Ever since Clement C. Moore outed the names of the reindeer in his 1823 poem, people have wanted to know more about those flying beasts. And though we can’t tell you more, here is a highly scientific ranking that took us months to compile.
Moving around with “high springy steps” was all well and good until Prancerise became a real thing hipsters do ironically in neighborhoods the NY Times formerly called “scruffy”. After that, the poor, springy-stepped bastard never had a chance.
8. Rudolph Yes, yes, he’s got a glowing red nose. And his name does mean "famous wolf" in German, which is confusing because he’s a deer, but nonetheless pretty cool. But according to the original Robert L. May story written for a department store, Santa exploited his one talent for glowing light during a foggy Christmas, and that could also be read as a subliminal parable underwritten and financed by brake-light lobbyists in the auto industry.
7. Dancer I know what you’re thinking: how could a reindeer named after the 1987 Mikhail Baryshnikov and Julie Kent film about a ballet dancer planning to make the film version of the ballet Giselle be this low?!? Or wait... was that not what you were thinking?
6. Cupid What good could possibly come from naming your reindeer after the god of erotic love? Don’t answer that! He moves up three spots based solely on the fact that I very much used to enjoy the Kid Cupid video game for NES.
5. Dasher Did you know that a dasher is a plunger used for agitating cream in a churn? And also the ledge along the top of the boards in a hockey rink? And not just the name of someone who sprints really fast, like I’d always thought? Anyway, it’s still a cool name, despite the cream agitation.
4. Vixen Top four! No spiteful or quarrelsome woman-shaming here!
3. Comet He’s named after a damn celestial object. Also, you should probably know comets look like they have tails because of solar radiation. And DC Comics' old Superman stories speak of Comet the Super-Horse, during what could only have been a very slow, dark time period for the writers of those comics.
2. Donner It means "thunder", and not the OKC version starring Kendrick Perkins, and that big white dude from Michigan.
1. Blitzen The German word for lightning is so much cooler than ours, plus Blitzen Trapper have that one song about murders on black rivers that’s pretty chill. And we wanted to make an "NFL Blitzen" joke, but couldn't think of a way to work it in, but we just wanted you to know we thought about it.
Kevin Alexander is the Food/Drink executive editor and wishes his name meant "famous wolf", or "cream agitator". Follow his prancing: @KAlexander03.