In Men In Black 2, agent J neuralizes Newton, played by David Cross, telling him to take his girlfriend to Cambodia. When Newton gets up from the couch, he is holding a shovel. Does anyone know why? Maybe something from the deleted scenes?

  • I re-watched the film after reading this question, and I have to agree with @Zoredache. It appears Newton's Mom will be funding their Holiday in Cambodia whether she wants to or not. Apr 1, 2013 at 3:55
  • Going here and Ctrl-F'ing 'hey, mom', is a bit of backing, @Zoredache. Care to 'Answer' below?
    – Solemnity
    Apr 1, 2013 at 4:09
  • 4
    Never thought to question this -- my instant thought when he picked it up and called for his mother was 'Norman Bates.'
    – K-H-W
    Apr 1, 2013 at 4:34
  • @Major - now that's dedication.
    – uncle brad
    Apr 1, 2013 at 12:10

3 Answers 3


Newton is living with his mother. After being neuralized he picks up a shovel and says 'Hey Mom'. If one were to speculate, one might guess that his mother is about to die, and be buried - with a strong possibility of her savings going to fund their trip to Cambodia.

  • 1
    Morbid, but I suppose he does have that look about him.
    – uncle brad
    Apr 1, 2013 at 12:11
  • 1
    I'm guessing this is a (possibly unintentional) homage to Crime and Punishment Apr 1, 2013 at 15:15
  • 4
    Way too late in the day, but I think it's also likely that J's retort about Newton needing to stop living with his mom at his age was also a contributing factor to the murder impulse. (tbh, I thought that was the #1 thing with Cambodia being a maybe thing - the guy was after all running his own shop and hence prob. had his own savings too)
    – Shisa
    Jul 12, 2014 at 7:22
  • This was my interpretation as well...
    – Stark07
    Jun 15, 2015 at 14:57

I always assumed it was an homage to this scene from Pyscho 2
"Are you sure you wouldn't like a sandwich?"
Then walks behind his mother, picks up a shovel and . . .

. . . violently hits her over the head with it, killing her

Contains graphic violence
Shovel scene from Psycho 2

Update: Also, I don't think the shovel is a response to Ks injunction to "bring her to cambodia". It's a response to "move your bum ass out of your moms house", which Newton reads as "stop living with your mother". My two cents.


Ok. So, I know this is a ridiculously late response... But I just happened to stumble upon this post.

I do have a slightly less morbid explanation for the shovel, though. And, for posterity's sake, I would like to put in my two cents.

When I was a kid I used to dig holes in the sandbox. My parents would jokingly ask me, "Are you trying to dig a hole to China?" I am guessing that this was a common joke, because I seem to remember cartoons using it as well. (I even vaguely remember an episode of 'The Adams Family' where one of the kids does this)

Well, Cambodia is in Asia... basically on the other side of the world. I think that he was simply calling for his mother to tell her that he was moving out. And the shovel is how he was going to get to Cambodia.

...Extremely silly, I know. But, it is a LOT less morbid than killing his mother.

  • 8
    +1 for lateral thinking but -1 for lack of evidence
    – Valorum
    Mar 1, 2016 at 12:53
  • Oh, he's got evidence, but no proof.
    – flq
    Mar 1, 2016 at 21:46

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