‘Don’t Tell Mom The Babysitter’s Dead’ Ending, Explained: What Happens To Tanya?

The biggest issue with Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead is perhaps the title itself. Otherwise, I don’t have much of a problem with this film. Puritans might find the very idea of a remake blasphemous, but I don’t mind them as long as they’re something like the recent “Roadhouse.” The 2024 remake of the film has a lot going in its favor. The story gets a necessary Gen-Z update; the lead character (and her family) being black adds value to the whole thing, and the performance of the young cast is very much on point. As this is basically a feel-good teen comedy, it has a pretty conclusive and expectedly happy ending. You still might have questions about the babysitter, even though the film seems to be least bothered by her death—just saying!


Spoilers Ahead

What Happens in the Movie?

Seventeen-year-old Tanya “Sue Ellen” Crandell’s (nice touch with the middle name homage) plan of exploring Spain during the summer goes for a toss when her mom has a mental breakdown. With Mrs. Crandell having to go on a two-month mandatory retreat, Tanya now has the job of looking after her siblings, Kenny, Zach, and Melissa. But Mrs. Crandell hires this really old babysitter, Mrs. Stuark, much to the dismay of her children. The babysitter turns out to be a racist boomer who would not let the kids have any fun. However, Tanya still deceives her and manages to throw a party in the name of a Bible study. But the party turns out to be much bigger than she imagined and way too much for old Mrs. Stuark, who suffers a heart attack and dies. The Crandell kids were absolutely not prepared for a situation like this. But instead of calling their mother back, they decide to handle it their own way, which turns out to be to put the dead babysitter in her car and drown it. Sadly, with Mrs. Stuark, they also drowned out the money their mother gave to the babysitter to take care of them. With no money, they now have to figure out a way to sustain themselves for two months. 


How does Tanya fix the situation?

The only logical way to get money is through a job, so Tanya doesn’t hesitate to jump into driving cabs with a fake ID made by her tech-genius sister Melissa. One of her passengers, Bryan, a young boy of her age with great career prospects, takes a liking to her, and soon, the two of them hit it off. Upon realizing driving a cab is not nearly enough to feed four of them, Tanya decides to do something better. And what would that be? Melissa carefully creating a whole social life filled with impeccable resumes and activities, thanks to which Tanya lands the cushy job of an executive assistant at a top clothing company, Libra. Her boss, Rose, takes an instant liking to her and hands her over the company credit card—for work purposes only—but Tanya obviously has other ideas. That backfires for her, as Kenny and the other two splurge way more than Tanya thought, and now she has to keep the job to pay the company back (but it wouldn’t matter in the end, as we’re bound to have a happy ending).

Meanwhile, Tanya and Bryan’s relationship blooms initially, but since she can’t tell him what she’s doing with her life, things eventually turn a bit sour. At the office, this woman, Carolyn, continues to haze Tanya. That’s understandable, though, considering Carolyn was supposed to be Rose’s executive assistant until Tanya stepped in. Even though she got the job by faking her age and everything else, Tanya proves to be quite good at it. She also becomes quite close with Rose, and the two even start going out for drinks. Rose’s boyfriend, Gus, also works at Libra, and as a matter of coincidence (read: advancing the plot), one day Tanya spots Gus making out with another woman. For the time being, she keeps it to herself. 


What Happens to Tanya in the End? 

Things suddenly turn bad for Libra, thanks to a manufacturing problem. It is so bad that the company might shut down, and everyone’s going to lose their jobs. At the same time, Bryan and Tanya break up after her not being able to attend one of his career events—we all know why, though. However, thanks to her siblings finally starting to behave like proper adults and standing by her side, Tanya comes up with an audacious plan to save the company. That just happens to be giving Libra clothes a whole new cool update (a meta thing here, as the movie is doing exactly that) and arranging a fashion show for the board at Tanya’s house.

With Rose on board, Tanya goes ahead and pulls up one hell of a party (along with a chic fashion show) at her house. Not to mention, Kenny, Zach, and Melissa play a very important part in helping out their sister. Adhering to movie rom-com climax rules, Bryan also arrives at the venue with a giant-sized stuffed toy—clearly an implication that he wants to patch things up with Tanya. She’s shocked to see him there, but she still manages to ace the presentation. Carolyn does try to play spoilsport by digging out Tanya’s yearbook, but Rose dismisses the very idea of it. Unfortunately for Tanya, Mrs. Crandell arrives out of the blue (yeah, on the exact same day and at the exact same moment when the big event is happening, but come on, that had to happen) and has another meltdown, looking at everything. Tanya now has no other option but to come clean about everything and everyone. Fortunately for her, Rose doesn’t seem to mind. In fact, Rose assures her that she has done far worse since she was seventeen, whereas Tanya has actually done something substantial. Yeah, Libra has obviously been saved thanks to Tanya. And Bryan is also impressed after knowing his girlfriend was not doing anything shady but something truly great. The movie could have done away with revealing Carolyn as Bryan’s mother, though. 


Just when you are wondering, did everyone actually forget about the babysitter, Mrs. Stuark, Mrs. Crandell pops the question to Tanya. It would have been cool if Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead had left us just at that. But the director’s choice of having one extra scene of Mrs. Crandell telling her kids they did the right thing because otherwise they’d have to pay for a white woman’s strange death works out okay too.

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra Majumdar
Rohitavra likes to talk about movies, music, photography, food, and football. He has a government job to get by, but all those other things are what keep him going.

Latest articles