The ‘Christmas Story’ Cameo You Never Noticed In ‘Elf’

There’s arguably no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to revisit your favorite movies. Each holiday season, many people turn to staples like A Christmas Story, a sleeper hit that has grown to be a holiday classic since its release. But one thing viewers might not have realized is the Christmas Story cameo in another popular Christmas movie.

Peter Billingsley in a scene from 'A Christmas Story'
Peter Billingsley sitting on Santa’s lap in a scene from ‘A Christmas Story’ | Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer/Getty Images

‘A Christmas Story’ is a special holiday film

Released in 1983, A Christmas Story is a holiday comedy that focuses on Ralphie Parker, a young boy who really, really wants a Red Ryder BB gun for one Christmas in the 1940s. However, he experiences some pushback from adults who believe he’ll “shoot his eye out” if he gets it, per IMDb.

The movie initially wasn’t a big success, drawing mild reviews and a mere $2 million in box office earnings. But over time, it redeemed itself, attracting more and more fans and positive marks from critics.

RELATED: ‘A Christmas Story’: What Ralphie Looks Like Today

There’s ‘A Christmas Story’ cameo in ‘Elf’

Decades after A Christmas Story came out, actor Peter Billingsley, who played the young Ralphie, appeared in Elf. Also a Christmas comedy film, Elf tells the story of Buddy (Will Ferrell), a human who was taken in by elves as a baby and raised as one.

Billingsley has the role of Ming Ming, one of Santa’s many helpers. He briefly appears at the beginning of the movie when he and another elf are shown discussing Buddy’s true identity. It’s this conversation that ultimately leads to Buddy’s decision to leave the North Pole for New York, where he reconnects with his dad.

Elf released in 2003 to praise for its storyline and character performances. But Billingsley’s involvement went widely unnoticed for years, as it’s an uncredited role.

RELATED: ‘Elf’: Jim Carrey Was Initially Supposed to Play Buddy Over Will Ferrell Until This Happened

Fans were shocked to learn about the ‘Christmas Story’ cameo in ‘Elf’

Billingsley’s involvement in Elf became more known in 2018 after a social media user tweeted about it. The revelation sparked plenty of chatter online and eventually made national headlines, with BuzzFeed running the story, “I Was Today Years Old When I Realized ‘Ralphie’ Was That Actor In ‘Elf.'”

“Did everyone already know that this elf from Elf is Ralphie from Christmas Story? When were you going to tell me this??? It changes everything!” read one tweet.

“For so long I have thought MING MING looked so familiar… ( why I have never looked him up before is beyond me.. lol) anyway as I am sitting here watching the movie it dawns on me he looks like Ralph! Guess what IT IS!!Duh!!#AChristmasStory #movies 🙃” read another tweet.

But no matter what, as BuzzFeed said, Billingsley “will always be Ralphie” to us.

RELATED: Mind-Blowing: The Father in ‘A Christmas Story’ Is the Same Actor as the Father in ‘Billy Madison’