"Last Supper" Steal

http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/battlestar_lastsupper.jpg
Totally coincidental arrangement, honest...

"Okay, everyone who wants to be in the picture, go to the other side of the table. Hold it..."

Imitating Leonardo da Vinci's painting The Last Supper, often for promotional art. This works for a variety of different plots or events. If there is a character who is an example (or a subversion, or an ironic inversion) of a Messianic Archetype, or otherwise has some kind of plot-related parallel with the story of the betrayal of Christ, he or she will be placed in Jesus' position, frequently complete with downcast eyes and spread arms. The scene itself often has some thematic connection to the biblical Last Supper, whether it is a group shot of the series' team with a betrayer in their midst, or a gathering of friends that is a metaphorical "last supper" (like a group of coworkers planning to go their separate ways), a leader and his/her followers or supporters, or foreshadowing the death/persecution of the character in Jesus's spot.

Since Leonardo's painting depicts the disciples' reactions to hearing that one of them will betray Jesus, the character placed in the "Judas Iscariot" slot (elbow on the table, second to the left of Jesus) may be a hint to viewers.

This is actually Truth in Television; artists have made quite a few versions of The Last Supper, many of which have been viewed by the public as bad taste (or worse). Technically, you can't truly accuse someone who does this of "stealing" (Leonardo's works are not copyrighted) at least in any legal way.

Examples

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the manga version of Haruhi Suzumiya, the S.O.S. Brigade ends their Drunken Montage during Remote Island Syndrome with this. Itsuki is John, Mikuru is Thomas, Kyon is James the Greater, and Yuki is Philip. Judas's face, as well as most of Peter's, is blocked by text. And Haruhi? Guess.
  • The first ED for Shokugeki no Soma has portrays the Polar Star dormitory like this, with a very determined Soma in the Jesus spot.

    Comedy 
  • The cover of George Carlin's "When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops?"
  • Trevor Turan's Discworld spoof lecture on The Da Quirm Code (Discworld Convention, 2006) involved supposed hidden messages in Leonard of Quirm's portrait of the Ecksian prophet of Offler Gordon Yermate and his followers, titled Where The Hell's Breakfast?

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Luis Buñuel's Viridiana has a party of drunken, looting beggars end posed as in The Last Supper, causing an outcry from the Vatican.
  • In Mel Brooks' History of the World Part I, Jesus and Pals commission Leonardo Da Vinci to make a group portrait. They pose for a second exactly as in the painting, and Brooks holds up a plate over Christ's head as the halo. Even if there's no halo in the actual painting.
  • In the film version of M*A*S*H, the "funeral" for Painless Pole has the attendees arranged in this manner. Father Mulcahy sees this and does a double-take.
  • One segment in Super Size Me is a painting that shows grotesque caricatures of various fast food mascots set up like The Last Supper.
  • In the intro to Zack Snyder's Watchmen film, the Minutemen are set up to resemble "The Last Supper" when they celebrate Sally Jupiter's retirement. Since it's Sally's party she's in the Jesus position. The Comedian is in the position of John (popularly mistaken for Mary Magdalene), which might be a hint to who's been involved with the visibly-pregnant Sally. What's more, Sally's husband is in the position of Thomas (finger raised and angrily demanding an explanation).
  • In The Dirty Dozen, the Dozen have a victory feast to celebrate humiliating Colonel Breed in the war games before they go out on their official mission. The table layout fits this trope. Magot was sitting in Judas' spot.
  • Highlander: Endgame used this with the Big Bad and his posse-at the end of the scene, he proceeds to behead them all to gain all their power.
  • A poster for The Expendables 2 uses it.
  • A stoner pizza party in Inherent Vice is framed to look like The Last Supper, with Owen Wilson's Coy Harlingen, an innocent party victimized by events, in the center.
  • Many film dramatization of the life of Jesus will stage a Last Supper scene that looks like Leonardo. Done in this scene from Jesus Christ Superstar. There's another live-action staging of the painting in the 1951 version of Quo Vadis. The 1925 version of Ben-Hur does this as well, but since Jesus is The Faceless in that movie, there's another guest posed directly in front of him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The page image is promotional art for the last season of Battlestar Galactica. It even contains Foreshadowing, as the person who would be occupying the obvious empty space turns out to be important.
  • Used in promotional material for the last season of Lost. That would be The Lost Supper. Combine that with As the Good Book Says...: Entertainment Weekly Issue #1186 (January 22, 2010) says of the image that "The castaways' imbibing evokes the Bible verse: 'If the dead are not raised: Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die' [1 Corinthians 15:32b; Isaiah 22:13d, NAB]. Which is exactly what was at stake with last season's resurrection-or-bust Jughead cliffhanger."
  • In an early episode of That '70s Show, after Eric agrees to streak at a political rally with his friends, he informs the rest of the group that nobody can find out since "If my father finds out what we're planned, he will nail me to the wall," at which point a heavenly glow seems to hit the table and everyone is frozen in a Last Supper pose with Eric as Christ.
    Jackie: (walking by) Why are you all sitting on one side of the table?
  • A promotional photo of House season 4. House is naturally Jesus, a position he'd agree with given his ego.
  • The dinner scene at the end of the first series Christmas special of Shameless.
  • At one point in Spin City, Michael J. Fox's character finds that a former mentor of his (played by Christopher Lloyd) believes he's the Messiah. Late in the episode, he walks into a meeting room to find that most of the higher-ups are at a table with said crazy mentor, forming a Last Supper with him as Jesus.
  • In an episode of Northern Exposure Chris finds himself in one of these in a Dream Sequence.
  • Community used this arrangement in the episode "Messianic Myths and Ancient Peoples". Abed is Jesus.
  • Done in an episode of Penn & Teller: Bullshit!, with Penn as Jesus as he goes around the table, killing the apostles representing the myths of organic farming.
  • The X-Files: In "Requiem", a very improbable group of characters appear behind one table at the FBI, discussing very pressing matters of alien abductions. There are of course agents Mulder and Scully, their boss Skinner,conspiracy theorists Lone Gunmen, Mulder's former Mysterious Informant Marita Covarrubias and triple-agent Alex Krycek.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Aberrant used this in one of the illustrations, which depicts the meeting of the Teragen, a faction of A God Am I mutants.

    Theatre 
  • The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged) has a replica of the painting with cutouts for the heads of twelve disciples. The cutouts come with labels naming the disciples, which helps because there are only two actors to play them and because audiences might not otherwise recognize disciples such as St. Louis (as in the city on the Mississippi river) or St. Bernard (who is prophsied by Jesus to "become a large dog that saves skiers in the Alps").
  • Many productions of Jesus Christ Superstar do this with the characters.
  • There's a live play called The Living Last Supper that has thirteen actors, each one playing a character from the supper, with each one delivering a soliloquy before saying "Is it I?" and assuming their position from the original painting.

    Video Games 
  • Promotional art for Dragon Age: Inquisition depicts the Inquisitor, with their nine companions and three advisors surrounding them at the table. Interestingly, Solas stands in Judas' spot in the original painting, foreshadowing The Reveal about his true identity.
  • In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, there's a secret room where you find statues of Razorbeard (The Big Bad of the second game) and his Robopirates seated at a large table.
  • Maldita Castilla's True Final Boss features a Satanic mockery of the painting's imagery. The demon Luzfarel is found sitting at a table with his demonic lackeys all on the same side of the table. Given that this level is literally Hell, this should surprise nobody.
  • Some Far Cry 5 promotional art features 13 doomsday cultists (and a dog) sat along a table, reminiscent to the painting.

    Western Animation 
  • The DVD cover of 12 oz. Mouse uses fan art of the characters arranged as in "The Last Supper".
  • South Park:
    • In the episode "Margaritaville", Kyle says he has "this feeling that one of you will totally betray me", and everyone gasps and freezes into Last Supper position. No prizes for guessing that Cartman's seated in the Judas position, though funnily enough this picture is missing a Pater.
    • In "Fantastic Easter Special", which mimicks Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code, Professor Teabag shows Stan and Kyle a portrait of The Last Supper, which looks the same, except that there is a colored egg next to St. Peter, whom Teabag reveals to be a rabbit.
  • This was used at the end of the season 16 The Simpsons episode "Thank God It's Doomsday" (where Homer discovers a mathematical equation connected with the end of the world and is sent to Heaven to stop God from carrying out His plan). After Homer discovers that his trip to Heaven was real and Moe's isn't a Japanese restaurant anymore, Homer sits in the center of a group of drunks and the picture freezes to a Last Supper style painting.
  • Happened on the Dilbert series, where they thought Wally was God.
  • A particularly gruesome version happens on Season 8 of Archer, where Dutch kills a bunch of people violently, then stages their corpses to look like the last supper - with a tied up Len Trexler in the role of Jesus.

    Real Life 


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