Five Ways ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ Ruined My Life

I found that during college, while attending film school, you end up obsessed with, and re-watching many different movies. Sometimes it’s The Virgin Suicides for a paper or The Godfather because you love it and you love re-enacting the horse head scene. But then sometimes it’s You’ve Got Mail and Clueless and, our movie this week, Wet Hot American Summer.

I saw this movie for the first time in 2002 and being a longtime fan of pretty much everyone in that movie – and especially Paul Rudd (I will watch Overnight Delivery WHENEVER it is on), I quickly became obsessed with it. Little did I realize Bradley Cooper would turn into a huge movie star (he’ll always be Ben to me and I hope he and McKinley are happy) and don’t even get me started on my excitement for Christopher Meloni. (Okay, I’ve already written about him approximately 1000435897345 times so you probably already know.)

I love the douchebag joke, I always refer to arts and crafts as “arts and farts and crafts” and I’m forever envious of Marguerite Moreau’s looks and hair and clothing.

So here we go…five ways Wet Hot American Summer ruined my life:

1. Convinced Being a Camp Counselor is The Greatest Job of All Times

Obviously, the horrible truth of Wet Hot American Summer is that it makes me want to be a summer camp counselor.

It just seems like the best job: make out with Paul Rudd, have Janeane Garofalo as a boss, barely have to try to keep the kids alive…sounds perfect.

When I was a kid I always wanted to go to sleepaway camp. Well, I thought I did. The one time I even went to day camp I got too upset being away from my grandparents that I only went for a day and a half. (My social anxiety is deep-seated.)

2. I Become Andy If I Have To Do Anything I Don’t Want to Do

I’m just warning you, a lot of this list is going to have to do with Paul Rudd. I just gravitate to him and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

The scene when he’s in the cafeteria, throws his plates to the ground then Janeane Garofalo makes him pick it up…is amazing.

His body movements and sounds are in total Erin territory. I’m kind of like a parrot in that when I like something (or really if I just hear a Southern accent) I want to repeat it until the end of time.

So when I see Paul Rudd’s awesome movements, I want to do them forever and always. And his reaction to a simple task is everything that I could ever want from my life.

3. Has Changed the Way I Think About Making Plans With Friends

Look, I’m going to be honest here. Is ANY brunch easy to plan? Unless I’m leaving from the same apartment as my brunch companion, the answer is always no.

The same goes for any plan with friends once it involves more than two people. It’s always an email or text chain of, “I don’t know, whatever YOU want!” “11am is a little early!” Or you know you’ll get there on time and someone will be late and you won’t get seated. Repeat this until the end of time.

So much like I reference Clueless whenever figuring out rides home, I always think about Wet Hot American Summer when planning events for the future.

Susie: You guys, I’m really going to miss this place.
Coop: Me too.
Ben: Hey, let’s all promise that in ten years from today, we’ll meet again, and we’ll see what kind of people we’ve blossomed into.
Susie: Yeah!
Ben: What time do you wanna meet?
J.J.: You mean ten years from now?
Coop: Let’s meet in the morning so we can make a day of it.
Susie: Okay, so what is it? Is it like 9:00? 9:30?
Coop: Well, let’s say 9:00, that way we can be here by 9:30.
McKinley: Well, no, why don’t we say 9:30, and then make it your beeswax to be here by 9:30? I mean, we’ll all be in our late 20s by then. I just don’t see any reason why we can’t be places on time.
Gary: Okay, then, it’s settled. 9:30 it is. All agreed?
Together: Agreed.
McKinley: Good, because I have something at 11:00.

Gary: You’ve got a trapper keeper full of appointments, right?

McKinley: No, I have something at 11:00 that I can’t change ’cause I already moved it twice.

4. I Always Want to Refer to it As a “Gournal”

My love for a good journal/notebook runs deep.

This, of course, brings us back to Paul Rudd. He’s one of my favorite characters. Actually, everyone in this movie is my favorite character especially that punk science girl in the group of kids with David Hyde Pierce.

But I love Paul Rudd’s delivery of the gournal line and Elizabeth Banks correcting him on the pronunciation. Total brilliance.

And them making out in this scene leads into her trying to make out with him later with barbecue sauce all over her face which leads to one of the greatest lines ever.

I’m gonna go write in my gournal.

5. The Scene When They Go Into Town Is My Favorite Thing Of All Times

I mean, it’s just amazing. I don’t even know what to say about it but please watch the scene here.

Just…everything. Starting with the library, ice cream, smoking, beer and then just going into them doing drugs…is so good. Just the hilariousness of this being them in town for an hour is amazing. I get that I’m explaining the joke to you and you don’t need that but like, I just need you to understand how much I love this scene.

Obviously I love this entire movie and I didn’t even mention the talent show or Ken Marino or Molly Shannon but just…ugh. So good.

It’s always fun to get away from camp, even for an hour.

(Main image via, gif via, all others screengrabbed by me)

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