Film: Ernest Saves Christmas

A 1988 film starring Jim Varney as his signature character, Ernest P. Worrell. In it, Ernest has to save Christmas by helping Santa Claus, who has been incarcerated after trying to track down a man who has been chosen to be the next Santa. It's up to Ernest to get Santa out of jail and get a hold of Joe, the man chosen to be the next Santa.

Tropes present:

  • '80s Hair: Harmony has this.
  • An Ass-Kicking Christmas: Joe is being forced to star in a movie that is essentially this, but it goes against his morals.
  • Bag of Holding: Santa's sack, of course.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Harmony's outfit.
  • Berserk Button: The director of "Christmas Slay" sure knows how to tick Santa off.
    "Terrorize children on Christmas?!"
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Santa punches the director of the sci-fi/horror movie Joe's up for in the face after learning how meanspirited it is, giving him a black eye.
  • Brick Joke: Early in the movie, Santa meets a man who wants to see snow on Christmas. Guess what's the first thing the new Santa does with his powers.
  • Curse Cut Short: "Die, you son of a...son of a..." Joe just can't swear. Especially in front of children.
  • Drives Like Crazy: Ernest getting his fare to the airport on time.
    • And again in the sleigh.
  • Face Cam: Just like in the Ernest P. Worrell commercials, the movie includes a brief scene from Vern's POV.
  • Friend to All Children: Joe Carruthers , which is why he's the perfect candidate to be Santa's replacement.
    • As well as the old Santa, as his Berserk Button indicates. This, more than anything else, is the trait a retiring Santa looks for when selecting a replacement.
  • How Can Santa Deliver All Those Toys?: Ernest gives an answer that's just plain Technobabble. For example, to visit houses without a chimney, Santa can turn himself into a gelatinous goo and sneak in through the water pipes. He also uses Fantastic Science to turn all the toys he needs into small spherical orbs of light that re-materialize upon removal from his sack.
  • Hyperspace Wardrobe: As with every Ernest movie.
  • Lady Mondegreen: In-universe—several people mishear Santa's name as "Santos."
  • Legacy Character: Santa is this. At some point, he must pass the torch to a new Santa before his powers fade away.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Harmony eventually comes to this realization after she steals Santa's magic toysack.
  • No Good Deed Goes Unpunished: Ernest declines to charge Santa for the taxi ride—and gets fired for it.
  • Overly Long Gag: "M." "V." "M." "V." "M." "V." "M." "V."
    • "Oh Christmas tree oh Christmas tree...oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree."
  • Power of Trust: Santa's respective belief in both Joe and Harmony ultimately pays off by the end.
  • Product Placement: Surprisingly averted, seeing as the film is set in Orlando. Although there was a scene filmed at Disney's Hollywood Studios, it was not portrayed as such.
  • The Runaway: Harmony, a teenage girl Ernest picks up while driving his taxi and who tags along for most of the movie.
  • Running Gag: Ernest can never remember Blitzen's name.
  • Santa Claus
  • Saving Christmas: See above.
  • Ship Tease: Between Santa (or, as he once again calls himself, "Seth Applegate") and the nice older lady he meets, Mary Morrison. They head off on what's apparently a date right before the movie ends, and we never see what becomes of it.
  • Shout-Out: To Star Wars when Ernest hits "Priority Delivery" mode on the sleigh and the sleigh suddenly accelerates within a light pattern much like the Millennium Falcon going into light speed.
    • Related to the above, one of the things Ernest shouts trying to get the reindeer to start flying is "May the Force be with you!"
    • And then the sleigh flies circles around the world, similar to Superman.
  • Smart Ball: Ernest picks it up when he suggests that Santa check his sack after they leave Harmony alone with it.
  • Space Is Noisy: Then again, it is Santa's sleigh.
  • Those Two Guys: Chuck and Bobby.
  • Totally Radical: A large part of Harmony's dialogue.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The checkin attendant at the airport hardly bats an eye when Santa gives his name and then the two elves later in the movie.
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: While posing as a snake rancher, Ernest ends up receiving a bunch of real snakes.