Top 20 Ways to Provoke a Geek Argument (GeekDad Wayback Machine)

Geek Culture

Geeks, as a general rule, are pretty easy-going. We like to think things through, so passionate confrontations aren’t commonplace for us. When we get well and properly provoked, though, watch out! We won’t stop talking until every last point that we can think of has been made at least twice. So, what do you say to provoke a geek? Glad you asked!

Image: Walt Disney PicturesImage: Walt Disney Pictures

Image: Walt Disney Pictures

20. “No real programmer would ever use PHP.” – This won’t work for every geek, of course, but for those it works on, it should work really well.

19. “Comic books are just for kids!” – I’m sure you’ve heard this one before—I know I certainly heard it often enough in high school, and even though it’s even less true now than it was then, I’m sure comic book afficionados still hear it today.

18. “Role-playing games are just for people who can’t deal with real life.” – There are, sadly, still a lot of people who think anyone who plays D&D must live in his parents’ basement and bathe once a month. Such people must be put straight, and immediately!

17. “The Pirates of the Caribbean movies are so realistic!” – I doubt many people actually believe this, but there are an awful lot of misconceptions about pirates out there, so you never know.

16. “Yeah, I got an Xbox 360 so my daughter could play Hello Kitty games. Is it really good for anything else?” – We’ve hit the ones that are hard for me even to type, now…

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

Image: Lucasfilm Ltd.

15. “Mac, Windows, or Linux? Does it really make a difference?” – An argument so old its original form was probably first written down in hieroglyphs, I know, but I don’t know a single geek it wouldn’t work on—myself included.

14. “The Ewoks were the best thing about the original Star Wars trilogy.” / “Greedo shot first!” – I couldn’t decide between the two. If one doesn’t work, I’ll bet the other one would.

13. “Tolkien? Ehhh, I prefer Terry Brooks!” – I almost feel like I should argue with myself just for writing that. I’m going to let the top two stand for themselves.

12. “Joss Whedon is a hack!”

11. “I don’t see what’s so bad about DRM!”

Image: Mozilla FoundationImage: Mozilla Foundation

Image: Mozilla Foundation

10. “Internet Explorer is much better than Firefox—why else would it be the most popular browser?”

9. “Jar-Jar Binks was so funny, I wish he’d been in the original trilogy, too!”

8. “Homeopathy works, no matter what ‘science’ has to say about it.”

7. “If open-source software was really that great, they’d charge for it.” – I’ve actually had people say this to me a few times over the years. As a software engineer who’s used lots of open-source projects, I’m particularly sensitive to this one.

6. “The best Star Trek film was number five, no question.”

Image: Muppets Holding CompanyImage: Muppets Holding Company

Image: Muppets Studios, LLC

5. “Dreamworks kicks Pixar’s animated butt!” – I like a lot of Dreamworks films, don’t get me wrong. But there’s really just no contest.

4. “Jim Henson was nothing more than a glorified puppeteer.” – Anyone who would actually say this ought to be strung up by his thumbnails, of course.

3. “Batman is so boring—he doesn’t even have any super powers!”

2. “Geeks are all like those guys in Revenge of the Nerds, right?”

1. “Who needs Gmail? I’ve got AOL!”

Any other good ones come to mind for you? Please share them in the comments!

[This article was originally published (as two articles) in June of 2009.]

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