Study Guide

Fargo The Wood Chipper

The Wood Chipper

If you want to see the actual wood chipper from this infamous scene, head up to Fargo—it's on display at the visitor's center.

The wood chipper scene is probably the movie's most iconic moment: all that bloody snow, the foot still sticking up out of the chute, and Gaear going about his gory business evidently untroubled is pretty unforgettable.

Naturally, Marge is disturbed when she encounters a woodchipper being used for something that's definitely not good. But she's not traumatized. Like with the triple homicide at the beginning of the movie, she's pretty casual about it. "And I guess that was your accomplice in the wood chipper," she says to Gaear, in one of the most understated lines of dialogue in film history.

There's something super-disturbing about Carl's sock still being on his foot as his leg goes into the chipper. It adds to the realism, but it's still a gross and unsettling detail, especially when Gaear starts hitting the sole with a block of wood to make it go in. It's the ultimate statement about how stupid crimes like this end: badly. Instead of Carl being a millionaire, he's hamburger. He's worse than dead; he's just muck spattered on the snow.