->''It's the least wonderful time of the year!''
--->-- '''Jen''', ''WesternAnimation/{{Sixteen}}'', "Deck the Mall"

Holidays are a time of happiness, togetherness, and fun, right? Wrong! They are an awful time of the year that drains your money, time, and patience.

Whether it be because you are trying to make everything perfect for the family, or family just came to you to ruin your day, to braving the long, savage lines in stores and still not getting the perfect gift, to just never having the time to rest, the difficulty of keeping things in control as the chaos of the holidays approach makes you think they'd be more aptly named "Hellidays". Often, to add insult to injury, freak weather or other [[DiabolusExMachina acts of "God"]] will compound the hardship.

This could also be reminiscence, a frequent subversion of the supposedly joyful holiday atmosphere, when characters reflect on how [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin crappy their holidays]] are. While Christmas is, naturally, the most common venue for this trope, [[UsefulNotes/ThanksgivingDay Thanksgiving]] is also a frequent target in the US. This may be because the latter brings families together but is also completely secular, which is perfect for the mood to be ruined by some argument between people who don't share the same beliefs, someone coming out of the closet, etc.

It is this whenever a certain holiday causes, directly or indirectly, conflict. Can be TruthInTelevision.

Related (often extreme) tropes are TwistedChristmas, SoaplandChristmas (a subtrope specifying both Christmas and SoapOpera), and HorrorDoesntSettleForSimpleTuesday, all for unusually sinister experiences. See also TheGrinch for characters who openly hate Christmas in particular, and AntiChristmasSong for an entire musical genre built around the Yuletide form of this.

For the other definition of "holiday", compare BusmansHoliday or HorribleCampingTrip.

* A memorable issue of TheFlash had Wally West suffering a horrible Christmas that had him missing his own party due to being delayed capturing some criminals and then to top it all off discover he's being sued.
* Every year in ''ComicStrip/{{Retail}}'', the Grumbel's employees dread the "holiday" season, as that is when the stupidest customers come to the store in the largest numbers, and corporate doesn't help by insisting on better results than are possible. A RunningGag also has [[PointyHairedBoss Stuart]], who practically worships corporate, try to think of ways to make other holidays (e.g. Easter) Christmas, to boost sales; these plans are alternately dreaded and laughed at by all.

* There's a Target commercial wherein a cheerful hausfrau type is decorating cakes, and describing how much she looks forward to the Black Friday sale, and then she goes on to describe her other holiday preparations, culminating in declaring, "I haven't slept for THREE DAYS!" (cue [[LaughingMad insane laughter]])

* The basic plot of ''NationalLampoonsChristmasVacation''. Then things get ''really'' ugly.
* ''Home for the Holidays'' has Holly Hunter going home to spend Thanksgiving with her dysfunctional family. After getting fired from her job.
* ''Film/OneMagicChristmas'' begins with the heroine's husband out of work and out of money with their house about to be foreclosed on. Then it goes FromBadToWorse when her husband gets killed in a bank robbery that goes bad, her children get kidnapped, [[DeusAngstMachina and she is told that they drowned in a car that fell into a frozen river]]. All this is meant to teach her AnAesop about being content with what you have. Somewhat averted though, since when [[DeusExMachina things magically get put right at the end]] (by SantaClaus no less!), it's considered a happy ending.
* The film ''{{Krampus}}'' coming December of 2015 has this spark the plot of the family being attacked by the titular monster.

* There's a scene in ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' where the wizards at Unseen University start thinking back on all the things that bug them about [[YouMeanXmas Hogswatch]], including disappointing presents, family feuds cropping up, and flaming rows over board games.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'' short story "Harry's Day Off" features more things going wrong in Harry's life than a regular novel does.
* Lori's husband Bill expresses this sentiment at the beginning of ''[[AuntDimity Aunt Dimity's Christmas]]''. He points out that he's had to attend fifteen parties in ten days, as well as multiple crowded shopping trips and an expedition the woods for greenery and a tree—and Christmas is still two weeks away.
* ''Literature/HowTheGrinchStoleChristmas''. The main character hates Christmas so much he decides to ruin it for everyone else. [[spoiler:He failed, and in that failure he finds the true meaning of the holiday.]]
* Creator/RobertBenchley's essay "[[http://grammar.about.com/od/classicessays/a/benchchristmas.htm Christmas in the Afternoon (Done in the Manner, If Not the Spirit, of Dickens)]]" is a fine example of the trope.
* ''Literature/OneNationUnderJupiter'': Diagoras' run-in with his parents during the feast of Parentalia doesn't go well.

* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': Almost without fail, the team is working straight through whatever holiday comes up, usually at Gibbs' insistence. Topped by the time that Ziva and Gibbs were [[spoiler: trapped in a gas station, during a blizzard, on Christmas Eve/Christmas Morning, hunted by mercenaries, outnumbered, and ''delivering a freaking baby.'']]
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': The main characters were ''not'' happy to be trapped in the lab in quarantine over Christmas.
* ''Series/{{The Closer}}'': They get dragged into working through work more than once. Special props for Raydor, who's only still at work because a little brat pulled a see-through PoliceBrutalityGambit.
* Any holiday episode of ''Series/MalcolmInTheMiddle'', pretty much without fail.
** Ditto for ''TheMiddle''.
* Most holiday episodes of ''Series/SabrinaTheTeenageWitch'' involve some kind of holiday-specific disaster occuring. Sabrina spent most major holidays fixing the holiday related problems she had created. Notable examples include taking over delivery of Christmas presents after injuring Santa Claus, trying to prevent Christmas from being erased as a holiday, rounding up a bunch of monsters she'd recruited for a Halloween party, and dealing with a bunch of zombies she had inadvertantly summoned to Westbridge.
* Tommy Solomon, ''Series/ThirdRockFromTheSun'', about their first Thanksgiving on Earth:
-->Sorry I left like that. I found out something pretty cool. You know how you try to make this a special day, but all the resentment I have for you came spewing out and we ended up spending the whole day avoiding each other? It's ''normal''.
* Thanksgiving is a frequent target of ''Series/{{Friends}}'' episodes, including one in which they all shared their worst Thanksgiving memories. Some of these include losing body parts. Chandler in particular hates Thanksgiving because they remind him of his divorced parents and how they screwed up his childhood. It gets so bad that they have to prepare non-Thanksgiving food for him.
* In ''Series/DoctorWho'', Christmas had become so notorious for bad things happening - invasions, killer robot santas and so on - that London was eventually evacuated beforehand (save for the queen). Good thing too, because the Titanic was almost dropped from orbit onto the city.
** From the viewer's perspective, most of the Christmas specials are pretty grim, in general, even if they do have sillier premises than the usual episode. The grimmest of the lot would likely tie between ''Voyage of the Damned'' and ''The End of Time Part 1'', with the most comic being ''The Next Doctor'' ([[HumongousMecha GIANT]] ''[[SteamPunk STEAMPUNK]]'' [[RuleOfCool CYBERMAN]]).
*** ''The Runaway Bride'', although a lighthearted romp with a [[LargeHam stupidly hammy]] villain, is considered one of the darkest episodes because it shows the Doctor [[AntiHero going over the edge]].
* Christmas and [[NewYearHasCome New Year]] are particularly bad holidays for Amaka Okoh in ''{{Tinsel}}''. When she's not being held hostage by a lunatic, she's in jail for murder.
** Angela Dede doesn't fare any better.
* ''Series/AdamTwelve'' had an episode where the officers were trying to help a poor family by getting them some Christmas gifts after theirs were stolen-only to have the gifts stolen when the car they were in was swiped. There's also a drunk driving incident.
* The Bundy family from ''Series/MarriedWithChildren'' goes on a two-episode vacation to [[MeaningfulName Dumpwater]], Florida. Not only do the weather and the motel suck, [[BreadEggsMilkSquick there's also an axe murderer about]].
** Later they go to Lower Uncton, England. The locals try to murder them this time around as well.
** Don't forget the "It's a Horrible Life" episode, where Al discovers everyone he knows would have been a lot better off if he'd never been born (but he decides he wants his life back because he can't stand to see them all so happy without him!)
* ''Series/TheMaryTylerMooreShow'' has an episode where Mary gets stuck working (alone, no less) on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
** Another episode has the whole WJM gang SnowedIn at the studio and trying to feign holiday cheer at a dinner prepared for Sue Ann's already-taped Christmas special.
* ''Series/TheBobNewhartShow'' Christmas episodes tended to feature this. Which makes sense; the main character is a [[TheShrink psychologist]], after all, so it only stands to reason that the holidays would be (as one such episode's title puts it) "His Busiest Season".
* ''Series/{{Seinfeld}}'': George's father made up a holiday of his own, Festivus, specifically to be this.
* Poor HerculePoirot can't even ''celebrate Christmas'' without having to solve a murder mystery ("Hercule Poirot's Christmas"). His friend and confidante, Inspector Japp, spends the holiday with his family, which he ''dreads''.
* On ''The Tonight Show,'' the Mighty Carson Art Players performed a send-up of bright and family-oriented Christmas specials. Everyone was downright miserable and dysfunctional, except for Johnny Carson's character.
-->'''Husband:''' Christmas sucks!\\
'''Wife:''' Aw, shut up and drink your eggnog!\\
'''Husband:''' This eggnog sucks!
* ''Series/LondonsBurning'': Like most firefighters, Station Officer Tate is ''not'' a fan of Guy Fawkes Night.

* TheArrogantWorms song 'The Christmas Song'. And some of the other songs on their 'Christmas Turkey' CD, which is basically a collection of [[AntiChristmasSong AntiChristmasSongs]].
* The song [[http://www.stlyrics.com/songs/b/bobrivers10338/12painsofchristmas335547.html "The 12 Pains Of Christmas"]]
* "Holidays in the Sun" by The Music/SexPistols, from ''Music/NeverMindTheBollocksHeresTheSexPistols'' - "A cheap holiday in other people's misery."
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dg0oDYhdfSw Thanksgiving]]", by Loudon Wainwright III.

* Referenced a few times in ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'' The description of the spiced rum item reads "The stench of it reminds you of traffic, crowded stores, and fighting with your family. Oh, I mean, the smell of it reminds you of the holidays. [[BlatantLies In a good way.]]" Not to mention every year since 2005 it seems [[SavingChristmas adventurers have to bail Uncle Crimbo out of whatever mess he's gotten into]].

* ''Website/{{Cracked}}'''s [[http://www.cracked.com/article_20092_5-everyday-things-that-can-literally-drive-you-crazy_p2.html 5 Everyday Things That Can Literally Drive You Crazy]] links seasonal affective disorder in part to "three straight months of Christmas music."
** A RunningGag in several articles is the racist uncle who gets sloshed and starts spouting his opinions about everything wrong with the country these days.
* [[Website/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses "It's the Holiday Clusterfuck, Holiday Clusterfuck / Citizens gathered together to run amok...]]

[[AC: WesternAnimation]]
* On one episode of ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'', both Helga and Arnold complain on how their families ruin the Thanksgiving Day, and decide to leave their homes and go to Mr. Simmons' house expecting him to have a perfect celebration, it turned out his Thanksgiving Day was even worse.
* Averted in ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', in which Christmas in FireAndBrimstoneHell is actually really enjoyable.
* Ironically subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' ChristmasEpisode. Given Dr. Doofenshmirtz's AffablyEvil nature and his history of [[HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood sadistically tragicomic and consistently crappy childhood experiences]], everyone expects him to hate Christmas. It turns out he honestly has no problem with it and was one of the few times in his childhood that "was always fine. It wasn't great but it wasn't terrible either."
** Turns out that he hates every other holiday, too. ''Every one'', including Flag Day and Mardi Gras. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FggbppZZi8U Explained in song!]]
* Ironically, one of the most beloved {{Christmas Special}}s, ''ACharlieBrownChristmas'', is mostly about how the main character is depressed during the holidays. "I know everyone doesn't like me. Why do we have to have a holiday season to emphasize it?"
* In the first ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' Christmas special, Lois is constantly bombarded by one disaster after another. She takes them all in stride until, when trying to clean up after coming home, she freaks out after [[RantInducingSlight being told that they're out of paper towels]] (they actually weren't).
* The Nickelodeon ''WesternAnimation/{{Doug}}'' Christmas episode, "Doug's Christmas Story". Right near Christmas, Porkchop bites Beebe's leg (In order to get her away from thin ice when they were ice skating), injuring her. So Bill Bluff begins pressing charges against Porkchop for injuring his daughter, and he's taken to the pound, with a possible chance of being put to sleep. Interestingly, [[WhamEpisode it's the darkest episode of the Nickelodeon series]].
* [[WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom The Fenton family]] has a long history of these, most as a result of Jack and Maddie's ongoing argument over the existence of Santa Claus. Highlights include Danny getting peed on by a dog as a baby and the Christmas turkey getting possessed. To top it all off, the special where we find this out involves a giant killer nutcracker, [[WhenTreesAttack evil Christmas trees]], and [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking compulsive rhyming]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'' episode "Magic Takes a Holiday", it seems June might get a short vacation due to Edipan, a week-long holiday where all supernatural beings are supposed to take the week off. As fate would have it, however, she has to deal with a grouchy frost giant who doesn't observe Edipan (and he really doesn't like Labor Day much either).
* A ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' Christmas special had him looking forward to a quiet holiday with his family, ruined when he has a meltdown over it becoming a big impromptu free-for-all party. Donkey later reassures him that this kind of tension is standard holiday fare, telling him "Like my momma always said, 'It ain't Christmas 'till somebody cries!'"
And God damn us, every one!