%% Image removed per Image Pickin' topic: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1360882340032178200

->''"Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an EarthShatteringKaboom!"''
--> -- '''[[TropeNamer Marvin the Martian]]''', ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes''

The good guys have [[SomebodySetUpUsTheBomb set up a bomb]] that they plan to use to destroy the EvilOverlord's whole fortress. They get safely outside the blast radius, evading a wave of {{Mooks}}, and TheHero holds the detonator high so the BigBad can see, ready to take out the entire pursuing LegionOfDoom, and...

[[Film/TheDarkKnight ''Click''...''Click''...''Click-Click-Click'']] ...

Nothing. The detonator has failed [[FinaglesLaw at the worst possible time]], [[HeroicSacrifice leading someone to have to go back and activate the explosive/device manually.]] Or worse, the enemy simply dismantled the bombs or jammed the detonator before they could be set off, and gets to rub the heroes' faces in it. Usually PlayedForDrama rather than [[PlayedForLaughs comedy]]. One exception is in cartoons, where the bomber will inevitably go back to check, and have it explode ([[NonFatalExplosions harmlessly]]) in his face.

This is the trope you ''really'' want to invoke when a LandMineGoesClick.


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing: Duo Maxwell fails to self-detonate when he's surrounded by enemies because the button doesn't work. [[spoiler:The circumstances surrounding Quatre's self-detonation earlier suggest this was because [[EmpathicWeapon Duo's Gundam refused to let him die with it]].]]
* ''End of [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Evangelion]]'', with Ritsuko, Gendo, and the [=MAGI=] supercomputers. Not so much a technical issue as it is a LoveTriangle, though. Yeah, ''Eva'' is weird.
* Played with in ''Manga/{{FAKE}}'': during a hostage crisis, Dee bluffs the bad guys by telling them a retractable ballpoint pen is the detonator for a bomb hidden in the character's base. When he clicks the pen, his bluff seems to have been called - but then the bomb, which Ryo had previously set for 10 pm, goes off as scheduled.
* Used in a particularly epic scene in the 2003 ''Anime/AstroBoy'' anime. Rainbow Parakeet has planted bombs all over the robot revolutionary Blue Knight's sanctuary and is about to press the button on the detonator, taunting Astro that the only way to stop him is to kill him and prove he's just as ruthless as Blue Knight. Astro opens fire on him and apparently misses. Cue maniacal laughter as the villain presses the button. Click, click, click. Turns out Astro decided to TakeAThirdOption and was actually firing at the communications antenna that would relay the remote detonator's signal.
* ''Manga/{{Saiyuki}}''. Fortunately for the heroes, Hakkai had removed the explosives Yaone set to blow them all up, because 'I'm sorry, I found them earlier and thought they were dangerous'.
* [[Manga/AhMyGoddess The Ah My Goddess]] [[TheMovie Movie.]] Toward the end, a giant bullet FIRED FROM HEAVEN impacts the earth, creating a massive bubble/magic explosion effect. The soundtrack? Empty.
* Demonstrated in ''Manga/DanceInTheVampireBund''. When [[VillainOfTheWeek Histerica]] tried to blackmail Mina scattering minions with implanted cell-phone-activated bombs throughout Tokyo's subway system, Mina maneuvered her inside a building she had effectively converted one big [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faraday_cage Faraday Cage]], blocking the cellphone signal. The muscle Histerica had with her being able to set themselves off with their own phones ''was'' a complication though.
* Played for tragedy in ''Manga/{{Heroman}}''. [[spoiler:Joey's father died when he tried to blast a passage clear for his fellow trapped miners. When the dynamite failed to detonate, he went to check what was wrong, and found out that faulty wiring caused a delay of a few secon- '''BOOM!''']]
* A sad version happens in ''Anime/MobileSuitZetaGundam''. Jerrid's given instructions to detonate a capsule that is said to contain a bomb in it if anyone gets near it while Emma attempts negotiations with the AEUG (re: unknowingly giving them a note telling them to surrender the captured Gundam Mk. II or said capsule would explode). When Kamille races out with the Mk.II to get the capsule, Jerrid takes aim and fires, destroying the capsule and promptly freaks out as to why it didn't explode and take out the fragile Mk.II. [[spoiler:There was no bomb. In the capsule was Kamille's ''mother''.]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya'' has a humorous one of these in the island episode; a firework fails to go off and Kyon [[WhatAnIdiot sticks his head over it]], trying see what's wrong. He nearly gets his face toasted when it finally launches its payload.
* Played for drama in ''Anime/DragonBallZ''. Android 16 attempts a TakingYouWithMe HeroicSacrifice against Cell by setting off the bomb inside himself (which in theory would have been powerful enough to destroy Cell though Cell bragged that such a weapon wouldn't kill him anyway). Only to realize moments later that he doesn't have a bomb anymore -- Bulma and her father had removed it while they were repairing him since they didn't trust him with it. Cell promptly destroys the defenseless 16.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''Franchise/{{Tintin}}'':
** In the book ''Cigars of the Pharaoh'', Thompson and Thomson hastily abandon the ship they are on when Snowy accidentally drops a grenade from a crate full of them. We then learn the grenade was not actually armed... and we see T&T a safe distance away, wondering what's taking the grenade so long. A few panels later, we see that they spent ''the whole night'' waiting for it to go off.
--->'''Thom(p)son''': Must be on a timer.
** In ''Destination Moon'', Captain Haddock puts a firecracker under Calculus's chair in an attempt to shock him out of his EasyAmnesia. He and Tintin wait outside for a while, but don't hear it go off. Captain Haddock, thinking that the fuse has gone out, goes back in to see what happened. Tintin tries to warn him that it's still smoking, but it's too late. The explosion [[AshFace covers Captain Haddock in soot]], but leaves Calculus completely unfazed.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* A particularly sadistic version appears in ''Fanfic/FalloutEquestriaProjectHorizons.'' When triggered, a booby-trapped jack-in-the-box springs open and drops three grenades. The grenades are duds; the ''real'' bomb is the jack-in-the-box itself, which explodes several seconds ''after'' the expected grenade blast.

[[folder:Film -- Animated]]
* Involving ''walking the plank'' happens in ''Disney/PeterPan''. Out of sight of the pirates, Pan rescues Wendy before she hits the water, and a CaptainObvious crewman remarks that there was no splash. Captain Hook seems annoyed at the insistence that there ''must'' be a splash when someone walks the plank, so he throws said crewman overboard to create one.
-->'''Hook''': So, you want a splash, Mr. Starkey? I'LL GIVE YA A SPLASH!"

[[folder:Film -- Live-Action]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Film/TwentyOneJumpStreet'' when Schmidt and Jenko find themselves in a high speed chase, running away from some drug dealers on motorcycles. Firstly, a biker falls off his bike, and his bike impacts a truck carrying numerous propane tanks, which fall onto the street and breach. Jenko and Schmidt both brace themselves for an explosion but it never happens, much to their confusion. A second time during the chase, another biker fires blindly into the fuel tank of a gasoline truck, before falling off, and the gas on the street ignites. Once again Jenko and Schmidt brace themselves for an explosion, which never happens, much to their confusion. A third time, another biker falls off his bike, and his bike impacts a truck carrying a bunch of chickens...which explodes...much to Jenko and Schmidt's confusion.
* In both ''Film/{{Armageddon}}'' and ''Film/DeepImpact'', destroying asteroids by remote control proves problematic.
* Happens in ''Film/BladeII'', with the bomb/leash that Blade put on the head of his vampire ally.
* ''Film/BlazingSaddles''. The {{heroes}} plan to blow up the fake town of Rock Ridge with explosives, but the detonator fails. The Waco Kid has to set off the dynamite by shooting it with a revolver, at a range that would be a challenge to a sniper with a scope mounted rifle.
* In the UsefulNotes/WorldWarII movie ''Film/TheBridgeAtRemagen'', the Germans are all set to blow up the bridge the Allies are just crossing. Unfortunately for the Nazis, they used cheap explosives that weren't capable of bringing the thing down. In Real Life, as told below, they were sabotaged by the Polish engineers who were forced to place them.
* Also ''Film/ABridgeTooFar'' about the same incident. The Germans hit the plunger to blow up the bridge just as the allied tanks are crossing it, only for them not to go off due to a malfunction or the lines being cut. However an earlier bridge blows up right in the face of the US paratroopers advancing towards it. Their commander can only respond, "[[OhCrap Ah Shit!]]"
* Subverted in the film ''Film/TheBridgeOnTheRiverKwai'', where [[spoiler:the detonator works just fine, the problem is that Colonel Nicholson betrays the Allied troops trying to blow up the bridge, causing them to be killed before they can activate it. After he finally realizes his treason he sets it off as he dies...although it's deliberately ambiguous as to whether Nicholson is trying to reach the detonator or just falls on it accidentally.]]
* An inadvertent example: the Joker's famous hospital-demolition scene from ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' in which he attempts to do an UnflinchingWalk to the getaway bus while the hospital implodes behind him, which turns into black comedy when midway through, the explosions suddenly stop. The scene was synchronized around the actual demolition of an old Brach's candy factory in that part of Chicago. It's heavily debated whether this was a RealLife case of "Where's the Kaboom" or if Creator/ChristopherNolan just decided not to tell Creator/HeathLedger that there would be a pause in the explosions, or if Heath Ledger just didn't tell anyone what he planned to do. Without once breaking character, Ledger flung up his arms and fiddled around with the detonator(including a little PercussiveMaintenance) for a few seconds until the explosions re-started... And then [[OhCrap he started running.]]
** Played straight in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises'', when Commissioner Gordon disrupts the radio detonator [[spoiler:as Miranda Tate [[MotiveRant reveals herself]] to be Talia Al Ghul and attempts to destroy Gotham City]].
* In ''Film/TheDukesOfHazzard'' film, Sheev and the Dukes need to crack a safe, so they cover it in [=C4=] and try to blow it up. The fuse fails to set if off, so they're left with a safe covered in potentially dangerous [=C4=]. Luke solves the problem by shooting a flaming arrow at the safe, creating an impressive explosion.
* ''Film/TheFifthElement'' subverts this nicely. After planting a bomb to evacuate the cruise ship, Zorg stops the countdown himself with only five seconds to spare - only to have his former underlings arm ''their'' bomb, right next to him, [[YankTheDogsChain on a five second timer]].
* Also subverted in the film ''Film/ForceTenFromNavarone'' where the explosives go off but it seems like they have failed to do anything. Mallory and Barnsby curse Miller (the explosives expert) as they walk away but then the dam starts to shake and the cracks grow larger until it finally collapses. Turns out it's the pressure of several million tons of water against the now-damaged dam that does the work, not the explosion.
* In ''Film/GalaxyQuest'', the ship's self-destruct counts down to 1 second and stops, because that's what always happened on the TV show.
* ''Film/{{Help}}'' - the MadScientist hands a curling stone with an explosive charge into a game. When it's seen to be 'a fiendish thingie' everyone scatters...and the ticking stone clicks to a stop. The scientist fumes "Useless. Ex-army rubbish - I can't get the equipment!" and it explodes before he can finish talking.
* ''Film/HudsonHawk''. A paralyzed Hawk and Five-Tone manage to regain control of their limbs, and trip Snickers as he is firing sticky bombs around the apartment. The golf bag he is using to hold the launcher slips away from him, hits a wall, and fires a bomb directly onto his forehead. As the countdown reaches zero, the bomb does nothing, and Snickers remarks hopefully, "Maybe it was a dud." Hawk and Five-Tone perform a delayed OhCrap out the window as seconds later, Snickers' head is blown apart.
* ''Film/ItsAMadMadMadMadWorld'' -- Melville, trapped with his wife in a hardware store basement, lights a long fuse on a small charge of dynamite on a door. The fuse goes out halfway, but ignites a crate of fireworks. Wondering why it hasn't gone off, Melville breaks cover at just the wrong time.
* In the Norwegian film ''The Last Lieutenant'' (1993), the eponymous character comes out of retirement to fight against Hitler's invasion, but the regular army soldiers mock this old man in his obsolete uniform. They're sent to blow up a bridge, but the detonators fail to explode. The old man proves his bravery by walking out onto the bridge and setting the charges off manually.
* Used for comedic/suspenseful effect in the 2001 remake of ''Film/OceansEleven'': Danny and Linus are reduced to doing this when they try to blow the charges inside the vault door, which is actually a good thing, as Yen is currently stuck near the door and struggling to get free. Doubles as an IronicEcho when Linus repeats with only light ribbing what Danny told him earlier about focus.
-->'''Linus:''' You know, you lose focus in this game for one second...\\
'''Danny:''' I know, and somebody gets hurt. You don't hear Yen complaining.
* ''[[Literature/{{Quiller}} The Quiller Memorandum]]'' (film and novel). Quiller finds a bomb tucked under his car, rigged to detonate as it hits the ground when Quiller drives off. Because he's under surveillance and wants to fake his death, Quiller places the bomb on the hood and starts the engine, hoping the vibrations will make it slide down the hood and fall off. However nothing happens after a while and Quiller worries that the bomb has become stuck; he's going to check when the garage blows up in his face.
* In ''Film/Tremors2Aftershocks'', Burt's explosive-laden truck is set to explode and take out the Shriekers, but the heroes don't have a very good handle on how long it was set for. Eventually one of them complains about the delay... and the bomb obliges.
* ''Film/UncommonValor'': The team's strategy to attack the prison camp requires that a bridge be blown up to cut off reinforcements. The detonation caps fail, forcing Blaster to make a HeroicSacrifice to manually explode the bombs.
* In ''Film/TheAdventuresOfRockyAndBullwinkle'', Boris and Natasha attempt to blast Rocky, Bullwinkle, and Karen with a cannon, but fortunately, Karen is GenreSavvy enough to put out the fuse when their backs are turned.
-->'''Boris and Natasha''': Where is boom?
* In ''Film/PearlHarbor'', the Japanese bomb that falls through the ''Arizona's'' mess decks lands in the ammo magazine below, giving one of the cooks time to look down the hole and then back up like "Wow, that was close." Then, its timer stops and it detonates all the ammo in the compartment, effectively blowing the ship in two.

* ''Literature/ArtemisFowl'': In book 4, ''The Opal Deception'', there's an interesting variation. Part of the BigBad's plan is two explosive devices (one to do the job and one as a backup), which she had on her ship. The heroes send a guy to break into their ship and take the bombs. She assumes that this means that they've taken them on ''their'' ship, and tries to detonate them. Problem is, ''they didn't''. They actually hid the bombs on her own ship, in the ship's smuggler's box (a small compartment shielded from all forms of detection). The detonation signal couldn't reach the bombs as long as they were there, resulting in no kaboom. They then goad her into opening the box, [[HoistByHisOwnPetard allowing the detonation signals to reach the bombs]]. The kaboom follows shortly afterwards.
* In ''[[Literature/CiaphasCain Cain's Last Stand]]'' the heroes attempt to collapse a shrine containing an immensely powerful ArtefactOfDoom rather than let it fall into the hands of Necrons. Alas, Necrons have advanced enough means to simply jam their signal and take the artifact.
* At the end of the ''Series/DoctorWho'' [[Literature/NewSeriesAdventures book]] ''Shining Darkness'', [[spoiler:the protagonists set off a bomb hidden in one of their (robotic) members to destroy the Cult of Shining Darkness and their space station. The cult members teleport away but the bomb's countdown can't be stopped and the protagonists can't get out before the bomb's countdown reaches zero. They are very surprised when there is no kaboom, at which point the Doctor reveals that he surreptitiously removed the bomb earlier and the cult members, not knowing what it was, confiscated it when they took him captive. Meanwhile, on the ship the cult evacuated to, a strange object they took from the Doctor has started flashing [[KilledMidSentence and they have no idea what it me-]] ]]
* In ''Literature/ForWhomTheBellTolls'', [[spoiler: Pablo throws the detonators into a river, forcing one of the other guerillas to die while manually setting them off (HeroicSacrifice).]]
* In Creator/TerryBrooks' ''Literature/GypsyMorph'', this occurs when the heroes try to destroy a bridge and slow the advancing army. One of the characters raced down into the ravine and fixed the problem in a HeroicSacrifice.
* In the Creator/AlanDeanFoster novel, ''{{Literature/Quozl}}'', a group of an alien settler dissident on Earth and some sympathetic humans face this situation when their expedition comrade, whom the ruling council insisted on accompanying them, reveals her bomb and her orders to blow herself up to kill the dissident and his human friends. With a maximum of drama, the agent hits the detonation button, but nothing happens. The dissident then reveals he discovered the bomb and disarmed it some time ago. It's pointed out though that had he sided with the agent, they'd all have been atomized.
* ''Literature/WetDesertTrackingDownATerroristOnTheColoradoRiver'': For an instant, the bomber thinks that the bombing has gone wrong when the explosion does not immediately manifest.
* In ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', the Indian government is evacuating all surviving citizens into the Himalayas to escape the ZombieApocalypse. Unfortunately, the last bridge to blow before the safe zone is closed off has defective explosives. Between two problems - the possibility of the Indian Air Force {{nuk|eEm}}ing the area (and making the situation worse) and allowing zombies into the safe zone - [[FourStarBadass General Raj-Singh]] detonates the charges by hand in a HeroicSacrifice that probably saved everyone left in India.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/{{The 100}}'', the Grounder/Sky People alliance has a one minute window to set off the bomb they planted at Mount Weather's front gate, otherwise they'll never get the door open. Unfortunately, Mount Weather jams the signal from the remote detonator, and the guys who try to detonate it manually are shot down before they can get close. It takes Lincoln shooting the bomb with [[ArrowsOnFire a flaming arrow]] to save the day.
* In the HBO miniseries ''Series/BandOfBrothers'', two soldiers had a mortar round land ''in their foxhole'' and... smoke a little bit. The two are, understandably, quite shaken up. Then they use it to light a cigarette.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS30E4TheSontaranStratagem "The Sontaran Stratagem"]]: The Doctor and a UNIT soldier are trapped in a car with an autopilot ready to dump them into a river. The Doctor [[LogicBomb confuses]] the autopilot, and both leap out of the car waiting for [[EveryCarIsAPinto the whole thing to blow up]] . . . and the device simply shuts down with a fizzle.
--->'''The Doctor:''' ''[disappointed]'' Oh, is that it?
** [[Recap/DoctorWhoS36E3ThinIce "Thin Ice"]]: [[AristocratsAreEvil Lord Sutcliffe]] attempts to set off the explosives [[spoiler:that will destroy the ice and send people on the frozen Thames down to be fed to the giant serpent imprisoned underwater]] -- and nothing happens. He's not pleased. It turns out that the Doctor [[spoiler:moved the explosives underwater so they would destroy the serpent's chains, thus freeing it]].
* ''Series/HogansHeroes'' had a few instances when they would set a bomb and Carter (the team's munitions expert) would count down the explosion "5,4,3,2,1" and nothing would happen. He'd then say "I said 1!", and the bomb would go off.
* In ''Series/ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'', Mac and Charlie try to fake their deaths by blowing up a car. First they run it into a wall, but it doesn't explode. Then they go to a pawn shop and buy a gun and a grenade. They toss the grenade into the car expecting a mammoth explosion, but it releases little more than a puff of smoke. Thoroughly disappointed, Mac does some poppers and tries shooting the gas tank, but even that does nothing. They ultimately give up, reasoning that the damage is enough to convince everyone that they were vaporized.
* In ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' they were testing a very small amount of explosive and nothing happened. Subversion of the trope similar to The Bridge at Remagen when it was discovered that the explosion had occurred, but out of concern they had put too many sandbags on top of it to detect the event visually.
** Another ''Mythbusters'' case happened when Kari, Grant and Tori were setting off explosives in a quarry to create a wave... and silence. The bomb squad then spends several tense minutes carefully fishing the tons of live explosives out of the lake to find the problem. A similar situation has happened to Jamie and Adam at least once. This is one of the most dangerous malfunctions a bomb squad can encounter because of the chance of a delayed explosion while someone is investigating the problem.
*** Heck, this trope seems to be invoked in at least half of the myths where an explosion is called for. Most of the time it's played straight (as with the surfing myth above), to the point that the phrase ''"Ah, [[ShoutOut Houston, we have a problem]]"'' has become something of a RunningGag. However, at least two times this trope has been {{subverted|Trope}}. In one case, an underwater detonation was not energetic enough to be noticed on the surface at all. (''"Sorry, Houston, we ''don't'' have a problem."'') In that particular episode, [[DoubleSubversion it's later played straight]], with a callback to the earlier subversion. (''"Ah, Houston...me again. This time we really ''do'' have a problem."'')
*** Not to mention the bit with the Hindenburg skin with Thermite paste, where it seemed to not ignite until their backs were turned, only to suddenly BURST into flames.
** In some other myths, they use a backup explosion in case the myth-related one still has a chance of going off unexpectedly.
** The episode on Thermite vs Ice has this happen on thermite fuse. It gets really antsy since they have to put in another fuse while the first one may still go off, resulting in Jamie needing to put on protective gear in order to approach the thermite.
** Yet another example: when they tested a myth involving a liquid-nitrogen-cooled bomb taking longer to go off, the frozen bomb didn't go off at all, and they had to wait for it to melt before trying to set it off again.
* In ''Series/RedDwarf'', the self-destruct is accidentally triggered by Lister ordering a chocolate bar. They do everything possible to deactivate it, even transferring the mind of one of the crew into Lister so she can give the abort code. Nothing doing. It reaches zero... and [[RuleOfFunny it dispenses the bar]]. Turns out Holly removed it.
* Played with a few times in ''Series/StargateSG1''. One of the more bizarre examples was when [[spoiler:Teal'c's brainwashed son]] tried to set off a hyper-toxic chemical bomb hidden in a pair of ''fake teeth'' by clacking his jaws together. Nothing happens, because the heroes had already noticed his deadly teeth and replaced them with harmless ones.
* In the Season 2 finale of ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'', Voyager faces repeated, seemingly inconsequential attacks from the Kazon that, despite the fact that they're being led by [[FaceHeelTurn former crewmate Seska]], only damage the non-essential "secondary command processors". Eventually a full-fledged Kazon ambush, combined with a suicide bombing, cripples the ship and Janeway grimly gives the [[SelfDestructMechanism self-destruct code]] to prevent their capture. The computer replies that it cannot comply since [[OhCrap the secondary command processors are offline]], and Janeway realizes exactly why the Kazon kept targeting it over and over again.
* ''Series/BlakesSeven''. In "Sarcophagus", the crew retrieve an alien artifact from a GhostShip. Suddenly the artifact starts to glow, the computer Orac is demanding to be disconnected from it, telekinetic energy sends objects flying around the room, everyone dives for cover...only for the artifact to collapse in on itself and disintegrate. Unknown to them however, it's released an EnergyBeing who proceeds to take over the ship.
* An early episode of ''Series/{{MASH}}'' had the camp being shelled when a bomb lands in the middle of the camp and fails to detonate.
--> Stay down!
--> Stay down? Either something that was supposed to happen didn't, or something that didn't is gonna.
--> And if it does, down is gonna be up!

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* In ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', loosely inspired by the above example from ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the explosives that the Brickster set up throughout the Dino Island Laboratory [[DelayedExplosion did not explode right away]] after he pushed the button on his detonator, causing him to panic and start mashing the detonator until they ''did'' explode.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* At the end of one of the included scenarios in the ''TabletopGame/PrometheanTheCreated'' sourcebooks, a Promethean terrorist interrupts an auction by shouting a threat and activating a suitcase nuke. One of the options for the aftermath: the bomb - which is an old Russian model from before the end of the Cold War - fails to do a damn thing. Before its user can do much more than [[OhCrap stare at it in horror]], the rest of the assembled Prometheans surge in and rip him to shreds.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* PlayedForDrama in the ending of ''VideoGame/{{Battlefield 4}}''. The C4 charges planted on [[BigBad Admiral Chang's]] destroyer fail to explode, so one of your teammates must head back down the zipline to rewire them. Whichever one you send down [[HeroicSacrifice will die]] when the charge blows. Alternatively, you can TakeAThirdOption and refuse to send either of them down... [[DownerEnding resulting in Chang's warship sinking the USS Valkyrie]], killing [[TheCaptain Captain Garrison]] and [[BigGood Jin Jie]] and destroying your best chance of ending the war.
* How Lance tricks [[TooDumbToLive Fritz into looking at the cannon]] in ''VideoGame/BrainDead13''.
* Toward the end of ''VideoGame/EpicMickey'', Gremlin Gus attempts to launch the fireworks Mickey primed, only to realize that the detonator's batteries are dead. He replaces them in a jiffy, but before launching them, he is grabbed by the Blot.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyVIII'' has a detonator with two buttons. Pressing one of them leads to this trope. Pressing the other forces you to run like hell.
* In ''VideoGame/GuiltyGear'', Faust's alternate Instant Kill has his bomb failing to go off, inducing this trope. He then wanders over, and the bomb detonates, giving Faust and his victim {{Funny Afro}}s.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', this is played for laughs, when Link sets the third pearl into its slot, the statue starts to glow. Link runs for cover, but nothing happens. Confused, he goes back to the statue to check...only for it to blow up in his face, causing him to fly hundreds of yards away, flying right into the wall of the tower that is rising from the ocean.
** Only to fall back into the water hundreds of feet below, and have his [[ExpositionFairy boat]] collect him.
* ''VideoGame/MakaiKingdom'' uses this for one of the {{Special Attack}}s of the Bomb weapon: The user throws the time bomb on the victim, which stops halfway through, and as the user comes up to investigate, the countdown starts up again, forcing them to hurriedly dive for cover.
* The "Dud" Bomb attack in ''VideoGame/PhantomBrave''. The user tries to blow their opponent up with the bomb, but it fails to go off. After a {{beat}}, they simply pick up the bomb and start hitting them with it.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', Salazar is listening into an ear trumpet, wondering about the lack of, rather than a kaboom, "the satisfying sound of one's impalement" after Leon gets dropped into a booby-trap. Also toyed with a bit when he ''gets'' a kaboom when Leon, hanging from his belt-mounted grappling hook (amazing how often that thing comes into play!), shoots the other end of the trumpet and causes Salazar [[FunnyMoment to flip his lid.]]
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando'', there's one level where you have to blow up a bridge on Kashyyyk. The charge used to do so, unfortunately, misfires, requiring you to use other means to destroy it. Boss goes apeshit when this happens.
-->'''Delta Leader:''' Misfire? Misfire!! Who packed that charge?!
* ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' featured small cutscenes showing Mario reducing each castle to rubble after beating their respective bosses. The Forest of Illusion castle starts the same way as the basic cutscene, but then has the bomb fizzle out. When Mario (or Luigi) steps closer to inspect what went wrong, it explodes, leaving them frizzled and covered in soot. This is also carried over to an anime adaptation of Super Mario World, where the bomb ends up exploding in Luigi's face.
* Occasionally in ''[[VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Super Smash Bros. Brawl]]'', bomb items (and [[Franchise/{{Pokemon}} Electrode]]) will fail to explode. In all cases of Electrode doing this, and many cases with the bombs, the explosion will occur unexpectedly a few seconds later. This CAN cause players to die from getting too close after the explosion fails, or it could cause a reaction that looks like this but was actually an attempt at being a CombatPragmatist, expecting the Kaboom to go off anyway and trying to use the extra time to throw the explosion the other way.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'' series, if the option for such thing is enabled, there is a chance that you approach a mine, [[LandMineGoesClick it activates]]... And instead of an explosion, you get a whiff, then nothing.
* In ''Lenny Loosejocks In Space'', Lenny has four hours to disarm all of the bombs that Prime Minister Squeegle Queegly had planted. If those four hours are up, it looks the Squeegles have won, and Prime Minister Sqeegle Queegly watches the last 20 seconds count down...[[spoiler: only for the timer to reset itself back to four hours. Angered, Prime Minister Sqeegle Queegly demands on where the explosion is. That is when two of his servants tell him that the explosion was affected by a Year 3000 bug, giving Lenny four more hours. Prime Minister Sqeegle Queegly tells his servants to get back to work, and the game continues.]]
* In ''VideoGame/SonicAdventure'', Eggman finally decides to destroy Station Square with a large missile. After it's launched and disappears over the skyline... nothing happens. Eggman is outraged that the missile was a dud and goes to set up a timed detonation on the crashed missile. Tails has to race Eggman to the missile so he can disarm the explosive.

* ''Webcomic/DubiousCompany'''s Marty wonders this after imitating the [[Franchise/StarWars Death Star run]] and firing a missile barrage up the marines' exhaust pipe. After he [[spoiler: autopilots his jet into the pipe the fireworks fly.]]
* There was a gag with this in ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}''.
* Happens in [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2002-03-01 this strip]] of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary''. Hob, the demolitions guy, has to rig a quick bomb for a bunch of Amorphs to escape a dome being filled with Amorph nerve gas. It fails due to a bad primer.
--->'''Kevyn''': Maybe you've set my expectations too high, Hob. I was anticipating rather more noise.
** [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2010-09-07 In another instance]] the current crazy demolitions guy Pi sets up a few armour piercing proximity charges as trap for tanks. When the explosion doesn't occur as expected, he quotes Marvin the Martian.
* ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'': Happens to Torg in [[http://www.sluggy.com/comics/archives/daily/100817 this strip]].
** When he faced Evil Aylee, Torg didn't actually know what the remote detonator would do, but both of them were expecting a Kaboom.
--->'''Aylee''': So if you don't hit that button '''right now''', ''I will!''\\
'''Torg''': Dude! I've been hitting this button non-stop since you said you took out [[KillerRabbit Bun-bun]]! But nothing's happening!\\
'''Aylee''': Then what, exactly, is '''[[PlotTwist that]]?'''

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''VideoGame/SpiderAndWeb'', a piece of interactive fiction written by AndrewPlotkin that won five Xyzzy Awards and was a finalist for four more, you play as an unnamed spy on an unknown mission against an unnamed country. [[ChekhovsArmoury The equipment with which you have been provided]] includes explosives, but like the rest the equipment, your detonator is not always reliable.
* in VideoGame/{{Kickassia}} The Critic tries to [[spoiler: blow up Kickassia with the explosives he wired in Part 6,]] even though Cinema Snob informed him that [[spoiler: after he was banished, he defused the bombs.]] He pushes it anyway...
--> '''Critic''': * Long {{Beat}}, stuttering* [[SayingSoundEffectsOutLoud Ka-boooom]]!!
* At the end of ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'', [[spoiler:Andy the Smart-Ass Bomb finally blows up as a space ship carrying Tucker's "son" and Chruch's girlfriend zooms off. There isn't an explosion at first, and Grif is horribly disappointed. Just as soon as he looks down, there's a huge boom in the sky, leaving the Reds impressed and Grif demanding it again. Of course, this is a serious insult to the Blues.]]

[[folder:Web Video]]
* ''In [[WebVideo/CodysLab Cody's Lab]]'', [[https://youtu.be/eCiu1EyKir4?t=429 this happens]] on episode 6 of the Cody's mine series. He is trying mine in an abandoned mine on his land using black powder explosives, and the voltage from the blasting generator turned out to be insufficient to travel all the way into the mine to detonate the explosives. With a more powerful diesel generator [[https://youtu.be/eCiu1EyKir4?t=478 the kaboom finally happens]]. [[https://youtu.be/eCiu1EyKir4?t=855 Later]], they encounter a {{bat scare}}.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/Ben10Omniverse'' episode "So Long, and Thanks For All The Smoothies"; In it, all sides are fighting over the Anihilargh, a weapon capable of destroying the entire universe if set off. Of course, it goes off, and Ben is forced to use [[RealityWarper Alien X]] to [[ResetButton recreate the universe]] [[CosmicRetcon (barring some slight changes)]]. Because the universe was recreated to before the Anihilargh went off, everyone minus Ben is confused when the weapon apparently doesn't work, and write the device off as a fake.
* From the ''WesternAnimation/BuzzLightyearOfStarCommand'' episode "The Lightyear Factor", in which Zurg sets off a universe-altering bomb, but no explosion occurs:
-->'''Zurg:''' That's ''it?!?'' Where's my big universe-altering explosion!?
* In the ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' episode when the Souphanousinphones and the Hills travel to Mexico. Bobby and Connie bought a giant "Labomba!" firework and set it off on a business display, but was a dud after both are waiting for a while hoping it will explode. It remained there through the credits.
* The [[TropeNamers Trope Namer]] is an episode of ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'', when Marvin the Martian's explosives fail. "Where's the kaboom? There was supposed to be an [[EarthShatteringKaboom Earth-shattering kaboom!]]"
** A common occurrence in the Roadrunner cartoons whenever Wile E. Coyote tried using explosives. The [[PlungerDetonator detonator]] (Acme brand, of course), would jam up or refuse to set off the explosives. Naturally, they'd ''always'' blow up when he tried to cross the booby-trapped area himself.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode ''Sideshow Bob's Last Gleaming", Bob attempts to detonate a nuclear bomb, only for it to go off with a disappointing fizzle and fall apart, revealing a family of mice and a 'best before' date of 1959.
--> '''Bob:''' There were plenty of brand-new bombs, but you had to go for that retro 50s charm!
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' AnimatedAdaptation of "The Fake Smurf", Hogatha sets up a sabotage of the Smurf River Bridge by placing Jokey's "surprises" underneath and was hoping they would detonate at the moment the Smurfs cross the bridge, but unfortunately they don't, leaving Hogatha fuming and thinking that a sneaky dishonest Smurf has "sabotaged [her] sabotage". The "surprises" don't go off, however, until Hogatha herself tries to cross the bridge.
* In the episode of ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'', Dying for Pie, Squidward is rather disappointed when Spongebob doesn't explode.
--> [[spoiler:'''Squidward''': THE PIE YOU ATE...WAS A BOOOOOOOOOMB!!!!!!]]
** He's more aggravated then disappointed, [[PetTheDog having spent the day doing stuff with Spongebob to make his last day alive enjoyable.]]
--> [[spoiler: '''Squidward''': I spent the entire day doing stuff you wanted because you were supposed to explode!!]]
** It's soon revealed that Spongebob didn't explode because [[spoiler:he never ate the pie, but rather he was saving it to share it with Squidward later. Then he tripped and accidentally dropped the pie on Squidward's face. THEN the explosion happened]].
--> [[spoiler: '''Squidward''':...Ow.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'': In [[Recap/StarWarsTheCloneWarsS1E5Rookies "Rookies"]], the plan is to blow up the Rishi Moon outpost so the Republic will be warned about the Separatist invasion fleet. However, there's a problem with the detonator not linking up with the remote, and there's no time to fix it. So Hevy winds up staying behind to [[HeroicSacrifice set it off manually]], which the others don't discover until it's too late.
* Happens in the debut episode of ''WesternAnimation/WackyRaces''. Dick Dastardly has Muttley plant explosives at a rock face in order to create a road-blocking avalanche, but when Muttley pushes the plunger, it doesn't go off. Dastardly splutters "Now what went wrong??" Muttley finds the problem: a wire was disconnected. He reattaches the wire and the explosives go off in Dastardly's face.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* The real life version of this trope is a large part of the the reason for the existence of Explosive Ordnance Disposal (as the American military calls them; other countries have the same job under different names). Civilian Bomb Squads also sometimes serve this role in planned situations (see the Mythbusters example above) or as first response until the military can arrive. Although when any of these teams get involved in real life, the primary goal is the protection of others (which usually means a safe detonation that harms no one).
** An ordnance which is fired in anger but has failed to detonate is called a '''dud'''. An ordnance which has been disposed of, lost, abandoned, installed or rigged but has not been fired in anger yet has the detonator on is called an '''uxo''' (from Un-eXploded Ordnance). An ''absolute dud'' is a nuclear weapon which has failed to detonate: a nuclear weapon which goes off only partially is a ''fizzle''.
* Happened many times during UsefulNotes/WorldWarTwo.
** In the final months of WWII the German army was withdrawing across the Rhine. The [[https://secure.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/wiki/Ludendorff_Bridge Ludendorff Bridge]], aka '''The Bridge At Remagen''' (film of the same name), was the last major bridge left standing. Polish engineers forced to work for the Germans (using prisoners to do important work which is subsequently sabotaged has to be [[TheDogBitesBack some sort]] [[MistreatmentInducedBetrayal of trope]]) cut the fuses allowing the Americans to take the bridge (mostly) intact.
** At the start of the war, German torpedoes were very unreliable. ''U-56'' fired two torpedoes at HMS ''Nelson'' which was hosting a conference and had both Churchill and Pound aboard. Both torpedoes hit but failed to explode.
** American submariners on the Pacific front complained a lot about their torpedoes too. Early U.S. Navy torpedoes were equipped with magnetic detonators that were supposed to detect the change in the magnetic field from being close to the hull of an enemy warship and detonate while underneath it. Since water is not compressible, this would create a massive air bubble underneath the ship, robbing it of structural support and causing the keel to split in half, instead of punching a small hole in the side that could be plugged as would happen in contact detonations. Problem was, instead of detonating under the boat, the torps would blithely continue on their way, without ever detecting the target ship. Many American subs asked [[WheresTheKaboom the eponymous question]], only to be answered with depth charges. The Navy had been worried about operational security and cost (as the detonators were quite expensive, given the technology of the time) and as a result, they were not adequately tested before the war and there were, consequently, a LOT of problems. Eventually, [[ScienceMarchesOn magnetic detonators on torpedoes were made both feasible and reliable]], and now most torpedoes in the world are equipped with these devices.
** Aside from torpedoes, the Germans also had an unusually high occurrence of total or partial failure to detonate problems with ordnance in WWII. Many historians think this might have something to do with using somewhat less than enthusiastic workers (''i.e.'' slave labor) in munitions factories.
** German bomb disposal teams are still digging up and detonating allied ordnance dropped in UsefulNotes/WW2. Hundreds of tons of bombs simply didn't explode when they hit the ground. Others had time-delayed detonators that failed to go off, these were meant to detonate the bomb hours after the air raid, when civilians and firefighters where moving the rubble, causing further casualties.
** Even a failure rate of only a percent adds up to a lot of duds when tens of thousands if not ''millions'' of rounds are being fired. There's still unexploded WWI ordnance being dug up, let alone WWII.
** An attempt to assassinate Hitler in early 1943 failed when the bomb on Hitler's plane didn't go off. The cold and unpressurized conditions in the cargo hold apparently caused the detonator to fail.
* In the Battle of the Crater in [[UsefulNotes/TheAmericanCivilWar the U.S. civil war]], the first attempt to blow up the explosives under a Confederate fort failed. Two soldiers volunteered to crawl through the tunnel and see what happened and found that the fuse had gone out at the closest splice to the explosives. They relit the fuse and ''ran like a bat out of hell''.
* Nuclear bombs (ones using plutonium at any rate- uranium bombs are simpler, but far more expensive to manufacture) are exceptionally delicate; the detonation relies on detonating several hexagonal blocks of C-4 at ''exactly'' the same time. If one fails to detonate, the fission material is merely pulverized, rather than forced to undergo fission. Although more modern designs only use [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon_design#Two-point_hollow-pit_implosion 2 explosive lenses]] rather than than the original 32 (the number of faces of a [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truncated_icosahedron truncated icosahedron]]).
* A terrorist car bomb attack in London in [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_London_car_bombs 2007]] failed because the bombs were poorly manufactured and didn't detonate. The men involved also tried to launch a suicide attack on Glasgow Airport the following day; the only person killed in the attack was one of the terrorists.
** A similar plot to bomb [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2010_Times_Square_car_bombing_attempt Times Square in 2010]] failed because the bomb was disabled before it could do any damage.
* From the Website/DarwinAwards An unlicensed pyrotechnician was killed when an apparently faulty firework blew up in his face when he tried to see what was wrong.
* During the attack on the Messines Ridge in WWI, the British set up 21 vast mines underneath the German positions. Detonating them simultaneously, they destroyed the German positions atop the ridge and successfully captured it. It was then that they realized only 18 of the bombs had detonated. And then that they realized that the topography of the ridge had been so altered by the blasts that the remaining 3 couldn't be found. If they still had the map. Which they didn't. One of the bombs blew up in the 1950s after being exposed by a storm and hit by a lightning strike, killing a singularly hapless cow. Another has been found under an old man's farm. [[ParanoiaFuel The other is still unaccounted for...]]
* The British historian Richard J. Evans once told a story of a bomb that landed in his grandmother-in-law's bedroom cabinet. It did not explode. When the bomb disposal unit finally cracked it, they found a note inside reading: "Don't worry English, we're with you. Polish workers." Turns out getting enslaved and angry people to build your weapons of war is a silly idea.
* While much less lethal than a traditional gunpower-based explosive, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ad4QQgeRvK4 an Airsoft grenade that fails to detonate as planned]] is still a rather nerve-wracking experience, because it's essentially the noisy half of a flashbang (at ~130 decibels) that has yet to go off, and which occasionally flings bits of itself every which way when it ''does'' finally fail dramatically, just often enough to make walking near one a touchy proposition.
* We have this to thank for the [[UsefulNotes/{{Columbine}} Columbine High School massacre]] not being as bad as it could've been. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold's plot called for them to detonate a pair of giant propane tank bombs in the cafeteria, causing it to collapse and take with it the library and faculty lounge on the second floor right above it, killing hundreds of people. They also left similar bombs in their cars, timed to detonate after the police, paramedics, fire department, and reporters had arrived in order to take them out as well. Fortunately, thanks to Harris' lack of finesse at bomb-making (specifically, he screwed up the detonators), the bombs in the cafeteria and in their cars failed to explode. Unfortunately, this still left them with the guns they had brought for what would've been the second phase of their killing spree, allowing them to kill thirteen people and wound twenty-four more before committing suicide. (They also had some Molotov cocktails and homemade "cricket" grenades made with [=CO2=] canisters, which ''did'' detonate, but those didn't accomplish anything except to start some nuisance fires.)
* During the UsefulNotes/FalklandsWar, the highly-skilled pilots of the Argentine Air Force may have been able to destroy the British task force, if only the bombs they used weren't set on distance-based fuzes that often led to them hitting British ships but not exploding.