Entertainment And News

20 Fun Facts About 'A Christmas Story' You Probably Never Knew (And What Ralphie Looks Like Now!)

Photo: Barbara Kalbfleisch / Shutterstock
'A Christmas Story' house museum

Even for people who don't celebrate Christmas, Bob Clark's "A Christmas Story" has become one of the most famous holiday movies of all time.

The iconic '80s film was released in 1983 and watching it on an annual basis quickly become an American tradition. And even despite its iconic status, there are still lots of fun facts about "A Christmas Story" that even the most devoted fans of the film don't know.

Every Christmas Eve at 8 p.m., TBS begins airing their annual "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" marathon, bringing us a full trip around the sun of Ralphie and his quest for a Red Ryder BB Gun, while TNT's marathon begins at 9 p.m.

If you haven't seen "A Christmas Story" yet, do yourself a favor and finally watch it this year. It's a classic and every single human being should see the film at least once. See below for more options if you don't have access to watch on TBS or on TNT.

Here is a quick synopsis (for those 10 people who didn't grow up watching the movie):

Christmas is rapidly approaching and all Ralphie wants is a Red Ryder BB Gun, but everyone keeps telling him that he's going to shoot his eye out. Add in a school bully, a triple dog dare, and a leg lamp (yes, an actual lamp that is shaped like a leg) and you have the best holiday movie ever.

Well, one of them anyway...

RELATED: The 40 Best Romantic Christmas Movies To Watch With Your Love

Sit back, relax, and celebrate the holidays because it's going to be Fra-gee-lay (it's Italian).

Here are 20 trivia fun facts about "A Christmas Story" you probably still don't know.

1. The movie was shot in Cleveland, Ohio, and Canada.

Director Bob Clark scouted over 20 cities before deciding to film the movie out of Cleveland, Ohio with a few shots in Toronto, Ontario.

2. Ralphie's house was purchased by a fan.

A fan of the movie purchased the house that was used as the exterior shots in the movie on eBay for $150,000. He then renovated it to look exactly like the set shots on the inside.

In 2006, the house opened for tourists to view. Brian Jones spent $500,000 to fix up the house and turn it into a tourist destination.

3. You can visit the house.

For those of you who are now planning a trip to Cleveland (for whatever reason), you can find the house at 3159 W. 11th Street.

4. Peter Billingsley isn't just an actor. He's gone on to produce and direct several films.

Ralphie became quite the movie man. The actor started his career as a 2-year-old in a Geritol commercial, and over the years has produced hit films like "The Break-Up," "Four Christmases," and "Iron Man."

He also directed the 2009 romantic comedy "Couples Retreat" starring Jon Favreau and Vince Vaughn.

RELATED: 10 Stars Who Got Their Start On TV Commercials

5. Wil Wheaton auditioned to play Ralphie.

The famous Star Trek character and Sheldon's nemesis auditioned for the part of Ralphie. Unfortunately, he didn't make the cut.

6. The Red Ryder B.B. Gun is name-dropped a lot.

The famous B.B. Gun is mentioned 28 times in the movie.

7. Jack Nicholson was almost in the movie.

Nicholson was given the script and wanted to play Ralphie's father. However, adding him to the cast would have doubled the budget at the time, thus the decision to cast Darren McGavin.

8. First, Clark had to make a horror flick.

According to Billingsley, in order to get A Christmas Story made, Clark had to agree to make a horror film for the studio as well.

9. Don Geyer might actually be a Christmas ghost.

The guy who played the scarecrow was actually the head of Display and Fixtures at the real Higbee's/Dillards department store.

Coworkers said that after Geyer passed away in 1999, they spotted him on a loading dock and some say that his voice was overheard on the PA system. Creepy!

10. Director Bob Clark makes an appearance in the film.

Clark appears in the movie as the gawking neighbor who admires the Leg Lamp from the street.

RELATED: This Simple Holiday Tradition Can Bring Your Family Closer Than Ever — And You Can Do It All Year Round

11. The writer, Jean Shepherd, also made an appearance in the film.

The writer of the movie is also the narrator voice of Ralphie. He also makes a cameo in the movie as the angry man waiting for Santa.

12. The gibberish was scripted in the Scut Farkas fight scene.

In the scene where Ralphie is fighting Scut Farkas, he is spewing off random gibberish, but according to Billingsley, it was 100% scripted that way.

13. Ralphie is also in the movie "Elf".

Keep an eye out the next time you watch the Will Ferrell classic. Ralphie is the head elf!

14. Billingsley was the first person to audition for the role of Ralphie.

Peter Billingsley was the first person that Clark auditioned for the role of Ralphie. I suppose he made quite the first impression.

15. The tongue freeze scene had an interesting trick involved behind the scenes.

When Flick freezes his tongue to the flagpole, there was a suction tube, which is basically a mini vacuum cleaner, inside to make it look like he was stuck to the flagpole.

RELATED: 11 Things It's Perfectly Okay To Hate About Christmas (We All Do)

16. Flick ended up having a career in adult films.

Scott Schwartz went on to do porn later in his career. #nojudging

17. Jean Shepard's book was originally written as a story for Playboy Magazine.

Jean Shepard's book, “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash”, which is what the film is based on, was a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories that he actually wrote for “Playboy” magazine in the 1960s.

18. The snow you see in the film is actually soap.

That's right. During the scenes between the kids and the bullies, the film used soap flakes and firefighters' foam to create the winter wonderland. The stars revealed later that they were actually slipping and sliding while filming the scenes.

19. Melinda Dillon's reaction in the restaurant is 100% real.

Melinda Dillon, who plays Ralphie's mother, was completely caught off guard in the restaurant scene when she is served a duck with its head. To make her reaction as real as it could be, she was intentionally given the wrong script.

Every laugh and screech you see in the film is completely genuine.

20. There were three legs made.

The production designer Reuben Freed created three leg lamps in total for the filming of the movie. And each one of them broke while filming.

RELATED: 19 Awesome Things You Probably Never Knew About 'Elf'

What does Peter Billingsley, aka Ralphie from "A Christmas Story," look like now?

Here's a look at Peter Billingsley, now 50, all grown up at the 2017 Vulture Festival in New York City.

Photo: Debby Wong / Shutterstock

RELATED: 10 Creepy Christmas Songs That Are Actually Pretty Scary

Where to Watch "A Christmas Story"

In addition to the traditional TBS and TNT marathons, "A Christmas Story" is currently available to stream on multiple services, including HBO Max, Hulu+ With Live TV, Apple TV, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, and Amazon Prime Video.

Seriously, it's pretty much everywhere (except on Netflix).

And honestly, you will probably understand way more pop culture references after watching this movie.

RELATED: 57 ‘How The Grinch Stole Christmas’ Quotes To Remind You There’ll Be No Sad Faces On Christmas

Lindsey Kupfer is the Deputy Editor for PageSix, as well as a freelance writes who contributes to YourTango and Bustle in her free time. Follow her on Twitter for more.