At the end of the R-rated teen comedy wave of the early 2000s, DreamWorks released “EuroTrip” without much fanfare or critical acclaim. The film followed a teenager who heads to Europe with a group of his friends to track down his German pen pal, only to get into one sexually-charged, drug-fueled adventure after the other. The movie slowly became a cult classic over the years, thanks in part to an iconic cameo from Matt Damon and a song called “Scotty Doesn’t Know” that went viral in the days long before internet memes.
“Scotty Doesn’t Know,” performed in the movie by Damon’s bald-headed garage band singer, is an incredibly catchy song about how the film’s lead character, Scott Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz), didn’t know that his girlfriend at the time named Fiona was cheating on him frequently with Damon’s character. The song’s lyrics turned it into a cult favorite, and it turns out the track was so prolific that it actually saved a woman from falling into a coma.
As part of Uproxx’s oral history of “Scotty Doesn’t Know,” Nick Cloutman told a small anecdote about the power of the absurd song. Cloutman’s band, Lustra, performed the song for the movie’s soundtrack and Damon lip-synched to it during his scene.
“One of the more memorable stories we were approached with, there was this girl, I want to say in the Midwest or Indiana,” Cloutman said. “It was her friend contacting us. She said her friend was in a car with some other people to get pizza and the car got t-boned. This girl was dragged out the car by paramedics and was put on a stretcher and ultimately went into a coma.”
“As she was slipping into this coma, her phone started ringing and she had the ‘Scotty Doesn’t Know’ ringtone,” the band member continued. “In her dazed state she started singing along to it. It’s one of those things where you don’t consider you’re going to be attached to something that has this positive meaning for people.”
Fourteen years after the movie’s release, “EuroTrip” still remains one of the most surprising moments of Damon’s career. The actor revealed in a Reddit AMA several years ago he shot the cameo during a break from filming Terry Gilliam’s “The Brothers Grimm.” Damon was filming in Prague at the time when “EuroTrip” producers called and asked if he would be willing to do a Henry Rollins-inspired cameo. Damon was comfortable with shaving his head bald since he was wearing a wig on “Brothers Grimm.”
“We [shaved my head] and put a bunch of piercings all over,” Damon said. “And ‘Scotty Doesn’t Know,’ the song, was actually written by one of my college roommates brothers, and in the band, one of my college roommates is actually in that back up band, Jason, is playing guitar in that group. So it was kind of a family affair.”
Visit Uproxx for more on the song’s creation and legacy.