SPOTTED: Adventures in Babysitting Edition!

Hey, remember Dino Drac’s “Spotted” series? Where we locate random fun things hiding in old TV shows and movies? Probably not, since I only made one entry. I think we’re long overdue for a second.

Today’s find is from 1987’s Adventures in Babysitting, the kind-of-classic starring Elisabeth Shue, whose character has an… uh… adventure while babysitting. I’ll forever remember the film for making “Don’t fuck with the Lords of Hell” a permanent part of my non sequitur reserve.

It’s a cute little movie, but I’m not here to regurgitate its IMDB plot summary. I’m here for what’s on the shelf in the little girl’s bedroom.

With the pending arrival of Elisabeth Shue, the kids she’ll be babysitting are all atwitter. Especially the older boy, Brad. This is understandable. Elisabeth Shue was totally crush-worthy, even without the Back to the Future connection.

Searching for zit cream because God damn, what a time for a zit, Brad interrogates his younger sister, Sara. Sara is the heart and soul of the film. She’s obsessed with the mighty Thor, and has the helmet to prove it.

In fact, her whole bedroom is full of Thor stuff. This might lead you to believe that Thor is going to be the focus of today’s post, but he ain’t. Everyone knows about this movie’s connection to Thor. That’s old news.

But this isn’t:

After retrieving the zit cream, Brad wastes no time in applying it, and wait, WHAT IS THAT on Sara’s shelf?

Oh, you know what it is. The severe blur cannot hide it. Sara was the proud owner of a My Pet Monster doll!

I’ve written about this guy many times, but since I’m averse to digging up ancient and horrible articles, here’s a primer:

In the vein of My Buddy dolls, My Pet Monster was more than a mere pillow pal. Obtaining one was as good as making a new friend. Kids who had them treated ‘em like living creatures. They came with us to Grandma’s. They ate our leftovers. They were loved and respected.

Owing to his false reputation as as troublemaker, My Pet Monster came with break-apart handcuffs. If you had the doll but can’t remember the handcuffs, it’s because everyone who owned one lost those immediately. It wasn’t a rite of passage, but it might as well have been.

Despite being so seemingly boy-targeted, My Pet Monster was a big hit with girls, too. Sara from Adventures in Babysitting was far from the only female fan.

Of course, Sara did it all wrong. You weren’t supposed to shove My Pet Monster on a shelf! He was supposed to be with you, in the middle of the action!

I’m willing to chalk this up to Mom cleaning Sara’s room earlier that day. It better be that, or I swear, I will travel back in time, storm the set, and make Maia Brewton cry her eyes out. It’ll get me in enormous trouble. Don’t fuck with the Lords of Hell.


43 Responses to SPOTTED: Adventures in Babysitting Edition!

  1. Hmmmm…I remember something similar with Home Alone on an old blog someone used to run…

  2. Yeah, I’ll do more of the full Dissections here, too. :) It’s one of the few things I don’t mind carrying over outright.

  3. You should do Mac & Me if you haven’t already. There’s plenty of shots of 80′s toys.

  4. On the list! :)

  5. My Pet Monster was named Spike.

  6. In a similar vein, I’ve been told Cheetor from Beast Wars appears in Jennifer Lopez’s underwear drawer (!) in “Angel Eyes”. I’ve never been able to verify, because to do so I’d have to watch a movie that has J-Lo, but doesn’t have an anaconda.

  7. I love this freaking movie, and I most especially love Sara’s bedroom and all the fun stuff she had in there. Definitely in the Top 5 of Cool Kid’s Bedrooms from 80s Movies.

  8. i bet almost every episode of silver spoons that featured ricky’s bedroom is full of pure gold. no pun intended.

  9. I have never watched Adventures in Babysitting. I think it’s definitely a movie I could watch.

    I know My Pet Monster had a Saturday Morning Cartoon, and other merch. I didn’t get into him though, perhaps I was too young. I have a Cabbage Patch sized Troll doll, A Cabbage Patch Kid including trash bag filled with homemade clothes, but no My Pet Monster. Oh well if I see him at Goodwill I know I would pick him up.

  10. I really wanted one of those, but it was to scary for my parents. I would still marry Elizabeth shoe, if she would only notice me.

  11. I don’t think the dolls were sold down here, but I definitely remember the cartoon series.

  12. Random thought, but man that girl is pretty damn good at drawing Thor.

    I never named My Pet Monster. That kind of makes me sad now.

  13. I remember the app game.

  14. I always wanted My Pet Monster. I was obsessed with the cartoon and loved the toy. I never got him… I am bitter to this day about it. I swear one day I will own him. It’s a longtime personal goal.

    I’ve probably already shared this story on X-E back in the day but eh, my memory is fuzzy and I’m too lazy to go dredge up old old posts. One of the coolest 80′s movie stuff moments involved Pyrex.

    I went to Brazil a few years back and I was having trouble finding/thinking of things made in America to take them as a gift. So one day I’m in a thrift and here’s a nice stacking set of 80′s wheat cinderella bowls. So I nabbed them and didn’t think twice (I’m a bit of a Pyrex whore). So I present them to my friend’s family thinking they’ll flip over them like I do. Nope.. they just kinda eye them and are like whatever.

    So I’m kinda butthurt until next week. We’re staying at the beach and have satellite TV (gift from GOD!!) and they’re channel surfing and they stop on some random 80′s flick I don’t recognize with Rick Moranis. Well they sit down to have dinner and guess what exact dishes are on the table!? They were impressed and after that the Pyrex was well received. Thank you random Rick Moranis movie! <3

  15. I like that the Cabbage Patch Doll seems to be sitting on the Monster’s knee like he’s Santa. Maybe they’re secretly villains trying to formulate a plan to take down Thor?

  16. Some guys are out to get us,and Brenda’s probably dead.My Pet Monster’s home on a shelf,And we should be in bed’cause It’s SO HARD!C’Mon ,Everybody!!!

  17. “Nobody leaves this place without singing the blues.”

    You got a smile out of me, Brian.

  18. Wow. I actually do have this movie. It’s an old favorite of mine. We taped it probably not long after it debuted on cable in the 80s, though my DVD copy is only from about two years ago. I haven’t watched it in a while, though. I always knew Sara was a smart kid. Heck, she got the best lines – “Get in the car and run him over.”

  19. I remember loving this movie when it was shown on HBO every afternoon or so. I remember Vincent D’Onofrio was in it, but now I went all IMDB on it and so was Penelope Ann Miller and Bradley Whitford.

    Also I just found out Maia Brewton was also in the first BTTF as I guess Marty’s mom’s sister (or Marty’s aunt, but it’s hard for me to say that since it’s when she was a kid). Elizabeth Shue wasn’t in that one, of course, but still kind of an interesting connection.

  20. i see a fluppy dog! cecily plexer is on my all time hate list of bit part snobs and villians……….

  21. I noticed a BOGGLIN In “home alone” recently!
    The scene where Kevin is climbing buzz’ bookcase.
    When it comes crashing down, you can see a BOGGLIN.

  22. Wow, don’t have your volume turned up too high when you start that commercial.

  23. Harry, if only I had scrolled down.

    On a site fix note: There seems to be a bug I keep getting in the comments. It’s not a huge one, but seems to happen with Chrome. There are three boxes above the comments “Name,” “Email” and “Website”. Name and Email are on the same line, you can imagine how livid I am.

  24. I love My Pet Monster! Wasn’t there a movie about him?

  25. I completely forgot how big that thing was. Must have been pretty cumbersome to tote that guy along for adventures.

  26. I have this bizarre thing where I really don’t remember owning a My Pet Monster but I remember the handcuffs, clear as day. I probably had one. But to my brain he was never as cool as break-apart handcuffs I could use to pretend I was a slave every time my mom made me clean my room.

  27. I had the pink Fluppy Dog!!! The short lived Disney cartoon was one of my favorite TV specials that my parents so lovingly recorded for me on VHS.

  28. Had the doll, loved it with every inch of my soul…one day when I was at school mom decided to give it to a charity toy drive. I am still recovering from that one…

  29. Awesome article. I love noticing stuff like this in movies and tv shows. I can’t think of anything similar off the top of my head except the old Cheetos bag and the Grizzlor figure in The Princess Bride that was covered by some guy that looks a lot like you, Matt.

    LOVE Adventures in Babysitting. Such a great 80s movie. I think my favorite part is the blues bar scene that has already been referenced in the comments. Great quotes, too. Aside from the aforementioned “Don’t fuck with the Lords of Hell” and “Don’t nobody leave this place without singing the blues,” I also like “Get out of my house!” and “You spiked her Tab with Draino???”

    This is another movie that is supposedly being remade, which makes me mildly stabby. Raven Symone was supposed to be in it, then dropped out. Miley Cyrus was supposedly attached at some point, too, but now she’s out, too. Maybe it will never get made. Good.

  30. God, My Pet Monster was amazing. He was huge and those hand cuffs were big enough that you could use them when you needed to “arrest” someone in the course of playing whatever it was we kids used to play before there was internet. Or as an early introduction to kink if you were that kind of eight year old…

  31. The set cre probably put him up on that shelf while they were decorating the set, not knowing they were not supposed to put it up there.

    Sara= He says you’re a homo.

    Dawson= Are you spreading rumors about me kid?

  32. Happy SNT. Just got home from my local brew pub and the owner also works for a tele-digital company and he recently upgraded a small hospital. Turns out he had it in his good heart to give me the phone that has been in the morgue since 1969. It’s the only brown phone around.
    Pretty sure this is how hauntings start. Let’s hope! Just kidding. Or am I? No. Maybe? mmrr…

  33. I luv U, Adventures in Babysitting.

    And before anyone asks what the hell I’m still doing up, my hubby took the kid and went to visit his parents for the weekend. So I’ve been cleaning and playing with power tools. Which isn’t a sexual innuendo. But I guess technically the innuendo would also be true.

  34. Flight of the Navigator and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles seem like good potential candidates for this.

  35. A good SPOTTED would be the pile of toys NASA gives David in Flight of the Navigator….only onscreen for a few seconds!

  36. Absolutely one of my favorite toys as a kid. I got it for Easter, which is also how I found out there was no Easter Bunny. I was thrilled to come downstairs and find it sitting in my Easter basket, but a little bummed to find the box and receipt for it in the trash. “The Easter Bunny” didn’t think to at least bury it down in the bottom of the trash can.

    Those last couple of years I was pretty much just playing along anyway, so at that point, the jig was pretty much up.

    Oh, and going back the movie novelization discussion from a few posts ago, I have the novelization for Adventures in Babysitting, but I don’t know that I’ve ever actually read it. I also have one based on Family Ties titled “Alex Gets the Business”. I’ve thought about digging both of those out of storage and doing a sort of Matt-style book report post on both.

  37. Loved this movie. Major crush on Elizabeth Shue from this one, too. Karate Kid and BTTF didn’t hurt that, either.

    I just happened to catch the end of this movie on TV a few weeks ago – first time I’d seen any part of it in almost two decades. I was BLOWN AWAY that the body shop/Thor guy at the end was Vincent D’Onofrio. Somehow it all made sense, but I never would have made the connection without seeing it. So weird.

    That girl who played Sara went on to play the little sister on Parker Lewis Can’t Lose, as well. I don’t think she did much else after that, but she was awesome on both projects.

  38. Such a great movie! I’m not sure if I ever noticed MPM in the movie before. I always wanted one, but never did get it. I had a friend who got one, and I played with it every time I was at his house. I know they re-released him a few years ago, and missed out on him then too! Too damn expensive on Ebay as well.

    “Don’t fuck with the Lords of Hell!”, is the best line of the whole movie(lots of other good lines). I can’t count how many times my brother and I repeated that line. I still do from time to time.

  39. Totally agreed on the Flight of the Navigator. The room full of goodies looked like heaven to my kid brain, but to this day, I have no idea what wonders that room actually held.

  40. I love My Pet Monster.. he’s sitting in my closet now, up on the shelf, lording over the lesser toys. I used to wear those orange handcuffs all the time as a kid, and yup, totally lost em. They made another version of the Monster around the late 90′s I think, but it lacked the giant pickle nose, that always to me seemed to be packed full of boogers.

  41. i think i suggested this to you via tumblr, but you should totally write about the kid’s bedroom in Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead. i guess the kid in Adventures in Babysitting got pigeonholed into babysitting movies, because it’s the same actor.
    that stoner kid’s room had some badass stuff scattered around it, i’m pretty sure the shock of which is the reason the babysitter dies.

  42. For the record, I totally didn’t lose the cuffs from the My Pet Monster doll. Those things were some of my favorite toys ever. Unfortunately, the the chain did eventually break, but I still kept the cuffs, and they are on my old My Pet Monster to this day, sitting out in my storage building.

  43. That goofball girl has THE FORCE LIGHTSABER leaning against the dresser!

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