Any devout Bonehead knows better than to put anything into their mouths before or during an hour spent with Dr. Brennan (Emily Deschanel), Agent Booth (David Boreanaz), and Dr. Jack Hodgins (T.J. Thyne) unless they enjoy spewing said refreshments all over their Uggs.
From morbidly colorful vats of gelatinous putrefaction and exploding corpses, to re-inflated boneless heads and live human botfly larvae incubators, Bones mercilessly challenges our gag reflexes week after week with its vomitus detritus and we keep coming back for more.
Though Bones’ graphic visuals are unprecedented — and thank goodness Smell-O-Vision never took off — never underestimate the power of suggestion and its uncanny ability to turn your own imagination against you.
Can you say cannibalism? I think I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.
Boneheads, I’ve risked serious weight loss to gather this collection of Bones’ 20 most excellently disgusting scenes. Enjoy, but don’t eat first.
#20 “The Repo Man in the Septic Tank”
In “The Repo Man in the Septic Tank” Benny Jergeson’s corpse is dropped into a cesspool which Brennan insists be brought back to the lab. Brennan, feeling the need to assert her control over new intern Dr. Fuentes, demands that he drop down into the pit of putrescence to search for evidence. In the image you can see the poop floating in the mire. Ewwww! And again, thank God Smell-O-Vision never took off.
#19 “The Man in the Bear” and “The Pain in the Heart”
Neither of these episodes was particularly gross from a visual standpoint. However, the concept of cannibalism is so thoroughly repugnant that it can’t go without mention here. In “The Man in the Bear,” Brennan and Booth caught ritualistic cannibal Dr. Rigby as he was cremating putrefied corpses in an effort to destroy incriminating evidence. Even more disgustingly, we see the Gormogon gnawing on a human with a mouth full of incisors when Booth and his men ambush him in his anthropophagistic hideaway in “The Pain in the Heart.” #Hurl
#18 “The Mystery in the Meat”
The eyeball in the stew isn’t all that bad, but this unwitting cannibalism is a hundred times worse because it’s kids doing the digesting and because they didn’t choose to mix people parts with their stew. Grosser still is the documented proof that human parts have been found in canned goods hundreds of times in real life. Gawd. Thanks, Bones!
#17 “The Body in the Bag”
It’s one thing to have to see, smell, and play in all kinds of malodorous and disgusting substances, but to have it spewed up and into your face and mouth is a different story. Such is the case in “The Body in the Bag,” when the gelatinous remains of a woman are deteriorated under a running shower and washed down the drain only to be sprayed up into Cam, Brennan, and Booth’s faces as they peer into the uncovered drain.
#16 “The Man in the Wall”
In this season 1 episode we get to see the squeamish side of Seeley booth as he stands by and watches Brennan remove the bones and viscera from Roy Taylor’s disarticulated hand, then put that skin on like a glove so she can take an accurate fingerprint. I’m with Booth on this one.
#15 “The Hotdog in the Competition” and “The Bodies in the Book”
Rats, eels, maggots, flesh-eating beetles, snakes, fire ants. The list of squirmy-squishy life forms that have made their way into a Bones episode is longer than the list of people who suspected O.J. Simpson was guilty. Sometimes it’s just the thought of having these vermin crawl over your skin, but these visuals of creepy-crawlies make me want to take several very hot showers. “The Hotdog in the Competition” has a snake coming right out of a dead woman’s chest, while “The Bodies in the Book” has publicist Ellen Laskow’s body covered in fire ants.
#14 “The Truth in the Lye” and “The Bikini in the Soup”
They say beauty has a price. Well, one victim got her money’s worth and then some. After laying in the tanning bed for 24 hours after being stabbed to death, Wendy Bovitz’s remains were reduced to stew. High grossness factor here. Going one step further, Lawrence Turner was clocked with a junction box then dissolved in a tub of lye. Gross. Me. Out.
#13 “The Boneless Bride in the River”
I was doing fine with this episode until I saw the deboned body bag laying on the examination table and then, to my horror, watched Cam and Angela inflate the victim’s deboned cranial epidermis like a lady balloon. I couldn’t help but be reminded of the rumored skin lamps from the Hitler regime. Dang.
#12 “The Cinderella in the Cardboard”
Blood everywhere. Seeping all over the place. The idea of being squashed to death. Actually, Meriel Mitsakos was run over by a car before she was bound up with the recycling, and mistaken for the Virgin Mary, but still it makes for a gruesome image.
#11 “The Survivor in the Soap”
The disturbing circumstances surrounding the murder of a escaped Sierra Leone child soldier Symchay Conteh added significantly to the horror of “The Survivor in the Soap.” Symchay had the misfortune to recognize Joseph Mbarga, the monster who forced thousands of children to kill for his cause. Sadly, the lawyer Mbarga paid to protect his identity stabbed Symchay with a mask made out of AK-47 spikes, then immersed his corpse in a vat of potassium hydroxide which melted his body fat and turned him into soap. If the circumstances alone aren’t sufficiently repugnant to make you nauseous, the gruesome state of his remains certainly is.
#10 “The Gamer in the Grease”
Poor Steve Rifton was beaten, drown and cooked. If that wasn’t enough, he was then left in a grease receptacle to deteriorate. These disgusting images tell the story all by themselves. Just Yeesh! Say no more.
#9 “The Bond in the Boot”
James Bond wannabe Yuri Antonov’s remains smeared all over a parking garage surface didn’t turn my stomach too much … until Booth and Brennan arrive and find some very clean and domesticated kitties munching on the innards. Remember that the next time you let your cat lick your face.
#8 “The Corpse on the Canopy”
“The Corpse on the Canopy” goes into double digits on the ookie scale for its double whammy. Both the crime scene location and its skin-crawling implications creep me the hell out. Christopher Pellant draped Xavier Freeman’s remains all over Jack and Angela’s canopy bed. Then he left blood and petals around a sleeping Michael Vincent’s body. This episode would exacerbated anyone’s fear of things that go bump in the night. He was IN THEIR HOUSE. *Involuntary shudder*
#7 “The Tiger in the Tale”
Not only does this unsuspecting driver get viscera sprayed all over him, he’s also plastered with the dead face of the deceased and to top it all off, and then he swallows some of the remains only to have Brennan force him to puke up her evidence. That’s just cold, Brennan.
#6 “Big in the Philippines”
When I first saw the image of Colin Haynes’s liquefied body slopped all over Michelle Obama’s garden my tummy acids began gurgling uncomfortably. When Hodgins mentioned that a whole pack of coyotes had puked in the remains after being poisoned by the grain vomitoxins, I threw my burger across the room and stuck my face in a wastebasket. The whole mess looked like my mom’s soupy lasagna, and not in a good way.
#5 “The Bullet in the Brain”
It’s not that we didn’t approve of it, because we did. It’s not that Gravedigger Heather Taffet didn’t deserve it, because she absolutely did. It’s not that justice wasn’t served, because it was. This episode was gross because the violence was unexpected and graphic when Taffet’s head exploded. Both the images and the concept of 1) someone’s head being shot clear off their shoulders, and 2) it happening right in front of your very eyes — that’s enough to land a person on a shrink’s couch for a good long while. I couldn’t bring myself to post the screen shot of Taffet’s head exploding– it was far too disturbing, so instead I give you the final Gravedigger glare.
#4 “The Blood from the Stones”
On the whole, “The Blood from the Stones” has many, many redeeming qualities, not the least of which is Booth’s bad ass treatment of ATM thief Paula Byrne as she writhes in pain from a gangrenous wound. As for being wonderfully disgusting, this episode elicits pain and revulsion on several levels. 1) The sheer stench of the rotting flesh is palpable – you can almost taste it, and 2) the idea of having a limb shot off without any medical attention is enough to make a strong man faint, and 3) the fact that Paula is actually alive to experience it all makes my butt tingle and not in a good way.
#3 “The Feet on the Beach”
The deliciousness of Bones’ grossology is in its ability to make it somewhat palatable through comedy. Such is the case in “The Feet on the Beach” when Brennan and Booth visit a body farm exhibiting 60 corpses being exposed to all manner of elements for the purpose of documenting how they each deteriorate over time. The humor comes in when Brennan’s outright glee is juxtaposed against Booth’s characteristic repulsion of the whole thing. Brennan is like a kid at the fair, one of the few times we see her this excited. Yes, Booth, that is the woman you will be spending the rest of your life with. Good luck.
#2 “The Sense in the Sacrifice”
“The Sense in the Sacrifice” was a masterful episode from start to finish; don’t even get me started. Staging a Promethean corpse to draw Pellant out into the open was brilliant and the resulting corpse was pretty gross but not out of the ordinary as Bones corpses go. However, for the first time in Bones history we watch as Brennan and the team create every mortal injury rather than examining them for evidence. It’s alarming to see Brennan torching fingers and sawing bone while Camille peels back skin and sinew, and Hodgins peppers the corpse with larvae. Necessary nastiness.
#1 “The Dude in the Dam”
The number 1 top most disgusting episode has nothing to do with a crime scene or the state of a set of remains. In “The Dude in the Dam” Hodgins allows a botfly to incubate in the skin in the back of his neck. As disgusting as this sounds, it’s even more revolting to watch happen. Worse yet, this happens in real life too. Just to confirm it I did a fair amount of research on the net. After what I saw, I wouldn’t advise you do the same. Just take my word for it, your stomach will thank you. For me, the incubation and birth of Jefferson the botfly was the most revolting thing Bones has ever given us visually as well as conceptually. #DoubleDogHurl