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The Great Outdoors (1988)

PG  |   |  Comedy  |  17 June 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 26,362 users  
Reviews: 79 user | 17 critic

A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Hilary Gordon ...
Rebecca Gordon ...
Zoaunne LeRoy ...
John Bloom ...
Britt Leach ...


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. Written by William Agee <wa0521@broncho.ucok.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


This holiday's no picnic. See more »




PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 June 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Big Country  »

Box Office


$24,000,000 (estimated)


$41,455,230 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The name for a gigantic steak at restaurant Paul Bunyon's Cupboard was "The Old '96'er". See more »


All indications are the movie is set in Wisconsin yet in the opening scenes as the Jeep is driving en route to the cabin, a deer is seen swimming across a lake but it is clearly a mule deer. Wisconsin has Whitetail Deer but no Mule Deer. The closest wild Mule Deer is probably 1,000 miles away. See more »


Roman: [Chet, Roman, and the kids are out fishing and are putting bait on their hooks] These are the biggest worms I have ever encountered.
Chet: They're not worms, they're leeches.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Subtitled conversation between two raccoons -- Raccoon #1: "Why's Jody sitting in the lake?" Raccoon #2: "You didn't hear? She got shot in the ass!" Raccoon #1: "Oh no! Don't tell me..." Raccoon #2: "Yup... She's bald on both ends now!" See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Friday the 13th (2013) See more »


Big Country
Written by Bruce Gowdy, Billy Sherwood, and Peter Aykroyd
Performed & Produced by Joe Walsh
See more »

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User Reviews

As long as Dan and John make me laugh, I love this movie
17 November 2003 | by (Chicago, Illinois) – See all my reviews

The Great Outdoors is one of the most under rated comedies that I have ever seen! It's actually one of my hidden favorites, because this is the type of comedy that I love, slap stick. Dan and John make such a great comedic duo in The Great Outdoors, you can't help but laugh hysterically at every scene or be touched by a sentimental moment. I miss stories like this, that are not only heart warming but have a great mix of comedy as well.

Chet is a family man who wants to bond with his songs on a camping trip, so he, his wife, and their boys go out to the great outdoors. But an uninvited guest tags along, their rich and snobby cousins Roman and Kate and their two Shinning creepy twin girls. Since Roman likes to live it up, he practically jumps all over Chet's plans and just takes over the vacation!

There are some great scenes like a bat gets loose in the cabin and Chet and Roman decide to take it on themselves. The bat gets onto Chet's face and Roman hits the bat and Chet's face with a tennis racket! Chet's reaction is just priceless! And they go to a restaurant where Chet has the opportunity to eat a 16 ounce steak and if he eats the whole thing, the family eats for free, and they do it like as if he was Rocky in his first major boxing match, it was just great to watch. The Great outdoors is one of those great under rated comedies that I'm sure you'll fall in love with.


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Chet is an evil, evil man Isleden-1
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