Tuesday, September 9, 2014

13 F-Bombs in PG-13 Movies

By Doug Schultz
Go f**k yourself, San Diego.

1. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)


2. Be Cool (2005)

Chili Palmer (John Travolta) lays out the MPAA's arbitrary rule: "Do you know that, unless you're willing to use the R rating, you can only say the F-word once? You know what I say? F**k that. I'm done." While there are several recent PG-13 movies with two (or even three) F-bombs (The American President, The Social Network, The Tourist, etc.), one is pretty much the standard. Officially (supposedly), movies can only use it once, but not in a sexual context (i.e., you can say "f**k you," but not, "I want to f**k you" [even though I do]). And, if you go back far enough (say, the early '80s), you'll even find a few PG movies (Beetlejuice, Spaceballs, Big, etc.) cursing up a storm. We live in a crazy world, is my point.

3. X-Men: First Class (2011)

Yeah! Wolverine! He wants to star in his own garbage movies, not your critically acceptable ones! Some love this scene between Charles Xavier (James McAvoy), Erik Lensherr (Michael Fassbender) and Logan/Weapon X/Snickety-Snoink (Hugh Jackman). I say it needlessly sucks you out of the movie. Agree to disagree!

4. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (1991)

Remember when Christian Slater was a fresh-faced bad boy, complete with a Jack Nicholson scowl and a glorious, bad boy shock of hair? I mean, I know he's still working (ABC's Mind Games didn't go with a CGI bad boy/con man, despite my letter-writing campaign); it just FEELS like he fell off the face of the earth after Kuffs. Welp, here he is, sporting a British accent. And swearing. Like a bad boy!

5. (500) Days of Summer (2009)
"Roses are red, violets are blue, f**k you whore." Again, I LIKE this movie. And, setting aside the whole ridiculous job angle, this line is pretty funny. It doesn't hurt that it's also delivered by Agent Coulson.

6. Hot Rod (2007)
Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg): "They grow up so fast." Angry Mom (Terri Anne Taylor): "Get the f**k off my porch." Rod Kimble: "Sounds good." Honestly, this is probably the worst use of the F-word in this list. Why am I being so critical? Because Hot Rod rules. It's an underrated comedy gem with many great jokes and beats. It's disappointing that, instead of using f**k to accentuate a joke or elevate a scene (yes, I'm aware of what I'm saying), its use here is cringe-worthy. Maybe it's Angry Mom's delivery? I dunno.

7. Christmas Vacation (1989)

Arguably the third best Christmas movie of all time (after It's a Wonderful Life and Die Hard, respectively), this scene captures Clark Griswold's (Chevy Chase) yuletide breaking point. And, unlike Hot Rod above, the expletive here punctuates the moment nicely (I sound like a snob, don't I?). Bonus points if you know who Danny Kaye is.

8. Skyfall (2012)
"I really f**ked this up, didn't I?" The first F-word in the whole Bond series (excusing Timothy Dalton's obscured "f**king hell" in The Living Daylights), courtesy of M (Dame Judi Dench). In this instance, the profanity isn't funny, nor is it used to shock the audience (although shock it does, especially if you're a 007 purist). It's a somber admission; a guilt-laden confession. And it's as sad as it is effective.

9. Billy Madison (1995)

Jesus. Remember when Adam Sandler was THE FUNNIEST? Billy Madison (Adam Sandler): "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Miss Lippy. The part of the story I don't like is that the little boy gave up looking for Happy after an hour. He didn't put posters up or anything. He just sat on the porch like a goon and waited. That little boy's gotta think, 'You got a pet. You got a responsibility.' If your dog gets lost you don't look for an hour then call it quits. You get your ass out there and you find that f**king dog!"

10. Super 8 (2011)
When Donny (David Gallagher) sees an overturned bus, he naturally exclaims, "What the f**k?" Sure, he's older, but he's still kind of a kid. J.J. Abrams' throwback to the kinds of films he grew up with is different than most modern-day kid-friendly pap. There's an edge. Things aren't perfect. Innocence is fleeting. And the creeping responsibility of adulthood is right behind that alien.

11. Adventures in Babysitting (1987)

Who would you rather f**k with? The Lords of Hell, or the babysitter? Technically two F-words, but what the heck. Also, dishes are done, man.

12. Forrest Gump (1994)

Another use of the F-word that doesn't go for comedic effect. In fact, watching this scene almost feels archival. Sure, Abbie Hoffman and Forrest Gump never actually met (because one of them ISN'T REAL [take a guess]), but it feels authentic and, surprisingly, inoffensive.

13. She's All That (1999)
Laney Boggs (Rachael Leigh Cook): "Am I a bet? Am I a f**king bet?!" My favorite example on this list. I MAKE NO APOLOGIES. I really wish plain Jane ponytail would kiss me. Beneath the bearded barley. In closing, I'll just leave this here ... Jake Wyler (Chris Evans): "No, no, no, no, anyone but her! Not ... Janie Briggs! Guys, she's got glasses and a ponytail! Aw, look at that, she's got paint on her overalls, what is that? Guys, there's no way she could be prom queen!"


  1. Aw, I dig the Hot Rod precision f-strike! It's awesomely unexpected to give it to a glorified extra and not one of the mains.

    Also, how could you forget the infamous A New Hope curse?! ;)

  2. Doug your columns are hilarious. I too am a fan of the one or two f*cks you can get away with in a pg-13 movie. I recently watched tremors for the first time and almost cheered out loud when Kevin Bacon says f*ck you! To the giant underground worm thats just been killed. I think more bond movies need to use their one f*ck. I know bonds supposed to be classy and all but I feel like atleast the Daniel Craig version would drop a few bombs every now and then. Great list Doug.

  3. Adventures in Babysitting always stuck out to me while growing up. That's when I realized as a middle schooler, "Ah, it takes three fucks to get an R rating. I get it now."

  4. This column has all the things I like: F-Bombs, Wolverine references, and DOUG.

  5. Interesting. I just watched a short doc this morning on how the PG-13 rating is ruining movies.

    I think I remember Michael Keaton dropping the F bomb in "Beetlejuice" which was PG.

    And - Holy shit! I did not remember that the "Lords of Hell" guy from "Adventures in Babysitting" is none other than Clark Johnson. A.K.A "Meldrick Lewis" from Homicide: Life on the Street".

  6. I will never not admire Chris Evans in "Not Another Teen Movie." Seriously, he knows exactly what movie he's in and simply nails it (his intro, with him nailing the same pose as a photo on the wall of him, kills me). Randy Quaid, on the other hand, is just fucking around.

  7. Its a crazy world. Pg 13 F bombs. It's like the discussion you also had about World war Z where millions die but there is no blood so it gets a Pg13 too. Its all about money not art. Selling seats. It kinda depresses me when an artist changes his film for something like ratings. When I see a zombie movie I want blood and f bombs. I can handle it. You have to dub your movie. If you take out 2 F bombs we will give you a pg 13. Grrrrrr
    Great work Doug. Just on the sexual content thing you mentioned. Is Fthismovie a sexual thing. Just wondering!

    I cant actually say I F-ing love Fthismovie as that is 2 F bombs.

  8. damn man i love these clips