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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
"Christmas Vacation" (original title)

PG-13  |   |  Comedy  |  1 December 1989 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 97,663 users  
Reviews: 246 user | 83 critic

The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.


(as Jeremiah Chechik)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Cody Burger ...
Ellen Hamilton Latzen ...


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. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Yule crack up! See more »




PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 December 1989 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation  »

Box Office


$27,000,000 (estimated)


$71,320,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The term "Griswold House," soon became a part of the American vernacular to describe a home that is overly decorated in a gaudy fashion to observe Christmas. See more »


Why did it take so long for Mrs. Shirley to call the authorities and report that her husband was kidnapped? The scene in which Mrs. Shirley calls the authorities does not take place until after Mr. Shirley arrives at the Griswolds' house, but it would have made more sense for the scene to take place immediately after Eddie's RV leaves the Shirley residence, particularly when considering how quickly the police were able to arrive at the Griswolds' house after Mr. Shirley did. See more »


Mr. Frank Shirley: Remember how I was toying with the idea of suspending the Christmas bonuses?
Mrs. Helen Shirley: You *didn't*! Well, of all the cheap lousy ways to save a buck!
SWAT Commander: That's pretty low, mister! If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you...
Mr. Frank Shirley: I changed my mind. I'm reinstating all the bonuses.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"THE END" is lit up in Christmas lights. One of the bulbs pops, making the lit up "THE END" go dark. See more »


Referenced in Bum Reviews: National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (2012) See more »


That Spirit of Christmas
Written by Mable John, Joel Webster, and Parnell Davison
Performed by Ray Charles
Courtesy of CBS Records, Music Licensing Department
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Funny, Funny, Funny
24 January 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is the one Christmas movie that I don't anyone can ever get tired of. Chevy Chase returns in the third installment of the Vacation series as Clarke W. Griswold as he tries desperately to maintain his sanity during the holidays with all of his relatives coming to stay under his roof and enduring all the mishaps along the way.

This is the funniest film in the series plain and simple. Chevy Chase has never been better. Christmas Vacation is filled with countless jokes and gags that it's impossible not to laugh.


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