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Pay It Forward (2000)

PG-13 | | Drama | 20 October 2000 (USA)
0:33 | Trailer

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A young boy attempts to make the world a better place after his teacher gives him that chance.



(book), (screenplay)
2,612 ( 131)
1 win & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Ricky McKinney
Colleen Flynn ...
Woman on Bridge
Thorsen's Daughter (as Hannah Werntz)


Young Trevor McKinney, troubled by his mother's alcoholism and fears of his abusive but absent father, is caught up by an intriguing assignment from his new social studies teacher, Mr. Simonet. The assignment: think of something to change the world and put it into action. Trevor conjures the notion of paying a favor not back, but forward--repaying good deeds not with payback, but with new good deeds done to three new people. Trevor's efforts to make good on his idea bring a revolution not only in the lives of himself, his mother and his physically and emotionally scarred teacher, but in those of an ever-widening circle of people completely unknown to him. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Sometimes The Simplest Idea Can Make The Biggest Difference. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for mature thematic elements including substance abuse/recovery, some sexual situations, language and brief violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 October 2000 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Cadena de favores  »

Box Office


$40,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,631,359 (USA) (20 October 2000)


$33,508,922 (USA) (2 February 2001)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


At one moment, a poster on the wall in Trevor's bedroom can be seen. It displays Goldberg, a famous professional wrestler, at the time wrestling in WCW. See more »


When Trevor is drawing his "Pay it forward" diagram on the black board, the diagram has clearly already been drawn once and erased. See more »


Arley: I want to wear the green dress.
Trevor McKenney: You look like a vampire in that!
See more »


Referenced in Psych: Autopsy Turvy (2012) See more »


Win Your Love for Me
Written and Performedy by Sam Cooke
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A very moving movie
29 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is one of the most moving movies that I have seen in years. The performances are excellent by all the cast members and the emotional tie you develop with the characters is so amazing that you start to feel what they are feeling and go through their good and bad times. This movie is inspiring and heart driven. I really enjoyed this movie because of the well written story and smoothly moving plot of this movie. The movie does not leave you confused as to what is going on or why. That's why I gave this movie a 10, because it is excellent. The odd thing is about movies, the ones that aren't really that good get the awards, yet the really good ones never get one. I have really never understood that. This movie should have been given an award.

38 of 51 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How can anyone possibly like this movie?? chloen1979
a better ending rutica
now if you got stabbed in the stomach Sensfan1915
Did anyone ever have 7th grade teacher like that? MBasler89
Should be a law... libertess66
from a mother who lost her son goldstalk
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