Created By: Rethkir on May 2, 2013 Last Edited By: Rethkir on May 8, 2013

Glowing Grenade

Video game grenades glow to alert the player.

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In video games, there is a common tendency to make grenades inexplicably glow. The sole purpose of this is to alert the player, since grenades usually do a lot of damage or instantly kill. This is an acceptable break form reality, since it is usually made to not seem out-of-place. This is sometimes seemingly-justified by being in a sci-fi setting, but it still doesn't make sense from a tactical standpoint. In real life, a glowing light on a grenade would defeat the purpose of it as a lethal weapon.

Feel free to add examples.


  • The Combine's grenades in Half-Life 2 are actually MK3A2 grenades, but come with red light that blinks (and chirps) when thrown.
  • Thermal Detonators in the Star Wars: Battlefront series glow red when thrown.
Community Feedback Replies: 6
  • May 7, 2013
    Max Payne 3 has grenades which literally glow and beep so the player can either dodge them or attempt to shoot them midair using bullet time.
  • May 7, 2013
    ^Zero Context Example.

    Video Games:
    • Done in all three Mass Effect games. In the first game, Shepard's grenades have a revolving light on them. In the second and third, your HUD throws up a glowing marker for them.
    • Halo: UNSC frag grenades leave a smoke trail, while Covenant plasma grenades release a plume of blue plasma.
  • May 7, 2013
    Updated, although this trope hardly leaves much room for elaboration.
  • May 7, 2013
    You can always add more detail. The only tropes that can generally get away with a ZCE are title and name tropes, which are usually fairly self-evident (the former more often than the latter).
  • May 8, 2013
    • Bombs in Spelunky flash red and black when lit up, and flash even faster when they are about to explode.
  • May 8, 2013
    Mines in Fallout3 and Fallout New Vegas have lights on them. When triggered, they also chirp for a short time before exploding. Grenades, however, are an aversion to this trope.