[[quoteright:250:[[Series/TheColbertReport http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cit_Unleash_Nerd_Fury.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[-[[SchmuckBait Got a match?]]-][==]]]

->''"[[WeDidntStartTheBillyJoelParodies We didn't start the flame war]]''
->''Peeps were hatin' on it 'fore I left my comment"''
-->-- '''Website/CollegeHumor''', [[http://www.collegehumor.com/video/3980096/we-didnt-start-the-flame-war "We Didn't Start the Flame War"]]

There is something about the anonymous nature of the Internet that makes people [[{{GIFT}} behave]] in ways that they wouldn't when they're face-to-face with other people. What starts as a minor disagreement like "how to [[{{Shipping}} ship]] two minor characters," or "what constitutes {{canon}} or {{fanon}}," escalates until the users are insulting each other, flinging expletives and profanities and shouting at the top of their virtual lungs. Inevitably, someone will be [[GodwinsLaw compared to]] [[HitlerAteSugar Hitler]].

After a time, the flames may abate, but usually more because of exhaustion than anyone actually getting a point across. Once everyone has recovered their stamina, all it takes is one innocent (or [[{{Troll}} not-so-innocent]]) person bringing the subject up to [[InternetBackdraft start things all over again]].

In fandom related communities, a lot of the flame wars are the result of a BrokenBase, FandomRivalry, FandomHeresy, or other FanDumb behavior -- which, in turn, is the result of people regarding the fandom as SeriousBusiness. In a way, it can be even more bothersome than dealing with {{troll}}s who come onto the community to bash the entire fandom. Sometimes a fandom Flame War can reach such levels that it becomes a [[http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/holy-wars.html Holy War]], a massive, prolonged battle of insults. The Console Wars and PC vs. Mac debate are good examples of these prolonged, though rare, wars.

God help you if you actually start discussing [[BanOnPolitics politics or religion]].

See MisplacedNationalism for a specific form. See also InternetBackdraft.
!!Particularly common causes:

* FlameWar/{{Anime And Manga}}
* FlameWar/{{Comics}}
* FlameWar/{{Film}}
* FlameWar/{{Fan Fic}}
* FlameWar/{{Literature}}
* FlameWar/{{Live Action TV}}
* FlameWar/{{Music}}
* FlameWar/{{Software And Computers}}
* FlameWar/{{Tabletop Games}}
* FlameWar/{{Theatre}}
* FlameWar/{{Video Games}}
* FlameWar/{{Visual Novels}}
* FlameWar/{{Webcomics}}
* FlameWar/{{Web Original}}
* FlameWar/{{Western Animation}}
* FlameWar/{{Other}}

''[[PassThePopcorn Anyone got popcorn?]]''