This show started with a Christmas episode. Will it end with a Christmas episode?
No, of course not. This was merely the fall finale.
It’s Christmas time, and all Bart and Lisa want for Christmas is a very expensive smart TV. Marge and Homer are not really inclined to go get one just yet, even wondering why their HDTV has an antenna, but then an ad for the local Sprawl*Mart comes on, advertising the model the kids want for $500, roughly $2,000 less than what they were asking for. That means Homer and Marge plot to get the TV. First, Marge will stake out a spot outside the store and wait, and later Homer will come take her spot at 3AM. Sounds like a plan that Homer is sure to mess up because that’s how The Simpsons works.
But let’s give Homer the benefit of the doubt. He actually tries. He tries very hard. He has reminders that work. He gets dressed and out the front door on time. And then his scarf gets stuck in the front door as he runs out and he knocks himself unconscious.
Marge, on her end, starts giving away some of her winter wear to pathetic Ol’ Gil, starting with her spare scarf, her ear muffs, and finally her gloves. It’s record cold out, and Marge starts to lose feeling in her fingers, but hey, that makes karate chopping other shoppers that get in her way easier. But then she sees Gil, trying to buy a simple stuffed toy for his granddaughter, get repeatedly trampled. Marge can get the TV or help Gil.
She opts to help Gil. Cletus and his family get the last TV.
And then Gil sells the toy to someone else.
As it is, Marge isn’t mad at Homer (you know HE would have gotten that TV), but she is mad at herself and opts to make it the best Christmas ever. That’s…rather sad, really. Her bandaged hands aren’t helping. So, Homer opts to do a good thing and get Marge a vacation to Florida, a state I am pretty sure the family is not allowed to visit. He manages to get a hotel of some kind before it sells out and then he and the kids have to drug Marge to get her in the car.
Good news, there. Marge is happy to find out where they are going when she wakes up.
Bad news, too. The hotel is kind of a dump. The manager, voiced by returning guest star Jane Lynch, gets them to their room, a room with a low ceiling and a small door. Plus, the toilet and shower are the same appliance called a shoilet. And the walls are pretty thin for when the couple next door first argues and then makes up. This place sure looks like a dump.
Is Marge unhappy? Homer chats with the kids and tells them Marge is only ever as happy as the saddest Simpson (everyone looks at Lisa), and as such, as long as they fake smiles, Marge will enjoy the trip.
Turns out that doesn’t work, as Marge finally says she hates the trip in the cruddy nearby amusement park’s Hall of Vice Presidents. Don’t mention Hamilton to robot Aaron Burr. And if they’re all being honest, Bart was busy Facetiming Milhouse, his own personal Vice President. So, if the family leaves immediately, they can be home to Springfield in time for Christmas. Bart manages to get a refund when the manager wakes up to a bed full of Vice President heads. Robot Dick Cheney is somehow still threatening that way. I should not be surprised by that.
And so, the Simpsons drive home. The car breaks down a few miles from Springfield, but the family makes their way through some kind of blizzard to the warm lights and friendly welcome atmosphere of…Moe’s Tavern!? Wait, Moe does a nice Christmas dinner for the old and the lonely? Who knew?
He does it so his customers don’t find religion and stop drinking, of course, but it allows the Simpsons, with Grampa and Moe, to enjoy a Christmas dinner together.
Plus, Bart’s VP thing gets the family enough money back to buy that smart TV.
Everybody wins. Except that hotel manager.