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Christmas Vacation (1989) Poster

Trivia

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The Griswolds' neighbor's house is the same house Murtaugh and his family lived in all the "Lethal Weapon" movies. The houses on this street are on the Warner Brothers Studios back lot.
Chevy Chase appears in some scenes wearing a navy blue Chicago Bears ball cap. He wears the same Chicago Bears cap throughout all four Vacation movies.
After Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) unsuccessfully attempts to demonstrate his handiwork with the house Christmas lights to his family, he asks his son, Rusty (Johnny Galecki), to help him check all the light bulbs again. Rusty looks at his bare wrist, pretending to have a watch, and excuses himself. Looking at a bare wrist and pretending to have a watch is one of Chevy Chase's trademark gags.
A minor earthquake occurred at the time when they were filming the scene where uncle Louis and aunt Bethany arrive at the Griswold house.
Final film of Mae Questel, whose film career began in 1930 as the voice of Betty Boop.
The old Dodge pickup that tailgates Clark and the family in the opening scenes of the movie was previously used as Kurt Russell's work truck in the movie Overboard (1987).
When Clark and Cousin Eddie are talking in the living room, they are drinking egg nog out of Wally World mugs. Wally World was the destination of the Griswold's in the original National Lampoon's National Lampoon's Vacation (1983).
According to Randy Quaid, many of cousin Eddie's characteristics (most notably the clicking of the tongue) were based off a guy that Quaid knew from when he grew up in Texas years ago who had similar traits.
The movie is based on John Hughes' short story "Christmas '59", the second Vacation story to be published in National Lampoon's Magazine (the first was "Vacation '58", which was the basis for the first Vacation movie). The Christmas story was printed in December 1980. The label on the home movie reel that Clark finds in the attic is labeled "Xmas '59," a further allusion.
When Clark is in bed trying to read the People Magazine with sticky fingers from the tree sap, the person shown on the cover of the magazine is Matty Simmons, this film's producer.
This is the only vacation movie where Audrey is older than Rusty.
Only two Christmas-themed movies came out in 1989: Prancer (1989) and this film. Actor Johnny Galecki (Rusty) was in both of them.
Rocky doesn't say anything throughout the film.
When shopping with Clark Eddie asks Clark if it was his company that "killed all those people in India". He is referencing the Bhopal disaster, also known as the Union Carbide disaster in which leaks from a Union Carbide pesticide plant escaped into the air. Thousands of people died and many more were sickened.
Just before Clark gets locked up in the attic, he pulls out an old present from a hidden slot, and it contains a card that reads "Happy Mother's Day 1983, Love Clark". The first movie, National Lampoon's Vacation (1983) was released that same year.
The only Vacation movie to not feature the Lindsey Buckingham song "Holiday Road" throughout the entire film.
The house front from Bewitched (1964) and The New Gidget (1986) appears in the home movie that Clark is watching in the attic.
The filmmakers had child actress Ellen Hamilton Latzen measured and fitted for a wig as they felt that Latzen's short pixie haircut was inappropriate for her character of Ruby Sue.
As Griswolds are putting up the tree, the film It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is showing on the television. That film was directed by Frank Capra. Capra's grandson, Frank Capra III, was assistant director on this film.
When the police storm into the house, Ellen jokingly tells them this is the family's first kidnapping, which is actually wrong. In National Lampoon's National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), Clark kidnaps the security guard at Walley World and forces him to take the family on the rides.
The Warner Bros. back lot used for the neighborhood in which the Griswolds live is the same as the one used on the TV series, The Middle (2009), which featured Brian Doyle-Murray (Mr. Shirley) in a recurring role as Mr. Ehlert for the first three seasons.
In the scene when the police storm into the Griswolds' house, the song "Here Comes Santa Claus" sung by Gene Autry is used for the background music. Randy Quaid (cousin Eddie) is the third cousin of Gene Autry.
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.
Cousin Eddie has a son named Rocky wearing a Las Vegas shirt. Coincidentally, footage from this film appears in the film Rocky V (1990). Furthermore, the next film in the series would be Vegas Vacation (1997).
All the presents that are on the credenza when Clark goes in to give his to Mr. Shirley are identically shaped and likely the same gift. It is a desk organizer. When this movie came out, pen sets came in an L-shaped arrangement. The writing instruments were on the flat part and the raised section held post-it notes. Paper clips and other holders were also a possibility.
This is one of three films released in 1989 to feature an animated title sequence. The other two are Honey, I Shrunk the Kids (1989) and Troop Beverly Hills (1989).
The brand of beer Eddie is drinking as he empties his septic tank is Meister Brau.
Beverly D'Angelo had starred with Geoffrey Lewis, father of Juliette, in Every Which Way But Loose (1978).
In several outdoor scenes at the Griswald home a 1963 powder blue Lincoln Continental convertible can be seen parked out front. This was the last of the curved glass slab sides and is sought after by collectors. The 1964 Continental convertible had straight glass windows to provide more interior space.
Three supporting actors went on to star in very successful TV series: Johnny Galecki (Rusty) would go to play David Healy on Roseanne (1988) and Leonard Hofstadter on The Big Bang Theory (2007). Doris Roberts (Francis) would go on to play Marie Barone on Everybody Loves Raymond (1996). Julia Louis-Dreyfus (Margo) would go on to play Elaine Benes on Seinfeld (1989).
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When Clark shows his coworker Bill the brochure about the swimming pool he wants to put in his backyard, he is seen drinking coffee out of a Tasmanian Devil coffee mug. Miriam Flynn (Cousin Catherine) would later go on to play the voice of Taz's mother in the cartoon Taz-Mania (1991).
This movie has three Oscar nominees: Juliette Lewis, Diane Ladd and Randy Quaid. Four Golden Globe nominees: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Johnny Galecki. One time Golden Globe winner: Julia Louis-Dreyfus and 5 time Emmy winner: Doris Roberts.
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The messenger that delivers Clark's Christmas "bonus" is wearing a jacket that reads "Speed Ball Messenger Service". "Speedball" is a street term for a drug cocktail of heroin and cocaine. The same mixture that killed John Belushi 7 years earlier.
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Cast members Randy Quaid and Natalija Nogulich have the same exact date of birth-October 01, 1950.
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Several actors from "Christmas Vacation" have also appeared in movies with Jack Nicholson. Randy Quaid appeared in The Last Detail (1973) and The Missouri Breaks (1976). Diane Ladd appeared in The Rebel Rousers (1970) and Chinatown (1974). John Randolph and William Hickey appeared in Prizzi's Honor (1985). Beverly D'Angelo appeared in Man Trouble (1992). Natalija Nogulich was Jo Hoffa to Nicholson's Jimmy Hoffa in Hoffa (1992). Juliette Lewis appeared in The Evening Star (1996). Brian Doyle-Murray appeared in As Good as It Gets (1997).
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Diane Ladd, who plays Clark Griswold's mother is actually only eight years older than Chevy Chase.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene where the cat bites on the Christmas lights cord and gets electrocuted was nearly cut from the movie. Prior to the first test screening. the studio execs wanted the scene taken out, fearing that it might offend some viewers, but producer Matty Simmons begged them to leave the scene in, and they eventually gave in to his request. After the first test screening, the test audience had scored the cat electrocution scene as the No. 1 favorite scene throughout the entire movie.
Despite being a "Christmas movie," Christmas Day is never actually seen. The film ends on Christmas Eve.
Clark (Chevy Chase) uses thirty words to describe his boss (Brian Doyle-Murray)

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