[[quoteright:241:[[WesternAnimation/TheTransformers http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BOT-Overload_6711.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:241:No ''way'' that button could ''ever'' come back to bite them.]]

->''"[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sw2B9knw58U Why do we even HAVE that lever?]]"''
-->-- '''Yzma''', [[LampshadeHanging hanging a lampshade]] on this trope in ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove''[[note]]Also, coincidentally, said during many a game of ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress''[[/note]]

When the villain creates a machine of diabolical nature, some function gets thrown into the mix that wasn't quite planned, and doesn't really serve any practical reason. Expect LampshadeHanging to ensue.

See also FridgeLogic.

Compare OvenLogic, where the oven dial goes up to thousands of degrees. One has to wonder why the oven had a dial that could go up that high if it wasn't meant to be used that way.

Compare with CowTools. Contrast with MundaneUtility. Overlaps a lot with SelfDestructMechanism. See also CapsLockNumLockMissilesLock.


* In one of the versions of ''Anime/MazingerZ'', there was one lever on [[SuperVillainLair Hell Island]] served to launch the island spacewards and detonate it. BigBad Dr. Hell used it to [[spoiler:try to]] [[TakingYouWithMe take Mazinger Z with him]] when he realized the battle was lost. It happened in GosakuOta's manga version.
* In ''ParallelTroubleAdventureDual'', Mr. Sanada frequently designs machines with large buttons that you think would activate them, he even coaxes the person to press the button/presses the button himself, before revealing that it doesn't actually do anything. 'It's actually' *Mitsuki sits down on a lever* 'that lever..'
* When Takarada of ''Anime/KillLaKill'' tries to fight using crab-like PoweredArmor, Sanegayama beats him by shoving his [[WoodenKatanasAreEvenBetter shinai]] up a hole on the back that seems to not only go straight to the unprotected cockpit, but ''[[AssShove straight up Takarada's ass]]''. What purpose such a structure could have served is never even asked.

* Some examples from ''TheFarSide'':
** A plane passenger is fumbling around with his seat controls, one of which is a switch marked "Wings Stay On"/"Wings Fall Off".
** A tech's soundboard at a concert had a dial labeled "Suck" which he was gleefully adjusting.
* ''[[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall The Adventures Of Kool-Aid Man]]'': Professor Kline builds a rocketship, but doesn't know how to turn it on.
* Played with in ''{{Meanwhile}}''. The Killitron is a doomsday device built by a mild-mannered inventor with no OmnicidalManiac tendencies whatsoever. However, it turns out that it can be used to manipulate entropy, allowing for such miracles as reversing the aging process and transmuting food and water.
* Inverted in ''AtomicRobo'', when Robo's shocked at the ''lack'' of extra options:
-->'''Robo:''' Relax. All we have to do is ReverseThePolarity and everything'll go back to... normal. [...] There ''is'' no reverse. How could they not include a reverse?! That's just criminally negligent with the kind of ''ludicrous'' stuff we get up to around here!

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens'': The latte dispenser is operated by a BigRedButton that is identical and right next to the button that launches all of the US's nuclear missiles.
-->'''President:''' What idiot designed this?!
-->'''Offscreen Voice:''' You did sir.
-->'''President:''' Fair enough.
* ''Disney/TheEmperorsNewGroove'': As indicated by the page quote, the entrance to Yzma's secret lab has a lever that opens a TrapDoor to a [[SharkPool Croc Pool]].
--> '''Kuzco:''' [[ChekhovsGag Why does she even have that lever]]?

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* At the end of ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'', the enraged Monster is rampaging through the lab. As he approaches a very large wooden lever Dr. Pretorius shouts, "Don't touch that lever! You'll blow us all to atoms!" The question must be asked: if you were collecting all the supplies and fixtures you'd need to build your super high-tech lab, how far down the list would "a lever that will blow us all to atoms" be?
* In ''Film/TheCabinInTheWoods'', the agency has a big red button that releases all of the monsters they have stored up and no safeguards at all, other than a plastic covering.
* The Chompers in ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', Gwen lampshades how ridiculous it is that there is a DeathCourse in the middle of the ship.
-->'''Gwen''': Screw that! I'm not doing it! This episode was ''badly written''!
* A DeathCourse with chutes and flames appears in ''RaceToWitchMountain''.
* In ''Film/{{Spaceballs}}'', Spaceball-1 can go to "Ludicrous Speed", which everybody except Dark Helmet realizes is something they shouldn't do. Fortunately the ship is also equipped with a hand-operated "Emergency Brake" which is labeled "Never Use".
* The trapdoor in ''Film/RedSonja''.
* In the original ''Film/{{Cube}}'', somebody speculates that the only reason they were put into the cube was because it had been built, and not using it would be to admit it was pointless.
* ''Film/AustinPowers'': Practically everything Dr. Evil owns.
* Isn't it a little strange that the motorcycle-sized speeder bikes in ReturnOfTheJedi have a centrally-placed rocker switch for jamming comm. signals? That works on their ''own'' comm. signals, not merely the enemy's?
* In ''Film/MightyMorphinPowerRangersTheMovie'', the Rangers are desperate to disengage the Ninja Megazord from Ivan Ooze, so one Ranger hits the big button behind emergency glass. It [[spoiler:delivers a GroinAttack.]]
* In ''[[Film/{{Garfield}} Garfield: The Movie]]'', [[ComicStrip/{{Garfield}} Garfield]] hits a big red button that immediately stops all the trains at a station.
* In ''Film/DieAnotherDay'' the villain has a suit that he can use to shock people. For reasons that are not entirely clear, there's a button on the front that causes it to electrocute the guy wearing it.

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' has BunglingInventor "Bloody Stupid" Johnson, who has added quite a number of useless and dangerous things to his inventions.
** In ''Discworld/{{Hogfather}}'' he added some things to the bathroom in Unseen University that Archchancellor Ridcully would come to regret.
** He also designed a nice, upper class neighbourhood that just happened to break the laws of space and time. You can just throw the trash out of the window into the yard, since it's probably not your yard, anyway. It's also has a very low crime rate, as thieves generally prefer to break into one house at a time.
** Or the post office sorting machine, which included a wheel with a circumference-to-diameter ratio of exactly 3 (rather than [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pi the usual three-and-a-bit]], which he thought was untidy), and which soon started sorting letters before they were written.
** And his pipe organs usually include special sound effects such as thunder or animal noises, with at least one example also being connected to the building's plumbing system. The UU organ, located in the middle of a city with a million inhabitants, also includes a pipe that plays the BrownNote so loud that it causes earthquakes.
* ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' features the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation, a company built entirely around this concept. In the words of the Guide itself, their corporate strategy is based on building devices whose "superficial design flaws completely mask their fundamental design flaws." In other words, you get so involved in getting the thing to work at all that you completely fail to realize that it's incapable of doing what it was made to do in the first place. From the first book alone, examples include a superintelligent robot with a suicidally depressed personality and an intelligent drink dispenser that, no matter what you ask for, always gives you exactly the same horrid concoction that is "perfectly tailored to your individual tastes."

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An episode of ''SesameStreet'' involved a high-powered air conditioning system being installed in the Furry Arms Hotel. Humphrey specifically states that it's only meant to be turned up to 10. If the knob is turned up to 14, it will break. Those are literally his exact words. Guess what the resident penguins end up doing.
* ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' Versus the Mask, the museum's computer room has a big red readout that says system failure. Talk about a complete lack of faith in your system. [[FridgeLogic Shouldn't they have hired a curator who knew how to use a computer?]]
* ''Series/FarOutSpaceNuts:'' "I said ''lunch'', not ''launch!''" Maybe those two buttons shouldn't be right next to each other?
* An episode of ''Series/{{Star Trek|The Original Series}}'' has Kirk being court-martialed under suspicion of accidentally ejecting an "ion pod" with a crew member still inside it. The prime evidence is (falsified) footage of the bridge during the incident, which includes a closeup of the arm of Kirk's captain's chair, which has three buttons on it - presumably the three things it was determined a Starfleet captain needed to be able to do at any time: "Red Alert," "Yellow Alert," and "Eject Pod."
* Davros, the MadScientist who created the Daleks on ''Series/DoctorWho'' decided that it would be a good idea for his mobile life support system to have a clearly marked on/off switch on the panel in front of it.

[[folder:Music Video]]
* In the video for "Rocking The Suburbs" by Music/BenFolds, the audio fidelity notably drops at one point. Cut to Ben and the video's director (Music/WeirdAlYankovic) at a mixing board, whereupon the director improves the audio quality by turning down the Suck level on the mixing board.

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* In ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', neither the Brickspider Bot v1.0 nor Cyber-Bully were quite sure why Evil Ogel's ElaborateUndergroundBase came with a doorbell.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The gnomes of {{Dragonlance}}. Their inventions seem to start with an idea, then modify as they go to fix perceived problems in ways that seem reasonable until you look at the whole. Some examples:
** Falling into water while wearing heavy plate armor tends to be inconvenient. Wouldn't it be nice to take the armor off in a hurry when you need to? So it's set up to be removed quickly. If you fall into water, you might be a little panicked, so the way to remove it should be easily accessible, right? Bright red painted crash bar on the front. And plate armor - especially ''gnome-modified'' plate armor - is going to be expensive, so you want a way to retrieve all the pieces if you do need to remove it like that, so... all the pieces are attached to the belt with wires so you can easily find them.
** A gnomic effort to light their caverns involved piping magma through them. When this made the average corridor hot enough to flash-fry gnomes, they poured water on the pipes. The net result was that it was ''still impossible to see'' because when you pour water on a tube of magma, you get huge quantities of steam. And it was still hot enough that you wouldn't want to spend too long in the corridors unless you were literally a fire elemental. But by the gods it was lit!
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'', pretty much anything that comes out of Alpha Complex's R&D labs for testing during a Troubleshooter mission.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DwarfFortress'' has a fondness for these, with players often ending up with levers that serve no purpose but to flood parts of their own fortress with lava. This is particularly pronounced in games when [[SuccessionGame players swap out between years]] so that no one knows what the lever actually ''does'' and building around it. For example, {{Boatmurdered}} had a lever that, when pulled, flooded a siege workshop. It turned out it had originally been put in [[spoiler:to irrigate the farms]] and became hilariously useless later [[spoiler:when someone built a siege workshop on them]].
* In ''AdvanceWars'': Black Hole Rising, [[MadScientist Lash]] proposes to the more practical [[MagnificentBastard Hawke]] that an airport she just finished for him be equipped with add-ons like a self destruct sequence.
* Between the two ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' games, there are several examples, all designed by Aperture Science's {{Cloudcuckoolander}} founder.
** The fuel system de-icer is also a sentient, malevolent AI that can [[spoiler:slowly flood the facility with massive amounts of "[[DeadlyGas deadly neurotoxin]]" stored in a large tank]].
** A portal gun capable of warping space was originally designed for use as a shower curtain.
** Turrets that are sapient, and capable of feeling pain
** [[MoralityChip Empathy Generators]] on the turrets. To keep them able to shoot people, they also installed an Empathy Suppressor.
** [[SpringsSpringsEverywhere Aerial Faith Plates]] are basically catapults that can propel the player vast distances. Their intended use was to load cargo onto trucks, despite the fact that the cargo is thrown with such force that it breaks and/or bounces back out.
** [[FrickinLaserBeams Thermal Discouragement Beams]], giant lasers that were apparently installed to keep office workers from [[DisproportionateRetribution leaving their desks]].
** Propulsion and Repulsion Gels, which were originally conceived as [[{{Squick}} dietary aids]] despite the latter containing an element that "does not like ''the human skeleton.''"
** And finally Conversion Gel, which literally just paints surfaces white so portals can be put on them. Any old white paint would have sufficed, but no, Aperture Science felt the need to make the white pigment out of ''crushed moonrocks'', complete with implications that a major character developed terminal pneumoconiosis as a result of this.
* In ''KingdomOfLoathing'', the clan VIP room's shower temperature can be set so low that it makes shards of ice rain down on the user. When you use it, your character questions why someone would even make something like this.
* Applies to ''so many'' door-lock minipuzzles in all sorts of games. Why would a supposedly everyday door require people to go through lengthy, complex manipulations to get through -- the users would get fed up. Why would a door be locked with a device that is ''disassembled'' when unlocked, or otherwise only good for one use.
* In ''SteelBattalion: Heavy Armor'', the SelfDestructMechanism is located next to the switch for the headlights. Which would be a problem even '''if''' the controls weren't complete garbage.
* Awesomemod (a mod for VideoGame/TheSims 3) has a configuration setting called "[=ExplodeInBFBVFS=]", which allegedly causes your game to explode in "a big fiery ball visible from space". [[spoiler:All it really does is display a funny message when you try to run the game, and then immediately quits.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* In ''WebAnimation/BarbieLifeInTheDreamhouse'', Barbie's MasterComputer, Closet, has a button that can change it from a helpful servant, to a power-hungry tormentor. No one among Barbie's gang can remember why Closet has such a button, not even its inventor, Ken.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The artistic variation shows up [[http://starslip.com/2006/10/25/starslip-number-374/ here]], in ''{{Starslip}}''. Vanderbeam, alone on the ship, is trying to calm down and forget about ghosts, so he goes around looking at art. He looks at Edward Munch's ''The Scream'', [[AuthorAppeal Henri Fuseli's]] ''Nightmare'', and [[FamousFamousFictional Hox Torvus']] ''Vanderbeam Getting Eaten By A Ghost'', prompting this:
--->'''Vanderbeam:''' Heavens, why did I ever commission this piece?!
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' give us this gem: "[[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/21p70/ You just cut the elevator?! What are you doing?!]] [[LampshadeHanging Why is there even a button for that?]]"
* In ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'', upon learning that the gate in Dorukan's dungeon that Elan destroyed was one of five seals on an EldritchAbomination's prison, Vaarsuvius [[http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0278.html questions the logic]] of having a SelfDestructMechanism. (There is a reason, namely to NoMacGuffinNoWinner rather than risk allowing the forces of evil control said abomination.)

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SpongebobSquarepants'': Plankton equips his [[MobileSuitHuman Robot Mr. Krabs]] with a Penny-Powered SelfDestructMechanism.
-->'''Plankton:''' Coin-operated self-destruct? Not one of my brighter ideas.
* ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'': The Lorwardian Motherships' engines have an "off" switch.
--> '''Warmonga:''' Long have I questioned the wisdom of that accursed switch!
* ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'': Most of Dr. Doofenshmirtz's inventions have some sort of reverse, or self destruct function, especially when this would make no sense. Some examples:
** In "The Monster of Phineas-n-Ferb-enstein", Dr. Doofenshmirtz's ancestor builds a device to make a potion that will make a person "Evil-Er". For some reason it also has a "[[EverythingsBetterWithPrincesses Fairy Princess]]" setting.
** "Hail Doofania!" The Rainbow Generator features a SelfDestructMechanism
--->'''Ferb''': You know, in retrospect I questioned the inclusion of a self destruct button in the first place.
** In "[[WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerbTheMovieAcrossTheSecondDimension Across the 2nd Dimension]]" Doofenshmirtz mentions he once deployed an army of robots and hid the self destruct buttons on their feet. Guess how the robots were defeated.
** In one episode, Doofenshmirtz spends an entire episode looking for an on-off switch so he can activate his latest [[ThingOMatic -inator]]. It turns out that all the -inator does is open the cage that he had trapped Perry in.
** In one episode Doofenshmirtz builds a Go-Away-Inator which spins a wheel of locations and sends whatever it's pointed at away. Near the end of the episode it sends a group of people into Doof's pants. It turns out that that "My Pants" setting was there because the -inator's wheel had been mixed up with his dry cleaning wheel.
-->'''Doofenshmirtz''': [[VoodooShark Wait, why do I have a dry cleaning wheel?]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddparents'': "Action Packed"
--> '''Jurgen:''' AH! Why did I build a "Reverse-Suck"?!
--> '''Timmy:''' 'Cause this is MY movie!
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/EekTheCat'', a professor built a rocket ship to Jupiter, and he told the astronauts that before launch they must make sure the absurdly huge switch is set for Jupiter and not the sun. One character asked, "Why is that even there?"
* ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' [[SadlyMythtaken Pandora guards her box so no idiot can release its evil contents]], so why does she have a release switch?
-->'''Pandora:''' I knew that "spew" switch was going to come back and haunt me.
* A few examples from the ''WesternAnimation/{{Dilbert}}'' cartoon:
** When the evil Leena is trapped in her own prototype, the De-pruner, her coworkers hit the "decapitate" button.
---> '''Leena:''' I knew I shouldn't have added that option.
** Dilbert also installed a voice-operated temperature changer in the shower. Which reacts to ''any'' number he says, regardless of context. Dogbert is disappointed to find he himself cannot change the temperature when Dilbert is taking a shower, but he can ask about "That movie with the crazy computer..." "You mean '2001'?"
* ''TheSimpsons ''
** A Halloween special features an murderous Krusty doll: "Yep, there's your problem. Somebody [[MoralityDial set this thing to evil]]."
** In a later episode, Bart sets a bunch of Roombas from "off" to "malevolent sentience". They promptly go on a mini-rampage.
* ''MegasXLR'': Sometimes Coop can't even make sense of his own designs. Some examples:
** Megas has 3 buttons labeled "Destroy the world", "Smite the world" and [[NoKillLikeOverkill "Destroy the world, worse"]], and one button labeled "Save the world". Guess which button is needed? Guess which one is missing from the control panel?
** Megas is low on oil in one episode, so Coop literally wrings the grease out of several cheesesteak sandwiches directly into a small tube that refills the tank. The gauge goes from "Empty" --> "Need a little" --> "Almost There" --> "Enough" --> "No really, I'm fine" --> and ''"PLEASE STOP!"''
* Some examples from ''CodenameKidsNextDoor'':
** Recurring teenage villain Cree explained that the only reason she escaped from a prison spaceship was because one of the pilots accidentally pressed the "Blow Up The Engines" button during a fight over trading cards.
-->'''Cree:''' Who else but a bunch of stupid kids would put a "Blow Up The Engines" button on a spaceship?
** In anonther episode, the ice cream MonsterOfTheWeek is defeated when Numbah Three turns on the heater in the ice cream factory. Quote The Delightful Children From Down the Lane:
--->'''DCFDL''': A HEATER!? Who puts a HEATER in an ICE CREAM FACTORY?!
* He-Man and She-Ra's [[ChristmasEpisode Christmas Special]] shows Orko lauching a rocket thats manipulated by one easily breakable lever.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' had Professor Farsnworth's glow-in-the-dark nose making machine. About halfway through the episode, he prepares to insert a note from Leela's parents into it to analyze it and hopefully translate it. This exchange took place:
-->'''Fry:''' Isn't that the machine that makes noses?
-->'''Professor:''' It can do other things! Why shouldn't it?
* In one episode of ''[[CareBears Adventures in Care-a-Lot]]'', Grizzle takes over Care-a-Lot using the Caretaker II, a belly-badge-stealing ray that can turn invisible. Naturally, it gets lost while invisible, and while looking for it, Grizzle warns his minions not to press [[BigRedButton the blue button]] that releases all the belly badges, complaining that he never should have installed that button.
* In "BOT," the ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'' episode considered the worst in the TF franchise's 25-ish year history, one of the many, many, ''many'' nonsense moments was the solution to the Decepticons' superweapon: a human-level button (on a machine that supposedly had to be controlled by Bruticus, who towers above your average TF, which is why ''the entire episode was about finding all of Bruticus' scattered parts'') clearly marked "Over Load." Yes, two words. You push it, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin the thing overloads]] and explodes. (Oh, making a device so big you supposedly can't use it yourself? Not much better. Like we said... it was bad.)
* Parodied by Creator/CartoonNetwork with a ''WesternAnimation/{{Birdman}}'' short (link [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPKymEC_Hss here]]). Falcon 7 asks why Birdman allows [[LoyalAnimalCompanion Avenger]] on his console, while Birdman insists he's "fully-trained" and demonstrates by ordering Avenger to press the Coffee button...which is right next to the Doomsday button. [[spoiler:He gets the coffee, but accidentally hit the Doomsday button too.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/IronManArmoredAdventures'': Killer Shrike's flight tech is directly linked to his wrist blasters. After Iron Man smashes the blasters, he points out to the plummeting villain what a bad idea that was.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Many heating devices can reach temperatures far beyond the point where they stop being useful. Some hot tubs get hot enough to kill people, while some toasters get hot enough to burn all toast.
* Car speedometers often go higher than is safe to travel in the car in question. In some cases, the speedometer is even designed to read velocities that the car isn't even capable of reaching under normal circumstances. Mostly this happens because there is just one type of speedometer which has to cover a whole range of cars.
* Volume controls often go much higher than is ever practical. In some cases, this is simply to prepare for uncommon usage, while in other cases, maximum volume would actually blow out the speakers.
* One desktop PC keyboard from around 2000 had special keys to turn the computer on and off, so you wouldn't have to reach down, fumble for the switch, etc. Of course the keyboard drew its power from the computer, so the "On" key never worked. The "Off" key didn't have that problem, but it was in the upper right corner, and thus very easy to hit by accident.
* An inversion of this contributed to the Apollo 13 accident. While emptying a cryogenic oxygen tank using a heater, the dial used to watch the temperature did not go above the expected maximum, and as a result no one knew that the temperature was getting significantly higher and damaging some equipment.
* Tandy computers had a button that functioned as "Escape" (ESC) on modern computer setups, only it was called "break", because it broke whatever loop a program was stuck in. On the Tandy ColorComputer 3 it was even bright red, leaving many uninformed users to be terrified to touch the button for fear the button was something that would break your computer. ("Break" is still on your keyboard - it's usually a secondary function on your "pause" key.)
* The first incarnation of the Apple II computer had the "reset" button right above the "enter" key. Since the "Enter" key is pressed more often than any other key, and the "reset" button will instantly hard-reboot your computer, this caused some problems.
* Airfield equipment (like generators) used by the US Air Force literally have an overload switch, called "Battle Short" on them. Flip it, and the equipment begins running so hard that it burns out and becomes useless for even salvage. In true SchmuckBait fashion, it's bright red and covered with a equally bright cover to prevent you from bumping it accidentally. [[JustifiedTrope However, it's fully justified:]] The idea is if the airfield is being overrun by the enemy and there isn't time to extract the equipment, you can at least screw the enemy out of capturing it.
* Zawinski's Law of Software Envelopment - Every program attempts to expand [its features] until it can read mail. Those programs which cannot so expand are replaced by ones which can.