes doubtful if he did the right thing. It does nothing to lessen the horror.
  • Nicholas the Renegade (that is, Saint Nick) appears as an annual optional boss in Sword Art Online on the night of December 24th. He leaps down from his sleigh to challenge players on the ground.
  • Episode 11 of the You're Under Arrest! first season had a crook who pretended to be Santa break into people's houses. Natsumi and Miyuki find the children distraught over what happened, cuing one of their many moments of heartwarming.

    Comic Books 
  • The Avengers: A Christmas issue had a disturbed, possibly Mad Scientist with a childhood Christmas fixation attempting to create a robotic Santa Claus to make the myth into reality. But the robot she used as the basis was oedipus complex-driven psychopath Ultron.
    • For one, they wind up stopping him by giving him a Santa cookie with explosives inside.
      Merry Christmas to all... EXCEPT FOR THE AVENGERS, THE AVENGERS MUST DIE!!
      Merry Christmas. Neural disruption for all.
    • Then there was the time The Illuminati let Santa use the Infinity Gauntlet...
  • The classic Batman story "Wanted: Santa Claus — dead or alive!" Though the Bad Santa of the story (a mall Santa who was supposed to rob the store) does a Heel–Face Turn and Batman has to save him from the criminals he was working for. In fact, Batman has fought crooks dressed as Santa several times.
  • Batman: Black and White, "A Slaying Song Tonight": A hitman plans to get near his target by taking the place of a Mall Santa hired to put in an appearance for the target's daughter. Batman figures it out in the nick of time and stops the hitman just before he reaches the house — then puts the costume on and does the Santa appearance himself.
  • Blade: Blade at one point had to fight a Santa possessed by a body-jumping demon. Thanks to his unusual heritage, he's immune to the possession, but ends up having to Shoot the Dog.
  • '70s horror anthology Creepy did a story called "Dollie" where Santa literally turns out to be Satan, handing out cursed and deadly toys. Read it here.
  • In Day of the Dollmaker, Supergirl punches a composite Batman/Kryptonite Man dressed as Santa Claus, created by Captain Marvel's nemesis Dr. Sivana and dressed as Santa Claus.
  • Daredevil: In Born Again, Matt Murdock is stabbed by a thug dressed as Santa.
  • The context is never made clear, but one issue of the Deadpool comic started with Deadpool hunting down and killing a machine gun-wielding Santa Claus.
  • The Italian branch of Disney (already known for both Darker and Edgier stories and series like Paperinik New Adventures, Double Duck and W.I.T.C.H. and some of the craziest stories in Disney's history) gave this treatment to the actual Santa: when Santa decided that getting arrested by Casey and Rock Sassi was the last straw in centuries of receiving little to no respect for his job and decided to resign, chief O'Hara promptly pointed out he's guilty of breaking and entering, smuggling and resisting arrest and he has no documents on top of that and threw him in jail until he changed his mind. Then, as Santa's elves mistake O'Hara for Santa and kidnap him, Santa adds breaking out of prison with Pete...
  • The Doctor Who Magazine comic strip "Imaginary Enemies" features the The Krampus, who rather than the goblin-like monster of legend, takes the form of a Palette Swap of Santa (black beard, white suit, red trim — his true form more demonic, though). In the Whoniverse he's a member of the Trickster's Brigade and exists in Santa's shadow.
  • The comic Fables features all the fairy-tales who are in exile on Earth. This includes Santa Claus. He gives poor amnesiac Flycatcher a gift - the restoration of his memories. Thus forcing Flycatcher to relive the horrific massacre of his entire family. Merry Christmas, eh?
  • Green Lantern: The 109th issue of volume three has Jade confront Stan, a janitor from the orphanage she grew up in who occasionally worked as a mall Santa and had molested her and other girls.
  • In Hack/Slash: Entry Wound, one of the holiday-themed villains Cassie mentions she and Vlad had recently disposed of was "Rudolph" - a creepy-looking Santa-esque man with Black Eyes of Evil.
  • Henchmen: The Christmas story "Winter Blunderland" saw Gary working for Santa Claws, a Santa Claus-themed villain who's plot is to corrupt toys at a Mega Mart into his own Terror Toys(tm) to give out on Christmas. The plan is interrupted by the Superhero Retailer, who engages in a fist fight with Santa Claws. Gary decides to shrink the both of them down to action figure-size and give them to his duaghter as a Christmas present.
  • The Swedish comic Herman Hedning have perhaps one of the sickest subversions of this trope. In a Christmas edition featuring a parody of A Christmas Carol with Herman as Scrooge. In the end, Santa Claus gives him what he wished for. A giant meat-grinder that grinds in a truly sadistic fashion. Santa then proceeds to throw Herman in it giving everyone what they had been wishing for the last several years all while sporting the best murder face in the series.
    Santa: "Merry Christmas everyone! Ho ho ho".
  • The Hitman Christmas Special involves the titular Hitman hunting down a radioactive murderer in a Santa suit on Christmas eve in Gotham, all with surreal narration meant to resemble "Twas the Night Before Christmas."
    Narrator: 'Word', said his homie; 'I've got my nine. Now let's go bust a cap in that nuclear swine.'
  • In Houppeland by Didier Tronchet, a totalitarian government imposes a state of perpetual Christmas; any unwillingness to be happy and participate in gift-giving and merriment is severely punished.
  • The Incredible Hulk: The Rhino once tried to go straight by taking a job as a department-store Santa, but one too many bratty kids sent him over the edge and he went on a rampage. It took the Grey Hulk and one crying little girl to stop him.
  • The 28th issue of the Justice League Unlimited tie-in comic begins with the Justice League fighting a Santa Claus who turns out to be Clayface in disguise.
  • The Krampus in one comic anthology story schemed a comeback into the public consciousness by murdering Santa in front of children from an orphanage. In a shocking twist, Santa reveals a similar scheme where he murders Krampus in front of the kids, then kidnaps the naughty ones to enslave as toymakers in his workshop until they grow up, telling witnesses to spread the word that from now on, this will be the punishment for naughty children. Santa takes such heinous action partially to cement belief in him after the world has lost faith, partially as revenge for being forgotten in the first place.
  • It's not so much Santa as his little helpers, but in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, a Coca-Cola representative is torn to pieces for interrupting Santa while he's high on mushrooms sending his astral self across the world to spread good cheer.
  • The Lobo Paramilitary Christmas Special featured Lobo being hired by the Easter Bunny to whack Santa Claus, and a Badass Santa getting into a machete fight with the alien bounty hunter. Santa is also portrayed as a merciless taskmaster who has a monstrous gorilla named Kong as a pet. (The canon of this story is questionable and has never been fully addressed, seeing as Santa isn't depicted this way in DC Comic stories that happened before or since; Lobo has spoken about it, but he can be an Unreliable Narrator at times.)
  • The Muppet Show Comic Book: The "Winter" issue of the Four Seasons arc had a burglar dressed as Santa Claus rob Sam the Eagle while he was distracted reading a version of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas. Fortunately, the burglar gets arrested in the end with Sam the Eagle regaining his stolen property.
  • The Pocket God Christmas special has Red, though he's more crazy than bad. He's a fat man in a red and green grass skirt who kidnaps Nooby and clones him. He also talks to tiki statues.
  • The Punisher Silent Night started by showing a former criminal called Tiny Tim with bloodshot eyes playing Santa. Subverted in that he was unmalicious to the children but then played straight when the Punisher himself put on a costume and started traumatizing any child who had the misfortune of running into him. The story ends with him leaving the corpse of a Noble Demon crime lord wearing the suit in front of an Orphanage.
  • The Question once fought a drunken, insane department store Santa. Comic writer Denny O'Neil seems to have some issues with Santa. (He's written several of these stories.)
  • Red Xmas is about Santa Claus pulling a Face–Heel Turn and becoming a child-kidnapping villain following his wife's tragic passing in a toy accident.
  • Santa The Barbarian. You will be unsurprised to hear that Rob Liefeld was the man responsible.
  • The 54th issue of Spider-Girl began with Spider-Girl fighting some thugs dressed as Santa Claus.
  • Spider-Man: In The Spectacular Spider-Man Peter Parker, The Spectacular Spider-Man]] #112, Spider-Man once had to intervene when a burglar disguised as Santa broke into the apartment of his neighbor Bambi. Spidey prevents him from shooting her, then loses the burglar after he gets stopped by a someone completely off page except for his very Santa-like boots. The next day, the burglar had confessed to the police and was also distributing handmade toys.
  • The Tick brought us Multiple Santa - an evil Santa impersonator who can clone himself, parodying the way children react to hearing news that Santa Claus is making personal appearances in many different places all at once throughout December. It was made into a Christmas Episode of the cartoon show. His ability to clone himself comes from electricity, leading the Tick to believe he killed him when he first gains his power. Worse, he keeps believing he's the real Santa until the actual Santa Claus (complete with elves) shows up. This has the side effect of restoring Arthur's faith on Christmas. At the end, since the Tick can't bring himself to fight even a villain who resembles Santa, he shakes him, which causes all his copies to disappear. Giving the Santas noogies makes them disappear.
  • The first volume of Alan Moore's Top 10 features a "Santa" who turns out to be a delusional class two psychokinetic - kidnapped reindeer from the zoo and everything. He also makes it snow in a subtropical climate in October. That's how powerful "class two psychokinetic" is.
  • In the Ultimate Warrior Xmas Special, it seems that Warrior dresses as "Warrior Santa" and starts delivering Destrucity to children as well as apparently raping the real Santa Claus. Apparently, the intent was for it to be a Saving Christmas scenario where Warrior dresses up as Santa after he passes out drunk on Christmas Eve. The picture really looks like the aftermath of him raping Santa instead, though.
  • EC Comics' The Vault of Horror did a story called "...And All Through the House..." about a woman who kills her husband on Christmas Eve, only to be stalked by a homicidal maniac who's escaped from an asylum and is roaming the countryside dressed as Santa Claus. this story was later adapted into an episode of the Tales from the Crypt TV series.
  • Gahan Wilson liked using Santa as subject matter, as in this creepy National Lampoon cover depicting Santa Claus grinning evilly as he kidnaps a whole family.

    Fan Works 
  • The A Certain Magical Index fic A Certain Crazy Christmas Special by Franchise has an insane magician who impersonates Santa and has powerful Christmas-related magic. He goes on a rampage through town, wrecks stuff, steals presents and other belongings, and kidnaps several of the show's pretty girls. Naturally, Touma and Accelerator rescue the girls and defeat him.
  • The One Piece fandub/parody series "Dub Piece" painted Wapol as this, and also feuding with his ex-wife (played by Dr. Kureha).
  • I Saw Grayson Kissing Santa Claus:
    • Damian Wayne believes the real Santa Claus is this, and that Santa is going to kidnap his brother Dick Grayson to molest. In reality, Santa doesn't exist and his brother Jason Todd is feeding into his delusions for kicks.
    • At the climax of the story, Jason even dresses up as such a Santa (with devil horns, no less) to further troll Damian and the rest of their family.
  • Knows if You've Been Naughty: Relatively downplayed, but the fact that Santa not only approves of Krampus brutally punishing naughty children, but also uses him to abduct those children and transform them into brainwashed elves makes him at the very least morally ambiguous.

    Films — Animation 
  • Evoked in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack the Pumpkin King intentionally garbles up his description of "Sandy Claws" for the residents of Halloweentown, making Santa sound like a monster — because he realizes that's the only way to get Halloween-themed critters excited about Christmas. Later on, Jack himself becomes an unintentional example of this trope as he tries to take over the role of Santa Claus, but ends up putting a terrifying Halloween spin on everything. Unlike most examples, Jack's "Bad Santa" persona is actually well-intentioned. He genuinely loves Christmas, and wants to make everyone happy — it's just that he doesn't quite "get" the meaning of the holiday.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Among the many zombies seen in Anna and the Apocalypse is a zombie dressed as Santa. He also provides a jump scare at the end.
  • Bad Santa stars Billy Bob Thornton as a child-hating and foul-mouthed Mall Santa who robs the stores afterwards. He gets better though. Somewhat.
  • "The Fright Before Xmas" segment from Campfire Tales (1991) features a murderous Satan Claus, whose job is to punish the really naughty. He comes after the main character because he killed his mother.
  • Cash on Demand: The charity Father Christmas stationed outside the bank is actually Colonel Gore Hepburn's accomplice in robbing the bank: having been keeping Fordyce and the bank under observation.
  • Christmas Blood: The villain of the movie is a psychopathic murderer who dresses up as Santa Claus and murders people on Christmas Eve. He managed to evade the police for 13 years until finally being caught in 2011. He manages to bust out of prison in 2016 and targets the protagonists in their home.
  • Christmas Evil features a sad-sack who, as a child, sees his father dressed as Santa getting busy with his mother. Fast forward 30 years and he is a Christmas-obsessed toy store employee who loses it and ends up dressing as Santa to give presents to good boys and girls, and also to chop up his enemies with a hatchet.
  • French film The City of Lost Children begins with dozens of Santas invading a child's house while he's in bed. The kid goes from thrilled to confused to frightened as the Santas grow from one to two to many. This turns out to be a dream that the child is having, which is being corrupted by the influence of the Mad Scientist villain.
  • The basis for the 1989 French film Dial Code Santa Claus where a genius kid who lives alone with his mother and grandpa is visited by a psychotic criminal dressed as Santa on Christmas night. He must defend himself and his relatives using his wits and array of various gadgets.
  • Inverted in the horror film Don't Open Till Christmas. Instead of a killer Santa, it features a Santa killer.
  • Parodied in Ernest Saves Christmas, where the candidate for the next Santa Claus is asked to take the lead role in a movie called Christmas Slay, which features a killer alien Santa. The film was effectively defictionalized with Santa's Slay listed below.
  • In the 1985 Australian thriller Fortress, one of the masked criminals wears a Santa Claus mask and is dubbed 'Father Christmas' by the children he's abducted for ransom.
  • Friday After Next when Craig and Day-Day are robbed by a man in a Santa Suit.
  • In The Hebrew Hammer, Santa's evil son kills him and takes on his position in order to eliminate all other December holidays.
  • Nicholas Angel's recovering hand wound at the beginning of Hot Fuzz came at the hands of a maniac dressed as Father Christmas (and played by Peter Jackson).
  • Jacob's Ladder: A street Santa robs an injured Jacob Singer of his wallet. Jacob vows revenge.
  • Jingle All the Way featured a scene of a warehouse full of mall Santas and elves who turned out to be scamming imposters, selling counterfeit versions of popular toys. Or, as Arnold Schwarzenegger's put it, "sleazy con men in red suits." One of them is also a Badass Santa, played by Paul Wight, one of the few men who could make Arnold look small and scrawny.
  • Kazuo Umezus Horror Theater Present is a live-action Asian take on this concept, being neatly summed up by one review as "Silent Night, Deadly Night... IN JAPAN!".
  • While the central antagonist of Krampus falls under his own trope, he does dress and act like a parody of Santa Claus, in the familiar red fur robes with white trimming (albeit with gigantic curved horns poking out from under his hood) and even a gruesome old-man mask. He also has his own helpers in the form of a gang of sinister elves, disturbing Living Toys, and animated gingerbread people.
    • Played a little straighter earlier in the movie, when Sarah notices that the mall Santa in the family photo is giving her teenage daughter a very inappropriate glance.
  • The 1942 film Life Begins At Eight Thirty begins with the main character, a washed-up alcoholic actor, losing his job as a department store Santa after showing up to work drunk on Christmas Eve.
  • In the Christmas classic, Miracle on 34th Street, the Santa for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade is a drunk. Later, the real Santa smacks a department store psychologist with his cane for telling an impressionable young boy that he was mentally ill for wanting to do good on Christmas. This lands him in Bellevue, as part of the psychologist's petty attempt at revenge and leads to the court case at the end of the film. The 1994 remake retained the "drunk" Santa who also got fired for mooning the audience and losing his pants on the job. The movie later showed a bar of drunk Santas off shift, and the original Kole's Santa took the place in the plot of the psychologist as an antagonist.
  • Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale reveals that the original Santa Claus is a giant horned monster frozen in a man made mountain.
  • The demented Santa Claus (1959) movie featured in the episode of "Mystery Science Theater 3000" falls into this trope entirely by accident. He's supposed to be a straightforward kindhearted Santa, but the movie's surreal tone and poor production value make him seem bizarrely sinister.
  • The Santa Clause parodies this trope with a line from Scott Calvin regarding an advertising campaign with Santa in a life size "total tank" model.
    Scott: Well, kids I hope you've been good this year, because it looks like Santa just took out the Pearson Home. INCOMING!!!
  • A crazed mall Santa holds the employees of a suicide hotline hostage in the French movie Le Père Noël est une ordure aka Santa Claus Is a Stinker. It's a Christmas classic in France. Remade (quite poorly) in the U.S. as Mixed Nuts.
  • In the horror/comedy Santa's Slay, Goldberg plays an evil Santa who is actually the spawn of Satan, and rides a sleigh driven by his one hell-deer. He's out for revenge on the protagonist's grandfather, who, in a stop-motion flashback inspired by Christmas specials like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, defeated him as an angel in a curling match and sentenced him to deliver presents on Christmas for 1000 years, leaving Santa to kill again in 2005.
  • Billy's parents in Silent Night, Deadly Night were killed by a robber dressed as a Santa, and years later he turns into an Ax-Crazy killer seeking to punish the naughty. When the movie was released, theaters showing it were actually picketed due to its premise. As this page shows, It's Been Done before and nobody complained!
  • Sheitan: In the Film Within a Film the pumpman is watching, a man dressed as Santa attempts to sexually assault a sleeping woman. Unfortunately for him, she turns out to be a vampire.
  • In The Silent Partner, psychopathic bank robber Reikle disguises himself as a mall Santa so he can pull off a bank robbery and case out the joint undetected.
  • The Exploitation Film The Sinful Dwarf features a drug dealer who goes by the name Santa Claus. He uses a toy store as a front for his illegal operations.
  • The Dutch movie Sint, released in 2010, contains a bad version of Sinterklaas (Saint Nicholas, on which Santa is based). When it's full moon on Pakjesavond (translated Presents Eve on 5 Decembre, the night when the kids get their presents), Sinterklaas comes. Not to deliver presents, but to kill you. (Apparently it's not Sinterklaas, but Saint Niklas, a zombie. But they look EXACTLY the same, so it counts). Commercial posters have caused controversy, as they seem to scare kids. The RCC (Reclame Code Comissie, a Dutch organisation that decides if commercials are allowed to be shown in public) has decided that the posters can stay were they are.
  • The 1972 Tales from the Crypt Anthology Film segment "And All Through the House" featured a killer dressed as Santa Claus. It was later remade as an episode of the TV series. Both were inspired by a holiday-themed tale from the original comic, though the TV series episode sticks closer to the source.
  • The early slasher movie To All A Goodnight, which has rare case of two killers dressed as Santa, a couple, one being a police officer the other one being a woman.
  • Trading Places has Winthorpe, at his wits' end due to being the victim of a cruel prank, show up as a drunken Santa with a gun.
  • The Santa Claus in Violent Night is a drunken Knight in Sour Armor, though when called upon to be heroic, he goes Badass Santa, killing a LOT of legitimately evil people with a sledgehammer. Considering that he is an immortal 1100-year old Viking named Nicomund the Red, this is very much justified. By the end of the movie, he's become a little less cynical and moved further away from this trope.
  • David Lynch's Wild at Heart briefly features Lula's Santa-obsessed cousin "Jingle" Dell (Crispin Glover) who isn't so much Bad Santa as really, really creepy Santa.

  • The title character in Ogden Nash's poem "The Boy Who Laughed At Santa Claus" finds out what happens when Santa turns the tables and declares he doesn't believe in him.
  • Ramsey Campbell's short story "The Chimney" centers around a young boy who becomes paranoid that "Father Christmas" is a malicious boogeyman living in his family's chimney that is out to get him. He dreams of numerous encounters with Father Christmas, culminating in one where he discovers it is covered in horrific burns and sports a Glasgow Grin. The narrator eventually realizes it isn't real, only for him to discover his father has burned to death during a house fire caused by the chimney - and that his father's corpse is now the spitting image of Father Christmas.
  • Henry Leverage's short story "Crooked Charity" (published in the Pulp Magazine Gangster Stories, December of 1929) is an early example of the "impostor Santa" version of this trope, with a Villain Protagonist convict who breaks out of jail on Christmas Eve. He wanders into a rich suburb, where he bumps into a drunken homeowner delivering toys in a Santa suit. He mugs the guy and steals the costume, seeing it as a perfect way to sneak past the cops and skip town. To keep his cover, he has to give the expensive presents in his sack to some poor inner-city kids, and the story ends with him reflecting that he actually made a surprisingly good Santa.
  • In the Novelization of Dawn of the Dead (1978), one of the evil biker gang members assaulting the mall inexplicably dresses like Santa. He's consequently known amongst his buddies as Jolly Old Saint Nick, or simply Nick for short. Apart from the costume, he embodies none of the typical "evil Santa" traits and is just one of the gang members, and in fact dies a pretty uneventful death at the hands of zombies during the siege of the mall.
  • Doctor Who Expanded Universe:
    • In the Doctor Who New Adventures novel Sky Pirates!, among the bizarre and horrifying/hilarious creatures of the System is the Snata, an animal that resembles an overweight, bearded corpse. Snatas feed on revulsion and terror, and so, operating entirely on instinct, they make themselves bloodsoaked fur cloaks and enter houses through the chimney, ranting that the occupants have been very naughty.
    • In the short story "The Feast", in Short Trips: The History of Christmas, a group of 17th century Londoners, chafing at Cromwell's ban on Christmas, perform a ritual that they think will summon St Nicholas, but actually summons an elemental force that feeds on belief. The Doctor has to destroy it before it drains its believers completely.
  • Don't Put Mustard in the Custard, a book of children's poetry by Michael Rosen, includes the poem "Christmas Eve, Christmas Day":
    I'm afraid of Father Christmas coming down the chimney
    While I'm fast asleep, he might come and grab me!
  • While explaining the concept of summoning fairies and trapping them in magic circles in the Dresden Files novel Storm Front, Harry Dresden makes a throwaway remark about not being suicidal enough to try summoning and entrapping Santa Claus that way: "nobody has stones that big." Given some of the things that people have tried and/or succeeded in summoning and entrapping in magic circles, this says something about the kindly old elf. There's probably a third list just for being that naughty.
    • In Cold Days, Harry actually meets a character that looms over him (Harry is canonically somewhere around 6'6", or 195 cm tall), wears Mail armor (of something other than iron), with black boots, a large scarlet overcoat lined with white fur, and carries a large broadsword. This character introduces himself as "Kringle." and when Harry makes a comment about the character joining the Erlking's Hunt, Kringle replies along the lines of "what mortals know me as is not what I always was. Everything changes with time."
      • Kringle is Santa. Kringle is also Odin.
  • In Orson Scott Card's Enderverse novella War of Gifts, a fundamentalist preacher gives a sermon denouncing the commercialization of Christmas in which he declares that "SANTA is really SATAN!"
  • The books Father Christmas and Father Christmas Takes a Holiday by Raymond Briggs has a — well — disgruntled Santa who's understandably fed up with having to do so much work just to deliver presents. Catchphrase: "Blooming Christmas!" Later made into a TV animation with the voice of Mel Smith.
  • Tom Holt's Grailblazers, features Klaus and Radulf, actually Odin and Sleipnir. Both have become extremely vengeful, having been cursed to spend eternity providing gifts nobody wants.
  • Hans Brinker, or The Silver Skates has a chapter depicting the (actual) tradition of having St. Nicholas listing all the children's good and bad deeds, in detail, in front of everybody (see Myth & Religion, below).
  • Definitely not evil, but Death in the Discworld book Hogfather makes a pretty creepy stand-in for that universe's Santa equivalent, who was already kind of creepy to begin with (he has tusks, his sleigh is pulled by fierce, gigantic wild boars, and he hands out blood-stained bones to bad kids).
    Parent: You can't give her that! It's not safe!
    Death: It's a sword. They're not meant to be safe.
    Mall Owner: She's a child!
    Death: It's educational.
    Mall Owner: What if she cuts herself?
    Death: That will be an important lesson.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas!: While not evil in the way of some of these examples, the Grinch started out as an ill-intentioned Santa-impersonator.
  • Charles Stross's The Laundry Files short story "Overtime" turns Santa into an Eldritch Abomination, nicknamed by the snarky protagonist as "The Filler of Stockings, the Bringer of Gifts." The reason why a Cthuloid nasty is serving as Santa? The stars are starting to come right, which means people can reach out to the Great Old Ones by belief alone. And a billion children across the world will go to bed believing Santa will come down the chimney... and something else answers.
  • More & More & More Tales to Give You Goosebumps: Santa Claus appears as the main antagonist of the story "Santa's Helpers". While not evil, he is a clear case of Adaptational Jerkass. Instead of the Benevolent Boss he is typically portrayed as, the story depicts him as a Mean Boss who overworks his elves, not allowed to leave or quit, to the point that some of them try to run away from the workshop, which has led to Santa sending more elves to recapture them. In the story, his elves mistake two children dressed in red and green winter clothes for the two latest escapees and bring them back to Santa, who puts them on 18 hour shifts for the next 5 years, noting that they can have a 2 day vacation afterward if they work hard enough. He does give the kids a chance to prove they are human children, but they fail and are presumably left doing hard labor until they grow up enough for Santa to realize they are humans.
  • Donald Westlake's story "Nackles" is about a cruel father who invents Santa's evil counterpart to keep his children in line. Nackles, he tells them, is a black-clad tunnel-dweller in a minecart drawn by goats, who every Christmas takes the naughty away in his sack to be eaten. The power of belief turns Nackles real, but the only person he takes is his creator. Harlan Ellison adapted this story for The Twilight Zone (1985), changing the father to a bigot who terrorizes black children with tales of a Nackles who preys on them. CBS got cold feet at the last minute and shut down production of the segment, leading Ellison to quit the show in protest. (It would have been his directorial debut, too...)
  • Naughty: Nine Tales of Christmas Crime: Big Buck, the mall Santa in "I Killed Santa Claus," is a middle-aged burglar who is planning to rob the families who visit his workshop. He also smells of sweat, cigarettes, and alcohol, hates kids, sexually harasses any college girl who works as one of his elves, and killed the kindly previous mall Santa to get his job.
  • In the Neil Gaiman (very) short story "Nicholas Was..." there's a twist on this trope where Santa himself is not the bad one, the elves are. The titular character is an ancient man forced to perform his duties by strange dwarfish creatures from the Arctic who will never let him die.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of the Christmas Stocking", Nick dons a Santa outfit as part of his plan to break into an apartment to steal the stocking.
  • In F. Paul Wilson's Repairman Jack novel Legacies, Jack dresses up as Santa and beats up a thief that stole toys from a children's hospital. He then tied the thief to the front of the truck containing the toys, put antlers on him, and drove him through traffic. After the police found the abandoned truck in front of the hospital with the thief still tied to it, the only thing the thief could tell them was "Santa did it!"
  • The children's book Santa's Twin by Dean Koontz details the attempts of two girls to rescue Santa from his sadistic and mischievous twin brother Bob Claus and stop Bob's plot to ruin Christmas by handing out nasty presents. It was followed up by Robot Santa, which has Bob trying to make up for the trouble he caused last Christmas by building a robotic Santa Claus... who, unfortunately, quickly goes haywire.
  • Satirist S. J. Perelman's "Waiting For Santy" depicts Claus as a hard-ass old company boss in the tradition of men like JP Morgan.
  • "The Year Santa Went Modern", a humorist narrative poem by Richard Armour,note  gives us a Santa Claus who is not so much evil as misguided, willing to dabble in utilitarianism and iconoclasm. At his foreman elf Slick's instigation to modernize the way he does things, Santa first seriously considers trading in his sleigh and reindeer for one modern vehicle or another. He does give up on this idea, but only after all the alternative modes of transportation he considers appear too impractical or dangerous to him. Santa nonetheless decides to go on a crash diet; Slick uses the opportunity to get the now slim jolly old elf to have a very stylish business suit sewn for him, and when this is done, easily convinces him to complete the update to his look by shaving off his beard. But when he sees the result, Santa realizes that the new look is antithetical to what he stands for. He instantly regrets the change but with only a week left until Christmas, he is compelled to do his rounds that year with a false beard and a pillow under his Santa suit while his beard and belly grow back.

    Live-Action TV  
  • A sketch on Alexei Sayles Stuff parodying historical documentaries such as The World At War has Santa as brutal Stalinist dictator, who has a network of spies and informants betraying their comrades to him ("He knows when you are sleeping..."), orders naughty children shipped as slave workers to his toy factories in the Arctic where they are quietly 'disappeared', and has his former allies (such as Frosty the Snowman) arrested and executed without trial. He dresses all in red, he has a beard (like Fidel Castro and Che Guevara), he has no concept of money, he is not affiliated with any country, and he tries to take the religion out of Christmas. Hmmm...
  • American Horror Story: Asylum has Leigh Emerson, a Serial Killer who dresses up as Santa Claus to murder his victims.
  • The Avengers had a Christmas episode where Steed suffered from disturbing dreams featuring a creepy Father Christmas.
  • In the Bones episode "The Santa in the Slush", a mall Santa was murdered, and the team investigated a group of Santas, one of whom turned out to be the killer. As he is being perp-walked away, the other Santas start singing a dour chorus of "Santa Claus is Coming to Town".
  • The Brittas Empire: The plot of "Surviving Christmas" revolves around the staff being targeted by a Santa Claus actor driven to murderous insanity by Gordon Brittas.
  • In Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Anya mentions in passing that Santa Claus does exist, he even comes down chimneys and is pulled by reindeer — but that he's really a demon that disembowels children.
  • In Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Christmas Episode, the Mall Santa turns out to be a demon that turns the "elves" who work for him into statues.
  • Hitler plays this role a few times in Season 2 of Danger 5. After massacring a family, their son comes downstairs and asks if Hitler is Santa. Hitler agrees, leaving him a gift-wrapped hand grenade with the pin out. He also assassinates one of the heroes while they're out Christmas shopping by disguising himself as Santa. Even after he takes over the world in a Bad Future, he's still doing so.
  • Designing Women had a Christmas Episode in which Suzanne hires a mall Santa to sneak into Mary Jo's house at night so her son could "catch" Santa in the act. As was perhaps inevitable, he robs the place instead.
  • Doctor Who Christmas specials "The Christmas Invasion" and "The Runaway Bride" featured killer robot Santas.
  • In his pre-Python days, Terry Gilliam did a Christmas animation for Do Not Adjust Your Set that involved, among other things, a Santa stealing toys and kidnapping children. Linky.
  • In The Flash (2014) Christmas episode "Running to Stand Still", the Trickster disguises himself as a Mall Santa and hands out 100 bombs disguised as Christmas presents to children all across Central City.
  • An episode of The Golden Girls titled "'Twas The Nightmare Before Christmas" had the girls held hostage on Christmas Eve at the Grief Counseling Center by a man dressed as Santa Claus.
  • One episode of Homicide: Life on the Street featured a drunk man dressed like Santa who had been taken into custody after he had threatened to jump off a building and shot his wife… with a water gun. He later escapes custody and hides in the ceiling of the Homicide squadroom until it collapses under his weight.
  • Jake and the Fatman: In "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas", it's Christmastime, but McCabe isn't feeling so jolly as an ambitious assistant DA helps Jake find a murderous Santa Claus.
  • Leverage, "The Ho Ho Ho Job": A group of criminals are hired as mall Santas as part of a plan to rob a bank.
  • The second The Librarians 2014 Christmas Episode features Santa's evil brother, the Patron Saint of Thieves, who encourages his followers to steal Christmas gifts in a holiday they call "Thankstaking". (In Real Life the original St Nicholas is also patron saint of repentant thieves.)
  • Major Crimes: In "Chain Reaction", one bad Santa takes advantage of a Kris Kringle flashmob right outside to rob a bank.
  • Married... with Children:
    • In an early episode, Al got into a fight with a department store Santa that worked in the mall; the guy then wouldn't let it go, and proceeded to turn every kid he spoke to against Al the next day, and then got a gang of other department store Santas to beat him up when he tried to leave work.
    • A later episode featured a bar full of drunk and grouchy department store Santas who hated their job, one of which was packing heat; after the bartended turned the radio to play Jingle Bells, he shot it. He almost did the same to a rather cheery guy dressed like an elf, but then the bartender threw the guy out. (And insulted him by calling him short, at which point the elf got angry and said that the next Santa to do that "would be "ho-ho-hoing in soprano"; unfortunately, he makes good that threat on Al Bundy who walks in an does it.)
    • Let's not forget the drunk Santa that fell out of a helicopter and landed in the Bundys' backyard.
  • Monk:
    • In "Mr. Monk Goes to the Asylum", the killer of the week dresses up as Santa Claus to look for the murder weapon so that if anybody hears about it, they'll just pass it off as a delusion of the patient who saw him (who has a Santa Claus obsession).
    • In the episode "Mr. Monk and the Man Who Shot Santa", Monk shoots a man dressed as Santa Claus — he claims self-defence, but he becomes a public pariah. As it turns out, the man in the Santa suit was acting as a diversion for a diamond heist. At the end of the episode, Monk refers to him several times as a "bad Santa."
  • My World… and Welcome to It: In "Rally Round the Flag," John meets his match when he encounters a snarky, bad-tempered bell-ringing Santa on a Manhattan sidewalk.
    John: Bet that beard gets scratchy, doesn't it?
    Sidewalk Santa: Are you taking a Santa Claus survey or somethin'?
    John: No — I'm just curious.
    Sidewalk Santa: [motions to the kettle next to him] Yeah, well look, friend — uh, drop somethin' in there and move on would ya, you're blockin' the pot.
    John: [drops a coin in the pot] Sorry. There you are — keep the old pot boiling.
    Sidewalk Santa: [looks disparagingly into the kettle] I'm eternally grateful to you. Get lost.
  • In Round the Twist, one Santa (there are revealed to be a whole squadron of them) attacks a pillowbelly for being a fake Santa. She's an old woman. He's fairly cheerful and serious about his job, but something of a jerk.
  • A sketch on Saturday Night Live featured John Goodman (who also voiced Robot Santa) as Santa Claus in the post-holiday season, depicted as a drunken jerk-ass. An earlier fake commercial had Santi-Wrap, protection against germs from the likes of John Belushi's homeless, alcoholic mall Santa.
  • Sisters had the kids interested in the Santacide movies, about people being killed by Santa.
  • Seinfeld has Kramer as a Communist Santa. Your mileage may vary on whether that was bad or not.
  • For a good portion of the 2007 Supernatural Christmas story "A Very Supernatural Christmas", the brothers consider the possibility that the Monster of the Week is an "anti-Claus", although it later turns out to be something else. When they realize they may have made a mistake, they call a more experienced hunter for advice:
    Dean: What'd Bobby say?
    Sam: Well, first off, he said we're idiots.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers.
  • Sue Thomas: F.B.Eye: In "Silent Night", a thief hits two banks dressed in a Santa suit and makes his getaway by throwing some of his ill-gotten gains into the air, causing chaos as people grab for the money.
  • The Tales from the Crypt Christmas Episode (yes, there was one), "And All Through the House", featured an escaped mental patient/axe murderer, whose schtick was dressing as Santa Claus, menacing a woman who has just murdered her husband on Christmas Eve. Zig-zagged slightly in that he only kills the murderess woman and leaves her daughter alive.
  • One episode of That '70s Show had Donna fall asleep while running a fundraiser. In her dream Santa appears and claims he has all the money she needs for the library she was raising funds for. After Donna mentions to Santa that some people don't believe in him, he becomes enraged and asks who these people are. Donna later wakes up screaming "No Santa, please don't kill them!"
  • Tokusou Exceedraft has, in episodes 43 and 44, a trio of child-abducting female Santas who appear to be immune to Exceedraft's weapons. They're actually angels, bringing children to Mika - a female Archangel Michael - to be brought to a new world when this world ends. They join forces with Exceedraft to fight against a group of demonic Santas who try to capture the children for themselves. Yeah, Exceedraft got weird near the end.
  • The final episode of Woops! featured a Santa who caused the deaths of Mrs. Claus and the elves when he locked them out of his bomb shelter.

  • The Arrogant Worms have subversive songs about the sucktacularity of the holiday season, including at least two about a Bad Santa: "Santa's Gonna Kick Your Ass" and "Santa Got Arrested."
  • Downplayed in The New Year Song by Diskoteka Avariya. In this song, Grandfather Frost (Santa’s Russian counterpart) isn't evil per se, just shows up very, very drunk and doesn't watch his language much at what is supposedly a children's party.
  • In a somewhat different example, Elf's Lament by the Barenaked Ladies is from the point of view of one of Santa's elves, who complains about terrible working conditions and ends up forming a union and drafting a labour agreement.
  • Cheech & Chong's Santa Claus and His Old Lady depicts Santa as a bit of a stoner.
    Chong: Hey, just a minute, man. Now, how'd he do that, man?
    Cheech: Oh, well, man, he took da freeway. How else, man?
    Chong: No, man. No, man, how'd he do all that other stuff, man? Like, how'd he make himself small, man. And, how'd he, like, how'd he get the reindeer off the ground, man?
    Cheech: Oh, well, man, he had some magic dust, man.
    Chong: Some magic dust?
    Cheech: Yeah, magic dust, y'know? He used ta give a little bit to da reindeer, a little bit to Santa Claus, a little bit more for Santa Claus, a little bit more...
  • Jonathan Coulton's "Chiron Beta Prime" describes the holiday season as celebrated on an asteroid prison colony run by merciless robots. It includes the lyric:
    On every corner there's a giant metal Santa Claus
    Who watches over us with glowing red eyes.
    They carry weapons and they know if you've been bad or good.
    Not everybody's good but everyone tries.
  • The song "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" by Elmo & Patsy chronicles what was probably just a tragic accident... (In the cartoon adaptation, it was actually a Frame-Up.)
  • Evillious Chronicles: The Big Bad goes by the code name 'Santa' at one point and dresses appropriately.
  • Fishbone's "Slick Nick You Devil You" includes the lyrics "Painting a bad finger over the fireplace/Tattoos on his hands and knees/I never thought Santa Claus could be such a sleaze"
  • The Goodies' Christmas hit single Father Christmas do Not Touch Me is about a Santa who positively relishes creeping into the bedrooms of young girls while they are sleeping.
    She said Good grief, it's seven years since I wrote you a letter!
    He said I can't stand little girls - bigger ones are better!
  • The Killers' Don't Shoot Me, Santa envisions St. Nick as a deranged serial killer, living in a trailer in the Mojave desert, who kidnaps and intends to murder singer Brandon Flowers.
  • Some rather unsubtle critics (like CBS commentator Dave Ross) have actually viewed Santa as he was in the original "Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer" this way, pointing out that the other reindeer only stopped bullying Rudolph because "the boss liked him". (Maybe portraying the reindeer as Professional Butt Kissers in the process.
  • Ray Stevens also has "Santa Claus is Watching You," which does indeed declare that "he's the secret head of the CIA!" and that he's got Rudolph "on a stakeout at your house!", among other things.
  • There's the philandering Santa from They Might Be Giants's song "Santa's Beard." The song also has the classic line "Thrilling Christmas, trembling fear."
    • John Flansburgh's other band, Mono Puff, have a song called "Careless Santa" in which he's an incompetent bank robber.
  • Santa Claus is Satan by Voltaire.
  • Weird Al's song "The Night Santa Went Crazy." depicts an extreme case of the "can't take the stress anymore" version.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Related to the Supernatural example in the Live Action Television section above: In some parts of Europe, Saint Nicholas, the prototype of Santa Claus, was said to be accompanied by a little demon or dark elf known by several names, among them Black Peter or the Krampus. While St. Nick doled out the goodies to the good little tykes, his sidekick either put sticks/rocks/coal in the stockings of the ones on the naughty list, or in some cases, spanked them with a broom.
    • Just watch it.
    • In French-speaking regions, he is known as Pere Fouettard (Father Whipper) and, as his name implies, gives whip lashes to the most unruly children. Sometimes he kidnaps the worst ones, who are never seen again (and implied to be taken straight to Hell or eaten).
    • One of the tales goes that the children kidnapped by the Black Peters were taken away to become the next generation of Black Peters.
    • Looking a little deeper, the "bad" kids are getting sticks and coal (and in some places, potatoes)? The "bad" kids are the poor kids. They're probably overjoyed to get all that fuel and food.
  • The Krampus accompanies Santa in many Germanic countries.
  • In Sweden Santa Claus predecessor Julbocken (Christmas buck) a creature in fur and with a goat-bucks head that gave presents to nice kids and butted naughty once with its horns.
  • Related to the above version, in the Nordic countries there's a legend of the Knut Goat (with a variety of spellings and names) which precedes St. Nicholas and possibly even Christmas. He was represented by chosen people wearing a goat mask and a fur coat wrong way round, travelling from one house to another after the midwinter festival, demanding remains of the feast foods as an offering, or risk bad luck the following year, and scaring bad children with all sorts of dreadful punishments. As Santa Claus became introduced in the North, these two characters often intersected; a goat-headed scary Santa wasn't an uncommon sight, and later on Knut Goat was perceived more as his evil twin. The custom is struggling, but still not quite dead in some regions of Finland and Sweden.
  • Iceland has a whole family of giants who visit around Yule to give gifts or mete out punishments.
    • Gryla, the mother, wanders around offering to buy disobedient children from their parents, to serve for supper.
    • Her sons, the 13 Yule Lads, arrive one by one over the course of the 13 days before Christmas, each stealing or harrassing people in their own unique ways. They also leave good children gifts in their shoes, and leave potatoes for naughty children.
    • The Yule Cat, their cat, devours people who didn't receive new clothes for Christmas.
  • In relation to the Swedish Santa traditions, in Sweden Santa Claus is referred to as Jultomten, literally the Yule Tomte. A tomte (or a Nisse) is a Scandinavian spirit dating back to pre-Christian times which was perceived as the guardian spirit or personification of a farm; the word is derived from the word tomt which means real property. It was said to punish lazy farmers and people who were cruel to the farm animals, and demanded sacrifices in the form of porridge. In Sweden, porridge is often put outside as a gift to the Yule Tomte. The tomte was known to inflict terrible vengeance on those who offended him.
    • Offering to the tomte was forbidden by the church due to its pagan origin. That did not kill the legend.
  • Juovlastállu from the myths and stories of the Sámi is an evil Santa Claus with vampiric tendencies: if you don't leave out water for him in a bucket on Christmas Eve, he may drink the blood from your head instead. He travels around in a sleigh pulled by a collection of various wild animals of different sizes, with the smallest usually being a mouse and the largest a bear. If you don't keep the area around your house tidy on Christmas Eve, his sleigh may get stuck and he'll come into your house and beat you up. If children play outside on Christmas Eve, he may catch them in a bag and take them home to cook them.
    • Complicated by the fact that the modern US-inspired Santa Claus is also often simply called "Juovlastállu" in Sámi, although the term "Juovlanigá" is sometimes used for the good one to differentiate him from the bad one (after all, knowing the difference could save your life).

    Newspaper Comics 
  • The Boondocks: Besides Huey Freeman's conspiracy theories relating Santa Claus to Satan and belief that modern Christmas is a disgrace, his brother has a feud going with Santa Claus and at one point receives a letter from threatening to shoot up their street during a flyby.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Played for laughs in a standalone Christmas strip:
      Radio: He knows when you've been sleeping / He knows when you're awake / He knows when you've been bad or good / So be good for goodness' sake!
      Calvin: Santa Claus: Kindly old elf, or CIA spook?
    • Calvin once wondered about an "evil Santa" who brings you dangerous and annoying toys if you're bad, and socks and underwear if you're good. Similarly, another time he had a dream that Santa had reversed his moralities and was bringing all the presents to naughty children.
  • The Dutch newspaper comic Dirkjan features a series of World War I themed comics. The protagonists Dirkjan and Bert are flying in their plane when they suddenly encounter a red plane. They fear it is the Red Baron, but it appears to be Santa Claus in his sledge. Then Santa suddenly pulls out a minigun and downs their plane...
  • In one The Far Side cartoon, Santa is scolding the reindeer, saying, "I have one thing to say about all the complaints I've been hearing about lately: Venison!" A later cartoon seems to continue that theme where he's at a typewriter writing a book titled Nine Ways to Serve Venison.
  • Zigzagged in this The Wizard of Id strip, where Santa gives Henry the dragon a bone for Christmas. Santa is actually pretty decent here, but he gets the bone by stealing one from a dinosaur skeleton at a museum.
  • In a Zits comic that was published after Christmas, Jeremy has a nightmare where he's visited by Repo Claus (who looks like Santa, but meaner, and dressed in green), who takes gifts from ungrateful kids who don't appreciate them. After waking up, Jeremy feels bad about not having given his parents a sincere thank you, and decides to go do so right away.

  • Data East Pinball's Tales from the Crypt depicts a lecherous man in a Santa suit licking a woman's cheek, no doubt referring to the "... And All Through the House!" episode mentioned in Live-Action TV above.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWF Prime Time Wrestling, on its December 25, 1989, broadcast (Christmas Day), saw Bobby Heenan made to dress as Santa Claus while co-hosting the show, this after one of Heenan's wrestlers, Rick Rude, lost to Roddy Piper in a match earlier in the month; another explanation is that Heenan lost a trivia contest a week earlier to Piper. Early on the Christmas broadcast, Heenan went along in the Christmas spirit, as Prime Time host Gorilla Monsoon (at the desk) and Piper (in an auxiliary studio) encouraged him. Eventually, Heenan grew tired of having to play nice and began to openly insult and mock the tradition of Christmas and Santa Claus, all this while dressed as Santa. Piper (and Monsoon) tried in vain to get Heenan to stop his tirade, but when Heenan said that Santa Claus wasn't real and began taking off his Santa outfit, Piper lost his temper and beat up Heenan. note  For Piper, it was personal, as he reflected back on his own impoverished childhood and Christmases where he got nothing and vowed that Santa was real. note 

    The episode did come under criticism by some because of Heenan's anti-Santa comments while dressed as St. Nick (due to younger kids in the audience possibly considering this man — even though it was clear it was Heenan — to be the Santa), and perhaps aware of what might happen Monsoon and Piper did their best to reassure the children that this man was making comments that were completely out of line. Piper beating up Heenan (while still having his red Santa coat and pants on) when he wouldn't shut up also was a point of criticism, again because younger children in the audience who still considered this "Santa" to be ''the'' Santa and the image of their favorite Christmastime character being beaten to a pulp.
  • At WWF in Your House 5: Season's Beatings, December 17, 1995, "The Million-Dollar Man" Ted DiBiase introduced Xanta Klaus, an evil version of Santa who lived at the South Pole, as the newest acquisition of his Million Dollar Corporation. The gimmick lasted one match. Xanta Squashed Scott Taylor on the December 23rd (taped December 19th) WWF Superstars. Xanta, real name Jonathan Rechner, would go on to find success after going to ECW with a gimmick truer to himself, the "Hardcore Chair-Swinging Freak" Balls Mahoney.
  • WWE Raw parodied this on the December 19 (taped December 9), 2005 "Holiday with the Troops" show, with a "Bad Santa" dressed in a desert-camo version of the traditional suit coming out and insulting the troops, only to be confronted by a "Good Santa" wearing the regular red uniform. The two ended up having an impromptu No-Holds-Barred match, with Good Santa (Mick Foley) defeating Bad Santa (who turned out to be JBL, then a Smackdown! Superstar; this was back when the division between the brands was taken seriously in Kayfabe, and the show was hosted by Raw). It should be noted this wasn't Foley's first match with Santa.
  • During December of 2009, Mr Niebla took on an evil Santa Claus gimmick who, instead of gifts, gave out garbage in CMLL.
  • On the 2013 Christmas Edition of WWE Raw, Damien Sandow took on the role of "Bad Santa" in a match against Mark Henry, who played the role of "Good Santa." Mark Henry won.

  • A Christmas campaign in a Radio Station from Costa Rica stars the Christmas Superheroes (representing Costarrican Christmas traditions) fighting to protect our Christmas from the evil Legion of the North, composed by the terrible Santa Claus, and his gang of Elves and Ninja Reindeers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • One of the characters in the Zombie Apocalypse game Dead of Winter is Forest Plum, an alcoholic and former Mall Santa. His special, in-game ability, is that he raises the overall morale of the colony if he voluntarily leaves.
  • One supplement for the original Little Fears documented a Bad Santa called Santa Claws.
  • The sample campaign in Nobilis 2nd edition features Grommet Claus, the creation of the Power of Holidays in a duel with the Power of Strife in the PC's Chancel. His gifts for the good children are all "monkey's paw" type mixed blessings and he feeds the naughty children to the giant wasps that pull his sleigh, and he was created to plunge his awl into the Power of Strife's brain.
    "He wears a white-trimmed red, does Grommet Claus. A leather hood shields his face. One hand holds a wicked awl. The other holds the bag of toys slung over his back. He rids a sled drawn by twelve coal-black wasps. He knows the heart of every mortal. He can turn himself sideways to fit down the smallest chimney or through the smallest crack. The love of children sustains him — he cannot die while nearby children hold to Christmas in their hearts."
  • Santa Claws in the Yu-Gi-Oh! Card Game. Though he has a fiendish appearance, he has the LIGHT attribute. (Note the Scores of this monster, 1,200 ATK and 2,500 DEF. A reference to December 25th, the date of Christmas.)
  • Genius: The Transgression has a bizarre example, in that Santa altogether sticks to the actual mythology around him and is generally a jolly, happy (and very industrious) man without a mean bone in his body. The problem is, he's a Mane (the strongest Mane at that), and as a manifestation of pure Mania everything he makes and even touches is a massive Havoc risk whenever a mere mortal is involved. "Mere mortal" includes the children he's handing out gifts to, mind you. And anyone who attacks him gets shuttered in his workshop and made to write a few apology letters... in a place so utterly soaked with Mania Geniuses risk completely losing their shit from the excess with every minute they spend inside. Santa Claus himself has no idea about any of this and continues to do what he always does every Christmas, forcing Geniuses to create an entire committee to stop and kill him every year - and he comes back every time.

    Video Games 
  • In the app The Battle Cats, the Jingle Cat Bell set of levels for December features Dark Emperor Nyandam dressed up as Santa, appropriately named Dark Emperor Santa. He even has an Alien variant named Satan Claus.
  • In the Data East shooter Boogie Wings one of the bosses is a giant robotic Santa who turns evil and is called "Satan Claus."
  • There's a chain of missions in Bully: Scholarship Edition where the main character must help a drunken, down-on-his-luck Santa run the good one out of town and get revenge on the kids who tease him.
  • One of the bosses in the CarnEvil Arcade Game is Krampus, a warped, horned, green-clad version of Santa, who attacks by clawing the player or pelting them with presents and flaming coal while taunting you with phrases such as "Have a nice lump a' coal!" and "I'll stuff your stocking!"
  • One of the villains in the third and final Clayfighter game was Sumo Santa, an evil sumo Santa Claus who attacked by throwing his belly at his opponent.
  • Crude Buster featured a creepy Kringle who would shout "Psycho Santa! Ho ho ho!" as he attacked the steroid-popping heroes.
  • The little-remembered videogame Daze Before Christmas, which featured Santa Claus rescuing toys and elves from an evil snowman. By drinking a cup of coffee, Santa would turn into his Superpowered Evil Side, Anti-Claus, who was a blue-suit wearing demonic, horned, devil Santa with super strength.
  • One of the costumes for the Clown in Dead by Daylight is a Santa Claus outfit, invoking this trope considering he is one of the killers.
  • Embodied by Satan Claws in Death Smiles II.
  • In Devilish Christmas, the Devil dresses up as Santa to mess with the Angel and take her presents.
  • There's a Japanese mod for Doom which, after 20-something maps filled with enemies from every 2.5D shooter in existence, suddenly jumps to the frozen north, puts on some Christmas music, and pits you against a rocket-launching Santa.
  • Fallen London has Mr Sacks, aka "The Crimson Beast of Winter", who appears every December. He doesn't give people gifts; the people of London are instead supposed to give gifts to him. He accepts anything from abstract things like your "best regards", to fine wines, to parts of your body...or even you, if you're foolish enough or don't have anything else to offer. But something of yours WILL end up in his sack. And unlike Santa, he doesn't just appear on the Christmas eve. No, Mr. Sacks visits you on each of the twelve days before Christmas. And he expects a gift with each visit.
  • Frenzy! have a giant santa mech as the boss of a winter-themed stage, who can throw exploding presents at you. He also have a bunch of snowmen robots backing him up.
  • In Gex: Deep Cover Gecko, one of the goals of the Xmas-themed mission is to defeat an evil Santa by hitting back the presents he's throwing at Gex.
  • In one of the levels of Hitman: Blood Money, you get the opportunity to be a Bad Santa yourself, by dressing up as him in a Christmas party to carry out your latest hits.
  • Agent 47 can unlock a Santa disguise and use it on any map in Hitman (2016) and its sequels.
  • Killing Floor had the Christmas event which had several Bad Santas. The Bloats and the Patriarch were both re-skinned into evil Santas trying to kill your group. There was also the playable Bill "Baddest Santa" Weeks, a drunk mall Santa.
  • Father Crimbo (the game's version of Santa Claus) of Kingdom of Loathing had a heart attack one year and was replaced by his no-good alcoholic brother. However, Crimbo 2007 had the Borg bringing Father Crimbo Back from the Dead; and getting assimilated by him in turn, becoming the Crimborg.
  • One level in Little Red Riding Hood's Zombie BBQ is Santa's toy factory. At the end you fight the man himself, turned into a zombie, riding a flying mechanical sleigh and shooting presents.
  • Mean Santa: You play as Santa Claus who's decided he's going to steal gifts from kids instead of giving gifts to kids this time.
  • One of the monsters in Monster Rancher 2 is a Demonic Dummy monster dressed as Santa. Appropriately enough, it's called "Satan Claus."
  • In the Nickelodeon Clickamajigs game Nick'd there are four robbers dressed as the genuine article, invading a house to steal everything that isn't nailed down (they'll even steal the couch by yanking it up the chimney if you let them go long enough!) To repel them you need to throw Christmas ornaments at them. Be careful, though, because the real Santa has mixed himself in to help and if you hit him 3 times, coal for you!
  • The bank robbers in PAYDAY 2 can be this when they wear the Santa Claus masks.
  • Pizza Tower has the Fake Santa, a Mook Maker who flies around with a Jet Pack, tossing down presents containing enemy Snowmen. Normally an Invincible Minor Minion, the only way to get rid of him is via a super taunt.
  • Pokémon Scarlet and Violet gives us Iron Bundle, the Paradox version of resident Santa-based Pokémon Delibird. While Delibird is generally friendly, Iron Bundle is an aggressive and terrifyingly powerful Killer Robot like the rest of its Paradox brethren despite sharing a similarly cute appearance as its predecessor.
  • The fangame Ragnarok Battle Offline has a stage where you're helping a good Santa, who later reveals himself as one scraggly-bearded, eyepatch-wearing, hook-handed Bad Santa who sends his pet reindeer to fight you (actually the stage boss Stormy Knight) and when you beat it, he storms off uttering "Fuck you!" many times, whereupon the actual Santa shows up to thank you.
    • The original Ragnarok Online has this Bad Santa as well, though you don't fight him directly either. It also reveals his actual name's Antonio.
  • Saints Row IV: How the Saints Saved Christmas, Santa Clawz was created by Zinyak's simulation as part of the real Santa's personal Ironic Hell. With the help of a traitorous elf, he took over the North Pole, killed Santa's reindeer and put their heads on pikes, and set the rest of the elves to work making weapons instead of toys. He's also weakened by Christmas (or other holiday) cheer.
  • Sam & Max: Freelance Police The first episode of Sam and Max Beyond Time and Space, "Ice Station Santa," has the Freelance Police trying to subdue a deranged Santa Claus. It turns out one of his elves was possessed by a demon who was supposed to go to Satan, but was mixed up in the mail, though it ends up posessing him as well. Even when not possessed by a demon, Santa's shown as being far from jolly; In "What's New Beelzebub?" he confesses he can't stand kids and the whole "live in a remote arctic wasteland and only go out to deliver presents once a year" set-up is so he doesn't have to deal with them.
  • The main antagonist in Saturday Mornin Mayhem is Saint Not!, who is an evil clone of the original Saint Nick designed by his DNA in mind and whose main goal is to destroy all heroes so he can be perceived as the only "hero" by the children of the world.
  • Savage Halloween have hostile Santa Claus enemies armed with gatling guns in the winter-themed stages.
  • In Secret of Mana, the heroes have to battle Santa Claus after he becomes Brainwashed and Crazy and turns into the Frost Gigas. After they win, he returns to normal.
  • The indie horror game Slay Bells has the down on her luck stripper protagonist being chased by a mad man dress as Santa on christmas night.
  • Team Fortress 2 supplementary material features Old Nick, the "Santa" analogue of Australian Christmas. He is an ancient Humanoid Abomination who kidnaps children from across the world, brings them back to his workshop in the South Pole, and forces them to make gifts year-round, which they then give to him. In the comic "A Smissmas Story", the Spy gets a little boy to stab him to death with an icicle.
    • Interestingly enough, "Auld Nick" is used in Scots as another name for The Devil. Which may be coincidental, but would certainly explain a lot.
  • In Terraria, Santa-NK1 is an evil Santa Claus-based Mecha boss that spawns during the Frost Moon. This is averted by the actual Santa Claus NPC however, who's pretty much what you'd expect from Santa Claus apart from spontaneously dying once January comes along.
  • Viscera Cleanup Detail comes with a DLC called Santa's rampage, where the player cleans up Santa's workshop, which has become covered with blood and elf corpses after Santa Claus has finally snapped.
  • Santa Claus in the roguelike game ZAngband is only one of many monsters trying to kill you in the game, though he drops better presents than most. Like other unique monsters, he can be wanted for crimes.

    Visual Novels 
  • Played with in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors regarding "Santa", who absolutely doesn't look like any depiction of Santa and simply chose the codename to match with his number 3 bracelet since 3 is pronounced as "San" in Japanese as well as that he used to secretly play Santa for his sister. He may also recall a story about there being two Santa Clauses; one good Santa dressed in white and one bad Santa dressed in black, whose misdeeds eventually drove the good Santa to kill the evil one and the ensuing murder stained the good Santa's clothes red. In reality, he's the 'secretary' for Zero (Akane) and helped mastermind the entire second Nonary Game to get revenge on the men who planned the first game which killed Akane in the past and to make sure she could use the morphogenetic field to contact Junpei under the right conditions so she could save herself. In the end, he manages to grant Akane's wish to live and both get away with manipulating Hongou (Ace) into killing the other three men behind the first game.
  • In Akatsuki no Goei both Tsuki and Kaito hate Santa for some reason, so they decide to make a Santa horror story puppet show in which he takes away unwanted children and butchers them.

  • The aptly named villain Bad Santa from Axe Cop whose abilities include the Power of Christmas and a guitar that hurts peoples' ears.
    • And, when Sockarang gets Bad Santa's blood on him, he becomes Good Bad Santa.
    Sockarang: "I have the power of Christmas!"
  • This BiterComics strip features Santa contemplating harvesting organs from his elves to fulfill kids' wishes. In another strip, Santa is portrayed as a, possibly well meaning, menace of sorts who is met with a tragic end.
  • Breakpoint City featured an arc where Santa does everything in his power to sabotage Christmas and stop the adorable critter from saving it. Mid-way through January, he somehow manages to (unwillingly) make his run on time anyway.
  • The main protagonist O in the Life Embellished webcomic Commissioned has an ongoing feud with the evil Jolly Red Roof Lurker.
  • Evil, Inc. had Santa being revealed that he's a supervillain.
  • Far Out There featured a particularly gruesome example of Santa being a murderous beast.
  • A non-canonical Narbonic Christmas Special features Santa Claus' Evil Twin, 'Insanity' Klaus, who gives out cool and evil toys to naughty kids. Which saves Dave's Christmas, after Helen and Mell manage to pin their wholesale rampage on him...
  • In PvP, Scratch Fury: Destroyer of Worlds wages war with Santa every Christmas holiday.
  • Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal has some examples.
  • Bun-bun, the psychopathic Killer Rabbit of Sluggy Freelance, has a long-running feud with Santa and tries to kill him every year. Though this is just Bun-bun being evil/himself and not apparently Santa's fault, it eventually drives the fat man far around the bend, leading to black ops elves, a killer cyborg Easter Bunny, and an extraterrestrial exile during which Santa contracts The Virus. As a result, Santa eventually turns into a monster based on alien DNA and intends to start an invasion of Earth but never quite manages that because he's too busy making toys. After some more time, Bun-bun's involvement with the holidays culminates with his fighting to become the Anthropomorphic Personification of all the holidays, in the end facing off with a giant Alien Santa. Bun-bun wins, becoming the official Santa, and prepares to use his new powers to take over the world.
    "Well-a-ho-ho-freakin-ho. Are we in for a year of great Holiday fun or what?"
  • Super Stupor had a bit involving a villain called the Holiday Special Rapist, a child molester who pretends to be Santa to earn children's trust.
  • This strip of VG Cats has Santa writing the people from his "bad list"... in the Death Note.
  • According to xkcd, Santa has five active warrants, is an arthropod that's also a vampire, and eats mostly reindeer.

    Web Original 
  • In the 2007 Christmas Special of El Bananero, Santa goes to his house just to Literal Ass-Kicking without any explanation, just to be revealed later his attack was a Restrained Revenge for all the millions of letters asking him a Muneca System (one of fictional products El Bananero made in his videos).
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged:
    • In the Christmas Special, "Christmas Tree of Might", Amond of the Turles Crusher Corps was reinterpreted as Slay of the Misfit Minions, who is pretty proud of his track record as a bad mall Santa, and crosses this with Jackass Genie. A kid wants a fire truck for Christmas? He drops a real fire truck on the kid's head. Another kid wants his cancer gone? He blows the kid up - no more cancer!
    Krillin: God, you are one of the worst mall Santas ever! Right behind those ones that molest kids.
    Slay: (Beat) So I’m the worst mall Santa.
    Krillin: Oh, come on!
    • In "Plan to Eradicate Christmas", Dr. Lychee of Dragon Ball: Plan to Eradicate the Saiyans is reimagined as Santa and he absolutely hates the entire world because of its self-destructive behaviour and holds the Z-Warriors in particular in contempt, especially Vegeta. Except for Gohan — he's actually on the Nice List.
  • In The Dr. Steel Christmas Special, the Jolly Old Elf gives a little girl a Polly Pukes-A-Lot™ doll from World Domination Toys. To be fair, it's what she wanted...
    • He didn't have to sit on it...
  • Element Animation portays Santa (who is a Villager) as a criminal who kidnaps people with his bag and steals presents from houses.
  • In Eddsworld: Zanta Claws is coming to town.
  • Terry Gilliam posted this drawing of a scary-looking Santa as a Christmas card on his Facebook page.
  • The Guild's second Christmas Special featured the Knights of Good singing a parody of The Night Before Christmas, about their encounter with a Bad Santa enemy in the MMORPG they're playing.
  • The Helluva Boss episode "C.H.E.R.U.B." has C.H.E.R.U.B. attempt to convince Lyle not to kill himself by showing him children waiting to sit on the lap of a Mall Santa. Blitzo ruins it by unmasking the mall Santa as a creep who likes Cuties (a Netflix film that intended to be a commentary criticizing the sexualization of children, but received tons of backlash for its marketing coming off as very hypocritical).
  • The Homestar Runner puppet short Decemberween Dangeresque has Dangeresque and Firebert menaced by a knife-wielding "robotic Santam'n" (made from a little dancing Christmas toy). They are able to easily escape it when it becomes too top-heavy and falls off balance, spinning in a circle. There's even a jazzy little song recorded by Homestar about it.
    Santam'n is a blade man
    He's comin' for you
    To chop you in two
    Santam'n is a blade man
    He's comin' to town
    To cut your whole family down
  • The Jolly Roger Telephone Company is a company which provides bots to waste the time of telemarketers, with recordings of some of these calls posted on the Internet. One of these bots is Santa Claus. The Santa-bot can display shades of this if his routines play out long enough, and he has a fairly large set of routines. One of these involves him mentioning that he is one of the big-deliverers of male-enhancement pills along with them hinting that he may be taking them himself. Another involves him talking about the naughty and nice lists and mentioning that sometimes it's those who are extra-naughty he likes to visit first.
  • NoPixel: Right before Christmas 2020, Santa Claus' voice booms out a vague "The Reason You Suck" Speech to all of Los Santos, then he sends all the citizens to a hell dimension filled with zombies. Just about every character puzzles over why Santa would do this.
  • Plonqmas: Plonq encounters several sinister bell-ringing storefront Santas in “A Plonqmas Tale — 2019,” as well as another less-then-pleasant example in “A Plonqmas Tale — 2012.” The not-so-jolly old elf himself is referenced at times:
    • Santa skips Plonq’s house entirely on Christmas Eve in “A Plonqmas Tale — 1999.”
    • In “A Plonqmas Tale — 2018,” it is revealed that Santa and Plonq had a reciprocal agreement not to punch each other out that year.
  • SCP Foundation:
    • SCP-1933 is a man in a Santa suit who is incapable of living off anything other than the basic ingredients of Irish creme and has drinkable bodily fluids that are fatal because consumption in large quantities cause the drinker's bodily fluids to become Irish creme. He might not be aware of his anomalous effects, but that doesn't make them any less deadly.
    • SCP-4666 is a demonic pagan god that resembles an old, skinny, naked man. He's also a psychopathic serial killer; every December, he targets a family living in an isolated rural community in northern Eurasia or North America, brutally torturing and murdering everyone in the household except for the youngest child; whom he kidnaps in his sack and takes them back to his lair, forcing them to work themselves to death by making toys out of human remains. It's strongly implied that he inspired the original myths of Santa Claus and The Krampus.
  • Parodied in the Tobuscus video, Paranormal Nativity.
  • The Your Favorite Martian video "Santa Hates Poor Kids" has the singer complain about Santa never giving anything to poor children, then later claims that he is an anti-semite and a pedophile.
  • From his frozen throne of shattered swords and bones, the Frost Lich watches his icy empire.
  • Mr. Gibbs: In "Santa Hide and Seek", in Ledger's own words, Santa's got his new Magnum, and he's not giving out coal to the naughty children this year.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog had a Christmas special called Sonic Christmas Blast where Dr. Robotnik tried to take over the holiday as Robotnikclaus and force everyone to give him presents.
  • A Christmas Episode of American Dad! has the Smiths accidentally kill Santa, only for him to be resurrected by his elves to carry out a Roaring Rampage of Revenge on the family. Stan and the family hole up with a Mountain Man and slaughter wave after wave of elf assassins. Santa returns to the North Pole, vowing to finish the job next year. When he next appears Santa reveals that he's got stock in the toy companies, and gives toys to all children because it will make him rich. He kills the Krampus because punishing children instead of rewarding them for bad behavior cuts in on his business. He doesn't care if children are naughty or nice, as long as he gets paid.
  • In the Arthur episode "D.W. Goes to Washington", one briefly appears in a flashback showing the time D.W. convinced the family to go to "Santa's Igloo" ("Share a sundae with Santa and his friendly reindeer!") The place turned out to be a crappy tourist trap run by a surly, disheveled Santa who grumpily grouses at the Reeds for not bringing a sundae.
    "Santa": Didn't you bring me a sundae? How can you share a sundae with Santa when you don't bring a sundae to Santa?!
  • Downplayed in Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "T-Shirt of the Living Dead." While he's generally a jolly fellow, he's understandably upset when he's summoned from his home in July as he was sleeping by Meatwad. Even more so when he's horrifically burned alive by a monster summoned by Meatwad, as he makes his feelings known to Frylock, afterwards.
  • One Villain of the Week in Axe Cop (different from the one in the comic):
    Axe Cop: Why are you going to heaven?
    Bad Santa: To kill God and become Jesus, obviously.
  • The Bunsen Is a Beast episode "Beast Busters" shows that one of Amanda Killman's prized possessions is a picture of her sitting on the lap of Anti-Claus, an evil Santa who presumably gives presents to naughty children.
  • Christmas In Tattertown: Muffet, an evil doll, attempts to conquer Tattertown, with the help of Sidney, a spider big enough for her to ride. She disguises herself as Santa Claus and Sidney as a reindeer.
  • The Evil Con Carne episode "Christmas Con Carne" had Hector Con Carne attempt to take over Santa's body so he could give the children of the world toys with mind control devices inside them.
  • Bill Plympton did a short called Santa: The Fascist Years. Exactly what is sounds like, complete with Santa making deals with Hitler.
  • In The Fairly OddParents!, while the main version of Santa is nice, two others not so much:
    • In one of the pilot Oh Yeah! Cartoons shorts ("The Temp"), Santa was depicted as an Affably Evil slave driver.
    • In A Fairly Odd Christmas, Santa apparently has put Timmy on the naughty list for being too generous with people through his fairies, thus giving Santa nothing to do. Maybe not a bad Santa, per se, but a Broken Aesop Santa possibly.
  • Family Guy:
    • In the episode "Road to the North Pole", there are two. A mall Santa who gives Stewie the brush-off when he finally gets to the front of the line because his shift is over, and the real Santa (who he goes to kill), who is worn out by the overload of Christmas commercialization and wants to be put out of his misery.
    • When Stewie first learns of Santa, he has a nightmare of him catching lasers à la Darth Vader, after which Stewie is lobotomized and put to work in Santa's workshop.
  • Freaky Stories: The final episode has Jack the Ripper kidnapping and impersonating Santa Claus.
  • Futurama gave us an iconic example where Santa Claus is a recurring homicidal robot villain with nigh-unachievable standards for "nice". For example, mafia thugs beating up a shopkeeper for protection money? That's naughty. But a shopkeeper refusing to pay mobsters protection money? Equally naughty. Scruffy the Janitor apparently gets on the "naughty" list simply by picking his nose.
    Santa: Your mistletoe is no match for my TOW missile!
    • The only person shown judged "Nice" was Dr. Zoidberg.
      "A pogo stick! Hurray!"
    • Epitomized in the song at the end of that episode:
      Amy: He knows when you are sleeping,
      Farnsworth: He knows when you're on the can,
      Leela: He'll hunt you down and blast your ass from here to Pakistan!
      Zoidberg: Oh,
      Hermes: You better not breathe, you better not move
      Bender: You're better off dead, I'm telling you dude
      Fry: Santa Claus is gunning you down!
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon episode "Chris Messin' August" featured a bratty kid named Chris Mess as the villain, who impersonated Santa Claus as part of a plan to ruin Christmas for everyone by convincing all the children that from now on they had to be bad in order to get presents.
  • Mrs. Claus in The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy is a vampire, and turns her husband every twenty years or so. She does it because it's the only way she can get a couple of days off. Santa spends all his time checking his list, while she spends 364 days doing all the other work.
  • How Murray Saved Christmas has a fairly mild example, with a Santa Claus who runs the North Pole with an iron fist. The elves even have a "The Villain Sucks" Song about what a bad boss he is.
  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas! and the titular character who dresses as Santa to steal the Whos' Christmas.
  • The title character of Invader Zim ends up turning Santa into a hideous mutant cyborg in "The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever."
    "Bow down, bow down before the power of Santa or be crushed, be crushed byyyyyyyyyy his jolly boots of doom!"
  • King of the Hill - Bill dresses up like Santa and turns his yard into an open-to-the-public North Pole play land. At Christmastime it's sweet and endearing; by mid-February it's pretty damn creepy.
  • Koala Man: Australia has their own Santa Claus called Summer Santa who's a drunk bogan and his sleigh is pulled by flying kangaroos and starts the conflict in "Hot Christmas" by dropping a still lit cigarette on the ground of Dapto that would later start a wildfire. After the climax of the episode, when Kevin makes a Christmas wish to have Liam wake up from his psychic coma, Summer Santa grants his wish because it's Christmas and uses his magic to wake Liam up.
  • Subverted by League of Super Evil with Kinder Kreep, the gift giver of an Anti-Christmas for villains, Chaos-mas, where you receive gifts for being naughty.
  • Zig-Zagging Trope in an episode of Love, Death & Robots. Santa is a horrifying monster who looks like Tim Burton and H. R. Giger collaborated on a Speculative Biology project. However, he still delivers presents to good children. Although God only knows what he does to the bad ones...
  • In this animated sketch on MADtv parodying COPS and the Rankin-Bass Christmas specials, Santa Claus is revealed to be drug dealer using his toys to smuggle cocaine into Cuba and ends up beaten and put in the backseat of a police car. His rant to the cops:
    "You BASTARDS! You rat bast—oooh! You're not getting anything in your stocking! I know you! I know where you live! I will take you out! And I don't mean on a date, you [*bleep*][*bleep*]! You bastards! Lemme outta here! Gemme outta here! Call my elf!"
  • When The Marvelous Misadventures of Flapjack finds out that a mysterious figure leaves combs in a small bowl near the port every time its filled with candy during the night, he dreams of a Santa Claus-like figure whose helpers distribute combs across the world. His dream becomes a nightmare when comb-Santa tells Flapjack he needs the comb he gave him to get the bugs out of his hair in a deep, hellish voice, revealing numerous insects crawling on Flapjack's head. Flapjack vainly tries to comb out the bugs in his hair while comb-santa laughs maniacally with visible sharpened teeth. This shocks Flapjack out of his nightmare.
  • The Miraculous Ladybug Christmas Episode features a kindly (presumably fake) Santa who helps Adrien out after he runs away from home on Christmas Eve. However, he then gets akumatized into the supervillain Santa Claws, who flies around throwing exploding boxes full of spiders and other gross creatures. However, he's still got enough of his normal personality to be lured into a trap by a Christmas present.
  • ¡Mucha Lucha! - In "A Mucha Mucha Christmas," Santa Claus's evil brother, Rudo Claus, and his team of chubacabras try to take over Christmas by giving only those who have been bad gifts.
  • One of the Super Santa shorts on Oh Yeah! Cartoons gave Santa Claus a rival known as South Pole Joe, though he was a Bad Santa mainly due to incompetence rather than malevolence.
  • The Santa in The Powerpuff Girls Christmas special is bad not in the sense that he's evil or mean, but in the sense that he's a total moron, just like everyone else. He actually believed Princess was the only nice kid in the world after she changed the naughty and nice lists, but then, Princess just HAD to push Santa to his limits of tolerance, insulting and demeaning him after the girls tried to prove Santa what Princess did, to make Santa decide he doesn't need a list of naughty and nice, and then proceeded to put her into the Permanent Naughty plaque, so Santa can remember she's naughty. Naturally Santa rectifies this mistake, with some help from the PPG, of course.
  • Not necessarily evil, but antagonistic from the point of view of the heroes, one of the users in ReBoot was a Santa Claus.
  • Robot Chicken:
    • In "A Very Dangerous Dragon Ball Z Christmas", Goku and Gohan fight a Mrs. Claus who turns into a hideous giant tentacle monster a la Tetsuo from AKIRA. There was also Composite Santa Claus, who's one-half Santa Claus and one-half Frosty the Snowman. When questioned as to CSC's powers, Goku replies, "I don't know, but he freaks me right the f** k out."
    • Santa's Drug Operation doesn't feature a bad Santa, because the starting point is Santa being murdered... but he was apparently bad before that (being a neglectful husband, running a drug peddling operation, using lawnmowers to punish disloyal employees...).
  • In the Rocky and Bullwinkle "New North Pole" arc, Boris Badenov tried weighing down the North Pole with extra ice, in order to tip the world over to turn a tropical island he had taken over into the New North Pole. He then planned to use his new power-base to replace Santa Claus, so he could drop down people's chimneys on Christmas Eve and clean out their homes.
  • Discussed, but not actually used, in Rugrats, when Chuckie Finster explains why he's afraid of Santa Claus (voiced by the late Tony Jay in this special):
    Chuckie: He sees you when you're sleeping. He knows when you're awake...
While the real Santa is portrayed as the traditional, jolly version, the episode actually features two Bad Santas. First, Angelica has a nightmare in which a faceless Santa with a booming, sinister voice tauntingly gifts her with coal—and then buries her with it. Later in the episode, Drew hires a Santa impersonator who is revealed to be a lazy schlub, canceling his appearance at the last minute (claiming he has car trouble) so he can stay home and eat junk food in front of the TV.
  • In Shrek the Halls, Gingy tells of his encounter with a Godzilla-like Santa who eats his girlfriend.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In the episode "Homer's Phobia", John has a "creepy-cool robot Santa" (as Bart describes it) from Japan, that he later uses to scare off the reindeer beating up Homer. John says that he figured "reindeer would naturally be afraid of their cruel master, Santa Claus. I mean, wouldn't you be?"
    • In the Christmas Episode "The Fight Before Christmas", the parody of The Polar Express casts Krusty as Santa, with Krusty's usual portrayal as a cynical purveyor of shoddy merch.
  • Space Ghost Coast to Coast featured Bizarro Santa, who's true form is an Eldritch Abomination.
  • In Squidbillies, Santa Claus initially appears to be an unfortunate guy who got on Early Cuyler's bad side. He gets kidnapped and tortured by the Cuylers, and the elves attempt to save him. But, the elves give up when they realize Santa has been exploiting them for free labor. This is taken up a notch in his second and last (major) appearance. He not only appears to be illegally smuggling weapons, but then shoots his elves to death (and a reindeer) as they are ascending to heaven, yelling that they are his slaves.
  • The SuperMansion Christmas special "War on Christmas" has Santa Claus made real as the result of a wish from Cooch that is granted in exchange for the freedom of a reality-warping villain named Mr. Skibumpers. Santa ends up snapping from trying to make sense of his traits that don't align with logic (such as having to deliver presents to all the children of the world in one night and somehow not needing bathroom breaks in spite of all the milk and cookies he consumes) and goes on a rampage that ends when the League of Freedom get him to enter his own magic sack. Santa later comes out of the bag and has supposedly come to his senses, but at the end worries Titanium Rex by strongly implying that the naughty will face severe punishment from him.
  • The Super Mario Bros. Super Show!: In "Koopa Klaus", King Koopa wears a Santa outfit and calls himself Koopa Klaus. He then traps Santa's workshop in ice and abducts Santa in an attempt to ruin Christmas for everyone.
  • Santa becomes a recurrent antagonist for Christmas specials on Teen Titans Go! after his first appearance where he is convinced the true meaning of Christmas is getting presents, leading him to give presents to everyone. In subsequent holiday specials he's revealed to be the Big Bad behind the conflict, wanting to take over every other holiday and eventually the entire calendar year.
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons: "One Ham's Family", a sort-of sequel to "The Three Little Pigs" where the wolf disguised himself as Santa to sneak into the practical pig's brick house. Unfortunately for him, as he meets up with the pig's sack-o-hell son.
  • The Tick animated series had a Christmas episode in which the Tick and Arthur first tangle with a bank robber disguised as Santa (which he got by mugging a street Santa), and accidentally knock him into a neon sign in the process — but instead of killing him, the electricity CLONES him. The real Santa shows up to help the Tick stop the clones from reaching the local hydroelectric plant, where they can get enough juice to make unlimited clones and take over the world. The episode contains one glorious pun, when the Tick sees the growing mass of Santa clones and exclaims, "It's a Yule TIDE!"

    Real Life 
  • Much like the Easter Bunny, background checks on potential Mall Santas are done by many (not all, unfortunately) civic groups and businesses specifically to avert this trope. The thought of "Santa" molesting a child while he/she sits on his lap — remember, to the kids, that man is Santa Claus — is unthinkable. Certainly, while very seldom has something happened, it is not unheard of.
    • That being said, being coerced into sitting on Santa's lap by parents may not be pleasant to touch-averse children (and a fair amount of children on the autistic spectrum) either, however well-meaning the Santa and parents are.
  • On Christmas 2008, there was Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, who came to a house dressed as Santa to shoot people down before setting it on fire with a homemade flamethrower hidden in a present and committing suicide.
    • And now there's his successor, Aziz Yazdanpanah, who shot several of his relatives to death as they were opening presents under the tree, then killed himself.
  • Robber Dressed as Santa Robs Bank. And here's another real life fake Santa criminal example, this time robbing a bank while saying the money was 'to pay for his elves'.
  • He sees you when you're sleeping/ He knows when you're awake/ He knows if you've been bad or good... Think about it. Fred Rogers used to say he would like to remove that song from the Christmas playlist because the idea that Santa spies on you is an invasion of privacy which scares the heck out of little kids.
  • Father Christmas can be a pretty scary figure in some places in Europe. Traditionally, he appears at Christmas Eve parties and tells bitsy kids he can see their souls. He has actual naughty and nice lists (actually provided by the mothers) and reads these off in front of everybody. So a stranger is telling the whole world things you didn't think anybody knew. Often the kids end up so scared they can't participate in the rest of the ceremony. This is supposed to be a cute, funny event.
    • In Germany and other areas in Central/Eastern Europe, Saint Nicholas would often show up alongside a creature called Krampus, who is described as a devilish creature who would visit particularity naughty children and takes them away in a sack back to his lair.
    • Actually, in a lot of areas of Germany, instead of the Krampus, children get visited by both Nikolaus (Santa) and Knecht Ruprecht, the latter being pretty much a literal "bad santa". He is also an elderly man in a similar attire, but with the coat colors being black or dark brown and usually carrying a bunch of branches. When a child had been good, it gets a gift from Nikolaus, if it had been bad, it will get whipped by Knecht Ruprecht. Depending on how strongly this tradition exists in some towns, you can expect the children being actually more afraid then thrilled of the 5th/6th, simply for worrying about whether or not they did something worth a spanking, with small children sometimes even just starting to cry when seeing someone dressed up as Knecht Ruprecht.
      • This tradition is dying though, since spanking children as punishment has faced extreme opposition, thus making the figure of Knecht Ruprecht questionable. A lot of modern varieties simply have Nikolaus, with the punishment being merely that he will scold the child and have it leave without a present.
    • This general depiction of Santa is the basis of David Sedaris's story "Six to Eight Black Men," about the Dutch version (who is accompanied by a number of "friends" in blackface, hence the title). He was surprised to learn from a Dutch friend that Santa, at least traditionally, would beat naughty children and/or stuff them into sacks and take them away. Some of these traits did also make it into the American version of Santa, although they're mostly Forgotten Tropes now; some older books like Little House on the Prairie mention the threat of finding a switch in your stocking instead of presents.
  • A Mall Santa in Lake Forest Park, WA, ironically named Ronald McDonald, was convicted of child rape in 1997; his crimes went back nearly 26 years.
  • On Christmas Eve, 2013, four men dressed as Santa Claus conducted an armed robbery of a jewelry shop in a mall in Tirana.
  • This is an Alternative Character Interpretation of the 'normal' Santa as this. It may or may not be a real child's letter (it probably isn't), but it's an interesting point regardless.
  • On Christmas Eve of 1975 President for Life Francisco Macías Nguema of Equatorial Guinea had around 150 of his opponents killed. Soldiers dressed in Santa Claus outfits executed them by shooting in a football stadium while a band played Mary Hopkin's "Those Were the Days."
  • Abdulkadir Masharipov, an ISIS terrorist disguised himself as Santa Claus during 2017 New Year's Eve in Istanbul, Turkey, and went on a shooting spree in a nightbar killing 39 people and injuring 70.
  • In 1913 John Duval Gluck started The Santa Claus Association charity that would answer poor children's letters to Santa. A 1927 investigation revealed that Gluck was keeping most of the money they raised for himself.
  • In 2007, CBS aired a football game between Jacksonville and Cleveland, where they trained a camera on a guy who had all the Santa facial features and a t-shirt that read "Your ass ain't getting shit for Christmas!"

You better watch out
You better watch out
You better watch out


Video Example(s):



A man tells his friend Jimmy that Pizzamas, a stand-in for Christmas, isn’t real, resulting in the Pizza Man, dressed as Santa, murdering him in cold blood.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / BadSanta

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