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Example of a DeadHorseTrope, partly since in real life the electronics of a bomb are both simpler and more fragile than Hollywood would have you believe. The Wire Dilemma has a minor Sub-Trope in the WrongWire. See also BombDisposal, CutTheFuse, and RelocatingTheExplosion.

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Example of a DeadHorseTrope, partly since in real life the electronics of a bomb are both simpler and more fragile than Hollywood would have you believe. The Wire Dilemma has a minor Sub-Trope in the WrongWire. See also BombDisposal, OperationGameOfDoom, CutTheFuse, and RelocatingTheExplosion.RelocatingTheExplosion.


* ''Film/CatsAndDogs'': "Okay, cut the red wire." -- "[[OhCrap Wait a minute. We're dogs. We're]] ''[[OhCrap colorblind]]''!" PlayedForLaughs. By the way, dogs aren't totally colour blind and would at least have a vague hint of which colour was which.

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* ''Film/CatsAndDogs'': "Okay, cut the red wire." -- "[[OhCrap "[[FurryReminder Wait a minute. We're dogs. ]] [[OhCrap We're]] ''[[OhCrap colorblind]]''!" PlayedForLaughs. By the way, dogs aren't totally colour blind and would at least have a vague hint of which colour was which.


* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Riff buys a brand name nuclear reactor ([[YouFailNuclearPhysicsForever actually a repurposed Soviet suitcase nuke]]) that goes meltdown after an EMP burst. He spends the next couple of strips [[RuleOfFunny talking to customer service]], who tell him to cut the wires in order of color, only to find out that, to save money, the company used the same color for each wire in a few of the reactors. After he tells them this, the company puts him on hold while they get to a safe distance.

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* In ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'', Riff buys a brand name nuclear reactor ([[YouFailNuclearPhysicsForever ([[ArtisticLicenseNuclearPhysics actually a repurposed Soviet suitcase nuke]]) that goes meltdown after an EMP burst. He spends the next couple of strips [[RuleOfFunny talking to customer service]], who tell him to cut the wires in order of color, only to find out that, to save money, the company used the same color for each wire in a few of the reactors. After he tells them this, the company puts him on hold while they get to a safe distance.


** This trope is subverted every time the team encounters a bomb. Spike (the team's bomb disposal technician) always looks for the wires connected to the detonator so the color never matters. On another episode he uses a bomb disposal robot to shoot a water cannon through the detonator. And in the series finale uses liquid nitrogen to stop an anti-tamper device. The writers must love [[ShownTheirWork showing off the various ways of disarming bombs]].

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** This trope is subverted every time the team encounters a bomb. Spike (the team's bomb disposal technician) always looks for the wires connected to the detonator so the color never matters. On another episode he uses a bomb disposal robot to shoot a water cannon through the detonator. And in the series finale uses liquid nitrogen acetone and dry ice to stop an anti-tamper device. The writers must love [[ShownTheirWork showing off the various ways of disarming bombs]].


** This trope is subverted every time the team encounters a bomb. Spike (the team's bomb disposal technician) always looks for the wires connected to the detonator so the color never matters. On another episode he uses a bomb disposal robot to shoot a water cannon through the detonator. And in the series finale uses liquid nitrogen to stop an anti-tamper device. The writers must love showing off the various ways of disarming bombs.

to:

** This trope is subverted every time the team encounters a bomb. Spike (the team's bomb disposal technician) always looks for the wires connected to the detonator so the color never matters. On another episode he uses a bomb disposal robot to shoot a water cannon through the detonator. And in the series finale uses liquid nitrogen to stop an anti-tamper device. The writers must love [[ShownTheirWork showing off the various ways of disarming bombs.bombs]].

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* The ''Series/LazyTown'' episode "[=LazyTown=] Goes Digital" had Sportacus unsure whether to pull out the red wire or the blue wire to stop Robbie's machine; Pixel initially says the red wire but later discovers the machine is a newer model, so the blue wire needs to go.

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[[folder:Asian Animation]]
* In ''Animation/HappyHeroes'' Season 2 episode 6, Careless S. has to disarm a bomb on the school bus by cutting one of its two wires, a red one and a blue one. He eventually decides to pull both wires out, causing it to explode anyway, though Happy S. does get the bomb out of the bus in time.
[[/folder]]


* In the climax of ''Videogame/Yakuza2'', Goro Majima and one of his lackeys are tasked with disarming a bomb. Majima basically picks wires at random for his lackey to cut, who is utterly terrified at the prospect that they're working off of guesswork.


* Adrian and Phoenixia take this UpToEleven in the ''Fanfic/AntiClicheAndMarySueEliminationSociety'' -- they have an argument over which wire Phoenixia said to pull [[CrowningMomentOfFunny after Adrian already pulled the wire]]. The bomb ends up shutting itself off because the argument was so ridiculous.

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* Adrian and Phoenixia take this UpToEleven in the ''Fanfic/AntiClicheAndMarySueEliminationSociety'' -- they have an argument over which wire Phoenixia said to pull [[CrowningMomentOfFunny after Adrian already pulled the wire]].wire. The bomb ends up shutting itself off because the argument was so ridiculous.

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* Averted in ''VideoGame/SpiderManPS4'', where during one sequence Mary Jane has to disable a bomb-like device. She has to disconnect ''all'' the wires, but in the proper order, and while they're colored (including a red one) this is just a visual aid to help the player solve the 3D puzzle: tracing each wire around the bomb casing to find out what it does (fan, power supply, etc) so you know which one to unplug first.


** The quote at the top of the page comes from the episode "Fail Safe", in which an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, so SG-1 goes to set off an explosive on it and blow it off course. Then they realize it's a bad idea, but not before the timer is set and space debris busts the keypad, so they have to defuse it manually:

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** The quote at the top of the page comes from the episode "Fail Safe", in which Safe" has an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth, so SG-1 goes to set off an explosive on it and blow it off course. Then they realize it's a bad idea, but not before the timer is set and space debris busts the keypad, so they have to defuse it manually:



** Lampshaded in the Season 9 episode "Ripple Effect" in which an alternate reality Mitchell impishly leaves his counterpart with the cryptic advice, "When the time comes, cut the green one." Fans have debated whether he was referring to an actual future event, or just messing with his counterpart's mind. {{Word of God}} says that they were going to come back to this, but they never found a good spot to use it in Season 10 and then the show got cancelled.

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** Lampshaded in the Season 9 episode "Ripple Effect" in which an alternate reality Mitchell impishly leaves his counterpart with the cryptic advice, "When the time comes, cut the green one." Fans have debated whether he was referring to an actual future event, or just messing with his counterpart's mind. {{Word of God}} WordOfGod says that they were going to come back to this, but they never found a good spot to use it in Season 10 and then the show got cancelled.


* Subverted in ''VideoGame/HalfLife Opposing Force''. Adrian Shephard has to disarm a nuke set by Black Ops that would [[spoiler: [[ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure obliterate Black Mesa]] and everything inside]]. An open panel has instructions for how to arm it, and some wires are exposed, but all it takes to disarm it is flipping a red "ON/OFF" switch. [[Machinima/FreemansMindSpinoffs Shephard's Mind]] brings this trope into play, where Adrian ''thinks'' he has to cut a wire, and attempts to with his knife.

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* Subverted in ''VideoGame/HalfLife Opposing Force''. Adrian Shephard has to disarm a nuke set by Black Ops that would [[spoiler: [[ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure obliterate Black Mesa]] and everything inside]]. An open panel has instructions for how to arm it, and some wires are exposed, but all it takes to disarm it is flipping a red "ON/OFF" switch. [[Machinima/FreemansMindSpinoffs Shephard's Mind]] brings this trope into play, where Adrian ''thinks'' he has to cut a wire, and attempts to with his knife. It works.

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* One [[http://www.freewebarcade.com/game/room-escape/ Room Escape game]] plays with this. Someone trapped you inside with a nuke set to go off in 2 hours, and there's a bunch of wires to cut from the get-go. But to find out which controls what, you have to find the password to a computer. [[spoiler: it turns out you ''can't'' disarm it. All you can do is set the bomb so that the odd one out is disabled, cut that wire, then set off the smoke alarm so that firefighters can rescue you,]]

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* Subverted in ''VideoGame/HalfLife Opposing Force''. Adrian Shephard has to disarm a nuke set by Black Ops that would [[spoiler: [[ItsTheOnlyWayToBeSure obliterate Black Mesa]] and everything inside]]. An open panel has instructions for how to arm it, and some wires are exposed, but all it takes to disarm it is flipping a red "ON/OFF" switch. [[Machinima/FreemansMindSpinoffs Shephard's Mind]] brings this trope into play, where Adrian ''thinks'' he has to cut a wire, and attempts to with his knife.


In fiction-land, disarming just about any bomb is a matter of cutting the right wires in the right order -- usually each wire will be given a distinctive color, and an assistant will read from a manual: "Clip the red wire, then the blue wire, then the yellow wire..." The implication is generally that if the wrong wire is cut, the bomb will explode instantly, killing the person disarming it and everyone else in the blast radius. Combines RaceAgainstTheClock with the need to make absolutely sure you're making the right decision for dramatic tension. Of course it's never as easy as just following the manual -- generally some kind of subversion is used to heighten tension.

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In fiction-land, disarming just about any bomb is a matter of cutting the right wires in the right order -- usually each wire will be [[ColourCodedForYourConvenience given a distinctive color, color]], and an assistant will read from a manual: "Clip the red wire, then the blue wire, then the yellow wire..." The implication is generally that if the wrong wire is cut, the bomb will explode instantly, killing the person disarming it and everyone else in the blast radius. Combines RaceAgainstTheClock with the need to make absolutely sure you're making the right decision for dramatic tension. Of course it's never as easy as just following the manual -- generally some kind of subversion is used to heighten tension.

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