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Are those cave-kids gonna whimper when they find out I kooped all their toys! Hahahahaha! Merry Koopa Christmas, boys and girls!

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.

A Sub-Trope of Whole-Plot Reference (so anything less than the plot is merely a Shout-Out).

Compare Yet Another Christmas Carol and It's a Wonderful Plot.

Not to be confused with The Grinch, which is just a character type.

Examples of How the Character Stole Christmas include:


Live Action TV


  • 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.

Web Originals

Western Animation

  • Homer from The Simpsons has stolen Christmas a few times, though he had good reasons...

 Homer: You're a smart one, Homer J.,

You're as crafty as a skunk.

You'll make everybody happy when they're rid of Flanders' junk,

Homer Ja-a-ay.

I'd call you a double bacon genius-burger,

And just a little drunk!

  • 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.

Unsorted Examples