Gross out

Gross out describes a movement in art (often comic), which aims to shock[1] and disgust the audience with controversial material such as toilet humour, nudity, or any sexual topic.



Gross-out is a subgenre of comedy movies in which the makers employ humor that is willfully "tasteless"[2] or even downright disgusting. It usually involves gratuitous nudity,[3] unrealistic aggressiveness towards property or Schadenfreude. The movies are generally aimed at a younger audience aged between 18 and 24.[4] One boon of this genre is that it provides an inexpensive way to make a movie "edgy" and to generate media attention for it.


In the United States, following the abolition of the film industry's censorious Production Code and its replacement with the MPAA film rating system in the late 1960s, some filmmakers began to experiment with subversive[5] film comedies, which explicitly dealt with taboo subjects such as sex and other bodily functions. Noteworthy examples include 1972's Pink Flamingos (in which the central character eats dog excrement) and other films by John Waters, and 1974's sketch comedy film The Groove Tube. As these films emerged from the counterculture movement and gained a measure of audience success,[5] they inspired more mainstream films to follow their example. However, long before the Production Code, early silent comedy film makers produced and attempted several 'gross-out' pictures to the disdain of early film reviewers. One such example is the lost Nell's Eugenic Wedding starring Fay Tincher and Tod Browning.

The label "gross-out movie" was first applied by the mainstream media to 1978's National Lampoon's Animal House,[6] a comedy about the fraternity experience at US colleges.[5] Its humor included not only explicit use of bodily functions (like projectile vomiting), but also references to topical political matters like Kent State shootings, Richard Nixon, the Vietnam war, and the civil rights movement.[7] It was a great box office success despite its limited production costs and thus started an industry trend.[5] Since then, gross-out films increased in number, and became almost the norm for American comedy films. Some films of this genre could be aimed at teen audiences (such as Superbad, Porky's, American Pie or Eurotrip), while others are targeted at somewhat more mature audiences (such as There's Something About Mary, The Hangover or Wedding Crashers).


The Tom Green Show and Jackass and its UK cousin, Dirty Sanchez, were the pioneers of "gross out television". The shows featured dangerous stunts, nudity, profanity, and action new to the television platform. Both series were featured on MTV, and progressed to feature-length movies. Beavis and Butt-Head, The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rugrats, Rocko's Modern Life, Aaahh!!! Real Monsters, and Animaniacs transferred the gross-out television genre to the medium of small screen animation largely in the early 1990s. Today this continues with such shows as South Park, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Futurama, Rick and Morty, Regular Show, American Dad!, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Big Mouth.


Gross-out theatre is increasingly practiced on stage, particularly in the Edinburgh Festival. However, it is also displayed in the larger and more adventurous British theatres.

The prime examples of the above are the stage version of the contemporary drama Trainspotting by bestselling playwright and author Irvine Welsh; the controversial New York musical Urinetown by Kotis and Hollmann; the outrageous anarchistic schlockomedy (shock horror comedy) musical about a Manchester jobcentre Restart by Komedy Kollective;[8] and performances by another United Kingdom-based act, Forced Entertainment, who devised the iconic theatrical gorefest Bloody Mess.


Controversial American cartoonist and vaudeville performer Basil Wolverton invented his trademark "spaghetti and meatballs" style of artwork.

Various artists helped create a flourishing gross-out art scene, which began mainly in the 1990s, the most famous of which were Damien Hirst, known for encasing mutilated, rotting cattle in formaldehyde, and making art of endangered marine species such as sharks in formaldehyde tanks, and Tracey Emin, whose exhibit of an unmade bed featured used tampons, condoms and blood-stained underwear.


Gross out themes are common in popular music genres, such as hip hop and hard rock, where shock value helps create marketable notoriety. Bands include Blink-182 famous for including breast and fart jokes in their songs, while bands such as Cannibal Corpse and Agoraphobic Nosebleed write extremely revolting lyrics designed to induce nausea and shock the music world.

Probably the biggest gross-out shock to the music world was the act of GG Allin. Allin was infamous for his transgressive music act, which included eating excrement, mutilating himself and attacking audience members.

Sometimes the line between truth and urban myth is blurred by the sensationalist sections of the media. For example, Frank Zappa never ate steaming excrement live on-stage, and the famed incident involving Ozzy Osbourne biting a head off of a bat was actually unintentional (he thought the bat was a prop).

Similar themes are also sometimes conveyed in music videos, the aptly named Gross Out, a single from indie/garage rock band, The Vines.

See also


  1. ^ Eyman, Louis Giannetti, Scott (2010). Flashback : a brief history of USA (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education/Allyn & Bacon. p. 379. ISBN 0-205-69590-6.
  2. ^ Pryor], Joe Garner ; foreword by Richard (2004). Made you laugh! : the funniest moments in radio, television, stand-up, and movie comedy. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel Pub. p. 171. ISBN 0-7407-4695-2.
  3. ^ Capsuto, Steven (2000). Alternate channels : the uncensored story of gay and lesbian images on radio and television (1. ed.). New York, NY: Ballantine Books. p. 250. ISBN 0-345-41243-5.
  4. ^ King, Geoff (2002). Film comedy (repr. ed.). London [u.a.]: Wallflower. p. 73. ISBN 1-903364-35-3.
  5. ^ a b c d Mitchell, Elvis (25 August 2003). "Revisiting Faber College (Toga, Toga, Toga!)". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-01-28.
  6. ^ Bernheimer, Kathryn (1999). The 50 funniest movies of all time : a critic's ranking. Secaucus, N.J.: Carol Pub. Group. pp. 109–111. ISBN 0-8065-2091-4.
  7. ^ Peterson, Molly (July 29, 2002). "National Lampoon's Animal House". National Public Radio. Retrieved 2010-02-01.
  8. ^

External links

  • The dictionary definition of gross out at Wiktionary
American comedy films

American comedy films are comedy films produced in the United States. The genre is one of the oldest in American cinema; some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. With the advent of sound in the late 1920s and 1930s, comedic dialogue rose in prominence in the work of film comedians such as W. C. Fields and the Marx Brothers. By the 1950s, the television industry had become serious competition for the movie industry. The 1960s saw an increasing number of broad, star-packed comedies. In the 1970s, black comedies were popular. Leading figures in the 1970s were Woody Allen and Mel Brooks. One of the major developments of the 1990s was the re-emergence of the romantic comedy film. Another development was the increasing use of "gross-out humour".


Stevin John (born May 27, 1988), born Stephen J. Grossman and better known by his alias Blippi, is an American children's entertainer and educator on YouTube and Amazon Video. The Blippi videos are intended to be educational and appeal to young children, as John's Blippi character is portrayed with a childlike, energetic and curious persona; always dressed with his blue and orange beanie cap, blue shirt, orange suspenders and a bow tie. The videos have attracted billions of viewers on YouTube, seen in 139 countries, and have been in the top 100 performing self-published shows every month since going live on Amazon Video. John was also revealed as a former gross out comedian, known as Steezy Grossman, who gained viral noteriety for defecating on his friend and which has incited some controversy towards his current status as a children's entertainer.

Comedy film

Comedy is a genre of film in which the main emphasis is on humour. These films are designed to make the audience laugh through amusement and most often work by exaggerating characteristics for humorous effect. Films in this style traditionally have a happy ending (black comedy being an exception). One of the oldest genres in film, some of the very first silent movies were comedies, as slapstick comedy often relies on visual depictions, without requiring sound. When sound films became more prevalent during the 1920s, comedy films took another swing, as laughter could result from burlesque situations but also dialogue.

Comedy, compared with other film genres, puts much more focus on individual stars, with many former stand-up comics transitioning to the film industry due to their popularity. While many comic films are lighthearted stories with no intent other than to amuse, others contain political or social commentary (such as The King of Comedy and Wag the Dog).

Down House (film)

Down House (Russian: Даун Хаус) is a 2001 Russian comedy-gross-out film by Roman Kachanov, a spoof parody on the novel The Idiot by Fyodor Dostoevsky.The film received the Special Jury Prize at Kinotavr.

Elliot in the Morning

Elliot in the Morning is a morning radio talk show hosted by DJ Elliot Segal. It airs weekdays from "5:48 until 10:30" on WWDC-FM in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, and on WRXL in Richmond, Virginia. The program was simulcast on WOSC in Ocean City, Maryland from 2003 to 2004, on WCHH in Baltimore, Maryland from May 2008 to November 2009, and on WBWZ in the Hudson Valley of New York until 2017. Beginning in January 2014, the show was briefly simulcast on WOR-AM, while continuing to simulcast on the DC and Richmond stations, with the show originally planning to leave the DC101 studios in January 2014. However, after citing that "significant changes" would be needed for the show to succeed in NYC, it was announced that the show would no longer be carried on WOR-AM.The format covers a broad spectrum of topics, ranging from in-person or telephone interviews with well-known celebrities, to gross-out stunts involving much of the show's supporting cast. The show has regular telephone interviews with Patricia Murphy (from The Daily Beast), Mark Steines (from Entertainment Tonight) during sweeps and Brandon Noble (former NFL player) during football season.

As of 2005, Elliot in the Morning had been the cause of the fifth largest amount of Federal Communications Commission (FCC) fines since 1970, with $302,500 worth of fines leveled at the show. As a result, while the show still frequently involves euphemistic mentions of sexual topics, it is broadcast with a short tape delay, and is occasionally "dumped" to canned music for profanity.

Fat Slags (film)

Fat Slags is a 2004 British gross-out comedy film based on the Viz comic characters of the same name. The creators had no editorial control over the film. Despite the relative popularity of the comic strip and its celebrity cameos, the film was widely panned.

Fleabag Monkeyface

Fleabag Monkeyface is an animated TV show based on the popular Fleabag Monkeyface series of books by Knife and Packer that airs on British channel CITV. It is aimed at children 6–10 years old. The show follows the gross-out adventures of the eponymous hero and his two creators, Gene and Gerald.

Freddy Got Fingered

Freddy Got Fingered is a 2001 American surrealist black comedy film directed by Tom Green and written by Green and Derek Harvie. The film follows Green as a 28-year-old slacker who wishes to become a professional cartoonist. The film's plot resembles Green's struggles as a young man trying to get his TV series picked up, which would later become the popular MTV show The Tom Green Show.

The film was critically panned at the time of its release, with many considering it as one of the worst films of all time. It won five Golden Raspberry Awards of its eight nominations, as well as a Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Award for Worst Picture. The film has met with more positive assessments over time, most notably from Metacritic, and Splitsider, with some commentators interpreting satirical and metahumorous themes within the film's gross-out gags. Despite a poor box office run, the film became a financial success by selling millions of copies on DVD.

Grown Ups 2

Grown Ups 2 is a 2013 American comedy film directed by Dennis Dugan and co-produced by Adam Sandler, who also starred in the film. It is the sequel to the 2010 film Grown Ups. The film co-stars Kevin James, Chris Rock, David Spade, Nick Swardson, and Salma Hayek. The film is produced by Adam Sandler's production company Happy Madison Productions and distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing (Columbia Pictures). The film was released on July 12, 2013. The film grossed roughly $247 million on an $80 million budget. It was nominated for nine Razzies at the 2014 Golden Raspberry Awards.

Nell's Eugenic Wedding

Nell's Eugenic Wedding is a lost 1914 silent comedy of one reel directed by Edward Dillon. It is a primitive example by Anita Loos of what is called in modern terms a Gross-out film. Tod Browning, here just an actor, would later achieve renown as a director. Most reviewers 'damned' the film as repugnant or tasteless.

Nothing but Trouble (1991 film)

Nothing but Trouble is a 1991 American horror comedy film directed by Dan Aykroyd in his directorial debut, and written by Aykroyd based on a story by Peter Aykroyd. Chevy Chase and Demi Moore star as yuppies who are taken to court for speeding in the bizarre, financially bankrupt small town of Valkenvania. Dan Aykroyd costars as the town's 106-year-old judge, Alvin Valkenheiser, who holds a personal grudge against financiers, and John Candy has a supporting role as Valkenheiser's grandson, chief of police Dennis Valkenheiser. The film's tone was compared by critics to films such as Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein, Psycho, the Texas Chainsaw Massacre series and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, as well as The Munsters. The film's humor was described as being derived from sketch comedy and gross-out humor.

Production commenced in 1990 under the title Git, which was changed in production to Valkenvania. Subsequently, prior to the film's release, Warner Bros. changed the title to Nothing but Trouble; director Dan Aykroyd, in a press statement released in December 1990, said that he preferred the Valkenvania title. The film was noted for its strongly negative reception, with criticism directed at its humor, screenplay, tone, and direction. Aykroyd would go on to receive a Worst Supporting Actor Razzie at the 12th Golden Raspberry Awards.

Off-color humor

Off-color humor (US spelling) or off-colour humour (Commonwealth English spelling) (also known as vulgar humor/humour, crude humor/humour, or shock humor/humour) is humor that deals with topics that may be considered to be in poor taste or overly vulgar. Many comedic genres (including jokes, prose, poems, black comedy, blue comedy, insult comedy, cringe comedy and skits) can incorporate vulgar elements.

Most commonly labeled as "off-color" are acts concerned with sex, a particular ethnic group, or gender. Other off-color topics include violence, particularly domestic abuse; excessive swearing or profanity; "toilet humor" / scatological humor; national superiority or inferiority, pedophilic content, and any topics generally considered impolite or indecent. Generally, the point of off-color humor is to induce laughter by evoking a feeling of shock and surprise in the comedian's audience. In this way, off-color humor is related to other forms of postmodern humor, such as the anti-joke.

Opera film

An opera film is a recording of an opera on film.

Osmosis Jones

Osmosis Jones is a 2001 American live-action/animated gross out action comedy film with animated scenes directed by Tom Sito and Piet Kroon and live action scenes directed by the Farrelly brothers. The film centers on Frank Detorre, a slovenly zookeeper; the live-action scenes are set outside Frank's body, while the animated scenes are set inside his body, which is portrayed as a city inhabited by anthropomorphic blood cells and microorganisms. White blood cell cop Osmosis "Ozzy" Jones and cold pill Drix must prevent deadly virus Thrax from killing Frank within forty-eight hours.

The film was met with mixed reviews, with critics praising the animated scenes and its plot but criticizing the live-action portions and their overuse of gross-out humor. The film was also a box office bomb, earning $14 million against a budget of $70 million, though it later sold well in home media. It also served as the pilot to the Kids' WB spin-off television series Ozzy & Drix (2002–04), where the two main characters get transferred by a mosquito to the body of a teenage boy named Hector and continue their battle against germs and viruses from there. Unlike the film, however, the series is entirely animated and does not contain any live-action sequences and the two leads are recast with Phil LaMarr replacing Chris Rock as Ozzy and Jeff Bennett replacing David Hyde Pierce as Drix.

Sex Is Zero

Sex Is Zero (Hangul: 색즉시공; RR: Saekjeuk shigong) is a 2002 South Korean film written and directed by Yoon Je-kyoon, starring Im Chang-jung and Ha Ji-won. In the style of American gross-out comedies like American Pie, it follows the exploits of a group of college students, which eventually takes a serious turn. Sex Is Zero sold 4,089,900 tickets in South Korea, making it the fifth most popular film of 2002.A sequel, Sex Is Zero 2, was released in December 2007, starring most of the original cast.

The Creepers

The Creepers were an English rock music group, formed in Manchester in 1982, originally as Marc Riley and the Creepers. After being dismissed from The Fall by Mark E. Smith, Marc Riley formed his own record label (In-Tape) with Jim Khambatta, and his own band. The first single "Favourite Sister" (which featured his former bandmates Steve Hanley, Craig Scanlon and Paul Hanley) was followed up with "Jumper Clown", which poked fun at his previous band's singer. A Peel Session was the source of the next release in 1984, with a compilation of these early releases, Cull, following the same year. First album proper, Gross Out, appeared in June 1984. 1985 saw the release of second album Fancy Meeting God as well as a swansong live album Warts 'n' All towards the end of the year.

Riley then recruited ex-Membranes Mark Tilton and Phil Roberts of Shrubs, and carried on as simply "The Creepers". With a more sophisticated sound, the first release under this name was a cover of Brian Eno's "Baby's on Fire", with the album Miserable Sinners following later the same year. After signing to Red Rhino, a further single, "Brute" and album Rock 'n' Roll Liquorice Flavour appeared in 1987 and 1988 respectively. Sleeper: A Retrospective followed in 1989.

The band briefly became 'The Lost Soul Crusaders' before splitting up.

Toxic (magazine)

Toxic magazine is a British comics magazine launched in September 2002 by London-based Egmont Publishing. The intention was to address the elusive boys' magazine market. The magazine's content is themed around gross out topics and proved to be extremely successful; the title continues to be published.

Toxic is "edited" by Team Toxic, a group of creatures under the supervision of Doc Shock.

Key content strands include movies, gaming (traditional and virtual world), TV, DVD, jokes, comics, sport, cars, celebrity, competition prizes and how-to.

The current comic strips are Captain Gross, Busted Bieber, Team Toxic, Luke's Spooks and Mad City's Star Signings, as of April 2012.

Initially launched as a monthly title, Toxic increased frequency to every three weeks with issue 14, then to fortnightly with issue 34.

Since January 2011, Toxic has been edited by former Shoot editor and Nuts journalist Frank Tennyson.

The last three ABC (Audit Bureau of Circulation) periods - Jan/June 2011, July/Dec 2011 and Jan/June 2012 - have seen Toxic record circulation increases.

Toxic celebrated a decade of publishing in the autumn of 2012.

Vision Valley

Vision Valley is the third studio album by Australian rock band The Vines. It was released on 1 April 2006 through EMI Records. It is the band's first album without bass guitarist Patrick Matthews who left the band in 2004.

Wet Dreams (2002 film)

Wet Dreams (Hangul: 몽정기; RR: Mongjeongki) is a 2002 South Korean film. Inspired partly by American gross-out comedies like American Pie, it follows the sexual misadventures of four boys through middle and high school. While American Pie had been a flop in Korea, Wet Dreams was a surprise box office hit and led to a sequel, Wet Dreams 2.

By style
By theme
By movement
or period
By demographic groups
By format,
or production

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.