1000 Things We Hate #230: Ashes in Face

3 03 2012

In The Big Lebowski, two of the primary characters go to spread their friend’s ashes.  In the classic scene, the wind blows the ashes into The Dude’s face.

It’s a pretty good scene even though I didn’t care much for the film.  It’s funny because The Dude kind of ends up eating his friend’s remains.

The problem is, it’s been so overdone since then.  You can tell it’s so famous when it’s one of the most sweded scenes in the history of cinema with countless remakes of it on YouTube.  They’re all really terribly, painful, and throwupable.

People have ruined the good thing of one funny scene and overdone it.  There’s no originality left.  The joke is over – it’s through – give up – give up – give up.

It’s taught us the lesson of never scattering ashes on a windy day.  We get it now.  Even if these ashes are just ones from the campfire, beware.

The scene reinforces a really sad trope in film or literature.  Scattering ashes will never be done properly – something bad will happen for the sake of humor.  There’s no such thing as honoring the dead in a funny film or novel or something else of the sort.  Because what’s better than honoring the dead is making fun of them for  a few laughs.  It’s to the point that when we see or read about ashes being scattered we expect for something to go wrong.  There’s no real honor in scattering the ashes.

One polite way of handling the scene is in The Descendents which I recommend seeing.  There’s other examples out there for more serious burials.  But, in comedy, there is no shame and no respect.

I’m not asking for the complete disintegration of the trope just something more clever.


For the entirety of our 1000 Things We Hate, check out the MASTER LIST.



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