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The influence of gate oxide breakdown of one MOS transistor on the functionality of simple analog and digital circuits is studied. The main changes in the transistor behavior such as the additional gate current as well as transconductance and threshold voltage degradation are pointed out and their respective impact on circuit characteristics is analyzed. With this approach, it is possible to identify critical transistors during the design stage and implement appropriate countermeasures. Depending on the application, some circuits may be functional even after breakdown of one of their transistors.