What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993) Poster

Parents Guide

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MPAA Rated PG-13 for elements of mature subject matter

Sex & Nudity

  • A man asks another man, who works for the mortuary, if they ever "fool around with the bodies". There's some awkward laughter; it turns out he innocently just wanted to know whether or not the bodies get made fun of.
  • Becky and Gilbert kiss a few times nothing explicit
  • A woman wears a white crochet top that shows her bra through it.
  • A funeral director flirts with a young girl, telling her that she's turning into "quite the young lady". It's pretty innocent; nothing explicit is said.
  • Sex is loosely implied to have happened between a young man and woman overnight.
  • A woman kisses a man on the cheek.
  • Two characters kiss passionately as a pre for the x-act. There is a gap on their ages and the woman is married with kids. It may be unpleasant for some young viewers.
  • A young man has a sexual affair with an older woman. In one scene she gives him a blowjob (nothing below his shoulders is visible, but she gets on her knees and he has trouble speaking on the telephone). In another scene, they lick ice cream off each other's fingers.

Violence & Gore

  • A girl chases her disabled brother, knocking him to the ground and pulling his hair. He's later seen with a bloody nose and cut on his wrist.
  • A boy decapitates a grasshopper for fun by placing its head under the door of a mailbox.
  • Characters playfully slap each other and splash each other with water.
  • A boy beats his brother after he destroys two expensive birthday cakes.


  • 1 use of asshole, hell and oh god 2 uses of shit and damn
  • Couples of Damns, Hell, & Shit.
  • 1 Asshole
  • 2 uses of fuck (1 is barely audible)
  • A girl gives her brother the middle finger.

Alcohol, Drugs & Smoking

  • There is some beer-drinking on screen, and some smoking. There is a suggestion that a character uses food as a way of turning away from reality.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Characters are often depressed as their dying town repeatedly loses business.
  • The mother's morbid and debilitating obesity is a strong theme in the film.
  • Some of the family conflict sounds very intense and unsettling.


The Parents Guide items below may give away important plot points.

Sex & Nudity

  • A running gag in the first half of the film is that a man will discover the affair going on between his wife and a younger man.
  • Becky and Gilbert sleep together with their clothes on after watching the sunset.

Violence & Gore

  • A boy eats a birthday cake that was being saved for later. His brother, irritated by him, slaps him several times violently and shoves him into the wall; cuts are later seen on his face.

Frightening & Intense Scenes

  • Near the end of the film, Arnie runs into his mothers room to find her deceased. He thinks that she is sleeping or "hiding" from him. He slowly comes to the realization that she is dead, and the scene is end with him outside sobbing and screaming to his brother. One of the most emotional scenes of the film.
  • We hear that the family patriarch died from suicide, an incident which haunts the family over a decade later. It's revealed that he hung himself from the basement rafters, and implied that his mentally disabled son was the one to discover the body, as he's traumatized by the basement itself.
  • A man is said to have drowned in the kiddie pool after having a heart attack and falling in face-first. Despite the funeral director insisting it was an accident, most people in town believe the wife killed him for the insurance money.
  • There's a scene near the end in which the family matriarch dies in her sleep. The family is further horrified when a man on the phone tells them that they'll need to remove her body by crane, which will draw a crowd of spectators. To preserve her dignity, they remove all their material belongings and then set the house on fire.

See also

Taglines | Plot Summary | Synopsis | Plot Keywords

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