Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

(National Lampoon's) Vacation (1983)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

(National Lampoon's) Vacation (1983)

  • the post-card opening sequence introduction, with the song: "Holiday Road" sung by Lindsay Buckingham
  • the early car-dealership mix-up sequence, in which family head Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) was expecting to pick up a new "Antarctic Blue Super Sports Wagon with CB and optional family fun pack," but instead was forced to drive a gigantic pea-green "Wagon Queen Family Truckster" station wagon with a broken-down engine for the cross-country trek to Walley World in Southern California with his reluctant family: wife Ellen (Beverly D'Angelo), son Rusty (Anthony Michael Hall), and daughter Audrey (Dana Barron)
  • the always-clumsy and dim-brained, half-crazed Clark Griswold's deranged, foul-mouthed, colorfully R-rated exhortation and rant to his beleaguered family to press on, on their journey from Chicago westward: "I think you're all f--ked in the head. We're ten hours from the f--kin' fun park and you want to bail out! Well, I'll tell you somethin'. This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. I'm gonna have fun and you're gonna have fun. We're all gonna have so much f--kin' fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our god-damn smiles. You'll be whistling 'Zip-A-Dee Doo-Dah' out of your assholes! Ha, ha, ha. I gotta be crazy! I'm on a pilgrimage to see a moose. Praise Marty Moose! Holy S--t!"
  • all of their arduous misadventures on the way to Walley World, including getting lost in East St. Louis where the clueless, out-of-place Clark asked for directions from a black pimp: "Pardon me, I wonder if you could tell me how to get back on the expressway?" (who responded: "F--k yo Mama!") - and as they drove off, their hubcaps were stolen; Rusty also asked: "Wonder if these guys know the Commodores?"
  • a parody of the motel shower scene in Psycho (1960) when Clark pretended to attack his long-suffering wife Ellen - using a stabbing motion with a banana, and she rejected his offers to "do" her back and front: ("Go do your own front!"); and afterwards, they had to abort love-making when their vibrating massager bed malfunctioned and they were forced to move to the floor, where they were embarrassingly discovered by their two kids
  • the visit with Ellen's cousin Catherine (Miriam Flynn) and her beer-swilling, hayseed husband Eddie (Randy Quaid) in Coolidge, Kansas, who ate Hamburger Helper without the meat ("I don't know why they call this stuff Hamburger Helper. It does just fine by itself, huh? I like it better than Tuna Helper myself, don't you, Clark?"); including their often funny lines of dialogue: Eddie: "How do you like yours, Clark?" Clark: "Oh, medium rare, a little pink inside." Eddie: "No, I mean your bun"; Eddie described his disability: "I got laid off when they closed that asbestos factory, and now, wouldn’t you know it, the Army cuts my disability pension because they said that the plate in my head wasn’t big enough" - and then he asked Clark for a loan of $52,000 dollars
"How do you like yours, Clark?"
Vicki Stirring Kool-Aid with Her Hand
A Box of Weed:
"How cool is this?"
  • Eddie's young daughter Vicki (Jane Krakowski) bragging about French kissing: "I'm goin' steady, and I French kiss...Yeah, but Daddy says I'm the best at it" and also showing off a shoebox full of weed to Audrey ("How cool is this?"), while Eddie's son Dale (John Nevin) bragged: "I've got a stack of nudie books this high"; Vicki also stirred a jar of red Kool-Aid by sticking her hand inside and swishing it around (Clark asked: "Vicki, can I help you with that Kool-Aid, please?")
  • Clark's encounter with a forgiving and grief-stricken motorcycle cop after he had accidentally dragged Dinky tied by a dog leash to the bumper: "Explain this, you son-of-a-bitch...Do you know what the penalty for animal cruelty is in this state?...Well, it's probably pretty stiff...Poor little guy. Probably kept up with you for a mile or so. Tough little mutt. Yeah....Here's the leash, sir. I'm going back to get the rest of the carcass off the road...."
  • Clark's man-to-man talks with his son Rusty including sharing a beer with him in the desert
  • Clark's sexy encounters with a flirtatious and tempting vixen (supermodel Christie Brinkley) in a passing red 1983 Ferrari 308; at a picnic stop to the sound of June Pointer's "Little Boy Sweet", Clark flirted back while performing an awkward dance with his sandwich, when Ellen exclaimed: "They're all wet. Oh God, the dog wet on the picnic basket"; Clark began unglamorously spitting out his mouthful, although Aunt Edna (Imogene Coca) shrugged her shoulders and took another bite
  • at a motel, she temptingly flirted with him, and he vowed he was single: (Vixen: "It's too bad you're married. I'm in the mood for some fun" Clark: "Married? Oh, you mean those people I'm with? That's my brother's family. My brother's ring. You know, I usually borrow them on these little inspection tours of mine. It sorta helps to complete the disguise. It's fun for them...In order to be convincing, you have to look and act like an ordinary jerk. You know, stop at all the stupid sites and, uh, look like a fool"); later as they walked to the swimming pool, Clark kept rambling: "My credo is, if you have to have a credo, you know, 'Go for it,' pretty much. You only go around this crazy merry-go-round once! You know?...Yeah. (she began stripping down to go skinny-dipping, and tossing her underwear at him) That's my credo! You don't have to have a credo, but 'If the shoe fits, wear it.' 'A penny saved... ' 'Pennies from heaven...' My favorite credo, you know, uhm, 'A penny saved, and... '"; when she dove in completely naked, she urged him to join her ("Are you gonna go for it?"); after he jumped in naked, he was caught by Ellen in an embarrassing situation
Flirtatious Blonde
  • the death of Aunt Edna who was wrapped in a tarp and tied to the top of the station wagon: (Clark: "You want me to strap her to the hood? She'll be fine. It's not as if it's going to rain or something"); after Aunt Edna's death, Clark (during a thunder and rain storm) attempted to offer a prayer to God on her behalf: "Oh, God. Ease our suffering in this, our moment of great despair! Yeah! Admit this good and decent woman into Thine arms and the flock in Thine heavenly area up there. And Moab, he laideth down behind the land of the Canaanites. And, yeah, though the Hindus speak of karma...I implore you, give her a break....Honey, I'm not an ordained minister! I'm doing my best, okay?"
Walley World - An Empty Parking Lot
Slo-Mo Run Toward Walley World Entrance
Holding Walley World Guard Hostage
  • the arrival at Walley World, where Clark spoke: "First ones here!"; they ran in slow-motion (to the sounds of Chariots of Fire's theme) to the entrance, but to their dismay, it was closed for two weeks for maintenance; at the front gate, they were notified by a happy, animatronic moose holding a sign - with a recording: "Sorry Folks! We're closed for two weeks - to clean and repair 'America's Favorite' Family Fun Park"; completely disheartened, Clark punched the moose in the nose
  • the sequence of holding the Walley World security guard Russ Lasky (John Candy) hostage at gunpoint (with a realistic looking BB-gun): "Now you listen to me, fat ass. You do what I say and there won't be any problem, okay? OK. We just drove 2,460 miles, just for a little Roy Walley entertainment. The Moose says you're closed. I say you're open"

Mix-up at the Car Dealership

Clark's Rant: "This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun"

East St. Louis Pimp to Clark: "F--k yo Mama!"

Psycho Shower Parody

Vicki: "Daddy says I'm the best at it"

Dale: "I've got a stack of nudie books this high!"

Clark Dancing With His Urine-Soaked Sandwich

Clark with Motorcycle Cop

Clark Sharing Beer with son Rusty


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