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Holiday movies ruined by phones

Holiday movies

It’s the holiday season, which means evenings consist of three things: blankets, treats and festive films. Holiday movies occupy a special place in our hearts; we binge-watch them for about a month and then forget about them for the rest of the year. Yet, year in, year out, we find ourselves coming back to those Christmas classics.

The majority of our favorite holiday movies were made before 2007, the year that the first iPhone was released and the year before the first Android device was available. Therefore, unsurprisingly, these movies tend not to have smartphones in them. But when you’re all tucked up on your sofa, about to watch your favorite festive flick for the fifteenth time, have you ever stopped to think, what if the characters had smartphones? 

We have. And we’re going to tell you what they’d look like. Brace yourselves y’all, Ting is about to go full Grinch and ruin Christmas.

Home Alone

If Home Alone wasn’t the first holiday movie that came to mind when we said we were ruining Christmas films by giving characters cell phones, then you’re clearly less of a Scrooge then us. This one’s easy, like taking candy from a baby (perhaps something else we will try out over the holidays). 

In a world with cell phones, young Kevin McCallister comes down the attic stairs, finds nobody at home, whips out his out his new iPhone 11 (recently purchased from 😉) and hits up the family group chat. “Guys? I’m home alone, where is everyone?” Kate, his mother, quickly realizes her mistake, turns their taxi Uber around and the family is reunited. Credits roll.

Love Actually

Another classic, this 2003 film explores the themes of love and lust. And a short nine years later, an app would come along that would do the very same. An app called Tinder.

Apps like Tinder wouldn’t just ruin the plot of Love Actually, the film simply wouldn’t exist. Would Colin Frissell need to go to America in search of love? Nope, just swipe right. Would Laura Linney’s character, Sarah, need to woo Karl, her long-time office crush? Nope, super-like. Would Andrew Lincoln’s character, Mark, need to go to the recently married Juliet’s house with his boombox and show her his hand-written cue cards in a grand gesture of love and affection? Nope, Ashley Madison.

Even if we remove dating apps from the equation, the proliferation of smartphones would make for much less dramatic watching. Jamie, played by Colin Firth, would not have to spend months learning Portuguese and fly all the way across Europe to propose to his housekeeper Aurélie. Instead, he’d just download Google Translate and make a long-distance call. In fact, if Jamie lived in the USA, he could have called her for free on Ting using our global minutes


The climax of Elf is definitely one of the most heartwarming moments of any Christmas movie. Due to a lack of Christmas spirit, Santa’s sleigh cannot take off having crashed into Central Park. Jovie, Buddy’s girlfriend, overcomes her fear of singing in public and leads the crowd that has gathered into a rousing chorus of “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town” whilst Michael, Buddy’s little brother, reads from the Santa’s list. Together, their spirited efforts power the sleigh and little girls and boys all over the world have their Christmas saved. Phew. 

In a world with smartphones, however, their efforts are completely unnecessary. The whole incident of the crash and subsequent antics in Central Park would have been captioned by thousands of people as they looked up from mindlessly scrolling on their phones. Michael could have simply hopped onto Instagram live and started an AMA with Santa. #SantaClaus would be the number one trend on Twitter and once people began to believe, the sleigh would be up in the air in no time. No need for Jovie to conquer her fears. No need for Christmas cheer.

Die Hard

Before smartphones, megalomaniac terrorists had it easy. Gruber is able to waltz into Nakatomi Plaza and take over the whole building without anyone putting it on their Instagram story. Not one single tweet. John McClane is forced to pull the fire alarm to alert the police and even then, they only really start paying attention when he drops the body of a terrorist onto their squad car. 

Obviously, if he had a phone, McClane could have just rang the police from the offset. But that doesn’t feel like a very McClane move to us. Taking matters into his own hands, McClane would hop on Facebook Live and capture the action himself, letting the people of Facebook watch as he brought the bad guys to justice, one by one. The movie ends with Mark Zuckerberg being brought in front of Congress, being held to account for allowing his platform to show such egregious content. But obviously that’s just not realistic. Or Christmassy.

We’re sorry

Okay, look, we know that wasn’t very festive of us. But we’re a phone company, we think about these things! If you haven’t heard of us before, we’re not always like this, promise. We’re Ting, a pay for what you use cell service, which means if you use less then you pay less. It’s as simple as that. That’s why our customers have an average monthly bill of just $23 per month. So whether you’re saving for the holidays, or just looking to spend less in general, find out whether you can bring your phone and your number to Ting today.

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