PG-13 movies exist in that weird no-man’s land of profanity and violence. When characters get angry, they’re allowed to shout tame profanities. Someone might get stabbed, but there most likely will not be blood spraying from the wound. And in most cases, PG-13 movies only get one or two single uses of the infamous “F-word”. Y’know, the one that rhymes with truck. That being said, there’s still restrictions on how the word can be used. It’s passable as an expletive, but not as a verb. The latter will shoot you straight into “R” territory. When you only get one major cuss word, you can’t just throw it just anywhere. These popular movies all had to use their four letter word wisely for maximum impact. Here are 10 moments in PG-13 movies that drop their granted F-bomb at the perfect time.
Man-child Billy Madison (Adam Sandler) finds himself back in elementary school after a bet with his father that he can dedicate himself to his studies, starting with first grade. During storytime, Ms. Lippy reads a book called The Puppy Who Lost His Way. After Ms. Lippy finishes, Billy interjects, “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—ing dog.” The cherry on top? Billy drops the f-bomb surrounded by sleeping first graders. Good thing none of them woke up.
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
Bet you never thought you’d hear a priest curse on screen. And directed at Clint Eastwood, nonetheless. As boxing trainer Frankie Dunn (Eastwood) attempts to wrap his mind around the concept of the Holy Trinity, he asks Father Horvak, “Is Jesus a Demigod?” Horvak, aggravated, responds, “There are no Demigods, you f—ing pagan!”. Father Horvak had to take himself to confession after that one.
By the 2000s, the one F-bomb in a PG-13 rule was so well-established, it could be cleverly mocked in Be Cool, the sequel to the Hollywood satire Get Shorty. The movie opens with loan shark-turned-movie-producer Chili Palmer (John Travolta) discussing his distaste for sequels. Then he gets even more meta: “Do you know that unless you’re willing to use the R rating, you can only say the F-word once?” Chili notes. “You know what I say? F— that!” The scene proceeds, Chili never uses the F-word again, and Be Cool got its PG-13.
The Wedding Singer (1998)
In The Wedding Singer, Adam Sandler plays the heartbroken crooner Robbie Hart, whose hit song “Somebody Kill Me Please” contains a certain four letter word. And a few other choice words as well. When you break up with your fiance, you’ve gotta pour those emotions out into song. Robbie sings, “But it all was bulls—! It was a goddamn joke! And when I think of you, Linda, I hope you f—ing choke!”
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
Crazy, Stupid, Love drops its one granted F-bomb on Ryan Gosling’s shirtless bod. The line is declared by Hannah Weaver (Emma Stone) after she gets a glimpse at Jacob Palmer (Gosling)’s gleaming pecs. “F—! Seriously? It’s like you’re Photoshopped!” she exclaims. The exchange between the two is hilarious, and the line has become one of the most iconic quotes in the movie.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Tom Hanks’ Carl Hanratty is portrayed as a humorless FBI agent for most of Catch Me If You Can. But he does get the honor of dropping the movie’s F-bomb. As Hanratty is driving two agents to a hotel, Amdursky shares that he has been transferred to the check fraud department as a punishment. This rubs Hanratty the wrong way, so he hits them with a friendly joke. “Knock knock,” he starts. The agents ask who’s there. “Go f— yourselves.”
(500) Days of Summer (2009)
(500) Days of Summer is honestly a pretty tame romantic comedy. The most scandalous activities to go down are an Ikea make out sesh and a round of the “penis” game in the park. But there’s one moment Tom really lets loose after his breakup with Summer. In true Tom fashion, it’s in the form of a cute greeting card he writes for Valentine’s Day. It goes, “Roses are red, violets are blue, f— you whore.” Tom, you have such a way with words.
Kong: Skull Island (2017)
One would think that Kong: Skull Island would have a lot more cussing in it. Heck, who wouldn’t shout expletives at a giant ape on a remote island filled with perilous danger at any turn? But the movie’s single F-word is delivered by Army lieutenant Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly) who has been marooned on the island for several years. The main characters learn that the island contains ants that can mimic the sound of bird calls. Marlow informs them in the most straightforward way possible: “Sounds like a bird, but it’s a f—ing ant.”
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell)’s F-bomb is the catalyst for the downfall of his news anchor career. After his professional rival Veronica Corningstone learns that Ron will read anything the teleprompter says, she changes his closing line from “You stay classy, San Diego!” to “Go f— yourself, San Diego!” The slip-up leaves Ron unemployed, friendless, and publicly hated until he gets the chance to redeem himself.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
Fox’s X-Men reboot keeps it classy for a majority of the movie, but the placement of the movie’s f-word is priceless. It comes during Wolverine/Logan (Hugh Jackman)’s brief cameo, when Eric Lehnsherr (Michael Fassbender) and Charles Xavier (James McAvoy) stumble upon him in a bar. Wolverine, having been in the last four X-Men movies, doesn’t have a lot to say. The pair formally introduce themselves: “Excuse me, I’m Eric Lehnsherr.” “Charles Xavier.” Logan nonchalantly replies, “Go f— yourself.”