With Christmas here, the decorations adorning the shop shelves, and mince pies at the ready, we all know that a staple of the festive holidays is the warm memories that remind you of loved ones. We yearn for the fun-filled antics of running across town for last-minute shopping and the quite often hilarious moments that ensue when a movie character makes a fool of themselves.
In this list, we delve into the top 10 Christmas movie moments!
Related: Top 10 Not So Merry Christmas Horror Movies
10 “You’re an Idiot!”—The Grinch
More often than not, Christmas films have that comedy element to them, and that is no different in The Grinch Who Stole Christmas from 2000, which stars Jim Carrey as the grumpy, Scrooge-like character in the chirpy town of Who-ville. (It’s crazy to think it’s from that long ago!)
Although there are so many hilarious and moving moments in this film, the one that’s most loved is the scene in which The Grinch is seen lounging about, wallowing in self-pity, staring into the abyss…
In the scene, he plays around and yells a bunch of things into the massive cave, along with jabs at himself. All of these echo back at him, as they would in a room that echoes. Then in one of the yells, he says, “I’m an idiot,” which echoes back as “You’re an idiot.” Just beautiful, pure comedy at its very best.
Also, fun fact: Did you know this film was directed by none other than Happy Days star Ron Howard?
9 Crazy, Twisted Christmas Carol—Scrooged
At the very end of a wonderfully crazy Scrooged (1988), which is a different take on the Charles Dickens tale A Christmas Carol, we see Frank Cross (Bill Murray), a network executive, changed forever after a very long night. If you’ve seen the traditional Christmas tale, then this isn’t too much of a surprise. We see the highly strung man turn into someone who realizes he’s missing someone. That one person he could never live without.
With the wit and charm of Murray, it just serves as one of the best comedy versions of the classic. The speech comes just moments after he bursts onto the set of his own live TV adaptation of the classic. It’s definitely a must-watch this Christmas time if you love something a little different and definitely not for the younger audience.
8 Santa’s Silver Bell—The Polar Express
From the directing mind of Robert Zemeckis comes the festive story The Polar Express (2004), brought to life straight from the pages of the original book. Christmas, Tom Hanks, and Zemeckis. What’s not to love?
In this magical epic, we see Hanks take on the role of many faces and see a young boy (named only Hero Boy in the credits) struggling to believe in Santa. A few great scenes stand out, like the Hot Chocolate scene, for example. None can beat the emotional moment of wonderful symbolism, though, when the elves are gathered waiting for Santa, and Hero Boy cannot hear the silver bell ringing because he does not believe in Santa. Upon starting to believe, the bell jingles, and Santa appears in its reflection.
7 “It’s The Hap, Hap, Happiest Christmas”—National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
Christmas time. A time for family, friends, love, and a squirrel… SQUIRREL!
Yes, in a Christmas film about the Griswold family Christmas get-together, it’s full of mayhem, interruptions, and crazy antics. One particularly funny moment is when a real tree is brought into the house after Clark digs it up because he wants to find the “Perfect Christmas Tree.” Little does he know, though, that a squirrel is nesting in the tree, creating the perfect scene where Aunt Bethany can hear a strange sound, which Clark then hears coming from the tree. After peering through the branches, a squirrel jumps out at him, to which everyone screams SQUIRREL!
Another hilarious moment has to be Clark’s rant about Christmas, which just goes to show how much he is starting to lose his sanity.
But the top scene in this film has to be the culmination of Clark attempting to put up the million Christmas lights on the roof of the house. After multiple attempts, all of which are foiled by people turning off a switch or unplugging them, they light up while he has gone to look at the switch. This results in a power outage across the area. Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo), his wife, then saves the day as she realizes the issue, and the lights beam on for a feel-good family moment, which has this underlying comedy to it with Clark’s expressions and the family looking on cold and bored.
Starring the comedy genius Will Ferrell, this comedy movie takes Buddy the Elf to New York City on a journey to find his real dad. With that comes some hilarious, genius moments. One of the best scenes in Elf has to be Buddy shouting “SANTA!” after Gimbel’s manager (Faizon Love) states that at 10 am the next day, Santa would be visiting. It’s hilarious, and the fact that Love never breaks character makes it even better.
Also, the image of Ferrell eating all that spaghetti with sugary treats, including all that maple syrup, definitely shows his dedication to this role.
5 “TOPO GIGIO!”—The Santa Clause
Whether it is Tim Allen’s grunt always making us laugh, his cat-fighting sound, or the fact that he burns the turkey like every other movie character cooking turkeys, it must be said that The Santa Clause is one of the funniest Christmas movies there is.
One of the best scenes in the film comes when Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) is interrogated by the police, who don’t believe he is Santa. Scott then reels off the many names of Santa Clause, with some hilarious additions in there, like “Topo Gigio,” which was a character on the Ed Sullivan show back in the day and also roughly translates as Louie Mouse.
4 “Put That Cookie Down, Now!”—Jingle All tThe Way
During the hilariously manic film Jingle All the Way (1996), starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as Howard Langston, he rings home and hears his neighbor Ted (Phil Hartman) answer the phone. He grows increasingly panicked about Ted being left alone with his wife and, as a result, gets very protective over his wife’s baked wares, those irresistible cookies. As he warns Ted to leave the cookies alone, he screams into the phone, “put that cookie down, now!” which comes as a comedic and very quoatable moment.
3 The Story of Tiny Tim—The Muppet Christmas Carol
In 1992, a magical Muppet movie, The Muppet Christmas Carol, was released into the world, directed by Brian Henson, the son of great legendary puppeteer Jim Henson. The film is the story of Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol but told from a Muppet narrator’s perspective, Gonzo (Dave Goelz) and his pal Rizzo the Rat (Steve Whitmire) as they overlook Scrooge’s (Michael Caine) life.
There are multiple memorable scenes that make the top list, including the amazing “Come in and know me better, man” scene with the Ghost of Christmas Present (Jerry Nelson). One scene that tops that and sends us into floods of emotion and tears is the scene regarding Tiny Tim toward the end. We find out about his disability, sometime after which comes a heart-wrenching scene that will not be spoiled, in case you haven’t seen it. This scene leaves the viewer in tears every time and perfectly conveys why we should cherish loved ones every day.
2 “Keep the Change, Ya Filthy Animal”—Home Alone
It’s the movie that hits the right spot every time it’s watched. With many iconic moments, it’s the film that makes the dream of every kid being left to their own devices a reality. We find partway into the movie that Kevin McCallister (Macauley Culkin) is being watched by burglars Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern). During one scene when Marv tries to enter the McCallister home, Kevin makes use of the movie Angels with Filthy Souls dialogue, where the character Johnny says, “keep the change, ya filthy animal.” This line alone is probably one of the most quotable and memorable moments in the film. That or the fake Christmas party where Kevin rigs up various cardboard cutouts to look like silhouettes of people to deter the thieves!
1 “Every Time a Bell Rings, an Angel Gets His Wings”—It’s a Wonderful Life
There’s nothing like settling down on Christmas Day with your festive snacks and popping on the film that has been a yearly tradition for a lot of families on Christmas Day. That’s the 1946 film It’s a Wonderful Life, directed by Frank Capra. One of the most beloved scenes comes when George Bailey (James Stewart) holds up his daughter Zuzu during a loving family moment, and she says, “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” This comes as a wonderful touch to an overarching message for George and the audience, just after he learns that he helped a friend to gain their wings.
+ It’s Time to Dance—Love Actually
A very memorable dance scene that sticks in everyone’s mind could also be classed as one of the best scenes in the movie. It’s probably not what you thought, though.
It’s Love, Actually! Yes, the amazing scene that sees Prime Minister David (Hugh Grant) boogying through the halls of No. 10 Downing Street in London to the tune of “Jump” by The Pointer Sisters. The wonderful Hugh Grant really makes the scene legendary, with him wiggling from doorway to doorway, then spinning around in a comedic turn to see his secretary standing there watching him.