YMMV / Jingle All the Way

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The film series:

    Jingle All The Way 
  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Even though Arnold was the focus, just imagine the whole movie on Sinbad's POV? Then you have the movie about a down-on-his-luck father trying to buy a Turbo Man doll as his way to atone for not being a good father to his son. It would not only make the movie more interesting but put it into Black Comedy territory.
  • Ass Pull: The Turboman costume in the parade just so happening to have a fully functional jetpack (something not even NASA can perfect), which Howard uses to turn the tides in the climax.
  • Critical Research Failure: Karate Grading. During the Karate session, the boys are promoted from Yellow Belt to Purple Belt, which doesn't happen in Karate gradings of any style. In Goju Ryu, Karate Orange comes after yellow. In Shotokan, Karate Green comes after Yellow (and before purple). Students do graduate from yellow to purple belt in Tae Kwon Do, but since the movie explicitly states that it's a karate promotion, it's still incorrect.
  • Crosses the Line Twice: The fake bomb package Myron tricked the cops with actually exploding? Kinda funny. Myron pausing to look back, horrified it was actually a bomb, and cursing "this is a sick world we're living in!" Hilarious!
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: The heroic Turboman theme is actually pretty cool when played live during the parade.
    • Shame an album of David Newman's score wasn't released until years later.
  • Esoteric Happy Ending: What's to stop Howard from getting arrested? Especially from Ted, who has enough evidence to convict him for breaking into his own house and stealing his son's present. That aside, though, Howard quite clearly committed identity fraud getting into the parade, physically assaulted the other crew members, and endangered the public with his untrained use of the jetpack.
    • A minor one for Myron. Okay, he can give his kid the Turbo Man doll. Hurrah. The downside is that he might face prison time and will still be considered an absentee father. Oops.
  • Family-Unfriendly Aesop: Buying your kids toys they want, even if you have to go through hell, is the best way to show you love them.
    • Consider the fact that, after the end credits, Howard's wife was expecting him to get her something as well. Subtly hypocritical, much?
    • No way does the film criticize or provide meaningful commentary on how Howard and Myron are only going through hell to get the toy to make up for not being there for their kids the rest of the year.
    • How about Johnny's dialogue to Jamie that Ted was a deadbeat dad, too, until the divorce and suggesting that if Jaime's parents get divorced, it could make Howard a better father. It doesn't help that the film seems to want to agree with Johnny.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Store employees getting trampled by impatient customers, which occurs early in the film. It may have been funny at one time (due to being over-the-top), but people in real life have actually been killed from being trampled, so it's not as funny anymore.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • A bomb turns out to be in one package going through the mail. With today's terrorist-fearing society, that scene can come off as awkward.
    • A running gag in the film is how Booster is The Scrappy in the Turbo Man universe, at least as far as the fans are concerned. Jake Lloyd, who plays Jamie, would eventually be regarded as The Scrappy himself, to an even worse degree, after appearing as Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace.
    • Howard has an Imagine Spot of Jamie ending up cynical and embittered like Myron. Jamie's actor, Jake Lloyd, would later suffer similar feelings after his performance in The Phantom Menace.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: Howard almost giving the future Darth Vader the "I Am Your Father" speech.
  • Idiot Plot: The entire film happens because Howard forgot to buy Jaime the doll months ago and Liz, after telling him to do so, never thought to bring it up again until shortly before Christmas.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Myron. Despite his flaws, the audience can't help but feel kinda sorry for him, as it is implied that he lives a relatively crappy life—he works long hours to no reward or recognition, has no family, his wife cheated on him repeatedly and took custody of his son during their divorce, money is tight as a significant chunk of his income is sent to the aforementioned cheating wife for child support, and he seems to be generally treated unfairly by everybody in his life. So despite being an antagonistic character in the film, the viewer can't help but understand and empathize with his cynical attitude and animosity for the holidays, even though he can be a bit annoying for the way he jabbers too much about rhetoric.
    • The Motorcycle Cop also is on account of always falling victim to Howard and Myron.
    • Todd's son Johnny counts as one, since he's Innocently Insensitive and his father is spoiling him just to hit on other women.
  • Memetic Mutation: "Put dat cookie daughn! NAUGHH!" Thank Swede Mason for the mix.
    • Less memetically, "It's turbo time!"
  • Narm: Most of the son's lines, due to Jake Lloyd's wooden acting.
    • Also, Howard's wife gets a very narmy scene. The line itself is simply "damn you, Howard," but it really cannot be stated how terrible the delivery is.
    • Rita Wilson clearly shoving her head down after telling Howard how hard the toy will be to find, so the camera can zoom over her.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Martin Mull as the hapless radio DJ who gets assaulted by both Howard and Myron.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Jamie is 9-year-old Anakin Skywalker.
  • So Bad, It's Good: Don't take it too seriously, and you just might enjoy this one.
  • Strawman Has a Point: Admit it, some of Myron's views on the Christmas season and some of the points he makes on how the marketing divisions of toy companies stir up these major "crazes" for a new toy during the Christmas season for their own profit are rather valid.
    • Subverted by how he attributes him living a miserable life while his childhood neighbor went on to become a billionaire CEO is due to him getting the fad toy for Christmas during his childhood while Myron didn't.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: What could have been a biting social commentary about the ridiculousness of holiday toy searches, or at least just a plain funny family film, gets executed horribly.
  • Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The clichéd When You Coming Home, Dad? trope aside, Jaime acts like a spoiled brat to Howard at every turn, rebuffs his attempts to make amends, and only shows love for him when Howard plays to his materialism and promises him the Turboman doll. Jake Lloyd's terrible acting doesn't help win the kid sympathy, either.
  • Unintentionally Sympathetic: Myron. See Jerkass Woobie for further details.
  • The Woobie: Howard goes through absolute hell to get his son the toy he wants for Christmas, a plight every parent can sympathize with. When he finally gets the doll during the parade and picks it up in awe, then holds it up in triumph and cheers, you want to cheer with him.

    Jingle All The Way 2 
  • Sequelitis: Pretty much got this distinction no sooner than it was announced. The fact that it starred Larry the Cable Guy, already infamous for making a DTV sequel to the The Tooth Fairy, didn't help matters.