Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

(National Lampoon's) Animal House (1978)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

(National Lampoon's) Animal House (1978)

In John Landis' classic, low-budget, very popular, low-brow, 'gross-out' anarchistic frat house comedy from National Lampoon was the first big-studio comedy of its kind aimed specifically at the teen and college demographic. It was Landis' follow-up film to the previous year's Kentucky Fried Movie (1977). Following the film was a TV series sitcom titled Delta House (1979).

It set the standard for many subsequent teen comedies in the 1980s and after, and influenced films such as Porky's (1981), the Police Academy (1984-1994) and American Pie (1999-2012) film franchises, Up the Academy (1980), and Old School (2003). The 'guilty pleasure' R-rated film was an unexpected major hit - and the first of many other successors. It provided star-making roles for many young actors (John Belushi, Kevin Bacon, Tom Hulce, Tim Matheson, Stephen Furst, and Karen Allen). See Sex in Films - for uncensored version.

The quintessential college frat party film was set at fictional Faber College in the fall of 1962. It portrayed the rivalry between the prestigious Omega frat house, and the misfit Delta Tau Chi fraternity house - known for debauchery, drinking, and other misadventures.

In the film's opening, two innocent freshman pledges who were best friends: shy Lawrence "Pinto" Kroger (Tom Hulce) and fat Kent "Flounder" Dorfman (Stephen Furst), had just been given the brush-off at the snotty Omega Theta Pi. So they decided to visit the Delta House closeby. Half of a mannequin crashed through a window and landed at their feet as they arrived. Out on the front lawn, they came up to the degenerate, slovenly John "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi), who was visibly drunk (with a large glass vial of beer in his hand) and urinating. When they asked him: "Excuse me, sir, is this the Delta House?" he turned mid-stream toward them to answer, and proceeded to pee on both of them: "Sure, come on in." As they followed him up the frat's front porch steps, they each shook out their pants' legs with urine on them. With a slight grin and upturned arched eyebrows, he opened up the front door to the raucous party inside. He urged them: "Have a brew. Don't cost nothin'." The two potential recruits were shocked by the sight of Daniel Simpson "D-Day" Day (Bruce McGill) riding his motorcycle up the interior stairs of the frat house.

The Delta fraternity, represented by Delta's Sgt-at-Arms John "Bluto" Blutarsky (John Belushi, a Saturday Night Live regular), was pitted in a madcap war against some ROTC members and the main Faber College administrator - the school’s Dean Vernon Wormer (John Vernon), who was in cahoots with the Omegas (presided over by the smug, jock athlete Greg Marmalard (James Daughton), and the ROTC cadet commander Doug Neidermeyer (Mark Metcalf), another member of the Omega house. The Dean described the regular antics of the Deltas: "Who dropped a whole truckload of fizzies into the varsity swim meet? Who delivered the medical school cadavers to the alumni dinner? Every Halloween, the trees are filled with underwear. Every spring, the toilets explode." Marmalard also had deep animosity for the Delta's slim and suave Delta rush chairman Eric "Otter" Stratton (Tim Matheson), who had previously dated and had sex with his present girlfriend Mandy Pepperidge (Mary Louise Weller), and was continually flirting with her.

Dean Vernon Wormer (John Vernon)

Greg Marmalard (James Daughton)

ROTC Cadet Commander Neidermeyer (Mark Metcalf)

Faber College's animalistic, misfit, beer-bellied, Delta fraternity member "Bluto" delivered other numerous gross-out belches and slobbish behavior (such as crushing beer cans on his head). In the cafeteria lunch line - he first munched on a hard-boiled egg with the shell (from the discarded food area), and during his progress along the counter, he piled up and overloaded food on his tray (and took bites out of a few items and put back the half-eaten remains), stuffed his pockets, and filled his mouth with an entire hamburger.

At the cafeteria table, Bluto was asked by frat boy Greg Marmalard: "Don't you have any respect for yourself?"; when he sucked (or slurped) down a plate of bright green Jell-O in one gulp, one of the preppy sorority girls Barbara "Babs" Sue Jansen (Martha Smith) was also disgusted by him: "It is absolutely gross. That boy is a P-I-G, pig"; he followed up with a guess-what-I-am-impersonation: ("See if you can guess what I am now"), then punched his cheeks with his fists to send a cream puff in all directions: ("I'm a zit. Geddit?"). Then he instigated a food fight with the battle cry: "Food Fight!"

Bluto's Slobbish Behavior

One of its classic scenes was the 'Peeping Tom' scene of prankster "Bluto" perched on a ladder outside the Pi sorority house top story window, watching a topless pillow fight. He glanced backwards to share a conspiratorial glance with the voyeuristic film audience behind him when he began spying on an undressing Mandy Pepperidge, Greg Marmalard’s girlfriend, in her room. She momentarily touched herself, and in the excitement, Bluto's ladder tipped backwards.

After an attempt at cheating by the Delta frat members failed miserably, Dean Wormer visited the fraternity house to tell them that their grade point average was the "the lowest in Faber history." He warned that they had already been on "double secret probation" all semester, and one more slip-up would doom them.

To cheer themselves up, the frat house held a wild "Toga, Toga" party; during the Toga Party (which soon became a nationwide, raging phenomenon), on the stairway, Bluto smashed the guitar of a folk singer (Stephen Bishop) singing a sickly-sweet song: "I gave my love a cherry / That had no stone / I gave my love a chicken / That had no bones / I gave my love a story / That had no end / I gave ..." The Dean's alcoholic and lecherous wife Marion (Verna Bloom) was invited to the party by "Otter" and submitted to having sex with him. (Later, after the Dean found out about her embarrassing indiscretions, he shipped his wife off to vacation by herself in Sarasota Springs.)

During the toga party, new recruit Larry "Pinto" Kroger had invited a young supermarket clerk named Clorette DePasto (Sarah Holcomb) to the party. He brought her to a friend's room, where they made out, but then as the coed was helpfully removing her bra (with tissues stuffed inside), she passed out from excessive drinking. "Pinto" debated with a devil and angel figure (his conscience) on his shoulders about whether to take advantage of her: Devil: "F--k her. F--k her brains out. Suck her tits. Squeeze her buns. You know she wants it." Angel: "For shame! Lawrence, I'm surprised at you!" Devil: "Aw, don't listen to that jack-off. Look at those gazongas. You'll never get a better chance." Angel: "If you lay one finger on that poor sweet helpless girl, you'll despise yourself forever... I'm proud of you, Lawrence." Devil: "You homo"). "Pinto" ultimately resisted sexual temptation and took her home curled up in a shopping cart - and to his shock discovered later that she was the mayor's 13 year-old daughter.

Clorette DePasto (Sarah Holcomb) Just Before She Passed Out With Pinto

"Pinto's" Dilemma - Advice From Angel and Devil Figures

At a Probation Committee hearing and disciplinary student council meeting chaired by Greg, Sgt-At-Arms Neidermeyer listed several infractions of the Delts, including serving alcohol to freshmen during pledge week, a deficient grade-point average, the use of narcotic diet pills during mid-term exam week, and the debaucheries of the uproarious Roman Toga party, including "two dozen reports of individual acts of perversion SO profound and disgusting that decorum prohibits listing them here." After the Delts in the audience caused further disruptions (coughing as they blurted out "Blow-job" and "Eat me"), Otter spoke up to defend them: "The issue here is not whether we broke a few rules, or took a few liberties with our female party guests - we did. But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick perverted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, Greg - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society?" Nevertheless, the Dean threatened to revoke Delta's charter, and warned them for the last time, with the threat of expulsion, that there was to be "no more fun of any kind." The Delts discovered that all of their frat's belongings were also confiscated.

During a road trip to the nearby Emily Dickinson College, an all-girls school, "Otter" played a clever but tasteless trick on one of the female students. He convinced Shelly Dubinsky (Lisa Baur) that he was Frank Lyman - the uninformed fiancee of her recently-deceased roommate Fawn Liebowitz. (He knew of her death reported in the newspaper due to a kiln explosion.) He asked: "I don't think l should be alone tonight. Would you go out with me?" She cooperatively found dates for his three friends, and sympathetically provided him with grief-counseling by making out with him in a car.

After dismal midterm grades for the Deltas, the Dean reprimanded many of the frat members in his office, with the classic line delivered to "Flounder" Dorfman: "Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son." The Delta house members were expelled from Faber, making them eligible for the military draft, encouraged by the Dean ("l have notified your local draft boards and told them that you are now all eligible for military service").

This prompted Bluto to deliver a memorable, factually-inaccurate, motivational challenge to his fellow frat brothers to join him to seek revenge on Dean Wormer and the clean-cut Omegas, after the Delta House Fraternity had been closed and they had all been kicked out of school and the war was "over": ("What? Over? Did you say over? Nothing's over until we decide it is. Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!...And it ain't over now. 'Cause when the goin' gets tough, the tough get goin'. Who's with me? Let's go. Come on!").

Bluto: "Did you say over? Nothing is over until we decide it is..."

After Bluto ran to the front door but no one followed him, he returned to chastize everyone: "What the f--k happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. 'Ooh, we're afraid to go with you, Bluto, we might get in trouble.' (shouting) Well, just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer..." Otter agreed with Bluto: "Dead! Bluto's right. Psychotic, but absolutely right. We gotta take these bastards. Now, we could fight 'em with conventional weapons. That could take years and cost millions of lives. No, in this case, I think we have to go all out. I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part"; Bluto shouted: "We're just the guys to do it...LET'S DO IT!"

The Deltas' plan was to sabotage and ruin the next day's annual homecoming parade, with a "Deathmobile" - a modified armored vehicle - hidden inside a red and white cake-shaped breakaway parade float (with the words "EAT ME" on the side). During the parade, the cake-float (with the 'Deathmobile' concealed underneath) was driven by D-Day and steered to disable and divert all of the other floats - with its final target the main viewing podium. A cheerleader from one of the floats was catapulted into the room of a Playboy-reading young kid, who thanked God for his good luck. Out from the cake-float emerged the 'Deathmobile' that rammed into the bleachers, destroyed the platform, and upended the Dean, his wife, the mayor and their guests.

"Bluto" (John Belushi) with Two Pledges: "Pinto" and "Flounder"

Bluto: "Have a brew. Don't cost nothin'"

"D-Day" Riding Up Stairs on His Motorcycle Inside the Deltas' Frat House

Cheerleader Girlfriends Dating Omegas (l to r): "Babs" Jansen (Martha Smith) and Mandy Pepperidge (Mary Louise Weller)

Delta's "Otter" (Tim Matheson) Flirting Inappropriately with Greg's Girlfriend Mandy

Bluto Watching Sorority House Pillow Fight From Window

"Peeping Tom" Scene - Watching Coed Mandy Pepperidge

"Toga, Toga" Party

Bluto Smashing Singer's Guitar on Staircase

Dean Wormer's Drunken Wife Marion (Verna Bloom) at the Toga Party with "Otter"

Otter's Defense of the Fraternity Before the Disciplinary Council

"Otter's" Impersonation of the Grieving Fiancee to the Deceased's Female Roommate Shelly Dubinsky (Lisa Baur)

"Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son"

Playboy-Reading Kid Interrupted by Cheerleader Catapulted From a Crashed Float During the Homecoming Parade: "Thank you, God!"

The Secret Weapon Under a Red-and-White Cake Float - the "Deathmobile"


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