Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

1991 film by Stephen Herek

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead is a 1991 film about five kids having to take care of themselves when their babysitter dies while their mother is on a 2-month trip to Australia.

Directed by Stephen Herek. Written by Neil Landau and Tara Ison.
No rules. No curfews. No nagging. No pulse.

Sue Ellen Crandell

  • Relax Mom, everything's going to be great when you're gone.
  • [to Kenny] Since we are the two oldest kids, one of us needs to earn money. We will settle it this way. [takes a box of frozen pizza and prepares to toss it in the air] Mama Celeste face up, I go to work. Mama Celeste face down, you are selling carnations by the highway intersection.
  • No-one'll hire a teenager to do anything that isn't disgusting.
  • [repeated line] I'm right on top of that Rose.


  • Kenny Crandell: (after shooting the dishes) The dishes are DONE, man.
  • Zach Crandell: Cynthia, you're my moon goddess.
  • Rose Lindsey: Don't feel overwhelmed. Just do one thing at a time.
  • Kenny Crandell: Swell. Will you hurry up? Melissa and Zach are beating each other over the last Sno Ball. It's the last food we got.


Katrina: She's leaving you guys all alone? What about the kids?
Sue Ellen: Kenny'll watch Zack, Melissa'll watch Walter and I'll have Mom's car. I can go to the beach, I can stay out as late as I want to, anything! I'm a free woman.

Mom: Zach. Put it back, right now. If you need money, ask me first.
Zach: Okay then. Can I have ten dollars?
Mom: Forget it.

Melissa: How come you gotta go?
Mom: Because, I've had a very rough 37 years and I need a break.
Melissa: You swore you'd sign me up for baseball.
Mom: Little League will still be there next year.
Melissa: So will Australia. I wish Dad were around.
Mom: No, you don't.

Mom: Why did you leave your dishes in the sink, for me?
Sue Ellen: God, you take these things so personally.

Mom: She seems very nice, right? And she has lots of experience.
Sue Ellen: Of course she does. She's 200 years old.

Friend: Isn't your mom like leaving for months?
Kenny: Oh, you're right. BYE MOM, HAVE A BLAST!

Mom: Melissa, want to get down from there?
Melissa: No.
Mom: Get down from there.

Sue Ellen: I am going to have to let you go, Nicole.

Sue Ellen: Why are you guys wearing name tags?
Walter: She says she has trouble remembering things.
Melissa: We're supposed to wear them at all times, and she's getting us up at the butt crack of dawn to tidy up the garage.

Mrs. Sturak: Time for little boys to be in bed.
Zach: Can't you see I'm in the middle of a date?
Mrs. Sturak: [Opening the car door and tossing Cynthia out] And time for little trollops to go home!
Zach: I'll call you later, Cynthia.

Walter: She doesn't look dead.
Zach: That's because it just happened. So, you can't really tell, like on MacGyver.

Zach: We told you to talk to her. We didn't want you to send her to the glue factory.
Sue Ellen: I didn't kill her, Zach. She died in her sleep.
Melissa: Probably choked on her whistle.

Kenny: Um... what should we do with her body?
Sue Ellen: Call an ambulance, call the cops, I don't know. Well, I mean they're gonna come and get her and they're gonna ask us a lotta questions...
Kenny: They'll probably blame us.
Sue Ellen: They'll definitely call Mom.
Melissa: SHE'LL blame us.
Kenny: Yeah, she'll hop the next flight home and then be in our faces.
Sue Ellen: I don't want Mom to come home.
Zach: I don't either.

Sue Ellen: Go get that tape measure thing out of the garage.
Kenny: Would you stop ordering us around, you're not the babysitter.
Sue Ellen: That's right Kenny, the babysitter is dead. Just do it.

Kenny: This place is a crock. We're never gonna make it through the summer. Man, I'm gonna hole up at Lizard's.
Sue Ellen: Oh, that's real brotherly of you, Kenny. Always taking the easy way out. Don't you have any pride?
Kenny: No.
Melissa: I got an idea. When our food runs out, we can eat Elvis.
[the dog Elvis runs out of the room]

Carolyn: You... are supposed to go down... to personnel. That is on the first... floor. There's a great big sign that says... personnel. Do.. you... under... stand?
Sue Ellen: Yeah.

Rose: Where's Carolyn? Mouse brown hair, gives you a headache.
Sue Ellen: Talks like she's chewing her face?
Rose: That's her.

Zach: Call the cops.
Sue Ellen: Oh yeah, what are we going to say, Liza Minnelli stole our Buick?

Sue Ellen: Kenny, why don't you save your last three brain cells, you might need them.
Kenny: I won't!

Bryan: Anyway, the grunion comes and lays her eggs in the sand and then the guy grunion, he comes and fertilizes them.
Sue Ellen: So they don't like do it together?
Bryan: No, not like us. I mean like humans.

Gus: By the end of lunch we'll probably be sharing our intimate histories, stories of our first time. Next thing you know we'll be sharing a cigarette in post-coital bliss.
Sue Ellen: Are you talking about us having sex?
Gus: Hey, hold on, slow down, you're moving too fast for me! But if that's an area you're interested in, it can be arranged. And if it doesn't, I was kidding.

Rose: Why don't you go on home, have a glass of wine and put some cucumber slices on your eyes, you'll feel much better.
Sue Ellen: Well, I'm all out of cucumbers.
Rose: Sue Ellen, every girl over twenty-five should have a cucumber in the house.

Bryan: I'd respect your privacy if you weren't so secretive.
Sue Ellen: Well, I'd tell you more if you didn't want to know so much.

Sue Ellen: Did you turn the air conditioner on?
Kenny: Yeah, well I was hot.
Sue Ellen: Look I'm stuck with the bills, I would like to keep that thermostat at seventy-six, okay?
Kenny: Wow, you take these things so personally.

Rose: Sue Ellen, have you ever had a 48 hour orgasm?
Sue Ellen: No, I've never been to Santa Barbara.

Sue Ellen: [in the kitchen] Did you burn something?
Kenny: Yeah, well, maybe if you'd called and told me you were gonna be, like... three-and-a-half hours late, I could've planned my dinner better.
Sue Ellen: I had to work late, OK?
Kenny: You still should've called. I sat and I waited. I went ahead and I fed the kids. I worked all day on that casserole.
Sue Ellen: Sorry.
Kenny: You haven't even said how nice the house looks. You're off at the office all day doing interesting office things. I'm stuck here. Cooking and cleaning and mowing, helping Melissa with her fastball, being a role model for Zach, spending quality time with Walter, doing your party shit! You've got the car and you don't even take me anywhere anymore. And when was the last time we went out to dinner together, huh? You know, I'm sick and tired of not being appreciated.
Sue Ellen: I appreciate you.
Kenny: Eat shit! [storms into the living and starts whisking the couch]
Sue Ellen: I don't believe this! I have to get up at 5:30 every morning so I can beat rush hour traffic into the city and go sit behind a desk for eight hours a day and miss Oprah Winfrey everyday on my summer vacation. And then, I get to drive home in gridlock in a VOLVO with no air conditioning just so I can take care of you guys and put food on the damn table! It's a rat race and it sucks, Kenny. So what do you want, a medal?... Oh come on, you don't have to do all this. I mean, I never asked you to whisk the couch.
Kenny: [stopping, wistfully] Well, it needed it.

Bruce: Hey, yo, Mad Dog. You want to park the car?
Hellhound: We're on a break, dude.
Mole: Yeah, park it yourself, Metallica-breath.

Gus: Now are you going to believe me or are you going to believe some kid?
Rose: I'm going to believe some kid, go to hell Gus.