From toothbrushes to deep fat fryers: how TV forces us to look at household items in a whole new way

Thanks to the likes of Luther and Spooks these household utensils have taken on terrifying meanings


Last night’s episode of Luther saw a creepy killer shove a load of toothbrushes in his mouth while snooping around his next victim’s house. It wasn’t violent and it wasn’t bloody, but it was super creepy. Everytime we go to polish our pearly whites we’ll be wondering if the bristles have been in some serial killer’s mouth already, and if that serial killer is hiding behind the shower curtain, Colgate at the ready. Plus, potential murder aside, sharing toothbrushes is not exactly salubrious now is it?


After last night’s episode of Luther, we certainly won’t be able to look at our toothbrushes in the same way again. And it’s not the first everyday item TV has ruined…


Fancy a smoothie? Banana, mango… perhaps a little sliced up finger? It seems Luther is intent on destroying our relationship with our homes, one utensil at a time. In a shocker of a scene last week, a hunted killer calmly jammed his hands into a blender to destroy his finger prints. SURELY there would have been an easier way to do this, we cried. Us and blenders? It’s over.

Deep fat fryer

Smoothie not floating your boat? How about a piping hot pile of chips instead? Poor Lisa Faulkner met her greasy fate in the first series of Spooks, in what was hailed by many at the time as TV’s most shocking death. Playing spy Helen, Faulkner’s hand was shoved into the bubbling oil of a deep fat fryer before her entire head was submerged in the chip fat. Bleurgh.

The experience certainly didn’t put Lisa off cooking – she went on to win Celebrity MasterChef- but it’s definitely made us see fryers in a different, and definitely not appetising, light.


Another Spooks special. Junior Case Officer Ben Kaplan was killed in series seven when Connie slit his throat with the under-wiring of her bra. 

Now when we drift off to sleep, we can’t help keeping a beady eye on our underwear drawers; we jump when women readjust their tops; and we are especially wary of angry girls now we know potentially murderous weapons hide beneath their blouses.


Ah the humble spoon. Used for stirring sugar into our tea and shoveling pudding into our mouths. Or it was until we watched Utopia.

In the very first episode of Channel 4’s graphic drama a man is tortured using a spoon, chillies, sand and bleach – and now we can no longer look at a spoon without squeezing our eyelids shut. In fact you can chuck chillies, sand and bleach too. No more.



Death by ashtray. What a way to go. Remember when Saskia faced this fate in EastEnders after attacking Steve? It’s a good job you can’t smoke inside any more isn’t it? Those with a nervous disposition can avoid smoking areas all together and cower inside. Though, come to think about it, inside is where the blenders, deep fat fryers and toothbrushes are…