History Main / UnwinnableTrainingSimulation

21st Aug '16 10:20:46 AM Tacitus
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** Most notably, Michael A. Stackpole's ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries Star Wars: X-Wing]]'' opens with prospective Rogue Squadron pilots training by playing the ''Redemption'' scenario, which is so infamously difficult that it's earned the in-universe nickname of the "[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Redemption_scenario Requiem scenario]]." Four X-Wings are tasked with defending the corvette ''Korolev'' from waves of TIE Fighters and Bombers launched by an Imperial frigate. The "by the book" strategy developed by pilots is for two X-Wings to engage the [=TIEs=] as they're launched while the other two stay behind to guard the corvette, otherwise the Imperial frigate would join the battle and make a terrible situation even worse. It's noted that "by the book" is not a particularly good strategy, since it leaves those actually fighting the [=TIEs=] outnumbered by a substantial margin, but since the Rebels are outnumbered and outgunned regardless it's simply the least bad of the available choices. Corran Horn only wins the mission by taking out the more dangerous TIE Bombers with his proton torpedoes before finishing off the enemy fighters, and even then he lucks out after barely "surviving" a head-on engagement that damaged the last remaining enemy fighter enough for a torpedo to catch up with it.
*** The best part is that this mission is based in-universe on an actual historical battle, and out-of-universe on an actual ScrappyLevel from the ''VideoGame/XWing'' flight sim. In-universe it's even more of a ScrappyLevel, because on top of the odds being stacked against the X-Wing pilots it features [=TIEs=] with actual people at the controls, meaning that sometimes they'll deviate from the script. The strategy the pilots use in the book is not only the recommended way to beat the level, but canonically the way the skirmish was won.
** When future Wraith Squadron pilot Myn Donos' first command is wiped out, the disaster is made into a hellish training sim the other Wraiths are subjected to (while they wonder why Donos is excused from it). [[spoiler:Later, after they've learned the reason (he was the SoleSurvivor of the battle that the training sim is based on) and Myn is suffering a HeroicBSOD, they place him in the simulation while he's asleep in a desperate attempt to get through to him.]]

to:

** Most notably, Michael A. Stackpole's ''[[ComicBook/XWingSeries Star Wars: X-Wing]]'' opens with prospective Rogue Squadron pilots training by playing the ''Redemption'' scenario, which is so infamously difficult that it's earned the in-universe nickname of the "[[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Redemption_scenario Requiem scenario]]." Four X-Wings are tasked with defending the corvette ''Korolev'' from as it transfers wounded to the medical frigate ''Redeptmion'', while an Imperial frigate pops in and out of the system launching waves of TIE Fighters and Bombers launched by an Imperial frigate. Bombers. The "by the book" strategy developed by pilots is for two X-Wings to engage the [=TIEs=] as they're launched while the other two stay behind to guard the corvette, otherwise the Imperial frigate would join joins the battle and make a terrible situation even worse. It's noted that "by the book" is not a particularly good strategy, since as it leaves those actually fighting the [=TIEs=] outnumbered by a substantial margin, but since the Rebels are outnumbered and outgunned regardless it's simply the least bad of the available choices. Corran Horn only wins the mission by taking out the more dangerous TIE Bombers with his proton torpedoes before finishing off the enemy fighters, and even then he lucks out after barely "surviving" a head-on engagement that damaged the last remaining enemy fighter enough for a torpedo to catch up with it.
*** The best part is that this mission is based in-universe on an actual historical battle, and out-of-universe on an actual ScrappyLevel ThatOneLevel from the ''VideoGame/XWing'' flight sim. In-universe Of course, in-universe it's even more of a ScrappyLevel, worse because on top of the odds being stacked against the X-Wing pilots it features enemy [=TIEs=] with actual people at the controls, can be played by other pilots, meaning that sometimes they'll deviate from the script. The strategy the pilots use in the book is not only the recommended way to beat the level, but canonically the way the skirmish was won.
** When prospective pilots for Wraith Squadron are being evaluated, Wes Janson runs them through a simulation pitched as a holding action against an enemy force while their home base evacuates. Things go OffTheRails immediately so that the pilots are being attacked before their ships have even exited the hangar, and when they request orders they find that Control has been "killed." It is of course a test to see how the pilots can improvise and survive a worst-case scenario, with the twist that each pilot's score is swapped with that of his or her wingman, for an additional lesson on the importance of teamwork.
***
When future Wraith Squadron pilot Myn Donos' first command is wiped out, out in an ambush, the disaster is made into a hellish training sim the other Wraiths are subjected to (while they wonder why Donos is excused from it). [[spoiler:Later, after they've learned the reason (he was the SoleSurvivor of the battle that the training sim is based on) and Myn is suffering a HeroicBSOD, they place him in the simulation while he's asleep in a desperate attempt to get through to him.]]
15th Aug '16 8:03:21 PM Galvanbender120SOA
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* The episode "Failsafe" of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' is one of these that had GoneHorriblyWrong. No matter what, winning was completely impossible. no matter what they did, the situation would continue to get worse and worse until they failed. That said, the simulation ended up having to AssPull a second alien mothership to win, so they did pretty well. As for the GoneHorriblyWrong part? Well, M'gann accidentally made the entire team think it was real, not only plunging everyone into extreme trauma, but also nearly trapping everyone who "died" in a coma.

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* The episode "Failsafe" [[spoiler:"Failsafe"]] of ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' is [[spoiler:is one of these that had GoneHorriblyWrong. No matter what, winning was completely impossible. no matter what they did, the situation would continue to get worse and worse until they failed. That said, the simulation ended up having to AssPull a second alien mothership to win, so they did pretty well. As for the GoneHorriblyWrong part? Well, M'gann accidentally made the entire team think it was real, not only plunging everyone into extreme trauma, but also nearly trapping everyone who "died" in a coma. ]]
14th Aug '16 1:39:32 AM ospalh
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* KimStanleyRobinson’s ''Literature/RedMars'': On the Ares, they do a lot of training runs of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerocapture aerocapture]] manouver. The go all the way from “mantra runs”, everything works fine, through difficult but possible (not all of it mechanical faults: “‘Arkady (who thinks up the scenarios) has gone mad!’ ‘He has ''simulated'' going mad.’”) to absurdly unlikely and impossible to survive. (“(T)he screens register(ed) a hit by a small asteroid, which sheared through the hub and killed them all.”)

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* KimStanleyRobinson’s ''Literature/RedMars'': On the Ares, they do a lot of training runs of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerocapture aerocapture]] manouver. The maneuver. They go all the way from “mantra runs”, everything works fine, through difficult but possible (not all of it mechanical faults: “‘Arkady (who thinks up the scenarios) has gone mad!’ ‘He has ''simulated'' going mad.’”) to absurdly unlikely and impossible to survive. (“(T)he screens register(ed) a hit by a small asteroid, which sheared through the hub and killed them all.”)
14th Aug '16 1:25:54 AM ospalh
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Added DiffLines:

* KimStanleyRobinson’s ''Literature/RedMars'': On the Ares, they do a lot of training runs of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerocapture aerocapture]] manouver. The go all the way from “mantra runs”, everything works fine, through difficult but possible (not all of it mechanical faults: “‘Arkady (who thinks up the scenarios) has gone mad!’ ‘He has ''simulated'' going mad.’”) to absurdly unlikely and impossible to survive. (“(T)he screens register(ed) a hit by a small asteroid, which sheared through the hub and killed them all.”)
7th Aug '16 1:14:12 PM passivesmoking
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*** The episode ''Learning Curves'' of Series/StarTrekVoyager had Tuvok administer a battle simulation test to a group of Marquis crewmen. The attack ends with the simulated Voyager going down in flames, all phasers blazing. When the test ends the trainees obliquely reference the Kobayashi Maru, which is what they believe they were facing in the test - an unwinnable scenario. Turns out that it was a SubvertedTrope, because Tuvok did program in a winning condition: retreat. Aside from the outcome of the battle there was nothing at stake, so there was no reason not to withdraw and live to fight another day[[note]]A real Kobayashi Maru scenario includes a distress call being issued by a civilian ship, which all Starfleet officers are duty-bound to respond to by their standing orders[[/note]].

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*** The episode ''Learning Curves'' of Series/StarTrekVoyager had Tuvok administer a battle simulation test to a group of Marquis crewmen. The attack ends with the simulated Voyager going down in flames, all phasers blazing. When the test ends the trainees obliquely reference the Kobayashi Maru, which is what they believe they were facing in the test - an unwinnable scenario. Turns out that it was a SubvertedTrope, because Tuvok did program in a winning condition: retreat.[[TacticalWithdrawal retreat]]. Aside from the outcome of the battle there was nothing at stake, so there was no reason not to withdraw and live to fight another day[[note]]A real Kobayashi Maru scenario includes a distress call being issued by a civilian ship, which all Starfleet officers are duty-bound to respond to by their standing orders[[/note]].
7th Aug '16 1:10:34 PM passivesmoking
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** The episode ''Learning Curves'' of Series/StarTrekVoyager had Tuvok administer a battle simulation test to a group of Marquis crewmen. The attack ends with the simulated Voyager going down in flames, all phasers blazing. When the test ends the trainees obliquely reference the Kobayashi Maru, which is what they believe they were facing in the test - an unwinnable scenario. Turns out that it was a SubvertedTrope, because Tuvok did program in a winning condition: retreat. Aside from the outcome of the battle there was nothing at stake, so there was no reason not to withdraw and live to fight another day[[note]]A real Kobayashi Maru scenario includes a distress call being issued by a civilian ship, which all Starfleet officers are duty-bound to respond to by their standing orders[[/note]].



*** Subverted in the first season finale "Learning Curve" when Tuvok puts several ex-Maquis members of the ''Voyager'' crew through a crash course in Starfleet procedures. Among them is a combat simulation on the holodeck, which spawns a number of ''D'deridex''-class warbirds that handily defeat his trainees. In this case, the sim ''did'' have a success condition according to Tuvok: Retreat.

to:

*** Subverted in the first season finale "Learning Curve" when The episode ''Learning Curves'' of Series/StarTrekVoyager had Tuvok puts several ex-Maquis members of the ''Voyager'' crew through administer a crash course in Starfleet procedures. Among them is a combat battle simulation on test to a group of Marquis crewmen. The attack ends with the holodeck, simulated Voyager going down in flames, all phasers blazing. When the test ends the trainees obliquely reference the Kobayashi Maru, which spawns a number of ''D'deridex''-class warbirds is what they believe they were facing in the test - an unwinnable scenario. Turns out that handily defeat his trainees. In this case, it was a SubvertedTrope, because Tuvok did program in a winning condition: retreat. Aside from the sim ''did'' have a success condition according outcome of the battle there was nothing at stake, so there was no reason not to Tuvok: Retreat.withdraw and live to fight another day[[note]]A real Kobayashi Maru scenario includes a distress call being issued by a civilian ship, which all Starfleet officers are duty-bound to respond to by their standing orders[[/note]].
6th Aug '16 3:34:58 AM Morgenthaler
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* ''Series/StargateSG1'' does it with "Avatar", wherein Teal'c is trapped in a training simulation designed to learn from him and become harder to beat as a result. It did this by either spawning enemies right around corners to shoot him, spawning new enemies after the conditions of the simulation had been beaten, and adding factors to make the enemies harder to beat. It took Daniel being added in as an ally (with the ability to see the future as a cheat) for the computer to finally give Teal'c a victory scenario.
** Worse, it turns out [[spoiler: it was a reverse-ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve scenario. Since Teal'c's mind was driving the game, it turns out that Teal'c had to ''believe'' he'd won]] or every time, he'd find that TheComputerIsACheatingBastard and would change the rules on him. And he [[spoiler: could ''never'' see the battle against the Goa'uld finally being over.]]

to:

* ''Series/StargateSG1'' does it with "Avatar", wherein Teal'c is trapped in a training simulation designed to learn from him and become harder to beat as a result. It did this by either spawning enemies right around corners to shoot him, spawning new enemies after the conditions of the simulation had been beaten, and adding factors to make the enemies harder to beat. It took Daniel being added in as an ally (with the ability to see the future as a cheat) for the computer to finally give Teal'c a victory scenario.
** Worse, it turns out [[spoiler: it was a reverse-ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve scenario. Since Teal'c's mind was driving the game, it turns out that Teal'c had to ''believe'' he'd won]] or every time, he'd find that TheComputerIsACheatingBastard and would change the rules on him. And he [[spoiler: could ''never'' see the battle against the Goa'uld finally being over.]]
''Series/StargateSG1'':



** ''Series/StargateAtlantis'' has a blatant one in "Progeny" where [[spoiler: they think they escaped, make it back to Atlantis and then the city gets attacked by 9 hive ships with 15 more on the way. Sheppard has to stay behind to trigger the self-destruct.]]
** ''Series/StargateUniverse'' also uses the trope in "Trial and Error". [[spoiler:''Destiny'' projects a battle scenario into Young's dreams wherein the ship is attacked by aliens. Young tries to attack them, but they overpower and destroy the ship. Young tries to turtle behind the shields until the ship can jump to FTL, but the simulation just generates more ships. Then he tries to agree to their demands (handing over Chloe), but that just causes the shields to drop, allowing the aliens to board and kill everyone. Young never wins; Rush just shuts it off when he gets tired of it interfering with the ship.]]

to:

** In the episode "Avatar", Teal'c is trapped in a training simulation designed to learn from him and become harder to beat as a result. It did this by either spawning enemies right around corners to shoot him, spawning new enemies after the conditions of the simulation had been beaten, and adding factors to make the enemies harder to beat. It took Daniel being added in as an ally (with the ability to see the future as a cheat) for the computer to finally give Teal'c a victory scenario. Worse, it turns out [[spoiler: it was a reverse-ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve scenario. Since Teal'c's mind was driving the game, it turns out that Teal'c had to ''believe'' he'd won]] or every time, he'd find that TheComputerIsACheatingBastard and would change the rules on him. And he [[spoiler: could ''never'' see the battle against the Goa'uld finally being over.]]
*
''Series/StargateAtlantis'' has a blatant one in "Progeny" where [[spoiler: they think they escaped, make it back to Atlantis and then the city gets attacked by 9 hive ships with 15 more on the way. Sheppard has to stay behind to trigger the self-destruct.]]
** * ''Series/StargateUniverse'' also uses the trope in "Trial and Error". [[spoiler:''Destiny'' projects a battle scenario into Young's dreams wherein the ship is attacked by aliens. Young tries to attack them, but they overpower and destroy the ship. Young tries to turtle behind the shields until the ship can jump to FTL, but the simulation just generates more ships. Then he tries to agree to their demands (handing over Chloe), but that just causes the shields to drop, allowing the aliens to board and kill everyone. Young never wins; Rush just shuts it off when he gets tired of it interfering with the ship.]]
6th Aug '16 3:33:42 AM Morgenthaler
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* In the short-lived series ''Heist'', a cliffhanger has professional thief Mickey locking himself in a vault to motivate his team members to figure out how to open it quickly before he suffocates. The next episode begins with the team members apparently failing to unlock the vault in time, only for Mickey to yell at them and for the camera to reveal the giant hole they had cut in the vault to get him out.

to:

* In the short-lived series ''Heist'', ''Series/{{Heist}}'', a cliffhanger has professional thief Mickey locking himself in a vault to motivate his team members to figure out how to open it quickly before he suffocates. The next episode begins with the team members apparently failing to unlock the vault in time, only for Mickey to yell at them and for the camera to reveal the giant hole they had cut in the vault to get him out.



* In ''The Listener'', paramedic main character Toby and his partner get stuck while trying to reach a woman with a head wound. She is annoyed, but amused; if it hadn't been an exam, she could have died.

to:

* In ''The Listener'', ''Series/TheListener'', paramedic main character Toby and his partner get stuck while trying to reach a woman with a head wound. She is annoyed, but amused; if it hadn't been an exam, she could have died.



* ''PowerRangers'' is fond of this one, using it in episodes of ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' ("Trial by Fire"), ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' ("There's No 'I' In Team"), ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' ("Beginnings"), and ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' ("Ranger Red").

to:

* ''PowerRangers'' ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' is fond of this one, using it in episodes of ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' ("Trial by Fire"), ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' ("There's No 'I' In Team"), ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' ("Beginnings"), and ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' ("Ranger Red").
6th Aug '16 3:32:51 AM Morgenthaler
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* Happened a few times in ''Series/{{ER}}.'' Abby was working with a dying patient, with [[DrJerk Romano]] briskly telling at her to move faster, only for the patient to die. Then, just as Romano solemnly and brutally told her that the patient was dead, the camera swiveled around to show us that the patient was a dummy.

to:

* Happened a few times in ''Series/{{ER}}.'' ''
**
Abby was working with a dying patient, with [[DrJerk Romano]] briskly telling at her to move faster, only for the patient to die. Then, just as Romano solemnly and brutally told her that the patient was dead, the camera swiveled around to show us that the patient was a dummy.
29th Jul '16 2:49:03 PM rafi
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* One of eps of the ''Series/TheATeam'' has Hannibal, Face and Murdock trapped in a Vietnam prison and Hannibal going over in his head how they'll escape. Needless to say the imagined attempt doesn't end well.
* In ''Series/{{CSI}}'', David Hodges also mentions that he called his cat Kobayashi Maru (affectionately known as 'Kobe' or 'Mr. K').
* The first episode of season 6 of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' jumps ahead 2 months into what appears to be an ActionPrologue demonstrating that Beckett is [[spoiler:a. now a federal agent,]] and b. still a total badass - until she learns too late that the hostage she was protecting was actually another bad guy, when said hostage [[AnyoneCanDie shoots her several times in the chest]]. Cut to the office, where she's being questioned about the training exercise the audience had no idea we were watching.
%%* The third season premiere of ''Series/{{Chuck}}.''
* One episode of ''Series/Cleopatra2525'' featured a variant of this trope where one character had to learn the nearly impossible route and hazards of a rescue mission using a virtual reality simulator (in time to actually make the run and save a teammate). Of course, nobody bothers to tell her it's a simulation the first time so for her the trope is in effect like she's in the audience until she fails and sees her friend die before the simulation resets.
* Happened a few times in ''Series/{{ER}}.'' Abby was working with a dying patient, with [[DrJerk Romano]] briskly telling at her to move faster, only for the patient to die. Then, just as Romano solemnly and brutally told her that the patient was dead, the camera swiveled around to show us that the patient was a dummy.
** Another time was when Sam and a much taller, muscular man were yelling at each other when suddenly the man tackled Sam to the ground, where we can see that there are mats on the ground. Turns out it was a training session for nurses to deal with violent patients.
* An episode of ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' does this, though not with the usual opening scene fake-out. Owen runs a trauma-certification drill where the residents have to keep their dummy patients "alive" after an accident until a helicopter arrives. As hours go by with no imaginary helicopter, the point of the test becomes clear. HilarityEnsues when April refuses to accept defeat and ends up hijacking the (supposedly damaged) ambulance used in the scenario and driving her last patients around to the hospital entrance.
* In the short-lived series ''Heist'', a cliffhanger has professional thief Mickey locking himself in a vault to motivate his team members to figure out how to open it quickly before he suffocates. The next episode begins with the team members apparently failing to unlock the vault in time, only for Mickey to yell at them and for the camera to reveal the giant hole they had cut in the vault to get him out.
* An episode of ''Series/{{JAG}}'' ends with Harm crashing on a carrier landing. Turns out Harm was running a simulation of the doomed flight of the Defendant of The Week. It's implied that Harm's run the simulation several times, crashed every time, and went down with the jet, rather than eject, every time.
* Referenced as an ActorAllusion in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' where the hacker Chaos (played by Creator/WilWheaton) is called the "Kobayashi Maru" by the government since his attacks are good enough as to be effectively unwinnable.
* In ''The Listener'', paramedic main character Toby and his partner get stuck while trying to reach a woman with a head wound. She is annoyed, but amused; if it hadn't been an exam, she could have died.
* ''Series/MacGyver'', multiple times ("Lost Love", "The Survivors").
* ''PowerRangers'' is fond of this one, using it in episodes of ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' ("Trial by Fire"), ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' ("There's No 'I' In Team"), ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' ("Beginnings"), and ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' ("Ranger Red").
** "Gung-Ho" from MMPR is a very interesting twist -- using the carrier zord, Titanus as this.
* ''Series/{{Quantico}}''
** "America" features one. The agent and analyst trainees are given three reconstructed rooms where crimes the FBI stopped were plotted. After deducing what was planned and where it would take place (assassinating a senator, bombing Liberty Hall, and committing arson at a Planned Parenthood center), they had to determine which was a priority. [[spoiler: None of them were: the assassination was still being planned, the bombing was meant to smoke out agents tracking the culprit, and the arson was an act of zealotry and never came to pass. The test was designed to show the agents that information is only as good as the source it comes from, and Alex is the only one who figures out that the real culprit was Liam--the guy who gave them their information in the first place.]]
** A more literal example is in "Clue", where the trainees are placed in a simulated airplane with trainers playing terrorists or other people. The class tries the scenario over and over, trying different approaches each time but always failing. Sometimes the plan wasn't thought through enough, sometimes the trainers add new variables and sometimes the trainees just make simple mistakes. By the end, [[spoiler:Liam reveals, as the trainees were starting to understand, that the scenario is ''designed to be'' unbeatable, because sometimes even having the most competent people on the job can result in an unwinnable situation]].



* ''PowerRangers'' is fond of this one, using it in episodes of ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' ("Trial by Fire"), ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'' ("There's No 'I' In Team"), ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' ("Beginnings"), and ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' ("Ranger Red").
** "Gung-Ho" from MMPR is a very interesting twist -- using the carrier zord, Titanus as this.



* ''[[Series.WarOfTheWorlds War of the Worlds]]''
* ''Series/MacGyver'', multiple times ("Lost Love", "The Survivors").
* In the short-lived series ''Heist'', a cliffhanger has professional thief Mickey locking himself in a vault to motivate his team members to figure out how to open it quickly before he suffocates. The next episode begins with the team members apparently failing to unlock the vault in time, only for Mickey to yell at them and for the camera to reveal the giant hole they had cut in the vault to get him out.
* In ''The Listener'', paramedic main character Toby and his partner get stuck while trying to reach a woman with a head wound. She is annoyed, but amused; if it hadn't been an exam, she could have died.
* Referenced as an ActorAllusion in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' where the hacker Chaos (played by Creator/WilWheaton) is called the "Kobayashi Maru" by the government since his attacks are good enough as to be effectively unwinnable.
* In ''Series/{{CSI}}'', David Hodges also mentions that he called his cat Kobayashi Maru (affectionately known as 'Kobe' or 'Mr. K').
* The third season premiere of ''Series/{{Chuck}}.''
* Happened a few times in ''Series/{{ER}}.'' Abby was working with a dying patient, with [[DrJerk Romano]] briskly telling at her to move faster, only for the patient to die. Then, just as Romano solemnly and brutally told her that the patient was dead, the camera swiveled around to show us that the patient was a dummy.
** Another time was when Sam and a much taller, muscular man were yelling at each other when suddenly the man tackled Sam to the ground, where we can see that there are mats on the ground. Turns out it was a training session for nurses to deal with violent patients.
* One episode of ''Series/Cleopatra2525'' featured a variant of this trope where one character had to learn the nearly impossible route and hazards of a rescue mission using a virtual reality simulator (in time to actually make the run and save a teammate). Of course, nobody bothers to tell her it's a simulation the first time so for her the trope is in effect like she's in the audience until she fails and sees her friend die before the simulation resets.
* An episode of ''Series/{{JAG}}'' ends with Harm crashing on a carrier landing. Turns out Harm was running a simulation of the doomed flight of the Defendant of The Week. It's implied that Harm's run the simulation several times, crashed every time, and went down with the jet, rather than eject, every time.
* In the blow-off for ''{{Warehouse 13}}'''s third season, when the BigBad Walter Sykes traps Myka in a chair and forces H.G. Wells to play chess for her life. Wells recollects her mentor's proclivities, and breaks the rules to win the game.

to:

* %%* ''[[Series.WarOfTheWorlds War of the Worlds]]''
* ''Series/MacGyver'', multiple times ("Lost Love", "The Survivors").
* In the short-lived series ''Heist'', a cliffhanger has professional thief Mickey locking himself in a vault to motivate his team members to figure out how to open it quickly before he suffocates. The next episode begins with the team members apparently failing to unlock the vault in time, only for Mickey to yell at them and for the camera to reveal the giant hole they had cut in the vault to get him out.
* In ''The Listener'', paramedic main character Toby and his partner get stuck while trying to reach a woman with a head wound. She is annoyed, but amused; if it hadn't been an exam, she could have died.
* Referenced as an ActorAllusion in ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' where the hacker Chaos (played by Creator/WilWheaton) is called the "Kobayashi Maru" by the government since his attacks are good enough as to be effectively unwinnable.
* In ''Series/{{CSI}}'', David Hodges also mentions that he called his cat Kobayashi Maru (affectionately known as 'Kobe' or 'Mr. K').
* The third season premiere of ''Series/{{Chuck}}.''
* Happened a few times in ''Series/{{ER}}.'' Abby was working with a dying patient, with [[DrJerk Romano]] briskly telling at her to move faster, only for the patient to die. Then, just as Romano solemnly and brutally told her that the patient was dead, the camera swiveled around to show us that the patient was a dummy.
** Another time was when Sam and a much taller, muscular man were yelling at each other when suddenly the man tackled Sam to the ground, where we can see that there are mats on the ground. Turns out it was a training session for nurses to deal with violent patients.
* One episode of ''Series/Cleopatra2525'' featured a variant of this trope where one character had to learn the nearly impossible route and hazards of a rescue mission using a virtual reality simulator (in time to actually make the run and save a teammate). Of course, nobody bothers to tell her it's a simulation the first time so for her the trope is in effect like she's in the audience until she fails and sees her friend die before the simulation resets.
* An episode of ''Series/{{JAG}}'' ends with Harm crashing on a carrier landing. Turns out Harm was running a simulation of the doomed flight of the Defendant of The Week. It's implied that Harm's run the simulation several times, crashed every time, and went down with the jet, rather than eject, every time.
* In the blow-off for ''{{Warehouse ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'''s third season, when the BigBad Walter Sykes traps Myka in a chair and forces H.G. Wells to play chess for her life. Wells recollects her mentor's proclivities, and breaks the rules to win the game.



* The first episode of season 6 of ''Series/{{Castle}}'' jumps ahead 2 months into what appears to be an ActionPrologue demonstrating that Beckett is [[spoiler:a. now a federal agent,]] and b. still a total badass - until she learns too late that the hostage she was protecting was actually another bad guy, when said hostage [[AnyoneCanDie shoots her several times in the chest]]. Cut to the office, where she's being questioned about the training exercise the audience had no idea we were watching.
* An episode of ''Series/GreysAnatomy'' does this, though not with the usual opening scene fake-out. Owen runs a trauma-certification drill where the residents have to keep their dummy patients "alive" after an accident until a helicopter arrives. As hours go by with no imaginary helicopter, the point of the test becomes clear. HilarityEnsues when April refuses to accept defeat and ends up hijacking the (supposedly damaged) ambulance used in the scenario and driving her last patients around to the hospital entrance.
* ''Series/{{Quantico}}'' features one in its second episode. The agent and analyst trainees are given three reconstructed rooms where crimes the FBI stopped were plotted. After deducing what was planned and where it would take place (assassinating a senator, bombing Liberty Hall, and committing arson at a Planned Parenthood centre), they had to determine which was a priority. [[spoiler: None of them were: the assassination was still being planned, the bombing was meant to smoke out agents tracking the culprit, and the arson was an act of zealotry and never came to pass. The test was designed to show the agents that information is only as good as the source it comes from, and Alex is the only one who figures out that the real culprit was Liam - the guy who gave them their information in the first place.]]
** It does it again in the sixteenth episode, this time referencing the Kobayashi Maru by name. Trainees are to work in pairs to try to defuse a situation with a hijacked plane, and every time they think they've got a winning solution, a new wrinkle shows up.
* One of eps of the ''Series/TheATeam'' has Hannibal, Face and Murdock trapped in a Vietnam prison and Hannibal going over in his head how they'll escape. Needless to say the imagined attempt doesn't end well.
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/article_history.php?article=Main.UnwinnableTrainingSimulation