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|“||I'm an eating, drinking, shitting, fucking Santa Claus.||„|
|~ Willie Stokes|
Willie Stokes is the main character in the 2003 film Bad Santa and its 2016 sequel. He is played by Billy Bob Thornton in both movies.
Willie is a criminal who works as a mall Santa every holiday season with his midget friend Marcus, who poses as an elf. Every year on Christmas Eve, the two of them rob the mall, living off of the stolen loot for the next year. Willie is an alcoholic and a whoremonger, and makes no effort to mask his contempt for children and pretty much everyone else he comes into contact with.
One year, Willie is forced to stay with a random kid named Thurman Merman in the Phoenix suburbs in order to evade the police, and immediately plans to rob his home. Over time, Willie begins to grow fond of Thurman and even beats up a gang of skateboarders for bullying him. On Christmas Eve, during his mall heist, Willie tries to steal a purple stuffed elephant as a gift to Thurman, but is caught and gunned down by the police. He manages to survive his wounds, and his cohort Marcus is arrested.
Willie returns in Bad Santa 2. Although Willie was offered a cushy job as a sensitivity counselor at the end of the original, Willie eventually reverted back to his old ways. He still keeps in touch with Thurman, but has grown to slightly resent him. Since his elderly grandmother (and sole caretaker) has passed away of old age, and his father's whereabouts are unknown, Thurman has no family of his own so he considers Willie to his family.
- Billy Bob Thornton will be reprising the role in the sequel Bad Santa 2.