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The Stupids (1996)

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An incredibly dull-witted family unknowingly stumble upon an illegal weapons deal while on the trail of their "stolen" garbage.


John Landis


James Marshall (characters), Harry Allard (characters) | 1 more credit »
2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tom Arnold ... Stanley Stupid
Jessica Lundy ... Joan Stupid
Bug Hall ... Buster Stupid
Alex McKenna ... Petunia Stupid
Mark Metcalf ... Colonel Neidermeyer
Matt Keeslar ... Lieutenant Neal
Scott Kraft ... Policeman
Victor Ertmanis Victor Ertmanis ... Garbageman #1
Earl Williams Earl Williams ... Garbageman #2
George Chiang ... Chinese Waiter #1
Max Landis ... Graffiti Artist
Carol Ng Carol Ng ... Jade Palace Hostess
Arthur Eng Arthur Eng ... Chinese Waiter #2
Jennifer Dean Jennifer Dean ... Meter Maid
Garry Robbins ... Extremely Tall Guy


When the Stupids, an average suburban American family, discover that their garbage was "stolen" out of the can, they begin the investigation of that "conspiracy". Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


They put the dumb back into stupid. See more »


Adventure | Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »





English | French

Release Date:

30 August 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Eine Familie zum Kotzen See more »

Filming Locations:

Toronto, Ontario, Canada See more »


Box Office


$25,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,593,929, 2 September 1996

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

SDDS | Dolby Digital


Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


DIRECTOR TRADEMARK (John Landis): (filmmakers): Appearances by Directors Gurinder Chadha, Costa-Gavras, David Cronenberg, Atom Egoyan, Mick Garris, Norman Jewison, Gillo Pontecorvo, and Robert Wise. See more »


When Mrs. Stupid jumps into the elevator at the museum, a large corner of the green safety mat she jumps onto can be seen. See more »


Chinese Waiter #2: It's not our battle to fight, Johnson. We have enough trouble getting soy sauce into these tiny packets!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The persons and events in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, events or space aliens is unintentional. No space aliens were harmed in any way during the making of this film. See more »


References National Lampoon's Animal House (1978) See more »


I'm My Own Grandpaw
Written by Dwight Latham (as Dwight Lathem) and Moe Jaffe
Produced and Arranged by Michael Skloff
Published by Colgens - EMI Music Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by Tom Arnold and Rolonda Watts (as Rolanda Watts)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Appallingly Awful Offal...and Delightful Because of It!
8 October 2007 | by amnesiac12001See all my reviews

This is probably the only film I've seen where the IMDb reviews on both sides of the spectrum are 100% accurate. "The Stupids" is an atrocious, dim-witted film with absolutely no artistic merit whatsoever, and is a denigration to a director like John Landis. And that's what makes it great.

In order to appreciate "The Stupids", you have to keep in mind a little-known, but very true maxim spoken by director Abo Kyrou: "I urge you to learn to look at bad films, they are so often sublime." In order for any film to work, the film must establish and follow it's own logic, and if it does so convincingly and sincerely, then it's actually possible for the film to work. For example, when you watch "Freddy Got Fingered" as a traditional gross-out comedy, it's complete and utter garbage; when you watch it with the understanding that it's actually a neo-surrealist comedy, it's brilliant.

It works with good movies too. If "Jaws" hadn't accepted the reality it created, the air-tank explosion ending wouldn't have worked. But, a lot of people think "Jaws" is vastly overrated for this type of reason, and they aren't wrong. But it has it's strengths, doesn't it? The point being that a movie like this makes sense if you look at it with the right perspective. Some people, like me, get it right away, while others never will no matter how often it's explained. Jim Jarmusch made a compelling defense of "Showgirls" once, and even afterwards I still can't see it from his P.O.V. Doesn't mean he's wrong though. If you have the right frame of mind when you watch this movie (and NO I DO NOT MEAN STONED, I'm gonna put that to bed right now), you can actually enjoy the movie for the dumb, cheap, pointless slapstick late-80s/early-90s-style farce that it is.

The defenders and haters of this film are right: It's STUPID, and that's the point. The movie accepts the stupidity of the characters much in the same way "The Jerk" accepted Navin Johnson's idiocy. And because it takes that and runs with it, the movie focuses exclusively on using that to forward the plot and to define the characters. A "bad" movie would actually do this and fail to use that logic properly; bad movie are bad because they make it up as they go along, whereas movies like "The Stupids" knows where it's going, what it's doing and why from the beginning.

I can't defend the film from an artistic standpoint, which is why I give it such a low rating. The acting is mostly bad, the jokes very superficial, and the live-action quality probably ruins what would have worked as a cartoon. But I can't deny that it IS entertaining in its own way, and that's why I defend it. I got it right away, and I pity those who don't.

I'll admit I was drawn to this movie because of Christopher Lee's delicious cameo appearance (hearing him say "Release the drive bee!" would have been worth the rental price even if I hated this film), but was amazed to find that, aside from the TV Studio Applause Sign segment with Jenny McCarthy, I was never bored, and never disappointed. In fact, many of the jokes, because of their cartoonish context, were hilarious (in particular the airbag-cigarette explosion). They were dumb, but they were funny. And the movie doesn't pretend to be anything else: a STUPID comedy about STUPID characters and instead of apologizing for it, it enjoys itself.

And that's exactly why it works.

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