I am the author of three middle-grade children's books, and I blog on the side. My favorite topics are movies, writing, and pop culture.
ASMR in the Movies
Some of my first experiences with ASMR occurred while watching certain movies. Many others who are triggered by ASMR admit the same. In fact, these scenes can easily fill in as the sleep-inducing videos. Below are some movie scenes that have triggered my ASMR and how they would be categorized if they were posted as an ASMR video on YouTube.
Don't know what ASMR is? Read my other article on ASMR, My Top 15 ASMR Artists.
Scene from "E.T. the Extra Terrestrial"
1. E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)
Type of Videos
Room Tour, Making a Snack, Science Sounds, Assembling Objects
This movie has many ASMR trigger scenes. Here are some of the most notable ones:
- The Room Tour – In this scene, Elliott educates E.T. about life on Earth using various objects in his room. There is a lot of tapping and clinking of plastic and metal toys including inserting coins into a peanut-shaped bank, dispensing Pez candies, and playing with Star Wars action figures.
- Getting Snacks – While playing “hooky,” Elliott fixes lunch for himself and E.T., raiding the fridge for foods that he thinks his new friend will like. When E.T. is startled by an umbrella, it startles Elliott too, and he drops a quart of milk, emptying the liquid onto the floor which pours out of its carton in a calming way, despite the fact that he has just made a huge mess.
- Dissection - The frog dissection scene features lids clinking onto jars, cotton balls and soft speaking.
- Building a Phone - E.T. takes objects from around the house and assembles a “phone” to call home and ask his fellow E.T.'s to pick him up. This includes tapping on buttons, dragging a blanket of toys across the carpet, and slow hand movements.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Scene
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Type of Video: Office/Retail Role Play
The Lacuna Office scenes feature printing sounds, sticker peeling, paper shuffling, and soft speaking to the patients. That Mary Svevo runs at tight ship, but it’s all ASMR-friendly. Kirsten Dunst has a natural ASMR presence with her soft voice and fluid hand movements. If she ever retires from acting, she could make a name for herself as an ASMR artist.
Then, there are also the sounds of Clementine's Barnes & Noble price gun as she talks to Joel while she works. Her voice too is quiet, controlled, and perfect for ASMR.
Edward Scissorhands Makeup Scene
3. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
Type of Video: Makeup Role Play, Scissor Sounds
Any scene featuring Avon products is sure to trigger some ASMR tingles. From Peg Boggs applying clear astringent upon meeting Edward to caking his face in cream and cover up, getting rid of a face full of scars has never been so relaxing.
The Avon scenes are so synonymous with ASMR that YouTuber, ASMRrequests, actually did an ASMR role play video where she reenacts these scenes. You can check it out here.
Also, If you like scissor sounds, there’s plenty of these too. He cuts everything from hedges, hair and ice to human skin (okay, maybe the skin part isn’t for everyone).
The Cider House Rules Surgery Clip
4. The Cider House Rules (1999)
Type of Video: Dr. Role Play/Water Sounds
What could be so relaxing about performing an abortion, you ask? The scene that I’m referring to takes place right before Homer is about to perform one on Rose Rose.
His voice is calming as he recites the names of each instrument as he sterilizes them in hot water and dries them with a cloth before arranging them in his work area. His calm, steady movements help to put both the viewers and characters at ease before the very tense situation that is about to unfold.
Jack Dawson - ASMR Artist
5. Titanic (1997)
Type of Video: Drawing/Sketching
The famous portrait scene in this famous movie could pass for a short ASMR video. This sequence starts off awkwardly as Rose disrobes, but then it settles into a calm and thoughtful montage, creating the portrait that connects past events to the present story line. It includes scratching, sketching and scribbling sounds backed by a soft piano score playing a serene version of the movie's main theme. It also serves as the calm before the storm, settling you into a serene state of mind before that boat hits the berg.
The Lovely Bones page turning clip.
6. The Lovely Bones (2009)
Type of Video: Soft Speaking, Page Turning
Susie’s soft, slow narration as she tells her story from heaven is like a two hour long ASMR video. She has a great storytelling voice that drifts from one scene to the next. There are also some calming sounds in an otherwise tragic and sometimes suspenseful story.
There is also a quiet page turning scene when Susie’s sister, Lindsey, finds the journal that details her sister's murder and quietly flips through it before being discovered by her sister's killer and running off with the evidence that proves his guilt.
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Library Scene
7. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
Type of Video: Library Role Play
One of my favorite scenes from this movie is when Indy locates the entrance to the knight’s tomb in the Venice library. There’s page flipping, number searching, tile moving and book stamping.
Once in the passageway to the crypt, he and Elsa wade through murky water, climb on crumbling stones and when they reach the tomb, make a rubbing of the engraving on its lid. It’s not your typical library or explorer role play, but there are a lot of great sounds at play to put you in the scene and trigger your ASMR.
Signs page turning scene
8. Signs (2002)
Type of Video: Page Turning
After purchasing a book on extra terrestrials from the local book store, the Hess family spend the next morning flipping through it. Graham slowly turns the shiny, thick pages and softly speaks to the kids about the information that these pages hold. Then, the phone rings, and it spoils this eerie but quiet moment.
Little Monsters Lunch Prank Scene
9. Little Monsters (1989)
Type of Video: Prank Role Play, Building Video
There are two notable ASMR scenes in this movie. They include:
- The Pranking Sequence – Disgusting but interesting sounds are made as Brian and Maurice spend a night pranking Brian’s school friends by packing gross lunches, setting traps, and covering them in wet, sticky substances while they sleep.
- The Supply Closet – Kiersten holds the key to a closet full of monster-fighting supplies that these genius kids use to build weapons needed to save little Eric from monster world. The collecting and assembling of these monster-killing weapons include a lot of great ASMR sounds.
Pockets and Peter Scene from Hook
10. Hook (1991)
Type of Video: Personal Attention, Face Touching
In an attempt to rediscover his lost friend, little Pockets tugs at Peter’s face until he finds the smiling boy hidden beneath that cranky, aged face. This young boy was born to be an ASMR artist with his soft, slow movements, even if some of them look a little painful.
Miracle Max Works His Magic
11. The Princess Bride (1987)
Type of Video: Wizard/Apothecary Role Play
Miracle Max may be the grandfather of ASMR. While resurrecting Westley, he employs the methods of skin massage, air blowing, and pill making sounds that leave Fezzik, Inigo, and the audience spellbound.
Bonnie's Scars are Peeled Off in The Craft
12. The Craft (1996)
Type of Video: Skin Doctor Role Play
This special effects scene could be a bit gory to the squeamish, but it’s full of ASMR triggers. After undergoing a painful, experimental procedure to heal her burn scars, Bonnie sits on an examining room table while her doctor slowly peels away the dead scar tissue on her back to reveal smooth, healthy skin beneath. There are also photography sounds and soft speaking throughout.
Selina Makes her Cat Suit in Batman Returns
13. Batman Returns (1992)
Type of Video: Sewing Role Play/Fabric Sounds
Selina Kyle’s freak out in her apartment is not soft or slow, but there are a lot of captivating sounds made throughout this sequence. She shoves stuffed animals down her garbage disposal with a wooden spoon, spray paints any girly objects in her apartment black, and gets to work sewing her Catwoman suit with the rustling of sewing equipment and squeaky raincoat sounds.
14. The Village (2004)
Type of Video: Counting
Ivy Walker has one of those ASMR voices which matches her strong but gentle nature. The ASMR scene that quickly comes to mind, though, is when she is making her way across the field to find her dying fiancé. That's when the ASMR artist comes out in her. Blind since childhood, Ivy taps at the ground with her walking stick and counts her steps to the door where she intuitively finds Lucius waiting for her to come to his rescue.
Buy a copy of The Village here.
There are plenty of other ASMR scenes in the movies. What are your favorite? Leave your answers in the comments below!
James Daily from USA on January 15, 2018:
Wow! This article is amazing. Gotta try to watch these movies and relax.
Elj on May 09, 2016:
Book of Eli scene between Denzel Washington and Tom Waits in the store. Their soft voices and the variety of little sounds, rustling, creaking during the scene always relaxes me.
Joe on October 27, 2015:
Pulp Fiction - Christopher Walken Scene
Anabelle on October 21, 2015:
The Hours and To Kill a Mockingbird
Maria on October 07, 2015:
Boy in the striped pyjamas is great. Whispering, lots of nice footprint sounds, and wrappers. Brilliant and moving film too.
Holl on August 11, 2015:
My Girl - the vada make up scene and the phrenology scene.
lilisaku on April 30, 2015:
St trinians - anabelle's makeover scene
NAS on April 25, 2015:
Toy Story 2- Cleaning Woody scene
Hanuvanara on April 17, 2015:
You should definitely watch Dead Man and Limits of Control by Jim Jarmusch. Dead Man is one of the most amazing films I ever saw. There is also Naked with David Thewlis and directed by Mike Leigh. David Lynch has an ASMR-atmosphere in my opinion too. The squishy sound of the "gamecontroller" in eXistenZ is great too.
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on March 26, 2015:
Oh, yeah! That's a good one. NPR itself is ASMR-inducing so that sketch is so authentic - and hilarious- because of that.
Molly Helena on March 16, 2015:
It should be!!!! XD
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on March 15, 2015:
ha ha This may be a new ASMR trend.
Molly Helena on March 14, 2015:
The movie was amazing and the sound in the theater was INCREDIBLE!!! Tingles galore!
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on March 13, 2015:
Oh wow. I really want to see that movie as well. I'm sure watching it in the theater is going to be like listening with headphones. Let me know!
Molly Helena on March 13, 2015:
Hi it's me again:) I just found a good one, although what they're talking about is a bit unsettling and it ends in screaming but the beginning is REALLY asmr-y!!!! I'm seeing this movie today and I know it's sad but I'm bracing myself:) Also I want to know what ASMR sounds like in a big movie theater!!!!!
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on February 14, 2015:
Me too. I'm always wondering if they put them in there on purpose or if it's just a happy accident. Thanks for the comments!
Molly Helena on February 14, 2015:
Also the movie "Her". I'm a big movie buff and look out for ASMR scenes:) You'd be surprised how many there are!
Molly Helena on February 14, 2015:
The bathroom fight scene in "Sunshine Cleaning" and basically every scene other than the loud ones lol in "American Hustle".
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on November 26, 2014:
I haven't seen that one, but I hear it is a quiet movie so I guess it would make sense that the sounds would be very ASMR-friendly. Thanks for sharing!
Jimbo on November 26, 2014:
Gus Van Sant's "Last Days" is made using deliberate ASMR techniques throughout in order to semi hypnotize the viewer into feeling the effects of depression and drug addiction. It is an OK movie but it is very clever in its execution.
The scene where 'Blake' unwraps his stash and makes food in the old kitchen is trigger heaven! But the whole movie is atotal trip for anyone sensitive to ASMR.
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on November 20, 2014:
Wow. Yeah, they really packed in the triggers in that scene. I've always wondered if filmmakers did that on purpose or if it is just a happy accident. Thanks for reading!
Jerry on November 20, 2014:
The scene in Shawshank Redemption towards the end of the movie when Morgan Freeman goes to find what Andy Dufrain has left buried beneath a tree....soft nature sounds, rocks being moved, opening a metal box, and the best part him opening an envelope!
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on September 11, 2014:
Oh, good one. Thanks!
Paz76 on September 10, 2014:
The interrogation scene in the Matrix after he drops the folder on the table. Here ya go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_xLC8va8Os .
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on July 25, 2014:
I have to check those out. I'm always looking for new scenes like that. Thanks!
Kelly on July 24, 2014:
The first movie I remember giving me ASMR was "Escape From Alcatraz". The scene is only 5, maybe 10 minutes into the movie. Frank Morris (Clint Eastwood) meets the warden and the warden lays down the rules for the prison. I believe its called the "no one ever will" scene because at the end the warden says "No one has ever escaped from Alcatraz. And no one ever will." It's been more than 20 years since I first saw that and it still works every time.
Another, more recent, movie scene that gets me every time is the "Strudel scene" from Inglorious Basterds.
I think what gets me about these is scenes, and other ones that give ms ASMR, is that while not much is actually going on in the scene you can feel silent, or hidden drama that is building up to something big or special later in the movie.
Laura Smith (author) from Pittsburgh, PA on June 20, 2014:
Thanks for reading. Yeah, it's a strange phenomenon.
Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on June 20, 2014:
I had to look up ASMR so I could understand this....once I had done that, your article was very interesting. :)