Submitted by Tornado Dragon
Howard ultimately accepts that he needs to start keeping his promises, so he goes to the Holiday Wintertainment Parade, having promised Jamie that he would be there. However, he winds up getting mistaken for the actor hired to play Turbo Man for the parade, and he is dressed in the costume (which contains a real jetpack and other hi-tech gadgets) and put on the float. As he is having fun playing the character, a special edition Turbo Man action figure comes up out of the float, and he is told by the performer playing Booster that he is supposed to award it to a child in the audience. Howard spots Jamie and calls out his name (and Jamie doesn’t recognize his father in the costume due to the helmet disguising the top half of his face and the helmet’s microphone distorting his voice), and Jamie comes up on the float and collects the doll.
Just as Howard is about to reveal his identity to him, Myron shows up dressed as Turbo Man’s archenemy Dementor, having seized and tied up the actor who was supposed to play him and taken the outfit. He demands for Jamie to hand over the action figure and emphatically tells Howard that he is not leaving without it, and what follows next sees Myron chasing Jamie up to the roof of a nearby building and then up a large Christmas tree decoration there while Howard unsuccessfully tries to use the jetpack to fly up and save his son. Just then, most of the tree’s moorings break loose, leaving it hanging over the street with Jamie and Myron clinging on for dear life. Though Myron manages to take the doll from Jamie, Howard hits him in the head with his Turbo-rang, causing him to fall onto the police department’s float below and get arrested. Howard then gets the jetpack working and saves Jamie when he falls moments later.
After Howard lands on the street and gets Jamie to Liz, he reveals himself to them and tells them that he loves them and will neglect them no longer. Jamie gets the doll back, but when he sees Myron being taken away by two cops and hears him complain about what he is going to tell his son on Christmas morning, Jamie hands him the doll, and Myron happily thanks him and apologizes for what he put him through. When Howard asks Jamie why he gave the doll away, he replies that he doesn’t need it because he has the “real” Turbo Man at home. The cheering crowd then parades Howard around on their shoulders while Jamie and Liz proudly watch him.
That night, Howard suddenly realizes that he didn’t get Liz a present and quietly panics.
After Howard (Arnold Schwarzenegger) spends most of the day trying to acquire a Turbo Man action figure without any success (a task made even more difficult and stressful due to a rivalry that he develops with fellow father Myron [Sinbad] to get his hands on one, as well as due to unintentionally getting on the bad side of police officer Hummel [Robert Conrad]), his quest suffers another setback when his vehicle runs out of gas. He pushes it up to the front of Mickey’s Diner, then gets on the diner’s payphone and makes a call to his house hoping to speak to Liz (Rita Wilson), both to let her know about his current predicament as well as inform her that he never got the Turbo Man doll for Jamie (Jake Lloyd) like he said he did. Jamie answers the phone, but when Howard asks him to put Liz on the line, Jamie tells him that she is next door petting Ted (without clarifying that he means the ornery reindeer that his neighbor Ted [Phil Hartman] got for his son Johnny [E.J. de la Pena], who decided to name the reindeer after him). Howard becomes agitated upon hearing this (he knows that Ted has unrequited feelings for Liz and often tries to make him look like a substandard husband in her eyes), and while asking Jamie a few more times to put Liz on the phone and becoming more frustrated doing so, Jamie asks him if he is on his way home because the Holiday Wintertainment Parade is going to be starting soon and he promised him that he would be there. He then reminds his father about the importance of keeping promises before capping it off by directly quoting Turbo Man, saying “Always keep your promises if you want to keep your friends.” After hearing this, Howard loses his patience and yells that he has had enough of Turbo Man and he doesn’t want to hear any advice from Turbo Man right now, then orders him to get his mother. After a few seconds of silence, Howard calms down and apologizes to Jamie for raising his voice at him, but Jamie yells that he wouldn’t know anything about keeping promises because he never keeps any of his, then hangs up on him.
After Howard goes through another failed attempt at getting a Turbo Man doll and deals with Myron and Hummel again in the process, he considers himself truly defeated when he returns to his vehicle and finds that it has been completely stripped by thieves. He has a tow truck take him back to his house, but as he trudges towards the front door ready to face Liz’s and Jamie’s disappointment in him, he looks through the living room window and spots Ted putting the star up on top of his Christmas tree (though Liz has Ted take the star down moments later when Howard isn’t looking, telling him that putting up the star has always been Howard’s job). As he rumbles with anger over this, he suddenly remembers Ted earlier remarking to him that he already bought a Turbo Man action figure for Johnny and it is nestled under his own Christmas tree, so he decides to get back at Ted by breaking into his house and taking the present containing the doll. Howard does just that, but as soon as he steps out the back door, he is quickly overcome with shame for having stolen from a child and decides to put it back where he found it. However, he finds himself confronted by Ted the reindeer, and he runs back into the house with the reindeer hot on his heels.
Howard manages to lock the reindeer in Ted’s office, but during the chase, he accidentally knocks the head off one of the characters in the living room’s nativity scene, which rolls into the lit fireplace and starts a small fire. He kicks the flaming head through the nearby window, getting the attention of Ted and Liz while they are standing outside listening to a group of Christmas carolers. Though Howard is able to put the fire out, he is spotted by Ted and Liz seconds later, and they go into the house to get an explanation from him and see that he is still holding the present in his hand. Liz tells him that she thought he told her that he got Jamie his own Turbo Man weeks ago, but now it looks like he has broken into their neighbor’s house and is stealing presents from under the tree. Howard tries to come up with a truthful explanation that Liz will buy, but Liz tells him that she has been listening to his version of the truth for far too long and doesn’t want to anymore, and all she wants is to salvage whatever is left of Christmas Eve and go to the Wintertainment Parade with Jamie. She asks Ted to drive them there before heading out the door, and just before Ted follows after her, he tells Howard that he can’t bench press his way out of this one. After they depart, the reindeer breaks out of the office and comes charging at Howard, but Howard – having reached his limit over how rotten this day has been – knocks it goofy with a haymaker to the face. A short time later, Howard makes peace with the reindeer and drinks beer with it in his backyard, but as they are doing so, he looks inside Jamie’s clubhouse and sees a picture that Jamie drew of them and Liz. After getting all teary-eyed over it, he decides that it is time for him to start keeping his promises, so he calls for a taxi to take him to the parade.
After Ted, Liz, Jamie, and Johnny drive up to one of the barriers of the parade’s route, Jamie and Johnny notice that the festivities are already underway and ask – and are granted – permission from Ted and Liz to join another kid and his father and watch the parade with them while they park the car. Not far from them, Howard exits his taxi and travels to the parade on foot, having found himself unable to go any further due to a traffic jam brought on by people trying to get to the event. After Ted parks the car in a nearby parking lot, he starts trying to seduce Liz, thinking that his chance to win her over has arrived now that Howard is in the doghouse with her. Howard spots this and runs toward the car to put a stop to it, but he randomly bumps into Hummel again and makes him spill his tray full of coffee all over himself, forcing him to flee from him again. Meanwhile, Ted attempts to kiss Liz, but she takes his thermos full of eggnog and hits him in the head with it, then gets out of the car to join Jamie and Johnny.
Howard manages to lose Hummel by hiding in a warehouse, but then he is suddenly approached by a man who is part of the team preparing the Turbo Man float for the parade, and the man mistakes him for the actor they hired to play Turbo Man. Without being given a chance to explain himself, Howard is quickly dressed in the costume (which contains an actual functioning jetpack along with several other hi-tech gadgets) and put into the float. Despite experiencing some initial shock once he is introduced to the spectators, he overcomes it and has fun playing the character, and he salutes Jamie when he spots him (with Jamie having no idea that Howard is in the costume thanks to the helmet disguising the top half of his face and his voice being [rather poorly] distorted through a microphone attached to the helmet). Soon after, the performer dressed as Turbo Man’s sidekick Booster informs him – much to his delight – that a special edition Turbo Man action figure has just risen out of the float, then tells him that he is supposed to award it to a child in the audience. Predictably, he points to Jamie and calls out his name, and the surprised Jamie comes up onto the float and collects the doll. Jamie asks Howard how he knows his name, but before Howard can reveal his true identity to him, Myron suddenly appears dressed as Turbo Man’s archenemy Dementor, having seized and tied up the actor who was supposed to play him and taken the outfit. He tells Jamie to hand over the action figure before coming up to him and Howard, but Howard puts the action figure into Jamie’s backpack and tells Myron that he is taking his pursuit of this action figure too far now. Myron emphatically replies that he isn’t going home without the doll, and when Booster criticizes him for straying from the script, Myron sends him to the ground with an uppercut. Myron then tries to take the doll from Jamie, but Howard ends up dazing him by shooting him in the head with some Turbo Discs from his wrists.
Dementor’s Demon Team henchmen then come out of the float and have their scripted fight with Howard, and Jamie gets past Myron and runs through the parade and up to the roof of a nearby building with Myron chasing after him, and no one in the audience does anything to help Jamie because they all think that this is part of the show. Howard fends off the Demon Team and sees Myron pursuing Jamie up a large Christmas tree decoration on the aforementioned roof, so he activates his jetpack on a suggestion from the parade’s commentators in order to fly up and rescue his son, but he finds it too difficult to control and winds up flying all over the place before crashing on the ground. Just as Myron closes in on Jamie at the top of the tree, their combined weight causes the sign to break loose from most of its moorings, and the tree is left hanging over the street with Jamie and Myron clinging onto the frame for dear life. After Howard gets to his feet and notices the danger that Jamie is in, Jamie yells for him to use his Turbo-rang, so he pulls it out and throws it at Myron. It misses, giving Myron the chance to claim the Turbo Man doll for himself, but just as he gloats about it, the Turbo-rang makes its return and hits him in the head. This causes him to fall straight down onto the police department’s float, where is promptly arrested. Jamie then loses his grip and plummets towards the ground, but Howard gets the jetpack working again and is able to fly up and catch him in mid-air.
Howard touches down in front of Liz to tremendous cheers from the crowd and gets Jamie to her, but Jamie soon gets a sad look on his face, telling his mother that he wishes that his father could’ve been here to see everything that he just went through and blames himself for his absence because he yelled at him. Howard assures him that his father is not mad at him and he loves him more than anything in the world, and when Jamie asks him how he knows this, he takes off his helmet to reveal himself. He tells Liz and Jamie that they both mean so much to him and he loves them, and he knows that he has been neglecting them both lately, but that is all going to stop now. Ted then appears on the scene and asks Johnny what is going on, and after Johnny points out to him that Howard is Turbo Man, he gets scared and forces Johnny to leave with him. Hummel then comes up to Jamie and returns the Turbo Man doll to him, and he tells Howard – whose back is turned to him – that they could use a guy like him on the police force. Howard turns around and tells him that he will keep that in mind before apologizing for all of the trouble that he has caused him, but Hummel just reacts to this with stunned silence. Myron is then ushered past them in handcuffs by a couple of other cops, and after Jamie hears him ask the cops what he is going to tell his son on Christmas morning now that he has utterly failed to get him a Turbo Man doll, he stops the officers and hands Myron his action figure, and Myron sincerely thanks him for the kind gesture and apologizes for what he put him through. Howard asks Jamie why he gave the action figure away, and he happily replies that he doesn’t need it because he has the “real” Turbo Man at home. The cheering crowd then raises Howard up on their shoulders and carry him off while Jamie and Liz proudly watch him.
After the credits roll, Howard, Liz, and Jamie are shown back at their house finishing with decorating their Christmas tree, and Howard puts the star on top of it. Liz then tells Howard that everything that he went through today for Jamie shows just how much he loves him, and if he is willing to go through all of that just for one present, that makes her wonder what he got her for Christmas. He then realizes that he didn’t get her anything, and he gives the camera a horrified look.