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Netflix's FUBAR: What Does The Acronym Stand For?

Government agencies and organizations certainly love their acronyms. Within the United States, there are organizations like the CIA, FBI, NSA, and CDC, to name just a few, while slang may include phrases like FUBAR, SNAFU, BOHICA, and SUSFU. Netflix's latest foray into action comedy is called "FUBAR," and it stars the famous Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger and Monica Barbaro as agents in the CIA. However, what does this phrase actually mean?

For anybody who has spent any amount of time watching military-style movies, the phrase FUBAR tends to pop up all over the place. Of course, this acronym actually has its roots in the language of World War II, and it stands for "F***** up beyond all recognition." Often used to describe events that have spiraled wildly out of control, FUBAR actually has alternate meanings, such as "Fouled up beyond all repair," and "F***** up by a******* in the rear." 

The first official usage of FUBAR in print is noted in an issue of Yank, the Army Magazine in 1944, where the magazine clearly spells out its definition, complete with curse words. Whatever meaning one chooses, the spirit of the phrase remains the same and it definitely expresses displeasure at how events are currently unfolding.

Netflix's FUBAR is inspired by True Lies

Besides hearing the phrase from Netflix's newest show, FUBAR can also be heard in the famous Steven Spielberg film "Saving Private Ryan" when the soldiers use the acronym to describe their mission to find and extract the titular character. 

Checking out the trailer for "FUBAR," one can see that the title is very apt because it tells the story of a father and daughter who have no idea that both work for the CIA. However, once they both realize the truth, the duo soon team up and aid each other in top-secret efforts, much to the surprise and shock of the CIA support staff.

Loosely inspired by the Arnold Schwarzenegger film "True Lies," "FUBAR" follows a similar kind of premise, and even has Tom Arnold as a guest star. Though Schwarzenegger's character is known as Luke in "FUBAR," his character in "True Lies" is Harry, so this isn't a true sequel. Still, "FUBAR" will lean into the familiar comedic element with the reveal that one's family member is actually a secret agent, but unlike "True Lies," the deception here cuts two ways. One has to wonder, though, if the father and daughter are the cause or the solution of the situation in Netflix's "FUBAR."