Fact Check: Rumor Has It Tobey Maguire Pulled Off 'Tray Catch' Scene Without Any Special Effects in 'Spider-Man.' Here's What We Found

YouTube account @SceneCityOfficial
YouTube account @SceneCityOfficial


Tobey Maguire did the "tray catch" scene in "Spider-Man" (2002) without any special effects.


Rating: Research In Progress
Rating: Research In Progress

When the first "Spider-Man" movie — starring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst — was released in 2002, it was widely praised for John Dykstra's stunning visual effects, even receiving an Academy Award nomination in 2003. However, many people on the internet claim that one "Spider-Man" scene in particular was executed without the use of any visual effects.

On June 2, 2024, X account @RealEmirHan posted a clip (archived here) from the movie and claimed that "this famous scene in Spider-Man (2002) has zero digital effects. Tobey Maguire performed 156 takes until he finally caught each item on the tray."

The post received more than 281,000 views and 1,800 likes, as of this writing. "If this is true, than he should have won an Oscar with this take," one X user commented.

The full scene can be viewed below:

According to sites such as Screen Geek, The Independent, Buzzfeed, and Metro, the scene was indeed executed without the use of visual effects. According to the Independent, both Dykstra and Dunst stated in separate DVD commentaries that the scene was all Maguire, no special effects. "This next gag here, where he catches all this stuff, he actually did that. Pretty good. Take 156," Dykstra reportedly said. "Not CGI by the way, that's all Tobey, which is pretty impressive," Dunst allegedly said in the commentary. "They used sticky glue stuff to stick his hand to the tray."

Although we've been unable to confirm these accounts independently thus far, a user on YouTube uploaded footage of the DVD commentary video:

We reached out to representatives for Maguire, Dunst, Dykstra, and director Sam Raimi seeking corroboration in April 2024; we will update this story upon receiving a response.


Dressler, Jacob. 'Tobey Maguire Did 156 Takes On One "Spider-Man" Scene'. ScreenGeek, 16 Jan. 2022, https://www.screengeek.net/2022/01/16/tobey-maguire-spider-man-scene-156-takes/.

Hooton, Christopher. 'That Spider-Man Tray Scene Wasn't CGI, Took Tobey Maguire 156 Takes | The Independent'. The Independent, 11 Jan. 2018. www.independent.co.uk, https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/that-spiderman-tray-scene-wasn-t-cgi-took-tobey-maguire-156-takes-a7358816.html.

'Https://Twitter.Com/Fasc1nate/Status/1773198357294465369'X (Formerly Twitter), https://twitter.com/fasc1nate/status/1773198357294465369. Accessed 4 Apr. 2024.

'John Dykstra | Visual Effects, Producer, Special Effects'. IMDb, https://www.imdb.com/name/nm0004375/. Accessed 4 Apr. 2024.

Lewis, Rebecca. 'Turns out There Was No CGI in That Tray Scene in Spider-Man'. Metro, 13 Oct. 2016, https://metro.co.uk/2016/10/13/turns-out-there-was-no-cgi-in-that-infamous-tray-scene-in-spider-man-6189780/.

Murrell, Morgan. 'Tobey Maguire Nailed That Epic Lunch Tray Scene In "Spider-Man" Without Any CGI'. BuzzFeed, 30 Jan. 2020, https://www.buzzfeed.com/morganmurrell/tobey-maguire-spider-man-lunch-tray-trick.

Spider-Man Lunch Tray Scene With Commentary. www.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bw1V5Kr-9Y0. Accessed 4 Apr. 2024.

Spider-Man: Peter Catches MJ in the Cafeteria (Tobey Maguire HD Clip) | With Captionswww.youtube.com, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sWwFWwbnEHQ. Accessed 4 Apr. 2024.

Spider-Man (2002) - Awards - IMDbwww.imdb.com, https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145487/awards/. Accessed 4 June 2024.