As Mikey is slated to play Santa Claus in the school holiday spectacular, he tries to prove to his friends that Santa exists, only to come to believe that he doesn't. It will take a Christmas miracle for Mikey to believe again.
- Ambiguously Jewish: T.J. playing "Harvey Hanukkah."
- Broken Tears: Mikey starts crying his eyes out when he decides to stop believing in Santa.
- Children Are Innocent:
- Mikey still believes in Santa and considers him the greatest person ever for devoting his life to making other people happy.
- Mikey and the old man observe two kids exchange presents. The gifts are relatively minor items, but both kids deeply appreciate what they receive, which the old says is the spirit of Christmas.
- Christmas Episode: As the school sets up a holiday play for TV, Mikey finds his friends no longer believe in Santa and sets out to prove he does exist.
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: Throughout the episode, Hank has the feeling that it's going to snow. And it does at the end.
- Foreshadowing: The old man being Santa is hinted at by him knowing Mikey's name without being told.
- Glass-Shattering Sound: Mikey's high note cracks Gus' glasses.
- Heroic BSoD: Mikey sits on a stoop staring at the ground after deciding to give up belief in Santa and deciding not to do the pageant. He only snaps out of it when a random stranger gives him a pep talk.
- Honor Before Reason: The rest of the gang could have humored Mikey and said they believed in Santa. Instead, they all tell him bluntly that they stopped believing a while back and provide the evidence. This leads to the rest of the plot.
- Insistent Terminology: Bream when Prickly calls his spectacular a TV special:"It's not a TV special, Prickly, it's a global satellite non-denominational extravaganza. I told you this three times."
- Mayor Fitzhugh dresses as Santa Claus just to get re-elected. Once his ruse is exposed, everybody jeers him.
- Randall tells Mikey Santa doesn't exist just to spite him for getting the part that he wanted.
- Let There Be Snow
- Magical Negro: Santa Claus turns out to be this type of character.
- Mall Santa: Mikey meets one of these to try to prove Santa's existence. The fake Santa tears off his fake beard in frustration.
- Manly Tears: Bream crying into Prickly's shoulder after Mikey has sung "White Christmas."
- My God, What Have I Done?: Let's just say that T.J. and his friends aren't thrilled on realizing that they not only broke Mikey's faith but also inadvertently convinced him not to perform for the pageant.
- Never Say "Die": Averted; not only does Vince say that St. Nicholas died in the 4th century, but Spinelli explicitly states that a busy schedule "killed Elvis."
- Noodle Incident: Prickly mentions that a land deal soured at some point in his life.
- "It's the Tooth Fairy incident all over again."
- And Fitzhugh says to his driver, "I don't want another Arbor Day incident."
- Political Correctness Gone Mad: Referenced by Bream during his phone call with Hollywood: "Even the most jingle-brained political-correctoid won't be able to complain about this show!"
- Reality Ensues: Pointed out by the gang: it's unlikely that St. Nicholas is immortal due to him having died, with a tomb and all.
- Shout-Out: Among other things, Mikey asks the Mall Santa to "sing something to them in Dutch."
- Wham Line: "You invited me, remember?"
- Yes, Virginia: Mikey is so desperate to prove that Santa is real, but nothing pans out, and he loses faith. Walking around depressed, he encounters an old man that talks to him about the importance of belief. Mikey regains his faith and later learns the old man was Santa all along. And he shaves, too.Old man: This is a time for giving, Mikey, not giving up. I mean, just because you can't see something with your eyes or hear it with your ears doesn't mean it's not real. Some things exist in here. [taps Mikey's chest]
Mikey: In your heart?
Old man: Sure. If you can believe in Santa in your heart, then he is real and so is everything he stands for, like giving, and selflessness, and friendship.
Mikey: I don't know, Mister. Even if I could start believing in him again, I know my friends can't.
Old man Well, think of it as a way you can give 'em that belief back. Heck, that'd be the greatest Christmas gift of all.