Yarn: It’s A Swearing Competition

Let’s do a bit of language processing around all the Yarns in our system.

Here’s a new metric we came across: Swear Words Per Minute (SWPM). It’s probably something the MPAA already uses when evaluating films. You might think that I’m some expletive aficionado, but I’m not. I’m just using an obscenity and profanity filter to help drum up the stats. Let’s start on the deviant side and then we can move into more banal and traditional NLP stats.

For each category below, I pick the top 3 videos for placement in our own Yarn trophy case. If you think you have better candidates, let me know in the comments below. I’ll tell you where they stand; or if they are in our system; since we haven’t evaluated every film…yet.

Which films have the highest SWPM?

1st place, This is the End: 5.49 SWPM, almost one obscenity every 10 seconds.


2nd place, How High: 4.55 SWPM

3rd place, Goon: 4.19 SWPM

Most number of swear words

This Is the End: 586 swear words, once again topping out list.


Pulp Fiction: 465 swear words, a classic that many people told me would be at the top.

How High: 422 swear words

Most number of unique swear words

This Is the End: 39. Been there done that…I’m not sure I can even come up with 39 different swear words.


Pulp Fiction, Goon, Tropic Thunder, Get Him to the Greek: All tied for 2nd place with 36 unique swear words.

How High: awww only 35…

Percent of words as swear words

Goon: 4.23% of all words spoken are swear words


This Is the End: 4.11%, a disappointing second place.

How High: 3.34%

Alright, enough slummin’ in the gutter. Let’s look at some more traditional language statistics.

Chatty Cathy Award, for the most Words per Minute

This is an interesting category because Movies and TV Shows skew very differently. TV packs in a lot more dialog into their 20 or 40 minute episodes.


Steve Jobs: 147.57 WPM


The Social Network: 143.20 WPM

The Heat: 141.32 WPM

TV Shows

Teen Titans Go (S01E01): 193.50, or about 31% more than the top movie


Bobs Burgers (S06E01): 178.68

Veep (S01E03): 178.57

Verbosity Award, for the Most Words in a movie

Gone with the Wind: 23,148 words (blah blah blah, it’s really long, 13,979 seconds)


Steve Jobs: 18,038

The 40 Year Old Virgin: 17,261

Lexically Clever Award, Most Number of Unique Words

Lincoln: 3,045 unique words, which is interesting given that his two greatest speeches (IRL) are relatively short, his second inaugural and the Gettysburg address are both less than 700 words.


Wall Street: 2,661, lots of investment speak in this one.

Steve Jobs: 2,576, how many films talk about Motorola 68k!

Such common speak

Another common natural language processing technique is to filter out “stop words”, or common words like “the”, “this”, “to” etc. Once these are filtered out, the total word count drops. Here are the films with the highest percent of non stop words.

Invincible: 56.55% non stop words


Godzilla: 55.73%, probably because awesome terms like “echolocation”, “parasitic communication”, and “bioacoustics”.

The Lost Boys: 55.54%

Silent Cinema Award: Fewest number of words for a movie

Conan the Barbarian: 2,808


Ladyhawke: 2,971

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome: 3,047

Repetition is Key Award, Single Word Used Most Often

Full Metal Jacket: “Sir” 5.32%, of all words are “sir”. Easy to see why.


Fargo: “Yeah” 5.26%

Cloverfield: “Okay” 4.23%

Density of Top Words (top 10 words)

Cloverfield: Only 10 words make up 12.57% of all the works spoken in Cloverfield. These words in are: “okay” which is said 182 times, along with “oh”, “go”, “know”, “right”, “yeah”, “Rob”, “God”, “just”, and “get”.


WALL-E 11.90%, of the words are from the top ten words…this makes sense since since it’s mostly “Wall-e” and “Eva” 🤖.

Step Brothers: 10.88%

Thank You

Let’s end on a positive note. What are some of the more “polite” films? Searching for the terms “thank you” and “please”.

Pretty Woman: “Thank You” is said 49 times. Lots has been written about Pretty Woman from being a misunderstood feminist classic to one of the most misogynist, patriarchal, classist, consumerist, and lookist movies ever to come out of Hollywood…you can now add “appreciative” to the list.


She’s Out of My League: 43 times

The Princess Diaries: 41 times


Titanic: “Please” is said 41 times. It sometimes pays to be polite when asking if you board a life raft.


Brazil: 38 times


The Graduate: 34 times


It’s easy to get carried away with some of these items, I took several award categories out. It’s probably similar to the “Sci-Tech Oscars”. Let me know if you have suggestions on what you liked to see analyzes.

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