A MALL AND THE NIGHT VISITORS – On Christmas Eve, Frasier learns that the shipment of educational toys he ordered for his son, Frederick (guest star Luke Tarsitano), has been delayed. Frasier and Niles must then go where neither man has ever gone before – a shopping mall – in search of toys to put under the tree. Meanwhile, Niles announces that his estranged wife, Maris, has cut off his funds, and Martin proves his style of decorating for the holidays is lovely and cosy.
Frasier meets Niles at Café Nervosa, with Frederick roughly nine hours away. Niles tells Frasier he and Maris might get back together soon, citing a moment earlier that day when she demanded an apology from him and he firmly put his foot down and got a feeling of respect from her. He turns out to be wrong when he tries to pay for his coffee and finds that Maris has cancelled his credit cards and bank accounts. After wrapping up his show for the week, Frasier lets Roz go early, partly so she can get to her family, but also so he can read his annual Christmas parable in peace without her making snide remarks. He starts reciting it, but then Bulldog and Gil, drunk and coming from the station's Christmas party, do their best to disturb him. When getting in his way and holding a lighter to his story pages doesn't work, they send in the stripper Bulldog hired for the party to put on a show for Frasier, who rushes to the end of his story with his dignity largely intact. He leaves, but not before giving the stripper a big kiss on the lips.
Frasier comes home to his apartment and is horrified to discover that Martin has covered the place with gaudy Christmas decorations, complete with a toy train track, stockings, a big robot Santa that says "ho-ho-ho" whenever someone steps on the connected pressure mat, and even put a little Santa costume on Eddie. They are joined by an equally shocked Niles, who tells a disbelieving Frasier that he thinks Maris' actions are intended to say she wants him back. Before going to the airport to pick up Frederick, Frasier starts wrapping his Christmas presents, all of which come from a catalog section for intellectually challenging gifts, like a geology lab, a junior astronomer kit and a Living Brain, an anatomy model of a human brain. Martin suggests that Frasier gives Frederick something more fun than educational and recommends the Outlaw Laser Robo-Geek, a toy that has been advertised lately. Thinking Frederick will like the same things he did when he was his age, Frasier dismisses the suggestion. Unfortunately, when he opens the mail order box containing the gifts, it turns out to contain a collection of girls' toys ordered by a Franklin Crane in Kennebunkport, Maine, who has gotten the toys Frasier ordered.
Frasier and Niles hurry down to a toystore at the mall to replace the gifts before Frederick arrives. Sadly, the store is all out of the educational toys Frasier is looking for. They run into a man who just bought a bag full of educational toys from a store in the mall that only sells them. Unfortunately, the store has already closed. The man is willing to sell Frasier the bag, but at the exorbitant price of $1000. Since the toys are only worth roughly $100, Frasier offers the man $300 in cash and asks Niles to write him a check for the rest, knowing that Maris has frozen his account. At the apartment, Frasier wraps the gifts and puts them under the tree. When Niles brings up a box from the storage to get a decoration for Martin, they find several Christmas gifts Frasier has given Martin the last few years that weren't his style at all, such as a smoking jacket and a tie. When Frasier demands an explanation, Martin levels with him and tells him that he has a bad habit of giving people Christmas gifts he thinks they should like rather than things they do like. He reminds him of when Frasier was a child and Martin wanted him to like baseball, but since he really wanted a microscope, he got that instead. When Frederick says goodnight, it turns out that he really has his mind set on an Outlaw Laser Robo-Geek, like Martin suggested. Frasier gives Martin the gift he was going to get the next day, a dressing gown, and settles in for a disappointing next day when Frederick opens his presents. Luckily, Martin gives Frasier a gift too - an Outlaw Laser Robo-Geek he can give Frederick.
- If I Only Had A Brain
- A Mall And The Night Visitors
Martin tries to take Eddie for a walk in his Santa costume. Eddie fights back and refuses to go until Martin takes off the Santa costume.
- Kelsey Grammer as Frasier Crane
- Jane Leeves as Daphne Moon
- David Hyde Pierce as Niles Crane
- Peri Gilpin as Roz Doyle
- and John Mahoney as Martin Crane
Special Appearance By
- Luck Hari as Waitress
- Becky Ann Baker as Customer
- Klee Bragger as Ned
- Ray Liotta as Bob
- The allusion in the title is to Dr. Seuss' Christmas-hating creation the Grinch.
- After the caller, Bob, is finished explaining his issue, Frasier replies, 'Mele Kalikimaka, Bob.' which is Merry Christmas in Hawaiian.
Notes and references
- First appearance of Frederick Crane, last seen in the Cheers season eleven episode "Sunday Dinner." In this episode, Frederick is played by Luke Tarsitano. He is replaced by Trevor Einhorn, starting with A Lilith Thanksgiving, until the end of the series.