National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Continuity mistake: When Clark is outside, trying to get the lights to work, Ellen comes out the door, pulling a sweater around her shoulders. First it is on one shoulder, then both, then one, and at the end of the scene she has it on properly, with both arms in the sleeves. (00:36:10)

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Uncle Lewis lights the cigar that sets the Christmas tree on fire, watch closely. It shows side shots of Clark eating his dinner, and you can see the tree in the living room. The camera cuts back to Lewis lighting his cigar, and then back to Clark at the exact same angle as before. The tree is gone. (01:11:10)

Continuity mistake: When Clark is going into the attic to hide presents, the ladder that smacks him in the face is a sliding ladder, but later when he is shut in the attic and uses the ladder to attract attention it is a folding ladder.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Clark is going crazy, he cuts the newel post. But it's still in place in the later scene, when the family has problems with the squirrel. (01:18:15 - 01:21:20)

Continuity mistake: After Clark receives what he thinks is his bonus check, he says if there is enough money left over he will fly all of the relatives out to see the new pool. Everyone reacts with excitement, particularly Ellen, who is standing right next to Clark. She lets out a cry of excitement and raises her arms. The next shot is taken from the opposite point of view (from over Clark's shoulder). In this next shot, you can see everyone else still excited with the sudden exception of Ellen. She went from shrieking in excitement to having her mouth closed and her arms back down at her sides.

Continuity mistake: When Clark's uncle drops the match that sets the sewer on fire, his toupee falls off and at the end of the scene you can see him trying to put it back on, although it's burnt pretty badly. In the final scene where everyone is dancing around, his toupee is back on and in perfect condition. (01:32:35)

Continuity mistake: When Clark finally opens the christmas lights, he has the wires in his hands. The shot later, when all the family comes, the wires are not there and his arms are wide open. (00:39:55)

Dr Wilson

Continuity mistake: When the SWAT team charges into the Griswold's house and orders everyone to freeze, Ellen's head is behind Clark's right arm in the shots from the rear, while the shots from the front show Ellen's head in front of Clark's right arm.

Scott215
2

Revealing mistake: When Clark is on the sled, there's one frontal shot when the snow flies in the air before he touches it.

Dr Wilson

Revealing mistake: When Clark is putting Christmas lights on the top of his house, the ladder falls but stays at the same angle. (00:20:50)

Continuity mistake: When Clark is holding the gutter, it bends and ice is thrown from inside of it. The problem is that you can't see any ice during the first shot when it bends, and also that the ice goes in the wrong direction. (00:24:25)

Dr Wilson

Continuity mistake: At the end of the movie, when Clark is outside of the house with Eddie's dog, all the police cars have disappeared. (01:34:10 - 01:35:00)

Dr Wilson
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: It's the end of the movie with credits rolling, I would think the people behind the movie wanted it that way with Clark looking proudly of his Christmas night. his last line in the movie, he said "I did it" and the lights went off on the "THE END" sign. So, that's what I think about the ending. It's not a mistake. It would be if the sign wasn't shut off and started rolling credits after he said his line and nothing's there.

movielove
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Clark and Ellen are in the bed and Clark's hands are sticky, you can see that he actually grabs her hair to give the illusion that they are stuck, and he turns one of the pages of the magazine just fine. (00:12:30)

Continuity mistake: The christmas tree is visible from the dining room, but when Lewis goes beside it to smoke a cigar, you can't see him. When the tree is on fire, you don't see Lewis again and you can only see a branch of the tree.

Dr Wilson
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Clark starts to set up his Christmas lights, there is a scene where the ladder collapses. If you look closely you can see the wire coming out from under his jacket to keep him from falling forward. (00:20:55)

JamesP

Continuity mistake: When the squirrel jumps out of the tree and the whole family is hiding around the corner in the front entry, the camera alternates shots frequently from the front of the family to the back of the family. Each time the angle changes, Catherine's stance changes from her arm being around Russ to her arm at her side.

Continuity mistake: Less than a day after the ice breaks the neighbors' window, it has fixed itself in the outside shots as Clark is stuck in the attic.

manthabeat Premium member
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Clarke is installing the Christmas lights, the rope on the ladder keeps appearing and disappearing. (00:23:00)

Dr Wilson

Continuity mistake: The retractable attic staircase is a type held closed only by light spring pressure, not a latch, but it doesn't budge when Clark jumps on it. When he initially opened it, and later when his wife does the same, it opens normally with a light tug from below on the cord.

Revealing mistake: When the neighbors fall onto the floor of their bedroom when Clark's Christmas lights finally go on, you can tell a stunt double is standing in for the female neighbor as she falls down at the foot of the bed.

Clark Griswold: [reciting 'Twas the Night Before Christmas.] When what to my wondering eyes should appear, but a miniature sleigh, and...and Eddie with a man in his pajamas and a dog chain tied to his wrist and ankles. What the...?

Bishop73
More quotes from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Trivia: When Clark smashes up the decorations when he can't get the lights working, Chevy Chase genuinely broke a finger when he punched Santa, but stayed in character, kicking the decorations instead, and that's the take used in the film.

More trivia for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Question: What is the name of the Christmas Tree farm they went to to get their tree?

Answer: They didn't go to a Christmas tree farm. He took them to a huge forest to get one most likely because it would be easier to get one free then to pay for one.

They went to a tree farm. After running off the road and jumping the snowbank the wagon crashes through a sign that says "Trees." Clark then says, "We're here...and we made good time too." The humor is Clark forgoes a normal "farmed" tree for the "wild" monster he takes home.

Answer: It was a tree farm (the car literally flies through a sign that says "Christmas Trees"). There's a deleted scene after they crash and walk to find a tree. Realizing that they didn't have a saw to cut the tree, the family walks to the lot attendant (an odd man, reclining in a lawn chair, wearing a Santa jacket and hat) to ask to borrow a saw. There is a conversation between them where Clark is told that they don't supply saws, but he gave him a shovel. THIS explains how the tree got dug out of the ground. You can actually see a picture of this scene on an old DVD cover.

Answer: They never went to a tree farm. Even though there is a sign that says "Trees", there is no employee there to greet them or even discuss how much the tress cost. Plus, trees on a tree farm are usually smaller and are always lined up in a row. The trees seen by the Griswold's are extremely large and are scattered about like what would be seen in a regular forest which is where they went.

They are never shown in the "store" area of the tree farm, so you can't say that there is nobody working there. They jump the snowbank, it shows them gathering themselves in the car, and the next scene is in the wilderness. It's a small, rundown tree farm, but it is a tree farm business, with a plowed parking lot, garbage cans, lights, other customers, etc. These tree farms usually had pre-cut trees for purchase, but you could also walk out and cut down your own for the "experience" if you wanted to. As someone who has walked a couple miles to get a Christmas tree in December in Minnesota, I can say with absolute certainty that this is accurate.

oldbaldyone
More questions & answers from National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.