[[caption-width-right:350:A lovely family portrait.]]

For as long as there have been stories, there have been legends. Many of these explain things now covered by science, while others cover the inexplicable for which science cannot account. Even as human knowledge expands, there always seem to be elusive creatures that tread the blurry line between legend and fact, which people swear are real but no one has been able to reliably study. These creatures are likely to remain in the shadows of human understanding.

At least they ''were'', until George Henderson hit one with his car.

Realizing that he just made the find of the century on his way back from a family camping trip, George packs up what he believes to be the corpse of a Sasquatch and takes it home with visions of fame and fortune dancing in the minds of his family, but soon after makes a number of other discoveries: The creature was not dead, only stunned. And far from being the rampaging monster they first fear it is, it appears to be quite gentle and curious, if confused about its current setting.

Now they have a new problem: Keeping it a secret.

''Harry and the Hendersons'' (1987) is a family comedy film starring Creator/JohnLithgow as George Henderson, against the rather phenomenal special effects by Creator/RickBaker used to bring the friendly Bigfoot to life, for which the movie won an Oscar. It was followed by a live-action series following the adventures of the Hendersons and their pet Bigfoot, billed as "Series/{{ALF}} for the 90's".

!! This movie contains examples of:

* AlliterativeName: Harry Henderson, once he gets his name.
* AwardBaitSong: [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNtGjY3osrw Love Lives On]] by Music/JoeCocker.
* AxCrazy: During the frenzy while Harry is missing, a customer in the hunting store is desperate to buy a gun in order to defend himself from Harry with (since Harry was spotted three blocks from the man's house). What kind of gun is the customer looking to buy? Either a Magnum, M16 or [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill a fully-automatic gun equipped with a night scope.]]
* BatmanInMyBasement: The basic premise.
* BenevolentMonsters: Harry.
* BigfootSasquatchAndYeti: Harry.
* BreakHisHeartToSaveHim: Not only does George yell at Harry to try to get him to leave (so he can escape a Sasquatch hunter), he also punches him. [[GentleGiant Considering Harry's size, ordinarily this would be very bad for George's health.]]
* CallingTheOldManOut: George finally stands up to his father and goes off on him after the latter changes his gentle Sasquatch standee to look more ferocious.
* CharacterNameAndTheNounPhrase: The title.
* DoesNotKnowHisOwnStrength: Harry doesn't know that the Hendersons' house isn't Sasquatch-proofed.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: The entire reason George hits Harry is because he is speeding through the wilderness roads, despite Nancy's repeated pleas for him to drive carefully.
* FishOutOfWater: Harry, once transplanted to suburbia.
* GentleGiant: Harry might be big and strong, but in personality he's like an eight-foot teddy bear. He is also a herbivore, (mostly. He ''does'' eat fish) and gets visibly upset when confronted with hunting trophies, furs, and even cooked meat. (George ''had'' been a hunter, and worked in a hunting goods store at the beginning of the movie.)
* GrandFinale: The series had one where Harry hooks up with a yeti girlfriend, all the major characters pair up, and only the parents remain at home with their youngest son... until a neighborhood girl [[PuppyLove borrows him as well]], leaving the parents to enjoy their HappilyMarried life in quiet for awhile.
* GroinAttack: [=LaFleur=] knees Harry in the squishy bits. At first it seems to do nothing but make him mad - but then he drops [=LaFleur=] and howls in pain, and then gets ''really'' mad. Apparently [[Film/TheMonsterSquad Sasquatch has nards]].
* HeelFaceTurn: The hunter Jacques [=LaFleur=] at the end, when he realizes that Harry isn't dangerous.
* HiddenDepths: George initially seems like your typical manly man hunter, but his interactions with Harry show that he is also quite kind, sensitive, and a highly talented artist.
* HiddenInPlainSight: How the Sasquatches avoid being found.
* {{Masquerade}}: The Hendersons realize that Harry could be in a lot of danger if people find out about him.
* MeaningfulName: Harry didn't come with a name, but Ernest misinterprets his father referring to "our hairy friend" as "our Harry friend" and the name sticks.
* NonhumansLackAttributes: Played with: Harry's fur is thicker in that particular area and nothing is in immediate evidence, but Sarah Henderson states that she can tell he is male. (Her mother starts to ask how she knows, but has a moment of realization and avoids further inquiry).
** [=LaFleur=] [[GroinAttack confirms this later.]] [[ShareTheMalePain Ow.]]
* NosyNeighbor: Irene.
* RecklessGunUsage: George is concerned that the Bigfoot-related hype running roughshod through Seattle will lead to many unqualified people arming themselves. Later, he is clearly frustrated by a panicky customer who tries to purchase "anything that goes fully-automatic", the man clearly ignorant of the fact that such a weapon is illegal.
* RightBehindMe: Dr. Wrightwood discovers near the end that for someone who is eight feet tall and probably more than 500 pounds, Harry is really, ''really'' quiet.
* ShooTheDog: See BreakHisHeartToSaveHim above.
* ShoutOut: Sarah frets that Harry's presence will wreck her social life, speculating that her classmates will [[{{Literature/Carrie}} pour pig's blood on her]] if they find out.
** ''Series/TheAddamsFamily'' theme music plays during a scene where Harry is being groomed.
** George mentions to Nancy (played by Melinda Dillon, who has played [[Film/AChristmasStory another well-known mom]]) that even though he asked for paints for Christmas one year, his father got him a BB gun.
* SomewhereAMammalogistIsCrying: Most primates would interpret Harry's toothy grin as an aggressive or fearful gesture rather than a friendly one.
** YMMV on this. He does use his teeth in a threatening manner early in the film. He may have learned to use it in happiness upon living with the Hendersons.
* StockNessMonster: After [=LaFleur=] finally gives up on hunting Harry, Wrightwood asks him what he will do now. [=LaFleur=] states he might try hunting the Loch Ness Monster.
** A case of HilariousInHindsight - an episode of the TV series did have the characters seeing Nessie, although we aren't shown it.
* WhamLine:
-->'''George:''' You take care of yourself now, okay?
-->[[spoiler: '''Harry:''' [[YouCanTalk Okay!]] ''(grins)'']]
* WhatMeasureIsANonCute: Harry is a gentle creature that gets greatly upset when he discovers George's trophies. However he ''does'' eat fish without hesitation.