Best Portrayals of Santa Claus in Nickelodeon Christmas Specials

Ho, ho, ho! We all know Santa and we all love Santa! But which portrayals of Santa do we all know and love most? Being the iconic fictional holiday figure he is, jolly ol' Saint Nick has had many depictions of himself in pop culture. Whether they be your typical Santa or maybe even a Badass Santa, any and all depictions of Santa Claus in pop culture are bound to be interesting and sometimes unique with their own spin on him. For this list, we'll be counting down the best portrayals of Santa Claus in Nickelodeon Christmas specials. If you want to look at the best portrayals of Santa Claus in Cartoon Network Christmas specials, be sure to check out the respective list for that one. With that said, feel free to vote and add to this list. Merry Christmas as I write this list!
The Top Ten
1 Santa Claus (Christmas Who? - SpongeBob SquarePants)

Since the two Santa Clauses from both SpongeBob Christmas specials are different in appearance, I consider them to be two separate entities, which is why I put both of them on the list. In this incarnation, Sandy introduces SpongeBob to Christmas and ultimately Santa Claus. Thus, SpongeBob goes to spread Christmas cheer to all of Bikini Bottom and that Santa's coming tonight. While Squidward is acting like a real Scrooge about it, when everyone is singing the entire night for Santa to come instead of going to sleep, everything falls in shambles when Santa doesn't come. SpongeBob is truly left sad about Santa not coming, and Squidward just has to be a donkey noise about it. But when SpongeBob gives him a wooden clarinet despite his harsh treatment of him, Squidward has a change of heart and decides to make it up to SpongeBob by giving presents to everyone in town. When all is said and done, SpongeBob is happy while Squidward is essentially left with almost all his possessions given away. However, he then gets the chance of a lifetime when Santa sends him a thank you letter and Squidward gets to see Santa HIMSELF flying in the sky with his reindeer laughing happily with holly joy. All the more hilarious is that it's a live human in a Santa suit on a green screen. Either way, he closed out nicely by saying Merry Christmas as he flies out of and above the sea.

2 Santa Claus (It's a SpongeBob Christmas! - SpongeBob SquarePants)

Whereas the Christmas Who? counterpart is entirely human and captured on green screen, the It's a SpongeBob Christmas! counterpart is portrayed more as an anthropomorphic sea pig. Regardless, he's still Santa Claus and in the flesh in this incarnation. Anyways, it's the Christmas season and SpongeBob and everyone in Bikini Bottom are ready for Santa's arrival. But... Things are different for Plankton. Tired of getting coal, he plans to use fruit cake infused with Jerk-tonium to turn everyone into jerks and make him the only nice person in town. Plankton manipulates SpongeBob into carrying out this plan by having him give fruit cake to everyone in town and turning them into jerks. Eventually, SpongeBob realizes he's been duped and proceeds to sing everyone out of their jerkinesss. It works, but it's too late as Santa has already decided everyone but Plankton is naughty. Thankfully, SpongeBob is able to save the day again when he defeats a SpongeBob robot and proves Plankton to be the true naughty one, leading to coal being dumped all over him. Thus, a happy ending is secured, but not without Patrick finally catching Santa for himself with a jellyfish net! Looks like Patrick's getting on the naughty list for life...

3 Santa Claus (Christmas Every Day! - The Fairly OddParents)

While later iterations of Santa Claus in The Fairly OddParents portray Santa straight as jolly ol' Saint Nick and nothing more, the most memorable one for me would have to be the first one from Christmas Every Day!. In this incarnation, Santa is really a typical corporate executive who becomes Santa every year by having Fairy World's fairies give all their magic to him to make him Santa and make Christmas happen. However, things don't go well when Timmy wishes for Christmas to be every day, driving everyone to complete insanity and stressing out Santa due to the excessive workload. While Santa is mad at Timmy at first, when Timmy tries to save him from the holiday icons bent on stealing Santa's magic, Santa forgives him after the Easter Bunny and the other holiday icons give him back his magic. And thus, Santa gives back his magic to Fairy World and allows the Christmas every day wish to be undone. But in exchange, Timmy and the holiday icons have to make it up to him by doing his job for one Christmas next year while Santa and his wife go on vacation. That should make amends for good.

4 Santa Claus (The Santa Experience - Rugrats)

I haven't watched The Santa Experience yet, but I'm guessing it's a worthwhile watch for a Rugrats Christmas special. From what I've researched, it's Christmas and the Rugrats and Angelica want to go see Santa. However, when they go to see Santa at the mall, things turn out less than normal with their Santa experience. Nonetheless, it arguably turns into a fun adventure for our heroes. But the real highlight has to be when at the end of the episode, it's revealed that the mall Santa they met is the REAL Santa. Huh, neat.

5 Santa Claus (Holiday Party - Merry Nickmas)

This Santa isn't strictly from a Nicktoon's Christmas special, but I do feel that this Santa deserves a mention here. While he does make only a brief appearance in this Christmas special short, I got to love how his design is a reference to his counterparts from the Rankin/Bass stop-motion Christmas specials. Who knows? Maybe he's the same exact Santa from those specials! Either way, it's nice seeing jolly ol' Saint Nick join all the Nicktoons for their Nickmas party! I wonder if he saw the embarrassing picture of SpongeBob's underwear at that Christmas party... Patrick, you sneaky starfish...

6 Santa Claus (Holly Jolly Jimmy - The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius)

To me, this Christmas special is Dexter vs. Santa Claws done RIGHT. That said, on to Saint Nick himself! In this incarnation, it's Christmas in Retroville, and while everyone is in the holiday spirit, Jimmy isn't. This is because Jimmy doesn't believe in Santa due to him not getting some space star when he was younger. So Jimmy sets out to prove his friends Carl and Sheen wrong by going to the North Pole to show Santa isn't real. Somehow, Jimmy actually manages to reach Santa's workshop, but is still unconvinced Santa is real since he thinks it's just a factory corporation where parents use a delivery service to get gifts to their children. Wow, what a GREAT theory you have, Jimmy Neutron. Anyways, Jimmy then accidentally shocks Santa and makes him unconscious, basically ruining Christmas. So now it's up to Jimmy to save Christmas. While Hugh Neutron back in Retroville is trying to keep the holiday cheer up by inventing a new holiday centered around pie to no success, Jimmy is doing well with delivering presents until he screws up on the last one somehow. Thankfully, Santa has recovered and rescues Jimmy and his friends, taking it from there as he finishes the job. Then all is said and done with Christmas saved (and Cindy and Libby getting coal for humiliating Jimmy). But the most heartwarming moment comes when Santa finally gives Jimmy his gift of the space star he wanted (which he couldn't give since it had to cool down for 5 years or so). Thus, a happy ending is earned as Jimmy places it on top of his Christmas tree now fully believing in Santa and the spirit of Christmas.

7 Santa Claus (The Most Horrible X-Mas Ever - Invader Zim)

To say this incarnation of Santa Claus is grim is merely an understatement. Rather, it's more than that. Here, in the Invader Zim universe, Santa Claus seems to be some blindly worshipped holiday figure by everyone in the world as if he were an almighty ruler or god of some sort. Or at least it seems that way from Zim's eyes. And all the mall Santa Clauses are simply Santa's little helpers. With these taken into account, Zim tries to take advantage of the Christmas holiday so that he can persuade everyone into letting Earth be conquered by the Irken empire. Only Dib can stop him from ruining Christmas as Zim impersonates Santa and carries out his world-conquering agenda. Eventually, things go wrong when Zim's Santa suit mutates and becomes sentient, leading to Dib having to free Zim and destroy the mutated Santa suit that's now become a mecha. While Dib manages to drive away the Santa suit, it goes without saying that it was the most horrible X-mas for everyone on Earth. Cue all of this being told from a talking snowman as he puts up the shields to protect him and his listeners from the very same mutated Santa suit mecha that comes down every Christmas to attack.

8 Santa Claus (A Doomed Christmas - T.U.F.F. Puppy)

Okay, so in this incarnation, Santa Claus is an anthropomorphic polar bear whose workshop is suddenly under attack by D.O.O.M. Thus, it's up to Dudley and the agents of T.U.F.F. to stop Snaptrap and save Christmas. To be honest, I can't remember much from this special since it's been a long time since I watched it, but I remember the ending being decently heartwarming and comical. Basically, after Dudley and company stop Snaptrap from ruining Christmas, Dudley is left walking in complete sadness back home since he won't get the sports car he wanted. Thankfully, Santa Claus drops by and actually gives him the sports car he wanted. Complete with an even better design than he wanted! Dudley is quite happy about it and takes it for a spin, only to disturb the neighbors nearby much to their annoyance. Eh, decent ending and Christmas special. Not great, but not bad either.

9 Santa Claus (A Very CatDog Christmas - CatDog)

And now for CatDog's incarnation of Santa Claus. In this Christmas special, Santa Claus gives up on Christmas and cancels it after Cat makes the decision of selling himself along with Dog to Rancine. The effects of this cancellation are quite drastic as everything Christmas-themed disappears. As such, everyone blames CatDog for ruining Christmas. Meanwhile, Cat expresses regret for selling himself to Rancine, so he and Dog try to escape from Rancine's mansion. While not without difficulty, the duo manage to make it out and back to their house where they try to fix Christmas. When all hope seems lost, Santa Claus manages to finally come back and fox everything, with Cat sincerely apologizing for selling himself and learning his lesson at the end. The episode ends with Santa having CatDog pull his sleigh, only for Dog to go fast when he spots a garbage truck in front of them.

10 Santa Claus (A Robot for All Seasons - My Life as a Teenage Robot)

Man, there's really a lot of Nicktoon Christmas specials that I haven't watched that I need to watch! And A Robot for All Seasons from My Life as a Teenage Robot is one I might watch soon next to The Fright Before Christmas from Danny Phantom. Anyways, this Santa incarnation is pretty basic. Basically, Jenny wants to be a good ol' Santa's little helper during this time of holiday cheer. However, she then stumbles upon a spoiled brat pretending to be a poor nice boy who then manipulates her into getting presents only for him and none for everyone else (if I recall correctly). So now Jenny has to snap herself out of this predicament if she wants to stop the boy from ruining Christmas. At some point in the episode, Santa appears and... I think he helps Jenny out and helps her save Christmas. Sorry, I'll have to update this information when. I finally manage to watch the Christmas special myself. That said, this is why I felt that this Santa deserves a mention on this list.

The Contenders
11 Santa Claus (Action Elves Save Christmas Eve - The Backyardigans)

You can't see him but you can hear him talk.

12 Santa Claus (Paw Patrol)
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