troperville

tools

toys


main index

Narrative

Genre

Media

Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
random
Bombproof Appliance
A bomb shelter on a budget.

A bomb is about to go off while the hero is indoors. Where does he find refuge? Usually, either the bathtub or the fridge. Think about it as a completely different kind of Fridge Logic. This has been tested by MythBusters. Even taking cover behind a wooden table at 5' will prevent instantaneous death from the pressure wave, though death by shrapnel or other injuries are still on the table. For a similar fallacy, see Concealment Equals Cover.

If the explosive device is small, such as a hand grenade, the hero can throw it in a fridge. This has been tried by Mythbusters as well, and proved to be at least partially false: while the sides of the fridge offer some protection, the front and back will just turn into so much deadly shrapnel.

See also Bomb Disposal.


Examples:

Film
  • Lethal Weapon 2: Riggs and Murtaugh use a bathtub. This specific case was tested by the MythBusters and found to be a workable solution, though freezing the bomb's battery would likely give them a lot more than two seconds to get to safety.
  • Bangkok Dangerous: Nicholas Cage also used a bathtub.
  • Hiding in a bathtub worked for The Punisher in The Movie as well.
  • Sean Connery went the bathtub route to survive a pair of hand grenades in The Rock.
  • Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull: Harrison Ford prefers using a fridge. Lead-lined in case of nuclear blast.
  • The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones: Clary Fray hides in a fridge with the door closed over while a cooker explodes right next to the fridge.
  • Time And Tide: Also a fridge.
  • Broken Saints: Yet another fridge.
  • Eraser: A fridge door was used to block the flechettes from a grenade. It worked... more or less. It was also used by the heroes to hide behind, as the X-ray scopes couldn't see through it.
  • Stalingrad: a Red Army soldier uses a bathtub as improvised portable armor to get past a German machine gun nest.

Live-Action TV
  • Malcolm stuffs a grenade into the fridge in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. However, it does end up destroying the kitchen anyways.
  • So does Adrian Monk in an episode of Monk then opens up the fridge again to straighten the grenade. MythBusters showed a clip of Monk and investigated the myth. They proved that the fridge offered some protection against the blast, but the front and back turn to deadly shrapnel.
  • On one NCIS, Gibbs survives a bomb blast that shredded the other person in the room because he was crouched down behind an industrial washing machine. Although he is seriously injured, the doctors conclude that the washer is the only thing that kept him from being killed.
  • In F/X: The Series, the good guys find the bomb inside the fridge, and stuff it in a cannon prop to direct the blast away from themselves.
  • The ol' cast-iron bathtub is used again in Castle, where it also serves as a Chekhov's Gun: a seemingly gratuitous shower scene establishes that Beckett is within diving distance of the tub.
  • Spooks. A briefcase bomb is delivered to the home of an SIS agent, but a malfunction in the security system prevents the family from leaving the house. In the end they take shelter in the bathtub and survive the Cliff Hanger explosion that apparently destroys the house.
  • Inverted in Bones, where it's the bomb that's in the fridge instead of the heroes (Booth and Brennan)and it goes off when Booth opens the door.
  • In an episode of Stargate Atlantis, a bomb-disposal technician is seen dragging a chimney-like device on a trolley to take care of a tumor-bomb. Unfortunately, the bomb explodes seconds before it can be put inside.

Literature
  • Subverted in one short story where a child during the Cold War hears jetfighters flying low overhead and assumes that a nuclear war has started. He hides in an abandoned fridge and gets trapped there.

Video Games
  • Heavy Rain. A bomb-analogue is about to go off in an apartment, and you can choose to hide in a fridge. It works. And you get a trophy for doing it.

Webcomics

Western Animation
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, Batman once hid in a safe. Even the Riddler couldn't figure this stunt out and was nearly driven insane by it.
  • Obligatory The Simpsons example: when Homer buys illegal fireworks for the 4th of July, he accidentally shortens the fuse of an already-lit, massive one. He initially shoves it into the fridge, but then gasps, realising that the beer would be destroyed, so he moved it into the dishwasher, where it detonated.

Real Life
  • There are bombproof trashcans, designed to minimize the damage caused by a terrorist dropping a homemade explosive device into one by focusing the blast upwards, away from bystanders. They were a common sight in the UK during The Troubles and are still a common sight at likely terrorist targets like sports stadiums or railway stations. Inverted by the modern approach, which involves doing away with trashcans altogether in favour of transparent plastic bags on a hook; in theory, anything that looks like it might be a bomb is easily noticeable and the area can be evacuated in the event of a suspicious item being spotted. How well this works has yet to be put to the test.
  • Similarly, something you might include when digging a foxhole or some similar defensive fighting position is a Grenade Sump. It's a deep, narrow hole in the middle of your foxhole, working on the same principle as the bombproof trashcan. Bad guy tosses a grenade in your foxhole, you kick it into the hole. (Then hug the wall.)
  • There are also blast-proof refrigerators, used for storing volatile chemicals that may blow up even when refrigerated. note 
  • In the 1980's, the US Air Force bought and installed a $7,000 coffee maker on a jet. The reason the coffee maker cost that much? It was designed to withstand a crash that would wipe out the whole crew. In addition, the Air Force also has over a hundred fax machines that are built to survive an atomic bomb blast.
    • That last part isn't nearly as silly as it sounds. A nuclear detonation creates a massive electromagnetic pulse, powerful enough to fry integrated circuits and other electronic components that are outside the blast radius. (For example, the Starfish Prime high-altitude detonation disabled telephone systems in Hawaii, 900 miles away, and knocked out ten satellites.) In order to withstand such effects, much military communications gear and other electronics are EMP-shielded.
  • Bathtubs USED to be made out of heavy cast iron. If you're dealing with handgun fire or shrapnel/fragmentation and you jump into one of those tubs, you're golden. If you dealing with rifle fire... it can get dicey.
    • Makes a great backup option in case of tornado. Naturally a cellar is a better choice, but if it's a cast-iron tub or nothing, rub-a-dub-dub.
  • Adolf Hitler (along with most of the other people in the room) survived an assassination attempt by a bomb thanks to a solid oaken conference table leg in between.

Bombers on the ScreenAction Adventure TropesBond One-Liner
Blanket Tug O WarFurniture TropesBookcase Passage
Catapult to GloryJustForFun/Tropes Examined by the Myth BustersLethal Weapon

random
TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from thestaff@tvtropes.org.
Privacy Policy
17684
2