Period Pieces: 27 Movie Menstruation Scenes

Since 1976's Carrie—the first film to graphically depict menstruation—periods have been portrayed in movies as horrific, disgusting, annoying, and occasionally, celebratory. Here, we've collected scenes from over 25 movies that feature the cinematic history of "the curse."

With pop culture serving as a mirror in which our social mores are reflected, it's interesting to see how menses has been represented in movies over the years. For one thing, the fact that its occurrence has become much more frequent symbolizes a shift away from taboo and into acceptance. Still, apart from a few instances of menarche, periods are mostly utilized on film to embarrass female characters, confuse male characters, and gross out audiences. Below are the movies—listed chronologically—we've used to compile this montage.


Carrie (1976)
The Blue Lagoon (1980)
Puberty Blues (1981)
Sixteen Candles (1984)
The Legend of Billie Jean (1985)
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Immediate Family (1989)
My Girl (1991)
Showgirls (1995)
Female Perversions (1996)
Eve's Bayou (1997)
Slums of Beverly Hills (1998)
A Walk on the Moon (1999)
Boys Don't Cry (1999)
Tumbleweeds (1999)
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Ginger Snaps (2000)
Happy Campers (2001)
The Magdalene Sisters (2002)
Osama (2003)
Saved! (2004)
Dirty Love (2005)
She's the Man (2006)
The Reaping (2007)
Superbad (2007)
Towelhead (2007)
The Runaways (2010)



I am the only one of my friends (all in their early-mid twenties) who still uses pads exclusively. Every time one of my friends finds out (usually because I have an emergency occurrence) they react with horror. "OMG! How could you wear those? Disgusting??"

My parents are older and my mom was very anti-tampon when I was growing up. Now I'm 24 and I have no idea how a tampon works. My friends sure like to shame me for wearing "diapers", but they also get uncomfortable and shut up when I tell them "I'll switch to tampons if YOU teach me how to use one." God forbid.