%% Image and caption selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1320946846002365900
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[[quoteright:275:[[Manga/DragonBallZ http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/readings_blew_up_the_scale1.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:275:Excessive power levels may void warranty; scout carefully.]]
%% %%%%%%%%%%%% Please DO NOT adjust the caption to include or reference the "over 9000" meme.
%% %%%%%%%%%%%% The picture already shows it's well past that anyway.

->''"[[SymbolSwearing F**K]] THIS, I'M OUT"''
-->-- Freeza's Scouter, ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'', before it self-destructs

Someone has a meter that breaks down or explodes when the readings are too high for it to handle. No, it's not when it's measuring something that could reasonably destroy the scale, like measuring greater extreme heat than a thermometer can withstand. This is when the extreme amount of the readings ''themselves'' cause the destruction.

How is that possible? Chalk it up to RuleOfCool or RuleOfFunny.

A SubTrope of both ReadingsAreOffTheScale and ExplosiveInstrumentation. Compare AwesomenessIsVolatile.



* A short-lived series of commercials for Applebee's depicts a TinCanRobot explaining to the viewer about various promotions at the family restaurant while printing them out from its torso, then proceeds to smoke and catch on fire because of how good these deals are or how many of them there are.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/FairyTail'': During a test of strength on a power reader during the Grand Magic Games arc, Cana uses the weakest of the 3 Fairy spells, and the reader shatters, this is just after one of the sages(supposedly the most powerful mages in the world) attacks it and get's below 9000, it also makes for a subtle reference.
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': If scouters aren't getting [[AGlassInTheHand broken]], they're blowing up while their owners are still wearing them. No wonder they got phased out of the series.
** After Bulma jury-rigged Raditz's scouter, Goku's DangerousForbiddenTechnique made it explode from across the planet.
** Vegeta's power level in the Namek arc broke at least two scouters -- the first time, Zarbon's scouter blew up when he killed Cui, and Frieza's new scouter exploded when Vegeta proved he could actually go toe-to-toe with him (at least until Frieza transformed).
** A filler scene later on showed that SSJ Goku and final-form Frieza could blow up computers in different ''solar systems'', implicitly killing the random superpowered mooks watching them.
** In the first Cooler movie, Sauza's scouter explodes when the injured Goku is given a senzu bean.
** In the OVA where Vegeta's brother Tarble showed up, Goku demonstrated his scouter was obsolete by casually making it explode in this manner.
** In [[Anime/DragonBallZResurrectionF Resurrection "F"]], Frieza's emergence from a healing tank makes every scouter on the spaceship explode.
* In ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', the title mech literally eating a Big Bang safely spoon-fed by Lordgenome causes the power gauge to shatter ''[[UpToEleven and then keep going outside the monitor]]''. Keep in mind, this power gauge was designed in a universe where the RuleOfCool is ''scientifically acknowledged'', to measure power levels that are known to ''routinely'' go [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale off charts]]. [[BeyondTheImpossible The monitor blew up anyway]].
* The Phobos computers in the ''VideoGame/{{Darkstalkers}}'' OVA do this when reading Donovan's power (at the same time that Donovan is unleashing a very powerful attack on the Phobos).
* ''Manga/YuYuHakusho'': In the Three Kings arc, a group of Raizen's old training buddies come out of seclusion to pay their respects and join the new tournament. They collectively flex their power to "see if they've still got it" and Yomi's advisor's energy-reading device goes [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale off the scale]] before it explodes. Miles away from the energy source.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In the ''Comicbook/FantasticFour'', Reed and Sue's son Franklin is a {{Mutant}} with GooGooGodlike potential. So Reed tasked a robot "playmate", H.E.R.B.I.E., to monitor for any manifestations of Franklin's powers. The first time Franklin really begins to start pouring out psionic energy, H.E.R.B.I.E. issues a few futile warnings before overloading and exploding.
* In ''ComicBook/JoeBarTeam'', the main characters destroy numerous radar speed gun radars with their motorbikes using this very trope.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* One ''ComicStrip/CalvinAndHobbes'' strip has an ImagineSpot where Calvin's dad lets him drive, and instead the car starts flying.
-->'''Dad:''' How fast are we going?\\
'''Calvin:''' Can't say. We broke the speedometer.
* In a ''ComicStrip/{{Peanuts}}'' strip, Snoopy adds the number of pizzas he and Woodstock ate before midnight to the number of pizzas they ate after midnight. The result blew Snoopy's pocket calculator.
* In a ''ComicStrip/{{Garfield}}'' [[http://www.gocomics.com/garfield/1991/06/27 strip]]:
-->'''Jon:''' From now on, I'm keeping track of the calories you take in!\\
'''Jon:''' My calculator blew up.

* Seen a fair few times in the {{Troperiffic}} ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' series.
** In ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', a resograph (a device designed to measure changes in the nature of reality) starts going haywire thanks to the influence of the filmmakers in Holy Wood. Eventually, the showing of an EpicMovie about the Ankh-Morpork Civil War causes a rift in reality big enough to allow a [[EldritchAbomination Thing from the Dungeon Dimensions]] to escape onto the Discworld, which makes the resograph explode violently.
** In ''Discworld/TheLastContinent'', Ponder Stibbons' magic-measuring [[ThingOMeter thaumometer]] melts when the magic field used to create the Last Continent exceeds its limit of one million thaums.
*** Subverted when Ridcully licks his thumb, holds it up, observes the octarine spark and comments that, yes, that looks about right.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Lensman}} Children of the Lens]]'', the last physical battle of the series involves [[spoiler:a faster-than-light planet hitting a star]].
-->''Finally it happened. What happened? Even after the fact none of the observers knew. The fuses of all the recorder and analyzer circuits blew at once. Needles jumped instantly to maximum and wrapped themselves around their stops. Charts and ultraphotographic films showed only straight or curved lines running from the origin to and through the limits in zero time.''
* In ''Literature/TheirsNotToReasonWhy'', the equipment used to measure PsychicPowers has a habit of burning out when it's used on Ia. Her precognition in particular is so strong [[spoiler:that when they test it on her with a psi damper she stole from the enemy, she burns it out anyway]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
%%not an example "No, it's not when it's measuring something that could reasonably destroy the scale, like measuring greater extreme heat than a thermometer can withstand. This is when the extreme amount of the readings themselves cause the destruction."* ''Series/TheGoodies''. In one episode the temperature gets so high that a thermometer ends up blowing its top and squirting fluid in someone's face.* The above be a ShoutOut to a ''Series/TwilightZone'' episode about the world becoming unbearably hot.
* In the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Upgrades", SG-1 is wearing armbands that increase their physical capabilities. The Tok'ra who discovered them has O'Neill squeeze a [[BuffySpeak grip-strength-measuring thingy]]. After the armband reaches full power, O'Neill actually ''crushes'' the strength sensor.
* In one episode of ''Series/GilligansIsland'', Gilligan was playing with a lie detector that had been used earlier. When Mary Ann asked him if he took the coconut cream pie she made and he said no, the lie detector blew up.
-->'''Gilligan''': Well, it was delicious.

* In ''Theatre/FiniansRainbow'', the geologists claim to have discovered gold in Rainbow Valley in such enormous concentration that it broke the needle of their meter.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2oPT-k0VOU opening trailer]] of {{Tekken}} Tag Tournament 2 shows Lili watching a tournament fight with her hi-class viewing glasses. She then notices Jun Kazama near the exit and tries to zoom in on her, only for Lili's glasses to explode (minor one).

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'', Kanaya's "flighty broads and their snarky horseshitometer" [[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/?s=6&p=004619 explodes]] when Kanaya watches Rose [[spoiler:[[OffTheRails blow up her first gate]]]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* {{Lampshaded}} by the WebOriginal/ProtectorsOfThePlotContinuum. [[OnceAnEpisode Frequently]], their Canon Analysis Devices blow up when faced with particularly heinous breaches of canon. Savvy agents will hurl their CAD's in the opposite direction the moment something truly awful happens. Occasionally, they just don't turn their CAD's on at all, knowing that it would go boom -- [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption which doesn't always stop the explosion]].
* Shane Killian's "Bogometer", used to measure the dishonesty of creationist claims, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fsSKTl0uNc explodes at 3:18 of this video]] when Janet Folgar claims that "It was Bible-believing Christians who gave us science as we know it."
* ''WebVideo/TheSpoonyExperiment''
** Dr. Insano's {{Gaydar}} blew up when watching a scene with a swishy proprietor in [[http://spoonyexperiment.com/2011/04/17/beastmaster-2-through-the-portal-of-time/ his review]] of ''[[Film/TheBeastmaster Beastmaster 2]]''.
** And the Ass Counter blows up during a particularly blatant [[MaleGaze ass shot]] in ''VideoGame/DeadOrAlive''.
* In [[http://thatguywiththeglasses.com/videolinks/teamt/nash/specials/29196-nash-doctor-who-classic-the-tv-movie his review]] of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' 8th Doctor movie, [[WebVideo/WhatTheFuckIsWrongWithYou Nash]] has a [[FlameWar "Nerd Rage meter"]], and when it turned out the Doctor was half-human, it finally blew up. Then it blew up again later on.
* This trope became a minor RunningGag on ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic''. The Critic would count a certain feature in a movie; after a handful of examples, an explosion would sound and the Critic would cry out, "Oh, great, you blew up the (X) Meter!"
* In the ''Series/FlandersCompany'' episode "German Übber Fantasy", GadgeteerGenius Caleb builds a "[[TheMillstone Millstone Detector]]" to help Hippolyte sort out supervillain candidates. That's when Maxence and Déborah, a pair of insufferable, fashion-obsessed gits, come by. The detector starts beeping very fast and explodes.
* In the ''WebVideo/JoueurDuGrenier'' episode for ''Franchise/StarWars'', Grenier calling ''Film/ThePhantomMenace'' the best film in the series makes his "Sarcasm Detector" beeps loudly. Then, when he praise the quality of a UsefulNotes/PlayStation game of the same name, the detector explodes.
* ''WebVideo/ToddInTheShadows'' applies a "[[ThingOMeter Douche-O-Meter]]" to Music/JustinBieber's "Sorry". It breaks after the first lyric. Then, on a later lyric, it ''explodes'' - even though it wasn't plugged in.
* "Irony Meter":
** On Fundies Say The Darndest Things, a common response to an ironic statement made by one of the fundies whose statements have been quoted is that it has [[InvokedTrope "destroyed my irony meter."]]
** This originated on the Usenet group alt.atheism, back in the 1990s: an irony meter was never mentioned except in the context of its (usually spectacular) failure:
--->"Every irony meter on the planet just exploded."\\
"My irony meter has melted a hole in the ground and is putting up plumes of radioactive fallout."\\
"I spent extra to get a heavy duty, auto-ranging industrial irony meter, with the 4th generation titanium filter and laser readout and everything, less than a year ago. Pfft, it's toast. First time I've had to use a fire extinguisher of a piece of smoking electronics."\\
"OK, Mark, you now owe me a new Myth 6 (model 66) Irony-O-Meter. It was not even a week old and it blew up like Krakatoa."
** However, this trope was once {{defied}} when a commenter [[http://www.fstdt.com/QuoteComment.aspx?QID=8520&Page=1#6195 modified his irony meter so that it would not explode:]]
-->"And apparently this one has infinite irony, because my irony meter is still going. You are going to have to make your own guys, it isn't patented or anything, and i just made it out of spare parts: mostly my old ironymeter, a clock and one of those stroke counters some people use in golf."
** At one point, a meter designed to measure "nigh absurd amounts of irony" overloaded so much that it blew up straight through the roof, into space, and impacted Venus so hard it caused the planet to undergo nuclear fusion and turn into a miniature sun.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyTales'' features a band talent show with a scale that [[ThingOMeter measured how good the performance was.]] When the heroes performed their song, the scale [[ReadingsAreOffTheScale hit the roof]] and blew up.
* On ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'', Phineas is trying to track a cute little alien, so he built a cute-meter. Later he mentioned that he filtered Isabella's cuteness and when he turned the safety off, the cute-meter blew up.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons''
** Professor Frink invented a [[ThingOMeter sarcasm detector]] in "They Saved Lisa's Brain", which of course explodes in the presence of the Comic Book Guy's overwhelming sarcasm.
--->'''CBG:''' Ooh, a sarcasm detector. That's a ''real'' useful invention. ''(boom)''
** In another episode, Homer is being interrogated by Agent Scully while hooked up to a lie detector. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W6eINkIZMr4 He didn't understand.]]
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/MummyNanny'' shows an old collector piece radar that can't handle flashing anyone above 203 km/h (that's 126 mph). But it's in town, so it's safe, [[DrivesLikeCrazy right?]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'':
** "Polka-Dot Puss" has Jerry trying to convince Tom he's sick. He sticks an old-fashion ambient thermometer in his mouth and flicks a lighter on under it. It quickly goes to maximum, then the glass tube expands at the end and then blows all the pressure with a whistle.
** In "Down and Outing", Jerry presses down on the car's gas pedal, and the car ends up going so fast that the speedometer breaks.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRealGhostbusters'': Egon's PKE Meter often caught readings intense enough to make the thing overheat and/or explode.
* Happens ''twice'' to the same power scanner in the ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'' episode "[[Recap/StevenUniverseS1E33GarnetsUniverse Garnet's Universe]]". The scanner actually reassembled itself just so it could blow up again. Of course, Steven made everything in this episode up, so it's not a problem.
* A variation occurs in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/PennZeroPartTimeHero'' focusing on [[CalvinBall an incredibly complicated game called "Ultrahyperball"]]. Sashi's computerized glasses explode not from scanning something immeasurable, but from trying to load the rules. The actual rulebook is so massive, player's eyes will fall out of their sockets long before finding out how to win.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Multimeter#Safety multimeter]] can be easily damaged by trying to measure the resistance of a circuit with negligible resistance. Current equals voltage divided by resistance, so a no-resistance circuit essentially causes a DivideByZero error and dangerously high current. Most models will just blow a fuse, but ones that don't have a fuse can be permanently junked (although they probably won't ''explode'').
* Old analogue Voltmeters and Ammeters suffered a similar flaw where if the reading caused the needle to move too quickly it could strike the highest point and actually deform, rendering it completely useless. It was crucial to make sure the range was set properly, and to observe correct polarity (hooking it up backwards would make the needle go the opposite way and deform against 0).
* Some analog thermometers will break if exposed to a temperature range they're not designed for (like boiling water, if it's a medical thermometer).