Dialsmith Discoveries | What’s America’s Favorite Holiday Movie Moment?


Hey, let us (likely not) be the first to wish you happy holidays. And with the peak of the holiday season upon us, timing couldn’t be better for the next installment of our Dialsmith Discoveries—the series where we put our own Dialsmith research tech to the test to ho-ho-hone in on an answer to a timely but not-so-serious question that has befuddled humanity for decades, or maybe years, or perhaps hours. Regardless, there are tough questions out there that need to be answered and Dialsmith has the chutzpah to answer them. So, for this December edition of Dialsmith Discoveries, we delve into a hot button question for a cold winter’s night, “What’s America’s favorite holiday movie moment?”

To answer it, we put seven iconic holiday movie moments to the test. We tried to represent various genres—from classics, such as “It’s a Wonderful Life,” to animated, such as “How the Grinch Stole X-Mas,” to comedies, such as “Christmas Vacation,” to Bruce Willis (that’s a genre, right?), with “Die Hard.” Which magical holiday movie moment warmed the hearts of American viewers the most? Wrap yourself in a fuzzy blanket, grab a cup of hot cocoa (or maybe an Irish Coffee) and let’s find out…

Oh and by the way, in case you missed our very first Dialsmith Discoveries segment where we revealed America’s Favorite Thanksgiving Pie, there’s still time to go snack on it before polar plunging into this one.

And the Nominees Are…

As mentioned, for our test, the Dialsmith Discoveries team grabbed a cross-section of holiday movie goodness. We reached back as far as 1946 and as recent as 2004 for our nominees. Here’s the list:

It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

Miracle on 34th Street (1947)

How the Grinch Stole X-Mas (1966)

Die Hard (1988)

Christmas Vacation (1989)

Elf (2003)

The Polar Express (2004)

Participants answered a short series of survey questions and then watched and rated the clips on a scale of 0 (Dislike) – 100 (Like) using Perception Analyzer Online.

How the Grinch Stole Our Hearts

We won’t make you wait until X-Mas to unwrap the “Big Discovery” from our test. The Grinch stole more than X-Mas, he stole the hearts of our participants, walking away with our winning Holiday Movie Moment. The Grinch’s realization that, “Maybe Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas…perhaps… means a little bit more…” scored our highest average rating amongst all participants of 73 out of 100. Next came, “It’s a Wonderful Life” scoring a 72, followed by “Miracle on 34th Street” scoring a 70.

Here’s an excerpt of the Grinch clip with the dial results. That green grouch is as popular as Santa with our participants.


It’s A Wonderful Life is Apparently a “Dude Flick”

Somewhat surprisingly, our highest rated movie moment amongst males was “It’s a Wonderful Life, ” scoring an average rating of 74.

Look at that blue (Male) line pushing above the 80 mark. You guys might act tough, but on the inside, you’re all about the feel-good classics.


Women Just Wanna Have Fun

In contrast, our female participants rated light-hearted movie moments from The Grinch (scored 71) and from Christmas Vacation (68) the highest. Perhaps our female viewers are already feeling the holiday hangover and needed the escape.

Our female participants went gaga for The Grinch and Chevy Chase. We’re not really sure what to take from that.


Men are Die Hards. Women? Not So Much.

Our biggest contrast in the dial lines came from the Die Hard clip. Males rated it 15 points higher on average then did our female participants.

Notice the 15 point delta between the Male and Female lines here. That stayed consistent throughout the clip. Not a huge surprise, but males were way more “die hard” about Die Hard than our female viewers.


What Have You Done for Us Lately?

One last note before we let you go have a crack at the egg nog and fruitcake. Through this exercise, we realized that it’s been over a decade since we’ve seen a new “classic” holiday film released. What’s up with that? C’mon Hollywood. We don’t need another deep dive into the backstory of Princess Leia’s cousin’s sister’s uncle. We just need some good old fashion holiday fun.

We’ll be back soon with our 2019 edition of Dialsmith Discoveries so stay tuned. We’ll see you in the new year!

You got a more serious question we might be able help you answer? Give us a shout and let’s chat about it.