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The Buy More is a fictional chain of 'big-box' stores in the TV show, Chuck
The Buy More is a fictional chain of big-box stores, featured in NBC’s comedy show, Chuck.
The primary store of focus in the show is the Burbank branch, which is located in a shopping complex alongside other useful outlets such as the Wienerlicious
(later bought over and changed to the Orange Orange) and Underpants, etc. Outside of inter-branch rivalry, the Buy More experiences a tense and heated relationship with local competitors, Large Mart. This fractious situation is further heightened due to their close proximity, as the two stores are located right next to each other. Although never explicitly stated in Chuck or by the show’s writers, the store appears to be a fictionalised version of pervasive electronics retailer Best Buy, with the Nerd Herd imitating the Geek Squad. The company slogan is suitably absurd, highlighting the bizarre practices and attitudes of those working for the company: "When you buy more, you save more. And when you save more, you can buy more. And when you buy more, you save more. It all starts when you BUY MORE."
In Chuck vs. the Nemesis, Jeff reveals that there’s a secret safe-word that would cause all staff to evacuate the store. On multiple occasions, staff have used the word ‘Pineapple’ in order to get everyone out of the store, away from spy-related danger.
Big Mike's Office
Big Mike's office
Big Mike’s office is the home of the in-store management. Although he prefers to let his assistant manager conduct most of his affairs, he will often use the office as a meeting room, usually to dish out discipline to misbehaving employees. Within his office hangs his prized marlin, Norman, which serves as a plot point for several episodes. In Chuck vs. the Marlin, Jeff and Lester break into Big Mike’s office in the hope of finding his secret supply of alcohol. Unable to find any booze, the pair steal the marlin instead. They then dump it in a freezer in the Wienerlicious, at which point its long protruding spike is broken off. The marlin is eventually returned to Big Mike’s office, ‘repaired’ with tape.
Home Theatre Room The Home Theatre Room is a relatively small fake living room at the back of the Buy More. Its primary function is to serve as a space in which to advertise products on sale in the store in a functional environment. For most Buy More employees, it acts as one of the most popular make-out zones for young couples, though this is actively discouraged by the assistant managers. Throughout season 1, the room was also the location used by Team Bartowski for interaction with General Beckman and Director Graham, with various appliances doubling up as facilities for espionage. From season 2 onwards, Intersect-related discussions have been permanently moved to Castle. However, a secret hatch leading directly to Castle still exists on the floor of the Home Theatre Room.
Michael “Big Mike” Tucker is the manager of the Burbank branch of the Buy More. Though in a position of authority, he prefers to delegate his power through his assistant managers, who exert his influence on the other members of staff. He is known for his love of fishing and in particular his Marlin, which he purchased on eBay. In order to improve on his management ability, Big Mike attended the Segundo School of Finance after being removed as manager in season 2 and has since incorporated many aspects of their business psychology into the his practices following his return. He is also passionate about keeping the store afloat, leading revolts against store hierarchy and launching physical attacks on store thieves.
Harry Tang Harold “Harry” Tiberius Tang was the assistant manager to Big Mike in season 1. Initially, he was a greenshirt at the store, but went head to head with Chuck for the position. Chuck’s spy work meant that he missed the interview, leaving Tang as the only candidate eligible. Big Mike also felt compelled to give Tang the job after having a 6-month affair with his wife. Once in power, Tang attempted to institute strict new rules, but was confronted with a forceful staff resistance. At the end of season 1, Tang discovers Team Bartowski, but later moves to Hawaii in the belief that he’s set to become a spy.
With Tang now gone, Big Mike chooses to appoint Emmett as his assistant manager, which the employees shorten to ‘AssMan’. At first, he takes a similar approach to Tang, introducing a strict set of rules, much to the ire of the staff. However, he soon fools the Buy More employees into bad-mouthing Big Mike, leading to his sacking, with Emmett taking his position as store manager. At the start of season 3, he has a verbal confrontation with Ring agent resulting in Emmett being shot dead through the eye. Casey lies to the staff, telling them that he left to take a job at a Large Mart store in Alaska.
The Greenshirts is the nickname given to the floor staff of the Buy More. Their primary purpose is to offer assistance to customers in their purchasing decisions, as well as working behind the till.
John Casey Casey is an NSA agent who is assigned to a position in the Burbank Buy More at the end of the pilot episode. His primary objective while working in the store is to keep an eye on Chuck - acting as his co-handler along with Sarah. Throughout his time at the store, Casey remains largely bitter towards the goings on at the store and to his co-workers - in particular towards Morgan Grimes. Despite his overly-aggressive manner, he seems to have carved out a relatively successful career at the store, commanding respect from all his colleagues and achieving a decent sales record, second only to Harry Tang. However, a notable weakness of his is the inability to wrap gifts safely or efficiently, resulting in numerous paper cuts.
Morgan is Chuck’s best friend and co-worker at the Buy More. He regularly displays a startling level of ineptitude, on occasion failing to show up for work or misusing company facilities and resources. Although he has a love of video games, Morgan is inherently fearful of being exposed to broken computers, having been traumatised by spending a night locked in a room with repair jobs. While working at the Buy More, he remains fiercely loyal to Chuck, deathly frightened of Casey, romantically involved with Anna Wu and hostile towards Harry Tang and Emmett. Although he could, and perhaps should, have been fired, the Buy More is required to keep him in order to fulfil their Hispanic employee quota. Morgan was also one of the primary reasons Big Mike got the sack, revealing his shortcomings to Emmett. In season 3, Big Mike returns, with Morgan serving as assistant manager under him.
Other Notable Greenshirts Fernando is a co-worker of Morgan’s at the Buy More and regularly makes appearances throughout the seasons. So far, Fernando has never had a full line of dialog, but seems enthusiastic about his position nevertheless. Bunny is a fellow Greenshirt, who unlike Fernando, has been afforded the opportunity to speak in an episode. Perhaps her single most prominent appearance came in Chuck vs. the Cougars, in which she remained staunchly unenthusiastic under Lester’s brief stint as assistant manager.
The Nerd Herd is a team of computer specialists that work within the Buy More. They wear black and white uniforms to separate them and the Greenshirts and have their own desk at the centre of the store. Although the staff are usually hired to carry out computer repair, their expertise is not limited to this field. In several episodes, customers come in with various appliances other than PCs - perhaps most common being cells phones, which led people like Lou Palone to use the Nerd Herd. Should off-site repair or maintenance be required, staff are allowed to utilise the fleet of 5 company cars. Known as Nerd Herders, they tend to be covered in decals bearing the logo of the company. In season 1, the car featured was a Toyota Yaris; from season 2 onwards, a Toyota Matrix was used instead.
Nerd Herd Staff:
Chuck is a Stanford University Engineering drop-out, who is arguably the single most competent and level-headed employee at the Buy More. He is by far the most respected of the Nerd Herd, with many of the staff acknowledging his leadership skills, if not always adhering to them. In Season 1, Chuck was up for the position of assistant manager, though failed to show up for the interview due to spy commitments. Balancing his time as a secret agent and computer repairman regularly causes conflict with best friend Morgan, as well as assistant managers Harry Tang and Emmett Milbarge. Chuck has encountered several of his love interests while working at the Buy More, including Sarah, Lou, Jill and Hannah.
Jeff Barnes Jeff is the Buy More’s longest serving employee, having spent 18 years working at the Burbank branch. Throughout the series, he is continually shown to be prone to alcoholic intoxication and regularly attempts to exploit the facilities and resources available at the store. In the early seasons, Jeff regularly expressed affection for Anna, going as far as making a music video with secretly-taken photos, though his advances were always rejected. In season 2 Jeff and best friend Lester formed their rock band Jeffster. On several occasions, they have been allowed to play at in-store events.
Lester is also a member of the Nerd Herd, though is rarely seen actually working. He claims that he and Jeff are computer artists and therefore refuse to repair anything other than Apple products. He too is opportunistic, though perhaps slightly more discreet in approach than some of his other co-workers. After learning that Chuck had briefly broken up with Sarah, he attempted to make a move but was sufficiently intimidated by her that he decided otherwise. As the other half of Jeffster, Lester provides vocals, singing such hits as Toto’s Africa and John Denver’s I’m Leaving on a Jetplane.
Anna Wu Anna is the only female member of the original Nerd Herd group, attracting significant attention from her colleagues as a result. Shunning amorous advances from both Jeff and Lester, she begins dating Morgan during season 1. She regularly uses her physical appearance to exploit her male co-workers to her own gain. She later leaves the Buy More with Morgan to help him pursue his dream of becoming a chef, though later dumps him for his boss. She later makes a brief return to the Buy More (though not as an employee) in attempt to win him back but ultimately fails.
Hannah Hannah only briefly worked at the Buy More, with her stint only lasting several weeks. After meeting Chuck on a flight to Paris, she accepts his offer to work as part of the Nerd Herd. Morgan initially shows an interest in her, getting Jeff and Lester to stalk her for his own means, but is later disappointed when she begins dating Chuck. She then leaves the Buy More after Chuck breaks up with her for her own protection.
Skip Johnson Skip is a relatively minor character in Chuck, rarely ever speaking in the show. Although he can regularly be seen in the background, his moment in the spotlight came in Chuck vs. the Sensei, in which Skip was awarded Employee of the Month. Much to the astonishment of the rest of the Buy More employees, he won a 65” TV for his efforts.
Beverly Hills Buy More
In addition to the Burbank branch, a Buy More store in Beverly Hills also exists. Relations between the stores become strained when the Burbank branch is chosen to carry Roark latest gaming laptop as a timed exclusive; Beverly Hills would be forced to wait before receiving their allotment of the product.
Consequently, they sneaked into the Burbank store at night and covered it in toilet paper. Despite the staff’s wishes, Big Mike insisted that they abstain from responding in a similar fashion.
This all changes relatively quickly. Emmett is assaulted by a Fulcrum agent while attempting to protect the store from any future pranks. Big Mike believes the Beverly Hills branch are behind the attack and so orchestrates a plan for retaliation. He, with Emmett, Morgan, Jeff and Lester, break into the Beverly Hills store and proceed to wreak havoc on the contents of the shop.
The rivalry between the stores was not finished at that. Jeff unwittingly came within seconds of destroying the entire of the Beverly Hills branch when playing around on Orion’s laptop. Believing a missile program to be a hyper-realistic flight simulator game, Jeff set the destination for Beverly Hills and began guiding the missile towards the store. Realising what was happening, Chuck managed to grab the laptop and re-direct the missile to safety, to the chagrin of Jeff and his friends.
The Buy More’s Decline and Downfall
In season 3, the future of the Buy More comes into question. In Chuck vs. the Ring: Part 2, Big Mike receives a phone call from Moses Finkelstein, the owner of the store, inform him that the Burbank branch was in jeopardy of being shut down entirely down its poor performance. Concerned for the future of the company and its staff, Big Mike confides in Jeff and Lester. Using twisted logic, Lester convinces him that the best course of action is to hold a fire sale of all products - demonstrating to the company’s hierarchy that their store is still a viable business option.
Although Jeff and Lester seem initially pleased with their plan, having seen an unprecedented amount of customers and sales during the sale, their bold move quickly results in negative consequences. Having heard of what was happening, Moses called Big Mike - angry that his stock had been sold off for little to no profit. He had wished to simply move all their remaining products to the Beverly Hills branch. Big Mike, Lester and Jeff then realise their stunt had done little to sway the minds of the Buy More executives, but had instead only worsened their situation. Believing he’s about to face the wrath of the Buy More executives, Big Mike evacuates the building. Jeff and Lester suggest they leave one last parting gift, by setting the store on fire, an idea that’s quickly rejected by Big Mike.
Coincidentally, just after the Buy More has been evacuated, Shaw reveals to Chuck that he’s planted multiple bombs across the store and was planning to blow up the building. Chuck fights Shaw and successfully manages to defeat him, though the explosives remain a threat. Morgan then finds the detonation remote, but also inadvertently drops it and in doing so, sets off the timer for the explosives. Everyone scrambles for the exits, managing to escape before the building explodes. Outside, Jeff and Lester watch on - baffled about what happened and worried that they had caused it. Later, mug shots of the pair are featured on local news, with police labelling them as the instigators of the explosion.