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Top 10 Cartoon Network Christmas Specials

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Joey Turner
'Tis the season for Cartoon Cartoon shenanigans. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cartoon Network Christmas Specials. For this list, we’re looking back at some of our favorite Cartoon Network holiday chestnuts that tickled our winter funny bones, warmed our hearts… and in more than one case, got our adrenaline flowing. If these episodes haven’t been found in your stockings yet, there WILL be spoilers.
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'Tis the season for Cartoon Cartoon shenanigans. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today, we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Cartoon Network Christmas Specials.

For this list, we’re looking back at some of our favorite Cartoon Network holiday chestnuts that tickled our winter funny bones, warmed our hearts… and in more than one case, got our adrenaline flowing. If these episodes haven’t been found in your stockings yet, there WILL be spoilers.


#10: “Dexter vs. Santa’s Claws” “Dexter’s Laboratory” (1996-2003)


Dexter is hell-bent on proving to Dee Dee that Santa Claus is a farce – convinced that it’s really just their dad in disguise. However, in an unexpected turn of events, Dexter’s theory is discredited – Santa is real… and the little genius' campaign has ruined his family’s Christmas. Fans weren’t very fond of this episode because of the mean-spirited humor – coupled with Dexter’s stubbornness and violent treatment of the jolly old elf; but if you don’t take this special too seriously, you’ll get an entertaining holiday showdown that dares to go above the typical preachy holiday norms about goodwill and peace on Earth.


#9: “Operation N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.” “Codename: Kids Next Door” (2002-08)


The Delightful Children From Down the Lane frame the Kids Next Door in order to steal all of Santa’s presents for themselves. Once their scheme is uncovered, it’s up to the combined efforts of the KND and Santa’s elves to save Christmas from their goodie-goodie enemies …and a corrupt, underappreciated Numbuh 3. This is unarguably one of the most unique Christmas specials on the network, paying homage to our favorite Marvel comics to create an action-packed and funny holiday tale for the ages that – amid the tension – reminds us that sometimes when it comes to gift-giving, it’s the thought that counts.


#8: “Christmas” “The Amazing World of Gumball” (2011-)


It wouldn’t be a Watterson Christmas if something didn’t go horribly, horribly wrong – in this case, running over a homeless man. Convinced that the man is an amnesiac Santa Claus, Richard tries to get back on the nice list, while the Kids try to restore “Santa’s” memories… an effort undone by Nicole giving the infamous “Santa isn’t real” talk… but is he REALLY a fake? While “Gumball” is known for its cynical sense of humor, this special manages to sprinkle in a little bit of hopefulness to capture the spirit of the season mixed with the usual off-the-wall comedy that makes it all worthwhile.




#7: “Kamp Kringle” “Camp Lazlo” (2005-08)


During a camp field trip in the snowy mountains, the Bean Scouts come across Santa’s workshop – and a Santa in very much need of a vacation. Lazlo decides to give Santa his much-earned break at Camp Kidney… but St. Nick falls in love with the place and refuses to leave; meanwhile, Scoutmaster Lumpus ends up taking over the Workshop, which is bad news! This special shows that even Kris Kringle needs some time off, he can’t just give up on his life’s work when so many children depend on him. Thankfully, that fact alone gives Santa the energy to take down Lumpus and save Christmas.




#6: “Holly Jolly Secrets” “Adventure Time” (2010-18)


Finn and Jake decide to have a little private screening of Ice King’s discarded video diaries… only to find one of the series’ biggest plot twists. It’s revealed that Ice King was once Simon, a normal human whose life and mental state was completely changed when he came across the magic crown – and he has no recollection of the life he left behind. This two-parter created a massive impact – painting our titular heroes’ most demented nemesis in a tragic light, and prompting them to bring everyone together in a Christmas-like celebration every year to watch videotapes by the fire while donning festive sweaters.




#5: “The Christmas Special” “Regular Show” (2010-17)


The park groundskeepers are enjoying a nice and easygoing Christmas party… but the peace is short-lived. Mordecai, Rigby, and the rest of the gang find themselves on a mission from a buffed-up Santa Claus to destroy a cursed, magical gift created by an evil elf out to destroy the holiday. While not your typical Christmas special, it’s just another normal day at the office for our heroes – what starts as a simple celebration turns into a “Lord of the Rings” inspired adventure with the future of the season –as well as everyone’s lives- hanging in the balance.




#4: “A Lost Claus” “Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends” (2004-09)



Mac and Bloo are excited to celebrate their first Christmas at Foster’s … until they start to doubt the existence of Santa Claus. While Mac goes through an existential depression, Bloo is obsessed with the thought of only getting one present – until he inadvertently ruins everyone else’s holiday thanks to his harebrained experiments and a poorly-planned “Christmas Carol” parody. Mac’s little crisis is something that everyone goes through, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t room for a little Christmas miracle. As for Bloo, he should count his blessings to even get one crummy gift with his naughty behavior.


#3: “Billy & Mandy Save Christmas” “The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy” (2001-08)


Christmas is in jeopardy when Santa – voiced by Gilbert Gottfried – is turned into a vampire. While Billy stays behind to help with the toy factory work, Mandy and Grim must slay the vampire that caused all this. Except... it turns out that the vampire in question is Mrs. Claus, finally driven batty having to do literally all the work around the workshop. This is exactly what you’d expect from a “Billy & Mandy” Christmas special, however, it also carries the festive messages about seeing the goodness in others and helping your loved ones when they’re overworked – especially if they’re stressed, bloodthirsty beasts.


#2: “Ed, Edd n Eddy’s Jingle Jingle Jangle” “Ed, Edd n Eddy” (1999-2009)



In the episode “Fa-La-La-La-Ed”, the Eds brought the spirit of Christmas to the Cul-De-Sac in July. But, in our very first non-summer episode, it’s Christmastime for real, and Eddy is feeling particularly Grinchy. He tries to mooch off the other kids’ Christmases, while Ed and Edd try to show their short-tempered leader the true spirit of the season; sadly, even when it seems like the message finally sinks in, Eddy may never learn. While the message goes right over Eddy’s head, we’re still left with a cartoony, hysterical holiday treat – topped off with some cleverly set up yuletide callbacks… and a little festive karma.




Before we reveal our number one pick, here are a few festive honorable mentions.

“Twas the Night”
“Johnny Bravo” (1997-2004)

“Hey, Hey It’s Knishmas!”
“Chowder” (2007-10)

“A Johnny Bravo Christmas”
“Johnny Bravo” (1997-2004)



#1: “‘Twas the Fight Before Christmas” “The Powerpuff Girls” (1998-2005)


Princess Morbucks ends up on Santa’s naughty list, but rather than try to change her nasty ways, she successfully tricks him into giving her superpowers. Meanwhile, everyone else gets coal! To set things right and save Christmas, the girls must battle their bratty doppleganger while on track to the North Pole. This TV movie doesn’t pull any punches with the titular holiday brawl – the series’ fast-paced action shining through yet again. We can sleep easily this Christmas Eve knowing that the holiday is safe from brats like Princess, thanks to one of Cartoon Network’s most beloved superhero teams.
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