Created By: moocow1452 on August 9, 2012 Last Edited By: moocow1452 on June 19, 2014

Poisoned Reset Button

Screw Destiny for now, but Destiny can screw you over right back.

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Trope
When something very, very, very bad happens in universe, Genre Savvy characters with some preparation under their belt have a Reset Button stashed away for this sort of scenario to Set Right What Once Went Wrong and only use it when the Godzilla Threshold has been so blatantly crossed that there is no other alternative. So the day has been saved and everything is back to normal, but over time a greater evil has been invoked, consequences crop up, and they come to find out that fate ain't going to take your shit lying down. A character can Know When to Fold 'Em if they are willing to pull a proper Reset Button and let the events play out, assuming that's still possible, but the Poisoned Reset Button is flexible as a Arc Welder, My Greatest Failure, or as a Last Temptation or Lotus-Eater Machine if the hero is kept in the dark about the consequences.

Television

In Warehouse 13, Arty reset time with Magellen's Astrolabe to save the world from pandora's box, but unwittingly unleashed an unspeakable evil upon the earth

Western Animation

Johnny Bravo In one episode, Johnny is late for a blind date and tears apart Bunny's flower bed trying to get a bouquet. Bunny makes him spend so much time fixing it that he's two hours late and ends up being attacked by a vampire. He then uses a remote to rewind to earlier in the show and doesn't ruin the flower bed, but something else slows him down. No matter how many times he does this, something always makes him late.

Movies

See any and all Final Destination movies.

See also self fulfilling prophecy.
Community Feedback Replies: 24
  • August 9, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Where at the examples? And break that description into paragraphs.
  • August 9, 2012
    EdgeOfDreams
    Reminds me of an episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. The Enterprise encounters an alien race that wants to be left alone. The aliens knockout the crew, move the ship away, and wipe everyone's memory of the encounter. The problem is, the memory wipe doesn't work on Data, because he's an android. It takes at least one or two more attempts at the reset button before it all works out.
  • August 9, 2012
    arromdee
    Seems to be the current plot in Warehouse 13 where a reset button to undo the destruction of the Warehouse may unleash a great evil in some vague manner.
  • August 10, 2012
    DracMonster
    What is the difference between this and You Cant Fight Fate?
  • August 10, 2012
    arromdee
    You Cant Fight Fate means that you can't reset. This means that you can but you face a different consequence which is similarly bad.
  • August 10, 2012
    moocow1452
    Gonna Up For Grabs this one if anyone can touch up the description, but what I wanted to get out of this was similar to Warehouse13 as arromdee brought up. You Cant Fight Fate means that the house always wins, this one is where you do win, but it sends thugs after you to pay up. Maybe call it Take A Worse Option or Contingency Plan Of Doom, but Reset Button better explains the scenario and the sequel hook implications.

    • In Heroes, it's implied that the Bad Future of Five Years Gone is one of the better options, if not inevitable, considering the alternatives faced were 97% of humanity eradicated by a virus, earth splitting in twain, and saving New York from the exploding man doesn't seemed to have shaken destiny all that much.
    • The Dark Knight Saga has a similar system where Batman takes a dive for Harvey Dent in the second movie, and while Gotham gains a martyr in Dent and makes way for needed crime prevention for the next 8 years, Bane uses the secret's leverage to turn Gotham into his playground in the third movie. (Not sure if it counts since no reset is involved, but the same idea.)
    • In Code Lyoko, "Return to the Past" is used a little more judiciously when it turns out that it powers up the villain every time they use it.
  • August 10, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
  • August 10, 2012
    juanguy
    Would this include Buffy getting a res at the beginning of season six Buffy the Vampire Slayer? Yay, Buffy's back, but this unbalances the forces of good and evil, allowing the first evil to act directly, presenting the big bad for season seven.
  • August 10, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That wasn't a Reset Button.
  • August 10, 2012
    moocow1452
    You sure? Didn't watch the show, but Back From The Dead for a main character breaking a truce between Good and Evil seems to be up there with unblow up the warehouse and unleash an evil influence.
  • August 11, 2012
    Thunderchin
    Does the Portal2 example of Wheatley booby-trapping the Stalemate Button count?
  • August 11, 2012
    sigh824
    This happens in alot of time traveling media. Hitlers Time Travel Exemption Act is full of examples of this.
  • August 12, 2012
    randomsurfer
    In an episode of Smallville Clark reveals his secret to Lana and she ends up dying. He makes a deal with Jor-El to turn back time so he can Set Right What Once Went Wrong, but there will be a cost. The cost is the death of his father. No takebacks allowed this time.
  • August 12, 2012
    moocow1452
    Hitlers Time Travel Exemption Act might be worth lumping with if broadened to reference outside outside of that particular situation.

    Portal 2; the button itself, no. But the concept of being lead into another round of tests because Wheatley has turned may make a case for it.

    Maybe Conservation Of Crapsack or Time Travel Deductible?
  • August 12, 2012
    Arivne
    If a wish is involved, this can be Be Careful What You Wish For.
  • August 12, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    "You sure? Didn't watch the show, but Back From The Dead for a main character breaking a truce between Good and Evil seems to be up there with unblow up the warehouse and unleash an evil influence."

    That is still not a reset button.
  • August 12, 2012
    NightNymph
    juanguy, Buffy still died. She was just brought back. If time was altered so that Buffy hadn't died, then this might apply, but that wasn't how she was brought back. In fact, months had passed while she was dead where the gang used a Buffy surrogate (Buffybot) to take her place so that Sunnydale's evil wouldn't know she was dead.
  • August 12, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ And even the consequences of bringing her back fit Nice Job Breaking It Hero instead of this.
  • August 15, 2012
    moocow1452
    Okay, so I guess the question is what the trope is where the very universe slaps you on the wrist for invoking Status Quo Is God when it's not called for, and if this trope is it.
  • August 15, 2012
    Irrisia
    Homestuck: The original set of trolls were from a society too peaceful to survive the rigours of Sgrub, so under the influence of an outside source, they Scratched their session. Unfortunately, this created Doc Scratch, who then took over the role of First Guardian to Alternia, making troll society vicious, cruel and deadly. In turn, it also had something to do with the creation/arrival/existence of Lord English. It also led the the creation of the violent, indestructible Jack Noir.
  • August 15, 2012
    captainsandwich
    Does leaving the audience feel like everything they watched was pointless count?
  • August 18, 2012
    moocow1452
    ^ No, in universe consequences only.
  • June 19, 2014
    Hero_Gal_2347
    Bump.
  • June 19, 2014
    DAN004
    Gettin' this straight: this is when, after you try to turn something back to good, something else that is bad will happen sooner or later?

    Would that be As Long As There Is Evil, Implied Trope?
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