The UsefulNotes/AtomicBombingsOfHiroshimaAndNagasaki killed 200,000 people and established that nuclear weapons were in the same category as chemical weapons (used in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI) and biological weapons (tested by the Japanese on POW and Chinese civilians in UsefulNotes/WorldWarII). Although the lethal potential of biological weapons was only known to the USA, which pardoned and employed Japan's bioweapon specialists, the horrific nature of chemical and nuclear warfare was plainly evident to everyone. Within just a few years of the bombings, media coverage of them resulted in what Nina Tannenwald has dubbed ''The Nuclear Taboo'' (2007): a reluctance to use nuclear weapons, regardless of the practical benefits, [[BadPowersBadPeople because it makes the user look evil]]. There are good grounds for calling into question Japan's own fixation upon nuclear weapons and their only use in warfare, which Japanese nationalists (who didn't just disappear when the Empire did) have used to distract people from Imperial Japan's extensive War Crimes in China and south-east Asia (which killed at least a dozen million). But there is no denying that biological, chemical, and nuclear weapons kill people in a number of horrible ways - and that they are usually ranked in that order of horribleness.

Accordingly, any time a series needs a powerful ForgottenSuperweapon, rather than an actual nuclear weapon (even if those are available) a bit of AppliedPhlebotinum will be introduced that has the destructive ''effects'' of a nuclear weapon but a different name. Great pains will frequently be taken to stress that these ''aren't'' actual nuclear weapons, even if they can level whole cities and/or destroy the world.

Any series that does decide to use nuclear weapons will usually portray them as [[{{Anvilicious}} A Bad Thing]] that must be destroyed at all costs, and [[ThisIsUnforgivable only used by the most evil of villains]]. This taboo is even stronger in Japanese works, where the Three Non-Nuclear Principles are generally portrayed as being upheld long into the future in all but the most pessimistic of stories.

So far, this is TruthInTelevision. No nuclear weapons have been used in armed conflict since the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings. Two small direct wars (USSR vs China during the Sino-Soviet split and India vs Pakistan during the Kargil War) and several more proxy wars have been fought between nuclear powers without nuclear deployments taking place, though NATO doctrine for [[WorldWarIII a hypothetical land war in Europe]] mandated the use of battlefield ['tactical'] nuclear weapons (as did Soviet doctrine in the early-late 1960s).

Contrast our modern attitude about nuclear weapons to fiction of the pre-war eras in which devastating super-weapons were romanticized to the point of being able to end all war forever. For example, Alfred Nobel believed that if such a tremendously powerful weapon could be devised, the potential war casualties would become so high when compared to any possible gains that nations of the world would abandon warfare altogether. First this super-weapon was said to be the machine gun, then bomber aircraft, and when atomic bombs appeared at the end of the Second World War, military and political leaders considered them to be simply big bombs. Strategically useful yes (one plane could now do the work of hundreds), but not inherently different than any other munition. Then came the hydrogen bomb, aka thermonuclear weapons, a weapon even more powerful. For comparison, atomic bombs tend to be limited to kilotons, while hydrogen bombs are measured in ''megatons;'' hundreds of times more powerful. This combined with advances in rocketry deliver systems finally made it feasible for man to actually destroy civilization. [[note]]Fears of actual species-wide extinction even in a nuclear war have since been revealed to be unlikely.[[/note]] To an extent, those former dreams were at last realized: the threat of nuclear war has helped keep the major powers at peace for 70 years. We finally created a weapon we are ''actually'' too scared to use. Unfortunately this hasn't ended war ''altogether'', but wars of the most devastating type seen in the 20th century haven't been seen since.

If there is a weapon treated in a similar manner to nuclear ones but isn't referred to as such not because of censorship, but because it doesn't make sense in that setting, it's a FantasticNuke. Almost any series involving a WaveMotionGun involves this.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* N2 (Non-Nuclear) mines in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' are an InUniverse example, although they have a much smaller radius of effect than actual nukes.
* Vegatron bombs from ''Anime/UFORoboGrendizer'' (one of the ''Anime/MazingerZ'' sequels): It is explicitly stated they are radioactive, they are able to easily obliterate whole cities, the explosion forms a mushroom cloud, and they leave the land polluted with radioactivity. But no, they are not nukes. They are ''vegatron bombs''.
* "Reaction weaponry" in ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' needs official permission from the highest commanding officer within a colony before they can be launched. In later series, they are replaced by "Fold weapons", which are even more powerful (being capable of ''planetary-level'' destruction), as they operate by distorting space-time itself.
** WordOfGod has it that Reaction weapons were ''intended to be'' nuclear, at least in the earlier series, but that explicitly showing the ''good guys'' using nukes was a no-no at the time. So they've made it antimatter warheads (see above) instead. The irony here is that these are theoretically more destructive than nukes.
** It's notable that while Reaction weaponry is tremendously powerful, and capable of rending apart Zentradi warships, that this is NOT particularly powerful by Zentradi standards: in the second episode of ''Anime/SuperDimensionFortressMacross'', they manage to initiate a long range bombardment of a specific city on a specific planet with extreme accuracy from the distance of the ''lunar orbit'' with little problem, and later in the show a Zentradi fleet reduces an inhabited planet's surface to glass without actually using the forbidden Reaction weaponry. However, the big deal about reaction weaponry is that they're small enough that they can be easily carried even by small fighters.
** ''[[Anime/Macross7 Macross Dynamite 7]]'' actually shows an honest to goodness tactical nuclear weapon (complete with the nuclear hazard symbol) being used. But it's okay since it's the badguys using it.
** ''Anime/MacrossZero'' also features missiles that are explicitly identified as nuclear; while they are used by the good guys, their use is ''not'' treated as a good thing.
** ''Macross Ultimate Frontier'' displays the name of the target you're locked on in English (Britai's official Romanized name is [[CrowningMomentOfFunny apparently]] [[TheUnpronounceable Vrlitwhai]]). The "reaction missiles" from the last mission of the Dynamite 7 campaign are called "Nuclear Missiles" in-game.
** In the ''Anime/{{Robotech}}'' adaptation/translation, these weapons are rendered as "Reflex weaponry." It sounds like they're hitting the enemy with a giant rubber mallet right below its knee.
* [[ColonyDrop Meteor bombs]] from ''Anime/SpaceBattleshipYamato''.
* The [[FantasticNuke nuclear-like non-nukes]] introduced late in ''Anime/TheVisionOfEscaflowne''.
* ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' [[TheTokyoFireball leveled Tokyo]] as a trigger to World War III with "a new type of bomb," [[spoiler:which turned out to be a psychic blast from the title character]]. Also subverted; in the manga, a nuclear weapon ''is'' used, and they make a big deal out of it.
* In the ''Manga/GiantRobo'' {{OVA}}s, the shameful secret of Giant Robo wasn't that it was a massive engine of destruction commanded by the will of a twelve-year-old boy, but that it was powered by a nuclear reactor.
* The backstory of ''Anime/DaiGuard'' involves an "O.E. bomb" being used to destroy the original [[{{Kaiju}} Heterodyne]]. There's plenty of angst in the series itself about when or whether the military should use one again.
* The "Jignix" bomb in ''MD Geist: Death Force''.
* ''Manga/ZettaiKarenChildren'' appears to have a nuclear ''everything'' taboo, instead having "Neo-Clear" power plants. Which the BigBad promptly steals [[strike:nuclear]] Neo-Clear fuel from and sells it to the "Al Lugia Liberation Front" to make bombs. I wish I was making this up.
** Despite all this it appears that lazy naming aside, Neo-Clear is actually something different as no fallout or even much damage results from one of the bombs. Though that may be to do with the Major containing the blast as he saw a local girl who bore a striking resemblance to Kaoru about to be caught in it. Needless to say, this annoyed him, resulting in the ''[[YourHeadAsplode messy]]'' deaths of the terrorists.
* In Fate's AsYouKnow speech in ''Anime/MagicalGirlLyricalNanohaStrikers'' on the [[TheSingularity dangers and eventual banning of mass-based physical weapons]], we are shown scenes of the various [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt world destroying weaponry]] that were used before the [[TheFederation Time-Space Administration Bureau]] era. One of these looked suspiciously liked nuclear missiles that left behind mushroom clouds and much devastation.
** Incidentally, based on the timeline, the start of the Time-Space Administration era, marked by the banning of mass-based physical weapons in favor of MagiTek, takes place at around 1941, the year when Japan provoked America into joining World War 2. Coincidence?
* The violence showing the aftermath of nuclear war and message that [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped nuclear weapons are bad]] is one of the reasons why ''Anime/FutureWar198X'' is [[KeepCirculatingTheTapes extremely hard to find.]]
* In ''Anime/HeatGuyJ'' most of the world's population has been destroyed after they appropriated the technology of the resident SuperiorSpecies. Originally, it was used for peaceful purposes (e.g. energy production), but [[HumansAreBastards people started wars]] using this AppliedPhlebotinum. The survivors stopped trusting each other and closed themselves into seven city states, and the [[SuperiorSpecies Celestials]] closely monitor any peaceful use of their technology. It's never stated what it is exactly, but it does sound an awful lot like nuclear power.
* ''Webcomic/AxisPowersHetalia'' manages to be about anthropomorphic countries, set partly during World War II, with the personifications of America and Japan as main characters, and still never mention nuclear weapons. Partly because the WWII part of the story never gets to that point (it's more or less [[AbortedArc abandoned]] by now), and partly because the series avoids showing the DarkerAndEdgier parts of history.
** This is the same anime that managed to condense the entire Cold War into a [[ItMakesSenseInContext condom joke]] that took less than two minutes. [[RuleOfFunny Yeah]].
* The ancient warriors from ''Manga/NausicaaOfTheValleyOfTheWind'' certainly count.
* The A-bomb is central to the plot of ''Anime/NightRaid1931'' but it's only ever called "new type of bomb." It makes sense: most characters don't know anything more about it, and those who know don't call it by name.
* ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' has the Miniature Rose, which instead of producing a mushroom cloud, produces a rose cloud. [[spoiler:Furthermore, it also produces radiation (called Rose Poison).]] But of course, it's not a nuclear bomb, no. One of the few examples where such weapon is used for kind of good reason.
* Warships in ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes'' carry nuclear weapons, which makes it appear to avert this trope. However, the usage of nuclear weapons are limited to specific conditions in space[[note]]Beam weaponry are the mainstay in the series[[/note]], and there is a taboo placed on using them on inhabited planets after a nuclear apocalypse in the backstory almost wiped out the human race.
* The "outer-shell bomb" in ''Anime/ThePlacePromisedInOurEarlyDays''.
* A major plot point in ''Anime/TerrorInResonance'': the series begins with the theft of a plutonium core from a nuclear fuel reprocessing plant. [[spoiler: It's eventually revealed it was not plutonium that was stolen, but a completed miniature nuclear bomb built by the Japanese government in violation of the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty.]]

* In a major aversion of this trope for a Japanese-produced work, the first novel of ''Franchise/SentouYouseiYukikaze'' reveals that Japan has nukes. On Faery, both the FAF & the JAM use nuclear missiles in their battles against each other. What makes it such an aversion is that the series does not make any kind of moral judgment on the use of nukes, only considering them in terms of their battlefield effectiveness.
* In at least the early novels of Frank Herbert's ''Franchise/{{Dune}}'' series, it is implied that most or all of the noble "Great Houses" have nuclear weapons (the "house atomics") but that the Great Convention which binds the houses together expressly forbids any house from using their atomics against another. Houses that do apply those weapons directly are usually cast out, losing their fief and becoming a renegade house. Of course, late in the first book, Paul Atreides [[spoiler:indirectly uses the recovered Atreides family atomics against the Harkonnens and Corrinos when he blasts a hole through the stone Shield Wall near their landing site to allow sandworm riding Fremen fighters through to start a battle. He justifies this in that the prohibition only forbids using the nukes against [[ExactWords human targets]], and he [[LoopholeAbuse only used it to level a portion of a mountain]].]] In the second book, Paul himself, along with many of his soldiers and associates, [[spoiler:was a victim of a nuclear weapons attack which left him blinded.]]
* Played with in "Literature/YoungZaphodPlaysItSafe" by Creator/DouglasAdams. The most horrible weapons ever invented, including nuclear and all kinds of engineered gasses and viruses, are perfectly safe compared to [[{{Anvilicious}} a politician willing to use them]].
* ''Literature/AdventureHunters'': War golems so horrified humanity that they were decomissioned soon after they were created. Centuries later, when the story takes place, most people don't believe weapons of such power ever existed and think of them as a myth. Those that know the truth encourage this mindset. The punishment for using them is life imprisoned in TheAlcatraz.
* ''Literature/TheNewHumans'':[[spoiler: Enforced by the Flying Man sabotaging ''all'' the world's nuclear weapons before the story's start.]]

[[folder:Film- Live Action]]
* The first ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' movie, ''Film/{{Gojira}}'', is a parable about nuclear weapons, with Godzilla having been created by US nuclear tests (a fact left out of [[Film/GodzillaKingOfTheMonsters1956 the version of the film that was re-edited for U.S. release]]). Said parable is almost entirely lost in the sequels.
** ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla'' is the big exception. The movie is about UsefulNotes/ColdWar tensions, and even has a Russian nuclear bomb ''dropped on Tokyo'' in an attempt to kill Godzilla. Naturally, it goes very poorly, and actually revives the monster after a special Japanese aircraft had successfully knocked him down. Apparently, Japan was pretty fed up with having to tapdance between the two nuclear superpowers.
* The Soviet director Leonid Gaidai exploited this trope as a way of GettingCrapPastTheRadar to save his comedy ''Film/TheDiamondArm'' from censorship. The film included controversial (by Soviet standards) scenes, such as a striptease, the protagonist's drunken debauche and an anti-Semitic remark by a rather unpleasant Soviet bureaucrat. Before showing the film to the censors Gaidai [[CensorDecoy inserted the footage of a nuclear explosion into the epilogue]]. The censors, in a state of shock, allowed Gaidai to leave most of the film intact, on the condition that he cut out the nuke and the anti-Semitic remark. ''The Diamond Arm'' is now a cult film in Russia.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* There's a very odd RetCon example in the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "Genesis of the Daleks". In the previous Dalek stories, it had been repeatedly stated that the mutations that led to the Daleks were the result of a nuclear war on the planet Skaro. In the definitive origin story "Genesis", however, the word "nuclear" was never used and all the usual effects depicted in the story that one would associate with nuclear weapons (mutation, explosives that kill the slaves forced to handle them within a few days, massive destruction) were ascribed to mysterious "chemicals". It almost looks as if there was censorious ExecutiveMeddling. The vast majority of fans, and subsequent canon writers, keep "Genesis" as the definitive origin but tacitly replace all references to "chemicals" with "nuclear" or "radioactivity" again.
* It's never stated outright, but it's pretty damn obvious that the [[KillerRobot Killer Robots]] used nukes to [[EverybodysDeadDave wipe out most of humanity]] before ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' started proper. Ziggy mentions to Dillon how the ambient radiation interferes with both his compass and radio frequencies in their first meeting ("The Road to Corinth"), and later an orphanage consisting entirely of cancer patients is mentioned several times.
* Inverted in ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003''. The entire show was based on dosing the audience with a ''September 11'' reaction to watching nukes ''ruin every main character's day throughout the series''. The pilot shows a whole '''planet''' being nuked from orbit. Justified, of course, since there's a war going on. While the Cylons have the majority of nukes throughout the series, the Colonials used a few themselves. One, to destroy a Resurrection Ship that kept humanoid Cylons from staying dead, and another inside an ancient baseship in the special episode, "Razor." Oh, and there was the matter of finding an Earth obliterated by nuclear war, and soon after, using several Colonial nuclear missiles aiding to destroy a Cylon stronghold in the final episode, "Exodus." You might as well have given the show a new title: ''[[NukeEm Nuke 'Em: The Series]]''. It appears that the Japanese themselves have not only enjoyed the American-based show, but also produced and watched comics and video games based on the series.
* Also inverted in [[Series/StargateSG1 Stargate: SG-1]] and [[Series/StargateAtlantis Stargate: Atlantis]] where the USAF makes use of nuclear weapons in several episodes of each.

[[folder: Music]]
* Music/PinkFloyd guitarist David Gilmour's song "[[ Cruise]]" from his solo album ''About Face'' is a sarcastic "tribute" to nuclear missiles:
--> ''Cruise, we're both traveling so far''
--> ''Burning out fast like a shooting star''
--> ''Cruise, I feel sure that your song will be sung''
--> ''And will ring in the ears of everyone''

[[folder: Tabletop Games]]
* In ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' the [[FictionalGenevaConventions Ares Conventions]] forbid the use of nuclear weapons within 75,000 km of an inhabited planet. Chemical and biological weapons, or OrbitalBombardment of civilians, are similarly verboten.
** [[FromBadToWorse And then]] [[OmnicidalManiac the Jihad happened]]...
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' nukes are restricted to the Imperial Navy. And if anyone ''not'' belonging to the Imperial Navy decides to use or even possess them, well, The Imperial Navy has nukes. Make of that what you will.
* While nuclear technology is known to be used by the [[TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} Imperium of Man]] (the DeathWorld of Krieg looks like the trenches of WWI due to a half-millenia of nuclear war), it sees little use in the game except for Rad weapons, and even then those are used for radioactive fallout rather than sheer destructive force.

* In the ''Franchise/MetalGear'' franchise, the ability of the Metal Gear machines to launch nuclear weapons is basically the reason they are "bad." They also used a large {{railgun}} to fire warheads as sub-orbital artillery. Because these warheads were not technically part of missile systems, they did not violate several otherwise applicable treaties. "Loophole nukes" of a sort. Also, these weapons can't be detected the way normal nukes are, which completely destroys the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction; any country with a REX derivative can launch a nuke at another country and be guaranteed that there will be no retaliatory strike, because there's no way to determine where it came from or that it's even happening until the nuke hits.
** Also, the Proto Metal Gears all had the advantage of being easier for Third World Countries to have Nuclear capability of their own. The greatest danger was that every Non-Superpower Country having such power would completely mess up global politics. Especially since they were willing to sell them to TERRORISTS or "Freedom Fighters" if the price was right. Imagine a world full of Osama Bin Ladens, and each having their own Walking Nuclear Death Mobiles.
** Plus, the eponymous [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolidPeaceWalker Peace Walker]] was essentially a nuclear platform programmed to launch even with false data, removing [[LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt human decision making from launching]] and even preventing any practical counterattacks since its mobility allowed it to move quickly and avoid nukes, making it a truly terrifying weapon if attacked.
** Metal Gear RAY was an exception, being the only Metal Gear with no nuclear launch capability. It was envisioned as an "Anti-Metal Gear" weapon that could counter the threat of other Metal Gears.
** This factors into the gameplay of ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolidVThePhantomPain'', which has a KarmaMeter in the form of Heroism and Demon scores. Building nuclear weapons causes a '''''sharp''''' decrease to your Heroism score and an equal increase to your Demon score, while disarming nuclear weapons increases Heroism while decreasing your Demon score.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'', at the end, Raccoon City is destroyed in a huge flash of light that, to all appearances, would ''seem'' to be a nuclear explosion. However, in a later game, it's established that it was just hit by a whole bunch of conventional missiles at once. Note that in the real world, conventional explosions, no matter how large, do not give off the bright flash that is typical of nuclear detonations.
** And then ''Anime/ResidentEvilDegeneration'' just comes right out and says that it ''was'' a nuke that was dropped on Raccoon city.
* Inverted in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', which features the M-920 Cain, a heavy weapon which produces archetypical mushroom clouds by firing high explosive slugs and nicknamed the "Nuke Launcher," despite not using any nuclear reactions.
** There's also a scene in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' that points out that if you fling something really heavy at a target at a respectable fraction of the speed of light you don't really need nukes, because the amount of kinetic energy involved will equal a [[HiroshimaAsAUnitOfMeasure Hiroshima city buster]].
* Some language versions of ''VideoGame/WorldInConflict'' call the tactical nuke that can be used in multiplayer a "[[BigBulkyBomb BFB]]." Big Friggin Bomb? However, it's pretty obvious what it is a nuke, and the campaign plot doesn't attempt to hide it. However, they are only used as a last resort in the campaign, while it can be used with impunity in multiplayer given enough points. Not to mention that you get a medal for launching lots of nukes...
* ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars: Days of Ruin'' refers to ''Nemesis'' missiles (''Climax'' in the European version) that were installed in both main countries by the IDS. They share a lot of similarity with the Cold War nukes the US and USSR were amassing, and ''might'' be in fact nukes, but the game leaves that open to interpretation, as they never launch.
* Subverted in the first ''[[ShinMegamiTenseiI Shin Megami Tensei]]'' game. Not only are nukes referred to all the time, [[spoiler: but partway through the game, a nuke gets dropped on Tokyo by the American ambassador who is really working for God, and the next parts of the game are 30 years later in the ruins]].
** ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'' brings up nukes again. [[spoiler:25 years prior to the beginning of the game, the Angels order a nuclear attack on Tokyo, but Masakado creates the Firmanent to save Tokyo. You later go into two {{Alternate Timeline}}s to witness what would've happened if the Firmament hadn't been raised up: Either the Angels and nukes are destroyed, but Tokyo is rendered an infernal MightMakesRight society, or Tokyo gets nuked to the ground and the remaining survivors hole up in a shelter in Shinjuku for protection.]]
* The Japanese release of ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' had the entire questline related to detonating the nuclear weapon at Megaton removed. This also removes the Tenpenny Towers quests that open up in relation to it. The Fat Man launcher was renamed "Nuka Launcher" (Perhaps trying to connect more towards the fictional in game soft drink Nuka-Cola), though this one should have been obvious considering that the name "Fat Man" comes from the bomb dropped on Nagasaki...
** Ironically, the lightweight parts kit for the Fat Man in ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' still retains its original name of "Fat Man Little Boy kit" in the Japanese release of that game.
* Used... ''differently'' in ''VideoGame/{{Singularity}}'': There exist nuclear bombs, but the ''real'' focus is on an E-99 bomb that is a little bigger than a basketball and can turn the ''whole East Coast'' of your United States into a smoldering crater. Then there's the eponymous Singularity.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberiumWars''[='=] German translation made aurora bombs out of the nuclear bombs because depicting weapons of mass destruction in computer games would lead to an X-rating of same game. There was a Kane edition which still had nuclear bombs (and suicide bombers) and was sold only to adults.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3'' removed nuclear weapons from the game through a plot device while its predecessors used them amply. This no doubt had to do with the addition of a Japanese faction and someone rightly figuring that creating a game that you won by dropping a nuclear weapon on the Japanese might make someone mad.
** The Soviet superweapon is ''still'' an ICBM-delivered WMD, however.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert2'' half-managed this by having the US's nuclear stockpile destroyed in their silos during the introduction, and presumably none of the other Allies have any either. Nuclear warheads are a Soviet-exclusive superweapon, their answer to the Allies' Weather Control Device.
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'': Averted, the Chinese army is all too happy to use nuclear power, whether to power their buildings, their tanks, or just fire nuclear missiles. Their second artillery vehicle also lobs nuclear shells. One campaign level even has a rogue general join the GLA and fire a nuke at American troops (China having authorized the Americans to take out the rogue), while another has China give GLA turncoats nukes (which are reclaimed by the player's GLA and used to kill the traitors). The ExpansionPack features a Chinese General whose preference is nuclear weapons. His tanks use enriched Uranium shells, he has better (if more expensive) nuclear reactors and always has the Nuke Cannon (aforementioned artillery vehicle). Fittingly, his base is located near a deserted town (which even sports 2 of the stolen nuclear trucks that can be captured if the player is very smart) and radiation puddles are ''everywhere''.
* The original ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' setting, Strangereal, is supposed to be an alternate universe of our Earth with approximately equal level of technological advancement. However, the only nation that apparently has ever developed its own nukes is Belka (essentially an alternate UsefulNotes/NaziGermany) and even then their warheads counted in ''single digits'', not the thousands that world powers possess in RealLife today. For this reason, Strangereal's two superpowers Osea and Yuktobanian (counterparts of the US and Soviet Union) could duke it out in ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'' in what would have basically become WorldWarIII in our world, without risking a nuclear apocalypse. In fact, when Belkan remnants try to use their remaining nuclear warheads in that war, the hostilities soon cease and everyone gangs up on the Belkans instead. That ''Ace Combat'' was developed by the Japanese company Bandai-Namco probably explains things. In fact, the reason the Ace Combat world erupts in large scale conflicts every few years is precisely because concepts like MAD and nuclear deterrence do not exist. Nations do not have the devastating power that nukes provide to counter-act aggression[[labelnote:*]]the various superweapons designed to shoot down asteroids supposedly fill the role nukes do, but completely fail at it due to A) always being a complete secret until someone tries to use it to end a war, and B) being unable to turn the tide far enough to actually win the war before the protagonist blows it up and saves the day[[/labelnote]], and wars erupt as a result.
** Belka is the only nation stated to have ''used'' nukes in a war. During the events of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'', in an act of desperation, they resorted to dropping nukes on 7 of their own cities to try and delay the allied advance. The rest of the world was ''horrified'' at this, and may explain the world's preference for other types of weaponry. Backstory seems to suggest that nuclear weapons were not developed until the 1980s, instead of the 1930s and 1940s as in real life. Though nuclear power was apparently developed much earlier (nuclear submarines and reactors exist), which leads to a bit of a headscratcher as to why the technology was weaponized so late.
** Even when Namco changed over to the real world in ''VideoGame/AceCombatAssaultHorizon'', they played this trope straight. The BigBad's super weapon, Trinity, was shown to have varying levels of destruction, ranging from vaporizing a medium-sized bridge, to destroying an entire city, and still having enough power to nearly knock the Protagonist off his feet from twenty or thirty miles away. However, Trinity has shown to have zero nuclear fallout, and by all means, it is still a conventional warhead, all things considered. In short, it's not a nuke, but a really, ''really'' big bomb (implied to be a MOAB-type weapon, only bigger).
* TheReveal in ''VideoGame/BlazBlueContinuumShift'' that [[spoiler: Kokonoe has been stockpiling nukes as a last resort against Terumi]] shows [[JumpingOffTheSlipperySlope just how far]] [[spoiler: Kokonoe]] is willing to go for the sake of revenge. Hakumen is horrified when he discovers this secret; claiming that the destructive potential of nuclear weapons surpasses even that of the [[EldritchAbomination Black Beast]]. He would know since he was present when nukes were used in a desperate bid to kill the Black Beast. The nukes ''completely destroyed Japan'' and, to add insult to injury, failed to stop the Black Beast.
* ''VideoGame/SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'' has nukes by another name - Planet Busters. The first two tiers of Planet Busters explicitly use fission and fusion, respectively, before moving on to exotic physics warheads. They have ''even more devastating'' effects on the target and the environment (i.e. any city hit with one is completely wiped out, leaving behind a massive crater, unlike ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'', where the effects are a little more tame). Using one is an unforgivable atrocity, however, and results in everybody declaring [[strike:war]] vendetta on you.
* In ''VideoGame/RiseOfNations'', players can build nukes, but as soon as a player researches Nuclear Weapons, the Doomsday Counter appears on his screen. It starts at a number based on the number of players in the game, and every time a nuke is launched, it decreases by 1. Each time a player researches the "Missile Shield" supertech it increases by 2. If it ever hits 0, the game ends, with ''everyone'' losing.
* The Empire superweapon in ''VideoGame/{{Perimeter}}'' is a SRBM [[note]]Short Range Ballistic Missile[[/note]] launcher with a tactical nuclear warhead, but it's simply called a "Ballistic Missile Launcher"
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'': While nuclear missiles ''are'' used, they're very much a SlapOnTheWristNuke (even taking UnitsNotToScale into effect), most ''buildings'' will survive getting hit by one. The reason for this is the backstory: An entire planet was reduced to glass and desert by an interstellar missile barrage of 1000 Apocalypse-class missiles. The aftermath was that such huge nukes were banned, but the smaller ones are permitted. Ironically, Arcturus Mengsk has absolutely no problems with nuking his own planet again if necessary (despite the bombardment being what caused him to rebel against the Confederacy in the first place).
* In VideoGame/PAYDAY2's Meltdown heist, the crew hits the same Murkywater PMC shipping yard from Shadow Raid, but in broad daylight. Ukrainian mob boss Vlad has contracted the PAYDAY gang to steal "a little something." Said "little something" turns out to be six nuclear warheads, in the middle of Washington, D.C., that Vlad plainly says is enough to "turn D.C. into molten glass." When the gang finds out, Bain flips out, losing his cool during a heist for the first time, and the only reason the heist continues is because there's so much heat on the gang that Bain can't get an emergency extraction near the warehouse.
* Averted in ''Videogame/StarControl''. The Earthling Cruiser's primary weapon is a slow homing nuclear missile. Humanity's stockpile of nukes is the main reason they are considered a threat/asset of any kind by the other races. They are however a SlapOnTheWristNuke since quite a few ships can take more than one of them before going down.

* ''Website/NationStates'' has this pretty often in open [=RPs=]. The taboo seems so ingrained that even in [=RPs=] involving use of an unholy [[EldritchAbomination Lovecraftian monster]] and other [=WMDs=], using a tactical nuke against said abomination is considered horrible.
** Despite this, many nations maintain nuclear stockpiles for deterrence purposes.

* The "Bleach Protocol" in ''WesternAnimation/GeneratorRex'', used as a last resort against particularly dangerous [=EVOs=]. Lampshaded in one episode:
-->'''Rex''': I don't know Doc. Sometimes you just have to say "NukeEm".\\
'''Six''': [[InsistentTerminology Forced Plasma Cascade.]]\\
'''Rex''': Try working ''that'' into a CatchPhrase.
* ''WesternAnimation/MegasXLR'' has nukes in its arsenal, with warning labels around the BigRedButton. Coop ''wants'' to press it anyway, even when he and the enemy are in an underground military base at the time. Kiva insists that the nukes are not to be used, to Coop's disappointment.
* One episode of ''InspectorGadget'' has Dr. Claw attempt to launch an implicitly nuclear missile at Metro City, but nowhere is the "N" word used in the show.
* WesternAnimation/AdventureTime dances very, very carefully around this, having a [[UsefulNotes/NuclearWeapons Mushroom War]] in its backstory and a distinctly AfterTheEnd setting, while very carefully avoiding any reference to nuclear weapons as such - the word 'mushroom' is the closest we get.