NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Thursday, November 26, 2015, 12:43 PM
For years, shows (like Fox’s “The Simpsons”), movies and songs have been portraying the Christmas shopping rush.
Black Friday can be one of the most overwhelming days of the year.
Not only do we see people constantly trampling over one another shopping for the hottest toys and gifts, the service employees who handle those stores have to stand through all the chaos.
The problem is, of course, that there’s not really too much to do on Black Friday other than shop, especially if you’re not a sports fan (though even if you are, it’s limited to a few college football games, basketball and hockey).
Here’s a list of TV episodes, movies and songs that will merely remind you of the insane shopping rush that begins the day after Thanksgiving every year.
Queue these up on Netflix or Hulu or iTunes while you make the smart play and finish your shopping online.
“The Simpsons” – “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire” (1988)
Few people know that the first episode of “The Simpsons,” which had long been a short sketch on “The Tracy Ullman Show,” was a Christmas episode.
The episode was so popular, the series didn’t do another Christmas show for six years.
The show follows Homer’s desperate attempt to buy the family a decent Christmas with an extra salary playing a mall Santa. He ends up rewarding the family with their now longstanding dog, Santa’s Little Helper.
“South Park” – “The Black Friday Trilogy” (2013)
During the long-running Comedy Central cartoon’s 17th season, they took three weeks to mock the annual holiday traditions of violent shopping sprees.
Set around the release of the Xbox One and PlayStation 4, Randy Marsh gets a temp job as a mall security guard in order to beat the crowds to get his son Stan the prized video game systems.
The episodes combine parodies of “Lord of the Rings” and “Game of Thrones” and ends in both bloody war and a meta-promotion for “South Park’s” also available for the holidays video game.
“Jingle All The Way” (1996)
A modern remake of this film could actually be called “Black Firday.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a dad desperately trying to reconnect with his son by purchasing him the most prized action figure on Christmas Eve. He does battle with a postal worker played by Sinbad to find the last Turbo Man.
Featuring an excellent supporting cast – including Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson and Jim Belushi – the movie made over $ 120 million at the box office despite being a critical flop.
“Married with Children” – “Christmas” (1992)
The hit sitcom always used humor to mask the utter poverty its characters were living in, so Christmas naturally proved a desperate time for the Bundys.
This episode from 1992 features Al (Ed O’Neill) taking a myriad of part-time jobs to find a way to afford Christmas presents.
True to the show’s nature, Al doesn’t succeed, but does find a way to provide for a somewhat happy ending.
“Malcolm in the Middle” – “Hal’s Christmas Gift” (2004)
Another former Fox hit that dealt with poverty, this episode features Bryan Cranston in a mode as desperate as Walter White, but with a bit more joy.
Cranston’s character, Hal, is embarrassed when the family’s decision to home make Christmas gifts goes awry for him, as all of his gifts are worse than the rest of the family’s.
He responds by trying to find somewhere that provides his family with a better Christmas for a cheap price.
“The Office” – “Christmas Party” (2005)
A lot of people will lazily be shopping for secret Santa gifts for co-workers on Black Friday, which is what this episode deals with.
The hit NBC sitcom’s first Christmas episode turns on a Secret Santa event that Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) turns into a Yankee Swap, where everyone decides to flip gifts with someone else.
This becomes more troublesome because Michael has given office temp Ryan (BJ Novak) an iPod, while Jim (John Krasinski) has gotten Pam (Jenna Fischer) a bunch of inside jokes.
The Kinks’ “Father Christmas” (1977)
Ray Davies’ classic is one of the few holiday tunes that actually deals with Christmas materialism.
The jolly tune tells the story of some poor kids who don’t actually want toys, just money… or a machine gun.
The lesson of the song is simple: rich kids can live with toys, we’ll just take the cards full of cash.