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->"''This is no longer a vacation,'' '''''[[SeriousBusiness it's a quest]]'''''. ''It's a quest for fun.'' '''''I'm''''' ''gonna have fun and'' '''''you're''''' ''gonna have fun, we're all gonna have [[PrecisionFStrike so much fucking fun]] we'll need'' '''''[[GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles!]]'''''"

''National Lampoon's Vacation'' is a 1983 comedy film directed by Creator/HaroldRamis and starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron and Anthony Michael Hall. The film features numerous others (such as comedians JohnCandy and Imogene Coca, supermodel Christie Brinkley, and future ''Series/ThirtyRock'' regular Jane Krakowski) in smaller roles.

The screenplay was written by Creator/JohnHughes, based on his short story in ''National Lampoon'' Magazine, "Vacation '58" (the screenplay changes the year to 1983). The original story is (reportedly) a fictionalized account of his own family's ill-fated trip to Disneyland (changed to "Walley World" for the film) when Hughes was a boy. The success of the movie helped launch his screenwriting career.

The film was a significant box-office hit, earning over $61 million in the United States with an estimated budget of $15 million. In 2000, readers of ''Total Film'' magazine voted ''National Lampoon's Vacation'' the 46th greatest comedy film of all time.

A series of {{sequel}}s followed:

* ''National Lampoon's European Vacation'' (1985)
* ''Film/NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation'' (1989)
* ''{{Vegas Vacation}}'' (1997)

(Note: Since ''European Vacation'' is so similar to the first, it's covered below rather than on its own page.)

There was also a 2003 MadeForTVMovie, ''Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure'', which focuses on Randy Quaid's character and his family, and a 2010 ReunionShow, ''[[http://vacation.homeaway.com/ Hotel Hell Vacation]]'' wherein Clark and Ellen stay at a hotel that doesn't go in their favor.

A sequel/reboot to the original has been green lit and filming will begin next year. Ed Helms will star as an adult Rusty Griswold who takes his family on a crosscountry road trip. The film will be written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who previously did ''Film/HorribleBosses''.

The original, however, is still widely considered to be the best of the ''Vacation'' films, and continues to be a popular film and a staple on cable television channels. It also currently garners a 97% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes. A "Wally World Water Park" [[{{Defictionalization}} opened in Canada]] several years after the release of the movie.
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!!''Vacation'' provides examples of:

* AllForNothing: After all what they have went through in that torturous trip, they finally arrive at Walley World only to find [[spoiler:it closed for maintenance. Which proves to be [[RantInducingSlight the very last straw]] for Clark.]]
* TheAllegedCar: The Wagon Queen Family Truckster, a parody of the American sedans and wagons of the era. The "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" is built using the body and chassis of a 1983 Ford LTD Crown Victoria Country Squire station wagon, with numerous modifications (such as the dual quad headlights and extra fake wood paneling) to create the heavily "over-the-top," intentionally gaudy and ugly appearance.
** It even has what may be the [[UrExample earliest example]] of the "accidental airbag deployment" gag. [[OlderThanTheyThink in 1983]]! (The airbag which actually was offered on virtually zero models in 1983 [[note]]Possibly the only cars to offer an airbag was 2000 prototype 1976 Chevy Impala sedans, specially modified with the airbag and Oldsmobile dashboards[[/note]] was fashioned using a simple trash bag.)
** By the end of the trip, it's practically falling to bolts, having survived not only shoddy workmanship, but also vandalism and a fifty-foot [[RampJump jump]]. Some writers have pointed to this as a parody of AMC and Ford's reputation for quality and reliability at the time (whether deserved or not).
* AmusementPark: Wally World, the final destination of the Griswolds. And they say half the fun is just getting there?
* AnalogyBackfire: When Clark tries to justify his actions to Roy Walley:
--> '''Clark''': Can you imagine how your kids would have felt if when you got to Florida, it was closed?
--> '''Roy''': Oh, they don't close Florida.
* ArtisticLicenseCars [=/=] ArtisticLicenseLaw: The dealership where Clark buys the Wagon Queen Family Truckster has an on-site crusher, for some reason, and destroys a trade in that can easily be resold despite it being given to them for evaluation and having not yet purchased it (destruction of private property), ordered the wrong model and force Clark to buy it (bait and switch), [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and do not install the old plates on the new car]], or even a sticker signifying an application for new plates. Clark should have called the police when they crushed his car, but also would have been pulled over for driving without license plates as soon as he left the dealership.
* BlackComedy: [[spoiler:Everything related to Aunt Edna's death. Passing away in the backseat with the kids, getting wrapped up and strapped to the roof (in a sitting position no less), and finally being left on the patio of her son's home in the pouring rain. And Clark and the kids feeling more annoyance than grief about the whole matter.]]
* BumblingDad: Clark is the king of this trope.
* UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}: The Griswolds' home, and where their trek begins.
* ClusterFBomb: When the Griswolds have been through hell and Ellen suggests going home, Clark finally snaps and goes into one of these. It is... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GQSwMCHJNU epic]]..
* ContinuityNod: Clark wears Wally World tees and sweaters throughout ''European Vacation''.
* CorruptHick: The film features a scene where Chevy Chase is taken advantage of by a couple of hicks at a gas station, who barely fix his car, then take all of his money. Chevy asks them what their local sheriff thinks of their shady "business" dealings, leading the men to laugh, and one of them to pull out and display a sheriff's badge.
* DisproportionateRetribution: Clark pulls this off when arriving at Walley World, [[spoiler:by holding a man who works there at gunpoint, just because they closed it down for two weeks due to street cleaning]].
* DownOnTheFarm: Cousin Eddie and his family live on a farm in Kansas.
* FictionalCounterpart: Walley World, to the DisneyThemeParks.
** Also [[Ride/SixFlags Six Flags Magic Mountain]], where the ride sequences were filmed.
* HollywoodLaw: The HonestJohnsDealership where Clark buys the Family Truckster somehow gets away with crushing Clark's car ''before'' he traded it in for the Truckster, on top of forcing him to buy a model he didn't order ([[FridgeLogic it also begs the question of why they had an on-site crusher]]). They also drive across the country without license plates or even temporary tags, which would have gotten Clark pulled over as soon as he left the dealership.
** In the 4th film, the under-21 Rusty obtains a fake I.D. so he can gamble. It might slip pass the guards and pit bosses if he was interested in playing nickle slots, but then he starts winning cars, and then he has the cars sent to a random outskirt motel.
* HonestJohnsDealership: Clark procures the Family Truckster from one of these.
* ImprobableParkingSkills: Clark falls asleep at the wheel, the car wanders onto an exit ramp, careens toward a hotel, and Clark wakes up in time to scream and stomp the brakes. The car stops in a parking spot, and the luggage all tumbles off the top of the car to boot.
-->'''Clark''': "Well, we're here!"
* {{Jerkass}}: Aunt Edna who complains every chance she get as she travels with the family. [[spoiler: Thankfully she dies along the way.]]
** Also leads to a CrowningMomentOfAwesome from Beverly D'Angelo's character when she tells Aunt Edna to "sit down, and shut up."
** It also involved PlayingAgainstType; the actress who played Aunt Edna [[MeanCharacterNiceActor couldn't believe how mean she had to be]].
* LegCling: The original movie poster and home video covers, being a parody of classic Creator/FrankFrazetta ''ConanTheBarbarian'' illustrations (in fact, they were designed by Frazetta's fellow ''Conan'' illustrator Creator/BorisVallejo).
* LingerieScene: Christie Brinkley
* MagicalComputer: Clark plans out the trip on one. While the car avatar runs through the planned route, Rusty gets bored, picks up a joystick, and makes a [[LawyerFriendlyCameo Pac-Man kind of thing]] try to eat it. Clark takes evasive maneuvers with the car avatar. Audrey then defends the car from Rusty's attack by controlling some space alien shooter thing with another joystick.
* TheMountainsOfIllinois: The Griswolds visit relatives in Coolidge, Kansas, with mountains visible in some shots. While Coolidge '''is''' about 10 miles from the Colorado state line, you can't see mountains until you're about 100 to 125 miles inside Colorado at best. Most of eastern Colorado is about as flat and empty as you'll ever see.
** Also noticeable at the very beginning when they go to the car dealership in "Chicago." Some palm trees and distant mountains are visible in the background.
* MrAltDisney: Roy Walley.
* MsFanservice: Christie Brinkley.
** Beverly D'Angelo!
* NauseaDissonance: After the Griswolds discover their dog had peed on their sandwiches, everyone starts spitting their sandwich out except Aunt Edna, who just keeps eating.
* NegativeContinuity: The film series is built on this. Nothing that ever happens in previous films affects the later ones. Ever. And the films feel free to contradict each other. RuleOfFunny is in full play.
* RampJump: Clark has an unintentional one in the middle of the Arizona desert that pretty much destroys the Family Truckster, though that doesn't stop him from admiring his "work."
-->'''Clark''' (proudly, under his breath): "Fifty feet!"
* RoadMovie
* SanitySlippage: What happens to Clark when their trip proves to be AllForNothing.
** It started to slip when the family complains about the terrible experience they had so far and just wanna go home. He tells them they're all crazy and they're gonna continue and they'll have fun.
-->'''Rusty:''' ''(worried, puts his hand on his shoulder)'' Dad, are you okay?\\
'''Clark:''' DON'T TOUCH!!
* ShowerScene: Thank you, Beverly.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''LittleMissSunshine''
* TechnologyMarchesOn: Today, finding out if the park is closed would be as simple as checking its web page, and because of the prevalence of GPS, getting lost driving across the country would be much more difficult.
* ThirstyDesert: Clark wandering through Monument Valley.
* TwoPersonPoolParty: It's broken up before anything serious can happen, though.
** Clark actually gets ''two'' in the first movie. One with Christie and only a few minutes later, one with Beverly. Both are cut short because the water is too cold.
* WhatADrag: That poor dog. Sure, it was a nasty sandwich-pisser, but it didn't deserve ''that''.
** You can't help but wonder how it felt as it was dragged to death. Was it [[TearJerker wimpering in agony]]? Or [[AssholeVictim growling in vicious anger]].
* WhatTheHellHero: Ellen calls Clark out for the attitude in the car after they delivered Aunt Edna's body, and for the way he acted on the trip. Though, Clark is annoyed by her negativity and goes to a bar to cool off.
-->'''Ellen:''' Where are you going?\\
'''Clark:''' What do you care?!

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!!''European Vacation'' provides examples of:
* FurryFandom: The Griswolds wear pig suits on the game show.
* GameShow: The Griswolds win their trip to Europe on a game show called "Pig in a Poke."
* HeyItsThatGuy: [[Series/TheAddamsFamily Gomez Addams]] is a GameShow host.
* LeftItIn: Before the family leaves for their trip to Europe, Clark videotapes Ellen while she's taking a shower, who then tells him to delete it after he's finished. [[spoiler:The family gets their camera stolen by a thief while they're in France; when they arrive in Rome, Ellen then discovers that Clark did not delete the video of her in the shower at all, when she sees a poster advertising a movie that starred her. Apparently, the thief discovered the video after he stole the camera and advertised it as a movie.]]
* RecycledInSpace: The basic theme is the same, a family traveling together and experiencing every possible problem, setback, and trauma.
* RunningJoke: Or rather bicycling joke.
* ThemeParkVersion: Everything in Europe is exactly how you'd expect it to be, assuming you're an American who's never been there and who relies solely on NationalStereotypes.
* TheOtherDarrin: In the two years between ''Vacation'' and ''European Vacation'', Anthony Michael Hall had appeared in SixteenCandles, TheBreakfastClub, and WeirdScience, so he chose not to return as Rusty. The producers decided to just recast both kids. The kids would go on to be recast for every film, with little regard to age or personality. This would be eventually lampshaded in ''Vegas Vacation'' with Clark saying the kids are growing so fast he hardly recongnises them anymore.
** Then lampshaded further in an Old Navy holiday commercial campaign based on ''Christmas Vacation'', which features Chevy Chase and actors from different films who had played the same children.

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