- Directors: Bob Clark
- Producers: Bob Clark, Gary Goth
- Writers: Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark
- Genres: Comedy, Family
- Actors: Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon
The movie takes place in the fictional northwest Indiana town of Hohman (based on real-life Hammond, Indiana). 9-year-old Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) wants only one thing for Christmas: “an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time.”
Between run-ins with his younger brother Randy (Ian Petrella) and having to handle school bully Scut Farkus (Zack Ward), Ralphie does not know how he will ever survive long enough to get the BB gun for Christmas.
The plot revolves around Ralphie’s overcoming a seemingly insurmountable obstacle to his owning the precious Red Ryder BB gun: the fear that he will shoot his eye out. In each of the film’s three acts, Ralphie makes his case to another individual; each time he is met by the same retort. When Ralphie asks his mother (Melinda Dillon) for a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, she says, “No, you’ll shoot your eye out.” Next, when Ralphie writes a theme about the BB gun for Mrs. Shields (Tedde Moore), his teacher at Harding Elementary School, Ralphie gets a C+, and Mrs. Shields writes “P.S. You’ll shoot your eye out” on it. Finally, Ralphie asks an obnoxious department store Santa Claus (Jeff Gillen) for a Red Ryder BB gun, and Santa responds, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid. Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho!”, before pushing Ralphie down a long slide with his boot.
Other vignettes include: