- Babylon 5:
[the command staff have used their command code passwords to reset the station's computer system]
Garabaldi: Hey, would you have guessed it?
- Not that bad, as most systems on B5 also require voiceprint or DNA identification as part of two-factor security.
- In Smallville, Lex Luthor's computer password was at one point his dead little brother's name, Julian.
- Heroes averts, spoofs and justifies superhero tropes all the time, yet has a plaintext name with obvious relation to its setter as a password. (And for extra security, the computer tells you when it's incomplete)
- The Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- Episode "Through the Looking Glass" has Sisko going to an alternate universe, where the designer of the space station used the same passwords as his duplicate in the "real" universe. Not only that, but no one seems to change the password that activates the self destruct on taking command of a space station. It might be assumed that the password was the designer's fixed back door, except that it's the same as Mirror Kira's password and Sisko was able to change it.
- Episode 'Defiant', where the means of getting entry onto the ship uses not passwords but both a voiceprint AND fingerprint scan (possibly also a DNA check too as Odo mentions later that Will and Thomas Riker's DNA coding is identical—no surprise there). All of this done in front of a security guard too. In Real Life, a fingerprint scan would normally weed out an identical twin, but Thomas Riker is a transporter duplicate of Will Riker, so it's justified here.
- Played straight when genius-level scientist Brennan tries to keep her password secret.
Booth: I know your password too. It's Daffodil.
Brennan: I never told you that!
Booth: What? I got eyes. I mean you guys aren't exactly CIA material.
Brennan: What? They're pretty. And I'm changing my password.
Brennan: How did you know?
Booth: It's your second favorite flower. I know you, Bones. Try a planet!
Brennan: (entering password)
- Episode "The Beaver in the Otter": Booth finds a locked suitcase and asks Bones for the owner's birthdate. He's mildly surprised when that fails, but then realizes that she'd given it to him in scientific order (day-month-year). The traditional order (month-day-year) opens the case.
- In Doctor Who:
- In "Voyage of the Damned", the evil robot angels can be delayed by saying "Security Protocol One." But It Only Works Once.
- In the Tom Baker storyline "The Invasion of Time", the Doctor tries to break an encrypted lock that even the sonic screwdriver won't open. He examines the lock to see if it takes retina or voice scans, before muttering how one of his favorite professors at the Prydonian Academy once told him that "there was nothing more useless than a lock with a voiceprint." He then realizes that the password is the phrase, "There is nothing more useless than a lock with a voice print", spoken aloud. Later in that same episode, the above-mentioned professor (whose office the Doctor was nosing around in) enters his office and opens the secret door by saying the phrase "There is nothing more useless than a lock with a voice imprint" — and the door accepts it, which seems to prove the professor's point since this voice-activated door lock obviously isn't that picky about vocal frequencies (the Doctor doesn't even try to imitate the professor's voice) or the actual phrasing of the password.
- In "World War Three," the password to every non-nuclear UN-controlled missile launch platform is apparently "buffalo". It's implied that this is either a special password for UNIT or a back door the Doctor himself installed back when he was working with UNIT in the original series.
- Surprisingly averted with the wifi password in "The Bells of Saint John" that Clara asks from the girl she's babysitting. The password is "RYCBAR123". Clara immediately asks how she's supposed to remember that (why anyone would need to enter the password more than once on the same computer is not explained though). The girl tells her a mnemonic device: "Run, you clever boy, and remember". Clara is on the phone with the Doctor as that very moment (she thought she called tech support), and he realizes only Clara would use this phrase.
- Jack keeps not only his safe's password but also the password for the Rift manipulator written in a notebook. As Owen remarks: "Not so clever, Jack."
- In "Children of Earth", Bridget Spears, a fairly high-ranking civil servant, uses the password "hastings"...and writes it down for her new assistant to use.
- In an episode of Stargate SG-1, a character mentions this trope and that it's usually "something familiar". Kinsey, whose computer they were trying to access, mentions that he has "a wife, three children, seven grandchildren and various nieces and nephews", but Jack O'Neill figures out that the password is Oscar, the name of Kinsey's dog.
- Veronica Mars:
- Subverted in episode "Like A Virgin". Veronica reports that her account's been hacked, and the system administrator gives her a spiel about password safety. Whereupon she reveals that her password was "GJ7B!X" (with possible variation in case).
- Subverted again in "Mars vs. Mars." Keith changes the combination to his safe to something of personal significance, then leaves it in a location that would be highly visible to a trained PI. When trained PI Veronica finds all the password and opens the safe, it no longer contains files but instead an ink packet that explodes onto her.
- Takes this trope to its logical extreme, by having Ducky, who had recently become a forensic psychologist, determine the password of a missing naval officer based on a study of objects collected from her apartment. Since she was a bookworm, it was the title of one of her books. Ducky was even able to guess which book after a few token tries.
- Double Subverted in another NCIS episode. Tony, breaking into a house, enters in a password easily extrapolated from Genre Savvy knowledge of this trope (the password was a birthday, as indicated by the worn out numbers). Unfortunately for him, it's a double-failsafe system. Triple subverted, perhaps, by the fact that the policeman that arrives is the killer.
- In an episode of The Drew Carey Show, Oswald has keylocked his cell phone and forgotten the password. He starts off with 1111, then 1112, getting to 1114 before Lewis throws the cell phone out the window. Oswald then remembers that he wrote down the password, and gets it out of his wallet. The password? 1115. In another episode Mimi guess Mr. Wick's secret password. It's "Mr. Wick."
Oswald: He used his own name as the password? That's stupid.
Mimi: At least it's a better password than "password".
Oswald and Lewis: I already changed it!
- Later in that same episode we get the following exchange:
Lewis: Hey Mimi, I bet you'll never guess my new password.
Mimi: [annoyed and unconcerned] Shut up.
Lewis: Damn! Well I'll bet you'll never guess my new password.
Mimi: Who cares?
Lewis: She's a witch!
Mimi: I'm gettin' a beer.
Lewis: STOP IIIIIIIIIIT!!!
- In one episode of Drake & Josh, Megan told the brothers she found out the name of the woman who they thought their dad was dating. When they asked how she found out, Megan revealed that she read Walter's e-mail, and she explained that his password had been so easy and lame. It was "password". When Josh hears this, he tries to subtly walk over to his own computer.
Drake: You wanna change your password?
- Stargate Atlantis:
- Subverted when Rodney basically needs to hack into their own system.
Caldwell: We'll use my password.
Rodney: No, we'll use mine.
Caldwell: Why? Because you don't trust me?
Rodney: No, because it's a 26-digit alpha-numeric code that I may have to enter multiple times and I haven't gotten around to memorizing yours yet.
- Subverted. In trying to access Dr. McKay's account to fix a computer error, Teyla laments about not knowing the password, and Sheppard responds with the following (see the quote). He reveals that the only reason McCay even entered it in his presence is because he didn't think "your typical grunt" would remember it. Unfortunately for Rodney, Sheppard has Mensa-level IQ
Sheppard (typing and speaking): One six four three one eight seven nine one nine six eight four two.
Sheppard: See? Doesn't take a genius.
Teyla: ... it doesn't?
Sheppard: Sixteen Forty Three is the year Isaac Newton was born; Eighteen Seventy Nine, Einstein, Nineteen Sixty Eight-
Teyla: The year Rodney was born.
Teyla: Wait, weren't there other numbers?
- A warden in Days of Our Lives has "lockdown" as his password. To make matters worse, it's written on a sticky note in his desk.
- An episode of Mission: Impossible had a former dictator's computer protected by two passwords. The first one? The dictator's own name. The second? Anything Goes, his favorite musical which he watches 24/7 and has posters of all over his office.
- Justified in an episode of Hack when the characters are trying to use stolen ATM cards to get cash out of an ATM. Mike notes that the one thing the banks tell you not to make your PIN is your birthday, and reasons that they wouldn't do this unless some people actually did make their PIN their birthday. They try a number of cards before eventually discovering one whose PIN is the owner's birthday.
- Subverted in Psych, where Shaun Spencer Sherlock Scans the room, and then correctly gives the password. When his friend expresses surprise, he points out that the password is written on the bottom of the (raised) computer, and he simply read the reflection on the CD case. Played straight when the clue to a safe code is the physical measurement of a man's wife (36-24-34).
- In The X-Files:
- When Scully needed to access Mulder's computer, it only took her a few guesses to come up with TRUSTNO1.
- In "Memento Mori", Mulder and Kurt Crawford, a surprisingly friendly clone, try to hack into a system so that they could download some secret files about abducted women who were treated for cancer. Kurt does not have a clue, but Mulder picks up a snow globe with the word 'Vegreville' on it. Kurt types VEGREVILLE, and they are in.
- In an episode of The Office, Dwight boasts that he has installed password protection on all his accounts to prevent identity theft. Jim asks if the password is 'Frodo.' Dwight immediately denies it, but starts furtively typing on his keyboard. Jim then asks if he'd just changed it to 'Gollum,' which Dwight denies again, before furtively typing some more.
- When Dwight is (briefly) fired, Karen is given the job of going over all his accounts and files but finds that he has locked each one with a different password (each of which is a mythical beast of some kind)
- In a later episode, the server goes down, and they need to figure out the password (set by an IT guy who had since been replaced), so after they unsuccessfully try some default ones, Dwight, not being Genre Savvy, quits trying to guess it and decides to brute force it (manually), starting with 0000000. Jim cuts him off after 0000001, and they go back to guessing swordfish-type passwords, which eventually works.
Michael Scott: I remember when I heard it, I laughed but Pam got upset.
Kevin: Try 'bigboobs' (Jim tries it, nothing)
Dwight: Try it with a 'z'.
Jim: Ok, we're in.
- At the end of one episode, there's a scene where three interns who finished their internship are talking to the camera and stating what they learned at Dunder Mifflin. One said she learned that half of the staff have their computer password set as "password".
- A masked orgy in It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia is guarded by the password "orgy". (Or, as Danny DeVito puts it, "ooooooorrrrrgggggyyyyyy".) Of course, given the... rather low caliber of the participants, it doesn't look like they're in a hurry to turn anyone down.
- The short-lived Tremors TV series featured a scene where circumstances force survivalist Burt Gummer to reveal that the password to his home/bunker's front door is the name of his long-departed ex-wife.
- In an episode of CSI, the number keys on the safe each play a different note, and the code is "Three Little Maids From School Are We". The safe's owner being an avid Gilbert and Sullivan fan with posters to that effect.
- One episode of the Canadian sitcom, Corner Gas:
Hank: I came up with the best password, you'll never be able to guess it!
Brent: Is it "password"?
Hank: Uhh... No?
- Hank later changes it and tells everyone that "This time, it's not password". It turns out his password is "notpassword".
- Lampshaded in Leverage:
Parker: Forty-two seconds.
Parker: To rob this bank. One security guard who's never fired his gun before, two closed-circuit cameras outside, one inside, and a Glenn-Reider safe built in the '50s whose default combination is the birthdate of the manager's wife! Get in, get out, forty-two seconds.
- This trope was once both averted and invoked in "The Reunion Job." The mark's final password was impossible to crack, so the team spends the night implanting a new password via Subliminal Advertising for him to replace it with when Nate told him Elliot was in his office.
- The code to Parker's home/warehouse is Sophie's real name. At that point in the series only three people knew it and they are all friends that she trusts.
- In Cheers, Rebecca Howe's password into her corporation's computer system is "Sweet Baby," which is what she calls her millionaire boyfriend, Robin Colcord. He uses this to break into the computer system and indulge in some pretty extensive insider trading. Her reaction when she finds out is the unforgettable, "I am too stupid to live!"
- Criminal Minds
- In the pilot episode, when the password was the song the criminal used to fall asleep ("Enter Sandman")
- Done very creepily in second season, when the password to a pedophile elementary school principal's computer was "save them"
- The creepiness is somewhat diminished when it turns out it's just the criminal's chat username (mehtevas) written backwards. Reid figures it out by writing it down on a piece of paper and holding it in front of a mirror, which he wouldn't have done if the criminal hadn't said "I want to save them" out loud. Amusingly, the computer had a good defensive measure in that it had a virus set to wipe out the contents of the HD if three wrong passwords were entered in a row, so the perp only got caught because he didn't think a decent password was needed on top of that.
- In third season, the teenage criminal's password was his dead mother's name.
- Penelope Garcia's password to get into a file on her computer was "Gilman Street", after the punk rock club in California, which Garcia may be a fan of.
- JJ managed to guess the password of a teen's computer because the girl was a fan of vampires — the password was "Cullen". Reid didn't get the reference.
- Another season three example, Hotch guesses the code to a deceased mans safe after correctly guessing that it was not his wife's birthday, but the U.S Marine corps birthday. The man in question was very proud of his military background. Granted, Hotch guessed wrong the first time, but still.
- In "Hit/Run", Prentiss is trying to disable a bomb that has been put on Will. She's allowed three guesses and blows two before correctly deducing it's the name of the UnSub's partner/lover. Not that it really matters, as entering the code triggers a secondary activation forcing her to cut a wire instead. Fortunately, she deduces which one.
- In Home Improvement, Tim does a Tool Time episode from his house about installing a home security system, by filming himself as he installs his own security system. First Al suggests using the name of a pet or loved one for the security system password, then Tim says his password on the air.
Tim: For instance, I picked "sabre saw".
Al: Perhaps now you'd like to choose a password that our viewing audience hasn't heard.
Tim: (pause) Perhaps. For all you criminals out there, it might not be another tool. It might be a car.
- Subverted in Little Mosque on the Prairie, Rayyan tries to get into Amaar's voicemail trying obvious codes like "Amaar" and "Islam" but gives up when she realizes it's not going to work. Double Subverted when at the end of the episode Amaar enters in his password: Rayyan.
- Knight Rider (2008) "Knight Fever": Sarah tries to crack the computer of a scientist she once dated. After a spiel about "512-bit encryption" making it impossible to break in, Mike correctly guesses that the password is "SARAH". Because, apparently, Sarah is such a hottie that anyone who had ever dated her would automatically spend the rest of his life obsessed over her. (Admittedly, this has been true of every former lover of Sarah's the audience has met.) Or the guy's just lazy.
- An episode of Murder, She Wrote featured a deceased computer tycoon who set his PC's password to "OPENDOOR", on the arrogant assumption that nobody would expect him to use something so obvious. The protagonists stumble upon it through a sudden flash of insight.
- Subverted in Power Rangers RPM when Dr K chose Ziggy's name as her password, based on the fact that everyone thought she hated him, when in fact, she seems to have feelings for him. In fact, it's possible she intentionally pretends to hate him so that no-one will guess the password. Then un-subverted when Summer guesses it anyway.
- On one episode of The Secret World of Alex Mack Alex's father's supposedly "creative" password is easily guessed: it is his wife's name backwards. "Creative you ain't," his daughter says to herself upon figuring it out.
- In an episode of Seinfeld the plot revolves around George's ATM code 'bosco'. In one scene Kramer almost guesses it by reasoning out George's personality and sweet tooth.
- On the tie-in website for Victorious, Robbie mentions that he tried to lock Rex out of the computer. Rex gets back on and then mentions that Robbie should have chose a better password than "Tori Vega loves me"
- The Tribe:
- The super secret password protecting all research regarding the Virus is please. The resident genius over-thought and didn't think to try it himself.
- On a related note, some episodes later, the tribe is at the lab they think might help them figure out the antidote - Jack and Dal try to get anything to happen with the computer system, but nothing does until Jack, again accidentally, discovers that the system is voice activated.
- Lois and Clark does it at least twice: in one episode they successfully get into a Citizen Kane wannabe's computer with the password "Rosebud". In another, Lex Luthor's illegitimate son is trying to hack into his dad's research archives. There are four words, and he believes these are the names Lex planned to call his legitimate kids after he married Lois. He gets three names out of her, but has a problem with the fourth until he has a flash of insight that it's the name she chose: "Clark".
- In a third example, Clark hacks into a program named "Valhalla" by using his super-speed to work his way through an alphabetical list of Norse Mythology names. In this case, Clark was overestimating the cleverness of the programmer, as it turns out he chose the most obvious name: "Odin".
- In one episode, Lois hides a computer expert who's framed for a crime in her house. When she gets back, he's on her computer, so she reprimends him for hacking into it. But it turns out he didn't have to, he just correctly guessed her password to be "Superman".
- It's played with in another episode. Lois and Clark are trying to break in into a warehouse, and Clark uses his heat vision to fry the numeric pad lock. When Lois asks how did he open the door, Clark claimed to have guessed the password to be an important date for the villain.
- Season four has Dexter, suffering from short-term memory loss, remember that his password is "Harry", which is a name of his father. An odd choice for someone so concerned with secrecy.
- In season eight episode, Dexer tries to get into his sister account. He tries 'PASSWORD', but it's not it. He remembers his sister colourful language and 'FUCKING PASSWORD' gets him in.
- On an episode of NewsRadio, the station's owner, Jimmy James, successfully hacks into a reporter, Matthew's, stock-trading account using the password "cat" (Matthew is known to have several cats). In turn, Matthew successfully hacks into Jimmy James' bank account using the password "Mary Ann" (the name of the news director's mother, whom Jimmy is known to have a crush on).
- Used in this episode of the Finnish comedy show Ilmisten Puolue or "People's Party". The party chairman, Tapsa, announces that the party's website has been hacked and vandalized. After some questioning, Tapsa admits that, due to his poor memory, he made the password "password" to remember it. After being told that it is the most obvious and overused password ever, he claims that he has changed it to something "unsolvable". Another party member immediately asks if the new password is "123456", which Tapsa confirms. Cue mass Face Palm.
- In the Eureka episode where Allison takes over from Nathan as head of Global Dynamics, if you watch closely, you can see that her passcode is 867-5309.
- Subverted in the BBC4 adaptation of Dirk Gently, in which the time machine self-destructs because the wrong password was entered.
- In one episode of Hustle The Mark's password is the name of his dog. Who guards the warehouse with the laptop in it. And wears a name-tag. Except The whole thing is a set up: the laptop is a plant, the dog belongs to someone else, and that isn't even its real name!
- In the Jonathan Creek episode "Satan's Chimney", a character named Vivian uses her own name as a password. Jonathan correctly deduces that the password was set up by someone else and that they wanted him to find the information it protected.
- In the Midsomer Murders episode "Market for Murder", the password on the Reading Group's secret share market account is 'Gerald'; the name of the late husband of the group's founder (whom she could not go five minutes without mentioning in conversation).
- In Andromeda, it turns out that the override code for Eureka Maru is "Shut up and do as I say."
- In The Suite Life On Deck: Zack hacks into Cody's computer in order to steal one of his old essays. When he's asked for a password he quickly figures it out to be "Bailey", the name of Cody's girlfriend. Zack then mockingly comments on that "At least [Cody] has changed it from 'I Miss Mommy'".
- The West Wing uses swordfish passwords twice. The secret of President Bartlett's MS is signified by "Sagittarius", and to get into the secret operation for foiling Haffley's stem cell vote is the Shave And A Haircut knock. Also in the seventh season, Leo's able to leak a tape using someone else's email because she uses her cat's name as a password.
- In Leonardo, Piero de' Medici guards his "lightning box" with a Clock Punk security system involving a portcullis, a series of numbered levers, and a guillotine. The password is his birthday. The second time Leo tries to get past it, though, he's changed it ... to his son's birthday ... which is the same day, but a different year.
- In an episode of MacGyver, Mac and Jack Dalton are coerced into breaking into a secure museum exhibit which Mac helped design, though Pete set the access code. They run through the standard gamut of obvious codes (such as Pete's birthday) to no avail. Jack then asks if Pete's has regular gambling numbers to which Mac replies "No, he likes golf...GOLF!". Mac then inputs what turns out to be the correct password: "Arnold Palmer's birthday. Pete's hero."
- In an episode of White Collar Neal's girlfriend easily guesses the password to Neal's laptop since it is based on a piece of art Neal admires. Considering how easy to guess the password was, Neal should have been more Genre Savvy and not left the laptop just lying around. As an inversion at the beginning of the episode Neal figures out her ATM password which amazed her since it was a randomly generated number that had no connection to her. Neal cheated by observing what keys she pressed in a reflection.
- In Spooks:
- Ruth expresses absolute shock that the Americans would use 1776 as the keypad code for a secure storage facility in their embassy.
- And in Series 3 a major drug corporation is hacked because they never changed the default password on their system.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit "Educated Guess" features a man who has been raping his niece since she was 14. When the detectives find a lock box which they believe has evidence of this, they first try his birthday and then his wife's birthday to open it. Then they try his niece's birthday, which does open it.
- In the episode, "The Hounds of Baskerville," Sherlock corrects guesses a Major's password to some top-secret CIA information as "Maggie", on the first try.
- In the first episode, one person uses the name of her dead daughter as a password.
- Irene Adler comes up with a four digit password that stumps Sherlock for months. It turns out to be SHER with the critical clue actually included on the "locked" screen. Sherlock lampshades this, noting that if she had just chosen a random alphanumeric code, her plan would have gone off without a hitch. Interestingly, he previously tries a password related to him ("221B"), which fails.
- She also has her safe passcode as her body measurements. Sherlock works it out partly because she hints at it, and partly because he can tell what some of the numbers are based on the key usage. In any case, it's a blind as the safe contains a spring-trapped gun along with the actual valuable. Luckily Sherlock works that out as well.
- In Being Human, George is a genius with an IQ in the 150s, but he admits that all of his internet passwords are 'password1'.
- On Gossip Girl Nate's password has been "soccer" since the fifth grade.
- On an episode of Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, the password to shut down some homicidal teddy bears is the word they keep repeating: "Destroy."
- Subverted, played straight, and both times lampshaded in the Supernatural episode "The Girl with the Dungeons and Dragons Tattoo".
- While trying to hack into Frank's encrypted hard drive, Charlie thinks she found the password in the remarkably simple "WarGames" when this yields results. Then Frank's hard drive opens a program revealing that it's a false lead and taunts her.
- Played straight while she's hacking into Dick Roman personal computer, which is locked by the password "W1nn1ng".
- In "Live Free Or Twihard", a fan of a popular vampire fiction franchise uses the name of one of the actors from the movie as her password.
- In Teen Wolf Scott's somewhat one track mind has a negative effect on his computer security.
- 30 Rock:
Tracy: Kenneth should have given you the code word.
Tracy: That's it!
- In another episode, Liz guesses Jenna's Twitter password in one try. It's "Me69". (1969 is the year Jenna was born, as mentioned in a previous episode.)
- In the Warehouse 13 episode "13.1", the password Hugo Miller uses to secure his groundbreaking AI is his cat's name. The length of time the password has been in the system accidentally makes this more secure, as everyone but Hugo has forgotten what the cat's name was. Fortunately for the agents, Hugo's accident left him very talkative.
- In an episode of Scrubs Ted asks JD not to watch him type his password... then says it aloud as he's typing it (it's "alligator3").
- In Wizards of Waverly Place, Justin, in trying to activate the manual override self-destruct mode on a Time Bomb missile to blow up an asteroid, is told that there are 100,000 possible 5-digit combinations. Of course, Alex gets it right on the first guess, with "1-2-3-4-5".
- On Revenge, Emily's password for her laptop with the information about her father and the Graysons is "infinity," which is a particularly poor choice because she uses two interlocked infinity symbols ("infinity times infinity") as her personal symbol.
- In The Blacklist, the FBI's super tough, uncrackable password in order to secure the prison for the notorious prisoner in FBI history is..."Romeo" (ref. "Anslo Garrick (Part 1)".
- In one episode of Gilmore Girls, Emily tells Lorelei in utmost confidence the password to her panic room is "One... one... one... one... one...." It's the default code and she doesn't know how to change it. In a later episode, after Rory's come to move in with her, she repeats the same password and again warns never to tell anyone. Though Lorelei mocks her, neither one explains how easy it is to guess a default password.
- Played sadly straight in an episode of Castle, where it's determined that a murdered businessman had a secret bank account... the password to which the businessman had written in pen on his chest... and it was a 6 digit number.
- Played for Laughs in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.. The verbal pass phrase to disengage Skye's Walking Techbane bracelet is "disengage bracelet."
Coulson: I thought you'd like that.
- In Haven, Nathan guesses the password for Audrey's laptop in one try: "lucy", her "mother's" name.
- Averted in Degrassi. In the opening double episode, Emma's friends try but fail to guess her email password. They then have to do some hasty but plausible research to figure out the answer to her security question.