Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

The Fight Club Scene That Went Too Far

"Fight Club," as both a movie and a book, is a story that basks in its status as a piece of counterculture. It asks the viewer to take pleasure in watching acts of destructive rebellion, even if its final message admonishes them, and for a moment, makes beating the snot out of another person almost seem cool. Heck, there are still plenty of men out there who idolize Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and the toxic masculinity he stands for even though he's clearly presented as a violent psychopath (via BBC).

Regardless of how seriously one takes the quasi-philosophy of the film's central antagonist, much of the entertainment value in "Fight Club" comes from flirting with those dark ideas. For that reason, the film goes out of its way to be a bit naughty at times, and that's putting it lightly. It depicts things like violence, drugs, and sex in all their raunchy ugliness and goes too far on more than one occasion. The worst scene that went too far, however, has to be the infamous "pillow talk" moment between Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) and Pitt's Tyler.

Marla says a line too shocking for any theater

The following slide contains references to child abuse and abortion.

Following the introduction of Helena Bonham Carter's character, Marla Singer, Tyler Durden begins a sexual relationship with her. Like all things in "Fight Club," their affair is anything but PG-13. However, the raunchiness comes to a head in a scene that takes place after one of their sexual encounters, with Marla exclaiming, "I haven't been f***ed like that since grade school."

To almost anybody who hears it, that line of dialogue is exceedingly uncomfortable. However, it's actually the toned-down version of a line taken from the book. According to Total Film (via GamesRadar+), in the first version of the film, Marla says, "I want to have your abortion," but the film studio was adamant that this needed to be changed. Director David Fincher agreed to change the line under the condition that they could not refuse whatever line replaced it. Of course, this turned out to be a trick. Fincher came up with a line that's almost worse, making then Fox 2000 President Laura Ziskin extremely uncomfortable, much to Fincher's joy.

"You know in 'ET' when his head extends up on his neck?" Fincher said. "Laura did the inverse. The first vertebrates in her neck just contracted wafer[-]thin. She just cringed so hard."

If you or someone you know may be the victim of child abuse, please contact the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child (1-800-422-4453) or contact their live chat services.

The lines continues to be a topic of conversation today

Despite the fact that Marla's line is about as obscene as it gets, fans who appreciate this aspect of the film think that the line suits it perfectly. "Love it when censorship accidentally creates something even more awesome," wrote Redditor u/lecherous_hump on a Reddit thread about David Fincher's replacement. "The new line just has a better ring to it; 'I want to have your abortion' sounds more like something an emo teenager would say."

Of course, that's just one of the prevailing opinions among "Fight Club" fans. There are just as many people (if not more) who consider lines like Marla's too offensive to be justifiable, with Redditor u/vanderguile replying that both the original and the new line are "just shocking" and another Redditor sarcastically commenting that the new line is "so much less offensive." Nevertheless, the line exists — and for those who enjoy this shamelessly offensive film, it seems to be one of the reasons why.