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Christmas Vacation (1989) Poster

Trivia

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Chevy Chase appears in some scenes wearing a black Chicago Bears ball cap. He wears the same Chicago Bears cap throughout all four Vacation movies.
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.
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.
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 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).
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.
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.
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).
The only Vacation movie to not feature the Lindsey Buckingham song "Holiday Road" throughout the entire film.
Only two Christmas-themed movies came out in 1989: Prancer (1989) and this film. Actor Johnny Galecki (Rusty) was in both of them.
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.
Rocky doesn't say anything throughout the film.
The house front from Bewitched (1964) and The New Gidget (1986) appears in the home movie that Clark is watching in the attic.
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 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 brand of beer Eddie is drinking as he empties his septic tank is Meister Brau.
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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.
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.
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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).
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When Clark shows his coworker Bill the brochure about the swimming pool he wants to put in his backward, 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).
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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.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Clark (Chevy Chase) uses thirty words to describe his boss (Brian Doyle-Murray)
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.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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