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20 Memorable Christmas Dinner Scenes

Updated September 26, 2019 938 votes 93 voters 2.6k views20 items

Sitting down for a big yuletide meal is an annual ritual for millions of families. The best Christmas dinner scenes in movies capture -- and, if we're being honest, sometimes exaggerate -- that experience. Many Christmas-themed films use such sequences because they offer a lot of important possibilites. For starters, showing the characters sitting down to eat together is realistic. There is also an opportunity to pull various elements together in a meaningful way. Everyone can talk, fight, or make up. Aspects of their personalities can be revealed. If the writing is good, these moments become highlights of the films. 

The most famous Christmas dinner scenes in movies include the Griswold clan dealing with dry turkey and the doddering Aunt Bethany mistaking the Pledge of Allegiance for grace in National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. And who could forget the Parker family eating at the only open establishment, a Chinese restaurant, in A Christmas Story? Those are funny Christmas dinner scenes. Others are more dramatic, like the one in Same Kind of Different as Me, in which tensions between a family rise to the surface. Believe it or not, there are even a couple of great horror examples.

Vote up the best Christmas dinner scenes in movies from the list below, regardless of which genre they are from. 

  • 'National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation' - Dry Turkey
    Video: YouTube
    National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation is a 1989 Christmas comedy film directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik. It is the third installment in National Lampoon's Vacation film series, and was written by John Hughes, based on his short story in National Lampoon magazine, "Christmas '59". The film stars Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo and Randy Quaid, with Juliette Lewis and Johnny Galecki as the Griswold children Audrey and Rusty, respectively. Since its release in 1989, Christmas Vacation has often been labeled as a modern Christmas classic. The film has achieved three home video releases: VHS and Laserdisc in early 1990, and a "Special Edition" DVD in 2003. In 2009, the film was released as an...  more
    • Actors: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Chevy Chase, Juliette Lewis, Randy Quaid, Beverly DAngelo
    • Released: 1989
    • Directed by: Jeremiah S. Chechik
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  • 'The Muppet Christmas Carol' - Toasting Scrooge
    Video: YouTube
    The Muppet Christmas Carol is a 1992 American musical fantasy-comedy film and an adaptation of Charles Dickens's 1843 novel A Christmas Carol. It is the fourth in a series of live-action musical films featuring The Muppets, with Michael Caine starring as Ebenezer Scrooge. Although it is a comedic film with contemporary songs, The Muppet Christmas Carol otherwise follows Dickens's original story closely. The film was produced and directed by Brian Henson for Jim Henson Productions, and released by Walt Disney Pictures. The Muppet Christmas Carol was dedicated to Muppets creator Jim Henson and fellow puppeteer Richard Hunt....  more
    • Actors: Michael Caine, Frank Oz, Louise Gold, Dave Goelz, Steven Mackintosh
    • Released: 1992
    • Directed by: Brian Henson
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  • 'Trading Places' - Santa Brings a Gun to a Buffet
    Video: YouTube
    Trading Places is a 1983 American comedy film directed by John Landis, starring Dan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy. It tells the story of an upper-class commodities broker and a homeless street hustler whose lives cross paths when they are unknowingly made part of an elaborate bet. Ralph Bellamy, Don Ameche, Denholm Elliott, and Jamie Lee Curtis also star. The storyline is often called a modern take on Mark Twain's classic 19th-century novel The Prince and the Pauper. It also bears a resemblance to another of Mark Twain's stories, The Million Pound Bank Note. The film was written by Timothy Harris and Herschel Weingrod and was produced by Aaron Russo. It was released to theaters in North America...  more
    • Actors: Eddie Murphy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd, Al Franken, Jim Belushi
    • Released: 1983
    • Directed by: John Landis
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  • 4

    'Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas' - Huey, Dewey, And Louie Have No Manners

    'Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas' - Huey, Dewey, And Louie Have No Manners
    Video: YouTube

    Actors:  Kelsey Grammer, Wayne Allwine, Russi Taylor

    Released: 1999

    Directed by: Alex Mann

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