Cuphead Wiki

A Very Devil Christmas is the sixth episode of Season 3 of The Cuphead Show! and is the thirty-first overall.


Christmas brings out the worst in the Devil, who's notoriously naughty... until he schemes to get himself onto Santa's nice list.


Christmas arrives on the Inkwell Isles, but The Devil wonders what the Naughty List is, not knowing he is naughty and evil, always ruining Christmas for the residents, so he asks Santa Claus if he is on the Naughty List, revealing that he is on the Naughty List, The Devil then gets a punishment for misbehaving, and is forced to tackle on all the Inkwell Isle Residents homes and give out gifts as Santa Claus.


As all of the citizens of Inkwell Isle is enjoying their Christmas, The Devil ruins it and starts to sing about a song of how he enjoys ruining Christmas and terrorizing citizens during that time. As soon as he finishes that musical number he hears a train whistle and pushes some kids aside to look at a toy train set in a toy store window. This ignites his interest on wanting to own one, until he overhears a kid (Sammy Sandwich) whining about wanting the train too, before going off his list on what he also wants, before his mother reminds him about the naughty list, much to the Devil's confusion. He then goes up to Sammy and questions him about the naughty list, before the latter answers him about how if he's on the list, he won't get any presents.

The Devil the goes back to Inkwell Hell and hosts a meeting about him attempting to get on Santa's Nice List, much to the others shock. When one imp tells Henchman on not knowing the nice list, he is obliterated and his words are know pinned on Henchman, who then tells him that he can't qualify for the Nice List, due to his villainy. This prompts the Devil to go out and try to get himself on the Nice List.

Meanwhile in the North Pole, Santa Claus has just arrived back at his workshop, and goes to his office to find the Devil there already. The Devil then goes over to Santa and requests that he gets a toy train set, before eventually finding the Devil on the Naughty List. This severely upsets the Devil, and Santa decides to make it up for him to get on the Nice List. If the Devil can be a good boy until midnight, he will be moved onto the Nice List. He then attempts this, only to fail fast as he accidentally obliterates an old lady, much to Santa's disappointment later on. Here the Devil is now stuck on the Naughty List forever, as the latter then begs to do anything, Santa then hatches an idea. Here the elves are doing a ritual, and Santa performs a spell on the Devil that seemingly does nothing at first.

Later in Inkwell Hell, the Devil then starts to transform into Santa Claus himself, before Henchman finds him. Here, the Devil then confesses that he just wants a toy train, before Henchman logically questions on if he wants a train so bad, why doesn't he summon one? The Devil then answers that he wants to get the train through morality, and goes back to the North Pole. Here he questions the elves about Santa's whereabouts to turn him back to normal, before an elf version of Stickler appears, and explains to him that Santa has disappeared and that he is the new Santa, and to get back to normal, he must delivery all the nice people presents, otherwise, he stays as Santa Claus forever if he refuses. After going through a few more rules, the Devil then hops onto the sleigh and mispronounces the reindeers names very insultingly, causing all of them to flee. Henchman then substitutes into flying his sleigh.

Here, the Devil then delivers all the presents as he gets tortured through several ways. (tangled up and electrocuted by Christmas lights, stabbed by icicles, mauled by dogs, and getting sick after eating and drinking too much cookies and milk respectively, as he sobs) After delivering several more presents, Henchman announces that the Devil only has one house left, that being Cuphead and Co.'s cottage, much to the latter's frustration, as Henchman reminds him to be jolly.

As they land, Henchman motivates him, as the Devil enters the cottage, and notices the dead tree from the previous episode. The Devil then proceeds to gift Mugman a stack of books, Elder Kettle a new radio, before finding the toy train that he wants, before lifting up the tag that he must give it to Cuphead. As he then considers on taking the train for himself, Cuphead then finds him and confesses how hard it has been for him to be nice, when he goes out to be more naughty. This emotionally breaks the Devil's heart, as he then gives the train to Cuphead. The Devil then teleports outside the cottage to look at the Nice List if he got onto it yet. The results is that he hasn't, much to his dismay, before it actually writes his name down there.

The two then head off back to the North Pole, where his transformation wears off, turning the Devil back to his normal self. Here, Santa Claus reappears where he is about to present the Devil with a gift better than a toy train: "The joy of being nice." This at first, doesn't seem serious to the Devil, but the latter soon goes into a mental breakdown as he rants on him, before teleporting back to Inkwell Hell, as he brings Henchman back as well, who happily says good bye to the latter.

As the Devil returns, he goes into a state of depression as he didn't get what he wanted, as he eats Stickler's sandwich. Suddenly, he hears a train whistle and finds a larger version of the toy train in the middle of his throne room. The Devil then becomes joyed, (thinking that Santa did get him the train that he wanted) as he then dons a conductors' outfit and rides it. The dramatic irony is actually that Henchman built the train, as he hides behind the throne and wishes the Devil a happy Christmas.





  • This is the second and final episode where the Devil serves as the main (anti-heroic) protagonist, the first being Roadkill.
  • This is the only episode:
    • Where the Devil shows a true friendship with Cuphead, as all those other times ended short, or were a false friendship.
    • To not have the theme song as the opening tune, making it seem to be more as a standalone special.
    • In which Mugman is absent (name only mentioned on the tag), making Cuphead the only character to appear in every episode.
  • This episode has many similarities to "How the Grinch Stole Christmas!". During the gift-giving montage, the Devil offers a group of many kids asleep in one bed one present in each stocking over their heads (before having to have milk and cookies on all of their tables). This is similar to the way the Grinch stealthily took the candy canes from the hands of all of the kids asleep in one bed (one of them being Cindy-Lou Who) in the 1966 animated adaptation.
  • Elder Kettle receiving a new radio calls back to the episode Baby Bottle, where the titular character destroyed his old one. Mugman receiving Love's Turbulent Tide books calls back to the episode The I Scream Man. The burnt Christmas tree is a call back to the previous episode, Holiday Tree-dition.
  • When Elf Stickler unrolls the nice list, you can see some of the names of the Cuphead Show production team, like Cosmo for Cosmo Segurson, Andrea for Andrea Fernandez, Ego for Ego Plum, and Zoe for Zoe Moss. The name Tina is probably a reference to Tina Nawrocki, a 2D animator who worked on the original game.
  • The design of Santa, his workshop and his elves are reminiscent of Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies shorts, Santa's Workshop and The Night Before Christmas.
  • The elves all wear candles on their heads during the ritual to turn the Devil into Santa, much like the cult members do in the 1931 Fleischer Studios short "Bimbo's Initiation".
  • The Devil becoming the new Santa Claus is similar to The Santa Clause, except he doesn't kill Santa in order to do so. His transformation also parallels Kevin's transformation into Kevin 11 from Ben 10.
  • During the staff meeting at the beginning of the special, Stickler and other Imps complain that someone has been stealing lunches from the community refrigerator, even though it's clearly labeled, which serves as a running gag towards the special. At the end, it's revealed that it is the Devil who, after having to play Santa and not getting his toy train, goes to the fridge and takes a sandwich from Stickler's bag.
  • If one listens closely, while eating Stickler's sandwich, the Devil whimpers a little as his stomach makes a churning sound, meaning all that milk and cookies he had to consume really did him dirty.
  • This is the longest episode of the series, being 30 minutes long. It is also the second Christmas episode of the series, following "Holiday Tree-dition".
  • The tune of the Devil's song at the beginning sounds rather similar to "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" by Andy Williams.
  • When Elf Stickler explains to the Devil that he has turned into Santa Claus, he opens a book with a picture of Santa Claus in the vitruvian pose.
  • The montage of the Devil (as Santa Claus) offering presents to children and having milk and cookies all night has an extended version of "Trepak" from The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky played in the background. Also, a snippet of "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from the same suite plays in the background earlier when the Devil sees a toy train at the toy store.
  • The Devil's transformation into Santa Claus has the background music of a Ukrainian folk chant called "Shchedryka" (whose music was later used in a copyrighted song called "Carol of the Bells"). Ironically, the title means "bountiful evening", which is what the Devil will be forced into as Santa Claus.
  • The Devil transforming into Santa Claus is a huge reference to Krampus, a fictional Christmas folklore, dubbed as The Christmas Devil, who punishes children when naughty on Christmas.
  • When Cuphead meets the Devil inside his house as Santa, he curiously doesn't recognize him despite his voice, some of his Devil's traits and his Pitchfork. Deeke Deke, the head writer of the show, jokely answered on Twitter that it's because the room was dark and Cuphead just woke up, and maybe also because "he's not the brightest bulb on the charred Christmas tree".
The Cuphead Show! Episodes
Season 1
Carn-EvilBaby BottleRibby and CroaksHandle with Care!Roll the DiceGhosts Ain't Real!
Root PackedSweater Off DeadSweater Luck Next TimeDangerous MugmanDirt NapIn Charm's Way
Season 2
Jail-BrokenCharmed & DangerousA High Seas Adventure!Another BrotherSweet Temptation
The I Scream ManPiano LessonRelease the Demons!Dead BrokeRats All, FolksSay Cheese!
Lost in the WoodsThe Devil's Pitchfork
Season 3
The Devil's Revenge!Don't Answer the DoorCupstagedRoadkillHoliday Tree-ditionA Very Devil ChristmasSpecial DeliveryDown & OutJoyrideDance with DangerThe Devil & Ms. Chalice