Study Guide

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial Summary


One starry night in suburban California, a group of alien botanists' trip to Earth is interrupted by a shady team of federal agents. In their hurry to vacate, the aliens accidentally leave one of their own behind: a squashy little alien called E.T.

Cue: awww.

Later, a boy named Elliott hears strange noises in his backyard and almost literally stumbles across E.T. Naturally, he's stoked. The problem is, nobody believes him—not his older brother, Michael; not his younger sister, Gertie; not his mother, Mary, who's raising Elliott and his siblings on her own.

Elliott tries to lure E.T. back to his house using Reese's Pieces...and it works. (Hello, product placement.)

He hides E.T. in his closet, and then introduces him to Michael and Gertie. Elliott swears both to secrecy. Meanwhile, the menacing federal agents are still hot on E.T.'s interplanetary trail and the audience is getting a fun taste of E.T.'s weird noises.

As the kids get to know E.T., they discover that he has special powers. Case in point: he can make items like balls and bikes levitate. Oh, and he resurrects some dead geraniums. He also seems to share a special bond with Elliott (or, as E.T. would say, Elllll-eeee-uuuuut), and Elliott feels it, too. 

In fact, Elliott feels everything E.T. feels.

Gertie teaches E.T. to speak, and he tells her and Elliott that he wants to call home. He hasn't been feeling so hot lately and needs to return to his home planet, pronto. Elliott and Michael help him gather parts to build a communicator. The sinister federal agents get closer, E.T. gets sicker, and when Elliott cuts his finger, E.T. quickly mends it with his healing touch.

On Halloween, Elliott and Michael sneak E.T. into the forest so he can call home. The next morning, Elliott wakes up alone and sick. 

E.T. is gone. 

Michael later finds E.T. severely weak and lying facedown in a creek bed. Michael brings him home, and E.T. is finally introduced to Mom...just before the federal agents and their team of doctors storm the house.

The doctors set up shop and run a battery of tests on E.T. As he gets sicker, Elliott gets better. 

E.T. crashes. But when Elliott tells E.T. he loves him, E.T. awakens...and the plan to return E.T. to his home planet is back on. 

Thanks, love.

Elliott, Michael, and Michael's three friends race E.T. back to the woods on their bikes, arriving just in time to meet the aliens' spaceship. After heartfelt goodbyes all around, E.T. returns to the ship and it departs, leaving a rainbow across the sky.

  • Scene 1

    Scene 1

    • E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial kicks off with some simple opening credits: just purple names on a black background. Oh, and some spooky music.
    • Once the credits are out of the way, we pan down from a starry night sky to a forest. There's a spaceship that looks like a Faberge egg: round and metal. You want spooky lights and fog? You got it.
    • Aliens mill around in front of the spaceship, scoping out the forest floor. They're short and squat.
    • Inside their ship there's a plethora of weird plants. We're talking glowing mushrooms and hairy trees with faces on them. Suddenly, the aliens' chests light up red. These ain't your grandma's botanists.
    • We cut to an alien off on his own, separated from the rest of the gang. He has crazy-long fingers, and he's reaching for a tiny pine tree while a bunny looks on. The bunny is not amused.
    • Our lone alien snags the littlest pine tree and toddles back to the ship. He makes a pit stop at the edge of the hill that overlooks suburbia below. Suddenly, a car pulls up, and it's time to make like a tree and leave.
    • The alien makes a break for it as more cars pull up and a bunch of guys pile out. Their leader carries a long flashlight and wears a big ring of keys on his belt. It's huge. We're talking custodian size. It's an interesting fashion choice.
    • The spaceship's getting ready to skedaddle, too. An alien waits in the doorway, his chest still glowing red.
    • Meanwhile, the pine-tree-thieving alien hides in the bushes. He pauses and then runs screaming toward the spaceship. Its exterior lights are shutting down. This Faberge egg is getting ready to move, y'all.
    • The alien runs through the bushes. Keys chases him, jangling all the way. The spaceship takes off, and the alien screams. Keys and Co. stop and watch the ship vamoose.
    • The alien wisely takes this opportunity to hide in the bushes overlooking the subdivision below. The men look around, but don't spot him. He's been left behind. And it's safe to assume that he's the titular E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.
  • Scene 2

    Scene 2

    • We open on the exterior of a suburban house. It has a wicked steep driveway, but otherwise it's a pretty typical single-family home.
    • Inside, Michael is playing a Dungeons and Dragons-style roleplaying game at the cluttered kitchen table with his three equally doofy teenage friends. Greg is on the phone, trying to order a pizza. Tyler jams snacks into his face. Steve is the Fresca-swilling game master. One of them—it's unclear who—is smoking. Ladies and gentlemen, the '80s.
    • Elliot, Michael's little brother, looks on from the living room. He wants to play. Michael says he has to ask Steve, and Steve tells Elliott that he's in, after the pizza arrives. Elliott grabs his baseball and glove and excitedly runs outside to wait for the pizza guy at the end of the driveway. No, really.
    • The pizza guy delivers, literally, and Elliott carries a large pie up the driveway, trying to balance it on one hand and on his baseball glove. He's not very good at it, but we're happy to report that no pepperonis were harmed in the making of this scene.
    • Before Elliott makes it back into the house, he hears a noise in the backyard and calls after the family dog, Harvey.
    • Back in the kitchen, Mom loads the dishwasher in her robe. Tyler pretends like he's going to touch Mom's butt with one outstretched finger before Michael yells, "Stop it!" Stay classy, Tyler.
    • Elliott's made it to the backyard, pizza still in tow and still hearing noises—specifically from the toolshed that bumps up against a cornfield. He calls for Harvey again. Nope. An eerie light beams out of the shed's wide open door. Elliott ditches the pizza and approaches with his mitt and ball. He stops short of the shed and chucks the ball in. Like so many of baseball's greatest pitchers, he's a lefty.
    • After a moment, something tosses the ball back, and it rolls to a stop at his feet.
    • Elliott looks positively stricken. He turns and dashes back toward the house, tripping on the pizza box along the way.
    • The game rages on in the kitchen. Mom asks Michael and his friends how somebody wins. Before they can explain the intricacies of a twenty-sided die, Elliott busts in and tells his mom that there's something in the toolshed, and it threw the ball at him.
    • Michael and his friends mock Elliott mercilessly. Because they're teenagers. Elliott tells them not to go out there, so of course they do. Right after they pick up kitchen knives that Mom demands they put back. (They don't.)
    • The whole gang, including Mom, approaches the toolshed and finds nothing but footprints. Michael suspects that it's a coyote. They also find the flattened pizza.
    • Michael and his friends are bummed that it's a cheesy, cardboard-y disaster. Mom's bummed that they ordered it without her permission.
    • And Elliott insists that he saw something. They all head back into the house. Those dwarves aren't going to kill those trolls on their own.
    • As we hear the back door to the house shut, we also hear E.T. breathing and see his slender fingers wrap around the edge of the toolshed door.
  • Scene 3

    Scene 3

    • The clock on the nightstand says it's 2 o'clock in the morning. Next to it sits a framed photo of Harvey, the family dog. And next to that, we see Harvey asleep in the bottom bunk. What a narcissist.
    • In the top bunk, we see Elliott. He's wide awake.
    • Pajama-clad Elliott returns to the backyard with a flashlight. He shines his light around the yard and finds footprints leading into the cornfield.
    • He follows them and finds E.T., who screams and shields his face from the flashlight. Then Elliott screams, drops the flashlight, and falls down. He screams again. And again.
    • Elliott jogs into the backyard. Something has just run up the hill and out the back gate, knocking over garbage cans in the process. Elliott stares after it dreamily, holding on to the swing set.
    • The next day, Elliott sets out on his trusty bike with a bag of Reese's Pieces. He walks his bike through the forest, scattering the candy. He calls out "Hello?" channeling his inner Lionel Richie and trying to lure E.T. with candy. Hopefully that whole "strangers with candy" thing isn't actually a thing on whatever planet E.T. hails from.
    • Coming around a tree, Elliott spots Keys kicking at the ground with his foot, like he's looking for something, or just has an unbearably itchy big toe. The music gets menacing. Elliott gets back on his bike and pedals away, unwittingly passing E.T., whose breath we hear and whose fingers we see coming up from behind a tree.
  • Scene 4

    Scene 4

    • It's dinnertime. Elliott, Michael, Mom, and Harvey are there, and we're introduced to Gertie, Elliott and Michael's little sister, who wants to know what Elliott's going as for Halloween. Girl's got priorities.
    • Elliott's in a bad mad mood because his family doesn't believe that he saw something. Michael suggests alligators in the sewer, a deformed kid, or an elf or a leprechaun.
    • Gertie repeats much of what Michael says, which adds to Elliott's frustration. (She also divulges that she's going as a cowgirl for Halloween, so there's that.)
    • Michael's teasing riles Elliott up so much that he rises to his feet and yells, "It was nothing like that, penis-breath!" His mom, giggling, orders him to sit down. Elliott quietly says that his dad would believe him.
    • Oh yeah, where is Dad?
    • Mom suggests that Elliott calls his dad to tell him about what he saw, and Elliott says he can't because Dad's in Mexico with some chick named Sally.
    • Mom gets upset, and Gertie just wants to know where Mexico is. Then Michael gets upset because Elliott upset Mom, and Mom heads for the kitchen.
    • She tells Elliott that if he ever sees whatever he saw again, that he shouldn't touch it, and he should call her and she'll have somebody take it away. Then she adds that Dad hates Mexico and leaves the room.
    • Michael angrily tells Elliott to grow up and think about other people's feelings for a change, and Elliott takes his dishes to the sink.
    • He stares at the backyard through the massive amounts of steam rising out of the sink.
  • Scene 5

    Scene 5

    • It's later that night, and Elliott's in his jammies, dozing in a lawn chair and clutching a flashlight. He hears a noise from the toolshed. He turns, and there stands E.T. Elliott tries to call out for his mom and Michael, but can barely make a sound.
    • E.T. approaches, and drops a handful of Reese's Pieces on Elliott's blanket. Elliott's understandably speechless.
    • Cut to the floor of the upstairs hallway. Elliott's once again scattering Reese's Pieces, trying to lure E.T. into his bedroom. And it works!
    • When Elliott scratches his nose, E.T. scratches his. Elliott touches his lips, so does E.T. Elliott laughs, so does E.T. When it comes to mimicry, E.T. is like the Kevin Spacey of aliens. Elliott is visibly exhausted and starts falling asleep on his feet, E.T. does, too. Then Elliott passes out in a chair. The kid's had a big night.
    • Back in the forest, Keys and his team of guys have set up lights and are searching the area with what look like metal detectors, but probably aren't. Keys finds a pile of Reese's Pieces on the ground, and he eats a few.
  • Scene 6

    Scene 6

    • The next morning, Elliott's in bed with a thermometer in his mouth. Mom confirms that he has a fever. When she leaves, Elliott confirms our suspicion that he's faking sick because he just discovered an alien. Meanwhile, Michael's outside clumsily trying to back the car down their treacherous driveway. Jeff Gordon he is not.
    • Mom comes back and wanders into Elliott's enormous closet. Elliott's super-worried. Whatever could he be hiding in there? Turns out Mom just wanted an extra blanket for her sick kid before she leaves for work, and Elliott's relieved.
    • With the coast clear, Elliott leads E.T. out of the closet. He excitedly shows E.T. several items in his room—Coke, toys, fish, a peanut bank, Pez—and explains what they are.
    • When E.T. tries to eat a toy car, Elliott decides they need a snack. He tells E.T. to stay and assures him, "I'll be right here, okay? I'll be right here." When he opens the door, Harvey comes in and scares the peanut butter out of E.T. before Elliott tugs the dog out of the room.
    • Elliott yanks items from the fridge that he thinks E.T. will like. Meanwhile, E.T. checks out Elliott's stuff. When E.T. pops open an umbrella, it frightens him. At the same time, Elliott experiences a similar, albeit unexplained, scare in the kitchen.
    • School's out! Michael comes bounding into Elliott's room, eager to tell him about some kid that beat the high score on Asteroids. Elliott has, um, bigger news.
    • Elliott makes Michael promise not to be a butthead, and when Michael acquiesces, he shows him E.T. Michael is gob-smacked.
    • Just then, Gertie comes tearing into the room and almost literally runs into E.T. She screams. E.T. screams. Elliott screams for her to be quiet. Michael screams because everybody else is screaming.
    • And then Mom comes home. When it rains, it pours.
    • Elliott ushers Michael, Gertie, and E.T. back into the closet just before Mom enters the room. He makes small talk, while Michael covers Gertie's mouth. Mom finally leaves. Elliott goes back in the closet and finds Michael and Gertie staring at E.T. in disbelief. He assures Gertie that E.T. won't hurt her. She wants to know if he's a boy or a girl and if he was wearing any clothes. Again, girl's got priorities.
    • Elliott swears his brother and sister to secrecy re: the whole harboring an alien thing. So, at 35 minutes into the film, the kids all know about E.T.
    • Back on the hill overlooking suburbia, Keys and his guys are taking photos and carrying their probably-not-metal-detectors.
  • Scene 7

    Scene 7

    • Mom's watering plants, and Gertie's lugging a wagon through the upstairs hallway. No big deal. She tells her mom she's going to play in Elliott's room.
    • Mom tells her not to let Elliott torture her, and Gertie replies, "I won't, Mary," calling her mom by her first name.
    • First Mike and his friends are smoking in her kitchen, now her kids are addressing her by her first name. And let's not forget about Mexico. What's Mary gotta do to get a little respect?
    • Elliott, Mike, and E.T. are already hanging out in Elliott's room. E.T.'s pigging out. Mike's speculating about what, exactly, E.T. is.
    • And Gertie brings a pot of dead geraniums to the party. This is probably why she's not invited to many parties.
    • Elliott points to northern California on a map, then on a globe, telling E.T. that's where they are. He asks E.T. where he's from, and E.T. points out the window.
    • Elliott grabs a map of the solar system and tells E.T. that Earth is his (Elliott's) home. E.T. again points toward the window. (Maybe he's just trying to tell Elliott that he likes his totally rad rainbow window blinds.)
    • Then he picks up some balls from Elliott's table and places them on the picture of the solar system. For his next trick, he makes them levitate and fly around in the air. The kids are amazed and more than a little confused. Scared even.
    • Cut to Elliott running into the backyard and up the hill to the gate that E.T. ran through earlier. We don't see them, but we can hear the hushed voices and various beeps and buzzes of Keys and his posse of shady dudes.
    • Back in Elliott's room, E.T.'s wearing a blanket over his head like a Jedi and relaxing with Gertie's ABC coloring book. He looks quizzically at the dead geraniums she brought, and they slowly come blooming back to life. E.T. returns to his reading. Like a boss.
  • Scene 8

    Scene 8

    • Elliott and Michael leave for school, debating E.T.'s intelligence. Elliott thinks E.T. is smart. Michael just wants to make sure that they're not going to "wake up on Mars or something, surrounded by millions of little squashy guys."
    • At the bus stop, Michael's trio of friends ask Elliott about the "goblin" that he found and generally make fun of him. Because they're teenagers. Michael looks uncomfortable.
    • If Michael looked uncomfortable on the street, he looks super-uncomfortable—and worried—on the bus. And not just because it's pandemonium and everyone's inexplicably pummeling one particular kid with paper.
    • Back at home, Mom's trying to get Gertie off to school when she hears noises coming from upstairs. She heads straight for Elliott's colossal closet.
    • E.T. goes glassy-eyed and pretends to be one of the huge stuffed animals. Mom's fooled and leaves. E.T. breathes a sigh of relief.
    • At school, Elliott's class is preparing to dissect frogs. Elliott's sketching E.T., and has labeled the sketch E.T. Phew! We were right; that is E.T.
    • Home alone, E.T. emerges from Elliott's room in a plaid bathrobe. Harvey approaches. After a tense moment, it's clear that they're BFFs now. Aww.
    • The story starts bouncing rapidly between Elliott at school and E.T. at home. Here we go.
    • Elliott's teacher roams around the classroom, explaining how the frog dissection's going to go down.
    • E.T. heads to the fridge for a snack. He tries potato salad, hates it, and chucks it on the floor. Then he chugs an entire can of Coors beer.
    • Elliott burps.
    • E.T. stumbles around the kitchen. He looks drunk.
    • Elliott looks drowsy.
    • E.T. runs into a cabinet.
    • Elliott struggles to keep his eyes open and starts sliding down in his seat.
    • E.T. face-plants on the kitchen floor.
    • Elliott slides all the way out of his seat and onto the floor, startling his classmates.
    • E.T. cracks open another Coors.
    • Elliott pulls himself back into his seat with an intoxicated smile.
    • E.T. polishes off a beer and crushes the can.
    • Elliott swoons in his seat and makes eyes over his shoulder at the cute blonde girl in the next row of desks.
    • E.T. plays with a Speak & Spell and turns on the TV.
    • What's a Speak & Spell? We're glad you asked, young Shmooper. It's a computer for kids to help them, well, speak and spell words. Think of it like a really, really basic iPad. If you've ever listened to Beck, Kraftwerk, or Coldplay, you may have heard some Speak & Spell sounds being sampled. (Then again, if you listen to Kraftwerk, you're probably old enough to remember the Speak & Spell firsthand.)
    • Back at school, Elliott's teacher hands out cotton balls dipped in chloroform so the kids can get to froggy killin'. Elliott chucks his cotton ball into the jar with his frog and puts the lid on very loosely. He starts talking to the frog, asking it if it can talk. It doesn't respond.
    • E.T. rests on the kitchen counter and picks up the newspaper. He looks at a Buck Rogers comic, where Buck's made a working communication device. A long distance telephone carrier commercial distracts E.T. He looks at the phone. He looks at the comic. He looks up and straight head. By Jove, I think the little squashy guy has an idea.
    • Elliott murmurs, "Save him." Then he chucks his frog out of the jar and tells it to run for its life.
    • Then he begins liberating all of the nearby kids' frogs, screaming, "I want to save you! Let's get out of here!" The other kids happily follow suit.
    • The teacher grabs Elliott by the arm. Elliott looks up at him and yells, "You've gotta save him!" before breaking free of his grasp.
    • E.T. messes around with the Speak & Spell while watching The Quiet Man, starring John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara.
    • In the classroom, the kids and frogs have gone wild. Elliott seems pleased with himself… and still a little bit hammered.
    • In The Quiet Man, the wind rages. John Wayne pulls Maureen O'Hara away from a door dramatically.
    • Elliott does the same to the blonde girl he was admiring before.
    • Wayne pulls O'Hara into a passionate embrace and kisses her. E.T. watches with rapt attention.
    • Elliott pulls Blondie into melodramatic kissing position, but she's too tall. He grabs the nearest kid, shoves him to the ground, and stands on his back. Now Elliott's tall enough to plant on one her and he does. Smooth, Elliott. Really smooth.
    • E.T.'s still staring at the TV, enamored.
    • The teacher tears Elliott the pint-sized Casanova away from Blondie. The kids toss frogs out the window by the handful. And it all ends with a close-up of the back of Blondie's shoes. She turns in her right toe inward. Frogs leap past her and out of the building, as Elliott's led away by the teacher in the background. Stay strong, mini-Casanova.
  • Scene 9

    Scene 9

    • Later that same day, E.T.'s rounding up a blanket full of things like the Speak & Spell, a blender, and some aluminum foil when Mom and Gertie come home.
    • Gertie's stoked to introduce Mom to E.T., but Mom's so busy putting away groceries and complaining about stubborn Ragu stains on her dry cleaning to notice that there's an alien in a bathrobe wandering around her house.
    • Mom picks up an empty beer can just as the phone rings. It's school, and Elliott's busted. Mom smells the empty beer can. No, Mary. Coors hasn't started making chocolate milk.
    • Meanwhile, Gertie learns about words that start with "B" on a children's program on TV. E.T. pops up from behind the TV and says, "B." Gertie's surprised and happy.
    • Mom leaves to pick up her intoxicated grade-schooler, leaving Gertie home with E.T. Gertie tries to get E.T. to repeat "phone" after her, and he does. Then he starts pressing the phone's buttons. "You wanna call somebody?" Gertie asks.
    • Elliott comes home to find Gertie in her room with E.T. She's in her cowgirl costume and has E.T. in her closet. She tells E.T., "Be good. Be good."
    • Elliott pushes Gertie aside and flings open the closet doors. E.T.'s in a long, blonde wig and dressed like a woman. He makes one ugly lady.
    • Elliott moans in disapproval and E.T. says, "Elliott." It takes a moment for Elliott to realize that E.T. is not only speaking, but also saying his name. Gertie's proud that she taught E.T. how to talk. You go, Gertie.
    • E.T. shows Elliott the Buck Rogers comic and says "phone." Then he points at the closet and says, "home." Elliot confirms that, yes, the immense closet is E.T.'s home.
    • E.T. points out the window at the sky and says, "E.T. phone home." Gertie and Elliott both repeat it.
    • Just then, Michael enters in a sweet "No Nukes" T-shirt. E.T. makes it clear that he wants to call somebody so they can come pick him up. Then he takes off his silly wig because this is a heavy scene, you guys.
  • Scene 10

    Scene 10

    • A sinister black van rolls slowly down the street intercepting people's conversations. It picks up Elliott and Michael's conversation in their garage. Harvey's there, too, but he doesn't say much.
    • Elliott and Michael collect parts for E.T. to build a communication device.
    • Michael tells Elliott that E.T. doesn't look too good, and Elliott says, "We're fine." Michael's concerned by all of this "we" stuff.
    • Michael and Elliott find one of their dad's old shirts, smell it, and reminisce about the things they used to do with him while the man in the van listens like a creep.
    • It's bedtime for Gertie. Mom reads Peter Pan to her—the part about the importance of believing in fairies. E.T. listens from the giant closet.
    • Elliott brings E.T. a box of materials and cuts his finger on a saw blade. E.T.'s finger lights up, and he heals Elliott with his touch. He's got the touch! He's got the power!
    • Elliott wraps E.T. in a coat and a scarf and they both listen to the end of Peter Pan. Elliot puts his arm around E.T. That unsettling black van is still idling out front.
    • Cut to Michael and Elliott watching E.T. build his machine. E.T.'s breathing sounds pretty horrible. Michael asks Elliott what E.T.'s feeling, and Elliott says, "He's feeling everything."
    • E.T. levitates various items. Take that, MacGyver.
    • The geraniums are dying. Yikes!
  • Scene 11

    Scene 11

    • As he applies his Halloween makeup, Elliott goes over the plan with Gertie. They're meeting at the lookout. They overhear Mom yelling at Michael and telling him he can't dress up as a terrorist for Halloween.
    • Elliott and Michael dress E.T. up like a ghost to sneak him past Mom, who's dressed like a cat. She mistakes the little ghost for Gertie. The plan's working!
    • Elliott dons a backpack filled with E.T.'s stuff under a gray cape. Michael wears a fake knife through his head. E.T. tries to heal him, and almost gives himself away to Mom.
    • Mom whips out the Polaroid to snap a photo of her "kids." The flash makes E.T. fall down. She tells them to be back by an hour after sunset. E.T. digs Mom's cat costume. Elliott, not so much.
    • Out on the street, E.T. passes a kid dressed as Yoda. He yells "Home!" repeatedly and tries to follow him.
    • Michael helps Elliott load E.T. into the basket of his bike, and urges them to be home on time. They take off for the forest.
    • As Elliott pedals through the forest, it starts to get too bumpy to navigate. E.T. takes over, and before you can say "airborne Schwinn," they're flying off a cliff and up into the air as the music swells.
    • They soar high above the treetops and in front of the moon. It's downright magical.
    • At home, Mom blows out the candles, looking both irritated and concerned. She snuffs some out with her wand. She's graduated from cat to cat-witch.
    • Elliott and E.T. have landed in the forest, and Elliott helps E.T. set up his machine, which sort of looks like a Rube Goldberg satellite dish.
    • Mom heads out to the car, angrily muttering to herself. She still has her wand. Phew. Wouldn't want to operate a motor vehicle without that.
    • As soon as Mom drives away, a bunch of shady-looking dudes get out of a car parked in front of the house. They start lugging equipment up the driveway. This doesn't look good.
    • Back in the forest, E.T.'s machine starts working. Elliott is stoked.
    • The shady dudes inspect the house with their own machines. And flashlights. So many flashlights in this movie.
    • In the forest, Elliott tells E.T. that it's late and they have to go home. E.T. points at himself and says, "Ouch."
    • Elliott pleads with E.T. to stay. He promises to take good care of him and says that they could grow up together, but E.T.'s gotta go.
    • E.T comforts Elliott.
    • The next morning, Elliott wakes up in the forest. He doesn't look so hot. (The smeared Halloween makeup doesn't help.) E.T. is gone.
    • At home, the police interview Mom about Elliott's last known whereabouts. Michael and Gertie are there, too. Just as Mom's about to lose it, Elliott shows up. Mom's relieved that he's home, and more than a little bit ticked. She notices that he has a fever and sends Gertie to go draw him a bath.
    • Elliott tells Michael that he has to find E.T., so Michael takes off on his bike like a shaggy-haired bat out of hell. He's being followed by a blue car.
    • Michael finds E.T.'s machine. He finds the ghost sheet hung on a fence. He rides on and spots E.T. passed out facedown in a creek. E.T. is extremely pale and struggling to breathe. No!
  • Scene 12

    Scene 12

    • Keys—remember him?—stands at the end of the driveway. Inside, the kids finally show E.T. to Mom. He lies on the floor, so pale that he looks like he's been covered in chalk. He extends a hand, and moans, "Mom."
    • Mom drops her coffee on the floor. Elliott also looks weak and generally terrible. He tells Mom, "We're sick. I think we're dying." There's all that "we" stuff again.
    • Mom's scared of E.T. and orders the kids downstairs. The kids protest, insisting that E.T. won't hurt them.
    • Then some astronauts show up and things get weird. The family goes to the front door. Boom! An astronaut. They retreat into the house. Boom! An astronaut in the hallway. An astronaut in another doorway. An astronaut sticks his hands through the blinds.
    • The astronauts all move like zombies for some reason: slowly, with outstretched arms. It's bizarre and terrifying.
    • The music gets ominous. People in hazmat suits descend upon the house to join the zombie astronauts. A zombie-naut finds E.T., and E.T. reaches out to him, moaning, "Home. Home."
    • The hazmat people, including Keys himself, swarm the home. Their cars say that they're from the government. They cover the house in plastic and tubes that look like something out of a hamster cage.
    • Keys enters the house, and we finally see his face, 1 hour and 20 minutes into the film.
    • Doctors start running all sorts of tests on E.T. and interview the family. The doctors keep referring to E.T. as "it"; Michael and Gertie refer to E.T. as "he."
    • Michael tells a doctor that Elliott feels E.T.'s feelings. Whoa.
  • Scene 13

    Scene 13

    • Elliott and E.T. lie side-by-side in a makeshift hospital room in Elliott's house. There are machines and tubes, and all of the adults—doctors, government guys—are covered in protective clothing. It's sterile and scary.
    • Elliott tells the doctors to leave E.T. alone because he can take care of him.
    • Keys stares at E.T. E.T. looks ghastly. Elliott looks pretty bad, too, but that doesn't stop Keys from asking him about the machine in the forest, which Elliott identifies as "the communicator."
    • Elliott wants to know if it's still working. Keys tells him it's doing, well, something, and wants to know what it's supposed to do. Elliott says he shouldn't tell Keys because E.T. came to him, Elliott.
    • Keys tells Elliott that he's been wishing for this since he was ten years old, and he doesn't want E.T. to die. He thinks E.T. being there is a miracle, and he's glad that E.T. came to Elliott first. Um, yeah! So are we.
    • As E.T. gets worse, Elliott gets better.
    • Elliott begs E.T. to stay and tells him, "I'll be right here." Callback!
    • E.T. starts to crash, and Elliott starts to stabilize.
    • Michael enters E.T.'s immense closet. He sits down, pulls his knees into his chest like a little boy, and falls asleep. When he wakes up, he spots the geranium plant near by. The flowers are dying rapidly.
    • E.T.'s really crashing. This is the big one. The doctors try to save him. Elliott screams at the doctors to leave E.T. alone because, again, E.T. came to him.
    • Outside, Michael's friends are at the front of a large crowd of people watching the house from behind a barricade.
    • Inside, the doctors pronounce E.T. dead. Keys and Elliott stand at his bedside. Keys closes E.T.'s eyes. Mom and Gertie cry.
    • Keys gives Elliott one last moment to talk to E.T. before they take E.T. away. E.T. is in a freezer container, zipped up in a bag. He's like a giant leftover pork tenderloin.
    • Elliott apologizes to E.T. for all of the zombie astronauts, Keys, insensitive doctors, etc. He tells E.T. that he knows he must be dead because he can't feel anything anymore. Then he tells him he loves him.
    • Elliott closes the container, not noticing that E.T.'s chest has lit up. No, Elliott! Turn around, kid!
    • Fortunately, he does turn around, and he notices the geraniums. They're blooming!
    • Elliott rushes back to the container and opens it. He unzips the bag, and E.T. chirps, "E.T. phone hoooome!" Elliott is ecstatic. E.T. repeats "phone home" and confirms that his people are coming back for him.
    • Then he won't stop excitedly saying "E.T. phone home," so Elliott has to zip him back up. C'mon, E.T. Play it cool. (No pun intended.)
    • Just then, Keys returns. Elliott delivers a tour de force acting performance and pretends to sob over the containment unit, which resembles a coffin. Keys tears him away.
    • Elliott finds Michael and screams that E.T. is alive. He's alive!
  • Scene 14

    Scene 14

    • Keys and Mom are talking in the living room. Gertie asks Mom if they're gone. See, she has a note from Elliott and Michael that she's supposed to give Mom, but not until they're gone. Gertie! You had one job.
    • Elliott runs out of the house through a hamster tunnel, right past some government dudes, and straight into the back of the van that's carrying E.T. (Apparently, security became much more lax after E.T. kicked the bucket.)
    • And who's in the driver's seat of that van? It's Michael, of unsteadily-backing-down-the-driveway fame. He's dressed in a hazmat suit, but has forgotten to put his mask on.
    • Some would argue that that's the most important part of the disguise. Michael! You had one job.
    • Michael's quickly discovered by a government guy, so he throws the van into drive and the van is off, taking part of the hamster tube—and two hazmat-suited government workers still in the tube—with them.
    • Almost immediately they make a quick pit stop for Michael to tell his friends Greg, Tyler, and Steve to get their bikes and meet them at the playground at the top of the hill. His friends spring into action, but not before pausing to make sure they're all wearing choice hats and sunglasses. Because they're teenagers.
    • Michael drives across town to the playground, while the two government agents stuck in the tube hang on to two lines connected to the back of the van and ride the tube like a giant, plastic water ski.
    • Mom gets in the car with Gertie—and her party geraniums—to chase her sons. Keys asks where she's rushing off to, and Gertie tells him they're going to the spaceship. Gertie's got a big mouth.
    • Elliott, E.T., and Michael rendezvous with Michael's friends at the playground. Greg, Tyler, and Steve see E.T. for the first time. They're awestruck and suddenly much more likable.
    • The government agents (and Mom) catch up to the van, guns blazing, but E.T. and his posse are already gone. They're on their bikes and they're forest-bound, suckers!
    • Elliott takes the lead, with E.T. once again in his basket. The government is in hot pursuit. The music swells. The boys hit a roadblock. So many federal agents, so many big guns. Game over, man. Game over!
    • But wait! E.T. does his thing, and all five boys, their bikes, and E.T. take to the sky and away from the authorities. They soar over suburbia and its backyard pools to the forest as the sun sets. Greg and Tyler look like they're going to puke.
    • The boys arrive at E.T.'s communicator in the forest just as a familiar Faberge egg spaceship descends from the sky. "Home," E.T. says, his heart light glowing red. Mom and Gertie arrive shortly thereafter.
    • Gertie says a tearful goodbye to E.T., kisses him, and gives him her party geraniums. E.T. tells Gertie to "Be good." Callback!
    • Michael just stands there, touching E.T.'s head. E.T. says "Thank you." Michael says, "You're welcome." Historically, this is as sentimental as older brothers get.
    • Then there's Elliott. Oh, Elliott.
    • E.T. asks Elliott to come with him. Elliott says he has to stay. E.T. touches his heart and says, "Ouch." Elliott does the same through his tears, and then hugs E.T. while his family looks on.
    • E.T. holds his healing finger up in front of Elliott's forehead. It glows, and E.T. says, "I'll be right here." Another callback! We're so not crying. We know you're not either, Shmooper.
    • Elliott says goodbye. E.T. picks up his geraniums and boards the ship. The music's once again swollen.
    • Harvey walks up the ramp like he's going to go, too, but returns to Elliott. Not cool, Harv.
    • The ramp lifts up while E.T. stands in the doorway.
    • The doorway closes. The ship ascends and blasts off, leaving a rainbow in the sky, while everybody on the ground watches. Some smile, some cry. And Elliott? He remains stoic.
    • Roll credits!