The Parent Trap (1998 film)

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The Parent Trap is a 1998 romantic comedy film co-written and directed by Nancy Meyers, and produced and co-written by Charles Shyer. It is the second American adaptation of Erich Kästner's German novel Lottie and Lisa (Das doppelte Lottchen) following the 1961 film of the same name. David Swift wrote the screenplay for the original 1961 film based solely on Lottie and Lisa, but the story is comparable to that of the 1936 Deanna Durbin film Three Smart Girls, which inspired the novel. Swift is credited along with Meyers and Shyer as co-writers of the 1998 version.


  • Tell me, what's Mom like?
  • I have a brilliant beyond brilliant idea!
  • Mom's amazing, Dad. I don't know how you ever let her go. Oh my


  • Sisters? Hallie, we're like twins.
  • Actually, yes. And actually, I'm not Hallie.


  • [after finding out that the girls switched places] Can I hug her?


Martin: All right, shall we review your mother's list?
Annie: Mm-hmm.
Martin: Now, let's see... Vitamins?
Annie: Check.
Martin: Minerals?
Annie: Check.
Martin: List of daily fruits and vegetables.
Annie: Check. Check. [Martin looks at her oddly] Check for fruits, check for vegetables. Go on.
Martin: Sun block, lip balm, insect repellent, [Annie bite's back a smile] stationery, stamps, photograph of your mother, grandfather... and, of course, your trusty butler, me.
Annie: Got it all, I think.
Martin: Oh, and, um, here's a little something from your grandfather; [holds out a deck of cards] A spanking-new deck of cards. Maybe you'll actually find somebody on this continent who can whip your tush at poker.
Annie: Well, I doubt it, but thanks.

Hallie: You wanna know the real difference between us?
Annie: Let me see... I know how to fence and you don't, or I have class and you don't. Take your pick.
Hallie: [infuriated] Why, I oughta...!

Hallie: [playing poker with Annie at camp] I'll tell you what I'm gonna do. I'll make you a little deal: loser jumps into the lake after the game.
Annie: Excellent.
Hallie: Butt-naked.
Annie: Even more excellent. Start unzipping, Parker. [revealing her hand to Hallie] Straight, in diamonds.
Hallie: You're good, James... but... you're just not good enough. [revealing her hand to Annie] In your honor, a royal flush.

Annie: That girl is without a doubt, the lowest, most awful creature to ever walk the planet!
Hallie: [watching from outside, impersonating Elvis] Thank you, thank you very much.

Hallie: How far away is London anyway?
Annie: Well, from here it's 3,000 miles, but sometimes it seems much further... How far away is your home?
Hallie: Oh, California is way at the other end of the country. Actually, here's a picture of my house. [shows Annie a photo]
Annie: Wow! It's beautiful.
Hallie: Yeah. We built it when I was little. We've got this incredible porch that looks over the entire vineyard, and then–
Annie: [points to figure in the photograph] Who.. Who's that?
Hallie: Oh, that's my Dad; He didn't know I was taking the picture then, or else he would have turned around. He's kinda like my best friend. We do everything together. [Annie sighs] What's the matter?
Annie: Oh, it's chilly in here, that's all...
Hallie: [pulls out a packet of Oreos] Want one?
Annie: Oh, sure, I love Oreos! At home I eat them with... I eat them with peanut butter.
Hallie: [surprised] You do? That is so weird... [pulls out a jar of peanut butter] So do I!
Annie: You're kidding! Most people find that totally disgusting!
Hallie: I know! I don't get it...
Annie: Me either.
[They both laugh]
Hallie: What's your dad like? I mean, is he the kind of father you can talk to, or is he one of those workaholic types who says; "I'll talk to ya later, honey...", but you know, never really does? I hate that.
Annie: I don't have a father, actually. I mean, I had one once, I suppose... But my parents divorced years ago. My mother never even mentions him. It's like he evaporated into thin air, or something...
Hallie: It's scary the way nobody stays together anymore.
Annie: Tell me about it.

Annie: Hallie, what's your mother like?
Hallie: I never met her. She and my dad split up when I was a baby, maybe even before, I'm not sure. He doesn't really like to talk about her... but I know she was really beautiful.
Annie: How do you know that?
Hallie: Because my dad had this old picture of her hidden in his sock drawer and he caught me looking at it all the time so he gave it to me to keep. I'm really thirsty, you sure you don't want to go to the mess hall and get a lemonade?
Annie: Will you stop thinking about your stomach at a time like this?!
Hallie: At a time like what?
Annie: [as she and Hallie step back into the cabin] Don't you realize what's happening? Oh man, this is beyond coincidence, this is beyond imagination! I only have a mother, and you only have a father... You've never seen your mum, and I've never seen my dad. You have one old picture of your mum, I have one old picture of my dad! Well, at least yours is probably a whole picture; Mine's a pathetic little thing, ripped right down the middle...! [notices Hallie going through her bag] What are you rummaging in your trunk for, this time?
Hallie: [she finally faces Annie as she holds a picture to her chest] This. It's the picture of my mom. And it's ripped too.
Annie: [knowing] Right down the middle?
Hallie: [nervously] Right down the middle.
Annie: [races over to her trunk and takes out a photo and holds it to her chest] This is so freaky. Okay. On the count of three, we'll show them to each other, okay?
Hallie: Okay.
Annie: 1...
Hallie: 2...
Annie and Hallie: [together] 3!
[they both gasp as they place the photo together and realize...]
Hallie: That's my dad...
Annie: That's my mum... [she hears the lunch bell] That's the lunch bell.
Hallie: [as she wipes away her tears] I'm not so hungry anymore. So if your mom is my mom, and my dad is your dad... and we're both born on October 11th, then you and I are... like... sisters.
Annie: Sisters? Hallie, we're like twins!
Hallie: Oh my god!
Annie: Oh my god!
[they hug]

[Hallie is getting ready to cut Annie's hair]
Annie: [sees Hallie closing her eyes, alarmed;] Don't shut your eyes!
Hallie: Okay, sorry, got a little nervous!
Annie: You're nervous?! An 11-year-old is cutting my hair!
Hallie: Hey, you sounded just like me!
Annie: Well, I'm supposed to, aren't I?

Annie: [Hallie just finished cutting Annie's hair to look like hers] This is so scary.
Hallie: Honey, you never looked better.

Hallie: [crying, seeing her mother for the first time] I'm sorry, it's just, I've missed you so much!
Elizabeth: I know, it seems like it's been forever!
Hallie: You have no idea...

Hallie: So, doesn't designing all these wedding gowns ever make you think about getting married again, or at least make you think about the "F" word?
Elizabeth: [surprised] The "F" word?
Hallie: My father.
Elizabeth: Oh! Oh, that "F" word! Well, no actually, because I didn't even wear a wedding gown when I married the "F" word.
Hallie: You didn't? Why not?
Elizabeth: Why the sudden curiosity about your dad, huh?
Hallie: Well, maybe because he's never mentioned? And you can't blame a kid for wondering. Mother, you can't avoid the subject forever. At least tell me what he was like.
Elizabeth: Okay. He was quite lovely, to tell you the truth. When we met he was... actually, entirely lovely.
Hallie: All right?
Elizabeth: All right.
Hallie: So, did you meet him here in London?
Elizabeth: We met on the Q.E. 2.
Hallie: Q.E. what?
Elizabeth: The Queen Elizabeth II. It's an ocean liner that sails from London to New York... 'cause I wasn't keen on flying then, and neither was your father. We met our first night on board ship. We were seated next to each other at dinner. He's an American, you know.
Hallie: No kidding? So, was it love at first sight?
Elizabeth: [sighs in mock-exasperation] I knew you were going to ask me all these questions one day!

[Hallie hides in a cupboard to talk to Annie on the phone]
Hallie: Oh my God, Mom's incredible! I cannot believe I lived my entire life without knowing her! Sh-She's beautiful, and fun, and smart, and I love the gowns she designs...!
Annie: [tries to interrupt] But–
Hallie: ...And I got her talking about how she and Dad first met! And, if you ask me, there's like a whole possibility, like–!
Annie: [desperately] Hallie, stop! We've got a major problem! You're going to have to bring Mother out here, immediately!
Hallie: Immediately?! Are you nuts?! I've only had one day with her! I'm just getting to know her. I can't... I won't!
Annie: But this is an emergency! Dad's in love!
Hallie: Get out of here! Dad doesn't fall in love! I mean, at least, not seriously...
Annie: Trust me, he's serious about this one. He's always holding her hand, and kissing her neck and waiting on her hand and foot!
Hallie: He is?
Annie: It's disgusting!
Hallie: Well, you'll just have to break 'em up! Sabotage her, do whatever you have to!
Annie: I'm trying, but I mean, I'm at a slight disadvantage; I only met the man 12 hours ago! Hal, you've got to get back here to help me!
Hallie: [holds up a cellophane-wrapped sweet and gets an idea] Annie, I can't – I want more time with Mom!

Annie: [after a discussion about how Annie as Hallie seems different to Chessy] Chessy, I changed a lot over the summer, that's all.
Chessy: [unconvinced] Okay... But if I don't know any better, I'd say it's almost like you were– [stops herself] Forget it, it's impossible.
Annie: Almost if I were who, Chessy?
Chessy: Nobody, nobody, forget I mentioned it.
Annie: Almost if I were Annie?
Chessy: [slowly turning around] You know about Annie?
Annie: [dropping her "Hallie" accent] I... am Annie.

Nick: Hal, come here. We have to talk.
Annie: Okay, shoot.
Nick: Okay, honey... I want to know what you think about making Meredith part of the family.
Annie: Part of our family?
Nick: Yeah.
Annie: I think it's an awesome idea. Inspired. Brilliant, really.
Nick: You do? Really? You do?
Annie: Totally, it's like a dream come true. I've always wanted a big sister.
Nick: Oh... um... Honey, I think you're kind of missing the point.
Annie: No, I'm not. You're gonna adopt Meredith. That's so sweet, Dad!
Nick: No, I'm not going to adopt her... I'm going to marry her.
Annie: [leaps from her seat] Marry her?! That's insane! How can you marry a woman young enough to be my big sister?! [starts ranting in French] Mais tu plaisantes, j'espère. Meredith, ce n'est pas une fille pour toi. Mais c'est pas possible, je rêve. Qu'est-ce qui...
Nick Parker: Hal, Hal, Hal! Calm down, Hal! [beat] Are you speaking 'French?
Annie: I... I learned it at camp. [takes a breath] Okay, I'm sorry. Let's discuss this calmly. Calmly and rationally.
Nick: Yeah, and in English, if you don't mind, right?
Annie: Okay.
Nick: Sweetheart, what has gotten into you?
Annie: Nothing, nothing, just... just... Dad, you can't get married! It'll totally ruin completely everything!
[she runs from the house]
Nick: Hal! Hal! Hallie!
[he looks to Chessy, who appears at a window]
Chessy: Don't look at me, I don't know a thing. [closes the windows]

Nick: I told Hallie.
Meredith: You did? And?
Nick: She went ballistic. She started yelling in 'French – I didn't even know she spoke French!

[Hallie, as Annie, is underneath Elizabeth's covers struggling to tell her about the switch]
Elizabeth: Annie!
Hallie: That's where I have to go! I have to go see Annie!
Elizabeth: Oh, I see, and where might Annie be?
Hallie: In Napa, with her father Nick Parker.
[Elizabeth stares in shock, looks up at her, and pulls back the covers]
Elizabeth: You're not Annie?
Hallie: That would be correct.
Elizabeth: You're Hallie?
Hallie: I am. Annie and I met up at camp and, and we decided to switch places. I'm sorry... but I've never seen you and I've dreamt of meeting you my whole life, and Annie felt the exact same way about Dad, so... so we sort of just switched lives. I hope you're not mad, because I love you so much, and I just hope that one day you could love me as me, and not as Annie.
Elizabeth: Oh, darling, I've loved you your whole life. [kisses her]
Martin: [in the doorway with Charles, sobbing] I've never been so happy in my entire life!
[Charles rolls his eyes, and shuts the door]

Chessy: Hi, you probably don't remember me–
Elizabeth: [warmly] Chessy!
Chessy: [pleased] I knew I always liked her!

Elizabeth: Girls, you are going to tell me why you lied and brought me here without telling your father.
Chessy: Were they? OK, that's good. Ah, well then I'm just going to go back to my room and check out the ole minibar situation.
Martin: Allow me to assist you.
Elizabeth: Wait! Does everyone here know something I don't know?!
Annie: Mum... Daddy's getting married.
[Elizabeth takes a moment to process this, then falls back down on the sofa]
Annie: To Cruella de Vil – She's awful, Mom! We can't let him go through with it!
Hallie: She's all wrong for him, Mom! And the only way he won't marry her is if... [stops; to Annie] You tell her, she knows you better.
Annie: [sits down next to her mother] Is if he sees you again.
Elizabeth: Wait a minute... You're not trying to set me up with your father?!
Hallie: Actually, we are. You're perfect for each other!
Elizabeth: [notices both Martin and Chessy trying to sneak away] Hold it! You two knew about this?!
Chessy: [feigning ignorance] What?! Oh, no!
Martin: No! Madame, no! Absolutely no idea–!
Chessy: No, no, no, no! I had no idea–! [Elizabeth gives them a look] ...Yes. I did know something...
Martin: ...Yes. Technically, yes. I had an inkling, anyway...

Nick: Hello, Liz.
Elizabeth: Hello, Nick. Well, gosh. There you are. What do you know?
Nick: Is there something going on here that I should know about? Because I'm stunned to see you. But, ah, you don't seem as stunned to see me. I mean I haven't seen or heard from you in what, 10, 11 years? And all of sudden on the very day that ...
Annie: [suddenly appearing, interrupting] Dad, I can explain why she's here.
Nick: Hallie, you know who this is?
Annie: Actually, yes. And actually, I'm not Hallie.
Hallie: [suddenly appearing] Actually, I am.
Nick: Both of them? Annie, Hallie?
Annie: I guess you and Mum kind of think alike because you both sent us to the same camp, and we met there, and the whole thing just sort of spilled out.
Elizabeth: They switched places on us, Nick.
Nick: You mean I've had Annie with me all this time?
Annie: Well, I wanted to know what you were like and Hallie wanted to know Mum and — are you angry?
Nick: Oh, honey, of course not. I just can't believe it's you. [they hug] Last time I saw you, you had diaper rash. You're all wet.
Annie: That's all right.
Nick: Look at you!
Annie: Well I'm quite grown up now and quite without a father.
Hallie: And I'm headed into my crazy mixed up teenage years and I'll be the only girl I know without a mother to fight with.
Nick: Hallie, you've been in London all this time? [Hallie nods] Come here, squirt. [they hug]
Hallie: Mom's amazing, Dad. I don't know how you ever let her go.
Elizabeth: Girls, why-why don't you let your father and I talk alone for a couple of minutes, okay?

[during their camping trip]
Annie: Need a hand, Mer?
Meredith: Not from you, Thank you. Don't think I can see past those angelic faces. One more trick from you two, and I promise I'll make your lives miserable from the day I say "I do". Got it?
Hallie: Got it, Cruella.
Meredith: What did you call me?
Hallie: Nothing. Not a thing, Cruella. Oh, by the way, Mer. I think there's something on your head.

Nick: What's going on?
Meredith: Here's what's going on, buddy: the day we get married is the day I ship those brats off to Switzerland, get the picture? It's me, or them. Take your pick.
Nick: Them.
[Hallie and Annie stare at each other excitedly]
Meredith: Excuse me?
Nick: T-H-E-M. Them. [staring into Meredith's face] Get the picture?
[Meredith screams angrily]

[last lines]
Elizabeth: [thinking she is talking to her father, who has a newspaper up between them] Hey stranger.
Hallie: [puts down newspaper. then] Hey Mom, did you know that the Concorde gets you here in half the time?
Elizabeth: [flustered] Yes, I, I've heard that...
Annie: [after Hallie surprises Elizabeth and Annie by arriving in London and showing up at their home before Elizabeth and Annie do] What are you doing here?
Hallie: It took us abound 30 seconds after you guys left for us to realize we didn't want to lose you two again.
Elizabeth: We?
Nick: [walking in from another room] We. I made the mistake of not coming after you once, Lizzie. I'm not going to do that again no matter how brave you are.
Elizabeth: And I suppose you just expect me to go weak at the knees, and fall into your arms, and cry hysterically. And say we'll just figure this whole thing out. A bi-continental relationship with our daughters being raised here and there. And. And, you and I just picking up where we left off and growing old together. And... and... come on, Nick, what do you expect? To live happily ever after?
Nick: Yes. To all of the above. Except you don't have to cry hysterically.
Elizabeth: [with tears in her eyes] Oh, yes I do. [they kiss]
[Annie and Hallie are happy to see their parents back together]
Hallie: We actually did it.


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