How Many Times Has BINGO Made an Appearance in Movies? Image

How Many Times Has BINGO Made an Appearance in Movies?

By Film Threat Staff | April 25, 2022

Mention the word ‘bingo’ in the UK and you’ll see a flicker of fondness in the eyes of the person you mention it to. Since it’s easy to play and a great way to socialise, bingo has long had a place in the hearts of the British. Traditionally, people play it in bingo halls, community centres and other venues, but now the game has branched out into the online sphere, with operators such as 888 ladies bingo delivering the same delights and more for players. 

But it’s not only in real life that bingo features. The world of cinema has also taken bingo into its heart and set scenes involving bingo in some the movies. Below is a look at the popularity of bingo, at some of the movies in which bingo has featured and also why online bingo has grown so huge. 

The Popularity of Bingo in its Earlier Days

Bingo became big in the 1950s and 1960s. It was known at the time as ‘Housey Housey’ and people would play the game to raise money for charities, churches, working men’s clubs and other causes. Anti-gambling legislation stopped the game from being available to a mass market, but holiday camps such as Butlins would still run games for charity. 

But soon it became clear the British people wanted more access to bingo and were getting fed up of antigambling legislation, prompting the government to look for ways to accommodate them. In 1961, the first commercial bingo club opened. By 1963, 14 million members formed part of the bingo industry. Bingo had entered its heyday.

It was hard to ignore such a popular land-based activity. Even film directors couldn’t ignore the attention and success the game was enjoying. Soon bingo found its way into the movies, providing memorable moments on the big silver screen.  

Bingo in the Movies

Hollywood has recognised the joy of bingo, too, and has incorporated the game into some of its scenes. Below is a quick look at on-screen moments featuring bingo:

Bad Grandpa

This film stars Jackass stuntman Johnny Knoxville and bingo forms part of a prank in which he appears to be playing the game innocently in the hall like all the other members. The prank starts when he begins drinking the ink from the markers, much to the shock and disgust of the players around him, but carries on playing as normal. He even converses with the players. 

The drinking of the marker ink aside, this scene shows the social side of bingo as Knoxville engages with the other players. Whereas people might imagine bingo to be super serious and everyone to remain silent while they play, the scene suggests bingo players are more tolerant and willing to chat than people imagine.

Big Momma’s House 2

That being said, ‘Big Momma’s House 2’ suggests the opposite about how seriously players still take their bingo. The fact some games follow pre-established patterns makes bingo pretty tense as players mark their cards, hoping the caller will shout out all their numbers. This tension mounts and when a little girl shouts ‘Bingo’ during a game, purely because she likes the sound of it, this scene reflects players’ frustrations with false calls. The silence that follows is almost deafening. No one likes a false call.

Hotel Transylvania

This animation includes a fun bingo scene which highlights the excitement and competitive nature of bingo. There’s nothing quite like being the one to call ‘bingo’. If you were to lose your card, as the winning character does in this scene because the player next to her eats the card, you’d feel the same frustration. Note that in real life, you’d be playing bingo with bingo balls, not small skulls that whisper the numbers!

Online bingo finding even more popularity

Despite online bingo being introduced later on, it has surpassed the popularity of offline bingo. 

Whilst traditional bingo has made it to the silver screen as many movies have incorporated this within the scenes, online bingo is even more popular. Bringing the game into the online sphere has attracted a new generation of players who enjoy hopping onto their devices for a quick game or two. Here are a few reasons why online bingo has attracted such a following:


You don’t even have to leave the house to play. Instead, you can fire up your laptop, tablet or other device and play in the comfort of your own home. Not only that, but you can play bingo whenever you want as bingo sites operate 24 hours a day, too.

Free Bingo

Online bingo operators offer free bingo, allowing you to save money and enjoy the game each day. Some sites will also reward you with a no deposit bonus for bingo if you sign up with them, which gives you the opportunity to test the different games without paying to play them. 

Greater Variety

If you’re looking for something different, you’ll find that operators have a selection of bingo games on their sites. You’ll find 35, 50, 75 or 80 ball games, as well as unique games, depending on the site you choose.


Players don’t have to carry any cash on them to play. Nor do they have to withdraw their winnings in cash. They can credit their account online, and the service provider can transfer any winnings to a specified account or digital wallet.

Bingo enjoys great popularity and has even made it onto the big screen. The game is easy to play, which is part of its attraction, and people will go on playing it for a long time, especially now that it’s available online. 

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