Ever since the first pie was silently thrown at that dizzyingly skittish, dawn-of-cinema frame rate, the food fight has been a movie staple. There is always something funny about food as a projectile, probably because food is meant to be eaten and everyone knows it. And while not every movie with an edible brawl is Criterion Collection–worthy, here are nine films that celebrate the food fight (in no particular order).
1. Whip It (2009)
When Ellen Page's character is chosen as the poster girl for her Austin, Texas, roller derby league, Juliette Lewis congratulates her with a fry to the face. And so it begins.
2. Max Keeble's Big Movie (2001)
The classic cafeteria food fight, including authority figures getting splattered with pudding, slingshots appearing from nowhere and even a battlefield reporter from the school newspaper.
3. Hook (1991)
Robin Williams's Peter Banning is finally starting to get the hang of this Neverland thing when he's able to imagine the Lost Boys' feast, which quickly turns into one of the best food fights ever filmed. (Also, he slices a coconut with a sword!)
4. Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)
Mary-Louise Parker's Ruth reconnects with Mary Stuart Masterson's elusive Idgie at a time when both women end up needing each other in their lives. Ruth's honesty about Idgie's terrible tasting brownies triggers a bonding moment over baked goods in the kitchen of the Whistle Stop Cafe.
5. The Great Race (1965)
Quite possibly the greatest movie pie fight, this one also includes not one, but two cake dives. Even more remarkable, somehow an all-white-clad Tony Curtis comes out with barely a stain.
6. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (2009)
Flint Lockwood inadvertently invents a machine that makes it rain food, and naturally when ice cream drops from the sky, a sweetened snowball fight ensues. Flint's lack of experience in childhood games, however, means he gets a little too aggressive about it.
7. Blazing Saddles (1974)
When a brawl breaks out in this spoof on old Westerns, the characters end up breaking out of the movie itself and into the Warner Bros. Studio commissary. There may not be any better declaration of dessert warfare than "Get your pies for the great pie fight!"
8. Problem Child 2 (1991)
Okay, so this film won't be receiving a Turner Classic Movie tribute anytime soon. But it does have John Ritter and Gilbert Gottfried squaring off with some of the stickiest-looking Italian food anyone has ever flung.
9. Nanny McPhee (2005)
What makes this stuffy, aristocratic wedding food fight with Colin Firth even more delightful are the reactions of the adorable baby bystander. (Watch here.)
Honorable Mention: Animal House (1978)
Less so a food fight scene and more so John Belushi's Bluto being a P-I-G pig, this one did solidify yelling out the words "food fight" in popular culture.