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Recap / Blackadder SS 2 Blackadders Christmas Carol

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Dickens' classic tale of kindness, truth and virtue completely mucked up and ruined by having a member of the Blackadder family involved. Also Baldrick, of course, the man you can rely on to turn a Christmas dinner into a dog's dinner, as long as the dog isn't particularly fussy.
—Blurb from the DVD cover

The Christmas special centres around yet another member of the Blackadder linage; in this case shopkeeper Ebenezer Blackadder, who lives in London during the Victorian times and is known as "kindest and loveliest man in all England", but unfortunately this reputation leads to many of his acquaintances (everyone but Baldrick, in fact) constantly taking advantage of his kindness, leaving him in dire financial straits on Christmas Eve.

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Flat broke, he decides to just go to bed, since there's nothing left for him to stay up for. In the middle of the night, he is awoken by the Spirit of Christmas (Robbie Coltrane) who only popped round for a drink, but decides to show Blackadder how horrible his ancestors were by means of visions (which, in terms of getting people to renounce their wrongful ways, are much more effective than line drawings).

Having seen how his ancestors benefitted from being mean and what the future holds if he does or doesn't change his ways, Blackadder realises that there's profit in evil, and decides to take it out on anyone he even remotely dislikes. Which is to say, everyone.


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Tropes:

  • And Now You Must Marry Me: With a twist when Future!Blackadder tries this on Queen Asphyxia. Her response?
    Queen Asphyxia: I thought you'd never ask!
  • Annoying Laugh: Millicent, Ebeneezer's goddaughter has an extremely shrill, loud cackle.
    • Her fiance has a loopy, moronic guffaw.
  • Artistic Licence – History: Although he lost an eye fighting for King and Country, Lord Nelson didn't wear an eyepatch.
  • Being Good Sucks: Everyone and their mother exploit the kindly Mr. Blackadder for charity.
  • Big Eater: Tiny Tom.
    Blackadder: Mrs Scratchit, Tiny Tom is 15 stone and built like a brick privy. If he eats any more heartily he will turn into a pie shop!
  • Bowdlerization: Most versions of this special edit Baldrick's line about a dog being used as Jesus for the Nativity play to remove an additional line where Baldrick mentions the dog will be nailed to a cross for the Easter play. The earliest known case of this edit was on its first rerun in December 1989. The edited version has aired on UK terrestrial broadcasts on Christmas in the years 1998, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2014.
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  • Brick Joke: Early on, Blackadder notes that Baldrick has not just mis-spelt "Christmas" on the cards, he's somehow managed to not use any of the letters that actually make up the word "Christmas". It's only when we get to the end of the end credits that we find out how he managed this.
    A Merry Messy Kweznuz
  • Christmas Episode: This is the Blackadder one.
  • Comically Missing the Point: Prince George, as far as Jesus is concerned...
    Blackadder: Shall I begin the Christmas story?
    Prince George: Absolutely, as long as it's not that terribly depressing one about the chap who got born on Christmas Day, shot his mouth off about everything under the sun, and then came a cropper with a couple of rum coves on top of a hill in Johnny Arab land.
    Blackadder: You mean Jesus, sir?
    Prince George: Yes, that's the fellow. Keep him out of it. He always spoils the Xmas atmos!
  • Credits Gag: Although Millicent and Ralph are named as such in the closing credits, they are sometimes credited as "Awful Screeching Woman" and "Giggling Ninny" on DVD covers.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Unlike his ancestors, this Blackadder is generally a nice person — but he still retains this trait, albeit but in a playful manner. After his Face–Heel Turn, his snarking is on a par with that of his ancestors.
  • Evil Is Cool: Invoked by Blackadder, prompting his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Evil Overlord: Queen Asphyxia in the future is a female example. By the end of that particular segment, Grand Admiral Blackadder has managed to usurp power and become Supreme Ruler of the Galaxy.
  • Extreme Doormat: Though the nicest member of the family tree, Ebenezer Blackadder is also a complete pushover and everyone takes advantage of his generosity, until the Spirit of Christmas arrives and inadvertently inspires him to be mean like his ancestors.
  • Eyepatch of Power: Grand Admiral Blackadder.
  • Fan Disservice: Baldrick's attire in the far future.
    Grand Admiral Blackadder: For God's sake, Baldrick, if you're going to wear that ridiculous jock-strap, at least keep your legs together!
  • Four-Star Badass: In the vision of the future that will happen if Blackadder becomes bad, his descendant is the ruthless and brilliant Grand Admiral of a thinly-disguised version of the Empire. He seizes power by forcing the Queen to marry him.
  • Funny Background Event: When Beadle brings his extremely portly orphans into the shop, Baldrick quickly conceals the turkey in his jacket before they can see it.
  • Gargle Blaster: Nurse Macready's Surgical Bruise Lotion. Which the Spirit swigs from several times.
    Spirit: Nothing but the best in this house!
  • General Failure: Grand Admiral Baldrick in the alternative future where Blackadder remains good. He's such an idiot he ends up bombing his own side.
  • Go-Go Enslavement: In the far-future segments, Blackadder and Baldrick wear nothing but a leather speedo and a leash when they're slaves.
  • Gratuitous German: Prince Albert.
  • I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!: Albert is absolutely terrible at keeping his surprises a secret.
  • I Hate Past Me: Averted; Ebenezer Blackadder is absolutely delighted to see the sort of underhanded behaviour in which his Elizabethan and Regency ancestors engaged to get ahead.
  • Incoming Ham: Subverted. Ebeneezer shouts Scrooge's famous 'Humbug!' offscreen before coming into the shop and mildly offering Baldrick a peppermint humbug.
  • Inherently Funny Words: The future segment is a whirlwind of these.
    Frondo: To you, Blackadder — thrice-endowed Supreme Donkey of the Trouserpod — this much greeting.
    Pigmot: I, too, bold navigator, cringe my dribblies at your resplendent pofflesnu!
    Frondo: And the Sheepsqueezers of Splatican Five? Have they been suckcreamed as a Qvarnbeast's nobbo?
    Blackadder: Well they're all dead, if that's what you're asking.
    Pigmot: Plus, Commander, did you vanquish the Nibblepibblies?
    Blackadder: No, My Lord Pigmot, I did not vanquish the Nibblepibblies, because you just made them up.
    Queen Asphyxia: Excellent, Commander! You have most pleasantly wibbled my frusset pouch.
  • Jerkass: Pretty much everybody in this tale except Baldrick and the Royals. Blackadder becomes a justifiable one after being pushed too far.
  • Karmic Jackpot: Averted: Having heard of Blackadder's kindness and generosity, in addition to seeing it for herself at first hand, Queen Victoria plans to reward him with a peerage and money on Christmas Day. Alas, Blackadder chooses that very day to do a Face–Heel Turn and throws her out after insulting her.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Ebeneezer gives everyone their comeuppance in glorious fashion on Christmas morning.
  • Large Ham: Robbie Coltrane as the Christmas Ghost.
  • Laser-Guided Karma: Even if the story revels in inverting the usual message with the good and kind Blackadder deciding he'd be better off being selfish and nasty, he is also punished for it. At the start, Queen Victoria and Prince Albert plan to shower him with wealth and a peerage for being the kindest and most generous person in Britain, but he insults them and throws them out.
  • Nice Guy: Deconstructed. Being unfailingly friendly, understanding and complimentary makes Ebenezer a pushover, constantly victimised by the people living in his Crapsack World. Once he has a Face–Heel Turn, the roles are reversed.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: The Ghost of Christmas Past, who sets out to congratulate Blackadder for being such a better man than his despicable ancestors, only to accidentally convince him that invokedbeing evil is way more fun.
    Spirit: It points out a very clear lesson.
    Ebenezer: Namely?
    Spirit: Namely the rewards of virtue are largely spiritual, but all the better for it!
    Ebenezer: You don't think it points out the very clear lesson that bad guys have all the fun?!
  • Obfuscating Disability: Off-screen, Tiny Tom Scratchitt, who occasionally says "phew, my leg hurts" when he remembers to do so. Blackadder claims this "wouldn't fool Baldrick", but he's wrong.
  • Oh, Crap!:
    Ebenezer: Baldrick, it couldn't have been the Queen, because, when she visits people, she leaves them her Royal Seal.
    Baldrick: What, like this one?
    Ebenezer: Yes, just like tha...
  • Pyrrhic Villainy: Blackadder's descendants will rule the universe, but Blackadder himself misses out on an opportunity to become incredibly rich and regain his family's place in the House of Lords.
  • Royal "We": Lampshaded for laughs.
    Queen Victoria: We are Queen Victoria.
    Baldrick: (glancing at her footman and Albert) What, all three of you?
  • Reverse Psychology: Elizabethan Blackadder tells Melchett, truthfully, that the Queen has decided she hates Christmas and will execute anyone who gives her a present. Melchett, as intended, assumes Blackadder is lying. Too bad Edmund has forgotten just how mercurial Queenie is.
  • Shout-Out:
    • One of Queen Asphyxia's court looks like Nursie's head grafted onto a knock-off Dalek.
    • Grand Admiral Blackadders costume appears to have been inspired by Darth Vader’s suit.
    • Also in the future segment, Frondo is looking forward to watching re-runs of The Two Ronnoids.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Subverted with Baldrick. He can't spell or count, but he's smart enough to question Ebenezer's Stupid Good behaviour — even describing him as a "gullible prat" at one point, and noting that the freeloaders don't need what he gives them. He's also smart enough to hide the turkey when the orphans show up.
  • Snark-to-Snark Combat: As always with Blackadder and Melchett, as seen in the Elizabethan section.
    Blackadder: I trust Christmas brings you its traditional mix of good food and violent stomach cramp.
    Melchett: And compliments of the season to you, Blackadder. May the Yuletide log slip from your fire and burn your house down.
    Blackadder: I'm glad I saw you. I feel it only fair to warn you that the Queen has banned Christmas. So don't get her a present.
    Melchett: I am indebted to you for that advice and shall follow it to the letter. The day I get my brain replaced by a cauliflower.
  • Start of Darkness: Or a reboot of darkness, at least.
  • Stepford Smiler: Ebenezer Blackadder seems to inwardly be just as perceptive and sardonic as his ancestors, but his myopic insistence on being good and charitable for virtue's sake means that he tends to grin and bear it whenever other people are clearly taking advantage of him.
  • Suddenly Shouting:
    Queenie: Blackadder, what have you got for me?
    Blackadder: Er...
    Queenie: I WANT A PREZZY!! Get me something nice and shiny; and if you don't, I've got something nice and shiny for you, and it's called an axe! [Beat] Right, that's it. Any last requests, Blackadder, before I chop your block off and put it on top of the Crimble tree?
  • White Sheep: Ebenezer Blackadder, prior to his Face–Heel Turn.
  • Yet Another Christmas Carol: An inversion and parody. Indeed, when Ebenezer Blackadder, the only good and friendly member of the Blackadder bloodline (and also an Extreme Doormat), sees that his descendant would rule all of the universe if he became a spiteful miser like his ancestors (instead of being a slave to future Baldrick, which would happen if he were to remain kind and generous), he lampshades it gleefully:

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