We’ve all been there. It’s day one, we’ve got our orange onesie and our toothbrush. We step out into the yard but we don’t fancy punching the biggest guy there because we’re a coward. How should we break the ice to ensure a pleasant stay in the big house? The answer: appeal to the artistic side of fellow inmates with these offerings.

Marley and Me

Order of business on your first day is gonna be establishing yourself as an alpha who’s a tough nut to crack. With the 2008 canine-flick, you have a couple of ways you can accomplish this. Firstly, you can stare directly into the eyes of a six-foot skinhead and tell him grimly how you didn’t even cry at the ending. As a power-move, that tops a love/hate tattoo on your knuckles any day. Alternatively, you fix that same skinhead and tell him you wept all night after the credits rolled. Because nothing displays strength like being willing to bare your emotions openly. He won’t forget it and you’ll have no trouble from him.

Step Brothers

Few relationships in the slammer are as important as that with your cellmate. Which is why you want to establish a rapport quickly. What better way to do that than incessantly referencing the iconic Will Ferrel comedy? Reminding them that your bunk-beds leave ‘so much room for activities’ with a cheeky grin and a wink is sure to ameliorate you to them very quickly. Bonus points if you repeatedly draw parallels between you and your cellmate’s and the protagonists of the film’s relationship. “See, they learned to love each other as brothers now like we have” for example.

Bad Boys

One thing prisoners all have in common is that they have all been involved with law-enforcement officers. Make sure to let them know you understand this aspect of their lives by talking loudly about how cool you find the police force. Constant repetition of your love of the badass and inspirational work done by cops is sure to gain you a lot of respect in the big house. You’ll be the most popular inmate in no time. So popular that you’ll often find yourself at the centre of a large ring of inmates during exercise hour. They’re quite friendly when you get to know them.

Fifty Shades of Grey

No one likes teaching a rookie the tricks of the trade. Prisoners in the pokey will expect you to be familiar with handcuffs, iron bars, restraints and following curtly delivered orders. Expressing enthusiasm for Fifty Shades is a perfect way to let them know that you’re already clued up. I, for one, know that if my new cellmate expressed how they felt an affinity for Christian Grey, I would sleep easier at night knowing they knew their stuff.