Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, family and large, sometimes awkward dinners. We’d like to honor this feast holiday, with a Top 10 list filled with the most awkward dinner scenes in film. Do you remember the impromptu musical number from My Best Friend’s Wedding? How about Kevin Spacey‘s ‘asparagus’ outburst during American Beauty? And who can forget the infamous ‘milking cat’ dinner scene from Meet the Parents? So before you head home for the holidays, enjoy these uncomfortable yet somewhat hilarious dinners.
10. Donnie Darko (2001)
Oh, please, tell me Elizabeth, how exactly does one suck a fuck?
Real life siblings Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal played brother and sister in the cult movie Donnie Darko. In this dinner scene, a hostile Donnie curses out his big sis Elizabeth in front of their parents and younger sister. You’ve got fighting teenagers who are bickering at each other back and forth, and a mother who’s desperately trying to censor the argument because there’s a little one in earshot. With all the vulgar language, we bet most of you can relate to this type of family get together.
9. Rushmore (1998)
I like your nurses uniform guy.
When Ms. Cross (Olivia Williams) shows up with Dr. Peter Flynn (Luke Wilson) at Max Fischer’s (Jason Schwartzman) “hit play,” his feelings are truly hurt. The eccentric teenager throws a tantrum by poking fun at the guy in the ‘nurses uniform’ during dinner. This scene builds up to an awkward emotional revelation – Max telling Ms. Cross that he’s in love with her. All the while, you’ve got Herman Blume (Bill Murray) snickering at some of Max’s insults. Herman barely says eight words, but his face tells all. So what’s the lesson here? Don’t wine and dine teenagers!
8. My Best Friend’s Wedding (1997)
I first met Julianne, in a mental institution.
My Best Friend’s Wedding made “I Say a Little Prayer (For You)” memorable for a lot of us (sometimes we still get the urge to sing this song during family dinners). There’s no denying that this is a beautiful scene, complete with an adorable old couple, a soon-to-be-married couple, and twin sisters. But to Jules, (Julia Roberts) the whole thing is bogus. She doesn’t share everyone else’s enthusiasm. She’s stuck in an awkward situation between her made-up (gay) fiance and the forbidden man she’s in love with. All of the attention is on her because everyone believes that George Downes (Rupert Everett) is the love of her life, but she knows that’s a big lie.
7. Meet the Parents (2000)
I have nipples Greg, could you milk me?
Ah, the milking the cat conversation. At dinner, Greg Focker (Ben Stiller) gets tangled in a web of lies, saying that he grew up on a farm in Detroit milking cats. His soon-to-be father-in-law Jack (Robert De Niro) doesn’t believe him one bit and gives him a hard time all throughout dinner. Finally, Greg starts the awkward conversation, only to accidentally break the urn where Grandma Byrnes’ ashes rest. Meeting the parents is already a terrifying experience. Poor Greg, he just can’t catch a break.
6. Pineapple Express (2008)
You are high as a fucking kite!
Here’s another meet-the-parents scenario, but one less likely to happen: Dale Denton (Seth Rogen) attends dinner with his girlfriend’s (Amber Heard) family in a state not suitable for parents. He’s dirty, bleeding, and high. The family doesn’t get to enjoy their dinner because of Dale’s odd behavior. He confesses to them that he witnessed a murder, but instead of gaining sympathy, the dad reacts by bringing out his gun and shooting bullets at Dale and his drug dealer Saul Silver (James Franco). There’s also the part where Saul gets stabbed with a fork. Hilarious for us; unpleasant for them.
5. Wedding Crashers (2005)
After all someone has to pay for the lap dances for the big guy.
And for desert we’re serving – hand jobs! Wedding crashers’ John Beckwith (Owen Wilson) and Jeremy Grey (Vince Vaughn) get mixed up with an odd bunch during one of their regular outings. In this scene, John and Jeremy think they’ll be enjoying a quiet fancy family dinner, but the evening turns out to be much more…arousing. John has to put up with the U.S. Secretary of Treasure (Christopher Walken) and a pushy boyfriend (Bradley Cooper), but Jeremy has to deal with that and Gloria (Isla Fisher). During the dinner, Gloria starts to massage his crotch with full force, and being the hot-blooded man that he is, Jeremy can’t control himself. Oh the nerve!
4. American Beauty (1999)
Will someone please pass me the fucking asparagus?
As a teenager, the last thing you want to do is participate in your parents’ arguments. Thora Birch got it right when she said, “Okay guys I’m not going to be a part of this.” In this scene from the Oscar-winning movie American Beauty, Lester Burnham (Kevin Spacey) has an important outburst over dinner. He’s fed up with the suburban routine and announces to his 16-year-old daughter that he quit his job: “Janie, today I quit my job. And then I told my boss to fuck himself, and then I blackmailed him for almost sixty thousand dollars. Pass the asparagus.” But his wife Carolyn (Annette Bening) won’t have it. Just imagine that you’re at that table, or worse that you’re the daughter of these two maniacs.
3. The Nutty Professor (1996)
You know, sometimes when I’m alone I can relate to myself.
This scene consists of Eddie Murphy playing a bunch of different characters as Professor Sherman Klump brings Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett-Smith) home to meet his family. One would think Sherman knows them well enough to expect bad behavior, but that doesn’t stop him from bringing Carla over. He spends the entire dinner trying to hush his family’s embarrassing comments, and Miss Purty spends the night in complete shock. The grossest moment of all is when Papa Klump starts squeezing out farts. And poor Sherman, the shame and embarrassment can be seen all over his face!
2. Hannibal (2001)
That smells great.
How about having your own vital organ for dinner? Poor Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) gets a taste of his own brains during this very, very disturbing scene from Hannibal. Cannibal expert Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) explains to Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), the dinner’s entree, and then proceeds to fry a piece of Paul’s brain on a sizzling skillet. Talk about a dinner gone awfully wrong.
1. Lars and the Real Girl (2007)
Somebody stole her luggage, yeah, and they stole her wheelchair.
Out of all the awkward dinners out there, this one takes the cake. It screams weird! In this scene Lars’ (Ryan Gosling) brother (Paul Schneider) and sister-in-law (Emily Mortimer) are dumbfound when they meet his girlfriend Bianca, a blow up doll from the tropics. Although they are good sports about the whole situation (they go along with Lars’ story and serve her dinner), their faces show how uncomfortable and disturbed they are by the whole situation. The part when Lars starts to eat off Bianca’s plate is just priceless.
That’s our list of the Top 10 most awkward dinner scenes in film. We hope that you enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner this Thursday and remember, somebody out there has it worse than you.
What dinner scenes do you think should or shouldn’t have made this list?