[[quoteright:320:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/white_christmas_picture.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:320:"And may all your Christmases be white"]]

->''[[TrueCompanions We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to go\\
As long as he wants to go opposite to the foe.\\
We'll follow the old man wherever he wants to stay\\
As long as he stays away from the battle fray.\\
Because we love him, we love him,\\
Especially when he keeps us on the ball.\\
And we'll tell the kiddies we answered duty's call\\
With the grandest son of a soldier of them all!]]''

Take Music/BingCrosby, Creator/DannyKaye, Creator/RosemaryClooney, Creator/VeraEllen mix in a bunch of Irving Berlin tunes, and throw in a light but solid plot to put them all together. That's more or less what this film is.

The two male leads play Bob Wallace and Phil Davis respectively, a mid-level entertainer and a nobody who meet up as they fight in WorldWarTwo in the same unit. In the wake of an at-the-front Christmas show thrown as a farewell to their respected leader, General Waverly, Phil saves Bob's life, taking a minor injury in the process.

Phil -- himself a wannabe entertainer -- uses both Bob's gratitude and his guilt over the injury to convince him to try a partnership after the war. Despite Bob's initial misgivings, the pair not only work, they become one of the biggest acts in the country, moving in ten years from club gigs to their own radio show and ultimately to writing and producing their own Broadway revue.

A few days before Christmas on tour in Florida with the show, they receive a letter from Benny Haynes, another soldier from their old army unit, asking them to look at his sisters' nightclub act. It later turns out one of the sisters faked the letter, and the other sister is shocked at the dishonesty. It works, though, and Wallace and Davis actually end up falling for the sisters (but not willing to admit it yet), and even follow them to their new gig in Vermont. There they see it's got a warm spell, and even though it's the beginning of winter it's 70 degrees and there's no snow in sight. The owner of the lodge hires them anyway, and he turns out to be the now-retired General Waverly.

Okay, that seems contrived, but that's not the point. Aside from the musical numbers, the film keeps a strong focus on both the growing relationships between the male and female leads, and just as strong a focus on how Waverly feels washed up after leaving the army, and how Wallace and Davis manage to lift his spirits on Christmas Eve.

The film may seem odd to some, especially how Danny Kaye's socially awkward character seems AmbiguouslyGay to some these days (he's more meant to be a big kid, as indicated by his voice cracking at awkward moments).

''For the trope about snow at Christmastime, see DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas.''
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!!This film includes examples of:
* AcidRefluxNightmare: Bob informs us that if you eat liverwurst sandwiches right before bed you will "dream of liverwurst." That doesn't sound very pleasant.
* ArcWords: "Let's just say we're doing it for an old pal from the Army."
** "Well, it's not a good reason, but it's a reason."
* {{Bowdlerization}}: Small in-universe example: the General has Bob skip a dirty word in a letter he's reading aloud.
* CaptainErsatz: Ed Harrison, who hosts [[Series/TheEdSullivanShow one of the most popular variety shows in the country]].
* CurseCutShort: Bob almost says a swear word in a letter, but Waverly tells him to skip that part.
* BirdsOfAFeather: Phil and Judy, Bob and Betty.
* DawsonCasting: 32-year-old Vera-Ellen as "Little Judy". (By contrast, ''older'' sister Betty was played by 25-year-old Rosemary Clooney.) Bing Crosby was 51 at the time the movie was filmed, although Bob Wallace is supposed to be at least a few years younger than that.
* DeadpanSnarker: Emma gets in some good zingers:
-->'''Waverly:''' I got along just fine in the Army without you.
-->'''Emma:''' It took fifteen thousand men to take my place!
* DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment: "If you're worried and you can't sleep/Just count your blessings instead of sheep/And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings."
* TheDitz: Doris Lenz, the "Mutual, I'm sure" girl.
* DramaticallyMissingThePoint: Bob thinks Betty is just being difficult, and not seeing that something is actually upsetting her.
* DramaticDrop: Bob drops his luggage and coat upon seeing General Waverly walk in and springs to a salute.
* DreamingOfAWhiteChristmas: Subverted, until the end.
** Also, this movie isn't the TropeNamer -- that was ''HolidayInn''.
* ExactEavesdropping: {{Subverted}}; [[spoiler:Emma Allen is distracted at [[ContrivedCoincidence exactly the]] '''[[ContrivedCoincidence wrong]]''' moment while listening in on a phone call, making her [[LockedOutOfTheLoop think Bob wants to make a fool out of the General.]] And then she tells [[OhCrap Betty]]... ]]
* AFatherToHisMen: Waverly, and one of the songs is basically about his men's admiration for him.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Watch the reunited soldiers during the tribute to General Waverly at the end -- there're lots of little bits of funny business. For instance, when he says "Ties will be worn in this area!", one fellow grins broadly and makes a point of very obviously adjusting his (already perfect) tie.
* GloryDays: Waverly tries to return to active service in the army, but they have no place for him.
* HappyHolidaysDress: Two stunning ones worn by the Haynes sisters at the end.
* HappyEnding: [[spoiler:Wallace and Davis put on a hit show, get the girls, and give General Waverly a wonderful Christmas.]]
* HaveAGayOldTime: When Judy enumerates her requirements for a suitable candidate to be her bogus fiance, she includes "handsome ... gay ... witty".
* HeadbuttingHeroes: Bob and Betty, but only for the first five minutes together, and later when they get crossed wires (see ExactEavesDropping).
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Wallace and Davis.
* HeyItsThatGuy: In one number, you can see future AcademyAward winner George Chakiris, who played Bernardo in ''Film/WestSideStory''.
** A grown-up Carl [[TheLittleRascals "Alfalfa"]] Switzer also makes an uncredited appearance in a photograph as Benny “The Dog-Faced Boy” Haynes.
** [[SisterAct Sister Mary Lazarus]] is the housekeeper at the inn that hired a sister act.
** Doris Lenz, the dim-witted blonde dancer with the annoying voice, is played by Barrie Chase, who would become one of Creator/FredAstaire's last regular dancing partners between 1958 and 1966.
* HeyLetsPutOnAShow: Large elaborate dance scenes took up a lot of the movie time.
* HistoryMarchesOn: Crosby at one point mentions that it would be "impossible to find a Democrat in Vermont". Back in the day, Vermont was a GOP stronghold. This isn't the case now, due to shifting cultures and party changes.
** Betty mentions that Benny is in Alaska, "out of the country." Alaska would be made a US state 5 years later.
* HollywoodNewEngland
* IGaveMyWord: Waverly will not break a contract with the Haynes sisters, even when it is financially beneficial to do so and the sisters don't mind it.
* IOweYouMyLife: {{Subverted}}; throughout the film we see Phil constantly reminding Bob of his "war wound", so he'll do what Phil wants -- i.e. form the double act, become producers, go to Vermont, etc. Granted, we wouldn't have a plot otherwise, but on the other hand you can sympathize with Bob when he vents about how manipulative Phil is being.
** "If someone is pulling you out from under a falling wall, just spit straight into his eyes."
* MayDecemberRomance: Both Bob-Betty and Phil-Judy. Bob is clearly in his forties in 1954, and while Phil could conceivably be as young as the late twenties it's far more likely he's in his middle thirties (as Danny Kaye himself was at the time movie was filmed), since he has spent ten years as a civilian after being a soldier in World War II. Meanwhile Betty is no more than 25, and Judy is even younger.
* MinstrelShows: The "Mandy" number is preceded by a brief, sanitized tribute to minstrel shows. There's no blackface makeup (thankfully!), and the only reference to racial content is veiled in a pun:
-->''Those colorful folks\\
With their riddles and jokes''
* {{Montage}}: Several, including a TimeCompressionMontage showing the progress of Wallace and Davis's joint career.
* {{Musical}}
* OnlyAFleshWound: Subverted. This is what Phil says after saving Bob. It really is just a flesh wound, but the former will never the let the latter forget it.
* OutOfContextEavesdropping: Nosy housekeeper Emma has a habit of eavesdropping on phone conversations. She hears Ed Harrison (an Ed Sullivan expy) planning to bring General Waverly on his show, and immediately hangs up her phone receiver to tell the LoveInterest... and misses the hero (Creator/BingCrosby as Bob Wallace) rejecting this scheme.
* PairTheSpares: Judy and Phil deliberately invoke this in order to get Betty and Bob back together. [[spoiler: It doesn't go quite as planned. [[DoubleSubversion But they all end up as couples anyway.]]]]
* PimpedOutDress / SimpleYetOpulent: Several fancy dresses. Of course there are the holiday dresses, but there are also the blue lace dresses in the "Sisters" number, the white lace dress with removable skirt in the "Mandy" number, and the black dress with flared hem and OperaGloves for "Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me".
* PrettyInMink: The dresses at the end are trimmed with white fox and come with matching muffs, and Judy's dress also has a [[PimpedOutCape fox-trimmed cape]] and [[NiceHat a fox hat]]. Then there are the fur wraps worn by all the wives and girlfriends of the soldiers showing up at the end.
* SelfPlagiarism: Not at all uncommon in an Irving Berlin film (as his contracts mandated no music but his own in them), but taken to new heights here. Besides the wholesale recycling of numbers originally seen in ''HolidayInn'' as parts of Wallace and Davis' stage show, there are quotes or entire songs from a handful of other Berlin films. Additionally, the verse melody from ''Holiday Inn''[='=]s "Happy Holidays" is re-purposed as the bridge of "Counting Your Blessings".
* ShesGotLegs: Vera Ellen was given outfits in the numbers "Choreography" and "Mandy" just to show off her dancing figure (similar to how Rosemary was given more songs to show off her voice). In [[http://38.media.tumblr.com/52b519bbc00cce7f9d0ef0c73ebfa7b9/tumblr_miwme7AjJr1s6zaeso8_1280.jpg a publicity picture for the movie, she wears the holiday dress without the underskirt]].
* ShipperOnDeck: Much of Phil and Judy's actions are pushing Bob and Betty together.
* ShowgirlSkirt: Judy wears a detachable one in the "Mandy" number.
* SoundtrackDissonance: [[TearJerker Singing "White Christmas" in the middle of a destroyed town during WWII to a group of sad soldiers]]. Singing the same song while it's snowing... that was accidental, since the number was planned when snow wasn't falling.
* TakeThat: The "Choreography" number is one big TakeThat against MarthaGraham and the Modern Dance movement.
* TheMenFirst: General Waverly, as Bob fondly remembers.
* ThrowItIn: Bob's speech about the effects of sandwiches on dreams was nearly completely improvised by Crosby.
** Bob and Phil's performing the girls' number was originally just Crosby and Kaye having some fun, but it turned out so well the director decided to work it in. Watch for Crosby trying valiantly not to [[{{Corpsing}} corpse]] in the middle of the act, particularly when Kaye smacks him in the face with a feathered fan.
* TitledAfterTheSong: Since the song "White Christmas" debuted in ''HolidayInn''
* TotallyRadical: Bob's a real hep cat. Pour yourself some cow, and let him tell you all about it.
** Much of Bob's odd lingo and slang was Bing Crosby's usual way of speaking applied to the script.
* UndisclosedFunds: Because "Wow!" doesn't need to adjust for inflation, and [[RuleOfFunny it's funnier than an actual number]].
--> '''Phil:''' H... How much is "wow"?\\
'''Bob:''' Somewhere between "ouch!" and "boing!".\\
'''Phil:''' ''Wow!''
* WakeUpMakeUp: Betty and Judy seem to go to bed with their hair still styled and wearing ''full make up''. That red lip stick isn't going to do any favors to your pillow, Betty.
* WeatherDissonance: The plot hinges on the fact that there's no snow. Vermont would normally be draped in snow by Christmas, but it's basically spring weather there. No snow means no business, and no business is bad for Waverly and the hotel that he sank everything into.
* WorldWarII: The movie opens there, and three of the main characters served. Plus, two of the remaining main characters are sisters of their old army buddy from the war.
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