i kick the box December 15, 2020 1:36 PM   Subscribe

I'm having one of those moments where I don't remember if I read something here or thought of it independently. (Probably read it here.) Does anyone remember a conversation on the blue or green about a specific vending machine movie trope?

Basically in this trope vending machines are used to identify The Cool Guy.

The setup: A group of folks is in a wasteland type scenario, hungry and tired, and they come upon an old abandoned vending machine. The Dweeb Guy starts sorting change in his pockets, asks if anyone has change for a five, etc. The Cool Guy comes and kicks the vending machine glass and helps himself.

I love this dumb trope. It's in a lot of stuff but executed perfectly in Jurassic Park III if you want to check it for yourself.

Anyway, I suspect I read someone pointing out this trope here on metafilter since I don't go anywhere else on the internet to read insightful things. Would like to find the comment and read it again if it exists on mefi.

If you link me to a TV Tropes page I swear to god.
posted by phunniemee to MetaFilter-Related at 1:36 PM (15 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

*links to TV Tropes swear to god page, runs away*
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:59 PM on December 15, 2020 [8 favorites]


Percussive Maintenance? (not linking to TV Tropes page of same name)
posted by MonkeyToes at 2:03 PM on December 15, 2020 [2 favorites]


Can't find the page you're thinking of, but: it's the basis of one of Dr Strangelove's greatest deadpan jokes, the soldier warning Mandrake that if he's wrong, and there isn't going to be a nuclear war, and he shoots the machine for phone change to call the President to stop the bombers, he'll 'have to answer to the Coca-Cola company'
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 4:34 PM on December 15, 2020 [8 favorites]


I don't have an answer, but my favorite variant on this is in Real Genius.
posted by limeonaire at 5:26 PM on December 15, 2020 [8 favorites]


From the Green in 2013: Examples of percussive maintenance from film/tv/games.
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:52 PM on December 15, 2020 [3 favorites]


The Fonz in Happy Days did this all the time.
posted by hippybear at 6:27 PM on December 15, 2020 [9 favorites]


limeonaire, thanks for the reminder that Ryan Reynolds should be paying Val Kilmer royalties
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:12 PM on December 15, 2020 [1 favorite]


I don't have an answer, but my favorite variant on this is in Real Genius.

"Is that liquid nitrogen?" he asks, referring to a solid block of something.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:36 AM on December 16, 2020 [7 favorites]


Well, the liquid nitrogen would be in the flask, and would be the thing that froze the ice he's cutting into fake quarters. So likely it's the flask he's referring to.
posted by OHenryPacey at 8:17 AM on December 16, 2020 [3 favorites]


I think everyone except Fiasco da Gama missed the point - this isn't percussive maintenance per se, this is "people sticking to social conventions in the end of the world, until someone percussively shows a different way"

In Jurassic Park 3, the island has been abandoned and left to the dinosaurs with the main characters are on the run and trying to survive. The audience wouldn't think twice about them looting the vending machines. What makes it funny is that before they break open the machine someone's counting loose change to see if they can afford some peanuts. But no one's coming back to empty the change box on that machine! Just kick it open!

(and then as a second punch line the original dweeb character tries to kick open a second vending machine, only to find that it's plastic instead of glass and won't shatter)
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:34 AM on December 16, 2020 [5 favorites]


"people sticking to social conventions in the end of the world, until someone percussively shows a different way"

Dr: Strangelove: "You're going to have to answer to the Coca-Cola company"
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 10:54 AM on December 16, 2020 [2 favorites]


"people sticking to social conventions in the end of the world, until someone percussively shows a different way"

Or its cousin, adaptive problem solving (Will Smith's table-dragging in MIB, 3:12 to 3:30) in a regimented atmosphere.
posted by MonkeyToes at 11:58 AM on December 16, 2020 [3 favorites]


°Advanced Platforms for Intelligent Vending Machines
°Companies Explore New Opportunities with Biometric Technologies
°Gamification and Geo-fencing - Extending Frontiers in Vending Machine Industry
°Digital Signage Systems Enhance Appeal of IVM
°AI in Machines to Offer Dynamism
°Changing the Mode of Human Interaction with Vending Machines



The new Vendor Overlords.
posted by clavdivs at 5:39 PM on December 17, 2020


The Fonz did not smash the machine.
posted by pompomtom at 10:47 PM on December 19, 2020


I don't remember seeing anything like this here. But, what tvtropes apparently calls "Open! Says me", seems relevant. The equivalent with cars, post appocolyptic food containers, etc., doesn't seem to have a name.
posted by eotvos at 11:48 AM on December 22, 2020 [1 favorite]


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