An Infamous Movie Meme Is Actually From A Christmas Film


An Infamous Movie Meme Is Actually From A Christmas FilmSilent Night Releasing Corporation

‘Garbage day!’ It’s been a classic movie meme for 15 years, but did you know it originated in a Christmas film?

Some movie scenes pass into legend without rhyme or reason: Troll 2′s ‘They’re eating her! And then they’re going to eat me! Oh my god!’ has proven to be immortal; Titanic’s Gloria Stuart is constantly deployed in GIF form any time there’s a short delay – ‘It’s been 84 years’ – and a short clip of The Shaggy D.A. punching a man in the face never fails to garner retweets.


One scene stands out to me as not just a personal favourite, but representing the very best of ‘so bad, it’s great’ Z-movies – and, it fits in with the festive season.

‘Garbage day!’ is in reference to a scene from Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2, a 1987 Christmas slasher sequel starring Eric Freeman, James L. Newman, Elizabeth Kaitan and Jean Miller. It was a critical and commercial flop, making $154,323 off a $250,000 budget – but, as you’d probably expect, it’s got a substantial cult following.

In the scene, a man can be seeing taking out his bins, when Ricky Caldwell (Freeman) appears with a handgun. ‘Garbage day!’ he yells, before shooting him in the chest, at which point he laughs and blows the smoke from the pistol. It comes amid an attempted shooting spree, culminating in him trying to kill himself before being apprehended by the police.

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. (Silent Night Releasing Corporation)Silent Night Releasing Corporation

In 2006, YouTuber Jamie Holler uploaded the clip, followed by BrunoMe’s higher quality video only a week later. To this day, it’s still live on the platform, and it’s amassed more than 9.2 million views. From there, its meme stature has only grown.

Urban Dictionary defines ‘Garbage day’ as, ‘The phrase is usually said without pronoun and is followed by a maniacal (although not hysterical) laugh. It is a reference to a non-intentionally hilarious scene in the sh*tty 1987 film Silent Night, Deadly Night II.’

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2. (Silent Night Releasing Corporation)Silent Night Releasing Corporation

In an interview with Film Inquiry, Freeman discussed the quote going viral. ‘You know, those YouTube snippets, people don’t realise that the ‘Garbage day’ scene comes from an actual movie. There are several people out there who think I’m dead, or still lost, or a gigolo in Thailand. I think if more people saw the whole film, not just that brief clip, there might be more investment in the idea of making another film,’ he said.

‘Really, I never understood the garbage day scene, but people love it. They clap when they see it. I don’t know what it is. That scene exists in another world. I prefer other parts of that film,’ Freeman added.

Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2 is available to watch on Shudder. 

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Topics: Film and TV, Christmas


Film Inquiry
  1. Film Inquiry

    “I think Ricky Caldwell might be more popular on Twitter than I would be.” An Interview with Cult Film Actor Eric Freeman, Star of SILENT NIGHT, DEADLY NIGHT 2

Cameron Frew
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