12 Great Facts You Never Knew About The Great Outdoors!

The Great Outdoors was an absolute comedy classic from the 1980s, starring the amazingly talented John Candy. He had some wonderful movies to his name, and this is certainly one of the best! The Great Outdoors follows two families as they go on holiday. One set of relations is a hard-working family with very little money who want to share a special break together. The other family are the extremely wealthy in-laws who just want to show off their riches!


The Great Outdoors film poster

In the article below, we take a look back at The Great Outdoors and bring you 12 fascinating facts you never knew about the film. Enjoy!

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1. The restaurant didn’t last long after filming

The restaurant seen in the film is called Ducey’s Bar and Grill, and it was famously home to the “Old 96er!”. Sadly Ducey’s burned to the ground not long after filming finished on The Great Outdoors! It has since been rebuilt and contains pictures and memorabilia from the movie as a memento to the old restaurant.

The chef from Ducey's Bar and Grill

2. The film had a good pedigree

The Great Outdoors was always going to be a classic 80s movie. Why? This was the third film that was written by John Hughes and then directed by Howard Deutch, the other two being Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful.

The main cast members from Pretty in Pink

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3. One song was inspired by another hit film

In the credits at the end of the film, we see that the song “Dragboat” was performed by The Elwood Blues Revue, a band which is based on characters in The Blues Brothers, another film that starred Dan Aykroyd.

Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi in The Blues Brothers

4. This was the only film that acknowledged its two stars together

Dan Aykroyd and John Candy worked together on 1941, The Blues Brothers and Nothing But Trouble, but The Great Outdoors is the only one in which they were the two main stars and so the actors shared the top billing.

Signed photographs of Dan Aykroyd and John Candy

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5. The title could have been different

The Great Outdoors was originally going to be titled “Big Country” – which do you think was the better title? Personally we think that The Great Outdoors has a much better ring to it.

John Candy's character in The Great Outdoors

6. Some posters mimicked a magazine

Some of the original posters for the film mimicked a magazine called the Great Outdoors and had headlines like “Raccoons: Furry Friends or Masked Menace?” – they certainly fit the latter in this film!

An original movie poster for The Great Outdoors

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7. Lake Potowotominimac doesn’t exist!

The Great Outdoors is set around Lake Potowotominimac in Wisconsin, but the actual location used was Bass Lake in California, largely because Lake Potowotominimac doesn’t exist! That’s quite a mouthful for the actors to have to remember…

Bass Lake in California

8. There is a shared line with another hit Aykroyd film

During the film, there is a scene where Dan Aykroyd and John Candy are hunting a bat that is loose in their cabin. When they catch it, Dan Aykroyd comes out shouting “We got it, we got it!” which is the exact same line he shouts in Ghostbusters when they catch the Slimer Ghost.

The Ghostbusters catching a Slimer Ghost

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9. There was another link to The Blues Brothers

The set where the cabin was built for the film was also used in The Blues Brothers. The set is in the Universal Studios backlot and was used in The Blues Brothers as Bob’s Country Bunker!

Bob's Country Bunker in The Blues Brothers

10. The film had a sad prediction

In one scene, Roman (Dan Aykroyd) goes in to a monologue saying he’ll outlive everyone as they die from heart attacks and strokes. John Candy sadly went on to die at a young age from a massive heart attack.

Actor John Candy

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11. Aykroyd went full circle with his roles

In The Great Outdoors, we see Dan Aykroyd fighting against a grizzly bear. In 2010 Aykroyd went on to voice Yogi Bear in the big-budget movie about the famous bear.

Dan Aykroyd doing voiceover work for Yogi Bear

12. The characters in the film show off their passions

During the film we see John Candy wearing a Grateful Dead T-Shirt and we also see Candy and Dan Aykroyd drinking from Star Wars themed cups, so we get an insight in to their characters’ respective loves. However, it’s pretty clear that they don’t love bears!

The bear attack from The Great Outdoors

Are you a big fan of the film? Can you watch it again and again and still laugh out loud when the bear’s bum gets shot? Let us know all of your thoughts and memories in the comments as always!