National Lampoon's Vacation

Corrected entry: In the postcards opening, just after Christie Brinkley's name fades offscreen, the postcard for the "Mystery Spot" lists its location as "St. Ignance, Michigan." The Mystery Spot is located in St. Ignace, not St. Ignance.

Correction: This is a printing error by the postcard makers, not a film mistake per se.

Correction: There is more than one mystery spot

Corrected entry: When the Griswolds first set out from Chicago, oil field equipment is seen operating in the background before flashing back to the Griswolds taking an off ramp from a major expressway with the Chicago skyline is still in the background. There are no oil fields anywhere near Chicago.

Correction: Actually there are a couple oil companies outside of Chicago on 55.

Corrected entry: When Rusty and Dale are talking about what there is to do on the farm, Rusty asks Dale if he has Pac-Man, and Dale says no. But when they are in Dale's room looking at the porn magazines, you can see a portable Pac-Man video game sitting on the pillow behind Rusty.

Correction: That's because it's actually Rusty's game. It can be seen in the back of the car a few times. He probably brought it into Dale's room in case he got bored.

Corrected entry: When Ellen and Catherine are chatting in the kitchen when they first arrive at their house, the subject of Aunt Edna comes up. Ellen remarks, "Aunt Edna, she's still alive?" In the next scene Edna comes out of the house and says, "You're the ones who sent me the fruitcake, it made me so sick". Why would Ellen send Aunt Edna a fruit cake for Christmas when she thought she was dead?

Correction: It's possible that maybe Ellen thought Aunt Edna had died sometime between Christmas and their current vacation, which is presumably sometime during the summer.

She never specified how long ago they sent the fruitcake.


Corrected entry: After Clark sees the beautiful woman and almost loses control of the car, Ellen is asking him what is wrong. In the windows an orange Jeep can be seen starting to pass their car. When Ellen hugs Clark, the same jeep is now behind their car, not passing them.

manthabeat Premium member

Correction: When Ellen leans over to Clark near the end of the shot, that is not the orange jeep behind them. It looks like a reddish truck with a white camper or trailer.

Corrected entry: When Christie Brinkley first appears, she is supposed to be driving a convertible at over 80 mph, yet her hair is blowing only slightly, as if in a light breeze.

Correction: That's due to the aerodynamics of the car. Some models will blow your hair all over at 20 mph, others, like the Ferrari, some Mercedes, Lotuses, even the Dodge Viper are designed so the slipstream of the air blows right over the top of the windshield, instead of creating a huge vortex behind the glass.

Corrected entry: The family Grizwald car has wobbly wheels when they leave the gas station where the two attendants take all their money but a scene after that they are back to normal again.

Correction: There is a time lapse during which they could have had the bent wheels replaced. When we see them leave the station, they are discussing how much money they have if they pool their money, and it is revealed Audrey has $40. When they arrive at the hotel, some time has passed, and Clark tells the desk manager he only has $6.23 in cash to his name. Therefore we may reasonably assume that they pooled their money and repaired the wheels. They were planning to cash a cheque at the hotel for more cash already, and may have had to fix the wheels to make the car driveable again.

Corrected entry: When the Griswolds get lost in the back streets of Missouri, they ask for directions from a local while his gang quietly steals their hubcaps. Firstly, why didn't they just take their luggage which would have been worth more. Secondly, why do they try and hide what they are doing?. Its not like the Griswolds could do anything about it anyway. Yes I know it only a comedy...but come on.

Gavin Jackson

Correction: They could have driven away if needed. It would have been dangerous but it was still doable. The gang steals the hubcaps because they don't know what's in the luggage so the hubcaps may be worth more. Also the luggage was tried down so the hubcaps could be removed quicker and easier than the luggage.

Corrected entry: When Clark falls asleep and drives off the exit, take a look at the top of the exit ramp. You can see police lights flashing which probably tells us the ramp and road was closed so they could film the scene. You can't see the actual lights, but you can see the flashing red and blue. Check it out.

Correction: There are many reasons there could be flashing lights, not just that they closed the ramp for filming. There could be an accident near the ramp, there could be a speeder pulled over, there could be an arrest happening near the ramp. since we can't see the actual lights, it's too much of an assumption to make that they were there specifically for closing the ramp and filming. There are hundreds of police cars patrolling on any given night going about their duties.

Corrected entry: When Chevy Chase enters the hotel bar, the sounds of a full band can be heard, with bass and drums. But the only musician in the room is the piano player. You can tell because they cut to different shots of him and he is most definitely alone. Also, the audio track is a very complicated piano riff in the right hand but when the pianist's hand is shown he's playing a much slower song than the one heard.

Correction: Lots of pianists in hotel bars use a stereo (nowadays they often use MP3 stereos) for background tracks and sometimes vocals.

Corrected entry: When driving in Arizona, in the storm, you can see that 3 of the 8 headlights are on, 2 on the left, and 1 on the right. But, the next scene, only 2 are on, 1 on the left, 1 on the right.

Correction: Due to the rough condition of the car, it's not inconceivable that another headlight burned out.

Corrected entry: Whenever the airbag deploys in the car, the material used seems to be thin plastic and looks remarkably like a bin liner. Airbag material appears much thicker with a woven texture.

Correction: This was deliberate, to show what a P.O.S the car was.

Corrected entry: In the scene in Kansas, where the Griswolds are first meeting Cousin Eddie's family, he introduces them to Daisy Mabel, who was born without a tongue. Only thing is, right before he introduces her, you can see her looking at Clark and sticking her tongue out at him and rolling it around her mouth.

Correction: When Eddie says she was "born without a tongue," he means she can't speak, not that she literally doesn't have a tongue. (It's like using the word "dumb" as an un-PC way to say "can't speak." It's not meant to imply that the person is unintelligent.)

Corrected entry: When the Griswolds are only ten hours away from Wally World, Ellen, Audrey and Rusty all vote that the Holiday has been a disaster and they should turn around and go home. But since they have virtually no money, how would they pay for gas and accommodation on the return trip?

Gavin Jackson

Correction: Ellen later says something like,"We can wire my parents for the money and forget this vacation ever happened."

Corrected entry: When Clark tied the dog to the bumper and forgot about it, the leash was on the right side, but when he got picked up by the officer for killing it, the leash was on the left side.


Correction: The leash IS tied to the left (driver's side) bumper. The dog does make a break for it under the right side of the rear bumper though, only to be stopped short by the leash.

Corrected entry: When the car crashes in Monument Valley after going off the cliff, all the luggage that was on the roof is now on the ground. The impact should have thrown it all forward, yet there are suitcases beside and to the rear of the car.

Correction: Depending on the luggage restraint's strength and elasticity (and the timing of the restraint failure), the luggage could be thrown everywhere. Unrestrained, you could expect all the luggage to be thrown forward.

Corrected entry: In the beginning when they are about to leave for their vacation, they show the car from inside the garage with no suitcases. The next time they show the car there are suitcases on the top of the car.

Correction: At least on the DVD, there is no view of the car inside the garage without the suitcases loaded on the roof rack.

Corrected entry: In the "edited for television" version, during the visit to Cousin Eddie's, all references to pot smoking, which Audrey recently had discovered, were omitted. This makes for some curious unexplained occurrences later on, like when the kids are getting in the car as the family leaves, Audrey has sunglasses on and is clearly coming off a serious bake, or later on, when pulled over by the cops (when Clark tied the dog to the bumper), Audrey asks aunt Edna to hold her purse. This is clearly because she thinks she may be busted for the pot in her purse, so she plays sick and gives aunt Edna the purse. None of this makes sense in the TV version because we never learn of Audrey's earlier reefer discoveries.

Correction: This isn't a movie mistake. Just lousy editing by TV censors.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the Grizwolds get lost, then crash the car, the location where they get lost is in Monument Valley. I have been to Monument Valley many times. There is only 1 road going in, and 1 road going out. impossible for anyone to get lost there.

Correction: I believe the gag is that Clark made a wrong turn onto the road that he crashes on. It doesn't matter if it is the only road in or out of the area he is in if he thinks he's on a different road than what he is actually on.

Corrected entry: When Clark and his wife are standing in front of what is supposed to be the Grand Canyon, you can tell that it is just a matte painting. Not only are none of the scenery or clouds moving, but their shadows are cast on the entire painting when they walk away from it.

Correction: This is not true, In the 20 anniversary DVD "special features", the actors tell us this is shot on location at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon.

Revealing mistake: In the early part of the film, Beverly D'Angelo and Chevy Chase check into the hotel/motel. She goes in to take a shower but he barges in. If you look real closely, she is wearing underpants and is not nude although she is taking a shower.

More mistakes in National Lampoon's Vacation

Cousin Vicki: I'm going steady, and I French kiss.
Audrey Griswold: So? Everybody does that.
Cousin Vicki: Yeah, but Daddy says I'm the best at it.

More quotes from National Lampoon's Vacation

Trivia: Harold Ramis' voice can be heard as a member of the SWAT team telling Roy Wally, "Everything is wrapped up here" just before Roy decides not to press charges.


More trivia for National Lampoon's Vacation

Question: In all the Vacation movies, the children are played by different actors. What is the reason behind this? Is it simply a joke?

Answer: According to the commentary from "Christmas Vacation" this is an inside joke referencing the fact that Clark is away from home so much with work, he hardly even recognizes them anymore. "European Vacation" could not obtain the same kids who played in the original Vacation, namely Anthony Michael Hall, and tried to cast kids whom looked close. Thus the joke began. No doubt the actors' aging between movies also plays a part.


Answer: Ironically in 2003, Dana Barron (the original Audrey in the first film) returned as Audrey Griswald in "Christmas Vacation 2: Eddie's Island Adventure" although this film did not contain Chevy Chase, Beverly D' Angelo or a Rusty actor (Rusty not in this film).

More questions & answers from National Lampoon's Vacation

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