Created By: SchrodingersDuck on January 17, 2008
Troped

Hollywood Hacking

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Trope
Similar to the Extreme Graphical Representation, Hollywood Hacking is when some sort of convoluted metaphor is not only used to describe hacking, but actually to put it into practise. Characters will come up with rubbish like "extinguish the firewall!" and "I'll use the Millennium Bug to launch an Overclocking Attack on the whole internet!" - even hacking light switches and electric razors.

Examples:
  • The terrible Hackers; full of this...
  • The Demon Headmaster: the only thing preventing access to the Prime Minister's computer is a weak password, and to hack it, you just need to tell the computer "knock, knock" jokes. Apparently, it takes the combined power of the brightest minds in the country to figure this out.
  • Bioshock: want to hack into a robot, computer or even vending machine? Play "Pipe Dream"!
  • Mass Effect is even worse - just see [http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2007/11/14 This Penny Arcade Strip].
  • Uplink is meant as a parody of films such as Hackers, and so is chock full of this sort of thing.
Community Feedback Replies: 21
  • January 17, 2008
    GracieLizzie
    The password (to launch a missile!) is "buffalo" - Doctor Who
  • January 17, 2008
    BlackDragon
    The Doctor was wrong - The Password Is Always Swordfish!
  • January 17, 2008
    Kayube
    The hacking scene in Yu-Gi-Oh where Kaiba breaks into Pegasus' computer systems.
  • January 17, 2008
    BobbyG
    The Internet and network levels in Shadow the Hedgehog. Firewalls are represented as actual firey walls.
  • January 17, 2008
    Tangent128
    For that matter, any scene where hacking involves virtual reality.
  • January 17, 2008
    arromdee
  • January 17, 2008
    Nasrudith
    Hacking Is A Video Game perhaps would sum it up nicely.
  • January 17, 2008
    Citizen
  • January 17, 2008
    Prfnoff
    Don't forget to use Rapid Fire Typing like the k3wl hackers do.
  • January 17, 2008
    Firesky
    Any hacking mini-game in a larger game will do this. Another example of this would be hacking in System Shock 2.
  • January 17, 2008
    Octal
    The Internet and network levels in Shadow the Hedgehog. Firewalls are represented as actual firey walls.

    No, no, it's actually pretty great how they managed to get the metaphor exactly backwards.
  • January 17, 2008
    thatother1dude
    I remember a David Spade monologue where he mocked this, especially the use in action movies that's something along the lines of: Computer Guy: This is the most complicated system in existence and it will take at least several hours to get anywhere. Action Guy: You've got 5 minutes (optional)Computer Guy: already in
  • January 18, 2008
    Danel
    I'm generally more forgiving of it in games than I am in movies, though... it's not as if Bioshock or Mass Effect could demand the player learn real hacking in order to play the game. Actually, I'd be more inclined to be kinder to Mass Effect than Bioshock, really... in Bioshock, the game quite clearly indicates that this is what is really happening, with other characters talking about it and upgrades providing advantages to it. In Mass Effect I just see it as a (deeply annoying) form of Extreme Graphical Representation, especially since your character is using an omnitool to do it.
  • January 20, 2008
    BobbyG
    Taylor of lonelygirl15 hacks by Rapid Fire Typing.
  • January 27, 2008
    Prfnoff
  • January 27, 2008
    {{Fly}}
    In Sly Cooper 2, you have to play a shooty game in order to do it.
  • January 27, 2008
    thatother1dude
    ^I think that was in the last game (to?)
  • January 28, 2008
    Unknown Troper
    Subverted in Deus Ex at the end *spoilers*

    Helios doesn't have much power through his hacking ("Why, because the AI can change some codes and turn off a couple light"), he gains his true power because people want his ideals to happen.
  • January 28, 2008
    YYZ
    If Hack The Planet doesn't work as a title for this one, it still needs to go in the Title Bin.
  • January 29, 2008
    Thrawn
    To fit The First Law Of Trope Examples , I suggest this opening quote, which is from the 3rd example: Kaiba's Computer: Since I'm such and advanced computer, I can make Pegasus' computer systems look like a really boring video game.
  • January 29, 2008
    BobbyG
    [disregard this]
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=p3mxdely