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Press X to Die

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And you'll have nobody to blame but yourself.

-The Game Over Room-
This is the safest room in the game. Only "Q" can kill you.

The player is given the option to perform an action that can only ever result in failure or otherwise hinder progress. Rather than simply disabling the action, the developers instead let the player try it, and then punish them for it. Most of the time it's just Schmuck Bait included as a joke, but some especially sadistic developers add such things with no, or little, warning in games where Continuing is Painful.

Some games provide such a command as a suicide command for fun, quick level resets or when the current level is left in an unsolvable state. Often a Puzzle Reset, but in MMORPGs may provide a bug workaround.

Overlaps with No Fair Cheating in cases where X used to be a cheat code in an earlier game.

Some games (mostly puzzle games) also use this as a sort of Reset Button so the player can suicide (or rather, lose some progress) and restart if they get stuck.

Sometimes results from a Leap of Faith, and often results in Yet Another Stupid Death or possibly Nonstandard Game Over. When you're instead rewarded for taking an obviously stupid action, that's a Violation of Common Sense. If the stupid action is required in order to solve a puzzle or advance the plot, then Stupidity Is the Only Option. See Press Start to Game Over for when the Trolling Creator puts a suicidal option right at the beginning of the game. Contrast Press X to Not Die.

Sub trope of Forbidden Chekhov's Gun.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Fate/Zero and Fate/stay night, Masters have Command Seals (3 per contract) that force their Servants to do exactly what the Masters say, even if the only possible outcome of said action is losing the Holy Grail War. In Fate/Zero, Kayneth forces his Servant Lancer to commit suicide, as part of the deal to let him walk away unmolestednote  from the war after he's crippled. Later, Kiritsugu forces Saber to destroy the Holy Grail itself, although in that case he had to use two Command Seals since said Servant's Magic Resistance and willpower was high enough to resist the first one.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Steven Universe fangame Flawed Crystals, there are several options in the healing sequences that are very obviously bad ideas.
    • Lying to Ruby or Sapphire about how the other feels about them won't automatically end the game, but it does leads to Steven suffering four times the normal corruption points, very likely driving you straight to the bad ending.
    • Lapis Lazuli's healing sequence, as the tutorial, will not automatically forward you to the bad ending if you take the wrong option at every possible point. You have to do that to yourself by saying you want to make her listen.
    • In Jasper's true healing sequence, you can attempt to convince her she was a Crystal Gem, effectively cementing her personality reset. Doing this will lead to a scathing rebuke by Connie and an immediate jump to the bad ending.
    • Attempting to force Jasper into an ultimatum of choosing between her friends and Pink Diamond leads to her kicking you out of her mind, attacking you, and then Steven immediately becoming corrupted.
    • It is possible to deliberately attack Steven instead of talking to him even when you are on track for the good ending. This will kill him instantly.

  • The Fighting Fantasy franchise have more than one installment that ends your adventure within the first few pages. Such as...
    • The Forest of Doom: Choosing to attack Yaztromo immediately as you meet him at the start of your quest, causing him to turn you into a frog and end your quest.
    • Demons of the Deep: Upon finding the magical circle at the bottom of the ocean which allows you to survive underwater after being thrown in by pirates, opt to leave the magic circle at once and resurface, resulting in the pirates deciding to kill you as you got back up.
    • Beneath Nightmare Castle: After waking up in a cell, choosing to ignore the unseen man who's trying to help you escape, and end up getting stuck in that cell forever.
    • Black Vein Prophecy: Finding yourself in a sarcophagus in a mausoleum without any memory of who you are, and then opting to re-enter the sarcophagus and going back to sleep. Forever.
  • At some points in the GrailQuest books, the player is given the option of turning to paragraph 14, which it has been made very clear is the Have a Nice Death message.

    Live-Action TV 

In General:

  • On Password, Pyramid, or any other word-association game, giving the word itself as a clue automatically disqualifies it.

By Series:

  • As seen on The Colbert Report: The Machine That Turns Itself Off. note 
  • Doctor Who: In "The Beast Below", residents of Starship UK have the choice of protesting or forgetting when they learn that the spaceship is powered by torturing an innocent creature. Those who choose to protest are subsequently fed to the Space Whale.
  • Double Dare (1986): The rules of this game were designed to defy this trope. An incorrect answer gives control (and the money on a Dare or a Double Dare) to the opposing team. If you don't know the answer, you can Dare or take a Physical Challenge if you have control or Double Dare if you don't have control.
  • On Jeopardy!, neglecting to phrase a response in the form of a question during the Double Jeopardy! round, Final Jeopardy! or on a Daily Double clue in any round counts as an incorrect response, even if the actual response is correct. On the children's spinoff Jep!, players were held against this even in the first round.
  • When Press Your Luck introduced Pick-A-Corner in 1984, one of the corner boxes had a Whammy as a possibility. This sometimes led to an awkward situation where a contestant had to choose between that and two other cash/prize squares. Its sequel series Whammy also had this with two Move 1 Space squares in Round 2, in which one of the rotating squares each could have been a Double Whammy.
  • In The Weakest Link, players can shout "Bank!" before a question can be asked to preserve winnings. Occasionally, they accidentally shout "Pass!" instead. The hostess will accept their pass and move on to the next player, causing the team to lose any unbanked money in the process.
  • Wheel of Fortune is perfectly happy to let players pick a letter that's already been picked. They can even buy a vowel that's already been picked. Under no circumstances can this be beneficial; it's just an easy slip-up that wastes a turn (although buying a repeated vowel costs a turn and $250). It's not even an attempt to get the players to pay attention; there's a board just offscreen that tells them the letters that have already been called. This was subverted with Free Play, where calling any letter, even if it was already called, wasn't in the puzzle, or both, still allowed the player to keep his or her turn.
    • However, they avert this with vowels. If every vowel in the puzzle is revealed, the host informs the players that there are no more vowels left, even if the puzzle doesn't have all five vowels in it. Conversely, if only vowels are left, the contestants are told that they must buy a vowel or solve.
    • Until the late 2000s, accidentally calling a vowel after spinning resulted in a lost turn, although this no longer seems to be the case.
    • If a contestant repeats a used letter in the Bonus Round, they are simply told as such and are not penalized in any way. However, on the childrens' Saturday morning spinoff Wheel 2000, doing so results in the letter appearing on screen again, effectively wasting that pick.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Arkham Horror: The spell "Call Ancient One" immediately summons the Ancient One, starting the final battle. This can be used in your favor. If you use it against Azathoth, the game immediately ends in a loss. Nothing stops you from doing it.
  • Arkham Horror: The Card Game: Most scenarios give you the option to "resign," letting you cut your losses and move on without completing your mission. This includes a few scenarios where "completing your mission" means "stopping the cult that is imminently summoning an Ancient One." Needless to say, resigning then ends badly for you.
  • A handful of actions in Magic: The Gathering will do nothing useful and just harm you or your creatures. For example, normally, when you cast Progenitor Mimic, you target another creature and the Mimic become a copy of that creature that makes more copies. However, the ability responsible specifies "may", which means you don't have to do any of that, in which case "Progenitor Mimic enters the battlefield as a 0/0 Shapeshifter creature and is probably put into the graveyard immediately."
    • Mana in Magic pays for almost anything a player wants to do. In Magic's early days, the mana pool emptied at the end of each phase of a turn as well as before and after combat. Mana is almost always voluntarily generated by a player by using their land, artifacts, and creatures. In early editions, having unspent mana in your pool when it emptied resulted in mana burn, or loss of life.
    • One joke set introduced the card One with Death, whose only effect is to make you lose the game.
  • If you flip one specific card in the My Little Pony Collectible Card Game, you instantly lose. Which card? This one.note 

    Visual Novels 

  • Homestuck: In Alterniabound, Terezi has the option to take a nap in a pile of wands. This is after Karkat has gone on at some length that something terrible happens when people sleep now, Nepeta repeats the warning when you enter the area, and when you select the option to nap the game gives you a second choice to opt out. If you disregard all of these and get that shut-eye, you also get an instant game over.

    Web Original 
  • Oedipus in my Inventory: On day 3 you start with a knife. Its only function is to get you killed if you use it on the sentry.
  • Origins SMP: Holding the Bumblebee origin, Tubbo has an ability that instantly kills him when activated, with no benefits. His content creator counterpart put the button for it as close to his controls as possible, just because it'd be funny if he accidentally pressed it.
  • SCP Foundation: SCP-313. There's only a 1.5% chance of something going horribly wrong, but there's no chance of anything useful happening.

    Real Life 
  • There used to be commands that you could have run that will do this your computer. Tricking someone into doing these under the guise of helping them fix a problem was a common prank during the early days of the internet. As such, come the mid-2000s, most operating systems began alerting the user that what they're doing is a very bad idea and refuse follow-through.
    • In Windows, it is using "Win + R" to bring up the run dialog, then typing "format C:" (without the quotes). You can get a similar effect on *NIX systems by typing "sudo rm -rf /". (In case you couldn't tell, this advice will wipe your hard drive. Do not do it.). Deleting "C:\Windows\System32", which wipes out most of Windows' system files, was also a piece of "helpful advice". However, as previously stated, none of these actually work now. Windows will refuse to do so and informs the user either the drive is in use or it's a system folder and cannot be deleted. Meanwhile, Linux throws an error on "sudo rm -rf /". However, nothing does stop you in Linux to delete one of the system root folders like "sudo rm -rf /opt", and you can override the safety catch by tacking " --no-preserve-root" on the end (please don't).
  • A far more benign version of the above prank is the "Alt+F4" or "CTRL+Shift+W" command, which simply closes the active program. That said, some computer programs (namely video games and web browsers with multiple open tabs) will ask the user to confirm the action.
  • After the Xbox One came out, with one of its new features being built in voice commands, some resourceful players quickly figured out they could prank other players into turning off their system by changing their gamertag to Xbox Off, Xbox Turn Off, or some other variant thereof. The trap is then set by simply going online and playing games that typically have players chatting over voice; all it takes is one player getting salty and shouting the prankster's gamertag at their Xbox, and Hilarity Ensues!
  • Taken to the most literal extreme possible by the Deliverance Machine, a euthanasia device which asks the user a series of questions, ending with "If you press this button, you will receive a lethal injection and die in 15 seconds – Do you wish to proceed?"
  • Avoiding creating these buttons in real life is a core part of Process Safety design. In a chemical facility, if certain pipes are lined up incorrectly, it can overpressure or even explode a vessel. There are numerous levels of safety devices and interlocks to prevent such occurrences from happening.


Bunker Blaster

Press [Square] to shoot Hitler.

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