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Moviegoer Asks If They Were Wrong To Throw Popcorn At Woman Using Phone During ‘Dune 2’

Woman on a phone in a movie theatre.
Kong Ding Chek/Getty Images

There are few better pleasures than going out and enjoying a feature film on the silver screen.

Of course, your enjoyment of the film might depend entirely on the audience you watch the film with.

As not all audience members know to stay quiet, keep their phones on silent, or even not use their phones, during the film.

True, certain screenings invite rowdy audience behavior.

When that isn’t specified, though, it shouldn’t be too much to expect a little decorum from the audience.

Redditor canada11235813 was very excited to attend a screening of the current blockbuster Dune 2.

However, before the film even started, the original poster (OP) noticed a group of young women who they correctly predicted might cause problems during the showing.

After one of the young women took her phone out one too many times during the film, the OP felt there was only one way that she would get the message to put it away until the movie was over.

Fearing they may have gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where they asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA for throwing a piece of popcorn at someone who kept using their phone during a movie?”

The OP explained why they felt drastic measures were taken on a recent night out at the movies:

“We went to see Dune 2 (HIGHLY recommended) last night.”

“In a VIP theatre with comfy seats and table service, which I mention because to attend, you must be 19+.”

“They serve real drinks.”

“Seated two rows ahead of us, were three young women.”

“19-22 I’d guess.”

“They didn’t shut up during any of the previews, and spoke loudly to each other throughout the movie.”

“Which is annoying, but, unfortunately, hardly unique these days.”

“But what was incredibly annoying, starting at about 20 minutes into the movie, one of them got onto her phone.”

“She was only two rows ahead and it was full brightness, so it’d be an understatement to say it was distracting.”

“She’d text, scroll Instagram, watch TikTok videos for a few minutes, then put it down.”

“Ten minutes later, out came the phone again.”

“After the third time, I said, quite loudly, ‘Put the phone away!'”

“She looked back, gave me a look like ‘STFU old man’, but put it down.”

“And then, 10 minutes later, pulled it out again.”

“Again, full brightness.”

“So I got a piece of popcorn and threw it at her.”

“Hit her on the head.”

“As you can imagine, she turned around.”

“‘Are you f*cking serious right now?!'”

“‘Yeah, I’m serious, can’t you live without your phone for a couple of hours?'”

“‘Shhh!’, said someone.”

“‘Shut up!’, said someone else.”

“She put it away, and then, maybe 20 minutes later, out it came again.”

“I threw another piece of popcorn, which barely missed but flew by her face.”

“She put the phone away, and it stayed away for the rest of the movie.”

“Nobody stood, nobody clapped, nobody really cared.”

“And that might have been the end of it, except after the movie, she quite bluntly said to her friend as we were walking out, looking at me, ‘That’s the a**hole’.”

“In telling others about this this morning, I’ve come to understand that movie etiquette has changed from when I was 20.”

“Back then, of course, there weren’t phones.”

“But it was unheard of to engage in behavior that’d be distracting to others.”

“And when phones appeared 30 years ago, you’d NEVER get on it during the movie, and if you had to, you’d walk out and deal with it.”

“But these days, this is par for the course.”

“Anyway, if I’m paying $25 per ticket plus food plus drinks (expensive!) plus parking for a night out and a true theatre experience, I’d like to enjoy it with what I think is the environment all of that deserves.”

“I can watch movies at home and get on my phone all I want, for free.”

“This is supposed to be different.”

“Am I out of touch?”

“And maybe that behavior is not OK, but AITA for throwing a couple of kernels of popcorn at someone?”

“It was certainly effective.”

“AITA? Is this ok these days?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community generally agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for throwing popcorn at the young woman who would not put her phone away.

While many agreed that the OP’s course of action was not the most mature way of handling the situation, everyone otherwise agreed that the young woman’s behavior was not only distracting and disrespectful to other moviegoers but also childish… And childish behavior merited childish behavior in return, and being hit on the head by popcorn seemed to be the only way the message would sink in:


“There need to being back public punishment for people that use their phone at the movies.”-Rude_Egg_6204

“Whoever is saying phones and talking loudly are normal are ridiculous.”

“You don’t make excessive noise in any theater during a showing/performance.”

“They literally tell you at the start of every movie not to use your phone.”

“I’d have complained to the theater and if I had to get up and miss the movie I’d expect to be compensated.”

“In those drinking/eating theaters there’s always a server running through – they absolutely should have handled that.”

“I’ll say that most servers will come running of you stand up your menu so maybe hold on to a menu for this purpose next time.”

“If the staff won’t do anything, I’d leave a review letting others know they won’t enjoy a quiet viewing experience there.”


“You tried to handle it like an adult, they responded with childishness.”

“They got what they gave.”- Nonby_Gremlin


“Theater employee here!”

“While you technically should’ve gotten an employee or manager to handle the situation, I can’t blame you.”

“I probably would’ve thrown my whole drink or shoe at her.”

“She should not be at the movies if she can’t get through it without being on her phone.”

“Phone usage in the theaters is strictly prohibited except for emergencies, in which case the person should exit the theater and use it outside.”- Nightingale0666


“This was the perfect response lol.”

“Getting hit by a piece of popcorn isn’t going to hurt anyone any more than her being on her phone hurt anyone, this is the exact level of petty we should all strive for.”- Confident-Baker5286


“It drives me insane when people do this.”

“I’ve thought about throwing popcorn before, and it’s not like you didn’t say something before.”

“She just didn’t care.”

“Play stupid games and win stupid prizes.”- Skyward93


“Thanks for the laugh today!”- Own-Championship-398

“Don’t even need to read the text.”

“Phones in a movie theatre are an instant pass on AH behavior towards those using them.”

“NTA.”- 4011s


“But I’m hesitant to call out people in theatres for being assholes for fear of being assaulted/shot.”

“People be crazy these days.”- TBagger1234


“Movie etiquette hasn’t changed.”

“The lack of respect has.”

“Should have dumped the bucket.”- Monotonegent


“They have short clips before the movie at Cinemark solely for telling people not to use your phone, that’s in place for a reason!”- mangocucumbers

“Honestly if you stood up and yelled put your f**king phone away a**hole I would still say NTA.”

“Man if you’re sitting in the back of a movie that’s been out for a month sure why not but f*ck it’s been out 3 days f*ck that dude.”- AzureDreamer


“People like her are the reason I will only watch movies in my house or at the drive-in we’re lucky enough to live near.”- Librarianatrix


“You and others were there to see a movie, not to watch her phone.”- MarkWSchumann


“Doing the Lord’s work.”- possiblyapancake

And this is why I haven’t been to the cinema in years.

“Get a Dolby atmos setup at home and avoid the main character syndrome a**holes, dim the lights, and watch your 4k remixes in peace.”

“NTA.”- theantnest

“NTA I did that with an M&M peanut once.”- KancerFox

“NTA & lol.”

“I would’ve looked and pointed at her and said to whoever you were with.”

“’That’s the a**hole’.”- RudeMaximumm

“I have a very good buddy-friends for years.”

“The only time I’ve ever said anything anywhere near aggressive to him was when he pulled out his phone during a theater movie.”

“’Buddy, put that away and DO NOT pull it out again, and I’m serious’.”

“It had to be said.”

“NTA.”- Known-Command3097

In truth, throwing popcorn at someone could have gotten the OP in quite a bit of trouble.

That being said, the OP knew what they did was wrong and immature, whereas the young woman on her phone wasn’t giving even the slightest bit of consideration to anyone else in the theater.

They all paid good money to see Dune 2, not the TikTok videos the young woman was watching on her phone.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.