A Christmas Story

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A Christmas Story is a 1983 film, set in the 1940s, about a boy who has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Directed by Bob Clark. Written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark, based on Shepherd's short stories, contained in the books In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories.
A Tribute to the Original, Traditional, One-Hundred-Percent, Red-Blooded, Two-Fisted, All-American Christmas...taglines

Narrator (Ralphie as an adult)[edit]

  • Every family has a kid who won't eat. My kid brother had not eaten voluntarily in over three years!
  • [After Ms. Shields asked where Flick is] Flick? Flick who?
  • [After Mother breaks the Old Man's Major Award, and he is unsuccessful at repairing it] With as much dignity as he could muster, the Old Man gathered up the sad remains of his shattered Major Award. Later that night, alone in the backyard, he buried it next to the garage. Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of "Taps" being played. Gently.
  • [After the Christmas turkey is stolen by the neighbors' dogs] The heavenly aroma still hung heavy in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE!
  • Oh, life is like that. Sometimes, at the height of our revelries, when our joy is at its zenith, when all is most right with the world, the most unthinkable disasters descend upon us.
  • There has never been a kid who didn't believe that he would be stricken blind before he reached twenty-one, and then they'd be sorry!
  • [about Santa] Let's face it, most of us are scoffers. But moments before zero hour, it did not pay to take chances.
  • [about their pile of presents] We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice.
  • Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.


  • [after cracking a secret code, reading it] Be sure to...drink your... Ovaltine. Ovaltine?! A crummy commercial?! Son of a bitch!


[Randy gets to the drawer, but Ralphie pushes him aside to get some things out]
Randy: Come on, Ralphie! I got here first!
Ralphie: Tough! [As Ralphie looks for a pair of socks, Randy lightly punches and kicks Ralphie, who then gets the socks and flips through pages of a magazine.] Cut it out!

Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Round One was over. (chuckles) Parents one, kids zip. I can feel the Christmas noose beginning to tighten. Maybe, what happened next, was inevitable.
Mother: Ralphie? What would you like for Christmas?
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Horrified! I heard myself blurt it out!
Ralphie: [talking fast] I want an official Red Ryder carbine action 200 shot range model air rifle. Ooooooohhhh...
Mother: No. Shoot your eye out.
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Oh, no! It was a classic, mother BB-gun block. "You'll shoot your eye out!" That deadly phrase honored many times by hundreds of mothers was not surmountable by any means known to Kid-dom, but such as my mania, my desire for a Red Ryder carbine, that I immediately began to rebuild the dike.

Randy: [crying] I can't put my arms down! [he continues, as Mother tries unsuccessfully to put his arms down]
Mother: Put your arms down when you get to school. [winds scarf around Randy's neck, as he cries louder]

Flick: You're full of beans, and so is your old man.
Schwartz: Oh, yeah?
Flick: Yeah!
Schwartz: Says who?
Flick: Says me!
Schwartz: Oh, yeah?
Flick: Yeah!
Schwartz: Well, I double-dare ya!
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] The exact exchange and nuance of phrase in this ritual is very important.
Flick: Huh! Are you kidding? Stick my tongue to that stupid pole? That's dumb.
Schwartz: That's 'cause you know it'll stick!
Flick: You're full of it!
Schwartz: OH, YEAH?
Flick: Yeah!
Schwartz: Well, I double dog-dare ya!
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Now it was serious. A double dog-dare. What else was left but a "triple-dare you"? And finally, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple dog-dare.
Flick: [over narrator's voice] This guy's really dumb.
Schwartz: I TRIPLE dog-dare ya!
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Heh. Schwartz created a slight breach of etiquette by skipping the triple-dare and going right for the throat!
Flick: All right, all right.
[Flick sighs and hesitantly sticks his tongue out]
Schwartz: Oh, go on, smart-ass, and do it!
Flick: [tongue out] I'm goin', I'm goin'!
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Flick's spine stiffened, his lips curled in a defiant sneer. There was no going back now.
Flick: [puts his tongue on pole] This is nothin'. [tries to pull off, but can't and realizes Schwartz was right.] Stuck? Stuck?! STUCK!!! STUCK!!!!! [he starts screaming and crying like a baby]
Schwartz: Jeez! It really works! Look at him! [The school bell rings] Ralphie! Where are they going?!
[The students run back to the school except Flick, who keeps crying with his tongue stuck on the pole]
Flick: Don't Leave! Come back! Come back! Don't leave me, come back!
Ralphie: But the bell rang!
Schwartz: Well, what are we gonna do?!
Ralphie: I don't know, the bell rang!
Flick: Don't leave me, come back! Come back, come back! [he starts crying loudly as he is still stuck to the pole]

Miss Shields: Now I know that some of you put Flick up to this, but he has refused to say who. But those who did it know their blame, and I'm sure that the guilt you feel is far worse than any punishment you might receive. Now, don't you feel terrible? Don't you feel remorse for what you have done? Well, that's all I'm going to say about poor Flick.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Adults loved to say things like that but kids knew better. We knew darn well it was always better not to get caught.

Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.
The Old Man: That son of a bitch would freeze up in the middle of summer on the equator!
Mother: Little pitchers!
The Old Man: Thanks... hold it! [turns off the sink, the furnace conks out] A-ha! It's a clinker! That blasted stupid furnace dadgummit! [he walks down a few stairs and falls the rest of the way down] Damn skates! [coughing] Oh, for christ's sake, open up the damper will you? Who the hell turned it all the way down? Hawkhead! Oh, blast it! Poop, flirt, rattle crap camel flirt! You blonker, frattle feet struckle frat! Of a womp sack butt, ratter bottom fodder...
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.
The Old Man: ...smick melly whop walker. Drop dumb fratten houstickle viper!

Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Meanwhile, I struggled for exactly the right BB gun hint. It had to be firm, but subtle.
Ralphie: Flick says he saw some grizzly bears near Pulaski's candy store!
[Everyone stares at Ralphie]
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] They looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

[The Old Man reads a side of the box with the prize that he won]
The Old Man: Aaah! "Fra-GEE-leh!" It must be Italian!
Mother: Uh, I think that says FRAGILE, honey.
The Old Man: Huh? Oh, yeah.

[The Old Man accidentally flips the hubcap out of Ralphie's hands with the nuts in it]
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Oh! For one brief moment, I saw all the bolts silhouetted against the lights of the traffic, and then they were gone.
Ralphie: Ohhh, fffffuuuuuudge.
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Only I didn't say "fudge." I said the word. The Big One, The Queen Mother of Dirty Words: The "F-Dash-Dash-Dash" word.
The Old Man: [stunned] What did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um--
The Old Man: That's... what I thought you said. Get in the car. [Ralph hesitates] Go on.
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] It was all over; I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Huh. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.
[Ralphie gets into the car.]
Mother: Everything go alright?
[Ralphie doesn't answer.]
The Old Man: [closes the trunk and checks his watch] Ah!
[Ralphie watches The Old Man gets into the car]
Mother: 8 minutes.
The Old Man: You know what your son just said?
Mother: No. What?
The Old Man: I'll tell you what he said. Randy?
[He inaudibly whispers the "F-Dash-Dash-Dash" word in Mother's ear.]
Mother: [shocked] AAAAAAAAAHHHHHH!!!! RALPHIE!!!!
[scene cuts to Ralphie with soap in his mouth]
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Over the years, I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference is for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor; heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness. Lifebuoy, on the other hand--
Ralphie: [disgusted] Yuck!
Mother: You ready to tell me?
Ralphie: [mumbles and nods his head.] Yes. I'm ready to tell you.
Mother: [removes soap from his mouth] All right. Where did you hear that word?
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Now, I had heard that word at least 10 times a day from my old man. My father worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay. It was his true medium; a master. But I chickened out, and I blurted out the first name that came to mind.
Ralphie: Schwartz!
Mother: [satisfied] Oh. I see. [puts soap back in Ralphie's mouth]
Ralphie: [screams with soap in his mouth] Mom, wait, don't go! Oh, what.
Mother: [dials Mrs. Schwartz] Hello, Mrs. Schwartz? Yes, I'm fine. Um, Mrs. Schwartz, do you know what Ralph just said? [Mrs. Schwartz indistinguishable] No. He said... [inaudibly whispers the "F-Dash-Dash-Dash" word into the phone]
Mrs. Schwartz: [through phone] No, Not THAT!
Mother: Yes, that. Do you know where he heard it?
Mrs. Schwartz: [through phone] Probably from his father.
Mother: No! He heard it from your son!
Mrs. Schwartz: [through phone, angrily screaming] WHAT?! WHAAAT?!?! WHAAAAAT??!!??!! [She is heard in the background smacking Schwartz, and Mother covers her mouth in shock.]
Schwartz: AAAAHHH!!!! OHH, WHAT'D I DO, MOM?! WHAT, I DIDN'T DO NOTHING!!! AAAGH!!! AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!! [Mother winces as Schwartz screams and bawls in pain, She then hangs up]
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Another shot of mysterious, inexorable official justice.
Mother: [takes soap of Ralphie's mouth.] Rinse out and go to bed. Ooh, am I glad you finished your homework this afternoon, 'cause I want you getting right into bed, and I don't want to see any lights on. You are being punished, so no comic-book-reading. I'm gonna come in there, and if there are any lights on-- [angrily] W-- Don't you give me that look! you're gonna get it!

[The Scene cuts To Ralphie And Randy Sleeping, And It Zooms Into Ralphie's Head]
Ralphie as an Adult: [Narrating] Three blocks away, Schwartz was getting his. There has never been a kid who didn't believe vaguely but insistently, that he would be stricken blind before he reached 21, And then they'd be sorry. [When Ralphie's daydream begins, it starts where he has gone blind wearing an overcoat, sunglasses, and a derby holding a cane]
Mother: Why, it's Ralph!
The Old Man: Well, come on in, Ralph. Where have you been?
Mother: Why... he's carrying a cane!
The Old Man: What is it, Ralph? What happened?
Mother: Why, he's... BLIND?!
The Old Man: Blind? Oh, my God!
Randy: Ralphie!
Mother: Ralph, is this something WE did?
The Old Man: What brought you to this lowly state?
Mother: Ralph, please tell us, no matter how it hurts. What did we DO?
Ralphie: Look, I can't.
Mother: Oh, please, Ralph.
The Old Man: Please.
Mother: I must know what we did. What brought you to this?
The Old Man: Please.
Mother: Please... Please?
Ralphie: It... it was...
Mother: Yes? ...Yes?
Ralphie: Soap... poisoning!
[The Old Man and Mother begin wailing]
The Old Man: That's terrible. How could we do it?
Ralphie: Well, I'll manage to get along... somehow.
Mother: I'll never forgive myself.
Ralphie: Thanks, Mom.
The Old Man: I told you not to use Lifebuoy! Oh, I feel awful! [They both continue crying as Ralphie, breaking the fourth wall, smiles at the camera]

The Old Man: [Muffled In The Furnace] You filthy sicken hook-aid! Oh, smelly wok buster! Grout shell fratten houstickle Viper! [coughs] You Platypus Snot grafta! Dorton hoper...
Ralphie as an Adult: What happened next was a family controversy for years.
The Old Man: You wart mundane noodle! You shotten shifter paskabah! You snort tonguer! Lame monger snaffa shell caca! [There is a crash heard, and as Ralphie notices, there are footsteps heard in the furnace, opens the furnace door] What was that? What happened? [Ralphie Doesn't Know What That Noise Was, And The Old Man runs to the living room.] What happened? What broke?
Mother: [while holding a destroyed Leg Lamp] I don't know what happened. I was watering my plant, And I.... broke your lamp. [The Old Man walks slowly, and as he kneels down, he takes the lamp]
The Old Man: [angrily] Why did you touch that?! You were always jealous of this lamp!
Mother: [Shocked] Jealous of a plastic--?!
The Old Man: [cuts Mother off] JEALOUS! Jealous, because I won!
Mother: [Speechless] That's ridiculous! Jealous?! Jealous of WHAT?! [Points To The Lamp, Angrily] That is... the ugliest lamp I have ever seen in my entire LIFE!!!!!
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Now, It was out.
The Old Man: Get the glue.
Mother: We're out of glue.
The Old Man: [furiously grunts] You used up all the GLUE on purpose!
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] The Old Man stood quivering with fury, stammering as he tried to come up with a real crusher. All he got out was--
The Old Man: [finishes Ralphie's sentence] NOT A FINGER!!! [As he walks back to the room to get the Leg Lamp, it cuts to the window where he takes the Leg Lamp and he puts the lampshade on, but it collapses again, causing The Old Man and Mother to gasp in shock]
Ralphie as an Adult: [Narrating] With as much dignity as he could muster, The Old Man gathered up the sad remains of his shattered major award. Later that night, alone in the backyard, he buried it next to the garage. [The Old Man takes the Leg Lamp away] Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of taps being played... gently.

Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] A "C+"?! Oh, no! It can't be!
Ralphie: "C+"?
Miss Shields: [as the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz] C+! [cackling] C+!
[Ralphie looks down to see "P.S. You'll shoot your eye out!"]
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Oh, no! "You'll shoot your eye out"?!
Ralphie: Oh, no!
Ralphie as an Adult: My mother must've gotten to Miss Shields! There could be no other explanation!
Miss Shields and Mother: [chanting; Mother dressed as a jester] You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out! [They both laugh maniacally]
Ralphie as an Adult: Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his Peacemaker?!

Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Strange. Even something as momentous as the Scut Farkus affair, which it came to be known, was pushed out of my mind as I struggled to come up with a way out of the impenetrable BB gun web, in which my mother had me trapped.
Ralphie: Santa. Yeah, I'll ask Santa.
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Of course. Santa. The big man. The head honcho. The connection. Ha, my mother had slipped up this time.

Shopper: Young man! Hey, kid! Just where do you think you're going?
Ralphie: Going up to see Santa.
Shopper: The line ends here. It begins there. [Points to the end of a very long line]

Santa Claus: What do you want for Christmas, little boy?
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] My minded gone blank. I was frantically what I was remembered: I was blowing it, blowing it.
Male Elf: Come on, kid.
Santa Claus: How about a nice, uh... football?
Ralphie as an Adult: Football? What's a football? Without conscious will my voice squeaked out "football".
Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here.
Ralphie as an Adult: A football?!? Oh, no! What was I doing?! Wake up, stupid! Wake up! No!
Ralphie: NO! [stops himself and climbs back up exit slide] No, no! I want an official Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot-range model air rifle! [smiles at Santa]
Santa Claus: You'll shoot your eye out, kid. [ralphie's smile disappears as he notices] Merry Christmas. Ho, Ho, Ho!
Ralphie: [as Santa Claus pushes him down the exit slide] NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

The Old Man: [about Ralphie's bunny costume] He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.
Mother: He does not!
The Old Man: He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!

The Old Man: [admiring Randy sleeping in the mess of gift wrap] My god, would you look at that mess? Who's going to clean the papers up?
Ralphie: Not me.
The Old Man: Oh, really? Randy did it last year.
Ralphie: Well, he can do it again.
The Old Man: You know, this wine ain't bad. You want a sip?
Ralphie: Yeah.
Mother: No, you don't. Did you have a nice Christmas?
Ralphie: Yeah, pretty nice.
The Old Man: Yeah? Did you get everything you wanted?
Ralphie: [thinking about not getting the BB gun] Well, almost.
The Old Man: Almost, huh? Well, that's life. Well, there's always next Christmas.
Ralphie: Yep.
The Old Man: [feigns a surprised look] Hey. That's funny. What's that over there behind the desk?
Ralphie: Where?
The Old Man: Uh...behind the desk against the wall over there... Go check it out. Go on.
[Ralphie goes to the desk and pulls out a large present]
Mother: What did we put over there, honey?
The Old Man: [stammers] Uh, Santa Claus probably put it.
Ralphie: [opens gift to see a Red Ryder BB gun] WOW! [Mother is not pleased at the sight of the BB gun, The Old Man laughs, Ralphie takes the gun out of the box]
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Oh, it was beautiful! I can't hardly wait to try it out.
The Old Man: Do you know how to load it?
Ralphie: Yeah. [loads gun]
The Old Man: C-careful. They'll run all over... Close it up, close it up.
Ralphie: [delighted] Can I... Can I try it out, Ma? Can I?
The Old Man: Sure.
Mother: [reluctantly] Okay. But outside. Oh... I still say those things are dangerous. [Ralphie leaves] No, no! Put on your galoshes and your coat. It's cold out! [looks at The Old Man, not pleased]
The Old Man: But...I had one when I was eight years old.
Mother: What if he hurts himself? Ralphie, your coat! Don't shoot any animals or birds!
The Old Man: Except the Bumpuses' dogs!
Mother: Oh, hush. Be careful, Ralphie!

Ralphie as an Adult: [As Mother Starts Crying] The Heavenly Aroma Still Hung Heavy In The House, But It Was Gone! All Gone! No Turkey! No Turkey Sandwiches! No Turkey Salad! No Turkey Gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey A La King! Or Gallons Of Turkey Soup! Gone, ALL GONE!
The Old Man: All Right, Everybody Upstairs, Get Dressed! We Are Going Out...To Eat.

Waiters in Chinese Restaurant: (singing in thick Chinese accent) Deck the halls with bows of horry, Fa ra ra ra ra, ra-ra ra ra! 'Tis the season to be jorry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!
Bo Ling: (To waiters) No, no, no! Not Ra ra ra ra ra, la la la la la. Sing like this: (singing) Deck the halls with boughs of holly, Fa la la la la, la-la la la. (Speaking) Try again.
Waiters: (Singing) Deck the halls with bows of horry, Fa ra ra ra ra, ra-ra ra ra! 'Tis the season...
Bo Ling: No, no, no, no, no, no, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop, stop! Sing something else.
Waiters: (Singing) Jinger Berrs, Jinger Berrs, Jinger Are the Way! Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sreigh...
Bo Ling: No, No, No, No, No, No! Stop, Stop, Stop, Stop, Stop, Stop! Kitchen, Bring food, For customers.


  • A Tribute to the Original, Traditional, One-Hundred-Percent, Red-Blooded, Two-Fisted, All-American Christmas...
  • Peace, Harmony, Comfort, And Joy... Maybe Next Year.
  • 'Tis Better To Give Than To Receive.


External links[edit]

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