Movies and TV Shows About Bingo

Bingo in Movies and TV ShowsWhile we all love bingo from a player’s perspective, it’s not the sort of activity that would attract many spectators, and we don’t think it makes us traitors to the game to admit that.

Watching people mark off numbers on a card isn’t exactly thrilling, even though doing it yourself can be super exciting.

It’s perhaps not surprising then that the big wigs over in Hollywood and… whatever the equivalent of Hollywood is in the UK, have not given poor old bingo much time in the limelight.

While things like casino gambling and sports betting have had whole movies based on them, or with those activities forming the backdrop of the film, bingo has had to make do with the odd scene here and there for the most part.

You could call bingo a bit part actor in the world of TV and film, but like the thespians say, “There are no small parts, only small actors”, so when bingo is called into the frame it always does us proud.

Here are some of our favourite bingo moments from the big and small screens, in chronological order.

My Girl – 1991

My Girl MovieOh My Girl. What a film.

If you could sit through the scene where Vada finds out that poor little Thomas has died after being stung by bees without crying, then we question whether you are even human.

This really was a movie for all time that so many people could relate to, but as if it couldn’t get any better, there is also a bingo scene in there as well.

Yes, before things get too sad, there is a really funny scene in which Vada’s father is starting to get close to his date, and Vada is watching from outside and is keen for this not to happen.

Just before they are about to kiss, Vada, in her deepest voice, shouts ‘bingo’, stopping the kiss and the game.

The players look around for the winner but obviously no one comes forward, and two old men get into an argument about where the bingo came from, both refusing to back down and ultimately things turn physical.

It’s a really memorable scene in the film, and for a change, shows younger people playing the game, not just old age pensioners.

The Simpsons – 1998 and 2014

The Simpsons Movie PosterThere are not one but two episodes of The Simpsons which feature the game of bingo.

Neither do anything for the stereotype of bingo being for old age pensioners though unfortunately, since both take place in old people’s homes.

The scene from 2014 is quite funny, but not really fair either, as it shows a caller announce ball I-25, to which an elderly players asks “Which letter?”. Then another elderly player asks “Which number?”. Finally, a third elderly player asks, “Which Game”.

The second scene is more substantial, and funnier if you ask us, with one old man shouting “You sank my battleship!” after every number is called, to much laughter form everyone else in the room.

Lisa is calling in this second scene, and gives the winning player his prize, which is a banana, because “Their natural mushiness prevents choking and promotes regularity”.

It’s nice to see bingo getting some airtime in a hit show like The Simpsons, but they haven’t exactly done the game’s outdated reputation any favours.

Curb Your Enthusiasm – 2005

Curb Your Enthusiasm PosterLarry David’s incredibly popular show had a few scenes set during a game of bingo in his father’s retirement home, during season 5 episode 4.

In fact, the episode was called ‘Kamikaze Bingo’.

In one scene he has an argument with the checker after calling bingo only to be told that he had incorrectly marked a number than had not been called.

Another scene opens with Larry David declaring that nobody ever beats him at bingo, which probably outs him as a first timer more obviously than a big neon sign saying “I’ve never played bingo before”.

He goes on to play a very competitive game with his friend Jeff, before calling bingo only to be recognised from an earlier outburst of his by some of the elderly players.

They accuse him of trying to murder another resident (he didn’t, this is a comedy show), before rising from their chairs and descending on him – very slowly.

Grandma’s Boy – 2006

Grandma's Boy Movie PosterThis is a bit of a cult classic, and all begins when 35 year old Alex is forced to move in with his grandmother after being kicked out of his rented apartment.

It’s a ridiculous movie that is full of fun, including set pieces like three grandmothers accidentally drinking a pot of what they think is tea, but which in fact turns out to be more ‘pot’ than tea… if you know what we mean.

High as a kite, his grandmother tells him she can hear her hair growing.

It’s very funny, and includes a scene where Alex goes to the bingo with his grandmother and her friends.

He only goes to get out of the house which is driving him crazy, and ends up winning $18,000.


We don’t know about you, but a newbie showing up and nabbing the jackpot like that would make us pretty mad!

Big Mommas House 2 – 2006

Big Mommas House 2The Big Momma series of movies were not about bingo at all, but one memorable scene in the second instalment takes place in a bingo hall during a game.

Things don’t start well, because Big Momma is there with a 6 year old girl she is nannying who gets over excited when she receives her tickets and yells bingo, stopping the game and getting a lot of attention.

Big Momma explains that, “You don’t yell out bingo if you don’t have it. Bingo people get a little testy.” – Aint that the truth!

Anyway, the film is about an undercover FBI agent, Malcolm Turner, who impersonates a larger than life African American lady affectionately known as Big Momma.

The problem is that she is a real person, the estranged grandmother of Malcom’s real life partner, which leads to problems at bingo when a drunk 65 year old lady who recognises her starts a fight.

Apparently the real Big Momma stole the woman’s man, and she vowed to ‘beat her like a drum’ if she ever saw her again.

The man Malcolm is investigating (hence working undercover as his daughter’s nanny) takes the brunt of it though, before the drunk lady passes out.

It’s a family friendly crime comedy sort of film, so if any of this sounds a bit heavy it’s really not, it’s full of laughs as well as a generous helping of bingo.

Rampage – 2009

Rampage Movie PosterThis is a film about a young man who goes on a murderous rampage in full body armour, touting a pair of pistols, two knives, and 2 submachine guns.

It’s a crazy and violent story, with the lead character simply killing indiscriminately all around his local town, before successfully pinning the crimes on someone else.

We won’t get bogged down in the plot anymore than that, but a very tense scene midway through the rampage occurs when the lead character, Bill, enters a bingo parlour.

Having just witnessed him murdering scores of people at random, the audience clearly think he will do the same in here, but instead he wanders among them, gets himself a sandwich, and sits down.

The amazing thing about this scene is that it was shot in a real bingo parlour during a real game, and no one in there bar a few staff members knew it was going to happen.

And do you know what?

Not a single player noticed that a heavily armed gunman in full body armour was walking among them. They were so concentrated on their numbers that they never even looked up from their game!

Bill eventually gets up to the front and calls a number of his own at which point they do of course notice, but he ends up leaving the bingo hall without killing anyone because he is so surprised by their reaction.

So in a way, bingo is the hero of this scene.

Bad Grandpa – 2013

Bad Grandpa Movie PosterJohnny Knoxville, of Jackass fame, dresses up (very believably it has to be said) as a pensioner in this prank style movie, and causes chaos pretty much everywhere he goes.

Bingo gets a big scene in this one, although all of the people playing are the ones who are taken in by the trick.

After sitting down Grandpa tries to initiate a game of strip bingo with one player, before mistaking his dabber for a bottle of something or other and drinking it!

With green teeth he tells horrified onlookers that he think the drink has gone bad, as they try to stop the game to get him seen to. Grandpa has other ideas though, and pulls out a blender to make cocktails – very loudly.

Next he initiates a conversation about prostitutes and STDs, before trying to guess a female staff members bra size.

It’s all pretty tasteless by today’s standards, but caused quite a stir when it first came out.

Another entry further on in this list is from a practical joke show too. What is it with practical jokers using bingo as a platform for their tricks?

Better Call Saul – 2015

Better Call Saul PosterThe title of this show is not an instruction to the main character; the ‘call’ refers to the character’s tag line on his legal services commercials.

The show itself is a prequel to the smash hit series, Breaking Bad, and in season 1 Saul, or Jimmy as he is also known, can be found calling numbers in a bingo hall in between legal cases – he even gets someone to cover his calling duties at one point because his business mobile is ringing.

He wouldn’t get away with that in a British bingo hall!

Anyway, in probably the biggest scene in the bingo hall – and arguably the best scene in the episode – Saul loses his cool a little and in an emotional state starts monologuing to the players, explaining the concept of a Chicago sunroof.

We won’t explain it here because it’s disgusting, but it’s involves him doing what we would usually do in private in the bathroom, and ends up with him getting a criminal record.

Not really an appropriate story for the local bingo club.

As a bingo caller then he was pretty bad, but in terms of gossip worthy stories – and let’s face it we all love a bit of gossip – Saul is off the charts.

Impractical Jokers – 2020

Impractical JokersIf you don’t already know, Impractical Jokers is an American show in which four ‘friends’ – you’ll see why the word is in inverted commas shortly – give each other dares and pranks to do to members of the public.

The idea is to give them pranks that are so scary or humiliating that the person refuses to do it.

This is all filmed and the 3 people not doing the pranks can also give the pranker instructions via a tiny earpiece so they can make the situation worse for them.

Well, in one episode, Sal is given the task of deliberately calling false bingo in a jam packed bingo hall. The place is full with several hundred players, eyes down, dabbers at the ready.

After 9 or 10 numbers the guys instruct Sal to call bingo which he does, and the claim gets rejected because he is miles away from having any sort of win. The other players are pretty annoyed but soon settle back down to play.

However he then is instructed to do it again – 4 more times, to the point where he is almost crying in fear.

In the end the players are booing him, jeering him, threatening him, and even throwing things at him. Security escort him out after his final false claim, to much applause from everyone else.

Can you imagine the pressure if you had called bingo incorrectly even once, let alone 5 times!

This one is so hilarious though that we had to link to it, so enjoy:

You really feel his pain, don’t you?

Bingo Hell – 2021

Bingo Hell Movie PosterThis is a horror film, but it is set almost entirely in a bingo hall, and not many films of any genre can say that!

Whether or not horror films are your cup of tea, Bingo Hell is a superb offering from the creative team, and the juxtaposition of setting something scary in a place that is usually so safe and welcoming really works.

The film kicks off when the owner of a bingo hall sells it on but has clearly become possessed in some way, leading to him devouring bingo balls and ultimately choking to death.

It doesn’t get any more light hearted from this point on, as Mr Big takes over the place and turns it into more of a casino, but one that still offers bingo. It has much more of a carnival atmosphere, but there is something very sinister about Mr. Big, who goes around stamping people’s hands with a dollar sign.

Needless to say lots of people die in this film, and in the most gruesome fashion, but there is lots of bingo in it as well as several big money wins – over $100,000 dollars on a number of occasions – although if you enter this bingo hall you aren’t guaranteed to come out alive.

So in the words of Mr Big himself, “Who’s ready to play the game!?”

Gordon Gino and Fred: American Road Trip

Gordon Gino and Fred American Road TripThis last one is a cheat but it’s pretty funny as well so we had to include it.

The show follows angry chef Gordon Ramsey, friendly Gino D’Acampo, and maître d’hôtel Fred Sirieix as they travel America exploring the different cultures and cuisines, and usually get into some interesting situations too.

This particular episode is filmed in Texas, and the boys are invited to a game of bingo.

But this is not normal bingo, this is Chick Sh*t Bingo.

If you are thinking it’s sort sort of dare devil game then you would be wrong, it’s much more… literal than that.

Everyone gets a ticket, then a chicken is put into a pen which has a bingo card drawn onto the floor. Wherever the chicken, er… you know, that is the winning number and the holder of that number ticket wins the prize.

What a game.

While waiting for the chicken to ‘select’ a winning number, contestants are encouraged to blow on the chicken’s butt to encourage a decision.

Hilarious. But gross.