< Return to Latter-day Saint Characters in Movies

Latter-day Saint (Mormon)/Utah References
in the movie

Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)

"Beavis and Butt-Head Do America" (1996)
Directed by Mike Judge and Yvette Kaplan
Screenplay by Mike Judge and Joe Stillman
Based on the TV series "Beavis and Butt-head," created by Mike Judge
Starring Mike Judge, Cloris Leachman, Robert Stack, Jacqueline Barba, Pamela Blair, Eric Bogosian, Kristofor Brown, Tony Darling, John Doman, Francis Dumaurier, Jim Flaherty, Tim Guinee, David Letterman, Toby Huss, Sam Johnson

MPAA Rating: PG-13
U.S. Box Office: $63,118,386
Production budget: $12,000,000

This animated feature-length film is the big screen adaptation of the popular but eternally low-brow MTV cartoon series "Beavis and Butt-Head."

The plot, such as it is, has the two crude teenagers waking up one morning to find their television set has been stolen. They embark on a road trip across America in order to recover their TV. The film is a road trip movie, giving the two characters ample opportunities to ply their brand of humor in many new locations.

While traveling by bus with a tour group of senior citizens, the characters are shown briefly in Utah. The scenes there lat only about 15 seconds. Although Utah is predominantly Mormon, the film has no overt references to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or its members.

A significant portion of the film takes place in the Southwestern United States, particularly Las Vegas (a city originally founded by Latter-day Saint settlers). The characters also spend time in Arizona, where they stop at the Grand Canyon. Beavis and Butt-Head also pass through Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming. As is the case with Utah, the first permanent English-speaking settlements in all of these states were founded by Latter-day Saints.

Description of Utah scenes, as seen in the actual film

34 minutes, 37 seconds after start of film:
After the senior tour bus that Beavis and Butt-Head are riding on leaves the Grand Canyon, it drives out of Arizona and across the northern border, into Utah. A freeway sign depicting a natural arch from Utah's Arches National Park reads: "Welcome Utah" in large letters and "1896 CENTENNIAL 1996" at the bottom. (This movie was released in the year marking the centennial of Utah's admission into the union as a full-fledged state.)

The bus stops in Arches National Park, where the senior citizens pose in front of a natural arch. Butt-Head takes a photograph of the them. The photograph is shown, revealing that his thumb was partially over the lens when he took the picture. The photo is also crooked and poorly framed.

Meanwhile, federal agents are shown meeting with each other and looking at a map of the United States, trying to track down Beavis and Butt-Head.

The bus is then shown travelling for a second across Utah. A montage of shots shows a number of other "Welcome To" state border signs, including signs for Idaho and Wyoming, along with Beavis and Butt-Head standing in front of a number of "Now Entering" signs for non-Utah cities and towns, the names of which can be combined into crude phrases that the boys are fond of. Examples include "Butte" (in Montana).

This is followed by an extended scene in at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, where the boys view the famous Old Faithful geyser.

After spending time in the restroom at Yellowstone, Beavis and Butt-Head get back on a bus, but it turns out that it is not the senior citizens tour bus. Instead, it is a bus full of Catholic nuns. The bus travels back through Utah, before stopping at an old Spanish fort in Arizona or New Mexico.

"Beavis and Butt-Head Do America":
Excerpt from the Actual Screenplay: Scenes in Utah

One key difference between the screenplay and the actual film is that in the screenplay the characters pose for a photograph in front of Salt Lake City, the world headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. But in the film, the characters pose instead in front of an arch in Utah's Arches National Park. The film shows a "Welcome to Utah" sign (actually, the word "to" is left off of the sign), instead of the "Welcome to Salt Lake City" sign described in the screenplay. A prominent Utah landmark, an arch in Arches National Park, is shown on the "Welcome Utah" sign. (This is exactly the same arch that is on Utah's Centennial license plate. It is the same arch that is shown briefly in the 2004 movie "Around the World in 80 Days," starring Jackie Chan.)

Note that in the screenplay excerpt below, "B&B" is an abbreviation for "Beavis and Butt-Head."


Flemming reads a map strewn on his hood. He turns to Bork to give orders. Bork repeats them into his radio. Several cars pull out.

INSERT: A RED LINE snakes across a map to Utah.


Martha and the seniors pose in front of a classic Salt Lake City view. A sign nearby reads "Welcome to Salt Lake City."

REVERSE ANGLE shows B&B, taking their picture.

P.O.V. OF CAMERA shows Butt-Head's hand covering half the lens. Framing is crooked and way off. Click and FREEZE.


Middle of nowhere. Confused, Martha is taking a picture.

REVERSE ANGLE shows B&B, posing by the road sign: Baggs, Wyoming.


              Huh huh huh huh huh huh.

P.O.V. OF CAMERA, showing B&B laughing.

INSERT: A RED LINE snakes across the map to Wyoming.



A classic view of a powerful gorge.

REVERSE SHOWS THE TOUR BUS driving by. Martha and the seniors rush to the windows to stare in awe.


A classic view of the huge peaks.

REVERSE SHOWS THE TOUR BUS driving by. More seniors rush to the windows to see.


A spectacular view of Yellowstone Lake and the Rockies.

[Later in the script, Beavis and Butt-Head stop at Yellowstone National Park, to see Old Faithful. After spending time in the restroom, they get back on a bus, but it turns out that it is not the senior citizens tour bus. Instead, it is a bus full of Catholic nuns. The bus travels back through Utah.] MONTAGE SONG BEGINS: INSERT: A RED LINE snakes through a map, pretty much retracing the route B&B took north. Down into Utah. INT. BUS - DAY A nun strums a guitar and sings. Butt-head head-bangs. The nuns around look uneasy. Nearby another nun reads the Bible to Beavis. BEAVIS Hey, Butt-Head, this book kicks ass! There's this talking snake and a naked chick and then this dude puts a leaf on his schlong! Heh heh heh. The nun next to Beavis is disgusted. INSERT: A RED LINE snakes down through Colorado.

Webpage created 5 November 2004. Last modified 7 February 2005.