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Beginning Responsibility: Lunchroom Manners (1959)

This short featuring "Mr. Bungle", a puppet, instructs children on how to best behave in a lunchroom situation.


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This short featuring "Mr. Bungle", a puppet, instructs children on how to best behave in a lunchroom situation.

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Short | Family







Release Date:

1960 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mr. Bungle See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs



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Did You Know?


When "Phil" approaches the lunch line, the other children are standing between him and us in the wide shot. But in the close-up, the line is suddenly on the other side of him. See more »


Teacher: You shouldn't run in the lunchroom. Only Mr. Bungle would do that.
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Referenced in Raw Footage (1977) See more »


Picnic Prattle
Music by Cyril Watters
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User Reviews

An extremely pointless short that ends up being unintentionally hilarious.
8 July 2017 | by TheOneManBoxOfficeSee all my reviews

You know what a lot of us remember from back when we were in elementary school? Those educational shorts that our teachers would force us to watch as part of their curriculum, whether they were about a certain subject such as science or music, or just about everyday common sense. This one falls under the latter, and if there is one studio that intentionally talks down to its audience as if they were preschoolers, it's Coronet Films.

"Lunchroom Manners" is considered to be their most notorious one of their entire catalog for the above-mentioned reason. It's the story of a boy named Phil, who watched a puppet show in his class revolving around a messy character named "Mr. Bungle" and his antics in the lunchroom.

The idea was that the teacher was encouraging her class to act respectfully during lunch and not make a mess. Fair enough, and that's the same message they were trying to convey in this short...except they go through every, single, solitary action this kid takes. He goes to wash his hands. He uses a hugely unnecessary amount of soap. He dries his hands. Goes to the lunchroom. Waits in line instead of cutting to the front, and to quote the king of Siam from "The King and I" (1956) , "et cetera, et cetera, et cetera". Now I dunno what children in the '60s were like at the time, but I seriously doubt that any schoolchild at the time was this stupid to the point where they have to go through a step-by-step program about something so simple as having lunch.

So what of the film itself? Well, in short, it's incredibly funny for all of the wrong reasons due to the absurdity that an educational short had to be made about the bare-assed basics of maintaining good human hygiene, as if this was that big of an issue at the time next to, I dunno, the fear of nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union? This wasn't the only one of its kind, either, as there were a few that were made before this one, specifically from Young America Films, and if you've watched a fair share of "Mystery Science Theater 3000", you'd know exactly what I'm talking about.

"Lunchroom Manners" is a rather pointless educational short and above all, a cinematic oddity through and through. Even though I'm giving this one star, it's worth looking at if you want to have a good laugh, though I highly recommend looking up the Rifftrax version, as the roasting commentary is borderline hilarious.

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