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Geeky Analogy

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A character (often a Nerd) explains something using a reference that only another Nerd could understand.

Usually along the lines of:

Character A: "I need advice about _______."
Character B: "Remember when ________ fought _______ in issue 24? That's what you need to do!"
Character A: "I feel like _________ when he was forced to ________ in episode 57 of ______."

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  • Marvin uses one in Daddy Day Care when the guys tell him they're shutting down the day care center, comparing it to when Spock betrayed Kirk in Star Trek V.
  • In The Wedding Singer, during their first conversation, Julia tells Robbie that she feels like she's destined to be alone forever, and he sympathizes by saying, "Oh, kinda like the Incredible Hulk, huh?" She doesn't understand what he means at all, but is nevertheless amused out of her sadness.
  • Road Trip:
    "Socrates is like the Vince McMahon of philosophy. He started it all."

  • In the book Tithe, Corny comes out to his Star Trek-loving parents by saying "You know that forbidden love Kirk has for Spock? Well, me too."
  • Bill Kingsley in Don't Call Me Ishmael! loves those. He even gets to use them in a debate in the first book when the team has to argue that Fantasy and science-fiction are relevant in Real Life. The main characters' attempt to win their school's sports competition in the third book is compared to the quest to destroy the One Ring.

    Live Action TV 
  • The Trio (and later just Andrew) in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. All the time.
  • Inverted in Drake & Josh when Josh teaches Drake about atoms and molecules by comparing it to guitar chords.
  • Another inversion in WKRP in Cincinnati; Venus teaches a gang leader about the structure of the atom using gang references.
  • Generally how the main characters of The Big Bang Theory explain anything.
    • Comparing situations to Schrödinger's Cat has become a Running Gag on the show.
  • Eric Forman would usually compare his problems with those of Luke Skywalker.
  • Mark from Peep Show frequently compares his experiences with World War II and other history, especially in the first series.
  • The Thick of It: Attempted by Malcolm Tucker here. Trying to convince resident Star Wars fan Ollie Reeder to support his plan to get rid of Opposition Leader Nicola Murray, he uses perhaps the worst analogy in history.
  • Subverted in The Flash (2014); the STAR Labs geek squad describe time travel in terms of Back to the Future and The Terminator, and the decidedly non-geeky Joe West gets the references, because everyone's seen those movies.


     Professional Wrestling 


  • Dave does this a lot in Narbonic, although since he works for a mad scientist, his analogies with Star Trek and Marvel Comics are usually highly appropriate.

    Web Original 
  • Gameboys: Used to heartbreaking effect when Cairo compares how motivated he is to master a game only to forget it when a new game comes along to Gavreel's romantic pursuit of him.
    Cairo: You know, every time I discover a new game, I just want to master it in every way. I want to level up fast, especially if it's a difficult game. Once you've mastered a game and a more exciting game comes along, you forget about it.

  • We're Alive: Angel and Michael are trying to figure who among the survivors is The Mole who just shot Pippin. When talking about a survivor named Lewis, Angel mentions that he was on the top floor of the Tower at the time of the incident.
    Angel: "So unless he's secretly Jay Garrick..."
    Michael: "Who?"
    Angel: "The... never mind, it was a nerd joke."

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons:
    • Martin uses an old-timey reference which the creators need to put up a subtitle to explain, because Martin uses the word in its original meaning. "Individually we are weak, like a single twig, but as a bundle we form a mighty faggot." fag-got (fag' - et) n. a bundle of sticks for fuel. (Fr. fagot, a bundle of sticks).
    • In "Bart Gets an F", Bart breaks down in tears after failing a crucial history test that (for once) he'd put a serious effort into passing, describing it as "Now I know how George Washington felt when he surrendered Fort Necessity to the French in 1754", since he tried his best but still failed. His teacher is impressed enough by the obscure reference to give him a bonus mark, which tips him over into a passing grade.

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