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Ding dong, pizza delivery! September 5th is National Cheese Pizza Day (not to be confused with National Pizza with the Works Except Anchovies Day, which is celebrated on November 12th). We here at Quirk love piping hot cheese pizzas, so we’re ready to celebrate with our favorite onscreen pizza cameos, plain cheese or otherwise.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Despite the darker undertones of the original comics, most people are familiar with Leonardo, Raphael, Donatello, and Michelangelo from the more lighthearted animated series that aired in the 1980s and 1990s, where the Ninja Turtles fought Bebop and Rocksteady plus a watered-down version of The Shredder, who just wanted turtle soup.

In between their battles, the Ninja Turtles scarfed down pizza after pizza. I was always jealous of these pizzas and thought they looked delicious, mostly due to their seemingly never-ending melted cheese.

Home Alone: Cheese pizza is beloved by everyone, but it is vital to the nutrition of kids. When we were eight years old, toppings just confused our palette. Despite being young, we knew what we wanted, pepperoni be damned! Kevin McCallister, a hero to those born in the 1980s, spoke for a generation when he asked, “Did anyone order me a plain cheese?”

Of course a plain cheese pizza was ordered, but Kevin was thwarted by his older brother, Buzz, and then tormented by this bully because he devoured the last of the plain cheese. Kevin stood up for himself, starting a fight that would get him punished and eventually left home alone, but our intrepid hero took advantage of this, ordering “a lovely cheese pizza, just for me” with no filthy animals around to put their grubby hands on it.

Pizza the Hutt: Thanks to Spaceballs, I also have an example of how seemingly never-ending melted cheese can be a bad thing. This space gangster didn’t mess around either, threatening "Pizza is gonna send out... for you!"

To be honest, I’ve never felt less hungry in my entire life. Thanks, Mel Brooks!

Stripes: In the 1981 comedy, Stripes, Bill Murray plays John Winger, a man down on his luck who loses pretty much everything in a couple of hours. His girlfriend leaves him, he gets fired from his job, and his car gets repossessed. But to top it all off, he drops a full pizza pie on the ground.

After such a terrible day, what else is there to do but pick that pie up and toss it back into the box. This wasn’t pizza’s only brush with Murray, who used to work for a Little Caesars in Chicago. Let’s hope he took better care of the pizza then.

Breaking Bad: In a memorable scene from season three, Walter White tries to get back in the good graces of his wife and reunite his family, showing up at the front door with a pizza as a sign of a return to normalcy. His wife, Skylar, tired of Walt’s lying, shuts the door in his face, leaving Walt humiliated, pizza box in hand. As Walt goes to leave, he hurls the pizza box toward the roof and the pizza makes a perfect landing.

This miraculous toss by Bryan Cranston was done in one take and became known as “The Pizza of Destiny.”

Fast Times at Ridgemont High: The teacher is droning on about something, maybe Cuba, but you are too hungry to pay attention, so you have a pizza delivered to you in class. We’ve all been there, right? I guess not, unless you happen to be Jeff Spicoli in Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

Spicoli, unsurprisingly, has a pizza delivered to him, interrupting history class, but before he can partake in the feast, the teacher, Mr. Hand, decides that the better thing to do would be to share with the class.

Even though I love cheese pizza, I do like to dabble with toppings on occasion, with my favorites being mushroom and onion. What do you like on your pizza or are you like Kevin and like a plain cheese?


Brian Morell's picture

Brian Morell

Brian Morell is an awesome librarian from New York City. In addition to all these amazing posts he writes for Quirk Books, he also writes about music for The Ruckus and is the creator of the 365 Days of New Music project. Follow him @goodinthestacks and goodinthestacks.com, where he constantly posts dog photos.