20 Funny Christmas Movies To Watch This Festive Season
Christmas movies are a big part of the festive season. Everybody loves settling down on the couch and watching a classic Christmas movie like Miracle on 34th Street or Love Actually. These movies celebrate the spirit of Christmas and will have you reaching for the tissues throughout. But sometimes you just want a good laugh, especially if Christmas is getting a little hectic. Organizing Christmas dinner, presents, and everything else that comes along with the annual event can be stressful, so there is no better way to relax than by watching funny Christmas movies.
These flicks combine the spirit of Christmas with plenty of belly laughs. Many of them have a strong Christmas message and highlight family and friends while also providing lots of humor. Thankfully there are hundreds of funny Christmas movies to choose from, but to make sure you are watching the funniest, here are our picks for the most hilarious Christmas movies you can stream now.
20 Funny Christmas Movies To Watch This Festive Season
1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989)
Is there a better Christmas movie? Alongside Die Hard and Home Alone, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation ranks as not only one of the funniest but greatest Christmas movies of all time. Chevy Chase returns as Clark Griswold, the bumbling patriarch of the Griswold family who is hosting Christmas for all his relatives.
As with previous National Lampoon films focusing on the Griswolds, mayhem ensues as everything that could go wrong does as Clark tries his best to hold the ultimate Christmas. Packed with plenty of laughs and a great ensemble cast (Randy Quaid as redneck cousin Eddie is a stand-out), watching this movie is a Christmas tradition.
2. Bad Santa (2003)
This is the role Billy Bob Thornton was born to play. He’s a sex-addicted alcoholic robber who moonlights as Santa every Christmas and robs the department store he works at with his dwarf assistant. While planning his latest heist he gets mixed up with a young boy who thinks he’s really Santa while embarking on a relationship with Lorelai Gilmore from Gilmore Girls.
Crude, rude, but bloody funny, Bad Santa is far from your usual Christmas movie, but despite all the sex jokes and dirty humor, there’s a positive message deep within. We think.
3. The Santa Clause (1994)
Tim Allen was at his peak fame in the 90s. Starring on the hit sitcom Home Improvement, the former drug dealer got into the Christmas spirit with children’s comedy The Santa Clause. After accidentally injuring Santa Clause on Christmas eve, Allen and his son are forced to take the reigns and finish Santa’s deliveries. It soon turns into a full-time job as Allen must convince his family he really is Santa Clause.
A massive box office smash ($190.3 million from a budget of $22 million), The Santa Clause still provides plenty of laughs three decades later. It also spawned two sequels and a 2022 miniseries, so you can have a movie marathon if you so desire.
4. Jingle All the Way (1996)
Arnold Schwarzenegger spends the entire movie trying to track down a Turbo-Man action figure for his son. It’s a bit silly at times and the reviews were not good, but there is still lots to like about Jingle All the Way.
There’s Sinbad in fine form as a rival father battling Arnie for the Turbo-Man figure, Phil Hartman bringing the comedy gold, and a heartwarming ending that will have you welling up. Schwarzenegger is surprisingly good too, once again showing he’s more than just an action hero.
5. Home Alone (1990)
A Christmas classic that always makes the top ten of people’s favorite Christmas movies, Home Alone doesn’t require much explanation. If you somehow haven’t seen it, Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) gets left at home and must take on robbers Joe Pesic and Daniel Stern, turning his home into a body trap-filled horror house.
Much more violent than you remember as a kid, Home Alone ticks all the Christmas movie boxes. The sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, makes for a great double bill, but the rest of the sequels are best left alone (pun intended).
6. Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
Jim Carrey absolutely nails it as the Grinch in this live-action adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ famous tale. Directed by Ron Howard and featuring Anthony Hopkins as the narrator, How the Grinch Stole Christmas is arguably the best re-telling of a Dr. Seuss story in the realm of film. Carrey is at his over-the-top best and is the main reason this movie works so well.
The movie grossed $345 million worldwide, won tons of awards, and is super funny, making it more than deserving of a spot on this list.
7. Scrooged (1988)
Richard Donner swapped the buddy cop genre for Christmas comedy when he took on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol. Setting it in modern times, Donner cast funnyman Bill Murray as the self-centered jerk who gets visited by several ghosts throughout Christmas Eve who help him become a better person.
This is the perfect role for Murray, whose deadpan humor works well within the funny script. Despite a troubled production (Donner and Murray didn’t get on and the script went through many rewrites), the finished product is hilarious and features a great performance from Murray and the eclectic ensemble cast that includes Karen Allen, Bobcat Goldthwait, Robert Mitchum, and Alfre Woodard.
8. Elf (2003)
Will Ferrell is comedy gold as Buddy the Elf in this Christmas comedy classic. Brought up in the North Pole amongst Santa’s Elves, Buddy discovers his real father (a cranky yet hilarious James Cann) is a children’s book publisher in New York. Buddy heads to the Big Apple to connect with his father and that’s where the fun begins in this fish-out-of-water feature.
Elf is fun for the whole family and cements Ferrell as a comedy genius, with the actor following this movie with arguably his funniest performance in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
9. The Night Before (2015)
Here’s a Christmas movie that is a little more modern and features a young cast of great actors. Joseph Gordon Levitt, Seth Rogen, and Anthony Mackie play three old friends who annually reunite on Christmas Eve to find the best party in New York. Each dealing with their own personal issues, the three spend the night getting into all sorts of trouble as their fears are exposed and their friendship put to the test.
Although the script is a little wet at times, there are enough jokes to keep things rolling and a great cameo from Miley Cyrus, with the top-notch cast also helping raise The Night Before from meh to solid.
10. A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas (2011)
The third installment in the Harold and Kumar franchise is another laugh-out-loud movie full of drug humor and funny situations. Harold Lee (John Cho) and Kumar Patel (Kal Penn) haven’t spoken in two years when fate brings them together and puts them on the path to find a Christmas tree on Christmas Eve.
As with the previous two films, A Very Harold & Kumar Christmas is full of stupid comedy of the lowest denominator, but that’s what makes it so funny. Cho and Penn are great as the lovable title characters while Neil Patrick Harris once again pops up to cause more mayhem. There’s also a baby high on weed that will cause a few giggles.
It might not be on par with the first two, but this movie is a worthy end to the Harold & Kumar trilogy.
11. The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992)
The Muppets took on Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol in 1992 in what is one of the more hilarious takes on the classic tale. Many of the characters from the story are played by Muppets, with Michael Caine cast as Ebenezer Scrooge. He is visited by different Muppets over the course of Christmas Eve who try and show him how his life will turn out if he doesn’t change his ways.
All your favorite Muppets appear (Kermit, Gonzo, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, Animal, and more) in this fun Christmas comedy that also contains lots of musical numbers, adding a bit of difference from your usual Xmas flick.
12. Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)
Remember Ernest? In the late 80s, Jim Varney made a career out of playing Ernest P. Worrell, an annoying neighbor who first turned up in TV adverts before getting several specials and appearing in 11 of his own movies. Of these, Ernest Saves Christmas is one of the best.
Ernest finds himself on the search for a new Santa before Christmas in this wild adventure full of slapstick comedy. Varney is in top form as the rubber-faced Ernest who relies on physical comedy to bring most of the laughs. By no far is this flick an award winner, but for those who like silly characters with a heart of gold, this movie will more than fit the bill.
13. A Christmas Story (1983)
An American favorite, A Christmas Story is a set of short stories collected together as one movie centering on Ralphie Parker and his one Christmas wish: a Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle.
Funny and family-friendly, this is a staple of the holiday season that has several sequels and has also been remade multiple times and even adapted for the stage. But you can’t go past the original for its authenticity and feel-good Christmas spirit.
14. Get Santa (2014)
This little seen British gem focus on the recently released from prison Steve (Rafe Spall), whose young son swears Santa Claus (Jim Broadbent) is hiding in their backyard shed. While Steve dismisses him as a crazy old man and gets him locked up, he soon realizes Santa is real, and along with his son, must try and make things right.
This is a great holiday flick with a feel-good story and lots of good gags. Special mention must also be made of Warick Davis who is fantastic as fellow prisoner Sally who tries to help Santa escape.
15. Trading Places (1983)
Trading Places might not be a Christmas movie at first glance, but it does carry the message of Christmas along with being set during the festive season. The plot concerns two wealthy brothers who decide to have some fun by swapping the lives of Dan Akyroyd’s stock broker with poor hustler Eddie Murphy to see how they react.
A huge hit when released, Trading Places uses humor to discuss themes of class, race, wealth, and status, with both Akyroyd and Murphy at the top of their game. Jamie Lee Curtis as a prostitute who helps out Akyroyd’s character when down on his luck must also be singled out for her fantastic work on-screen.
While some of the jokes wouldn’t fly today, Trading Places is still a hilarious movie full of Christmas spirit.
16. Christmas With the Kranks (2004)
Tim Allen loves a Christmas movie. This one is surprisingly based on a novel by John Grisham, known better for his courtroom thrillers. Allen and Jamie Lee Curtis are a couple who decide to skip Christmas when their daughter informs them she won’t be home for the big day, causing much angst among their Christmas-loving neighbors. But when their daughter changes her plans on Christmas eve morning, the Kranks’ are forced to embrace the Christmas spirit as they try and turn their home into a festive wonderland before their daughter arrives.
This one relies on Allen and Curtis’ charm and lots of slapstick comedy, with a great ensemble cast that includes Dan Aykroyd, M. Emmet Walsh, Jake Busey, and Felicity Hoffman. Makes for a great double bill with The Santa Clause for Allen fans.
17. A Bad Moms Christmas (2017)
A sequel to the surprise comedy hit Bad Moms, this movie finds the three moms from the original (Mila Kunis, Kristen Bell, and Kathryn Hahn) dealing with their own moms (Christine Baranski, Cheryl Hines, and Susan Sarandon) during the festive season. All three sets of mothers and daughters have their own issues they need to work through in between plenty of raunchy jokes and physical comedy.
If you’ve seen the first film you know what to expect and for everyone else, A Bad Moms Christmas is a mixture of belly laughs and sex jokes with some great cameos from Christina Applegate, Wanda Sykes, and Kenny G.
18. Just Friends (2005)
Ryan Reynolds is famous record producer Chris Brander who returns to his hometown after a decade to celebrate Christmas. While back he attempts to woo his high school sweetheart Jamie Palamino (Amy Smart) and finally escape the friend zone he found himself in as a teenager. The only problem is he’s accompanied by pop singer Samantha James (Anna Faris) who wants to be in a relationship with him, causing all sorts of problems.
The comedy chemistry between Reynolds and Faris is off the charts, with the two bringing all the laughs. Chris Klein as Dusty Dinkleman, a rival for the affections of Smart, adds another wrinkle in Reynolds’s plan.
Just Friends is one of the underseen comedies of the 00s that deserves your attention this Christmas.
19. Fred Claus (2007)
It’s not easy being the brother of Santa Claus, just ask Fred. Vince Vaughn is the titular Fred Claus who is estranged from his brother Santa (Paul Giamatti) but needs his help when he gets locked up. Santa agrees to bail him out and sort him with some money if he comes to the North Pole and helps out for the coming Christmas.
As you can imagine, things go off the rails when Fred arrives and it eventually results in Fred having to take up the mantle of Santa to save Christmas. It’s not without its faults, but for the most part, Fred Claus is an enjoyable Christmas comedy with a positive message.
20. Friday After Next (2002)
The third and weakest link in the Friday trilogy, Friday After Next will appeal to fans of the previous movies and those who like their comedy un-PC. It’s clear from the outset this movie is from a different time. The vast majority of jokes cross the line and would not be tolerated today. But if that’s your thing you’ll find plenty of laughs, with both Ice Cube and Mike Epps putting in solid performances.