IMDb > Pay It Forward (2000) > Parents Guide
Pay It Forward
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Parents Guide for
Pay It Forward (2000) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Since the beliefs that parents want to instill in their children can vary greatly, we ask that, instead of adding your personal opinions about what is right or wrong in a film, you use this feature to help parents make informed viewing decisions by describing the facts of relevant scenes in the title for each one of the different categories: Sex and Nudity, Violence and Gore, Profanity, Alcohol/Drugs/Smoking, and Frightening/Intense Scenes.
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(15:01) We see some scantily clad dancers in the club where Arlene works (doing some stripper type dancing and moves). While no nudity is present, they are bra/bikini-like tops and short shorts. We then see Arlene wearing a bra/bikini-like top that shows lots of cleavage.

(1:00:37) Arlene is shown in her bra in her bedroom, getting ready for a date with Eugene.

There is a scene that shows two fully clothed characters, in bed, about to make love. The woman removes her shirt in anticipation of lovemaking. The scene then cuts to the next morning and shows the male character emerging from the woman's bedroom, and her child, who is at home, sees this.

Trevor, and eleven year old boy, appears in his underwear.

Arlene is shown in her bra a few times.

Arlene wears clothes that show cleavage and stomach a few times.


A boy is slapped across the face.

A man pulls out a gun and threatens a woman.

A girl is seen having an asthma attack. A man almost runs over a boy on a bike.

A man grabs another man and throws him into a bathroom. (Loud clangs and yells are heard.)

A man threatens to abuse a boy (his kid).

A boy is stabbed; he gasps and blood pours out of the wound. He falls to the ground and twitches. We later hear that he has died.

There are several talks about a man abusing his wife and child.

There is a discussion in which a man graphically describes being attacked and burned alive by his father in a murder attempt.

A scene in which several school yard bullies are shown, beating up on physically smaller children and eventually throwing them in a dumpster. A small boy is also knocked off his bike by these kids.


18 uses of Shit, 2 uses of Fag, 7 uses of Ass, 4 uses of Hell, 4 uses of Bullshit, 1 use of Piss, 6 uses of Bitch, 4 uses of Damn, 1 use of Asshole, 1 use of Bastard, 1 use of Dickhead, 1 use of Shithole, 1 use of Oh God, 4 uses of Oh My God, 1 use of My God, 2 uses of Jesus, 3 uses of Goddamn, 1 use of For God's Sake, 1 use of Heavy Ass Shit, 2 uses of Son-of-a-Bitch


We see that Jerry is a junkie (implied to be heroin or meth) when Arlene spots the track marks on his arm. Later, when Trevor goes to see him, we see that Jerry is very high, sitting and staring into space.

Arlene is a recovering alcoholic. There is only one scene in the entire movie that shows her drinking though. She is tempted a couple of times during the movie, during some stressful moments, but resists.

Several patrons of a strip club (where Arlene works) are shown drinking and are heavily intoxicated. One of them offers Arlene a drink, which she refuses.

Arlene's AA sponsor, is shown smoking cigarettes.

A homeless woman is shown drinking.


Jerry finds a woman who's about to commit suicide by jumping from a bridge. As she stands on a railing, we see a view from above her, showing how high above the body of water she really is (that might be unsettling to some viewers, but she ultimately doesn't jump).

The scenes where the bullies harass a young boy, may be intense.

The main character is stabbed and killed in the end. The last of the movie is various characters paying their respects to him.

Recommended for mature audiences

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

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