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No Endor Holocaust

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Robin: Casualties?
John: None, so far. But we've never actually found a casualty at a Hulk site before, so I guess we shouldn't be surprised.
Robin: No deaths? Incredible.
John: I've always felt it's best not to dwell on these things.
Damage Control on the lack of fatalities in The Incredible Hulk's rampages

Explosions are cool. So are giant objects. Therefore, giant objects exploding are extremely cool, but let's think about this for a moment. Halt the Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever in a major city by blowing it up. Or just kill it and let it fall over, for that matter. That's going to do some monstrous damage to the city. Yet any collateral damage or casualties are depicted as minimal. Either we cut to credits before we see any aftermath, or (more blatantly) we see that there was no collateral effect at all. If there are, they are just Conveniently Empty Buildings.

Why? You can't have the heroes take down the alien spacecraft For Great Justice, only to look sheepish when the flaming debris flattens the city. Not in any show on the idealism end of the scale, anyway. Maybe they have a brilliant plan to lure it somewhere uninhabited before they blow it to rubble, but surprisingly often, it's just not something the writers concern themselves with, leading viewers to notice the Inferred Holocaust.

If you're a hero, you needn't worry about this. Even if there is collateral damage, your Hero Insurance is going to cover it. If not, then Hilarity Sues.

See Colony Drop for when a large man-made object is deliberately dropped on top of a planet in order to cause a massive impact. The Trope Namer is the fan theory about the destruction of Endor as a result of the detonation of the Death Star in Return of the Jedi (see Film section below). (And not the Ender Holocaust, which is about the opposite.)

Compare There Are No Global Consequences and Never Say "Die". Inferred Holocaust is when you realize the Monster of the Week might be dead but chances of survival are grim after the extensive damage.

As potentially mass-death-causing events tend to happen during pivotal plot points, expect spoilers.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • This is the main point of any kekkai (barrier field) or Phantom Zone in numerous shows, as besides keeping the supernatural secret and sometimes showing off cool art this lets the heroes never have to worry about collateral damage.
  • Downplayed in Assassination Classroom when Korosensei blows up most of the Moon. This does not affect life on Earth in any way, but newspaper early on mentions the problems coming from the moon and in the finale things finally begin to settle as the moon collapses and becomes closer to Earth, eventually making the Earth's system return to normal.
  • Virtually every single episode of The Big O simply begins with the eponymous robot exploding up from underground, taking streets, cars, and skyscrapers, and one can only presume people along with them. And yet the chief of police is good friends with its pilot and never bitches him out for mass slaughter.
    • Hand Waved when the Gainax Ending reveals that the entire two seasons were some sort of simulation or theatrical piece on a massive sound stage. There are lots of such headscratchers in real fiction too.
  • Lampshaded in Bleach during Aizen's invasion of Karakura Town, as the Shinigami replace it with a fake, uninhabited city in order to prevent their destructive abilities from killing everyone. By the time Aizen makes it to the real Karakura Town, only Ichigo is left to stop him, though the two of them alone are sufficiently powerful enough that Ichigo throws Aizen all the way into a massive faraway field for their final battle.
    • Most of the fighting in The Thousand-Year Blood War Arc takes place in cities, and initially it's averted as it's mentioned that thousands of people were killed during the destruction of the Seireitei. However, the trope's later played straight when the battles move toward the Quincies' domain, as even though buildings are still leveled, no one seems to be living in them.
  • Averted in Bokurano, where the giant robot fights are shown quite explicitly to cause utter devastation to the area/city they are fighting in, with reports afterward, if it was a "home" battle, mentioning the hundreds if not thousands of dead and injured and (hundreds of) millions of dollars' worth of damage. This is even brought to our attention during Kodaka Masaru's battle, where one of the characters observes that the "enemy" robot is going out of its way to cause as little damage as possible; Kodaka's response to this was to state that he couldn't care less and proceeds to move carelessly, trashing the city... and ends up crushing his dad's car (with his dad inside it) in the process. Cue BSOD when he realizes this.
  • In Code Geass Nightmare of Nunnally, unlike in the main series, the consequences of triggering an avalanche on Narita are largely unexplored, given that the plot quickly moves on.
    • The main series also plays this straight later on when Lelouch sets off Mount Fuji. No mention of an evacuation of all the towns surrounding the mountain for about 100 miles, which should include much of the Tokyo metropolitan area, is ever made. This is mitigated by the fact that Tokyo Settlement was the site of a nuke-equivalent explosion a few episodes earlier, causing millions of casualties and several Heroic BSoD and further mitigated by the fact that Lelouch is going for a Zero-Approval Gambit (haha) at this point, so several hundred thousand casualties do more to advance his plans than anything else.
  • Parodied in Dirty Pair Flash: After one of their little "accidents" involving a space station, Kei and Yuri are ordered to send a hand-written letter of apology to each one of the 300,000 survivors.
  • In Dolores, i, the eponymous Humongous Mecha/Robot Girl causes a massive wave after falling to earth at hypersonic speeds, inundating a city up to at least the second floor. Although the damage is blamed on the heroes, there are oddly no fatalities mentioned.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: Piccolo blew up the moon to stop a monkey from rampaging in a forest. Dragon Ball Abridged has something to say about this.
    • Jackie Chun beat him to it in the original Dragon Ball... but played with when the announcer for the tournament chews him out for it. Notably, they fixed it by having Kami make another one after Goku removed his tail... which didn't happen in the DBZ example.
    • In addition, the opening animated sequence of DBZ Budokai 2 has Goku slice the moon in half with a Kamehamaha. Dragon Ball just seems to have it in for the moon.
    • The series also generally falls under this when it comes to especially destructive Ki Attacks. Apparently something that is strong enough to blow a planet apart is no danger as long as it's not pointing down, even though that kind of thing should have sucked the atmosphere right off of Earth. An especially bad case was Vegeta's "Final Flash" attack against Perfect Cell, which made it into space despite being fired horizontally and apparently taking a continent's worth of land with it.
    • The series often averts this trope as well, especially in the beginning. The protagonists will often force the fight away from civilization, as to avoid any innocent casualties during the explosive battles. Additionally, the protagonists frequently use the Dragon Balls to wish that the destruction they cause be reversed, including bringing people back to life if necessary. When Dende recreates Shenron after taking over as Earth's guardian, the team even asks him specifically if they can make it so multiple people can be brought back from the dead as well as letting the same person be wished back multiple times, since these were limitations the original incarnation of Shenron wasn't able to grant.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, Earth is so lucky this universe ignores physics. For one thing, it would be bombarded with the remnants of... itself, from the last two times it exploded. For another thing, if a planet were as close as the restored Planet Plant in real life, the gravity of the two would first pull them to the point where they'd be slightly elongated. Second, their gravity would pull them towards each other. The two would then collide, doing massive damage to both. A very popular theory these days is the Giant-impact hypothesis which posits that early Earth was hit by a Mars-sized planet referred to as Theia. The impact was strong enough to melt the surface of Earth with the ejecta of this collision forming the moon.
  • The first El-Hazard OVA features this. When an Attack Animal is awakened, one of the villains immediately orders her to destroy an entire city, which she goes about efficiently and brutally. Fortunately this is an unimportant city, and throughout the continuity said villain never faces any consequences for ordering this destruction. The main cast even confronts him in the sequel OVA and nobody even brings up the subject. This also holds true for the living weapon herself, although she technically had no choice in the matter.
  • Averted in GaoGaiGar with 2 different pieces of technology. The heroes knew that Humongous Mecha battles in cities were destructive. So they invented the Dividing Driver, which used Space Warping technology to create pocket dimensions for them to fight in. Later the enemies started exploding so violently when defeated that they became larger than the folded space. Enter the Eraser Head, which absorbed and redirected explosions straight upward, harmlessly into space.
  • Averted in GunBuster, the massive battles towards the end of the show explicitly cause damage to Earth. Notably, after the Excelion is detonated, it causes shockwaves that raze entire cities to the ground. Played straight in the finale, when the titular mecha ignites a bomb that destroys the entire galaxy, and yet the Earth is fine 12,000 years later.
  • In Hellsing, Millennium's attack on London results in millions of civilian deaths and large sections of the city are levelled and/or burned. Nevertheless, Integra talks as though it wouldn't be a major blow to the nation and could be written off as an unusually large terrorist attack.
  • Played straight in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, which is a Magical Girl show with lots of Stuff Blowing Up. Each battle takes place in a Phantom Zone that removes non-magicians, but static structures remain. At one point, the title character is sent crashing down into a building. At another point, a character forcefully enters the Phantom Zone and, upon landing, makes a crater on a building's rooftop. Some dialogue implies that the The Bureau has to fix the damaged areas before they can drop the Phantom Zone effect. Due to some internal Lampshade Hanging within the production company, the majority of fights in the third season avert this by having the fights taking place in the abandoned part of a city the protagonists are stationed in. That way, they can blow up as much stuff as possible and nobody would care since the infrastructure was abandoned anyway.
  • Mazinger Z partially averts it. The show constantly shows how much death and destruction would cause a humongous war mecha rampaging through the land or a battle between giant robots in a highly-populated city, and the heroes often have to suffer the consequences of it. Episode 7 gave an example when mobs of people — sick of people getting killed and homes getting demolished due to several Humongous Mecha battling — threw stones at the heroes and besieged the Institute and Kouji's house. Still, the series does not go into that topic in as much depth as it could. The sequels — Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer — dealt with the trope in similar fashion.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion makes it abundantly clear that it intends to avert this from quite early on, not only showing how much damage is caused by Angel/ Eva scraps but that people can and will get hurt or killed, the first case being Touji's sister, who is mentioned to have been hospitalised after a building collapsed on her. It carries this on in later episodes, as big chunks of Tokyo 3 get turned into craters, eventually culminating in The End of the World as We Know It.
    • There are even numerous occasions where this is lampshaded, mostly by NERV and SEELE personnel.
    • The designers of Tokyo 3 knew it would become a battlefield for Angels and Evas. At first it seems Crazy-Prepared. Apparently, not enough.
    • Rebuild of Evangelion, like its base mythos, intends to avert this trope, showing in great detail the devastation a massive tidal wave of liquified Angel can wreak on a Japanese city. Mostly, it succeeds in conveying the reality that people will die because of the Angel Attacks by announcing over loudspeakers the transference of all civilians to shelters and the retraction of large buildings — now unoccupied — below the surface roofing the Geofront. The trope isn't completely straight though, as, on several occasions, the military suffer dozens to hundreds of fatalities without acknowledgement: at least once, an entire tank battalion was sent to its death without so much as a shrug from our favourite bridge crew or child pilots.
  • One Piece:
    • Pell saved Alubarna by flying the giant bomb (designed to annihilate the whole city and its inhabitants) straight up for a few seconds. And he also survived the blast, even though he was clutching onto the bomb. Hey, unless it's a flashback, nobody dies in One Piece.
    • While it is implied that citizens die when Doflamingo has his Birdcage, an Advancing Wall of Doom, converge on the island, the battle between Doflamingo and Luffy creates just as much destruction yet no one seems to be in danger, not even when Luffy actually splits the island in half. Also invoked when Pica becomes a giant golem whose steps can crush several buildings at a time, yet no one seems to be threatened by him except for the people he's personally targeting. Despite 90% of the island being turned into rubble by the end, everyone seems to be living normal lives and there seems to be an abundance of intact buildings a few days later.
  • Averted in One-Punch Man. Saitama shattered a meteorite about to wipe about several cities, but the debris created by destroying such meteorite devastated Z-City. Of course, the damage would've been much worse had he stood still. The trope is still played straight in that Z-City is said to have suffered no deaths despite being all but destroyed.
  • In Pokmon: The Series, there's one episode where a coastal city is attacked by a giant Tentacruel. The place is flooded within seconds and several large buildings are destroyed, yet there's never any mention of injuries or deaths. That's to be expected, though, considering the show's place on the Sliding Scale.
  • Averted in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. Homura says that Walpurgisnacht (that thing that was juggling ripped-up buildings in Madoka's dream) will probably kill thousands of people even if they manage to defeat it. The muggles interpret it as a destructive superstorm. But Madoka ends up erasing it from existence entirely, so this doesn't happen.
  • Played with in Re:CREATORS. As characters from anime and manga have been summoned into our world, the magical girl character is quite distraught to find that her heart-shaped, power of friendship-powered explosions now result in massive collateral damage and injuries.
  • In Saint Seiya, when Princess Hilda of Asgard or Poseidon flood the Earth by melting the ice caps, the series goes out of its way to show the devastation from tidal waves and superstorms even in spite of Athena's attempts to hold the waters back. When the villain du jour is defeated, though, it's considered a victory for mankind, and no mention is made of the millions of lives lost while the Saints battled. Likewise, the Gold Cloth Saga actually showed a very violent war breaking out, but it never reached the heroes and was never brought up before or after the Big Bad's defeat.
  • Slayers often avoids this, but it's played straight when Lina uses a Dragon Slave to blow up an enormous rock that threatened to fall on Seyruun. The spell accidentally destroys a sizable chunk of the city, and presumably kills hundreds of people. However, people react more or less like they normally do when Lina Dragon Slaves stuff, as described above.
  • In the Sonic X adaptation of the plot of Sonic Adventure, it's stated that no one died when Chaos flooded downtown Station Square because everyone evacuated in time. They also blew up the moon at one point. For the former, 4Kids Entertainment didn't think that the implied details were good enough, so they had one of their developers state in the middle of the climax's episode that everyone (including those harmed in explosions and falls) were perfectly okay.
  • The series finale of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann has the entire cast fighting for the universe... in a robot large enough to use galaxies as weapons, which they do quite often. It's implied that the universe they fought in may have been created by their own warping power, and so nobody was actually in trouble. It may also be a pocket dimension that serves as the Anti-Spiral's home universe.
    • Lagann-hen takes it one step further and explicitly destroys the universe they were fighting in. The only way that scene makes sense is if they were in a pocket universe.
  • Subverted in the anime version of Trigun, where, as part of an explicit Pacifism Backfire event, Vash is told of what happened to a city he accidentally blew up. Vash himself managed to avoid killing anyone... but the now-homeless people were forced to trek out into the desert in a desperate hope for survival, and most if not all of them explicitly died of starvation and thirst. As tends to happen when random civilians are forced to flee into the desert by the destruction of their hometown.
  • UFO Princess Valkyrie has a huge UFO crash-landing in the middle of a bathhouse, still filled with visitors, with exactly one casualty — which is instantly rectified. Somewhat later, a destructive fight between a crazy catgirl With Psycho Weapons and a Kamehame Hadoken-throwing space-princess leaves several large chasms blasted through the entire cityscape. Neither the potentially-astronomical casualties nor the damage to the city is mentioned again. But the catgirl apologized, so it's cool...
  • X/1999 averts this where the Dragons of Heaven knew that their battles against the Dragons of Earth caused a lot of collateral damages and many casualties. This gave them the ability to create a kekkai (barrier field) where it protects the area and the civilians from being damaged. When a Dragon of Heaven dies, their barrier field gets destroyed along with the area and the people in it. The only Dragon of Heaven who can't create a barrier field is Kamui and he's aware of it painfully which is why he's hopeless in stopping Fuuma from destroying much of Tokyo.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds includes an attack that results in a huge explosion. There is no damage afterwards.

    Comic Books 
  • Justice League of America: Lampshaded at the end of the JLA: Trial by Fire arc, when Plastic Man, fighting Fernus, a.k.a. Martian Manhunter, throws him through three buildings while saying "Thank god... for this crummy economy... or we'd never have abandoned buildings... to smash!" Afterwards, it's noted that the League rebuilt the city (it could've referred to that city in Russia, not New York).
  • The Incredible Hulk:
    • The Hulk can go a long way without killing anyone during his rampages. Hulk's buddy, Amadeus Cho, tries to explain this by suggesting that the Hulk is amazingly gifted, doing math to know exactly where every chunk of debris he creates will fall.
    • At least during The Hulk and Superman's bout in Marvel Versus DC, they were teleported to the Grand Canyon, where Superman lampshades that it would be one place they wouldn't hurt anyone collaterally.
    • Averted in Banner, where the plot involves testing The Hulk as a Weapon of Mass Destruction by repeatedly dropping him in populated areas where he wakes up to find entire square city blocks leveled, complete with strewn body parts.
    • Taken to its logical conclusion in The Immortal Hulk, where the lack of victims in his rampages is used to show how NOT mindless his rampages must be, instead being highly, scarily calculated acts.
  • Lampooned by Scott McCloud's Destroy!!, in which two quarreling superheroes demolish most, and finally all, of Manhattan. The punchline: "Well, at least no one was hurt."
  • The Punisher:
    • In his 30-odd years of punishing (racking up something in the order of 2000+ bodies, it's estimated) has never killed an innocent. It's reasoned that Frank's whole schtick is that he's a phenomenally well-trained, extremely diligent US Marine, who makes damn sure everything's in place before he starts his "work".
    • In The Punisher: Welcome Back, Frank Trade Paperback, he actually kills a copycat vigilante for not taking the same precautions and accidentally killing an innocent.
    • That's really a case of Depending on the Writer. Even discarding the cases where he was arguably insane or under Mind Control, the Punisher already shot innocents. In his very first appearance, he goes after Spider-Man who was framed by the Jackal. He shot Steve Rogers in the chest in Punisher/Captain America: Blood & Glory, almost killing him. A stray bullet also hits a vagrant while Frank Castle is shooting at Daredevil in Daredevil vs The Punisher.
  • Played straight for the most part in Astro City. The city is frequently attacked by hundred-foot-tall monsters or rampaging gods, but most collateral damage either occurs off-screen or with scenes showing heroes rescuing civilians. Most aftermath is limited to broken windows and litter in the streets, and the residents take this all in stride, praising the city's robust public works services. Generally averted in stories set in the late '70s/early '80s (Astro City's version of The Dark Age of Comic Books), though.
  • Invincible averts this trope, along with several other common comic book tropes. Whenever there's a big, city-leveling battle between superheroes and supervillains, innocent people die. The first time this happened was when Invincible's father was revealed to be a bad guy. Later issues revealed that thousands had died as they fought.
  • Superman:
    • Superman is known to go to great lengths to enforce this trope, but he does fail from time to time.
    • In Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man, Superman fights a Humongous Mecha in Metropolis's West Side. Later a newscaster informs that most of the demolished buildings were empty.
    • Supergirl does her best to avoid and prevent collateral damage and civilian casualties, but being a younger and less experienced hero than her cousin, she sometimes fails. Every time it happens, she feels horribly guilty.
    • In Superman/Supergirl: Maelstrom, she was unable to stop a Darkseid minion from bringing a hospital down.
    • In Red Daughter of Krypton, two villains deliberately choose to fight her in a populated city at different times, knowing that she would hold back not to hurt people.
    • The Legion of Super-Heroes!: When a tourist spaceship crashes into a forest, Cosmic Boy -and the artist- make immediately clear that the passengers managed to escape in time thanks to emergency jet packs.
  • Averted in the Super Adventure Rockman adaptation of Mega Man (Archie Comics). When Ra Moon shuts down all tech on Earth, we get shots of cars crashing, planes falling out of the sky, and power going out in the middle of a surgery. While an exact death toll isn't given, it's stated that "countless lives" were lost as a result after just two weeks.
  • Infinity Wars (2018): Secret Warps: In Weapon Hex's back-up story, she has her little sister evacuate the diner she and Greer Baptiste are about to fight in, to prevent anyone getting caught between them. Not that it's a very long fight - Laura defeats Baptiste in one stab.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Far Side: Parodied in one panel depicting the aftermath of King Kong (1933) with a Chalk Outline of King Kong on the street. Inside the outline of Kong are lots of outlines of people apparently flattened when he fell off the Empire State Building. Two others have the end of a dog leash coming out from under him, implying he crushed a dog, and a squashed shopping bag with a woman lamenting, "Well, there go my tomatoes."

    Fan Works 
  • Twilight Sparkle, being the genius that she is, helps give The Conversion Bureau: The Other Side of the Spectrum an incredibly in-depth and Troperiffic monologue on the scientific problems of the The Conversion Bureau universe.
    Twilight: "Is that what you're saying? That somepony popped Equestria out of our reality and crashed it onto his? How's that even meant to work? Several trillion tons of continent does not make a gentle impact on another world, not without mega-tsunamis and earthquakes that would level entire cities, followed by a dust cloud that would blanket the world in an artificial winter lasting decades! And what about the world we leave behind, what about Equus? Would it just carry on spinning without a care, despite having a hole several thousand miles across gouged out of the planet's crust? Even if you didn't breach the mantle, creating a supervolcano that would pull the planet inside-out, the change in mass and absence of the Princesses would throw the sun and moon out of their orbits, causing them to collide, or even worse, to impact with Equus itself! Anypony, no, anything, left behind would die, horribly! Every griffon, every dragon, zebra, reindeer, whatever!"
  • Referenced and sometimes averted, sometimes Played Straight, in Child of the Storm - the Avengers go to every possible length to try and keep their battles free of collateral damage, as do other heroic characters, taking them to emptier locations if possible. Additionally, where possible, Doctor Strange (a Seer who knows when the excrement is about to hit the rotating device) evacuates local populations in advance. However, it's made abundantly clear that the Battle of New York claimed dozens of lives, and the Battle of London had casualties too - because while measures were taken to clear Central London of civilians as far as possible, London is still an enormous and densely populated city, and the battle quickly went global.
    • An aversion of this, crossing over with an aversion of There Are No Global Consequences, becomes a plot point in the sequel when the side-effects of Harry's well-intentioned but poorly judged plan of sending a 'here I am' message across dimensions by luring an even more enormously powerful psychic into a duel are addressed. That is to say, the plan works, but it leads to painful headaches across the world for even ordinary humans, increasing levels of psychic agony for those who are more powerful, and in at least one case, violently activates a young Seer's powers, breaking them in the process, resulting in her becoming a mild case of a Mad Oracle. When confronted with the last case in particular, Harry is unsurprisingly horrified, and seeks to fix the problem.
  • In Supergirl story Hellsister Trilogy, the narrator makes sure to mention that Supergirl and Satan Girl's final battle happens in an uninhabited solar system.
    The dark and light half of Kara were smashing each other across the unfamiliar solar system they now occupied.
  • The Negotiations-verse points out something that Conversion Bureau fics tend to gloss over. Namely, if the sun and moon are moved by their leaders, what happens when those leaders go away to conquer another planet? Answer: the sun and moon stop moving, leaving the planet to bake to death on one half and freeze to death on the other while what little habitable land eventually is used up and the populace dies out.
  • Near the climax of Yu Gi Oh: The Thousand Year Door, Redux, Andy and the Queen's duel causes Exor, who is described as being the size of a skyscraper, to crash into the center of the mountain palace. By all rights, this should have sunk Arcadia into the ocean, but all it does is knock out the power and cause some minimal damage. Most remarkably, the protagonists and the Queen herself, who are at the point of impact survive, even though it leaves a huge crater. (Possibly justified. It's suggested that her magic was protecting them, as she wanted to see the battle to its conclusion.)
  • Surprisingly averted in Sonic X: Dark Chaos despite the fact that it is quite soft science fiction. Episode 66 has a space battle above a planet — and the planet below is quickly annihilated by the millions of disabled ships crashing into it.
    • In Episode 67, it's specifically stated that the Galaxy Crusher — a Demon battlestation the size of a red giant — cannot be deployed anywhere near planets or stars. Its sheer size messes up gravity so much that being anywhere near it destroys planets.
    • The birth of Dark Tails in Episode 75 causes nearby stars to literally burn out and moons to turn into clouds of blood. The results are not pretty.
  • Averted in Children of an Elder God. The body count in some battles is pretty high, even if the main characters arenââ¬â¢t fighting with their giant robots. At the end of episode nine, after defeating "The King of Yellow", Misato looks over the devastation and thinks:
    Medics and police covered the auditorium, checking on the wounded of body and soul. Misato looked at the devastation with sadness.
    They were at war, and every war has its casualties.
  • Once More with Feeling averted this. The narration frequently informs how many people die during the battles among giant robots and robeasts and how much destruction they caused.
  • Averted in Ashes of the Past: Looking at how all the other Legendary Pokemon have duties to fulfill to ensure the continued functioning of the world, Mewtwo decides that his job will be to contain the inevitable collateral damage from Ash Ketchum's repeated saving the world, leading to many an Offscreen Moment of Awesome during the events of the movies.

    Films — Animation 
  • Back to the Outback: Played with in regards to Maddie releasing a mated pair of cane toads, which are an invasive species in Australia and wreak havoc on the local ecosystem. Zoe tries to convince Maddie that there might be a good reason that the two animals in particular are in captivity in separate cages after noticing warning posters about cane toads, but ultimately nothing much comes from it, aside from the two having had lots of children by the end of the film, which admittedly is part of the problem.
  • The Incredibles:
    • When the robot terrorizing the city is finally deactivated, it falls into a lake and explodes into oblivion. Needless to say, an explosion big enough to disintegrate a robot of that size and strength would have resulted in catastrophic damage and casualties.
    • The whole reason that the various Supers were forced out of the heroing business is that society got tired of all the collateral damage and interference. (And because people figured out that lawsuits can be used on Supers.) However, at the very end, Violet is shown putting up a force-field when some wreckage from the explosion comes by, but no one seems concerned about anyone else being injured and you even see the neighbor kid from before standing just a couple dozen feet away a minute later completely unharmed.
  • After test audiences left WALLE thinking that the ending of the movie left humanity doomed, the credits sequence was specifically designed to let people know they survived quite handily. This one is justified: humankind may now be living on a nearly-uninhabitable Earth, but they're not stranded — they still have a fully-functioning cruise ship capable of meeting all their needs, and hundreds of friendly robots with various skills.
  • In the Cutey Honey movie, Panther Claw have this giant drill-like tower underneath Tokyo Tower. Meaning: If you work in the area (which is a central business district in Real Life), don't bother coming in. Then, Scarlet Claw blows up three buildings. They all remain largely intact, save for a giant hole in the middle. One of them, hilariously, is Cutie Honey's former office, and the only reaction this gets is a dazed "what the...?" from the boss. And finally, the tower explodes. If you're in Tokyo when this kind of thing is happening, get out of the city. The only things we see? A traffic jam and other people not caring. Fridge Horror kicks in once you realize that there are also scads of women who have just been released from said structure. The fact that this was a mass kidnapping notwithstanding, these women would be effectively screwed.
  • In Big Hero 6, there are two instances of this — when the showcase building explodes and the only two people seen being mourned are Tadashi and Callaghan — and Callaghan turns out to not have died and again (although partly averted) when Yokai sets the portal above the new Kreitech building. The second time, it's reported as "what could have been a major catastrophe", but there are no reported deaths. The second example was in the middle of its opening ceremony, so it makes sense that it would be unoccupied. To a much lesser extent, many people may have lost their jobs when the building was destroyed.
  • In Inside Out, there is no mention of the lasting effects of parts of Long Term Memory crumbling and of Sadness "corrupting" some of the memories stored there that were once a different emotion. Especially notable because the movie does show that the Islands of Personality were eventually repaired/replaced/expanded after initially collapsing earlier in the film.
  • Megamind: It seems like Megamind and Metro Man have an unwritten rule about damage, but when Titan/Tighten goes on a rampage — even tossing an entire skyscraper at Megamind, the trope is subverted, as Megamind's Brain Bots are repairing the city after the day has been won.
  • Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea gives us a non-explosion version, where the main character causes sea levels to rise drastically, but no one ever points out that logically she could have killed millions of people.
  • In Ratchet & Clank (2016) it isn't just featured, it's outright played straight with the evacuation of Novalis shortly before it's destroyed; while the populace lost their homes, not one of the 46 million people living there is killed or even injured. Aside from Ratchet feeling guilt over it, the film doesn't even acknowledge the inconvenience of having one's homeworld destroyed.
  • In Frozen, despite accidentally plunging Arendelle into an Endless Winter for three days including a giant snowstorm during the last segments, nobody is seemingly reported to have either died from frostbite or even suffered a famine as a result of their food supply being frozen. Indeed, as soon as Elsa thawed out the kingdom, everyone is seemingly happy and completely look up to their queen in spite of doing nothing (in their own eyes) to alleviate the whole Eternal Winter incident.
  • In Weathering With You, Hodaka chooses to save Hina even if it means the extreme weather the city has been going through will continue. This turns out to be the case, and in fact, it rains continually for three years afterwards with no sign of stopping, flooding Tokyo and rendering much of it uninhabitable. Hodaka meets an old woman who lost her house as a result, but we never hear about anyone being injured or killed (which even minor floods can cause in the real world), and the whole thing is waved off as being not really that big a deal because humans were arrogant for trying to live out of harmony with nature anyway.
  • In Turning Red, there is no mention of anyone getting injured or killed in Ming's rampage through Toronto and her subsequent damaging of the SkyDome, even though the incident apparently went down in infamy as "Pandapocalypse 2002".

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Star Wars:
    • The trope is named after a theory arguing that the destruction of the second Death Star in Return of the Jedi turned the Ewoks' homeworld of Endor into a smoking wasteland, as the destruction of such a large object so close to the planet (well, moon really) would have catastrophic atmospheric effects and create a hail of very dangerous debris. This would have given the heroes' actions a very nasty turn indeed. Canonically, this did not happen (outside of Imperial propaganda), and Wookieepedia has a whole article about why not, but among the fans the exact reason remains disputed. Among the several Hand Waves about this:
      • It couldn't logically have happened, because if there were such devastation, it would have started to manifest before nightfall on Endor — which, in the film, is when we see the Ewoks have that epic Dance Party Ending. No theory needed; just not any room to fit a "holocaust" one. (This is disputed, though; the explosion we see is pretty darn slow, and much of the debris would form a ring around Endor and cause its cataclysmic effects like a nuclear winter.)
      • It couldn't happen because the Death Star isn't that big. While it's plenty nasty, the theory grossly overestimates the size of the thing.
      • It could happen, but it didn't, because the Expanded Universe says the Death Star, equipped with FTL capabilities, was sucked into a wormhole as it was destroyed, sending the debris into parts unknown (including the infamous Glove of Darth Vader); any dangerous leftovers were caught by Rebel tractor beams.
      • It could happen, but it didn't because The Rise of Skywalker shows that most of the debris missed Endor entirely and instead landed on the nearby and apparently uninhabited moon named Kef Bir.
    • Revenge of the Sith features a sequence where Obi-Wan and Anakin try to pilot General Grievous' flagship, the Invisible Hand, to an emergency runway on Coruscant after the engines suffer irreparable damage. On their way down, the ship splits in two, with the back half flying off behind them, undeniably hitting a section of the planet with the potential of killing tens of thousands of people. All this gets is an off-handed quip from Anakin ("We lost something") and Obi-Wan ("We're still flying half a ship"). However, no real damage to the population seems to occur, and in the Star Wars: Roleplaying Game a cantina names itself after the ship while putting pieces of its hull on display with no complaints.
  • Independence Day initially looks like it's going to avert the trope with the considerable concern about the collateral damage which would be caused by staging a nuclear attack on one of the alien ships, but then plays it straight anyway in the climax:
    • The destroyed battleship was directly over the Area 51 bunker when it was destroyed (from beneath and in the center), yet it goes flying to one side until it's completely clear before crashing into the desert. How convenient; if it had gone straight down, it would have buried the bunker entrance and trapped everyone inside.
    • The mothership was destroyed with a nuclear warhead that apparently made its reactor explode. See that debris burning up in the skies? That's nuclear fallout irradiating the atmosphere of the entire hemisphere. There's also the issue of 18.4 quintillion tons of alien mothership rubble falling out of orbit... or not. If it stays up there then space is now an unusable cluttered junkyard. If it falls in big chunks it's the end of life on Earth. If it falls in small chunks the heat of friction as it burns up will likely render the Earth uninhabitable.
    • Nothing of the sort is mentioned in the sequel. While many people (over 3 billion = half the population of the world at the time) were killed during the attacks on cities, those cities were eventually rebuilt (except Vegas, which became a memorial). Two decades later, not only has humanity rebuilt, but we also have several bases throughout the Solar System. As pointed out by a number of people doing basic calculations, the more likely result of losing most major cities and half the population (especially in the industrial countries) would be a complete collapse of global society and the inability to restore it for centuries, if ever. People would be struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world instead of rebuilding everything as it was and building bases on the Moon.
    • The damage from the events of the sequel should be even worse, but the Sequel Hook ending makes no indication that Earth is doomed. The Super Mothership that arrives is so massive it appears to have more gravity than the moon, and when it lands on the surface of the Earth it covers roughly 1/4 of the surface. An object with that much mass that close to Earth would affect its orbit and fracture the crust. To say nothing of having rammed the moon on the way in, likely knocking it out of orbit, or the mile-wide hole it vaporized through the crust (and probably enough water to lower sea levels hundreds of feet) to within mere feet of the mantle.
  • Alien: Resurrection ends with the good guys destroying the aliens on the research ship by crashing it into Earth's surface. We get a view from space as it crashes into what appears to be the east coast of either Africa or India, producing an enormous explosion that realistically would undoubtedly have killed millions... maybe more than a xenomorph infestation. In this case, it is implied that Earth was already a devastated wasteland ("Earth. What a shithole."). The Special Edition contains an alternate ending with the protagonists in the ruins of Paris, which appears to be a wasteland. There's also a scene where Call says she re-calibrated ground level — ensuring the ship would crash in an uninhabited quadrant.
    • The novelization says that Earth is mostly abandoned at this point with people either living on space stations or colony planets.
    • The Sea Of Sorrows novel said that Weyland Yutani came back into power by using Terraforming technology to fix the damage done by the Auriga.
    • The Original Sin novel plays the trope straight by being an Immediate Sequel that starts with The Betty landing on an overcrowded Earth with no mention of the Auriga landing.
  • Played completely straight in Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer with Galactus (a huge sentient cloud-thing several times the size of earth) being completely obliterated as he hovers above the planet, having a snack. This would at least strip away Earth's atmosphere with the shock wave or, far more likely, just disintegrate Earth entirely. But no, the Richards/Storm wedding goes off as planned.
  • Batman may have "one rule" in The Dark Knight Trilogy, but he causes a lot of incidental destruction:
    • Batman Begins:
      • Pointed out by an exasperated Alfred after the Tumbler chase, in which Bruce causes a lot of structural damage across the city and smashing into police cars. Alfred calls him out on his recklessness and emphasizes that it was a miracle that no one was killed.
      • Bruce's actions set off a chain reaction, leading to the complete destruction of the ninja-monastery he was training at. It's rather unrealistic to think everyone made it out alive, especially the shackled prisoners. The extra irony is that Bruce rebelled in the first place because he had been ordered to kill one of said criminals. Sure, he went out of his way to ensure that Ducard didn't die, but even that didn't turn out to be such a good idea. While Batman doesn't kill, Bruce did, and probably had to do it more than once while travelling the world.
    • In The Dark Knight he was tremendously lucky that there was no one in any of those cars he blew up (we even see two kids playing in a car one row over), or that no shrapnel from the Batmobile's "intimidate" setting hit those vagrants, and that when he went barreling on a very large, fast, heavy motorbike-thing through a shopping centre all the people in his way were agile enough to leap out of it. What if they'd chanced to be disabled, or obese, or if they'd simply frozen in shock?
    • In the third act of The Dark Knight Rises, Batman shoots at Bane's Tumblers with the Batwing. One could argue that he knew exactly how to disable them from when he had one, being Crazy-Prepared and all, he doesn't know what modifications Lucius and/or Bane did, and machine guns aren't exactly precision instruments. During the climactic chase, he's shown firing on Bane's men, and Deadly Dodging a missile into one of those same Tumblers. Then he fires on the truck carrying the bomb to stop it, which kills Talia, and several tall buildings explode while he tries to take the bomb out of the city, with the implication that he blew them up, killing anyone in them or near them. What does it take to get Batman to break his one rule? A nuclear bomb, apparently.
  • Near the end of Deep Impact, the crew of the spaceship sent to knock the comet off of its collision course with the Earth (they failed to do this) essentially turns their ship into a missile and flies straight at the comet as it's entering Earth's atmosphere. We are treated to a nice light show. In reality, this would be the equivalent of detonating a massive bomb in Earth's upper atmosphere.
  • Amazingly, despite making liberal use of Hollywood Science, rival movie Armageddon (1998) averts this trope as it's used to explain why they can't just Nuke the Killer Asteroid. Played straight at the end, however.
  • In the 1980 adaptation of Flash Gordon, the moon is hurtling towards the Earth, causing natural catastrophes. Flash "saves" the world just in time, but... er... forget it.
    • Granted, given the complexity of steering objects in space, and given that the moon seemed to need constant guidance, the Moon and the Earth presumably did not collide, but the tidal stress on both bodies from the close approach would be utterly appalling, enough to flood every coastline, trigger every dormant volcano, start record-setting earthquakes, and that's barely the start of it. Not to mention the long-term effects of a drastically more erratic lunar orbit...
  • At the climax of the V for Vendetta, the Houses of Parliament are destroyed by a massive bomb on a tube train beneath them. An explosion of such size would devastate a wide area around it, but miraculously the thousands of be-masked V supporters watching the show from only a few metres away are completely unharmed, rather than being shredded by flying debris. Possibly justified, as there is a shot of the Army successfully holding back the crowd behind barricades in places, so it's unlikely those Vs would have been standing immediately adjacent to the structure. Also, they all knew it was going to explode, they probably stood well back.
  • Glass Onion: Helen blows up the entire Glass Onion complex with Klear. The destruction is absolute, everything is on fire, and Miles' "Baby Blue" car even crashes down through the roof! Yet the Disruptors, Helen, Peg and Whiskey all conveniently survive without being maimed or killed.
  • The Ghostbusters movies play this trope both ways. It's averted between the two films: The death of the giant Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man in the original rained splodge over most of the city (and its inhabitants, and cars) and resulted in the devastation and demolition of several buildings; by the beginning of the second film, the Ghostbusters had been bankrupted by the subsequent lawsuits. But then it's played straight elsewhere in the films — at no point in either of the films (or the 2009 video game) is it confirmed that anyone has died from an encounter with a ghost. Considering some of the things we've seen the ghosts do (such as ghosts driving vehicles — poorly), human casualties were a very real possibility.
  • In the Ocean's Eleven remake, Danny's crew uses an electromagnetic device to shut off all electricity in Las Vegas for 30 seconds. Realistically, we should be looking at pacemakers going haywire, car crashes in the thousands, hospital equipment failing, and God help them if any planes were flying low over the city when it happened. Yet the sequels still only refer to them as thieves, not as the most successful and high-tech terrorists of all time. note 
    • They follow it up by causing a localized earthquake in the heart of the Strip for Ocean's Thirteen, severe enough to send the Bank's clients and employees scrambling for the exits. Not a safe bet to say nobody got trampled during the evacuation, especially since the "quake" lasted longer and was more intense than they'd initially intended.
  • Transformers Film Series:
    • The first movie. Very strange logic on the part of the army to take the Allspark into the middle of downtown Los Angeles when a horde of psychotic giant alien robots plus the good guys' jet fighter air support, was destined to converge on its location. The ensuing battle destroys a huge number of buildings and who knows how many innocent bystanders.
    • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: has Cybertron itself in the process of being teleported to Earth's orbit. Cybertron is a massive, metallic world much larger than Earth, yet no effects on the tides and earthquakes are mentioned. Especially considering that one of Megatron's plots in the Generation One cartoon was to bring Cybertron close to Earth specifically to cause said tidal waves and earthquakes, and then harvest the energy from them. The movie's novelization does in fact mention this as a concern. Gen 1 ended with Cybertron either in Earth's orbit or between Earth and Mars with no problems.
    • Sentinel does mention the Space Bridge warps our laws of physics, though. Plus, they wouldn't care about damage to the Earth anyway, and the heroes were too busy trying to win the war to focus on that.
    • Transformers: The Last Knight has Cybertron return to Earth without the use of a Space Bridge. While It is implied that there were of people who died from the various chunks of alien planet scraping all over the planet with in particular seen about to hit Hong Kong. Like with Dark Of The Moon, no mentions are given to tidal waves, earthquakes, or the potential influence Cybertron being right on top of Earth could have the crust or gravity.
  • In Battlefield Earth, most of the aliens live inside a large artificial dome that was constructed over the city of Denver, along with thousands of human slaves and lots of old human buildings that have been repurposed for Psychlo rule. The heroes plan to shatter the dome to suffocate most of the Psychlos since many of them will not be wearing their protective masks; very little time is given to the incredible collateral damage of shattering foot-thick glass all over the tops of everyone, humans included.
  • Blue Thunder pulls an interesting one in having the big aerial battle sequences occur over a major city (presumably Los Angeles). In the course of the battle, Misguided Missiles hit a Japanese barbecue shop and a skyscraper, and a jet aircraft is shot down. While the people in charge do express dismay over these events, nowhere is it implied that anyone got killed, and the news voiceover that closes the film seems more concerned with the fate of the helicopter than with the flaming debris raining down over the city.
    • It was a Sunday, so the skyscraper was empty. And the F-16's velocity took it out to the sea where it crashed harmlessly.
  • ...and King Kong didn't land on anyone when he fell off that skyscraper. In fairness, surely the first thing any sane person would do if they saw a giant ape climbing the Empire State Building being attacked by fighters would be to get out of Dodge. Those airplanes didn't hit Kong with every bullet; they had to land somewhere.
  • The 2008 remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still ends with Klaatu causing his ship to emit a massive EMP wave that shuts down all the GORT nanites. It also shuts down every piece of technology on the planet, even things that should not be affected by EMP, such as analog watches. This means millions dead in hospitals, planes falling out of the sky, no way to get food or water to starving masses, etc. And billions of dead silicon-based nanites covering the landscape. Good luck making use of that land. Yes, Klaatu mentions our way of life will have to change. He just didn't mention most of us would die, while he happily flies off home, mission complete.

    It is possible that was his intention. Reduce the human population, take away our ability to mess up our planet. Perhaps, as he may have reasoned, this might give us the chance to start over, be more green, especially with fewer mouths to feed. This ignores the mass environmental destruction such an act would cause, as per capita, iron age living is far more environmentally destructive than industrialized life (Roman Italy and Renaissance England has massive shortages of wood due to the mass deforestation and horrid pollution due to the inefficiencies in combustion). The land simply cannot support 6 billion people without industry, so every living creature would be killed for food and every available acre cleared and tilled. The death toll, and environmental toll, would be apocalyptic.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek (2009): The Big Bad is stopped from destroying Earth, while he was drilling a big hole into Earth's crust to reach the core in the San Francisco Bay. Everybody is happy, but there is still a big hole in the bay, which can lead to all sorts of bad things for San Francisco and Starfleet (whose HQ and academy are in the city). Additionally, the film fails to mention that Starfleet is now in a bad shape, thanks to the loss of the majority of the graduating class and 6 top-of-the-line starships. There is also the loss of one of the founding member worlds of the Federation. There is also the threat of another war with the Romulans. Good luck convincing people that Nero was not associated with the Empire.
      • Another point is that the drill was stopped from drilling, but not from falling. Something this large falling down to Earth from this height would have quite an impact.
    • In Star Trek Into Darkness, the question of the militarization of Starfleet and destabilization of the galaxy due to the destruction of Vulcan is a major plot point. In the film's climax, a starship crashes into San Fran. Though we don't see any bodies, the ship plows through multiple blocks of clearly-occupied buildings. The final scene takes place one year after that event, and they're still rebuilding.
  • Hulk went out of its way to show that no one died during the Hulk's rampages. Although in the final fight scene of the movie a helicopter-borne minigun fires a 20-second stream of bullets into a number of city buildings.
  • Averted in two fifties era giant monster movies, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms and The Giant Behemoth. In both of these films, disposing of the titular monster's corpse is a major concern for the heroes because of an extremely virulent germ contained in the blood of the former and the overwhelming radioactivity of the latter preclude destruction with more conventional weapons, which would scatter pieces of the monsters' corpses thus contaminating a large area.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Iron Man 2 features more collateral damage than you can shake an explosion at, including a swarm of combat drones going amok among a crowd of people, and not a single bystander is shown with so much as a scratch. Even the test pilot being shown having his spine snapped (bloodlessly) is pointed out to have survived albeit by an individual of extremely dubious trustworthiness (though a throwaway line from Doctor Strange (2016) seems to confirm this).
    • Averted in The Avengers (2012), but in a subtle way. While no bodies or civilian deaths are seen in the Final Battle, and Cap specifically tells the cops to get the civvies to safety, a news report afterwards shows a bunch of grieving people in front of a wall covered in memorials for innocents killed by the Chitauri, and a senator demanding that the Avengers pay for the massive amount of damage to the city.
    • Leviathans are also shown crashing into buildings when killed, and the Avengers shut down the portal to prevent the nuclear explosion from coming back to Earth.
    • Director Joss Whedon also didn't want any of the jets to fall off the Helicarrier when it is attacked. He commented that it would kill innocent people, and he didn't want viewers blaming the Avengers or SHIELD for that. Prior to take off workers are shown strapping the jets down, as the explanation for why they didn't fall off.
    • The Netflix shows leading into The Defenders (2017) have to deal with the topic of how the invasion affects New York City life:
      • Daredevil (2015) sees Wilson Fisk gain a stronghold in Hell's Kitchen by skimming on reconstruction contracts. His construction company Union Allied is able to secure numerous reconstruction contracts, at least until Karen Page exposes their numbers games. At one point, Leland Owlsley says "Heroes and their consequences are why we have our current opportunities" referring to the damage caused by the battle. Elsewhere, Matt says to Karen that "the world watched half of New York get destroyed", though this appears to be hyperbole since the Chitauri appeared to confine the battle to Midtown Manhattan and didn't go into any of the other boroughs or Jersey City. It's also mentioned that the battle caused real-estate values in Hell's Kitchen to drop dramatically, and this is the reason Matt and Foggy can afford the office space in which they set up Nelson & Murdock. One of the framed Bulletin front pages on the wall in Ben Urich's office (which later becomes Karen's office after she gets hired by Ellison towards the end of season 2) is about the invasion and says hundreds were killed.
      • Jessica Jones showed there's a lot of fear and hate towards "gifted" people over this. One woman tries to kill Jessica in revenge for her mother dying as a result of the Chitauri invasion, even though she wasn't involved.
      • Luke Cage (2016) shows that alien metal has been salvaged by Hammer Industries and transformed into something Diamondback calls the Judas bullet.
      • Iron Fist (2017) reveals that Bakuto has inducted a number of youth orphaned in the Incident and made them Hand soldiers.
    • Much of Iron Man 3 and Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is dedicated to showing the aftermath of "The Battle of New York," and what kind of effects the death toll and the knowledge there are other lifeforms in the universe have on the world.
    • Averted in Avengers: Age of Ultron, where the various battles in the movie devastate several cities, with most of the Avengers' time being spent trying to minimize civilian casualties. The widespread destruction caused by the film also leads directly to the worldwide Superhero Registration Act of Captain America: Civil War. Ultron's Evil Plan also averts this trope as he plans to levitate a several-mile-wide chunk of the Earth's surface into the upper atmosphere, then accelerate it back onto the Earth, causing an extinction level event similar to the meteor that wiped out the dinosaurs. One of the reasons he chooses this method is because it's a Xanatos Gambit; Ultron lampshades this trope, and points out dropping the city early (the heroes hope to destroy the repulsors lifting the city before it can gain any real altitude, and drop it into a lake below) should still do serious damage. Thus it's left an exercise to the viewer why that didn't happen. Furthering the aversion is the Sokovia Accords being created in direct response to the damage they did, with the implication that not only were there casualties and property damage costs shown for the final battles of the Avengers films and Captain America: The Winter Soldier, but part of the main villain's motivation is that his family was killed during the battle of Sokovia and he holds the Avengers responsible for what happened, trying to tear their team apart from the inside.
    • Averted in Avengers: Infinity War. The Stinger shows cars and a helicopter crashing as a result of drivers being disintegrated by Thanos' Badass Finger Snap. So casualties were presumably even higher than half the planet's population as a result. However, Avengers: Endgame goes back to playing this trope straight, once the Hulk brings back the people "finger snapped away" back to where there were, unaware of any change in time. While some fans worried that this could mean that people would reappear in mid-air or the middle of roads, and die again, the creators involved stated that Hulk thought of that before resurrecting everyone, and that those who would be affected by that kind of displacement were placed in safe locations when their lives were restored.
    • Also on the above point, half of people were brought back five years later. By then society would have settled into a new status quo where the necessities for living such as clean water, food and healthcare services would be produced to half the demand there used to be. Suddenly having to provide for twice the population would cause a mass shortage on everything, and this should by all logic lead to mass death and possibly widespread societal collapse. However, there is no indication any such things happened.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • Man of Steel: The climax with the world engine pancakes a major section of Metropolis with thousands of people dead. This is in addition to a smaller super-powered fight between Superman and Zod. The very last scene (taking place an unknown time later) has the Daily Planet running again, previously evacuated because of the world engine, and seemingly in okay condition and the whole scene is rather upbeat. This was one of the major complaints levied towards the movie — although it was stated that this was intentional, and the fact that the death and destruction that occurred is something even Superman couldn't stop and will factor into later installments.
    • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice dives headfirst into this discrepancy, showing that while much of the world reveres him for what he can do there are a lot of public figures calling for him to be held accountable, not just for Metropolis but other isolated incidents where him just showing up to high tension situations cost lives. The opening scene of the film delves into Bruce Wayne being in Metropolis, seeing the fear and chaos of the event firsthand. Protesters at a Senate Hearing hold up signs attacking him for what happened, one mockingly featuring the phrase "Great job!" over a picture of a destroyed skyline. In the final action sequence of this film, the heroes make the effort to limit the destruction: Superman throws Doomsday into space so he can be nuked, and when the monster comes back on Earth, Batman lures him into the practically-deserted wharf district of Gotham City (the battle is at night; people tend to not hang around wharves at night).
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the Terminator on the protagonists' side promises not to kill anyone. A readout on his display confirms that his minigun antics at the Cyberdyne facility resulted in no casualties, but even without hitting anyone directly, he could have easily accidentally killed multiple people thanks to exploding grenades, errant shards of glass, etc. To explain this, he is shown taking his time aiming his weapon so that the police have time to run away, and being a robot does give you some precise aim. He also kneecaps people, which makes him a Technical Pacifist.
    He'll live.
  • In Surrogates widespread use of robot avatars may justify a lack of casualties in a car pileup but at the end, every surrogate, which 98% of people use, is forcefully shut down. We are told this caused no casualties, which is incredibly implausible when you think of all the pilots, drivers, surgeons, and others who would have been interrupted in the course of vital tasks.
  • Taken to ridiculous extreme in R.I.P.D.. In the final battle, the magic MacGuffin used by the Big Bad causes mass destruction in Boston, including several buildings being ruined. And guess what, by the end of the film the muggle world still doesn't know the existence of R.I.P.D. and ghosts
  • While not an explosion, the climax to Fast Five entails a chase where two muscle cars are dragging a vault filled with 100 million dollars through the streets of Rio. As they weave and turn the vault naturally does a lot of collateral damage to property, including going through a bank window in the middle of the day. We even see a woman standing right in front of the bank in the cut before the vault hits it.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service, while little is shown, it seems almost every world leader getting their heads blown off, along with many government officials and corporate figures, and millions killed across the globe as a result of Valentine's SIM cards driving everyone insane with rage, seemed to do little to affect everyday life. Though that being said, the ones locked up by Valentine like the Swedish princess are likely to have taken the place of those whose heads were just blown off. The movie also ends mere minutes after Valentine is defeated, so there wasn't time to explore the possible long-term side effects of his partially implemented evil plan.
  • Closely related is the climax of The Divergent Series: Allegiant where a gas is released in the city that will wipe everyone's memories. Tris shuts down the mechanism before the city gets the full blast — but some gas is still seen being released, and Edgar was seen getting wiped with it. Presumably The Divergent Series: Ascendant will show the aftermath.
  • Inverted in Elizabeth: The Golden Age showing the Spanish Armada. There are lines referencing English ships being destroyed. However in real life the English didn't lose a single ship.
  • In spite of the spectacular crashes featured in Stroker Ace, no comment is made as to whether any of the drivers are hurt or even killed or if any of the debris caused spectator injury (spectator death simply doesn't happen in NASCAR, not even to the present day).
  • In the climax of X2: X-Men United, Xavier is mind controlled to first kill all mutants then kill all humans. While he's stopped each time, his attempts cause extremely painful seizures in those he's targeting and cause mutant powers to go out of control (Mystique can't control her shapeshifting, Cyclops fires his Eye Beams). Logically, millions should be dead from suffering seizures while driving, swimming, or even simply taking a bath. Instead, the whole thing is pretty much brushed off by everyone.
  • In 2012, the world experiences a myriad of geological calamities, including continent-cracking earthquakes, Yellowstone and all other volcanoes on the planet erupting, tsunamis tall enough to sweep into the Tibetan plateau, and the entire earth's crust shifting by twenty-three degrees to the southwest. Despite all of this, within less than a month, the skies are clear, the waters are receding and the survivors are on their way to Africa, which has inexplicably risen tall enough to escape the flooding.
  • Black Widow: One hopes Black Widow's safehouse is in an otherwise abandoned building, otherwise countless neighbors died from stray fire then her fellow Widows launched a SWAT-like operation against her; she also condemns a prison's worth of inmates and guards to death in breaking out her father; the Red Room might have crashed in an unpopulated area, but who knows how many Mooks (many of whom were implied to have been brainwashed) when Natashia and her family cut a path of destruction through it.
  • Directly invoked in Pacific Rim. Guillermo del Toro ââ¬â a famed pacifist ââ¬â specifically included scenes making it clear that cities are evacuated before battles so that the Humongous Mecha and Kaiju can smash everything up without Fridge Horror about innocents dying (when the battles even make it to cities at all ââ¬â most happen in the middle of the ocean), and the few times that civilians are put in danger, the aforementioned mechas swiftly move to get the monsters away with no harm done. Essentially, you get all the juicy Sentai action you came to see with none of the downer implications, so it's "guiltless" and keeps the film's tone appropriately upbeat.
  • True Lies: The heroic couple kiss passionately as a nuke goes off in the background. Never mind that a huge area in the Florida Keys will now be completely uninhabitable for many many years, with the entire South Florida marine ecosystem completely compromised and likely to contaminate the entire Gulf of Mexico if not the Everglades or Eastern Seaboard. None of this is addressed in the film after the nuke goes off.

  • Countless soft science-fiction stories feature weapons that are said to vaporize a person shot with them. The effects of those weapons are very often depicted as making the victim disappear without any effect on the surroundings, rather than creating a large steam explosion. Literally vaporizing a human would make him blow up like a grenade, only with several times the energy.
  • Other stories feature weapons that are said to convert the entire mass of their targets to energy. Taken literally, this should result in effects much like those of a nuclear bomb. Dealt with 'realistically' as part of the plot in Neal Asher's Polity novel Gridlinked. The interplanetary transport system, called a runcible, is sabotaged causing a single person to arrive at a planet as pure energy. The ensuing explosion and resultant environmental impact kill off the entire planetary colony.
  • Commented upon in a BattleTech novel where a commander berates a subordinate about firing indiscriminately in a crowded city in order to get to him. So it was a simulator fight, but it was still reckless behavior. The novels nonetheless show plenty of instances of combat in an urban setting. The presumably resulting civilian casualties are rarely even mentioned in passing unless it's explicitly a plot point (like the Smoke Jaguars' orbital bombardment and resulting total destruction of Edo, which was in fact considered over the top by even their allies and a genuine war crime by most everybody else). The Jade Falcons repeat the orbital bombardment in the animated series, but it's explicitly stated that the city's population was evacuated prior to the bombardment. A sourcebook for the series goes into further detail, comparing the two incidents, and bringing up the question of what the Falcons did with the people afterwards.
    • In BattleTech, it's considered a fact that if you fight in a city, there will be civilian casualties. However, this trope is played straight in that the fusion reactors that power Battlemechs, if ruptured, would spread radioactive productsnote  over a decent radius, but cities are never rendered even temporarily irradiated from this happening despite centuries of warfare. Justified in that tritiated water is only a weak beta emitter, carries no adverse health effects from external exposure, and is only an extremely mild radiation hazard when ingested.
  • Deconstructed and averted in Final Watch. As explained there is a fundamental difference between Mass Sleep spells used by the Light Ones and the Dark Ones. The Light version allows the victim a few moments of consciousness to put whatever he's doing to a halt and make himself comfortable. The Dark one simply knocks everybody out. After the Dark spell is used the characters enter the area of effect and register numerous crashed cars, starting fires and other unpleasantries. This is also why no one is keen on resurrecting a mad ancient dragon mage in an earlier novel, as he would then rampage across Europe, unaware of the Grand Treaty (and not caring in the least). Sure, humans would eventually put him down with modern weaponry, but untold millions would still die.
  • Averted in Honor Harrington: Mission of Honor. The destruction of space stations orbiting the Manticoran system worlds causes a great deal of collateral damage from debris striking the planets below, including the complete destruction of a city, and a treecat clan being wiped out.
  • Averted in Mikhail Akhmanov's novel Invasion, where the destruction of the alien mothership's computer causes its autonomous modules to crash and explode, while they were suspended above Earth's major cities, destroying countless historical artifacts and killing millions of people. However, this is still viewed as a victory, as the aliens were planning on enslaving humanity. This also serves to drive humanity to the stars in the later novels of the series. In all fairness, though, 40 million people is still a little low, given that these modules were filled with Antimatter. The only Hand Wave we get is a mention that the explosions were surprisingly small and were mainly limited to several miles in diameter.
  • Mostly played straight in The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress. The rocks are carefully guided to cause minimum casualties (in the hundreds or maybe thousands at most), and in fact, many were aimed at completely unpopulated areas as a show of force. However, some were aimed near heavily populated areas and if they were intercepted they were knocked off their intended course and caused a lot more damage. In addition, the ones aimed at unpopulated areas? Some people decided to mock the aim of the Lunar residents and picnic in some of those places. A textbook example of Too Dumb to Live.
    • In fairness, those "heavily populated areas" were next door to the military bases and spaceports the Moonies were trying to bomb in the first place, not the actual targets themselves. And only one or two are mentioned as having been knocked off course in such a manner. (They specifically avoided targeting the headquarters of the government they were revolting against since it happened to be dangerously close to the Taj Mahal. Quite apart from the PR implications of destroying the Taj Mahal, it was the favorite building of the revolutionary prime minister.)
  • In the Star Trek novel Beneath the Raptor's Wing, several starships carrying antimatter explode in orbit over Andoria. The planet is fine but characters do note that had the explosions been a certain degree more powerful, the atmosphere could have been stripped away.
  • In the novel Nuklear Age, this is parodied to an extent; a Giant Enemy Crab rampages through the city, destroying entire buildings, but no one is harmed because everyone happens to be out on a lunch break. Later, when a city block is nuked, casualties are handwaved by the fact that the people of the city had already been sent off to work in warehouses and construction zones, to build an invasion fleet for their new hypnotic master; and, towards the end, the trope is subverted with a quite vivid description of casualties.
  • Partly averted in Vladimir Vasilyev and Alexander Gromov's novel Antarctic-online, in which the titular continent inexplicably finds itself in Central Pacific, while the islands that used to occupy the area find themselves near the South Pole. While the novel largely focuses on the political consequences of a continent that nobody wants suddenly becoming prime real estate, there is plenty of talk about the ecological consequences, such as many coastal cities being flooded in the near future as the result of the melting Antarctic ice cap (this is handled, more or less, realistically — it's stated that the process will last for millennia given the sheer amount of ice). There are immediate effects, though, such as tidal waves hitting the coasts from the sudden shift, and the numerous Polynesian islands, stuck in the Antarctic Circle, to evacuate. The world's nations wish to blame somebody, and the blame falls on the newly-declared sovereign Antarctic nation. Many nations demand reparations from Antarctic representatives, even though the continental "jump" was not their fault (actually, the ending reveals that it was accidentally caused by one of them, who had found a strange-looking orb and dropped it. He later uses it intentionally to send an American destroyer into orbit in order to stop the invasion of the Antarctic by the US).
  • Averted in Sergey Lukyanenko's Emperors of Illusions. A former Imperial planet once attempted to secede from The Empire, asking the Alkari for help. The Emperor sends a fleet to pacify the colony, which engages the fleet sent by the Alkari in the vicinity of the planet. This vicious battle results in debris continuing to fall from orbit for decades. Not that the colonists mind, as nearly all of them were massacred by mercenary squads sent ahead of the Imperial fleet as punishment.
  • Defied in The Barsoom Project, in which two bitterly-hostile diplomats are invited to play out their enmity in the War-Bots simulation. The simulation pits them against one another in gargantuan battle-robots in the middle of a London suburb ... and completely averts this trope, with simulated tiny people fleeing in terror, being crushed by every robotic footstep, buried alive by every crumbled building, or flash-fried in seconds when a mecha's foot punches through the ground into a busy subway tunnel. The diplomats' ears are regaled by ever-increasing numbers of agonized screams as the collateral damage piles up; by the time their fight ends, both men are near tears at the destruction of tiny innocents, and frantic to go back to negotiating peacefully. Which is exactly what Dr. Vail, Dream Park's chief psychiatrist, designed the War-Bots scenario to do to would-be warmongers.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the season 4 finale of 24, a military-grade nuclear missile is intercepted and destroyed just above downtown LA seconds before it was to detonate. While this should have spread several kilos of plutonium across the city in a "dirty bomb" effect, nobody seems to be concerned about this aside from a Hand Wave about NEST cleaning up the scene. Although the plutonium would only be particularly dangerous if inhaled or eaten, as the alpha radiation it emits wouldn't penetrate your skin. There was some handwave about prevailing winds blowing it away from the city. This is however still much better than the bomb actually going off, though.
    • A nuclear bomb core is a small dense ball. It would likely remain intact if hit by a conventional anti-missile explosion. At worst, it would be broken into a few large chunks.
    • Plutonium itself is much less radioactive than its fission products, which would be produced by nuclear explosion.
    • 24 largely averts this trope otherwise. In Season 2, they have to fly a nuclear bomb out of LA to have it detonate elsewhere. The short and long-term effects of it detonating in the Pacific Ocean and the desert are both discussed. The only real concern for the desert is the fallout, but the ocean has a whole mess of problems. The characters routinely state they can't shoot down aircraft over populated areas, as the debris would result in fatalities. In a possible nod to Season 4 above, in Season 6 they stop a suitcase nuke from going off but there is a radiation leak. It is contained quickly, but it's pointed out that there will still be consequences from it.
  • Mercilessly averted in Battlestar Galactica: The opening credits feature a survivor count reminding you how every incident, be it big or small, in the previous episode is slowly chipping away at what's left of the Human race.
  • Doctor Who has plenty of examples of this:
    • "The Christmas Invasion": Torchwood blows up the Sycorax's ship with no ill effects, when just earlier the ship's entry into the atmosphere shattered windows. This is justified because we see the beam pass by the Moon before it strikes the ship. So, we should be able to assume the ship is more than 300,000km away from the planet and still fleeing, which momentum would be preserved by the debris. Earth's atmosphere stops at around 100km for all practical purposes, and there aren't many particles in the exosphere. Yes, parts of the ship reach the Mesosphere, burning like meteors into ash. Really, the explosion shouldn't have been that large on screen.
    • In "The Poison Sky", the Doctor sets the entire atmosphere of Earth ablaze to eliminate all the poisonous gas the Sontarans have released, and nothing even gets SINGED. Plus, there's plenty of oxygen left afterwards, and no excess CO2.
    • "Journey's End": The Earth is towed halfway across the universe at FTL speeds to return it to its proper position in space. The only trouble seen is the ground shaking in London, despite the fact that, even if we assume the TARDIS (which was doing the towing) imparted some Inertial Dampening, there should have been avalanches and landslides in other regions.
    • Defied in "The Next Doctor", where after defeating the local 50-Foot Whatever, the Doctor makes sure to teleport it away before it falls over and crushes London. Even the Doctor finds it odd that the event isn't recorded in history (the story being set in Victorian times); this is justified in a later episode by the whole event being sucked into a crack in time.
    • "The Eleventh Hour": The Doctor writes a computer virus, which is propagated worldwide, that resets all numbers to zero in order to get the Atraxi's attention. Millennium Bug aside, that would royally mess up a lot of society's critical computer systems.
    • In "The Rings of Akhaten", the day is saved by the destruction of a "parasite planet". Fans incorrectly pointed out that this left nothing for the seven moons to orbit, nor any energy source for them, before it was pointed out to them that the planet wasn't actually destroyed and just went to sleep; it's still there and still radiates heat.
    • The destruction of the Moon in "Kill the Moon" as it hatched its space dragon embryo probably should've had some sort of effect on Earth, given the sheer amount of debris that would generate. Possibly justified by the Moon actually being a rocky eggshell, and most of its mass flying away in space, but nonetheless unlikely.
  • FlashForward (2009) averts it in the pilot. When almost everybody on Earth falls asleep for two minutes, there aren't exactly exemptions for drivers, pilots, or train conductors. Invoked though later, as while they keep showing residual damage on skyscrapers, all the cars are dent-free and the streets show no lingering, unfixed damage. What a public works department the USA must have!
    • Played straight in the series finale, however. The good guys manage to figure out that the next blackout will happen within a couple of minutes. Authorities and media are alerted, and then we get a montage of the blackout in which everyone seems prepared and dramatic casualties appear to have been avoided. Except that two minutes are a rather shitty forewarning for such a global event. It's better than nothing but not much notice. Commercial planes have fly-by-wire. They can do the entire flight autonomously from taking off to landing without the need for human input. Airline pilots right now are more observers than controllers.
  • The Honey West episode "Whatever Lola Wants..." ends with the explosion of a mansion that had just been hosting a party. The only reaction this gets is a One-Liner from Honey, with no mention of whether the guests got out okay.
  • In Orphan Black many audience members were worried that Helena had killed a large number of innocent people when she set fire to the cult's compound after killing Johanssen. John Fawcett explained via Word of God that she raised the alarm and helped everyone get out, and all the named characters who might have been involved were explicitly shown alive in the third season.
  • In Power Rangers, the Monster of the Week's energy blasts regularly hit the Zords and they fall back and through a building. Nobody ever talks about the implications of that... The later dodge of many fights happening in an Abandoned Warehouse District is an inelegant solution to say the least.
    • In the first season, a news reporter almost always assured us that amazingly, no one was seriously hurt in the day's monster rampage.
    • This was lampshaded in an episode of Power Rangers S.P.D. (though not intentionally) with the line "Thank goodness no one was in that building!" The Ranger saying it really had no way of checking, too. In another episode, a Monster of the Week says "I hate empty buildings!" before smashing one (not, by the way, the more menacing line used in the trailer.)
    • A Lampshade Hanging in Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters: In one episode, the heroes kablooify the Monster of the Week, and then reduce an enemy Humongous Mecha to scrap, in the good ol' Power Rangers/Super Sentai tradition. Then, the next episode begins with them having to clean up the wreckage of the enemy robot. The same thing happens in Power Rangers S.P.D., where the B-Squad Rangers had to clean up debris after the A-Squad's mecha battle.
  • An EMP problem ensued in an episode of the short-lived alien invasion drama Threshold, where an EMP is unleashed in Miami to keep an alien signal from spreading. They know that it will cause a panic and result in various damages. There are injuries from it and the leader is told that there are no casualties so far. Caffrey also points out that the simple truth is they have stopped the alien signal from getting out, regardless of collateral damage.
    • To the show's credit, they take another two steps. A minimum safe distance is cleared around the device, so no one is killed by the EMP itself; and they make no planes (and presumably helicopters) are in the blast radius when it goes off.
    • A less lethal example; A character smugly points out that anyone losing data because of the EMP have only themselves to blame for not backing up, completely ignoring the many perfectly responsible backup schemes that don't go as far as storing the backed up data somewhere outside of your city (and this is before cloud backup became a widespread option too).
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures:
    • Discussed and averted in the Series 4 story "The Empty Planet". After almost all humans are briefly taken away, Clyde and Rani notice that the streets are surprisingly clean and unwrecked. This was deliberate on the part of the aliens; they phase-shifted all the moving vehicles away along with the people so that there would be no crashes, leaving behind only the parked ones.
    • In the final story of Series 4, "Goodbye, Sarah Jane Smith", however, our heroes defeat Ruby White by projecting a hologram of a meteor shower all over the world to overwhelm her with the human race's panic. The fact that this would logically result in crashes and heart attacks is never mentioned. We could assume that it was worth it to stop her from becoming powerful enough to destroy the world, but no one even brings it up.
    • "Death of the Doctor" does a single-character version of this by making it clear that Barbara Wright is still alive off-screen, contradicting the common dark fanon that gave her the real-life early death from cancer of her actor Jacqueline Hill, and blamed it on her irradiation on Skaro.
  • Stargate Atlantis:
    • Huge sections of Atlantis are regularly demolished by alien invaders, natural disasters, and our heroes — yet this seems to have very little overall impact on the city as a whole and the population, which appears to stay remarkably steady in numbers. Although the latter could be explained after contact is re-established with Earth as new personnel arrives to fill the gaps. Still, all in all, Atlantis is a gigantic city with some self-repairing ability. Over 90% of it is uninhabited; the expedition (numbering a couple thousand at most) stays almost exclusively in the central tower, while the Athosians live in colonies on the mainland.
    • In "Adrift", a huge section of the city is taken out by an asteroid — Sheppard and Zelenka have to hop it in zero-g. No mention is ever made of the missing chunk again, nor can it be seen in the establishing shots.
    • In "Enemy at the Gate", a larger-than-normal Wraith hive ship blows up in low Earth orbit. In fact, the nuclear blast appears to vaporize the ship. There is an incredibly bright flash, and then nothing. No consequences for Earth either. Then there's a giant Ancient city-ship crash-landing in the San Francisco Bay.
  • Stargate SG-1 in an example strikingly similar to the the trope namer, the planet Delmak in The Devil You Know is apparently unharmed after its moon explodes.
  • Stranger Things: There is no fallout to the Soviet Union having an illegal base in the United States. As well as, both performing illegal experimentation on and even committing the murder of American citizens, done by uniformed soviet soldiers no less, nothing ever comes of it. It's not like it was covered up either and everything was exposed to the American public at the end of Season 3. Keep in mind the president at the time — Ronald Reagan — was the guy who committed high treason, invaded several countries, and spent hundreds of millions of dollars on defeating the Soviet Union. Guess it happened on one of his good days.
  • Torchwood: Miracle Day averts this hardcore at first while examining the effects of everyone on Earth becoming immortal - Not only has the entire political climate changed, a complete overhaul of the medical care system is in the works since the very definition of life has changed. If anything, the global changes may be happening faster than they would in reality, sometimes dipping into Artistic License. However, while there are some consequences that persist once the event ends, the draconian Population Control measures, martial law, and Second Great Depression all seem to vanish with no lasting ramifications.
  • Deconstructed in the first episode of Ultraman Mebius. After a big, flashy, Ultraman-standard fight with the first Monster of the Week is all over, a victorious Mebius suddenly finds himself getting chewed out by an enraged Ryu for not paying attention to the Collateral Damage he was causing by kicking the crap out of the kaiju right in the middle of a city. The camera then pans over the cityscape, calling attention to all the smashed buildings and decimated streets, and while evacuations were underway from the moment the kaiju appeared, it's also pretty obvious that a whole lot of people probably died in the chaos (the original GUYS team definitely did) and the massive amounts of property damage done will be costly. Mebius is significantly more careful and conscious about this sort of thing from then on.

    Video Games 
  • Ace Combat:
    • Explicitly lampshade-hung in Ace Combat X: Skies of Deception, where it's noted that the raining debris from the Gleipnir somehow never caused any casualties. As if in acknowledgement of this trope, however, earlier on we had Crux pleading for the Gleipnir Captain not to crash the airborne fortress into Santa Elva.
    • The last mission of Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War involves shooting down a satellite aimed to fall on the Osean capital city, and explicitly carrying a nuclear bomb. It explodes less than twenty miles off the coast and rains debris over the city. No indication of any damage is given.
    • The last DLC mission of Ace Combat 7: Skies Unknown involves preventing a giant rail cannon from firing a nuclear shell at the same city as above. When the antagonists manage to get off a single shot, Trigger knocks the cannon's aim off at the last second and Mission Control explicitly states that it's not going to hit the city... but no mention is made whatsoever about what that shot did eventually hit.
  • One between-levels cutscene in Afterburner Climax passes you orders to hunt down a nuke-bearing bomber, and explicitly tells you not to worry about the "sympathetic detonation" of the nuclear device.
  • Air Force Delta Strike sends the squadron to destroy a space elevator located in the center of a city, then in the immediate next mission, you have to destroy the falling debris to prevent the Endor Holocaust.
  • Occurs in the Asura's Wrath demo. Physical God Wyzen assumes a form that is apparently larger than the planet the game is set on and attempts to crush Asura with a mountain-sized index finger, but he is destroyed. The following cutscene shows an even larger explosion that should have shattered the planet as well. The gravitational effects of having such a vast entity suddenly materialize just outside the atmosphere are also absent.
    • Asura's Wrath proper never lets the collateral damage hit anywhere near the scale it actually would. Yes, we're shown that humans have become slavishly loyal to The Seven Deities to the detriment of society and that the Ghoma burn villages left and right. However, the greater ecological effects, such as Wyzen's transformation, the Brahmastra's laser, or even Vlitra (an eight-headed snake growing out from the planet's core), are never addressed. By all accounts, Earth should have been space dust aeons ago.
  • Averted in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2. When the second nuke goes off, Starfish Prime style, the ensuing EMP blast over D.C. knocks out aerial vehicles (despite their military-grade electronics shielding), sending them crashing to the ground and killing fellow soldiers, as well as disabling the power grid on most of the east coast and destroying the International Space Station.
  • Averted in Chrono Trigger. Near the end of the game, when Lavos goes out of control, the entire floating continent Zeal which used him as a power source crashes down to earth, bringing significant climactic change and death along with it.
  • Notably Averted in City of Heroes. The Rikti invasion included an enormous mother ship that hovered over Paragon City. When it was eventually defeated by a huge gathering of heroes (many of which died in the battle), the ship crashed into a section of the city now known as the "Rikti Crash Site," which is walled off from the rest of the town and considered extremely dangerous for all but the most powerful and experienced heroes. It's also a quite sizable game map of what one would expect a cityscape to look like after a gigantic alien battleship fell on it. The back-story indicates that the heroes saw the damage they were doing when they took down the ships, so they then started tossing them into the ocean instead, which is why there's even a city left standing at all.
  • Near the beginning of Cosmic Star Heroine, the protagonist Alyssa hops into a giant mecha (Whose parts she and her allies just wrecked. Don't ask.) to battle a giant monster in the middle of the city. No mention of any collateral damage is made, even after Alyssa activates the mecha's Self-Destruct Mechanism in a Coup de Grce Cutscene. Then again, it looks like the mechanism makes the mecha and whatever its Laser Blade was lodged into simply evaporate without sending any shockwave. That incident doesn't appear to carry much consequence, except maybe that Alyssa was declared dead.
  • Devil Survivor 2 has Yamato plan to shoot the airborne Alioth down, meaning it would land in Sapporo. Several of the party members are concerned about this trope and ask if that isn't going to endanger anyone still living there, wanting to evacuate first. Yamato soothes any worries by claiming that it won't be a problem, since Sapporo is already devoid of human life. A later scene does avert this, with Makoto mentioning to Yamato that she had heard that there were still survivors. Yamato sees no problem with that. Any person who wasn't crushed by Alioth would be dying due to the Septentrione's toxin in the area, anyway.
  • Averted in EVE Online: The Empyrean Age. The falling wreckage from the Minmatar and Amarr fleets fighting over Mekhios were more destructive than any orbital bombardment could have been.
  • Zig-zagged several times in Fate/Grand Order.
    • Early on, it is hypothesized that anyone killed in a Singularity is un-killed when the Singularity is resolved. Eventually you learn that the circumstances of their death are changed to something fitting the corrected history, but they're still dead.
    • Played straight with the destruction of humanity in the first arc: by thwarting the Big Bad's attempts to retroactively destroy human history, you un-destroy humanity. However, it takes a year to do so... and all of humanity is aware of the year they were extinct, the paradoxical existence of Chaldea, etc. The consequences of that are planned to set up the story of the second arc.
    • Painfully subverted during the second arc "Cosmos in the Lostbelt". Humanity is destroyed, the Earth is wiped clean and there are 7 "Lostbelts", alternate timelines that diverged too far from proper history. Initially, the story paints this as if it was just a normal singularity that will go back to normal once you resolve it. However, at the end of the first Lostbelt, the game explains in clear terms that if you wish to save humanity, everyone in the Lostbelts will have to die.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • In Final Fantasy IV features a couple instances. The Tower of Zot, a huge flying structure that falls apart moments after you leave it, never crashes anywhere. The Tower of Babil is perfectly fine (and is totally structurally intact, according to the sequels) after the Giant of Babil seemingly walks out of it. Similarly, in the sequels, there are almost no changes to the world map (not even changes to local climates, tides, or sea lanes) after one of the planet's moons flies off into deep space, never to return.
    • Final Fantasy VII seems to play this straight with the Reactor Bombings at the start of the game. However, late in the story Cait Sith Actually Shinra employee Reeve makes it clear that the Trope was not in effect. A lot of people were either hurt or killed when the reactors blew, either from the explosion itself or by falling debris.
    "I've been itching to say this to you [Barret] for a while now! When you blew up the Sector 1 Reactor, how many do you think died?"
    • In Final Fantasy VIII, the Lunar Cry causes monsters to rain down from the Moon. The last time this happened, it destroyed the Centra civilization and reduced most of a continent to a crater (plainly visible on the World Map). When it happens in the game, it even tints Esthar's sky red and infests the country-sized city with incredibly strong monsters. It is implied that despite the damage of the monster assault, the Estharian military is able to contain the situation because they were prepared for it. So it makes sense they had plans for the next lunar cry.
    • In Final Fantasy X, when you first fight Sin, you're treated to a couple cutscenes showing you exactly what you're about to fight. The attack shown is strong enough to pull the moon, and absolutely tear up the geography, leaving behind a series of tunnels and canyons filled with fire and rubble. After you beat Sin, you can go and visit the rest of Spira, and at no point did you see any collateral damage. Considering what happened at Djose, you'd think that thousands of people had died in those blasts. Nope. All the places are intact, and no one mentions dying in the attacks.
      • Invoked in the Calm Lands, where battles are staged specifically to avoid collateral damage.
      • It is mentioned in Final Fantasy X-2 that Sin fell on Bevelle during the final battle and did cause some damage to the lower districts, all of which seems to have been repaired in the two years between the two games.
  • The ending of Freespace is, while bittersweet, is still treated as a triumph, but let's look at what actually happened. Yes, the human and Vasudan colonies have survived, as shown by the Expansion Pack and the sequel, and have even prospered. But what about Earth? It has been cut off from the rest of the galaxy, meaning it's probably overpopulated, low on resources, and had just lost the ability to trade with other worlds, meaning planetary economy will be in ruins. Neither the Expansion Pack nor the sequel shows what happens to Earth after the collapse of the wormhole. If Freespace 3 is ever made, it should be about pissed-off descendants coming back into the galactic community to "thank" everybody for cutting off their only link to the rest of the galaxy.
    • Yes, Earth was saved from being turned into an uninhabitable wasteland by the Lucifer, no one had any idea that blowing up a giant ship in subspace would destroy the subspace node it was done in and the ones who did it were stuck on the Earth side of the node, but humans tend to have short memory for good things and long memory for bad. The descendants will definitely blame their colonies and will probably think they caused this intentionally to gain independence. Assuming there are technologically proficient survivorsnote .
    • This is addressed by numerous fan-made sequels, which often feature a war breaking out when the GTVA repairs the node and re-opens passage to Earth. There are also some fan-made stories taking place within the Sol system after the cutoff, generally showing the fragmentation of society, civil wars, and (usually) eventual reunification under a new government. None of this is actually canon.
  • In the final game of the Galaxy Angel II trilogy, Tact Mayers and the Moon Angel Wing are forced to sacrifice the Elsior to save the Valfask's homeworld. While the entire human crew had explicitly evacuated the ship per Tact's orders, a free roam segment has Kazuya meeting with Kuromie, the Elsior's animal caretaker, who eases his concerns about the animals by informing him they had been taken out prior to the battle during the celebration, and the Space Whale itself had been set free on the sea.
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: Reach, Magnetic Accelerator Cannons, one of them a "Super" MAC, are twice fired at targets not far off the ground, destroying them neatly. In the books, Super MACs in particular are described as so powerful that they fire at 0.04% the speed of light, which in real life would cause ecological disaster on the scale of the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, nevermind that the shockwave alone actually has the potential to rend continents and set the atmosphere itself on fire. The seemingly careless use of them near the ground in Reach is lampshaded by one character, who expresses surprise that a mere regular (i.e. non-"Super") MAC cannon being used in-atmosphere. His commander's remark "One way to get [the Covenant]'s attention" suggests it's because they've passed the Godzilla Threshold. The general consensus among fans is that the MAC firings seen were fired at a slower speed to reduce their collateral damage.
    • Also occurs in Halo Wars, where Captain Cutter's special ability is to fire MAC rounds from orbit to ground targets. Once again, no collateral damage. Although it should be noted that the Mac rounds being used in Halo Wars are stated in expanded material to not be large ship guns but rather smaller Mass Drivers mounted on the ship's outer hull, similar to the Mass Driver that is used in the last level of Halo Reach. The guns can be seen during the missions "Cleansing" and "Repairs", where you are moving about the dorsal surface of the ship, along with the cutscene that plays just before the latter mission that depicts the ship engaging a covenant vessel.
  • Into the Breach: While the game takes its time to show the consequences of the collateral damage that mechs can do, setting buildings ablaze does no damage to them, meaning that a region can be completely on fire and be no worse for wear.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, in May of 2011 a skeletal version of the Death Star was being built to destroy Valhalla (the afterlife). The player base eventually blew it up. This trope was very much not in effect.note .
  • The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask:
    • The moon falls close enough to the planet for the Humongous Mecha-sized Four Giants to catch it, and is later disintegrated, all without harm to the surrounding area. The scenes with the moon in the atmosphere make the moon look a lot smaller than it does in the sky...
    • Averted when it does hit — rather than just crushing the city like it might do, it catches fire in the low atmosphere and causes a planet-wide flaming shockwave that kills all living creatures. It also fucks up the planet's gravity fairly dramatically.
  • Mass Effect has a few examples:
    • In Mass Effect 2, a Gunnery Sergeant is shouting at his troops that if you fire a gun in space that projectile keeps on going and will eventually hit something. When using a weapon that strikes with the impact of a city-buster, this is a very bad thing, so under no circumstances are you to "eyeball" it.
    Sergeant: "It keeps going until it hits something! That can be the ship, or the planet behind the ship! It may keep going into deep space, and hit someone else in ten thousand years! If you pull the trigger on this, you are ruining somebody's day, somewhere and sometime!"
    • Sovereign's destruction at the end of the first game seemed to play this straight, except for the one piece that landed on the Citadel Tower. The sequel (set two years later) reveals that at least tens of thousands were killed by falling debris, and they're still clearing out debris and making repairs and are expected to continue for at least five years (five years more or five in total, it isn't clear). From the destruction of one 2 KM ship.
    • Subverted in Arrival. In order to stop an imminent Reaper invasion, Shepard is forced to cause the destruction of a Mass Relay, wiping out an entire star system along with a colony filled with 300,000 Batarians. The third game opens with Shepard in custody over this very incident, before he is released and free of all charges when the Reapers finally show up to invade Earth.
    • In Mass Effect 3, the Extended Cut DLC changed the ending to make it clear that the Normandy's crew survived their crash, the mass relays were repaired and therefore averted the stranding of millions of aliens on Earth, and that galactic civilization rebuilt itself. The original ending before the extended cut involved exploding mass relays, some of which were located in rather populated star systems, including Earth's. Add to that the fact that according to the aforementioned Arrival DLC, an exploding relay has the power to destroy an entire star system, and you might realize that humanity would have gone extinct. The extended cut, however, changed it into the relays simply falling apart, causing a LOT less damage.
    • Averted by the "Destroy" extended ending with low EMS, which can be summed up as a galaxy-wide extinction event for all organic life above microbes, whether involved in the war or not. There are barely any survivors and the narrator doesn't express much hope for their future.
  • In Max Payne 3, the title character at one point is in a favela in Sao Paulo, where he comes across a drug lab belonging to a gang that is out to kill him. He decides to destroy the lab by setting fire to it using fireworks and explosives that also happen to be inside. Thing is, this being a favela where shoddily-built buildings are tightly packed together, the fire should have spread uncontrollably and destroyed a huge number of homes, but none of this appears to happen as the fire is contained only in that building.
  • Averted in Mega Man X. The post-X5 games show that, if anything, the collateral damage caused by the pieces of Eurasia falling to Earth was even worse than what the damage would have been if simply the colony itself had fallen.
  • All three Parasite Eve games avert this pretty hard.
    • In the first game, casualties are kept to a minimum by evacuating the entire population as soon as a clear threat is identified, but Eve is still explicitly shown killing at least two concert halls full of people.
    • Near the end of the second game, it's revealed that most of the monsters you've been fighting used to be human.
    • The third game shows several people being killed during the Twisted's initial attack (both by the Twisted themselves and as a result of the city-wide panic). In-game files put the global death toll between 5.5 million and 335 million depending on the point in the game you're at.
  • In Ratchet & Clank (2016), late in the game, Novalis gets blown up by the Deplanetizer. However, Clank tells Ratchet that everyone was evacuated before it happened.
  • At one point in Ride to Hell: Retribution, you blow up a power plant to shut off an electric fence. Such a catastrophic event should at the very least deprive the city of electricity, yet whenever you go back into town the power appears to be working just fine.
  • Occurs in Saints Row: The Third, when STAG brings in a giant flying aircraft carrier to bomb Steelport. It eventually gets blown up, but the city miraculously does not get flattened by the falling debris.
    • Averted with an earlier cargo plane the player infiltrates and brings down, however — it crashes into canisters carrying a zombie-creating virus from the previous game's DLC, and for the rest of the game the only people you find in that specific part of the city are zombies.
  • Despite the series already having a major metropolitan area and a military island base among its human casualties, and despite Shadow the Hedgehog being a Darker and Edgier spinoff, the game makes note that all civilians evacuated the capital city before it was destroyed by a giant space laser or overrun with alien forces. A slightly more justifiable example from the same game occurs during the final boss, where the heroic NPCs comment that they were able to escape the aliens' comet/organic spaceship, freeing the protagonist to not worry about destroying the thing. This is also averted: the main villain is spreading a paralyzing gas over the Earth, and though you don't see it since you're fighting in the sky you can hear the NPCs choking and passing out over the radio as the fight goes on.
    • In the opening cutscene of Sonic Unleashed, Eggman cracks open the planet but no attention is given to the extremely high probability that he just slaughtered billions of people.
  • Star Wars Battlefront (2015) partially averts the Return of the Jedi example: one of the maps takes place in a burning Ewok village, damaged by fallen space debris.
  • Pick a cinematic attack in the game Touhou Soccer 2. There's no way the audience could have survived this. Rising Game starts with the world blowing up. And then Sakuya and Eirin send knives and arrows flying in every direction. If the explosion didn't kill the audience, all those pointy implements would've skewered them!
  • Speaking of Touhou Project, the actual games raise some questions about the collateral damage from danmaku. ZUN is expectedly obtuse on the matter, and interpretations range from it being only dangerous to the intended target, only dangerous to people and not the surroundings (Perfect Memento mentions that while danmaku duels are pretty, a safe distance is advised), to potentially damaging everything it impacts but most people and things in Gensoukyou are resilient enough to avoid lasting damage.
  • Averted (slightly) at the end of the Ghirlandaio mission in Valkyria Chronicles. The explosion that Selvaria causes is explicitly stated to have vaporized the entire army and demolished the fortress, but this has no impact on the player or Squad 7 because the army is painted as an unsympathetic hindrance to the militia.
    • By that point, most of the Imperial army was defeated so the militia can handle their remnants. And if the Universal Conscription is anything to go by, I'm guessing that the bulk of Gallia's military might is in their militia anyway, which explains why the regular army doesn't get anywhere much while the militia does the heavy lifting.
  • At the end of Ultima Underworld I, the volcano erupts, destroying the entire civilisation within... but then in the very last cutscene, Garamon appears to the Avatar in a dream and explains that he was able to open a portal to send everyone to Destard.
  • The second act of Warzone 2100's single-player campaign appears to dodge this one at first, as it takes place in the ruins of a city that had a nuclear warhead dropped on it. Then comes a mission where you have to prevent the opposing faction flying a large number of civilians out of the area. The realisation that those half-wrecked apartment buildings (which some players had probably shot at just to see the rather cool collapse animation) might have had people inside them made this mission something of a Wham Episode.
  • The last act of Xenoblade Chronicles 1 has players witness no less than the Bionis and Mechonis, the Humongous Mecha/continents the game's characters live on, coming to life and engaging in mortal combat. No one is shown dying or being injured, even though the simple act of the Bionis moving its leg should have ended at least 3 civilizations. We are told that Kallian evacuated Sword Valley and that "casualties were kept to a minimum", but the cutscene still shows thousands of people falling from Mechonis' sword, far more than could possibly have been saved by the aircraft in the area. Egil does speculate that he's probably killed thousands of Homs in a single strike when he first starts the fight and that was from a relatively weak attack. So a crap ton of deaths probably are happening, just not the extinction level events that logically would occur.

    Web Animation 
  • Apparently, The Mercury Men universe never heard of the Roche Limit; the Moon gets so close to the Earth that it's affecting the cloud cover. Possibly justified, however, as we don't really know how the Gravity Engine works.
  • How It Should Have Ended's take on Star Wars: A New Hope involved Grand Moff Tarkin deciding to expedite victory and destroy the planet around which the rebel base was in orbit. The base remains intact.

  • Adventurers! subverts this, ending with the heroes desperately trying to stop the Big Bad's collapsing flying fortress from crushing a city. when they solve it in their usual manner, there is, indeed, No Endor Holocaust. The fact that there isn't one when there logically should've been is what forces Ardam to give up his attempts to surrender to irrationality.
  • Captain SNES: The Game Masta: Magus blows up a castle out of frustration when he learns about warp zones. At first, Bowser vows he will avenge the deaths of all the soldiers he had stationed there, only to find out that almost all of them had deserted their posts for various reasons. The only member of the Koopa Troop that was still there was Elwin the Boo Janitor. Who was already dead.
  • Lampshaded in Collar 6 when one bad guy's plan involved pulling the consciousness of all the world's population into Subspace. Sixx actually points out how many people that will kill, only to be explained away as their physical bodies running on subconscious instincts.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventure Time episode "King Worm" ends with what looks like Book Ends to "Evicted!", with Finn and Jake looking to be in the same exact situation they were in at the end of the latter episode. However, because there were allusions to events that occurred over the last four seasons, fan forums were afraid that everything that happened between "Evicted!" and "King Worm" was All Just a Dream, with the episode's writers having to confirm otherwise to settle everybody down.
  • On the Grand Finale of Amphibia, Anne Boonchuy pulls a Heroic Sacrifice to destroy Amphibia's moon so she could prevent The Core from using it to crash into Amphibia's surface. In the epilogue, it seems that there were no actual consequences for the planet despite the moon's destruction.
  • One Ben 10: Omniverse episode has lava flooding Bellwood, toppling buildings, and engulfing cars (including some in traffic — we see some drivers get out but most cars have their doors still closed when the lava reaches them). Absolutely no mention is made of even the physical damage.
  • Futurama:
    • Spoofed in a What If? episode. When the characters see what it would be like if Bender was a giant, he goes around destroying New New York. A newspaper headline reads "Giant Robot on the Rampage. Thousands Dead. None Injured."
    • Further spoofed in the superhero episode: "Thank you, mysterious heroes. The value of the Gemerald you saved is slightly greater than the cost of the damage you caused to this museum. A net gain for our great city!"
    • Also parodied in the episode "Love and Rocket".
      Zoidberg: As the candy hearts poured into the fiery quasar, a wondrous thing happened, why not. They vaporized into a mystical love radiation that spread across the universe, destroying many, many planets, including two gangster planets and a cowboy world. But one planet was exactly the right distance to see the romantic rays but not be destroyed by them: Earth. So all over the world couples stood together in joy. And me, Zoidberg. And no one could have been happier unless it would have also been Valentine's Day. What? It was? Hooray!
  • Gargoyles:
    • In the "City of Stone" arc, Demona casts a spell that turns the large majority of Manhattan's population into stone during the night hours. Leaving aside all the physical damage that is likely to have occurred, the fact that Manhattan in effect stops working from dusk to dawn (which, given the fact that the story takes place in early November, would be from roughly 8:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.) for two consecutive days should have caused nationwide panic and had a notable economic impact. One of the episode cliffhangers is David Xanatos stuck in a helicopter with a Taken for Granite pilot. He doesn't watch TV either, as he's busy planning stuff. Then there's that woman whose arm Demona casually broke off. What do you think happened when the curse was lifted?
      • Word of God says this is averted, but unable to be shown due to Disney's censorship practices. The woman remains an amputee. The piles of rubble are rather disturbing come morning. The economy's not mentioned, but this was otherwise going to be referenced as a major aspect of the origin of the Quarrymen in season 3. Naturally, Executive Meddling killed off this and other storylines.
    • There's a similar instance in "The Gathering" when Oberon put every human in New York to sleep, except for Xanatos and Fox. We do see a bunch of cars crashing, but no mention of anybody dying. Even though Oberon likely killed more people in that one episode than every other villain in the series combined, nobody seems to hold it against him. Word of God is again that people did die.
    • Also averted offscreen in "Grief". After Jackal merges with the god Anubis, he uses Anubis's powers to casually wipe out life in the nearby area — including laying an entire city to waste. By the time the Emir has become Anubis's avatar, he says, "What is dead and gone cannot be restored, but the stolen energies can be rechanneled." In other words, the Emir only reverses Jackal's ageing tricks played on the heroes, Hyena and Wolf, while said city remains dead (Word of God).
  • Like the comic it is based on, Invincible (2021) averts this trope. The huge, city-destroying events like alien invasions or the Superman Substitute turning on humanity are explicitly shown to kill a lot of innocent people — the latter case being a deliberate defiance of the trope intended to force the idealistic Invincible to toughen up. One episode even has Black Samson bring up and deconstruct this trope, chiding the rookie Guardians of the Globe for not paying more attention to Collateral Damage after a relatively minor incident involving some C-List street villains still leaves about a dozen bystanders in the hospital.
  • In the final Story Arc of Iron Man: The Animated Series, the Mandarin uses Applied Phlebotinum to cut off all electrical power in New York City, and, later, several other cities. It's explicitly stated that this applies to all "electrical and mechanical" devices, not just the main power grid. Both Tony and MODOK have a hard time muddling through without their life-support technology, but they do survive. Nothing is said of the thousands of other people who would have surely been killed by these power outages. Tony isn't the only person on artificial life support, and some of the others couldn't survive without it nearly as long as he did...
  • In an episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius casually orders one of Miseryville's three suns to be destroyed. Something like that is bound to have consequences, but none occurnote . Rule of Funny likely applies here, but also consider that Word of God is Lucius is a Reality Warper.
  • In Kid Cosmic's second season finale, Erodius the Planet Killer explodes dangerously close to Earth. Everyone seems fine after the fact. However, countless Stones of Power do rain down on Earth, and the third season involves the Local Heroes fighting a bunch of villains using them for evil. Several battles in the middle of a crowded city ensue. Again, the population at large seems fine. Then it gets justified when it turns out that all that was an illusion, part of a perfect dream world that Fantos trapped the heroes in. Erodius has not been destroyed yet, and the Earth is still in danger.
  • One episode of Kim Possible had Ron stopping a balloon filled with extremely smelly gas that would cause the victim to stink for years exploding in the conference hall by pushing the balloon out of the building. Later it did some Laser-Guided Karma to some bad executives. All Is Well That Ends Well, until you think about a balloon with extremely stinky gas infecting the entire town with bad smell.
  • The finale for The Legend of Korra takes place in a very empty Republic City, which was evacuated prior. Good thing too, because Kuvira's Colossus and its Spirit Ray Cannon do quite a number on the city (and so do Our Heroes to combat it), especially after the cannon explodes.
  • The Magic School Bus ran into this once, with the episode in question being about asteroids and comets. The class realizes that an asteroid is about to hit their school and decide to deflect it. They do this by causing the bus to grow to the size of the moon, so its gravity will pull the asteroid off-course. Now think for a moment about what the effects of an object the size of the moon appearing suddenly in Earth's orbit would be. . .
  • Megas XLR: New Jersey is utterly destroyed by the end of several episodes, but is always fixed by the next one. Subverted in the episode where Coop accidentally blew up part of the moon: Earth was hit with severe and deadly climate change, at least until Coop flew back up and put the moon pieces back.
  • In the Men in Black: The Series episode "The Little Big Man Syndrome", the MIB turn the Fmeks' death ray, intended for the planet Arquillia, back to their homeworld Fmoo, and we see Fmeks signal a planet-wide evacuation, and Zed tells everyone that they all managed to evacuate in time.
  • Averted in Mighty Max, probably most harshly in "CyberSkull II: The Next Level." The villains force his pawn to channel all the electricity in the world into a machine meant to free him from the Internet. The episode itself doesn't show it, but Max points out that hospitals and other places need that power, and we're left to assume a lot of people are dead by the time Max and his buddies get things back to normal.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "Sonic Rainboom" has two; a construction worker lets his jackhammer get away from him while mackin' on Rarity; it bores through the cloud he's working on and probably spoiled someone's day when it landed; and the event the episode derives its name from is a hypersonic shockwave that causes a rainbow. Performed as it was about 10 feet off the ground — it would have the destructive potential of a nuclear blast. In a subsequent episode, it is shown to do just that, complete with mushroom cloud.
    • Subverted in "Crusaders of the Lost Mark", in Season 5, where there is mention of the schoolhouse and playground being destroyed in the battle with Tirek in the Season 4 finale.
    • "Tanks for the Memories" has the entire Weather Factory be blown up and bury all of Ponyville in snow, Hand Waved as it happening during "lunch hour" so all the workers were out eating when it happened. Even if we're to assume nobody stayed in to eat, or was on the can, or backlogged and working through lunch, or napping during their break, it's still very unlikely burying all of Ponyville in an avalanche didn't give a few ponies a very bad time.
    • A massive portion of Canterlot is blown to smithereens in the Series Finale. Though some of the guards were dumped in the moat by Cozy Glow prior, previous episodes have shown there to be many more guards and civilian staff in the palace who hopefully had some life insurance, to say nothing of the flying debris that probably ruined the day of more than a few ponies. This all passes without mention, with Twilight Sparkle only mentioning that she's going to rebuild.
  • Averted rather horrifyingly with Ninjago where the Great Devourer's rampage, although played straight at first, is revealed in Season 8 to have killed people in her rampage. Among them were Harumi's parents whose deaths led to her Start of Darkness and transition into the Big Bad of the season.
  • Phineas and Ferb: A lot of their inventions would have ramifications that are never explored, but the best example is from Phineas and Ferb Save Summer where Doofenshmirtz pulls the Earth slightly further out in its orbit, causing temperatures to drop, trees to lose their leaves, and more. Even though Phineas and Ferb (and similar geniuses from around the world) put the Earth back in a matter of hours, the damage it should have caused would be catastrophic to ecosystems around the world. But it shows that everything is fine afterwards (even the trees have their leaves back).
  • Both The Powerpuff Girls (1998) and Sym-Bionic Titan have enormous sections of the city annihilated, which one may realize by Fridge Horror that THOUSANDS OF INNOCENT PEOPLE ARE DEAD, but the few times that the actual damage is addressed, only the damage to property is mentioned, often by an official. In the latter case, it is all but stated that lots of people died, and the show does often show people and monsters dying.
  • Yet another blunder from Redakai. "Kairu", the Life-energy of the universe, is regularly made off with by the heroes. However, the presence of the energy generates prosperity with the surrounding wildlife. The heroes realize this in one episode when they find some of the energy on a farm where one of them grew up. They decide to leave the energy where it was in this case, but what happened to the places that they have taken the energy from before and since?!
  • Robot Chicken Star Wars Episode 2 directly parodies the Trope Namer by having large chunks of the destroyed Death Star II raining down and massacring Ewoks.
  • In an episode of Sabrina: The Animated Series she casts a spell that accidentally destroys the town's dam, causing a massive flood. She runs through the town warning everyone and everyone is apparently able to make it to safety — afterwards one character says "it's a miracle nobody was killed". Though in a touch of realism, Sabrina is still extremely upset about flooding the town. Also time rewinds itself so that the flooding never happens.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Spoofed/Subverted in The Simpsons Movie which ends with the bomb destroying the thick glass bubble that has encased Springfield. The huge car-sized pieces of jagged falling glass have a suspiciously small effect on the town and its citizens, with the sole exception of Dr. Nick, who dies horribly. Ultimately, however, this is actually a Double Subversion: later episodes show that Dr. Nick is still alive, and per Word of God, "he just fainted".
      Dr. Nick Rivera: Bye, everybody!
    • Spoofed in "The Otto Show" episode, after Otto causes a massive bus crash.
      Principal Skinner: It's a miracle no one was hurt!
      Otto: Hey, I stand by my record — fifteen crashes and not a single fatality!
  • In The Spectacular Spider-Man, Sandman tries to help the mob jack crude from a tanker. Spidey shows up, and they do what superheroes and villains have done for ages...only now they do it on an oil tanker. In New York harbor. At least the Valdez wasn't anywhere near a human port of millions of people, though I'm sure that was cold comfort to the wildlife.
  • The last episode of Star vs. the Forces of Evil features Star destroying all magic in the multiverse, causing the deaths of all magical beings. Many fans wondered if that also meant she killed the laser puppies that were created from her magic in the first episode. Word of God says that they just lost their ability to shoot lasers. Still doesn't address whether or not all of her sentient spells were killed. There's also the fact that Earth and Mewni became a Merged Reality; all the implications that has are just shrugged off beyond the creator clarifying that the merge was limited to Echo Creek and the surrounding area rather than affecting the entire planet.
  • Steven Universe:
    • In "Laser Light Cannon", the destruction of the Red Eye causes quite a bit of property damage around town, but none of the citizens get seriously hurt. Then again, Beach City's permanent populace seems to consist of only a dozen or so regular characters.
      Amethyst: Steven, you just saved most of Beach City!
    • In "Ocean Gem", Lapis Lazuli makes a huge tower out of the ocean's water but it doesn't cause mass extinction of the fishes. This might be intentional on her part though, as there are fish swimming around in the tower and they seem to be perfectly happy. The tower pretty abruptly collapses when Lapis leaves Earth, and this doesn't seem to cause any problems for the fish either, or for anyone else when all this water crashes back into the Earth at a high speed.
    • Happens again in "The Return"/"Jail Break". Peridot's attack on the Crystal Gems' temple forces the citizens of Beach City to evacuate, and the subsequent destruction of their ship causes even more property damage to the town. A few later episodes are focused on picking up the pieces.
  • Technically, the entire series Thundarr the Barbarian could be considered an aversion to this trope, as civilization's collapse was a result of a comet passing between Earth and the Moon. Although a direct collision by this comet is narrowly avoided, humanity is still knocked back to the Stone-Age-plus-cheesy-magic by the gravitational havoc it wreaks.
  • In Transformers, Primus' vehicle mode is the planet Cybertron itself. Transforming into his robot mode does not follow this trope, which is the main reason he doesn't do it.
    • This is taken further in Transformers: Prime: not only does Primus' body make up Cybertron, but Earth is actually a dormant Unicron. When Unicron begins to wake up, it causes massive worldwide environmental havoc. Not only that, but he can also control the surface of the Earth, making "mini" clones of himself out of mountainsides. The Autobots and Megatron team up to shut him back down before he actually destroys the planet and to prevent this trope. However, it's ultimately played straight, as, despite the environmental damage, there are no reports of lives lost during Unicron's "morning stretch".
    • In Transformers: Animated Bulkhead warps an about-to-explode burning oil tower into the middle of the lake. Better than the alternative, sure, but what about the pollution from the oil? Though near Detroit, who'd notice?
    • Played straight in Transformers: ★Headmasters: Scorponok plans to blow up Mars and harvest the energy. The Autobots are motivated to stop him primarily to prevent Earth being bombarded with billions of asteroids. However, after Mars does explode, no mention is ever made of Earth being damaged.
    • Beast Wars: the planet the show takes place on is prehistoric Earth, and in the series finale Megatron, while onboard a working spaceship, with a weapon that outright killed the near-god-like Tigerhawk, opens fire on a tribe of protohumans. It's outright shown at the end of the episode that all or most of them are alive and well, without so much as minor injuries.
  • In the Young Justice episode "Misplaced", a spell is cast to split the world in two, one with everyone over 18 in it, and one with everyone under 18. While the spell only lasts a few hours, the death toll among the children would have been catastrophic, as drivers, pilots, and doctors suddenly disappeared, and only a dozen teenage heroes were around to save them. It's never discussed, implying that no one died.

    Real Life 
  • Self-proclaimed "alternative historians" who advocate the hypothesis of a global diaspora from Atlantis are quick to invoke this trope, if asked how such an ancient sea-spanning trade empire managed to avoid spreading hundreds of virulent epidemic diseases and invasive species across the globe, along with their pyramid-building techniques.
  • It's just as well that the prevailing winds were not blowing when Chernobyl exploded. If they had been, the radiation would have blown south over Kiev, making that city uninhabitable. Although the explosion ruined large swathes of Belarusian and Ukrainian countryside, caused the abandonment of one town, Pripyat, and has caused cancer in many people, the city escaped largely unharmed. The danger is still present, though, as large wooded areas were likewise irradiated. Most of those trees are now dead and dry. Forest fires are now a real threat, once again raising the possibility of radioactive smoke blowing into a populated area.
  • Many contemporary and not-so-contemporary sources have stated that the 1666 Great Fire of London, an infamous disaster that leveled about 90% of the city and even managed to purge it from the last great plague epidemic, killed no more than eight to twenty people, in total. Some have attributed to things such as Stuart-era London's above-average fire alert system, but even then, this death toll seems to be an extraordinarily generous understatement for a Renaissance city of 200,000.
  • This train wreck where a train crashed through the second storey of a building only killed one person, and that was because of falling masonry.
  • A discussion on a professional military historians' bulletin board tried to ascertain the existence of any statistics for civilian deaths caused by bullets, shrapnel, and aircraft parts falling out of the sky during a dogfight. While no contributor could answer the question, many observed that the Japanese and Germans used to collect aluminum from crashed aircraft and steel splinters from flak shells for recycling. The Americans used drop tanks (external fuel tanks for the extra range that could be jettisoned before combat to increase maneuverability) made out of paper after they realized the Germans were collecting the original metal tanks to ease their shortages.
  • Floods and other consequences of the infamous British Weather tend to invoke this effect; property damage always ends up running into the hundreds of millions but actual deaths tend to be in the single digits, usually boat-owners or motorists with more valour than discretion or some unlucky soul who has a tree fall on their car. It helps that we have the tax base for effective disaster relief.
  • The Chelyabinsk meteor impact in Russia in 2013. The town was devastated, and over 1000 people were injured, but nobody was actually killed. And none of the injuries were directly due to the meteor or its debris, but rather things like glass breaking from the shockwave of the explosion. Dumb luck.
  • The Tunguska Event, also in Russia, in 1908, was a crazy large explosion that leveled 2000 square kilometres of forest, yet didn't cause a single human casualty.
  • In 2012, a malfunction during a test flight required the pilots to eject from their F/A-18 which then crashed into an apartment complex. Amazingly, there were no fatalities. There were a few unaccounted residents for a few days, who turned out to have been out of town. The Navy paid for the lodging and relocation of the residents of the 40 units that were rendered uninhabitable within two days.
  • US Airways Flight 1549 hit a flock of migrating Canadian geese shortly after takeoff from LaGuardia Airport in January of 2009, destroying the plane's engines. Due to the low altitude the plane was at, and the surrounding skyline of New York City, the plane's pilots were forced to make an emergency water landing in the Hudson river. Fortunately, the plane somehow touched down on the water in just the right way, turning an extremely risky last resort option into the "Miracle on the Hudson"; a few serious injuries occurred, but everyone on board the plane - all 155 passengers and crew - survived thanks to the most successful emergency water landing in aviation history, and the immediate rescue response by every civilian ship and ferry in the Hudson at the time preventing anyone from drowning before official first responders could arrive on the scene.

"I was worried for a second that it'd be one of those sad stories that you have to pull some sort of depressing meaning out of. No thank you!"

Alternative Title(s): No Inferred Holocaust