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Top 10 Memorable 500 Days of Summer Moments

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
Even after almost 10 years, these 500 Days of Summer moments never grow old. It’s a comedy with romance, but don’t call it a romantic comedy. Let’s revisit the best scenes from this genre-bending film. MsMojo ranks the best 500 Days of Summer moments. What’s your favorite 500 Days of Summer scene? Let us know in the comments!

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It’s a comedy with romance, but don’t call it a romantic comedy! Welcome to MsMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 “(500) Days of Summer” Moments.

For this list, we’ll be looking at some of the best moments from the genre-bending film “(500) Days of Summer.”

#10: The Introduction

Arguably the most important scene in the movie, the introduction is narrated by an unseen, omniscient narrator who describes the two main characters’ backstories and helps establish that, despite being a “story of boy meets girl,” “(500) Days of Summer” is not in fact a love story. A similar warning is echoed to Tom by Summer herself later in the film, that she’s not looking for a relationship. But Tom, and many viewers, ignore this warning; hoping against hope that “true love” will win out, because that’s the way movies play out. But real life rarely follows the same path...

#9: The Summer Effect

“(500) Days of Summer” features several unconventionally presented scenes and this is the first of those that merits discussion. Displayed in black and white, this scene features the narrator explaining Summer herself in a somewhat clinical manner, detailing her body type, but also citing instances that indicate that she’s empirically attractive and magnetic, with her appearance causing double takes and her interests sparking interests from those around her. Because of the way its presented, the audience, like Tom, finds it completely natural to fall for Summer. After all – the evidence and argument are convincing.

#8: The Game

There’s something about using the clinical terms for genitalia that makes most people distinctly uncomfortable, and it’s this awkwardness that makes this scene so hilarious. Tom and Summer are in the park and Summer challenges Tom to play “the penis game,” wherein they both say the word “penis” progressively louder until one of them gets too embarrassed to continue. Although Tom backs out and tries to shush Summer, she concludes the scene by shouting it at the top her lungs, punctuating a sweet, if incredibly funny – if somewhat juvenile – scene.

#7: Autumn

The film’s ending sees Tom trying to turn his life around after his break up with Summer, including going to job interviews at architecture firms. At one interview, he meets a woman who shares his love for a particular spot in the city, so he asks her out on a date. When he learns her name is Autumn, Tom gives a knowing look to the camera. Although the narrator tries to assure the audience that Tom has learned from his experience with Summer; that he no longer ascribes coincidences to fate, the question of whether Autumn is “the one” for Tom, or his next failed romance, is left open-ended.

#6: Love vs Hate

Okay, technically this is two scenes, but they’re such incredible mirrors of one another that they can’t be talked about separately. In the first, Tom discusses everything he loves about Summer with a friend, down to many of the small things about her appearance and behavior. Later, in a scene after they’ve broken up, Tom lists the same things he once loved about Summer as the things he now hates about her. The fine line between love and hate has rarely been so well illustrated and ending the scene with Tom’s outburst on a bus when he hears a song that reminds him of Summer just makes it that much more funny.

#5: Talking in the Elevator

Love can hit you in strangest or simplest ways, and Tom’s attraction to Summer truly begins in earnest for an easy reason – they both like the same music. While riding in an elevator together, Summer comments that she loves The Smiths, whom Tom is not only listening to but singing the lyrics from her favorite song of theirs. While the scene is sparse on dialogue, the fact that something so simple, some might say shallow, sparks Tom’s love for Summer is what captures our interest. That, and Tom’s reaction at the end.

#4: IKEA

When our couple hits the IKEA, there’s plenty of fun to be had. The pair of them play an exaggerated game of pretend in which they both act as a stereotypical couple, treating the store as if it’s their home; leading to several funny comic moments, like Tom’s dinner of bald eagle or discovering a family in “their” bathroom. The scene is also important plot-wise, since Summer tells Tom she isn’t interested in a serious relationship. Although Tom tries to play it off like he doesn’t mind, it’s clear he’s much more serious about her than she is about him and the seeds have already been planted for his expectation that she will change her mind.

#3: The Dance Number

Tom’s obviously a romantic, and the film makes that clear early on, but this scene makes it clear just how much of one he is. After finally sleeping with Summer, Tom walks to work the next day strutting his stuff to a catchy beat. Strangers shake his hand and join him in elaborate, choreographed dances. Harrison Ford even makes a cameo – sorta! – as does an out of nowhere cartoon bird! We’ve all felt the high our feelings for that special someone can bring on and this scene visualizes it wonderfully; while also setting the stage for Tom’s delusions to be shattered later.

#2: Day 488

Following Summer’s wedding to another man and Tom getting his life together, the pair reunites at Tom’s favorite spot in the city. While Tom is initially bitter and tells Summer that she was right about true love being a fantasy, Summer tells him that he was right about love and destiny being real, just that he wasn’t right about her being “the one” for him. Although the scene acts as a nice, if melancholy, bit of closure for the both of them, some viewers, and even the creators, have suggested that the Summer that appears in the scene is another fantasy of Tom’s, which certainly paints both characters in a different light.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

Tom’s Architecture Montage

Watching “The Graduate”


Kissing in the Copy Room

Tom Quits His Job

#1: Expectations vs. Reality

If there’s one scene that epitomizes “(500) Days of Summer”, it’s this one. Tom is shown attending a party that Summer invited him to, but the scene is depicted in split screen. In one version, titled “Expectations,” Tom is able to grow closer to Summer at the party and re-kindles their romance. In the other, “Reality,” Tom spends most of the party drinking and alone, with everything coming to a crashing halt when he sees Summer’s engagement ring. While Tom and the audience expect a typical romantic movie scene where the two leads get back together, reality often doesn’t work out the way we wish it could.

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