Godzilla Threshold

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There are situations so bad that anything that would end them is justified. Anything.

There is wisdom in facing a threat with a proportionate response. Sure, There Is No Kill Like Overkill, but it'll likely cause a lot of avoidable collateral damage, and it'll guarantee that tomorrow the next threat is stronger. But there are times when the threat is so great and things have gone so horribly wrong that there is no appropriate response. The situation is so dire that it justifies the use of any and every thing that might solve it, no matter how crazy, nonsensical, or horrific, regardless of cost or collateral damage.

Things are at the point where even summoning Godzilla, king of monsters and patron saint of collateral damage, could not possibly make the crisis any worse. The situation has crossed the Godzilla Threshold.

Once the Threshold is crossed, any Plan, with even the smallest possibility of success, no matter how ludicrous, impossible, dangerous or abhorrent, suddenly becomes a valid option. This serves both narrative and authorial purposes. Suppose the heroes have an awesome weapon that nonetheless causes a lot of property damage, like a Kill Sat, or a captured or dormant monster. Or one knows a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that will put his life at risk. They have to use it, but it can't be done lightly without portraying them as either careless or cruel. So the author contrives to make the situation call for its use in such clear terms the audience understands this was done as a last resort—and, if it's handled properly, the audience doesn't even notice.

Often, the threshold is engineered. If done wrong, it can cause some serious Fridge Logic. This is usually the case when the heroes' actions or failures to act cause the situation to cross the threshold. Usually, there's an Idiot Ball (or Idiot Plot), a General Ripper, or Poor Communication Kills to thank for that.

Some plots center around avoiding the Godzilla Threshold and keeping the trigger happy person in charge of the "failsafe" from pushing the button. Sometimes, they even succeed.

The Godzilla Threshold is what happens just before the Willfully Weak character gives the World of Cardboard Speech and turns the Power Limiter off, uses the Forbidden Chekhov's Gun, uses lethal powers, turns to the Nuclear Option, or casts Summon Bigger Fish. When begged, the All-Powerful Bystander may even be willing to lend a hand. In video games, this is the time to use items that are Too Awesome to Use.

Contrast The Unfettered, who lives and acts as though the situation is always past the Threshold, even when there's no good reason to do so. Compare the Tyson Zone.

Named for the old Godzilla cartoons of the 1970s-1980s where Godzilla would conveniently emerge from a nearby body of water to combat whatever threat had bested the characters.

Examples of Godzilla Threshold include:

Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Anything that justifies unleashing the Dirty Pair on a situation.
    • Lampshaded in Biohazard: "If the terrorists do release experimental bioweapons, this planet will become a sterile desert. Whereas, with the involvement of the Dirty Pair, there is a chance -- a remote possiblity -- that some people may be left alive. We have to play the odds, gentlemen... God help us." They do indeed stop anyone from deliberately releasing a bioweapon and then drop it accidentally in the last panel.
    • Those two probably count as a bioweapon by themselves.
  • In Tenchi Muyo! In Love, this happens when the characters are discussing using a particular superweapon that is designed to destroy galaxies and galactic clusters on a being that is maybe 30 ft tall (but extremely powerful). At the beginning of the movie, it's a non option, but by the end things are so bad that they use it anyway, albeit with a huge setup.
  • Slayers crosses the threshold in three Big Bad situations, just before Lina lets fly with a Giga Slave. Said spell carries a significant risk of ENDING THE UNIVERSE should Lina Inverse lose control of it.
    • Arguably, given Lina's tendency towards collateral damage, anyone asking for Lina's aid in a populated area also likely qualifies.
  • Releasing the last of Alucard's magic restraints in the final arc of Hellsing, only after London is overran by baby-eating vampire/werewolf Nazi super-soldiers and fanatical Catholic secret service armies. He uses his Nth-level dark powers to mass-impale everyone with spikes conjured from out of the ground.
    • And summons his own army of bloody undead, comprised of everyone he's ever killed. Given who he is, that's not a small number.
  • Diebuster With Nono (Buster Machine No.7) gone, the only hope humanity had to defeat the last Space Monster was to use the Earth itself as a weapon.
  • It's said on several occasions in Neon Genesis Evangelion that the Angel attacks had pushed humanity's situation past the Godzilla Threshold, necessitating the use of the Eva units. Of course, the reality of the situation is not so simple.
    • For the JSSDF, the situation can be summed up pretty nicely with this trope: they only authorized the deployment of the Evas when Sachiel took an N2 mine to the face and survived. After the first three Angels, they even funded the construction of their own nuclear-powered Humongous Mecha.
    • NERV seems to have the power to requisition anything they want: top-secret prototype superweapon and the use of Japan's entire power grid? Yep, given a few hours NERV has all of that at its disposal, on the recommendation of a Captain (or a Lieutenant Colonel in Rebuild of Evangelion). Said Captain is later seen ordering around an Admiral of the Pacific Fleet. Of course, NERV's mission is explicitly to prevent the entire human race from going extinct, so...
  • In One Piece, the Buster Call is a villainous version of this. When a situation is so threatening to the World Government that even the slightest leak would cause irreparable damage, the Buster Call is summoned. Ten massive warships essentially glass the target island, wiping out any trace of whatever threat they were called to deal with. They can't be called off, either, even if summoned accidentally.
  • In Bleach, it turns out that this is why Yamamoto sat out most of the "final battle".
    • Also theorized by fans to be the reason that even then, Yamamoto never tried to use his as yet unrevealed bankai. Given how massive the collateral damage of the shikai attack he was about to attempt would've been (had Aizen not prepared a counter for it), and the fact that every bankai is supposed to be at least 5 times more powerful than the shikai, even letting Aizen win would've been a better option than using it.
      • Had Yamamoto used it, it would have killed all the Shinigami in the area, and fried a good chunk of Soul Society. AND remember that Aizen has an entire army of lesser hollows and Arrancar waiting. If all the Shinigami are fried, nothing would have been powerful enough to stop the Arrancar from going hog-wild on the human world and devouring everyone. And then they probably would have moved onto Soul Society.
  • In Giant Robo: The Day the Earth Stood Still, Chief Chujo is a walking example of this trope; the mere suggestion of him breaking out his powers to use in the fight is enough to send fear and panic through his own allies, most of whom remember "The last time" he used them.
    • And of course, when he does, we see that they are justified in their fears.
  • In Saint Seiya, the Athena Exclamation is taboo. It is a technique performed by three Gold Saints of Athena, who focus their Cosmo into a burst of power as powerful as the Big Bang and deliver it on a single opponent. But by the "Hades" arc, Saga, Shura, and Camus perform it because they figure they are already damned by their alliance with Hades.
  • Negima passed this roughly around the time that the bad guys started using Reality Warper powers to summon an invincible Eldritch Abomination thing. At this point, Chachamaru's use of her highly destructive artifact is pretty much justified.
    • Now that the primary issue at hand is that the Magic World is collapsing, the heroes are pretty much entitled to do anything short of blowing the world up themselves to solve the problem.
  • GaoGaiGar example: in FINAL, we get the Goldion Crusher, a weapon designed to destroy planets. It is a hammer made out of a matter/energy conversion field that, going by the scale, is probably several hundred kilometers across. It gets used on a sun that is also an infinite regeneration machine keeping alive an evil solar system that is actually a security program gone insane, which has trapped the heroes and slowly bringing about apocalypse on our entire universe. And it is awesome.
  • The rise of the Saint's Cradle during the JS Incident in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S is, so far, the only occasion when all five Aces' Power Limiters were removed simultaneously. While objectively speaking, the Aces aren't really much of a danger to anyone except the bad guys, a combination of regulations and office politics prevent Section Six from having unrestrained access to more magical power than Hayate's rank allows her to command, at least until the situation is completely out of hand already.
  • The entire Fourth Shinobi World War in Naruto. From the time Kinkaku goes Kyubi, to Madara Uchiha using the Gedo Mazo statue to attack the First Division after they had just won the battle, to Naruto and Bee's escape from the Island Turtle, to Naruto vs. A, to Madara's new Six Paths of Pain, to the Old Kage vs New Kage battle, to Naruto and Bee vs Itachi and Nagato, to FINALLY Naruto's arrival on the battlefield proper and Sasuke's return!
    • The battle with Tobi and Madara blow all the rest of this in the dust. Lets see, Madara drops two asteroids onto Gaara's division and the only counter is for all five Kages to fight Madara. And Naruto, Bee, and later Kakashi and Gai face down Tobi...with his Jinchuriki Six Paths. Now...Tobi has forcefully transformed four of them into their full beast form. The only counter? Naruto and Kurama (Kyubi) team up finally.
    • Naruto forms the 4th tail, the 6th tail, the 8th tail, then proceeds to (almost) willfully tear off the seal keeping the Kyubi in in order to defeat Pain. Why? Because he simply killed Jiraiya and (albeit indirectly) Kakashi, destroyed the village, and mortally harmed Hinata. Oh, and Naruto hates the Kyubi to the point that he would rather die than be healed by the evil chakra (due to Sakura and Jiraiya being harmed by said chakra).
  • Invoked with constantly increasing severity throughout Dragon Ball / Dragonball Z'. One proposed gambit near the end of the series involved convincing every person on Earth to sacrifice their life in order to power up a final attack against the big bad.
  • Although a little drawn out, this is used in a minor way in The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya (2009) at the end of the "Sigh of Haruhi Suzumiya" arc. After Haruhi spends a few days royally screwing with reality during the filming of the culture festival video, Kyon restores reality by making Haruhi read a disclaimer, thus distancing the movie from reality. In the epilogue, Kyon tries to make future events easier by flat-out telling Haruhi the identities of the SOS members(Which was theorized to possibly cause her to rewrite reality on a conscious level), only to be be completely ignored.
  • A recurring element in the Gundam franchise is how circumstances, individuals and so on prompt the need to cross such thresholds. Whether it's the development of mobile suits in the first place or even the use of nukes. In the Universal Century in particular, the Principality of Zeon goes as far as to pull off a Colony Drop that erased a chunk of Australia off the map (even if it wasn't the intended target) if it meant the possibility of dealing a decisive blow on the Earth Federation.
  • In Code Geass, more than a few figures eventually invoke this in order to achieve their goals or stop others from achieving theirs.


Comics[edit | hide]

  • In The Ultimates Nick Fury gives "Permission to traumatize Banner" when things have gotten that bad during a Skrull invasion.
  • In another Hulk related example, during World War Hulk Tony Stark gives his second in command the authority to send the whole of Manhattan into the Negative Zone if things with the Hulk get out of hand. Also from that plot line, they repeatedly attempt to bring in the Sentry to fight the Hulk, and Dr. Strange sees fit to drink in the essence of a universe destroying demon. Contrary to their plans, both of these options do in fact make the situation worse.
  • Large-scale Blackest Night example: the heroes release the Parallax entity and allow it to repossess Hal Jordan. This is the same entity who nearly destroyed the entire universe with Jordan the first time. To be fair, the opposing threat is the godlike Spectre being possessed by multiple Black Lantern Rings which boosted its powers and make it kaiju-sized. Parallax honestly couldn't have made it any worse by that point.
  • Doctor Strange has to pull out these options quite a bit. In one memorable multi-part storyline from the late 60's, he went through a whole chain of these; to defeat Dormammu's sister, Umar, he had to free the awesomely powerful demon Zom; to defeat Zom, he had to yank out some of its hair, which spread evil magic all over the world and also summoned the Living Tribunal, who threatened to destroy Earth unless Strange could remove all the evil magic he had unleashed; to gather together all the evil magic, he had to give it all to Baron Mordo, giving him a tremendous power-up; to defeat the empowered Mordo, he had to use an Artifact of Doom given to him by the Obviously Evil entity Nebulos, which gave all the evil power to it instead. Finally, he aided the Living Tribunal in defeating Nebulos, and the Tribunal then declared Earth was safe, ending the chain.
    • In World War Hulk, Strange let Zom out of his bottle again. It didn't help.
    • In both cases, Doctor Strange was wrong about the Threshold. Turns out a living demonic superweapon can always make a bad situation worse.
  • It's implied that this is Commissioner Gordon's attitude toward Batman, at least in the early adventures before they became friends. In a Wretched Hive like Gotham, where crime and corruption are rampant, and you can count the number of good cops and competent authority figures on one hand, letting this weirdo who likes to dress up like a bat and fight crime lend a hand couldn't make things much worse...
  • The Doomsday Protocol was a backup plan in case of a threat similar to Doomsday (i.e., it can't be stopped by the JLA combined), which was meant to avert this trope. It was never brought up again after Superman's return.


Fan Fic[edit | hide]

  • Daemon from the Tamers Forever Series is considered to be such an unbeatable opponent that the Tamers only hope is for Takato to die before Daemon can absorb the power of a god.
  • "Uninvited Guests has... Yachiru.
  • Ponies Make War: The Mane Six become so desperate to defeat Titan that Twilight comes up with one final contingency in case the Elements of Harmony fail, or they die before being able to use them. That contingency? Releasing Discord to fight him.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Most 1950's monster flicks often had nuclear weapons as a last resort, from The War of the Worlds to The Beginning Of The End.
    • So did Ang Lee's Hulk. They bombed a lake, though, and so there were no collateral casualties. But it was certainly the last available option once Hulk and Banner Dad had unleashed all their rage.
  • The teenagers in Freddy vs. Jason wanted Jason, the guy that killed 20 of their friends, to win the fight against Freddy—if only because Jason would go back home, since he has no other reason to be in Elm Street.
    • These kids also save Jason from drowning in a dream. He kills the black girl later.
  • Perhaps the best example comes from the original Godzilla itself, where the Japanese government decides to deploy Dr. Serizawa's Oxygen Destroyer in Tokyo Bay to kill the monster. The Oxygen Destroyer also kills all other marine life in the bay, but the government considers this an acceptable loss in exchange for killing a monster that's just devastated the city. Serizawa himself is reluctant to even let anyone know about the Oxygen Destroyer's existence, even while Godzilla's rampaging, because he's afraid of how horrible a weapon it might be. He crosses his own Godzilla threshold after a montage of the destruction the monster caused shows him what's at stake—and even then he takes steps to ensure his creation can't be misused.
  • Fittingly enough, Godzilla: Final Wars reaches the Godzilla Threshold about halfway through. Civilization is in ruins and the alien monsters are running rampant, so how could one more make things worse? Godzilla turns out to be fiercely territorial when near other monsters...
    • In Godzilla vs King Ghidorah, King Ghidorah causes Japan to reach this Threshold. They bring back Godzilla and juice him with radiation. Of course After King G is defeated, he starts rampaging too, but if you think about it, the situation didn't really get any worse
      • At which point they bring King Ghidorah back to fight Godzilla. Oddly enough, that actually works.
  • In Michael Bay's first Transformers film; when the Deceptions are closing in on the Allspark, the preferred military solution is to hide the Allspark in the middle of a city - where the Decepticons will have trouble getting to it until large-scale military assistance could be attained and keep them busy while the Allspark was moved to another location (of course, the real reason is Michael Bay's wish to have a massive battle downtown).
  • In Independence Day, the revelation that the aliens' only interest is the complete and total destruction of earth serves as the Godzilla Threshold moment that convinces the president to authorize use of nuclear weapons against the invaders. Naturally, it doesn't work on the intended target, though it completely destroys the already-blasted city below.
    • Based on a similar scene in the 1954 War of the Worlds, although note that the ID4 example has the key difference that the WOTW use of Nukes was in a desert while the ID4 attack was in Houston.
  • Early on in Ghostbusters Egon goes into some detail as to how important it is to never cross the streams. There is apparently a very good chance of total protonic reversal. Once Gozer manifests as a 100 foot marshmallow man and tramples downtown New York as a warm-up to The End of the World as We Know It, the team decides to do it anyway.
  • Cloverfield: the Hammerdown protocol. Though not explained in the movie, it appears to involve either nuking New York or "merely" dropping multiple superheavy conventional bombs on it. To quote the radio operator, "If you can hear the [air raid] sirens, you're inside the blast zone."
  • The climax of Galaxy Quest—The Big Bad has killed or fatally wounded everyone on the ship and the ship is hurtling towards Earth and will cause mass devestation on impact. Jason gives the order to activate the secret superweapon, the Omega 13. The problem is, nobody knows what the Omega 13 actually does, since the Galaxy Quest TV show was cancelled before it properly appeared. The two common Epileptic Trees are that it either destroyed all matter in the universe in 13 seconds, or created a 13 second time-warp to the past. Fortunately for everyone involved, it's the latter.
  • Monsters vs. Aliens. Mind you, it's a really fuzzy kaiju that's released.
  • In The Core, the heroes reach the outer core of the Earth and discover that the nuclear weapons they've brought along won't be enough to restart it. In response, the general decides to fire up Project DESTINI to restart the core—which was the very thing that had stopped the core in the first place. The predicted devastation to the Earth's surface would be almost as bad as the lack of a geomagnetic field they were trying to fix.
    • It takes quite an extreme situation for the detonation of nuclear weapons to be the less dangerous option.
  • The movie Aliens. The space marines, with Ellen Ripley in tow, arrive at the colony they are supposed to investigate only to find that said colony has been overrun and the colonists are all monster chow. In the process of evaluating the situation, most of the marines also become monster chow. With the mission screwed and the colony beyond help, Corporal Hicks (now the ranking soldier) declares that they will return to their frigate and "nuke the site from orbit". A fairly straight up example of resorting to overkill in response to a terminally screwed up situation; after all, how could things get worse?
    • It's not overkill. They are the only survivors on the planet, which is being overrun by an alien species that the evil corporation that controls and owns everything wants to turn into a biological weapon. The planet itself has no indigenous life. Nuking the planet from orbit is a reasonable means of saving the universe. Only the Company is going to miss the Xenomorphs...
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, the Necromonger threat has grown so great that some people decide to track down a Chaotic Neutral (at best) Serial Killer who may be the only surviving member of a race of warriors to combat them. As the opening monologue puts it: "In normal times, evil would be fought by good. But in times like these, well, it should be fought by another kind of evil."
  • The Dark Knight has several scenes musing about how much power is appropriate to stop a threat, citing things like Ancient Rome's ability to grant emergency powers to one man. Over the course of the film, it becomes clear that Batman himself has become the threshold for Gotham's criminal underworld. Their response is The Joker.

Bruce Wayne: I knew the mob wouldn't go down without a fight, but this is different. They crossed the line.
Alfred Pennyworth: You crossed the line first, sir. You squeezed them, you hammered them to the point of desperation. And in their desperation they turned to a man they didn't fully understand.

    • Towards the end of the film, Batman hacks every cell phone in Gotham into a listening device/sonar array. Lucius Fox says it's unethical, and that he's quitting after he uses it. Batman tells him to type in his name when they find the Joker, which turns out to activate the self-destruct option. The earlier comparison to the Romans is implied, not stated.
  • The science facility in The Andromeda Strain is set up to nuke itself if anything gets past the containment seals. The scientists later learn that the energy would only fuel the strain's reproduction, wiping out life on Earth in short order.
  • Tremors 2: Earl is completely surrounded by Shriekers and is standing in the back of Burt's truck. His response: Set a timed explosive to go off and toss it down in the truck. That 4.5 tons of Burt Gummer approved high explosives, parked in an oil refinery.

Burt (panics): "That's 4 and half tons of high explosives!"
Earl (worried): "Is that not going to be enough?! Please, Burt! Don't tell me that's not going to be enough!"
Burt: "Not enough?! It's... Nevermind! RUN!!! It's goinna be BIIIIIG!!!"

    • Burt does this with his first remote control Graboid kill.

Burt (into his documentary camera): "Note: 2 pounds of C-4 may be a little..." (piece of gravel from explosion bounces off his helmet) "Excessive..."

  • In The Incredible Hulk this happens twice. The first is when the army fails to capture Bruce in Brazil, motivating Ross to use experimental super soldier drugs on Emil Blonsky. The second time is when Blonsky becomes the Abomination and starts terrorizing New York, forcing Ross to allow the recently captured Banner to Hulk out and take down the Abomination.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Jim Butcher's The Dresden Files, faced with several necromancers competing to perform a ritual to suck all life from greater Chicago, and thus become a god, for which you need to be surrounded by necromantic energy to avoid death just by getting near it, the main character invokes this trope almost literally, bends the Laws of Magic a bit, and reanimates a frelling tyrannosaurus (it's not human, so he wasn't technically breaking the law).
    • Harry Dresden has encountered the Godzilla Threshold on more than that one occasion. With his back broken, his daughter captured, and a host of vampires about to perform a spell that will kill everyone related to him; he turns to one of his final options, swearing his allegiance to Mab, the Queen of Air and Darkness.
    • The first book, Storm Front, has a minor one. Confronted with a toad demon in a heavy rain that prevents him from making use of his old standby fire, he is forced to try for a lightning spell despite the dangers. Fortunately, it works.
    • Also from Jim Butcher is the Codex Alera, whose protagonist Tavi thrives on plans that are so crazy they might just work, reaching a peak at the final battle in which he lures the Big Bad to a place where two of the world's most powerful Furies sleep and then provoking them. His lover Kitai figures where he went by thinking of a place only an absolute fool would go to, and a lunatic would follow.
      • In the last book, Tavi had to get all of his armies to reach a main battlefield in a few days --- moving several hundred thousand almost at the speed of flight. Then Alera warns him that his plan will cause untold weather devastation thousands of years later, he concludes the devastating long term consequences must be borne if anyone in Alera is to survive.
  • In Stephen King's Under the Dome, the government does everything in its power to free the town of Chester's Mill from its predicament. This includes firing a cruise missile at the invisible dome surrounding the town, then a second missile when the first one fails, using specially modified acid which can melt through two miles of bedrock, despite the possibility that it could set the dome on fire, and then attempting to use a 'pencil nuke', only to have it melt down and kill fifteen people before it could be used. The government continues, trying to build a second pencil nuke, but by that point, things are so bad they finally decide they don't have time.
  • The Worldwar series about Alien Lizards invading Earth during WWII: Allying with Nazis. Nuking your own cities. Pulling all those Chemical and Biological weapons out. You do horrible things when you are being invaded by Alien Lizards.
  • In World War Z, the government is so stumped as to how to fight the zombie hordes that they are forced to implement the "Redeker Plan", using large parts of the population as zombie bait to give the government a chance to regroup and plan. And It Worked.
  • The Laundry has one of these lined up for when CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN (a.k.a, the stars coming right) ensues—SCORPION STARE, a program that loops a basilisk frequency through every CCTV camera in Britain. Similarly, in The Jennifer Morgue, Mo is given access to "a big white one" in the case that the Bond villain wannabe manages to resurrect an ancient Chthonian war god—and is none too pleased to find out "a big white one" is a tactical nuke.
  • Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series: in the War of Power, the good guys constructed the Choedan Kal, two devices (one for use by a male, one for use by a female) that could draw astronomical amounts of the One Power in order to seal the Dark One away in his prison. Later used to cleanse the poisoned male half of the Power during the climax of book 9, Winter's Heart (during which the female Choedan Kal is destroyed). In The Gathering Storm, Rand at first thinks that the male Choedan Kal is the key to defeating the Dark One, but eventually realizes that it won't work. At the end of the book, he destroys it, knowing there may well be another (and better) way to defeat the Dark One this time around.
  • In David Weber's Out of the Darkness, the alien commander of the forces invading Earth eventually concedes the use of genocidal bioweapons as the only option against a planetful of humans who refuse to submit, and are rapidly depleting the invader's reserves.
  • In Footfall, this happens twice during an alien invasion. The first time, they nuke the territory the aliens took over (which was still populated by humans). The second, and significantly less significant time, they build and use a nuke-fueled spaceship. They did get most of the nearby area into bomb shelters before they took off, though.
  • In the Gaunt's Ghosts novel Traitor General, Feygor gets very badly sick and Curth has nothing left to help him. When Ezrah offers the use of a paste that contains normally highly-toxic - as in scratch a man with it and he dies - poison as a remedy like his tribe did, the team reluctantly decides to use it. It barely works.
  • In Isaac Asimov's The End of Eternity, there is a time traveling group that safeguards humanity over a period of billions of years. The problem is that humanity never leaves the Solar System, maybe because that's an inherently risky endeavor and the time travelers block risky activities. After a long time (at least millions, maybe billions of years) humanity dies out. The protagonist goes back in time further than anyone has gone before, to the twentieth century, and there manipulates the timeline so that time travel never arises, thus wiping out millions of years of human existence and destroying everyone and everything he ever knew. However the new timeline is in some sense better - it's the world of the majority of Asimov's novels.
  • In Neverwhere, the Marquis de Carabas can be called into one's service for the cost of "A really big favor". Take this warning in just case you should happen to find yourself in London Below: Don't do that.
  • In the Star Trek: Destiny trilogy, the Federation president gives Captain Picard permission to do anything necessary, regardless of Starfleet regulations or Federation law, to defeat a massive Borg invasion, up to and including re-creating Shinzon's thalaron weapon. Subverted in that Picard is ready to do this, until Geordi flatly refuses to carry out Picard's order and tells him that rebuilding the very device that Data sacrificed his life to stop would be an insult to their friend's memory. He then rescinds the order and finds another way.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, the arrival of the Others is considered this for people on both sides of the Wall. Mance Rayder, the King Beyond The Wall, is willing to march the Free Folk south of the Wall to find shelter in the despotic Seven Kingdoms. Jon Snow, for his part, is willing to allow "Wildlings" to settle on the Night Watch's lands and even join the Night Watch to bolster their ranks against the Others. Both plans are considered pretty shocking, and not everyone agrees with them.
  • In Timothy Zahn's The Conquerors Trilogy, the arrival of a dangerous alien threat starts everyone talking about dusting off a superweapon the humans used once and never used again. Subverted- the weapon doesn't actually exist, it was actually a freak accident where a solar flare wiped out a fleet.
  • Villainous example in the Dale Brown novel Sky Masters. His flotilla in shambles after a Filipino ambush, with only death or dishonourable retreat on the cards, Big Bad Admiral Yin decided to Nuke'Em. Things go downhill from there.
  • In The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, when the Heart of Gold is about to be blown up, Arthur Dent decides at the last second that randomly activating the Infinite Improbability Drive can't possibly make things any worse.
  • Middle-Earth reached the Godzilla Threshold at the end of the First Age, as documented in The Silmarillion. Morgoth ruled over all of Beleriand and to defeat him the Valar unleashed a war that sunk all of Beleriand.
  • This happened a few times in the past of The Malazan Book of the Fallen. Two events in particular are notable for how they shaped the modern world:
    • The Imass came to a racial consensus that after the latest in a long string of Jaghut Tyrants, the Threshold had been crossed. They transformed themselves into nigh-immortal undead and proceeded to hunt down every Jaghut they could, killing or binding them.
    • High King Kallor was so hated by a cabal of wizards that they chose to summon forth and bind a god to be used as a Fantastic Nuke against him. It destroyed an entire continent, created the Crippled God, and Kallor survived.


Live-Action TV[edit | hide]

  • When things get really desperate in Stargate SG-1 and Stargate Atlantis, the higher-ups are usually willing to give the green light to plans that involve ridiculous things like blowing up suns.
    • One experiment of Rodney's kills a co-worker and blows up most of a solar system. They try it again. This time they almost destroy two galaxies, and completely drain their ZPM (an excessively rare and valuable super-battery).
    • After the Replicator invasion of Asgard space crosses the threshold, one episode follows Thor as he seeks Carter's advice on the grounds that the Asgard lack the stupidity necessary to devise a plan that crosses that Godzilla Threshold. She ends up using their one-of-a-kind state-of-the-art warship as bait for an explosion that could destroy the swarm posing the greatest immediate threat.
    • One of the best examples would be the Season 6 finale. Anubis hovering with his finger on the trigger of an Ancient superweapon ready to blow up Abydos causes Daniel to break the non-interference rules of the Ascended beings and try to destroy Anubis using his godlike powers. He only fails because the other Ascended beings stop him.
      • And because, as it's later revealed, Anubis can't be killed, not even by other Ascended beings. He can, however, be engaged by them in eternal battle, which is how he is ultimately defeated by Oma Desala.
        • There is a strong implication that being forced to contain Anubis in this manner was the intended punishment The Others crafted for Oma Desala's crime of helping Anubis ascend in the first place. They COULD have forced him to Descend, as they did Daniel for his violations of the rules, but felt that this was the ONLY suitable punishment for her foolishness.
    • At the climax of the Goa'uld storyline, the Replicators have invaded the Milky Way, wiped out the System Lords and have begun attacking Earth. SG-1's final plan depends on an Ancient device designed to create (or destroy) all life, properly re-configuring it to only target the Replicators, and simultaneously firing it through every Stargate in the galaxy.
      • And to do it, they have to team up with Ba'al. Who was trying to reconquer the planet they were on at the time.
    • In the Stargate: The Ark of Truth, one of the weapon systems the humans bring with them to the Ori home galaxy as a fallback in case their primary plan fails is a Replicator with reprogrammed failsafes. The failsafes turn out to not be as fail safe as hoped.
    • In a later arc of Stargate: Atlantis, Rodney creates a reprogrammed humanoid Replicator to act as a delivery system for a computer virus to destroy the rest of the Asuran Replicators. Surprisingly, the standard tropes are subverted and the reprogrammed Replicator is perfectly content with her purpose in life as a "living bomb", delivering her payload without a hitch when finally deployed on the Replicator homeworld.
  • Power Rangers usually reaches this point at least twice per season. At some point, the villain's plans will be so destructive, or a Monster of the Week so powerful that the old code of "match force with proportionate force" just stops applying. It's usually at this point that all out assaults, calling in old favors, and even sacrifices become valid options.
  • In the Doctor Who episode "Journey's End", it's revealed that UNIT strung a series of nuclear warheads beneath the Earth's crust, the stated aim of which is to destroy the entire freaking planet. It is only to be used when death is considered a preferable alternative to whatever shitstorm has enveloped the human race.
    • In The End of Time, we finally learn what it takes for the Tenth Doctor to pick up a gun: The return of the Time Lords.
    • In a reference to Winston Churchill's real world invocation of this trope in defense of allying with Stalin (see below), he uses this same logic to justify using Dalek technology against the Nazis in "Victory of the Daleks." The Doctor tries and fails to convince Churchill that the Daleks are a bigger threat than the Nazis, but it turns out that the Daleks had out-gambitted the Doctor all along, and the entire point of the exercise was just to get the Doctor to admit that they were Daleks so that the Dalek race could be revived.
  • Several times in Supernatural, varied characters think they've hit this point:
    • In season five, after seeing a bleak future in which Lucifer won in Sam's body seemingly because Dean didn't say yes to Michael and losing all faith in Sam, Dean's ready to let Michael have him even though it will mean most of the world is destroyed. Sam convinces him not to.
    • By the end of season five, everything has gone so far to hell that risking giving Lucifer a total win by having Sam say 'yes' to Lucifer is the only option. While this option guaranteed a fight between Michael and Lucifer that would destroy most of the world unless Sam could overcome the possessing influence of Lucifer long enough to throw them both into Lucifer's Cage, the apocalypse that would kill or zombify most of humanity would happen if they did nothing. Of course, at the end of season 4, they'd all pretty much realised that they were screwed.
    • In season six, best buddy Castiel decides that the only way to prevent the Apocalypse from being restarted by Archangel Raphael is to make a Deal with the Devil and take in the power of all the souls in Purgatory.. This turns out to be a bad idea.
  • Farscape At the end of season 4 John does this with a home-made nuke in order to try to pull a fast one on the Scarrans and Peacekeepers. And he wasn't bluffing (mostly). Done again on a much bigger scale in Peacekeeper Wars John - sick and tired of trying to reason and figure things out with the Peacekeepers and the Scarrans - holds the entire galaxy to ransom with the wormhole weapon. This time, he really wasn't bluffing.
    • Also played with in season 3 when John gets stuck at the wormhole nexus centre and he finds out - courtesy of the ancient's pregenitors - that playing with wormholes isn't just fiddling around in space, it's fucking about with the entire fabric of reality. He gets a little scared at this point, and the only reason he reenters the system is that he has no choice. He still messes up though.
  • Angel: Series 4. The world is on the verge of an unexpected Apocalypse when the Beast blocks out the sun over LA to create a 24-hour demon playground. The only thing that can stop it is Angel's Super-Powered Evil Side, Angelus, the greatest mass murder in recorded history and one of the worst vampires ever heard of. The Godzilla Threshold is crossed when even Angel agrees it has to be done and Angelus is freed. On top of that, the only way to then stop Angelus is to break out of a women's correctional facility the unhinged, convicted murderer, Faith the Vampire Slayer, who has to use her Death Seeker nature to almost commit suicide because Angelus is that hard for even a slayer to defeat.
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "The Last Sontaran", despite the fact that Sarah Jane Doesn't Like Guns and distrusts the military, the presence of a Sontaran ship on Earth prompts her to immediately make plans to call in UNIT.
  • In the Star Trek universe, the Godzilla Threshold is instantly crossed whenever a single omega particle is detected. Omega protocol authorizes the captain of the vessel to use any means (even breaking the Prime Directive) to destroy it.
    • The original Star Trek: The Original Series had the episode "Operation: Annihilate!", which involved them considering passing the Godzilla Threshold to prevent the spread of an alien pancake parasite. Kirk demanded the find and Take a Third Option.
    • Kodos the Executioner/Anton Karidian in Star Trek: The Original Series episode, "The Conscience of the King" used this as his excuse to execute half the colonists of the Tarsus IV colony when a fungus destroyed most of their food supply.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Warhammer 40,000 is infamous for the Imperium's use of Exterminatus to deal with certain threats so dire that destroying your own world is preferable to the alternative. As much as fans like to joke about it being ordered because someone's playing music too loud, only an Inquisitor has the authority to sign a world's death warrant, and they're expected to do so only as a last resort (the definition of which can vary greatly depending on a given Inquisitor's philosophy, paranoia, or radicalism). The two most common instigators for Exterminatus are:
    • Chaos. A cult uprising is one thing, but if daemons are actually rampaging around at will, the world may be past saving. Even if the Imperium managed to cleanse the planet, the taint of Chaos would remain, like lingering radiation that's also sentient and teaches people how to build dirty bombs. Of course, the problem with destroying a planet in the grip of Chaos is that past a certain point the world isn't quite physically there anymore, so the best you can do is try to quarantine it.
      • A Ciaphas Cain novel notes dryly that once daemons have control over a planet and it passes beyond that 'certain point', Exterminatus, at best, will do nothing. In a worst-case scenario, it might end up giving the new inhabitants ideas.
    • Tyranids. If a Hive Fleet conquers a planet, even at a staggering cost, it will just add the world's bio-mass to the swarm and recycle the corpses of its dead, emerging only stronger. A controversial but effective tactic is to bait the Tyranids into committing most of a swarm to taking a world, only to blow it up before they can set about harvesting it, with any friendly casualties being acceptable losses. Unfortunately, the ever-evolving Tyranids have bred burrowing organisms capable of riding out such an orbital apocalypse.
    • A third, and less used threat is Xenos: some planets have a lot of things on them that the Xenos can use against humanity, and sometimes losing the planet is better than letting the Xenos get it. For example, in the video game Space Marine, Exterminatus is considered as an option during the intro since, if the invading Orks gain possession of just one of the Titans manufactured there, they could use the components to keep their invasion going for years, and completely capturing the planet and making use of all the Titans there would give the Orks a shot at wiping out humanity once and for all. The only reason the planet isn't glassed immediately is because the loss of the Titans, and the manufactorum housed there, would be a crippling blow to humanity as well.
  • As the Old World of Darkness drew to a close, the Antediluvian vampire Zapathasura (sire of the Ravnos clan) rose in India and began wrecking things. The Technocracy responded with a Code Ragnarok, their contingency plan for 'if we don't win this, the world ends today' events. It involved solar mirrors (to direct the equivalent of five suns at the super-vampire), Prime-enhanced spirit-shredding nuclear weapons, weather control machines, and more. In fact, Ragnarok authorized the use of the entire Technocratic arsenal, a 100% civilian casualty rate and a 100% operative casualty rate—had Ravnos not been killed by the orbital solar mirrors, God only knows what they'd have used next. If they had anything else to use.
    • This being the World of Darkness, though, things did indeed get worse thanks to Code Ragnarok. The Shadowlands were destroyed, the Fallen escaped from the Abyss, and the Time of Judgement began. Of course, since the alternative was the world ending that afternoon it still qualifies as this trope.
  • In Exalted, we have the Kukla. Elementals in Exalted take on increasingly draconic forms as they grow in power, culminating in a transformation into a Greater Elemental Dragon. The Kukla is a Greater Elemental Dragon of Earth, whose mere presence is so destructive that he's been sealed away until the Unconquered Sun, ruler of Heaven and arbiter of justice, decides that the situation in Creation is so far past the Godzilla Threshold that the general apocalypse resulting from the Kukla's release cannot possibly make things worse. Just to be perfectly clear: the Kukla is several miles long, utterly indestructible, completely insane, and possibly destined to destroy the world. Things have to be REALLY bad for "Release the Kukla!" to be a good idea.
    • On the other hand, the scales shed by the Kukla as it moves completely cleanse and restore the area around where they land of any taint of the Underworld, Wyld or Yozi.
      • The Kukla who is the Greater Elemental Dragon of Earth is distinct from the Kukla who is known only as the Apocalypse Dragon. What would warrent the Unconquered Sun releasing the latter is unclear, although it is apparently supposed to function as bringing some kind of end to Creation when the Sun judges it is time to do so.
    • Glories of the Most High revealed that the Unconquered Sun also has the authority to temporarily (if lucky) release a Yozi from Malfeas/Hell. Do mind that the Yozis are insane, world-making, world-sized Titans that have been seeping in divine amount of hatred and misery for several millennia. One of the Yozis, before being defeated by the Exalted, destroyed 90% of Creation—and the remaining portion is several times larger than Earth. Creation is liable to suffer several disasters where their presence is preferable to the alternative (and the Player Characters are tasked with taking care of it).
    • Beyond all of those is the Eschaton Key. When Malfeas created the Unconquered Sun, he granted him the power to utterly annihilate Creation in the event that any of its worst enemies should gain control over it. It's been used only once; to destroy the rival Creation that an enemy Primordial attempted to supplant the original with. After that, the Unconquered Sun sealed his world destroying power within a broken device that is beyond the ability of anyone less than the most powerful Solars to repair and operate.
    • Return of the Scarlet Empress revealed that if things get really, really, Ebon-Dragon-just-signed-his-name-on-the-Moon bad, there are certain world-shaking Astrology charms that can be unlocked for the Sidereals. These allow them to do things like give gods or Exalts battlefield promotions - to Celestial Incarnae.
  • Any situation in which you would consider casting Vengeful Gaze of God in D&D 3rd Ed is probably past the Godzilla Threshold. For those who don't know, it's an epic level spell that will almost certainly kill whatever you're casting it on...but the chances of the caster surviving too is slim to none. Even the book says, "The backlash damage[1] will almost certainly kill the caster, but most would consider this cost worth it."
    • Or, in 3e/3.5e, anything in the Elder Evils rulebook. By the end of the plot arc involving (insert featured superboss here), a spell that obliterates your section of the Multiverse would probably be deemed an acceptable course of action to stop those creatures, especially in Atropus's case.
    • 3.5e's Wu Jen spell, Transcend Mortality. When you cast the spell, you become nigh indestructible for the duration. The cost? You burn out the rest of your life force to cast the spell, and when the effect ends, turn into a small pile of ash.
    • It is generally known that if someone tries to put one extradimensional storage device (e.g., a Bag of Holding) inside another (e.g., a Portable Hole), the result is a catastrophic rending of the fabric of the universe. The extent of this rip depends on the GM's whim, but by and large the result is usually miles in diameter, cannot be done from range, and kills everyone and everything within the "blast" zone. (Okay, there's a slim chance of being cast into another plane instead.) Adventurers have been known to do this anyway, if the situation is dire enough.
    • The artifact called the Bringer of Doom opens a massive cross-rip into Hades and releases thousands of hordlings over a radius of several miles. The user never survives.
      • A mage with a staff of power or staff of the Magi can perform what is euphemistically called a "retributive strike"—breaking the staff itself, killing herself and making a very big mess of the surrounding area.
  • Players in Call of Cthulhu (tabletop game) with a bent towards magic can summon Azathoth to Earth. Azathoth, FYI, is the boss of bosses of the Lovecraft Mythos, the blind idiot god that sits at the center of reality and is best described as a cross between an titanic amoeba and an ever-expanding nuclear explosion. Presumably, a sane player would only do this if the stars have become so right that Cthulhu and his pals are tap-dancing down Main Street.
    • Keeping the mechanics of the game in mind, any situation where summoning Azathoth wouldn't make the situation significantly worse will almost certainly already have rendered all the player characters irretrievably insane.
  • In Duel Terminal, the background fluff behind the Hidden Arsenal series of Yu-Gi-Oh! cards, the Ice Barrier tribe fought against the invading Worms and Fabled by progressively unlocking seals on a series of powerful Ice Barrier monsters. Eventually, they wound up pushed so far back against the wall that they released Trishula, Dragon of the Ice Barrier.[2] In its berserk rampage, Trishula wiped out nearly everybody, friend and foe alike, including the Ice Barrier tribe themselves. Later expansions on the storyline imply that there were survivors, just not very many.

Video Games[edit | hide]

  • In Super Godzilla, this actually happens several times: The first, when the Japanese government decides to awaken and control Godzilla in order to fight aliens and the monsters they send (making this one a literal example of the Godzilla Threshold); later, when making Godzilla stronger by way of injecting King Ghidorah cells; and in the final two stages, where it becomes necessary to pour huge amounts of energy into Big G in order to turn him into the titular Super Godzilla.
  • In the Geneforge series, the rebellion which breaks out in the 3rd game is on the edge of defeat by the 4th. While the humans and serviles in the rebellion could survive being ruled by the Shapers again, the drakons know they will not be allowed to exist under Shaper rule. To turn the war, they create the Unbound, which are massively powerful but completely insane, and release them into Shaper lands to rampage around.
  • Invoked several times in the Halo series:
    • In Halo 3, when a flood infected ship crashes in New Mombasa, Commander Keys proposes to overload a slipstream engine inside the city and wiping out everything in the area. Though usually rather timid in his decisions, Lord Hood only replies with "Do it!".
    • The Flood evoke this reaction in more than just humans: again in Halo 3, when there's a relatively small Flood outbreak in Africa, the Elites who show up in a Big Damn Heroes moment torch the continent to get rid of it. When Lord Hood protests this action, the Elite Shipmaster responds that he fully intended to burn all of Earth, and only the Arbiter's arguing against it stopped him from doing so.
    • The Halos themselves were built (and activated) due to the Threshold being crossed: wiping out all intelligent life in the galaxy was an acceptable alternative compared to the Flood, as far as the Forerunners were concerned.
      • The first Halo ring was found orbiting a planet called "Threshold"
    • Again in Halo: Reach, Kat comes up with an insane plan after the Covenant super-carrier arrives at Reach, to which Cater replies he'll ask, but they'll never get a green light for it. One Gilligan Cut later...
  • For many Armored Core players, the appearance of AC Nine Ball is an instant Godzilla Threshold scenario.
    • It's a relatively minor and easy to miss one, but in AC4: For Answer you can become one, if you team up with Old King and kill hundreds of millions of people by bringing down the cradle, Otsdarva will be one of the 5 NEXT teaming up to take you down as payback, despite him previously faking his death in order to side with ORCA under a different name, apparenty abandoning his plan to avert the extinction of the human race.
  • The Big Bads of Prototype are ready to nuke Manhattan to stop the spread of Redlight. This is supposed to be the chocolate syrup on their villainy sundae. The problem is, Redlight is so apocalyptically dangerous—it has to be far past the Godzilla threshold, or Alex could never be the "hero" -- that to the player this can seem like a reasonable, if grim, last ditch effort to save the rest of the world.
    • Debatable, because after Elizabeth Greene was killed, the military started pushing the virus back - just look at the percentage of the population infected and ratio of military deaths to infected deaths after the mission where you kill Greene. If anything, it would've made more sense to nuke Manhattan as soon as the skyscraper-sized monster burst out of the ground beneath Times Square.
    • On the other hand, the nuke was deployed right after the third self-aware, ridiculously powerful virus carrier revealed himself, on a boat too far offshore for any previously known infected to be able to reach. Not only does it look like the threat is escalating again, but they appear to be losing containment.
      • Randall activated the nuke BEFORE Cross revealed himself to be the Supreme Hunter, though. So at that point, all he knew about was Alex.
    • On the third hand, by killing Greene, Alex revealed how powerful he really was. He may have been what convinced Randall to use a nuke. Come to think of it, Randall seemed to think of Alex as a bigger threat from the beginning.
  • The Planet itself in Final Fantasy VII responds to the threat of Jenova by creating the WEAPONs from The Lifestream itself, whose mission is to destroy whatever is threatening the planet. Since they can't reach Jenova, they go for the next biggest threat to the planet: Humans Are the Real Monsters.
  • World in Conflict: Nuking Cascade Falls to prevent the Soviets from finding about SDI (the only thing stopping the Soviets from using nuclear weapons...and a fake reassurance, since it's completely non-functional), and at the end of the game, nearly nuking Seattle to prevent the Chinese, coming to reinforce the failing Soviet invasion, from landing there.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Bowser's Inside Story, Bowser can only be turned into Giant Bowser when his life is in mortal danger, e.g. when he is flattened by an enemy far too big to fight normally. Almost a literal case.
  • At one point in Tales of the Abyss, Jade suggest that the only way to save the world is to sacrifice the lives of 10,000 replicas, which in game basically boils down to sacrificing 10,000 babies. A few hours later you really don't get a choice otherwise.
  • Villainous example occurs in Star Fox 64. Facing down a battalion of Andross's ships, the general is throwing everything on hand at you, save for a prototype the scientists insist is too dangerous. At the end of the level, he yells "Deploy it now!" and the prototype serves as the boss - a biomechanical dimension hopping battlecruiser with free will.
  • The second disk of Wild ARMs 2 reveals that pretty much every threat from the first disk, from the terrorist organization trying to conquer the world to the Eldritch Abomination sealed inside the protagonist, was part of a plan by Irving to combat the most ludicrously overpowered threat of all time: a parallel universe that eats other universes.
  • In Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor, the government has a 'final option' that it will unleash on the Yamamote Line if they can't take control of the situation taking place inside. This is why nobody inside has more than six days to live. A side-story leads to Atsuro finding out about the 'final option' and how it works. It's a chip installed in all japanese electronics that lets the government control them remotely. They can use it to overload them and create enormous amounts of EM radiation, which would effectively turn Tokyo into a giant microwave oven and fry every electric circuit and every living being inside.
    • This is the smallest of three Thresholds in the game, incidentally. It takes a third place to the Council of Angels being willing to rob humanity of free will and seize control of Earth if humanity doesn't stop associating with demons, and the main character willingly becoming the King of Bel and letting demons loose on earth just to keep the angels from ever bothering humanity again.
  • StarCraft, the Protoss consider the Godzilla Treshold crossed when they find out the Zerg have infested a world. Their standard solution is an orbital bombardment that burns everything on the planet to a crisp.
    • Arcturus Mengsk sees the Confederacy's corruption as having crossed the threshold to justify using a psi emitter to lure the Zerg to their capital world, then lets the Protoss burn the Zerg and Confederates both. However, its only Mengsk who sees it this way, the others see it as a Moral Event Horizon for him.
  • In World of Warcraft, the Godzilla Threshold is pretty consistent: for really, really bad threats, the Horde and Alliance work together. Most of the time they're at each others' throats in a Cold War or even proxy war. Against pests or regional threats, the Alliance and the Horde ignore each other or even try to backstab each other so their own people can claim the prize first. But against an awakened Old God, the beachead of a demonic invasion, the Lich King, or the biggest and most evil dragon ever, they ally. Temporarily.
  • The Enclave in the Fallout series sees the proliferation of mutants in the wasteland as their threshold. Unfortunately for everyone, to the Enclave "mutant" doesn't just mean the super mutants and deformed ghouls, it includes any human who has been exposed to radiation for an extended period of time, in other words everyone not a member of the Enclave or living in a Vault. Their solution is to use a modified strand of the FEV virus and release it into the air currents and later water supply to kill them all.
    • In Fallout 3, the East Coast Brotherhood of Steel goes as far as to reactivate Liberty Prime, Humongous Mecha buried in the Pentagon, in order to stop the Enclave's latest schemes. In the Broken Steel DLC, the Enclave respond in kind by resorting to using Kill Sat nukes to defeat Liberty Prime.
    • In Fallout New Vegas, certain characters resort to extreme and genocidal lengths most especially Ulysses to justify wiping the slate clean and "begin again."
    • By Fallout 4, the East Coast Brotherhood considers the Institute so much of a threat that an almost fully rebuilt Liberty Prime is brought along to the Commonwealth.
  • Capcom loves this trope, from the total destructions of Raccoon City in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis and Fortune City to the massacres at Santa Cabeza and Willamette in Dead Rising.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the Templars believe the threshold has been crossed after the Circle Tower is overrun by abominations. Their Knight Commander has already sent word to the Chantry in Denerim requesting permission to invoke the Rite of Annulment which would allow him to use the full might of the Templars to completely purge the Tower. This happens at the worst possible time since you really need the support of the mages against the Blight. You do have a couple options though: 1) kill the abominations yourself and save the mages, or 2) kill everything in the Tower and have the Templars now free of their responsibilities of mage babysitting join you.
  • In Dwarf Fortress, many failed, incomplete, or patently insane DoomsdayDevices get activated as a last ditch effort to hold off invaders when all other methods have failed; a common version is digging straight down through adamantine veins as a final "screw you" to the would-be conquerors.
    • Upon discovering what lay beyond the adamantine the hard way, Bay 12 forumgoer SpiralDimentia decided to release his captive (hostile) bronze colossus in hopes of it fighting the... you know. This didn't work, but was applauded as sufficiently dwarven, especially since he tried to resettle the place twice after losing everything, despite the bronze colossus and the... you know... still being in residence there.
    • Failed miserably in one fortress that was being attacked by husks, and decided to Breach the Circus; it turns out that DEMONS are insufficiently Godzillaesque to defeat husks.
  • In Modern Warfare 2, Captain Price's plan to fire a Russian nuclear missile at the US Eastern Seaboard in order to use the EMP to stop the Russian invasion:

Price: Do you know how to put out an oil fire, sir? You set off a bigger explosion next to it. Sucks out all the oxygen. Snuffs the flame. (...) We've got a pretty big fire. We're going to need a huge bang...

    • Also in the sequel, when the team has to take Makarov's bomber, Volk, out of Paris alive so he can be interrogated. When they get to the bridge over the Seine, they meet a Russian barricade which won't let them through. The air support manages to wipe them out, but in the process they end up bringing the Eiffel Tower down. This is because the President gave them a clear order to do what they have to do to bring Volk alive.
  • In BlazBlue, Litchi crossed this in two phases on a personal case. The first phase, on realizing that Lotte Carmine was inflicted with an extreme corruption of the Boundary which practically has no normal permanent cure and begging for Kokonoe to help does no use, she sees it fit to corrupt herself with the Boundary to find symptoms and develop the cure from experience. The second phase is when she found no cure overall and her own corruption was getting to her, she sees it fit to join the NOL for the small hope of cure, despite the organization storing someone who's pegged as extremely shady and suspicious (Hazama), or blatant Complete Monster of a father (Relius).
  • In Mortal Kombat 9, after an effort to change timeline causes Sindel to brutally murder the majority of the heroes, Raiden sees it fit that the only option left is to ally with Quan Chi to stand a chance against Shao Kahn, with the souls of the dead heroes as the wager. The bad news, Shao Kahn already sold the soul of the heroes to Quan Chi. The good news, only by fighting the dead heroes would Raiden get an Eureka Moment on how exactly to beat Shao Kahn.
  • In the Mass Effect 2 DLC Arrival, this is invoked, as the Reapers are set to arrive at the Alpha Relay in mere hours. There is only one viable solution to stop it from happening: destroying the Relay, and thus setting off a supernova-level explosion that wipes out a nearby colony world with 300,000 batarians. Needless to say, it isn't pretty, but it has to be done.
    • As a result, Mass Effect 3 is gearing up to be an entire game with the Godzilla Threshold already left in the dust before the player even presses start.
      • One of the earliest main story missions is to earn Krogan support by creating a cure for the Genophage. Just a few years earlier you might have sacrificed a squadmember to prevent this.
      • During said mission you even deal with the continuity's equivalent of Godzilla: The literal mother of all Thresher Maws. You summon it and it proceeds to eat a Reaper.
    • Admiral Hackett even points out that there is no way in hell that a superweapon as powerful as the Crucible would ever be seriously considered under normal circumstances, but the Reapers have forced humanity's hand.
    • The Codex entry "Desperate Measures" discusses different ways that are being considered to stop the Reapers that would never be considered in normal warfare, such as destroying mass relays to strand them in distant systems (they'd just go the long way) or ramming them with starships traveling at FTL speeds (integral safety protocols make it impractical at best).
  • Has happened at least once in Touhou. At some point in recent history, humankind's disbelief of anything supernatural had grown enough to threaten the very existence of supernatural beings. Seeing this situation, the Youkai sages decided to erect the Hakurei barrier to rip Gensokyo from real world, so that the land become the final haven of everything supernatural (that effort was likely to be spearheaded by Yukari Yakumo). They knew that they were going to offend the Dragon of Gensokyo, and the Dragon did appear in all his/her/its catastrophic glory, covering the sky from one horizon to the opposite, while downpouring from the Dragon's body threatened to drown the land. Amazingly, the Dragon was willing to listen to the sages, and s/he agreed to their plan. Then s/he disappeared, and (thankfully) never seen again since then. One of the more popular WMG is that if Reimu ever fail to stop a threat to Gensokyo, the Dragon himself/herself will appear to deal with it—hence why the smarter, more powerful youkai are reluctant to fight her.
  • A possible result in The Elder Scrolls Skyrim. Your character may be the leader of the thieves guild, the Dark Brotherhood, and have completed each Daedric quest (even the ones that involve murder, betrayal, torture, and cannibalism), and have murdered hundreds of innocent people before you ever meet the Graybeards to learn the power of the voice. And they'll still teach your character, despite being a complete monster that will doubtless abuse this power, to use the voice, since you'll still be the only hope the world has against the dragons.
  • In Saints Row the Third in one possible ending, after a beloved monument is destroyed, Senator Monica Hughes allows STAG to deploy the much hinted-at Daedalus, an Airborne Aircraft Carrier that begins indiscriminately attacking Steelport in a desperate effort to wipe out the Saints.
  • Emphatically not crossed in Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. No matter what Director Boyle wants you to think, dropping the Liquid Tiberium bomb in the final GDI mission is still not an acceptable reaction. Understandable, since the bomb will chain-react and detonate any Tiberium deposits it comes in contact with, in the middle of the world's biggest Red Zone. If the bomb goes off, the results will be quite literally earth-shaking, killing untold millions or billions of civilians, to say nothing of your own troops, and the irreparable ecological damage. Note that this is despite the ongoing Alien Invasion, largely because GDI is powerful enough to win conventionally.
  • In Fortune Street, when you play against both Peach and Bowser and reach the monetary value necessary to win, Peach will sometimes directly order Bowser to destroy you. This surprises even him, but he admits that he likes it.
  • Gears of War: In the backstory, the Locust invasion was so devastating that the Hammer of Dawn Kill Sat was used to destroy all the major cities to slow the advance. In 3, you deal with the aftermath of this when you visit Char, a city that was leveled by the attack.
  • Apparently Professor Gerald using an alien's DNA to create the Ultimate Lifeform was the Godzilla Threshold for G.U.N. to storm Space Colony Ark and arrest (or kill) everyone on-board.
  • In Dark Souls the Darkwraiths sealed under the flooded city of New Londo caused a Godzilla Threshold. The Darkwraiths you see are corrupted, evil monsters who devoured humanity (The precious, ethereal substance, not actual people). There were such a threat to anything that possessed a soul that the Sealers, a group of pacifists, flooded an entire city, drowning its entire populace just to seal them away.
  • In the X-COM games in general, the Alien Invasion and all the threats associated with it mean that there's a lot of leeway in terms of the destruction that ensues in taking the fight to the aliens. Not to mention the lengths gone to level the playing field and stop said threats once and for all. Given that the alternatives are much worse like the slavery or extinction of mankind, blowing up a whole city block or having your soldiers turned into enhanced cyborgs and Super Soldiers is more than justified.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • One episode of Justice League Unlimited had the heroes use the Kill Sat integrated into their orbital base when facing a geometrically reproducing Grey Goo swarm of replicating robots. Interestingly they were called on it by the government, and this later spawned a great deal of mistrust and a hijacking of said Kill Sat.
    • They were called on it because nowhere was it ever mentioned that they had Kill Sat capacity before that time. It was more of fact that they'd kept the Kill Sat a secret than the fact that they had it in the fist place.
      • It wasn't until it was hacked that the mistrust became a real issue.
    • When Darkseid shows up, Superman fights him without restraint while giving the trope-naming World of Cardboard Speech. The damage to the city is immense.
    • Along with the the World of Cardboard Speech moment, the Legion of Doom and Justice League work together to protect Earth from Darkseid's minions.
  • The DuckTales episode "The Uncrashable Hindentanic" revolves around Uncle Scrooge and his new airship. His sidekick and perennial crasher of aircraft Launchpad desperatly wants to fly it but is told that Scrooge actually wants to keep the airship in one piece. When the events of the episode conspire against this Scrooge eventually relents & tells Lauchpad to take the wheel. They crash, but Launchpad accidentally takes out the opposition while saving the passengers.
    • "If we are going to crash anyway, we may as well crash with style."
  • In one of The Simpsons Halloween episodes, giant advertisements are taking over the town. The solution: just don't look. A ridiculous solution, but as nothing else has worked, everyone does so without hesitation (except Homer, being tempted by Lard Lad's giant donut; Marge eventually pulls him away).
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "The Ultimate Enemy" Clockwork actually alters time—consider that he is in charge of maintaining the proper flow of time—to stop Dark Danny from coming into existence.
    • Ironically, the events that happen as a result of his alterations are probably what caused Dark Danny to exist in the first place. At first. At the end, he manages to fix everything.
  • In the last few minutes of the Ben 10: Ultimate Alien episode "Forge of Creation", Aggregor defeats the heroes and is moments away from acquiring Reality Warper abilities that will grant him eternal power over the universe. Kevin then absorbs energy from the Ultimatrix to go One-Winged Angel to stop him, knowing that this will make him insanely evil again. Thankfully, young!Ben is able to guilt-trip Kevin out of trying to steal the Reality Warper powers for himself.
  • In Teen Titans in the episode "Aftershock" pt. II, Terra realizes that the only way to stop Slade, after he took control of her body with a suit that fused into her very nerves and used her body and powers to beat up the Teen Titans and she had unleashed a volcano that could destroy the entire city, she realises she is the only one who has any chance of stopping the volcano. So she kills two birds with one stone, stops the volcano and kills Slade with the lava, and is fossillised in lava and becomes stone. This is also a case of It Just Bugs Me because when one is engulfed in lava, one tends to burn, not turn into stone.
    • (Though there are instances, like in Pompei, where lava does manage to engulf people and freeze them into statues in their final positions. It's also possible her fate had something to do with her power over rock. Perhaps she tried to defend herself from the lava by covering herself with rock, but the heat made it fuse together.)
      • Actually, the Pompeii corpse-statues are _casts_ made using the hollow spaces in the rock where bodies were entombed and then decayed away - they're made by archeologists, not nature
  • Some of the situations in Megas XLR are across the line, such as Earth being invaded by the almost unkillable metal-devouring robot R.E.G.I.S. Mk 5, which had been scheduled to be thrown into a black hole until Coop accidentally rammed the ship transporting it. The only problem is that Coop is nowhere near smart enough to identify which situations are across the line, and as a result tends to Godzilla every problem whether it's appropriate or not...and, of course, most of them are his fault anyway.
    • For the record, he discovered that the R.E.G.I.S Mk 5 was solar powered and would forever stay active so long as there was light to power it. Coop's solution was to block out all sunlight so it couldn't operate. He does this by creating a nuclear winter scenario by belching enough smog out of his engine to block out the whole damn sky.
      • Given that it's Jersey, it wasn't that big a difference.
  • In Hot Wheels Battle Force 5, Sage was forced to freeze the entire Red Sentient race to stop her Evil Twin brother Krytus from leading them on a multiversal conquest. When Krytus and her have their final confrontation, she tells him she did it because he was a threat to not only her entire race but the multiverse and she had to. Krytus' response? "You were right!" It says a lot when the guy she used it on is well aware that she was justifed for doing so and doesn't care.
  • In the Grand Finale of Jackie Chan Adventures, Drago has gone One-Winged Angel, destroyed Section 13, devastated San Francisco, and is preparing to release the demon world unto Earth. To stop him, the heroes have to free his father Shendu from his imprisonment to fight him. Fortunately for them, Shendu is more angry at his son for trying to take over "his" world than at the heroes for his previous defeats at their hands, and he keeps Drago busy long enough for them to figure out how to banish both of them.
  • Happens in the Beast Wars finale; "Nemeis". Upon realizing that Megatron has discovered the titular warship, virtually guaranteeing him an automatic win in the war, Optimus turns to Depth Charge, as the ship is hidden deep underwater and begs him to stop Megatron at any cost. Depth Charge, ( who has always questioned and defied every order given to him, only focusing on revenge against Rampage), immediately complies without a moment's hesitation.


Web Comics[edit | hide]


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • The Global Occult Coalition has Emergency Procedure "Pizzicato" for massive emergence of Threat Entities. Force authorisation states that "All restrictions re: NBC weaponry, Memetic Cascade Sequences, and Nanotech Grey Goo items withdrawn" and "Acceptable Collateral Damage: 90% of worldwide human population".
    • That's nothing compared to what their opposite-number the SCP Foundation are prepared to do to contain some items. Then again, an awful lot of the things they deal with really are that dangerous.
      • Almost all SCP are at least moderately dangerous in one form or another. The best example is SCP-682. So far, the only way to stop it is to deal such massive trauma to its body so that it is physically unable to move (IE: Kill. If it can move, it can kill.) It will regenerate, it will adapt, and it will try again. Unfortunately, it's really not the worst SCP. Obviously destroying more than 95% of the population, and most of the surface of the planet is actually an optimistic approach in the worst case scenario of a mass containment breach at all sites.
  • Quantum from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe was the most powerful superbeing on Earth. He was quite literally capable of disintegrating the moon, had he wanted to, but of course he never wanted to. When the Xorn invaded, he went out to meet their attack fleet in space and finally let himself cut loose. It was almost enough.
  • This is how Kickassia regards convincing Spoony to become Dr. Insano.
  • The Director of Red vs. Blue creates Godzillas just so he can be ready for this:

Director: When faced with extinction, every alternative is preferable!

  • Pretty much every plan to deal with Tennyo in the Whateley Universe. One we saw in a holographic simulation destroyed the Eastern Seaboard of the U.S. and plunged the planet into nuclear winter. And they considered it a reasonable alternative.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Any scenario that could lead to a Global Thermonuclear War. Thank God it hasn't come to that yet.
    • To a lesser degree, anything that causes extensive use of biological weapons.
    • And let's not forget the scenario that did lead to nuclear war. That invading the islands of Japan would be incredibly difficult and bloody was the primary argument for the two bombs dropped in 1945. Emphasis on "argument"—the debate continues about whether it was the right thing. The details are not particularly relevant to this article, however. That said, the fact that it can be reasonably argued from either side says just how insane the situation was for it to even be seriously considered.
  • World War I: The German Reich, being an authoritarian, militarist Monarchy, hated and feared Communism with a fiery passion. But when the Western Front bogged down for several years, they smuggled Vladimir Lenin into Russia, hoping he'd screw that country up even further and force it out of the war. It worked, leading to the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, whereby Germany got huge swathes of territory ceded to them by Russia in exchange for peace, and the entire Eastern Front army could be transferred to the Western Front for the Spring 1918 offensives. Of course, the cost was the creation of the USSR and the rise of Josef Stalin, which led to...
  • The Midwives of the Birth of Nazism. Fearing the Dirty Communists of Josef Stalin's USSR, many in the West looked favorably on the rise of Adolf Hitler and Those Wacky Nazis, because their blatantly anti-Communist rhetoric made them seem like a good buffer zone between the Soviets and the West. Further, many in the West thought Nazi Germany was spiffy: to some, after the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact, Nazi Germany was a Socialist power allied to the Mother Revolution in Soviet Russia. Others thought Nazism was the One-Winged Angel form of Capitalism and were delighted to "see the death throes." Still others thought any Socialist revolution was better than Capitalism/classical liberalism.
    • Of course, this trope was also played even straighter in the USSR, as paradoxically the Soviets saw a rearmed Germany as a valuable buffer between themselves and the West dating back to Seeckt's proposals for joint defense, and the USSR played a leading role in recreating the German military. Even after Hitler rose to power, he and Stalin hashed out several agreements designed to expand to their mutual benefit at the expense of Eastern Europe's independent states. This, of course, led immediately and directly to...
  • World War II: Winston Churchill was one of those rabidly anti-Communist leaders in the West, but he also realized that the Nazis were worse. So, when Hitler backstabbed Stalin and invaded Russia in 1941, Churchill went back on a lifetime of opposing Communism by immediately offering alliance and aid to the Soviets. When questioned on the wisdom of this by his political allies, Churchill famously stated that "If Hitler invaded Hell, I'd find something favorable to say about Satan himself." Of course, allying with Stalin did work as far as defeating Hitler went, but that in turn led directly to...
  • The Cold War. Western nations often couldn't think of anything worse than seeing another nation fall to Communism, so if keeping the Dirty Communists out meant backing ruthless right-wing military dictatorships in third world nations, so be it. The Commies for their part didn't have any problems with working with ruthless left-wing dictators to keep American Puppets out of power in various nations. Of course, even by those calculations, sometimes, the Godzilla Threshold wasn't quite met to the extent that going nuclear was worth it, which is why we didn't end up fighting nuclear war over Vietnam, Korea, Cuba, Angola, or any of a dozen other brushfire wars and proxy conflicts during that era. One of those conflicts was Afghanistan, where American political leaders basically thought, "A bunch of Fundamentalist Islamic guerrillas with terrorist tendencies can't possibly make the situation any worse than the Commies are, so let's give them a bunch of free guns." Which led to...
  • The War on Terror: In the fight against terrorism, the US and its allies has shacked up with some pretty sketchy organizations and regimes, justified by how said organizations, for all their corruption, seem more interested in local power than flying airplanes into buildings. We'll see what this leads to.
    • Which has created its own, lesser threshold: if a plane is heading for a civilized area, won't respond to attempts to contact it, and all other attempts to stop it fails, the United States Air Force will shoot down its own country's civilian aircraft. We've already seen what happens when we fail to get there in time.
  • As a note, the above is basically the entire military history of the 20th century. A country props up a group that they see as the lesser evil to their current enemies, defeat the current enemies and then have to fight the guys they just helped become stronger. Though in all fairness, the current war against terrorists is peanuts compared to what came before; unlike the Nazis and the Soviet Union, these folk pose no threat to the first world as a whole.
    • We hope.
  • In a modern conventional firefight (at least amongst the US military), the call of "broken arrow" is this trope. A "broken arrow" scenario means that a battle has effectively gone much worse than anticipated and a unit is on the verge of being overrun. What the call entails is to direct all available attack aircraft and artillery fire on the area being attacked. Because of the close distance nature and general disorganization happening during a "broken arrow" call, friendly fire (also known as Blue On Blue) from airstrikes and artillery is basically expected rather than actively avoided. A realistic demonstration of this was used in the movie We Were Soldiers.
    • This is also seen near the end of the climactic battle in Oliver Stone's Platoon, as the company commander calls in an airstrike on his own position, which is in the process of being completely overrun by NVA regulars.

Captain Harris: For the record, it's my call. Dump everything you've got left on my pos! I say again, expend all remaining in my perimeter! It's a lovely fucking war...Bravo-Six out.

  • Singapore's reserve funds are, proportionate to her market size, one of the world's largest, largely thanks to their usage being handled this way. The one time they have (publicly) been known to be used since independence was during the 2009 credit crunch, which is currently the worst recession since the Great Depression.
    • Singapore has to get all of its drinkable water from Malaysia. If Malaysia ever cuts the water off, Singapore will, almost without a doubt, immediately declare war.
  • This is seen (at least in terms of damage to property) when it comes to dealing with emergency situations. Factory burning and the only way to get access to one side is through a full car dealership parking lot? Bulldoze the brand new cars out of the way. Sea water bad in the long term for the precision materials and equipment inside the nuclear reactor and will undoubtedly make it unable to be used in the future? Fuck it, we need to cool it down now.
  • How bad is the AIDS epidemic in Southern Africa? The King of Swaziland declared a five-year moratorium on sex.
  • The future United States' Declaration of Independence described political revolution in essentially these terms, and the bulk of it consisted of a list of reasons why the signers felt the actions of the British crown had crossed the threshold.
    • Since after World War II, the new German constitution includes an article that makes it the duty of all German citizens to use any means neccessary to prevent any government from overthrowing the constitution and establishing another totalitarian regime, which includes the use of armed resistance.
  • Many governments have provisions in law stating that, in a sufficiently serious emergency, most or all rights will be suspended. As far as we know, no government can summon Godzilla, but if they could, this would make it legal.
    • Related to this: nuclear weapons policy. At least in the UK the military maintains a tradition of letters of last resort. In effect these are the "final orders" to the Captains of the four nuclear-equipped Vanguard-class submarines to be opened in the event of a complete breakdown in command and control as a result of nuclear attack and which nobody knows except the Prime Minister himself/herself. Technically ANYTHING can be ordered, but in general the possibilities fall into four categories. One of which is to accept that deterrence has failed and not retaliate and one is to place the submarine under the command of an allied nation. The last two basically amount to the Godzilla threshold in that either a full nuclear retaliation is ordered or, perhaps most horrifyingly, for the Captain to simply "use their best judgement" which in effect amounts to a freedom to do anything he deems necessary.
  • In the Thai flooding crisis they dug up Bangkok's roads to try and channel away the floodwaters despite the cost in future rebuilding.
  • Ancient Rome had provisions for this during the Republic: when an enemy appeared invincible and on the verge of overrunning Rome, the Senate chose the man best suited to deal with that enemy and made him a dictator, giving him absolute power for six months and with no legal way to make him pay for anything he did during his term. It usually went well, as they would follow the example of Cincinnatus, who, upon defeating an enemy coalition that had surrounded the Roman army (thus prompting him being named dictator) within the first half of his term, resigned and returned to his farm, and, after being named dictator AGAIN to deal with a coup, he defeated the coup in one day and immediately resigned AGAIN.
    • On the other hand, you had Julius Caesar, who realized that "absolute power" meant that he had the authority to remove that little six-month limitation on his absolute power.
      • Caesar already had absolute power. His dictatorship was a way to justify it.
  • Locusts. Old school but still pretty much Armageddon to farmers if a swarm manages to grow to Biblical proportions. Crop loss is often expected to be 100% and THEN some. To save even some form of vegetation in the path of a hungry locust swarm means keeping them under a protective, insect proof shell. Expensive and not 100% reliable to say the least.
    • Methods used to combat locust swarms are usually using enough poison to kill every living thing in the area except the locust whose numbers will take a dent but is a hive being several miles wide and thus, can move around, over, or through the poisoned areas.
    • Fire, where you will have to burn every ounce of vegetable matter in their path for miles (this includes lawns, gardens, trees, etc) in the hopes of starving them down.
      • Fortunately, locusts don't go to the Nuclear range when it comes to Godzilla thresholds, but any expected harvest for the season is pretty much bust.
        • Worse, it was only in 2009 that scientists even figured out what causes locust swarms to appear. Locusts are grasshoppers - the same grasshoppers that are living in the area already. But if their numbers grow too large, this causes them to literally morph into locusts, swarm, and start eating everything in sight.
  • Fire. A sufficiently big fire like the Chicago Fire, forest fires, etc., will pretty much turn anything in its path into a smouldering ruin and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Fires can get so bad, that perhaps the only way to deal with it is to set your OWN fire, the Godzilla Threshold, in the hope that your fire will consume enough fuel/air to fight the original fire. Of course, things CAN go wrong where the fire just merges into one Super Fire and it goes From Bad to Worse.
    • During the Chicago Fire, dynamite was used to demolish entire blocks of buildings in an attempt to create fire breaks. It was partially successful in some areas, but ultimately they couldn't work fast enough and the fire outflanked the demolition crews. In most modernized countries, building or house fires rarely get to the city-destroying stage anymore, but lighting backfires (which burn towards the original fire, consuming all the fuel) is still a technique in use for fighting forest or brushfires. Setting backfires is reportedly as much art as science, and as previously mentioned is in no way guaranteed to work, making it a controversial tactic at best.
    • As a number of countries have learned the hard way (the US included) the absolute worst forest fire management policy is to stamp them all out as fast as possible. This leads to build up of fuel until it reaches the stage where it is no longer possible to suppress further fires, resulting in a titanic wildfire, such as the 1988 Yellowstone fire. The better option is to allow natural fires of limited scale to burn, suppressing only fires of large size or human origin. This allows a safe burn-off of the naturally accumulating fuel.
  • Culling. As stupid as killing an entire farm of livestock because ONE animal was found sick sounds, it's because of this Trope that it is done. Depending on what the animal was sick with, Avian Flu, Swine Flu, SARS, or just plain old Foot and Mouth, it is often seen as a good idea to use the Godzilla Option early rather than wait for it to become a Godzilla Necessity. Because as wasteful as culling perfectly good livestock is, the potential losses of not doing so are just too great to risk.
    • This also applies to crops to a lesser degree.
  • The Crusades started when the Patriarch of Constantinople asked the Pope for help to fight off the Turks. However, at that point the Great Schism between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox Christianity was in living memory, and the Pope and the Patriarch had mutually excommunicated each other, each sect considering the other to be heretical. For a religious leader to even consider the help of people he considered heretics, you know it's trope. The aftermath was exactly how you'd expect this trope to go.
  1. which is in the hundreds of dice
  2. a Game Breaker in Real Life