Monday, May 30, 2022

Show Yourself

I read once that “Into the Unknown” was meant to be the “Let It Go” of Frozen 2. Maybe that’s the case, but unlike “Let It Go” it didn't resonate with me. Rather, the Frozen 2 song that I connected with more was “Show Yourself”.

The whole movie, Elsa chases this disembodied voice through Arendelle and across the wilderness. With Arendelle in distress and the Northuldra trapped in the forest, she puts it on herself to find the source of the voice. Even forcefully sending her sister and Olaf back as she headed to Ahtohallan. 

As she approaches the ice island, my favorite Frozen song begins. As she approaches the “river full of memory”. She goes through the song, expecting to get the answer to all the mysteries, singing things like “Are you the one I've been looking for” and “You are the answer I've waited for.” Turns out, the spirit she was looking to for answers was herself. 

“Show yourself
“Step into the power
“Grow yourself
“Into something new
“You are the one you've been waiting for
“All of my life.”

How many times do I want a magical fix for my problems? I want this mystical spirit (or maybe even God) to give me an immediate fix to my problems. One session of therapy to fix my depression. One dose of medication to alleviate my anxiety. One prayer to lift my self-esteem. I would have given anything to have a quick fix for my mental health so I could return to my missionary service and finish my remaining 21 months. 

Instead, I’ve gotten the impression that God wants me to put effort in (shocker right?). Real healing from mental illness, addiction, or anything else takes work and patience. I didn’t get to go back on my mission right away. And even when I did, it wasn’t a quick fix. I still struggled. I still had more work to do on myself. 

The Lord has said “For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward.” (D&C 58:28)

The Lord expects us to work. He expects us to act. As Joseph Smith told the saints, “let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God” (D&C 123:17). 

There is power in owning our stories and taking charge of them. We can’t control everything, but we can (as last week’s Come Follow Me lesson said) “choose … this day whom ye will serve” (Joshua 24:15) Coming back to Frozen 2, Elsa didn’t get her power from someone giving it to her. Heck, she couldn’t even make it to her destination on her own until she tamed the water spirit. But after visiting Ahtohollan and fully owning her power, she was able to stop the tidal wave to save Arendelle. She was no longer scared to act. And that made all the difference. 

“For behold, it is not meet that I should command in all things; for he that is compelled in all things, the same is a slothful and not a wise servant; wherefore he receiveth no reward.
“Verily I say, men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness;”
(D&C 58:26-27)

Friday, May 27, 2022

The Thing About Missionary Service

As I sat in the Mission President’s office, I could see out the window over the field that was across the parking lot. The sun was setting in the distance. It was so beautiful, yet I couldn’t enjoy it. I’d gone to two counseling sessions in the past three weeks and I still felt just as lost as ever about what to do. As I was lost in my sea of thought, my mission president returned to the office after returning from taking a phone call with my counselor.

“Elder Ficiur,” President said, sitting down. “With all this spiritual interference—” he was referring to my mental health problems, “—combined with your Asperger’s, we think that it would be best—” No! No! He couldn’t be saying what I think was about to say. “—for you to take a break from your service and for you to go home.”

The news hit me like a brick. Tears had started coming before President could even finish speaking. “No… no…” I muttered, “I can’t go home.”

Canada Toronto West Mission 2010

I came home from my mission after two transfers, about 3 months. I wanted so badly to be a missionary that I worked for a year after the story above to go back out–Only to come home again after another two transfers. Because of the heart break associated with my missionary service, I’ve developed some strong opinions on the subject. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to tune out or step out of Elders Quorum in order to avoid the tears when I heard the words “when I was on the mission”. But as much as I feel the heartbreak still at times almost 12 years later, I have a deep love for missionary work. So when President Nelson and President Ballard spoke about missionary work this past General Conference, I kind of knew this post would happen. 

A Priesthood Duty 

Shortly after General Conference, I saw a post on a Latter-day Saint Reddit page asking if missionary service is a commandment. Talking to a friend recently, I thought about how much pressure the phrase “priesthood duty” can put on young men. A dictionary definition of “duty” will use the words “obligation” and "responsibility" to describe someone’s actions. In contrast, the seminary Doctrinal Mastery document calls commandments “the laws and requirements that God gives to help us progress and become like Him.” A full-time mission is a marvelous and miraculous way for us to progress and become like God, but (as I was gratefully told as I prepared to come home) a mission is not a saving ordinance. I don’t know why this made such an impact on me as an early returned missionary. Maybe it reminded me that I hadn’t diverged from the gospel path? Maybe it was reassurance that the Lord wasn’t upset with me? Either way, missionary service is our duty as priesthood holders, as in our responsibility, but it's not what'll take you to the Celestial Kingdom.

Home from Toronto 2010

Prepare to Serve

I’ve seen the question posed a lot on social media about whether to serve or not serve. What if a person can’t? Preparation for a mission is preparation to consecrate our lives to God. If you are wondering whether you should prepare to serve a mission, prepare. Even if the answer is no, prepare. The spiritual and emotional preparation that goes into serving a mission will benefit you throughout the rest of your life. A testimony of the gospel and the Book of Mormon will strengthen your resolve to live the gospel, regardless of which turns it takes.

Service Missions

I made a friend recently who was honorably excused from full-time missionary service. But because he wanted to serve a mission, he went forward with a service mission. In preparation for this post, he told me that it bothers him when people speak about service missions as though they’re simply a backup plan or less than. No one ever said this to me about my mission, but it was very tempting to look at my short missionary service as a second-class mission. My friend was asked “Why didn’t you serve a real mission?” I’ll be honest, when I came home from my mission I was one of these people… I thought a service mission was beneath me. Looking back, I wish I’d given it more of a chance. I think I’d have learned a lot from a service mission. “Now behold, Helaman and his brethren were no less serviceable unto the people than was Moroni.” (Alma 48:19) Missionary service looks different for everyone. And they all matter.

Canada Calgary Mission 2011

A Desire to Serve

This last point is possibly my most important. The Lord told Joseph Smith, “if ye have desires to serve God ye are called to the work” (D&D 4:3). If you want to serve a mission, go for it! If you don’t have a desire to serve, figure out why that is. If something is holding you back, talk to your bishop or a counselor and figure out what’ll get you there. But like I said, missionary service looks different for everyone. I wanted to serve a 24-month mission… but instead I was blessed with two short missions and four mini-missions at the Hill Cumorah Pageant. I’m grateful for the chance I had to serve, in Toronto, Calgary, and the Hill Cumorah. And someday, with my wife, somewhere new, I’ll serve again. 

Hill Cumorah Pageant 2001, my first mission

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

From Dad Bod to God Bod

(Guest post by B)

“Dad bod” is a slang term in popular culture referring to a body shape particular to middle-aged men. The phrase has been adopted in U.S. culture to refer to a male who was once particularly lean or fit, but over time has gained an excessive amount of body fat, typically around the waist, leading to a "beer belly".  ---Wikipedia

In the recently released trailer for Thor: Love and Thunder, one line from Korg the stone-like Kronan warrior goes into storytime mode with the line “He went from dad bod to god bod.”

This line, while incredibly humorous and relevant in our day, instantly hit me as a reminder of our own individual divine potential.  

As Latter-day Saints we understand that all people are children of Heavenly Parents and have the potential to become like Them (see Acts 17:29; Ephesians 4:6; Hebrews 12:9). The Savior’s admonition to become perfect as He is perfect is an evidence of our divine potential.

Many features found on earth give rise to powerful scriptural symbols. The wildernesses of Jared, Moses, and Lehi symbolize the testing of faith. The thorns and thistles that came after the Fall typify the trials of mortal life. These symbols teach us about the nature and purpose of mortality, but they do not teach us that we should think negatively of the earth. After all, the Lord Himself has declared the earth to be good.

Divine patterns, then, are the processes, fundamental laws, principles, and truths that the Lord seems to follow in ordering and organizing his heavenly and earthly realms. In revealing these divine patterns to his mortal children, the Lord reveals his patterns of truth and righteousness, which, if identified, understood, followed, traced, copied, or imitated, will give us additional motivation to cleanse our souls of earth-stain, crack through accumulated earth crust, and retrace the patterns to our heavenly home.

We can draw three lessons from nature’s grandeur: first, God exists; second, God is powerful; and third, God loves us. One way we can feel a surety of the Creator’s existence is to observe His handiwork. A marvelous way to do this is to gaze into a star-filled sky on a moonless night or to watch the many varieties of summer bee and butterflies on a single lavender bush.  As Alma taught, “All things denote there is a God;”

The knowledge of God’s existence teaches us of His power.

We are keenly aware of God’s majesty and power when we see His handiwork in motion. Next time you stand at the foot of a roaring waterfall or at the toe of a mighty glacier, reflect on the power of the Creator.

The very existence of this earth impresses upon us the reality that God loves us. Our answer may be found in asking another question: how important must mankind be to God, seeing that He has created all of this for us? We are surrounded by signs of God’s love for us.

There are other fundamental lessons to draw from the Creation—lessons of what the Creator might expect from us. By virtue of living upon the earth we shoulder two responsibilities. The first is to care for our beautiful home.

At the Creation of the world God placed Adam and Eve as caretakers, with dominion over “every living thing that moveth upon the earth,” and gave them instructions to “replenish the earth, and subdue it” (Abr. 4:28). The earth, then, was created for us and given into our care. It is within our power to do with it what we like, but since it is God who entrusted it to us, it is to Him we shall answer for what we choose to do.

A second responsibility man owes is gratitude. Gratitude is an essential ingredient in accepting any gift from God.

We can show gratitude by following the second great commandment to “love thy neighbor as they self”

As followers of Christ, we all have a responsibility to create a supportive and loving environment for all God’s children. Such a support network makes it much easier to live the gospel and to seek the Spirit while navigating any aspect of mortality.

So then, how do we put off the natural “dad bod” in us all and become, as Korg put it a “god bod?” We gain an understanding of our individual divine potential. We seek a personal knowledge of our Eternal Father’s existence, His power and His love for us. We strive to follow divine patterns, help others along our way, and do our very best to follow the Savior’s admonition to become perfect as He is perfect.

We are made in the image of our Heavenly Parents, and they don’t make mistakes. As we come to understand those parts of ourselves we don’t initially like, our emotions, fears, attractions, difficulties, or physical imperfections we can take comfort and know we are just as THEY need us to be. 

Monday, May 23, 2022

The Magic of Memory

Amnesia is an old trope in fiction, all the way back when Fred Flintstone was clocked over the head with a frying pan and suffered a football player level concussion. While getting hit in the head and forgetting is usually done for a laugh, when magic is involved the amnesia trope takes a more serious tone. The exploration of memory loss turns from a well timed joke to a timeless message about loss and the space a person makes when they're no longer there. 

Trigger warning: Suicide

"Better if I was Never Born"

Modern fiction sees the first incident of magical amnesia in It's a Wonderful Life when Clarence shows a suicidal George Bailey what the world would be like if he was never born. Not exactly a memory spell but it may as well be. We see that without George Bailey, nobody is happy. His wife is an old maid (kinda sexist I know but this was 1946), his mother takes in boarders since her only son is now dead because nobody saved him from the ice when he was a kid. With nobody recognizing George he is lost, begging Clarence to let him live again so that he could be part of the world full of people he loves. The message is that no matter how hard life is the world is always better with you in it, which is a message that is still true today. The memory loss emphasizes the point in the most direct way it could come across. 

(Side note: I once had to write a 13 page dissertation about how Potter in It's a Wonderful Life was the good guy. It was fun to defend the villain but after watching that movie so many times over the course of a month I couldn't watch it for a couple years after, despite it being one of the few Christmas movies I actually like)

The Curse to End All Curses

If you haven't watched Once Upon A Time, frankly I don't blame you because it is a wild trip and may not be for everyone, but I liked it. Anyway, the first season centers around this curse the Evil Queen casts on the Enchanted Forest that's supposed to tear everyone away from their happily ever afters. What the curse does is transports everyone to a little town in Maine and makes them all forget their pasts, giving them fake identities and making them all shadows of their former selves. We go back and fourth between the little Maine town and the magical land before getting to know these characters in both states, watching how Snow White was a strong willed rebel and Prince Charming was a knight errant only to see Snow as a meek teacher afraid to voice her own opinion and Charming as a two-timing jerk. It's up to our main characters Emma and Henry to remind everyone who they really are. The interesting message here is just how close to the Gospel the entire affair is (Minus Rumpelstiltskin and the entire Disney vault being involved). It talks about being something before, something magnificent and beautiful, and remembering that person in the now, trying to identify with the parts that are magical and special. In this sense Emma and Henry are essentially missionaries without nametags. Obviously a powerful message if it's taught by missionaries all over the world, just without Snow White et al. 


No, I'm not talking about Gilderoy Lockheart. 

Harry Potter and The Deathly Hollows Part 1 starts with tears when we see Hermione casting the memory charm on her own parents, erasing her from their memories. We see the baby pictures on the mantle disappear and their eyes glazing over as the spell takes over. Hermione knows that the best way to keep her parents safe is to erase herself from their memories in case the Death Eaters show up and start asking questions. While the memory charms are touchy in the Harry Potter universe (the muggle guy in Crimes of Grindlewald just kind of shrugged it off with the help of his manipulative girlfriend), this scene is still heartbreaking to think that Hermione will probably never be able to see her family again, choosing their safety over her own needs. This theme will come up again later and while it's heartbreaking it does counteract the message from It's a Wonderful Life so it should be read cautiously. 


For the non-comic book readers let me give you a quick synopsis on the comic Identity Crisis. A murder mystery leads to the discovery that a small group within the Justice League has been going to villains who find out the identities of super heroes and erasing their minds with Zatanna's magic. Batman walked in on the heroes and tried to stop them only for Zatanna to freeze him and erase his memory of them being caught. The question behind this is if you have the power to erase memories to protect others, do you? And what if someone disagrees, do you have the right to erase their memories too? The implications of the memory wipes escalates in the comics to Batman becoming paranoid after finding out he's been manipulated, Catwoman finding out that Zatanna got to her to make her a good guy and questioning everything she believes about herself, and a dangerous villain trying to take vengeance on the league for not only altering his memories but partially lobotomizing him in the first place. The story brings up questions of accountability, manipulation and is a person who they are supposed to be if part of who they are is missing. 

Under Your Spell

Along with Zatanna messing with memories to protect heroes identities, we have Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer messing with memories to protect her relationship. By the later seasons Willow has become a full-fledged witch, and has started using her magic in unsafe ways. On one of her first dalliances she accidentally erases the entire Scooby gang's memories and we get a funny episode of nobody knowing who they are. We get the serious stuff when it's revealed that Willow's been erasing her girlfriend Tara's memories of them fighting, thus manipulating Tara into staying with her even though she's abusing magic. The theme here goes into gaslighting in relationships, lying and manipulation to keep a person with you. When Tara finds out she breaks up with Willow, making Willow's plan backfire in the end. 

Peter Who? 

More recent memory mishaps happen in Spider-Man: No Way Home where Dr. Strange agrees to help Spider-Man erase his secret identity from everyone's memories, thus letting his friends and family go back to having a normal life. After the spell fails and some multiverse shenanigans happen Dr. Strange casts the spell again, this time making it so everyone forgets who Peter Parker is. This plays out a lot like the It's a Wonderful Life lesson, except Peter decides that it's best if the world did forget about him and just know him as Spider-Man. He believes he can then let his friends have a normal life and that they can't be hurt by getting in the way of his heroism. The message here is that maybe it is better that they don't know Peter Parker is Spider-Man, which implies that it's better for Peter to disappear than be part of the world. See the issue here? 

The point of all the memory plotlines is that we are who we are because of our memories. When we lose parts of our memories we lose parts of who we are, so those parts, even if painful, are still worth having because they forge us to be better. Our relationships are made up of memories as well, when you see a friend on the street you're not excited to see them for no reason, it's because you remember how much you love them and how much fun they are to be around. When that person is gone, there's a hole left behind that can't be refilled without them. 

So when it comes to memory remember this: people would rather remember a life with you in it than without, and the only way to move forward is to make new memories both good and bad, because to not make new memories at all is just as bad as forgetting altogether. 

Also remember that really every mechanic in the Harry Potter universe is unstable and will never make sense. 


Friday, May 20, 2022

The Touch of the Master's Hand

Aside from Aslan, Edmund is one of the best characters written in the Narnia series. We all can relate to him. His is the prodigal son that left his family for Turkish delights but returned repentant. Like Edmund we all make mistake and when I saw Narnia for the first time and read the books, I felt like I related to Edmund the most. I like Edmund have made mistakes, I am learning repent daily, I am happier than I have been compared to when I was sinning. I don’t regret the mistakes I have done, but I wish I learned to repent sooner, and I pray that I can be strong enough to not fall into temptations, especially those I have repented of. One way that has been strengthening my resolve is by reading the scriptures.

I am trying to learn to love the scriptures more and as I have been reading the Book of Mormon, I recently came across a new person that I haven’t noticed before, Zeezrom (Alma 11- 15). Alma and Amulek are teaching the people in Ammonihah and Zeezrom bribes Amulek to deny his belief. Amulek refuses and testifies of Jesus resurrection and judgment which astonished Zeezrom, and he began to fear for his sins. As Alma expands what Amulek testifies to the public they (Alma and Amulek) were thrown into jail. During there imprisonment many faithful saints were murdered and after Alma and Amulek were freed they found Zeezrom sick due to his iniquities. Because of Zeezrom faith he was healed and was baptized by Alma.

Even though we may feel worthless because of the actions we have made we can repent and feel loved. God won’t leave us abandoned if we try to build our testimonies and become more converted. Like Edmund we can come back to our family. I love the poem by Myra Brooks Welch, “The Touch of the Master’s Hand". 

’Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer

Thought it scarcely worth his while

To waste much time on the old violin,

But held it up with a smile:

“What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,

“Who’ll start the bidding for me?”

“A dollar, a dollar”; then, “Two!” “Only two?

Two dollars, and who’ll make it three?

Three dollars, once; three dollars, twice;

Going for three—” But no,

From the room, far back, a gray-haired man

Came forward and picked up the bow;

Then, wiping the dust from the old violin,

And tightening the loose strings,

He played a melody pure and sweet

As a caroling angel sings.

The music ceased, and the auctioneer,

With a voice that was quiet and low,

Said, “What am I bid for the old violin?”

And he held it up with the bow.

“A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two?

Two thousand! And who’ll make it three?

Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice,

And going, and gone!” said he.

The people cheered, but some of them cried,

“We do not quite understand

What changed its worth.” Swift came the reply:

“The touch of a master’s hand.”

And many a man with life out of tune,

And battered and scarred with sin,

Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd,

Much like the old violin.

A “mess of pottage,” a glass of wine,

A game—and he travels on.

He’s “going” once, and “going” twice,

He’s “going” and almost “gone.”

But the Master comes, and the foolish crowd

Never can quite understand

The worth of a soul and the change that’s wrought

By the touch of the Master’s hand.

I hope that as your read this that you can feel the touch of the Master’s hand in your life. As I have repented, as I have obeyed, I have felt strengthened, loved, and charitable. I am not a perfect instrument, but I believe in Jesus Christ, and He will help me become perfected. He has paid for our sins let us embrace his commandments to the best of our abilities.

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

The Multiverse of Agency


"If you knew there was a universe, where you were happy, wouldn't you want to go there?" Wanda Maximoff/Scarlet Witch

If your life has gone exactly how you thought it would when you were a kid, I’d venture to guess you’re in the minority. Life has its twists and turns (violent twists and turns at times). Things go right. Things go wrong. Take mental health concerns into account and the whole situation only gets messier. 

There are a few twists and turns in particular that I wish hadn’t happened in my life. Like coming home from my mission early (a story for another time). If I’d have done it differently or gone for a service mission afterwards, maybe I’d be happier now? Maybe my mental health issues wouldn’t be so paralyzing. 

In Multiverse of Madness, Wanda spent all her energy trying to recreate her fantasy life. I went into the movie thinking Wanda was going to help Doctor Strange to make amends for the events of WandaVision. Instead, we saw her tearing the multiverse apart to get what she wanted. She only saw two options in her life: take over the life of her doppelganger or go through life miserable. What a miserable dichotomy! 

There’s a temptation to look for another life where life is grander and happier. The phrase goes “the grass is always greener on the other side”. But we have the power of agency to change and choose happiness. Our agency doesn’t give us power to change our past wounds, but it gives us the chance to choose where we go from here. Do I wallow in the pain and stay stagnant? Or do I keep pushing forward and trying, even though it’s painful at times?

"From our experience, the greatest danger to the Multiverse, it turns out, is Doctor Strange." Reed Richards/Mr. Fantastic

But is change even possible? In this great “Multiverse of Madness” there hadn’t been a Doctor Strange that the Illuminati could trust. His fate in their minds was predetermined by the past experiences they had with others like him. They didn’t even give him a chance to react differently than their Strange and as a result they died. 

"This Stephen is different. He is. It doesn't matter about all the other Stephens. They're not like him." America Chavez

While our Stephen did end up reading the Darkhold, he didn’t let its darkness control him (at least not that he saw). He chose to be better than his predecessors. As we study the Old Testament this year, I hope I’m doing better than my predecessors too, Doctor Strange was able to stop Wanda’s rampage through the multiverse. Because he wanted to be better. 

“Every time you opened a portal, you sent us exactly where we needed to go." Doctor Strange

My life has not gone how I’ve planned one bit. I wanted to go to BYU, go on a mission, get married, start a family, and start my career directly out of BYU. Instead I came home early from my mission, I didn’t use my degree from BYU, I didn’t get married at BYU, and my wife and I have struggled with infertility. 

Ever since I was a young adult, I’ve loved a scripture in Words of Mormon: “And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.” (Verse 7)

Repeatedly during the movie, we kept hearing referenced Christine's question to Doctor Strange: "Are you happy?" I had a patient say something similar to me recently and it got me thinking... Life hasn’t turned out how I planned. I still struggle with all the what-ifs (that's a completely different aspect of the MCU multiverse). But each step along the way, I’ve felt a witness that “the Lord knoweth all things” and it’s for “a wise purpose” that my life has gone the way it has. When I look at my wife, my daughter, and my friends, I’m grateful in my little corner of the multiverse. 

"Sometimes, I do wonder of my other lives. Yet I remain grateful in this one. Even with each tribulations." Wong

Monday, May 16, 2022

10 Movie Moments that Live Rent Free In My Head

 I love movies. 

I went to school to be a film critic (Didn't pan out-turns out nobody was hiring) and if you get me on the topic of movies I will talk your ear off about actors, lighting, history, costumes, anecdotes from sets and anything else that is completely useless in a zombie apocalypse. 

I want to share with you now 10 movie moments that I think of often and love with all my heart. 

Spoilers, probably. 

10: The Posession (Beetlejuice) 

From the moment Catherine O'Hara opens her mouth and "Deo!" comes out I am laughing and invested. Honestly this entire movie is living in my head rent free, and the musical is moving in. No matter how many times I've seen this movie, the jump scare at the end with the weird shrimp cocktails always gets me jump. 

9: Cuban Pete (The Mask)
I promise this isn't just going to be a list of musical moments, but this one has to be mentioned. 

Back in the 90's Jim Carey was one of the biggest actors in Hollywood. I loved his movies, and my favorite to this day is The Mask. This scene is ripped right out of Looney Tunes, and frankly if I was a cop I would be dancing right along, spell or no. 

8: The T-Rex Appears (Jurassic Park)

I was about 7 when the OG Jurassic Park hit theaters. Already wanting to be a paleontologist, I was captivated by the idea to see real dinosaurs on the big screen. To this day I have nearly every shot memorized of the T-Rex emerging from her paddock and attacking the jeeps. 

Two fun facts about this scene: 
1: The glass on the jeep's skylight wasn't supposed to cave in but the animatronic broke through on the kids so their screams as they try to keep the glass between them and the Rex are real. 

2: When the Rex steps onto the road the paddock is level ground, allowing the Rex to walk through, but when she knocks the jeep into the paddock there's a cliff. Stephen Spielberg said to keep it in despite the discrepancy because the action was more important than keeping the shots consistent. 

7: Piggy and Joan Rivers (Muppets Take Manhattan) 

Muppet movies get big name guest appearances, all happy to play character roles with their favorite Muppets. One of my favorites (I could make a Muppet list all on its own) is Miss Piggy with the legendary Joan Rivers. The usual dirty talking Rivers tones it down for this scene, but is still happy to give Piggy relationship advice to lure back her frog. 

6: Nightcrawler vs Secret Service (X2: X-Men United)

Before we had the whole MCU and DCEU craze, we had the X-Men movies. On our second outing to the X-Men universe one of my favorites made a stunning cinematic debut by single-handedly taking out the entire Secret Service at the White House to assassinate the president. Luckily he got his mind back before he could, but the sequence is still one of the best superhero fight scenes in cinema-even including all the Marvels. 

Yeah, I said it. 

5: Ain't got no body! (Young Frankenstein)

A scene that always cracked me up as a kid, Dr. Frankenstein is exploring his grandfather's legendary labratory. Looking at replicated heads on a shelf, they come across the freshly dead sample being Igor, the doctor's assistant, who breaks out into song. You don't want to know how many times I've put my head on a shelf/counter/table and done the same thing. 

4: Duel of the Fates (Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace) 

Yeah come at me, but this scene rocks. 

3: Part of Your World reprise (The Little Mermaid) 

About time Disney made it on this list (Though I could also make a list of just Disney movies). Here we have this beautiful moment when Ariel just saved Eric and they're together on the beach. The sunlight shines through the storm clouds as Ariel sings the reprise, musing whether they'll ever be together forever. It's Disney animation at its finest, beautiful, mesmerizing and just a nice time. 

2: Spider-Man Returns (Avengers: Endgame)

I was not okay at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. In Endgame, Hulk uses the Infinity Stones to get everyone back, which is amazing in and of itself, but the real emotional blow comes when Spider-Man reunites with Tony Stark on the battlefield. Spider-Man is doing his normal adorkableness, while Stark stares at him in awe, realizing that after five years it worked. He's undone his greatest failure. The hug gets me every. Single. Time. 

1: You can call me... Joker (Batman)

This scene has defined my life. Ask anyone and they'll tell you I have an obsession with villains, bad guys and monsters and I can trace it all back to here: The introduction of the Joker. Jack Nicholsen starts out in silhouette giving us a hint of what's to come, playing it straight faced until he steps out into the light revealing that grin and that laugh... Heath Ledger was good but man... This scene tho...

I could honestly make the same list for Disney, horror, super heroes, TV, anime and musicals. All I need is a reason.