6 Really Weird Things About A Christmas Story That Fans Just Sorta Accept

A Christmas Story is one of the most iconic Christmas movies out there, which is why it's no surprise it's one of the most popular Christmas movies streaming. I know I’ll be watching it at least a few times before the holiday is up, and have seen it dozens of times prior to now. When one watches a movie this many times, one starts to notice things, and there’s weirdness to A Christmas Story the fanbase just accepts. 

While there’s no denying A Christmas Story is a timeless classic and its latest sequel, A Christmas Story Christmas, is certainly worth a watch with an HBO Max subscription, it’s full of weird moments. Some of the more notable "odd" things to look out for ahead of an upcoming viewing may really make you challenge how well you understand this movie. And hey, perhaps they'll be as great a conversation starter as many behind-the-scenes facts about the 1983 classic!

Scott Farkus in A Christmas Story

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Ralphie’s Beating Of Skut Farcus Goes Well Over The Line

Is Scott “Skut” Farcus an asshole? Yes, and I say that with my whole heart. Without a doubt, he’s the worst type of bully, and he got what was coming to him when Peter Billingsly’s Ralphie flew off the handle and started beating him. That said, we should unpack that unbridled rage that made Ralphie fly off the handle. 

Ralphie had more pent-up rage in that beating than what was reserved solely for Skut Farcus. Perhaps it was his frustration of not getting a BB gun, or maybe it was the constant rejection he faced in recent weeks. Maybe he’s just a kid with a lot of unresolved issues and Farcus picked the wrong day to mess with him. In either case, the beating goes on for far too long to be just about the bullying, and it’s more disturbing than the original disaster of a sequel this movie had

Ralphie's Mom getting Ralphie's brother ready A Christmas Story on HBO Max

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Ralphie’s Mother Is Borderline Hysterical At Various Points In The Movie

As a kid I didn’t notice the twitchy and chaotic behavior of Ralphie’s mother, but as an adult, I now see that she’s just a bundle of nerves. At several points in the movie it’s like she’s on the verge of flying off the handle or collapsing into a complete breakdown. Even at her best, she seems tightly wound, and I just wished someone would’ve reassured her at one point during A Christmas Story that everything was going to be alright!

Of course, perhaps it’s important at this point to remember that the entirety of A Christmas Story is told by adult Ralphie, who is relying on his memories from the age of nine. Kids don’t always have the most reliable memories, and because of their age, may not remember things exactly as they were. It’s possible that we’re missing some key context here that would’ve better explained what’s going on with her, or maybe that was just how Ralphie saw her. Either way, she’s so stressed out in this movie it makes me want to meditate and cool down, which is wild. 

The Old Man in A Christmas Story on HBO Max

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Family Quietly Lives In Fear Of The Old Man

The Old Man of A Christmas Story seems like an alright guy, but that’s largely because the family works so hard to keep him in an agreeable mood. Ralphie’s Mother does the lion’s share of the work, frequently making sure there are no problems happening in the house that he has to handle. The things she can help, anyway. Sometimes, there’s just no preventing a furnace from going on the fritz!

Just look at that scene though for a glimpse at the unbridled rage The Old Man has! While there’s nothing in the movie that openly suggests he’d ever take out that aggression on his family, there’s definitely a sense that the family lives in partial fear of that anger to the point they go to extreme lengths to avoid it. As such, there’s a lot that happens in the movie he knows very little about, which is also a little sad. Times were different, of course, but if there's one part of the movie that’s become a little harder to watch as an adult, it’s that. 

The Old Man on A Christmas Story on HBO Max

(Image credit: HBO Max)

Why Is There A Pack Of Dogs Just Terrorizing The Old Man? 

There’s a lot in A Christmas Story that may be a little weird, but overall, it falls in line with things that happen in everyday life. One thing that doesn’t, however, is the wild premise that The Old Man is frequently chased, attacked, and bothered by a pack of dogs in the neighborhood. These dogs get their biggest moment towards the end of the movie, when they somehow get into the house through Ralphie’s fenced-in backyard, destroy the dining room table, and devour the Christmas Turkey. 

I’ll concede that sometimes the most unbelievable things can happen during the holiday season, but what in the hell is happening in this small Indiana town that these dogs are terrorizing everyone unchecked? This is not some rural area, there are consequences for stuff like this. Why has no one contacted the authorities? The pack of domesticated dogs is by and large the most ridiculous and fantastical part of the movie, and it pisses me off every time I watch A Christmas Story streaming that no one just responds to the situation like a reasonable adult. 

Ralphie's Mom sees the leg lamp on A Christmas Story on HBO Max

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Leg Lamp Is Only There Because Of The Mother

The Old Man’s prized leg lamp is the only major conflict between him and “mother” during the whole movie and one of the only times we hear them seriously bicker. The Old Man accuses his wife of intentionally destroying the lamp when it breaks as he’s sitting in the other room. The Old Man lashes out and claims that she broke it on purpose, but there’s a big point the movie glosses over that needs to be acknowledged. Without his wife, The Old Man would’ve never gotten that lamp. 

The Old Man’s leg lamp arrived as a prize for completing the crossword puzzle, which he only did with the help of Ralphie’s mother. Had she not given him the answer to the crossword clue, the lamp would’ve never been in her home to begin with. At the same time, The Old Man should’ve acknowledged it was through her that he even received his gift, and could’ve kept a cooler head when the lamp wound up broken. 

Ralphie meets Santa in A Christmas Story

(Image credit: HBO Max)

The Store Santa Is  A Jerk

Meeting Santa in a mall or department store is one of the few parts of A Christmas Story that’s still universal to the Christmas experience for children. It’s a shame, then, that Ralphie’s experience with the department store Santa is a pretty miserable one. Furthermore, A Christmas Story doesn’t do much to redeem this Santa in the eyes of its children and cap off the whole thing by having him put his boot in Ralphie’s face!

A Christmas Story isn’t the first and won’t be the last movie to show a bad Santa. At the same time, in an era where this movie is on wall-to-wall throughout the holidays, it’s hard for a young kid not to see that. That’s not really a fault of the movie, but regardless, it’s just a weird scene to have in a movie that, for the most part, captures the Christmas spirit rather well. 

Watch A Christmas Story and its spinoff A Christmas Story Christmas, which premiered back in November on HBO Max, now. Of course, anyone hoping to save it for closer to the holidays can always catch the 24-hour broadcast of the movie on TBS beginning Saturday, December 24th at 8:00 p.m. and concluding Sunday, December 25th at 8:00 p.m. ET. Rewatch it whenever, and be sure to keep an eye out for those moments and don't just accept them like you may have in past years. 

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick Joest is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend with his hand in an eclectic mix of television goodness. Star Trek is his main jam, but he also regularly reports on happenings in the world of Star Trek, WWE, Doctor Who, 90 Day Fiancé, Quantum Leap, and Big Brother. He graduated from the University of Southern Indiana with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Radio and Television. He's great at hosting panels and appearing on podcasts if given the chance as well.