- The Best Christmas Story Never
Infobox American Dad! episode
Title =The Best Christmas Story Never
Series =American Dad!
December 17, 2006
newspaper_headline = "Exclusive photos!
Santa exits sleigh, flashes crotch"
Episode list =
List of American Dad! episodes
Season list = Infobox_American_Dad!_Season_2
Bush Comes to Dinner
__NOTOC__"The Best Christmas Story Never" is the ninth episode of the second season of the
animated series" American Dad!".
The episode begins with the family in the town square. Roger is horribly depressed and drunk, complaining that since landing on Earth sixty years ago he's accomplished almost nothing; Stan, however, is overjoyed, until he finds out that the Christmas Tree has been banned due to its religious nature. He is further dismayed when more signs of secularism occur---the clerks at the mall aren't allowed to say "Merry Christmas," and the town goes so far, as to rename the annual attacker, the Christmas Rapist, the "Holiday Rapist." Stan blames the whole thing on
Jane Fonda---his logic being that her going to North Vietnamrevitalized the "dying" hippie movement, and that since yesterday's hippies grew up to be modern liberals, modern liberalism is her fault. He is finally pushed over the edge when a group warning of the "Christmas Rapist" (a midget who always rapes on Christmas) refer to him as the "Holiday Rapist". Stan becomes so enraged that he destroys the tree and the presents; the kids and Roger are horribly sad, and Francine is so mad she banishes him to the couch.
That night, Stan is visited by the
Ghost of Christmas Past(a former Tooth Fairynamed Michelle - voiced by Lisa Kudrow), who takes him back to 1970to renew his Christmas spirit by seeing his younger self, happy. Stan, however, runs away from her, taking advantage of his presence in the past to "kill" Jane Fonda, thus changing the future. The Ghost, unsure where he has gone, goes back to the present to get Francine; the two then return to the past to find Stan.
Stan has tracked Fonda down to the set of "
Klute", where he finds out that Donald Sutherlandwas the one who led her to politics, and changes his plan to assassinate him instead; he does not realize that Sutherland merely says "get involved in politics" to hit on actresses. He finds Sutherland at a Hollywood party, where he happens to meet Martin Scorseseand convinces him to give up drugs. Francine and Michelle then grab him and bring him back to the present, where they are shocked to discover the street desolate, with Soviet tanks and soldiers patrolling. They eventually figure out what has happened---by getting Scorsese off drugs, they stopped him from ever making the movie " Taxi Driver;" as a result John Hinckley, Jr.never saw Jodie Fosterin the movie and became obsessed with her, which resulted in him never trying to assassinate Ronald Reagan. This dented his popularity in the 1984 election, as the near-death experience made him appear stronger; in the new reality he thus lost to Walter Mondale, who then surrendered the country to the Soviet Union just 47 days into his Presidency. The group then goes back to attempt to fix what Stan did.
Stan decides to make the movie himself; however, he quickly alienates
Robert De Niroand decides to make the movie with John Wayneinstead. Stan and Francine follow Hinckley into a movie theater and watch the new Taxi Driver behind him. After the movie is over, Stan asks Hinckley what he thought of the movie, and he says it was alright. Francine then asks him if he thinks Jodie Foster is attractive, and he reacts very badly to this, pointing out that she is 12-years-old. This means that the future remains unchanged. The Ghost then transports them to March 30, 1981, and tells Stan that the only way to fix the future is if he shoots Reagan instead. Stan is shocked; he is unable to shoot his favorite president. Francine reminds him how much he wanted Christmas, and points out that it wouldn't exist at all if the Soviets ruled; Stan replies that he doesn't care about trees and presents, but would be happy as long as he had Francine and the kids. The Ghost then informs him that in the alternate future Francine and Stan may never meet, meaning also that Steve and Hayley won't exist. Stan then decides (after also realizing that he does not have to KILL Reagan, just wound him) that he must shoot Reagan, and shoots him. Just as he does, the two suddenly transport back into their bed on Christmas morning, 2006.
The two are relieved to find out that history is back to normal, and after fixing the presents and tree, the family enjoys a happy Christmas. The Ghost appears to Stan one last time to give him a gift for saving her job -- a brand new gun she says she bought the previous night. When Stan asks how that is possible, as the
Brady Billrequires a week waiting period, she informs him that he only shot Reagan and not Brady, meaning that in this new timeline buying guns is incredibly easy. Stan rejoices that he changed the future for the better, and says "this is the best Christmas ever."
In a subplot, Stan buys a "Best of Disco" cassette for Roger; ironically, this act (in which the clerk says "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas") is what causes the entire episode to occur. When he goes back in time to 1970, the tape falls out of his jacket and is found by Roger. Playing it to executives, Roger becomes fabulously wealthy by inventing the Disco era. However, in 1981, disco becomes "dead" and Roger loses everything. Upon returning to the future, Roger still talks of his time as the inventor of disco and the episode ends with that timeline still in effect.
*The beginning of the episode is about the current
Christmas controversyin the United States.
The Blue Marblephoto.
*Roger says that he crashed at
Roswell, New Mexicoin 1947. (see: Roswell UFO incident)
*The headline on the newspaper could be taken as a reference to the infamous
*The Ghost of Christmas Past's name is Michelle, possibly a reference to Lisa Kudrow's role in "
Romy and Michele's High School Reunion".
*Stan goes to the set of "
Klute" and sees Jane Fondaeat cat food.
*Roger's disco party appears to have 3 characters from the film "
Boogie Nights" sitting to the right of the phone (Dirk Diggler, Jack Horner, and Rollergirl)
*When we see Roger entering his office, a modified version of the song "
For The Love Of Money" by the O'Jaysis played which is the opening theme for the show "The Apprentice".
*One of the Roger's "success compositions" was
The Hustlewhich was originally written in 1975by Van McCoy.
*Roger's hiding place for the disco tape also contains cash and small packages which could be
Cocaineor Heroin, and in a later scene Roger rolls up a million dollar cheque and takes drugs off camera.
*The Ghost of Christmas Past uses a device much like the one used by Al on the show "Quantum Leap".
*The plot parodies
Ray Bradbury's " A Sound of Thunder".
*The Ghost has also been referenced to a character from the movie "Scrooged", which was a parody of
Charles Dickens' " A Christmas Carol", where one of the Ghosts of Christmas was a ditzy fairy.
*The plotline of Roger becoming rich by using information from the future (in this case a disco tape of future hits), is reminiscent of "
Back to the Future Part II".
*The boy Stan talks to near the end of the episode resembles "Paperboy".
*In 1970 New York, Roger mentions he was up for a role on the soap "
Ryan's Hope" - which didn't go on the air until 1975.
*The gift that the young Stan receives in 1970 is a toy
Boeing 747, which had just been introduced that year.
*Roger reveals his genitals are located near his armpit.
* "Taxi Driver" was in part inspired by the movie "The Searchers" which starred
John Wayne. Stan's remake of "Taxi Driver", while an anachronistic and incongruous mix of the two films, isn't that far off as far as plot is concerned.
Leonid Brezhnevaccepting Mondale's surrender is anachronistic as he died two years before the 1984 election. However, this could be a result of the theory that even killing a butterfly in the past can drastically change the future, an idea which was revisited in " Meet the Quagmires", an episode of Seth MacFarlane's other series, Family Guy. Incidentally, Roger makes a cameo at the end of the episode.
*Michelle is strangely enough drawn without a black outline.
*The midget who plays the Elf at the mall appears to be the "Christmas/Holiday Rapist" (as seen on the poster). He later appeared in "
*In the episode "
The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" there's a different angel who helps Stan, who's also named Michelle.
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