This is four months old, but it’s still pleasing to note that others have used the term “water buffalo” to refer to grotesque, low-rent, self-absorbed moviegoers who interrupt your concentration during a film by talking and/or eating in a loud or rank way. (The term “wildebeest” also applies.)

  • George Prager
  • Indeed

    Does the term also apply to people who lean forward, cover their face with their hands, and groan during moments they don’t like?

  • The site with that cartoon – – is an amazing find; one I only just started reading recently and am hopelessly addicted to. Each comic is funnier than the one before it, and all of them have a terrifically demented sense of humor.

  • Jeffrey Wells

    No, it doesn’t. The behavior you’ve described is that of a devout moviegoer experiencing profound pain or distress.

  • The Winchester

    “Does the term also apply to people who lean forward, cover their face with their hands, and groan during moments they don’t like?”

    No, but the term can be used if what’s on screen is an Academy Award winning actor threatening to put on a bathing suit.

  • jmevans

    How about the people who whisper to each other during the film? It’s okay if you do it say 2 or 3 times total during the film, but it is horrific when they do it throughout the film. It really is distracting and annoying. The only times you really should whisper anything to your movie watching companion is ……

    1. you are going to the bathroom.

    2. you are really confused about something in the film.

    Otherwise shut the fuck up. Jesus.

    Another thing. People are driving me mad in the theater by checking their cell phones throughout the film. It is always the person seated in front of me, one seat to the right or to the left. Every time they look at that lit screen, my eye cannot help but notice it while I’m trying to watch the movie screen. A woman did this during a viewing of “Public Enemies”. She was texting someone during the majority of the film. Why should I suffer because you choose to casually watch a film? FUCK.

    Because of these distractions I refuse to see a film on an opening weekend, unless my companion insists upon it. With the exception of films that are clearly better on a movie screen (like AVATAR), I really prefer watching a movie while I’m lying in bed or sitting on my sofa. Surround sound, good picture, and no elements to bring down the experience.

  • Bill Bomp Whomper

    What about people walking out because they might not like what they see later in the film?

  • Howlingman

    Christ, texting is the worst thing to happen to civility since the friggin’ cell phone. I was at a CD release party last week for a singer, and there she was performing, while the hipster ass-hats clogging the place were too busy texting their ass-hat friends and talking to pay attention to her performance — and they were there for her party.

    jmevans, make sure you bring a box of jujubes or something like them to the next show. Start pelting the idiot texting during the movie, and give yourself 20 points every time you ding the LED.

  • Jonathan Spuij

    I had this at a surprise screening of A Prophet last week. Irritating figures making stupid jokes all throughout the film, even laughing when the Arab prayers were loudly heard on screen. Jeez.

  • Blue

    I still the say the best way to get an offender to turn off their cell phone is to ask, rather loudly, “Are you recording this movie illegally?”

  • Josh Massey

    I still haven’t seen Avatar because I’m waiting for the theater to be nearly empty when I do so.

  • Christopher Stewart

    I think I have the ultimate story. I attended a press screening of COLLAPSE a few months ago and this nutjob behind me was blasting his iPod for the first twenty minutes, but because his head was very close behind mine no one to my right or left could hear it, just me. I turned around and glared at him several times and he looked at me blankly as if he thought earbuds really meant I couldn’t hear it. I walked out and complained to the on-site publicist. She walked in and sat down beside him, and he conveniently turned it down just as she sat down. She left, he started it again. I stomped out and told them I wouldn’t review their film. They didn’t care, of course.

  • mccool

    Why so many rage-a-holics here? Ever consider turning around and politely asking someone to stop? Why let the situation reach a boiling point?

    It’s funny how everyone always thinks only other people are assholes. Everyone sees themselves as good drivers, considerate neighbors, respectful moviegoers….and when someone does get annoyed by something they do, it must be the offended’s delicate sensibilities because it certainly couldn’t be you.

    You’re an asshole, Jeff. Admit it with pride. From your own writings about the stunts you’ve pulled, your sense of entitlement, your attitude towards common-folk, and stories shared by your colleagues and those in the service industry unfortunate to cross your path, there is little doubt that you are one of the great assholes alive and blogging today.

    Fact is, we’re all assholes to some degree…we all occasionally lose focus while driving and cut someone off….we all have parties at least once per year where one neighbor is sure to be inconvenienced….and we all get up to piss during a movie from time to time. What you find offensive is limited to you…what you do and are completely oblivious to, others may find equally as offensive. When you cut someone off and then get honked at, do you honk back? If so, YOU’RE the asshole. Why not wave and gesture that you’re sorry? I do that, and instead of having someone ride my ass for the next mile, they back off realizing it was unintentional.

    I’n not saying there aren’t people out there completely self-absorbed and habitually inconsiderate of others … but we all need to be a little more tolerant, because we’re all “that asshole” to someone at some point.

  • corey3rd

    what really needs to be done is to give these people an introductory offer to subscribe to netflix since it’s obvious they’d be better off watching movies at home

  • Joshua Mooney

    In like Flynn, George Prager. Fucking exactly, lad. I can’t hear the words “water buffalo” without immediately recalling that madness at Penn in the early ’90s.

  • CitizenKanedforChewingGum

    Pretty fuckin’ nice post there mccool.


  • DeeZee
  • EdHavens

    I know I’m being an asshole when I confront an asshole in a movie theatre. Assholes don’t respond to civility. They don’t respond to polite requests. They only respond to bigger assholes.

  • Actually, when I hear the term “water buffalo”, I think of a guy at college who would do “Wild Kingdom” impressions (“Watch as my assistant and I attempt to neuter a water buffalo!”)

    It’s funny you should post this today – I went and saw EDGE OF DARKNESS today (as with STATE OF PLAY, not as good as the original miniseries, but okay in its own right), and early on, this guy was talking loudly on his cellphone, and even though he had gone near the exit door, we could still hear him because of the acoustics. After 30 seconds of listening to this, I snuck over to the ramp leading to the exit, and whispered for him to take it outside. He did, and as I snuck back to my seat, two other moviegoers gave me a thumbs-up.

  • DeeZee
  • George Prager
  • googs

    what about when you get irritated by someone polluting a comments section by posting stupid movie news links? I think should do a cartoon about that next.

  • Quantrell Bishop

    DeeZee, you are pretty much the worst person to ever ruin the Internet.

  • DeeZee

    Oh, and Lex, Jennifer Love Hewitt’s gonna be @ the B+N @ the Grove in March.

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  • Gordon27

    Okay, I have to ask — did Jennifer Love Hewitt write a book?

  • DeeZee

    Gordon: I guess so.

  • DeeZee

    Not really as good as the other entries, but Avatar HISHE.

  • Howlingman

    Happened again, at a screening of THE THIN MAN last night — some woman a few rows down kept checking and re-checking and re-checking her Blackberry, even after the evening’s host asked people to “be mindful of others, turn your cell-phones off, and if you must send a text message, please excuse yourself to the lobby, because we view this theater as a church of cinema.”

    Fortunately I had a box of Junior Mints. After the third or fourth strike, she shut it off.

  • lol, what about kicking the back of the seat,

  • juliechen

    lol! thats why I usually wait for 2-3 weeks after the 1st showing so it won’t be so crowded in the theatres!

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  • daleanne

    I can really relate to that! I was able to shut someone like that once, I “accidentally” spilled my coke on him & he had to leave for the restroom

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  • juliechen

    Another thing i hate are those people who don’t put their phones on silent mode and would even answer calls during the movie!

    schnell abnehmen tipps

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