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Film / Jingle All the Way

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"Put that cookie down! NOW!"
Howard Langston

A 1996 Christmas-themed comedy film directed by Brian Levant and starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Jake Lloyd, Rita Wilson, Phil Hartman and Robert Conrad.

Workaholic mattress salesman Howard Langston (Schwarzenegger) is a constant disappointment to his son Jamie (Lloyd). After missing his son's karate belt ceremony yet again, to compensate for his own Bumbling Dad nature, Howard decides he is going to get Jamie the toy he really wants for Christmas: the Turbo Man action figure. Unfortunately, the Turbo Man action figure is the hot toy of the season and is in short supply, and Howard has waited until Christmas Eve before trying to find one. Subsequently, he finds himself competing with crazed mailman Myron Larabee (Sinbad) and massive crowds of other parents to get the same toy. What follows is a comedy of errors as both men race to get the toy.

This film features the last comedic role for Ah-nold, and one of the last for Sinbad. It was based on the holiday crazes for both Cabbage Patch Kids dolls and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers toys. Coincidentally, it also came out the same year the Tickle Me Elmo craze started.

A Direct to Video "sequel" was released in 2014, starring Larry the Cable Guy.

This movie features the following tropes:

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    First Movie 
  • 555: The number of the radio station.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Ted is this to Liz.
  • Accidental Truth: Myron bluffs some police officers by claiming the package he's holding contains a bomb. Turns out it actually does, but he didn't know that until it went off.
  • The Ace: Ted, as far as being a father and homemaker goes.
  • All Part of the Show: The climactic confrontation pits Howard as Turbo Man against Myron as Turbo Man's nemesis Dementor in a mock battle during the Christmas parade. The danger turns real as Howard's son Jamie gets involved, and ends up hanging by his fingers off the top of a building. Subverted by Howard's wife Liz, who realizes her son isn't supposed to be a part of this, and the cops who arrest Myron after the fact.
    • When Myron appears and makes a decidedly rude greeting to the audience, one of the newscasters turns to his partner and confusingly asks if that was in the script.
    • Since Myron was bound with cheap-looking rope instead of actual handcuffs, with his hands tied in front of him rather than behind, it suggests that he isn't really being arrested; Dementor's "capture" could have been the show's intended climax. His own Paper-Thin Disguise must have kept the officers from recognizing him as the mailman bomber, or else he would have gotten far more severe treatment, (though he does end up having half a dozen very real guns pointed at him).
  • All There in the Manual: The novelization by David Cody Weiss fleshes out the movie and includes several deleted scenes. It also expands on the Turbo Man prologue, in which his civilian alter-ego is a news anchor named Ed McGuire and that Dementor was trying to, in his own words, eliminate the Earth’s gravity.
  • Always Late: Howard is always late for his son Jamie's karate class due to spending too much time at work. Jamie starts to grow mad at Howard as a result.
  • Animals Hate Him: Howard rubs Ted's reindeer the wrong way and it tries to bite him when they first met. What's odd is that the reindeer never seemed to sense anything slimy about Ted.
  • An Aesop:
    • Don't do your Christmas shopping late. Always get your gifts early.
    • Family is more important than gifts.
  • Artistic License – Martial Arts: 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.
  • Ash Face: The Jerkass motorcycle cop after accidentally setting off Myron's mail-bomb.
  • Asians Eat Pets: Referenced when the Booster stuntman, wearing a heavy suit, complains that he's "sweating like a dog in a Chinese restaurant".
  • Authentication by Newspaper: After the Bad Santa who overheard Howard being desperate about getting a Turbo Man doll offers him one secretly, Howard instantly calls shenanigans because he can't possibly have one (Howard turns out to be right — the dolls are illegal knockoffs). The Santa's "elf" shows Howard a Polaroid of him holding a Turbo Man doll alongside that morning's newspaper (which has a front-page article about the doll's scarcity).
  • Badge Gag: Howard goes to a warehouse to get a Turbo Man action figure for his son for Christmas, but gets into a fight with an army of Mall Santas when he realizes he was sold an imitation product. When the police arrive, Howard picks up a toy badge and impersonates an undercover cop to avoid arrest.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: But in a good way. In the end, Myron ends up getting the Turbo Man action figure, but only because Jamie willingly gives it to him for his son. Jamie doesn't need the doll anymore because he already has the "real" Turbo Man at home, his father.
  • Bad Santa: The film depicts a large group of mall Santas in a large black market operation making counterfeit toys, including one whom is a ninja Santa wielding candy cane nunchucks, and even one who is Big Show.
  • Bavarian Fire Drill: Howard uses a toy police badge to pretend to be an undercover cop when the police raid the Santa Claus toy counterfeiting operation.
  • Big "NO!": The little Bad Santa shouts this when Big Show accidentally punches him during the Santa fight, sending him flying across the room.
  • Big "YES!": Howard, when he finally gets his hands on the Turbo Man action figure at the big parade.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Ted appears to be a nearly perfect man: a devoted single father who dotes on his son, a master at cooking and home repair and has a seemingly limitless supply of free time to devote to helping others. At first, Ted seems to be nice, well-meaning, and helpful enough, but despite all these traits, for most of the film, only Howard can see him for what he really is: a Smug Snake whose every move and thought is dedicated to seducing every woman he comes across, whether they're single or not. Never mind that it’s uncommon for him, secretly trying to start off as a semi-friendly (if slightly annoying and rather overly enthusiastic) neighbor with Howard, at least at first, only to then make him look and feel very jealous indeed, as well as his hidden enjoyment to (un)intentionally suck him up and rub him in for breaking promises and being late for things. But whether if he was making a fun out of it or not, either in a good way or in a bad way, there are some more possibilities of the acts in Ted that could easily be overlooked.
  • Bond One-Liner: "You started it."
  • Book Ends: The film opens and concludes with a battle between Turbo Man and the evil Dementor; at the start, it's between the actual characters in a Show Within a Show, and at the end, it's between Howard and Myron dressed as the characters.
  • Brick Joke: "Ta-ta, Turtle Man!"
  • Bumbling Dad: Howard, to an extent.
  • Butt-Monkey:
    • Sweet lord, Howard. This movie could be renamed "The Worst Christmas Eve Ever".
    • Myron gets his share of being one as well.
    • The Motorcycle Cop also is on a count of always falling victim to Howard and Myron.
    • Booster, the pink saber-toothed tiger accomplice of Turbo-Man, who is despised for being unnecessary to the show.
  • The Cameo: Yeardley Smith appears in an extended scene as a woman in a fur coat with the shopping bag that Howard thinks has the last Turbo Man sale in which he confronts and asks to buy it from who even offers to give him her phone number, however, when thinking that he has some kind of a crush on her.
  • Catchphrase: Several.
    • For Turbo Man: "It's turbo time!" and "You can always count on me!"
    • For Howard: "You're my number one customer!" when he's making calls at work. One of the things that cements (both to himself and to his wife) that her accusations of being a workaholic are true is when he accidentally says it as he's trying to calm her down.
  • Chair Reveal: How Howard was introduced.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Ted mentions early on in the film that, in a Crazy-Prepared move, he purchased the Turbo Man doll months in advance and it's currently under his tree. Howard, both out of desperation and being pissed at Ted, breaks in and tries to steal it during the third act.
    • Howard reminisces early on how he once made a treehouse for Jamie in the backyard (although his craftsmanship was pretty lacking, but Jamie loved it nevertheless). Once he's reached the Despair Event Horizon on the third act, Howard looks out the window and sees the treehouse and decides that he has to at least try one more time to look good in his son's eyes, and so he goes to the parade, setting up the climax.
    • When Howard tries to apologize to Jamie, he is making a drawing. Howard later sees the finished drawing at the clubhouse.
    • Jamie's karate lessons helps him defend against Myron in the climax.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: The KQRS DJ can be heard broadcasting in the morning just before Howard leaves to find a Turbo Man.
  • Coincidental Broadcast: Howard and Myron are in a diner lamenting their inability to find a Turbo Man doll when they overhear a radio show running a competition to win one.
  • Cool and Unusual Punishment: An odd Real Life application. Schwarzenegger has jokingly threatened to force the legislature of California to watch the film 13 times if they couldn't come up with a budget.
  • Cool Toy: The basis for the film is the full-on riots that are being triggered by parents rushing to purchase the Turbo Man doll. Inverted with the Booster doll, because he's such an example of an In-Universe Scrappy that nobody has purchased any.
  • Covers Always Lie: Some covers feature Howard wearing a Santa suit, which he never does in the film.
  • Curse Cut Short: Unusual variation: Howard says "That son of a..." at one point, but nothing actually prevents him from completing the epithet.
  • Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, and Nixon: The KQRS radio station holds a contest to name all eight of Santa's reindeer, and the first caller to give the correct answer will win a gift certificate for a Turbo Man action figure. While Howard Langston does know the answer and races to the radio station to say it (with Myron Larabee trying to stop him along the way), another caller answers "Randy", "Jermaine", and "Tito", which as the DJ points out, isn't even close.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Howard and the Department Store Santa (played by James Belushi).
  • Demand Overload: In-Universe. The type of toy popularity seen here is based on toys like Cabbage Patch Kids and Tickle Me Elmo becoming the hot toy in demand. Toy companies seek reactions like this.
  • Description Cut: Subverted. Liz tell Jamie that Howard won't be late; he's just working really hard. Cut to the mattress factory where Howard works, where a Christmas party is taking place... but then the camera pans to Howard, who is indeed working hard in his office. Missing his son's karate ceremony over working too hard is forgivable; missing it because he was at an office party would have been too unlikable.
  • Determinator: Howard goes to great lengths to find the Turbo Man.
  • Didn't See That Coming: At the parade, Ted tries to put the moves on Liz. She responds by punching him and drenching him in eggnog. He then says that that didn't go at all like he expected.
  • Disneyland Dad: Ted's son Johnny flat-out states that Ted was an equally absent father up until the divorce happened and then he started showering him with gifts and acting like a perfect father (and then he tells Jamie that it probably would be a good thing if his parents divorce, if that makes Howard do the same), implying that Ted is doing this on top of using his son as date-bait.
  • Double Entendre: A few of Ted's lines heard from off-screen are mild innuendos, made a lot more overt by Phil Hartman's masterfully slimy delivery.
    "Why don't we exchange recipes sometime?"
  • Easily Forgiven: Jamie shrugs off Myron putting his life at risk: "Hey, it's cool."
  • Epic Fail: When Howard arrives at the radio station, a caller is giving the names of Santa's reindeer as members of The Jackson 5. The DJ cuts him off and says he's "not even close."
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Ted's sole redeeming moment was his genuine outrage at Howard for trying to steal his son's present. This implies he genuinely cares about his kid.
  • Even Evil Has Standards:
    • Myron bluffs the cops with a fake mail-bomb, only to realize - when it goes off - that it was real after all, and that someone really was putting bombs in the mail.
    This is a sick world we're living in. Sick people!
    Ted: You can't bench press your way out of this one.
  • Everyone Has Standards: A few times.
    • Liz is initially thankful for Ted's attention to air her frustrations with Howard, but she draws the line at cheating on her husband. The moment Ted makes a move on her, she hits him in the face.
    • Myron when he really did leave a bomb by accident, he is mortified like Howard, claiming the world is extremely sick.
  • Exact Words: When Howard and Myron fight over who got to the radio station first with the right quiz answer:
    DJ: Excuse me! Gentlemen! Are you two under the impression that I have a Turbo Man doll here in the studio?
    Howard: Yeah.
    Myron: That's what you said on the radio!
    DJ: Oh, no, no no no no.
    Howard: Oh yes-
    DJ: NO NO NO. What I actually said was that whoever won would get a Turbo Man eventually. (chuckles) You see, what we have here... is a gift certificate.
    (Howard and Myron look pissed)
  • Expressive Mask: The costume used for Turbo Man's pink saber-tooth tiger Booster has a fully animatronic head with moving jaw, blinking eyes and twitching ears. It even gets used in the parade.
  • Expy: Turbo Man is a thinly disguised parody of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, of which there was a similar holiday toy craze in the early 1990s that inspired the film. The "Demon Team" of villainous henchmen even wear colour-coded outfits like the Power Rangers do.
  • Extremely Short Timespan: The film's events take place in just over 24 hours, from the early evening of December 23 to the late evening of December 24.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The movie begins with an extended sequence of the Turbo Man show Jamie is watching.
  • Family Man:
  • Fight Scene Failure. In-Universe. During the parade, Howard is overwhelmed by the Demon Team, with one of them asking if he even knows the choreography of the fight.
  • Flipping the Bird: Myron does the bras d'honneur to the parade audience when he's showered with boos arriving in the Dementor costume.
    Myron: (gestures to crowd) Ah, shut up!
    Parade commentator: (to his broadcast partner) Is that in the script?
  • Foreshadowing: The entire battle sequence from the Turbo Man show closely mirrors the climax of the film, right down to Turbo Man saving a little boy from falling.
  • Freudian Excuse: Myron has become a massive cynic and Jerkass concerning the holidays because not only did he have a pretty bad home life growing up, but his wife cheated on him and left him, taking custody of his only son with her. Because of this, he's grown desperate to give his son a good Christmas and is willing to go to insane lengths to do it.
  • Going Postal: Myron is definitely implied to be the type. He even exploits it during the scene when he threatens people with a (alleged, then unknown to him real) bomb package by painting himself as even more borderline insane that he really is.
  • Greater Need Than Mine: In the end, Howard manages to get Jamie the Turboman doll through a lot of Contrived Coincidence, but upon seeing all the trouble Myron went for it despite putting him in danger, Jamie gives him the doll to give to his son. When Howard questions why, he answers "What do I need the doll for? I got the real Turbo Man at home!"
    • None of the characters mention this, presumeably because it would undermine the message, but assuming Howard still has the coupon from the radio show, Jamie will likely still get the toy "eventually".
  • Groin Attack: Jamie does this to Myron who is dressed as Turbo Man's archnemesis Dementor.
  • Heel Realization: Howard has one just as he is about to steal the Turbo Man doll that Ted plans to give to his son.
  • Hello Again, Officer: One of the best examples of this trope, ever. Getting pulled over by a cop, then accidentally running over the cop's motorcycle, spilling his coffee...then there's the bus, and a bomb, and well...
    Officer: You just can't stay out of trouble, can you?
  • Here We Go Again!: In The Stinger after Howard gives Jamie everything he wanted, Liz asks him what he got her, and he has another Oh, Crap! look on his face over forgetting to get something again.
  • Hero Stage Show: Howard's quest to find a Turbo Man doll for his son culminates in him accidentally being cast as Turbo Man (with a fully functional costume including jetpack) at a Christmas parade. Unfortunately, crazed postal worker Myron invades the show as Turbo Man's nemesis, Dementor, leading to a slapstick battle.
  • Heroic Rematch: Howard and Myron battling for a Turbo Man toy meant to be a giveaway at the Christmas Parade, dressed as Turbo Man and Dementor.
    • Howard facing off against Ted's reindeer when he breaks into Ted's house to steal the Turbo Man doll he bought for his son.
  • Homage: The gag of Myron smiling at multiple police officers pointing guns at him while he's on the ground was taken from Trading Places, another Christmas movie.
  • Hope Spot: Howard and Myron learn that a toy store has received a late shipment of Turbo Man dolls. Unfortunately, it quickly devolves into a riot.
  • How About a Smile?: After the two store employees laugh derisively at Howard and Myron asking if they have any Turbo Man figures in stock, Howard grabs the two and menacingly asks, "Where's your Christmas spirit?!" The two employees flash a nervous smile, and Howard says, "That's better!" and sets them down.
  • Hummer Dinger: Howard drives a GMC Suburban that doesn't see any use beyond that of a normal car.
  • Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball: The raffle ball scene in the mall.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • All of Howard's problems in the movie are the result of him waiting until Christmas Eve before trying to acquire the Turbo Man doll. Even if it hadn't been the most-wanted toy of the season, that would still have been a very dumb, careless thing to do.
    • Liz is pretty bad with this as she not only gave Howard the task of buying the doll in the first place, but then waited until the last second to confirm if he did. Knowing Howard was a workaholic even before Christmas, it's pretty baffling that Liz would've given him the responsibility and then waited just before Christmas to double check if he did what she wanted.
  • I Will Show You X!: "I'm gonna deck your halls, bub!"
  • Impersonating an Officer: See Bavarian Fire Drill above.
  • Indecisive Parody: This movie can't seem to decide whether it's a heartwarming Christmas flick or a satire of holiday consumerism.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Ted's son Johnny when he suggests Jamie's parents getting a divorce might be a good thing.
  • Intentional Engrish for Funny: The bootleg Turbo Man doll's "Es el tiempo del Hombre de Turbo!" translates to "This is the time of the Turbo Man!", much wordier than "It's Turbo Time!"
  • Jerkass:
    • Ted to the Slimeball max.
    • Myron, the crazy postman who battles Howard for a Turbo Man.
    • The Motorcycle Cop, though not to the extent of the other guys. He's hard on Howard, but has every right to be upset at him for his constant mishaps.
    • The two toy store employees who mock Howard and Myron over not already knowing that they're sold out of Turbo Man dolls.
    • The con men Santa Clauses at the warehouse, but most of all the leader, played by James Belushi.
  • Jerkass Has a Point: Ted is a closet pervert, but he has every right to be mad when he finds Howard breaking into his house and stealing his son's present. When Ted tells him off, an ashamed Howard can't really defend himself. Again, as much as Ted would often rub it in, he's able to show Howard how much he really is a failure.
  • Jet Pack: The Turbo Man costume that Howard wears at the parade comes with a jetpack — no, not a prop one, a real working jetpack. He wildly zips around the city the first time he activates it, but eventually he gets the hang of it.
  • Large Ham: Sinbad seems to take great delight in shouting his every line.
    • James Belushi goes to town with mocking Howard as a chicken and then shouting “dog pile!!!” when him and the other sleazy Santas jump on Howard.
    • In-universe; Howard, trying to make amends for missing Jamie's belt ceremony, remarks how cool it looks and does a bad Bruce Lee impression.
  • Last-Second Joke Problem: Howard spends Christmas Eve trying to get his son Jamie a Turbo Man doll. In The Stinger, his wife Linda asked him what he got for her on Christmas. This causes Howard to realize that he forgot to give Linda a gift.
  • The Mall: In one scene, Howard seeks the toy at Mall of America.
  • Mall Santa: Howard meets a whole gaggle of them in a factory. One of them is Big Show.
  • MacGuffin: The TurboMan action figure.
  • Mirror Character:
    • Howard and Myron are both very similar in their goals and motivations. The difference is that, while Howard's still got a pretty good life, Myron had a fairly difficult life and has become a cynic because of it.
    • Same can be said about Myron and Jamie, as they both don't like being disappointed by the parental figures in their life. Howard even has an Imagine Spot, picturing Jamie as Myron. The image of an under-ten Jake Lloyd drinking booze from the bottle is really darkly funny.
      "Jamie": Here's to you, Dad.
  • Missed the Recital: Howard tries to rush to his son's karate graduation ceremony (from Yellow to Purple belt) after work in a desperate attempt to avert Daddy Didn't Show. After he tries to bypass a traffic jam by driving on the shoulder of the highway, he's stopped by a cop, and all the delays cause him to miss the tournament - which, let's be honest, he was probably going to miss anyway.
  • Mistaken for Pedophile: Howard chases a little girl who has a raffle ball that bounced away from the store. When he finally catches up with her and wants to trade balls, he is repeatedly hit by numerous mothers' purses and called "pervert".
    Howard: I'm not a pervert! I was just looking for Turbo Man doll!
  • Moral Event Horizon: Discussed In-Universe and ultimately defied. At the beginning of the film, Ted smugly tells Howard about how he bought his son a Turboman months earlier, before the surge in demand. Stressed out and empty-handed after spending the whole day driving to every toy store in town, Howard disgruntedly breaks into Ted's house to steal his. However, right as he's about to leave with the Turboman in hand, Howard decides that he can't bring himself to steal from a kid on Christmas, and turns around to put the toy back.
    Howard: What am I doing? Stealing from a kid? I can't do're going back.
  • Motor Mouth: Myron rants A LOT.
  • Nobody Calls Me "Chicken"!: When the crooked Mall Santa prepares to fight, Howard says he's not going to hit a Santa Claus, to which the crooked Santa asks if he's chicken, and proceeds to dance around saying "Chick chick chick chick" and then flapping his arms saying "Bawk bawk bawk bawk!" Howard then snaps and assaults the Santa with his own fake beard.
  • Non-Fatal Explosions: The bomb didn't badly hurt any of the police officers, including the one who was holding it when it blows up, who gets no more than an Ash Face, and appears at the parade a few hours later with only bandages on his hands.
  • Oh, Crap!: Howard, twice. First finding out at the last moment that the Turbo Man dolls are most likely sold out, and second in the very end after managing to fulfill Jamie's Christmas wish, when he finds out that he didn't get anything for Liz.
    • Also Ted when he finds his son Johnny watching the entire spectacle that Howard and Myron put on for the doll and seeing that Howard is dressed up as Turboman. Knowing that Liz just exposed him as a creep and that she's probably going to tell Howard. What does he do? He drags himself and Johnny out of dodge as fast as possible to avoid retaliation from Howard.
    • The KQRS DJ has one when Howard arrives at his studio yelling that he has the answer and demanding to be let in. He quickly calls the police.
      DJ: (into phone) Yeah, I got a madman in my studio and, uh-
      (Howard kicks the door open so hard the window pane shatters)
      DJ: HELP ME!!!
  • "Oh, Crap!" Smile: After Myron, disguised as Dementor falls safely on a huge wrapped gift prop and triumphantly proclaims he's gotten the Turbo Man doll, he finds himself surrounded by multiple cops pointing their guns at him, to which Myron can only reply with a nervous grin.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Howard's Turbo Man mask consists of a transparent yellow visor, yet neither his son nor his wife recognize him until he takes off the helmet. Moreover, they should easily recognize his voice, but they don't.
    • His voice is said to be modulated to sound more like Turbo Man's real actor - although his accent is still pretty unmistakable, and the modulation is pretty minor.
    • Earlier in the film, when the mall Santa's black market counterfeit toy operation is raided by police while Howard is there, he prevents himself from being arrested by holding up a toy police badge and claiming that he is an undercover cop. The police chief overseeing the raid buys it and lets Howard go.
  • Pet the Dog: While Ted is normally a smug jerk, he does seem genuinely enraged at Howard for trying to steal his son's present.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • During the parade, if you have a good ear, you can make out one of the kids attacking Booster calling him a "fag".
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: A few.
    • "I'm gonna deck your halls, bub!"
    • "Hey, Myron! I've got a special delivery for you!"
    • "You just can't stay out of trouble, can you?"
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: "You've picked the wrong day". Despite the name of the trope, this is a non-fatal example. Nobody dies in this movie.
  • Prized Possession Giveaway: Howard butts heads with Myron because they're both looking for a Turbo Man action figure for their respective sons, and being the year's hottest toy, the action figure has been completely sold out. When Howard is dressed up as Turbo Man (he was mistaken for the actor after he went back stage to hide from the cops) he is given a special edition figure to give away at the Christmas parade he gives it to his son, Jamie. However, Myron ties down the actor portraying the villain and chases Jamie to get the Turbo Man toy. After Howard saves Jamie's life, the latter gives Myron the figure saying that he already has "a real-life Turbo Man" (his father) at home.
  • Psychopathic Manchild: Myron, pushed way beyond the brink trying to get that Turbo Man doll.
  • Punched Across the Room: During the Santa fight, Big Show prepares to sock Howard in the face, but Howard ducks at the last second and the little Santa wrestling on his head gets sent flying across the room, complete with Big "NO!".
    Big Show: Little buddy!
  • Punny Name: The name of the weatherman emceeing for the Wintertainment Parade is "Gale Force".
  • Rage Breaking Point:
    • When Howard finally attacks this cardboard Turbo Man model in a store, after having spent a long time in so many stores trying to find one for his son with no luck. He first punches it, and it hits him on the back of the head as he turns around, causing him to get even more irate enough to grab it and tear it to shreds.
    • Over this entire Turbo Man issue, Howard also finally loses it with his son, Jamie over the phone at one point when Jamie quotes something Turbo Man said, failing to realize that Jamie is well unaware of what hell he has been through that whole day with what he has been all over trying to find him. From his censuring tirade, he also ends up hitting Jamie's Rage Breaking Point because of the way we see Jamie respond right back to him before slamming the phone on him, even though Howard tries to apologize just after. All leading to Howard having much regret.
    • Liz is pretty annoyed with the crap she's had to put up during the day and Howard constantly disappointing everybody... then Ted finally showcases himself as the perverted freak he really is and tries to make a definite move on her while they look for a parking spot at the parade. She hits him with a mug of eggnog (which he had given her before) and storms out of his car.
  • Real-Place Background: The film takes place in the city of Minneapolis, Minnesota, with scenes taking place at various local landmarks, such as the Mall of America and Lake Minnetonka, and Howard's flight as Turbo Man careens all over the downtown Minneapolis skyline.
  • Re-Cut: There's an extended edition of the movie, although aside from the novelty of seeing unused footage inserted into the movie, it's the inferior version, as none of the new scenes offer anything all that worthwhile and it slows the pacing down. Plus, they moved some music tracks around. It also places The Stinger before the credits.
  • Retail Riot: More than one fight breaks out over the Turbo Man dolls.
  • Rocket Punch: The evil Dementor has the ability to launch his robot fist and retract it. Myron uses this to his advantage when he dresses as the villain.
  • The Scrappy: An in-universe one with Booster, Turbo Man's sidekick. It's a Running Gag that every store Howard and Myron go to is sold out of Turbo Man figures, but has a large stock of Booster figures. During the climax, Myron-dressed-as-Dementor snaps to the guy in the Booster costume "nobody likes you, Booster!" and knocks him off the parade float, and the kids surround him and start beating on him yelling about how much they hate him.
  • Serious Business: Howard gets very pissed when Ted starts indulging in his cookies.
    Howard: Who told you you could eat my cookies? ... PUT THAT COOKIE DOWN! NOW!!!
  • Show Within a Show: The sentaiesque Turbo Man.
  • Sleeps with Everyone but You: Myron's ex-wife, apparently.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: This is what the battle between Howard and Myron for a Turboman is partially depicted as. This trope is most prominently displayed when Howard and Myron run to their cars upon the tip that a store in the Mall of America has received a new shipment of Turboman dolls: Howard runs to his shiny new GMC Suburban with a car alarm, while Myron squirms his way into his banged-up Jeep CJ that barely runs.
  • Smug Snake: The Langstons' neighbor Ted, emphasis on "Smug". He loves getting under Howard's skin and clearly has a thing for Liz, so much so that he attempts to seduce her when the two are alone. She responds by smacking him with a canteen of eggnog.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: Played for laughs when Howard and Myron are at the toy store in the Mall of America, and are fighting with other last-minute shoppers for the winning lottery ball. The soundtrack plays "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year" during this.
    • The extended cut can be this for those who have only seen the original theatrical cut; in the montage of Howard checking tons of stores for Turbo Man, the theatrical cut is accompanied by a fast-paced remix of "Jingle Bells" by the Brian Setzer Orchestra, while the extended cut has the more melancholy "Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire" instead.
  • Spinning Clock Hands: A clock is shown rapidly advancing while Howard searches for a Turbo Man all morning.
  • The Stinger: Howard realizes that he didn't get Liz a present.
  • Straight Man: Howard
  • Stylistic Suck: The Turbo Man TV show.
  • Sweet and Sour Grapes: Jamie finally gets the action figure, but ultimately decides to relinquish it to Myron so he has something to give his son for Christmas; the best gift Jamie got was getting to actually live Turbo Man with Howard.
  • Take That!: What little is seen of the Turbo Man show and the overall hatred people have of Booster seems to indicate he's a declaration of hatred against useless sidekick characters shoved into TV shows for no other reason than to appeal to kids, sell merchandise, and act as obnoxious comic relief. Given no one wants the Booster dolls available and a group of kids openly attack the Booster actor at the parade, you can see tell the writers are not fond of this mindset at all.
  • Television Geography: KQRS is not located in downtown Minneapolis, but Golden Valley instead.note  Additionally, Mickey's Diner is located in downtown St. Paul, not Minneapolis. What this basically means is that Howard pushed his broken-down van for upwards of ten miles.
    • Averted with the call signs of the radio stations: since the Twin Cities straddle the Mississippi, some of their stations begin with a K and others with a W.note 
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: In the end, Howard finally manages to get Jamie a Turbo Man action figure after all he's been through. When they see Myron get taken away by the cops, Jamie gets compassionate and decides to give him the toy instead so Myron can give it to his son, Jamie's reasoning being that he doesn't really need a Turbo Man doll when his own Dad is Turbo Man.
  • Title Drop: Inverted. The title comes, of course, from "Jingle Bells," which occurs twice in the movie.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Ted had a fire in his fireplace going during the several hours that he was at Howard's house. One of the first rules of fire safety is to never leave a fire unattended.
  • Truth in Television: At the same time that the film was in theaters (the 1996 Christmas season), there was a massive craze for the Tickle Me Elmo doll. There were numerous reported incidents of crazed parents in massive crowds trampling and fighting each other to buy the doll as a Christmas gift for their kids, in scenes not too different than the films' depictions of massive crowds of parents vying for Turbo Man dolls. Additionally, the film depicts a toy store clerk getting trampled as a crowd makes their way into the store after they first open; On December 14, 1996, a Canadian Wal-Mart employee was trampled and severely injured after a crowd spotted him handling a box of Tickle Me Elmo dolls.
    • Also, the Power Rangers toys, which Turbo Man parodies. At the time the Power Rangers series began, no one had ever seen anything like it, and there was a general consensus that it would fail miserably. As a result, most of the major retailers didn't bother with much of the merchandise, which was bought up by smaller, independent retailers instead. Hence, when the show became a hit, stores were woefully understocked, leading to a huge craze during the holidays. To this day, the incident appears in marketing textbooks to illustrate issues of supply and demand.
  • Tragic Villain: Myron - his behavior and descent into madness is a direct result of being cuckolded by his wife, lacking a meaningful relationship with his own father, and letting down his son one too many times as Howard did.
  • The Unreveal: In-Universe. At the parade, after Howard as Turbo Man picks Jamie as the lucky winner of a Turbo Man action figure, when Jamie asks how he knew his name, Howard begins, "Well, Jamie, you see... I'm your fa-" only for Myron as Dementor to interrupt him by leaping down onto the float.
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Liz, who gave Howard the task of getting the Turbo Man doll and then waited until Christmas was a couple of days away to confirm whether or not he bought the doll like she asked. With the strong implication Howard's workaholic tendencies were a problem even before that Christmas, Liz should've known better than asking and only made the situation worse by waiting until the last second to check if Howard did what she wanted. It's not even mentioned if there was some specific reason why Liz couldn't have gotten the doll herself.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: When Howard gets caught in the banner while using Turbo Man's jetpack, he gets nauseated due to rapidly spinning in circles, though the only indication of this the viewer is shown is Howard's cheeks bulging out.
  • "Well Done, Dad!" Guy: Howard is constantly afraid of disappointing his son, and tries his best to be a good father.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: Howard, who clearly cares for his son but can't always show it because he's working so often.
  • World of Jerkass: There are few, if any, characters who are particularly nice in the movie. Summarized best by Honest Trailers:
"It's a Wonderful Life proved that everyone has value. Home Alone showed everyone why we shouldn't take family for granted. But one holiday film will teach us Christmas turns everyone into an asshole."
  • You Are Too Late: Howard shouts this at Myron when he tells the names of Santa's reindeer to the radio station manager and Myron arrives just seconds later.

    Jingle All The Way 2 
  • An Aesop: The child's well-being and happiness are more important than petty feuding between parental figures.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Larry has one at one point where a toy clerk tries to sell him Harrison Bears dressed like Victor and him.
  • Children Are Innocent: Noel doesn't want the popular toy for Christmas that so many others do; she just wants her whole family (father, mother, and stepfather) together.
  • Did Not Think This Through: Victor, Noel's stepfather, buys up all the Harrison bears just to make sure Noel gets one for Christmas, not realizing that this will deprive most of the town's residence of getting one too. Larry calls him out on it when he finds out what's going on and naturally when the town finds out, it royally backfires. It's only thanks to Larry and giving everyone a bear at the end does he make up for his mistake.
  • First Father Wins: While Larry thinks he's in a losing battle with a rich provider, Victor thinks he'll always come in second to Noel's fun-loving dad. It takes until the end of the movie for them to realize that she loves both of them equally.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Larry learns this the hard way when he tries to ask two elderly women where they brought their Harrison bear. They assume he's trying to buy/steal it from them and promptly Groin Attack him.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Both Larry and Victor assume their daughter Noel wants a Harrison Bear for Christmas based on her letter to Santa. Turns out she wanted her whole family to spend time together. They just couldn't read her messy hand writing.
  • The Resenter: Larry resents Victor for being a rich executive that could buy Noel anything she wants several times over, thus being the provider he never will be. Conversely, Victor resents Larry for working part-time, which means significantly less stress and being able to do activities with Noel at a moment's notice.
  • Second Place Is for Winners: Subverted in this case. Larry enters a mechanical bull riding competition along with other fathers assuming the Harrison Bear was first prize. He wins (through cheating) only to find out that the bear was a second place prize.
  • Slobs Versus Snobs: Sorta a theme in this one. Larry is the "slob" working minimum wage part time jobs and enjoying things like ice fishing while Victor is considered the "snob", being a rich and living lavishly. Though both are nice people and just want to make their daughter happy.
  • Wounded Gazelle Gambit: A kid pulls this on Larry to get him to take pity on him and hand over the bear. When he tries to get it back, they wind up running in front of a crowd of people who assume Larry is trying to steal it from him.

You can always count on me!