$#@!* Santa! The 20 Most Expletive-Filled Christmas Movies of All Time

Jake Rossen
A very sweary Billy Bob Thornton stars in 'Bad Santa' (2003).
A very sweary Billy Bob Thornton stars in 'Bad Santa' (2003). / Dimension Films
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When people think of Christmas movies, they typically think of holiday sentiment, snow, gifts, and an overarching message of kindness. But sometimes, a holiday movie can deliver those themes while having a profanity count rivaling that of Goodfellas.

Recently, language tutorial site Preply examined 60 scripts from popular holiday (or holiday-set) films to see which ones contained the greatest number of expletives. While some, like 1990’s Home Alone, are relatively tame (it has just nine swear words), National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (1989) has a relatively robust 23. Nothing, however, comes close to 2003’s Bad Santa, the Billy Bob Thornton vehicle about an inebriated Claus (Thornton) working as a mall Santa, with its astonishing 255 cusses.

Check out the complete list below, but bear in mind the profanity counts are based on scripts: Swears could have been added or subtracted during filming.

  1. Bad Santa (2003) // 255 swear words
  2. The Ref (1994) // 86 swear words
  3. Better Watch Out (2016) // 82 swear words
  4. Die Hard (1988) // 77 swear words
  5. Just Friends (2005) // 46 swear words
  6. Black Christmas (1974) // 39 swear words
  7. Trading Places (1983) // 37 swear words
  8. Krampus (2015) // 37 swear words
  9. Love Actually (2003) // 36 swear words
  10. The Family Man (2000) // 32 swear words
  11. Fatman (2020) // 25 swear words
  12. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) // 23 swear words
  13. Last Christmas (2019) // 18 swear words
  14. Scrooged (1988) // 17 swear words
  15. Batman Returns (1992) // 14 swear words
  16. Shazam! (2019) // 14 swear words
  17. Surviving Christmas (2004) // 14 swear words
  18. Serendipity (2001) // 13 swear words
  19. A Christmas Story (1983) // 11 swear words
  20. Home Alone (1990) // 9 swear words

Looking for a new movie to watch, or at least a movie that’s new to you? Mental Floss’s new book, The Curious Movie Buff: A Miscellany of Fantastic Films from the Past 50 Years, offers behind-the-scenes details and amazing facts about some of the greatest movies of the past half-century. And it’s available now at your favorite place to buy books, or online right here.

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