Ho-ho-ho! I'm here to kick butt and lick candy canes, and I'm all out of candy canes!
  — Santa about to fight Pitch in Deep 13

The Movie

Main article: Santa Claus (film)


Santa Claus helps some children resist the temptations of Satan.

The Episode

Host Segments

TV's Frank gives Dr. F his gift

Prologue: Mike and the Bots' attempt to sing carols ends in disaster when Mike knocks over the thermos full of nice, very hot chocolate. 

Gypsy gives Mike a sweater

Segment One: As the SOL crew recovers from their carolling injuries, Frank reveals that he has shaved his head and bought Dr. F a watch fob. Dr. F signs over an old savings bond since he forgot to get a present for Frank. On the SOL, Crow gets a Steve Alaimo album, Tom Servo gets a drug and IV handbook, Mike gets a sweater with "Joike" knitted on it (Gypsy started it for "the other guy"), and Gypsy receives underwear-in-a-candy-cane. Frank laments the loss of his hair for nothing, as Dr. F tells "Mark" this week's movie, telling him "it's a well thought out documentary about the Crimean War", only for Frank to angrily shout "It's a stupid Mexican kids movie!!!"

"We are Santa Klaws!"

Segment Two: Rock band Santa Kläws performs "Whispering Christmas Warrior". The Mads respond in true rock fan fashion.

Segment Three: The Bots have arranged a Nelson family reunion via the Hexfield Viewscreen - except they got the wrong Nelson family. Turns out there are not only thousands of Nelsons on Earth, but Mike isn't from Green Bay.

Pitch (played by Paul Chaplin) visits Deep 13

Segment Four: Mike and the Bots sing an all-inclusive politically correct holiday song: "Merry Christmas... If That’s Okay".

Segment Five: Mike is clearing up the wrapping paper from opening Christmas presents, but is feeling a little sad. However, Gypsy points out the window of the SOL that it's snowing, giving the crew on the SOL a snow day! Meanwhile, back in Deep 13, the devil Pitch is having a snack with the Mad Scientists. As Pitch outlines his plans for the New Year, bells can be heard and Santa Claus himself bursts onto the scene and begins to spar with Pitch. Dr Forrester and TV's Frank happily watch the scuffle unfold.

Stinger: A maniacal mechanical reindeer laughs

MST3K cast

Regular cast

Guest cast


  • Unusual credits: An instrumental version of "Merry Christmas... If That's Okay" is played instead of "Mighty Science Theater".
  • This episode aired sixth and last during Turkey Day '17.
  • Frank shaving his head and buying Dr. Forrester a watch fob is a reference to the short story "The Gift of Magi" by O. Henry. In it, a struggling young married couple make great personal sacrifices in order to be able to buy Christmas presents for each other. The wife cuts off her beautiful long hair (in which she took great pride) and sells it to wig maker so that she can buy a watch fob (which is a chain) for her husband (who has sold his antique pocket watch in order to buy her an elaborate set of hair combs). Frank reacts with confusion at the idea of having sold his hair, indicating that he skipped that part of the transaction and has shaven his head for no particular reason.


Obscure References

  • "Santa Claus on Pipedreams"
Pipedreams is a radio program by American Public Media of Minneapolis that focuses on music of the pipe organ.
  • "Ted Danson's comedy school."
In a rather bizarre incident, Ted Danson performed a monologue in blackface at a Friar's Club roast of Whoopi Goldberg, who he was dating at the time. She wasn't impressed, and the relationship ended soon afterwards.
  • "What is this, Sliver?"
Said in reference to Santa's many observation devices. Sliver is a 1993 thriller in which voyeurism was a key plot element.
  • "I think David Byrne stole this music."
A reference to Talking Heads frontman David Byrne.
  • "A Steve Alaimo album?!"
Steve Alaimo was a pop singer and teen idol during the early 1960s. He starred in Wild Rebels, used in Experiment #207.
  • "I love him! I love him! And where he goes I'll follow..."
Lyrics from I Will Follow Him sung by Little Peggy March.
  • "Children on the verge of a nervous breakdown!"
A reference to the 1988 Spanish film Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.
  • "C'è 'na luna mezz'u mare...Mamma mia m'a tare..."
Servo is singing a few lines from the Italian folk song C'è 'na Luna Mezz'u Mare. It is usually sung at Italian or Sicilian weddings as was famously depicted in the opening of The Godfather.
  • "Bertolucci is brought in to direct this scene."
A reference to Bernardo Bertolucci, and The Last Emperor (as the comment is made during the Chinese children's singing).
  • "Okay, back to cram school!"
Cram schools, a common phenomenon in Japan, are a type of private school that offers intensive tutoring for standardized tests and examinations.
  • "Don't say anything to upset them!"
Servo is quoting John Cleese's observation about German tourists from his mid-1970s sitcom Fawlty Towers.
  • "Get up, stand up... stand up for your rights!"
Mike is quoting the Bob Marley song "Get Up, Stand Up".
  • "Puppet Master III!"
Puppet Master III was a 1991 direct-to-video horror movie about evil living puppets.
  • "It's the 'Trilogy of Terror' dolls!"
Trilogy of Terror was a made-for-TV anthology horror movie from 1975, with one memorable segment about Zuni fetish dolls.
  • "The J. Paul Getty, Jr.-scope!"
A reference to oil heir John Paul Getty III, who was kidnapped in 1973 by captors who eventually cut off one of his ears.
  • "Call me Ishmael."
Herman Melville's Moby-Dick opens with the line, "Call me Ishmael."
  • "I was born in a house my father built..."
Richard M. Nixon opened his memoirs with this line.
  • "The minute Yossarian..."
The opening line from Catch-22.
  • "Please Mr. Ruth... Hit a home run!"
The young boy brings to mind the final scene from The Babe Ruth Story: where a young cancer patient asks Babe Ruth to hit a home run for him. Babe Ruth not only fulfills this promise, but upon doing so the young cancer patient is seemingly cured. This sappy scene earned the movie a reputation for one of the worst and wholly inaccurate biopics ever made.
  • "Did he say 'Blessed are the cheesemakers'?"
Crow is quoting a line from the Monty Python movie Life of Brian.
  • "I'm more popular than Jesus!"
A reference to the infamous statement attributed to John Lennon of The Beatles, and the contradictory celebration of the two Christmas icons.
  • "Jim J. Bullock is more frightening than that devil!"
Actor Jim J. Bullock is best known for playing the non-threatening character Monroe Ficus on the 1980s sitcom Too Close for Comfort.
  • "All he has to do is use the magic dreaming powder made by Mr. Merlin!" "And Mr. Owsley!"
Chemist Owsley Stanley was San Francisco's largest producer of LSD during the late 1960s.
  • "Red Adair is brought in to extinguish the fire!"
Red Adair was a famous oil-field firefighter.
  • "Summer of My German Stormtrooper!"
The Summer of My German Soldier is a novel about an American girl who befriends an escaped German POW during World War II.
  • "A young Barton Fink!"
Barton Fink was a 1991 film directed by the Coen Brothers.
  • "What is this, 'Home Alone 3: The Quickening'?"
The Quickening was the subtitle of the second "Highlander" movie (and in general refers to the power surge that results when one of the immortal warriors beheads another).
  • "Flaming Moe's!"
Flaming Moe's was a Simpsons episode in which Moe the bartender takes credit for a flaming cocktail invented by Homer.
  • "Moms Mabley!"
Moms Mabley was an African-American comedian who began her career on the so-called "chitlin circuit", then became popular among white audiences during the 1960s.
  • "Hosni Mubarak!"
Hosni Mubarak was president of Egypt from 1981 to 2011.
  • "It's the last episode of 'A.K.A. Pablo'."
A.K.A. Pablo was a short-lived sitcom from the mid-1980s.
  • "I'm here to eat candy canes and kick ass, and I'm all out of candy canes!"
Stated during the final host segment, this is a parody of a line from the 1988 movie They Live.
  • "I've written a letter to Daddy..."
The signature song of former child star "Baby" Jane Hudson from the film What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
  • "And when you awaken..." "You'll be Rick Wakeman"
Rick Wakeman a British born keyboard player famous for playing in the band "Yes".
  • "The giant turtle named Gamera is about to attack the city."
The third and final reference in the episode to a previous movie experiment, Mike is openly stating the Gamera franchise character.
  • "I feel the need. The need for speed."
Crow is referencing the famous quote from the Tom Cruise 80s film Top Gun.
  • "There's a man outside....""His name is Jim, he asked if I could marry him."
Paraphrased from the song The Boys in My Little Girl's Life by Mike Douglas and recited sometimes by school children.
  • "I want to live in America, Cadillacs zoom in America..."
Lyrics from the song "America" from the stage musical and film West Side Story.
From a song by Taylor Dean.
  • "The only thing this child wants..." "Is fear itself!"
A parody of a famous speech by FDR.
  • "Clap on, Clap off"
Parody of the commercial for The Clapper.
  • "Cop killer, c-c-c-cop killer..."
Parody of the song Cop Killer by Ice-T's band Body Count.
  • "Next up in the Jr. vocal category... Thailand"
Parody of the late Ed McMahon and his show Star Search.
  • "I'm Martha Raye!"
The doll seen during Lupita's dream sequence resembles the late comedy actress Martha Raye.
  • "It's a Rue McClanahan doll!"
Lupita's huge dolly looks like the late actress Rue McClanahan from Mama's Family, The Golden Girls, and Hollywood After Dark.
  • "Relax, it's just Keith Magnuson!!"
Former NHL player, tough guy Keith Magnuson.
  • "Jamie Farr!"
The devil resembles the actor best known as Corporal Max Klinger from TV's M*A*S*H, Jamie Farr.
  • "I suppose hell got an NEA grant?"
The National Endowments for the Arts has been known to give funding to sometimes controversial projects.
  • "Hey look! The ghost of Ross Perot."
Ross Perot ran for President in 1992.
  • "Think I'll go have a Rumple minze."
Santa wants a peppermint-flavored liquor, Rumple Minze.
  • "Ma Barker's Killer Brood."
Killer Brood is a low budget crime film released in 1960.

MST3K 521 Promos

  • "Would you shut the bloody organ grinder up!?"
A reference to Monty Python's Cheese Shop Sketch.
  • "It's Rob and Laura!"
The bedroom is reminiscent of The Dick van Dyke Show.

Various other in-jokes are delivered here:

  • Tom makes various Three Stooges noises such as a "Ne-ahh-ah" (once when Santa's unusual gadget device is first shown; a second time during the chaotic finale for the film).
  • While the three mischievous children are sitting on the sidewalk in their first scene together, Mike mumbles the theme for The Little Rascals series.
  • When Santa opens his mouth and starts yelping during the ending, Tom lets out his best impression of a Tarzan yodel.
  • The segment of Frank and Forrester exchanging gifts is a parody of O. Henry's Gift of the Magi. The story was earlier parodied by the Mads in Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.

Video releases

MST3K DVD cover