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Got Subtext? There’s Way More Going On When Movie Characters Drink Milk Than You Think

A new video looks at a surprising topic and reveals everything you never realized you needed to know about when movie characters drink milk.

Got Subtext? There’s Way More Going On When Movie Characters Drink Milk Than You Think

WHAT: A short video essay entitled, Milk in Movies: Why Do Characters Drink It?

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WHO: The film obsessives at Now You See It.

WHY WE CARE: There is a very good chance that most people have not thought very much about what it means when a character in a film drinks milk. After all, there’s a plot to follow, a director’s visual style to consider, and any number of other pressing issues about the true meaning of life that make take precedence over the milk question. In a hyperspecific new video, however, the YouTubers at Now You See It offer a deep analysis of this surprisingly recurring trope. Using examples from A Clockwork Orange, Napoleon Dynamite, Catch Me If You Can, Inglourious Basterds, and more, the video walks viewers through milk’s status as a symbol of childishness–and how that symbol can be subverted. There’s apparently enough subtle subtext going on in the milking scene in Mad Max: Fury Road to make Co.Create want to watch it again for the bajillionth time. Sadly, though, there is no explanation for why Rob Lowe’s villainous character in Tommy Boy makes an entrance by drinking milk, though perhaps that will be in the sequel.

About the author

Joe Berkowitz is a writer and staff editor at Fast Company. His next book, Away with Words, is available June 13th from Harper Perennial.

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