Originally Posted by Gnoman
The subversion I've always loathed was The Cold Equations. In order to subvert the "Science always saves the day!" trope of contemporay science fiction, the author set up a situation so contrived that, not only would preventing the girl's death be extremely trivial, the sort of mission described in the story would nearly always fail due to elementary engineering. Besides that, there was enough explicitly-identified junk in the ship to make up the 40-80 kg of mass that the girl took up.
Also, if the ship really was carrying the exact calculated amount of fuel to make the trip given its precise measured mass, then it's too late for ejecting the girl to do anything, because the ship already burned extra fuel taking off
with her on it.
And of course, even if they let the ship crash, the speed of impact would be a few m/s at most. You know, because adding a single human's mass onto a starship results in a comparably minuscule change in how the physics play out.