Patchy (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 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 literally is 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. The real Santa nearby puts Patchy on the naughty list for stealing a mail truck, then he and Potty have a good laugh and 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, and 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. He feeds some to SpongeBob, but it has no effect, so he throws the keys at SpongeBob, kicks the cake dispenser and heads back into the Chum Bucket, thinking his plan has failed yet again.
While SpongeBob is busy feeding fruitcake to everyone, including Christmas carolers, children, the parade band, anchovies, Santa and the driver of the parade truck, Plankton realizes that SpongeBob is immune to Jerktonium, for the fact that he is extremely pure-of-heart and his love of the Christmas holidays are counteracting the effects of the Jerktonium. He unleashes "Plan B", using an evil wind-up SpongeBob robot, named ToyBob, to ruin SpongeBob's good name. The robot throws 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. 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, who tricks SpongeBob into thinking he's not home and suggests that SpongeBob should go bug Sandy instead. 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 for 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. The way to cure it is with a song. He then sings it to all the Bikini Bottomites, thus turning them all good again as they joined in.
Unfortunately, after that, it was too late. Santa then comes, and says that everyone, except for Plankton, is on his naughty list, and now deserve coal for being a bunch of jerks, and that he is just as surprised as SpongeBob and the others, but compared to everyone else, he's been a saint, and he didn't belive that Mr. Krabs, Squidward, Patrick, and Sandy are good, too. He then gives Plankton the Krabby Patty formula as his present, which was taken from Mr. Krabs secretly by the elves who then attempt to take Mr. Krabs' money in the wallet as well, which is why they think he is a money robber, but Pearl made him blow their cover. When SpongeBob is carried to Santa by Patrick who slaps him to get him to talk, he tries to explain to him what had happened, but, instead, Santa tells SpongeBob that, on the contrary, he's the worst of them all, because of wrecking havoc in Bikini Bottom. Immediately, ToyBob arrives and morphs into his mega mode and threatens to attack Santa. 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, causing it to malfunction and break down back into pieces. Santa thanks SpongeBob for saving him and realizes that it was Plankton and his Jerktonium that caused the people being jerks (as Plankton made the mistake of writing "If found, please return to the Chum Bucket" on the wind up key), and the robot causing destruction. Mr. Krabs takes back the formula and the elves dump coal on Plankton. Santa then leaves everyone to celebrate the rest of the holidays. The episode ends with Patrick on the back of the sleigh and netting him, throwing him and the reindeer off course.
The full episode aired on Nickelodeon UK and Ireland on December 2, 2012
This episode aired for the first time in Israel at September 9, 2012. This is the first time that SpongeBob first aired on Israel before US.
There was an error on Nickelodeon UK on November 18, 2012. Nickelodeon aired about 2 minutes of It's A SpongeBob Christmas! before switching to the Season 8 episode Frozen Face-Off. This occurred at 9AM US time.
This episode premiered on CBS in the US, becoming the first SpongeBob episode to premiere on a network outside of Nickelodeon, before airing on Nickelodeon, and was rated TV-PG instead of the usual TV-Y7 rating. The Patchy segments were also removed in the CBS broadcast.
This marks the last episode to premiere in 2012, as well as the final episode to air from Season 8.
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 et cetera.
SpongeBob creates a rainbow for the second time in this episode, with the first instance being in The Idiot Boxfrom Season 3.
Some of the things on Plankton's naughty deeds list include littering, world destruction, evil, misspell words, practical jokes, larceny, puppy taunting, and neglect grooming.
It appears that SpongeBob and Squidward were the only ones that aren't affected by Jerktonium .
Squidward should've become a jerk like the others. However, he might be immune, considering the fact that he is already very mean, or perhaps due to the fact he despises SpongeBob, he could've simply not have eaten it at all.
This is the second episode to use stop-motion animation. The first was Truth or Square . However, this is the first full stop-motion episode.
This episode was also presented in widescreen format (16:9 or 1:78:1) making it the last non-season 9 episode in widescreen, the first being Season 6's Truth or Square.
ERROR: SpongeBob does not wear a helmet in Sandy's tree dome.
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
The original title card had the title in red and white with "SpongeBob" inside a white oval.
Error: When SpongeBob finishes decorating his house, the lights on the door disappear.
The stop motion form of Plankton does not exist during the scene where the robot SpongeBob 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.
Patrick mentions Fork Knox, a landmark in Kentucky.
Much of the adult fanbase praised the episode for its pre-movie style humour.
If this episode happened in 2012, and "Christmas Who?" happened in 2000, this episode would mark Bikini Bottom's 12th Christmas.
Pearl , Karen , and Mrs. Puff are the only main characters in this episode who did not appear in Christmas Who?.
Randolph the Red-Nosed Seahorse which was said by a Bikini Bottomite who ate the Jerktonium is a parody of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Error: SpongeBob's craters are yellow throughout the entire episode. This was because it would be hard to stick them in, they could fall off.
This is the first episode where the cartoon animation was left out and the Bikini Bottomites were made as puppets. Also, the original background characters in SpongeBob SquarePants (ex. Nat Peterson , Fred , Nancy Suzy ,etc.) weren't made
Santa should have been able to see that Plankton was responsible for everyone acting like jerks.
Santa also should've been able to tell that ToyBob was the one wrecking havoc not SpongeBob.
Patrick was probably put on the naughty list for trying to capture Santa and for driving him and his reindeer off course.
When Patchy flaps his hands and flies with joy, he is making a reference to Kris in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town.
Patchy hallucinated that the polar bear was Santa Claus. This is similar to the Christmas episode from "The Looney Tunes Show" when Daffy hallucinated that a cave at the North Pole was Santa's workshop and that three polar bears were Santa and two elves. But, instead of the polar bear trying to eat Daffy it just instead just roared and looked at him like he was crazy.
A sneak-peak trailer for It's a SpongeBob Christmas! was released in mid-2012 for a preview of the episode.