Follow TV Tropes


Film / Weird Science

Go To

"She's alive! ALIVE!"
Dr. Frankenstein, Bride of Frankenstein, which happens to be airing as Lisa first appears.

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

Gary (Hall) and Wyatt (Ilan Mitchell-Smith) are Stereotypical Nerds (if unattractive only by Hughes' standards) who are bullied at school. At home, Wyatt's Jerk Jock older brother Chet (Paxton) 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 (LeBrock), 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. A Remake was announced in 2013 but has apparently landed in Development Hell.

This film provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Actor Allusion: According to Wyatt, Gary claimed to have a girlfriend in Canada.
  • 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.
  • Adaptation Expansion: The comic book story the film was based on was produced in the early 1950s, with the film being set in the 80s.
  • An Aesop: "When are you gonna learn that people will like you for who you are, and not for what you can give them?"
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Attempted Rape: It's implied that Chet might have tried to do this to Lisa (or at least gotten more than a little fresh with her) after Wyatt and Gary left near the end; of course, he was seriously Bullying a Dragon, as the next scene with the two of them showed.
  • Back Blocking: Early in the party segment, one of the partygoers blocks the view of the buffet, and when he moves aside a few seconds later, all of the food has been eaten.
  • Badass Boast: When Gary's dad threatens to throw Lisa out of his house, her rejoinder is "Don't threaten me, Al! You're out of shape, I'll kick your arse!"
  • Barrier-Busting Blow: When the bikers start trashing the Wild Teen Party, Gary and Wyatt hide in the coat closet. One of the bikers punches through the wall, grabs Wyatt and drags him out.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Lisa may be nice, but beware that she is the hi-tech equivalent of a Djinn or Fae (and both are usually not very nice) and will fuck up your day if you anger her. Chet learned this the hard and humiliating way. Could have been worse, however.
    Lisa: Just for that I ought to give you a set of elephant balls!
  • Big Brother Bully: Chet, and he's much worse than most.
  • Big SHUTUP: The scene where Gary's parents meet and confront Lisa. First, Gary tries to stop his dad, Al, and Lisa's heated argument with both immediately respond by shouting him "shut up!" altogether. Later, Al shouts "shut up" again when it's Gary and his mom's turn to argue.
  • Born as an Adult: Lisa comes to life as an adult, since she was created to be the "perfect woman."
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: At the very end, after ordering the gym class to "drop and give [her] twenty," Lisa looks directly at the camera and winks goodbye.
  • Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu: Chet gets more than he expected when he starts putting the moves on Lisa.
  • But Now I Must Go: At the end of the film, Lisa realizes that Gary and Wyatt no longer need her because they've found their confidence and gotten real girlfriends. After tearfully saying goodbye to the boys and giving them each a farewell kiss, she vanishes into thin air.
  • Buxom Beauty Standard: While Gary and Wyatt consider giving their girlfriend enormous breasts, Wyatt states that "Anything more than a handful and you risk a sprained tongue." Ian and Mike, however, have no such restraint and request inhumanly large breasts.
  • Casting Gag: Vernon Wells as a post-apocalyptic biker, along with Michael Berryman.
  • Caught with Your Pants Down: Wyatt and Gary's Establishing Character Moment as they lust after girls just before getting pantsed.
  • 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 Car: Lisa creates a pink '59 Cadillac Series 62 convertible for herself, a Porsche 928 S for Wyatt and a Ferrari Mondial QV for Gary.
  • Cool Versus Awesome: Gary and Wyatt give Lisa both the brain of Albert Einstein and the personality of David Lee Roth.
  • Did They or Didn't They?: After Wyatt passes out drunk following the trip to the blues club, Lisa offers herself to Gary. The next morning Wyatt is wearing Lisa's panties and she comments that he passed out before she could finish her "gymnastics routine", leaving the viewer to wonder just what exactly happened between the two of them.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lisa is named after a girl who kicked Gary in the nuts. For saying hello to her. One can only hope she faced consequences.
  • 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 Gary was just taking a shit while talking to the two cute girls.
  • The '80s: Many calling cards of the time period, including big hair, big shoulders, nuclear missiles and low-power magical computers.
  • '80s Hair: Lisa, big time, though in some scenes her hair is bigger than in others, and never quite so big as in the poster.
  • Extreme Graphical Representation: Hacking into a government computer looks vaguely like a game of Tempest. Getting locked out of files includes graphics of skulls and spooky sound effects.
  • Fanservice Extra: Two of them, with Exactly What It Says on the Tin character names in the end credits:
    • "Girl in Upside Down Bathroom", who gives a gratuitous up-skirt Panty Shot as she tumbles along the wall and onto the ceiling.
    • "Girl Playing Piano", who hangs on for dear life as almost all of her clothes—and the rest of the living room furnishings—get sucked up into the fireplace and launched out the chimney.
  • Forced Transformation: Chet, whom Lisa temporarily transforms into a blob resembling an anthropomorphic pile of feces. The Chet-blob's crew cut hairstyle gives Morphic Resonance.
  • The Freelance Shame Squad:
    • All the shoppers at the mall stop to point and laugh uproariously when Wyatt and Gary gets an Icee dumped on their heads.
    • The attendees at the party all laugh uproariously when the bikers make fun of Wyatt and Gary in spite of the bikers still being in the process of terrorizing everyone at the party.
  • Girlfriend in Canada: When Gary comes up the idea of making a woman, Wyatt asks what about his girlfriend in Canada. Gary mumbles something about her being all the way away in Canada and quickly changes the subject.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Wyatt and Gary. Extremely close and intimate (socially), but they take it for granted so much that it is overlooked by the viewers. This movie actually has three sets of hetero life partners - Wyatt and Gary, their end-of-movie girlfriends Deb & Hilly, and their bully/rivals Max & Ian.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Chet tells Wyatt, "Cover yourself, for God's sake!" and whisks his own towel off to toss it at him, leaving Chet himself standing naked.
  • Hollywood Hacking: The boys hack into a government mainframe to get more power for their computations, which is complete with Extreme Graphical Representation.
  • 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.
  • I Never Told You My Name: Aside from the Badass Boast above, Wyatt's dad realizes Lisa knew his name without him telling her.
  • Incoming Ham: "So....what would you little maniacs like to do first?"
  • Informed Attractiveness: Several characters comment on how flawlessly attractive Lisa is.
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: When Lisa takes a shower with Gary and Wyatt, she seem completely oblivious to the effect that her nudity is having on the boys, and instead thanks them for giving her such a perfect body. Subverted in that she's not so innocent. She later tells one of the girls to shower with them because it was such a mind-blowing experience.
  • Instant A.I.: Just Add Water!: Lightning, in this case. The doll is also a critical factor, unless the Pershing missiles somehow have human intelligence as well.
  • Jerk Jock: Chet, who flunked out of military school and spends his time bullying his little brother.
  • 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.
  • Mama Bear: Lisa gets VERY protective of the boys, especially Wyatt, whose Big Brother Bully she was VERY close to strangling
  • A Man Is Always Eager: At least one of the main guys.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Lisa was created to be one, as the "perfect woman" and she gets her fair share of Fanservice scenes.
  • Nerds Are Pervs: The film is a Wish-Fulfillment story about Gary and Wyatt, two socially awkward nerds who are so desperate for romantic and sexual female attention, they decide to build a simulation of their perfect woman, Lisa, that ends up coming to life due to a freak thunderstorm. Their main priorities are her physical specs and they raid Wyatt's Porn Stash for material to base her off of. They also take advantage of Lisa being an Innocent Fanservice Girl to shower with her: them, clothes on, her, completely nude.
  • 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.)
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: In spite of having a Magical Girlfriend at their beck and call, the boys are so timid and awkward that they never so much as touch her of their own volition. Lisa has to throw herself at Wyatt to get him to kiss her, and it's left ambiguous as to whether they did anything else. Ultimately the story is about the boys finding their confidence to get real girlfriends rather than spending all their time banging a magical sex slave.
  • Non-Nude Bathing: Gary, Wyatt, and Lisa take a shower together, and the boys keep their jeans and tennis shoes on.
  • The Nudifier: When all of the furniture starts being pulled up the chimney, the blonde girl playing the piano has first her dress, and then her underwear ripped off her by the same force, before being sucked up the chimney and dumped in the water herself.
  • Only a Lighter: Fairly early on, someone pulls out a pistol and it turns out to be a lighter. Later on it somehow gets replaced ... with a pistol.
  • Pants-Pulling Prank: In the opening scene Gary and Wyatt are pantsed by their bullies in the gym, in front of all the girls.
  • Physical Fitness Punishment At the end of the movie, Lisa shows up as a gym teacher and tells all the boys to "drop and give me twenty." The all-male gym class facepalms collectively and falls over backwards.
  • Porn Stash: When designing Lisa, the boys use Wyatt's hidden stash of porno mags to find a picture of a woman they find suitably attractive.
  • Pygmalion Plot: Subverted; Gary and Wyatt certainly intend this at first, but end up with something (or someone) far beyond that bounds of this trope.
  • Reckless Gun Usage: When Chet is enraged over the state of the house, he points a shotgun at Gary and Deb's faces, going so far as to contort Deb's nose painfully with the barrel. Then he whacks both of their heads with the barrel! This is played as a Kick the Dog moment rather than a near-homicide.
  • Recycled In Space: The Cat in the Hat (or 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.
  • Revised 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."
  • Rule of Funny: Snow indoors? A Pershing missile? A blue paint job? From Beyond the Fourth Wall? All at the same time? Why not!
  • Second-Face Smoke: Wyatt's Big Brother Bully Chet slowly exhales a cloud of smoke into Gary's face when he is threatening them after they come home drunk.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: Downplayed. Lisa helps Gary and Wyatt become more mature and confident not by having sex with them (though it's implied she did sleep with Wyatt), but by forcing them to confront and overcome their own insecurities.
  • Sexy Shirt Switch: Wyatt absentmindedly puts on a pair of Lisa's panties after they spend the night together. Chet doesn't react well when he sees him.
  • Shoot Out the Lock: Chet uses his shotgun to blow open the lock on the door to the room when Wyatt and Hilly are sleeping. This was probably completely unnecessary.
  • Shout-Out: One of the bullies is nicknamed Mad Max. Later, 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, too busy Eating the Eye Candy.
  • Speed Sex: Implied to be how Lisa and Wyatt sleeping together turned out. She says he "passed out" 10 seconds into her "gymnastic routine".
  • Statuesque Stunner: Lisa is quite tall (Kelly LeBrock is 5'8"), and when she wears heels she's easily as tall as Gary and Wyatt.
  • Team Mom: Lisa, who does her best to help the boys.
  • Tempting Fate: Chet really shouldn't have challenged Lisa to "do her worst".
    Gary: (seeing the "new" Chet) That's nasty.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Gary and Wyatt have to grow some to evict the party crashers.
  • Toplessness from the Back: Lisa during her Shower Scene.
  • Train Escape (version 1): Gary evades a police pursuit in this manner.
  • Trapped in TV Land: When things start going haywire at the party, one of the party-goers gets trapped in an episode of The Munsters. He remains trapped in the TV as people try changing the channel.
  • 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 complimenting the boys on the house.
  • Water Guns and Balloons: Lisa threatens Gary's parents into letting their son attend a Wild Teen Party with a realistic-looking water gun, as she eventually reveals to Gary after she pulls it off.
  • Weird Science: An example, though 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.
  • Workout Fanservice: The film opens with Gary and Wyatt ogling the girls gymnastics practice in the gym, with plenty of close-ups on leotard clad butts as the girls straddle the pommel horse, etc.
  • Would Hit a Girl: When Chet bursts on on Gary and Deb post-coitus, he pushes his shotgun barrel into Deb's nose and then whacks her head with the barrel even while Gary pleads that she had nothing to do with the state of the house.