[[quoteright:335:[[TheDeadliestMushroom http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/nukeem.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:335: [[WinstonChurchill Fire was the first discovery. This is the second.]] ]]

->"''I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit. ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure''."
-->--'''Ripley''', ''Film/{{Aliens}}''
%%
%% only 1 quote please, extra quotes on quotes tab.

When faced with a MonsterOfTheWeek, military commanders show an unhealthy urge to move right up to the (current) [[NuclearOption Final Option]] ([[FantasticNuke or the local equivalent]]) when the monster [[ImmuneToBullets can't be killed with bullets]]. They never stop to consider using something else in their arsenal that's a bit more powerful than a rifle, but won't cause as much collateral damage as a tactical-yield nuclear bomb. It's all or nothing. If [[FiveRoundsRapid hand-held guns didn't do the trick]], forget artillery, bunker-busters, fuel-air explosives, chemical or biological agents, just ''get the nukes''.

The heroes will probably object to this, only to be told that there's no time to "study the monster", it has to be taken out now ([[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill along with every other living thing inside a radius of five kilometers]]) before it gets bigger and destroys more things!

From there, it becomes a race to see if the good-guy scientists can find the monster's AchillesHeel or get the ForgottenSuperweapon back online before the Army gets its approval to start lobbing warheads. Of course, if the Army wins the race, it's likely that the nukes will either do nothing, or make things much, much worse, making the heroes the last hope.

As such, note that NukeEm is only when using nukes is a bad idea, either because it's clearly overkill or it's likely to backfire. If it's a well-considered and reasonable choice given [[GodzillaThreshold the situation]], then it's the NuclearOption. Sometimes exactly which trope the planned nuking falls under may be debated InUniverse.

Very common in ScienceIsBad stories and usually involves a GeneralRipper (in fact, the TropeNamer for GeneralRipper made this his signature). A popular way of ruining someone's day with DeathFromAbove. Related to the IdiotBall, depending on the size of the strike.

Related to DeusExNukina if the nuking is being used in a situation where it should be obvious that it realistically wouldn't have any effect, fallout and massive collateral damage aside. For the biological weapon equivalent, see BiologicalWeaponsSolveEverything.

If you happen to be playing a video game, and you're directly responsible for launching it, it's a YouNukeEm situation.

See also: FiveRoundsRapid, ImmuneToBullets, TheEvilArmy and RadiationImmuneMutants.

----
!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
{{Manga}} and {{anime}} is mostly immune to this, due to the NuclearWeaponsTaboo. In fact, [[InvertedTrope expect the opposite to be true]]: that even if it's proven that [[NuclearOption nothing]] ''[[NuclearOption but]]'' [[NuclearOption a nuke would work]], there will be extreme resistance to the idea. DarkerAndEdgier such stories may even play this straight, of those responsible for finally pressing the button considering everything up to [[{{Seppuku}} ritual suicide]], as a [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone result of guilt]].
* In HunterXHunter [[spoiler: Mereum, the main villain of the Chimera Ant Arc, was so powerful he literally was unbeatable. The strongest man in the world at the time could not even put a scratch on him, let alone defeat him. So he set off a nuke stored ''inside'' his body, in an attempt to kill Mereum... Except he ''survives'' and only dies hours later because of radiation poisoning.]]
* Amusing case in ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'': The army do try almost everything in their arsenal before resorting to [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo thinly-disguised nukes]], and when they fail decide [[HumongousMecha giant human shaped robots are the best bet]].
** "Believing a giant human shaped robot is the best bet" only occurred after the first two episodes at least: based on the conversation with [[SmugSnake Gendo Ikari]] after expending their [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo thinly-disguised nukes]], their thought process was more towards "we've used all of our strongest options. Let's see your inferior robot do better". And Nerv showed them, yes, they can do better... and since, the army asked for Evangelion intervention with haste every other time an Angel appeared. ... "Eva 'em"?
* The ''{{Macross}}'' series are an exception to the NuclearWeaponsTaboo, although its reaction weaponry isn't nuclear ''per se'' -- it's an ''annihilation'' weapon, that is, an ''antimatter'' charge:
** ''Macross Zero'': The propelling force of the final episode's bizarre ending is that, just after the hero has used ThePowerOfLove to subdue the monster controlled by his girlfriend, [[InterruptedCooldownHug the navy launches nukes and makes everything worse]]. Though, admittedly, every other ship with smaller weapons was wiped out ten minutes ago.
** ''Macross 7'': Lampshade hung in that, for all that it's implied that nuclear weapons are a weapon of last resort (Earth Command authorizing their use is seen as a big thing), ''every ship in the fleet'' seems to have unlimited stores of them. At one point, Basara even exclaims "Reaction weapons! Reaction Weapons! Any time something goes wrong, is that the only solution you have?!"
*** Macross 7 was probably given an unlimited supply of them because they did absolutely jack shit to the Protodeviln command ship.
** ''MacrossFrontier'' shows that even chronically [[RedShirtArmy redshirted]] NUNS pilots could be pretty effective when armed with the stuff. Of course, arming everyone with such weapons means that the NUNS on board the Frontier is reaching the end of its rope, as [[AdaptiveAbility the Vajra have managed to adapt to everything else]] (and, eventually, adapt to reaction warheads too...)
** There's also ''Anime/LegendOfGalacticHeroes''. Because of the "Thirteen Day War" that occurred centuries before the canon timeline, which nearly exterminated the human race, nuclear weapons on planets were considered a taboo. [[spoiler: Still doesn't mean none are willing nuke their ''own'' planets just because.]]
* The ''{{Robotech}}'' remix also features judicious use of nuclear weapons and their 'reaction' upgrades, here called 'reflex weapons'.
* Happens in ''GetterRobo Go'', after [[spoiler: Shin Getter Robo goes berserk]] they various governments make several attempts to try and stop it, eventually resorting to a nuclear strike. [[spoiler: The machine ends up ''grabbing the missile and [[CombiningMecha combining with it]]'' ]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' had [[spoiler:''Soi Fon,'' [[{{Ninja}} of all people]]]] pulling this as Bankai. Naturally, [[spoiler:she didn't like its nature.]]
** There's also the [[spoiler:Kidou Cannon]] from the first movie.
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', [[spoiler:Britannia decides to go with nuking things as soon as they get them. They decide to give the first one to Suzaku, who really doesn't want to do it, but he ends up doing it anyway. Schneizel takes this to the logical conclusion of nuking every major city in the world to achieve world peace.]]
* In ''GundamSEED'' and ''GundamSEEDDestiny'' nuking ZAFT is Blue Cosmos leaders Muruta Azrael and Lord Djibril's ''first'' response. ZAFT creates devices like the [[AppliedPhlebotinum Neutron Jammer and Neutron Stampeder]] to make sure that it can't happen again. The Neutron Jammer inhibits nuclear reactions from taking place, and is ZAFT's primary defense during ''SEED''. Since the Blue Cosmos gets its hands on Neutron Jammer Canceller technology late in the war[[note]]Technology ZAFT had invented, because Neutron Jammers don't have an "off" switch and their own DoomsdayDevice (GENESIS, designed to [[ApocalypseHow/{{Class 5}} wipe out all life on Earth]]) needed nuclear fission to function.[[/note]], nukes become a viable weapon again. In the aftermath of the war, ZAFT is GenreSavvy enough to know that mere illegality won't keep N-Jammer Cancellers from being used again someday. So they develop a much nastier defense in the form of the Neutron Stampeder, which ''forces'' any nuclear warhead within its area of effect to detonate. Thus, when Blue Cosmos attempts a preemptive nuclear strike early in ''SEED Destiny'', the Stampeder is activated and the nuclear-armed fleet is forced to nuke itself.
* Nukes were also the first weapons deployed in the One Year War of the original ''Anime/MobileSuitGundam'', by both Zeon and the Earth Federation. The Antarctic Treaty banning nukes (and biological/chemical weapons too) came about because before either side knew it, nearly half the human population had been wiped out in the space of a few weeks.
** Nukes pop up again in full force in ''Manga/MobileSuitCrossboneGundam'', when the Jupiter Empire invades the Earth Sphere. [[BigBad Crux Dogatie]] dismisses claims of violating the Antarctic Treaty by saying that [[LoopholeAbuse Jupiter never signed it]]. Dogatie is also using nukes because he's explicitly trying to inflict ''as much environmental damage as possible'' to Earth; he wanted the planet to be a dead rock. The Crossbone Vanguard uses their own tactical nuclear weapons against the Jovian forces, due mostly to the GodzillaThreshold having been crossed in their opinion.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Subverted in ''{{Preacher}}''. When the Saint of Killers obviously isn't falling to the forces of Starr's soldiers, Starr declares the battle lost and drops a nuke, wiping out the rest of his troops. Then the Saint emerges from the blast site. His only words? [[ImplacableMan "Not enough gun."]]
* In ''AtomicRobo'' this is the ''hero's'' response to [[spoiler:a giant moving pyramid headed toward Luxor]].
-->'''Robo''': I didn't found this crazy organization to '''not''' nuke things.
* In a lengthy story arc where TheMightyThor had gained the [[AGodAmI powers of Odin]] and became a WellIntentionedExtremist, the government lured him to a deserted island and nuked him. It's debatable whether this would have worked on [[NighInvulnerable normal]] Thor, but all it did to [[WithGreatPowerComesGreatInsanity Odin-powered]] Thor was anger him to the point of crossing a MoralEventHorizon.
* In ''ComicBook/KingdomCome,'' [[spoiler: this is the government's response to the super hero war that threatens to engulf the world.]]
* In WorldWarHulk, someone suggested Nuking the Hulk and his Warbound. Maria Hill pointed out that this would just make him stronger.
* The default strategy of "Webcomic/BioApocalypse" is to saturate the monster with nukes. [[SerialEscalation When it only hurts the monster but fails to stop it, they launch even more. When that doesn't work they unleash]] a [[spoiler: device [[MoreDakka that fires 50 nukes per second!]] And while it royally fucks up the monster, even THAT doesn't work.]] Beyond just using nukes as a go-to weapon of choice, NukeEm seems to be the default strategy for everything, but [[CrapsackWorld considering the setting]] [[EldritchAbomination of the story]], [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu it makes sense]] in context.
* In ''ComicBook/TheSecretHistory,'' the nuke dropped on Nagasaki was really just to kill [[spoiler: William de Lecce. It's a matter of speculation whether he's really dead or not.]]
* Cheshire, of {{DC Comics}}, famously once destroyed {{Qurac}} with a nuclear explosive to prove that she wasn't bluffing about having nukes or being willing to use them. It gets brought up from time to time, but [[ThrowawayCountry nobody really cares about the country itself being gone]].
** And this was the reason ''why'' she chose Qurac, because she knew if most people tried to call her a monster because of it they would be reminded that she destroyed a country considered to be the terrorist capital of the world, and that secretly, they may have been glad she did it. She murdered millions just to troll the world, and laughed as the country burned.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fic]]
* The Cultists of Dagon use underwater nukes against attacking NEG forces in FanFic/AeonNatumEngel. Radical measures were proposed in both NEG Military High Command and the Migou Council, but calmer heads prevailed.
* The nBSG Cylons try to nuke the Stiletto in ''FanFic/TheOpenDoor'', but the ship tanks all of them without needing its shields.
* In ''FanFic/ShinjiAndWarhammer40K'', when Gendo asks Kaji how many UN warheads, dirty (nuclear) bombs or otherwise, are pointed at Tokyo-3 in case Misato and Risuko's plan against Iruel fails, Kaji's reply...namely, ''[[MoreDakka all of them]]'', meets with his satisfaction.
* This is the divergence point in FanFic/AndIfThatDontWork. True to the fics name after [[NuclearWeaponsTaboo an N2]] don't work on Sachiel, The [[Main/FromRussiaWithNukes Russians]] [[MoreDakka Use More Gun.]]
* [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5378267/1/bConquest_b_of_the_bEmperor_b_The_World_of_Naruto The Grand Empire]] somewhat does this to Madara and his Zetsu's. But it is implied that they first had someone check to see what the impact of the fallout would be. Their {{plan}} for the effects of the fallout makes it this trope.
* In [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4236712/1/Project_Tatterdemalion Project Tatterdemalion]], the top authorities involved initially wanted to nuke the facility after the Hollows began rampaging. Bad idea. As Juushirou explains, heat and radiation kill a lot of things, but only if they're contained long enough. If the Hollow virus was sporific, all nuking the facility would've done is pop open the box the Hollows were kept in, and spread still-infectious Hollow bits up into the jetstream, dooming the world...and infecting the spaceports. And as Juushirou said, all they knew for certain was 'Alien,' and 'Dangerous,' so it could've indeed been sporific, or close enough for an apocalypse.
* In the Fanfic/DevaSeries [[spoiler: the Americans use a pair of [=SLBMs=] to obliterate a massive swarm of [[ImplacableMan Seeds]] that were heading for either New York or London. Even though nothing else significant was harmed - middle of the ocean, and all - Hayate was not happy, since she feels that it wouldn't be too much of a stretch now for someone to think to launch a barrage of nukes at Al Hanthis... which would obliterate Cairo in the process. Also, the Al Hantheans are utterly horrified once they learn exactly how nuclear weapons work. It is probably worth noting that there is InUniverse debate as to whether this was NukeEm or NuclearOption; it did work, and [[WarriorPrince Yussef]] and [[SergeantRock Maunders]] don't consider it an overreaction. Yussef notes that point defences now make anything short of a nuclear MacrossMissileMassacre worthless against Al Hanthis and would rather not use another if possible, but is mentally prepared to do so [[GodzillaThreshold if all the chips are down]], unlike Hayate who absolutely refuses to consider it.]]
* In [[http://www.fanfiction.net/~mrevil Mr. Evil's]] WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10}} fanfiction [[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4267279/1/Hero_High_Sphinx_Academy Hero High: Sphinx Academy]], the Head of the Tempus Family questions why they can't just Nuke the city school they know the BigBad to be in. Her assistants reveal that from the structural design he [[GenreSavvy already re-enforced the school to protected it against such an attack]].
* ''FanFic/FalloutEquestria'': [[spoiler: Need to get rid of the [[HiveQueen queen]] of a [[UtopiaJustifiestheMeans brutally pragmatic]] HiveMind AND the Zebra [[TomeofEldritchLore Necronomicon]] at the same time? Blow both of them to atoms with a [[FantasticNuke balefire bomb!]]]]
* ''FanFic/AnEndToAllThings'': ''Someone'' nukes the town in the opening act, according to Okazaki's memories. Or will nuke the town, the story has a measure of AnachronicOrder with regards to that event.
* Discord's plan to destroy humanity in ''FanFic/DiariesOfAMadman'' involved this. It worked, but not quite well enough for his goals...
* ''FanFic/{{Eugenesis}}'' notes that a lot of Cybertron's surface has been nuked over the course of the war. Since its inhabitants are robots, it's not as dangerous for them as it would be for most lifeforms, but most of the nuked cities are long abandoned anyway.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Most 1950s B-grade SF movies. Whether it works or not varies between films.
* When asked how to deal with the Xenomorph threat in ''Film/{{Aliens}}'', Ellen Ripley responds with the famous line "I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It's the only way to be sure." In hope of a different answer the CorruptCorporateExecutive asks Corporal Hicks for ''his'' advice and he repeats the same thing. Of course, Ripley turns out to have been ''right'' in this case, and anyway there was only one uninfected person left alive in the colony. The line is frequently acknowledged in other mediums.
** The above quote is referenced in one of the ''{{Narbonic}}'' strips linked [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/shaenongarrity/narbonic/series.php?view=archive&chapter=9860 here]].
** And by [[http://nukeitfromorbit.com/ this webpage. Literally.]]
** And in the pilot episode of ClerksTheAnimatedSeries.
* After being made aware of the aliens' plan to exterminate the human race and strip Earth of all its resources by means of a telepathic vision, a furiously {{badass}} President Whitmore in ''Film/IndependenceDay'' gives the order to "Nuke 'em. Let's nuke the bastards." Subsequently, a U.S. stealth bomber attacks the alien spaceship over Houston, Texas with a nuclear weapon, which [[spoiler: predictably, has no effect on the spacecraft whatsoever]]. See also: HopeSpot
** Later in the film, [[spoiler:the alien craft from [[RoswellThatEndsWell the Roswell crash]] is refitted for human pilots and used to smuggle a nuke up to the aliens' orbital mothership. Since the nuke detonates from ''inside'' the mothership's DeflectorShields, this time it's very thoroughly effective.]]
* Extended in ''Film/{{Evolution}}'', but it uses napalm. The army gets [[KillItWithFire napalm to destroy a lifeform]], just after the protagonist discovers a smaller sample expands by many times after being touched by fire. They tell the army, [[TooDumbToLive they attack anyway]] and the monster becomes about a million times bigger.
** [[spoiler: [[LethalJokeWeapon And then the scientists kill it with shampoo.]]]]
** The scientists were unable to pass on their specific information because the general in charge was an asshole who refused to take their call.
* Subverted in ''MarsAttacks'': Nothing Earth has done thus far can so much as scratch the Martians. The GeneralRipper has spent the movie insisting on using nuclear weapons, and the President, depressed at how nothing is working, finally gives the go-ahead. The Martian response to a nuke headed their way is... a small flying nozzle which intercepts the missile and sucks up the explosion. The Martian leader inhales the explosive gas and speaks with a squeaky voice, as though the gas were helium. It's possible that this was a subtle joke: when you fuse hydrogen (as in a hydrogen/fusion bomb), you get helium.
* Subverted too in the 1953 version of ''Film/{{The War Of The Worlds|1953}}''. The military throws everything against the Martians before reluctantly turning to a nuke as a last resort. Notably the civilian scientist hero does ''not'', unlike his counterpart in ''Film/IndependenceDay'', object to the use of nukes. The nuke fails to do anything to the Martians.
** Unlike the original H.G. Wells novel, in which the Martians ''are'' vulnerable to Earthly weapons, but theirs are so much more powerful that resistance is futile once the element of surprise is lost.
* ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'':
** In ''Film/KingKongVsGodzilla'' the military actually seriously considers nuking Kong. Luckily the heroes manage to find an alternative. Although, this proposal only appears in the English version.
** In ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla'', not only did nuking him not work, it made him stronger. Nukes against Godzilla. Smart thinking, guys. That's like [[ShootingSuperman using a flamethrower against the Human Torch]].
** Variation-In the 1991 film ''Film/GodzillaVsKingGhidorah'', present-day Japan decides to nuke the Godzillasaurus that would've become Godzilla (who is now at the bottom of the Bering Sea) so that he can fight King Ghidorah. Subverted in that, he's already been nuked/mutated...in a sense (by absorbing the radiation from all the sunken nuclear subs already present in the area) and nuking him...again...only makes him bigger and far more powerful than before.
** It should be noted that Godzilla ''can'' die from too much radiation (as seen in the film ''Film/GodzillaVsDestoroyah''). The only problem is that doing so causes him to go into a nuclear meltdown which would result in destroying all life on earth and reducing the earth to a wasteland. [[spoiler:Unless you have an adolescent Godzilla (IE: Junior) around to absorb the radiation and reach his adult form.]]
** In ''Film/{{Godzilla 2014}}'', Serizawa explains that at least some Pacific nuclear tests were not tests, but attempts to nuke the monster. [[spoiler:Stenz intends to try and eliminate all three monsters with warheads, but this ends up backfiring when the female steals two from a train, and the Male steals the third one ''after it has been armed'', and takes it to the centre of San Francisco.]]
* ''Film/AlienVsPredator: Requiem.'' is a weird case :[[spoiler:The "Predalien" has already managed to overrun the entire town with its more classically-styled offspring. The military solution, after the recon unit sent in is quickly butchered? Nuke the town and tell those still alive to congregate in the center of the town for an airlift, so as to keep the aliens from spreading out.]] While this decision is completely justified [[ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure given the circumstances]], it's strange that they settle for that option so fast, given how little information they have on the threat.
* ''Film/TheAbyss''. While suffering from paranoia, Coffey decides to destroy the aliens by sending down an armed nuclear warhead.
* From ''Film/RoboCop1987'': 'Get them before they get you... [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmSSVt7Mfkk Nukem]]!'
* ''ReturnOfTheLivingDead''. They nuke the zombies (and all the main characters in the process), but, of course, [[spoiler: that just causes the zombification juice to re-enter the atmosphere and create ''more'' zombies]]. Good going, dumbasses.
* In ''BeneathThePlanetOfTheApes'', the remaining human faction [[spoiler: worships a fully functional cobalt bomb.]]
* In ''MonstersVsAliens'', the robot probe is found to be indestructible and the President wants to simply launch all the nuclear missiles on him when General Monger stops him.
* ''Film/TheAndromedaStrain'' has this subverted, in that the scientists order the nuking but the message doesn't get through due to ForWantOfANail.
* In the Sci-Fi channel movie ''Baal Lord of Storms'', the military considers nuking ''a storm front''. While it's clearly the wrong option, there's a techno-babble reason given (something to do with disrupting electro-magnetic waves) to make it merely a bad idea and not simply a completely cracked out of their mind idea. Ironically [[spoiler:it actually ''helps'' by weakening Baal enough for [[SummonBiggerFish El, the God the heroes have summoned]] to defeat him.]]
* In the original ''Film/{{Stargate}}'' movie, Colonel O'Neil secretly brings a nuke through the Stargate with the team on its very first exploration mission. His orders? Nuke the place if there's any sign of hostiles. [[spoiler:They end up using the nuke to kill Ra.]]
* In ''Film/TheAvengers'', [[OmniscientCouncilOfVagueness the World]] [[WellIntentionedExtremist Security]] [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Council]] decides that the Avengers are going to lose the final battle and decide to just nuke Manhattan Island (along with all its inhabitants) to disrupt the wormhole through which the Chitauri army is invading. [[spoiler: Tony winds up nearly sacrificing himself to guide the nuke into space and chuck it at the alien ship instead.]] Needless to say, neither Nick Fury nor any of the Avengers were particularly impressed by their stellar display of competence.
-->'''Fury:''' ''I realize that the council has made a decision, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny but given that it's a stupid-ass decision, I've elected to ignore it.]]''
* How the first few {{Kaiju}} were defeated in ''Film/PacificRim''. Jaegers were developed specifically because no one liked the idea of having to do this ''repeatedly''. [[spoiler:In the end, it's their creator's turn.]]
* Same as ''Film/IndependenceDay'', ''[[Film/{{Oblivion2013}} Oblivion]]'' has the protagonist Jack Harper smuggled a nuke to the alien ship Tet and detonate it to save humanity. Only difference is that the hero dies with the alien ship.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Subverted in the book and the 1971 film version of The ''Literature/AndromedaStrain.'' The titular extraterrestrial organism (a single-celled, quasi-crystalline life form) mutates as it's exposed to ionizing radiation - at a rather sedate rate under atmospheric UV exposure, extremely rapidly with more powerful sources. Of course, the secure biohazard laboratory where this bug is being studied is equipped with a thermonuclear device for "terminal sterilization" in case of contamination, and the lab becomes contaminated when the organism mutates to a form that degrades organic polymers, thus compromising the synthetic rubber gaskets and hatch seals throughout the lab. FailsafeFailure ensues.
** The greatest {{Irony}} in all that was that with mutation into the "rubber-eating" form the organism ''stopped'' being dangerous to humans (which was just an unfortunate coincidence anyway), but subjecting it to the radiation of a nuclear blast [[NiceJobBreakingItHero might mutate it into something even more horrific]].
* This trope is the final solution to the ensuing HellOnEarth in JohnCWright's ''Literature/WarOfTheDreaming''. [[spoiler: It almost doesn't work.]]
* In Day by Day Armageddon, the US Government decides to nuke most of the major US cities due to the spread of zombies getting out of hand. [[spoiler: Unfortunately, this doesn't fix things, because the zombies who weren't caught in the nuke blasts absorbed the radiation and it ''somehow'' turned them from slow zombies into fast zombies.]] Obviously, these people have not read TheZombieSurvivalGuide, which specifically argues against this (for pretty much this very same reason).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* Despite actor Bruce Boxleitner's self-penned nickname to his series character on ''Series/BabylonFive'', John [[FanNickname "Nuke 'Em"]] Sheridan, who uses nuclear weapons no less than four times against seemingly unbeatable opponents [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome and winning all four times]], is an '''aversion''' to this trope, as he used nuclear weapons in [[NuclearOption important strategic methods under his authority]]. Boxleitner's use of the nickname in the commentary track for 'Thirdspace' makes the nickname all but official.
* ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'': The new series gleefully hurls nukes around with wild abandon. [[spoiler:In the mini-series alone the Twelve Colonies are hit by thousands of nukes: Helo reports seeing six mushroom clouds just from the one area his Raptor has landed in on Caprica in the space of about an hour. ''Galactica'' itself withstands a direct hit from a nuclear missile, although it sustains heavy damage and more than 80 casualties. ''Pegasus'' was also nuked a couple of times while in dock during this time. Nukes are also later used to destroy a Cylon basestar and Gaius Baltar appropriates one, allegedly for his research but this is later used to blow up at least three of the refugee ships and kill more than 3,000 civilians. The high-point for the use of nukes is when ''Pegasus'' withstands no less than three nuclear hits at pointblank range and shrugs them off to inflict grievous damage on the attacking Cylon basestars with its guns. Nukes are later used to destroy the Cylon Resurrection Hub and in the stand-off between ''Galactica'' and the rebel basestar. In a moment of possible high irony, the ''Galactica'' finally reaches Earth (the first one) to find the planet irradiated by a nuclear war, which has left the planet uninhabitable. Finally, the Colonial Fleet uses all of its remaining nukes to destroy the [[VeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon Cylon Colony Ship]] (and most all of the Cylons) in the GrandFinale.]]
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'': Does this ''twice'', once in the first season in order to destroy Scorpius' Gammack Base (Though it isn't ''technically'' a nuke per se, the yield is similar), and again in the last season, where [[TheHero John]] creates a makeshift nuke to use as leverage in his {{plan}}.
* ''Series/MacGyver'': In the pilot, the army plans to use a nuclear warhead to stop a chemical leak. In the end, Mac fixes it with chocolate.
* Played for laughs in ''Series/MontyPythonsFlyingCircus'', when London gangster Dinsdale Piranha thinks (correctly, as it turns out) that he's being stalked by a gigantic hedgehog named Spiny Norman. Dinsdale somehow comes to the conclusion that Norman sleeps in a hangar at Luton Airport, and blows it up with a nuclear bomb that he had previously used to [[ItMakesSenseInContext extort nightclub owners]]. We later see Norman in the episode's climax, suggesting that either Dinsdale was wrong about where he slept, or he's immune to nuclear weaponry.
* ''Series/TheOuterLimits'' (new version): This show likes to nuke them. In "The Light Brigade" the titular human warship is hit by two nukes. In "Trial by Fire" the US president tries to nuke the aliens who have splashed down in Earth's oceans.
* ''Series/{{Revolution}}'':
** [[spoiler: After allying with Randall and gaining a permanent source of power, Monroe manages to build a nuclear bomb and attempts to use it to destroy Atlanta and cripple the Georgia Federation. Fortunately, the protagonists stop this just in time]] ("[[Recap/RevolutionS1E13TheSongRemainsTheSame The Song Remains the Same]]", "[[Recap/RevolutionS1E14TheNightTheLightsWentOutInGeorgia The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia]]").
** In the [[Recap/RevolutionS1E20TheDarkTower first season finale]], [[spoiler: Randall Flynn takes advantage of the power being turned back to fulfill his plan: to launch Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles at Philadelphia and Atlanta. He then shoots himself in the head after doing this. Then it turns out that he was working on behalf of the American government, which was hiding out in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for years. Now that Randall has completed his mission, the government is coming back into the USA to retake what's theirs]].
* ''SaturdayNightLive'': Parodied this in the (are you ready?) "[[RefugeInAudacity Attack of the Masturbating Zombies]]" sketch: a professor suggests dropping an atomic bomb on the town square, only to be told, "Professor, that's your solution for everything."
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** This show will sometimes resort to this, with early seasons favoring the FiveRoundsRapid treatment of nukes (namely epic failure) to give the title object and title team justification for existence. There is one early case where a nuke is actually used to prevent them all from being sucked into a black hole.
** Later seasons started using them more frequently, such as the Mark IX "Gatebuster," a [[{{Unobtainium}} naquadriah]]-enhanced warhead with a supposed yield of several gigatons[[note]]For reference, the most powerful nuke ever actually detonated in reality was "merely" 50 megatons, which is roughly 100 times weaker than the Gatebuster[[/note]]. Of course, given that they were fighting the Ori in their last season, it's logical that they would bring their most powerful weapons to bear.
** The SpinOff ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', on the other hand, practically giggles any time nukes are mentioned to the point where [[TheHero John Sheppard]] makes putting a nuke on the enemy ship his ''default'' anti-capital ship tactic, though he's more often than not justified in this, and pretty much every application works as intended. Nukes are used [[spoiler:on the first two Hive Ships sent to Atlantis, one flown into the Dart Bay, the other beamed on. Nukes are beamed onto two more Hive Ships. The Genii use one to kill one of their own armies and their boss in a coup. Finally, Sheppard single-handedly flies an F-302 into the Dart Bay of a [[FinalBoss Super Hive Ship]] undetected and armed with a nuke.]]
*** Then there's the giant Horizon planetary attack missile launched against the Asuran homeworld, which carried '''six''' Mark IX warheads.
* ThumbWrestlingFederation: The Big Time can cause nuclear explosions simply by winding up & slamming his opponent to the mat. [[SuperStrength Yes, he's that strong]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* RandyNewman's "Political Science" ([[RefrainFromAssuming incorrectly known]] as "Let's Drop the Big One Now") deconstructs and mocks this trope by suggesting the flimsiest, most frivolous excuses for nuking everyone and everything (except Australia).
* TomLehrer wrote the famous hit [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRLON3ddZIw "Who's Next?"]] about the number of countries getting nukes. Especially funny and biting because this was in 1950, so the effects are well remembered.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* Fully embraced by Creator/SegaPinball's ''Pinball/StarshipTroopers''. Not only are you awarded points for nuking planets, the game even has lanes labeled "Nuke", "Double Nuke", and "Super Nuke".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop RPG]]
* Used intermittently in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}''. Actual nuclear weapons are not prominent, being relegated to use by garrison forces for the most part. When a cosmic horror rears its head the three most favoured options are [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill saturation]] [[DeathFromAbove orbital bombardment]], [[EarthShatteringKaboom Exterminatus]] or deploying the Grey Knights.
** Weapons on the same or greater scale as nuclear weapons include: plasma torpedoes (200 meter inter-ship ordinance), engineered viruses (including the Worldkiller Virus,) [[SphereOfDestruction Vortex weapons]], and Cyclonic torpedoes (which burrow into a planet's crust and detonate in the mantle, causing widespread surface devastation.)
** When it looks like a Space Marine force isn't going to be able to protect or take back a planet, it is their responsibility to blow the planet up before they leave.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'', Ares Macrotechnology used a tactical nuke in an attempt to saturate Chicago's astral plane with toxicity and kill the hordes of bug spirits that ravaged the city. Fortunately the bug spirits' own energy-shield trapped the physical and metaphysical blast ''inside'' the bugs' nest, preventing its full impact from reducing Chicago to a radioactive ruin.
** You gotta give props to FASA: it takes nerve to nuke your game company's own hometown.
*** Their own headquarters, as a matter of fact.
* In the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness, this was the [[TabletopGame/MageTheAscension Technocracy]]'s answer to the Ravnos Antediluvian rising. Well, OK, it was repeated applications of Prime-enhanced spirit-shredding nuclear warheads, mixed in with the three most powerful Kuei Jin alive throwing down on Ravnos for several days while underneath a hurricane created by their powers to block out the sunlight, and then when the Kuei finally went down that cleared the way for the Technocracy to focus the power of the sun on Ravnos ''five times over'' by using multiple redundant orbital solar mirrors, at which point -- already completely exhausted of blood by his three-day kung fu vampire throwdown and having been repeatedly nuked in both his immaterial and his material body -- Ravnos finally turned to ash and died.
* Averted in GDW's cold war tactical games like ''{{Harpoon}}'' and ''AirStrike'' which focused on conventional weapons. For a nuclear variant the game designers recommended dousing the game in lighter fluid and setting it on fire.
* ''{{Mekton}}'' has rules for nuclear weapons, with the degree to which you are screwed being directly proportional to how close you are to the centre of the blast. If you're within the basic blast radius, you automatically die unless you have a ''really good'' excuse. Outside of that, you're simply ''very likely'' to die. It also gives some key rules about using them so as not to destroy the ''game'', just the ''battlefield'', such as "Only drop them to establish a scenario, rather than as a cheap Draw button" and "if you ''must'' drop it during the fight, do so in the centre of the battlefield." (Just to reinforce this, the "nuclear" upgrade for missiles and bullets is very expensive.) Supernovas use the same rules, although the rules state that you just treat the hex you're in as ground zero and quit whining - the ''entire system'' is screwed, why should you be immune unless you're flying an Excessive Scale HumongousMecha that could [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu stomp Cthulhu underfoot]]?
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' many nations resorted to nukes, orbital kinetic strikes, and antimatter bombs to try and halt the [=TITANs=] during the Fall. The end result was the death of 90% of humanity and a mass exodus from earth. Not an uncommon modus operandi for [[WellIntentionedExtremist Firewall]] either.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}'' supplement ''Tooniversal Tour Guide''. In ''Atomic Monster Theater'', Colonel Rock Daring's policy towards giant monsters is literally "Nuke 'em!''
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}}'', [[spoiler:after pulling off the island, the Navy decides to nuke the aliens, deflecting Dr. Rosenthal warnings that they absorb energy with comments along the lines of "There's no time to study them." To nobody's surprise, the aliens absorb the blast and get stronger. Just as predictably, [[AllUpToYou it's all your problem from there]]. And then played straight by having the player use a ''nuclear grenade launcher'' on the alien space ship.]]
* In ''WorldInConflict,'' this happens twice in the campaign. First a tactical nuke is called in to take out an overwhelming Soviet force headed for a "hold at all costs" level objective. Then, at the end of the campaign, you are racing against time to push the Russians out of Seattle before their Chinese reinforcements arrive and the president is forced to obliterate the city. And you can call in as many as you want in multiplayer.
* In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer: Tiberium Wars'' Kane's discovery of Killian Qatar's [[spoiler: apparent]] betrayal and alliance with GDI results in a [[VillainousBreakdown slightly angry response]]. His subsequent orders are to, well....
** In ''Renegade'' he decides to nuke a small town just to eliminate the protagonist and his squad. Justified in that he just killed his way through a mansion filled with Nod's elite.
** In ''Tiberian Sun'' Kane, dissatisfied with General Vega (an [[DrugsAreBad Eye Candy addict]]), decides to reprimand him. With a tactical nuke. Sadly, he misses [[ColonelBadass Commander McNeil]] by a few minutes.
** In ancient history, in ''Tiberian Dawn'' you get nuked by Kane during the final mission. He sure likes his nukes.
** In ''Red Alert 1'' Stalin launches nukes against capital cities of the Allies to ensure victory. Of course, the good guys disarm them in flight.
** In ''Red Alert 2'' Chicago is destroyed by a nuclear bomb after the player destroys the psychic amplifier and the USSR has no further use for the city. A technical FissionMailed too.
** In ''Red Alert 2: Yuri's Revenge'' the mission Power Play basically revolves around you trying to stop Yuri from nuking the city every ten minutes. It doesn't help that Yuri tends to use his first nuke to destroy your War Factory and you don't have a Construction Yard in this mission.
** In ''Red Alert 3,'' Soviet General Krukov and Premier Cherdenko go back in time and kill Einstein to prevent him from granting the Allies technological superiority. On their return, they find that Japan has become the Empire of the Rising Sun and is invading Leningrad. Krukov orders the entire Soviet nuclear arsenal to be used in defense of Leningrad. Nuclear what now? [[NiceJobBreakingItHero Oops.]]
** In ''Generals'' the Chinese have nukes. And you can build as many silos as you want. Each with a separate nuclear silo. You don't need line of sight to fire them either. DeathFromAbove indeed. General Tsing Shi Tao is noted to be ''obsessed'' with nuclear weapons, and is eager to use them in every combat situation [[WeHaveReserves without regard to the safety of his own men]].
* The iconic Black Mesa Research Facility is destroyed by a nuclear blast at the end of ''VideoGame/HalfLife1: Opposing Force''. Curiously you spend a large chunk of the game trying to avert this, but a few minutes after succeeding you see the G-Man reactivating the bomb from afar. Obviously you survive, as do a number of other characters who go on to appear in ''VideoGame/HalfLife2''.
* ''{{Metroid}} Prime 3'': [[spoiler: The [[TheCorruption Leviathan Seed]] on Skytown is protected by an [[DeflectorShields energy shield]], and unlike the last level the generators are out of reach. So what solution does the local supercomputer come up with? Assemble some parts they happen to have lying around the place, and ''drop a nuke on it''.]] It's called a 'Theronian Bomb', but is also referred to as a nuclear weapon, so presumably [[CallARabbitASmeerp it's pretty much the same thing with slightly different ingredients]].
** The Omega Cannon in ''Hunters'' is practically a portiable nuclear bomb. It's the only weapon that can kill the final boss and in multiplayer, it kills anyone, including the shooter, instantly if they are caught in the blast.
* In {{DEFCON}} your job is to pretty much nuke the entire world (with the exception of your own continent). While several other weapons beside nukes exist, they are mostly used to shoot down nuclear missiles. Or shoot down airplanes carrying nuclear missiles. Or sink submarines that can sneak up on you and fire nuclear missiles. And all is shown in the style of the final scene from ''WarGames''.
* OperationFlashpoint and its successor Armed Assault and ArmA 2 all feature nukes to some extent - though in keeping with the ultra-realistic tone of the games they are only used as a last resort by madmen. And their detonation, should you fail to stop them, is shown to kick off global thermonuclear armageddon. Particularly true in ArmA 2 bonus mission 'Eagle Wing', which starts off with your AH-64D moving ahead of a naval taskforce to engage Russian forces, but goes all to hell... A panicked "Pull Back!" message from command is cut short by a nuclear detonation, and your helicopter is smashed out of the air. You then have to escape and evade in a silent, devastated world (and this is well outside the blast radius, which covers most of the 100km^2 map!) with your character clearly panicking as an enormous mushroom cloud towers over the horizon and black ash falls from the sky. Incredibly well done.
* Every game in the main ''VideoGame/{{Civilization}}'' series features the development of nuclear weapons (or "Planet Busters" in ''SidMeiersAlphaCentauri'') in the late game, which are by far the most devastating offensive units available even after it becomes possible to build countermeasures. However, using them makes all AI players declare war on you automatically, releases vast amounts of pollution, and in some games advances the GlobalWarming timer by a significant amount. Too bad the AI doesn't have nearly the same compunctions about deploying them.
* In ''{{MUGEN}}'': The [[GameBreaker A-Bomb]]. It nukes your characters and completely vaporises anything that isn't as overpowered.
* ''Global Effect'' (an early 90's PC game) would let you nuke enemy cities at will. Made the whole screen fade into white for a few moments. It was a guaranteed way to punch an ozone hole in the sky.
* The Carronade or Hex Cannon in ''BreathOfFireIV'' is depicted as a particularly (and ''literally'') nightmare-inducing magical thermonuclear weapon equivalent. The really scary thing is in the power source and in the ammo; the power source is a princess who is converted into an artificial Endless so that she can be perpetually tortured, whilst the ammo consists of people with a close connection to the target being literally tortured to the point of a mental breakdown and then subjected to human sacrifice. It's the pain, rage, and suffering that ends up being the "warhead".
** Depicted originally as a plot-point in a town that was Hex Nuked, including literal Hex Decontamination Teams. [[spoiler: Even with this, it is stated will take many years for the hexed city to recover--which has had to be evacuated of residents.]]
** Depicted most tragically in Fou-lu's storyline[[note]]Peasant girl meets dragon-god. Peasant girl falls in love with dragon-god. Peasant girl is taken prisoner by empire dragon-god founded 600 years ago, tortured horribly, and ultimately used as Tactical Thermonuclear Peasant in attempt to kill dragon-god. Dragon-god survives (barely) and [[KillEmAll goes completely bugfuck nuts]][[/note]] when he realises ''who'' was used as the ammo. Suffice it to say that it does ''not'' end well for the EvilEmpire.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'', Operation: Firebreak, which is nuking the area, is the FinalSolution to deal with a virus infecting a town.
* The first major arc of ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiI'' ends with [[spoiler: the Americans dropping nuclear missiles on Tokyo. You later TimeSkip 30 years into the future, and not surprisingly, the rest of the world has been reduced to nuclear ruin.]]
* In ''VideoGame/ShinMegamiTenseiIV'', [[spoiler:the Four Archangels continued with the example set in ''I''. Any world they visit and judge unclean, they arrange a nuclear war in and open a gate to the Expanse so the resident demons finish off the remains of Humanity.]]
* ''VideoGame/BlazBlue'' reveals that [[MadScientist Kokonoe]] keeps a fully-loaded silo in range of her lab just in case she needs a quick solution to [[ArchEnemy Yuuki Terumi]] or whatever he may be cooking up this week. [[HeroAntagonist Hakumen]] (who saw a nuke strike against the Black Beast do jack-shit to it) is understandably horrified when he finds out.
* ''VideoGame/HeavyWeapon'': Your tank's {{Smart Bomb}}s, which are easy to obtain, destroy all regular enemies on the screen, and hurt bosses for a lot of damage (without destroying most of the landscape) when used. These can be used in dire situations and against particularly tough bosses to soften them up.
** The enemy Red Star forces have the [[DemonicSpiders Havanski Atomic Bomber]] presumably sent after you once they find out that you're a credible threat. These guys drops A-bombs which instantly destroy you (and [[TotalPartyKill your party]] in Survival mode) [[OneHitKill regardless of shielding]] if one of them even ''touches'' [[AlwaysAccurateAttack anywhere]] on the ground!
* One of Axton's skills in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'' lets him set off a mini-nuke when deploying his SABRE turret(with its own cooldown).
* In the ''[[Videogame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series, Hammerhead Missiles are nuclear-tipped [[PlanetTerra Terran]] missiles. A single Hammerhead is more than capable of wiping out an entire fighter wing or destroying a corvette [[OneHitKill with one shot]]. Pirates love to fire these things off [[MacrossMissileMassacre in mass]]. In ''X3: Reunion'', the missiles are simply labeled as "Unknown Object" until the [[LostColony Terrans]] show up.
* Near the end of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'', the United States government concludes that Raccoon City cannot be saved. In order to avert wide-scale pandemics of the zombie plague, they fire a nuclear missile. As the news report at the end puts it, "Raccoon City has been literally wiped off the map."
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', one of the first sidequests has the option to detonate the nuke in the center of Megaton, which can be done as soon as you leave the Vault.
* ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas: Lonesome Road'': Ulysses plans to use the remaining nukes in the Divide to wipe out both the NCR and the Legion, in revenge for the Courier inadvertently turning the Divide into a [[DeathWorld Death City]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* Parodied during the "That Which Redeems" arc of ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', where the nuke dropped on the [[DemonicInvaders demon army]] turns out to be an acronym for "'Notification of Unified Kindness' Envelopes." Instead of vaporizing everything for miles around, the "nuke" blankets the area with thousands of polite yet stern letters asking the demons to please stop their invasion. This is still considered an abominable act by most Dimension of Lame residents due to the collateral damange:
--> '''Alt-Gwynn:''' "Terrible thunder. Paper cuts impending. Litter unimaginable."
* Standard Operating Procedure for [[AxCrazy Black Mage]] of ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''.
* In ''Webcomic/AmongTheChosen'', nukes are listed as ''conventional weapons'' by a space-faring MegaCorp, which use them almost offhand like any other ordinance. PsychicPowers on the other hand...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The German technocracy nukes Verona (core Italy) and about a dozen Russian cities in the WorldWarII of the Literature/ChaosTimeline.
* In ''TheSalvationWar'' noted several times where Nukes might of been useful, and WordOfGod said that if the legions of Hell were NOT in a place where quick military action was able to take place they would of Nuked them. It wasn't needed in the first book just because [[MugglesdoitBetter of the effectiveness of modern military hardware]]. [[spoiler:The second book however has three Nukes, and one of them plays this trope straight in a sideways way. One was launched by a Nuclear sub being controlled by an angel, and another was used to wipe out an angel army. The third almost killed [[MagnificentBastard Michel]], who sensed the cart he was puling was a bit to heavy, and kicked it back through a portal.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''MegasXLR'' is apparently armed with nuclear weapons. In the "Viva Las Megas" episode, Coop proposes using them to blast out of an underground bunker, but is waved off by Jamie and Kiva. He laments "What's the point of havin' nukes if I can't use em?"
* In ''ReBoot'', standard Guardian protocol for dealing with a Class 5 web-creature in a system like Mainframe is to destroy the entire system. A Class 5 creature is capable of opening a portal to the Web, and through Mainframe's connections that can lead to an invasion of the entire Net. The Guardians themselves dislike this policy, but [[EldritchLocation the Web]] and [[EldritchAbomination the creatures within it]] are seen as so great a threat that even the loss of an entire system is preferable to a war. They do at least send operatives to the systems in question to positively confirm that there ''is'' such a web-creature present, even they would not blow up a city on an unconfirmed rumor, but once the rumor is confirmed they push the button without a second thought.
* ''TheIronGiant'' has a sequence where paranoid intelligence agent Kent Mansley prompts a nuclear strike on the Giant because he wanted to see the Giant destroyed, rashly ordering it by [[TooDumbToLive grabbing the radio]] from the [[ReasonableAuthorityFigure General]] that was about to have them stand down, as the situation was over. The General then asks "WHERE'S THE GIANT, MANSLEY?!" Which is [[OhCrap about 50 feet from him]].
* In ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', [[GeneralRipper General Wade Eiling's]] ''first thought'' after he is told to fix the Doomsday situation is to drop a nuclear warhead (with a little kryptonite mixed in) on Doomsday and, by extension, {{Superman}} and San Baquero. Since Eiling planned to get to Superman eventually and had long wanted to stop drug smuggling from San Baquero, he considered it killing three birds with one stone. [[EvenEvilHasStandards Even Amanda Waller is disgusted by this attitude]].
[[/folder]]

----