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[[quoteright:315:[[WesternAnimation/KimPossible http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/bigredbutton01_3097.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:315:[[Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove Why do we even HAVE that button?]]]]

->''I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it. Similarly, the ON/OFF switch will not clearly be labelled as such.''
-->-- EvilOverlordList, rule #9

The activation control of choice for any truly powerful effect, usually located dead center on the control console, sometimes under a [[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/molly-guard molly-guard]]. It's usually colored red, as a hazard warning.

Pressing the Big Red Button activates the function of a given machine that is [[ContextSensitiveButton important to the plot]], be it firing the [[WeaponOfMassDestruction superweapon]], activating the SelfDestructMechanism, or emergency shutdown.

In live action, this will often be the only control big enough to make out on camera. In animation, this will often be the [[PlotSensitiveButton only control]], period. (At least the only one that's [[ConspicuouslyLightPatch not painted on the background layer]].)

Sometimes, it's used as an excellent piece of SchmuckBait to lure someone into a trap by making it ForbiddenFruit; tell someone not to press it, [[CassandraTruth list all the negative side effects it will cause]] and [[SarcasticConfession all the terrible consequences]] if they do press it, and you can almost guarantee they will press it.

Of course, if you ''don't'' tell them about it, they might walk right up to it and discover by experimentation the answer to the question "WhatDoesThisButtonDo"

Almost every piece of factory equipment or free-standing power tool sold in the real world has an actual Big Red Button. It is ''always'' [[CutTheJuice an emergency shutdown or power disconnect]], intended to save the life of the operator or bystanders by stopping the machine in a big hurry. In nuclear reactors, this is referred to as a [=SCRAM Switch=] (quite the meaningful name, due to the incredibly strong urge to ''run like hell'' away from the malfunctioning nuclear reactor).

It is not, however, found in real-world examples of [[AtomicHate certain weapons]].

There are several common things which pushing the big red button may do, including
initiating the [[SelfDestructMechanism Self-Destruct Sequence]], activating the EjectionSeat, using the NitroBoost, sounding the RedAlert, and launching a missile, rocket, or air strike. It may also be there to confuse people infiltrating the secret base and it will immediately cause the pusher of the button to fall into a {{trap|Door}}. Or it may do [[TauntButton absolutely nothing]].

Compare BigElectricSwitch. See also PlotSensitiveButton, WhatDoesThisButtonDo.

Not to be confused with the game company that developed the infamous ''[[VideoGame/SonicBoom Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric]]''. Or with the late actor and comedian Red Buttons.



* Parodied with the "Easy Button", in ads for Staples office supply stores. [[{{Defictionalization}} Which one may also buy in real life.]] "That was [[http://i50.tinypic.com/a1nwi.jpg easy]]."
* An [[INeedAFreakingDrink Australian beer ad]] had a yobbo tourist taking one of those "Fly a Russian Mig" tours.
-->'''Pilot:''' ''[subtitles]'' Don't push the red button!
-->'''Tourist:''' What?
-->''[Pilot taps the red star on his helmet]'' Red button!
-->'''Tourist:''' OK! ''[hits the red button and fires the EjectorSeat]''

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* In ''Anime/ScienceNinjaTeamGatchaman'', the firing button for the God Phoenix's bird missiles is big and red and Condor Joe, being the team's gunner, just ''loves'' to push it. To emphasize that, the button has a glass cover that retracts when the missile system is armed, but sometimes Joe doesn't wait and punches through it to push the button.
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' has one of these, and it might be one of the more realistic things in the series in that it's an emergency shutdown switch for the Eva. Not that it ever seems to help.
* Lampshaded in a strip of ''Manga/AhMyGoddess'' where Skuld writes under a Big Red Button "don't push." Urd wants to push it because it's stated not to do so. Skuld finally writes "push it" to prevent her sister from using it. It ends with Belldandy (whose personality is markedly different from Urd's) pushing the button.
* In ''Anime/GaoGaiGar'', [[StockFootage Final Fusion]] is initiated with one of these. While it, like the ''Gatchaman'' example above, has a glass cover over it that can, presumably, be flipped up with relative ease, [[BridgeBunny Mikoto]] never bothers to do so, instead always opting to smash her fist right down through it.\\
In one episode, Mikoto is out of action, leaving [[MsFanservice Swan]] to engage Final Fusion instead...she, too, opts for the fist-smashing-through-glass option. You gotta wonder how many of those little glass panels they go through in a month.
* In ''Anime/WandabaStyle'', Susumu always gets his experiments started by exclaiming [[BattleCry "Wandaba Style A Go!"]] and pushing a large button labeled "Wandaba."
* Used in ''Manga/OnePiece'' when Franky pushed the [[spoiler:"Pirate" button in Vegapunk's lab, thus blowing the whole place up]]
* In ''Anime/FutureWar198X'' the Minister of Defense ignores orders and presses the large red button, which launches a massive second wave assault. [[spoiler:Miami, New York City, Chicago, and Tokyo are all destroyed and from space the earth turns red.]]
* There was an episode in ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' movie "Paint it, white" when nations tried to find a way to control UFO, Russia presses one and [[spoiler: activates an alert]]
* The Demon sisters' vehicle G-Sting from ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'' has a particularly noticeable [[SelfDestructMechanism self-destruct button]] built inside, that Scanty accidentally pushed out of rage in "If Angels Wore Swimsuits". Way to go, dumbass.
* Subverted in ''Anime/DualParallelTroubleAdventure'': Kazuki pushes a big red button that he thinks will activate the machine which will prevent the two alternate realities from destroying each other. Turns out, the button actually did nothing and the machine was instead activated by Mitsuki leaning against a lever on the machine. [[spoiler: This turns out to have an affect on the third world that gets created by putting up a situation where Kazuki appears to be destined to end up with all three of her romantic rivals as well as her]].

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* ''ComicBook/DoktorSleepless'' causes a temporary city-wide blackout using a touchscreen tablet which he's set up to display the image of a Big Red Button labeled "DO NOT PRESS".
* In the ''ComicBook/BlakeAndMortimer'' story "SOS Meteors", there is such a button standing out in the control panel of the BigBad's base. Mortimer wonders what it does multiple times, before accidentally pushing it.[[spoiler: It is the [[SelfDestructMechanism Self-Destruct Sequence]]]]
* Deliberately in "Franchise/{{Superman}} and the Legion of Substitute Heroes", as a trap for the ComicBook/AmbushBug. They provide the Superman Museum with just two signs in 20th century English instead of Interlac. One is a KEEP OUT. The other is the DO NOT PUSH THIS BUTTON sign on the PhantomZone projector. Of course, AB enters the room and pushes the button.

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'':
** [[MadScientist Dr. Brainstorm]] has one of these in his lair that triggers several traps.
** Likewise, Brainstorm's aircraft has one that launches missiles.
** Thunderstorm has one on one of his contraptions, though it's not ''big''.
* In Fanfic/FalloutEquestriaProjectHorizons [[IdiotHero Blackjack]] finds one in a gem mine run by slaves and is just dying to press it. What it does is bit more... graphic than she would have hoped.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/7896387/8/Food-for-Thought Food for Thought]]'' Moriarty has a big red panic button to summon his henchmen.
* In ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9466029/3/The-Last-Chance The Last Chance]]'' a man in the Resurrection Office pushes a big red button to send Harry and Hermione [[PeggySue back to fourth year]] when they're killed before their time.
* ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'' reveals in [[DarkestHour Chapter 74]] that there's one in the heart of Avengers Tower, which Tony presses in order to [[spoiler: [[SelfDestructMechanism overload the arc reactor and destroy the building]], preventing it from falling into HYDRA's hands.]] Actually deliberately invoked and justified, given that Tony's a PopCulturedBadass.
* ''Fanfic/TheNewAdventuresOfInvaderZim'': In the first chapter, it's shown that Dib's Spittle Runner (formerly Tak's) has one of these that Dib thinks activates the weapons systems. [[spoiler: It's actually an emergency brake.]]
** A later chapter shows one of these on the control panel for the City Cesspool, which triggers an emergency purge that dumps the cesspool's contents into the sewer system.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles'': both of Syndrome's consoles have Big Red Buttons. One of them launches missiles, the other launches the rocket.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CatsDontDance'', Darla Dimple finds all her other efforts to ruin the animals' big musical number flummoxed by way of her being the villain of the picture. Then, she throws a Big Red Button (er...[[BigElectricSwitch switch]]) bigger than she is, labelled "Granddaddy of All Switches"...which sets off all manner of fantastic special effects, making the performance that much more spectacular.[[note]]It's made even funnier by the fact that Darla herself previously advised the heroes to make their performance "big and loud", which is exactly what she makes it become when pulling the switch.[[/note]]
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'', where there are two big red buttons in the bunker: one that launches all of America's nuclear weapons, and the [[NoOSHACompliance identical one right next to it]] which makes coffee. In a [[TheTag credits tag]], one of the other characters asks for a cup of coffee from the President, who proceeds to press the ''wrong'' button. Neither is labeled.
* ''WesternAnimation/WallE'' ends up pushing the big red button repeatedly to stop his doomed escape pod, with no visible result.
* There is actually a big, red button on [[WesternAnimation/ToyStory Buzz Lightyear's]] chest. Pushing it will cause his wings to pop out.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TwiceUponATime'', one of these -- labeled "The Big Red One" -- will set off the nightmare bombs sent to the land of Din in a plot to trap everyone there in waking nightmares. [[spoiler: The hero Ralph tricks the baddie Botch into hitting it too early, before his minions can return the mainspring to the Cosmic Clock and restart time, and the nightmares go to waste.]]
* Several big red push buttons can be seen in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory3'' during the FakeActionPrologue. One on Mr. Potato Head's remote control that he presses to blow up the bridge. Two more are seen on the bridge of Evil Dr. Pork-Chop's airship, one for releasing the monkeys and another one for a death cannon.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'' has a Big Red Button under a clear box labeled "System Purge" which plays a pivotal role in the storyline. This is an obvious joke on the trope as well as a DeusExMachina.
* ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'' has a Big Red Button on Spaceball One [[note]]For some reason, situated in the guard barracks.[[/note]] that triggers the self-destruction of the ship. Lone Starr knocks Dark Helmet into it, setting off the countdown to the big boom. The bad guys later try to stop the self-destruct sequence with a second smaller, yellow button, only to find it's [[FailsafeFailure out of order]], prompting Dark Helmet's cry of "Even in the future, nothing works!"
* While not as big as most, the button to activate the LTD's turbo engines in ''Film/MenInBlack'' definitely qualifies. "Remember the little red button? Push the little red button."
* In the classic sci-fi film ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet'', the Big Red Button is a switch that, when thrown, initiates a chain reaction that will destroy the planet. It's not actually big, or red, and has to be activated by turning a disc. In other words, a disappointingly safe example.
* In ''Film/UndercoverBrother'', Conspiracy Brother pushes a button labeled "Atomic Core" and starts a SelfDestructMechanism that will destroy The Man's headquarters.
-->''"Let's see what this so called ''button'' does!"''
* In ''Film/AustinPowersInternationalManOfMystery'', Dr. Evil's lair has a button that, when pressed, aborts the nuclear-armed probe that will cause all of the world's volcanoes to erupt simultaneously.
* ''Film/JamesBond'' examples:
** In ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'', the red button that activates the James Bond car's famous ejector seat is under the stick shift.
** In ''Film/DrNo'', there's a big red wheel on the wall in the title BigBad's nuclear reactor control room labeled "Danger Level." Bond turns it to overload the reactor.
** Two in ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'': One pushed by Bond to destroy the SPECTRE space ship, one used by Blofeld to activate his base's SelfDestructMechanism.
* In ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'', some bounty hunters coming in for a hard landing on a planet are told to hit the "Party Poppers" by their leader. Said "poppers" are retro-rockets on strings, much like a drag chute. The relevant button is simply named "Party Poppers".
* In the 2008 film ''Film/IronMan1'', Tony Stark activates the untested flight system for the Mark I to fly away from the terrorist camp by punching the big red button on his arm.
* ''Franchise/StarWars'':
** The Millennium Falcon has one of these to activate its hyperdrive.
** In ''Attack of the Clones'', Padme appears to press the same big red button [[ContextSensitiveButton twice]] in order to activate two different functions: first to forward a message from Obi-Wan to Coruscant, then to pull up a map of Geonosis.
* The van in ''Film/{{Fanboys}}'' (a ''Franchise/StarWars'' homage) has an exact duplicate of the ''Falcon'''s Big Red Button, which [[spoiler: activates the engine's nitro cylinder]].
* ''Film/AlienResurrection''. [[KillItWithIce Liquid helium]] sprays activated by a Big Red Button are set up to control the aliens in their cells. Unfortunately the MadScientist fumbles at removing the pin and raising the mollyguard in time to stop the aliens escaping. One alien is [[ItCanThink clever enough]] to deduce the connection between the sprays and the Big Red Button, which serves to [[LiterallyShatteredLives bite the ass]] of a security mook.
* In the beginning of the film ''Film/TheCrawlingHand'' a hysterical astronaut begs the main characters at command central to "''Push... the red... Button!''" They do, and it blows him up.
* In the comedy ''Film/AliGInDaHouse'', after pseudo gangsta Ali G becomes a member of Parliament, he asks the Prime Minister to see the red button for the nukes. After the PM shows it to him he pretends to slip and fall on the button.
* In the first ''Film/ResidentEvil'' movie there's a Big Red Button in the subway car that opens and closes the door in the floor.
* ''Film/{{Flash Gordon|1980}}'' (1980). Hans Zarkov's spaceship has a Big Red launch button.
* ''Film/TheFifthElement''.
** Not Big, but definitely red. We'll let Mr. Zorg tell it, shall we? "I hate warriors, too narrow-minded. I'll tell you what I do like though: a killer, a dyed-in-the-wool killer. Cold blooded, clean, methodical and thorough. Now a real killer, when he picked up the ZF-1, would've immediately asked about the little red button on the bottom of the gun." Immediately after, Arnot the Mangalore pushes that button, and the weapon {{self destruct|Mechanism}}s. [[StuffBlowingUp Impressively.]]
** While [[NotQuiteDead the doctors are reassembling]] the SoleSurvivor of the Mangalore vessel, General Munro keeps his hand hovering over a large red dome, warning that their patient had better be polite. On revealing that their patient is a beautiful woman, the doctor gently moves a gaping Munro's hand away from the button.
* During the WackyRacing sequence from ''[[Film/SpyKids Spy Kids 3D: Game Over]]'', one of the racers tells Juni Cortez to press a red button on his speeder labeled "Do not push." He presses it, and it triggers an EjectorSeat that knocks Juni off the speeder.
* In the 2009 movie ''Film/TheBox'', a family is given a small box which has a Big Red Button. If anyone in the family pushes the button, they get 1 million dollars, tax free (this is set in the 1970s), but someone they do not know will die. Naturally, someone does, setting off the plot.
* Deconstructed in ''Film/{{Heathers}}'', where the time bomb has three red buttons. The reason isn't given but we can assume they are meant to complicate a defusing.
* ''Film/OutpostRiseOfTheSpetsnaz''. Dolokhov escapes from his cell where the Nazis where holding him [[TestedOnHumans so they could do experiments on him]]. He comes across a surgeon who has his comrade StrappedToAnOperatingTable. The surgeon casts a desperate look at the red button that will [[RedAlert call the guards]]. Dolokhov just shrugs in mock apology, because he's standing between the surgeon and the button.
* One controversial change in the American release of ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla'' was the scene in which the Russian freighter Colonel Kashirin hits a big red button to launch a nuke. Of course in the original release he was valiantly trying to hit the button to ''stop'' the launch before he died from his injuries, but the American release had the subtitles changed and added a quick clip of his hand hitting the button (which instead ''triggers'' the launch now), most likely because the UsefulNotes/ColdWar was ongoing at the time of release.
* ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxyVol2''. [[MadBomber Rocket]] builds a nuclear weapon with two {{Big Red Button}}s. They are [[NoOSHACompliance right next to each other]] and look identical. One will start a five minute countdown, the other will trigger instant detonation. This causes problems when Baby Groot is the only one who can plant the bomb, but is unable to tell the difference. Rocket gets extremely frustrated trying to explain the concept in the middle of a battle.


[[folder: Game Shows ]]
* Many such shows feature these as the method of buzzing in.
* The "Deal" button on ''Series/DealOrNoDeal'' (well, maybe not the button ''itself'', but it at least contains a big pulsing red light).
* The button used for the "Cash or Clunkers" game on the current incarnation of ''Series/LetsMakeADeal''.
* ''Series/PressYourLuck'' used them to both buzz in when answering questions and stopping the Big Board.
* ''Series/ThePriceIsRight'' features them in several pricing games, including ten of them serving as the reveal mechanism for "Ten Chances" and the method of stopping the range finder on "Range Game".
* Later seasons of ''Series/SupermarketSweep'' featured these on the bottom of television monitors located throughout the store; finding one and hitting the button revealed a clue to the bonus item located in the store. (Originally, the monitors were touchscreens.)

* This was parodied in Douglas Adams' ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1''. When Arthur Dent encounters an inviting Big Red Button and pushes it, a sign lights up saying "Please do not press this button again." Later in the book, Arthur encounters a different button labeled, "This is probably the best button to press."
* Subverted in Creator/DouglasAdams' ''Literature/TheLongDarkTeaTimeOfTheSoul''. Dirk Gently's I Ching calculator is supposed to be able to answer any question by consulting internal references to the I Ching if the user has his question in mind and presses the red button. There is no red button, but there is a blue button marked "red".
* In the Russian novel ''Death or Glory'' by [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vladimir_Vasilyev_(writer) Vladimir Vasilyev]], the main character finds a mysterious black box with a big red button on it. He muses on how cliché situation is, but knows that he will press the button no matter the consequences, simply because it must be pressed. This ends up being a "blessing in disguise" of sorts. [[spoiler:While their colony is destroyed, the characters manage to elevate humanity to a greater status in the galaxy]].
* As in the Evil Overlord List, the ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' novel ''Valhalla'' had Bashir push a big red button on an abandoned alien ship, only to have one of the other characters tell him about a race which wires up its big red obvious buttons to a fatal electric shock to prevent exactly this situation.
* Lampshaded heavily in ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' where it is explained that no matter what a big red button always attracts attention and that even if you tell everyone the dire consequences of pressing it and putting up a sign to warn them off, someone is going to press it just to see what it does. Especially if they're a wizard.
* The Richard Matheson short story "Button, Button" features a stranger who offers a couple a box with a red button in it. Push the button, they are awarded a hefty sum of money... and someone they don't know dies.
* In "Eagle Strike" of the Literature/AlexRider book series, there is one such button on board UsefulNotes/AirForceOne, but it is sensitive to the President's fingerprint. The villain (an evil Elton John) being crazy prepared, has a mold of the Prez's hand on hand.
* A non-technological predecessor in Creator/CSLewis' Literature/TheChroniclesOfNarnia novel ''The Magician's Nephew'' when Digory releases the \White Witch. There is a bell with a sign that urges the viewer to strike it, "Or wonder till it drives you mad, What would have happened if you had".
* Subverted in ''Forever Free'' (sequel of ''Literature/TheForeverWar''). While pressing the big red button, the hero wonders how many people guessed that it has absolutely no use, everything being automatic.

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' - the episode "Out of Gas" features a jerry-rigged Big Red Button to call Serenity's shuttles back in the event of a miracle. When Mal gets his miracle, he goes to hit the button, but collapses before he can, though luckily the ships came back anyway. [[note]]According to the commentary, after the show was canceled, Joss Whedon swore it wasn't the end. The button ended up on his desk with a note attached, quoting one of Wash's lines: "When you get your miracle, push this button." And he got his miracle -- kinda -- with the ''Serenity'' movie.[[/note]]
* An episode of ''Series/TheOuterLimits1995'' inverts this, with several people in silos tasked to push a Big Red Button (after completing a retina and handprint scan) to STOP the world from blowing up, making it a Dead Man's Switch.
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** In "Genesis of the Daleks", the button to destroy the Kaled dome is a big plastic red button in a totally different aesthetic style to everything else in the story. And it's revealed in dramatic closeup, no less. Mocked enormously in the DVD commentary (Elisabeth Sladen: "It's very Blackpool").
** In the 2005 Christmas special, the villains have a literal Big Red Button that activates the hostage-killing mechanism. The Doctor presses it himself, citing the allure of Big Red Buttons That Must Never Ever Be Pressed -- and reveals that ([[OmniscientMoralityLicense he had deduced]]) the threatened hostage-killing mechanism was just a bluff.
** And in the prequel to the 2011 Christmas special, the Doctor is shown with his finger holding down the Big Red Button of a SelfDestructMechanism, pondering [[OhCrap what's going to happen when (not if) he releases it]].
** In the series 3 premiere "Smith and Jones" Martha is told to activate a radioactive machine to take down one of the slabs. Not knowing how to do that she tries reading the operators manual, but time being of the essence, eventually gives up and plums for the big red button. It works.
** In the 2009 Easter special "Planet Of The Dead", the Doctor tells Christina to deactivate the security force field by pressing the big red button (right above the forcefield).
** Opposingly, in the series 5 episode "The Time of Angels", River Song and the Doctor scramble to drive the wheezing TARDIS in pursuit of another CoolStarship.
--->'''River:''' Use the stabilizers!\\
'''Doctor:''' I don't have any stabilizers!\\
'''River:''' The BLUE switches!\\
'''Doctor:''' The blue ones don't do anything. They're just...BLUE.\\
'''River:''' Of course they're BLUE, they're the blue STABILIZERS! *pushes buttons, pulls the switches, TARDIS calms down* See?\\
'''Doctor:''' Yeah. well, it's just boring now, isn't it? They're boringers, BLUE...*presses a bunch of other buttons* ...BORINGERS.
** In "The Day of The Doctor" the War Doctor complains about dealing with an unintuitive activation mechanism, wondering why he can't just have a big red button. Later when he makes the decision to activate the SentientWeapon, it creates one for him in the form of a large glowing red crystal.
* This was played completely straight, with lots of unintentional humor, in an episode of ''Series/TheXFiles'' "First Person Shooter", where a video game development company had a literal big red button to erase all data on their computers. In real life people go to great lengths to have backups, especially when developing something as expensive and work-intensive as a game, but apparently in that universe accidental evil {{AI}}s with physics-breaking abilities are an ever-present threat that justify installing a big red bankruptcy button.
* In an episode of ''Series/FatherTed'', Dougal is unfortunately confronted with one of these while visiting the cockpit of a jumbo jet. It is not only very Big and very Red but clearly labelled DO ''NOT'' PRESS. Unsurprisingly, the rest of the episode deals with the consequences of jettisoning most of the fuel in mid-air.
* ''Series/TheGoodPlace'': In a far off corner of the Good Place, an isolated beach, there's a big red button that reboots Janet. She will lead anyone who wants there, but she is programmed to desperately beg for her life (despite the fact that she can't really die and will come back in a few hours at worst). When [[spoiler:Chidi and Eleanor]] are attempting to reboot her, she begs for her life and even brings up a picture of three children claiming to be hers (after which she quickly admits that it was a stock image from Nickelodeon). [[spoiler:Michael]]'s attempts at doing cause her to even say that she is pregnant of his baby.
* Episode six of the UK version of ''Series/WhoWantsToBeASuperhero'' had a challenge with this labeled "Do not touch", though it didn't actually do anything. Some of the superheroes actually pressed the buttons thinking it was the method to win the challenge (to save the world, or a model of it anyway).
* ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers''
** Lord Zedd brings out Serpenterra (a spacegoing, ''especially'' humongous HumongousMecha) every so often. The [[EarthShatteringKaboom planet-wrecking]] WaveMotionGun was triggered by a Big Red Button.
** Played for laughs in [[Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangersTheMovie The Movie]]: the HumongousMecha has a Big Red Button behind a pane of glass that must be broken, with a sign that says "For Emergency Use Only." Turns out it causes the mecha to [[GroinAttack knee an opponent in the groin]].
** Played for [[RuleOfCool coolness]] in ''Series/PowerRangersNinjaStorm'': The computer at Ninja Ops has a normal keyboard, with the addition of a huge button with the Wind Ninja Academy logo in red, which MissionControl always jabs emphatically to send the gadget he'd prepared via RapidFireTyping.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}''. A red-lit button is used to release the outer doors of the Viper launch bay, as seen in several [[ThrownOutTheAirlock execution scenes]].
* Derren Brown is a British hypnotist/magician who specialises in messing with other people's minds. In one episode of his ''Trick or Treat'' series, he locked a young woman in a room with a Big Red Button which said 'Do Not Press.' The button was connected to a cage, and in the cage was a cute little kitten. Derren Brown told her that pressing the button would fatally electrocute the kitten, and if she could go for just 5 minutes ''without'' pressing the button, she'd get a cool £500. [[spoiler: With one second left, she pressed the button. The kitten didn't die, however, as Derren had been lying about that.]]
* ''Series/{{Solitary}}'' is a RealityShow where contestants are eliminated when they are tired of torturing themselves. Guess how they signify this.
* In an episode of ''Series/ThePretender'', Miss Parker and Mr. Lyle are investigating one of Jarod's "lairs" (a shipping container) when they see a Big Red Button with a sign saying "DANGER - DO NOT PUSH" in Jarod's handwriting. Parker tells Lyle not to push it, saying it's probably a trap. Lyle pushes it...and it IS a trap. In the "lair", there's also a red lever marked "DANGER - DO NOT PULL". After the experience with the Big Red Button, Parker is understandably reluctant to pull it...until [[spoiler: the container arrives at The Centre and Broots reads a note that tells them to pull the lever. Parker pulls it...and the container unlocks.]]
* Douglas Fargo of ''Series/{{Eureka}}'' is incapable of going by a big red button without pushing it. This has become a running joke.
* ''[[Series/TheSuiteLifeOfZackAndCody The Suite Life Movie]]'' averts this - A Big Red Button is seen as the BigBad moves to initialize Stage Four of the Gemini Project - only to be pushed aside while a smaller button on a keychain is pushed.
* Series/KamenRiderFourze has the Cosmic Switch, which activates Fourze's SuperMode.
* In ''Rudy Coby: The Coolest Magician on Earth'', for the Most Dangerous Card Trick, Rudy wires himself to a "cardboard bomb", which he tells a volunteer to detonate at the "appropriate" time. Detonating it ejects a load of confetti.
* In the live-action cartoon ''Far Out Space Nuts'', the main premise was that two bumbling NASA employees were loading astronauts' meals onto spacecraft. They pressed the buttons for "breakfast" and "dinner", but accidentally pressed LAUNCH instead of "lunch", sending the pair out into space.
* In the Series/{{Leverage}} episode "The (Very) Big Bird Job", the final stage of the con involves a big red button marked [[spoiler:"Crash"]].
* ''Series/TheAvengers''. In "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Station" the villain [[JustBetweenYouAndMe proudly shows off]] the red button that will blow up the railway carriage carrying the Prime Minister of Britain. Later Emma Peel (who wasn't present to hear this) accidentally puts her hand on the button giving everyone an OhCrap moment; fortunately Steed has [[AreTheseWiresImportant already disconnected the wires]].
* ''Series/{{Blackadder}}''. In "Back & Forth" Blackadder tries to stop the time machine and return to the present by hopefully pressing a red button he hadn't pressed before. It turns out to be a lolly.
* On ''Series/TheNightlyShow'', Larry Wilmore evidently has one for "science emergencies", such as rappers trying to "prove" the world is flat, that instantly summons UsefulNotes/NeilDeGrasseTyson.
* In the final part of the ''Franchise/{{Arrowverse}}'' crossover ''Series/CrisisOnEarthX'', during the final battle the Waverider engages against its EvilCounterpart Der Wellenreiter, but they're unable to damage it due to having its shields on. Felicity hacks the shields to override the system and put it on manual control. Once she does, Killer Frost spots the Big Red Button, and even quotes it by name before pushing it to shut she shields down.

* In the end of the "Land of Confusion" music video by Music/{{Genesis}}, it is shown that Reagan had two Big Red Buttons in his bedroom. One was for "NUKE", the other for "NURSE". Guess which one he pressed.
* In the Music/{{Rush}} 2010 Time Machine Tour, every show opened with a very funny short video featuring Gershon (Geddy Lee), Slobovitch (Alex Lifeson) and cop O'Malley (Neil Peart). In the video, Herr Slobovitz activates the "Gefilter", a contraption designed to improve the sound of the bar band playing at Gershon's Haus of Sausage. The device has a BIG OL' red button with a TIME MACHINE label, which is accidentally pressed. Watch the results [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cumBwwaO1ZU here]].

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* In a ''ComicStrip/PricklyCity'' SundayStrip, Winslow sees a button with a "Do not push" sign. After some careful idleness, he pushes it in the penultimate panel. In the ultimate one, he complains, "If you break the rules you deserve a boom."

* While it isn't red, the Fire Button in Creator/SternPinball's ''Pinball/{{Star Trek|Stern}}'' definitely qualifies. The game even tells you to PUNCH IT! at certain times during the game.

* The Imagination Station in ''Radio/AdventuresInOdyssey'' activates at the press of "The Red Button". It was changed to "The Flashing White Button" for one episode due to the machine having been rebuilt but it has been "The Red Button" ever since.
* In ''Radio/BleakExpectations'', Harry Biscuit accidentally pushes the big self-destruct button in Mr. Gently Benevolent's evil volcano base. When questioned, Benevolent shrugs and says it just seemed like something he should have. (And he probably should have put a cover on it.)

[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'' has "[[SchmuckBait The most fiendish trap of all!]]" It's this. The problem is, apparently, not pressing it. Everybody who gets it must.
* In ''TabletopGame/TranshumanSpace'', the "C-Brown" gardening cybershell (robot body) has large red buttons on the front and back that shut it down instantly. This is because berserk gardener shells attacking with their built-in shears are a popular threat in the setting's fiction, although it's never actually happened.
* ''TabletopGame/NuclearWar'' comes with printed mats for organising one's cards. They have a flavour illustration of a button, with [- THE BUTTON - PRESS TO TEST-] written beneath it.

[[folder: Theme Parks ]]
* In ''Ride/MenInBlackAlienAttack'' at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal Studios Florida]], each vehicle has a red button, which guests are told to only press in "emergency situations", as it will unleash a massive explosion that can destroy any alien adversary. Of course, the guests eventually have to push it when faced with a gigantic alien in the ride's finale.

[[folder: Video Games ]]
* In ''VideoGame/PokemonRedAndBlue'', the player is prompted as to whether or not he wants to push the buttons he finds in Team Rocket's hideout. Choosing "Yes" makes the game reply, "Who wouldn't?"
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/PokemonXAndY''. In Team Flare's lab, the player is given a choice of two buttons. The blue one deactivates the [[spoiler: ultimate weapon]], while the red one (obviously) activates it. However, even if you press the blue one, they activate it anyway.
* ''VideoGame/ManiacMansion'' has a Big Red Button at the bottom of the pool, with the warning "Do not press!" written above. [[SchmuckBait You just had to find out what the button did, and ended up detonating the mansion in the process.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Blasto}}'':
** Pressing a large button with the sign "Do Not Press" displayed above it will result in Blasto getting disintegrated by a lightning bolt.
** In a slightly later section of the game, a second, identical button is encountered, with the same "Do Not Press" sign. If, against all logic, you fall for the same trick and press this one... a bunch of health and powerups spawn nearby.
* ''VideoGame/{{Pandemonium}}'' also uses this, in the level Fantabulous, there exists a button (though green) with '''"Press this button"''' printed above it. Kicking the button triggers an alarm and flashing red lights, the camera pans up to see '''"DON'T!"''' spray-painted in red above it, and the air station proceeds to count a self-destruct. The button turns red. Pressing this button is a must anyway, as it opens a path to escape the air station.
* [[LampshadeHanging Comically obvious]] in ''VideoGame/BrainDead13'', which has a huge and very convenient self destruct button sitting on the BigBad's doomsday device.
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' has the "[[ExpospeakGag Fifteen Hundred Megawatt Aperture Science Heavy Duty Super-Colliding]] [[PressurePlate Super Button]]". The biggest red button ever, and generally used in combination with the Aperture Science Weighted Storage Cube to solve puzzles. There are also small red buttons that function as switches.
* ''VideoGame/Portal2'', in addition to the above, has various highly prominent red buttons in the areas outside the test environments. They operate whatever key piece of machinery you need to resolve the current puzzle. The Old Aperture test chambers also feature a version of the Super Button with a retro 50's look.
* The 1st ''[[VideoGame/RatchetAndClank2002 Ratchet & Clank]]'' had a level that took place in a spaceship. On the console in the bridge is a big red button. What makes this more notable than most is the fact that the {{Action Command|s}} when you approach it is, word for word, [[LampshadeHanging "Press the big red shiny button?"]] [[SchmuckBait It's the self-destruct.]] It's also a ShoutOut, and proves that the Insomniacs watched ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow''.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'':
** In the Ulduar raid dungeon, mechagnome boss Mimiron has one of these, conveniently labeled [[SchmuckBait "DO NOT PRESS THIS BUTTON"]], that sets off his lair's self destruct mechanism. If you defeat him after activating it, you get more loot. However, it also covers half the room with fire, causes him to go into a [[BerserkButton frenzy]] that increases the damage of all of his attacks, gives him several methods of combating said fires that also hurt you if you happen to be in the wrong place, and finally, places a timer on how long you have to kill him before the room goes kablooey. Good luck.
** There's another one in a newbie questchain for goblins to destroy an oil rig. Oh, and this button is VERY BIG! (Also very red. And the character comments on it.)
* In ''VideoGame/SinsOfASolarEmpire'', the TEC Starbase can be upgraded to have the big red button. With the second level of this, the starbase explodes in a sizable area (More than the range of most attackers), causing enough damage to kill all but high leveled, full HP capital ships.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' has no actual buttons but {{lampshade|Hanging}}s this trope anyway if [[WrenchWench Tali]] is in the party on Noveria. When Mira is explaining the neutron purge, Tali will provide [[SugarWiki/FunnyMoments immortal line]]:
-->'''Tali''' "Don't press big red buttons."
* ''VideoGame/LiberalCrimeSquad'' allows you to push a "big red button" in a nuclear power plant to release waste into the environment. The catch is you need a character with the right skill to push the big red button.
* In ''VideoGame/ConkersBadFurday'', the weak point of the Haybot boss is a Big Red Button on his back.
* In ''VideoGame/EvilGenius'', one can be used as a DeathTrap. Popping up out of the ground with [[SchmuckBait a big sign that says "Do Not Press"]], it compels low-willpower enemy agents to press it anyway, giving them a shock. The final mission also adds a big red "Launch" button to the main interface when it is complete; pushing this one activates your DoomsdayDevice and ends the game.
* ''VideoGame/PajamaSam 2: Thunder and Lightning Aren't So Frightening'' gets the game rolling with this trope. The titular protagonist pays a visit to the factory that apparently is responsible for the world's weather, with the intent to stop the thunderstorms that have been creeping him out so much. He gets an explanation that enlightens his viewpoint almost right off the bat, but he [[NoCapes trips on his cape]], causing him to fly into and press a giant red button on the control panel; said button inexplicably causes partial destruction of the factory. Sam ends up with the responsibility of locating the missing parts, a task that covers the rest of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/AdventureQuest'', the Big Red Button is an armor, which deals five times normal damage at the cost of losing 100 HP.
* In ''VideoGame/EmpireAtWar'' when you engage in a space battle above an enemy planet with a fleet that contains the Death Star, the dead space on your HUD becomes a big red button you just have to hold out until the timer counts down, then [[SugarWiki/MostWonderfulSound Death Star, ready to fire]] then [[EarthShatteringKaboom lots of pretty explody doom]].
* In ''[[VideoGame/SegaSuperstars Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing]]'', Eggman activates his All-Star move with one of these. The announcer even references this trope. "Watch out, everyone! Eggman's pushed his Big Red Button!"
* ''VideoGame/SteelBattalion'' has a Big Red Button with a flip-up plastic cover and yellow diagonal stripes to trigger the EjectionSeat. Failing to use it before your VT [[CriticalExistenceFailure explodes]] or [[SuperDrowningSkills floods]] will result in ''[[FinalDeath a deleted save game]].''
* One such button can be found in each of three later factory levels in ''VideoGame/DonkeyKongCountryReturns''. You must find and activate all three to open the rocket level that leads to the world's boss.
* ''VideoGame/PuttPutt Goes to the Moon'' has the Big Red LEVER - at the beginning of the game, there's a [[ShmuckBait DO NOT TOUCH]] sign with a lever in front of it. Once a butterfly lands on it, Pep sees it and jumps for it, only to land on the lever and pull it, causing the fireworks factory to go haywire. This summons a rocket that carries Putt-Putt into space and eventually landing on the moon.
* ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDuty Modern Warfare 2]]'''s Museum level (A couple rooms with museum-style setpieces of all the levels) has two Big Red Buttons on the desks in the entrances of the rooms. Going up to them brings up a prompt "DO NOT press x". Doing so causes the enemies to attack en masse.
* ''Whacked!'' has these, which causes various things to happen. The world turns upside-down, zombie stars attack everyone, everyone's vision gets distorted, all weapons disappear, etc.
* The sandbox in ''VideoGame/WorldOfGoo'' can be reset with one of these, molly-guard included.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Whizz}}'', each level has several red buttons on the ground that launch nearby rockets when pressed.
* ''Please, Don't Touch Anything'' has you in an empty room with a big red button and a monitor of a large city. [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt You can guess what happens when you start messing with stuff.]]
* The Odin in ''VideoGame/StarcraftIIWingsOfLiberty'' apparently comes with both a big red button and a ''skull button''.
-->'''Tychus:''' "Oookay, big red button, [[WhatDoesThisButtonDo what do you do]]?" [[note]]It triggers the {{Shoulder Cannon}}s, is what it does.[[/note]]
-->'''Tychus:''' "Now how'd I miss this pretty little button with the ''skull'' on it?" [[note]]This one's for the Odin's onboard [[NuclearOption nuclear missile]]. [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill Really.]][[/note]]
* The execution button pushed by {{M|ascotVillain}}onokuma in ''VisualNovel/{{Danganronpa}}'' is one of these. Positively exhilarating for him to push, and absolutely horrific for whichever unlucky student is about to receive that execution.
* In BattlefleetGothicArmada, all of the four races have a speed boost on their ships. The [[OurOrcsAreDifferent Orkish]] speed boost takes the form of a big red button that gives the ship much more massive speed boost than that of either of the two human factions, and can't be shut off until it runs out of fuel.
* ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma'' has one of these as a round in the decision game. Stuck inside the healing room, Sigma, Phi, and Diana come across a big button with "Warning: Do not touch this button" flashing around it. While Phi's of the opinion that they obviously shouldn't press it, Sigma's persistent about doing the opposite of what Zero's telling them to do. It's ultimately up to Diana, aka the player, to decide whether to press it. [[spoiler:Pressing the button results in the [[SchmuckBait entire facility blowing up]]. Wait for around a minute, and the room's door unlocks letting the three get out.]]
* In ''VideoGame/TheFairlyOddparentsShadowShowdown'', pressing these is how you cause changes in the levels to happen so that they become possible to clear, and also how you save your game.
* German-made point & click adventure game ''Chewy: Escape From F5'' has a room on the Borx' spaceship where there's just a button on a wall marked "Press this button". Doing so [[AnvilOnHead drops a giant anvil on top of Chewy]]. You later paint the extra word "DON'T" on the wall [[SchmuckBait to compel a Bork guard to press it as well]].
* ''VideoGame/LobotomyCorporation'' has "Don't Touch Me", which is a button that has dire consequences for pressing it.
* The final level of ''[[VideoGame/{{Oddworld}} Oddworld: Abe's Exoddus]]'' has a sign on the [=SoulStorm=] Brewery main boiler control panel that reads "ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY NEVER EVER TURN THIS WHEEL!" Guess what your objective is.
** The previous game, Abe's Oddysee, has a button labeled Do Not Push. You can choose not to push that button if you want, you just miss a short cutscene.
*** One of the games has a lever with an LCD marquee behind it that reads "Only a fool or a murderer will pull this lever." Pulling the lever will kill the slave next to you if you didn't rescue him first.

[[folder: Web Animation ]]
* ''WebAnimation/TheDementedCartoonMovie'' has a whole bunch of {{Big Red Button}}s, most of which cause StuffBlowingUp. One of the two that blows up the world is clearly labeled with a picture of an EarthShatteringKaboom (and Blah Guy [[TooDumbToLive presses it anyway]]), and the other is unseen because "the animator got lazy."
* On ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'' Strong Bad [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/hremail3184.html used a USB self destruct button]] which parodies the Easy button above.
* ''WebAnimation/DumbWaysToDie'': "I wonder, [[WhatDoesThisButtonDo what does this red button do?]]" '''*EarthShatteringKaboom*'''
* ''WebAnimation/{{Ducktalez}} 3'': In the cockpit of Robot Creator/ChristopherWalken. Scrooge pressed it when the Cornmander got angry at him. It activated the secret move that finished off Vegeta.

[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* From the always-surreal ''[[http://www.beaverandsteve.com/index.php The Unfeasible Adventures of Beaver and Steve]]'': in [[http://www.beaverandsteve.com/index.php?comic=221 this]] installment of the story arc, "The Revenge of the Shoe Goblin", the day seems to have been anti-climactically saved... [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle but then]] Steve spots a Big Red Button marked "SelfDestructMechanism, for use only in case of anti-climax"... and the inevitable happens, with the result that planet Earth gets stomped by a size 6 billion shoe, and humanity is wiped out. ''Again.'' Thanks a lot, Steve.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/DanAndMabsFurryAdventures'', with [[http://www.missmab.com/Comics/Vol_362.php the shiny button]] that decorates the keyboard of Jyrras' main computer.
* ''Webcomic/ExterminatusNow'' subverts the trope [[http://exterminatusnow.co.uk/2005-09-09/comic/facilitating-your-demise/our-base-is-cliche-proof/ here]] by having the big red button. That summons the guards.
--> '''Voice message''': ...real evil labs don't have self-destruct systems in their control room. What are you, stupid?
* Played with in [[http://www.explosm.net/comics/1295/ this]] Cyanide and Happiness comic.
* ''Webcomic/{{Adventurers}}!'': [[http://www.adventurers-comic.com/d/20021128.html "To steal big thing press button."]]
* ''Webcomic/CollegeRoomiesFromHell'' - [[http://www.crfh.net/d/20040711.html Link.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheInexplicableAdventuresOfBob,'' Bob encounters a Big Red Button ''so big'' he has to [[http://bobadventures.comicgenesis.com/d/20060810.html jump up and down on it to activate it.]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'' the fission reactor on the ''Britannia'' had a "[[http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20090817.html scram]]" button that stopped it dead, unfortunately the Inlay that sabotaged it ripped that button out before the protagonists had the chance to press it.
* In [[http://xkcd.com/242/ this]] ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' comic, it shows that given the consequences for pulling the big lever, a regular person will learn not to pull it. An engineer or scientist on the other hand will pull it again, ostensibly to learn whether it happens every time.
* In [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2009-09-28 this]] ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' strip and the couple that follow, the team discusses putting big red buttons on demolition charges.
* ''Webcomic/KarateBears'': [[http://www.karatebears.com/2011/08/finger-on-button.html Finger on the big red Button]] blows up the car the badguy/goodguy just got into.
* One ''Webcomic/{{Keiki}}'' comic had a red button that Amara's father had to push every 108 minutes, or else Hawaii might explode, a la ''Series/{{Lost}}''. [[spoiler: When Amara got left to watch the button alone, she failed to press it quickly enough after the third time 108 minutes passed, but Hawaii still didn't explode. Her father subsequently claimed this did ''not'' confirm the possibility that the button actually had no connection to Hawaii's safety, since "it gives you a couple extra minutes."]]
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'':
** [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/050419 George]] uses a Big Red Button to lower the not-yet-activated X's pod so that X's body can be placed back into it without Dr. Light seeing, and then uses the button again to raise the pod back in place, with X in it. George's "manipulation" of the control is a [[TakeThat shot at Dr. Light]] for putting him in a [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/030923 single button-operated time suit]] [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/030924 with overly complex controls]] in a previous arc (not a red button, but a big and important one nonetheless).
** There's also a Big Red Button [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/051126 inside Mega Man's mind]] [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/051127 to activate his router]].
* In ''{{Webcomic/Tinyraygun}}'', Nepta's ship has one presumably for achieving FasterThanLightTravel, helpfully labeled "Faster".
* In ''Webcomic/TheWhiteboard'', {{R|ascallyRaccoon}}oger stumbles across [[http://www.the-whiteboard.com/autobutton01.html one of these]] in [[GadgeteerGenius Doc's]] shop. HilarityEnsues when he [[SchmuckBait can't stop pressing it]], with various responses suggested by TWB fans.

[[folder: Web Original ]]
* [[http://sprott.physics.wisc.edu/pickover/pc/redbut.html The Big Red Button]]. Please, don't push it.
* [[http://scp-wiki.wikidot.com/scp-001-j This SCP entry.]] Hilariously justified in that the button itself is semi-sentient and sends out a mild psychic signal, [[SchmuckBait compelling people to press it]].
* [[http://www.ezprezzo.com/animations/Fart-Button-d18f.html The Fart Button]]. Press it. You know you want to.
* From ''Website/TheOnion'': [[http://www.theonion.com/articles/obama-makes-it-through-another-day-of-resisting-ur,20364/ Obama Makes It Through Another Day Of Resisting Urge To Launch All U.S. Nuclear Weapons At Once.]]
* The QI [[http://www.qi.com/ website]] recently added a Big Red Button. [[spoiler: It triggers the Klaxon.]]
* Website/GaiaOnline randomly shows an enormous red button on its main page. It's actually a good button; it directs newcomers to the sign-in page, so they ''want'' people to get tempted and click it.
* [[http://thedailywtf.com/Articles/The_Big_Red_Button.aspx This post]] over at a blog(?) called Website/TheDailyWTF demonstrates a very interesting real-world Big Red Button...
* A RunningGag on [[http://www.villainsource.com/ Villain Source]] (Your Online Source For Everything Evil), usually for activating the requisite SelfDestructMechanism that comes free with every SupervillainLair.
* Subverted in ''Machinima/SteveAndCarlos'' where Carlos leads Steve to believe he's fallen for this trope, when really the big red button he pushed was the fire alarm.
* WebVideo/KeyOfAwesome's ''Space Girl'' is trying to AbandonShip, but her ship's computer keeps debating the issue. Space Girl threatens to use the Manual Override, and we're shown a bank of red-knobbed levers labelled with everything from SELF DESTRUCT to PULL IF COMPUTER IS IN DENIAL.


[[folder: Western Animation ]]
* Subverted in ''WesternAnimation/VeggieTales''. Bob and Larry are chasing after Madame Blueberry in a motorized shopping cart, and Bob asks "Can't this thing go any faster?" Right on cue, the big red button starts blinking. Bob pushes it and then flinches, expecting something incredible to happen. Instead, it prints a coupon.
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR''.
** Coop's Big Red Button. Its label and effect would [[ContextSensitiveButton change depending on the situation]], like when Coop yells "Maybe you'll like this better, then!", the button is ''actually labeled'' "This Better Then". He even has a button labeled "Big Red Button of Irony".
** A couple episodes draw attention to this, in fact. One episode had the button marked "Five Minutes Until End of Episode," activating [[ForgottenSuperweapon a brand-new power that saves the day]].
** Another episode had Coop use it ''twice'', for two different results. The second time, it's labeled "The Exact Same Button Coop Used Like Five Minutes Ago."
** And then there's "The Button That Does The Same Thing As The Other Button" button.
** Still better, Megas does, in fact, have a "Save the World" button (right under "Destroy the World", "Smite the World", and "Destroy the World Worse".) But it's been removed.
** He also has a button that is simply titled "The Button", which has the following warning posted around it: "Danger", "Do Not Touch", "This Means You!", and "Never ever press!". Said button launches an arsenal of nukes from Megas, though Kiva stops him from using it (to which he replies "What's the point of having nukes if I never get to use them?")
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'''"Space Madness" episode. [[http://jollycandylikebutton.ytmnd.com/ The jolly, candy-like button!]] He eventually caves to the [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BRB.png pressure of the voice-over announcer]] and [[http://media.photobucket.com/image/recent/junker46/HistoryEraserButton.jpg pushes the button]], [[RetGone erasing himself, Ren, and the narrator from history]].
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'':
** Parodied. Dib asks, "[[LampshadeHanging How'd I miss that?]]?
** The Megadoomer's self-destruct button was also a Big Red Button with a crazy smiley face on it.
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyBravo''
-->'''Man''': No! Don't press that button!\\
'''Johnny''': ''(pause)'' Aw, now I got to.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DextersLaboratory,'' Dee Dee was fond of pushing the Big Red Button that would wreck one of Dexter's inventions or otherwise cause trouble. A vapid "Oooh! WhatDoesThisButtonDo" became her main CatchPhrase. One would think that eventually, Dex would learn to stop putting Big Red Buttons on everything he builds.
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest,'' Dukey tries to constantly edge Johnny ''away'' from pushing said button, mainly because more often than not, said Big Red Button [[OncePerEpisode tends to cause the trouble that they have to stop]]. [[SubvertedTrope This is the one time where pushing the red button actually saves the day.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Madballs}}: Escape from Orb'', Freakella correctly guesses that this is the button to press in order to start Aargh and Slobulous's ship:
-->'''Freakella:''' Just hit the big red button!\\
'''Aargh & Slobulus:''' Why?\\
'''Freakella:''' Because [[LampshadeHanging it's ALWAYS the big red button]]!
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", Sideshow Bob hooks an atomic bomb up to one of these. Lisa and Bart barges in as he is tracing his finger around the button. Lisa objects, saying: "Don't you see? That would be taking the easy way out," to which he replies "I agree," [[spoiler:and presses it. The bomb turns out to be a dud.]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' short "Design for Leaving", Daffy Duck equips Elmer Fudd's home with "time-saving gadgets" operated from a push-button control panel. The panel includes one Big Red Button which Daffy warns him to never touch. At the end of the cartoon, curiosity gets the better of Elmer and he pushes it. A display lights up reading "IN CASE OF TIDAL WAVE", and the entire house rises up hundreds of feet over the ground. Daffy arrives by helicopter and says "For a small price, I can install this little blue button to get you down."
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''; Peter finds himself in front of a big red button with accompanying sign reading "Do not press this button". When he presses it, the only observable result is an elderly Asian black belt who enters the room, bows to Peter, and then roundhouse kicks him in the face.
* Lampshaded in the ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' [[TheMovie movie]] in which our cat and mouse heroes are attempting to stow away on a river boat and Tom is searching wildly for the start button. Jerry says that he should push the red button because "It's ''always'' a red one!" They push it aaand... yup. It is the start button they were looking for.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'':
** One of Dr. Drakken's temporary lairs includes one of these, which Shego gleefully employes.
** And in the series finale:
---> '''Drakken:''' Oh! This is highly advanced alien technology! It's not going to be as simple as finding an...\\
(Rufus finds the off switch and switches it to the off position. The noise suddenly quiets down and goes away.)\\
'''Drakken''': ...off switch...mmmmmmmhhh...\\
(Rufus just snickers. The ship begins to lose power and [[GravitySucks fall to earth]]. The scene switches to the ship's bridge.)\\
'''Warmonga''': Oh! What madness is this?\\
'''Warhok''': They found the off switch!\\
'''Warmonga''': Ugh! [[InventionalWisdom Long have I questioned the wisdom of that accursed switch!]]
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Bonkers}}'' {{lampshade|Hanging}}d this trope after a criminal toon told Bonkers not to push a very obviously hazardous-to-himself-and-his-human-partner big shiny red button, citing that it's a built-in rule for cartoon characters to push big red buttons once it's pointed out - making it a literal RuleOfFunny.
* Used in every episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', by Dr. Doofensmirtz, to the point that he laments in one episode "Someone always finds my self-destruct button." In "Hail Doofania!", Phineas and Ferb build a big red self destruct button on their rainbow generator. Naturally, it gets activated, which prompts Ferb to comment, "In hindsight, I question the logistics of including a self-destruct button in the first place."
* An episode of ''[=Gerald McBoingBoing=]'' has the family buy a car. Gerald's dad sees the car has a big red button (alright it wasn't that big but it was red) in the car and presses it, activating an ejector seat.
* From the ''WesternAnimation/DonkeyKongCountry'' episode "The Big Chill Out":
-->'''K. Rool:''' With my KCCBM, we'll be up to our tails in Coconut Chills before you can say "Blast off!"\\
''(Klump pushes the big red button and launches the KCCBM)''\\
'''Kritters:''' Hooray!!\\
'''K. Rool:''' ''I'' wanted to push the big red button!!\\
'''Klump:''' But you said "blast off" and I didn't get to say anything!
* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' TOS episode "The Robot Spy". The duty officer of an Air Force base pushes such a button to call a RedAlert and scramble jet fighters.
* Played with quite elaborately in ''WesternAnimation/ThePenguinsOfMadagascar'' episode "Tagged." While confined due to electronic bracelets, the penguins enlist the lemurs' help in fixing a heating/cooling unit that they had started to work on before being confined. Seven buttons appear before the three lemurs, each button an almost-imperceptible shade of red (ruby, brick, crimson, scarlet, etc.). Kowalski instructs the lemurs that they are supposed to press ''only'' the scarlet button, which leads to King Julien and Maurice arguing over which one is scarlet. King Julien starts to play eenie-meenie-minie-moe, until Mort, TheChewToy of the group, pads up and presses a button at random. HilarityEnsues.
* Both ''WesternAnimation/RoadRovers'' ' first and last episodes had Colleen pushing a not-exactly-Big Red Button on a vehicle dashboard causing it to go ludicrously fast.man
* Lampshaded in ''WesternAnimation/SpiderManTheAnimatedSeries'': Spider-man points the big red button they must press to save the day. Why? Because in films, it's always the big red one.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarTrekTheAnimatedSeries'' episode "Beyond the Farthest Star". The auxiliary warp drive controls are activated with a red button. Kirk presses it to send the Enterprise on a desperate slingshot maneuver to escape the dead star's gravity and get rid of the alien intruder.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheBraveAndTheBold'' - The Joker gets to ride in the Batmobile during an EnemyMine, and is in full WhatDoesThisButtonDo mode, with Batman repeatedly telling him not to touch anything. He spots a Big Red Button, which Batman warns him he ''really'' doesn't want to touch. He touches it - [[spoiler: and gets hit in the face with knock-out gas. It's like Bats read the Evil Overlord List example at the top of the page and made it non-lethal.]] The Joker [[LampshadeHanging highlights]] this trope again during TheTeaser, only this time it's a SelfDestructMechanism, which results in an EarthShatteringKaboom.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHerculoids'' episode "Malak and the Metal Apes". Zandor sneaks into Malak's base inside one of the Metal Apes (robots). When he reveals himself, Malak orders his henchman to push a red button to activate the Ape's SelfDestructMechanism and destroy him.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheProblemSolverz'', there is a magic clock with a red button on it that is capable of ripping a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum. Naturally, crazy fangirl Katrina Rad steals the clock and threatens to press the button if Roba doesn't marry her.
* This probably wouldn't count, but there was an episode in ''WesternAnimation/RockosModernLife'' where Rocko's boss left him in charge while he was gone and told him not the press the GREEN button. [[spoiler: Rocko, of course, presses the button anyway, and becomes a power-hungry {{Jerkass}}.]]
* The indie computer-animation short ''[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEjUAnPc2VA Pigeon: Impossible]]'' involves a bird falling into a suitcase containing a Big Red Button (among other spy gadgets). The pigeon taps it, but doesn't fully press the button, only for the CIA agent to accidentally do so, whereupon the [[WeaponizedLandmark Washington Monument]] turns into a [[OhCrap nuclear missile launcher]].
* ''Young Samson & Goliath'' episode "The Dome". The title villain tries to push a red button that will launch nuclear missiles against six targets, but Samson has Goliath destroy the button with his [[EyeBeams power beams]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanBeyond'', Bruce has a big red button to remotely shut down the Batsuit. He uses it in the two-part opening after Terry steals the suit, and also in a later episode to freeze the suit after it is taken over by [[AIIsACrapshoot a hostile AI]].
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': Olaf's lair has one, and [[TheDitz Stumpy]] pushes it despite Olaf telling him not to.

* Android app "Instant Buttons".
* [[http://thebulletin.ca/the-gadget-zone-on-wired-headsets-cheap-printers-costly-cartridges/ Thinkgeek's Doomsday Device USB Hub]]
* [[http://www.thinkgeek.com/product/15a5/?srp=15 Thinkgeek's Big Red Button]]
* The October 1983 issue of ''Fantasy Empire'' featured a ''Series/DoctorWho''-related quiz called "Would You Make a Fit Companion?". Question #41 was:
-->''Can you guess what button to push to save the Universe from the giant mutant space-goat?\\
A. Yes. It's always been the red one.\\
B. No. I'm colorblind.''
* Mocked in the former Web site "The Big Red Button That Does Nothing", which was ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin
* Aversion: The one on top of this very page is harmless (like his blue cousin). That is, if you see [[WikiWalk wasting your time]] as harmless...

[[folder: Truth In Television ]]
* British artist Damien Hirst has spoken of an exhibition he will never be allowed to mount: it would consist of a big red button and a "Do Not Press" sign. If anyone did give in and press it, a boxing glove would come out and punch them in the face.
* When color programming was introduced in German television, there was an actual big red button that the Chancellor of Germany was supposed to push in order to switch on the new technology. The technicians behind the scenes were a little trigger-happy and turned on colour transmission shortly before he actually pushed it, ruining the effect... for those few people who actually had color TV sets at that time. ([[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uYlFhY1QNtI Video in colour, complete with early switch-on]])
* The New York Stock Exchange has a Big Green Button that triggers the bells that signal the opening and closing of business. The Exchange invites guests to press the button almost every business day. Guests include representatives of corporations on the company's first trading day, political officials and foreign dignitaries.
* For a 2009 diplomatic visit to Russia, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton brought a big red reset button (connected to nothing) that she would offer for a Russian official to push, symbolically forgiving previous tensions. It was hillariously screwed up, as the button was supposed to be labeled "Перезагрузка" (Reload, as in reload Russian/USA relations), but [[BlindIdiotTranslation was instead labeled]] "Перегрузка" (Overload).
* Most modern elevators have a Big Red Button, which may be an emergency stop or a fire alarm. Surprisingly, most elevator riders seem to be able to keep their hands off it.
* Parodied in the European Nuclear Research Center CERN, of all places. The experiment station Atlas's control room has a big red button placed in the anteroom, labelled: "Your Unique Chance to Press an Emergency Button!" When pressed, the only thing that happens is that the screen above the button switches on and you get a lecture.
* Cars:
** The four-way hazard warning flashers. On European cars it's a Big Red Button going back as far as TheSixties, but on most American ones from before TheNineties it's hidden on the underside of the steering column for some reason.
* Many cars modified for racing are equipped with an externally accessible kill switch, so safety crews can shut the engine down from outside the car in the event of a serious crash or emergency. Many drivers hide them behind the car's rear license plate; the plate can be removed while the car is racing, so the button is accessible, but when the car is on the road, the license plate is attached and the button is hidden away. Very often, they are [[http://www.streetperformance.com/part/flaming-river-industries/battery-kill-switch/304769-fr1013.html Big Red Buttons]].
** Also many sports cars have, instead of a key ignition, a Start/Stop button. Not exactly huge, but usually larger than the rest of the buttons and most often red, a more direct application of this trope.
** Buses and coaches that have the engine in the back of the bus also have a big red button (or rather, a switch) in the engine compartment for the purposes of starting or stopping engine, and preventing the engine from being started with the key in the front while the engine is being operated on.
** On June 24, 2014, engineers from Carnegie Mellon University put on a demonstration of a prototype self-driving car in Washington D.C. The demo ended before it began when one of the VIP guests (Elanor Holmes Norton, the District's non-voting "Delegate" to the House of Representatives) [[http://www.nbcwashington.com/news/local/Driverless-Car-Demo-Curbed-When-Delegate-Norton-Hits-Kill-Switch-264501711.html?_osource=SocialFlowFB_DCBrand pushed the big red "Emergency Stop" button]] and knocked the car's systems completely off-line.
* The Dave Smith Instruments synth module, the [[http://www.davesmithinstruments.com/products/mopho Mopho]], has a "Push It!" button, described on the site as "[[spoiler: a manual trigger that lets you play a specific note or latch notes and sequences on. It can also step through a sequence to play short melodic lines without a keyboard.]]"
* Speaking of synths, Waldorf's trademark design element was a Big Red Knob for data entry. This tradition wasn't dropped before the [[Film/JamesBond Blofeld]].
* [[http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/engineering/gonzo/the-worlds-largest-smallest-and-strangest-model-trains-8#slide-8 A Big Red Button control for model trains]] was invented by veteran rocker and model train enthusiast Music/NeilYoung. It was designed to let his quadriplegic son Ben run the family's 750-foot railway by himself.
* There was an experiment a few years back. The subject would be locked in a room for 5 or 10 minutes with a Big Red Button. If they managed to go the whole time without pressing it, they'd get $1000. Nobody made it. The closest pressed the button with about 20 seconds left.
* Many IT datacenters contain Big Red Buttons for various purposes, usually for the purposes of cutting power (in a disorderly fashion) to all computer systems, or engaging the fire suppression system. These typically are behind some sort of safety cover, and contain signage stating something like "Emergency power off," "Halon" [[DeadlyGas (in the old days)]], or something to that effect. There was one datacenter where the button had a sign reading "Resumé button," as in "Have your resumé ready." Supposedly, after several unplanned shutdown incidents when giving tours, one mainframe operator put a nice Big Red Button, at kid height. One kid pressed the button and stood there, shaking in fear. All the button did was light up a small sign which said "Release button to cause explosion."
* In industries that use a good deal of automation Big Red Buttons exist as emergency shutdowns. Most have some protection over the button, and are commonly called clown noses because people really want to punch them. But since they are an emergency shutdown, they take a while to start back up and can get expensive. Very Expensive.
* Often large pieces of machinery and heavy equipment will have one, such as forklifts. They're usually [[FailsafeFailure emergency shutdowns]].
* Escalators. The emergency stop buttons are very attractive to some people.
* The UsefulNotes/ColorComputer's [[http://www.psw.ca/images/coco1a.jpg keyboard]] had a bright red button in the upper right corner ominously labeled "Break". Unaware users would avoid it like the plague. Some later models relabeled the key "ESC/Break" to better explain its functionality.
* Most industrial machines actually do have a Big Red Button as mandated by safety laws. It's usually just an emergency shut down button though, not a explosive self-destruct button.
* The IBM PC/AT desktop model had the power supply controlled by a Big Red Knife Switch set in a panel towards the back of the machine.
* The BBC wanted to know the date when the Large Hadron Collider would be switched on. There isn't really any one moment - different parts of the complex came into operation and were being tested at different times - but the project leaders decided the nearest thing was September 10 2008, when the first test involving a particle beam completing one circuit of the whole ring. The BBC excitedly named September 10 "Big Bang Day", planned a whole day of programming, and asked to take footage of the LHC being "switched on". The tests were all pre-programmed and controlled by computers, and the scientists just watched the results coming in - exciting to those in the know, but not what the BBC wanted. The BBC asked if they could build a fake button on a wall, and film somebody pressing it. The bemused scientists at CERN started referring to September 10 as "Big Red Button day".
* The cafe in the National Space Centre in Leicester, UK has a couple of full sized rockets hanging down from the floors above. Underneath one of the rockets is a normal cafe table with a Big Red Button in the middle saying "Do Not Press". When the button is inevitably pressed a countdown starts which then turns into a rocket takeoff sound with dry ice spraying from the bottom of the rocket that makes it look like it's about to liftoff. This can make for some interesting mealtimes when pressed by someone currently at the table eating lunch.

''[[DontTouchItYouIdiot DO NOT PUSH!]]''