Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb
"But here, cleverly disguised as a bomb, is a bomb."
So, the bad guys have broken through the bank vault, stolen all the cash, and are heading towards the elevator intending their escape. The protagonist is nowhere to be seen... until the elevator opens and the bad guys see their stolen TNT right in the middle. Their jaws drop
, and the timer counts down, 3, 2, 1...
This kind of surprise encounter with explosives can be used in all sorts of ways. The only constant is that Character A sends Character B something with a big boom
(sometimes a nuke
) when Character B isn't expecting it, leaving Character B with no chance to survive or to make his time
See Incredibly Obvious Bomb
and Time Bomb
. Often part of You Got Murder
or Why Am I Ticking?
open/close all folders
- Excel Saga has Excel and Hyatt repeatedly try to do this. It doesn't work right. Even when they disguise the bomb as a giant panda.
- In Cowboy Bebop, Gren sets Vicious up the bomb in the form of a music box.
- In Irresponsible Captain Tylor, Tylor gives a present to the enemy captain he has just surrendered to, not knowing that it was actually a bomb the space marines on board had given to him wrapped as a gift to get rid of him, making this a totally unintentional instance of Somebody Set Up Us the Bomb.
- There's a running gag of Team Rocket getting stuck with some really undesirable mon-related situation, such as being surrounded by Gyarados. Sometimes, this is a Voltorb that proceeds to, you guessed it, self-destruct.
- The New Pride leaves a bomb for the Runaways in a red herring trap.
- Major Bludd leaves a bomb for both sides of a business deal in an issue of the Devil's Due version of G.I.Joe.
- Suicide Squad:
- Artemis Fowl, The Opal Deception
- He also does it in the first book, luring Root to Holly's transponder.
- The Chessmaster in the last Empire from the Ashes book sets up the Emperor the bomb by disguising it in an important statue. By the time this is discovered, it is inside the most heavily defended section of the palace, has an anti-tamper device set to go off if Imperial technology gets close, and packs enough power in its bite-sized package to destroy a sun. Oh, Crap.
- In the the Halo novel Ghosts of Onyx, the humans on the planet Reach allow the invading Covenant to come into possession of a NOVA bomb, which is a basically a Mega Nuke capable of destroying an entire planet. The plan is for the Covenant to take it back to their capital for study and detonate it in the process. They instead take it to one of their colony worlds that nonetheless has a large fleet orbiting it,and inadvertantly set it off, annihalating the fleet and a great deal of the planet. However, the fleet that blew up was, while not exactly friendly to humanity, part of an Enemy Civil War against the main Covenant.
- Happens in Storm Thief when Finch reverse pickpockets the explosive armband Bane attached to him while he the detonator for the armband. The future victim of the explosion notices that the detonator was stolen from him but is still cocky since the bomb should still be attached to it's intended target. He gets just enough time to realize the bomb is in his pocket.
- Philip K Dick's short story Impostor deals with a war between Earth and aliens from Alpha Centauri, and a man that is accused of being a robot, planted by the enemy and which carries a bomb inside, set to explode when a trigger is activated. The man escapes and tries to find the robot, to attempt to prove he is actually human. He isn't. And the bomb inside him explodes right after discovering the truth, laying waste to good part of the Earth.
Live Action TV
- Zero Wing is the Trope Namer, via its infamous Engrish-y opening.
- Quite a few of the Multiple Endings of Vampire: The Masquerade - Bloodlines.
- At the end of Resistance 2, Hale destroys the Chimeran fleet by setting them up with a
nuke fission bomb
- Halo 2: After temporarily disarming the bomb the Covenant set up on Cairo Station, MC then rides the bomb back to its setter-uppers.
- In Call Of Duty 4, US Marines charge into a city in the Middle East in search of terrorist leader Al-Asad. Al-Asad isn't there, but a 500 kiloton nuclear warhead is...
- Syphon Filter: "This one's different from the others'', :turns over bomb to reveal timer at 4 seconds, BOOM. Also occurs several more times throughout the series, with at least one involving a Dead Man Switch.
- Happens just as you're leaving the hospital in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis. Luckily, it's a Magic Countdown, the bomb doesn't go off until a couple seconds after the timer reaches zero.
- In the old Dragon Ball Z Budokai game, Mr. Satan (AKA Hercule) uses an exploding portable console (looks like an oversized GBA) to trick his enemies in his Super Attacks. Everyone falls for it, even Cell...
- Happens at the end of every level in the Third-Person Shooter subgame of Die Hard Trilogy.
- In every last Bomberman game, you set the bomb up.
- This is actually a cheat code in Starcraft that makes you instantly lose.
- In the middle of the Zerg campaign, Kerrigan boards a science vessel to get the data she requires to break her psychic Restraining Bolt. A Terran demolition team boards the ship as well to destroy it and get ambushed. Seeing no way out, they detonate the nuke they brought with them to vaporize all the Zerg on the station... but Kerrigan's no longer onboard.
- The Terran campaign of Brood War has Duran setting up the bomb to the UED Non-Entity General by luring him into the Psi Distruptor and setting the reactor on overload.
- In World of Warcraft, the very first quest a new goblin player gets is to deliver a "present" from your executive assistant to a mining foreman who hasn't met quotas. You can guess what the present is.
- Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade has the player do this to the Necron stronghold. Especially with the Necron Pariah's reaction.
- In Meet the Demoman the RED Demoman does this to the entire BLU team.
- In Dragon Age II, Anders uses Hawke as an Unwitting Pawn to set up the Chantry the bomb.
- In the attact mode cinematic to Tekken 5, someone delivers a bomb to Heihachi Mishima via Jack robot.
- In Mass Effect 3, after going to Sur'Kesh to get the fertile krogan female and coming under attack by Cerberus operatives, you go to the elevator to try to get topside, only to find a bomb in the elevator. Garrus says it best.
- In Fallout 3, an optional sidequest (absent from the Japanese version) has you set up and detonate the nuclear bomb in the middle of Megaton. Doing this will put your Karma Meter into the red, however.
- Futurama: Bender's Big Score: "You've been scammed, sweetheart!"
- Happens in the Beast Wars episode "Equal Measures." An energon vein that runs underneath both bases means that one can travel from one to another instantaneously but an explosion on one end will mean explosion on the other. Cheetor, in the Predacon base, sends this information to the Maximals via a data disk through this instantaneous connection... only for the bomb he was warning them not to use to suddenly appear in the base.
- In the Transformers Animated episode "Decepticon Air", Optimus loads a pile of explosive energon cubes onto the lift and then cuts the lift cable, dropping it right down to the Decepticons waiting for him at the bottom.
- Transformers is apparently really big on this trope. Prime uses this to dispose of Makeshift in "Con Job": he's thrown through the GroundBridge with a bomb strapped to him, which takes him a little while to notice.