Big Idea Wiki
It's a Meaningful Life
Directed by

Brian Roberts

Produced by

Leslie Ferrell
Brian Roberts

Written by

Mark Steele
Mike Nawrocki
Brian Roberts

Music by

Kurt Heinecke

Distributed by

Vivendi Entertainment
(Mass market)
Word Entertainment
(Christian market)


October 2, 2010
(Christian market)
October 5, 2010
(Mass market)


50 minutes

Previous episode

Sweetpea Beauty

Next episode

'Twas The Night
Before Easter

It's a Meaningful Life is the 38th episode of VeggieTales and the fourth Christmas episode of the series.

It is a parody of the 1946 Frank Capra film, "It's a Wonderful Life."


Opening Countertop

The show starts out with Bob & Larry on the countertop as usual. Bob hadn't planned anything because he was expecting Larry to interfere with the show as usual. Feeling insulted, Larry decides to keep his mouth shut, even though Bob tries to reason with him. Bob then turns to Qwerty who posts up a video call from a girl named Maggie Greenman who hails from the city of Centennial in the state of Texas. She greets the trio and explains to them that she really wanted to get on the cheerleading team, but Maggie's pal Savannah got picked rather than Maggie herself. As such, Maggie feels unimportant, un-special, and wants to know how to move forward. Even though he wasn't talking, Larry helped Bob with the situation by showing her a film.

Act 1

The story takes place in a town called Rockwell, where Stewart Green (Larry) aims to win a football game so he can go to the Salad Bowl. But after a mistake from the Decoy, Morty Bumble (Mr. Lunt), Stewart finds himself in the hospital. Now, not only is he unable to go to the Salad Bowl, but he can never play football again. Morty, however, does go to the Salad Bowl and he becomes famous. To try and cheer Stewart up, his dad (Mr. Nezzer) gives him a job at his toy train factory.

Fifteen years later, Stewart is still living in Rockwell and is now the CEO of the toy factory. Unfortunately, the factory is behind with the bills and needs to make 10,000 trains by Christmas. Stewart is also married to Donna (Petunia Rhubarb), has 3 kids. 2 sons named Barney & Art, and an adopted daughter named Emma. He also coaches his sons' football team consisting of them & some boys who used to be quite mean and comforts Emma when she didn't get the part she wanted in her school's Christmas play.

But Stewart's problems get worse when Morty comes back home and plans to buy the toy train factory. Stewart tries to make the factory to work harder and faster, but that only makes things worse. Just as he really starts to regret missing that football in the game, a train appears out of nowhere.

Silly Song

Main article: Goodnight Junior

Act 2

Stewart boards the train and starts to explore it. He then meets the eccentric conductor, Gabe. Gabe tells Stewart that he is able to show him what his life could have been like for him if he had only caught that football in three stops. The first stop shows Stewart as a greedy business man who plans to buy the Toy Factory and rename Rockwell just like Morty did. The second stop shows Rockwell without Stewart around. Thanks to Stewart not being there, Donna never got married to him. All of those football team players that Stewart coaches never became into football & they continue to be quite mean thanks to Stewart was never around to teach them how to be funny, sensitive or even well mannered. Stewart's twin sons Barney & Art don't exist in this universe either because they were never born all because Stewart never married Donna. As for Emma, she still lives in the orphanage that Stewart adopted her from with her teddy bear Teddy because Stewart was never around to adopt her.

At the third stop, Stewart is given a choice to either remain in the world where he is famous, or to go home and solve his problems. Stewart decides that he should head home, seeing that God's plan for him in Rockwell is better than being famous.

When Stewart goes back to the toy factory, he finds that everyone in Rockwell is helping him get back on track. Even Morty starts to see that no one will help him unless he learns to live a meaningful life too.

Closing Countertop

At the end of the story, Bob and Larry recap the lesson learned story, get a verse from Qwerty and make up with one another while Maggie learns to be happy knowing that God has something special planned for her future. After Maggie says bye to the trio, Bob and Larry sign off.



Fun Facts


  • We oftentimes wish that our lives would turn out different. We sometimes think that if certain events had played out the way they were supposed to, our lives would be much better. But God has something for us that's more important than anything.
  • We need to realize that everything in our lives is meaningful, because God is always working in our lives; even when we don't see it.
  • When we feel down, we need to have hope because God cares about us, loves us and has a plan for our futures.


  • When this episode aired on Smile of a Child, Meant To Be was replaced with background music from the episode.
  • On some airings on Smile of a Child, the episode was divided in two parts. The first part would go from the actual beginning to when Stewart sees the train. The second part would start with a long recap from the first part.
  • This is the second and last episode animated by Hawaii Animation Studios.
  • This is the first episode for a few things:
  • This is the last episode for a few things:
  • There were a few differences between pre-production and the final product:
    • Originally, Gourdon's line was supposed to be said by Percy, but the animators accidentally animated Gourdon's mouth movements instead. So, they decided to redub Percy's voice with Gourdon's.
    • In the scene of Emma in the orphanage, she was initially going to be kicked out and left shivering in the snow. This was cut for obvious reasons.

Other Languages

  • حياة نيما معنى (Arabic) (Nima Life Meaning)
  • زندگی پرمعنا (Persian) (Meaningful Life)
  • Многозначительная Жизнь (Russian) (Meaningful Life)


  • Even though it's set around Christmas, this episode can be watched anytime, whether it's close to the Holidays or not.
  • This is the first Christmas episode not to have a holiday-related Silly Song.
  • This is the sixth of the 7 episodes where the Silly Song is in the later half in the runtime.
  • Although not a goof, there are some shots where Morty is seen without his teeth.
  • Even though the locomotive is a steam locomotive, it has a diesel locomotive's horn.
  • When Stewart is carried to the hospital, there is a boy in the bleachers that uses Art's model. However, it is unlikely that this is actually Art, as he wasn't born until years after Stewart's injuries.
  • If you play ball in the House, you can easily break anything fragile.
  • Morty says he just took the strangest train ride, which would indicate he rode the What-If Express. However, he was nowhere to be seen on the train.


  • Throughout the episode, Barney & Art's voices often swap with each other. (i.e. Barney with Art's voice & Art with Barney's voice)
  • The hopping animations of all of the characters seems to waver in quality throughout the entirety of the episode.
  • There are 4 shots when Stewart's tooth is missing, when he's passing the workers, when he nudges Pete with the boxes into the delivery room, after the toy factory goes berserk and he's screaming, and when Morty says "Merry Christmas, Green Machine".
  • When Stewart looks out the window of The What-If Express at one point, his tie clips through his body until he hops out of the chair and out the door.
  • Scooter is missing his mouth throughout the episode.
  • After Barney says "I didn't say how I caught it," his entire family's shadows disappear for a frame.
  • In some shots of the What-If Express, the wheels and side rods aren't moving.
  • In one scene during Down These Tracks, the What-If Express has six coaches instead of two.
  • When Maggie tells Bob and Larry even though she doesn't get to be a cheerleader, Bob and Larry show up in front of Qwerty, but when Larry says "Exactly Maggie," his mouth doesn't move correctly, and Qwerty vanishes. Was Qwerty still offscreen next to the jars on the countertop? Because when he says "You know, I do," he comes back.

Inside References

Real-World References

  • Superman is one of the most beloved characters in comic book history.
  • While the episode is a parody of It's a Wonderful Life, it also borrows elements from Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol and Chris Van Allsburg's "The Polar Express."
  • The town of Rockwell gets its name from painter Norman Rockwell. It is also the name of the main setting of the Warner Bros. animation film The Iron Giant.
  • The Salad Bowl is a play on Super Bowl, which is the annual final playoff game of the National Football League.
  • The way Stewart was bandaged is similar to how Squidward was bandaged in the SpongeBob SquarePants episode "Jellyfishing".
  • The way Famous Stewart made Cheese Statues on his tongue is similar to SpongeBob making Paper statues on his tongue in the episode "The Paper".

Fast Forward





External Link

VeggieTales episodes