Most Christmas stories leave you with a case of the warm and fuzzies. No matter what brand of misfortune has befallen the central characters, "the Christmas Spirit" swoops in to save the day -- and sometimes, Santa himself even shows up to hammer in the point that miracles are possible.
However, in some Christmas movies, Santa can't solve everything (gasp!). In fact, he often makes it worse ("Santa's Slay"), or succumbs to a ghastly fate due to the actions of others ("The Santa Clause"). And since 2014 was a pretty awful year, it's these unfortunate Santas that we choose to celebrate as Christmas returns to reign hell upon the unfortunate citizens of planet earth. Humbug.
Santa kidnaps a child, "Elf"
Okay, so "Elf" is one of my favorite/the best Christmas movies of all time, but have we ever thought to think about how Santa definitely committed a felony in the film's opening moments? True, Buddy had things way better in the North Pole than he probably did in that orphanage, but still -- the weight of what he did to poor baby Buddy must have weighed heavy on Santa's conscience.
Santa gets stuck with Vince Vaughn as a brother, "Fred Claus"Warner Bros.
Yikes. Not only did Nick's good deeds get him stuck with the task of giving gifts to kids for all eternity, they also somehow led to his good-for-nothing brother getting stuck right there with him.
Santa suffers from crippling depression, "The Year Without a Santa Claus"
They say that Santa came down with "a cold" on Christmas, but really, "TYWaSC" was about Santa dealing with the crippling feeling that he was no longer relevant.
Santa gets driven off a bridge, "Christmas Evil"Pan American Pictures
Okay, so the "Santa" in "Christmas Evil" deserved everything he got, because he was really more of a deranged man with childhood Christmas issues than a real Santa. Still, he donned the suit and murdered people, so he counts -- as does his his epic chase scene that ends with his van being driven off a bridge. (Though it also is shown flying Santa's sleigh style later, which is obviously a fantasy sequence.)
Santa gets killed by his own chimney, "Gremlins"
"Santa's" death happened offscreen in this case, but the resulting monologue by Phoebe Cates telling the story of his death was one of the most iconic scenes in the movie. When Cates' character was a child her father thought it would be a great idea to actually dress up like Santa and go down the chimney -- only he didn't count on getting stuck there, or his daughter later turning on the fireplace and cooking him like a rotisserie chicken. (Seriously, how did nobody hear his screams?!)
Santa does a lot of bad stuff, "Silent Night, Deadly Night"
In the cult classic "Silent Night, Deadly Night," the man who would become "Santa" watched his parents get murdered by a man also dressed like Santa, on Christmas Eve. He also watched his coworker get raped (then murdered the woman himself), and is tortured by nuns for basically his entire life.
Santa gets shot by the police, "Bad Santa"
Most of the stuff that happened in "Bad Santa" wasn't so much bad for "Santa" as it was for our childhoods. (Did you have to have sex with Lorelai Gilmore?) But still, Santa got shot by the cops at the end -- after the admiration of a child turned him "good" -- so I guess that was a bummer for some people.
Santa gets tortured by Oogie Boogie, "The Nightmare Before Christmas"
Spurned by a (admittedly beloved) mad man's obsession with taking over his holiday, Santa Claus is tied up, tortured, forced to hang out with bugs, and nearly dropped into a pool of what we think is acid in this Disney holiday classic.
Santa gets killed by Tim Allen, "The Santa Clause"
This falls under the "Christmas Shoes" banner of "western Christmas story where a crotchety fellow's Christmas spirit is saved at the expense of someone else's wellbeing." Seriously, doesn't anybody else think it's messed up that the old guy who was Santa had to fall off a roof for Tim Allen to feel okay about the holidays again? And worse, that they never even mentioned him?
Santa is forced to give presents for 1000 years, "Santa's Slay"
The worst thing that happened to Santa in "Santa's Slay" was having to actually be Santa. See, in this retelling of the classic Kris Kringle tale, Santa was actually the result of Satan raping a virgin, making Santa himself a murderous Antichrist. Christmas was initially "The Day of Slaying" for Santa until a no-good angel defeated him in a curling match and sentenced him to deliver presents for 1000 years.
Santa's balls get shocked by terrorists, "South Park"
Leave it to "South Park" to sent Santa to Iraq, break his legs, kill his reindeer, and shock his testicles. At least Jesus sacrificed himself to save the day...