General: Which one?
Jim Hacker: The one to Russia.
Bernard Wooley: The Red hotline, sir.
- Dilbert's company built one once. It looked like an ordinary telephone. Dogbert used it to prank call Gorbachev.
- Averted in the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic MANE. Princess Celestia proposed the installation of a hotline between her palace and the USR Chancellery in Stalliongrad, but the Chancellor would not have it installed because he refused to recognize that Celestia had any claim to be the ruler of Equestria. Comes back to bite them both during the invasion of Saddle Arabia when the USR mistake an ammunition dump exploding for a tactical nuclear strike, and begin to retaliate in kind. Celestia's attempts to communicate with the Chancellor have to be routed through their embassy instead, by which time it is too late.
- Dr. Strangelove (Not actually the Moscow-Washington line, but rather an ordinary phone. Which is even worse.) Considering the nature of the ensuing conversation, as well as the entire film itself, that is very, very likely intentional.
- Averted in Thirteen Days. The Hot Line did not exist at the time (in fact it was created as a result of the Cuban Missile Crisis), with messages going by coded telegram This resulted (as in the film), in the US spending 12 hours decrypting Khrushchev's offer to remove the missiles in return for the US not invading Cuba. While doing that, a second message arrived, being more threatening, demanding that the US remove missiles from Turkey in exchange for the USSR doing the same in Cuba. ExComm thought about it, accepted the first offer and accepted the second discreetly later.
- In The Cabin in the Woods, Hadley answers a red phone and is told that the sacrifice didn't go exactly as planned. Their failure results in the destruction of all life as we know it.
- Expect to see at least one red phone per 1970s James Bond movie. Though they're usually in government offices, they're usually not the hot line.
- The Tom Clancy novel The Sum of All Fears (and The Film of the Book) shows the text-based Hot Line in action. It also shows how the operators tested the Hot Line back in the day: with poetry.
- 24 Season 6.
- The TV series Yes, Minister poked fun at the prosaic realities of the hotline - the phone only goes to a Kremlin switchboard... and the operator doesn't speak English.
- The live-action Batman show had a hotline connecting Commissioner Gordon's office to Bruce Wayne's living room (Of course, Gordon didn't know where Batman's end of the line was located).
- Seen in the revival series of Doctor Who, at 10 Downing Street.
- In Stargate SG-1, General Hammond has a frequently used red phone that includes a direct line to the President. That's the second line, though, the first line is for his grandchildren.
- Spy Hunter features an unseen caller using a red phone to call Agent GK.
- In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2, President Dugan has five of them. He only uses the one wired to the Kremlin when he receives word of the invading Soviet forces. Dugan and Soviet Premier Romanov's conversation turns hostile quickly, and Dugan threatens to nuke the invasion force as Romanov scoffs off the threat, having made ensurances that they'll be swiftly deactivated.
- Portal. Before entering GlaDOS's chamber, you see a red phone. In the commentary, the devs explain that it was a hotline for scientists to use in case of an emergency with the AI. They point out that the connection cord is cut, hinting at just how effective it was.
- The mayor of Townsville has a hotline to The Powerpuff Girls that goes to phones in both their bedroom and the school the attend.