10 Hilarious Videos That Show TV & Movies Failing To Understand Technology

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movie bloopers technologyWhen you’re trying to come up with a dramatic script or integrate “hacking” into your police drama show, there’s no time for reality. An actual depiction of hacking would be terribly boring, but add some flashing windows, fast-paced typing, and dramatic music and you’ve got yourself a thrilling scene. Time and time again, television shows and films have fallen flat on their faces when it comes to understanding technology, and the results make for great entertainment.

Think of this as a “greatest hits” list of some of the most hilarious and ridiculous examples that have been mentioned on the Web. You don’t have to be a computer geek to appreciate the hilarity here, but it certainly helps.

Tracking The Killer’s IP Address With Visual Basic

This one’s a classic from CSI. The show’s trying to impress us by throwing technical-sounding terms like “GUI,” “Visual Basic,” and “IP address” at us, but it misses the mark and just sounds completely ridiculous.

“We’re Being Hacked!”

From NCIS comes an attempt to transform “hacking” into visual drama. Apparently, hacking involves windows flashing on and off your screen. To fight it, two people should type on the keyboard at the same time, as if they’re psychically linked and wouldn’t just be typing gibberish. If you’re unsuccessful, you’ll see code on your screen and may end up exclaiming “I’ve never seen code like this!”

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IRC Is For Hackers

According to Numb3rs, IRC is “how hackers talk when they don’t want to be overheard.” It’s also like “two boats meeting in the middle of the ocean to swap a load of illegal drugs,” so you have to catch them in real-time. Don’t worry, though – it’s easy to set up an alarm that monitors every IRC channel on the entire Internet. And if an IRC conversation is taking place, you can easily drop in and watch it. Remember to take a screenshot, though – you can’t possibly log an IRC conversation to disk.

Eye Reflections


If you believe CSI and other police drama shows, there’s always a reflection in someone’s eye in an important photograph. All you have to do is grab the reflection and you’ll see a crisp, high-resolution image that you can use to crack the case.

Rotate That Photograph

Some shows pretend to be serious by only “enhancing” a still image, but the characters in Enemy of the State actually rotate a still image. Somehow it’s possible to see something the camera couldn’t. This is explained as the computer being able to “hypothesize.” Sure, guys.

Even though Jack Black is in this, it isn’t supposed to be a comedy. This is a scene from a serious thriller.

Zoom & Enhance Parody


Everyone’s seen the typical “zoom, zoom, enhance – there’s the killer!” scenes. This video from Red Dwarf parodies them and adds new actions, such as “uncrop.” The sad thing is that this scene is actually more realistic than the rotation trick used above.

Hacking Is A Graphical Video Game

Masterminds shows us a rare glimpse of what hacking is like for an actual hacker. Apparently, hacking is a first-person game where you walk through a hallway and dodge skeletons.

Hiding Secret Data In A Video Game


NBC’s Life – another police drama show, what is it about these things? – brings us some dramatic police-playing-video-games action. Watch as the police struggle to beat level 10 in Prince of Persia, knowing that the evidence is hidden in level 11. With all the ways to encrypt things and hide files, what hacker wouldn’t hide their most sensitive data in a video game level?

She Has The High Score In Every MMORPG

This character from NCIS has the high score in every massively multiplayer online role-playing game — a big accomplishment, especially considering they lack high scores. What’s more, she appears to practice basic hygiene and not be chained to her computer all the time. If this were even possible, this character would never be able to leave her computer or sleep. And she’d have to find hundreds of hours to play each day.

An Actual Zoom & Enhance

Castle deserves recognition for this scene. In it, our brilliant detectives realize that, if they could only enlarge and “enhance” part of a photograph, they could see the killer’s face! So they send it off to the photo techs, who deliver them an enlarged and “enhanced” photo.

They’re stunned to discover that “the enhancement only increased the pixelation” and realize that “in the real world, zoom and enhance can only get us so far.” Amazing!

Do you know any other hilarious videos that we missed here? Leave a comment and share them with us!

Image Credit: Man With Images Around Head via Shutterstock

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Comments (50)
  • mariya

    Well, we have to start with that self-awareness’ It is usually the emionots that blocks the logical reasoning capability of the mind.The desires, expectations, and its mis-match’ with the situations outside, due to adverse unexpected results’ , etc causes that uncontrollable’ outburst of emionots.So try to look at those desires as our aims goals, while recognising at the same time that there are many factors outside our scope, beyond our control that could also affect the results. This would deepen the acceptance, without diluting the efforts to achieve the goal/desire. Thus, the emionots are well under check. Logic would function well and our skills performance would improve. Rational prioritizing would happen at an enhanced level too. Most importantly, the accumulation of negative emionots would decrease and onlookers would find’ that we have better control over the mind.

  • Nahar Aba Hakeem

    yes. more video plese. :-)

    • Chris Hoffman

      Yup, there’s no such thing as an original idea. Everything’s been done before, in some way. I went out of my way not to copy other articles and to put my own spin on it — I’d seen lots of these videos myself in the past.

  • Eddie Holland

    Well, there’s Firewall – starring a much older Harrison Ford (than his Blade Runner heyday). The whole movie is basically a hilarious movie that meets all the selection criteria for this thread, but special commendation has to go to:

    1) HF shutting down a massive, distributed attack on his bank’s data center by typing a single router command (possibly ‘show interfaces’?) on the console.

    2) Using a four-letter dictionary word, which is also the name of the family’s boat, as a password for his home security systems (robust or what!?).

    3) A ridiculously accurate dog collar-mounted GPS system that can also pinpoint baddies in any terrain or building structure.

    Nothing to do with technology, but please check out the English/Irish/Boston/Scottish accent of the main villain.

    Can we also have Jurassic Park? “I know this system – it’s UNIX!” squeals the little girl hacker, as a 3D maze of Lego bricks (well, that’s what they looked like to me) appears on the screen.

    • Chris Hoffman

      Oh yeah, Firewall! I remember that one. So laughable.

      Really, this article could have listed 100 videos and there’d still be room for more.

  • Bernard88

    Am I the only old guy that remembers Blade Runner with young Harisson Ford, when He enhances a photo to look in a mirror… Ahhh you kids don’t watch retro lol ;-)

    • Chris Hoffman

      Ah, Blade Runner — At least that was supposed to be “the future” and not something realistic from the present!

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Affiliate Disclamer

This review may contain affiliate links, which pays us a small compensation if you do decide to make a purchase based on our recommendation. Our judgement is in no way biased, and our recommendations are always based on the merits of the items.

For more details, please read our disclosure.