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No Product Safety Standards

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"Should we initiate a recall?"

You've just made a new product! Why not test it yourself without a hazardous environment suit? Or better yet, put it into mass-production and release it to the public as soon as possible. Surely, nothing bad could come from something made on a budget. What Could Possibly Go Wrong? from a lack of clinical trials?

That cancer you got ten years later is probably unrelated, not to mention the injuries of all those children who tried to play with it, or those dead military personnel who looked at it funny. While Moral Guardians may be outraged, don't expect Neglectful Precursors or a Crapsack World to care.

Compare with Icarus Allusion, May Contain Evil, No OSHA Compliance, and My Little Panzer (where toys are proven to be exceptionally dangerous). Contrast Disastrous Demonstration: when a product's dangerous properties reveal themselves during a promotional event.


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    Film — Animated 
  • Lightyear: Sox is a robotic "therapy cat" who comes equipped with a toy mouse, a white noise machine, an assortment of rain sounds, a laser pointer, tranquilizer darts and a blowtorch.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Dogma, one of the many, many heinous sins levied by Bartleby and Loki against the Corrupt Corporate Executives of Mooby Co. is that one of them allowed for the manufacture of toys from unsafe materials in order to save money.
  • Fight Club has a sequence where the protagonist/narrator explains how the automotive company he's employed at does recalls for new cars, averting this trope only when it's cost effective.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: The SVU team investigates a butchery that is linked to the murder of the victim. They discovered that the workplace is infested with roaches, they simply pick up meat that fell from the ground like it was nothing, and the kitchen is dirty and poorly cleaned.
  • In the classic Saturday Night Live sketch "Consumer Probe", Dan Akroyd plays a Corrupt Corporate Executive, Irwin Mainway, who is trying to persuade a TV reporter that his company's toys are fun and safe for children. The products include a teddy bear with a built-in functioning chainsaw and a bag of broken glass. More Hilarity Ensues when he then tries to 'prove' that regular, safe toys are actually extremely unsafe.
    • He showed up in a later sketch hawking Halloween costumes, including "Johnny Human Torch"note , "The Invisible Pedestrian"note , and "Johnny Combat Action Costume"note .
    • SNL also had Happy Fun Ball, a children's toy which is unsafe for pregnant women, the elderly and children under 10, may suddenly accelerate to dangerous speeds and contains a substance which should not be touched, inhaled or looked at. The sketch continues from there, listing increasingly bizarre hazards, including the trope-naming Do Not Taunt Happy Fun Ball.
  • Bill Moyers' Trade Secrets details the chemical industry's lack of medical testing, much to their annoyance.

    Video Games 
  • In the backstory of 0x10c, the human race wakes up trillions of years in the future because of a byte order error in the software used to operate cryogenic sleep capsules.
  • A more positive example comes from Dead Space where medical appliances and mining tools can be repurposed into weapons on the spot. What this meant for future society before the outbreak is more than a little disturbing.
  • Comes up constantly in Fallout, but special mention has to go to Nuka-Cola, the soft drink made with radioactive elements.
    • Also worthy of note are the robots, which take Super-Powered Robot Meter Maid to absolutely insane levels; Mr. Handies, butler robots, come with circular saws and flamethrowers, while every model of Protectron could kill or maim people, even the ones with jobs like construction or paramedic.
  • In No Umbrellas Allowed, some items, usually the less popular hoverboard brands, are considered "Safety-Threatening", reducing their base price by 40%. During the final week, AVAC declares all hoverboards as such, claiming that they're the leading cause of accidents, but HUE suspects that they're trying to prevent people from escaping Ajik City with them before they pour Fixerain on them.
  • Aperture Science in the Portal series is all about this, from toxic shower curtains to the "Heimlich Counter-Maneuver". Recordings in the second game show that employees were fired on the spot for even suggesting testing their contraptions for safety of use. Perhaps that's exactly the reason behind their ultimate commercial failure.
  • StarCraft does this trope proud. Many of the Terrans' combat machines are out to passively or actively kill them. Most notable is the Viking, a versatile transforming fighter which claims so many of its pilots, that they are known as 'Cherries' until they survive one transformation.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Feat of Clay showed that this trope was important to the origin of Clayface, aka former actor Matt Hagan. After Hagan was in a car accident that left facial scars, he was invited to try a new facial cream that could help him remake his face however he wanted (allowing him to continue his acting career). What he was not told was that the cream had not been tested... Hagan was their first human test subject. Even after learning the potential side effects the cream can have on people (addiction after multiple uses, withdrawal symptoms if they stop using it, the fact that an overdose can turn someone into a sentient mound of clay, etc), they still intend to put the clearly hazardous product onto the market. While Clayface's methods of getting revenge are extreme, Batman clearly has no problem with letting Clayface expose the cream's toxicity on live TV.
  • The first episode of Family Guy has Peter falling asleep on the job at the toy factory, allowing for dangerous products to make it into shipping, such as a bottle of pills inside a "Pound Poochie" box, a "silly ball" being a throwing hatchet, and a girl's doll being built in with a flamethrower.
  • The VeggieTales video "The Toy that Saved Christmas" has Buzz-Saw Louie, the hot new toy with a real working buzzsaw!
  • The Simpsons: Krusty the Clown will endorse any product as long as the price is right. This has made him a favorite among manufacturers who knows that their product is toxic, infected, explosive, higly flammable, unsafe in any other way, or simply not working right. Clearly, it's easier to get an endorsement from Krusty than to make a good (or even mediocre) product.
    • And, those tourists were decapitated before they entered the Krustyland theme park's House of Knives.
  • Rocko's Modern Life has lots of these, Rocko once bought an enormous vacuum cleaner which looked nothing like the one he saw on tv, and it has a mind of its own and sucks up everything in its path.
  • Pretty much all of Nasty Corp's products in YooHoo & Friends, which included lava perfume and diet acid cola.
  • In The Boondocks episode "Breaking Granddad", Huey creates a highly explosive gel solution, but doesn't tell Granddad that until after he discovers that it instantly grows out your hair overnight. They decide to sell the product to a distributor of hair care products. Huey has to object and insist on mentioning how a single spark would set off the explosive. The businesswoman laughs it off, pulling out a few of the products she already sells, one of which contains plutonium, and one of which is literally just acid. Slap a warning label on the jar and you're good to go.
  • An episode of The Day My Butt Went Psycho! shows many of the products that Silas has lent his name to, including the Silas Brand Teddy Bear "for the child you only sort of like". It is covered in spikes and bursts into flames when hugged.

    Real Life 
  • Too many to mention. Historical examples are mostly a result of ignorance when it comes to the physiological effects of a substance (such as lead), while modern examples tend to be from poor safety standards. Fortunately, product recalls do occur.
    • One notable incident in the US was the case of the Radium Girls, who were told that the radioactive material they were painting watch-hands with was perfectly harmless. They even encouraged employees to lick the radium-tipped brushes to maintain their points - and because of the belief, the same women would use it as body and nailpaint for fun. This incident helped kick-start the movement to avert No OSHA Compliance.
    • Similar to the Radium Girls was Radithor, a tonic sold to the public that was literally just radioactive water. One American industrialist, Eben Byers, downed so much of the stuff that after he died (from, shockingly, cancer contracted from drinking so much Radithor) his corpse was dangerously radioactive and had to be buried in a lead-lined coffin. The Wall Street Journal's headline following Byers' death read "The Radium Water Worked Fine Until His Jaw Came Off". Radithor, and other shoddy products like it, ended dying a swift death once radiation came to be better understood and the FDA got more power behind it.
  • The Pinto car followed the Mustangs thing with naming cars after horses. Unlike the Mustang though, the Pinto was notorious for having a slight problem of exploding.
    • They didn't recall it as the cost/benefit was seen to be wrong (didn't work out that way...). This directly inspired the scene in Fight Club mentioned above.
  • Inadequate drug testing regimes led to the Thalidomide Scandal, subsequently dubbed the "biggest man‐made medical disaster ever" with over ten thousand babies being born with severe birth defects and thousands of miscarriages occurring due to the drug after it was prescribed to curb morning sickness due to its anti-nausea effects. Specifically, it was not properly tested for use in pregnant women, despite being marketed to them.