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What is Grudge Match?
What is Grudge Match?

The Scenario

The morning sun rises on a dusty road, which winds its way to an old farmhouse. Two wood-paneled station wagons pull up in front. Three young boys push their way out of the first car.

"I got dibs on the bathroom first!" shouts the tallest of the three.

"Reese, you can't call dibs on the bathroom!"

"Well, fine, if you like crap so much, maybe you'll like this" replies Reese, who picks up a pile of horseshit and pelts his younger sibling.

Their mom, exhausted from the drive, gets out of the car and screams, "Will you boys be quiet? We haven't been here two minutes and you're already flinging pooh like a pack of monkeys. Reese: go to the bathroom... Malcolm: clean yourself up... Dewey: go find Francis."

Moments later, another family exits from the second vehicle. The father, a tall, balding man with a crazy look in his eye says, "Can you smell that Rusty?... aaaah, the great outdoors. Nothing like the scent of the old west. C'mon kids, grab your bags. This is going to be the hap-hap-happiest vacation we've ever had." The two kids moan as they head for the farmhouse.

As they walk toward the door, a large German man comes out of the building.

"Two families! Oh, i'm sorry, but vee don't haff enough room for zee both of you. One of you vill haff to return home."

Lois speaks up first. "Well, we're here to visit our son Francis, so you guys will just have to leave."

"No way, ma'am, this is a Griswold family vacation. We've been planning this for ten months and we're not leaving here without a fight."

Anger fuels the eyes of both families as they prepare to battle for the right to remain at the dude ranch.

So Brendan, which set of sore suburbanites will settle this scuffle and steal the stay at the stables?

Griswolds, National Lampoon's Vacation


Wilkersons, Malcolm in the Middle

The Commentary

BRENDAN: To decide a battle royale of this magnitude, it is necessary to look at the individual matchups. And when you do so, it becomes obvious the Griswold's are going to take it. Maybe Hal can fight Cousin Eddie to a standstill, but all the other fights are hopelessly lopsided. Lets look at them one by one.

Malcolm vs Audrey (version 1.0). While one might think that Malcolm's supergenius brain would give him the edge here, we must remember what this particular Audrey grew up to be. That's right, a Psi Cop, personally trained by Alfred Bester himself. Thus, even if her womanly wiles are not enough to turn Malcolm to the Griswold side, she can just brainshred him.

Reese and Dewey vs all other Griswold children. Two essential points here. First the Griswolds have an all but infinite supply of replacemnt children. Thus no matter how many Rustys and Audreys Reese kills, wave after wave of Griswold offspring will keep coming until Reese is finally overwhelmed. And second, even if Reese somehow manages to gain access to the automatic weapons he would need to stave off the Griswold self-replicating horde, Dewey will eventually turn on him (as happens in every Malcolm episode) thus guaranteeing a Griswold win.

Clark vs Lois. While both are susceptible to the much disparaged Rage, it is far more debilitating to Lois than to Clark. When she is Ragified, she becomes a screaming maniac incapable of sentient thought. By contrast, when Clark's blood gets up he becomes a cold blooded, evil genius as proven by his shock and aweesque conquest of Wally World, a feat of arms which the Nazis, Communists, and Al Qaeda could only dream of achieving. And while Clark has whupped up on beer fueled Germans, Eisenhower style, Lois can't even defeat her own pintsized daughter-in-law.

JOE: While I am impressed that you could compare Chevy Chase to a Nazi and think that would help your cause, I believe you are giving Clark a little too much credit. He couldn't even beat up a squirrel. Sparky may draw first blood in the fight against Lois, but that will only bring on the vengeance of an enraged husband. Hal is no push-over, either, man...he's crazy. Remember the episode when he took over the construction of his sons' robot and fixed it to shoot killer bees? Those are not the actions of a man in full control of his mental capacity.

With Clark tied up battling Hal the Destroyer, poor Ellen will be an easy target for Lois. Beverly D'Angelo is much more a lover than a fighter and will be quickly dispatched by Malcolm's super-bitch mother.

Lastly, there may be a never-ending supply of Griswold kids, but its not like any of them were tough. It doesn't matter if they grew up to be Psi Cops, Natural Born Killers or Johnny Galecki, they were all pathetic weiners when they were Griswolds. None of the kids ever did anything except follow their wacky dad around and complain about everything. Reese can handle them all by himself, leaving Malcolm to deal with any other Griswold relatives that show up.

Malcolm has a whole family of trouble-makers. The only chance the Griswolds have is if Clark magically finds a chainsaw, and even then they would be underdogs.

BRENDAN: While you do accurately describe Hal's Devinlike grip on reality, you are forgetting his other qualities. Specifically, his highly suceptible nature, his mercurial attention span, and his propensity for self-destruction. These qualities guarantee Hal will not be around while Clark is wailing on Lois. Instead he'll be off in the desert with Cousin Eddie, trying to catch gila monsters for the Venemous Reptile theme park the two of them have decided to open.

And even if Hal was somehow able to resist the siren song of collecting Gila Monsters to go and protect his wife, Ellen will still have the edge over Lois. It has been repeatedly established that Lois can not be in the same state with Francis without going Psycho-Banshee. Ellen could drive a railroad spike through Lois, and she wouldn't even notice, because she would be to distracted fighting with Frances.

You also are seriously overestimating Reese's capabilities. He's been bested by a kid in a wheelchair. Dozens of girls have kicked his butt. And there are things that have been dead for a good ten years that show more brainwave activity than he does. All the Griswold kids have to do is outlast him (which their endless numbers guarantee) and eventually Reese will end up with a dozen bulls chasing him.

With the rest of his family distracted or dead, Malcolm will be in the middle of a vulture's stomach while the Griswold's ride off into the sunset.

JOE: While its true that sometimes Hal has the Crazy Scheme Syndrome(TM), that is only a secondary trait. His defining characteristic is his infatuation with his wife. The draw of Cousin Eddie may be strong, but its not going to be enough to take him away from his wife's side, especially when she's in danger.

Secondly, the infinite supply of Griswold kids isn't going to help them as much as you'd think. Francis is pretty damn sexy in his cowboy outfit and as soon as they see him, every version of Audrey will fall head over heels in love. They'll all rush over and start flirting, but the direct competition with themselves will cause intense jealousy and the whole group will devolve into a mass of hair-pulling Audreys. Meanwhile, while Reese is working on the first version of Rusty, Malcolm can use the cool gadgets he picked up while on his short stint as Agent Cody Banks to destroy the remaining Rustys.

Lastly, if one of the Griswolds manages to win one of their battles, Malcolm's family can still turn to their secret weapon, Dewey. There is a slight chance he could backstab Reese or Malcolm but he certainly won't turn against Francis or his father. After years of torture by his older siblings he can resist any amount of pain, physical or psychological. Plus, he's sly as a fox and always gets his way. Rescuing his family from defeat, of course, would be an excellent bargaining chip the next time he needs something from his parents or older brothers.

Thanks to Glenn "Mixmaster Flibble" Hunt for suggesting this match

The Results

Wilkersons, Malcolm in the Middle

Wilkersons (1490 - 57.6%)


Griswolds, National Lampoon's Vacation

Griswolds (1097 - 42.4%)

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Voter Comments


Wilkersons ride the Griswolds to death
and win the WWWF

have ya heard the story when Chevy Chase
and Malcolm in the Middle went face to face
the story's true and I'm here to say
the fur was flying that fateful day

the Wilkerson family's really screwed up
from Lois the mama to Dewey the pup
got a six pack of Rage, uses it all
driving each other right up the wall

with four psycho brothers and dual parentals
Reese got the muscle, Malcolm got the mentals
Lois starts screaming, they both get scared
and little Dewey, he don't play fair

pulled into the dude ranch one AM
the morning sun beat down on them
Reese ran for the outhouse on the hill
passed Malcolm and Dewey like they was standing still

All of a sudden in the wink of an eye
the Griswold station wagon passed him by
Reese said "boys, that's a fight for me"
by then the dust trail was all he could see

the Griswolds left the Wilkersons behind
so the Wilkersons decided to play unkind
better pity the Griswolds, man alive
like poking a stick in a hornet's hive

Malcolm was quick, he ducked on thru
coated the toilet with super glue
Rusty's butt got stuck to the seat
try to move, lose some meat

now Lois goes nuts whenever she vents
shoves peoples heads thru a picket fence
she seen them Griswolds try to steal their spot
beat up on Ellen with pans and pots

Dewey and Reese, they swiped a truck
crossed their eyeballs just for luck
set it on ghost ride with muffler draggin'
broadsided the Griswold wagon

smoke was coming from outta Clark's ears
tons of Rage stored up for years
took on Hal, thought he'd kick his ass
should have known right then he'd lose, alas
flames was coming from the Griswold ride
you could feel the tension of Audrey inside
Lois said "Girl! You got a license to die!"
and that wagon blew up, smoke filled the sky

then all of a sudden they heard Rusty knockin'
up on the hill saw the outhouse rockin
the shack fell over, man it was stinkin'
Rusty sittin there like a statue of Lincoln

the rest of that day, they shit in a pail
listened to the wounded Griswolds wail
Wilkersons ride the Griswolds to death
and win the WWWF

- Trickster

Silver Grudgie ROTW Silver Medal GrudgieTM

Malcom's gifted class is named after the main character in "Little Shop of Horrors", while Beverly D'Angelo has been in a movie called "Pterodactyl Woman from Beverly Hills".

So what this match is really about is not two loving families but a fight between a giant man-eating plant and a prehistoric leathery birdwoman.

I'll go with the plant.

- Logicus, master of ridiculous leaps of reason

Bronze Grudgie ROTW Bronze Medal GrudgieTM

I just saw Agent Cody Banks, and there was one thing in it that made me automatically want to vote for Malcom's team. It wasn't the high-tech gizmos or the martial arts he knew. It wasn't the babes he got to hang out with (though that didn't hurt).

It was the fact that he had Warcraft III on his computer. When you have that kind of taste, you cannot go wrong; plus, you know combat skills!

Malcom will brandish a Human Footman's Sword, an Orc Grunt's Axe, and a Night Elf Archer's Bow, shout out, "FOR LORDERON!" and shred through the Griswolds like if they were paper.

And there was much rejoicing. (Yaaaaaay.)

- Groucho Magmarx

It doesn't matter who wins. Rest assure, Chevy will make ten more contests with him in it, each less fun then the last

- Mr. Chaos, (I'll see you at Grudge-Match 3: Chevy vs. Ray Romano)

Hal is addicted to breaking things. He rented a steam roller and let his psychotic tendencies lose. hal also built a killer robot. The rest of the family stole from the church donation box. They have also beaten a group of psychotic clowns into submission. I don't know about you, but psychotic clowns are the epitome of evil, nearly everyone's worst primal fear. from the movie It, the videogame twisted metal black (clown was a serial killer who's head is on fire, killed because he was good at it, killed because he liked it), and the band Insane Clown Posse, and the multitude of evil clowns in comic books (the joker, the clown, the clown motercycle gang in akira, that crazy ass clown in Will eisner's The spirit). Clowns are fucking evil. if you can beat down a clown, then you are a god (Example: batman, Spawn, Kaneda, The spirit). Hell, all of the previously mentioned heros are ass kicking, gritty and dark. The griswolds are going down

- Potman the Predator (What kind of name is Wilkerson?)

Having never have seen a Vacation movie, I cast my vote for the Wilkersons. But not because i've never seen Vacation. Because I was one of the six people who saw every episode of Chevey Chases talk show. Dear God, I must have been high.

- The Amazing Fat Man

As soon as the German farm keeper identifies the two families who are about to fight over their accomodations, he'll realize how much damage EITHER of these families will cause to his farm if they stay.

Clark would no doubt feel inspired by the rustic locale, and try to customize this humble vacation spot. He'd attempt to hang up some pictures by driving nails through family herilooms, and use a little too much kerosene for the flame to heat the bathwater, resulting in fires burning part of the farmhouse. Later that day, Clark would try to make up for the fire by helping with the chores, and apply some WD- 40 to the butter churner ... needless to say, that mess will take forever to clean, and hopefully none of the animals would eat the tainted dairy product.

On the other hand, Malcom and his brothers staying ANYWHERE results in destructive fighting. As you know, the terror caused by sibling scraps leaves lamps broken, tables overturned, and walls with more holes then when they started. Once the crazy fights stop, Malcom would get back at Reese with a dung-filled stink bomb (made from ordinary farm chemicals) and end up blowing the stable to kingdom come - "I knew I should have used 23 eggs instead of 32! I'm totally suing that website - again!"

The farmkeeper will do what's best for his farm: he'll break out his shotgun, and, you guessed it ... nicely ask them to leave.

(Yeah, what? Did you think the farmer would do something evil just because he's German?)

- Dom, apologizing to Germans and evil farmers everywhere

You can't go wrong with the family whose movie poster is patterned off of "Conan the Barbarian". In less time than you can say "Red Sonja", Malcolm and family are being fed to a Hyrkranian pit demon (TM courtesy of Robert E. Howard).

Besides which, one of my co-bosses at work whom happens to be named Wilkerson is (and I say this with complete respect) a cold, emotionless SONOFABITCH whom absolutely NO ONE there likes.

The Griswolds win, by Crom!

- RoboGoober Version 2 (I'll be the boss of you anytime I want, you little snotnose...)

While i admire the antics of Clark and the rest of his clan, the mischeif is only caused by Clark and Rusty, the women have nothing too do with it...

Malcom, Reese, Dewey and Francis could cause a small scale war if they put their minds to it, not to mention their newest sibling Jamie that causes head aches to all in the general vicinity with the constant crying...

as great as their vacations were, the Griswolds run screaming when encountered by the Wilkersons

- alek MN

See, this one's pretty obvious. At a glance, both families appear to be capable of creating the same amount of havoc for their respective time periods. However, take into account the theory of Movie And Television Reverse Havoc Inflation (really, I didn't make that up), havoc in the year 2003 is way more devastating than the ordinary amounts of chaos you'd see in the mid-80's. The Griswolds will find themselves outmatched in no time.

- Ilsoap

While it's true that this is a pretty even match, we should not forget the secret weapon of the Wilkerson family: Craig Feldspar! Clark may have the Rage(tm), but Craig is the one who put the (tm) in the Rage(tm). As soon as he sees Clark so much as touching Lois, the great love of his life, he'll go biblical on the asses of all of the Griswolds (and I'm talking Old Testament).

When it's all over Craig will be sitting in the middle of the scattered remains of the Griswold family (RIP), curled in foetus- position, singing 'Did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world.'

- Bart Verbanck

(Before I begin, I would like to protest the illogic of the scenario. Otto and Gretchen practically worship Francis. They would never turn away his family. Just pointing that out.)

This is not so much a Grudge Match as it is a virtual slaughter. The Wilkersons may be a pack of bickering loonies, but they're a close-knit pack of bickering loonies. They stand by each other in times of peril (most of the time, anyway), and will often leap to defend the honor of one of their own. This is the family that beat the shit out of a bunch of clowns because one of them called Lois "wide ride", remember? One remark towards Lois will cause Hal to open a jumbo-sized can of whup-ass on the Griswolds. Lois is practically a force of nature all by herself. And the boys are no slouches, either. Malcolm is a genius, Dewey is a master manipulator, and Reese is... Reese.

Those poor, poor Griswolds. They have no idea how painful this will be for them.

- Stretch Dude

This match might as well match up a meat grinder with a slab of beef. Lois alone is more than a match for the Griswald family. Sparky may have been able to overpower a docile John Candy, but Lois's psychological weaponry and brain-destroying screams will shred the minds of anyone not carrying the last name of Wilkerson. And the rest of the family, well-known for their ability to render every type of weapon imaginable, will undoubtably create a shit-flinging, cow- chucking, beer-fueled weapon of ass destruction that the A-Team would be proud of. The Griswalds will be twitching on the ground in the fetal position in a pool of drool and bodily waste from several animal species.

And for those counting on Randy Quaid to jump in and save the travel- weary Griswalds, there is no hope. The Wilkerson boys will have an M- 80 in the old RV's septic tank ("shitter's full") within seconds, resulting in a firey death for the Griswald clan.

The Wilkersons are eating wurst and strudel and enjoying quality German scheisse porn in 15 minutes and 30 seconds.

- Electric Flava

One only needs to analyze the structure of each family and the dynamics shared within that family to foresee a Wilkerson victory.

1.) The Griswolds, although technically a "functional" family are constantly set back by Clark W.'s ineptidtude. He's obviously the kind of guy that advances through his own idiocy, everyone knows someone like that. But he plateaued once he became food preservative guy and never really advanced mentally or emotionally. His "asinine" gene is inherited and although Cousin Eddie is technically Ellen's cousin's husband, Clark indirectly got the gene from him. The only thing seperating Clark from Eddie is a $50,000 a year job. Unfortunately, Rusty is doomed to incompetence. The Griswold's are used to a certain amount of lifestyle security from which any radical change creates chaos (remember when Clark got the "Jelly of the Month" gift from his office.... need I say more.) The Wilkerson's live a life of chaos, and although a dysfunctional family, continue to survive through times of uncertainty and repeated pregnancies. Hal's incompetence gene is rampant throughout his spawn, which leads us to surmise that Malcolm is not his son. The Wilkerson's constant chaos results in a stronger fighting machine. As that german guy said "whatever doesn't kill us makes us stronger"

2.) The kids - although Malcolm and his brethren have gotten into a lot of trouble, they've never done drugs or been sex-offenders. Audrey is a known pot-head and Rusty likes his French hookers. Whereas the Wilkerson boys thrive on trouble, Rusty and Audrey would rather go get laid and stoned...... who wouldn't.

That's all for now

- Todd the Fish Guy

All things considered I'm going with Griswolds. First you have to look at the heads of these two families. Lois is quite a challenge, every kids nightmare. She's tough and her screaming will probably take out acouple of the Griswolds off the bat. Eddie will likely run in fear. However, Clark will be more than able to deal with her. Clark has already put up with aunt Edna without killing her, well not directly atleast. I see either 2 things happening, either now he won't be bothered the slightest bit by Lois and brush her aside, or the repressed memories of aunt Edna's abuse will surface in which case Clark's likely to snap in uncontrollable rage and take out the whole family. And Clark has some diabolical evil in him too, after all what kind of a sick person does it take to drag a dog behind a station wagon? He forgot you might say, he knew what he was doing. Aunt Edna was driving him crazy so he had a moment of insanity. If Edna hadn't died of natural causes, Clark would've likely finished her off before reaching Arizona. I mean really, he just wanted to leave her body by the road!

Hal may have some evil genius in him as someone stated, how combat effective can he be? He'll be side-tracked by something and be out of the picture.

Dewie is only capable of throwing tantrums and getting himself into trouble. Without the support of Malcom and Reese, don't look for him to do much.

Malcom won't resort to violence. He'll spend too much time trying to devise some genius scheme, he'll be the only one left and Rusty with take him out.

Reese will be distracted by cousin Vicky (Vegas Vacation), as will Francis. While distracted, Audry will take them out with blunt objects to the head.

- Alabama Avenger

Griswold's Vs. the Wilkerson's eh?, heres a more relevant quesiton... who honestly knew Malcolm's family's last name to begin with?

- Shaun The Other White Meat

Forget any logical comments. "Look, kids. Big Ben. Parliament" repeated ad infinitum never gets old.

- Fred, the Rabid Nutria

This comes down to a battle of minds between Clark and Dewey. Lois will be too busy yelling, which will immobilise Rusty who isn't used to strong female presences. Hal and Ellen will cope with the panic with their usual methods (running around gibbering and standing still gibbering, respectively). Francis will not want to risk his employment by brawling in front of Otto and Gretchen. Audrey will be too worried with whether any ‘cool' kids have seen her with her family. Malcolm is far too indecisive to have any effect on the fight, and will probably deliver a monologue about whether he should join in or not for its entire duration. And although I know the betting odds are going to be competitive, I give Reese half a minute before he knocks himself unconscious.

Clark Griswold and Dewey Wilkerson. Two people who are clever, quick and merciless at achieving their goals. Two people who are stubborn and single-minded when it comes to getting what they want. Unfortunately for Clark, he has a big disadvantage: He is motivated by making his family happy, and by making sure they do genuinely enjoy their vacation. Dewey is motivated by his own gain, and is a master at playing human emotions and manipulating faults to boot.

So, while Clark is chasing Hal around and waving his fists, Dewey will slip up to Rusty and point out, quite matter-of-factly, that horse racing involves a lot of money for the jockeys. Rusty's greed takes over while he runs to the stable to impress the stablehands, saddles up in a clumsy manner, and foolishly slaps the horse on the rear to get it moving. By the time the horse stops, he'll be many miles away, and probably have to live with Cousin Eddie for the rest of his life. But hey, at least those hicks will let him marry that stripper cousin of his.

Meanwhile, Audrey will fall victim to Dewey's Girl-Tactics. He walks up, crying pitifully, and sobs "Why must all these people fight?" Audrey, always on the lookout for friends, will try to engage in what she sees as girl talk about Dewey with the ranches closest female her age, Francis' wife Piama. Audrey is never heard from again.

And finally, the killing blow to the Griswolds. Dewey walks up to Ellen, and uses the same tactics that almost broke up every performing group in his district. "Why does your husband always make your family's decisions?" he asks Ellen.

"Well, I wouldn't say that... the two of use make every decis... well, he considers what I say... uh..." Ellen stops, and a look of fury crosses her face. She marches across the ranch. And hell hath no fury like a wife scorned.

He beat a rival family by himself, Reese will probably have to stay in hospital for the rest of the visit, and Lois would have shouted herself out of breath for a few days - Dewey has started the best holiday of his life. Dewey's the boss of Clark now! Dewey's the boss of Clark now! Dewey's the boss of Clark now, and he's not so big!

- Mixmaster Flibble - The boss of me is the Iron Fist...

The woman in the red dress.

Don't ask me how, but that's how the Griswalds will win.

- Spasm - You know you want to

Geez, Brendan, you yourself just said, "It has been repeatedly established that Lois can not be in the same state with Francis without going Psycho-Banshee." I don't know about you but that sounds like pretty good grudge-match strategy to me.

- Groove Meister

I must admit that this is a difficult choice. On one hand, you have a neurotic family visiting their eldest son... on the other you have a neurotic family going on their family vacation... Therein lies the difference. The Malcom in the Middle Gang never really cared for each other, whereas the Vacation Family always get their vacation. Clark will fight to the death to get his vacation and to make sure it's as perfect as can be. The Malcom in the Middle Family would more aptly give up, figuring their son would not even care to see them. The Vacation Family wins standing over the bloodied, but not actually dead (hey this is a family show), corpses of their adversaries.

- AmazingDude2003

Chevy Chase... the so-called "Man of the House" who got bested by the smart-alecky middle kid from Home Improvement?????

Versus a much smarter and high-maintenance kid, his annoying little whiny-baby brother Dewey, his shrieking harpy of a mother, and an older brother who learned his bullying ways from his previous role as the son of a psycho-dad who whiled away the way drunk, in the basement, and plotting murders with a stuffed bunny named Mr. Floppy (voiced by none other than fellow psycho Bobcat Goldthwait)?????

The only vacation Chevy Chase is taking is a permanent one....on the Highway to [a very not nice place]......

One vote for the Wilkersons.

- The Genius Formerly (and Still) Known as Eddie

I voted for the Wilkersons for a simple reason, you basically have an immature version of the A-Team with just the kids alone, the eldest child basically lives at boot camp(military reform school), the next oldest is on his way there, the youngest is too stupid to feel pain and Malcolm is an a-moral genius with connections to easilly influenced nerds and therefor is a source of cool gadgets and weaponry he won't fail to bring up, he is the middle child you know, and thus wants praise BAD. What are the griswolds going to do? Go on a road trip?

- Jayce, Leader of the monkey army of DOOM!!!

Today on the Anarchists Cookshow, I'll be teaching you a handy recipe to cause havoc in any situation, large or small.

First, you take one small, hyperactive child. *pulls Dewey into frame despite protests*

Now, add large amounts of sugary based products *the complaints stop, and the sugary products are consumed* Any sugary products will do, be it chocolate, artificial orange juice... the more the better.

Now, you must stand back before- wait! I'm not in the protective bunker yet! No! Nooooooo!

- In A Circle Of Stars

I voted for the Griswalds... but the wilkersen's mom almost made me change my mind... pound for pound she still scares the shit out of me

- lionel hutz attorney at law

[searches in vain through the WWWF Glossary]

Come on, come on, where's the "Chevy Chase Must Lose" Rule?! Hollywood has it, why not Grudge Match? Man of the House ruined my childhood, goddammit!

- Ian "Charge Man" Pugh

I could go on for pages upon pages on why the Wilkersons have nothing on the Griswolds. Short Version: Malcolm, the only member of his family with a brain, will be too busy making asides to the camera. Reese will be busy trying to learn German to impress the innkeeper's daughter. Dewey will stand around trying to look younger than he really is. Hal will start sobbing in indecision. Lois will be stymied when she discovers that shrieking mindlessly doesn't work on opponents other than her family, and Francis turns out to be stock footage from an entirely different TV show. Above all, however, the Griswolds' advantages boil down to:

A. The Mother-in-law.
B. The Dog.

Firstly, Clark's nightmare mother-in-law is played by Doris Roberts, who is also the nightmare mother/mother-in-law on Everybody Loves Raymond. That's a double dose of subtle yet venomous matriarchal terror that Lois, with her irritating but hardly frightening screaming fits, can't match. And then we have Snots, Cousin Eddie's beloved dog, who wreaks destruction wherever he goes, but is completely devoted to Clark. Snots also has the ability to survive deadly chemicals passing through his bladder with no ill effect. Lois, attempting to calm herself after an aborted fit of rage, lights a cigarette and tosses the match to the ground, not noticing that Snots has lifted his leg nearby after drinking a quart of gasoline the day previous. The Wilkerson's charred remains are spread over the Western Seaboard, and the dog of course lives. Victory to Clark and the gang.

A week later the innkeeper relaxes, glad to finally be rid of the Griswolds. His exultation is cut short by the sound of two cars colliding in the parking lot. The families have exited the cars and are arguing.

"Learn to drive, jerko!" Shouts the father of the first family, a bald fat man with yellow skin.

"Y' d'g'b'n'e'd' s-s-t'fff g'n o' th' groi'!" Slurs the other father in a vaguely British accent, his face framed with long hair and sunglasses.

"Ach du leiber! Not again!" moans the innkeeper.

- Oxymoron - If the Griswolds lose this match, it'll be the third time this year Chevy Chase has been beaten. Is that a record?

Clearly this is a case of the Irresistible Force - the Wilkersons in full defend/attack mode - versus the Immovable Object - Clark Griswold attempting to wring every ounce of potential enjoyment out of yet another absolutely wretched family outing. The very laws of physics themselves dictate that there can be no absolute winner here. By the time this battle reaches its inevitable stalemate, the farmhouse and most of the surrounding countryside will be a smoking ruin. But on the bright side, with the rest of his family dead, maybe poor Clark will actually have fun on his next vacation.

- National Lampoon's Don "King" Milliken

malcolm wins!! 90's white trash beats 80's suburbatie yuppies anytime.

- corn fed

The Griswolds are going down, for one inevitable reason: Hal.

I mean, look at the guy - he's clearly losing it. When Malcolm in the Middle began, there was an air of serenity about him. When explaining the way in which a person decomposes, or having his back shaved, or seducing his wife, he had an aura of complete calm and imperturbability. But as the show's gone on, he's been showing signs of strain...he's started yelling, he's started sweating, he's getting jumpy and bug-eyed and doing deranged things like shouting insane epithets over the radio and hiring a steamroller to crush things with and simply sitting in his car screaming "WHY?! WHY?!? WHYYYYYY???!!!", etc...

The Griswolds have nothing like him in their arsenal. Yes, Clark has been known to snap on occasion and hold a theme park hostage, but his are always healthy bursts of rage that leave him calm and cleansed. The others are nothing but a bunch of champion eye- rollers; no matter what horrible situation Clark gets them into, be it leaving a dead aunt on a doorstep, or a kidnapped boss, or losing all their money in Vegas, all they do is sigh and tolerate it. They're never going to snap.

But Hal's a big ball of unreleased tension, and he's about to blow, you can tell. With his unbearable job, his psychotic brood, his financial woes and his lost youth, all it'll take is a nudge to push him completely off the edge... and for a gangly lamewad food additive- designer to challenge his right to visit his own son... I think that'd do it.

Hal will go postal. He'll take out the Griswolds. Then he'll take out Otto for screwing up the reservation. Then he'll wipe out his kids, drive all the way to work and shoot the place up. Then he'll hunt down his mother-in-law and dismember her with an axe. Then he'll wander into the street and just start picking off random strangers until the police take him down.

However, due to his undying love for Lois, she'll be spared. So the Wilkersons win!

- Derelictman

The Griswolds couldn't handle a squirrel.

The entire Wilkerson clan declared war on one Lois' hag mother and failed to deliver the humiliation she so richly deserved, even after expert backup from Hal's poker buddies.

Deciding which of these families is the more pathetic bunch of whiny, ineffectual losers is like trying to decide which of my kids I love more. I vote for "All Mangled And Barbecued By Stray Napalm From Nearby Nellis Air Force Base."

- Mr. Silverback-- Reminding you that napalm still sticks to pop culture icons.

I initially voted for the Wilkerson's, but at this point, I've come to realize that the Grizwolds' will be allowed to stay at the ranch for one simple reason: Francis's boss will know that it will be much easier to bleed excessive amounts of money out of the Grizwolds. I figure they'll probably be worth at least 5 grand before they realize that they're being worked over.

- They Might Be Matt

All I keep hearing about is the endless supply of Audreys and Rustys...

What good is that going to do them? You forget that they don't even want to be there in the first place, as it is the case with all Griswald family vacations.

So what happens is this: Wave after wave of Griswald brats will appear, all doing.... NOTHING!!! Once they realise they finally got the advantage over their father by sheer numbers they'll drag him out in the desert where he can play with his new pals, the Gila monsters once he's gotten over yet another driving by of Christie Brinkley aka "The girl in the red Ferrari"TM

This leaves the Wilkerson to spend a just as miserable vacation as the Griswalds always did. Thus leaving us with one winner: The Griswalds, minus Clark W.!!!!

- Badlander

"No way, ma'am, this is a Griswold family vacation. We've been planning this for ten months and we're not leaving here without a fight."

"Please! Please! Ze dude ranch is not for fighting," says Otto, trying to intervene.

"Shut it!" Bellows Lois

Clark steps forward towering over Lios with an unstable grin. "This is the Griswold vacation, and we're gona have so much fun, we'll all be whistling zipideedoodah out of our assholes!"

"Get back in the car, Clark," commands Ellen, looking upset and embarrassed. As Clark turns to look at her face in the window of family truckster, Lois's fist slams into his jaw, sending him stumbling. Otto cringes and steps away, his chins quivering.

"Back off, Bologna breath! And don't use that kind of language in front of my kids."

"Clark..." calls Ellen. "Da-ad" calls Audrey, "your emberassing us!"

Hal walks up and puts his arm around Lois as the boys close ranks behind them. "Dissention in the ranks?" Hal prods.

"That woman slugged me!" complains an appalled Clark.

"Don't you yell at my wife!" Hal puts Clark in a headlock. As Clark struggles to free himself, Reese kicks him in the shins with a relentless rythm, while Malcolm goes to work on his gut. Ellen gives an exasperated sigh and puts her head in her hands, while Rusty and Audrey watch and laugh. Soon the Wilkersons are relaxing in a clean, comfortable room.

(Hal and the boys did konk carnival clowns for Lois. When did the Griswold family ever help Clark make trouble?)

- I. Phil Kuntz

It's simple math.

The ammount of family it took for the Griswold's to take an amusement park: 80% (minus eddie).

Ammount for Wilkinson's to take the state fair: 50%. And it was all the younger, weaker children.

The math goes to Malcolm and his family.

- D.J.

One important factor you neglected to mention is the generation gap. Obviously, violence is caused by the media and video games. And we all know these have been getting gorier and gorier. Not only that, but as all media after school shootings will testify, kids are evil. Parents are poor, incompetent victims. The Griswolds grew up with DOOM and Wolfenstein 3D, tops. The Wilkersons have Return to Castle Wolfenstein, Blood II, Unreal, and Quake. And who has the best access to these violence-inducing video games? Reece, certainly, has all the blood-spewing moves down pat, and don't forget Francis!

However, it's important to consider the fact that they're fighting over a piece of land. No matter what happens, the Griswolds always have some cutesy, happy ending to their stories, while the Wilkersons suffer from a cycle of defeat not unlike that of Gilligan and Skipper, except sans Useless Semi-Attractive Women (tm?).

So, frankly, I have mixed feelings about this match. But if I had to choose a winner? After some rather pathetic, girl-fight-style battle royale between the two sides (none of them really has any technique, to be honest), the Griswolds somehow manage to secure the vacation... er... stables, was it? Probably because the owner is so horrified when Reese and Malcolm join forces to convert his tractor into a Death Thingie (c?). But wait! The Wilkersons have never been known to take defeat easily! Before Hal and Lois can come up with a super-complex plan, though, Reese's own plan misfires and ends up burning down the stables and making local water undrinkable for the next three million years (don't ask).

Winner? Unknown.
Loser? Everyone.
True loser? Whoever drinks that water.

- The Rabid Aardvark

Its funny that many of my family vacations ended up like this one did.

- Brian C

When, in his life, has Chevy Chase won ANYTHING?

- The (no longer) unpublished soldier

I think its clear to anyone that agent cody banks is severly outranked by fletch.

- ex-agent


I'll be the boss of you anytime I want, you little snotnose...

- RoboGoober Version 2

If you liked this match, check out these other past matches:

The Weakest Link (featuring Malcolm Wilkerson)
Happy Gilmore v. Caddyshack
Brady Bunch v. Partridge Family

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Next Match: Forget Paris
ETA: Monday, September 22nd, 2003

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