Article Thumbnail

A Very Salty (And Buttery) Investigation Into Whether the ‘Popcorn Trick’ Is Actually Real

What? You mean you’ve never stuck your dick into a box of popcorn at the movie theater in the hopes of getting an inadvertent hand job?

When you consider how theoretically simple and ingenious it is to the horny male mind to cut a hole in the bottom of a large popcorn box and slyly insert his dick into it before the trailers kick off — all so his unsuspecting movie date will eventually land on said dick and presumably, launch into a buttery hand job — it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time men didn’t cut holes hoping for the ultimate stroke of luck. It’s also equally hard to imagine that this maneuver ever actually happened and isn’t just some apocryphal tale of teenage horniness. 

Recently, a “cringe” meme circulated on Reddit depicting this scenario alongside the brain idea that you’d have to be a brain genius to get what’s going on:

“High meme knowledge” from Cringetopia

It’s technically called the “popcorn trick,” and Urban Dictionary defines it thusly: “If one is at the movies with one’s date, proceed to buy an extra large bucket of popcorn and place it on your lap during the movie. Cut a hole in the bottom of the bucket, and proceed to stick your bare penis in the hole (preferably bonered). When your date reaches in to grab popcorn, she will be delighted.”

A few questions off the top: 

  • When does he cut the hole in the popcorn box? 
  • What instrument does he use to cut the hole?
  • How does he gauge the correct hole size? 
  • Doesn’t a bunch of popcorn fall out? 
  • Does he order butter? (That butter is usually piping hot, meaning potential scalding.) 
  • Is it that popcorn box with the folds at the bottom where he can just shove his dick in? 
  • Does he enter the box erect, or is it a hole built for a flaccid dick? 
  • Is the idea of putting his dick in the hole so exciting that he’s already got a boner just thinking about it? 
  • How long does he keep the boner up during the movie? 
  • How does he know she’s a fast popcorn eater? 
  • What if she’s tired of popcorn after a couple handfuls? 
  • What if she takes the entire 165 minutes to eat the popcorn? (Movies are super long now.)
  • How would he discreetly remove his penis from the popcorn and get it back in his pants without getting busted? 

All told, there’s a high amount of risk in pulling off this caper — and all for a very uncertain outcome. 

If it’s all about the reaction, any man attempting this move must either be extremely delusional, extremely teenaged or extremely horny (yes, I’m aware teen boys are typically all three). Because, really, what woman (or teenage girl) would be actually “delighted” by the presence of a boner in her popcorn? I love popcorn and I love dick, but I’ve never in my wildest, horniest moments thought of combining the two. And when I think of it now, it’s, at the very least, extremely confusing. I’m aware that men often portray women as “hungry for dick,” but I’ll let you know as a self-appointed spokesperson for all women, the hunger in that case is in no way related to the hunger for actual foodstuffs.

Here’s where I should mention a few things historically that are necessary to frame this conversation. If we assume the popcorn trick is real — or even if we’re only talking about the concept, and we only want to pinpoint a time in history it could’ve originated — we’ll have to grapple with a few concepts. First, hand jobs date at least as far back in erotic imagery and discussion as 400 B.C. with the Kama Sutra.

Two: Likewise, popcorn has been around for thousands of years

But three: The first movie theater appears in L.A. in 1902 and shows the 12-minute film The Great Train Robbery. That’s certainly long enough to finish a hand job — if you do it right. But even though popcorn was available at street fairs and carnivals in the mid-1800s, popcorn in theaters wasn’t available until the 1920s. The thing is, though, it was first sold in bags. 

It became a movie theater staple after World War II, but it’s still referenced as being sold by the bag, which seems far less viable to use as a surprise dick vehicle. It’s difficult to pinpoint the exact moment it begins being sold in an actual box, but the 1953 jingle “Let’s All Go to the Lobby,” which is intended to get moviegoers back out front during intermission to spend money on concessions, depicts popcorn in a box fit for a dick: 

In other words, if dicks in popcorn ever actually happened, it probably didn’t happen until the 1950s, which makes sense when you consider that this is when the automobile is more pervasive, when the very notion of a teenager actually takes hold and when teenagers are leaving the home in droves to go on dates to the movies, in particular, the drive-in.

Speaking of theaters, the dick in the popcorn box doesn’t appear in movies until 1980, in the French comedy La Boum, where a junior high aged boy slips it in, and suffice it to say, his female companion’s reaction is not delight.

It shows up again in the 1982 comedy Diner with Mickey Rourke where he does it just to win a bet, and suffice it to say, his female companion’s reaction is also not delight: 

That scene in Diner is the inspiration for the SNL skit “Dick in a Box” featuring Justin Timberlake and Andy Samberg, which posits (in the year 2006) that putting your dick in a gift-wrapped box is the best Christmas gift you can give a woman. (Suffice to say, it isn’t.)

This tracks with most of the internet posts about dicks in popcorn boxes, which coincidentally, ask the same question we ask here: Has anyone ever actually done this, and if so, how did it go? The responses are mostly snide jokes, and in any instance where you’d be remotely inclined to believe it, it never goes exactly well. 

In fact, there are multiple Reddit threads asking the same question, with the same mix of answers: 

When I put the question to people I know, it becomes clear that either literally no one has ever actually done this, or that no on-the-grid adult would cop to doing so, mostly because no one could figure out the logistics — and also because obviously it sounds as juvenile as faxing your ass to your coworker in another department at your first real job. “Apparently you can’t just show up with a hole pre-cut and expect them to fill your bucket with your penis all ready in the hole,” one guy jokes.

“Popcorn is scratchy,” another reasons. “So unless the hole is drilled and sanded — unlikely for someone willing to stick his dick in a bucket; I mean, who does that? — it would be treacherous.”

It’s not that I don’t believe men get hand jobs in theaters. It’s not that we don’t understand that a certain demographic has very few places to get hand jobs, like the teenage boy, who would be motivated to go for, and hope to get, a hand job in any scenario possible. But the more likely reality is that if it’s happening in a theater, popcorn isn’t necessary. Also, it’s not exactly consensual to spring your dick on someone looking for a savory treat.

Which is why, as one redditor noted, if you’re with a consensual partner who is game to touch your dick in public, you can come up with much better options than hot butter and salt in your dickhole: