3 Horrible Life Lessons Rudolph Teaches Our Kids


It’s holiday time once again, which means everyone’s favorite Christmas specials will be appearing all over ABC family.  These shows were meant to teach kids the “true meaning of Christmas” and not to be greedy little bastards when it comes to gifts.  But I came to the realization last year that one Christmas special doesn’t really seem to teach anything nice at all.  It’s the original Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer.  The one that came out in 1964 with the first ever gender-neutral elf (though they didn’t realize it at the time). This thing is just riddled with horrible life lessons. Allow me to explain.


1. Intolerance

Let’s start with Rudolph’s terrible parents.  Their child is born different. There is a light bulb protruding from the center of his face instead of a regular nose.  Instead of embracing his differences they suggest he hide it.  Let’s not forget Santa’s appearance in all this, thinking it’s a grand idea to hide it as well. That’s right kids: Santa’s a dick.  How can he love all these different kinds of children in the world when he can barely love this little reindeer for his differences?  “Aren’t you glad you didn’t grow up a reindeer little Timmy? You have cerebral palsy and Santa ain’t having none of that in his town.” I’m surprised at this point he didn’t just suggest to have Rudolph put down. But whatever it’s a kids movie right?


2. When The Going Gets Tough, Run Away

Later on in the film when the other reindeer ostracize Rudolph he decides to run away with the effeminate elf Herbie.  Herbie wants to be a dentist and quits his toy-making job to pursue his dream. Great. Awesome.  You should always pursue your dreams. But people are being mean to you about it so there is only one solution. RUN AWAY! Just run away from your problems! It’s okay kids!


Now I know you’re all thinking “yeah but Rudy totally came back.”  Let’s look into that too shall we?  Suddenly the town feels bad about the way they treated their little “misfits” and it just happens to coincide with the fact that they need them back home to fix their problem.

3. Treat Other’s In Proportion To Their Usefulness

So Rudolph and Herbie head home to save the day and only after they have hooked everyone at the North Pole up do people there begin to value them. Lesson learned kids. Only forgive the people who treated you like shit when they beg you back to fix their problems.


Christina Cola

Christina Cola

Christina Cola is a writer and performer. She was born and raised in Brooklyn and still lives there, because lets face it where else would she go? Christina enjoys spending her weekends doing improv in the basements of dingy bars. 

  • http://www.lukespartacus.com/ LukeSpartacus

    Well, we always seem to watch this in my family over the holidays… now I am going to see it with new eyes. My expat friend in Guatemala, Lori, always referred to Antigua, Guatemala as “The Land of Misfit Toys”