[[quoteright:350:[[Film/MysteryMen http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/tonyp-crop.jpg]]]]

->''"You can't hurt me, Baby Bowler. 'Cause I'm protected. By the God of Haircare."''
-->-- '''[[Creator/EddieIzzard Tony P]]''', ''Film/MysteryMen''

Subtrope of ImprovisedWeapon. A character uses an aerosol can, such as hairspray, with a match or lighter as a makeshift [[FireBreathingWeapon flamethrower]]. A '''''serious''''' case of DontTryThisAtHome, because there's a very real risk that the flames will heat the canister up enough for it to rupture and explode. [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking Also, it smells terrible.]] You can accidentally poison yourself if you keep doing it, thanks to the fumes. See also FartsOnFire for a smaller, more comedic version of this.

See also BoozeFlamethrower, MolotovCocktail, and ArrowsOnFire. If a gas canister ''itself'' becomes a weapon, that's a GasCylinderRocket.

Interestingly but for probably obvious reasons, the [[UsefulNotes/MediaClassifications BBFC]] (the British censorship board) doesn't allow this trope to be shown in films or home video rated below "18", as they are pretty strict in banning what they deem is "imitable" and likely to cause injury and/or death if some [[ViewersAreMorons dumb kid]] decided to copy an obviously dangerous action in a movie or TV show.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime and Manga ]]
* Kagome of ''Manga/{{Inuyasha}}'' used a candle and a can of hairspray on a demon weak to heat.
* Mousse of ''Manga/RanmaOneHalf'' did this to a deaged Ranma and Ryoga once in the manga while trying to learn fire breathing.
* Pretty much the weapon of choice for the [[ActionSurvivor Action Survivors]] of ''Manga/{{Biomeat|Nectar}}''.
* Saburo draws one in the episode of ''Manga/KeroroGunsou'' where he was introduced to the Reality Pen.

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Done by Rorschach in ''Comicbook/{{Watchmen}}''.
* Other Beth threatens Yorick with this when they first meet in ''ComicBook/YTheLastMan''.
-->Yorick (entering a church): Hello? [...] I need to make a confession.\\
Beth ([[ClickHello pointing aerosol at him]]): Well, you know the drill... repent or burn.
** Yorick, being a nerd, warns Beth that the flame will come back at her. It doesn't.
* Bob claims to have improvised one to drive off a feral dog (or possibly a coyote) in the ''ComicStrip/KnightsOfTheDinnerTable'' strip "A Fish Story".

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]

* Film/JamesBond uses this to kill a snake in ''Film/LiveAndLetDie''.
* In ''Film/MysteryMen'', this is the WeaponOfChoice for [[EddieIzzard Tony P]], Leader of the [[GangOfHats Disco Boys]].
* Buffy does this (igniting it off a [[CrossMeltingAura burning cross]]) in the original ''Film/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' movie.
-->'''Lothos:''' So this is your defense? Your puny faith? (he grasps the crucifix; it bursts into flame.)
-->'''Buffy:''' No. My keen fashion sense. (she pulls a can of hair spray out of her purse.)
* In ''Film/TrueLies'', Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger uses a gas-truck nozzle and the muzzle flash from his submachine gun to make a rather disturbingly powerful impromptu flamethrower.
* In ''Film/PointBreak'', the robbers use a gas pump to create a makeshift flamethrower to remove the evidence from their car.
* That guy from ''Film/TheCore'' did it to demonstrate what could happen to the earth before long if something wasn't done.
* It's done in ''Film/DogSoldiers'' as a last resort weapon.
* In ''Film/TheBluesBrothers'', Elwood uses a can of epoxy spray to torch an elevator control panel.
* In ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'', Rorschach uses a can of hairspray and a lighter to make a flamethrower to torch the police that are trying to arrest him
* Done in French action movie ''TheNest'' (''Nid de GuÍpes''). It works pretty well.
* The flight attendant, of all people, makes one in ''SnakesOnAPlane''. Apparently, she went through a pyromaniac phase as a kid. Of course, she's not nearly insane enough to ''use'' it, handing it off to Creator/SamuelLJackson instead.
* Done in ''Film/{{Arachnophobia}}'' when the hero fights the king spider.
* ''LeprechaunBack2ThaHood'', where a victim gets chased into her bathroom and attacks the leprechaun with one of these when he busts through the door.
* Charles Bishop Weyland from the first ''Film/AlienVsPredator'' movie does this as a HeroicSacrifice with a flare and a medicine inhaler. He gets butchered by a Predator hunter because he had a weapon, trumping the fact that he's a sick old man who the hunter would ignore otherwise.
* The FinalGirl of ''PsychoCopReturns'' defends herself with one near the end.
* ''Film/TrueRomance'': Alabama does one of these to [[spoiler:Virgil, aka [[Series/TheSopranos Tony Soprano]]]], after his NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on her. She then finishes it off with a [[AgonyOfTheFeet corkscrew through the foot]].
* ''Film/TomorrowWhenTheWarBegan''. Lee uses one to [[WeNeedADistraction start a cattle stampede]] after hissing like a snake fails to get them moving.
* Used by Gwen Stacy in ''Film/TheAmazingSpiderMan'' to defend herself against The Lizard.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* Done in ''TheMist'', by Creator/StephenKing, in both the book and the movie.
* ''The Tango Briefing'' by Adam Hall. British spy {{Quiller}} is being held at gunpoint by Egyptian intelligence mooks, waiting for their BigBad to arrive. He's next to his car, so he removes the fuelcap (hidden behind his back) and drops a lit match into the petrol tank, turning it into an impromptu flamethrower.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Used by a naked [[Series/LaFemmeNikita Nikita]] when her house is invaded.
* Used in ''Series/{{Lost}}'' by Locke to kill a polar bear in a season three episode.
* [[Series/DeadliestCatch Edgar Hansen]], deck boss on the crab boat ''Northwestern'', likes to torment other crew members with these.
* Frances' daughters make one out of Dawn's deodorant in a flashback in ''TheLibrarians''.
* ''Series/BurnNotice'''s Fiona Glenanne has pulled this trick a number of times, but in "Fast Friends", she combines this with a trashcan full of nail polish remover (which is largely made of acetate and extremely flammable) for a quick - and diversionary - bomb.
* ''Series/MyNameIsEarl'', Joy threatens to torch a childhood enemy with this and Earl mentions that she tried to cook a Thanksgiving turkey that way.
* Nate creates one in the ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' episode "The Zanzibar Marketplace Job".
* Faith made one using a stove lighter and a can of kitchen oil in ''Series/{{Angel}}'' in order to torture Wesley.
* In the dutch reality TV series ''Oh Oh Tirol'' (basically a dutch ''Series/JerseyShore'') Tatjana uses this to light a cigarette when she can't find a lighter. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LvGEUwULoVQ&feature=player_detailpage video at 0:24]]
* Victoria plans to use a can of hairspray and a lighter on an ex-boyfriend in an episode of ''Series/MikeAndMolly''. Mike manages to talk her down and take the can and lighter away from her.
* Sam and Dean of ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' have been known to fall back on this tactic when their guns and other weapons don't do the job. Not very often (they've only done it twice), but when the situation calls for fire, they do what they have to.
** It's notable that the first time they did this, it was improvisation on Dean's part, using a can of insecticide and a lighter to fight off invading bugs. In the later episodes where fire was the weapon of choice, the brothers can be seen constructing their own temporary flamethrowers out of gas bottles and copper piping.
* The ''Series/MythBusters'' did this with pepper spray. While testing if a pepper spray covered shirt was flammable, they tested different brands to see if the pepper spray itself was flammable; of five types they tried, two were non-flammable, one created a stream of fire, and the other two gave large flames typical of this trope.
** The test was inspired by an episode of ''Series/{{CSI}}'' in which tasering a pepper-sprayed suspect set them on fire. (The Mythbusters themselves even get to make a cameo appearance in the expository scene where it's explained why the poor man went up in flames.)
* In the British remake of ''{{The Day of the Triffids}}'', the main character uses one of these to fend off a triffid.

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[[folder:Music]]

* In the music video for [[Music/BonJovi Bon Jovi's]] "Always," the jealous boyfriend torches the artist's studio with the help of one. The versions of the video that can be viewed online have this part cut out for some reason, which results in the place going up in flames for no apparent reason.

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[[folder: Tabletop Games ]]

* They show up in ''{{GURPS}}: High-Tech'' but are unreliable, lack range and get five seconds of firing time at best. They're still better than most improvised weapons, scarier too.
* Stories have gone around of ''TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade'' players doing this. Based on standard game mechanics, this should be a brutally effective tactic against all but the most powerful vampires -- if it doesn't outright kill your opponent, it will hurt them a ''lot'' worse than it would hurt a human, and will likely scare the living daylights out of them. However, the GameMaster may have other ideas.
** In the TabletopGame/NewWorldOfDarkness setting, ''TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil'' actually has rather in-depth rules for finding the supplies for and utilizing an aerosol flamethrower. Even against creatures who aren't particularly vulnerable to flames, a lucky Hunter can set them on fire which is one of the most effective ways to kill almost anything.

[[/folder]]

[[folder:Theatre]]

* Link broke Tracey out of prison in the stage musical of ''{{Hairspray}}'' using this method.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* In ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'', you have to do this against the final boss. You have to [[{{Macgyvering}} macgyver]] the weapon out of bits and pieces lying around, all the while being hunted by a machine-gun wielding enemy... whom you then have to burn to death with your jury-rigged flamethrower. An early CrowningMomentOfAwesome in Snake's career, at least for the player - in-universe, having to do that is part of what causes Snake's HeroicBSOD that he ends up retiring over between this and [[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid the next game]].
* This is one of the many weapons you can find in ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}''. You can either use the traditional method, or light it and toss it like a grenade. The bug spray weapon in ''Blood 2'' works on the same principle, substituting a CartoonBugSprayer filled with extremely acidic and flammable bug spray for a can of aerosol.
* Of the many weapons in the ''Film/DieHard'' arcade game, the lighter and especially the spray can seem all but useless at first. Then you put them together...
* You can do this with cans of hair spray in ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing''.
* One of the new weapons featured in ''[[Videogame/ArmyMen Army Men II]]'' happens to be this.
* The game ''Film/{{Arachnophobia}}'' had this as one of your most useful weapons against the spider menace. Getting both the matches and the aerosol can in the same level would make you extremely dangerous.
* In [[VideoGame/JakAndDaxter Daxter's]] self-titled GaidenGame, he wields a spray gun that can paralyze metal bugs. Partway through the game, he gets an upgrade that lights the spray and makes it function as a flamethrower.
* ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilOutbreak'' allows you to fashion a hairspray flamethrower together as a weapon.
* One of the weapons in ''Videogame/AloneInTheDark2008''.
* In ''VideoGame/PoliceQuest IV: Open Season'', you take out the [[BigBad serial killer]] this way after you were knocked out and stripped of your inventory.
* ''{{Postal}} 2'' gets one with the ''A Week in Paradise'' mod. The effect looks more like slow-moving clouds of flame rather than a stream, which actually makes it useful for short-term area denial.
** ''Postal 3'' also gets one as the pepper spray's alt fire.
* ''[[VideoGame/ToySoldiers Toy Soldiers: Cold War]]'', Levels 2 and 3 of the makeshift unit are different versions of these.
* In the Mercenaries Reunion mode of Resident Evil 5, Rebecca Chambers uses an aerosol can flamethrower as her special attack when an enemy is shot in the head. Especially hilarious because she is depicted as a small, weak and fragile girl.

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[[folder: Web Comic ]]

* ''SomethingPositive'' did this one - it's how Kharisma got her burn scars (being TheDitz and possibly TooDumbToLive, she ended up doing it to herself).
** While describing how to do it.
* This is the basis for a short arc in the early days of ''Webcomic/SequentialArt'', starting [[http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=8 here]].
* Used by Bun-Bun from ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance'' against [[http://www.sluggy.com/daily.php?date=990324 Mecha Easter Bunny]].
* ''TheClassMenagerie'' had a segment involving fighting man-eating ants with hairspray.
* ''LastRes0rt'' has a scene that features a young Celeste trying to threaten an Efreet with one of these. [[TooDumbToLive It doesn't work.]]

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* A Web series called ''{{Hyperboy}}'' did this with the title character's evil twin. And it was {{Badass}}.
* In ''Literature/{{Worm}}'', [[spoiler:Skitter]] creates one of these in [[http://parahumans.wordpress.com/2012/12/29/monarch-16-11/ Monarch 16.11]] by [[spoiler:hitting a soldier who was trying to light a MolotovCocktail with her pepper spray]].

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}: Escape 2 Africa'' Nana uses this technique to light a campfire in the African bush.
* The ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'' episode, The Ungroundable, ends with the {{goth}}s torching down a Hot Topic in this manner.
* In ''HomeMovies'', Melissa puts a can of hairy spray in a microwave to explode the kitchen to make a daring escape.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': In "Pranks and Greens", Homer attempts to put out a burning pile of snack foods by spraying it with Kool Wip. The topping catches fire and burns back up the stream to the can, which explodes.

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[[folder: Real Life ]]

* Torches / power lighters based on cans (normally lighter refill, not aerosol). The one [[http://www.boingboing.net/2010/01/06/diy-mosquito-killing.html most advanced so far]] was featured on [=BoingBoing=]. Safe only if both made and used with care, of course. But aside of overkilling pesky insects, these things are powerful enough to dry up wet firewood and thus good at starting campfires.
* Flamethrowers that use gas instead of liquid fuel are basically this, but more controlled and intentional.
* Silly String is prone to this-- which people don't always realize. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w8efguf0XOs Watch out around birthday candles.]]
* This trope gets tested a lot in real life, mostly by young teenage boys with deodorant. Luckily for parents everywhere, most of them have enough sense to keep the can far from their face and to use really short bursts.
** A few videos on Youtube of people using this to [[KillItWithFire get rid of wasp nests]]. This gets mixed results, since even though the nest is made of what is basically paper, not all the wasps will be killed every time.
[[/folder]]

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