National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Synopsis: It's Christmas time and the Griswolds are preparing for a family seasonal celebration, but things never run smoothly for Clark, his wife Ellen and their two kids. Clark's continual bad luck is worsened by his obnoxious family guests, but he manages to keep going knowing that his Christmas bonus is due soon.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Jeremiah S. Chechik
Production: Warner Bros. Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
97 min

"It's that time

Christmas time is here

"Everybody knows

There's not a better time of year

"Hear that sleigh."

"Gonna make this holiday

As perfect as can be

"Just wait and see

This Christmas vacation.

"This old house

Sure is looking good

"Got ourselves the finest snowman

In the neighborhood.

"Ain't it fun?

"Always on the run

That's how it's done

"On Christmas vacation.

"Let's all deck the halls

"And light the lights

"Get a toasty fire

"Burning bright.

"Give Saint Nick

"The warmest welcome

That he's ever had

"We're so glad it's Christmas vacation.

"And when the nights

"Are peaceful and serene

"We can cuddle up

And do our Christmas dreamin'.

"Peace and joy and love

"Are everywhere

"You can feel the magic in the air.

"Let the spirit of the season

Carry us away

"Hip, hip, hooray

For Christmas vacation."

That was beautiful, honey.

Take it, Russ.

Dad, can you explain again

what we're doing?

We're kicking off our fun,

old-fashioned family Christmas... heading out to the country

in the front-wheel drive sleigh... embrace the frosty majesty

of the winter landscape...

...and select that most important

of Christmas symbols.

We're not driving way out here

so you can get one of those stupid ties...

...with the Santa Clauses on it,

are we, Dad?

No, I have one of those at home.

What we're looking for today

is the Griswold family Christmas tree.

- What's the matter?

- Some jackass is riding my tail.

Slow down and let him pass.

Don't provoke them.

Hey, kids. Look, a deer!

Clark! Slow down!

You want to ride behind

somebody like that?

I'm going to pull around them...

burn some dust, here.

Eat my rubber.

Dad, I think what you mean is,

"Burn rubber" and "Eat my dust."

Whatever, Russ.

Eat my road grit, liver lips!

That's enough of that.

Speaking of Christmas trees,

can one of you tell me...

...what the first kind of tree

displayed at the White House was?

They're back.

Stop it! I don't want to spend

the holidays dead.

Honey, please. I'll do the driving, okay?

Will you just take it easy?

I'm in complete control.

I'll get around this egg timer.

Uh... Dad?!

We're all right! Thank God!

Clark, we're stuck under a truck!

Do you honestly think I don't know that?!

Come on, you guys. Don't fight.

For Christ's sake,

I didn't do this on purpose.

Our Father, who art in heaven...

...hallowed be Thy name.

And forgive my husband.

- He knows not what he does.

- Amen!

We made pretty good time.

Dad, didn't they invent

Christmas tree lots... people don't have to drive way out

to nowhere and waste a Saturday?

They invented 'em...

...because people forgot how to have

a fun, old-fashioned family Christmas.

They're satisfied with scrawny, dead,

overpriced trees with no special meaning.

My toes are numb.

This is what our forefathers did.

I can't feel my leg.

They walked out into the woods,

picked out that special tree...

...and they cut it down

with their bare hands.

Mom, I can't feel my hips.

- Clark?

- Yes, honey?

Audrey's frozen from the waist down.

That's all part of the experience, honey.

There it is.

The Griswold family Christmas tree.

Isn't it a little big?

It's not big, it's just full.

That thing wouldn't fit in our yard.

It's not going in our yard, Russ.

It's going in our living room.

- Look at it.

- It really is beautiful, Clark.

- It's something else, huh, Russ?

- Yeah, Dad.

Isn't it a beaut, Audrey?

She'll see it later, honey.

Her eyes are frozen.

The most enduring traditions

of the season are best enjoyed in...

...the warm embrace of kith and kin.

Rate this script:(5.00 / 1 vote)

John Hughes

John Wilden Hughes, Jr. (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He directed and/or scripted some of the most successful comedy films of the 1980s and early 1990s, including the comedy National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), the coming-of-age comedy Sixteen Candles (1984), the teen sci-fi comedy Weird Science (1985), the coming-of-age comedy-drama The Breakfast Club (1985), the coming-of-age comedy Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986), the romantic comedy-drama Pretty in Pink (1986), the romance Some Kind of Wonderful (1987), the comedies Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) and Uncle Buck (1989), the Christmas family comedy Home Alone (1990) and its sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992). more…

All John Hughes scripts | John Hughes Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018


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"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 4 Jul 2020. <>.

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