Created By: windowerJuly 19, 2013 Last Edited By: windowerJuly 24, 2013
Nuked

Hollywood Gasoline

When gasoline is ridiculously combustible and lasting.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Hollywood has a bizarre depiction of gasoline. It takes only a single normal bullet to a gas tank to cause the whole thing to blow itself sky high and even after the end of the world as we knew it, when either zombies, aliens, nature or God Himself has decided to screw over what took millennia to build, someone (even years down the line, with no refinery in sight) is still using the gas to fuel a car and as a means to start a camp fire, except that gas doesn't work that way.

In real life, liquid gasoline is nowhere near as easily combustible as it is in fiction, and it also has an expiration date after which it stops being completely combustible. It usually happens around three months after being produced, but in our everyday lives it's not a problem since it usually gets used long before the end of its natural shelf life. And while there are artificial means to preserve the gas for longer than its natural shelf life, it doesn't happen in a car's gas tank, which is where 99% of all fuel used in Post-apocalyptic fiction is obtained by the protagonist.

A Sub-trope of Artistic License Chemistry and Ragnarok Proofing. Related to and the cause of Every Car Is A Pinto.
Community Feedback Replies: 11
  • July 19, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Covered by Ragnarok Proofing.
  • July 19, 2013
    aurora369
    This is not the only quality of Hollywood Gasoline. It is also ridiculously explosive. Real gasoline does not explode when liquid, only its vapors can explode if mixed with air. Hollywood Gasoline, however, has the volatility of nitro.
  • July 20, 2013
    Melkior
    Ragnarok Proofing would be a supertrope to this trope, making this trope a subtrope of it as well as of Artistic License Chemistry.
  • July 20, 2013
    aurora369
    What I'm trying to say is that "Hollywood Gasoline" is way broader than that. Gasoline with an unrealistically long shelf life is merely one aspect of it. The description should be expanded with more properties Hollywood (and other creators) assigns to gasoline which it doesn't have.
  • July 20, 2013
    Melkior
    I understand and I agree. I was replying to the comment about Ragnarok Proofing.
  • July 20, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Expanding the trope to Gas being nitro, along with Ragnarok Proofing and I agree, you have a trope. In its current state, it's just needlessly The Same But More Specific of Ragnarok Proofing.
  • July 21, 2013
    JonnyB
    The Walking Dead would be a good example of the shelf life part of this trope. They've been After The End for about two years now, and are still driving their fleet of cars around with no trouble.

    Also Falling Skies.
  • July 22, 2013
    maxwellsilver
    Indeed. Unlike Mad Max 2, there isn't anyone living out of an oil refinery, so there's no source for new fuel.
  • July 22, 2013
    Larkmarn
    With the updated description, it's related to (and possibly the cause of) Every Car Is A Pinto.
  • July 24, 2013
    69BookWorM69
    ^ Agreed.
  • July 24, 2013
    DracMonster
    Gasoline Is Forever

    The explosion part is basically covered by Every Car Is A Pinto. (Almost all examples are going to be a car blowing up.)

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable