Unplanned Manual Detonation
This trope is when a character plans to detonate a bomb remotely, but finds out that the remote control is broken. Then he has to go and rig it himself, while cursing quality assurance the whole time.
This is often used to set up either an Outrun the Fireball
if the detonator can escape, or a Heroic Sacrifice
if he cannot.
Compare to Cut the Fuse
, a manual defusing
of a bomb, and Hoist by His Own Petard
, where an enemy bomb is (often manually) detonated against its original wielders.
- In Pacific Rim, the protagonist has to substitute his own Jaeger's exploding reactor for the nuke that was lost earlier in the mission, but the overload command fails and he has to manually engage the self-destruct, with his oxygen running low and the Jaeger sinking past the optimum spot for the blast.
- Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion (how's that for a title?) features a scene of this type involving a gigantic Booby Trapped signal transmitter. The bad guys manage to damage the explosives and one of the heroes has to go back and trigger the manual override — and since there isn't a delay, it'll have to be a one-way trip. A wounded character suspected of being The Mole volunteers on the grounds that his environment suit is damaged and therefore he won't survive the trip back to their base. After some deliberation, the heroes decide to send him in and he succeeds, destroying a large number of enemy warriors in the process, but leaving the question of who the mole was, if not him.
- The Tango Briefing (1973) by Adam Hall. British spy Quiller must use a small nuclear weapon (what we'd now call a backpack nuke, though it's a US commercial design for blasting wells) to destroy a shipment of lethal psychotropic nerve gas on a crashed aircraft (the cylinders have cracked and the gas has filled the plane, so they can't just be removed). Unfortunately the timing device is smashed when Quiller parachutes in so he's ordered to detonate the device by hand (local military helicopters are in the area doing a sweep search, so there's no time to parachute in another device). Fortunately Quiller is able to field-improvise a means of pushing down The Button, involving wedging the bomb under the thrust levers in the cockpit, then capturing a rather startled vulture who, when it's finished flapping around in outrage, settles down on the most suitable perch...
- Halo is quite fond of this trope.
- In Halo: Combat Evolved, Master Chief detonates the engines of the Pillar of Autumn with rockets after 343 Guilty Spark stops the Cortana's automated countdown.
- In Halo Wars and Halo: Reach, Sgt. Forge and Jorge, respectively, detonate Slipspace drives as heroic sacrifices.
- Also done with the Crow's Nest bomb in Halo 3.
- And done again in Halo 4 with a HAVOK nuke. Master Chief's only saved by Cortana shielding him with hard light and teleporting him to safety.
- In the Season 1 episode of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Rookies" a Republic Base inhabited by the titular Rookies is about to be destroyed by the Republic when they learn that the detonator is broken. Hevy, one of the troopers, stays behind and, with a BFG, takes out a fair share of Droids before he's shot as he goes for the bomb. As the droids wonder if they take prisoners, Hevy crawls towards the bomb and manages to say "I... Don't..." before detonating the explosives, destroying the base.