Top 10 Most Rewatched Scenes in Christmas Movies
Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 most rewatched scenes in Christmas movies.
For this list, we’ll be looking at the funniest, most joyous, and most entertaining scenes from holiday flicks that we can’t stop watching over and over again.
What is your favorite Christmas movie scene? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!
#10: The Leg Lamp
“A Christmas Story” (1983)
This Christmas classic is a timeless work of art. Released in the early ‘80s and set some time in the late ‘30s or early ‘40s, “A Christmas Story” transcends time and place with entertaining vignettes on childhood, family, and best of all, Christmas. The movie is filled with memorable scenes, including Ralphie and his bunny PJs, but the leg lamp stands above them all. The lamp’s arrival is wall-to-wall enjoyment, from the delivery guy’s frustration to The Old Man’s hilarious mispronouncing of “fragile.” The reveal of the lamp is equally hilarious, mixing the bemused shock of seeing a female leg lamp wearing a fishnet stocking - what kind of prize is that? - to Mrs. Parker’s resentment of her family’s enthusiasm. We could watch this all day.
#9: Frank’s Speech
Charles Dickens’s “A Christmas Carol” seems to be continuously adapted in some form or another. In 1988, it came in the form of “Scrooged,” a modern re-telling that saw Bill Murray as a cranky and self-centered TV executive named Frank Cross. After his healing journey with the Ghosts, Frank interrupts a live broadcast of “A Christmas Carol” to expound on his newfound love of life. Despite seeing the touching climax of “A Christmas Carol” a thousand times before, “Scrooged” managed to make it fresh through Bill Murray’s typically impassioned performance, a touch of dark humor (like Preston kicking his cat in frustration), and a beautiful sentiment about the meaning of Christmas.
#8: The Ringing Bell
“The Polar Express” (2004)
Based on the children’s book of the same name, “The Polar Express” concerns that confusing time in a child’s life where they begin to question the existence of Santa. The Hero Boy is growing older and thus more reflective, resulting in the arrival of the titular Polar Express. In a wonderful bit of symbolism, the Boy can’t hear the ringing of a reindeer’s bell - merely the empty clacking as it hits the ground. However, when he chooses to believe in the existence of Santa, the bell rings to his delight and in its reflection, he sees Santa arrive. It’s a gorgeous scene, and it’s enough to make even the most cynical among us shed a tear.
#7: The Grinch Saves Christmas
“How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” (1966)
Running a tight 25 minutes, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” may be the best animated TV special ever produced. Luckily, it had strong foundational material in Dr. Seuss’s classic children’s story. After stealing the gifts from Whoville, the Grinch hears the residents singing in celebration. They don’t need gifts - they’re simply happy to be in each other’s company. It’s a lesson that The Grinch, and hopefully the viewers, take to heart. It’s a beautiful sequence, filled with some gorgeous animation, catchy music, and a message that will remain timeless.
#6: Sam Runs Through the Airport
“Love Actually” (2003)
Many scenes from “Love Actually” have become classics throughout the years, including the famous cue card sequence where Mark bares his soul to Juliet. But we’re suckers for a good climax, and “Love Actually” delivers one with Sam running through the airport. It’s cheesy and certainly a little cliché, but there’s nothing wrong with a little cheese around the holiday season. The scene begins in a great way, with Rowan Atkinson’s guardian angel-like figure distracting the airport employee and flashing Daniel a look of acknowledgement. Perhaps the best part of the scene is Craig Armstrong’s music and the way it intermingles with the movie’s other subplots. Little Thomas Brodie-Sangster is adorable, and so is this scene.
#5: The One & Only Santa
“Miracle on 34th Street” (1947)
An oldie but a goodie, “Miracle on 34th Street” concerns a department store Santa Claus named Kris Kringle who is institutionalized for claiming that he is the real Santa and behaving accordingly. A lawyer named Fred Gailey decides to defend him in court with the hope of proving that he is, in fact, Santa Claus. In the movie’s climactic sequence, Fred presents mailbags full of Christmas letters and has them dumped on the judge’s desk in a hilarious bit of physical comedy. The judge dismisses the case after Fred successfully argues that a branch of the federal government has acknowledged that Kris is Santa. It’s a cute and hilarious scene - especially the joyous look on Kris’s face and the seemingly-endless line of postmen that file their way into the courtroom.
#4: Fried Feline
“National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)
One of the most adored Christmas movies ever made, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” takes the scary concept of a massive family gathering and turns the dial up to 11 for maximum cringe and comedy. And while it contains lots of great slapstick and family-based comedy, perhaps the funniest scene is Clark accidentally “frying” Bethany’s cat. The shock of it alone - no pun intended - is enough to make audiences laugh in surprise, but the funniest parts are the sounds and details. The cat lets out a darkly hilarious yowl, and Clark and Eddie discover the comical image of a cat silhouette burned into the carpet. Of course, we’re not saying we like it when cats die, but as this isn’t real, we can still enjoy the joke.
#3: A Life-Affirming Realization
“It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946)
Another classic from the ‘40s, “It’s a Wonderful Life” is a perennial Christmas favorite, owing largely to its life-affirming message. The movie concerns the depressed George Bailey. He is visited by his guardian angel Clarence, who shows him what life would be like if he were not in it. By the end of his spiritual journey, George confidently declares that he wants to live again in one of cinema’s most classic and enduring sequences. James Stewart is excellent as always, and the shot of the snow beginning to fall is enough to bring tears to one’s eyes. It’s a wonderful life indeed, which this film is more than happy to remind us.
Alright, now let’s watch Will Ferrell act like a child. “Elf” is one of the modern Christmas classics, a reputation that is due in large part to Ferrell’s brilliant performance. That genius montage of Buddy exploring New York is enough to make anyone fall in love. Coming from the North Pole, Buddy is well aware that Santa is real. But Wanda isn’t, and he’s none too happy with Buddy’s childish enthusiasm. There are so many wonderful aspects to this scene that we don’t even know where to start. Of course, there’s Buddy’s ecstatic yell and Wanda’s thinly-veiled frustration, but there’s also the woman in black who gives a very “this man is crazy” look as well as Buddy’s excitement upon seeing a fellow elf.
Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
Toilet Talk, “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation” (1989)
Nothing Like Dumping Sewage to Get You in the Holiday Spirit
The TV Trick, “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York” (1992)
It’s Like That Hilarious Scene from the First One, Only Better
Fred Astaire Gives Us Some Words of Wisdom, “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town” (1970)
A Beautiful Speech About the True Meaning of Christmas
A New Year’s Eve Surprise , “A Christmas Prince” (2017)
There’s Nothing Quite Like a Really Cute Proposal
The Finale, “White Christmas” (1954)
Santa Outfits, Song & Dance & a Giant Tree - What More Could You Ask For?
#1: The Booby Traps
“Home Alone” (1990)
Which kid didn’t watch the booby trap sequence on endless repeat around the holidays? The ending of “Home Alone” is a remarkable string of slapstick comedy. There’s falling down stairs, BB gun shootings, slipping on toy cars, stepping on nails, irons banging into heads, and paint cans flying into faces. Perhaps the funniest image of all is Harry getting blow torched and screaming for a solid five seconds before deciding to actually do something about it. The booby traps strike the perfect balance between depraved and comedic, just as the sequence itself strikes the perfect balance between kid and adult entertainment. Everyone can enjoy this, and everyone does - over and over again!