How Indiana Jones Could Have Survived The Nuked Fridge (Hint: He Couldn’t)

By David Wharton | Published

While Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was, for the most part, a phenomenally bad movie, it did include one important and lasting cinematic milestone. It introduced the phrase “nuke the fridge” into the vernacular. After years of over-usage, the old standby for noting the moment when a show or movie steps over the line into the preposterous – “jumping the shark” – was starting to sound a little creaky. It had earned a much-needed rest, and thankfully “nuking the fridge” stepped in ready, willing, and able.

The phrase refers to the moment in Crystal Skull when Indy takes shelter from an impending nuclear test explosion by hiding inside a lead-lined refrigerator stashed inside one of the bomb range’s dummy houses. The fridge is then blasted through the air to a safe distance, allowing Indy to roll out bruised and battered but otherwise unhurt. While some people – those with even a basic knowledge of physics, small children, people raised by wolves – might dismiss the fridge scene as in every way ridiculous, George Lucas reassured the press earlier this year that the scenario was indeed feasible, and that Indy would have a “50-50” chance of surviving.

Now, George Lucas’ say-so should be enough to close the book on the subject for most people, but for those skeptical party-poopers who still insist on saying nay, the gentlemen at The Geek Twins have put together a handy — and in no way sarcastic — infographic examining the various aspects of Indy’s unlikely nuclear voyage. You can click the image to see a larger version.

Sure, it would have been quicker just to say, “He would have freaking died,” but that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun.