Trainspotting: the 10 best moments in the film

23 February 2022, 21:00 | Updated: 26 July 2022, 16:20

Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting
Ewan McGregor in Trainspotting. Picture: Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo

Danny Boyle's taken on the Irvine Welsh novel is now over a quarter of a century old. Radio X picks the most memorable moments from this classic film.

Whether you laughed along with the characters, or watched the film in between your fingers, no one can deny how influential the Danny Boyle-directed film was. Released on 23 February 1996, the adaptation of the Irvine Welsh novel about heroin addicts in 90s Edinburgh made huge stars of Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle and Kelly Macdonald.

  1. Choose Life

    The opening credits are probably some of the most memorable in British film history. Not only does Renton and co. running away from security guards make for an exhilarating start to the film, but Iggy Pop's Lust For Life doesn't do it any harm either.

  2. Renton visits The Worst Toilet In Scotland

    Renton diving after his suppositories is undeniably one of the most gruesome scenes in the film and makes your local public toilet seem like a walk in the park.

  3. Spud gives the worst interview ever

    After being fed Class As by Renton, Spud goes on to give the most bizarre interview of all time. Needless to say, he didn't get the job.

  4. Renton overdoses

    Renton's overdose after "a visit to the Mother Superior' is undeniably one of the most harrowing moments of the film. And it all happens with Lou Reed's Perfect Day in the background. Pretty iconic.

  5. Spud poos the bed

    Staying the night is always fraught with obstacles, but nobody EVER anticipates having to wrestle a poo-filled sheet away from the breakfast table the next morning.

  6. The baby dies

    Possibly the most disturbing and tragic scenes of the entire film occurs when baby Dawn dies, not only because of the incident itself, but because it doesn't stop the characters going down the path of self-destruction.

  7. The bar brawl

    Just in case there was any doubt as to how psychotic Begbie is, this scene clears it all up for the viewer. But... in the words of Tommy: "He's a mate, so what can you do?"

  8. Renton and Diane go home together

    The bit where Temptation leads to Atomic attraction... which leads to Diane in a school uniform the next morning.

  9. Renton goes cold turkey

    Diane sings, baby Dawn crawls on the ceiling and Renton has an all-round terrible time of it when his parents force him to go cold turkey. Harrowing stuff.

  10. The final scene/Renton's change of plan

    The moment he catches the eye of poor Spud just gets us every time!


The bonfires start at Woodstock '99

Woodstock '99 lineup: Who played the festival that features in the Netflix docuseries?

An aerial view of the huge Oasis shows at Knebworth House, August 1996

10 of the biggest gigs in history

Listen to Radio X on Global Player: Podcasts, Live Playlists and more!

The 12 albums shortlisted for the 2022 Mercury Prize

2022 Mercury Prize: Ceremony date, nominees, hosts, performances and more

Best Manchester Albums

25 classic albums from Manchester