The Room Guide


This is what we do when we watch "The Room"

Let's be clear: You don't need audience participation to enjoy The Room. Whether you're watching clips online, on DVD, or in a theatre full of fellow afficionados, The Room is the gift that keeps on giving. Its love is pure, and it can always touch you.

However, sharing the experience of a film with all the passion of Tennessee Williams, on the bigscreen, with like-minded others, can be powerful, in a way no other theater-going event-- or any other event in your life-- can match. Even your mother's love can't do for you what a shared viewing of The Room does for you. You'll discover levels of camaraderie, meaning, and existential pleasure that not even the tragic bullet of Chris R.'s gun can wipe away.

In this spirit, starting with a guide to audience participation customs originally published in The Onion as a basis, I have augmented and edited it to create this living document of how a community comes together to bathe in the soothing brilliance of Tommy Wiseau's masterpiece, the room.

• ”Spoon!”
For no reason, there are framed pictures of spoons on the wall of Johnny and Lisa's apartment. Whenever one of the works appears on screen, you yell “Spoon!” and hurl plastic picnic spoons up in the air. Having enough people essentially makes the whole project self-replenishing, because most spoons land a few rows ahead. You literally throw a handful and another handful falls in your lap. It’s like being part of a plastic-cutlery salmon migration. As the film trudges on, people start throwing spoons out of boredom, even if the scene doesn’t require it.
• ”Hey Denny!”
Used to herald the seemingly pointless arrivals of the tragic kidult called Denny. Also, every time Denny leaves the scene, it is proper to shout “Bye, Denny!”
• ”One!” “Two!”… (counting BFF allusions)
Every time Sestero’s character alludes to being Tommy’s best friend, you count it. You'll be shouting at least 5-7 times in the movie, but the number is uncertain because whenever he alludes to it, everyone yells out which number they think it is. Usually, people are hammered enough that by “Three!” or “Four!”, two-thirds of the theater has no idea, or thinks they have fallen ahead or behind. Some people count other characters noting the Johnny-Mark friendship as well (such as Tommy's immortal line, "I'm so happy to have you as my best friend, and that I love Lisa so much."), calling a number every time their best friendship is mentioned. That way lies madness.
• “FOCUS!” (Also: “UNFOCUS!!”)
The film is constantly going in and out of focus. Whenever the film goes out of focus, people shout “Focus!” Of course, when it does come back into focus during a sex scene, it is necessary to shout “Oh God. Unfocus!”
(Also during the credits: “Damn you Todd Barron!” He’s the director of photography, and that’s what you shout when his credit pops up)
• Yelling “‘Cause you’re a woman!” after pretty much anything that regards a female character.
Started off as a dig at the film’s casual misogyny (there are half a dozen places where it works and is hilarious), but quickly spiraled into a non sequitur that can be dumped after anything. It is the Room equivalent of adding “in bed” to a fortune-cookie fortune.
• ”Cancer!”
Lisa’s mother alludes to having it once and then never mentions it again. Also, when she touches Lisa on the nose, some people shout “I put my evil inside you!”
• ”Shoot her!”
During one scene, the character Lisa seems to have a bone or something twitching out of her neck. Whenever it happens you yell "Shoot her" (It’s a reference to the opening of Jurassic Park) or "What is that?" (Also appropriate: “Quaid, get to the reactor!”)
• “Sestosterone!”
You can pretty much yell it any time lost Brawny Quilted Picker-Upper spokesman Greg Sestero is on screen. It is particularly fitting when he’s about to be manly about something.
• “Look at me!"
In the moments just before the gang's friendly, uncoordinated friend Peter the Psychologist  looks directly into the camera during his first scene, some people should out in anticipation. When Peter acquiesces to their wishes and stares right into the lens, cheer him on-- maybe he won't randomly disappear before the party scene this time.

A "b-roll" is when director (and writer, and star) Tommy Wiseau rolls one of his endless clips of San Francisco stock footage to make a transition. This happens unnecessarily all the time, and always for far too long. We celebrate this but yelling out the following:
• “Go! Go! Go! Go!”
The tracking shots of the Golden Gate bridge go on forever. The camera just keeps panning across the bay, and we cheer it on its way by shouting "Go! Go! Go!" for the entire shot. At the end, if it makes it all the way across the bridge, you celebrate. Express your disappointment when it doesn’t.
• “Everywhere you look, everywhere you look!”
Sung over houses that look like the ones from the opening of Full House.
• “Meanwhile, back in San Francisco!”
Whenever a shot uses the iconography of the city to verify that, yes, we have not left San Francisco.
• “Alcatraz!”
For Alcatraz, or anything framed with bars
• "Disney Store!"
For some reason, people shout when Tommy's in front of the Disney Store at union Square. Not sure there's a joke here-- people just seem to like the Disney Store. Which is sad, because it's closed now.

• When the characters throw the football back and forth, you do the same thing with your friend(s). Since you are probably drunk and in a darkened movie theater, this usually goes awry. One of my friends accidentally beaned Tommy this way. Another time, someone hit the screen and the theater ownership got pissed.
• Being open about one’s revulsion during any of the sex scenes. Includes graphically describing the act and hurling the cruelest jokes about the actors’ bodies/movements that one can conceive. Breaking into the Free Willy theme is sometimes done. Notice how it looks like Tommy is fucking her belly button? Yeah, you’re doing it wrong, Wiseau.
• Humming the Mission: Impossible theme when Tommy is hooking the tape deck up to the answering machine.
• At one point, two characters will show up in Tommy’s apartment. They will be fucking. No one will know who they are or why they are there, thus it is appropriate to shout “Who the fuck are you?” whenever they appear onscreen.
• It is also appropriate to shout this when the actor playing Peter (the psychologist) disappears, only to be replaced by another actor who looks nothing like him. Yes, just “Who the fuck are you?”
• Tommy’s deranged giggle, which he delivers at inappropriate moments (“He beat her up so bad, she wound up in a hospital on Guerrero St.” “HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!”) should be mocked mercilessly.
• ”The Seventh-Inning Stretch” is what we call the last and longest of the film’s gratuitous sex scenes. This is where you piss/smoke. Seriously, during the last sex scene, you actually leave the theatre. Don't worry, when you come back, it'll still be going. Pros know it’s coming and beat the traffic.
• Saying “Hi” to Tommy when he mysteriously appears to look down at the corner of the screen during the party scene. This entails running down to the screen and hanging out toward the bottom-right-hand corner and then shouting as his eyes acknowledge you.
• Singing along to “You Are My Rose” and lifting one’s phone/lighter. Let’s not forget that we are all part of the same wave of undeniable good.
• On that note, breaking into the “Yes We Can!” chant sometimes works, especially after Tommy’s speech about “If everybody loved each other, the world would be a better place.” This chant started during the election and has continued since. I like to think that’s it one of those rare moments where irony and sincerity collide, neither quite dominating the other.
• Saying “Hi” to Tommy when he appears to look down at the corner of the screen during the party scene. This entails running down to the screen and hanging out toward the bottom-right-hand corner and then shouting as his eyes acknowledge you. This is a tricky one, because you have to know it's coming and get down to the front of the theatre ahead of time-- if someone is on top of things enough to catch Tommy's gleaming eye, they're likely a veteran of many showings.

If I have left anything out of this guide, or gotten anything wrong, let me know at The Room Guide Blog ( -- it's not my personal blog or something lame like that, it exists only for comments on this guide.