Last week’s news cycle was literally hemorrhaging cows. Ok. Not literally, but there is a lot of talk about cows in the news because a cow on a California farm was found to have bovine spongeform encephalopathy, better known but its more colorful nickname, Mad Cow Disease.

This news serves as the perfect segue to discuss our favorite cows in film, and, consequently, my intense hatred of all cows. They’re terrible. They do next to nothing and they sleep standing up. You know who else sleeps standing up? NOTHING! Ok, most birds do, but that’s a pretty low bar to clear. Cows, those giant beasts, aren’t even better than dumb birds.


Here are some cows in movies.

The Cow in Me, Myself, and Irene

This cow gets the spirit award for getting shot in the head six times, hit by a car, and bludgeoned, but still holding on to that will to live. A lot of people would say, “Now, cows are animals, and the graphic depiction of their torture bothers me.” I agree with the second part. I believe that you are bothered by the pointless torture and molestation of cows.

But to call a cow an animal shortchanges most animals, doesn’t it? Animals do stuff. The good ones do anyway. Cows are nature’ss paperweight so the only roll they could possibly play in a film is either as the butt of some joke or as the recipient of relentless violence. Just like in real life.

As you will see as we travel down this list, depictions of hurting and humiliating cows are very, very funny.

Actually hurting cows: NOT FUNNY. Mean. They’ll get hurt in time when they get popped with a cattle bolt. (Fun fact: They use cattle bolts to “stun” the cows so that they can cut their throats while they’re still alive to aid in the exsanguination process!”)

The Cow in Fringe

The cow in Fringe is named Gene, and it serves as an archetypal cow by just sitting around and doing nothing but eating and occasionally passing gas. There is no explanation as to why the cow exists on this show, much like there is no explanation as to why cows exist in real life.

Gene the cow does have a penchant for Chinese food. My theory is that at least some of that Chinese food contained beef or beef bouillon or tallow, making Gene a cannibal, and, due to a lack of other options, the most interesting cow on this list.

The Pregnant Cow and Its Calf in City Slickers

(Note: We didn’t embed video here because the guy that ones this site said that if he caught me putting another picture of a cow vagina on Screen Junkies, he was going to seriously going to lose his shit. And, based on the look on his face when he told me that, I believed him.)

Here, Billy Crystal delivers a breached calf and you know how the mother thanks him? By taking his watch with its vagina. Real classy, cow. You know what I would have done? I would have taken the watch off, first. That’s what I would have done. Of course, Billy Crystal with all his Oscar and Forget Paris and Throw Momma From The Train money can spend all day just losing watches in cow vaginas.

But me? No sir. Not in this economy.

The Cow in Twister

Cows also serve a purpose during tornados. If you see a cow get lifted up by a tornado, you know that the tornado is pretty bad, possibly an F5 “finger of God” type situation. However, the cow’s utility is outweighed by the fact that, once airborne, the cow is a ballistic instrument that can levy damage all over the place, taking out toddlers, small dogs, and recently-washed sports cars.

We do a lot of joking on this site, but if you own a cow in a place with a high incidence of tornados, please chain it down.

The Cow In Monty Python’s The Holy Grail

Aside from being hamburgers, this is the most useful a cow has ever been. And I don’t mean that in the sense that I don’t realize that this scene is fiction. I mean it in the sense that a cow pretending to be flown through the air for a Monty Python skit is the most useful thing a cow has done, other than being beef.

For reals, yo. I went through four pages of Google search (both web and news) for the phrase “hero cow,” and got no relevant results. “Hero bird,” on the other hand, had a relevant hit on the second entry. Cows, please be more like birds.

The Cow in Tommy Boy

That fucker gets knocked over. Take a look. If you are going to go cow tipping. Please act responsibly and pick the cow back up when you’re done. It may not be easy, but the cow will appreciate it. And you would see that appreciation if cows didn’t have such dead eyes and non-expressive faces.

I wish they were more like dogs.