The 8 G.I. Joes Most Frequently Left In the Box


Tripwire was G.I. Joe's designated mine detector. Not 'explosives expert' or even 'bomb disposal unit' - he just and only detected landmines. He came with no weapons, devices, or novelty items. All he had was a metal detector, a few landmines to detect and, according to his package art up there, a seriously out of proportion sense of self worth. But wait, back up to that middle part - he brought his own landmine to detect, just in case there weren't any in the battle?! And there never were! Because you couldn't buy a 'pack of landmines' -- the only ones in existence came with Tripwire. He brought his landmines to the fight, detected them, and then went home to watch the DIY channel for the rest of the afternoon.

"Everybody hold up! O..okay, no it was nothing. You can go. TO HELL!"

I'm sure mine-sweeping is a very important part of real war, but this is G.I. Joe: The bad guy is half snake, and they're pursuing him in a helicopter shaped like an eagle that fires other, smaller bird-shaped helicopters. Realism is not at the forefront here, and cautious mine-sweeping is probably the last task a ten year old would be interested in. And if they were -- if you had a friend whose hand shot up to call Tripwire every round -- you should call his family to give them your condolences. Because I promise you that he killed himself in college. His family will tell you it was a chemical imbalance, but looking back, you can see it: He just never learned what joy was.


Law came with a German Shepherd named Order, and at first glance, nothing seemed more awesome. The only Assigned Reading book a grade school boy actually read was Call of the Wild, because, to a fourth grader, nothing says 'badass' like being best friends with a wolf or other similarly threatening canine. But Law was another trapdoor disappointment just waiting to swing open: You read his bio card on the back of the box, and you find out that Law was the G.I. Joe's MP.

That stands for Military Police.

"Move along, nothing to see here. Except my fist!

Law was the guy who broke up late night barfights on Joe base and responded to domestic violence calls. If you had a friend who knew how to play with Law, then you had a friend whose dad was in the military and whose mom walked into doors a lot.

Dial Tone

Dial Tone was the Communications officer, which means that sweet robot backpack he came with - the one you always stuck on other figures and pretended was a jetpack -- was actually supposed to be a radio. Dial Tone was Tripwire all over again: Yes, it's a job that needs doing on the real battlefield, but when you've taken enough liberties with the premise of modern warfare that you have an entire Ninja unit, you can probably just glaze over the day to day duties of the CB Radio operator.

"Come in? Come in? I'm not receiving you...BECAUSE YOU'RE DEAD!"

Just look at him: He looks like he's sorry that he's wasting your time. The only thing Dial Tone did well was keep Shipwreck company, judging by his stylin' little moustache, and the fact that he appeared in such episodes as (these are all real): Glamour Girls, Joes' Night Out, Let's Play Soldier, My Brother's Keeper, Iceberg Goes South, and Into Your Tent...

Please note that the suggestive ellipsis, the one that practically reeks of lube and secrets, is part of the actual episode title.


Mainframe was G.I. Joe's computer specialist. Some Joes piloted the Hawkopters, some Joes fired the Ice Laser Cannons, some Joes were counter-Samurai experts, and some Joes were just fluent in Python and C++. Hey, even Snake Eyes gets a driver conflict now and again, and that, baby, is Mainframe's time to shine. He came equipped with a computer.

No, that was literally all.

And he appeared in such episodes as, surprise, "Computer Complications."

"We're gonna Power Cycle those bastards!"

His battle cry was "did you try unplugging it, waiting a minute, and then plugging it back in?" and he's most notable for being the only G.I. Joe who deemed it necessary to wear a helmet for IT support.

You can buy Robert's book, Everything is Going to Kill Everybody: The Terrifyingly Real Ways the World Wants You Dead, or follow him on Twitter and Facebook or you can go right ahead and pick first. Yeah? You pick Hawk? Awesome. I pick Optimus Fucking Prime. That's right: I brought an Autobot to a Joe fight. That's how I roll, bitches.

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Robert Brockway

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