- SpongeBob SquarePants
- French Narrator
- Patchy the Pirate (debut)
- Potty the Parrot (debut)
- Patrick Star
- Children voices
- Potty's puppeteer (debut)
- Sandy Cheeks
- Santa's elves (mentioned)
- Squidward Tentacles
- Eugene H. Krabs
- Santa Claus (debut)
- Genie (mentioned)
- Pony (mentioned)
- Little girl
- Guy who needs a new hat (debut)
- Jennifer Millie
- Old Man Jenkins (fat; blue)
- Don the Whale
- Frank (red shirt)
- Norma Rechid
- Nancy Suzy Fish
- Harry (fish)
- Dennis (citizen)
- Phil (yellow)
- Debbie Rechid
- Nat Peterson
- Harold (red fish)
- Abigail Marge
- Miss Shell
- Nathiel Waters
- Gary the Snail
- Sylvester (storyboard only)
- Olive green fish (storyboard only)
- Ivy (storyboard only
- Jimmy Gus (storyboard only)
- Sheldon J. Plankton
- Vera Fishbowl
- Monroe Timmy
- Sheldon (fish)
- Martha Smith
- Tina Fran
- Nazz-Mimi (storyboard only)
- Sadie (storyboard only)
- Snowman (debut)
- Donkey (debut)
- Easter Bunny (mentioned)
- Ivy (gray)
- Billy (lime fish)
- Santa's reindeer (debut)
It's almost Christmas in Encino, California and Patchy the Pirate, president of the SpongeBob SquarePants fan club, is deep in preparations for the holiday. With the help of his unenthusiastic assistant, Potty the Parrot, Patchy sets pictures of SpongeBob and Patrick on the mantelpiece, puts up his various SpongeBob-themed ornaments, and bakes Christmas cookies which Potty eats. Patchy also takes time to open a letter from a fan, who asks if SpongeBob likes Christmas as much as he does. Patchy remarks that there was once a time when Christmas in Bikini Bottom was unheard of, and decides to tell the tale.
Outside of Sandy's treedome, SpongeBob is dressed in his karate gear and preparing to give Sandy a surprise sneak attack. Inside, Sandy is putting up Christmas lights, which SpongeBob mistakes for a fire and tries to put it out with sea water. After recovering from the drenching, Sandy is shocked to find out that SpongeBob has never heard of Christmas and tells him all about it.
Later, at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob passes the story of Christmas on to Patrick, Squidward and Mr. Krabs. Everyone in Bikini Bottom, except Squidward, is excited at the idea of Santa Claus bearing gifts, and they all, except Squidward, put their Christmas letters into glass bottles, which are then shot up to the surface for Santa to receive.
SpongeBob was sending the last of the letters to Santa and finds out Squidward still hasn't written his letter yet. SpongeBob and a few citizens try to get him to write a letter and be in the Christmas spirit but it fails. In the days leading up to Christmas, the people of Bikini Bottom heartily celebrate, and on Christmas Eve, they stand in front of the large decorated coral tree and sing, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa. Squidward, refusing to believe in Santa Claus, takes no part in any of the mirth.
The people continue to sing until the next morning, when Santa has failed to arrive. Everyone leaves in bitter disappointment and SpongeBob becomes very depressed. Squidward comes out at last, laughing and scoffing at SpongeBob's humiliation, and even takes a photo to commemorate the occasion. As SpongeBob sadly trudges away, he hands Squidward a present. Squidward, still skeptical, opens it to find a hand-carved driftwood clarinet. Squidward sees clearly how SpongeBob has only been trying to spread joy, and how much of a jerk he has been in comparison. To make up for his behavior and for ruining Christmas for everyone, he dresses up as Santa and presents himself to SpongeBob. This delights and amazes SpongeBob, who thanks "Santa" for bringing Christmas to Bikini Bottom. Squidward replies that it was not he, but rather SpongeBob, who truly brought Christmas to Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob faints from joy, and Gary carries him home.
Squidward prepares to go back in his house, but is approached by a little girl, asking him for a present. SpongeBob suddenly appears beside her, assuring her that Santa will make her wish come true. Out of desperation, Squidward gives the child a wrench from his house, which pleases her greatly. He momentarily feels touched, until a crowd of people arrives expecting gifts as well, coercing him into giving away everything he owns. After sending the ecstatic SpongeBob off once more, Squidward wonders if he's gone insane for the lengths he's gone to in preserving SpongeBob's dream. Squidward then discovers a note on his doorstep, a message from Santa thanking him for his help and commending him for being a "good boy." He looks up in time to see the real Santa Claus riding away in his sleigh of reindeer saying "Ho Ho Ho." The dumbfounded Squidward remarks, "Yep, I'm insane," and goes back inside, playing his new clarinet.
After finishing his story, Patchy has to deal with Potty perching on his head. However, it turns out the parrot merely lays him a gift of good will, which touches Patchy's heart. Patchy then proceeds to step under the mistletoe, inviting the ladies to come by for a smooch, only for Potty to start swooping after him. With Patchy preoccupied, the narrator rounds things off by wishing a "Good night, and Happy Holidays."
- Squidward (as Santa) gave the first girl an antique of himself instead of a wrench.
- While waiting in line for Santa (as Squidward), Mr. Krabs had a deleted line in this episode. He said "And don't forget about me pony!" This was cut for unknown reasons.
- After Squidward gives the first girl the gift, SpongeBob says "I told ya he was real!" enthusiastically.
- When they sing "This Christmas Feels Like The Very First Christmas To Me," instead of Plankton (cameoed this episode) and Mr. Krabs singing together, two Bikini Bottomites sing together.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
‣ Happy Christmas Medley - David Snell ["And now, direct from Encino..."]
‣ Santa's on His Way - David Snell [Patchy wrapping presents]
‣ Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["I sure am!"]
‣ Santa's on His Way - David Snell [SpongeBob welcomes Santa]
‣ Festive Medley - David Snell [fan mail]
‣ Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]
‣ Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["Fire!"]
‣ Dramatic Cue (c) - Ronald Hanmer ["Don't worry, Sandy, I'm coming!"]
‣ Jingle Bells (d) - Simon Benson [Sandy's Christmas tree]
‣ Sugar Plum Fairy 59 - Richard A. Harvey [Sandy telling SpongeBob about Christmas]
‣ Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [at the Krusty Krab]
‣ In Dulci Jubilo - Ib Glindemann [SpongeBob writes his letter]
‣ Sleigh-Ride - David Snell [shooting bottles to the surface]
◦ The Very First Christmas - Paul Tibbitt, Peter Straus
‣ Christmas Morning - David Snell ["Is Squidward right? Can there be a Christmas under the sea?"/Patchy continues his story]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [sending the last letter]
‣ Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob realizes Squidward hasn't written a letter yet]
‣ ? - Brad Carow [clarinet music]
‣ Deck the Halls - Ib Glindemann [SpongeBob tries to write a letter for Squidward/"All you have to do is write a letter. What have you got to lose?"]
‣ Jingle Bells - "Santa's coming tonight, tonight..."
‣ Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Uh... he should be here any minute."]
‣ Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [everyone leaves]
‣ Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Never trust a genie."]
‣ Tomfoolery - David Snell [Squidward making fun of SpongeBob]
‣ Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["You were right, Squidward."]
‣ Yuletide Medley - David Snell [SpongeBob made Squidward a clarinet]
‣ Sugar Plum Fairy 59 - Richard A. Harvey [Squidward pushes button on clarinet]
‣ Yuletide Medley - David Snell ["This is the greatest gift I have ever gotten."]
‣ Kamakani B - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob taking decorations off his house]
‣ ? ["Huh? Hello? Who's there?"]
‣ Joy to the World - Alec Gould [Squidward dressed as Santa Claus]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Up here, you dunce!"]
‣ Sleigh Bells - David Arnold [sleigh bells]
‣ Joy to the World - Alec Gould ["Yes, it is I, Santa Claus!"]
‣ Christmas Party - David Snell [SpongeBob stammering]
‣ ? [little girl asks for a present/"Go ahead, Santa!"]
‣ Deck the Halls - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward deciding what to give her]
‣ The Nutcracker - Ballet Suite Op 71A - Russian Dance - Peter Tchaikovsky, George Wilson [Squidward giving away his stuff]
‣ Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [Squidward takes off the Santa costume]
‣ Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob at the door]
‣ Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Huh? What's this?"]
‣ Jingle Bell Swing - Ib Glindemann [letter from Santa]
‣ ? - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
‣ Happy Christmas Medley - David Snell [ending]
‣ We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [closing credits]
- This episode is available on the Christmas, Nicktoons Christmas, Complete 2nd Season, Nick Picks Holiday, First 100 Episodes, 10 Happiest Moments, Nick For the Holidays!, and Christmas Who? DVDs.
- As of January 27, 2019, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.8/10 based on 540 ratings by users. TV.com users give this episode a rating of 9.0/10 based on 215 votes.
- At the beginning of this episode, in the opening theme song, Painty the Pirate has a wreath around him and instead of saying the usual line, "Are you ready kids," he says, "Ready for Christmas, kids?"
- And, instead of him singing the opening, a female chorus sings the intro. Also, the logo card was changed to a Christmas title card.
- Despite the Bikini Bottomites having been introduced to Christmas in this episode, the holiday was acknowledged by them in previous episodes.
- This episode premiered in Canada on December 21, 2001, more than a year after it premiered in the United States.
- This is the first double-length episode of SpongeBob.
- This is the only half hour special of season 2, unless if you want to count the extended version of Shanghaied.
- "Patchy the Pirate Presents the SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas Special" is an alternate title for this episode, used by various cable providers and Nickelodeon's website. Amazon shortens this to "The SpongeBob Christmas Special."
- This is the first Christmas-themed episode. The second was "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" Every primary character, in addition to Pearl, Karen, and Mrs. Puff, appears again in that episode.
- This is the first episode to show Patrick with just one tooth; it can be seen when he says "just like a genie." Patrick's single tooth would later appear in more episodes and be heavily used in season 5.
- There are two books based on this episode named SpongeBob's Christmas Wish and Jingle Smells.
- On the Complete 2nd Season DVD, Patchy's line at the beginning of the second half of the episode, "It's about time you got back! [holds up a SpongeBob Christmas decoration] Now I can finish me story! [scene cuts close to the decoration]," is cut due to there being no commercials on the DVD.
- The cookie dough Patchy made was actually mashed potatoes.
- If the viewer takes this episode frame by frame, the fan letter's envelope briefly states that the letter is from "Mike Miller."
- In some versions, the part where the puppeteer controlling Potty falls is cut.
- The part where Patrick says "Just like a genie" has become an internet meme.
- When Plankton throws away the fruitcake given to him by Mr. Krabs, it is poking fun at how unpopular fruitcake is in the real world.
- During the song "The Very First Christmas," Mr. Krabs' falsetto voice was done by Dee Bradley Baker, because Clancy Brown could not hit the high notes.
- SpongeBob saying "Gee Squidward, maybe Santa will bring me a dictionary so I can understand what you just said!" to Squidward has become a famous internet meme.
- In the Brazilian dubbing of this episode, the dialogue "I hope he can read Portuguese" was changed to "I hope he can understand my calligraphy," because Portuguese is the language spoken in Brazil.
- The music on the record player that Squidward has while he pretends to play with his clarinet is the same song he plays in "Bubblestand."
- The reason Santa didn't come to Bikini Bottom is because the citizens didn't go to sleep on Christmas Eve, and it is said that Santa only comes when people are asleep.
- However, a later episode, "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," contradicts this fact.
- When Squidward feels guilty for bullying SpongeBob, he says "I feel like a..." and a picture of a donkey appears. This is a subliminal message that Squidward feels like a donkey. A similar instance of this joke is made in "Fools in April."
- Patchy pretends that SpongeBob and Patrick go to Christmas Island, a real territory of Australia.
- In the Polish dub, this episode's title is "Jakie święta?," which translates to "What Christmas?"
- In the Croatian dub, the episode title is "Božić, što je to?," which translates to "Christmas, what is that?"
- This is the last episode where Nancy Suzy Fish is seen with nostrils.
- This is the first time that the APM track "Drowsy Reef" plays.
- The sender of the letter Patchy gets is censored as "Name and address withheld," but upon examining the envelope, the return address shows the sender's name to be Mike Miller.
- The image of Santa Claus SpongeBob shows the others at the Krusty Krab is the classic image originally designed for Coca-Cola.
- A little girl tells SpongeBob that she wants front teeth for Christmas. This is a reference to the 1944 song "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."
- The title is a later reduction on the holiday film Santa Who?
- Patchy says "That SpongeBob makes me as jolly as a Roger." This is a reference to the pirate flag called the Jolly Roger.
- When Sandy acts out Christmas to SpongeBob, at one point, she looks like the Road Runner character from Looney Tunes.
- Despite Squidward being unenthused about Christmas, he is heard singing along to the final line of "The Very First Christmas," which was meant to be joyous. The camera also cuts to him at this time and he isn't even physically singing.
- Squidward sees Santa on his sleigh at the end, but it should be impossible for Santa to be able to breathe underwater.
- At the beginning, it is sunset, but when Sandy plugs in her tree, it is suddenly night.
- Sandy is seen putting up Christmas lights at the beginning, even though she hibernates in the winter. In "Bubble Buddy," Sandy does hibernate during Bikini Bottom's spring, so when it was winter in Bikini Bottom, it was still autumn for Sandy, therefore it was not time for Sandy to hibernate.
- Towards the end of the sequence where Sandy tells SpongeBob about Christmas, bubbles are shown when she moves. This is impossible, as they were in the air-filled treedome.
- A few seconds after Patrick says "Like a genie," his eyebrows turn red for a split second as he blinks.
- When SpongeBob gives Patrick his second sheet of paper, his black shoes are transparent.
- The girl who asked for front teeth is crossed-eyed in one scene.
- During the song, when SpongeBob and Patrick are showing Squidward his new decorated house, SpongeBob's house next-door is missing.
- When Mr. Krabs gives Plankton the fruitcake, it is sunset in the evening. However, when the fruitcake lands in the trash, it is instantly night.
- When Squidward as Santa talks to SpongeBob, his eyelids briefly change color for a split second to a lighter teal.
- When SpongeBob says "Where's your reindeer, and your flying machine?" Squidward has two legs instead of four.
- Harold's white shirt and shorts turn black in a few scenes.
- SpongeBob's tie is invisible in the sequence leading up to the picture being taken, and in the physical picture.
- The photograph that Squidward took when SpongeBob was crying due to the fact of Santa not coming has multiple errors, when Squidward holds the photo the background around it is sand instead of snow; in the photo, the background is not the winter sky or snow, it is the typical sky that is seen in the other episodes, even though the coral tree is still visible. SpongeBob's tie is also invisible, possibly from the drooping nose.
- Before SpongeBob gives Patrick his paper to write to Santa Claus, numbers appear on the bottom of the screen for a split second.
- When the fish sing “Santa’s coming tonight, tonight,” one of the left fish’s pants seems to disappear and reappear.
|Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (V • E)