Billy Madison

Young teens will like brash, immature humor.
  • Review Date: October 19, 2005
  • Rated: PG-13
  • Genre: Comedy
  • Release Year: 1995
  • Running Time: 90 minutes

What parents need to know

Positive messages

The main character is an unmotivated "party hound" that coasts through life on his father's funds.

Not applicable

Sexual advances; covers of eccentric pornos shown ("over 80 women", "drunk chicks").


Sporadic profanity.


Triscuit, Coke, and Snack Pack references.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Some binge drinking.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this film features some strong language. The humor is immature and is targeted toward teenagers. An older maid makes continuous sexual advances at the protagonist (including a request to take her shirt off for him). The film contains some scenes of binge drinking. Rude behavior rules. The ending features a positive message of accomplishment and resilience.

What's the story?

To inherit his family's chain of hotels, Billy (Adam Sandler) makes a deal with his father to pass grades 1-12 without cheating. There is only one problem: Billy is a good-for-nothing idiot. The 27-year-old spoiled brat is usually drunk. He chases invisible penguins and pranks neighbors by setting fire to bags of poo on their doorsteps. As the movie progresses, Billy slowly learns responsibility. The film culminates while in an academic decathlon against conniving Madison Hotels V.P., Eric Gordon (Bradley Whitford) and falling love with his teacher Veronica Vaughn (Bridgette Wilson).

Is it any good?


Similar to Sandler's Happy Gilmore, BILLY MADISON is a silly, unintelligent comedy that offers no real message. Without warning, though, audiences both young and old may find themselves guffawing at the film's more random memorable moments (Miss Lippy's paste facial comes to mind). The film features great cameos by Steve Buscemi and Sandler's old SNL pals Chris Farley and Norm McDonald.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Billy's apathetic view on life. How may growing up without any pressures or responsibilities result in Billy's degenerate lifestyle? Parents could highlight Billy's ability to act as a role model for his fellow classmates. Why is it important to have positive role models?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:January 1, 1995
DVD release date:August 8, 1995
Cast:Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Norm MacDonald
Director:Tamra Davis
Studio:Universal Pictures
Run time:90 minutes
MPAA rating:PG-13
MPAA explanation:language and crude humor

This review of Billy Madison was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Written byAnonymous July 20, 2014
age 14+

Crass,offensive,stupid,unfunny adam snadler movie is a pain in the butt. Ouch.

My rating:PG-13 for crude humor and sexual references
Kid, 10 years old May 31, 2010
age 14+

A Little Too Sexual...

In one part the teacher says "That milk belongs to that classroom" and Billy replies "Oh, they don't gots to know about it. It could be our milk" and Billy is inappropriate.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written byhomealonefan123 June 5, 2014
age 13+

Sandler's crudely immature but very funny comedy is a blast!

Parents need to know that this movie looks like a very kids friendly movie, but it is not. Although it is entertaining from start to finish, it does have a comical but violent fight scene, adults pull off juvenile behaviour, they drink until they are drunk or start to puke, and there is some strong language (including 1 use of f--k, and other profanities including s--t, ass and damn). But other than that, there is positive messages of friendship, acomplishment and more!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Kid, 12 years old December 31, 2010
age 10+
Funniest Movie EVER!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Great messages


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Digital Compass