There is something titillatingly wrong about watching a food fight in the movies, whether the ammunition is spaghetti, French fries, pizza, or, of course, pies and cakes.
Food fights were common during the silent-movie era, with pies the weapon of choice. Invariably these custard-filled dust-ups, featuring such stars of the era as Ben Turpin, Mack Sennett and the Keystone Kops, and Charlie Chaplin, involved authority figures or those to the manner born who are humiliated with a cream cobbler to the kisser. (If you’re a fan, these are Charlie Chaplin’s best and worst movies.)
Laurel & Hardy’s “The Battle of the Century” contains an epic six-minute street battle of airborne tarts. The Three Stooges made a career out of pie fights from the end of the silent period in the 1930s through the early 1960s.
To compile a list of the best movie food fights of all time, 24/7 Tempo consulted the page headed “Most Popular Movies and TV Shows tagged with keyword ‘food-fight’” on IMDb, an online movie and TV database owned by Amazon, then watched clips of the food fights on YouTube and other sites, using editorial discretion to make our final choice. Because pie-throwing was ubiquitous in early movie-making, silent film food fights are not included here.
Some of the movies on our list – “Whip It,” “Nanny McPhee,” “Little Darlings,” and “Valley Girl” – focus on children or teenagers engaging in food fights at diners, summer camps, school cafeterias, proms, or restaurants. (These are the best movies about food, restaurants, and chefs.)
Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without such classic cinematic food fights as the continuous food-throwing scene in “Blazing Saddles” in which actors playing characters from various movie genres battle tourists in a pie toss; the John Belushi-provoked cafeteria free-for-all in “National Lampoon’s Animal House;” and perhaps the greatest pie fight of all time (and one of the last to appear in movies) from “The Great Race.”
The Great Race (1965)
> Two competitors get caught in a massive pie fight in a bakery
> Woody Allen’s character hits a foe with a giant strawberry
Blazing Saddles (1974)
> A brawl in a Western town improbably segues into a modern-day studio commissary where the pies start flying
National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)
> Bluto (John Belushi) initiates an epic food fight by spewing mashed potatoes
Little Darlings (1980)
> Two rivals “accidentally” start a food fight with each other at the camp breakfast table and all join in
Valley Girl (1983)
> The arrogant prom king takes a pie in the face, and a food-fueled melee ensues
Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
> The two main characters cover each other with pie fixings while cooking at their café
> A tableful of boys “eating” imaginary food start an imaginary food fight that turns real
Problem Child 2 (1991)
> The kids start a pizza-and-pasta-hurling fight at a pizzeria
> Non-PC students rain raw beef on an anti-red meat protest
It Takes Two (1995)
> Mac and cheese, sloppy Joes, and more fly in a summer camp cafeteria
> Matilda uses her telekinetic powers to hurl food at the evil headmistress
Nanny McPhee (2005)
> Children ruin an ill-advised wedding by screaming about bees and throwing wedding pastries at the guests.
Bratz: The Movie (2007)
> A mischievous dog accidentally sets off a spaghetti-fueled food fight
Whip It (2009)
> A French fry in the face ignites a food fight among roller derby skaters in a dingy diner
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