Using movies as metaphor in science

The following is a list of science-like papers that use movies as metaphors. You're welcome!


  • Am I Really the Forrest Gump of Geriatrics? The Upside of Having an Average Intelligence Quotient, published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society:

    • "So yes, Mary, you were right, and I am proud to be considered the Forrest Gump of Aging."

    • Wait... wasn't Forrest Gump the Forrest Gump of Aging?


  • Finding Nemo: Imaging Findings, Pitfalls, and Complications of Ingested Fish Bones in the Alimentary Canal, published in Emergency Radiology:

    • Throughout the whole article, the one and only mention of Finding Nemo is in the title. Lame.


  • Rescuing the NIH before it is too late, published in The Journal of Clinical Investigation:

    • The abstract of this paper makes a painfully tedious, and tenuous, analogy to The Big Lebowski. Here is the all-out strange abstract in its entirety:

In the Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski the hero, who calls himself “The Dude,” has just had his apartment broken into by some dumb thugs. One of the thugs lifts the Dude’s prized bowling ball and says, “What... is this?” The Dude replies, “Obviously you are not a golfer.” The current state of the NIH prompts me to say to its director, Dr. Elias Zerhouni, “Obviously you are not a scientist.”


  • Writing the book on virtual business, published in The Electronic Library:

    • "You'll rarely need to stir from that favourite reading armchair, except perhaps to change your light bulb or refresh your glass of sherry. For the 'serious' reader this has to be akin to the fabled medieval land of Cockayne. Okay, then, so maybe it's Brigadoon, or Woodstock, or Edwardian Bloomsbury. Take your pick and bliss out."

    • In case you were wondering, the article was published in 1997, when the term "bliss out" was incredibly out-of-date (as were references to Brigadoon).


  • Pasireotide and the Prevention of Pancreatic Fistula After Pancreatectomy: The Continued Search for Harry Potter's Liquid Luck, published in Annals of Surgery:

    • Again, the only mention of Harry Potter, or even Liquid Luck for that matter, is in the title. DOUBLE LAME!

    • Here's a recipe for liquid luck (aka Felix Felicis, aka Quidditch Cocaine).


  • The Adventures of Mr. Tea, published in Forbes:

    • "Like an epicurean Indiana Jones, Rodrick Markus searches for high-end teas and other exotic ingredients..."

    • Okay, I realize that that's not exactly a scientific journal, and it's actually a simile, but... stop being so pedantic! It's a reference to both Indiana Jones and Mr. T, am I really supposed to pretend like it's not my favourite article ever?

(Also, I have a hard time believing this Markus guy is actually fighting Nazis, shooing seagulls with papa Connery, and mumbling the penitent man shall pass all for a grail-ful of earl grey!)