I’m sure the Nobel Prize committee will neglect this achievement during their next nomination ceremony, but it must be noted that, in the recently released Jackass Forever, the guys accomplish nothing short of a historic scientific breakthrough. I am speaking, of course, about them lighting a fart underwater.
In the movie, Johnny Knoxville explains that they’ve been trying to light a fart underwater since Jackass Number Two in 2006. Sixteen years later, they finally accomplished their goal with the help of a homemade contraption meant to trap a fart underwater. The experiment goes over with explosive success, which the The National Post described as “their Manhattan Project, and it’s a sublime joy to see it reach fruition, with Steve-O in the role of Robert Oppenheimer — that is, if Oppenheimer had done his work half-naked in a bathtub, with his friends laughing and cheering him on.”
So, in honor of this stunning achievement, it’s time to pull together all of the best lit farts in cinema history to see how Steve-O’s aquatic air biscuit measures up (be forewarned though, some of these movies are very bad)…
10) Dumb and Dumber (1994)
Farter: Lloyd Christmas, played by Jim Carrey
The Smelly Details: Dumb and Dumber is probably the first movie you think of when you think of cinematic fart-lighting, which is kind of ironic considering the fireball doesn’t even appear onscreen. It takes place during a dream sequence when Lloyd imagines himself being a hit at a Christmas party. In addition to telling funny stories, he lights a fart to the delight of his guests. But all we see is him about to light the fart, then an orange glow on the faces of his guests. Next, the camera cuts back to an unscorched Lloyd. Honestly, it’s kind of underwhelming on its own and may only be memorable because everything about Dumb and Dumber is hilarious and memorable.
Intestinal Intensity: Tough to say, as it was offscreen, but it was enough to illuminate a few people’s faces in a dimly lit room.
9) Wet Hot American Summer (2001)
Farter: Bert “Moose” Flugelman, a camper at Camp Firewood who lights a fart during a talent show
The Smelly Details: The pyroflatulence — that’s the scientific name for fart-lighting — is done fairly realistically here, with only a softball-sized fireball being lit from the kid’s ass.
Intestinal Intensity: Said fireball gets high praise for authenticity, but it pales in comparison to the more outrageous farts to follow.
8) Jackass Forever (2022)
The Smelly Details: The underwater explosion in Jackass Forever created what looked like a mini-mushroom cloud, measuring what I’d guess to be about six inches in diameter. It was intense enough to generate a loud “pop” sound and blast the custom fart-catcher out of the water.
Intestinal Intensity: While important from a scientific perspective, Steve-O’s underwater fart was actually real, which means it ranks kind of low when compared to cartoonier and computer-generated farts. Don’t let this low ranking undercut the achievement though — these men are heroes.
7) Wagons East! (1994)
Farters: He isn’t the farter — it’s some secondary characters — but Wagons East! is notable for being the last cinematic outing for the great John Candy, who played a tracker in the Old West. I wish to offer no further details because this movie is just horrible.
The Smelly Details: Given that Wagons East! was set in the Old West, it’s worth asking if man had learned how to light his farts by this time. According to Artie Bennett, author of the kid’s science book Belches, Burps and Farts, Oh My!, the origins of fart-lighting are unknown, but they likely started well before the Old West. “We have no records of this, but I would speculate that the origins of fart-lighting go all the way back to the origins of man creating fire — over a million years ago,” he explains. “Perhaps Early Man stood too close to the fire, then farted through their meager clothing, causing some combustion.”
Intestinal Intensity: Frankly, they may be the best part of the movie, as each fart manages to generate a flame measuring several inches high.
6) Mental (2012)
Farter: Toni Colette, who plays a character named “Shaz.” I’m not entirely sure, but I think Shaz might be a raunchy Mary Poppins or something. That’s the best I could gather from the trailer of what looks to be a pretty annoying movie.
The Smelly Details: I have no idea of the scene’s context, but Collette lights a pretty fantastic fireball.
Intestinal Intensity: In addition to being an impressive fart-lighting, this particular bit of pyroflatulence is notable for the very fact that it’s being created by a woman. As Bennett notes, “Fart lighting seems to be a pastime of exclusively young males. My hope is that, someday, more women will join in and become literal trailblazers in this area.”
5) Nutty Professor II: The Klumps (2000)
Farter: Papa Klump, played by Eddie Murphy (just like everyone else in this movie)
The Smelly Details: When the Klumps go out to a restaurant, Papa Klump begins choking, so Sherman runs over and gives him the Heimlich maneuver. The food launches from Papa Klump’s mouth, but he also lets out a fart that hits a conveniently placed birthday candle at an adjacent table. The resulting fireball catches some curtains on fire, but it’s quickly brought under control.
Intestinal Intensity: It catches a curtain on fire, which takes a fire extinguisher to put out. Still, it’s nothing compared to the lit fart from the first Nutty Professor film (more on that below).
4) South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)
Farter: Kenny McCormick
The Smelly Details: After having just watched Terrance & Phillip: Asses of Fire with his friends, Kenny tries to convince Cartman that you really can light a fart by pulling out a match and lighting one up. It starts off as a little flame, but Kenny quickly becomes engulfed in an inferno.
Intestinal Intensity: This is the first lit fart on our list to claim a life, so it ranks highly for that reason alone. It also kicks the South Park movie’s plot into high gear, so it’s a meaningful fart, too.
3) Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)
Farter: This movie features monsters called “Ass Blasters,” which fly via fire farts.
The Smelly Details: Honestly, I have no fucking clue what the straight-to-DVD Tremors sequels are. Let’s just move along.
Intestinal Intensity: These farts are like Ripley-from-Aliens-style flamethrowers, except they’re coming out of the monsters’ assholes. If these suckers were real, I’d be very worried.
2) Beavis and Butt-Head Do America (1996)
Farter: Butt-Head’s dad
The Smelly Details: When Beavis and Butt-Head are wandering through the desert, they stumble upon a couple of drifters who used to be roadies for Mötley Crüe. They’re quite obviously their fathers, but, of course, Beavis and Butt-Head — as well as their fathers — are too dumb to notice. Late at night, when they’re all camping together, Butt-Head’s dad farts into a fire.
Intestinal Intensity: The resulting explosion is the size of an atomic blast. Remarkably, all four of them remain unharmed.
1) The Nutty Professor (1996)
Farter: Sherman Klump, who is once again played by Murphy
The Smelly Details: While binge-eating and watching TV, Sherman falls asleep on his couch. He then has a dream where he grows to the size of Godzilla and start terrorizing an entire city. After stomping around and eating a chicken wing, Monster Sherman lets out a fart that results in a windstorm. Things get worse when someone goes to light a cigarette, which results in a giant explosion.
Intestinal Intensity: 1996 was clearly the landmark year for atomic farts, as both The Nutty Professor and Beavis and Butt-Head Do America hit theaters within a few months of each other. In fairness, both explosions are about the same size, but Butt-Head’s dad’s fart is known to be harmless. As for Sherman’s fart, it seems to cause a city-wide nuclear holocaust, which is why it’s easily the most epic and explosive lit fart in the history of cinema.