~ Cousin Mel scoffing that Grandma is making enough money to support the family.
Hey! I deserve to be rich!
~ Cousin Mel boasting herself.
Melanie Spankenheimer, or Cousin Mel for short, is the main antagonist of the 2000 children's animated Christmas special Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer (which features the song after which it is named). She’s the older granddaughter of Grandma and Grandpa Spankenheimer, the niece of Frank and Rita Spankenheimer and the older cousin of Jake and Daphne Spankenheimer.
Mel is a golddigger who wants to sell Grandma's store to Austin Bucks, the wealthiest man in the town of Cityville, but Grandma refuses to sell. After Grandma disappears following Santa's sleigh crashing, Mel discovered a letter revealing Grandma's whereabouts, but decided to hide it for about one year to keep her family and the rest of the town in the dark about it. She also tries a scheme to force the sale of Grandma's store by tricking Grandpa into signing over his power of attorney to her, but Jake tries to stop her.
As it turns out, Mel hated the Christmas spirit as she became the cause of Santa's arrest when she frames him for Grandma's disappearance. To that end, she got an unscrupulous attorney named I.M. Slime to assist her in her scheme to kidnap Grandma after she returns and to frame Santa for the crime and sue him to get all his money. She’s eventually found out by Jake when he finds the missing letter in order to prove Santa's innocence and she’s forced to confess her actions during Santa's trial when she’s confronted with the evidence against her. With that in mind, Mel is arrested for her crimes while Santa is clear from all charges, with even Bucks commented that she would look great in stripes. It’s implied that Mel will be permanently put on Santa's naughty list as punishment for her actions.
Even though the TV special wasn't fairly received by critics, some viewers considered Cousin Mel to be of the saving graces due to her attractive appearance.
Due to her red hair and surname, she’s of Irish and German descent.
Cousin Mel looks similar to Daphne Blake from the Scooby Doo franchise. Both characters are beautiful young ladies with long red hair, wear pink lipstick, scarves around their necks, have hour glass figures and have very expensive taste in fashion and material possessions. The difference is that Cousin Mel is evil, while Daphne Blake is good.