Food Fights in Film

Food fights in film allow us to vicariously experience the messy chaos of school once more.

In school, food fights are something that every teacher dreads — and it's obvious why. They're messy, and if a fight breaks out, they'll have to call parents to get a new change of clothing for the kids that weren't able to dodge milk. Thankfully, most food fights aren't as crazy as the ones you see in movies, and they're usually rather rare. 

But, that's not to say that we haven't all wished to see a movie-style food fight at least once in our lives. There's something about the insane-yet-choreographed chaos of a Hollywood food fight that just makes it seem like the coolest, most fun part of a (fictional) school life. 

Thankfully, there are plenty of food fights in film that let us live vicariously through the characters in those movies. Here are some of the best ones throughout the ages...

Animal House

For many people who have gone to college, Animal House was the ultimate satisfaction movie. Bluto (John Belushi) managed to perfectly nail the kind of in-your-face actions most of us have wanted to enact around snooty jerks who didn't accept us. 

There's so much about this scene that makes us want to launch a pie at the mean preps in this film. The snobbery of the "star preps," the pretention they exuded, and oh yeah, the obnoxious hair styles they had. Bluto seemed so much more human than they did, and the way he just made the entire cafeteria unravel into chaos just hit every feel good bone in our body. 

Everything about this scene the standard for the best food fights in film. Seriously though, wouldn't it be so awesome if everyone would start throwing food the minute someone shouts the words "food fight?" 

The Public Enemy

Arguably one of the first movies to employ food fights without them being used for comedic purposes, The Public Enemy shows how a simple, three-second act of smashing a grapefruit into someone's face mid-conversation can elicit insanely powerful emotions. 

This isn't as much a food fight as it is a major statement that just shows the despair and tension between both characters. You can't help but feel bad for Mae Clarke here, can you?

Blazing Saddles

Blazing Saddles is a classic film that started a million movie tropes and birthed thousands of different cultural references. Regularly cited as one of the best films ever made, this was one classic that had just about everything that classic American cinema was known for. 

Of course, it also has one of the most epic food fights in film. In fact, it was so epic that it was even given a special name in the movie! 

Perhaps one of the best scenes from this film involves The Great Pie Fight, a scene that brought back the classic pie fights from comedic masters like The Three Stooges and Laurel and Hardy. There's chaos, cowboys being sent flying feet down a countertop, and pie everywhere. What more could you want? 

Little Darlings

This 1980 coming-of-age film was part comedy, part drama, and just a little bit too unreal for most of us to fully get into. Basically, it was a movie about a competition between two girls who wanted to lose their virginity. 

The girls are polar opposites, and eventually, they both realize that having sex isn't what they expected it to be. Streetwise Angel finds out that her "biological" outlook of the deed wasn't quite right, while Ferris realizes that sex isn't like how it's described in romance novels. 

Though the subject was pretty heady at times, Little Darlings did have an amazing food fight scene. It perfectly captured the passive-aggression girls can get, and they really nailed what it's like to have to deal with teen drama. It's subtle, brilliant, and pretty realistic in terms of what food fights really look like — at least, at the start. 

The Great Race

Pie fights are some of the most common movie food fights you'll see, and to a point, it's pretty unrealistic. It's not like most people have a hundred or so pies lying around, right? Even so, pie fights are hilarious to watch. 

The Great Race was a 1965 film that really knew how to deliver slapstick beautifully, and one of the most well-known scenes from this movie happens to be their pie fight. There's something about seeing the upper class tossing pies at one another that's just rip-roaringly hilarious. 

Or, it could be because this is one of the only food fights in film that starts with royalty falling into a giant cake. It's hard to tell, but it gets funnier every time you watch it. 

Fried Green Tomatoes

Perhaps one of the best chick flicks to be made in the 90s was Fried Green Tomatoes. The movie was packed with drama, had a lot of tearjerker moments, and taught us all the importance of friendship on a number of levels. 

Surprisingly, Fried Green Tomatoes had one of the better food fights in film. Unlike other food fights, that tend to have a little bit of rage underneath the surface, this one is full of mirth. They are having a hell of a time, and they're laughing their butts off. 

Cheaper By The Dozen

The 2003 version of Cheaper by the Dozen was a movie that told the tale of a family that had 12 children — and how the family's single father ends up making things work while his wife is out. Unfortunately for the family patriarch, Tom, he quickly realizes he's way over his head. 

Cheaper by the Dozen has tons of hilarious moments, including one of the funnier food fights in film. (Or, rather, it's a quasi-fight.) If you've ever had to babysit multiple kids, you'll understand why this scene is one of the most realistic movie food fights you'll ever see. 

Bugsy Malone

This little-known movie deserves a lot more attention and credit than it's received. It's a musical comedy film that focuses in on the lives of a bunch of old school gangsters — and that alone is worth watching! 

Bugsy Malone is one of the few gangster films out there that makes gangsters "kid-friendly" and hilarious at the same time. Of course, this is the kind of movie that would end up having a food fight in there at least once. 

The finale in this movie has everything that you'd want to see in a full-fledged movie food fight. It also has a surprisingly poignant end, making it one of the most touching food fights in film. Though the movie was made in 1976, it still manages to beat most other films that have tried this food fight concept today. 

Whip It

Whip It is one of the very few films out there that zeroes in on the chaotic, competitive, and oft-cutthroat world of roller derby. Though it was definitely a more niche film than many of the other movies let out in 2009, Whip It was very warmly received. 

Though sports drama movies aren't for everyone, everyone can definitely approve of the awesome food fight in this movie. Of all the food fights in film, Whip It really delivers the gritty rage that comes with dealing with real mean girls. 

It's a catfight served with a side of food, and we're cool with that. 

Matilda

Based on the classic children's book, Matilda is all about a girl who reads so much that she develops mind powers like telekinesis. Of course, this means that this is one of the only food fights in film history to involve a telekinetic girl using her powers to cream another kid with food. 

Yes, it's a one-sided food fight. But, at the same time, it's also super satisfying in that cheesetastic 90s way. If you're a kid, you've probably wanted to get mental powers just to be able to do the stuff Matilda does. 

Hook

Hook is one of the newest renditions on the classic tale of Peter Pan and Captain Hook. To a point, that basically guarantees a little bit of immaturity and a lot of chaos. You don't end up with a bunch of "forever kids" without a food fight or two, right? 

The thing about Hook's food fight is that it's visually stunning. It's beautifully filmed and adds that classic Disney magic to the movie. Of all the more recent food fights in film, the food fight in Hook steals the show  — at least when it comes to cinematography. 

Cato Conroy
Cato Conroy

Cato Conroy is a Manhattan-based writer who yearns for a better world. He loves to write about politics, news reports, and interesting innovations that will impact the way we live.

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Food Fights in Film