The Worst Christmas Song Ever: Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer

DVD cover for the animated movie, “Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer”

**Beware of attempted humor

Happy holidays from AGT! I wanted to do something special for our readers, and my first thought was to write a piece on my very favorite Christmas song. But realizing that everyone was probably going to be doing that, I decided to do the next best thing.

“Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer” has haunted my dreams since I was twelve. Whenever I would hear it on the radio or catch that awful animated movie on television, I would immediately go in search of a perfectly trashy episode of reality television. But recently, I’ve been wondering why I hate this song so much, and what better way to figure it out than by diving into a soul-searchy line by line analysis of the piece?

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walking home from our house Christmas Eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

This stanza describes the broken state of the narrator’s home. It seems that his family does not love Grandma enough to give her a ride home because of her tendency to complain that everything the narrator’s mother makes is too salty. When the narrator asks his dad if it’s okay for Grandma to walk home alone in below-zero temperatures despite her severe arthritis, he tells the narrator to shut up and devour his nutritionally damaging English peas.

Little does the family know that on this particular walk, grandma suffers the same fate as any woman walking home alone in a Lifetime Network Original movie—she is mercilessly mauled by a wild beast that may or may not be male.


She’d been drinkin’ too much egg nog
And we’d begged her not to go
But she’d left her medication
So she stumbled out the door into the snow

This stanza enlightens the reader on Grandma’s alcohol consumption problem. The use of the word, “drinkin’” implies that a large quantity of liquor has been poured into the popular holiday beverage prior to Grandma’s consumption of it. The narrator and his family beg her not to leave because it is Christmas and they didn’t want her hurting some poor innocent orphans. But the little voice in her head tells her to go pick up her medication from the local CVS before slapping on the old nightcap for bed.

When they found her Christmas mornin’
At the scene of the attack
There were hoof prints on her forehead
And incriminatin’ Claus marks on her back

The family has a wonderful Christmas Eve after Grandma leaves. The narrator gets a Nintendo 3DS, his mother gets a diamond necklace, and his father gets a long-awaited text from a mistress he had been trying to break things off with for the past three months saying that she met a man down in New Mexico and that she was leaving him.

Everything is great.

At least until the police department calls the narrator’s family informing them that Grandma has been found face-down in the middle of a four-way intersection and that four children from the local orphanage went missing around the same time eye witnesses spotted her stumbling around town, talking about how much she hated orphaned children and puppies.

The bruises on her forehead and back suggest that Grandma has hooked back up with her high school sweetheart who now works as the local mall Santa annually.


Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walkin’ home from our house Christmas Eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

Once again the narrator expands on the state of his home in order to emphasize how badly he needs a therapist.

Now we’re all so proud of Grandpa
He’s been takin’ this so well
See him in there watchin’ football
Drinkin’ beer and playin’ cards with cousin Belle

The narrator’s family is astounded at how optimistic Grandpa—a retired brain-surgeon-rocket-scientist—is about the situation despite his wife having cheated on him with a mall Santa/truck driver.

Little do they know, he is hurting on the inside. He watches football to see people hurt each other and release his anger without having to do something that could incriminate him later. He gorges on beers and gambles constantly in order to re-experience his days of bachelorhood.


It’s not Christmas without Grandma
All the family’s dressed in black
And we just can’t help but wonder
Should we open up her gifts or send them back?

Christmas for the narrator’s household is loud screaming, a little bit of cussing, and holding Grandma down as she chants demonic incantations like one of those wild kids from the Paranormal Activity franchise.
But now that she has faked her own death to be the Mrs. Claus to her lover’s Santa, the family, equipped with the new-found potential to be less dysfunctional,  is at a loss.

They experience an internal battle between self-indulgence and capitalism. Should they enjoy her gifts as their own? Or should they sell them on eBay for an inflated monetary value?


Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walkin’ home from our house Christmas Eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe

The narrator is begging for the reader’s help. He can’t handle the intensity of walking past his Grandma at the mall’s holiday display as she pretends not to know him.

Now the goose is on the table
And the pudding made of fig
And a blue and silver candle
That would just have matched the hair in Grandma’s wig

The family is so grief-stricken that they begin to consume nothing but goose meat and fig pudding. They see Grandma in everything: The flame of the candle, the mirror in the hall, the water in the pit of the toilet…


I’ve warned all my friends and neighbors
Better watch out for yourselves
They should never give a license
To a man who drives a sleigh and plays with elves

Though the narrator really shouldn’t have let Grandma walk out in the cold by herself, he creates a persona in his head named Santa Claus who he uses as a scape goat. So according to him, Santa’s had a wild, wild weekend. He killed/hooked up with his Grandma and left the toilet seat up.

What a jerk.

Grandma got run over by a reindeer
Walkin’ home from our house, Christmas eve
You can say there’s no such thing as Santa
But as for me and Grandpa, we believe!

If you know a family who has lost their grandmother to a fat, mythical elf king on Christmas Eve (whether it be through death or love affair), please call 1-800-SAVE-MY-GRANNY or visit www.grannygotgame.org. (Jk maybe you shouldn’t visit that website.)

P.S. Losing your grandmother on Christmas Eve seems like a very traumatic experience—hence—this song is awful. The end.

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