[[quoteright:350:[[Series/MythBusters http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/djg5wt9.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:"This ingredient is made of Blur.\\
And this has some Blur in it, too.\\
Blur is very dangerous;\\
you don't wanna mix Blur with Blur."]]

->'''Victor:''' What's that, brake fluid? Diethylene glycol isn't gonna burn fast enough to do anything!\\
'''Michael:''' ''(taping bottles together and tossing them out a car window)'' It will, if it's mixed with chlorine dioxide, and some other stuff.
-->-- ''Series/BurnNotice'', "Lesser Evil"

%%One page quote is sufficient. Put additional quotes on the Quotes tab.

Writers don't want to teach their audience how to make bombs. Something about "not wanting to be responsible for the deaths of hundreds of innocent souls." Wimps.

So, to avoid liability issues and criminal charges, some critical ingredient for the explosive is removed, replaced (with something less volatile) or referred to [[UnusualEuphemism vaguely]] (as "stuff", "my secret ingredient", or similar.)

SpeculativeFiction will usually make the "other stuff" {{Unobtanium}} or some real life substance that the average person is ''highly'' unlikely to ever come across (e.g. Uranium, {{Antimatter}}). See also DontTryThisAtHome.

Compare SecretIngredient, which is about being tasty rather than explosive. Contrast NoodleImplements, where you know exactly what's going to be used, and absolutely nothing about how.



[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* An episode of ''Anime/PaniPoniDash'' include a bomb, which two of the schoolgirls set to disarming. They list up the components as they do, except they're all censored by a SoundEffectBleep. The [[LemonyNarrator translation notes snarkily mention]] that while they ''could'' list the components, "no way are we going to teach a bunch of {{Otaku}} to make bombs. You'll have to look this stuff up on the internet like everybody else."

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* Parodied in strip during the ''Last Laugh'' CrisisCrossover in Franchise/TheDCU. The strip had ComicBook/TheJoker explaining how to make his lethal Joker venom but censored out the names of various ingredients but left in comments like "You'll need to go to the hardware store for that". The joke, of course, being that you couldn't make the entirely fictitious Joker venom even if you did know what it contained.
* In an issue of ''[[ComicBook/GIJoeARealAmericanHeroMarvel G.I. Joe: Special Missions]]'', Lightfoot explains how how he is MacGyvering a fuel-air explosive out of supplies found in an enemy bunker. However, the panels have censor boxes placed over them so the reader cannot see what he is actually doing.

* In ''Film/FightClub'', Tyler Durden asserts that napalm will be created by mixing equal parts gasoline and [[ItRunsOnNonSensoleum concentrated orange juice.]] [[Literature/FightClub The book's versions]] are also intentionally untrue.
* In the film ''Film/{{Tremors}}'', regarding the pipe bombs made by the CrazySurvivalist;
-->"What the hell's in those things, Burt?"
-->"A few household chemicals in the proper proportions."
* The drugs that Zeke makes in ''Film/TheFaculty'' are made from "caffeine pills and some other household shit." The Other Stuff in this case is likely [=NaCl=] and [[YourMindMakesItReal dehydrated Placebo]] according to how the drugs affect [[spoiler: the aliens, unless it's a case of BizarreAlienBiology]].
* ''Film/HollowMan'' has the [[{{Invisibility}} Invisible Man]] creating nitroglycerin in the matter of five minutes or so (when it's such a volatile liquid you have to measure both temperature and quantities so the nitro doesn't explode while you're mixing it). And the movie doesn't show '''nitr'''ic acid among the substances he gets for the nitro (the bold there was an indicative to how crucial it is).
* In the ''{{Franchise/Terminator}}'''s 'verse, apparently you can make plastic explosive from moth balls, corn syrup and ammonia.


* In-universe in ''Literature/{{Frankenstein}}''. The titular doctor is deliberately vague about how he brought a sewn-together corpse to life. The sailor he's telling his story to tries to inquire further, but Frankenstein refuses because he doesn't want anyone else to replicate his experiment.
* In ''Literature/PeterPan'', the explanation that the children need to be sprinkled with "fairy dust" in order to fly was added by Barrie so that children would not jump out of windows thinking that they could fly if they believe they could.
* In the afterword to Creator/TomClancy's ''Literature/TheSumOfAllFears'' ([[Literature/JackRyan book]], not movie), Clancy admits to fudging some details of the workings and construction of nuclear weapons, in an effort to not help anyone with unkind intentions involving nukes (though he also acknowledges, if somewhat cynically, it probably won't actually stop anything).
* The author of ''Literature/TheSalvationWar'' intentionally fudged the workings of nuclear weapons, and when one of his readers pointed out the error, he said it was standard procedure.
* It's not explosive, but it is dangerous: "moon tea" in ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' is based on natural abortifacients such as tansy and pennyroyal, which were historically used, but produced nasty side effects at best and would straight-up kill a woman if the mixture was even slightly off. George R R Martin [[http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Entry/A_Myriad_of_Questions/ "added a few fantasy touches"]] because he didn't want anybody trying this at home.
** The Inn At the Crossroads ASOIAF cooking site made a recipe for tansy tea, noting that: "Nobody should drink this tea for its Westerosi purpose. In fact, nobody should drink this tea at all..."
* Similarly, Diana Gabaldon's ''Literature/{{Outlander}}'' series is factually based but vague about abortifacents and penicillin, lest those playing along at home want to try, while perfectly candid about other medical subjects.
* Creator/MichaelCrichton's book ''Literature/ACaseOfNeed'' had a note indicating that the relatively simple synthesis of LSD from lysergic acid had been removed due to legal concerns.
* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'': ''Nanny Ogg's Cookbook'' contains a number of recipes which Nanny notes have had "some of what you might call the more ''active'' ingredients" taken out. (Anyone who's read ''Discworld/{{Maskerade}}'' will understand why.)
--->''People say the real thing was a rampant aphrodisiac, but I say there's not enough love in the world.''
* Poked fun at in L. Frank Baum's ''[[Literature/LandOfOz The Magic of Oz]]'', in which one of the characters figures out how to pronounce the mysterious magical word, "pyrzqxgl". The narrator observes that he wouldn't dare write down the proper way to pronounce this word, lest it fall into the wrong hands, and advices the reader not to try to pronounce "pyrzqxgl" the right way, for fear of accidents.
* The Creator/StephenKing short story ''[[Literature/NightmaresAndDreamscapes Dolan's Cadillac]]'' includes instructions on how to hot wire a car, but as King mentions in his notes, he left out some steps.
* In ''Armadale'' by Creator/WilkieCollins, the chemicals used to create a poisonous gas (probably carbon monoxide) are described only as 'Our Stout Friend' and 'a certain mineral Substance'.
* In ''AmericanGods'' Mr Wednesday manages to scam money out of a cashier by constantly switching between credit cards and cash. In his notes Creator/NeilGaiman says what Wednesday did ''is'' do-able, but he deliberately fuzzed the edges so that readers wouldn't be able to figure out exactly how he did it and thus pull their own scams. (Although that didn't stop someone from using another scam featured in the book to actually rob a bank.)
* Amusingly lampshaded in ''The Smart Aleck's Guide to American History'', which is ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin. Throughout the book, there are obviously sarcastic suggestions for "activities," such as hanging someone upside down by the ankle or tarring and feathering someone. Then, in the World War One section, they have what they claim is a recipe for mustard gas. At the end of the recipe, the author admits it's a recipe for fudge, since, in spite of all the ''other'' "activities" in the book, ''this'' is the one the publisher made them take out, since someone might actually make mustard gas. "We assume you all are smarter than that, but the publisher said we could get sued. So make some fudge! Everyone loves fudge."
* In ''Literature/TheStrangeCaseOfDrJekyllAndMrHyde'', Lanyon recognizes a few of the ingredients used to make the potion (salt, phosphorous, blood-red liquor, ether), but the rest are unidentified.

[[folder: Live Action TV]]
* In ''Series/BurnNotice'', there was the time in "Family Business" when Fiona made homemade explosives that looked and acted like C-4 using "spackle, petroleum jelly, and a bunch of other things I don't even wanna know about."
* Back in TheEighties, ''Series/MacGyver'' himself was omitting steps for his explosive solutions.
* The ''Series/BlueHeelers'' episode "Kicking Over the Traces" refers to an online guide to, essentially, being a terrorist, from guides to bombs and how to make weapons to how to be the giggest anarchist you possibly can. PJ doesn't call it by its real name, instead he calls it the Anarchist's Handbook. Several times (such as when Tahni and Ryan torch Tom's car) it's described how it was done... with omissions.
* ''Series/MythBusters'' omits bits of information concerning the exact chemical explosives they're using for various experiments.
** There was an episode involving thermite, testing a theory of what might have happened to the Hindenburg. They do mention the two major reactants (aluminum powder and iron oxide) but censor some additional materials needed to make them react when exposed to flame. Lampshaded when Adam held up a pair of chemical bottles with the names blurred out.
---> '''Adam''': This ingredient is made of blur. Ha! And this has blur in it too. Blur is very dangerous; you don't want to mix blur with blur.
** Another episode censored ingredients with [[SoundEffectBleep animal noises]], leading to a remark from the narrator about the reaction you get when you "add donkey to rooster."
** They also did this for a non-explosive myth, where they managed to create facsimiles of fingerprints which would pass biometric scanners based on a copy of an actual print lifted off a 2D surface.
** When they tested [[Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries Kirk's]] improvised cannon, an important step was left out when they made their black powder. Of course, that same step was left out of the original ''Franchise/StarTrek'' episode, so one could argue they were just being authentic.
** They also omit critical steps when demonstrating activities such as lockpicking and other theft-oriented skills.
** In an "Evening with Adam and Jamie" in NC, they revealed that one of two episodes they outright refused to do involved a myth of an explosive mix of such common, easy-to-access materials with such destructive results, that they locked up all of the footage and swore never to go into much detail again. Even getting the above little info took many people's continued nagging.
* The creators of ''Series/BreakingBad'' had a real live DEA agent come in to teach the writers how to actually cook meth, so that they could then carefully (and invisibly) subvert the processes shown on screen, retaining verisimilitude while actually offering directions on how to produce an over-the-counter nasal decongestant. Also, the difficulty of procuring the raw materials (which include some of the most highly DEA-controlled chemicals there are) means that anyone who tries to copy the TV show (presumably because [[ComicallyMissingThePoint they have a stuffy nose]]) will be facing down the police in fairly short order.
** Bringing the above two together, Mythbusters took a hack at some of the chemistry on Breaking Bad, proving in short order that hydrofluoric acid wasn't quite nasty enough to actually eat through a bathtub. What was? Sulfuric acid and "special sauce", which Adam and Jamie refused to elaborate on. Those who know a bit of chemistry trivia might suspect that the "special sauce" was actually [[spoiler:reagent-grade hydrogen peroxide]], which when combined with H[[subscript:2]]SO[[subscript:4]] produces a spectacularly violent glassware cleaning product called "piranha solution".


* [[http://keithschofield.com/wintergreen/ This music video]] by Wintergreen, directed by Keith Schofield. No, it won't work, and may get you killed. Not that regular meth use won't...
* Parodied as a ShoutOut in Music/LadyGaga's video for "Telephone", where a poison recipe requires the use of [[VideoGame/CommandAndConquer Tiberium]], [[Franchise/{{Dune}} Meta-cyanide]], and [[Franchise/StarWars Fex-M3]].
* Leslie Fish's ''Black Powder and Alcohol'' is a survivalist song about how to make, well, what it says. The details are probably too vague to be helpful, but she is honestly trying.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In ''VideoGame/DriverSanFrancisco'', ammonia is correctly identified as an ingredient in the production of [[DeadlyGas hydrogen cyanide]], using platinum as a catalyst. However, the proper procedure is never identified beyond "if you knew what you were doing". They needn't have bothered, as the method for creating hydrogen cyanide is beyond the capabilities of most people.
* ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'' has survivalist training manuals (or rather, scattered torn-out pages of them), which, [[GottaCatchEmAll when collected]], provide Joel with handy-dandy information on [[YouHaveResearchedBreathing how to survive in a post-apocalyptic wasteland]]. The pages about treating injuries more effectively have some actually pretty useful information on splints, tourniquets and the like. The pages about making smoke bombs, tying knots on weapons, sharpening shivs, and improving the construction of molotov cocktails all noticeably trail off with "..."s.
* Several levels in ''VideoGame/PAYDAY2'' feature cooking meth as one of the objectives. In game the mixture produces blue crystals as a ShoutOut to ''Series/BreakingBad''. Potential drug kingpins mixing the same ingredients in real life will be disappointed to find that all they've managed to create is salt water.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The Doctor from ''WebAnimation/ScreamOfTheShalka'' makes a bomb out of a trash-can filled with fertilizer, newspaper and..."a little something" white and powdery from a bag in his pocket. The most likely candidate is probably aluminum powder, but it's hard to say.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4W5DjIOInQ This]] ''Civil Protection'' video parodies, then subverts, this trope. One of the characters is very careful not to say anything about how to build bombs, and the other says DontTryThisAtHome whilst explaining ''exactly'' what not to do. When asked why he's explaining how to make napalm, he says that he doesn't want people to do it [[ComicallyMissingThePoint by accident.]]

[[folder: Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/SitDownShutUp'', when [[ItMakesSenseInContext the school's meth lab]] got its own [[NoFourthWall semi-out-of-universe]] cooking show, the dub translator for the [[TheUnintelligible wacky foreign janitor]] refused to translate the instructions.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' did an episode about drugs where, instead of using real drugs, the drug-of-choice was having a cat pee in your face. One wonders if anyone in the real world attempted to use this technique, with hilarious failure (Though it should be noted there are other episodes where they just use real drugs). Trey and Matt were making fun of the panic over kids trying to get high on things that wouldn't be considered obviously dangerous (like cough syrup, prescription medication, or aerosol spray).
* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'', Bobby gets a LoveInterest (voiced by Creator/LucyLiu) who tricks him into building a meth lab for his science fair project. All of the ingredients are explicitly shown, but the procedure is different than real meth preparation.

[[folder: Real Life]]
* In Louisville, Kentucky, they put up huge billboards indicating ingredients used to make methamphetamine. One of which was lithium rechargeable batteries. The billboards say something along the lines of "They use this to make meth. Report suspicious activity to the LMPD (Louisville Metro Police Department) immediately."
* An infamous 1979 case, US v. Progressive, Inc., concerned the publication by ''The Progressive'' magazine of the basic working principles of a thermonuclear bomb, a curious trick of physics involving using the radiation generated by the trigger blast to compress the fusion material. The magazine won the lawsuit despite the fear that it would lead to the proliferation of fusion bombs around the world, but in fact the description was missing several components, including one material known as FOGBANK that appears to have been a packing material of sorts (actual function unknown outside US nuclear weapons research) in warheads. [[note]]All that's known for sure about it is that it requires some fairly toxic reagents to manufacture, most notably acetonitrile, which caused several industrial accidents in 2006 where the material was being made.[[/note]] It was discovered in the 2000s that the recipe that the US government had used to make the stuff in the 1970s and 80s was faulty, and had relied on a contaminated ingredient to work; the result was that work on updating the US nuclear arsenal stalled while they figured out what the Some Other Stuff in question actually was. That's right... the US's nuclear security was dependent on replacing stocks of something that no one even knew how to make.