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[[quoteright:290:[[Anime/KirbyRightBackAtYa http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/defeat_equals_explosion_buggzy_5981.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:290:We lose more monsters that way.]]

->"''If I become an evil genius, I'll keep in mind not to replace my blood with nitroglycerin, hydrogen or any other flammable thing, I don't wanna die exploding like the bosses of Ninja Gaiden.''"
-->-- '''Payasoplas''', on ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden''

Sometimes an enemy being defeated... [[StuffBlowingUp explodes]]. Not metaphorically like in the VillainousBreakdown sense, but in a literal, physical explosion.

In the case of robots, this could be [[JustifiedTrope justified]], as the defeat could cause them to short circuit and the spark to ignite their fuel, but it is not limited to robots. It happens with characters who are not specifically stated to be robots, and in some cases are implied to be organic in some way or another. One would expect that this trope would be combined with ActionBomb more often to weaponize their imminent demise, but the two tropes rarely seem to go hand-in-hand (although not completely absent either.) This might be because forcing the heroes to relocate the enemy someplace safer where environment and bystanders wouldn't be harmed would get old fast if it applied to all enemy deaths, thus killing the tension and drama at climax of combat.

Having every enemy explode upon death was more common in the 3rd and 4th generation of console gaming, when it was mainly done to avoid drawing death animations. This is also an effect of [[YouAreAlreadyDead being already dead]].

See also ExplosiveOverclocking, ChainReactionDestruction and LoadBearingBoss. Subtrope of MadeOfExplodium. Not to be confused with OutWithABang, which involves dying in a more...pleasurable way.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ'': This happens a lot; KiAttacks often obliterate targets they kill, but several times character explode after purely physical attacks. Even back in ''Dragonball'', King Piccolo exploded after Goku [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice punched a hole through him]]. Lampshaded in ''WebVideo/DragonBallAbridged'' by Creator/TeamFourStar:
-->''[Vegeta hits the ground, large explosion. Later, he crawls out]''\\
'''Vegeta:''' ''[gasping]'' Why did I explode?
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' generally shows that when the Angel's cores are destroyed, they explode and leave a lake of red gunk: specifically, this happens to the 3rd, 6th, 7th, and 10th Angels; however, quite a few of the angels did not explode, including several that looked like they were going to from the way they were killed. One of the early Angels left behind a corpse when it was killed that over the next few episodes was shown being removed piece by piece because its size and structure made it impossible to remove it whole altogether. [[FridgeBrilliance While this illustrates why this trope is useful in stories with giant monsters]], [[FridgeHorror one can imagine how littered with giant bodies the cities would be if shows like Power Rangers didn't do this]], [[FridgeLogic let alone why they didn't just use the giant robots to move the bodies]].
** In ''Anime/RebuildOfEvangelion'', defeating an Angel combines [[CreepyCoolCrosses cross-shaped]] explosions with LudicrousGibs, [[EverythingsBetterWithRainbows creating a rainbow]].
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'': This is the fate of any mook (and the odd villain) who gets killed with Hokuto Shinken, except with blood and guts (or just liquid light in the anime).
* ''Anime/SailorMoon'': Most [[MonsterOfTheWeek Monsters of the Week]] end up this way, particularly in Series 1. Or crumbling to dust, but mostly after exploding in a flash of light.
* In ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' Kira's Ayakashisenshi-hen, Rika and Satoko make this happen to the Ritual Tool Devil Nail Ripper after hitting it with 07th Explosion. The resulting explosion sends Takano flying and makes her become ATwinkleInTheSky.
* In ''Anime/PantyAndStockingWithGarterbelt'', every Ghost defeated by Panty and Stocking explodes, with a cut to a [[StylisticSuck cheesy]] live-action model of the Ghost being blown up with pyrotechnics. This becomes plot-relevant in episode 8 when Panty and Stocking are on trail for murdering a ghost named Mr. Husband Petter. Their monkey defense attorney points out that the victim didn't explode as he would have if he had been killed by the Anarchy Sisters, and that the marks on the body give away the real murderer as [[spoiler:Mrs. Petter]]. Also, in episode 13, [[spoiler:[[ScaryBlackMan Garterbelt]] and [[BigBad Corset]] explode the same way when killed, with Garterbelt even ''un-exploding'' when he is brought back to life, complete with a reversed DeathCryEcho]].
* {{Robeast}}s in ''Anime/{{Voltron}}'' go boom after [[HalfTheManHeUsedToBe being sliced in half.]] Hell, nearly ''any'' Robeast killed by a SuperRobot.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}'':
** It has an odd variation in nearly every series: ships will almost always completely explode if destroyed onscreen. But at the same time, scenes of past battles will always have the wrecked hulks of ships that ''didn't'' explode when they were sunk.
** ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamWing'': While UC mobile suits often don't explode when defeated, in AC, they will explode upon defeat, no matter how little damage the suit apparently took. In one infamous early scene, a [[MookMobile Leo]] mobile suit even exploded after a [[{{BFG}} Buster Rifle]] shot ''missed it''.
* Destroying a Heterodyne's [[AttackItsWeakPoint Fractal Knot]] in ''Anime/DaiGuard'' will either cause it to dissolve or explode.
* ''Every'' robot made by the Big Cheese in ''Anime/SamuraiPizzaCats'', usually after a fight with Speedy Service delivering a CleanCut with his '''[[InfinityPlusOneSword MAAAAAGICAL GIN-SHU SWOOOORD]]'''.
* In the climax of ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'': Brotherhood, the BigBad explodes after being punched through the chest, releasing all the souls he absorbed.
* Happens to Radam monsters in ''Anime/TekkamanBlade''.
* A law of nature for ninjas in ''LightNovel/NinjaSlayer'', [[AllThereintheManual due to the]] [[AwesomenessIsVolatile burning power]] of their [[SoulPower ninja soul. ]]
* This is what happens to pretty much any enemy that is defeated in ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann''.
** Deconstructed in the second half of the show, where the Anti-Spiral mechs [[XanatosGambit drop bombs]] [[ThanatosGambit when they are destroyed]], [[TakingYouWithMe causing even more damage when they are defeated]].
* The Akumas in ''Manga/DGrayman,'' despite that each exorcist defeating them has a different WeaponOfChoice. Do you shoot Akuma with oversized guns? They explode. Do you kick them with magic boots? They explode. Do you DropTheHammer? They explode. Do you [[OurVampiresAreDifferent suck all of the Akuma's blood out?]] They explode. Do you kick a bell at them like a soccer ball? They explode.
* Parodied in ''Manga/SgtFrog'', where Viper explodes for no real reason after being defeated by the Keroro Platoon.
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'', any monster that gets hit by a powerful attack explodes. Sometimes, the monster simply shatters; other times, there's lots of accompanying smoke and fire.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* ''ComicBook/KingdomCome'':
--> "Oh my God! The Parasite has split Captain Atom open! He's split him ope--"
* ComicBook/{{NextWave}}:
-->"They explode? My life has taken on new meaning."

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* Happened to Evil Digimon in ''Creator/PeterChimaera'' 's Digimon trilogy.
* In the ''Fanfic/PonyPOVSeries'', [[spoiler:[[BigBad Loneliness]]]] explodes when she's defeated. [[spoiler:Twice. The second blast destroying what's left of her.]] Possibly justified, since [[spoiler:Trixie defeated her in her own mind, and is known to have a flair for the dramatic.]]

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* This is how the antagonist in ''WesternAnimation/MonsterHouse'' is destroyed. If you tried killing it any other way, the house would just reconstruct itself.
* ''WesternAnimation/HowToTrainYourDragon'': The Green Death is shot in the mouth, which ignites its own rather massive reserves of flammables. Combined with an uncontrolled descent face first into the ground, physics turns it into a very big boom.
* At the end of ''[[Disney/{{Aladdin}} The Return Of Jafar]]'', after [[HeelFaceTurn Iago]] [[SoulJar knocks his lamp into a lava pit and it melts away to nothing]], Jafar goes through [[FamilyUnfriendlyDeath an intense death scene]] which ends with him combusting.
* Kai The Collector in ''WesternAnimation/KungFuPanda3'' dies in a huge explosion as [[GoingToGiveItMoreEnergy Po's chi overwhelms him]].

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi'': The evil Emperor apparently explodes on impact after being thrown down the shaft at the climax of the film. Probably has to do with his incontinentely spraying lightning near complex machinery.
* In the Creator/WesCraven film ''[[Film/{{Cursed2005}} Cursed]]'', when the werewolf who infected all the other major characters dies, he inexplicably explodes in a burst of greenish energy.
* ''Film/DoubleTeam'': In perhaps one of the most awesome endings to an action film: The Bad Guy (played by "Mickey" Rourke) is left standing on an armed mine, with a Tiger, in the middle of a Colosseum. Just as the Tiger is about to claw him, he steps off, where the whole place explodes. Completing the total madness, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Dennis Rodman, and the actor who played Belloq outrun the ensuing fireball, hiding behind a Coke machine, while carrying a baby!
* In ''Film/BatmanTheMovie'', the Penguin rigs all his deadly sea beasts to do this by feeding them explosives.
* Some of the ''Franchise/{{Godzilla}}'' films has the enemy monster explode after the titular monster kills them. The early films don't do this however. Most of the monsters don't so much "explode when they die" so much as "get hit with a breath blast so ferocious it rips them into flaming debris"... except Megaguirus. She gets set aflame with an atomic blast, falls out of the sky... and then her entire body explodes when it hits the ground.
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'': Sauron explodes with the force of a tactical nuke after Isildur cuts the ring from his hand in the prologue. [[spoiler:And again when the Ring is destroyed.]]
* The leech mutant explodes shortly after its defeat in ''Film/TheReturnOfSwampThing''.
* The giant octopus in ''Film/BrideOfTheMonster''. The ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' crew did not fail to notice the humor.
-->'''Servo:''' That was one unstable octopus!
* In ''Film/LogansRun'', when the city-controlling computer crashes due to a LogicBomb, it starts exploding and ends up destroying the entire city.
* In ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'', [[spoiler: when Thunder finds Lo Pan dead]], he is so enraged that his body swells up and he explodes. Sadly, a bit of a SpecialEffectsFailure at the same time.
* Rambo shoots Tay with an arrow and blows him up in ''Film/RamboFirstBloodPartII''. {{Justified|Trope}} since it was an explosive-tipped arrow.
* In the climax of ''Film/{{Stardust}}'', Lamia explodes from a blinding flash of starlight.
* In ''Film/GreenLantern'', [[spoiler:Parallax explodes repeatedly when Hal Jordan literally punches him into the Sun]].

* Sauron in ''Literature/LordOfTheRings'' when his SoulJar The One Ring is destroyed.
%%* Demons in ''Literature/DarkHeavens''.
* Before the prequel trilogy came out, the Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse almost universally had dead Jedi fade away while dead Dark Jedi or Sith exploded violently the way the Emperor did. Later it was retconned into a [[http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Dark_side_burst power]] they had, a kind of TakingYouWithMe thing. In the Literature/HandOfThrawn duology, Mara Jade once makes this sardonic remark when she's in need of explosives.
--> "Too bad we don't have a Dark Jedi handy we could kill. Remember that big blast when C'baoth died?"
* Draconians in the ''{{Literature/Dragonlance}}'' trilogy have different death effects. Baaz draconians turn to stone, Kapak turn into acid, and Bozak draconians explode. However, it's not the usual harmless RuleOfCool explosion, but [[RealityEnsues a violent fiery explosion that's potentially lethal enough to finish off the opponent.]]
* In ''Literature/TheBlackMagicianTrilogy'', magicians usually die that way: all energy left in their body seeks to leave it at once. Black magicians avert this in their killings, as they usually [[VampiricDraining drain their victims dry]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* When you think of this trope, you probably think of ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' first. When the MonsterOfTheWeek eats the FinishingMove as the [[ThemeMusicPowerUp theme song plays]], he goes up with an impressive fireball. The whole {{Tokusatsu}} genre in general employs this -- [[OlderThanTheyThink from at least the '70s onward]], ''Franchise/KamenRider'', ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', ''Franchise/UltraSeries'', ''Franchise/MetalHeroes'' and many more have had monsters that go out with a bang.
** This is explained in early ''Kamen Rider'' seasons as the MonsterOfTheWeek and {{Mooks}} being [[MadeOfExplodium equiped with self destruction mechanisms]], to prevent leaving any evidence behind. However, little to no explanation is given for later productions. In their early days, SHOCKER's creations as well as their victims ended up dissolving instead of exploding. Possibly for budget reasons.
** The trope codifier is ''Series/KagakuSentaiDynaman''. The explosions ''are'' their finishing moves!
** Sometimes [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ODKDPxLFzA the background explodes just because]] {{awesomeness|IsAForce}} [[AwesomenessIsVolatile is Volatile]]. ''Franchise/PowerRangers'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pbEZSH5ogMo especially.]] And sometimes, the Rangers will turn and pose after the FinishingMove so the explosion behind them will ''look'' like one of these sequences.
*** At least once, doing that didn't pay off: once in ''Series/PowerRangersDinoThunder,'' they blast, then turn and pose... and the monster wasn't dead, and blasted the Rangers in the back. Also, despite this trope, ''every'' series will have the heroes think a monster is dead ''without'' seeing the customary kaboom at least once. This counts as GenreBlindness bordering on TooDumbToLive.
** Sometimes, even if the monster does go boom, there's no guarantee that it's finished yet. The Hatchasaurus from the first series was one example. The Cardiotron inside it was able to reassemble the pieces of it even after it was blown to bits, and the Rangers couldn't destroy it until they destroyed ''that'' first.
** Lampshaded by both Doubletone and Rhinosnorus in the ''Series/PowerRangersSamurai'' episode "Party Monsters". Rhinosnorus even comments on how humiliating it was to be defeated by the rangers, especially Kevin, when they (he, of course) were literally doing backflips on him while opening fire on him.
** Inverted in ''Series/KamenRiderBlack'', where the monsters implode instead. Eventually Black gets an upgraded kick that plays it straight.
** This was brutally applied in ''Series/KamenRiderKuuga'' wherein the title Rider's [[FinishingMove Rider Kick]] is enough to nuke a portion of the city when he does it unto a Grongi, necessitating luring the monster into an evacuated area before finishing him off. And theoretically, [[SuperMode Ultimate Form]] Kuuga's Rider Kick could [[EarthShatteringKaboom destroy the world]] [[EndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt as we know it]].
** In an earlier episode of Kuuga, Godai and Ichijou are genuinely surprised when that week's Grongi does ''not'' explode.
** ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' subverts this trope as the monsters are a race of vampires made from stained glass, called the Fangire. When they are defeated, they shatter into pieces instead of violently exploding.
** ''Series/KamenRiderFaiz'' also subverts it. Monsters when they die instead break down into dust while burning [[TechnicolorFlames blue flames]].
** ''Series/KamenRiderFourze'' has it as a minor plot point, where the monsters' explosions would do massive damage, which forced Fourze to drag them into outer space before hitting them with his FinishingMove. His SuperMode made this exponentially easier, since it can generate [[OurWormholesAreDifferent wormholes]] leading to low Earth orbit.
* ''Film/MessageFromSpace: [[RecycledTheSeries Galactic Battle]]'' has all major enemies explode. One even tries to destroy a MacGuffin with his death explosion.
* A suicide variation in the ''Series/{{Spectreman}}'' series finale. Dr. Gori, defeated and cornered, jumps off a cliff and explodes midair.
* One of the ways OurVampiresAreDifferent in ''Series/{{Ultraviolet}}'' is that they don't just harmlessly crumble into dust when you put a pointy wooden thing through their heart: they explode, violently.
* Parodied in ''Series/Danger5'', when a female Nazi agent is thrown out of an airplane and explodes for no apparent reason.

* In ''Pinball/TheTwilightZone'', defeating The Power causes it to explode.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'':
** In the ''Literature/{{Dragonlance}}'' setting, both Aurak and Bozak Draconians explode when they die.
** Also the case with the ''Fiend Folio''[='s=] dark stalkers and dark creepers, ''TabletopGame/{{Mystara}}''[='s=] huptzeens, and others.
** Killing a Balor for good in the Abyss results in a quite dangerous explosion. In later editions, not only in the Abyss, this happens if you kill one ''anywhere''.
** Energons, strange creatures made of energy, also cause an explosion of their type (acid, cold, electricity, fire, sonic, positive or negative energy) when killed. If a xag-ya and xeg-yi (made of positive and negative energy respectively) touch each other, it causes a more powerful explosion.
** Minions are a type of OneHitPointWonder enemy that typically come in large packs as meat-shields or choke-point holders, or because a KillerDM realizes the party has only single-target attackers. The typical, reasonable reaction is to run up, smash them and move on. Occasionally (especially if "ash", "flame" or "plague" is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin somewhere in the name]]) they create a burst-attack when defeated, damaging the melee fighter that killed them, and any other buddies that are close... As well as other minions, that sometimes leads to [[StuffBlowingUp insane chain reactions]].
** And of course, there's the gas spore. A variety of floating ''fungus'' full of unstable gas that explodes if it receives so much as a scratch. It doesn't help that, unless looking closely, the gas spore can be easily confused with a beholder -- the kind of monster you pretty much attack on sight.
** The 3rd edition ''Spell Compendium'' includes the 5th-level "Death Throes" spell, which makes the caster explodes violently if he is killed. It ranks fairly high in the UselessUsefulSpell category, since it destroys the body and thus makes resurrection more difficult. Although it can becomes a GameBreaker if used intelligently, [[spoiler:for example combined with the "Magic Jar" spell...]].
** The ''Complete Scoundrel'' has the spell "Fatal Flame", which causes a small fire explosion on a creature's death. It's much less powerful than "Death Throes", but at least it can be cast directly on enemies.
* ''TabletopGame/VillainsAndVigilantes'' adventure ''Devil's Domain''. When the {{Player Character}}s kill any of the Devil's demons, the demons explode in a cloud of noxious brown smoke.
* A good number of red creatures deal damage to other creatures or players when they die in ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'', implied to be from a last-ditch self destruct.
* The Eversor Assassins of ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' are known for this. On top of being [[MadeOfIron extremely difficult to kill]], their bodies are implanted with a special organ known as a Terminus Gland. If the body suffers terminal damage, the gland releases a new cocktail of drugs into the body, which makes the blood acidic and combustible, resulting in it exploding on death and [[TakingYouWithMe taking with it anyone unfortunate enough to be near it at that time.]]
* The core gimmick of ''TabletopGames/{{Beyblade}}: Burst'' is causing your opponent's Beyblade to [[DownplayedTrope fly apart]] when beaten.

[[folder:Theme Parks]]
* At Ride/UniversalStudios:
** In ''Theatre/TheEighthVoyageOfSindbad'', Miseria falls down into a pit and explodes upon being set aflame by her own scepter.
** The finale of ''Theatre/PoseidonsFury'' has Lord Darkenon exploding upon getting struck by Poseidon's trident.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Metroid}}'': Most bosses in the series will explode. This is somewhat problematic for recurring bosses such as Ridley, who has managed to [[JokerImmunity come back from complete annihilation several times]] throughout the series.
* ''VideoGame/LeagueOfLegends'' wouldn't be the same if the loser's Nexus didn't blow up. This is even done in the Dominion game mode where players can't even directly attack the enemy Nexus.
* Boss monsters in the ''VideoGame/WorldOfMana'' series, are covered in small explosions until the screen turns bright at which point it's assumed they've completely obliterated.
* In the [[DoujinSoft doujin game]] ''VideoGame/GuardianOfParadise'' Everything creature you kill [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAB2RPJLU5Q&t=10m15s explodes.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGear'':
** The Cobras in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3'' all die by going boom... [[spoiler:except The Boss.]] In this case, it's explained that the Cobras were equipped with microbombs [[DeadManSwitch that would explode when they died]], in order to prevent the enemy studying their corpses.
** The bosses in ''VideoGame/MetalGear2SolidSnake'' as well. In Grey Fox's case it is possibly justified as he and Snake fight to the death in the middle of a room filled with mines. [[spoiler:This is then retconned in VideoGame/MetalGearSolid, where his intact body is outfitted with a cyborg exoesqueleton.]]
** Red Blaster from the same game is also justified as he fights with grenades.
** {{Justified|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance''. Upon defeat, enemy cyborgs have their memories wiped and their bodies explode. Doktor explains that this is so that the manufacturers of their cyborg bodies can keep their company secrets... secret.
* All the enemies in ''VideoGame/BeyondGoodAndEvil''. Exploding on death must be a quirk of the [=DomZ's=] physiology.
* Any player in ''[[VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena Quake III: Team Arena]]'' and ''Quake Live'' who dies while carrying the Kamikaze holdable powerup. When dying, (and if they're not gibbed) they will produce a huge explosion which shakes the arena.
* ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'': The carrier of the Vengeance Relic in matches with the Relic mutator will explode violently upon dying.
* In ''VideoGame/HalfLife'', any Gargantuas you encounter (the big, hulking aliens that shoot fire at Gordon) will die with a chain of explosions whenever killed.
* ''VideoGame/MegaManClassic'': Just about every enemy explodes upon defeat; partly justified in that they're robots, but an explosion happens regardless of whether or not the type of weapon used would logically cause an explosion or not. (For instance, Storm Tornado in ''VideoGame/MegaManX''). The only enemies that don't explode are Proto Man, he simply stops and teleports out of the arena (though arguably he really isn't an enemy) and [[BigBad Dr. Wily]] (the machine he's piloting does though) because he falls out and surrenders, heck even [[TheHero Mega Man himself]] explodes into a billion energy orbs when his [[LifeMeter bar thingy with about 28 other bars]]...runs out. Robot Masters explode into the same orbs, which Mega Man picks up to [[PowerCopying obtain a new weapon]].
** Every Maverick boss you fight in ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' (1 through 8) stops the game and undergoes a lengthy explosion process, with small explosions covering the defeated boss and the screen gradually whiting out, leaving no trace of the enemy, except in one instance in X4. In the first three, the explosions start off slow, but in 4 onwards, they are very rapid.
** Bosses in ''VideoGame/MegaManZero'' start exploding and Zero beams out before they're even finished.
** Almost everything in the ''VideoGame/MegaManBattleNetwork'' series explodes upon defeat, even the viruses that appear to be completely organic in nature. Only navis controlled by the player are [[DisappearsIntoLight exempt]] from this, but they'll explode just like everything else when they're fought as enemies.
* The [[Franchise/MortalKombat Mortal Kombat series]] has made it customary from the second game onwards to make sure Shao Kahn - the resident BigBad and FinalBoss -- explodes into pieces every time he is defeated. Onaga and Blaze also caught fire and exploded upon defeat in the games where they were the FinalBoss.
* Some boss enemies from ''VideoGame/JazzJackrabbit'' go boom when killed.
* In ''VideoGame/GodOfWar'', the giant lava minotaurs explode when defeated.
* ''Franchise/{{Mario}}'':
** Bombshell Koopas in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioLand'', when you stomp on them.
** Bob-ombs starting in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioBros2'' explode after a short time if left to their own devices, or much sooner if they are stepped on or thrown.
** This happens to most of the bosses in the VideoGame/MarioAndLuigi series, usually in a flurry of stars (or in the case of ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiPartnersInTime'', multiple pink, pulsating circles along with the stars) even if they are alive in the cutscene that follows. The final boss tends to have a different, more extravagant explosion. If they happen to be alive, more often than not they'll stay in the overworld for a brief moment only to explode ''again''.
** [[LampshadedTrope Lampshaded]] in ''VideoGame/MarioAndLuigiDreamTeam'', where Popple comments on how Wiggler just exploded during the battle, before [[spoiler:performing a FaceHeelTurn]]. This happens to be one of the cases where both of them are still alive after the battle.
--->'''Popple:''' Say, what gives? Vanished! Poof!
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Shinobi}}'' series, all enemies explode when they die.
* ''VideoGame/ShiningForceIII'' had enemies explode when killed.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'': All monsters explode into ominous (yet harmless) purple smoke. Except for the giant Armos Statues, who explode like bombs and does damage when you are too close to the explosion. The [[spoiler:Helmarok King]] had a particularly dramatic one.
** Other Zelda games have similar effects: defeated monsters in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' tend to turn black and explode (Twilit monsters explode and leave [[TronLines Tron Line]] particles) while monsters in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword'' explode and leave a skull-shaped puff of smoke.
** ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' and ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'' both had exploding Armos statues and Dodongos. Volvagia and Twinmold met similarly volatile ends, blowing up segment by segment. ''Majora's Mask'' also features the mysterious ninja-like Garo clan, whose exploding is a deliberate act, as their way is to not leave a corpse upon dying.
** In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaBreathOfTheWild'', both monsters and huntable wild animals explode when you kill them, with the former being more dramatic than the latter. Even more dramatic than both are the dungeon bosses, which explode into geysers of AlienBlood.
* The Bomb enemies in ''VideoGame/{{Miitopia}}'' naturally go out that way, and they damage nearby enemies by doing so. [[spoiler:The FinalBoss and the [[BonusBoss Dark Sun]] both explode spectacularly after being defeated, although in the former's case, its essence lingers on afterwards]].
* The lambent locusts in ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'' will explode when they are killed. This was justified by their exposure to the emulsion.
* The one-hit enemies from ''VideoGame/{{Contra}}'' series get knocked back shortly before exploding.
* The weapon in ''VideoGame/MoonCrystal'' makes every enemy explode into 4 waves when hit enough. Even bats and all kinds of monsters.
* All the enemies in the ''VideoGame/ActRaiser'' series.
* The enemies in the ''VideoGame/{{Kirby}}'' series tend to explode with puffs of smoke and little stars and [[EverythingsBetterWithSparkles sparkles]].
* In the NES ''VideoGame/NinjaGaiden'' games, ordinary enemies explode into 4 fiery waves expanding diagonally outwards.
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/BlasterMaster'' enemies meet the same fate.
* Sword in ''VideoGame/{{Strider}}'' series makes them go boom!
* Enemies in the ''VideoGame/GhostsNGoblins'' games explode too without any given explanation.
* In ''VideoGame/LaMulana'', enemies go down in such a fashion.
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/MoleMania'' die in a very corner-y explosion.
* ''Gremlins 2'', every enemy does a ChainReactionDestruction upon death.
* Every enemy explodes in ''VideoGame/MushihimeSama'' series too despite most of them being insect-based.
* In ''VideoGame/GunstarHeroes'', the enemies, whatever they might be, explode.
* In some of the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' games, enemies explode upon death or leave a small flame.
* In ''VideoGame/RunSaber'', almost every enemy seems to explode upon death.
* Same thing in ''VideoGame/SilverSurfer''.
* ''VideoGame/StarFox64'' is a wonderous explosionfest. VideoGame/StarFox in general. There can be no game without explosions.
* Makes sense for tanks and airplanes in ''VideoGame/AdvanceWars''. But foot soldiers? Not so much.
* Enemies in ''Gods'' explode.
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/EarnestEvans''.
* In ''VideoGame/Borderlands2'' the DLC playable character Krieg has an ability that makes EVERY enemy you kill explode EVERY time with whatever element with which you just killed them.
* Everything you can pick up (including enemies) in ''VideoGame/{{Superman 64}}'' explodes. '''Even boxes'''.
* Many augmented soldiers in ''VideoGame/DeusEx'' are programmed to violently explode upon death and can easily wound or kill the attacker if they are too close (no doubt this was intended as a feature). Some even have a spoken password that will immediately trigger the explosion, thus ''[[InvertedTrope causing]]'' defeat instead of resulting from it.
* This is justified in ''VideoGame/{{Iji}}'' by a self destruct mechanism to prevent either of the two alien sides from picking up the other sides tech and reverse engineering it.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Worms}}'', worms with fully depleted life bars take turns whipping out {{Plunger Detonator}}s and going out with a OneLiner and a bang, leaving grave markers behind. The explosion can hurt nearby worms.
* when Pamela deals the fatal blow to [[spoiler:Iris]] in ''VideoGame/{{Rosenkreuzstilette}} Freudenstachel'', she goes out with an explosion. Several enemies and bosses, especially fortress bosses, in the ''Rosenkreuzstilette'' series tend to suffer this fate upon defeat. Averted with the RKS members in story mode, since the protagonists aren't trying to seriously hurt their friends, the game immediately cuts to dialogue portraits when their health is depleted so they can talk things out.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', even non-mecha enemies explode when defeated.
* ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'':
** Characters who wear the Bombinomicon badge invoke this trope on their death; unless they were already [[LudicrousGibs gibbed]] by an explosion their body will explode a second later (this doesn't do any damage, though).
** With the [[RobotWar Mann vs. Machine]] update, the [[ActionBomb Sentry Buster]] enemy will run up to a sentry that's doing too much damage or getting too many kills, and blow itself up. But, if your team can manage to deal 2,500 damage to it before it gets there, [[OhCrap it'll blow itself up anyway.]] [[SubvertedTrope Except when]] [[GoodBadBugs it doesn't.]]
* Surprisingly {{averted}} in ''VideoGame/MiniRobotWars''. Every single good guy and bad guy is a robot, but the only ones that explode are {{Action Bomb}}s, and the FinalBoss. The rest just fall down or break apart on death.
* All the bad guys in VideoGame/{{Skyblazer}}.
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/PaperMarioStickerStar'' collapse and explode when you return to the field.
* The final bosses of the first three ''VideoGame/EpicBattleFantasy'' games all undergo [[SerialEscalation increasingly lengthy]] explosion sequences when defeated. The final boss of the second game makes sense, being a tank, however the first one is a battered zombie and the third is some deity EldritchAbomination.
* ''Franchise/SonicTheHedgehog'': Justified in that enemies are almost always robots. On the [[VideoGame/ShadowTheHedgehog rare occasions they aren't]], they tend to die sans explosions.
* Admiral Galak Fyyar in ''VideoGame/JediOutcast'' explodes upon his death. Justified by him wearing a suit of PoweredArmor.
* In the first ''VideoGame/PlantsVsZombies'' game, the Zomboni and Catapult Zombie (zamboni and wood catapult) explode after being destroyed... even if it's just from being pelted by non-fire or non-explosive plants.
* ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros'':
** Fighters who are knocked out of bounds in the series explode in a sparkly manner. Master Hand, on the other hand, gives off fiery explosions after defeat.
** All of the bosses in the Subspace Emissary mode of ''Brawl'' explode in the same manner as Master Hand, even the clearly non-mechanical ones like Rayquaza and Ridley. The standard enemies normally just poof out of existence in a mundane manner, but if sent flying off-screen after being defeated, they'll give off the same glorious explosion the fighters do.
* ''VideoGame/JusticeLeagueHeroesTheFlash'' has any robotic goons explode upon defeat.
* ''VideoGame/DynastyWarriorsGundam'' has every defeated mobile suit explode. This is also a handy way of determining if you just caused a PlotlineDeath. It's usually possible to tell if an AcePilot hasn't been KilledOffForReal if their mobile suit doesn't explode when they were defeated.
* ''VideoGame/MechWarrior'' has just about everything explode when defeated. The trick is telling the difference between a particularly large missile explosion and a death explosion. This is also how you can tell if you've destroyed an enemy 'Mech via OverHeating -- you will be rewarded with a ''nuclear explosion'', complete with mushroom cloud.
* Melting of ''VideoGame/NuclearThrone'' has this trope as his active ability; he can detonate enemy corpses in an explosion of blood, but doing this does not hurt him ([[OneHitPointWonder and that's probably for the best]]). The boss Big Dog also explodes upon death; unlike the blood explosions, this can and probably ''will'' kill you.
* ''All'' the player characters in ''VideoGame/KillerQueen'' are {{One Hit Point Wonder}}s who explode when they are killed. Queens get a particularly loud explosion noise when they die, and [[InterfaceScrew the entire screen shakes]].
* Most of the bosses in the ''VideoGame/{{Shantae}}'' series die in this manner, even recurring ones like the Squid Baron. This gets a LampshadeHanging in ''Risky's Revenge'' when said Squid Baron appears later in the game.
-->'''Shantae:''' [[BreakingTheFourthWall Didn't you explode in a huge Stage Clear sequence?]]
* Enemy ships in the ''VideoGame/CombatInstinct'' trilogy. In 2, this happens if you shoot a grenadier's belt, speeder bike's wheel, or rocket launcher's scope.
* ''VideoGame/StreetsOfRageRemake'' has a cheat you can unlock that causes all non-endboss enemies to explode shortly after dying. The explosion has the same effect as an exploding barrel or grenade, and as such can cause a chain reaction of deaths, ''including yours'' if you're not careful.
* In the main ''{{VideoGame/Touhou}}'' games (and its spinoffs, including fighting games post-''Hopeless Masquerade''), the bosses explode upon defeat, yet they appear in cutscenes afterwards (with some minor ClothingDamage). Maybe those are special effects only.
* In the arcade BeatEmUp ''Zero Team'', punching and kicking {{Mooks}} into submission somehow causes them to explode violently into hunks of flaming debris.
* Everything in ''VideoGame/CopyKitty'' explodes with gusto, including the protagonist, though in Boki's case it's more that her data is being recompiled. Bosses, in particular detonate in massive technicolor light shows with [[MostWonderfulSound appropriately loud kabooms]].
* In ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls'' series, this is a power of [[PlayingWithFire Flame]] [[ElementalEmbodiment Atronachs]] in ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim Skyrim]]'' and ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsOnline Online]]''. Given the [[DeathIsCheap immortal nature]] of [[OurDemonsAreDifferent lesser Daedra]], they'll recover. Any mortals they take out with them, not so much...
* In ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'', this applies to the various mechs you face. LOKI Mechs only explode if finished with a headshot, FENRIS Mechs and YMIR Mechs explode upon defeat regardless of where the kill shot was. If you finish the YMIR with a headshot however, the explosion is significantly bigger including a [[EverythingMakesAMushroom mushroom cloud]]. Unlike many other examples here, these explosions can hurt you; and the mushroom cloud one can ''kill'' you.
* In the ''VideoGame/{{Mother}}'' series, all [[WhenTreesAttack tree enemies]], Atomic Power Robots, and the Smilin' and Uncontrollable Spheres explode when you kill them. If you are at a low level when fighting them, their dying explosion will [[TakingYouWithMe kill you as well]].
* Enemies in ''VideoGame/{{Cuphead}}'' explode with white smoke.
* Justified with enemies in ''VideoGame/MetalGearRisingRevengeance'', since they're cyborgs.
* ''VideoGame/RandalsMonday'': [[spoiler:Sally's ultimate fate]].

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheBeastLegion'', Gorgorath goes through this in [[http://www.thebeastlegion.com/issue-04-page-33-fall-of-the-goliath/ Issue 4]].
* Lampshaded with some sarcasm in [[http://www.magickchicks.com/strips-mc/sexy_monster_ladies this]] ''Webcomic/MagickChicks'' strip.
* Averted in ''Webcomic/LsEmpire'' when Gaio refuses to explode, in order to deny his enemies a satisfying victory.
* [[OurAngelsAreDifferent Angels]] in ''Webcomic/KillSixBillionDemons'' are [[EnergyBeings spirits of primordial fire]] from the VoidBetweenTheWorlds who require special armour as ContainmentClothing to exist in the physical universe. Damaging the armour badly enough can force them back into the Void -- but anyone inclined to try should really consider the "[[http://killsixbilliondemons.com/comic/wielder-of-names-6-112/ primordial fire]]" bit.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In "Ayla and the Mad Scientist" in the ''Literature/WhateleyUniverse'', Team Kimba goes through some '[[ComicBook/XMen Dark Phoenix]]' holographic simulatins, a couple of which use [[PersonOfMassDestruction Tennyo]] as the Dark Phoenix character. Phase uses his powers to stop her, and Tennyo explodes. Since she has anti-matter in her blood when she exerts herself, this doesn't work out well. [[spoiler: In the simulation, it destroys the entire eastern seaboard of the United States.]]
* This seems to be the case whenever a diary owner in ''WebVideo/MiraiNikkiTheAbridgedSeries'' dies.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'', all of XANA'sz digital monsters explode when killed, preceded by a short EpilepticFlashingLights moment. The explosions never seem to damage the heroes, however, even when they're still close to the monster they've just defeated.
* ''WesternAnimation/VoltronLegendaryDefender'': In grand Voltron tradition, Robeasts typically explode when defeated. As do enemy ships.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Often the result of aerial combat. Airplanes being the FragileSpeedster machines, when hit to critical components, tend to explode easily. Explode, though, in this case usually means catch fire. Although a large enough hit in the right place can have an in several little pieces. The former happens less in modern air combat due to the weapons involved, and although explosions are more common because missiles, explosions that consume the whole plane are not, thanks to modern design.
* In naval combat, getting a hit in the gunpowder magazine. HMS Hood, HMS Invincible, HMS Queen Mary, HMS Indefatigable, SMS Pommern etc. Battleships and heavy cruisers had a nasty tendency to explode while capsizing, even if they capsized with no major fires aboard. This caused by the magazines breaking apart under the weight of shells applying forces at angles the ships weren't meant to handle.
* For tanks, armored personnel carriers, or other armored fighting vehicles even a modest hit to the ammunition stores is highly likely to result in a catastrophic explosion. Some modern tanks have special blowout compartments that are isolated from the rest of the interior and make it possible for the crew to survive ([[NoOneShouldSurviveThat and even in cases where the tank doesn't it isn't a sure thing]]), but the tank itself is still going to be heavily damaged if not completely unsalvageable.