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[[quoteright:324:[[Film/HotFuzz http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hot_fuzz_explosion.jpg]]]]

The rule of ImprobableCover states: Explosions in movies can't see you if you sidestep behind a wall or jump behind a table.

Of course, as the Series/{{Mythbusters}} showed this can be TruthInTelevision. The shockwave produced by explosions is one of their most dangerous elements as it can cause significant internal damage. Even a flimsy barrier can potentially blunt the shockwave's power enough to avoid outright fatal injuries. At the same time there is no guarantee that the barrier will do enough or prevent death due to flames and shrapnel.

Sister trope of ConcealmentEqualsCover. Also see BulletproofHumanShield. Contrast OutrunTheFireball.



* ''Manga/BarefootGen'', Gen survives the detonation of the nuclear bomb simply because there was a wall between him and it. The people around him were not so lucky. Even more terrifying because it actually happened....

* In ''Film/DoubleTeam'', the heroes hide behind a coke machine and survive despite roaring walls of flame on either side. Possibly a moment of genre-savvy.
* ''Film/IndependenceDay'': Pretty much every time there's an explosion that the heroes escape, they do so by this trope.
** The most blatant is the tunnel one: Jasmine, her son and the dog hiding in a maintenance room inside the tunnel could be plausible... [[ArtisticLicensePhysics if not for the door that remains open with a wall of fire running through and somehow not entering the room]].
* ''Film/{{Predator}}'' and ''Film/{{Predator 2}}''. In the first film Dutch lives through a small nuclear (?) explosion at close range because he ducked behind some cover. In the second film Lieutenant Harrigan survives the exhaust blast of a Predator ship taking off by doing the same thing.
* In ''Film/HotFuzz'' a massive explosion that takes out a whole building is survived by the people ''inside'' it. They do this by [[spoiler:hiding behind some old sofas.]] This is "[[RuleOfFunny explained]]" in the extras.
* ''Film/TheDayAfterTomorrow'': They outrun an oncoming ice storm, and escape it by closing a door.
* In the ''Film/DieHard'', series, this happens multiple times.
** In the first film, [=McClane=] builds a homemade bomb and tosses it down an elevator shaft. When it goes off, a blast of fire shoots upward toward him. He survives by stepping to the side of the door.
* Subverted, in ''Film/Tremors2Aftershocks'', when Earl tosses a bomb in an attempt to kill a Shrieker, it lands [[spoiler: in the bed of a truck packed with explosives. When the others hide behind a nearby building, Burt shouts at them to "Keep running!". They look at Earl, who replies "Burt knows his bombs". After quite a bit more running, they find a ditch, which, combined with the distance, provides sufficient cover.]]
* In ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'', Indy survives a nuke by hiding in a refrigerator.

* In the first season finale of ''Series/TheWalkingDead'' Dale and Andrea survive the explosion of the [=CDC=] by flattening themselves against a pile of sandbags.
* In the ''Series/{{Castle}}'' two-parter "Tick, Tick, Tick..." and "Boom!", Beckett survives her apartment being blown up by diving into her bathtub just as the bomb went off. More justified in this case since her tub is one of those old cast iron jobs.
* ''Series/TokumeiSentaiGoBusters'': Ryuji uses a table in #1 to block a bullet attack from the Monster of the Week. Said monster has an arm that can cut through a ''car'' with no effort.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* True of most "heavy" weapons in ''Franchise/MassEffect'', including rocket launchers, anti-materiel rifles, and grenades: all of them are stopped by the flimsiest of cover. However, in ''Mass Effect 3'', enemies have [[ArtificialBrilliance learned to throw grenades behind your cover]] -- and you can return the favor by grabbing [[{{BFG}} a heavy sniper rifle]] and sniping enemies ''through'' cover.
* The AI of ''VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}}'' takes a page from [[Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy The Ravenous Blugbatter Beast of Traal]]; if you can't see it, it can't see you. This means [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0WqAmuSXEQ a paint can counts as cover]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Real bombs shockwaves are tricky things. Running down a side street won't save you if you are still within the danger area - the shockwave spreads out along any route offering least resistance. However when IRA terrorists bombed Manchester City centre, a traditional red telephone box suffered no damage apart from a cracked pane of glass, despite being well inside the cordon, and more extensive damage being wrought around it.
* 1920s ''bon vivant'' Harry Crosby was an ambulance driver during WW I. On the way to the front, his ambulance was hit by a German shell and blown to small pieces. Crosby was completely unscratched. It's likely it messed his head up, though.