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Film: Weird Science

A 1985 Speculative Fiction comedy directed by John Hughes, starring Brat Packer Anthony Michael Hall and supermodel Kelly LeBrock, and featuring Bill Paxton and Robert Downey Jr. A typical-for-its-time (if somewhat tame) Wish Fulfillment teen-sex comedy with a sci-fi twist: When a pair of Hollywood Nerds can't get girls on their own, they decide to build themselves the perfect woman in an effort to become popular.

Wyatt and Gary are typical Nerds (if unattractive only by Hughes' standards) who are bullied at school. At home, Wyatt's Jerk Jock older brother Chet makes their lives just as uncomfortable. The guys are desperate for female attention. Unable to work up the nerve to actually talk to real girls, the pair use Wyatt's Magical Computer to simulate a woman. However, a hack into a government mainframe and a freak thunderstorm all come together and bring the woman simulation to real life.

This woman, whom the boys name "Lisa", turns out to be a Magical Girl, able to create "anything [she] want[s]". What she wants, in the end, is to help the boys get girlfriends. To this end she takes them to a blues bar to befriend the clientele (to break them out of their shells); teaches them to kiss (at least, teaches Wyatt); and throws a big raving party at Wyatt's house (to show them that they can be popular, or at least liked). When, however, the boys hide from their own party, Lisa creates a distraction: a home invasion by a biker gang to threaten the guys' dream girls, forcing them to come to the rescue and scare the thugs off. She also stands up to Chet, showing him what it's like to be on the receiving end of a bully's attention.

Adapted into a television series in the early 90s.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Adaptation Expansion: The comic book story the film was based on was produced in the early 1950s, with the film significantly updating and expanding the premise for the home computer age.
  • Another Story for Another Time: When the film ends, we see that Lisa is now a gym teacher for a class full of socially awkward young men. Implying that she plans on continuing her work of helping teenage social rejects find their confidence.
  • Achievements in Ignorance: The two of them only intended to create a virtual program; Lisa was created by accident, and she claims that even she doesn't know how it happened.
  • Alternate Ending: For a long while, "Gonna Fly Now" from Rocky was replaced by a reprise of Weird Science during the final scene, thanks to rights issues. Reissues restored "Gonna Fly Now."
  • An Aesop: "When are you gonna learn that people will like you for who you are, and not for what you can give them?"
    Lisa: Well, in your race for power and glory, you forgot one small detail.
    Wyatt: We forgot to hook up the doll.
    Lisa: You forgot to hook up the doll.
    (Cue nuclear weapon punching through their floor.)
  • Aside Glance: When Chet sees Wyatt in Lisa's panties, he says, "Next thing you know, you'll be wearin' a bra on your head," whereupon Wyatt gives the camera a stare for a few seconds.
  • Back Blocking: Early in the party segment, one of the party goers blocks the view of the buffet, and when he moves aside a few seconds later, all of the food has been eaten.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lisa may be hot, but beware that she is the hi-tech eqivalent of a Djinn (and djinn are usually not very nice) and will fuck your day. Chet learned this the hard and humiliating way.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: See Beware the Nice Ones.
  • But Now I Must Go
  • Buxom Is Better: An aversion. When Gary and Wyatt are designing Lisa's... "proportions", they briefly toy with the idea of giving her extremely large breasts. They quickly decide to give her much smaller breasts.
    Gary: Anything more than a handful and you risk a sprained tongue.
    • However, the cool boys demand gargantuan breasts. Fortunately (or unfortunately?), the computer was connected to the picture of an ICBM and not a doll.
  • Casting Gag: Vernon Wells as a post-apocalyptic biker.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down
  • Chekhov's Gun: Literally, Lisa's squirt gun (see Remonstrating, below)
  • Comically Missing the Point: Chet discovers his grandparents frozen in the pantry:
    Chet: What are they doing in here?
    Lisa: I put them in there. I didn't want to Gary and Wyatt to get into trouble. Quite frankly, they weren't having a very good time at the party.
    Chet: Not having a good time? Do you think they're having a good time being catatonic in a closet?
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Gary and Wyatt give Lisa both the brain of Albert Einstein and the personality of David Lee Roth.
  • Dawson Casting: Lampshaded in-universe when Gary introduces Lisa to his parents and tries to pass her off as a high school exchange student from Europe. Kelly LeBrock was 24 at the time of filming. Gary's parents aren't quite buying it.
    Gary's Dad: Do you go to Gary's school??
    Lisa: (chuckling, and holding an open can of beer) Do I look like I'm in high school?
    Gary's Dad: No.
    Gary: (talking fast) Well, what it is, dad: She's...she's a...she's a foreign exchange student, ya know, and..and...they, like, have a different educational system happening around the world.
    Gary's Mom: (to Lisa) You look very, uh...mature.
  • Do-Anything Robot: Lisa can do anything, up to and including creating bikers out of thin air, despite the fact that she's really only a mannequin that had electricity zapped into her.
  • Dope Slap: Gary gives Wyatt an epic one (almost as a Non Sequitur) when Wyatt says that they have to go take a shit while talking to the two cute girls.
  • The Eighties
  • '80s Hair: Lisa, big time.
  • Fanservice Extras: The girl in the upside down bathroom who gives a gratuitous Panty Shot is one. The other is the girl playing the piano, who gets stripped down to her panties before being sucked up and out the chimney. The "Girl Playing Piano" is Kym Malin, who is also Playboy's Playmate of the Month for May 1982.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad: How funny is it when two kids get a Slurpee dumped on their heads? To ask the shoppers in that mall, there's absolutely nothing funnier, and they make sure Gary and Wyatt know that.
  • Hollywood Hacking, complete with Extreme Graphical Representation.
  • Hollywood Nerds
  • Hot Teacher: The final scene of the movie shows that Lisa has become a gym teacher.
  • I Just Want My Beloved to Be Happy: Pretty much Lisa's main goal for the two boys. In fact apparently it's a turn on for her.
  • I Am Not Pretty: Deb confesses that she doesn't see why Gary would want to be with her since Lisa is more gorgeous.
  • Informed Attractiveness: Lisa is played by a fairly attractive actress; but her then incredibly fashionable hair, makeup and style of dress has aged very badly — which, at least for some modern viewers, makes it harder to accept her as the sex goddess everyone in the film seems to think she is.
    • Luckily the scene of her in the shower helps make it clear.
  • Jerk Jock: Chet.
  • Jive Turkey: Gary can't stop talking this way after they visit the bar.
  • Lightning Can Do Anything: Not only did it create Lisa, it gave Lisa reality warping powers.
  • Magical Girl: Lisa, born of a Magical Computer.
    • Instant A.I., Just Add Water and/or lightning. And don't forget to hook up the doll. Pershing missiles happen when you don't hook up the doll.
  • A Man Is Always Eager: At least one of the main guys.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: Gary, Wyatt, and Lisa take a shower together, and the boys keep their jeans and tennis shoes on.
  • Noble Demon: The mutant bikers when confronted are actually polite enough to apologize for their behavior to Wyatt and Gary before they leave. (Of course, Lisa created them, so they may be little more than extensions of her.)
  • Recycled IN SPACE!: Mary Poppins as a magic supermodel!
  • Remonstrating With A Gun: Gary at the party, terrifying the guests in the process.
    Wyatt: "Where did you get that gun?"
    Gary: "It's a squirt gun, see?" [BOOM] [Oh, Crap]
  • Reset Button: When Lisa vanishes, all of the damage to the house from the weekend repairs itself in a special effects "rewind" frenzy, with the last piece of furniture sliding back into place just as Wyatt's parents open the front door.
  • Rule of Funny: Snow indoors? A Persian missile? A blue paint job? From Beyond The Fourth Wall? All at the same time? Why not!
  • Sex as a Rite-of-Passage: Subverted. Lisa helps Gary and Wyatt become more mature and confident not by having sex with them, but by forcing them to confront and overcome their own insecurities.
  • Shout-Out: The bikers from The Road Warrior show up to crash Gary and Wyatt's party.
  • Shower Of Love: A subversion. Gary and Wyatt take a shower with Lisa, but they keep their hands to themselves and don't even take their pants off.
  • Something Completely Different: This is the red-headed stepchild among John Hughes's 1980s teen oeuvre, having science-fantasy elements and more slapstick comedy than the other movies.
  • Tempting Fate: Chet really shouldn't have challenged Lisa to "do her worst".
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gary and Wyatt have to grow some to evict the party crashers.
  • Train Escape (version 1): Gary evades a police pursuit in this manner.
  • Two-Faced: The most scary-looking of the bikers.
  • Underdressed for the Occasion: Inverted by one of the female guests at the Wild Teen Party, who shows up overdressed for the occasion, looking like a girl from the 1950s. You can see her prominently featured in the background when the scary bikers show up.
  • Unplanned Crossdressing: Wyatt absentmindedly puts on Lisa's panties after they spend the night together.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: Played with a lot.
    Gary: Your kitchen's blue.
  • Vocal Dissonance: The Biker Girl has a soft British voice when complementing the boys on the house.
  • Weird Science: Not the Trope Namer. This film was named after the genre, not the other way around. If anything, Weird Science is the Film Namer.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: While the Reset Button after Lisa's departure physically repairs the house and returns Chet to human form, other outlandish events of the weekend seem unresolved (i.e. Wyatt's grandparents catatonic in the closet, the partygoers zapped into the TV, and Gary's dad not remembering that he has a son). Director John Hughes has confirmed that the Reset Button applies here, too.
  • Wild Teen Party: Most of the middle of the movie.

Water (1985)Films of the 1980sWitness

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