Brad (Vince Vaughn) and Kate (Reese Witherspoon) are planning to spend Christmas in Fiji in order to escape their dysfunctional families, however, their vacation plans derail when their flight is delayed due to fog and they're forced to celebrate Christmas with their respective families with hilariously disastrous results.
Tropes associated with this movie:
- Back-to-Back Poster: The poster features protagonists Brad and Kate in this configuration, both tied together with ribbon, and Kate standing on presents to make up their considerable height difference.
- Babies Ever After: Kate gives birth to a baby girl on New Year's Day.
- Big Brother Bully: Brad's brothers tackle him and insult him for making more money than them and Kate's sister Courtney teases her about her childhood nickname "Cootie Kate".
- Bratty Half-Pint: Brad's nephews roughhouse and greet Brad by being rude towards him and only show appreciation after they get an XBox as a Christmas gift.
- Kate's niece Kasi takes Kate's pregnancy test, causing Kate to chase Kasi in a bouncy house.
- Call-Back: Kate's infant nephew spits up on her while she holds him, the same thing happens at the end of the film after Kate and Brad's baby is born, both times Brad becomes nauseous.
- Chaste Toons: Brad and Kate are this, with three nephews and two nieces between them until Kate gives birth to a daughter at the end of in the final scene.
- Christmas Episode
- Dinner and a Show: The film featured the protagonists being forced to suffer through four meals with four dysfunctional families they usually left the city to avoid over Christmas.
- Dysfunctional Family: TIMES FOUR, Kate's mother is dating a pastor, her sister Courtney has a new baby and is already pregnant again, Brad's mother is dating a younger man who also happens to be Brad's high school friend..
- Embarrassing First Name: It's revealed that Brad's real name is Orlando and his brothers reveal that they were named after they were conceived.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Kate's sister Courtney reveals that Kate was called "Cootie Kate".
- Experimented in College: This is intimated after Kate's sister tells Brad about the bullying Kate went through during their childhood."My husband and I tell each other all our embarrassing secrets. He knows I slept with the entire water polo team in college, just like I know he experimented with men."
- The Last of These Is Not Like the Others: Near the end of the movie. After three dysfunctional divorced parents and their siblings, they finally reach Kate's father, who revealed that he and his wife divorced because he was so committed to his job that he couldn't make the time. Also, unlike the other three parents; he is actually very remorseful of the decisions he made and regrets them daily. Surprisingly somber for a comedy movie.
- Never Trust a Trailer: The theatrical trailer made the film look like a It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World-esque race to visit four families in time despite a canceled flight when the actual premise of the movie is that they have to visit four families because of the canceled flight.
- Pregnancy Test Plot: Kate borrows one to see if she's pregnant which is implied to be negative.
- Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Twice, when Kate's nephew spits up on her and again when their newborn daughter does the same.