- 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)
- Incidental 22
- Incidental 85
- Incidental 37B
- Old Man Jenkins (blue)
- Incidental 69
- Incidental 17
- Incidental 21
- Incidental 16
- Incidental 32
- Incidental 37A
- Incidental 105
- Incidental 49
- Incidental 108
- Incidental 82
- Incidental 7
- Incidental 15
- Incidental 3
- Incidental 25
- Incidental 70
- Incidental 92
- Incidental 28
- Incidental 104
- Incidental 10
- Incidental 41
- Incidental 2
- Incidental 14
- Incidental 67
- Incidental 18
- Incidental 36
- Incidental 48
- Incidental 13
- Incidental 93
- Incidental 60
- Incidental 9
- Incidental 23
- Incidental 29
- Gary the Snail
- Incidental 81 (storyboard only)
- Incidental 71 (storyboard only)
- Incidental 62 (storyboard only)
- Incidental 27 (storyboard only)
- Sheldon J. Plankton
- Incidental 6
- Incidental 4
- Incidental 5
- Incidental 12
- Incidental 31
- Incidental 68
- Incidental 103
- Incidental 64
- Incidental 73
- Incidental 20
- Incidental 45
- Incidental 63
- Incidental 8
- Incidental 46 (storyboard only)
- Incidental 47 (storyboard only)
- Snowman (debut)
- Donkey (debut)
- Easter Bunny (mentioned)
- Incidental 150
- Incidental 106
- Incidental 65
- Incidental 87
- Incidental 42
- Santa's reindeer (debut)
- Old Man Walker
As the special opens, it is 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, the dough of 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 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 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 as the act ends.
Act 2 begins as SpongeBob is sending the last of the letters to Santa, and finds out Squidward still has not 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 mirths.
The people continue to sing until morning, when they realize that Santa has not come. Everyone leaves in disappointment, and they call SpongeBob out on his lying. SpongeBob and Patrick are waiting for Santa, until they realize that he really does not exist, SpongeBob becomes heartbroken. Squidward comes out, at last, laughing 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 how SpongeBob has only been trying to spread joy, he feels very remorseful for what he did, and decides to make up for his rudeness. He dresses up as Santa and surprises SpongeBob, who thanks him for bringing Christmas to Bikini Bottom.
Squidward prepares to go back inside his house but is approached by a little girl, asking him for a present. Out of desperation, Squidward gives the child a large wrench which pleases her greatly. A large crowd arrives asking for presents, and he ends up giving away everything he owns. Squidward realizes the lengths he's gone to in preserving SpongeBob's dream, and after shooing away an excited SpongeBob, he discovers a note on his doorstep, which turns out to be a message from Santa thanking him for his help. He looks up in time to see the real Santa Claus soaring overhead in his sleigh, as he is shocked that he was wrong about his existence. At a loss at seeing Santa, he dismisses himself as being insane.
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 goodwill, 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," to end the special.
- Squidward 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 and Mr. Krabs singing together, two Bikini Bottomites sing together.
|( ‣ ) Associated production music|
|( • ) Original music|
|( ◦ ) SpongeBob music|
◦ Christmas Special - Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, Eban Schletter [Intro]
‣ Happy Christmas Medley - David Snell ["And now, direct from Encino..."]
‣ Santa's on His Way - David Snell [Patchy wrapping presents]
• Harp! - 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 Strauss
‣ 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]
• Squids Clarinet - 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?"]
• Christmas Special - Eban Schletter ["Santa's coming tonight, tonight..."]
• Sleigh Bells - Nicolas Carr [Sleigh Bells overlays "Christmas Special"]
• Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Uh... he should be here any minute."]
• Steel Licks 3 - Jeremy Wakefield [everyone leaves]
• Sad 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]
‣ The Nutcracker - Ballet Suite Op 71A - Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy - Peter Tchaikovsky [Squidward pushes the 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]
• Sleigh Bells - Nicolas Carr [Sleigh bells overlays "Kamakani B"]
• Squid's Santa - Nicolas Carr ["Huh? Hello? Who's there?"]
• Jingle - Nicolas Carr [Overlays "Squid's Santa"]
• Harp! - Nicolas Carr Carr [Squidward dressed as Santa Claus]
‣ Joy to the World - Alec Gould [Squidward dressed as Santa Claus]
• Idea Vibe - Nicolas Carr ["Up here, you dunce!"]
• Sleigh Bells - Nicolas Carr [sleigh bells]
• Harp! - Nicolas Carr ["Could it be?"]
‣ Joy to the World - Alec Gould ["Yes, it is I, Santa Claus!"]
‣ Christmas Party - David Snell [SpongeBob stammering]
• Deck the Halls - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [little girl asks for a present/Squidward deciding what to give her]
‣ The Nutcracker - Ballet Suite Op 71A - Russian Dance - Peter Tchaikovsky, Jindrich Rohan [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]
• Idea Vibe - Nicolas Carr ["Huh? What's this?"]
‣ Jingle Bell Swing - Ib Glindemann [letter from Santa]
• Squid's Swinging Clarinet - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
‣ Happy Christmas Medley - David Snell [ending]
• We Wish You Had a Merry Christmas - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [closing credits]
- This episode is available on the Christmas, Nicktoons Christmas, Complete 2nd Season, The Complete Second Season, Nickelodeon Holly Jolly Holiday Specials, Aaarg!, Let's Party at Christmas!, From the Beginning, Part 1, Jolly Saint Nick, The SpongeBob SquarePants Collection, Christmas DVD Double Pack, Holly Jolly Holiday Specials, Treasure Chest: Double Pack, Triple Pack 3, Big Hits: Volume 2, Nickelodeon's Happy Holiday Pack, The SpongeBob SquarePants 8 Season DVD Collection, Holidays with SpongeBob 3-DVD Gift Set, The Ultimate SpongeBob Box Set, Really Big Box Set, The First & Second Seasons, The SpongeBob Birthday Box, Nick Picks Holiday, The Best 200 Episodes Ever, SpongeBob SquarePants Vol. 2, Bundled Up in Bikini Bottom, First 100 Episodes, 10 Happiest Moments, Nick For the Holidays! and Christmas Who? DVDs.
- This episode is also available on the Christmas VHS tape.
- This episode marks the debut of Patchy the Pirate and Potty the Parrot.
- At the beginning of this episode, in the opening theme song, the captain has a wreath around him and instead of saying the usual line, "Are you ready, kids?", he says, "Ready for Christmas, kids?"
- He also has a wreath around him and says the same line in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!".
- Instead of him singing the opening, a female chorus sings the intro. Additionally, the logo card was changed to a Christmas title card.
- Despite the introduction of Christmas to Bikini Bottom in this episode, the holiday or its related elements are mentioned in previous episodes:
- "Jellyfishing:" Patrick says "Merry Christmas!" to Squidward.
- "Sandy's Rocket:" SpongeBob wears a Santa hat to bed.
- "Mermaid Man and Barnacle Boy II:" SpongeBob, Mermaid Man, and Barnacle Boy sing a variation of Jingle Bells.
- "Your Shoe's Untied:" A Christmas bow is mentioned in the song "Loop de Loop."
- This is the first double-length episode of the series.
- However, it was one of the few double-length episodes to have one animation director, rather than two. This also happens in "Party Pooper Pants."
- This is the only double-length episode of season 2, unless the extended version of "Shanghaied" is counted.
- "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.
- 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.
- There are two books based on this episode called 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! Now I can finish me story!," is cut since there is no break on the DVD.
- According to the audio commentary for this episode, the cookie dough Patchy made was actually mashed potatoes.
- The fan letter's envelope lists its sender as "Mike Miller," but this can only be seen for a split-second.
- According to the audio commentary for this episode, they used a dummy for the puppeteer instead of an actual person.
- During the song "The Very First Christmas," Mr. Krabs' falsetto voice was done by Dee Bradley Baker, because Clancy Brown couldn't hit the high notes.
- In the Brazilian dub of this episode, the line "I hope [Santa] can read Portuguese" was changed to "I hope he can understand my calligraphy," because Portuguese is already Brazil's official language.
- The music on the phonograph that Squidward has played while he pretends to play with his clarinet is the same song he plays in "Bubblestand."
- Innuendo: 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 depicts Squidward as a "jack-ass." A similar 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, this episode's title is "Božić, što je to?," which translates to "Christmas, what is that?"
- "Drowsy Reef" plays for the first time.
- Sandy's wintertime activities are not set in stone, because in this episode, she is clearly present in Bikini Bottom and wide awake during regular hours. However, in "Bubble Buddy," she migrates for the winter. Furthermore, the episodes "Prehibernation Week" and "Survival of the Idiots" center around Sandy preparing to hibernate and SpongeBob and Patrick breaking and entering into her house while she hibernates respectively.
- In the game SpongeBob's Truth or Square, a reference to this episode appears in level 4, where Squidward is seen dressed as Santa.
- In this episode, Potty is portrayed more realistically to an actual parrot, by simply mimicking words and saying short phrases. In later episodes, Potty is more sentient.
- For unknown reasons, this episode was rated 13+ on Amazon Prime Video in August 2020.
- This has since been corrected as of October 2020, and the episode is back to being rated its original TV-Y7 rating on Amazon Prime Video.
- This episode re-aired on Nicktoons on August 14, 2020, instead of airing it on December.
- This and "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" were re-aired on July 25, 2020, as part of the "Nickmas in July" event.
- SpongeBob is shown to be ambidextrous in this episode. When he writes his letter at the Krusty Krab, he uses his right hand, while later when he tries to write a letter for Squidward, he uses his left hand.
- SpongeBob mentions the episode's title when he says, "Christmas Who?"
- Nickelodeon broadcasts this episode and "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" on December only, making both episodes extremely rare to find on TV, since they're Christmas-themed episodes. The same is also true for "Scaredy Pants", "I Was a Teenage Gary" and "The Legend of Boo-Kini Bottom", since all three are Halloween-themed episodes and are only broadcast during the Halloween season.
- When Sandy acts out Christmas to SpongeBob, at one point, she looks like the Road Runner character from Looney Tunes.
- 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."
- Patchy says "That SpongeBob makes me as jolly as a Roger," an allusion to the pirate flag called the Jolly Roger.
- As SpongeBob runs to Sandy's treedome to show off his new karate move, his water helmet is floating and is separated from his head for one frame.
- Despite Squidward being unenthusiastic 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 is not even physically singing.
- Towards the end of the sequence where Sandy tells SpongeBob about Christmas, bubbles are shown when she moves, even though they are both 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.
- The strings roping on the window side of the Krusty Krab windows are gone.
- 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 the decorations they have put on his 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 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.
- 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.