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In the animated movie Cars 2 the two agents shared this code phrase together so that they be sure the other one is an agent.

Holley: A Volkswagen Karmann Ghia has no radiator.

Finn: That's because it's air-cooled.

Holley: I'm Agent Shiftwell; Holley Shiftwell from the Tokyo Station. I have a message from London.

Why did two expert intelligence agents use a very obvious thing as their code phrase which every car can answer, just like Mater did later.

That's like I'm an agent and tell another one "Apple falls from the tree" and trust them as agents after they replied "That's because of the gravity effect."

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  • I think the odds that the answer is going to be exactly what their phrase is, is slim. Granted, in real life I'm sure it'd leave a little less room for being unintentionally spoken by a non-agent, but we're talking about a children's movie here. – Johnny Bones Feb 19 at 14:40
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Firstly, I'm not so sure that this is a "very obvious thing". The Volkswagen Karmann Ghia ceased production in 1974, whereas Cars 2 was released in (and presumably, took place in) 2011. I'd expect that most people nowadays don't even know what a Volkswagen Karmann Ghia is, let alone that it was air-cooled.

Secondly, think about how strange the situation is. A woman you've never met before has just come up to you, out of nowhere, and told you an obscure car fact for no apparent reason. I expect most people would be extremely confused by this, even if they do happen to know why a VW Karmann Ghia has no radiator. To use your example:

That's like I'm an agent and tell another one "Apple falls from the tree"

If I wasn't a secret agent, and you came up to me out of nowhere and said that, I wouldn't say "That's because of gravity". I'd say, "What?"

The only reason Mater isn't confused is because he's... not exactly normal, for want of a better phrase. He therefore offers a sincere explanation, and unknowingly convinces Holly that he's the agent she's looking for.

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    Thanks for your answer. But I still resist that code phrases shouldn't be facts. because it's always a probability that someone like Mater be mistakenly recognized as an agent. In fact, code phrases should be random silly things in order to eliminate that probability. – Etack Sxchange Feb 19 at 18:39

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