Coffee has been a staple of American cinema for more than a century at this point. From Barbara Stanwyck’s coffee spilling shenanigans in “Baby Face” to Jim Jarmusch’s classic ode to small talk between small people “Coffee and Cigarettes.”
Coffee scenes are present in almost every movie, and they aren’t going anywhere soon.
Of course, not all coffee scenes are created equal so today we are going to look at some of the most memorable coffee scenes in American movie history. Now, sit back, grab yourself a cup of organic coffee, and take a trip down memory lane with these iconic coffee scenes.
Thor (Kenneth Branagh, 2011)
In the first spot on our list we have something a bit more modern and far less classic than the other entries on the list but this scene is so memorable, we simply had to include it. While Chris Hemsworth’s performance was a bit more serious in Thor’s first appearance in MCU, he struck comedy gold with the coffee scene. After downing a full cup of coffee in one single gulp, Odin’s son smashes the cup and demands more. Hey – if your coffee can impress a Nordic god – you’re doing something right.
LA Story (Mick Jackson, 1991)
Back in the early 90s, the Starbucks, custom-coffee craze still didn’t hit the States, however, Steve Martin was onto something. In this legendary scene, a table full of yuppies places a number of highly-detailed orders. We can hear everything from “cappuccino” to “half double decaffeinated half-caf with a twist of lemon.” The last one is almost as confusing as decaf coffee (it never made any sense to me whatsoever).
Breakfast At Tiffany’s (Blake Edwards, 1961)
We couldn’t talk about memorable coffee scenes without mentioning the opening scene from 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Even if you’ve never seen the classic film, you definitely know how this scene looks through pop culture osmosis. Just by looking at the title you can just imagine Audrey Hepburn, standing there, observing the expensive jewellery through the store window, with a cup of morning coffee in her hand, looking stunning.
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994)
If you only watched Pulp Fiction on TV, you probably don’t even know about this scene, since it was edited out of the film due to language during some broadcasts. In the infamous scene, Samuel L. Jackson’s character Jules tries to defuse an awkward situation by complimenting Quentin Tarantino’s Jimmie on his “gourmet” coffee. Although a warm cup of gourmet coffee can help you diffuse almost any situation, it probably doesn’t make a huge difference if you have a corpse in your garage. It would seem if it’s not the coffee table, it’s other tables that Tarantino loves to have his characters sat around.
The Usual Suspects (John Ottman, 1995)
Although there are probably more iconic coffee drinking scenes in film history, this is probably the most shocking one. We, the audience, watch as Agent Kujan’s mug hits the floor as we realise that (no need for a spoiler alert here, really) Kevin Spacey was the infamous Keyser Soze all this time. As the cup hits the floor, you can also see a surprising amount of creamer Chazz Palminteri’s character puts in his coffee – now that’s a fun fact you can nag someone with at the next party.