The Most-Hated (and Loved) Holiday Movies in America

We're on a mission to find out which holiday movies make us Grinchy.

Map of America's Most-Hated Holiday Films
Trevor Wheelwright
TV, Streaming, & Internet Expert
Read More
December 17, 2020
3 min read

Which holiday movies do Americans hate—no, loathe entirely? We asked folks which holiday flicks turned them into the Grinch and which ones made their hearts grow three sizes bigger.

Other than marathons of Hallmark movies, here’s what America is tuning into this holiday season.

America’s most-hated holiday films by state

Map of America's Most-Hated Holiday Films

The hatred that folks harbor for holiday flicks spreads from coast to coast, but a few places show higher concentrations of hatred for particular movies:

  • The Muppet Christmas Carol is the most-hated holiday movie in the US, enraging people in 10 different states. And the western and southern regions especially had a firm Scrooge stance toward Kermit and his Christmas crew.
  • Eight states don’t find any joy in Dreamworks’ Rise of the Guardians, which features the Sandman, the Tooth Fairy, and the Easter Bunny battling alongside a tattooed Santa to protect the children of the world.
  • Arthur, the youngest son of Santa Claus, can’t quite compete with his father when bringing cheer to the movie-watchers of winter. Arthur Christmas was the least-liked holiday movie in seven states.
  • The romance hit Love Actually is hated from as far west as Alaska and Oregon all the way to Connecticut. Maybe love isn’t actually all you need when it comes to finding the perfect holiday flick?
  • North Dakota couldn’t ever be bothered to spend Christmas with the Kranks. (Luckily, Tim Allen’s Santa Claus saga carries plenty of weight in the hearts of fans and the box office).
  • Kentucky had a hard time thinking It’s A Wonderful Life, but maybe those blues will get washed away when they watch Chevy Chase in their favorite Christmas show, National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

The most-hated holiday movies overall

List of America's Most-Hated Holiday Films

The Muppet Christmas Carol and Rise of the Guardians claim the top two spots on the throne of holiday hatred. Elf, the most-hated film in four states, takes the number three spot for the entire US. (Sorry, Buddy! Don’t worry. We’ve got great news for you later.)

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation wasn’t any state’s least-favorite movie (but it is the favorite of seven states). Still, a more subtle hatred spread throughout the nation—enough to land the Griswold family at number six on the naughty list.

Although The Grinch (2018) didn’t steal the love of America this time around, it won big at the box office, bringing in over $511 million worldwide since its release, making it the highest-grossing holiday movie to date.1

Ready to retire it? It seems like people have seen enough of Ralphie shooting his eye out in A Christmas Story, which finishes off America’s top 10 most-hated holiday movies.

The most-loved holiday movies in America

We can’t bring up the worst of holiday movies without also mentioning the best. These are the merry-bringing movies that won America’s holiday hearts.

List of America's Most-Loved Holiday Films

Here are some stocking-stuffer tidbits on these festive flick favorites:

  • Home Alone and Elf each picked up 14 state wins for the most-loved holiday movie, followed by National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation with seven state wins and A Christmas Story with six state wins.
  • The oldest films have staying power, and we love to see the traditions stick around. The oldest film on the list, It’s A Wonderful Life, came out in 1946, followed by Miracle on 34th Street (1947) and A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965).
  • The most recent film on the list is 2018’s The Grinch, which starred Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of the green and grumpy, Christmas-stealing pseudo-Santa who gave it all back.
  • Nearly thirty years later, Kevin McCallister still wishes all the filthy animals of the world a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. The absolute Christmas classic Home Alone grossed over $476 million—now that’s something worth screaming about!
  • Buddy the Elf is not only highly quotable but also highly profitable. We’re not sitting on a throne of lies when we say Elf brought in over $220 million worth of cheer to people worldwide since the film’s release.
  • A Christmas Story came out in 1983, but generations later, it’s still a fan favorite. Whether it’s the leg lamp, the bunny suit, or saying “fudge” without saying fudge, Ralphie and his family gave us the present of some truly unforgettable scenes.

Here’s the full state-by-state breakdown of this year’s most loathed and loved holiday films.

America’s Most-Loved and Most-Hated Holiday Movies by State
State
Favorite
Least favorite

Alabama

Home Alone

Rise of the Guardians

Alaska

A Christmas Story

Love Actually

Arizona

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Arkansas

Home Alone

Rise of the Guardians

California

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Colorado

Elf

Rise of the Guardians

Connecticut

Elf

Rise of the Guardians

Delaware

Home Alone

Love Actually

District of Columbia

Home Alone

Rise of the Guardians

Florida

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Georgia

A Christmas Story

Rise of the Guardians

Hawaii

Elf

Rise of the Guardians

Idaho

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Illinois

Home Alone

Arthur Christmas

Indiana

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Love Actually

Iowa

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Arthur Christmas

Kansas

Elf

Love Actually

Kentucky

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

It's a Wonderful Life

Louisiana

Home Alone

Elf

Maine

A Christmas Story

Rise of the Guardians

Maryland

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Massachusetts

Elf

Love Actually

Michigan

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Minnesota

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Rise of the Guardians

Mississippi

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Missouri

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Montana

A Christmas Story

Arthur Christmas

Nebraska

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Rise of the Guardians

Nevada

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

New Hampshire

Elf

Rise of the Guardians

New Jersey

Home Alone

Rise of the Guardians

New Mexico

Home Alone

Elf

New York

Home Alone

Arthur Christmas

North Carolina

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Love Actually

North Dakota

Elf

Christmas with the Kranks

Ohio

A Christmas Story

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Oklahoma

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Oregon

Elf

Love Actually

Pennsylvania

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Rise of the Guardians

Rhode Island

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

South Carolina

Home Alone

Arthur Christmas

South Dakota

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Elf

Tennessee

Home Alone

Rise of the Guardians

Texas

Home Alone

The Muppet Christmas Carol

Utah

Elf

Arthur Christmas

Vermont

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

Arthur Christmas

Virginia

A Christmas Story

Elf

Washington

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

West Virginia

A Christmas Story

Love Actually

Wisconsin

Home Alone

Rise of the Guardians

Wyoming

Elf

The Muppet Christmas Carol

After reading through the naughty and nice list of fan favorites, do you agree with your state’s spirit? Feel free to drop this article in the social-media stockings of your friends and family to spread some fun film discussion—or at least find out which Scrooge isn’t allowed to stream movies for everyone on Christmas morning.

Methodology

Reviews.org surveyed 215,416 Americans and asked them to share their sentiments toward various holiday movies, specifically which holiday film was their favorite and least favorite.

Using this survey data, we determined which 10 holiday films were the most liked and disliked to create the overall top and bottom ten lists. We then segmented this data by state to find each state’s favorite and least favorite holiday films.

Sources

Trevor Wheelwright
Written by
Trevor Wheelwright
Trevor’s written about YMYL (your money, your life) topics for over six years across editorial publications and retail/eCommerce sites. His work’s been featured on Forbes, RealSimple, USA Today, MSN, BusinessInsider, Entrepreneur, PCMag, and CNN. When he’s not researching and writing, you can find him around Salt Lake City, Utah, snapping photos of mountains and architecture or seeking out some good tunes and friendly faces.

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