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Remembering The Best, Most Hilarious, And Darkest Moments From 'Bad Santa'

By Petr Knava | Film | December 22, 2017 |

By Petr Knava | Film | December 22, 2017 |

Tis the season! There’s always two movies I watch over Christmas: Die Hard, and Bad Santa.

I tell a lie. I missed Bad Santa last year. I watched it again last week, and I tell you what—just that one year’s gap was enough to make me forget just how filthy, funny, and just basically flawless Terry Zwigoff’s twisted Xmas miracle is.

Here, I say screw the preamble, let’s just remember the best, most hilarious, and darkest moments from 2003’s Bad Santa

Any movie that introduces our Santa protagonist like this is okay with me:

Any movie that has this as its Santa-related title card is definitely okay with me:

When Marcus (Tony Cox), Santa’s little helper thief, comes alive and runs through the department store like some sort of bad acid trip:

When Willie (Billy Bob Thornton) deals with his alarm clock in a calm and rational manner:

This wonderful imagery:

ALL of Department Store Head Bob Chipeska’s (John Ritter’s) delicate sensibility reactions:

The way we’re introduced to head security guard, Gin (Bernie Mac):

ANY interaction between Ritter and Mac:


When this kid on Santa’s knee and asks him for a ‘fragglestick car’:
To which Santa, befuddled and hungover: ‘The fuck is that?’
To which the kid: ‘Fragglestick car’.

This deeply disturbed individual who has a…thing for Santa:

This other individual (Sue, played by Lauran Graham) who has a different thing for Santa, and who isn’t shy of plying him with booze until she gets her way:

Willie: ‘I’m an eating, drinking, shitting, fucking Santa Clause.’
Sue: ‘Prove it.’

Smooth, Sue, smooth. ‘Fuck me Santa, Fuck me Santa, Fuck me Santa, Fuck me Santa, Fuck me Santa, Fuck me Santa’ is a carol for the ages.

The weird kid who saves Santa from some violent advances:

The granny, who is the only person who the weird kid lives with, and who has one mode and one mode only: ‘Roger! You’re home! Let me fix you some sandwiches!’



Bob Chipeska describing Willie to Gin after catching Willie having intimate relations with ladies in the department store changing rooms, and how something about him makes him uneasy. To which Gin, seemingly delighting in making Chipeska squirm: ‘Well sure, aside from fucking someone in the ass!’ While he nonchalantly eats oranges.



Willy eating salad and being told off by Marcus:


Marcus: ‘You are by far the dumbest most pathetic piece of maggot eating shit that has ever steered from a human being’s hairy ass. I ain’t out there serially fornicating, drinking myself silly cos I can’t stand what a piece of shit I am.’

And when Willie fires back with a jibe about Marcus’ height, Marcus:

‘Yeah that’s right shit-for-brains. Go on again, talk about my height. Make it about something safe. Cos you’re an emotional fucking cripple. Your soul is dogshit. Every single fucking thing about you is ugly.’



Gin, catching a shoplifter and stealing something of his in return.
‘My grandma gave it to me.’
‘I don’t care who gave it to you.’

The weird kid (Brett Kelly) playing checkers with Willie and effortlessly dismantling him. Willie’s reaction:

‘Son of a bitch! [Throws pieces] You lousy [Throws pieces] cheating [Throws pieces] little fucking shit!’

Kid: ‘Wanna play again?’

Willie fucks, drinks, passes out, and wakes up at the foot of the stairwell. Thurman runs down screaming, covered in blood, and in the confusion Grannny is activated by the screams:

‘Roger! You’re home! Let me fix you some sandwiches!’


The funniest thing being, of course, that Roger is not even the kid. The kid’s name is Thurman. Roger is his dad.

Gin, returning to Bob’s appeal on finding some dirt on Willie, and reporting in the negative. Oh what a wonderful rhythm:

When the kid comes looking for help after some bullies beat him up. He asks Santa/Willie for a big gorilla to protect him from the bullies. To which Willie gives the greatest pep talk in history:

Willie: Jesus, kid. When i was your age I didn’t need no fucking gorilla, and I wasn’t as big as one of your legs. Four kids beat me up one time and I went home crying to my daddy, you know what he did?

Thurman: He made it all better?

Willie: No, he kicked my ass. You know why?

Thurman: Because you went to the bathroom on mommy’s dishes?

Willie: What the fuck? No.

Thurman: He tried to teach you to stop crying and be a man?

Willie: No. It’s because he was a mean drunken son of a bitch. And when he wasn’t busy busting my ass he was putting cigarettes out on my neck. The world ain’t fair. You gotta take what you need when you can get it. You gotta learn to stand up for yourself. You have to quit being a pussy and kick these kids in the balls or something. Or don’t. Shit, I don’t care. Just leave me the hell out of it.

When Gin comes to Willie and Marcus, on to their scheme, and intent on bending them over a barrel:

Which is immediately followed by this!

Thurman, coming to Willie with more bully trouble, finds him in a car being pumped full of carbon monoxide. Willie, half-checked out, sees the black eye on Thurman, and is galvanised:

Pretty sure granny has now passed:

Better check:


‘Roger! You’re home! Let me fix you some sandwiches!’

Smooshing a security guard with a van after tricking him into standing in front of it because you said you needed help:

And when that doesn’t quite do the job, manoeuvring him into place behind the real wheel, which leads to a smash cut that as the van starts to reverse goes from this:

To this:

Willie, finding some glimmer of humanity with the elephant he was gonna pick up for Thurman on their heist, only to be met with a Marcus who has had enough:

An escape from the police, doomed from the start, but juuuuuust about getting the elephant to its intended destination:

THIS IMAGE. While the neighbourhood children, woken up by gunshots, all go to their windows, and subsequently scream like a horde of banshees because Santa was alive, but then the police shot him:

Aww, Willie’s not actually dead. Just in prison for a little while. And Sue gets to move in a be a guardian to Thurman!

Merry fucking Christmas.



Petr Knava lives in London and plays music

Petr is a staff contributor. You can follow him on Twitter.

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