Written on a black screen is “no children or animals were harmed during the making of this film.”
An eight-year-old girl (Beau Gadsdon) walks into school, carrying a container of cupcakes underneath her arm.
In the classroom, the children stare one another down. A boy in a striped shirt displays his cupcake on his palm. An African-American girl with pigtails holds her cupcake as a trophy, daring her classmates to fire. Another boy rolls his cupcake in his hand.
She glances over her shoulder while she continues to walk to her classroom.
Cakes, frosted with buttercream and decorated with nuts, are stacked in an even pile in the middle of the room. The children begin to snap at one another. They point and shout. Some bite into their cupcake.
She charges inside, silencing her classmates as they turn to look at their her. She sets her container of the floor and grabs a couple. The boy across from her takes the toothpick out of his mouth. She looks from the left and right then tosses a cupcake. An African-American boy watches as it lands near his shoe. She throws another one. The African-American boy screams. The battle begins.
Cupcakes are smacked into the children’s faces. One girl uses the chocolate and spreads it underneath her eyes. The African-American girl tries to dodge several cupcakes. Batter is heaved over the pile of desserts. The little girl stares at her empty container and runs between her classmates.
She crawls away with her container as the children descend upon the pile of dessert. Harry Styles opens his classroom door, holding a puppy in his arms. She looks up at her teacher, pleading for help with her eyes. He raises his arm and shouts.
The puppies run to the floor, licking the frosting as the children continue dig into the pile and throw food. A child sits on the bleachers and moves as his head to dodge a cupcake. Styles hides behind some chairs with the little girl with chocolate paint underneath her eyes. He scrounges an intact cupcake for her. They slouch to avoid the incoming batter. A boy wails as his unconscious friend lies in his lap.
Styles and his students pose for their classroom photo, their faces and clothes splattered with frosting. Styles smirks.
No one dares speaks of the Dessert Royale, a secret tradition in the United Kingdom for children still in primary school. For weeks, they practice and taught in the weaponizing of cupcakes. The children arrived into the classroom and given one cupcake each by an administrator. The administrator told them to be wise and good luck. Not everyone will survive it. It’s every third grader for him or herself.
The little girl had to have at least a half of dozen cupcakes. She begged her mom to make more. But her mom told her it was enough. She would have to get by with what she had. The little girl and her mom went over her strategy the night before, deciding on making her classmates wait.
Styles is given instructions every year to leave the classroom. Each year, he brings in puppies to soothe the traumatized children. Some years, he is able to escape the carnage. However, he opened the door to see his students wounded and scarred. He helps them out if he can.
Through the years, the children flinch at bake sales and do not speak of the Dessert Royale.
Director: Us Year: 2017
Pam Avoledo’s love of pop culture began in 1999 with the message boards dedicated to shows on the CW (then WB). She graduated from Oakland University in 2006 with a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism.
When she is not debating whether Dawson should’ve ended up with Joey, she looks at cute dog memes on social media.