When intra-family political debates get too heated this Thanksgiving, remember: that spoonful of creamy mashed potatoes can always be weaponized as a diversion (some Adele works in a pinch, too). For further proof, here are the nine finest movie food fights of all time.
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Animal House (1978)
When a man like Bluto (John Belushi) piles that much food on his plate, two things are certain: an unthinkable portion will work its way down his digestive tract, and whatever remains will end up splattered across walls and flung in the unsuspecting faces of anyone within his wingspan. After showing off his best zit impression by imploding a half-swallowed ball of mashed potatoes all over his preppy adversaries, Bluto heads for the nearest exit with haste -- but not before declaring, "Food fight!" and leaving a maelstrom of broken dishes and slung-shot Jell-O squares in his dust.
Blazing Saddles (1974)
We all know about Blazing Saddles' campfire beans and their gastrointestinal repercussions. But let's save a little bit of love for the pies that get smashed in faces as Mel Brooks' Western parody's climactic scuffle spills through the literal fourth wall, into an adjoining Warner Bros. lot, and ultimately the studio commissary. Not even a group of visiting tourists escapes without a whipped-cream facial, as Brooks pulled off a sequence that simultaneously sent up macho, sand-swept cowboy movies' faux-authenticity as well as cheap sight gags, all while letting us in on the inherent silliness of movie-making.
Bugsy Malone (1976)
This messy throwdown from the still-unsettling musical comedy features fresh-faced youths pretending to be unrepentant tough guys -- and lots of pies. Right before the fight breaks out, a mustachioed Dandy Dan (Martin Lev) arrives at the nightclub and makes a speech to his goons, saying, "Remember, it's history you'll be writing." And he wasn't kidding. As the kids arrive, the pies start flying, writing history in wet, squishy explosions of custard.
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 (2013)
In most big-screen culinary skirmishes, edibles are merely blunt objects to be tossed, smashed, and pelted at an unsuspecting enemy. But sometimes, like in this sequel to the 2009 animated adaptation of Judi and Rob Barrett's beloved children's book, food fights back. In the climactic sequence, adorable living strawberry Barry (Cody Cameron) wages war against his captors at Evil Corp, freeing various "foodimals" like the terrifying Bananostrich for one final battle filled with robots, lasers, and some seriously pissed-off perishables. The lesson? Be nice to your leftovers -- you never know what horrifying form they may take in the future.
During a stop in the kingdom of Potsdorf, TheGreat Race crew seeks refuge in a local bakery. Their hysteria cannot be contained. One misstep into a giant cake prompts a full confectionary meltdown. It only takes a few minutes for a room full of pies to swirl into a cloud of crust and Technicolor filling.
Before he can duel Captain Hook (Dustin Hoffman) and save his children, Peter Banning (Robin Williams) must discover his high-flying, sword-proficient inner child. Not easy. On Earth, Peter’s a stuffy lawyer whose definition of fun involves breaking up monopolizing conglomerates. So to unleash the inner punk, Pan’s pint-size underlings throw an exquisite banquet... which quickly devolves into mashed-pastry mayhem. In the end, Peter learns an important lesson about slicing coconuts.
It Takes Two (1995)
Director Andy Tennant's (Hitch, Sweet Home Alabama) updated version of The Prince and The Pauper -- starring Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen as two girls who trade places in an attempt to orchestrate romance between their respective guardians -- may only have registered an 8% on Rotten Tomatoes, but it’s beloved among '90s babies who grew up on a steady diet of Olsen flicks. It Takes Two's most memorable scene comes when Alyssa (Ashley) attempts to create a diversion by tripping a server in the camp cafeteria, followed by an epic slo-mo tumble and Kirstie Alley screaming, "FOOD FIGHT!" And as a bonus, it's capped off with a memorable bit of flirting between a butter-splattered Alley and macaroni-covered Steve Guttenberg.
Earlier in the film, schoolyard tyrant Ms. Trunchbull (Pam Ferris) doles out the mother of all food-related punishments when she makes poor Bruce Bogtrotter (Jimmy Karz) consume an entire chocolate cake in front of the whole school. Thankfully, the Trunch later suffers a punishment befitting her crime: being chased out of the school by an army of angry, food-wielding grade-schoolers who pummel the evil headmistress as she cowers and flees. Bogtrotter, appropriately, gets the last laugh, shoving a hearty helping in her face. It’s less food fight than a food smackdown.
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