View Poll Results: How do you rate this episode

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  • 1/5

    1 0.34%
  • 2/5

    9 3.05%
  • 3/5

    44 14.92%
  • 4/5

    112 37.97%
  • 5/5

    129 43.73%
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Thread: R&R Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire

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  1. #121
    miss queen pax's Avatar
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    10/10, 5/5 in the poll. This is where the greatness began, and it's a very heartwarming episode.

  2. #122
    Junior Camper PatrickButler21's Avatar
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  3. #123
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    Wow 25 years amazing that its come this far, this is a really good episode to start off the series, its a Simpsons Christmas special and homer didn't get his Bonus this year so he has to find other ways to get it but marge has some money saved away in her hair but Bart ruins it by getting a tattoo and that causes homer to be a mall Santa to which Bart also ruins by tearing his beard down, now homer gets his pay check for doing that but its not enough, so homer and Bart go to Springfield Downs to try to get some Christmas luck by betting, sadly they lose but hope is not over with yet, a dog literary jumps in the arms of homer making it a Christmas miracle and a family dog named santas little helper joins the Simpsons family the end. 10/10

  4. #124
    Joe Swanson ©tormented OldSchoolerSimpsons's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dman360 View Post
    Wow 25 years amazing that its come this far, this is a really good episode to start off the series, its a Simpsons Christmas special and homer didn't get his Bonus this year so he has to find other ways to get it but marge has some money saved away in her hair but Bart ruins it by getting a tattoo and that causes homer to be a mall Santa to which Bart also ruins by tearing his beard down, now homer gets his pay check for doing that but its not enough, so homer and Bart go to Springfield Downs to try to get some Christmas luck by betting, sadly they lose but hope is not over with yet, a dog literary jumps in the arms of homer making it a Christmas miracle and a family dog named santas little helper joins the Simpsons family the end. 10/10
    Then why on earth did you vote it 1/5 in the poll?!
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    "KONY 2012"

  5. #125
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    Quote Originally Posted by SnowpitMerry ChristEhtmas View Post

    Then why on earth did you vote it 1/5 in the poll?!
    opps my mistake i meant to vote 5/5, i'm so used to the new top down way its done, i think i'm the first one to vote 1/5.

  6. #126
    *RIP Marcia Wallace* TriforceBun's Avatar
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    Hey, happy 25 years, Simpsons!

    The first episode of the show is still one of the first season's best. The general plot is the right mix of sweet and sour, with fun characterizations mixed with a melancholy atmosphere, and enough heart to carry the whole thing. It's not the strongest story in the early years, but it's a great introduction to the cast with a very satisfying resolution and some good humor. A-
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  7. #127
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    A great start to the Simpsons show. While it's not the funniest/best episode of season 1, I laughed several times like Bart singing his own version of Jingle Bells, Bart lying to get a tattoo, Bart yanking Homer's beard, and a few part of the ending song. 8/10
    Simpsons: 4 > 6 = 7 > 5 > 3 > 8 > 2 > 14 > 15 > 13 = 10 > 9 > 16 > 20 > 1 > 24 = 21 > 26 > 22 = 25 > 23 > 19 = 27 > 18 = 28 > 12 > 11 > 17 = 29

    Family Guy: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 5 = 6 > 15 > 16 > 10 > 14 > > 7 = 11 = 9 > 8 > 12 = 13

    American Dad: 4 > 3 > 2 > 1 > 6 > 5 > 8 > 9 > 7 = 11 > 10 > 13 (so far) > 12

    The Cleveland Show: 2 > 1 > 4 > 3

    Futurama: 5 > 4 = 1 > 2 = 3 > 7 > 6

    Rick and Morty: 2 > 1 > 3

  8. #128
    Stonecutter Léo Pard's Avatar
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    For the 25th birthday, I begin a whole retrospective of the series.

    It's always something to see this first episode. The story itself is rather nice and lets follow willingly. The gags aren't yet many but are good with some great lines. This episode well lays the foundation of the series (I think the sequence of the letter, essential of this view) with elements like Bart's irreverence Lisa and her desire to have a pony, Marge's hair or the great humanity of Burns. For Homer, if not nearly as stupid as afterwards and we even see him working (but bad, honor is safe) but some bases are also present such as its aversion (reciprocal) to Patty and Selma, jealousy to Flanders, his "D'oh !" and his strangling scene during the end credits.
    A not exceptional first episode, but really nice and touching, with a bit of nostalgia. My previous rating was 13, it's now 14/20.

    Season 1 :
    Simpsons Roasting on an Open FIre : 14/20 (+1)
    Season Rankings : 7 > 5 > 6 > 8 > 4 > 9 > 3 > 2 > 10 > 15 > 16 > 1 > 11 > 14 > 12 > 20 > 18 > 17 > 19 > 13.

  9. #129
    Junior Camper Nobodylikesmilhouse's Avatar
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    5/5. Stone cold classic. I watch this one every Christmas and it always me of a time when Christmas was still magical. Being old enough to see this when it first aired in the UK I'm probably biased but who cares, LOVE IT!
    So this is what it feels like When Doves Cry!

  10. #130

    Not an outstanding premiere, but a pretty good pilot. 75/100
    "It's a ring toss game." –Homer Simpson

    Support me in helping to review every single Simpsons episode so far! (Best in blue and worst in red)

    Season 1
    Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire: 75/100
    Bart the Genius: 93/100
    Homer's Odyssey: 70/100
    There's No Disgrace Like Home: 89/100
    Bart the General: 88/100
    Moaning Lisa: 83/100
    Call of the Simpsons: 81/100

  11. #131
    Junior Camper GeniusEthanFoley's Avatar
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    May 2015

    It's hard to not give this one a high rating, due to it being the series premiere. I always found it unique that a christmas episode starts off this whole series. I like it. Not my fave from Season 1, but it's up there. I prefer this one to most of the future christmas episodes personally.

  12. #132

    Yes while the first episode aired was a holiday special, but it was a great way to start the show. My favorite scene in this episode will always be the scene where homer cuts down a tree after the prices of trees kept increasing from 30 to 60 to 90 LOL Rate: A+ 5/5

    *After homer brought the tree home*
    Patty: Why is there a bird house on it?
    Homer: Ugh, thats an ornament.
    Selma: Do I smell gun powder?


  13. #133

    Great beginning to a Great series 5/5

  14. #134


    I feel like it was a good way to start the show, and a good introduction to the main characters, and an introduction to some secondary characters. (Ned, Grandpa Simpson, etc.) It starts a lot of running gags, like funny signs, and Homer's "D'oh!" (I think) Though, like most episodes, it could have been better.
    Quote Originally Posted by snowstormented View Post
    they're accurate as of the 2015 alien dick census

  15. #135
    Newbie Pieman23's Avatar
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    Rate & review "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire: The Simpson's Christmas Special"

    Well, I just started to watch all the season and I started from the first episode. What do you think? Which is the difference between now and then?. My opinion 3/5

  16. #136
    Chatting Simpsons Since '93 Brad Lascelle's Avatar
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    This is an iconic classic Simpsons episode if you ask me and holds up tremendously well even today.

    One detail which doesn't get enough acclaim is I think it was smart of them to make the premiere the 8th episode they produced because it allowed them to introduce these characters after establishing their series characterizations. Lisa is smart out of the gates without any jarring transitional phase from her female Bart sidekick days on the Tracey Ullman Show because they had already mapped out her character arc in Moaning Lisa (which would air later). Maggie wasn't given a ton of focus because they'd already established that it would be difficult to make her a central figure in a non-short format (after trying with Some Enchanted Evening - the de facto pilot that would wind up as the season finale).

    The core family dynamic was entrenched and that comes off immediately and makes employing Simpsons Roasting as a confident intro work far better than had they run with Some Enchanted Evening, Bart the Genius or Homer's Odyssey instead.

    Also, just as a heads up @Pieman23, please try not to create new R&R threads with polls when kicking off discussion on older episodes. Just look up an older one and bump it with your observations.
    The Winter of Our Monetized Content - 1.5/5 / Go Big or Go Homer - 2.5/5 / The Fat Blue Line - 3.5/5
    THOH XXX = Danger Things - 2.5/5 / Heaven Swipes Right - 1.5/5 / When Hairy Met Slimy - 2/5
    Gorillas on the Mast - 3.5/5 / Marge the Lumberjill - 2/5 / Livin' La Pura Vida - 5/5
    THANKSGIVING OF HORROR = A-Gobble-ypto - 3/5 / The Fourth Thursday After Tomorrow - 5/5 / The Last Thanksgiving - 3.5/5
    Todd, Todd, Why Hast Thou Forsaken Me? - 3.5/5 / Bobby, It's Cold Outside - 2.5/5 / Hail to the Teeth - 1.5/5
    The Miseducation of Lisa Simpson - 2/5 / Frinkcoin - 3/5 / Maggie Simpson In "Playdate with Destiny" - 4/5
    Bart the Bad Guy - 5/5 / Screenless - 2/5 / Better Off Ned - 2.5/5 / Highway to Well - 4/5
    The Incredible Lightness of Being a Baby - 2.5/5 / Warrin' Priests - 2/5 / The Hateful Eight-Year-Olds - 4.5/5 / The Way of the Dog - 5/5

  17. #137
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    5/5.In a lot of ways this was the first Simpsons episode I ever saw.I re-watched it yesterday and it left me with a warm heart and a yearning to go back and right previous wrongs.

  18. #138
    miss queen pax's Avatar
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    The scene where Homer finds out he didn't get his Christmas bonus always gets me, especially delivery of his line "15 bucks? You can't buy anything for 15 bucks!". Man, do I get the feels from that.

    This is definitely one of the most human episodes, with just the right amount of heartbreak as to not make the heartwarming scenes come off as forced. A big reason why the episode works is because it feels real, desperate, and entirely human because this situation is something every person fears at some point or another. It's relatable.

    Anyway, enough babbling. My rating hasn't changed ever since I first watched it, and it hasn't changed this time either. 10/10
    Last edited by pax; 03-05-2017 at 07:55 PM.

  19. #139
    The [Insert Something Here] D'oh! Man's Avatar
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    Even though this wasn't meant to be the first episode (don't believe me? Look it up. :P) it was pretty good for the start of the series. But it definitely wasn't my favorite. But I'll still give it a 4/5.

  20. #140
    Deep Frier of Shirts BlueRibbonCommittee's Avatar
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    I do believe you. In fact, it's apparent here... we see Homer doing what looks like a Safety Inspector Job, which he didn't get until "Homer's Odyssey". (The DVD commentary said they didn't even think of a job for him until then.) Plus, other than Ned, Patty, and Selma, most of the secondary characters barely get any lines and just seem to be background props, even Abe (not to mention Smithers, who is heard but not seen). That is because they were never meant to debut here. Only Ned, Patty, and Selma were. And in Ned's case, "There's No Disgrace Like Home" has the prototype Flanders family in it (again, commentary admits it) which would seem pointless if Ned already exists.

  21. #141
    Always late to the party Whyyoubig's Avatar
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    It wasn’t supposed to be the first episode. But it was. And that makes it very important. It’s also in my top 15 of all episodes. It is also one of my favorite christmas specials.
    Favorite/least favorite by season (not counting clip shows)
    Season 1: Life on the Fast Lane/Some Enchanted Evening Season 2: Bart the Daredevil/Old Money Season 3: Bart the Lover/Dog of Death Season 4: Last Exit to Springfield/Marge in Chains Season 5: Cape Feare/Bart Gets an Elephant Season 6: Homer the Great/Fear of Flying Season 7: Mother Simpson/Homerpalooza Season 8: You Only Move Twice/Simpsoncalifragilisticexpiala(D’oh)cious Season 9: The City of New York Vs Homer Simpson/Lisa the Skeptic Season 10: Lisa Gets an A/Homer Simpson in: Kidney Trouble Season 11: Behind the Laughter/It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Marge Season 12: Trilogy of Error/Homer Vs Dignity Season 13: I Am Furious (Yellow)/The Frying Game Season 14: Moe Baby Blues/Barting Over Season 15: Simple Simpson/Bart-Mangled Banner Season 16: Don’t Fear the Roofer/On a Clear Day I Can’t See My Sister Season 17: The Seemingly Never-Ending Story/Bonfire of the Manatees Season 18: 24 Minutes/The Boys of Bummer Season 19: Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/That 90’s Show Season 20: Gone Maggie Gone/In the Name of the Grandfather Season 21: The Bob Next Door/The Greatest Story Ever D’ohed Season 22: Angry Dad: The Movie/Elementary School Musical Season 23: Holidays of Future Passed/Lisa Goes Gaga Season 24: I haven’t seen this season Season 25: Brick Like Me/Days of Future Future Season 26: Simpsorama/The Musk Who Fell to Earth Season 27: Halloween of Horror/Every Man’s Dream Season 28: 22 For 30/Kamp Krustier Season 29: Gone Boy/The Old Blue Mayor She Ain’t What She Used to Be Season 30: TBD when 11 episodes have aired/TBD when 11 episodes have aired

  22. #142
    Junior Camper
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    During my Simpsons rewatch, I viewed this through a critical lens, rather than a fanboy one, as I'm trying to with every episode. First off, there's no denying how important and iconic this episode is. It was the first episode aired (not produced though) and was many people's first introduction to the family. However, once again, like many other season 1 episodes, it falls into the pitfalls of lacking humour, and weirdly depressing themes. Many I should be praising the old-old episodes for putting story before comedy, but the best Simpsons episodes manage to do both.

    This episode is still better than other season 1 episodes, as it has a genuinely sweet ending and just because of "oww quit it". 'Some Enchanted Evening' acts as a better 'first' episode of the show, as it's a more basic introduction to the characters and show premise, but it's probably a good thing this was the first one aired, as it's a better episode and just good enough to get people interested in the show. (better than a lot of what was on TV at the time, that's for sure) Still, not a bad episode. 6.5/10

    But why did Lisa look naked during the school pageant? Weird season 1 animation...

  23. #143
    Pin Pal Szyslak100's Avatar
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    The right start for a perfect show.

    Blessed is the stroke of luck that allowed Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire to be the first episode. Because, of the thirteen episodes that are part of the first season it is, by far, the one that works the best as a pilot. And, also, because it shows that this series is different from the others: what kind of show debuts with a "special"?

    There is no characteristic intro, but there is a kind title card.

    There is a sublime presentation of many secondary characters that would become very important in the development of the life of the Simpson family. The first one is Ned Flanders, who makes evident how miserable Homer's life can be. Then, Burns appears, to perform his first act as a "villain", leaving Homer without his Christmas gratification. Later, Milhouse, who is already very close to Bart. And finally, we know a bit The Simpsons family: Homer's father, Grampa, whose first intervention makes a complaint, and the sisters of Marge and the miserable relationship they maintain with their brother-in-law. However, other characters debuted without showing traces of what they would be in the future. Ralph seemed to be a very intelligent child. Moe played the role of an adorable bartender and counselor. And Barney, despite being at Moe's Tavern, did not show up as an alcoholic, and he was even seen along with a woman.

    Whatever he does, Homer is destined to be Ned's shadow.

    The story shows us a man doing the impossible so his family can enjoy Christmas day despite they don't have money. It is a simple premise, although interesting. Like any TV episode or movie set on this date, the emotional factor was assured. Watching Homer defeated at the entrance of his house or being sincere in front of his children are shocking scenes that brought out an untold facet of the show to the date. But the sadness becomes emotion with the truly memorable phrase that Homer gives us. In reference to the dog that arrived at his home: "He's a loser, He's pathetic, He's... a Simpson". The presentation of Santa's Little Helper to the family is another outstanding scene. The epilogue, with the family singing Christmas carols, is very good too, getting out of the standard softness of this kind of stuff.

    The last minutes of this episode is pure gold.

    However, the story has some bumps that made, at times, the development not much interesting. Mainly, Bart's subplot about his frustrated tattoo is overwhelming. That excuse to get rid of the money took too much time. I also find the time used in Homer's preparation to be Santa Claus unnecessarily excessive. I think that the interview was enough and that the training is added to fill the time. Another fact in which expectations are not met is humor. The only moment that took me out of the drama to make me laugh was the one in which the whole family is in the living room doing a different task each one. I always laugh thanks to Marge's letter and Homer's reactions. There are many acceptable jokes here and there, but not as good as those that occurred in the scene mentioned.

    "Marge, haven't you finished that stupid letter yet?".

    As a negative point of this episode, and of the first season in general, there is animation. The chaos generated during the creation process is understandable. But the inexperience played a trick very often. In fact, in the first scene of all, Marge leaves the door open of the car. Also, Lisa's dress at her concert at school is disturbing. However, the most important fault is about the end. It is a simple detail that over time generates laughter, but it is the convincing sign of the problems in the animation: the walls were upside down when Marge congratulated her husband!

    Should we believe it was a kind of magic wall or something?

    In summary, Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire is, with failures and successes, one of the strongest episodes of the first season and represents a promising start for the best show of the history. With emotion as a precept, the Christmas special won the recognition of most fans. Maybe the nostalgic plays a role when I rate it, but...

    Last edited by Szyslak100; 05-26-2020 at 06:34 AM.

  24. #144

    A good way to start the series albeit a christmas episode. we get cool character introductions and emotion. 8/10

  25. #145
    Newbie duff brewery's Avatar
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    ross on wye uk

    ''hey you, what do ya think your doing''!!!!!

    great episode and we watch it every Christmas in our house, kids love it

  26. #146
    Pin Pal The B's Avatar
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    Good and somewhat magical episode. IMHO, the best episode of season 1. 88/100
    IMHO the best and the worst episodes of each season (in bold — the best and worst of overall series, upd. 24/04/20):
    1. Moaning Lisa/Homer’s Night Out 2. Bart vs. Thanksgiving/Simpson and Delilah 3. Mr. Lisa Goes to Washington/Homer Alone 4. Homer’s Triple Bypass/Marge in Chains 5. Secrets of a Successful Marriage/Bart’s Inner Child 6. Who Shot Mr. Burns? (Part I)/A Star Is Burns 7. Home Sweet Homediddly-Dum-Doodily/Treehouse of Horror VI 8. My Sister, My Sitter/The Simpsons Spin-Off Showcase 9. Miracle on Evergreen Terrace/Bart Star 10. Wild Barts Can’t Be Broken/Simpsons Bible Stories 11. Days of Wine and D’oh’ses/Pygmoelian 12. Homer vs. Dignity/New Kids on the Blecch 13. Poppa’s Got a Brand New Badge/Weekend at Burnsie’s 14. Moe Baby Blues/Helter Shelter 15. Fraudcast News/Co-Dependent’s Day 16. Goo Goo Gai Pan/A Star Is Torn 17. Bonfire of the Manatees/Kiss Kiss, Bang Bangalore 18. 24 Minutes/Stop, Or My Dog Will Shoot! 19. Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind/Husbands and Knives 20. Coming to Homerica/Four Great Women and a Manicure 21. The Squirt and the Whale/Treehouse of Horror XX 22. The Blue and the Gray/Elementary School Musical 23. A Totally Fun Thing That Bart Will Never Do Again/Moe Goes from Rags to Riches 24. Hardly Kirk-ing/Gorgeous Grampa 25. Brick Like Me/What to Expect When Bart’s Expecting 26. Sky Police/Treehouse of Horror XXV 27. Halloween of Horror/Treehouse of Horror XXVI 28. 22 for 30/Havana Wild Weekend 29. Flanders’ Ladder/Springfield Splendor 30. Baby You Can’t Drive My Car/The Clown Stays in the Picture 31. TBA/TBA
    The Simpsons season ratings:
    2 > 1 > 3 > 7 > 6 > 4 > 8 > 5 > 9 > 27 > 21 > 20 > 25 > 17 > 29 > 12 > 15 > 10 > 26 > 24 > 13 > 18 > 14 > 19 > 28 > 16 > 30 > 23 > 11 > 22

    I think that thoughts may differ, because so many people, so many opinions.

  27. #147

    For the first aired episode, I think this is one of the best of the first season. The comedy is better than most episodes, the story is nice and emotional, and it does a really good job at introducing the Simpson family. 8/10

  28. #148
    Stonecutter ComicBookGal's Avatar
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    hmmm I thought I did this one already ah well

    so this is the first episode, not only do we get 30 minutes of the Simpsons, but we also get introduced to a majority of the characters that we will see on a continuum basis, we're introduced to skinner, half of the Flanders's, Milhouse, Ralph, Janey (even though I still don't think she's fleshed out enough), everyone in Bart's class but I don't think we see Nelson, Patty and Selma, Moe, Barney, Smithers (even though we only hear him on the P.A. system at the plant) and Mr Burns, a majority of these people that were NEVER SEEN IN THE SHORTS (oh and the happy little elves but they get an asterisk because in the series we've seen them alot less in the series than Itchy and Scratchy)

    oh and apparently getting Santa's Little Helper is the miracle Bart and Homer needed, too bad his former owner rears his ugly head again years later. It's actually good for the first episode (that 13 minute bit of Some Enchanted Evening was more of a pilot than anything heck doesn't that show up first in production order?) it's one of the reasons I look forward to christmas every year (aside from hearing Gipp Forester's It Feels Like Christmas on my local AM station)
    Simpsons Comics 1993-2018

  29. #149
    Pin Pal Simpson's Fan's Avatar
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    Thumbs Up Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire

    Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire.jpg

    "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire" is a great way to begin the series. It isn't one of the most fascinating episodes or one of the best, but it is still an episode worth visiting. It grabs your attention easily with the down-to-earth writing and the relatable characters. If I had to describe this episode with a single word it would be life, because the episode portrays the characters as real people, with problems that even we have somehow experienced in our lives.

    This episode portrays the family and especially Homer in their most human selves. They all enjoy living in their wacky and dumpy kind of lifestyle. It just feels like a season 1 episode! They didn't just make jokes, but rather real-life storylines with caricatures of the average American family. The only thing I see is a man wanting his family to be happy on Christmas Eve and for that he has to sacrifice everything to earn at least 1$ for them! This is something very sweet and very human-like, which we don't really have the chance to see in the more recent years, just random glimpses.

    I would like to make an analysis of the Simpson family, because I am really fascinated by the characterisation of them:

    Homer Simpson: The patriarch of the Simpson family, Homer is the protagonist of the show and for this episode. He is one of the few characters that have some kind of a personality in the pilot. Homer may be a grouchy, buffoonish figure, but he would do anything for his family! I love his portrayal in "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire" and in season 1 in general. He is the loving, caring father, the character we are supposed to feel empathy! Honestly, if they made another episode with this Homer J. Simpson in season 31, it wouldn't feel like him! Overall, a great first impression for Homer!

    Marge Simpson: The matriarch of the Simpson family, Marge is the wife of Homer Simpson and mother to their three children, a role that Marge is really capable of. She is the loving, doting and understanding wife and this is her role for the next few seasons! Unfortunately, she didn't get a lot of screen time, but we managed to establish the fact that she tries to be a good mom and wife and be the first character to ever speak on the actual series! I can't picture Marge any different, because (at least for the pilot) she fills perfectly her role.

    Bart Simpson: The first-born kid of the Simpson family, Bart is the son of Homer and Marge Simpson and the older brother to his two sisters. I am surprised by how childish and playful Bart is during season 1 and I am glad about it. He isn't just the troublemaker or the sociopath of the family, but rather a normal 10-year-old boy, who just wants to have fun and play. In addition, Bart's behaviour is clearly different here, as he is shown to be playful, well-meaning, charming and remorseful. As the deuteragonist of the story, Bart interacts more with Homer than any other character in the pilot! The Homer-Bart bond, however, wasn't meant to last, which is a shame, considering the fact that they later made this bond is literally 25% of the first season!

    Lisa Simpson: The second-born kid of the family, Lisa is the oldest daughter of Homer and Marge, the little sister to Bart and the older to her other sister. I believe Lisa has had the most changes after season 1, because this isn't the same character. I like how they decided to go and made her a sympathetic, 8-year-old child, who can be smart and a kid at the same time. Other than the play at Springfield Elementary and her response to her aunt, Patty Bouvier, Lisa didn't have a lot of moments on her own, as she was always with the family, thus we don't know her character very well, just some glimpses here and there.

    Maggie Simpson: The third-born kid and the last of the family, Maggie is the youngest daughter of Homer and Marge, another little sister to Bart and the the little sister to Lisa. Personally speaking, I was expecting Maggie being in the scenes for the cuteness, but I did want her to participate in the plot. Maggie was just there to fall down, suck her pacifier and that's it! Fortunately, her true personality will rise up a few seasons later.

    The other characters were also given a personality. We can see Ned Flanders as the kind, loving neighbour, Patty and Selma Bouvier as the bitter sisters, Grampa as the old man of the house, Barney as the drunk, but not the symbol of alcoholism, Moe as the bartender etc.

    ACT 1

    Act 1 opens in a strange way that the series isn't going to do again for a long time. So, the Christmas special begins with Homer Simpson driving with his wife, Marge Simpson and their baby, Maggie Simpson at Springfield Elementary School to watch a play that their oldest children made. Like every other family scene on "The Simpsons" this is something that has nothing to do with extreme and wacky plots, rather than just a couple going to see their children perform their parts in a school play. Then, the camera pans on Principal Seymour Skinner, who welcomes all the parents and introduces the second grade, Lisa Simpson's class. I have to say, for a second grade play, I am surprised they let Lisa get away with her part! Then, Principal Skinner finally introduces the fourth grade, Bart Simpson's class, where they perform "Jingle Bells" and Bart almost destroys it by singing something completely unrelated. Pretty good for the kids, I have to say!

    After that, it cuts to the Simpson house, where everyone is preparing for Christmas. There, we see Marge writing a letter, describing the family's life and progression. I love how the camera pans and shows all the family members again! It is a nice little detail. We get some pretty good jokes, like the kids Christmas lists, with Lisa wanting a pony every year and Bart a tattoo, Patty's refuse to speak to Homer, Marge being okay with her sister's rude criticisms about her husband! The scene cuts to Homer putting up the Christmas lights outside the house and the kids watching him. The result wasn't good as only a few lights had lighten up, with the kids being less than pleased. Much to Homer's dismay, outside is also Ned Flanders, his next door neighbour, with his son, Todd Flanders, where they power up the lights and the result is fascinating! I have to say, I would also be a little pissed off, if somebody did this to me! This is, where act 1 ends.

    ACT 2

    Act 2 is where we are introduced to the main plot. It begins with Marge taking the kids to the Springfield Mall to get their presents. They all look for their gifts together, when Bart comes across The Happy Sailor Parlor Tattoo, where he attempts to get a tattoo, with the word mother on it, imagining that Marge will have a positive reaction. Unfortunately for him, Marge discovers him and takes him to a clinic to erase it. Meanwhile, at the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant, Charles Montgomery Burns, Homer's boss announces that no one is going to get a bonus for Christmas. Homer is sad and angry, but hopes they will have money from the big jar with the family savings. Then, we see Bart going through a James Bond type of operation, which needed for Marge to give all the Christmas savings, believing that Homer's bonus will cover the rest. One thing that I noticed is that money is the main source of problems in Season 1, which is reasonable, considering the relatable characters and plots.

    Back at the house, Homer learns the truth and he completely freaks out, but still decides to keep the truth about his bonus a secret. The same night, while Marge is very excited with the Christmas preparations, but senses that Homer isn't happy. Homer almost tells the truth about his bonus, but immediately takes it all back and instead offers to go shopping himself. The next day, Homer goes on the cheapest store he could find to buy some gifts for Marge and the kids. On his way out of the store, he sees Ned and his bags fall down, where Homer sees his own gifts and Ned's fancily wrapped ones to which Homer is really jealous.

    At Moe's tavern, Homer is drinking a beer alone, when Barney shows up wearing a Santa Claus costume to which Barney explains that he got a new part-time job to earn a few more money. This gives Homer an idea and decides to become a mall Santa. I love the montage of Homer preparing for his Santa Claus duties and goes through all this trouble, just for his family! Homer finally comes home late at night, with Marge demanding to know what happened. Homer assures her that everything is okay and Marge says that they have guests, Patty and Selma. Homer tries to hold a conversation with them, but they immediately comment on the fact that they don't even have a Christmas tree. Homer, not wanting his family to know, gives them false information and rushes out the door to buy a tree. He eventually finds one and takes it home, with everyone being impressed, except, of course, Patty and Selma! Homer can't even catch a break, when these two are around!

    On Christmas Eve, Homer works as Santa Claus, while many kids sit on his lap, with one being greedier than the other. From a distance, we can see Bart, Milhouse Van Houten and Lewis Clark watching the kids sitting on Santa's lap. Milhouse dares Bart to yank off Santa's beard and Bart agrees. Bart uncovers Santa and he is surprised to find out that it was Homer all along. I don't believe Milhouse had the guts to dare Bart! Homer eventually confesses his situation and Bart is very understanding about it! Act 2 ends.

    ACT 3

    So, Homer and Bart go to pick up Homer's checks, which much to Homer's anger is only 13$. He demands an explanation from the cashier and she explains that most of the pay check went to pay for the Santa suit, beard, the security, the unemployment insurance, the training and the Christmas club account balance. While he sits down, depressed, Homer is approached by Barney, who excitedly says he is going to place his money to the Springfield Downs to a dog named Whirlwind and invites Homer to go with him. At first, Homer is reluctant, but Bart convinces him that this might be their only chance to save Christmas, a really sweet moment between a father and a son!

    In the meantime, Marge, Lisa, Maggie, Patty, Selma and Abe Simpson, Homer's father are watching the Happy Little Elves Christmas special together, where Patty comments on Lisa being too old to watch cartoons and that Homer is an idiot. Lisa tries to defend herself and her father and Patty shuts her mouth finally! I am glad they, at least, gave Lisa the chance to do something! I don't blame her!

    Anyway, Homer and Bart arrive to the Springfield Downs, where Homer is reluctant to bet his money on Whirlwind. Later, it is announced that a dog will be replaced by another dog called Santa's Little Helper. Bart is sure that the dog will win. the race and skas Homer to bet his money on him. The race begins, but Whirlwind is already first and they realise their chances are limited. In the end, Santa's Little Helper finishes last. The two were heading in the car, when they heard Santa's Little Helper's owner scolding him for losing once again. Then, he runs quickly into Homer's arms and Bart asks if they can keep him. After a while, Homer decides to keep him.

    Back to the house, everyone waits for Homer, Bart and their presents. They arrive, but they have nothing but the dog with them and as Homer was going to apologise for the lack of presents, Bart instantly interrupts him to introduce the new dog. Man, Bart really was interrupting Homer during that era! They all forgive him and sing together Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and share a beautiful, heartwarming moment as Maggie rides Santa's Little Helper with joy.

    To Sum up, I believe "Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire" is the perfect episode to start the legendary series "The Simpsons". A heartwarming ending, a down-to-earth plot and relatable characters. This episode deserves a 5/5!
    Last edited by Simpson's Fan; 03-09-2020 at 03:02 PM.

  30. #150
    blocks your path CousinMerl's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Spittle County

    Something that comes to me every now and then is the fact that I haven't reviewed and rated every episode so I think I'll gradually do so, starting with the first one and then progressing from there.

    So here we go with the series premiere, 'Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire' (or 'Simpsons Roasting' as I simply like to call it). It is a bit of an oddity to make the first full episode an Christmas special instead of something more ordinary, but coming after the Tracy Ullman shorts it at least made some sense and I think it was a good move that paid off. It's got a great and down to earth story, with the Simpson family preparing for Christmas and running into trouble when the money isn't enough for a perfect Christmas which makes Homer become the mall santa, eventually leading him & Bart to the Springfield Downs greyhound race track in what ends with a fateful meeting with a new family member.

    The titular family, as well as some of the supporting characters like Ned Flanders & Moe, are introduced well and we already get a good picture of what they are like. The plot with all of its bells and whistles, inclyding some nice gags and a lot of heart and emotion, is delivered very well with throughout with some wonderful humor, drama and some nice character moments, culminating with the great and now classic ending with the disowned racing dog known as Santa's Little Helper, after having lost the last race, leaping into Homer's arms and is brought home as both the Christmas present and the new family member, wrapping up the episode with a neat bow (also with the family doing a silly sing-along to 'Rudolph, the Red Nosed Reindeer'). Fun, heartfelt & relatable are the keywords here.

    One of strongest pilot episodes of any series and an obvious choice for Christmas viewing each year. The show couldn't have gotten off to a better start than this, even with the fact that the best was yet to come.

    This is an easy 5/5 for me.
    Last edited by CousinMerl; 05-29-2020 at 11:58 AM.

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