"Christmas Who?" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season two. In this episode, Sandy tells SpongeBob about Christmas traditions, and he then tells everybody in Bikini Bottom about Christmas.



Act 1

Patchy prologue

It's nearly Christmas in Encino, California and Patchy the Pirate, president of the SpongeBob SquarePants fan club, is deep in preparations for the holiday. With the help of his unenthusiastic assistant, Potty the Parrot, Patchy sets pictures of SpongeBob and Patrick on the mantelpiece, puts up his various SpongeBob-themed ornaments, and bakes Christmas cookies which Potty eats. Patchy also takes time to open a letter from a fan, who asks if SpongeBob likes Christmas as much as he does. Patchy remarks that there was once a time when Christmas in Bikini Bottom was unheard of, and decides to tell the tale.

"Christmas Who?"

Outside of Sandy's treedome, SpongeBob is dressed in his karate gear and preparing to give Sandy a surprise sneak attack. Inside, Sandy is putting up Christmas lights, which SpongeBob mistakes for a fire and tries to put it out with sea water. After recovering from the drenching, Sandy is shocked to find out that SpongeBob has never heard of Christmas and tells him all about it.


"Just like a genie!"

Later, at the Krusty Krab, SpongeBob passes the story of Christmas on to Patrick, Squidward and Mr. Krabs. Everyone in Bikini Bottom, except Squidward, is excited at the idea of Santa Claus bearing gifts, and they all, except Squidward, put their Christmas letters into glass bottles, which are then shot up to the surface for Santa to receive. 

Act 2

SpongeBob was sending the last of the letters to Santa and finds out Squidward still hasn't written his letter yet. SpongeBob and a few citizens try to get him to write a letter and be in the Christmas spirit but it fails. In the days leading up to Christmas, the people of Bikini Bottom heartily celebrate, and on Christmas Eve, they stand in front of the large decorated coral tree and sing, eagerly awaiting the arrival of Santa. Squidward, refusing to believe in Santa Claus, takes no part in any of the mirth.

Christmas Who 013

"Gee, Squidward, maybe Santa will bring me a dictionary so I can understand what you just said."

The people continue to sing until the next morning, when Santa has failed to arrive. Everyone leaves in bitter disappointment and SpongeBob becomes very depressed. Squidward comes out at last, laughing and scoffing at SpongeBob's humiliation, and even takes a photo to commemorate the occasion. As SpongeBob sadly trudges away, he hands Squidward a present. Squidward, still skeptical, opens it to find a hand-carved driftwood clarinet. Squidward sees clearly how SpongeBob has only been trying to spread joy, and how much of a jerk he himself has been in comparison. To atone for his behavior and for ruining Christmas for everyone, he dresses up as Santa and presents himself to SpongeBob. This delights and amazes SpongeBob, who thanks "Santa" for bringing Christmas to Bikini Bottom. Squidward replies that it was not he, but rather SpongeBob, who truly brought Christmas to Bikini Bottom. SpongeBob faints from joy, and Gary carries him home.

Gary the Snail in Christmas Who?-5

Squidward prepares to go back in his house, but is approached by a little girl, asking him for a present. SpongeBob suddenly appears beside her, assuring her that Santa will make her wish come true. Out of desperation, Squidward gives the child a wrench from his house, which pleases her greatly. He momentarily feels touched, until a crowd of people arrives expecting gifts as well, coercing him into giving away everything he owns. After sending the ecstatic SpongeBob off once more, Squidward wonders if he's gone insane for the lengths he's gone to in preserving SpongeBob's dream. Squidward then discovers a note on his doorstep, a message from Santa thanking him for his help and commending him for being a "good boy." He looks up in time to see the real Santa Claus riding away in his sleigh of reindeer saying "Ho Ho Ho." The dumbfounded Squidward remarks, "Yep, I'm insane," and goes back inside, playing his new clarinet.

Patchy epilogue

After finishing his story, Patchy has to deal with Potty perching on his head. However, it turns out the parrot merely lays him a gift of good will, which touches Patchy's heart. Patchy then proceeds to step under the mistletoe, inviting the ladies to come by for a smooch, only for Potty to start swooping after him. With Patchy preoccupied, the narrator rounds things off by wishing a "Good night, and Happy Holidays."




SpongeBob SquarePants s0e00x Original Pencil Sketches Christams Who Fester1500

SpongeBob SquarePants s0e00x Original Pencil Sketches Christams Who Fester1500

Deleted scenes

Four scenes (or lines) were deleted. They all can be found on the Christmas DVD in the special features on the Christmas Who? storyboard.

  • Squidward (as Santa) gave the first girl an antique of himself instead of a wrench.
  • While waiting in line for Santa (as Squidward), Mr. Krabs had a deleted line in this episode. He said "And don't forget about me pony!" This was cut for unknown reasons.
  • After Squidward gives the first girl the gift, SpongeBob says "I told ya he was real!" enthusiastically.
  • When they sing "This Christmas Feels Like The Very First Christmas To Me," instead of Plankton (cameoed this episode) and Mr. Krabs singing together, two Bikini Bottomites sing together.


 ) Associated production music
 ) Original music
 ) SpongeBob music
  SpongeBob SquarePants Theme Song - Stephen Hillenburg, Derek Drymon, Eban Schletter [intro]

  Happy Christmas Medley - David Snell ["And now, direct from Encino..."]
  Santa's on His Way - David Snell [Patchy wrapping presents]
  Harp Ding - Nicolas Carr ["I sure am!"]
  Santa's on His Way - David Snell [SpongeBob welcomes Santa]
  Festive Medley - David Snell [fan mail]
  Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Title card]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer ["Fire!"]
  Dramatic Cue (c) - Ronald Hanmer ["Don't worry, Sandy, I'm coming!"]
  Jingle Bells (d) - Simon Benson [Sandy's Christmas tree]
  Sugar Plum Fairy 59 - Richard A. Harvey [Sandy telling SpongeBob about Christmas]
  Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [at the Krusty Krab]
  In Dulci Jubilo - Ib Glindemann [SpongeBob writes his letter]
  Sleigh-Ride - David Snell [shooting bottles to the surface]
  The Very First Christmas - Paul Tibbitt, Peter Straus
  Christmas Morning - David Snell ["Is Squidward right? Can there be a Christmas under the sea?"/Patchy continues his story]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [sending the last letter]
  Dramatic Cue (d) - Ronald Hanmer [SpongeBob realizes Squidward hasn't written a letter yet]
  ? - Brad Carow [clarinet music]
  Deck the Halls - Chris Payne [SpongeBob tries to write a letter for Squidward/"All you have to do is write a letter. What have you got to lose?"]
  Jingle Bells - "Santa's coming tonight, tonight..."
  Steel Sting - Jeremy Wakefield ["Uh... he should be here any minute."]
  Steel Licks (b) - Jeremy Wakefield [everyone leaves]
  Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["Never trust a genie."]
  Tomfoolery - David Snell [Squidward making fun of SpongeBob]
  Drowsy Reef - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield ["You were right, Squidward."]
  Yuletide Medley - David Snell [SpongeBob made Squidward a clarinet]
  Sugar Plum Fairy 59 - Richard A. Harvey [Squidward pushes button on clarinet]
  Yuletide Medley - David Snell ["This is the greatest gift I have ever gotten."]
  Kamakani B - Kapono Beamer [SpongeBob taking decorations off his house]
  ? ["Huh? Hello? Who's there?"]
  Joy to the World - Alec Gould [Squidward dressed as Santa Claus]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Up here, you dunce!"]
  Sleigh Bells - David Arnold [sleigh bells]
  Joy to the World - Alec Gould ["Yes, it is I, Santa Claus!"]
  Christmas Party - David Snell [SpongeBob stammering]
  ? - little girl asks for a present
  Deck the Halls - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [Squidward deciding what to give her]
  The Nutcracker - Ballet Suite Op 71A - Russian Dance - Peter Tchaikovsky, George Wilson [Squidward giving away his stuff]
  Hawaiian Link (a) - Richard Myhill [Squidward takes off the Santa costume]
  Jingle Bells - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [SpongeBob at the door]
  Vibe Sting - Nicolas Carr ["Huh? What's this?"]
  Jingle Bell Swing - Ib Glindemann [letter from Santa]
  ? - Brad Carow [Squidward playing clarinet]
  Happy Christmas Medley - David Snell [ending]
  We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Sage Guyton, Jeremy Wakefield [closing credits]



  • As of September 9, 2018, The Internet Movie Database (IMDB) gives this episode a rating of 8.9/10 based on 487 ratings by users.[1] users give this episode a rating of 9.0/10 based on 214 votes.[2]




  • At the beginning of this episode, in the opening theme song, Painty the Pirate has a wreath around him and instead of saying the usual line, "Are you ready kids," he says, "Ready for Christmas kids?"
    • And, instead of him singing the opening, a female chorus sings the intro. Also, the logo card was changed to a Christmas title card.
  • This episode premiered in Canada on December 21, 2001, more than a year after it premiered in the United States.
  • This is the first double-length episode of SpongeBob.
  • DirecTV, U-Verse, Spectrum, Digiturk and PlayStation Video list this episode as "Patchy the Pirate Presents the SpongeBob SquarePants Christmas Special."
  • This is the first Christmas-themed episode. The second was "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" Every primary character (in addition to PearlKaren, and Mrs. Puff) appears again in that episode.
  • "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" premiered on Nickelodeon exactly 12 years after this episode aired.
  • This is the first episode to show Patrick with just one tooth (when he says "just like a genie"). Patrick's single tooth would later appear in more episodes and be heavily used in season 5.
  • This episode marks the second instance of Squidward feeling guilty about bullying SpongeBob and apologizing to him for that. The first is "Fools in April."
  • On the Complete 2nd Season DVD, Patchy's line at the beginning of the second half of the episode, "It's about time you got back! [holds up a SpongeBob Christmas decoration] Now I can finish me story! [scene cuts close to the decoration]," is cut due to there being no commercials on the DVD.
  • The cookie dough Patchy made was actually mashed potatoes.
  • If the viewer takes this episode frame by frame, the fan letter's envelope briefly states that the letter is from "Mike Miller."
  • In some versions, the part where the puppeteer controlling Potty falls is cut.
  • The part where Patrick says "Just like a genie" has become an internet meme.
  • When Plankton throws away the fruitcake given to him by Mr. Krabs, it is poking fun at how unpopular fruitcake is in the real world.
  • During the song "The Very First Christmas," Mr. Krabs' falsetto voice was done by Dee Bradley Baker, because Clancy Brown could not hit the high notes.
  • Despite Squidward being unenthused about Christmas, he is heard singing along to the final line of "The Very First Christmas," which was meant to be joyous. The camera also cuts to him at this time and he isn't even physically singing.
  • When the fish are sending their letters to Santa, one fish says "I hope he can read Portuguese." However, it is unknown if he was heard speaking that language from Portugal.
  • SpongeBob saying "Gee Squidward, maybe Santa will bring me a dictionary so I can understand what you just said!" to Squidward has become a famous internet meme.
  • In the Brazilian dubbing of this episode, the dialogue "I hope he can read Portuguese" was changed to "I hope he can understand my calligraphy," because Portuguese is the language spoken in Brazil.
  • The music on the record player that Squidward has while he pretends to play with his clarinet is the same song he plays in "Bubblestand."
  • The reason Santa didn't come to Bikini Bottom is because the citizens didn't go to sleep on Christmas Eve, and it is said that Santa only comes when people are asleep.
    • However, a later episode, "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," contradicts this fact.
  • The snowman that appears in this episode looks a lot like the Sandman that the children were making in "Prehibernation Week."
  • It is rather odd that Squidward wears a Santa suit, as Christmas was only introduced the day before. This seems to imply that Squidward made the Santa suit himself.
  • When Squidward feels guilty for bullying SpongeBob, he says "I feel like a..." and a picture of a donkey appears. This is a subliminal message that Squidward feels like a donkey. A similar instance of this joke is made in "Fools in April."
  • Patchy pretends that SpongeBob and Patrick go to Christmas Island, a real territory of Australia.
  • In the Polish dub, this episode's title is "Jakie święta?," which translates to "What Christmas?"
  • In the Croatian dub, the episode name is "Božić, što je to?," which translates to "Christmas, what is that?"
  • In "Jellyfishing," when Squidward comes home, Patrick yells "Merry Christmas!" but he did not know what Christmas was until this episode.
    • This seems to suggest that "Jellyfishing" takes place after this episode.
  • This episode most likely takes place before "Sandy's Rocket" since SpongeBob wore a Santa hat to bed in that episode, which indicates that Christmas had already been brought to Bikini Bottom by the time of that episode.
  • SpongeBob and Patrick didn't know what Christmas was in this episode, however, in "The Secret Box," Patrick hides an embarrassing photo of SpongeBob at a Christmas party.
    • A possible reason for this is that this episode takes place before "The Secret Box."
    • Also, "The Secret Box" was made and aired after "Christmas Who?"
  • This episode takes place after "Single Cell Anniversary" because in that episode, Plankton did not know how to sing a song, whereas in this episode he already knows how to sing.
  • This is the last episode where Nancy Suzy Fish is seen with nostrils.
  • It is unknown how Squidward got all his possessions back after the episode.
  • This is the first time that the APM track "Drowsy Reef" plays.
  • The sender of the letter Patchy gets is censored as “Name and address withheld”, but upon examining the envelope the sender’s name is shown to be Mike Miller.

Cultural references

  • The image of Santa Claus SpongeBob shows the others at the Krusty Krab is the classic image originally designed for Coca-Cola.
  • A little girl tells SpongeBob that she wants front teeth for Christmas. This is a reference to the 1944 song "All I Want For Christmas is My Two Front Teeth."
  • The title is a later reduction on the holiday film Santa Who?
  • Patchy says "That SpongeBob makes me as jolly as a Roger." This is a reference to the pirate flag called the Jolly Roger.
  • Squidward's personality in this episode could be a reference to the Dr. Seuss character, The Grinch
  • When Sandy acts out Christmas to SpongeBob, at one point, she looks like the Road Runner character from Looney Tunes.


  • Squidward sees Santa on his sleigh at the end, but it should be impossible for Santa to be able to breathe underwater. This could be why Bikini Bottom never heard about Christmas (except Sandy, since she is a land animal).
  • At the beginning, it was sunset, but when Sandy plugs in her tree, it is suddenly night.
  • Sandy is seen putting up Christmas lights at the beginning, even though she hibernates in winter. In "Bubble Buddy," Sandy does hibernate during Bikini Bottom's spring, so when it was winter in Bikini Bottom, it was still autumn for Sandy, therefore it was not time for Sandy to hibernate.
  • Towards the end of the sequence where Sandy was telling SpongeBob about Christmas, bubbles were shown when she was moving. This is impossible, as they were in the air-filled treedome. A similar mistake was made in "Someone's in the Kitchen with Sandy."
  • A few seconds after Patrick says "Like a Genie," his eyebrows turn red for a split second as he blinks.
  • When SpongeBob gave Patrick his second sheet of paper, his black shoes are transparent.

Crossed eyed girl

  • The girl who asked for front teeth is crossed eyed in one scene.
  • During the song, where they are showing Squidward his new decorated house, SpongeBob's house next-door is missing.
  • When Mr. Krabs gives Plankton the fruitcake, it is sunset in the evening. However, when the fruitcake lands in the trash, it is instantly night.
  • At first, Patrick was on the coral tree but when it was daytime, he wasn't there anymore. Patrick must've fallen off the tree.
  • When Squidward (dressed as Santa) was talking to SpongeBob, his eyelids briefly changed color for a split second to a lighter teal.
  • When SpongeBob said "Where's your reindeer, and your flying machine?" Squidward had two legs instead of four.
  • Harold's white shirt and shorts turn black in a few scenes.

    Black clothes

  • SpongeBob's tie is invisible in the sequence leading up to the picture being taken, and in the physical picture.
  • The photograph that Squidward took when SpongeBob was crying due to the fact of Santa not coming has multiple errors, when Squidward holds the photo the background around it is sand instead of snow; in the photo, the background is not the winter sky or snow, it is the typical sky that is seen in the other episodes, even though the coral tree is still visible. SpongeBob's tie is also invisible, possibly from the drooping nose.
  • Although Santa traditionally has 8 reindeer, (9 counting Rudolph) only 4 are seen or possibly the other four are next to the four seen.


Awards and nominations for SpongeBob SquarePants (VE)

Annie AwardsAnnie Award

Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Female Performer in an Animated Television Production

Voice actors: Mary Jo Catlett as Mrs. Puff (in "No Free Rides;" 2001)

Outstanding Individual Achievement for Voice Acting by a Male Performer in an Animated Television Production

Voice actors: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (in "Wormy;" 2001)

Outstanding Individual Achievement for a Song in an Animated Production

Singers: Peter Strauss and Paul Tibbitt for "The Very First Christmas" (in "Christmas Who?;" 2001)

Best Writing in an Animated Television Production

Writers: C.H. Greenblatt, Paul Tibbitt, Mike Bell, and Tim Hill (for "Fear of a Krabby Patty;" 2006)

Best Voice Acting in an Animated Television Production

Voice actors: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (in "Spy Buddies;" 2008)

Direction in an Animated Television Production or Short-form

Directors: Alan Smart (for "Penny Foolish;" 2009)

Best Home Entertainment Production

DVDs: SpongeBob vs. The Big One (DVD) (2010)

Best Voice Acting in a Television Production

Voice actors: Tom Kenny as SpongeBob SquarePants (in "Truth or Square;" 2010)

Music in a Television Production

Composers: Jeremy Wakefield, Sage Guyton, Nicolas Carr, and Tuck Tucker (2011)

Writing in a Television Production

Writers: Dani Michaeli, Sean Charmatz, Nate Cash, Luke Brookshier, and Paul Tibbitt (for "Patrick's Staycation;" 2012)

Character Animation in an Animated Television or other Broadcast Venue Production

Animators: Dan Driscoll and Savelen Forrest (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," 2013)

Directing in an Animated Television or other Broadcast Venue Production

Directors: Mark Caballero and Seamus Walsh (for "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," 2013)

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