Created By: KZN02 on September 20, 2012 Last Edited By: KZN02 on October 31, 2012
Troped

Achilles Power Cord

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Trope

Ready to launch, please vote between Power Cord Leash or Achilles Power Cord.

"I am STILL PLUGGED IN!"
--Master Mold, stopped from escaping a doomed base by a literal example of this trope, on the X-Men Animated Series

If something requires a power cord to work, it presents a weakness usually with distance, usually not far from the power source. Compare Cut the Juice when the plug is pulled.

Examples:

Anime and Manga
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: the titular EVAs need an external power source and an early episode even has Shinji do a power cord transfer at one point to move into an area that his current cord doesn't reach.

Film
  • In the film Help!, a Mad Scientist has a lab full of assorted devices, but keeps having to change the plugs to work with the power supply.
  • Back to the Future: Doc Brown and his power cord/zip line.

Franchise

Live-Action TV
  • On The Office, Michael wanted to build a robotic memorial statue of his old boss, Ed Truck. Dwight suggested giving it a short power cord so it couldn't kill them all.

Newspaper Comics
  • In one FoxTrot arc, Roger bought a giant mobile phone that needed to be plugged into the mains to work. Andy pointed out how that defeated the 'mobile' part of 'mobile phone'.

Tabletop RPG
  • Paranoia adventure Send in the Clones. One of the R&D devices the Troubleshooters must test is a belt device that generates a force field around the wearer. One of its limitations is that it has to be plugged in to work, which will severely limit the user's mobility.

Web Comics
  • In Girl Genius, Anevka is a clank (robot) body created for a fatally injured noblewoman. She needs to stay connected to the large container where her actual body is kept in stasis. Near the climax of the story arc, the cables are cut and she freaks out when she feels no different - it turns out the real body is long dead inside the container and she has become an autonomous A.I. with Anevka's memories

Western Animation
  • The Megadoomer in Invader Zim, which was a robot death machine that had to be plugged in for power due to a dead battery.
  • On one episode of Teen Titans, Starfire travels to a Bad Future where the titans ended up splitting. Cyborg was the only one who stayed on the tower, because he had long ago burned all of his internal batteries, so he had to be constantly plugged to a large machine to keep functioning, and couldn't go anywhere he repairs them at the end of the episode, also Starfire returns to her time possibly preventing said future from happening in the first place.
  • One episode of Carl Squared has the protagonists being chased by a doctor wielding a power drill. He chases them across the street and the power cord reaches its limit and pulls the plug out of the outlet. The doctor laments about not spending a few extra bucks to purchase the cordless version of the drill.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Ducking the Devil", Daffy Duck tries to calm down the Tasmanian Devil with music and lure him back to the zoo. His first attempt is with a radio ... except the cord doesn't reach all the way.
  • On The Brave Little Toaster, the appliances need to find a way to leave their cabin to find their master, but need to stay close to an outlet to stay alive. The solution: a car battery attached to a rolling chair.

Community Feedback Replies: 48
  • September 20, 2012
    Andygal
  • September 20, 2012
    Psi001
    Might work if you are more specific. Some like Inconviniencing Power Cord. It seems to be a long recurring gag to have any electrical equipment go wrong due to it's power cord being pulled out or malfunctioning in comical works.
  • September 20, 2012
    StarValkyrie
    You mean like when someone realizes their system is being hacked and 'actually does just pull the plug? It's amazing how often that doesn't'' happen. Gibbs does it once in NCIS while two technical analysts attempt to go the usual fictional route for this situation - furious keyboard hacking and frantic exposition on tracing the source in real time... and exaggerated at that, since they're trying to do it on the same keyboard as if 4 hands were better than two.
  • September 20, 2012
    Spirit
    I believe he means something more akin to the Megadoomer in Invader Zim, which was a robot death machine that had to be plugged in for power due to a dead battery.
  • September 21, 2012
    Arivne
    Changed the title from Inconviniencing to Inconveniencing.
  • September 21, 2012
    abk0100
    why not "inconvenient"?
  • September 21, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In the film Help a Mad Scientist has a lab full of assorted devices, but keeps having to change the plugs to work with the power supply.
  • September 21, 2012
    FireWalk
    Compare with Cut The Juice
  • September 21, 2012
    Damr1990
    on one episode of "Teen Titans" starfire travels throught time and ends up on a Bad Future where the titans ended up splitting, cyborg was the only one who stayed on the tower, because he had long ago burned all of his internal batteries, so he had to be constantly plugged to a large machine to keep functioning, and couldn't go anywhere he repairs them at the end of the episode, also starfire returns to her time possibly preventing said future from happening in the first place
  • September 22, 2012
    aurora369
    According to the Star Wars Expanded Universe, the first lightsabers suffered from this. They had to be connected to a belt-worn battery by a power cord.
  • September 23, 2012
    Omeganian
  • September 23, 2012
    KZN02
    Which number?
  • September 23, 2012
    Damr1990
    135
  • September 24, 2012
    Damr1990
    135.- My doomsday machine will have a highly-advanced technological device called a capacitor in case someone inconveniently pulls the plug at the last second. (If I have access to REALLY advanced technology, I will include a back-up device known as a battery.)
  • September 25, 2012
    Kellor
    On The Office, Michael wanted to build a robotic memorial statue of his old boss, Ed Truck. Dwight suggested giving it a short power cord so it couldn't kill them all.
  • September 27, 2012
    foxley
    In one Fox Trot arc, Roger bought a giant mobile phone that needed to be plugged into the mains to work. Andy pointed out how that defeated the 'mobile' part of 'mobile phone'.
  • September 27, 2012
    SpiderRider3
    One episode of Carl Squared has the protagonists being chased by a doctor wielding a power drill. He chases them across the street and the power cord reaches its limit and pulls the plug out of the outlet. The doctor laments about not spending a few extra bucks to purchase the cordless version of the drill.
  • September 28, 2012
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Paranoia adventure Send in the Clones. One of the R&D devices the Troubleshooters must test is a belt device that generates a force field around the wearer. One of its limitations is that it has to be plugged in to work, which will severely limit the user's mobility.
  • September 29, 2012
    TonyG
    • In the Looney Tunes short "Ducking the Devil", Daffy Duck tries to calm down the Tasmanian Devil with music and lure him back to the zoo. His first attempt is with a radio...except the cord doesn't reach all the way.
    • On The Brave Little Toaster, the appliances need to find a way to leave their cabin to find their master, but need to stay close to an outlet to stay alive. The solution: a car battery attached to a rolling chair.
  • October 3, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Don't like the name. "Inconveniencing" is not a word, and op either meant inconvenient or inconvincing (and that should be unconvincing}. I scrap the title and start over.
  • October 4, 2012
    viscountben
  • October 5, 2012
    NESBoy
    • Played with in the Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Single Cell Anniversary", when Karen is in the middle of uploading the Krabby Patty secret formula, and SpongeBob has to somehow stop her.
      SpongeBob: The plug! (unplugs something) Ha! You lose, Plankton! Plankton: (deadpan) Oh no, you've unplugged the coffee maker, SpongeBob. SpongeBob: (gulps) I am so fired.
      • An earlier episode, "Komputer Overload", plays this for Rule Of Funny. Plankton is about to destroy the Krusty Krab with his Combining Mecha, but at the last moment the robot is suddenly depicted as having a power cord despite none of the robots having one initially, just so Plankton scheme could end anticlimatically.
  • October 6, 2012
    DracMonster
  • October 6, 2012
    KZN02
    Perfect, I like that name.
  • October 6, 2012
    spacemarine50
    Like to the name
  • October 6, 2012
    Mozgwsloiku
    In Girl Genius, Anevka is a clank (robot) body created for a fatally injured noblewoman. She needs to stay connected to the large container where her actual body is kept in stasis. near the climax of the story arc the cables are cut and she freaks out when she feels no different - it turns out the real body is long dead inside the container and she has become an autonomous A.I. with Anevka's memories
  • October 20, 2012
    polarbear2217
    In the Night Gallery "A Question of Fear", Colonel Malloy defeats the piano-playing robot with burning hands by pulling his power cord.
  • October 24, 2012
    KingZeal
    Possible page quote:

    "I am STILL PLUGGED IN!"
    --Master Mold, stopped from escaping a doomed based by a literal example of this trope, on the X-Men Animated Series

  • October 24, 2012
    Tuckerscreator
    • One Disney Adventures comic written to tie in with Sky High had a killer robot at the superhero museum be activated and attack the students. The "sidekicks" use their various powers to distract and cripple it long enough for them to unplug its power cord.
    • One illustration from Kid's Discover magazine had a computer with a proud expression beat a human at chess. The human gets his revenge by unplugging the computer.
  • October 25, 2012
    KingZeal
    Just made a very minor spelling correction.
  • October 25, 2012
    shimaspawn
    <Mod Hat>

    This is currently identical to Cut The Juice. Motion to discard.
  • October 25, 2012
    KingZeal
    What if it's retooled to just mean cords/power supplies that get in the way?
  • October 25, 2012
    KZN02
    I guess that's probably better to prevent overlap.
  • October 25, 2012
    m8e
    The way Cut The Juice is writen now it only covers intentionally pulling the plug.(?) Not limited range(like in Paranoia), tripping over the cable(I think I have seen this on Phineas And Ferb), a circuit breaker tripping when somebody starts a toaster that's on the same fuse, other cable malfunctions, etc.

    There might still be a trope here.
  • October 26, 2012
    Arivne
    I agree with m8e's analysis, this is not Cut The Juice, though some of the examples that have been given are.

    Just alter the description to say that "pulling the plug" is Cut The Juice, and move all examples above that are actually Cut The Juice to that page.
  • October 26, 2012
    KZN02
    So 5 hats, and I'm just about ready to launch, but I'm thinking about a new title. What do you think of Power Cord Leash?
  • October 26, 2012
    KingZeal
    I like this one. If it's about a power source as weakness "Achilles" sounds better.

    Plus, it goes nicely with the page quote I provided. =)
  • October 26, 2012
    DracMonster
    • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the Evas are powered by a huge cable plugged into their back and can only operate for five minutes while disconnected. Keeping plugged in while fighting the angels presents lots of complications.
  • October 26, 2012
    DracMonster
    Achilles is better because its not just length - tripping on it or accidentally pulling it apply. "Leash" kind of narrows it.
  • October 26, 2012
    KZN02
    Wouldn't Cut The Juice cover that?
  • October 26, 2012
    DracMonster
    Well... hmm. Cut The Juice is really when unplugging is intentional and the correct thing to do.

    This is about it being problematic.
  • October 26, 2012
    KZN02
    Well some examples in Cut The Juice has some accidental examples.
  • October 27, 2012
    Chernoskill
    I remember a movie where a character is attacked by someone with a buzzsaw or chainsaw. Just before it reaches him,the villain holding it has overstretched the power cord to the weaponized tool, the plug is rippied fromthe wall socket and it shuts off. Might have been something like Hostel.
  • October 29, 2012
    dotchan
    Neon Genesis Evangelion? The titular EVAs need an external power source and an early episode even has Shinji do a power cord transfer at one point to move into an area that his current cord doesn't reach.
  • October 30, 2012
    KingZeal
    Still advocate the name going back to "Achilles Power Cord".
  • October 30, 2012
    m8e
    Also like Achilles Power Cord better.
  • October 31, 2012
    KZN02
    I guess Achilles Power Cord it is. Anyone object or shall I launch?
  • October 31, 2012
    Chernoskill
    No, but it really bugs me that I can't remember which movie it was with the guy who attack someone with a chainsaw or buzzsaw and pulls the plug from the wall socket while walking forward menacily >:[
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=0jmi0k9hgl7dk5rsajm0cher&trope=AchillesPowerCord