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Smart House
Smart house movie cover.jpg
Promotional poster
Written by William R. Hudson
Stu Krieger
Directed by LeVar Burton
Starring Katey Sagal
Ryan Merriman
Katie Volding
Kevin Kilner
Jessica Steen
Music by Barry Goldberg
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
Producer(s) Ron Mitchell
Cinematography Jonathan West
Editor(s) Tom Walls
Running time 82 minutes
Production company(s) Alan Sacks Productions
Distributor Buena Vista Television
Original network Disney Channel
Original release June 26, 1999 (1999-06-26)

Smart House is a 1999 Disney Channel Original Movie (DCOM) about a teenage contest whiz (Ryan Merriman), his widowed father, and his little sister, who win a computerized house that begins to take on a life of its own – the life of an overbearing mother (Katey Sagal).


In 1998, after the death of his mother, 13-year-old Benjamin "Ben" Cooper takes it upon himself to take care of his single father Nick and little sister Angie in Monroe County, New York. Ben enters a contest to win a smart house. The family wins and moves into the house (run by a virtual assistant named PAT, short for "Personal Applied Technology") and is introduced to its creator, Sara Barnes.

Nick and Sara begin dating, which upsets Ben, who has not moved on from the death of his mother. Ben decides to reprogram PAT to serve as a maternal figure, and the computer uses its learning capabilities to emulate mothers from 1950s-era TV shows and films.

Ben and Angie have a party while Nick and Sara are on a date. With PAT's help, Ben wins over his crush Gwen Patroni, and his bully Ryan is shown up by PAT, who electrically shocks Ryan, haunts him with ghostly skull holograms and chases him out of the house. PAT helps them clean up to cover up evidence of the party, but Nick figures it out anyway, and reprimands Ben and Angie when he finds Gwen's sweater (thrown about during a dance line) in the living room fern. Nick chastises PAT for throwing a party behind his back, asking her to be more responsible with his children.

PAT's "mother" personality starts to become more strict and overbearing. Sara shuts down the entire system and joins the family for dinner, but upon hearing Nick offhandedly suggesting she's not needed, PAT overrides the system shutdown and brings herself back online. An angry and jealous PAT generates herself as a holographic housewife, styled like the sitcom housewives Ben taught her to behave as; she kicks Sara out, seeing her as a threat to PAT's place in the family, and locks the Coopers in the house, asserting that the outside world is too dangerous.

Sara manages to make contact with Ben and sneaks into the house, but she becomes trapped with the Cooper family. Ben is able to end the lock-down by telling PAT that she isn't real and will never be human. PAT finally unlocks the doors and windows, freeing them, and shuts herself down. Sara is able to restore PAT's original personality, but PAT retains some mischievousness. Sara and Nick start dating, and Nick spends more time with his family. Ben finally accepts Sara after realizing she was never trying to replace his mother, and, with PAT's help, is able to have time for friends and hobbies again.


  • Ryan Merriman as Benjamin "Ben" Cooper
  • Kevin Kilner as Nicholas "Nick" Cooper
  • Katie Volding as Angelina "Angie" Cooper
  • Jessica Steen as Sara Barnes
  • Katey Sagal as PAT, the Smart House
  • Paul Linke as Tuttle
  • Raquel Beaudene as Gwendolyn "Gwen" Patroni
  • Joshua Boyd as Ryan
  • William Higdon as Otis Jr.
  • Emilio Borelli as Miles
  • Jason Lansing as Johnny
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