’Tis the season… for bratty onscreen kids to slam doors, throw tantrums ,and demand expensive presents from their exhausted parents. Ahead of Christmas Day, we present the most annoying children from our favorite festive films, ranked from mildly grating to genuinely infuriating.
9. Sophie and Olivia in The Holiday
The giggly daughters of Jude Law’s dashing book editor Graham, as played by Miffy Englefield and Emma Pritchard, throw a spanner in the works in Nancy Meyers’s classic rom-com when their calls to their father are seen by his one-night stand, Amanda (Cameron Diaz), who assumes they are other romantic rivals. When she finally meets them, they’re cute enough, but also bicker about who has more marshmallows in their hot chocolate, force their father to do his Mr, Napkin Head routine, mock Amanda’s milk moustache, and then make her crawl into their tent in her stilettos. As first meetings go, it’s pretty demanding.
8. Annabelle and Matt in You’ve Got Mail
The autumnal montage in which Tom Hanks’s Joe Fox takes his 11-year-old aunt Annabelle (Hallee Hirsh) and four-year-old half-brother Matt (Jeffrey Scaperrotta) to the fair in Nora Ephron’s charmer is adorable, granted, but the pair lose points for the former’s unbelievably off-key rendition of “Tomorrow” from Annie, and the latter’s tendency to incessantly spell out “Fox”—a habit which almost exposes Joe’s real identity to his anonymous pen pal and competitor in the book business, Kathleen (Meg Ryan).
7. Zuzu in It’s A Wonderful Life
We get it, she needs to give her flower a drink, but Zuzu’s (Karolyn Grimes) refusal to put on a coat and insistence that her father, George Bailey (James Stewart), repair the aforementioned flower as it’s wilting is what finally sends our beloved everyman over the edge in Frank Capra’s Christmas mainstay. Later, in a fit of frustration, he asks his wife Mary (Donna Reed) something that many of the fictional parents on this list must be thinking: “Why did we have to have all these kids?”
6. Kevin in Home Alone