Created By: KZN02 on September 6, 2017 Last Edited By: KZN02 on September 14, 2017
Troped

Testing Range Mishap

Experiments out in the field goes awry.

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trope
A character is testing out a device or performing an experiment in an area designated for testing purposes or just a field far away from civilization. Still, something will go horribly wrong in the process, or even horribly right, and nothing guarantees disaster will not occur beyond the testing environment.

Typically involves a Mad Scientist, and the nearby locals who dread anything that happens.

See also Disastrous Demonstration. Failsafe Failure may occur in this. May overlap with Training Montage and How Do I Shot Web?.

Examples:

Film
  • The main characters of October Sky move their rocket experiments into the woods after one early demonstration in a front yard causes an explosion. They have several more accidents there, but wind up being Mis-blamed for causing a forest fire until protagonist Homer proves it wasn't their fault.
  • In Godzilla VS Megaguirus, the Japanese Government are testing a new weapon to combat the King of the Monsters. The weapon creates a black hole that brings in a giant fly monster to Earth who then lays an egg that soon becomes the titular antagonist monster.
  • Iron Man: Tony Stark goes through a lot of crashes and such in his tests and training with his Powered Armor back in the United States.

Light Novels
  • Knight's & Magic:
    • Eru's testing for an crossbow Arm Cannon for the Silhouette Gear shows that the arrow not only easily breaks the wooden targets, but continues flying and destroying the wall behind it.
    • Eru's testing for the flight pack for his Silhouette Knight results in a sonic boom felt by the nearby village along with him crashing deep into a forest.

Literature
  • In the Belgariad prequel Polgara the Sorceress, Duke Kathandrion is killed when his new siege engine design explodes in a field test. Polgara realizes that his engineering calculations didn't account for the strength of its wooden beams, right in time to watch a chunk of one go through him.
  • In Raising Steam, Dick Simnel follows in his father's footsteps of engineering the first steam locomotive very carefully after seeing what a boiler explosion left of his father. When some people try to copy his design and end up as a cloud of superheated Pink Mist, he starts taking apprentices to head off any further incidents.

Live-Action TV
  • The Six Million Dollar Man: Steve Austin was an astronaut who was chosen to give a test flight to a new aircraft. Unfortunately, the test went awry and he crashed, leaving him severely injured. However, the agency has developed cybernetic implants that can replace his injured body parts and repairs Austin's body. That is how he became the title character.
  • Mythbusters: The Mythbusters typically go to areas to test myths, such as the Alameda Bomb Range. One incident with the Build Team resulted in a cannonball being launched beyond the bomb range and hitting a house miles away, which got the whole crew banned from the bomb range from then on up until the series finale.

Video Games
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • In The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind, Tarhiel the wizard abruptly falls out of the sky in front of the player character at one location in the wilderness, having developed a Not Quite Flight spell that lets him cover vast distances In a Single Bound... but that wears off right before landing.
    • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion, Ancotar is an antisocial wizard who found a remote Mage Tower to use as a lab, to the repeated dismay of the nearby village. The latest of his experiments to afflict the village is a permanent invisibility spell that happened to target every living creature in the region.

Web Original
  • Whateley Universe: Whateley Academy tries to defy this on its testing ranges, with rules and testing of weaponry, with more controlled testing beforehand.

Western Animation
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog: Played for Laughs in "Tails' New Home". While trying to find a foster parent for Tails, Sonic takes him to the remote home of Sergeant Doberman. Doberman spontaneously makes Sonic and Tails do exercises, but is interrupted by an explosion near them. He nonchalantly explains that his wife is doing target practice at the artillery range... without glasses.
    Hmm... probably shoulda waited till she got her new glasses.
  • Teen Titans: Red Star's backstory shows that he was part of a Super Soldier experiment, and while he was in a testing range demonstrating his abilities against tanks, Power Incontinence causes him to accidentally destroy a city.

Real Life
  • Race car driver Bruce McLaren was killed as a result of a testing accident. He was test driving a new race car developed by his company when the rear bodywork became adrift. With the loss of downforce, he lost control of the car and crashed, dying instantly.

Community Feedback Replies: 16
  • September 7, 2017
    Omeganian
  • September 7, 2017
    KZN02
    What I had in mind for this trope for this didn't involve demonstrating to investors nor does it always end in rejection. If that's not enough, I was thinking about changing this to something about overkill on the practice target.
  • September 7, 2017
    BKelly95
    Would the extent of the mishap include death of the tester? If so, I can think of one real life example.
  • September 7, 2017
    KZN02
    Sure, anything that goes horribly wrong.
  • September 7, 2017
    intastiel
    Literature
    • In the Belgariad prequel Polgara the Sorceress, Duke Kathandrion is killed when his new siege engine design explodes in a field test. Polgara realizes that his engineering calculations didn't account for the strength of its wooden beams, right in time to watch a chunk of one go through him.
    • In Raising Steam, Dick Simnel follows in his father's footsteps of engineering the first steam locomotive very carefully after seeing what a boiler explosion left of his father. When some people try to copy his design and end up as a cloud of superheated Pink Mist, he starts taking apprentices to head off any further incidents.

    Video Games
    • The Elder Scrolls:
      • In The Elder Scrolls III Morrowind, Tarhiel the wizard abruptly falls out of the sky in front of the player character at one location in the wilderness, having developed a Not Quite Flight spell that lets him cover vast distances In A Single Bound... but that wears off right before landing.
      • In The Elder Scrolls IV Oblivion, Ancotar is an antisocial wizard who found a remote Mage Tower to use as a lab, to the repeated dismay of the nearby village. The latest of his experiments to afflict the village is a permanent invisibility spell that happened to target every living creature in the region.
  • September 7, 2017
    BKelly95
    Live Action Television
    • Steve Austin was an astronaut who was chosen to give a test flight to a new aircraft. Unfortunately, the test went awry and he crashed, leaving him severely injured. However, the agency has developed cybernetic implants that can replace his injured body parts and repairs Austin's body. That is how he became The Six Million Dollar Man.

    Real Life
    • Race car driver Bruce McLaren was killed as a result of a testing accident. He was test driving a new race car developed by his company when the rear bodywork became adrift. With the loss of downforce, he lost control of the car and crashed, dying instantly.
  • September 8, 2017
    Arivne
    • Examples section
  • September 8, 2017
    Malady
    Web Original : Literature.Whateley Universe: Whateley Academy tries to defy this on its testing ranges, with rules and testing of weaponry, with more controlled testing beforehand.
  • September 8, 2017
    DrNoPuma
    Western Animation

    • Adventures Of Sonic The Hedgehog: Played For Laughs in "Tails' New Home". While trying to find a foster parent for Tails, Sonic takes him to the remote home of Sergeant Doberman. Doberman spontaneously makes Sonic and Tails do exercises, but is interrupted by an explosion near them. He nonchalantly explains that his wife is doing target practice at the artillery range... without glasses.
      "Hmm... probably shoulda waited till she got her new glasses."
  • September 8, 2017
    KaiYves
    • The main characters of October Sky move their rocket experiments into the woods after one early demonstration in a front yard causes an explosion. They have several more accidents there, but wind up being Mis Blamed for causing a forest fire until protagonist Homer proves it wasn't their fault.
  • September 8, 2017
    Antigone3
    Nitpick on the Myth Busters example — they didn't get a perma-ban from the Alameda bomb range. They didn't film there for a couple seasons, but were back there before the series wrapped up.
  • September 10, 2017
    WhirlRX
    In Godzilla VS Megaguirus, the Japanese Government are testing a new weapon to combat the King of the Monsters. The weapon creates a black hole that brings in a giant fly monster to Earth who then lays an egg that soon becomes the titular antagonist monster.
  • September 10, 2017
    Omeganian
    May overlap with Training Montage, like in Iron Man
  • September 13, 2017
    powerman228
    This also overlaps with How Do I Shot Web.
  • September 13, 2017
    KZN02
    Looking good, anyone have any better names before I launch?
  • September 14, 2017
    Pagani800
    Need a mod to comment on this, but trope names are generally singular unless having multiple Xs (in your case, mishap) is required. Should be Testing range Mishap then.
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