Daily Lists, Miscellaneous

10 Awesome Fictional Sams Throughout Nerdery

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?“Samuel” is an ancient Hebrew name, meaning “God heard” or “requested by God” or something similar. This lofty and deeply religious origin of Sam has absolutely nothing to do with today’s Daily List, however, as we’re only interested in the greatest Sams the worlds of nerdery have to offer.

These are the Sams that we, in some cases, grew up with. These are the Sams that we idolized. The Sams we watched kick ass on the large and small screen. The Sams we laughed at, fell in love with, or at least very possibly masturbated while thinking about [Ed’s note: This is probably more true of gals than guys; I’m guessing more nerd girls have gotten off thinking of Jared Padalecki’s character in Supernatural than any other character named Sam ever]. Here, in no particular order, are 10 awesome fictional Sams all nerds should recognize.


10) Sam Flynn, Tron: Legacy

Sam Flynn inherited some of his awesomeness from his dad, Kevin, a
software engineer who hacked his way into a digital world. When Sam’s
story begins, however, his father has been missing for twenty years. As
the controlling shareholder of ENCOM, Sam has nothing better to do than
zoom around on his motorcycle and screw with the company executives
once a year. That is, until he is also transported to The Grid, where
(surprise!) his dad has been all along. Here, Sam gets to zoom around
on a lightcycle, which is awesome. Oh, and he also manages to stop
digital dictator Clu from taking his enforced-perfection agenda to the
real world, with help from his father and his ISO-love interest Quorra.


9) Sam Merlotte, True Blood


Sam’s life started out rough. He was abandoned by his adopted parents
after they learned that he was a shapeshifter – an ability that was
passed on from his true parents. His power as a shapeshifter is far
more versatile than any mere were-creature, as he can take the form of
any animal he sees. He finally settled in Louisiana, where he opened a
bar called Merlotte’s and hired Sookie Stackhouse as a waitress. Even
though he makes no secret about his feelings for Sookie (and it’s not
like he had to – she can hear his thoughts), he remains a loyal and
protective friend to her after she gets involved with her vampire
squeeze, Bill Compton. So, to sum up: Sam is an awesome, supernatural,
self-made entrepenuer – and did I mention he owns his own bar?


8) Yosemite Sam, Looney Tunes


Yet another character in the long list of those who hate Bugs Bunny
with a passion, Yosemite Sam has the temper and the guns to back it up.
Despite his itchy trigger fingers, though, Sam seems to be a
surprisingly poor shot, and try as he might he just can’t seem to get
the best of Bugs. Sam’s harder to fool than Elmer Fudd, but he’s also
crippled by his inability to back down from a dare and the fact that any
means of transportation he uses will never, ever stop at his command.
That’s tough to work around. And Bugs can usually depend upon Sam’s
religious beliefs (“Say your prayers, rabbit!”) to buy enough time to
escape whatever trap in which Sam has finally caught him. After that
rascally rabbit gets away yet again, we can always count on Sam for a
hearty “Ooooh, I hates that rabbit!” And if the fact that he’s also a
ginger doesn’t make him awesome enough, Sam’s also named after Yosemite,
one of the greatest national parks in the United States.


6) Sam Axe, Burn Notice


Sam Axe is the man with connections. He’s got buddies in almost every
government organization you can think of, be it federal, state, or
local. He’s always there for his pal Michael Westen, the burned spy who
was put on ice in Miami, and always ready to help a worthy cause or a
client in need. Sam can always be counted on to do the right thing, and
the right thing isn’t always easy when it comes to the spy world. As a
former Navy Seal, Sam has experience and skill on his side and the
talent to improvise in any situation. He can usually be found at a
cafe, almost always with a few empty beer bottles and a mojito or two in
the works. Of course, as awesome as Sam is, his character certainly
isn’t hurt by the fact that he’s portrayed by the awesome Bruce
Campbell.


6) Sam the Eagle, The Muppet Show


Sam the Eagle is without a doubt the most patriotic Muppet in
existence. His love for his country causes him to act like there’s a
giant stick up his ass, rather than a Muppeteer’s hand. He tries in
vain to bring in dignity and class to temper the general rowdiness and
hilarity that is The Muppet Show, though it’s clearly a losing
battle. He also seems unable to keep from talking himself into a corner
– when he rails against “mis-guided” conservation efforts, he learns
that eagles are on the endangered species list. And when he comments on
indecency by arguing that everybody is naked under their clothes, he
flees in embarrassment after realizing that he’s just as naked
underneath his feathers. In spite of this, Sam’s not afraid to stand up
for what he believes in, even when it’s completely ridiculous. And, in
what is arguably his most awesome moment, Sam called Alice Cooper a
“degenerate, sick, barbaric, naughty Freako” to his face, which Cooper
took as a compliment.

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5) Samantha Carter, Stargate SG-1


The only female member of the Stargate Program’s most elite team, Sam
Carter has seen it all in her galactic travels. She’s been possessed by
an alien symbiote, stalked by the hive-mind of the ever-present
Replicators, and blown up a star with nothing but a Stargate and a black
hole. What with all the hopping around the galaxy battling evil
Goa’uld System Lords, the aforementioned Replicators, or just trying to
increase humanity’s grasp of astrophysics, Sam found it hard to maintain
a steady relationship (though it’s really difficult when potential
romantic partners keep dying). However, fans were left with the
implication that Sam and Jack O’Neil finally did get together at the end
of the series. And let’s face it – Jack’s a lucky guy. A woman who
can handle herself in a fight and engineer her way out of pretty much
any impending planetary doom is one in a million, and pretty damned
awesome.


4) Sam Winchester, Supernatural


One of the brothers Winchester (the one on the left in the above video), the demon-hunting duo traipsing around
the Midwest, Sam gave up his college life and a future as a lawyer when
his girlfriend was killed by the same yellow-eyed demon that had killed
his and Dean’s mother. As Sam’s story progresses, he learns more about
his own disturbing supernatural abilities, his connection to the
yellow-eyed demon, and his ability to let himself cry when he needs to.
After being on his own for a while when his brother Dean is sent to
Hell, Sam is determined to do whatever it takes to become a better
hunter. Unfortunately, this leads Sam to become addicted to demon
blood, the side effects of which include badass demon mind-powers,
becoming slightly evil, and inadvertently starting the Apocalypse. Now,
that last part might not seem so awesome, but he gets better – with
help from Dean, their friend Bobby, and some angelic assistance from
Castiel. And to make up for his mistakes, he sacrifices himself to stop
the Apocalypse.


3) Samuel Vimes, Discworld


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Samuel Vimes is the Commander of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch in Terry
Pratchett’s Discworld series, not to mention a Knight, a Duke, and
husband to Lady Sybil Ramkin. That’s a lot of awesome, right there.
Under his command, the Watch’s most impressive arrests include a large
dragon, and the armies of Klatch and Ankh-Morpork. Sam knows the city
better than almost anyone, and will follow a case through to the end, no
matter what. In the past, Sam has had a problem with alcohol (in that
one drink is both too many and not enough), but now has it under
control. This is typical of Sam – he’s a character that grows and
learns from his experiences and mistakes. After he learns the benefits
of a diverse Watch, he has no problem (though he might grumble a bit)
with swearing in dwarves, trolls, gnomes, zombies, werewolves, golems
and Corporal Nobbs. Though he’s known to many as Vetinari’s terrier,
his true devotion has always been to the people of Ankh-Morpork.


2) Sam Beckett, Quantum Leap


Sam Beckett is a time-traveling genius who inadvertently gets lost in
time (whoops!). In the course of his journey back to his own time, he
takes on the personas of various people in order to “put right what once
went wrong.” One of Sam’s most awesome skills is his adaptability – a
requirement for anyone who needs to become other people and fix wrongs
in an hour-long show. He’s a true Renaissance man – physicist,
musician, you name it. Being a child prodigy helped him develop many
talents that he used to his advantage in his leaps. With help from Al, a
hologram only Sam can see, he leaps through time and eventually finds
out that his leaps are being guided by some vague greater purpose.
Sadly, at the end of the series we learned that Sam was never able to
return home.


1) Samwise Gamgee, The Lord of the Rings


Samwise Gamgee was an integral member of the Fellowship of the Ring.
When the Fellowship fractured after leaving Lothlorien, Sam followed
Frodo into Mordor. There’s no way that the One Ring would have been
destroyed if Sam hadn’t been there for Frodo. He fought the loathesome
spider Shelob, rescued Frodo from orcs, and carried Frodo up the slopes
of Mount Doom. He did all this despite having never wanted to leave the
Shire in the first place, and he finally marries his sweetheart Rosie
almost immediately upon his return. Being both a Hobbit and a humble
gardener, Sam was the most practical member of the Fellowship, and had
the courage to fight whenever it became necessary. Anyone who could
travel “there and back again” the way Sam did is completely awesome.