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Western Animation / Phineas and Ferb Christmas Vacation!

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"Mom! Phineas and Ferb are making a Christmas Special!"
Candace at the end of the Title Sequence

A special edition of Phineas and Ferb, set while the characters are on winter break. It's Christmas Eve and Mom and Dad are stuck at the airport, waiting for Dad's parents to arrive from England on a very delayed flight. While waiting for them and the holiday, the boys construct a special rest stop for Santa. They get the rest of Danville in on the project, urging a city-wide decorating extravaganza as a giant thank-you message to the man in red, but the whole thing comes to a screeching halt when everyone's letters to Santa are returned marked "naughty." Thinking he's responsible, Phineas then leads the population on a crusade to convince Santa that they're really nice, but it's too late — he's already left on his rounds. Desperate to save Christmas, Phineas, Ferb, Isabella, Baljeet, and Buford team up to deliver gifts to the Danvillians instead.

In addition to the usual memorable musical numbers, the special features two subplots. Candace is angsting over the perfect Christmas gift for boyfriend Jeremy. Meanwhile, Dr. Doofenshmirtz is the one who's really responsible for Danville's naughty label; but he's upset because he believes that, as an evil genius, he's supposed to hate Christmas, but the most he can summon is "a burning indifference." He even sings about it, unsurprisingly.

This special contains examples of:

  • Ad-Break Double-Take:
    Blay'n: It’s too late now, Santa’s not coming to Danville.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Candace has several Christmas-themed pet names for Jeremy throughout the episode, including “my little red-nosed reindeer” and “my little town of Bethlehem”.
  • All Just a Dream: Invoked unsuccessfully. When he gets the news about Danville's naughty status, Phineas goes back to bed and tries to pretend that he dreamed the whole thing. It doesn't work.
  • Anti-Christmas Song: Kind of. Doofenshmirtz gets a big musical number about how frustrated he is that he doesn't hate Christmas, since he thinks he's obligated to hate it as an evil genius. Fortunately, the Christmas Carolers annoy him so much that he starts to hate Christmas after all— which means he got what he wanted for Christmas!
  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Candace has seen her brothers do all manner of impossible things, but she doesn't believe in Santa.
  • Batman Gambit: Santa set the plot up himself so that everyone's wishes for Christmas would come true. That includes skipping over Danville so that Phineas can fulfill his wish of being Santa, secretly infiltrating the O.W.C.A HQ to give Perry the gift that can destroy Doofenshmirtz's Naughty-inator, and also by proxy giving Doofenshmirtz a reason to hate Christmas.
  • Borrowed Catchphrase: Candace says Isabella's catchphrase, "Whatcha doin'?" when calling Jeremy. Isabella herself is not pleased.
  • Building Swing: Hanging Christmas lights the old-fashioned way is too boring for Ferb.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: In his message to Perry, Monogram mentions “As a wise man once said, ‘Evil never takes a holiday’.” This just so happens to be the exact phrase Monogram himself had used seconds before.
  • Change the Uncomfortable Subject: At a loss for what to do when Candace is on the phone with her freaking out about not having the perfect Christmas present for Jeremy, Linda changes the subject by asking her what the boys are doing. This makes Candace realize they’ve been suspiciously quiet and she ends the conversation to go investigate.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Sal Tuscany CD Perry got for Secret Santa is what's used to destroy the Naughty-inator some time later.
    • Also, the Naughty-inator itself. Doof believes it's from his Uncle Justin, who lives in Borneo. But when he looks at the box, it actually says "Barneo", which is a Russian ice flow near the North Pole.
  • Chorus Girls: Doofenshmirtz’s “I Really Don’t Hate Christmas” features backup dancers in Sexy Santa Dresses. They even do a kick line during the Last Chorus Slow-Down.
  • Christmas Carolers: Doofenshmirtz gets so annoyed with some carolers that he actually starts trying to destroy Christmas.
  • Christmas Elves: Two of Santa's helpers show up in response to the Danville for Niceness campaign, and try to help the kids get things straightened out.
  • Christmas Songs: The theme song was revamped for the special, and it also features other new songs performed by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Doofenshmirtz's gift to Perry is a vase. In an earlier episode, "Gaming the System", Major Monogram says they got into Doof's files and found this out.
      Monogram: First, we know what you're getting for Christmas. Don't ask, our lips are sealed, it's a vase.
    • Doofenshmirtz mentions his birthday as one of the holidays he hates; in "Raging Bully" we see that Doofenshmirtz's birthdays has never worked out for him.
  • Continuity Snarl: Doofenshmirtz, who gave up evil in "The Last Day of Summer", is still evil in this episode, even though it supposedly takes place after the summer vacation. However, it could be justified because the creators didn't think through the series finale.
  • Crowd Song: The entire population of Danville sings a song called "Danville for Niceness" to persuade Santa to take them off the naughty list.
  • Deconstruction: Part of the special deconstructs the carol "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", taking the song literally by having a group of carolers arrive at Doofenshmirtz's and refuse to leave until they get figgy pudding, just as the carol's lyrics say.
  • Dead Hat Shot: The camera only shows Perry’s reaction to the talking snowman he brought to life being hit by a snowplow in the beginning of the episode. The snowman’s fate is seemingly confirmed when his carrot nose comes rolling over to him.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Doof's Naughty-inator shoots "Naughty Nectar." It's white. And the animation is pretty suggestive.
  • Dramatic Irony: Everyone in Danville (even Phineas and Ferb) are unaware the naughty madness was caused by Doofenshmirtz's Naughty-inator, but the audience is aware the whole time. Lampshaded by Doofenshmirtz in the third act.
  • Empathic Environment: Invoked by Doofenshmirtz with the Naughty-inator, which causes the skies around Danville to darken as the entire city is branded naughty. Lampshaded by Phineas
    "Woah, is it me, or does the sky look really dark and ominous? As if it's foreshadowing events which will have a negative impact on our lives."
  • Everyone Is Christian at Christmas: Isabella actually points out that she celebrates Hanukkah, but she nonetheless sides with everyone else trying to save Christmas. (It appears that she gets presents from Santa like the others—only they're Hanukkah presents from Santa.)
  • Exposition Cut: When the elves arrive in response to Phineas’ “Danville for Niceness” song, Clewn’t asks, “Now, what’s all this about Danville?” The scene then cuts back to Perry and Doofenshmirtz. When it returns to Phinea and the elves, he’s finished telling them the whole story.
  • Expospeak Gag: When Phineas describes the lodge they built on top of the house:
    Phineas: This is the ultimate rest and relaxation lounge, perfectly tailored to the jolly, rubenesque world traveler.
    Phineas: It's a rest stop for Santa.
    Isabella: Oh, I see.
    Baljeet: Oh, why did you not just say that?
  • For the Evulz: Averted; Doofenshmirtz has his doubts about using his Naughtyinator because he doesn't hate Christmas and he doesn't want to destroy it without a reason.
  • Freudian Slip:
    Candace: No! It’ll be too late! The stores will all be closed! And by "stores", I mean the post office. And by "buying a gift", I mean mailing the letters.
    Jeremy: You didn’t say "buying a gift".
    Candace: Oh, good. That would’ve been a dead giveaway!
  • Friendly Enemy: Doofenshmirtz exchanges gifts with Perry the Platypus.
  • Fruit Cart: The end of the episode replays the scene where Perry makes the snowman come to life, following him before the snowman screams as a snow plow crashes into... a nearby vegetable cart instead of him.
  • Gift of the Magi Plot: Subverted. Jeremy sells his guitar to buy Candace the earrings she wants; Candace sells her good necklace to buy Jeremy the silver guitar he wants. The subversion is that they each give up a valued possession to buy a gift for the other, but the gifts they receive are better than the stuff they gave up in the first place (and were things they were planning on exchanging for the items they ended up with anyway).
  • Glass-Shattering Sound: The Naughty-Inator is powered by a serum called "Naughty Nectar", which is stored in three large vials of glass. When the singer on the Sal Tuscany CD sings an Incredibly Long Note, the resulting sound shatters the glass vials, thereby shutting down the Inator.
  • Good-Times Montage: Done during the end credits set to "Thank You Santa" as everyone enjoys their presents.
  • The Grinch: Averted with Doofenshmirtz, who is so apathetic about Christmas that it takes a troupe of really annoying carolers to finally push him into trying to destroy it. When the machine is destroyed later, he doesn't even care. Played straight at the end, fulfilling his Christmas wish to become an example of this. Although he does celebrate it anyways since he got his wish.
  • Historical In-Joke:
    • When Candace challenges Phineas if Santa really does exist, Phineas points towards several sightings of Santa Claus; said sightings allude to infamous pictures of Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, and the Shroud of Turin.
    • When Buford rides through the city, yelling, "Christmas is coming," it's similar to Paul Revere's legendary ride shouting that the British were coming, including a hand bell.
  • Hope Spot: The kids and all of Danville are bummed that Santa isn't coming. They give up on Christmas, singing "Where did we go wrong?" before the boys get their gumption back...only to discover it's too late to fix things because Santa's already left the North Pole.
  • Humans Are Flawed: When Candace suggests that Danville was suddenly branded naughty because everyone in town did something wrong, Clewn't explains that the naughty/nice list doesn't work like that because of this trope.
    Clewn't: You see, everyone does naughty things from time to time, but that's different from being a naughty person.
  • Hurrying Home for the Holidays: Linda and Lawrence are stuck at the airport waiting for Lawrence’s parents whose flight got delayed. This leads them to get back home right after Christmas has been saved and Santa has come & gone, taking his rest stop/clubhouse with him.
  • I Resemble That Remark!:
    Phineas: Santa thinks everybody in Danville's been naughty.
    (cut to Buford burying Baljeet in snow and shoving a carrot in his mouth, making an impromptu snowman)
    Buford: Now that's just nonsense.
  • "I Want" Song: Doofenshmirtz has "I Really Don't Hate Christmas" as he expresses his wishes to have the ability to hate the holiday. It doubles as a Villain Song.
  • Informed Judaism: The series already made it known that Isabella is Jewish, but it's only briefly touched on here when she isn't able to properly commiserate with the others about Santa not coming.
  • Insistent Terminology: Phineas insists that the structure he and Ferb built for Santa is a rest stop; Buford is equally insistent that it's a clubhouse.
    Santa: Great! I'll take it to the North Pole, and use it as a clubhouse.
  • In the Dreaming Stage of Grief: Played for Laughs in a tragic way. After all of Danville is placed on the naughty list thinks to Doofenshmirtz and Candace leads him to believe that it's his fault, Phineas repeatedly falls asleep and wakes up in hopes of everything turning out to be All Just a Dream. Isabella calls him out of on it.
  • Jerkass Ball: Candace. She spends the beginning mockingly laughing in the faces of anyone who believes in Santa (even Jeremy before she catches herself). Later, she tells Phineas that it's all his fault that Danville was branded naughty. Keep in mind that Christmas is hinted to be his favorite holiday and that all he wanted for Christmas was to be like Santa.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Buford's secret Christmas wish is for his friends to think he's nice.
  • Kick the Dog: Candace spitefully tells Phineas it's all his fault Danville has been branded naughty. What's more, it's not even that Phineas and Ferb were actually responsible (they might not have known that, but still); their big ideas to make things more fun for themselves and others can hardly be considered naughty (unless you're Candace).
  • Limited Wardrobe: Lampshaded by Candace's excitement over receiving two new outfits for Christmas — exactly like the one she wears in every episode.
  • Literal Genie: A group of carolers insistently sing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" at Doofenshmirtz's door. They focus on the verse about asking for figgy pudding and refuse to leave until he gives them some. When he finally does, they go.
    Carolers: We won't go until we get some, we won't go until we get some, we won't go until we get some, it's the principle of the thing!
  • The Man Behind the Curtain: When Major Monogram gets an alert during their Christmas party that Perry will have to go stop Doofenshmirtz’s latest scheme, he directs the agent’s attention to a screen on which a message from Monogram starts playing. Perry then turns around to see that the Major is actually filming the message live with a cardboard cutout of his uniform to cover up his Christmas sweater and Carl acting as the camera man.
    Monogram: Eyes on the screen.
  • Melancholy Musical Number: Phineas and the gang have "Where Did We Go Wrong?" as they are saddened when Santa thinks everyone has been naughty.
  • Merit Badges for Everything: Despite being Jewish and celebrating Hanukkah, Isabella gets a merit badge for Christmas for being Santa’s helper.
  • Musical Spoiler: "Christmas cannot be destroyed, not even by a Naughty-Inatooooooooooooor!!!!!!!"
  • My New Gift Is Lame: Poor Carl! His gift from Major Monogram is an autographed picture of the Major... addressed "To Whom It May Concern."
    • Perry's gift from Doofenshmirtz is a vase; he expresses slight disappointment when he got it (although that's partially due to the fact that Monogram and Carl spoil it for him in "Gaming the System").
  • My Significance Sense Is Tingling: Isabella senses a disturbance when someone other than her says her Catchphrase.
  • Now You Tell Me: Major Monogram sends Perry an urgent message telling him not to listen to the Sal Tuscany CD... after Doofenshmirtz has already started listening to it.
  • Operation: [Blank]: The boys’ plan to decorate Danville is called “Operation: Bright Lights, Big Belly”, which is also a reference to the movie Bright Lights, Big City.
  • Patter Song: "I Really Don't Hate Christmas".
  • Pin-Pulling Teeth: While working the present cannon, Ferb also grabs a smaller present, pulls the bow off with his teeth, and throws it like a grenade.
  • Post-Kiss Catatonia: Baljeet induces this on a female friend named Wendy when he kisses her under the mistletoe.
  • Pretty in Mink: Candace's parka and boots.
  • Proportional Article Importance: In the end, when Ferb is asked what he wished for Christmas, he points to a newspaper, the front page article reporting a declaration of world peace, only to direct everyone instead to a smaller adjacent article saying that he got a harmonica for Christmas.
  • "Psycho" Strings: These are heard when Candace says Isabella’s “What’cha Dooooin’?” and Isabella can hear it from miles away.
  • Restored My Faith in Humanity: Clewn’t says he’s found a reason to believe again when he sees Phineas and the gang preparing to save Christmas for Danville.
  • Reveal Shot:
    • At the beginning of the episode, Phineas mentions that he’s glad they decided to get back into bed on Christmas Eve morning and then pulls out a helmet. The camera then pans out to show their beds at the top of a giant ramp that they’re getting ready to sled down.
    • Later, when he’s trying to convince himself that the entirety of Danville being on the naughty list is All Just a Dream, he’s laying in bed and says he’s going to stay there forever. Then it’s revealed that he’s actually in the mattress section of the mall.
  • Running Gag:
    • Candace bursts out laughing whenever someone mentions writing letters to Santa.
    • Buford keeps asking Phineas if the lodge he built for Santa is a clubhouse. Phineas continuously corrects him that it’s a rest stop, but in the end Santa himself calls it a clubhouse - much to Buford’s satisfaction.
  • Santa Claus: Voiced by Clancy Brown, who is well known for voicing a certain evil bald millionaire as well as a money-grubbing crustacean.
  • Santa's Existence Clause: The boys believe in Santa and write him letters every year, but Candace isn’t convinced and doesn’t think he’s real.
  • Saving Christmas: Subverted. Christmas was never actually in any danger. Santa arranged for the entire plot to occur so that Phineas could get a shot at this, fulfilling his Christmas wish to be like Santa.
  • Sexy Santa Dress: The backup dancers for Doofenshmirtz's song.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The intro features a scene of a yeti helping the kids decorate a Christmas tree, based on a similar scene featuring the Abominable Snow-Monster from the Rankin-Bass Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer special.
    • The Gift Of The Magi, as mentioned above.
    • The "Danville for Niceness" scene is a tip of the hat to "We Are The World".
    • The talking snowman Perry encounters is an Affectionate Parody of Frosty the Snowman.
    • As the kids fly over the city after the lights are turned back on, the music is a nod to The Polar Express's film score.
    • Ferb puts lights on buildings using pistols that fire Christmas light strings, and swings across the buildings just like Spider-Man.
    • The ending had a couple seconds of the kids dancing just like a scene in A Charlie Brown Christmas.
  • Significant Anagram: The CD Perry receives for Secret Santa, "A Sal Tuscany Christmas", is actually a scrambled message from Santa Claus.
    Doofenshmirtz: ...with an embarrassing leftover "Y".
  • Snowlems: In the beginning of the episode, Perry puts a top hat on a snowman and it comes to life, exclaiming, "Wintertime's fun! Follow me!" Perry is about to follow him before the snowman screams as a snow plow crashes into him off screen. In the end, Perry builds another one, which likewise encourages Perry to follow him before screaming again; although this time the snow plow crashes into a nearby vegetable cart instead.
  • Somber Backstory Revelation: A fellow elf tells Blay'n that Clewn't didn't used to be bitter and cynical about the "naughtiness" of the children of the world, and that he used to be the best and fastest toymaker in the place.
  • Speak in Unison: When Phineas is asking them questions about writing letters to Santa, Isabella, Buford, and Baljeet answer him in the exact same words at the exact same time.
    Phineas: Remember when you wrote letters to Santa asking him for presents?
    Isabella, Buford, & Baljeet: Yes.
    Phineas: Did you always get the presents you asked for?
    Isabella, Buford, & Baljeet: Pretty much, yes!
    Phineas: Of course. Now, did you ever write a thank you note to Santa?
    Isabella, Buford, & Baljeet: Well, no...but nobody ever told...[sigh] no.
  • Special Edition Title: The special opens with a winter-themed version of the show's theme song.
  • Stating the Simple Solution: When Candace tells about her plan to trick Jeremy into writing a letter for Santa so that she can figure out what he wants for Christmas, Phineas asks why she couldn't just ask him "to avoid unnecessary complications"; Candace just ignores him.
  • Subbing for Santa: It's how they save Christmas!
  • Take Our Word for It: Whatever is on the blueprint Phineas reads, especially when he reacts in disgust to it at first.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: This episode establishes Doof's love of almond brittle, which is what Perry gives him during the credits.
  • That Was Not a Dream: During the lowest part of the story, Phineas suddenly sits up in bed and declares it was all a dream:
    Isabella: "Phineas, however many times you do that, it's not going to work."
  • Under the Mistletoe:
    • Baljeet says he wishes for a kiss under the mistletoe. At the end, a little girl named Wendy grants his wish.
    • Also, Candace and Jeremy during the "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" video (see picture on the page).
  • Viewers Are Goldfish: The line "Santa's not coming to Danville" is used to both end and open an act break. This would be used again for Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension.
  • Villain Song: "I Really Don't Hate Christmas".
  • Wedgie: Buford gives Baljeet one after Baljeet once again brings up his Christmas wish to kiss a pretty girl under the mistletoe.
    Baljeet: Those were long johns!
  • You Have GOT to Be Kidding Me!: Candace’s response to meeting two real elves.


Video Example(s):


"What'cha Doin'?"

While calling Jeremy to wish him a Merry Christmas Eve, Candance says, "What'cha doin'?" Meanwhile, Isabella senses that someone has been using her catchphrase without her noticing.

How well does it match the trope?

4.47 (19 votes)

Example of:

Main / MySignificanceSenseIsTingling

Media sources: