Thunderpants is a 2002 family comedy film about a boy whose incredible capacity for flatulence gets him a job as an astronaut. The film was directed by Pete Hewitt, whose previous work included Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey (1991) and The Borrowers (1997). The script was written by Phil Hughes, based on a story by Peter Hewitt about a boy who dreams of being a spaceman, but has a problem with flatulence.

Theatrical release poster
Directed byPete Hewitt
Written byPete Hewitt
Phil Hughes
Produced byDamian Jones
Graham Broadbent
StarringBruce Cook
Rupert Grint
Simon Callow
Adam Godley
Stephen Fry
Celia Imrie
Paul Giamatti
Ned Beatty
CinematographyAndy Collins
Edited byMichael Parker
Music byRupert Gregson-Williams
CP Medien AG
Mission Pictures
Pathé Pictures International
Distributed byPathé Distribution
Release date
  • 24 May 2002 (2002-05-24)
Running time
87 minutes
CountriesUnited Kingdom
Budget$7 million
Box office$3 million


Born with two stomachs, Patrick Smash (Bruce Cook) is uncontrollably and devastatingly flatulent. No more than thirty seconds after his birth, he first breaks wind, horrifying his parents (Bronagh Gallagher, and Victor McGuire) and doctor (Robert Hardy). As he grows up, Patrick's farts become so uncontrollable and destructive that his father has to flee their home, as he is often injured by his son's gaseous emissions, whose force is so strong that it can blow people over. Patrick is bullied at school as a result of his condition, but eventually finds strength in his disorder, ultimately gaining revenge on the school bully Damon (Joshua Herdman) by passing gas in his face, leaving him scarred for life. Patrick's only friend is child prodigy Alan A. Allen (Rupert Grint), who has anosmia, and, therefore, lacks the ability to smell. Alan and Patrick team up to make Thunderpants, reinforced short trousers strong enough to contain Patrick's emissions. Eventually, Patrick learns that Alan went to the US to assist astronauts who are trapped in outer space, and Patrick finds that his condition may be of use to the spacemen in peril.



Critical responseEdit

The film has received a rating of 60% at the film review website Rotten Tomatoes, based upon 5 reviews.[1]

Empire magazine wrote in their review that Thunderpants is "a well-made, quirky oddity for adults, but a laugh riot for kids and Beano nostalgists... underneath all the expelled air it's really just a simple tale of a boy finding his talent and making the most of it".[2] The hosts of the RedLetterMedia web series Best of the Worst shared similar sentiments when reviewing the film with the consensus being that the movie was too charming and well-made to be considered a "bad" film.[3]

During an appearance on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, Paul Giamatti referred to this film as one of the high points in his career.[4]


  1. ^ "Thunderpants (2001)". Rotten Tomatoes. Flixter. Retrieved 23 July 2017.
  2. ^ "Review of Thunderpants". Empire. Retrieved 13 January 2009.
  3. ^ "Best of the Worst". Red Letter Media. Retrieved 3 June 2013.
  4. ^ (24 January 2011). Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien.

External linksEdit