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Microwave Misuse

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That's one way to warm your feet.
The purpose of a microwave is to heat leftover/frozen dinners up. But what happens if you insert things that's not meant to be edible in there?

Ever heard of the warning: "DO NOT PUT METAL IN THIS OVEN"? That's because it creates sparks and can start a fire. Often times in fictitious works, Hilarity Ensues.

But not so much if the explosion in question injures someone. Even less so if there was a small creature stuffed inside there and tortured to its death...

As mentioned above, this may result in Stuff Blowing Up. A Super-Trope to Microwave the Dog, which is for cases involving microwaved pets. Obviously, Don't Try This at Home (unfortunately, there are those who will and do). For another example of small kitchen appliances being used in weird ways, see Fun With Blenders.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • You Are Being Summoned, Azazel has Beelzebub (a fly) trying to put his, uh, "meal" inside a microwave, even as Sakuma warns him not to. He gets stopped by Akutabe.

    Comic Strips 
  • Foxtrot: Paige once put some soup in the microwave, and it exploded. When her mother asks to see the can, Paige answers "I told you, it exploded."
    Andy: Paige, didn't we have this conversation about our first microwave?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 1994 Baker Street: Sherlock Holmes Returns, Fish out of Temporal Water Sherlock Holmes attempts to heat some tomato sauce in the microwave without knowing that he has to remove it from the can first. The can explodes, creating A Bloody Mess.
  • The movie American Hustle is set in the 1970s, when the microwave was still a new invention. As such, it makes somewhat (but not much) more sense that Rosalynn disregards Irving's instructions not to put metal in the microwave (or "science oven," as it's called by both of them) he received from Mayor Polito. It blows up and catches fire spectacularly.
  • Final Destination 2: Evan Lewis unwittingly heats food with a fridge magnet in it inside a microwave. The machine eventually explodes, taking his whole apartment with it.
  • Gremlins:
    • In Gremlins (1984), one of the eponymous monsters is killed in the microwave.
    • Gremlins 2: The New Batch has the Gremlins take revenge by throwing pots and pans into a microwave oven before turning it on, causing it to explode.
  • In Grosse Pointe Blank, Felix puts a potato-sized lump of plastic explosive in a microwave at a convenience store in an attempt to kill Martin.
  • The boys blow up a worm in the microwave in one scene of How To Eat Fried Worms.
  • How Sing destroys Mark's cyborg body in Sixty Million Dollar Man. In the form of a giant microwave cooking Mark alive with heat enough to melt diamonds.
  • Under Siege has a non-humorous example. Ryback wants to prepare a warm welcome for the terrorists who have taken over the battleship, so he puts a can containing combustible material inside a microwave and turns it on. When the terrorists arrive in the kitchen, the can inside the microwave explodes.

  • A John Varley short story called "Press Enter#" has an Artificial Intelligence that shows how deadly it is by hypnotizing a computer programmer girl with huge boobs (when she was younger, she was flat-chested and mistaken for a boy. When she got to America, she had plastic surgery to remove all doubt about her gender) to perform maintenance on her microwave oven, removing its safety features to prevent microwave leakage when the door is open. Then, she sticks her head and silicone tits in it and uses it to commit suicide.
  • In Baby-Sitting Is a Dangerous Job, while babysitting at the Fosters' house, Darcy tries to cook some bacon on a plastic plate in the microwave, and it melts and makes a mess. The book was written in 1985, when microwaves weren't nearly as common as they are nowadays.
  • Infinity Beach. A microwave with the safety features deactivated is used as an Improvised Weapon against the Severin Shroud.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Brainiac: Science Abuse did this once per episode with a wide variety of objects. Due to the often explosive results of these experiments, there were multiple Do Not Try This at Home warnings both before and after. Sadly, due to incident with the explosives being used to fake the alkali metal reaction, some people doubt the authenticity of these experiments (although the various YouTube microwave channels prove that most, if not all of them are authentic).
  • In French sitcom Les Filles d'à côté, after the girls get over their initial reactions concerning a brand new cooking device never before seen in a French kitchen, they plug in Fanny's new microwave and tentatively try it out with something that they think will not do any harm if it goes wrong. Claire suggests testing how quickly it can boil water. At this point her son Vincent cautions her against using a metal saucepan full of water inside a microwave oven. She shoos him out of the kitchen and puts the metal pan into the microwave anyway...
  • In The Kids Are Alright (2018), which is set in the early seventies, Mike brings a microwave prototype home for testing. Peggy resents it because she sees it as an intrusion in her kitchen, so she sabotages it by putting a fork inside and turning it on. It shorts out a fuse and causes a blackout.
  • Millennium (1996): in "Gehenna", a doomsday cult uses an industrial microwave to immolate any rebelling members alive.
  • Supernatural: The episode "Clap Your Hands if You Believe" contains a scene parallelling the Gremlins (1984) one mentioned above where Dean traps and cooks an attacking fairy in the microwave. The remains are invisible to Sam, who just sees an empty microwave instead of the gore when Dean shows him.
  • Vagabond: In episode 3 Dal-gun escapes from an assassin in a convenience store by throwing a spray can of—something (WD-40?)—into a microwave and turning it on. The microwave explodes as the killer is passing by, delaying him long enough for Dal-gun to get out.
  • In an episode of The X-Files featuring a Hollywood Voodoo practitioner, the guy observes someone cooking food in a microwave and gets the bright idea to stick his "poppet" in there. The results aren't pretty.
    • Scully kills the Creepy Doll of “Chinga” by microwaving it.

    Video Games 

    Web Original 
  • There was a whole YouTube channel devoted to answering the question "Is It a Good Idea to Microwave This?" And more often than not, it isn't.
    • Following that series, copycat channels emerged, some of the more popular including What Happens When You Microwave This? and Microwave Me Show. Contrary to popular belief, Dovetastic Microwave Theater actually came first, as it began in March 2006 while "Is It A Good Idea To Microwave This?" began in July 2007, when dovetastic was already in his second season, although the latter is what inspired the majority of microwave channels.
  • A short horror video on YouTube titled "Cell Phone In Microwave" has the kid trying to burn his cell phone down in the microwave to no longer worry about his phone bills. But when the phone started heating up, a monstrous head emerged from the phone, roaring and trying to break out of the microwave before the room blacks out.
  • Jacksfilms: In a Black Comedy example, the video "punishing my terrible dog" has Jack care for his dog, Klondike, whilst doing the Bird Box challenge note . At the end, he mistakes the microwave for her crate and puts her note  inside, and turns it on thinking he's locking her in for the night.
  • In one of the "dumbest tweets" videos in Most Amazing Top Ten, someone tweets that they tried microwaving their phone to charge it, but it exploded instead. This might be related to the fact that when the first induction-charging-capable iPhone was released, trolls promptly made fake ads claiming it was also microwave-compatible.
  • Pissed Off Angry Gamer: He destroys his GameCube by putting it in his microwave and turning it on.
  • Not Always Right: Several stories about customers microwaving something that should not be microwaved, and then trying to return it:
    • This story has a customer who tries to return a phone that was "was only in the microwave for a few seconds!"
    • This customer demands a refund on her son's Nintendo Switch because "Since nothing prevented my son from microwaving the device, it is your fault that this happened!"
    • This customer tries to return "microwave safe" bowls, claiming they weren't. Yes, he covered them with alluminum foil, but foil can't be a metal, it's soft!
    • This home improvement store customer, far too impatient to actually wait for an answer to the question "Are these rocks heat resistant?" says he'll just test them in the microwave. He's back the following day, to buy a new microwave.

    Western Animation 
  • In Amphibia episode "The New Normal", Sprig becomes fascinated by a microwave in Anne's house and inserts various objects inside; such as a book, a potato, Anne's shoe, he nearly fried Anne's phone before she stopped him.
  • Aqua Teen Hunger Force: In "Remooned", Shake stuffs Meatwad into a microwave after convincing him he'll be added into a record book, giving him an aluminum foil box as reading material. Although, Frylock reversed the rays on the microwave before Shake put Meatwad in there, causing serious damage to the kitchen.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: Black Spider, disguised as a cafeteria worker, triggers an explosion by putting a bunch of silverware into a microwave and rupturing a gas line.
  • In one episode of Futurama, Fry stupidly puts a metal pack of popcorn into a microwave. This somehow combines with a supernova to send the planet express ship and crew back to the 1950s. It also destroys the microwave. This is a problem, because making a return trip to the future requires a functional microwave.
  • Gravity Falls: While the results of this aren't seen, Dipper and Soos use the microwave to blow up hotdogs for seemingly no reason other than they think it's funny.
  • In the Johnny Bravo episode, "Carnival of the Darned", Johnny takes a device that Carl made tapes his food to it, and starts to put it in the microwave, which Carl points out it not something you can do with metal. Johnny ignores him and does anyway, resulting in the microwave exploding and making a mess of the kitchen.
  • Pinky and the Brain: One of the Brain's schemes involves invoking this, claiming a malfunctioning microwave has turned him into a mouse as part of a Frivolous Lawsuit, on the logic that "no-one knows how microwaves really work". Unfortunately for the Brain, the lawyer he's up against does know how microwaves work. (Fortunately, his staged accident also involves instant creamer, with the same justification. As soon as Brain nervously mentions that some of the stuff was also involved, the defense stops questioning the accident's plausibility.)
  • In one episode of Regular Show, Mordecai fills a microwave with watches to make Rigby late for his date, the result creates a time vortex that ends up killing Rigby, forcing Mordecai to do a reset to save him. In a later episode, Rigby tries to put various items in the microwave, Mordecai highly advises him to try something else after recalling what happened last time.
  • The Simpsons: In "Itchy & Scatchy: The Movie", Bart briefly apes Ernst Blofeld (whilst stroking Snowball II) as he melts a James Bond action figure in the microwave.

    Real Life 
  • Sadly, this method of murder is Truth in Television, and almost always occurs in the form of infanticide or filicide. There have been a small, yet substantial number of murders committed by mothers against their children involving them placing the child (often still an infant at the time of their death) inside the microwave, setting it to full power, then turning it on…
  • An enduring Urban Legend holds that someone put their wet Chihuahua in the microwave to dry it out.
  • The discovery that one of the very few chemical reactions involving gold can be brought about by putting a plate with gold leaf decoration into a microwave, thus turning it a very vivid blue - heat plus microwave radiation oxidises gold, creating auric oxide - is one of the minor delights of an education in physical chemistry. Pissed off kitchen staff have done this to annoying hotel owners as a sort of "screw you", effectively destroying the most expensive plateware through one of those little mishaps.


Video Example(s):


Propane Balloon in Microwave

The Brainiac's put a balloon full of propane and Oxygen, with a metal spoon in a microwave.

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5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / MicrowaveMisuse

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