[[quoteright:300:[[Film/StarTrekIITheWrathOfKhan http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/RedAlertTropeImage_5413.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:300:All hands to battlestations!]]

->''The sirens shrilled, urging everyone to panic.''
-->-- ''Literature/TomorrowTown'' by '''Creator/KimNewman'''

The phrase "Red Alert" comes from the naval tradition of "General Quarters" ("Action Stations" if you're British), where a ship prepares for battle. Much of the procedures are the same. The alert is sounded by a drum or over an intercom. Off-duty sailors report to their stations, cannon are loaded, and the decks are cleared of non-essential items. On modern ships, lights flash, klaxons sound and all watertight doors are closed, thus if the ship is holed the leak is contained. '''BREET BREET''' Ah, great.. See SelfDemonstrating/RedAlert right away, the Wiki's gone on SelfDemonstratingArticle mode. '''BREET BREET GENERAL QUARTERS'''. Often accompanied with ThisIsNotADrill.

In a {{Rescue}} show, or any film with an emergency service like the fire department, there is a [[Administrivia/InternalSubtrope variant of the alert]] that can be called the '''Emergency Squad Scramble.''' where the heroes are at their base and the dispatch call sounds. Suddenly the base explodes with activity as the klaxons sound and the dispatcher comes over the PA system with the essential information. Meanwhile, the rescue heroes move quickly, often [[ToTheBatpole going down sliding poles]] to the garage, calmly to suit up and board their vehicles with utter professionalism. Then with the vehicles' rotating lights flashing and sirens sounding, the production's theme music plays the heroes go full speed to the emergency.

This variant also occurs with fighter squadrons before or during a FighterLaunchingSequence . This often includes a running variant of the PowerWalk that can be called the '''Scramble Run''' where the pilots are seen sprinting to their fighters in full flight gear.

If this precedes a BossBattle, it's a BossWarningSiren.

Now, keep in mind, this is not to be confused with ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'', nor with ''VideoGame/LastAlert'' (known as ''Red Alert'' in Japan), nor with the RedScare. Nor does it have any particular relation to any of the ''{{Franchise/Transformers}}'' characters named Red Alert ([[MemeticMutation WOO WOO WOO WOO]]). But it is similar, however, to DefconFive. Err...one. And to RedFilterOfDoom.

See also EmergencyBroadcast for a version of this for crises affecting entire communities or larger areas.

Understand? Good. Let's move out.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* The ''Anime/{{Macross}}'' franchise (and presumably ''{{Anime/Robotech}}''), play this more realistically, with General Quarters and condition levels rather than the klaxon and red light.
* Happens several times in the anime ''Anime/HanaukyoMaidTai'' (both seasons) when an emergency occurs in the mansion, sometimes with rotating lights and sirens.
* Occurs in ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' anime episode #24 when intruders are detected in the Soul Society.
* Angel signature confirmed, [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Type Blue!]]
* Franchise/{{Gundam}}'s various {{Cool Ship}}s will invariably have one of some kind. Some series even go so far as to re-use [[Anime/MobileSuitGundam White Base's]] alert klaxon.
---> ''"Condition Red has been issued! Condition Red has been issued! All pilots, standby in your machines!"''

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In Marvel's ''WesternAnimation/LaffALympics'' special "The Man Who Stole Thursday," all three teams are looking for a figure named Tempus, who had removed Thursdays from the calendar. Scooby-Doo and his friends deduce he's in a room at a nearby hotel, so Shaggy radios "Red Alert" to the Yogi Yahooeys.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Happens twice in the film ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas''.
** The Mayor of Halloween Town orders the alarms sounded when Jack Skellington disappears (a siren in the form of a stone cat with its tail being turned by a mummy).
** When Jack causes chaos by giving out dangerous toys on Christmas Eve, the militaries of the world mobilize to stop him, complete with air raid siren.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory'' - "Red alert! Red alert! Andy is coming upstairs!"
** ''WesternAnimation/ToyStory2''
-->'''Woody:''' Yard sale? Sarge! Emergency roll call!\\
'''Sergeant:''' Sir, yes, sir! Red alert! All civilians fall in position now!
* ''Sev Trek: Pus in Boots'' (an Australian CGI spoof of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration''). The ship goes to Red Alert, but it's so loud no-one can hear the captain's orders. But they only did it to make Lt. Barf happy anyway.
-->'''Lt. Barf:''' Captain, we are being hailed. I recommend we go to Red Alert!\\
'''Captain Pinchhard:''' We haven't even met them! Isn't that a little premature?\\
'''Lt. Barf:''' [[MonsterOfTheWeek Every week]] we encounter aliens who try to destroy or take over the ship. It would save a lot of time if we assumed the worst now.
* Toward the end of ''WesternAnimation/InsideOut'', Riley meets a boy her age, who goes nearly catatonic on her. Inside his head, his emotions are running around like headless chickens, while a Red Alert klaxon blares, "Girl! Girl! Girl!"
** Earlier, Red Alert lighting can be seen inside of Riley's father's head as his emotions prepare to Put the foot Down.
* In ''Disney/AladdinAndTheKingOfThieves'', Genie calls for an over-the-top Code Red when the titular King of Thieves shows up at the palace, but calls it off when Aladdin introduces him as his father.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Twice in ''Film/USSIndianapolisMenOfCourage''. The first is just after suffering a bomb hit from a kamikaze in the Opening scene. The second happens just after the ship herself is torpedoed by a Japanese submarine.
* ''Film/DrStrangelove'' was based on a serious UsefulNotes/ColdWar thriller novel by Peter George entitled... ''Red Alert''.
* In the film ''Film/OurManFlint'', after Lloyd Cramden learns that Flint is alive he calls a "Purple Alert".
* ''Film/DiamondsAreForever''. Occurs at an American missile base in North Dakota just before Blofeld's KillSat attacks with its [[FrickinLaserBeams laser beam]].
* ''Film/TheFinalCountdown'' featured two onboard the USS ''Nimitz'' aircraft carrier, though the second one was a bit more subdued as it was more of a preparation montage for the subsequent FighterLaunchingSequence.
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXQ_8e63wmE Clip here.]]
* ''Film/MasterAndCommander'' has a scene where a [[PluckyMiddie middie]] on night watch, suspects an enemy ship is nearby in the fog. Uncertain, he still calls "We shall beat to quarters!". We then see the Napoleonic War version of a ship going into Red Alert and the midshipman's decision proves most prudent as the ship is fired upon and the crew is ready for battle.
** The midshipman is actually reluctant to sound the alarm, so a more decisive officer does so on his behalf. Unfortunately the crew witnessed his indecision -- this and other events cause him to lose their respect.
* In the Cruise version of ''Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds'', the walkers have a siren call. This may have been borrowed from ''Literature/TheTripods'', where the walkers would signal out a siren warning call as they approached.
** More likely this is borrowed from the original book, in which the walkers have sirens. Not really part of this trope though, since they're not used to sound an alert but are apparently used for communication.
* ''Film/CrimsonTide'' depicts the captain of the ''Alabama'' ordering back-to-back drills for "Battle Stations, Torpedo" and "Battle Stations, Missile" [[spoiler: while a very real fire is being fought in another compartment.]] The climax of the film occurs with the crew at Battle Stations, Missile.
* ''Film/ToraToraTora'': Three examples in the film:
** We see all of the American forces on Hawaii leaping into action when they receive word that they will be attacked by Japanese forces... on [[DramaticIrony November 30, 1941.]] This turns out to be a false alarm, [[CryingWolf leading to problems a week later...]]
** The USS ''Ward'' spots a submarine trying to follow another ship into Pearl Harbor, and sounds General Quarters before attacking and destroying the submarine. Unfortunately, [[PoorCommunicationKills their message alerting their higher-ups of the encounter is delayed and doesn't make it to the base commanders in time...]]
** Once the Japanese air attack begins, the entire island erupts in air raid sirens as the Americans are [[OhCrap awakened by the sounds of explosions.]]
* ''Film/OutpostRiseOfTheSpetsnaz''. After Dolokhov and Fyodor escape from their cells, a guard finally stumbles on the bloody mess they left behind and hits the BigRedButton. Sirens blare throughout the ElaborateUndergroundBase.
-->'''Colonel Strasser:''' I want them both crushed. And would someone, kindly, [[SuddenlyShouting SHUT OFF THAT FUCKING NOISE!]]
* ''Film/XMenFirstClass'': As the Soviet freighter approaches the American blockade in the film's version of the UsefulNotes/CubanMissileCrisis, the American fleet sounds General Quarters, which includes the bridge crew donning combat helmets and life vests. Seconds later, the Soviet admiral calls Battle Stations.
* While they don't say "red alert," the [[Franchise/StarWars Imperial Navy]] does have an alarm which qualifies. It's used when the Rebel fighters attack the Death Star in ''Film/ANewHope'', albeit at a higher pitch than subsequent uses; when the ''Avenger'' collides with and scrapes along another Star Destroyer in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack''; and finally, in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'' when Vader's shuttle is approaching and the Empire is evacuating the Death Star II.
* Spoofed in ''Film/ManOfSteel''. After a massive UFO is seen approaching Earth, the word ALERT is shown flashing on a screen, warning that...Lois Lane's photocopier has run out of toner.
* Combined with ThisIsNotADrill in ''Film/{{Threads}}'' when the Sheffield emergency council hears an alarm from the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HANDEL HANDEL Warning Console]].
-->'''HANDEL Warning Console:''' Attack warning RED! Attack warning RED!
-->'''Food Officer (Roger Fisher):''' Is it for real?
-->'''Accommodation Officer:''' Attack warning's ''for bloody real!''
-->'''Clive Sutton:''' Right, get to your stations!
* The climax of ''Film/MisterRoberts'' has the captain throwing the siren on screaming "SOUND THE GENERAL ALARM!" while his hapless crew (all SoldiersAtTheRear) rush around groggily trying to remember where they were last time they had to man the battle stations a year ago. Why? Because someone threw the captain's palm tree overboard.

* The ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'', of course, had to get in on the action, though the original trilogy didn't.
** In Literature/TheThrawnTrilogy, Pellaeon explains to [[MagnificentBastard Grand Admiral Thrawn]] that the wing commander of the scout ships is fairly certain he eluded pursuit, but that he ordered the sentry ships to yellow alert anyway. Thrawn opines that if they were from the [[LaResistance Rebellion]] (as he [[InsistentTerminology insists]] on calling [[TheAlliance the New Republic]]), the ships didn't lose their pursuers. Pellaeon asks if they should go to red, to which Thrawn remarks "There's time."
** ''[[Literature/TheCorellianTrilogy Assault at Selonia]]'' has Han trying to fly a horribly-built Selonian ship. Nearly all the lights on the control panel are green, but that's not good - for Selonians, red is positive, green is disaster. It's noted the reason for this is because Selonian blood is green, as opposed to human red.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'' has the General Quarters (GQ) alarm. While the default sound that plays over the speakers is a harsh buzzer, some navies allow captains to choose their own sound for the "we're going to attack someone soon" variant. The "oh crap we're being attacked without warning" variant, however, remains the normal, recognizable, harsh wail.
* In the book ''Literature/TheAndromedaStrain'', the noise of the sirens going off when areas become contaminated is so loud that it they have to ask someone to turn it down so they can communicate. This tends to highlight the fact that the base systems were not tested properly. This is a major RealLife problem, if a system is not designed correctly.
* ''Literature/AllHands'' has a red alert at the very beginning, and even includes a repeated, ThisIsNotADrill.
* The jinx-affected computer in ''Literature/TheWomanWhoMadeMachinesGoHaywire'' spits out a bunch of the more well known red alerts; without any actual reason (Aside from it being affected by a jinx, of course.).
* The first ''Literature/HoratioHornblower'' novel had its title changed to ''Beat to Quarters'' in the States to emphasize [[AmericanKirbyIsHardcore the exciting naval action]] as opposed to happy returns.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* The name of this trope comes from the Red Alert in ''Franchise/StarTrek''. Over the many series ''Franchise/StarTrek'' had accumulated many variants:
** Yellow Alert - When the ship is approaching a potentially dangerous situation.
** Double Red Alert - Extreme and immediate danger, e.g. a bomb on board is about to explode.
** Blue Alert - The ship is about to enter planetary atmosphere (on ''[[Series/StarTrekVoyager Voyager]]'') or about to use its cloaking device (on ''[[Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine Deep Space Nine]]''). or is experiencing a life support failure (on ''[[Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration Next-Gen]]''). Possibly meant as a general "this might feel weird/we may experience some turbulence" warning.
*** The ''USS Prometheus'' also used Blue Alert for its Multi-Vector Assault Mode.
** Grey Alert - The ship is running out of fuel and is rationing power to a bare minimum (AKA Condition Grey)
** Tactical Alert - The same as Red Alert, and in fact its ancestor. (In the early years of Starfleet, the first ''[[Series/StarTrekEnterprise Enterprise]]'''s systems were not exactly optimized; Red Alert was as much an optimization of emergency systems such as hull plating polarization, allowing said systems to power up in seconds rather than minutes, as it was a warning for the crew.)
** When Reed wanted to create a new emergency protocol that would improve on Tactical Alert, Trip dubs it "[[IncrediblyLamePun Reed Alert]]".
** General Quarters, bringing this full circle.
** There was also a rarely used "Condition Green" which was a distress code to alert the receiver that the landing party had been captured. Given how often it happened, you'd think it would get heard more often. One reason why it wasn't was that it was specified to mean "The landing party has been captured, but don't take any immediate action!".
** Also famously parodied in ''MAD Magazine'':
--->'''Spock:''' Call for General Alert.\\
'''Kirk:''' Paging General Alert! Paging General Alert!\\
'''Spock:''' This is no time for joking around, Captain. We have a major disaster here!\\
'''Kirk:''' Is that so? Then have Major Disaster report to the bridge - '''at once!'''
** In ''Star Trek'' (or at least the later series), however, the use of low lighting is somewhat justified, as it means that all the little light-up buttons on the control panels show up better, and means that the light won't reflect off the glass surfaces.
** On ''Series/StarTrekDiscovery'', the titular starship goes to "Black Alert" whenever they use the experimental "spore drive".
* ''Series/StarTrekVoyager''. In "Year of Hell" Neelix is made a security officer and is being his usual annoying self to the Chief Security Officer, Mr Tuvok.
-->“We're just about done rebuilding the internal security sensors, and we're just about to program the audio signal. Do you want it to say, ‘Intruder alert’ or do you want it to say something more dramatic like ‘Warning – intruder alert!’ or ‘Intruders among us! Danger! Danger! Intruders among us!’?
* Played straight on ''Series/BabylonFive'', though notably, while the alarms are sounding loudly throughout the station, warning the station's occupants to seek shelter and the pilots and security guards to prepare for battle, the command center itself is devoid of the alarms and lights. This is to help the command crew avoid any distractions or hindrances to communication, particularly since they're the ones who ''start'' the alarm to begin with. Worth noting how the command crew reacts to the Red Alert changes over time, probably as they become more experienced with such situations. In one second season battle, they have to close the blast doors covering the command center's picture window just in time to avoid getting a piece of debris sent flying into them. In the third season, as soon as a battle starts, they immediately shut the blast shield (and sure enough, midway through the battle, a crippled enemy fighter crashes into the shield hard enough to cause the internal bulkhead to buckle).
* Averted and then played straight in the first and second seasons of ''Series/SeaQuestDSV''. The original featured a rather low-key alarm klaxon and the 1MC call "General Quarters, all hands to battle stations," along with stock shots of watertight hatches sealing throughout the boat. The second season played the trope to the hilt, adding in lots of flashing red lights and making the siren painfully loud.
* ''Series/RedDwarf'' parodied the hell out of this trope and played it for laughs most of the time,
** The first example kicked off with an exchange highlighting how pointless it was in their circumstances:
--->'''Rimmer:''' Go to Blue Alert.\\
'''Lister:''' Why? There's no one to alert, we're all here.\\
'''Rimmer:''' I would just feel better if we were all on our toes because we were all aware this is a blue alert situation.\\
'''Lister:''' We all are on our toes... ''(and so on)''
** Famously parodied:
--->'''Rimmer:''' Go to Blue Alert. ''[A blue lightbulb at the back of the ship starts flashing silently ]''\\
(Some time later)\\
'''Rimmer:''' Step up to Red Alert.\\
'''Kryten:''' ''[dead serious]'' Sir, are you ''absolutely'' sure? It DOES mean changing the bulb!
** What do you get combing Red and Blue Alert? This:
--->'''Holly:''' Purple Alert! Purple Alert!\\
'''Lister:''' What's a Purple Alert?\\
'''Holly:''' Well, it's worse than a Blue Alert, but better than a Red Alert. Kind of a Mauve Alert...
** A new shade -- brown. That can't be pretty.
--->'''Kryten''': We must take action! Be bold, positive, decisive! Suggest we move from Blue Alert to Red Alert, sir!\\
'''Cat''': Forget red! Let's go all the way up to Brown Alert!\\
'''Kryten''': There's no such ''thing'' as Brown Alert, sir!\\
'''Cat''': [[BringMyBrownPants You won't be sayin' that in a minute!]] [[IWarnedYou And don't say I didn't alert you!]]
** And combined with CurseOfBabel with Holy.
-->"Rude alert! Rude alert! An electrical fire has knocked out my voice recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database. [[AbandonShip Abandon shop!]] [[ThisIsNotADrill This is not a daffodil.]] Repeat, this is not a daffodil."
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** In the first season of the revived ''Doctor Who'', the Doctor tells Rose that the interstellar color for danger is mauve, and most alien species consider humanity's penchant for red positively {{camp}}.
---> '''The Doctor''': Oh, the misunderstandings - all those Red Alerts, all that dancing.
** Sure enough in "World Enough And Time", Missy hears a red alert klaxon and starts dancing to it. Mind you, that's likely because she's rather addicted to chaos.
** In the ActionPrologue of "A Christmas Carol", the Ponds try to notify the Doctor of a crashing spaceship.
-->'''Rory:''' The light's stopped flashing...does this mean he's coming or do I need to change the bulb?
** [=UNIT=] in particular has been shown to have a penchant for red, employing "Red Alert", "Code Red Sontaran", and "''Ultimate'' Red Alert'' in season 4.
** The TARDIS has what could be considered a type of Red Alert, the cloister bell, which rings to signify a galactic disaster, i.e the end of the universe. Though it's been used in the revival series to signify a serious threat to the Tardis.
* The French-Canadian TV show ''Dans une galaxie près de chez vous'' poked fun at this numerous times, with such alerts has "Yellow Alert with suspenders and brown socks" "Purple alert with a ketchup stain" etc... One episode reveals that the ship's crew carries a binder explaining the meaning of each and every alert.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** They avoided Red Alert, primarily because it's set in the modern era or TwentyMinutesIntoTheFuture; the human starships use General Quarters.
** The "Unscheduled Offworld Activation" alert, where someone potentially hostile dials in to the SGC gate at a period when they're not expecting arrivals, does use spinning red lights and sirens.
* Pretty much every season of [[Series/TwentyFour 24]] features a CTU "lockdown", complete with stereotypical klaxon sirens and flashing red lights.
* The new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' has the marvelous three-troper:
-->'''Felix Gaeta:''' Action stations, action stations. Set Condition One throughout the ship. ThisIsNotADrill.
** The series prided itself on being more like a real ship, with accurate (or at least believable) use of jargon, than other sci-fi series. Three vital pieces of information into three short sentences; even if it wasn't accurate, it would probably still be a very efficient system. An ''aversion'' of DefconFive -- in naval parlance, 'Condition One' is sealing all compartments in full battle-readiness (as cited in the second paragraph of the trope's main body), so it's a ''correct'' use of jargon.)
* ''Series/BattlestarGalactica1978'' had this happen regularly whenever the Cylons attacked.
* From a review of the ''Series/BlakesSeven'' episode "Bounty":
-->"...to say nothing of the guards' color codes, which include Red Standby Alert (apparently meaning stand around and do nothing), Red Mobilisation (wander around outside the house), and Blue Mobilisation (allow the President and his daughter to escape in a vintage car accompanied by two terrorists)."
** In the final episode, MasterComputer Orac is preventing the ship's computer Slave from interrupting his conversation. Slave eventually cuts in by triggering the red alert, which is appropriate as [[NotNowKiddo he wanted to let them know that the ship was about to be attacked!]]
* At around the same time, ''Series/ChappellesShow'' did a similar gag. This was extended in the DeletedScene on the DVD, where after several color combos and unusually specific shades, it ended in "The color of these shoes".
* Briefly featured in the short-lived alien invasion show ''Series/{{Threshold}}'', when the heroes have reason to believe their secret base has been compromised: in addition to the flashing red lights (no klaxon), every regular ceiling light in the building is extinguished and replaced by ''strobes'' for no apparent reason.
* Parodied in ''Series/GetSmart''; they have Red Alert, but they also have things like "Magenta Alert" and "Blue Alert".
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'': This being a miniseries in the naval setting, they use "beat to quarters" quite a lot when they are supposed to prepare for a battle at sea.
* ''Series/{{JAG}}'': The trope is seen in several episodes in the contemporary U.S. Navy sense.
* It also appears once on JAG's successor show ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' when Gibbs alerts a destroyer's skipper of a potential biohazard threat.
* ''Series/{{UFO}}''. SID (Space Intruder Detector), SHADO Control and Moonbase all call them whenever a UFO is detected, so it happens on an average of once per episode.
* Jokingly {{Discussed}} in an episode of ''Series/NCISLosAngeles''--when Kensi's cell phone rings and sounds like a red alert siren, Deeks asks if they now have to man their battle stations.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest''. In "God Mode" our heroes break into a secret government facility, setting off the red alert. The OhCrap moment occurs when the noise and sirens ''stop'', because they know [[BigBad someone with the authority to cancel the alert]] has just arrived on the scene.
* ''Series/{{Quark}}''. [[ObstructiveBureaucrat Dr Otto Palindrome]] is introduced talking about how the crew of his SpaceStation are able to calmly and rationally handle any crisis. Behind him through a window is the control room: the word DISASTER shows up in red, and the crew start arguing and fainting over the unseen crisis. Otto then turns on the communicator and the room is filled with the klaxon blaring.
-->'''Otto:''' Until now.
* Practically every episode of ''Series/MightyMorphinPowerRangers'' would have the alarm in the Command Center going off (represented as a spinning light within a rhombus-shaped shell) whenever there was trouble afoot. ''Series/PowerRangersZeo'' replaced it with a spinning pink and orange light, and ''Series/PowerRangersTurbo'' replaced ''that'' with a six-segment trapezoidal light-up sign, both of which made the original alarm's noise. ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' had the typical blares used inside the Aquabase, ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' also had similar blares inside the Delta Base and so did ''Series/PowerRangersRPM'' in the garage. (Other series may not have blares at all, or alternate means of notification- ie. [[Series/PowerRangersWildForce Princess Shayla's]] bubbling fountain.)
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'' has officers bellowing "beat to quarters!" several times an episode, being about WoodenShipsAndIronMen in the days of Napoleon. In "Mutiny" the sailors have significant trouble manning their stations properly since Captain Sawyer has just given them all double rum.

* The freestyle techno group K5 have a song titled [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4FERz2uL2Nw "Red Alert"]], which opens with a [[StockSoundEffects "General Alarm"]] naval klaxon and later has a voice clip [[TitleDrop announcing the title]].
* [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iSdhTrW3Hw "Party Alarm"]] by German tech-trance group Aquagen begins with an alert siren, then has a siren-like synth horn following the TitleScream.
* Armand van Helden's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lfPRTroEMTI "Witch Doktor"]] (unrelated to the [[Franchise/AlvinAndTheChipmunks Chipmunks]] song "Witch Doctor") periodically uses a stock Klaxon™ horn sample.

* Spelling R-E-D in ''Pinball/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'' starts this, where the entire playfield is illuminated with red flashers and all shots are worth 1 million points.
* In ''Pinball/ThePartyZone'', when the "Big Bang" jackpot is lit, every light on the playfield turns red.
* Multiball in ''Pinball/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' begins with Red Alert klaxons blaring as the ''Enterprise'' prepares to open fire on the Borg ship.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* Since a substantial amount of the fun in ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' is screwing with the players/being screwed with by the GM, this kind of thing is actively encouraged, particularly of the "too-loud-to-hear-the-actual-instructions" variety. At least one of the adventure modules has a sequence in which [something bad happens] and, as the players are scrambling in an undoubtedly doomed attempt to fix it, it's suggested that the GM continually shout AOOOGA, AOOOGA while conspicuously looking at a stopwatch ... if he can't find an actual klaxon to use.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'' plays with this trope and [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience Colour Coded For Your Inconvenience]] - First an intruder alert causes Code Red, which later escalates to Code Green, and after the prisoners escape to Code Purple. Hope wonders aloud what the heck it all means, and then it's completely lampshaded when Colonel Nabaat starts having her epic VillainousBreakdown, shouting "''That means we're Code Yellow. No, wait, Code Blue?. If we were Orange, that would mean...?''" But then Primarch Dysley puts an end to it and remarks that "''Desperate times demand flexibility'': [{{beat}}] ''[[SnowMeansDeath Code]] [[KillEmAll White!]]"
* ''VideoGame/HalfLife1'': The Black Mesa Facility would like to inform you that pressing the alert button as a joke is not OK, ''Dr. Freeman''. (Not real dialog, just a joke since you can turn it on and piss people off, and later on it is on by default and you can turn it off ForTheEvulz).
** ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'' does something similar: After disabling some huge thumpers and getting bugbait to control antlions, one of the Combine Bunkers has an alarm going off. Inside, there's a red button that you can push to turn it off.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekArmada II'', alerts contain a different approach, Green alert is were a ship will not attack unless given a strict order to do so (This includes not firing back), Yellow alert will have ships fire at enemy ships and stations if fired upon, Red alert (Default) has ships attack enemy ships and stations if there in range.
* In ''VideoGame/StarTrekBridgeCommander'', you can order Saffi (your first officer) to set the ship's alert status. Green alert is shields and weapons offline, yellow alert brings up shields to 100% power for protecting the ship from minor hazards (nebulae, etc.) and red alert brings up shields and weapons.
* ''VideoGame/StarTrekOnline'' features condition red when the player engages an enemy, both in space and on away missions which prevents the player from performing non-combat actions such as full impulse.
* In the PC version of ''VideoGame/StarTrekStarfleetAcademy'', one of the music tracks is called "Red Alert". Fittingly, it typically plays during missions when the shooting starts.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Crusader}}'' series of video games bring the trope off of ships and into the world at large. Whenever the alarm goes off, big red bulbs light up (and some ''spin'', like old-style police flashers), klaxons sound, and a bland female voice says things like, "Code Red!" Oddly, nine times out of the ten the Silencer, usually the ''cause'' of the Red Alert, can shut it off by ''tapping a switch on the wall''.
* Used reasonably in the ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity'' series: a warning alarm sounds when a hostile vessel turns its attention on you - and then promptly shuts up, letting you frag the baddies and/or get the heck out of Dodge as appropriate. (If you have an [[EnemyDetectingRadar IFF Decoder]], you may also get to see the enemy vessel's dot turn red at this moment.)
* Similarly, in the ''[[VideoGame/{{X}} X-Universe]]'' series, when a hostile ship comes within about 10 kilometers, you hear a single bleep, then the background music changes to the battle soundtrack.
* The ''VideoGame/EvilGenius'' video game has three alert levels: Normal (green button, normal duties), Warning (yellow button, everybody is armed and ready), and Danger (red button, everybody is armed, ready, runs, and fires at will). Warning and Danger both cause a klaxon to sound continually in the background. [[MostAnnoyingSound This gets annoying really fast]], especially at Yellow Alert. All you want is for your minions to walk around armed, in case enemy soldiers show up. So why do you have to keep listening to that annoying klaxon? There is, fortunately, a glitch, where if you double-tap the button in rapid succession the klaxon stops.
* ''VideoGame/{{Bosconian}}'' features a "CONDITION" indicator. If it's "GREEN", that means no enemies are attacking, but it will eventually change to "YELLOW" ("Alert! Alert!"), and you will have to destroy one of the hexagon-like space stations to get it back to "GREEN". Condition "RED!!" (as it appears in-game) only appears if you take too long to complete a stage. During this time, the enemies attack relentlessly, making more likely for you to lose a life.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** In ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'', when a Scarab is about to explode, a submarine klaxon-type sound is heard. The same sound is heard when destroying the large artillery emplacements in ''VideoGame/HaloReach''.
** At the beginning of ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', when Capt. Keyes is convinced that there's no way to sneak past the Covenant battle group stationed at Installation 04, he orders the ''Pillar of Autumn'' brought to "Combat Alert Alpha". Klaxons sound throughout the ship, the crew and Marine complement get to their stations, and the cryogenics bay thaws out the Master Chief.
** In ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'', when you destroy the Kraken's reactor, a klaxon can be heard, as well as an Elite yelling for everyone to abandon ship.
--->'''Soldier''': A red spy is in the base?!
** And of course actual alerts during gameplay: "Alert! The enemy has taken our intelligence!" And for that matter: "A spy is sapping my sentry!"
* Played straight in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption,'' as the ''GFS Olympus'' goes into "Condition Red" during the Space Pirate attack at the beginning of the game.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Disgaea}}'' series, the arrival of a crew of pirates in the Item World is preceded by the sound of klaxons and the screen flashing red a few times.
* ''VideoGame/{{Darius}}'':
** [[BossWarningSiren Announcing boss fights with a loud siren and a screen-wide warning]] is a hallmark of the franchise.
** In ''Dariusburst Chronicle Saviours'' in CS Mode, clearing certain missions will trigger a "WARNING" screen on the mission map and disable surrounding missions, replacing them with alternate versions until those new missions are completed.
* Armor Games' WebGame ''In3structotank'' during the introductory sequence. As Dirk Danger is drinking coffee a light descends from above and starts flashing red, causing him to do a SpitTake.
* ''VideoGame/MagicalDoropie'' introduces {{Boss Battle}}s with a red flashing screen saying "ALERT!!"
* In ''VideoGame/MegaManXCommandMission'', and, even earlier, in ''VideoGame/MegaManX4'' {{Boss Battle}}s open with an alarm siren and the word "'''WARNING'''" flashing in red stencil letters.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'', the [[ILoveNuclearPower nuclear-powered]] final boss of ''Subterranean Animism'', Utsuho Reiuji, is unique in that she announces her spellcards not with the generic noise and SuperMovePortraitAttack, but with sirens and '''CAUTION''' scrolling across the screen.
* ''VideoGame/RockRaiders'' players could sound "Action Stations" if a monster or slimy slug showed up, which caused any armed Rock Raiders to start attacking the critters in question. It also sounded automatically if a building was damaged.
* ''VideoGame/FTLFasterThanLight'' has any number of warnings that alert you to things like your hull integrity running down, enemy {{Boarding Part|y}}ies, and the [[FinalBoss Rebel Flagship]]'s dreaded [[LimitBreak Power Surge]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Descent}}'': "[[SelfDestructMechanism Self Destruct Sequence Activated]]", followed by klaxons, [[EpilepticFlashingLights strobing lights]], and [[InterfaceScrew seismic tremors]], after [[LoadBearingBoss the destruction of each reactor or boss]].
* The final non-ZeroEffortBoss boss of ''VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Gaiden'' has no background music. Instead, you're treated to several minutes of emergency klaxons.
* A subtle example: in ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'', every time abduction sites are located, or a UFO is detected, a small warning alarm goes off (code yellow). When a terror site occurs, a louder, more insistent alarm is trigger (code red). The "Activation" cutscene at the beginning of the game also shows the red alert as soldiers are scrambled for the first time.
** A less subtle example happens in the ''Enemy Within'' expansion during the XCOM [[HoldTheLine Base Defense]] mission. [[MissionControl Bradford]] even states "Security Status RED" before fighting off an attacker.
* A rather annoying example in ''VideoGame/TheJourneymanProject''. The [[UnderwaterBase deep-sea military base]] NORAD VI in 2112 has an alarm perpetually going off accompanied by a bland voice repeating that sleeping gas is in the vents (which you have to avoid using an oxygen mask). And it lasts for ''almost the entire time zone''. The remake, ''Pegasus Prime'' explicitly classifies the situation as "Red Alert", slightly quiets the alarm and voice, and adds a section involving piloting a submarine from one base to another, while avoiding torpedoes fired by the operators of other subs and the bases.
* ''VideoGame/{{Space Quest I|The Sarien Encounter}}'' and its VGA remake start with Roger Wilco waking up from a nap in the janitor's closet on the starlab Arcada, finding too late that the ship has been invaded by Sariens and the ship will self-destruct in 15 minutes.
** In the VGA remake, there are two electronic signs that say "Red Alert". You can smell and taste them with the extra cursors, with hilarious results.
*** Smell: "You notice a smell common to electronics which haven't had power applied to them in a long time."
*** Taste: "Boy, was that a bad idea! Your tongue now bears the residue left behind by adventurers who, like yourself, have felt the need to press various and sundry organs against the sign."
* ''VideoGame/SimCity2000'' has a civil defense siren that goes off in the event of a disaster, whether selected by the player or automatically started in-game. There's an option for "No Disasters", and a special track is called "Disaster Decision" in some versions.
* ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyModernWarfare2'': "[[DeusExNukina TACTICAL NUKE INCOMING!]] [[OhCrap BROOWEEP! BROOWEEP! BROOWEEP! BROOWEEP!...]]"
* In ''VideoGame/PN03'', after defeating the [[LoadBearingBoss Mission 9 boss]], a [[SelfDestructMechanism self-destruct]] [[TimedMission timer]] starts, the lights strobe on and off, and [[StockSoundEffects a stock submarine-style klaxon]] begins blaring.
* Bosses are announced by a klaxon plus more or less Engrish in ''VideoGame/BlazingStar''.
* ''VideoGame/RayCrisis'': "[[CriticalAnnoyance Encroachment over 90%!]] [[BrokenRecord Encroachment over 90%!]] [[MostAnnoyingSound Encroachment over 90%!]]"
* In ''VideoGame/TwistedMetal: Black'''s Prison Passage stage, klaxons sound followed by PA system announcements as the ship the player starts on prepares to dock at the prison. There's also the [[CriticalAnnoyance low health klaxon]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'' has "Time Bomb Set! Get Out Fast!" after destroying [[LoadBearingBoss Mother Brain]]. The Famicom Disk System version also has a buzzing klaxon during the {{escape sequence}}.
* ''VideoGame/SuperMetroid'' has two Red Alert situations; at the beginning, when Ridley attacks Ceres Station and kidnaps the Metroid hatchling, triggering the SelfDestructMechanism; and at the end, when Zebes is about to undergo an EarthShatteringKaboom. In both instances, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZJGM4gSon4 a klaxon is integrated into the music]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Flashback}}'', one of the jobs in New Washington is a TimedMission where you must race to the city's nuclear reactor core to stop it from {{going critical}}, with alert klaxons blaring along the way.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear (MSX)'''s music for when Snake is spotted by the enemy is actually called "Red Alert" on the soundtrack album. A klaxon alarm also plays in certain alert situations, such as triggering a laser tripwire.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* When the tennis player from the [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/14p2 Death Volley arc]] in ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' is injured, he sounds a [[IncrediblyLamePun Med Alert.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In a ''WesternAnimation/HarveyBirdmanAttorneyAtLaw'' episode that parodies the Homeland Security color alert system, code red is followed by code ''blackwatch plaid'', which is then followed by an alert consisting of the cover art from Rush's ''Moving Pictures'' album.
* [[{{Franchise/Transformers}} Red Alert!]] [[MemeticMutation WOO WOO WOO WOO!]]
** [[DontExplainTheJoke To completely ruin the joke]], there is a Transformer named Red Alert. The meme comes from a Red Alert toy [[note]]Which, despite the fact that the meme is associated most strongly with the G1 character, was actually a toy of the ''Anime/TransformersArmada'' character[[/note]] that would say his name followed by a brief siren if you pushed a button. "Red! Uh-lurt! Woo woo woo woo!"
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', the Tribunal calls a "Purple Alert" when Nathan Explosion is elected governor of Florida. It's ''extremely'' irritating.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheHerculoids'' episode "Prisoners of the Bubblemen". After Dorno frees Zandor and Tarra, the enemy leader orders "Sound the alarm" and a tower starts a lighthouse-like rotating red light at its top, with a whooping siren accompaniment.
* ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuest'' TOS
** Episode "The Sea Haunt". As the title creature climbs onto the deck of the ship the captain tells a crewman to "Sound the alarm! All hands on deck!", and an alarm bell starts ringing.
** In both "Arctic Splashdown" and "The Robot Spy" there are "scramble alerts" at Air Force bases, with jets taking off. In "The Robot Spy" the Duty Officer actually says he's going to call a "Red Scramble" and pushes a BigRedButton with the label "Red Alert".

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Britain's version of [[DefconFive the DEFCON system]] was the BIKINI alert system, which operates in this manner. The colour scale consists of (in ascending order) White, Black, [[OneOfTheseIsNotLikeTheOthers Black Special]], Amber and Red. It was replaced by "UK Threat Level" system in 2006, which isn't a color-coded system.
** The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HANDEL HANDEL system]], which was the UK's Nuclear Attack warning system and companion to the BIKINI states, also had this, with "Attack Warning Red" being the cue to set off the Four Minute Warning. Other colours included "Fallout Warning Black," which meant imminent fallout danger, "Fallout Warning Grey" which was for expected fallout and "Attack Warning White" which was the all clear.
* TruthInTelevision: The United States Department of Homeland Security Terror Alert Level, which is on [[color:yellow:yellow]] by default. There are two lower levels ([[color:blue:Blue]] and [[color:green:Green]]), but they have never been called. [[color:orange:Orange Alert]] has been called a few times, but [[color:red:Red Alert]] has only been called once, after some idiot terrorists tried to sneak liquid explosives onboard airplanes coming in from England and have caused problems for millions of air travellers since.
** Shortly after the terror alert system was first created, Jay Leno did a bit on ''Series/TheTonightShow'' spoofing it. The final mock colour alert was "White with a black dot," which meant "Terrorists are impersonating Jay Leno."
** The system was also spoofed by Stephen Colbert in the opening on one episode of ''Series/TheColbertReport''. Colbert reported that the alert level had been raised to brown, because "somebody spilled coffee on the chart."
** Another spoof, this one from ''Series/SaturdayNightLive'': a color-coded system is introduced and explained, but all the colors are virtually-indistinguishable shades of white (white, off-white, bone, putty, etc.)
** Also mocked by comedian Creator/RonWhite. He says if it were up to him, there would be two levels of alert: "Go find a helmet", and "Put on the damm helmet".
* Some real-life fire alarms sound like red alert klaxons.
* HMNB Devonport, in Plymouth, UK, tests the Nuclear Accident Siren every Monday morning at 1130. This is a massive, WWII-esque 'The bombers are coming!' alarm that can be heard about a mile away in parts of the city and is a little unnerving if you haven't heard it before or aren't expecting it.
** This is common to all sites holding significant amounts of nuclear material, such as the Harwell Campus, containing the former Atomic Energy Research Establishment where much of Britain's nuclear research and development was done. The timings can differ though, with siren tests at Harwell only carried out monthly.
* Residents of the midwestern United States are no doubt intimately familiar with [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zH5ZjMWN_zw&NR=1 tornado sirens]], which are designed to emit an amazingly loud wailing sound when a [[DoNotTouchTheFunnelCloud tornado]] is spotted nearby, warning everybody to seek shelter immediately.
** Although all it usually does is either prompt people to run outside and see the funnel cloud or to sit inside and turn the TV to the local news to see how close it is.
** Military installations will often use a similar system, which include the added convenience of a distinctive alarm reserved for incoming enemy attack.
** Especially in the suburbs and rural areas of the northeastern US and in rural Germany, but also in other places around the world that rely on volunteer firefighters, these sirens will often be instead used to alert volunteer firefighters, almost always alongside pagers. However, many communities have begun to remove their fire sirens due to noise complaints and rising call volumes.
* Some retail businesses such as UsefulNotes/{{Walmart}} have color-coded alerts announced over the [=PA=] system to advise employees of emergencies such as a natural disaster (code black), armed person on store grounds (code brown), medical emergency (code white), bomb threat (code blue), and fire (code red), among others. This includes the dreaded Code Adam ([[AdultFear missing child]]).
* Modern US Navy warships actually have several alarms, which all sound distinct so you can tell precisely which emergency you are in. They are the Collision, Chemical, Flight Crash, and of course General alarms. Each alarm is usually followed by an announcement re-enforcing the alarm and giving specific directions. Additionally, a brass bell is rung over the announcing system in the case of a fire, flooding, or other damage to the ship, with directions on where to go to fight the casualty.
** For example: *GENERAL ALARM SOUNDS* "General Quarters, General Quarters, all hands man your battlestations. Proceed up and forward to starboard, down and aft to port. Reason for General Quarters is: (missile inbound/torpedo sighted/alien attack/drill/etc)."
** For a fire: *BELLS SOUND* "Fire, fire fire! Fire in compartment (compartment number), (compartment name). Away the at-sea fire party, provide from Repair 5. All hands not involved, stand clear of the scene."
*** On a Carrier however, this changes. Carriers require '''''everyone''''' to man their assigned fire stations and prepare to fight a fire. Not reacting to these alarms can result in serious injury or death as was the case with the USS Forestall, many of the people killed in the fire were ''asleep'' when the fire broke out on the flight deck, and were killed when the fire spread to their quarters after two large bombs detonated. The policy changed after that, and came in really handy a year and a half later when a similar fire broke out aboard USS Enterprise. Having all hands assisting with fire suppression enabled the ship to get the fire under control within a matter of hours, losing only 28, compared to the 134 aboard Forestall.
* For German U-Boats, a crash (or emergency) dive would begin by someone shouting "ALARM!!!" Afterwards, an alarm bell would sound throughout the boat as the crew rushed to get to their diving stations. As the engine crew sealed the exhaust vents, shut down the diesel engines, and switched to the electric motors, all available crew would rush forward to the torpedo room in order to give the boat extra weight to pull it down while the forward ballast tanks were opened. They were [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eVBPGZEVRH0 authentically recreated]] in the film ''Film/DasBoot''.
** "Alarm" is also the German go-to word for red alert and is used for any military situation in which readiness must be immediate.
* In the Age Of Sail, drums were commonly used to sound the alarm, since they could be heard throughout the ship. This was not only done when they had spotted an enemy, but would also sometimes be done as a matter of routine at daybreak, as this was the time they were most likely to be sighted by an enemy, meaning it was best to be prepared for a fight.
** Another old pre-siren alarm used on Civil War-era ironclads was a gragger, which was a large ratchet-type device where a board attached to a rotating mechanism would be spun by a coiled spring around a large ratchet gear which would be static and attached to a post on the deck, producing a loud clacking sound as the board moved over the gear's teeth. If you've ever heard a gragger, you know that even the small ones can be ''loud'' so you can only imagine what one the size of a small naval cannon anchored to the deck would sound like to sleeping sailors.

!!Emergency Squad Scramble Examples:

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Ghostbusters 1984}}''. The first time a call comes in, Janine hits the siren and the title characters do a Emergency Squad Scramble to get dressed and take off in the Ectomobile.
** Justified in that they set up shop in an old, abandoned, apparently-still-functional, yet remarkably cheap firehouse. The confused look on everyone's face for about 5-10 seconds after the bells start going implies that, in-universe at least, this wasn't part of the plan and Janine just felt like doing it.
** The surprised look is because it's their first job ever. The comedy comes from the fact that Janice had just assured the client [[BlatantLies they'll be very discrete]] -- cue flashing lights and sirens.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/CodeRed'' had a really dramatic Emergency Squad Scramble with a large firehouse crew and fleet, including the Fire Chief in his own car, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zIuMyW5ZS0&feature=related as shown here.]]
* ''Series/LondonsBurning'' usually featured a similar but lower-key scene centered on one or two fire engines.
* ''Franchise/{{Emergency}}'' had the distinctive Quick Call system where each station has its own series of tones to indicate it is being called up and a klaxon that sounds to confirm the Station 51 is being deployed. The dispatcher would then, along with destination info, specify "Squad" for the medics or "Engine" for the fire engine, or "Station" for both. Once, a very tired John Gage mixed them up when awakened and climbed on the engine rear by mistake, with [=DeSoto=] yelling behind him "IT'S NOT FOR US!"
* In ''Series/SWAT1975'', the opening credits started with the team responding to an alert over their radio by gearing up and boarding their police van. As seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Iwp1d7eKbA here]].
* This is a staple of ''Series/ChicagoFire'', with activities at Firehouse 51 coming to a halt when the distinctive klaxon goes off and the dispatcher announces, in the event of a major call out, "Battalion 25, Engine 51, Truck 81, Squad 3, Ambulance 61: [TYPE OF EMERGENCY] at [ADDRESS]".

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The TabletopRPG ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' supplement "Neo-Anarchists' Guide to Real Life'' mentioned how exciting it was to watch a [=DocWagon=] Crisis Response Team respond to a crisis "Code Blue" alert.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/XCOMUFODefense'': The opening animation begins with aliens attacking an unidentified city, followed by a X-COM squad mobilizing in response. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6aIp5dHKiY Complete with flashing alert signal.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FiremanSam'': "All present and correct, sir!" "Right, let's go!"

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The underground WWII Cabinet War Rooms in London did this trope with classic British understatement. Their air raid alarm was a modest doorbell at the exit stairs, with the sign "This bell ringing indicates immediate danger overhead". Bunker occupants were thus warned that going outside was temporarily inadvisable.
* A variation on this trope occurs in hospital emergency departments, in which an ambulance crew can radio a hospital dispatcher for "medical control" - asking a hospital-based doctor for instructions on how to manage a critically ill/injured patient while en route. The dispatcher's radio will emit a loud, harsh buzz/honk sound, audible throughout the triage area, when such a call is placed. If the call warrants assembling a resuscitation team, the dispatcher will then issue an overhead page to the rest of the department, indicating what the emergency is (adult or pediatric, medical or trauma) and how long before it arrives.
** It is also worth note that most hospitals DO have a "code red." It is used in case of fire. (other common codes are blue, in case of cardiac arrest; ADAM, in case of missing persons; triage, in case of a large amount of incoming emergency patients; and some sort of bomb threat code.)
* This is also how most fire departments work. Tones will come over the PA system followed by the dispatcher saying which units are to be dispatched and the nature and location of the call.
** The tones have another purpose besides an audible alert. Each department in an area will have distinct two-tone alerts that are used to un-squelch pagers and radios, so as to not hear the radio all day unless a call comes in. Firefighters and EMS workers can tell who is being dispatched just by recognizing the tones.
*** In communities with volunteer fire and EMS, these tones activate pagers and, if a fire department still has it, a control box in the station that activates a siren. However, many communities have removed their sirens due to noise complaints.
** Fire stations in countries where the fire department and ambulance service are separate organisations usually use a simple bell or klaxon to summon the crews to their vehicle or vehicles. British fire stations usually send details about the call-out to an old school dot-matrix printer loaded with carbon paper; ambulances, which are usually off-station to shorten response times and are sometimes called upon to transfer patients between hospitals, have police-style radio sets instead.
*** Many paid fire departments also use this system instead of tones, such as New York City and Chicago. This is because they are both too large and too busy for radio tones.
** Before there was computer-aided dispatching, radios, or printers, there was the Fire Alarm Box System, the most well-known being the Gamewell system made in Massachusetts, where a majority of fire departments still use this system. This utilizes red fire alarm boxes on each corner as well as a telegraph system. When a box is pulled, it goes to a fire alarm office, who will then retransmit the box number to the stations needed for the call. Paid fire departments who use this system, such as Boston, where this system was first installed in 1852, will have bells in their stations to ring out the box number closest to the emergency. For volunteer departments, they may have a Gamewell Diaphone, a horn that will blow the box number. As with sirens, many communities have removed diaphones as well as a variety of other horns due to noise complaints.

!!Scramble Run Examples:

* In the ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'' novel ''[[Literature/HandOfThrawn Specter of the Past]]'', we are treated to two separate chapters starting with the battle alarm going off at an unfair moment for [[BadassNormal Wedge Antilles]]: the first time in the middle of dessert, the second in the middle of the night. (His commander was feeling hunchy, though, and so Rogue Squadron were already sleeping in their ships...)

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{UFO}}''. The voice of MasterComputer and early warning system SID: [[PunctuatedForEmphasis "Red--Alert--Red--Alert--U-F-O--U-F-O."]] One of the most direct Battle of Britain homages on this page, not surprising given that Gerry Anderson spent his National Service in the RAF.
** Moonbase called them too. SHADO Control once called a "Maximum Security Alert - Condition Red".

* ''VideoGame/WingCommander'':
** In the original game, the FighterLaunchingSequence included a shot of pilots running down a passageway to their ships while red lights were flashing for a red alert, even with routine, previously planned missions where there was no need to rush.
** In ''Wing Commander IV'', Blair's OhCrap moment about the heavy carrier ''Vesuvius'' turning around to engage the light carrier ''Intrepid'' is immediately followed by him calling "Battlestations!", and rushing off to his fighter to launch in defense of the ''Intrepid''.
* ''VideoGame/{{Starlancer}}'' has a short cutscene of fighter crews running along the corridor while a red light flashes. One can only assume the Squadron Leader's briefings have a tendency to overrun.
* ''VideoGame/StarFox'': "BUREEP! BUREEP! BUREEP! Emergency! Emergency! [[FighterLaunchingSequence Incoming enemy fighters, prepare for launch!]]"

* Benjamin Glee thinks [[http://intragalacticcomic.com/2008/10/13/004-travel-advice/ strafing]] is the best way to show you're focused, even if there isn't a Red Alert.
* ''Webcomic/AirForceBlues'' had Barbie eating a sandwich when the the red light came on, followed by his squadron commander yelling at him to SCRAMBLE!

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats'' has their scramble alarm linked to Callie Briggs' communicator. It sounds the alert buzzer and flashes the red light throughout the main building in the salvage yard, especially in the garage where they often are fixing cars. Whenever it goes off, it's time to move move move!
* ''WesternAnimation/ReBoot'': When Megabyte attacks the Principal Office in Bad Bob, a guard binome presses a large red button causing red lights to flash, claxons to sound, and the [[ComputerVoice system voice]] to keep calmly repeating "Scramble". Six binomes are shown running to their CPU flying cars and taking off.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Most uses of this trope can be traced to the real-life Battle of Britain, the first time that radar technology allowed defending fighters enough warning to wait on the ground rather than running constant standing patrols. The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Britain_(film) 1969 film]] features many examples, with pilots lounging in the sun in full flight gear until the dispatcher rings the scramble bell.
* This practice still goes on today in UsefulNotes/{{NATO}}, where it's called Quick Reaction Alert or QRA for short. The British used it for their V-bombers (which were bombed up), where you possibly had as little as five minutes before nukes started landing, the instruction being take off and head for the "start line" .
** The far more common version of this, on a nearly daily basis during the UsefulNotes/ColdWar and about monthly now involves fighter jets (usually two) being scrambled to intercept and escort away Soviet/Russian "Bear" bombers who have entered NATO-monitored airspace to test reaction times- i.e. for the fun of it.
* In modern times, many military installations will have a public address system that is used to warn of imminent attack or natural disaster, in a RealLife version of CannedOrdersOverLoudspeaker. For the alarms related to enemy attacks, the American military uses a color-coded alarm system, with Red typically being reserved for imminent or ongoing large-scale attacks.
** The tradition dates back to UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, during which the radio broadcast "Condition Red" was used to warn anyone with a radio that the sender had detected an imminent enemy attack, usually but not always by enemy aircraft. "Very Red" was also used a couple of times in the Pacific to describe very large attacks.