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Christmas specials: “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”

Updated on December 10, 2021

Finally wrapping up the minor Christmas specials list (for now) is “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer.” It’s based on the ultra-cheesy Christmas song of the same name.


In this special, a young boy named Jake Spankenheimer is one of the few in his city who still believes in Santa. His grandmother runs a general store and is beloved by almost everyone. The sole exception is the family’s greedy Cousin Mel. She wishes to sell the family store to the city’s billionaire magnate, who owns almost every other business in town. (However, he’s not villainous.)

Along the way, the event in the song’s title occurs; however, here it’s in a more kid-friendly fashion. Grandma isn’t killed (as the song implies); instead, she’s rendered amnesiac and missing. The remainder of the special includes a massive Grandma search, an email sent to Santa, and Santa arrested and put on trial. St. Nick’s also sued by Cousin Mel, hoping to win a massive financial settlement for “the world’s most famous case of hit-and-run.”

The special includes a few other songs. One’s about a fruitcake, another—after she goes missing—is about Grandma’s “heavenliest Christmas of her life,” or afterlife apparently.

On TV/home video

The CW and Cartoon Network usually air this special during the holidays.

“Grandma” was released to DVD in the early 2000s.

(Updated 12/2/16)

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