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People are only just finding out what the Rotten Tomatoes scores really mean

Callum Jones

Published 
| Last updated 

People are only just finding out what the Rotten Tomatoes scores really mean

You know when you want to see whether that newest TV show or film is worth a watch, you may embark on reading some spoiler-free reviews.

One of the review aggregator sites that you may stumble across is Rotten Tomatoes, which puts together industry reviews to create an overall score out of 100.

But many people have been left confused at what the Rotten Tomatoes scoring system actually means.

The discussion surrounding this was brought up by TikToker @mistekan, who posted a video with the caption '#showerthoughts'.

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Why rotten tomatoes? Credit: Thankful Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Why rotten tomatoes? Credit: Thankful Photography / Alamy Stock Photo

Looking a bit confused, the TikTok star added the following text on screen: "When someone explains to me how a high percentage on Rotten Tomatoes means it was good because people didn't throw the tomatoes and they became rotten."

The clip has been viewed 5.7 million times on the popular video platform, with over 1 million likes, and nearly 4,000 comments.

Like @mistekan, many were left confused by the true meaning of Rotten Tomatoes scores, with many taking to the comments to discuss their previous understanding.

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One person said: "When I see 98% rotten tomatoes I think bad because ROTTEN TOMATOES."


A second added: "I thought it meant it was so bad that you threw rotten tomatoes."

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And a third said: "I thought they threw their rotten tomatoes because they couldn’t eat them and they didn’t like the show."

Meanwhile, a fourth remarked: "No fr, I thought the rotten tomatoes were bad and the popcorn was the good rating."

So, if you haven't worked out by now, what exactly do the scores on Rotten Tomatoes mean?

Well, if a TV show or film has at least 60 percent positive reviews, then a red tomato will be displayed to indicate its 'Fresh' status.

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On the other hand, films that have less than 60 percent positive reviews display a green splat, indicating its 'Rotten' status.

The website Rotten Tomatoes has been around since 1998. Credit: digitallife / Alamy Stock Photo
The website Rotten Tomatoes has been around since 1998. Credit: digitallife / Alamy Stock Photo

But why exactly are we dealing with tomatoes?

According to Rotten Tomatoes themselves, it is an old pastime with the entertainment industry.

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A segment on their website reads: "Back in the days of the open theaters, when a play was particularly atrocious, the audience expressed their dissatisfaction by not only booing and hissing at the stage, but also throwing whatever was at hand – vegetables and fruits included."

It is probably not advised to start launching tomatoes while you are watching a terrible film in the cinema nowadays, though.

Featured Image Credit: @mistekan/ TikTok / Rotten Tomatoes

Topics: TV and Film

Callum Jones
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