ByJancy Richardson, writer at
To avoid fainting, keep repeating 'It's only a movie...It's only a movie...'
Jancy Richardson

Remember the most famous scene in The Silence of the Lambs? We've all got our favorite scene - my personal favorite is Hannibal's dramatic, bloody-faced escape - but we all know which scene is the most quotable...

So far, so familiar... but what you might not know is the awesomely brilliant Easter Egg hidden within Hannibal's famous statement:

A census-taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti.

The Silence of the Lambs was written in 1988. At this time, it was common practice to treat the mentally ill with MAOI's - that's monoamine oxidase inhibitors, science fans.

There are a few foodstuffs that can cause a lethal rise in blood pressure to patients on MAOI's. Three of them are liver, fava beans and red wine.

Hannibal was telling us he wasn't taking his meds - and no-one knew.

This is verified by an actual real life psychiatrist, who told Buzzfeed:

If Hannibal were to have that delightful meal whilst on MAOIs it would likely be his last. Fava beans were always the one thing about these drugs you had to remember in lectures.

Hannibal Lecter: smarter than all of us since 1988...


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