History Main / SelectiveMagnetism

11th Jul '16 2:08:04 PM MrFrensley
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-> ''"Magnets only do what they need to do for the purposes of the plot. That's what ''Franchise/XMen'' taught me."''
-->-- A LetsPlay [[ChipCheezum of]] ''[[http://www.viddler.com/explore/ChipCheezum/videos/4/ Beyond Good and Evil]]''

Powerful magnets are cool. Generally, it's a lot easier in cartoons and TV shows to create a magnet that is powerful enough to rip the gun out of your hands than it is in real life. But the real catcher isn't how much it attracts, but ''what'' it attracts. And, by extension, what it ''doesn't'' attract.

Often magnets are selective about what they attract, only pulling in the obviously metal stuff, while ignoring other items that ''should'' be attracted. Or else pulling things in one at a time, instead of everything at once.

Can be TruthInTelevision, as only three common metals are ferromagnetic: iron, nickel, and cobalt. Metals like gold, aluminium, and others, despite being slightly responsive to magnetic fields (a property known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramagnetism paramagnetism]]), are by and large not affected by magnets. Writers are often unaware of that fact.

Oh yes, and that stainless steel dagger I'm holding? [[http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae546.cfm You can't have it]].

The iron in human blood is locked up in molecules, and thus no longer ferromagnetic: no dice there. ''Water'' has a molecular dipole, where one end of the molecule is slightly negative and the other is slightly positive, to the point where a really strong field can [[http://www.ru.nl/hfml/research/levitation/diamagnetic/ levitate a frog]]. [[JustThinkOfThePotential But no one ever considers that aspect, either]].

A subtrope of YouFailPhysicsForever unless [[MagnetismManipulation it's an explicit superpower]], and a SisterTrope to HollywoodMagnetism.

to:

-> ''"Magnets only do what they need to do for the purposes of the plot. That's what ''Franchise/XMen'' taught me."''
-->-- A LetsPlay [[ChipCheezum of]] ''[[http://www.viddler.com/explore/ChipCheezum/videos/4/ Beyond
->'''Kevin:''' Good and Evil]]''

Powerful magnets are cool. Generally, it's a lot easier in cartoons and TV shows to create a magnet that is powerful enough to rip the gun out
thing their guns aren't made of your hands than it is in real life. But the real catcher steel.\\
'''Mike:''' Good thing our jeep
isn't how much magnetic. Oh wait, it attracts, is.\\
'''Kevin:''' It's the Law of Selective Magnetism. It only works when things look cool or funny.
-->-- ''Rifftrax: Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull''

Magnetism is a physical principle can be used to add some [[RuleOfCool awesome]] or some [[RuleOfFunny comedic relief]] to a story. But often in fiction the needs of the plot can outweigh the desire for consistency, and SelectiveMagnetism can set in. This occurs when magnetism is used within a work,
but ''what'' it attracts. And, its portrayal is inconsistent within the universe of the story.

SelectiveMagnetism can manifest itself in a few different ways:
* Objects that are (or will be) attracted
by extension, what it ''doesn't'' attract.

Often
magnets show no effect until the (previously hidden) magnet is revealed. (Also works in reverse; the magnet is seen but does not attract an object until the object is revealed.)
* Some objects
are attracted by the magnet, but other objects that are clearly the same substance are never attracted.
* A magnet attracts an object, an irritated character pulls the object away as if to say "no" to a naughty child, and the magnet no longer attracts the object.
* The magnet just seems to turn on or off in an unpredictable way.

Allowing magnetism to be
selective about what they attract, only pulling in is usually necessary because applying the obviously metal stuff, while ignoring other items that ''should'' be attracted. Or else pulling things behavior of magnetism consistently within a story or even within the same scene may destroy the joke, deaden the dramatic impact, require the addition of too much detail, or prevent the characters from progressing the plot. Done well, and the audience maintains its WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief despite the inconsistency. Done poorly, and the work will allow a community of physics nerds (if done really badly, non-nerds) to criticize the work in one at a time, instead of everything at once.

forums for eternity.

Can be TruthInTelevision, as only three common metals are ferromagnetic: iron, ferromagnetic (iron, nickel, and cobalt. Metals like gold, aluminium, cobalt) and others, despite being slightly responsive to magnetic fields (a property known as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paramagnetism paramagnetism]]), are by and large not only these metals can be magnetized or strongly affected by magnets. other magnets. Magnetism can also be established by an electric current (electromagnetism), which can be turned on or off. Writers are often unaware usually show an awareness of that fact.

Oh yes, and that stainless steel dagger I'm holding? [[http://www.physlink.com/education/askexperts/ae546.cfm You can't have it]].

The iron in human blood is locked up in molecules, and thus no longer ferromagnetic: no dice there. ''Water'' has a molecular dipole, where one end of the molecule is slightly negative and the other is slightly positive, to the point where a really strong field can [[http://www.ru.nl/hfml/research/levitation/diamagnetic/ levitate a frog]]. [[JustThinkOfThePotential But no one ever considers that aspect, either]].

electromagnetism, but not ferromagnetism.

A subtrope of YouFailPhysicsForever unless [[MagnetismManipulation it's an explicit superpower]], YouFailPhysicsForever. Often overlaps with HollywoodMagnetism and sometimes MagnetismManipulation, but there are distinct differences:
* MagnetismManipulation occurs when
a SisterTrope character in the work can choose how magnetism works and this is set forth explicitly as a special ability.
* HollywoodMagnetism occurs when the work clearly portrays magnetism differently than RealLife.
* SelectiveMagnetism occurs when the force of magnetism is inconsistently portrayed even within the universe of the work.
Please make sure that your example of magnetism as used in fiction goes
to HollywoodMagnetism.
the right trope.
10th Jul '16 9:24:52 PM TheNicestGuy
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Added DiffLines:

* In the episode "Love-Bheits" of ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', the trope is averted for a laugh. Baron Ünderbheit, who has a metal mandible and bulky metal armor, uses an "atomic supermagnet" to bring down Dr. Venture's plane as it flies near his realm. Although the scheme does work, the Baron himself flies up to stick to the device's business end the moment it is switched on.
2nd Jul '16 10:29:50 AM nombretomado
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* In an episode of ''OneThousandWaysToDie'', a criminal holds a Hot Nurse hostage in an MRI chamber, demanding certain favors from her. As she start to comply and he is DistractedByTheSexy, she is able to switch on the machine, which rips the gun out of his hand. Unfortunately for him, he also has a metal plate in his skull. It doesn't end well, for him (uh, remember the show's name?).

to:

* In an episode of ''OneThousandWaysToDie'', ''Series/OneThousandWaysToDie'', a criminal holds a Hot Nurse hostage in an MRI chamber, demanding certain favors from her. As she start to comply and he is DistractedByTheSexy, she is able to switch on the machine, which rips the gun out of his hand. Unfortunately for him, he also has a metal plate in his skull. It doesn't end well, for him (uh, remember the show's name?).



* The Magnetism element in ''{{Bionicle}}''.

to:

* The Magnetism element in ''{{Bionicle}}''.''Toys/{{Bionicle}}''.
28th May '16 1:23:04 AM Heckfire
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Added DiffLines:

* ComicBook/CaptainAmerica briefly used to use magnets in his gloves back in the 60s to control the trajectory of his shield throwing without effecting anything else in the way.
15th May '16 11:17:15 AM nombretomado
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* {{Magneto}}. Scientists also promptly said his powers wouldn't work that well due to the Third Law of Motion - to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, thus while lifting a battleship weighting tens of thousands of tons the mutant would also be attracted to it like a fridge magnet...

to:

* {{Magneto}}.ComicBook/{{Magneto}}. Scientists also promptly said his powers wouldn't work that well due to the Third Law of Motion - to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, thus while lifting a battleship weighting tens of thousands of tons the mutant would also be attracted to it like a fridge magnet...
7th May '16 12:11:05 AM nombretomado
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* Agent Six in ''GeneratorRex'' can combine his swords to get this.

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* Agent Six in ''GeneratorRex'' ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'' can combine his swords to get this.
30th Mar '16 7:18:25 AM mlsmithca
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----
<<|DidNotDoTheResearch|>>
<<|TropesExaminedByTheMythBusters|>>
<<|YouFailPhysicsForever|>>

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----
<<|DidNotDoTheResearch|>>
<<|TropesExaminedByTheMythBusters|>>
<<|YouFailPhysicsForever|>>
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28th Mar '16 4:51:04 PM thatother1dude
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* ''{{Kinnikuman}}''. Dream Tag Tournament's tag team of Neptuneman and Big the Budo and their spammy Magnet Power. More powerful displays DO attract any and all nearby metal... but they all seem to go towards the designated target, rather than the origin, there the force is at its strongest.
* Eustass "Captain" Kid of ''OnePiece'' has this as his Devil Fruit power. Thus far his powers seem limited to the basic 'attract' or 'repel' rather than full-on metal telekinesis ala Magneto.

to:

* ''{{Kinnikuman}}''. Dream Tag Tournament's tag team of Neptuneman and Big the Budo and their spammy Magnet Power. More powerful displays DO attract any and all nearby metal... but they all seem to go towards the designated target, rather than the origin, there where the force is at its strongest.
* Eustass "Captain" Kid of ''OnePiece'' ''Manga/OnePiece'' has this as his Devil Fruit power. Thus far his powers seem limited to the basic 'attract' or 'repel' rather than full-on metal telekinesis ala Magneto.



* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', during the Stands arc, one of the villains has a stand that makes people magnetic. This has no ill effect on his own (it should, as magnetism is not exactly healthy), but attracts metallic objects at a fastly growing rate. To make thinks more dire, two different protagonist are charged with opposite poles, so they are strongly attracted each the other. While it's mostly realistic, somehow the protagonists are able to attract objects way heavier that themselves, instead of being attracted to them.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': [[{{Robeast}} Mechanical Beast]] Bazil F7 was armed with magnetically-charged armor plates that could be detached off its body and launched at its adversary (with the purpose of sticking to it and disrupting their mechanisms). However the magnets did not attract other objects when they were working, and they stuck to [[HumongousMecha Mazinger-Z]] and [[FemBot Aphrodite-A]] in spite of they are not made of steel to begin with.

to:

* In ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'', during the Stands arc, one of the villains ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure: Stardust Crusaders'', Mariah has a stand that makes people magnetic. This has no ill effect on his own (it should, as magnetism is not exactly healthy), For the most part, the victims [[AvertedTrope will attract every iron object in close proximity]], but attracts metallic objects at a fastly growing rate. To make thinks more dire, two different protagonist are charged with opposite poles, so they are strongly attracted each the other. While it's mostly realistic, somehow this pulls a car off the protagonists are able to attract objects way heavier that themselves, instead of ground and down the street without the person being attracted to them.
pulled by the same force.
* ''Anime/MazingerZ'': [[{{Robeast}} Mechanical Beast]] Bazil F7 was armed with magnetically-charged armor plates that could be detached off its body and launched at its adversary (with the purpose of sticking to it and disrupting their mechanisms). However the magnets did not attract other objects when they were working, and they stuck to [[HumongousMecha Mazinger-Z]] and [[FemBot Aphrodite-A]] in spite of they are them [[{{Unobtanium}} not made of steel to begin with.with]].
24th Oct '15 5:48:50 PM nombretomado
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* The rifts in ''{{Primeval}}'', which produce a strong magnetic force when the writers remember that they do. Doesn't affect technology (they send a robot through at one point.) Just occasionally attracts things.

to:

* The rifts in ''{{Primeval}}'', ''Series/{{Primeval}}'', which produce a strong magnetic force when the writers remember that they do. Doesn't affect technology (they send a robot through at one point.) Just occasionally attracts things.
28th Sep '15 7:37:51 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''[[{{Terminator}} Terminator III]]'' had John Conner use a magnetic coil against the Terminatrix, which dragged the gun out of his hand, but they seemed unaffected by anything else on their bodies, like belt buckles or zippers. It might work, however, if they're made of non-ferromagnetic metals, such as brass or aluminium.

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* ''[[{{Terminator}} Terminator III]]'' ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' had John Conner use a magnetic coil against the Terminatrix, which dragged the gun out of his hand, but they seemed unaffected by anything else on their bodies, like belt buckles or zippers. It might work, however, if they're made of non-ferromagnetic metals, such as brass or aluminium.



* The eponymous hero from ''TheReturnOfCaptainInvincible'' has this power, but he hasn't used it for decades and it seldom works as intended.
* Justified as an actual clue in ''The Raven'' (2012), in which Fields discovers that a hair from a crime scene is strangely attracted to a magnet. [[spoiler: That's because the culprit was a newspaperman, and there were traces of iron-based printer's ink on the hair.]]

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* The eponymous hero from ''TheReturnOfCaptainInvincible'' ''Film/TheReturnOfCaptainInvincible'' has this power, but he hasn't used it for decades and it seldom works as intended.
* Justified as an actual clue in ''The Raven'' ''Film/TheRaven'' (2012), in which Fields discovers that a hair from a crime scene is strangely attracted to a magnet. [[spoiler: That's because the culprit was a newspaperman, and there were traces of iron-based printer's ink on the hair.]]
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