: I have many enemies who have tried to control me. And I live in fear that someday, they might succeed. If that should ever happen—if I should ever lose control—there would only be one sure way to stop me. Batman
: Do you realize what you're asking? Superman
: I do. I want the means to stop me in the hands of a man I can trust with my life.
In an optimistic setting, this device is from a character who is aware of their Kryptonite Factor
and puts the means to stop them in the hands of another (usually, in case they're brainwashed
or go evil somehow
). This usually implies a bond of trust since the receiver often has mixed feelings about the idea and the giver has to insist. This is also a show of good faith to a skeptic so he will allow the hero to operate in a legal grey area.
This trope is named after the ring Superman gave Batman if he ever got out of control.
Compare Betrayal Insurance
where the "stopping" character came up with on their own; exactly how extensive this planning comes off can seriously affect the relationship depending on how betrayed the other feels.
- In Star Trek: The Next Generation, there are various methods created to deal with Data to control him in case of possession or other matters. There is an off switch located on his spine that only a few know about, and some Applied Phlebotinum to disable him for extended periods.
- In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron installs a bomb in her head and gives John the detonator, in case she ever becomes a threat to him.
- In Smallville, Oliver Queen kills Lex Luthor and takes his kryptonite ring, confirming his role as Smallville's Batman. (Well, except for the Thou Shalt Not Kill thing.)
- The Kents are also known to keep pieces of green kryptonite around. It was first used to counteract red kryptonite, but later his parents and Chloe Sullivan uses it a lot to stop him whenever he is mind controlled (Chloe saves Lex from Clark in Hypnotic), possessed (Jonathan saves Chloe from Dawn possessing Clark in Spirit) or is otherwise not in his right mind (Chloe saves Jonathan from Clark when he is made paranoid by silver kryptonite in Splinter).
- Double Subverted in season nine. Clark gets mad at Chloe when he discovers she's been stockpiling kryptonite weapons. Then it turns out she was doing it in case he had to fight Zod and the Kandorians.
- In The Dark Knight, Batman gives Lucius Fox sole control over the cell phone sonar system and the ability to destroy it so that Fox will trust him to use it only against the Joker. Though Fox didn't actually find out about the second part (cryptic instructions on how to "turn it off") until the Joker was caught.
- The Global Guardians keep a locked file in their comptuer database called the Code Red Omega Scenario. It is a tactical plan to take down each and every member of the Guardians, if it ever became necessary to take them all down.
- Whateley Universe: As of "Ayla and the Mad Scientist" we now know Phase has at least several plans to take down every one of his teammates. And a bunch to take down himself. And his teammates know his 'official' weakness in the school records is a fake. He wrote up a list of real ways to stop himself and gave it to Lancer.
- Each of the Silverhawks had an emergency off-switch to be used if any of them went berserk for unforseen reasons.