Ranking The First Four Vacation Movies


Ah, the Vacation movies. When the first National Lampoon’s Vacation was released in 1983, it instantly became a classic. The premise of a family going on vacation where everything goes wrong is one of the most relatable subject matters known to man. It’s surprising no one came up with it sooner. Some could argue it’s John Hughes’ best work as a screenwriter. This premise was stretched out into three more sequels of varying success. Okay, so maybe there were some inconsistencies with the kids and their ages, but all we cared about was Clark W. Griswold, and his never ending quest for the perfect family vacation.

With the reboot/sequel shifting from Chevy Chase’s Clark to Ed Helm’s Rusty (which opened this weekend), I thought this would be a good opportunity to rank all previous Vacation movies once and for all. And just to be clear, I’m only talking about the four theatrically released versions with Chevy Chase, alright! I know there were a ton of straight to video adaptations. So, let’s load up the family truckster, and count ‘em down – my definitive Vacation movie rankings!

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Daniel Cohen is the hard-boiled Film Editor for the Pop Break. Besides reviews, Daniel writes box office predictions, Gotham reviews and Oscar coverage. He can also be found on the Breakcast. If Daniel was sprayed by Scarecrow's fear toxin, it would be watching Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen on a non-stop loop.


  1. ummm NO, moron.

    Vegas Vacation is the best movie in the series BY FAR.
    Then Christmas Vacation for being an amazing Christmas movie, then the original for being just above okay, and European is dead last because Europe just sucks.

    Stay clueless, asshat ; )

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