->''"This is TheCaptain speaking. We're just about to enter the patrol area. From now until the time we return there will be no drills. All alarms are real."''
-->-- Announcement made on US nuclear submarine during 1961

Cautionary statement during a time of military emergency to inform personnel (and the audience) that any alarms or sirens are signals of imminent threat, and that they should be prepared to respond accordingly. Since actual drills and other training exercises are clearly announced as such (keep reading to learn why), this is TruthInTelevision.

On modern warships, drills are conducted frequently to prepare the crew for some emergency situation or another. Typically an announcement is given throughout the ship before starting the drill (something like: "the ship is entering a training environment..." or "This is a drill, this is a drill!") so that no one actually takes any actions which would be appropriate in an emergency but harmful otherwise. For example: Triggering the engine room's Halon flood if there is not an actual engine fire. This would: 1) Mightily piss off everyone who works there, 2) Risk their deaths by suffocation if they can't get their emergency oxygen gear on in time, and 3) cost a whole heckuvalot to replace the Halon and emergency oxygen gear. Thus, if a real emergency occurs while a drill is being carried out, the announcement "Actual casualty!" or "This is not a drill!" will be given to alert everyone.

In the [[YanksWithTanks US Air Force]], training messages are preceded by the announcement, spoken or written: EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE. Other announcements are assumed to be real world.

At least in the Submarine force of the [[YanksWithTanks US Navy]], drills are augmented with personnel, usually senior or experienced enlisted, who act as the Drill Team, who wear a distinctive item that signifies them as a member of the Drill Team (such as a red ballcap). The purpose of the Drill Team is to allow participants to take their actions with as much verisimilitude as possible, intervening only to keep the participant from taking an action (such as the above mentioned Halon example) that would cause harm to the ship or crew but otherwise letting them do everything else as if it were real. Reactor SCRAM drills actually involve [[GoingCritical SCRAM]]'ing the reactor for real. It's an interesting synthesis of the trope, because even though there is often no advance warning of a 'casualty,' the obvious presence of the Drill Team makes it clear that a Drill is being conducted for those in the affected space.

The [[BritswithBattleships Royal Navy ]] simply add a prefix -- drills are preceded by 'For Exercise' three times. There's also the Safeguard Rule -- when this is in force, no mention is made of drills/exercises, and everything is announced as if it was real. Any genuine incidents are preceded by the word 'Safeguard'. It's a distinctive word, and everyone knows what it means, so there is no need to remind people that 'This is not a drill'. Nothing makes people freeze like hearing 'Safeguard, safeguard, safeguard!' over the main broadcast.

Has nothing at all to do with ThisIsADrill or [[TheTreacheryOfImages This Is Not A Pipe]]. Compare AndYouThoughtItWasAGame, in which a situation originally mistaken for entertainment turns out to be the real thing. Also compare RedAlert, which often uses this for extra measure.

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!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]

* ''LightNovel/FullMetalPanic'' has an interesting example -- when Gauron had taken control of the [[AIIsACrapshoot AI]] of the high-tech submarine, the Tuatha de Danaan, he started a fire-drill to isolate the entire crew in the cargo deck. During this drill, the speakers did in fact blare, "This is a drill"...
* The ''GhostInTheShell'' anime does this properly, when a chopper pilot dies during a training exercise, the dispatcher announces "This is not a drill" before giving the order to withdraw.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

* ''Film/ANewHope'': Subverted; stormtroopers ignore Obi-Wan's sabotaging the Death Star's tractor beam. One even says in response to the sudden security measures, "[[ItsProbablyNothing It's probably another drill.]]" This is because Vader wanted the heroes to escape and lead the Imperials to the Rebel base.
* Any movie involving nuclear missile submarines will have at least a reference to missile launch drills.
** In ''CrimsonTide'', a fire breaks out in the kitchen. While the first mate is helping to put the fire out, the Captain orders a launch drill, although the actual wording of the announcement given by both the Captain and the XO is "This is an exercise."
** In ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober'', [[Creator/SeanConnery Captain Ramius]] mentions conducting missile drills in his speech to the crew.
** ''Film/K19TheWidowmaker'' begins with a missile drill aboard the titular submarine. The audience isn't told it's a drill until the system shorts out. Later, the new captain conducts repeated drills, always prefaced with an announcement that it is a drill. [[spoiler:When the reactor accident happens and the announcement comes that it ''isn't'' a drill, a still-only-half-awake sailor complains, "Doesn't he ever get tired of drills?"]]
* Parodied in the movie ''Film/{{Dogma}}'':
-->'''Hospital P. A.:''' I repeat, this is not a drill. [[CrazyPrepared This is the apocalypse. Please exit the hospital in an orderly fashion.]] Thank you.
* Averted in ''Film/{{Wargames}}'': the silo crews in the opening are specifically not told it's a drill to test their reactions in a real WWIII situation.
-->''"Turn your key, sir!"''
* Announced constantly in ''Film/TheFifthElement'', pretty much whenever the police show up.
* Subverted in ''Film/ResidentEvil'', where a woman tells a panicky coworker "it's a security drill" right before the Halon is fired up and everyone dies.
* ''[[Film/LegallyBlonde Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde]]'' has this phrase shouted out.
* In ''InHarmsWay'', the cruiser sailors are sent to battle stations on Dec. 7, 1941 through an announcement, "This is not a drill, this is not a drill, all hands man your battle stations."
* In ''Film/TheDayAfter'', an Air Force officer, notified of an incoming Soviet nuclear strike, asks if it's just a drill. He waits for a reply, then:
-->"Roger, copy. ''This is not an exercise!''"
* Late in ''Film/TrueLies'', when [[spoiler:a nuclear bomb is about to go off in the Florida keys]], Harry is heard barking orders over a radio to get Miami emergency services and so forth into place. "This is not a drill, you understand that?"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]

* Paul Carter's second book was named ''This Is Not a Drill'' partly for irony, because he's an oil driller, but mainly because he hears it for real in his first anecdote, where the crew are evacuating an oil rig in imminent danger of capsizing.
* In Creator/DanAbnett's ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' Literature/GauntsGhosts novel ''Blood Pact'', [[spoiler:Daur]] tells the other prisoners that it's a drill; [[spoiler:Rawne]] says, "It's not a drill." Later, when the Ghosts are put on active pending status, Dalin Criid questions whether it's a drill.
* In ''Literature/RedStormRising'', the crew of USS ''Pharris'' are told that as they are now in a shooting war, there will be no more drills.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'':
** Near the climax of the first book, the eponymous heroine sends a "Case Zulu" message back to Command. The narrative takes a moment to inform the reader that Case Zulu means "[[spoiler: Enemy Invasion Imminent]]" and it is ''never'' used in practices or war games to avoid CryingWolf.
** The explanation is reiterated in ''At All Costs'' when [[spoiler:Haven attacks Manticore directly]].
* Spoofed in a ''Franchise/HarryPotter'' parody:
--> '''The announcer:''' "This is not a drill. I repeat, this is not a drill. Last time was a drill, but now it is not! So what if last time I said it was not a drill? I needed to simulate a combat situation! [[CryingWolf But this time it is '''honestly''' not a drill]]. It's real! Move your asses!!!
* In ''[[Literature/IntoTheLookingGlass Vorpal Blade]]'', there are several "intruder alert" announcements for the Marines aboard the titular spacecraft, but when the Demons attack the trope phrase is added, though for some the "not a drill" announcement doesn't sink in immediately.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* The PilotMovie for the new ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|Reimagined}}'' showed Viper pilots scrambling for an emergency with "This is no drill!" blaring on the PA system. Understandable in that the ship was about to be decommissioned and no one had seen or heard from the Cylons in forty years. Throughout the series, the crew continues to be regularly told "This is no drill" whenever the ship is on actual alert.
* Parodied on ''Series/RedDwarf'': "This is not a drill! [[ThisIsADrill This is a drill: [sound of electric drill whirring]]]".
** Another episode, in which the emergency damaged the ship computer's memory banks, had the computer announcing:
--->'''Holly:''' Rude alert! Rude alert! An electrical fire has knocked out my voice-recognition unicycle! Many Wurlitzers are missing from my database! Abandon shop! This is not a daffodil! Repeat: This is not a daffodil!
--->'''Rimmer:''' ''(sarcastically)'' Well, thankfully Holly's unaffected.
*** But since Holly, the ship's AI, is established to be suffering from computer senility, what Holly would say in a ''real'' emergency would likely be much the same.
** Yet another episode (''Series/RedDwarf'' loved this joke):
--->'''Rimmer:''' (After trying to wake Lister and Cat) Look, Starbug is a blazing inferno, the engine room is waist deep in rocket fuel and we're being attacked off the starboard bow by an unidentified craft!
--->'''Cat:''' Really?
--->'''Rimmer:''' No, of course not really. It's a drill. We're pretending that Starbug is on fire and under attack.
--->'''Lister:''' (Still in bed) And I'm pretending to scramble.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' episode ''The Hand of Fear'' used the more Britishly laconic "This is not an exercise!"
** Another story, ''Warriors of the Deep'' only had the computer of an underwater military base tell the crew whether or not it was a drill after they'd gone through the motions which would have launched the WorldWarIII WeaponOfMassDestruction missiles if it was not. Nobody was very surprised that the sync-operator (the guy that did the launching) was under stress.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Peak Performance", a combat drill and performance review is interrupted by an actual Ferengi attack.
** It was also used repeatedly by Data in "11001001" when issuing an order to abandon ship.
** And announced by Spock in at least one Original Series episode, while sirens whoop and the camera rapidly zooms in and pulls back repeatedly on a flashing red light: "Red alert. Red alert. This is no drill. Repeat. This is no drill."
* Lampshaded in (of all things) a ''Series/PowerRangersLightspeedRescue'' episode: When the good guys are celebrating what they believe to be the defeat of the big bad, and the alarm goes off. One of the Rangers says "Tell me that's a drill." The mentor informs the team that they don't ''perform'' drills.
* Shows up in ''Series/PowerRangersSPD'' during Delta Command Megazord's first appearance. Kat warns all personnel to get to designated safety zones, as the ''entire base'' is about to transform into a robot.
* In one episode of ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', it's revealed that Sheldon forces Leonard to participate in emergency drills so that they will be ready should the apocalypse ever strike Pasadena. [[CrazyPrepared They have personalised hard hats and reflective vests to wear]].
* Used in the first episode of ''{{Series/Andromeda}}'', right after the crew went through a battle stations drill.
-->'''Thompson:''' Please tell me this is another drill!
-->''[the console emits sparks]''
-->'''Alien co-gunner:''' This is no drill!
-->'''Thompson:''' I was afraid of that!

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]

* Music/WeirdAlYankovic's "Christmas at Ground Zero":
-->It's Christmas at ground zero
-->The button has been pressed
-->The radio just let us know
-->That this is not a test
* "Emergency" from the ''Trancemission from Raveland'' compilation: "This is not a test. This is an actual emergency."(CreepyMonotone voice)

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Featured in any ''VideoGame/AceCombat'' game featuring a mission where your base starts being bombed by enemy forces.
** ''Air Combat 22'' has the AWACS warning you in the mission selection menu that an enemy attack is not a drill. Then, during the FighterLaunchingSequence, you're helpfully reminded by part of the crew that "this is the real thing!"
** ''VideoGame/AceCombat5TheUnsungWar'', during an enemy attack:
-->'''Sailor:''' Two-- no, three ships are burning now!\\
'''Traffic control:''' [[CaptainObvious This is not a drill.]]\\
'''Sailor:''' Oh, thanks for the heads-up, you idiot!
*** A possible DarkReprise in a later mission; [[spoiler:the reinforcements were told by the 8492nd that it ''was'' just a drill]], and the AWACS had to (almost frantically) state that ''no'', it wasn't a drill, there really ''was'' an air battle over the stadium and they needed the reinforcements. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that the reinforcements, arriving from a distance away, couldn't see the combat area and couldn't tell for themselves whether or not it was a drill.
* Used in the beginning of the ''VideoGame/{{Sonic Adventure 2}}'' Dark Side Story when Dr. Robotnik attacks the military base where Shadow is kept.
* Every space battle fought with the clones in ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront 2'' has this trope being yelled out by a voice while you are in the hangar.
* Spoken by Cortana over the intercom at the beginning of ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'' as the Marines aboard the ''Pillar of Autumn'' are mobilizing to defend against Covenant boarding parties.
** And heard again over the intercom in the opening mission of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', as the Covenant tries to board Cairo Station.
* The opening cutscene for ''VideoGame/XCom: Apocalypse'':
--> "Launch all X-Com fighters! Stand by all combat teams! THIS IS NOT A DRILL!"
* Found in the logs for a crashed freighter on Neith in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'':
--> '''Evacuation Order:''' Attention all hands! We are on a collision course and losing systems fast! Report to the {{escape pod}}s immediately! This is not a drill!
* Near the end of ''PajamaSam 2: Thunder and Lightning aren't so Frightening'' after all the critical machines are fixed. Thunder makes this announcement with a siren in accompaniment: "Attention, all personnel! The President is arriving. This is not a drill."
* In GuildWars Factions the Dragon Festival has a reinactment of the Nightfall invasion during the first ingame Dragon Festival and the reinactment requires actors dressed as Naga to stage a paniced mass exodus of Naga into Kaitan Village like the real Naga did during the Nightfall invasion to escape said invasion. As one of the gaurds in charge of the reinactment reveals when you reach her at Kaitan Village: the ''real'' Naga had decided to raid Kaitan Village presumably killing the actors playing them before attacking everyone else while the actors playing the part of the demons that drove said Naga out during the previous Dragon Festival take their places in the Naga's den unaware of the Naga attack(nor are the Naga aware that actors had moved into their den during said Naga raid either).

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''AmericanBarbarian'', [[http://www.ambarb.com/?p=60 Yoosamon's first reaction is that he didn't schedule a drill, and the king denies it is one.]]
* In ''{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=2167 Squidly warns of Monique's mood -- and this is not a drill!]]
* Parodied along with RedAlert in ''Webcomic/DarthsAndDroids'' [[http://www.darthsanddroids.net/episodes/0797.html #797]]. R2-D2 sets off an alarm in his attempt to hack into the Peace Moon, then sets off another alarm when he tries to shut off the first one. Meanwhile another alarm is set off by the noise from the first two alarms. Then the P.A. system gets in on it.
--> '''Peace Moon P.A. System:''' Attention all personnel! This is an alarm trigger alert. This is not a drill! Not only is this not a drill, it's not a drill that we're pretending is not a drill!
* In ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'', [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/05/15/saved-by-the-bell/ such an alert interrupts Nin Wah's fight with the last of the Tagged goons.]]
* In ''Webcomic/ElGoonishShive'', this is one of the things Grace hears [[http://www.egscomics.com/?date=2003-10-16 during Damien's attack]] on the facility where she was created.
-->'''P.A. System:''' --Evacuate! This is not a drill! Everyone get out of--[[KilledMidSentence *urk*]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' parodied it way back when they were a short on ''The Tracy Ullman Show''. One short has Homer waking the family and herding them into a bomb shelter yelling that "World War Three has begun" and "This is not a drill". When they get to the bomb shelter, he reveals to the viewers that it ''was'' a drill, and chastises his family for taking so long -- but they aren't listening due to being rightfully shivering in terror.
** After this happens a couple more times, the family turns the tables on Homer and lock him in the shelter for the night.
--> Homer: "Run for your lives everybody, this is not a drill!"
* Spoofed in the ''AngryBeavers'' Halloween special, where a general scrambling the troops goes "This is not a drill! Repeat, this is not a drill! If it was a drill, I'd be telling you it was, but it's not!"
* ''JusticeLeagueUnlimited'', when firing the [[WaveMotionGun Binary Fusion Generator]].
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' had Stan late to a CIA nuclear war exercise. Director Bullock had told everybody that once the exercise begins, everybody is to act like the crisis is 100% real. Stan rushes in and asks if it's real, and Bullock says, "One Hundred Percent!" Causing Stan to panic and rush his family to the woods.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Qualifies as one of the oldest in the book. It probably dates back to the navies of the 19th Century, when ships became very large and powered by steam. The "black gang" down in the machinery could see and hear nothing of what was going on beyond the hull of the ship.
** The classic historical example of its use is in the alarm siren on December 7, 1941: "AIR RAID PEARL HARBOR [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pearl_Harbor_attack#cite_note-96 THIS IS NOT DRILL]]".
* Oddly enough, the old [[http://www.ae5d.com/images/EBS-28rzx.png Emergency Broadcast System's script for actual nuclear attack]] does not use the phrase "This is not a test".
** It does however use the phrase "Attack warning means that an actual attack against this country has been detected".
* Sometimes, an air-raid siren on the airfield means; 'get to your battle station'. Only some time after you got there will you hear if it was practice, an exercise, or what.
** This was done about twice-weekly for the Strategic Air Command during the ColdWar, the instruction being "go to your bombers and wait to see if you're nuking the USSR".
* Then there is the joke: This is not a drill. Repeat, this is NOT a drill. This is a [[ChainsawGood chainsaw]].
* At the [[WorldWarTwo Samar island engagement]] Capt Evans of the USS ''Johnston'' simply said, "Gentlemen we are going into battle."
* In the modern US Navy, the actual phrases used differ from ship to ship and branch to branch (i.e. surface vs. submarines), and even different procedures may be used by different training teams on the same ship (engineering vs. combat systems, for example). Sometimes emergencies are simply called away as if they were real, with drill monitors wearing different colors stationed in advance to prevent the crewmen from doing anything that might actually be ''dangerous'', and only inform the crew that it was a drill at the end. Even when the drill is not initially announced as such and was not pre-scheduled, however, the whole crew generally knows they're coming -- when the guys with red hats start hanging around the engine room for no reason, it becomes pretty obvious. Drills are also generally not held any time there's a higher potential for a real emergency (like entering a combat or patrol zone).
* Subverted... kinda. In the first volume war memoir 'Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall' comedian Creator/SpikeMilligan was conscripted into the Royal Artillery as a Radio Operator. He quotes extensively from the Regimental War Diary a message about a large invasion force spotted in the English Channel heading for Britain that was sent by his unit. Shortly after, a panicked War Office got in touch asking what steps had been taken and had the Navy been informed... [[HilarityEnsues Hilarity Ensures]] and in the end the CO is ordered to London to clear things up. In his book Milligan confesses that the message had been sent by him as part of a drill but that he had neglected to preface the message with the phrase 'PRACTICE' before he sent it.
* {{Inverted|Trope}} in [[UsefulNotes/IsraelisWithInfraredMissiles the IDF]], where every drill announcement is preceded by 'this is a drill'.
* Some schools always announce when they're going to be doing fire drills, so as to avoid causing a panic.
* During Able Archer '83 (Nato's rehearsal for a nuclear war, and perhaps [[NightmareFuel the closest the world has come -- completely by accident -- to the real thing]]), every single message in the exercise was prefaced with "EXERCISE-EXERCISE-EXERCISE" both for the benefit of NATO troops to make sure that they did not misunderstand an exercise communication for a real communication, and for any Warsaw Pact intelligence personnel who might be listening in, so that they did not misinterpret a routine wargame for the real thing and launch a preemptive strike.
[[/folder]]
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