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* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if wasn't kept a secret.

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* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if it wasn't kept a secret.



* Happens a couple of times on ''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'', such as when Billie put on [[ClingyMacGuffin Hippolya's]] [[ClingyCostume Belt]] and became a superheroine. The belt was killing her and the only way to remove it was through a specific spell found only in Magic School's library.
* Happens pretty much every week on ''Series/{{Eureka}}''. A big piece of Tech is endangering the town, and Jack Carter asks something related to the easiest way to shut it off ("Why don't you just unplug it?"). Oh guess what, if you turn the device off, the town'll catch on fire, or something along those lines.

to:

* Happens a couple of times on ''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'', such as when Billie put on [[ClingyMacGuffin Hippolya's]] Hippolyta's]] [[ClingyCostume Belt]] and became a superheroine. The belt was killing her and the only way to remove it was through a specific spell found only in Magic School's library.
* Happens pretty much every week on ''Series/{{Eureka}}''. A big piece of Tech tech is endangering the town, and Jack Carter asks something related to the easiest way to shut it off ("Why don't you just unplug it?"). Oh guess what, if you turn the device off, the town'll catch on fire, or something along those lines.


* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off.
** In this case, the designers of the device [[JustifiedTrope built it like this intentionally]], and to them it made sense. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if not for a few miscommunications.

to:

* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off. \n** In this case, the designers of the device [[JustifiedTrope built it like this intentionally]], and to them it made sense. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if not for wasn't kept a few miscommunications.secret.


** In "Marge and the Monorail", a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control. Cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power. The monorail stops only [[ConvenientEclipse when an eclipse happens]]... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.

to:

** In "Marge and vs. the Monorail", a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control. Cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power. The monorail stops only [[ConvenientEclipse when an eclipse happens]]... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.


** In "Marge Vs the Monorail", a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control. Cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power. The monorail stops only [[ConvenientEclipse when an eclipse happens]]... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.

to:

** In "Marge Vs and the Monorail", a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control. Cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power. The monorail stops only [[ConvenientEclipse when an eclipse happens]]... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.


* In a mundane version, once on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' when Homer decided to become an inventor:
-->'''Homer:''' Now, here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm!\\

to:

* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'':
** In "Marge Vs the Monorail", a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control. Cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power. The monorail stops only [[ConvenientEclipse when an eclipse happens]]... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.
**
In a mundane version, once on ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' when in "The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace", Homer decided to become an inventor:
-->'''Homer:'''
inventor, and one of his inventions can only be turned on:
--->'''Homer:'''
Now, here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm!\\



** Another ''Simpsons'' example; in the episode where a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control, cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power... the monorail stops only when an eclipse happens... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.


* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' story "Double N''egg''ative" (spelled that way) has Mandy stealing Grim's cosmic egg--which if broached will cause a global apocalypse--and letting Billy take the blame. At the end, Mandy reveals the egg is in her dress pocket. She taps it to ensure it's safe--and breaks it.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' story "Double N''egg''ative" (spelled that way) has way), Mandy stealing steals Grim's cosmic egg--which if broached will cause a global apocalypse--and letting lets Billy take the blame. At the end, Mandy reveals the egg is in her dress pocket. She taps it to ensure it's safe--and breaks it.


* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' story "Double Negative" (spelled that way) has Mandy stealing Grim's cosmic egg--which if broached will cause a global apocalypse--and letting Billy take the blame. At the end, Mandy reveals the egg is in her dress pocket. She taps it to ensure it's safe--and breaks it.

to:

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' story "Double Negative" N''egg''ative" (spelled that way) has Mandy stealing Grim's cosmic egg--which if broached will cause a global apocalypse--and letting Billy take the blame. At the end, Mandy reveals the egg is in her dress pocket. She taps it to ensure it's safe--and breaks it.

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[[folder: Comic Books]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheGrimAdventuresOfBillyAndMandy'' story "Double Negative" (spelled that way) has Mandy stealing Grim's cosmic egg--which if broached will cause a global apocalypse--and letting Billy take the blame. At the end, Mandy reveals the egg is in her dress pocket. She taps it to ensure it's safe--and breaks it.
-->'''Mandy:''' (''eyes bulging open'') Uh oh.
[[/folder]]

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[[folder: Web Animation]]
* Played for laughs in ''WebAnimation/BarbieLifeInTheDreamhouse''. Barbie can't remember why she stopped using her automatic cupcake maker until she tries to turn it off. It doesn't have an off button, and the kitchen is quickly filled with cupcakes.
[[/folder]]

Added DiffLines:

Compare IrrevocableOrder.


* Happens a couple of times on ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', such as when Billie put on [[ClingyMacGuffin Hippolya's]] [[ClingyCostume Belt]] and became a superheroine. The belt was killing her and the only way to remove it was through a specific spell found only in Magic School's library.

to:

* Happens a couple of times on ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', ''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'', such as when Billie put on [[ClingyMacGuffin Hippolya's]] [[ClingyCostume Belt]] and became a superheroine. The belt was killing her and the only way to remove it was through a specific spell found only in Magic School's library.

Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/{{Alien}}'': The way the ''Nostromo'''s SelfDestructMechanism works means that this trope is in play beyond a certain period of time, because it involves [[InvokedTrope deliberately inducing]] a FailsafeFailure in the main engine's cooling system. Wait too long to change your mind and it'll blow up even if the failsafes are turned back on.


%%%%%%This page has been alphabetized. Please add new entries in the correct alphabetical order.%%%%%%



[[folder:Film Live Action]]

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[[folder:Film Live Action]]Action]]
* Applies to the [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar U.S. and Soviet]] supercomputers in the film ''Film/ColossusTheForbinProject''.
* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off.
** In this case, the designers of the device [[JustifiedTrope built it like this intentionally]], and to them it made sense. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if not for a few miscommunications.
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet''.
-->'''Morpheus:''' Son, turn that disc. [[BigRedButton The switch.]] Throw it. In 24 hours, you must be 100 million miles out in space. [[SelfDestructMechanism The Krell furnaces]]...chain reaction...they cannot be reversed.



-->'''David:''' It's the Genesis Wave! They're on a build-up to detonation! [snip]
-->'''Kirk:''' We'll beam aboard and stop it.
-->'''David:''' You can't.
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet''.
-->'''Morpheus:''' Son, turn that disc. [[BigRedButton The switch.]] Throw it. In 24 hours, you must be 100 million miles out in space. [[SelfDestructMechanism The Krell furnaces]]...chain reaction...they cannot be reversed.
* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off.
** In this case, the designers of the device [[JustifiedTrope built it like this intentionally]], and to them it made sense. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if not for a few miscommunications.
* Applies to the [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar U.S. and Soviet]] supercomputers in the film ''Film/ColossusTheForbinProject''.

to:

-->'''David:''' It's the Genesis Wave! They're on a build-up to detonation! [snip]
-->'''Kirk:'''
''[snip]''\\
'''Kirk:'''
We'll beam aboard and stop it.
-->'''David:'''
it. \\
'''David:'''
You can't.
* ''Film/ForbiddenPlanet''.
-->'''Morpheus:''' Son, turn that disc. [[BigRedButton The switch.]] Throw it. In 24 hours, you must be 100 million miles out in space. [[SelfDestructMechanism The Krell furnaces]]...chain reaction...they cannot be reversed.
* The DoomsdayDevice in ''Film/DrStrangelove'' will automatically detonate if anyone attempts to shut it off.
** In this case, the designers of the device [[JustifiedTrope built it like this intentionally]], and to them it made sense. It's meant as the ultimate, permanent deterrent to nuclear warfare; if there were any way to stop it once it's turned on, it wouldn't be able to carry out its function. It wouldn't have needed an off switch if not for a few miscommunications.
* Applies to the [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar U.S. and Soviet]] supercomputers in the film ''Film/ColossusTheForbinProject''.
can't.



[[folder:LiveActionTV]]

to:

[[folder:LiveActionTV]][[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* On ''Series/AgentCarter'' Howard Stark invented a heated jacket for use in subzero temperatures. Unfortunately, it is powered by a chemical reaction that is very hard to stop. Even worse, once the jacket operates for a few minutes, the clasps holding it shut start fusing together which makes it impossible to remove the jacket before the reaction reaches a critical point and the entire apparatus explodes. Howard abandoned the project but kept the prototype in storage. When the bad guys steal it, they use it as a bomb.
* On one episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', there was a lightning wielding gauntlet that could only be destroyed through a specific ritual.
* Happens a couple of times on ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', such as when Billie put on [[ClingyMacGuffin Hippolya's]] [[ClingyCostume Belt]] and became a superheroine. The belt was killing her and the only way to remove it was through a specific spell found only in Magic School's library.



* On one episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', there was a lightning wielding gauntlet that could only be destroyed through a specific ritual.

to:

* On one episode of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'', there Not having an off button is listed as a ''feature'' in the ''[[Series/SaturdayNightLive SNL]]'' parody commercial for the [[http://www.hulu.com/watch/70317 Woomba]], a robot for cleaning women's genitalia. The product is shown [[GoneHorriblyWrong Going Horribly Wrong]] during the actual commercial.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the body-swapping device didn't have an off-switch (or at least it
was a lightning wielding gauntlet that could only be destroyed through a specific ritual. never discovered) so every time someone activated it, he had to destroy it.



* Happens a couple of times on ''Series/{{Charmed}}'', such as when Billie put on [[ClingyMacGuffin Hippolya's]] [[ClingyCostume Belt]] and became a superheroine. The belt was killing her and the only way to remove it was through a specific spell found only in Magic School's library.
* In ''Series/StargateSG1'' and ''Series/StargateAtlantis'', the body-swapping device didn't have an off-switch (or at least it was never discovered) so every time someone activated it, he had to destroy it.
* Not having an off button is listed as a ''feature'' in the ''[[Series/SaturdayNightLive SNL]]'' parody commercial for the [[http://www.hulu.com/watch/70317 Woomba,]] a robot for cleaning women's genitalia. The product is shown [[GoneHorriblyWrong Going Horribly Wrong]] during the actual commercial.
* On ''Series/AgentCarter'' Howard Stark invented a heated jacket for use in subzero temperatures. Unfortunately, it is powered by a chemical reaction that is very hard to stop. Even worse, once the jacket operates for a few minutes, the clasps holding it shut start fusing together which makes it impossible to remove the jacket before the reaction reaches a critical point and the entire apparatus explodes. Howard abandoned the project but kept the prototype in storage. When the bad guys steal it, they use it as a bomb.



[[folder:Real Life]]
* Certain devices that rely on chemical reactions obviously can't be easily shut down once the reaction starts, unless you have control over the access to the reactants themselves.
** Solid fuel rocket motors are perhaps one of the more consequential devices not to have an off button. Compare with liquid fueled rockets which can be both throttled and shut down by controlling the propellant flow, a solid fuel motor will burn at a predetermined rate until all the fuel is used up. In the case of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Solid_Rocket_Booster Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster]] this severely limited the shuttle abort modes meaning the crew was basically stuck until the boosters had burnt out no matter what might start to go wrong.
*** Doubly a problem when nuclear warheads are attached to solid fueled rockets, although a SelfDestructMechanism can be employed.
** Likewise hand grenades. When the lever is released, the spring-loaded striker strikes the primer, igniting the fuse. When it burns through to the explosive charge, Boom!
*** This holds true for most other fuse-detonated explosives too, unless the fuse is sufficiently long that you can safely cut it or yank it out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders}}'', the titular Mindbender only have a big ON/ON switch; throwing it seemingly does something (reverses the polarity?), but turning it off is impossible. Given that it's designed to induce stupidity, this is a perfectly sensible design choice. Fortunately, [[spoiler:it can be destroyed by the Skolarian Device.]]

to:

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Certain devices that rely on chemical reactions obviously can't be easily shut down once the reaction starts, unless you have control over the access to the reactants themselves.
** Solid fuel rocket motors are perhaps one of the more consequential devices not to have an off button. Compare with liquid fueled rockets which can be both throttled and shut down by controlling the propellant flow, a solid fuel motor will burn at a predetermined rate until all the fuel is used up. In the case of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Solid_Rocket_Booster Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster]] this severely limited the shuttle abort modes meaning the crew was basically stuck until the boosters had burnt out no matter what might start to go wrong.
*** Doubly a problem when nuclear warheads are attached to solid fueled rockets, although a SelfDestructMechanism can be employed.
** Likewise hand grenades. When the lever is released, the spring-loaded striker strikes the primer, igniting the fuse. When it burns through to the explosive charge, Boom!
*** This holds true for most other fuse-detonated explosives too, unless the fuse is sufficiently long that you can safely cut it or yank it out.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders}}'', the titular Mindbender only have a big ON/ON switch; throwing it seemingly does something (reverses the polarity?), but turning it off is impossible. Given that it's designed to induce stupidity, this is a perfectly sensible design choice. Fortunately, [[spoiler:it can be destroyed by the Skolarian Device.]]
[[folder:Video Games]]



* In ''VideoGame/{{Zak McKracken and the Alien Mindbenders}}'', the titular Mindbender only have a big ON/ON switch; throwing it seemingly does something (reverses the polarity?), but turning it off is impossible. Given that it's designed to induce stupidity, this is a perfectly sensible design choice. Fortunately, [[spoiler:it can be destroyed by the Skolarian Device.]]









-->'''Homer:''' Now, here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm!
-->''Homer flips a switch the device, and it begins to emit a high pitched, incredibly loud beep. The rest of the Simpsons cover their ears as Homer speaks up.''
-->'''Homer:''' This will sound every three seconds, unless something isn't okay!
-->'''Marge:''' Turn it off, Homer!
-->'''Homer:''' It can't be turned off! ''[alarm fizzles out]'' But it, uh, does break easily.
** Another ''Simpsons'' example; in the episode where a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control, cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power... the monorail stops only when an eclipse happens... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'' guest-starred Marvin the Martian who sets up a device to destroy the Earth rigging it, so once it's activated, even he can't shut it off. After turning it on, he realizes he's made a slight miscalculation:
-->'''Marvin:''' In 10 minutes it will all be over for you pitiful Earthlings. My ship will be here to pick me up in approximately one hour so.... Uh oh.

to:

-->'''Homer:''' Now, here's my "Everything's O.K." alarm!
-->''Homer
alarm!\\
''[Homer
flips a switch the device, and it begins to emit a high pitched, incredibly loud beep. The rest of the Simpsons cover their ears as Homer speaks up.''
-->'''Homer:'''
]''\\
'''Homer:'''
This will sound every three seconds, unless something isn't okay!
-->'''Marge:'''
okay!\\
'''Marge:'''
Turn it off, Homer!
-->'''Homer:'''
Homer! \\
'''Homer:'''
It can't be turned off! ''[alarm fizzles out]'' But it, uh, does break easily.
** Another ''Simpsons'' example; in the episode where a shady dealer sells Springfield a monorail, and it ends up going out of control, cutting the power is suggested, but the monorail is run completely on solar power... the monorail stops only when an eclipse happens... and then when the eclipse ends, the monorail keeps right on going. \n* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'' guest-starred Marvin the Martian who sets up a device to destroy the Earth rigging it, so once it's activated, even he can't shut it off. After turning it on, he realizes he's made a slight miscalculation: \n-->'''Marvin:''' In 10 minutes it will all be over for you pitiful Earthlings. My ship will be here to pick me up in approximately one hour so.... Uh oh.



-->'''Sonic''': Game over, Eggman! Shut off the doomsday devices!
-->'''Eggman''': (laughs) Shut off? Who puts an off switch on a doomsday device?
-->'''Sonic''': Hmmm... You make a valid point. (calls Tails) Bad news: there's no off switch.
-->'''Tails''': Well, yeah. Who puts an off switch on a doomsday device?

to:

-->'''Sonic''': -->'''Sonic:''' Game over, Eggman! Shut off the doomsday devices!
-->'''Eggman''': (laughs)
devices!\\
'''Eggman:''' ''[laughs]''
Shut off? Who puts an off switch on a doomsday device?
-->'''Sonic''':
device?\\
'''Sonic:'''
Hmmm... You make a valid point. (calls Tails) ''[calls Tails]'' Bad news: there's no off switch.
-->'''Tails''':
switch.\\
'''Tails:'''
Well, yeah. Who puts an off switch on a doomsday device? device?
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TazMania'' guest-starred Marvin the Martian who sets up a device to destroy the Earth rigging it, so once it's activated, even he can't shut it off. After turning it on, he realizes he's made a slight miscalculation:
-->'''Marvin:''' In 10 minutes it will all be over for you pitiful Earthlings. My ship will be here to pick me up in approximately one hour so.... Uh oh.


Added DiffLines:


[[folder:Real Life]]
* Certain devices that rely on chemical reactions obviously can't be easily shut down once the reaction starts, unless you have control over the access to the reactants themselves.
** Solid fuel rocket motors are perhaps one of the more consequential devices not to have an off button. Compare with liquid fueled rockets which can be both throttled and shut down by controlling the propellant flow, a solid fuel motor will burn at a predetermined rate until all the fuel is used up. In the case of the [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Shuttle_Solid_Rocket_Booster Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Booster]] this severely limited the shuttle abort modes meaning the crew was basically stuck until the boosters had burnt out no matter what might start to go wrong.
*** Doubly a problem when nuclear warheads are attached to solid fueled rockets, although a SelfDestructMechanism can be employed.
** Likewise hand grenades. When the lever is released, the spring-loaded striker strikes the primer, igniting the fuse. When it burns through to the explosive charge, Boom!
*** This holds true for most other fuse-detonated explosives too, unless the fuse is sufficiently long that you can safely cut it or yank it out.
[[/folder]]

Added DiffLines:

* In one episode of ''WesternAnimation/LeagueOfSuperEvil'', Dr. Frogg creates a mind control device with only two settings: "On" and "More On"


* In RobertSheckley's short story ''The Laxian Key'', a pair of ne'er-do-wells find a machine that produces some substance in unlimited quantities but can only be turned off with the eponymous "Laxian key" (which they don't have). When the substance begins to flood their home (and they get a bill for the machine draining power from the city grid), they try to sell the machine to an alien race who feeds upon it, but are almost blown to pieces by the alien navy. [[spoiler:It turns out, these aliens, as a result of inventing the machine in the first place, already have several such devices... and, apparently, enough morons to turn them on. As a result, all of their homeworld is covered with it, so they tell the heroes to come back with the Laxian key and ask any price for it.]]

to:

* In RobertSheckley's Creator/RobertSheckley's short story ''The Laxian Key'', a pair of ne'er-do-wells find a machine that produces some substance in unlimited quantities but can only be turned off with the eponymous "Laxian key" (which they don't have). When the substance begins to flood their home (and they get a bill for the machine draining power from the city grid), they try to sell the machine to an alien race who feeds upon it, but are almost blown to pieces by the alien navy. [[spoiler:It turns out, these aliens, as a result of inventing the machine in the first place, already have several such devices... and, apparently, enough morons to turn them on. As a result, all of their homeworld is covered with it, so they tell the heroes to come back with the Laxian key and ask any price for it.]]

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