Hot Cider in the City
| Hot Cider in the City
| Comic Story information
Bart is sitting on his bed reading a book about ventriloquism when Milhouse and Lisa interrupt him, telling him that they're going Christmas caroling and inviting him to join them. Bart declines on the grounds that he's busy "adding a new trick to [his] pranking repertoire", and remains unmoved when Milhouse says they'll be singing all the classic Christmas songs. Annoyed at Bart's stubbornness, Lisa drily notes that if Bart doesn't come caroling, there will just he more free cookies for her and Milhouse. At the mention of free cookies, Bart perks up, leaps out of his bed and declares himself to be "suddenly full of the Christmas spirit". Lisa cynically observes, "He's full of something all right" as the trio head out.
The scene shifts to the Flanders house, where Bart, Lisa and Milhouse are just finishing up singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" for Ned. Pleased with the rendition, Ned says that since this is their third visit to his house, he'll get them a double helping of cookies. Bart asks if he can have two cinnamon sticks in his apple cider this time, to which Ned says "Can doodly-do!" The trio walk away with cookies and cider, and Bart says he can't wait to see what Flanders has for them next time. Lisa reproachfully reminds him that they're supposed to be "spreading Christmas cheer, not mooching off of Mr. Flanders". Milhouse, however, says that he feels cheerful, which Bart cites as evidence that they are indeed spreading Christmas cheer.
The discussion is cut short by three of the school bullies (Dolph, Jimbo and Kearney) blocking the sidewalk. Jimbo claims the neighborhood as the bullies' caroling turf and Lisa, in spite of Bart's and Milhouse's efforts to restrain her, protests that there's no such thing as caroling turf and defiantly says that the bullies can't crush their Christmas spirit. Lisa's protest provokes a response from the bullies as Kearney gives Milhouse a wedgie and Jimbo, spying Bart's mug of hot cider, demands to know which house is giving out the cinnamon sticks. Lisa pleads with Bart not to tell, but Bart says he doesn't have a choice.
Moments later, Milhouse is dangling from a mailbox by his underwear, Lisa is buried up to her neck in a pile of snow and Bart is stuffed head-first into a garbage can. As the bullies walk away laughing, Lisa says that the bullies will get nothing but lumps of coal in their stockings. Provoked again, one of the bullies gets in a parting shot, throwing a lump of coal at Lisa and hitting her in the head.
Bart and Milhouse extricate themselves from their respective situations and then start digging Lisa out from the pile of snow. Lisa laments that now they can't carol anywhere and apologizes for dragging Bart along. Bart, however, says that he's about to give her an early Christmas present, as he didn't send the bullies to Flanders' house.
The scene shifts to Moe's house, where the bullies are singing "Silver Bells" for Moe. Moe is touched by their performance ("Nobody's ever sung me nuthin' before") and starts to sniffle and tear up as the bullies continue singing. Meanwhile, Bart, Lisa and Milhouse hide behind a nearby hedge. Bart says, "Watch me throw my voice!" and then uses his newly-acquired ventriloquism skills to make it sound like the bullies are saying "This is to make up for all the prank phone calls during the year!" Moe quickly turns from teary to angry as the revelation dawns on him ("That was you?!"). He then brandishes a meat cleaver and threatens them: "All you're gonna want for Christmas is your two front teeth and a new spleen when I get done with you!" As Moe charges the bullies, they scream and run away.
Behind the hedge, Lisa admonishes Bart that his plan lacked Christmas cheer. Bart counters by saying that if she wants Christmas cheer, they should go back to Flanders' house. The story ends as Lisa and Milhouse take Bart's suggestion and the trio run back to Evergreen Terrace.