Good Burger

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Good Burger
Theatrical release poster
Directed byBrian Robbins
Written by
Based on
All That
Produced by
  • Michael Tollin
  • Brian Robbins
CinematographyMac Ahlberg
Edited byAnita Brandt-Burgoyne
Music byStewart Copeland
Distributed byParamount Pictures
Release date
  • July 25, 1997 (1997-07-25)[1]
Running time
95 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$8.5 million[2]
Box office$23.7 million[3]

Good Burger is a 1997 American teen comedy film directed by Brian Robbins, written by Dan Schneider with Kevin Kopelow and Heath Seifert, and starring Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell. The film is a spin-off of the "Good Burger" comedy sketch from the Nickelodeon variety series All That, with Mitchell reprising his role as Ed. The story follows Dexter Reed, a high school student who takes a job at a fast-food restaurant called Good Burger to pay off the damages he made to his teacher's car as he and Ed, his dimwitted co-worker, stumble upon an evil plot by a newly-opened rival fast-food restaurant across the street.

The film was produced by Nickelodeon Movies and Tollin/Robbins Productions, and was filmed from March to April 1997. It was released worldwide on July 25 of the same year by Paramount Pictures.[1] The film received mixed reviews from critics and grossed $23.7 million. A sequel titled Good Burger 2 was released on November 22, 2023, on Paramount+.[4]


On the first day of summer, slacker high school student Dexter Reed takes his mother's car on a joyride while she is away on a business trip but is indirectly involved in a car crash with his school teacher, Mr. Wheat. With no driver's license or car insurance, Dexter is in danger of going to jail, but Mr. Wheat agrees to let him pay for the damage in exchange for not calling the police on him. With the damage estimated at $1,900 (which later becomes $2,500), Dexter decides to take a summer job to pay for the expenses.

After being fired from the new and soon-to-open Mondo Burger restaurant for clashing with the owner and manager Kurt Bozwell, he ends up working for Good Burger instead. There, he meets and reluctantly befriends the dimwitted but well-meaning cashier Ed alongside its other employees. While both are working together, Dexter realizes that Ed caused his car crash, but eventually forgives him.

Mondo Burger becomes an immediate success with its large burgers, hurting Good Burger's business. Dexter discovers that Ed makes his sauce for lunch and suggests adding it to the burgers, which saves Good Burger and vastly increases its sales. Dexter exploits Ed's gullibility to extort money from him so that he can pay off his debt sooner, having him sign a contract that gives Dexter 80% of the bonus he receives for his sauce. After failing to entice Ed with a higher hourly wage at Mondo Burger, Kurt, who wants the secret sauce for his restaurant, sends an employee named Roxanne to seduce him into revealing the recipe. However, while on a double date with Dexter and co-worker Monique, Ed accidentally and clumsily injures her repeatedly, and she quits her job.

The next day, Monique finds Dexter's contract and scolds him for taking advantage of Ed, causing Dexter to feel remorseful. Dexter tries to apologize to Ed, but before he can do so, he and Ed discover a stray dog rejecting a discarded Mondo Burger for a Good Burger. A suspicious Ed and Dexter infiltrate Mondo Burger's kitchen in disguise and discover that their burgers are artificially enhanced with Triampathol, an illegal food chemical. Kurt discovers them and has them committed to the Demented Hills Asylum to prevent them from sharing their discovery. Afterward, Kurt and his henchmen break into Good Burger, find Ed's secret sauce, and taint it with a synthetic toxin called shark poison. Otis, an elderly employee who was sleeping on the premises, catches them and attempts to call the police, but Kurt sends him to Demented Hills as well. After Otis informs Ed and Dexter about Kurt's scheme, they escape from Demented Hills and commandeer an ice cream truck to head back to Good Burger. Two Demented Hills workers chase after them in a truck, but Ed pelts ice cream at their windshield, eventually obstructing their view and causing them to crash. Ed arrives at Good Burger just in time to prevent an elderly woman from eating the poisoned sauce.

Ed and Dexter return to Mondo Burger to expose their crimes to the police. While Dexter creates a distraction, Ed takes multiple cans of Triampathol and pours them into the meat grinder. As Kurt corners Dexter on the roof, Ed suddenly arrives with an empty can just before Mondo Burger collapses, as the burgers start exploding due to the excessive Triampathol, and in the process, a large artificial burger falls from the roof and smashes Mr. Wheat's newly-repaired car. In the aftermath, Mondo Burger is shut down and Kurt is arrested for poisoning Good Burger's sauce and using illegal Triampathol. After giving Mr. Wheat a down payment, Dexter apologizes to Ed for taking advantage of him and tears up the contract, telling him that he gets to keep all the profits. Ed and Dexter return to Good Burger, where their coworkers hail them as heroes.


  • Kenan Thompson as Dexter Reed, a 16-year-old high school student who gets a summer job at Good Burger following an accidental car crash with his school teacher Mr. Wheat's car
  • Kel Mitchell as Ed, the dimwitted 15-year-old cashier of Good Burger
  • Abe Vigoda as Otis, an elderly Good Burger employee who works the deep-fryers
  • Dan Schneider as Mr. Baily, the owner and manager of Good Burger
  • Shar Jackson as Monique, a Good Burger employee and Dexter's love interest
  • Jan Schweiterman as Kurt Bozwell, the owner of rival fast food place Mondo Burger
  • Linda Cardellini as Heather, a Demented Hills patient who has a crush on Ed
  • Sinbad as Mr. Wheat, Dexter's accident-prone teacher
  • Ron Lester as Spatch, the head fry cook of Good Burger
  • Josh Server as Fizz, the drive-thru employee of Good Burger
  • Ginny Schreiber as Deedee, a female employee at Good Burger
  • Shaquille O'Neal as Himself
  • George Clinton as Dancing Crazy, a Demented Hills patient
  • Robert Wuhl as an angry customer
  • Carmen Electra as Roxanne, a henchwoman of Kurt
  • Marques Houston as Jake, Dexter's schoolmate
  • J. August Richards as Griffin, one of Kurt's henchmen
  • Hamilton Von Watts as Troy, one of Kurt's henchmen
  • Floyd Levine as the Ice Cream Man
  • Lori Beth Denberg as Connie Muldoon, a customer
  • Carmit Bachar as a Demented Hills dancer
  • Kelly Devine as a Demented Hills dancer
  • Matt Gallant as a reporter
  • Brian Peck as an upset customer [5]


Filming for Good Burger took place in six weeks from March 9 to April 21, 1997.[6] Most of its scenes were recorded along Glendora Avenue in West Covina, California, including at a restaurant currently known as Peter's El Loco.[7]

Release and reception[edit]

Box office[edit]

Good Burger was released on July 25, 1997, by Paramount Pictures. Theatrical screenings were preempted by an episode of Nickelodeon's series Action League Now! titled "Rock-a-Big Baby". In its opening weekend, the film grossed $7.1 million, finishing #5 at the US box office. It went on to gross $23.7 million worldwide.[3] It was released in the United Kingdom on February 13, 1998, where it reached #14.[8]

Critical response[edit]

Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an approval rating of 33% based on 45 reviews and an average rating of 4.3/10. The consensus reads, "Good Burger might please hardcore fans of the 1990s Nickelodeon TV series that launched leads Kenan and Kel to stardom, but for all others, it will likely prove a comedy that is neither satisfyingly rare nor well done."[9] On Metacritic the film has a score of 41 out of 100 based on 17 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[10]

Lisa Alspector of Chicago Reader wrote, "The perceived notion that kids want their movies fast and furious is barely in evidenced in this 1997 comedy, a laboriously slow suburban adventure in which a teenager's summer of leisure slips through his fingers when he has to get a job—an experience that proves almost life-threatening because of the cutthroat competition between two burger joints."[11] Andy Seiler of USA Today gave the film two stars out of four, saying that, "Good Burger is not very well done, but it does have energy."[12]

Leonard Klady of Variety wrote, "The meat of the piece is definitely FDA cinematically approved, and perfect if you like this brand of entertainment with the works."[13] Siskel and Ebert gave it two thumbs down on the July 26, 1997 episode of their program. Gene Siskel disliked the film more than Roger Ebert did, calling it a "stupid kids comedy".[14] In his other review for the Chicago Sun-Times, Ebert gave the film two stars out of four, writing "It didn't do much for me, but I am prepared to predict that its target audience will have a good time."[15]

Retrospective reviews well after the initial release have described its continued popularity; Nathan Rabin said that the film "obviously connected with a lot of children at the time of the film's release and holds up surprisingly well 18 years later."[16] Courtney Eckerle said, "The 90s generation will never forget [this deliciously terrible movie]"[17] and Tara Aquino of Mental Floss called it "a silly cult hit that's indelibly a part of Generation Y."[18]

Other media[edit]

Home media[edit]

Paramount Home Video released the film on VHS on February 17, 1998,[19] with the cassettes specially made of orange plastic, and on DVD on May 27, 2003.[20]

The DVD release lacks any special features. After many years, the film was released on Blu-ray on February 16, 2021.[21] On July 19, 2022, a limited edition Blu-ray steelbook of the film was released to commemorate its 25th anniversary. Like the original DVD and first edition Blu-ray, the 25th anniversary lacks any special features except for the original "Good Burger" sketch from All That.


  • 1997: Joseph Locke: Good Burger: A Novelization, Pocket Books, ISBN 978-0671016920
  • 1998: Steve Holland: Good Burger 2 Go, Aladdin, ISBN 978-0671023997


A soundtrack containing hip hop, R&B, fun-k and punk rock was released on July 15, 1997, by Capitol Records. It peaked at 101 on the Billboard 200 and 65 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. It features the single "All I Want" by 702, which reached -number thirty-five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.


After twenty-six years since the original film's release, a direct sequel was released on November 22, 2023, through Paramount +. Both Thompson and Mitchell returned to reprise their roles as Dexter Reed and Ed.


  1. ^ a b "Good Burger". American Film Institute. Archived from the original on December 31, 2021. Retrieved November 20, 2017.
  2. ^ Koch, Neal (December 1, 2002). "Business; Stepping Up in TV, Without Stepping on Toes". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 31, 2021. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Good Burger (1997) - Box Office Mojo". Archived from the original on December 31, 2021. Retrieved August 14, 2020.
  4. ^ "'Good Burger 2' Set at Paramount+, Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell Returning". Variety. March 18, 2023. Archived from the original on March 18, 2023. Retrieved March 18, 2023.
  5. ^ "Sight and Sound". March 26, 1998.
  6. ^ Dutta, Nishitha (January 9, 2021). "Where Was Good Burger Filmed?". Cinemaholic. Archived from the original on April 28, 2021. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  7. ^ Henry, Jason (July 28, 2014). "Showtime's 'Crazy Ex-Girlfriend' pilot might boost West Covina's coffers". San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved November 8, 2017.
  8. ^ "Weekend box office 13th February 1998 - 15th February 1998". Archived from the original on February 22, 2017. Retrieved February 21, 2017.
  9. ^ "Good Burger (1997)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixster. Archived from the original on July 27, 2020. Retrieved July 26, 2022.
  10. ^ "Good Burger (1997)". Metacritic. Archived from the original on October 2, 2021. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  11. ^ Alspector, Lisa (October 26, 1985). "Good Burger". Chicago Reader. Archived from the original on June 12, 2018. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  12. ^ Seiler, Andy. "Good Burger". USA Today. Archived from the original on January 16, 2021. Retrieved February 22, 2014.
  13. ^ Horst, Carole (July 21, 1997). "Good Burger". Variety. Retrieved June 11, 2013.
  14. ^ Ebert, Roger; Siskel, Gene (July 26, 1997). Air Force One/Good Burger/Cafe Society/In the Company of Men/Box of Moonlight. Buena Vista Television.
  15. ^ Ebert, Roger (July 25, 1997). "Good Burger". Archived from the original on February 26, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  16. ^ Rabin, Nathan (September 29, 2015). "Does Good Burger Deserve Cult Status?". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on March 29, 2017. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  17. ^ Eckerle, Courtney (September 6, 2011). "Best-Worst Movies: 'Good Burger'". The Observer. Notre Dame, Indiana. Archived from the original on April 22, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  18. ^ Aquino, Tara (April 6, 2016). "11 Delicious Facts About Good Burger". Mental Floss. Archived from the original on August 13, 2020. Retrieved March 28, 2017.
  19. ^ Hettrick, Scott; Honeycutt, Kirk (February 17, 1998). "'Good Burger' video bad, with R-rated trailers". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  20. ^ Tyner, Adam (June 5, 2003). "Good Burger". DVD Talk. Archived from the original on July 1, 2016. Retrieved June 6, 2016.
  21. ^ "Good Burger Blu-ray". December 7, 2020. Archived from the original on December 9, 2020. Retrieved December 10, 2020.

External links[edit]