Billy Madison (1995) - Plot Summary Poster



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  • In order to inherit his fed up father's hotel empire, an immature and lazy man must repeat grades 1-12 all over again.

  • Billy Madison is a 27 year-old man whose father Brian is the head of a major hotel chain. Even though he is groomed to replace his father who is about to retire, Billy is extremely immature and unmotivated in life. When Brian considers making Eric Gordon (whom Billy despises) his new replacement, Billy decides to prove to his father that he is capable of taking over. He must repeat grade school all over again (2 weeks for each grade) in order to take over the hotel empire. The further Billy progresses, the more Eric tries to derail Billy.

  • Billy Madison is the 27 year-old son of Bryan Madison, a very rich man who has made his living in the hotel industry. Billy stands to inherit his father's empire but only if he can make it through all 12 grades, 2 weeks per grade, to prove that he has what it takes to run the family business.

  • Billy Madison is a 27 year old non-working immature idiot. His father Brian Madison who runs Madison Hotels is retiring and is thinking of handing his company to Billy, but also thinking of giving it to Eric Gordon, a weasel-like co-worker of Madison Hotels. Billy strikes a deal with his father to go through grades 1-12 to earn the company. He still goofs off in school and tries to score with his teachers, including his sexy third grade teacher, Veronica Vaughn.

  • Billy Madison is a non-working, non-educated slacker who lives entirely off his dad. He spends his day drinking beer, reading girly magazines, and hanging out by the pool. When his father realizes that Billy is unfit to run the family business, Billy decides that he must go back to school and earn a real education. He figures it will be no problem going back to high school and learning over again, until he learns that his father bought Billy's passing grades all the way back in elementary school. Thus, Billy must return to elementary school and pass each grade one at a time in a short time, or else he loses his place as heir to the company. In addition, Billy tries to win the hand of Veronica, a sexy school teacher who thinks her students are more mature than Billy.


The synopsis below may give away important plot points.


  • The movie begins with Billy Madison (Adam Sandler) being an idiot in the pool. He then runs to the front door to get his magazines. Billy then goes inside and finds out that his father, Brian Madison (Darren McGavin) is having a meeting about retirement. Brian is trying to find a person to run Madison Hotels. Brian says that he will give the ownership to Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford) because Billy is not responsible. Brian admits he payed Billy's teachers to pass him so he could graduate. Billy is mad so he says he will redo grades 1 through 12 in 24 weeks. 2 weeks for each grade. Brian accepts Billy's offer, but Eric is offended by this.

    Billy completes 1st and 2nd grade with ease. 3rd grade is a big challenge because Billy is in love with his teacher Ms. Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson). He passes 3rd grade and then moves on to 4th grade. He misses Ms. Vaughn so they both fall in love. Billy makes it to high school and then has lots of problems there. He is often made fun of, so he calls all the kids he used to bully and apologizes to them. Ms. Vaughn helps him study his way to success, but Billy still hates school. Billy decides to miss school and stays home to drink all day.

    Brian decides to give the business to Eric. Billy says that they can decide who gets the business by a academic decathlon. Billy wins the first events and Eric wins the race on the track. The final event is like a game show. The opponent chooses a topic for the other opponent. Billy has to choose a topic, so he chooses business for Eric. Eric is a business man, but he can't answer the question. Eric then pulls out a handgun and attempts to shoot Billy, but the miserable lonely man that Billy called to apologize to shoots Eric in the leg with a rifle. Billy then has high school graduation and graduates from high school. Billy then decides to become a teacher and gives the reigns of the hotel business to a second business partner of his father's, the much nicer Carl (Larry Hankin).

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