Why Indiana Jones' Controversial 'Dinner Of Doom' Scene Is Worse Than You Think

Before there was "Bizarre Foods" on the Travel Channel, there was the dinner scene in the 1984 film "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." In the famous scene, which is still considered one of the greatest food moments in cinematic history (according to Esquire), Indie, Willie Scott, and Short Round are treated to an extravagant feast at the Pankot Palace. The feast consisted of a huge, fully alive snake filled with other smaller snakes, as well as giant beetles, eyeball soup, and for dessert, chilled monkey brains served straight from the skull. While the rest of the diners eagerly indulged in the repast, Indie, Willie, and Short could barely stomach the sight of it.

This scene (posted on YouTube), though iconic, perpetuates a problematic stereotype that Indians not only have barbaric eating habits, but also consider them part of religious tradition. Fans of the movie might argue that it functions solely as comedic relief in an otherwise dramatic action movie; however, a 2001 study conducted through University of Texas proves otherwise: A large majority of American audiences believed it to be either a fully accurate representation of Indian cuisine, or an exaggeration of it, when it's actually neither — everything about the scene is fictional.

In reality, the food in the 'Dinner of Doom' scene would be poisonous

It's hard to imagine "Temple of Doom" without the dinner scene, but unfortunately, it has absolutely no basis in reality. The movie was in fact was banned upon premiering in India due to its false and offensive portrayal of Indian culture as a whole (via Express).

The practice of eating monkey brains only exists in urban legend. As The Daily Meal confirms, there is no historical evidence of India, or any country for that matter, including such a delicacy in their cuisine. "Consuming the nerve tissues of mammals can be a health hazard, but eating the brain is especially dangerous because it can lead to transmissible spongiform encephalopathies, also known as prion diseases," the Daily Meal reports.

Eating live snakes is just as dangerous. According to the BBC, some snakes, particularly the ones depicted in "Temple of Doom," can actually survive being eaten, exit the digestive tract of the host, and even if they're chewed to death, their poison can still be fatal.

The truth is, you'd have a better chance finding these foods at a Halloween party than anywhere in India. And if Indiana Jones actually ate that dinner, he wouldn't have even been alive to finish his adventures.