Movie Clip Discussions

Uncle Buck

Dynamic Image

(Universal, 1989)

Main Point: When picking someone to date, it’s easy to choose a person who’s a bad influence. The best way to avoid that trouble is to seek out a person that is godly.

Movie Clip: Buck Meets Bug
Uncle Buck was a 1989 comedy starring John Candy as the lovable buffoon in the lead role. When a medical emergency strikes the family in the middle of the night, Uncle Buck is asked to house sit…with the kids. For the most part, things go well with the two younger kids. But everything is up in the air with the teenage daughter named Tia. The clip below centers on two of their confrontations from the same day.

Introducing the Clip:
Uncle Buck was released in theaters before ANY of you were born, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t funny. The late John Candy starred in the movie as Uncle Buck, the hopelessly lost bachelor who must take care of his brother’s kids when a medical emergency strikes the family. Chaos ensues as Buck tries to manage two kids and one teenager. For the most part, Buck handles the role fine with the younger kids, but Tia, the teenage daughter gives him a hard time, as this clip shows. Take a look at what happens when Uncle Buck meets “Bug.”

Scene Script:


(This is a long clip, so only the key dialogue will be supplied below. But here is a synopsis of the entire clip.)

The clip opens at Tia’s high school. As Uncle Buck drives his jalopy up to the school in the morning, all the cool kids are standing around outside before class starts. It thoroughly embarrasses Tia…and she lets Buck know it. After exchanging some harsh words, the scene changes back to the house.

There, Buck talks on the phone with his girlfriend. He upsets her when he turns down her offer to work for her. He excuses himself by stating he doesn’t know how long he will have to help his in-laws. Then, we see Buck sitting at home flipping through old photo albums. He realizes that his in-laws hide photos of him, which upsets him as he reflects on it.

Finally, we’re taken back to school later that afternoon. We see Tia and her boyfriend, Bug, sitting on the school steps, making out. Uncle Buck pulls up and the car backfires again. The two of them walk over to the jalopy.

    Tia: (as she gets into the car) Call me.

    Bug: (leaning into the car towards Buck) You ever hear of a tune up?

    Uncle Buck: You ever hear of a ritual killing?

    Bug: I don’t get it.

    Buck: You gnaw on her face in public like that again and you’ll be one.

    (Bug leans over to give Tia a kiss, but Buck squeals off in the car.)

    Tia: Are you crazy?!

    Buck: I can be.

    Tia: You could have taken his head off!

    Buck: Yeah, but would he notice?

    Tia: Can we get something straight?

    Buck: The guy’s a predator and you’re his prey.

    Tia: Oh really?

    Buck: You bet.

    Tia: And how do you know?

    Buck: When I was his age, I was the guy zooming the girls like you: pretty face, big chip on their shoulder.

    Tia: I recommend that you stay out of my personal life.

    Buck: Do your parents stay out of your personal life?

    Tia: They don’t know my personal life.

    Buck: Have they met TwittleDink?

    Tia: His name is Bug.

    Buck: (laughs) First or last?

    Tia: First.

    Buck: What’s his last name? Spray?

    Tia: You should talk, Buck!


Transitional Statement:
While there were some funny scenes in that clip, there were also a few sad ones. It’s a little worrisome that Tia didn’t care what her uncle thought about her choice of boyfriends. All Uncle Buck was trying to do was share wisdom and experience with her by telling her the truth. She couldn’t care less. That’s sad. When we go looking for love, the best quality to look for in a person is godliness. Tia wasn’t doing that. She was looking for a thrill, and Uncle Buck knew that it would cost her. Let’s spend the next few minutes talking about how we can do that today.

Divide into Small Groups:
Let’s go ahead and split up into our discussion groups, and then afterward we’ll come back together for a final word.

CLICK HERE for a quick training article on how to maximize your small groups using our small group format—a great resource to equip your small group leaders.

Discussion Questions:

  1. AROUND THE CIRLCE: As we get started, let’s all take a second to share our names and our favorite relative.

  2. ASK A FEW: What clues about Bug would have tipped you off that he wasn’t a good choice?

  3. ASK A FEW: What would your family say if you were dating a person (boy or girl) who was like Bug?

  4. ASK A FEW: Was the advice Uncle Buck gave Tia good advice or not? How do you know? (Leaders – Even based on this scene we watched, we know that Uncle Buck’s advice was good. However, as the movie progresses, we see that Buck’s predictions were completely accurate. Bug turns out to be a real jerk.)

  5. ASK A FEW: Why do you think Tia was so opposed to taking her uncle’s advice about dating Bug?

  6. ASK A FEW: What qualities do you look for in a person that you’re dating?

  7. ASK A FEW: Godliness should be our priority in choosing someone to date. Why is that so important?

  8. Read the following passage:

      Judges 16:1-21 (NIV)

      One day Samson went to Gaza, where he saw a prostitute. He went in to spend the night with her. 2 The people of Gaza were told, “Samson is here!” So they surrounded the place and lay in wait for him all night at the city gate. They made no move during the night, saying, “At dawn we’ll kill him.” 3 But Samson lay there only until the middle of the night. Then he got up and took hold of the doors of the city gate, together with the two posts, and tore them loose, bar and all. He lifted them to his shoulders and carried them to the top of the hill that faces Hebron. 4 Some time later, he fell in love with a woman in the Valley of Sorek whose name was Delilah. 5 The rulers of the Philistines went to her and said, “See if you can lure him into showing you the secret of his great strength and how we can overpower him so we may tie him up and subdue him. Each one of us will give you eleven hundred shekels of silver.” 6 So Delilah said to Samson, “Tell me the secret of your great strength and how you can be tied up and subdued.” 7 Samson answered her, “If anyone ties me with seven fresh thongs that have not been dried, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 8 Then the rulers of the Philistines brought her seven fresh thongs that had not been dried, and she tied him with them. 9 With men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the thongs as easily as a piece of string snaps when it comes close to a flame. So the secret of his strength was not discovered. 10 Then Delilah said to Samson, “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. Come now, tell me how you can be tied.” 11 He said, “If anyone ties me securely with new ropes that have never been used, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” 12 So Delilah took new ropes and tied him with them. Then, with men hidden in the room, she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” But he snapped the ropes off his arms as if they were threads. 13 Delilah then said to Samson, “Until now, you have been making a fool of me and lying to me. Tell me how you can be tied.” He replied, “If you weave the seven braids of my head into the fabric on the loom and tighten it with the pin, I’ll become as weak as any other man.” So while he was sleeping, Delilah took the seven braids of his head, wove them into the fabric 14 and tightened it with the pin. Again she called to him, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and pulled up the pin and the loom, with the fabric. 15 Then she said to him, “How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when you won’t confide in me? This is the third time you have made a fool of me and haven’t told me the secret of your great strength.” 16 With such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death. 17 So he told her everything. “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite set apart to God since birth. If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” 18 When Delilah saw that he had told her everything, she sent word to the rulers of the Philistines, “Come back once more; he has told me everything.” So the rulers of the Philistines returned with the silver in their hands. 19 Having put him to sleep on her lap, she called a man to shave off the seven braids of his hair, and so began to subdue him. And his strength left him. 20 Then she called, “Samson, the Philistines are upon you!” He awoke from his sleep and thought, “I’ll go out as before and shake myself free.” But he did not know that the LORD had left him. 21 Then the Philistines seized him, gouged out his eyes and took him down to Gaza. Binding him with bronze shackles, they set him to grinding in the prison.

  9. ASK A FEW: What clues do we have that Samson had big trouble picking out someone to be romantic with? (Leaders – For starters, he hooked up with a prostitute. Second, he fell in love with Delilah, one of the Philistines, the enemies of God’s people!)

  10. ASK A FEW: Would you want to date someone like Delilah? Why or why not?

  11. ASK A FEW: What do you think Uncle Buck would say to Samson in this situation?

  12. ASK A FEW: Why didn’t Samson “get it” when it came to Delilah? Why do you think he eventually let her destroy his life?

  13. ASK A FEW: What did it cost Samson when he picked the wrong woman to date?

  14. ASK A FEW: What does it cost you and I when we choose the wrong person to date?

  15. ASK A FEW: By now, hopefully we all know that choosing a godly person is important. But how can we know when a guy or a girl is godly?

  16. AROUND THE CIRCLE: If you were a member of the opposite sex, would you consider yourself godly enough to date? Why or why not?

Wrap Up:
Tonight we watched a funny clip about a girl picking the wrong guy. But, as most of us know, there’s nothing funny about picking the wrong person to date in real life. It just stinks.

But we also talked about ways to avoid picking the wrong person. All we need to do is look for someone who is godly. It’s impossible to overlook it when someone places God as their biggest priority. When a person is bent on being holy, it stands out. When a person wants to love another like God loves them, it’s unmistakable.

That’s the kind of person we need to be looking for.

Because if we don’t, we might end up facing some of the consequences that Samson faced. None of those things would have happened to Samson had he obeyed God and looked for a godly wife. But instead, he based all of his choices off lesser things, and wound up with a person whose last priority was serving God.

Sadly, it showed.

I hope that you’re now convinced that the most important quality to look for in a person is godliness. Everything else is less important than this. So as we close tonight, let me address the two kinds of people we have here: those in a relationship and those not in a relationship.

If you’re in a relationship and you’re thinking that the other person isn’t focused on being godly, then come and talk with us after we close in prayer. We want to help you with the next steps as you seek God’s will. But if you’re not in a relationship with someone right now, but would like to talk about exactly how to go about looking for godliness, I also invite you to come and talk with one of our leaders some more.

Don’t make the same mistake that Tia and Samson made. It’s not worth it.

Close in Prayer

Written by David R Smith


Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Guy's Guide to FOUR BATTLES Every Young Man Must Face; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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