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Usurping Santa

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What better place to take a Holiday from a Holiday than in a kidnapper's sack?

I wanna be Santa Claus
So I'm gonna kill Santa Claus
When I hear those reindeer paws
I'm gonna break the law
This Christmas, don't got a wishlist, I got a hit list
And at the top of it is old Saint Nicholas
Nothing against him, it's just business
I ain't the Grinch, but I'm gonna steal Christmas!
Danny Gonzalez, "I'm Gonna Kill Santa Claus"

Holidays like Christmas usually have a beloved and well known central figure associated with them. Santa Claus is perhaps the most well known, and he and the others are usually said to have magical powers that let them spread their holiday cheer around the world. The kids love them too, which is a bonus.

Therefore, in works based around these holidays, you'll often find villains who envy these holiday mascots and want their power for themselves.

This trope isn't about characters simply pretending to be Santa or any other holiday figure, this is about them performing a coup and gaining their power.

See also How the Character Stole Christmas and Bad Santa. Compare Subbing for Santa when the character is acting as Santa substitute as a means of helping his job, not to overtake him. Subtrope of The Usurper.



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    Comic Books 
  • In the Christmas Special edition of Wormwood: Gentleman Corpse, a group of loan shark demons kill Santa for falling back with his repayments and turn Christmas into a pure consumerist spectacle. Wormwood, after defeating them, persuades the Roman god Saturn to secretly replace Santa permanently.
  • In "Little Peter's Christmas" from The Smurfs Christmas, Gargamel drugs Santa and puts him to sleep so that he could take over Santa's role in order to capture the Smurfs. The Smurfs in turn awaken Santa and get him to put a stop to Gargamel's plan so that he could resume his rightful role.

    Film - Animated 
  • A Claymation Easter: After hearing an interview with the Easter Bunny, Wilshire Pig decides to kidnap him, pretend to be a rabbit, and win the contest to decide the new Easter Bunny, hoping to take the lucrative offers that the previous Bunny rejects because he's not in it for the money.
  • Downplayed in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Jack Skellington does try to take over Christmas, but he doesn't seem to have plans to become Santa. There's no mention of him gaining Santa's powers, and although he does have him kidnapped, he doesn't want to harm him, and there's a suggestion that he's only doing it for this year (he tells Santa to "take a break this year").
  • Rudolph and Frosty's Christmas in July had the Big Bad Winterbolt planning to overthrow Santa as ruler of the North Pole after his awakening.
  • The Year Without a Santa Claus: In A Miser Brothers' Christmas, the evil North Wind plots to get rid of Santa and become the new leader of Christmas simply for the adoration he'll get.

    Film - Live-Action 
  • Hop: Carlos, a disgruntled chick assistant to the Easter Bunny, plans to become the new Easter Bunny because he is tired of being unappreciated. When he finally gets the power he wants, he goes One-Winged Angel, turning him into a strange chick/bunny hybrid.
  • The Santa Clause III had Jack Frost wanting to take over as Santa rather than be a herald of the season.


    Video Games 

  • Sluggy Freelance: Bun-Bun spends several years trying to kill Santa every year for the sake of a personal grudge, and figuring out holidays work on "you kill it you bought it" does not dissuade him. In fact he goes on a bit of a holiday killing spree, but he's forced to revive everyone shortly after finally killing Santa.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: In "Sonic Christmas Blast", Dr. Robotnik hatches an evil plan to steal Santa Claus's spot as father Christmas and steal all the toys for himself.
  • Evil Con Carne: In "Christmas Con Carne", Hector has his men invade Christmas land to launch an evil plan to take over Christmas, placing Hector on Santa's head to control of him.
  • The Fairly OddParents: After Timmy wishes that every day is Christmas, the other holiday icons conspire to take out Santa so that their own holidays can exist again.
  • Teen Titans Go! has featured Santa Clause himself trying to take over both Easter and Halloween. In both "The Teen Titans Go Easter Holiday Classic" and "Halloween vs. Christmas", Santa tried to take over the powers of the Easter Bunny and the Spirit of Halloween in order to force the Christmas season all year round.


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