"It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" is a SpongeBob SquarePants episode from season eight. In this episode, Plankton turns everybody in Bikini Bottom naughty by feeding them his special Jerktonium fruitcakes all in an effort to get his Christmas wish.
Patchy the Pirate (Parodying the role of S.D. Kluger from Santa Claus is Comin' to Town) drives a mail truck through a snowy mountain range. He stops to wish the viewers a Merry Christmas and tells them he wanted to make sure Santa Claus got his letter. He then lies saying he gave the mailman the day off, but it is revealed that he stole the truck and the mailman is tied up in the back.
Potty the Parrot doubts they'll make it to the North Pole, and he and Patchy argue about which Christmas carol the directions to the North Pole are in. The truck is driven madly until Potty notices there is literally a fork in the road, which gets stuck in one of the tires and causes the truck to spin madly. Patchy then suggests that they see what SpongeBob is doing for the holidays.
Patchy drives the truck off a cliff and the mailman escapes. He and Potty get lost in the woods (since the fork got stuck in one of the truck's tires and caused it to go flat, preventing them from being able to drive it any further) and are trying to warm up by a fire. Out of a sense of hunger, Patchy hallucinates and imagines Potty as a platter of buffalo wings and nearly eats him, only to snap out of it. Potty then also hallucinates and imagines Patchy's head as a suet cake topped with birdseed and pecks on him.
At the end of the episode, Patchy and Potty make it to the North Pole, believing they finally made it to Santa's workshop. Patchy apparently meets Santa in a cave and tells him his Christmas wish is to meet SpongeBob. However, it turns out he was, once again, hallucinating and really encountered a hungry polar bear, which started chasing him. Watching nearby, the real Santa puts Patchy on the naughty list for stealing a mail truck. He and Potty then wish the viewers a merry Christmas.
Set to December 23, SpongeBob is really excited that Christmas is almost here. SpongeBob sees his friends are preparing for Christmas as well. Squidward is stringing lights so Santa knows to "go away". Patrick has set a trap for Santa to make him stop the clocks so they will have Christmas all year long (but he gets trapped in his own trap). Sandy is conducting a Christmas scientific experiment. Mr. Krabs is ready for the season of "getting." Meanwhile, Plankton isn't happy as he gets nothing but coal in his stocking every year, so he comes up with a new plan to ruin the holidays which involves the element he recently discovered, Jerktonium (Jt) that he pastes on the periodic table. He then sprinkles it in fruitcake which will cause anyone who eats it to become a jerk. With everyone except him acting like a jerk, Santa will have no other choice but to put him on his nice list and give what he always wanted to get for Christmas- the formula for the Krabby Patty. Driving a fruitcake dispenser car called the Jerkmaker-9000, Plankton wonders who will be his first victim when SpongeBob shows up. After feeding him a piece of fruitcake and seeing that he didn't become a jerk, Plankton thinks he got a piece that didn't have Jerktonium, so he fed him more, slices, whole loafs, even a baker's dozen, with no affect. Thinking his plan has failed yet again, Plankton tosses SpongeBob the keys to the cake dispenser before kicking it and heading back into the Chum Bucket irritated. Driving the fruitcake dispenser up to a trio of Christmas carolers, SpongeBob gives them each a piece of fruitcake. Upon consuming it, they get enveloped in a green aura, grow five 'o' clock shadows and burly eyebrows and begin arguing about which song to sing. Thinking they're just being passionate about the holidays, SpongeBob drives off to find more people to pass the fruitcake out to. Plankton, hearing the racket, comes out of the Chum Bucket and sees the carolers arguing, much to his delight. The Jerktonium works after all! Getting on a unicycle, Plankton follows after SpongeBob to see him unwittingly carry out his scheme.
Coming up to a Christmas parade in town, SpongeBob starts tossing fruitcake to everyone present: the spectators, the parade Santa, and even the driver of the parade float, totally unaware of the transformation everyone is undergoing. Plankton is pleased that soon everyone in town will be jerks - except SpongeBob.
Consulting Karen, Plankton discovers that SpongeBob's extreme pure-of-heart and innocent love of the Christmas holidays shields his heart from the effects of the Jerktonium. Knowing that SpongeBob still being on the nice list would ruin his plan, Plankton is forced to unleash "Plan B": an evil wind-up robot clone of SpongeBob, named ToyBob, to ruin Bikini Bottom and destroy SpongeBob's good name. The robot begins its campaign of naughtiness by throwing a boat into a building and burns down the Krusty Krab sign, trapping Mr. Krabs inside.
Later that day, as he returns from feeding fruitcake to everyone in Bikini Bottom, SpongeBob crosses paths with the carolers, who bad-mouth him. As SpongeBob passes the Krusty Krab where Mr. Krabs is (cheaply) fixing the sign, Mr. Krabs says that the repairs are going off his salary, thinking SpongeBob had destroyed the sign. Then he sees with Patrick, who also became a jerk, setting another trap for Santa and tells SpongeBob to leave before falling it again. The next morning, Christmas Eve, SpongeBob finally notices that everyone is being mean. Afraid that Santa might fly by Bikini Bottom, he asks Squidward for help, but Squidward (the only one in town who didn't need Jerktonium) claims he's not home, which SpongeBob immediately falls for and decides to go see Sandy on Squidward's suggestion. Right after SpongeBob leaves, ToyBob knocks (or more specifically, bumps) Squidward's door, and when Squidward (still angrily) refuses to let him in, he grabs the door and smashes it on Squidward's head after he angrily demands the door back.
Meanwhile, SpongeBob goes to Sandy's treedome to explain, but she is also a jerk. SpongeBob accidentally drops some fruitcake into Sandy's Christmas Magic Analyzer, which shows that it is contaminated with Jerktonium. Sandy asks where SpongeBob got it from and he answers Plankton. Sandy asks again in disbelief that he would take the cake from the known-to-be evil Plankton and just hand it out to people without suspicion, to which SpongeBob stupidly says yes. After discovering that SpongeBob is immune to Jerktonium but everyone else needs an antidote, Sandy sets her analyzer to come up with one. However, she can't make heads or tails of the formula notes. SpongeBob realizes that it's actually a music sheet. After SpongeBob recites some of the notes, Sandy instantly returns to normal, making SpongeBob realize the song is the antidote.
Getting to the center of town where everyone is having a riot, SpongeBob begins singing the song Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas). One by one, all the Bikini Bottomites become good and respectful again as they sing along, (with Squidward later joining in despite still being a jerk himself).
With everyone back to normal, not a moment too soon, SpongeBog happily says that Santa should be there any moment, which Mr. Krabs verifies as, at the moment, Santa's sleigh comes down from the sky. SpongeBob happily greets him, however, Santa is the bearer of bad tidings: the damage has been done and everyone in town in on the naughty list. Santa refuses to let SpongeBob explain the situation, saying that everyone will get coal this Christmas...except Plankton, much to everyone's shock. Santa is just as surprised as the rest of them, but compared to everyone else, he's been a saint. Much to Mr. Krabs' shock, Santa gives Plankton the Krabby Patty formula as his present (telling Mr. Krabs he has his ways). Pearl then directs Mr. Krabs' attention to the elves who are in the process of picking his pocket.
SpongeBob shocked that his attempt to save Christmas failed, stutters until Patrick slaps him to get him to talk clearly. SpongeBob tries to explain about the Jerktonium to Santa, but Santa refuses to listen, saying SpongeBob is the worst of all, believing he has been wreaking havoc in Bikini Bottom
At that moment, ToyBob arrives (much to Plankton's dismay) and upon spotting Santa, carries out his programming to destroy Christmas by eliminating Santa and morphs into a larger robot form. SpongeBob tries to protect Santa but is easily defeated when the robot throws him far away. Santa tries to hide in the Krusty Krab, but ToyBob captures him. SpongeBob saves Santa by using the fruitcake-dispenser Plankton loaned him to shoot fruitcake at it, clogging its vent holes and causing it to short circuit. SpongeBob manages to get Santa to safety just before ToyBob explodes into pieces. Santa thanks SpongeBob for saving him and tells him that he has been indeed a very good led, unlike the "owner of ToyBob." One of the elves gives Santa ToyBob's key, which is inscribed with "If found, please return to the Chum Bucket", revealing that Plankton was responsible for the all the trouble, enraging Santa. Mr. Krabs takes back the formula and Santa has the elves dumping coal on Plankton. Santa then leaves everyone to celebrate the rest of the holidays (except Squidward). SpongeBob, looking around, asks if anyone has seen Patrick. The episode ends with Patrick on the back of Santa's sleigh and netting him, throwing him and the reindeer off course.
"It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" was based on the 2008 Christmas song "Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas)" written by SpongeBob's voice actor Tom Kenny and his writing partner Andy Paley. The story of the song was conceived with the help of Doug Lawrence. They wrote it as "...just sort of a little sample calling card of what we were thinking about." Kenny explained, "...Eventually somebody at Nickelodeon found it [the song] on their desk and decided to make it into a holiday special."
"It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" was the first full-length episode in the series that was produced in stop motion animation. Mark Caballero, Seamus Walsh, and Christopher Finnegan of Screen Novelties animated it, and Caballero and Walsh also served as its directors. Production on the episode began in October2011 at Los Angeles, California.  According to Chris Finnegan, it took about five months to shoot, with a couple of months on either end for research, development, and post. Six sets were constructed on which sixty pounds of baking soda were used as snow, 42 pounds of glitter for the background, 22 pounds of wood chips were used to create Sandy's treedome floor and 20 boxes of cereal covered the coral rocks.  Caballero and Walsh had conflicts on making sure the stop-motion version of Bikini Bottom will resemble the 2D world of the series. There was also the issue of making SpongeBob resemble his 2D self.
Series' creator Stephen Hillenburg and executive producer Paul Tibbitt provided hands-on feedback on the production on a weekly basis. "They'd check out the weeklies and go back and forth with us on the various gags [...] It was really a pleasurable experience when they came to visit because we come from the same planet. It all felt very easy and natural," Walsh said. 
The episode used stop motion animation which was implemented by "Screen Novelties."
In the storyboard, the road at the beginning of the episode, is just a road with some mountains in the background. In the final version, the road is on the side of a mountain, then the turn.
In the storyboard, when Patchy stops and introduces his situation, the shot is through the windshield and he is wearing a mailman's hat. In the final version, he looks out of the truck, leaves the truck, and goes to the back of the truck. He is also wearing his normal pirate hat.
In the storyboard, since Patchy does not leave the truck, the mailman is shown in the back of the truck. He looks different than in the final version. In the final version, since Patchy does not have the mailman hat right away, he switches his and the mailman's hat when he shows the mailman.
In the storyboard, Potty looks like he is standing on the top part of the seat. In the final version, he is sitting on the top part of a seat.
In the storyboard, Patchy looks at Potty. In the final version, he gets back in the truck at looks at the camera when he talks to Potty.
In the storyboard, Potty looks angry at Patchy for getting the directions wrong. In the final version, Potty just looks surprised.
In the final version, it shows the outside of the truck when Patchy sings the directions. In the storyboard, it shows Patchy.
In the storyboard, it shows Potty jumping when he sings the directions. In the final version, he is sitting and then the exterior of the truck is shown again.
In the storyboard, when the scene stops spinning, the truck is tilted to the left. In the final version, it is tilted to the right.
In the storyboard, the Bikini Bottom sign in on the right and does not have any writing on it. In the final version, the sign is on the left and does have writing on it.
When Conch Street is shown, it is at a different angle in storyboard and the final version.
When SpongeBob is in bed, he is at a different angle in storyboard and the final version. Gary and the Christmas decorations are also not in the scene in the storyboard, but are in the final version.
In the storyboard, when SpongeBob wakes up, he stands up on the bed. In the final version, he does not.
In the storyboard, when SpongeBob takes out the lights, he is upside down. In the final version, he is right side up.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob lassos the lights on his house. In the final version, he runs on the house and then lassos the lights on his house.
In the storyboard, when SpongeBob is done stringing the lights, he is on the right side of his house. In the final version he is on the left side.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob runs on his house to get to the left side. In the final version, he just floats down.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob had to plug the lights in. In the final version, they just turn on when he is done.
Squidward had more major movements in the storyboard of the scene where he is hanging up lights than in the final version.
In the final version of the scene with the first Santa trap, Patrick is wearing a scarf. In the storyboard, he is not.
In the storyboard of the part where Santa shows up at Patrick's rock, only his head is shown. In the final version, his upper body is shown.
In the storyboard, the cookie in Patrick's trap does not have a string on it. In the final version, it does.
In the storyboard, after the cookie is shown, Patrick is holding a string. In the final version, he is not.
In the storyboard, when Sandy is first shown, the Christmas Analyzer is smaller than in the final version and she is wearing a lab coat. In the final version, she is not wearing a lab coat.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob's entrance into the treedome is shown. In the final version, it is not.
In the storyboard, Mr. Krabs is next to a tree when he is first shown. In the final version, he near a table.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob spins around the front of the tree and ends up in front of Mr. Krabs on the left of the tree. In the final version, he does not do this.
In the storyboard, when Mr. Krabs explains why he loves Christmas, his whole body is shown. In the final version, only the upper half of his body is shown.
In the storyboard, after Mr. Krabs says, "The more you give, the more I get," presents appear. In the final version, they do not.
In the storyboard, the Chum Bucket's frozen dining area is shown before the lab. In the final version, just the lab is shown.
In the storyboard, when Plankton says, "...his eye on me," he is shown alone on the stool. In the final version, he is next to a machine.
In the storyboard, when Plankton shows the list of naughty deeds, he is leaning to the right. The list is also less detailed than in the final version. In the final version, he is leaning to the left.
In the storyboard, Plankton's stocking has his name on it. In the final version, it does not.
In the storyboard, the paper with Jerktonium on it is already on the periodic table. It is on the left side of the slide and it is nailed on it. Plankton uses a pointer to point it out. In the final version, he sticks the post-it note paper on the right side of the slide.
In the storyboard, Jerktonium looks like a floating rock. In the final version, it looks like a crystal.
When Plankton says, "The Fruitcake," in the final version, an image of a fruitcake appears. In the storyboard, it does not.
When Plankton says, "Once ingested no one can help turning into the biggest, creepiest, meanest jerk ever," in the final version, he is walking around. In the storyboard, he is looking at the Jerktonium.
In the storyboard, when Plankton is about to remove the Jerktonium, Karen gives Plankton the pliers. In the final version, he just has the pliers.
The Jerkmaker-9000 looks different in the storyboard and final version.
In the storyboard, the first piece of fruit cake is square-shaped. In the final version, it is bread-shaped.
In the storyboard, when Plankton asks how SpongeBob's dander is and SpongeBob replies, he still has some of the second piece of fruit cake left. In the final version, he has eaten it all and gets a third piece.
In the storyboard, there is only one key to the Jerkmaker-9000. In the final version, there are two.
In the storyboard, the carolers look different than in the final version.
In the storyboard, the Jerkmaker-9000 is leaning away from the carolers. In the final version, it is leaning towards them.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob is behind the parade. In the final version, he is on a hill, watching it.
The parade is different in the storyboard than it is in the final version.
In the storyboard, SpongeBob's parents were planned to appear during the song Don't Be a Jerk (It's Christmas) when SpongeBob sings "It's the time for family and holly and turkey." However, in the final version they are replaced with SpongeBob's friends.
This episode premiered on CBS in the US, becoming the first SpongeBob episode to premiere on an American network outside of Nickelodeon. This was before the special aired on Nick and was rated TV-PG instead of the usual TV-Y7 rating. The Patchy segments were also removed in the CBS broadcast due to unknown reasons.
On November 23, 2012, the episode premiered on CBS in the USA, as well YTV in Canada. This was only 13 days away before it aired on Nickelodeon on December 6, 2012 in the US.
This is the first time an episode aired in Canada on the same exact day as the American airdate.
In the Korean version, the first part of the Patchy subplot was cut.
The Painty the Pirate Christmas opening sequence from Christmas Who? was used again for this special.
The stop motion form of Plankton does not exist during the scene where ToyBob was lowered from the ceiling, as it can be seen that the Plankton puppet is being shaken while the SpongeBob is lowered from the ceiling. This, however, has not been confirmed.
The transitioning bubbles were replaced with snowflakes and one transitioning scene with coal.
This is the first episode to be produced in 1080p. The previous widescreen episode, "Truth or Square," was produced in 720p.
This is the third episode to use stop-motion animation. The first was "Truth or Square" during the theme song, and the second was "Frozen Face-Off" where it was only used for the Abominable Snow Mollusk. However, this is the first full stop-motion episode.
This episode was presented in widescreen format (16:9 or 1:78:1) making it the last non-season 9 episode in widescreen. The first one was Season 6's "Truth or Square."
Beginning with this episode, the characters on the United Plankton Pictures, Inc. logo are in a brighter shade of yellow, and the waves are enhanced to HD.
DirecTV lists this episode in Season 9, Episode 9.
This episode premiered on Nickelodeon was released 12 years after "Christmas Who?" premiered, ten years after Nickelodeon Party Blast was released on Xbox in the Pal Region and on GameCube everywhere, and one year after the release of the Complete Seventh Season.
When Patchy flaps his hands and flies with joy, he is making a reference to Kris in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.
"Randolph the Red Nosed Seahorse" is an obvious parody to "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer."
This episode parodies the Rankin/Bass Christmas specials with their use of stop-motion animation in specials such as Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Little Drummer Boy, Jack Frost etc.
One of the citizens wears a sweater with a pine tree symbol similar to that of the one worn on the hat of Dipper Pines, from Gravity Falls, albeit the one on the sweater is green, not blue.
When Potty said "Look out! There's a fork in the road!" It was a reference to the "Fork in the Road" gag in the 1979 Muppet film, The Muppet Movie.
Potty claims that the lyrics in the song There Goes Santa Claus are "left on Santa Claus Drive" but it's actually "down on Santa Claus Lane."
When SpongeBob finishes decorating his house, the lights on the door disappear.
SpongeBob does not wear a helmet in Sandy's treedome.
In an interview with Screen Novelties, it was revealed that this is because it would have been very expensive to have a helmet on SpongeBob, and because of the time frame that they had to animate in stop-motion.
Right before the break, right after Patchy realizes he survived the car accident, he holds up a fork that has three prongs instead of four. The same error occurred in "Squirrel Jokes."
At first, Pearl ate the fruitcake and then became a jerk, but after the scene where she fills a fishes' head with water, SpongeBob passes her and she is normal.
Mr. Krabs wasn't a jerk when SpongeBob is walking around town during Christmas; however, when SpongeBob sings "Don't be a Jerk, It's Christmas," he is a jerk. The same goes for Mrs. Puff.
Santa Claus has always been said to visit when everyone is asleep, yet in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas," he's visiting while everyone is awake.
It could be because everyone was up at night.
SpongeBob's craters are yellow throughout the entire episode. This was because it would be hard to stick them in as they could fall off.
When Plankton picks up the fruitcake from the oven, he stood on the plate, it should have burned him.
A sneak-peek trailer for It's a SpongeBob Christmas! was released in mid-2012 for a preview of the episode.