Order of the Vacation Movies: A Vacation Saga

The National Lampoon’s Vacation movie series is an iconic comedy franchise that began with John Hughes’ short story “Vacation ’58”. The series follows the misadventures of the Griswold family as they embark on various hilarious and entertaining vacations. The first five films in the series were distributed by Warner Bros., and there have been talks of a reboot in recent years. In this article, we will walk you through the perfect order to watch the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies.

order of the vacation movies

Key Takeaways:

  • The National Lampoon’s Vacation movie series is a comedy franchise that follows the misadventures of the Griswold family on their vacations.
  • The first five films in the series were distributed by Warner Bros.
  • The perfect order to watch the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies is: National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989), Vegas Vacation (1997), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2 (2003), and Vacation (2015).
  • The Vacation movies have left a lasting impact on the comedy genre and continue to be enjoyed by fans worldwide.
  • There have been talks of a reboot of the Vacation series in recent years, keeping the potential for new movies in the future.

National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)

“National Lampoon’s Vacation” is the first film in the Vacation series, released in 1983. It follows the Griswold family as they embark on a cross-country road trip from Chicago to California. The film is known for its hilarious and eventful journey, filled with mishaps and quirky characters. Chevy Chase stars as the patriarch of the Griswold family, and the film is considered one of the best vacation movies ever made.

The film begins with Clark Griswold, a hardworking but accident-prone family man, who decides to take his wife Ellen and their two children, Rusty and Audrey, on a dream vacation to the fictional theme park, Walley World. Along the way, they encounter various obstacles and comedic situations, including a run-in with a rude hotel clerk, a disastrous camping trip, and a flirtatious encounter with Christie Brinkley’s character, known as the “girl in the red Ferrari.”

“National Lampoon’s Vacation” is filled with memorable scenes and quotable lines, such as Clark’s iconic rant after discovering that Walley World is closed, “This is crazy, this is crazy, this is crazy!” The film captures the essence of family vacations, with relatable moments and exaggerated mishaps that leave audiences in stitches. Its success led to the creation of several sequels and solidified the Vacation franchise as a beloved comedy series.

Whether you’re a fan of Chevy Chase’s comedic genius or simply enjoy hilarious and relatable family comedies, “National Lampoon’s Vacation” is a must-watch film. It sets the tone for the rest of the Vacation series and remains a classic in the world of comedy movies.

National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)

“National Lampoon’s European Vacation” is the second film in the Vacation series, released in 1985. In this installment, the Griswold family wins a free vacation tour across Europe and experiences the usual havoc that ensues. They visit famous landmarks in London, Paris, Germany, and Rome, encountering driving mishaps, fashion crimes, language barriers, and encounters with the authorities. While not as well-received as the first film, it still has its funny moments and continues the entertaining adventures of the Griswold family.

In “National Lampoon’s European Vacation,” Chevy Chase once again portrays the lovable and well-meaning but often accident-prone Clark Griswold. The film takes viewers on a whirlwind European tour, showcasing iconic landmarks and cultural mishaps along the way. From Clark’s attempts at driving on the wrong side of the road in London to his cringe-worthy run-ins with the law in Rome, the film combines slapstick humor with relatable family dynamics.

While not reaching the same level of critical acclaim as its predecessor, “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” still offers plenty of laughs and memorable moments. Fans of the original film will enjoy seeing the Griswold family back in action, facing new challenges and embracing the chaos that comes with traveling abroad. Whether it’s the miscommunication at a French restaurant or the hilarious mix-up at the Bavarian castle, the film delivers on the comedic front.

Overall, “National Lampoon’s European Vacation” may not be considered the strongest entry in the Vacation series, but it continues to entertain audiences with its zany adventures and Chevy Chase’s comedic performance. If you’re a fan of the Griswold family and their misadventures, this film is a must-watch to see them take on Europe and all the comedic mishaps that follow.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” is the third film in the Vacation series, released in 1989. This holiday-themed installment follows the Griswold family as they attempt to have a fun-filled, traditional Christmas at home. However, their plans quickly turn into a disaster with family dysfunction, broken equipment, and unexpected confrontations with the authorities. The film is filled with Chevy Chase’s comedic antics and is a beloved Christmas classic.

In “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation,” Clark Griswold, played by Chevy Chase, is determined to have the perfect old-fashioned family Christmas. He decorates the house with thousands of lights, causing a neighborhood power outage, and goes all out to make everything just right. However, his plans are constantly thwarted by a series of comedic mishaps, including an overzealous tree trimming, a squirrel infestation, and his obnoxious relatives showing up uninvited. Through it all, Clark tries to maintain his holiday spirit while dealing with one hilarious catastrophe after another.

The film has become a holiday favorite for many viewers, known for its relatable and humorous portrayal of the chaos that often accompanies family gatherings during the Christmas season. With its memorable characters, quotable lines, and heartwarming moments, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” continues to be enjoyed by audiences year after year, remaining a staple of holiday movie marathons.

Vegas Vacation (1997)

“Vegas Vacation” is the fourth film in the Vacation series, released in 1997. In this installment, the Griswold family decides to take a vacation to Las Vegas to escape from the stresses of everyday life. However, their plans for a fun family vacation are soon overshadowed by the temptations and chaos of Sin City. While not as well-received as the earlier films, it still has its funny moments, especially with Chevy Chase’s performance as Clark Griswold.

The film follows the Griswold family as they experience the wild and unpredictable nature of Las Vegas. From gambling mishaps to encountering eccentric characters, the Griswolds find themselves in a series of hilarious situations. Clark’s quest to win big at the casino and his son Rusty’s unexpected success in the world of gambling add to the comedic chaos. With its comedic portrayal of the infamous Las Vegas strip, “Vegas Vacation” offers a humorous take on the indulgent and sometimes absurd nature of the city.

Although “Vegas Vacation” may not have received the same level of critical acclaim as some of the earlier films in the series, it remains an entertaining addition to the Vacation franchise. The film showcases the comedic talents of the ensemble cast, including Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, and Randy Quaid, who reprise their roles as the iconic Griswold family. “Vegas Vacation” may not be the strongest entry in the series, but it still provides plenty of laughs and captures the spirit of the Vacation movies.

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure (2003)

“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure” is the fifth film in the Vacation series and was released in 2003. While not as well-received as the main series films, it still offers some humorous moments and continues the Vacation franchise.

This spin-off focuses on Eddie Johnson and his family, who embark on a holiday to the South Pacific that goes awry when they get shipwrecked on an island. The film showcases the hilarious misadventures of the eccentric Cousin Eddie, played by Randy Quaid, as he tries to navigate life on a deserted island with his family. From crazy encounters with wildlife to ridiculous attempts at survival, the film delivers plenty of laughs.

Although it may not have the same recognition or popularity as the earlier Vacation movies, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure” still captures the essence of the franchise by injecting it with its signature humor and absurd situations. It serves as a fun addition for fans looking to extend their Vacation movie marathon.

Table: Ratings and Reception

Film IMDb Rating Rotten Tomatoes Score
“Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure” 2.7/10 0%
“National Lampoon’s Vacation” (1983) 7.4/10 93%
“National Lampoon’s European Vacation” (1985) 6.2/10 39%
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989) 7.6/10 68%
“Vegas Vacation” (1997) 5.9/10 13%
“Vacation” (2015) 6.1/10 26%

Vacation (2015)

The sixth and final film in the Vacation series is “Vacation,” released in 2015. Serving as both a sequel and a reboot, the film follows a grown-up Rusty Griswold as he attempts to recreate the vacations of his childhood by taking his own family on a road trip to Walley World. With Ed Helms in the role of Rusty, the film also features appearances from Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo, who reprise their roles as Clark and Ellen Griswold.

While “Vacation” may not have received the same level of critical acclaim as the original films, it still offers plenty of comedic moments and a nostalgic callback to the Vacation movies that fans know and love. The movie explores the challenges and mishaps that the Griswold family encounters on their journey, with memorable scenes and hilarious interactions along the way.

As the final installment in the Vacation series, “Vacation” provides a fitting conclusion to the Griswold family’s misadventures. It pays homage to the classic elements of the previous films while adding its own modern twist. Whether you’re a fan of the original Vacation movies or new to the franchise, “Vacation” offers an enjoyable and entertaining experience that will leave you laughing.

“Hey, you must be the Griswolds. I’m here to take you white water rafting. Why’s my raft all inflated?” – Rusty Griswold

Vacation movie 2015

Table: Comparison of Vacation Movies

Film Release Year Main Characters Plot
National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983) 1983 Clark, Ellen, Rusty, Audrey Griswold The Griswold family embarks on a cross-country road trip to California, encountering various mishaps and humorous situations along the way.
National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985) 1985 Clark, Ellen, Rusty, Audrey Griswold The Griswold family wins a vacation tour across Europe and experiences comedic havoc as they visit famous landmarks and encounter cultural mishaps.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) 1989 Clark, Ellen, Rusty, Audrey Griswold The Griswold family attempts to have a fun-filled Christmas at home, but their plans are derailed by family dysfunction and unexpected chaos.
Vegas Vacation (1997) 1997 Clark, Ellen, Rusty, Audrey Griswold The Griswold family heads to Las Vegas for a vacation, but their plans for relaxation are hijacked by the allure and chaos of Sin City.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure (2003) 2003 Eddie Johnson, Catherine Johnson Eddie and his family embark on a holiday to the South Pacific, which takes a disastrous turn when they get stranded on an island.
Vacation (2015) 2015 Rusty Griswold, Debbie Griswold Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to Walley World, aiming to recreate the vacations of his childhood.

The Perfect Order to Watch the National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies

If you’re a fan of the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies and want to watch them in the perfect order, look no further. While there is no definitive answer to the best order to watch these iconic comedy films, watching them in chronological order can give you a sense of the Griswold family’s hilarious misadventures over the years.

Here is the recommended order:

  1. National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983)
  2. National Lampoon’s European Vacation (1985)
  3. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
  4. Vegas Vacation (1997)
  5. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure (2003)
  6. Vacation (2015)

Following this order allows you to witness the Griswold family’s chaotic and humorous vacations unfold in a way that builds upon their previous escapades. From their memorable cross-country road trip to their disastrous trips to Europe, Las Vegas, and even an island adventure, each film adds a unique twist to the family’s vacation experiences.

Watching the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies in this order allows you to appreciate the evolution of the characters and their comedic dynamics, while also enjoying the timeless humor that has made these films beloved by audiences worldwide.

So grab some popcorn, gather your family or friends, and prepare for a laughter-filled movie marathon as you watch the National Lampoon’s Vacation movies in the perfect order!

Movie Title Year of Release
National Lampoon’s Vacation 1983
National Lampoon’s European Vacation 1985
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 1989
Vegas Vacation 1997
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie’s Island Adventure 2003
Vacation 2015

The Legacy of the Vacation Movies

The National Lampoon’s Vacation movies have left a lasting legacy in the world of comedy. Known for their hilarious portrayal of the Griswold family’s misadventures, these films have become iconic in the genre. They have entertained audiences for decades and continue to be beloved by fans all over the world.

One of the key impacts of the Vacation movie series is their ability to capture the chaos and hilarity that often comes with family vacations. The films resonate with audiences who can relate to the mishaps, unexpected encounters, and dysfunctional dynamics depicted on screen. They serve as a reminder that even the most well-planned vacations can go awry, and that laughter is the best medicine when things don’t go as planned.

“I don’t know what to say, except it’s Christmas and we’re all in misery.” – Clark Griswold, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Vacation movies have also inspired various advertising campaigns, showcasing their enduring cultural impact. The characters, such as Clark and Ellen Griswold, have become iconic figures in comedy cinema, with Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo’s performances etched in the minds of audiences. The films have influenced other comedies that followed, laying the groundwork for similar vacation-themed adventures and family-oriented humor.

The legacy of the Vacation movies is a testament to their ability to entertain and resonate with audiences. Despite the passage of time, these films continue to bring joy, laughter, and a sense of nostalgia to viewers, making them an enduring part of comedy film history.

legacy of the Vacation movies

The Future of the Vacation Franchise

The National Lampoon’s Vacation franchise has had a long and successful run, capturing the hearts of audiences with its hilarious and chaotic family adventures. While the series concluded with “Vacation” in 2015, fans have been curious about the future of the Vacation franchise and whether we can expect more films in the future.

There have been talks of a reboot for the Vacation series, which could potentially introduce a new cast and storyline while still capturing the spirit of the original films. While no official announcement has been made, the nostalgia and enduring popularity of the franchise make it a tempting choice for a reboot. A fresh take on the Griswold family’s vacations could bring a new generation of fans into the fold and offer a chance to continue the hilarious and entertaining legacy of the Vacation movies.

It’s worth noting that reboots and revivals have become increasingly common in the entertainment industry, with franchises like “Jurassic Park” and “Ghostbusters” receiving modern updates. The Vacation series has a rich history and a dedicated fan base, making it a prime candidate for a successful reboot.

While the future of the Vacation franchise is uncertain, it’s clear that the films have left a lasting impact on pop culture. The misadventures of the Griswold family have become iconic, and the films continue to be enjoyed and quoted by fans all over the world. Whether through a reboot or other forms of media, it’s likely that we haven’t seen the last of the Vacation movies.

Conclusion

The National Lampoon’s Vacation movies offer a hilarious and entertaining saga of the Griswold family’s misadventures. Whether you choose to watch them in chronological order or prefer a different sequence, each film has its own unique charm and comedic moments. From the classic “National Lampoon’s Vacation” to the modern “Vacation,” these films continue to entertain audiences and remind us of the chaos and hilarity that can come along with family vacations.

While there is no perfect order to follow, watching the Vacation movies in chronological order allows you to witness the evolution of the Griswold family’s escapades over the years. Starting with their cross-country road trip in the original film, followed by their European tour, disastrous Christmas vacation, wild Vegas journey, unexpected island adventure, and finally, Rusty’s attempt to recreate childhood memories, each film adds a new layer to the Vacation series.

Whether you’re a fan of Chevy Chase’s comedic genius, the relatable family dynamics, or the outrageous scenarios the Griswold family finds themselves in, the Vacation movies are a must-watch for any comedy lover. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the Vacation saga in whatever order you choose.