Astrophysics Meets Cinema: 40+ Times Neil DeGrasse Tyson Roasted Hollywood

By Israel O February 2, 2024

Have you ever been engrossed in a fantastic film and fallen in love with it only to have someone point out a myriad of plot holes and inconsistencies in the movie? Sucks right?

Neil deGrasse Tyson is a renowned astrophysicist known for his brilliant insights. He often takes to Twitter with humor-laced critiques of scientific inaccuracies in movies and TV shows. His sharp wit and keen observations bring a comedic touch to dissecting the physics of fictional worlds. 

Today, we have prepared an exciting article that goes over 40+ hilarious Neil deGrasse Tyson takedowns, where science meets satire in the most entertaining way. Get ready for a cosmic dose of humor and astrophysical analysis from some of our beloved movies and television series!

1. Mandela Effect 

We don’t know about you, but we have never noticed that any of these characters were missing a digit. But after much-needed thorough research, we have indeed come to realize that most cartoon characters actually have four fingers on each hand!

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The tradition of depicting cartoon characters with four fingers traces its roots back to the early days of animation. Drawing four fingers simplifies the hand’s structure, facilitating quicker and more straightforward animation. It also helps in the reduction of visual clutter.

2. No Need For Muscles 

In this one, we have to disagree with deGrasse. Thor’s muscular physique, despite being a god, looks very appealing and serves both symbolic and practical purposes. In mythology, gods embody strength, making muscles an essential representation of their power. 

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When it comes to battles and conflicts, even divine beings engage in physical combat, justifying the portrayal of Thor with a muscular form. Plus, and it’s our opinion that this reason carries the most weight, it makes him look so much hotter!

3. Proper Disguise

The question of the existence of aliens remains one of the most intriguing and debated topics of all time. When the word alien comes up, we all imagine some green-like person with huge eyes and a bald head who has some level of extraterrestrial powers.

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However, certain superhero movies like Thor and Superman have made us believe that aliens can indeed be handsome men with muscular build, intense eyes, and fantastic features. At first, we thought Neil was wrong about Thor because he’s technically a god, but he’s right. Thor is from an ancient alien civilization.

4. Green Kryptonite

Kryptonite, a fictional mineral in the DC Comics universe, comes in various colors, each with different effects on the character Superman. Neil deGrasse Tyson is an accomplished astronomer who possesses a lot of knowledge about all possible universes, both real and imagined. 

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Only green kryptonite can hurt Superman, even though other kryptonites affect him in some way. This knowledge is not a hidden one, and we wonder what Tyson is implying. Could it be something about the color? Is it somehow tied to jealousy?

5. Moon Pirates

Ad Astra, the science fiction blockbuster starring Brad Pitt, was much more than simply another space film. It was a film about men in space suits trying to figure out their emotional issues while in zero gravity and away from home.

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However, like Tyson, we don’t understand why they added moon pirates in a movie that was supposed to talk about scientists. We don’t even understand the need for moon pirates. The film wasn’t really well received in the States, and we wonder if this was part of the reason.

6. Ad Astra or Armageddon

Ad Astra or Armageddon, what was your preference? Liv Tyler’s role in Ad Astra is Eve McBride, a woman who is married to Roy, an astronaut who embarks on a dangerous mission. The actress played a somewhat similar role in Armageddon. 

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We wonder how Liv felt after learning about the role she would potentially play in Ad Astra, which was released about two decades after Armageddon. Was it like riding a bike? And how crazy would it be if she got a chance to play an astronaut who goes to space herself, as Neil suggested?

7. Action Movie

After one of the most anticipated movies of 2023, Top Gun: Maverick, arrived, we all knew the action, plot, and stunts would surpass the original. Action movies are meant to be captivating. You get invested in the characters and root for your favorite to win.

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Plus, it’s Tom Cruise, and you know that guy knows how to do action movies. He’s a daredevil who enjoys his job and takes us along for the ride, so it’s a win-win. We got the insane stunts we expected, and though some were exaggerated, they were still quintessential Tom Cruise, which is always fun.

8. Don’t Look Up 

If you haven’t watched the humorous yet apocalyptic film Don’t Look Up, then we suggest you do. Don’t Look Up is a satirical film that uses a fictional comet heading toward Earth as a metaphor for humanity’s shallowness, misplaced priorities, and indifference to urgent issues.

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Tyson’s response says it all. It’s less of a humorous tweet and more of a wake-up call coming from a science and astronomy expert like him. It shows that those in power ignoring catastrophe feels more like a documentary than satire because it’s our reality.

9. Marriage Story 

We do not agree with this suggestion. If all movies had literal titles, there really wouldn’t be anything surprising or even any plot twist in the movie because even from the beginning, you will already know how the story ends. 

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Marriage Story was a beautifully told story of a sad ending. True, the couple in the story does get divorced, and a huge chunk of the movie is about that gory process, but there’s also a portion that shows the main characters’ time as a married couple. It’s marriage and all its complications.

10. Not Entirely Accurate

The Martian was yet another space sci-fi film released in the 2010s. The movie is centered on a character who gets stranded on Mars and must rely on science to survive. We remember watching this and marveling in awe at the level of creativity.

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At the time of its release, this film received accolades for paying attention to factual accuracy. But our guy Neil still spotted loopholes in the story. Told you he was smart. However, we still think they did a good job, even with the wind mistake.

11. Missile On Point 

Neil seems to have a problem with almost every movie. With some, like Top Gun: Maverick, the issues are actually more than one. That said, he might be right with his analysis about them not taking out the missile banks. 

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Well, without the daredevil stunt, the film wouldn’t be half as much fun, wouldn’t you agree? It seems Neil doesn’t understand that the movie is entirely about those extremely daring maneuvers! Even with this take, Maverick was worth all the hype it got.

12. Dragon’s Breath

We knew this compilation would not be complete without mentioning GoT. The series had a huge influence on the world, even with the awful season finale, and it had everything to do with the creativity and skills that went into production. 

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Given the intense action and storyline that saw many character deaths, it is unlikely that people watched Game of Thrones with the intention of learning something about dragon’s breath. But that’s just the thing about Neil; he teaches you stuff that never even crossed your mind!

13. To The Moon

Unless you’re an astronaut, an astronomer, or someone in that field, the majority of us regular people haven’t and will never get to see Earth from the moon. As such, we wouldn’t know when there’s a wrong representation of the Earth from the moon. 

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Even though we are aware that these science fiction films sometimes don’t contain accurate facts, we would still appreciate it if they made their scenes more accurate. While we might not spot small errors like these, we trust Neil to dissect them for us!

14. Credible Hulk 

The Hulk’s abilities include superhuman strength, durability, and regenerative healing, with his strength escalating proportionally to his level of anger. This characteristic makes him a formidable force in battles, contributing to his status as one of Marvel’s most powerful and iconic superheroes.

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Superheroes appear to fascinate Neil more than any other characters. To be fair, that’s a common sentiment among many of us. That said, this spin on the Incredible Hulk is just too corny. Hulk is not Hulk if he doesn’t SMASH after going green!

15. Let’s Go Barbie

Barbie is a fantasy comedy film that defined 2023. When these guys started promoting the movie, they went all out. Even we were sucked into the vortex that was the Barbie promo campaign. The whole world knew Barbie was coming, and it was going to be huge.

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As such, it also caught Neil’s attention. As usual, he had his own magic to contribute. This time, he used his expertise to tell us that Barbieland may not be as far away as you would imagine. Based on his research, to experience all the pink goodness, just hop on the next plane to Florida!

16. Should Be Called Zero Gravity

When it comes to movies about outer space, there are always several debates about how accurate the scientific facts being depicted by the filmmaker are. So it’s no surprise that Neil had some thoughts to share about the film Gravity.

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The science fiction thriller film stars Sandra Bullock and George Clooney. The characters float in space for a while after their shuttle is destroyed, which explains why Neil suggested the movie be called Zero Gravity instead. That’s actually more catchy, in our opinion.

17. The Bat Signal

The Bat Signal is an iconic symbol used by Gotham City’s police to summon Batman. Projected into the night sky with a spotlight, it features a bat silhouette. This beacon serves as an urgent call for Batman’s intervention in times of crisis. 

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Without his iconic Bat Signal call to action, Gotham would not be as safe. But as Tyson notes, unless it’s a gloomy night, the signal is largely useless. We have to disagree with his emoji suggestion, though. Wouldn’t that compromise Batman’s efforts to keep his identity a secret?

18. Mister Rogers

So many people grew up watching Mister Rogers. The movie A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood saw Tom Hanks receive widespread acclaim for his portrayal of Fred Rogers, capturing the warmth and sincerity for which the beloved children’s show host was known.

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A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood pays homage to Rogers’ legacy and promotes the enduring values of empathy and compassion. Before Neil tweeted this, we had never thought of it. But who knows? He might be right because the point is valid.

19. Bad Physics

At this point, we have to commend Neil for being a gift to mankind because there’s nothing that misses his eyes. If anyone is the master of spotting the tiniest holes in movies, then it has to be him. The man has a gift.

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He always lives up to his name. In Game of Thrones, he argues about the usage of chains and how they appeared when they were supposedly pulling a dragon out of water. Even though these things are fictitious, something like this should have been fixed.

20. More Accuracy

Rick and Morty has gained a dedicated fanbase and critical acclaim for its unique humor and sci-fi elements. The television program is known for preaching the meaning—or lack thereof—of life. Viewers do not even need to research its scientific accuracy.

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We believe there are things that are best kept the way they are, and Ricky and Morty are one such thing. On to Neil’s point, the portals actually do look familiar. Not surprising, though, since, well, they’re portals! That said, who do you think does it better, the magician or the scientist?

21. Density Of A Cork

At this point, we would like to assume almost everyone has seen The Incredible Hulk or any of the superhero films featuring the character. The movie itself is about a scientist who swells and becomes the massive green giant we love to see smashing the bad guys.  

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According to Neil, if Bruce Banner expands to become Hulk, his body would become less dense, and he would have the density of a cork. To be honest, we didn’t really take this one too seriously because we love Hulk just the way he is.

22. Let It Go

Frozen became a cultural phenomenon, known for its memorable songs, including the iconic “Let It Go,” and its themes of love and self-acceptance. When it comes to animation, we know how much effort and time goes into making everything look perfect. 

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Animators spend years ensuring accuracy in locations, costumes, and characters. Everything is intended to make you ‘forget’ you’re watching an animated film. That’s why we thought this observation by Neil was reaching, and we doubt anyone but him even noticed it. Then again, maybe we’re just too blinded by Disney’s magic!

23. Pentadent

Aquaman’s iconic weapon is the Trident of Neptune, a powerful magical artifact. Crafted for Atlantean royalty, the trident symbolizes Aquaman’s authority and control over the sea. It often possesses mystical properties and aids him in underwater combat. All underwater kings/gods in film have a version of it.

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Without his dependable trident, handsome ocean hero Aquaman wouldn’t be the same. However, it appears the trident has five tines, and depending on who you ask, it could be a ‘quindent’ or a ‘pentadent.’ Neil says he prefers ‘polydent’ because the tines are just too many. Sound argument.

24. Tribbles

Rabbits are known for their prolific reproductive abilities. These little guys have a high reproductive rate due to various factors such as a short gestation period. Thanks to this, Neil realized that there is actually a real-life version of the Tribbles!

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That’s scary. We never liked the Tribbles throughout the whole show because they were always notorious for causing mischief and going all around the place. However, we actually wouldn’t mind cuddling a real-life bunny with soft fluffy furs. Aren’t they just adorable?

25. Hammer Time

Superheroes are always breathtakingly beautiful with their chiseled jaws and muscular builds. Because of that, they tend to have a strong hold on us, and we can’t help but feel attached to them and overlook every flaw and mistake they make. We can bet you didn’t know this.

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We didn’t know that the weight of objects differed based on the universe. Although 140,000 pounds may seem like a lot, we are sure this body of massive muscle called Thor can easily lift his hammer in whatever world he’s in. Next, please!

26. Favorite Superheroes

One of the things we have discovered from Neil’s tweets is he always has something to say about superhero movies. If you have been wondering whether he has a favorite universe or superhero franchise, we believe this tweet is the answer.

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More precisely, Neil has stated that he prefers the Marvel comics universe. His explanation for that is that most of their superheroes started as scientists or derive their powers from authentically fictional science concepts rather than the fantastically magical we see often.

27. Only An Act Of True Love 

Elsa’s exaggerated big eyes in Disney’s Frozen can be seen as an artistic choice, possibly intended to enhance expressiveness, emotion, and possibly even beauty. Big eyes are always gorgeous. To us, we consider it quite attractive, but critics argue about it. 

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Neil argues that such features are unrealistic. His undiluted bluntness goes on to describe Elsa’s eyes as “horse-like!” If you’re a lover of animated films, cartoons, or anime, then you probably also took offense like us. This was too much, Neil!

28. Armageddon Errors

Making a great movie that pleases both reviewers and viewers is typically the aim of any filmmaker. What’s a movie with loads of bad reviews? We saw Armageddon, and the feats it eventually accomplished would have made any filmmaker proud. 

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Even though there were what we thought were a few scientific inaccuracies, we don’t think the movie was that bad. That’s until Neil came along with his cold judgment. Knowing too much can be a drag when watching movies sometimes, right, Neil?

29. Superhero Twins

Hellboy, the titular character in this film, is a demon summoned to Earth by the villain Grigori Rasputin during World War II. However, he is discovered by the Allied forces and raised by Professor Trevor Bruttenholm. He battles supernatural threats, monsters, and dark forces.

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Critically looking at this, Neil is right when he points out that there is a striking resemblance between Hellboy and Thanos. Even the seriousness of their faces and facial structure looks almost the same. And what do you know, some people actually thought Ron Perlman played Thanos!

30. The Flintstones Dilemma

We doubt anyone who watches cartoons and finds them interesting would have the time to count the number of fingers these characters have, especially in a classic like The Flintstones. But even if YOU don’t notice, you can always count on Neil.

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He is here to teach us lessons like these that we were unaware we needed. So apparently, the characters on The Flintstones only have three toes on each foot, so they can’t count in hexadecimal, even though we don’t know what that means!

31. Accurate Representation

At this point, Disney’s production team and filmmakers must be ecstatic. It’s not easy to be in Neil’s good books. For him to have so many opinions about this specific movie, we wonder how many times he must have seen it.

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Here’s another point for this beloved film. Even though Frozen features a talking snowman who loves summer, horse-sized eyeballs that annoy Neil, and a wrong representation of water crystallization, we can almost say with certainty that he likes the film.

32. Batmobile

The perception of the Batmobile as a “silly” car often stems from its exaggerated and unconventional designs seen in comic books and movies. One key factor contributing to this perception is the over-the-top nature of its design. Just look at this.

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Christian Bale’s version was definitely our fave! Despite any perception of silliness, it’s crucial to recognize that the Batmobile is an iconic symbol deeply ingrained in the Batman story. Its unique and imaginative designs align with the larger-than-life nature of its owner. That said, Neil had a valid concern.

33. Baby Yoda 

Baby Yoda, officially named Grogu, captivates audiences with his adorable appearance, drawing parallels to human infants. Portrayed with oversized, expressive eyes, a small nose, and a large head, Grogu is not your typical cute baby, but he has his moments.

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We won’t condone any Yoda slander; thus, we disagree with Neil this time. Baby Yoda is cute and in no way creepy. Additionally, the mystery surrounding his species adds to the charm, making Baby Yoda not just cute but fascinating.

34. Perfect Match

Liv Tyler’s career in the film industry has been extensive and diverse. She has starred in several films, but one thing we know is that she loves movies centered around space. We wonder if she had dreams of being an astronaut as a kid.

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It looks like Neil is the kind of man who knows how to accept an ‘L’ with grace. Remember when he made fun of Liv, saying that because she had played a love interest in two astronauts going to space, it was now her turn to go herself? Well, turns out she did!

35. Black Widow Or Nothing

Although Tony Stark is intelligent and resourceful, many people say that without his suit, he is helpless. Batman is one of the most well-known vigilante characters. Despite not possessing superhuman abilities, he can take almost any man down with his bare hands.

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In this tweet, Neil speaks nothing but facts. There is no debating that Black Widow would prevail. Black Widow, Batman, and Iron Man possess distinct strengths in their respective universes, but out of the three, Black Widow has the advantage of elite combat skills and agility.

36. Ice Harvesters

While Frozen has appeared on this list for a few inaccuracies, we are happy to tell you that Neil has expressed his approval of yet another scene. For Frozen lovers, this is a call for celebration. See? He likes this one!

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While a Disney animated film may not require as much research as a compelling documentary, the filmmakers still did a fantastic job of making the details accurate. It’s great that they were commended for it, and their efforts weren’t overlooked.

37. Hidden Figures

Hidden Figures is a biographical drama that unveils the untold story of three brilliant African-American women mathematicians. Their contributions were crucial to NASA’s early space missions. These exceptional women overcome systemic challenges and so many other issues, showcasing their intellect. 

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We totally agree with Tyson on this one because these days, we use these inventions and forget the people who contributed to the advancement of the field of astronomical mathematics. These people deserve their flowers due to the sacrifices they made.

38. The Tardigrade

The tardigrade is a microscopic, resilient organism renowned for its remarkable resilience. This thing can endure extreme conditions. When it comes to depth of knowledge, you should never underestimate Neil. He knows so much about science that we sometimes wonder how he remembers it all! 

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It is no surprise he even knows about the microscopic creature known as tardigrade or water bear. We love how he hilariously compared this water bear to the Totoro cat bus. You have to admit, the comparison is pretty apt.

39. Green Hulk 

Bruce Banner is a fictional character in Marvel Comics. He is best known as the alter ego of the superhero called Hulk. Banner is a scientist who previously specialized in gamma radiation before he experienced an accidental exposure to gamma rays.

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As we know, no ordinary human could endure the force of massive amounts of Gamma Rays, a feat that Banner accomplished. Even though it may not be realistic, this superhuman disdain for the scientific facts makes for a fantastic film franchise, wouldn’t you agree?

40. Seal Of Approval

For someone like Neil, who has a thing or two to say about science fiction, we have to commend the director of the movie called The Sun is Also a Star. According to him, they got most of their science right. 

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Even though it’s not really a science film, they still did an excellent job. The story follows Natasha, a pragmatic Jamaican-American girl facing deportation, and Daniel, a poetic Korean-American aspiring poet. The two meet in New York amid Natasha’s impending deportation.

41. Blue Is Beautiful

Avatar is a visually groundbreaking sci-fi epic set on the distant moon of Pandora. This film remains a cinematic milestone with plans for multiple sequels to further explore the rich, immersive world of Pandora. Fans are expected to get several sequels in the coming years.

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Avatar captivated audiences, inspiring Halloween costumes for years. The film subtly addressed the historical parallels to the early colonial period in the Americas. Undoubtedly, Neil’s perspective on the film would have stirred controversy and unsettled opinions, but that’s what X is for, right?