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Mr. Mom

Mr. Mom movie poster
Directed by Stan Dragoti
Produced by Lynn Loring
Lauren Shuler Donner
Aaron Spelling
Written by John Hughes
Starring Michael Keaton
Teri Garr
Martin Mull
Music by Lee Holdridge
Cinematography Victor J. Kemper
Distributed by Original Release:
20th Century Fox
Current Rights Holder:
Release date(s) July 22, 1983 (limited)
August 19, 1983 (wide)
Running time 91 min.
Country  United States
Language English
Budget Unknown

Mr. Mom is a 1983 comedy film directed by Stan Dragoti and written by John Hughes about a stay-at-home dad. It stars Michael Keaton, Teri Garr, Jeffrey Tambor, Ann Jillian, Christopher Lloyd, and Martin Mull.


The film stars Michael Keaton and Teri Garr as Jack and Caroline Butler, a middle class couple with three kids living in the suburbs of Detroit, Michigan during the Early 1980s recession. Jack loses his engineering job as an automobile manufacturer. Though the auto industry is in a slump, they bet that Jack can get a job before Caroline, but Jack loses as Caroline is hired by an ad agency and he has to stay at home with the kids.

When Caroline goes off to work, Jack discovers he is clueless about how to manage a household. He falls into depression as his ego and the household fall apart. He also begins socializing a lot with the housewives in his neighborhood, sharing poker games and workout routines with them. Caroline struggles with being back in the workforce and trying to appease fussy advertising clients who have been notoriously difficult to work with. She successfully pitches an innovative idea for advertising Schooner Tuna and the president of the company is pleased and wants her to fly to Los Angeles to help shoot the commercial.

In the meantime, Jack has snapped out of his depression, getting the house and kids under control. His former employer invites him back for a chance to interview again for his old job, but he finds that his former boss Jinx (Jeffrey Tambor) betrayed his reputation in favor of his own so as to make himself look good in the process. Jack lectures the employer and Jinx on such dirty practices and storms out, but not before threatening Jinx with a knockout punch should Jinx ever speak sharply to his son again (Alex had interrupted the meeting to see what was taking so long). He takes the kids to the bathroom before leaving the building (the babysitter turned out to be a somewhat sketchy-looking character, so Jack brought the kids to the interview) and they are essentially trashing it with toilet paper all over the place while Jack dries off Megan's rear with the hand dryer on the wall. The employer is seen hustling down the hallway with Jinx trailing behind, ostensibly to ask Jack to return to his old job, but upon encountering the scene in the bathroom, we're left to believe that potential offer was retracted. The neighborhood housewives surprise Jack unpleasantly with a visit to a strip club (with male strippers) to take his mind off of things.

Throughout the film, both Jack and Caroline find themselves fending off the lascivious advances of others. In Caroline's case, her boss Ron (Martin Mull) tries to convince her to leave Jack and marry him instead, while in Jack's case, one of his and Caroline's mutual friends Joan (Ann Jillian) tries to seduce him in a less direct manner. Caroline leaves her family on Halloween to go on a business trip. She looks out the limo window as her husband is dressed up like a prisoner looking very disappointed that he was all alone with the kids on Halloween. After a successful commercial shoot for Schooner Tuna in Los Angeles, Caroline is relaxing in her hotel bathtub; Ron takes this opportunity to sneak into her room with champagne. Back home, Jack tries calling Caroline at this exact moment so the kids could talk to her, and Ron picks up the phone instead since Caroline was in the bathtub. Ron hangs up, therefore Jack is thinking Caroline is having an affair with Ron. Caroline, not knowing what has just transpired via the phone, confronts Ron and fends off his attempts to seduce her; she ends up punching him in the nose when he won't leave her room. We find out later that she quit her job at this point.

The next day dawns with a couple of household repair people in the home to fix a broken TV and spray for bugs. Jack broke the TV by kicking it the night before in a fit of anger over the phone call to Caroline's hotel room; the TV repairwoman thus finds a shoe lodged in it. Joan stops by and while Jack is upstairs in the bathroom cleaning the paint off of his face, Joan makes herself at home in Jack and Caroline's bedroom with a serving tray containing two glasses and a bottle of liquor. She stretches out on the bed and calls to Jack, and he begins talking to himself in the mirror, running through a list of reasons (numbered A-Z but not alphabetical) why he shouldn't go out to Joan and have an affair with her. Caroline arrives home unexpectedly, surprising Joan on the bed, and after a confrontation of words, Joan leaves. Caroline takes Joan's place on the bed, helping herself to a glass of liquor while she waits. Jack doesn't realize Caroline is home until he finishes with his list (letter 'Z' was "You're not going to do anything, because you, my friend, are in love with your wife") and comes back to the bedroom. They talk over the misunderstandings that occurred concerning Ron and Joan's advances and reunite as a stronger couple.

Soon, Ron stops by the house, begging her to come back to his company, as the Schooner Tuna president has demanded that only she can properly handle his account. However, Caroline expresses how much she missed spending time with the children. Jinx also comes begging for Jack to return to work. He had made too many cuts in his design team and now could not produce what his managers were demanding and was in danger of losing his job. Alex says something to his father while Jinx is talking and Jinx yells at him, at which point Jack makes good on his earlier promise and punches Jinx in the face.

As Jack and Caroline are sitting on the steps inside the home with the kids, and Jinx and Ron in the background talking with the TV repairwoman and the exterminator, they are again a happy family. On the newly-repaired TV, the viewer sees the Schooner Tuna commercial Caroline helped produce.

See also

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Mr. Mom is a 1983 film about a man who loses his job and after failing to find a new one, must stay at home and care for the kids while his wife goes to work.

Directed by Stan Dragoti. Written by John Hughes.
When mom goes to work, dad goes berserk! (taglines)


Jack Butler

  • Your Mom calls the vacuum cleaner "jaws"?
  • Honey if you call and I'm not home I'll be at the gym or the gun club.
  • Honey, you gave me some real good advice once, so let me give you some of my own. It's real easy to forget what's important, so don't.
  • [Trying to get Kenny to give up his security blanket] I understand that you little guys start out with your woobies and you think they're great... and they are, they are terrific. But pretty soon, a woobie isn't enough. You're out on the street trying to score an electric blanket, or maybe a quilt. And the next thing you know, you're strung out on bedspreads Ken. That's serious.
  • Kenny, don't paint your sister!
  • [to Jinx] You yell at my kid like that again, I'm knockin' you out!


  • Annette: Hello Jack? I'm Annette. You're doing it wrong.
  • Doris (TV Repairwoman): Are you crazy? You don't feed a baby chili!


Jack: My wife and I went to the movies the other day, we saw Rocky. While I'm watching it, I'm thinking 'This guy has taken some falls you know.
Auto Worker 1: Which Rocky was it? 1 or 2, or 3?
Jack: I don't know. Three I guess. But...
Auto Worker 2: Hey, did the guy have a mo-hawk like Mr. T?
Jack: OK forget Rocky. The point is... when you're down, not not exactly out... I mean, I mean you gotta hang tough... I don't know.
Auto Worker 1: Well Hang tough baby! Do what Rocky would do! [Jack walks out] He didn't see Rocky.

Jinx: [talking about the lay-off] You're not exactly walking out of here empty handed. You got your pension and I'll give you this month's gas money.
Larry: There's only one more thing I want.
Jinx: What?
[goes to window and tries to open it and jump out but is grabbed by Jack]
Jinx: Hey keep that sense of humor it'll do you good.
[Larry rushes at him and attempts to strangle him]

Caroline: Do you want to go over the list one more time?
Jack: No I don't want to go over the list! OK let's go over the list.

Doris (TV Repairwoman): Butler, you got a problem with your horizontal hold?
Jack: I don't know.
Doris (TV Repairwoman): Your wife says you do.
Jack: Well, she ought to know... come on in...

Joan: [at the supermarket] Can I give you a hand?
Jack: You can give me two I don't know what the hell I'm doing.

Annette: [as Jack is driving away from the supermarket] He's married!
Joan: So were we once!

Jack: My brain is like oatmeal. I yelled at Kenny today for coloring outside the lines! Megan and I are starting to watch the same TV shows, and I'm liking them! I'm losing it.
Caroline: Honey, I know what you're talking about. I've been there myself, alright?
Jack: Well, if you're so unhappy, why don't you say something about it?
Caroline: Because I wasn't unhappy! Look, maybe I was a little confused, maybe I was a little frustrated, but I knew what I was doing was important, because it means something to raise human beings. What saw me through was pride.
[Jack takes the bedspread, pillow and a pizza slice before heading out]
Caroline: I've pride in this house, I've pride with my kids, and I've pride being Mrs. Jack Butler! Where are you going?
Jack: [Eating pizza before going] I'm goin' downstairs to sleep on the fat couch if I can get through the door.
[Jack leaves the room]
Caroline: Well, you should take pride with some of that FAT, Porky!
[Caroline slams the door]

Jack: You wanna beer?
Ron: It's 7 o'clock in the morning.
Jack: Scotch?

Ron: [about rewiring the house] Yeah? Are you gonna make it all 220?
Jack: Yeah. 220... 221, whatever it takes.

Alex: [about Ron's house] Wow, what a house!
Jack: Yeah, probably mortgaged to the eyeballs.
'Caroline: Not this one, his great grandfather - Commander Richardson - built it.
Jack: Eh... hand me down.


  • When mom goes to work, dad goes berserk!
  • Caroline's a rising executive. Jack just lost his job. Jack's going to have to start from the bottom up.


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