It seems that most characters in fiction missed the memo on making a good Secret Word or pass phrase. They are almost invariably single words, names, or dates of significance to a character which can be easily deduced using a little detective work: the clue is often right there on the desk, in the form of a picture or memento. Or simply spelled out in bold lettering on your commemorative plaque or a wall poster. Another thing that's widely overlooked in fiction is the fact that a password in most cases has to be matched with a username. Many websites and servers nowadays also require you to include mixed-case letters, number, and special characters in an effort to make your password less guessable.note In addition, they lock you out after three tries. Both these measures can be ignored at will in fiction if it serves the plot.
There is a dramatic purpose to this. A character's password can give a glimpse into their mind, by showing what person, thing or concept is occupying their thoughts. Also, it allows for dramatic scenes where the heroes try to guess the villain's password based on what they know about him.
A related trope in fiction is to have the password entry plain and clear—on the screen—for all to see. No sense in bleeping out the characters with asterisks or a mute prompt. Of course, scriptwriting-wise, a particularly amusing password can elicit a humorous response from the audience this way without dialogue exposition.
Examples of Swordfish:
- The English dub of one episode of Lupin III lampshades this with Lupin's unlikely password of "Aye-ahh! Swordfish, open sesame, and other crap like that!"
- Spoofed in Naruto: Sasuke gives a long, complex poem for the team's password; in dismay, Naruto suggests "swordfish" as an alternative. When a ninja impersonating Naruto gives Sasuke the correct password, Sasuke immediately attacks because Naruto would never remember something like that.
- In The Muppet Show Comic Book, two characters meeting have a call-and-response password. The response is "Swordfish swordfish swordfish swordfish swordfish".
- In issue 63 of the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic (IDW) comic series, the password to get into the Sweet Apple Acres definitely-not-a-speakeasy is to "ask for a swordfish, like you're in the know".
- Spoofed in The Adventures of Sam & Max: Freelance Police.
- In "The Thing That Wouldn't Stop It", a character demands a password before adding: "...And if you say 'swordfish,' I'll lose it!" The password ends up being "haggis".
- Later, in Sam and Max: The Mole, the Mob, and the Meatball, one of Sam's guesses for the password to the back room of Ted E. Bear's Mafia-Free Playland and Casino is "swordfish". The real password is the phrase "Leave the guns, take the cannoli."
- And again in Sam and Max: Reality 2.0, where it's one of the guesses for the password to Bosco's bank account. However, the real password is Bosco.
- Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality has a password be "Sword fish melon friend".
- In the non-canon chapter 'Born and Bred' of Various Vytal V Entures Ruby, Yang, and their father have a more complicated song and dance to get to it, but in the end the password to get into the home is even the Trope Namer.
- This Bites!: Referenced in Alabasta - the crew has to work out a Trust Password to make sure it's really one of them and not a transformed Mr. 2 Bon Clay. Luffy suggests "swordfish" and is immediately overruled.
- The indirect trope namer is the Marx Brothers movie Horse Feathers. In a classic routine, Wagstaff (Groucho) is trying to gain entrance to a speakeasy where Baravelli (Chico) is guarding the door. Wagstaff doesn't know the password ("swordfish"), but Baravelli kindly gives him three guesses.
Baravelli: [whispers] It's the name of a fish.
Wagstaff: Let's see. "Mary"
Baravelli: Thatsa no fish!
Wagstaff: Really? She drinks like one...
- This goes on until somehow Wagstaff manages to wind up inside and lock Baravelli outside.
Wagstaff: You can't get in without the password.
Baravelli: Ah, you can't fool me! "Swordfish"!
Wagstaff: No, I got tired of that so I changed it.
Baravelli: Oh, well what's the password now?
Wagstaff: Gee, I forgot it. I better come out there with you!
- Finally, Pinky (Harpo Marx) manages to get inside despite his muteness by pulling a large fish and a sword out of his coat, sticking the one into the other, and presenting it to the doorman.
- This is such a beloved sequesce among Hollywood writers and directors that dozens of later movies homaged it (or homaged homages to it) when it came time to include a password of their own.
- This goes on until somehow Wagstaff manages to wind up inside and lock Baravelli outside.
- Guess what it is in Swordfish. Go on, guess. The Big Bad is a big movie buff, as evidenced by numerous references he makes to various classics through the film, so it was probably supposed to be like that. The German title is "Passwort: Swordfish".
- In this Bluff Check video on how to design a better dungeon, doors locked with a password (as opposed to the cliché "puzzle doors") are illustrated by a picture of a swordfish.
- Code MENT: Lelouch mentions in passing that Suzaku's password for everything is, indeed, "Swordfish".
- On FETCH! with Ruff Ruffman, Ruff chooses this as his password to his security system. He actually has trouble remembering it.
- In the episode "Kennel Kittens Return" of the 2010 version of Pound Puppies, the password for entering the gated community of the target adoptive family is "swordfish".
- Recess: "The Secret Life of Grotke". Used as the password for a magic society.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated episode 16 "The Wild Brood" Both the password and the program/console/Macguffin
Other poor password choices
- In Tenchi in Tokyo Ryouko is confronted by a holographic humanoid interface demanding a password while breaking into a bank. She grabs the interface and brutally slaps it around in frustration. She is immediately granted access as the password is entered by slapping the interface in a certain sequence which Ryouko just happened to duplicate.
- Similar to the aforementioned Tenchi example: In one episode of Lupin III, Lupin and Jigen break into NASA using a series of stolen voice-command passwords. When they encounter one more password than they expected, the pair panics and Lupin swears in frustration—which turns out to be the final password. (Extra note: In the
Gag DubEnglish dub, all the passwords are Star Trek Catch Phrases.)
- The password that Barnette uses to protect the systems of the Nirvana in Vandread is ridiculously simple, yet it proves to be a big hurdle for the Mejale forces—and to the heroes, who try to get away with the ship.
- In an episode of Shaman King, Len logs into his family's database to get some information. He allows his friends to watch him enter the super-secret password, which, after a moment of intense anticipation, turns out to be Enter. Not the word, but the key. Everyone promptly pratfalls as Len brags that it's the greatest password ever.
- In School Days, Setsuna is able to reconfigure Makoto's cell phone by guessing correctly, at the very first try, that he used his birthday as password.
- In the manga of Battle Royale, Mimura hacks into the school's system and says the password stupidly easy: Welcome.
- In New Getter Robo, the password to documents about the use of Getter Rays as weapons was in fact CUTIE HONEY.
- Averted and referenced in Chobits. When Hideki tries to set a password on Sumomo, the first thing he tries to set it as is his last name...which is immediately rejected because it's so easy. Then he changes it to Chobits, and Sumomo even suggests that he uses a mix of hiragana and katakana (and English letters and numbers, but he doesn't use any of those).
- Played with in Black Lagoon. A two-part password to identify a hired bodyguard as genuine is "May the force be with you" ("The Triad is super cool." in the Japanese version). The lack of creativity behind this password is lampshaded by both courier and bodyguard. The trick is that it's not the real password. The real password was handed out in sealed envelopes to the courier and bodyguard beforehand, and having anyone complete the fake one would identify an impostor and also implicate a leak in the organization.
- In Super Gals, a student has been copying test answers and other data from the school computers to gain near-perfect results on every exam. The school is called Honan and what is the password? "Honan2". The student even lampshades what a stupidly easy to figure out password it was.
- In the Neon Genesis Evangelion episode with Jet Alone, the password to its main computer is "hope" (希望, displayed on a screen, using a Japanese IME to type it in). This is a word you would likely learn in your first semester of Japanese study if you take a class.
- The password for accessing Eva-02's "beast mode" in Rebuild of Evangelion—"za beasto"—isn't all too creative, either. It seems to use voice recognition. Though there are two voice commands before you enter the code specifically for this mode. Its doubtful the other pilots are even aware of inverting controls or a backdoor code to an EVA so at least it has some level of security.
- Detective Conan: In order to shake a suspicious Ran off his trail, Conan deliberately picks a password for his cellphone that is a Homage to Sherlock Holmes, as that's the only password that would be logical for both Conan and Shinichi (who Ran thinks the phone really belongs to). Still, before Ran figures this out, she attempts his birthday, hers, and then just goes straight for the brute force method.
- Ran's father Kogoro isn't that much better: he admits to using things like his birthday or his name, changed to similar-sounding numbers (One, Two, Three, Four, Go!, after all), as passwords.
- Seto Kaiba of Yu-Gi-Oh! successfully hacked into Pegasus J. Crawford's system because he accurately guessed that Pegasus was so vain as to believe no one would get that far. Password? Pegasus. Interestingly, the password in the Japanese version is a tiny bit harder—since, according to Kaiba's logic, the Duelist Kingdom is a metaphorical prison island from which none can exit, the password is a reference to that—"Alcatraz".
- In MegaMan NT Warrior (RockMan.EXE), the cyber door to the room with MegaMan's "frame" in it had a single-digit password (looked to be "2"). Like the word "password," it's a good and bad password at the same time.
- Subverted in the first Patlabor movie. When the protagonist just tries the name of a brilliant programmer as the password to the man's source-code disk, he gets a biblequote from Genesis 11 for his trouble. Oh, and every electronic piece of equipment connected to the computer he was using gets infected with a virus and displays/prints nothing but the word Babel in an endless loop.
- Averted with the knightmares in Code Geass; each has a random sequence of letters and numbers to start each one up. Lloyd plays it straight with access to a weapons system on the Lancelot, telling Suzaku it's his favorite food.
- In both Japanese and English versions of Wolverine, the password on Logan's handheld computer is simply his name. Granted, it was a voice-activated password, but Yukio's "Seriously?" reaction is still the same.
- In Saki, during the "Saki Biyori" spinoff, Maho- who has great potential as a mahjong player but is held back due to constantly making amateur mistakes, having bad habits and her lack of common sense- has her username as her password for her mahjong account. To make matters worse, she writes it on a sticky note where everyone can see it.
- In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, guess the challenge and response chosen by the kids guarding Princess Kushana? "Valley"—"Wind".
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the three Extendeds have "Block Words" which their handlers are supposed to use to subdue them if they get out of control...except that instead of pacifying them, it just makes them go into a terrified panic. However, their programmers chose to use common, everyday words for the Block Words: Stella's is "die", Auel's is "mother", and Sting'snote is "dream". The stupidity of this setup is demonstrated in one episode where Auel gets triggered and raves "Mother's gonna die!", which in turn sets off Stella.
- In Danganronpa 3, a researcher's password to his computer is "curry rice". It's his favorite food, and it's also posted on the computer monitor. His research involves human experimentation, so...unwise choices there.
- In Bloom Into You, during the school play, Touko's character, a high school girl who has lost her memory, tries to get into her cell phone in order to find some clue as to what sort of person she was. She first tries her birthday, August 21, but that fails, and then tries two other dates that are important to her- the sports festival on June 19 and Christmas Eve- but those don't work, either. She then adds the three numbers together and gets in.
- Downplayed in One Piece. The Thousand Sunny's refrigerator has a combination lock to prevent Luffy from raiding it. Sanji, who's in charge of cooking, set the password to 7326. This doesn't sound like such a bad password, until you realize that the numbers can respectively be pronounced as "Na," "Mi," "Ni," and "Ro," and the two female members of the crew are named Nami and Nico Robin, and Sanji has a crush on both of them. Both Nami and Robin know the password, but since Sanji often gives the girls preferential treatment, it isn't clear whether they figured it outnote or he told them.
- Used in Gold Digger, by Gina Diggers. User: Password, Pass: User. Even Gina couldn't figure it out, since she couldn't remember WHAT stupid thing she did! Gina Diggers continued the poor passwords with her personal laptop's password "Studpants", which for Gina is no surprise at all—and caused trouble when one of her sister Brianna's AIs did get access to it. To make matters worse for Gina's precious computer security, two other characters share much of her memories (sorta three, but it's hard to imagine a password that would keep out a time traveling future self) and would have an extra-easy time guessing.
- Lampshaded in an early issue of Runaways:
Chase: The name of their little club? Isn't that sorta obvious?
Karolina: Well, my mom's AOL password is "password". Old people aren't exactly good at this stuff.
- In Watchmen, Nite Owl correctly guesses Ozymandias's password: "Ramses II", the pharaoh of which "Ozymandias" is the Greek name. This is a commonly-used Real Life teaching example of how not to choose a password. The program even helpfully tells him when he enters an incomplete password, allowing him to work out the rest. However, Ozymandius wanted them to guess the password and find his secret lair to complete his grand scheme so that they wouldn't be anywhere near civilization when the Depopulation Bomb goes off.
- Near the end of one Blue Beetle arc, Jaime is captured by the aliens who built the suit and locked in a cell. After he slips his cuffs, he tries poking at the door and wall until he realizes it's voice-commanded.
- In one of the last issues of Nightwing, Oracle is dicking around with Dick Grayson's computer and asks if he wants her to change his password while she's at it. Dick, being an ex-carny, naturally asks her to change it to "big top." Even though Oracle's entire shtick is being good with computers, she does it without telling him what an idiot he is.
- In Cavewoman the phrase needed to open a magical portal is "Oh my God! I don't want to die!". As the portal is guarded by flesh eating yetis, this has resulted in a lot of intruders accidentally saying the activation phrase.
- In one issue of Steel Natasha Irons successfully activates her uncle's Powered Armor with the password "Rosebud".
- In Robin Annual #1 (noteworthy for actually predating the first issue of his ongoing series by several months), Robin III broke into Anarky's home and tried to crack into his computer. After trying every prominent anarchist he could think of, he looks at the screen, which instructs him to "enter passcode." He does, and it works.
- Gen¹³: Averted in DV8; teammate Freestyle has the power to choose an outcome from the Best of All Possible Worlds. This means that the team sends her to tackle anything involving a password, because she can simply choose the "randomly pressed the right keys in the right sequence" possibility. However, a task like that has a lot of variables, so it takes a few minutes of work for her to find the right outcome, and because her body lives through every possibility she sees, she ages rapidly when taxed.
- In Noob, Omega Zell has "Fantöm" that basically all his guildmates know to be his idol, as his password.
- Suzumiya Haruhi no Seitenkan: Kyonko should have known that setting the password to the "MITSURU" folder as her little brother's name was a bad idea. How the blue fuck could Haruki have not guessed that?
- In the Higurashi: When They Cry fanfic Redemption, the password to some information so important that its original finder died for it is... "Umi" (Japanese for "ocean"). Taking this to real Idiot Plot levels, the team attempting to crack the password are stuck for months because they only guess English words. And they know the password is three letters, but no-one points out that 26³ possibilities could be brute-forced by hand in less than a day.
- In Those Lacking Spines Xaldin, Vexen and Lexaeus needs to hack into Mansex's computer in order to stop his and his masters plan. Of course, in order to do so they need a password. After Lexaeus and Xaldin guesses on Xiggykun Akuchan Marleydono HomieXLuxory Secks DemykinsOMGWTFBBQVCR Zexypoo Mansex (which is all the Seme's names in order), Vexen points out that it's both too many letters as well as incredibly stupid and asks what kind of idiot would use such a password. Xaldin answers that Mansex would, since he's the seme of Xemnas whose somebody Xehanort was known for his dumb passwords (see the Video Games folder for more information). Of course, the password's correct.
- In the Catwoman/Batman fanfic series Cat-Tales the password into Bruce's extra-secret partition of the Batcave mainframe is his father's first name, his mother's first name, and "justice." Noted here because once you sit down at the keyboard of a terminal hidden in the cave under the man's Stately Manor...
- In a Hetalia fanfic America's password was 'fuck!Russia!fuck' during the Cold War, which Russia guessed. He then started to change his passwords from time to time. The one he currently uses is 'fuck!China!nooo'. Yeah...
- In The Grinning Snake, found here, Konoka, trying to enter a password-protected file on her father's computer to find out more about why he was killed, tries every obvious possibility first, including birthdays, pet names and favorite foods, then finally tries her own name and gets in. The moment when she realizes that her father had her name as a password is a bit of a Tear Jerker.
- In a Les Miz fanfiction set in the modern day, Javert messes with Valjean's computer and changes the password to "24601". They end up going down a list of very common passwords. Apparently a lot of people just make their password "password".
- This is initially subverted in chapter 14 of Sonic Generations: Friendship is Timeless when accessing Eggman's system, which requires a password. Tails suggests "EGGMAN", which doesn't work. This is then Double Subverted with the password actually being "PASSWORD".
Spike: He must've been going for 'so obvious it's overlooked'.
Rainbow Dash: Yeah, I can imagine.
- Fallout: Equestria: Most of the terminal passwords Littlepip comes across tend to be single words or short phrases. For example, the password Littlepip uses to decode the message obtained in the terminals at Sweet Apple Acres and Carousel Boutique is "apple".
- The terminal Littlepip hacks in chapter 7 has a similarly poor password: "terminal". Littlepip was unimpressed.
- Subverted in Sonic's New Look where Rouge's password to her room is the unlikely "All the world's gems are mine to keep."
- In Diaries of a Madman, Nav at one point uses "password" as a Trust Password between himself and Taya.
- In Bleach: Fan Works, Kon, while trying to get onto Ichigo's computer, tries several different passwords- "Shinigami" for Ichigo (what he is), "Soccer" for Karin (the sport she plays), and "Masaki" for Isshin (the name of his dead wife). None of them work until he gets through with "Strawberry" for Yuzu (what Ichigo's name means in Japanese).
- In one humorous Captain America fic, Steve complains about Bucky constantly hacking into his laptop and Bucky retorts that he should set his laptop's password to something other than "password", "guest", "buckylives", or "SGT5t4ck8utt".
- In Shadow Mage a dying Vernon Dursley tells his son Dudley that the ATM password is Dudley's birthday.
- Subverted in Too Late to Apologize where the combination to Hermione's father's wall safe is his, her mother's and Hermione's birth dates and their wedding date, with three added to each and every digit. (Not to mention the fire safe inside the safe where the combination is the exact same numbers but with seven subtracted from them this time.)
- In 'Selfies From The Underground', the villain tries to learn 'all of the Avengers' secrets' by hacking into Steve's phone. The password? 'Password'. he needn't have bothered. All he finds are pictures of Bucky.
- In The New Adventures of Invader Zim, what's the code for opening the entrance to the crashed Meekrob ship? "Open the door." Tak tries to give the ship's makers some benefit of the doubt by figuring they were going for something too obvious for someone to try. She's less forgiving for the fact that the code for the ship's Self-Destruct Mechanism is simply "Blow up."
- In Emerald Flight Book One: Union Mundungus Fletcher's briefcase combination is "1234."
- In Pokémon Reset Bloodlines, Dexter accesses Ash's Facebook account. When the trainer asks the Pokédex how the hell does it know his password, Dexter snarks that "AshKetchumRocks" is not a very hard-to-guess password.
- In Fall of Starfleet, Rebirth of Friendship, Grand Ruler's habit of using easily guessed passwords is a Running Gag, ultimately leading to a member of La Résistance to shout "HOW HAS HE BEEN KEEPING US UNDER HIS RULE FOR FIVE YEARS!" in frustration after the password for everything on his planet-killing weapon is discovered to be "54321".
- For all his intelligence, the Professor in Ladder uses "BlossomBubblesButtercup1998" as his password. It's so easy even Buttercup figures it out.
- This Bites!: The second of Spandam's safes uses the numbers that spell out his name - 19-16-1-14-4-1-13 - as his password, which Cross guesses easily. However, he's also smart enough to have it booby-trapped in case someone tries to brute-force it.
- In Home, the Boov (by order of Captain Smek) all use "Password" as their password. This causes a problem when Oh uses a long rambling sentence created with a mentality they cannot understand.
- In The LEGO Movie, Vitruvius has to open a magic door with the secret knock — a single knock. (Avoided in the LEGO Adaptation Game, where it's never a single knock and only a wizard using a staff can do it.)
- Batman & Robin: Alfred protects a CD (containing Batman and Robin's secret identities, the location of the Batcave, and other such trivial little stuff) with the password "Peg", which is too short, both a dictionary word and the name of a relative's (his sister-in-law), and written on an autographed photo right on his desk. This enables another character to easily access the disk. Admittedly, the disk was intended to be accessed by Alfred's brother (as designated heir to Alfred's position), and it's hinted that Alfred expected Barbara to disobey his request to leave the disk alone but really...
- In Batman Returns, Selina Kyle breaks into Max Shreck's protected files by guessing that his password is the name of his dog.
Max: How industrious. And how did you open protected files, may I ask?
Selina: Well, I figured your password was "Geraldo", your Chihuahua, and it was.
Dark Helmet: So the combination is 1 2 3 4 5? That's the stupidest combination I've ever heard in my life! The kind of thing an idiot would have on his luggage!
President Skroob: What's the combination?
Colonel Sandurz: 1 2 3 4 5.
President Skroob: 1 2 3 4 5? That's amazing! I've got the same combination on my luggage!
- WarGames. This movie took place in the early eighties, when password security issues were not as cliché as they are now, but this movie demonstrates both simple passwords and the habit of writing them down in a nearby list.
- The backdoor password for NORAD's "War Operation Plan Response" program on the computer that controls the entire nuclear missile arsenal of the United States is "Joshua", the name of the programmer's dead son. The same name that the programmer has given the computer itself, in fact. Just before trying "Joshua", David says "It can't be that simple!" Way to go, Professor Falken. In the novelization of the film, Falken's backdoor was Joshua5, five being his son's age when he died. Not much better, but at least it had a number in it. In Falken's defense, he didn't fully know the system would be used for what it was. Or that a back door into the system would have been left open by accident that allowed David into the system.
- The school teacher uses simple words for passwords, like "pencil". It was implied the school computer system's password field could only accept alphabetical sequences of exactly six characters.
- It's very obvious from the tones how easy the padlock passcode is. It appears to be two different digits each repeated three times.
- In National Treasure, Abigail's password to enter the National Archive vaults is "VALLEYFORGE". (That's Fridge Logic for you...) Played with in that it's not something Ben and Riley are just able to guess. They first have to coat her fingers in invisible ink to figure out which keys she pressed, then Riley runs the letters through an anagram generator to produce likely combinations, which fails to account for 'L' and 'E' being used twice. Ben only guesses it because he's a TV Genius and one of the combinations is similar, which leads to his epiphany.
- Lois Lane's computer password in Superman Returns is "Superman". Somewhat of a plot point, however.
- In Overdrawn at the Memory Bank, the password to access the HX 368 computer is "IY 479"—in other words, "HX 368" with each characters shifted up by one. After it's cracked, they add another level of security to the system...which turns out to be nothing more than reversing the code. With predictable results.
Crow: You know, if this works, I am going to spank you, Movie.
- Leslie Nielsen, in Wrongfully Accused, opens up a computer system with a Viewer-Friendly Interface which prompts him for the user and the password. For the user, he enters user and for the password, password. And it works!
- Justified in The Departed. The password to a file about an undercover police operation is the first and last name of the cop that is undercover. Since if anybody who wasn't supposed to know the agent's name were to find it out, the operation would be ruined anyway, why not?
- In The Infernal Affairs Trilogy, the password is the Morse code for undercover.
- In Battlefield Earth the combination to Terl's secure vault is his employee ID number, typed in backwards.
- In Catch That Kid, the password Maddie needs to get into her mother's bank is her own name, Madeline. The movie itself provides a double subversion by having the kids figuring out the master password of the bank's owner early in the planning process (the man is an obsessive Robert De Niro fan, so he used the actor's last name) and finding out the hard way once they were inside that this password provides access to everything but the bank's vault itself. However, Maddie's mother is the one who designed the security, and figuring out the second password was as simple as a flashback to Maddie's mother telling her that "you're always close to my heart" in a very important moment.
- In Casino Royale (2006), Bond uses the numbers corresponding to "Vesper" as a password — the name of the woman he's got on his side. And the bad guys were still unable to guess it, trying to torture it out of him!
- He likely got the idea from when he was trying to figure out what the word "ELLIPSIS" meant. He thought it was a name of some operation, but it turned out to be the letters corresponding to the number code on a door at the airport. Go figure. This one was somewhat justified as it was a simple door lock.
- In GoldenEye Boris, supposedly one of the greatest hackers in the Soviet Union and able to crack the United States' government databases, uses simple, one-word passwords and dares his rival, Natalya, to guess them by giving her simple riddles. It obviously backfires when he gives her the riddle "You sit on it, but you can't take it with you," for his personal password. Bond determines that the answer is "chair" in less than a second, allowing Natalya to track Boris's position and find the terrorists' secret hideout. Justified in that up until this point all the answers were "dirty words" (usually female anatomy). Natalya kept thinking dirty and failing, whereas Bond, not having known Boris gets it on the first try.note
- In TRON Dillinger's password for access to the Master Control Program is apparently "master". Flynn, a superior programmer, uses a better password, the apparently gibberish "reindeer flotilla."
- Hackers, though a white hat hacker points out that he had made a list of passwords that are overly easy to guess (the one used was "God") and thus should be avoided. He neglects to mention "password," however. In his defense, anyone brainless enough to use "password" as their password deserves to get hacked.
Eugene Belford/The Plague: Someone didn't bother reading my carefully prepared memo on commonly-used passwords. Now, then, as I so meticulously pointed out, the four most-used passwords are: "love", "sex", "secret", and...
Margo: [glares at him]
Eugene Belford/The Plague: "god". So, would your holiness care to change her password?
- In Dr. Strangelove, the crucial recall code that will prevent nuclear war involves the letters P, O, and E, stemming from General Ripper's obsession with "purity of essence", as well as "peace on earth". Fortunately, Peter Sellers figures this out in time. Sort of.
- Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan showed us that one Federation starship can use a "prefix code" to get another Federation starship to lower its shields. This very dangerous trick is protected by five-digit (non-repeating judging by the switch mechanism used to enter it), numbers-only sequence a modern-day computer could break in almost no time. The only saving grace is that there is an Override Command in place specifically designed to keep starships from doing this to each other at will; the system was designed to take out captured vessels, under the assumption that any boarding parties would be unlikely to locate it (Khan humorously stumbles about looking for the override on helm control, not tactical where it would be). Also, it could be that the ship would only get one crack at the code, so a brute force password attack would fail.
- Star Trek III: The Search for Spock showed us that the codes used for the Enterprise self destruct sequence haven't changed in 15 years, despite there having been one major refit and several command changes. Although the film apparently zig-zags this trope. On the one hand, the self destruct code is the not quite terrible but still pretty bad: "1, 1A," then "1, 1A, 2B," then "1B, 2B, 3," and finally, "0, 0, 0, Destruct 0," though the latter designates the type of destruction ('0' detonates charges designed to ruin every part of the ship, '1' causes an antimatter explosion that would vaporize the ship and anything else close by). On the other hand, activating the self destruct sequence requires the consent of three different officers, each of whom is identified by voice recognition.
- Averted in Star Trek: First Contact, where each officer involved in activating the self destruct both is identified by voice recognition and provides a unique identification code. The Borg (well, Data actually) are still able to override it, however.
- Zed-10, the Master Computer in Fortress (1992) has not a password, but a passphrase... Trope averted? Not at all: the passphrase is "Crime does not pay", the motto Zed-10 repeats every now and then (oh, and let's forget the Hollywood Hacking involved here...)
- Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel: Simon is helping Jeanette crack Ian's padlock over the phone
Simon: Okay, Jeanette, the third number is notoriously the hardest to crack. It's most likely a prime number, but we can't assume that.
Jeanette: Simon, the first two were one. I'm gonna have to go with one.
Jeanette: It worked!
- In Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, the ancient Egyptian tablet has the added ability to open a portal to the underworld and summon an army of demons if you punch in... the value of Pi, to about eight decimal places. The tablet isn't a computer, obviously, but the riddle to get the password is written right on the front. Something of a subversion, as not many people can remember that entire sequence. Note that the old Egyptians used the approximation of 256/81 for Pi, which would be about 3.16...
- Pulp Fiction: The combination 666 for Marcellus Wallace's suitcase.
- In The Ninth Gate, the combination of the door to the private library of an occult scholar obsessed with Satanism is also 666. He must have thought he was very clever.
- There was The Three Stooges short Studio Stoops where Moe and Larry are trying to think of a password. Larry suggests "Open the door!" Moe smiles and compliments him on his idea, then promptly hits him in the face.
- In The Fly II, the protagonist's computer is protected by the "magic word" password of "Dad". Unusual in that the villain apparently suspected this might be the password, but it was set up in such a way that the drives would be wiped if he were wrong, so it wasn't worth the risk.
- In Spy Kids, Carmen's own name turns out to be an important password. Granted, it's her full seven-word name, so it's not as easy a guess as one might think.
- Jumpin' Jack Flash. The key is in the song Jumping Jack Flash. Terry racks her brains at which of the lyrics is the password, til she realizes that the key is the key—that is, the musical key of the song. Later, when under truth serum, when asked what the password is, she burbles, "The key is the key!", confusing the antagonists.
- In Clear and Present Danger, a CIA hacker is given the assignment of cracking a person's password. The cryptanalyst decides to brute-force the password, starting by spamming birthdays of the murdered family it belonged to. Ryan and his friend start to leave to get a cup of coffee, figuring it'll take a while, but as they get to the door the cryptanalyst hollers that he got it open. Wife's month, daughter's day, son's year. Not too bad for this trope, but still only six digits.
- In Police Academy IV, the villain uses GREED as his password. The same word he has on his bracelet.
- In Lord of War, the code to unlock Yuri's secret container where he hides his gun running documents and items is the date of his son's birthday, which his wife Ava realizes within less than a minute.
- As with the Comic Book, in Watchmen, the password to Ozymandias' computer is Ramses II, which was slightly obvious considering his superhero name, his favorite person, and the books on his shelves. You would think the Smartest Man In The World would choose a harder to guess password...
- In The Hangover Part II, the password to Chow's overseas bank account is "baloney1".
Chow: Well, it used to be just "baloney", but then they started making you add number.
Kingsley: Fuckin' annoying...
- In Dennis the Menace, Dennis correctly guesses that Mr. Wilson's safe combination is the same as his house number, reasoning that Mr. Wilson is "at least as smart" as his classmate who did the same. And while you would think Mr. Wilson would realize how foolish that is when a grade schooler figures it out, he apparently doesn't, as a thief effortlessly cracks the safe later in the movie.
- In Neighbors, the "Lion's Den" (i.e. the storeroom of important stuff like drugs, alcohol, fireworks, and ping pong paddles), is protected by a three-digit password. Mac and Kelly have little trouble guessing that a bunch of fairly immature stoners like Delta Psi would use "420" for the password.
- In In Time, the password for Phillipe Weis' vault is "12021809", Charles Darwin's birthday. His daughter Sylvia guesses it in one try, pointing out that Phillipe quotes Darwin all the time and is The Social Darwinist.
- In Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, the password to the Chaos Theater is "whatever," the second password is a shrug. Guess what does Scott Pilgrim say and do when he's asked for the first and then the second passwords?
- In Circus, Bruno is instructed to create a password for his online banking account consisting on 8 characters. The password he chooses is 'PASSWORD'.
- The Ditz telling a friend proudly: "I've got a new password. All the numbers are 5s, but I won't tell you in which order!"
- A blonde joke tells of a blonde who chose the password "Mickeyminnieplutohueylouiedeweydonaldgoofysacramento", because it needed to have at least 8 characters and include at least 1 capital.
- One will note that not only is this password easy to remember, but it is ridiculously hard to guess. Score one for the blondes.
- This is besides how you can actually make good passwords in reality—passwords that are easy to remember for humans and realistically impossible to crack for computers. Unfortunately, most password protections do not allow such really long passwords. Instead humans are forced to remember ridiculous capitalization and numbers in their passwords, things that computers are good at, but which are hard to remember for humans.
- Mordac, the preventer of information services, once inverted this trope by changing Dilbert's password to the entire text of The Da Vinci Code minus the parts he didn't believe. The Pointy-Haired Boss is also bad at picking passwords◊.
- PHB is also confused by the fact that the computer always displays his passwords as a row of asterisks. Dogbert suggests that he change his password to 4 asterisks. PHB hopes he doesn't forget said password.
- One issue of The Far Side featured a group of gangsters being led out of their hiding place by the police, and one of them gripes "I knew 'Shave and a Haircut' was a bad secret knock."
- Another strip seems to avert this trope. A group of mobsters is reviewing the location of their new headquarters and secret password, neither of which would be easy to guess. They then decide to repeat this information aloud "fifty or so times until it sinks in." Unfortunately, they're having the conversation in an exotic pet shop... full of parrots.
- In a Sunday strip of Garfield, the titular character seems to have trouble remembering his password. The light bulb pops on over his head, and he types in seven characters. Jon pops up right behind him and says, "It's 'lasagna,' isn't it?" Upon which Jon is promptly tied up with the computer cord.
- In one strip of Mother Goose and Grimm Grimmy has apparently used Mother Goose's credit card to buy a massaging chair. At Mom's horror Attila remarks:
Attila: Don't act so surprised, all your passcodes are his name.
- Zits: Connie's password is PASSWORD1.
- In the Norwegian Work Com strip Lunch, there's a strip where a consultant tries to examplify the poor security by successfully hacking into the receptionist lady's computer at only one attempt. The receptionist is genuinely surprised. The reader, who will notice that the desk is full of pictures of her cat, several of which has the cat's name spelled out clearly, is probably less surprised.
- Used in an episode of Adventures in Odyssey. Alex and Cal are trying to get information from the website of the community college where Alex's mother works, but it needs a password. Cal looks around, spots a sticky note nearby which says "Milk and eggs" and deduces that this must be the password. Alex says that that's his mom's shopping list, but Cal decides to try it anyway. Much to the chagrin of just about everybody except Cal, it works.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio drama Deimos, the Doctor's companion Tamsin accesses the power distribution centre of a Martian moonbase with the password "PASSWORD".
- Played with in the Warhammer 40,000 novel Storm of Iron in which the "sacred chant of activation" used by the Tech Marines to launch a large missile (melta torpedo) is correctly guessed in frustration by one of the characters when he exclaims, "God damn it! Fire you worthless piece of fucking shit! FIRE!"
- "Hey, wake up!"
- From Agents of Deception, an expansion of the trading card game of Star Wars: Galaxies...
Slicer: Never use your pet's name as a password, Lord Vader.
- In the 2013 musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Mike Teavee is a tech-savvy troublemaker who remotely hacks into the Wonka Factory's computers, figures out Mr. Wonka's password ("golden star"), and from there manages to get a Golden Ticket without having to buy a Wonka Bar at all. Mike, being the brat he is, proudly boasts about this, even accusing Mr. Wonka of having a lousy security system. (For his part, Mr. Wonka is not happy about this at all...but also curious about how Mike went about all this.)
- The password to Gerald's computer in Sonic Adventure 2 is his granddaughter's name, "Maria".
- In Red vs. Blue, Sarge of the Red Army seems to be prone to this.
- Sarge programmed their jeep's remote driving system to respond to a secret password. This is revealed to be 'Drive'. Later, when accessing a secured data transmission, he gives the password as 'Password'. This may be par for the course for the militaries involved...
- Grif made the password for letting people in 'Password' (and was chastised by Simmons, saying it need to be 2 letters and 2 numbers at least- so his would be '2Dumb2Live'). Lopez's access code was 'Access Code', while the activation code for Grif's armour to self destruct is 'Activation Code'... keep it simple.
Grif: (After Simmons guesses the password) It's the perfect password! No one would ever get it!
- Happens in "Reconstruction", too. When Agent Washington calls Command to get the code word that will let the Reds know he's legit:
Wash: The code word is..."code word"?
Simmons: (to Sarge) Sir! I told you to stop doing that!
- Sarge changes the password to 'Shotgun' later on, but given what his signature weapon is, it's not that much better.
Grif: How about next time we use a code word, we choose something you dont say every five seconds?
Sarge: Just drive, numbnuts.
- In Episode 65 of The Most Popular Girls in School, we find out how Brittnay managed to break into Mackenzie's computer so easily.
Shay: But I could never get to [the video] because I don't have the password to Mackenzie's computer. By the way, what is her password?
Brittnay: "Fuck you Shay".
Shay: What the fuck, you don't want to tell me?
Brittnay: No, idiot, the password is "fuck you Shay".
Shay: Oh! No numbers, huh? Not too safe. Alright, here we go.
- In the Web Comic Footloose, Jin has a hilariously easy time breaking into FEY, a plot device.
FEY: PASSWORD ACCEPTED.
Daniel: Your "awesome hacking skill" is using the same password that Dad uses for everything?
Daniel: Some security system Dad...
- Sluggy Freelance
- In "Oceans Unmoving", all the teknocon gear in timeless space is on factory defaults. Since only one person in timeless space knows the factory defaults for this stuff, it hardly matters. Justified by the fact that only the people who should be able to access the teknocons were in timeless space in the first place. Teknocon one had a different password, which was intended for the hacker to access.
- Another example is when Sasha manages to hack into Riffs computer. The password... "beer".
- In "Kiki's Virus", Dr. Crabtree has been using the names of her lab animals as passwords. The second one still takes a bit of figuring out, because Dr. Schlock initially assumes the relevant name to be spelled "Burro" instead of "Borough".
- This strip has someone use the PW "booger".
- In Achewood, Roast Beef travels to Yahoo's headquarters to hack into the mainframe and delete incriminating information on Ray. He changes the chief security officer's password from 'yahoo' to 'ru5tybike5' and sneaks out. ("Animal changes my password! Why this always happens to ME?!")
- Averted in Keychain of Creation, where one of Mew Cai's command codes is a rather long and complicated poem. Of course in this case it's debatable if it's really necessary, as Mew Cai is sentient and probably wouldn't accept commands from unfamiliar users anyway.
- Don't tell anyone about this Adventurers! example! It's a secret!
- General Protection Fault: When an exceptionally good hacker begins messing with the game Bog of Bloodbath, while the characters are in a Deep-Immersion Gaming session, Nick desperately tries to un-hack it for fear Your Mind Makes It Real only to discover that the "uber-hacker's" password was, in Nick's words, "obscenely obvious." It was the name of the alter-ego he was using to fight the heroes with.
Nick: This guy's Mensa application has just been revoked.
- At the chocolate factory, the password for the machinery is "Creamy center".
- Double subversion in Kevin & Kell; Lindesfarne needs to get Vin's password to access his computer and alter his data to prevent him from exposing Domestication, but the obvious password, "die_rudy_die"(based on Vin's known hatred for Rudy), doesn't work; he changed it to "mr_and_mrs_vin_and_dale_vulpen", as he had recently developed a crush on Corrie (who was masquerading as a wolf named Dale). Rather than guess that password, she has to date him in order to get it.
- Aby's e-mail password was "C4TD00R". And she never changed it when she left her ex, so he still had access to her account.
- In this The Order of the Stick strip, the password to access Girard's hidden hologram just happens to be a series of words that would come up in casual conversation if you knew what you were looking for... though it's probably meant to be that way. It wasn't a password to the location —it was to activate a booby trap, kicking it over to Justified Trope. He even says it. It was specifically designed to activate if someone was casually looking for it. He just assumed that only one person would do this, a less accurate assumption. But that's another Trope.
- Played with in this series of Comments on a Postcard: 386, 389, 392.
- Ciem Webcomic Series. Candi Levens finally makes a lucky guess that the password to the Viron Library's Meethlite agenda archives is "DieLevens." The Meethlites are clearly big on hatred, but small on creativity and security.
- In one arc of College Roomies from Hell!!!, Roger refuses to let Margaret into the boy's apartment unless she guesses a password. Her (correct) answer: Let me in now, dork face.
- In The Kenny Chronicles the password on Funky's robot (now technically Kenny's robot) was "kennysux".
- Wondermark gives us this little collection.
- Tim Eldred's second StarBlazers webcomic lampshaded it nicely: Desslok, Evil Emperor, sneaks his passwords to his trusted lieutenant, Talan, who snarks that the ones generated by a computer are good —-ut all the ones Desslok chose himself are variations on the name "Starsha", Desslok's dead girlfriend. "Why am I not surprised..."
- Exterminatus Now has a good password for the front door of Cesspit (hangout of rather unhinged mercenaries).
Zuviel: Must admit it beats "swordfish"
- In Arthur, King of Time and Space, Mordred says Gawain's password is "password" (after cracking Gareth's, which are her husband's name and her nickname, but in Leet Speak). Which is odd, because while Gawain's dumb in a lot of areas, computers are supposed to be what he's good at.
- xkcd disagrees with this trope in a rather well explained fashion. It has a value of truth. Four random dictionary words make a surprisingly secure password, and one that's easier to remember than a single word with various characters replaced by lookalikes, let alone a password created by mashing on the keyboard.note
Alt Text: Through 20 years of effort, we've successfully trained everyone to use passwords that are hard for humans to remember, but easy for computers to guess.
- In this Penny Arcade strip, after Gabe says his Guild Wars 2 account was hacked, Tycho asks if he used the password "password" again.
Gabe: No. Jeez! I put in a four instead of an A. High security. See? Four isn't even a letter.
- Lampshaded in Darths & Droids #863:
Leia: R2, decrypt the coordinates [to the Rebel base]. Authorization code 1-1-A.
R2-D2: That is a terrible, terrible code. I didn't even try any codes less than eight characters! (beat panel) Not that I seriously tried decrypting it.
- In Captain SNES: The Game Masta, Samus rigs Eggplant Wizard with a chip that shocks him if he steps out of line, makes an awful vegetable pun, or if she says "Sweet Christmas". She chose these words because she figured no one would ever say them together accidentally. Unbeknownst to her, these are the first two words of Alex's Catch-Phrase.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, when the password to turn a random door into a door to the Realm of the Dead is "I ... am ... a ghoooost!" The Rant notes "Anybody can use this password on any door. You just have to say it properly." (And, of course, we the readers can't tell how Mort is saying it...)
- In Questionable Content, the password to get into the underground robot fighting ring is...
Faye: "1 2 3 4 5 6 7." And your password system sucks.
Bubbles: I have made management aware of this on multiple occasions.
- The password to the Maternity Ward in Awful Hospital is Dr HM Phage's own name. But Phage decided at the last minute that that password might not be secure enough, so...
Phage's note: Wait, no! I am a genius! Now it's: DRHMPHAPE
- The Website Is Down:
- In one episode:
Web Dude: What is your password?
Sales Guy: Uh, it's just the letter a.
Web Dude: ...Just the letter a?
Sales Guy: Like "apple".
- In a later episode, Chip the Sales Guy forgets his password and has it reset to the word 'password'. Chip leaves it as it is, believing it to be "the best password ever".
- In one episode:
- The Red Scorpion in Luck be a Lady:
Hapless Mook: What's the password!?
Red Scorpion: SWORDFISH! (smashes in door)
- In the first episode of Ashen's Tech Dump:
Ashens:[...]and what was the password?
Steve: Uh, "password".
Ashens: Oh. Surprised Hitler didn't think of that.
Steve: He did, but he left the capslock on.
Ashens: Ah, common mistake.
- In one Agents of Cracked episode, there is a scene where Michael can't remember his password. He tells Dan to try "swordfish", to which Dan replies "It's never swordfish, why do you always guess swordfish?"
- In episode 30 of Freeman's Mind, Freeman encounters a keypad outside a launch facility. After fiddling with it a bit, he gets in with the password "1234". He immediately lampshades the stupidity of that particular password:
Freeman: You know, as much as I'd like to claim this is the result of me being a genius, it's more that someone else was not. We probably spent tens of millions on this security system and paid our janitor minimum wage to install it.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, Melvin (Marrik's Super-Powered Evil Side) is trying to get into a locked door. After trying the only 4 letter words in his vocabulary (Kill, Stab, and Pain) he begins the usual method for cracking the code. 1111. 1112. 1113. 1114. The password? 9999.
- And when he finally opens it...there's another door behind it, after which he apparently gives up. Later on it's revealed said door had the password "OPEN".
- Spoofed in a small article in The Onion Ad Nauseum Vol.14, where a 14-year-old guesses his parents' AOL password on the first try, because it's the name of the family pet. Lampshaded by the boy himself, who says he can't believe they would use something that obvious.
- M. Asher Cantrell's The 10 Biggest Password Mistakes People Make lists a few that several "million uncreative bastards" end up thinking of under time pressure.
- In the Noob webseries and novels, Sparadrap has his password be his favorite dessert, for which the French word is "Flan"... and has to ask his younger brother to remind him what it is in the webseries version of the scene revealing this.
- The Thrilling Adventure Hour:
- "Space-iversary" has Sparks hacking into the wifi networks of his parents' starship and that of enemy MurderMen by guessing the passwords as "Noodle" (his mom's Affectionate Nickname for him) and "Murder" respectively.
- A later episode, "Moonfaker" shows that the Technology Beings and Science Aliens are no better, as their passwords are "Technology" and "Science."
- The Setup Wizard: Jonathan mentions that the Headmaster never bothered to remember a login or password, because it was assumed that alohomora would be able to unlock it. It doesn't. Then Jonathan had to explain that alohomora cannot be used as a password, if only because half the rest of the school is already using it.
Paul: Why do I even bother making randomly generated 256 character passwords with upper and lowercase Cyrillic and Navajo letters?
- In the first season this is inverted; things aren't secured because Paul's passwords are so strong that everyone leaves everything open to avoid having to use them.
Alex: *shouting across the street* If you need to get in, the password for literally everything is dickbutt!Beej: *hands cupped around mouth* Did you say dickbutt?Alex: Yeah, dickbutt! Like on this enormous sign I made!
- Later on, before Paul upgrades their security (with potentially lethal results), their one password is "dickbutt". In addition to using a weak password for everything, they're not exactly careful about concealing this:
- SCP Foundation: One item on the Log of Anomalous Items is a 129-character string that can be entered into the password field to log into any account. Unless the password for the account is "password".
- In SpongeBob SquarePants Mr. Krabs has a voice activated password for a door that will only open, when he says "Open", and much to his dismay it does.
- An episode of American Dad! has Roger end up hiring a hitman to kill himself (don't ask), and tried to give said hitman the password "password" to call it off, which didn't work. It's "password1". "I require both letters and numbers," says the hitman.
- In the episode "In Country... Club" (the one with the Vietnam re-enactment) Stan's code for the TV is 4812, which is Roger's pants size (much to Roger's surprise and dismay).
- DuckTales (1987):
- Gyro Gearloose set the activation word for the Gizmoduck suit to "blabbering blatherskite", because he thought nobody used that expression. Oh, how wrong he was....
- Later on, the suit shrinks in the wash, and the suit's password is also shrunk to a simple "blah".
- In DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp, Huey, Dewey, and Louie put their awesome codebreaking skills to work opening the side entrance of Scrooge's Moneybin.
Huey: C...A...S...H! [door opens]
- The Fairly OddParents!
- Timmy needs to get the password to a special cage belonging to "Catman", a superhero who had outstayed his welcome as the Crimson Chin's temporary replacement, to rescue his Fairy Godparents, disguised as dogs. Timmy then ponders what a man as deep and thoughtful as Catman would choose... three guesses what he came up with.
- Also in "Hassle in the Castle". The password to Cosmo&Wandas house is: "COSMO, YOU IDIOT!!!" (It comes handy that Timmy can also impersonate Wanda's voice.) The password to the wand safe is somewhat harder, but Timmy cracks it on the third try: "I should have married the monkey!"
- In Fillmore!, a large number of scooters are easily stolen, because the thieves know 9 out of 10 of kids' locker combinations are their birthdays.
- Averted in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends. The technologically incompetent Mr. Herriman, setting up a security system, is told to enter a random passcode. He proceeds to cover his eyes and mash the keyboard for about a minute straight. They never figure out how to unlock it again.
- Its worth elaborating that Herrimen misunderstood the instruction to mean that the password had to be random every time it was entered, much to Frankie's exasperation.
- Kim Possible: Wade needs to find the password to override a robot. It turns out to be the same word the robot kept saying over and over. note
- An episode of Mighty Max:
Computer: Please enter the access code.
Virgil: Oh dear. It will take me days to decipher this.
Norman: Allow me! (attacks the door and gets electrocuted) Ho! Aah!
Computer: I'm sorry. "Ho, Aah" is not the correct access code. Please try again.
Max: Maybe we should knock?
Computer: "Knock Knock" is the correct access code. (opens door) Please come in, and wipe your feet.
- In The Simpsons:
- A secret government tape is hidden in a photo booth. The password? "Cheese."
- In "Bart the General":
Herman: What's the password?
Abe: Let me in, you idiot!
Herman: Eh, right you are.
- When Bart tries to use Elon Musk's car, he correctly guesses the password: ELON MUSK RULEZ, with a Z.
- WordGirl was easily able to guess the password into Chuck the Evil Sandwich-Making Guy's computer: "mustard." Fortunately, he changed it immediately— and she was able to guess correctly again once she found out the name of his childhood pet, thereby saving the day.
- In My Friends Tigger & Pooh: Tigger & Pooh and a Musical Too, Tigger failed to guess Rabbit's password which would have allowed him to cross a line dividing the Hundred Acre Wood. Beaver then correctly guessed Tigger's password, which was "Tigger."
- In the ALF cartoon, when the evil "fortune smeller" Madam Pokipsi [sic] changes his friends Rick and Skip into a sandwich and a soda, Gordon must find the password to her crystal ball to change them back. Guess what it is? "Manilow. No, that's to summon bad music. It's 'swordfish' — I think. Yeah, the password is definitely 'swordfish.'"
- In The Secret Saturdays Doyle Blackwell is attempting to hack into the mercenary he is apprenticing under, Van Rook, who happens to be a money hungry cheapskate. What is the password?
Doyle: Oh, you've gotta be kidding me.
(Types in '$')
- In King of the Hill Bobby wants to watch FOX so he and Joseph can see what this "Daytona 500" they've heard about is, but Hank has a block on it. Now, Hank's a complicated guy who has no strange obsessions that would make his password completely obvious... oh wait, yes he does (propane, for those who don't watch the show). Unfortunately, the Daytona 500 wasn't what they were expecting (it was just cars driving around a track with nothing exploding, no hot women, and the 500 wasn't 500 of something awesome).
- Phineas and Ferb
- In the episode "Comet Kermillian," Perry starts hacking into Doofenshmirtz's computer, which doesn't worry the doctor, since he's sure Perry will never guess his "super secret password." Which turns out to be "Doofalicious."
- In the episode "Where's Pinky?", Dr. Doofenshmirtz references the Tron example above by overriding a City Hall security door with "reindeer flotilla" on the first guess.
- In the episode "War is the H-Word", a planet destroying bomb is installed inside Bender and set to activate when Bender says the word "ass" (established as the word Bender uses the most). The crew cannot remove the bomb so Prof. Farnswoth programs in a password which Bender would never use in everyday conversation. Of course, Bender takes this as a challenge...
Bender: So, what's the word?
Hermes: We think it's better if you don't know.
Bender: Oh, come on. I'm not gonna say it. Please? Ooh, is it "please"?
Bender: Hm, words I never say. Oh, I know! "Thanks"!
Leela: Bender, stop trying to destroy the world.
Bender: Wait, wait, wait, wait. Is it "sorry"? No. "Fun-derful"? Uh, "non-alcoholic"?
Amy: Quit it!
Hermes: Stop it, mon!
Zoidberg: Enough already!
Bender: "Compassion"? "Shrimptoast"? "Antiquing"?
[big explosion sounds]
Bender: I'm OK.
- In "The Luck of the Fryrish", Fry goes back to his old home to get something out of the safe. Its combination is "3".
- In the episode "War is the H-Word", a planet destroying bomb is installed inside Bender and set to activate when Bender says the word "ass" (established as the word Bender uses the most). The crew cannot remove the bomb so Prof. Farnswoth programs in a password which Bender would never use in everyday conversation. Of course, Bender takes this as a challenge...
- Totally Spies!
- Both subverted and averted in the episode "Child's Play." The girls have to reprogram a machine that is creating evil dolls that regress adults into childish behavior. Alex remarks that passwords in these situations are always obvious choices, so she tries "Toys" and "Little Ann" (the name of the doll in question). They don't work, prompting Alex to angrily comment that the Mad Scientist of the week "doesn't know the rules." Then Sam unplugs the machine, shutting it down.
- But they also have plenty of fails this way, too. Some kid who we're supposed to believe is this amazing computer geek in the episode "Silicon Valley Girls" has an evil hacking AI called 'CHAD'. Guess what the password to the AI is? 'CHAD'. Sort of obvious.
- Played straight in "Future Shock", where Sam finds out that her future counterpart has the same log-in password that she has, obviously because she never changed it. (She makes a note to do so as soon as she gets back to her own time.)
- A Running Gag in Archer is that everyone's password is "guest," even the ISIS mainframe. Archer guesses it on his first try.
Archer: Let's try..."guest"...No WAY. Jesus Christ. That is just...babytown frolics.
- In Gargoyles, Demona, the only member of her clan who was actually awake for the past few centuries, used "alone" as her password. Although it should be noted, no one guessed it. They had to use magic to force her to reveal what it was.
- Used twice in Johnny Test. In the episode "The Dog Days of Johnny", the password to Susan and Mary's lab is "Gil" (the name of the boy next door, which they both have a crush on). In the episode "Johnny Escape From Bling Bling Island", the password to Eugene's escape pod is "Susan" (who he has a crush on). In both cases, Johnny instantly guesses the password because it's so obvious.
- Apparently Mary and Susan realized this, so they changed the password(s). Yet Johnny, and even Lila, were able to figure it out, and it still involves Gil.
- From Jimmy Two-Shoes:
Rodeo Clowns: Password?
Clown: Correct. What's the conformation password?
- In Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers, one ship's computer has the password "rutabega", which is bad enough, but it goes the extra mile by openly telling the password to people if they annoy it for long enough.
- In a nod to this trope, an episode of Robot Chicken (Season 2, Episode 10) was entitled, "Password: Swordfish."
- From Martin Mystery, Mom's password is "Mom." Until Java suggests it, nobody even thinks of it, considering it too obvious, and try Latin phrases instead.
- In the The Penguins of Madagascar episode "King Me", Kowalski uses a new periscope to spy on the zoo. One of the things he sees is Alice's security code 0 - 0 - 0 - 0 ... 2.
- On Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Turtles are entering a garbage-processing plant without authorization, and the voice-activated computer asks them for the password. Raphael quips, "Password? We don't need no stinking password!" The computer responds, "'Stinking' is the correct password," and lets them in.
- The Looney Tunes Show
- Tina's computer password is her mother's maiden name.
- In "Gribbler's Quest," Bugs changes the password on his computer so Daffy won't go online shopping but Daffy correctly guess the new password is "carrot". So Bugs changes it again and Daffy correctly guess it was "carrot1". By the end of the episode, Bugs new password is "carrot3", which Daffy correctly guessed again.
- Wander over Yonder
- In "The Prisoner", Peepers accidentally activates the ship's self-destruct button and has to beg and cry to his boss to fix it. Hater, angry that Peepers was unable to bring him Wander (after Peepers bragged about capturing him) remains silent until the last minute where he mumbles his catchphrase:
Lord Hater: Lord Hater... Number One... Superstar
- In "The Loose Screw", the password to shut off the self-destruct system on Stella Starbella's spaceship is... "password".
- In "The Prisoner", Peepers accidentally activates the ship's self-destruct button and has to beg and cry to his boss to fix it. Hater, angry that Peepers was unable to bring him Wander (after Peepers bragged about capturing him) remains silent until the last minute where he mumbles his catchphrase:
- Almost Naked Animals: The top secret password to gain access to Dirk Danger's hermit lair was "top secret password".
- Danny Phantom:
- Danny's sister Jazz is looking through Danny's laptop who is surprised she got the password. Jazz, Sam, and Tucker all immediately and flatly respond, "It's 'Paulina Fenton'."
- The Guys In White are dumbfounded that the password Jack put on the Fenton Portal is "Open Sesame".
- In The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! episode "Hulk vs. the World", Hawkeye and the Black Widow both have their passwords set to the names of the villains of their Origin Stories (Trickshot and the Red Room, respectively) as a Mythology Gag. The way Black Widow's password is revealed also reveals that the system has no penalty for random guessing, making it even less secure.
- In one episode of Jacob Two-Two, Jacob has to sneak into a secret dungeon inside Principal Greedyguts' office. The entrance is a password-locked door, but knowing the principal's huge ego, Jacob immediately guesses (correctly) that the password is "Greedyguts".
- Lampshaded in an episode of The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest - when Jonny and Jessie are trapped in Cape Canaveral by Ezekiel Rage's henchmen, they need to hack the password to let the army in. After scrounging some parts and running a series of codebreakers, they find the password is 'Open Sesame'. Jonny is surprised NASA had such an obvious code.
- In The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Password", Richard places a password on the kids' computer to limit their usage. Subverted when Gumball and Darwin's first (obvious) guess, "password", fails. Double Subverted once it is revealed that that was the password Richard chose—Anais then changed the password to her own name in order to keep the computer to herself.
- Teenage Tony Stark is a brilliant inventor, but all you need to shut down the safety protocols on his armor—as Rhodey knows—is the password... "howard01".
- Played With on Gravity Falls, where Dipper was never able to break in to McGucket's old laptop. However, both Word of God and Gravity Falls: Journal 3 confirm that it was something pretty obvious to someone who knew him: the name of his best friend and research partner, Stanford.
- Initially subverted in Jackie Chan Adventures when Jade tries Captain Black's birthday as the 3-digit code to get into the vault containing the talismans and it doesn't work, but later played straight when she's able to figure out after glimpsing Black enter a 7 as the last digit that the full code is 007.
- Justified in the novelization (at least, in the audio drama of the novelization) of the first half of Jedi Knight: Dark Forces II. When Kyle Katarn and his droid WeeGee need to get into an Imperial ground transport, Kyle informs WeeGee that the access code is 0 0 0 0. The code works, and an astonished WeeGee asks how his master knew. Kyle, a former Imperial, explains that all such vehicles have a default four 0 code from the factory. According to regulations, all officers are supposed to change the code once they get a new vehicle, but most never bother.
- Eddie Izzard once jokingly complained about the depiction of computers in Hollywood films in his 1997 stand-up "Glorious".
Breaking into the Pentagon computer ... double-click on yes. Hm, password protected. Erm.... "Jeff". I knew there was a back door. Because the guy who programmed it was called Jeff Jeff DeJeff, born on the first of Jeff, nineteen-jeffy-jeff. so I typed in "Jeff" and hey!
- A commercial for the voice-activated Girl Tech Password journal is demonstrated with the password "girls rule". Interestingly, a boy eavesdrops on the password and tries to use it himself. However, thanks to voice recognition technology, he is denied access despite getting the password right.
- Physicist, continual prankster, and hobbyist safecracker Richard Feynman discovered that many of the safes at Los Alamos during the war (which, after all, was only the place where they designed the atomic bomb) had been left on their default combinations. Not just that, but if you casually leaned against an open safe you could feel the last of the three numbers. Moreover, though the safe offered the numbers 00-99 the number 03 could be opened by 01-05, thus instead of 100x100x100 possibilities there where only 20x20x20, or, for birthdays, 3x7x9 (assuming everyone was under 45). AND passnumbers were often written down. The "obvious" response of his bosses when he told them how terrible their security was: A memo to everybody saying "Don't let Feynman near your safe." His boss discovered Feynman's safecracking skills after he broke into all the filing cabinets in his office and left silly notes in them. The first one said "Richard was here." The second said "Richard was here too." The third said, "It's easy when the combinations are all the same." Guess which order the boss found the notes in.
- In the early days of NORAD, the password you needed to control the NORAD computers was...NORAD. Its a wonder World War III didn't break out.
- The PAL (Permissive Action Links) arming mechanisms on USAF bombs were given the ultra-secure code of 0000000 until the late '70s (see below). None were ever accidentally armed. That one was intentional as they had so many other layers of security in place they decided the arming code was superfluous and essentially disabled it. Specifically, the PAL codes for ICBMs were always blank. Since these were huge missiles housed in dedicated silos out in the middle of nowhere, with a Two-Keyed Lock and numerous site safety features (read: trespassers will be shot), it's easy to see why they thought a password would be redundant. Tactical and other portable weapon systems had and used actual codes.
- For decades, British Nuclear Submarines had no security on the launch control panel aside from a bicycle lock, set to 0000. The rationale was that any gentlemen allowed in the navy would know better. Without any safety mechanisms at all, no nuclear device was ever launched or tampered with.
- During World War II, in Nazi Germany, a safecracker would dial in Hitler's birthdate first when breaking into a German officer's safe knowing that most of the time that it was all you need to open it.
- During World War II, Allied codebreakers could rely on Enigma (the German encryption system, which they thought was unbreakable) messages having easily-guessable initial settings. The Germans also overused the Enigma, which gave the allies more things to work with. For instance, the weather forecast was broadcast every morning, encrypted, and starting with the word 'Wetter'. And in fits of Fridge Brilliance, the Brits actually planted mines in plain sight of the Germans, so they could later intercept the encrypted broadcast ('Danger, mines!'), and use it to decode all other messages sent that day.
- The Enigma machine was a message that cryptanalyst Mavis Lever discovered did not contain a single instance of the letter L. Because by that point it was known that the Enigma machine would never substitute a letter for itself, it was immediately obvious that a bored operator had simply hit the nearest key on the machine while sending a dummy message to confuse the British, and in doing so gave away the machine's settings for that day. The Other Wiki has a list of such mistakes.
- On Hitler's birthday, almost anyone with a coding machine sent a happy birthday message to the Führer, leading to a lot of easy to decode messages for the crackers to work with.
- Following a German hacker in 1986, Clifford Stoll, author of The Cuckoo's Egg, discovered that many of the default passwords for the VMS operating system made for DEC's PDP and VAX computers hadn't been changed—even in military installations and computer companies producing ostensibly secure computing systems.
- Some years back in Germany, probably in the late 1990s, a teenager managed to hack into the networks of the Deutsche Telekom, the biggest phone and internet service provider. He did not do any harm and after he collected enough data, he made it public exposing the weak security of the Telekom... Some of the passwords used for critical servers were for example "internet1".
- Supposedly, the hacker who cracked Paris Hilton's phone in 2005 did so by finding the "Forgot your password" option. The question: Who is your favorite pet? That's right, Paris Hilton's phone was protected by a name that's been in the tabloids for years.
- Sarah Palin
- Palin's Yahoo email account was quickly cracked once a member of 4chan (whose father is a Democratic party official) found it and checked the secret questions... namely, "what is your birthday" and "where did you meet your spouse?" Needless to say, Google made quick work of both.
- During the 2008 US Presidential Election, Palin got her official gubernatorial email account "hacked" using her security questions, which were (1) "What is my zip code?" and (2) "Where did I go to high school?"
- On the Penn Jillette radio show, Penn's co-host, usually Michael Goudeau, is tasked with finding emails from listeners to be read on the show. One day, there was a guest co-host who kept getting inundated with password prompts, at which point Penn reminded him "the password to everything is Dawkins"... on the air. For a few hours, listeners could log into the show's Google Mail account, until a benevolent fan changed the password and made Penn promise to pick a better one.
- Before The Google Incident caused anonymous editing to be axed, the password to edit TV Tropes articles without an account was "foamy", which the password pop-up outright said. The only point was to keep spambots out.
- Neopets.com has banned the following passwords: password, neopets, pokemon, neopet, username. Four of them are obvious, and apparently Pokémon is just that popular.
- GameFAQs once had a password blacklist including 123456, dragon, gamefaqs, nintendo, password, pikachu, pokemon, and qwerty.
- During the early days of MapleStory, there was a period of time when accounts with USA registered as the player's country couldn't log in due to an error. One disgruntled player decided to try logging in with random combinations, and to his (and afterwards, everyone's) astonishment, the username "asdf" with no password at all netted him access to a GM account. Hilarity Ensues.
- Ireland's main broadband provider, Eircom, used to have passwords for their broadband that used an algorithm based on the registration number of the router. This was fine, except that the algorithm was ALWAYS the same, meaning that if you had an Eircom broadband installation disk, and just looked at the bottom of your neighbour's router at some point, you get their broadband. It got even worse when it was discovered that the registration number was also linked with the name of the wireless signal it gives out, and once that algorithm got online it meant you could get access to any Eircom connection without even needing to do anything! This promptly made Eircom implement a more secure system, but the old routers still have it. Nowadays, however, those algorithms are really just used for a user's OWN router, as it's tediously long to get the password by running the installation disk again. Dutch Telecom/Internet Provider KPN probably used the same routers, as theirs had the same problem.
- Italy has several providers who still, to this day, have this problem: Fastweb is the prime culprit as all their routers come pre-set to a WiFi SSID containing numbers that'll give you the default password when copypasted in several available decrypting programs. They tried solving the problem by using another algorithm and different routers; needless to say, that too got cracked in short order. Nowadays they seem to no longer care at all. Telecom and Tele 2 have several routers with this problem too, though theirs aren't quite that widespread. With routers, and other similar devices, this is deliberate — that way if something goes wrong, the hapless field service tech sent 'round to the house knows how to reset it to default and access the account. Users are usually told to change the settings during or right after installation... but they usually don't.
- Siemens advises its customers never to change the default password of their WinCC SCADA system. They continue to do so now that the stuxnet worm has successfully destroyed industrial hardware in uranium enrichment facilities. Given that analysts think the Stuxnet worm was designed with at least the tacit acknowledgement of Siemens themselves, this is unlikely to be an oversight.
- For many years, Sky satellite television decoder boxes used the last four digits of the serial number on the subscription keycard as a default parental control code, a fact that was repeatedly stated on a looping "how to use your Sky Plus box" message on channel 999. About as many parents bothered to change it as one might expect.
- Apparently the President of Syria used "12345" as his email password. We wonder if he had that as the combination on his luggage as well.
- In January 2012, a group of Polish hackers attacked several government websites in a protest against Polands planned adoption of the infamous ACTA deal. According to them, the login and password for the website of the Polish Prime Minister were respectively: admin and admin1.
- The theft of 6.5 million password hashes from LinkedIn in 2012 resulted in a password checking tool from LastPass which lets you check to see if your password was one of those compromised—'swordfish' is in the list, along with password, 123456, 12354567 and 12345678 (12345 isn't because of the minimum 6 character requirement). I'm sure if you can be bothered, any other easy password on this page is probably in there.
- Hippie icon Wavy Gravy was put in charge of security at the first Woodstock festival. The password: "I forgot."
- Department store cash registers can often be accessed with the code "7410" because it can be quickly entered by running a finger down the left side of the numpad.
- Those electronic roadsigns that you see hacked to read "Zombies Ahead"◊ all over the place on the Internet fall prey to this. The ADDCO Portable Sign has a default password of DOTS which is almost never changed, and if it is you can hold Control and Shift and type DIPY to reset it. The hardest part about hacking these is getting the small padlock off if such a thing is even there to begin with.
- In a particularly alarming example of this trope, touchscreen voting machines used in U.S. elections, including presidential ones, used passwords such as "admin" and "abcde" and could easily have been hacked from the parking lot outside the polling place. The machines "would get an F-minus" in security.
- Following the hacking of the website Ashley Madison, which is designed for people seeking to having an affair, it was revealed that "123456" and "password" were the most commonly used passwords on the site. Seriously, people? Too Dumb to Live?
- The default device password for iOS devices was 'alpine' for several years/iOS iterations (as parodied in the game Hacknet). This led to many jailbroken devices accessible to outside sources, until changing the password became more commonplace.
- If the only thing guarding an online account from a password reset is a question-and-answer "security" prompt, the answer effectively becomes a weak password, particularly if the question is something with a relatively easy-to-mine answer such as "What college did you graduate from?" (college graduates often put the college they graduated from in their resumes that are then posted to job search sites, or put the college in question on their Facebook profiles) or "What's your mother's maiden name?" (which for many is also their own middle name). And as salt in the wound, you often can't make up your own security questions. 99 times out of 100, any question you pick is vulnerable to Social Engineering if you put in an honest response for an answer. Savvy users will subvert these prompts by coming up with an "answer" that's as difficult to crack as their own password (often by putting in a deliberately false answer or by creatively misspelling the real one), effectively making it a secondary password.
- On October 11, 2018, Kanye West joined Donald Trump at the White House for lunch, in the company of news crews. While this went on, Kanye unlocked his iPhone in full view of the news cameras, unintentionally revealing that his iPhone password was just six zeroes.