[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Detonator_6550.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:[[AcmeProducts Acme]] detonators, for all your demolition needs.]]

This detonator is usually a plain square box with a T-shaped plunger on top and wires attached. Although typically not seen anymore in RealLife, it is ubiquitous in classic WesternAnimation and is period-accurate in stories set between the late 19th and mid-20th centuries. In the real world these are actually called "blasting machines" because the plunger spins a little magneto similar to an old-fashioned hand-crank phone to generate the electricity used to detonate the explosives.

As often as not, a comedic character attempting to use it results in WheresTheKaboom. Alternatively, a comedic character may accidentally set it off early (or during the moment of relief after an explosive crisis has been averted) by absently sitting or leaning on the handle. Bonus points if the detonator actually explodes instead of the attached explosives. May be PlayedForDrama, as someone throws their body weight on the handle as a LastBreathBullet.

Modern blasting devices use either hand crank or a twist handle instead of plunger to rotate the magneto to create the electric charge needed to detonate the blasting cap.

Compare CartoonBomb and IncrediblyObviousBomb. Possibly related to BigElectricSwitch, insofar as the obsolete look of the device is a deliberate choice of RuleOfCool over realism. HairTriggerExplosive doesn't need this to set it off. [[note]] But doesn't mean it can't be there. Even if it's never used [[/note]] Weapon of choice for a DastardlyWhiplash.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Advertising]]
* In at least one Federated Superstores commercial from the 1980's, Fred Rated (Shadoe Stevens) uses one.
* In TheSeventies Panasonic sold "Dynamite 8" 8-track tape machines shaped like these. You pressed the plunger to change tracks. [[GoodTimes Jimmy "JJ" Walker]] did the commercials, using his CatchPhrase "Dy-no-mite!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]
* In the ''AchilleTalon'' album "La Traversée du Disert", a demolition worker uses one to set off charges in a stone quarry--where, unbeknownst to him, the protagonists have ended up. He is prevented in the nick of time from pressing the plunger, only to sit on it by accident the next minute.
* The bass tuba in ''The Hoffnung Symphony Orchestra'' has a plunger detonator attached and a "go" light standing near.
* In ''[[{{Tintin}} Destination Moon]]'', a plunger detonator is used to remotely destroy the rocket [=X-FLR6=] when its radio control is captured by spies.
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/{{Patton}}''. During the Battle of the Bulge a German soldier uses one to detonate some explosives and start an avalanche onto an American column. Combines HollywoodHistory with HollywoodScience because no such incident ever happened and real German detonators used a clockwork mechanism using a handle that ''turned''.
* ''Film/TheThing1982''. The remaining crew members set up dynamite charges to blow up the base, with a detonator to set them off. Unfortunately the title monster grabs it before they can use it, but TheHero improvises.
* ''Film/BattleOfTheBulge'' (1965). A group of German paratroopers disguised as US [=MP=]s pretend to rig a bridge behind American lines for demolition while actually holding for their own army. Part of their act includes two men ostentatiously hooking up a detonator while other men pretend to rig charges. Everyone is fooled until the leader of the squad of U.S. Army engineers actually assigned to blow the bridge arrives and immediately protests such a clear (and stupid) violation of basic safety procedures. He and his men get shot dead for his trouble.
* ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. Sheriff Bart tries to use one to detonate the explosives in the fake Rock Ridge and blow up the villains, but it doesn't work. The Waco Kid has to set them off with a shot from his revolver.
* Two bad guys attempt to use this on a bridge that the titular car is passing over in ''Film/ChittyChittyBangBang''. Implausibly, the explosives don't explode, but the detonator itself does, resulting in AshFace.
* ''OceansEleven'': When Reuben's old building is blown up.
* One is a big part of a major scene in ''TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai''. In fact, what happens at the end with it is actually another DeadHorseTrope: [[spoiler:The dying guy falling on the PlungerDetonator and setting off the explosives]].
* ''The Bridge At Remagen'' has the Germans use a plunger detonator to try to demolish the eponymous bridge to prevent it from being captured, only to have it fail because the wires were damaged in the fighting. Also counts as a CriticalResearchFailure since the German army didn't use this type of detonator as noted above.
* The protagonists use modern ones in ''{{Tremors}} 2'' - explosives strapped to remote-control cars which they got the Graboids to eat before blowing them sky high.
* In the opening of ''Film/TheParty'', Hrundi V. Bakshi rests his foot on the handle of one of these to tie his shoelace, causing the premature demolition of a film set.
* The Dragon uses one of these to blow up a train in the ''Film/JonahHex'' movie.
* Pretty sure I recall Professor Fate using one of these in ''Film/TheGreatRace'', but I can't recall the specific instance.
* A couple of these show up next to a rack of hand grenades in an early scene in ''Film/TheIpcressFile''. Palmer pushes the handle of one down, presumably to see if it's connected to anything.
* ''[[Film/BatmanTheMovie Batman]]'' (1966). The Riddler uses a small one to detonate explosives and blow open a door into the United World building.
* One is seen in ''Film/{{Lawless}}'', when the police blow up the Bondurants' bootleg still.
* ''Film/DudleyDoRight''. When Snidely Whiplash's chief minion Homer goes to blow up Dudley's house, he brings one along bust accidentally prematurely detonates the dynamite when he tucks the detonator under his arm.
* Joe in ''Film/WithoutWarning'' rigs an explosive trap inside the shack that the alien hunter uses to store its victims, which ends on a plunger detonator. For dramatic purposes, it fails on the first push because the wirings were off.
* ''Film/TrailOfThePinkPanther'' has a scene where a young Jacques Clouseau is using one while he was a member of the French underground during World War II. Typical of Clouseau, it doesn't work right.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''[[Literature/McAuslan The Sheikh and the Dustbin]]'', Creator/GeorgeMacDonaldFraser tells of a piece of outside-the-box thinking used by an eccentric brother officer to put down a riot in Libya circa 1947: He wired up a plunger to an (empty) crate and parked the crate on a bridge in full view of an angry mob that was about to cross it. As soon as the plunger was raised ready for "blasting", the crowd dispersed with extreme alacrity.
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[[folder: Live Action Television ]]
* ''TheMuppetShow''. Crazy Harry loved these.
* The ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' use these occasionally, with an arming device for safety, but usually just go with a BigRedButton.
* ''Series/YoungIndianaJones'': I seem to remember a scene where Indy had to put the plunger back into such a detonator just in time or something.
* Often used by our saboteur heroes on ''HogansHeroes'' when time bombs were not sufficient. In one case they even got their Nazi 'captor' to press the plunger himself, under the impression that he had loaded the tunnel with fake dynamite while pretending to be one of the Allies.
* On ''Richard Hammonds Series/BlastLab'', the losing team has to press down a plunger to blow up their prizes.
* Several episodes of the US version of ''Series/{{Distraction}}'' featured the winning contestant having to push down a plunger that would randomly blow up one of his or her prizes for each question missed in the final round.
* {{Nickelodeon}}'s ''Wild and Crazy Kids'' used these on occasion, most memorably to blow up sandcastles.
* ''TheMonkees''. The title characters occasionally tried to use one, by clipping two alligator cables to whatever they were trying to blow up, then pushing the plunger on a hand-sized box, at which point something ''else'' would blow up.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sqM_4uYGuyQ And some people claim wrestling isn't real.]]
* Used in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Graduation Day" to set off the explosives that destroyed Sunnydale High.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}'' sees plenty of these in a few of the episodes which take place in John's mind. In this case, the landscape is transformed into a WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes style desert, with John as the Roadrunner and Harvey as Wiley E. Coyote. [[HIlarityEnsues Hilarity]] and [[StuffBlowingUp explosions]] ensue.
* ''Series/{{Batman}}'' episode "While Gotham City Burns". When the Dynamic Duo are trapped inside a giant steel book and about to be steamed to death, the Gotham City police use one to detonate some explosives and blow the book open.
* ''Series/LostInSpace'' episode "Mutiny in Space". Dr. Smith uses one to set off the explosive chemicals in his rain-making machine.
* In ''{{The Wire}}'', Mayor Royce makes a big publicity event out of demolishing a crime-ridden apartment complex. He pushes an old-fashioned plunger...which is then revealed to be a dummy mock-up while the explosives are actually set off from a nearby control panel.
* One of the assassination techniques used by the South American revolutionary in a sketch on ''The Creator/DaveAllen Show''. This one comes unstuck when his intended victim places his foot down on the plunger while the assassin is still planting the dynamite.
* Many of the buildings in [[Series/LittleHouseOnThePrairie Walnut Grove]] were thus destroyed.
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[[folder:Music Video]]
* In Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock", the villain (played by Mark Metcalf, aka Niedermeyer) is planning to blow up the band during a concert. As he's planting the dynamite by Dee Snider's feet, a butterfly lands on the plunger handle, pushing it down and setting it off.
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[[folder:NewspaperComics]]
* ''ComicStrip/MotherGooseAndGrimm''. In the [[http://www.grimmy.com/images/MGG_Archive/MGG_2012/MGG-2012-09-17.gif strip for September 17th 2012]], Grimm uses an [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadRunner Acme detonator]] in an attempt to open the refrigerator door.
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[[folder:Pinball]]
* An animated plunger sits on the playfield of the Premium editions of the ''Pinball/{{ACDC}}'' pinball.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''DungeonsAndDragons'' {{Ravenloft}} setting, ''Masque of the Red Death'' campaign expansion. The setting is an AlternateHistory version of 1890's Earth, so explosives are available. This device is one of the ways of detonating explosives mentioned in the rules.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Used in ''VideoGames/RedDeadRedemption'' once or twice.
* There's a used one in one of the ''Videogame/{{Submachine}}'' games, surrounded by soot and bits of clothing.
* Used in the ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'' demo, "Uplink", and in the ''Half-Life: Blue Shift'' expansion in the "Power Struggle" level.
* In the XboxLiveArcade version of ''SettlersOfCatan'', one of the [[EmoteAnimation emote animations]] shows a player using one of these to blow up the dice. The AI sometimes uses it when it has a run of particularly bad rolls.
* In ''VideoGames/SeriousSam'' series, it can be found in a few places. It's a trigger marker by default though.
* ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'' includes this on the "Thin Ice" secret level.
* Three of the castle destruction {{Cut Scene}}s in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' featured Mario/Luigi jumping on a plunger detonator. One worked as expected. One caused the castle to launch like a rocket. The third [[WheresTheKaboom seemed to fizzle until Mario/Luigi got close]].
* In the Glitter Gulch Mine level of ''[[Videogame/{{Banjo-Kazooie}} Banjo-Tooie]]'', Banjo and Kazooie could transform into a detonator. Its explosions were self-damaging but [[NonFatalExplosions not necessarily fatal]].
* ''Videogame/GuiltyGear''. Faust uses one for his [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Instant Kill]] from X onward. The exact results vary from game to game (sometimes the explosion is delayed and gives both players a FunnyAfro, sometimes it goes off like a nuke).
* The cave level (and some others at times) in the SNES ''Franchise/TheSmurfs'' game.
* The title characters from ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' remove themselves from the battlefield with one of these.
* In one level of ''Videogame/MedalOfHonor: Allied Assault'', Nazis attempt to use one to blow up a bridge, and you must snipe them before they can reach it.
* One CutScene in the original ''Videogame/WingCommander'', if you do well in the campaign, shows a group of Terran soldiers demolishing a Kilrathi base using one.
* The cannons in ''VideoGame/KirbySuperStar'' sometimes have these hooked up to their fuses, allowing them to be triggered without a flame. Some of said cannons are actually traps and will simply explode instead of firing if Kirby jumps into them, though, whereas the ones without detonators are never of this nature.
* ''VideoGame/TheBindingOfIsaac'' has this as an item that allows you to manually detonate your [[CartoonBomb Cartoon Bombs]].
* Used a couple of times in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}''. Fitting, given the SpaceWestern setting.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comic]]
* In [[http://dresdencodak.com/2010/06/10/dark-science-02/ this strip]] of ''DresdenCodak'', Kimiko's house is blown up using a plunger detonator. It's all the more remarkable as advanced {{Cyberpunk}} technology is otherwise available.
* In ''KarateBears'': the hero rigs explosives and an [[http://www.karatebears.com/2012/04/rig-electionsexplosions.html election]] at the same time!
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Simon uses an Acme detonator to set off a stick of cartoon dynamite in ''WebVideo/TheCartoonMan''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* A staple accessory of ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' characters, especially [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadrunner Wile E. Coyote]].
* ''JonnyQuest'' TOS episode "The Quetong Missile Mystery". The guards use these to detonate underwater mines to blow up intruding boats. At the end the BigBad suffers a KarmicDeath when he shoots one of the guards, who falls on the detonator and detonates a mine under the BigBad's boat.
* On ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' Sideshow Bob's brother Cecil uses one of these to try to blow up Springfield Dam.
* The AnimatedAdaptation of ''Tintin in America'' switched Bobby Smiles's box with buttons for such a detonator.
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