Audrey: He worked really hard, Grandma. Art: So do washing machines.
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) is the third installment in the National Lampoon's Vacation film series.Clark Griswold has decided to host nearly his entire extended family at his house for the holiday season, including his parents, his in-laws, his senile old Aunt Bethany and, eventually, possibly-inbred cousin-in-law Eddie. As can be expected, everything goes horribly wrong in the most hilarious way possible.A perennial Christmas classic, the film received mixed positive critical reception, earning a solid 63% on Rotten Tomatoes. It is also notable for being the only one of the Vacation series to take place at the Griswold home.In 2003, a Made-for-TV sequel entitled National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure was released, which featured Cousin Eddie as the main protagonist, making it more of a Spin-Off than a sequel.
"We're going to have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas tropes ever":
Bumbling Dad: Clark is a prime example of this trope. He's well-meaning, and he's intelligent enough to have a well-paying white collar job, but every time he tries to create the perfect Christmas for his family some sort of disaster happens.
Butt Monkey: The Griswolds' next door neighbors, Todd and Margo. But they are both shallow, smug, self-absorbed yuppies so it's hard to feel sorry for them.
Clark Griswold is plenty of times to himself.
Clark's family are to an extent for what from him they have to put up with.
Chekhov's Gun: Cousin Eddie's act of emptying out his RV's toilet into the Griswold's sewer is foreshadowed to have disastrous results... and thats exactly what happens in the last act of the film.
Chicago: The Griswolds live somewhere in the Chicago suburbs, and one scene takes place at Marshall Field's (now Macy's) on State Street in the Loop.
Cigarette of Anxiety: Ellen begins smoking while having a minor anxiety attack in the kitchen due to the stress of her parents and Clarke's parents staying in their house. Lampshaded when her mother somehow instantly knows that she's smoking, from the other room, the instant she lights up.
Everything's Nuttier With Squirrels: Clark brings a Christmas tree into the house, which turns out to house a live squirrel. Hilariously, the entire scene is played out almost like something out of a horror movie.
Fantasy Sequence: "Mele Kalikimaka is the thing to say, on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day…"
Floorboard Failure: A justified variant when Clark is trapped in the attic. He deliberately steps between the rafters rather than on them, so his weight is supported only by sheetrock which, unsurprisingly, eventually gives in.
The Grinch/The Scrooge: Clark's boss, who suspends his Christmas bonus in lieu of a membership to a Jelly-of-the-Month club. Notably, however, this one has a wife, who vocally expresses disgust at his miserliness once she learns what he's done.
Heel Realization/Heel-Face Turn: Happens to Mr. Shirley after Clark gives him a "The Reason You Suck" Speech for canceling employee Christmas bonuses without telling them. Not only does this convince Mr. Shirley to reinstate the Christmas bonuses, but he tells Clark to add 20% to whatever he made last year (causing Clark to faint in disbelief).
Clark: Ahh... hey! If any of you are looking for any last-minute gift ideas for me, I have one. I'd like Frank Shirley, my boss, right here tonight. I want him brought from his happy holiday slumber over there on Melody Lane with all the other rich people. And I want him brought right here, with a big ribbon on his head, and I want to look him straight in the eye and I want to tell him what a cheap, lying, no-good, rotten, four-flushing, low-life, snake-licking, dirt-eating, inbred, overstuffed, ignorant, blood-sucking, dog-kissing, brainless, dickless, hopeless, heartless, fat-ass, bug-eyed, stiff-legged, spotty-lipped, worm-headed sack of monkey shit he is! HALLELUJAH, and HOLY SHIT! Where's the Tylenol?
"The Reason You Suck" Speech: Clark gives one to his boss, Mr. Shirley, for canceling Christmas bonuses and not even having the decency to tell his employees.
Rhetorical Request Blunder: Clark reacts to the news that he received a subscription to a Jelly-of-the-Month Club in lieu of a Christmas Bonus from his boss by ranting that he wished the boss was right there so he could chew him out. His cousin-in-law promptly jumps into his RV and kidnaps said boss.
That Poor Cat: Aunt Bethany's kitty electrocutes itself chewing on a Christmas light cord.
The Unfavorite: Oddly enough, Ellen's father is shown to be much more approving of Cousin Eddie (the unemployed idiot who has his family living in an RV) than of Clark (who has provided Ellen with an upper-middle class lifestyle).
Women Are Wiser: Ellen is about the only normal and consistently level-headed person in the family.
X-Ray Sparks: Happens when Santa Claus gets electrocuted by the lights in the animated opening credits.
Yandere: Clark gets like this in the last act. Subverted, however in that he is a mostly nice person — he gets better pretty quickly when he finally gets a break.