National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Wikis


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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Jeremiah Chechik
Produced by John Hughes
Matty Simmons
Written by John Hughes
Starring Chevy Chase
Beverly D'Angelo
Juliette Lewis
Johnny Galecki
John Randolph
Diane Ladd
E.G. Marshall
Doris Roberts
William Hickey
Mae Questel
Randy Quaid
Miriam Flynn
Nicholas Guest
Julia Louis-Dreyfus
Music by Angelo Badalamenti
Cinematography Thomas E. Ackerman
Editing by Jerry Greenberg
Distributed by Warner Bros.
Release date(s) December 1, 1989
Running time 97 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $27 million
Gross revenue $ 106,119,546
Preceded by European Vacation (1985)
Followed by Vegas Vacation (1997)

Christmas Vacation is a 1989 Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation film series. The title song of the same name was written for the movie by the husband-wife song writing team of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, performed by Mavis Staples.

Since its release in 1989, Christmas Vacation has been ranked on many top 10 favorite Christmas film lists and is considered a modern holiday classic.[1][2][3][4]



The movie begins with Clark taking his family on the search for " The Griswold Family Christmas Tree". After aggravating nearby motorists, getting stuck under a big rig, and walking in the woods for a long time, Clark finally finds the perfect tree, only to realize that he forgot a saw. They end up pulling the entire tree out of the ground and taking it home. Clark breaks several windows and gets covered in tree sap setting it up, as it barely fits in the yard, let alone the living room.

While shopping for gifts at a downtown Chicago department store, Clark meets a saleswoman named Merry (Nicolette Scorsese). He makes a series of Freudian slips to her on their first encounter, and later fantasizes about her skinnydipping in his future pool (interrupted by his cousin-in-law's daughter).

Clark has been working on a project at his firm which he expects will bring in a good Christmas bonus. Clark plans to use the bonus to put in a swimming pool, for which he has already placed a $7,500 deposit.

As Christmas approaches, the many members of Clark's extended family begin arriving to stay with him. Clark's and Ellen's parents are the first to arrive. This drives him to go set up the lighting on the house with his son Rusty. He covers nearly every inch of the home's exterior and yard with lights (according to Clark himself, a grand total of 25,000 Christmas lights). Clark becomes very frustrated after many attempts to get the lights working. Unknown to him, the electricity was not on to begin with. When Ellen heads to the back store room to get something, she clicks a light switch, lighting the house (and causing the power plant to switch to nuclear generators for backup power), and blinding their unfriendly yuppie neighbors. After the lights are up and running, Ellen's cousin-in-law and cousin, Eddie and Catherine, along with their children show up to stay with him for a month, with their dilapidated, rusty RV parked in the driveway the whole time. Stifling his disappointment at their surprise arrival proves difficult for Clark. However, Clark and Ellen are concerned about Eddie's children, as they will not have many gifts for Christmas, due to Eddie's seven year unemployment. Later on, Clark treats Rusty, Eddie, Catherine and others to a sledding trip. Clark then adds a sheeting of a "Non-Caloric, Silicon-Based Kitchen Lubricant" that his company had made, but results in the chemical compound to shoot Clark into a Wal-Mart parking lot at about 800 mph.

On Christmas Eve, the family's eldest members, cynical, cigar-smoking Uncle Lewis and confused Aunt Bethany, arrive for dinner. Numerous disasters occur that evening: the turkey is cooked too long and dries out; the aunt's cat is electrocuted when it chews on a strand of Christmas lights; Lewis burns the tree down, forcing Clark to quickly search for a replacement. He takes one from his yard and sets it up, and a manic squirrel leaps out and "terrorizes" the family. A delivery from the company arrives at the house that evening, everyone expecting it to be the long-awaited bonus. Unfortunately, Clark's boss cut out bonuses without informing his employees. As a substitute, Clark is enrolled in the "Jelly of the Month" club.

Clark has now reached his boiling point, going through several outbursts out of severe frustration. The family attempts to leave due to the events of the evening. Eddie then kidnaps Clark's boss, and the boss finally sees reason about the Christmas bonuses. A SWAT team, called by the boss' wife, raids the home, but the boss explains that it is all a misunderstanding and admits he was wrong to withhold bonuses from his employees. He then decides to give Clark his bonus, along with an added 20%.

Uncle Lewis's cigar ignites the gas from the sewage Eddie had earlier dumped down the storm drain while emptying the holding tank on his RV, blasting a Santa ornament into the sky. Everyone watches the strange but touching sight, as Clark realizes his dream of the perfect, albeit weird, family Christmas.


Box office performance

The movie debuted at #2 at the box-office while grossing $11,750,203 during the opening weekend, behind Back to the Future Part 2. It went on to gross a total of $71,319,546 in the United States while showing in movie theaters.[5]


There was no official soundtrack at the time of the film's release; however, 20,000 soundtrack CDs were issued in 1999 as a 10th anniversary of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. These CDs were manufactured and distributed by RedDotNet and were sold exclusively at Six Flags Magic Mountain theme park (where portions of the original National Lampoon's Vacation were filmed) as a kiosk promotion only. Full version songs were interspersed with sound bites from the film.


This is the only sequel in the Vacation series to have spawned its own direct sequel: a direct to video 2003 release entitled National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure. Randy Quaid and Miriam Flynn returned as Eddie and Catherine, along with Dana Barron again appearing as Audrey, which she played in Vacation, and Eric Idle, who played "The Bike Rider" in European Vacation reprises the role, only this time being credited as "British Man on Plane". Christmas Vacation is preceded in the Vacation series by:

Christmas Vacation is followed in the series by:

  • Vegas Vacation (1997)
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003)


  • The broadcast television rights to Christmas Vacation are held by NBC, which currently airs a censored version of the movie every December, usually on a Sunday night. In 2006, NBC did not air the movie, which instead appeared on TBS, which listed it six times on its schedule between Sunday, December 17 and Sunday. December 24, 2006. The TBS broadcast included some of the risque language of the theatrical release, including the series of double entendre remarks a flustered Clark utters when he encounters sexy department store saleswoman Mary (Nicolette Scorsese) at the negligee counter. The film is often criticized for "pushing too hard at the PG-13 limit". The CBC, however, retains much of the footage its American counterparts have excised. For example, in the beginning of the film, Clark is antagonized by a couple of men in a truck and then flips them off. This is shown in Canada, but not in the USA.
  • The French version of the film is also broadcast every year by TVA, usually in mid-December.
  • TNT broke with tradition starting in September 2007 by airing Christmas Vacation six times during the weekend of the 15th and 16th mixed between the original Vacation and Vegas Vacation. It is not known if NBC has made an agreement with TNT's regular programming and rights for the film, but the networks share coverage for sporting events such as the PGA and NASCAR races.
  • On December 19, 2007, the film made its debut on Turner Classic Movies.
  • In Australia, The Nine Network has a tradition where it is aired every Christmas night.
  • In the UK, Christmas Vacation has aired numerous years, usually around the festive season; ITV currently holds the UK rights to film, although the rest of the Vacation movie series is held by five.
  • On October 14, 2009, the film made its debut on CMT.
  • The movie aired on AMC every 3-4 nights during December 2009 and for 24 hours on Christmas Day to very strong ratings. Chase and co-star Beverly D'Angelo will be reunited as the Griswolds for an upcoming Super Bowl commercial touting vacation rental homes.[6]


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is the third installment in the National Lampoon Griswold saga, released in 1989 by Warner Bros.

Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and written by John Hughes.
Yule crack up! Taglines


Clark W. Griswold

  • Well I'm gonna park the cars and get the luggage, and well, I'll be outside for the season.
  • [as an entourage of suits - lead by Clark's boss - passes by single file] Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.
  • [the newel post is wobbly so Clark cuts it off with a chain saw] Fixed the newel post.
  • LOTTA SAP in here. [Spits then gives an a-ok sign] Looks great! Little full, Lotta sap!!
  • The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the the thspirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath.
  • I dedicate this house to the Griswold Family Christmas.
  • Can't see the line, can you Russ?
  • [Handing Christmas lights to Russ] Unravel these. We need to check every bulb. [Pulls out a huge tangle of lights] Oop. Little knot here, you can work on that. [Hands it to Russ]
  • Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.
  • 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! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?
  • Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.

Cousin Eddie

  • If that thing had nine lives, he just spent 'em all. Whoo!
  • They had to replace my metal plate with a plastic one. Every time Catherine would rev up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour.
  • [Todd Chester stares in horror at Eddie draining the RV toilet into the sewer drain] Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!
  • [walks in with a bound and gagged Mr. Shirley tied with a big red ribbon] Ho ho ho, Merry Christmas, Clark. [to Mr. Shirley] You about ready to do some kissing?
  • Clark, I'd like to try to fumigate this here chair. If you don't mind my askin', how much did she set you back?
  • He's cute ain't he? Only problem is, he's got a little bit a Mississippi leg hound in 'im. If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town. You don't want him around if your wearing short pants, if you know what I mean. Word of warning though, if he does lay into ya, it's best to just let 'im finish.
  • Over here? Well this is nothin. But here, well if you dent this, my hair just isn't gonna look right.
  • ["After finding out that Clark is getting to be a member of the Jelly of the Month Club instead of getting his bonus"] Clark, thats the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.


  • Ellen Griswold: I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.
  • Ellen Griswold: Welcome to our home - what's left of it.
  • Art: Hurry up, Clark. I'm freezing my baguettes off.
  • Aunt Bethany: [after reaching the Griswolds' house] Is your house on fire Clark?
  • Aunt Bethany: Is Rusty still in the navy?
  • Mr. Shirley: [Picks up the phone receiver] Get me somebody. Anybody. And get me somebody while I'm waiting.
  • Audrey Griswold: Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel?
  • Aunt Bethany: It's a funny, squeakish sound.


Clark: We're kicking off our fun old fashion family Christmas by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh to embrace the frosty majesty of the winter landscape and select that most important of Christmas symbols.
Audrey: We're not coming all the way out here just to get one of those stupid ties with Santa Clauses on it are we?
Clark: No, I have one of those at home. What we're looking for today is the "Grisswold family Christmas tree."

Todd Chester: Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark: Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd Chester: You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that Griswold.
Clark: [looking at his wife, Margo] I wasn't talking to you.

Clark: Let's burn some dust here, eat my rubber!
Rusty Griswold: Dad, I think what you mean is "burn rubber" and "eat my dust".
Clark: Whatever Russ, whatever. Eat my road grit Liver Lips!

[Clark is looking at lingerie, as a voluptuous saleswoman approaches]
Mary: Can I help you with anything?
Clark: Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing.
Mary: For your wife? For your girlfriend?
Clark: Uh... huh? What happened? I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn't... Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?
Mary: You have your coat on.
Clark: Yes, oh do I? How'd that happen?
Mary: Because it's cold out?
Clark: Yes, Yes, it is a bit nipply out. I mean 'nippy out.' What am I saying, nipple? Ah, there is a nip in the air, though.

Clark: 'Tis the season to be merry.
Mary: That's my name.
Clark: No shit.

Aunt Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark Griswold: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.
Aunt Bethany: Don't throw me down, Clark.
Clark Griswold: I'll try not to, Aunt Bethany.

Ellen: Oh Aunt Bethany, you shouldn't have done that.
Aunt Bethany: Oh dear, did I break wind?
Uncle Lewis: Jesus, did the room clear out, Bethany? Hell no, she means presents. You shouldn't have brought presents.

Uncle Lewis: Hey Gris, Bethany and I figured out the perfect gift for you.
Clark: Aw, you didn't have to get me anything.
Uncle Lewis: Dammit, Bethany, he guessed it.

Aunt Bethany: This house is bigger than your old one. Is Rusty still in the Navy?
Ellen: Aunt Bethany, why don't you go with Frances and Cathrine into the living room and say hello to everybody.
Aunt Bethany: Hello, everybody?
Ellen: Just in the living room...
Aunt Bethany: I should say it?
Ellen: You should say it.
Aunt Bethany: Hello, everybody!
Ellen: Hello, everybody.

Russ: Dad.
Clark: Yeah.
Russ: This box is meowing.
[Clark takes the present, shakes it, and a cat wildly meows]
Clark: She wrapped up her damn cat.
Ellen: Well, take it out of the box.
Clark: Then we'll have a cat running around the house.
Russ: Why would someone put a cat in a box?
Ellen: She's old. She and Uncle Louis don't have much money, so she takes things from around the house and gives them away as presents.
Russ: Great! Can't wait to see what I got.
Eddie: [comes in with another of Aunt Bethany's gifts] This one here, it's leakin'. [Ellen touches the liquid coming out with her finger and Eddie lick it] It's lime!
Ellen: That would be her Jell-O mold.

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
Clark: Surprised Eddie?... If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.

Ellen: What are you looking at?
Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn... the clean, cool chill of the holiday air... and an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer...
Eddie: Shitter was full!
Clark: Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?
Ellen: Clark, please. He doesn't know any better.
Clark: He oughta know it's illegal. That's a storm sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match within ten yards of it.

Ruby Sue: Rocky bit my thumb. Him's nervous because Christmas is almost here.
Clark: Nervous or excited?
Ruby Sue: Shittin' bricks.
Clark: You shouldn't use that word.
Ruby Sue: Sorry. Shittin' rocks.

Ellen: Clark, Audrey's frozen from the waist down.
Clark: That's all part of the experience honey.

Eddie: Well, they replaced it with a plastic one 'cause everytime Katherine revved up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for a half-hour or so. And it ain't real sturdy so... I don't know if I oughta go sailin' down no hill with nothin' between the ground and my brains but a piece of government plastic.
Clark: Do you really think it matters, Eddie?
Eddie: [gesturing over the left side of his head] Well, you see, the plate runs underneath my part here, and the other side... [bangs his right side] Nothing. But here, if this gets dented, then my hair just ain't gonna look right
Clark: Yeah, I know the feeling

Eddie: [talking about Snots, Eddie's dog] If you scratch his belly Clark, he'lllove you till the day you die.
Clark: I really shouldn't, Eddie, my hands are all chapped.

Margo: And why is the carpet all wet, Todd?
Todd: I don't know Margo.

Margot: You just march over there and slug that creep in the face.
Todd: I can't just attack someone.
Margot: Alright then, if you're not man enough to put an end to this shit, then I am.

Audrey: Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is?
Ellen: Well, I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic.

Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: What dear?
Nora: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? Ohhh...She passed away thirty years ago...
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say grace.... [straining his face to mouth the words] The BLESS-ING!!!
Aunt Bethany: Oh.
[everyone at the table folds their hands in prayer and reverently bows their heads]
Aunt Bethany: I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, and to the republic for which it stands - one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: Amen.

Aunt Bethany: What's that sound? [everybody looks up, and returns to activities, then Clark starts hearing it] Do you hear it!? It's a funny, squeaking sound.
Uncle Lewis: You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.

[after Clark fails at lighting all the exterior Christmas lights at the "lighting ceremony" in front of the entire family]
Art: [sarcastically] Beautiful, Clark.
Frances: Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.
Audrey Griswold: He worked really hard, Grandma.
Art: So do washing machines.

Clark: Russ, we checked every bulb didn't we?
Rusty: Sure, Dad.
Clark: Hmm... Maybe we ought to just go up there and check...
Rusty: Oh, woo. Look at the time. I gotta get to bed. I still gotta brush my teeth, feed the hog, still got some homework to do, still got those bills to pay, wash the car...

Clark: [a squirrel is loose in the house] Where is Eddie? He usually eats these goddamn things.
Catherine: Not recently, Clark, he read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

[As Clark is trying to catch the loose squirrel]
Clark: Russ, go get the hammer.
Ellen: Clark, what do you need a hammer for?
Clark: I'm gonna catch it in the coat... And smack it with the hammer.
Ellen: You are not going to kill that squirrel in front of all these kids!
Clark: Well honey, what do you suggest?

Clark Sr: (extreme close up) SQUUUIIIIRRRREEELLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uncle Lewis: Hey Gris, if you're not doing anything constructive, run into the living room and get my stogeies.
Clark: Is there anything else I can do for you, Uncle Lewis?
Ellen: He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas.
Clark: If he keeps it up, it WILL be his last Christmas.

Clark: Hey, Kids, I heard on the news that an airline pilot spotted Santa's sleigh on its way in from New York City. [the kids sit up excitedly]
Eddie: [after a pause] You serious, Clark?

Clark: I simply solved the problem. We needed a coffin... Er, a tree. There are no lots open on Christmas Eve. Lewis burned down my tree so I replaced it as best I could. Voilà.
Ellen: Are you okay?

Art: The little lights aren't twinkling.
Clark: I know Art. And thanks for noticing.

[Snots is choking under the table making it shake]
Clark: Uh, Eddie? What's wrong with the dog?
[Snot gags again, table shakes]
Eddie: (Looks under table) Oh, he's just yakin' on a bone.
[Snot coughs up the bone]
Eddie: He got it up.

Clark: Our holidays were always such a mess.
Clark Sr.: Oh, yeah.
Clark: How'd you get through it?
Clark Sr.: I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.

Ruby Sue: Uncle Clark, are you sure you ain't Santa Claus?
Clark: I'm sure... I can't even afford to be an elf.

Clark: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.
Ellen: Clark, it's over.
Clark: Not according to Santa's watch, it isn't.
Clark, Sr.: Clark.
Clark: Stay out of this, Dad.
Ellen: Clark, I think it's be best if everyone went home... before things get worse.
Clark: Worse?! How could things get any worse? Take a look around you, Ellen! We're at the threshold of hell!!

Ellen: You set standards that no family activity can live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?
Ellen: Birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, vacations, graduations...

Clark: My cousin-in-law, whose heart is bigger than his brain...
Eddie: I appreciate that, Clark.
Clark: innocent.

Clark: RUSS?
Russ: Right here, Dad.


  • Yule crack up!
  • There's No Place Like Home For A Holiday!
  • they are no cuter dogs and cats hear.

See also


External links

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