Christmas is nearly ruined when Marge has to spend all of the family's gift money to remove Bart's tattoo. Homer becomes a department store Santa to raise more cash, but bets it all at the dog races on a hot tip from Barney. Homer and Bart save Christmas by adopting the losing greyhound, Santa's Little Helper.
Original Air Date:
December 17, 1989
Other Information (Trivia, Fun Facts, etc):
Homer: Nixon. Comet and... Cupid. Donna Dixon?
Quick and funny references to famous 80's actress Donna Dixon and former U.S. President Richard Nixon.
Bart: If TV has taught me anything, it's that miracles always happen to poor kids at Christmas. It happened to Tiny Tim, it happened to Charlie Brown, it happened to the Smurfs, and it's going to happen to us!
Bart references two animated Christmas specials. The 1965 classic A Charlie Brown Christmas; and the 1982 yuletide special The Smurfs Christmas Special. (Also used as a parody in the form of The Happy Little Elves). Plus a reference to Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
This is the only Simpsons episode Mimi Pond ever wrote.
When Lisa is doing the Indian dance thing, many people were curious why she isn't wearing anything from the waist down. Years later on the Season 1 DVD, it was commented that Lisa is actually wearing a body suit, and is in fact "not really naked."
At the end, the copyright says 1990.
This episode was the eighth to be made for the series, as shown by the production code, but because the series was beginning broadcast just before Christmas 1989, logic dictated that should be the first one shown in the run.
Lisa requests a pony six times on her Christmas list.