In the Interest of Poor Taste, Here Are 8 of the Funniest Uses of Nuclear Weapons in Pop Culture

Who knew mass destruction could be so hilarious?
In the Interest of Poor Taste, Here Are 8 of the Funniest Uses of Nuclear Weapons in Pop Culture

Just hours from theatrical release, Christopher Nolan’s highly anticipated war epic Oppenheimer is almost certain to blow everyone away (especially anyone who dares to sit in the first few rows of an IMAX screening). But the film about the man at the center of the Manhattan Project is hardly the first to tackle nuclear weapons. In fact, here are just a few bomb drops in pop culture that were employed in rather humorous ways…

Judgment Day’ Dream Sequence

While not filmed with comedic intent, it’s hard not to laugh at Sarah Connor’s apocalyptic dream sequence of a nuclear holocaust that would kill six billion people. Again, the circumstances are horrifying, but seeing her turn to bone in the atomic blaze is comical. Just ask anyone online who has used the GIF of this scene as a reaction.

The Gang Questions Nuclear Warfare

While there was no bomb in sight, Charlie Kelly raised a good question about the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in this Season Three episode of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia: Why harm those who supply us something we benefit from on a daily basis?

Atomic Banter

Not only did Captain Hiller and David Levinson, played by Will Smith and Jeff Goldblum respectively, in Independence Day save the Earth from total nuclear annihilation, but they did so with some serious banter. Who knew light negging was the thing to get you through such a high-pressure, high-stakes situation. 

America’s School for Wayward Nuclear Weapon

John Oliver is no stranger to wading into the waters of political commentary that his contemporaries refuse to touch. So it was only natural for Oliver and the Last Week Tonight team to dive into just how poorly America takes care of its nearly 5,000 nuclear weapons.

Peter and Chris Prepare for Nuclear Fallout

Family Guy: Through The Years sees the Griffin family’s show reimagined as one that’s been on the air for six decades and looks back at cultural events of the mid-20th century. One of these events includes a pitstop in the 1950s when the family experiences nuclear fallout. Despite the atomic mushroom cloud in the background, Chris is more concerned with navigating period sex.

The Snuke

Equal parts 24 parody and satire of the inherent racism and bigotry in a post-9/11 America, “The Snuke” was South Park’s own atomic experiment. Not only did it explore the harmful effects of these racial prejudices, but it also capitalized on America’s everlasting conflicts with England, Russia and Hillary Clinton.

Bender’s Atomic Pile

In Futurama’s existential episode “Godfellas,” Bender is accidentally launched into space, where he expects to drift for “eons of loneliness.” What he doesn’t expect is to inadvertently become a god to the Shrimpkins, a race of tiny aliens who take refuge on his body and constantly seek miracles. He quickly learns that he doesn’t have what it takes to be a god-like figure and watches the beloved servants to the “great metal lord” and the Unbelievers engage in atomic warfare with his “nuclear pile.”

Dr. Strangelove, We’ll Meet Again

Perhaps the granddaddy of Hollywood atomic bombs, Stanley Kubrick’s biting satire Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb ends with a bang — and a serenade. Just as the titular wheelchair-bound nuclear war expert and former Nazi shouts that he can walk again, the announcement is usurped by a montage of nuclear explosion footage with Vera Lynn’s rendition of “We’ll Meet Again” playing in the background. A sobering reminder to not count your chickens before they hatch, especially if you’re playing with atomic-inspired fire.

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