The Way Way Back

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The Way Way Back is a 2013 film about a shy 14-year-old who goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend's daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, he finds an unexpected friend in the manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Directed and written by Nat Faxon and Jim Rash.
We've All Been There.


  • Don't die wondering, man.


  • It's called delegation, baby. I read about it in a book about it.
  • [to Duncan, later repeated verbatim by Duncan to Susanna] Water Wizz Waterpark. Built in the summer of '83, it's the last bastion of everything that period stood for. In fact, it was decreed by its creator that this place shall never age. On his deathbed, he said "I don't want this place re-painted or updated I don't even want it brought up to code. And the minute somebody tries, it needs to be destroyed."


Trent: Duncan! On a scale of 1 to 10, what do you think you are? [no answer] What... what don't you know? How you see yourself? You don't have any opinion? [no response from Duncan] I'm just asking. Pick any number, scale of one to ten. Just shout it out. Just say a number.
Duncan: [reluctantly] A six.
Trent: A what?
Duncan: A six!
Trent: I think you're a three. You know why I think you're a three? You know what would make me say that?
Duncan: [morosely] No.
Trent: You don't know? You have no idea?
Duncan: No.
Trent: You've got to speak up, buddy.
Duncan: No!
Trent: Since I've been dating your mom, I don't see you putting yourself out there, bud. Meeting kids your own age. And from what your mom tells me, you just seem content to hang around her apartment. Is that a fair assessment? You're just happy not do anything? 'Cause... damn, to me that is a three.

Betty: Oh, Steph, don't you look cute. [smacking her bottom] That's exactly the kind of suit that got me pregnant the first time.
Steph: That's what I'm hoping for.
Trent: Hey.

Susanna: So. You're a big fan of REO Speedwagon?
Duncan: What?
Susanna: Can't Fight This Feeling?
Duncan: Oh, no. My mom must have put that on there.
Susanna: Oh. And you just got to it and thought "What the hell? I'm going to sing the shit out of it anyway."

Owen: I'm afraid I'm gonna have to ask you to leave.
Duncan: What?
Owen: Yeah. You're going to have to take off. We're getting complaints. You're having way too much fun. It's making everyone uncomfortable.
Duncan: Okay. [he gets up to leave]
Owen: Hey. Hey. Whoa. Whoa. I'm just kidding. Wow! That wasn't even my best stuff. Are you for real? Listen, I can tell you're in complete awe of our picnic table. It is one-of-a-kind, except for the 200 other ones here that are exactly like it. There is more to the park to be seen.

Owen: Seriously, when's the last time you bought jeans?
Duncan: My mom buys my jeans.
Owen: Good. Always take things literally. How's that working out for you? Does that get you laid?

Owen: Throw your bike in the back.
Duncan: [politely] No. You don't have to.
Owen: [chuckling] Come on.
Duncan: Yeah?
Owen: Yeah.
Duncan: [hesitating] No, it's too much trouble.
Owen: Duncan, we've got to start having faster conversations. Throw your bike in the back.
[Duncan starts moving pink-colored girl's bike into back of car]
Owen: I'd help you out, but I got my hands on the wheel. Giving you a ride, I think that's enough. Where did you get that? The princess collection? Hey, easy, easy! The car's just the right amount of shitty.

Duncan: How long have you been working there?
Owen: Oh, the park? Um, I've always been there. Ever since I was a small Cambodian child. Of course, that was after 'Nam. I was in the shit. Then I joined the circus to become a clown fighter. I know about 46 ways to kill a clown. I hate clowns. I'm kidding, except for the part where I really do hate them.

Owen: You disappoint me, kid. You're late. You planning on making a habit of this?
Duncan: What?
Owen: You're fired!
Duncan: But I just...
Owen: [sticks out his hand] You make a valid point. Welcome back. With benefits.

Duncan: How's the battle going?
Peter: [Playing with Star Wars action figures] Luke and Leia are hooking up.
Duncan: You know they're brother and sister, right?
Peter: Yeah.
Duncan: Cool.

Susanna: So, where is it you go?
Duncan: Go where?
Susanna: On your sexy pink cruiser?
Duncan: Nowhere.
Susanna: Oh. I see.
Duncan: No I...I just....
Susanna: It's okay. Let it be yours.

Owen: [over the PA system, as Duncan is talking to Susanna] Please report to the Administrative Offices International. Duncan, please report to the Administrative Offices International. I have to announce it over the PA as my voice won't carry that far. My throat suffered major damage during an intense make-out session with Lewis' mom. She has a forked tongue and a touch of the herpes.
Lewis: [annoyed] I don't have a mom. I have two dads. In your face.
Owen: Hurry, hurry.
Duncan: [to Susanna] Hold on a second.
[Susanna nods. Duncan approaches Owen and Roddy]
Owen: [over the PA system] Please. Hurry up. This is pressing, pressing. Urgent. I can't tell you how pressing. You can't fathom how pressing. [to Duncan] How's it going? What's up? Did you need something?
Duncan: No.
Owen: Who's that, big guy?
Duncan: Just a girl.
[Owen and Roddy chuckle]
Roddy: You stallion, you!
Duncan: I don't know. She's older than me.
[Owen and Roddy are even more impressed]
Roddy: So... what are you doing over here talking to us and not over there, sealing the deal with that cougar?
Duncan: [smiles] Well, maybe, Roddy, if you guys hadn't called me over here...
Owen, Roddy: [chuckle] Oooo!
[Duncan returns to Susanna]
Owen: [over the PA system] Return to your lady friend. Duncan, please return to your lady friend. Please let her know that this conversation was entirely about her. In other news, this is very awkward for you.

Duncan: This is the only place I'm happy.
Owen: What's going on?
Duncan: I hate him.
Owen: Who?
Duncan: Trent. My mom's boyfriend. He said I was a three. He asked me what I thought I was on, a scale from one to ten. He called me a three. Who says that to somebody?
Owen: Someone who doesn't know you.
Duncan: I didn't want to have to answer! I shouldn't have to answer!
Owen: Listen to me. That's about him, man. That's all about him. It's got nothing to do with you.
Duncan: [vehemently] Yeah? How do you know?
Owen: 'Cause I know, okay? Don't worry about how I know. My dad was the same way. That's why I don't like patterns and rules. And that's why you can't buy into that shit. You gotta go your own way. And you, my friend, are going your own way.

Duncan: I wish I could stay here forever.
Owen: You're going to love the winters. They're pretty spectacular. Painting houses until it gets too cold, bar backing at some dive, talking to inanimate objects.
Duncan: I'm serious.
Owen: Yeah, so am I. There's a whole world out there for you, Duncan. Don't settle. Not yet.


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