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Movie-goer throws popcorn at someone who kept using their phone during 'Dune 2.' AITA?

Movie-goer throws popcorn at someone who kept using their phone during 'Dune 2.' AITA?


"AITA for throwing a piece of popcorn at someone who kept using their phone during a movie?"

The title is pretty self-explanatory... but here are the details...We went to see Dune 2 (HIGHLY recommended) last night... in a VIP theatre with comfy seats and table service... which I mention because to attend, you must be 19+ -- they serve real drinks.

Seated two rows ahead of us, were three young women... 19-22 I'd guess.They didn't shut up during any of the previews, and spoke loudly to each other throughout the movie... which is annoying, but, unfortunately, hardly unique these days.

But what was incredibly annoying... starting at about 20 minutes into the movie, one of them got onto her phone. She was only two rows ahead and it was full brightness, so it'd be an understatement to say it was distracting. She'd text, scroll instagram, watch TikTok videos...for a few minutes...then put it down. Ten minutes later, out came the phone again.

After the third time, I said, quite loudly, "Put the phone away!" She looked back, gave me a look like "STFU old man", but put it down. And then, 10 minutes later, pulled it out again. Again, full brightness.

So I got a piece of popcorn and threw it at her... hit her on the head. As you can imagine, she turned around... "Are you serious right now?!" "Yeah, I'm serious, can't you live without your phone for a couple of hours?"

"Shhh!" said someone. "Shut up!", said someone else. She put it away...and then, maybe 20 minutes later, out it came again. I threw another piece of popcorn, which barely missed but flew by her face. She put the phone away and it stayed away for the rest of the movie.

Nobody stood, nobody clapped, nobody really cared. And that might have been the end of it, except after the movie, she quite bluntly said to her friend as we were walking out, looking at me, "That's the ahole."

In telling others about this this morning, I've come to understand that movie etiquette has changed from when I was 20. Back then, of course, there weren't phones...

but it was unheard of to engage in behaviour that'd be distracting to others. And when phones appeared 30 years ago, you'd NEVER get on it during the movie, and if you had to, you'd walk out and deal with it. But these days, this is par for the course.

Anyway, if I'm paying $25 per ticket plus food plus drinks (expensive!) plus parking for a night out and a true theatre experience, I'd like to enjoy it with what I think is the environment all of that deserves. I can watch movies at home and get on my phone all I want, for free.

This is supposed to be different. Am I out of touch? AITA? Is this ok these days? And maybe that behavior is not OK, but AITA for throwing a couple of kernels of popcorn at someone? It was certainly effective.

Here's what top commenters had to say about this one:

Rude_Egg_6204 said:

Nta. There need to being back public punishment for people that use their phone at the movies.

MsCndyKane said:

NTA - There needs to be a standard. If we don’t uphold it then the standard changes. Look at tipping culture. It started out as rewards for servants/slaves and now it’s expected for everything. I started going to the local off broadway theater lately and there’s no phones. It’s nice to just be present.

Nonby_Gremlin said:

Whoever is saying phones and talking loudly are normal are ridiculous. You don’t make excessive noise in any theater during a showing/performance. They literally tell you at the start of every movie not to use your phone. I’d have complained to the theater and if I had to get up and miss the movie I’d expect to be compensated.

In those drinking/eating theaters there’s always a server running through - they absolutely should have handled that. I’ll say that most servers will come running of you stand up your menu so maybe hold on to a menu for this purpose next time. If the staff won’t do anything, I’d leave a review letting others know they won’t enjoy a quiet viewing experience there. NTA you tried to handle it like an adult, they responded with childishness. They got what they gave.

Skyward93 said:

NTA-It drives me insane when people do this. I’ve thought about throwing popcorn before and it’s not like you didn’t say something before. She just didn’t care. Play stupid games win stupid prizes.

Confident-Baker5286 said:

NTA- this was the perfect response lol. Getting hit by a piece of popcorn isn’t going to hurt anyone any more than her being on her phone hurt anyone, this is the exact level of petty we should all strive for.

Nightingale0666 said:

NTA. Theater employee here! While you technically should've gotten an employee or manager to handle the situation, I can't blame you. I probably would've thrown my whole ass drink or shoe at her.

She should not be at the movies if she can't get through it without being on her phone. Phone usage in the theaters is strictly prohibited except for emergencies, in which case the person should exit the theater and use it outside.

Everyone was on OP's side for this one. What's your advice for this situation?

Sources: Reddit
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