Dr. Henry Heimlich may have invented his eponymous maneuver way back in 1974, but until last Monday, he’d never actually performed it himself.

The occasion finally presented itself in Heimlich’s own retirement home, where a fellow resident began choking at the dinner table. From the Guardian:

Without hesitation, Heimlich spun her around in her chair so he could get behind her and administered several upward thrusts with a fist below the chest until the piece of meat she was choking on popped out of her throat and she could breathe again.

Heimlich, who is now 96, referred to the experience as “very gratifying.”

“She was going to die if she wasn’t treated,” he said. “I did it, and a piece of food with some bone in it flew out of her mouth.” Vivid!


The Heimlich Maneuver has saved thousands of lives in the 40 years since its invention, but it’s also proven a godsend for every producer in need of a quick answer to the question: “But how do we make the teens laugh?”

In celebration of Dr. Heimlich’s first-ever Heimlich Maneuver, and also, Friday, here’s a sample of its many, many cinematic appearances.



What About Bob?

Mrs. Doubtfire


There are many, many others, but a person can only Google “choking scene” so many times before they start worrying about the integrity of their search history.


OK fine, last one, via Broad City.


Update: According to BBC, this is in fact the second time Heimlich has performed the maneuver. This new information should in no way diminish your enjoyment of the above clips.