The Great Outdoors

Synopsis: Big-hearted Chicago family man Chet has brought his family to a lakeside resort area, and although his wife and kids aren't quite as excited as he is, Chet has high hopes for the vacation. However, his optimism is sabotaged when his obnoxious brother-in-law Roman drops in unexpectedly, along with his snooty, strange family. Chet and his family try to stay open-minded, but they find it difficult to relax and enjoy themselves because of the constant annoyance of Roman's presence.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): Howard Deutch
Production: Universal Pictures
Rotten Tomatoes:
91 min

You messed up the words, Ben.

You messed up the words twice!

Oh, wow. It hasn't changed.

I would have thought

they'd made some improvements.

Come on. Everybody.

Our Lady of Victory, pray for us.

Break! Let's go.

Watch the doors.

Whoa! Trees in the parking lot!


Nature all around us, boys.

Take it in. Take it all in.

I'm gonna go check us in.

This is great.

Well? Is this a real north woods

lodge or what?

- Uh-huh.

- It's great.

Check out the shotgun lamp.

Isn't that something?

You don't see that every day.


Hello? Anybody home?

- Looks the same, doesn't it?

- Doesn't it?

- Smells the same too.

- Yeah, it does. Hello!

- Do they have chickens?

- What's this?

"For prompt service, blow me."

- Interesting touch.

- Charming.

- Blow it.

- Shall I?




Don't mind Wormer. She hates people.

Wormer, shut the frig up.

What can I do you for?

What happened to that dog's face?

Porcupine quills.

Loves porcupines, hates people.

She's in heat too.

Too bad you're not a dog.

What can I do you for?

Has your dog ever had a bath before?

There she is.

That's a gorgeous cabin.

OK. Hold it. That's good enough.

That's bigger

than our honeymoon cabin.

You city-dwelling fools

are lucky to have this cabin.

- It became available yesterday.

- We call it "the loon's nest".

- Know what a loon is?

- Yeah, we have one in our family.

We had a fishing party in there.

They caught their limit and blew.

- It's all redecorated.

- Every bit.

We sank over 300 bucks into it,

not counting what we spent on Lysol.

- Is that right?

- It's beautiful. Enjoy your stay.

- Thanks.

- How could you not in this place?

You could get the shits

from the well water.

- What did he say?

- I missed it.

What a gas.

Chet's gonna sh*t a solid gold brick!

I'll go see where he's bivouacked

the family.

This is very unfair, Roman.

What? We're a family,

for crying out loud!

We're always inviting Chet and Connie

to the islands.

- We weren't invited here.

- They'll be tickled to see us.

Honey? I found out

what was stinking up the shower.

A present from me to you.

How thoughtful.

Put it in there with the others.

There's fish everywhere.

Look, a pink one.

All right, let's leave this stuff

right here, OK?

Get your bathing suit

and we'll go to the lake.

No, you go.

I just can't seem to relax in filth.

We'll all clean up later. Let's go.

Someone has to find the toilet seat.

- Buck found it on the sun porch.

- Sun porch?

- It makes you wonder.

- No excuses.

- What are you doing?

- I don't know.

- Stop it.

- The kids are at the lake.

- Chet, what are you doing?

- Nothing.

Honey, no.

We got the house to ourselves. Hello!

Oh, no, what happened? I'm sorry.

I just don't feel like this.

I'm tired, I'm stinky.

- Come on.

- What are you doing?

- We got the house by ourselves.

- What about the kids?

- They're down the lake.

- Don't!

- Let's go to the bedroom.

- Why?

That's the great thing

about being in the woods.

- What are you feeding me now?

- Come on.

You can run around naked

and you won't run into anybody.

- Is that right?

- Yes.


Do you think it's possible

that we could play fashion parade?

- I don't want to play.

- Why?

- You get to wear the good outfits.

- I'll let you wear them.

- You will?

- You will be Shelana.

- Shelana, the oak tree woman.

- I love being the oak tree woman!

- Temptress of the woods.

- Yes!

And I will be Burt. A guy named Burt.

I love it when you're Burt.

You're always so manly.

Or I could be Smokey's cousin Horny.

- He has endurance too.

- Yes, he does.

Anybody home?

Shelana the woods temptress

with Horny the bear, Smokey's cousin?


- Turn that off.

- Oh, yeah! No, Chester, you said it.

Do it on the floor!

Beautiful style. That's all right.

Role-playing helps in a marriage

after a while.

Turn the damn thing off.

That was quite a surprise.

You got me.

And the whole week you'll be here.

Ha-ha, OK!

Oh, wow. Just something.

Anyway, you're an intelligent man.

Thank you.

- Make a good living.

- Not bad.

- Got a good life.

- Pretty good.

- Answer me this.

- Sure.

Why would you want to come

to a no-man's-land like this

and live like a barbarian for a week?

- You wouldn't understand.

- Try me.

I have great memories of this country.

I used to come here with my dad

and I want the boys to have

the same memories.

Look around you, Roman, for God's

sakes, this is beautiful country.

Take a good look.

I'll tell you what I see,

if you want to know.

Yeah, I'm curious.

The underdeveloped resources

of Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan,

a consortium exploiting over

a billion dollars in forest products.

I see a paper mill

and a mining operation,

a green belt between lakeside condos

and a waste management facility

focusing on the newest rage in waste -

medical refuse.

Infected bandages, body parts,

IV tubing, syringes,

fluid, blood, radioactive waste -

all contained,

sunken in the lake

and sealed for centuries.

I ask you, what do you see?

I just see...

see trees.

No one ever accused you

of having a grand vision.

While the ambitious scramble

for wealth and power,

the Chets of the world can lay back

and casually stroll along life's path.

- That's a compliment.

- Oh, thanks.

The rest of us will probably die

of strokes long before you!

I hope so. Wouldn't that be great?

Rate this script:2.5 / 2 votes

John Hughes

An American filmmaker. Beginning as an author of humorous essays and stories for National Lampoon, he went on to write, produce and sometimes direct some of the most successful live-action comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s. Most of Hughes's work is set in the Chicago metropolitan area. He is best known for his coming-of-age teen comedy films which often combined magic realism with honest depictions of suburban teenage life. more…

All John Hughes scripts | John Hughes Scripts

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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