MissionControl is a helpful character who provides the main character with valuable information during a mission. The main character can usually count on them for help when they feel like they're stuck in a corner. But what happens if the MissionControl is killed, kidnapped, or otherwise incapacitated? Suddenly, the main character's on their own, and is likely to be completely in the dark without their guidance. This is highly likely to happen in more [[SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism cynical]] stories. Naturally, there is a lot of drama to mine in this situation.

If the main character also resents the MissionControl for sitting in a comfortable office while they risk their necks, this can lead to instances of HarsherInHindsight, and can also lead to the main character developing a strong sense of guilt. If they are kidnapped, there will probably be a StoryArc later on revolving around rescuing the MissionControl character.

If MissionControlIsOffItsMeds, however, the main character may consider this a blessing. See also ButWhatAboutTheAstronauts, where the Mission Control is missing because everyone in the world is dead.

[[CaptainObvious Obviously]], a SubTrope of MissionControl.

'''WARNING: This trope is usually spoileriffic by its very nature, so do not read the examples if you are not a SpoilerHound.'''


[[folder: Anime & Manga ]]

* In episode 7 of ''Anime/ValvraveTheLiberator'', the last thing L-Elf Karlstein does before his coup d'état is take out [[HollywoodHacking Hollywood Hacker]] Akira. When another student notices that the alarms have failed to sound during Karlstein's attack, the camera cuts to Akira BoundAndGagged in the control room.

* Later on in ''Anime/LastExile'', Claus and Dio return to the Silvana after a successful mission and try to contact the bridge...only to find that no one is responding. Turns out that Maestro Delphine, the charmingly sadistic leader of the Guild, has pulled an AllYourBaseAreBelongToUs on them and is waiting...


[[folder: Film ]]

* Tansy, the poor air traffic control operator in ''Film/KangarooJack''. After she locates the main characters (who are stranded in the desert after a plane crash), she gets [[BoundAndGagged taped up and gagged]] by the villains, who then destroy her equipment so she cannot send help for the heroes. The heroes simply believe that Tansy was disconnected due to some equipment failure.
* Pretty much the central factor behind the plot of ''Film/CrimsonTide'': the [[CoolBoat USS]] ''[[CoolBoat Alabama]]'' suffers a radio equipment malfunction while in the middle of receiving a high-priority message: The crew does not know whether their orders are to launch their [[NuclearOption nuclear missiles]] or to abort, and TheCaptain and the CommanderContrarian end up unable to agree on their next course of action.
* In ''Film/VantagePoint'' the baddies take out Mission Control which greatly helped to carry out the attack.
* The jammed communication between ''Film/{{Dredd}}'' and Mission Control is a key plot point in the movie.


[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* In the episode "Penelope" of ''Series/CriminalMinds'', the team's MissionControl Garcia is shot and hospitalized. The rest of her FBI team has to try to catch the attempted murderer without her. However, they do have a stand-in who is not nearly as skilled or quick as Garcia.
* In one episode of ''Series/QuantumLeap'', Sam accidentally changes the past so that Al never joined the Quantum Leap Project, so he has to do without Al's help while he tries to put things right.
* On ''Series/{{Leverage}}'', a few times the team have to do without Hardison's hacker skills due to him being in danger or missing his equipment, and things get seriously hinky. Also inverted in "The Long Way Down Job" where Nate, Eliot and Parker are out of range.
* In the Season 1 finale of Series/PersonOfInterest, this happens when Finch is kidnapped by Root, [[spoiler: aka Caroline Turing]].
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Garth goes missing at the end of season 8 and is no longer able to help out the hunter community.


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Dan in ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' becomes unavailable ''twice'': once in Sector [[spoiler:5]] and [[spoiler:6]] (communications failure), and again in Sector [[spoiler:8]] (kidnapped). [[spoiler:The second time also ends with his death if you aren't CrazyPrepared.]] Also an HarsherInHindsight example, since Iji initially expresses annoyance that she's the only one risking her life.
* The mysterious benefactor in VideoGame/{{Depict1}} loses the ability to communicate with you after the first few levels. [[spoiler:They come back for the endgame, though.]]
* ZigZagged in the final mission of ''VideoGame/MirrorsEdge'': [[spoiler:Faith's original MissionControl Merc dies of a gunshot wound in the opening cutscene, so she sets off to storm the Shard on her own. Mid-mission, however, she meets Lieutenant Miller, who guides her through the more tricky parts of the building before being cut off (captured or worse) by the PK, so Faith has to go on on her own again]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'', the "Angel" loses contact with you when the Echo network is shut down (or rather can no longer see you and is having to send its messages blind). You have to get the network back online ([[spoiler: which conveniently brings you to where she was guiding you to]]).
* Used as a plot point in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'', where [[ComicBook/BirdsOfPrey Oracle]], your unseen guide from [[VideoGame/BatmanArkhamAsylum the first game]], has mysteriously gone missing. This leads to Batman's butler [[BattleButler Alfred]] having to take over for her.
** Not really a "plot point", more like "she was doing some stuff, brb. Alfred, it's you and me.". In the comics, that happens often. Barbara is a VoiceWithAnInternetConnection to many other characters, not just Bats.
* In ''VideoGame/PerfectDark Zero'', Joanna arrives at the Trinity Labs and is unable to contact Chandra. [[TheMole She's been a mole for a long time]] and sent Joanna to a death trap.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** In ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', this happens when John leaves Cortana in the Control Room while he goes to find the [[MacGuffin Index]].
** Ditto for most of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', after John leaves Cortana in High Charity at the end of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}''. This time, Cortana's also off her meds.
* In ''VideoGame/TheNamelessMod'' your handlers cannot reach you while deep underground or during the horror-based mission on each route. You can get a substitute in the first instance ([[AnnoyingVideoGameHelper though you may not want to]]) but in the latter cases you are alone (save for the mad AI in one of them) to increase the sense of isolation.
* In the ''VideoGame/SplinterCellDoubleAgent'', Lambert serves as mission control most of the time on behalf of Third Echelon, while Dufraisne occasionally does the same for the JBA. During the penultimate mission, Lambert turns out to [[spoiler:have been kidnapped by the JBA for posing as an arms dealer]] and his role is filled by Third Echelon Director Tom Reed for the rest of the game.
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'', [[spoiler: the Citadel's control tower crew]] are killed by Saren and his Geth forces during the climactic mission.
** In ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'', the ''Normandy'' arrives at the Citadel to find themselves unable to reach any of the traffic controllers, this time due to [[spoiler: A Cerberus sneak-attack.]] In this case, the character who normally gives the ''Normandy'' clearance is back at her post later in the game.
* ''[[VideoGame/TheAdventuresOfMassmouth Massmouth 2]]'': Trooper, your mission control, is discovered by the BigBad and--despite trying to move to a "safer broadcasting spot"--you soon see him captured and killed before your very eyes.
* In ''Videogame/MarvelAvengersAlliance'', Nick Fury, Maria Hill, and Tony Stark are directing the player character remotely. Two of them are kidnapped at one point in the story and the third runs things alone for a while until the others are recovered.
* Leon loses contact to mission control (and by extension, the entire outside world) in the second chapter of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', as his enemies hijack his line. [[TheStoic Leon is unimpressed]] and takes the opportunity to [[DeadpanSnarker mock them whenever they call]], pushing TheDragon into a near-VillainousBreakdown with the ungodly force of his snark.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Splatoon}}'', after defeating the third boss, Cap'n Cuttlefish ends up getting captured by the BigBad, forcing you to clear the next level without any guidance. Afterwards, Agents 1 and 2 (A.K.A. [[spoiler:the Squid Sisters]]) show up and act as your MissionControl for the rest of the adventure.


[[folder: Web Comics ]]
* ''Webcomic/StandStillStaySilent'': The crew's vehicle breaks down later in the story, and the radio is rendered useless as well in the process. They technically have a back-up plan in the form of the TalkingInYourDreams system the mages can use, except that the mage on MissionControl's side is basically comatose from helping out long distance earlier in the story, thus hindering his capacity to communicate with the other members.

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* Several episodes of ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'' have XANA take over someone to get Jeremie away from the computer.
* On ''WesternAnimation/KimPossible'', rival heroes Team Impossible spiked Wade's computers to rob Kim and Ron of their mission control, thus gaining the upper hand--until Wade emerges from his room for the first time ever, his BerserkButton fully engaged:
-->'''Wade:''' You spiked my system! [[PunctuatedForEmphasis NOBODY... SPIKES... MY SYSTEM!]]\\
'''Ron:''' ''(To Team Impossible)'' Dude, now you're so over I don't even wanna be around you!