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Son in Law is a 1993 film starring Pauly Shore, Carla Gugino, Lane Smith, Cindy Pickett, Tiffani Thiessen and Brendan Fraser.


In rural South Dakota, Rebecca "Becca" Warner (Gugino) graduates as her high school valedictorian. Becca decides to attend UCLAmarker, which slightly worries her parents Walter (Smith) and Connie (Pickett). Her steady boyfriend Travis is also sad to see her going to school so far away, and secretly starts to see a mutual friend, Tracy. Upon arriving in Los Angelesmarker, Becca experiences some culture shock both in the city and in her dorm. She meets her resident advisor Crawl (Shore), an eccentric perpetual student who shows her around. Her roommate is a lesbian and has a girlfriend and sees them affectionately kissing each other. She eventually embraces her new surroundings and gives herself a makeover, buying new clothes in SoCal fashion, cuts and dyes her hair, and even gets a tattoo. Soon, however, she's faced with returning to her sleepy South Dakota farm and an inevitable marriage proposal from Travis over Thanksgiving Break. These mixed feelings lead to her spontaneously asking Crawl to come home with her.

Needless to say, Becca's family and Travis are shocked by her new lifestyle and appearance, and by Crawl. Soon, Travis makes the expected marriage proposal, but Becca can't answer and Crawl steps in by saying that he has already asked Becca to marry him. This causes a lot of tension between the family and Crawl. He tries to fit in with the farming life, but he is ridiculed and forced to do jobs such as slopping the hogs and shoveling manure. However, Crawl loves the farm life and enjoys every minute of it. Walter and Crawl eventually get to have a heart-to-heart talk while fishing, and when Walter, Sr. has a heart attack, Crawl attempts CPR to save him. Afterwards, Walter and Walter, Sr. accept him, as does Becca's younger brother, Zack, who connects with Crawl's love of computers.

Travis, still seeing Becca's best friend Tracy (Thiessen), is determined to break up Crawl and Becca's engagement. He slips Crawl a mickey, as well as Tracy, and gets the farm's hired hand Theo to place the unconscious two in the barn under the guise that they had slept together. Becca finds the two in the morning and jumps to that exact conclusion. She tells Crawl to leave, and it's not until Tracy tries to drive her car does she notice that something is wrong. Her seat is pushed way back, and she immediately deduces what happened the previous night.

Tracy and Crawl enter the Thanksgiving dinner at the Warners with this evidence. It isn't long before Theo admits to the deed and Travis is caught as well. The Warners kick them out of the house, Becca and Crawl reconcile, and everyone sits down to enjoy Thanksgiving.


Actor Role
Pauly Shore Fred/"Crawl"
Carla Gugino Rebecca "Becca" Warner
Lane Smith Walter Warner
Cindy Pickett Connie Warner
Mason Adams Walter Warner, Sr.
Patrick Renna Zack Warner
Tiffani Thiessen Tracy
Dan Gauthier Travis
Dennis Burkley Theo


  • Brendan Fraser makes an appearance at Crawl's Halloween party. He is playing the same character Link as he did in Encino Man. Crawl says "Great costume!", looks at him curiously after Link bites into a frog, then shakes it off and says "Nah!"
  • The tattoo that Becca gets in Los Angeles is actually Carla Gugino's real, pre-existing tattoo.
  • The high school scenes were filmed in Sierra Vista High School, located in Baldwin Park, CA
  • Carla Gugino and Pauly Shore later both appear in an episode of the HBO series Entourage
  • The promotional poster for the film is a parody of the painting American Gothic.
  • The tattooist is actually musician Flea (of Red Hot Chili Peppers fame), though he is not credited.
  • Dan Gauthier and Tiffani Thiessen also appeared together in the TV Movie Saved by the Bell: Hawaiian Style.
  • DJ Mark Osgood can be seen skateboarding by the tattoo shop as Pauly and Carla are walking in.

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