December 2, 2011 – The Disney Channel Original Movie Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas Premieres
“Mom, I’m pretty sure Dad’s going to overeat and get heartburn no matter where we are.”
On December 2, 2011, the Disney Channel Original Movie Good Luck Charlie: It’s Christmas premiered. Based on the hit show Good Luck Charlie, it premiered to over 7.1 million viewers. The movie was written by Geoff Rodkey, and directed by Arlene Sanford. It starred Bridgit Mendler as Teddy, Leigh-Allyn Baker as Amy, Bradley Steven Perry as Gabe, Mia Talerico as Charlie, Jason Dolley as PJ, Eric Allan Kramer as Bob, Debra Monk as Petunia, and Michael Kagan as Hank.
The film begins at the Duncans’ house in Denver, 62 hours before Christmas. The family is heading to Palm Springs to visit their grandparents, and Teddy’s mom Amy is stressed out of her mind because she worries that the family will lose their traditions. The rest of the family, however, is excited about heading somewhere warm. Teddy is keeping a secret from her parents: she planned on going away for spring break with her friend Ivy, and hasn’t asked for permission yet. When she asks Amy, she continues to refuse, but Teddy continues to ask. Her father Bob says Teddy can go – providing she can raise the money and buy the ticket before the deadline. Ask they head through the metal detectors, Gabe is noticeably nervous, as it appears that he’s smuggling his game system, but gets caught, delaying the family. As the family rushes to the plane, they just barely make it. The plane is overbooked, and the airline offers a free round-trip ticket to anywhere if someone gives up their seat; finding a way to get to Florida for spring break, Teddy accepts and quickly disembarks. Not letting her daughter get off the plane alone, Amy rushes off the plane, and soon gets in an argument with the airline when they find that the next available flight is in three days.
After Amy and Teddy are escorted from the airport, Amy is further stressed by the fact that they have no way of getting to Palm Springs. Trying to prove she is responsible, Teddy comes up with the idea to take the bus. Meanwhile, the rest of the family arrives in California, with Bob worried about spending eighteen hours alone with Amy’s mother Petunia, as she doesn’t care for Bob. Petunia has left several priceless Christmas decorations out, refusing to childproof her home for Charlie’s arrival, and berates Bob on his bad parenting when he asks nicely if some of the decorations can be put away. While taking the bus, Amy is continuously carsick, much to the disgust of the other passengers, and the pair are kicked off. Teddy tries to calmly reason with the driver, but Amy, once again, gets into a confrontation, leaving Amy and Teddy alone in the mountains. They then have to walk eight miles in the snow to the nearest car rental place. Back in Palm Springs, Charlie is left alone for two seconds, and nearly destroys Petunia’s crystal reindeer. While Bob manages to save the reindeer, Petunia believes that Bob was trying to ruin it. Meanwhile, Gabe teaches his grandfather Hank about the wide world of video games. The situation in Palm Springs doesn’t get better as Petunia continues to berate Bob for his “bad parenting,” at one point giving him a time out by locking him in a room.
As Amy and Teddy walk, Teddy asks her mom what is going on, as Amy has been having rather serious mood swings. They fortunately make it to the rental place, only to find that it’s not a rental place, and the only car they can find is a clunker for $50. The car goes so slowly, they fear they won’t get there in time. When they reach a large curved hill, the car begins to fall apart as it begins to snow. After a torturous drive, they manage to make it to a motel, where they sleep in the car overnight. When trying to adjust the seat, the car completely falls apart, leaving the two once again stranded, with the only option of hitchhiking. They meet a couple on their way to Las Vegas, and ask for a ride after buying them breakfast. In Palm Springs, all three Duncan boys end up locked in the same room, hiding away from Amy’s parents. Amy and Teddy are relieved to get a ride, only to find that their Good Samaritans are heading to an alien abduction convention. While trying to convince the couple that they haven’t been abducted by aliens before, Amy’s secret is finally revealed: she’s pregnant.
The pair arrive at Las Vegas, and Teddy argues with her mom, wondering why Amy never told her. As they argue, they don’t realize that their luggage has been stolen. Amy calls Bob, and Bob, Gabe, and PJ head to Las Vegas to pick them up. In a fit of desperation, Bob leaves Charlie behind with Petunia, although Petunia doesn’t know how to stop Charlie from breaking things. In Las Vegas, Teddy and Amy wander the streets, and Teddy has finally had enough with her mother’s complaining, especially since she’s tried to be the grownup the entire time. Amy then blames Teddy for ruining Christmas, and Teddy walks off, leaving Amy alone. That evening, as Teddy is starving, she decides to sing and dance for some spare change so she can get a sandwich. Amy tries to help her, and the two inadvertently create a comedy routine to the delight of the people around them. As Bob and the boys head through the desert to pick the girls up, they are soon stopped by a horde of strange men with guns. After Teddy and Amy go to a buffet, they find they girl who stole their luggage and confront her, but are sympathetic to the poor girl’s plight and decide to listen to her story.
After the three Duncans are kidnapped, the strange men accuse the three of stealing some kind of stone. After they leave, Gabe reveals that they’ve stumbled upon a live-action role playing paintball game, and they will be trapped until after Christmas. The three manage to break free, and Gabe’s video game experience helps the three get back to their car, although Gabe would rather win the game. In Las Vegas, Teddy and Amy console the girl named Jordan, who reveals that her mom told her that if she went to a music festival, she could never go home. Amy manages to talk to the Jordan’s mom, and Jordan is able to go home, although she can’t afford any plane fare. Teddy gives up her round-trip ticket so Jordan is able to head home for Christmas, and Amy admits that she’s very proud of her daughter. When Amy receives a text from Bob that he’s running late, she and Teddy decide to find a car rental and meet them halfway. Unable to find a car rental, they use the next best thing: a tandem bicycle. Back at the game, Gabe is close to leading the Duncans to victory, although Bob is taken out, leaving Gabe to head all alone to the prize while PJ tends to Bob. Gabe then meets his hero, the creator of his favorite video game, and the creator pays them back for their win by giving them a ride in his helicopter to meet Amy and Teddy at a roadside cafe. Amy’s parents also arrive at the diner with Charlie, and they all head inside the café to celebrate Christmas.