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Embarrassing Password

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"WARMACHINEROX with an x, all caps."
Iron Patriot, Iron Man 3

Passwords are a necessary evil in this modern world we live in, where we want things kept secret from others. Good passwords are often long and complicated affairs involving random smatterings of letters, numbers, and symbols. Bad passwords are simple things like "password" and "12345" and "cat".

Then, there are the embarrassing passwords. These passwords more often than not overlap with the "bad" ones, but they're doubly bad because they reveal something that the owner might not want others to know. And when that password gets out, hilarity is likely to ensue. The password to the evil super genius's main computer is "Adam Sandler"? I guess even the smartest of geniuses can like stupid comedy sometimes....


Or perhaps they deliberately choose a silly password precisely because (they believe) no one would guess it. After all, who would think a Properly Paranoid security chief would choose "Peekaboo" as their spoken password?

Compare The Password Is Always "Swordfish".


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    Films — Live-Action 
  • You Only Live Twice has a Trust Password that Bond is supposed to expect from his (as yet unknown to him) contact in the Japanese S.I.S. The contact turns out to be a Japanese man, leading to the trust password:
    Tiger Tanaka: I... love you.
    James Bond: I'm glad we got that out of the way.
  • An inversion happens in GoldenEye; genius hacker Boris is constantly using sexual remarks towards a woman's anatomy for all his passwords and isn't ashamed to let others know it — what is right in front of you and open very large doors? ("KNOCKERS" Later in the movie, Natalya gets an opportunity to trace Boris's location because he's online backing up his files, but she can't figure out the current password — "You sit on this, but can't take it with you." Natalya tries every embarrassing word she can think of for a woman's butt. Stumped, she tell Bond about it, and he replies with "CHAIR". Natalya is embarrassed that she didn't think of that.
  • Spaceballs classically lampoons this trope. The password is, naturally, 1-2-3-4-5 (the kind of password "an idiot would have on his luggage." Which, of course, it turns out he does).
  • In Spy Kids, the password to the base the kids find turns out to be their names. Unfortunately...
  • The Peacemaker: The German boss of the mafia front company is forced to reveal the password to his computer, which turns out to be "Hasselhoff". Guess Germans love David Hasselhoff.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Rhodey spends most of Iron Man 3 trying to defend his armor's rebranding from "War Machine" to "Iron Patriot". Then when Tony presses him for his password to do some hacking, he admits it's "WARMACHINEROX". The terrorists Rhodey is holding up at the time laugh at him until he points a bigger gun at them.
    • In Spider-Man: Far From Home, Happy Hogan's smartphone password is "password". Peter calls him on this when Happy's supposed to be a security consultant.
  • In Bring Me the Head of the Machine Gun Woman, the pass phrase to get into Mecánico's workshop is the deliberately homoerotic "I want you to check my oil. You will need to go very deep."

  • There's an old joke about a man who's having his secretary help him set up a password on his new computer. She asks what he wants his password to be. He tells her, "Penis". And the computer says, "Error: Too Short".
  • In the same vein, the joke with a computer being extremely picky with the allowed passwords (use of blanks, special characters, caps, length etc.). The poor user goes berserk and types in a string of obscenities as suggested password. Result: "Sorry, this password is already taken." (Telling your users another user has the same password is terrible security, incidentally — all you've got to do is try that password with each username 'til you get lucky — but it's happened.)
  • A variation on the joke has the user attempting to reset their password after forgetting it, typing in curses out of frustration at arcane security requirements, and being sternly informed passwords cannot be reused. (Or, in more optimistic variations, the password cursing doesn't need to be reset.)

  • Harry Potter:
    • In Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the Ministry of Magic encourages people to devise security questions with their loved ones. One of the security questions between Mr. and Mrs. Weasley is:
      Mr. Weasley: What do you like me to call you when we're alone together?
      Mrs. Weasley: Mollywobbles.
    • The password to Dumbledore's office is always a type of candy. At one point in Goblet of Fire, Harry, trying to get inside, lists off every single magical candy he can think of, only to find the correct one is "Cockroach Cluster".
  • At one point in the Honorverse story Fanatic, Victor Cachat needs to give another character the passwords to some encrypted files. One of those passwords is "shakehertail", and everyone present finds out that a State Security Captain can blush.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The MacGyver (1985) episode "Ugly Duckling" revolves around a teenage computer hacker; at one point, MacGyver has to guess her computer password, and it turns out to be "uglyduckling".
  • One episode of Seinfeld centers around the reveal of George's ATM password, "Bosco". George is ashamed at how much this shows his adoration for the chocolate syrup brand.
  • Veronica Mars:
    • Mayor Woody Goodman's password is stated to be Mr. Good Wood (without the period, of course).Considering this is only an episode before we learn he is a child molester, this is also a disturbing password
    • Veronica comments on how adorable it is that criminology TA and wannabe amateur sleuth Tim Foyle's password is Dick Tracy.
  • Babylon 5: Invoked by security chief Michael Garibaldi. His spoken password for critical authorizations of computer functions is...
    Ivanova: "Peekaboo"?
    Garibaldi: Hey, would you have guessed it?
  • In one episode of Power Rangers RPM, the Rangers have to figure out Dr. K's password to locate and rescue her and Ziggy. Summer eventually figures it out that it's... "Ziggy", though she covers for K by claiming to the rest of the team that it's "Mr Marshmallow" after her Sweet Tooth.
  • In one episode of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody London sends the Delivery Not Desired email Maddie writes to Mr. Moseby and the group breaks into Mr. Moseby's office to delete it before he reads it. When attempting to guess Mr. Moseby's email password, Esteban suggests that it may be "Esteban Is The Most Amazing Person In The World".
  • I, Claudius: Emperor Caligula makes the head of his Praetorian Guard use the password "Give us a kiss", which he thinks is quite amusing. The humiliated man gets his revenge by joining the plot to have him assassinated.
  • The Caesars, like I, Claudius after it, includes a nod to Emperor Caligula's fondness for giving his guards embarrassing passwords, such as "Cupid" or "Loveykins", which make them sound as though they are flirting with each other. "Loveykins" in particular is the last straw for Cassius Chaerea, who joins the conspiracy against Caligula.
  • Get Smart: Max has to contact an unknown double agent with the password "Pussycat, pussycat, where have you been?" — he stares uncomfortably at at a big surly hulk until the guy grabs him by the lapels.
    Hulk: Listen, bud, I don't like people to look at me funny!
    Max: Well, if you don't like the way I'm looking at you you're gonna hate what I'm gonna say to you!
  • Discussed in The Wrong Mans. Phil thinks that Lizzie's password is "samhasnopubes", since they had broken up recently.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine reveals that the large, muscular Sgt. Jefford's password is "yogurt", because Terry loves yogurt.

    Video Games 
  • Seemingly used in StarCraft: Brood War's Terran campaign during the mission to infiltrate the Psi Disruptor. One scientist seems a little nervous to admit that his password is "Farnham". (Though it might be more to do with the fact your marines have a gun to his head... he doesn't stay embarrassed for long anyway)
  • In PAYDAY 2, one possible objective in the Hoxton Breakout mission is to hack into the computer of the director of the FBI. After cracking the password, Hoxton can express amusement that the director's password is "iheartrainbows44".

    Web Comics 
  • In Homestuck, Karkat is justifiably unwilling to reveal his password, which doubles as a Call-Back to a previous line addressing him:

    Web Original 
  • Annoy the Bastard Operator from Hell by forgetting your password once too often and he will 1) change it to something embarrassing or insulting and 2) take away your ability to change it again.

    Western Animation 
  • In the final episode of Space Ghost Coast to Coast, while the gang tries to run the show without a budget, Space Ghost tells Zorak and Mortar to go on the internet to order a robot:
    Space Ghost: Sign on with my screenname.
    Moltar: Okay, what's your screenname?
    Space Ghost: "Refresher", password "dianarossfan".
    Zorak: Huh-ho! You like her? [laughs]
    Moltar: Who doesn't?
    Space Ghost: Shut up! Now I don't like her.
  • In the episode "Comet Karmillian" of Phineas and Ferb, Doofenshmirtz's computer password is revealed to be "doofalicious". To add insult to injury, the computer even reads it out aloud.
  • Regular Show: Margret's password to her voicemail is "daddysgirl".
  • An episode of Beavis and Butt-Head had someone who didn't realize they had an embarrassing ATM password. A pro basketball player accidentally left his card in the machine (he tried to make it look like he had been mugged) and when our boys showed up, Beavis decided to type in a rude word just for fun. It turned out "balls" was the pro's password.
  • American Dad!: Not a password, but the activation code for Hailey's programming is something that nobody would ever say by accident: "I'm getting fed up with this orgasm!"
  • An episode of My Gym Partner's a Monkey reveals that Principal Pixiefrog's password is "pollywogadoodle24".
  • Gargoyles has a Played for Drama example, as at the end of the "City of Stone" multi-parter Demona suffers a Villainous BSoD and reveals that the access code needed to end her scheme is "alone". Sadly, she quickly slips back into denial about her actions.
  • In ReBoot, when dealing with pirates (actually, when making a deal with pirates), Dot reveals that her PDA password is "Guardian". This earns amused smiles from her friends.
  • In Code Lyoko, the code for the self-virtualization into the Mountain Sector is "Big Fat Cheese-Head". Aelita claims it's a personal joke between her and Jérémie.
  • In The LEGO Batman Movie, when Alfred reveals he put a Parental Lock on Batman's Supercomputer, Batman says that he can still override it with his "Super Secret Password". Alfred, however, already knows that the password is "Alfred da buttler" with two Ts. Batman bursts into laughter.
  • In Rise of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the boys have to figure out Donnatello's password in order to find a way to split them apart. Mikey comes up with several guesses, like "ilovemybrothers" or their names, but a frustrated Donnie blurts out that it's "Bootyshaker9000".

    Real Life 
  • Emperor Caligula would make his Praetorians give him a humiliating passcode every day (one of them was "priapus"). This is one of the reasons he was assassinated by them.


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