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Rename (alt titles 7/31): Deus Ex Nukina get usage counts

 1 Spark 9, Wed, 29th Feb '12 5:27:13 PM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
Deus Ex Nukina has a lot of incorrect examples on the page. The trope purportedly means "a nuke does something that a nuke really shouldn't do". But many examples on the page are simply "something explodes when nuked".

The first problem is that the dog latin Snow Clone name implies that that's what Deus ex Machina means, but it really doesn't. The second problem is that most of the examples of the page are simply "list of nukes in fiction", which we have other pages for. Basically, Nuke 'em = nukes are suggested when they are a bad idea, Nuclear Option = nukes are used when they are a good idea, and this page = Artistic License Nukes.

Anyway, it needs help. Thoughts on the matter are welcome.

Special trousers. Very heroic.
What, this isn't a trope about a nuke being used to automatically and conveniently solve all difficult plot points out of nowhere?

 3 Spark 9, Wed, 29th Feb '12 7:16:56 PM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] Nope.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Wait, so this doesn't actually have anything to do with Deus Ex Machina? That's terrible.

 5 Louie W, Wed, 29th Feb '12 8:11:56 PM from Babycowland
Loser
I agree that a rename is called for at the very least *. Frankly, I am not sure what purpose this trope serves that other tropes like Nuke 'em and Nuclear Option do not already cover.

That being said, might it be possible to make the second paragraph about the nuclear device being delivered by hand into what this trope is about? I feel like there may be something to a trope about delivering a nuclear device.

edited 29th Feb '12 8:14:04 PM by LouieW

"irhgT nm0w tehre might b ea lotof th1nmgs i dont udarstannd, ubt oim ujst goinjg to keepfollowing this pazth i belieove iN !!!!!1 d
Dragon Writer
I, too, thought this was a trope about Just Nuke It. (Which is apparently what Nuke 'em is for.)

However, the definition does make some sense to the snowclone name: A problem can only be resolved by a nuclear blast.

edited 29th Feb '12 8:34:53 PM by Stratadrake

Using nuclear weapons to "solve a problem" by clearing the slate is It's the Only Way to Be Sure.
Becky: Who are you? The Mysterious Stranger: An angel.
Huck: What's your name? The Mysterious Stranger: Satan.
 8 Deboss, Wed, 29th Feb '12 11:44:09 PM from Awesomeville Texas
I see the Awesomeness.
Example of nukes solving problems:

Into the Looking Glass: The series has a series of semi-naturally occurring FTL portals through which a Horde of Alien Locusts is spilling through onto Earth, the only way to stop them early on is to hit them with nuclear class weaponry.
Welcome, traveller, welcome to Omsk
Definitely needs a name change.
It does not matter who I am. What matters is, who will you become? - motto of Omsk Bird
 10 Spark 9, Thu, 1st Mar '12 3:45:57 AM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up][up] That's still the trope Nuclear Option, though.

edited 1st Mar '12 3:46:38 AM by Spark9

Special trousers. Very heroic.
The trope purportedly means "a nuke does something that a nuke really shouldn't do".

Where are you finding those words? Not in the trope description. Or the laconic.

The trope is defined as following:

  • This is a situation where nukes and only nukes will do. Something Very Bad has happened, and only an uncontrolled release of nuclear energy can fix it. Occasionally, you get the curious situation where nukes are being used to fix a problem created by another nuke. Deus Ex Nukina is distinct from Nuke 'em, because the application of a nuclear bomb solves a problem. Such applications are sometimes contrived and occasionally approach the arbitrariness of Green Rocks.

The laconic is:

  • Nuking is the only solution.

Frankly, I think the problem here is your understanding of the trope. You are applying an incredibly narrow reading of the trope definition which is not in accordance with the actual trope description.

edited 1st Mar '12 6:33:08 AM by Catbert

 12 Septimus Heap, Thu, 1st Mar '12 6:54:12 AM from Valle di Muggio Relationship Status: Mu
Christmas worms
To me, it is:

This name looks like Deus ex Machina and sounds like a nuke being used for a Deus ex Machina. Either the definition has to be changed to meet the name or the name to meet the definition.

I prefer a definition change, as it is hard to tell it apart from Nuke 'em. Never mind that Nuke 'em has this line:
If a nuke is used to do something that a nuke really shouldn't be able to do, see Deus Ex Nukina.

 13 ccoa, Thu, 1st Mar '12 7:05:44 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Actually, I think it's:

  • Nuclear Option: The consequences of using a nuclear weapon is less than the consequences of not using it (used or not)
  • Nuke 'em: Jumping straight to the overkill of nuking, usually because Armies Are Evil
  • Deus Ex Nukina: Only a nuke will solve the problem (behaving unrealistically is a common feature, not a requirement)

The names really don't help make the difference clear. Deus Ex Nukina is very similar to Nuclear Option. Perhaps a little too similar.
Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 14 peccantis, Thu, 1st Mar '12 7:11:57 AM Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
the flies will find you
Ugh, a godawful name AND it's misleading.
before the darkness arrives
[up][up] ccoa gets it right.

Sorry Spark9, but I'm simply not seeing "A nuke can not do that" as a requirement for this trope.

This isn't Artistic License - Nuclear Physics.

edited 1st Mar '12 7:48:24 AM by Catbert

 16 Septimus Heap, Thu, 1st Mar '12 7:56:44 AM from Valle di Muggio Relationship Status: Mu
Christmas worms
I'm not quite sure that "A nuke can not do that" is Artistic License Nuclear Physics. Not all problems with fictional nukes have to do with different nuclear physics, I'd say.

Anyway, the current name is very misleading. I think we should rename it.

  • A Nuclear Error: During the Cold War (and even since), fiction has made some inaccurate assumptions about nuclear weapons and nuclear weapons policy.

  • Artistic License Nuclear Physics: Both nuclear weapons and peaceful nuclear technology are enormously technical in nature. Since Hollywood never lets boring facts get in the way of an engaging yarn, this allows some truly mind-bending violations of physics to make it by most audiences.

  • Deus Ex Nukina: This is a situation where nukes and only nukes will do. Something Very Bad has happened, and only an uncontrolled release of nuclear energy can fix it.

edited 1st Mar '12 8:34:58 AM by Catbert

 18 ccoa, Thu, 1st Mar '12 8:39:57 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
So Deus Ex Nukina is essentially Nuclear Option, but when it's the only option rather than just a good or the best one. It frequently overlaps with Artistic License Nuclear Physics tropes, including A Nuclear Error.

I am skeptical this is significantly distinct to be a trope, but if it is, that's a terrible snowclone-y name for it.

edited 1st Mar '12 8:40:14 AM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
I'm seeing a lot of overlap between Nuclear Option and Deus Ex Nukina.

The biggest difference is that the former seems to attract mostly things like launching nuclear weapons during a war, while Deus Ex Nukina seems to attract more of the "Nuke The Alien Space Bugs" type examples.

See Atomic Hate for other tropes. Nuke 'em, for examples, is "When faced with a Monster of the Week, military commanders show an unhealthy urge to move right up to the (current) Final Option when the monster can't be killed with bullets."

edited 1st Mar '12 8:54:23 AM by Catbert

 20 Septimus Heap, Thu, 1st Mar '12 8:56:59 AM from Valle di Muggio Relationship Status: Mu
Christmas worms
[up]Nit-pick, but A Nuclear Error is about "Nuclear politics" not Artistic License Nuclear Physics.

If I follow Catbert, the definitions of these tropes are a mess. Deus Ex Nukina clearly says "Using nuclear weapons as a Deus ex Machina" but the definition makes it sound as if Nuke 'em is about ineffective uses of nukes, while the description of Nuke 'em says "overkill". And I am not even going to think about the distinction between Deus Ex Nukina and Nuclear Option, unless the former is simply "Nuclear Option as Deus ex Machina"

The idea that Deus Ex Nukina must involve something that doesn't make sense seems to be largely the invention of whoever wrote Nuclear Option.

This is the side effect of having user created wikis instead of centralized planing. People often write definitions or summaries of tropes separate trope pages that don't directly correspond to the definition of the trope on the trope page.

I'm posting the oldest versions of the trope definitions I can find, to try and see if we can make sense of what the intent of the trope was.

As near as I can tell

Nuke 'em: When monsters attack, military leaders are too quick to resort to nuclear weapons.

Deus Ex Nukina: A situation arises that can only be solved by nuclear weapons. Sometimes contrived, but not necessarily. Also, there is a weird bit about having to deliver it by hand, which I think should actually be a separate trope.

Nuclear Option: Well considered use of nuclear weapons by legitimate authorities for legitimate means.


http://web.archive.org/web/20071231013348/http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NukeEm

When faced with a Monster Of The Week, military commanders show an unhealthy urge to move right up to the nuclear option when the monster can't be killed with bullets. They never stop to consider using something else in their arsenal that's a bit more powerful than an M16, but won't cause as much collateral damage as a low-yield nuclear bomb. It's all or nothing. If rifles didn't do the trick, forget howitzers, forget 1, 000 pounder bombs, forget chemical or biological agents, just get the nukes.

More level-headed characters will usually try to make this point, only to be told that there's "no time" to study the monster, we have to take it out now before it gets bigger/destroys more things.

From there, it becomes a race to see if the scientists can find the monster's Achilles Heel or get the Forgotten Superweapon back online before the Army gets its approval to start lobbing warheads. Of course, if the Army wins the race, it's likely that the nukes will either do nothing, or make things much, much worse, making the heroes the last hope.

Anime doesn't use this much, due to the Nuclear Weapons Taboo.
http://web.archive.org/web/20090420050653/http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/DeusExNukina?

a.k.a Nuke Ex Machina by those who don't know their Canis Latinicus. This is a situation when nukes and only nukes will do. Something Very Bad has happened, and only an uncontrolled release of nuclear energy can fix it. Deus Ex Nukina is distinct from Nuke Em, because the application of a nuclear bomb solves a problem. Such applications are sometimes contrived and occasionally approach the arbitrariness of Green Rocks.

The most interesting dramatic element of Deus Ex Nukina is the requirement that the nuclear device must be delivered by hand. Robots and missiles can't be trusted; nukes are delivered by men. The delivery method is half the fun and often involves physical contact with the device. The bomb should often have a sleek, eroticized design. Frequently, the courier must also make the ultimate sacrifice and stay with the bomb to trigger it manually.

Anti-matter sometimes substitutes. Occasionally, nukes are used to fix problems created by nukes.
http://web.archive.org/web/20100624131054/http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/NuclearOption

Sometimes, the unthinkable becomes a legitimate option. Other times it's downright commonplace. Nuclear warheads are currently the most powerful weapon in humanity's arsenal. They are the most destructive thing we have the capacity to deploy, and as such are treated as a last resort, a final option when all other possibilities are exhausted. They are to be used only when the consequences of not using them are worse than the consequences of using them. This has happened only twice in Real Life; in fiction, however, this situation comes up a lot more often.

The Nuclear Option is the well-considered and appropriate use of nuclear weaponry by a legitimate authority. Perhaps the enemy has already launched nukes at allied targets, or maybe Its The Only Way To Be Sure. Maybe the target is Nigh Invulnerable and a nuke is the only way to crack through its protections, or maybe some Cool Starships are flinging nukes at each other in otherwise empty space. Maybe the situation is already so bad that the potential for massive collateral damage doesn't matter anymore. In any case, the Nuclear Option is, ultimately, a good idea, or at least reasonable. Unlike an Empty Quiver, the Nuclear Option is ordered by a legitimate authority; unlike Nuke Em, it's neither overkill nor likely to backfire; and unlike Deus Ex Nukina, the nuke does something that actually makes sense.

Also applies to the use of Fantastic Nukes and, if the Nuclear Weapons Taboo is in effect, absolutely-not-a-nuke weapons.

edited 1st Mar '12 9:28:16 AM by Catbert

 22 ccoa, Thu, 1st Mar '12 9:10:23 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
Half joking here, here's an adorable bit of Natter on one of the examples that suggests a name:

Nukes Are The New Duct Tape

EDIT: After some thought, here's the way I propose we make them clear/tropable:

Nuclear Option
Nukes used as a weapon when the consequences of not using them is worse.
Nuke 'em
Nukes used as a weapon and the go-to solution of the evil, trigger happy military
Deus Ex Nukina (renamed to something else)
Nukes used as a tool (as opposed to a weapon) to solve the current problem. Sometimes requires them to have powers/applications that real nukes don't.

edited 1st Mar '12 10:02:52 AM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.
 23 Spark 9, Thu, 1st Mar '12 11:21:07 AM from Castle Wulfenbach Relationship Status: Too sexy for my shirt
Gentleman Troper!
[up] That's good, but I think "nukes used to solve the current problem" is still Nuclear Option if it solves the problem by blowing it up.

"Nukes cannot do that" is a distinct trope from "using nukes to blow stuff up."

And yeah, this definitely needs a rename.
Special trousers. Very heroic.
Yeah, but the trope isn't "Nukes can't do that." I don't know where you are getting that from. And we already have an artistic licence page for that anyway.

I would agree with modifying it so that the distinction between this and Nuclear Option is between non-weapon and weapon usage.

edited 1st Mar '12 11:51:02 AM by Catbert

 25 ccoa, Thu, 1st Mar '12 11:47:28 AM from the Sleeping Giant
Ravenous Sophovore
"Nukes cannot do that" pretty much is Artistic License Nuclear Physics, and isn't a trope by Word of Eddie. Any time a specific form of "cannot do that" appears a lot, it can get spun off into a trope.

I'd be okay with some overlap with Nuclear Option, but I think currently the overlap is too much.

EDIT: I definitely see a pattern, especially in film, for nukes being the sort of cure-all solution to a problem - restart the sun, re-melt the Earth's core, stop the comet/meteor/whatever, etc.

edited 1st Mar '12 12:01:19 PM by ccoa

Waiting on a TRS slot? Finishing off one of these cleaning efforts will usually open one up.

Single Proposition: Deus Ex Nukina
31st Jul '12 4:33:09 AM
Vote up for yes, down for no.
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