History Main / PhlebotinumBreakdown

14th Aug '16 10:12:22 PM UmbrellasWereAwesome
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* At the end of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', the firing of the replacement Halo causes the slipspace field to collapse prematurely, cutting a ship in half. The front half makes it to its destination, but the back half only materializes in space only partway there, leaving Master Chief and Cortana floating near a Forerunner planet in an unknown location.

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* At the end of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', the firing of the replacement Halo causes the slipspace field to collapse prematurely, cutting a ship in half. The front half makes it to its destination, but the back half only materializes in space only partway there, leaving Master Chief and Cortana floating near a [[VideoGame/{{Halo 4}} Forerunner planet in an unknown location.location]].
8th Aug '16 10:56:34 AM DarkHunter
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** The TARDIS is a particularly unreliable bit of Phlebotinum. Its navigation is notoriously unreliable when it works at all, its camouflage system has been stuck for the past 50 years, it has a habit of ignoring the Doctor's directions to deposit him in situations of extreme and immediate peril, and it was once blown to bits outright. Also, it once [[IncredibleShrinkingMan shrank its passengers to the size of fleas]]. In contrast to the examples above, though, rather than breaking at the worst possible moment, the TARDIS seems to work correctly ''only'' when it's absolutely vital that it does (see MillionToOneChance, OneBulletLeft). That said, the TARDIS is supposed to be piloted with six crewmembers, not just the Doctor plus one. The episode "The Doctor's Wife" revealed that the TARDIS [[spoiler:is sentient and in love with the Doctor]], and it often sends the Doctor where [[spoiler:she]] thinks he needs to be, sometimes malfunctioning to keep him there.

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** The TARDIS is a particularly unreliable bit of Phlebotinum.Phlebotinum, justified by the fact that it's an obsolete piece of crap by Time Lord standards that the Doctor stole from a junkyard. Its navigation is notoriously unreliable when it works at all, its camouflage system has been stuck for the past 50 years, it has a habit of ignoring the Doctor's directions to deposit him in situations of extreme and immediate peril, and it was once blown to bits outright. Also, it once [[IncredibleShrinkingMan shrank its passengers to the size of fleas]]. In contrast to the examples above, though, rather than breaking at the worst possible moment, the TARDIS seems to work correctly ''only'' when it's absolutely vital that it does (see MillionToOneChance, OneBulletLeft). That said, the TARDIS is supposed to be piloted with six crewmembers, not just the Doctor plus one. The episode "The Doctor's Wife" revealed that the TARDIS [[spoiler:is sentient and in love with the Doctor]], and it often sends the Doctor where [[spoiler:she]] thinks he needs to be, sometimes malfunctioning to keep him there.
30th May '16 3:47:03 PM WillKeaton
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* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'', [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Issue3/ib070.html the timepieces are silent, giving no warning]].

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* In ''Webcomic/ImpureBlood'', [[http://www.impurebloodwebcomic.com/Pages/Issue3/ib070.html the timepieces are silent, giving no warning]].warning.]]
30th May '16 3:46:37 PM WillKeaton
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* At the end of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', the firing of the replacement Halo causes the slipspace gate to collapse prematurely, dropping MC and Cortana near a Forerunner planet in an unknown location.

to:

* At the end of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', the firing of the replacement Halo causes the slipspace gate field to collapse prematurely, dropping MC cutting a ship in half. The front half makes it to its destination, but the back half only materializes in space only partway there, leaving Master Chief and Cortana floating near a Forerunner planet in an unknown location.
30th May '16 3:42:46 PM WillKeaton
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** The transporter would break (in the simple "fails to work" sense) pretty much any time our heroes needed to make a hasty exit from a hostile planet. It would break (in the spectacular sense) on occasion as well. Broken transporters have created twins of at least two people (Kirk and Riker), in one case somehow separating "good" and "evil", caused people to regress in age, merged two individuals to create a viable and integrated third individual, sent people to a parallel universe, and even transformed a bunch of people into manatees trapped in the void between dimensions.

to:

** The transporter would break (in the simple "fails to work" sense) pretty much any time our heroes needed to make a hasty exit from a hostile planet. It would break (in the spectacular sense) on occasion as well. Broken transporters have created twins of at least two people (Kirk and Riker), in one case somehow separating "good" and "evil", "evil," caused people to regress in age, merged two individuals to create a viable and integrated third individual, sent people to a parallel universe, and even transformed a bunch of people into manatees trapped in the void between dimensions.



** In a more down-played fashion, the communicators more than once had to be kept from working properly for the reasons mentioned in the CellPhonesAreUseless trope[[note]]That trope specifically points to this one for futuristic communications not working[[/note]].

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** In a more down-played fashion, the communicators more than once had to be kept from working properly for the reasons mentioned in the CellPhonesAreUseless trope[[note]]That trope.[[note]]That trope specifically points to this one for futuristic communications not working[[/note]].working.[[/note]]
17th Mar '16 4:08:25 AM Morgenthaler
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** Borg technology is popular AppliedPhlebotinum on ths show, being depicted as able to grow in an organic manner, absorb nearby technology and resist attempts to deactivate or remove it. But when the most important of Seven of Nine's implants breaks down, it is perhaps the only one that is not self-repairing and ones from deceased drones likewise become useless very quickly and thus cannot be salvaged. Pity Starfleet did not know this, because a weapon specifically designed to target that one implant could kill drones easily.

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** ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'': Borg technology is popular AppliedPhlebotinum on ths the show, being depicted as able to grow in an organic manner, absorb nearby technology and resist attempts to deactivate or remove it. But when the most important of Seven of Nine's implants breaks down, it is perhaps the only one that is not self-repairing and ones from deceased drones likewise become useless very quickly and thus cannot be salvaged. Pity Starfleet did not know this, because a weapon specifically designed to target that one implant could kill drones easily.
17th Mar '16 4:07:30 AM Morgenthaler
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*** ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' actually [[http://darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0105.html points this out]] regarding the "warp speed limit" and links this Trope's page.
17th Mar '16 4:07:06 AM Morgenthaler
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* The transporter in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' would break (in the simple "fails to work" sense) pretty much any time our heroes needed to make a hasty exit from a hostile planet. It would break (in the spectacular sense) on occasion as well. Broken transporters have created twins of at least two people (Kirk and Riker), in one case somehow separating "good" and "evil", caused people to regress in age, merged two individuals to create a viable and integrated third individual, sent people to a parallel universe, and even transformed a bunch of people into manatees trapped in the void between dimensions.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s holodeck is also a prime example. So much so that HolodeckMalfunction is a trope in its own right. The most common "simple" breakdown is to lock the senior officers inside and turn off the safety protocols. Why these features would always be the [[FailsafeFailure first to break]] defies explanation. However, the holodeck can give 'interesting' result without even been broken, say, by giving a simulation of [[SherlockHolmes Professor Moriarty]] full sentience and complete control of the ship's computer.
** In fact, most ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' plots revolved around some form of this, from malfunctioning replicators to [[EvolutionaryLevels crew members devolving]] to the everyday, run of the mill warp core breach.

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* ''Franchise/StarTrek'':
**
The transporter in ''Franchise/StarTrek'' would break (in the simple "fails to work" sense) pretty much any time our heroes needed to make a hasty exit from a hostile planet. It would break (in the spectacular sense) on occasion as well. Broken transporters have created twins of at least two people (Kirk and Riker), in one case somehow separating "good" and "evil", caused people to regress in age, merged two individuals to create a viable and integrated third individual, sent people to a parallel universe, and even transformed a bunch of people into manatees trapped in the void between dimensions.
** ''Franchise/StarTrek'''s The holodeck is also a prime example. So example, so much so that HolodeckMalfunction is a trope in its own right. The most common "simple" breakdown is to lock the senior officers inside and turn off the safety protocols. Why these features would always be the [[FailsafeFailure first to break]] defies explanation. However, the holodeck can give 'interesting' result without even been broken, say, by giving a simulation of [[SherlockHolmes Professor Moriarty]] full sentience and complete control of the ship's computer.
** In fact, most ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' plots revolved around some form of this, from malfunctioning replicators to [[EvolutionaryLevels crew members devolving]] to the everyday, run of the mill warp core breach. And the holodecks. And Data. Both of them should have tossed off of the 1701D at their first sign of major trouble... which happened for both of them in TNG's first season.



*** And the holodecks. And Data. Both of them should have tossed off of the 1701D at their first sign of major trouble... which happened for both of them in TNG's first season.



* ''Series/StargateSG1'' frequently has [=DHD=]s broken or destroyed on planets where the team would not like to stay. More extravagantly, a malfunctioning Stargate trapped one of the team in a wormhole (when one Stargate was destroyed), trapped Earth in a time-loop (when working in conjunction with an alien device that was intended to do this), nearly destroyed a star (though technically the gate was not malfunctioning, just being abused), ''actually'' destroyed a star (this time [[WeaponOfMassDestruction on purpose]]), sent SG-1 backward in time, and almost sucked Earth into a black hole. The worst the gate has yet done on ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' was to ensnare a puddlejumper when one of its engine pods failed to retract.

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* ''Franchise/StargateVerse'':
**
''Series/StargateSG1'' frequently has [=DHD=]s broken or destroyed on planets where the team would not like to stay. More extravagantly, a malfunctioning Stargate trapped one of the team in a wormhole (when one Stargate was destroyed), trapped Earth in a time-loop (when working in conjunction with an alien device that was intended to do this), nearly destroyed a star (though technically the gate was not malfunctioning, just being abused), ''actually'' destroyed a star (this time [[WeaponOfMassDestruction on purpose]]), sent SG-1 backward in time, and almost sucked Earth into a black hole. The worst the gate has yet done on ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' was to ensnare a puddlejumper when one of its engine pods failed to retract.



** In ''Stargate Atlantis'' the Stargate managed to send Colonel John Sheppard 48000 years in the future by the same problem that sent SG-1 to the past, considerably increasing the bar for Atlantis' Stargate mishaps. To make matters worse it wasn't a proper breakdown, just poor programming.

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** In ''Stargate Atlantis'' ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' the Stargate managed to send Colonel John Sheppard 48000 years in the future by the same problem that sent SG-1 to the past, considerably increasing the bar for Atlantis' Stargate mishaps. To make matters worse it wasn't a proper breakdown, just poor programming.



** The gates etc. don't act up as much in Atlantis because [[DesignatedHero the main characters are doing enough on their own]].
** This is actually at least partly justified. The main Stargate lacked its standard control system, a DHD, and instead had a jury-rigged human-made one using supercomputers. This meant they could easily bypass safety systems, but it was also more prone to malfunctioning in plot-moving-along ways, such as in "Red Sky" where the wormhole pierces through a sun and damages it.



* ''Series/DoctorWho'''s TARDIS is a particularly unreliable bit of Phlebotinum. Its navigation is notoriously unreliable when it works at all, its camouflage system has been stuck for the past 50 years, it has a habit of ignoring the Doctor's directions to deposit him in situations of extreme and immediate peril, and it was once blown to bits outright. Also, it once [[IncredibleShrinkingMan shrank its passengers to the size of fleas]]. In contrast to the examples above, though, rather than breaking at the worst possible moment, the TARDIS seems to work correctly ''only'' when it's absolutely vital that it does (see MillionToOneChance, OneBulletLeft). That said, the TARDIS is supposed to be piloted with six crewmembers, not just the Doctor plus one.
** It's heavily implied that when the TARDIS lands in the wrong time zone/place at the start of an episode, it's because the Doctor [[TheyJustDidntCare just doesn't care]] that much. It's shown that the TARDIS making ''that'' noise is the Doctor intentionally flying it badly. This explains why it goes where it needs to at critical moments. The rest of the time he's effectively showing off to the companion, like your mate who drives with two fingers on the wheel and never uses the footbrake.
*** And he flies it with the 'parking brake' on.
*** Apparently so does every other Time Lord we've ever seen, since all [=TARDISes=] have been shown to make the same sound.
** The episode "The Doctor's Wife" revealed that the TARDIS [[spoiler:is sentient and in love with the Doctor]], and it often sends the Doctor where [[spoiler:she]] thinks he needs to be, sometimes malfunctioning to keep him there.

to:

* ''Series/DoctorWho'''s ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The
TARDIS is a particularly unreliable bit of Phlebotinum. Its navigation is notoriously unreliable when it works at all, its camouflage system has been stuck for the past 50 years, it has a habit of ignoring the Doctor's directions to deposit him in situations of extreme and immediate peril, and it was once blown to bits outright. Also, it once [[IncredibleShrinkingMan shrank its passengers to the size of fleas]]. In contrast to the examples above, though, rather than breaking at the worst possible moment, the TARDIS seems to work correctly ''only'' when it's absolutely vital that it does (see MillionToOneChance, OneBulletLeft). That said, the TARDIS is supposed to be piloted with six crewmembers, not just the Doctor plus one.
** It's heavily implied that when the TARDIS lands in the wrong time zone/place at the start of an episode, it's because the Doctor [[TheyJustDidntCare just doesn't care]] that much. It's shown that the TARDIS making ''that'' noise is the Doctor intentionally flying it badly. This explains why it goes where it needs to at critical moments. The rest of the time he's effectively showing off to the companion, like your mate who drives with two fingers on the wheel and never uses the footbrake.
*** And he flies it with the 'parking brake' on.
*** Apparently so does every other Time Lord we've ever seen, since all [=TARDISes=] have been shown to make the same sound.
**
one. The episode "The Doctor's Wife" revealed that the TARDIS [[spoiler:is sentient and in love with the Doctor]], and it often sends the Doctor where [[spoiler:she]] thinks he needs to be, sometimes malfunctioning to keep him there.



** ''StarWars'', the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive is a trope to itself.
*** The only time the Millennium Falcon's hyperdrive malfunctioned (not due to battle damage) was when it was purposefully disabled by Imperial forces. Even then, one astrodroid was able to bring it back online in moments.



** Even worse, since you're expected to defeat both the [[TheEmpire Imperial]] and [[LaResistance Rebel]] forces at the same time.
** The superlaser does come back online but only ''after'' the Super Star Destroyer is blown up, leavjng only a few cruisers and frigates to finish off. And then, Zann goes ahead and blows up the ''Eclipse'' instead of keeping it.
*** {{Ret Con}}ned in the books, where Zann abandons the ''Eclipse'' instead of scuttling it.
13th Mar '16 3:23:33 PM Morgenthaler
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* In the ''WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' episode "Fashion Week", the magic power plant went offline, and the wizard spent ''almost'' an entire episode without magic.
* ''{{Sliders}}'' runs on this premise. In the pilot, the timer (a divice that opens a wormhole to another dimension) is accidentally reset and, instead of taking the protagonists home, they get stuck jumping to random parallel worlds every episode with little hope of returning. Oh, and the timer manages to break a few times too, such as when a whole "bubble" universe is formed based on two of the characters, or when a [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning strike]] at the wormhole causes Quinn to become a ghost.

to:

* In the ''WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' episode "Fashion Week", the magic power plant went offline, and the wizard spent ''almost'' an entire episode without magic.
* ''{{Sliders}}'' ''Series/{{Sliders}}'' runs on this premise. In the pilot, the timer (a divice that opens a wormhole to another dimension) is accidentally reset and, instead of taking the protagonists home, they get stuck jumping to random parallel worlds every episode with little hope of returning. Oh, and the timer manages to break a few times too, such as when a whole "bubble" universe is formed based on two of the characters, or when a [[LightningCanDoAnything lightning strike]] at the wormhole causes Quinn to become a ghost.
1st Feb '16 6:34:22 AM EarlOfSandvich
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* At one point in ''NoMoreHeroes'', an enemy sets off the sprinklers when he sees Travis coming. The water shorts out his beam katana's battery, and a segment follows where Travis, being electrocuted, must run a gauntlet of enemies to reach the room with the sprinkler controls. Even after the sprinklers are turned off, you have to recharge the katana, though the game does give you a Full Battery power-up.

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* At one point in ''NoMoreHeroes'', ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', an enemy sets off the sprinklers when he sees Travis coming. The water shorts out his beam katana's battery, and a segment follows where Travis, being electrocuted, must run a gauntlet of enemies to reach the room with the sprinkler controls. Even after the sprinklers are turned off, you have to recharge the katana, though the game does give you a Full Battery power-up.
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