Gross-out movie humor has been going strong ever since Mel Brooks introduced the world to the concept of audible flatulence with Blazing Saddles back in 1974, but it hasn’t always gone to plan.
As they say in Hollywood, "dying is easy, comedy is hard." Of course, there are plenty of examples of gross-out movie gags that managed to hit their mark while staying as crude and rude as possible.
Peter and Bobby Farrelly were once the foremost proponents. Dumb and Dumber had beer bottles full of piss, laxative spiked coffee, and the sight of a grown man with his tongue stuck to a frozen pole.
Kingpin added to the lore with revealing scenes that left you gagging in the wrong way and bulls being "milked" for all their worth. There’s Something About Mary then took things to their natural conclusion with external organs jammed in zippers, prosthetic old lady breasts, and some seriously dodgy hair gel.
By the end of the '90s, the Farrelly Brothers had established the blueprint for gross-out movie gags but then the internet well and truly emerged and everything changed. Suddenly filmmakers were forced to raise the bar to new extremes; your standard gross-out gag wasn’t enough for an audience able to access crude and rude humor at the click of a button.
The inevitable happened though; some people, including the Farrelly Brothers themselves, took the gags too far. Like way too far. Here are the 16 Movie Gags That Went WAY Too Far.
16 Dumb and Dumber To - The Ole Stinkeroo
It took the Farrelly Brothers 20 years to bring Jeff Daniels and Jim Carrey back for Dumb and Dumber To and, on the basis of this movie, it wasn’t worth the wait. The unfortunate reality is that the film’s dynamic duo simply haven’t aged well – Harry and Lloyd that is, not Daniels and Carrey. Where once it was amusing to see two thirty-somethings pulling all kinds of crude gags, there was something sad about two older men trying the same thing.
The apex came during the scene where the pair tries to score free beers by collecting a series of half-consumed drinks, which they then combine into two seemingly full brews.
Here’s the gross part: they then stick their hands somewhere around their butts and rub the remnants around the rims of their drinks. Not funny, just gross. They may have scored an extra drink but lost our respect.
15 Not Another Teen Movie - The Classroom Toilet Explosion
Not Another Teen Movie may boast the kind of title that would leave you to assume it’s part of the same stable of spoof comedies that includes Epic Movie, but it’s far sharper and boasts a great cast that includes Chris Evans and Jaime Pressly. It still falls into the same trap as Scary Movie though; switching between genuinely clever gags and crude and much less imaginative jokes.
The worst of these sees three of the film’s adolescent males up in an air vent spying on a girl in the women’s toilet. Things turn gross when said girl begins a rather loud bowel movement, though.
The vent then collapses, sending the guys crashing into the toilet cubicles with all four characters falling through the floor and into the classroom below. Before you know it, everyone is covered and audiences are left feeling a bit sick.
14 Van Wilder - The Dog Spunk Cakes
Remember when Ryan Reynolds dabbled in gross-out B-movie comedies? Van Wilder may have been a largely unoriginal entry into the genre, but it has nevertheless garnered a cult following in the years since its release and even spawned two, even more inferior, sequels.
All this despite the film boasting one of the most repulsive gross out movie gags of all time. Part American Pie rehash, part Animal House rip-off, those two elements converge during the film’s crowning glory of sorts.
In a prank against their rivals at the Delta lota Kappa fraternity, Reynolds’ Van and roommate Hutch (Teck Holmes) replace the cream filling in a batch of pastries with a substance from a canine that they take from their pet bulldog Colossus and send them to their enemies. The resulting scene where the frat boys consume the cakes is liable to leave you gagging. More to the point, does that mean Van and Hutch inappropriately touched a dog?
13 Mallrats - The Stink palm
Mallrats may have garnered a cult following in the years since its release, but it’s still far from Kevin Smith’s best work. That’s partly down to the movie’s predilection for gross-out humor, which doesn’t always sit well alongside Smith’s zippy dialogue, laden with pop culture references and witty asides.
The two don’t work all the well side by side and nowhere is that better exemplified than in Jason Lee’s character Brodie. As the whip-smart best friend of central protagonist T.S. (Jeremy London), Brodie manages to lose the respect of audiences everywhere when he introduces his pal to his secret weapon: the stink palm.
Neither clever nor funny, the idea is simple: he sticks his hand in the back of his pants and then shakes hands with a foe. This is one of the guys we are supposed to be rooting for.
12 Nothing But Trouble - Dan Aykroyd Slurps Down Hotdogs
The 1990s was a bad time for Dan Aykroyd, who embarked on a string of critical and commercial flops that signaled the end of his time as an A-list star. However, while movies like Coneheads, Exit to Eden and Blues Brothers 2000 were stinkers, his real low point came with 1991’s Nothing But Trouble.
The film marked Aykroyd’s directorial debut and told the story of two friends (Chevy Chase and Demi Moor) who find themselves held prisoner by a bizarre looking 106-year-old judge (Aykroyd) and his demented family.
In one scene Aykroyd’s character -- heavily done up in oozing, wart-laden old-man-style prosthetics --attempts to eat a disgusting looking hot dog. It’s a sequence few will forget in a hurry, though not necessarily for the right reasons. One biography claims Chase considers this "the worst film he would ever make." That’s one quote for the Blu-ray release, at least.
11 Freddy Got Fingered - The Umbilical Cord Scene
Roger Ebert once declared: "The day may come when Freddy Got Fingered is seen as a milestone of neo-surrealism. The day may never come when it is seen as funny."
Anyone who ever watched Tom Green’s anarchic MTV show probably thought his first solo movie outing would take gross out humor to the extreme – he once sucked milk from the udder of a cow on TV -- but few expected this.
By far the most extreme gross-out comedy of all time and a movie that takes the joke way too far, time and time again, Freddy Got Fingered’s low point comes during the scene when Green’s character Gord impersonates a doctor and helps a woman give birth.
Not content with pulling the baby out of the womb, like a jet skier holding onto a rope, he then decides to bite through the umbilical cord. Try and watch it without wincing.
10 Nutty Professor - Dinner Table Follow-Through
The criminally underrated Tropic Thunder did a fantastic job of lampooning the base humor present in Eddie Murphy’s lamentable Nutty Professor franchise. Jack Black’s character Jeff Portnoy stands in for Murphy as the star of The Fatties: Fart 2, a fake movie trailer showcasing a film about a family that enjoys passing gas.
Anyone who sat through the atrocious Nutty Professor will be familiar with the scene where each member of Sherman Klump’s family (all played by Murphy) farts around the dinner table, only for Papa Cletus Klump to follow-through. Gross, unfunny and incredibly juvenile, the gag represented a major low point for Murphy. Until Norbit came along, that is.
9 American Wedding - Stiffler Eats Poop
The first few American Pie movies may not have aged too well, but they always managed to balance out much of their gross, juvenile humor with some genuine sentiment and heart. As the franchise progressed, however, and Sean William Scott’s Stifler became a more central figure to proceedings, things began to change.
American Wedding, the third installment in the series, probably took things a little too far in places. While it was bad enough to have a scene in which Stifler mistakenly hooked up with Jim’s (Jason Biggs) grandma, the true gross-out low point came when Scott’s character opted to eat a dog poo rather than reveal to romantic interest Cadence (January Jones) that he accidentally let the pet pooch eat one of the wedding rings.
8 Bruno - The Swinging
While Borat earned creator Sacha Baron Cohen praise for its biting satire, cringe-inducing comedy and ability to be offensive in the funniest possible way, unfortunately, the same could not be said for his follow-up movie, centered around spoof fashion news reporter Bruno.
Though the film still boasts plenty of laughs and some clever mockumentary moments, it was also accused of playing up to homosexual stereotypes. While plenty of the film’s gags land, some take things a little too far.
Take Bruno’s celebrity interview pilot, for example. While Cohen’s film totally nails the TMZ-style of interviewing during a brief chat with Harrison Ford (he tells Bruno to “f**k off”) the sequence involving a close-up of male genitalia being swung round by pelvic gyrations before pausing to say “Bruno” is crude, odd and not all that clever, either. It is big though.
7 Ace Ventura: Pet Detective - The Einhorn/Finkle reveal
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective was the film that introduced the movie-going public to the comedic talents of Jim Carrey but it’s also a movie that has aged badly and spends much of its latter half being painfully transphobic.
It all centers around the main revelation that Ray Finkle, the man responsible for a string of murders connected to the Miami Dolphins and the kidnap of their mascot, has undergone a gender change and is, in fact, Carrey’s boss Lois Einhorn (Sean Young).
It’s not enough to just have a couple of characters say that, though. Instead, Carrey’s character strips Einhorn down to her underwear in front of a group of cops and is able to out her as being Finkle by turning her around and revealing Einhorn has simply tucked her genitals between her legs. It was crude then and now it’s just offensive.
6 Piranha 3DD - The Piranha
Pulling off gross-out comedy humor is tricky enough but throw horror into the mix and it’s almost impossible. Alexandre Aja did a solid enough job of juggling all three in Piranha 3D, though he was aided by a watchable cast that included Elizabeth Shue, Adam Scott, Jerry O’Connell, and Christopher Lloyd.
The sequel, Piranha 3DD, has none of that charm either and ultimately suffered from a significantly slashed budget, which forced the writers and director to get creative with proceedings.
Some big and bold plans were scrapped in favor of more CGI friendly scenarios – like the one where a worker at the water park where the film is set, somehow gets a piranha stuck in herself. The character then manages to go for an extended period of time without realizing this before – you guessed it – she hooks up with someone and the piranha in her nether regions bites her partner. It’s gross, harrowing and way, way too far.
5 The Ringer - Dinner Time
On the face of it, The Ringer sounds like arguably the most offensive idea for a comedy yet – a man attempts to pay off a significant debt he owes by entering the Special Olympics as a competitor – but it’s not quite as extreme as it sounds... well, not all of it.
For one thing, the Special Olympics committee endorsed the film and had final say on the script. While producers Bobby and Peter Farrelly had previously worked with the volunteer group Best Buddies, which provides mentoring to people with intellectual disabilities.
Even so, some of the gross-out humor does take the whole concept a little far. Like the moment where Johnny Knoxville’s Steve decides to essentially cover himself in food during a meal, as a means of convincing his fellow diners that he is disabled. Because apparently, that’s what disabled people do during meals, right? Wrong.
4 Movie 43 - Hugh Jackman’s Throat
The Farrelly Brothers put the fail nail in their gross-out comedy coffin with Movie 43, an absolute turkey of an anthology movie. There are plenty of misfiring gags on offer, of course, fronted by an alarming number of big-name stars who evidently signed on the dotted line before properly reading the script, but the film’s opening gambit takes the top prize.
Entitled “The Catch” it sees Kate Winslet’s character, Beth, heading off for a blind date with Hugh Jackman’s Davis, the city’s most eligible bachelor. There’s just one problem: he happens to have a very strange shaped neck.
It’s never explained why that’s the case or even why it’s particularly funny. It’s just weird and a bit gross in places. Still, if it convinced anyone watching the movie to give the rest a wide berth, it was probably for the best.
3 Scary Movie - The Bed Scene
The second half of the '90s was dominated by subversive teen slasher movies like Scream and I Know What You Did Last Summer so, by the turn of the millennium, fans were crying out for a well-observed spoof in the time-honored tradition of Airplane!
Scary Movie certainly scores plenty of big laughs in lampooning the horror genre. However, it’s when the film veers into gross-out gag category that things fall down a little. One scene, in particular, stands out for all the wrong reasons.
It happens late in the movie when Cindy (Anna Faris) hooks up with her boyfriend Bobby (Jon Abrahams) for the first time. Bobby has evidently been saving himself too, resulting in a scene where Cindy is blasted onto the ceiling, covered in a cream-like substance, as though she has just been hit with a fire hose. It’s too much.
2 Grown Ups – French Kissing A Grandma
At no point during Grown Ups 102 minute run time, does this film feel like anything more than an excuse for Adam Sandler and his comedy buddies to go on holiday at our expense.
It’s a film devoid of any laughs, which makes the fact that it got a sequel all the more galling. What makes it feel like even more of a slap in the face is the fact it features some truly reprehensible gross-out comedy "humor" courtesy of Rob Schneider – who else?
Competing against comedy heavyweights like Sandler, Chris Rock, David Spade and, er, Kevin James, Schneider does the only thing he can think to do: he makes out with a very old lady. Again, and again... and again. Schneider’s character, the imaginatively named Rob, is dating an old lady you see. That’s it. That’s the joke. Did Sandler write this just to mess with Schneider or his fans?
1 Year One – Piss In The Mouth
Year One is one of those strange Hollywood anomalies where a group of super talented people get together to create something that ends up being total garbage. Written and directed by Harold Ramis, with additional help from The Office writers Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, and starring Jack Black and Michael Cera, Year One seemingly had all the ingredients required to be a great comedy.
Unfortunately, the resulting prehistoric comedy was an almighty dud, lacking any real structure or clever jokes and instead relying on occasional bouts of bawdy humor for help. The movie’s low point comes courtesy of Cera.
Captured as a slave, his character, Oh, is hung upside down. Unfortunately, nature soon calls, with Oh forced to pee on himself, with the result dribbling down his face. While some are able to pull off pee-based humor with a few witty lines, this scene falls painfully flat.
Can you think of any other movie gags that went way too far? Let us know in the comment section!