“Mr. Potato Head! Mr. Potato Head! Back doors are not secrets.”

The interesting thing about this next movie is that for the longest time after it was released, there were multiple pop culture references that people used all the time.

Two decades removed from the Cold War now, this film has lost its pop culture reference appeal and is now used to date dinosaurs like me when we quote it.  It is one of those films that you watch now and think, “Wow, so outdated.”  A lot of the things that were covered in this film were talked about for the first time.

Using computers for war. Having computers on your desk at home (I know, back in 1983, not everyone had a computer at home on their desk…crazy).

I’m going to list a few pop culture references from this film and you let me know if you’ve heard them before by commenting:

“Wouldn’t-you-prefer-a-nice-game-of-chess?” (electronic computer voice)

“To-win-the-game.” (electronic computer voice)

Defcon 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 (5=peace, 1=World War III)

The use of the phrase “Launch Codes” which was used in about a million other war movies after this one.

There’s a few.  The film was very anti-computer and paranoid with that message.  Not only have the people we elected put computers in charge of our future, but they don’t have a fail safe if the computers were ever compromised.  Talk about putting the public in danger.  I think this film is one of the subconscious reasons my parents were always afraid to get a desk top.  What if it tried to kill us? I kid….slightly.

War Games” is about a smart “computer savvy” nerd that does not do well in school mainly because he is bored and has figured out how to use his computer to change his grades.  Why work when you don’t need to?  This general boredom that he has leads to trying to impress a girl (not played by Kerri Greensad face) and he learns how to break into the national defense system from his desk top.  He simulates a game of “Global Thermonuclear War” that appears on his computer as well as the national defense system’s screen, and they do not think it is a “game.”

For it’s time, this was a very entertaining film.  The public did not have the knowledge of computers that they have now and were easily drawn into the possibility of something like this happening.  We fear what we do not understand.  Basically, I didn’t get a computer until I was in college.

I really liked the acting and the writing and again, I bought the child doing adult things and eventually being the one that has to fix the mess he created.  He did get a little help from the man who created the system, but it was his smarts in the heat of the moment that saved the day.  Another 80s kid that could accomplish anything.  These movies were all over our culture.  Of course we thought we could actually be POTUS one day.  We could save our townsave a different world in a different universe, and even prevent real life Global Thermonuclear war.

POTUS just seems like destiny after that.


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12 thoughts on ““Mr. Potato Head! Mr. Potato Head! Back doors are not secrets.”

  1. I think the actual quote is “How about a nice game of chess?” Though it has been a few years since I’ve last seen the film, so I could be off by a word or two.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There are two. “Wouldn’t you prefer a good game of chess?” is very early in the movie, “How about a nice game of chess?” is the last line.


  2. Laughed out loud, at parents afraid of computers! My dad was the worse for that. His frequent quotes before he passed on, will remain in his kids head for our life time. ‘It’s a machine of the Devil! Mark my words, it will be the end of mankind!’ … Have to admit, scary thought :/

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t care if it dates me or not. That movie is the bomb! Haha. I quote it to my freshman, who were born in 2003. They don’t get it, and I don’t care.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right on Kathy. I offer training at work and catch myself quoting it all the time to new classes. When I get inquired stares, I tell them to go watch it. I’m sure they never do.


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