Film / A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

A Very Harold and Kumar 3D Christmas is the 2011 sequel to Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.

Two years have passed since Escape. Harold (John Cho) has married Maria and moved out of the apartment. Kumar (Kal Penn) is still living in the apartment, was expelled from medical school for failing a drug test, and broke up with Vanessa. When circumstances bring them back together, Kumar accidentally destroys a beloved Christmas tree belonging to Harold's father-in-law (Danny Trejo) and our heroes must frantically search for a replacement before he finds out.

Filming was delayed because Kal Penn took a leave of absence from Hollywood in 2009 for an indeterminate time to work for the Obama administration. In 2010 he left the administration so that work can begin on the third movie, in probably the first case of a public servant leaving to pursue acting in a stoner comedy and then allowed to return immediately after.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Adam Westing: In addition to Neil, David Burtka plays himself as a douchebag drug dealer with a wife and kids.
  • Aesop Amnesia: Harold didn't learn from the last movie to be less uptight; Kumar didn't learn to be more considerate of others.
  • Armoured Closet Gay: Inverted with NPH, who pretends to be gay only to trick women into taking their clothes off and getting "massages" from him.
  • Art Shift: The Claymation scene, one of the earliest stop-motion efforts from Laika.
  • Babies Ever After: Kumar finds out that Vanessa's pregnant early on; Maria & Harold are trying for a baby, and find out she's pregnant on Christmas Day.
  • Beard of Sorrow: Kumar grew one after Vanessa broke up with him. He shaves it off before visiting Harold.
  • Berserk Button: Don't tell Wafflebot that you prefer pancakes to waffles (or threaten his new friend Kumar); he will kick your ass.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Wafflebot.
  • Bowdlerise: The TV version dubs over all instances of "fucking" with "freaking"...but makes no effort to censor the references to drugs and sex scenes.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: NPH says goodbye to Harold and Kumar by saying "See you in the fourth one."
  • Call-Back: Kumar mentions "cockmeat sandwiches." They also have dinner at a White Castle. It goes much more smoothly this time.
  • Camera Abuse: The lens shatters during the car wreck.
  • Chekhov's Gift: Wafflebot from Neil.
  • Come with Me If You Want to Live: Harold's friend says this to Kumar's friend during the shootout at the party. They wind up being the only people in immediate mortal danger.
  • Continuity Nod: Kenneth Park, Class of 2004 reappears. There is also a flashback to the second movie when NPH gets shot.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: Maria's father had his mother killed by Koreans and is hostile when it comes to Harold. However, when Harold finally stands up to him, he states that he always knew that Harold was a good man and that he simply wanted his son-in-law to show some backbone to prove that he can protect his family.
  • Death Is Cheap: Or it is, according to NPH, when you cockblock Jesus.
  • Diagonal Billing: Penn and Cho in the closing credits.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: With Mary.
  • Enter Stage Window: Kumar climbs into Vanessa's room because he doesn't want to deal with her parents.
  • Fanservice Extra: The two topless girls keeping Jesus company.
  • Foreshadowing: The famous scene from A Christmas Story where the kid gets his tongue stuck to a pole.
  • Gag Penis: Kumar's during the claymation sequence.
  • Gosh Darn It to Heck!: Harold's coworker, although mostly because he has a baby in tow.
  • Happily Married: Harold and Maria.
  • Identical-Looking Asians: When Mr. Perez has his flashback to his mother getting killed by Korean thugs, they all are played by John Cho. Later, when Maria's niece mistakes another Asian man whom she sees from behind as her husband, Mr. Perez says "It's OK, baby, they all look alike to me too."
  • Killer Rabbit: Wafflebot.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Kenneth Park gives the audience a two gun finger salute while talking about the 3D of a TV he bought. Harold asks "What are you pointing at?"
  • Lighter and Softer: In spades. For one, the racial humor is drastically turned down and most of the hijinks are grounded in reality. Well, except the appearance of Santa.
  • Logo Joke: The Warner Bros./New Line Cinema and Mandate Pictures logos get seasonal variations (with the little drummer girl in the latter being in time to George S. Clinton's music!).
  • Magical Realism: A ping-pong ball with Harold's face on it, Santa Claus....
  • The Mafiya: The Ukrainian mobsters.
  • Manchild: Kumar, who hasn't matured a day since the first movie. Part of the plot is focused on him learning that he needs to grow up.
  • Meaningful Echo: "I don't have to, I want to."
  • The Millstone: Surprisingly not Kumar in this one. Harold shows symptoms of it because if it had just let Kumar smoke, the tree wouldn't be burned down, but Adrian is the one who almost gets the two killed and also gets them drugged.
  • Mushroom Samba: Harold and Kumar drink eggnog laced with something, and spend some time seeing everything in Claymation.
  • My Biological Clock Is Ticking: Maria certainly thinks so which is why she's been shown to pressure Harold during the entire film to impregnate her. She even tried to have sex with him in front of the house entrance even when Harold mentioned Maria's father would be arriving at any minute.
  • My Little Panzer: Wafflebot. A robot designed to make waffles for children can shoot maple syrup hot enough to burn through ropes and a guy's face with pinpoint accuracy. Harold lampshades this.
    "It's extraordinarily unsafe, but it did save our lives."
  • Naughty Nuns: While Kumar is explaining his plan to steal a tree during Christmas Mass, he envisions a shower room with naked (except for their veils) nuns making out.
  • One Crazy Night: The heroes accidentally wreck Harold's elaborate Christmas tree, which means they have to go out and get a new one on Christmas Eve. Cue another epic adventure which involves waffle-making robots, The Mafiya, beer pong, babies getting high on coke, an encounter with Santa Claus, and Neil Patrick Harris As Himself.
  • Pre-Ass-Kicking One-Liner: Wafflebot gives one right before attacking the Ukrainian mobsters:
    " They serve pancakes in Hell!"
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Carlos' Christmas tree.
  • Record Needle Scratch: In-universe with an actual record.
  • Replacement Goldfish: Harold and Kumar got replacement friends after their breakup. But Kumar's is a white Nerds Are Virgins stereotype, and Harold's is an uptight Gosh Darn It to Heck! white stereotype; they don't like them that much.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: In-universe, Kumar lost his job as a doctor after failing a drug test.
  • Serious Business: Christmas trees are serious business for Maria's dad, because when he was a kid his mother was killed in an alleyway (by Korean gangsters) while bringing home Christmas ornaments.
  • Sequel Hook: "See you in the fourth one."
  • Shout-Out: One of the protestors' signs reads "Eat the Rich"
  • Staggered Zoom: Onto Harold's doorknob when the doorbell rings, signaling the arrival of his scary father-in-law.
  • Take That Me: Early in the film, when an assistant presents Harold with a large flat screen 3DTV, Harold asks "Hasn't 3D Jumped the Shark by now?"
  • Third Is 3D
  • Those Two Bad Guys: The Ukrainian mob goons.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: Harold, but it's not his tongue. Also, Kumar is shown watching the infamous scene in A Christmas Story in his apartment.
  • Too Incompetent to Operate a Blanket: In the ads for Wafflebot a kid is jamming a fork into a plugged in toaster and a girl pours hot syrup on her hand.
  • Unflinching Walk: Sergei Katsov, after he blows up an ice cream truck.
  • Vertigo Effect: Kumar's buddy when he sees a picture on a bedroom table and realizes the girl he's about to have sex with is the daughter of a Ukranian crime lord.
  • Zany Scheme: Once Harold and Kumar fail to pick up a Christmas tree at a Christmas tree lot, every one of their attempts to get a replacement tree is one of these.