National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation tv show photo

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Goofs/Mistakes

  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark is putting up the Christmas lights on the roof, he tells Rusty to put down the plastic reindeer and to help him. When Rusty drops the reindeer, you can clearly see at least one of their legs break off. Later, when Clark can't get the lights to start, all the legs of every reindeer are intact.
  • Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the attic ladder slides down it hits Clark in the mouth and jaw. When he's climbing into the attic in the next shot he's rubbing his forehead.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): After Clark's encounter with Mary, the underwear salesgirl, a shot of the street and house is shown, and a tree can be seen in the front yard, with the fake-snow covered leaves blowing in the wind.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark is putting up the lights outside, the top section of the ladder gives way and slides to the ground. However, since the lower half of the ladder isn't leaning against anything, there is no way that the ladder could slide this way without falling forward into the house.
  • Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): Just before Clark takes off down the hill in the sledding scene, there is a shot looking down the hill where you can clearly see the wires/cord in the snow that are used to make it look like the snow flies in the air as the sled races down the hill.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When the grandfathers are all snoring away in the chair, the TV is showing the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade which is obviously shown on Thanksgiving Day - not 5 or 6 days before Christmas.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Frances Smith closes the attic door, The steps are clearly on a telescoping rail system. Then when Clark tries to immediately get out he lifts the ladder up and bangs it on the door, showing that it is now the model that folds out with hinges.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): Just before the sledding scene, the hill in front of the family is very rough, with large mounds of snow, but when Clark does down the hill, it has become very smooth.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): After Clark gets his Christmas lights to work and they show the power meter going very fast, all the needles are going the wrong way.
  • Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): Clark uses a mechanical stapler to put up the lights on the house. The sound of the stapler is that of a power stapler that is powered by an air compressor.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When Clark and Rusty are putting Christmas lights on the house, Clark finds that they are knotted up. When he hands the knot to Rusty to untangle, you can clearly see that there are many light bulbs missing from the strand of lights.
  • Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): We're led to believe it's the first time Clark has ever decorated the house. When he and Rusty are getting the decorations out of the garage, Clark says "I've always wanted to do this." If that's true, why does he have so many obviously previously-used Christmas lights if he's never used them to decorate the house?
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): In any of the varying outdoor scenes, the temperature is obviously supposed to be cold (judging by the snow and ice, the characters' comments, their clothing, etc.) as it normally would be in Chicago in winter. Yet the steam from their breath is never visible as it would be at such a temperature.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark is looking into the dining room watching his family argue, the chandelier is gone; in the very next shot it is back.
  • Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): The family Christmas tree shrinks smaller and smaller throughout the movie. This could be because they trimmed it back considerably so it didn't take up the whole room.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): Two different model years of Ford Taurus wagon are used in the film for the same vehicle. This can be differentiated by examining the interior door trim panels, specifically the door lock, in different scenes.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark breaks through the plaster ceiling while trapped in the attic he lands on presumably Rusty's bunk bed. The poster of the two turtles, the Bears Pennant, the eagle graphic are all gone, replaced by steer horns and the upper bunk is much closer to the ceiling.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): Clark's glasses don't have prescription lenses in them. They are flat glass lenses. This is evident when he is in the car at the beginning of the movie.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark is at the counter flirting with the girl, the looseness of his tie changes between shots.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): From the interior of the house, the attic ladder is shown as a slide-down, but from the attic, it has a fold-out design.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): A tow rope is visible pulling Clark's sled.
  • Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): When Clark is locked in the attic, he sees a movie reel marked "Christmas 1959", but when he's later watching movies, it says "Christmas 1955". However, there might have been several year's worth of Xmas movies, and the first one we see him watching wasn't necessarily the first reel he looked at in the box.
  • Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): When Uncle Lewis burns down the Christmas tree and Clark sees the ball of fire out of the corner of his eye, he gets up and walks towards the living room. If you look closely, a crew member's shadow can be seen walking past the dining room window behind Clark.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When Clark opens his front door to greet the courier, the door knocker and wreath completely dislodge, even though they were double-bolted from the inside through a 2" thick solid door.
  • Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Clark says he has 25,000 lights on his house. These are the old-fashioned bulbs that draw 7 watts each; thus, Clark would be drawing 175,000 watts of power, or 175 kilowatt-hours (kW-h) continuous draw, far more than can be delivered to a single-family dwelling using the U.S. standard 120-volt electrical system. Therefore, Clark's main breaker would have instantly tripped the second he would have plugged in all the lights at once, not counting the lights on his Christmas tree and everything else electrical in his house.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When Clark is putting up the Christmas lights, snow covered evergreen trees are visible. When the ladder falls backwards, trees (birch?) are clearly shown with no snow & full green leaves, which they would have lost well before December.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): The moon is full prior to December 18th and the moon is still full on the 24th
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When the house first lights up, the aerial shots show an RV in the driveway, even though Eddie and Catherine have not arrived yet.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When the squirrel jumps out of the tree, everyone in the room gets up or reacts in some way. The camera then shows Clark yelling for a second before switching back to the family room. When it goes back, some of the people are in different positions then they were before. This is most noticeable with Uncle Lewis who is now standing, Ellen's father Art (in the blue sweater on the couch) because he stands up in both scenes, and Ellen's mother Frances who drops her monopoly cards twice.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): As the dog chases the squirrel through the house, one shot has the squirrel disappear suddenly, revealing the jump cut between the shot of the squirrel and the shot of the dog.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): Number of people in the truck in the chase scene.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): In the beginning of the the credits, right when Santa starts reading his Christmas list, there is a pencil in his hair, but before he sat up to look at the list, there was no pencil in his hair.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark is polishing his sled, the bottom is smooth, but when it is going through the forest there are fins on the bottom.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark slides down the roof of the house, he grabs on to the rain gutter which rips off, but in the next shot of him crawling along the gutter, it is merely bent down.
  • Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): About midway through Clark's rant, a crewperson's head dips into the bottom left corner of one of the long shots.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Ellen goes out to see Clark while he is trying to get the outside lights to work, her sweater jumps around on her shoulders between shots.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark faints after being told of bonus he starts to fall right; next camera angle shows him falling to the left.
  • Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When the squirrel is in the house Clark says that Eddie usually eats them. Catherine says he stopped since they have high cholesterol. In fact, like most wild game, squirrel meat is very low in cholesterol.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): The square block on the railing at the top of the stairs that Clark cuts off with a chainsaw reappears when the guests run upstairs to escape the squirrel.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark is showing Uncle Louis and Aunt Bethany into the house, you can clearly see an electric cord running from the lighted wreath on the front door down through the mail slot. When the interior side of the door is show, the cord is gone.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When Clark and family are hiding in the foyer from the squirrel, his Aunt's arms alternately around/not around Rusty between shots.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When Clark begins to put lights on his house, the house to his left has an obvious man-made snow pattern on the roof - one part has snow, the other part does not.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): Ellen is looking at the house when the Christmas lights first go on with the light switch. When the switch is turned off she leaves and Clark returns. The extension cord is not plugged in when Clark picks it up. If that was the case the lights would not have turned on with the light switch.
  • Movie Goof (revealing mistake): The attic door that 'traps' Clark in the attic always has a way to open from the inside. The chain on the outside is a simple pull-latch mechanism that can be grasped from the inside; thus, Clark was never really trapped in the attic.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): Clark staples the wrong part of his shirt to the roof.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When the family arrives at the tree to cut it down, the view from the top of the tree shows many, many foot prints around them that would not have been there.
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): The area rug at the base of the stairs moves between shots when the family runs up the stairs during the squirrel chase.
  • Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): When Clark's sled is about to crash into the wood hut, the shadow of the camera is visible.
  • Movie Goof (factual errors): Clark Griswold's Ford Taurus station wagon is shown to have exterior wood paneling, an option that was never available on this car. (However, it's possible the exterior appliques were added by the filmmakers as a nod to the "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" the Griswold family bought in Vacation.)
  • Movie Goof (continuity error): When they are in the car at the beginning of the movie, and each time Clark floors the accelerator, the background in the shots of Clark and Ellen shows the car is moving at a slow and constant speed.


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