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Schmuck Bait / Web Original

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  • Links to wiki sites. This one included.
  • Neopets has the Lever of Doom. The text reads "There's a strange lever sticking out of the space station wall, with a notice that reads, 'DO NOT PULL'. So you probably shouldn't pull the lever. You can if you want. But you shouldn't." The link reads "Pull the lever anyway". When you inevitably do? "Oh no!! An evil mechanical hand emerges from a panel and steals 100 Neopoints from you!!" The worst part is that it's Schmuck Bait with a purpose — there's a teeny-weeny chance that you'll be granted an exclusive avatar when you push the button. Users have been known to blow 80,000 Neopoints — 800 pulls — or more getting it, the lever laughing at them the whole time.
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  • Any site that has a link featured on Webpages That Suck. The name says it all.
  • The UK Cartoon Network website had a large red button featured in the top banner that said "DO NOT PRESS". It was also introduced in the site's homepage intro "Just don't push the big red button". Cue an arrow pointing to it.
  • The website for My Parents Are Aliens also had a button in its side menu which when you rolled over it highlighted in red and a voice said "Do not press" (and was labeled accordingly). The question is, what did happen if you pressed it?
  • One of the random boxes in Warehouse 23 contains a laptop that, when picked up, types the message "Do you want to continue? Y/N" Choosing "yes" just makes the screen go black until you futz with it again. Choosing "no" results in... your heart stopping. Well, you did say you didn't want to continue...
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  • For one day Twitter was cannibalized by a "Don't Click" hack that, upon clicking a button, sent a Tweet to your followers with the link to the button and a "Don't Click" warning. (Read all about it.)
  • From Uncyclopedia: Do NOT click any links!
  • Shock Sites in general.
  • Those who believe in the Magical Computer are prone to this kind of error: Do not run this script, ever! Shorter semi-example: The Forbidden Parameter. "Do not edit this Configuration file by Hand!" or for Warcraft 3-Savefiles something akin of "Hackers, do not play around with this file."
  • A practical joke that had a switch conveniently labeled "Magic/More Magic" would "magically" crash the computer it was attached to if it was switched from "More Magic" to "Magic". It wasn't supposed to do anything— the switch was completely inoperative. And yet, every time it was set to "Magic"... Maybe it won't crash the computer this time.
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  • The xkcd games forum had a thread titled "Post here and be banned". Everyone who posted in the thread (except the founder) was banned. After a point, anyone who posted was permanently banned.
  • 4chan's /b/ board had a similar thread, with the site's founder and former admin, moot, taunting the /b/-tards to post in the thread and be banned. They were. Amusingly enough, moot himself posted in the thread to laugh at the shmucks who had taken the shmuck bait... Only to be banned himself.
    • An old April Fools' Day joke had 4chan temporarily put up the board /fur/. At first, users were wary of posting due to the site's well-known stance on furry characters and their fans... but the board was up for days, which made it look like a permanent addition. True to form, /fur/ went down after a few days and everyone who posted in it was permabanned.
    • The site temporarily blocked /b/ to outsiders by making the page a completely black screen offering the advice "Press Alt+F4 or Ctrl+W to view board." As any well-versed computer user would know, Alt+F4 and Ctrl+W are "close window" and "close tab", respectively.
  • The Facepunch forums have Idot Culls semi-regularly, which often consist of an admin or moderator creating a thread with an OP something along the lines of "do not post in here or you will be banned" or some other very specific instructions with a clear threat. If you do post in it you get permabanned but that doesn't stop idiots from doing it anyway, hence the name "idiot cull".
  • The TV Tropes Wiki has its share of Schmuck Bait:
    • Think very carefully before clicking on an external link. Especially on the Rickroll articles.
    • Likewise, many of the external links on the Nightmare Fuel and Uncanny Valley pages are invitations for a creep-out.
    • This very wiki is often this trope when linked from other sites. See TV Tropes Will Ruin Your Life below.
    • If you see an image link in an example of a trope like Panty Shot or Of Corsets Sexy, don't click it if you're at work.
    • The "Footnotes" section of our Text Formatting Rules page demonstrates the [[labelnote]] links with a "Don't click me!" link. The "code" paragraph shows the hidden text as "Click the example below to see the real text," tempting the user into clicking it. Doing so expands the note: "We call that Schmuck Bait here at TV Tropes."
  • Pixie MUD had "This is the Line of Death. You cross it, you die." Yes, players crossed it. Yes, they died. And just to rub it in, the MUD promptly announced it to all online players.
  • Would anyone like to guess what going to "about:inducebrowsercrashforrealz" does in Google Chrome? Exactly What It Says on the Tin
  • Any forum thread titled "CONVINCE ME GOD EXISTS AND I WILL BELIEVE!" is Schmuck Bait for extremists on either side of religious debates to bicker endlessly and come off sounding like idiots.
  • On the Something Awful forums, anyone who posts a thread is explicitly warned not to use one of the three "Mod-only" tags. Anyone who chooses to ignore this is automatically banned, and the reason for said banning is "Breaking the rules with a *adjective* thread!" To further drive the point home, one of the mod-only tags says "Ban Me"—and yet people still do this. (For extra schmuckiness, it costs $10 to register on the forums, and a regular ban or autoban enables you to re-register... but you have to pay another $10 to do so, plus any custom titles, platinum status, etc., that your pre-banned account might have had if you see fit to do so.) As of this writing, there have been about 17,800 total bans in the last six years or so (normal bans, autobans and permabans); 3554 of those bans have been autobans.
    • One "Ban Me" threads has a list of rules within it, and will instaban anyone that breaks them, even though all of them are pointless (i.e. no one is allowed to post pictures of Gary Busey). Another one instabans any regular user that posts in it, no exceptions. Naturally, both of these are options for anyone that wants nothing more to do with the website; everyone else better have that $10 on hand.
  • It's rather common on auction sites for someone to put up the box of the console (Xbox or PS3) for auction-just the box, nothing else inside it (such as, say, the game console). They'll even clearly state in the writeup that there's no Xbox inside, but every time a herd of bozos will invariably bid on it, then the winner gets all angry afterwards once the realize what they actually bid on.
    • Most often, however, the fact that it's only a box, while stated plainly, is buried in a wall of text. But in any case, if a complaint is filed then most auction sites will side with the buyer because such listings are clearly intended to deceive prospective bidders.
    • Similarly, some textbooks come with a smaller book that's an answer key or study guide. This study guide has the same ISBN and edition number as the textbook, so students buying used textbooks online should be careful.
    • This is done with Tarot decks and similar "box of items with book" sets. The book has the same UPC code on it as the kit, so it's not their fault you didn't specify. Sure.
    • And a book's first paperback edition is still technically a first edition.
  • Anything that says "Do not look up Goatse" or "Do not look up 2 Girls 1 Cup"!
    • Don't go to, either.
  • Reading the comments on the game "Flight" on Kongregate, about half of them are warning against throwing the plane backwards. The other half, naturally, are people commenting about what happened when they do.
  • Wikipedia:
  • Gearworld, a Livejournal blog of a fictional travelogue, contains two instances of Schmuck Bait. Each instance had been discovered by a previous group of exploring monks, and they had left carved plaques behind to commemorate and warn about the experience.
    While we fully understand that you are curious as to what happens when the gong is struck, we must strongly advise against it. The results are most unpleasant and dramatically fatal. Human nature being what it is, we realize that this warning may not stop you, and may in fact only drive you to strike it, but since we are unable to destroy the gong, and the lock was evidently insufficient to keep you out, we can only hope that you will take our advice. There are neither riches nor knowledge here, but only an ugly death.
    The Monks of Perdition
    (In Memory of Brother Wu)"
    • Unusually, in each case Eland carefully reads the warning and wisely leaves it as is.
  • This quote
  • Derrick Comedy: "Don't Jerk Off to This".
  • Acts of Gord:
    • Subverted in this story, where The Gord makes a 100% non-functional and incomplete Sony PlayStation and builds a shrine to it with a sign reading "Please don't steal me. You are being watched. — Management." In the two hour experiment, while a lot of people stopped to look at the shrine to see if it was real or not, the closest anyone came to actually stealing it was checking that no-one was looking, as the store lights were out, picking it up, and then putting it back.
    • He would also price crappy game much higher than they were worth just to see if people would steal them.
    • Gord loves these. He found a GameShark that actually damaged N64 systems (which is easier said than done). Then he left it out for someone to steal. He then made lots of money repairing said systems.
  • This LOLCats page. That's one ice cream cone you would not want to lick.
  • Delete System32 (or any other vital file or folder)
  • Skippy's List has examples:
    189. Do not dare SERE graduates to eat bugs. They will always do it.
  • The Escapist's forums feature badges, little icons underneath individual usernames which can be hovered over and occasionally clicked to produce alt text or other effects and are awarded for various reasons. One such badge is 'The Swirl,' which when clicked makes your screen rotate via some fun with Javascript. This is fun and harmless. 'The Big Red Button' badge, on the other hand, is pure Schmuck Bait that warns people not to click it; those that do have everyone's user icons, including their own, replaced by Justin Bieber's face for 24 hours, and are sent a note reading "We told you not to press it." Supposedly those who keep clicking it have other effects happen to them. Though since none of the badges change the mouse pointer to the pointing hand that indicates a hyperlink or other clickable thing, and none of the regular badges do anything when clicked, users are liable to assume the button is just another quiz award or something and pay it no mind other than to maybe check the mouseover description. Making it perhaps the only Big Red Button ever that people are liable to not press.
  • Combine a program for creating QR codes with a printer, and create your own Schmuck Bait.
    Scan this code for fun!
  • Googling "RightXD" and hitting I'm feeling lucky is a good idea and you should do it immediately.
  • There is an image purporting to be George W Bush's Hotmail inbox. Of note for this trope is "I dare you to open the attachment..." from Bin Laden (size 260M).
  • The Fart Button was a site with a big red button with the caption: "Press it. You know you want to." It was actually a subversion; the button just makes a fart noise when pressed.
  • This post from a Twitter account named "Not A Cop" that reads, "Send Me A Pic Of Your Favorite Meth Lab"
  • Directly invoked in one of Aquarius199's Doom WAD reviews. A particularly bad WAD had a wall texture right next to a visible teleport pad that read "Terry Trap" (a type of troll tactic used by WAD creators to trap the player in and throw them around an inescapable room while freezing their controls, playing loud, obnoxious sounds, and showing offensive text and images). Sure enough, when Aquarius stepped on the teleporter, he was sent to such a trap, with a line of text giving the web address for the main page of this trope on this wiki.
  • SCPFoundation:
    • This SCP entry, a Big Red Button that if pressed will destroy reality. Hilariously justified in that the button is semi-sentient and sends out a mild psychic signal, compelling people to press it.
    • SCP-447-2 is slime that contains miraculous medicinal properties and is perfectly safe... as long as it never comes into contact with a dead body. The last time it did, something happened that was so terrible that the Foundation itself is not allowed to say what happened. As such, the containment procedures and experiment logs go into huge lengths to warn its staff to never let it come into contact with a dead body. Not even half way into its experiment logs, one researcher tries to do it anyway as an experiment. Fortunately they were stopped before it happened.
      Dr. A. Clef: Seriously, guys, how hard is it to understand? No. Dead. Bodies. None. Nada. Nein! Don't think about it, don't joke about it, and most certainly, don't DO it. Sheesh!
    • The tale "wowwee go kill ursefl" concerns an art exhibit built on this trope. It's a "homage to stupidity," with pieces including cyanide pills, rotating saw blades, and syringes full of diseases and poisons, all clearly labelled and perfectly safe unless someone actively chooses to be an idiot. The exhibit manages to kill at least three people.
  • The Evil Overlord List suggests using this to one's advantage: "I will not include a self-destruct mechanism unless absolutely necessary. If it is necessary, it will not be a large red button labelled "Danger: Do Not Push". The big red button marked "Do Not Push" will instead trigger a spray of bullets on anyone stupid enough to disregard it."

Alternative Title(s): New Media


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