A scene from the 1999 movie American Pie, written by Adam Herz. Yes, the infamous apple pie scene.
Plot Summary: Four teenage boys enter a pact to lose their virginity by prom night.
Here is the scene in the script:
INT. JIM'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY Jim enters his house, slinging his backpack off his shoulder. JIM (yells) Mom?! I'm home! No response. Jim walks into the kitchen, noticing a fresh-baked pie on the counter. Next to it is a note: "Jimmy - Apple, your favorite. I'll be home late. Enjoy! Love Mom." Jim sniffs the pie, taking in the aroma. Then stops...as a quizzical look spreads across his face. After a moment of thought, he slides a finger into the pie. Moves it around a bit, studying the consistency. Then Jim becomes more curious. We can see the gears in his head start to turn. He looks down at the pie like it's... well, not a pie. EXT. JIM'S HOUSE - DAY Jim's dad gets out of his car, carrying his briefcase. INT. JIM'S HOUSE - CONTINUING Jim's dad comes in the door and stops dead in his tracks. His face drops, appalled. JIM'S DAD Jim? JIM It's not what it looks like! CUT TO: INT. JIM'S HOUSE - KITCHEN - DAY Jim and his Dad sit in silence, opposite each other at the table. Jim stares into his lap, humiliated. Jim's dad is crushed. You've never seen such disappointment... but he's trying to keep his chin up for Jim's sake. In the middle of the table is the pie. It's decimated. Mushed up, ruined...violated. JIM'S DAD (fighting back tears) I guess...we'll just tell your mother...that we ate it all.
Here is the movie version of the scene:
This is a payoff to a previous scene in which Jim and his pals are talking about sex in terms of the first base-second base-baseball euphemism:
JIM So let's say you get there...what's uh, third base feel like? KEVIN Oh, man, that's kind of sad. Jim shrugs, embarrassed. OZ Feels like warm apple pie, dude. JIM Apple pie... (then) McDonald's or homemade?
Presented with an opportunity to test said description with an actual apple pie, well… we see what Jim does. And does his father.
Trivia: When submitting his script to studios, screenwriter Adam Herz titled it, “Untitled Teenage Sex Comedy That Can Be Made For Under $10 Million That Most Readers Will Probably Hate But I Think You Will Love”. It was later changed to “East Great Falls High”, then “Great Falls”, and finally, “American Pie”.
The title may have changed, but this scene never did.
One of the best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read the script while watching the movie. After all a screenplay is a blueprint to make a movie and it’s that magic of what happens between printed page and final print that can inform how you approach writing scenes. That is the purpose of Script to Screen, a weekly series on GITS where we analyze a memorable movie scene and the script pages that inspired it.