The Sweet children must forego the rampant greed and consumerism of the season when each is given $100 and told to go out and help someone in need. This heartwarming holiday tale follows Jon, Marcie, Ben, and Timmy's adventures in altruism as each tries to do the most good with their money.
Episode #: 907
Issue #: 103
Release Date: Feb 14, 2014
Title: "The Old Man and the C-Notes"
Story (out of 32 pages): 32 p.
Writer: Tawana and Che Most
Penciller: Scott J. Hanna and J. M. Sweet
Letterer: Noah Jewett
Colorist: Annette T. "Jo" Shaw
The story opens in the Apal-Mart electronics department, just hours after Thanksgiving dinner, where the Sweet family is among the crowd of shoppers waiting for the start of the big annual post-Veteran's Day pre-black Friday sale. The boys are clearly impatient because they can't wait to get their new big-screen plasma television and CD player, Marcie is constantly texting updates on her cell phone, and Mom is becoming steadily more frazzled as the hours wear on. Finally the crowd is given the go-ahead to begin the shopping frenzy. However, when their children's behavior in public proves embarrassing and deplorable, Mom and Dad decide drastic measures must be taken to punish their wayward progeny.
Flash-forward to Dec 25, when the Sweet children come downstairs to see-- nothing. The tree is gone, the stockings are not hung by the chimney with care, there are are no presents, no plasma TV, nothing. Instead, Dad gathers the children together and gives each $100...with the stipulation that they give the money to others to help them out, rather than spend it on themselves-- thus teaching them that the true meaning of Christmas is not selfishness and avarice, but charity and faithful giving.
The story follows each of the kids to see how they handle their assignment-- be it a gift to a stranger, a donation to charity, or a sound financial investment. And, as is always true with giving, each finds he or she gets back far more in return.
The title references not only Ernest Hemingway's man-vs.-nature opus "The Old Man And the Sea", but several Simpsons title that have parodied it: "The Old Man and the Lisa" "The Old Man and the 'C' Student", and "The Old Man and the Key", as well as a Family Guy episode, "The Old Man and the Big 'C'".
Speaking of The Simpsons, the scene where Sarty explains how his family got their dog (Bear from "Mr. and Mrs. Sweet") is an allusion to the plot of ep. 7G08, "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire", also set around the Christmas season.
The plot is also a nod to the Futurama episode "Three Hundred Big Boys", involving multiple stories about how each member of Planet Express spends a $300 government tax windfall. Futurama is co-created by Matt Groening, who also gave us The Simpsons.
The plot also recalls the Taxi episode "A Grand Gesture", in which Jim gives each of his friends $1000 from his inheritance money, with the stipulation that he or she spend it on someone with a need greater than they.
Timmy's plan to bury his $100 in the ground alludes to the Biblical parable of the servants and the talents (Matthew 25:14-30).
This story may be set chronologically before "New Year's Evil!", as Jon and Angela are said to be celebrating their first Thanksgiving and Christmas together as a couple.