15 Things You Didn’t Know about Christmas Vacation


December 1 marked the 25th anniversary of a Christmas classic; National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. It was on this day in 1989 that the Griswold family embarked on yet another adventure that had audiences literally rolling on the floor laughing (and that was long before they even knew that ROFL was) through its hilarity. It’s hard to believe that the movie is 25-years-old, but time does fly when you’re having fun. For those of us who remember the movie not as a holiday ‘classic’ but as a new release (and we did just age ourselves), it’s difficult to believe that this much time has passed.

Despite many years of watching the movie – and most of us do make it a point to check this one out at least once every Christmas holiday – it’s astounding how much we still don’t know about this famed movie and its cast, characters and even the people behind the cameras. In honor of the movie’s 25th birthday, we have compiled a list of interesting and little known facts about Christmas Vacation.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 11

That Dodge Truck is From Another Movie

Remember the scene where Clark Griswold and the family were driving along and they were provoked endlessly by an ugly Dodge truck tailgating them? Think that truck looks familiar? That’s because it does. That was the truck that Kurt Russel drove around in when he was in character filming Overboard. It seems that this is a movie that used a lot of hand-me-downs when it was filmed, and that’s because it was.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 1

Roger Ebert Wasn’t a Fan

The movie critic was well-known throughout the course of his life as being, well, a critic. His job was to rate films and tell fans what they could and could not expect when they headed to theaters, and his feeling about this movie was not a good one. He rated it only two stars and did not recommend it to anyone to watch. It seems that he missed the mark just a bit with this one, however, considering just how many people went on to love this film.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation 4

It Wasn’t Number One

We love this movie endlessly, but it was not number one at the box office the weekend that it was released. It’s a bit of a surprise considering the fact that not only is it a sequel to two other movies everyone loved and appreciated as well as the fact that it was a Christmas movie being released at Christmastime. However, Back to the Future 2 was also released the same weekend and, well, that won out big time.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation 6

The Electrocution of the Cat Almost Didn’t Make the Cut

It wasn’t until a survey of test audiences voted the scene in which the cat is electrocuted as one of the best in the film that producers decided to keep it in the film. They were worried that the scene would upset people such as PETA and other animal lovers, and they considered removing it. However, fans loved the scene so much that they decided to keep it in the movie.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation 7

It Has a Sequel

Believe it or not, it’s the only movie in the franchise to get its own sequel, and things really went downhill from there. Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure was the name, and it was just as bad as it sounds. The movie about Cousin Eddie, who gets to go to the South Pacific on vacation after he is attacked by a lab monkey, and pretty much the entire movie was a flop. If you’re dying to see it, however, you can get it just about anywhere movies are sold for only a few dollars.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 3

Aunt Bethany is Betty Boop

Did you know that Mae Questel, the woman who played Aunt Bethany was actually someone who worked in Hollywood for almost 60 years by the time she played Aunt Bethany in this movie? She began her acting career in 1931 as the voice of the famous character Betty Boop. She went onto live almost a decade after she played the role of Aunt Bethany. She passed away in 1998at the age of 89.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 8

Cousin Eddie was Randy Quaid’s Best Character

It’s probably pretty sad to admit, but Randy Quaid never did much more than this. What he did go on to do after he played Cousin Eddie was nowhere near as famous or as well-known, so that makes this 25-year-old movie his claim to fame. It was a long time ago, but that doesn’t mean the character didn’t live on over the years because people love it so much.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation 9

Clark Lived in the Bewitched House

In the movie, Clark Griswold shows a home video titled, “Xmas 59” and it shows the exterior of his childhood home. Believe it or not, the exterior of this home is the same house that the popular show Bewitched was filmed, which is located on the Warner Brothers lot. The house has been through its fair share of television time, but most people don’t recognize it in the movie because it’s black and white and shown very close to the front door.

Photo by Twitter

Christmas Vacation

Rusty’s Age Changes

Everyone knows that Christmas Vacation is the sequel to European Vacation, but most people never realized that somehow Rusty’s age changed in the movies. And no, not in the way that ages change over time. He goes from being Audrey’s older brother in European Vacation to being the baby of the family in Christmas Vacation. Women everywhere want to know what the younger of the children did to make time stop.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 5

A Producer is On the Cover of People Magazine

In one scene the Griswolds are in bed together and Clark is reading a magazine (People Magazine, to be precise). Instead of using a real magazine at the time, the producers and directors created their own magazine cover and used a photo of their own producers, Matty Simmons, on the cover. We wonder what the inside story about this one was.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation

We Know the Neighbors

Ever notice that the Griswold’s neighbor’s house looks just a tiny bit familiar? That’s because it is the house that Murtaugh resided in during all of the Lethal Weapon movies. The house is in a mythical neighborhood found on the lot that belongs to Warner Brothers Studios in California. It’s not quite the picture perfect neighborhood in real life, but it was in the movie.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 15

Cousin Eddie is Someone Randy Quaid Really Knew

While it’s not a dead-on impersonation, it was pretty close. Randy Quaid developed his mannerisms as Cousin Eddie from someone he knew in real life. He grew up in Texas and he knew someone who was just as irritating and annoying as Cousin Eddie, including the whole clicking of the tongue while eating thing, and he used those things from that person to create the perfectly annoying character that he played so well.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation 13

It Was a Big Budget Film

Not many comedies, particularly those filmed in the 80s, were given large budgets. However, some of them were given a big budget, and this movie was one of them. While it might not seem like much in comparison to current movie budgets, this film had a staggering $27 million to work with back in 1989. Do the inflation on that one to see who much the film’s budget would be in today’s economy.

Photo by Facebook

christmas vacation 12

An Earthquake Hit During Filming

Ever noticed that it looks almost as if the camera is shaking in the scene where Aunt Bethany and Uncle Louis enter the Griswold’s home? That’s because it is. There was actually a very small earthquake at that moment and it was caught on camera, literally. The actors, however, worked through it and managed to get off the shot without making it obvious that there was an earthquake happening as they were filming.

Photo by Twitter

christmas vacation 10

There’s Going to Be Another Movie

That’s right fans, there is another movie currently being filmed right now and it’s going to have appearances by Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, but the movie will be centered around the grandchildren of the movie. Leslie Mann is slated to play the grown up Audrey and Ed Helms is playing grown up Rusty, and the movie is scheduled for release in 2015.

Photo by Twitter


Leave a Reply