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|Season 2 episode|
|Written by||David X. Cohen|
|Directed by||Peter Avanzino|
|Title caption||Based on a True Story|
|First air date||19 December, 1999|
|Opening cartoon||Elmer Fudd in "Fresh Hare"|
|Special guest(s)||Conan O'Brien|
"Xmas Story" is the seventeenth episode of Futurama, the fourth of the second production season and the eighth of the second broadcast season. It is the first seasonal episode. It aired on 19 December, 1999, on Fox. It guest-stars Conan O'Brien as himself in a jar and John Goodman as Robot Santa. On Xmas Eve, Fry realizes he has been a jerk towards Leela and decides to make it up for her, when they both run into Robot Santa, who is nowhere as nice as the former children's character was made up to be.
- 1 The Story
- 2 Additional Info
- 3 Episode Credits
- 4 Notes
Act I: "He doesn't know about Santa Claus!"
The Planet Express crew are all on a company Xmas ski trip at Catskills Lodge. Fry begins to feel sad, since it's his first Xmas in the 31st century. In an effort to cheer him up, they get an Xmas tree (a palm tree, since pine trees have been extinct for 800 years). Back at the office, everyone gets an Xmas card except for Leela, and we realise that Leela is just as lonely as Fry. However, Fry doesn't, and complains rudely. Fry's moping affects Leela, and she runs off in tears.
Fry feels guilty for upsetting Leela, and runs out to get an Xmas present. Everyone warns him to be back before dark, so the ruthless killer robot Santa Claus built in the 2800s doesn't get him. Bender goes to "volunteer" at a Liquor Kitchen, where he poses as a homeless robot to get free booze. Fry goes to the mall, and winds up shopping in the only store left open, Joe's Ark Pet Store, where he buys Leela a $500 parrot. On his way home, the parrot escapes, and Fry starts chasing it across town. Leela returns to Planet Express and learns Fry is out buying her a present; she runs out to find him. Fry, having chased the bird up a digital clock tower, falls off only to be saved by Leela. Before they can get home, they run into Santa!
Act III: "You dare bribe Santa?"
Bender and his new homeless robot friends go caroling, as an excuse to get into people's homes and rob them. Meanwhile, Fry and Leela are chased across town by Santa until they run into Bender. When Santa confronts Bender, he tries to blame the crippled orphan robot Tinny Tim. This is so incredibly naughty, Santa immediately adds it to his list, allowing Fry, Leela, and Bender a head start. They make it back to Planet Express, but Santa is right on their heels and gets inside. Santa gives Zoidberg a pogo stick, but attempts to kill everyone else for being naughty. Zoidberg, hopping on his new pogo stick, cuts a string of lights with his claws. The loose wire falls and electrocutes Santa, knocking him back into the fireplace. They slide the blast door closed before Rudolph explodes, blasting Santa out of the building. Everyone sits down to an Xmas dinner prepared by Bender - consisting of the parrot Fry had bought for Leela. They then sing "Santa Claus Is Gunning You down", while Robot Santa threatens that he'll be back next year.
- Bongo, the one-eared rabbit from Matt Groening's comic strip Life in Hell makes a cameo appearance in the pet store. The comic company that publishes the Futurama comics is named for him.
- The scene where Hermes and Amy give up their prized hair to buy each other hair accessories is a reference to the "Gift of the Magi," a short story by the author O. Henry.
- The idea of Robot Santa Claus was partly inspired by the infamous 1984 slasher film Silent Night, Deadly Night, in which a young man comes to believe that he is Santa Claus, and begins murdering people who he deems to be "naughty."
- Conan O'Brien mentioning a war of 2012 is a reference to the belief that the Mayan calendar predicted that 2012 would be the end of the world. 
- The palm Christmas tree tied to the top of the Planet Express Ship when flying from the lodge to the Planet Express building is reminiscent of the Griswold's car and tree in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.
- The scene featuring children skating is a parody of the Peanuts special A Charlie Brown Christmas.
- Amy and Hermes selling their hair to give someone else a set of combs is a reference to the actions of Della and James Young in O. Henry's short story The Gift of the Magi.
- Leela uses a laser hatchet to cut the tree down, but atop the Planet Express Ship, the tree has its roots, wrapped in a burlap bag.
- Amy shouldn't have had to sell her hair to buy combs, as she's from a wealthy family (though that was only done for the sake of the Gift of the Magi parody).
- Leela states that global warming actually occurred, but in "A Big Piece of Garbage", Mayor Poopenmeyer said it turned out to be a scientific fraud, just like secondhand smoke.
- It occurred in "Crimes of the Hot" (even though nuclear winter canceled it out and it apparently started again after nuclear winter subsided), so it might just have been a mistake on Mayor Poopenmeyer's part (or Mayor Poopenmeyer may be one of those people who doesn't believe global warming is real).
- After Bender serves the parrot to Tinny Tim, Nibbler steals the bird and sits in the corner. If you notice there is one frame where Nibbler's nose is all black.
- Despite pine trees being extinct for over 800 years, they are clearly visible in the background when the crew is out skiing and in the background at the beginning of "Spanish Fry".
- In the scene where Fry climbs to the top of the clock tower to retrieve the parrot, the time clearly reads, "04:24:xx." However, after Fry drops the bird cage off the ledge and the view zooms out, the zero is missing and it reads "4:26:xx." The clock also counts up when he is hanging off of it, going from 2 to 7.
- When the Planet Express attic is shown for the first time, there is nothing above the fireplace. However, when Bender walks out to volunteer, a row of stockings are seen above the fireplace.
- It's possible that they were being set up during the scene.
Bender: Ah, let's face it: Comedy's a dead art form. Now, tragedy... [He laughs.] That's funny!
Fry: All right, bird, you thought you could beat me in a game of wits, but you just met your equal.
Fry: Leela! Oh my God! You saved my life! I'm going to get you so many lizards!
Farnsworth: Good thing I got us out of that one.
Farnsworth: Good lord! He doesn't know about Santa Claus!
Alien Language Sightings
Translation: disposable office temps
Location: Sign on shop's shutter
Translation: joyeux noex
- Debut: Alien Overlord & Taylor Clerk
- Amy Wong
- Debut: Bender's mother
- Debut: Bongo
- Debut: Conan O'Brien's head
- Debut: Electric Snail
- Debut: Fry's Parrot
- Debut: Kid with glasses and a black afro
- Debut: Max Weinberg's head
- Debut: Pet Store Clerk
- Professor Farnsworth
- Reverend Lionel Preacherbot
- Debut: Robot Santa Claus
- Debut: Stink Lizards
- Debut: Tinny Tim
- Unknown Homeless Robot
- Alien Overlord & Taylor
- Andromeda Chuckle Hut (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Catskills Lodge
- Galilee (mentioned in speech only)
- Debut: Joe's Ark Pet Store
- Mom's Friendly Robot Company (mentioned in speech and text only, in text at unknown moment)
- Debut: Orphanarium
- Debut: Our Motherboard of Mercy Liquor Kitchen
- Pakistan (mentioned in speech only)
- Planet Express attic
- Planet Express conference room
- Planet Express hangar
- Planet Express headquarters
- Zion (mentioned in speech only)
- The romance between Fry and Leela is explored in this episode.