news\ Sep 27, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Chucks Best Video Game-Inspired Moments

Chuck’s Best Video Game-Inspired Moments
By Louis Bedigian

The best moments from the only show that understands what it means to be a gamer.

Are you watching Chuck on NBC? If not, you definitely should be – this is the show gamers have been waiting for. This spy/thriller-inspired comedy (with a goofy lead character who works at a fictitious electronics store called Buy More) is packed with video game-inspired moments that will stick with you for years to come.

Here’s a quick rundown of the series: Chuck’s life is turned upside down when a friend from college sends him an e-mail that downloads a ton of top-secret government info into his brain, turning Chuck into a human super computer (called the Intersect). That’s the good news. The bad news is that he can't control it. But whenever he sees something that triggers the computer (an object, a symbol, the face of a villain, etc.), he "flashes" on the image and is able identify what it is, who and what it's connected to, and so on.

Two real spies, Sarah and Casey, have been sent to protect Chuck as he embarks on several super-dangerous missions (fighting terrorists and other enemies associated with Fulcrum, the show’s evilest organization), and the results are out of this world. Part action, part pop culture comedy (with plenty of hilarious spy antics), Chuck is more than a show; it’s the best comedy on television.

To celebrate the launch of the new season – which is already in full swing (airing Monday nights) – let’s look back on some of the show’s best video game-inspired moments.

Call of Duty: one of Chuck and Morgan’s favorite games.

Piracy to the Rescue

It was just a typical day of work at Buy More until Morgan (Chuck’s best friend) walks up with a package in hand, telling Chuck that “Canada has just delivered its most delightful gift since Shania Twain. Behold the Q-36 game copier.”

This device, which Morgan swears can override all forms of copy protection, allowing them to rent video games and copy them instead of making a full purchase, appears to be nothing more than a nasty machine designed to help pirates commit evil deeds.

But it comes in handy in the episode Chuck versus the Fat Lady when Chuck gets hold of a thumb drive that contains the identity of several Fulcrum agents. Chuck must hand over the drive to rescue … well, that’s entering spoiler territory. But after doing so, the enemy quickly destroys it, thinking that the CIA would no longer have access to that information. Wrong. Chuck made a copy using the Q-36, earning a little praise from Casey while noting that he’s thankful Morgan hates paying for video games (because he wouldn’t have been able to make the copy without his device).

I think Morgan would love a copy of Spore. No?

A Missile to Command

Buy More is filled with losers dedicated to coasting through life, but only one leads the pack for doing absolutely nothing: Jeff Barnes. That’s why it came as a surprise to learn that, more than 20 years ago, Jeff actually did something significant: he won a Missile Command competition.

Unfortunately for him, his greatest accomplishment – and impeccable game skills – have gotten the attention of some very bad people in Chuck Versus Tom Sawyer. It turns out that there is a secret code hidden within the Missile Command kill screen. But unlike other hidden codes, this one has the power to disarm a satellite that has been programmed to launch a nuclear attack.

Jeff, now a Buy More employee for life, is too nervous to replay a game he once ruled. He sees the crowds of anxious spectators (who came to Buy More to watch Jeff attempt to break his own record) and passes out.

With no other options, Chuck decides to take his place but is quickly thwarted by Missile Command’s immense difficulty. Pressure mounts as the clock ticks down; hearing a spectator shout, “You suck!” doesn’t help either. But Chuck keeps his cool, plays another game and prevents the missile from launching in a twist conclusion that includes a classic Rush tune.

Madden made a big splash on Chuck when a bunch of jocks took over
the Buy More demo room to play EA’s biggest franchise.

Call of Duty Saves the Day

In the second season opener, Chuck Versus the First Date, Chuck is in awe of Morgan, who has come up with a new plan to defeat their Buy More enemies – employees of Large Mart – in a brutal battle within Call of Duty.

“Listen up, here are the specs,” Morgan says. “Are you ready? Twenty-three infantry troops, 16 snipers, seven heavy gunners, four demolition experts and enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger. Fifty gamers, one call, all ready for battle.”

Chuck smiles and replies, “Morgan, you are my new hero.”

What Chuck didn’t know at the time is that Morgan’s plan would be heroic in more ways than one. When the Villain-of-the-Week (Colt, played by Michael Clarke Duncan) corners Chuck in an abandoned building, he finds himself surrounded by gunmen.

With no way out, Chuck suddenly comes up with a plan – the Call of Duty plan – and uses Morgan’s specs to turn the tables on Colt. “My name is Charles Carmichael and this is my trap,” he says. “Your compound is currently surrounded by twenty-three infantry troops, 16 snipers, seven heavy gunners, four demolition experts and enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

Colt doesn’t believe a word of it and moves closer to Chuck, who panics and dials Morgan, asking him to reiterate the compound specs.

Unaware of Chuck’s real-life danger, Morgan recites the specs over the speaker phone. “[We’ve got] twenty-three infantry troops, 16 snipers, seven heavy gunners, four demolition experts and enough ammunition to orbit Arnold Schwarzenegger.”

Morgan adds, “I should tell you we got a little impatient and took out one of the sentries. Don’t worry about it, it was a headshot, he couldn’t warn his buddies. It was awesome, you should have seen it! His head exploded like a watermelon!”

Coincidentally, one of Colt’s men had disappeared, so now they are the ones panicking. Chuck uses this opportunity to grab an important item – I’ll refrain from getting into the spoiler-heavy details of it – and escapes.

You have to wonder: if they weren’t so distracted by the price war,
would Best Buy and Wal-mart compete for Call of Duty supremacy?

Other Great Moments

In the Chuck Versus The Lethal Weapon, Morgan is faced with his biggest challenge yet: his girlfriend (Anna) wants them to get an apartment together. To avert disaster, Morgan bails on Anna to play Wii Sports Tennis, hoping his actions – and his hideous sportswear – will turn her off. 

But while those actions were only harmful to his own world, Morgan, Jeff and Lester put the entire planet in danger when they acquire a super computer that they believe is a new gaming laptop. While messing around with it in Chuck Versus the Predator, they get into the laptop’s missile-launching program, which they assume is nothing more than a realistic simulator. Without thinking twice, they tell the program to launch an attack … on Buy More!

Best Moment to Come

In next week’s episode, Chuck’s newfound Intersect spy skills will be further tested when he must shoot (tranquilize!?) a bunch of enemies. Captain Awesome (AKA Devon Woodcomb, Chuck’s sister’s husband), is caught in the middle. After witnessing Chuck in action, Awesome is stunned. “Dude! You’re incredible! Was that your spy training!?”

Nope. The source of his stellar sniping skills: “Duck Hunt,” Chuck replies. “Nintendo.”

Take note, Jeff and Lester: this is what a gaming laptop looks like.


Those who are interested in seeing these episodes in their entirety are encouraged to pick up the second season of Chuck, which is available now on DVD and Blu-ray. Alternatively, you can watch select episodes on and Hulu for free; new episodes air every Monday on NBC.

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