Uncle Buck

1989 film by John Hughes

Uncle Buck is a 1989 film about a bachelor and all around slob who babysits his brother's rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister.

Written and directed by John Hughes.
He's crude. He's crass. He's family.

Buck Russell

  • [On the way to his brother's] Oh boy, those kids. I haven't seen those kids in a while. Tia's gotta be nine. Nine, maybe ten. Oh boy. And the two new ones. They're uh... Larry and... uh... Larry and, uh... Uh... Betsy. Betsy, uh... Jennifer. Jennifer. Larry and Jennifer. Nice kids.
  • [serving gigantic pancakes to Miles for his birthday] You should see the toast. I couldn't even get it through the door!
  • [struggling to open the washing machine] Do I have to talk dirty to you? Come on! Open up for daddy! I'm gonna shove a load into you! Here we go! Come on, it's nice and easy. Aaah! Come on, here we go! Ah! Take that! Take that! Come on! You don't want the crowbar, do you? Come on! OPEN UP! UUGGHH! I'm gonna shove my load into you whether you like it or not!
  • [to Maizy's principal] I don't think I want to know a six-year-old who isn't a dreamer, or a sillyheart. And I sure don't want to know one who takes their student career seriously. I don't have a college degree. I don't even have a job. But I know a good kid when I see one. Because they're ALL good kids, until dried-out, brain-dead skags like you drag them down and convince them they're no good. You so much as scowl at my niece, or any other kid in this school, and I hear about it, I'm coming looking for you! Take this quarter, go downtown, and have a rat gnaw that thing off your face! Good day to you, madam.

Tia Russell

  • [They're eating Chinese take-out] This is such a wonderful dinner, Mother. How DO you find the time?
  • [to her mother] If my whole family moved away from me, I'd have a heart attack too.
  • Hey, Mom. Next time you take off in the middle of the night, why don't you hire a murderer to watch the house?


  • Marcie Dahlgren-Frost: Marcie Dahlgren-Frost. Dahlgren is my maiden name, Frost is my married name. I'm single again, but I never bothered to remove the frost. And I get compliments on the hyphen.
  • E. Roger Cogswell: [to Buck] You gotta let somebody know where you are. I've been checking car trunks for your corpse.


Cindy Russell: When Dad goes to New York, I'm going to take a week off work.
Tia: So you can interview new housekeepers?
Cindy Russell: I've had enough of your ugliness.
Tia: Oh really?
Cindy Russell: Mm-hmm. We're all just a little tired of the act

Maizy: I don't know why we need boys at all. They're so loud.
Miles: [off-screen] Shut up!
Maizy: Shut up, yourself!
Tia: We need boys so they can grow up, get married, and turn into shadows.

[Buck and Chanice are sitting at a table in a bar]
Chanice: How’s that pie?
Buck: It’s not bad!
Chanice: You gonna be at work in the morning?
Buck: I don’t see how I can avoid it.
Chanice: You don’t seem very happy about it.
Buck: All right, if you gotta know, I’m really not that excited about going to work for my girlfriend. There, I said it. It’s out of the way.
Chanice: Okay, Buck, I love you, I can’t help myself, I wanna get married, I wanna have a family, I wanna do it with you! Well, you know, the clock is ticking away here. I would just like to hear the pitter-patter of tiny feet before I die.
Buck: I’ll get ya a mouse and a piece of sheet metal. [chuckles]
[Chanice gives him an unimpressed look]
Buck: Come on. Lighten up, will ya?
Chanice: Don’t push my button. I’m not gonna get into this.
Buck: I’m not pushing your buttons. I know me. I know what I like. All right? I like my friends. I like my freedom. I like knowing I can throw my sticks in the truck of my car and go golfing any time I want. I don’t hurt anybody, I don’t see what the problem is.
Chanice: That is the best formula for loneliness I ever heard.
Buck: Why are we arguing?
Chanice: We’re talking.
Buck: I said I’d be at working in the morning, I’ll be there.
Chanice: Okay. [pauses] I…I just gotta get this out. I mean I know I’m like harping on something here, but, you know, just let me say it, I’m working on history, I’m working on the past, you’re gonna show up for work, you swear to God? In the A.M.? Promise?
Buck: Chanice, I’ll be honest with you; if I could think of an excuse that you would buy, I’d use it.

[Buck knocks on the door of a house and there is no answer]
Buck: Bob. Bob? This isn’t funny! C’mon! Wake up! I’m freezing my ass off out here!
Bob: [watching from the front window as Buck yells at the house across the street] Oh shit…
Buck: C’mon I’m getting mad Bob. Yo Bobby!!
Bob: [steps out the front door] Buck?
Buck: Bob?
Bob: Buck!
Buck: Bob?
Bob: Buck!
Buck: Bob?
Bob: Over here!
Buck: [pauses, realizing he’s shown up to the wrong house] Do you have any idea how many big white houses there are on this street?
[Dogs on the street begin barking at the commotion]
Bob: Shh!
Buck: What?
Bob: Keep it down.
Buck: What? What do you want me to do with my car?
Neighbour: [off-screen] For crying out loud!
Bob: Oh, uh, sorry Mr. Hatfield!
Mr. Hatfield: It's 2 A.M.!
Buck: [to Bob as he walks up to the front door] How ya doin'? Hey sorry I'm late.
Bob: Oh no, thats ok. Thanks for coming.
Buck: Hey, what happened to the moustache?
Bob: Oh. I had to shave it off
Buck: How's Cindy?
Bob: Not well. Not well.
Buck: Her dad?
Bob: Hard to say.
Buck: All those medical terms huh? What is it, an infarction or something like that?

Buck: Hey, I stopped smoking cigarettes.
Cindy Russell: Oh, good.
Buck: Isn't that something? I'm on to cigars now. I'm on to a five-year plan. I eliminated cigarettes, then I go to cigars, then I go to pipes, then I go to chewing tobacco, then I'm on to that nicotine gum.

Miles: Where do you live?
Buck: In the city.
Miles: You have a house?
Buck: Apartment.
Miles: Own or rent?
Buck: Rent.
Miles: What do you do for a living?
Buck: Lots of things.
Miles: Where's your office?
Buck: I don't have one.
Miles: How come?
Buck: I don't need one.
Miles: Where's your wife?
Buck: Don't have one.
Miles: How come?
Buck: It's a long story.
Miles: You have kids?
Buck: No I don't.
Miles: How come?
Buck: It's an even longer story.
Miles: Are you my Dad's brother?
Buck: What's your record for consecutive questions asked?
Miles: 38.
Buck: I'm your Dad's brother alright.
Miles: You have much more hair in your nose than my Dad.
Buck: How nice of you to notice.
Miles: I'm a kid - that's my job.

Buck: What time do you want me to pick you up after school?
Tia: Don't bother! I'll get a ride with friends.
Buck: No, I have my orders. What time?
Tia: Are you really this stupid? I said I would get a ride. I always get a ride.
Buck: Hey, I'll just call the school, find out what time, and meet you right here.
Tia: Go ahead, call the school. I won't be here.
Buck: Stand me up today and tomorrow I'll drive you to school in my robe and pajamas and WALK you to your first class. 4:00 okay?
Tia: I'm stunned that I'm related to you.
Buck: You get the pole out of your keister, we're gonna get along just fine.
Tia: Did you ever have anyone embarrass you like this?
Buck: ...No.
[After Tia gets out of the car]
Buck: Do you think she hates me?
Maizy: With a passion.
Buck: Really? Do you think it's the hat?
Maizy: No.
Buck: No? A lot of people hate this hat. It angers a lot of people, just the sight of it. Ah, I'll tell you a story about that on the way to school.

[Buck's beat-up old car pulls up]
Bug: Ever hear of a tune-up? Hee hee hee hee hee.
Buck: [Mockingly] Ah-hee-hee-hee! Ever hear of a ritual killing? Ah-hee-hee-hee-hee-hee!
Bug: I don't get it.
Buck: You gnaw on her face in public like that again and you'll be one. Ah-hee-hee-hee-hee.
[Bug leans in to kiss Tia when Buck drives off suddenly, barely missing Bug’s head]
Tia: Are you crazy?
Buck: I can be.
Tia: You could have taken his head off!
Buck: Yeah, but would he notice?
Tia: Can we get something straight?
Buck: The guy's a predator and you're his prey.
Tia: Really?
Buck: You bet.
Tia: And how would you know?
Buck: When I was his age, I was a guy zooming girls like you. Pretty face, good chip on your shoulder.
Tia: I recommend you stay out of my personal life!
Buck: Do your parents stay out of your personal life?
Tia: They don't know my personal life.
Buck: Have they met twiddle-dink?
Tia: His name is Bug.
Buck: [chuckles] First or last?
Tia: First!
Buck: What's his last name, Spray?
Tia: You should talk, "Buck."

[Chanice is listening to an answering machine message from Buck]
Buck: Chanice? Buck. [to himself] I hate these machines. Look I’m just calling to say I miss you. I know you probably don’t believe it but it’s true, no I haven’t been drinking. I’ve been thinking a lot about you and what we talked about in the past few weeks. I think about you all the time, I think about those two little dimples on your buns. Hahaha.
Chanice: Dimples!
Buck: What do we call them? One... one was on the right, 'was Lyndon and left was...
Chanice: It's Johnson.
Buck: Johnson.
[Chanice laughs]
Buck: And then there was your boobs we did. Now, your boobs were Minnie and Mickey, I remember that because of Disney World. And Felix! Felix is what we called your...
[cut to the next scene, where a cat meows loudly]

Buck: Did you brush your teeth?
Miles: Yeah. You can even feel my toothbrush.
Buck: You know, I have a friend who works at the crime lab at the police station. I could give him your toothbrush and he could run a test on it... to see if you actually brushed your teeth... or just ran your toothbrush under the faucet.
[Buck leaves, as Miles gawks]
Maizy: If that's true, we're gonna REALLY have to start brushing our teeth.

Buck: What, did you have a few drinks this morning? Huh? Yeah, I think you did.
Pooter-the-clown: What are you? Mother Cabrini? You never touch the stuff?
Buck: No, no. It's just that I wouldn't be drinking if I was going to entertain some kids. You know?
Pooter-the-clown: I don't have to take any stuff from you! You know who I am? In the field of local-live-home entertainment, I'm a GOD!
Buck: Get in your mouse, and get out of here.
Pooter-the-clown: Hey, you, let me tell you something you low-life, lying, four-flushing, sack-of-sh...
[Buck punches him in the face, Pooter drops, then gets back up like an inflatable clown and shakes the pain off]
Pooter-the-clown: [growls]
[Buck punches him again, knocking him out]

[at a meeting with the assistant principal, who has a large unsightly growth on her face]
Anita: I'm Anita Hoargarth.
Buck Russell: [Staring at it] Buck Melanoma, Moley Russell's wart. [she gives him a look] Not her wart, not her wart. I'm... I'm the wart. She's my tumor. My... my growth. My... uh, my pimple. I'm Uncle Wart. Just old Buckwart Russell. That's what they call me, or Melanoma Head. They'll call me that. "Melanoma Head's coming!" I'm s... uncle! Maisy Russell's uncle!

Maizy's Teacher: Does anybody have a special story to tell the class about something that happened this week?
[Maizy raises her hand]
Maizy's Teacher: Maizy?
Maizy: My uncle was microwaving our socks and the dog threw up on the couch for about an hour.
Maizy's Teacher: Honest?
Maizy: Yes
Maizy's Teacher: Why was your uncle microwaving your socks?
Maizy: He can't get the Goddamn washing machine to work.
Maizy's Teacher: [picks up a ruler] BLASPHEMER!

[Tia is sitting in the front room, looking out the window. Miles and Maizy walk in]
Miles: Waiting for your sex?
Tia: Shut up.
[Buck walks down the stairs and into the front room where Tia, Miles and Maizy are]
Buck: Tia? What’d you blow all that make-up for? We’re just going bowling.
Tia: I’m not going bowling.
Buck: C’mon it’s a great sport and it’s virtually impossible to get pregnant while doing it. If you catch my drift.
Tia: You’re disgusting! I’ll die before I go anywhere with you.
Miles: It’s gonna be fun!
Maizy: They have rent-a-shoes!
Tia: And rent-a-foot disease!
Buck: We've done the battle of the wills. The deck's stacked in my favor. You're just gonna lose again.
Tia: Try me.
Buck: How would you like to spend the next several nights wondering if your crazy, out-of-work, bum uncle will shave your head while you sleep? See you in the car. [Smiles and mimes electric clippers, making a buzzing sound]

Tia: [after over-hearing Roger talk about Chanice] What’s a “Chanice”?
Buck: That’s someone who’s sometimes seen around a Buck.
Tia: Your girlfriend?
Buck: A friend. And, yes, she is a girl.
Tia: Are you supposed to marry her or something?
Buck: The subject has come up, yes, but nothing serious.
Tia: Maybe if you got married, you’d stop being such an asshole. [she gives Buck a sly look]
Buck: [while smoking a cigar] Cigar?
Tia: No. Thanks.
Buck: Let me know if you change your mind.
Tia: [sarcastically] I will.
Buck: I’ll get it nice and juicy for ya.

Buck: Well, well, well, they certainly are scraping the bottom of the barrel for cheerleaders these days.
Tia: What are you doing here?
Buck: We were just driving by to get some ice cream. Thought you might like to join us.
Tia: I said I would be home at 10. It's not even 9!
Buck: Who said anything about that? I thought you might like to join us for some ice cream. Maybe your Bug here can join us. We can talk about burying the hatchet. You know what a hatchet is, don't you, Bug?
Bug: It's an ax?
Buck: Sort of, yeah, yeah. I got one in my car if you'd like to see it.
Bug: I'll pass.
Buck: Fair enough. I like to carry it, you never know when you're going to need it. A situation may come up, say, for example, someone has been drinking, and about to drive a loved one home, then I'd like to know I have it. Not to kill, no. Just to maim. Take a little off the shoulder. Swish! The elbow. Slash! Shave a little meat off the old kneecap. Fowap! Ooooo! You got both kneecaps? I like to keep mine razor sharp. Sharp enough you can shave with it. Why, I've been known to circumcise a gnat. You're not a gnat, are you, Bug? Wait a minute, bug, gnat. Is there a little similarity? Whoaaa, I think there is! Ha ha ha. You understand what I'm talking about? I don't think you do. I'll be right back. Heh heh heh heh.
[walks away]
Tia: I'm sorry.
Bug: Look, I think you'd better split. I don't exactly want him to go berserk with an ax on me.
Tia: He's all talk.
[Buck pulls out a small hatchet from his car]
Buck: Here it is! Come over, come on, I want to show it to you. Maybe later. Okay.

[Miles and Maisey watch Tia make out with her boyfriend]
Miles: That's a pretty stupid thing to do during flu season.
Maisey: I'll bet she's getting the tongue!

Tia: Uncle Buck?
Buck: Yeah?
Tia: Got a minute?
Buck: I got lots of minutes.
Tia: Now that everything's okay with my grandfather, I want to go out tomorrow night.
Buck: You can go crazy after I leave. Until then, I'm not letting you out of my sight.
Tia: You just can't find any way to be cool, can you?
Buck: You mean easy? No.
Tia: I mean decent!
Buck: You mean blind!
Tia: Who are you trying to score points with? My parents? How many times have they had you over here since we moved? Try none until they went up shit-creek and got stuck!
Buck: Get used on your parent's time.
Tia: Hey, Buck?
Buck: Yeah?
Tia: Have a bad day today? It hurts when someone else messes with your life, doesn't it?

[Buck is stopped at a red light on his way to pick up Tia from a party. A couple in another car pulls up beside him]
Man and woman in other car: [in unison] Your car’s on fire!
Buck: No, no, no it’s just a little oil. I’m looking for a party somewhere around here.
Woman: Oh that’s on Toadawa Lane.
Buck: My niece is there.
Woman: Our son is there.
Buck: Ah, kids.
Man: I don’t think you oughta go in there with that hat on, they’ll kill ya
Buck: Really?
Man: Yeah.
Buck: Thanks for the tip.

Buck: You know there's uh, one family charity case who loves you very much.
Tia: [crying] I'm sorry.
Buck: Hey, come on. Nothing to be sorry about. I'm just glad I got a chance to know you again.

[Buck has shown Tia, her ex-boyfriend, Bug who is gagged and tied up in the trunk of his car. He undoes the duct tape]
Bug: You shithead! I could've suffocated in here!
Buck: You know what I'd like you to do. You could be doing both of us a favor. I'd like you to apologize to this lady, please.
Buck:[Nowhere near satisfied with Bug's screaming apology] You may not know this, but I'm an amateur dentist.
Tia: Oh yes, he is.
[She laughs raising the drill in front of Bug, who is scared straight]
Bug:[Being serious] I'm sorry.


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