Puke on Film

WARNING: Those with light stomachs should read no further. But know – I’m judging you. Weak sauce.
WARNING #2: Some of the movies listed are rated R, so use your good judgment with the accompanying clips, as you may be offended/grossed out.  

I struggled to find something to write. The inspiration just didn’t come – until now. It came to me today like a bolt of lightning zZhzHHzh-ing * to my core. My terrible headache made it hard for me to concentrate at work today. I started thinking about those people who get such bad migraines that they start puking up their gray matter, and it hit me – puke!  No, I didn’t literally puke. Puke inspired me.

I don’t get sick very often. I have the immunity system of the Iron Giant (Knock on wood! Or iron!). But almost every time in my entire life when I’ve thrown up, it hasn’t been in a toilet or a trash can or some other puke-appropriate receptacle. Some places I’ve puked: my mother’s bed, the floor by my mother’s bed, the floor by the kitchen sink, a bathroom stall wall (I know, right?! Terrible aim.) I’ve even puked in a movie theater. The movie was The Ides of March, in case you were wondering. And you know you were. And I know you’re wondering if it was because of the movie, but it wasn’t. It was the salmon.

Though I have a propensity for throwing up in odd places, it really doesn’t happen often. My gag reflex is pretty solid too – seeing “gross” things won’t make me spew. However, all of this led me to think about some memorable puke scenes in cinema. The list below represents my personal picks – from funny puke scenes to the ones where people tossing their cookies makes me want to toss mine (Digression: Where does that saying come from?? Who “tossed their cookies” and made that famous?).

*That’s the sound lightning makes when it connects with your flesh, I’ve decided.

Freakiest Puke:

The Sixth Sense

Ok, before all the hype, before all the jokes and parodies, before all the Shyamalan hate, you know you watched this and liked it. At least one part freaked you out. You didn’t see the twist. So just shut it. This scene scared me at first, but then I felt sorry for the poor poisoned ghost girl. Now, every time I think of Mischa Barton – which isn’t often – I think of this puke scene. Or Seth Cohen.

Most Impressive Puke:

I Love You Man

I love Paul Rudd, even when he’s upchucking. He’s just so contrite afterward. What a nice guy.

Girliest “Ewwww” Puke:

Nick & Norah’s Infinite Playlist

I squirmed in my seat watching Caroline (Ari Graynor) retrieve her gum from the toilet she just threw up in. I thought, “No way she’s gonna do that…no way…seriously?!” And later on Norah takes it from her and chews it too, albeit unknowingly. Just…gross.

Can’t-Breathe-from-Laughing Puke:


Lots of people I know had mixed feelings about Bridesmaids when it came out, but I admit that during their food poisoning scene I cried and laughed simultaneously in the theater. I’m horrified! I’m amused! I just couldn’t decide, y’all! It was so over-the-top and insane. And when Maya Rudolph staggers down in the middle of the street, wedding dress and all, to relieve herself? Fell out of my chair.

 “Boogie Shoes”-Induced Puke:

Detroit Rock City

For some reason y’all, I like loved this movie when I was 14. I don’t know why. Maybe because I grew up hearing lots of classic rock, and maybe because I have a soft spot for the ‘70s. The puke scene here is one of those nightmare scenarios – you’re on stage in front of lots of people, dancing like an idiot, and you ralph all over the stage. If this has happened to you in real life, I’m so sorry. Hopefully you weren’t stripping to the tune of “Boogie Shoes” in order to score KISS tickets like Edward Furlong.

Best Chain Reaction Puke:

Stand by Me

Stand by Me is an awesome movie, and not just because of the classic title song or because the dead guy the kids go to find has the last name Brower (yes! fame!). There’s a lot of heart in it – like a lot of Rob Reiner films (The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally…). But the scene that takes the cake, or dare I say, the pie, is when Gordie tells a little campfire story about a pie-eating contest…

I-Am-So-Horrified-Is-This-Really-Happening Puke:


Guys. No, really, guys. I’d like to consider myself a bit of a horror movie maven in that I don’t get scared very easily and even like to watch them alone sometimes to test my B.A.-ness. But I almost peed my pants when I watched this by myself (but also because my friend banged on my bedroom window at the absolute worst moment).

I said before that my gag reflex is hardcore, but this is one of the few scenes on the list that makes me feel physically ill. I’m not even sharing the link because of how nauseated it makes me. If you really want to, you can search “the disturbing scene in Audition” or something on YouTube and experience it yourself. But I sooo wouldn’t.

“This is Real Life” Puke:

Super Size Me

All you need to know about this one? Real puke! Does that make it worse? I dunno, but I couldn’t even look at a yellow, lit-up “M” for months without thinking of Morgan Spurlock yakking up quarter-pounders in his own documentary. So dignified. But hey, we’ve probably all experienced the “McStomachache” once or twice too.

Most Unsanitary Puke(worthy):


There’s no actual puke in this scene, but the sheer nastiness of the toilet Ewan McGregor finds himself in (literally) is enough to make you feel absolutely disgusting and in need of a shower.

Yuckiest Puke:

The Fly

Y’all, Cronenberg is yucky. That truly is the most accurate word to describe The Fly – yucky. Seeing Jeff Goldblum transform from swarthy, curly fro’ed man whom my mother loves to decaying insect is exactly as gross as it sounds. And that last scene where he throws up – what was that, glue? – on the guy’s arm is sick-nast.

The Famous Puke:

The Exorcist

Can’t have a list without this one. Another title might have been “The Puke Heard ‘round the World” or “Least Puke-Looking Puke,” but I can’t think of a vomit scene more talked about than this one and the projectile pea soup they used to get the job done.


What kinds of scenes/things in movies make you want to hurl? Have you ever actually thrown up because of a movie??   

7 thoughts on “Puke on Film

  1. Okay so I’m on youtube and have the disturbing scene from Audition set and ready to be played. I’m scared! I have a gag reflex, get scared easily (I’m still afraid of the dark) and I’m alone in my room. I shouldn’t do this. I really shouldn’t.
    I turned down the volume, I’m going to squint my eyes behind my hands covering my face and maybe I can make it through.
    I’m just so damn curious.
    Okay, here it goes….
    Holy crap. HOLY…..CRAP.
    Yeah, that’s gross. I’m going to throw up now – my stomach is actually churning!
    Its just a movie….its not real. Not real.

  2. The Audition was one of the scariest movies ever! The Japanese know how to make’em. Can’t say any movie has actually made me puke, or even want to, although Howard the Duck was so bad it came close. What a horrible movie. There was the dogshit eating scene in that movie the name of which escapes me at the moment – that almost made me sick. Was that American Pie? Whatever it was, it was bad and disgusting too.

  3. As a kid, the puke scene in The Sandlot really grossed me out. I think it involved chewing tobacco and a carnival ride. Ugh. I think I could take it now, but still, I have never re-watched that moment and I plan on keeping it that way.

  4. These are all good, but you can’t deny the power of the puke in the masturbation insemination scene in John Waters’ “Pink Flamingos”. That’s right, vomit, masturbating and syringe insemination in ONE SCENE! Oh yeah, the puker and the inseminatee are chained to a wall in a basement. If you ever visit Baltimore, I’ll show you the house where they filmed it.

  5. Well, cousin, I have also puked in your mom’s bed. And it was a HORRIBLE “Exorcist” rivaling puke. All due to the massive amount of cheese tortolini (sp?) and an entire bag of movie-theater butter popcorn! I also have the super anti-gag reflexes you are referring to. Perhaps a family trait…

    Cue the Dos Equis most interesting man in the world type scene: I don’t puke very often. But when I do, I prefer puking in your shower or off your porch. No toilets here!

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