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Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer is a Christmas Special adapted from the eponymous Elmo Shropshire novelty song and awkwardly shoehorning some of his other Christmas songs into the mix.
Grandma Spankenheimer is a kindly old woman who loves to spread Christmas joy in Cityville. Greedy Cousin Mel wants Grandma to sell her general store and give her all the money, so Mel gets her hopes up when Mr. Bux of the Own-All Corporation makes an offer. But Grandma would sell it only if business was bad. And even then she'd rather not sell it to somebody with Mr. Bux's views on Christmas. (His Christmas-related products are aimed for customers who'd rather spend as little time as needed preparing for the holiday - for example, an inflatable Christmas tree)
Of course, Grandma inevitably gets run over by a reindeer. And of course, no one believes the only two witnesses to the accident (her grandson Jake, and his Grandpa) until the police find evidence that Santa Claus and his reindeer are real. Will Grandma ever be found? Will Cousin Mel get ownership of the store and sell it?
Expect Cartoon Network to air this movie to death around Christmastime, and again slightly less so during their "Christmas in July". The CW will also place it in their schedule every Christmas, ironic considering their demographic.
This show contains examples of:
- Adaptational Villainy: In the song, Cousin Mel is only given a brief mention as playing cards with Grandpa after Grandma's death, and doesn't seem particularly malicious.
- Adaptation Expansion: The song only describes Grandma being run over and the family being depressed at her death. The special throws in a plot to buy out Grandma's store, a scheme to sue Santa Claus, and even upgrades Cousin Mel, a minor character in the song with very little character development, to villain status.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: After Cousin Mel admits to framing Santa they arrest her for the orchestrating the events leading to the disappearance of Grandma, framing Santa, And Almost ruining Christmas.
- Amoral Attorney: Cousin Mel's lawyer, I.M. Slime.
- Ascended Extra: Cousin Mel is mentioned offhandedly in the song as someone who plays cards with Grandpa; in the special, she's the main villain.
- Big Bad: Cousin Mel. Noticeable as the song really didn't have a villain and she was just an extra.
- Santa would probably be the "villain" of the song, but that hardly works in a kids' special.
- Chekhov's Gun: There's a song about fruitcake, and Cousin Mel tries to sabotage a fruitcake. Not only does Jake use fruitcake to revive Grandma's memories, but he also used the same fruitcake Mel spiked against the court to drop the charges against Santa after someone brings up his hit-and-run with Grandma. Heck, in this universe, fruitcake points out its Gun-ness so badly; you'll go "ALL RIGHT, WE GET IT!!! SHUT UP!!!"
- Cloudcuckoolander: Grandpa.
- Cool Old Lady: Grandma.
- Corrupt Corporate Executive: Mr. Bux seems to be one at first, but ultimately turns out to be kind and helpful. Cousin Mel, on the other hand, aspires to this trope (and mistakenly admires Mr. Bux as an example).
- Disney Acid Sequence: Grandpa's song; Mel and her lawyer's song.
- Disneyfication: In the original song, Grandma is clearly killed. In this version, she is merely knocked out, suffers from amnesia, and is carried away to the North Pole for medical attention. (Though the characters mostly assume she is dead.)
- She also got completely drunk before leaving and dying. (Eggnog is traditionally made with liquor.) In the movie she's merely allergic, and the "medication" is for her allergy as opposed to being a sign of senility.
- Easy Amnesia: Grandma suffers this after getting hit, leaving Santa and his elves clueless as to who she is (and thus unable to return her to the family).
- Evil Redheads: Cousin Mel.
- Four-Fingered Hands
- Gender Blender Name: Cousin Mel.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar
- When Jake explains Mel's attempt to contaminate Grandma's fruitcake. "What she didn't know was that the combined concoction had the exact effects of reindeer-nip!"
Cousin Mel (in Grandma's store to Mr.Bux): Why don't we go somewhere romantic and consummate this deal?
- The Movie Conviently leaves out the fact that Cousin Mel WAS TRYING TO POISON PEOPLE TO THROW GRANDMA OUT OF BUSINESS after Grandma goes missing. And anytime it's reffered to again it is Handwaved as "Getting Them Sick".
- Then There's the "Grandma's Spending Christmas With a Superstar" Where there's the not so subtle hint that he believes Grandma to be dead but at the end someone throws a pair of panties at him.
- Cousin Mel is QUITE CLEARLY shown stuffing Mr. Bux's business card down her cleavage at one point!
- Gold Digger: Mel of course, even called this by her Grandma.
- Good Lawyers, Good Clients: Subverted with the D.A., who counts as a good guy despite trying to get Santa thrown in jail.
- Goth: Though Daphne Spankenheimer (Jake's older sister) behaves more like a typical mainstream girl throughout the film, the scene that depicts the family wearing black around Christmas time while Grandma's missing shows Daphne wearing a very gothic looking outfit (though she's smiling in the scene).
- Hartman Hips: Cousin Mel.
- Heterosexual Life Partners: Slime and Mel after their Disney Acid Sequence dance scene together.
- I Can't Believe It's Not Heroin!: "Reindeer-nip". Reindeer (and apparently no other ungulates of any sort) will drop everything and come running at the slightest whiff of this stuff, and if an old lady happens to be between them and the goods, well, you've got yourself a novelty holiday song!
- It's All About Me: Cousin Mel.
- Punch Clock Villain: Pretty much anyone involved in Santa's trial other than Cousin Mel and I.M. Slime. Heck, the prosecutor admits that he doesn't want Santa to go to jail during his closing statement.
- Punny Name: Austin Bux is rich, I.M. Slime is...a lawyer.
- Running Gag: People complaining about fruitcake.
- Spared by the Adaptation: Grandma.
- At one point, Grandma is reading a story about a little Christmas Tree.
- "So, in conclusion, if the mitt fits, you must acquit!"
- Smoking Gun: Type 2, Jake manages to acquit Santa of charges by bringing a fruitcake into the court case and expositing the fact that Cousin Mel poisoned it, who quickly admits that she did do it. As is with type 2, Jake LITERALLY walks into the coutroom with new evidence and just starts talking, and nobody calls legality on the issue.
- Possibly justified as no one really wanted to send Santa Claus to jail and ruin Christmas, something outright stated. So they probably let things slip just a bit.
- That Reminds Me of a Song: A whole song is dedicated to how bad fruitcake is. But most egregiously, the Big Lipped Alligator Song started with Grandpa mishearing the word "sign" as "sing" and went on from there.
- Title Drop: A kid does say the title phrase at one point.
- As well as the song itself.
- Unfortunate Names: The family is named Spankenheimer, the Dog is named Doofus and Mel's attorney is named I.M. Slime.
- Victoria's Secret Compartment: Where Cousin Mel hides Austin's phone number and Santa's letter.
- Villain Song: It's not much, but "Grandpa's Gonna Sue The Pants Off of Santa."
- Who Names Their Dog Doofus?
- Wingding Eyes: Cousin Mel exhibits the dollar sign variant.