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23rd Dec 2016

For a Christmas movie, Arnold Schwarzenegger does a lot of fucked-up shit in ‘Jingle All The Way’

The man should literally be in prison.

Rich Cooper

This is Arnie

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His name is actually Howard in the movie, but since there’s no way that a man like this could be called anything other than Arnold Schwarzenegger, we’ll call him Arnold Schwarzenegger. Arnie for short.

What Arnie does for a living is not entirely clear, but we know it involves mattresses and that Arnie is a big fish in the mattress pond.

He’s a success, but success comes at a price. It’s late in the day on the night before Christmas Eve and Arnie is supposed to be at his kid’s karate class, where his son Jamie is getting a belt.

This is where our story begins.

1. Arnie has left a generous 20 minutes to get to his kid’s karate class

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2. …even after being warned that he was going to be late

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But what’s a guy gotta do? It’s two nights before Christmas and THE PEOPLE NEED MATTRESSES.

3. Arnie’s wife is referred to just as ‘your wife’

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Her name is Liz, but that’s not important.

4. Arnie is genuinely surprised that the roads are busy at rush hour on Christmas Eve Eve

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What were you expecting, man? It’s rush hour on Christmas Eve Eve in a major city in America.

5. Arnie pulls a major driving dick move and shoots off down the hard shoulder

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6. When Arnie inevitably gets caught, he chats a lot of shit at the officer

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“Look, sir. I’m in kind of a hurry. I’m running late for my son’s karate class.” First up, it’s more than his karate class, he’s getting a belt.

Second, you were warned about this twice, but still had to fanny about selling fucking mattresses on the day before Christmas Eve.

Third, everyone hates the guy that bombs down the hard shoulder while everyone else sits in traffic.

We hate you, Arnie!

7. Arnie couldn’t even make it for the very end of the class. He couldn’t have missed it more if he tried

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“I didn’t make it,” Arnie sighs. Yeah, no shit mate.

8. Instead of apologising to his wife, Arnie says: “Did you tell Ted he could put lights up on our house?”

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His creepy neighbour Ted put up a load of Christmas lights all over his house, which is certainly taking a liberty, but don’t you think there’s a slightly more pressing issue at hand, Arnie?

Then Liz calls him out: “Howard, do you have any idea what time it is?” Apology time, right? “I know. You should have seen the traffic, and on top of that, I got a speeding ticket.” ARNIE.

9. Instead of apologising to his son, Arnie attempts to bond through some mildly racist karate moves

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10. Arnie asks what his son wants for Christmas two days before the day itself

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Jamie wants the hottest toy of the year: the TurboMan doll. “Johnny’s getting one and so is everybody I know! Whoever doesn’t is gonna be a real loser.” There’s your mission, Arnie. Prevent Jamie from becoming a loser son to a deadbeat dad.

11. Arnie temporarily mends his relationship with his son by promising to buy him something

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Aww, commercialism is cute, really.

Side point: what kind of mattress salesman can afford to live in a house like this?

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Seriously, fuck the ’90s.

12. Arnie remembers that he was supposed to buy the doll two weeks ago

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Nothing about the conversation you had with your son triggered any of this stuff?

13. Instead of owning up and admitting that he forgot, he pretends that he got the doll

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OK, we have been in these situations before, when we make a decision whether to lie about something and hope that we can fix it later. It’s not completely fucked-up. What is fucked-up is how Arnie’s abominable acting doesn’t give the game away immediately.

14. On Christmas Eve, Arnie has to nip out to track down the doll. When Jamie begs him not to miss the parade, Arnie literally has no idea what he’s talking about

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It’s only been on Christmas Eve for the last 12 years, but as Jamie points out, Arnie has never managed to make it to a single one, so it is conceivable that he’s simply never heard of it and thus hasn’t been able to attend.

It’s not like parades are big events that close down roads or get coverage in the local press, anyway.

We learn that TurboMan will be at the parade this year I WONDER IF THAT WILL COME UP IN THE PLOT LATER.

15. Arnie heads down to the toy shop and barges straight to the front

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Now obviously this is America, and our American cousins don’t share the same passion for queueing as us, but even so, you don’t just march right up to the front door when a bunch of other people were there before you, even if you are Arnold Schwarzenegger.

16. Arnie bodily grabs two store workers and menaces them for laughing at him

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17. Arnie buys a stranger’s bag, within which he assumes there is a TurboMan, but doesn’t actually bother to check

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Maybe not fucked-up, but certainly fucking stupid.

18. Naturally, he gets the wrong one, and throws it in the garbage

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Damn. If only there was some way of preventing this. If only there was some way of confirming that the product you are buying is the product you want. Never mind, eh. Chuck Booster in the bin, because it’s the ’90s and everything is disposable.

19. Arnie runs through open traffic to chase after a TurboMan he saw in the back of a car

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By this point someone would have called the cops on him. “Hello? Yes, I’d like to report a giant Austrian maniac running around in the traffic.”

20. In his frustration at not being able to find a toy, Arnie lamps a giant TurboMan cutout

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21. And then proceeds to destroy it

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22. Arnie gets very annoyed that his creepy neighbour Ted is in his house and eating ‘his’ cookies

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Bitch, did you bake them?

23. After hearing that an extra batch of TurboMan dolls has come in, Arnie doesn’t look while he’s reversing and smashes into a police motorcycle

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24. In pursuit of a lottery ball that might win him a TurboMan doll, Arnie jumps on a piano

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This is something of a personal bugbear, but pianos are delicate, man. You’ll fuck up the tuning!

25. Then Arnie destroys some kid’s Lego model

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26. THEN Arnie lunges at some kid who put the lottery ball in their mouth

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27. Arnie gets battered by a load of mums and protests that he’s ‘not a pervert!’

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Fair enough, he’s not a pervert (that we’re aware of), but you can’t really lunge at a kid’s face and not face some retribution. Not even in the soft, cuddly ’90s.

28. Arnie slags off his “in-touch-with-his-feminine-side neighbour” in the car while following a lead on a TurboMan doll

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Of all the ’90s quirks that don’t translate well into the 21st century, the casual homophobia is definitely one of the bigger ones.

29. Arnie batters a load of Santas with a giant candy cane

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Actually to be fair, they’re all low-level criminals and all start on him at once, but there is no doubt that some of these people never walked again.

30. When the police raid the criminal Santa operation (???), Arnie impersonates a detective

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Really we should be having a pop at the police for believing this.

31. Arnie runs out of gas

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No. Absolutely not. Arnie didn’t drive across 600 miles of desert. He was in a large city in America, the Home of Gasoline. Only a massive dick would run out of petrol in a city. Fucked. Up.

32. Arnie has a go at Jamie for talking about TurboMan too much

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Mate, maybe you have had it up to *here* with TurboMan, but if you weren’t such a shitdad and bought one when you were told to, it wouldn’t be a problem.

In fairness, this is classic movie shitdad stuff, straight out of the movie shitdad textbook.

33. In a rush to be the first to answer a radio quiz that might win him a TurboDoll, Arnie crushes his rival Myron’s arm in a door

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34. Then whacks him on the head with the phone

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Imagine that was the last face you saw before you went into a coma.

35. When the phone gets disconnected, he legs it round to the radio station, where he proceeds to kick the studio door in

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36. After finding out that the TurboMan doll is actually a gift certificate for a TurboMan doll, Arnie and his nemesis go to punch the radio DJ

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Alright, men shouldn’t have ponytails, but that’s no reason to batter a dude.

37. Arnie indirectly causes a letter bomb to go off in the radio station

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What the fuck is this film?

38. Arnie decides to go and steal the TurboMan doll from his creepy neighbour’s kid

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39. So he breaks into his house

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40. And through an unfortunate set of circumstances involving a reindeer, Arnie ends up setting his neighbour’s house on fire

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But wait for it. The pièce de résistance of Jingle All The Way is coming next.

41. Arnie then punches the reindeer

Arnold Schwarzenegger punched a reindeer, right in its reindeer face. In fairness, the reindeer was about to fuck him up, but just think about that as a piece of cinematic history: Arnold Schwarzenegger punched a reindeer.

42. Then he gets the reindeer drunk

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…less OK.

43. It is at this moment, after he has punched a reindeer then had a few beers with it, that Arnie decides to make things up with his family

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Good to get some perspective on life, isn’t it? One moment you’re having a few brewskis with the reindeer you just punched, and then POW – a ray of light hits your brain. “Fuck,” you think. “I’m a shitdad! I’ve gotta do something about this!”

44. As Arnie rushes to the parade, he bumps into a cop (the same cop who got blown up by a letter bomb) and spills hot coffee all over his face

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Please, just let this guy retire.

45. After all the mad shit he’s gotten up to, all the thousands of dollars of damage, all the personal injuries he’s inflicted on people, Arnie accidentally gets to be TurboMan

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This is not intrinsically fucked-up, but after all the mayhem he’s caused, he really shouldn’t get to be the hero. By rights he should be looking at a fairly hefty prison sentence.

46. Arnie then gets to choose a kid to give the special edition TurboMan to, CAN YOU GUESS WHO IT WILL BE?

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47. Yes, it’s his whiny son Jamie

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Arnie’s nemesis Myron is not happy about this and pursues Jamie. Arnie has to take action. No time to call the police (who are everywhere, by the way). No, it’s TURBOTIME.

48. Arnie, who presumably has never flown a jet pack before, then flies a jet pack through a parade and very nearly kills a lot of people

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49. Arnie ruins Christmas dinner for this family by flying through their window

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Side point: This isn’t strictly Arnie’s fault, but what the fuck? A kid and a grown man are literally dangling a hundred feet from the ground and they’re still squabbling over a stupid doll?

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50. What Arnie does do, however, is chuck a boomerang at the guy, presumably to knock him to his death?

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If there was ever a time to get the police involved, it’s now. Arnie may not have the greatest relationship with the law, given that he continually assaults one of its officers, but really? Is killing a man the only solution to this?

51. Arnie saves his son from certain death, thus repairing their damaged relationship

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Deadbeat dads, take note. If you want to solve your interpersonal relationships, set up a series of events that puts a loved one in mortal peril and then save them from annihilation. Works every time.

Also, AT NO STAGE DOES JAMIE OR HIS MOTHER REALISE THAT THIS IS ARNIE. How many pumped-up Austrian maniacs can there be in this town? Is this not, as we thought, America? Is this in fact the bodybuilding capital of Austria? What is happening?

52. And now we’re all one big happy fucked-up family

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53. Arnie is then held aloft as the hero of the day and paraded down the street

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So let’s just do a quick recap of some of the things that led Arnie to this point.

He neglected his wife and son to sell mattresses. He doesn’t apologise. He leaves it two days before Christmas to even ask his son what he wants. He deceives his family. He threatens shop employees. He destroys shop fittings and vehicles. He’s mildly racist and homophobic. He lunges at a child. He impersonates a detective. He assaults a man with a phone. He threatens a radio DJ. He breaks into a house and sets it on fire. He punches a reindeer, then gets it drunk. He flies a jet pack through a crowd of people. He tries to make a man fall to his death.

Put. This. Man. In. Prison.

Merry Christmas.