National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) Script

(MAN AND WOMAN SINGING "O COME ALL YE FAITHFUL")

That was beautiful--

(SINGING "DECK THE HALLS")

Take it, Russ.

Dad, can you explain again what we're doing?

Sure, Russ. We're kicking off our fun, old-fashioned family Christmas...

...by heading out into the country in the old front-wheel drive sleigh...

...to embrace the majesty of the winter landscape...

...and select that most important of Christmas symbols.

We're not driving all the way here so you can get one of those stupid ties...

...with the Santa Clauses on it, are we? No, I have one of those at home.

What we're looking for today is the Griswold family Christmas tree.

What we're looking for today is the Griswold family Christmas tree.

(SINGING "WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS")

(SINGING "WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS")

What's the matter? Some jackass is riding my tail.

Slow down and let him pass.

(SINGS "WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS")

Clark! Don't provoke them.

Hey, kids, look a deer.

(TIRES SCREECHING)

(LAUGHING)

Clark, slow down!

You wanna ride behind somebody who does that?

I'll pull around them and leave them behind us.

Burn some dust here. Eat my rubber.

RUSTY: Dad, I think what you mean is, "Burn rubber," and, "Eat my dust."

Whatever, Russ. Whatever.

Eat my road grit, liver lips!

Okay. That's enough of that.

(TRUCK HONKS)

CLARK: Speaking of trees, kids, can one of you tell me...

...what the first tree displayed at the White House was?

Dad, they're back.

Clark, stop it! I don't want to spend the holidays dead.

Honey, please! I'll do the driving, okay?

Will you just take it easy, Ellen? I'm in complete control.

I'll get around this egg timer.

Dad. Dad.

Thank God, we're all right! Clark, we're stuck under a truck!

CLARK: Do you think I don't know that? AUDREY: Come on, guys, don't fight.

For chrissake, I didn't do this on purpose!

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.

And forgive my husband. He knows not what he does.

Amen!

ELLEN: Oh, my God! Oh, my God! Oops!

Made pretty good time.

RUSTY: Dad, didn't they invent tree lots so people wouldn't have to drive...

...all the way out to nowhere and waste a whole Saturday?

CLARK: They made them because people forgot...

...how to have an old-fashioned Christmas...

...and are satisfied with scrawny, overpriced trees...

...that have no special meaning. AUDREY: My toes are numb.

CLARK: This is what our forefathers did. AUDREY: I can't feel my leg.

CLARK: They walked out into the woods, picked it and cut it with their hands.

AUDREY: Mom, I can't feel my hips. ELLEN: Clark.

CLARK: Yes, honey? ELLEN: Audrey's frozen from the waist.

That's all part of the experience, honey.

There it is.

The Griswold family Christmas tree.

Isn't it a little big? It's not big, it's just full.

Isn't it a little big? It's not big, it's just full.

Dad, that thing wouldn't fit in our yard. It's not going in our yard, Russ.

Dad, that thing wouldn't fit in our yard. It's not going in our yard, Russ.

It's going in our living room.

(TEETH CHATTERING)

Look at it. It really is beautiful, Clark.

It's something else, huh, Russ? Yeah, Dad.

Isn't it a beaut, Audrey? ELLEN: She'll see it later, hon.

Her eyes are frozen.

Most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace...

...of kith and kin.

This tree is the symbol of the spirit of the Griswold Christmas.

Dad, did you bring a saw?


Looks like the toad overestimated the height of his living room ceiling.

Hey, Griswold. Where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?

Bend over and I'll show you.

You've got a lot of nerve talking to me like that.

I wasn't talking to you.

Clark, do you think there's enough room for the angel?

Oh, sure, honey. I have a little more trimming to do...

...but that won't be a problem. Ready?

I give you the Griswold family Christmas tree.

(CREAKING)

CLARK: There's a lot of sap in here.

(CLARK SPITTING)

CLARK: It looks great. A little full. A lot of sap.


Did I tell you I talked to my mother? And?

They've decided they're coming for Christmas too.

It's not too late to change our plans. No, no, that's great. That's great.

It's not too late to change our plans. No, no, that's great. That's great.

You're forgetting how difficult it's gonna be...

...having everybody in the house.

Honey, they're family. They're not strangers off the street.

All they do is argue.

Christmas is about resolving differences...

...and seeing through the problems of family life.

Yeah. And about my mother accusing your mother of buying cheap hot dogs.

And your mother accusing my mother of waxing her upper lip.

Then they don't speak to each other-- Your mother waxes her upper lip?

She has for years. It doesn't show.

I don't know, Sparky. I have a feeling-- Ellen.

I want to have Christmas here in our house.

It means a lot to me. All my life I've wanted to have a big family Christmas.

I know.

It's just that I know how you build things up in your mind, Sparky.

You set standards that no family event can ever live up to.

You set standards that no family event can ever live up to.

When have I ever done that?

Parties. Weddings. Anniversaries. Good night, honey.

Parties. Weddings. Anniversaries. Good night, honey.

Funerals. Holidays. CLARK: Oh, great.

ELLEN: Vacations. Graduations.


You should be looking at a fat Christmas bonus this year, huh?

Word is you're an excellent choice to be named Additive Designer of the Year.

Nah. I'm not kidding.

What's that new thing you got at Food and Drug?

Oh, the crunch enhancer? Yeah, it's a non-nutritive cereal varnish.

It's semipermeable, not osmatic. It coats and seals the flake...

...prevents the milk from penetrating it. Yeah.

It's a beautiful product. I like it, yeah.

The question is, what will you do with that bonus?

Gonna blow it on yourself, I hope. Me? Heck, no.

Take a look at this.

I hope my Christmas bonus check will cover it.

Oh, my God, you're putting in a pool.

I went ahead and I put a $7500 deposit down on it.

You're the last true family man.

FRANK: Mark. CLARK: Clark.

That's Bill, sir.

Were you working on that non-nutritive cereal varnish?

Yes, sir. I gotta give a speech to a trade group.

I'd like to mention it. Write a summary and have it to me by the end of the day.

I'd like to mention it. Write a summary and have it to me by the end of the day.

My pleasure. Layman's terms.

None of that inside bullshit jargon nobody understands.

Yes, sir.

Oh, Mr. Shirley. We got your Christmas card the other day...

...and my family and I are very flattered that you remembered us.

Corporate cards.

Don't forget that report, Bill. Yes, sir. Thank you. Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas. Merry Christmas.

Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.

Kiss my ass. Kiss his ass. Kiss your ass. Happy Hanukkah.


Can I show you something?

I was just smelling-- Smiling. I was just blouse-- Browsing.

I was just smelling-- Smiling. I was just blouse-- Browsing.

For your wife or your girlfriend?

What? What happened?

I guess it wouldn't be any--

Wouldn't be the Christmas shopping season if stores were less hooter--

Hotter than they are.

It is warm in here. You have your coat on.

Yes. Oh, do I? How did that happen? Because it's cold out.

Yes. Yes. It is. It's a bit nipply out. I mean, nippy out.

(LAUGHING)

What did I say, nipple?

There is a nip in the air though. Can I take something out for you?

(CHUCKLING)

I was just.... I was just looking at something for my wife.

I was just.... I was just looking at something for my wife.

God rest her soul. Oh, God, I'm so sorry.

Oh, no, no, she's not dead. We're just divorced. She's history.

Oh, no, no, she's not dead. We're just divorced. She's history.

Obviously she doesn't wear underwear. There are plenty of shopping days left...

...until adultery-- Adulthood. Which is to say Christmas, as in Yule.

...until adultery-- Adulthood. Which is to say Christmas, as in Yule.

Yule log. Not a log, I don't have a log. But, I mean, you know, if I had a log...

Yule log. Not a log, I don't have a log. But, I mean, you know, if I had a log...

...not in the sense that you think I said I did. Good golly.

...not in the sense that you think I said I did. Good golly.

'Tis the season to be merry.

Well, that's my name. No shit.

What do these do? Do they clip on here? Down there?

What do these do? Do they clip on here? Down there?

MARY: Would you like this one? CLARK: Sure.

These are cut really high on the hip. Look, I'm wearing something similar.

See? You can't see the line.

You can't see the line, can you, Russ? No.

No.

MAN OVER TV: That's a present from a very dear friend of mine.

Look, Daddy, teacher says every time a bell rings...

...an angel gets his wings.

(DOORBELL CHIMING)

(MUSIC PLAYS OVER HEADPHONES)

Ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho, ho.

(ARGUING)

Folks! Folks! Folks! Merry Christmas.

Hey! How you doing, son? Fine.

There he is! Oh, my boy.

Look at how big you've gotten. Merry Christmas.

Mom. Sweetheart.

Oh, knock on the door. Lift up the ladder.

Listen. Doesn't Nora look old? You promised.

Of course I do. They took a pint of fluid from my back.

Do you see this mole? This mole on my neck?

Think it's changing color? No.

You keep touching it, it gets redder. I got hemorrhoids. Can you believe that?

Oh, Mother. Isn't that terrible?

You're not getting the garage space. After what you--

I'm doing the parking. Russ, want to help?

Mom, they're not sleeping in my room. I'm gonna go crazy, Mom.

NORA: Sweetheart. Your grandma's got a real painful burr on my heel.

If you rub it for me, I'll give you a whole quarter.

A quarter. A quarter. NORA: I'll give Audrey a quarter too.

I'm gonna put my car in the garage! He damaged my car, you believe that?

I'll park the cars.

This is what Christmas is all about.

I'll park the cars and check the luggage...

...and yeah, I'll be outside for the season.

We're gonna have the best-looking house in town.

I've always wanted to do this. That's a lot of lights, Dad.

I'm sure it's a lot of work too, but if I'm out in the cold...

...and I'm committed to decorating the house, I'm gonna do it right...

...and I'm gonna do it big.

You want something you can be proud of, don't you?

Yeah, I guess so. Sure you do.

You think you might be overdoing it? When did I last overdo anything?

You think you might be overdoing it? When did I last overdo anything?

Come on, unravel these.

You have to check every bulb. Got a little knot here. You work on that.

I'll get the other box.

I hope he falls and breaks his neck. I'm sure he'll fall.

I don't think we're lucky enough to have him break his neck.

Let's go.


MAN OVER TV: These winds appear to be playing havoc with that giant float.

MAN OVER TV: These winds appear to be playing havoc with that giant float.

At this point I can't even see the nuts. They must have blown away.

(SNORING)

But nothing is going to dampen the spirit of this holiday crowd, I can tell you that.

Oh, here they are. Here come the nuts. These look like giant nuts to me.

Yeah, I'm reminded of a couple years ago, the winds were so high here...

...we almost lost Santa's reindeer.

Rudolph's red nose took out a third floor window at Marshall Field's.

Rudolph's red nose took out a third floor window at Marshall Field's.

They better keep their eyes out on their nuts before someone gets hurt.


Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel?

Audrey.

Well, can we at least forbid them to answer the phone?

Alex called this morning. Grandpa Clark told him I couldn't come to the phone...

...because I was going to the bathroom. We're all making sacrifices, Audrey.

Everybody? Do you sleep with your brother?

Do you know how sick and twisted that is, Mom?

Well, I'm sleeping with your father. Don't be so dramatic.

I have nightmares about what he does in his bed...

...when I'm not lying right next to him.

Well, I don't know what to say except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.

Well, I don't know what to say except it's Christmas and we're all in misery.

FRANCIS: Ellen, are you smoking again?

No!

(STAPLING)

Ow!

Hey, Dad, where do you want these reindeer?

Just put them down there on the lawn, Russ.

I can't find the Santa Claus.

It's in the basement. We'll get it later.


(SCREAMING)


(YELLS)

Clark. Dinner's ready. CLARK: Okay, honey. I'm starving.

Clark. Dinner's ready. CLARK: Okay, honey. I'm starving.

(CLARK SPITTING)

(GLASS TINKLING)

Obviously something had to break the window!

Something had to hit the stereo!

And why is the carpet all wet, Todd? I don't know, Margo.

And why is the carpet all wet, Todd? I don't know, Margo.

ART: You want to hurry this up? I'm freezing my baguettes off.

CLARK: Two hundred and fifty strands of light...

...100 individual bulbs per strand...

...for a grand total of 25,000 imported Italian twinkle lights.

(CHEERING)

CLARK: Twenty-five thousand. I hope nobody I know drives by...

...and sees me standing in the yard, staring at the house in my pajamas.

If they know your dad, they won't think anything of it.

Fire it up, Dad!

I dedicate this house to the Griswold family Christmas.

ALL: Aw...

Drum roll, please.

Drum roll. Oh, uh....

(MIMICKING DRUM)

(SINGS "JOY TO THE WORLD")

(GIGGLING)

Beautiful, Clark.

FRANCIS: Talk about pissing your money away.

I hope you kids see what a silly waste of resources this was.

He worked really hard, Grandma. So do washing machines.

Let's get in where it's warm.

Clark, baby, I can picture it in my mind. And it's breathtaking.

Clark, baby, I can picture it in my mind. And it's breathtaking.

Thanks, Mom. It's probably a bad bulb, son.

You know, if one goes out, the whole thing doesn't work.

Now, if I were you I'd personally check each one.

I did that, Dad. I can't-- Now, look, if you need any help...

...give me a holler. I'll be asleep. Thanks.

Sorry, Daddy. It looks good even if they're not lit.

Sorry, Daddy. It looks good even if they're not lit.

Thank you, sweetheart.

Well, Dad, it was a good try. Thanks, Russ.

Well, Dad, it was a good try. Thanks, Russ.

Russ. Yeah?

We checked every bulb, didn't we? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'm sure of it.

We checked every bulb, didn't we? Oh, yeah. Yeah. I'm sure of it.

I thought so. Well, maybe we ought to go up there and just get--

Jeez! Look at the time. I gotta get to bed.

Brush my teeth. Feed the hog.

I've still got some homework to do. Do the laundry. Wash the car.

I've still got those bills to pay....

Clark, don't stay up too late.

(SNORING)

Get off me, you little fungus.


Where the hell is that cold coming from?

Ooh.... Oh.

Hey!

Hey.

Hello?

I need to get a few more-- Pay by check.

I will. Not a card? ART: If they return it, it's a hassle....

CLARK: Russ!

(HONKING)

Help! ELLEN: Daddy, is Clark coming?

ART: How would I know? Is he in the house?

If he isn't farting around with his lights, he must be inside.

I'm sure he wants to come shopping and have lunch with us.

He's got another car. He can drive. I have to eat so I can take my back pills.

He's got another car. He can drive. I have to eat so I can take my back pills.

(CAR STARTING)

Ellen! Hey! Ellen!


(CREAKING)


(CLATTERING)

I want to take off these clothes, sit with a glass of wine and kiss your body.

I want to take off these clothes, sit with a glass of wine and kiss your body.

After you shower, of course. Of course.

ELLEN: Sparky? Yes, honey.

Are you out here for a reason, or are you just avoiding the family?

No. I still have a couple hundred more bulbs to check.

In the meantime, I can light the Santa, the deer and the Merry Christmas sign.

That should look good. Ready?

You want me to do the drum roll thing? No, it's okay. Here goes nothing.

You want me to do the drum roll thing? No, it's okay. Here goes nothing.

I don't understand it.

The house lights don't work, the flood lights don't work.

Is it plugged in?

Do you honestly think I would check thousands of lights...

...if the extension cord wasn't plugged in?

You used more than one cord, didn't you?

Maybe the kids have been fooling around with it. I'll check in back.

Maybe the kids have been fooling around with it. I'll check in back.


Clark!

Todd! What's that light?!

ELLEN: Clark!

Honey, I think I know what's wrong.

TODD: I can't see.

MARGO: No, no, no-- Oh, my God--

CLARK: This ought to do it.

(TODD GROANS)

Ellen, I fixed it!

MARGO: Oh, right! TODD: Oh, God!

Everybody! Come out quick! Look at the lights!

Get a towel. Okay!

CLARK: Wait. I don't believe this! What's all the yelling about?

What?! But-- What's going on here?

Twenty-five thousand twinkle lights.

What's he doing, Clark? I haven't the foggiest.

CLARK: What?

What the hell? What is wrong with this?

What the hell? What is wrong with this?

Damn it! Damn it!

You goddamn light!

(YELLS)

CLARK: Go! Go! Do it!

(SCREAMS)

Dad, it's beautiful!

(SOBBING)

Oh, my carpet!

Oh, Clark, it's so lovely. Mom.

Oh, Clark, it's so lovely. Mom.

You deserve a home like this to spend Christmas in.

It's a beaut, Clark. It's a beaut. Dad, Dad, Dad.

It's a beaut, Clark. It's a beaut. Dad, Dad, Dad.

You taught me everything I know about exterior illumination.

Thank you, thank you.

CLARK: Russ. Audrey.

Dear, dear Francis.

I hope this adds to your enjoyment of the holidays.

It's just wonderful. Yeah.

Arthur. Art.

Dad.

Thanks for being here. The little lights are not twinkling.

I know, Art, and thanks for noticing.

EDDIE: The house sure does look swell, Clark.

Thanks, Eddie. I hope it enhances your holiday spirit. Dear Cathrine.

Thanks, Eddie. I hope it enhances your holiday spirit. Dear Cathrine.

Eddie?

Oh, the house is gorgeous, Clark. Eddie?

Oh, the house is gorgeous, Clark. Eddie?

I hope you didn't do this all on our account, Clark.

Kids, come on out here and see what Uncle Clark's done to the house.

Eddie?

(DOG GROWLING)

Eddie?

Yeah. If you don't remember, this here is Rocky.

You got a kiss for me? EDDIE: Better take a rain check on that.

He's got a lip fungus they ain't identified yet.

You remember Ruby Sue? Oh, yeah.

Oh, my gosh!

Her eyes aren't crossed anymore. EDDIE: That's something, ain't it?

Falls in a well, eyes go crossed.

She gets kicked by a mule, they go back to normal.

I don't know.

(CHUCKLING)

And this here's our pride and joy. Snots.

(SNOTS SNEEZES)

Pretty name, Ed.

We named him that because he's got this sinus condition.

Snots, you roll over and let Uncle Clark scratch your belly.

You ain't never seen a set on a dog like this one's got, Clark.

Oh, Ed. That's okay, Eddie.

EDDIE: That's something, ain't it? You pet him...

...and he'll love you till the day you die.

I really shouldn't. My hands are all chapped.

We were gonna call, but Eddie wanted to make it a surprise.

Yeah. You surprised? Surprised, Eddie?

If I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised.

If I woke up with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn't be more surprised.

We have plenty of room.

We have plenty of towels. We have plenty of everything.

We're pretty well set up here in the RV. It's a little tight...

...but we didn't come to impose. Hell, there's plenty of room.

Quit being so damn polite, Ed. Oh....

Cathrine and I, we're pretty comfy in there, you know.

But maybe you wouldn't mind the youngsters shacking up with you.

After that long drive, we could use a little private time together.

After that long drive, we could use a little private time together.

Why don't you get the kids' things?

Don't forget the rubber sheets and gerbils.

Come on. I wanna show you the home.

NORA: Audrey, help me get some hot chocolate. It's cold.

(CHATTERING)

(WHIMPERING)

That's a honey of a tree, Clark. Is it real?

Yeah. Yeah, I dug it out of the ground myself.

Is that a fact? Hey, get out of there. Snots! Yo!

Don't worry about it, Clark. A little tree water ain't gonna hurt him.

Before we left, he drank a half a quart of Pennzoil.

Boy, when he lifted his leg the next morning....

Boy, when he lifted his leg the next morning....

If he drinks the water, the tree's gonna dry up. Come on, out of there.

Snots. CLARK: Out, out, out.

Get out of there. Get in the kitchen now.

Get in the kitchen there and get you something to eat. Go on.

He's cute, ain't he? Problem is, he's got a bit of Mississippi leg hound in him.

He's cute, ain't he? Problem is, he's got a bit of Mississippi leg hound in him.

If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town.

If the mood catches him right, he'll grab your leg and just go to town.

Don't want him around if you're wearing short pants, if you know what I mean.

Don't want him around if you're wearing short pants, if you know what I mean.

A word of warning, though. If he lays into you, it's best to just let him finish.

A word of warning, though. If he lays into you, it's best to just let him finish.

I can't believe you're actually standing here in my living room, Eddie.

Never thought the day would come. Yeah, I'm excited about it too.

It's a crying shame the older kids couldn't make it.

I'll get that. Don't worry about it. Let me get it.

Yeah, I got the daughter in the clinic, getting cured off the Wild Turkey.

Yeah, I got the daughter in the clinic, getting cured off the Wild Turkey.

And the older boy, bless his soul, is preparing for his career.

And the older boy, bless his soul, is preparing for his career.

College? Carnival.

You gotta be proud. Oh, yeah.

Yeah, last season he was a pixie-dust spreader on the Tilt-O-Whirl.

He thinks maybe next year...

...he'll be guessing people's weight or barking for the Yak Woman.

You ever see her? No.

She's got these big horns growing right out above her ears.

Yeah, she's ugly as sin, but a sweet gal. And a hell of a good cook.

Can I refill your eggnog? Get you something to eat?

Drive you out to nowhere and leave you for dead?

No, I'm doing just fine, Clark. Just glad to be here.

Yeah. So when did you get the tenement on wheels?

Yeah. So when did you get the tenement on wheels?

Oh, that there? That's an RV.

Yeah, yeah. I borrowed it off a buddy of mine. He took my house...

...I took the RV. It's a good-looking vehicle, ain't it?

Yeah. Looks so nice parked in the driveway.

Yeah, it sure does. But don't you go falling in love with it now.

Because we're taking it with us when we leave here next month.

FRANK: Well, get Ed Leftic up here to look over these figures.

Oh, retooling. That's a great excuse.

Retooling?! I'll retool you!

CLARK: Mr. Shirley, merry Christmas. Who's that?

It's me, Clark Griswold. What do you want?

My wife and I came up with a little something special. It's a gift.

Put it over there with the others, greaseball.

Oh.

By the way, I hope my report helped out at the trade show.

I'm sure it did, Grisball.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm in the middle of an important call.

Get me somebody. Anybody.

And get me somebody while I wait.

This is a new silicon-based kitchen lubricant my company's working on.

This is a new silicon-based kitchen lubricant my company's working on.

It creates a surface 500 times more slippery than any cooking oil.

We're gonna fly down the hill with this stuff.

Has anyone ever used it on a sled? Not that I know of, Russ.

Well, don't go putting none of that stuff on my sled, Clark.

You know that metal plate in my head? How could I forget?

I had to have it replaced because every time Cathrine revved up the microwave...

...I'd piss my pants and forget who I was for a half-hour or so.

Over at the V.A. they replaced it with a plastic one and it ain't as strong, so....

Over at the V.A. they replaced it with a plastic one and it ain't as strong, so....

I don't know if I ought to go down no hill with nothing between...

...the ground and my brain but a piece of government plastic.

You really think it matters, Eddie? The plate runs underneath my part here.

You really think it matters, Eddie? The plate runs underneath my part here.

Over here it's, you know, nothing.

But here, if this gets dented, then my hair just ain't gonna look right.

But here, if this gets dented, then my hair just ain't gonna look right.

Yeah, I know the feeling. I better try this first, see how it works.

Yeah, I know the feeling. I better try this first, see how it works.

EDDIE: You be careful there. CLARK: There's nothing to worry about.

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 her rip. Hang 10.

Later, dudes. Let her rip. Hang 10.

Oh, shit!

Oh....

Hey! Hey! Hey! Ah!

This is great! It's great! It's great! I'm dead!

No, not-- Hey!

(SCREAMING)

(WOMAN SCREAMS)

CLARK: Look out!


(CRASHING)

Bingo.

Clark? You staying late? Oh, hi, Bill. Yeah.

Clark? You staying late? Oh, hi, Bill. Yeah.

Just finishing up a few things. Last day of the year for me.

Well, have a really Merry Christmas.

You too.

Are you okay? Yeah.

Bill, did you get your bonus yet?

I just talked to my son.

Company messenger brought something to the house. I guess that's it.

Nothing like waiting till the last minute, huh? Did you get yours?

If it isn't at the house, I'm sure it's on its way.

If I don't get that bonus, I'm in it up to here.

Don't sweat it. It'll come. Merry Christmas.

Same to you.

(WATER SPLASHING)

(BING CROSBY'S "MELE KALIKIMAKA" PLAYS)


Me?


RUBY SUE: Santy Claus!

Uncle Clark, are you Santy Claus?

What? Oh.

You scared me.

No, I'm not Santa Claus.

I wish I was.

What are you doing up, sweetheart?

RUBY SUE: Rocky bit my thumb. What?

Him's nervous because Christmas is almost here.

Nervous or excited? Shitting bricks.

You shouldn't use that word. Sorry. Shitting rocks.

I see. Good.

Him's nervous because he don't know if he's getting nothing.

I don't think he should be nervous and you shouldn't be either.

Because if you're good, Santa knows it.

If you believe in him and you believe in your mom and you believe in your....

Your dad.

If you've been good all year round, Santa is gonna bring you something.

Sometimes I think all that Santa crap is just bull.

If he was so real, how come we didn't get squat last year?

We didn't do nothing wrong and we still got the shaft.

Well, I happen to know for a fact that Santa Claus is real.

And in the next couple of days...

...somehow I'm gonna prove it to you.

You know, every year he comes to our house. I've seen him.

That's true? Cross my heart.

So....

It's good you came to stay with us. I love it here.

You don't gotta put on your coat to go to the bathroom.

And your house is always parked in the same place.

I think you'd better go back to bed now.

Okay. How come you ain't sleeping?

Oh, I was just looking for something.

You didn't notice if a man came here and delivered a letter today, did you?

You didn't notice if a man came here and delivered a letter today, did you?

Nope. How come?

Oh, just wondering.

Now you get back to bed. Come on.

Uncle Clark, are you sure you ain't Santy Claus?

I'm sure.

I can't even afford to be an elf.

(YELLING)

Two containers of K rations! Two containers of K rations!

Then I had Spam until it was coming out of my ears.

Oh, bullshit!

ELLEN: Aren't you having any breakfast? I'm not in the mood.

ELLEN: Aren't you having any breakfast? I'm not in the mood.

What are you looking at?

Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn.

The clean, cool chill of the holiday air.

And an asshole in his bathrobe emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer.

Shitter was full! Yeah.

Have you checked our shitters, honey? Clark, please.

He doesn't know any better. It's illegal.

It's a sewer. If it fills with gas, I pity the person who lights a match near it.

(BURPING)

(SNIFFING)

Merry Christmas. Shitter was full.

Merry Christmas. Shitter was full.

ELLEN: I have a suspicion Cathrine and Eddie don't have presents for their kids.

Rocky said something about Eddie telling him Santa wasn't coming this year.

Rocky said something about Eddie telling him Santa wasn't coming this year.

Yeah. Ruby Sue said something like that last night.

How can they have nothing for the kids? He's been out of work for seven years.

In seven years he couldn't find a job?

Cathrine says he's been holding out for a management position.

So how's the live-bait business, Eddie? Well, I can't complain. How you doing?

So how's the live-bait business, Eddie? Well, I can't complain. How you doing?

Not that good, actually.

Your company kill off all them people over in India not long ago?

No. We missed out on that one. You're pretty set so far as shopping goes?

No. We missed out on that one. You're pretty set so far as shopping goes?

Well, I can't lie to you, Clark. The truth is, things ain't going too good at all.

Well, I can't lie to you, Clark. The truth is, things ain't going too good at all.

You know, I told you I borrowed the RV from my neighbor? Nope. It's mine.

You know, I told you I borrowed the RV from my neighbor? Nope. It's mine.

We live in it. I had to sell off the house, the barn, the 10 acres.

We live in it. I had to sell off the house, the barn, the 10 acres.

All I kept was a 50-foot plot, the pigs and the worm farm.

All I kept was a 50-foot plot, the pigs and the worm farm.

If only I had back the money that me and Cathrine...

...sent that TV preacher that was screwing the hockey players.

What about the kids?

His kids can fend for themselves. No, your kids.

Oh, well, that's the bitch of it. See, I don't know what to do.

We coasted into town on fumes. The gas money give out in Gurnee.

We coasted into town on fumes. The gas money give out in Gurnee.

Eddie....

Ellen and I want to help you give the kids a nice Christmas.

Clark, I couldn't do that. No, no, we insist.

Oh, no. I'm not one for charity, now.

Oh, I know that, Eddie. This isn't charity. It's family.

I don't know about that. Now, come on.

If you don't tell me what they want, I'll go out and get it on my own.

Oh, boy. This is a surprise, Clark.

This is just a real nice surprise. Just a real nice surprise.

This is just a real nice surprise. Just a real nice surprise.

(BONES CRACKING)

Here's a little list. Alphabetical, starting with Cathrine.

And if it wouldn't be too much, I'd like to get something for you, Clark.

Something really nice.

BETHANY: Is your house on fire, Clark? CLARK: No, those are Christmas lights.

BETHANY: Don't throw me down, Clark. I'll try not to, Aunt Bethany.

BETHANY: Is this the airport, Clark? We're here!

Hey, Gris, me and Bethany figured out the perfect gift for you.

Oh, Uncle Lewis, you didn't have to buy me anything.

Damn it, Bethany, he guessed it.

Oh, that was fun. I love riding in cars.

When did you move to Florida?

Ellen, are you still dating Clark?

Oh, Aunt Bethany, you know you shouldn't have done that.

Oh, dear. Did I break wind?

Jesus, did the room clear out, Bethany?

Hell, no. She means presents. You shouldn't have brought presents.

It isn't every day somebody moves into a new house.

They didn't move into a new house.

Um.... Mom? In the living room, Russ.

This house is bigger than your old one.

Is Rusty still in the Navy?

Aunt Bethany, why don't you go with Francis and Cathrine to the living room...

...and say hello to everybody. Hello, everybody?

Just in the living room. I should say it?

ELLEN: You should say it. BETHANY: Hello, everybody!

RUSTY: Mom. What?

This box is meowing. CLARK: Let me see it.

(MEOWING)

She wrapped up her cat. Take it in the kitchen and open it up.

Then we'll have a cat running around. You can't leave it in the box.

Why would somebody wrap up a cat in a box?

She gets confused, Rusty. She and Uncle Lewis don't have much money...

...so she takes things from the house and gives them as presents.

Great. Can't wait to see what I got.

EDDIE: This one here is leaking.

It's lime. That's her Jell-O mold. I'll take it.

Why don't you go back in the living room and enjoy yourself? Russ?

Come on, boy.

Let's go find your sister.

(MEOWING)

Daddy, don't do this.

Before we begin, since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas...

Before we begin, since this is Aunt Bethany's 80th Christmas...

...I think she should lead us in the saying of grace.

ALL: Aw.... ELLEN: Great.

BETHANY: What, dear?

Grace!

Grace? She passed away 30 years ago.

They want you to say grace.

The blessing.

(CLEARING THROAT)

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America...

...and to the republic for which it stands...

...one nation under God, indivisible...

...with liberty and justice for all.

...with liberty and justice for all.

Amen. Amen.

Cathrine, if this turkey tastes half as good as it looks...

...I think we're all in for a very big treat.

Thank you.

Save the neck for me, Clark. Okay, Eddie.

(GROANING)

LEWIS: Look at that.

(COUGHING)

Sorry.

Why are you crying? I told you we put it in too early.

Oh, it's just a little dry. It's fine. It looks good to me.

Here's the heart.


Aunt Bethany?

Does your cat, by any chance, eat Jell-O?

Well, I don't know about the cat, but I sure am enjoying it.

Hey, kids?

I heard on the news that a pilot spotted Santa's sled on its way from New York.

I heard on the news that a pilot spotted Santa's sled on its way from New York.

ALL: Ooh....

You serious, Clark?

Art, you want to load me up with a little more there. It is good.

Art, you want to load me up with a little more there. It is good.

(COUGHING)

Ed? EDDIE: Yeah, Clark.

What's wrong with the dog?

(SNOTS COUGHING)

Oh, he's just yacking on a bone.

(SNOTS THROWING UP)

He's got it up. He's all right now.

Maybe if you wouldn't feed him from the table.

No, no.

He's probably just nosing through the trash there.

Hey, Gris, if you're not doing anything constructive...

...run into the living room, get my stogy.

Is there anything else I can do for you, Uncle Lewis?

He's an old man. This may be his last Christmas.

If he keeps it up, it will be his last Christmas.


That should be it.

(MEOWING)

CLARK: Honey?

You had too many plugs in one outlet. CLARK: Oh, God.

LEWIS: What is it?

Nothing. Let's go in and finish our dessert.

If that thing had nine lives, she just spent them all.

Whoo!

If you don't mind, Clark, I'd like to see if I can fumigate this here chair.

If you don't mind, Clark, I'd like to see if I can fumigate this here chair.

It's a good, quality item.

If you don't mind me asking, how much it set you back?

If you don't mind me asking, how much it set you back?

You smell something?

Fried pussycat.

It's not the chair. It's some kind of gas coming from the sewer.

(EDDIE CHUCKLING)


Lewis?

My tree!

So, what's the matter with you?

Look what you've done to my tree!

Lewis.

It was an ugly tree, anyway.

At least it's out of its misery.

Dad's gonna flip out. Nobody's gonna flip out.

We're gonna have a wonderful Christmas.

(KNOCKING)

What the hell do you want?

I have a delivery for Clark W. Grisman. I was supposed to deliver it yesterday...

I have a delivery for Clark W. Grisman. I was supposed to deliver it yesterday...

...but it fell between the seats, and I didn't see it. I'm sorry.

...but it fell between the seats, and I didn't see it. I'm sorry.

Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

I can't believe it. ART: What is it?

A letter confirming your reservation at the nut house?

It's from my company.

Your bonus. My bonus.

ALL: Oh!

FRANCIS: That's great!

Open it, Clarkie. Open it.

Yeah, I hope it's a fortune, Clark.

I bet you do, Eddie.

I was afraid....

Are you gonna bawl all over it, or are you gonna open it?

I was gonna wait till tomorrow to tell you all this, but what the heck.

I was gonna wait till tomorrow to tell you all this, but what the heck.

With this bonus check, I'm putting in a swimming pool.

That's it. That's the big one!

ELLEN: Open it!

I'm sorry if I've been a little short with everyone lately.

I've been waiting for this bonus.

To make sure the pool goes in when the ground thaws...

...I had to pay in advance. And until this arrived...

...I didn't have enough in my account to cover the check.

Tear the sucker open, Dad. Yeah.

Drum roll. Just kidding.

If there's enough left over, I'm gonna fly you all down here to help us dedicate it.

(CHEERING)

I can't swim, Clark.

I know that, Eddie.

Oh.

Clark, what's wrong?

Honey?

It's bigger than you expected?

Smaller?

What is it?

It's a one-year membership in the Jelly of the Month Club.

Oh, God.

Clark, that's the gift that keeps on giving the whole year.

That it is, Edward. That it is, indeed.

I'm sorry. Clark....

If this isn't the biggest punch in the face I ever got. Goddamn it!

If this isn't the biggest punch in the face I ever got. Goddamn it!

Son.

That's good. That's good. That's good.

Ahh.... Hey!

If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one.

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 on Melody Lane...

...with all the other rich people, and I want him right here.

With a big ribbon on his head.

I wanna look him straight in the eye and 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...

...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?

He's got that crazed look in his eye. RUSTY: We should've gone to Hawaii.

He's got that crazed look in his eye. RUSTY: We should've gone to Hawaii.

Turn that thing off and get in the house!

I'll talk to him, Mom.

You know, Dad. I've been thinking.

Good talk, Dad.

Aren't you a bit sorry we didn't get a Christmas tree?

Even though they're dirty and messy and corny and clichéd.

Well, where you gonna find a tree at this hour on Christmas Eve?

What's the matter?

Was that really necessary?

We needed a tree. May I remind you that--

That this was all my idea. No. No, no. I'm well aware of that, honey.

Could you just keep it in mind the next time you go berserk?

I didn't go berserk. I simply solved a problem.

We needed a coffin. I mean, a tree.

There are no lots open on Christmas Eve.

Lewis burned down my tree, so I replaced it as best I could. Voilà.

Are you okay? I'm fine, honey.

(WHISTLING)

(THUDDING)

Fixed the newelpost.


What's that sound?

(SQUEAKING)

Do you hear it? It's a funny squeaky sound.

Do you hear it? It's a funny squeaky sound.

You couldn't hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant.

Shh. I hear it too.

I don't hear it anymore.

(SCREAMING)

What was it?! Oh, my God!

Quiet! Shut up!

Mom, don't move.

We can't let it get out of the living room.

Where's Eddie? He usually eats these goddamn things.

Oh, not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

Oh, not recently, Clark. He read that squirrels were high in cholesterol.

Thank you, Cathrine.

I'll try and trap it.

Russ! Right here, Dad.

Oh, there you are.

Go get the hammer.

Clark, what do you need a hammer for?

I'm gonna catch it in the coat and smack it with the hammer.

I'm going in with him.

Nora?

Nora! Is it gone?

It probably got scared and ran back into the tree.

Squirrel!

(GROWLING)

(SCREAMING)


You just march right over there and slug that creep in the face.

I can't just attack someone. If you're not man enough...

...to put an end to this shit, then I am.

Ha!

Gone.

(DOOR CLOSES)

Oh, my God!

What happened to you?

CLARK: Beautiful. God.

Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving.

Nobody's walking out on this 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 Kaye.

And when Santa squeezes his ass down that chimney tonight...

...he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nut house.

You're goofy.

Don't piss me off, Art. ELLEN: Clark?

It's over. Not according to Santa's watch.

Come on, son. Stay out of this, Dad.

Clark, I think it's best if everyone just goes home.

Before things get worse. Worse?

How could they get any worse?

Take a look around you, Ellen. We're at the threshold of hell.

Son?

I love you. We all love you.

But this is a terrible night. Nothing's gone right. It's a disaster.

You losing your temper with the whole family only makes things worse.

You're too good a father to act like this.

In years to come, you'll want your family to remember all the love you gave us.

And how hard you tried to make the perfect Christmas.

Well, I just-- You just cocked it up.

Oh, it's okay. It happens.

Our holidays were always such a mess. Oh, yeah.

How did you get through it?

I had a lot of help from Jack Daniels.

I love you.

CLARK: Dad? Yeah.

Are you gonna recite The Night Before Christmas?

No. It's your house. It's your Christmas.

I'm retiring.

CLARK: "The children were nestled all snug in their beds...

...while visions of sugarplums danced in their heads.

And Mama in her kerchief and I in my cap...

...had just settled our brains for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn, there arose such a clatter...

...I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window, I flew like a flash...

...tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the new-fallen snow gave a luster of midday to objects below.

(CLATTERING)

When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh and...."

When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a miniature sleigh and...."

And Eddie with a man in his pajamas with a dog chain...

...tied to his wrists and ankles. What the--?

(EDDIE CHUCKLING)

CLARK: Stay here.

Ho, ho, ho. Merry Christmas, Clark.

You about ready to do some kissing?

WOMAN: Yes, officer, it seems my husband's been abducted.

The man was...

...wearing a blue leisure suit, and the plates were from Kansas.

...wearing a blue leisure suit, and the plates were from Kansas.

He was a huge, beastly, bulging man and--

I've never been treated like this in my life.

I'm sorry. This is our family's first kidnapping.

You're fired. And where's the phone? I'm calling the police.

Hey, just hold your wad there, fella. Clark had nothing to do with this.

This here was my idea.

All right. He's still fired, and you are going to jail.

Oh, no. Eddie, it was my fault.

I lost my temper when I got my bonus.

I guess I said things I shouldn't have. Bonus?

How did you get a bonus? I cut out bonuses this year.

Yeah. Thanks for telling us.

I was expecting a check. Instead I got enrolled in a jelly club.

Seventeen years with the company. I've gotten a bonus every year but this one.

You don't wanna give bonuses, fine!

But when people count on them as part of their salary...

...well, what you did just plain-- RUSTY: Sucks.

Thank you, Russ.

My...

...cousin-in-law, whose heart is bigger than his brain--

I appreciate that, Clark.

Is 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.

On behalf of myself and every other employee you rear-ended this Christmas.

Look...

...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, Carl...

...whatever you got last year...

...add 20 percent.

Our pool!

ELLEN: Clark?

RUSTY: Dad.


(KNOCKING)

MARGO: Go away, Todd.

If you wanna come in, you are gonna have to break down the goddamn door!

If you wanna come in, you are gonna have to break down the goddamn door!

(MARGO SCREAMING)

Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

(SCREAMING)

Freeze!

Not you, them! Them!

(MAN TALKING INDISTINCTLY OVER RADIO)

This way, please.

I think you've made a terrible mistake. I told you to freeze, mister.

May we blink?

Frank.

Helen! HELEN: You're all right.

Oh, I'm fine. I'm just fine.

It was a big misunderstanding tonight.

Excuse me. Would you and Mrs. Shirley like to step outside...

...so we can take care of business here?

There's no business. I'm not pressing any charges.

What? It was a mistake.

Mistake? Frank, honey, you were kidnapped.

I did something I shouldn't have, and these people called me on it.

This is Clark Griswold and his family.

Welcome to our home.

What's left of it.

Release B Squad. What's going on here?

Remember I was toying with the notion of suspending the Christmas bonuses?

Remember I was toying with the notion of suspending the Christmas bonuses?

You didn't. Well, of all the cheap, lousy ways to save a buck!

You didn't. Well, of all the cheap, lousy ways to save a buck!

That's pretty low, mister. If I had a rubber hose, I would beat you to--

I changed my mind.

I'm reinstating the bonuses.

Look!

Look, look!

Look!

CATHRINE: Ruby Sue, sweetheart.

RUBY SUE: It's Santa Claus. RUSTY: What? What's wrong?

FRANCIS: What? She thinks she sees Santa.

RUBY SUE: Santa Claus. No, it's the Christmas star.

And that's all that matters tonight.

Not bonuses or gifts or turkeys or trees.

See, kids...

...it means something different to everybody.

Now I know what it means to me.

That ain't the frigging Christmas star.

It's a light on the sewage treatment plant.

Sewer gas.

Don't drop that!

(SCREAMING)

(BETHANY SINGS "THE STAR SPANGLED BANNER")

(SINGING)


Play ball!

(SINGING "DECK THE HALLS")

Merry Christmas, Sparky.

Merry Christmas, honey.

Come here.


I did it.

(CRACKING)


(English SDH)