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Film / A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas

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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.

Six years have passed since the two escaped G-Bay. Harold (John Cho) has married Maria, went on to become a wealthy Wall Street businessman and moved out of the apartment into a decent two-story house. Kumar (Kal Penn) is still living in the apartment, was expelled from medical school for failing a drug test, unemployed and single after breaking up with Vanessa (Danneel Ackles). 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 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.

Although it is the final Harold and Kumar movie, the creators expressed their intent to ship off an animated TV series adaptation to [adult swim], but it never materialized. John Cho stated that he's working on getting a 4th Harold and Kumar movie made.

This movie contains examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: A brief exchange in the elevator before a party references actor Kal Penn working for the White House Office of Public Liaison in 2009.
    Adrian: Also, I told her you work for the White House.
    Kumar: Right, like anyone's gonna believe that.
  • 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.
  • Armored 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.
  • Babies Make Everything Better: Even R-rated stoner comedies.
  • 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.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Goldstein has since converted to Christianity and makes some antisemitic remarks.
  • Bowdlerise: The TV version dubs over all instances of "fucking" with "freaking".
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: NPH says goodbye to Harold and Kumar by saying "See you in the fourth one."
  • The Bus Came Back: Kenneth Park returns from the first movie.
  • Call-Back:
    • Kumar mentions "cockmeat sandwiches."
    • Empty burger containers from White Castle can be seen in Kumar's apartment. 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: Adrian says this to Todd during the shootout at the party. They wind up being the only people in immediate mortal danger.
  • Converting for Love: Goldstein converted to Christianity when he married his wife between the second and third movies.
  • 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.
  • Egging: Harold runs into unemployed protesters who are decrying Wall Street.
  • 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. And Maria becomes pregnant in the end.
  • 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!).
  • Mafia Princess: Mary is the daughter of the most feared mobster in New York meaning she's been unable to get laid despite being beautiful. When Adrian gets cold feet, she tries to rape Harold and Kumar. Her father assumes they attacked her.
  • The Mafiya: The Ukrainian mobsters.
  • Magical Realism: A ping-pong ball with Harold's face on it, Santa Claus....
  • 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.
      Kumar: I love kids.
      Vanessa: That's because you are a kid.
    • Todd, who is such a cowardly man-baby that even his baby daughter Ava acts more mentally grown-up than him.
  • 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 he'd 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:
    Harold: It's extraordinarily unsafe, but it did save our lives.
  • N-Word Privileges: Played with. Goldstein makes some antisemitic remarks. He's Jewish, though he converted to Christianity some time between the second and third movies. Rosenberg and Harold are weirded out but don't say anything.
  • 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.
  • Never My Fault: As Vanessa complains to Kumar for becoming a poor loser without any money (he blew it all on more marijuana), Kumar blames marijuana itself for their relationship falling apart and his dire financial situation. Vanessa retorts Kumar was simply being irresponsible and lazy.
  • 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.
  • Pedophile Priest: When they try to steal a tree from a church, Kumar proposes distracting the priests with a pillow fight in the altar boys' room.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: Wafflebot gives one right before attacking the Ukrainian mobsters:
    " They serve pancakes in Hell!"
  • Priceless Ming Vase: Carlos' Christmas tree.
  • Racial Face Blindness: Parodied. 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."
  • Record Needle Scratch: In-universe with an actual record.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: The Wafflebot's eyes turn red when in attack mode against gangsters while rescuing Harold and Kumar.
  • 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.
  • Right Way/Wrong Way Pair: Harold and Kumar respectively. Harold's become a successful businessman working at Wall Street, married his girlfriend Maria and moved into a comfortable house. Kumar is unemployed, has been dumped by Vanessa for being useless and lazy, and still lives in the apartment he once shared with Harold (which the audience might not have recognized now that Kumar literally treats the whole room like a trash can).
  • Robo Cam: The viewer briefly sees Wafflebot's operations through its point of view. The crosshair is in the shape of a waffle.
  • Role-Ending Misdemeanor: In-universe, Kumar lost his job as a doctor after failing a drug test. In the end, Vanessa convinces him to return to medical practice by using her own urine for the next drug test.
  • The Scapegoat: Harold has become one for Wall Street as dozens of homeless New Yorkers blame Wall Street for their unemployment on Christmas.
  • Self-Deprecation: 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?"
  • 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"
  • The Smurfette Principle: The film's only main female character is Ava, Todd's 2 year old daughter, as Maria and Vanessa have minor to cameo roles respectively.
  • Staggered Zoom: Onto Harold's doorknob when the doorbell rings, signaling the arrival of his scary father-in-law.
  • Third Is 3D
  • 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.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The Wafflebot commercial is filled with children getting badly burned and electrocuted from using conventional methods to make waffles.
  • 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.