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The government needs a badass special operator for a suicide mission no sane person would undertake. So they recruit a suitably trained prisoner for the job. How do you ensure that the prisoner will cooperate and not head for the hills as soon as their cell door is opened?
You attach a bomb to them.
This is a common means of ensuring that people do things they normally would not do because of common sense. While there are occasions where the bomb is physically implanted, it is usually in the form of a Slave Collar locked around the person's neck. The collar can have a detonator operated by the mission controller. It can be on a timer giving the operator a strict time limit within which to accomplish the mission. Or it can be triggered by proximity to a detonating device placed to prevent their escape.
It isn't always for a government mission that this method of control is used. Explosive collars can keep prisoners from wandering off. They can make friends kill each other. They can make law-abiding people commit crimes.
Anime and Manga
- B-Shock: The premise behind the manga. The two main characters have explosive devices attached to their wrists by a Mad Scientist, set to go off if they move too far apart.
- In The World Only God Knows, Keima gets a collar after inadvertently making a contract with Elsee, a minor demon, to capture wayward spirits. Elsee doesn't go into detail on what would happen if Keima disobeys, apart from an ominous "you'll lose your head". Elsee has a collar as well, and if Keima's goes off, so does hers, so she's got kind of an interest in making sure he follows through.
- Cyber City Oedo 808 had its main characters and many other cons fitted with explosive collars to ensure they would carry out their missions. In one episode Gogul witnesses how another con tried to take his collar off, and what happened to him...
- Elfen Lied does it with five-year-old Mariko Kurama. She actually has several explosive implants, located in different parts of her body, and the first time she misbehaves, they blow off one of her limbs as a 'warning shot'. They'll all go off at once if a specific code isn't transmitted every thirty minutes. If this sounds extreme, one must keep in mind that Mariko can kill people with her mind, and has been so damaged by her experiences, she'd probably drive humanity to extinction if she had half a chance.
- Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does it with the Gurren Lagann itself — Simon was scheduled to be executed, but he still had to kick some alien butt before it reached the city, so he asked Rossiu to have his Humongous Mecha packed with explosives. To insure he didn't make a Heroic Sacrifice, they also had Rossiu's companion and Love Interest Kinon ride along in the mech, because Simon definitely wouldn't sacrifice someone else's life.
- In G Gundam, the space pirate Argo Gulskii was persuaded to become Neo Russia's Gundam Fighter after his crew were captured, so to gain their freedom if he wins the Gundam Fight. He however is a prisoner for life, which means he must wear handcuffs all the time (which have an on-off switch), and has a bomb strapped to his chest. However Just before the final battle against the Devil Gundam, his 'prison warden' Nastasha Zabicov removes the handcuffs and the bomb against orders so he can fight freely. She also frees his friends while she's at it.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00's sidestory manga use explosive collars on criminals "drafted" into Celestial Being and its sister organization, Fereshte. While the collared individuals are given more freedom than most examples of this trope, the collar is never intended to be removed, though rare exceptions are made (such as when one got married to a member of the groups... said ex-collared member being Marlene Vlady, the mother of Bridge Bunny Feldt Grace.).
- Also, anyone who doesn't believe in Celestial Being's Ideology has a leash put on.
- Fon Spaak, the protagonist of 00F, has his bomb activated during a fight with the Trinities. He survives mostly through sheer determination.
- In Sora no Otoshimono, when Nymph fails to capture Icarus and awakens her instead, she's given a "second chance" with a time bomb on her collar, more for the Master's entertainment than motivation.
- In Spiral, Ayumu gets one of these put on him as part of a hostage exchange/battle of wits.
- In One Piece, the slave traders of Shabondy Archipelago keep their stock in collars that explode if anyone tries to remove them without the proper key. Unless, of course, they can pull it off quick enough like one slave can do.
- Much later, in the Whole Cake Island arc when Sanji was forcibly brought back to his Big Screwed-Up Family, they slapped a pair of explosive cuffs on his hands to make sure he wouldn't rebel and risk have his hands, which he takes care of a lot so he can cook to his heart's delight, injured to the point of no return. Luckily for him, his Cool Big Sis Reiju was savvy and compassionate enough to put empty cuffs on him.
- And even later, in the Wano Country arc Luffy and his ally Hyogoro were forced to wear special slave collars that would decapitate them if they left a certain sumo ring. However, Luffy gets to rip them off him right before they do go off.
- In Gantz, the 'players' have bombs implanted in their brains, which will explode if they leave the area. Most of them are unaware of this fact.
- In Digimon Savers, Kurata puts one of these on Thomas's beloved little sister, Relena. An 8-years-old or so Ill Girl who is confined to a wheelchair, too! It turns out Thomas' apparent Face Heel Turn was due to his having to obey Kurata long enough to find a way to save her. There's a reason this guy is considered the worst villain in the whole Digimon franchise.
- In Sonic X, GUN did this to Rouge.
Topaz: Just think of it as a bracelet.
- The slave collars in the Magical World of Mahou Sensei Negima. The collars can't be removed by any kind of magic while the slave contract is legal. If someone tries to remove the collar by force, the collar will go boom. The "masters" of the slaves can also use the collars to shock them; one of them does to three slave girls (Negi's friends and students Ako, Akira and Natsumi), but the bear lady watching over the girls beat him up for it.
- Curiously enough, they also serve as a surveillance device to protect slaves from excessive abuse, as slaves are guaranteed some abridged rights.
- Hellsing: Millenium actually implants one of these in all of their agents. Granted they don't actually explode, instead they are incinerated. It should be noted that all of the Mooks who are killed this way are vampires they are created artificially so they are vulnerable to this form of termination, while Alucard and Seras are not.
- Exploding collars are used twice in the Gunsmith Cats manga, by two unrelated villains.
- When she's made to help Spartoi access the Book of Eibon, Eruka gets one of these in Soul Eater. Harvar is unnervingly matter-of-fact when pointing out she will be killed if she tries anything.
- Wouldn't be her first experience with such a leash. Early on, Medusa put snakes inside her and Mizune and would kill her in a heartbeat if she disobeyed. Of interesting note is that for a time, she had both this leash and the one above at the same time.
- 07-Ghost has Teito with an collar that will explode if he doesn't hear Frau's voice for 24 hours.
- Cyborg 009 uses this with a spin: Shinichi Ibaraki, Mary Onodera and Masaru Oyamada were not only forcibly turned into Cyborgs, but they got bombs implanted in their bodies as a way to keep them under control in their mission. Said mission was to kill their former True Companion Joe Shimamura aka 009; when they cannot bring themselves to do it, the bombs are activated, and the three kids die.
- A comparatively lite version appears in Deadman Wonderland, where all the prisoners are fitted with poisonous collars. The poison takes three days to kill the prisoners, in which time they have to be able to purchase the antidote candies. So, if they don't get the candies, they die. If they escape, they will have no way to get the candies, and die.
- In an early arc of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean, prisoners (including the heroes) volunteering for a job to find a guard gone missing in the swamp are outfitted with exploding armbands that detonate if they go too far from the guard looking after them.
- Alien Legion: In the Marvel/Epic series, the members of Force Nomad free themselves from a black hole and are horrified to find that 15 years have passed, they have been declared dead, and all Legionnaires wear control collars. The collars shock any unruly soldier and explode if anyone attempts to remove or tamper with them. They test out solutions on a member who's a blob and therefore pretty unkillable.
- The modus operandi of the "Task Force X," a.k.a. the Suicide Squad, in The DCU and The DCAU.
- Variation: at one point, the villain Prometheus (sort of the anti-Batman) keeps The Flash from using his powers with a series of bombs rigged to motion sensors. There actually aren't any bombs, but Flash doesn't know that.
- The Power Limiter of Albert Cranston in PS238 includes one of these.
- Skywatch puts one of these on Shockwave to force him to clean up their mess in IDW's Maximum Dinobots miniseries. He does not sound particularly fazed by the threat of a 24-hour time limit before it will fry his CPU.
Shockwave: Do you have any conception of how much damage I could do to this insubstantial world in that time?
- In a special comic where Batman and Superman are meeting for the first time, Batman keeps Superman from arresting him by claiming that special sensors in his suit will trigger a bomb that will kill an innocent somewhere in Gotham if Superman tries anything. Superman verifies that he's telling the truth by checking his heart rate and other vitals and is forced to work the case with him. Seem out of character for Batman? Not when the 'innocent' in question is him; he's wearing the bomb, knowing Superman would be able to sense a lie.
- Gold Key published several issues of a comic book based on the tv series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.. In one issue, "The Pixilated Puzzle Affair", Napoleon Solo and Ilya Kuryakin were held captive on an island prison colony where all the prisoners had explosive pedometer-like devices attached to their ankles. Each prisoner was permitted a specific number of strides per day; if any prisoner tried to walk or run beyond the permitted distance, his device exploded.
- Captain Atom: Plastique puts one on Cameron Scott to prevent him from transforming into Captain Atom.
- Planetary: In one issue, the Planetary field team raid one of the Big Bad's facilities, where a group of child prodigies in explosive collars are being forced to subvert the internet.
- In Megalex, The control tabs implanted in every citizen is explosive and automatically detonates when they reach the end of their prescribed lifespan. The Undergrounders remove them from new recruits.
- British 1980's science fiction comic Starblazer, issue 174 "The Terminator". On the planet Glasis V, those who disagree with Judge Drax have explosive collars fastened around their necks before being exiled.
- Cult film Hell Comes To Frogtown has a particularly painful example, in that the bomb is strapped to the male protagonist's groin.
- Swordfish ups the ante by also equipping the collars with over two kilograms of stainless steel ball bearings, turning each hostage into "the world's largest claymore mines."
- The movie adaption of The Running Man has explosive collars fitted to the prisoners at the labor camp where Schwarzenegger is detained.
- Saw III featured an explosive collar made with shotgun shells placed around a doctor's neck set to explode if Jigsaw (who is bedridden with terminal cancer) dies, thereby forcing her to keep him alive. It goes off when her husband, not knowing about this trigger, slashes Jigsaw's throat as revenge for all he put them through. It's also possible she was screwed either way, since the collar was made by Amanda, whose traps were all inescapable and the key Amanda carried didn't fit the lock of the collar.
- In The Phantom Menace, Anakin tells us that explosive implants helped keep the slaves from running away.
- In Wedlock (a.k.a. Deadlock), pairs of prisoners are fitted with explosive collars. They can be detonated on command, and explode automatically if the two prisoners get too far away from each other.
- The kicker being you didn't know who your collar was paired with, so all the prisoners would spend more time keeping eyes on each other instead of planning escapes... it didn't work.
- A explosive vest was placed upon Jackie Chan in the second Supercop movie to force him to commit crimes for them. Timed detonation, also triggered by remote control.
- In The Hurt Locker an Iraqi man has a bomb strapped to his chest and forced to approach the EOD specialists in order to blow them up with him.
- In The Transporter 3, the Corrupt Corporate Executive of the film fits several characters (including the lead) with explosive bracelets that prevent them from getting more than 50 feet from their car.
- Battlefield Earth has explosive collars fitted to the slaves.
- In the third Mission: Impossible movie, two characters have this done to them. One dies in the first five minutes of the movie,
Tom CruiseEthan survives by shocking himself, which somehow doesn't set it off.
- In Blade II, Blade attaches an explosive device to the back of one of the vampire's heads in order to prevent the vampire from attacking or betraying him.
- The cyborg slavers in Future War use dinosaur bloodhounds fixed with explosive collars, which activate upon death. "No wonder fossils are so rare."
- Used famously in Battle Royale to prevent the children from refusing to kill one another. Or as punishment speaking out of turn, as demonstrated on one boy.
- Used in Escape from New York to motivate Snake into performing his mission. However, this version of two tiny explosives implanted in the neck that are just large enough to fatally open his arteries when they explode, which would happen with their coatings dissolve in about 24 hour. So, Snake has that much time to find the President and deliver him to safety in order for the army to then neutralize the implants.
- 30 Minutes or Less is a take on the Brain Wells case below... as a comedy, with a pizza delivery boy strapped with a bomb so he can rob a bank so that two heirs can hire a hit man to kill their father and claim his inheritance.
- In Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series, a group of people has the ability to travel between alternate universes by staring at a mandala. The branch of the U.S. government tasked with studying these "worldwalkers" uses explosive leashes to make sure they come back from these universes.
- Battle Royale and its various adaptations and sequels.
- Neal Stephenson's The Diamond Age has devices called Cookies Cutters: cell-sized explosives capable of taking a small chunk out of a person, and usually injected into them in quantity. They can be detonated after a period of time (known as the Seven Minute Special), by remote control, or by passing a radio barrier. Used for execution and prisoner restraint (in large quantities) or for pacifying criminals (usually one is enough).
- In the Starchild Trilogy, political dissidents are fitted with explosive collars with undefined timers that need to be periodically "wound up" by the guard's key to renew the timer. Within the series, legend has it that the only way around the tamper mechanism is to detach the head, remove the collar, and sew the head back on.
- In the Chung Kuo series by David Wingrove the government of city Europe 'wires' people with small explosives to ensure order. When the golden plague starts to kill 90% of all life on Earth the Empress goes mad and starts picking people from the database at random, blowing their heads off until the Chancellor stops her.
- The Shapeshifter uses this, combined with a Restraining Bolt in the form of a chip inserted into the COLA's skulls.
- Storm Thief, when Grimjack decides to recruit a somewhat tricky beggar boy to his cause, and uses a "persuader". To quote: "You try to take it off, it'll blow your arm off. You don't do what you're told, I twist this thing, three beeps, and it blows your arm off. If your not back at the Null Spire within three days, It'll blow your arm off." and so forth.later he is caught by his own explosive leash, when the boy is able to remove it, and pickpockets Grimjack to substitute the device for the detonator. Then of course he gives it a twist, which confuses Grimjack, who only realised his mistake three beeps later...
- In The Court of the Air the feybreed are forced to wear suicide torcs as part of joining the special guard.
- Able Team. When Carl Lyons is captured by the Unomundo organisation he pretends to do a Face Heel Turn, planning to escape when he has a suitable opportunity. Later when sneaking around their headquarters he breaks into a room which has X-Rays taken of his neck, showing an implant the size of a AAA battery, in the same position as a surgical scar which Carl assumed was a result of his injuries when captured. There are also a series of photographs of a South American peasant with a similar scar, before and after his neck is blown open. Later when the rest of Able Team arrive to rescue Carl, they have to cut out the device with a shard of mirror glass (in case the bomb is magnetically triggered).
- In Bitter Gold Hearts, Garrett slips an enchanted crystal into Skredli's pocket and tells him that if he doesn't follow through on the plan they'd agreed to, it'll explode and tear the unfortunate ogre in half. Possibly a subversion, as the witch he'd gotten the crystals from didn't seem the sort to craft an Explosive Leash, so Garrett may have been bluffing.
- In Larry Niven's short "Neutron Star," UN Agent Sigmund Ausfaller did this to Beowulf Shaeffer's ship. Well, it wasn't actually Shaeffer's; it was the Puppeteers'. Ausfaller (correctly) suspected that Bey would take the ship to Wunderland and sell it instead of fulfilling the mission the Puppeteers contracted him for, which was figuring out how some explorers doing a close orbit of a neutron star got themselves killed through and (ostensibly invulnerable) General Products hull. Answer: tides.
- Tortall Universe: in Trickster's Choice, when Aly is made a slave, she is forced to wear a collar that will strangle her if she tries to escape. Until she convinces her new owners to disable it.
- Although it was closer to "give them an excuse" to disable it than "convince them", as she actually had to convince them — more than once, IIRC — to keep her a slave.
- An unusual self-inflicted example appears in the Sten series. Long ago, the Eternal Emperor implanted himself with a Judgement Device that would constantly monitor his thoughts and explode if he was ever brainwashed or went insane. Of course, being Immortal, he did so with the expectation that he'd get better afterwards.
Live Action TV
- Buck Rogers (original): An athlete with an Explosive Leash wants to defect from their totalitarian polity. The suspense of the last act was whether Rogers' starfighter (with passenger) would make it to the stargate before the signal from the remote control caught up.
- Nikita got to wear one in two episodes of La Femme Nikita.
- In the Doctor Who episode "Boom Town," a prisoner is kept close to the Doctor with the help of explosive handcuffs. No one should be surprised that he got them from Jack Harkness.
- One of the early and more subtle hints that Jack used to be a not very nice person...
- "Eagle Two"; the person under this codename that SRU Group One is protecting has one of these put on her, the people who did it claiming that if her husband publicly confesses to a crime he committed in the terrorists' home country years ago, it will be removed. If not...
- A more twisted version is used in the earlier episode "Planets Aligned," where a man who has kidnapped two girls puts an shock collar (the kind meant for training dogs) on their leg, telling them that if she get too close to a door or window it will buzz, and if they leave the house an underground wire will administer a lethal shock. It's not made clear if he's telling the truth about the "lethal" part, but the SRU do find the wire.
- MacGyver: In the first episode of 's third season, the Russians place an explosive leash around the neck of MacGyver's ex-girlfriend of the week, to coerce him to steal one of China's national treasures. This plot twist serves as the episode's cliffhanger, unusual since almost all of MacGyver's adventures were limited to single episodes.
- In Dark Angel Alec had a tiny bomb implanted in his brainstem to coerce him into killing transgenics.
- Subverted in one episode. Gibbs wraps det-cord around a mob boss' son and rigs it to a deadman switch so they won't shoot him. When the crisis is over he walks away and drops the switch. Of course, nothing happens.
- A teenage boy holds his classmates hostage with a bomb strapped to his chest but it turns out he does not control the bomb. The bad guys sitting in a van nearby are telling him what to do and threatening him.
- In the Torchwood episode "End of Days", Captain John Hart reveals that his actions — at least in that episode — were motivated by the bomb grafted to his wrist. How long the blackmail had been going on is not explained, though he was at least in contact with the man who planted them at the end of "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang".
- In the Criminal Minds episode "Won't Get Fooled Again", where a man walks up to the FBI with a bomb strapped round his neck.
- Used in the Law & Order: Criminal Intent episode "Pas de Deux" (which was probably inspired by the Brian Wells case described below).
- In The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Cameron wires herself with one of these because she cannot self-terminate and she's afraid she'll go on a homicidal rampage again in the future, and gives the detonator to John Connor.
- In season 2 of Alias, Sydney's former KGB mother wears one for an episode to ensure her cooperation and prevent her from escaping while on a mission in India.
- Crusade: Max Eilseron uses one of these on a Loan Shark, a rather literal case of Applied Phlebotinum, since the collar is fired from a gun and seems to form itself around the victim's neck at high velocity, forming into a seamless tamper-proof explosive collar. He does this to get the guy to stay away from Max's ex-wife. Not because he was particularly fond of her, but because the guy was holding their cat hostage. The safe return of the cat was also part of the deal.
- A flashback in Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger shows that Joe was fitted with one when he decided to rebel against Zangyack. After Captain Marvelous rescues him from a hit squad, he removes the collar by sheer brute force and ballsiness, which makes them inseparable True Companions.
- In Angel, human slaves in Pylea are kept in check by collars that will can explode if the slave attempts to remove it.
- Charlie's Angels: Sabrina has to wear an explosive belt with a remote detonator in the second season episode, "Hours of Desperation".
- This happens to a poor sap in Thunderbirds who gets a bomb strapped to his wrist, and is told to go to a specific location where the key to the lock can be found, remove the bomb and and leave the building.
- An episode of 1000 Ways to Die (Withdrawn) has the bank robber Nick (also inspired by Brian Wells) who has one around his neck, and says his boss will detonate it if he's not given millions. In reality the bomb is for real, but there's no boss: the guy made the bomb itself and lied about others putting it on him, hoping for an alibi. Karma bites him in the ass when one of the tellers escapes and tries to unlock her car... but the key's electrical signal accidentally triggers the bomb and makes him go KABOOM
- In the Warhammer 40000 RPG Dark Heresy any character can be outfitted with an explosive collar, and Guardsmen can take one as part of their starting equipment to imply ex-membership in a Penal Legion.
- Common in both Shadowrun and Deadlands: Hell on Earth. In the latter the majority of Combine troops are fitted with explosive implants.
- Call of Cthulhu supplement The Fungi from Yuggoth, adventure "By the Bay". Dr. Dieter has implanted explosive devices in the heads of the Sons of Terror (and Phillip Jurgens) which can make their heads explode on command.
- Blast Chamber: The four prisoners each have a bomb strapped to their chest, and are forced to play a Deadly Game — The last man's bomb to explode wins.
- The Deadlock collars of Ratchet: Deadlocked.
- Brad has one in Wild Arms 2 to force his joining the team. Ironically, an enemy that creates an exact duplicate of Brad is killed when the bomb is duplicated as well and explodes.
- Xenogears: Everyone who in the Prisoner's D Block. Interestingly, it is possible by random chance to remove the bomb; but the plot forces you to go through the required fighting anyways.
- In episode 2 of Strong Bads Cool Game for Attractive People, Strong Bad is outfitted with one of these for not paying the King of Town's email tax: it's set to go off if Strong Bad tries to leave his house. Fortunately, the blast produced is only enough to blacken Strong Bad's face and knock him back into the house if the player tries leaving.
- Fallout series
- Fallout 3 features exploding slave collars that can be activated by radio or a device the player is given if they work for the slavers.
- Appears once again in Fallout: New Vegas. After discovering the Brotherhood of Steel's hidden base, they promptly strip you down, attach an explosive collar to your neck, and give you orders to go take care of a nearby NCR ranger.
- In the Dead Money DLC, these are used by the Big Bad Father Elijah to ensure that the player and three other characters will cooperate with him for his heist of the Sierra Madre.
- Unfortunately he used inferior models so most of the DLC is spent either creeping slowly trying to find speakers or running to hopefully run out of range.
- Guilty Gear: Potemkin's collar is an explosive collar that will detonate and kill him if it's removed, as he's a slave of the nation of Zepp. The government is overthrown by the end of the game, at which point the bomb is defused. Potemkin continues to wear it anyway, both as a Power Limiter and as a reminder of what he's fighting for.
- Mac Spudd: In the old Macintosh game (based on the World Builder engine), the protagonist has an intracranial detonator in his head. If you drive off the road, Your Head Asplode.
- This is mocked in Escape from Monkey Island with the "Voodoo Anklet of Extreme Discomfort" which prevents the player character from leaving Lucre Island.
- Shadowrun for the SNES has the player's character discover that a cortex bomb (small, remote-controlled explosive inside one's head) has been planted in his head. Queue a frantic dash to the nearest surgeon across the city while the bomb is ticking...
- Starcraft II features this with Tychus Findlay, he's a paroled convict who's been welded inside his suit of Powered Armor, and any attempt to remove it will kill him.
- In Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors each of the nine had swallowed bombs that would activate when they broke the rule of having less than three people in a room. This was a lie; only Ace, "Snake" and the Ninth Man, had bombs inside their intestines.
- Although not explosive, a still very deadly kind using choking can be found in Dungeon Siege 2. It appears at the beginning of the game after the tutorial portion.
- in Tales of Xilia, Milla Maxwell gets one on her ankle and it'll explode if she crosses into a stronghold of King Nachtigal. She does so anyway when Nachtigal claims he'll enslave every single other country — she even manages to almost attack him before the anklet explodes and she's crippled as a result.
- Bob and George: A subversion occurs. Dr. Wily retrieves Bob from The White Space in order to force him to program Zero. Since The White Space can create any illusion one could wish for, Bob is enraged that Wily would remove him from his imaginary harem of volleyball players. Hence Wily tells Bob that the cage is rigged to blow should Bob use his fire powers, and the only way out is to first don a new helmet that is rigged to blow should Bob defy him. Bob instantly agrees to wear the "leash." Later on it is revealed that the explosives were all a lie, and Bob wouldn't have been hurt by a bomb anyway. Bob was not amused, and only didn't kill Wily because he claimed he found the way to get him back home.
- In Girl Genius, sent to the Castle Heterodyne inmates are "given" explosive collars, just in case the castle wasn't dangerous enough in and of itself. Also, there was a clause that prisoners will have amnesty if a Heterodyne is ever reinstated in the Castle. Klaus keeps his promises, so it turned out that even without his representative, collars immediately react on the traditional signal for this event — which was not easy to forge, to say the least — by falling off.
- The Last Days of Foxhound: After Big Boss possesses Liquid's body, he's outfitted with an explosive implant for the upcoming mission.
- In Two Evil Scientists, Eggman installs a bomb in the head of Metal Sonic to keep the robot from rebelling against him. When Metal inevitably decides to rebel, Eggman sets it off, only to find out that it was a pointless effort, since Metal's nanites can just rebuild his head.
- Antimony in Gunnerkrigg Court got to wear a lite version. After being too talkative on a dangerous topic in the wrong time she had her wrist wrapped in the bracelet supposed to snip her hand off if she divulged Coyote's secret to anyone during the vacation on his territory. It's obviously a part of object lesson, though he may or may not truly care about a disclosure as well. But at least it looks stylish. It turned out that she's not the first to wear such an accessory. Once conditions of the limitation are not appliable (out of forest), she was able to remove the binding herself — it simply vanished in thin air. Also, going by her memories, for ether sight it looked like a pinwheel of teeth.
- According to Penny Arcade, this is how Blizzard kept Starcraft 2 a secret.
"Could I at least tell my wife?"
- In Chirault the Guild puts exploding collars activated by an attempt at spellcasting on magic-users who don't join them. Extra points for being cute about it with prospective recruits — yes, technically this "choice", of course, does "prevent them from using magic again".
- The game Survival of the Fittest, in keeping with Battle Royale, the series that inspired it, has each of the "contestants" on the island fitted with an explosive collar that goes off if they try to leave the island or go into a danger zone. It also explodes if they try to remove the collar, making removal almost impossible. Damaging the collar enough, particularly by gunshot, is also enough to detonate them; two students died this way in v1.
- Tod in Interviewing Leather get one of these around his neck.
- SCP-076 from SCP Foundation wears one of these. It's been activated several times, as its purpose is simply to incapacitate him long enough to get him back.
- Invader Zim actually had one of these as a skool [sic] hall-pass locked around the student's neck, which explodes if it leaves the school.
- Justice League Unlimited made a particularly nasty variant of this by lacing a death row prisoner's last meal with nanites before recruiting him into
the Suicide SquadTask Force X in the episode of the same name. The nanites can be programmed to detonate his internal organs if he disobeys. His handler directly tells him "Try to escape, and, well, you're going to look awfully funny trying to run without a head."
- Slade uses the "deadly nanites" variant to recruit Robin as his Boxed Hero apprentice in the Teen Titans 1st series finale. Since, like most superheroes, Robin would tell him where to stuff it if he was just threatening him, Slade secretly slaps the leash on the rest of the Titans instead.
- In X Men the Animated Series, Genoshan slavers outfitted a few of the X-Men and other mutant prisoners with power-suppressing Slave Collars and forced them to use their powers to build a dam. The collars just turned off their powers if they tried to escape but would explode if a prisoner tried to remove them.
- Frisky Dingo: The Xtacles' helmets.
- In an episode of American Dad, Stan fits Steve with a collar that is rigged to explode if he doesn't ask Debbie out on a date within a specific time limit.
- In an episode of Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego?, Carmen is captured and put under a Kangaroo Court for the theft of the Magna Carta, despite her claims that it's Not Me This Time. When Zack and Ivy convince the judge to let her accompany them while they hunt for evidence, Carmen is given a pair of handcuffs that will explode if she tries to remove them or fails to return within 24 hours. Ultimately subverted; the moment Zack and Ivy learn that the Magna Carta hadn't actually been stolen, Carmen effortlessly removes the cuffs, reveals the "judge" as one of her henchmen, and thanks the kids for leading her right to the Magna Carta's hiding place.
- In Thundercats 2011, the Lizard army uses explosives collars to control its slaves.
- In 2003 near Erie, Pennsylvania, pizza deliveryman Brian Wells had a bomb locked around his neck and was ordered to rob four banks. (Wells was originally an accomplice to the robbery, and was told the bomb would be a fake, but learned the truth after it was already around his neck.) Wells was detained at the first bank, and before the bomb squad could arrive, the device exploded and killed him.
- The case of Elvia Cortez, a woman in Colombia who was kidnapped and forced to wear an explosive leash, eventually finding help but is killed during her rescue. A film PVC-1 was made about it.
- In 2011, Madeleine Pulver of Sydney, Australia became a stay at home hostage, as a result of a fake collar bomb plot.