"Christmas Who?" is an episode of the American television series SpongeBob SquarePants. In this episode, Sandy tells SpongeBob about Christmas traditions, and he then tells everybody in Bikini Bottom about Christmas.
It's almost 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.
Outside 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.
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.
SpongeBob is 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.
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 has been in comparison. To make up 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.
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.
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."
Christmas Who? received critical acclaim from fans and critics. On the Internet Movie Database the episode has a 8.8/10 making it the 10th highest episode on that site including ties. TV.com gave the episode a 9/10.
The complete un-cut storyboards for the episode (excluding Patchy segments), can be found on both the Christmas and Complete 2nd Season DVDs, which show some differences compared to the final episode:
- SpongeBob saying "Christmas" after his reply to Sandy has a different take in the storyboard. The narrator also sounds different.
- 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.
- Without Patchy segments, this episode is only around 15-17 minutes.
- Despite Bikini Bottom acting like they've never heard of Christmas before, Patrick shouts "Merry Christmas!" after Squidward returns from the hospital in "Jellyfishing" and SpongeBob wears one to bed in "Sandy's Rocket."
- It's likely this takes place before those episodes.
- This is the first Christmas special, the second one was "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!" and (technically) the third one is "Goons on the Moon."
- This episode likely takes place after "Fools in April" because SpongeBob claims in that episode that April Fools is his favorite holiday, but in "It's a SpongeBob Christmas!," he says Christmas is his favorite.
- This also possibly takes place after "I'm with Stupid" as Patrick can pronounce genie right.
- This is the first special, and the only one in season two, unless you included the extended version of "Shanghaied."