National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is still considered an annual staple for the holiday season, and that hasn’t diminished much over the past few decades. This hilarious 1980s comedy classic starred Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, a well-meaning but over-ambitious father who finds himself in one Christmas disaster after another.
The film is a masterful comedy, especially because of the clever script. Clark has some of the funniest lines in the movie, which allows him to produce a memorable performance. Many of his quotes have stood the test of time over the years and are no less funny today than they were so many years ago.
ten “Burn some dust here. Eat my rubber!”
To say that Clark Griswold was out of touch with the cool kids was definitely an understatement. He’s demonstrated it time and time again by not realizing how much of a jerk he was, especially in Part One. While driving out into the wild to buy a Christmas tree for the house, Clark suffered a bit of road rage.
In an attempt to become competitive and prove himself, he began to press the gas pedal while throwing this quote, with a smile. It didn’t take long for his young son Russ to inform him that he had confused the two. Rusty’s sweet ribs to his father and Clark’s puzzled reaction was one of those sweet moments that made it possible Christmas holidays compete with A Christmas story for the best holiday movie of all time.
9 “You can’t see the line, can you Russ?” “
Clark might have been a loving father and devoted husband, but he clearly had a hard time ignoring the opposite sex, especially if the woman in question was attractive. While shopping for Christmas presents, he met Mary, who was eager to show him some lingerie.
Unfortunately, she showed a little too much and Clark became fascinated. Once again, Russ was there to witness it all as the woman showed off a pair of high cut panties that concealed the underwear line. In a daze, Clark asked if Russ could see the line, to which Russ replied “no”, much to his father’s surprise and comedic horror.
8 “Russ, when was the last time I exaggerated?” “
Clark wanted to make this year’s Christmas the best ever, and that meant going above and beyond the call of duty. It was a hallmark of his personality – a desire to uplift his family and loved ones by putting on an awesome spectacle. That year it was a house chock full of Christmas lights.
Russ quickly pointed out that his father may have bitten more than he could chew. He asked him if he thought he was doing too much, to which Clark responded with this quote. The puzzled look on Russ’ face said it all.
7 “Surprised, Eddie?” If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the rug, I wouldn’t be more surprised. “
After struggling to get his hugely ambitious Christmas light project to work in one of the funniest National LampooIn the film scenes, Clark was overwhelmed with joy. The whole family stepped out onto the lawn to witness the dazzling spectacle, giving step-cousin Eddie Johnson, his wife and children, and their dog Snots time to slip away unnoticed.
It was supposed to be a surprise, although no one asked them to introduce themselves, for reasons that would quickly become apparent. When Eddie asked Clark if he was surprised, he responded with this hilarious quote that went right over Eddie’s head.
6 “May I fill your eggnog for you?” Get something to eat? Drive you into the middle of nowhere … Leave you for dead? “
Within the first hour of his arrival, Eddie had already exhausted his welcome with Clark. He had gotten into eggnog and started telling stories that normal people would be ashamed of. It was becoming too much for Clark to bear.
A brief interlude allowed Clark to drop this funny question on Eddie, which he was unaware of, once again. Clark would have loved nothing more than a family Christmas without Eddie’s heavy, silly stupidity.
5 “The silent majesty of a winter morning. The pure, fresh cold of the vacation air. And a **** in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet in my sewer.”
Clark woke up a few days before Christmas to the sound of his family arguing in the dining room, which wasn’t exactly the kind of atmosphere he had in mind. He decided to walk over to the window and gaze out at the clear, sunny morning as Ellen came to greet him.
Giving him a big hug, she asked him what he was looking at. Clark responded with that quote, just before the scene switched to Eddie standing in the middle of the street with a beer and a cigar, emptying his RV toilet into the storm sewer at the curb.
4 “Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where’s the Tylenol?”
Clark was pining for his Christmas bonus in order to meet the down payment on a pool he wanted to set up in the backyard. It was the ultimate Christmas present for his family, and time was running out. It didn’t help that he was dealing with the stress of a series of incidents and accidents around the house.
By the time a corporate envelope was delivered, it was near the breaking point. When he found out it contained a Jelly of the Month club membership instead of a bonus, he launched an angry rant at his boss before dropping that line and running away. Clark’s comedic breakout is just one of the many reasons why Christmas holidays is an 80s movie that makes viewers laugh so much they cry.
3 “We needed a coffin … uh, I mean … a tree …”
After Uncle Lewis inadvertently burned the family Christmas tree while lighting a cigar, Clark learned the bad news about his supposed bonus. He was falling apart, but he was determined to save the operation. His first task was to get out with a chainsaw and cut down the nearest tree. How he managed to secure and decorate another tree in record time is one of the things that doesn’t make sense Christmas holidays, but it is forgivable.
He then went upstairs to wash the sap off his hands, while Ellen followed him to ask if he was okay. Clearly, Clark claimed everything was fine, even when asked about his behavior regarding the tree. He responded to Ellen with this quote, which didn’t really put her at ease.
2 “No one is leaving! No one is coming out of this fun old fashioned family Christmas! Noooo, no we’re all in the same boat!”
When things got so bad that Christmas seemed unrecoverable, Clark’s family decided to pack their bags and leave, rather than stick around for the consequences. They thought it was better for everyone to leave before things got worse.
They were stopped at the foot of the stairs by Clark, who wouldn’t let any of them go. For him, the disasters they had suffered were like a military operation gone wrong, and he was not going to let his comrades abdicate their responsibilities.
1 “When what to my marveling eyes should appear, but a miniature sled … And … And Eddie, with a man in pajamas and a dog chain … Tied to his wrists and ankles.”
After Clark’s father managed to calm him down and talk to him about common sense, Clark seemed ready to put all the bad things behind him. He even took on the assignment to recite The Night Before Christmas with his family, which seemed to be going well.
That is, until Clark looks out the window and sees Eddie leading his chained boss Frank along the path, with a gigantic ribbon across his chest and a gag in his mouth. It was Eddie’s Christmas present to Clark and a chance for retaliation against the cranky old boss who cut employee bonuses that year.
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