20 Years Of Run-By Fruitings: A Look Back At ‘Mrs. Doubtfire’

One super-fan looks back at 15 of the film's best moments, and pop-culture gems that it subsequently inspired.

As I’ve previously declared on this same website, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is the best movie in the world.

Not only did I see it four times when it was in theaters, I also watched a VHS copy of it so often that the tape warped (read: I also had four copies of Beck’s Odelay for the same reason… so that’s how I spent the ’90s).

If you’ve just crawled out from under that rock, “Mrs. Doubtfire” is a 1993 movie starring Robin Williams and Sally Field as San Francisco married couple Daniel and Miranda Hillard. Miranda, the breadwinner, files for divorce and earns sole custody of their three children; Daniel, an unemployed actor, creates a ruse to see his beloved children more often by becoming their nanny… their elderly, British nanny, with the adopted moniker of “Mrs. Doubtfire” (featuring an elaborate costume, lovingly crafted by his brother and his brother’s partner, to boot).

On the eve of its 20th anniversary, I was asked to muse on the Academy Award-winning flick once more; it’s with great pleasure (and a liberal spritz of the atomizer) that I present to you the 15 most important things from — or inspired by — “Mrs. Doubtfire.”

Mara Wilson’s Unreal Level of Cuteness

We unearthed this clip from the “Mrs. Doubtfire” EPK. Thank you, little Mara Wilson, for this adorable bit of perspective on how to handle your first Mrs. Doubtfire sighting.

This scene from ‘Workaholics’:

I melted like a snow cone in Phoenix when this first aired! I know everyone likes Mrs. Featherbottom from “Arrested Development,” too, but points to Blake Anderson and the “Workaholics” writing team for calling his alter-ego Euphegenia Henderson. It’s the little things, people.

This Happened And Robin Williams Waited 20 Years To Tell Us About It:

You will never be able to un-hear the words Williams uttered in a San Francisco sex shop in that accent we all hold so dear.

You Can Actually Go To Bridges!
The sight of the movie’s most pivotal scene is a place you can actually visitnot just in your dreams! Can someone take me there? I promise I won’t lace your meal with cayenne if you’re allergic. And (SPOILER ALERT) I promise to not double-book our meal, as we all know how well that fared the last time someone tried doing that … also, I’m not apologizing for that spoiler, because YOU’VE HAD TWO DECADES TO SEE THIS AMAZING MOVIE.

Mrs. Doubtfire Saves Lives
Speaking of that meal at Bridges, please read about how that scene helped a seven-year-old girl save her mother’s life. Help is on the way, indeed!

Pierce Brosnan.
Can. You. Even. Deal. With. How. Hot. He. Was. In. This. Movie?


The Original Food-Porn Scene

I still hold the first meal Mrs. Doubtfire “prepares” (long story short: all of her efforts to cook a fancy meal are crushed and she sets her chest on fire) for the Hillard family as my gold standard of what a perfect meal ought to look like. Surely, I’m not the only one who feels this way?

The ‘Jump Around’ Dance

… or as I like to call this moment, “the beginning of the end.” It’s also worth noting that if you’re a 7-year-old kid watching this movie, Daniel Hillard seems like a really cool dad for dancing on a table to a House of Pain song and throwing his son a gigantic birthday party. If you’re a 27-year-old watching this movie, Daniel Hillard seems like a total creep for dancing on a table to a House of Pain song and throwing his son a gigantic birthday party.

The Raptor Rap

Not only did this teach us everything we need to know about the Cretaceous Period, it was also a watershed moment for downtrodden Daniel Hillard. In the rare time when he was his authentic, goofy self, someone (read: Mr. Jonathan Lundy, network exec) rewarded him for that behavior. Let that one soak in and apply it to your life!

The Meltdown

If you’d like any proof that there’s no justice in this world, just watch this clip of Miranda Hillard realizing that her children’s nanny is actually her ex-husband in disguise at her birthday dinner … and then shake your fist at the sky because this didn’t earn her an Oscar.

Run-By Fruiting

This is everyone’s favorite line from the movie (is it mine? No. We’ll get to mine), and with good reason: if you caught your ex-wife’s hot, new boyfriend talking smack about you at the country club (… while you were eavesdropping nearby, dressed up as an old, English lady… I know, just play along, it could happen!), you’d exact similar revenge.

Mrs. Doubtfire’s Bus Driver

Heaven holds a special place for the man who not only drove Mrs. Doubtfire home after long days at the Hillard’s, but also embraced the curious amount of leg hair she sported — declaring that he liked “the Mediterranean look in women; natural, healthy, just the way God made you.”

The Montages

“Mrs. Doubtfire” has not one, not two, but three million montages in its nearly two-hour runtime. Who doesn’t love a montage? Especially when they involve such novelties as prank calls, Barbra Streisand numbers, and dads dressed in drag, playing soccer?

It Was a Stage Play

Speaking of montages, I found this clip of the classic phone montage scene… from the French, stage version of the story (we’re all aware that “Mrs. Doubtfire” is based on a French children’s book, right?). Apparently it’s just as funny en francaise!

Daniel Hillard as a Hot Dog

This is the best line in the entire movie. Case closed. I’ve watched this movie approximately 14 billion times, and came to this conclusion so that you don’t have to. You’re welcome!