Let’s face it, pizza is a food that is always there for us, whether it’s a late night snack, dinner, or lunch (or even possibly a leftover breakfast food). Aside from that, it is also the consummate food for parties and get-togethers. In short, pizza is a food universally loved. So it’s not surprising to see pizza popping up on TV and the big screen. A mouthwatering, cheesy, and saucy slice of pizza somehow makes a scene better, doesn’t it? Let’s look at some of our favorite pizza moments from television and the movies.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
John Travolta’s character, Tony Manero, starts down the streets of his neighborhood to the beat of the Bee Gees, “Stayin Alive.” He’s making his way to Lenny’s Pizza. When he arrives, Tony orders two slices of pizza, but instead of eating them separately, he stacks them on top of each other to create a double-decker slice. As he continues his mesmerizing swagger down the street, breezily eating his pizza and immersing himself in the rhythm of the city, we get an evocative introduction to his character.
This scene with its amalgam of music, dance, and an unusual approach to eating pizza, not only sets the vibe for the remainder of the film but creates an incredible movie moment.
Lenny’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn, made world famous by its cameo in the movie, was a neighborhood institution for over 70 years. They finally closed their doors in February 2023 when the owner Frank Giordano retired.
Breaking Bad – “Caballo Sin Nombre” (2010)
Walter White’s greatest accomplishment may not have been a far reaching crystal meth empire, but his skillfulness to land a particularly huge pizza on his own roof, with one irate toss of the box.
According to star Bryan Cranston, there was a rubber prop pizza ready to go in case the take was a flop, but he nailed it on the first take.
Breaking Bad’s creator Vince Gilligan has since implored fans to cease throwing pizzas at the house as it upsets the owners (and is a waste of pizza).
The opening credits of Louis CK’s sitcom not only feature the catchiest theme song of recent times, but a classic late-night New York scene
Louis exits the subway and heads to Ben’s Pizzeria in Greenwich Village ($2.75 cheese slice) for nourishment, before reaching the Comedy Cellar where he begins each episode with a standard set. Criminally he appears to throw away the crust
Home Alone (1990)
Who can forget Macaulay Culkin’s pizza request in Home Alone: (1910) All he wants is a plain cheese pizza. Unfortunately, his evil brother ensures all of the plain cheese pizza is gone before Culkin’s Kevin has one slice
When Kevin is left behind in the family home at Christmas, he acts like any hungry nine year old might and orders pizza. However, as a young boy, he must figure out how to get the pizza without revealing that he’s home alone
He uses a classic gangster film,” Angels With Filthy Souls” to trick the pizza delivery guy from Little Nero’s into thinking there’s an adult at home. He plays a scene from the movie where a gangster fires his Tommy gun, which scares the delivery guy away, leaving the pizza. And he gets revenge on his brother by using his cash to pay for his cheese pizza
Spiderman 2 (2004)
Toby Maguire takes the sacred event of pizza delivery to new heights in this action filled sequel. In order to avoid being fired by his demanding boss, he must somehow deliver eight pizzas 42 blocks away… but has to make it happen in under eight minutes!
Once his bike proves to be useless amid the crowded streets of New York City, he dons the Spiderman costume and takes to the skies. Leaping from the building he encounters a receptionist who refuses to pay for late pizza. If only he wasn’t detained having to rescue those children, he might have made it!
Back To The Future 11 (1989)
Another great sequel “Back To The Future 11” features a tiny pizza that needs to be rehydrated in a special oven. All the person needs to do is tell the oven at which level they want the pizza to be rehydrated. Within seconds the pizza comes out of the oven hot and regularly sized.
Though the movie shows this technology available in 2015, pizza joints have yet to introduce a dehydrated pizza
Gilmore Girls- “Happy Birthday Baby (2003)
Gilmore Girls was all about the food, be it fancy diners at Emily’s or Sookie’s cooking at the Independence Inn, but its most memorable meal was served for Lorelai’s birthday. Rorey attempts to get her mother the world’s largest piza but runs into difficulties, but in the end, a true giant is lowered into Stars Hollow on a crane
Home Alone 2, Lost In New York (1992)
One of the memorable scenes in the movie involves Kevin enjoying a cheese pizza all by himself, but not in an ordinary setting. He’s in the back of a luxurious limousine, driving through the bustling streets of New York City. As he gazes out at the city’s Christmas lights, he takes a bite of the large, cheesy pizza slice, a satisfied grin on his face
Along Came Polly (2004)
One of the most memorable scenes is in a bowling alley where Reuben (Ben Stiller) and Polly (Jennifer Aniston) enjoy a casual date. They order pizza, but Reuben’s best friend Sandy Lyle (Phillip Seymour Hoffman) adds some grease to his slice. He runs his slice along the bowling alley’s return ball track collecting the machine’s oil on his pizza. He then proceeds to eat the slice, much to Reuben’s disgust and the audience’s amusement
Wayne’s World (1992)
Wayne Campbell played by Mike Myers is enjoying a slice of Pizza Hut pizza. However, it’s not just a casual pizza eating scene. Wayne decidedly holds the pizza box to make certain the logo is certainly oriented toward the camera, making it an obvious product placement. He even goes as far as to say, “Contract or no, I will not bow to any sponsor” all while displaying the Pizza Hut Logo prominently
The scene is a humorous comment on the often shameless product displacement in films, making it one of the most comedic moments in the movie. A perfect example of the film’s cheeky tone
A young Patrick Dempsey earns money for college by working as a pizza delivery man. His pizza delivery involves more than just small tips as he comes to realize that he can make large tips as a pizza delivery guy/gigolo for lonely women
This cult coming of age film features two sisters and their friend trying to navigate life in a small town family business where they get to wear “A Slice of Heaven,” T-shirts and get paid for it. The film builds toward a famous food critic awarding Mystic Pizza his highest rating
Star Julia Roberts dedicated to melted cheese on a crispy crust continued in the next century with 2010’s Eat Pray Love
Eat Pat Love (2010)
Based on the memoir of author Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat Pray Love” tells the story of a divorcee Elizabeth (Julia Roberts) on a journey self discovery, across Italy (Eat), India (Pray) and Indonesia (Love)
Roberts actually does visit one of the most acclaimed pizza shops in the world, as she samples regular crust Pizza Margherita in the Naples pizzeria L’Antica Pizzeria Da Michele
She practically makes out with a slice of margherita pizza before exclaiming she’s in love with it. We don’t blame her though because it does look like a great slice
Broad City-St Marks (2015)
Unsurprisingly for a sitcom about two women who smoke a lot of weed and live in New York, Abbi (Abbi Jacobson) and Illana (Illana Glazer) eat pizza. The season two finale (2014-2019) tells the story of Ilana’s birthday dinner night out, which becomes unraveled as usual, with the friends chasing a bag thief into a fancy townhouse and hugging a man on stilts dressed as a tree.
Ultimately though, they get to where they want to be: sitting on the sidewalk, under a duvet with a marked man printed on it, discussing their future, rating pizza for a paper plate.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Perhaps we’ve all fantasized about free pizza, but we probably shouldn’t purposely try to delay delivering just to get a free or discounted pie. In “Teenage
Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990) Michelangelo and Donatello are seen waiting for their pizza in the sewer below the manhole cover. As the delivery driver arrives, his confusion about leaving the pizza on the grate causes him to miss the deadline, and he has no choice but to award the two turtles their discount
Mr Deeds (2002)
Longfellow Deeds (what a name) actually owns a pizza shop in this popular Adam Sandler comedy
In the beginning we see what a nice guy he is, as the locals come in droves to taste his delicious pizza, and it becomes clear money is not going to change that. Even after inheriting a whopping $40 billion, Deeds continues to serve his customers with a smile and a wink. It just goes to show you that you should always have respect for pizza
Set It Up (2018)
Harper (Zoey Deutch) and Charlie (Glenn Powell,) two overworked assistants, share a pizza while drunkenly climbing a fire escape. The scene marks a turning point in their relationship as they realize they fall for each other.
The Net (1995)
The online world was portrayed as grim in 1995’s “The Net” but it wasn’t without its advantages. In the opening scene, Sandra Bullock’s character places an order on pizza.net which promises “The best pizza in Cyberspace!”
At the time, the notion of ordering a pizza from the comfort of your home seemed as far fetched as flying cars. Today we’ve improved on the wild fantasies of the 90’s with an app that brings your pizza via your cell phone
Crazy, Stupid Love (2011)
Dry humor is even plentiful as Ryan Gosling’s character. Jacob makes eating a slice of pizza look like art as he downs a pizza in slow motion while wearing a suit. He even offers to share his slice with Steve Carell who loses his shoes shortly thereafter
Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
During what turns out to be a long drawn out heist, even a bank robber like Sonny (played by a young Al Pacino) needs to order in for his hostages. As Sonny tersely orders several pizzas, a growing mob of onlookers and angry police officers surround the scene just waiting for one false move to take him out
Sonny greets the happy-go-lucky-pizza delivery drives at the back door and hands him a word of cash. Then he steps out to the street and throws even more handfuls of money at the excited mob and cranky police force
Sonny’s arms are now filled with pizza boxes, so he asks the delivery driver to open the back doors for him. And he does! The driver throws an arm on Sonny almost to congratulate him and then shouts to the TV cameras, “I’m a ….. Star !”
Hungry For Some Pizza?
Pizza is an absolute household staple, so we are not surprised it features in scenes of some of the finest films. Here at T.J’s. Bake & Take we make pizza that looks and tastes in real life as good as it looks on the screen