While the title, themes, and constant cable tethering seem to be why Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead resonated with fans and cemented the film’s cult status, actress Joanna Cassidy, who plays Rose Lindsey, one executive where Swell wants to work seems to think his popularity stems from something simpler. She told Buzzfeed, “Yeah, the replay is starting to set it in people’s minds, and that’s been wonderful, but you also have to remember that for that to happen, a movie has to be likeable.”
To this day, fans of the film often quote Cassidy as “I’m right on top of that, Rose,” a line that has become as legendary as the film itself. The line is even mentioned in Reddit threads like this one where users being asked what their favorite “bad” movie is. Scrolling through the comments, users also mention the lines “The dishes are ready man” and “We’re in the bowels of the fashion industry” as favorites that will emerge from the film.
It is often very difficult to say which films will achieve cult status. When a production tries too hard to be a cult film, audiences see through it. When a film lands in that middle ground mentioned above, it often disappears. When a film is regularly cited, many people can remember seeing it, and when the film reaches the right level of seriousness, it can stand the test of time and attain a cult following, much like Don’t Tell. Mama the babysitter is dead.”