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Beavis and Butt-Head Do America

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Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
At the forefront of the poster are the two title characters – Beavis on the left, Butt-Head on the right – who are also shown riding motorcycles at the lower area.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byMike Judge
Written by
Based onBeavis and Butt-Head
by Mike Judge
Produced byAbby Terkuhle
Edited by
  • Gunter Glinka
  • Terry Kelley
  • Neil Lawrence
Music byJohn Frizzell
Color processDeluxe Entertainment Services
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release dates
Running time
81 minutes[2]
CountryUnited States
Budget$12 million[3]
Box office$63.1 million[4]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is a 1996 American adult animated comedy road film based on the MTV animated television series Beavis and Butt-Head.[5] The film was co-written and directed by series creator Mike Judge, who also reprises his roles from the series; Demi Moore, Bruce Willis, Robert Stack and Cloris Leachman star in supporting roles. The film follows Beavis and Butt-Head, two teen slackers who travel the US and unknowingly become fugitives.

Previous offers by MTV to adapt Beavis and Butt-Head to film were rejected by Judge, before he eventually agreed to the film in 1994. As production began, the series' staff halted production while Judge wrote the screenplay with Joe Stillman. John Frizzell composed the film's score.

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America premiered at Mann's Chinese Theater on December 15, 1996, and was released in the United States on December 20, 1996, by Paramount Pictures. The film later aired on MTV in 1999. It also aired on VH1 in 2003. The film was a critical and commercial success, grossing $63.1 million in the United States and becoming the largest December box office opening of all time until it was surpassed the following year by Scream 2, and was the second highest-grossing animated film of 1996, behind Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame. A sequel, Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe, was released in 2022.


One day, Beavis and Butt-Head discover that someone broke into their house and stole their TV Set, and set out to find it. After several failed attempts to obtain one, they come across a motel which offers one in every room. They meet Muddy Grimes, who mistakes them for hired hitmen and offers them $10,000 to "do" his wife Dallas in Las Vegas. Thinking he wants them to have sex with her, Butt-Head convinces Beavis that they can "score" and buy a new television set.

Muddy drives the boys to the airport. In Las Vegas, Beavis and Butt-Head arrive at their hotel room, but Dallas catches them eavesdropping and holds them at gunpoint. The boys refuse Dallas' offer of $20,000 to "do" Muddy and argue over who will "do" Dallas first. Realizing that Beavis and Butt-Head have misunderstood their instructions, she plants the X-5 unit, a stolen biological weapon, in Beavis' shorts. She tells them to meet her for sex at the U.S. Capitol, but actually plans to kill them and recover the unit.

Beavis and Butt-Head board a tour bus. After they accidentally sabotage Hoover Dam, Agent Flemming of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) becomes convinced that the duo are criminal masterminds and places them on the FBI's most-wanted list. At Yellowstone National Park, Beavis and Butt-Head accidentally board the wrong bus, joining a busload of nuns who are repulsed by the boys and abandon them in Petrified Forest National Park. After walking through the desert, the boys meet two former Mötley Crüe roadies, oblivious that they are their biological fathers.

Muddy returns to the motel and meets the real hitmen. He angrily swears to track down and kill Beavis and Butt-Head. The hitmen, who stole Beavis and Butt-Head's TV Set but instead of continuing to transport it decide to leave it and continue to steal other things from people, abandon it in front of the motel. Beavis and Butt-Head awaken to find the drifters gone and continue walking until they become dehydrated and weak, they start to see their lives flash before their eyes, with Butthead reminiscing on him and Beavis growing up together while Beavis sees himself as a sperm cell going inside an ovum. While suffering dehydration, Beavis takes a bite out of a peyote cactus, causing him to have hallucinations of himself and Butt-Head being in a heavy-metal type music video.

Muddy finds Beavis and Butt-Head. After learning that Dallas intends to meet them, he puts them in his trunk and drives on. In Virginia, they jump out onto the interstate and cause a 400-car pileup. They walk past the scene and board their original tour bus, stopping at the Capitol before reaching the White House. Muddy confronts Dallas in a parking garage before she can meet Beavis and Butt-Head. She seduces him and they have sex in his car but are found and arrested by the ATF.

The ATF is dispatched to the White House because Beavis and Butt-Head are there on the same day as a peace conference. Beavis consumes caffeine and sugar and transforms into Cornholio, his hyperactive alter ego. Wandering into the Oval Office, he picks up the red phone, causing a military alert. Butt-Head attempts to seduce Chelsea Clinton but is thrown out of her bedroom window. He is detained and cavity-searched by ATF officers.

Beavis goes to their neighbor Tom Anderson's travel trailer, where Anderson catches him masturbating and throws him out. The ATF, thinking Beavis has the bioweapon, are about to open fire when Anderson throws out Beavis' pants. The bioweapon flies into Butt-Head's hand and he casually gives it to Flemming. Anderson is falsely accused of trying to frame Beavis and Butt-Head, and is arrested along with Dallas and Muddy while his wife is taken for a cavity search. Flemming proclaims Beavis and Butt-Head heroes, and they meet President Bill Clinton, who makes them honorary ATF agents. Beavis and Butt-Head return to Highland, upset that they did not have sex or receive money, but they find their television at the motel, and walk into the sunset carrying it and insulting each other until Beavis suggests going into Anderson's tool shed to masturbate.

Voice cast[edit]

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

Greg Kinnear has an uncredited role as ATF Agent Bork;[6] David Letterman (credited as Earl Hofert) had a role as a Mötley Crüe roadie.[7][8][9]


Development began in 1993 as part of a production deal with MTV, David Geffen, and Warner Bros. Geffen so believed in the potential of the Beavis and Butt-head TV series that he suggested creating a film and record album based on the program. They originally conceived it in live action, with Saturday Night Live regulars David Spade and Adam Sandler in mind to play the title characters. After MTV's parent company Viacom acquired Paramount Pictures's parent company Paramount Communications on July 7, 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 series creator Mike Judge.[10] 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. The animation of the film was provided by Rough Draft Korea. The 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 commentary track. In the track, Judge noted that the scene did not test well.

A deleted scene showing Chelsea Clinton packing up to leave the White House was also shot as an alternative to the scene in the film depicting Butt-Head meeting Chelsea in her bedroom, in the event that Bill Clinton should lose his 1996 reelection bid to Bob Dole; however, by the spring of 1996, Judge chose to keep the original scene, feeling confident that Clinton would win his reelection bidwhich he ultimately did that November.


Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Soundtrack album by
various artists
ReleasedNovember 5, 1996
Beavis and Butt-Head chronology
The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
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
  4. "Walk On Water"
    Released: 1996
Professional ratings
Review scores
AllMusic link
Entertainment WeeklyC link
Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack[11]
1."Two Cool Guys (Theme from Beavis and Butt-Head Do America)" (Isaac Hayes)
  • Hayes
  • Ron Christopher (co.)
  • Mike Judge (co.)
  • Mark Kates (co.)
2."Love Rollercoaster" (Red Hot Chili Peppers)
3."Ain't Nobody" (LL Cool J)
Rashad Smith4:37
4."Ratfinks, Suicide Tanks and Cannibal Girls" (White Zombie)3:52
5."I Wanna Riot" (Rancid with Stubborn All-Stars)
  • Tim Armstrong
  • Lars Frederiksen
6."Walk on Water" (Ozzy Osbourne)Moby4:16
7."Snakes" (No Doubt)No Doubt4:34
8."Pimp'n Ain't EZ" (Madd Head)Jerome Evans4:21
9."The Lord is a Monkey" (Rock Version) (Butthole Surfers)Butthole SurfersPaul Leary4:44
10."White Trash" (Southern Culture on the Skids)Rick Miller
  • Mark Williams
  • Southern Culture on the Skids
11."Gone Shootin'" (AC/DC)Vanda & Young5:04
12."Lesbian Seagull" (Engelbert Humperdinck)Tom Wilson WeinbergJohn Frizzell3:50

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 is a take-off on popular 1970s cop movies and TV shows with Beavis and Butt-Head as hip ace sleuth Lothario detectives.[12]

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. Osbourne and co-writer Jim Vallance both prefer the demo version heard in the film.[13] "Walk on Water" was released as a single and peaked at number 28 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart.[14]

The use of AC/DC's "Gone Shootin'" is particularly fitting for the series, as Judge himself would eventually admit the guitar solo that serves as the show's theme was in fact the solo from the AC/DC song played backwards.

The soundtrack was re-released in 2016 on a special edition LP picture disc.[15]


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[16] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[17] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


Box office[edit]

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America opened at number 1 in North America on December 20, 1996, collecting $20.1 million in its opening weekend.[18] Upon its release, it generated the highest December opening weekend, breaking the former record held by Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country.[19] The film overall earned $63.1 million at the US box office.[20] It had a $12 million production budget.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes the film has approval rating of 71% based on 55 reviews and an average of 6.4/10. The site's consensus reads: "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America is unabashedly offensive, unapologetically stupid, and unexpectedly funny."[21] On Metacritic, the film has a 64 out of 100 rating based on 16 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[22] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B+" on an A+ to F scale.[23]

Roger Ebert of Chicago Sun-Times praised the film as a "vulgar" satire on American youth, and compared it favorably to Wayne's World.[24] On the film 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.[25] Ty Burr writing for Entertainment Weekly gave it a C+ saying it "turns from spoofing teenage dimness to merely embodying it."[26] In a retrospective review in Jacobin for the film's 25th anniversary, writer Leonard Pierce praised Beavis and Butt-Head Do America for its continued relevancy into the 21st century. Pierce described the film as "the greatest satire of the twenty-first-century American security state," adding that "we wouldn't be talking about the film at all today if it wasn't still painfully funny, with a distinctly 2020s nervous energy and a rowdy, bubbling pace that never slows down." Pierce concluded that Beavis and Butt-Head Do America "seems far fresher today than anything Matt Stone and Trey Parker have done this century."[27]


Organization Award Awardee Result Ref.
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 [28]
17th Golden Raspberry Awards Worst New Star Nominated [29]
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.[30] It was re-released on a Special Edition DVD in 2006 as "The Edition That Doesn't Suck".

The video went straight to number one in the official UK video charts on release[31] of which it stayed at the number one spot for two weeks[32] before moving to number two during its third week.[33] The movie spent a total of 17 weeks on the official video charts in the UK.[34]

The film was released on Blu-ray for the first time on December 7, 2021, by Paramount Home Entertainment, in commemoration of the film's 25th anniversary.[35][36]


In the years following, many fans rumored the possibility of a sequel or follow-up to the film, tentatively titled Beavis and Butt-Head: The Sequel[37] or Beavis and Butt-Head 2.[38] On August 31, 2009, during the promotion of Extract, Judge said he would like to see Beavis and Butt-Head on the big screen again.[37] In 2019, Judge revealed that he has "some ideas" for a new film, saying there might be potential for a live-action version of the show.[39] In February 2021, it was announced that a new Beavis and Butt-Head movie was in production for Paramount+, with Mike Judge on board. Beavis and Butt-Head Do the Universe was released on June 23, 2022.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America". American Film Institute. Retrieved November 15, 2019.
  2. ^ "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America". 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". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 8, 2010.
  4. ^ "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996 film)". 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. ^ "Beavis and Butthead do America: Special Collector's Edition". Cinema Blend. May 27, 2016.
  7. ^ McKinney, Luke (January 12, 2016). "15 Things You Might Not Know About Beavis and Butt-Head". IFC. Archived from the original on January 14, 2016.
  8. ^ Nadel, Nick (August 15, 2014). "The Greatest 'Celebrity Cameos' In The History Of 'Beavis And Butt-Head'". MTV. Archived from the original on January 11, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  9. ^ Harris, Will (August 26, 2022). "Mike Judge Interview: David Letterman Should Come Back To 'Beavis And Butt-Head'". Decider. Archived from the original on January 11, 2023. Retrieved January 11, 2023.
  10. ^ Eller, Claudia (January 17, 1997). "The Geffen Camp Heh-Hehs All the Way to the Bank". The Los Angeles Times.
  11. ^ Beavis and Butt-Head Do America: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (booklet). Geffen. 1996.
  12. ^ Alex Young (July 2, 2009). "Cinema Sounds: Beavis & Butt-head Do America". Consequence of Sound.
  13. ^ "Walk On Water". JimVallance.com. Archived from the original on April 14, 2015.
  14. ^ "Billboard singles chart history-Ozzy Osbourne". Billboard Hot 100. Retrieved August 11, 2023.
  15. ^ "Beavis And Butt-Head Do America – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack". Discogs. Retrieved April 4, 2022.
  16. ^ "Canadian album certifications – Various Artists – Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Music Canada. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  17. ^ "American album certifications – Soundtrack – Beavis and Butthead Do America". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved April 28, 2022.
  18. ^ Elber, Lynn (December 26, 1996). "'Beavis and Butt-head' sets record". AP Entertainment Writer. The South Bend Tribune. p. 41. Archived from the original on November 5, 2023. Retrieved November 5, 2023 – via Newspapers.com. Open access icon
  19. ^ "Hey-hey-hey, Beavis, Butthead No. 1". St. Cloud Times. December 25, 1996. p. 12. Archived from the original on November 4, 2023. Retrieved November 4, 2023. Open access icon
  20. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results for December 20–22, 1996". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 15, 2012.
  21. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango Media. Retrieved May 3, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  22. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Metacritic. Fandom, Inc. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  23. ^ "Critical Mass". Entertainment Weekly. January 17, 1997. Retrieved May 3, 2022.
  24. ^ Ebert, Roger (December 20, 1996). "Beavis and Butt-head Do America". Chicago Sun-Times.
  25. ^ "Beavis and Butt-head Do America review". At the Movies. Season 11. Episode 16. December 21, 1996. Buena Vista Television. Retrieved August 11, 2023.
  26. ^ https://ew.com/article/1997/06/20/beavis-and-butthead-do-america/
  27. ^ Pierce, Leonard (December 21, 2021). "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Stands the Test of Time". Jacobin. Retrieved January 24, 2023.
  28. ^ "1997 MTV Movie Awards". MTV.com. Archived from the original on December 16, 2007. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  29. ^ Wilson, John (2007). "Seventeenth Annual Razzies (1996)". The Official Razzie Movie Guide. Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9780446510080.
  30. ^ "Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996) - Financial Information". The Numbers.
  31. ^ "Official Film On Disc Chart Top 50 04 January 1998 – 10 January 1998". official charts company. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  32. ^ "Official Film On Disc Chart Top 50 11 January 1998 – 17 January 1998". official charts company. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  33. ^ "Official Film On Disc Chart Top 50 18 January 1998 – 24 January 1998". official charts company. Retrieved April 23, 2022.
  34. ^ "Official Film On Disc Chart Top 50 26 April 1998 – 02 May 1998". official charts company.
  35. ^ "'Beavis and Butt-head Do America' Rolls to Blu-ray for 25th Anniversary".
  36. ^ Beavis and Butt-Head Do America Blu-ray, retrieved September 17, 2021
  37. ^ a b Outlaw, Kofi (August 31, 2009). "Beavis and Butt-Head: The Sequel?". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on June 10, 2017.
  38. ^ "Comic Con: Mike Judge Teases Beavis and Butt-Head 2". Cinema Blend. July 25, 2009. Archived from the original on October 4, 2016. Retrieved September 16, 2016.
  39. ^ Pattillo, Alice (July 29, 2019). "Mike Judge has "some ideas" for new Beavis and Butt-Head movie". Metal Hammer Magazine. Retrieved September 27, 2019.

External links[edit]