In the original film, Patti lives with her sister, Ingrid, while their parents are away and is dating a surfer boy who does nothing but surf and eat strange sandwiches. She loves her cat, D.C., and becomes part of a kidnapping investigation when she discovers him wearing a wristwatch with a message that says "Help!" around his neck. She gets FBI agent Zeke Kelso to investigate and leads to misadventures with her darn cat.
In the 1997 remake, Patti is portrayed as a typical Gothic teenager (portrayed by Christina Ricci) who dresses in nothing but black and her only friend is her cat, D.C. Unlike her 1965 counterpart, she is a lonely teenage girl who lives with her parents who are bright and cheerful much to her dismay.
She becomes part of a kidnapping investigation when she discovers D.C. wearing a wristwatch with a message that says "Help." She hires Agent Zeke Kelso (portrayed by Doug E. Doug) to investigate.
In the end, she changes her ways, starts dressing in different colors, makes new friends, and shows more respect for the town she lives in.