Fact check: Was there a cum tribute in Ron’s Gone Wrong?

He has done… other things on your photo too.

There is allegedly a scene in Ron’s Gone Wrong where a pædophile had ejaculated all over a photo of the protagonist Barney as a half-dressed toddler.

From existing discussions about this I’ve seen elsewhere online, you probably either find this profoundly disturbing, or insanely funny. If you are among those profoundly disturbed, your disturbance is probably compounded by the fact that other people find it insanely funny. Is it just a cheeky adult joke? More to the point, discussions are split between people who don’t want it to be true, and people who want it to be true, with each group further subdivided into people who actually think it’s true, and people who don’t. Do you follow? I’m explaining this first because the conflict that arises between these two overall stances is, in practice, where most of the confusion lies.

Who could do such a thing?

Baynham on the left and Smith on the right
Baynham and Smith as they appeared in an interview with Screen Rant.

This film was written and directed by Sarah Smith and co-written Peter Baynham. Smith’s career as presently documented is a little obscure: other than directing Arthur Christmas (2011) she was involved in the adult comedy television series The League of Gentleman (1999) and The Armando Iannucci Shows (2001). Baynham’s background is even more interesting, as he is a student of the Chris Morris discipline of television and comedy: he was a co-writer for Brass Eye (1997), specifically the 2001 Pædogeddon! special, a satirical news broadcast that skewered the moral panic described in its title. Now, while the topic of this article is already pretty graphic, it would be too gratuitous of me to explain exactly what happened in that special. I will instead just say it attracted over 3,000 complaints after it aired and was condemed by government ministers.

If there is a cum tribute, it wouldn’t be like the writers went out of their comfort zones. Although an interview with Smith and Baynham by Screen Rant asked Baynham directly how he, from a background in complex adult humour, restrained himself while writing an all-audience film. He answered that he already had some experience in the family genre, and that it’s his genuine ambition to write something he’d allow his daughter to watch.

The scene in question

The scene occurs around 50 minutes into the film, where prior, Ron had been going around naively scouting for friends as Barney technically programmed him to, failing to obey Barney’s earlier instructions to stay at home.

Ron in front of a postbox covered with posters that say: Please be Barney’s friend
⬮ ‿ ⬮

Barney unexpectedly finds Ron had turned up to his school just as recess begins. Barney, having no choice but to accept the situation, takes a deep breath and lets Ron follow him to the playground.

Recess… maybe… it’ll be okay…
Recess will not suck!
You will have friends. To sit with on a bench.
I dunno, yeah, I guess.
Barney and Ron in an empty school hallway
Barney reckons things will go well.
You will! I have brought you some.
Ron smiles
Get hype.
I am literally not landfill.

Despair sets in as Barney sees what’s going on on the playground.

Ron! Wait!
Ron in front of a crowd of people on the playground.
I did a search for them. Shane likes low priced alcohol, and conspiracy theories. He believes there’s a secret lizard government beneath Switzerland. He will friend you if he can stay in the shed.
This friend shared your breakfast, and liked it. He get’s hungry like you.
Ron in the center of the crowd, in front of a bench with various strangers
The friend Barney bench.

Now here’s the part really in question.

Your neighbour, Mrs. Baxter’s parrot, has one friend in common with you: your neighbour Mrs. Baxter.
He commented on your photo!
He has done other things on your photo too…

Ron points to a parrot on the bench
Ron points to the parrot…
Ron looks at the photo
…then takes a good look at the photo…
Ron presents a photo with a glob of white fluid covering it
…which is covered in a splotch of something white.

Barney reacts with pure fear.

Is he embarassed about the photo in question, or what happened to it?

It’s bird crap

That’s it. The white stuff is bird crap, not semen. Like, surely breaking it down as I did, there’s nothing more to clarify. Ron’s carefully introduces Mrs. Baxter’s parrot and points to him, saying he, he being the parrot, commented on the photo, and shows a photo covered in what thusly can only be assumed to be bird crap. The joke is that Ron’s narrow vocabulary causes him to fittingly expand his definition of commented — the activity that happens on the internet — to literal crap. This appears to be affirmed later in the film when Barney and Ron are innawoods, when Ron says that a bird commented on his face.

Films made for cinema should be watched in cinema imo; it’s hard to see on a small screen, but there’s bird muck next to his left eye.

If this was Politifact, the alleged cum tribute would be judged Pants on Fire false. The kind of pants that combust at 232 degrees farenheight.

But it’s not as simple as that

Some people continue to see it as a cum tribute for some reasons I understand, and others I don’t. Let’s take a look at reddit dot com. This person brings up the issue, with another person replying that they know it was bird crap, but suggest it could have been ambiguous. As I mentioned myself, the writers would know what they were doing.


Was it only me who got kinda freaked out by the cum joke?


Apparently, it’s supposed to be bird poop, but I feel like the people behind the movie knew what they were doing lmao

I think I understand this position. Why did Ron both say he commented on your photo! and he has done other things on your photo? If commenting on the photo is meant to be the joke, then why is that joke subsequently overwritten by clearly indicating a white mark on the photo and referring to it as other things? But then again, who is he in this case? Neither the parrot nor a person named Mrs. Baxter sound like creatures capable of blowing ropes. This next comment offers a suggestion: the guy in the yellow jacket, who for some reason is judged to be a heroin addict and is confused with as his neighbour.


Ok so I maybe wrong but at the playground with Ron and random old friends guy in the yellow jacket was a junkie and then was that cum on his baby pic when ron says your neighbour likes your photo and has done things to it?Did anyone else see this ?


You and a lot of other people were just straight up not paying attention it seems. Ron say the bird liked the photo and did other things to it

That line of reasoning either hints at a legitimate element of ambiguity, or the recurring element of confusion. Ron may just be referring back to the previous guy, but it seems what’s really happening is that he’s systematically being entirely mixed up with the parrot by viewers. The reply to this next comment suggests that commented could be a pun, and doubles-down on its meaning when used again in the woods.


It wasn’t a sexual reference at all. It was bird poop. It was very clear in the movie what it is […]


And also when the bird commented on the kid’s face in the woods. Why change it from like to comment? Because it sounds more like cum perhaps… that’s all I’m saying. Question everything so there’s never any doubt.

I guess the idea is that Ron is making no distinction across these situations, and that itself is the joke. These discussions are so stupid that by this point I was cry-laughing, but these next comments takes the cake. Not just for the sheer glibness, but also the extraordinary claim that the joke was to be expected.


That one joke about a pedo cumming on the photo. I gasped before it was revealed 😂


It was supposed to be bird poop lol

😂😂😂 <— that’s my face when I see a cum tribute. lol is what I say when I otherwise doubt it. For real though, what does this person mean by I gasped before it was revealed. Before??? So when Ron held the polaroid to himself and said he commented on your photo, they knew exactly what was coming next? If this is actually how they reacted, then it really vindicates the systematic confusion (or logic) over what’s happening in this scene: that people mixed up (or correctly identified) the guy and the parrot before anything of consequence comes of it.

People want this to be true

Okay. More reddit shenanigans.


New movie out. Supposedly a kids movie. My wife and I just watched it with our 3 year old last night and we were both fairly certain there was a crazy inappropriate joke made. […] The robot pulls out a childhood picture of this now like 12 year old kid and says something about the male neighbour doing things with this kids picture. The picture had a huge white blob on it. Pretty sure this kids movie said the guy jerked off on the main characters polaroid of him as a small child. […]

Damn I can’t imagine being the parent of small child and thinking I saw such a thing. Surely such a person would be satisfied for this to be disproven.


No. The line is:
>Your neighbour, Mrs. Baxter’s parrot, has one friend in common with you: Your neighbour, Mrs. Baxter. He [the parrot] commented on your photo! He has done other things on your photo too…
Ron then proceeds to show Barney that the photo has bird poop on it.
This is then referenced later in the movie the morning after Barney and Ron overnight in the firewatch tower and Ron notes the bird poop on Barney’s head by saying:
>A bird has commented on your face!


We actually watched it again last night […] Still thought it was saying what I originally though too. Thanks for the info!

Amazin, well and truly. Despite being carefully explained, and given the opportunity to rewatch the film, this person still thinks it’s cum. This leads me to wonder: if so many people believe it’s true, then maybe it is? That’s usually how textual analysis works. Death-of-the-author and all. This film is art and I guess this is how art is interpreted. Dunno.

Maybe people just think at best it’s an innuendo. Even though I think it’s a reach to mix up a parrot and a man in a sentence, Ron’s tone and hesitance, Barney’s reaction, they are conducive to such a joke.

The verdict: I don’t know