When it comes to life’s ultimate pleasures, ordering a giant pizza and settling in for a movie is at the very top of the list. Gooey, spicy, hot, delicious – there’s a pizza for whatever movie you’re in the mood to watch. I’ve already expounded upon the virtues of a cheesy pizza paired with a cheesy movie, but when I’m feeling super meta, I take it one step further and choose a movie that not only goes well with pizza but actually features pizza as a major or minor plot point. And there are definitely a lot of them. If I had to pick, these would be my top choices for the best pizza moments in cinema:
When it comes to pizza movies, Home Alone is the reigning king, now and forever. Pizza not only features heavily in one of the most memorable, most quoted scenes in the movie (more on that in about two seconds), but it also is the catalyst for the disastrous, Rube Goldberg-esque series of events that leads to Kevin being left “home alone” to begin with! After all, it’s the fact that Buzz ate the last of the cheese pizza that causes Kevin to lunge at him, knocking over the drinks and ruining everyone’s dinner. Then, when he refuses to apologize, Kevin is sent to the attic to sleep alone, where he is swiftly forgotten come the chaos of the “We slept in!” morning. But of course, the more famous pizza scene comes later. Kevin, home alone and excited for a whole cheese pizza just for himself (my personal pizza order to this day), uses a gangster movie to scare the crap out of the pizza delivery boy. KEEP THE CHANGE, YA FILTHY ANIMAL! It should be illegal to watch this movie without a large cheese pizza for every person present. Here’s the scene.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
One of my favorite scenes from any movie, ever, this little gem features a brilliant Sean Penn as Jeff Spicoli, hippie slacker pothead extraordinaire, who will do anything to avoid paying attention in Mr. Hand’s history class. In the very famous scene pictured above, Spicoli orders a pizza to arrive in the middle of class. When questioned about what he thinks he’s doing, he responds simply, “Learning about Cuba and having some food.” Keep in mind, this was pre-cell phone. He clearly used a pay phone ahead of time to order that pizza, which means he deserves extra credit for having the wherewithal to pull off such a stunt – especially since he looks blazed out of his mind. Because of this movie, I used to sit in my own high school history class longing for a cheesy slice of pizza to make all that learnin’ go down a little more easily. Here’s the clip.
In the running for the most unusual pizza-related movie moment, Spaceballs features a character parodying both Jabba the Hut and Pizza Hut, known to us as “Pizza the Hutt”. He’s a mobster/space gangster and while he’s objectively disgusting to look at, I also find him oddly appealing. I mean, look at all that drippy cheese. Tell me you wouldn’t want to take a bite out of him, at least once. It’s especially fitting that he meets his demise when he gets locked in his car and is forced to eat himself. I’d do the exact same thing! Here’s a little clip of Pizza the Hutt in action.
Like Home Alone, the entire premise of this little flick is predicated on an incident involving pizza. As I’ve mentioned before, Patrick Dempsey plays a woebegone pizza delivery boy, recently dumped by his girlfriend and completely lacking funds. When his job takes him to the home of a beautiful, older, Italian woman, business quickly becomes pleasure, and a new career is born. Anytime a woman orders a pizza with extra anchovies, Patrick knows it means he’s in for a good time and a hefty tip. I don’t even like anchovies on pizza but I still wouldn’t watch this movie without having a giant anchovy pizza to stuff in my face throughout. Here’s a (very bad quality) clip of Patrick working in the pizza place.
You’re Invited to Mary-Kate and Ashley’s Sleepover Party
Anything that combines two of my most significant interests – pizza and the Olsen twins – is worth mentioning. This Mary-Kate and Ashley movie from 1995 is actually the first in a whole series of direct-to-video musicals starring our favorite supposedly-fraternal twin munchkins. In this particular scene, the girls are ordering a large plain cheese pizza for their slumber party guests. Of course, you can’t order a pizza in an Olsen twin movie without singing about it. And you can’t sing about a pizza without also singing about all the CRAZY toppings you could put on it, like chocolate sauce or egg foo young. Hilarious, right?! But what really makes this clip special is that a few years ago somebody slowed it down, revealing to the world just how creepy our little gals can be when it comes to expressing their feelings about pizza. Here’s the slowed-down clip and the much less interesting original.
Now I’m craving pizza, despite the gross-out efforts of MKA and Pizza the Hutt. Of course, if you hate pizza and just want to watch something that validates your very unpopular opinion, you can always pop in She’s All That, which might as well be a pizza snuff film given that a crucial moment revolves around a pizza, some, er, body hair, and a couple of geeks getting their comeuppance. Yum!