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Funny / A Christmas Story

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  • The Santa Claus. Even by the usual standards of mall Santas in films, he hates his job so much that he makes zero effort to appear friendly to the kids, unleashing the most aggressive "HOOOO! HOOOO! HOOOO!" imaginable.
    • "And what's YOUR name, little BOY?!"
    • A weird kid in the mall wearing a pair of aviator goggles claims to love Santa... only to start screaming his head off once he is put on Santa's lap.
      • His interactions with Ralphie are also hilarious: he says some weird non-sequitor and then just keeps extended, awkward eye contact with Ralphie with a creepy grin before eventually turning away again without another word, never dropping that dopey smile.
      • Everything about Ralphie's body language just screams discomfort when he turns toward him again.
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    • Ralphie finally remembers what he wanted to ask Santa for, complete with his big cheesy grin after he says it. Santa's reply? "You'll shoot your eye out, kid!" The grin then drops fully from Ralphie's face. Even the soundtrack expresses its disappointment.
    • Santa then pushes Ralphie down the slide with his foot as Ralphie shouts an unforgettable Big "NO!".
  • Ralphie's brutal beat down of Scut Farkus is both this and a Moment of Awesome. There's something inherently amusing and satisfying about Scut's shrieking and Mortimer Snerd-like bawling while Ralphie beats the hell out of his face.
    • "Did you hear what Ralphie said?" According to Peter Billingsley, all of the Angrish during the scuffle was directly scripted by Jean Shepherd. In the DVD Commentary he reveals he still has it all memorized and casually recites his favorite phrase from it.
    • In the stage show, adult Ralph remarks that he saw Scut years later at a school reunion. "He tried to sell me life insurance."
    • Mom tries to put Randy's arms down but they keep popping back up and tells him "Well, put your arms down when you get to school!"
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    • "My kid brother looked like a tick about to pop."
    • Randy waddling to school in his snow outfit and how he continually falls down.
      "I can't get up! I CAN'T GET UP!"
    • "Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense."
    • Mom wrapping Randy's face with his scarf to muffle his whining.
  • Ralphie as he receives the pink bunny pajamas for Christmas: "Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl." There's also Randy laughing at Ralphie while he's wearing the pink bunny pajamas and Ralphie mumbling at him, "Shut up."
    The Old Man: He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny!
    Mrs. Parker: He does not!
    The Old Man: He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!
  • Ralphie drops an F-bomb in front of his father.
    Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn't say fudge. It was the word! The big one! The queen mother of dirty words! The "F dash dash dash" word!
    The Old Man: What did you say?
    Ralphie: [mutters incoherently]
    The Old Man: That's what I thought you said...
    Ralphie as Adult: It was all over... I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Huh. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.
    • The punishment in question: having his mouth washed out with soap. Pretty funny especially due to the fact that it's basically a Gilligan Cut to Ralphie just calmly sitting there, with a neutral expression and a big red piece of plastic in his mouth (until '...Lifebuoy on the other hand...yecch!')
      Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap. My personal preference was for Lux, but I found Palmolive had a nice, piquant after-dinner flavor - heady, but with just a touch of mellow smoothness. (Long pause.) Lifebuoy, on the other hand...
      Ralphie: YECCHH!
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    • When asked where he learned the word, Ralphie panics and names Schwartz (rather than the true culprit, his old man), leading to a hilarious phone conversation between Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Schwartz. It's even funnier because Mrs. Schwartz correctly guessed where he got that word from.
      [Mrs. Parker covers the mouthpiece to whisper the word Ralphie said]
      Mrs. Schwartz: NO, NOT THAT!!!
      Mrs. Parker: Do you know where he heard that word?
      Mrs. Schwartz: Probably from his father!
      Mrs. Parker: NO! He heard it from your son!
      Mrs. Schwartz: [practically squawking] WHAT?!? WHAT?!?!
    • Followed by Mrs. Schwartz practically BEATING her son within an inch of his life... which Ralphie's mom can still hear over the phone. Followed by Ralphie's mom nervously hanging up the phone as Schwartz continues to scream.
    • After sending Ralphie to bed following his punishment, Mrs. Parker gives in to curiosity and she sticks the soap in her own mouth... and immediately spits it out in disgust.
    • Ralphie's fantasy in which he is blind as a result of "soap poisoning" from having Lifebuoy soap in his mouth. Made even funnier thanks to the Narmtastic / Melodramatic reaction of Ralphie's parents after discovering the cause of Ralphie's blindness and the sly smile that Ralphie has at the end. Look closely, and you can see Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, and Peter Billingsley all struggling not to laugh.
      "I told you not to use Lifebuoy!"
  • "You'll shoot your eye out!" And near the end of the film: "OH MY GOD, I SHOT MY EYE OUT!"
  • Flick being "triple dog dared" to put his tongue on a frozen flagpole, which he does do thinking that tongues don't stick to frozen metal. Needless to say, he finds out that his prediction is wrong. Then, when he doesn't come in from recess:
    Mrs. Shields: "Has anyone seen Flick?"
    Ralphie as Adult: "Flick? Flick who?"
    • "That is the ugliest lamp I have ever seen IN MY ENTIRE LIIIFE!"
    • The ending of the lamp saga:
      Ralph as an adult: With as much dignity as he could muster, the Old Man gathered up the sad remains of his shattered major award. Later that night, alone in the backyard, he buried it next to the garage. Now I could never be sure, but I thought that I heard the sound of "Taps" being played, gently.
  • Realizing that sending out for that decoder pin was all for naught, as the "secret message" broadcast on the radio was Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. And Ralphie's reaction:
    Ralphie: Ovaltine? A crummy commercial? ...Son of a bitch!
  • The classic leg lamp scene. "It's a major award!"
    The Old Man: Fra-geelay. Huh, must be Italian!
  • In the aftermath of the "Scut Farkus affair", Randy hides in the cupboard under the kitchen sink, afraid for his brother's life:
    • Made funnier (and rather sweet) by the mom letting Randy stay in the cupboard until he was ready to come back out, and asking if he wanted a glass of milk before going on with her own activities.
    • And the Old Man's reaction to Randy coming out.
  • The tree salesman. "This here's a tree! Ain't no needles coming offa this here tree!" [shakes tree...a ring of needles on the ground] "...HELL! This ain't no tree!..." [tosses tree to the side]
  • Ralph Breaking the Fourth Wall after fooling his mom that an icicle broke his glasses when he actually stepped on them after the BB Gun recoil knocked them off.
    Ralph: I had pulled it off! [smiles at the audience]
  • Ralphie touching the leg lamp in a sensual manner and his mother continually getting him to stop it.
    Only one thing in the world could've dragged me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window.
  • Randy snorting in his food like a pig and Ralphie's and the Old Man's disgusted reactions to it.
  • "Meatloaf, speetloaf, double beetloaf. I hate meatloaf."
  • In line to see Santa:
    Wicked Witch: What a tasty little boy!
    Ralphie: Don't bother me. I'm uh...thinking.
    Wicked Witch: *shrugs*
  • Scut Farkus (to Ralphie): "Listen jerk, when I tell you to come, you better come!" That's What She Said.
  • The Old Man's Christmas wish.
    Ralphie: I bet you'll never guess what I got you for Christmas!
    The Old Man: [gets glassy-eyed] A new furnace.
    Ralphie: Haha, that's a good one, Dad.
    Narrator: My old man was one of the most feared furnace fighters in northern Indiana.
  • The first time we see the Old Man go toe to toe with the furnace: He grabs his gloves, and heads downstairs in a hurry. He makes it a few steps down before stepping on a rollerskate, and going flying down the stairs into what sounds like a pile of paint cans. Then, of course, once he actually starts the battle properly and the swearing launches into overdrive, everyone just stares at the vent, lost for words. The thick, black smoke emanating from the furnace seems to be a visual representation of all that profanity.
    Ralph as an adult: In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.
  • Scut Farkus's incredibly hammy Evil Laugh.
  • When the family goes to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner. It seems likely Melinda Dillon (Mrs. Parker) cracked up for real when the duck was brought in and the director decided to keep that shot. There's also when the guy chops off the head of the duck and the mom screams.
  • The waiters at the Chop Suey Palace struggle a bit when it comes to singing Christmas carols:
    • The manager — who can speak English quite well, and has a nice singing voice — tries to coach the staff, to no avail. Finally, he tells them to sing something else. Bad idea...
    • The manager shakes his head in resignation and starts laughing, clearly thinking, "Should've known that was gonna happen."
  • Any of Ralphie's Imagine Spots.
  • Anytime Scut Farkus and Grover chase Ralphie and friends.
  • Randy and Ralphie getting socks on Christmas morning, looking at each other, and promptly tossing the socks behind them.
  • Randy falling asleep on the ground with his toy and the Old Man telling him to wake up, Randy staying asleep and the Old Man's response to this is to raise his eyebrows, shake his head and mutter something that sounds like "God". The Frankenstein's Monster mask laying behind Randy's head is a nice touch. Who gets their kids Halloween masks as a Christmas present?
  • Grover scaring Ralphie, his friends, and Randy away by roaring at them.
  • Ralphie getting a C+ on his essay, seeing the line "You'll shoot your eye out!" at the end, and imagining Ms. Shields (dressed as the Wicked Witch of the West) and his mom (dressed as a jester for no ostensible reason) singing "You'll shoot your eye out!" and then laughing evilly. Bonus points for Ralph assuming a conspiracy between his mom and Ms. Shields. And before that, his hammier-than-ham imagine spot in which he envisions getting an A+. There, Mrs. Shields grades themes and despairs over F after F, only to swoon dramatically when she gets to Ralphie's. Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet overture swells as the other kids carry Ralphie around the room on their shoulders and Mrs. Shields continues to write A+'s — long after the chalkboard ends and the wall begins.
  • In one scene before they go see Santa, Ralphie wants to see Santa before the mall closes, but his parents and Randy are trying to watch a parade and tell him to be quiet every time he tries to get them to leave. "SHADDAP RALPHIE!"
  • "What kind of parents would name their kid 'Scut?'"
  • "Adults love to say things like that, but kids know better. We knew darn well it was always better not to get caught."
  • As mean as it sounds, the shot of the dog's ear caught in the door, and the howls of pain accompanying it.
    The Old Man: Serves you right, you smelly buggers!
  • While playing with the Christmas tree lights, the Old Man pops one of the lightbulbs in his mouth and sucks on it. (Not as funny if one knows that this used to be a necessary gesture to improve electrical contact in the socket before screwing it in, but it still looks odd enough to raise a laugh.)
  • When The Old Man pulls his spare out of the trunk, there is absolutely zero tread on it.
    Adult Ralphie: The Old Man's "spare tires" were tires only in the academic sense: they were round, they were once made of rubber.
  • The running gag of Ralphie checking the mailbox for his decoder ring and ignoring all the other mail. When it finally comes in, he leaves the box open.
  • "Maybe Ms. Shields, in her ecstasy, would excuse me from theme-writing for the rest of my natural life!" And Ralphie gets a shocked expression as he only now realizes the profound implications of the brilliance of his theme.


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