“Are you telling me you built a time machine out of a Delorean?”

From: Back to the Future

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Marty McFly

The story behind the quote: The Back to the Future series of movies was pretty awesome, however, it wouldn’t have been possible if the first film wasn’t so awesome to begin with. It established great characters (Michael J. Fox’s Marty McFly and Chrisopher Llyod’s Doc Brown) and even terms from the movie, such as “flux capacitor, ” “1.21 gigawatts” and “88 miles per hour” have been ingrained in geek culture.

The time machine is another reason why the film is so popular. Doc Brown built his time machine from a DeLorean DMC-12, which is pretty odd if you think about it since most time machines before were, well, stationary objects. In fact, after their first test run, Marty also exclaims that he can’t believe that the car was actually a time machine.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, we gotta go with style over substance. Sure it may seem shallow, but as Doc Brown said, its good to add some flair as well. While it does pay to be practical most of the time, it can be boring. We all want to get things and do stuff that, in the long run, are not really useful. Buying an expensive shirt or eating at a very fancy place may seem useless. However, if you do enjoy it, then there is some use to it.

Life isn’t just about surviving. Life is also enjoying living. We all have to balance our “fun” and “survival” in the right amounts.

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“It’s a magical world, Hobbes, ol’ buddy… let’s go exploring!”

From: Calvin and Hobbes

Genre: Comics

Who said it?: Calvin

The story behind the quote: Calvin and Hobbes is a very creative comic strip from Bill Watterson. Unlike most comic strips, the jokes and stories never patronize the intelligence of the audience and can be read (and enjoyed) by kids and adults alike. Calvin is a very active kid and is best friends with his stuffed tiger, Hobbes. Since he is just a kid, he is very imaginative and constantly dreams of impossible adventures, such as being in outer space in his Spaceman Spiff persona. Most of the stories and gags usually revolve around Calvin’s imagination and how it gets him into trouble. However, there are a lot of philosophical ideas as well. Calvin and, by extension, Hobbes observe things with remarkable insight for a little boy.

The quote comes from the very last strip that was released. It has Calvin and Hobbes walking in the new fallen snow and exclaiming that the day is so full of possibilities. They then both ride on their bobsled, eager to look around the world and find new and exciting things.

Geek wisdom: We have to treat each day as a new adventure. As Calvin said, the day is always full of new possibilities. A lot of us have become cynical and actually dread and worry about what tomorrow will bring. There’s a lot of things the world can offer us and we sometimes close ourselves to the possibility of actually going out and enjoying ourselves.

All of us should take the time to remember that each day brings us new opportunities. We should not hide from these opportunities. Rather, we should chase after the chance a new day brings us.

“Leeroy Jenkins!”

From: Youtube (I guess)

Genre: Video Games, Internet

Who said it?: Leeroy Jenkins (I guess)

The story behind the quote: This is going to be a weird one since it doesn’t really come from anything other than Youtube. However, it does bear mentioning that the video is funny if you know the basic idea behind it. So, let’s first explain what the video is about.

The video shows a bunch of friends planning a raid within the World of Warcraft MMORPG. Before then enter the citadel where the raid is to take place, the group huddle up and meticulously plan and strategize how they are going to attack and what each persons role will be to minimize losses.

Unfortunately, one of the players, Leeroy Jenkins, becomes impatient (or just doesn’t care about strategy) and charges into the battlefield, yelling his name like a battlecry. Leeroy’s actions alert all of the monsters in the citadel and they begin attacking. Their plans wrecked because of this impulsive act, the group is decimated very quickly and all they can do is berate Leeroy Jenkins for it.

Geek wisdom: Planning definitely helps, especially if you want to be successful. Rushing into a dangerous situation without any form of strategy is, as the video shows, just plain suicide. Take a step back and predict possible failure points and make countermeasures. This just doesn’t go for video games; planning also helps with every thing in life.

“That makes me a sad panda!”

From: South Park

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Sexual Harassment Panda

The story behind the quote: South Park comes from the twisted minds of Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The show revolves around the residents of a small community in Colorado. Most of the stories are from the viewpoint of four children, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman. A lot of the humor comes from the general weirdness of the residents and every episode comes from putting a spin on the ridiculousness of life. The show will poke fun at different topics that Trey and Matt want to make fun of, such as religion, politics and even pop culture.

One episode, aptly called Sexual Harassment Panda, has a person dressed up in a panda outfit trying to teach children about how bad sexual harassment is. Unfortunately, the only message Cartman heard after the speech is that you can sue anyone you feel has harassed you before. However, that’s beside the point. I just wanted to show you the speech of Sexual Harassment Panda because there is some wisdom(?) to his words… and its just funny.

Geek wisdom: People and society tell us that we should not show our emotions and bottle them up. Guys will be ridiculed if they cry while watching a movie. Women are taught that they have to hide feeling of love and play hard to get.

We have to be honest with our feelings. Our emotions are a part of us and make us unique from other people. We shouldn’t let others tell us what to feel in certain situations. We shouldn’t be ashamed to express how we feel. In fact, displaying our emotions will give other people a deeper understanding into our very being.

“You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

From: The Matrix

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Morpheus

The story behind the quote: Released in 1999, The Matrix was a groundbreaking film that was unlike any other. First, the trailer did not reveal a single thing about the plot. It only asked “What is the Matrix?” Because of this, people were hooked! They just had to see it!  Before I go into the plot, people that haven’t watched it yet should go watch it first… this will get kinda spoiler-y. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.

Watched it already? Good!

So the plot of the movie is that machines have actually taken over the world and the world that human think they’re living in is just a computer simulation called The Matrix. All of humanity are plugged into machines where our bio-chemistry gives energy to the machines. Essentially, we’re all just giant living batteries. Only a small segment of humanity know about this and are trying to fight the machines.

The hero, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) gets an audience with Morpheus (portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne). Morpheus gives Neo a chance to take a blue pill (which will just knock him out but he will never learn that we’re just giant batteries) or a red pill (which will make him wake up from The Matrix).

Geek wisdom: Throughout life, we are given the choice of taking the blue pill or ignorance or the red pill of knowledge. While there is a saying that ignorance is bliss, having knowledge is always going to be better. Now, the thing is, every thing that we learn is actually through our own choice.

All of us have a great capacity to learn new things on a daily basis. However, a lot of us don’t even try. Even reading a geeky site about wisdom you can find in pop culture (ahem!) adds to one’s knowledge about life. What we become educated on is wholly dependent on our own choice to educate ourselves with what is available in the world.

“You must defeat Sheng Long to stand a chance!”

From: Street Fighter II

Genre: Video Games

Who said it?: Ryu

The story behind the quote: This is actually the victory quote from Ryu, one of the characters from Street Fighter II. However, it created a lot of questions and confusion, which sadly could have been avoided if Capcom was more serious with their documentation.

The quote will appear when Ryu beats his opponent. However, people who were playing the game started wondering who the heck Sheng Long is and why we won’t be able to beat Ryu unless we go through this Sheng Long guy? A lot of people (myself included) that Sheng Long was Ryu and Ken’s master. We all thought that he was some tough Karate master who trained Ryu in his fighting style and must be one tough sonoabitch.

It was a great mystery and EGM, a popular video game magazine at the time, fueled the rumor that Sheng Long was actually in the game by publishing a method to actually fight him!

The method EGM published turned out to be an April’s Fools joke.

The real story behind the quote actually comes from sloppy translation of the victory quotes. The original Japanese quote reads “You must overcome the Rising Dragon,” which is Ryu’s jumping uppercut move, AKA the Dragon Punch. The Japanese text was translated into Chinese, where “Rising Dragon” can be translated into… yep, “Sheng Long.” When it came time to translate the quote to English, the localization staff misunderstood that it was a special attack and not a person, so he (or she) transliterated the text to read the quote we all know and love.

Still, we can sort of thank this mistranslated text. Because of this error, Capcom actually created Akuma (Gouki in Japan… don’t ask why they keep on screwing up the names), who had the moves of “Sheng Long” as described from EGM’s April’s Fools joke, and Gouken, the “official” master of Ryu and Ken who look strangely like the character art from EGM’s joke.

(Whew! That was another long one!)

Geek wisdom: We have to know our limits. A lot of people try to overcome great obstacles and that’s still admirable. However, we sometimes have to realize there has to come a time to step back and actually assess if we have the ability to perform the task. I mean, an ordinary guy just can’t come up to Kobe Bryant right now and challenge him to a one-on-one basketball game and hope to dominate! There’s a certain skill level involved to even stand a slight chance of beating him!

Now, I’m not saying it can be done. It can… but there’s a lot of practice and training involved. But, until you become skilled enough, just stay back and admire the man’s skill on the court.

“The morning sun has vanquished the horrible night”

From: Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest

Genre: Video Games

Who said it?: Narrator?

The story behind the quote: Castlevania II: Simon’s Quest is pretty much known as the black sheep of the series. While the first game focused on platform jumping and a brutal difficulty level, Simon’s Quest took a totally different direction. It was now an RPG, where you need to talk to people and collect items. Because it was such a departure from the original, it wasn’t embraced by fans. It does have some unique tricks, such as using items to overcome obstacles and the day and night transitions (where the enemies become tougher at night).

Anyway, the quote will pop up during the transition to morning from night. A box will appear to the left of the screen, signalling the end of the night, which can be a relief to players when they are just starting out with a low level.

Geek wisdom: Time does heal all wounds. We can be deeply hurt by the actions of other people, especially those close to us. At the start, we can feel that we will never be able to forgive them. Heck, we can even not talk to them for years and years.

However, as time goes by, the intensity of the pain that was inflicted magically starts to fade. We then remember the good times we had with that person and the hurtful action that was done becomes a distant memory. Once this happens, forgiveness become easy.

“Now we are so happy, we do the dance of joy!”

From: Perfect Strangers

Genre: Television

Who said it?: Balki Bartokomous

The story behind the quote: Perfect Strangers was a highly successful sitcom in the 80s. The general premise is that Balki, a foreigner from the fictional island of Mypos, goes to live with his cousin, Larry Appleton in Chicago. A lot of the humor invovles Larry’s misguided attempts to teach Balki the ways of America or his trying to take advantage of Balki’s naive personality. These will backfire and actually cause trouble for the duo. While they hardly know each other, they do eventually rely on each other as good friends and family members.

One of the signature “gimmicks” (if you can call it that) is Balki and Larry performing “the dance of joy,” usually done as a quick celebration of something successful. Before they do it, Balki will turn to his cousin and yell out the quote before they perform the dance… which you can see below.

Geek wisdom: We sometimes forget to celebrate the smaller, happy occasions and tiny achievements in our lives. Even getting in touch with a cousin who you haven’t seen in a while, making up with a person you have been fighting with for a long time or finally buying something that you’ve been saving your money on should be joyous occasions that should be shared with others.

The dance of joy that Balki and Larry do is a great example of sharing your happiness with others for a job well done. We all should actually find ways to celebrate the good things in life when they come our way. Yes, maybe dancing around with your cousin may be silly but it sure can be fun doing it.

“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.”

From: Futurama

Genre: Cartoons, Television

Who said it?: God?

The story behind the quote: Futurama comes from the mind of Matt Groening, the same guy who created the Simpsons. The style of humor is pretty much like the Simpsons, only given a sci-fi twist. It follows the adventures of Fry, a young man who was accidentally placed in suspended animation and revived in the 30th century. There, he finds a job as a courier for the Planet Express courier service. He works with Leela, a one-eyed cyclops who also becomes his love interest, and Bender, a robot that is an “alcoholic, whore-mongering, chain-smoking gambler” (according to Leela).

Anyway, the quote comes from the 20th episode of the 3rd season. While floating aimlessly in space, Bender becomes a god to a small race of beings that lived on his body but the race died because of a nuclear war (long story). The robot actually meets a being that appears to be God. God then tells Bender that he doesn’t interfere with the human race directly but prefers to use a “light touch” to guide them.

Fry and Leela search desperately for Bender and, using a powerful telescope used by space monks (again, long story), find Bender out in space. Bender is then hurtled towards his friends and Fry and Leela are relieved and amazed to find their friend. When leaving the monastery, they realized that they still have the monks tied up. Bender says that God cannot be counted on to help them. The camera then zooms out back to God, where he gives the quote.

(Wow! That was a long summary!)

Geek wisdom: Let’s not get into a theological discussion regarding the quote. Rather, let’s focus on the wisdom behind it. If you think about it, God (well, the voice in the episode anyway) is right. When everything is going right, we don’t give two thoughts regarding how things work. We’re just happy it does.

People have to remember and thank the people in our day to day lives that makes things run smoothly. It can be a thankless job for the guy (or gal) that makes sure that the plumbing in your house is working properly or the janitor that cleans your work area. Acknowledge that they are an important part of our lives.

“Get up, you sonoabitch! ‘Cuz Mickey loves you!”

From: Rocky Balboa

Genre: Movies

Who said it?: Michael “Mickey” Goldmill

The story behind the quote: Ahh, the Rocky films. The quintessential story of an underdog trying to make himself better. Each of the six movies in the series tells the story of Robert “Rocky” Balboa (played by Sylvester Stallone), a down on his luck boxer who eventually becomes the World Heavyweight Champion of the world. This is thanks to no small part of his trainer and mentor, Micheal Goldmill… Mickey for short (portrayed by Burgess Meredith).

The quote comes from a flashback scene in the last film in the series, appropriately titled Rocky Balboa. Rocky, who now owns a respectable restaurant in Philadelphia, visits his old gym. Here, he remembers one of Mickey speeches. The speech is about how Mickey trained him and that he loved him like his own flesh and blood. He also tells Rocky that he’s proud with all of his accomplishments. Finally, Rocky remembers that whenever he feels that he’s in trouble and needs help, Mickey always believed in him, so he should never give up on himself.

Geek wisdom: Sometimes, we feel like giving up. It could be a dream or just life in general. However, we have to remember that there are always going to be people to help you when you’re down… there are people that believe in you. We can forget that, especially when we feel that we are in the lowest point of our lives.

So, when you feel that you can’t go on anymore, remember… there are always people there to help you out when you’re in trouble.