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During the holiday season, there's no better way to get into the yuletide spirit than by watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, oh, roughly two to three times a week. It's a heartwarming tale of a man who just wants to create the perfect Christmas for his family—only to face obstacles at every turn. But while dealing with wonky lights, getting locked in an attic, reconnecting with hillbilly cousins, and serving an extremely dry turkey (to name a few!), Clark Griswold's (aka Chevy Chase) sense of humor carries him through it. It's an all-too-relatable case of Murphy's Law, and it'll get you through the grin-and-bear-it moments during those weeks between Thanksgiving and New Year's better than a shot of cousin Eddie's eggnog (though that certainly could help!).
These are, without a doubt, the best one-liners—and okay, two- to three-liners—from the movie. Quote them at your next holiday party, needlepoint them on a pillow, and make them your new get-through-the-season mantras.
45. "Clark, stop it. I don’t want to spend the holidays dead." — Ellen Griswold
44. Audrey Griswold: "He worked really hard Grandpa." Ellen's dad: "So do washing machines."
43. "She’ll see it later honey, her eyes are frozen shut."— Ellen
42. "It's a one-year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club." — Clark Griswold
41. "Take a look around you, Ellen! We're at the threshold of hell!" — Clark
40. "Your grandma's got a real painful bur on her heel. If you rub it for me, I'll give you a whole quarter." — Grandma Griswold
39. "Would it be indecent to ask the grandparents to stay at a hotel?" — Audrey
38. "It's not going in our yard, Russ. It's going in our living room." — Clark
37. "You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant." — Uncle Lewis
36. "Dad, you taught me everything I know about exterior illumination." — Clark
35. "I’m sorry, this is our family’s first kidnapping." — Ellen
34. "Is it plugged in?" — Ellen
33. "Hallelujah! Holy sh*t! Where’s the Tylenol?" — Clark
32. "If that thing had nine lives, she just spent ’em all." — Cousin Eddie
31. "What is it? A letter confirming your reservation at the nuthouse?" — Grandpa Art
30. "I was just looking at something for my wife, God rest her soul." — Clark
29. "Wouldn't be the holiday shopping season if the stores weren't hooter than they—hotter than they are." — Clark
28. "Yes, it's a bit nipply out, I mean nippy out." — Clark
27. "Eat my road grit, Liver Lips!" — Clark
26. *sips eggnog* "It's good. It's good." — Clark
25. "Clark, Audrey's frozen from the waist down." — Ellen
24. "And why is the carpet all wet, Todddddd?" — Margo Chester (aka
Elaine Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Griswolds' very annoyed and distraught neighbor... and can you blame her?)
23. Todd Chester: "Hey Griswold, where do you think you're gonna put a tree that big?" Clark: "Bend over and I'll show you."
22. "If you want to come in you'll have to break down the goddamn door!" — Margo
21. "I don't know what to say, but it's Christmas and we're all in misery." — Ellen
20. "I hope nobody I know drives by and sees me standing in the yard staring at the house in my pajamas." — Audrey
19. "You better take a rain check on that, Art—he’s got a lip fungus they ain’t identified yet." — Cousin Eddie
18. "When Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he's gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse!" — Clark
17. "Oh, the silent majesty of a winter's morn, the clean, cool chill of the holiday air, and an asshole in his bathrobe, emptying a chemical toilet into my sewer." — Clark
16. Clark: "Where's Eddie? He usually eats these things."
Catherine, Eddie's wife: "Oh, not recently. He read that squirrels are high in cholesterol."
15. "I'm gonna catch it in a coat, and smack it with a hammer!" — Clark
14. "Welcome to our home—what's left of it." — Ellen
13. "Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?" — Clark
12. "You just march over there and slug that creep in the face." — Margo
11. "Oh, he's just yakkin' on a bone." — Cousin Eddie
10. "I love it here. You don't gotta put on your coat to go to the bathroom, and your house is always parked in the same place!" — Ruby Sue
9. "Whoa, geez! Look at the time. I gotta get to bed—and brush my teeth, feed the hog, do the laundry, wash the car, still got some homework to do." — Rusty Griswold
8. "Where do you think you're going? Nobody's leaving. Nobody's walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We're all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here." — Clark
7. "We're gonna press on, and we're gonna have the hap-hap-happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tapdanced with Danny-fucking-Kaye." — Clark (Yes, we broke Clark's wild-eyed rant into multiple quotes on this list, since everyone has their own favorite part. If you prefer to quote the entire monologue at once, kudos.)
6. "Mom? This box is meowing." — Rusty
5. "Grace? She died 30 years ago!" — Aunt Bethany
4. "The BLESSSSSING." — Uncle Lewis
3. "If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised." — Clark
2. "Save the neck for me, Clark!" — Cousin Eddie
1. "Merry Christmas! Shitter was full!" — Cousin Eddie
Love knowing what your favorite stars are up to? Same. Let’s keep up with them together.
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