Guess what, everyone? It’s almost Christmas! If you can’t tell, we here at Screen Rant are pretty excited. We’re gearing up for the holidays by stirring up the fire, snuggling up with a good blanket and some cocoa, and marathoning Christmas movies! If you are anything like us, there are some movies (both good and bad) that you just have to break out and watch during this time of year.
Some of these movies we’ve seen hundreds of times, and could recite off the top of our heads at a moment’s notice. But why? Maybe they provide us with fond memories of our childhoods; maybe they are just overall good movies, or maybe they have so many quotable lines that we just can’t resist getting them out once a year to brush up!
But which Christmas movies are truly the most quotable? To make this list, the film must involve the holidays in some way, shape, or form and feature lines of dialogue that we parrot back at each other all year ’round. Here are the 15 Most Quotable Christmas Movies Of All Time.
15. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
“Look up ‘idiot’ in the dictionary, know what you’ll find?”
What better to kick off our list of quotable Christmas movies than something directed by Shane Black? The guy practically spits out movies that have line after line of memorable dialogue; the Lethal Weapon series (which we’ll get to later) has some of the greatest one-liners of all time and even his more recent movies like Iron Man 3 or The Nice Guys are fun-filled romps with unforgettable banter. 2005’s Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is no different.
Although it’s not a Christmas movie in the traditional sense, the film takes place during the season and references the holiday, so it counts! There are so many quotable lines in this movie, mostly from the hilarious banter between the two lead characters. There’s the exchange that takes place right after Robert Downey Jr.’s character accidentally shoots his prisoner in the head while trying to intimidate him, in which he says there was an “8% chance” this would have happened. Then there’s the line we put above, where Downey Jr. gets asked what he’d find in the dictionary if he looked up the word “idiot.” “A picture of me?” he asks. “No!” an angry Val Kilmer responds, “the definition of the word ‘idiot,’ which is what you f****** are!” We’ve definitely used that one a few times…
14. Love Actually
“To me, you are perfect…”
Love Actually looked to be a game changer when it came out in 2000. It was a holiday movie that starred an ensemble of actors who were absolutely huge at the time; Liam Neeson, Keira Knightley, Emma Thompson, Alan Rickman, Colin Firth, and Bill Nighy all lent their talents to the film, and future stars like The Walking Dead’s Andrew Lincoln and Best Actor Nominee Chiwetel Ejiofor made appearances, as well. It was sappy, corny, and ridiculous. But that’s what makes it so endearing, even sixteen years later!
There are a million different lines from this movie that we could throw on here. Heck, just about anything that came out of Billy Mack’s (Bill Nighy) narcissistic mouth is an instant classic! “Hiya kids! Here is an important message from your Uncle Bill. Don’t buy drugs… Become a pop star, and they give you them for free!” That one never fails to have us doubled over in laughter.
Perhaps the most quoted line from this film isn’t really a line at all. One of the subplots of the film follows Andrew Lincoln’s character as he tries to show his unrequited love for his best friend’s wife. At the climax, he surprises her outsider her house with a series of cards that express how he feels about her. It includes lines like “To me, you are perfect- And my wasted heart will love you- Until you look like this [holds up a picture of a mummy].” It’s somehow adorable and a little creepy at the same time, but memorable nonetheless!
“Bright light! Bright Light!”
People always seem to forget that Gremlins is a Christmas movie. Weirdly enough, unlike some of the other entries on this list, the holiday setting actually plays a pretty significant role in the film. The main character’s father buys him a Mogwai from a shady shopkeeper in Chinatown as Christmas present. Upon its purchase he is given three rules: “…keep him out of the light, he hates bright light…Second, don’t give him any water…[and] never feed him after midnight.” Come on, we’ve all sarcastically uttered those words when someone we know is confused at a simple task. Well, these instructions aren’t followed and all hell breaks loose in suburbia.
This is such a wonderfully dark comedy where the evil Gremlins will sing along to Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in one scene and then try to kill somebody with a chainsaw in the next. Most of the best lines from this movie come from the titular characters themselves, with Gizmo screaming “Bright light!” every time he is exposed to a light bulb, or the villain Stripe laughing “Oh, neat” as his henchmen strangle someone with a string of Christmas lights. And don’t even get us started on Kate’s speech about why she hates the holidays. That one messed us up for a long while.
12. It’s a Wonderful Life
“Every time a bell rings, an angel gets his wings!”
You can’t get more classic than It’s a Wonderful Life. Debuting in 1946 and starring James Stewart, this movie has been a Christmas tradition for many a family for decades. For the few who’ve never seen the film before, it follows a down-on-his-luck man named George as he contemplates suicide during the holiday season. Luckily, an aspiring angel named Clarence is tasked with showing George that life is still worth living, and he does this by taking him back in time to key points during his life when George made an impact on those around him. It’s, dare we say, wonderful.
Unlike most of the entries on this list, the quotes from this film aren’t meant to make you laugh. Instead they make you stop and ponder deeper things like the true nature of happiness or the meaning of life. From heart-wrenching lines like “I said I wish I had never been born!” to the more philosophical ones from Clarence like, “Remember, George: no man is a failure who has friends.” Of course, nothing is as iconic as the line that comes at the end of the movie, when Clarence convinces George that his life really is wonderful and receives his wings as a reward. It may not be as flashy or funny as the other entries, but It’s a Wonderful Life deserves to be here.
11. Lethal Weapon
“I’m too old for this…”
We told you we would get to this one! Lethal Weapon (before it became a TV show) is one of the greatest buddy-cop comedies ever. Written by Shane Black and starring screen legends Mel Gibson and Danny Glover, the action comedy is one-liner after incredible one-liner. And yes, it is a Christmas movie; it takes place during the season and has a bunch of jokes that are directly related to the holiday.
Unfortunately, we cannot quote many of the movie’s best lines in full due to their profanity. We all know that the greatest thing to come out of the Lethal Weapon series (other than Mel Gibson’s hair) is Glover’s character, Detective Murtaugh, tiredly exclaiming that he’s, “…Too old for this s***.”
A lot of the golden lines from the movie come from the chemistry between the two leads: “You ever met anybody you didn’t kill?” Murtaugh asks his partner. “Well, I haven’t killed you yet,” Riggs retorts. Gibson and Glover play off each other like a bitter old married couple, and we wouldn’t have it any other way!
10. Jingle All the Way
“Who told you you could eat my cookies?”
Oh Arnold Schwarzenegger, how we love you. The brawny Austrian is not a good actor, per say, but dang is he entertaining to watch! With a repertoire made up of half manly action and half slapstick comedy, the actor’s career has been as bizarre as some of his movies’ premises. One of his less odd films was Jingle All the Way, a story in which Arnold plays a father who goes to great lengths to get his son a Turbo Man action figure. Although it is way over the top and doesn’t have the same wholehearted message as most Christmas classics, it is a classic all the same.
Just about anything Schwarzenegger says in this one can be quoted. There’s something endearing about hearing him scream “PUT THAT COOKIE DOWN!” over the phone in his thick accent or listening to him garble out “It’s turbo time!” Then there’s the black market Santa shack in which a beefed-up Chris Kringle threatens to “deck his halls, pal” or when Arnold punches out a reindeer and says, “You started it.” This one is definitely one of those that is so bad, it’s incredible.
9. Die Hard
“Now I have a machine gun. Ho-Ho-Ho.”
Alright, we swear this is the last non-“Christmassy” entry on this list. But how could we possibly pass up the opportunity to use Die Hard? Sure, it’s the subject of ridicule nowadays, as Bruce Willis has famously phoned in his performance on the last two entries. But the original still remains the epitome of gritty ‘80s action. And it’s a Christmas movie to boot! Hell, they even use “Ode to Joy” as a recurring theme across all five films!
Willis’s portrayal of the everyman cop John McClane gave us a number of memorable lines, such as when he’s climbing through the cramped air vent, headed to kill some more bad guys, and reminisces about his wife’s invitation—“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…” Then there’s his sarcastic, dry wit, which gave us such lines as “No s*** lady, does it sound like I’m ordering a pizza?” and (of course) “Yippiee-ki-ya, mother f*****.” Then there’s the comical way he interacts with Hans Gruber (played by the late Alan Rickman). McClane mocks and laughs in the face of danger, which annoys the no-nonsense Gruber and makes for a ton of quotable scenes.
8. Bad Santa
“What the f*** is it with you and fixin’ f*****’ sandwiches!?”
The sequel may have been… less than stellar, but the original Bad Santa is a guilty holiday classic to many. The film stars Billy Bob Thorton as Willie and Tony Cox as Marcus, a Santa and elf duo who use their disguises to rob businesses at Christmas time. Much to the dismay of Marcus, Willie begins to spiral out of control as he becomes more and more addicted to booze and sex. This one is definitely not for the whole family.
Even so, Bad Santa uses its vulgarity and adult humor to create some of the funniest lines to ever come out of a Santa Claus’ mouth, such as, “…I beat the s*** out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something.” Marcus instantly replies, “You need years of therapy, many f***** years of therapy.” There’s also the side-splitting remark Willie makes that Marcus, “…can’t drink worth s***.” In a fit of rage, the dwarf responds, “I only weigh 92 pounds, you dick!” You can literally just pick a scene from this one and somewhere there will be a great quote.
7. A Christmas Carol
“God bless us, everyone!”
Here it is, the granddaddy of all Christmas stories. A Christmas Carol was written by the renowned British author Charles Dickens all the way back in 1843. Since then it has been the subject of plays, radio broadcasts, television specials, and several movies. And no matter what the adaptation, whether it be Muppets, Jim Carrey, or Sir Patrick Stewart, there are numerous lines that are included word-for-word.
We’ve all referred to something as being “…as dead as a doornail.” We’ve also all run around on Christmas day frantically asking people, “You there! What day is it?!” And we all know that real life Scrooges that scoffs “Bah, Humbug!” whenever we talk about Christmas. Perhaps these people probably aren’t as evil as the character himself, who scoffs at giving money to starving children, saying that “If they would rather die… they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.” Yikes. And we all know the quote uttered by Tiny Tim, wishing good tidings to everyone this Christmas day.
6. Home Alone
“Keep the change, ya filthy animal.”
Children of the ‘90s, unite! Home Alone was one of the definitive films of the decade, skyrocketing Macaulay Culkin to (short-lived) stardom and adding a much-needed new entry to the long list of holiday classics. The film follows Kevin McCallister, a young boy who is accidentally left behind when the rest of his family goes on vacation for Christmas. While he’s… home alone, two bumbling burglars try to rob his house; traps and hijinks ensue.
One of the great things about Home Alone is that it captured the chaotic feeling of large family get-togethers in a relatable way. When Kevin is finally alone, he gleefully says, “I made my family disappear!” Later on, he cleverly uses the audio from an old noir film to trick the pizza guy and the Wet Bandits into thinking there are still people home, scenes from which we get lots of iconic lines. But most importantly there was the quote that everybody was doing in the ‘90s, when Kevin puts on his father’s aftershave, makes a comical face, and screams “Ahhhhh!” Admit it. You did it too!
5. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
“Eat, Papa, eat!”
Just writing this entry has got “We Are Santa’s Elves” stuck in our head. Rankin/Bass Productions’ Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, released in 1964, is one that everyone has watched at some point in their life. It has become so engrained in our culture that there’s not a soul in the US who couldn’t toss out one of the many catchy lines from the film. However, what puts Rudolph so far up our list is the songs!
Let’s just list off some of the musical numbers—”Silver and Gold”, “There’s Always Tomorrow”, “We’re a Couple of Misfits”, “Holly Jolly Christmas”; ten bucks says you started singing one of these when you saw the title! Then there’s Yukon Cornelius; the man who is a literal walking catchphrase. Lines like Rudolph’s ecstatic, “I’m cute! I’m cuuuutteee!” and Hermey’s whiney “I want to be a dentist” are just the cherry on top of a movie with a million memorable moments.
“You sit on a throne of lies.”
How could we do this list without including a Will Farrell movie? The man is one of the greatest comedic actors of our generation, starring in such movies as Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, Stranger Than Fiction, and Anchorman. Possibly his greatest role comes from his first headliner straight-off of Saturday Night Live, the beloved Christmas movie Elf. This movie was directed by then-newcomer Jon Favreau and featured James Caan, Ed Asner, Bob Newhart, and Zooey Deschanel.
Where do we even start with this one? Farrell’s improvisation skills and Favreau’s comedic writing skills led to some truly amazing quotes. Seriously, who doesn’t laugh when Buddy spouts off to a fake santa, “You smell like beef and cheese, you don’t smell like Santa!” or when he gets his butt kicked by Peter Dinklage for thinking that he’s an elf, saying ”He must be a South Pole elf” because of his anger issues. Elf also gave us a new G-rated insult in the form of “Cotton-headed ninny-muggins.” And lets also not forget that “The best way to spread Christmas cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.”
3. A Christmas Story
“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
This entry has what is probably the most well-known quote on the entire list. 1984’s A Christmas Story is arguably the greatest Christmas movie ever made. It tugs at our heartstrings while also giving us a blast of nostalgia for our youth and a time of holidays gone by; it’s funny, it’s heartfelt, and most importantly, it’s real. Let’s not forget that it gave us some of the greatest quotes of any movie, Christmas or not.
Throughout the entire story, Ralphie is told that he can’t have a Red Ryder BB Gun because “You’ll shoot your eye out.” What about when he accidentally utters THE WORD? “Ohh, Fudddggeeee. Only I didn’t say “fudge.” I said THE WORD, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the “F-dash-dash-dash” word!” or when his friends Schwartz dares Flick to stick his tongue on his pole with a “…DOUBLE-DOG dare…” and then an even more serious “…TRIPLE-DOG dare…” And let’s face it, we’ve all said the word “fragile” like Ralphie’s father at some point or another. This entry doesn’t even scratch the surface of one of the best Christmas movies of all time.
2. The Grinch (both versions)
“I must stop this Christmas from coming… but how?”
Maybe this one is cheating, but we’re going to lump both the original Grinch TV movie with the 2001 Ron Howard/Jim Carrey film. They both have similar plots, and almost all of the great lines from the original are included in the remake… and then some. Honestly, we don’t even know where to start with How the Grinch Stole Christmas. When you look at the original, there is not a single line of dialogue that isn’t iconic. Everyone knows the main lyrics to the song; simply sing “You’re a mean one, Mr. Grinch…” and you’re sure to have several people join in. There are even those out there that can recite the entire movie word for word!
The 2000 remake went in a different direction, adding a lot more slapstick and meta humor to the story. People are of divided opinion on its quality, but luckily Jim Carrey’s acting alone makes it worth watching. Here you have lines relate-able to adults, such as “Am I just eating because I’m bored?” as the Grinch mindlessly chomps on glass or when he punishes the Whos by giving them “Jury duty, jury duty, jury duty, blackmail, pink slip, eviction notice, jury duty.” Even the moments meant for children are still pretty memorable, like when his dog bites him in the rear and he exclaims, “That is NOT a chew toy!” The Grinch may be as cuddly as a cactus and slimy as an eel, but we love the movies anyway.
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
“Merry Christmas! S***er was full!”
You wanted quotable? It doesn’t get any more quotable that National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation! The third entry in the Vacation series, this film focused on Clark Griswold (played by Chevy Chase) as he tried to pull off his own “Good, ol’ fashioned family Christmas.” Naturally things go awry and the audience is treated to some wonderfully wacky yuletide shenanigans. In the end, Clark learns a lesson about the true meaning of Christmas and realizes that what he wanted all along is just for his family to be happy.
We don’t have enough room in this entry to put all the great lines from Christmas Vacation here. So instead, let’s just rattle off a couple of the best ones—
“Look around us, Ellen, we’re at the threshold of Hell!”
“You couldn’t hear a dump truck driving through a nitroglycerin plant!”
“Clark, that’s the gift that keeps on givin’ throughout the entire year.”
“JOOOOOYY TOOOO THE WORLD!”
Then there’s Clark’s legendary rant towards his boss at the film’s climax, which we can’t even due justice in a quote. And then, what we think is the funniest line in any Christmas movie ever, when Cousin Eddie is emptying his RV’s septic tank in his bath robe and Clark’s neighbors walk outside. As an all-trumpet version of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” plays, Eddie glances over and says, “Merry Christmas! S***er was full!” There isn’t a scene in this entire movie that doesn’t contain at least one memorable line!
So, what do you think? Did we miss any major quotable Christmas movies? Let us know in the comments!