[[quoteright:200:[[Manga/HayateTheCombatButler http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cit_hayate_the_combat_butler_-_shameless_hinagiku_plug.jpg]]]]

->''"Sometimes itís easier if you just turn off the power."''
-->-- '''Chloe''', ''Series/{{Smallville}}''

Considering how much our society relies on computers and machinery, it makes sense that we have often considered the possible effects of [[ScienceIsBad such things being used against us]]. Thus, we have many stories where [[InstantAIJustAddWater a computer runs rampant]] or [[TimeBomb a bomb is set to explode]], or [[MadScientist someone]] just built your average everyday doomsday machine.

But there's hope yet. Machines simply don't work unless they have a power supply. Thus, when in such a dangerous situation, even if there's no BigRedButton available for the hero's pushing pleasure, it is still possible for the hero to escape the predicament without a scratch.

All you have to do is unplug the thing. [[MundaneSolution Simple as that]].

Scenes in which characters Cut the Juice usually fall into one of three categories:
# Played straight. The plug is being guarded, and it is only through struggling or with the help of a scientific expert that the device can finally be shut down.
# Used as an anticlimax. After trying everything to stop the device, everyone is about to give in when the device suddenly shuts down. Cut to someone (often a NonActionGuy) holding the plug (or, if he/she's a DeadpanSnarker, twirling the plug from the end of the cable, pocket-watch style, with one hand on his/her hip). Or the hero tripping over the cable for extra RuleOfFunny. In this form, a version of CuttingTheKnot as well as the juice.
# [[ItWontTurnOff Dramatically ignored]]. You can tell that this one is coming when unplugging the device is one of the first options considered ([[FailsafeFailure especially if it has been introduced before as a "failsafe"]]). Simply put, the machine's power supply cannot be compromised so easily, especially if its inventors (or the AI itself) manages to reroute power or relocate its source. Incidentally, if you are not a hero and you are ever in this situation, ''run''.

So really, this trope is used in just about any situation where it can be effective or dramatic. Now if only we could [[AreTheseWiresImportant do the same thing]] with those [[CrushKillDestroy pesky robots...]]

See also HaveYouTriedRebooting, ItWontTurnOff, and AchillesPowerCord. Compare PercussiveShutdown for a more bellicose deactivation method.



!!Played Straight

* In an animated commercial for Apple Cinnamon Cheerios, the bumbling superheroes Apple and Cinnaman are menaced by a MadScientist with a [[WeaponsThatSuck giant vacuum cleaner.]] After the heroes are caught by the device's powerful suction, Cinnaman defeats the villain by unplugging it.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/GhostInTheShellStandAloneComplex'', Ishikawa uses this as an emergency countermeasure for a hacking attempt. Unable to stop a hacker and virus from taking over Section Nine's systems, he grabs a fire axe, pulls up a floor panel, and severs an electrical main. (Which also takes out Section Nine's power.)

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/PaperinikNewAdventures'':
** Paperinik tries this against [[ArtificialIntelligence One]] when he believes [[AIIsACrapshoot he shows signs of going insane]]. Actually [[spoiler:the "evidence" was planted by Two, who wanted his twin to be shut down while]] he has plenty of backup generators, as he gleefully informs Paperinik.
** Also done with the Evronians in issue #0/3: they have trapped Paperinik and Xadhoom in an inescapable force field, but as the force field is fueled by Duckburg's power plant One is able to free them by hacking that and cutting the juice of the generator.
* In the climax of the six-part ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' story "Revenge of the Sinister Six", where the villains (including the titanic monster Gog) have broken into a military base with the controls to a DoomsdayDevice, when the ComicBook/FantasticFour pulls a BigDamnHeroes entrance to back Spidey and some other heroes up. ComicBook/DoctorOctopus reaches the controls to the device and threatens to push "the button" if anyone comes near; then he sees that Reed has unplugged it. Cue OhCrap from Ock, right before the Hulk pummels him.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Variation in ''[[http://www.fimfiction.net/story/268471 pony.exe]]'': one of the first things that the protagonist does when he thinks he has a virus is to unplug his internet connection, thinking someone is trying to contact him through the internet and access his files. He soon finds out that cutting the juice would most likely kill Twilight, so he sets the computer to sleep mode when he goes to sleep instead.
* A non-computer example appears in ''FanFic/NarutoTheSecretSongsOfTheNinja'' when Jiraiya puts a delayed variant of the Five Elements Seal that Orochimaru used in canon to seal away the Kyuubi on Naruto's stomach that he can activate at will to cut the Kyuubi off from his chakra network if it looks like the demon fox is getting out of control. Jiraiya warns him that doing so will also disrupt Naruto's control over his own chakra as well, so it should only be done in battle if there's no other choice. [[spoiler:He has to use it in chapter 10 to keep the Kyuubi from taking over his body altogether.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SpiderMan2'' uses it twice. The first time it works; the second time subverts it, as the ongoing fusion that had previously required power had become self-sustaining.
* In ''Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact'', the salvage team sent to retrieve HAL take the precaution of installing a wire-cutting device on his power cord, just in case HAL tried to kill them as well. [[spoiler:It is not used. They consider activating it at the climax of the plot, but decide against it. Later, Dr. Chandra reveals that he disabled it because he felt it would be unfair to HAL and he didn't believe it would be necessary. On the latter point, he is proved correct.]]
* In ''Film/OceansThirteen'', Danny Ocean proposes doing this to disable the Bank Casino's ultra high-tech player monitoring system. "Why don't we just kill the power?" Roman Nagel scoffs at the idea. "That could work... failing that, you could just kick the plug out of the socket." They figure out that they could shut it down temporarily, if only they could get a magnetron into the control room. So they get a magnetron into the control room.
* In ''Film/DieHard'', the FBI cuts all power to the building (and a big chunk of the surrounding area) during the hostage situation. [[spoiler:This is exactly what the BigBad has been relying on to [[BatmanGambit deactivate the otherwise insurmountable final lock on the vault]].]]
* ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'': In order to bypass security measures at the door to The Source, the group decides to shut off the power. By blowing up an entire ''nuclear'' powerplant. Even then, there is a contingency system which has to be shut off simultaneously from an entirely different place.
* In ''Film/PacificRim'', [[spoiler:[[{{Kaiju}} Leatherback]] can ''specifically'' do this and in fact did, blacking out the entirety of Hong Kong and shutting down Striker Eureka.]]
* ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' actually got this one right: when the Decepticons attack a US Military base and begin hacking into the main computer server, the commander grabs an emergency axe and severs the main power line, turning the machine off. This slows the Decepticons down considerably and forces them to find another way to finish getting the data they need (doesn't stop them from trashing the base, though).
* In ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}'', Walter Peck orders a utility worker to do this to the team's ghost containment unit. This turns out to be a really bad idea.
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness''. Bones and Carol Marcus are trying to defuse a photon torpedo when a hatch shuts on Bone's arm, trapping him in place, and a timer starts counting down. Carol frantically tries to defuse the weapon, but with only seconds left she resorts to yanking out the power core. Fortunately that works.

* The 1997 version of the Creator/DeanKoontz novel ''Literature/DemonSeed'' plays with this. [[spoiler:In this version, the story is told from the point-of-view of the evil A.I. The story abruptly [[KilledMidSentence ends in midsentence when it is powered down]].]]
* In ''Literature/TheGhostBrigades'' by Creator/JohnScalzi, [[spoiler:Steve Seaborg shuts down the Obin [=BrainPal=] jammer by blowing up the power generator -- and himself]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the original ''Series/DoctorWho'' seriesí second serial, ''The Daleks'', the plan to defeat the Daleks revolves around trying to unplug their cityís electricity supply. It works because the original Daleks drew their power from the floors of their city and had no internal power supply.
* ''Series/TheBigBangTheory''
** Wolowitz gets a robotic hand stuck on his... well... gentleman parts. The guys are told not to turn it off because it's programmed as a screwdriver, and will start to twist. The nurse in the ER, not knowing this, simply turns off the computer and it releases.
** Subversion (comedic, not dramatic) when Sheldon tries to blackmail Leonard into signing a new agreement by blackmailing him with the "self-destruct function" on his laptop (which will send an e-mail to Leonard's girlfriend's unapproving parents revealing their relationship). Leonard runs up and unplugs his computer, but... "It's a laptop with a full charge. What ''do'' you see in him?"
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest'':
** "Root Cause": Finch backtraces a hacker, then realizes it's a honeypot and they're attacking his systems. He could try to counter-hack her, but just kills the power, unplugs everything, destroys his phone, and tells Reese to do the same.
** In season 4, a series of flashbacks show Finch experimenting with prototypes of the Machine. In one flashback, the fledgling A.I. tricks Nathan into providing it with his admin password, which it used to access Nathan's nearby laptop to try and escape into the real world. When Finch realized what was happening, he tried to erase the AI's program - but [[OhCrap the A.I. overrode his deletion command]]. His next response was to simply pull the computer's plug out of the wall.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used in ''VideoGame/TreasureOfTheRudra''. [[spoiler:You have to deactivate [[WaveMotionGun Sodom]]'s Power source for the Moonlight or you will be unable to fight it, since it will repel you every time you enter the chamber it is in.]]
* Used ''accidentally'' by Roger Wilco in the second ''VideoGame/SpaceQuest'' game. After being shrunk to a height of an inch by BigBad Vohaul, he climbs into a nearby air duct and pushes a big red button marked "Stop". He then discovers that he just stopped Vohaul's life support system, killing the evil man. Whoops. I mean, hooray! That's exactly what I intended to do!
* Used frequently in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' as a combat-puzzle mechanic.
* ''VideoGame/FarCry3BloodDragon'' gives us "Punch the nuclear reactor!"
* Used in ''VideoGame/{{Safecracker}}'' to unlock a safe that requires a code that you are never given, namely by switching off the power strip it's connected to.
--> *safe opens*
--> '''Player character:''' Uh-huh, yeah...right.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Played completely straight by necessity, as part of averting NoOSHACompliance. That BigRedButton on the heavy machinery is, more often than not, a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kill_switch kill switch]], which is designed to rapidly stop anything that machinery is currently doing. Especially important on things like forklifts or wood chippers, which can cause ''massive'' injury if one isn't careful.

* Spoofed in an ad for an insurance company. Police cordon of a downtown block because there is a very large bomb in an office building. The only person near the bomb who could defuse it in time is a dumbfounded cleaning woman. Just as it looks like the bomb is going to blow up, the cleaning woman simply unplugs it. It is that simple and so is getting insurance from the company.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Right before Sonia's badass-looking giant robot can smash the main characters in the second season of ''Manga/HayateTheCombatButler'', it suddenly freezes. Cut to a puzzled Hinagiku standing next to an oversized outlet holding an equally oversized plug. (See the current page image.) Unfortunately, [[spoiler:Yukiji has been taken over by evil spirits, who can power the robot with just their evil spirit-ness.]]
* In ''Manga/DragonBall'', Goku has been completely unable to defeat the robotic Sgt. Metallic, even after blowing Metallic's head off. He seems indestructable until he suddenly stops moving. Turns out his batteries died. Goku shrugs it off and continues to the next floor of Muscle Tower.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* At the end of ''ComicBook/{{XIII}}'', the protagonist must stop a military base from self-destructing, but the computer console that can abort the process has a small bomb attached that will kill him if he tries it. The solution? Trace the console's conduit up to the equipment cage it controls and blow it up! The exact same scenario happens near the end of the video game based on the comic.
* Used in the ''ComicBook/RichieRich'' story, ''The Great Weather Mystery''. When Richie's weather computer tries to take over the world by controlling the weather instead of simply reporting it, Richie finally realises he can defeat the computer with two fingers... to pull out the computer's power plug.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Parodied with the [[{{Pun}} climax]] of ''Out of Character 3'', a ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' {{Hentai}} dōjinshi. Kasumi Tendō, after having all the fun she could with a Tentacle Monster, then stops it by... simply pulling out a pair of small batteries.
-->'''Nabiki:''' A battery-powered demon? What kind of lame production is this?\\
'''[[NoFourthWall Ye Old Writer's Box]]:''' Hey now, you know we're on a tight budget. What do you expect?
* ''Plan 7 of 9 from Outer Space''. Captain Proton and Martian agent [=TuMok=] are trying to deactivate a doomsday device that will cause mass flooding. [=TuMok=] states he's tried numerous {{technobabble}} solutions to no avail. Proton asks if he's tried pulling out the power cord by his foot. [[spoiler:[=TuMok=] reaches down... and picks up a dropped weapon which he points at Proton, as he wants the device to go off to soften Earth up for an AlienInvasion.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheNakedGun 2½'' features a nuclear bomb that is defused only when Frank Drebin, deciding to flee with three seconds to spare, accidentally trips over the cord.
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' uses this as a subversion of the classic bomb plot. The bomb expert that arrives to stop the atomic device does so by merely hitting a switch. (You'd better believe that it stopped at [[Film/JamesBond 0:07]].) The counter was originally going to stop at 0:03 -- Connery has a line of dialogue to that effect immediately after the shutdown -- but for obvious reasons, they changed it in the edit.
** In ''Film/GoldenEye'', [[SmugSnake Boris]] flips out when Natalya "spikes" his computer, which also prevents him from disconnecting his computer from hers, and rips it apart to break the connection. Considering the fact that he could have just shut off the computer, or, even easier, turned off the internet connection (pull out the ethernet cord or shutdown a router), the apparently thousands of dollars of damage he inflicts on the computer is really stupid

* In Creator/KimNewman's {{Deconstruction}} of sci-fi tropes, ''Literature/TomorrowTown'', the BigBad's attempt to cobble together a DoomsdayDevice by setting the heating system to overload is thwarted by the supercomputer advising that for safety reasons, Circuit Breaker 15 should be pulled. Once done, the hero points out that despite what the BigBad appears to think, in the future (which the titular community is attempting to predict) it's unlikely that communities and public offices will come equipped with self-destruct mechanisms or {{Doomsday Device}}s just in case an incumbent doesn't feel like giving up power once their term of office is up.
* In the ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novel ''The Guns of Tanith'', a squad of Ghosts are trying to figure out how to disable the force fields the enemy has wired into the city they are trying to take while in the main control room. The problem is solved by Major Kolea, who pulls one lever and shuts down the entire power grid.
* In one of the later ''Literature/{{Ender|sGame}}'' books, a MD Device[[note]]planet-buster[[/note]] is on countdown to destroy a ship. The technician flips a switch and turns the Device off. When it's pointed out that disarming it was considerably simpler than originally arming it, he responds along the lines of "It's designed that way ''for a reason''."
* After her jinx makes her computer go homicidal in ''Literature/TheWomanWhoMadeMachinesGoHaywire'', Iris defeats it with a simple pull of the plug.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In one episode of ''Series/StargateSG1'', the team infiltrates a Goa'uld ship with the intention of shutting down the DeflectorShields. Resident old guy Bra'tac states that they will have to descend many floors, defeat many warriors and security measures in order to get close to the shield generator... and O'Neill pops the pin on a couple of grenades and drops them down a shaft to the shield generator. "Hey look! Grenades."
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode "School Reunion", [[spoiler:Mickey pulls the plug on the Evil Computer Cluster of Doom]]. He looks around first, clearly expecting the solution to be a bit more dramatic, then does it anyway. Because sixty-odd computers are plugged into a single socket, it unexpectedly sparks back at him.
* Gibbs in ''Series/{{NCIS}}'': A hacker is determined to hack the NCIS computers and [=McGee=] and Abby are just as determined to stop him. They are typing on the same keyboard once, and just as it seems as the hacker is going to win, the screens go black. They think that they managed to do it but when they all look to Gibbs, they see him holding the plug with a "duh" look on his face.
** This could be a great example of "even when they get it right, they get it wrong." If the hacker's attacking the NCIS ''mainframe'', and Gibbs just unplugged a ''terminal''... In any case, Gibbs has the right idea, in that the best way to stop an intrusion into a system is to get the system off the network (by either pulling the cord or the ethernet cable). Indeed, many governments actually isolate computers with sensitive information from the internet ''for this exact reason''.
* In ''Series/{{Castle}}'', a dirty bomb is counting down. Castle and Beckett are the only ones on-scene and neither of them know how to [[WireDilemma defuse a bomb]]. The music swells dramatically as the timer counts down until Castle [[CuttingTheKnot rips all the wires out at once]], separating the bomb from the power source.

* Inverted in "The IBM Computer", a comedy song to the tune of "Mary Ellen Carter". After hours of frustrated and increasingly-strained attempts to get an office's out-of-order computers working, one small voice finally suggests: "let's plug the damn thing in!"

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Mass Effect|1}}'', a subquests pits you against a suicidal A.I., who has decided to take you along for the ride. Now, you can try to figure out the shutdown override code for its self-destruct system by trial-and-error before the timer runs out... or you can take out your shotgun and blow up a nearby fusebox. Brute-force hacking at its best.
* ''VideoGame/{{Mother}}''
** In ''VideoGame/EarthBound'', the Monotoli building is guarded by a clumsy robot with a particularly unusual moveset. After the heroes survive its attacks for a while, The Runaway Five bursts into the room in a BigDamnHeroes moment... and flips the switch on the robot's back. Success! If you use the power shield to bounce its missile back at the clumsy robot, you get to see the same scene twice.
** This is used again in ''VideoGame/{{MOTHER 3}}''. Lucas, Boney, and Dr. Andonuts are being chased by the nigh-unbeatable Ultimate Chimera. As it pounces for its meal, Salsa runs in and hits the button on its back, effectively killing the power. The duck on its back flips it back on long after you've left, which should explain why it appears later on in the Empire Porky Building.
** Minor Robots (in Thunder Tower) are also vulnerable to the effects of this trope, as their batteries tend to run out after a few battle rounds, rendering them motionless... Unless, of course, they're being accompanied by a [[LivingBattery Battery Man]], who, if one is still alive when the Minor Robot runs out of power, will remove itself from the battlefield to repower the Robot.
* In ''VideoGame/NicktoonsUnite'', the heroes have just defeated the BigBadDuumvirate, only to find out that their doomsday device is still set to go off. The majority of the heroes are stumped as to how to stop it...and then Spongebob pulls the plug at the last second.
* A mission in ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' to steal a complex Virtual Reality chair from the Deckers hits a brief snag when Kinzie panics that the chair is still operational even after you shut off all the routers going into to the chair. She immediately calms down once The Boss points out that the power cord is still plugged in.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'': "The controls are fused! I can't shut it down! He's going to FRY-- [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100305 AND NO POWER ON EARTH CAN STOP IT!"]]
* ''Webcomic/BiggerThanCheeses'': [[http://www.biggercheese.com/index.php?comic=332 Oh crap! HACKERS!]]
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': The entire 4U city arc leads up to the big confrontation between Riff and the enigmatic dictator of the eponymous dystopia, known as His Masterness. When it's revealed that [[spoiler: His Masterness is actually well intentioned, and any actually bad things attributed to him were actually done by a rogue AI]], Riff instantly solves all problems by pulling the computer's plug, rebooting it only for a short time to ward off a mutant invasion before pulling the plug again.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the ''Series/FlandersCompany'' episode "Unlimited", resident MadScientist Caleb screws up while working on a machine, which subsequently makes everybody in the building suffer PowerIncontinence. Hippolyte attempts to use his pain-powered HandBlast to destroy the machine, but it is protected by SomeKindOfForceField. Comes CuteBruiser Cindy, whom they ask to try too, in the hope the forcefield would be weak to brute force (her power being SuperStrength). Instead, Cindy just unplugs it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** An episode that parodies ''Series/TwentyFour'' uses an amusing version. The bomb inside Hillary Clinton (don't ask) is set to explode once the 24 clock hit 1:00. Just before it reaches then the power goes out, leaving the timer flashing 12:00.
** Also in the Season 12 episode "Over Logging", where Kyle restores the broken-down Internet by un- and replugging the giant modem that apparently ''is'' the Internet. Of course, after [[AdultsAreUseless Adults]] try to communicate with bullhorns, bullets and music.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MenInBlack'' animated series, one episode featured an evil Time Traveler assassinating founding MIB agents, resulting in a RubberBandHistory where the eponymous agency uses "unreliable" human technology. Agent J stops the antagonist from finding the location of his last victim by pulling the plug on the PC being used as a database.
* ''Franchise/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'':
** Parodied in one episode of [[WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles1987 the 1987 cartoon]]: an alien "toy" threatens the existence of Earth and as it powers up, things look hopeless for our heroes... then it stops. As it turns out, April knew that "every toy has batteries", showing a massive cylindrical battery to the turtles.
** Another time, she stops a generator from overloading by pulling the power plug. She stops a GENERATOR by UNPLUGGING it.
** In [[RuleOfThree yet another example]], one episode saw an [[AIIsACrapshoot evil supercomputer]] draining electricity from the entire city to both bring machinery to life and open a portal to Dimension X for Shredder. The Turtles are at a loss to stop it, until it abruptly turns off. As [[VillainExitStageLeft Shredder hightails it out of the building]], April emerges from her hiding place and remarks that she defeated the AI by unplugging it. It's promptly lampshaded by Raphael who calls the plan "simple, but effective."
** Played straight in the 2003 ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|2003}}'' cartoon, where Serling stops a toy robot from killing the Turtles by removing its batteries.
** Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/TurtlesForever'', where cutting the juice [[spoiler:almost results in the multiverse getting wiped out]].
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheAnimatedSeries'': The episode "Almost Got 'Im" has Harley Quinn sending Catwoman down a ConveyorBeltODoom. When Batman turns up, Harley claims that [[FriendOrIdolDecision he doesn't have enough time to beat her and save Catwoman]]. Cue the camera panning out slightly to show Batman standing right next to the master switch, which he promptly flips.
-->'''Harley Quinn:''' [[OhCrap heh heh.]] Good call. Help!
* Used in ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'', with one episode having Jack Spicer attack the heroes with a massive robot made of junk in a landfill site type area, except he had the thing plugged into the mains via an extension cord, so before a proper battle got underway, the thing just moved slightly forward, the plug came out and it immediately lost all power.
* Played with in the "Megadoomer" episode of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' when The Tallest accidentally send Zim a Megadoomer X-3 Combat Stealth Mech. The giant mech was incredible, but it came without batteries and had to be plugged into an outlet at all times in order to function. As a result, it loses power mid-rampage when the extension cord gets yanked out of the socket. Afterwards, Zim has GIR plug it into a new outlet each time it powers down.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* Invoked by Creator/DavidLangford at a convention, when he tried to get an interesting debate going by asking Creator/WilliamGibson why the hackers in his novels couldn't have a deadman's switch to protect them from black ice. Instead, Gibson conceded the point and (according to Langford) spent the rest of the panel worrying about it.

!!Dramatic Subversions

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'':
** Pulling the plug on an Eva is one of NERV's main failsafes. It doesn't go well when you charge the Eva's internal batteries, giving it anywhere between thirty seconds and five minutes to destroy your headquarters.
** Cutting the juice to [[spoiler:Bardiel]] is useless.
** Not to mention ''both'' times they try to shut down Magi.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A ''ComicBook/SpiderMan'' comic subverts this. In a brief display of bravery, J. Jonah Jameson unplugs a device that he believes is keeping Spidey from using his powers. Peter doesn't have the heart to tell him that Jameson merely unplugged the coffee machine.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SupermanIII'': Subverted. Gus Gorman, geek-for-hire, has built a supercomputer with a self-defense arsenal capable of taking down even Superman. As Superman crumbles under the computer's assault, the boss triumphantly congratulates him on building the machine that Kills Superman. Gorman has an ''OhCrap'' (despite this not being the first time in the movie it was made clear to him that this was the goal) and tries to Cut the Juice (which somehow can be performed by removing a single ordinary screw with a single pocket screwdriver from a panel. Apparently giant knife-switches or ''{{Big Red Button}}s'' weren't dramatic enough, or at least wouldn't have given the boss time to realize his henchman wasn't all the way on board with this plan and try to keep him from disabling the computer before it can finish). This works for a few seconds. Then, although supposedly without power, the supercomputer restarts and creates its own reroutes straight to the nearest power lines. Gus shouts in horror, "It's feeding itself... it wants to LIVE!"
* The backstory to ''Film/TheMatrix'' trilogy. The machines were solar powered, so the humans took the logical (if horrible) step of blackening the sky. The machines retaliated by switching to a much [[HumanResources nastier]] power source.
* ''Film/WarGames''. If power to the master computer is cut, the silos would assume that Cheyenne Mountain had been nuked (since they are at [[DefconFive Defcon 1]]), and launch their missiles in response.
* Del's execution in ''Film/TheGreenMile'' (book and film) goes horribly wrong when Percy Wetmore deliberately fails to soak a sponge in brine before putting it inside the electrode cap. As a result, Del catches fire in the electric chair and suffers a drawn-out, agonizing death. Paul Edgecombe orders his men ''not'' to shut off the current, as it would be even more cruel to have to do the execution all over again.

* The novel version of ''Film/TwoThousandOneASpaceOdyssey''. Bowman contemplates cutting HAL's powersupply, but since HAL also controls the ship's life support, Bowman realizes that he can't simply cut off the power. In addition to the fact that HAL is powered by a nuclear reactor.
* In ''Film/TwoThousandTenTheYearWeMakeContact,'' Floyd has the engineer Curnow install a device on HAL's main power supply to let them shut him down remotely, if he goes nuts again. Dr. Chandra knew that they'd do that, and disconnected it.
* In the James P. Hogan novel ''The Two Faces of Tomorrow'', an A.I. is constructed (on an isolated space station) in order to test whether or not it can learn to defend itself from attempts to Cut the Juice if it goes [[AIIsACrapshoot out of control]]. [[spoiler:The A.I. learns to defend itself all too well. Eventually, it also learns to peacefully coexist with humans despite their initial attempts to destroy it, so things work out in the end.]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode "The Ultimate Computer". The computer finds a way to draw power directly from the engines (that it controls) while killing the RedShirt who tried it. In the end it took one of Kirk's patented {{Logic Bomb}}s to do it.
* Most of the time you hear someone in the Franchise/StargateVerse say "Shut it down", the response is invariably either "I can't" or "I already tried to". In that universe destructive things seem to have have an uncanny ability to power themselves. The Stargate is capable of drawing power from just about anything, so the justification will usually be that it's being fed constant power by whatever's causing the problem.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'', WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic unplugs his computer after ItWontTurnOff while displaying strange symbols and messages from [[spoiler:Ma-Ti]]. After he unplugs it, the images just start coming faster and faster until [[ExplosiveInstrumentation the monitor explodes]].
* The EvilOverlordListCellblockA recommends hooking up capacitors and emergency batteries so those pesky heroes can't win at the very last second.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', "Marge vs. the Monorail", two guys discuss the speeding out of control monorail:
-->'''Guy 1:''' I got it! We can just shut off the power!\\
'''Guy 2:''' No such luck. It's solar powered.\\
'''Guy 1:''' [[SpoofAesop Solar power. When will people learn!?]]
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'':
** During the first two seasons, XANA could have been defeated by simply turning off the Supercomputer. But that [[CantLiveWithoutYou would have meant killing Aelita]], too, so the main objective for said seasons was to materialize Aelita and free her from her link with Lyoko so they ''could'' Cut the Juice. Of course, by the time they've done so, [[spoiler:XANA has escaped from the Supercomputer, and now they ''need'' to use Lyoko as a staging ground, and XANA is trying to ''destroy'' it]].
** Also, in a couple of Season 1 episodes, XANA's dastardly plan involves electricity, and everything up to and including ''physically cutting power lines to the site of the attack'' fails to do anything.
* Not so much ''dramatically'' ignored, but comedically subverted in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{SpongeBob SquarePants}}''. Realizing that Plankton's computer-wife is loading the Krabby Patty formula, Spongebob dives for an outlet to unplug her. [[NegatedMomentOfAwesome He ends up unplugging the coffee maker instead]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'', a viral worm has infected the ISIS computers and threatens to upload the entire list of covert ISIS agents to a villain's hard drive. The ISIS tech team can't access the mainframe directly because it is sealed inside a magnetically-locked room. Instead, they try to stop the upload by cutting power to their mainframe, but this fails to work, and Doctor Krieger then realizes that the worm has made the ISIS mainframe become ''self-aware!'' [[spoiler: No, he's just fucking around, it's just got a backup battery in the same room as the mainframe.]]
* In a ''WesternAnimation/SuperFriends'' story, a team of scientists invent an artificially intelligent computer and it instantly turns evil. In a panic, the scientists immediately pull the plug on it and the situation seems resolved. Unfortunately, the robot then ''turns itself back on'', saying it has all the power it needs to operate, which means this is now a job for the superheroes to deal with.
* In [[Recap/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003S1E3AttackOfTheMousers "Attack of the Mousers"]] from ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'', April explains to the turtles that she wasn't able to shut down Dr. Stockman mouser-robots -- the only way she could stop them was by [[OhCrap activating an overload sequence]]. Thankfully, April and the turtles are able to escape before the mousers explode and subsequently destroy the Stocktronics Labs.