Romantic Comedies are a holiday staple and most people have a particularly nostalgic film they look forward to watching every holiday season. The decorations, feasts, family antics and heartwarming plot lines that always overcome adversity make us laugh, sometimes cry and always feel good.
No matter how much we love them, it’s impossible to deny that some of the romcoms are leaving us with unrealistic impressions of what traveling this holiday season will look like; in fact if you believe the majority of romantic comedy plot lines you might be tempted to do one of two things; either jet off to a foreign city in the hopes that your own love life will take off OR hibernate at home and refuse to interact with anyone at the risk of family drama reaching an all time high.
Yes, the lies that romantic comedies feed us can be stress inducing at times, or make us romanticize spending the holidays solo in case Mr. Right is just around the corner. Whatever your takeaway from these classic holiday films, don’t let them deter you from your own holiday travel plans. Here are 25 lies romantic comedies are telling us about holiday travel that we need to recognize and unlearn.
25 That You’ll Click With An Attractive Stranger - A Christmas Prince
If you’re traveling for work or traveling with family, the chance encounter with a stranger who’s strangely perfect for you during the holidays is a lie that RomComs will feed us every time.
In the age of social media, how often are you randomly approached by anyone in a public setting, and when you are, are you eager to immediately spend time with them? Our learned behaviour as a generation seems to make us less inclined to immediately trust a potential love interest after a single run in. So don’t rule out an instant connection this season, but don’t count on it either.
24 That Returning To Your Small Home Town Will Suddenly Produce The Man (Or Woman) Of Your Dreams - Sweet Home Alabama
You moved away for a reason right? Returning to your small hometown for the holidays can sometimes mean a run in with people you went to high school with, which can be great for catching up and reminiscing.
But how high are the chances that the man or woman of your dreams has been living in this small town all along and you just never happened to run into each other until now? Probably not very high. More often than not, all of the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes here you’ll already know from high school. If newcomers are moving to this small town, it’s probably because they’re married to someone you sat beside in science class.
23 That You’ll Be Able To Find An Affordable Last Minute Flight - Just Friends
Sure, the idea that you could drop everything and jet off last minute to profess your love to a long time friend is beautiful and idyllic. But certainly not realistic. We’ve seen it happen so many times and swooned at the romance of it all, but have you ever looked at plane tickets during the holidays?
Unless you’re booking months in advance, good luck trying to find a ticket that’s priced anywhere close to what you’d expect any other day of the year. The cost of professing a love long kept secret is truly a pretty penny.
22 That The Holidays Mean It’s Okay To Get Involved With Your Co-Workers - Bridget Jones Diary
Love is in the air, mistletoe has been hung and secret santa names have been pulled. Even at the office, the holidays are an exciting time, but don’t stop thinking with your head and let your heart lead just because they do in the movies.
Starting up an office romance is generally a formidable idea, and no matter how much you have to drink at the holiday party, or how perfect your Secret Santa gift is, there are repercussions to mixing your personal and professional life. If you have genuine feelings for a co worker, give it some serious thought and perhaps hold off on making a move until after the spirit of the season has worn off so it’s not influencing your decisions.
21 That You Might Actually Forget a Family Member At Home - Home Alone
We’ve all seen this holiday classic and watched the kid foil the bad guys’ plans. Though well loved, there is a gaping plot hole in that a child was literally forgotten at home during the holidays.
Chances are if anyone is paying attention, you’re going to do a brief headcount of the children when you get in the car before you head to the airport. Of course, maybe this one is partially Kevin’s fault because if you’ve seen Home Alone 2, he manages to find himself alone again for the holidays.
20 That Your Exes Don’t Have Better Things To Do Than Sabotage Your Holiday Getaway - Girlfriends Of Christmas past
If you’re holding the belief that your exes are so obsessed with you that they might give up their own holidays to sabotage your romantic getaway, then the RomCom lies have won.
The majority of people have better things to do then follow an ex around during one of the busiest times of the year. They’re much more likely to spend this time shopping, being with family or perhaps taking a trip of their own to try and get you off of their mind. So don’t waste your time hung up on them either.
19 That A Trip To Bloomingdales Will Result In Epic Romance - Serendipity
A fashion department store in the winter time is, of course, the perfect place to fall in love. If you live in New York, the RomComs say you don’t have to travel far to find true love during the holidays...especially if you’re willing to wrestle the last pair of gloves from a handsome stranger.
However what’s more likely to result from your trip to Bloomingdales is a successfully completed shopping list, a dent in your savings and a holiday party outfit that makes you feel so confident you want to dance right out of the store.
18 That Flying In Your Distant Relatives For A Visit Will Result In Disaster - Christmas Vacation
Hosting a family Christmas might be a dream for some and a nightmare for others. It really depends on how you close you are with your relatives and what your family traditions were, growing up.
But movies like Christmas Vacation leave the impression that getting the whole gang together is a recipe for ruined trees, overcooked turkeys and rogue squirrels. Chances are, it will just mean a house full of love, laughter and perhaps the occasional family squabble. If you really want to take a leaf from the Griswald’s book, you can always have some of the family stay in the RV instead of under the same roof.
17 A Freak Storm Will Foil Your Plans - Four Christmases
You’ve book a tropical vacation to escape the cold and the snow, but it will inevitably be ruined by a storm that will get your flight cancelled.
Lie. This classic RomCom conflict is the catalyst for a film plot that will explore a family with underlying issues and troubled relationships which would not have been resolved had the protagonist been allowed to run away from them again this year to sunbathe on the beach.
Real life; there’s no team of writers who desperately want you to confront your past for good drama, so don’t get too hung up on this one.
16 Meeting Your Significant Other’s Parents Will Be Traumatic - Meet The Fockers
It wouldn’t be a good holiday movie setup if your SO’s parents weren’t already eager to dislike everything about you. Fortunately, this really is only the case in the movie’s. In real life, if your significant other is happy to be with you and has shared positive information about you with their parents, there’s no reason you need to expect to take a lie detector test on arrival.
There’s always the chance their parents don’t approve of their choices and so the cards are stacked against you from the get go, but don’t let that discourage you. If this person wants to be with you, just be yourself. Sincerity, confidence and kindness are difficult to begrudge.
15 That A Holiday Get Together Is The Place To Divulge Your Personal Problems - Love the Coopers
When a family gets together for a RomCom holiday, it inevitably results in dirty laundry being aired for everyone to see. Marital problems, past secrets and lies all come to light over the course of the film and someone divulges them to the rest of the group at the climax.
Well in the real world, most people have the good sense to leave these private matters on the side during a large family get together. If relatives are flying in from overseas and kids are returning home from school or jobs out of town, their focus will likely be on catching up. Leaving the heavy discussions for after festivities have subsided will usually yield better results.
14 That You And Your Arch Nemesis Will Somehow Fall For Each Other - You've Got Mail
The holidays certainly do put a sense of magic in the air, but they can’t fix the impossible. If you and a rival have never gotten along, a season isn’t going to change that. It’s always advisable to forgive and forget, but if you can’t do that on any other day, a holiday probably is not suddenly going to make you feel differently.
If you do happen to make amends under the mistletoe, are these emotions linked to the magic of snowflakes and apple cider?
13 That Your Office Christmas Party Is Worth Postponing Your Flight For - Office Christmas party
If you’re new to office culture, don’t be fooled by raging parties in holiday films that make it look like the best night of your life. Sure, you might bond with some coworkers and you might even have a decent time.
But don’t blow off important plans or postpone flights in expectation of a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These depictions are just not realistic, and anyone having THIS good of a time at an office holiday party might end up regretting it in the New Year.
12 That You’ll Have To Prove Your Worth To Your Boyfriend’s Family With A Grand Gesture - Crazy Rich Asians
Movies idealize a grand gesture that causes disapproving family members to see the protagonist in a new light. If they’ve stood their ground to prove they have a back bone and this has earned the respect of the family, that’s great! But changing yourself in any way for someone else to like you shouldn’t be necessary.
As long as you feel like you’re the best version of yourself that you can be, these romanticized makeovers in films that suddenly win the hearts of disapproving mothers and aunts are just not okay.
11 That Bringing Home a Fake Fiancée Will Fix Your Problems - 12 Dates of Christmas
When has lying to your family ever been a good idea? Perhaps the most insane lie of all (that seems all too popular in RomComs) is bringing home a fake fiancée, or significant other, to appease the opinions of inquiring relatives.
There’s no shame in flying solo and there’s no shame in being satisfied with not being married or not having children. Lying about it suggests that you believe you lack something by not delivering on these points; you don’t lack anything. You, yourself, are enough.
10 That Going To House Sit Abroad Will Turn Up Your Soulmate - The holiday
Swapping houses with a foreign friend for the holidays in the hopes that you’ll find that special someone might be a little unrealistic. Of course traveling abroad is a fantastic way to meet people on a normal occasion, and usually being a little bit exotic as a foreigner, you’ll get more romantic attention than you might back home.
But during the holidays, the eligible bachelors and bachelorettes probably aren’t out at bars or clubs looking for their soulmate. Chances are the type of person you’re hoping to meet is spending the time with their family, which could mean you spend the holidays alone in a city that’s unfamiliar.
9 That Getting Away For The Holidays Will Result In You Bumping Into Your Ex - Forgetting Sarah Marshall
Going away for the holidays can never go smoothly in a RomCom and if you want to get away with a new significant other, of course you’re going to run into your ex which will rekindle old feelings and ruin your chances of moving on to new love.
This lie is so far fetched that it’s a wonder we can buy into it so many times. What are the chances that of all the resorts and countries you could choose to go to, your ex is going there as well at the exact same time? Unless you both go somewhere that meant a lot to both of you (in which case, it doesn’t really seem like anyone is trying too hard to move on), this is really unlikely to happen.
To be safe, choose somewhere the two of you never even talked about; this will ease your concerns and allow you to relax and enjoy your time away.
8 That Your Crush Won’t Notice If You Get Someone Else To Take Your Place - The princess Switch
A tale as old as time, the classic identical twin swap out. Even though they have different accents and totally different mannerisms, they can spend five minutes together and then convince everyone that they’re the other person. Right.
The most outrageous scenario is that a love interest of one person, could fall for the person who’s taken their place, thinking it’s them. How well did they know you each other in the first place if this happens so easily?
In the real world, of course switching places with an identical twin (if you happen to have one) might be fun for a minute, but if someone you liked romantically doesn’t realize it’s not really you...that’s going to hurt.
7 That You’ll Have Multiple Chance Encounters With The Same Stranger (And Strike Up An Intense Friendship) - When harry met sally
Sorry, this one is just a little too perfect. In your travels will you run into the same person multiple times? Secretly fall for each other? It’s possible, but if you’re holding out for this to happen for you, you’ve had your head in the RomComs for a little too long.
Don’t go traveling during the holidays thinking you’re guaranteed to have these romantic chance encounters and feel an undeniable connection. If it happens, that’s great! If not, well, your romantic plot line is yet to come.
6 That Being Career Oriented Will Be Frowned Upon By Prospective In-Laws - the family stone
Classically, a workaholic is shamed for his or her commitment to their job and inability to let loose on occasion. The family can’t get on board with them because they’re just not down to earth and approachable. They don’t have a sense of humour. They’re always on their phone, always checking email or taking work calls.
Honestly, a career oriented individual will probably do better meeting the parents than someone with no ambitions whatsoever. This constant negative portrayal of a character who cannot be accepted until he or she learns to forget about work and put the phone away just isn’t realistic in today’s modern world. We are always plugged in, always connected. It’s not often people shut work out entirely anymore, even during the holidays.
5 That Visiting A Romantic City With Your Significant Other Will Result In A Breakup - midnight in Paris
If you’re going to breakup, are you really going to do so after you arrive at a destination as romantic as Paris? Couples in RomComs always seem to have problems that are swept under the rug in their day to day life, but come out as soon as they leave that setting and go somewhere more interesting with other people. Suddenly they can’t agree on anything anymore and they don’t like the other person’s friends.
These red flags should be popping up before you take the trip...and it’s highly unlikely both of you are going to find someone else you’re interested in on the same vacation. Don’t buy into these stereotypical RomCom trips; if you’ve discussed the trip beforehand you’re not likely to end up disagreeing on every detail and falling in love with other people while abroad together.
4 That The Ghosts Of Christmas Past Will Teach You The Error Of Your Ways - Scrooged
Not a fan of the holidays? Well in the real world, it’s only on you to figure out when you need an attitude adjustment and how you can get there. There will be no ghosts guiding you through your holiday season’s pasts to uncover your mistakes. You’re smart enough to know where an apology is owed, when you should be more grateful or when you should try to give back more.
The holidays are a time for reflection as well as celebration. Work on bettering yourself this year, even if you’re counting down the minutes until New Year’s is over.
3 That It’s Normal To Wait Until You Arrive At The Altar To Back Out Of The Wedding - while you were sleeping
There’s nothing like a dramatic wedding objection or exit to keep you glued to the screen. Unfortunately, this has given us the idea that it’s somehow normal to wait until you’re halfway through your vows to realize you’re marrying the wrong person.
While this makes for great drama, that’s something most people want to avoid in real life. So if you’re walking down the aisle this season, don’t take notes from the runaway brides of RomComs past. Take some time for introspective thinking before you don the white dress and if it doesn’t feel right, there’s a better place for a breakup than in front of everyone you know and love.
2 That Your Parents Coming To Stay Will Result In A Wild Time - Bad moms
If you think inviting your parents to town for the holidays is going to lead to a wild party, or crazy adventure maybe it’s time to set more realistic expectations. In RomComs we might witness parents letting loose and reverting to their teenage habits when chaperoned by their grown kids, but in real life that’s not the likely scenario.
If you’re looking for a party this season, try getting your friends together for New Years Eve instead and sending the kids to your parents for a sleepover. Everyone wins!
1 That Advent Calendars Are For More Than Just Chocolate - The Holiday Calendar
What happens when Jack Frost wants to take over the North Pole? When Christmas itself is stolen? When your grandpa gives you a magical advent calendar that predicts the future?
Not so much a lie as just purely unrealistic, magic enhancing the holiday season for movie characters is one expectation that cannot be met in the real world. There are no magic calendars, Christmas villains or grinches to impact how we spend the holidays. Who you spend this time with, where you go and the magic you create, are 100% determined by you.