5 Phenomenal Dinner Table Scenes


The dinner table is such a great place, right? Think about it – good food (hopefully), family, and/or good friends. What’s not to love. Leave it to the movies the show us the other side. Today we’re looking at dinner table scenes and let’s just say none of these choices are what you would call traditional. As always, with so many choices I wouldn’t call this the definitive list, but there’s no denying that these five dinner table scenes are nothing short of phenomenal.

#5 – “Christmas Vacation”


Who would have guessed that “Christmas Vacation” would become a perennial holiday favorite? It’s for good reason. The film is loaded with great scenes few better than the Christmas Eve dinner. It’s the culmination of Clark Griswold’s efforts to have a good old-fashioned Christmas. But does anything go as planned when the name Griswold is attached?

#4 – “The Lost Boys”


If I suspected my mom’s new boyfriend of being a vampire what better place to test the theory than at the dinner table? Sam and the Frog brothers try everything – a splash of holy water, garlic disguised as parmesan cheese, even a breath test. It all amounts to a hysterical series of mishaps that cracks me up to this day.

#3 – “Eraserhead”


Having dinner with your girlfriend’s parents can be a bit nerve-racking on its own. But in the hands of David Fincher it becomes anything but conventional. This specific sequence is bizarre, a bit creepy, and absolutely hilarious. A numb arm, a bleeding miniature chicken, convulsions, weird stares, weirder questions all make me want to stay home and eat.

#2 – “Sicario”


I’ll try my best to keep this spoiler-free, but this particular sequence comes at the end of this fantastic border thriller. Where the previous picks have had a sense of humor, this choice is deadly serious. Throughout the movie we learn that hitman Benicio del Toro has a very sharp ax to grind with a Mexican cartel boss. It all comes to a head in a dinner table encounter that’s both intense and shocking.

#1 – “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre”


It was almost impossible to narrow this list down, but this scene was on my mind from the very start. Tobe Hooper’s 1974 horror classic features the mother of all dinner table scenes. Lots of screams, a hammer, an innocent captive, and a family of sadistic, murderous cannibals. It’s horrific and unsettling but at the same time it’s intertwined with a twisted sense of humor. Truly unforgettable.

So those are my choices. What say you? Please share your thoughts and picks in the comments section below. I’m hoping you all will mention the great many scenes that just missed my list.

48 thoughts on “5 Phenomenal Dinner Table Scenes

  1. Have you seen THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT? All the key scenes happen when the characters are eating. I can’t say if any of them is memorable enough to be in a list like this, but this detail makes it a unique movie.

  2. I guess this means that if I’m having a dinner party, I will have you as a guest and make sure you have a good time. Plus, we’ll watch those films for our enjoyment.

  3. I noticed that in all those “marriage sux” thrillers and dramas the ultimate clash usually starts during dinner. There’s American Beauty, Mr and Mrs Smith and War of the Roses. All have great scenes like that

  4. Good to see Eraserhead included; that would be my favorite.

    Also, I know this is from TV, but I’ve got to also mention this scene from Seinfeld:

  5. I’m throwing in the 1st negotiation scene in Nightcrawler with Lou and Nina at a Mex spot. Super unnerving and great dialogue/reactions. I’m sure negotiation courses in college use the scenes in Nightcrawler, they’re that good.

  6. I’d throw my hat in for the dinner scene in Step Brothers, I die laughing every time 😂 Also Meet The Parents is pretty funny too!
    Find me on Facebook @redbeardmoviereviews

  7. What an amazing and unique list! When I read the title I started thinking about dinner scenes and none of these came to my mind, but your post made a good case for them!
    I actually reviewed The Lost Boys on my blog and didn’t fail to notice the fantastic Gothic location of the dinner you described…

  8. Nice list! I haven’t seen three of the movies, but I agree with National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and Sicario. The first movie that popped into my head was Hereditary. The horror is a little gratuitous but Toni Collette’s character is pretty unforgettable in the dining room scene.

  9. Great post! I forgot about that scene in Sicario. So many other possible choices out there, too. 5 more movies with great dinner table scenes:

    The Nutty Professor (Eddie Murphy version)
    You’re Next
    August: Osage County
    Almost Christmas

    • Finally! I was wondering if anyone was going to mention The Nutty Professor. That one instantly stood out to me and I hated to leave it off.

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