[[quoteright:350:[[WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/emp.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:The go-to weapon in case of RobotWar. Leaves humans intact... but hopelessly bored.]]

->'''Grif:''' What's an E.M.P.?\\
'''Washington:''' It's an electro-magnetic pulse. It wipes out all circuitry and computers it touches. It will destroy the A.I.--\\
'''Simmons:''' Oh, you mean an Emp.
-->-- ''Machinima/RedVsBlue''

EMP, short for electromagnetic pulse, is often used in stories to take out anything electronic. Sometimes shown to be a temporary effect (especially when the RuleOfFun applies in games), it usually results in the permanent disabling of electronic systems.

Now for a more detailed [[http://www.fas.org/nuke/intro/nuke/emp.htm explanation.]]

When a nuclear warhead explodes, it releases a LOT of gamma rays, which are photons with tons of energy. When these photons travel through air, they strip electrons off the air molecules as they zoom past. This is called "ionizing" the air. Because those photons are so very energetic, they do it over a very long distance and make a huge volume of ionized air.

Ionized air becomes a conductor. This means those stripped-off electrons, energized by the gamma rays, are free to move around in an electric current. Any change in current produces radio waves. And since the current is going from zero to huge in a very short amount of time, this means a large portion of the atmosphere becomes a HUGE radio transmitter, broadcasting noise at full power.

Radio waves have the generally useful property that they induce currents in conductive material (that's how a receiving antenna works). So whenever these INTENSE radio waves hit something metal, like the wires inside your computer, they produce proportionally INTENSE power surges. Ever had a piece of electronics destroyed when lightning hit your house? This is a similar effect, except bigger. And everywhere. At the same time.

As a bonus, the main pulse is followed almost instantly by secondary ones. The original nuke releases neutrons, which run into things and produce more gamma rays, which produce another wave of electrons. And after that, the Earth's magnetic field "heaves" a little when hit by all this stuff, and that magnetic effect can zap anything connected to really long wires.

Doesn't that sound like fun?

In particular, silicon transistors -- the building block of modern electronics -- are very sensitive to these power surges. The induced current burns and destroys them. They are so sensitive, in fact, it has been theorized that a single nuke, detonated in the right part of the upper atmosphere, could take out most of the unprotected computers in the United States. Also, it is theorized that a high-intensity EMP burst could destroy silicon transistor circuitry even if the device is turned off. Military hardware has to be specially shielded to withstand most of the effects. Interestingly, ancient computers from the 1950s would also be resistant; they were built with vacuum tubes, which can take the pulse a lot better than modern transistors, especially if they were powered down at the time. Also, it's possible that early transistors, which were made of germanium rather than silicon, might be able to withstand an EMP if the device is powered down.

If you want to do this zapping without the nuclear fallout, there are a few [[http://science.howstuffworks.com/e-bomb3.htm smaller weapons]] that can generate an EMP. Such a thing is usually a kind of single-use electric generator, which sends out its pulse when crushed by a conventional explosive. The pulse is far weaker, and can kill maybe an office full of computers. In case you wonder why the same explosive charge alone couldn't do it, a range can be extended by rigging up a generator to get a directional emission of microwaves instead of a plain magnetic surge. Getting a city-sized EMP without a nuclear bomb is not feasible with current technology; as to reusable variants, if we had the capacitors necessary to do that, we could also build practical [[MagneticWeapons railguns]] and laser rifles. It is also possible to [[http://www.electronicproducts.com/Power_Products/Power_Management/How_to_build_a_mini_EMP_generator_to_disrupt_electronics.aspx build a portable EMP jammer on your own]] with a disposable point-and-shot camera's electrolytic capacitor, a generator and a coil.

Weapons aren't even needed to create an EMP, though: a sufficiently sized solar flare or other cosmic ray event can do it -- a pre-nuclear example exists in the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solar_storm_of_1859 Solar Storm of 1859, known as the Carrington Event,]] A gamma ray burst or supernova far enough away to not fry the Earth with enough ionizing radiation to actually pose a threat to human life itself could also accomplish creating a global disaster from an EMP.

A more docile variant of EMP is "degaussing," which uses a varying magnetic field to remove magnetism from a metal object. Ships in WWII were degaussed to make them less vulnerable to magnetic mines. The last generation of CRT monitors, which were what most desktop computers used before LCD/LED displays took over, had built-in degaussers to eliminate color aberrations caused by stray fields. And bulk erasers, an even smaller and lower powered version of this, is used to destroy the data on magnetic storage devices (very popular with the [[Literature/BastardOperatorFromHell BOFH]]).

When Hollywood talks about EMP, it can generally be filed under ArtisticLicensePhysics.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/HighschoolOfTheDead'' features one moderately realistic EMP generated by a low-altitude nuke exploding over Japan.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'', ZAFT has the Gungnir System, which it deploys when they attack Panama -- and then proceed to slaughter Alliance soldiers trapped in disabled mecha. Even the revenge-minded Yzak gives pause at this, hinting at his later HeelFaceTurn.
** The MinovskyParticle in the Universal Century timeline is also mentioned as capable of emitting EMP. Not only did this render long-range radar useless and made it necessary to shield electronics in bulky armor, but it also made the very ''idea'' of mobile suit combat possible.
* In ''Anime/TheAnimatrix'', "The Second Renaissance", it is said that the machines had little to fear from nuclear explosions as they were not affected by the heat and fallout, completely forgetting about the effects described in the page's intro. Which is weird because ''the movies play it straight.''
* In ''Anime/TerrorInResonance'', the terrorist organization [[spoiler:Sphinx detonates a nuclear bomb in the stratosphere above Japan, where the resulting EMP sends the entire country back into a literal dark age]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/XMen'':
** Villain (and [[HeelFaceRevolvingDoor occasional ally]]) ComicBook/{{Magneto}} does this from time to time. Considering how [[GreenLanternRing flexible]] his magnetic powers are usually depicted as being, it's not completely out of the question.
** ComicBook/{{Storm}} has done it with ''lightning bolts'' which... [[ArtisticLicensePhysics isn't possible]].
** In the Ultimate Universe, there was a very minor villain called Syndicate who had a literal electromagnetic pulse- that is, his heartbeat would send out waves of electronics-disrupting surges. He also had two heads.
* In the second issue of ''ComicBook/GlobalFrequency'', one of the characters carries non-lethal weaponry, such as EMP grenades, when they are going against a full-body enhancile. [[spoiler:They are... not exactly non-lethal.]]
* In ''ComicBook/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'', the Soviets launch a single nuclear missile at the contested island of Corto Maltese. Superman knocks it off course, but, as Batman points out, this is not a NukeEm weapon -- the "Coldbringer" is designed to knock out the enemies' ability to fight, without damaging infrastructure. The weapon detonates, Superman gets [[NormallyIWouldBeDeadNow almost dead]], and the electrics fizzle out in most of the Americas.
* In ''ComicBook/AllFallDown'', the Colony Drop-sized asteroid Penumbra seems to be radiating this, making any missile attack impossible.
* ''ComicBook/IronMan'' has one built into his armor. It disables his own gear as well, which then takes about six minutes to fix itself. The exact same thing is in the ''ComicBook/WarMachine'' armor.
* In ''Comicbook/TheAdventuresOfBarryWeenBoyGenius'', Barry assures an alien bookie hiding in his house that he won't have to worry about his vengeful employers, since Barry's home security system is practically impregnable. [[TemptingFate He boasts that the only thing that could put a dent in it is a huge highly focused magnetic pulse... which is exactly what the alien pursuers use to disable said system]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/AeonNatumEngel'', among the standard depictions of EMP, it's also one of the main reason for the Iceland's DecadeDissonance.
* Before their invasion of Earth in ''FanFic/WorldwarWarOfEquals'', The Race drops several [=EMPs=] on the atmosphere to knock out communications and confuse military forces. Only the US, Mexico, Germany, and Egypt are spared since their air force fighters cut them off just in time.
* ''FanFic/BetweenMinds'' (''VideoGame/HalfLife'' × ''Videogame/{{Portal}}'') uses one to nuke a couple Advisors' life support during an aerial battle!

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Cars 2}}'', Allinol is actually [[spoiler:a deadly chemical invented by [[BigBad Miles Axlerod]] that was designed to catch fire and explode inside a car's engine after being blasted by a deadly electromagnetic cannon built by his [[TheDragon Dragon,]] Professor Z, that resembles a video camera.]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* The last-resort weapons against the robots in ''Film/TheMatrix'' trilogy. Big problem there is that they disable your own devices as well. That includes the devices that plug people into the Matrix.
* In the 2005 film ''Film/TheWarOfTheWorlds'' the aliens subject urban areas to a terrifying EMP weapon disguised as a lightning storm. It is designed to wreck our technological society before the tripod assault: a instrument of ''total'' war. It works, but cars at least are easily fixable.
* In ''Film/AirForceOne'' a stewardess mentions [[UsefulNotes/AirForceOne the eponymous plane]] is protected against this, which we can suppose is TruthInTelevision.
* In Creator/JohnWoo's ''Film/{{Broken Arrow|1996}}'', a nuke detonated underground produces enough EMP to knock down a helicopter flying above it. Just before the detonation, the BigBad tells his [[TheDragon Dragon]] to shut off the car to spare it the same fate.
* This is the favorite weapon of Blackout in the live-action ''Film/{{Transformers}}'' film, and other Transformers have used such weapons, if only mentioned in their Tech Specs.
* In ''Film/SmallSoldiers'', the kid blows up a power transformer in the back yard. This generates an EMP that fries the circuitry of all the evil toys. The good toys are shielded by a downed satellite dish, somehow.
* In the remake of ''Film/OceansEleven'', Don Cheadle uses an EMP generator to cause a power outage at the casino so Creator/GeorgeClooney and Creator/MattDamon's characters can get past the security lasers. He even describes the device as "a nuke... without the nuke." Assuming that such a device could be built, the rapid restoration of power is a ArtisticLicensePhysics[=/=]ArtisticLicenseEngineering double-header. Not to mention the additional effects that would certainly kill people given the loss of power would also affect anything with an engine and anyone on any kind of life support (e.g. pacemakers).
* In ''Film/TheReturnOfGodzilla'' a mild EMP effect was the side effect of prematurely detonating a nuclear weapon launched to kill Godzilla.
* The nuclear bomb in the MadeForTVMovie ''Medusa's Child''.
* ''Film/JamesBond'':
** The eponymous KillSat in the movie ''Film/GoldenEye''. The [[VisualEffectsOfAwesome visual effects are shockingly awesome]].
** And the MacGuffin (though only for the first half of the movie) in ''Film/AViewToAKill'' is a computer chip that can withstand EMP, built by Zorin Industries -- Bond is investigating how one of these chips ended up in the Soviet Union.
* The "Ion Cannon" in ''Film/TheEmpireStrikesBack'' is a cannon that disabled an entire Star Destroyer without destroying it. "Ion" weapons in future installments of the [[Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse Expanded Universe]] (particularly video games) specialize in disrupting machinery. But without permanently shredding the electronics as [=EMP=]s do. It's implied in one of the stories (IG-88's section in ''Tales of the Bounty Hunters'') that it ''does'' permanently destroy circuity and such, but there are usually ways to auto-repair the damaged paths. Hence the temporary shutdown period, between "destroyed" and "repaired enough to function".
* Shows up in ''Film/EscapeFromLA'' as part of a top-secret government project that ends up being stolen by a terrorist who threatens to zap America if the government doesn't meet his demands. The film ends with [[spoiler:Snake zapping the entire world instead]].
* Creator/TheBBC's nuclear holocaust drama ''Film/{{Threads}}'': The Soviets detonate an airburst above Britain to knock out communications and computers with EMP before [[NoKillLikeOverkill nuking the rest of the country]].
* Also in the US MadeForTVMovie nuclear holocaust drama ''Film/TheDayAfter''.
* ''Film/PacificRim'' has one of the Kaiju knocking Hong Kong off the power grid, along with disabling a jaeger, with a burst of this. Yes, a ''Kaiju''. Due to its nuclear reactor, Gypsy Danger is not affected. Considering it already needs shielding from its own emissions it makes sense. [[ArtisticLicensePhysics Characters act as if its non-digital interface is the true reason for its resistance, though]].
* During the final battle in ''Film/{{Serenity}}'' a Reaver ship knocks out ''Serenity's'' electrics with an EMP beam weapon, sending her into a flat spin. Wash manages to get partial power back and pulls off a relatively controlled crash-landing.
* ''Film/OutpostBlackSun''. The special forces team has a backpack version which is the only effective way of stopping the Nazi zombies. The problem is it's one-shot only and they use it straight away.
* In ''Film/{{Godzilla|2014}}'' (2014), the [=MUTOs=] have the ability to emit natural electromagnetic pulses. Indeed, the lights suddenly going out in the area serves as an indirect sign that they are nearby. It also makes it difficult to use many modern weapons against them, as evidenced by the scene where a bunch of fighter jets sent to take one out suddenly shut down and crash into San Francisco Bay.[[note]]Real fighter jets are hardened to resist EMP for exactly this reason; but even if all the electronics on a fighter ''did'' get fried, it wouldn't suddenly go into an unrecoverable flat spin as shown in the movie as the engines would still be running for a while. It would probably be rendered useless as a weapons platform, though.[[/note]] Of note, at first it seems the use this accidentally (as it seems more them trying to use the shockwave that accompanies them setting it off), but by the time of the San Francisco, the male Muto has seemed to learn to use it offensively (they have absolutely no effect on Godzilla though, so why they even have the ability is unclear). According to the novelization, the EMP effect weakens Godzilla's Atomic Breath, which would explain why the attack was not as destructive as it is normally portrayed.
* ''Film/{{Chappie}}'': Chappie is immobilized by a handheld version wielded by Moore. Its effects are only short-term, however, and he's able to escape a short time later.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', Zemo orders an EMP bomb to be delivered at a the power plant alimenting the German prison where Bucky is detained. When the Electro-Magnetic Pulse goes off, it knocks out the power and turns off the prison's security system, giving Zemo just enough time to trigger the Winter Soldier's programming.
* This is how North Korea (China in the original cut) manages to invade the US in the ''[[Film/RedDawn2012 Red Dawn]]'' remake.
* ''Film/TheDayTheEarthStoodStill2008'': [[spoiler:At the end of the film, Klaatu changes his mind about wiping out all life on Earth and activates his ship's EMP generator that emits a wave across the entire planet, shutting down the GreyGoo nanites, warning humans that their way of life will have to change. He just didn't tell them that it would also result in many deaths from plane crashes, anyone on life support or with a pacemaker, etc.]]
* In ''Film/MissionToMars'', the first manned mission accidentally triggers a Martian defense system at Cydonia, which not only kills most of them but also emits an EMP wave that fries the lander's systems, stranding the survivor on Mars. The rescue mission brings replacement motherboards with them ([[spoiler:they end up being their only way off the planet, after their original craft is destroyed]]).
* In ''Film/IndependenceDayResurgence'', [[spoiler:the invading aliens trap the human bombers inside their ship, and disable them with an EMP wave.]]
* In ''Film/DenOfThieves'', Donnie uses a short range EMP device to fritz the camera in the counting room. How the crew got hold of this device is unclear, but it can be assumed that Mack, the team's technical expert, probably has contacts.


* In ''Literature/ConcienciaYVoluntad'', a massive EMP is the main weapon against the invading US armies in the Southern Cone. But this costs the destruction of all the communication, and the sublevation of the provinces, making that several regions in the time of the novel declare independency from Buenos Aires.
* In Creator/HarryTurtledove's ''Literature/{{Worldwar}}'' series, the Race begins their assault on Earth by using EMP (in the form of high-altitude nuke detonations) to disrupt human technology. However, as this is set during UsefulNotes/WorldWarII, most of humanity's electronics consist of vacuum tubes and are thus unaffected, to the surprise of the invaders.
* William Gibson's ''Literature/{{Neuromancer}}'':
** The US military flight unit "Operation Screaming Fist", led by Colonel Willis Corto (Armitage), is taken down by Russian EMP weapons.
** In the ''Neuromancer'' universe, many companies use Artificial Intelligences to run their computing needs, especially security. Notably, there is a regulatory agency (the Turings) that is aware that AIIsACrapShoot: as such, all AI-equipped supercomputers must be built with an EMP destruct device, triggerable by any Turing agent. As one AI-savvy character puts it, "Every AI ever built has an electromagnetic shotgun wired to its forehead." This is important, as the story revolves around two AIs (Wintermute and Neuromancer) that wish to merge into one superentity-an act that would certainly trigger the EMP bombs.
* EMP (especially handheld EMP) play a key part of Creator/OrsonScottCard's ''[[Literature/OrsonScottCardsEmpire Empire]]'' series.
* In ''All Frequency Jamming/Full Band Interception'' by Chinese Sci-Fi writer Cixin Liu, the future Russian (or Chinese, as it's changed in the Taiwanese version) army saved themselves from the conquer of NATO by using EMP in the most badass way -- first by deploying stationary EMP emitters, then by [[spoiler:ramming a giant space station into the sun]]!
* ''Literature/CarrerasLegions'': EMP bombs using conventional explosives to create the pulse are deployed by the Legion several times throughout the series to knock out enemy electronics, particularly their communications.
* In ''Literature/MoonOverSoho'' the cover story for the {{Masquerade}} is that a suspect premises had a miniature EMP bomb in it and [[SuspiciouslySpecificDenial not a magical demon trap]].
* In Max Barry's ''Literature/MachineMan'', love interest Lola's [[spoiler:HeartTrauma]] is mended with a model that discharges an EMP when she gets excited. It does considerable damage and ends up as a [[spoiler:ChekhovsGun]].
* In William R. Fortschen's ''One Second After'', an EMP is generated when several nukes are detonated in the atmosphere over the US.
* A key element of the plot of Creator/CharlesSheffield's novel ''Literature/{{Aftermath}}''.
* As mentioned above, the ''Literature/BastardOperatorFromHell'' has on occasion used a bulk eraser to destroy incriminating evidence or a user's files. He and the PFY also built a portable version which they used to destroy vending machines and [=ATM=]s in a revenge spree, until on the way back they accidentally set it off inside the elevator...
* In ''Literature/TheLeonardRegime'', it is mentioned that the west coast of the United States had been hit by an EMP attack during a previous war. It is functional by the time the story takes place.
* ''Literature/TheWarAgainstTheChtorr''. A robot is sent into an alien dome to flash it with EMP, hopefully killing any man-eating alien worms before TheSquad follows. A footnote helpfully informs us that an EMP-grenade will cook or curdle any living matter within a radius of ([[AC:'''CLASSIFIED''']]). A single charge will yield as many as ([[AC:'''CLASSIFIED''']]) useable pulses. There is also the tendency of the flash to destroy any unshielded electronic gear within the larger radius of ([[AC:'''CLASSIFIED''']]). One could argue this is a good writer's technique to explain what EMP is while {{Black Box}}ing the actual technology involved.
* In ''Literature/ArkRoyal'' the aliens' plasma weapons prove extremely vulnerable to EMP, they explode.
* In the science fiction novel ''Literature/NationOfTheThirdEye'', the mysterious enemy is using EMP to disable the digital systems on spaceships. Good thing those also have emergency analog systems that can withstand EMP and solar storms.
* In FyodorBerezin's ''Incoming Cataclysm'', the [[AlternateUniverse parallel world]]'s USSR uses EMP generated by high-altitude nuclear detonations to scramble the American fleet's radar systems, so that they can get {{Zerg Rush}}ed by hundreds of missile boats and submarines. The ploy succeeds, and the US is forced to withdraw what's left of its navy from Southeast Asia. It's not entirely clear why the EMP doesn't affect the Soviet tech (the missiles appear to be remotely piloted), but it could be the author's jab at the backward state of Soviet tech.
* In Ken MacLeod's ''Intrusion'', the anti-technology Naxals' plan to do this at some point is among the vague threats that keep the dystopic future paranoid.
* According to the ''Series/DoctorWho'' book ''Only Human'', at some point in the future, Earth will be hit by an EMP-like wave from an alien weapon that missed its target during a titanic SpaceBattle far away, not only shutting down all technology but also persisting for hundreds of years, preventing new technology from being made. As a result, people will turn to other fields of science that aren't affected by the EMP, such as biology and chemistry, resulting in {{Steam Punk}}ish technology (including a steam-based ''time machine'') and advanced bio-science.
* In Literature/SpiderManGlobalWar: this is how Comic/DoctorOctopus plans to cause communication silence, thus preventing the rest of the world from taking with ComicBook/DoctorDoom .

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Franchise/StargateVerse:
** In ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', an EMP is generated by a Naquadah generator overload and is [[Recap/StargateAtlantisS01E13HotZone used to destroy some runaway nanites.]]
** Also used in ''Series/StargateSG1'' to remotely knock out an alien device through the Stargate (it doesn't work).
** And [[MacGyvering another]] is used to disable an enemy command bunker (it works).
%%* ''Series/{{Jericho}}''
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** An EMP is used to disable the robot angels in the episode "Voyage of the Damned".
** Also, earlier in the series, a small, hand-grenade-sized EMP device is used to knock out a single Cyberman in "Age of Steel". It succeeds in frying its emotional inhibitor chip and to disable its motor functions, but for some reason, the thing can still operate its speaking device and the Doctor has to power down the energy core manually. One also has to wonder, shouldn't the plate armour, which the Cybermen are encased in, work as a faraday's cage?
* In the first season of ''Series/{{Heroes}}'', [[spoiler:HRG got Nuclear Ted to emit an EMP instead of his normal nukes in order to shut out the power at Primatech so they could escape.]]
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' had a "rotating" pulse being used by the Dominion forces in "Sacrifice of Angels" to block communications between Starfleet ships.
* In ''Series/DarkAngel'' the United States is a third world country because of a terrorist EMP attack.
* ''Series/TwentyFour'':
** In Day 4, a defense contractor deploys an EMP taking out several square blocks of downtown UsefulNotes/LosAngeles.
** During Day 8, Samir's terrorists sneak an EMP bomb into [[spoiler:CTU New York]] with an "escaped" hostage to [[spoiler:disable the Manhattan radiation sensors.]]
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' features both a handheld version and the much larger bomb version. The handheld version is a much smaller version of the kind that is in development for use in police pursuits. The bomb version actually averts the mistake of Ocean's Eleven, [[TheSmartGuy Hardison]] explains that setting off the device would make them the largest terrorists in American history.
* In the ''Series/{{Bugs}}'' episode "Pulse", the EMP is referred to as a "pulse bomb", which the protagonists use to escape a heavily armed villain.
* In an episode of ''Series/TerraNova'', a meteor with a high iron content was somehow able to generate an EMP capable of frying every microchip in the colony, including the ones for the chip fabricator. While waiting for a new fabricator chip to be hand-etched, they had to fend off a Spinosaurus attack with compound bows.
* In ''Series/{{Smallville}}'':
** In "Legion", [[ShockAndAwe Lightning Lad]] and [[MagnetismManipulation Cosmic Boy]] combine their powers to create a pulse that knocks Brainiac offline long enough to extract him from Chloe's body.
** In "Metallo", Clark Kent uses a device to trigger one in an attempt to disable Metallo. Unfortunately, Metallo restarts after a few seconds.
* In the ''Series/{{Intelligence|2014}}'' episode "Athens" an EMP attack disrupts Gabriel's chip, giving him LaserGuidedAmnesia. In the epilogue Dr. Cassidy modifies the chip to make it less susceptible.
* ''Series/RizzoliAndIsles'': In "Somebody's Watching Me", a ConspiracyTheorist used a homemade EMP gun to disable a drone. Frankie and Frost accidentally fry the electronics of two patrol cars while testing to see if it works.
* The second ''Series/{{Jake 20}}'' episode features a terrorist trying to set off an EMP bomb in the NSA headquarters. Jake, who figures out the bad guy's plan, manages to take him down and throws the bomb into a shielded vault that protects the facility, but the proximity nearly kills Jake, whose nanobots somehow manage to "survive".

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Paranoia}}'' has the Gauss Gun, a directional EMP weapon useful against robots and other electronic equipment.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'':
** EMP ''grenades'' are Tau equipment used for dealing with tanks. They rarely see that much use, due to the Tau being the inventors of the railgun -- a long-ranged tank killer that makes a [[FrickinLaserBeams lascannon]] look wimpy.
** The Tau also have an orbit-launched Icefire warhead for large-scale EMP disruption.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}: Ultra-Tech'' has EMP warheads for properly sized projectiles. Microwave disruptors use a similar technology but are somewhat less effective. Oddly they don't fry the system, instead the effect leaves computers temporarily "unconscious".
* One piece of new 32nd-century gear in the ''TabletopGame/{{BattleTech}}'' universe are 'Mech- and vehicle-portable tight-stream EMP ''cannons'', available in one-shot and reusable versions, which on a hit can inflict effects from nothing special over short-lived interference to forced shutdown for a turn on a targeted unit (or destroying a suit of [[PowerArmor battle armor]] outright). They have some significant downsides to compensate, though: they generate a fair chunk of heat per shot, don't cause any actual damage against most targets, even the reusable versions can only fire every ''other'' turn, and the turn after one has fired the unit that used it suffers interference just as if it had taken a relevant hit itself. (Oh, and they're utterly useless against conventional, non-battle armor infantry, too.)
* In ''TabletopGame/EclipsePhase'' most computers are optical with shielded power supplies, so EMP grenades are mostly used to disable radio antennas that can't be shielded.
* The ''TabletopGame/D20Modern'' setting Urban Arcana runs on PostModernMagick, so it shouldn't come as a surprise that it actually includes a FunctionalMagic spell that has the sole purpose of generating an EMP.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'' has a couple of EMP powers, one of which is delivered via TrickArrow. It's just described as "a massive pulse of electromagnetic energy", without going into detail how it is formed. They are "powerful enough to affect synaptic brain patterns" (i.e. temporarily disable all enemy actions, electronic or otherwise), while dealing "high damage to machines and robots". It's a very ''good'' power, it just doesn't make much sense outside of Superhero Logic.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'', [[spoiler:Solidus Snake's ultimate plan is to hijack Arsenal Gear, steal a nuclear warhead contained within it, then detonate it over UsefulNotes/NewYorkCity to pull it out of [[AncientConspiracy the Patriots']] control and mount an insurrection against them through a new republic.]]
* Quite a few video games have EMP grenades as weapons. Examples:
** The ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' series. ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'' includes Pulse Mines as well. ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' also adds a "Pulse Gun," an energy weapon implied to be an ''electromagnetic'' pulse gun, as it has the same damage bonus vs robots and PoweredArmor as EMP grenades, along with Pulse Shotgun Slugs. The nuclear war-induced EMP's may also be the reason the only working pre-war electronics run on vacuum tubes.
** ''VideoGame/EnemyTerritoryQuakeWars''. Considering that your enemy are basically [[Franchise/StarTrek Borg]], this works quite well.
** In ''VideoGame/QuakeIV'', your team attempts to use one to break the connection with the Strogg's HiveMind, but the bomb gets destroyed by a [[SpiderTank Harvester]] en route.
** ''VideoGame/Battlefield2142''
** ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}''
** ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' features EMP grenades, which are effective against enemy bots. In a twist the protagonist is a cyborg: it's not healthy to get caught in the EMP radius of your own grenades.
** ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' has them as well, but an upgrade to your augmentations can render you completely immune to their effects. They're also good as ''distractions'' against purely human enemies, as they will investigate an EMP explosion as if it were a regular explosion. Important for a PacifistRun.
** ''VideoGame/ProjectSnowblind'' [[SpiritualSuccessor naturally]] includes them and forms the main plot line. [[spoiler:Yan Lo's plan involves detonating EMP bombs in New York, Paris, and Tokyo to essentially send the entire world back into TheDungAges, due to his [[TheSocialDarwinist social-Darwinist beliefs]] that anybody who couldn't survive back then doesn't deserve to live at all.]]
** In ''VideoGame/EverythingOrNothing'', EMP grenades are a part of Franchise/JamesBond's arsenal.
** Certain rockets have this as an effect in ''VideoGame/ArmoredCore'': They temporarily stun the enemy mech.
** ''VideoGame/StarWarsRepublicCommando'' has EMP grenades that are extremely useful when you run into hordes of Battle Droids, especially [[DemonicSpiders Super Battle Droids]]. Notably, they are also effective against ''organic'' enemies as they emit an electrical discharge as well - being shocked by several thousand volts is not a pleasant experience whether you are made of metal or flesh.
** ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies 2'' has the E.M.Peach, which disables all robotic zombies in an area. Considering that many robotic zombies are extremely durable, this can be very useful depending on situation.
** ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' has EMP grenades as an option for the tactical equipment slot in ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 3'', ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2 Black Ops II]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps3 III]]'', and ''[[VideoGame/CallOfDutyAdvancedWarfare Advanced Warfare]]''. Is useful against automated KillStreak rewards like sentry guns, drone swarms, mooks with AST exoskeletons and the like; against players it does little more than disabling their HUD and any optical attachments on their guns for a couple seconds.
** ''VideoGame/UnrealIITheAwakening'': Has the EMP grenades for the ''Hydra'' Grenade Launcher. In addition to those, the SecondaryFire of the Shock Lance creates an energy ball with EMP properties. Both are particularly useful against forcefield generators and automatic cannons.
* ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'':
** In ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved'', Cortana uses the Chief's energy shields as a makeshift EMP to disable Halo's phase pulse generators.
** In the beginning of ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'', the Covenant assault carrier's in-atmosphere slipspace jump causes an EMP to spread across much of New Mombasa. Nonetheless, most vital electronics seem to have been shielded against it.
** The FPS games have a number of EMP weapons that can disable vehicles and shields:
*** The Plasma Pistol's charged shot is the most reliable way of taking out shields, and from ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' onward, it can also disable vehicles.
*** ''Halo 3'' has the power drain, which is basically an EMP grenade that also explodes.
*** In ''VideoGame/HaloReach'', the Grenade Launcher's [[CaptainObvious grenades]] have this kind of EMP effect if you detonate them manually. Additionally, using Armor Lock will take out the shields of anyone close enough to you.
** In ''VideoGame/HaloWars'', the UNSC Gremlin uses an EMP to disable ground vehicles, while the Covenant Vampire's stasis cannon can disable aircraft.
** In ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'' Warzone, one of the Grunt [[MiniMecha Goblin]]'s attacks is an EMP that disables any vehicle near it. Additionally, one of the Splinter Grenade's many effects is a vehicle-disabling EMP.
* In ''[[VideoGame/BanjoKazooie Banjo-Tooie]]'', Mumbo can use an EMP spell in Grunty Industries to shut down factory machinery.
* In ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'', [[ConArtist Fiona and Sasha]] are trying to sell a counterfeit Vault key to [[{{Cyborg}} Rhys]]. Fiona uses a small EMP device to disable Rhys' ECHO Eye implant, preventing him from scanning the key and seeing it's a fake. [[spoiler: However, neither sister anticipates the device also disabling his [[ArtificialLimbs robotic arm]], making him drop the key and revealing it as a fake when it shatters on the floor.]]
* ''VideoGame/StarCraft'':
** ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft|I}}'' features an EMP-wielding [[UnitsNotToScale giant]] spaceship. The EMP knocks out shields, making it only useful against one race, but only REALLY useful against Archons, who have 300 shield and only 10 life. The EMP also eliminates the energy of any units that use energy for abilities, so it can be quite helpful against Terran armies as well. It even works on zerg casters, even though their "energy" is their internal supply of symbiotes and biotoxins. [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality But at least it's consistent]].
** ''VideoGame/StarCraftII'' features the ability on the Ghost. But on a lower scale, only stripping a certain amount of energy off units.
* ''[[VideoGame/{{Crysis}} Crysis Warhead]]'' features EMP grenades that are used to disable the enemy's nanosuits, making them easy kills.
** ''VideoGame/{{Crysis 2}}'' lacks EMP grenades, but it does have the K-Volt sub-machine gun, which fires electrostatic bolts that knock CELL troops off their feet and "stunlock" [[EverythingsSquishierWithCephalopods Ceph]] enemies in place. The Ceph themselves have an EMP emitter seemingly built into their exosuits which instantly drains your suit energy, disabling your powered armor, cloaking, and sprinting functions, and they will make very good use of it when searching an area for you. Grunts and Stalkers have short-ranged [=EMPs=] that have a range of about a meter or two, while [[TripodTerror Pingers]] have a much larger one combined with some form of sonic pulse, leaving you at the mercy of its rapid-fire plasma cannon should you be caught in range.
* The ''VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic'' Engineer has EMP grenades, which detonate all of a foe's held shells and explosives. This makes it incredibly deadly against heavier targets such as Soldier and Heavy, but less effective against lighter classes like Scout and Sniper.
* ''VideoGame/SystemShock'':
** The Magpulser is available. It looks strange, but yes, it harms robots a lot (200% damage). It also lives up to its name by barely affecting cyborgs (50% damage) and not affecting mutants at all (0% damage).
** There are also a couple of other EMP weapons, specifically the EMP grenade, which, when detonated, can screw up your (computer-assisted) interface if you're too close to the blast. It also drains your battery for some reason. There's a more powerful land mine version as well.
** Sequel ''VideoGame/SystemShock2'' has the EMP rifle while the EMP grenades make a return, which absolutely devastate robotic ''and'' cybernetic enemies (the cyborgs have all their life-support systems in their mechanical parts, meaning that damaging them will kill them), but are absolutely worthless against a purely biological enemy. Since some of the most powerful enemies in the game are biological, it limits the effectiveness of the weapons at specific sections of the game. The rifle, as well as the EMP grenades, however, [[spoiler: will come in ''very'' handy during the FinalBoss fight]].
* The ''VideoGame/DarkForcesSaga'' feature an EMP-shooting gun which is mostly for killing robots.
* ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquer'':
** In ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'', the Superweapon General's base-defense missiles and one of the special powers of high-ranking Chinese generals are EMP-based. These disable vehicles and buildings (albeit, temporarily). When said EMP base-defense missiles [[OneHitKill hit aircraft]], however...
** ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSun'':
*** Features an EMP cannon on both factions, while its expansion had a mobile EMP tank for GDI. Its more useful against GDI than Nod due to Nod's tendency to use {{fragile speedster}}s and that the cannon takes some time to charge and shoot.
*** In Generals, China has an EMP bomb dropped by an airplane. Pretty effective if used with other special abilities to destroy an enemy force or as a starter for an attack on the enemy base. And it looked [[RuleOfCool cool]].
*** ''Tiberium Wars'' has a tech building that can be captured to grant an EMP attack that temporarily disables enemy buildings.
* ''[[VideoGame/FreeSpace FreeSpace 2]]'' has [[ScrappyLevel a mission]] that takes place in an area of a nebula with [=EMPs=] happening all the time, and a missile that causes one when it explodes. In either case, this causes a massive InterfaceScrew.
* ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'':
** In ''Modern Warfare 2'', [[spoiler:a nuclear missile is detonated in the upper atmosphere over America, blacking out the eastern states and causing the player to dodge helicopter rain.]] The player also gets an EMP in multiplayer if they get a KillStreak of 15, which disables enemy electronics, including [[InterfaceScrew removing their radar, ammo count and the game score]] and destroying almost all active killstreaks the opposing team has. It still fails physics forever, of course, because the team that used it is unaffected and the effect only lasts for one minute. Granted, this is [[AcceptableBreaksFromReality in the name of balance]] -- who would use the EMP if it affected their own team as well? Nobody. Who would use the EMP if it lasted until the end of the round? '''[[GameBreaker Everybody.]]'''
** In addition to the return of the EMP killstreak, the semi-hidden M.O.A.B. killstreak in ''Modern Warfare 3'' also gives an EMP-like effect upon detonation, which still only lasts one minute, alongside adding a lot of dust and a red tint over the map that lasts for the remainder of the match.
* ''Franchise/{{Metroid}}'':
** The Space Pirates occasionally use EMP grenades in the ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy''.
** Steam Lords of Elysia can also generate one as an attack.
** Presumably, Samus' suit is well-protected as neither of these actually does anything to her suit beyond standard shield drain. Some special electricity-based attacks, however, cause [[InterfaceScrew static to appear on the HUD]].
** Getting hit by an EMP in ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' instantly puts Samus into corrupted mode with a full phazon tank. This is a double-edged sword for the pirates though; if Samus can't vent the phazon in time (due to a paralyzing attack, for example) it's a NonStandardGameOver for her, but to vent phazon she has to BeamSpam it all out, and those beams are highly destructive to anyone nearby. Such as, for example, the hapless pirate that threw the EMP...
* In ''VideoGame/RatchetDeadlocked'', your Battle Bots have EMP grenades equipped that allow the temporary deactivation of [[DemonicSpiders Stalker Turrets]] and other electronic obstacles.
* ''VideoGame/SplinterCell'':
** ''Conviction'' has a plot focused on detonating several EMP bombs in UsefulNotes/WashingtonDC. Sam actually gets a backpack that has a built-in EMP generator fairly early in the game. It can only be used three times per level (no recharging it like other gadgets) and the effect is purely temporary, lasting ten seconds at most. He also has access to EMP grenades, which are even less effective, but ranged.
** ''Chaos Theory'' before it added an attachment to the pistol called the "Optically Channeled Potentiator", which allowed the player to temporarily disable any electronic device they aimed the pistol at. This was of the "microwave" variety of electronic disruption, and thus was more directed than many examples. As stated, it's temporary, but it's still quieter and less conspicuous than shooting out the light.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilSurvivor'', it is explained that [[spoiler:the PSE law places a chip in all electronics so that they can do this to ''all of Tokyo in a massive explosion''. In fact, that's their if-all-else-fails plan.]]
* In ''VideoGame/NeedForSpeed: Hot Pursuit 2k10'', both the police and the racers use EMP devices on each other. In the "Porsche Patrol" cop event, you gain an achievement/trophy by using the EMP weapon to take out the computer-controlled gas/electric 918 Spyder Hybrid concept.
* In ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany 2'' the plot revolves around the members of the Bad Company trying to find a mysterious, lost Japanese superweapon from UsefulNotes/WorldWarII which turns out to be an EMP.
* ''VideoGame/BubbleTanks Tower Defense 1.5'' introduces the EMP creep, which explodes into an electromagnetic pulse upon defeat. This disables all the towers around it, and as such makes it an annoying foe to fight.
* ''VideoGame/PerfectDark'' has EMP mines which have to be placed on the computer terminals to disable the security system in the first level. Unfortunately, they don't appear in other levels with security cameras. Its prequel has a variant as the Jackal SniperRifle's SecondaryFire, a directed beam of some variety that scrambles the target's radar - though [[AwesomeButImpractical why you'd really bother is a mystery]], since if you can keep your crosshair on an enemy long enough to scramble their radar properly, you can also keep your crosshair on an enemy long enough to just ''shoot'' him with your ridiculously-powerful sniper rifle and be done with it.
* EMP grenades are a recurring weapon in ''VideoGame/MetalArmsGlitchInTheSystem''. It temporarily deactivates ''every'' machine in the vicinity, although there's no real effect to the player except for disorienting and confusing your control scheme.
* ''VideoGame/{{Freelancer}}'' features a series of EMP-generating missiles (the Eraser line), as well as "pulse cannon" guns. However, in practice all they do is strip away a target's DeflectorShield.
* ''VideoGames/TransformersWarForCybertron'' and its sequel ''VideoGames/TransformersFallOfCybertron both have EMP Grenades that warp the optics of whoever they hit, as well as doing a fair bit of damage.
* In the ''VideoGame/XCOMEnemyUnknown'' remake, you can eventually research the EMP Cannon, an air-to-air weapon that can be used to quickly bring down a UFO without physically damaging its systems. The weapon is very powerful, capable of bringing down an alien ''battleship'' with only two hits. However, it requires the fighter to get very close, so it's really only a good idea on a [[ImportedAlienPhlebotinum Firestorm]], as a regular jet fighter will probably get chewed up by the enemy plasma cannons pretty quickly, even using the Dodge ability. The weapon is not available for ground missions, despite its usefulness against tough robotic enemies like Cyberdiscs and [[HumongousMecha Sectopods]]. Actually, most aliens use some form of implants, making them susceptible as well. It'd probably make the game too easy. Plus, it may not be possible to miniaturize the weapon into a handheld variant.
* ''VideoGame/{{Vanquish}}'' has EMP grenades that temporarily paralyze robots, and certain enemies have EMP-type attacks that [[{{Overheating}} overload]] Sam's PoweredArmor and prevent him from using Boost or [[BulletTime ARS]].
* ''VideoGame/DawnOfWar'':
** The Tau's Stealthsuits can use [=EMPs=] that don't do damage, instead shortly disabling any vehicle it's hit by, leading to some GameplayAndStorySegregation when the ork's diesel-and-RuleOfCool-powered junkpiles are affected, while the robotic [[{{Cyborg}} servitors, techpriests]] and [[RobotWar Necron infantry]] aren't.
** The ork Bigmek does more or less the same thing with his Tankzappa, which shoots a big ball of lightning at a vehicle.
** The Eldar's Haywire Grenades do large amounts of damage to vehicles and buildings without disabling them, but some translations confusingly called them [=EMPs=] as well.
* ''VideoGame/GratuitousSpaceBattles'' has an EMP beam for cruisers, and EMP missiles for frigates. Each will shut down effectively anything the target is doing (including repair systems and shield regeneration) except for the engines.
* In many of the ''Videogame/MechWarrior'' games, the [[LightningGun Particle Projector Cannon]] carries EMP-related effects, such as [[InterfaceScrew scrambling the HUD]] of anything it hits. In ''Mechwarrior Living Legends'', the PPC and battlemech fusion reactors GoingCritical will cause temporary EMP, which results in a blinding static overlay on the [[PoweredArmor battlearmor's]] DiegeticInterface, disables any nightvision equipment, and prevents players from transferring money to each other.
* The [[WhamEpisode Wham Level]] "Stage of Apocalypse" of ''VideoGame/AceCombatZeroTheBelkanWar'' sees [[spoiler:a nuke going off close enough to you that your plane gets buffeted by the shockwave]]. The EMP from it [[InterfaceScrew causes your HUD to flicker and shake]] for the entire rest of the mission, coupled with all subsequent radio transmissions being barely legible from white noise (and the music being replaced by a [[NothingIsScarier barely audible]] [[HellIsThatNoise drone]]). One of your allies even complains about some of his gauges malfunctioning. In addition, the post-mission debriefing reveals that friendly forces are in utter chaos due to the EMP having knocked out communications as well.
** SpiritualSuccessor ''{{VideoGame/HAWX}}'' uses the microwave-type focused emission instead on one of its missions, with a base located on a hilltop being protected by three EMP emitters in the valley floor. Any aircraft approaching the base gets zapped by the EMP - however, the upwards-focused nature of the system is what allows the player to overcome it, via [[AirstrikeImpossible flying extremely close to the ground and blowing up the emitters from beneath their effective altitude]].
** Speaking of Clancyverse games, ''VideoGame/EndWar'''s "Electronic Warfare" support ability operates like an EMP (and MissionControl even calls it that when you get hit by one).
** ''VideoGame/GhostRecon: Future Soldier'' likewise includes EMP grenades that temporarily short out electronics within their blast radius. If you're hit by one, your active camo won't work and you won't be able to see your HUD.
* In ''VisualNovel/TheBottomOfTheWell'', the nuclear bombardment causes electronics such as Alice's laptop to stop working. If players haven't already used the laptop to find the location of a nearby bomb shelter, it's too late to do so.
* ''VideoGame/TachyonTheFringe'' has two weapons that disable enemy ships and do no physical damage. They can still damage shields, and the disabling effect only works on unshielded opponents. The Tesla EMP Missile used by [[MegaCorp GalSpan]] is guided (i.e. requires a lock before firing), and a single hit on an unshielded ship's hull is usually enough to disable it. However, they're limited in supply, and they still have to hit their target, which is likely to use decoy flares. The EMP Projector used by [[YourTerroristsAreOurFreedomFighters Bora]] is an rapid-fire EnergyWeapon and doesn't have ammo, but it does drain your fighter's battery. It also requires multiple hits to disable an unshielded enemy. One mission involves ambushing and capturing a notorious [[SpacePirates Space Pirate]]. An EMP weapon is a must in this mission. Some wingmen's fighters are equipped with EMP weapons, allowing you to use the "disable target" command.
* In ''Videogame/{{Evolve}}'', Ebonstar bases are equipped with EMP missile batteries to disable attacking ships. Unfortunately for them, they're far less effective against organic foes who are already on the planet's surface.
* ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' has one as the [[LimitBreak Ultimate ability]] of Sombra. Sombra's EMP disables enemy special abilities and barriers within its AreaOfEffect.
* ''VideoGame/Xcom2'' has EMP Grenades and their upgrade, EMP Bombs. They do a large chunk of damage to robotic units and lower their hack defense.
* In ''VideoGame/NewDanganRonpaV3'', Kokichi [[spoiler: gets Miu to build EMP hammers and bombs for him. He gives them to the other students to get through the [[PlatformHell Death Road to Despair]]]] The characters latter use them to [[spoiler: break into the Exisal hanger. They also serve as piece of evidence in the trial, as Kokichi used one of the bombs to disable the Nanokumas so the mastermind couldn't know who the real victim is.]]

[[folder:Web Animation]]
* The use of one forms the climax of the ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'' series "Reconstruction". The characters also spend a lot of time arguing over whether it's pronounced "E-M-P" or "emp", with even the computer warning using the [[RuleOfFunny latter]] pronunciation, making Washington the only one who uses current pronunciation of E.M.P.
** In a later season, Sarge built an EMP gun into one of their jeeps. It is eventually abandoned given the obvious drawback that after the gun is fired, it can only be fired again after a minute, while also temporarily killing the "Chupababy"'s engine.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/MegaTokyo'': Largo uses one as a rickroll.
* Aylee from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' has her InvoluntaryShapeshifting mutate her into a living EMP generator in response to a [[{{Nanotechnology}} nanite infection]]. It caused problems as she had to routinely run away from the house for fear of accidentally setting off one of Riff's inventions. Or worse, erasing Bun-Bun's ''Series/{{Baywatch}}'' video tapes!
* An EMP effect is used by the protagonists of ''Webcomic/MoltenBlade'' to aid their escape from a research facility, generated from a device referred to as an "e-bomb" by one of the characters.
* In the ''Webcomic/BobandGeorge'' comics, during the ''VideoGame/MegaMan3'' storyline, Mega Man was able to convert the Magnet Missiles into an EMP. It's very effective, but [[spoiler:he burns them out after two uses.]] The author actually goes into an explanation about how [=EMPs=] work, and why [[spoiler:it didn't work against Snake Man.]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'':
** Doctor Mittelmind [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20100917 has an implanted "pulse cannon"]] which disabled most hardware in the room, and they're lucky [[ExplosiveLeash their collars]] didn't go off.
--->'''Prof. Mezzasalma:''' It ''killed'' him , of course, but her gun ''did'' blow up.
** Not to mention The Lion's "roar", an "ætheric" pulse. It disables all mechanism around, including Clanks, as well as [[spoiler:Agatha's collar keeping The Other at bay in her mind]].
* In ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'' Ecosystems Unlimited uses an EMP generator to [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1800/fv01720.htm erase digital information]] from used robot parts. It has no effect on post-it notes, though.
* Annie's choice of superhero name (and the strip title) of ''Webcomic/{{Pulse}}'' is based on this because of her electrical powers.
* Quentyn from ''Webcomic/TalesOfTheQuestor'' once built a ''magical'' version (involving a keg of salt and copper tubing left under the Luxfont for a few days) in order to neutralize a [[GangBangers street gang's]] magical weaponry.
* ''Webcomic/{{SSDD}}'':
** Tin-Head's set-up at Cook Industries has an EMP bomb in case of emergencies. His own neural net is shielded so it wouldn't harm him but everything else in the room is [[http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20110228.html fried]] [[spoiler: when he triggers it after accidentally contacting [[ContagiousAI the Oracle]], and just to make sure he erases his most recent memory.]]
** Another time a CAS elite uses an EMP grenade to disable a killer robot, then his partner asks how they're going to get out now that the pulse has [[http://www.poisonedminds.com/d/20130813.html trashed all their gear.]]
* ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' has [[http://www.schlockmercenary.com/2012-09-16 pulsers]] that overcome shielding built into electronics by firing a small particle grenade into the device, the particles and shrapnel tend to thoroughly destroy it.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/MaxSteel'' has an episode where Roberto builds a handheld, explosion-less EMP projector in a very short timeframe as a method of dealing with super robots gone rogue. This causes a friendly-fire issue, as Max will die if he loses his [[{{Nanomachines}} nanoprobes]]. which are just as vulnerable to EMP, and the robots immediately start a fight instead of helpfully lining up. One of them even goes for the EMP device when Berto hesitates on account of this, presumably intending to aim it at Max. Max solves the problem by taking it and using it himself, thus putting his body behind the direction of the blast. He still takes enough of the EMP to destroy a large portion of his nanoprobes, and loses consciousness while the survivors cannibalize the dead probes to replicate new ones.
* ''Franchise/{{Transformers}}'':
** ''WesternAnimation/TransformersAnimated'': Ratchet has a wrist-mounted "EMP generator" that can focus an electromagnetic pulse into a ''beam''. It can temporarily knock out most Cybertronians, but Ratchet prefers to use it as a surgical tool, and then only rarely. At full power, it can [[spoiler: wipe an Autobot's entire memory, which accidentally happened to Arcee during the Great War]], hence his reluctance to use it. He and Bumblebee can temporarily knock a flying Decepticon out of the air by combining their normal weapons (electric stingers + magnets).
** Team Chaar's Blackout, like the movie 'bot who inspired him, can create an electromagnetic shockwave that knocks out nearby machinery... and then bring them back online [[PercussiveMaintenance by doing it again]].
** Blaster uses an EMP gun. It blows up normal electronics but Transformers, being more resilient, only suffer from seriously impaired movement coordination (still very painful if you happen to be in jet form at the time).
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|2003}}'' (2003) episode "Modern Love" has the turtles whip up an [=EMP=] to disable a rampaging {{Nano|machines}}.
* The ''WesternAnimation/MonsterBusterClub'' episode "Pipe Dreams" has Mr. Smith using an EMP (though not called as such exactly, as it's alien technology) to disable the machines of the [[MonsterOfTheWeek Invader of the Week]] before he'd unearth the MBC tunnels and absorb a good part of the town with his TractorBeam. Unfortunately, it disables the kids' weapons and other gizmos as well, so they have to take out the menace hand-to-hand.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Homer joins a group of "preppers", who believe an EMP would cause the end of civilization, and they would be the only ones ready. When an EMP does occur (thanks to Homer's incompetence, of course), the preppers bug out and hide out in their compound, awaiting the apocalypse. Eventually the Simpsons return to Springfield with the intent of helping them, but find everything back to normal. Seems the effects of the surge were only temporary, and with all the crazy people (meaning the preppers) gone, order was restored with surprising ease.
* In [[Recap/TheLegendOfKorraS4E7Reunion season 4, episode 7]] of ''WesternAnimation/TheLegendOfKorra'', Varrick [[MacGyvering MacGyvers one up]] at the Earth Empire checkpoint out of a generator, a table and a screwdriver, to defeat the PoweredArmor {{Mook}}s that were overwhelming Bolin and the other escapees.
* In ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'', the two {{Badass Normal}}s on the team are stuck fighting a pair of super-powered androids. Halfway through the episode, Artemis refers to the two as "machines" and it dawns on Robin that they can use one of these to beat them, since they'll never be a match for them as-is. They cannibalize a vircator from an X-ray machine in the medical lab and hook it up to their main power generator in order to pull it off.
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'' provides the page image. When the Separatist droid army attacks the planet Malastare, the Republic's important fuel-supplier, and the Clone Army's efforts to repel them fail, the leadership decides to test their new EMP bomb there. It works, and wins the battle for them, but it also awakens the [[NotZilla Zillo Beast]], possibly explaining why they opted to never use the bomb again.
** Clone troopers also often carry EMP grenades, nicknamed "droid poppers."
* In ''WesternAnimation/StaticShock'', Static is able to create these thanks to his powers over electricity and magnetism. He occasionally faces robots and mechas that are immune to this.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', Pearl develops a device like this to shut down Peridot's Robonoids, probably drawing inspiration from the one Peridot herself used when she first appeared. It succeeds in knocking out power to the town, and knocking the Gems off their feet, but the Robonoid is unaffected.
-->''[[TheStinger Emp? You have got to be fucking ki]]--''