After Ethan Miller (Gordon-Levitt)'s parents died on Christmas Eve, his two best friends, Issac (Rogen) and Chris (Mackie), decide to cheer him up by having a night on the town, full of drinking, drugs and partying. That night ends up becoming a Christmas tradition for them. However, 14 years later, Issac is now married and about to be a father and Chris is a famous football player, leaving Ethan to watch his friends move on without him. As a result, all three decide to celebrate one last Christmas together, and with Ethan scoring some tickets to a private and extravagant Christmas party, it will be an eventful one.
Not to be confused with the 1988 teen comedy of the same name starring Keanu Reeves.
- Affectionate Parody: Of Christmas movies.
- Bad Santa: Ethan runs into a couple of them, who are celebrating Santa Con.
- The Cameo: Tracy Morgan as the narrator and Santa Claus; plus Miley Cyrus and James Franco.
- Celebrity Paradox: While he's credited by his name, James Franco's character's last name is never mentioned. If he is indeed James Franco, then he doesn't notice that Issac looks exactly like Seth Rogen.
- Jerkass: Rebecca, who not only hates Christmas (like her hero), but loves to ruin other people's Christmases as well. Including Chris'.
- Karma Houdini / What Happened to the Mouse?: We never see Rebecca again after her final confrontation with Chris, nor is she even mentioned.
- The Grinch: Rebecca refers to herself as such, and her heroes include the Grinch himself and Hans Gruber.
- The Stoner: Issac, after being given a lot of different drugs by his wife, spends a good chunk of the movie being high as a kite....on every drug he has taken! Though, all three main characters can be considered this.
- There's also Mr. Green, the boys' drug dealer, the unseen host of the Nutcracker Ball and a guardian angel. Oh, and he knows Santa.
- Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Is Mr. Green really an angel and Santa's son or is he just really, really high?
- Meaningful Name: Mr. Green sells pot.
- Plot Coupon: The Nutcracker Ball, that Ethan has been searching for every Christmas for the better part of a decade, is referred to as the white whale of Christmas Parties. He finds three tickets at the beginning that the characters use to get into the party at the start of the third act.