Tony Stark: Then skip the spinning rims, we're on the clock.
When something is brand-new, fresh off the assembly line, there is typically a period of testing and shakedown to work out all the bugs and make sure everything's working the way it should and ensure a smooth entry into service. The larger and more complex it is, the more tests it needs before its deployment. In this case, however, that important step is skipped and it's put directly into service, untried and sometimes unfinished.
Why? Because it's needed, right now! Never mind that some subordinate is bound to complain, "But Sir, it's not ready yet!" Their warnings can be ignored for now, even though you might have to regret the results later.
This is common in military settings, where one side finds itself lacking in resources or up against something its current assets can't handle and so starts deploying things that really aren't ready yet. Ships that have just barely finished being built, and still have the paint drying, if that, tanks that were just designed suddenly being fielded, weaponry that has just been assembled, or at times computer systems that are compiled and implemented. In more peaceful time, it can be caused by Executive Meddling: The experts wanted to finish it and do all the usual tests, but their boss "wants results" or is trying to show off for investors/board members, and forces the project ahead or demands a demonstration before they're ready. Naturally, things Go Horribly Wrong.
This can cause more problems, as parts of it will not be up to standards or even active at all. Field installations will then be required to get finished in days or less what might take weeks at a dedicated facility. Rushed programs will have many undetected bugs, and be unstable.
If the characters are heroes, this serves to point out how cutting edge the weapon is and may involve a Million-to-One Chance. If the one giving the order is a villain, then it shows how desperate he is to defeat The Hero and his Ragtag Band of Misfits, and if they are just clueless NPCs then this is the cue for the experiment to Go Horribly Wrong. Can also be used to show that Science Is Bad. Other times, it's openly acknowledged that this is a bad idea, but the situation is so dire that all the other options are even worse ideas. In either case, chances are once the command is given, an Activation Sequence showing it powering up will follow.
See also: Unpredictable Results, Flawed Prototype, Imperfect Ritual, and Obvious Beta. Contrast with Super Prototype, when the Alpha version is better than the finished product, or Break Out the Museum Piece, in which the characters have to use a piece of equipment that is so old or outdated it's no longer in regular service.
- In Mazinger Z, Kouji decided using the Jet Scrander during a battle even though it had not been tested yet in an "If I do not use it I'll die anyways" kind of situation.
- In Neon Genesis Evangelion, the dummy plug system wasn't ready but Gendo Ikari thought it's sufficient.
- There's also the Evangelion units themselves. They use Unit 00 and Unit 01 in combat, even though they are a prototype and test type, respectively. Predictably, both units have numerous issues like going berserk.
- In Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, the Demon Giant used by the Torumekians in the final battle was activated before it was ready. In the movie, this results in it falling apart after only a few shots, while in the manga its decay is far more prolonged.
- Used by Char 'The Red Comet' Aznable in the Final Battle of Mobile Suit Gundam, taking out an advanced - and unfinished - prototype mecha to match the 'White Devil' Gundam. Fortunately, the only thing missing from the mecha was the LEGS which, while otherwise useful for inertial maneuvering in Zero-G, were rendered unnecessary by the thrusters in its lower torso. Consequently, while it was structurally only 80% complete, it was at full combat ability.
- The unanimated Perfect Zeong, on the other hand, would have had the legs (with the torso thrusters moved onto them). It would likely have been slower (due to the added mass) and a somewhat larger target, but more agile (better movement from the legs). Given that Char has a history of using his mobile suits' feet as weapons, the very large legs of the Perfect Zeong would have allowed for some fairly impressive kicks, too.
- An example with rather more serious consequences was the Colony Laser, Zeon's answer to the Federation's Solar Flare System, which was fired early in an attempt to prevent a secret surrender offer. It was completely wrecked as a result, denying the Principality a potentially war-winning superweapon. Apparently, it didn't occur to Gihren to wait for the Colony Laser to be completed, then stage a coup and break the treaty afterward.
- The Big Zam, activated by Dozle Zabi during the last hours of the Battle for Solomon, is another example, and one that was largely acceptable, wiping out half the Federation fleet before going down.
- In Chars Counterattack, Amuro and his team had just started the testing phase of the Nu Gundam's systems when hostilities broke out between Earth and Char's forces. Because of the urgency of the situation, they quick-wired the remaining equipment into the cockpit, slapped on whatever weapons they could findnote , then launched without fine-tuning the instruments.
- Fullmetal Alchemist: When the villains are losing The Coup on Central, some military guy decides to awaken the doll soldiers. A scientist warns him that the tests aren't done yet, he ignores the warning, activates them, and the doll soldiers eat them both.
- When Sloth busts into Fort Briggs from under the floor, the garrison fights back with everything they have, thinking he must be a new weapon deployed by the enemy nation of Drachma. When their standard equipment doesn't slow him down, they send in a few tanks, explicitly mentioning that they're still in development by their R&D department but are confident in the tanks' abilities.
- The SoulTaker (the anime): When the main villain activates Soul Anubis after its upgrades (another typical example) despite researcher's warnings, Soul Anubis ignores orders and starts to follow orders of the true Big Bad.
- Team Rocket from Pokémon has on numerous occasions lampshaded the fact that many of their scheme-of-the-week contraptions haven't been properly tested.
- In the movie version of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, Precia Testarossa was told by her superiors to have her experimental reactor ready for a full-power activation in a week. She tried to explain that she needed a month to complete the construction and testing, but they decided the stock price impact of getting done three weeks early was more important than making sure the thing would work. The reactor suffered a catastrophic meltdown upon activation... resulting in the death of Alicia, Precia's daughter. Thus causing Precia's very demonstrable insanity as the Big Bad of the story.
- Digimon Tamers: Yamaki orders the activation of the Juggernaut program in order to wipe out all the Digimon, despite being told that it's not ready yet. This results in creating a portal that allows the Devas to enter the real world.
- A sizable portion of the problems that Sousuke has with the Arbalest in Full Metal Panic! can be traced to the fact that it's technically still in beta, and not likely to change due to the fact that its creator committed suicide two months before the start of the series.
- In Yaiba during the Underworld Arc, Boss pit the young samurai against his best warriors, Gold and Silver, and his subordinates warns him that they're still incomplete. Of course, he doesn't listen.
- Reiji from Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V debuts his pendulum cards (an until-then exclusive for The Hero Yuya) when he and Yuya dueled. However, he evidently didn't test them beforehand, because he was surprised when the scales suddenly changed on him. It was at that point he realized they needed some work, but it can be assumed he rushed them out for the sole purpose of showing them to Yuya.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! The Dark Side of Dimensions, Kaiba builds a machine to enter the afterlife, which he uses over Mokuba's protests that it's an untested prototype. It gets him where he wanted to go - whether he can come back is left ambiguous.
- Knights of Sidonia: This tends to happen a lot when an attacking Gauna causes a crisis, and Tanikaze requests using whatever the latest prototype R&D has come up with to solve it. They always protest that it's untested, but he always makes it work regardless.
- In issue 30 of Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog, Robotnik and Snively are testing the Transdimensional Teleporter in order to perfect two-way travel. However, before activating the device, Snively wants to run some final diagnostics. Robotnik gets upset at the idea of "a test of a test" and activates the machine himself and ends up in the Void. As a side effect, the roboticized Uncle Chuck who was the intended test subject regains free will.
- In the IDW version of Sonic the Hedgehog, the second major arc has Eggman create a "Metal Virus" which turns its target into a "Zombot" and can be spread via the touch of others. However, once he was satisfied that it spread like he wanted, he quickly threw it into mass production despite warnings from his apprentice, Starline, that he had only just created the virus and should run more tests to be sure there's no unforeseen effects. Eggman claims he can fix it in post once it has done its job of infecting the world. Naturally, it doesn't take long for control to slip from his grasp.
- During Judge Dredd's "Apocalypse War" arc, East Meg One invades Mega City One. Having been weakened by the Block Mania virus, the destruction of many of their early defence systems and several nukings, the Big Meg is forced to fight a guerrilla war. In the process, the Stub Gun, a highly experimental weapon is brought from a testing lab. It's been touted as the most devastating handheld weapon ever devised, with the major drawback of being lethal to its user if fired too often. Dredd decides to field test it on a Strato V. He manages to slices the craft in half and decides that the risk is worth the possible dangers. One squad is later seen to succumb to the Stub Gun's fatal drawback when it explodes, taking three judges with it.
- Evangelion 303: In chapter 3, Nerv wanted to use a new, experimental aircraft to perform a reconnaissance mission. Maya points out that the Jet's never been flown, even for a test flight, and they're expecting it to fly to the other side of the world, and back, at nearly 4 times the speed of sound. Ritsuko admits that she feels the same way, but the commander's going before the senate about the project's budget soon and needs an "ace in his pocket"; Plus, they don't know how much time they have left until SEELE's endgame. They launch.
- In Gems: The Sun Princess, weapons manufacture Pen Dragon is forced to use his damaged prototype hovercraft to fight off a group of griffons that are trying to steal said hovercraft. At the time of the attack, the aircraft was being repaired from a previous test.
- The Second Try: In the original timeline, Gendo tried to invoke this trope with the Dummy Plug system, and it worked (temporarily). In the altered timeline, his attempt fails because his son knew how to go about pulling the plug on it.
- In Worldwar: War of Equals, as The Race overrun more and more of Ukraine, the Ukrainian government authorizes the unleashing of untested nerve gas on Race infantry out of sheer desperation.
- Wonderful!: Taylor was sheltering in a refuge together with several dozens of people, working on her transformation gadgets while an Eldritch Abomination was rampaging through her city. Right before Leviathan ripped the shelter's doors open, she finished them and passed them out. Fortunately, they worked right and everybody survived.
- The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. In a Flash Back to the Back Story, Professor Hikita and Dr. Emilio Lizardo are working on an experiment to penetrate the 8th Dimension.
Professor Hikita: Almost ready, Dr. Lizardo. Almost.
Dr. Emilio Lizardo: [Prepares to start the experiment]
Hikita: No, not yet. No!
Dr. Lizardo: [Continues his preparations]
Hikita: No, not yet! Not yet! I'm not ready!
Dr. Lizardo: [Starts the experiment, leading to disaster]
- The Last Starfighter. The Death Blossom device in Alex's Gunstar has never been tested. Grig tells Alex that using it might overload the systems and blow up the ship. Alex convinces him to use it anyway, and it destroys all of the Ko-Dan fighters.
Grig: Remember, Death Blossom delivers only one massive volley at close range...theoretically.
Alex: What do you mean "theoretically"?
Grig: After all, D.B. has never been tested. It might overload the systems, blow up the ship!
Alex: What are you worried about, Grig? Theoretically, we should already be dead!
- Wild Wild West
Jim West: That flying machine idea of yours. Were you acting like you knew what you were talking about, or can you build it?
[After the machine is prepared]
Artemus Gordon: Although he was considered insane by his peers, Bernoulli's theory states that the air flowing over a bird's wing is at a lower pressure than the air flowing under the wing. That's called "lift", and that is what we're now going to...attempt. Of course, it's only a theory, it's never been tested...
West: Stop talking.
- Batman Forever:
Bruce Wayne: Were all the Batsuits destroyed, Alfred?
Alfred Pennyworth: All except the prototype with the sonar modifications you invented. But you haven't tested it yet.
Bruce: Tonight's a good night.
- James Bond, The World Is Not Enough: Q's new "fishing boat" isn't ready yet when Bond hijacks it.
- This seems to be a recurring problem in the Star Trek movies:
- In Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Kirk rushes the completely redesigned and refit Enterprise out before she's finished due to an incoming threat to Earth. The first time they fire up the untested warp drive, the engines go into imbalance and throw the ship into a wormhole that the crew barely escape.
- When Kirk and company steal the Enterprise from Spacedock in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Starfleet deploys the untested Excelsior to stop them. It fails spectacularly due to Scotty's sabotage (complete with Wacky Sound Effect). A number of clues in later movies, such as Excelsior's apparently lengthy stay in dry dock, and her visibly extensive overhaul in the in the interim before the ship's next major appearance, suggest it wouldn't have had much luck even without Scotty's tampering (which was confirmed in later, non-canon Trek novels).
- Star Trek V: The Final Frontier has the Enterprise-A being sent into action despite being barely operational to investigate a Hostage Situation.
- Star Trek: Generations begins with the Enterprise-B being forced to undertake a rescue mission despite being on a shakedown cruise and not having most of her main systems installed, which was supposed to happen on Tuesday.
- Discussed and averted in Star Trek: First Contact, when Starfleet Command sends the new Enterprise-E to patrol the Romulan Neutral Zone during a Borg invasion. LaForge asks if it's because Starfleet thinks Enterprise needs more shakedown time, but Picard assures him that Starfleet knows the Enterprise is ready, but they're not sure if her captain is.
- Averted thus far in the reboot films. In fact, in Star Trek (2009), the Enterprise is among a whole fleet responding to Nero's attack on Vulcan, and actually gets there last... though the delay saved the Enterprise, as the Narada wiped out the fleet the moment they dropped from warp, and Nero didn't expect the Enterprise to show up afterward.
- In the Spider-Man movie, Norman Osborne turns into the Green Goblin in the test of his stimulants after being told that it has never been tested on humans and isn't ready yet.
- The Marvel Cinematic Universe has done this a few times, both villains and heroes.
J.A.R.V.I.S.: Sir, there are still terabytes of calculations required before an actual flight is...
- Iron Man. Tony's first flight could be charitably called a miserable failure that he barely survives. It does, however, uncover a previously unknown flaw in the armor's design that comes into play later.
Tony Stark: Jarvis... sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.
- In Captain America: The First Avenger, Schmidt became the Red Skull because he used the super-soldier serum before it was ready to use. He got the physical abilities, but it deformed his head.
- The Avengers: Tony's old Mark VI suit is too trashed to rely on anymore, so he demands that J.A.R.V.I.S. prepare his still in testing Mark VII. The new suit arrives just in time to save his life and works perfectly during the whole battle. Of course, the Mark VII being an incremental upgrade of by then well-proven technology means there was at least theoretically less that could go wrong.
- As of Iron Man 3, Tony's become erratic from PTSD and has been rushing through prototypes without giving them the proper testing time. His successes in the film were generally earned in spite of the flawed tech instead of because of it - in fact, a number of the action scenes avert this trope because the armor is so unreliable he doesn't use it at all.
- Captain America: Civil War: Ant-Man's decision to become Giant-Man in combat ends up working perfectly, but not before they explain why it's no big deal:
I do it all the time! I mean, once. In the lab. And I passed out.
- Likewise played with in Avengers: Endgame, again Ant-Man related. Scott tells the others of the Quantum Realm which could be used to time travel, get the Infinity Stones before Thanos had destroyed them and fix the effects of Thanos's "Snap" that wiped out half the universe. The problem though is that they don't have much Pym Particles to really be through in this theory. They test it on Scott which causes him to age and de-age for a bit before figuring that'll have to be good enough and go through with the mission. Luckily it works.
- The executioner's complaints to the warden about the unreliable electric chair in Seed.
Executioner: Alright, look. We have to cancel this execution, and you know that. Okay, this chair, it cannot do the job. Okay, we have standards here. I have standards here! You remember the last time? It was like the goddamn Fourth of July in there!
- In Justice League: Doom, they are about to phase the entire planet to let a solar flare pass through. Though this was mainly due for being short on time.
Cyborg: Now I just need to do a test run.
Batman: This IS the test run. (Activates it)
- Not a device, but a chemical. In Evolution, the heroes are trying to figure out how to stop a hostile alien lifeform that threatens to make every Earth lifeform extinct in a matter of months due to its rapidly-evolving nature. The military decides to obliterate the aliens with tons of napalm. However, the heroes accidentally discover that fire only speeds up the evolution. Then the protagonist looks at a periodic chart and determines that the aliens must be susceptible to selenium poisoning by going two rows down and one to the right of nitrogen (the aliens are nitrogen-based), same as arsenic (two down and one right from carbon) is poisonous to humans. So they load up on selenium (in the form of Head & Shoulders shampoo) and take a fire truck to kill the aliens. It works. They never bothered to test their theory on any alien samples beforehand.
- Lampshaded in Ghostbusters (1984).
Ray: You know, it just occurred to me that we really haven't had a successful test of this equipment.
Egon: I blame myself.
Peter: So do I.
Ray: Well, no sense in worrying about it now.
Peter: Why worry? Each of us is carrying an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on his back.
- In Pacific Rim, the Mark I Jaegers were thrown together in 14 months. Unfortunately, this meant that certain features were skimped, including radiation shielding for the pilots. As a result, Marshall Pentecost (the Big Good, a former Mk. I pilot) is Secretly Dying of radiation poisoning.
- Airplane II: The Sequel. Ted Striker decides that he'll have to take the shuttle to 0.5 Worp (half the speed of light) in order to get back to the Moon before they run out of air. He's warned that the Worp drive has never been tested and that the ship will apart at that speed. It's later mentioned that no one has flown at that speed before. Of course, it works anyway.
- In Galaxy Quest, the Thermians built the NSCA Protector from what they gathered from the Galaxy Quest TV show. The ship's flying capabilities had never been tested due to the Thermians' missing navigational skills. The ship turns out to be working just fine. Also, Jason decides to activate the Omega 13, a most powerful device that was never tested before. It works like a charm.
- There's also the ship's teleporter, which they also never tested because it was designed to work with human biology, not Thermian, so when Jason is being threatened by an alien pig-monster they opt to use it on the alien instead. Since it turned the animal inside-out, it doesn't exactly inspire confidence that it's working properly but turns out to be just fine when it transports Jason back to the ship in the face of certain death from an even bigger alien.
- A justified example in Perry Rhodan issue #400: the installations needed to fake the destruction of Earth's entire solar system by hiding it five minutes ahead in the 'relative' future are actually finished, but because the success of the plan hinges on no potential enemy realizing what actually happened and a sudden dis- and reappearance of the entire system would be impossible to hide they simply cannot be fully tested ahead of time. Fortunately, all the effort and prep time that went into them do in fact pay off.
- In The Vor Game, the brand-new flagship of the Barrayaran fleet, Prince Serg, launches for battle with construction crews still aboard putting in the finishing touches. Fortunately, getting there with big enough guns mostly ends the actual battle.
- In the Honor Harrington series:
- During the Second Havenite War, many Manticoran ships were deployed without completing full builders' trials, and sometimes with shipyard reps still aboard.
- In the first novel, Honor's ship was stuck with a weapons mix that didn't work because the First Lord didn't understand Admiral Hemphill when she tried to tell him that Fearless wasn't intended for deployment, it was meant as a test platform for her efforts to make the Awesome, but Impractical grav lance more practical. Hemphill didn't get a chance to explain this to Honor until years later.
- In the Star Trek TNG novel "Rogue Saucer", the Enterprise's saucer section has been undergoing repairs when it's called into action, without time to do the proper tests. Unusually for the Star Trek setting, rushing into service without testing does cause difficulties later: when the time comes to dock with the stardrive section (which is in hot pursuit of the villains' ship), one of the repairs turns out to be faulty. They have to stop and make further repairs, giving the bad guys a head start.
- In Command And Conquer Tiberium Wars, in the midst of fighting the Scrin, GDI scientists are working on developing more effective weapons, which even includes foregoing their aversion to Tiberium-based weaponry. They hastily develop a Tiberium-based beam weapon that appears to be effective but, during a pitched battle, a major flaw is discovered. There is a small chance that the weapon's Tiberium shielding may fail, resulting in the soldier being exposed. Despite this, GDI command orders the soldiers to keep using it, as there's nothing better.
- Deconstructed in The Martian and its film adaptation. Iris, the resupply probe that NASA intends to send to Watney is launched without going through its final preflight quality checks since those take several days and Watney's on a bit of a time crunch. The rocket carrying it explodes shortly after launch.
- Snow Crash: Reason, for all its power, was technically still in beta. Unsurprisingly, its original operator is killed when the gun has a kernel panic.
- The Radiant Dawn's SUN laser. In reality, it's just a mirror chamber to channel an omnidirectional light blast into one that was only pointed in one direction. It Went Horribly Wrong when Dawn used it, but from a different reason than expected — Dawn locked herself in a chamber that got superheated while she expended all of her magic to do as much damage as possible.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In "Revelations", Willow isn't sure she got the ingredients right for the Living Flame spell that can destroy the Gloved Fist of Doom, and says they need to test it. Xander then shows her a picture in the Tome of Eldritch Lore of what the Glove can do. They quickly throw the potion into a plastic bag and rush off.
- Star Trek: The Original Series
Scott: Captain, you can't mix matter and antimatter cold. We'd go up in the biggest explosion since...
- Episode "The Naked Time". The Enterprise is minutes away from burning up in the planet's atmosphere.
Kirk: We can balance our engines into a controlled implosion.
Scott: That's only a theory. It's never been done.
Kirk: We've got to risk a full-power start. The engines were shut off. No time to regenerate them. [snip] We've got to risk implosion. It's our only chance.
Spock: It's never been done.
Kirk: Don't tell me that again, Science Officer! It's a theory. It's possible. We may go up into the biggest ball of fire since the last sun in these parts exploded, but we've got to take that one in 10,000 chance!
- Scotty is, in fact, the patron saint of this trope. All other Starfleet engineers aspire to live up to his example.
- Just about every prototype and jury-rigged piece of machinery, in fact. So much so that it's probably covered at Starfleet Academy.
- Also, there were a few situations where Dr McCoy used cures he's just created and hasn't had time to test properly because the patient would die anyway if he didn't.
- Special mention goes to "Miri," where the good doctor makes use of a distraction to test a last-minute hail-Mary drug on himself while everyone else has left the room going on little more than a hunch. It ends up being the cure for the disease-of-the-week, but it very nearly kills him.
- "The Deadly Years". Captain Kirk suffers from radiation poisoning that causes Rapid Aging (10 years/day) and has been relieved of command. Dr. McCoy, Mr. Spock and a guest star develop a possible cure, but it hasn't been tested. Kirk insists on using the cure first, so he can re-take command and save the ship from being destroyed by Romulan attack.
- In "Wink Of An Eye", Spock and McCoy develop a cure to the Scalosian water but can only get it to Kirk by Spock first drinking the water himself. Spock mentions the cure hasn't been tested, so Kirk goes ahead and tests it himself. There was actually little risk as Kirk's body would burn out shortly without the cure and a simple scratch could accelerate the process.
- Star Trek: Voyager: The Delta Flyer was built in a matter of days, but since they were in a race with some aliens to get one of their probes back, they had to launch before it was ready. It was still suffering from a microfracture problem that led to a hull breach in the atmosphere of a gas giant.
- Stargate SG-1:
- The Asgard ship O'Neill was barely out of drydock before it was used to draw a Replicator fleet away from the Asgard homeworld and blown up.
- The Russian BC-304, Korolev, was rushed into service to help fight the Ori invasion at the Supergate, and was destroyed in the battle.
- Stargate Atlantis: In an Alternate Timeline the newest BC-304, the Phoenix, was sent to the Pegasus Galaxy to help curb Michael's forces. It was so new that more than half its systems were not operable yet and Carter and McKay had to finish the work themselves. While it's not stated, it's implied that the Phoenix didn't even have working railguns and only used the Asgard plasma beams. While they're devastating, they're useless against small, maneuverable targets (which the Wraith tend to spam).
- In the Power Rangers Zeo episode "Target Rangers", Billy and Alpha-5 are working on a new accessory for the Megazord called Zeo Battle Helmets. Later in the episode, the latest Monster of the Week tries to throw the Megazord into the sun with the Rangers inside it; one of the Battle Helmets is an anti-gravity device that they could use to escape the sun's pull and return to Earth, but none of the Helmets have been tested; still, that's the only option, so Alpha activates them. Fortunately, they work perfectly.
- It happens again when the Rangers need to use an antivirus that Raymond is still tinkering with to stop Mean Screen.
- The rabies vaccine in the Voyagers! episode "Voyagers of the Titanic". Bogg and Olivia know Pasteur did perfect it at some point. Olivia suggests they get some from the future when it has definitely been perfected, but Bogg points out that Pasteur is suffering a crisis of confidence and might not perfect it in the future if he isn't encouraged about it now.
- In 1996, Formula 3000 manufacturer Lola began work on a Formula One entry, with an eye to joining the sport in 1998. However, title sponsor Master Card demanded the team enter in 1997 instead, leaving them barely enough time to design and build the car and no time at all to test it. When they got to the first race, the car was abysmally slow, both drivers failed to qualify, and the team promptly collapsed.
- In American Football it is customary to have a few plays designed that will never see the light of day during regular season play in order to surprise the opponent in the Super Bowl, should it ever come to that. While most teams will probably study and practice them in secret training sessions throughout the year, it is highly likely that some teams who don't expect to make the Playoffs won't give it their full effort, hence leading to that trope when the half studied plays are the Closest Thing We Got. Of course, hardly ever will players or coaches admit to that
- Similarly not always does a team have a plan for the event of a backup or even third-string quarterback taking over. While most teams will train some plays with the backup at QB, he usually gets much less time with the first string than the Franchise QB - for good reason, the franchise QB is usually better and gets more playing time after all. This is one of the reasons (together with the fact that the backup is backup because he is perceived to be worse than the first string QB) why teams whose first-string quarterback gets injured tend to disintegrate. Of course, sometimes a backup Quarterback still manages to lead the team to surprise victories, like Tom Brady and Kurt Warner did, but those stories are so memorable because they are so rare. The usual outcome is the team getting clobbered and the backup never heard of again.
- Happens occasionally in Warhammer 40,000.
- The Tau have sent several of their Mini-Mecha battlesuits into service without proper testing (sometimes with unintended side-effects) and one of their experimental rifles had the nasty tendency to kill its own wielder via neural feedback.
- The Imperium did this in Armageddon. There were plenty of reports of Leman Russ battletanks being piloted mere seconds after their construction (without even a single coat of primer) and joining the battle raging just outside the factory doors. Inspired by the same things happening with factories in Leningrad in WWII.
- The Orks do this all the time, but mostly because "testing" and "safety" aren't really in their vocabulary; they don't make shiny, killy, fancy weapons just to waste their time in testing them, when they could be using them in the field for some actual fun. Thus, when they get creative enough that their usual belief-makes-reality influence isn't enough to cut down on unexpected results, they'll just roll with what happens and have a good laugh about it later.
- There have been a few instances of this in BattleTech. Most of them have been complete failures. A notible example is the Defiance, a 75 ton Battlemech that was built to be a new flagship model for its manufacturer, Defiance Industries. When a rogue general attempted to start his own little rogue state beginning with Defiance Industries, one of the people loyal to him took the prototype Defiance and used it to attack the defending force, the famed Gray Death Legion mercenaries. He initially had some success thanks to attacking from their rear and hitting mechs that were already heavily damaged after several battles, but eventually several design flaws (due to using experimental technology in the mech's construction) combined with the pilot's lack of experience caused it to be defeated. It would take almost 20 years before the design would be resurrected, this time using tech that was no longer experimental and consequently far more reliable.
- The Trace machine from Another Code, which was only just finished mere days before the start of the game. A little more justifiable than most, given the need for a human test subject and Richard was the only one there when it was finished. The earlier model in the second game averts this, as it was tested and worked perfectly.
- Said to Elder Lyons about Liberty Prime near the end of Fallout 3.
- Before the final level (G.U.N. Fortress) of the Pure Evil route in Shadow the Hedgehog, the G.U.N. Commander calls to mobilize a Giant Mecha called the U78-X/D Diablon — which he himself will pilot — in a last-ditch attempt to stop Shadow and the Black Arms from taking over the world. The subordinate responds in this way, but the Commander insists on using it anyway out of necessity.
Commander: So he's finally decided to show himself. Attention, all command units; mobilize all much battle sections! Prepare all weapons to strike incoming vessels! Mobilize Diablon!Subordinate: But sir... it's not ready, yet!Commander: I don't care! We have no other option. We must protect the President and the Chaos Emeralds, at all costs!
- Sonic Unleashed: Dark Gaia, of course, who had yet to reach maturity within the planet's core. Ergo, it was still incomplete at the time of its awakening. Ergo, it was unable to sustain its own weight upon its release. Ergo, it scattered across the world.
- Crash Bandicoot (1996): When Dr. Neo Cortex and N. Brio are trying to brainwash the newly created titular hero.
Dr. Cortex: Quickly! Into the Vortex!
N. Brio: But Doctor Cortex, the Vortex is not ready! We have no idea what it could do!
- Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: In the bowels of the besieged Kremlin, Colonel Cherdenko has an exchange with Dr. Zelinsky about his Time Machine that follows this trope.
- Done in Croc 2, where Baron Dante tells his minions to send out a giant t-rex robot. Naturally, he doesn't listen.
- In the Hikage Street level of Jet Set Radio Future, Hiyashi yells at a subordinate to send in "the experimental weapon!" He's met with this reaction, and it's implied that he has a pretty violent tantrum. The subordinate reluctantly obeys. Oddly enough for a Secret Weapon, this is considerably early in the game, and he returns in a later chapter with an improved version.
- In Professor Layton and the Unwound Future, Bill Hawks pushed his time machine into testing before it was ready because corporations were offering him lots of money. The resulting disaster killed Claire and dozens of other people, and resulted in Dmitri seeking a way to bring Claire back, while Clive, a young boy orphaned by the disaster, grew up to want revenge on both of them.
- Also notable in that Bill Hawkes not only got away scot-free for this but actually got the money from the corporation and used that money to eventually become Prime Minister.
- One of the Web Of Intrigue nodes in [PROTOTYPE] recalls General Randall insisting that the Super Soldiers be fielded immediately despite a scientist's reservations on the decision. Hilariously, he tells the scientist he's "not paid to think." The Super Soldiers work fine, and in fact are superior to the Hunters in several ways.
- In the introduction cutscene to Donkey Kong 64's final level, K. Rool realizes that the Kongs are attacking and that he needs to arm his Doomsday Device NOW. As the Blast-o-Matic powers up, a minion pleadingly tries to tell him it's not finished and could blow them all up, but K. Rool is too wound up to listen to reason.
- Batman: Arkham Series:
- At one point in Batman: Arkham City, you call up Alfred and tell him to drop off a grapnel upgrade that will allow you to travel farther and faster. Alfred warns Bruce that Lucius Fox hasn't declared it ready for field deployment yet, but Batman insists that he can handle it (justifying the difficult Pass Through the Rings missions that unlock it). As far as the gameplay is concerned, the upgrade works fine.
- The Extreme Environment (XE) Batsuit in Batman: Arkham Origins' "Cold, Cold Heart" DLC story is a prototype, thermal system-equipped Batsuit still in development, but Batman is able to put it on and use it just fine, and he has to since otherwise he doesn't have a hope in hell of beating or even surviving Mr. Freeze without it. The trope is played with here, as it's Batman who argues against using it as it's still unfinished and untested, Alfred insisting on its usage, and that Batman has Alfred finish it up and run some tests before deploying it.
- Applies to The Crucible in Mass Effect 3, since the galaxy knows they cannot beat The Reapers in a conventional fight. Commander Shepard's War Assets determine the level of completion by the endgame. Even at 100%, they have no idea what it will even do.
- Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm: during the attack on Korhal, Mengsk orders special new nuclear weapons used against a group of Ultralisks attacking the city. The nukes produce a unique type of radiation, which the Zerg are able to absorb in order to mutate all of their Ultralisks into Torrasques. Mengsk's aide does warn him that using the nukes wasn't a good idea...
- In Ghostbusters: The Video Game, your job is to test the prototype equipment. Peter and Winston hang a lampshade on it with this exchange:
Peter: And what makes you think it's going to stop guys like us?Winston: Yeah, man, what are we? The FDA?
- TIE Fighter has the Corvette Vorknkx, which houses an experimental cloaking device that is extremely unstable if used in conjunction with a hyperspace engine. Zaarin does anyways. It explodes.
- Kerbal Space Program lets you do this to yourself. Kerbal astronauts will happily crew your creations, the personnel in the VAB and SPH are a bunch of yes-men to whatever the hell craft you're assembling, and while there is a checklist in the assembly buildings to make sure you have the various pieces needed for certain tasks, you're under no obligation to even obey that. Literally nothing stops you from taking Kerbals across the Kerbol system and back in a completely untested craft except for how well the craft was designed and piloted. Fan lore paints the whole Kerbal species as this: they're so excited about going to space, that everything resembling caution or design testing and review goes completely out the window.
- In X Com Enemy Unknown, your base includes a laboratory full of scientists feverishly reverse-engineering captured alien tech and sending your soldiers into the field with hastily cobbled-together prototypes based on principles that aren't fully understood and concepts that were entirely unknown mere days before. They all work perfectly. There are cutscenes showing a scientist testing the "rifle" version of both the laser and plasma weapons in a cobbled-together firing range, presumably indicating that they're testing the final version of the weapon before mass-production, however. Justified in that XCOM is in a race against time: the alien invasion isn't slacking, and they don't really have time for extensive testing.
- The sequel emphasizes the rough circumstances of development and testing, with the second-tier equipment (magnetic/gauss weapons and predator armor) clearly looking like slapdash weapons, and the research for the third-tier weapons (beam/plasma) makes it clear that the tech is, in some instances, dangerously unstable, but using that as an advantage rather than trying to fix it (as is the case with the Beam Cannon).
- The Behemoth in Wing Commander III is deployed ahead of schedule due to Confed being on the verge of losing the war against the Kilrathi, with much of its shielding, armor, and defensive armament left uninstalled. A mole passes along this information to the Kilrathi, who use it to destroy the Behemoth.
- Shows up in The Adventures of Dr. McNinja.
- The leader of Raptor Force insists that a horrorsaurus be sent to the battlefield, over the scientists' protests that it's too young.
- In "Army of One", the doctor asks how he could say no to a machine that clones him hundreds of times so he can learn many lifetimes of study in a few years, and then merge back into one, and is unfazed when told that the machine is completely untested.
- League of Super Redundant Heroes: A man uses an untested jetpack to catch up to the criminal who kidnapped his daughter. He dies.
- Mentioned in the Evil Overlord List: If the scientist says the device is not ready, the overlord shall listen. "No one conquered the universe using the Beta version."
- From the 100 Reasons Why Kirk Is Better Than Picard:
Kirk doesn't test the engines — he just fires them up.
- And from the 100 Reasons Why Picard Is Better Than Kirk:
This is exactly why the Enterprise, under Kirk, spent most of its five-year mission either without warp drive or adrift.
- Jonny Quest TOS episode "The Robot Spy". The title opponent is escaping. Dr. Quest decides to use his latest (untested) invention, the Parapower Ray Gun, to try to take the robot down. As it turns out, the gun is Cool, but Inefficient; it stops the robot, but not the way it was supposed to.
Race Bannon: What if they can't stop it, Doctor?
Benton Quest: Then we'll use my Parapower Ray Gun.
Race: But you don't even know if it works! You haven't tested it yet!
Benton: We don't have a choice. We have to test it now. We've got to stop the robot!
- Used in Superjail! when the Twins' creation Combaticaus starts dominating The Warden's Fight City arena. The Warden call on The Doctor to release Prototype 7 which the Doctor exclaims it's not ready. Subverted however in that it turns out to be more than a match for Combatitcus and saves the Superjail staff when Fight City starts to crumble.
- Arthur plays with this in the episode, "Get Smart", in which Mr. Ratburn's class is equipped with a new computerized whiteboard called HUGO (a Shout-Out to HAL-9000 from 2001ASpaceOdyssey) - HUGO claims Ratburn is incorrect in one of his lessons, despite Ratburn insist he's correct. Brain is suspicious of HUGO's true accuracy, and his suspicions are confirmed, not only by doing his own research, but also thanks, in part, to a vision he has where the laboratory HUGO was developed turned up its accuracy level was only 98%, which the developers dismiss, figuring 2% inaccuracy isn't going to make a difference.
- This Trope is Deconstructed with the Adventures of the Gummi Bears episode "Day of the Beevil Weevils". Tummi tries to build a device using the Great Book's instructions that attracts bees, hoping they'll pollinate the Gummi Berry crop faster. However, he takes a lot of shortcuts to make the bullroarer-like device (using the wrong type of wood, the wrong number of holes, the wrong size holes, and the wrong length of rope). Still, the sound it makes resembles bees, so he tries it anyway. It does not work, and instead of bees, summons a swarm of ravenous Beevil Weevils that destroy the entire crop. (Finding a way to replace them leads to the second half of the story.)
- Deconstructed a number of times on Exosquad:
- The GRAF Shield (a device which essentially weaponizes gravity and crushes its targets like tin cans) is used for the first time without being tested by the Neos in an attempt to surprise the Exofleet. It seems to work at first, but then starts destroying the Neo ships. It's assumed that the device doesn't work, but in truth, it was sabotaged in such a way so that it would look that way. A little basic testing and refinement would have solved that problem for the Neos.
- Later the humans of the Exofleet are reduced to hiding from the Neos in the middle planets of the solar system, having been driven out of the core planets of Earth, Mars, and Venus. They frantically try to construct a GRAF Shield of their own around their main base so they'll have one safe spot in the solar system. As a Neo fleet closes in on them, they frantically use their untested weapon... and it works just long enough to scare the Neos off before shorting out and needing to be rebuilt. What follows is several tense episodes where the only thing keeping the Neos from crushing the remains of the Exofleet is their mistaken belief that the GRAF Shield is operational, and the humans don't dare to do anything that would clue the Neos in.
- Near the very end of the series as the Exofleet and Space Pirates begin attempting to reconquer Earth, Phaeton orders the release of all Neo Lords currently in production to bolster the defense of Earth, despite warning that the Neo Lords aren't far enough in development to be viable outside their people jars. Phaeton has it done anyway... and the incompletely bred Neo Lords dissolve into mush almost instantly, effectively wasting all the effort that went into the project.
- In Danger Mouse, Colonel K sends the titular character a vitamin pill prototype that he instructs to have tested and to not give it to himself or Penfold. Naturally, Penfold thinks it's a piece of candy and swallows it anyway. It turns him into a rhyming superhero, the Blue Flash.
- On DuckTales (1987), Fenton launches a successful ad campaign for a product called "Pep", but has neglected to actually make a product to sell. Going to Gyro Gearloose, he chooses a prototype gum that allows the chewer to float, despite Gyro's warnings that it's untested. Unfortunately, the gum works too well, and now all of Duckburg's citizens can't get back down.
- In So the Drama, Kim Possible puts on the battlesuit for the first time to rescue Eric from Dr. Drakken, despite Wade's protests that it's "still just experimental". The suit works just fine, but Kim is caught off guard when Eric reveals himself to be one of Drakken's synthodrones.
- Horribly day version in The Batman where Yin tells the Joker to freeze. The villain points a sprayer containing the last of his Putty formula at the captive Ethan Bennent:
Joker: Stay back! You don't know what this stuff does to humans!(Beat as Yin lowers her weapon.)Joker: Come to think of it, neither do I! Let's find out!Yin: NO!
- They find out, all right, it turns poor Ethan into Clayface.
- Voltron: Legendary Defender: Variant. When the Galra fleet attacks, Commander Holt tries to scramble the fighters and weapons he's been designing specifically for such an attack. However, there aren't many of them and they haven't been properly tested, so the admiral sends out the conventional (and much more numerous) fleet instead. They are completely annihilated without so much as scratching the enemy. As Commander Holt says, the whole point of designing new weapons was because their existing ones were useless. His weapons do work very well, but they simply don't have the numbers to properly protect the entire planet, so they're forced to dig in and withstand a siege.
- In an earlier season, Zarkon is repeatedly told that his prototype anti-Voltron mecha isn't ready - and in fact is so unready that it has killed several test pilots. At the end of the season, Zarkon goes out in it to fight Voltron anyway. And loses.
- Rick from Rick and Morty pretty much makes this into a habit, half the time he's utterly drunk off his ass when making his creations, so when he sobers up, he usually has no idea how they work or at the least not the full implication of their capabilities. Best showcased in "Love Potion #9" when he gives Morty a love pheromone to impress a girl. Since this was going on when a flu was spreading around at the time, it ends up mutating and causing people to turn into mantises. When trying to fix the problem, rather than testing their hastily whipped up cure on one of the mantis-mutated people to work on the kinks. They instantly spread it over the town... where it mutates them into horrendously mutated creatures and effectively causes the end of the human race (save for their family who barely survive). The duo ultimately say "screw it", find a dimension where the events still happened except Rick managed to find an effective cure for the problem, but that realm's Morty and he are killed in a lab accident and effectively replace them.
- During The American Civil War the Monitor was rushed into production by the Union in order to combat the Virginia, the first iron-sided ship fielded by the Confederates.
- For the July 1943 Operation Citadel of World War II, known in German and English as 'the Battle of Kursk', Hitler delayed the offensive so a hundred 'Elefant' assault guns, a hundred Panzerkampfwagen-VI 'Tiger' heavy tanks and another hundred Panzerkampfwagen-V 'Panther' medium tanks could be deployed alongside the 1.5k regular tanks. As it happened, a good half of the new German vehicles were knocked out by non-combat factors - many suffered simple mechanical breakdowns or were immobilised by Soviet minefields. The process of fixing the damage was exacerbated by the engineers' lack of familiarity with the new machines. In combat, their impenetrable frontal armour also failed to keep them from being disabled by Soviet anti-tank infantry, who used artillery fire to separate the German infantry from the panzers and then got up close to blow the panzers' tracks off with handheld weaponry. This was facilitated by the lack of machine guns on many of the new German vehicles, many of which had yet to be equipped with them on account of the speed of their production and shipment to the front. To add insult to injury, prior combat-testing of the vehicles actually resulted in some of them being destroyed outright. This is because the Soviets had captured the first 'Tiger' prototype used in combat (at Leningrad in the winter campaign of 1942-3), designed a new model of anti-tank gun capable of penetrating its 'impenetrable' frontal armour, and deployed the first hundred of these new guns to the Kursk sector.
- HMS Prince Of Wales was immediately dispatched in pursuit of Bismarck with shipyard workers still aboard even though she hadn't been given a proper shake-down period. She still managed to give a good account of herself during the battle of Denmark Strait despite constant problems with turrets of a new, untested (and quite troublesome, as it turned out) design that reduced her firepower to just two guns for much of the battle. Despite her difficulties, she scored the hit that forced the Bismarck to turn back. It's especially notable because the Germans elected not to include Tirpitz in their sortie because Tirpitz was still in her shakedown period.
- The Japanese aircraft carrier Shinano was originally laid down as the third Yamato class battleship, but had her design changed during construction to serve as an aircraft carrier note . Shinano was commissioned on 19 November 1944, and ordered to sail from Yokosuka to Kure to finish fitting out and to take on aircraft. Her commander requested a delay, given that many of the ships' Damage Control systems were not yet ready (she was missing pumps for the fire suppression systems and water-tight doors, for one thing). His request was denied, Shinano put to sea on 28 November, at six in the evening. Less than three hours later, she had drawn the attention of an American submarine, Archerfish, which tracked her for several hours until an ideal firing solution was found at about three in the morning. Shinano was struck by a spread of four torpedoes, and finally sank just before eleven in the morning with more than half of her officers and crew perishing. To make it all worse, the Americans hadn't even known of Shinano's existence until Archerfish caught her en route to Kure. She had been out to sea for less than a day before she was discovered, engaged, and sunk by the Americans.
- Another factor in the sinking was that the watertight compartments that were equipped with doors leaked like sieves because they hadn't gone through air testing for leaks. Another stellar example of why doing this is a bad idea.
- The Manhattan Project itself was this. Eisenhower himself advised Truman against using the atomic bomb because it was still a prototype, and would be unwise to use in combat without adequate testing.
- The "Little Boy" Uranium gun-type bomb actually was untested. While the Trinity test in July 1945 demonstrated that a nuclear explosion was actually possible, it was actually a test of the plutonium implosion-type mechanism. The physicists and engineers were so certain that the dirt simple gun-type bomb would work, they saw no need to test one. Also, only having enough weapons-grade U235 for one bomb kind of made a live fire test impossible.
- The aforementioned Batman: Arkham Origins itself falls into this, as the game was notoriously glitchy, bug-filled, and typos-filled at the time of its original release and even with updates, they weren't completely fixed.
- Unfortunately, many technology products (including video games) can fall into this due to Executive Meddling. A developer will insist that more time is need to do maintenance, and bug tests, and to generally make sure it works the developers want it to, but the company executives will demand that it be released by a certain date, in some cases threatening to fire them if it isn't.
- Sega is notorious for this. When the original Sonic Adventure was released in Japan in 1998, it was released in a clearly unfinished state. The later North American release, which was in a more complete state, was eventually released in Japan as Sonic Adventure International. And then there's Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), which was rushed out the door in order to be released in time for the series' 15th anniversary.
- And again for Sonic Boom; in this case, they had farmed the game out to a studio dubbed "Big Red Button" but their game engine wasn't compatible with Wii U's system. Rather than just scrap the project and try something else, Sega forced them to proceed anyway cause they had a contract with Nintendo to make three games at the time and they wanted to fulfill it regardless of quality.
- Sega is notorious for this. When the original Sonic Adventure was released in Japan in 1998, it was released in a clearly unfinished state. The later North American release, which was in a more complete state, was eventually released in Japan as Sonic Adventure International. And then there's Sonic the Hedgehog (2006), which was rushed out the door in order to be released in time for the series' 15th anniversary.
Ergo, this is the repercussion of your hasty actions.