Bottoms: Funniest Moments, Ranked
Bottoms has the potential to be the breakout hit of the year, and here are just a few of the funniest moments in laugh-out-loud comedy.
Bottoms is one of the funniest movies of 2023. Directed by Emma Seligman, the film stars Rachel Sennott (who also wrote the film) and Ayo Edebiri as PJ and Josie, respectively. They are two lesbian high school girls who start a self-defense club, or as they call it, a "fight club," in an effort to talk to their crushes and hook up with them. It combines elements of classic teenage comedies like Superbad, Mean Girls, Booksmart, and Heathers to make something entirely unique and iconic. It's a new teen classic for a new generation.
The film opened in limited release on August 25, 2023, and in ten theaters, earned $516,254 during its opening weekend. It had the best per-day average for a movie in limited release on ten screens or more since Everything Everywhere All At Once in 2022. This is a good sign for the movie to go into a wider release on September 1, 2023, and could become the breakout hit of the summer. The movie is a laugh-out-loud comedy, and these are some of the funniest moments in the movie.
Less of a moment and more of a creative choice that runs through the entire movie. The film very much operates on teenage logic. This goes from the notable example of how all of the teenagers are played by adult actors, as this is how teenagers see themselves. It also applies to the high-stakes nature of the film. It is over the top and extreme in a way that calls attention to just ho
w unrealistic it is. This is how teenagers imagine these things to be. They are, in fact, rather small, but feel like they have apocalyptic stakes. This helps set the tone for the comedy of the movie. It knows it is extreme and asks the audience to laugh along.
Less than a single moment and a recurring joke is how Bottoms makes some incredibly dark jokes, some that many might be uncomfortable with. From a throwaway joke about a kid after getting hit with something, opening up his notebook and saying, "plan to blow up the school" after saying to himself, "I said I wouldn't do this," or even a questionably dark relationship between a student and a teacher, one that the movie doesn't dwell on but highlights for one of the films most twisted payoffs later on.
Related: Bottoms Ending, Explained
Bottoms is not afraid to push boundaries. While some comedians say that PC culture is killing comedy, Bottoms is brave enough to challenge that notion and realize it isn't the joke but who the target is and isn't afraid to go to some dark places because it knows what the punchline is and who the joke is aimed at.
In a brief but funny visual gag, Josie invites her school crush, Isabel (Havana Rose Liu), back to her apartment. Isabel comments on one of Josie's sweatshirts, and she reveals her mother never lets her wear them because they "hide your figure." Josie just roles with the cutdown and then also quickly hides a childhood toy of hers, trying to hide parts of herself to impress the girl she has been dreaming of.
Towards the beginning of the movie, Josie has a breakdown of the future that possibly awaits her. She goes into a whole unbroken monologue that includes being trapped in a loveless marriage with a closeted man, that husband becoming a pastor who sleeps with every Methodist, and how their child will resent them.
She goes into extreme hypotheticals and goes on for a straight three minutes with the most extreme possibilities. It is easily one of the funniest monologues in a movie, and Ayo Edebiri's commitment to the bit makes it even funnier.
In a brief but funny exchange, when PJ is hyping up the idea of the fight club as empowering women, Josie points out that PJ doesn't care about that because her favorite show is Entourage. Entourage was a hit show on HBO that aired from 2004 to 2011 and is notable for not aging well as the series is filled with casual misogyny and homophobia and was known for objecting women.
The reveal that it is PJ's favorite show gives audiences a glimpse into her mindset and that she would fit right in with the show's lead characters as she is also just interested in women to hook up with them.
Marshawn Lynch, famous for playing for the Seattle Seahawks, plays the history teacher, Mr. G. Mr. G is also the girl's sponsor for the club, as they think he won't ask too many questions. The performance is one of the best in the film and is up there with LeBron James in Trainwreck as one of the funniest comedic turns from an athlete in a movie.
Related: Bottoms Cast and Character Guide
One of the film's funniest visual gags is, as he becomes fully onboard with the idea of a woman's self-defense course, he writes on the board who started feminism. The multiple choices are A) Gloria Steinheim, B) some guy, or C) some other woman. Notably, none of these are correct, and the sheer confidence in writing makes it even funnier.
In a moment where the girls decide to get back at the high school quarterback, their attempts to vandalize his home don't go as planned, as the toilet paper they brought just doesn't want to stay attached to the tree. Yet, while everyone assumed Hazel (Ruby Cruz) was joking when she said to use a bomb, she took it to the extreme and blew up his car, much to the shock of everyone. The massive explosion is just a funny, natural extreme to the situation.
A staple of comedies in the 2000s used to be over the end credits; a movie ended with a blooper real. Before after-credit scenes became the norm for Hollywood movies, audiences would stick around to see other funny moments that got cut from the film or even just outtakes of the actors, messing up a scene that was as funny if not funnier than the original moments.
Bottoms carries on that tradition with a classic blooper end credit gag with some credit alternate jokes that could have made it into the movie. It just shows the fun time everyone had making the movie and ends the film on a fun note for the audience leaving the theater.
The movie has seen the girls fighting each other, and this is always going to pay off in a real fight. Yet the movie shifts the expectations as they need to use what they've learned to save the football team that has been annoying them the entire movie from a rival school that plans to take their rivalry to a level that includes death. The girls meet the rival school football team on the field of battle, and an epic showdown commences.
To say any more would be to give away some of the best visual gags and moments in the movie, but the tone is very similar to the fight in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy. It escalates quickly in a way that builds to be funnier with each moment. It is also extremely cathartic and one of the most satisfying final battles in any movie.
Easily the funniest and best moment in the movie is, at the low point for the characters, the film makes one of the best needle drops in a film released in 2023: the use of Avril Lavigne's iconic Complicated. That is something incredibly accelerating for a song that millennials grew up with to now be the big emotional song in a movie.
This is the moment where it is clear who is making the movies now. What was once considered disposable pop music is now given the proper respect that the audience who first heard it when they were kids felt.
Now, it is the emotional, heartbreaking song in the film's all-is-lost moment. The lyrics speak to the character's mindset, which somehow makes it both incredibly powerful and pumpingly awesome. The idea that Complicated is now in a movie and rightfully recognized as a powerful song is funny, satisfying, and, overall, the best moment in a movie filled with great moments.
Editor and writer for MovieWeb. Graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor's degree in Film and Media Production.Contact him at [email protected]Bottoms