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9 Movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) 7 min read


Movies like National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) are a guilty pleasure. We all know they’re not the pinnacle of cinema, but we still watch them because they make us laugh and provide a sense of nostalgia. You can’t go wrong watching these movies with your family on Thanksgiving or Christmas Eve. As you prepare for the holidays, why not spend some time with these classics?

Here is a list of 9 must-see films that will have you laughing from start to finish!

1. Vacation (1983)

Chevy Chase has always been known for his deadpan humor. In this film, he stars as Clark W. Griswold Jr., an all-American dad who wants nothing more than to take his family on a vacation to the “Happiest Place on Earth.” When he finds out that Wally World is closed for the winter, he decides to take his family on a cross-country adventure to California. Hijinks ensue as Clark tries desperately to keep his family together and scare away the car full of kidnappers who follow them across the country.

2. European Vacation (1985)

The Griswold family has decided that they want to spend Christmas in Europe. Not surprisingly, everything goes wrong for Clark and his family as they make the trip. They nearly drown in Venice, are attacked by a bear in Germany and Clark loses his pants while riding on a flume ride at an amusement park. Throughout all of the mishaps, this film is sure to put you in stitches.

3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

Clark Griswold is back and this time he wants nothing more than to have a perfect family Christmas. When things go wrong, he becomes determined to make it the best Christmas ever no matter what it takes. In his quest for perfection, everything from the turkey to his family’s mood goes awry. Unlike the previous Vacation films, this one is full of heart as Clark learns that Christmas doesn’t have to be perfect to be special.

4. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

When a young girl comes in second place at a regional beauty pageant, her family piles into their VW bus and embarks on an impromptu road trip to enable her to compete in the finals. With a family of oddballs, including a suicidal grandfather and an uncle who is addicted to drugs, this unlikely family band together as they struggle with their own problems while trying to support one another.

5.) Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Two strangers stuck together on Thanksgiving are an unlikely pair. What starts as a fight for survival against the elements quickly evolves into a battle of wills as the two men try to make it home by Thanksgiving dinner. You’ll find yourself laughing out loud as you watch these two struggle with each other while circumstances continuously prevent them from making it home.

6. The Hangover (2009)

When three friends travel to Las Vegas for a bachelor party, they are shocked when the groom-to-be goes missing after a wild night of partying. With only clues to go on, they must retrace their steps in order to track down the missing man before they lose all of their money. But what starts out as a simple search for one man becomes much more complicated when the friends realize that they lost more than just their friend.

7. Dumb and Dumber (1994)

A road trip across the country is bound to end up in disaster. When two friends decide to take a cross-country trip, they are ready for anything that comes their way. From car crashes to run-ins with the mafia, this movie takes viewers on an unforgettable ride as these best friends try desperately to get to their destination. The film includes Jim Carrey at his slap-stick best and leaves viewers in stitches with its crass, but hilarious humor.

8. We’re the Millers (2013)

When an average Joe needs to pay off his debts, he decides to pretend that he is part of a family in order to smuggle drugs across the Mexico-United States border. With the help of his neighbor and her children, this unlikely family band together as they travel along their trip. With an undercover DEA agent on their tail, the group is forced to fight for survival in order to get back home alive.

9. The Hangover Part II (2011)

The Hangover Part II follows the continuing misadventures of three friends and the bachelor party that they will never forget. After traveling across the world, including Thailand and Las Vegas, these characters experience even more ridiculous events than in the first film. With a new setting and even more outrageous antics, this movie is sure to leave viewers on the edge of their seats while they watch these friends struggle with life after wild adventures.


The movies above are a great way to find some inspiration for your next movie night. If you want the perfect excuse to get together with friends and family, any one of these films is sure to bring everyone together in laughter or tears. Watching a comedy might just be the thing that will take your mind off of life’s stressors while reminding you what it feels like to have fun again – especially if this has been a tough year so far! Which film do you think would best fit into your holiday plans? Let us know below.

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