A dear friend of mine passed away the other day. This friend was there for me every step of the way. In my toughest times, my friend was always right there with a cold beer. When I wanted to grab a bite to eat, my friend knew just the right meal. And no matter how hot-tempered I was, my friend always stayed cool. That’s because my friend was a refrigerator, and it finally crapped out on me the other day. In honor of my once trusty, but now dead, fridge, I created this list of the 10 most memorable movie refrigerators.
My poor, deceased refrigerator fortunately didn’t have a lot of perishable items in it. If it had, I’d be deathly concerned that it would transform into a rotten dimension crawling with gatekeepers. And that thought never would have crossed my mind if not for Dana Barrett’s fridge in Ghostbusters.
The Odd Couple (1968)
If you’re a screenwriter and you want to illustrate that a character is a slob, a refrigerator is a really quick and easy way to do it. And that’s exactly what happened in The Odd Couple when Oscar was asked why his sandwiches were green. “It’s either very new cheese,” he said, “or very old meat.”
Most refrigerators you’ll see on this list house grisly items but Wall-E scores one for the good guys. The refrigerator in Wall-E contains the hope that all of mankind can one day return to Earth, thanks to a well-preserved plant. The irony is that the fridge itself has been dead for hundreds of years. And yet, there it is protecting the plant.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
Apparently, 2008 was a banner year for refrigerators in movies. This qualifies for the list in a schaudenfreude sort of way, because it’s only memorable for how laughable it was. If you’re an Indy fan at all, then you know the schtick. To survive a nuclear blast, Indy hides in a fridge in a desert. It’s the antithesis of Wall-E, where a fridge keeps something around that SHOULD be kept around. This was so memorable for all of the wrong reasons that it even spawned a phrase- “nuked the fridge”- to describe a beloved series disappointing its fans.
American Psycho (2000)
As The Odd Couple illustrates, the bachelor fridge is a trusty trope of TV and film writers. American Psycho twists this convention on its ear in a really hilarious and perverted way, placing Patrick Bates’ sorbet right next to a model’s severed head. In fairness, I’d still eat the sorbet. It’s well contained inside that carton.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
It would appear that 2000 was a banner year for refrigerators in movies, as well. Face it. When you’ve eaten too many diet pills and your refrigerator tries to eat you, the only way to calm everything down is with the dulcet tones of Shooter McGavin in an infomercial. Also, let’s not lose sight of something here. Don’t blame the fridge. Blame the drugs. The fridge is blameless.
The Muppets (2011)
I’ve never actually seen anything in my refrigerator that could talk. But if I did, I’d call in the Swedish Chef and his flamethrower. Really, any muppet with a flamethrower would work, but certainly the Swedish Chef’s culinary background makes him more qualified than most.
Other refrigerators are memorable for the way they were used. This one is memorable for the way it wasn’t used. If Carol (Catherine Denueve) had only put that damned rabbit corpse in the refrigerator, maybe she wouldn’t have lost her mind.
The Machinist (2004)
The idea of finding unwanted post-it notes hanging on my refrigerator is enough to make me want to become a gaunt insomniac. And since my refrigerator is currently out of order, the gaunt part of that equation just become a little bit easier. Also, since this is the second time Bale appears on the list, he’s the King of the Memorable Refrigerator.
The Wasp Woman (1959)
Suppose for a minute that you’re ever fired from a honey farm for questionable wasp experimentation. And while harvesting the royal jelly from queen wasps, you discover an anti-aging enzyme. How else are you going to preserve it? If you can name a better way than a refrigerator to do it, I need to hear it now.