We’ve all got that one relative, (in some cases, we’ve been that one relative), the perpetual beer-swilling, dickie-wearing, down-on-his-luck type. While it’s easy to laugh at and even cheer along Cousin Eddie (Randy Quaid), it would be nothing short of a waking nightmare to have him as kin, especially around this time of year.
Eddie may be one of the highlights of 1983’s National Lampoon’s Vacation (and Vegas Vacation, for that matter), but it isn’t until his follow-up appearance in 1989’s National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (which is a part of the Warner Bros. Holiday Gift Guide) that he really gets a chance to shine as the hapless cousin who shows up unannounced to crash the Griswolds’ already crowded and chaotic Christmas.
Still, Clark (Chevy Chase) is ready to make the best of it, despite the occasional muttering under his breath about driving Eddie out to the middle of nowhere and leaving him for dead, which is most likely a simple way of coping with the situation. After all, even during the holidays, there’s only so much freeloading one man can take. So, with that in mind, here are all the times that you were glad Cousin Eddie wasn’t related to you.
“We’re taking it with us when we leave next month.”
Eddie shows up with most of his family — minus the daughter that’s in treatment and the son that’s in carney training — packed into his new RV. As he catches up with Clark over some eggnog, Clark feigns interest in the goings-on in Eddie’s life, prompting the latter to not only brag about his new mobile residence, but also drop the bomb about his rather long-term vacation plans. This is why people who can park their entire existence in your driveway should be watched carefully. Remember, those homes are only mobile if someone is willing to turn the key and hit the gas.
“…it’s best just to let him finish.”
Like a lot of relatives who wear out their welcome right after they arrive, Eddie doesn’t just come with family members, but also a large, ill-behaved dog named Snot that he explains is part “Mississippi leg hound.” This comes as part of Eddie’s blissfully unapologetic explanation on what to do should his dog start to “go to town” on Clark’s leg. Even though we never get to see any dog-on-leg action, Snot does do most of the work destroying their house by chasing a squirrel through it, but that’s really more of a shared blame between Eddie and Clark and possibly payback for the slaying of Dinky in the first movie.
“Here’s a little list, alphabetical, starting with Katherine.”
As they’re out shopping, Eddie spends the entire walk down an aisle of a Wal-Mart insisting to Clark that he’s “not one for charity,” all while filling up his shopping cart with a huge amount of dog food (seriously, so much dog food). Regardless, Clark tells him he and Ellen (Beverly D’Angelo) intend to help give their kids a few gifts to help celebrate Christmas. And while Eddie is genuinely touched by the gesture, any sincerity he shows is immediately undercut when he hands over a pre-written, alphabetized Christmas list. Even better, he generously offers Clark a token gift for himself, on his own dime, of course. Let’s just say Eddie tends to be a little generous with the charity that he receives.