6 Sad Facts About Beloved Characters (Proven By Fans)
Math ruins everything. Take Batman, for example. Watching Christian Bale angrily demand the location of the drugs, Rachel, and the trigger is great, but if the police ever actually caught him, he'd be screwed to the tune of 1,003 years behind bars, plus 29 life sentences for his contributions to society. At this rate, the Gotham PD will probably just launch Ben Affleck's Batman at the moon if they ever manage to cuff him.
And it's not just Batman. There are countless facets of pop culture that have their joy forcefully ripped from them whenever they face the harsh light of arithmetic. And on that note, let's dive into some of them!
Jack Bauer Killed 309 People In Nine-ish Days
Jack Bauer is a man who doesn't take any shit from anybody. He's a shoot-first, ask-questions-while-simultaneously-ripping-off-fingernails kind of guy. And despite some morally dubious decisions, he's always had America's best interests at heart. So what if Bauer has to pop a couple terrorists or electrocute a few extremists' genitals? He does it for the USA. Got a problem, LIBERALS?
But just how lethal is Bauer? We'd probably estimate "More than the average shark, but less than the average Sharknado," but that's hardly scientific. Thankfully, a few obsessive fans watched the entirety of 24 while wildly scribbling each kill into their murder journals until we assume those journals were worn to dust.
Over the course of eight days, plus the two hours of 24: Redemption and the half-day of Live Another Day, Jack Bauer kills 309 people. 309. That rounds out to 1.5 guys an hour, for a whopping 36 guys a day. It's not evenly spread, either; Bauer started the first day only killing ten guys, but really took the gloves off during Day Six, with 52 individual murders. By contrast, the Korean War killed about 31 Americans soldiers a day. On some days, that was Bauer's quota before he let himself take lunch.
What's even more impressive is how over 70 percent of Bauer's kills involve a gun, and typically a handgun at that. American soldiers, trained to use highly accurate automatic rifles, tend to fire 250,000 rounds for every dead insurgent. But Jack runs around with a pistol popping off heads with little remorse and even less wasted ammo. Am I saying that the next 24 series should involve an attempt to clone Jack Bauer for the creation of an army of bullet-saving investments? Maybe. Am I saying that Fox should check out the piece of fanfiction sitting on my desk right now? I'll leave that one up to you.
And to think he killed all those men without taking a shit even once. Hopefully, some super fan will measure exactly how many pounds Bauer's shame-riddled end-of-day dumps must weigh. For science, of course.
Related: What To Do With 'Brooklyn Nine-Nine'
Charlie Brown Sucks At Baseball -- No, Seriously, He's REALLY Bad
While obviously not blessed with the most athletic of figures (how big is that goddamn head?), Charlie Brown makes up for his shortcomings with a positive attitude. Sadly, optimism doesn't mean shit if you have the motor skills of a drunken toddler. For example, as far as anybody can tell, he's never managed to successfully kick a football.
And it's not just football that Charlie Brown sucks at; he's also a godawful baseball player. In the original Peanuts comics from the 1950s and '60s, Charlie's team loses more baseball games than, like, a really bad baseball team, probably. Baseball still happens, right? Charlie's team squeaks out a few wins, though, so how bad could he be? After all, who's really keeping track?
Well, thanks to Larry Granillo's impressive amounts of dedication and spare time, we know the exact record of Charlie's shitty little team. Adding up all games from the comics, Charlie's regular season record comes out to a soul-crushing 9-85. If you fail at something 91 percent of the time, you should probably switch hobbies to drafting health care bills or making DC Comics movies or something. And they're not particularly close games, either. Charlie Brown's 1961 season started out with a 0-123 losing effort. That's not just a loss; that's a slash-and-burn campaign on the self-esteem of Charlie's whole class. Logically, that should have been followed by Linus setting the dugout on fire in a blind rage.
And because Charles Schultz was apparently secretly building to a murder-suicide final panel of Peanuts, Brown's team still inexplicably managed to qualify for the league championships on three separate occasions, only to fail spectacularly each time. In his final championship appearance, all Charlie had to do to win the game was get through the final inning without letting the other team score. But of course Chuck fails at that, too. Thankfully, we never got to see the aftermath of this in It Was 40 Years Ago So Get Over It, Charlie Brown!.
James Bond Is An Actual Alcoholic
A big part of James Bond's appeal is his penchant for excess. Bond doesn't want to just have sex with safe women; the whole world is his Tinder, and he's been swiping right since 1953. He doesn't just shoot villains, but blows them up like a balloon until they fly away and pop like it's the end of the world's saddest and most racially questionable birthday party. But even more than perpetual shootin' and fuckin' (which, coincidentally is the title of Daniel Craig's next 007 outing), Bond's favorite vice is drinking. Bond treats every minute like it's midnight on New Year's Eve, and at this point, his liver must look like a leather wallet that's been left out in the rain.
In an effort to figure out how this fictional world's supply of vodka was doing, three concerned UK physicians decided to calculate just how much alcohol Bond was ingesting in the books. The answer, like a shirtless Sean Connery in Never Say Never Again, was a whole lot less sexy than everybody had hoped.
After reading through all 14 of Ian Fleming's novels, recording each drink that passes Bond's full, manly lips, the researchers determined that Bond's weekly alcohol intake was four times the advisable maximum consumption. That's just at the high end, too. Most doctors recommend sticking to about 14 units of alcohol per week, or about six pints of beer. Bond, however, shakes-not-stirs his way through 92 units a week. That's the equivalent of almost 40 pints of beer, or a full 92 shots of liquor. It's a wonder that he's able to find time between urinal visits to shut down Moonrakers or wrestle ninjas.
And although, yes, that sort of intake means Bond would likely be the best part of your bachelor party, it also means he was at considerable risk of developing the darkest of alcohol-related conditions: impotence. How will all of those evil henchwomen go on when they find out that Bond's Walther PPK is a little less GoldenEye and little more Spectre?
Bob's Burgers Is Failing Hard ... Like, "Surviving On Food Stamps" Hard
It's no secret that Bob's Burgers isn't exactly thriving. There are only ever two or three customers in the restaurant at a time, and Bob keeps overhead costs low by semi-illegally turning his children into underage burger slaves. Of course, the show intentionally never digs too deeply into the Belchers' finances. Comedy becomes a little less, well, comedic, if you counter every punchline with a tearful monologue about how you can't afford to feed your kids.
A few fans decided to dig into the numbers behind the Belcher family's affairs, though, because only the president of America should be allowed to conceal their earnings. According to one study, Bob's Burgers LLC is probably bringing in a little less than $70,000 a year, while only actually taking home about $43,000 in true annual profit. Given that the average cost for an apartment like the Belcher's runs at about $20,000 a year, the Belchers are left with a paltry $23,000 (before taxes). And that, according to the state of New Jersey, puts the Belchers at about 50 percent less than the maximum to receive food stamps. It's got to be pretty humiliating for the inventor of the Poutine on the Ritz Burger to realize that he can't even afford his own food.
So yeah, if we ever see an episode in which Teddy disappears from his usual spot at the counter and Gene starts raving about how great the new secret burger ingredients taste, just know that Bob did it for his family.
The Town Of Springfield Will Probably All Die Of Lung Cancer
We've already established that residents of The Simpsons' Springfield may be trapped in a horrifying extradimensional existence wherein each character's duplicate iterations are all doomed to die insane deaths as the Universe corrects itself. C'est la vie, you know? But now we know that even if the original iterations of those characters manage to survive the werewolves, the inside-out turning fog, Groundskeeper Willie's sentient hair, nukes, or the rise of the dolphins, they're all going to die of lung cancer anyway.
According to a 2009 study, there are, on average, at least two characters smoking in any given episode of The Simpsons. In 400 reviewed episodes, there were 795 unique instances of characters riding the nicotine dragon. Around the 2002-2004 era of the show, Springfieldians were averaging some five smoking characters per episode. And while the show typically only focuses on a few characters at a time, Springfield only has an estimated 60,000 residents, which means the percentage of smokers in the town must be incredibly high. Writers presumably drew the line at the episode in which Apu personally lit the cigarettes of a dozen fifth-graders that wandered into his store, preferring instead to leave it implied.
Despite American adult smokers only making up 15 percent of the population, lung cancer accounts for some 27 percent of deaths every year. Given Springfield's impressively high smoking rate, it's not difficult to imagine that they'd be dying even more frequently. If you don't see him for a few episodes, it's probably because Krusty the Clown is struggling to recover from his pulmonary lobectomy.
But it's not like any of the characters are particularly worried about it, either. You'd think somebody might comment on how all the smoking could literally create a tobacco-fueled apocalypse, but smoking was only portrayed negatively about a third of the time in the show. And the characters who would have opposed smoking? Statistically, they probably smoked themselves into an early grave, too.
Millions Are Dead In Westeros
Every few minutes or so, Game Of Thrones will begrudgingly cut away from an exposed female breast to allow another character to remind the audience that winter is indeed coming. And they should, as Westeros' winters last for a long time. Not just, like, an exceptionally chilly four or five months, but potentially years and years. That means that the Starks will have plenty of time to get bored with sledding.
Alright, so that doesn't sound great for a civilization that hasn't developed centralized heating or Taco Bell Fire Sauce, but how bad could it really be? After all, they've still got dragon flames and the naked warmth of about a billion willing handmaidens. Well, firstly, it's important to note that the naked and/or de-limbed characters we see onscreen only make up a tiny fraction of the country's total population. According to George R.R. Martin's official research assistant, Elio Garcia, there are some 40 million people living in Westeros. Over the course of six seasons, we've been roughly introduced to the entire population of Rhode Island, but 40 million is somewhere between Canada and Spain.
Given that figure, we can easily extrapolate that millions of them are going to die from starvation. Because that's exactly what happened when medieval Europe had a few crappy harvests. Not 14 years of brutal winter, mind you -- just a few rainy summers and extra-cold winters, all of which missed the invention of the space heater by about 600 years.
The Great Famine, as it's now known, hit medieval Europe in 1315. After a period called the Medieval Warm Period, Europe had seven years or so of truly mediocre weather. Just imagine how vindicated the medieval climate change deniers must have felt once Europe stopped being so hot and instead collapsed under incessant rain and frigid cold. Let's see Sir Bill Nye explain that one away.
It got so bad that peasants began to eat everything they could find, from grass to bark to freaking each other. And that is the ultimate fate of Westeros. There will be no triumphant planting of newly royal ass on the Iron Throne. The final scene of the series finale will just be Daenerys chewing on Tyrion's legs so she doesn't starve. Winter is delicious.
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And to further expand your noggin, check out Cracked's De-Textbook: The Stuff You Didn't Know About the Stuff You Thought You Knew.