Adventures in Babysitting

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Gang Leader: Don't fuck with the Lords of Hell.
[Chris picks up the knife and shoves it in the gang leader's face].
Chris: Don't fuck with the babysitter.

It was just a simple babysitting job, Gone Horribly Wrong.

Chris Parker's boyfriend can't make it to their date that night, so with nothing else to do, she babysits the Anderson's children Sara and Brad.

Then Chris' friend, Brenda, calls in a panic about running away from home but then changing her mind and asking Chris to pick her up. Chris can't leave her charges behind, so she takes them and Brad's friend Daryl along with her. She gets a flat on the highway, then realizes she forgot her purse. Things just get more crazy from there.

Chris Columbus' directing debut, this film was the first PG-13 film released by Disney (albeit under the Touchstone Pictures studio name, to avoid the association with strictly family content).


Tropes used in Adventures in Babysitting include:
  • Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: A MacGuffin being a Playboy, where Chris is the spitting image of the centerfold, some borderline offensive jokes and a Wild Teen Party would be enough, but a couple quick exchanges of the "F word" guaranteed that it got that PG-13. Though they did have to cut out another scene to keep the rating (see below).
  • Bastard Boyfriend: Mike. Not abusive, but cold and unfaithful toward a girl who was willing to dance and lip-sync her way through an entire doo-wop song at the prospect of their anniversary date. (And who was a dead ringer for a Playboy centerfold.)
  • Blind Mistake: Brenda, stranded in a bus station without her glasses, pets a huge rat thinking it's a lost cat.
  • Blind Without'Em: Brenda. Oh, Brenda.
  • Bratty Half-Pint: Sara has her moments.
  • Butt Monkey: Brenda.
  • The Cameo: Albert Collins.
  • Catch Phrase: "Ya think?"
  • Country Mouse: Just suburban, but otherwise the same.
  • Covers Sort Of Lie: They don't scale a skyscraper, as the poster shows, but Sara finds herself stuck on the outside of one in the climax.
  • Dawson Casting: For a good reason. If Elizabeth Shue actually was 17 when this was made, the whole "looking-like-the-Playboy-centerfold" thing would have crossed the line.
    • Also, Bradley Whitford was 27 when he played Chris's boyfriend in this film.
  • Evil Overlooker: On the Japanese poster.
  • Fan Girl: Sara is a big fan of Thor.
  • Heel Face Turn: Joe Gipp.
  • He Knows Too Much: That Playboy issue had a bunch of notes the gangsters scribbled down...so much, in fact, that it would send them to jail.
  • Hook Hand
  • I Can Explain: Yup, Chris's boyfriend was not doing what he claimed he was. He was with another girl. Although, he doesn't even try to explain. He just doesn't care. Chris dumps him, and ends up with a different guy by the end.
  • Jerkass: See above descriptions of Mike.
  • Mama Bear: Chris, especially on the train, dealing with the gang members.

Gang leader: Don't fuck with the Lords Of Hell! (He throws his switchblade down into Brad's foot.)
Chris (yanks the knife out of Brad's foot and points it at the leader): Don't fuck with the BABYSITTER!

  • Precision F-Strike: Two in two successive lines. See above.
  • Pretty Fly for a White Guy: The suburban white kids wow the cynical inner-city black audience with their improvised blues song. Though maybe they're just getting props for working under duress (what, exactly, happens to those who refuse to comply with the order to sing the blues?).
  • Pretty in Mink: A teenage runaway in a white fur jacket, Mrs. Anderson has a black mink coat, and Chris uses a full-length coat with a huge collar to sneak into the office party the Andersons are attending.
  • Throw It In: During the scene where Brenda tries to buy a hot dog, the vendor improvised the line "Then I don't have a fucking wiener!" The director thought it was hilarious, but the executives told him to take it out of the theatrical release to keep it PG-13.

Vendor: Look, you slip me the cash, and I'll slip you the wiener.
Brenda: But I don't have any cash!
Vendor: Then I don't have a wiener!

    • Also the song they improvise to get off the stage.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Let's just repeat a bit of Bastard Boyfriend, above: Mike, who is cold and unfaithful toward an absolutely devoted, loving girl who is a dead ringer for a Playboy centerfold.
  • Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer pretty much walked the viewer through the film's main events, including the climax at the Smurfit-Stone building, then actually showed the parents returning home and Chris sitting on the couch, safe and sound. "Any problems?" they ask, to which she casually responds, "No, not really.". Kinda destroys the tension.
  • Urban Legend: Chris is telling one to the kids while heading to the bus station. About the guy with the hook. Guess what the helpful tow truck driver who rescues them a few minutes later is sporting.
  • Worst Aid: CHRIS PULLED THE KNIFE OUT OF BRAD'S FOOT!
    • Okay, it was a toe. But perhaps she deserved the scare where the ER doc confused them for asking about a different patient and told him "their friend" was dead, when Brad was actually just fine.
    • Besides, it was needed to scare off the gang members.
  • Younger Than They Look: The prostitute. Or so she claims.