"Should we initiate a recall?"You've just made a new product! Why not test it yourself without a hazardous environment suit? Or better yet, put it into mass-production and release it to the public as soon as possible. Surely, nothing bad could come from something made on a budget. What could possibly go wrong from a lack of clinical trials? That cancer you got ten years later is probably unrelated, not to mention the injuries of all those children who tried to play with it, or those dead military personnel who looked at it funny. While Moral Guardians may be outraged, don't expect Neglectful Precursors or a Crapsack World to care. Compare with Icarus Allusion, May Contain Evil, No OSHA Compliance, and My Little Panzer (where toys are proven to be exceptionally dangerous.) Contrast Disastrous Demonstration: when a product's dangerous properties reveal themselves during a promotional event.
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- Fight Club has a sequence where the protagonist/narrator explains how the automotive company he's employed at does recalls for new cars, averting this trope only when it's cost effective.
- In Dogma, one of the many, many heinous sins levied by Bartleby and Loki against the Corrupt Corporate Executives of Mooby Co. is that one of them allowed for the manufacture of toys from unsafe materials in order to save money.
Live Action TV
- In the classic Saturday Night Live sketch "Consumer Probe", Dan Akroyd plays a Corrupt Corporate Executive, Irwin Mainway, who is trying to persuade a TV reporter that his company's toys are fun and safe for children. The products include a teddy bear with a built-in functioning chainsaw and a bag of broken glass. More Hilarity Ensues when he then tries to 'prove' that regular, safe toys are actually extremely unsafe.
- He showed up in a later sketch hawking Halloween costumes, including "Johnny Human Torch"note , "The Invisible Pedestrian"note , and "Johnny Combat Action Costume"note .
- SNL also had Happy Fun Ball, a children's toy which is unsafe for pregnant women, the elderly and children under 10, may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds and contains a substance which should not be touched, inhaled or looked at. The sketch continues from there, listing increasingly bizarre hazards, including the trope-naming Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball.
- Doctor Who has an episode where a future society nearly collapsed because of drugs that "blissed" you to death.
- So does Firefly's Big Damn Movie.
- PBS has done several segments, like Toxic Toys about this.
- Eureka, Oregon is run by mad scientists. Guess what happens?
- Bill Moyers' Trade Secrets details the chemical industry's lack of medical testing, much to their annoyance.
- Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The SVU team investigates a butchery that is linked to the murder of the victim. They discovered that the workplace is infested with roaches, they simply pick up meat that fell from the ground like it was nothing, and the kitchen is dirty and poorly cleaned.
- A more positive example comes from Dead Space where medical appliances and mining tools can be repurposed into weapons on the spot. What this meant for future society before the outbreak is more than a little disturbing.
- It's been suggested that this might be unique to deep-space vessels like the Ishimura as a way to give the crew some means of self-defence against Space Pirates without the legal complications of shipping out with a rack of assault rifles or something.
- Aperture Science in the Portal series is all about this, from toxic shower curtains to the "Heimlich Counter-Maneuver". Recordings in the second game show that employees were fired on the spot for even suggesting testing their contraptions for safety of use. Perhaps that's exactly the reason behind their ultimate commercial failure.
- In the back story of 0x10c, the human race wakes up trillions of years in the future because of a byte order error in the software used to operate cryogenic sleep capsules.
- StarCraft does this trope proud. Many of the Terrans' combat machines are out to passively or actively kill them. Most notable is the Viking, a versatile transforming fighter which claims so many of its pilots, that they are known as 'Cherries' until they survive one transformation.
- The Onion has a few parodies of this, such as one video where a munitions manufacturer apologized for hollow-point rounds not exploding properly with animations showing the problem. Then there's the fact that early hollow-point designs were notorious for not expanding properly which is a problem if you're a cop and you don't want the bullet to kill innocent people behind the target.
- The first episode of Family Guy has Peter falling asleep on the job at the toy factory, allowing for dangerous products to make it into shipping, such as a bottle of pills inside a "Pound Poochie" box, a "silly ball" being a throwing hatchet, and a girl's doll being built in with a flamethrower.
- The VeggieTales video "The Toy that Saved Christmas" has Buzz-Saw Louie, the hot new toy with a real working buzzsaw!
- The Simpsons: Krusty the Clown will endorse any product as long as the price is right. This has made him a favorite among manufacturers who knows that their product is toxic, infected, explosive, higly flammable, unsafe in any other way, or simply not working right. Clearly, it's easier to get an endorsement from Krusty than to make a good (or even mediocre) product.
- And, those tourists were decapitated before they entered the Krustyland theme park's House of Knives.
- Rocko's Modern Life has lots of these, Rocko once bought an enormous vacuum cleaner which looked nothing like the one he saw on tv, and it has a mind of its own and sucks up everything in its path.
- Pretty much all of Nasty Corp's products in Yoohoo and Friends, which included lava perfume and diet acid cola.
- In The Boondocks, Huey creates a highly explosive gel solution, but doesn't tell Granddad that until after he discovers that it instantly grows out your hair overnight. They decide to sell the product to a distributor of hair care products. Huey has to object and insist on mentioning how a single spark would set off the explosive. The businesswoman laughs it off, pulling out a few of the products she already sells, one of which contains plutonium, and one of which is literally just acid. Slap a warning label on the jar and you're good to go.
- An episode of The Day My Butt Went Psycho! shows many of the products that Silas has lent his name to, including the Silas Brand Teddy Bear "for the child you only sort of like". It is covered in spikes and bursts into flames when hugged.
- Too many to mention. Historical examples are mostly a result of ignorance when it comes to the physiological effects of a substance (such as lead), while modern examples tend to be from poor safety standards. Fortunately, product recalls do occur.
- One notable incident in the US was the case of the Radium Girls, who were told that the radioactive material they were painting watch-hands with was perfectly harmless. They even encouraged employees to lick the radium-tipped brushes to maintain their points. This incident helped kick-start the movement to avert No OSHA Compliance.
- The Pinto car followed the Mustangs thing with naming cars after horses. Unlike the Mustang though, the Pinto was notorious for having a slight problem of exploding.
- They didn't recall it as the cost/benefit was seen to be wrong (didn't work out that way...). This directly inspired the scene in Fight Club mentioned above.