%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1397518122018303800
%% Please do not replace or remove without starting a new thread.

->''"Fumbling through a cut glass vase''
->''Passing lipstick, cotton spools''
->''Burning jealous pictures of marriages of friends."''
-->-- '''Jellyfish''', ''"The Glutton of Sympathy"''

Breaking up is hard to do. Itís bad enough that your significant other is out of your life, but did they really have to leave all that stuff behind? Whether itís things they gave you or things that remind you of them, theyíve got to go. So grab some matches, itís time for a break up bonfire!

The breakup bonfire is usually ceremonial and perhaps even a little spiritual. As fire is a symbol of both destruction and rebirth, a break up bonfire typically represents a character breaking old bonds and starting anew. However, note the [[TheUnfairSex Unfair Sex]] nature of this trope. A woman doing this is usually celebrating her freedom from an oppressive male. A man doing this usually ''is'' the oppressive male, and a spiteful destructive bastard at that. As such, most examples below are from female characters burning her ex's things.

A variation both of DefenestrateAndBerate and BurnBabyBurn.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
%% ''Popotan'' was cut from the wiki for violating the content policy. Do not restore the pothole.
* Two examples from ''Popotan'', neither of which follow a romance gone sour, but they stay true to the general idea of the trope:
** [[spoiler:After she learns of Konami's death,]] Mai tries to burn the portrait she received from her in order to forget about her, but she is stopped by Mea.
** It's revealed that [[spoiler:Mea's previous]] household burned their house when they found that Shizuku was not able to give them a good explanation for their travels; she could not prevent this one.
* ''Manga/FutariEcchi'' plays with this by having Misaki attempt to get over her unrequited crush on Makoto by trying to burn a photo that she has of him. She cannot get herself to do it, though, and simply hides it in the far corner of her wardrobe.

* In ''Film/{{Clueless}}'', Tai and Cher burn mementos from Tai's relationship with Elton.
* In ''Film/WaitingToExhale'', the woman dumps all her man's belongings in ThePreciousPreciousCar and sets it all on fire.
* Subverted in ''Film/{{Memento}}'' where the protagonist suffers from short-term memory loss and keeps disposing of his murdered wife's personal belongings in an attempt to get over her death. [[spoiler:We later discover he's disposed of evidence that he'd already caught her killer before the events of the movie, as his hunt for her murderers is the only thing that gives him purpose.]]
* In the French movie ''L'Appartment'', the male protagonist collects all the clothes of his lost love, puts them in the bathtub and sets them on fire while crying.

* After Aeneas abandons Dido in book IV of ''Literature/TheAeneid'', Dido orders to build a pyre to burn Aeneas' clothes and weapons, an image of Aeneas and also the bed on which she slept with him, claiming this ritual will heal her of her lovesickness. But when the pyre is ready, she stabs herself with Aeneas' sword on it, and the Breakup Bonfire becomes her funeral pyre.
* ''Literature/{{Emma}}'' by Creator/JaneAusten: Harriet Smith throws her rather pathetic mementos of Mr Elton into a fire after having shown them to Emma, her friend she looks up to. They were not exactly a couple, but Harriet had been in love with him.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Friends}}'':
** Monica, Phoebe, and Rachel burn mementos of their exes when they find themselves all single on Valentine's Day and decide to do something to "cleanse" their bad luck. The firemen who attend when it inevitably gets out of control tell them that Valentine's Day is one of their busiest nights of the year, for exactly that reason.
** In Season 4, Rachel's crush, Joshua, has to buy a lot of new clothes as his ex-wife set all his old clothes on fire. He later reveals he keeps on buying clothes since he likes Rachel.
* In ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' Season 5, Tony throws the letter of his LoveInterest into a bonfire after the relationship went way, way, way south due to him BecomingTheMask.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer:'' in the season 4 episode "The Initiative," Xander comes across Harmony as she's building a bonfire of Spike's stuff. Cordelia cuts up Xander's stuff and burns his picture in "The Wish".
* Discussed in episode "Happily Ever After" of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'' when Ted is dealing with the fact that he was left at the alter and is seemingly fine. Marshall tells him he should go crazy and let it out, perhaps even following his own advice from a time when Marshall and Lily were broken up. Marshall says he should have followed Ted's advice and should have set all Lily's stuff on fire.
* On reality show ''Cheaters'', there was an episode where the woman set her cheating partner's possessions on fire.
* Rosa of ''Series/BrooklynNineNine'' recommends this to Charles, after his painful breakup with Vivian. However, Boyle gets second thoughts and starts trying to pull stuff out, then tries to douse his hands in Rosa's drink, which happens to be hot coffee.
* A variation on ''Series/ParksAndRecreation'' is where Ron Swanson burned down effigies of his ex wives after divorcing them.
* ''Series/TheBoldAndTheBeautiful'''s Bridget burns her husband Deacon's stuff after finding out that he has been sleeping with her mother and gotten her pregnant. She takes particular glee in throwing his ashtrays into the mix--"Kissing you was like licking one of these! I HATED it!"

* The Music/TaylorSwift song "Picture to Burn" is about burning up pictures of her ex.
* The Music/GreenDay song "Whatsername" is about the singer reminiscing about an old girlfriend whose name he can't remember. In one line, he mentions that he "made a point to burn all of the photographs."
* Implied in Music/MirandaLambert's "Kerosene".
* In the video for Music/FlorenceAndTheMachine song "Lover to Lover".
* "Breakin' Dishes" by Music/{{Rihanna}}.
-->''"I'm roasting marshmallows on a fire, and what I'm burning, boy, is your attire..."''
* Rapper "Left Eye" from 90's girl group TLC did this ''twice'' during her on-and-off relationship with pro football player Andre Rison. First, she burned their collection of teddy bears in the bathtub after a fight. The marble tub was burned so badly it had to be replaced. Later, after a night of drinking she came home to find several pairs of women's shoes that weren't her size, so she burned ''them'' in the tub too...except the new tub was made of fiberglass which quickly melted and [[FromBadToWorse the fire spread faster than she could contain]]. She ran away unhurt but the mansion burned to the ground. The resulting scandal ("Left Eye burned down her boyfriend's house!") [[NoSuchThingAsBadPublicity greatly pushed]] sales of their 1995 album ''[=CrazySexyCool=]''
* "Cry Me a River" by Music/JustinTimberlake contains this line: "Your pictures got burned, now it's your turn to cry..."
* A woman in Music/VanHalen's "Right Now" video.
* Music/{{Adele}}'s "[[Music/TwentyOne Rolling in the Deep]]" video has a paper cityscape being burned.
* "That's What I Call Crazy" by Creator/LucyHale:
-->''I went and tore your pictures up\\
built a fire in my bathtub\\
painted my toes while I watched them burn\\
then put out the fire with your T-shirt."
* {{Exaggerated}} in the video for Music/PoetsOfTheFall's "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=di7NMssrqsE Daze]]," where [[TragicMistake Hamartia]] the MonsterClown reacts to a female attendee leaving his MasqueradeBall like a villain scorned, setting fire to her car, with her in it, ''and'' the ball as a whole.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* [[MirrorBoss Alice]] [[LonelyAtTheTop Twilight]], the Rank 2 assassin in ''VideoGame/NoMoreHeroes2'' is in the process of doing this when Travis turns up to fight her. [[http://img521.imageshack.us/img521/7360/p60zo.jpg Close examination]] of the pictures show them to be photos of a husband and child, as well [[FourIsDeath Margaret]] [[ElegantGothicLolita Moonlight]], the Rank 4 assassin. In this case, it probably hasn't got anything to do with romance, instead being symbolic of everything Alice has lost or left behind due to her profession.

[[folder:Web Video]]
* In the first season finale of ''WebVideo/{{Idiotsitter}}'', "The Ex-Boyfriend", Billie has dinner with her ex, and Gene suggests using this trope-on his car. They come up with another plan, and when it falls flat-Gene sets fire to the guy's car anyway.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode where Milhouse's parents get divorced, Luann carefully boxes up all of Kirk's possessions, tapes it, labels it and then sets the box on fire. While humming.
* A variation in ''WesternAnimation/JimmyTwoShoes'', after Jimmy's ObliviousToLove nature leads him to dating a Heloise look-alike, Heloise angrily rips up her StalkerShrine of him and tosses the remains in a vat of acid.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* After Lebron James left Cleveland for Miami, Cavaliers fans became disillusioned, and began to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWsjD-VSrmM burn his merchandise in public]].