Bad Words

Synopsis: An adult, who has been a school dropout, finds a loophole in the regulations and participates in the largest spelling bee in the USA, The Golden Quill. His aim is to take revenge for something done to him in the past.
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Jason Bateman
Production: Focus Features
  2 wins & 4 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
89 min


I'm not that good

at a lot of stuff.

Especially thinking

things through.

And that's why this

plan was so shitty.

But my feelings were hurt, and I'm glad

I at least did something about it.

Making bad decisions

is nothing new to me.

After all, I live alone at 40,

and I make my living

proofreading product warranties.

A few weeks ago,

I took a break from that,

however, so I could

do this whole thing.

And ifs pretty ironic

that what I did

was exactly what

a child would do.

I threw a tantrum

just to get attention.

You must

be really proud.

I know I am.

And excited.

Meet "The Big Man," right?

But proud either way, of course.

Mm swans

Aren't they amazing? Which one's yours?


Buddy, no' thank you.

What's that?

This chat. I'm all set. I'm just trying

to get some food in my face before

I get stuck up on

that stage, okay?

Right. My bad. You must

be our host for today.

No, I'm not.

I'm the winner.


it's time for the 15th

Annual Regional

Spelling Bee to begin.

Take your seats, please.

All of our noble contestants.

Please take your seats up on the stage.

Hurry, hurry!

We're on schedule.

I love the way the hush just comes over

the crowd before we start. Here we go.



What are you doing

on the stage, weirdo?

Your chair called me for help.

(WHISPERING) It was saying, "Help me.

It's so heavy."

You didn't hear it?

I heard it.

(CHUCKLES) I'm sorry, sir.

Those seats are for

the competitors only.

Great. I'm in

the right spot.


Mr. Trilby,

I won't allow it.

You're not eligible in any

fashion, way, shape or manner.

Page 39

of the Golden Quill National

Spelling Bee rulebook.

This is rule number 24. This is

sub-point B. This is a quote.

"The speller must not have

passed beyond the 8th grade"

"on or before February 1st, 2011"

That is a rule written by

the governing institute.

And if you want, you can

continue to ogle my transcript,

just please don't

wrinkle it any further.

But you can see there,


I have not passed the 8th grade

on or before February 1st.

Not ever.

That may be, but...

But, sir, I can go on.

I can go on and on and on.

There are 83 paragraphs,

581 lines of rules

in the rulebook,

but lei me assure you, I'm compliant

with every single one of them.

The spelling bee

is meant for kids.

Not adults that couldn't even

graduate the 8th grade.

Oh, boy.

Are we past the rules

and into the insults now?

Is it insult time? I'm

sorry, but you're an adult.

Because your potholder vest

is about to take heavy fire.

Are you ready for that'?

You know what? Enough. This

is all just a moot point.

Every contestant

must be sponsored

by a nationally-recognized

news service.

The end.

Mmm, I understand.

That doesn't end

the conversation.

Guess what?


Perfect timing.

What's going on here?

Who is this?

This is my sponsor from a

nationally-recognized news service.

Jenny Widgeon.

The Click and Scroll.

The what?

What's that? Is that

something on the computer?

Yes, we're an online paper.

Said differently, a

nationally-recognized news service.

They don't want to

let me participate.


Go ahead. Set it in motion.

I love your vest.

He's an adult.

In about

a half an hour,

you're gonna be receiving

a temporary restraining order

and a preliminary injunction

prohibiting the continuation

of this competition until we clear

this whole legal matter up.

Plus, and this is

a selfish note for me,

it's gonna make

one hell of a story.

How dare you try to hijack

this spelling bee contest!

What did you call me?

Hijack. Yes.

I'm a hijacker now?

You're on the hook

for defamation, too.

My attorneys will be in touch

with both of you.

Let's get out of here.

But before we go, actually,

I'd like to watch

the both of you

address those poor,

wonderful children

and their very

supportive parents

when you tell them

that they have no shot

at the National Bee

or an opportunity to

meet "The Big Man."

That I want to see.

They're gonna be crestfallen.

I know of one father

in particular

who's gonna have to find a whole

new way to empty out his ball bag.

Let's do it. Bullies and insulters first.

You lead the way.

Or should I go first, the idiot hijacker?

Should I lead?

No one called you an idiot.

You lead. You guys decide.

While you decide, I'm gonna

bang out a couple of prayers.

Which way is Mecca?





Can I have the

definition, please?

"Having the nature

or qualities of oil,"

or "Unctuous,

fawning, smarmy."


Does it contain the Latin

root olea, meaning "olive"?

It does.

Oleaginous. Can I have

the part of speech?

It's an adjective.

Am I right?


Any other pronunciations?




That is correct.

We got it.







Thank you.

Hey, Moms, let's break out the

rubber pillowcases tonight.

Little pricks, you're gonna

be countin' tears, not sheep.

Who's next?

Not now, please.

Guy, I need some more.


Why, at the age of 40...

Come on.

Have you decided to annoy

educators, parents and children

by forcing your way into

a kids' spelling bee?

Can't you see I'm

trying to sleep?

Guy, I get at least

one answer per tournament.

I have three very paltry answers.


It's time for my fourth. Shh!


I'm gonna go to the bathroom.

While I'm gone, I want you

to ask yourself this.

Will, when all of this is over,

a five-answer article

be equal compensation

for eight weeks

of covered hotel

room accommodations,

qualifying tournament entry

fees, rental car damage,

not to mention

emotional expense?

Are you not gonna get up?

Why? Go. You've got room.

Jesus Christ. If you

gave me the window,

I wouldn't have to move.


Don't drag that thing across me.

It's full.

You just told me it's full.

I don't want it on me.


Hi. I'm

Chaitanya Chopra.

Was that English?

My name is Chaitanya.



What's yours?


What's your name?

Spin it around.

I'm going to the Golden Quill.

Good for you.

My parents are

up in first class.


My dad says that economy

class builds character.


I was in last year's tournament.

I overheard you say

you're going, too.

You're the grown-up

who's competing, huh?

I heard about you.

What was your winning word?

I don't know.

What was the word you spelled

to win your regional?

To get here?

I don't f***ing remember.

Do you see my eyes closed?

Mine was "intelligentsia?


Come on, try.

How could you forget?

It's such a special word.

It was "autofellatio."


I've never heard of that word.


What's its origin?


No, that can't be right. It is.

I know "auto" is of Greek

origin, meaning "self," right'?


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Andrew Dodge

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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