Top 10 Christmas Carol Trivia

This is the most beloved holiday classic. A Christmas staple, this Charles Dickens adaptation has been brought to television and film countless times since the earliest days of cinema. A time travel morality tale, it tells the compelling tale of an old miser who travels with three ghosts to visit the past, present and future to learn the error of his ways. Join as we explore ten pieces of trivia you should know about "A Christmas Carol."

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Top 10 Christmas Carol Trivia

“Bah humbug!” doesn’t mean what you think it does! Welcome to, and today we’ll be exploring ten pieces of trivia you should know about “A Christmas Carol.”

#10 – A Beloved Annual Tradition

Kicking off our trivia list is a factoid about the first popular adaptation of Charles Dickens’ 1843 holiday classic. In the early twentieth century, there were already several film versions of this morality tale, but it was the 1938 edition that became the favorite. The reason? MGM released an unprecedented 375 prints of the movie during the holiday so it could reach the widest audience possible.

#9 – The Definitive Film Adaptation

Even though the 1938 version remained the go-to holiday staple for years, it was eventually bested by the 1951 Alastair Sim vehicle, “Scrooge.” Its faithfulness to the source material meant it was eventually recognized as the greatest film adaptation of Dickens’ story ever made! Not surprisingly, it became the version TV channels chose to show during the holiday season.

#8 – A Unique Honor

Just as the 1951 edition is considered the all-time greatest, Alastair Sim remains the most popular incarnation of Ebenezer Scrooge. The actor even reprised his role as the bitter old miser in a 1971 animated television adaptation – and, ironically, this is the only version of the story to ever be awarded an Oscar! After the win, the Academy changed its rules so made-for-TV cartoons were never again eligible for award consideration.

#7 – A Sick Little Boy

While Tiny Tim is a small character, he is vitally important to Scrooge’s story as he serves as a representation of the consequences of the miser’s actions. In the future, it is revealed that Tim will die, as his family was never able to afford treatment. We also know that Tim is sick and needs crutches, but we’re never told what his illness is. Top guesses include kidney failure or rickets caused by a lack of vitamin D – both of which were treatable in the 1800s.

#6 – Silent Night

While we’re on the subject of Tiny Tim, in 1999’s “A Christmas Carol” he sings the song “Silent Night.” That’s a bit odd, considering it wasn’t translated from German to English until the year 1863 – a full 20 years after Dickens wrote his story! So either its inclusion was a careless goof, or Tiny Tim is a well-travelled linguist who’s been to Austria! We choose to believe the latter…

#5 – Nothing Hurts Like the Present

Dickens’ tale got a comedic adaptation with 1988’s “Scrooged.” In this case, the scrooge is a ruthless TV exec named Frank Cross and played by Bill Murray. The ghosts show him his painful past and future, but turns out he experienced the most pain from the Ghost of Christmas Present, as actress Carol Kane was told to manhandle him! In the process she accidentally tore Murray’s lip so much that filming was put on hold!

#4 – Sci-Fi Connection

We’re pretty sure Charles Dickens never imagined his work being adapted by Muppets, let alone with Gonzo and Rizzo as narrators! But that’s exactly what happened with 1992’s “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” Now, as Muppet fans know, Gonzo is an alien. So, basically an alien narrates a tale about time travel. Think that’s too sci-fi for the holidays? “Star Trek”’s Patrick Stewart plays Scrooge in the 1999 adaptation!

#3 – Dead and Alive

The 2004 film “A Christmas Carol: The Musical” offers unique alterations to the timeless story. For example, in this production, Scrooge meets all three Christmas spirits in human form before encountering them as ghosts! Think that’s unsettling? Over the course of the movie, his teeth change from rotten to white and back again at random!

#2 – Disney-fication

Did you know that 2009’s motion-capture film starring Jim Carrey is Disney’s third adaption of the story? The first was “Mickey’s Christmas Carol,” and the second was “The Muppet Christmas Carol.” That makes Jim Carrey’s the first version that doesn’t fill the roles with another popular character, like Mickey Mouse or Kermit playing Bob Crachit or Goofy in the role of Jacob Marley!

#1 – Bah Humbug!

Taking the top spot on our trivia list is a fact about Scrooge’s signature retort. “Bah! Humbug!” is a widely recognized phrase, and even more widely misunderstood! Not just a dismissive response used by a crotchety old man, “humbug” actually refers to a person or thing that is dishonest. Scrooge believed that everyone was pretending to care about each other, and that he was the only person honest enough to admit how he truly felt! Lucky for him, he learned the truth in the end!

What’s your favorite piece of “Christmas Carol” Trivia? For more entertaining trivia lists, be sure to subscribe to

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