Holiday films bring to mind very specific scenes from classics. It’s a Wonderful life brings to mind “Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings.” But the Millennial generation tends to reference recent pop culture, and are more likely to say “You sit on a throne of lies!” Here is a list of millennial holiday movies that have become tradition to watch or reference.
The Movie: Alcoholic conman Willie T. Stokes (Billy Bob Thorton) and his partner pose as Santa and his elf take advantage of the season and pull some heists on Christmas Eve. He’s like a raunchy middle aged Grinch/Scrooge who tries to get away from the spirit of Christmas but ends up getting befriended by a misfit kid who ends up helping his heart grow a few sizes.
Iconic Moment: When the cops are in hot pursuit once his cover’s been blown but he races to give his kid a Christmas present.
Quotable: “I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself.” -Willie
Where you’ll come across this: Definitely at the Santa pub crawls.
The Movie: Buddy (Will Ferrel), a man raised by elves is sent is the U.S. to search for his true identity after not fitting in over at the North Pole.
Iconic Moment: The Mall and revolving door scene.
Quotable: Buddy’s lines, “You sit on a throne of lies!” and “SANTA! OH MY GOD!”
Where you’ll come across this: You’ll find the snarky film fan saying the above to a mall Santa in Buddy’s voice.
The Movie: Hapless father Clark Griswold wants to host the perfect Christmas but everything that can go wrong, does go wrong.
Iconic Moment: The Christmas lights on the house refusing to work until the Christmas miracle of a light switch.
Quotable: “Where do you think you’re going? Nobody’s leaving. Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together. This is a full-blown, four-alarm holiday emergency here. We’re gonna press on, and we’re gonna have the hap, hap, happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap-danced with Danny f–king Kaye. And when Santa squeezes his fat white ass down that chimney tonight, he’s gonna find the jolliest bunch of assholes this side of the nuthouse.”- Clark Griswold.
Where you’ll come across this: Your dysfunctional family’s Christmas.
The Santa Clause
The movie: Scott Calvin (Tim Allen) accidentally becomes Santa after accidentally offing the last Santa.
Iconic Moment: Calvin attempting to fight off the changes but feeling jollier and living off a diet of Milk and Cookies.
Quotable: Scott’s son saying “It’s Santa! You killed him!” to which he replies “Did not! And that’s not Santa.” and his kid adding “Well, he was…”
Where you’ll come across this: ABC family’s 25 days of Christmas movie marathon, that you put on as background while you Christmas wrap or cook but will totally end up getting sucked into.
Nightmare Before Christmas
The Movie: Jack Skellington, the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town searches for what he’s missing after growing tired of his Holiday. After one gloomy walk, he stumbles upon Christmas Town and is amazed by what he finds. He decides to give Santa the year off by taking the reigns on Christmas but discovers that his enthusiasm and take on the holiday just won’t work out.
Iconic Moment: What kid wasn’t slightly scarred or excited by the idea that they would unwrap a Scary Teddy or Shrunken head? That montage of kids opening their presents from Sandy Claws is definitely the most memorable.
Quotable: You mean all of Danny Elfman’s songs?
Where you’ll come across this: You’ll likely buy your formerly Emo-kid friend something from Hot Topic with Jack on it. But seriously though, you know you burst into or blast “What’s this?” and “Making Christmas”. Don’t kid yourself.
The Movie: Follows the lives of eight British couples during Christmas time and the different forms love takes.
Iconic Moment: So many! This movie sets the standard for unrealistic expectations of Christmas moments, but they’re so CUTE! You have Hugh Grant as the Prime Minister dancing to the Pointer Sister’s “Jump, for my love.”. The moment where Andrew Lincoln’s character confesses his love to his best friend’s wife (Keira Knightly) with huge note cards while her husband’s in the other room but it’s okay cause it’s Christmas. However, it’s really the kid running through the airport, past security to say goodbye to his crush that takes top honor in this movie. Which if you think about it, that’s also okay because his dad is Liam Neeson and you don’t mess with that guy’s kids.
Quotable: “I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes. Christmas is all around me and so the feeling grows.” from Bill Nighy’s song which he performs naked. Also very memorable.
Where you’ll come across this: You or your significant other will force the other to watch it or a movie night among friends.
The Movie: John McClane, NYPD Cop, sets out to save his wife and other hostages from German terrorist Hans Gruber (Alan Rickman) during a Christmas party.
Iconic Moment: The Christmas sweater message.
Quotable: “Yippie-Ki-Yay, Motherf–ker!” -John McClane
Where you’ll come across this: You or your significant other will put these on as retaliation for having to watch Love Actually. Or hey maybe all parties really like these movies.
Eight Crazy Nights
The movie: Burn-out partier Davey Stone is sentenced to community service and forced to coach a youth basketball league to fulfill his dues. Working with, and also being taken in by, his former coach Whitey reminds him of his past in this holiday flick about redemption and reindeer poo.
Iconic Moment: Whitey’s white chest hair shirt.
Quotable: “Bum, biddy, biddy, biddy, bum, bum.” And if you’re familiar with the song, it’s now stuck in your head.
Where you’ll come across this: It’s likely one of Sandler’s Chanukah song’s will come on, someone will remember this movie exists and you’ll watch it. Not only is it one of the few non Christmas Holiday movies that’s really funny but also one of Sandler’s last pretty decent productions compared to Zohan.
Jingle All The Way
The Movie: A dad, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger, goes on a hunt for the action figure of his kid’s favorite superhero “Turbo-Man” and it turns out to be more difficult than it seems as the toy is sold-out everywhere.
Iconic Scene: When Arnold becomes “Turbo-Man” in the parade.
Quotable: In Arnold voice, “PUT DA COOKIE DOWN!”
Where you’ll come across this: Netflix. You’ll put it on, swearing that you remembered it being really good.
The Movie: The McCallister family accidentally leaves the youngest child Kevin behind when they go on a family vacation for Christmas. Kevin thinks his wish that his family would disappear has come true but his dream turns into a nightmare when two burglars try to break in. In order to stop them he becomes kid MacGyver and sets lots of traps to get them.
Iconic Scene: When the traps are set in motion and the burglars somehow don’t die.
Quotable: When Kevin screams when he applies after-shave and when he says “Merry Christmas, ya filthy animal!”
Where you’ll come across this: Everywhere. This series is probably the timeless Holiday movies that gives the most feels.