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.

This tree is a symbol of the spirit

of the Griswold family Christmas.

Did you bring a saw?

Looks like the toad overestimated

the height of his ceiling.

Hey, Griswold!

Where will you put a tree that big?

Bend over and I'll show you.

You got a lot of nerve

talking to me like that.

I wasn't talking to you.

Do you think there's

enough room for the angel?

Sure, honey. I have a little more trimming

to do, but that won't be a problem.


I give you

the Griswold family Christmas tree.

There's a lot of sap in here.

It looks great. A little full.

A lot of sap.

Did I tell you I talked to my mother today?

They've decided they're coming

for Christmas, too.

It's not too late to change our plans...

No, no, that's great.

I think you're forgetting

how difficult it's gonna be...

...having everybody in the house

at the same time.

They're family,

not strangers off the street.

All they do is argue.

Christmas is about resolving differences...

...and seeing through

the petty problems of family life.

And it's about my mother accusing

your mother of buying cheap hot dogs.

And your mother accusing my mother

of waxing her upper lip, and...

...then they don't speak to...

- Your mother waxes her upper lip?

She has for years.

It doesn't show.

I don't know, Sparky,

I just have this feeling it's not...

I want to have Christmas here,

in our house.

It means a lot to me.

All my life I've wanted to have

a big family Christmas.

It's just that you build things up

in your mind, Sparky.

You set standards no family event

can ever live up to.

When have I ever done that?



- Good night, honey.

- Anniversaries.





Guess you'll be lookin' at

a nice fat Christmas bonus this year, huh?

Word is you're an excellent choice

to be named...

...Food Additive Designer of the Year.

- Nah...

- I'm not kidding.

What's that new thing you got

over there at Food 'N' Dry?

The crunch enhancer?

That's a non-nutritive cereal varnish.

It's semi-permeable. It's not osmotic.

What it does is,

it coats and seals the flake.

It prevents the milk from penetrating it.

Yeah, it's a beautiful product.

I like it.

What are you gonna do

with that big bonus check?

You're gonna blow it on yourself, I hope.

Me? Heck, no.

Take a look at this.

I just hope my Christmas bonus check

will cover it.

Oh, my God. You're putting in a pool.

I went ahead and I put

a $7,500 deposit down on it.

You're the last true family man.



That's Bill, sir.

Are you the one who's working

on that non-nutritive cereal varnish?

Yes, sir.

I've got to give a speech to a trade group.

I'd like to mention it.

Write up a brief summary

and have it to me by the end of the day.

My pleasure.

Layman's terms. None of that inside,

bullshit jargon that nobody understands.

Yes, sir.

Oh, Mr. Shirley...

We got your Christmas card

the other day, and... family and I are very flattered

that you remembered us.

Corporate cards.

Don't forget that report, Bill.

Yes, sir. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas. Kiss my ass.

Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass.

Happy Hanukkah.

Can I show you something?

I was just smelling... smiling.

I was blouse... browsing.

For your wife or girlfriend?

What? What happened?

I guess it wouldn't be any...

It wouldn't be

the Christmas shopping season...

Rate this script:5.0 / 1 vote

John Hughes

An American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write, produce and sometimes direct some of the most successful live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s. Most of Hughes's work is set in the Chicago metropolitan area. He is best known for his coming-of-age teen comedy films which often combined magic realism with honest depictions of suburban teenage life. 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, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <'s_christmas_vacation_14600>.

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