10 of the Most Harrowing Shopping Scenes on Film


Today’s Black Friday, and if you’re one of the nutty folks who start lining up outside of their local Best Buy immediately after shoveling down the pumpkin pie their Aunt Linda brought to dinner… well, you’re probably not reading this right now. But for the rest of us — those of us who wait too long to buy our Christmas gifts or will just take advantage of our Amazon Prime subscriptions — the closest we’ll get to Black Friday mania is the movies. Enjoy this sampling of the most intense shopping scenes on film, in case you’re desperate to know what it’s like to nearly die in a Wal-Mart today.

Bridesmaids (dir. Paul Feig)

Wedding-dress shopping is already an exhausting, emotional experience. Add digestive, um, issues and you’ve got a major disaster on your hands. Black Friday pro-tip: don’t shit in the street.

Pretty Woman (dir. Garry Marshall)

Don’t you hate it when the mean LA shopgirls get all uppity when you walk around their boutiques in your hooker heels, as if they think they’re better than you? At least Julia Roberts got the last laugh.

Friends With Money (dir. Nicole Holofcener)

Poor Frances McDormand’s Jane is suffering through a midlife crisis of sorts, which leads to her not washing her hair and acting generally surly. But the defining moment comes in line at an Old Navy, when a couple cuts in front of her in line. She loses it, starts screaming about etiquette, and eventually breaks her nose after running into the door.

Love Actually (dir. Richard Curtis)

It’s already nerve-wracking when you’re buying a gift for the woman in the office who you want to sleep with while your wife is off shopping for your Christmas gift. Now imagine Mr. Bean trying to wrap it up for you.

Home Alone (dir. Chris Columbus)

Can’t a nine-year-old go grocery shopping without getting the third degree from the teenage clerk? Also, thanks a lot for not double-bagging, lady.

Dawn of the Dead (dir. George A. Romero)

I guess the characters in this movie — the ones who were alive, anyway — weren’t really shopping, but the food court is extra awful when dead people are trying to eat your brains.

Empire Records (dir. Allan Moyle)

I suppose this is technically a harrowing shoplifting scene, but it is stressful nonetheless.

Fried Green Tomatoes (dir. Jon Avnet)

Let’s hope your Black Friday doesn’t end in casualties or any parking-lot rage.

Mallrats (dir. Kevin Spacey)

New Jersey: the worst. New Jersey mall: Hell. Hell on Earth.

Jingle All the Way (dir. Brian Levant)

If you can stomach watching an entire movie of harrowing shopping scenes, I commend you. Also, remember when people lost their minds at shopping malls on the day before Christmas rather than the day after Thanksgiving? Heady days, friends.