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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!

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, Bad Santa, and Pseudo-Santa. Compare Subbing for Santa when the character is acting as Santa's substitute as a means of helping his job, not to overtake him. Subtrope of The Usurper.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The title character of Magu-chan: God of Destruction is furiously jealous of Santa Claus for attracting more human attention than him, and on his second Christmas decides to Beat Them at Their Own Game. Because Mag doesn't have a ton of resources (nevermind Santa Claus isn't real in this series), he just tries to find Ruru a better present.
    The messenger of God, Santa Claus, that draws the dedication of of lowly humans everywhere... If I steal his position, there is no doubt that the lowly humans will honor and revere me instead!

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Films - 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 to feel what it's like (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.
  • In The Santa Claus Brothers, Head Elf Snorkel plots to ursurp the Santa position by sabotaging the titual brothers' training, with the end goal to enact a new policy wherein kids have to pay for their presents.
  • In Santa's Magic Crystal, Santa's Evil Twin Basil tries to become the new Santa Claus because he believes that the real Santa is too nice to the kids. Instead of giving presents, he plans to kidnap all of the world's children.
  • 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.

    Films — 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.
  • In The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause, Jack Frost becomes jealous of Scott Calvin's position as Santa, so he plans to take over as Santa rather than be a herald of the winter season.

    Podcasts 
  • The Behind the Bastards episode "The Nazi Pedophile Cult Leader Who Murdered Santa" described an alleged real-life case of this trope from the mid-1970s, when cult leader Paul Shäfer got insanely jealous about the fact that the children in his cult were excited for Christmas and held great reverence for Santa Claus. Unhappy about the competition, Schäfer arranged for an older member of his cult to dress up as Santa and get on a boat on a river near his cult's compound, while he gathered the children of the cult, loaded them onto a bus, and drove them out to the nearby river, where, he told them, Santa was coming to visit. When the sailing Santa appeared, Schäfer then drew a pistol loaded with blanks from his belt and "shot" Santa, who collapsed into the river and sunk below the surface. Then Schäfer turned to the children assembled before him and proclaimed that Santa was dead and from that day forward, Schäfer's birthday was the only holiday the cult was allowed to celebrate.

    Video Games 

    Webcomics 
  • 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.

    Web Videos 

    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.
  • A Halloween episode had Beetlejuice covertly kidnap the Spirit of Halloween and manipulate the Titans into becoming ghosts so he could trap them in the Spirit World to rule without opposition.
  • Bunsen Is a Beast: Amanda Killman's plan in the Christmas Episode "Bunsen Saves Christmas" is to imprison Santa Claus in a present so she can take over the North Pole and force the elves to remove her from the naughty list as well as make her all the presents she always wanted.
  • 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.
  • In the animated The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Christmas special "The Indict-Mare Before Christmas", Donald Trump's latest plot involves stealing the magical jelly in Santa's belly (with the help of Elon Musk) and usurping Santa Claus' authority as the arbiter of naughty and nice to make Congress drop all charges against him. Just as the judge is about to rule him innocent, the real Santa insists that if Trump really is the new Santa Claus, he should do the most basic of tasks Santa does and give a gift to someone he loves (in this case, give a present to Eric Trump). Just as he's about to, Trump eats the present instead. This causes the jelly to reject him and return to the real Santa.
  • Santa vs. the Snowman: A lonely snowman grows envious of Santa's life and tries to take over his operation, eventually leading to all-out war.
  • 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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Wiserue

Wiserue hatches a plan to kidnap every Santa he can get his hands on so he can hog all the focus away from Christmas and for himself.

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