Updated on March 25, 2023
Last year, I wrote about 10 holiday specials featuring characters that are people of color. This year, I thought I’d try doing the same for LGBTQ people, even if there are far fewer examples. Below is a list of some animated holiday specials featuring LGBTQ characters. That said, it’s shorter than the people of color list. LGBTQ representation in animation has made significant gains in recent years, but still has room for improvement.
Home video/streaming availability is in the United States; non-Americans will want to check JustWatch for streaming/digital availability.
Dead End: Paranormal Park
“Dead End: Paranormal Park,” which debuted on Netflix in 2022, doesn’t have a proper Christmas episode (as of this writing). However, the series does have a “Christmas in July” one, so I’ll count it here.
The series is about Barney (a gay trans teenage boy) and Norma (a bi teenage girl), who get jobs at a local amusement park that turns out to be occupied by demons.
The first season episode “The Nightmare Before Christmas in July” sees the cast compete in a demonic game show.
“Dead End” is available to stream on Netflix.
The Loud House
“The Loud House” has had several Christmas-themed episodes. Among the ones noteworthy for this list:
- “11 Louds a Leapin’,” from season 2. Clyde’s fathers (Harold and Howard McBride) appear here.
- “A Loud Houe Christmas.” Not an animated special, but a live-action made-for-TV special that aired on Paramount+ in 2021. Still, I thought I’d list it here; it includes both Clyde’s fathers and Luna’s girlfriend, Sam.
The above episodes/specials are available to stream on Paramount+.
“11 Louds” is available on the season 2 DVD set. “A Loud House Christmas” isn’t available on DVD or Blu-ray.
Rugrats (2021 reboot)
The “Rugrats” reboot, which launched in 2021, has changed things up from the original 90s “Rugrats” series. Among other changes, Betty DeVille, the mother of Phil and Lil, is now an openly lesbian woman, as well as Latinx. (The adults are also now Millennials, versus Baby Boomers in the 90s series; correspondingly, Grandpa is now a Baby Boomer, instead of a “Greatest Generation” member.)
A holiday special, “Traditions,” debuted in 2021. We see the Pickles family celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah, while Betty celebrates Las Posadas.
The “Rugrats” reboot is available to stream on Paramount+. No DVD/Blu-ray release exists, as of this writing.
With the mainstream version of Velma (officially) shown as queer with 2022’s “Trick or Treat Scooby-Doo!” Halloween special, I figure I can include a few “Scooby-Doo” specials here.
The noteworthy “Scooby-Doo” Christmas specials including Velma:
- “A Scooby-Doo Christmas,” an episode of “What’s New Scooby-Doo?” from 2002.
- “Scooby-Doo! Haunted Holidays,” a direct-to-video special from 2012.
- Velma’s also in the holiday episodes of the mid-2010s spin-off “Be Cool, Scooby-Doo” (“Scroogey Doo” and “Scary Christmas”).
All of the above Scooby-Doo specials are available to stream on HBO Max and Boomerang.
All of the above except for “Scroogey Doo” are available on DVD.
Photo by Uriel Mont (Pexels)