[[caption-width-right:320:[[RecursiveReality This poster is indeterminably funny or not until observed.]]]]

->"Do you know that thought experiment with the cat in the box with the poison? Theory requires the cat be both alive and dead until observed. Well, I actually performed the experiment. Dozens of times. The bad news is that reality doesn't exist. The good news is we have a new cat graveyard."
-->-- '''GLaDOS''', ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}: Lab Rat''

The [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schr%C3%B6dinger%27s_cat Schrödinger's Cat thought experiment]] is increasing in popularity as a {{Motif}} in fiction. Erwin Schrödinger's thought experiment involved a cat sealed inside a box with a Geiger counter. The Geiger counter controls a mechanism to smash a vial of toxic gas, killing the cat. A small amount of radioactive substance is placed near the Geiger counter, calibrated so that there is a 50% chance of triggering the death trap within one hour. The thing is, after an hour, until the box is open, there is ''no way'' to determine whether the cat inside is alive or dead, thus allowing the cat to be ''both'' alive and dead.

The thought experiment was originally a critique of the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation Copenhagen interpretation]] of Quantum Physics, where the cat can be [[MindScrew living and dead at the same time]] as a superposition of "realities". The paradox should be obvious. Note that the paradox only exists in a flawed understanding of the Copenhagen interpretation, the classic interpretation of quantum mechanics. According to the many-worlds interpretation, what actually happens is that ''the entire world'' splits into a superposition of worlds where the cat is alive, and those where it is dead.

The reason the experiment is interesting is that in quantum mechanics, things like subatomic particles ''routinely'' exist in superpositions of states, and correct predictions of the outcomes of certain experiments can only be made by taking these effects into account[[note]]A classical example is the double-slit experiment for electrons where the resulting interference pattern is only expected if you assume the electron is in a superposition of states[[/note]]. The experiment posits that if we can accept that small particles (like the radioactive trigger) can be in these kinds of states, then we have to accept that large objects (like the cat) can also be in these kinds of states, raising the question of why we don't routinely observe that.

This thought experiment immediately became popular as a metaphor for uncertainty of the [[TruthAndLies truth]], [[SlidingScaleOfFateVsFreeWill fate]], Quantum Physics, [[QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything how quantum physics can do anything]], and whatever the hell is inside that box. Ironically, the original experiment [[PoesLaw was used to show how]] ''[[PoesLaw stupid]]'' [[PoesLaw the idea of superposition was]].

The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copenhagen_interpretation Copenhagen interpretation]] says that, because of this, each particle is 50% decayed and 50% undecayed. Schrödinger thought that this idea was InsaneTrollLogic, so he extended it to show: if the decay of a radioactive nucleus will set off a device which will release toxic gas into a box that contains a cat, and if (as per the Copenhagen interpretation) the nucleus is 50% decayed and 50% undecayed, the device is 50% triggered and 50% untriggered, so the cat is simultaneously 50% killed and 50% still alive.

As mentioned earlier, the supposed paradox relies on a flawed understanding of Quantum Physics. The flaw lies in not knowing what it means to observe something; observation is not the passive thing like in the world of the everyday, but an ''active'' process. In the theoretical box (no physicist would actually do this; it's highly unethical), the observer isn't the scientist, it's not even [[Creator/DouglasAdams the cat]]; it's the ''Geiger counter'', and it keeps the wave function collapsed into either 100% alive or 100% dead, and not 50% both. To learn more, see the UsefulNotes/QuantumPhysics page. In short, the Copenhagen Interpretation doesn't predict a cat simultaneously alive and dead, but rather a cat that is fully alive until it is fully dead. To put it another way, even famous and intelligent physicists like Schrödinger can be completely wrong.

Sometimes though, it's just used to show off the [[AuthorAppeal writer's]] [[GeniusBonus cleverness]]. [[CriticalResearchFailure Or not]].

[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CrxqTtiWxs4 Here's a video]] that explains the principle in question.

As you might know, even ThisVeryWiki is fond of using this. It's the TropeNamer for:
* SchrodingersButterfly: The story is both real and AllJustADream simultaneously.
* SchrodingersCast: A character is both alive and dead simultaneously, in different versions of the story.
* SchrodingersGun: The location and nature of the [[ChekhovsGun plot device]] are undetermined until you look for it.
* SchrodingersPlayerCharacter: The cast of the story is undetermined until the player chooses his or her role.
* SchrodingersQuestion: In a role-playing game, the correct answer to the question is undetermined until the player gives the answer.
* SchrodingersSuggestionBox: In a role-playing game, some rules are undetermined until a player asks if their bright idea is permitted.

!!Schrödinger's Cat may or may not exist in these works, you'll have to check to know for sure:


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'' uses Schrödinger's Cat in order to explain the Esper abilities: the state of the "cat" outside of their mind is whatever the user's mind deems it to be, allowing the manifestation of the abilities. Misaka Imouto tries to name her cat Schrödinger, but Touma shoots that idea down. That name is taboo for cats. He adds that anyone who would even ''consider'' putting a cat in a box with poison gas must really hate cats.
* Done a couple of times in ''Anime/YuGiOhGX''. Bastion Misawa has it as a formula on his wall (dub only) and a character uses a card which uses Schrödinger's Cat as a basis.
* ''Manga/SayonaraZetsubouSensei'' has a whole episode about the concept which discusses it in detail.
* ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' actually has a character named Schrödinger, and he has a power to be 'everywhere and nowhere' -- allowing him to always be in all plot relevant spots at once, as well as to RetCon any damage he suffers. And he's a CatBoy. In fact, he has a pretty big purpose beyond comic relief: [[spoiler: He was designed to be the 'poison' against Alucard. When he offs himself and lets Alucard absorb him, Schrödinger can no longer tell where he is and is neither dead nor alive. By that extension, so is Alucard and he becomes 'imaginary numbers.' Alucard manages to return to Hellsing after 30 years by offing the 3 million plus lives in him except Schrödinger's, granting him his powers.]]
* ''Anime/{{Noein}}'' has a lot of its premise based on Schroedinger and the idea that an outcome can be altered if it is not observed.
* ''Manga/MurasakiiroNoQualia'' has this play an important role, explaining the concept competently and using it equally so.
* One episode of ''Anime/SpaceDandy'' features loads of alternate versions of the main characters, in one of these Meow's counterpart was a Schrodingerian, a cat creature in a box who was alternately alive or dead.
* In ''Manga/KoiNeko'', [[spoiler:Inaho the kitsune presents Shinta with a mysterious box that, when opened, will cause one of the two Naos - {{Cat Girl}}s who were once kittens he looked after as a child - to disappear. The reason for this is that one of them died, but both wished to be with Shinta]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* In ''Comicbook/AnimalMan'', the final issue of the PeterMilligan-penned AlternateUniverse arc referred to Schrödinger's cat, and was titled "Schrodinger's Pizza."
* In ''ComicBook/AllStarSuperman'', the Ultrasphinx traps Lois Lane in a state of quantum uncertainty, between life and death, unless someone can answer its riddle. Superman answers it and saves her.
* In one ''ComicBook/TheMightyThor'' story, Donald Blake references Schrödinger's cat in describing the Odinsleep, saying the sleeper is in a state between life and death.
* Played with in ''ComicBook/TheIncredibleHercules'', where Amadeus Cho finds himself playing a deadly Role-Playing Game (itself a SchrodingersButterfly of a sort), in which his character, Mastermind Excello, encounters a box containing a cat that is literally both dead and alive in the lair of a MadScientist.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Done wonderfully in the glee fanfic "Magical Thinking", which can be read [[http://gleefics.livejournal.com/782830.html here.]]
* In ''[[Fanfic/DevaSeries Academy Blues]]'', Laura develops a spell called "Schrodinger", which places her in a state between life a death, and allows her to literally be anywhere within a large radius. The spell is somewhat unstable, and she tends to fade in and out in different locations at random times. The spell encloses her body at the location she initiated the spell in a box of light.
* In ''Fanfic/SuzumiyaHaruhiNoIndex'', since Haruhi is an unknowing RealityWarper, if she is asked to guess a card randomly drawn from a deck, she will always get it right, even if she guesses a card ''that isn't in the deck''. The observers comment that it's like if someone did the Schrödinger's Cat experiment and pulled a dog out the box instead.

* The 2001 short film [[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1453260/ The Heisenberg Principle]], directed by Cris Jones, explores this is in a mystical/artistic way.
* ''Film/ASeriousMan'' by Creator/TheCoenBrothers: References to Schrodinger's Cat occurs multiple times as a general theme, both on a literal and metaphorical level. It can be seen as a metaphor for general uncertainty in the world. For instance:
** It's discussed literally in the film since Larry is a physics teacher
** Larry's marriage is in completely the opposite state to what he thought it was,
** When Larry both is and isn't being bribed.
--->'''Larry Gopnik''': It doesn't make sense. Either [your son] left the money or he didn't.
---> '''Mr. Park''': Please. Accept the mystery.
** Reb Groshkover in the opening scene is one. He is suspected to be an undead dybbuk, but no one is sure whether he is either alive or dead [[spoiler:until he's stabbed to make sure.]]
** [[NoEnding The end]]: [[spoiler:Larry has been called to discuss his MRI results and Danny may be hit by a tornado. In our minds Larry and his son are both dead and not dead]].

* ''Literature/DirkGentlysHolisticDetectiveAgency'' saw Dirk begin to explain Schrödinger's cat normally, before talking about how he intervened in the experiment because the cat had gone missing. [[spoiler: Dirk turns out to be making it up to see if Richard, who has been acting very oddly, is capable of spotting complete nonsense (like someone actually performing an experiment where the outcome you're testing is what happens before you look) when he hears it.]]
* ''Literature/TheSalmonOfDoubt'' features half of a cat. Not a cat chopped in half and lying still, the very lively and normal-acting front part of a cat, which just kind of ''ends'' midway along. The cat's name is Gusty Winds, and near the end of what Creator/DouglasAdams had written before he died, Dirk comes across a road sign that says "Gusty winds may exist."
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'':
** In the novels, [[TheGrimReaper Death]] does not understand how this would work. A pretty thing would come to pass if he couldn't tell if a cat was dead or not.
** Pratchett makes multiple references to this. In ''The Unadulturated Cat'', the theory is used to explain the ability of OffscreenTeleportation that all cats seem to have (apparently, the cat was so distressed by being locked in a box with radioactive materials, it became an instant expert in teleportation).
** In ''Discworld/LordsAndLadies'' the motif is spoofed once again, when the cat locked in the box turns out to be Greebo.
--->''Technically, a cat locked in a box may be alive or it may be dead. You never know until you look. In fact, the mere act of opening the box will determine the state of the cat, although in this case there were three determinate states the cat could be in: these being Alive, Dead, and Bloody Furious.''
** Pratchett also returns to the motif in the short story "Death and What Comes Next" when a philosopher tries to get out of his own mortality by explaining that in an infinite number of universes, there exists a version of himself that isn't about to die. Death points out the absurdity of this in multiple ways...but the most relevant is that the cat paradox counts on the cat being unobserved, and Death sees ''everything''.
* An incarnation of Schrödinger's Cat appears in ''Literature/{{Wyrm}}''. It looks and acts a lot like the Cheshire Cat from ''Literature/AliceInWonderland''. [[spoiler:But it's actually an avatar of Wyrm.]]
* In ''Crushed'' by Laura and Tom [=McNeal=], this becomes a critical plot point after [[spoiler:Wickham reveals his past to Audrey]].
* This was the trilogy of novels written by Creator/RobertAntonWilson as the successor to the original ''Illuminatus!'' trilogy. The ''Scrodinger's Cat'' trilogy explores issues of quantum physics, multiple parellel universes, fan-shaped destinies, and the Copenhagen Interpretation.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'', Carter explains why her cat is called Schrödinger to a scientifically advanced alien. (Season 1, episode 17, "Enigma"). Amusingly, the alien agrees with Schrödinger when she finishes: anyone who thinks that might be true has misunderstood the laws of physics.
* ''[[FlashForward2009 Flash Forward]]'' lets us know that Simon is a scientist because he explains it when we first meet him.
* On ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'', Sheldon uses it as a metaphor about whether or not [[spoiler:Penny and Leonard's]] date will be successful or not. He also gets its origin wrong, claiming it was an explanation for the Copenhagen interpretation rather than a critique of it.
* The third season premiere of ''Series/SixFeetUnder'' opens with Nate trapped in a MentalWorld with recurring references to Schrödinger's Cat, highlighting the fact that he's in an in-between state [[spoiler:while undergoing risky brain surgery]] and won't know where he is until he actually takes a risk and "opens the box."
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** Series 7 seems to suggest that the whole of Time Travel is like this. Rory once called out The Doctor for not checking history books before traveling somewhere, and The Doctor says that's not how he travels. We later learn that there's some justification to The Doctor's method as he explains in [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/DoctorWhoS33E05TheAngelsTakeManhattan "The Angels Take Manhattan"]] that time can be rewritten, but not once you've read it. This is further demonstrated when we see Rory's grave. Once seen, that set of events is fixed, or undoing it would cause a paradox. This is further brought home in the Series 7 finale, [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Recap/DoctorWhoS33E13TheNameOfTheDoctor "The Name of The Doctor"]] when The Doctor explains that when you are a time traveler, there is one place you must never go. Turns out, it's your grave. Once you see when and where you will end up dead, it can't be undone. But if you have no prior knowledge of events, then you can change how they turn out without causing a paradox. It is belief in an established timeline that holds the universe and the time stream together.
** A less wibbly—wobbly, timey–wimey example occurred in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS13E4TheAndroidInvasion ''The Android Invasion'']]. The last we see of Sergeant Benton is when he's knocked out by one of the duplicates – leaving fans with a conundrum. Was the original killed so as to not interfere with the android copy, or was the original kept alive in order to ''maintain'' the copy? Seven years (and one regeneration) later, we finally got an answer in [[Recap/DoctorWhoS20E3MawdrynUndead ''Mawdryn Undead'']] : He is [[spoiler:'''ALIVE''' – he made it to retirement in 1979 and went on to become a used car salesmen.]]
* [=McGee=] makes a direct reference to this in the ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' episode "Grace Period", where a suicide bomber named Yazid who has killed two NCIS agents is unknown to be either alive or dead the day before his bombing. Ducky claims he had been dead a day before he blew himself up, but the team finds evidence that he had called from a cellphone on the day he died. [[spoiler: Turns out a different guy (whom an agent had seen walk into the building when the bomb went off) had killed Yazid the day before by suffocating him with latex, which he used to create a mold of his throat and mouth, which he then used to recreate his voice on a life-like voice emitter to call someone the day of the bombing to make the authorities think he was still alive, then he rigged Yazid's corpse with a bomb and blew him up inside a building in order to discredit his Muslim Peace Conference. Talk about a {{Complexity Addiction}}.]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/DigitalDevilSaga'' literally has a cat named Schrödinger. It makes a lot of sense when you realise [[spoiler: it's an aspect of Seraph that achieved enlightenment]].
* In ''VideoGame/NetHack'' a monster known as the Quantum Mechanic will sometimes drop a box when it dies. When you open the box either a living cat will jump out or a cat corpse will be found inside. What's more, examining the code shows that which will be found is undetermined until you check -- [[TheDevTeamThinksOfEverything as opposed to]] every other container in the game, the contents of which are determined when the box is spawned.
* ''VideoGame/GhostTrick'' has a rather literal interpretation of the trope. [[spoiler:To be exact, by the end of the game, Sissel is de-facto a ''dead-immortal'' cat.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'' makes several references to it. See also the ''Portal 2: Lab Rat'' entry below.
** One of Rattman's [[RoomFullOfCrazy dens]] early in the game has a diagram of a cat apparently jumping out of a box, with quantum physics equations scribbled all over it.
** There's an achievement called Schrödinger's Catch, which involved catching a bouncing box before it hit the ground without knowing beforehand which way the box will bounce.
** Also mentioned by the [[KnowNothingKnowItAll Fact Core]] during the {{final boss}} battle:
--->'''Fact Core''': The Schrödinger's Cat paradox outlines a situation in which a cat in a box must be considered, for all intents and purposes, simultaneously alive and dead. Schrödinger created this paradox as a justification for killing cats.
* Selected randomly as a gambling device in the [[BettingMiniGame Money-Making Game]] in ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', where the winner is decided by one player guessing whether the cat is alive or dead. Of course, you don't actually get to choose.
* ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite'':
** The post-credits sequence. [[spoiler:[=DeWitt=] thinks his daughter is in her room, but he's not sure. As he opens the door, the screen cuts to black. Given the infinite amount of universes that could exist, she is both in and not in the room, and it is left up to the player which version [=DeWitt=] finds.]]
** Also, the game features something called "Reconciliation Sickness" which is, for all intents and purposes, Schrodinger's thought experiment GoneHorriblyWrong. Due to the interference of Elizabeth's extradimensional powers, the wave function ''doesn't collapse'', causing people who are alive in one possible timeline and dead in another to become trapped in a torturous state of undeath.
** The early game Voxophone "Everyman All at Once" features a theological variant of the thought experiment:
-->''One man goes into the waters of baptism. A different man comes out, born again. But who is that man who lies submerged? Perhaps the swimmer is both sinner and saint, until he is revealed unto the eyes of man.''

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'' references the original paradox (albeit not by name) in the Safe End and True End. [[spoiler: After TheReveal, Akane's discussion of how information flows and her existence are nods to the Copenhagen interpretation.]] The sub-tropes listed above are also used, although the player doesn't know that until afterward. The sequel, VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward, actually discusses the concept in-game. [[spoiler:K's identity is also an in-universe example. In most timelines, the person in the suit is Kyle Klim. In the cyan door pathways, however, it is Akane Kurashiki.]]
* ''VisualNovel/UminekoWhenTheyCry'' has this as a recurring motif, and is used to explain the fantasy scenes as something that ''could'' have happened but not necessarily ''did'' happen. The events on Rokkenjima is also refered to as this as no one [[spoiler: except Eva knows and who chose not to reveal the truth so that Ange wouldn't find out the truth about her parents.]]
* Similarly, ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' uses the cat; most notably, Frederica Bernkastel uses it in one of her poems. [[spoiler:In that poem, the cat dies, referring to the end of ''Minagoroshi-hen'', as well as the fate Rika encounters a few nights after the Watanagashi.]]

* [[http://sci-ence.org/blinded-by-science/ This]] ''Sci-ence Comic'' does a surprisingly comprehensive job of summing it up.
* [[http://xkcd.com/45/ This]] ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' strip is a Schrödinger's comic.
* In [[http://www.shamusyoung.com/twentysidedtale/?p=1014 this]] ''Webcomic/DMOfTheRings'' strip, Gimli tries to abuse the concept (along with a poorly cast die) to become an '''UNCERTAINTY LICH.'''
* ''Webcomic/CheckerboardNightmare'' featured a minor character named Schrödinger the Cat. He could see all possible realities simultaneously and as a result [[GoMadFromTheRevelation he's completely insane]].
* [[http://irregularwebcomic.net/1944.html This]] strip of ''IrregularWebcomic'' references Schrödinger's thought experiment in the punchline, but you'll notice that the explanatory note below the comic starts off talking about ''Heisenberg''. As DMM points out in the final paragraph, the punchline of the comic existed in a state of flux while he was writing TheRant. [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/comic.php?current=2846 Later]], [[Series/MythBusters Jamie and Adam]] remove the "thought" from "thought experiment" and actually set up Schrödinger's Cat with an actual box and an actual cat. [[http://www.irregularwebcomic.net/comic.php?current=2853 Next MythBusters strip]], after Jamie says there's no way to determine whether the cat is alive or dead without opening the box and observing the cat, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny Adam kicks it and makes it yowl]].
-->(Commentary) Technically, in the experimental sense, this ''is'' actually "observing" the cat. Quantum mechanics isn't quite ''that'' perverse.
* ''Webcomic/LukeSurl'' [[http://www.lukesurl.com/archives/2280 explains]] why the cat is dead. In [[http://www.lukesurl.com/archives/227 an earlier strip]], he drew some interesting parallels with classic literature.
* A classroom lecture on Schrödinger's Cat is given in [[http://www.spy6teen.com/comic-1/page-19/ this]] page of ''Webcomic/{{Spy6teen}}''; and ends up being ChekhovsGun in [[http://inkoutbreak.com/index.php?comic=6e1be6e69dfe79ff7c6b37c751b37c53&banner=20120306190824_spy6teen_160.png this comic]]
* [[http://dresdencodak.com/2006/02/13/trouble-in-memphis/ This]] early ''DresdenCodak'' comic.
-->"Somewhere, Niels Bohr walks among us, unobserved and '''immortal'''."
--> (Niels Bohr, in a purple cat disguise, is seen hiding in a bush.)
::Later, thanks to guest artist [[SaturdayMorningBreakfastCereal Zack Weiner]], '''[[http://dresdencodak.com/2010/05/06/smbc-guest-comic/ Cat's Schrödinger]]''' was introduced.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}: Lab Rat'' (the comic that ties the two ''VideoGame/{{Portal}}'' games together), there are a couple references.
** [=GLaDOS=] [[UnreliableNarrator claims]] to have actually done the experiment.
--->'''[=GLaDOS=]''': Do you know that thought experiment with the cat in the box with the poison? Theory requires the cat be both alive and dead until observed. Well, I actually performed the experiment. Dozens of times. The bad news is that reality doesn't exist. The good news is [[BlackComedy we have a new cat graveyard]].
** At the end of the comic, Doug Rattman compares Chell to the cat, surviving in [[HumanPopsicle stasis]] but with no guarantee she'll ever be woken up.
--->'''Rattman''': Both alive and dead, until someone opens the box.
* Referenced in [[http://www.explosm.net/comics/949/ this]] ''Webcomic/CyanideAndHappiness'' comic.
* ''Webcomic/ScenesFromAMultiverse'' has fun with this in [[http://amultiverse.com/2010/08/12/heisenphron-day/ this strip]], which briefly presents an entire civilization based on the uncertainty theory, including universal ownership of celebratory "cat boxes".
* Webcomic/CaptainSNES has a cat named Schrödinger, whose state in Videoland cannot be determined by the residents, as it is from the real world, and it generally proceeds to make fools of everyone it meets.
* One of the "[[http://www.mspaintadventures.com/extras/ps000029.html extra]]" pages from ''Webcomic/ProblemSleuth'' depicts the Midnight Crew unleashing hundreds of these cats, existing in every possible state between alive and dead, on the Wasp Professor.
-->And unfortunately for the Professor... EVERY ONE OF THOSE CAT STATES IS UNBELIEVABLY DEADLY.
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' had a sudden perspective switch after Nepeta, the resident [[CatGirl cat troll]], attacked AxCrazy sober Gamzee. For the longest time, nobody knew whether she had survived the encounter. [[spoiler: She didn't.]] Therefore, she was temporarily Schrodinger's Nepeta.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* [[WebVideo/AtopTheFourthWall Linkara]] criticises the experiment in one of his reviews. In his top 11 mistakes, he admits he missed the point somewhat.
* Cecil Adams (of The Straight Dope) [[http://holyjoe.org/poetry/adams.htm explains the concept in rhyme.]]
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP]]-[[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2144 2144]] is, in usual SCP fashion, an attempt to turn the trope into mild creepypasta. 2144 is a cat who is invisible to cameras, inaudible to microphones, and intangible to weighing scales, yet very lively and animate as long as it stays in an open area (humans can see/hear/touch it just fine, but they can't feel its heartbeat). If you force it into an enclosed area it immediately becomes comatose, but cameras and microphones can detect it again. Oh, and it emits deadly radiation and exhales hydrogen cyanide while comatose. Fortunately for everyone else it has an aversion to open doors and windows.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Used as a joke in a ''{{WesternAnimation/Futurama}}'' episode. The cops catch Erwin Schrödinger speeding with a box containing a cat, he's not clear whether it's alive or dead (until Fry opens the box and the cat claws his face), and there's also drugs in there.
** There's also the Professor's cry of ''No fair! You changed the outcome by measuring it!'' at the racetrack.
* Said by Velma in the series finale for ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooMysteryIncorporated'' while she is trying to comprehend [[spoiler:the reveal of an alternate timeline where the Nibiru Entity never existed, and therefore never negatively influenced any of the character's lives, placing them in a happy town with no mysteries]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* A famous quote by Creator/StephenHawking: "When I hear about Schrödinger's cat, I reach for my gun." [[note]]A paraphrase of the, eh, more (un)famous quote of Nazi Hermann Göring, who did the same hearing the word "Kultur".[[/note]] [[http://physics.about.com/od/quantumphysics/f/schroedcat.htm About.com to explains]]:
--> ''This represents the thoughts of many physicists, because there are several aspects the thought experiment that bring up issues. The biggest problem with the analogy is that quantum physics typically only operates on the microscopic scale of atoms and subatomic particles, not on the macroscopic scale of cats and poison vials.''
::Also, physicists such as John Gribbin (author of ''In Search of Schrödinger's Cat'' and ''Schrödinger's Kittens'') wonder at what point particles go from being "quantum" to "ordinary". How big do you have to be to be normal? How small do you have to be to be in two places at once?
* The rise of QuantumMechanicsCanDoAnything has led to references to the original thought experiment in unrelated fields. One publication in political science asks the reader to imagine international structure by invoking Schrödinger's cat and the Uncertainty Principle.
* An entry in the Style Invitational (humor contest in the Washington Post) [[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/06/04/AR2010060402292.html from 2010]]:
-->Curiosity only collapsed the quantum superposition of Schrödinger's cat into a definite state. What killed it was leaving it in a box for a week.
* Website/{{Cracked}} used a punchline in [[http://www.cracked.com/article_19419_6-parodies-that-succeeded-because-nobody-got-joke.html this article]]:
-->The cat just dies, and you're just an asshole.