This film is about a 9-year-old boy, Ralphie Parker, who's fixated on getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. Ralphie has a tough time dealing with his little brother Randy, a school bully Scut Farkus, and his friend/sidekick Grover Dill. Ralphie questions whether he can make it to Christmas to get his BB gun.
Ralphie comes across many obstacles on his path to get a BB gun. Everyone he tells, including his mother, his, teacher at Warren G. Harding Elementary School, and a department store Santa Claus, that he wants a BB gun tells him that he'll shoot his eye out. One day at school, Ralphie gets pushed over the edge. He first receives a C+ on an assignment. Then he gets hit in the face with a snowball by Farkus, the school bully. He looses his cool and tackles Farkus, knocking over Grover while he was at it. Grover was trying to protect his friend. Ralphie is worried that he is going to get in trouble from his father. At the dinner table that night, his mother brings up the fight casually then changes the subject, which gets Ralphie off the hook.
On Christmas morning, Ralphie eagerly looks through all the presents but is disappointed because he does not see his BB gun. Then his father points out a present he had overlooked. He unwraps the gift and is thrilled to find a BB gun. His father explains to his mother that he had a BB gun when he was Ralphie's age.
Ralphie goes and tests out his new gun. He shoots at a paper target above a metal sign. He misses the target and shoots the sign. The bullet ricochets off the sigh and his glasses gets knocked off. He fabricates a story to tell his mother, that an icicle fell on him, knocking off his glasses. She believes him. Then, all the dogs in the neighborhood come and ransack their kitchen and eat their Thanksgiving turkey. Ralphie's father takes the family to a Chinese restaurant. The episode ends with Ralphie sleeping with his gun next to him, with the narrator saying it's the best present he has ever received, or ever will receive.