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->'''Hans''': [[DiscussedTrope A head can't really explode just because it's shot, right?]]
->'''Marty''': It can. If it's [[MadeOfExplodium filled with explosives.]]
-->-- ''Film/SevenPsychopaths''

StuffBlowingUp is cool enough, but it somehow becomes even cooler when that stuff is human heads. Asploding heads may not be [[LudicrousGibs particularly realistic]] in some cases, but they sure [[RuleOfCool look impressive]]. If people's heads start blowing up, it's usually a bad sign.

The title is [[IntentionalEngrishForFunny deliberate Engrish]] from the Strong Bad Email [[http://www.homestarrunner.com/sbemail94.html "video games"]] and subsequent game [="StrongBadZone"=] on ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', wherein the head of the person playing the game is presumed ''not'' to have actually asploded, although there have been no studies done on the matter so far as we are aware.

Head asplosions are typically the result of an ExplosiveLeash, [[BoomHeadshot being shot in the head]] (resulting in PinkMist), or [[MySkullRunnethOver absorbing too much knowledge.]] Often, just before it happens, the unfortunate character [[GottaGetYourHeadTogether clutches their skull]].

There's also the metaphorical (and occasionally literal for MechanicalLifeforms) asploding that [[MemeticMutation is said to occur]] when one's brain has [[GoMadFromTheRevelation gone mad from the revelation]], or assaulted by a MindRape or LogicBomb, or requires sufficient BrainBleach.

----
!!Examples

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Happens at times in ''Manga/{{Akira}}'' . The most iconic example is Yamagata, who gets offed like this by Tetsuo. More like LudicrousGibs considering what happened to his body.
* In ''{{Manga/Akumetsu}}'', this happens to the title character whenever he dies.
* In ''BaldrForceEXEResolution'', this tends to happen to those who meet a certain VirtualGhost.
* ''Manga/{{Basilisk}}'': Never has there been a head gone ka-goosh with more satisfaction than that of [[spoiler:Tenzen Yakushiji]].
* ''{{Berserk}}'': Extremely common in manga [[note]]But not the anime which, despite the large amounts of blood, is fairly sanitized[[/note]]. In fact, clean decapitations are almost nonexistent; most of the time, when Guts hits above the shoulders, the victim's head shatters.
** During the Eclipse, [[spoiler:this is the fate of Gaston, the last member of the Band of the Hawk to die during the Eclipse, by way of a parasitic demon]].
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': The leader of the Vandenreich does this to an Arrancar who didn't give his exact message to Soul Society. Reminiscent of how Yamamoto and Aizen could incapacitate people by focusing on them, he looks at the Arrancar until its head pops like a water balloon.
* In ''CoyoteRagtimeShow'', the only way to kill the [=SISTERs=] is to blow up their heads.
* The main characters of ''CyberCityOedo808'' are fitted with [[ExplosiveLeash explosive collars]], with gory results if they try to remove it or fail to accomplish their mission in time.
* In the ''Anime/DragonBallZ'' Majin Buu saga, Babidi made the head of any {{Muggle|s}} that annoyed him explode without warning. It wasn't too gory, though. Ironically, he dies when Buu ''punches'' his head off. Of course, this was edited for the televised dub.
* ''Manga/DeathNote'': Performed with a interesting visual metaphor. [[spoiler:In the episode when Mello kills off most of the SPK,]] one guy kills himself by blowing his own brains out. Instead of showing his head asplode, they show an explosion of dice instead.
* In ''DGrayMan'', new character [[spoiler:Wisely]] seems to have the power to do this to people.
* This is the fact of [[spoiler:[=LeBlanc=]]] from ''Anime/DivergenceEve'' after [[spoiler: he downloads all of the information of the entire universe into his brain (so he can learn how to become immortal) and due to MySkullRunnethOver his]] head explodes.
* ''Manga/ElfenLied'' uses this one, but most of the time it's a simple decapitation that sends the head flying on a jet of high-pressure blood.
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'': Pretty much the fate of any bad guy who messes with Kenshiro. [[YouAreAlreadyDead They are already dead.]] Also, [[FatBastard Mr. Heart's]] finisher. "HIDEBU!!!"
* In ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', this is Scar's modus operandi for killing people, though he destroys their brain instead of their entire head.
** Done literally in an out-take of episode 28. The actual scene depicts Scar grabbing Father's face, growling as he unsuccessfully tries to blow it up. However in the outtake, Scar's growling is removed and replaced by a battle cry of [[CrowningMomentofFunny "YOUR FACE ASPLODE!"]]
** Later in the series, [[spoiler:Ed destroys Pride's body by crushing his head. Yes, this is the same Pride that's an incorporeal mass of toothed shadows attached to a CreepyChild.]]
** Kimblee in [[Anime/FullmetalAlchemist the 2003 anime version]], even though he tends to make a person's [[WhyAmITicking whole body explode]].
** [[spoiler:Atlas]] is killed in this fashion in ''The Sacred Star of Milos'' by [[spoiler:Colonel Herschel aka Ashleigh Crichton.]]
* ''{{Gantz}}'': Done fairly frequently, thanks to special guns which cause whatever they target to explode and special bombs implanted in each Gantz player's head, which go off if they break one of the game's rules.
* ''GhostInTheShell'': The opening scene involved Major Kusanagi taking out a diplomat who was trying to get a programmer out of the country by shooting him in the head with some delayed-fuse high-explosive rounds which make his head go boom several moments after hitting. The phrase "explosively anatomically accurate" seems apt. The animation crew seems to have a somewhat disturbing liking for these -- there's a head-a-splode scene in some form or fashion at the beginning of each movie and the first/last episodes of both anime seasons.
* The 1980's {{Golgo 13}} animated film ''The Professional'' features tycoon Leonard Dawson deciding to commit suicide by throwing himself from the window of a very tall skyscraper. Lands on the concrete below so hard that when his head hits, it get pulverized. Golgo 13, always one to get the "last word" in, manages to put a bullet through his forehead before impact.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}''
** Char delivers quite the coup de grace to Princess Kycilia. With a rocket lancher.
** Combined with the FacePalm in ''G Gundam'' as Domon Kasshu's primary means to achieving victory [[StrictlyFormula in pretty much every episode of Season 1]].
*** JustifiedTrope. By the rules of the Gundam Fight, destroying the head of the opponent's Gundam eliminates that fighter from the tournament. Whereas wrecking the entire Gundam but leaving the head intact would make it perfectly legal for the fight to have his Gundam repaired and continue competing.
*** When he [[MidSeasonUpgrade upgrades halfway through the series]] from the Shining Gundam to the God Gundam, Domon also upgrades his FinishingMove. This version becomes more like Your Whole Body Asplode. At least sometimes.
* ''{{Gunnm}}'' has this quite often, with guns, fists, melee weapons blunt objects or whatever strikes your fancy as the cause. [[http://read.homeunix.com/onlinereading/?image=Battle%20Angel%20Alita%20Complete/Volume%201%20-%20Alita/BA01-013.jpg&server=nas.html "Sklorsht"]], indeed. Some 15 pages later in the same chapter the next head is turned to mush. The sequel series even does it to its own [[spoiler:BigBad]].
* In ''LightNovel/HaiyoreNyarkoSan'', the invading Mi-Go are defeated when Nyarko's [[ProductPlacement iPhone]] starts ringing and playing the pop song she had set as her ringtone. This is an explicit ShoutOut to ''Film/MarsAttacks'', as earlier in the episode Nyarko [[ConversationalTroping discussed]] aliens having [[WeaksauceWeakness unusual weaknesses]], including music (said as a silhouette of the Martians appears).
* ''{{Hellsing}}'', with its over-the-top violence and gore, is slowly reaching the point of self-parody.
* In part 3 of ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' [[spoiler:Dio Brando]] is killed in this manner when he faces Jotaro Kujo [[IncrediblyLamePun head on]]. Questionable since it was really more his whole [[BloodierAndGorier BODY]] that exploded, but it appears to start from the head and work its way back down. The fact that originates from a punch to his LEG of all places makes this incident particularly [[RuleOfCool note worthy]].
** Araki is rather fond of that particularly [[{{Gorn}} exceptional]] variant: it happens to [[spoiler: Santana]] in part 2 and [[spoiler: Jotaro himself]] in part 6, though both of them are still alive afterwards in [[ForScience some]] [[ResetButton fashion]].
** In ''Steel Ball Run'', [[spoiler:Mike O. decides it would be a good idea to keep using his Tubular Bells Stand even after Hot Pants made it so if he even tried to inflate anything, he would die. Predictably, he tries to make another metal balloon, and his neck and the top of his head explode violently, revealing his spinal cord where his esophagus used to be.]]
* In the anime ''Anime/{{Kite}}'', the protagonist, taking a page from Ghost In The Shell, uses bullets that explode five seconds after impact, typically causing the head to explode in bloody gore.
* This happens to Sakura several times in ''LightNovel/BludgeoningAngelDokurochan'' after getting hit by Dokuro's Excalibolg.
* In ''MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'', this is implied to have happened to some of the test subjects [[spoiler:[[TheVirus who were infected with the Eclipse]] and failed to [[ViralTransformation become a suitor for Lily]].]] How else would you explain the brain things lying on the floor with the rest of the corpses?
** On the same season, this also seems to be the way Veyron finished off [[spoiler:another Eclipse infected]] he was fighting on chapter 19. He grabbed his head with his [[PowerFist "Claw Grab"]] and then BOOM!
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' (post time-skip), Deidara sends spiders made of explosive clay to attach themselves to the faces of three Sand Village guards. ''Boom.''
* The beginning of ''PsychoDiver'' has a diver whose head explodes graphically. As it turned out [[spoiler: the girl he was trying to help, Yuki, had a demon inside her soul and his head exploding was a result of the demon attacking him when he connected to her psychically.]]
* In ''{{Toriko}}'', [[NeverMessWithGranny Setsuno]] can make her enemies' heads explode by [[BlowYouAway increasing the air pressure around them]] to basically act as a pressure cooker.
* In ''UntilDeathDoUsPart'', terrorists had explosives implanted in their molars that were activated by biting down on it. Unfortunately for everyone else, they could also be remotely activated...
* In a DVD-exclusive episode of ''Anime/ZeroZeroNineOne'', Mylene/Agent 009-1 is told by a guy she just slept with that he knows she's a spy and that he has placed a [[WhyAmITicking bomb inside her body]]. But it turns out that he actually put the bomb ''in his own head'', which explodes and splatters when he triggers the detonator. [[TheMourningAfter Mylene mourns him anyway since she *did* like him.]]
** Not that DVD-exclusive, it was shown in Latin America. Explosion scene included.
* In ''Anime/VampireHunterD'' Count Magnus Lee makes his henchman Rei's head explode after he betrays him and attempts to kill him for not making him an immortal.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A common fate for minor villains in ''ComicBook/TheBoys''. Considering how brutal some of the deaths in that series are, an exploding skull is quite merciful.
* Used in ''ComicBook/{{Fables}}'' [[spoiler:when Snow White is shot in the head by Goldilocks. Since Fables are much stronger than normal people, she survives.]]
* In the alternate timeline series ''Future Imperfect'', this is said to be the only way to reliably kill [[ComicBook/IncredibleHulk The Hulk]]. Unusually, it's then subverted [[spoiler:by using TimeTravel to blow the Evil Hulk to LudicrousGibs instead.]]
* In the ''Generation Lost'' tie-in to ''ComicBook/BrightestDay'', [[spoiler:Maxwell Lord succeeds in his mission to kill Magog. Max takes control of Magog's body and forces him to blow his own head apart with his own energy staff. What makes it even more horrifying is that Magog is completely aware of what's happening and spends his last moments begging for his life.]]
* ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'': Happens in the penultimate issue when Black Adam kills Psycho-Pirate by gouging out his eyes with his fingers then pushing his mask through his head (which asplodes). Complete with BondOneLiner "No more silly faces."
* In ''ComicBook/JohnnyTheHomicidalManiac'', the prime benefit of getting into Heaven is the ability to make other people's heads explode, and the highlight of Johnny's trip there is setting off a massive chain reaction of "head-a-splodey" violence, which is stopped only after a nun gets angry and detonates everybody's head simultaneously. People familiar with Jhonen Vasquez's work would probably not find this sort of thing out of place. Referenced in ''TheSimpsons'', as Homer explodes the head of a tour guide angel.
* In an IntercontinuityCrossover with ''Comicbook/JudgeDredd'', called ''Die Laughing'', SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker gains the power to explode people's heads with his laugh.
* In ''ComicBook/MarvelZombies'', the only way to make sure a zombie is dead is to destroy the head. Perhaps the most notable instance was when Invisible Woman exploded She-Hulk's head.
* In ''Pitt'', this is one of [[KidHero Timmy's]] primary uses for his PsychicPowers. It was especially useful against the ZombieApocalypse in the IntercontinuityCrossover with ''ComicBook/TheDarkness''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Planetary}}'': Pops up in this WarrenEllis work, in The Drummer's backstory; he was one of about a dozen child prodigies tied to computers in an attempt to create a human system for secretly controlling the internet, all of whom wore bomb collars as extra security measures. He was the only one to survive escape.
* In ''Requiem for a Rogue'', an arc of the ''XWingSeries'' comics, the bad guy, failing to kill the Rogues, is interrupted by a new bad guy with a stronger connection to the Force. The new bad guy ''shoots his own hand'' off and telekinetically uses it to strangle the old bad guy while monologuing, then removes the hand and makes the old one's head explode. [[ComplexityAddiction Why not just shoot him, just strangle him, or just blow up his head?]] Because that's not ridiculous and overly elaborate enough, apparently.
* ''ComicBook/SavageDragon'' is rather fond of asploding heads. The dozens of separate instances and minor characters [[http://dragonfan.net/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Paff.jpg (PAFF!) ]]that die this way aside, Dragon himself had his brainpan asploded multiple times, twice by himself.... or his ''EvilTwin'', really. Wait, that was an Evil Twin killing another Evil Twin, before the surving Evil Twin killed Dragon and then was shot in the face afterwards. By Dragon. ''ItMakesSenseInContext''.
* ''ComicBook/SinCity'' has different instances in which people get their heads blown off but the one that takes the cake is actually a dream sequence. John Hartigan is handcuffed to a chair, getting beaten to a pulp. He somehow finds the urge to break the cuffs and attack his tormentor. He punches him in the face so hard... his head explodes into a mushroom cloud. [[HopeSpot Then he wakes up.]]
* This happens a few times to various thugs in the ''Comicbook/{{Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles|Mirage}}'' miniseries "Body Count".
* ''ComicBook/{{Transmetropolitan}}'': Happens -- over three panels, no less -- with the assassination of [[spoiler:Dr Vita Severn]].
* In ''ComicBook/{{Uber}}'', the titular superhumans can suffer a gory cranial explosion if their EyeBeams are used for too long without rest.
* Done in Marvel's ''ComicBook/{{Ultimatum}}''. [[spoiler:Doctor Strange is subjected to the "squeezing until the head bursts" variety, courtesy of Dormammu's only appearance in the entire damn Ultimatesverse.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' has this fate imposed on Socrates if his transmitter chip isn't removed in time. [[spoiler:[[AvertedTrope He makes it.]]]]
* In ''Fanfic/TheCriesOfHaruhiSuzumiya'', [[spoiler:Haruhi asplodes Keiichi's head when she [[IWishedYouWereDead wants him to die]].]]
* In the ''Literature/HarryPotter'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4240771/9/Partially_Kissed_Hero Partially Kissed Hero]]'', Harry ends up taking his new-found Legilimency skills (acquired from Voldemort) to its logical conclusion: Snape was forced to relive all his own insecurities, the numerous Cruciatus curses inflicted upon him, and all of Harry's hatred for his muggle relatives. By the end of it, Snape clawed out his own eyes and his head exploded in front of the entire Potions class. The scene can be found in the third and final scene of chapter 9, and is hilarious, even if you like Snape.
* ''FanFic/TheImmortalGame'': This, via a blast of energy, is how [[BigBad Titan]] kills [[spoiler: [[GiantMook Exakktus]]]] when the latter pulls a HeelFaceTurn.
** Twilight [[spoiler: (having recently become [[PhysicalGod an alicorn]] herself)]] returns the favor during their subsequent duel. By ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome punching him in the face]]''. Being a PhysicalGod, this barely slows him down.
* The ''Literature/{{Discworld}}'' story ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5136265/1/The-importance-of-index-cards The Importance of Index Cards]]'' thrusts Watch adjutant A.E. pessimal into the most difficult task of his administrative career. Who would have known indexing and filing could be a life-or-death matter in a place where heads are known to spontaneously explode...[[spoiler: refer to '''Discworld/MovingPictures'' below, for a hint of the primal evil Pessimal encounters]].
* In KOTOR: The Prodigy of Revan, Brejik gets this treatment from Knight in Chapter VII, via [[CrowningMomentofAwesome shoving the barrel of his pistol into Brejik's mouth and squeezing the trigger.]]
** [[BondOneLiner "The guy didn't know when to shut up."]]
* In [[FanFic/MassFoundations Mass Foundations: Redemption in the Stars]], [[VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas The Courier]] finishes off [[spoiler:the Harbinger-possessed Collector]] by discharging the entire clip of his [[HandCannon M-6 Carnifex]] into his head, with predictable results.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* Alien heads asplode quite a bit in ''Film/{{Aliens}}''. It's a serious plot point, because their spraying acid blood kills or injures several of the Marines.
** It's also not LudicrousGibs in this case, as Lt. Gorman explains that the marines' pulse rifles fire "10 millimeter '''explosive''' tip caseless. Standard light armor piercing round."
** Meanwhile, the prequel ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' has the already-severed head of a dead Engineer suddenly spasm madly before exploding into a gooey mess when the scientists restart its biological processes (said explosion occurs as a result of the bioweapon it had been infected with prior to death).
* ''Film/BattlefieldEarth'': BigBad Terl (played by JohnTravolta, no less) attaches an explosive collar to a man's neck and blows his head off. Thankfully, we get a GoryDiscretionShot.
* ''Film/BattleRoyale'': The students on the island are each fitted with an [[ExplosiveLeash explosive collar]] that goes off if they try to escape the island or try to remove it.
* ''Film/BladeTrilogy'':
** [[Film/{{Blade}} The first movie]] has Blade using an anticoagulant that reacts violently with vampire blood. The area hit by the syringe swells and then explodes - and he does it on the neck of an enemy, causing the head to explode.
** In ''Film/BladeII'', Blade sticks an explosive device onto an [[EnemyMine uncooperative bad guy's]] head. While the ChekhovsGun does not go off while attached to said head, it's a big enough bomb that when it does, the person holding it (including his head), explodes.
* ''Film/ChoppingMall'': Leslie [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sNj-kHe-EmQ goes out this way]] courtesy of a KillerRobot's FrickinLaserBeams.
* ''Film/DawnOfTheDead'': both the original and [[Film/DawnOfTheDead2004 the remake]] feature memorable "shotgun blast to the head" scenes, although in very different contexts. The head splosion in the original was one of the first live-action attempts at the trope (achieved with various... organs).
* A particularly awesome [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lSW2pPlZF-M head asplosion]] occurs in ''Film/DeadlyFriend'' when a cybernetically resurrected Kristy Swanson kills the obnoxious old lady neighbor with a thrown basketball.
* ''Film/DieHard'' has a scene where Hans demands Takagi give him the access code to the computer. Takagi says "I don't have it. You have to jet to Tokyo to ask the Chairman. You'll just have to kill me." Whereupon Hans says, "Okay," and shoots Takagi, splattering his brains all over the wall.
* ''Film/{{District 9}}'' has at least one guy losing his head to a snazzy special effects explosion.
* ''Film/{{Dogma}}'': Any human who hears [[BrownNote God's voice]] suffers this fate. According to Metatron, "We went through five Adams before we figured that one out," resulting in an angel getting the job of speaking to humans for God. You seem to be immune if you're already dead, though (i.e.: Rufus).
* In ''Film/EvilDead2'', Ash steps on the neck of a wounded Deadite then proceeds to give it a point blank shotgun blast. Considering that it's a Deadite, there is no need to mention the resulting copious gore.
--> '''Deadite:''' I'll swallow your soul! I'll swallow your soul!
--> '''Ash:''' [[PreMortemOneLiner Swallow this.]]
* In ''Film/FreddysDeadTheFinalNightmare'', a random teen dies this way, because he is wearing a hearing aid that magnifies sound so much your head explodes when you hear a normal volume sound. Creator/RobertEnglund cites this as one of his favorite deaths, saying that in today's PositiveDiscrimination climate, it's good to know that Freddy'll even kill the TokenMinority.
* In the uncut version of ''Film/JasonGoesToHellTheFinalFriday'', Jason kills Vicki by squeezing her head between her palms until he literally pops it like a zit.
* Subverted in ''Film/TheFury'', one character is blown up with psychic powers and everything ''except'' the head explodes.
* In ''Film/HalloweenTheCurseOfMichaelMyers'' Michael knifes [[AbusiveParents jerkass dad]] John Strode onto a fuse box, electrocuting him to the point where he starts foaming at the mouth before his head blows up.
* Spoofed in ''Film/HotFuzz'': in an early scene with Angel giving a presentation to some school kids, he asks for questions. The only hand raised is that of his GenreSavvy partner, who asks, "Is it true that there is a place in a man's head that, if you shoot it, it will blow up?" Our hero is not amused. DVD extra Fuzz Facts states that they were unable to find such a place on the human head.
* Referenced in ''Film/InBruges'', when Harry is offered dum-dum bullets, "the bullets that make the head explode", and takes them like someone on a diet would accept chocolate cake: "I know I ''shouldn't''... but I will." Even professional hitmen can't resist the awesome of Your Head Asplode, apparently. [[spoiler:But they really should.]]
* ''Franchise/IndianaJones'':
** ''Film/RaidersOfTheLostArk'' [[spoiler: in the Wrath of God scene Belloq's head explodes]]
** ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheKingdomOfTheCrystalSkull'' [[spoiler:Spalko's "gift" from the aliens overloads her brain, and fire spews out of her face.]]
* In the 1987 movie ''Film/{{Innerspace}}'', there is a scene where Jack Putter, while disguised as the Cowboy (thanks to a better than LatexPerfection disguise), faces the possibility of not just any pain but '''Propane'''. This results in him freaking out which causes his head to expand and distort greatly looking like it could explode. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A4NYw4nMAg Luckily, it didn't.]]
* This happens in ''Film/KickAss'' as a man is locked in an industrial microwave.
* ''Film/TheLastHouseOnTheLeft,'' or at least the remake, ends on this note.
* In Creator/BillCosby's ''Film/LeonardPart6'', the titular hero offs one of the vegetarian bad guys in such a manner - by feeding him a cold hot dog.
* In a ''[[Film/JamesBond Bond]]'' film ''Film/LicenceToKill'', one guy's head actually ''does'' explode (due to ExplosiveDecompression).
* The Creator/GeorgesMelies film ''The Man with the Rubber Head'' provides a classically oddball example: Méliès makes a living clone of his own head [[NoTimeToExplain by means that remain unexplained]] and blows it up to ginormous dimensions, only to see it [[{{Pun}} literally blow up]]. [[OlderThanTheyThink Did we mention this was made in 1901?]]
* In ''Film/MarsAttacks'', the Martians' heads explode [[AchillesHeel when exposed to]] [[BrownNote the song "Indian Love Call"]].
* ''MaxHeadroom'', as mentioned under Live Action TV, which is [[{{Blipvert}} what causes]] the problem in the film as well.
* In ''Film/MenInBlack'', Agent K shoots the normal-seeming pawn shop owner Jack Jeebs in the head, causing this; turns out Jeebs is an alien, and [[GoodThingYouCanHeal gets better]]. It's implied that this is the routine for the two. It's implied in ''Men In Black 2'' that every time he does this, [[CloneDegeneration the head comes back a little...off]].
* Obscure SlasherMovie ''Film/TheProwler / Rosemary's Killer'' ends with the villain getting a point-blank shotgun blast to the face, blowing his head completely apart in an extremely messy manner. Of note, Creator/TomSavini has referred to this movie as being one of his finest works.
* ''Film/PulpFiction'': "Oh man, IJustShotMarvinInTheFace!"
** Though oddly, if freeze-framed, Marvin's (relatively intact) head can be seen in the trunk later.
* Happens [[{{Gorn}} a LOT]] in ''Film/PunisherWarZone.'' And A LOT of it is so over the top, that it's more funny than gory or shocking (he just punches someone and it happens), considering they were aiming to go darker, this is somewhat amusing.
* ''Film/TheQuickAndTheDead''. KeithDavid's head doesn't ''exactly'' asplode, but what's left can't be structurally sound.
* In the 2008 ''Film/{{Rambo}}'' movie, the first death via Rambo and his new M2 Browning is the driver of the truck it's mounted on. He gets off around 25-30 shots at point blank rage into the guy's head. The next shot is of a waterfall of brains, bone and blood pouring down the gun's shield.
** A later shot has what's left of the driver's torso sliding out of the truck like a giant, bloody cigar butt. [[NoKillLikeOverkill Rambo doesn't stop at mere head explosions.]]
* In ''{{Saw}} III'', one of the characters spends most of the movie with a makeshift device made out of shotgun shells attached to her neck which will detonate if the evil mastermind dies. This kinda sucks since he has terminal cancer. [[spoiler:Mercifully, she's offscreen when it eventually does go off, but the ruined stump left in place of her neck afterwards is horrifying enough.]]
* As seen above, Creator/DavidCronenberg's ''Film/{{Scanners}}'' famously [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HY-03vYYAjA blew up a man's head]] around the beginning as a particularly bitchin' KickTheDog moment for villain Darryl Revok. Made even more awesome when you know how they did it: nothing fancy at all -- just a fake head and a twelve gauge shotgun aimed at the back of its neck! So [[TheMoreYouKnow now you know exactly what happens to a human head when hit point blank by a sawn off shotgun...]]\\
\\
[[http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i212/Kerrah_photos/Exploding-head.gif Here's a gif]]. Warning: [[CaptainObvious it's messy]]. [[http://images3.wikia.nocookie.net/uncyclopedia/images/b/be/Daeh-gnidolpxE.gif And here's a gif of it in reverse!]]
** Its sequel ''Film/ScannersIITheNewOrder'' blatantly tries to copy the head explosion from the first film by having [[spoiler:Officer Gelson]]'s head blow up likewise. ''Film/ScannersIIITheTakeover'' does it as well. And ''Film/ScannerCopII''.
* In the movie ''Film/SpyHard'', Music/WeirdAlYankovic parodies this in the title sequence, when the high note at the end causes his head to explode!
* The Brain Bug in ''Film/StarshipTroopers 3'': Marauder manages to do this to all of the non-plot-critical characters in the room with it when the human military leaders go to examine footage of Anoke talking to it by squealing.
* In ''Film/TenaciousDInThePickOfDestiny'', Creator/JackBlack blows someones mind in his dream with ThePowerOfRock.
-->'''Jables''': I did not mean!
-->'''Kage''': He did not mean...
-->'''Jables''': To blow your mind!
-->'''Kage''': To blow your mind!
-->'''Jables''': But that shit happens to me all the tiiiiime!
* It's a well known fact that, during the singing of ''Film/{{Thunderball}}'', the high note at the end caused Tom Jones to faint.
* In the original ''Film/TotalRecall1990'', the exploding head is a bomb-rigged animatronic prosthesis which Quaid wears as part of a costume. His deception uncovered, [[HeyCatch he tosses the head to his pursuers]], in whose hands it cracks wise and then asplodes. Later, the thin Martian atmosphere causes one bad guy's head to asplode. Arnie and his gal narrowly avoid the same fate.
* In ''Film/TheManWhoSavesTheWorld'', the protagonist, during the middle of a fight, [[spoiler:rips off a toilet paper mummy's head with his hands and throws it at other mummies, making the head go Boom!]]
* From the 1987 movie ''Wanted: Dead Or Alive'': [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7y3Dnohx0w "Fuck the bonus."]] ([[CaptainObvious foul language]], probably {{NSFW}})
* ''Film/{{Wedlock}}'': AKA (''Deadlock'') features explosive collars used instead of fences at a futuristic prison.
* ''Film/SinCity'' has Dwight [[spoiler:tossing Jackie Boy's head into a crowd of "bad guys". The head has a grenade taped inside. It asplodes.]]
** Also, [[Creator/BruceWillis John Hartigan]] does this to Roark Jr ''[[CrowningMomentOfAwesome with his bare fists]]''.
* ''Film/{{Daybreakers}}'' features a scene in which an individual reacts poorly to an experimental serum. After some brief BodyHorror and vomiting as the Vampire Paramedics frantically try to save his life, he finally seems to settle... before his head violently explodes.
* The sharks' deaths in ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' and ''Film/Jaws3D'' fit this trope, as both animals were chewing on something that exploded in their mouths.
* In ''TheFly II'', TheDragon's second-in-command is flung under a descending elevator, which crushes his body. The edge catches the back of his skull, causing it to rupture messily.
* Happens in ''Film/{{Maniac}}'' when Frank attacks a couple [[AutoErotica making out in a car]] and shoots the male (played by Creator/TomSavini, who was also in charge of the effects) in the face at close range.
* Sonny Chiba's "Film/TheStreetFighter" has a particularly unintentionally-hilarious example. Sonny's character sneaks onto the BigBad's boat at night, grapples with one of his {{mooks}}, and ends up by throwing him about all of six feet down to a lower deck. The henchman's head reacts to contacting the said deck by exploding violently in what looks like it took a full gallon of red poster paint to achieve.
* In the 2007 movie ''Film/{{Shooter}}'', when the assassination takes place, the target is shot with a .50 cal sniper rifle from over a mile away, and we get to watch the head a-splodin' through the crosshairs. It's a good-and-gory splatter, but even then it wasn't as bad as what would have happened in RealLife (see '''Other''' below).
* This is how the tire kills in ''Film/{{Rubber}}''.
* ''Film/{{Cloverfield}}'': In a shocking scene, [[spoiler: Marlena, who had previously been scratched and poisoned by one of the little mini-monsters, is hastily ushered into a curtained-off quarantine area of the Army outpost seconds before she seemingly explodes.]] This is [[GoryDiscretionShot obscured by a curtain though]], so we see it only in silhouette, though it is still fairly graphic.
* In the 2011 film ''Film/{{Drive}}'', a scene has [[spoiler:Blanche's head being blown to bits, her brains splattering all over the bathroom]].
* ''Film/ThreeKings'': There's a flashback scene where a man's head is shown popping off. This is done for comedic effect.
* In ''Film/{{Willow}}'', Madmartigan puts his sword into one head of a two-headed dragon. It splodes.
* ''Film/{{Immortals}}'' does this a lot, especially when the Gods fight the Heraklions and Titans.
* In the remake of ''Film/TheHillsHaveEyes'', we are treated to a very graphic shotgun suicide. On the potty, no less.
* After Prof. Campell's severed head reminds Lucas how to defeat Jenke in ''Film/TheHorrorShow'', it explodes.
* In the first ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'' it happens to a gremlin when Lynn stuffs it into the microwave and turns it on.
* Happens in two war films ''Film/{{Glory}}'' set during the Civil War and ''Film/ThePatriot'' set during The American Revolution by means of a cannonball to the face.
* Happens to Chucky in ''Film/ChildsPlay 2'' after partially being melted and having an airhose shoved in his mouth.
* Happens to Trantor the troll in ''Film/ErnestScaredStupid'' after Ernest shows him the love and innocence of a child.
* In Billy's proposed ending, this happens to Charlie in ''Film/SevenPsychopaths'' (see page quote).
* Schwarzenegger's ''Film/TheRunningMan''. Prisoners wear neck collars which, when activated by a sensor perimeter, explode. It happens to Chico, when he mistakenly thinks the perimeter's been shut down.
* ''Film/GIJoeTheRiseOfCobra'': Along with EyeScream, this is one of the best way to dispatch Viper Commandos or Neo-Vipers. Scarlett's exploding arrow went through a Viper Commando's eye before blowing his head up, and Heavy Duty jams a grenade in a Neo-Viper's neck guard to do away with his head. OWCH. During the Paris chase, Scarlett targets an unarmored Neo-Viper in the head too, suggesting this is her preferred M.O.
* In the original ''Film/TheLostBoys'' the vampire gang member Dwayne is killed when he's shot in the head with a holy water tipped arrow by Michael, it causes him to go flying into an amplifier which electrocutes him and causes his head to explode.
* In ''Film/StarTrekIntoDarkness'', Harrison likes to crush his enemies' skulls. [[SuperStrength With his bare hands]].
* In ''Film/TransformersDarkOfTheMoon'', this is how [[spoiler:Starscream]] meets his end. From ''Sam'' of all people.
* ''They Call Me Bruce'' (1982). TheMafia asks a NightmareFetishist hitman how he plans to kill Bruce. After demonstrating various methods on a store dummy, the silenced pistol with explosive bullets that blows up its head gets their unanimous approval.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Folklore]]
* Some versions of the "Pop Rocks + Soda = Death" UrbanLegend describe how a victim took a swig of cola while chewing pop rocks, and died horribly from an explosion that went off in his/her mouth.
* There's a [[http://www.snopes.com/humor/iftrue/chess.asp persistent rumor]] of a Russian guy whose head literally exploded during a chess tournament. According to the legend, he had some type of electrical imbalance in his brain, which [[FridgeLogic must have]] somehow boiled his cranial liquids, causing pressure to build up inside his skull, exploding his head "as if someone had put a bomb in his cranium". (In terms of "head exploding like a watermelon with a firecracker in it," that would be impossible. There is no electrical configuration possible in a brain to be able to generate enough force to rupture the skull. Aneurysms, weak areas in your brain's circulation, can rupture under increased blood pressure, which is entirely possible in a stressful situation, and this can be instantly or near instantly fatal, but nothing in in your brain can blow your head up.)
** The story actually originates from a spoof article in the Weekly World News.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* Any time someone gets shot in the head in a MatthewReilly book, their head ''will'' explode. ''[[SignatureStyle Always]]''.
* In ''Literature/BattleRoyale'', students are outfitted with [[ExplosiveLeash explosive collars]] to enforce their compliance with the government's "game". One student dies when his collar goes off when he's stuck in a forbidden area.
* In his book ''Brain Droppings'', GeorgeCarlin wondered about the possibility of a world where the ''only'' cause of death was people's heads exploding, totally without warning.
-->'''Carlin:''' You know what? I bet people would get used to it.
* In the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Human Nature'' one of the school children who are defending the school from a group of attacking aliens turns to say something to John Smith and gets hit in the back of the head with a dart from one of the alien's weapons. A moment passes then this trope splatters blood and brain matter all over the room, leading to a HeroicBSOD from John Smith.
* In the ''Literature/HyperionCantos'', Kassad makes a religious fundamentalist's head asplode ''on television,'' using careful timing and satellites with tightly focused invisible laser beams to boil their brains. He plays this up as the wrath of Allah, backed by the wrath of the galactic military police.
* Used metaphorically in ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'', when dreaming Vimes sees a murder victim's head burst open and spill out words.
* In ''Discworld/MovingPictures'', we learn of the existence of Tshlup-Ashlapeth, the Infernal Star goat with a Million young, whose preferred and only way of slaughtering a victim is to hold them down and show it pictures of its children, until they can take no more and their brain explodes.
** Then again, non-metaphorically, when [[spoiler:the Golem King's head is smashed to pieces, with countless shreds of paper containing the king golem's Words flying out]].
** Used even less metaphorically in ''Discworld/TheFifthElephant'', when [[spoiler:a werewolf reflexively catches Vimes' high-powered flare in his teeth]].
* Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant briefly mentions a colleague who 'ruptured' after receiving a DeathGlare from Baron Vengeous.
* ''Franchise/StarWarsExpandedUniverse'':
** A heartwarming DefusingTheTykebomb situation in ''Literature/GalaxyOfFear'' is interrupted by this; the BigBad anticipated that it might happen, so installed a tiny bomb in his weapon's skull.
** Attempted in ''Literature/TheApproachingStorm''. Soergg the Hutt controls a pair of Ansionians by planting explosive charges in their necks. Barriss Offee manages to disarm and remove them, and the Ansionians pull a MookFaceTurn and become native guides to Offee and three other Jedi.
* The first time the protagonist uses the eponymous blade from the ''SwordOfTruth'' series, the powerful magic in the sword makes his enemy's head explode -- in slow motion, no less.
* Virtually any headshot scored in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' novels results in this, given that the primary weapon of three different factions is a fully automatic miniature RPG. {{Invoked|Trope}} in ''Literature/SpaceWolf: Grey Hunter'' when the Wolves specifically go for headshots against a sanctuary of Chaos cultists [[spoiler:because the cultists have runes painted on their heads that Thousand Sons Chaos Space Marines are using to possess them and resurrect themselves]].
* The magic-wielding Asha'man from ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' series learn to do this as a standard attack. Later we see them exploding not just heads, but entire bodies, sometimes of whole ranks of soldiers at once. They are very good at their jobs. The meat-grinder carnage that results naturally makes other characters ill.
* Averted in ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', where a military research proposal to remote-control thousands of bullet-sized cruise missiles into the skulls of zombies and detonate them never accomplished squat, except to use up a huge amount of funding and resources.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* Somewhat subverted in the ''Series/{{Angel}}'' series. Cordelia's powers start to get stronger and they consequently cause her much more pain. She's told she must give them up or her head will explode. Cordy even meets someone with most of the back of her head missing. Instead she chooses to become part-demon, which gives her the strength to contain her visions in her head and tame the splitting headaches.
** Played straighter with Vail...Illyria made his head explode with one punch.
* ''Series/{{Bones}}'': "The Bullet in the Brain". [[spoiler: Heather Taffet was shot by a high-powered sniper rifle]]. One of the squints even points out that the cause of death was "asploding head".
* Happens in ''Series/BreakingBad'' when Hank shoots one of the Mexican assassins sent to kill him with a hollow-point bullet.
* In the climax of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Hush," in which the residents of Sunnydale became mute, the Gentlemen fell prey to this when Buffy regained her voice.
** In the episode "Storyteller" the [[WeirdnessMagnet Hellmouth]] is making metaphors become literal truths; this includes a student whose head literally explodes from stress.
** An earlier episode has this little conversation occur after Buffy shows her mom her SAT scores:
--->'''Buffy:''' She saw these scores and her head spun around and exploded.
--->''(beat)''
--->'''Giles:''' I've been on the [[WeirdnessMagnet Hellmouth]] too long. That was metaphorical, yes?
** Season 8 has [[spoiler:Giles using a containment field spell to do this to a guy.]]
* ''Series/CarolineInTheCity'' stole the joke shortly after by having Richard's head explode in blue confetti upon receiving shocking news.
* In the infamous Clayton Bigsby skit from ''Series/ChappellesShow'', this happens to a KKK member out of sheer cognitive dissonance when he realizes that one of his fellow Klansmen is actually black.
* A sniper used explosive bullets in one ''{{CSI NY}}'' ep. One bullet exploded as Sid tried to remove it from the victim's head, tearing a big hole in it and dazing Sid, whose eyes only survived intact due to his glasses.
* ''Series/TheDailyShow'' loves to show the clip from ''{{Scanners}}'' mentioned above in response to [[LogicBomb particularly illogical statements]]. ("So what do you think, guy from ''Scanners''?" *explode*)
** When ''Craig Kilborn'' still ran ''Series/TheDailyShow'', his "5 Questions" interview segment opened with a slow-mo head asplosion (actually, crushing) from gore-fu flick Riki-Oh. The video of the head-crush scene from the movie can be seen [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8dW-3qmBAVM here]]; note that the "5 Questions" intro showed the head-crush in slow motion, and ran it forward and back a few times.
** Inverted in a segment about sex ed, in reference to the "news" that abstinence-only programs are ineffective at keeping teenagers from having sex -- the ''Scanners'' clip was played backwards and Stewart said, "You just un-blew my mind."
* ''Series/DocMartin'': Ellingham diagnoses one patient with [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exploding_head_syndrome Exploding Head Syndrome]], the patient assumes it is a literal description fearing this trope.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': The Cybermen from the 80s did this quite spectacularly when killed. Even being shot in such irrelevant places like their arm would cause their head to explode violently. The Cybermen from the 2011 story Closing Time, and one Lumic Cyberman in Age of Steel, do this also.
* Used on ''TheDrewCareyShow''. Drew daydreams about Mimi's head exploding, and, when she asks him what he's smiling about, he responds, "Just picturing you topless!"
** In a later episode that was part clip show, a police officer asked if Drew had any violent thoughts about Mimi, followed by the above clip playing again and Drew replying, "Nope. I love her to pieces."
* ''Series/{{Fringe}}'': "The Cure" begins with a woman in a diner who eventually begins causing bleeding of the eyes in all around her, culminating in her head asploding.
** In "The Box", the unfortunate combination of an ultrasound weapon and and dental fillings causes a dwarf's head to explode.
* Inverted in the first episode of ''Series/GarthMarenghisDarkplace'', where the head is the only part of the body that doesn't asplode.
-->'''Larry:''' It ''really'' hurts...
* Discussed in ''Series/{{Heroes}}'': Ando worries that Hiro's {{Psychic Nosebleed}}s will escalate to this.
* There is an episode of ''Series/{{House}}'' where a patient suddenly experiences a cranial fracture and severe hemorrhage while undergoing an MRI scan. Quoth House: "Her head exploded! How cool is that?"
* An ''InLivingColor'' sketch (starring JimCarrey) parodied Michael Bolton's overly-emotive singing style by having his head explode after one too many tensings of his face while singing "When a Man Loves a Woman."
* The ''ItsAlwaysSunnyInPhiladelphia'' episode'' "[[HistoricalInJoke The Gang Cracks the Liberty Bell]]" has a British colonel's head explode when an 18th century version of Frank accidentally fires a musket at his head from three feet away.
* ''Series/KyoryuSentaiZyuranger'': Dai Satan's head explodes the second time Ultimate Daizyujuin blasts him. Dai Satan is a giant floating head, so this trope covers the entirety of his body. Lokar, his Power Rangers counterpart, was not shown to do this, likely because of SpecialEffectFailure: The head that explodes is blatantly foam rubber, and it detracts from the scene.
* A ''Series/{{MADtv}}'' sketch involved a handyman getting his head precariously close to an emergency flare launcher, resulting in his head exploding. Somehow, he managed to live and had his head held together with bandages.
* In ''MaxHeadroom'', a {{Blipvert}} could cause one's head to explode.
** The rest of one, too.
*** And that's why [[SpaceWhaleAesop TV is bad for you]], kids.
* A RunningGag in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000'' is that Tom's bubblehead explodes in a flash of pyrotechnics when the going gets too tough. In TheMovie, it was blown up several times through poor use of an Interocitor.
** The episode ''Gunslingers'' had a ShoutOut to ''Scanners'': Dr. Forrester's contribution for that episode's invention exchange was "The Scanner Planner", a magazine filled with "life's little tidbits about how to scan people's brains for information and then make their heads explode." Its cover was a print of the ''Scanners'' poster, with the iconic image of Michael Ironside. He then attempts to use these techniques on his assistant, leading to a burned-out lightbulb (his aim was off) and the quote at the top of the page.
* This occasionally happens to background characters in ''TheMuppetShow''. It's never gruesome, but it's still slightly creepy.
* This happens surprisingly often on ''OneThousandWaysToDie'', even though exploding heads are impossible with the vast majority of death scenarios shown.
* On ''{{QI}}'', after being shown a shape (a cylinder with two wedges cut out) that could fit snuggly through a square, triangular, or circular hole, Creator/RossNoble suggested dropping the shape and holes off at a preschool and watching the kids' heads explode.
* In one episode of ''Series/RedDwarf'', the android Kryten gets locked in an enraged feedback loop which literally explodes his main head ''and'' several spares. Just because Lister asked for ketchup to go with the lobsters Kryten just prepared. To explain this a little bit more, it's revealed that Kryten's creator modelled him after her [[spoiler:ex-fiance so that, among other things, when he had too much repressed emotion he would literally blow his top.]]
* A ''SaturdayNightLive'' skit spoofing the OprahWinfrey show had one of her audience member's head explode from being too excited.
* In ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'', one of J.D.'s [[ImagineSpot fantasies]] has his head exploding due to frustration over Dr. Cox.
-->'''Dr. Cox:''' I can't believe your head exploded. If your head explodes, then [[RunningGag you'll never make it as a doctor.]] ''(cut to black)'' I mean come on you look ridiculous!
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''. A female Trill HotScientist suggests this will happen to her brother if she makes out with Jadzia Daz (her former partner in a previous host).
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'''s first season episode, "Conspiracy". The fate of the guy taken over by PuppeteerParasite (the 'sploding was from phaser fire, not directly from the parasites). BodyHorror galore.
** ...And [[http://img836.imageshack.us/img836/9558/startrekdudesheadexplod.gif here's a GIF]]! Be careful, it's a biggie (about 1.5 megabytes) and ''might'' be gory enough to be NSFW.
* ''Series/ToddAndTheBookOfPureEvil'': Student Len Bergman acquires HypnoticEyes from the Book of Pure Evil. When he attempts to control Todd's mind, he finds that the main character is immune because of his [[DisabilityImmunity attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder]]. As a result, Len's power backfires and... well, you get the picture.
* ''Series/{{Torchwood}}'' references this in the episode "Sleeper":
-->'''Jack:''' It's just a mind probe.
-->'''Ianto:''' Remember what happened last time you used it?
-->'''Jack:''' That was different. And that species has extremely high blood pressure.
-->'''Ianto:''' Oh, right. Their heads must explode all the time.
* Downplayed in the ''Series/UnderTheDome'' episode "Blue on Blue". [[spoiler:Jim kills the now-insane Reverend by pressing the latter's hearing aid-equipped ear against the dome. The dome makes electrical devices in close proximity explode. So you see a runnel of blood come out of the Reverend's ear and then Jim lets him fall.]]
* ''Series/TheXFiles'' episode "Drive": Their (man and woman) ''ear'' explodes.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Music]]
* Music/TheCramps' "Blow Up Your Mind".
* Weird Al's "Couch Potato" gives us "Make 'em watch all of that junk 'til '''their heads explode''' just like '{{Scanners}}'"
* [[Music/TheDarkSideOfTheMoon "And if your head explodes with dark forebodings too, I'll see you on the dark side of the moon."]]
* NoiseRock /Shoegaze band A Place To Bury Strangers' second album is called ''Exploding Head''.
* Saskrotch's "Exploding Head Disease" EP.
* Alluded to in The VelvetUnderground's "I Heard Her Call My Name":
-->And then my mind split open...
* From "The Small(er) Song" by Carla Bozulich ( The Geraldine Fibbers / Ethyl Meatplow ):
-->You thought you saw me in a dream
-->Inside a junkyard contraption with rocket parts.
-->I was zooming away at an alarming rate
-->In a bunch and nuts and bolts that looks like a toaster.
-->You called out to me but I could not hear you.
-->I covered my eyes from the blinding light.
-->As I disappeared behind the clouds,
-->'''You thought you saw my head explode...'''
-->'''You're not dreaming.'''
* Invoked in an extremely gruesome fashion with the original cover of Big Black's ''Headache'' EP. Yes, those are real police photos.
* In the video for the Vengaboys' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IWYXIuuI-Rg Rocket To Uranus]], Pete Burns's character suffers from this after too much happy music.
* TheJam, ''Going Underground'':
--> We talk and we talk until my head explodes...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Newspaper Comics]]
* Calvin from ''CalvinAndHobbes'' occasionally [[ImagineSpot imagines]] his head exploding. In one strip, he sneezes so hard his head blows up. In another, a particularly bad [[InconvenientItch mosquito itch]] makes him feel like his head caught on fire and exploded.
* Happens in ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'', to a random RedShirt.
-->'''Guy''': Uh-oh... suddenly this meeting and all these strange words [[GoMadFromTheRevelation make sense]].
-->Guy's head explodes.
-->'''Wally''' (to Dilbert): It's your turn to buy the card.
** Has also happened [[http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/1995-08-25/ before]], when Dogbert rescued Dilbert from the bowels of Accounting by presenting the accounting [[AllTrollsAreDifferent trolls]] with something their brains couldn't comprehend: [[FelonyMisdemeanor wearing a cap backwards on his head]].
-->'''Dilbert''': What was that popping sound?
-->'''Dogbert''': A paradigm shifting without a clutch.
* ''{{Doonesbury}}'': Duke's head has been exploding since 1985. For some reason it kept exploding when he found out HunterSThompson had died.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Pinball]]
* The "Traffic Jam" Supergame mode in the ''Pinball/JudgeDredd'' pinball ends with one driver throwing an axe at the other, causing the victim's brains to splatter.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Deadlands}}: [[AfterTheEnd Hell on Earth]]'' and ''[[SpaceWestern Lost Colony]]'' gives us [[XtremeKoolLetterz sykers]]. Similarly to the examples above, their ''[[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin brain bomb]]'' special ability stuffs some [[FutureSlang waster's]] head so full of [[LifeEnergy "psychic" power]] that it literally bursts. [[LudicrousGibs Hard.]] Hard enough to cause damage to anyone standing next to the poor sap. And sometimes, it even [[MagicMisfire backfires]]. Yay!
** ''Hell On Earth'' also features the Combine (no, not [[VideoGame/{{Half-Life 2}} that Combine]]), an EvilEmpire whose soldiers each have a "loyalty chip" implanted at the base of their skull. It allows them to safely use Combine-issue weapons and vehicles, but if the chip determines that its owner could be about to reveal any Combine secrets, or if s/he defects from the Combine and is later discovered by a Combine officer who knows the correct passcode...well, they're not nicknamed "headbanger chips" because [[BigBad General Throckmorton]] is into heavy metal music.
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'' has several ways to make someone's head explode, the [[PsychicPowers psionic powers]] ''intellect bomb'' and ''cranial deluge'' being the most marked examples. So can some lesser powers, such as ''mind thrust'', which has been described as causing the victim's head to explode when you kill them with it. Then there's ''detonate'', which makes someone explode and damages people around him; even if he survives, he takes so much damage his head apparently made a decent attempt at exploding. In addition to this, if a character for any reason obtain over 3 times their maximum hit point total (most likely as a result of too much time spent on a Positive Energy plane), they will explode, either "merely" their head or their entire body.
** For earlier versions, conjure water in cranium. They get rid of it though.
* In ''EclipsePhase'', this is a side-effect of using the emergency backup farcaster.
* Just one of the many occupational hazards of being a mook for the Eaters of the Lotus for ''TabletopGame/FengShui'' -- if you do or say anything contrary to what your EvilSorcerer master wants you to do or say, the magical ward that he put on you will make your head go kaboom. A very nice example of this is what happens to any Poison Thorns your characters interrogate (which can only be done through magical compulsion because of their fear of this) in the adventure "Baptism of Fire," which features an evil Lotus sorcerer as the main villain.
* "Freaks" in the 80s action movie-inspired game ''TabletopGame/TheHardWay'' can do this to people with their minds, ''Film/{{Scanners}}''-style.
* OlderThanRadio: The British card game ''[[http://www.wopc.co.uk/games/jaques-illustrated-proverbs.html Illustrated Proverbs]]'', circa 1885, has this trope on the first card for "They love too much who die for love." (Possibly also AteHisGun.)
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' has "cranial bombs", explosive devices implanted in the human skull. Depending on size, they can do anything from just making the head explode to cleaning out a room.
** One ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'' novel featured an acidic cranial bomb that ''melted'' a spy's entire upper body, obscuring evidence of his identity while partially subverting this trope.
* The more specific offensive psychic powers of ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' vary between this and MindRape.
** Ork Weirdboyz also generate head exploding hilarity when their powers go haywire. The exploding isn't limited to the Weirdboy, either, which is why Cunning Orks tend to give them a wide berth.
** Another 40K example featured a psychic war between two Space Marine Librarians. ''Guess how it ended''.
** The Imperial Guard's penal legions use explosive collars to enforce discipline among their members.
[[/folder]]

[[folder: Toys]]
* The ''Zombie Roamer'' from ''ComicBook/TheWalkingDead'' Comic Book Series 1 toyline has "Head Splitting Action".
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In the Source Engine conversion game ''VideoGame/AgeOfChivalry'', it's possible for Heavy Knights to cause this with their [[DropTheHammer warhammers]].
* In ''Franchise/AlienVsPredator'' (any of the PC games or the newish console game), alien's heads tend to explode if you aim for them. Their bodies are kind of fragile and chitinous, so this is somewhat more believable.
** In the second game, headbiting a human (or, far more rare, predator) caused the victim's head to completely shatter. MadeOfPlasticine, indeed. (The first game merely decapitated the victim).
* After you defeat the pepper grinder-wielding Dutchess in ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'', she has a sneezing fit, causing her head to explode.
** This happens to Alice herself if she is killed by an enemy with a firearm. In fact, there's a cheat code you can implement that will show you the death scene, but then allow you to continue playing the game - with Alice having ''no head''.
** In ''VideoGame/AliceMadnessReturns'', this happens to the White Rabbit within five minutes of starting the game. Seriously.
* ''VideoGame/BionicCommando'', in the final battle against [[StupidJetPackHitler Cyborg Clone Hitler]]... [[NoSwastikas err, Master-D]]. Somehow, the censors [[GettingCrapPastTheRadar forgot to pick that one up]].
** Aka, His Head Explod(from another {{Engrish}} line).
** And that single moment is ''the only reason'' why the 2008 remake, ''Bionic Commando Rearmed'', is rated M!
** An image of this scene can be seen [[http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Hitler-Head-Asplode.gif here]].
** "Exploding Nazi Heads" seems to be a running gag in the series now. In the 2009 sequel, after defeating the BigBad, a grenade is placed in his mouth and he is kicked over the edge of the platform. The player is then treated to a lovely gore explosion.
* Comes in several different varieties in ''VideoGame/BioShockInfinite''. The shotgun, sniper rifle, and HandCannon can all blow enemies' heads off with a clean headshot, one of the possible Sky-Hook executions has Booker grind the victim's head into paste with its blades, and most spectacularly, shooting an enemy to death while they're being electrocuted by [[ShockAndAwe Shock Jockey]] causes their heads to burst into flames before their bodies burn up.
* ''VideoGame/BishiBashi Special'', prefiguring the TropeNamer, had a ''VideoGame/{{Pong}}''-like minigame called "Puck Attack" with round head icons which would go up in a fiery explosion if the puck went into the goal.
* In ''VideoGame/TheBlackHeart'', if you're really low on health, one of Final's grabs will do this to you.
* Fatal headshots in ''VideoGame/BlacklightRetribution'' will not only cause the head to explode, but will sometimes cause a sharp exploding sound to be heard across the map if the headshot deals enough damage.
* In keeping with the ludicrous level of violence it displays, ''VideoGame/{{Condemned}} 2'' allows players to explode enemies' heads in a number of ways, including industrial presses, and eventually [[spoiler:by shouting at them.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'': In the grim future, all of our heads are apparently filled with nitroglycerin.
** In ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}'', one particularly jarring boss fight ends with the boss's head exploding after you retrieve a software upgrade from its collar. The boss has all five of the game's elemental damage abilities, which are fire, electricity, corrosion, slag, and explosive, and after [[BigBad Handsome Jack]] unveils it to you he forgets its explosive capability right up until then.
** Score any kill on humans with electricity and see their heads go "pop" like a lightbulb.
* ''VideoGame/DarkSeed II'' had a particularly {{Narm}}ful one [[spoiler:involving the protagonist's mother]] that seemed more like a BigLippedAlligatorMoment than anything else.
* In ''VideoGame/DeadRising'', break a jar containing a Queen bug in the vicinity of zombies, and their heads asplode.
* ''VideoGame/DeadSpace'': Researcher vs. freakishly grotesque space baby, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S0_Mo3iIxVc yeah...]] You can also do this to other Necromorphs during regular gameplay. It doesn't do anything other than pissing them off some more.
** In the third game, any head shot to Unitologist soldiers, even ones with weapons that would normally cause their heads to fall off, will make it explode. This applies to explosive weapons, though it's unclear how instantly severing their body parts with one single explosion would cause their head to disappear other than a logical head shot with an explosive.
* In ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry 3'', when you damage any of Cerberus's heads enough it explodes into stuff.
** And topped in ''glorious'' fashion in ''4'' after the final battle with [[spoiler: Savior-Sanctus,]], where [[spoiler: Nero finishes it off by crushing its skull in his hand. Head asplosion comes complete with city-rattling shockwave.]]
-->[[spoiler:This hand was made for sending guys like you back to Hell! And ''[[OhCrap NOW]]''...''[[FinishingMove YOU]]''...'''''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis DIE!!!!]] *** CRUNCH*** ''''']]
* Happens in ''[[VideoGame/{{Elvira}} Elvira II: The Jaws of Cerburus]]'' when you defeat a witch. (One of her eyes survives, and it can be used as an ingredient for a spell.)
* Some versions of ''VideoGame/{{Doom}}'' had this, your character portrait would show damage depending on how much health he had. In a few versions, taking a vicious shot at low health would result in not the head slumping down dead, but blowing up.
* ''EternalDarkness'': You can hallucinate this happening if you cast a spell with low sanity. Also, if Xel'lotath is your enemy, [[spoiler:Paul Luther]] gets a good telekinetic head-bursting instead of the boss fight both he and TheDragon were expecting.
* Part of the ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}'' experience. In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', killing headshots with a rifle will cause this if the head is crippled, or decapitate if it isn't. After Frank Horrigan's body falls apart in ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 2}}'', you can talk to him to hear some useless last words before his head pops off. Satisfying!
** In ''Fallout 3'', using the Mesmetron to collect slaves has a random chance effect of pissing them off for a few seconds before their heads pop. Likewise, anyone successfully enslaved gets a head-popping collar just to keep them in line.
** Also in ''Fallout 3'', any Rock-It Launched junk aimed to the head could explode it (watch a teddy bear impact with critically explosive fun!). It was more common than with any other Big Gun, as the others would more often result in charred husk, complete dismemberment, or full body splatter.
** The Repellent Stick. Hit a mole rat with it, wait a few seconds, and its head will explode. As fun as this sounds, all the Mole Rats do is smoke for a bit before their heads burst in a rather underdramatic fashion. Moira's reaction is altogether more amusing.
** The Lone Wanderer's descriptions are hilarious:
-->"Well, at least it's non-lethal for people. For Mole Rats... not so much."
-->"It repelled their limbs from their body. Can you make one that works on people?"
-->"It appears that Mole Rats have a most fatal allergy to it. Explosively so."
-->"It's like explosive whack-a-Mole Rat. Can I get it in bullet form? For people?"
-->"It gives them quite a kick, like too much Jet or something."
** The add-on Mothership Zeta will have your head explode if you don't put your spacesuit on before opening the room's bay doors. {{Explosive decompression}} for the win! Which leaves one to wonder why you can open the bay doors when your hand, because of your Pip-Boy, is clearly exposed.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' also has the exploding slave collars. As a twist, the ''Dead Money'' DLC puts the collar is on ''you''. And thanks to interference from the Sierra Madre's sound system, straying too close to active speakers or ham radios for too long leads to warning beeps that grow faster and faster until ''BOOM splat!''
* ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', [[MadeOfPlasticine when an enemy is punched]]. Apparently a faithfully adapted trait of the anime.
* In ''[[VehicularCombat Gear Grinder]]'', when Jack takes his [[WeaponizedCar devastating ride]] and tries to escape, his captors reveal that they [[ExplosiveLeash implanted a bomb in his head]] and threaten to set it off if he doesn't return immediately.
* In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar'', headshots with a sniper rifle, or headshots when making a killing shot for pistols or shotguns do this. It's possible to purchase an action figure of a Locust Drone with his head asploding.
* In ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII III]], [[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoViceCity Vice City]],'' and ''[[VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas San Andreas]]'', heads would always neatly pop when shot with a sniper rifle.
** Gore mode allows you to blow off heads and limbs with any gun.
** In the ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'' mission Friend Request, [[spoiler: you do this with the phone bomb to Jay Norris. ''On live television.'']]
-->'''Rickie Lukens:''' [[HilariousinHindsight When they unveil that at the keynote address, it is gonna blow minds!]]
* The result of a headshot in ''VideoGame/{{Gun}}''.
* In at least one version of ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', there was an obtainable Skull called 'Grunt Birthday Party' that, when picked up, made it so that when you scored a headshot on a Grunt, [[MadeOfExplodium the whole thing blew up]]. Into clouds of confetti. While little children cheer. And the confetti actually causes, albeit small, damage to nearby enemies.
** Fun fact: Those cheering children is from ''VideoGame/VivaPinata''.
** This is its effect in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}''. The skull also appears in ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'', where its effect is slightly different. There is no confetti or children - the enemy just blows up exactly like a plasma grenade. Also, the effect works on any enemy with a head, not just Grunts.
* In ''Infernal Runner'', stepping into a certain wave field would cause your head to start bulging and after a few seconds explode messily.
* ''VideoGame/IWannaBeTheGuy'' hilariously subverts this. Instead of "Your Head Asplode," "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jt7OlFTxFJo Everything BUT Your Head Asplode.]]" It doesn't matter what you touch, whether it be [[SpikesOfDoom barely grazing a spike]], [[SelectiveGravity getting hit by fruit falling up]], or [[VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight getting hit by Dracula's wineglass.]] [[InvertedTrope Your body explodes violently in a shower of red pixels while your head just remains untouched.]]
* ''VideoGame/JaggedAlliance 2''. If you manage to shoot somebody in the head in just the right way, their head will explode and their body will fall on the ground, [[HighPressureBlood blood squirting out of the neck]]. In fact, if you're lucky, you can save your game just before such moment and replay it over and over.
* In ''VideoGame/Left4Dead'' a headshot with any sufficiently powerful weapon (Any of the shotguns, the Assault Rifle or Hunting Rifle) will turn a normal infected's head into a brief cloud of [[PinkMist red goo]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Lemmings}}'', the bomber lemmings would hold their heads and quiver for a second or so before they blew up, as if trying to contain the explosive force within their skulls.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Lugaru}}'', if you enable debug mode, you can make enemy bunny and wolf heads explode with the tap of a key.
* Headshots of various types in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' (at least against human-sized organic targets) cause rather [[HighPressureBlood violent sprays]] of red, blue, purple, or orange.
** If you get a headshot on any mech, especially a YMIR mech, it will cause a large explosion.
** ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' headshots can now explode the heads of organic enemies. In multiplayer, krogan and batarian characters can do the same thing with headbutts / punches...as can volus, which is a little strange given that volus characters are about three feet tall, meaning that a volus heavy melee attack with an omni-fist involves punching people ''in the crotch'' so hard their heads explode.
* Featured in numerous fatalities across the ''Franchise/MortalKombat'' franchise. The very first exploding head, in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat 1'', was courtesy of Raiden, although in the savagely {{Bowdlerized}} SNES version it reduced the enemy to ashes instead.
* An EasterEgg at the museum in ''VideoGame/MysteryCaseFiles: Dire Grove'' lets you make the head of a stuffed sheep explode.
** In ''Escape To Ravenhearst'', a mannequin's head explodes after you beat it at cards.
* In ''VideoGame/NaughtyBear'', if a teddy is driven insane by naughtiness and scared one last time, he [[DrivenToSuicide will kill himself]]. This trope is what happens when said teddy is unarmed.
* In the freeware platformer ''VideoGame/NinjaSenki'', this happens when you finally kill the dragon at the end of Scene 8, followed by its entire neck gradually exploding.
* In ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes'', Travis defeats Holly. After losing, she tells him she has a thing for him, then takes one of her grenades, pulls the pin, and puts it in her mouth, with predictable results. Travis, desperately trying to pay respects, hugs her headless body. And buries her in a pit-trap she dug.
* ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2'' had one monster that had conjoined rolling heads! The monster would explode when its HP hit 0 or if you stepped on it.
** The Blood and Bone Suckler enemies hunt prey by diverting massive amounts of blood into their heads, creating explosive cranial pressure and turning their heads into fragmentation grenades, killing the prey item so that other Sucklers can eat it. They seem pretty volatile aside, though, since a single shot can set off a room full of them like a biological powder-keg.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Portal 2}}'''s Perpetual testing initiative, [[spoiler:one of the worlds you visit is a world where Aperture Science made psychic beings; they turn out to be assholes who just like to make people's heads explode]].
* Spend many a happy moment explodin' the heads of FacelessGoons in ''VideoGame/PsiOpsTheMindgateConspiracy''. A favorite [[CrossesTheLineTwice over sadistic]] tactic was using telekinesis to pull one towards the player, and "catch" him with Mind Drain, which upon fully draining their HP popped their heads while they screamed in anguish. Very stress relieving!
** Or you can mind-control those suckers into eating the business ends of their own firearms. Strangely enough, you seem in total control of every aspect of their bodies, except their mouths. They scream like banshees right up to the skull explosion.
* Apparently, the skulls of everyone in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' are [[MadeOfPlasticine made of cheap plaster]]. Why else would they detonate when the enemy is killed with a headshot? Maybe Las Plagas soften up your skull.
** This doesn't even require a high-powered weapon like a shotgun or a magnum -- Leon can elbow, kick, or punch suplex infected humans so hard that their heads burst.
*** The suplex head asplosion is one of the most gratifying ways to kill an enemy in the game.
** Since the first Resident Evil the best way to save ammos was the head-exploding shot, a single, well aimed, scarily-close-to-the-zombie shot.
** This game also features [[EverythingFades corpses that frequently melt after seconds on the ground]], so it isn't just the heads that are [[MadeOfPlasticine soft]]. A few Ganados at the start don't fade but the point still stands.
** Ironically, when you start out, blasting them in the face causes an injury animation that makes it seem like someone punched them in the face. It takes anywhere from five to eight un-upgraded handgun shots to get them to explode.
* ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays'': Happens in the 2nd [[DownerEnding Bad Ending]] of the Visual Novel when [[spoiler: Kotonoha commits [[DrivenToSuicide suicide]] by throwing herself off of the balcony of Makoto's apartment when he tells her he wants to be with Sekai rather than her, and landing headfirst into the pavement]]. This all happens in front of Makoto and Sekai, [[spoiler: which is what eventually drove them apart.]] It's even worse when you realize [[OhCrap that was]] [[SpurnedIntoSuicide her goal.]] Which is why she was [[GoOutWithASmile smiling at the last second.]] Complete with [[HighPressureBlood High-Pressure Blood]]
* In the computer game ''VideoGame/TheSeventhGuest'', this happens to one of the other six guests during a cutscene. There is no discernible reason why, either. Ego, the game's narrator, is heard to inquire, "...what's wrong with her head?"
** It also happens in a cutscene in the sequel ''The 11th Hour''.
* The Xbox 360 game ''ShadowComplex'' has an achievement named after this, awarded to you if you get 50 headshots.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}'': A cranial bomb is part of the plot of the game for the {{SNES}}. It gets activated ("Oops." "What do you mean, "Oops."?") during a surgical procedure, and you have a relatively short amount of time to get it deactivated. The surgeon does refund your money, though.
* In the original ''VideoGame/TheSims'', one of the prank calls your sims can receive at night is "Your psychic adviser's head has just exploded, be forewarned."
* Virtually every one of LetsPlay/{{Slowbeef}}'s {{Lets Play}}s has featured head explosions. Even ''Sprung'', which was photoshopped with the explanation "every Slowbeef thread has a head explosion."
** "[[VideoGame/DarkSeed Here, Mike, this will explain everything]]."
* In the first two ''VideoGame/SoldierOfFortune'' games, the damage modeling was such that you could sever limbs or blow off pieces of an enemy's head, including their jaw, sometimes exposing their brain. In the third game the head always [[LudicrousGibs completely exploded]] when shot, although enemies could now temporarily continue to fight after losing a limb.
* This is how Dmitri dies in ''VideoGame/SpaceApe''.
* In ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'', [[BoomHeadshot headshots]] usually cause PinkMist but [[spoiler:later on in the game, as Walker begins to go unhinged, the headshot animation switches from the more realistic to constant full-on head explodey, with only a bleeding stump left. If you actually start paying attention to the shift it can get fairly disturbing.]]
** This also happens in a cutscene, when [[spoiler:Lugo headshots unarmed Radioman.]]
* In the Battle of The ''Amerigo'' cutscene in ''VideoGame/StarCraft'', one of the marines' heads explodes when a Zerg claw gets put through his face. There's also the opening cutscene, when the Protoss attack that salvage ship. Their beam vaporizes the ship from one end to the other, and somehow explodes the head of the guy on the bridge before his body just for good measure.
* This trope is taken UpToEleven with Andross in ''VideoGame/StarFoxAdventures''. For those who don't know Andross is basically [[CognizantLimbs a giant ape head with a pair of floating hands]]. When he is defeated the end of the game his head gets vaporized in a massive explosion comparable to when the Death Star blew up in ''Film/ReturnOfTheJedi''. Fox and Falco even have to OutrunTheFireball generated by his head's explosion with their spaceships.
* ''[[VideoGame/TheSuffering The Suffering: Ties That Bind]]'' has this as a FinishingMove of the Triggerman monster. They will simply hold [[PlayerCharacter Torque's]] body with one limb, then fire [[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill all five of their guns]] at his head point-blank, with predictably gory results.
* One of the attacks ''VideoGame/StubbsTheZombie'' has involves pulling off his own head, rolling it like a remote-controlled bowling ball, then detonating it in an explosive blast of toxic gas. [[GoodThingYouCanHeal It grows back.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' trailer "Meet the Spy", the BLU Spy gets his head blown off by the BLU Soldier after the latter mistakes the former for the RED Spy. To be fair, the BLU Spy had just warned the other people in the room that the RED Spy could disguise himself as one of them.
-->'''BLU Spy:''' He could be in this very room! It could be you! It could be me! It could even be- '''''*BLAM*'''''
** [[http://tf2wiki.net/w/images/e/e3/SpyHeadAsplode.gif Here's a GIF.]] [[CaptainObvious This one's messy too.]]
** An [[http://wiki.teamfortress.com/wiki/Ambassador unused icon for the Ambassador]] suggests that at one point, it was supposed to do something like this [[BoomHeadshot when it scored a critical hit to the head]] and violently remove the victim's head, or pieces thereof, from the rest of them.
** While not a full fledged head explosion, the Demoman's new melee unlock the [[{{BFS}} Eyelander]] can and will decapitate foes in a fountain of HighPressureBlood.
*** The Scotsman's Skullcutter does much the same.
**** As well as the Sniper's new Hitman's Heatmaker.
** In the Mann vs Machine game mode, one of the upgrades for the Sniper's weapons makes the head of the enemies explode if he scores a [[BoomHeadshot headshot]].
* In ''VideoGame/ThemeHospital'', the condition "Bloaty Head" is treated by popping the patient's head with a pin, and re-inflating it to normal pressure.
* It can be done in ''VideoGame/TrueCrimeNewYorkCity'' when aiming at a person's head with a high caliber weapon.
* The Cerebral Bore from ''VideoGame/{{Turok}} 2: Seeds of Evil'' makes the target's head explode after doing [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin what its name implies:]] drilling into the skull and boring out their brains.
** Ditto for the explosive [[FunetikAksent Tek]] [[TrickArrow Arrows]].
* In the intro of ''{{Vanquish}}'', this happens to several victims of the microwave KillSat attack on San Francisco.
* {{Justified|Trope}} in ''VideoGame/Warhammer40000SpaceMarine'', considering that most of your ranged weapons are bolter variants. For those unfamiliar, picture a rocket-propelled grenade. Now picture a repeating RPG small enough to be fired one-handed, and you've got a basic bolt pistol.
* A number of the fatalities in ''Wu Tang: Shaolin Style'' will cause this to happen, most notably Inspecta Deck's FingerPokeOfDoom fatality.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X1IL6r_Sizs&feature=relmfu this video]] starring Andrew Klavan, Klavan explained to the Occupy Wall Street representative that "thou shalt not steal" and "do unto others as you'd have them do unto you" is from ''Literature/TheBible'' and her head exploded.
* In ''AgentsOfCracked'', The Chief has implanted a failsafe in Michael, so that Dan can keep him from getting out of control. Naturally, [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin it does this]].
** [[spoiler:Swaim's head asplodes in the final episode thanks to the failsafe. Twice. [[UnexplainedRecovery He gets better.]]]]
** Cracked columnists love to use a screenshot from Scanners in their articles. It'll show up at least once a month.
*** ToplessRobot uses the same screenshot during [[MSTing Fan Fiction Friday]] when something particularly [[LogicBomb insane]] happens - which is often.
* ''TheDementedCartoonMovie'' has a parade of Blah Guys whose heads explode after they say "Blah!"
** Specifically, saying "Blah" in the ''The Demented Cartoon Movie'' will cause you to be decapitated somehow, most commonly through spontanious detonation.
* The Cheat has a number of head-a-sploding moments in ''WebAnimation/HomestarRunner'', though they just leave him with the cartoon-explosion look. It was, in fact, Vector Strong Bad who [[TropeNamers coined]] the term "Your Head A Splode," as well as a few other [[BlindIdiotTranslation poorly translated]] phrases on the subject.
* This happens to [[spoiler: Lance]] in ''ImAMarvelAndImADC''.
* ''{{Neopets}}'': Your Lupe A Splode. (Notice the space.)
* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaChick'': The Chick experienced this when seeing Creator/MichaelBay's robot testicles. [[UnexplainedRecovery They both got better]], [[RuleOfFunny obviously]].
* ''WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic'': The Critic also experienced this as a result of [[Disney/{{Cinderella}} Lady Tremaine]] giving him her Stare of Doom. Listening to John Moschitta, the incredibly fast-talking narrator of Micro Machines commercials, he says it's just as well the guy didn't record audiobooks. Then, of course, he illustrates that by listening to him rattling through ''{{Hamlet}}'' so fast that it makes the Critic's head explode.
* ''{{Phelous}}'': Phelous, as part of his RunningGag where he dies at the end of every review, experiences this on several occasions.
* ''Roleplay/SurvivalOfTheFittest'' is directly inspired by ''Literature/BattleRoyale'', and the [[ExplosiveLeash explosive collars]] do make an appearance here as well. Generally they are set off if tampered with, if a character stays in a dangerzone too long, or as a warning to other characters/groups. When they do, you get this trope.
* ''[[Blog/ThingsMrWelchIsNoLongerAllowedToDoInAnRPG Mr. Welch]]'' has been specifically told that he cannot make anyone's head asplode no matter how well he does on an [[TabletopRPG IQ roll]].
* In the Valentine's Smoochie (featuring Giggles) on the ''HappyTreeFriends'' website, if you pick the option "Flowers", she would sniff it, and sneeze a few times before the final one blows her head off, complete with her brains sticking on the wall.
* There is a series of videos on Youtube called ''[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3dUBw1bJWg Exploding Actresses]]'' which consists of [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin movie clips edited to have the actresses' heads randomly explode]].(Occasionally their bodies as well.) It's absurd and absurdly hilarious.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'': "And oh my goodness you just dropped a sprocket and some guy over there said Queen Victoria was stupid." ''[[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/17p38 Boom.]]''
* Axel has the ability to make people's heads explode in ''AnsemRetort''. So far, it's been seen used twice:
** The first time was against a cowboy that coincidentally was in the replacement cast. Lulu said it was his just desserts for dissing ''Film/TheGodfather''.
** The second time was the entire population of Jericho, New York. Odds are, they probably deserved it.
* ''Webcomic/BobAndGeorge'': Ran's head explodes when he's hit with a technobabble overdose. In addition, using the time-freezing Flash power on [[CaffeineBulletTime Quick Man]] causes a loud pop and a large mess.
* From ''CharbyTheVampirate'' Charby understood why he felt he had such a mind blowing experience when he spotted a piece of his own brain stuck on a friend's suit. How fast Charby noticed it tends to be mind bl.. er, to show that he's still street smart even with a piece of brain missing. Charby also had punched Zeno with perfect accuracy on the face while still headless! What a badass!
** And way back from the earlier comics, there was Charby and Zeno's attack on Rodericke's lair. [[http://www.charbythevampirate.com/comic/237/comic_archive Bang.]]
* When [[http://www.cad-comic.com/cad/20021127 this guy]] gets out-geeked in ''Webcomic/CtrlAltDel''.
** For those interested, the binary code translates to get lost, fucktard.
* In ''ErrantStory'', Ian does this to an elven guard sneaking up behind him while talking to Meji. [[OffhandBackhand Without turning around]]. [[http://www.errantstory.com/2008-04-11/794 With sound effect]].
* ''Webcomic/{{Freefall}}'': Qwerty mentions that his fellow robots are concerned that this is a possible reaction to robots intentionally circumventing their [[RestrainingBolt safeguards]], in [[http://freefall.purrsia.com/ff1500/fc01451.htm this strip]].
* This will happen to Frankie in ''FrankieAndStein'' if Stein takes her [[spoiler:time travelling]], at least according to Shelly.
* According to ''Webcomic/GetYourWarOn'', this can be caused by calling GeorgeWBush "brilliant".
* In one of the alternate universes in ''{{Goblins}}'', Minmax is a powerful psion who does this to his party members.
* ''HitmenForDestiny'' uses the legend where chickens are still alive after being decapitated. [[http://www.webcomicsnation.com/thorsby/destiny/series.php?view=archive&chapter=42579 Death Rage Chickens]] become agressive while decapitated.
* This happened in ''{{Haru-Sari}}'' [[spoiler: when a rogue elf blew up Alberich's dad's head]]
* This happened in the polyamorous comic ''Jake the Rake'' episode aptly entitled [[http://www.thisismarcus.com/jake/fourteen.htm "Explode Assumptions"]].
* In ''KevinAndKell'' this is [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2006/kk0122.html apparently a consequence]] of sudden {{Squick}}. At higher levels of Squick, [[http://www.kevinandkell.com/2003/kk1124.html it can lead to]] a head ''implosion''.
* ''LastRes0rt'': [[http://www.lastres0rt.com/2009/05/death-is-expensive-punchlines-are-cheap/ Say hello to Sedja!]]
** This also gets subverted the second time we see her: the Children of Gabriel [[http://www.lastres0rt.com/2010/10/ride-that-rocket/ expect the worst]] when she forces the one kid who tries to attack her with an AerosolFlamethrower to inhale her, but [[spoiler:she makes him [[VomitIndiscretionShot vomit her back up instead]], {{Squick}}ing the rest of the crowd and forcing them to scatter.]]
* In ''Marsh Rocket''. With a a double-page {{NSFW}} spread. Ouchies. Character deserved it though.
* Amongst the contributors that make up the webcomic community The Middle Ground (www.mgcomics.com), the former author known as Maikeru is known in-comic for making peoples' heads explode.
* In one ''{{Nodwick}}'' story, this sort of curse is inflicted upon the title character ''twice''. The first one will cause his head to explode if he reveals the secret that the {{Mooks}} tell him, while the second (inflicted by different Mooks) will turn his brain into spinach artichoke dip if he does so. After both curses are accidentally both triggered ''at the same time'', the BigBad remarks, "This is why I have to keep firing the help..." (Fortunately for Nodwick, Piffany is [[DeathIsNotPermanent close by]].)
* In ''PricklyCity'', Winslow object that they can't go away with the election in November. Carmen points out that it's ''next year.'' Winslow's reaction is the trope -- and "When do we head off? -- No pun intended."
* Happens to [[spoiler:an alien]] in ''Webcomic/RomanticallyApocalyptic''. The cause? TheCaptain giving them a ''really angry'' DeathGlare.
* When the comic protagonist Art in ''Webcomic/SequentialArt'' draws a picture that somehow manages to combine all known fetishes his housemate Pip's head explodes upon looking at it, [[http://collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=665 here.]]
** Don't worry, it was OnlyAFleshWound
* {{Subverted|Trope}} in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'', when it happens to Ebbirnoth. Ebby happens to be a [[BizarreAlienBiology Unioc]], whose "head" is one big eyeball. It's messy and very painful when a sniper pops it, but Ebby is still all right because all of his vital organs (including his brain) are in his torso. Doesn't stop the sniper from thinking that he's dead, though.
* This happened in ''{{Terinu}}'' when [[spoiler: when Terinu's powers traumatically activated and blew off the head of his kidnapper.]]
* Robots in {{Vexxarr}} actually win arguments this way. it generally goes like this:
-->'''Drone:''' I will not do that/go there and you can't make me!
-->'''Vexxarr:''' Oh, ''can't I??''
-->'''Drone:''' '''[[StuffBlowingUp BAM!!]]'''
-->'''Vexxarr:''' Okay, you win.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Darwin's head pops like a balloon in at least two occasions on ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball''.
* A pretty spectacularly gory one in the climax of an ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode, where Roger drops his elbow onto the head of the bad guy as he falls from the ceiling of a warehouse, shown four times with increasingly gruesome close-ups. The episode ends a scene later with Roger asking Stan if that guy was okay.
** He even says what everyone watching was thinking: "That was unexpected."
* ''WesternAnimation/AquaTeenHungerForce'':
** In "Kidney Car", after a particularly inane rant from Master Shake near the end of the episode, involving Carl's new car being sucked into a jet engine Shake had affixed on his car (which happened to be Carl's ''old'' car), Carl's head explodes.
-->'''Meatwad:''' Why'd he do that?\\
'''Master Shake:''' Why wouldn't he?
** In "Gee Whiz", Carl is hit with a flaming arrow fired by Music/TedNugent. After the Nooge tells him "Don't move!", Carl's head explodes. [[BrickJoke Then a rainbow comes out.]]
* This happens from time to time on ''WesternAnimation/CelebrityDeathmatch'' they include Creator/JimCarrey, GeorgeWBush, [[Music/{{Oasis}} Liam and Noel Gallagher]], [[Franchise/StarWars Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew]], Creator/AlPacino, Creator/KeanuReeves, and Paul Reiser.
* In the Franchise/{{DCAU}}, robot heads tend to get exploded one way or another. In ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeague'', Luthor reveals he has a kill switch for [[spoiler:AMAZO--excuse me, "[[NotUsingTheZWord the android]]"]], and uses it in this fashion... but by this point, a simple head asplosion just makes him ''mad''.
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'': A cutaway gag shows Peter's head exploding after he eats half a fudgsicle in one bite.
** In another episode, a cutaway gag has customers' heads exploding after eating muffins that were baked by Peter. It also makes Peter a ''literal'' LethalChef.
* Recently done in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/FishHooks'', specifically it was Clamantha, after finding out that the girls knew about the party crashers. However, she is just a head so she blew herself up.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "Where No Fan Has Gone Before", Bender's head explodes after GeorgeTakei accidentally activates his SelfDestructMechanism.
** "Put Your Head On My Shoulder" introduces Malfunctioning Eddie, a neurotic robot used-car salesman whose head would explode when startled or excited. He shows up later in "Insane in the Mainframe" as a robot asylum inmate, where his condition is brought under control with medication.
* Variation on ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'': Lucius gets so angry at Beezy that his head rockets off his shoulders and flies around.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'', the titular alien is trapped in the fast food restaurant to which he was exiled prior to the first episode, and all exits are programmed to make him swell up and explode if he tries to leave. Every time he even thought about escaping, a small child would shout, "He's gonna 'splode, momma!"
** Also happens to Gir in "Bad, Bad, Rubber Piggy", after spotting a [[LogicBomb flaw]] in Zim's plot to assassinate Dib via TimeTravel.
-->'''Gir:''' Wait... if you destroy Dib in the past, then he won't ever be your enemy. Then you wouldn't have to send the robot back to destroy him, and then he WILL be your enemy, so then you WILL have to send a robot BACK... *head explodes*
* At least in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/PepperAnn'', the main character's head explodes briefly into a mushroom cloud.
* In a one-hour episode of ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' (Summer Belongs to You), Isabella imagines her head exploding after Phineas makes an ironic statement about Candace and Jeremy being together, the irony stemming from the fact that Isabella was trying to find ways to get [[ObliviousToLove Phineas]] to hook up with her for the ''entire time'' they were in Paris.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' episode "The Last [=LaserDisc=] Player", when the [=LaserDisc=] guardian reveals its true form it creates a high-decibel noise that causes one of the members of the VHS society to have his head explode while he's entranced by [=LaserDisc=]'s 44.1 kilohertz sample rate.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheRenAndStimpyShow'' episode "Ren's Brain" ends with every single person's head exploding, blowing up Earth in the process. "And thus endeth the Republican Party as we know it," says the narrator.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' episode "Maurice Was Caught", little orphan Annie is given Mars for her sweet sixteen party, and upon visiting it, trips and loses her space suit helmet. Cue ExplosiveDecompression of her head. During another episode, several math students' heads exploded after being taught that the imaginary number ''i'' was the square root of ''-1''.
--> ''"I don't get it! ... Oh, '''now''' I--(boom)"''
* In ''WesternAnimation/RoughnecksStarshipTroopersChronicles'', human psychic Carl goes up against an alien "brain bug" and, in the battle of minds, the brain bug follows this trope quite messily, as it is essentially a large mobile brain. Carl later has the obligatory PsychicNosebleed.
* A THX sound test in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' made one unlucky moviegoer's head pop.
** In a Treehouse of Horror special, spoofing the [=Y2K=] furor, Homer and Bart toss themselves out of the airlock from a spaceship filled with C-list actors, comedians, and has-been celebrities (it was already headed for the Sun, but staying even one more minute was so much worse). While in the vacuum of space, their heads swell up, they sigh in their few last moments of blissful silence, [[GoryDiscretionShot and their heads go "pop!" off-screen]].
** In the season eight episode "And Maggie Makes Three", when Homer is telling the story of Maggie Bart takes over and Homer's head explodes after being told he was going to have another child.
** According to the episode ''Lisa's Wedding'', aired in [[TheNineties 1995]], [[IWantMyJetpack by 2010 there would be robots that looked completely human]] with one notable flaw; when they cry, their heads spark, explode, and melt.
* ''WesternAnimation/SouthPark'':
** A juror's head explodes after hearing a complement to the ChewbaccaDefense in "Chef Aid".
** [[MemeticMutation Tay Zonday's]] head explodes after the "Dramatic Chipmunk" stares him down in "Canada on Strike". Complete with dramatic music and everything. He manages to blow the critter's head off with his gun before he croaks.
** The future guns in "Go God Go". They fire a dart into the target that, after a few seconds, causes their head to explode.
** Kenny's death at the Plane'arium in "Roger Ebert Should Lay Off the Fatty Foods".
** Cartman's head explodes in "Medicinal Fried Chicken" after he finds out that KFC has been banned from Colorado. ([[UnexplainedRecovery He gets better, though.]])
* On the ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants'' episode "Fools in April", Squidward's head explodes [[GaggingOnYourWords while trying to say sorry to [=SpongeBob=].]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TeenTitans'', [[BlobMonster Plasmus]] is pretty much a giant head on legs when Raven makes him explode, so while it's not technically bloody it's still messy, graphic and complete with gunky splatters right back in Raven's face.
* In one ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerry'' Jerry sticks an airhose in Tom's mouth and it swells to massive size, then the duckling Little Quacker pops his head with a pin, he gets better.
* Inverted in ''WesternAnimation/TransformersTheMovie.'' Unicron's head is the only part of him that ''doesn't'' explode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Other]]
* [[http://daisyofsarasaland.deviantart.com/art/Your-Head-Asplode-69242364 This]] [[CrossesTheLineTwice funny, yet disturbing]] picture from a DeviantART user that shows what would happen to [[SuperMario Mario's Yoshi]] [[RealityEnsues if he really did eat a live Bob-omb...]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* President JohnFKennedy when he was [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I-cri43ttTo assassinated]]. To be blunt, in general, it is very possible to make people's heads explode in real life with the proper firearms, bullets, and training.
** There's an infamous ShockSite image of an Iraqi insurgent with his head asploded by a .50 cal sniper rifle.
* The infamous suicide video of R. Budd Dwyer shows what really happens when one fires a bullet into one's mouth. Do not go looking for it unless you want to have that image stick with you forever...
* The ''Website/DarwinAwards'' cites a TruthInTelevision case in Konotop, Ukraine, in which a chemistry student who was in the habit of flavoring his chewing gum with citric acid crystals apparently dipped his gum in a similar-looking, but fatally-explosive compound.
** A similar death occurs in ''Series/OneThousandWaysToDie'', though his jaw falls off rather than his head exploding.
* Happened to a man in Malaysia. He was checking a powerful home-made cannon (the manufacture of such cannons is illegal, but the law is seldom enforced) that he thought didn't quite go off; it did, and it went right to his face. This happened right in front of his family.
** Sadly, this is common occurrence around the ''Eid Al Fitr'' celebrations. For some reason, in Malaysia, firing of such home-made "bamboo cannons" during the holiday is a tradition. Usually there's at least one report of some unfortunate bloke getting some random body part blown off every year.
* The fate of Osama Bin Laden. The Navy SEALS shot him in or just above the eye with a high-powered gun at close range, and the resulting images were not fit to show the public.
* Subverted by the real-life ailment Exploding Head Syndrome (EHS), as it's a type of auditory hallucination that only ''sounds'' like one's head is exploding.
** Although sometimes, it doesn't even go that far. EHS covers any kind of one-off auditory hallucination, whether its a loud bang or the sound of a kitten meowing. One of the most common forms is hearing your name being called when nobody's actually doing so.
[[/folder]]
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