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 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 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.

Ralphie[edit]

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

Dialogue[edit]

Ralphie as 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.
Mrs. Parker: Ralphie, what would you like for Christmas?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Horrified, I heard myself blurt it out!
Ralphie: I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Ohhhhhhh...
Mrs. Parker: No. Shoot your eye out.
Ralphie as 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: [wailing] I can't put my arms down! [continues bawling, as Mother tries unsuccessfully to put his arms down]
Mother: Well, put your arms down when you get to school. [winds scarf around Randy's neck, as he resumes wailing]

Flick: You're full of beans, and so is your old man.
Scott Schwartz: Oh, yeah?
Flick: Yeah!
Scott Schwartz: Says who?
Flick: Says me!
Scott Schwartz: Oh, yeah?
Flick: Yeah!
Scott Schwartz: Well, I double-dare ya!
Ralphie as 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.
Scott Schwartz: That's 'cause you know it'll stick!
Flick: You're full of it!
Scott Schwartz: Oh, yeah?
Flick: Yeah!
Scott Schwartz: Well I double dog-dare ya!
Ralphie as 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.
Scott Schwartz: I triple dog-dare ya!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Hmm. 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]
Scott Schwartz: Oh, go on, smart-ass, and do it!
Flick: [tongue out] I'm goin', I'm goin'!
Ralphie as 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 bawling]
Schwartz: Jeez! It really works! Look at him!
[the school bell rings and the students run back to the school except Flick, who keeps bawling]
Flick: Ralphie, come back! Come back! Don't leave me, come back!
Ralphie: But the bell rang!
Scott 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 bawls 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 Adult: [narrating] Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man.
Mr. Parker: That son of a bitch would freeze up in the middle of summer on the equator!
Mrs. Parker: Little pitchers!
Mr. Parker: Thanks... hold it!
[the furnace conks out]
Mr. Parker: It's a clinker! That blasted stupid furnace dadgummit!
[he walks down a few stairs and falls the rest of the way down]
Mr. Parker: Damn skates! [coughing] Oh, for cripes sake, open up the damper will ya? 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 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.
Mr. Parker: ...smick melly whop walker. Drop dumb fratten house stickle fifer!

Ralphie as 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 Adult: [narrating] They looked at me as if I had lobsters crawling out of my ears.

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

Ralphie as 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 Adult: [narrating] Oh, no! "You'll shoot your eye out"?
Ralphie: Oh, no.
Ralphie as Adult: My mother must've gotten to Miss Shields! There could be no other explanation!
Miss Shields and Mrs. Parker: [sing-song; Mrs. Parker dressed as a jester] You'll shoot your eye out! You'll shoot your eye out! [both laugh mockingly]
Ralphie as Adult: Was there no end to this conspiracy of irrational prejudice against Red Ryder and his Peacemaker?!

[Mr. Parker accidentally flips the hubcap out of Ralphie's hands with the nuts in it]
Ralphie as 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 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.
Mr. Parker: [stunned] What did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um--
Mr. Parker: That's... what I thought you said. Get in the car. [Ralph hesitates] Go on.
Ralphie as 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.]
Mrs. Parker: Everything go alright?
[Ralphie doesn't answer.]
Mr. Parker: [closes the trunk and checks his watch] Ah!
[Ralphie watches Mr. Parker gets into the car]
Mrs. Parker: 8 minutes.
Mr. Parker: You know what your son just said?
Mrs. Parker: No. What?
Mr. Parker: I'll tell you what he said. Randy?
[He inaudibly whispers the "F-Dash-Dash-Dash" word in Mrs. Parker's ear, and she screams in shock.]
Mrs. Parker: [shocked] RALPHIE!!!!!
[scene switches to Ralphie with soap in his mouth]
Ralphie as 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!
Mrs. Parker: You ready to tell me?
Ralphie: [mumbles and nods his head.] Yes. I'm ready to tell you.
Mrs. Parker: [removes soap from his mouth] All right. Where did you hear that word?
Ralphie as 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!
Mrs. Parker: [angrily] Oh. I see. [puts soap back in Ralphie's mouth]
Ralphie: [screams with soap in his mouth] Mom, wait, don't go! Oh, what.
Mrs. Parker: [dials Mrs. Schwartz] Hello, Mrs. Schwartz? Yes, I'm fine. Um, Mrs. Schwartz, do you know what Ralph just said?
Mrs. Schwartz: [indistinguishable]
Mrs. Parker: No. He said... [inaudibly whispers the "F-Dash-Dash-Dash" word into the phone]
Mrs. Schwartz: [through phone] NO, NOT THAT!
Mrs. Parker: Yes, that. Do you know where he heard it?
Mrs. Schwartz: [through phone] Probably from his father.
Mrs. Parker: 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 Mrs. Parker covers her mouth in shock.]
Schwartz: AAAAGH! WHAT'D I DO, MOM?! WHAT, I DIDN'T DO NOTHING! AAAGH! [Mrs. Parker winces as Schwartz screams and bawls in pain]
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Another shot of mysterious, inexorable official justice.
Mrs. Parker: [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!

[During Ralphie's daydream where he has gone blind]
Mrs. Parker: Why, it's Ralph!
Mr. Parker: Well, come on in, Ralph. Where have you been?
Mrs. Parker: Why... he's carrying a cane!
Mr. Parker: What is it, Ralph? What happened?
Mrs. Parker: Why, he's... blind!
Mr. Parker: Blind? Oh, my God!
Randy: Ralphie!
Mrs. Parker: Ralph, is this something WE did?
Mr. Parker: What brought you to this lowly state?
Mrs. Parker: Ralph, please tell us, no matter how it hurts. What did we DO?
Ralphie: Look, I can't.
Mrs. Parker: Oh, please, Ralph.
Mr. Parker: Please.
Mrs. Parker: I must know what we did. What brought you to this?
Mr. Parker: Please.
Mrs. Parker: Please... Please?
Ralphie: It... it was...
Mrs. Parker: Yes? ...Yes?
Ralphie: Soap... poisoning!
[Mr. & Mrs. Parker begin wailing]
Mr. Parker: How could we do it?
Ralphie: Well, I'll manage to get along... somehow.
Mrs. Parker: I'll never forgive myself.
Ralphie: Thanks, Mom.
Mr. Parker: I told you not to use Lifebuoy! Oh, I feel awful!

Mr. Parker: You filthy sicken hook-aid! Oh, smelly wok buster! Grout shell fratten house stickle fifer! You bladder puss nut grafter! Dorton hoper...
Ralphie as Adult: What happened next was a family controversy for years.
Mr. Parker: You wart mundane noodle! You shotten shifter paskabah! You snort tonguer! Lame monger snaffa shell caca!

Ralphie as 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 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: [To Ralphie] How about a nice, uh... football?
Ralphie: [As narrator] Football? What's a football? Without conscious will my voice squeaked out "football".
Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here.
Ralphie: [As narrator] A football!? Oh, no! What was I doing!? Wake up, stupid! Wake up!
Ralphie: [As child] NO! [climbs back up exit slide] No, no; I want an official Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot-range model air rifle! [smiles hopefully at Santa]
Santa Claus: [to Ralphie] You'll shoot your eye out, kid. Merry Christmas. Ho. Ho. Ho.
Ralphie: [smile fades to shock as Santa pushes Ralphie down the exit slide] NOOOOOO!!

Mr. Parker: [about Ralphie's bunny costume] He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny.
Mrs. Parker: He does not!
Mr. Parker: He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!

Mr. Parker: [admiring Randy sleeping in the mess of gift wrap] My gosh, would you look at that mess? Who's going to clean the papers up?
Ralphie: Not me.
Mr. Parker: Oh, really? Randy did it last year.
Ralphie: Well, he can do it again.
Mr. Parker: You know, this wine ain't bad. You want a sip?
Ralphie: Yeah.
Mrs. Parker: No, you don't. Did you have a nice Christmas?
Ralphie: Yeah, pretty nice.
Mr. Parker: Yeah? Did you get everything you wanted?
Ralphie: [thinking about not getting the BB gun] Well, almost.
Mr. Parker: Almost, huh? Well, that's life. Well, there's always next Christmas.
Ralphie: Yep.
Mr. Parker: [feigns a surprised look] Hey. That's funny. What's that over there behind the desk?
Ralphie: Where?
Mr. Parker: 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]
Mrs. Parker: What did we put over there, honey?
Mr. Parker: [stammers] Uh, Santa Claus probably put it.
Ralphie: [opens gift to see a Red Ryder BB gun] WOW!
[Mrs. Parker is not pleased at the sight of the BB gun]
Mr. Parker: [laughs] Do you know how to load it?
Ralphie: Yeah. [loads gun]
Mr. Parker: C-careful. Close it up. Close it up.
Ralphie: [delighted] Can I...Can I try it out, Ma? Can I?
Mr. Parker: Sure.
Mrs. Parker: [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 Mr. Parker, not pleased]
Mr. Parker: But...I had one when I was eight years old.
Mrs. Parker: What if he hurts himself? Ralphie, your coat! Don't shoot any animals or birds.
Mr. Parker: Except the Bumpuses' dogs!
Mrs. Parker: Oh, hush. Be careful, Ralphie!

Waiters in Chinese Restaurant: (singing) Deck the harrs with bows of horry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra! 'Tis the season to be jarry, Fa ra ra ra ra ra ra ra ra!
Lead waiter: (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 harrs with bows of horry...
Lead waiter: No, no, no, stop! Sing something else.
Waiters: (Singing) Jingre Berrs, Jingre Berrs, Jingre Arr the Way! Oh what fun it is to lide in a one-holse open sreigh
Lead waiter: No! Stop! Kitchen. Bring food. For customers.

Taglines[edit]

  • 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.

Cast[edit]

External links[edit]

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