National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a Christmas classic that for many of us is a must-watch every year, let’s celebrate the upcoming festive season by reliving some of the best Clark Griswold quotes from one of the best Christmas movies.
10. Where are you going to put a tree that big?
“Bend over and I’ll show you!” – Clark Griswold
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation was the first in the franchise that was made with a younger audience in mind. The first two Vacation movies were both R-rated in the US while Christmas Vacation went for a PG-13 rating. However, that didn’t stop writer John Hughes from getting creative with this early joke.
9. Need some eggnog?
“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?” – Clark Griswold
The hilarious feud between Clark and his cousin-in-law Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, is summed up perfectly in this quote from Clark. Just after Cousin Eddie surprises the Griswolds by showing up unannounced for Christmas.
8. Arriving on time
“We made pretty good time.” – Clark Griswold
The icing on the cake to the opening sequence of the movie. While the Griswolds are on the way to get a Christmas tree, they are dragged into some road rage between Clark and another car, resulting in a hilarious pursuit between the two vehicles. As the Griswold family car comes crashing into the parking lot, the quote from Clark Griswold seals the whole sequence in a nice bow.
7. It’s going where?!
“Dad, this tree won’t fit in our backyard.” – Russ Griswold
“It’s not going in our yard, Russ. It’s going in our living room.” – Clark Griswold
The hilarious premonition for what is to come from Clark is one of the best lines early in the movie. Classic Chevy Chase.
”I’m gonna catch it in a coat, and smack it with a hammer!” – Clark Griswold
Because how else do you take care of a squirrel loose in the house? Maybe don’t bring the tree in from the garden in the first place!
5. Dead wife?
”I was just looking at something for my wife, God rest her soul.” – Clark Griswold
Another classic National Lampoon play on words. This Christmas Vacation Clark Griswold quote comes in the middle of the shopping sequence and is an almost blink and you’ll miss it line.
4. Stress Headache?
”Hallelujah! Where’s the Tylenol?” – Clark Griswold
The final line of Clark’s famous rant after he finds out about his bonus makes the whole scene. The whole rant is gold but the final line sticks the landing.
3. Bonus? What bonus?
“I was expecting a check, instead I got enrolled in a jelly club” – Clark Griswold
The gut-wrenching so-called bonus that Clark Griswold receives is to the Jelly of the Month Club. Throughout the whole movie we’ve seen Clark planning his dream swimming pool that his upcoming bonus will buy him, and then, nothing. For a comedy movie, it’s a surprisingly deep take on the unappreciation of workers to their bosses and companies that they work for.
2. Christmas Meltdown
“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.” – Clark Griswold
Clark’s dream of having the perfect Christmas unravels throughout the movie. This quote is his last-ditch effort to try and hold it all together as Christmas collapses around him. Fortunately for him, it does indeed work out in the end.
“I’m sorry, this is our family’s first kidnapping.” – Ellen Griswold
Ok, so this isn’t a Clark Griswold quote but it’s the funniest line in the whole movie. Clark has many great quotes in Christmas Vacation, as we’ve seen throughout this article, but Ellen steals the show with this late winner. Cousin Eddie has just brought Clark’s boss, Frank Shirley, played by the wonderful Brian Doyle-Murray (older brother of an actor called Bill Murray) into the Griswold home after kidnapping him from his own festive celebrations. Ellen’s reaction to the situation is arguably the funniest joke of the whole movie, it’s certainly the funniest dialogue.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the honorable mention quotes from other characters in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, in no particular order.
Best of the Rest
“Mom? This box is meowing.” – Rusty
Although most of this scene relies on visual comedy from Chevy Chase with the cat in the box, Rusty’s line to start the skit is gold. Side note, did you know Rusty actor, Johnny Galecki, later played Leonard in The Big Bang Theory? Truly an actor with comedic chops.
“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!” – Ruby Sue
Little Ruby’s talk with Clark during the night is one of the funniest parts of the movie but it’s also one of the most heartwrenching. The delivery of Ruby’s lines from young actress Ellen Latzen stole the show from Chevy Chase in this scene. Unfortunately, she doesn’t get much more time to shine throughout the movie.
“It’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.” – Ellen Griswold
This hilarious quote from Ellen sums up the holiday struggle families around the world have in overcrowded houses with every family member present. As Ellen’s daughter Audrey, played by Juliette Lewis, complains about all the problems of having all of their family in the house, Ellen’s comedic frustration is shown.
“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.” – Cousin Eddie
Clark and Eddie’s conversation about Eddie’s family RV/Home takes a turn for the worse when Eddie reveals how long he’s planning on staying at the Griswold residence. Clark’s reaction of choking on his drink plays perfectly to the surprise comment and Eddie’s usual obliviousness is as endearing for the audience as it is frustrating for Clark.
Let us know if you have any favorite quotes that you’d add to the list!