National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation Movie Poster
  • Released
  • December 1, 1989
  • PG-13, 1 hr 37 min
  • 357 Fan Ratings

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Common Sense Says
Common Sense Media

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that much of the slapstick humor in 1989's National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is obviously directed at younger viewers -- from the cartoon opening to an impossibly high-speed sled ride -- but language and sexual references make it iffy for kids and tweens. Many of the movie's laughs depend on mishaps like falling from ladders or traveling in a car stuck underneath a big rig, but no people get hurt (a pet cat does get electrocuted). The salty talk is toned down a bit from the previous Vacation movies, but there's still plenty of four-letter words, including "f--k" and "s--t," some said by kids. The movie makes all of its characters look ridiculous, but the only negative stereotype is of a busty woman who sells lingerie in the local mall. Some characters are continually drunk. (Note: Avoid watching this when kids young enough to believe in Santa are in the vicinity, because the movie makes lots of references to who really stuffs stockings, etc.)

  • Positive messages
  • Positive role models
  • Violence
  • Sexual
  • Language
  • Consumerism
  • Drinking & drugs
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