Holiday Movie Meltdowns We'll Never Forget

xmas-family-stone-twoPhoto: Courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox.
If Hollywood has taught us anything about the holidays, it’s that you can’t understand the true meaning of Christmas until you’ve clawed your way back from the brink of utter desolation and destruction — or just massively embarrassed yourself with a Jessie Spano-style freak-out in front of your nearest and dearest. ‘Tis the season to commit folly, folks. Ahead, our favorite meltdown moments.
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Just Friends (2005)
This home-for-the holidays gem features Ryan Reynolds in a fat suit and Anna Faris channeling every horrible pop star diva stereotype. And, yet we inexplicably watch every single time it’s on TV. This clip shows People Magazine's 2010 Sexiest Man Alive having some sort of psychotic break down in a Porsche. It’s actually just one of many overly histrionic freak-outs Reynolds has during this movie.
The Family Stone (2005)
Uptight, conservative Meredith (Sarah Jessica Parker) journeys to the sprawling Stone house, bastion of cozy feelings, warmth, and liberalism, to meet boyfriend Everett’s family. In a situation that only happens in the movies, she brings along her sister (Claire Danes) for moral support, and everyone — including Meredith’s boyfriend — immediately takes to the sister. Never fear, there’s another Stone brother for SJP, but she’s gotta have a few freak-outs in front of her future in-laws before everyone can hold hands and roast chestnuts on an open fire.
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A Christmas Story (1983)
There’s only so much bad news and taunting Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) can handle, and he lets a stream of profanity fly as he punches his tormentor in the snow. He just wants a Red Ryder BB gun, dammit!
Home Alone (1990)
Exasperated and exhausted after endless attempts to get home to the son she forgot to bring to Paris, Mrs. McCallister (Catherine O'Hara) takes it out on a poor airport employee in Scranton. Talk about being at the wrong place at the wrong time.
Love Actually (2003)
After realizing her husband bought a gold necklace for his mistress and not her, Emma Thompson’s character cries silently in her room accompanied by Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now.” The lyrics say everything.
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The Holiday
Sometimes a moment of self-actualization and triumph comes in the form of a teary, hysterical speech followed by a dramatic exit and some door slamming. That’s okay, though, because it leads to a beautiful romance with a whimsical movie-score composer played by Jack Black.
Four Christmases (2008)
Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon play a couple who make a conscious effort to go on vacation every year so they can avoid spending the holidays with their divorced parents (how heartwarming!). Naturally, their plans run afoul, and they’re forced to spend time with the families they’ve been avoiding. Cue holiday meltdown sparked by a baby's surprise spit-up. Sometimes, that's all it takes.
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It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
There's no bigger meltdown than contemplating suicide and wishing you’d never been born. Lucky for ol’ George Bailey, his guardian angel is waiting on the bridge to show him that “No man is a failure who has friends." Plus: YOLO. And, in a way, isn’t that what every story on this list is really about? #knowledge #blessed #happyholidays
The Night Before (2015)
Isaac (Seth Rogen) does too many drugs and somehow winds up at midnight Mass with his wife's family right when the pinnacle of his paranoia is hitting. It doesn't help that he's Jewish and has never set foot in a church before, so he thinks everyone is looking at him in accusing judgment.
Jingle All the Way (1996)
This is more of a smackdown than a meltdown, but please watch it in all its glory anyway.
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