Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

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Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
Beavis And Butthead Do America.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Judge
Produced by
  • Mike Judge
  • Abby Terkuhle
Screenplay by
Based onBeavis and Butt-Head
by Mike Judge
Music byJohn Frizzell
CinematographyDavid J. Miller
Edited by
  • Gunter Glinka
  • Terry Kelley
  • Neil Lawrence
Distributed byParamount Pictures[1]
Release date
  • December 20, 1996 (1996-12-20)
Running time
81 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million[3]
Box office$63.1 million (US)[4]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is a 1996 American adult animated road comedy film based on the MTV animated television series Beavis and Butt-Head.[5] Co-written and directed by series creator Mike Judge, the film stars the regular television cast of Judge with guest performances by Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Robert Stack and Cloris Leachman; the film centers on Beavis and Butt-Head as they travel across the country in search of their stolen television set.

Previous offers by MTV to create a film version of Beavis and Butt-Head were rejected by Judge, but he eventually accepted one in 1994; when the film went into production, Judge and the show's staff halted production on the series while Judge and Joe Stillman wrote the script. They conceived numerous plot ideas with Judge's being the one developed into a film. John Frizzell composed the film's score.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America was praised by critics and proved to be a major box office hit from its release on December 20, 1996 by Paramount Pictures, grossing $63.1 million in the United States, becoming the biggest December box office opening in history until it was beaten the following year by Scream 2 (coincidentally, the first Scream movie was released the same weekend as this film) and subsequently one week later by Titanic.


After dreaming about destroying a city as giants, Beavis and Butt-Head wake up to realize that someone has stolen their television; the pair then embark on a quest to find it. After several mishaps (including trying to steal a TV from school and getting expelled by their principal), they visit a low-quality motel that advertises "TVs in every room". There, they encounter Muddy Grimes, who is waiting for two hired hitmen (later revealed to be the same people who stole the TV) to murder his wife, Dallas. Muddy, intoxicated, thinks that the boys are the hitmen he has contacted and remarks that they are even younger than he thought they would be, and says that he will pay them $10,000 to "do" his wife. Thinking that "do" refers to sex, Butt-Head convinces Beavis that both of them can "score" as well as get paid enough to buy a new TV. Muddy hands them a photo of Dallas with instructions on where to find her and drives them to the airport to catch a plane to Las Vegas.

After arriving in the casino where they are staying, the boys get arrested by security after being mistaken for trespassers and they are taken to their room, their room was purchased by Muddy to be adjacent to Dallas's room, and they accidentally burst in. Dallas says that she will pay them $20,000 to go back and "do" Muddy, and Beavis and Butt-Head respond by saying they're unsure about having sex with a man, she then realizes that they have misunderstood what they have been hired for. While Beavis and Butt-Head begin fighting over who will "do" Dallas first, the police arrive to arrest her. Thinking quickly, she plants a stolen biological weapon known as the "X-5 Unit" in Beavis’s pants in order to get rid of it, she then gets them tickets on a tour bus bound for Washington, D.C. and instructs them that she will be waiting for them in the United States Capitol and will let them "do her" there.

The stolen bioweapon attracts the attention of the ATF, headed by Agent Flemming, who orders a body cavity search on everyone he encounters and despite his tough talk, relies on fellow Agent Bork's assistance virtually all the time. Flemming becomes convinced that the duo are criminal masterminds after they accidentally release the water behind the Hoover Dam, cutting the power to Las Vegas, they are placed on the FBI's most wanted list. On the tour bus, they visit the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park. After this, they accidentally get on a bus full of nuns and end up at a Catholic church, in which they think that the confessionals are portable toilets. After interacting with church members who think they are priests, they get back on the bus and become stranded at a gift shop at Petrified Forest National Park, they are told Washington is "about 2,000 miles that way" and begin to wander through the desert where they meet two former Mötley Crüe roadies turned drifters who are heavily implied to be their fathers, but part ways before they can make the connection. The boys soon collapse of dehydration. Delirious from the heat, Beavis unwittingly consumes a peyote cactus, and has a vivid psychedelic experience (animated by Rob Zombie) overnight.

The next day, Beavis and Butt-Head are found by Muddy, who plans to kill them after realizing they were not the hitmen he hired. However, after hearing that Dallas is going to meet up with the duo in Washington, Muddy decides to take them the rest of the way in his trunk to hunt down Dallas. In the middle of I-81 in Virginia, Butt-Head opens the trunk with a car jack, and they escape by jumping onto the road, inadvertently causing a 400-car pileup. Beavis and Butt-Head casually walk past the scene and get back on the tour bus, stopping at the Capitol before finally reaching the White House. Before Dallas can meet with Beavis and Butt-Head to recover the bioweapon, she is confronted in the parking garage by Muddy. Muddy and Dallas then briefly reconcile before they are arrested by the ATF while having sex in Muddy's car. Faced with the possibility of a 60-year jail sentence, Dallas betrays Muddy by saying that he hid the bioweapon "in some kid's pants", but she still gets the sentence.

The ATF is dispatched to the White House due to Beavis and Butt-Head being there on the same day as a peace conference. Beavis consumes caffeine pills, sugar, and coffee while on the White House tour, then transforms into Cornholio, he wanders into the Oval Office and picks up the red phone, causing the military to go to DEFCON 4. Meanwhile, Butt-Head runs into Chelsea Clinton, where his attempts at hitting on her lead to him being pushed out of a window and being detained and cavity searched by ATF officers. Beavis leaves the White House and goes inside Mr. Anderson's trailer, where Anderson catches and kicks out Beavis for "whacking off"; the ATF spots Beavis walking around the camper pants-less and confront him, thinking he has the bioweapon on him. They are just about to open fire when Anderson opens his camper door and throws out Beavis's pants; the pants are ripped open by the ATF, with the bioweapon flying out of them. The weapon lands safely in Butt-Head's hand, who hands it to Flemming. Blame for the crime is ultimately pinned on Anderson and his wife, who are accused of trying to frame Beavis and Butt-Head, and arrested along with Dallas and Muddy. Flemming informs the boys that they are heroes and their adventure will remain top secret, they meet President Bill Clinton, who makes them honorary ATF agents.

Beavis and Butt-Head return to Highland and find their TV in front of the motel; the film ends with them carrying their TV into the sunset while insulting each other, then Beavis suggests going to Anderson's tool shed to masturbate.

Voice Cast[edit]

Demi Moore voices Dallas Grimes
Bruce Willis voices Muddy Grimes
Mike Judge, voice of Beavis and Butt-head for TV, returned to work on the film


Development for the film began in 1993 as part of a production deal with MTV, David Geffen, and Warner Bros. Geffen believed in the potential of the Beavis and Butt-head TV series that he suggested creating a movie and record album based on the program. They originally conceived it as a live action movie, with Saturday Night Live regulars David Spade and Adam Sandler to play the title characters in mind. After MTV's parent company Viacom purchased Paramount Pictures in 1994, the studio became a partner in the film, replacing Warner's interest in the project and dropping the live action concept under pressure from Beavis and Butt-Head creator Mike Judge.[6] Judge has stated production of the animated film was very ad hoc and had some difficulties with progressing due to most of the staff's television background. Beavis' hallucination sequence's design and animation was based on the works of Rob Zombie; the sequence's director was Chris Prynoski.

Deleted scene[edit]

When the film premiered on MTV on August 7, 1999, an additional deleted scene followed the airing: while visiting the National Archives, Beavis attempts to use the restroom, but cannot because of the lack of toilet paper in the stall. Coincidentally, Butt-head is angry because the urinals lack the automatic flushing mechanisms that had amazed him at Yellowstone National Park. After the rest of their tour group finishes looking at the encased Declaration of Independence, Beavis sneaks out, breaks the glass with the U.S. flag pole, and steals it to use as "T.P. for his bunghole." While Archive guards rush to see what happened, Beavis cleans up, and exits the stall with a piece of the Declaration, containing John Hancock's signature, stuck to his shoe. The scene does not appear on the DVD, although it is mentioned on the disc's commentary track. In the track, Judge noted that the scene did not test well.[citation needed] Another alternate scene was done for when Butt-Head meets Chelsea Clinton in her bedroom, which showed her packing up to leave the White House; this alternate scene was created in the event Bill Clinton lost his 1996 re-election bid to Bob Dole. However, by the spring of 1996, Judge ultimately decided to keep the original scene because he felt that it was looking as if Clinton was going to win his bid for re-election, which he would go on and do so that November.


Box office[edit]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America opened in North America on December 20, 1996, and earned $63.1 million at the US box office after opening at #1 with $20.1 million.[7] It had a $12 million production budget.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

The film held a 72% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 53 reviews, with a weighted average of 6.18/10. The consensus is: "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is unabashedly offensive, unapologetically stupid, and unexpectedly funny."[8] On Metacritic, the film has a 64 out of 100 rating based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[9]

Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times praised the film as a "vulgar" satire on American youth, and compared it favorably to Wayne's World.[10] On the movie review show Siskel and Ebert, Ebert's reviewing partner Gene Siskel gave the film a "modest recommendation", having been taken with the two lead characters. Ebert and Siskel ultimately awarded it a "two thumbs up" rating.[11]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Organization Award Awardee Result Citation
BMI Film & TV Awards BMI Film Music Award John Frizzell Won [citation needed]
1997 MTV Movie Awards Best On-Screen Duo Beavis and Butt-Head Nominated [12]
17th Golden Raspberry Awards Worst New Star Nominated [13]
Worst Screen Couple Nominated

Home media[edit]

The film was released on VHS on June 10, 1997 and on DVD on November 23, 1999, by Paramount Home Entertainment; the bonus features on the disc were a widescreen presentation, and two theatrical trailers. The film was re-released on a Special Edition DVD in 2006 as "The Edition That Doesn't Suck", it contained more in the way of bonus features such as audio commentaries, Spanish language tracks, more trailers, "Making of" documentaries, and more. It lacks the deleted National Archives scene. In 2013, "The Edition That Doesn't Suck" was re-released on DVD exclusively by Warner Home Video, under a deal with Paramount. Oddly enough, Warner Bros. was Geffen's distributor until The Geffen Company went bankrupt. Today, Warner Bros. holds home video distribution rights to all of Geffen Pictures's library.


Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedNovember 5, 1996
GenreHeavy metal
alternative rock
punk rock
hip hop
Singles from Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
  1. "Lesbian Seagull"
    Released: 1996
  2. "Love Rollercoaster"
    Released: November 1996
  3. "Ain't Nobody"
    Released: November 26, 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic2/5 stars link
Entertainment WeeklyC link
  1. "Two Cool Guys" – Isaac Hayes (3:06)
  2. "Love Rollercoaster" – Red Hot Chili Peppers (4:37)
  3. "Ain't Nobody" – LL Cool J (4:38)
  4. "Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls" – White Zombie (3:53)
  5. "I Wanna Riot" – Rancid with Stubborn All-Stars (3:59)
  6. "Walk on Water" – Ozzy Osbourne (4:18) *
  7. "Snakes" – No Doubt (4:34)
  8. "Pimp'n Ain't EZ" – Madd Head (4:21)
  9. "The Lord Is a Monkey" (Rock Version) – Butthole Surfers (4:44)
  10. "White Trash" by Southern Culture on the Skids (2:03)
  11. "Gone Shootin'" – AC/DC (5:05)
  12. "Lesbian Seagull" – Engelbert Humperdinck (3:39)

Noticeably missing are "Mucha Muchacha", the version of "Lesbian Seagull" with Mr. Van Driessen singing, and the score tracks performed by The London Metropolitan Orchestra, which were released on a separate album.

"Two Cool Guys", written and performed by soul/funk musician Isaac Hayes, is a semi-parody of Hayes' Academy Award-winning "Theme from Shaft". It incorporates the theme from the Beavis and Butt-head television series as a rhythm guitar line, and series creator Mike Judge, who wrote the theme, is given a co-writing credit with Hayes in the soundtrack liner notes; the opening credit sequence which the song features in is a take-off on popular 1970s cop movies and TV shows with Beavis and Butt-Head as hip ace sleuth Lothario detectives.

The version of Ozzy Osbourne's "Walk on Water" is not the same version included in the film; the film used an earlier demo version, while the soundtrack itself contains a later, revised version. The original demo, which appears in the film, can be found on Osbourne's Prince of Darkness box set. Ozzy and co-writer Jim Vallance both prefer the demo version heard in the film.[14] "Walk on Water" was released as a single and peaked at number 28 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[15]


  1. ^ a b c "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America". American Film Institute. Retrieved January 15, 2017.
  2. ^ "Title << British Board of Film Classification". British Board of Film Classification. January 13, 1997. Retrieved July 8, 2011.
  3. ^ a b Dutka, Elaine (December 24, 1996). "Beavis and Butt-head Make Creator and Paramount Proud". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  5. ^ Thomas, Kevin (December 20, 1996). "Road Trip the Right Vehicle for Beavis and Butt-head". The Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  6. ^ Ellen, Claudia (January 17, 1997). "The Geffen Camp Heh-Hehs All the Way to the Bank". The Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 20-22, 1996". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  8. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved July 8, 2019.
  9. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved September 8, 2015.
  10. ^ Roger Ebert's review of Beavis and Butt-head Do America
  11. ^ Siskel and Ebert review Beavis and Butt-head Do America
  12. ^ "1997 MTV Movie Awards". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  13. ^ Wilson, John (2007). "Seventeenth Annual Razzies (1996)". The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446510080.
  14. ^ "Walk On Water". Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  15. ^ "Billboard singles chart history-Ozzy Osbourne". Archived from the original on February 20, 2009. Retrieved February 17, 2009.

External links[edit]