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Any story in a show that is a take on How the Grinch Stole Christmas (even if it's a different holiday).
Basically, a villainous character attempts to stop a beloved holiday from coming by stealing all the material elements of the occasion. However, he is stunned to see that all his victims care about is the holiday's true spiritual significance, which he could not affect. At that, the villain is so profoundly moved that he has a change of heart, returns all his loot without punishment and is welcomed to celebrate the occasion with his victims.
The story isn't in the public domain, but as long as they are clear parodies, the plot isn't violating any copyrights.
Not to be confused with The Grinch, which is just a character type.
- Justice League Unlimited fanfic: How the Question Stole Christmas.
- The fanfilm How the Sith stole Christmas. Thank whatever (non)deity you pray to they didn't call it How the Sith stole Life Day.
Live Action TV
- Just Shoot Me had "How the Finch Stole Christmas"
- A How I Met Your Mother episode entitled "How Lily Stole Christmas." Narrator Ted, relating the story to his teenaged children, substitutes "grinch" for "A Very Bad Word." Lily, upset over being called a c---, takes away all the Christmas decorations.
- Malcolm in the Middle had one where Lois took away Christmas until the boys behaved themselves, which they did, until they decided to sneak behind her back to open the presents.
- The X-Files had "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas", continuing their tradition of rather morbid Christmas episodes by having Mulder and Scully go ghost-hunting on Christmas Eve. What they don't know is that the ghosts are real, are they're under a murder-suicide pact, and are desperate to get another couple to re-enact it.
- Sue Sylvester, in "A Very Glee Christmas".
- Radio's The Bob and Tom Show had the skit "The Griswold Who Stole Christmas", in which co-host Tom Griswold steals the presents from the show's other regulars.
- Penny Arcade's Christmas 2009 story arc is How the Illithid stole Lolthmas.
- The New Adventures Of Queen Victoria did one such parody with Osama Bin Laden.
- Insonicnia's special "How The Eggman Stole Christmas", with a twist: Eggman planned to steal everything while wearing a Santa suit as camouflage... and then literally steal the holiday away by re-delivering the gifts as himself to make people think he was the one who sent them in the first place and thus make himself popular.
- /co/ has produced "How the Rorschach Stole Christmas" and "How Larfleeze Stole Christmas"
- /a/ has produced How the Battler stole Witchmas.
- How Growing Up Stole Christmas
- Homer from The Simpsons has stolen Christmas a few times, though he had good reasons...
Homer: You're a smart one, Homer J.,
- A less direct example is Bowser in the Super Mario World Christmas episode.
- There was one short TV parody called "How the Grinchy-Poo Stole Christmas!" from the South Park episode, "Merry Christmas, Charlie Manson!" Also some characters from the episodes "Cartmanland" and "Woodland Critter Christmas" parody some "lines" they borrowed from How the Grinch Stole Christmas!"
- From 2002 to 2005, Nickelodeon ran a series of shorts parodying the classic 1960s Christmas specials with the Nicktoon characters every December. One segment, titled How the You-Know-Who Stole the You-Know-What!, featured Angelica from Rugrats, as "Grinchelica", stealing all the candy from the other Nicktoon characters.
- The Christmas Episode of Princess Tutu Abridged, entitled How Drosselmeyer Stole the Abridged Series.
- Brawl in the Family has a take.
- Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series has How the Thief King Stole Slavemas.
- How the Stritch Stole Christmas. About Elaine Stritch.
- FoxTrot did one where Jason wrote a story casting his mother as "Mrs. Grinch", a cheapskate who wouldn't buy expensive enough presents for the "Kids down in Kidville". Instead, she replaces all the cool game consoles with nutritious health bars.
- "How the Grinch Stole Hanukkah".
- Alex himself does it in guest comics in Captain SNES. He's mostly doing it to screw with the censor-slash-narrator who wants him to get into the holiday spirit in precisely the way it thinks is best, whether he likes it or not, and he ends the series with a Take That at the narrator that stuns it so much that it stops censoring him.
- The Joker did this during The Long Halloween. Monster Clown playing The Grinch just because he wanted some attention? Hell yes!
- Parsee from the Touhou Project Steals the Precious Christmas.
- Back when Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Capitol Steps did "How the Ging-Grinch Stole Congress."
- The Angry Video Game Nerd did this for the 2010 Christmas Episode, where the Nerd steals everyone's good games and replaces them with bad ones. The gamers down in Gameville all laughed at the bad games.
- The Nostalgia Critic review of The Grinch (the Jim Carrey version) is played up like a parody of the original story. He's not trying to steal Christmas, but their enjoyment of that movie.
- How Battler Stole Witchmas.