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This trope is when a character plans to detonate a bomb remotely, but finds out that the remote control is broken. Then he has to go and rig it himself, while cursing quality assurance the whole time.

This is often used to set up either an Outrun the Fireball if the detonator can escape, or a Heroic Sacrifice if he cannot.

Compare to Cut the Fuse, a manual defusing of a bomb, and Hoist by His Own Petard, where an enemy bomb is (often manually) detonated against its original wielders.

Examples of Unplanned Manual Detonation include:


  • Star Wars: New Jedi Order: Force Heretic III: Reunion (how's that for a title?) features a scene of this type involving a gigantic Booby Trapped signal transmitter. The bad guys manage to damage the explosives and one of the heroes has to go back and trigger the manual override -- and since there isn't a delay, it'll have to be a one-way trip. A wounded character suspected of being The Mole volunteers on the grounds that his environment suit is damaged and therefore he won't survive the trip back to their base. After some deliberation, the heroes decide to send him in and he succeeds, destroying a large number of enemy warriors in the process, but leaving the question of who the mole was, if not him.

Video Games

  • Halo is quite fond of this trope.
    • In Halo: Combat Evolved, Master Chief detonates the engines of the Pillar of Autumn with rockets after 343 Guilty Spark stops the Cortana's automated countdown.
    • In Halo Wars and Halo: Reach, Sgt. Forge and Jorge, respectively, detonate Slipspace drives as heroic sacrifices.
    • Also done with the Crow's Nest bomb in Halo 3.
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