When you think of the phrase “America’s First Family,” you probably think of the President’s family. Whether it’s Joe and Jill Biden, or past presidential families like the Obamas, the Clintons, or the Kennedys, that label conjures images of warmth, stability, and grace under pressure.
In film, there’s another “First Family” and it ain’t the Baileys from It’s a Wonderful Life. The Griswolds — Clark, Ellen, Rusty, and Audrey — showed us how to travel cross country, what NOT to do at a German sausage festival, and, perhaps most importantly, how to get through the holidays when your extended family is staying in your house. There’s a reason why National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is a December movie classic, and why so many people continue to experience its holiday hijinks three decades after its release.
Where is it streaming?
If you want to see Clark and company deal with getting the perfect Christmas tree, shop for that elusive present, or fight off a rogue squirrel in a crowded living room, head to HBO Max to begin streaming. Launched in 2020, HBO Max offers programs from its signature brands, such as HBO, Cartoon Network, and Warner Bros. Legacy shows like The Sopranos, The Wire, Succession, and Game of Thrones can all be watched on the service as well as current movies like The Batman. And original programming, like Hacks and The Flight Attendant, exists under “Max Originals.” In 2023, HBO Max and Discovery+ will consolidate into one platform after the merger between WarnerMedia and Discovery.
Because it streams under WarnerMedia, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is also available to watch on TNT and TBS this holiday season. If you do not have cable TV, the Chevy Chase comedy can be accessed through live TV streaming services like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. Hulu + Live TV features a fixed lineup of cable channels, while Sling TV is an à la carte model that lets users pick and choose the channel lineup.
Check out other holiday movies on HBO Max by clicking here.
When does it stream for subscribers?
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation is currently streaming on HBO Max.
Stream National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on HBO Max
How much does it cost?
To access HBO Max, subscribers can choose between a plan with ads and a plan without ads. With ads, HBO Max costs $10 a month or $100 a month. Without ads, HBO Max costs $15 a month or $150 a year. HBO Max is also offering a special Black Friday deal for new and returning subscribers, who can access HBO Max with ads at a discounted rate of $2 per month for the first three months. This special offer ends November 28.
Cable TV subscribers can watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation for free on TNT and TBS. Without cable, the film is available through live TV platforms like Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV. Hulu + Live TV costs $70 per month, but that price will increase to $75 per month starting December 8, 2022. Sling TV offers two basic packages: Orange and Blue. Separately, those packages cost $35 per month and they cost $50 if purchased together. Those rates will increase to $40 each or $55 together starting December 3, 2022. Extra Sling channels will cost anywhere from $3 to $11.
Is it worth it?
Absolutely! There’s no other modern holiday movie that gets the agony and ecstasy of Christmas quite as well as National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. The film is funny and yet is still grounded in the painful reality of sharing your home with other relatives, having terrible neighbors, and being disappointed by the weird gifts you get on Dec. 25.
Both Chevy Chase and Beverly D’Angelo return as the Griswold matriarchs, with future Oscar Nominee Juliette Lewis and The Big Bang Theory star Johnny Galecki as Audrey and Rusty, respectively. Randy Quaid makes an appearance as Cousin Eddie, and yes, that’s a pre-Seinfeld Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Clark’s yuppie neighbor. The movie was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and runs at a thrifty 97 minutes.
On Rotten Tomatoes, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation registers 70% on the Tomatometer and a 86% audience score. On Metacritic, the film holds a Metascore of 49 and a user score of 7.9.
Stream National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation on HBO Max.