Who spilled the Cremation Ashes of Charlie Harper’s Character on Two and a Half Men?
Fans of the CBS TV show Two and a Half Men surely remember the much-discussed 2011 death of character Charlie Harper, played by controversial actor Charlie Sheen. After an infamous behind-the-scenes contract dispute that led to Sheen’s departure from the show, the actor famously quipped to a reporter that he would be willing to bring Charlie Harper back to the show even though the character was killed off in a train accident in Paris.
“There was never a casket or an urn at the funeral,” he is quoted as saying in several press reports. He was clearly suggesting that writers might be able to bring the character back by inventing some wild circumstance by which the death didn’t really happen.
Alas, thanks to the Dignity Bronze Urn available on Memorials.com, a resurrection of Charlie Harper appears very unlikely. Charlie’s remains may not have been on public display at the much-talked-about funeral (by which Two and a Half Men started its 9th season in September 2011), but they have been a key part of several other episodes of the show.
Careful viewers of the show have noticed the Dignity Bronze Urn resting traditionally on a mantle in Charlie’s home (still shared, in Charlie’s death, by his brother Alan and nephew Jake, the two of whom managed to convince new character Walden Schmidt – famously played by Ashton Kutcher – to let them live with after he bought the house) in several scenes filmed since Charlie’s death. (Though, they have also been stored at various times, out of site, in a liquor cabinet in the home.)
And, to address the conspiracy theorist who may surmise that the urn is empty, the urn has been opened at least four times on the show. In all cases, some of the contents were spilled onto the floor.
The first appearance of Charlie’s ashes occurred shortly after the funeral episode when a grieving Alan Harper was preparing to scatter the ashes on the beachfront outside Charlie’s home. He spilled them, of course, when he was startled by the sudden appearance of his housemate Walden.
The second appearance of the ashes occurs later in Season 9 when Alan brings out the urn to introduce “Charlie” to his teenage daughter Jenny, who Charlie last saw when she was just 4 years old. Of course, Alan spills the ashes in the process.
The third spilling of the ashes occurs in Season 10 when Alan is holding the urn while in the midst of a heated argument with his mother and his housemate Walden.
And, the final (well, at least the latest) came during an episode that aired on April 10, 2014, part of Season 11 of the show. In this scene Walden launches into a soliloquy with the ashes (his catty remarks seem to be directed as much toward Charlie Sheen himself as to the character Charlie Harper) before being interrupted by the sudden appearance of a strange, attractive wandering girl at his back door. The site causes him to spill the ashes, of course. (It is worth noting that the strange girl was played by Kutcher’s real-life love interest – and co-star on That 70’s Show – Mila Kunis. Her guest appearance on the show attracted much attention, making it one of the more heavily viewed episodes in the show’s history.)
In all cases, the spillings are followed by a (not always on-camera) recovery with a hand-held vacuum cleaner. And, it should be noted that the ashes are always shown to be of the typical dark-gray color that is characteristic of real cremation ashes. It is certain that the show producers did not use real remains in any of the episodes, they did take great care to give the make-believe remains a very realistic look. So, while it still does, technically, remain possible that the shows writers can still concoct a story by which Charlie Sheen can return to the show with his character, the producers have assured that the story they come up with will have to be very far fetched. (Because now it would have to account for the presence of someone else’s ashes in the urn.) But given that the show is a very light-hearted comedy, though, any story twist is possible, it seems.
So the world will have to wait to see if CBS television is open to the apparent hint from Sheen that he is open to the possibility of reconciling his strained relationship with the show and its producers. And that prospect seems uncertain, at best. But while the waiting commences, it may be of some comfort for some fans of the show to know that Charlie Harper does indeed live on in the show. This time the actor that portrays him is the very same Dignity Bronze urn that anyone can purchase from memorials.com.
Those who follow the acting careers of cremation urns will likely be interested to know that this same Dignity Bronze Cremation Ash Urn has also been seen on the hit CBS show Navy NCIS, and the ABC television show Desperate Housewives.