Will There Ever Be A Christmas Vacation 3? Here's What We Know

"National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" is largely considered to be one of the greatest Christmas movies ever made. In the film, yet another attempt is made by Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) to give his family the best experiences possible, this time focusing on the Christmas holiday. As is tradition with the "Vacation" films, Clark is circumvented at every turn by unpredictable elements like the world's driest turkey dinner, unexpected family visitors, nosy neighbors, electricity, the worst possible Christmas bonus in history, and the human hurricane known as Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid).

Christmas isn't always the Hallmark card that people like to paint it as, and for a lot of people, it's an exhausting and stressful experience filled with resentment and drenched in eggnog. "Christmas Vacation" is so beloved because everything that possibly could go wrong on Christmas, does go wrong, which surely makes us feel a heck of a lot better about our own nightmarish holiday hijinks. With seven films (yes, seven if you include the canonical short film "Hotel Hell Vacation") in the franchise and Chevy Chase randomly popping up in commercials recreating scenes from "Christmas Vacation," plenty are wondering if we'll ever get a look at the Griswold family Christmas after all these years with "Christmas Vacation 3."

"But wait," I can hear you saying to yourself, "'Christmas Vacation 3' implies the existence of 'Christmas Vacation 2'..." Sorry to be the harbinger of holly-jolly horse-s***, but yes, there is a "Christmas Vacation 2" and I've seen it so you don't have to.

Christmas Vacation 2 is the Cousin Eddie Spin-Off No One Wanted

As I mentioned in my piece about Christmas movies that didn't need sequels, "Christmas Vacation 2" is a made-for-TV sequel focused on Randy Quaid as Cousin Eddie while he's stranded on a tropical island during Christmastime. My poor father, unaware of the cash-grab practice of unnecessary direct-to-video sequels, was so excited when he brought the DVD home from K-Mart. Unfortunately, I had to watch his soul slowly leave his body as he realized this movie is, uh, not good. I genuinely don't understand how comedy legends Ed Asner, Eric Idle, and Fred Willard were convinced to star in this piece, because "starring Randy Quaid" definitely wasn't going to bring in the audiences in 2003.

The film doesn't work for a multitude of reasons, but primarily because the character of Cousin Eddie is not meant to carry an entire film. The reason he works in the other "Vacation" movies is because we're given relief from his antics. He's a great side character to contrast to the Griswold family as "straight men," but focusing an entire movie on what is essentially the same punchline repeatedly hitting you in the face is just exhausting. Needless to say, the film was not well-received and has since been shelved to the point where most people don't even know it exists.

What Does This Mean for Christmas Vacation 3?

It's highly unlikely that we'll ever get a "Christmas Vacation 3," due to both the massive failure of "Christmas Vacation 2," and the fact that Chevy Chase doesn't have the best reputation of being someone people are willing to work with these days, especially those among the cast and crew of "Community." Furthermore, Randy Quaid has turned into a conspiracy theory nut with serious legal trouble. Additionally, "Christmas Vacation" is over 30-years-old and the physical comedy that made "Christmas Vacation" a classic would be difficult for Chase to pull off without awkward CGI or noticeable stunt doubles. 

But for those looking for "Vacation" sequel fun, Chase and co-star Beverly D'Angelo popped up for cameo roles in the 2015 "Vacation" sequel focusing on an adult Rusty Griswold (Ed Helms) trying to recapture magic by taking his family cross-country to Wally World. It would be interesting to see a version of "Christmas Vacation" following a similar suit, but with a score of only 28% on Rotten Tomatoes, Warner Bros. is likely already aware that a third "Christmas Vacation" film would be a huge gamble. Why bother with a sequel when they can continue making bank off of Wally World moose head glasses, Jelly of the Month club merch, and "Sh***er's Full" t-shirts?