Made for millions of dollars, and with the full support of an art department hired to ensure that each shot looks perfect, movies should make the holidays look magical, not hideous (or, in some cases, terrifying). And yet ugly, garish, aesthetically offensive decorations manage to make their way into the frame on a regular basis. Before you trim the tree or hang the holly this December, check out our guide to the worst attempts at decking the halls to ever disgrace the screen—and then do the opposite in your own home.
The absolute worst holiday decorations to ever appear on screen
Batman ReturnsIf you think he's gotten over that whole “Jingle bells/Batman smells” thing, think again. We once heard the Dark Knight exclaim as he drove out of sight, “Scary Christmas to all, and to all a good night(mare)." Seriously, what's with these weirdly Germanic sculptures? Ho ho horrible.Warner Bros. Pictures
A Charlie Brown ChristmasSpeaking of sad trees, is this the most pathetic one ever? We bet Snoopy wouldn't deign to even lift his leg beside its scrawny little trunk.Lee Mendelson Film Productions
National Lampoon's Christmas VacationThat the 25,000 twinkle lights Clark Griswold wrapped the outside of his home with in Christmas Vacation is “too many lights” is an opinion that can be agreed on by everyone from his hydro provider to all neighbours within a 10-kilometre radius. Griswold, however, would have been a hit in Whoville.Warner Bros.
A Christmas StoryAh, the leg lamp. How better to symbolize holiday tackiness than with a plastic fishnet-clad leg that lights up brighter than any Christmas tree? If you do insist on decorating with one of these, just remember, they're very “fra-gee-lay”.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
A Christmas Story (again)This classic holiday film is a two-time decor offender. Nothing says “chestnuts roasting on an open fire” like this fire hazard of a falling-over tree. If you don't want that open fire to consume your entire home, we recommend picking a tree that won't spontaneously combust.Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Christmas With The KranksWhat did Frosty ever do to you, Tim Allen? A noose never makes for tasteful decor, but it seems extra inappropriate during the holidays. That snowman would look just as good on the lawn, no hanging required.Revolution Studios
ElfThere are several Canadian provinces in which you can get in a lot of trouble for this type of cruelty to teddy bears. Think about it: would you want to spend the entire holiday season in the prickly arms of a spruce tree? No you wouldn't. Mean elves. MEAN.New Line Cinema
GremlinsSure, they won't drive up your holiday hydro bill, but there are safer ways to light a tree than by using Gremlin eyes. Though we have to admit, that shade of red is quite festive. Still, it's suuuuuper dangerous. Warner Bros.
Home AloneIs your family made up of a bunch of two-bit burglars who've been nothing but naughty all year long? Skip the lumps of coal and give them a Christmas they'll never forget with Kevin McAllister's holiday lighting tips from Home Alone.20th Century Fox
Home Alone (again)You know that super-sad Radiohead song 'Fake Plastic Trees'? Thom Yorke wrote it about this cheap-looking white one.20th Century Fox
Love ActuallyWe're all for making the holidays more eco-friendly, but was recycling that orange tinsel garland left over from Halloween really necessary?Universal Pictures
The Nightmare Before ChristmasPoints for trying, Jack Skellington, but that snowflake does little to inspire peace on Earth and goodwill to men (or women). It might, however, inspire a burlap sack full of writhing worms that calls itself Oogie Boogie to ruin Christmas. If that's your goal this year, here are step-by-step instructions to DIY your own spooky holiday.Buena Vista Pictures
ScroogedAs adorable as it might look, it's not cool to make your kid stand in for a tree just because you thought you'd wait until they went on sale—but in reality, waited so long that trees all over town were completely sold out.Paramount Pictures
How the Grinch Stole ChristmasIn some ways the Grinch had it right. They really do go overboard with the holiday decorations down in Whoville. And with the hairdos, too. Less is more, people.Universal Pictures
The HolidayA single, sad length of lights strung across cold grey stone on a background of colder, greyer stone shouts “Merry nothing!” to anyone who has the misfortune of seeing it. To complete the vibe, Cameron Diaz has paired this non-decor with a head-to-toe grey ensemble and solemnly vowed to think only grey thoughts.Universal Pictures
Christmas in ConnecticutTinsel is to Barbara Stanwyck's Elizabeth Lane what lights are to Chevy Chase's Clark Griswold. Neither one of them knows when to stop. We just hope she doesn't have any pets.Warner Bros.
White ChristmasThe hotel in White Christmas is basically the hotel that Christmas forgot. Peak holiday season and not a decoration in sight? Think of all the mistletoe you could hang from those dead deer heads!Paramount Pictures