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WarGames is a 1983 film about a teenager who unintentionally hacks into a war-simulating computer at NORAD, causing the US to panic over a seemingly impending Soviet nuclear strike.

Directed by John Badham. Written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter F. Parkes.
Is it a game, or is it real?taglines

Dr. Stephen Falken

  • Now, children, come on over here. I'm going to tell you a bedtime story. Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin. Once upon a time, there lived a magnificent race of animals that dominated the world through age after age. They ran, they swam, and they fought and they flew, until suddenly, quite recently, they disappeared. Nature just gave up and started again. We weren't even apes then. We were just these smart little rodents hiding in the rocks. And when we go, nature will start again. With the bees, probably. Nature knows when to give up, David.
  • I loved it when you nuked Las Vegas. Suitably biblical ending for the place, don't you think?
  • …It will be a millisecond of brilliant light, then we will be vaporized
  • We will be spared the horror of survival.
  • John! Good to see you. I see the wife still picks your ties.
  • What you see on these screens up here is a fantasy; a computer enhanced hallucination!
  • General, you are listening to a machine. Do the world a favor and don't act like one.

David Lightman

  • Protovision, I have you now.
  • Hey, I don't believe that any system is totally secure.
  • [to Dr. Falken] This is unreal! You don't care about death 'cause you're already dead! I know a lot about you. I know you weren't always like this. What was the last thing you cared about?
  • [to Joshua] Come on. Learn, goddammit.

General Beringer

  • We've had men in those silos since before any of you guys were watching "Howdy Doody"! Now, for myself I sleep pretty well knowing those boys are down there.
  • Mr. Mckittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.
  • Goddammit, I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it'd do any good!
  • Gentlemen, I wouldn't trust this overgrown pile of microchips any further than I can throw it.
  • Flush the bombers, get the subs in launch mode. We are at DEFCON 1.


  • Joshua:Shall we play a game?
  • Nigan: He does fit the profile perfectly. He's intelligent, but an under-achiever; alienated from his parents; has few friends. Classic case for recruitment by the Soviets.
  • Jim Sting [to Malvin]: Remember you told me to tell you when you were acting rudely and insensitively? Remember that? You're doing it right now.
  • McKittrick: Excuse me, sir. We can't send these men back to the President of the United States with a lot of head-shrinker horseshit!
  • Computer technician: Put X in the center square!


Mr. Liggett: Alright, Lightman. Maybe you can tell us who first suggested the idea of reproduction without sex.
David: Um, your wife?

Malvin: I can't believe it, Jim. That girl's standing over there listening and you're telling him about our back doors?
Jim Sting: [yelling] Mister Potato Head! MISTER POTATO HEAD!! Back doors are not secrets!
Malvin: Yeah, but Jim, you're giving away all our best tricks!
Jim Sting: They're not tricks.

Mr. Lightman: This corn is raw!
Mrs. Lightman: I know, isn't it wonderful? It's so crisp!
Mr. Lightman: Of course it's crisp! It's raw!
Mrs. Lightman: No, it's terrific! You can just taste the Vitamin A and D in here. It's great!
Mr. Lightman: Could we have pills and cook the corn?

Jennifer: He wasn't very old, was he?
David: Oh, he was pretty old, he was 41.
Jennifer: Wow, that is old.

Joshua: Shall we play a game?
David: Oh!
Jennifer: I think it missed him.
David: Yeah. Weird isn't it? Love to. How about Global Thermonuclear War.
Joshua: Wouldn't you prefer a nice game of chess?
David: Later. Right now lets play Global Thermonuclear War.
Joshua: Fine.

David: What is the primary goal?
Joshua: You should know, Professor. You programmed me.
David: Oh, c'mon. What is the primary goal?
Joshua: To win the game.

David Lightman: Is it a game... or is it real?
Joshua: What's the difference?
David: Oh wow.
Joshua: You are a hard man to reach.

Stephen Falken: Are either of you paleontologists? I'm in desperate need of a paleontologist.
Jennifer: No, we're high school students.
Stephen Falken: Pity.

Stephen Falken: Except, that I never could get Joshua to learn the most important lesson.
David: What's that?
Stephen Falken: Futility. That there's a time when you should just give up.
Jennifer: What kind of a lesson is that?
Stephen Falken: Did you ever play tic-tac-toe?
Jennifer: Yeah, of course.
Stephen Falken: But you don't anymore.
Jennifer: No.
Stephen Falken: Why?
Jennifer: Because it's a boring game. It's always a tie.
Stephen Falken: Exactly. There's no way to win. The game itself is pointless! But back in the war room, they believe you can win a nuclear war.

David: I can't swim.
Jennifer: You can't swim?
David: No, I can't, all right, Wonder Woman? I can't swim.
Jennifer: Well, what kind of an asshole grows up in Seattle and doesn't even know how to swim?
David: I never got around to it, okay? I always thought there was gonna be plenty of time!
Jennifer: Sorry.
David: I wish I didn't know about any of this. I wish I was like everybody else in the world, and tomorrow it would just be over. There wouldn't be any time to be sorry about anything. Oh, Jesus! I really wanted to learn how to swim. I swear to God I did.

David: Joshua called me.
McKittrick: David, machines don't call people!
David: [shrugs] Yours did.

McKittrick: See that sign up here - up here. "Defcon." That indicates our current "def"ense "con"dition. It should read "Defcon 5," which means peace. It's still on 4 because of that little stunt you pulled. Actually, if we hadn't caught it in time, it might have gone to Defcon 1. You know what that means, David?
David: No. What does that mean?
McKittrick: World War Three.

General Beringer: Who's first and how soon?
Major: Sir, the WOPR indicates initial impact points as the 43rd Bomb Wing at Loring, the 319th at Grand Forks, and Alaskan Air Command headquarters at Elmendorf.

General Beringer: Mr. McKittrick, after very careful consideration, sir, I've come to the conclusion that your new defense system sucks.
McKittrick: I don't have to take that, you pig-eyed sack of shit.
General Beringer: Oh, I was hoping for something a little better than that from you, sir. A man of your education.

Joshua: Greetings, Professor Falken.
Stephen Falken: Hello, Joshua.
Joshua: A strange game. The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?


  • Is it a game, or is it real?
  • Where the only winning move is NOT TO PLAY.


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