Seven Cinematic Familes That Are Worse Than Yours

We all know that the most heartfelt holiday of the year will inevitably end with most of you splayed out in a pool of blood and gravy, nursing severe wounds and a hangover that weighs more than the turkey did before it was burnt. But rest assured tonight, because it could be worse.
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By  · Published on November 27th, 2008

Thanksgiving. The Warmth. The Love. The Togetherness The food fight brawl that ensues after your cousin comments on how hefty your great-aunt looks in her new muumuu. But to be fair, she totally has let herself go. The point is, we all know that the most heartfelt holiday of the year will inevitably end with most of you splayed out in a pool of blood and gravy, nursing severe wounds and a hangover that weighs more than the turkey did before it was burnt.

Still, it could be worse. And to remind you of just how good you have it, gravy wounds and all, we’ve composed a list of Seven Cinematic Families That Are Much, Much Worse Than Yours. Even on the holidays.

The Klumps (The Nutty Professor)

Remember when Eddie Murphy was funny in a fat suit? Neither do we. But somehow, Sherman Klump’s family became the focus of an entire sequel – so much so that the sales tagline read, “The Klumps are back!” Seriously, there’s an exclamation mark there. Perhaps those marks stood for the excessive flatulence that clouded the dinner table. Either that or the incomprehensible yelling and the massive pile of fat suits it took to keep Murphy’s career afloat.

The Corleones (The Godfather)

As cool as it would be to be a member of the most powerful family in town, you’d still have to deal with decapitated equines in your bed, fish landing on your doorstep, and the very real possibility that you’ll be murdered. It’s a high price to pay for the lavish parties they throw on this, the day of your daughter’s wedding. It’s a great and loving family, but you’ll most likely end up having to assassinate someone and then being cast in a crappy third film.

The Sycamore Clan with Grandpa Vanderhof (You Can’t Take it With You)

Sure, the whole point of Frank Capra’s You Can’t Take it With You is that tolerance of individuality is the key to happiness in life. But what seems fun on the big screen would be excruciating in real life. A grandfather telling cheerful stories, making homemade fireworks, a young daughter and her insane Russian dance instructor, a young man about to join the family who constantly plays xylophone in the living room, and an older daughter that brings home a stuff-shirt who comes from money. And you know by the end of the holiday, you’re going to end up in jail. Sure it sounds fun, and exactly like my Yom Kippur 2002, but all that xylopohoning is going to give you a headache while you get eyeballed by a guy named Tino who wants to show you his private tattoo before you head to night court. Capra’s reality is not such a wonderful life.

The Bates Family (Psycho)

I have no idea why this family should be on the list. They’re hospitable, run a very successful small business, and Norman is a total sweetheart, completely dedicated to his mother. Plus, he’s quick with a hand if you need help in the shower.

The Parkers (A Christmas Story)

They may not seem that bad, but when you’re a kid, the last thing you want is a tragically uncool dad yelling at you and your mother telling you that the only toy you want in the history of ever is going to irreversibly damage your eye. Even though that leg-lamp is probably the coolest home accessory of all time, it’s a bit unnerving when your father openly celebrates it. Dad’s a perv, Mom’s too uptight, and your little brother barely talks. Living in that family means you’re alone. So alone you’ll probably end up with your tongue stuck frozen to a pole and your eye shot out.

Leatherface’s Family (Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

Almost as violent as your own family, being a part of Leatherface’s family means eating human flesh. It also means bagging and tagging your own human meals. On the plus side, you’ll get to use a host of different tools – mallets, bare hands, and chainsaws – but it’ll cost a ton to have those giant steel doors custom fitted for your back room, and you’ll have to spoon feed Grandfather his human meatloaf.

The Larsons (Home for the Holidays)

Back before Robert Downey, Jr. was slapping on blackface to garner Best Supporting Actor nominations, he was Tommy Larson, a member of the worst family to spend the holidays with. Tommy always takes his need for the spotlight too far, and he’s not even the most offensive. The doting matriarchal nightmare, the incredibly eccentric aunt, the completely oblivious father. And the worst part – they aren’t just stereotypes or used for comedic effect. They are living, breathing, dying-on-the-inside human beings that desperately need love and probably don’t deserve it. And they’re surrounding you. And you’re contractually obligated to spend the holidays with them. Prepare for your eternity – and then – there’s always Christmas.

Giving Thanks

We wish you the best of luck as you embark on the worst part of the year – the sweet loving embrace of your insane family. Eat up, drink up, and take your meds because you’re going to need them. But just be thankful that you don’t have to deal with these cinematic families. Murder, cross-dressing, cannibalism and -the worst – social awkwardness are all that you’re in store for around the turkey with them. So when your choking your great-uncle to death because he doesn’t support your football team, just smile, and be glad you don’t have to force feed human meat to your grandfather.

Movie stuff at VanityFair, Thrillist, IndieWire, Film School Rejects, and The Broken Projector [email protected] | Writing short stories at Adventitious.