[[quoteright:350:[[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/the_king_8497.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Giant Monster problem? Who you gonna call?\\
[-''[[http://larryquach.blogspot.fr/2013/11/tokusatsu-2-revenge-of-kaiju-japanese.html Tokusatsu 2: Revenge of the Kaiju]]'' by [[http://larryquach.blogspot.fr/ Larry T. Quach]]-] ]]

->''Let them fight.''
-->-- '''Dr. Ishiro Serizawa''', [[Film/{{Godzilla2014}} Godzilla (2014)]]

There are some situations so bad that anything that would end them is justified. '''Anything.'''

There is wisdom in facing a threat with a proportionate response. Sure, ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill, but it'll likely cause a lot of [[DestructiveSaviour avoidable collateral damage]], ''and'' it'll guarantee that tomorrow [[SortingAlgorithmOfEvil the next threat is stronger]]. But there are times when [[OutsideContextVillain the threat is so great]] and things have [[GoneHorriblyWrong gone so horribly wrong]] that there is ''no'' proportionate response. Times so dire that it justifies the use of any and every thing that might solve it, no matter how crazy, nonsensical, or horrific, regardless of cost. Times when even the summoning of {{Franchise/Godzilla}}, king of the monsters and patron saint of collateral damage, could not possibly make the crisis any worse.

When such a time comes, the situation has crossed the [[TitleDrop Godzilla Threshold]].

Once the Threshold is crossed, ''any'' {{plan}}, with even the smallest possibility of success, no matter how [[CrazyEnoughToWork ludicrous]], [[BeyondTheImpossible impossible]], [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique dangerous]] or [[IDidWhatIHadToDo abhorrent]], suddenly becomes a valid option. This serves both narrative and authorial purposes. Suppose the heroes have an awesome weapon that nonetheless causes a lot of property damage, like a KillSat, or a [[SealedEvilInACan captured]] or [[EvilIsNotAToy dormant]] monster. Or one knows a DangerousForbiddenTechnique that will put his life at risk. Or [[TheOnlyOne the only ones left]] who are in a position to try and save the day are the RagtagBunchOfMisfits who've been bumbling their way in the background the whole time. The powers that be [[ChekhovsGun have to use it]], but [[IThoughtItWasForbidden it can't be done lightly without portraying them as either]] [[MoralEventHorizon careless or cruel]]. So the author contrives to make the situation call for its use in such clear terms the audience understands this was done as a last resort -- and, if it's handled properly, the audience doesn't even notice.

Often, the threshold is engineered. If done wrong, it can cause some serious FridgeLogic. This is usually the case when the [[NiceJobBreakingItHero heroes' actions]] or failures to act cause the situation to cross the threshold. Usually, there's an IdiotBall (or IdiotPlot), a GeneralRipper, or PoorCommunicationKills to thank for that.

Some plots center around ''avoiding'' the Godzilla Threshold and keeping the trigger happy person in charge of the "[[FailsafeFailure failsafe]]" from pushing the button. Sometimes, they even ''succeed.''

The Godzilla Threshold is what happens just before the WillfullyWeak character gives the WorldOfCardboardSpeech and turns the PowerLimiter off, uses the ForbiddenChekhovsGun, [[LethalHarmlessPowers uses lethal powers]], turns to the NuclearOption, or casts SummonBiggerFish. When begged, the AllPowerfulBystander may even be willing to lend a hand. In video games, this is the time to use items that are TooAwesomeToUse.

Note that, as the Real Life section below attempts to show, using such options tends to create more problems; if the solution ultimately causes more/worse problems than you had before, you may have a case of PyrrhicVictory. NiceJobBreakingItHero and WonTheWarLostThePeace can be related in larger-scale stories. Of course, these only apply when the consequences are actually shown to begin with -- if they pull it off without problems, you may have an InformedFlaw.

Named for the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' films of the late 1980s and 1990s, where Godzilla was evil again (in contrast to his heroic characterizations during the '60s and '70s), but people were still happier to see him because he was usually fighting something far worse.

Compare LesserOfTwoEvils (which Godzilla Threshold could be a subtrope of), and EnemyMine, for situations where it may be useful to team up with a lesser foe to combat a far greater mutual threat. Also compare TheTysonZone, DisproportionateRetribution, and EvilVersusOblivion (where the "Godzilla" of the situation is likely to be the "Evil"). Contrast TheUnfettered, who lives and acts as though the situation is always past the Threshold, even when there's no good reason to do so. On the other axis is OnceIsNotEnough, where a character clings to their limits even when they should be beating down the villain with everything they have, and usually pays for it. Subtropes include BatmanGrabsAGun.
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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/MedakaBox'': Medaka Kurokami is known for her overflowing love and reaching out to save everyone. Beat her unconscious day after day and she won't resist or resent you. Try to kill her friends and she'll save ''you'' from ''them'' if need be. But if you're powerful and very determined, you'll find [[BewareTheNiceOnes even she]] has a GodzillaThreshold...[[spoiler:and if you cross it, she'll set aside her kindness and learning and ''humanity'' so as to not sully them with your blood, and then [[UnstoppableRage you will learn]] why her name is "Dark God"]].
* Anything that justifies unleashing the ''LightNovel/DirtyPair'' on a situation.
** Lampshaded in Adam Warren's original Amerimanga miniseries, ''Biohazard'', by an official leaving a [[ApocalypticLog memo]] about their impending arrival. (For the record, they do, indeed, stop anyone from deliberately releasing a bioweapon. [[spoiler: But one canister they were trying to bring as evidence survives an explosion and -- accidentally -- drops onto the planet in the last panel.]])
--->'''Director Goldin:''' However, despite their --ahh-- ''shortcomings''... the facts are simple. If the terrorists ''do'' release experimental bioweapons, this planet will become a ''sterile desert''. Whereas, with the involvement of the Dirty Pair, there is a chance -- a '''remote''' possiblity -- that ''some'' people may be left alive. We have to play the odds, gentlemen... God help us.
** Those two probably count as a bioweapon by themselves.
* In ''TenchiMuyo In Love'', this happens when the characters are discussing using a particular superweapon that is designed to destroy '''galaxies and galactic clusters''' on a being that is maybe 30 ft tall (but extremely powerful). At the beginning of the movie, it's a non option, but by the end things are so bad that they use it anyway, albeit with a huge setup.
* ''{{Slayers}}'' crosses the threshold in three BigBad situations, just before Lina lets fly with a [[FantasticNuke Giga Slave]]. Said spell carries a significant risk of ENDING THE UNIVERSE should Lina Inverse lose control of it.
** Arguably, given Lina's tendency towards collateral damage, anyone asking for Lina's aid in a populated area also likely qualifies.
* Releasing the last of [[HumanoidAbomination Alucard]]'s magic restraints in the final arc of ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' is only done after London is overran by [[ThoseWackyNazis baby-eating vampire/werewolf Nazi super-soldiers]] and fanatical Catholic secret service armies. The results, while utterly horrifying (essentially feeding nearly the entirety of London's population's souls, human or otherwise, to Alucard) [[CurbStompBattle cannot be argued with]].
* Humanity in ''{{Gunbuster}}'', once they realized that the [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Space]] [[SpaceWhale Monsters]] were ''coming to Sol'', famously resorted to transforming ''Jupiter'' into a Moon-sized [[NegativeSpaceWedgie Black Hole Bomb]] as part of Operation Carneades: piloting said bomb into the center of the Milky Way, where they would hit ''the Button''. The result was a monstrous implosion that consumed the entire Galactic Core, along with roughly 65% of the Galaxy.
* In the sequel, ''DieBuster'' [[spoiler: with Nono (Buster Machine No.7) gone, the only hope humanity had to defeat the last Space Monster was to use the Earth itself as a weapon.]]
* It's said on several occasions in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' that the Angel attacks had pushed humanity's situation past the Godzilla Threshold, necessitating the use of the Eva units. [[spoiler:Of course, [[AssimilationPlot the reality of the situation]] is not so simple.]]
** Misato lampshades this near the end of the series when she says, "Attempting to harness the engine of our own destruction... only humans are so foolish."
** The JSSDF only authorized the deployment of the Evas when Sachiel took an [[NukeEm N2 mine]] to the face and survived. After the first three Angels, they even funded the construction of their own nuclear-powered HumongousMecha.
* In ''Manga/OnePiece'', the Buster Call is a villainous version of this. When a situation is so threatening to the World Government that even the slightest leak would cause irreparable damage, the Buster Call is summoned. Ten massive warships essentially glass the target island, wiping out any trace of whatever threat they were called to deal with. They can't be called off, either.
** The blueprints for Pluton, passed down through a line of shipwrights. To explain, Pluton is a legendary battleship that could wipe out whole islands in a single shot, one of three relics from a long-lost civilization. So why do the blueprints exist? Because the weapons are ''still out there'', and if some idiot were to find and unleash them, an opposing power would be needed. During the Enies Lobby arc, Franky burns the blueprints, claiming that it would be too dangerous to let them exist if Spandam was going to keep seeking them out. Plus, he just found out that Nico Robin, the only scholar who can decipher the ancient records to find the weapon was less a WoobieDestroyerOfWorlds and more a BrokenBird. It was a gamble, to be sure, as Spandam could just use Robin to get Pluton, but Franky was betting on the Straw Hats saving her from the World Government.
*** The Fishman Island Arc ''shows in action'' the second of the superweapons, Poseidon: [[spoiler: a mermaid of the royal bloodline with the power of commanding Sea Kings, that are sea monsters capable of ''sinking islands with ease'' (at least the bigger ones)]]. Thankfully, [[spoiler: Shirahoshi, the current holder of this power, is too nice to actually use it]], and there's a whole army ready to do anything to avoid [[spoiler: Shirahoshi having to use said power in combat]].
** This also occurs in the Impel Down arc. By the time the arc is in full swing, two groups of people are on the attack while trying to break out of the prison and another group is trying to break ''in''. With two of those groups containing people only Magellan himself is capable of stopping and one being a ZergRush, Magellan gambles and releases Shiryu, a former Warden that was put on death row due to being severely AxCrazy, thinking that Shiryu might stop some of the prisoners. [[spoiler: This [[HoistByHisOwnPetard severely bites Magellan in the ass later]], as Shiryu later saves Blackbeard from being poisoned and joins Blackbeard's crew, which leads to Magellan receiving a [[CurbstompBattle massive beating at their hands offscreen]]. [[AllForNothing It didn't even do anything to help stop the jailbreaks.]]]]
** In the Fishman Island Arc, when [[BigBad Hordy Jones]] reveals more and more of who he is and what he plans to do, the citizens eventually turn to calling on Luffy to stop him. What makes this a Godzilla Threshold is that their resident soothsayer, who is never, ever wrong, predicted that Luffy would ''destroy all of Fishman Island'', not to mention Luffy being an extremely notorious pirate. They ''still'' decided that they would be better off with him than Hordy.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** Yamamoto's power is only unleashed when the Godzilla Threshold is crossed.
*** During the Battle for Karakura Town, Yamamoto sat out of most of the fighting. When he finally makes his move, it's obvious why. His shikai is capable of destroying the entire protected area of the battle site and killing everyone within it. In an uncontrolled detonation, the shikai is capable of shattering the barriers protecting the human world from the fighting.
*** During the battle with the Vandenreich, Yamamoto unleashes his [[ApocalypseHow bankai]] which immediately starts sucking the moisture out of the entire bankai's area of effect. It is confirmed that if his bankai is active for too long, the entire world will be destroyed. That's just the passive side effect of activating his bankai. His active powers are even worse.
** When Kenpachi Zaraki joined the Gotei 13, the Central 46 forbade Yamamoto from formally training him. Without formal training, Zaraki is capable of wrecking havoc in Soul Society in his pursuit of [[BloodKnight challenging fights]]. With combat training, the Central 46 fears he would be unstoppable if he ever rebelled. Eventually, the Central 46 reluctantly rescinds this ruling because their forces are facing extinction at the hands of the extremely powerful Vandenreich [[spoiler:who have already succeeded in killing Yamamoto]].
* In ''Manga/GiantRobo: The Day the Earth Stood Still'', Chief Chujo is a walking example of this trope; the mere suggestion of him breaking out his powers to use in the fight is enough to send fear and panic through his own allies, most of whom remember [[NoodleIncident "the last time"]] he used them. When he does, we see that they are justified in their fears.
* In ''Manga/SaintSeiya'', the [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Athena Exclamation]] is taboo. It is a technique performed by three Gold Saints of Athena, who focus their [[BattleAura Cosmo]] into a burst of power as powerful as the ''Big Bang'' and deliver it on a single opponent. But by the "Hades" arc, [[spoiler:Saga, Shura, and Camus]] perform it because they figure they are already damned by their [[ReverseMole alliance with Hades]].
** Then Athena's loyal Saints use ''another'' Athena Exclamation against them because ''it is the only thing that can stop it.'' It was claimed that two colliding Athena Exclamations can [[ApocalypseHow wipe out the whole universe]].
** In the Sanctuary arc, the bronze knights learned to use their seventh sense. [[spoiler:[[WillfullyWeak Shun]] decided it was necessary to use it after a WorldOfCardboardSpeech.]]
* ''DigimonTamers'' has Juggernaut (Shaggai in the original Japanese version). Before his HeelFaceTurn, CorruptCorporateExecutive Yamaki used this devastating program in an attempt to destroy all Digimon by creating a black hole between their worlds. He had no intention of using it again after he saw the lightůbut then [[EldritchAbomination the D-Reaper]] came to the real world. Immune to destruction, they had to infuse Terriermon with the program and send him and the other Tamers into the D-Reaper's core in order to activate it, regressing the D-Reaper back to a program less complicated than a calculator. [[spoiler:But using the program resulted in the Tamers' partners being forced to return to the Digital World to avoid being deleted, meaning that they may never see each other again.]]
* ''DigimonFrontier'' has this with Susanoomon. While not specified as much in universe, this AllYourPowersCombined trump card was only accessible after the BigBad had [[spoiler:erased the entire Digital World, begun opening a gateway to the human world to extend his dominion, effortlessly defeated the heroes at their strongest, and as the final step to the threshold, ''killed the SixthRanger'']]. And if that's not proof enough, his attack is a {{BFS}} with a blade so long that one slash ''bisects the entire Digital World''.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'' passed this roughly around the time that the bad guys [[spoiler:started using RealityWarper powers]]. At this point, [[spoiler:Chachamaru's use of [[KillSat her highly destructive artifact]]]] is pretty much justified.
** After that the primary issue at hand is that [[spoiler:the Magic World is collapsing]], and the heroes are pretty much entitled to do anything short of [[spoiler:blowing the world up themselves]] to solve the problem.
** During the earlier Kyoto arc, the villain has control on Ryomen Sukuna no Kami, basically an unstoppable {{Kaiju}}. Headmaster Konoe's answer? Temporarily allow Evangeline A.K. [=McDowell=], who has earned [[IHaveManyNames her many names of]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Dark Evangel, Advent of Evil, Tidings of Darkness, Apostle of Calamity, Visitation of Woe, Evil Sound, Disciple of Dark Tones, Disciple of Catastrophic Noise, Gospel of Darkness]], [[WorldsStrongestMan Strongest Invincible Vampire]] [[OverlyLongGag and]] [[TheDreaded Dreaded Vampire]], to leave the Mahora campus in exchange for her taking care of the situation. Thankfully Eva decides to enjoy the school trip after [[CurbStompBattle disintegrating Sukuna]], so the only one who pays a price is headmaster Konoe, who, to keep her out of the campus, has to stamp a permission form ''every five seconds'' (and is forced to do that for ''a whole day'').
* In ''Anime/GaoGaiGar FINAL'', we get [[spoiler:the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u-6TDhVCg18 Goldion Crusher]], used on a ''sun'' that is also an infinite regeneration machine keeping alive an ''evil solar system''.]]
* The [[spoiler:rise of the Saint's Cradle]] during the JS Incident in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikerS'' is the only occasion when all five [[PersonOfMassDestruction Aces]]' {{Power Limiter}}s were removed simultaneously. While objectively speaking, the Aces aren't really much of a danger to anyone except the bad guys, a combination of [[ObstructiveBureaucrat regulations]] and [[ScrewTheRulesIHaveConnections office politics]] prevent Section Six from having unrestrained access to more magical power than Hayate's rank allows her to command, at least until the situation is completely out of hand already.
** The presence of [[EldritchAbomination the Book of Darkness]], which kills planets, prompts the Bureau to equip the ''Athra'' with the [[WaveMotionGun Arc-En-Ciel]], [[FantasticNuke a weapon capable of wiping a significant chunk of Japan]] off the map.
* The entire Fourth Shinobi World War in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}''.
** The battle with [[spoiler:Tobi and Madara.]]
** Naruto forms the [[SuperPoweredEvilSide 4th]] tail, the [[OhCrap 6th]] tail, the [[DarkestHour 8th]] tail, then proceeds to [[spoiler:(almost)]] ''willfully tear off the seal keeping the Kyubi in'' in order to defeat Pain. Why? Because he simply [[BerserkButton killed Jiraiya and (albeit indirectly) Kakashi, destroyed the village, and severely wounded Hinata]], in addition to having him at his mercy. Oh, and Naruto hates the Kyubi to the point that he would rather die than be healed by the evil chakra (due to Sakura and Jiraiya being harmed by said chakra).
** With [[spoiler:[[BigBad Madara]]]] now being immune to ninjutsu and genjutsu, and the only senjutsu users being incapacitated, only taijutsu can harm him at all. But [[spoiler:Madara]] is also ludicrously durable, so [[spoiler:Guy [[DeadlyUpgrade opens the Gate of Death]]]].
* Invoked with constantly increasing severity throughout ''Manga/DragonBall''/''Anime/DragonBallZ''. One proposed gambit near the end of the series involved convincing every person on Earth to sacrifice energy in order to power up a final attack against the big bad. It works, but barely, and everyone on Earth is exhausted as a result.
** That scenario was the usage of Goku's technique: [[CombinedEnergyAttack The Spirit Bomb]], which is largely considered to be this ultimate technique. King Kai (or North Kai) essentially described it as this trope to him, explaining that because the Spirit Bomb involves collecting the energy from the environment around the user, up to and including the energy released from the Sun (or any nearby star to the planet), using it has the risk of [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroying the planet the user is on]], and advised against its usage unless the situation is dire. In other words, if things have gotten so south that the person Goku is fighting, not only is too strong, but his victory threatens either the world, the galaxy, or even ''the universe'', Goku will use the Spirit Bomb, risking the planet's very destruction [[TakingYouWithMe along with his opponent, and himself]] [[hottip: *: The Sacred World of the Kais proved to be astonishingly durable, so this risk was significantly lessened, though even that took noticeable damage during the final battle against Majin Buu, including from the Spirit Bomb]].
** In ''Anime/DragonBallGT'', Omega Shenron is such a threat that Vegeta ''immediately'' suggests doing the FusionDance with Goku to defeat him. Vegeta '''hates''' doing this both because he doesn't like having to merge with Goku and because the "dance" part of the FusionDance is very embarrassing; he even says that he wouldn't be suggesting it if it wasn't their only hope.
** In ''Anime/DragonBallZBattleOfGods'', Beerus The God of Destruction is so insanely powerful that trying to fight him is an absurdity. Vegeta gets so desperate that he throws away his pride and humiliates himself by dancing to entertain Beerus and delay the destruction of Earth.
* Although a little drawn out, this is used in a minor way in ''TheMelancholyOfHaruhiSuzumiya (2009)'' at the end of the "Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya" arc. After Haruhi spends a few days royally screwing with reality during the filming of the culture festival video, Kyon [[spoiler: restores reality by making Haruhi read a disclaimer, thus distancing the movie from reality]]. In the epilogue, Kyon tries to make future events easier by flat-out telling Haruhi the identities of the SOS members(Which was theorized to possibly cause her to rewrite reality on a conscious level), only to be be completely ignored.
* This has come up once or twice in ''Manga/RosarioToVampire'' when unleashing Tsukune's uncontrollable - and potentially irreversable - ghoul aspect was the only way to give the final beat-down to the current BigBad.
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'' the council declares the events of the S-class arc this, with Lahar saying they'll probably have to resort to using their KillSat, the only weapon they have that can effectively take out one of the top three guilds ''and'' the UltimateEvil Zeref. That the area they'd fire down at happens to belong to an be populated by a large portion of the titular guild is something of an unfortunate bonus.
** It actually happens several times, the first time being when they ''do'' fire the KillSat on [[TheChessmaster Jellal's]] Tower of Heaven in order to destroy it before he can use it to revive [[BiggerBad Black Wizard Zeref]]. [[spoiler: It backfires horribly when they realize that the Tower of Heaven is actually a giant lacrima, and Jellal was counting on them firing it so he could absorb the energy.]]
** [[HeroAntagonist Laharl and Doranbalt]] invoke a minor one at the end of the Grand Magic Games by [[spoiler: freeing Cobra from prison so he could use his Dragon Slayer abilities against Future Rogue's dragons]]. Minor because [[spoiler: Cobra]] isn't particularly destructive or dangerous, but [[spoiler: they risked their careers to do it.]]
** After [[spoiler:Jackal of Tartarus assassinates the entire Magic Council, including Laharl]] Doranbalt does this again by [[spoiler:freeing ''the entire Oracion Seis'' Dark Guild from prison in exchange for Cobra's intel on Tartarus.]] At this point, the risk to Doranbalt's career was minimal [[spoiler:since the deaths of the rest of the Council makes him the highest ranking member by default]] and the last thing on his mind [[spoiler:since all of his colleagues including his best friend were just murdered]]. He also takes measures to nip any future problems in the bud [[spoiler:by sending Jellal and Meredy after them]].
* In ''LightNovel/MuvLuvAlternativeTotalEclipse'', the US has a backup plan in case of [[AlienInvasion [=BETA=]]] landfall in Alaska called "Red Shift". It involves setting off several hundred hydrogen bombs, which would create a strait and a new line of defense, and allow the US to shore up a new defense line. Unfortunately, this plan would also kill just about anyone living in Alaska at the time, namely the main characters as well as the remnants of the Soviet Union.
* This trope happens in the last couple of episodes of ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica''. Walpurgisnacht is busily rampaging around and destroying the city--much like Godzilla. [[spoiler:Mami, Sayaka, and Kyoko are dead, and Homura is on the verge of becoming a witch, so Madoka decides to make a dubiously legitimate contract ''specifically'' to eliminate all witches]] despite the risk that the entire planet could be wiped out if things didn't go how she planned. [[spoiler:It works out pretty well, but the risk was certainly there, since in a previous timeline, Madoka's own uncontrollable "potential" turned her into a planet-destroying superwitch almost immediately after making a contract.]]
* ''MuhyoAndRoji'' has a few such examples.
** Against Face-Ripper Sophie, Muhyo summons the Admiral, an extremely powerful envoy that typically requires multiple Executors working together to summon.
** Immediately afterward, as [[spoiler:Rio has betrayed them]] and Muhyo is still weak from the previous battle, Muhyo has to take a potentially poisonous tempering elixir from Biko to recover the tempering he needs to fight.
** In order to defeat Teeki, Muhyo decides to form a contract with Hades, one of the Six Kings of the Underworld, eliciting shocked reactions from his friends Yoichi and Biko, who don't even think it possible.
* In ''GetterRobo Ark'', Hayato decides to open "The Gates of Hell" - the containment cell holding the gathered Getter Energies of the ever-evolving Getter Robo G.
* In ''Anime/PrettyCureAllStars DX 3'', using the Prism Flower for one last attack against Black Hole is this, knowing that [[spoiler:never becoming Pretty Cure again and losing their fairy companions]] is better than letting him win. [[spoiler:Things get better after the credits, though.]]
* In ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'': ''The Second Renaissance'', mankind decides to implement Operation Dark Storm, which would [[TheNightThatNeverEnds block out the sun]] with no ability to reverse the effects. This cuts off the machines' power supply, but also kills all vegetation and phytoplankton, destroying the foundation for the Earth's biosphere. They were perfectly willing to ''perform a [[ApocalypseHow Class 4 Apocalypse]]'', just to beat the machines. [[ForegoneConclusion This doesn't work, and mankind eventually loses the war anyway]].
* In the ''{{Nasuverse}}'' the Counter Force works InMysteriousWays to counter possible threats to humanity or Earth's existence. If the subtle method fails and there are no mortal agents left to counter the threat, Counter Guardians are dispatched to eliminate the threat and everyone even slightly related to it. Counter Guardians will destroy entire ''nations'' to complete their mission.
** Then there is what happens when the Counter Guardians fail to stop a threat to Earth's existence: Gaia's Counter Force. The Counter Guardians are humans who sold their soul to Alaya (basically the collective will to survive of humanity) to become heroes, and after death are employed as detailed above. Gaia's Counter Force started out with the [[OurVampiresAreDifferent True Ancestors]] (with the last one around being capable of destroying the world on a whim, if she were so inclined), and culminated in a dog-like monster known as [[MeaningfulName Primate]] [[NamesToRunAwayFromReallyFast Murder]].
* In TheNineties ''Anime/SailorMoon'' anime, having Sailor Moon pull out the Silver Crystal to pulverize the BigBad is pretty much this as doing so usually is a death sentence. The first time, it was. The second time, a second Crystal spared her.
** Additionally, this is pretty much the express purpose of Sailor Saturn, who has the power to destroy the world should it be overrun by evil forces.
* In ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'', the threat of ArchangelGabriel during the Angel Fall arc is so great that Kaori Kanzaki opens the fight by revealing her magic name to unleash her full power. She normally considers doing this a last resort and makes a point to avoid doing this.
* The human race in ''Manga/AttackOnTitan'' 'lives' here and has for over a century. Every side and faction in the story embraces methods that are normally horrifying and even downright wrong, including the heroes, although some are more evil than others, and it's all in the service of their own causes. It's [[GreyAndBlackMorality much less morally grey]] than that all sounds. The bottom line is the heroes resort to things 'heroes never should', for [[RefugeInAudacity practical]] or [[IDidWhatIHadToDo moral]] reasons, because there's no other choice.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comics]]
* In FinalCrisis, it takes the impending end of existence, facing {{Darkseid}} at the height of his power and with no other options left for Franchise/{{Batman}} to finally [[BatmanGrabsAGun use a gun]].
* In ''TheUltimates'' NickFury gives "[[BullyingADragon Permission to traumatize]] [[IncredibleHulk Banner]]" when things have gotten that bad during a Chitauri invasion.
* In another Hulk related example, during ''WorldWarHulk'' Tony Stark gives his second in command the authority to send the whole of Manhattan into the Negative Zone if things with the Hulk get out of hand. Also from that plot line, they repeatedly attempt to bring in the Sentry to fight the Hulk, and Comicbook/DoctorStrange sees fit to drink in the essence of a universe destroying demon. Both of these options end up making the situation worse.
* Comicbook/DoctorStrange has to pull out these options quite a bit. In one memorable multi-part storyline from the late 60's, he went through a whole ''chain'' of these; to defeat Dormammu's sister, Umar, he had to free the awesomely powerful demon Zom; to defeat Zom, he had to [[ItMakesSenseInContext yank out some of its hair]], which spread evil magic all over the world and also summoned the Living Tribunal, who threatened to destroy Earth unless Strange could remove all the evil magic he had unleashed; to gather together all the evil magic, he had to give it all to [[TheRival Baron Mordo]], giving him a tremendous power-up; to defeat the empowered Mordo, he had to use an ArtifactOfDoom given to him by the ObviouslyEvil entity Nebulos, which gave all the evil power to ''it'' instead. Finally, he aided the Living Tribunal in defeating Nebulos, and the Tribunal then declared Earth was safe, ending the chain.
** During ''WorldWarHulk'', Strange could foresee no way to defeat the Comicbook/IncredibleHulk (the other Illuminati had been captured and his own hands were broken), so he let Zom possess him so he could use its power. He then found that it took all his effort and concentration just to hold Zom back from murdering everyone, and Hulk still beat him down.
* Large-scale ''BlackestNight'' example: the heroes release the Parallax entity and allow it to repossess Hal Jordan in order to defeat Black Lantern [[ComicBook/TheSpectre Spectre]]. This is the same entity who nearly destroyed the ''entire universe'' with Jordan the first time.
** And then ''ComicBook/WrathOfTheFirstLantern'' sees the heroes unleash not only Parallax again, but also Nekron, the BigBad of ''BlackestNight'', to defeat Volthoom. GeoffJohns likes this trope.
* It's implied that this is Commissioner Gordon's attitude toward Franchise/{{Batman}}, at least in the early adventures before they became friends. In a WretchedHive like Gotham, where crime and corruption are rampant, and you can count the number of good cops and competent authority figures on one hand, letting this weirdo who likes to dress up like a bat and fight crime lend a hand couldn't make things much worse...
* [[Franchise/{{Superman}} The Doomsday Protocol]] was a backup plan in case of a threat similar to Doomsday (i.e., it can't be stopped by the JLA combined), which was meant to avert this trope. [[RetGone It was never brought up again after Superman's return]].
** Beyond the Doomsday Protocol, there's also how Superman defeated Doomsday in ''Hunter/Prey'' - having Mother Box teleport them to ''the end of time'' and leaving Doomsday there to let the all-destroying Entropy obliterate him.
* In ''[[ComicBook/TheAvengers Avengers Assemble]]'', when {{Thanos}} shows up on Earth looking for the Ultimate Nullifier, IronMan calls the president and tells him to invoke the Cosmic Protocols (which are only for when the destruction of the planet is possible; Iron Man calls this "[[DefconFive DEFCON 1000]]"). They then proceed to detonate the atomic core of a helicarrier on top of Thanos, nearly killing the Avengers, certainly killing some of Thanos' lackeys, and [[spoiler: barely inconveniencing Thanos]].
* In ''ComicBook/HelOnEarth'', Franchise/{{Superman}} fears he may have to break his [[ThouShaltNotKill moral code]] and kill [[WellIntentionedExtremist H'el]] to stop him from trying to resurrect Krypton at the expense of Earth. [[spoiler: However, it's Supergirl who kills H'el by stabbing him with a kryptonite shard because it was the only way to save the Earth]].
** In the Post-Crisis universe, Superman ''is'' forced to break his moral code to execute three Kryptonian criminals. He... doesn't take it very well.
* The opening arc of Jonathan Hickman's ''Comicbook/NewAvengers'' is the discovery of a chain of collapsing universes, which begin when two parallel Earths 'incur' into each other and can be slowed if one of the Earths is destroyed. The Illuminati agree that this crosses the Godzilla Threshold, with a single dissenter who is promptly expelled from the group. [[spoiler:But when confronted with the reality of an entire planet of people dying, the Illuminati ultimately realize they can't stand back and let them die.]]
* ComicBook/NickFury's worst case scenario plan for if SelfDemonstrating/DoctorDoom ever gets too out of hand is to drop TheIncredibleHulk on one side of Latveria and ComicBook/ThePunisher on the other, and see who gets to the middle first.
* In the ComicBook/{{Crossed}} story arc ''The Fatal Englishman'', the last surviving soldiers in Britain have agreed that the only sane reaction to the [[HatePlague Crossed virus]] is to set off a base full of chemical weapons and hope enough of the uninfected survivors (which they estimate at about 50,000, from a population of 60 million) have access to biohazard gear to rebuild in the aftermath.
* In the Creator/IDWPublishing ongoing Franchise/{{Godzilla}} comic, Boxer, former SAS soldier and leader of the team that captured most of the kaiju, decides it's time to free the monsters [[spoiler:to battle Hedorah, Gigan, Space Godzilla, and Monster X when they appear and attack.]]
* In {{Supergod}}, an EldritchAbomination is released as a form of damage control.
* In ''ComicBook/SonicTheHedgehog'', when Sonic is roboticized into Mecha Sonic, the Freedom Fighters are forced to do the same to Knuckles, though they take precautions to make sure he keeps his free will.
* In [[ComicBook/TheTransformersMegaseries Transformers: Stormbringer]], the mere presence of [[TheJuggernaut Thunderwing]] is enough for Megatron to order his flagship to hit Cybertron with everything they have. Even the [[BadassCrew Predacons]] balk a little at this order.
** Thunderwing's previous rampage also reached this, when the Autobots and Decepticons [[EnemyMine teamed up to fight him]]. And it still barely did anything.
** A smaller scale version occurs in Spotlight: Arcee, where the Decepticon siege of Garrus-9 is bad enough that Jetfire and Fortress Maximus decide to release [[AxCrazy Arcee]] in order to prevent the Decepticons getting their hands on [[CombiningMecha Monstructor]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* [[spoiler: Daemon]] from the ''FanFic/TamersForeverSeries'' is considered to be such an unbeatable opponent that the Tamers only hope is for [[spoiler: Takato to die before Daemon can absorb the power of a god.]]
* ''FanFic/UninvitedGuests'' has... Yachiru.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'': The Mane Six become so desperate to defeat [[BigBad Titan]] that Twilight comes up with one final contingency in case the Elements of Harmony fail, or they die before being able to use them. That contingency? [[spoiler: [[EnemyMine Releasing Discord to fight him]]]].
* ''FanFic/TheStarsWillAidTheirEscape'': The last time [[EldritchAbomination Nyarlathotep]] emerged in Equestria, Celestia was only able to stop him by calling down the power of the sun and incinerating everything for miles, sacrificing the lives of every pony in the affected area (most of whom were rendered hopelessly insane by Nyarlathotep anyway) in order to stop him from spreading. And all that succeeded in doing was temporarily banishing Nyarlathotep back where he came from -- he describes it as having been inconvenient.
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': The use of forbidden Lifeforce magic is considered to be an absolute last resort, due to the fact that it leaves the user an addict who grows more uncontrollable over time. [[spoiler: During the War of the Sun and Moon, Libra had to use it to immobilize Nightmare Moon's undying army; his Echo Blair is still carrying that burden a thousand years later.]]
* ''FanFic/ImperfectMetamorphosis'' is what happens when crossing the Threshold is ''exactly'' the wrong thing to do, as the different characters implementing their own contingency plans just escalates the situation, going from "bad, but manageable" to almost CosmicHorrorStory levels.
* In the ''FanFic/PonyPOVSeries'', Celestia comments that [[TopGod The Elders]] would only directly intervene (rather than through Their children or Avatars) in something happening in mortal reality if it was a threat to ''all'' of existence, because that is the only situation where the damage would be greater than that caused by [[EldritchAbomination Them]] entering reality. To put this in perspective, [[spoiler: [[BiggerBad Nightmare Paradox]]'s GroundhogDayLoop plan completely screwed up the [[BadFuture Dark World]] timeline and cost countless ''trillions'' of lives]], and even ''that'' wasn't enough for Them to intervene.
** It turns out that the Equestrian military has specific protocols in place for situations like this, including {{Kaiju}} attacks, that require direct interference from the Princesses. Fittingly, it's called [[Franchise/{{Godzilla}} Article 1954]].
** During the Wedding Arc, things get so desperate that Twilight and Cadence seriously consider the possibility of releasing Discord to [[EvilVersusEvil fight Chrysalis]], but only as an absolute last resort. [[spoiler: Of course, [[DramaticIrony they don't realize]] that he's ''already'' free...]]
* ''Fanfic/TheConversionBureauTheOtherSideOfTheSpectrum'' has two instances of this - first is when Princess Celestia decides to consult [[spoiler: Discord about [[ArtifactOfDoom The Bag of Tirek]] which has corrupted the MirrorUniverse Equestria into carrying out a genocidal campaign against earth and humanity]], which he agrees to because even he's [[EvenEvilHasStandards disgusted with what Queen Celestia's doing to the humans]]; second is that [[spoiler: humanity has rigged the Yellowstone Supervolcano with several [[NukeEm nukes to detonate]] and likely destroy the world as part of a TakingYouWithMe plan, if only to [[BetterToDieThanBeKilled avoid living as brainwashed slaves]] to a xenocidal tyrant.]]
* In FanFic/ADreamOfDawn, Nightmare Moon's reign over Equestria is so disruptive that summoning Discord actually improves things.
* In ''[[Fanfic/KillblessAMidsummerNightsDream A Midsummer Night's Dream]]'' chapter 8 [[spoiler:with Midsummer Night rendered inoperable after the fight with Rasputin, the previously reluctant brothers decide that they should share Jaeger schematics with the Equestrians.]]
* In ''FanFic/AshesOfThePast'', Blast Burn is treated like this, as its nature as a Fire Type equivalent of Hyper Beam means the only thing more destructive is ''the local equivalent of a nuclear strike''. Exactly because of its power, any Pokemon that learns it has an artificial mental block created to prevent it from using it on their own volition, and '''must''' be ordered to do that.
* ''FanFic/WorldwarWarOfEquals'': The threat of pending invasion by the Race is enough for Switzerland to abandon its long-standing neutrality and join the European Coalition, and for [[EnemyMine Israel to join forces with its Arab neighbors]](primarily Egypt). After the war begins and grows desperate for some, we see more examples -- when Ukraine is nearly completely overrun, its military starts using nerve gas, while President Viktor Yanukovych asks for [[HarsherInHindsight Russian aid]]; Syria breaks out its chemical weapons program in light of neighboring Iraq being overrun; and China, desperately trying to HoldTheLine against the Race, [[spoiler: is the first nation to use nukes against the invading forces]].
* In the ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' fic ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9539513/1/Twist-of-Fate Twist of Fate]]'', Moses uses his TimeMaster powers to defeat Teitoku Kakine by making him suffer RapidAging. Moses explains that he would normally not do something this horrible, but the situation they were trying to stop is extremely desperate, Kakine wouldn't get out of their way, and he was strong enough to shrug off Moses' attempts to [[TimeStandsStill freeze him]].
* In the first story of the ''FanFic/FacingTheFutureSeries'', Dark Danny's return results in [[spoiler:Clockwork bringing in Danny and Sam's future selves]] and Sam getting ghost powers of her own in order to stop him.
* In ''FanFic/{{Eugenesis}}'', Prowl and Perceptor are perfectly willing to meddle with time travel, knowing what time travel can unleash (In Prowl's case, from first hand experience), simply because they feel the current situation is that bad. This earns them a serious WhatTheHellHero from Nightbeat, although he still ends up agreeing with them. The situation is that bad.
** Later on [[spoiler:a revived Optimus Prime agrees to take part in the fight against the Quintessons, knowingly risking his life, not to mention using time-travel himself, for the same reasons. Not to mention the EnemyMine with the Decepticons.]]
* ''[[FanFic/MLPNextGenerationKnowFear MLP Next Generation: Know Fear!]]'': The war against the griffons is going badly enough (even with the aid of Starburst's [[GreenLantern new powers]]) that Celestia decides to have one of Equestria's godly rulers (herself, the other alicorns and Discord) unlock their full power and join the battlefield as a show of force. Everyone else is horrified by the potential consequences of this, but they go through with it anyway, with Twilight being the one whose power is unlocked, and she proceeds to take on an entire griffon army by herself [[spoiler: only for it to turn out that the griffons [[CrazyPrepared already had plans prepared to neutralize her]].]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens.'' Mind you, it's a really fuzzy kaiju that's released.
* In ''WesternAnimation/BatmanMaskOfThePhantasm'', Salvatore Valestra tries to hire the Joker to take out Batman, under the belief that Batman is knocking off people connected to Beaumont (it's someone else), [[spoiler:and hopes that since Joker is one of these people he will take the job]]. He laments having been pushed to the point where it's necessary, [[spoiler:and Joker kills him to bait the real killer]].
* Same thing happens in ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood'' when Black Mask breaks Joker out of Arkham in order to deal with the Red Hood. What he didn't know was that this was ''exactly'' what Red Hood wanted.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Most 1950's monster flicks often had [[NuclearOption nuclear weapons]] as a last resort, from ''Film/{{The War Of The Worlds|1953}}'' to ''Film/BeginningOfTheEnd''.
** So did Ang Lee's ''Film/{{Hulk}}''. They bombed a lake, though, and so there were no collateral casualties. But it was certainly the last available option once Hulk and Banner Dad had unleashed all their rage.
* The teenagers in ''Film/FreddyVsJason'' wanted Jason, the guy that killed 20 of their friends, to win the fight against Freddy-- if only because Jason would go back home, since he has no other reason to be in Elm Street.
** These kids also save Jason from drowning in a dream. [[UngratefulBastard He kills the black girl later]].
* Perhaps the best example comes from the original ''[[Film/{{Gojira}} Godzilla]]'' itself, where the Japanese government decides to deploy Dr. Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer in Tokyo Bay to kill the monster. The Oxygen Destroyer also kills all other marine life in the bay, but the government considers this an acceptable loss in exchange for killing a monster that's just devastated the city. [[TheProfessor Serizawa]] himself is reluctant to even let anyone know about the Oxygen Destroyer's existence, even while Godzilla's rampaging, because he's afraid of how horrible a weapon it might be. He crosses his own Godzilla threshold after a montage of the destruction the monster caused shows him what's at stake -- and even then he [[NoPlansNoPrototypeNoBackup takes steps to ensure his creation can't be misused]].
* Fittingly enough, ''Film/GodzillaFinalWars'' reaches the Godzilla Threshold about halfway through. Civilization is in ruins and the alien monsters are running rampant, so how could one more make things worse? [[SummonBiggerFish Godzilla turns out to be fiercely territorial when near other monsters...]]
** In ''Film/GodzillaVsKingGhidorah'', King Ghidorah causes Japan to reach this Threshold. They bring back Godzilla [[spoiler:(or so they thought)]] and juice him with radiation.
*** Of course [[spoiler:after King G is defeated, he starts rampaging too]], but if you think about it, the situation didn't really get any worse.
*** At which point they [[spoiler:bring King Ghidorah back to fight Godzilla]]. Oddly enough, that actually works.
* ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'':
** Invoked. Serizawa suggests that the only thing that can stop the [=MUTO=]s is the legendary Godzilla.
** Admiral Stenz believes that utilizing nuclear weapon work as the least costly way of dealing with the [=MUTO=]. He's aware that they feed off of radiation, but believes the sheer strength of the explosion will be enough to kill them, noting that, while the H-Bomb didn't kill Godzilla in 1954, it's a firecracker in comparison to what is at their disposal six decades later.
** Weirdly the Castle Bravo bomb dropped on Godzilla was actually 15 megatons. This is stronger than any bomb in our aresenal today and is the most powerful explosion America ever produced. The "this is megatons, not kilotons" line is just wrong.
** Godzilla seems to have one of his own - the signature Atomic Breath, which he only uses once in ''Awakening'' and a couple of times in the climax of the film.
* In Michael Bay's first ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' film; when the Deceptions are closing in on the Allspark, the preferred military solution is to hide the Allspark in the middle of a city - where the Decepticons will have trouble getting to it until large-scale military assistance could be attained and keep them busy while the Allspark was moved to another location.
* In ''Film/IndependenceDay'', the revelation that the aliens' only interest is the complete and total destruction of earth serves as the Godzilla Threshold moment that convinces the president to [[NukeEm authorize use of nuclear weapons]] against the invaders. [[spoiler:Naturally, it doesn't work on the intended target, though it completely destroys the already-blasted city below.]]
** Played for laughs when one character drunkenly decides to trash the lab saying if we screw up this planet enough they won't want it anymore as they are there for its resources.
** Based on a similar scene in the 1954 ''[[Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds1953 War Of The Worlds]]'', although note that the [=ID4=] example has the key difference that the WOTW use of Nukes was in a desert while the [=ID4=] attack was in Houston.
* Early on in ''Film/{{Ghostbusters}}'' Egon goes into some detail as to how important it is to never [[ForbiddenChekhovsGun cross the streams]]. There is apparently a very good chance of "total protonic reversal," which would result in an EarthShatteringKaboom. Once [[EldritchAbomination Gozer]] manifests (as a 100 foot marshmallow man) and tramples downtown New York as a warm-up to the EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, the team decides to do it anyway. The protonic reversal goes off, alright...but inside Gozer's little pocket of ''its'' universe.
* ''Film/{{Cloverfield}}'': the Hammerdown protocol. Though not explained in the movie, it appears to involve either nuking Manhattan or "merely" dropping multiple superheavy conventional bombs on it. To quote the radio operator, "If you can hear the [air raid] sirens, you're inside the blast zone."
* The climax of ''Film/GalaxyQuest''--The BigBad has killed or fatally wounded everyone on the ship and the ship is hurtling towards Earth and will probably cause a mass extinction on impact[[note]]Traveling at the better part of lightspeed, the ship would carry the energy of a whole bunch of nuclear wars.[[/note]]. Jason gives the order to activate the secret superweapon, the Omega 13. The problem is, nobody knows what the Omega 13 actually does, since the ''Galaxy Quest'' TV show was cancelled before it properly appeared. The two common EpilepticTrees are that it either destroyed all matter in the universe in 13 seconds, or created a 13 second time-warp to the past. Fortunately for everyone involved, it's the latter.
* In ''Film/TheCore'', the heroes reach the outer core of the Earth and discover that the nuclear weapons they've brought along won't be enough to restart it. In response, the general decides to fire up Project DESTINI to restart the core -- which was the very thing that had stopped the core in the first place. The predicted devastation to the Earth's surface would be almost as bad as the lack of a geomagnetic field they were trying to fix.
* ''Film/{{Aliens}}'' has the space marines, with Ellen Ripley in tow, arrive at the colony they are supposed to investigate only to find that said colony has been overrun and the colonists are all monster chow. In the process of evaluating the situation, most of the marines also become monster chow. With the mission screwed and the colony beyond help, Ripley suggests that they should return to their frigate and "nuke the site from orbit". Corporal Hicks (now the ranking soldier), agrees with her.
* Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick:
** [[LampshadeHanging Lampshaded]] by Riddick in ''Film/PitchBlack'' when the survivers of the crashed spaceship managed to capture him, but then releases him due to the alien fauna.
-->'''Riddick''': ''Finally found something worse than me, huh?''
** In ''Film/TheChroniclesOfRiddick'', the Necromonger threat has grown so great that some people decide to track down a SerialKiller who may be the [[LastOfHisKind only surviving member]] of a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy race of warriors]] to combat them. As the opening monologue puts it: "In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil."
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' has several scenes musing about how much power is appropriate to stop a threat, citing things like Ancient Rome's ability to grant emergency powers to one man. Over the course of the film, it becomes clear that Batman himself has become the threshold for Gotham's criminal underworld. Their response is SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker.
-->'''Bruce Wayne''': I knew the mob wouldn't go down without a fight, but this is different. They crossed the line. \\
'''Alfred Pennyworth''': You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand.
** Towards the end of the film, [[spoiler:Batman hacks every cell phone in Gotham into a listening device/sonar array. Lucius Fox says it's unethical, and that he's quitting after he uses it. Batman tells him to type in his name when they find the Joker, which turns out to activate the self-destruct option.]]
** ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'': Towards the end of the film, [[spoiler:Batman uses the Bat's weapons with lethal intent, in order to stop a nuke from going off. To a lesser extent, he appears in broad daylight for the first time in the series.]]
* The science facility in ''Film/TheAndromedaStrain'' is set up to nuke itself if anything gets past the containment seals. [[spoiler: The scientists later learn that the energy would only fuel the strain's reproduction, wiping out life on Earth in short order.]]
* ''[[{{Tremors}} Tremors 2]]'': Earl is completely surrounded by Shriekers and is standing in the back of Burt's truck. His response: Set a timed explosive to go off and toss it down in the truck. That 4.5 tons of Burt Gummer approved high explosives, parked in an oil refinery.
-->'''Burt (panics):''' "That's 4 and half tons of high explosives!"
-->'''Earl (worried):''' "Is that not going to be enough?! Please, Burt! Don't tell me that's not going to be enough!"
-->'''Burt:''' "Not enough?! It's... Nevermind! RUN!!! It's goinna be BIIIIIG!!!"
** Burt does this with his first remote control Graboid kill.
--> '''Burt (into his documentary camera):''' "Note: 2 pounds of C-4 may be a little..." (piece of gravel from explosion bounces off his helmet) "Excessive..."
** ''Tremors 3'' has this when Burt blows up his entire bunker to kill a single Ass Blaster, [[RuleOfFunny only to learn that they go into a coma when they eat too much]].
* Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse:
** In ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'' this happens twice. The first is when the army fails to capture Bruce in Brazil, motivating Ross to use experimental super soldier drugs on Emil Blonsky. The second time is when Blonsky becomes the Abomination and starts terrorizing New York, forcing Ross to allow the recently captured Banner to Hulk out and take down the Abomination.
** The events of ''Film/{{Thor}}'' serve as this for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole when Earth plays host to "a grudge match that levelled a small town" between two aliens.
** ''Film/TheAvengers'' reveals that Nick Fury's idea to [[AvengersAssemble assemble]] a DysfunctionJunction of [[{{Superhero}} superpowered]] loose cannons [[spoiler:is the ''backup plan'', behind using AppliedPhlebotinum to build [[WeaponOfMassDestruction WMDs]] and, later on, firing nukes at major populations centres ''while they're still majorly populated''.]]
*** And did we mention that one of those loose cannons is the ''Hulk''?
---->'''Banner:''' So, this all seems...horrible.
---->'''Natasha:''' I've seen worse. ''[referring to Bruce's last HulkOut]''
---->'''Banner:''' Sorry.
---->'''Natasha:''' No, we could...use a little "worse".
** Judging by JARVIS' tone (remember, this is the DeadpanSnarker who would be a justified page image if he wasn't ''an AI''), the "House Party protocol" in ''Film/IronMan3'' seems to be this. [[spoiler: It calls in Iron Legion, 35 suits of Iron Man armour piloted by JARVIS. It's a lot of firepower, not a lot of precise aim, and it definitely falls under ConservationOfNinjutsu.]]
** In ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'', the Threshold is the Dark Elves threatening the entire universe, and Godzilla is [[spoiler:Loki himself. He is ''fully'' aware of the irony.]]
* In ''Dirty War'', DS Drummer, an otherwise good man who genuinely desires to understand the people he is investigating, [[spoiler: [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique tortures]] a suspect after a dirty bomb is detonated in London. The movie also underlines the uselessness of this strategy as it is documents found in the house, not [[TortureAlwaysWorks torture]], which leads to the clues that prevent further attacks.]]
* ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'': [[spoiler: Spock Prime has a vow to never reveal anything of his timeline, to prevent even more disruptions. He considers Khan enough of a threat to break his vow in order to warn the ''Enterprise''.]]
** [[spoiler: The ''Vengeance'' similarly so outclasses the ''Enterprise'' that unleashing the superhuman ex-EvilOverlord on it is actually the best option Kirk and co. can come up with.]]
** Spock Prime crossed it in the [[Film/StarTrek first film]], too, by saving Kirk's life and revealing information about the future to him, as well as giving Scotty a transwarp formula that would not have been naturally developed for another century, because he considered stopping Nero's genocidal campaign against the Federation to be more important than upholding the Temporal Prime Directive.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'' has this as a gradual realization and not a single, precise moment. [[spoiler: After all the other Kryptonians have been absorbed into the Phantom Zone and the HostileTerraforming is stopped, General Zod confesses he has nothing more to live for and vows to make the people of Earth suffer. There is nothing they can do to stop him or restrain him, especially once he acclimates to the Kryptonian powers under a yellow sun. Superman engages him in a lengthy fight and comes to the hard decision that the only way to stop him is to kill him. And with one shockwave-inducing NeckSnap, he does.]]
** This GodzillaThreshold is also notable for [[spoiler: being deliberately forced by Zod, as he keeps trying harder and harder to [[SuicideByCop force Superman to kill him]].]]
* ''Film/PacificRim'': Most of the [[HumongousMecha Jaeger]] battles actually take place in the water, well away from the city that is currently being targeted by a {{Kaiju}}. The 10 miles out line is referred to as the "miracle mile" and mostly they try to intercept the kaiju before it crosses the line. Fighting in the city is usually only a last resort because of the massive collateral damage, but considering the alternative it's unlikely that people will complain.
** If you pay attention during Mutavore's attack on Sydney and happen to have a map handy, you'll notice that a big chunk of the city would be on the ''Kaiju'' side of the wall. The tie-in comics reveal that that's because [[NukeEm they had to nuke the heck out of that area]] to fend off the first Kaiju attack on Sydney. Not all of the civilians were able to evacuate beforehand.
* In ''Film/BattleLosAngeles'', the military decides to deal with the aliens by evacuating the civilians then bombing the coastal cities being invaded. The aliens thwart this.
* Defied in ''Film/MenInBlack''. The bug impersonating Edgar is getting close to stealing the Arquillian galaxy, so when Agent J sees "Edgar", he tries to shoot in broad view of dozens of New Yorkers, much to K's irritation.
-->'''Agent K:''' We do ''NOT'' discharge our weapons in view of the public!
-->'''Agent J:''' Hey, we ain't got time for this [[{{Masquerade}} cover-up]] [[PrecisionFStrike bullshit]]! Maybe you've forgotten, but there's an Arquillian battle cruiser...
-->'''Agent K:''' [[TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed There's]] ''[[TheWorldIsAlwaysDoomed always]]'' an [[TheMothership Arquillian battle cruiser]], or a Corillian DeathRay, or an [[ThePlague intergalactic plague]] that's about to [[KillEmAll wipe out life]] on [[InsignificantLittleBluePlanet this miserable little planet]]. The only way [[{{Muggles}} these people]] get on with their happy lives is they '''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis do. Not. Know]] [[{{Masquerade}} about it]]!'''
* In ''Film/XMenDaysOfFuturePast'', the main characters' plan is to erase themselves and everyone else from existence, because in the new future they would be different people with different experiences and no memory of the originals. Everybody understands it, yet they go through with it without question anyway: the current situation is just '''that''' bad.
* In ''Film/{{Evolution}}'', the military plans to destroy the alien lifeforms with "tons and tons of napalm". One of the general's subordinates even hints that a nuke may be a better option. It's specifically mentioned that, if the alien lifeforms aren't stopped, they will take over the planet in a matter of months, driving Terrestrial lifeforms to extinction. Of course, [[spoiler:as the heroes find out by accident, fire actually ''speeds up'' the HollywoodEvolution process]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* This happens [[OncePerEpisode several times]] in JimButcher's ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'':
** The second book, ''Literature/FoolMoon'', had Harry view his use of [[spoiler: the Hexenwulf belt]] this way, with its possibility of turning him into a mindless feral killer.
** In book three, ''Literature/GravePeril'', Harry unleashes a thus-far unseen degree of violence when [[spoiler: vampires kidnap his girlfriend. The resulting fire is nearly enough to get him in trouble with the Wizarding Union.]]
** In book seven, ''Literature/DeadBeat'', Harry is faced with several necromancers competing for the chance to [[spoiler:be the one to perform a dark ritual that makes its performer into a new god by sucking the life from anyone unfortunate enough to live [[UsefulNotes/{{Chicago}} nearby]].]] In order to bypass the protective magical barrier surrounding them, Harry [[AintNoRule creatively reinterprets]] the Laws of Magic, and almost literally enacts this trope, by [[spoiler:reanimating a frelling tyrannosaurus ([[NonHumanUndead it's not human,]] [[LoopholeAbuse so he wasn't]] ''technically'' breaking the law)]].
** In book twelve, ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', after suffering (in something of a personal best) [[spoiler: a broken back, a kidnapped daughter, and a host of vampires old enough to qualify as gods in their own right about to perform an effectively unblockable curse that will destroy his entire family,]] he turns to one of his final options: [[spoiler:swearing his allegiance to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness]]. Harry was even desperate enough to consider [[spoiler:[[PoweredByAForsakenChild performing the Darkhallow rite]] or [[DealWithTheDevil becoming a Denarian]] if Mab didn't accept him]].
** In book fourteen, ''Literature/ColdDays'',Harry discovers that, in an as-yet-unused ChekhovsArmoury [[spoiler:Demonreach is [[SealedEvilInACan a prison]] created by the original Merlin for thousands of incredibly powerful and malevolent entities, so much so that there is a failsafe in place that will ''vaporize most of the continent'' should the prisoners ever escape, and it won't even kill them. All it will accomplish is to slow them down for a while, but that's ''still'' the lesser of two evils.]]
** Harry Dresden IS the Godzilla Threshold. For the natural world, once things have deteriorated to the point you look up Wizards in the Yellow Pages, you've crossed the Threshold. For the supernatural world, Harry is widely considered a magical thug, [[UnskilledButStrong high powered, but with very poor control.]] A situation dire enough to involve [[DestructiveSavior Harry Dresden]] usually means you've crossed the Threshold. [[spoiler:When the necromancers threaten Chicago, the response of the White Council is to send every available Warden, including the Captain - who recruits Harry (a man they have been fearing is secretly a warlock for the last 10 years) the minute they see him.]]
** It's also been mentioned that [[UnmasquedWorld exposing the existence of the supernatural to humanity]] is considered the nuclear option of the supernatural community, not least because humans have actual nukes.
* Also from Jim Butcher is ''Literature/CodexAlera'', whose protagonist Tavi thrives on plans that are [[CrazyAwesome so crazy they might just work]], reaching a peak at the final battle in which he lures the Big Bad to a place where [[spoiler: two of the world's most powerful Furies sleep and then provoking them]]. His lover Kitai figures where he went [[FollowTheChaos by thinking of a place only an absolute fool would go to, and a lunatic would follow]].
** In the last book, Tavi had to get all of his armies to reach a main battlefield in a few days -- moving several hundred thousand almost at the speed of flight. Then [[spoiler:Alera]] warns him that his plan will cause untold weather devastation thousands of years later, he concludes the devastating long term consequences must be borne if anyone in Alera is to survive.
* In Creator/StephenKing's ''UnderTheDome'', the government does everything in its power to free the town of Chester's Mill from its predicament. This includes firing a cruise missile at the invisible dome surrounding the town, [[spoiler:then a second missile when the first one fails]], using specially modified acid which can melt through two miles of bedrock, despite the possibility that it could ''set the dome on fire'', and then attempting to use a 'pencil nuke', only to have it melt down and kill fifteen people before it could be used. The government continues, trying to build a second pencil nuke, [[spoiler:but by that point, things are so bad they finally decide they don't have time]].
* The ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' series about Alien Lizards invading Earth during WWII: Allying with Nazis. Nuking your own cities. Pulling all those Chemical and Biological weapons out. You do horrible things when you are being invaded by Alien Lizards.
* In ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', the government is so stumped as to how to fight the zombie hordes that they are forced to implement the "Redeker Plan", using large parts of the population as zombie bait to give the government a chance to regroup and plan. [[spoiler:AndItWorked.]]
** The Redeker Plan itself was adapted from South Africa's own "Plan Orange", for how to deal with an all-out armed uprising by the native black Africans against the Apartheid government.
* ''[[Literature/TheLaundrySeries The Laundry]]'' has one of these lined up for when CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (a.k.a, the stars coming right) ensues -- SCORPION STARE, a program that loops [[TakenForGranite a basilisk frequency]] through every CCTV camera in Britain. Similarly, in ''The Jennifer Morgue'', Mo is given access to "a big white one" in the case that the Bond villain wannabe manages to resurrect an ancient Chthonian war god -- and is none too pleased to find out "a big white one" is a tactical nuke.
** "The Concrete Jungle," the story that dives into the origins of SCORPION STARE, shares a historical example - evidence that the [[{{Ghostapo}} Nazis]] were planning to weaponize gorgons (humans who produce the basilisk frequency as an observer effect due to a rare brain tumor) was enough to get the British military to threaten chemical attacks on civilian targets if they didn't knock it off.
* Robert Jordan's ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series: in the War of Power, the good guys constructed the Choedan Kal, two devices (one for use by a male, one for use by a female) that could draw astronomical amounts of the One Power in order to seal the Dark One away in his prison. Later used to [[spoiler:cleanse the poisoned male half of the Power during the climax of book 9, ''Winter's Heart'' (during which the female Choedan Kal is destroyed).]] In ''The Gathering Storm'', [[spoiler:Rand at first thinks that the male Choedan Kal is the key to defeating the Dark One, but eventually realizes that it won't work. At the end of the book, he destroys it, knowing there may well be another (and better) way to defeat the Dark One this time around.]]
* In DavidWeber's ''Literature/OutOfTheDark'', the alien commander of the forces invading Earth eventually concedes the use of [[spoiler: genocidal bioweapons]] as the only option against a planetful of humans who refuse to submit, and are rapidly depleting the invader's reserves.
* In another DavidWeber work, ''Literature/HonorHarrington'', the Havenites cross this threshhold when they realize that the Manticorans' new weapons mean inevitable defeat for the Republic of Haven, and decide to capitalize on their dwindling numerical advantage by launching a desperation attack on the Manticoran home system. The resulting battle results in over a million dead and leaves both star nations virtually unable to continue the fighting -- Manticore wins, but at the cost of over half its wall of battle. Later on, things deteriorate so badly between Manticore and the [[UnwittingPawn Solarian League]] (a power that, [[PaperTiger on paper]], is ''much'' bigger and more powerful than Manticore and Haven combined), that the Manticorans sue for peace with the Havenites and declare war on the League. By this point, the Manticoran and Havenite governments have both realized that they were being played by the ''true'' BigBad, [[spoiler: The Mesan Alignment]], and have [[spoiler:signed a ''military alliance'']]. At that point, things start to go downhill for the Solarian League (and [[spoiler:the Alignment]]) rather quickly.
* In Weber's second "Dahak" book,''The Armageddon Inheritance'', the only power source great enough to drive the incredible defensive installations that ''might'' enable Earth to survive the attack of an oncoming genocidal alien horde is nearly uncontrollable and could itself ravage the planet if containment is lost.
* In ''Literature/{{Footfall}}'', this happens twice during an alien invasion. The first time, they nuke the territory the aliens took over (which was still populated by humans). The second, and significantly less significant time, they build and use a [[OrionDrive nuke-fueled]] spaceship. They did get most of the nearby area into bomb shelters before they took off, though.
* In the ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novel ''Traitor General'', Feygor gets very badly sick and Curth has nothing left to help him. When Ezrah offers the use of a paste that contains normally highly-toxic - as in scratch a man with it and he dies - poison as a remedy like his tribe did, the team reluctantly decides to use it. It barely works.
** One of the flashbacks in ''Ghostmaker'' has a group of Ghosts encounter a summoned daemon in one of the buildings they're clearing. With little hesitation and less time to flee, the Ghosts promptly request that one of the kilometres-long ships in orbit fire on the building.
* In Creator/IsaacAsimov's ''Literature/TheEndOfEternity'', there is a time traveling group that safeguards humanity over a period of billions of years. [[spoiler:The problem is that humanity never leaves the Solar System, and after at least millions, maybe billions of years humanity dies out. The protagonist goes back to the twentieth century, and there manipulates the timeline so that time travel never arises, wiping out millions of years of human existence and destroying everyone and everything he ever knew.]]
* In ''Literature/{{Neverwhere}}'', the Marquis de Carabas can be called into one's service for the cost of "A really big favor". Take this warning in just case you should happen to find yourself in London Below: ''Don't do that''.
* In the ''Franchise/StarTrek: Destiny'' trilogy, the Federation president gives Captain Picard permission to do anything necessary, regardless of Starfleet regulations or Federation law, to defeat a massive Borg invasion, up to and including re-creating [[Film/StarTrekNemesis Shinzon's thalaron weapon]]. Picard is ready to do this, [[DefiedTrope until Geordi flatly refuses to carry out Picard's order]] to construct the device and [[CallingTheOldManOut proceeds to tear into him over it]]. Picard, shaken, then rescinds the order and [[TakeAThirdOption finds another way]].
--> '''[=LaForge=]:''' Repeat it as many times as you like, it won't make any difference. I will not resurrect that...that ''abomination''. I won't be party to whatever atrocities it winds up being used for. When Shinzon had one, you were ready to die to stop it. Data [[HeroicSacrifice gave his life to destroy it]]. For me to rebuild it now would be an insult to his memory and a betrayal of his sacrifice. I can't do that. I won't.
* In ''Uhura's Song'' the Federation Council finds the plague sweeping across the Federation so serious that they ''suspend the Prime Directive'' and tell Kirk that they're trusting his judgement on how to get the cure that ''legends'' say exist on a planet he has only vague information about the location of. Spock misunderstands the reasoning and says they seem rather optimistic about their chances of finding the cure, despite his attempts to emphasize how flimsy their information is. Kirk explains that their apparent optimism is really grasping at straws because the situation is much worse than they (on the Enterprise) know. (It is strongly implied that the existence of the Federation and the survival of multiple member species is at stake. General Order One is not suspended lightly.)
* In ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'', the arrival of the Others is considered this for people on both sides of the Wall. Mance Rayder, the King Beyond The Wall, is willing to march the Free Folk south of the Wall to find shelter in the despotic Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow, for his part, is willing to allow "Wildlings" to settle on the Night Watch's lands and even join the Night Watch to bolster their ranks against the Others. Both plans are considered pretty shocking, and not everyone agrees with them.
* In Timothy Zahn's ''Literature/TheConquerorsTrilogy'', the arrival of a dangerous alien threat starts everyone talking about dusting off a superweapon the humans used once and never used again. [[spoiler: Subverted- the weapon doesn't actually exist, it was actually a freak accident where a solar flare wiped out a fleet.]]
* Villainous example in the DaleBrown novel ''Sky Masters''. His flotilla in shambles after a Filipino ambush, with only death or dishonourable retreat on the cards, BigBad Admiral Yin decided to NukeEm. Things go downhill from there.
* In ''Literature/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy1'', when the ''Heart of Gold'' is about to be blown up, Arthur Dent decides at the last second that randomly activating the Infinite Improbability Drive can't possibly make things any worse.
* Middle-Earth reached the Godzilla Threshold at the end of the First Age, as documented in ''TheSilmarillion''. Morgoth ruled over all of Beleriand and to defeat him the Valar unleashed a war that sunk all of Beleriand.
** And again when Ar-Pharaz˘n sought to take Immortality from the Valar, the Valar unwilling to actively kill men, who as Children of Il˙vatar fall under their protection, instead ''give up'' their stewardship of the world and let ''God'' handle it, and the ''World'' is changed for it.
* This happened a few times in the past of ''TheMalazanBookOfTheFallen''. Two events in particular are notable for how they shaped the modern world:
** The Imass came to a racial consensus that after the latest in a long string of Jaghut Tyrants, the Threshold had been crossed. They transformed themselves into nigh-immortal undead and proceeded to hunt down every Jaghut they could, killing or binding them.
** High King Kallor was so hated by a cabal of wizards that they chose to summon forth and bind a god to be used as a FantasticNuke against him. It destroyed an entire ''continent'', created the [[BigBad Crippled God]], and Kallor ''survived''.
** And in the course of the books, there can be so many gods drawn to a nexus of power that drawing in ''more'' hostile gods becomes a viable plan because they might start countering each other.
* In ''RevelationSpace'', the Mademoiselle considers destroy an entire populated planet with the ''Nostalgia For Infinity'''s [[WeaponOfMassDestruction Hell-Class weapons]] to be preferable to allowing [[spoiler: Daniel Sylveste to travel to [[BigDumbObject Cerberus]] and unwittingly re-awaken the Inhibitors, for [[PrecursorKillers a very good reason]].]]
* When the [[spoiler: [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Polypond]]]] attacks the ''Literature/GreatShip'' in ''A Well of Stars'', the crew decide it's preferable to burn away the entire fuel supply of the ship by firing up ''all'' of the ship's 14 [[PlanetSpaceShip world-sized fusion rockets]], rather than allowing the enemy to rendezvous and take over the ship.
* In the ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'' prequel ''The Hork-Bajir Chronicles'', the Andalite war-prince Alloran [[spoiler:who eventually becomes Visser Three's host]] knew the Andalites had lost the war over the Hork-Bajir. Desperate to prevent the Yeerks from acquiring the Hork-Bajir, he unleashed a Quantum Virus, a horrific disease of space-time that breaks living beings down into molecules. He targeted the ''Hork-Bajir'' to deny the Yeerks their prize. All for naught, since the Yeerks had already captured enough Hork-Bajir to breed a sustainable population for their use. The Andalites covered up this horrific war crime to save face, and Alloran was left a bitter disgraced ShellShockedVeteran.
* The protagonists in Creator/LarryNiven's ''The Literature/{{Ringworld}} Engineers'' are faced with the problem of Ringworld's increasingly unstable 'orbit'. The Ringworld has, or rather had, {{Ramscoop}}s fixed around its circumference to act as station-keeping jets, using the solar wind as fuel. The Ringworld's inhabitants, presumably not knowing or not caring why the ramscoops were there, had 'borrowed' most of them to use on spaceships. The remainder could no longer keep the Ringworld centered on its star. There is a solution, but even the [[{{Precursors}} Pak Protector]] who discovers it is too horrified to enact it. [[spoiler: They use the solar magnetic controls built into the Ringworld to temporarily increase solar wind output enough to provide the remaining ramscoops with enough fuel to re-center the ring. This has the unfortunate side effect of sterilizing a third or so of the Ringworld, killing '''trillions''' of humanoids via slow, agonizing radiation poisoning.]]
* In Tim Powers' ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheDark'', the Turkish siege of Vienna is only the visible manifestation of a magical struggle between West and East to determine which form of civilization will go on to dominate the planet. At one point Merlin the Magician considers a "desperately sure" move: summoning an arch-demon that could easily win the war, but it would forever be a taint on the West that it had stooped to using such aid.
* in ''Literature/TheBrokenCrescent'', Nate Black/Azrael is the Angel of Death sent by a god who hates Mankind to bring them down. The Monarch and his Shadow College consider using him to still be a lesser evil than allowing the College of Man to continue to run things.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* When things get really desperate in ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the higher-ups are usually willing to give the green light to plans that involve ridiculous things like blowing up suns.
** One experiment of Rodney's kills a co-worker and blows up most of a solar system. They try it again. This time they almost destroy ''two galaxies'', and completely drain their ZPM (an excessively rare and valuable super-battery).
** [[HordeOfAlienLocusts The Replicators]] are so bad that every single one of their appearances has the line being crossed to further limits. Indeed Thor says that the reason the Asgard ask humans for help so often is that they lack the stupidity necessary to devise a plan that crosses that Godzilla Threshold. Said crossing involves such things as crashing ships into planets, using a one-of-a-kind state-of-the-art warship [[spoiler:as ''bait'' for an explosion]], and luring every Replicator in existence to the Asgard homeworld (and then [[spoiler:collapsing the planet's star into a black hole]], just to be thorough).
*** The Replicators have [[spoiler:invaded the Milky Way, wiped out the System Lords and have begun attacking Earth]]. SG-1's final plan depends on an Ancient device designed to create (or destroy) all life, properly re-configuring it to only target the Replicators, and simultaneously firing it through ''every Stargate in the galaxy''. And to do it, they have to [[EnemyMine team up]] with [[TheStarscream Ba'al]], who was trying to reconquer the planet they were on at the time.
** In the Season 6 finale, Anubis hovering with his finger on the trigger of an Ancient superweapon ready to [[EarthShatteringKaboom blow up Abydos]] causes [[spoiler:Daniel to break the non-interference rules of the Ascended beings and try to destroy Anubis using his godlike powers. He only fails because the other Ascended beings stop him.]]
** In the ''Film/TheArkOfTruth'', one of the weapon systems the humans bring with them to the Ori home galaxy as a fallback in case their primary plan fails is a Replicator with reprogrammed failsafes. [[spoiler: The failsafes turn out to not be as fail safe as hoped.]]
*** The Ark of Truth ''itself'' was a last-resort weapon for the ancestors of the Ancients who were suffering persecution from the ancestors of the Ori: using it would have saved them, but would have also caused them to compromise their principles of free will and intellectual growth. Ultimately they step back from the Threshold and decide not to use it, instead choosing to leave their homeworld to the Ori. In retrospect, [[NiceJobBreakingItHero this was not the smartest idea]]. But at least they kept the Ark around for our heroes to find and use at a later date when there finally ''is'' no other choice.
** In a later arc of ''Atlantis'', Rodney creates a reprogrammed humanoid Replicator to act as a delivery system for a computer virus to destroy the rest of the Asuran Replicators. Surprisingly, [[spoiler: the reprogrammed Replicator is perfectly content with her purpose in life as a "living bomb", delivering her payload without a hitch when finally deployed on the Replicator homeworld.]]
* ''PowerRangers'' usually reaches this point at least twice per season. At some point, the villain's EvilPlan will be so destructive, or a MonsterOfTheWeek so powerful that the old code of "match force with proportionate force" just stops applying. It's usually at this point that [[StormingTheCastle all out assaults]], [[GondorCallsForAid calling in old favors]], and even [[HeroicSacrifice sacrifices]] become valid options.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the episode [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E13JourneysEnd "Journey's End"]], there's Osterhagen keys; people who know about them start crying at the mere ''mention'' of their use. It's revealed that UNIT [[spoiler:strung a series of nuclear warheads beneath the Earth's crust, with the stated aim of destroying the ''entire freakin' planet''. It is only to be used when death is considered a preferable alternative to whatever shitstorm has enveloped the human race.]]
** In [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E17E18TheEndOfTime "The End of Time"]], we finally learn what it takes for [[TechnicalPacifist the Tenth Doctor]] to pick up a gun: [[spoiler: The return of the [[HeWhoFightsMonsters Time]] [[OmnicidalManiac Lords]] and all the horrors sealed away with the [[GreatOffscreenWar Last Great Time War]].]]
** Not the first time, either; Eight, once he learned [[spoiler: just how bad the War was getting, to the point that innocents could no longer see any difference between Daleks and Time Lords, actively directed his regeneration into creating someone [[TheUnfettered willing to discard his self-imposed restrictions]]]].
--->'''8th Doctor:''' Make me a warrior now.
** The Time War itself had crossed the threshold that three different factions took different measures to try to end it. In "The End of Time", the leadership of the Time Lords decided to AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence -- which would not only end the Time War and save Gallifrey, but destroy the world. The Time Lord military had used every weapon they had locked away because they were considered forbidden. Except one: The Moment, which was still deemed too horrible to use. The Doctor decided the Time War was, in fact, bad enough to justify using The Moment.
** Even the final solution, shown in [[Recap/DoctorWho50thASTheDayOfTheDoctor "The Day of the Doctor"]], was considered by the Time Lord military leaders to be crossing the Godzilla Threshold. [[spoiler:Using 13 of the Doctors and their [=TARDISes=] to shift Gallifrey into a different universe. The amount of Doctors used invoked an OhCrap moment.]]
** In a reference to UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill's real-world invocation of this trope in defense of allying with [[UsefulNotes/JosefStalin Stalin]] (see below), he uses this same logic to justify using Dalek technology against the Nazis in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS31E3VictoryOfTheDaleks "Victory of the Daleks"]]. The Doctor tries and fails to convince Churchill that the Daleks are a bigger threat than the Nazis, [[spoiler:but it turns out that the Daleks had out-gambitted the Doctor all along, and the entire point of the exercise was just to get the Doctor to admit that they were Daleks so that the Dalek race could be revived.]]
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS33E12NightmareInSilver "Nightmare in Silver"]] shows that by the end of the "Cyber Wars", the Cybermen were such a threat it was worth obliterating an entire galaxy to finish them, with collateral damage numbering in the trillions. Standard procedure dictates that ''any'' encountered survivors must be immediately terminated, and if you can't manage that the entire planet is to be destroyed.
*** And in the end, [[spoiler: the planet they're on indeed had to go kaboom]]. And there was ''never any doubt'' that the Cybermen were enough of a threat to make it worth giving the order.
* Several times in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', varied characters think they've hit this point:
** In season five, after seeing a [[BadFuture bleak future]] [[spoiler:in which Lucifer won in Sam's body seemingly because Dean didn't say yes to Michael]] and losing all faith in Sam, Dean's ready to [[spoiler:let Michael have him]] even though it will mean [[DestructiveSavior most of the world is destroyed]]. [[ThePowerOfTrust Sam convinces him not to]].
** By the end of season five, everything ''has'' gone so far to hell that risking giving Lucifer a total win by [[spoiler:having Sam say 'yes' to Lucifer]] ''is'' the only option. While this option guaranteed a fight between [[ArchangelMichael Michael]] and [[ArchangelLucifer Lucifer]] that would destroy most of the world unless [[spoiler:Sam could overcome the possessing influence of Lucifer long enough to throw them both into Lucifer's Cage]], the apocalypse that would kill or zombify most of humanity ''would'' happen if they did nothing. Of course, at the end of season 4, they'd all pretty much realised that they were [[OhCrap screwed]].
** In season six, [[spoiler:best buddy Castiel]] decides that the only way to prevent the Apocalypse from being restarted by Archangel Raphael is to make a DealWithTheDevil and [[spoiler:take in the [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity power of all the souls in Purgatory]].]]. This turns out to be [[JumpedOffTheSlipperySlope a bad idea]].
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': At the end of season 4 John does this [[spoiler:with a home-made nuke in order to try to pull a fast one on the Scarrans and Peacekeepers.]] Done again on a ''much'' bigger scale in ''Peacekeeper Wars''. [[spoiler:John holds the entire ''galaxy'' to ransom with the wormhole weapon. This time, he ''really'' wasn't bluffing.]]
** Also played with in season 3 when [[spoiler:John finds out that playing with wormholes is ''fucking about with the entire fabric of reality''.]] The only reason he reenters the system is that he has no choice. [[NiceJobBreakingItHero He still messes up though]].
** Even earlier in season 1, during the first appearance of Maldis. Zaahn, who has the capability to defeat him, fears to unleash that power due to her violent past and discusses the trope with D'Argo. It's not until a few episodes later when the crew encounters a planetfull of Delvians who indiscriminately use their powers on others under the direction of their KnightTemplar leader, that we learn just how ''bad'' an out of control Zaahn could be. Maldis's excuse is he's an energy vampire and needs to eat. Zaahn would be ''[[AxCrazy bat-shit insane]]'' and go on a rampage just for the giggles.
** The Peacekeepers begin as the BigBad of the series. This only lasts until the emergence of the Scarran Imperium, and just ''why'' Scorpius is so desperate to get his hands on wormhole weapons. The Scarrans are such a major threat to the rest of the galaxy that for a brief moment near the end of season 3, Crichton was ''genuinely considering helping Scorpius''. Harvey, who by this point is actively helping Crichton and, in his own words, "[shares] his intellect, but not his passions and his fears," ''thinks Scorpius is right''.
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'': Series 4. The world is on the verge of an unexpected Apocalypse when the Beast blocks out the sun over LA to create a 24-hour demon playground. The only thing that can stop it is Angel's SuperpoweredEvilSide, Angelus, the greatest mass murder in recorded history and one of the worst vampires ever heard of. Even Angel agrees it has to be done and Angelus is freed. ''Then'' the only way to then stop Angelus is to break out the unhinged, convicted murderer[[note]] Said convicted murderer actually broke herself out, in a matter of ''seconds''. as she was staying there by choice.[[/note]], Faith the Vampire Slayer, who has to use her DeathSeeker nature to almost commit suicide because Angelus is ''that'' hard for even a slayer to defeat.
* In ''Series/TheSarahJaneAdventures'' episode "The Last Sontaran", despite the fact that Sarah Jane DoesntLikeGuns and distrusts the military, the presence of a Sontaran ship on Earth prompts her to immediately make plans to call in UNIT.
* In the ''Franchise/StarTrek'' universe, the Godzilla Threshold is instantly crossed whenever a single omega particle is detected. Omega protocol authorizes the captain of the vessel to use any means (even breaking the [[{{AlienNon-InterferenceClause}} Prime Directive]]) to destroy it. Why the panic? The decomposition of ''just one'' killed a bunch of scientists and rendered warp travel impossible for a radius of ''several light years''.
** The original ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' had the episode "Operation: Annihilate!", which involved them considering passing the Godzilla Threshold to prevent the spread of an alien pancake parasite. Kirk demanded they find and TakeAThirdOption.
** Kodos the Executioner/Anton Karidian in ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' episode, "The Conscience of the King" used this as his excuse to execute half the colonists of the Tarsus IV colony when a fungus destroyed most of their food supply.
*** It's worth noting that the only reason it counts as this trope was because he was wrong about one of his assumptions: It turned out that the Federation did manage to get relief supplies to the colony in time. Had he turned out to be ''right''...
** ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]'' discusses this several times during the Dominion War arcs, both at a governmental level (with Section 31) and a personal and moral level (the episode "In The Pale Moonlight")
** While we've never seen it enacted, the existence of Starfleet General Order 24 shows the Federation's awareness that such situations can arise: General Order 24 is an order to ''destroy all life on a planet'' (and it does ''not'' require Starfleet Command's approval to be enacted, although obviously a captain that ordered it without due cause would be liable to be found unfit for duty by the CMO, and probably relieved of duty even before the order is followed through)
* In the first season of ''Series/BabylonFive'', the station's dockworkers go on strike. Faced with a complete shutdown of the station's operations, Commander Sinclair is authorized to end the strike "By any means necessary". He does the unthinkable [[spoiler: and reallocates part of the station's military budget to meet the dockworker's demands]].
** Then, in Season 4, we see a ''real'' Godzilla Threshold crossed. First the Vorlons, then the Shadows decide to stop playing around and start laying waste to each other's allied planets all across the galaxy. They only solution they have left is to [[spoiler:locate the rest of the First Ones, each SufficientlyAdvancedAliens on the level of the Vorlons and Shadows, and convince them to come back and engage the Vorlons ''and'' the Shadows in one last elaborate gambit.]]
** The Earth-Minbari War was one for Earth Alliance. As shown in ''[[Recap/BabylonFiveFilm01InTheBeginning In the Beginning]]'', realization of the Minbari's power caused Earth Alliance to start freely fielding nukes (usually kept in reserve), buying alien weapons (something they don't usually do, preferring to reverse-engineer technologies to not become dependant on the sellers and to understand how they work), and even ramming Minbari ships to just [[HopelessWar try and slow them down enough to evacuate a sizeable part of Earth's population away from the genocidal enemy]]. Even ten years after the Minbari decided to spare Mankind and surrender, Earth is ''still'' trying to put together a more powerful fleet, even fielding {{Wave Motion Gun}}s and [[spoiler: [[DealWithTheDevil collaborating with the]] [[BigBad Shadows]]]].
*** The ExpandedUniverse adds that [[GondorCallsForAid Earth called for help from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds]]. While they were willing at first, [[GunboatDiplomacy the Minbari showing they could enter in bombing range of their homeworlds at will and destroy entire cities before they could react]] deterred most of them. The [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Drazi]] still sent a large fleet, but said fleet disappearing in hyperspace forced them to chance their mind... And give Earth the designs of those Wave Motion Guns.
** The backstory has the Dilgar War as one for the League of Non-Aligned Worlds. Attacked for no apparent reason by the genocidal [[RecycledInSpace Space]] [[ANaziByAnyOtherName Nazi]] and being slowly overwhelmed, the League begged for help from the [[TheEmpire Centauri Republic]], the Narn Regime and Earth Alliance... In spite of being [[TheAlliance an alliance formed specifically to defend the members from Centauri expansionism]], having added the Narn to the list after seeing they were just as bad as the Narn, and Earth apparently being either a Centauri client or another expansionist regime. The Centauri and the Narn, having other issues (including the resurgence of the old enemy of the Centauri) and some kind of agreement with the Dilgar, refused, but Earth Alliance didn't, and proved crucial to save the day... And non-expansionist.
* In ''TwinPeaks'', Agent Cooper uses some rather eccentric methods in the search for Laura Palmer's killer that have more to do with mysticism than forensics. Of course, he is not taken very seriously with these; at one point, Sheriff Truman demands that he lay aside these methods while the cops use traditional, realistic techniques in the search. But when [[spoiler:Maddy Ferguson becomes BOB's latest victim]], everyone begs him to use any remaining tricks in his bag in order to stop the killer once and for all.
* PlayedForLaughs on ''ParksAndRecreation''. When Ron's first wife Tammi ("Tammi One") takes a hold of him again, Leslie tries to recruit his second, equally manipulative ex-wife Tammi ("Tammi Two"). Leslie explains 'When you are fighting Godzilla, you need Mothra.'
* In ''Series/{{Haven}}'', Duke Crocker has the power to completely erase a Trouble by killing one person who has it. Duke never willingly uses it, since he finds killing abominable and Audrey and the others usually find a non-lethal solution to Troubles. Duke ''was'' willing to use it on a guy whose unknowing RealityWarper Trouble was about to destroy the town with an AlienInvasion he imagined, but Nathan then solves the problem before he can. Later, they face a guy whose organs progressively fail, forcing him to harvest organs from his family members, as well as trigger the same affliction in anybody who escapes from him. Audrey tells Duke he has no choice, he ''has'' to use his ability. Duke eventually relents and kills the guy. Even later, he resorts to killing a baby's father (with the father's permission) to end the child's ability to kill people with his cries.
* The first half of ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' season 4 is built on this. The artifact the team spends episode 4.01 searching for unleashes an evil into the world. Considering that the alternative is the whole world being completely drained of all hope, this is the better alternative. Of course, the evil they unleash decides to invoke the Godzilla Threshold as well in hopes that the team will undo what they did.
* The Great Legend War in ''Series/KaizokuSentaiGokaiger'' invokes this when Akaranger has the other Super Sentai to sacrifice their powers to drive off the Zangyack. They get better at the end of the series.
* Basically every episode of ''Series/{{Ultraman}}''. When everything else the anti-monster team tried has failed, they hit a point where having another giant guy wrestle around with the monster and shooting laser beams isn't such a bad option.
* In season 3 of ''Series/PersonOfInterest'' this happens twice. The first in when [[spoiler: Root]] is let out of her cage to help save Reese. The second is when The Machine gives them an interesting number, [[spoiler: it wants them to kill a high ranking US Congressman to stop the creation of a second machine whose first directive is to kill Finch]].
* The TAHITI Protocol in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'', which was Coulson and Fury's last line of defense if [[spoiler: an Avenger was killed]]. It would [[spoiler: utilize alien and robotic means to bring that person back to life, but the program was canceled by Coulson when the test subjects all exhibited such suffering that to prolong their lives would be cruel. Ironically, ''Coulson himself'' is that fallen Avenger, and Fury brings Coulson back to life, hiding the awful memories under the harmless cover of "a trip to Tahiti"]].
* In ''Series/{{Continuum}}'', one particular BadFuture has a band of post-apocalyptic raiders attacking the base of the Freelancers, an organization dedicated to suppressing time travel, as a last-ditch "Hail Mary" play to SetRightWhatOnceWentWrong. Then the sergeant hands one of his men an experimental device.
-->'''Sergeant:''' That's right. The Hail Mary now has a Hail Mary.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Multiple Media]]
* The Toa's [[DangerousForbiddenTechnique Nova]] [[FantasticNuke blasts]] from ''Franchise/{{Bionicle}}''. It's been attempted two times in the known story for such purposes -- when Toa Jaller and the Toa Mahri faced all six of the Barraki and their army of sea beasts and tried to stop them from reaching Matoro (who was at the time busy resurrecting the entire fricken' universe); and when Toa Helryx tried to create a flood inside the resurrected but [[BigBad Makuta]]-[[GrandTheftMe possessed]] Great Spirit's brain, thereby causing the robot and the universe inside it to shut off, effectively killing every being in it -- both attempts were hindered, thankfully.
** When the [[EliteMooks Bohrok-Kal]] were about to free their masters the Bahrag and re-unleash the [[TheSwarm Bohrok swarms]] upon Mata Nui, Tahu broke out his secret weapon that he was never supposed to use: The Kanohi Vahi, AKA the Mask of Time. Using it buys the Toa a few more critical seconds but also nearly destroys the universe.
** In the prequel novel "Time Trap" Vakama is has the Mask of Time but is stuck in a fight between the BigBad and the leader of a league of assassins. What does he do? [[spoiler: He threatens to destroy the Mask, and with it all of reality.]]
** In an example more befitting of the trope's name, when Botar teleported the [[{{Kaiju}} Tahtorak]] onto the industrious island of Xia [[ItAmusedMe out of fun]], it started wrecking the place, so they released the similarly giant Kanohi Dragon to fight it, which in turn lead to even more destruction.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Sports]]
* In ice hockey, a team that is down a goal or two in the last minute or so may elect to pull their goalie and put another attacker on the ice. It gives the possibility of tying the game, at the risk of the leading team scoring again. On average, the leading team scores an empty net goal about 1/3 of the time while the trailing team scores a goal about 1/9 of the time - in the long run this strategy is detrimental to the team that pulled its goalie. However, in most cases what matters is that you've lost the game and not what the margin of defeat was.
* Similarly, in [[TheBeautifulGame association football (soccer)]], a team that's a goal down in the dying minutes of a game may choose to send their goalkeeper up front for a set play, such as a corner kick. The downside to this is that if the other team manages to gain possession of the ball, the goalkeeper probably won't be able to sprint back to his own goal in time to prevent the opposition from scoring easily. Therefore, this tactic is only used in times of urgent desperation.
** In the indoor version futsal, the alternative is a combination of this and hockey: the goalkeeper is removed, and a line player that can play goal becomes a "line keeper", guarding the net but more focused on attack.
* In American football, the Hail Mary (having every receiver run to the endzone and throwing the ball up for grabs) is an incredibly risky play that's just as likely to give the opposing team the ball as it is to succeed. As a result, it is rarely called. However, on occasion, when a team is losing with little to no time left on the clock, it becomes their only real chance of winning the game.
* In sports, the NCAA has what is referred to as "the death penalty", which bans a school from participating from a certain sport for at least a year. These are used towards repeat offenders who make two major violations (re: mostly players being paid to play or not to play, but that's not the only one) within five years of one another. The only time it had been done was towards Southwest Methodist University's football program to the point where the program never recovered nearly ''30 years later''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* [[TheEmpire The Imperium]] in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' has Exterminatus, a type of [[DeathFromAbove orbital bombardment]] deliberately designed to kill ''everything'' on the target planet. Despite MemeticMutation about [[StateSec Inquisitors]] who order it for minor heresy, it's only used when something so dangerous is on the planet that KillEmAll is the best solution. Such as:
** [[TheCorruption Chaos]]. A cult uprising is one thing, but if daemons are actually rampaging around at will, the world may be past saving. Even if the Imperium managed to cleanse the planet, the taint of Chaos would remain, like lingering radiation [[{{Dissimile}} that's also sentient and teaches people how to build dirty bombs]]. Of course, as Literature/CiaphasCain notes, the problem with destroying a planet in the grip of Chaos is that past a certain point the world isn't quite physically ''there'' anymore, so the best you can do is try to quarantine it.
** [[HordeOfAlienLocusts Tyranids]]. If a Hive Fleet conquers a planet, even at a staggering cost, it will just add the world's bio-mass to the swarm and recycle the corpses of its dead, emerging only stronger. A controversial but effective tactic is to bait the Tyranids into committing most of a swarm to taking a world, only to blow it up before they can set about harvesting it, with any friendly casualties being acceptable losses. Unfortunately, the ever-evolving Tyranids have bred burrowing organisms capable of riding out such an orbital apocalypse.
*** Inquisitor Kryptman devised a "scorched earth" strategy against Hive Fleet Leviathan, exterminating not just worlds undergoing Tyranid attack, but those in the fleet's path. While his gambit arguably succeeded in slowing the Tyranid advance, battlezone morale plummeted, billions died in the largest act of genocide since the HorusHeresy, and Kryptman himself was excommunicated. Though the Imperium is [[WeHaveReserves perfectly willing to sacrifice millions of men to win a war]], [[PragmaticVillainy humans are a renewable resource, worlds are not]].
** In ''[[VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine Space Marine]]'', Exterminatus is on the table as a worst-case solution to an Ork invasion, not because losing a world to the greenskins is particularly dangerous, but because the world in question is capable of manufacturing [[HumongousMecha Titans]]. The only reason the planet isn't glassed immediately is because those Titan-producing facilities are just as valuable to the Imperium as to the Orks, so the titular SuperSoldier and his squadmates are sent in first.
** The individual planets in ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar II: Retribution'' are not beyond saving, but the fact that not only ''all'' of the sub-sector has been under attack for the past ten years, but that they're being attacked by nearly every major threat in the Imperium means the region has devolved into such a clusterfuck that most in the Inquisition see Exterminatus as the only viable course of action.
** Codex: Grey Knights describes something called "the Terminus Decree." Knowledge of its existence is restricted to the Supreme Grand Master, who is only to access it when the fate of humanity's future is in peril.
** The Necron Tesseract Vault is essentially a weaponised SealedEvilInACan device caging a Transcendent C'tan shard. When things ''really'' go to hell, the Nemesors can disable the seals and allow the C'tan loose, an act which could be loosely defined as "suicidally reckless" given that the C'tan have no reason at ''all'' to be fond of the Necrons, and which is spelled out in the fluff as being just as dangerous to the Necrons as to their enemies.
** To an Eldar craftworld, this is when they awaken their avatar of Khaine. Awakening an avatar requires naming an Eldar exarch as the Young King, who is then ritually sacrificed to power the avatar. Any course of action that costs Eldar lives is usually avoided, so taking the option that requires at least one death definitely qualifies as crossing this threshold.
* As the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness drew to a close, the Antediluvian vampire Zapathasura (sire of the [[TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade Ravnos clan]]) rose in India and began wrecking things. The [[TabletopGame/MageTheAscension Technocracy]] responded with a Code Ragnarok, their contingency plan for 'if we don't win this, the world ends today' events. It involved solar mirrors (to direct the equivalent of five suns at the super-vampire), Prime-enhanced spirit-shredding nuclear weapons, weather control machines, and more. In fact, Ragnarok authorized the use of the entire Technocratic arsenal, a 100% civilian casualty rate and a 100% operative casualty rate -- had Ravnos not been killed by the orbital solar mirrors, God only knows what they'd have used next. If they had anything else to use.
** This being the World of Darkness, though, things did indeed [[FromBadToWorse get worse]] thanks to Code Ragnarok. The [[TabletopGame/WraithTheOblivion Shadowlands]] were destroyed, the [[TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen Fallen]] escaped from the Abyss, and the [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt Time of Judgement]] began. Still, it beat the world ending that afternoon.
* In the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness (the relaunch that followed Time of Judgment), [[ChangelingTheLost Changelings]] in serious trouble who cross this Threshold can make use of a [[PowerAtAPrice Goblin Contract]] titled [[TheWildHunt "Call The Hunt"]] -- you summon TheFairFolk to your location and they'll arrive soon, expecting one of their own to be in danger. On a critical failure, they'll arrive anyway, but they'll know who summoned them.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Exalted}}'', we have the Kukla. Elementals in ''Exalted'' take on increasingly draconic forms as they grow in power, culminating in a transformation into a Greater Elemental Dragon. The Kukla is a Greater Elemental Dragon of Earth, whose mere presence is so destructive that he's been [[SealedBadassInACan sealed away]] until the Unconquered Sun, ruler of Heaven and arbiter of justice, decides that the situation in Creation is so far past the Godzilla Threshold that the general apocalypse resulting from the Kukla's release cannot possibly make things worse. Just to be perfectly clear: the Kukla is several miles long, utterly indestructible, completely insane, and possibly destined to destroy the world. Things have to be REALLY bad for "[[MemeticMutation Release the Kukla!]]" to be a good idea.
** Glories of the Most High revealed that the Unconquered Sun also has the authority to temporarily (if lucky) release a Yozi from Malfeas/Hell. Do mind that the Yozis are insane, world-making, ''world-sized'' Titans that have been seeping in divine amount of hatred and misery for several millennia. One of the Yozis, before being defeated by the Exalted, destroyed 90% of Creation -- and the remaining portion is several times larger than Earth. Creation is liable to suffer several disasters where their presence is preferable to the alternative (and the PlayerCharacters are tasked with taking care of it).
** Beyond all of those is the Eschaton Key. When Malfeas created the Unconquered Sun, he granted him the power to utterly annihilate Creation in the event that any of its worst enemies should gain control over it. It's been used only once; to destroy the rival Creation that an enemy Primordial attempted to supplant the original with. After that, the Unconquered Sun sealed his world destroying power within a broken device that is beyond the ability of anyone less than the most powerful Solars to repair and operate.
** ''Return of the Scarlet Empress'' revealed that if things get really, really, Ebon-Dragon-just-signed-his-name-on-the-Moon bad, there are certain world-shaking Astrology charms that can be unlocked for the Sidereals. These allow them to do things like give gods or Exalts battlefield promotions - to ''Celestial Incarnae''.
* Any situation in which you would consider casting Vengeful Gaze of God in ''[[DungeonsAndDragons D&D 3rd Ed]]'' is probably past the Godzilla Threshold. For those who don't know, it's an epic level spell that will almost certainly kill whatever you're casting it on...but the chances of the caster surviving too is slim to none. Even the ''book'' says, "The backlash damage[[note]]which is in the ''hundreds of dice''[[/note]] will almost certainly kill the caster, but most would consider this cost worth it."
** Or, in 3e/3.5e, anything in the Elder Evils rulebook. By the end of the plot arc involving (insert featured superboss here), a spell that obliterates your section of the Multiverse would probably be deemed an acceptable course of action to stop those creatures, especially in Atropus's case.
** 3.5e's Wu Jen spell, Transcend Mortality. When you cast the spell, you become nigh indestructible for the duration. The cost? You burn out the rest of your life force to cast the spell, and when the effect ends, turn into a small pile of ash.
** It is generally known that if someone tries to put one extradimensional storage device (e.g., a Bag of Holding) inside another (e.g., a Portable Hole), the result is a catastrophic rending of the fabric of the universe. The extent of this rip depends on the GM's whim, but by and large the result is usually miles in diameter, cannot be done from range, and kills everyone and everything within the "blast" zone. (Okay, there's a ''slim'' chance of being cast into another plane instead.) Adventurers have been known to do this anyway, if the situation is dire enough.
** The artifact called the Bringer of Doom opens a massive cross-rip into Hades and releases thousands of hordlings over a radius of several miles. The user ''never'' survives.
** A mage with a ''staff of power'' or ''staff of the Magi'' can perform what is euphemistically called a "retributive strike" -- breaking the staff itself, killing herself and making a very big mess of the surrounding area.
* Players in ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' with a bent towards magic can summon Azathoth to Earth. Azathoth, is the boss of bosses of the Lovecraft Mythos, the blind idiot god that sits at the center of reality and is best described as a cross between an titanic amoeba and an ever-expanding nuclear explosion. Presumably, a sane player would only do this if the stars have become so right that Cthulhu and his pals are tap-dancing down Main Street.
** Keeping the mechanics of the game in mind, any situation where summoning Azathoth wouldn't make the situation significantly worse will almost certainly already have rendered all the player characters irretrievably insane.
* In ''Duel Terminal'', the background fluff behind the ''Hidden Arsenal'' series of [[Tabletopgame/YuGiOh Yu-Gi-Oh!]] [[Metaplot/YuGiOh cards]], the Ice Barrier tribe fought against the invading Worms and Fabled by progressively unlocking seals on a series of powerful Ice Barrier monsters. Eventually, they wound up pushed so far back against the wall that they released Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier[[note]]a GameBreaker in RealLife[[/note]]. In its berserk rampage, Trishula [[NiceJobBreakingItHero wiped out nearly everybody]], [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt friend and foe alike]], including the Ice Barrier tribe themselves. [[spoiler:Later expansions on the storyline imply that there ''were'' survivors, just not very many.]]
* In ''{{Witchcraft}}'' the {{Mad God}}s are seen this way by the Mocker covenant (and doubtless other factions). The point is made that if an incarnation of a Mad God is imminent, a Mocker will stop at ''nothing'' to prevent it ("If doing so requires him to detonate a nuclear device in downtown New York, so be it").
* ''TabletopGame/{{Trinity}}'' almost had this as part of the backstory. When the Aberrants were truly ruining the world, China politely informed them that if they didn't leave the planet immediately, the entirety of China's orbital platforms would perform a simultaneous nuclear bombardment on every surface of the earth until it was turned into glass. Rather than preside over an empire of smoldering, irradiated, fused carbon and silicon, the Aberrants decided to take off, and China took its proverbial finger away from the Big Red Button.
* One high-clearance ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' NPC, faced with the prospect of another one blowing up all of Alpha Complex with [[LostSuperweapon an Old Reckoning antimatter bomb]], ''gives the {{PC}}s his ID card'' before running away from the approaching interrogators.
** For those of you who don't play Paranoia that's the equivalent to the Director of the FBI giving you his ID.
* In ''TabletopGame/StrikeLegion'', each Strike Team has access to the "Ultimate Solution": a piece of weaponized nanotech so powerful it can destroy an entire Dyson Sphere in ''seconds''. Use of this weapon is considered an extreme last resort, for obvious reasons; Legionaires are usually sent in for more covert missions where outright annihilation of a target is not acceptable, and typically pack planet-ending firepower as standard kit, which puts the need for ''them'' to have a "last resort" weapon in perspective. If the Ultimate Solution becomes necessary, things have gotten '''''really''''' bad.
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'', Firewall deploys "erasure squads" to eliminate existential threats that have gotten out of hand and can no longer be contained by the [[PlayerCharacter sentinel teams.]] Erasure squads' tactics range from assaulting and killing everything in a building to nuking an entire habitat with a kinetic strike. Furthermore, Firewall is fully prepared to cover the tracks of an erasure squad's actions by forging evidence proving some other faction was responsible for the atrocity in order to maintain Firewall's own operational security, even if this means burning the sentinel team that was unable to contain the x-threat.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''Videogame/SuperGodzilla,'' this actually happens several times: The first, when the Japanese government decides to awaken and control Godzilla in order to fight aliens and the monsters they send (making this one a ''literal'' example of the Godzilla Threshold); later, when making Godzilla stronger by way of injecting King Ghidorah cells; and in the final two stages, where it becomes necessary to pour huge amounts of energy into Big G in order to turn him into the titular Super Godzilla.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Geneforge}}'' series, the rebellion which breaks out in the 3rd game is on the edge of defeat by the 4th. While the humans and serviles in the rebellion could survive being ruled by the Shapers again, the [[OurDragonsAreDifferent drakons]] know they will not be allowed to exist under Shaper rule. To turn the war, they create the [[PersonOfMassDestruction Unbound]], which are massively powerful but completely insane, and release them into Shaper lands to rampage around.
* Invoked several times in the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' series:
** Ordering the SPARTAN II project was considered this by ONI Command. The Insurrectionists on the colony worlds commonly used coordinated terrorist tactics in order to forcibly declare independence for the UEG. The UNSC Navy and Marines weren't able to keep up, even though they had far greater numbers, due to the collateral damage that would have been invoked. In other words, kidnapping and manipulating 6 year-old children into sociopathic walking tanks was considered preferable to the potential loss of innocent life that a drawn-out civil war would have resulted in.
** In ''Halo 3'', [[spoiler: when a flood infected ship crashes in New Mombasa]], Commander Keys proposes to overload a slipstream engine inside the city and wiping out everything in the area. Though usually rather timid in his decisions, Lord Hood only replies with ''"Do it!".''
** The Flood evoke this reaction in more than just humans: again in ''Halo 3'', when there's a relatively small Flood outbreak in Africa, the Elites who show up in a BigDamnHeroes moment torch the continent to get rid of it. When Lord Hood protests this action, the Elite Shipmaster responds that he fully intended to burn all of Earth just to make sure that ''every last Flood spore was absolutely dead'', and only the Arbiter's arguing against it stopped him from doing so.
** The Halos themselves were built (and activated) due to the Threshold being crossed: wiping out almost all intelligent life in the galaxy was an acceptable alternative compared to the Flood, as far as the Forerunners were concerned.
** In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' Kat comes up with an insane plan after the Covenant super-carrier arrives at Reach, to which Cater replies he'll ask, but they'll never get a green light for it. One GilliganCut later...
* For many ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'' players, the appearance of [[BonusBoss AC Nine Ball]] is an instant Godzilla Threshold scenario.
** It's a relatively minor and easy to miss one, but in ''[=AC4=]: For Answer'' you can become one, [[spoiler:if you kill hundreds of millions of people by bringing down the cradle, Otsdarva will be one of the 5 NEXT teaming up to take you down as payback.]]
* The {{Big Bad}}s of ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' are ready to [[NukeEm nuke Manhattan]] to stop the spread of Redlight. This is supposed to be the chocolate syrup on their villainy sundae. The problem is, Redlight is so apocalyptically dangerous -- it ''has'' to be far past the Godzilla threshold, or [[VillainProtagonist Alex]] could never be the "hero" -- [[DesignatedEvil that to the player this can seem like]] [[NuclearOption a reasonable, if grim, last ditch effort to save the rest of the world.]]
* [[GeniusLoci The Planet itself]] in ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII'' responds to the threat of [[EldritchAbomination Jenova]] by creating the [[EldritchAbomination WEAPONs]] from TheLifestream itself, whose mission is to destroy whatever is threatening the planet. Since they can't ''reach'' Jenova, they go for the next biggest threat to the planet: {{Humans|AreBastards}}.
** In ''VideoGame/DirgeOfCerberus'', Omega WEAPON's function is a Godzilla Threshold to the previous one. If destroying the threat with the other [=WEAPONs=] doesn't work, it packs up all the Lifestream it can and heads off into space to find another planet to colonize.
** In ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyII'', the Rebels' struggle to kill the Emperor reaches the point that the party have to retrieve the [[TomeOfEldritchLore Ultima Tome]], containing a spell literally designed to destroy Hell and therefore so powerful that the mages decided to seal it up permanently to prevent it ever being used again. The Rebel-affiliated mage Minwu is even willing to die to allow the Rebels to retrieve it, despite knowing better than anyone else how terrible the spell is. [[GameplayAndStorySegregation Unfortunately, the spell is not that powerful compared to the other high-level spells (it has a different damage mechanic to them, which is even harder to exploit) and never comes up in the plot again]].
* ''WorldInConflict:'' [[spoiler:Nuking Cascade Falls]] to prevent the Soviets from finding about SDI (the only thing stopping the Soviets from using nuclear weapons...and a fake reassurance, since it's completely non-functional), and at the end of the game, [[spoiler: nearly nuking Seattle to prevent the Chinese, coming to reinforce the failing Soviet invasion, from landing there.]]
* In ''[[VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiBowsersInsideStory Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story]]'', Bowser can only be turned into Giant Bowser when his life is in mortal danger, e.g. when he is flattened by an enemy far too big to fight normally. Almost a literal case.
* At one point in ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'', Jade suggest that the only way to save the world is to [[spoiler:sacrifice the lives of 10,000 replicas, which in game basically boils down to sacrificing 10,000 babies. A few hours later you really don't get a choice otherwise.]]
* Villainous example occurs in StarFox64. Facing down a battalion of Andross's ships, the general is throwing everything on hand at you, save for a prototype the scientists insist is too dangerous. At the end of the level, he yells "Deploy it now!" and the prototype serves as the boss - a biomechanical dimension hopping battlecruiser with free will.
* The second disk of ''VideoGame/WildArms2'' reveals that pretty much every threat from the first disk, from the terrorist organization trying to conquer the world to the EldritchAbomination sealed inside the protagonist, was part of a plan by [[spoiler:Irving]] to combat the most ludicrously overpowered threat of all time: [[spoiler:a parallel universe that eats other universes.]]
** This trope also comes in to play earlier in the game. Once you destroy Odessa's [[DiscOneFinalDungeon airborne fortress]], Vinsfeld activates his back-up plan: the nuclear dragon Grauswein, an [[FantasticNuke Angel Weapon]] on par with the weapon that destroyed the entire Kingdom of Slayheim. After ARMS lures it into a trap and attacks it, their attacks are rendered ineffective and it continues gathering enough energy to [[NukeEm detonate and destroy the entire continent Guild Galad is centered on.]] When Irving elects that their only option is to [[TakingYouWithMe ram Grauswein with Valeria Chateau]] [[HeroicSacrifice before it can detonate]], [[spoiler: Ashley activates his DangerousForbiddenTechnique, [[DemonicPossession which might leave him under the possession of LordBlazer.]]]]
* In ''Franchise/ShinMegamiTensei: VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', the government has a 'final option' that it will unleash on the Yamamote Line if they can't take control of the situation taking place inside, and is why nobody inside has more than six days to live. [[spoiler:It's [[ParanoiaFuel a chip installed in all japanese electronics]] that lets the government control them remotely, and use it to create enormous amounts of EM radiation which would fry every electric circuit and every living being inside.]] Incidentally, this is the ''smallest'' of three Thresholds in the game.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor2'', on Friday, you discover a giant magic circle. Later that day, you encounter the AsteroidsMonster Mizar. Attacking one of its blobs with anything short of a OneHitKill causes it to split, and leaving them alone [[MortonsFork allows them to grow and split at their leisure]]. At the rate it's growing, Mizar will be everywhere in a day. When you mention the magic circle to Yamato, he reveals that its power ''would'' suffice, but it's currently preventing the last few steps of TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt. He forces you to work it out yourself, but it does turn out that Mizar is now the bigger threat to existence.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starcraft|I}}'', the Protoss consider the Godzilla Treshold crossed when they find out the Zerg have infested a world. Their standard solution is an orbital bombardment that burns everything on the planet to a crisp. Even this isn't enough, as the Zerg are perfectly capable of digging burrows deep enough to avoid destruction and hibernating until more prey arrives.
** Arcturus Mengsk sees the Confederacy's corruption as having crossed the threshold to justify using a psi emitter to lure the Zerg to their capital world, then lets the Protoss burn the Zerg and Confederates both. However, its only Mengsk who sees it this way, the others see it as a MoralEventHorizon for him.
** Then along comes ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft II}}'', when it turns out that the Zerg need to be allied with against an oncoming threat even more terrible -- a fallen Xel'Naga, and an army of even more lethal Protoss/Zerg Hybrids.
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', the Godzilla Threshold is pretty consistent: for really, really bad threats, the Horde and Alliance work together. Most of the time they're at each others' throats in a Cold War or even proxy war. Against pests or regional threats, the Alliance and the Horde ignore each other or even try to backstab each other so their own people can claim the prize first. But against an [[EldritchAbomination awakened Old God]], the beachead of a [[LegionsOfHell demonic invasion]], the [[ZombieApocalypse Lich King]], or the biggest and most evil dragon ever, they ally. [[StatusQuoIsGod Temporarily]].
** Unfortunately, after the CavalryBetrayal at the Wrathgate the level of danger required to set aside their differences has risen significantly, due in part to the enmity of Garrosh and Variann. Ultimately where the Lich King, Deathwing, and Thunder King were all not enough to unite the two factions, Garrosh himself manages to cross the threshold.
* The Enclave in the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series sees the proliferation of mutants in the wasteland as their threshold. Unfortunately for everyone, to the Enclave "mutant" doesn't just mean the super mutants and deformed ghouls, it includes any human who has been exposed to radiation for an extended period of time, in other words ''everyone'' not a member of the Enclave or living in a Vault. Their solution is to use a modified strand of the FEV virus and release it into the air currents and later water supply to kill them all.
* Capcom loves this trope, from the total destructions of Raccoon City in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'' and [[spoiler:Fortune City]] to the massacres at Santa Cabeza and Willamette in ''DeadRising''.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins'', the Templars believe the threshold has been crossed after the Circle Tower is overrun by abominations. Their Knight Commander has already sent word to the Chantry in Denerim requesting permission to invoke the Rite of Annulment which would allow him to use the full might of the Templars to completely purge the Tower. This happens at the worst possible time since you really need the support of the mages against the Blight. You do have a couple options though: 1) kill the abominations yourself and save the mages, or 2) kill ''everything'' in the Tower and have the Templars now free of their responsibilities of mage babysitting join you.
** The Blight has played this role for over a millenium, to the point where the Chantry is willing to look the other way when the Grey Wardens recruits criminals, apostates, or decide to dabble in blood magic.
*** The games show actually several cases where the Wardens habit of breaking Chantry's laws with impunity backfire, like the mess left by [[spoiler: Sophia Dryden's rebellion]], or what happened with [[spoiler: Corypheus' prison]] or, the most obvious case [[spoiler: The Warden Commander of Ferelden taking Anders under his/her wing]]
** Some mages fighting for their freedom or life decide to use BloodMagic or make deal with a demon. These situations usually end up badly - with the unfortunate mage getting possessed or driven insane with power. There are also shades of ThenLetMeBeEvil, since many mages believe that if templars are going accuse them of BloodMagic anyway, they can as well go along with it and use the best weapon they have on their disposal.
* In ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'', many failed, incomplete, or patently insane {{Doomsday Device}}s get activated as a last ditch effort to hold off invaders when all other methods have failed; a common version is [[DugTooDeep digging straight down through adamantine veins]] as a final "screw you" to the would-be conquerors.
** Upon discovering what lay beyond the adamantine [[HilarityEnsues the hard way]], Bay 12 forumgoer [=SpiralDimentia=] decided to release his captive (hostile) ''bronze colossus'' in hopes of it fighting the... [[EverybodyKnewAlready you know]]. This didn't work, but was applauded as [[CrazyAwesome sufficiently dwarven]], especially since he tried to resettle the place ''twice'' after losing everything, despite the bronze colossus and the... you know... still being in residence there.
** Failed miserably in one fortress that was being attacked by [[DemonicSpiders h]][[OurZombiesAreDifferent u]][[TheVirus s]][[UnwinnableByDesign k]][[DarkerAndEdgier s]], and decided to Breach the Circus; it turns out that [[spoiler:DEMONS]] are insufficiently Godzillaesque to defeat husks.
* In ''ModernWarfare 2'', [[spoiler:Captain Price's plan to fire a Russian nuclear missile at the US Eastern Seaboard]] in order to [[spoiler:use the EMP to stop the Russian invasion]]:
-->'''[[spoiler:Price]]:''' Do you know how to put out an oil fire, sir? You set off a ''bigger'' explosion next to it. Sucks out all the oxygen. Snuffs the flame. (...) We've got a pretty big fire. We're going to need a ''huge'' bang...
** Also in the sequel, when the team has to take Makarov's bomber, Volk, out of Paris alive so he can be interrogated. When they get to the bridge over the Seine, they meet a Russian barricade which won't let them through. The air support manages to wipe them out, but in the process [[spoiler:they end up bringing the ''Eiffel Tower'' down.]] This is because the President gave them a clear order to do what they have to do to bring Volk alive.
* In ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'', Litchi crossed this in two phases on a personal case. The first phase, on realizing that Lotte Carmine was inflicted with an extreme corruption of the Boundary which practically has no normal permanent cure and begging for Kokonoe to help does no use, she sees it fit to corrupt herself with the Boundary to find symptoms and develop the cure from experience. The second phase is when she found no cure overall and her own corruption was getting to her, she sees it fit to [[spoiler:join the NOL for the small hope of cure, despite the organization storing someone who's pegged as extremely shady and suspicious (Hazama), or blatant monster of a father (Relius).]]
** Also in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueChronophantasma'', Kushinada's Lynchpin is a device that disrupts seithr on a global scale, and Houyoku: Rettenjou is the Nox Nyctores designed to activate it. Lord Tenjou refused to activate the Lynchpin during the Ikaruga Civil War, however, because the world had become dependent on seithr-fueled ars magus to function[[spoiler:, and chose to seal his soul inside of it in case it became necessary to use it]]. By the end of the story, [[spoiler:Relius had rigged every cauldron in the world to vomit ridiculous concentrations of seithr, which resulted in casualties the world over with every lost soul being dragged into the Ibukido monolith as a means to summon [[PhysicalGod Master Unit: Amaterasu]], which made activating the Lynchpin mandatory, and in some ways ''preferable'' to allowing this Doomsday to continue.]]
* In ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', after an effort to change timeline causes [[spoiler:Sindel to brutally murder the majority of the heroes]], Raiden sees it fit that [[spoiler:the only option left is to ''ally'' with [[ObviouslyEvil Quan Chi]] to stand a chance against Shao Kahn, with the souls of the dead heroes as the wager. The bad news, Shao Kahn already sold the soul of the heroes to Quan Chi. The good news, only by fighting the dead heroes would Raiden get an EurekaMoment on how exactly to beat Shao Kahn.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' DLC ''Arrival'', this is invoked, as the Reapers are set to arrive at the Alpha Relay in mere hours. There is only one viable solution to stop it from happening: [[spoiler:destroying the Relay, and thus setting off a supernova-level explosion that wipes out a nearby colony world with over 300,000 batarians.]] It isn't pretty, but it ''has'' to be done.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' races past the Godzilla Threshold [[SerialEscalation before the player even presses start.]]
** Due to Shepard's actions in "The Arrival", they have been branded a War Criminal and Terrorist throughout Citadel Space. Then the Reapers arrive. The charges are immediately dropped because not only does everyone realise that Shepard was ''[[TheExtremistWasRight right]]'', but they are the ''only'' person who's ever been capable of actually '''[[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu killing]]''' them!
** The continuity's equivalent of Godzilla, the literal mother of all Thresher Maws, is summoned and it proceeds to [[spoiler:''eat a Reaper''.]]
** By the end of the game, your coalition can include several of the biggest threats in galactic history.
** Admiral Hackett points out that there is no way in hell that a super weapon as powerful as the Crucible would ever be seriously considered under normal circumstances, but the Reapers have forced humanity's hand. Indeed, no one even knows what the Crucible even ''does'', all they know is that it can generate an immense amount of energy. The fact remains that the Crucible is the only thing in the galaxy with enough raw power output to defeat the Reapers, though, so...
** The Codex entry "Desperate Measures" discusses different ways that are being considered to stop the Reapers that would never be considered in normal warfare, such as destroying mass relays to strand them in distant systems (they'd just go the long way) or ramming them with starships traveling at FTL speeds (integral safety protocols make it impractical at best).
** One planet decided to blow itself up so they didn't suffer a FateWorseThanDeath and become indoctrinated.
** In the ''Leviathan'' DLC, [[spoiler: Shepard brokers an [[EnemyMine truce]] with the [[TheRemnant last surviving members]] of the EldritchAbomination race that inadvertantly ''created'' the Reapers, gaining their help to defeat their errant progeny.]]
** Three of the four possible endings of the game involve this in one way or another. Because of the situation, [[spoiler: the Catalyst offers the only real way out, so either Shepard has to go with one of three options - none of which are a clear-cut victory and all involve some sacrifices - or doom the galaxy. If Shepard takes too long, the Crucible is destroyed. If Shepard refuses any of the above options, the galaxy falls and its up to the next cycle to do the job using what Shepard's people left behind.]]
** In VideoGame/MassEffect2 you are sent aboard a dead reaper. The Illusive Man later tells you that the Reaper (and another planet) were hit by a mass accelerator round (which travels several timers faster than the speed of light) and that the race who fired the shot didn't fare much better
* Has happened at least once in ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}''. At some point in recent history, humankind's disbelief of anything supernatural had grown enough to threaten the very existence of supernatural beings. Seeing this situation, the {{youkai}} sages decided to erect the Hakurei barrier to rip Gensokyo from real world, so that the land become the final haven of everything supernatural. They knew that they were going to offend the Dragon of Gensokyo, and the Dragon did appear in all its catastrophic glory, covering the sky from one horizon to the opposite, while downpouring from the Dragon's body threatened to drown the land. [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure Amazingly, the Dragon was willing to listen to the sages, and it agreed to their plan]]. Then it disappeared, and (thankfully) never seen again since then.
* A possible result in ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim''. Your character may be the leader of the ThievesGuild, the [[MurderInc Dark Brotherhood]], have completed each Daedric quest (even the ones that involve murder, betrayal, torture, and cannibalism), and murdered hundreds of innocent people. But the Graybeards will ''still'' teach your character the way of the Voice, despite being someone that will doubtlessly abuse this power, because you're still the world's only hope at defeating the dragons.
* In ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' in one possible ending, after a beloved monument is destroyed, Senator Monica Hughes allows STAG to deploy the much hinted-at Daedalus, [[spoiler: an AirborneAircraftCarrier that begins indiscriminately attacking Steelport in a desperate attempt to wipe out the Saints]].
* Pops up in the final GDI mission of ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer 3: [[CommandAndConquerTiberium Tiberium Wars]]''. Faced with a grueling assault on an enemy stronghold in hopes of ending an AlienInvasion, Director Boyle will urge you to use the Liquid Tiberium bomb to wipe out the foe with a single press of a button - even though doing so will set off a chain reaction in the world's largest Red Zone, killing millions if not billions of civilians, causing irreparable environmental damage, and annihilating your own army. However, as hard as the fight is, your forces are still capable of winning without using the bomb and thereby destroying southern Europe.
* In ''VideoGame/FortuneStreet'', when you play against both [[SuperMarioBros Peach and Bowser]] and reach the monetary value necessary to win, Peach will sometimes directly order Bowser to destroy you. [[OOCIsSeriousBusiness This surprises even him]], but he admits that he likes it.
* ''GearsOfWar'': In the backstory, the Locust invasion was so devastating that the Hammer of Dawn KillSat was used to destroy all the major cities to slow the advance. In ''3'', you deal with the aftermath of this when you visit [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Char]], a city that was leveled by the attack.
* Apparently [[VideoGame/SonicAdventure2 Professor Gerald]] using an [[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog alien's DNA]] to create the Ultimate Lifeform was the Godzilla Threshold for G.U.N. to storm Space Colony Ark and arrest (or kill) everyone on-board.
* In ''VideoGame/DarkSouls'' the Darkwraiths sealed under the flooded city of New Londo caused a Godzilla Threshold. The Darkwraiths you see are corrupted, evil monsters who devoured humanity (The precious, ethereal substance, not actual people). There were such a threat to anything that possessed a soul that the Sealers, a group of pacifists, flooded an entire city, drowning its entire populace just to seal them away.
** The fading of the First Flame is the threshold for the gods. The Fire is so sacred, that they are willing to do ''anything'' to keep it burning just a little while longer. The Witch of Izalith attempted to use her Lord Soul as a replacement. When that [[GoneHorriblyWrong went horribly wrong]], Gwyn divided his Lord Soul up and plunged into the First Flame himself to reignite it. [[spoiler:He's been burning alive in it ever since. And now that it's fading again, what remains of the pantheon is ready to sacrifice [[PlayerCharacter one hapless Undead]] and the remaining scraps of the Lord Souls to keep the Flame lit.]]
* ''VideoGame/BlastCorps'' has a truck with a pair of defective nuclear missiles. The truck's computer goes on the fritz and winds up locking the controls while going on auto-pilot mode and goes directly straight to its destination, regardless on what is its way. The slightest jolt will cause the missiles to explode and destroy everything in a several mile wide radius. The solution? Destroy entire towns and cities by using machines and vehicles designed for destruction so that the truck has a clear path. The game even keeps track on how much damage you caused, which can easily skyrocket to the millions and billions of dollars. You will level entire towns, but it's a small price to pay to avoid a nuclear winter.
* In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'', during the Qunari invasion of the Kirkwall, the situation gets so dire that when Knight-Commander Meredith discovers that Mage!Hawke has been operating as an illegal apostate under the Templars very noses for the last four years... she does the smart thing and immediately declares [[EnemyMine a truce]] until the crisis is dealt with! At this point, she needs all the help she can get in retaking the city, even if it comes from an Apostate Mage!
** At the end of Act III, the threshold is crossed deliberately to instigate a Godzilla Arms Race between factions. [[spoiler:A lone terrorist blows up a church, massacring hundreds. This also killed the only person holding Meredith back from the genocide she had wanted to commit all along. With the threat of TheUnfettered Meredith, Orsino had no choice but to match her with all the forbidden magic he could get his hands on.]]
* In ''KnightsOfTheOldRepublic'', the backstory of the Jedi Exile is that they confronted this at Malachor V. The situation became so dire they were forced to unleash a superweapon, which ended up not only killing every single thing on the planet, but the entire ''fleet'' in orbit! The sheer scale of the destruction caused the Exile to become severed from the Force and lead them to willingly accept exile on the Outer Rim for over ten years.
* In the ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWarsOriginalGeneration'', there's ''two'' Godzilla Thresholds. The first is the usage of Only One Crash and the creation of the SuperRobot SRX and the powerful Hyper Tromium Buster Cannon. The second? Unsealing the RTX-008L Huckebein L, one of two robots powered by ''a black hole'' and basically ''weaponizes'' it.
* Briefly considered in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedIII''. In one conversation with Rebecca, she suggests presenting all of the information the team has gathered to Abstergo so they can help [[spoiler:avert the solar flare]]. Desmond replies that he actually considered that option, and only refrained from doing so because he believes Abstergo already knows about the threat and is trying to take advantage of it. The very idea of Assassins seriously considering working with Templars, in particular Desmond who has been imprisoned and experimented on by them, shows just how dire the situation is. Later, [[spoiler:Minerva will actually encourage Desmond to ''allow the solar flare to wipe out most of humanity'' rather than set Juno loose. Juno is apparently that dangerous.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ShinSuperRobotWars'', [[Manga/GetterRobo Ryouma Nagare]], for his part, is rather reluctant to invoke the potentially catastrophic might of the Shin Getter, but will admit the aliens pose an even greater threat.
* In ''VideoGame/HyperdimensionNeptuniaMk2'', one possible ending revolves around the main character deciding the threshold has been crossed. [[spoiler:The rest of the party disagrees, though. After Nepgear goes through with the "godzilla" move (by traumatically murdering all her friends, including a pair of children, and then her own sister), she confronts the BigBad, only to find out she's just committed the same catastrophe she was trying to head off. Yes, she can kill the BigBad, but it's so inconsequential now there's no point. [[BadEnd Roll credits]].]]
* Dialogue and flashbacks hint that training [[ChosenOne Spyro]] and sending him to fight in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfSpyro'' trilogy could be seen as crossing the threshold; his full power is capable of [[spoiler: destroying and remaking the world]] and at least one other purple dragon before him went mad with power and [[spoiler: became the BigBad]]. Unfortunately, the Dark Master's follower, Cynder in particular, are too much for the aging Dragon Guardians and their allies.
* In ''VideoGame/StarControl II'', if you reveal the existence of a surviving Dnyarri to the Ur-Quan, they will ''utterly panic'', the only time in the game their demeanor of self-assured superiority breaks down. The Ur-Quan will even consider trying to talk the Kohr-Ah into a cease-fire to deal with this, but decide the Kohr-Ah will think it a trick and not believe them. This is the only way in the entire game to talk the Ur-Quan and have them let you go without a fight: indeed, they say that if you return to your homeworld at once and destroy your ship, they will pardon humanity of ''all'' crimes against the Ur-Quan that your rebellion has broken (the penalty is usually death), in exchange for letting them know about this threat.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'', the war between the Federation and the Klingon Empire was already coming to an end after [[spoiler:Va'Kel Shon, captain of the ''Enterprise''-F, saved Qo'noS from the Undine.]] However, the arrival of [[spoiler:an Iconian and its casual murder of the entire Klingon High Council save for Chancellor Jm'pok]] leads to the outright end of the war and the unity between the Federation, Klingon Empire and Romulan Republic.
* ''VideoGame/NetHack'', along with other [[RogueLike roguelikes]], is a game that rewards carefully weighing your options and building a toolkit to deal with any situation. So when it all goes wrong and the player's back is to the wall, it's all the more jarring to break out all those blatantly stupid actions, like drinking unidentified potions or zapping an empty wand for that 1/128 chance for it to work.
* ''[[VideoGame/ArcTheLad Arc the Lad 2]]'' has a villain be the one who gets pushed too far. With his [[TheEmpire evil empire]] defeated and the heroes closing in on him, he decides to break the last remaining seal and let [[EldrichAbomination The Dark One]] out of his prison. Needless to say, this [[YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness does not work out well]] [[TheEndOfTheWordAsWeKnowIt for anyone]].
* The climax of ''EternalDarkness'' is essentially this. In order to stop the EldritchAbomination that Pious summons, Alex Roivas uses the City on En'gha summons another EldritchAbomination capable of defeating it. Of course, once the former is defeated, she realizes that it's just as likely to destroy humanity. [[spoiler: Luckily, her grandfather's ghost is on hand to seal the latter one away.]]
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/ShadowrunReturns'', the threat at hand is so existentially dangerous that the player character and allies decide it's worth it to conduct a raid on a major MegaCorp, with all the retributive death squads and other consequences that will entail, if it means they can get the resources needed to defeat the current threat. [[spoiler: The fact that you crossed the threshold in the first place draws the attention of said MegaCorp's CEO, who decides to actually [[GenreSavvy ask you why you went to such an extreme risk rather than kill you out of hand]], which leads to him supporting you in saving the entire city from the impending spirit insect invasion.]]
* In InjusticeGodsAmongUs, Regular!Batman gets Regime!Batman to cross his own personal GodzillaThreshold by using the dimensional transporter to bring Regular!Superman to fight Regime!Superman and his army. Fortunately for Regime!Batman, this turns out to be a very wise move, considering Regular!Superman pretty much single-handedly saves the day.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* One episode of ''[[WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague Justice League Unlimited]]'' had the heroes use the KillSat integrated into their orbital base when facing a geometrically reproducing GreyGoo swarm of replicating robots. [[WhatTheHellHero They were called on it]] by the government (especially as they had ''kept it a secret''), and this later spawned a great deal of mistrust and a hijacking of said KillSat.
** When Darkseid shows up, Superman fights him without restraint while giving the trope-naming WorldOfCardboardSpeech. The damage to the city is immense. He is also the only villain that Superman is perfectly willing (and actually ''WANTS'') to kill.
*** And just before that, the LegionOfDoom crosses their own threshold in response to Darkseid: they go to the Justice League for help.
** In general, the League has "Omega" level threats, that require every single League member to drop everything and fight. We've only seen four such cases in ''Unlimited'', two being the already mentioned GreyGoo and Darkseid invasion, while a third was against an extremely powerful magician, and the last was when the android Amazo returned.
*** Amazo had basically achieved [[PhysicalGod Godhood]] at that point, and appeared to have destroyed the planet of the Green Lanterns on it's way to Earth. Even the Martian Manhunter thought that the only option left was to let the Green Lanterns use all their remaining power to destroy the Android, which would of taken about Half the Earth with it.
** In another universe, Lex Luther had become president, killed the Flash , and was about to cause some kind of mass war (most likely nuclear) that could destroy the planet. [[spoiler:This is what pushed Superman past his no killing code, and made the Justice League take control of the Earth]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', with most of the team imprisoned by the powerful Black Beetle, Roy Harper releases the GalacticConqueror Mongul from his cell first, allowing Roy to free the rest of the team while Mongul and Black Beetle fight.
** Also happens with the helmet of Dr. Fate. Anyone who puts on the helmet gains incredible magic power, but runs the risk of having their body stolen permanently by the Lord of Order, Nabu, who is tired of being stuck helplessly in the helmet while the forces of chaos have their way with the world. Wearing the helmet is considered an absolute last resort, but even so it's worn by three different members of the team, each time because it was clearly the only viable option.
* The ''WesternAnimation/DuckTales'' episode "The Uncrashable Hindentanic" revolves around [[ComicBook/TheLifeAndTimesOfScroogeMcDuck Uncle Scrooge]] and his new airship. His sidekick and perennial crasher of aircraft Launchpad desperatly wants to fly it but is told that Scrooge actually wants to keep the airship in one piece. When the events of the episode conspire against this Scrooge eventually relents and tells Lauchpad to take the wheel. They crash, but Launchpad accidentally takes out the opposition while saving the passengers.
** "If we are going to crash anyway, we may as well crash with style."
* In the ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' episode "The Ultimate Enemy" Clockwork actually alters time--consider that he is in charge of maintaining the proper flow of time--to stop Dark Danny from coming into existence.
* In the last few minutes of the ''WesternAnimation/Ben10UltimateAlien'' episode "Forge of Creation", Aggregor defeats the heroes and is moments away from acquiring RealityWarper abilities that will grant him eternal power over the universe. Kevin then absorbs energy from the Ultimatrix to go OneWingedAngel to stop him, knowing that this will make him insanely evil again. Thankfully, Ben's younger self is able to guilt-trip Kevin out of trying to steal the RealityWarper powers for himself.
** In the ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' episode "Mystery, Incorporeal", the odd battles around campus repeatedly cause Ben's Omnitrix to glitch and only offer Ghostfreak - the form whose DNA sample comes from an evil mastermind named Zs'Skayr who can regenerate FromASingleCell, ''including the Omnitrix's sample of him.'' If Ben uses Ghostfreak, ''it'' may control ''him'' and not the other way around. When [[spoiler:Darkstar's]] plans to gain ultimate power begin to come to fruition, Ben gives in and actually uses him. [[spoiler: He has no problems since Zs'Skayr has already regenerated elsewhere.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'' in the episode "Aftershock" pt. II, Terra realizes that the only way to stop Slade, after he took control of her body with a suit that fused into her very nerves and used her body and powers to beat up the Teen Titans and she had unleashed a volcano that could destroy the entire city, she realizes she is the only one who has any chance of stopping the volcano. So she kills two birds with one stone, stops the volcano and kills Slade with the lava, and is fossillised in lava and becomes stone.
* Some of the situations in ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' are across the line, such as Earth being invaded by the almost unkillable metal-devouring robot R.E.G.I.S. Mk 5, which had been scheduled to be thrown into a black hole until [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Coop accidentally rammed the ship transporting it]]. The only problem is that Coop is nowhere near smart enough to identify ''which'' situations are across the line, and as a result tends to Godzilla every problem whether it's appropriate or not...and, of course, most of them are his fault anyway.
** For the record, he discovered that the R.E.G.I.S. Mk 5 was solar powered and would forever stay active so long as there was light to power it. Coop's solution was to block out all sunlight so it couldn't operate. He does this by creating a nuclear winter scenario by belching enough smog out of his engine to [[TheNightThatNeverEnds block out the whole damn sky.]]
** In the second S-Force episode, Targon believes that enlisting Coop's help qualifies as the trope.
* In ''WesternAnimation/HotWheelsBattleForce5'', [[BigGood Sage]] was forced to freeze the entire Red Sentient race to stop her EvilTwin brother Krytus from leading them on a multiversal conquest. When Krytus and her have their final confrontation, she tells him she did it because he was a threat to not only her entire race but the multiverse and she had to. Krytus' response? "You were right!" It says a lot when the guy she used it on is well aware that she was justifed for doing so and doesn't care.
* In the GrandFinale of ''WesternAnimation/JackieChanAdventures'', [[BigBad Drago]] has gone OneWingedAngel, destroyed [[HeroSecretService Section 13]], devastated San Francisco, and is preparing to release [[TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt the demon world unto Earth]]. To stop him, the heroes have to free his father [[BiggerBad Shendu]] from his [[SealedEvilInACan imprisonment]] to fight him. Fortunately for them, Shendu is more angry at his son for trying to take over "his" world than at the heroes for his previous defeats at their hands, and he keeps Drago busy long enough for them to figure out how to banish both of them.
* Happens in the ''WesternAnimation/BeastWars'' finale; "Nemesis". Upon realizing that Megatron has discovered the titular warship, virtually guaranteeing him an automatic win in the war, Optimus turns to Depthcharge, [[ThisLooksLikeAJobForAquaman as the ship is hidden deep underwater]] and begs him to stop Megatron at any cost. Depthcharge, ([[LeeroyJenkins who has always questioned and defied every order given to him]], [[RevengeBeforeReason only focusing on revenge against Rampage]]), immediately complies without a moment's hesitation.
** Megatron trying to destroy Optimus Prime was this. He muses that he was hesitant to make such a drastic change to the timeline but realizes that he now had no choice but to make the ultimate gamble.
* The "[=TransWarped=]" episode of ''TransformersAnimated'' sees the Autobots' human friend, [[MagicalGirl Sari Sumdac]], [[TransformationSequence upgrade herself into a more powerful, teenage form]], but the upgrade goes horribly wrong, resulting in her almost killing [[KidAppealCharacter her best friend]] and blowing up the city. Her powers are eventually bypassed, but when Megatron shows up in control of the Autobots' [[WeaponOfMassDestruction tide-turning, war-winning weapon]], Optimus Prime is forced to consider the option of removing the bypass and unleashing the girl, in an apocalyptically uncontrollable state, on Megatron and Omega Supreme.
* In the second season of ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'', a web creature evades capture and deletion to open a massive invasion portal from the web. This jolts the entire Mainframe system into survival at all costs protocols, Phong uniting with both [[BigBad Megabyte and Hexadecimal]] to build a portal closing supercannon and building a massive common army to hold the invaders at bay long enough to use it.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'', "It's a Jersey Thing": When over half of America is taken over by [[{{Joisey}} New Jersey]], the nation eventually turns to Al Qaeda for help.
* ''WesternAnimation/JohnnyTest'': In the episode "[=JX5=]: The Final Ending" Johnny, while in an EnemyMine situation with five of his archenemies who have gained his powers, suggest that they form one huge [[{{Fartillery}} Power Poot]] to destroy Dark Vegan's flagship after he rips out the self-destruct button. It works, destroying the entire fleet.
** In "Johnny X Strikes Back...Again!" the CIA's two GoneHorriblyWrong supersoldiers actually ''succeed'' in taking over the world, and they're arguably the most powerful villains on the show, so Johnny copies his powers to at least ten other characters to destroy them.
* In the final episode of ''WesternAnimation/{{WITCH}}'', the Guardians are forced to use the Zenith forms, basically becoming their trademark elements, to battle a massively powered up Cedric. It nearly goes sour as the girls lose themselves in this form.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'' episode "Revenge of Murray the Mantis", a giant supernatural praying mantis goes on a rampage through New York, and to stop it the boys release ''The Big Guy.'' Who is "the big guy"? ''[[Film/{{Ghostbusters}} Everyone's favorite 100-ft. Marshmallow man, Mr. Stay-Puft himself]]''! Don't worry, "[[HeelFaceTurn he's all better now]]", and the fight between him and the mantis is one of the series highlights.
* In season 1 of ''WesternAnimation/{{Wakfu}}'', Sadlygrove has to be careful not to let the Shushu Rubilax imprisoned inside his sword from possessing him. Otherwise, he becomes a hulking gray monster that attacks everyone around him. After some further training with his master in the desert and defeating Rubilax in a duel, Sadlygrove can only be possessed if he lets Rubilax possess him. In episode 25, Nox unleashes his most powerful creation, a clockwork monster called Razortime. Razortime proves to be so dangerous that Sadlygrove willingly lets Rubilax possess him when the Shushu practically ''begs'' Sadlygrove to let him help. Unfortunately, Razortime is too much even for Sadlygrove's demon form.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' episode ''[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS4E25TwilightsKingdomPart1 Twilights Kingdom Part 1]]'', since Lord Tirek has the power to drain ponies of their magic (and in effect take away their cutie marks), local MadGod Discord is tasked with catching him. Discord's ability to sense magical disruptions makes him the only one capable of finding Tirek before his power grows too great, in addition to being so powerful that Tirek does not yet have the strength to drain him as he does ponies.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''TowerOfGod'': No-one wanted to deal with Viole. To them, he was a villain, the most dangerous enemy. [[spoiler: But when Lurker brutally murders his friend Nia, Wangnan goes and practically begs him on his hands and knees to stop Lurker.]]
* In ''BobAndGeorge'' during [[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/041125 the fifth Megaman game]] the Bass and Mega Man alternates deem Bob to be such a great threat to the {{Multiverse}} that they decide to sacrifice the Earth (of one dimension) in order to stop him. [[spoiler:[[http://www.bobandgeorge.com/archives/041128 And it doesn't work]].]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'': By Act 5, ''all'' the kids' plans to deal with how [[spoiler:screwed up their [[TheMostDangerousVideoGame Sburb session]] has gotten]] fall into this trope. Then things get so bad that [[spoiler:they execute ''all three plans at once''.]]
** Much later, [[HeroWithAnFInGood Vriska]] feels that [[spoiler:sending dozens, perhaps hundreds of other ghosts to certain [[DeaderThanDead doom]]]] is an acceptable price to pay for [[spoiler:access to a means to kill the [[OmnicidalManiac universe destroying]] [[BigBad Lord English]]]].
* ''Floyd'' had [[http://nodwick.humor.gamespy.com/floyd/episode016a.html this exchange]] when our heroes were scheduled to stew for giants:
-->'''[[SpiritAdvisor Carmen]]''': Now... Floyd, it's time for you to learn a spell that may get you out of this mess.
-->'''Floyd''': Um, Carmen? You said that me casting spells was a ''bad'' idea!
-->'''Carmen''': It is, but you two being ''eaten'' is marginally worse.
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', the Gates are all that hold back the [[EldritchAbomination Snarl]] [[spoiler:supposedly]]. If all of them are destroyed, the Snarl would be unleashed. It's still better than letting someone evil gain control of one, since it would theoretically give them the power to threaten and blackmail the gods themselves.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* What the Wiki/SCPFoundation are prepared to do to contain some items. Then again, an awful lot of the things they deal with ''really are that dangerous''. Most foundation sites must have a several megaton strong nuke armed at all times for exactly this kind of situation.
** Their opposite-number the Global Occult Coalition has [[http://goc.wikidot.com/emergencyprocedurepizzicato Emergency Procedure "Pizzicato"]] for massive emergence of Threat Entities. Force authorisation states that "All restrictions re: NBC weaponry, Memetic Cascade Sequences, and Nanotech GreyGoo items withdrawn" and "Acceptable Collateral Damage: 90% of worldwide human population".
* Quantum from the ''GlobalGuardiansPBEMUniverse'' was the most powerful superbeing on Earth. He was quite literally capable of disintegrating the moon, had he wanted to, but of course he never wanted to. When the Xorn invaded, he went out to meet their attack fleet in space and finally let himself cut loose. [[HeroicSacrifice It was almost enough.]]
* This is how ''{{Kickassia}}'' regards [[EvilIsNotAToy convincing]] [[WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment Spoony]] to become [[SealedEvilInACan Dr.]] [[SuperpoweredEvilSide Insano]].
* The Director of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' ''creates'' Godzillas just so he can be ready for this:
--> '''Director''': When faced with extinction, ''every'' alternative is preferable!
* Pretty much every plan to deal with [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo]] in the WhateleyUniverse. One we saw in a holographic simulation ''destroyed the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and plunged the planet into nuclear winter''. And they considered it a reasonable alternative.
** They also have Plans A-Z...
** The 'they' in this place is Tennyo's best friends. Tennyo approves.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', the threshold is crossed more than once:
** The Endbringers are three NighInvulnerable, superpowered monsters who have collectively brought humanity to its knees over the course of decades of city-destroying and superhero-slaying attacks. Nuclear weapons are the ''least'' of the measures attempted against these monstrosities, as demonstrated when one parahuman makes a plan to attack one with [[spoiler:a weapon capable of destroying ''India'']].
** The possibility of opening [[TheAlcatraz the Birdcage]] is discussed several times, as it contains some of the worst and most powerful parahumans in the world -- villains sufficiently horrifying that even the aforementioned Endbringer attacks are not sufficient cause to permit their release. [[spoiler:The characters finally agree to do it when [[PhysicalGod Scion]] pulls a FaceHeelTurn and begins wiping out humanity.]]
** On top of the above, after [[spoiler:Scion's turn]], [[spoiler:Taylor and her followers manage to ''recruit the Endbringers'']].
** In turn, it demonstrates just how severely TheDreaded the Sleeper is that, even with [[spoiler:human extinction across all known Earths]] on the line, still no one dares to try bringing him into the fight.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Quite a few medical treatments, both current and historical:
** Both chemotherapy and radiation treatment are poisonous and can cause significant side effects - elevated risk of secondary cancers, bone marrow destruction, hearing loss, brain damage. But when the alternative is death from cancer, and especially when there's a reasonable chance of curing it with the chemotherapy...
** Thalidomide, originally developed as a sedative and anti-nausea drug, causes horrific if not deadly birth defects in infants and has been generally banned by most countries since the 1960s. However, it has been shown to be effective at treating serious conditions like drug-resistent leprosy. When prescribed to fertile women for a serious enough condition, the patient uses multiple contraceptive devices and is carefully monitored.
** In the modern era, syphilis may not seem like a terribly frightening disease. Yet it was the HIV of its era, potentially causing a dementia-like condition if left untreated. One of the only somewhat effective treatment was mercury injections, which certainly caused significant side effects but were preferable to tertiary syphilis.\\
\\
The first fully effective treatment for syphilis was to literally burn it out of the patient's body by inducing a very strong fever, and the best way to do that is giving him or her '''malaria'''. It was a widely accepted treatment for a time, even netting its discoverer a Nobel Prize.
** Overprescription has led to the Godzilla Threshold being lowered (sometimes a bad idea in many cases) but before overprescription, the only way one could get an antipsychotic (what used to be called the major tranquilizers) was to be frankly, overtly schizophrenic or manic and in an episode with complete loss of touch with reality, and before overprescription for stimulants, someone had to be ''so'' unfocused that no coping strategy worked and they were practically bouncing up and down the walls.
** Antibiotics are also subject to a lowering of the Godzilla Threshold, mostly though ignorance. They're designed to fight serious infections like pneumonia and tuberculosis, but some doctors will give them out to a patient if the person complains about a viral infection (cold or flu)... which is completely impervious to antibiotics. Leading to some antibiotics losing their effectiveness.
** This does exist for drugs if they are specifically known as drugs of abuse. In extreme cases, sometimes requiring being enrolled in a trial, one could be prescribed: ecstasy for PTSD and major treatment-resistant depression, opiates for treatment-resistant depression, psilocybin for intense migraine or cluster headaches. The condition has to be ''so'' severe that ''all other'' medication approaches (everything from antidepressants to antipsychotics to anticonvulsants to every possible cocktail of them) and doses ''and'' all non-medication approaches (everything from cognitive behavioral therapy to electroshock) have either failed, are failing, or bear too much risk for the patient ''and'' the addiction that will result from opiates or the potentially fatal side effects of a dose of ecstasy are better outcomes than suicide or disability so severe the individual is literally bedridden or suicidal.
** Yet another example here would be the "ibogaine cure" for alcoholism or drug addiction where nothing else has worked. Ibogaine itself is toxic (more so than psilocybin or LSD which have had similar effects) but legal in some areas, it is unique for producing scary and bad "trips" but at the same time, often triggering something in the brain that reboots the mechanism of addiction, ''if'' the process is managed correctly (and if it is managed incorrectly, ''death'' may result).
** Treating addictions with a substitute addiction or substitute substance also falls under this. A lot of people would be the first to agree that being an addict to anything isn't good, but moving someone to one that is less damaging to their health from one that is objectively worse is sometimes the only workable option. For example, getting TheAlcoholic to become TheStoner or even a junkie might seem absolutely counterintuitive and unethical - but if said alcoholic is developing liver disease, cannabis is ''far'' less hepatotoxic than alcohol, or if they are developing chronic alcoholic encephalopathy, cannabis or even opiates are far less permanently damaging to an adult brain than alcohol. A similar variant of substitution can actually be seen with the prevalence of [[MustHaveCaffeine coffee and soda]] and cigarettes in ''many'' recovering addict spaces.
** The Milwaukee Protocol is an experimental treatment for rabies, once symptoms appear in an unvaccinated individual. Given that rabies is invariably fatal within only a few days of the onset of symptoms, putting the patient into a coma and shooting them up with a myriad of drugs can literally do no more harm. And even then, the survival rate stands at 4 out of 35 treatments performed to date.
** Many kinds of surgery can be extremely dangerous. After all, surgery tends to involve cutting someone open and messing with their internal organs - sometimes even the heart or the brain. And before anesthesia was discovered, surgeries had to be performed with the patient fully conscious. You'd have to be pretty desperate to undergo that kind of thing willingly.
** When life is on the line, many of the most staunch "only scientifically-sound treatments" people will give holistic and strange treatments a try.
* Any scenario that could theoretically lead to a [[WorldWarIII Global Thermonuclear War]]. And to a lesser degree, anything that causes extensive use of biological weapons.
** The very concept of [[FunWithAcronyms Mutual Assured Destruction]] is a (so far successful) attempt at ''averting'' the trope, proposing that ''no-one'' could win any large scale use of nuclear weapons and that there is no possible way the Threshold could actually be reached.
** The scenario that ''did'' lead to nuclear war. That invading the islands of Japan would be incredibly difficult and bloody for the US was their primary argument for [[UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki detonating two atomic weapons over Japanese cities in August 1945]]. Emphasis on "argument" -- [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment in their country the debate continues about whether it was the right thing]].
*** A truer crossing of the threshold was [[MeaningfulName Operation Downfall]] - if the Japanese hadn't surrendered, then the Allies would have launched the largest amphibious/naval operation in history: Hundreds of capital ships, thousands of aircraft, millions of men, chemical weapons, and, most chillingly of all ''[[NukeEm seven atom bombs]].'' The estimated dead for the conquest of Japan was .5 million for the US and 5+ million Japanese.
** Inverted during the development of the atomic bomb: Physicist Edward Teller informed Robert Oppenheimer that there was a chance that detonating an atomic bomb could ignite Earth's atmosphere. Oppenheimer insisted that the figures be re-checked, and if there was a greater than 3 in 1 million chance of that happening, the project would not go ahead. Quoth Oppenheimer, "Better to accept the slavery of the Nazis than run the risk of drawing the final curtain on mankind."
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarI: The German Reich, being an authoritarian, militarist Monarchy, hated and feared Communism with a fiery passion. But when the Western Front bogged down for several years, they smuggled UsefulNotes/VladimirLenin into Russia, hoping he'd screw that country up even further and force it out of the war. It worked, leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, whereby Germany got huge swathes of territory ceded to them by Russia in exchange for peace, and the entire Eastern Front army could be transferred to the Western Front for the Spring 1918 offensives. Of course, the cost was the creation of the USSR and (later) the rise of UsefulNotes/JosefStalin, which led to...
* The Midwives of the Birth of Nazism. Fearing the DirtyCommunists of UsefulNotes/JosefStalin's USSR, many in the West looked favorably on the rise of UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and ThoseWackyNazis, because their blatant anti-Communism made them seem like a good buffer zone between the Soviets and the West. Further, many in the West thought Nazi Germany was spiffy, at least in the sense that it seemed to have found a way out of the Great Depression, while the rest of the Western world was still stuck in it.
** Of course, this trope was also played straight in the USSR after World War I, as paradoxically the Soviets saw a rearmed Germany as a valuable buffer between themselves and the West dating back to Seeckt's proposals for joint defense. So the USSR played a leading role in recreating the German military in the 1920s. Things changed after Hitler rose to power in the 30s, with Germany and the USSR supporting opposite sides in the Spanish Civil War. Then they abruptly changed again in 1939, when Hitler and Stalin hashed out an agreement to expand to their mutual benefit at the expense of Eastern Europe's independent states. This, of course, led immediately and directly to...
* UsefulNotes/WorldWarII: UsefulNotes/WinstonChurchill was one of those rabidly anti-Communist leaders in the West, but he also realized that the Nazis were worse. So, when Hitler backstabbed Stalin and invaded Russia in 1941, Churchill went back on a lifetime of opposing Communism by immediately offering alliance and aid to the Soviets. When questioned on the wisdom of this by his political allies, Churchill famously stated that "If Hitler invaded Hell, I would make at least a favourable reference to the devil in the House of Commons." Of course, allying with Stalin did work as far as defeating Hitler went, but that in turn led directly to...
* The UsefulNotes/ColdWar. Western nations often couldn't think of anything worse than seeing another nation fall to Communism, so if keeping the DirtyCommunists out meant backing ruthless right-wing military dictatorships in third world nations, so be it. The Commies for their part didn't have any problems with working with ruthless left-wing dictators to keep American Puppets out of power in various nations. Of course, even by those calculations, sometimes, the Godzilla Threshold wasn't quite met to the extent that going nuclear was worth it, which is why we didn't end up fighting nuclear war over Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, Angola, or any of a dozen other brushfire wars and proxy conflicts during that era. One of those conflicts was Afghanistan, where American political leaders basically thought, "A bunch of Fundamentalist Islamic guerrillas with terrorist tendencies can't possibly make the situation any worse than the Commies are, so let's give them a bunch of free guns." Which led to...
* TheWarOnTerror: In the fight against terrorism, the US and its allies have shacked up with some pretty sketchy organizations and regimes, justified by how said organizations, for all their corruption, seem more interested in local power than flying airplanes into buildings. Only history can determine how ''that's'' gonna turn out.
** Which has created its own, lesser threshold: if a plane is heading for a civilized area, won't respond to attempts to contact it, and all other attempts to stop it fails, the United States Air Force will shoot down its own country's civilian aircraft. We've already seen what happens when we fail to get there in time.
*** Actually the first thing done is the fighter jets are ordered to close within visual range to '''inspect''' the plane, for TearJerker and NauseaFuel rich [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1999_South_Dakota_Learjet_crash reasons]]...
* The Middle Eastern situation: On both sides with both Iran and Iraq. The West, especially the United States, thought that the Middle East falling to Communism was bad enough that they would rather prop up an unpopular leader (the Shah of Iran) who opposes them than risk the Communists falling in. That led to the Iranian people crossing the threshold, preferring the radical Shi'as to Western-propped dictators. Still fearing the Soviets taking Iran, the US propped up the president of neighboring Iraq, one Saddam Hussein, who already had a reputation for brutality... again, figuring that even at his most brutal, Saddam couldn't be any worse than the Communists. This would come to bite the US in the behind when Saddam invaded Kuwait, almost overnight changing from the US's Godzilla threshold to a power they used the Godzilla threshold on. And when 9/11 happened, they crossed the threshold again and invaded Iraq a second time.
* As a note, the above is basically the entire military history of the 20th century. A country props up a group that they see as the lesser evil to their current enemies, defeat the current enemies and then have to fight the guys they just helped become stronger. Though in all fairness, the current war against terrorists is peanuts compared to what came before; unlike during World War II or the Cold War, there is no threat to the world as a whole... For the moment, at least.
** According to some commentators, most notably journalist Matt Kennard in his book ''Irregular Army'' the next stage of this process has already started for the US, but this time it's a little different, because it will come from within. Due to a combination of slackening recruiting standards due to the need for more bodies to throw into the meatgrinder and the very disconcerting possibility that the people in charge actually sympathize more than they're allowed to let on, a large number of Neo-Nazis and other political extremists have been joining the US military for the express purpose of obtaining training and weapons that they can later use in a coming Second American Civil War (or more likely just scattered acts of domestic terrorism). Of course this all assumes they survive their initial tours of duty in the Middle East, which for people as [[TooDumbToLive stupid]] and [[LeeroyJenkins belligerent]] as Neo-Nazis tend to be is hardly a guarantee.
* In a modern conventional firefight (at least amongst the US military), the call of "broken arrow" is this trope. A "broken arrow" scenario means that a battle has effectively gone much worse than anticipated and a unit is on the verge of being overrun. What the call entails is to direct all available attack aircraft and artillery fire on the area being attacked. Because of the close distance nature and general disorganization happening during a "broken arrow" call, friendly fire (also known as Blue On Blue) from airstrikes and artillery is basically expected rather than actively avoided. A realistic demonstration of this was used in the movie ''WeWereSoldiers''.
** There's also the related call of "danger close," which basically means "I know that I'm close enough to the target that I'm just as likely to get hit as it is, but I want you to fire on it anyway."
* Singapore's reserve funds are, proportionate to her market size, one of the world's largest, largely thanks to their usage being handled this way. The one time they have (publicly) been known to be used since independence was during the 2009 credit crunch, which is currently the worst recession since the Great Depression.
** Singapore has to get all of its drinkable water from Malaysia. If Malaysia ever cuts the water off, Singapore will, almost without a doubt, immediately declare war. Or at least, it would have a few decades ago. Currently, Singapore has its own, perfected water purification plants. Meaning that they rely on Malaysia for... well, nothing. Honestly, the only way to deprive Singapore of important supplies is to completely surround it with ships, something only the greatest military powers have the logistics and power to do.
** Singapore's military can also be considered this way; It is not the first country in the world to use a mainly civilian reservist military, but considering Singapore itself (one of the chief primary "export" of this resource-rare country being its relatively small but educated/skilled workforce) the only sane time to use said military (and get most of said workforce killed) would be a "do or cease to exist" situation, such as the above water scenario.
* Necessity in Law, which essentially means damage to property and other activities that would normally be against the law [[HeroInsurance may be justified by necessity to prevent some bigger trouble]], and a person who has done it is not accountable for it. Factory burning and the only way to get access to one side is through a full car dealership parking lot? Bulldoze the brand new cars out of the way. Sea water bad in the long term for the precision materials and equipment inside the nuclear reactor and will undoubtedly make it unable to be used in the future? Fuck it, we need to cool it down ''now''.
** Self-defense is a subtype of this; if you or someone else is in ''imminent'' danger of ''physical'' harm, you are legally allowed to commit assault and battery against your attacker up to the point where you are safe. If they are using lethal force, you can use lethal force in response, sometimes resulting in justifiable homicide - about 400 per year are recorded by civilians in the United States alone. There is a strict line here, though, as they must be presenting an imminent threat to you or someone else - so if someone attacks you, you can legally defend yourself, but if they turn to run or surrender, you cannot continue to attack. Likewise, if someone throws a punch at you, you cannot pull out a gun and shoot them. Self-defense is an affirmative defense, as you are outright admitting to committing an otherwise illegal act but claiming that it was justified under the law - if your actions are found to be unjustified, then you are guilty of whatever crime you confessed to. Note also that if you provoke an attack (so-called fighting words), you are not eligible for self-defense, because you started it.
* The King of Swaziland attempted to invoke this, declaring a ''five-year moratorium on sex'' due to the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa. Then he [[EvilOverlord broke it with a twelve-year-old girl]].
* The future United States' Declaration of Independence described political revolution in essentially these terms, and the bulk of it consisted of a list of reasons why the signers felt the actions of the British crown had crossed the threshold.
** Since after UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, the new German constitution includes an article that makes it the ''duty'' of all German citizens to use any means neccessary to prevent any government from overthrowing the constitution and establishing another totalitarian regime, which includes the use of armed resistance.
*** Part of this may have been due to an earlier invocation of this trope that ended catastrophically for Germany -- in the Weimar Constitution, during emergencies, the Chancellor could be allowed to rule by decree if the Reichstag consented for the duration of the emergency. Hitler took advantage of this to take over power following the Reichstag Fire.
* Many governments have provisions in law stating that, in a sufficiently serious emergency, most or all rights will be suspended. As far as we know, no government can summon Godzilla, but if they could, this would make it legal.
** Related to this: nuclear weapons policy. At least in the UK the military maintains a tradition of [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Letters_of_last_resort letters of last resort]]. In effect these are the "final orders" to the Captains of the four nuclear-equipped Vanguard-class submarines to be opened in the event of a complete breakdown in command and control as a result of nuclear attack and which nobody knows except the Prime Minister himself/herself. Technically ANYTHING can be ordered but in general the possibilities fall into four categories. One of which is to accept that deterrence has failed and not retaliate and one is to place the submarine under the command of an allied nation. The last two basically amount to the Godzilla threshold in that either a full nuclear retaliation is ordered or, perhaps most horrifyingly, for the Captain to simply "use their best judgement" which in effect amounts to a freedom to do anything he deems necessary.
* In the Thai flooding crisis of 2011 they dug up Bangkok's roads to try and channel away the floodwaters despite the cost in future rebuilding. If you're wondering how that made any sense at all, understand that many of Bangkok's roads are paved-over canals.
* UsefulNotes/AncientRome had provisions for this during the Republic: when an enemy appeared invincible and on the verge of overrunning Rome, the Senate chose the man best suited to deal with that enemy and made him a dictator, giving him absolute power for six months and with no legal way to make him pay for anything he did during his term. It usually went well, as they would follow the example of {{Cincinnatus}}, who, upon defeating an enemy coalition that had surrounded the Roman army (thus prompting him being named dictator) within the first half of his term, resigned and returned to his farm, and, after being named dictator AGAIN to deal with a coup, he defeated the coup in one day and immediately resigned AGAIN.
** Then the [[UsefulNotes/PunicWars Second Punic War]]: with [[CurbStompBattle their army was almost completely destroyed at Cannae]], many of their remaining allies defecting to Hannibal and the previously neutral Kingdom of Macedon declaring war, the Romans went so far as to perform human sacrifices and raise legions among the landless and the slaves. To put it into perspective, Romans despised the very idea of human sacrifices, while the landless people and slaves they were arming and training had good reasons to rebel. Amazingly, it worked: when the new legions proved fiercely loyal and realization set that the most powerful and richest allies were staying with Rome, [[OhCrap Hannibal realized his chances of victory were extremely slim]], and the Macedons [[ScrewThisImOuttaHere deciding the price of the war wasn't worth it]] sealed the deal.
* Locusts. Old school but still pretty much armageddon to farmers if a swarm manages to grow to Biblical proportions. Crop loss is often expected to be 100% [[UpToEleven and THEN some]]. To save even some form of vegetation in the path of a hungry locust swarm means keeping them under a protective, insect proof shell. Expensive and not 100% reliable to say the least.
** Methods used to combat locust swarms are usually using enough poison to kill every living thing in the area... except the locust, whose numbers will take a dent but is a hive being several miles wide and thus, can move around, over, or through the poisoned areas.
** Worse, it was only in 2009 that scientists even figured out what causes locust swarms to appear. Locusts are grasshoppers - the same grasshoppers that are living in the area already. But if their numbers grow too large, this causes them to literally morph into locusts, swarm, and start eating ''everything in sight.''
* Fire. A sufficiently big fire like the Chicago Fire, forest fires, etc., will pretty much turn anything in its path into a smouldering ruin and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Fires can get so bad, that perhaps the only way to deal with it is to set your OWN fire, the Godzilla Threshold, in the hope that your fire will consume enough fuel/air to fight the original fire. Of course, things CAN go wrong where the fire just merges into one [[FromBadToWorse Super Fire]].
** During the Chicago Fire, dynamite was used to demolish entire blocks of buildings in an attempt to create fire breaks. It was partially successful in some areas, but ultimately they couldn't work fast enough and the fire outflanked the demolition crews. In most modernized countries, building or house fires rarely get to the city-destroying stage anymore, but lighting backfires (which burn towards the original fire, consuming all the fuel) is still a technique in use for fighting forest or brushfires. Setting backfires is reportedly as much art as science, and as previously mentioned is in no way guaranteed to work, making it a controversial tactic at best.
** As a number of countries have learned the hard way (the US included) the absolute worst forest fire management policy is to stamp them all out as fast as possible. This leads to build up of fuel until it reaches the stage where it is no longer possible to suppress further fires, resulting in a titanic wildfire, such as the 1988 Yellowstone fire. The better option is to allow natural fires of limited scale to burn, suppressing only fires of large size or human origin. This allows a safe burn-off of the naturally accumulating fuel.
** Sometimes the threshhold for fire can be crossed before the fire even starts. After the Americans started their fire-bombing raids against Japan (causing far more destruction and casualties than even the nuclear bombs would later on), the government in Kyoto ordered two large firebreaks to be created in the city by demolishing two wide strips of the city perpendicular to the river (which itself formed another firebreak). Those firebreaks still exist to this day in the form of a pair of wide avenues, alongside some of the oldest urban buildings in Japan (the war ended before Kyoto could be bombed, meaning the firebreaks were ultimately not necessary).
** Still other times, fire can actually be good luck '''within''' bad. Case in point: the Great London Fire of 1666. Despite its (believed-to-be) low death-toll of merely six people, it did render 7 of every 8 Londoners homeless (at the time the population of London was about 80 thousand), '''but!''' it killed off the rats (and more importantly, '''their fleas''') that had been the primary disease vector spreading bubonic plague throughout the city. It could be said that the bubonic plague was the Godzilla Threshold that made the fire a blessing instead of a curse, even though the fire itself was accidental.
*** New research indicates that the plague was essentially done for by the time the fire occurred, due to a different, disease-resistant species of rat displacing the one that had formerly dominated Europe. The fire's timing was probably just a coincidence, plague-wise - but it did allow the city to modernize.
* Culling. As stupid as killing an entire farm of livestock or entire yield of crops because ONE animal/batch was found sick sounds, it's because of this Trope that it is done. Depending on what the animal was sick with, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, or just plain old Foot and Mouth, it is often seen as a good idea to use the Godzilla Option early rather than wait for it to become a Godzilla Necessity. Because as wasteful as culling perfectly good stock is, the potential losses of not doing so are just too great to risk.
** And people, at various points in history. Sometimes it has worked, sometimes it hasn't. This was generally before the diseases were properly understood.
** In the early 2000's in Wisconsin, Chronic Wasting Disease (the Deer equivalent of Mad Cow) was starting to spread and become a problem. If left unchecked, the disease risked wiping out the deer population to the point where it may not recover. The Wisconsin DNR first tried to find a cure for the disease, or at least find what was causing it in the first place in hopes of preventing further infections. The methods didn't work, so they had no choice: They extended Deer Season by a week and ordered for hunters in the state to shoot more deer than usually allowed in order to thin the numbers to extremely low populations (and to make sure that nobody consumed the infected deer.) Thanks to careful monitoring by the DNR, the deer would recover to normal populations within a few years, and now the disease is barely even a problem anymore.
** In 2001, when a single case of foot and mouth was detected at an Irish farm, not only were all the animals at said farm culled, but the ''Irish Special Forces'' were sent in to kill all the wildlife in the area that could potentially be infected.
* The Crusades started when the Patriarch of Constantinople asked the Pope for help to fight off the Turks. However, at that point the Great Schism between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity was in living memory, and the Pope and the Patriarch had mutually excommunicated each other, each sect considering the other to be heretical. For a religious leader to even consider the help of people he considered heretics, you know it's trope. The aftermath was [[NiceJobBreakingItHero exactly how you'd expect this trope to go]].
* If a rocket launch goes really seriously wrong, there comes a point where the best thing that can happen is for the rocket to detonate right now, rather than crashing onto a town and detonating there. It is the job of the range safety officer to recognize when the Godzilla threshold has been passed and push the BigRedButton.
** Averting this is why the USA launches rockets from Cape Canaveral, Florida: The Earth's rotation will most likely put the ocean underneath the rocket if it comes crashing down, instead of (potentially populated) land.
* The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 got so bad and so damaging to the environment that some Russian officials suggested ending the spill permanently by detonating a nuclear weapon at the site of the leak. The reasoning was that the spill had gotten so severe that the damage caused by just nuking it would be less than the damage caused by allowing the spill to continue unchecked. Surprisingly enough, it's actually [[http://www.theweek.co.uk/politics/14851/deepwater-oil-spill-will-bp-take-nuclear-option worked a few times.]]
* Scarily enough, this is what the human body will do to ''itself'' when facing a severe infection. The immune response starts with proportionate responses like antibody production or fever... but when that doesn't work, the response gets cranked up to such high levels of inflammation that tissue damage ensues. At a certain point the person might actually die, but can't do anything about their automatic bodily processes shutting down an infection at all costs. What most people don't know its that the majority of modern disease-causing pathogens don't kill in and of themselves- the body does itself in, sort of like how it's NotTheFallThatKillsYou.
* The point of Kate Bornstein's book ''[[http://www.amazon.com/Hello-Cruel-World-Alternatives-Suicide/dp/1583227202 Hello Cruel World]]'', meant to provide alternatives to suicide for teens; some reviewers complained that said alternatives include things like drugs, alcohol and making a deal with the devil, but the idea is that if someone is considering killing themselves, almost anything, even if not the best choice in general, would be a better option. Then again, the point of the book is not to make the teens self-harm, but to distract them and keep them alive long enough for more "medically accepted" interventions to take place.
* For patrol officers in the United States, any situation that requires going to the squad car and grabbing the shotgun or AR-15 carbine is this. It is typically in response to the worst possible situations an officer can encounter, such as a suspect with an automatic weapon shooting at them, or anything else a sidearm isn't capable of handling. [[SWATTeam Calling in S.W.A.T]] can also be this, but S.W.A.T teams are also called to situations that simply require additional protection, such as high-risk warrants and security for high-profile operations like major sporting events or visiting dignitaries.
* In the professions, anything that leads to revocation of the license. For instance:
** For lawyers, disbarment. Since there are other disciplinary actions--from warnings to suspensions to being sued for malpractice--the number of things that warrant disbarment on their own are few (this is why we have the [[AmoralAttorney stereotypical]] [[AmbulanceChaser tropes]] [[FrivolousLawsuit about]] [[EvilLawyerJoke lawyers]]) but they exist. The biggest one (outside of certain rare crimes[[note]]E.g. obstruction of justice, the mere accusation of which got RichardNixon disbarred.[[/note]] and abuse of power[[note]]Really only an issue for prosecutors[[/note]])? [[StealingFromTheTill Taking money from client accounts]]. Do that ''once'', even if it's a small amount, even if you return it, even if you ''increase'' it (through, e.g., a good investment), and you're done. Just done.
*** This gets played with a lot more in fiction than real life as there's been several times in the Law & Order series where an attorney has basically pulled the pin on their own disbarment to break privilege.
* In the human body, the activation of cytotoxic T-cells is this, with multiple signals, because cytotoxic T-cells have a license to kill human cells based on presented surface proteins.
* New York City's Board of Education encompasses all five boroughs, and it is in the mayor's command. School closures are all-or-nothing affairs. Because of their implications, they only happen when the city is brought to its knees.
* Italy hit this the very moment it entered UsefulNotes/WorldWarI on the side of the Entente due a combination of appalling military readiness (there had been little time to recall the reserves, and the [[ObstructiveBureaucrat incompetence of the bureaucracy]] had caused scarcity of artillery, machine guns (many had been bought from Britain in 1914 and paid in advance, but were never delivered due the start of the war and Italy being nominally on the other side, if still neutral), rifles and even ''uniforms''), the few military assets being either still in place to invade France or tied up in the colonies, the recently acquired colony of Libya being in full revolt and having pushed the Italians to the coast, and Italy's low industrialization. The commander-in-chief Luigi Cadorna dealt with it by establishing a military dictatorship in everything but name, thus making himself capable of ''forcing'' a greater industrialization that managed to produce enough materiel (by the end of the war Italy even had the largest artillery park of any power in the war), employ a variation on the concept of ChildSoldiers (the trainees would be drafted an year early, but would be trained and employed as militia for about a year before being sent to the front), and [[GeneralRipper ruthlessly send his troops in frontal attacks against Austro-Hungarian lines]] [[WeHaveReserves because he knew they'd run out of soldiers before him]]. Then, after the Russian collapse freeing the Austro-Hungarian reserves, Cadorna's ways as overly-disciplinarian GeneralRipper and the incompetence of some of his subordinates caused the [[CurbStompBattle utter defeat at Caporetto]], Cadorna's successor Armando Diaz resolved to send in the ChildSoldiers early. These measures ended with causing a temporary collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Army and the ''disintegration of the Austro-Hungarian Empire'', but also nearly caused a civil war in the aftermath of the peace (as the soldiers returning home were most disgruntled with what they got and tended to join either the Anarchists or the movement of disgruntled veteran BenitoMussolini) and paved the way to the rise of Fascism and the suppression of the Libyan revolt with means that could be described only as ''war crimes''.
* Switzerland's bridges and tunnels are designed to be blown up if anyone were foolish enough to attack
* With the Al Qaeda splinter group ISIS threatening to overrun Iraq (time stamp: June 17, 2014), there is now serious talk about the United States military cooperating with Iran in order to stop them.
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