Have you ever watched the original National Lampoon’s Vacation starring Chevy Chase? If you have, you've no doubt laughed until you've sobbed at all of the zany, racy, and crazy things the Griswolds do on their way to Walley World. All of the movies in this series (Vacation, European Vacation, Christmas Vacation, Vegas Vacation, and 2015’s reboot Vacation) are funny, but there are definitely some bizarre things in the Vacation movies.
Take another watch, and something becomes painfully clear: Clark Griswold is awful. He's a nightmare of a character and a total creep, and he does horrible things to other people – especially his own family. Need proof that Clark Griswold is a psychopath? There are plenty of examples across all of the Vacation films. You don't have to look far to find reasons that Clark Griswold is crazy.
He Has No Respect For Human Life
Aunt Edna is an aging, cantankerous woman who calls it as she sees it. She hitches a ride with the Griswolds from Kansas to Arizona, but dies partway through the trip. No one notices for a while, and when they do, Clark suggests they leave her dead body by the side of the road. Ellen naturally opposes this idea, but Clark being Clark, he pretty much gets his way. So instead of handling Aunt Edna's corpse with respect, he straps it to the roof of the car, and then leaves it at his relative’s house. On the porch. In the rain.
He Resorts To Violence To Get His Way
At the finale of Vacation, Clark and his family arrive at Walley World – only to discover that the whole park has been shut down for renovations. In an attempt to fulfill his goal of “having fun,” Clark becomes desperate. He secretly purchases a pellet gun at a nearby sporting goods store and returns to the park.
At first Clark simply tries to lie his way past a security guard, but when that fails, he takes the guard hostage using the pellet gun. Then, with the security guard in tow, the Griswolds enjoy the empty amusement park.
Sure, they all end up smiling, but pulling a gun to go on a few rides is the ploy of a deranged man.
He Kills A Dog Without Remorse
Yes, Clark kills a dog. Sure, the dog is pretty hostile to him; it chomps on his leg every time he’s close. But still, it's insane that Clark completely forgets he tied the dog to the bumper as he struggles to pack the car up and continue their trip.
While the gory details aren't shown on screen, it’s implied that they travel for miles before Clark even realizes what he’s done. Not that he realizes it on his own – he’s stopped by a highly emotional police officer who's horrified at the animal abuse Clark is capable of.
To avoid any sort of punishment, Clark puts on the crocodile tears and flees. And instead of apologizing to his family for doing something horrible, he instead opts to cover it up with lies.
It’s His Way Or The Highway
Warning: this clip contains repeated swearing and horrible parenting.
Clark is met with quite a lot of opposition throughout the trip. His family doesn't really want to go to Walley World, and they’d rather not drive that far in the first place. As their problems and misfortunes mount up, his wife and kids even plead with him to go back. Instead of listening, Clark has a total breakdown and spouts off a rant that borders on being a temper tantrum. Instead of going back home, he resolves to continue regardless of what his family actually wants.