National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 film in which the Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster. It is the third installment in the National Lampoon Griswold family series.

Directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. Written by John Hughes.
Yule crack up! Taglines

Clark W. Griswold

  • Well I'm gonna park the cars and get the luggage, and well, I'll be outside for the season.
  • [as an entourage of suits - led by Clark's boss - passes by single file] Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.
  • [the newel post is wobbly so Clark cuts it off with a chain saw] Fixed the newel post.
  • LOTTA SAP in here. [spits then gives an a-ok sign] Looks great! Little full, Lotta sap!
  • I dedicate this house to the Griswold Family Christmas.
  • [handing Christmas lights to Russ] Unravel these. We need to check every bulb. [pulls out a huge tangle of lights] Oop. Little knot here, you can work on that. [hands it to Russ]
  • Hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people, and I want him brought right here! With a big ribbon on his head! And I want to look him straight in the eye, and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, bloodsucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-assed, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! HALLELUJAH! HOLY SHIT! Where's the Tylenol?
  • Going for a new amateur recreational saucer sled land speed record, Clark W. Griswold, Jr. Remember, don't try this at home kids; I am a professional. Later dudes. Let 'er rip. Hang ten!
  • [last lines] I did it.

Cousin Eddie

  • If that thing had nine lives, he just spent 'em all. Whoo!
  • Tha right there is a RV, I got it off my buddy of mine. He took my house, I took the RV.
  • I don't know if I oughta go sailin' down no hill with nothin' between the ground and my brain but a piece of government plastic.
  • 'Yeah...I got the daughter in the clinic, gettin' cured off of the Wild Turkey, and the older boy, bless his soul is preparing for his career.
  • Clark, I'd like to try to fumigate this here chair, it's a good quality item. If you don't mind my askin', how much did she set you back?
  • He's cute ain't he? Only problem is, he's got a little bit a Mississippi leg hound in 'im. If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town. You don't want him around if you're wearing short pants, if you know what I mean. Word of warning though, if he does lay into ya, it's best to just let 'im finish.
  • [after finding out that Clark is getting to be a member of the Jelly of the Month Club instead of getting his bonus] Clark, that's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.


  • Audrey Griswold: Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel?
  • Ellen Griswold: I don't know what to say, except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.
  • Ellen Griswold: Welcome to our home - what's left of it.
  • Art: Hurry up, Clark. I'm freezing my baguettes off.
  • Mr. Shirley: [picks up the phone receiver] Get me somebody. Anybody. And get me somebody while I'm waiting.
  • Clark W. Griswold, Sr.: [extreme close-up] SQUIRREL!!!!


Ellen: Clark, Audrey's frozen from the waist down.
Clark: That's all part of the experience, honey.

Todd Chester: [mockingly] Hey Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?
Clark: [lifts up the mask] Bend over and I'll show you.
Todd Chester: [angrily] You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that, Griswold.
Clark: I wasn't talking to you. [looking at his wife, Margo]

Ellen: You set standards that no family activity can live up to.
Clark: When have I ever done that?
Ellen: Parties, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, holidays, vacations, graduations...

[Clark is looking at lingerie, as a voluptuous saleswoman approaches]
Mary: Can I show you something?
Clark: Oh, I was just smelling - smiling. I was just blouse - browsing.
Mary: For your wife? For your girlfriend?
Clark: Uh...huh? What happened? I, uh, heh heh. [mops his forehead with a pair of panties] Well, I guess it just wouldn't... [realizes what he'd done and puts the panties back] Oh hee hee, it wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they - HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn't it?
Mary: You have your coat on.
Clark: Yes, oh do I? How'd that happen?
Mary: Because it's cold out?
Clark: Yes, Yes, it is a bit nipply out. I mean 'nippy out.' [laughs] What am I saying, nipple? Ah, there is a nip in the air, though.

Clark: 'Tis the season to be merry.
Mary: That's my name.
Clark: No shit.

Audrey: Do you sleep with your brother? Do you know how sick and twisted that is?
Ellen: Well, I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic.
Audrey: I have nightmares about what he does in his bed alone when I'm not lying right next to him.

Todd: Well, obviously something had to break the window, SOMETHING had to hit the stereo!
Margo: And why is the carpet all wet, Todd?
Todd: I don't KNOW, Margo.

[Aafter Clark fails at lighting all the exterior Christmas lights at the "lighting ceremony" in front of the entire family]
Art: [sarcastically] Beautiful, Clark.
Frances: Talk about pissing your money away. I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.
Audrey Griswold: He worked really hard, Grandma.
Art: So do washing machines.

Clark: Russ, we checked every bulb, didn't we?
Rusty: Sure, Dad.
Clark: Hmm...Maybe we ought to just go up there and check...
Rusty: Oh, woo. Look at the time. I gotta get to bed. I still gotta brush my teeth, feed the hog, still got some homework to do, still got those bills to pay, wash the car...

Art: The little lights aren't twinkling.
Clark: I know, Art. And thanks for noticing.

Eddie: [talking about Snots, Eddie's dog] If you scratch his belly, Clark, he'll love you till the day you die.
Clark: I really shouldn't, Eddie, my hands are all chapped.

Eddie: You surprised to see us, Clark?
Clark: Surprised Eddie?...If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised than I am now.

Clark: Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere, leave you for dead?
Eddie: Naw, I'm doing just fine, Clark.

Eddie: [describing the metal plate in his head] I had to have it replaced 'cause every time Katherine revved up the microwave, I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for a half-hour or so. So, the put in a plastic one, and it ain't as strong, so...I don't know if I oughta go sailin' down no hill with nothin' between the ground and my brains but a piece of government plastic.
Clark: Do you really think it matters, Eddie?
Eddie: [gesturing over the left side of his head] Well, you see, the plate runs underneath my part here, and over here is... [bangs his right side] Nothing. But here, if this gets dented, then my hair just ain't gonna look right.
Clark: ...Yeah, I know the feeling.

Ruby Sue: Rocky bit my thumb. Him's nervous because Christmas is almost here.
Clark: Nervous or excited?
Ruby Sue: Shitting bricks.
Clark: You shouldn't use that word.
Ruby Sue: Sorry. Shitting rocks.

Ruby Sue: Uncle Clark, are you sure you ain't Santa Claus?
Clark: I'm sure...I can't even afford to be an elf.

Ellen: What are you looking at?
Clark: Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn...the clean, cool chill of the holiday asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.
[He and Ellen see out the window was Eddie, in the driveway, wearing his bathrobe, is draining the RV's toilet]
Eddie: [lifting his glass of eggnog] Shitter was full!
Clark: Ah, yeah. You checked our shitters, honey?
Ellen: Clark, please. He doesn't know any better.
Clark: He oughta know it's illegal. That's a storm sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match within ten yards of it.

Aunt Bethany: Is your house on fire, Clark?
Clark: No, Aunt Bethany, those are the Christmas lights.
Aunt Bethany: Don't throw me down, Clark.
Clark: I'll try not to, Aunt Bethany.,
Aunt Bethany: Is this the airport, Clark?
Clark: [inside the house] We're here!
Uncle Lewis: Hey Gris, me and Bethany figured out the perfect gift for you.
Clark: Aw, you didn't have to get me anything.
Uncle Lewis: Dammit, Bethany, he guessed it.

Ellen: Oh, Aunt Bethany, you shouldn't have done that.
Aunt Bethany: Oh dear, did I break wind?
Uncle Lewis: Jesus, did the room clear out, Bethany? Hell, No, she means presents. You shouldn't have brought presents!

Aunt Bethany: This house is bigger than your old one. Is Rusty still in the Navy?
Ellen: Aunt Bethany, why don't you go with Frances and Catherine into the living room and say hello to everybody.
Aunt Bethany: Hello, everybody?
Ellen: Just in the living room...
Aunt Bethany: I should say it?
Ellen: You should say it.
Aunt Bethany: Hello, everybody!
Ellen: Hello, everybody.

Russ: Dad.
Clark: Yeah.
Russ: This box is meowing.
Clark: Let me see. [takes the present, shakes it, and a cat wildly meows] She wrapped up her damn cat!
Ellen: Well, take it to the kitchen and open it up.
Clark: Then we'll have a cat running around the house.
Ellen: We can't leave it in the box.
Russ: Why would somebody put a cat in a box?
Ellen: She gets confused, Rusty. She's old. She and Uncle Louis don't have much money, so she takes things from around the house, wraps them up, and gives them away as presents.
Russ: [mock enthusiasm] Great! Can't wait to see what I got.
Eddie: [comes in with another of Aunt Bethany's gifts] This one here, it's leakin'. [Ellen touches the liquid coming out with her finger and Eddie licks it] It's lime!
Ellen: That would be her Jell-O mold.

Clark: Since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas, I think she should lead us in the saying of Grace.
Aunt Bethany: What dear?
Nora: Grace!
Aunt Bethany: Grace? Ohhh...She passed away thirty years ago...
Uncle Lewis: They want you to say grace.... [Bethany looks confused; emphasizes his words] The BLESS-ING!!!
Aunt Bethany: Oh. [everyone at the table folds their hands in prayer and reverently bows their heads] I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America, [Clark makes a confused face towards Aunt Bethany] and to the republic for which it stands - one nation, under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
Clark: [annoyed] Amen.

[Snots is choking under the table making it shake]
Clark: Uh, Eddie? What's wrong with the dog?
[Snots gags again, table shakes]
Eddie: [looks under table] Oh, he's just yakkin' on a bone. [Snots coughs up the bone] He got it up. He's alright, now.

Clark: Hey, kids, I heard on the news that an airline pilot spotted Santa's sleigh on its way in from New York City.
[The kids sit up excitedly]
Eddie: [after a pause] You serious, Clark?

Uncle Lewis: Hey Gris, if you're not doing anything constructive, run into the living room and get my stogies.
Clark: Is there anything else I can do for you, Uncle Lewis?
Ellen: He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas.
Clark: If he keeps it up, it will be his last Christmas.

[While eating dinner, Uncle Lewis smokes a cigar and drops it. A flame engulfs in the living room for a split second. Clark notices it and walks into the living room]
Clark: Lewis?? [tears up when he sees that his Christmas tree has been burnt into a crisp] MY TREE!
Uncle Lewis: So? What's the matter with you?
Clark: Look what you've done to my tree!!! [notices that Lewis is on fire in the back of his clothes] LEWIS! [uses a curtain, grabs Lewis and pats his back to put out the fire]
[Others come in and look at the destroyed tree]
Art: It was an ugly tree anyway.
Uncle Lewis: At least it's out of its misery!

[Clark has just lost his tree and found out he had been stiffed on his Christmas bonus. He stalks outside the house, with his chainsaw]
Audrey: Uh oh, he's got that crazy look in his eye.
Russ: I told you we should've gone to Hawaii!
Russ: I'll go talk to him. [walks up to Clark] You know, Dad, I've been thinking... [Clark turns and stares crazily at him, his running chainsaw pointed in his direction] ...Good talk, Dad!

Clark: I simply solved the problem. We needed a coffin...Er, a tree. There are no lots open on Christmas Eve. Lewis burned down my tree so I replaced it as best I could. Voilà.
Ellen: Are you okay?

Aunt Bethany: What's that sound? [everybody looks up, and returns to activities, then Clark starts hearing it] Do you hear it?! It's a funny, squeaking sound.
Uncle Lewis: You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant!

[A squirrel is loose in the house]
Clark: Where is Eddie? He usually eats these goddamn things.
Catherine: Not recently, Clark, he read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

Clark: [tries to catch the loose squirrel] Russ!
Russ: Right here, dad
Clark: Go get the hammer.
Ellen: Clark, what do you need a hammer for?
Clark: I'm gonna catch it in the coat...And smack it with the hammer.
Ellen: You are not going to kill that squirrel in front of all these kids!
Clark: Well honey, what do you suggest?

Clark: Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no! We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny fucking Kaye. [Ellen gives him a glare for his language] And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse! [his eyes twitch]
Art: You're goofy.
Clark: Don't piss me off, Art.
Ellen: Clark, it's over.
Clark: Not according to Santa's watch, it isn't.
Clark Sr.: Clark.
Clark: Stay out of this, Dad.
Ellen: Clark, I think it's be best if everyone went home...before things get worse.
Clark: Worse?! How could things get any worse?! Take a look around you, Ellen! We're at the threshold of Hell!

Clark: Our holidays were always such a mess.
Clark Sr.: Oh, yeah.
Clark: How'd you get through it?
Clark Sr.: I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.

Mr. Shirley: I have never been treated like this in my life!
Ellen: I'm sorry. This is our family's first kidnapping.
Mr. Shirley: [to Clark] You're fired! And where's the phone?! I'm calling the police!
Eddie: Now, just hold your wad there, fella. Clark had nothin' to do with this. This here, was my idea.
Mr. Shirley: All right, he's still fired. And you are going to jail!
[Eddie scoffs in clear disbelief]
Clark: No, Eddie. It was my fault. I lost my temper when I got my bonus and I guess I said a few thing I shouldn't have.
Mr. Shirley: Bonus? How did you get a bonus? I cut out bonuses this year.
Clark: Yeah. Thanks for telling us. I was expecting a check. Instead I got enrolled in a jelly club. 17 years with the company. I've gotten a Christmas bonus every year but this one. You don't want to give bonuses, fine. But when people count on them as their salary, well what you did just plain...
Russ: Sucks.
Clark: Thank you, Russ. My cousin-in-law, whose heart is bigger than his brain...
Eddie: I appreciate that, Clark.
Clark: innocent. I'll be more than happy to take the rap on this, on behalf of myself and every other employee you rear-ended this Christmas.
Mr. Shirley: [having a change of heart] Look uh, sometimes things look good on paper. But lose their luster when you see how it affects real folks. I guess a healthy bottom line doesn't mean much if to get it you have to hurt the ones you depend on. It's people that make the difference. Little people like you. So...Clark, whatever you got last year...add twenty percent.
[Clark faints in relief as everyone cheers]

Clark: I think you've made a terrible mistake.
SWAT officer: I told you to freeze, mister!
Clark: May we blink?
Mrs. Shirley: Frank.
Mr. Shirley: Helen!
Mrs. Shirley: Oh, Thank God, You're all right.
Mr. Shirley: Oh, I'm fine. I'm just fine. It was a big misunderstanding tonight.
Swat Captain: Excuse me. Would you and Mrs. Shirley like to step outside. so we can take care of business here?
Mr. Shirley: There's no business. I'm not pressing any charges.
Mrs. Shirley: What?
Mr. Shirley: It was a mistake.
Mrs. Shirley: Mistake? Frank, honey, you were kidnapped.
Mr. Shirley: I did something I shouldn't have, and these people called me on it. This is Clark Griswold and his family.
Ellen: Welcome to our home. [Mrs. Shirley shakes her hand] What's left of it.
Swat Captain: Release B Squad.
Mrs. Shirley: What's going on here?
Mr. Shirley: Remember I was toying with the notion of suspending the Christmas bonuses?
Mrs. Shirley: You didn't. Well, of all the cheap, lousy ways to save a buck!
Swat Captain: That's pretty low, mister. If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you to...
Mr. Shirley: I changed my mind! I'm reinstating the bonuses.


  • Yule crack up!
  • There's No Place Like Home For A Holiday!

See also