Can You Spot the Fake Christmas Movie?

Photo-Illustration: by The Cut; Photos:Getty Images/Tetra images RF

Holiday movies, especially of the Hallmark variety, tend to be pretty formulaic. Our protagonist, frequently a woman, might own a struggling small business, be with the wrong guy (while the right one was there all along), or have a tough time during the holidays because her late parent loved Christmas.

Given these templates, Christmas movies have had to get creative, and over the years they’ve begun to fray at the edges, presenting plots that sound bananas on paper but are perfectly reasonable in the Holiday Cinematic Universe. Here, anything is possible. Or is it? Can you spot the fake Christmas movies, or has Big Christmas got you stumped?

Is This Christmas Movie Plot Fake or Real?

When Michael meets the perfect woman and she invites him to her family's holiday celebration, his Christmas dream comes true — only for him to discover that he will be Christmas dinner.
Heather, a beautiful and gifted professional bassoonist, is dreading a lonely Christmas in Vulgaria, where she’s traveling to perform with the philharmonic. However, when the Baron of Vulgaria spots her during a solo performance, Heather’s holiday gets much more exciting.
Erica is a congressional assistant from Washington, D.C., tasked with investigating an Air Force base in Guam. She’s ready to recommend its closure when she meets a handsome Air Force captain. As he shows her around the base, and they do charity work for the Guamanian citizens together, a romance blooms.
Madison, a conservative young Michigan woman, desperately wants to vote in a local election, but a snowstorm is making it hard for her to get to the polls. When a handsome young truck driver helps her along, she thinks she may have found the one — only to find that he’s a Democrat. Can the Christmas spirit help them see past their differences?
A group of children are kidnapped in the dead of winter wearing only their pajamas and no coats. They’re sent on a North Pole-bound train conducted by Tom Hanks. Once they arrive, a contingent of elf laborers give them presents. They can only return home if they continue to believe in Santa.
Kate works a dead-end job as an elf in a Christmas shop. Things start looking up when she meets Tom, the perfect man. They strike up a Yuletide romance, and Tom helps Kate get back on her feet. All is happily ever after until, in a Fight Club-esque twist, it turns out that Tom was a ghost all along.
Alice, a high-powered NYC career woman, is going through a dry spell. She lives alone, and is afraid to date because of the coronavirus pandemic. When the one person she’s interacted with in months — her weed delivery guy — starts leaving holiday treats in her drugs, an unlikely romance blossoms.
A young princess’s evil cousin (and doppelgänger) attempts to crash her investiture by kidnapping her — only to find that the kidnappee is not really her cousin, but a baker from Chicago who looks exactly like her.
Alicia and her mom have always butted heads. They try to bond by taking a Christmas ski trip, but when their bus crashes on the way up the mountain, Alicia dies and her soul enters her mother’s body. As she adjusts to her mother’s life, Alicia begins to learn how much she misunderstood her.
A secret agent must abandon his romantic Christmas ski chalet to embark on a dangerous, time-bending mission to prevent the Ghost of Christmas Past from destroying Christmas as we know it.

Can You Spot the Fake Christmas Movie?