National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) is the third installment in the National Lampoon's Vacation film series.

Clark Griswold has decided to host nearly his entire extended family at his house for the holiday season, including his parents, his in-laws, his senile old Aunt Bethany and, eventually, possibly-inbred cousin-in-law Eddie. As can be expected, everything goes horribly wrong in the most hilarious way possible.

A perennial Christmas classic, and notably the only one of the Vacation series to take place at the Griswold home.

Had a Made for TV Movie sequel made in 2003.


Tropes used in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation include:
  • Absurdly Bright Light: The house's Christmas lights (when they work).
  • Alcohol Hic: Ellen's mother has one while laughing at Clark's failed lights.
  • Animated Credits Opening
  • Ass Shove: "Bend over and I'll show ya!"
  • Berserk Button: When Clark finds out that instead of a check his Christmas bonus is a year-long membership to the Jelly of the Month club, he does not take it well.
    • Leads to Be Careful What You Wish For. During the ensuing rant, Clark says how much he'd love to have his boss right there in front of him to tell him what for. His well-meaning but moronic relative interprets that as a directive to go and kidnap Clark's boss.
  • Big Blackout: Clark causes one when he turns his Christmas lights on.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The SWAT team does this in the last act for Mr. Shirley. However, once they learn why he was kidnapped, however, they change tune:

SWAT Commander: That's pretty low, mister! If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you into a...

" Is this the airport, Clark? Is your house on fire, Clark? Is Rusty still in the navy? I just love riding in cars."

SWAT Member: That's pretty low, mister! If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you into a...

Clark: Ahh... hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people. And I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! HALLELUJAH, and HOLY SHIT! Where's the Tylenol?

  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: Clark reacts to the news that he received a subscription to a Jelly-of-the-Month Club in lieu of a Christmas Bonus from his boss by ranting that he wished the boss was right there so he could chew him out. His cousin-in-law promptly jumps into his RV and kidnaps said boss.
  • Rule of Funny
  • Stuff Blowing Up
  • Stepford Smiler: Clark, at the start of the last act.
  • That Poor Cat: Aunt Bethany's kitty electrocutes itself chewing on a Christmas light cord.
  • The Unfavorite: Oddly enough, Ellen's father is shown to be much more approving of Cousin Eddie (the unemployed idiot who has his family living in an RV) than of Clark (who has provided Ellen with an upper-middle class lifestyle).
  • Women Are Wiser: Ellen. Although everyone is wiser than Clark.
  • X-Ray Sparks: Happens when Santa Claus gets electrocuted by the lights in the animated opening credits.
  • Yandere: Clark gets like this in the last act. Subverted, however in that he is a mostly nice person -- he gets better pretty quickly when he finally gets a break.
  • Yuppie Couple: Clark's neighbors Todd and Margo.