Angst Nuke

"Now they sent me to school but things got weird
When the kids made fun of my long red beard
And OOOOOOOOOH! I blew my stack!"
Yosemite Sam, The Looney Tunes Show

A character releases bottled, superhuman rage and literally blows up.

The building they were in, as well as any buildings in a mile's radius, are leveled. Many die. But strangely, the originator of the explosion is usually unharmed.

Very rarely can be a Suicide Attack, if it is done on purpose and kills the user. Might also rarely be Why Am I Ticking?, if the detonation trigger is specifically tied to the character's rage. Compare Burning with Anger, which is seldom destructive past a few charred bits of furniture.

Not to be confused with Emotion Bomb, which induces emotion as an attack. Any character using this probably has Emotional Powers, especially when said power builds up as the emotion does.

See also Rage Breaking Point, a merely metaphorical explosion of rage.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Majin Buu. When we first see him, he's a omnicidal but misguided pink blob, thanks to Babidi's cruel teachings. With luck, he meets Mr. Satan and befriends him, causing him to give up killing and become kind-hearted. He gives a blind child sight for the first time, and even heals and adopts a wounded puppy. So... what went wrong, you ask? One completely ordinary guy with a gun shot his puppy and Mr. Satan, and set Buu off so horrifically, he expelled his own evil and it soon overtook him. Things got so bad everybody died and the world went kaboom. BUT... he got better. Let's just say pissing Buu off means you need a set of Dragonballs and a planet-wide Genki Dama on hand to fix the damage he does.
    • Also Cell. He was so furious after Gohan made him vomit out Android 18, causing him to revert back to a weaker form, that he inflated himself to a massive size planning to take everyone on the planet with him as he detonated. It took some quick thinking and a Heroic Sacrifice from Goku to stop him. There were still casualties from this, but much less than there could have been.
    • Vegeta does this in the final arc of Dragon Ball Z when he self-destructs to (unsuccessfully) kill Majin Buu.
  • Lucille from Samurai Pizza Cats combines this with Macross Missile Massacre whenever she gets upset.
    • Don't forget Big Cheese! He blows up every time he gets really angry.
  • Naruto, due to containing Sealed Evil in a Can - when he snaps, the explosion of power is only the first of the list of problems...
  • Ryouga learns an ultimate technique powered by his depression in Ranma ˝. There are two forms of this. A standard Ki Blast, and the proper 'Angst Nuke'. The reason why Ryouga survives the nuke version is that the level of depression needed, combined with actually performing the technique, leave him emotionally dead for a few seconds, letting the attack pass right through him. Why it still affects inanimate matter is anyone's guess.
  • In Toward the Terra, Carina has a prolonged and destructive psychic freakout when she thinks Tony is dead. Later in the series, Matsuka does the same when he thinks Keith is dead.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Sayaka's witch transformation may count. While it doesn't kill anyone, it sends Kyoko and objects around her flying.
  • Heroic Age: Yuti La/Cervius flies into one of these when she believes Karkinos has died. In her rage she creates a black hole the size of an entire solar system, which comes very, very close to killing all remaining Nodos in existence.
  • In Bleach chapter 554, when Bambietta Basterbine discovers she's been talking to herself for the past few pages because her friends ran off somewhere when she wasn't looking, she becomes furious and releases a massive explosion around herself that takes out sizable a chunk of the surrounding area.
  • How Meliodas from The Seven Deadly Sins became the Sin of Wrath. After Meliodas' love interest was killed before his eyes, his demon blood ran out of control and created a gigantic explosion that wiped the kingdom of Danafor off the map alongside with the person responsible.

    Comic Books 
  • The Star Brand wielder has this as one of their powers.
  • Variation, the Red Hulk's body is always releasing an unnatural amount of heat. His body temperature rises with rage, so much so that he can cook vast stretches of land, but spending too much time in this state will weaken him.
  • In Paperinik New Adventures there's Xadhoom: according to what she says, if she ever lost control of her powers she would GO NOVA, and then she would become a black hole and swallow the entire solar system she's in. Fortunately enough, she approached that level of fury only three times and every time she calmed herself.
  • This is how Magneto first discovered his powers; his first daughter, Anya, was killed in a fire while he was prevented from rescuing her by villagers with a grudge. While the comic that shows it cuts to a black panel, his wife Magda's horrified reaction, and the smoking corpses when we next see him, heavily implies that he electrocuted the entire village, except for her, in one fell swoop.

     Fan Works 

  • Hades incinerates a forest in a flash fire after learning that Hercules is still alive.
    • He also does a more literal form of this after Hercules is an established hero in Thebes as he easily vanquished every monster Hades threw at him, and realizing that his two minions Pain and Panic are wearing Hercules merchandise. To a lesser degree, the flames on Hades' body flare up and turn red and yellow when he's angrier.
  • In Big Trouble in Little China, Lo Pan's Storm bodyguard Thunder balloons himself in pure rage after his master is killed, then pops himself with his knife explosively to try and take out Jack and Wang in the process.
  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, Scarlet Witch senses her twin brother Quicksilver die through telepathy, and a telekinetic blast wave issues from her that handily obliterates all the Ultron mooks swarming her position.

  • Happens several times in Tales of the Branion Realm, particularly to Kassandra in The Painter Knight. She does severe damage to her entire kingdom. Since she's incognito at the time, this poses a problem for her party since it's very obvious where the destruction radiated from.
  • Very common in The Wheel of Time. Every channeler can "overload" which results in a significantly more powerful action then they're normally capable of, but the price is that they either die or their abilities are burned out which can be just as bad.
    • The shining example of this is definitely the death of Lews Therin Telamon, The Dragon. After discovering that he slaughtered everyone he loved in his insanity, he Travels to the middle of nowhere and starts drawing massive amounts of Saiden, drawing more and more until it kills him and erupts all at once. This eruption is described as a pillar of light from the earth to the sky, so bright that anyone who even glimpsed was permanently blinded. After the light vanished, an enormous erupting volcano spewed forth from the ground where he died. This mountain's name is Dragonmount and it's basically Mount Everest: Volcano Edition. Thus died the Lews Therin, The Dragon, Lord of the Morning, Prince of Dawn, Kinslayer.

    Live Action TV 
  • Ted Sprague in Heroes.
    • Also, Sylar in the future when his son dies.
  • Dr. Cox in at least one of JD's Imagine Spots in Scrubs.
    • And JD himself in another Imagine Spot.
  • Done deliberately in an episode of Angel.
  • This is one of the signs of the Hellmouth regaining power in the last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. It acts as a Literal Genie to the kids in the high school built on top of it, so one of them says they're so stressed they think they might explode, one can imagine what happens shortly after...

     Tabletop Games 
  • In Psionics: The Next Stage in Human Evolution bursts of intense negative emotions can cause espers to “overload” (lose control of their powers in a way that’s spectacularly dangerous). Depending on their strongest talent, this will result in heads exploding, a massive fire, or everything around them being torn to shreds.

    Video Games 
  • The backstory of the Bonus Boss in Cave Story is that he caused one of these while being tortured.
  • In Xenogears, Fei lets off one of these in the beginning of the game, under severe stress.
  • In Asura's Wrath, Asura absolutely loses it and undergoes one of these when the little girl and the village he's been trying to protect are destroyed by Olga. The result is Asura literally burning with anger as he massacres an entire space fleet with it.
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed 2 (Wii version), Starkiller unleashes an enormous explosion of the Force on the bridge of a cruiser about to hit Kamino's planetary shield generator, essentially blowing up the entire cruiser and shield generator, along with a good portion of the city and cloning facilities. Starkiller soon afterwards travels through the remains of the cruiser to find Vader, fighting off waves of imperial troops while navigating the maze of debris.
  • Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica has the spell Replekia, which is part of a ritual to keep the world from collapsing. Sung by over one hundred unstable magic users banded together under the power of one of the maidens of Metafalica, they basically scream and sing of madness and emotional disaster and using their turmoil to fuel unbelievably powerful magic, which is used to fuel the full ritual. It mellows out in the second stage, which has a relation to how these girls are supposed to be getting therapy to keep their powers and magic under control before they freak out and start killing everyone around them.
  • Giegue in Mother: Cognitive Dissonance unleashes one on himself during his Villainous Breakdown when he learns his Hero Without Niiue is still alive. Giegue completely snaps in anger and fear which caused his Psychic Powers to stretch and rip him apart and merge him with the fabric of Magicant, leading to the birth of Giygas.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Katie Ka-Boom in Animaniacs.
  • The plot of one Courage the Cowardly Dog episode involved a hair tonic which caused its users to get angry over minor things, become red with rage, and cause an explosion (which they somehow survive unscathed, but the surroundings don't).
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • During one episde, protagonist and resident Person of Mass Destruction Aang loses his temper from the frustration of being unable to find his animal companion, Appa. The resulting explosion can be seen for miles in every direction and bears a striking resemblance to Nuclear Weapons. Luckily, he was in the middle of a desert on his own at the time so no bystanders were hurt, but Katara could still feel the backlash from miles away. Ironically, Appa himself saw the explosion, but was tied down by a group of merchants and was stuck while he was desperately trying to get to Aang.
    • A smaller example, but whenever Zuko gets frustrated or upset, he accidentally firebends. Most notably during "The Beach", when he snaps and causes their small campfire to explode into a huge column of fire.
  • Red Star in Teen Titans. A science experiment by Mad Scientist Dr. Chang to make him the perfect super soldier turned him into a living nuke, who once blew up and devastated a village. He had to keep draining the excess buildup of power as to not overload and do it again (which got so bad it leaked out and took a life of its own). Finally it became too much for him and he had to fly into deep space to wait for a massive explosion to go off from the inside out as to not charbroil the Earth. He appeared to die in that episode, but he later returned minus the Power Incontinence for the Grand Finale battle: the final explosion stabilized his powers and gave him a chance to be normal again.
  • Benson on Regular Show has this happen in "Think Positive", when he unleashes an episode's worth of pent-up rage at Mordecai and Rigby all at once, resulting in them being bathed in flames as he tells them off.
  • Played for Laughs in the season 3 premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. When Twilight Sparkle was freaking out over taking a mysterious test being given by her mentor Princess Celestia, Spike tries to calm her down by saying it's just a test. Given this is Twilight Sparkle, he should have known better.
    Twilight Sparkle: Princess Celestia wants to give me some kind of exam, and you're trying to tell me to calm down because it's "just a test"?!
    Spike: (dons a suit of pillows and an army helmet) Uh... yes?
    Applejack: I'd say she's handling things pretty well, considering...
    (Cue Distant Reaction Shot of the tree-house library getting blown into the air and crashing down again)
  • Yosemite Sam on The Looney Tunes Show has an entire musical number about this.
    Now they sent me to school but things got weird
    When the kids made fun of my long red beard
    And OOOOOOOOOH! I blew my stack!
  • Rated "A" for Awesome: Noam spent one episode wearing a device to remove his negative emotions (The "Blues Smoother"). The others, wanting the old Noam back, desecrate his favorite shirt, making him so angry that the Blues Smoother overloads and explodes (The resulting explosion being seen from space).
  • In The Fairly OddParents movie "Channel Chasers", when Vicky calls and tells Timmy's parents that he watched TV against their orders (and lied about other bad things she actually did like writing "My parents stink!" and "Dinkleberg rules!" on the walls), the scene then cuts to a Distant Reaction Shot where they explode into a mushroom cloud, whose smoke forms into the shape of their faces and yell "TIMMY!!!".