National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order (Updated 2023)

Written By Charles Eames
Last updated: December 5, 2022

National Lampoon Vacation 58 was a short story written by John Hughes. It was about a family going on a cross-country road trip to the fictional Walley World amusement park. The magazine was turned into a movie, National Lampoon's Vacation, in 1983.

The movie starred Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold, Beverly D'Angelo as his wife Ellen, Anthony Michael Hall as their son Rusty, and Dana Barron as their daughter Audrey. The movie was a surprise hit and spawned sequels and related movies franchise.

The series became one of the all-time favorite American comedy movie series. The movies are known for their mix of humor and family dysfunction. They also popularized the phrase "Shitter's full."

National Lampoon's Vacation is a series of American comedy films directed by Harold Ramis, written by John Hughes, and starring Chevy Chase. The series revolves around the misadventures of the Griswold family as they take vacations together. 

List of All National Lampoons Vacation Movies in Order of Release

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order
  1. National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
  2. National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
  3. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  4. Vegas Vacation (1997)
  5. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 (2003)
  6. Vacation (2015)

National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order

Director: Harold Ramis | Writers: John Hughes | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca | Country of origin: the United States | Runtime: The movie's runtime is 1 hour and 38 minutes. | Release Date: July 29, 1983 | Language: The language is English. | Genres: The movie genres are adventure and comedy. | Filming Locations: Six Flags Magic Mountain - 26101 Magic Mountain Parkway, Valencia, California, USA | Production Companies: National Lampoon, Warner Bros. | Budget: The budget for the movie was $15 million. | Box Office: The film grossed $61 million.

The first movie in the series, National Lampoon's Vacation, was released in 1983. The movie follows the Griswold family as they go on their cross-country road trip to Walley World. There they run into all sorts of misadventures.

The movie was directed by Harold Ramis and written by John Hughes. It starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, and Imogene Coca. The movie was a huge hit, grossing over $61 million at the box office with a budget of just $15 million. It was also well-received by critics. The movie has a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Clark and Ellen Griswold live in Chicago with their two children, Rusty and Audrey. Clark is an ad executive for a food company, and Ellen is a housewife. The family decides to go on a cross-country vacation to Los Angeles. However, they soon discover that the trip is not as easy as they thought it would be.

They end up having a series of mishaps along the way, including getting lost, having their car stolen, and getting stranded in the middle of the desert. Despite all of these setbacks, they finally make it to Los Angeles.

As the family is on their way home from their vacation, they discover that their house has been broken into, and all of their possessions are gone. They end up having to stay in a motel for the night. The next day, they discover that their car has been towed, so they must walk home.

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National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order

Director: Amy Heckerling | Writers: John Hughes, Robert Klane | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill, Jason Lively | Country of origin: the United States | Runtime: The runtime of the movie is 1 hour and 35 minutes. | Release Date: July 26, 1985 | Language: The languages are English, Italian, German and French. | Genres: The movie genres are adventure and comedy. | Filming Locations: Sudtirol, Italy | Production Companies: National Lampoon, Warner Bros. | Budget: The budget for the movie was $17 million. | Box Office: The film grossed $49 million.

The second movie in the series, National Lampoon's European Vacation, was released in 1985. The movie follows the Griswold family as they go on their vacation to Europe. They visit countries such as England, France, Germany, and Italy. There they run into all sorts of misadventures.

The movie was directed by Amy Heckerling and written by John Hughes and Robert Klane. It starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill, and Jason Lively.

The movie was a huge hit, grossing over $49 million at the box office with a budget of just $17 million. It was also well-received by critics. The movie has a 70% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The Griswald family wins "Pig in a Poke" and gets an all-expenses-paid trip to Europe. They go to London, Paris, Rome, and finally, Germany. Each city has a series of mishaps, including getting lost, having their car stolen, and getting stranded in the middle of the desert. 

In Europe, The quest for Clark to drive on the wrong side of the road finally comes to an end when he drives into oncoming traffic and is hit by a truck. The family is forced to go back home, but not before Clark has a final mishap in which he gets his passport stolen.

After that adventure, the family decides to stay home for their next vacation.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik | Writer: John Hughes | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, Johnny Galecki | Country of origin: the United States | Runtime: The runtime of the movie is 1 hour and 37 minutes. | Release Date: December 1, 1989 | Language: The language is English. | Genres: The movie genres are adventure and comedy. | Filming Locations: Marshall Field and Co. Department Store - 111 N. State Street, The Loop, Downtown, Chicago, Illinois, USA | Production Companies: National Lampoon, Hughes Entertainment | Budget: The budget for the movie was $28 million. | Box Office: The film grossed $74 million.

The third movie in the series, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation, was released in 1989. The movie follows the Griswold family as they go on their vacation to celebrate Christmas. However, things don't go as planned, and they end up having a disastrous holiday.

The movie was directed by Jeremiah S. Chechik and written by John Hughes. It starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis, and Johnny Galecki.

The movie was a huge hit, grossing over $74 million at the box office with a budget of just $28 million. It was also well-received by critics. The movie has a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Clark Griswold, the ultimate man of the Griswold family, decides to arrange a grand party for the family Christmas. However, everything that can go wrong goes wrong. From the start, his wife and kids are not too thrilled with the idea of hosting a big party.

As the preparations for the party go on, things keep getting worse. The tree catches fire, the turkey gets burnt, and Clark's boss shows up uninvited. In the end, the party is a disaster, but the family still manages to have a good time.

But Clark's planning for the perfect Christmas doesn't stop there. He decides to surprise his family with a trip to Wally World. However, when they get there, they find out that the park is closed for the holidays. Clark is so disappointed that he has a meltdown and ends up getting arrested.

In the end, the Griswolds have a chaotic but fun Christmas.

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Vegas Vacation (1997)

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order

Director: Stephen Kessler | Writer: Elisa Bell, Bob Ducsay | Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Randy Quaid | Country of origin: the United States | Runtime: The runtime of the movie is 1 hour and 33 minutes. | Release Date: February 14, 1997 | Language: The language is English. | Genres: The movie genres are comedy and crime. | Filming Locations: Club Paradise - 4416 Paradise Rd, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA | Production Companies: National Lampoon, Jerry Weintraub Productions, Warner Bros. | Budget: The budget for the movie was $25 million. | Box Office: The film grossed $36 million.

The fourth movie in the series, Vegas Vacation, was released in 1997. The movie follows the Griswold family as they go on their vacation to Las Vegas. They get caught up in all sorts of misadventures in Sin City.

The movie was directed by Stephen Kessler and written by Elisa Bell and Bob Ducsay. It starred Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, and Randy Quaid.

The movie was a box office bomb, grossing just $36 million on a budget of $25 million. However, it was well-received by critics. The movie has a 69% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

Impressed by Clark's work, his boss Frank Shirley gives Clark a huge bonus and a free trip to Las Vegas. Clark decides to take his family with him, and they have a blast.

They gamble, sightsee, and enjoy the nightlife. However, things start to go downhill when Ellen gets lost in a casino, and Clark starts to develop a gambling problem.

Rusty and Audrey end up getting married in a drive-thru chapel, and Ellen wins a jackpot of $200,000. Clark finally snaps out of his gambling addiction, and the family goes home.

The next day, they find out that their house has been broken into, and all of their possessions are gone. They end up having to stay in a motel for the night. The next day, they discover that their car has been towed, so they must walk home.

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National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 (2003)

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order

Director: Nick Marck | Writer: Matty Simmons | Stars: Kate Simmons, Jake Thomas, Randy Quaid | Country of origin: the United States | Runtime: The runtime of the movie is 1 hour and 23 minutes. | Release Date: December 12, 2003 | Language: The language is English. | Genres: The movie genres are comedy and crime. | Filming Locations: Warner Bros. Studios - 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, California, USA | Production Companies: National Lampoon, Tollin/Robbins Productions, Warner Bros. | Budget: The budget for the movie was $28 million. | Box Office: The film grossed $11 million.

The fifth and final movie in the series, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2, was released in 2003. The movie follows the Griswold family as they go on their vacation to celebrate Christmas. However, things don't go as planned, and they end up having a disastrous holiday.

The movie was directed by Nick Marck and written by Matty Simmons. It starred Kate Simmons, Jake Thomas, and Randy Quaid. The movie was a box office bomb, grossing just $11 million dollars on a budget of $28 million. However, it was well-received by critics. The movie has a 73% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This movie is a made-for-TV spin-off film and tells the tale of Eddie and his vacation with his family to Walley World. However, things go wrong when the park closes down due to a power outage.

Eddie and his family are forced to spend the night in their RV. The next day, they discover that their car has been towed, so they must walk home. Despite all of these setbacks, they finally make it to Los Angeles.

As the family is on their way home from their vacation, they discover that their house has been broken into, and all of their possessions are gone. They end up having to stay in a motel for the night.

The next day, they discover that their car has been towed, so they must walk home. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 is a hilarious sequel that is sure to keep you entertained.

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Vacation (2015)

National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order

Director: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein | Writer: John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, John Hughes | Stars: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo | Country of origin: the United States | Runtime: The runtime of the movie is 1 hour and 39 minutes. | Release Date: July 29, 2015 | Language: The language is English. | Genres: The movie genres are adventure, comedy, and crime. | Filming Locations: Six Flags Over Georgia - 7561 Six Flag Parkway, Austell, Georgia, USA | Production Companies: New Line Cinema, Bender Spink, David Dobkin Productions | Budget: The budget for the movie was $31 million. | Box Office: The film grossed $107 million.

The sixth movie in the series, Vacation, was released in 2015. The movie follows the Griswold family as they go on their vacation to Wally World. However, things don't go as planned, and they end up having a disastrous holiday.

The movie was directed by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein and written by John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein, and John Hughes. It starred Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, and Skyler Gisondo.

The movie was a box office bomb, grossing just $107 million on a budget of $31 million. However, it was well-received by critics. The movie has a 63% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

This movie focuses on grown-up Rusty Griswold and his family. Rusty decides to take his wife and two sons on a cross-country trip to Walley World. However, things go wrong when they get stranded in Holidome.

While they are there, they meet some interesting characters, including a woman who is trying to escape her abusive husband and a man who is obsessed with Christmas. They also have to deal with the fact that their car is slowly falling apart.

Ultimately, they make it to Walley World and have a great time. However, they find out that the park is closing down for good.

Rusty decides to take his family on one last vacation before the park closes. They go to an island resort and have a great time. However, they find out that the resort is closing down, so they must leave.

In the end, Rusty and his family learn that sometimes the best vacations are the ones where things go wrong.

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National Lampoon’s Vacation Movies In Order by IMDB Rating

MoviesRating on IMDB
National Lampoon's Vacation 7.4/10
National Lampoon's European Vacation 6.2/10
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 7.6/10
Vegas Vacation 6.0/10
National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 2.7/10
Vacation 6.1/10

National Lampoon's Vacation All Movies, TV Series, and Shorts In Order Of Release

In addition to Six full-length Vacation films, a short film under the title Hotel Hell Vacation tells the story of Clark and Ellen Griswold as they try to enjoy a stay at a new hotel; there is also Rusty Griswold's European Vacation, where the family enjoys their time in Europe.

There are also two TV series based on the Vacation movies, one focused on the original Griswold family and one on Rusty Griswold and his family.

  • National Lampoon's Vacation (1983)
  • National Lampoon's European Vacation (1985)
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)
  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2: Cousin Eddie's Island Adventure (2003)
  • Vacation (2015)
  • Hotel Hell Vacation (2016)
  • National Lampoon's Vacation (TV Series) (1997-1998) - The Griswolds are back in this sitcom that follows their everyday lives.
  • Rusty Griswold's Vacation Explorer (TV Series) (2002-2003) - This TV series follows Rusty Griswold as he goes on different vacations with his family.

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Popular Comedy Franchises To Binge Watch

The National Lampoon's Vacation movies are a great comedy franchise to binge-watch. If you are looking for other comedies to watch, here are some popular franchises that you may enjoy:

  • The Pink Panther movies - These movies focus on the bumbling Inspector Clouseau as he tries to solve crimes.
  • The Naked Gun movies - These movies focus on the bumbling police officer Frank Drebin as he tries to solve crimes.
  • The Austin Powers movies - These movies focus on the bumbling spy Austin Powers as he tries to stop his nemesis, Dr. Evil.
  • The Police Academy movies - These movies follow a group of misfit police officers as they go through training.
  • The Vacation movies - These movies focus on the Griswold family and their various vacations.

FAQs

Are All of The National Lampoon's Vacation Movies Part of The Same Series?

Yes, all of the National Lampoon's Vacation movies are part of the same series. However, there is one spin-off movie that is not technically part of the series.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation 2 is a made-for-TV movie focusing on Eddie Griswold and his family.

Do You Need To Watch National Lampoon's Vacation Movies In Order?

No, you do not need to watch the National Lampoon's Vacation movies in order. However, suppose you want to watch them in chronological order.

What are the National Lampoon's Vacation movies about?

The National Lampoon's Vacation movies focus on the Griswold family and their various vacations.

What Is The Best National Lampoon Vacation Movie?

The best National Lampoon's Vacation movie is a matter of opinion. However, the franchise's most popular and well-liked movie is National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. This movie is considered a classic holiday movie and is loved by many.

Are The National Lampoon's Vacation Movies On Netflix?

The National Lampoon's Vacation movies are not currently on Netflix. However, they are available to rent or buy on Amazon Prime Video, iTunes, and Google Play.

Do The National Lampoon's Vacation Movies Have Any Remakes?

No, the National Lampoon's Vacation movies have not been remade. However, a reboot of the franchise called Vacation was released in 2015. This movie focuses on Rusty Griswold and his family as they go on a cross-country trip to Wally World.

Conclusion

National Lampoon is known and loved for creating fantastic comedy movies, and the Vacation series is no exception. The Vacation series is a perfect choice if you're looking for a hilarious movie franchise to binge-watch. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the adventures of the Griswold family.

In this article, we discussed the best order to watch the National Lampoon's Vacation movies, whether or not the movies have any sequels, where you can watch them, and what other popular comedy franchises you may enjoy.

We hope this article was helpful and that you enjoy watching the National Lampoon's Vacation movies!

Charles Eames

Hey, My name is Charles Eames, I am a designer, filmmaker, and lover of photographic arts. And I usually write about movies, Famous/Influential People. I am running this blog with my girlfriend Bernice.

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