“Actually, baggage handlers don’t worry about ticking ’cause modern bombs don’t tick. But when a suitcase vibrates, then they gotta call the police. Nine times out of ten: it’s an electric razor. But… every once in a while… it’s a dildo.”
— Airport Security Officer, Fight Club
Movies are there to entertain, so its understandable they don’t waste time on specifics and science. However, some movies invest so much time in developing a scifi premise or a character’s vast expertise in bomb making that it’s slightly insulting when they present us with something so amateur. (See our past article ‘are locks as easy to pick as in the movies?’ for more on movie realism.)
This is older than television; if you look at animated cartoons from the early to mid 20th Century, one of the more common mayhem-related props is a bomb—black, bowling-ball-sized, with burning fuse stuck in the top, and possibly the word BOMB on it in big happy white letters.
On TV they always have blinking lights (red is a popular color), audible beepers and/or a timer counting down on them. Some bombs have all three. Older depictions have a loudly ticking alarm clock taped to a bundle of dynamite.
In reality, modern bombs that aren’t sanctioned by government are generally made not to be identified so wont tick, beep or otherwise indicate its true form. Military and construction bombs however are labeled to the extreme. Construction is due to health and safety, and military because as the majority are designed to explode on impact, labeling won’t affect their efficacy.
So to answer the question, no, bombs do not tick.
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Source: TV Tropes
Siobhan R.// SMC Editor
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