THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND*CUT TO THE CHASE*
NOTE: This spoiler was submitted by Jeremy
The film opens with Scott Carlin (Pete Davidson) driving. After a while of sitting in silence, Scott closes his eyes and hits the gas for about ten seconds. He opens his eyes before he crashes, but he swerves out of the way in time, only to cause two other cars to collide. He continues driving and quietly apologizes.
Later, Scott is hanging out with his friends Kelsey (Bel Powley), Igor (Moises Arias), Oscar (Ricky Velez), Richie (Lou Wilson), and Tara (Carly Aquilino). They enjoy smoking weed in the house, but Kelsey suggests they go out for once. Tara notices Scott’s tattoos and asks him about a date he has on his arm. Scott explains that it’s the date that his father Stan died. Being a firefighter, he perished in one. The situation grows awkward until Scott and everyone starts laughing about it. Kelsey then texts Scott to go somewhere private where they have sex. She wants their relationship to develop into something more, but Scott thinks she would be better off with someone else and that them becoming a couple would make things awkward.
Scott lives with his nurse mother Margie (Marisa Tomei) and sister Claire (Maude Apatow), who is set to go to college. She is having a graduation party along with her friend Joanne (Pauline Chalamet), but she worries that Scott is going to do something to ruin the party or try to hook up with one of her friends. Afterward, he goes to the garage to go through his father’s belongings and pretend to speak as him.
Scott is with the guys where they discuss Igor meeting a girl online and thinking he’s getting catfished because the girl in the picture is too attractive to be into him. A random kid then comes by to try and buy drugs but gets into an argument with the guys over not having enough money to pay for it.
Prior to the party, Scott argues with Claire over wearing a suit to the party, even bringing Margie into it over a FaceTime call at work. Scott begrudgingly puts the suit on and attends the party. He is approached by his cousin Joe (Kevin Corrigan), who is offering him a job as a busboy at a restaurant. After the party, Claire talks to Scott and hopes that he will be alright without her after she leaves because she knows how reckless he can be and that he continues to use their dad’s death as an excuse to continue acting out and being a man child. He argues that she was too young to know Stan and understand how much his death felt.
The following morning, Claire and Joanne prepare to go off to college together. Claire tearfully hugs Scott and Margie goodbye, but Margie is too emotional to stay outside and watch them leave. She tries to get Scott to spend time with her, but she breaks down again at the thought of Claire leaving, and Scott comforts her.
Scott later goes to join his friends outside an abandoned orphanage before a security guard tells them to leave. Kelsey complains that there is nothing exciting about Staten Island and that that’s why nobody likes to visit there. They discuss Scott’s dream of becoming a tattoo artist, but Richie says that his work is inconsistent, such as a botched Obama tattoo that Scott gave him. Later, without the girls, the guys are by the water when a kid named Harold (Luke David Blumm) comes walking by. Scott offers to give him a tattoo, which everyone but Igor is encouraging. After a few seconds with the needle, Harold backs out and runs away. Harold’s father, Ray Bishop (Bill Burr), comes angrily confronting Margie for what Scott did. She apologizes for him, even as Ray is being loud, but he calms down after Margie tells him she is a widow. Harold is also just embarrassed for being dragged there for this.
Scott goes out with Kelsey and brings up the graduation party, which Kelsey is upset that he didn’t invite her to. When he reiterates that he thought they just had a casual relationship, she gets upset and decides that maybe it’s better that they don’t get any more serious.
Scott begins working as a busboy, where he has to deal with obnoxious and entitled customers. After work, the staff hosts a fight club where they fight with big foam Hulk hands. Scott very quickly gets knocked down on his ass.
Ray returns to the Carlin house to apologize to Margie for how he reacted and says that he will go ahead and pay for the tattoo removal surgery for Harold, but Margie knows that what Scott did was unbelievable. Ray takes her out for coffee, and the two get along and talk about each other’s personal lives. Pretty soon, they start going out as a couple. Margie then tells Scott that she and Ray are dating, which pisses him off for two reasons. First, he doesn’t like that Ray was yelling at him for tattooing Harold, and he is more upset when Margie mentions the Ray is also a firefighter because he doesn’t want her to go through the same thing that she did with Stan.
Ray takes Margie out for dinner to the restaurant where Scott works. Ray tries being nice and patient with Scott, even though he wants to be sarcastic, but for Margie’s sake, Scott decides to give Ray a chance. He agrees to join him for a baseball game with some of his other firefighter buddies – Papa (Steve Buscemi), Savage (Jimmy Tatro), Lockwood (Dominick Lombardozzi), and Morales (Rafael Poueriet). It’s already awkward enough with Scott’s smarmy and apathetic attitude, but he completely makes an ass of himself when he calls the other firefighters out for putting their lives at risk when they know they could be leaving their loved ones behind.
After talking to Ray, Margie forces Scott to “contribute” by helping walk Ray’s kids to school. He goes to Ray’s old house where he meets his ex-wife Gina (Pamela Adlon), along with Harold and his sister Kelly (Alexis Rae Forlenza). Scott walks the two to school and chats with them, and he likes that they listen to him, although he does feel a bit awkward taking care of someone else’s kids.
Scott goes looking for another job. He talks to the owner of a tattoo shop (Coulson Baker), who assures him he won’t make good money there, regardless of experience. He also almost gets into a fight with a patron because he mocks him having a tattoo of a confederate flag. At the restaurant, Scott sees Kelsey on a Tinder date with another guy. When he talks to her alone, she admits that she is only with the guy to make Scott jealous and she already thinks he’s a loser because he’s a DJ. Kelsey also informs Scott how sickly he looks before she leaves.
Scott’s friends plot to rob a pharmacy to get enough money to pursue their careers, including Scott’s weird dream of opening a tattoo restaurant. Scott refuses to go along with it, even as the others try to make him feel guilty for always doing stuff for him.
Scott goes with Ray and Margie to visit Claire at college. They get together for dinner, but Scott continues to act immaturely and insists on leaving. He joins Claire and Joanne for a college party where he gets drunk, talks to a few other students, and even hooks up with one of them. Scott then walks with Claire, where they discuss her wanting Scott to go to college, but he wants Claire’s help in getting Margie to break up with Ray. Claire is not having it and just walks away from Scott. On the drive home, Scott overhears Margie and Ray talking about how dumb his tattoo restaurant idea is and that he doesn’t have a lot of ambitions for the future.
Scott then agrees to be the lookout for his friends as they commit the robbery. Unfortunately, they are caught, Oscar gets shot in the shoulder, and Scott can only flee before the cops arrive. Scott calls Claire to blame Ray for it and says he’s going to do something about it, even though she is pleading with him not to. Scott later visits Gina after taking the kids to school, and they smoke a joint and talk crap about Ray, like how he is trying to avoid getting custody of his kids and only picks specific days to see them, as well as how he is homeless and sleeps at the firehouse. Scott decides to use all of this in his favor.
Ray confronts Scott over talking to Gina, since he knows that Scott was telling Margie all the bad stuff about him. Their argument escalates into a full-blown fight, with Ray throwing Scott into the pool and then pinning him to the ground, which Margie sees. She yells at both of them and orders them both to leave, effectively kicking Scott out of the house.
Scott goes to the prison to visit his friends. He and Oscar are surprised that Igor’s hot girlfriend turns out to be real. However, when Scott asks Oscar if he can stay at his place, he refuses since Scott left them all to get caught. He makes another attempt with Kelsey after having sex with her, but she also refuses to let him stay there. Realizing he has no other choice, Scott goes to the firehouse and apologizes to Ray. Even though he is not pleased to see Scott, he reluctantly lets Scott stay there since they both know Margie will hate Ray if he turns Scott away from shelter.
Scott gradually begins to bond with the other firefighters, showing them more respect and listening to their stories. He even helps around the firehouse, but mostly because that’s the only way they will let him stay there. He and Ray start to warm up to each other more as Ray sees that Scott has been doing good with his kids, such as helping Harold with his drawings. Scott goes along on a job with the firefighters to a building that is on fire, and Scott watches as Ray helps get many people out of there safely. The two start to genuinely bond, and Ray even lets Scott do a few tattoos on his back.
A man (Action Bronson) comes by the firehouse with a severe wound to his abdomen. With Scott alerting the others, they are able to take the man to get medical attention at the hospital where Margie works. She is surprised to see Scott and Ray getting along and working together. Ray shows her his back to show all the artwork that Scott has been doing, which includes a picture of the three of them plus Claire, which touches Margie. She lets Scott go back home, where they reconcile and admit that they both miss Stan. Scott just promises her that he will be better as a person and towards Ray.
Ray later takes Scott to the ferry where he is going to meet Kelsey. She is set to take her civil service exam and isn’t too thrilled to see Scott, but she lets him tag along anyway. On the boat ride, Scott decides that he wants to give it a shot in having a real relationship with her. The two kiss, indicating that she agrees. When they get to the building for the test, Kelsey asks him to wait for her to be done, which will be in about 3.5 hours. Scott agrees and decides to just hang out in the city for the time being.
Scott Carlin has resigned himself to being a pot-smoking slacker after the death of his firefighter father Stan. He wants to be a tattoo artist and goofs off with his friends while giving a hard time to his mom Margie and sister Claire. After Claire goes to college and Margie starts dating another firefighter named Ray, Scott is forced to make changes.
Scott doesn't get along with Ray at first, but Margie makes Scott help walk Ray's kids to school, and he ends up bonding with them. He tries to get dirt on Ray from his ex-wife Gina, which leads to them fighting and causes Margie to kick both of them out. After none of his friends will take him in, Scott swallows his pride and apologizes to Ray, and he spends time at the firehouse with Ray and his buddies. Scott bonds with them, and he and Ray get to know each other better and see how much good the other one does. Margie sees that they have gotten better, and she lets Scott go back home while resuming her relationship with Ray.
Scott also decides to pursue a real relationship with his friend Kelsey after spending most of the movie just hooking up with her.