Pancakes and Waffles in Pop Culture

A lot of people love pancakes or waffles for breakfast. Whether your pancake is a thick cake or a thin crepe, it’s a meal to celebrate. Whether your waffle is slathered in butter or syrup or both, it’s a real delight to the taste and tummy. These warm and fluffy breakfast treats are so delectable that you can almost taste and smell them just by thinking about them.

But seeing them onscreen gives you a different sensation. Sometimes, as pancakes and waffles appear in movies, you drool in delight. You may have thought, “I’m going to get a pancake/waffle after this,” as you watch the movie. Here are some of the films where these yummy delights made a memorable cameo:

1. Uncle Buck (1989)

In movies, a character’s domestic worthiness can be proven by his or her ability to bring a nourishing breakfast on the table. The simplest and most graphic expression of this is what John Candy portrayed as the title character in Uncle Buck.

Buck shows that he’s worthy of looking after the kids by cooking a giant stack of breakfast pancakes and marvels the two young niece and nephew. The pancakes were so big that he needed a snow shovel to use as a spatula. The scene also included a young McCauley Culkin (before Home Alone) who was wide-eyed and amused. Hilarious and to the point, and also makes you want to get a piece of that big ol’ pancake.

2. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1995)

Paul Reuben’s first movie outing in Pee-wee’s Big Adventure is a classic. The film itself is an underrated comedy, which is a great parody of the great family films of the period.

The sequence shows Pee-wee’s idiosyncratic morning routine, featuring his Breakfast Machine that has an elaborate way of preparing a meal. The machine, which will remind of you of elaborate devices from Wallace & Gromit and Back to the Future, works perfectly well. The pancakes will stick to the ceiling (eew), but it delivers a picture-perfect stack of flapjacks. But Pee-wee’s inventiveness doesn’t stop there. He makes a face out of the pancakes, using eggs as eyes and bacon strips for the lips so that he can converse with it in Mr. T’s voice. The pancakes, as he’s playing with it, asks for a breakfast of Mr. T cereal on its own. What a weird dude, right?

3. Pulp Fiction (1994)

Food, especially breakfasts, play a major part in Quentin Tarantino’s films. In Pulp Fiction, the narrative was framed over breakfast. In fact, breakfast is how the movie started and ended.

In the scene, Vincent and Jules are having breakfast together, with Vincent chowing down on a stack of pancakes. Jules talks profusely about the difference between dogs and pigs as Vincent decides to order some bacon with his pancakes. The conversation progresses into a deeper discussion, concluding with Jules telling his decision to “walk the earth” and begin his quest for redemption. Redemption is the big theme of the movie, and there seems to be a link between this and the characters’ breakfast choices. The characters were shown to eat breakfast ahead of doing something grave and important, and their food is a big indicator of what is to come. Those who like pork like Jules has a shot at future, while those who eat fatty fried meats like Vincent are doomed.

4. Rain Man (1988)


Dustin Hoffman’s character has a very strict weekly regime, and it includes religiously eating pancakes with maple syrup each and every Tuesday. The film is already a gem (plus it features Tom Cruise youthful gorgeousness), but the endorsement of pancakes is a wonderful one.

Not only does the scene feature pancakes, but it also shows that pancakes can be eaten with toothpicks, not with a knife and a fork. It’s a challenge that pancake fans must try to consider, but as for most people, they’d just stick with a knife and a fork (or even bare hands).

5. Groundhog Day (1993)

Bill Murray’s character Phil Connors in Groundhog Day was trapped in his existential time loop and kept living the same day over until he learns the right life lessons.

Phil was stuck in Punxsutawney and realizes that he has been granted an unlimited number of diner breakfasts. In one scene, he seems the order the whole menu at once, piling his table with pancakes and pastries and milkshakes. Much to the disgust of Rita, he shows how life should be enjoyed without consequences, as he says he doesn’t have to worry about cholesterol, love handles or even flossing. But the real message is that the pancakes symbolize empty gluttony, that no matter how much he takes the same thing, he will end up reliving the same moment, and that it is only then when he realizes he must put the food down and do something good for others so he can enjoy his life.

6. The Big Lebowski (1998)

The Big Lebowski doesn’t feature the pancakes in a good light, as it shows that the German Nihilists choose pancakes as their breakfast of choice.

The scene shows the group of bad guys are fans of a local eatery’s Lingonberry Pancakes. We didn’t get to see the actual pancakes, but the cover of the diner’s menu features a tall stack of pancakes – showing that it’s their specialty. The implication of this scene is that the pancakes are a great healer, as it was revealed that Aimee Mann’s character was willing to cut off her toe for the sake of the kidnap plan, and the Lingonberry Pancakes were somehow a part of their ceremony. So if the toe-chopping Germans like it, the pancakes must be really good.

7. Austin Powers: Goldmember (2002)

Perhaps, Mike Myers’ most memorable comedic performance is in the entire Austin Powers franchise. The comic notes of Goldmember – the character he was also playing (besides Austin Powers) – and his odd fascination with the combination of smoking and eating was very amusing.

“Smoke and a pancake? Cigar and a waffle? Pipe and a crepe? Bong and a blintz? There is no pleasing you!” This iconic scene with the visual presentation of actual pancakes with smoking products has birthed the “schmoke and a pancake” catchphrase for the threequel. It’s unusual to offer food and something to smoke combined in one plate, so it’s easy to see why Austin was a bit confused.

8. Stranger Things (2016)

After Eleven from Stranger Things escaped captivity, she made her way into town and came across a diner to try a burger. She then tried some ice cream straight out of the pint. But when she was handed an Eggo frozen waffle, it changed her life. Forever. (Ok, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it really seems like it.)

In the scene, Eleven was inside what it seems like a grocery store and her need for Eggos waffles made her do something intense. She resorts to stealing four boxes to get her supply and uses her psychokinetic abilities to prevent herself from getting arrested. It’s never right to steal, but it seems understandable to do so when you’re addicted to waffles.

9. 50 First Dates (2004)

Lucy in 50 First Dates loves to build architectural creations with her waffles. It’s creative and endearing, but she does it every single day. Unfortunately, she has anterograde amnesia, a condition in which she can’t make new memories. She wakes up every morning thinking it was a Sunday, October 13, the day before her accident.

There was this moment where she made a house made of waffles, and Henry Roth tried to help her by sticking in a toothpick. Lucy was dismayed by the gesture, as she was still going to eat it. Henry tried every day to connect with her, as, for her, she meets him for the first time. And during all those days, she builds waffle forts. It’s a creative idea that perhaps you’ve also tried doing, especially if you liked the movie and watched it a lot of times.

10. Shrek Forever After (2010)

Everybody knows Shrek and his donkey confidant named Donkey. In its fourth installment, Shrek Forever After, there was a scene where a stack of mouthwatering waffles is placed in the middle of the forest.

Donkey sees that golden, delicious-looking stack of freshly baked waffles in the middle of the woods, covered in dripping syrup, sitting innocently in a tree stump. He excitedly runs near it and tries to lick it. Shrek warned him, as finding a beautiful stack of waffles in the middle of the woods is very suspicious. But Donkey still tried to give in to his desires, and he ends up being trapped and unceremoniously kicked under the tree stump, then pulled by a rope in a tunnel underground. We can’t blame Donkey though, those 3D animated waffles sure looked enticing.

Be sure to check out these greats on YouTube, Netflix, Hulu Amazon, UWatchfree, and others as well.  Its time for great entertainment!