By Samantha Highfill
Updated December 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM EST
Credit: ABC
  • Movie

I have an extreme fear/hatred/phobia of all things having to do with teeth. Growing up, the dentist’s office was my least favorite place in the world. To be honest, it’s still in my bottom five. And it’s not even necessarily about pain. It’s the chill that gets sent through my body when I think about the sound of dental tools or the smell of a dentist’s office. I feel like it’s a ridiculous fear, but I’m told it’s not all that uncommon. Therefore, I’m hoping that my teeth-related pop culture pet peeve is also not all that uncommon.

Basically, my least favorite thing in any movie or television (or book, for that matter) is anything having to do with dental work or torture. We will tackle torture first, because it’s the most relevant in my life right now. Why? I’m looking at you, Scandal.

In the last couple of episodes of Scandal, there has been way too much teeth action. First, Huck decided to torture Quinn to get information out of her by pulling her teeth. Keep in mind that Huck is a trained killer, which means he knows hundreds of way to torture/kill someone. In the seconds before pulling her first tooth, he literally lists all of the other ways he could make her talk. So why did he have to pull her teeth?! Surely it can’t be fun to film, and I assure you, it is not fun to watch:

But that wasn’t even the end of it. Huck revisited the dental torture later in that episode, and one week later, we got to watch as Quinn jammed a metal pole into her gums in order to remove a tracking device. For one, that pole was definitely not sanitized. And to bring my point home: Why?! Why teeth?!

Quinn’s self-surgery in a public bathroom quickly brought me back to my least favorite moment in any movie I’ve ever seen. I’m talking about that horrible scene from Cast Away in which Tom Hanks’ tooth is infected and he uses an ice skate to, er, remove the problem. I can honestly say that I’ve never watched that scene all the way through, and personally, I don’t think the film would’ve suffered from not including that moment at all. We understood the tragedy of him being isolated on that island without the ice-skate incident.

Now, those are both extreme cases, whereas my hatred applies to all cases. In general, I don’t like any dental work to be shown as entertainment. Even the scenes in Finding Nemo freak me out. When the dentist is treating the man with the root canal? There’s drilling and cranking and all kinds of unnecessary sounds. It’s a kid’s movie! Why must there be a dentist involved?

Look, I understand the importance of healthy teeth; I go to the dentist. But pop culture is my escape, and I truly don’t see a need for in-depth scenes involving dental work, whether it be in a professional manner or a more violent one. So please, Hollywood, stay out of people’s mouths.

Cast Away

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 132 minutes
  • Robert Zemeckis