A Christmas Story is a classic holiday film about the plight of nine year old Ralph "Ralphie" Parker (played by Peter Billingsley. Ralphie wants, more than anything, to get a Red Rider BB Gun for Christmas. Poor Ralphie is thwarted at every turn in his quest to get his beloved gun by his mother (played by Melinda Rose Dillon) and father (played by Darren McGavin, along with the other usual suspects who strive to make a 9 year old boy's life as tough as possible.
Ralphie first sees his beloved BB gun in the front window of local store in Hohman, Indiana. Ralphie then cooks up a number of schemes in order to get his gun. Ralphie starts out subtly by planting ads in his mom's magazine. He moves on to writing a school composition about his need for a BB gun. His last ditch effort is to ask Santa to bring him the gun for Christmas. All of Ralphie's plans go awry though when his mother, along with his teacher Miss Shields (played by Tedde Moore) and even Santa Claus himself, tells Ralphie he can't have the gun because he'll shoot his eye out.
Ralphie has a number of other trials to endure in A Christmas Story as well. His best friend Flick (played by Scott Schwartz) gets his tongue frozen to a pole, his weird little brother Randy (played by Ian Petrella) insists on following Ralphie and his friends around town and all the children are tormented by the evil bully Scut Farkus (played by Zack Ward).
In the end though Ralphie prevails, first winning a fight with Scut Farkus and then ending up with a Red Rider BB Gun at Christmas (a gift from his not so clueless father). The film concludes with Ralphie and his family enjoying a Chinese food feast after their Christmas dinner is eaten by the neighbors dogs.
It probably wouldn't work as a long-term strategy, but for at least one day a year, TBS has figured out how to eclipse everything else on cable: find one movie that everyone loves and show it over and over again. The network's 24-hour marathon airing of "A Christmas Story," which began on Christmas Eve and ran through the day on Christmas Day, was the most-watched program on cable for both days. All three airings of the movie on Christmas Eve drew bigger ratings in the 18-49 demographic than anything else on cable.