Movie trope time: FRIDGING

As someone who works with feminist film exhibiton etc., this is obviously something I’ve come across and been dead frustrated about so many times – even recent Nic Cage flick Mandy was partially ruined for me by this.

So, you know how in a lot of movies (and other media), women have to suffer and/or die because it’s needed as a plot device for a man’s story?

IT FINALLY HAS A NAME! Or rather, has had a name all along, but I haven’t known about it until now. It’s called fridging.

Can’t wait to use this in real life discussions with male filmmakers etc who think that this is a really good way of telling a story about men. “Mate, fridging is like so 1999.”



This is definitely an example of a thing that an actual term for will be beneficial for calling out :+1:


Telling everyone I know about it.


Like the Haruki Murakami adaptation Burning?

walks out of thread mischievously


Glad she acknowledged this thread underneath:


Very close to hooking me with this one you little rascal

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Haven’t seen that yet (despite it winning the main award at a festival I worked at last year… Ooops).

Gladiator is the first thing that sprang to mind. His wife and child don’t even have any lines, they just exist as a sort of abstract plot device to justify Russell Crowe decapitating some people.

same with Dicaprio’s significant other in ‘Revenant’…

Liam Neeson is so ambitious he now does IRL Fridging as well as every single movies he makes these days.

It’s good but my impression of Murakami’s female characters so far isn’t very favourable

They do this in Deadpool 2, apparently without being aware of the trope.

Then, in the sanitised recut the Princess Bride guy pulls them up on it.

Deadpool, eh.

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Lots of examples in here

As many others have noted, it’s a sub-set of the lazy trend for character motivation to come from one of two points:

  • If they’re a woman, they have acts committed upon them to spur them on.
  • If they’re a man, acts are committed upon a woman they care about, to spur them on.

(the exception to the rule is John Wick, where they use a dog in lieu of a wife/girlfriend/daughter)

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women (in) refridgerators
white russian




Dunno, wasn’t Widows an example of reverse fridging?

(aka a female led mainstream film…)

Thought this was a bit weird to be honest. I mean on the one hand she gets offed very quickly in the film, but on the other hand she’d already been a significant character throughout the whole of the first film, so she was hardly a lazily thrown in plot device.

feels like a tricky one to argue that a female-led movie’s motivation should be something bad happening to some men

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Bourne films

Marie Kreutz

  • Fridged
  • Unfridged

0 voters

Nicky Parsons

  • Fridged
  • Unfridged

0 voters