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|“||Ho ho ho! Merry Christmas!||„|
|~ Santa Claus|
|“||Christmas is a very special time of year, but, this year, it almost didn't happen. There's a man named Jesus who gave his life to save me. And so I declare, that every year on Christmas Day, we should remember Jesus for what he did, and thank him for it. From now on, Christmas will be a day for remembering a brave man, named Jesus.||„|
|~ Santa at the end of "Red Sleigh Down"|
Santa Claus is a recurring protagonist of the adult animated sitcom South Park.
He is depicted very similarly to the version of Santa Claus in American culture; a jolly old man with a thick white beard and usually smiling. He wears a red coat and pants, lined with white fur, as well as a sleighing hat of red and white fur. He wears an oversized black belt around his heavy bellied waist, and black boots and gloves.
Santa is essentially a kindly father/grandfather figure, whose highest belief is that that there should be joy and goodwill, particularly during Christmas time. Often laughing with his trademarked "Ho-Ho-Ho" and his unwavering desire to give gifts to all the good boys and girls of the world.
However, one should not assume that because Santa is considered a 'jolly old elf' that he does not have a dark side. Santa has become slightly bitter of the years, having to constantly compete with Jesus Christ for the spotlight during Christmas time. In fact, on two separate occasions the pair have argued and even fought physically over who is the more important Christmas figure. Santa can also hold a grudge against those who mistreat himself and others, as seen when he killed an Iraq soldier, who had spent Christmas Eve torturing him, and shocking "Santa's Balls".
Santa made his first official appearance on South Park during The Spirit of Christmas, in which Jesus appears before the boys, stating that has a bone to pick with "Kringle". According to Jesus, Santa has diminished the memory of Jesus' birthday with his presents. Santa is aware of the feud, and claims that "this time", they will "finish it". The pair then begin fighting Mortal Kombat-style, during which they inadvertently kill Kenny. The boys, uncertain who to root for, ask "What Would Brian Boitano do?" The figure skater miraculously appears and holds a speech about how Christmas should be about being good to each other. The boys transmit the message to the fighters, who ashamedly agree and decide to bury the hatchet over an orange smoothie.
Santa would later appear in a cameo during "Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo", in which he is seen at the mall, listening to the children's present request. Later he swings by South Park to pick up Mr. Hankey who intends to help Santa deliver presents.
Santa and Jesus would then team-up again during "Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics", in which the duo are performing at a night club lounge, and singing jazzy versions of their Christmas Carols. As Jesus however begins becoming more selfish and arrogant during the performance, singing a larger variety of songs dedicated to him, Santa becoming obviously annoyed, hinting at their old rivalry from before. As Santa intends to storm off the stage however, Jesus calls him back the pair does a melody of songs as friends.
Santa is next seen in "Red Sleigh Down", during which Cartman in the hopes of overshadowing all his naughty behavior with one big good deed, convinces Santa to deliver Christmas to the Middle East. Santa's sleigh however is shot down over Baghdad, his legs are broken and his is taken prisoner. The Iraq Soldiers, assuming he's an American spy, begin to torture him, and shocking Santa's testicles in order to get information out of him. The boys, along with Jesus, Mr. Hankey and the Underpants Gnomes, launch a rescue operation. They manage to rescue Santa (Jesus heals his broke legs) and Santa murders the lead Iraq Soldier saying "I couldn't... I couldn't let him live! He shocked Santa's balls!" During their escape however, Jesus is killed and grieving Santa killed the remaining soldiers, before accomplishing his mission of bringing Christmas to Iraq. He later informs South Park that Christmas would, from that day forward, be a day to honor his fallen friend, Jesus Christ.
Santa then appeared in "Woodland Critter Christmas", during which Stan helps the Satanic Woodland Critters rise the Anti-Christ, resulting in a pentagram in the sky. Santa notices this and learns of the Anti-Christ and kills it.
Santa would next appear in "Imaginationland", in which it is revealed that he is the greatest fighter of all the imaginary creatures. When the wall that separates the evil imaginary characters from the good ones is destroyed during a terrorist attack, Santa was killed in the chaos. However, Butters after much effort was able to recreate Santa with his imagination, allowing for the good characters to get the upper-hand. At least until the US Government blew up Imaginationland, and Butters had to re-imagine everything.
Santa also appeared in "201". He was wearing a bear mascot costume pretending to be Muhammad, at the suggestion of Mr. Hankey.
Santa returns in the Season Twenty-Two episode "Bike Parade" to help the town with Christmas presents, but gets disappointed in them after finding out they got rid of Mr. Hankey.
- In "Imaginationland" Santa is said to be imaginary, but in other episodes he is seen to be an active living presence who interacts with other characters. It is likely that the version in Imaginationland represents an extra mythed-up version of the real deal living outside or it could imply his true origin.
- The Santa that burned to death in Imaginationland had a much larger beard than the real Santa Claus.