What's with all this puking? (in movies)

Since I’ve bought a Roku to supplement my Netflix account I’ve been watching more movies than ever. At least 6 to 8 a week. And I’ve noticed that in about 70% of them there is a scene where someone throws up. I enjoy comedies, thrillers, suspense, cops and robbers, some independent and foreign films. And this puking business transends all genres. So what the hell is going on? Is this some kind of inside joke by directors or screen writers? I just don’t get it. :confused:

Coincidence? I can’t think of many puking movies. What have you been renting?

The OP is far from the only person to have noticed this trend. I’ve even seen it commented on by film critics. It really does seem to be inescapable in recent years. And I could really, really, really do without it.

Might be that they figure with all the reality shows having people eat stuff that makes them throw up, that society has become accepting of seeing it onscreen and hence it doesn’t need to be avoided. And, then since it’s new and exciting, it gets put into everything.


Doubt I’d be spoiling anything if I suggest that you should probably just skip Drag Me to Hell. No, no, don’t thank me.

Don’t watch Team America: World Police.

Although it is a funny movie to those of us less puke-sensitive.

I’ve noticed the same trend. I hate it and I blame 90’s era Saturday Night Live for it. They used do the puking gag every week in at least one sketch. The puke thing has now slowly invaded our movies to a point where it seems normal to have actual visual of the puke. Nasty.

I can’t even listen to it happening on the movie without gagging. It’s a horrible horrible thing that really must stop.

I had a friend with a puking phobia - she couldn’t stand it. She could tell 3 minutes before some character was going to puke in a movie and she’d hightail it to the lobby. And somebody always did.

In more dramatic movies, I think they have characters do it because it can be such an intense conveyor of emotion without using exposition or words at all.
Find out your significant other is cheating :: puke::
Find out someone’s dead :: puke::
Getting married :: puke::
…and so on.

I’ve heard it said that the stomach has more nerve endings than the brain. I certainly have found that stomach pain is a much more visceral kind of pain than anywhere else in the body, and that it carries with it far more of a mental effect than any other kinds of pain. Discomfort in the stomach can actually cause feelings of panic and dread, and the obverse is also true. And there is a feeling of loss of control and disconcertingly detached reflexes involved in the act of throwing up. Therefore it makes much sense that vomiting would be used for emotional effect in film and television. However, I certainly don’t find it pleasant to watch, and I would be happy to do without it.

It’s true. And I will add that it is damn near impossible to actually puke.

Hollywood: I have no desire to see people puke. It is not funny, nor interesting. Likewise, I know people must use the toilet - but I have no interest in seeing anyone doing so.

I have wanted to start this very same thread a number of times but since I’ve commented on this subject during a few different discussions I figured I didn’t want to harp on it. But you know, I actually *do *want to harp on it because it’s really starting to get on my nerves. Besides being gross it’s also unrealistic, Argent Towers excellent observation notwithstanding. Do people regularly vomit as a response to stress/surprise/ grief? I know that’s never been a reaction that I’ve had and I’ve lived through a few harrowing things, as I’m sure all of you have. Nor have I ever witnessed anyone react that way. I don’t know what started this revolting trend but I hope it fades away.

I have been so upset that I’ve thrown up, on a few occasions, and I’m not exceptionally pukie, as a rule. I never threw up when pregnant, for example.

What are some puke-movie examples? I can only think of Saving Private Ryan, off the top of my head — and I’m not even sure that was fear-inspired puke, or seasickness.


I’ve just ploughed through your 18 month old thread discussing No Country For Old Men, having seen it last night for the first time, and there’s a puke scene in that very film. :slight_smile:

Ha! I don’t even remember.

Uhhuh and as I recall, no particular reason for it either.

Well, there is that memorable scene in “Monty Python’s Meaning of Life”, for one.

I also recall Emilio Estevez puking off of an overpass in “Repo Man”.

I remember hearing an interview with Jon Waters several years ago where he discussed the puke scene and what an easy effect it was to film – open a can of creamed corn, have the actor get a mouthful, roll the cameras, and have them spit it out. (That’s probably not how Monty Python did it!)

Some of the better known ones (movies, not vomit scenes) are The Reader, The Wrestler, Brokeback Mountain, Requiem for A Dream, Atonement, Audition and, of course, The Exorcist. I could go on, but I have to leave for lunch now:eek::stuck_out_tongue:

**South Park **has relied on it, big-time, and not only for Stan’s romantic butterflies, but other situations, as when everyone started eating with the wrong end of their GI tracts, and when Cartman got his revenge against Scott Tennerman.

I’m kind of surprised there isn’t even more puking in movies compared to what we have now. When you think about babies just being babies, motion sickness situations, alcoholism, drug use, chemo, extreme fear, stress, or disgust (like when a character discovers a gruesomely dead body), vampires experimenting with food (Let the Right One In), and zombies or people becoming zombies (by whatever definition, as in 28 Days Later), then there could be a lot more of it.

Another weird category: mummies supernaturally vomiting bugs or sand or whatever (the Mummy franchise).

I love pea soup.