->"''This is no longer a vacation, 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 so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles!''"

A 1983 comedy film directed by Creator/HaroldRamis and starring Creator/ChevyChase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca, Randy Quaid, Dana Barron, and Anthony Michael Hall, with numerous others (such as Creator/JohnCandy, Creator/EugeneLevy, Creator/BrianDoyleMurray, veteran character actor Eddie Bracken, supermodel Christie Brinkley, and future ''Series/ThirtyRock'' regular Jane Krakowski) featured 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.

A series of {{sequel}}s followed:

* ''Film/NationalLampoonsEuropeanVacation'' (1985)
* ''Film/NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation'' (1989)
* ''Film/VegasVacation'' (1997)
* ''{{Film/Vacation}}'' (2015): A sequel/reboot to the original, Ed Helms stars as an adult Rusty Griswold who takes his family on a crosscountry road trip to Walley World. The film is written and directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein who previously did ''Film/HorribleBosses''.

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 "Walley World Water Park" [[{{Defictionalization}} opened in Canada]] several years after the release of the movie.

[[Characters/NationalLampoonsVacation Now has a Character Sheet]] that could use some WikiMagic.

!!''National Lampoon's 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 Malaise-Era broughamy American cars. 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]]They had been briefly offered on full-size GM sedans and coupes in the mid-70s; by all accounts, the pilot run of 2,000 Chevy Impalas for the Federal govt and other large fleet operators outnumber the production 1974-76 Buick, Olds and Cadillac models sold to the public with the option[[/note]] was fashioned using a simple trash bag.
** By the end of the trip, it's practically falling to pieces, having survived not only shoddy workmanship, but also vandalism and a 50-yard [[RampJump jump off an unfinished road]]. Some writers have pointed to this as a parody of the reputation for quality and reliability that AMC and Ford had at the time (whether deserved or not).
* AmusementPark: Walley 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.
* ArtisticLicenseLaw: The dealership where Clark buys the Wagon Queen Family Truckster has an on-site crusher, for some reason, and destroys a trade-in. Not only would a real car dealer ''keep'' the trade-it so they could resell it, but Clark had only given his car over for ''evaluation''; the dealership hadn't actually purchased Clark's car yet (destruction of private property). They also ordered the wrong model and force Clark to buy it (bait and switch), [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking and failed to 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.
* AxCrazy: [[spoiler:Clark when he finds out the trip was {{all for nothing}}]].
* BareYourMidriff: Christie Brinkley in her [[LingerieScene bra and panties]]
* 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.]]
** On that note, Rusty's FalseReassurance:
--> Relax, it'll be easy for Cousin Normie to find Aunt Edna. All he has to do is [[CirclingVultures look for the buzzards]].
* BumblingDad: Clark is the king of this trope.
* ButtMonkey: '''Clark'''. It wouldn't be a ''Vacation'' film without at least 5 bad/embarrassing things happening to him[[note]][[TheChewToy every sixty seconds]][[/note]].
* 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 Walley World tees and sweaters throughout ''European Vacation'', and he and Eddie drink eggnog from Walley World souvenir glasses in ''Christmas Vacation''.
* CorruptHick: After jumping the car off the road and damaging it badly, Clark 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, whereupon they both laugh and one of them flashes a sheriff's badge.
* {{Determinator}}: Clark will stop at nothing to get his family to Walley World. This trope slowly becomes his FatalFlaw and cause of his SanitySlippage over the course of the movie, and is carried over to the other movies in the ''Vacation'' series.
* 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.
* ExactWords: Trying to sell Clark on the Family Truckster, the car dealer tells him, "You think you hate it now, but wait 'til you ''drive'' it."
* FailedAttemptAtDrama: The Griswolds say their goodbyes to their friends and neighbors and are about to depart on their adventurous vacation... only for their luggage to fall off the roof of the car as soon as they pull out.
* FictionalCounterpart: Walley World, to the Ride/DisneyThemeParks.
** Also [[Ride/SixFlags Six Flags Magic Mountain]], where the ride sequences were filmed.
* FingerTwitchingRevival: A deleted scene shows Aunt Edna is still alive when they strap her to the car roof, then leave her at a relative's house. Somehow this was darker than leaving a corpse outside someone's house.
* 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.
** The cop who pulls the family over for accidentally dragging Dinky to death completely ignores the missing license plate.
* 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!"
* IncestIsRelative: Cousin Eddie and his daughter Vicki, according to her.
-->'''Vicki''': I'm going steady, and I French kiss.
-->'''Audrey''': So? Everybody does that.
-->'''Vicki''': Yeah, but Daddy says I'm the best at it.
* {{Irony}}: At the beginning of the film, Clark says that the reason he doesn't want to fly is because when you're on a plane, you can put headphones on and be in your own world, and thus not truly spending time with your family. When Clark and Ellen start (badly) singing various songs, Rusty and Audrey put on headphones in the backseat.
* {{Jerkass}}: Aunt Edna who complains every single chance she gets as she travels with the family. [[spoiler:Thankfully she dies along the way.]]
** Also leads to a CrowningMomentOfAwesome from Ellen when she tells Aunt Edna to "sit down, and shut up."
* KafkaKomedy: Clark's good intentions all lead to a never-ending streak of humiliating moments.
* LegCling: The original movie poster and home video covers, being a parody of classic Creator/FrankFrazetta ''Film/{{Conan the Barbarian|1982}}'' illustrations (in fact, they were designed by Frazetta's fellow ''Conan'' illustrator Creator/BorisVallejo).
* LingerieScene: Christie Brinkley has one.
* 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 too, who even does get naked!
* 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.
* NotAllowedToGrowUp: The Griswold children, at least until the 2015 relaunch. This makes Clark's line in the first film about how he'll wake up one day and they'll be grown up pretty funny.
* ParodiesOfFire: The ''Film/ChariotsOfFire'' theme starts up as the family runs towards Walley World.
* RageBreakingPoint: Clark does his best to keep a happy attitude, no matter what happens to the family, as he's sure that Wally World will make it all better. Then it turns out the park is closed for maintenance, and Clark finally snaps.
* 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 yards!"
* RoadTripPlot: 90% of the movie is devoted to the drive to Walley World.
* 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 that they're gonna continue until they arrive at Walley World.
-->'''Rusty:''' ''(worried, puts his hand on his shoulder)'' Dad, you want an aspirin or something?\\
'''Clark:''' DON'T TOUCH!!
* SettingUpdate: in the original short story the Griswolds lived in [[TheFifties 1958]] Grosse Pointe, Michigan; the movie transplants them to PresentDay [[TheEighties (at the time of production)]] UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}}.
* ShaggyDogStory: See AllForNothing above.
* ShamelessFanserviceGirl: Christie Brinkley.
* ShowerScene: Thank you, Beverly.
* SlidingScaleOfAdaptationModification: The film is a Type 4 (Near Identical Adaptation); it changes some names and gives the story a mostly-happy ending, but it sticks close to the original ''Vacation 58'' short story.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Film/LittleMissSunshine''
* 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.
* [[ViolentlyProtectiveGirlfriend Violently Protective Wife]]: Ellen telling Aunt Edna to "sit down and shut up" after she complains about Clark for the umpteenth time.
* 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?!