The Great Outdoors (film), a 1988 American comedy film
The Great Outdoors (Australian TV series), an Australian travel magazine show
The Great Outdoors (UK TV series), a British comedy series
The Great Outdoors (magazine)
"The Great Outdoors", a song from Country Bear Vacation Hoedown
The Great Outdoors (Brand) a photography community and outdoors brand.
Chicagoan Chester "Chet" Ripley, his wife, Connie, and their two sons, Buckley "Buck" and Ben, are on vacation at a lake resort in Pechoggin, Wisconsin during the summer. All is going as planned until Connie's sister, Kate, Kate's investment broker husband, Roman Craig, and their twin daughters, Mara and Cara, crash the vacation.
Ghost stories at the family BBQ include one of a man-eating grizzly bear that Chet met face-to-face when he was younger. Chet says that while he and Connie were honeymooning at the same lake, he was attacked by a giant grizzly bear. When he fired at it with a shotgun, the buckshot shaved the hair off the top of the bear's head and from that day on, it was known as the "Bald-Headed Bear" of Clare County.
After Roman pulls Chet around the lake on an impromptu water ski ride with his rented speedboat, tensions between the families erupt. Chet is ready to pack up and go home, even as his teenage son Buck tries to romance a local girl, Cammie. The budding romance goes well until Chet is challenged to eat the Old 96'er (a 96-ounce steak) at a family dinner which causes Buck to break the date. Buck tries to apologize to Cammie for being late, but Cammie refuses to speak to him.
Connie and Kate bond at a local bar when the conversation drifts to Kate's challenges of being wealthy. Later, just at the peak of tension between families, it emerges that Roman has made a bad investment and is broke. He has not told Kate and was planning to hit up Chet for the cash.
Later, during a thunderstorm, the twins wander off and fall into a mine shaft. Chet and Roman find them, but the claustrophobic Roman is reluctant to descend into the tiny mine shaft. After some encouragement from Chet, Roman summons up all his courage, while Chet goes in search of a rope to pull them out. Upon realizing that the mine is stocked with old dynamite, Roman takes his daughters and climbs out of the shaft on his own.
When Chet returns with the rope, he is horrified to discover the "Bald-Headed Bear" lurking in the mine. It chases him back to his house, smashes through the door, and rampages through the house. Wally, the cabin owner, bursts in with a loaded shotgun while Roman tries to hold off the animal with a fire poker and an oar. Chet takes the gun and shoots the bear, blowing the fur off its backside. Roaring, the bear runs out of the house.
The next morning, the two families part on good terms. Unbeknownst to Chet, Connie has invited Roman's family to stay with them until they can get back on their feet. Cammie and Buck make up and end their summer romance, as Buck and his family head back to Chicago.