Breath Weapon

His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.
—- Job 41:21 (describing Leviathan)

Myth and folklore are replete with dragons and other creatures spewing fire, corrosive venom, noxious gases, energy beams, lightning, and other exotic and catastrophic exhalations. More modern media have applied the motif to fantastic beasties, Kaiju, creatures from alien worlds, mutants, zombies, and even the occasional robot, and expanded the effects to encompass blazing beams of coruscant annihilation. In other words, bright things coming from the mouths of big things that can destroy other things.

Classically a trait of creatures that are, at least physically, animalistic — no matter how erudite and noble they may be. When humanoids vomit destruction from their mouths, they almost always have at least a hint of corruption or, at best, atavism about them. According to anthropologist David D. Gilmore, this is because of the mouth's symbolism as the organ of predation, evoking one mankind's primal fears of what used to hunt them. Given that a human being's only experience with oral expulsions is usually spit or vomit, it may then follow that anything coming out of the mouth is unpleasant. Whatever the reason, it's right up there with Glowing Eyes of Doom as a surefire sign of inhumanity. Heroes will generally emit blasts of destruction from their palms instead (though villains can do that too).

A particular type of Street Performer or member of The Freakshow — known variously as a "fire-breather" or a "fire-eater" — uses the magician's sleight-of-hand to appear to do this. Such examples can go on this page as well, since such tricks can be extremely dangerous for both performer and audience.

Compare Blow Gun, Eye Beams, Make Me Wanna Shout, Booze Flamethrower, Super Spit, and Super Breath. See also Throat Light and Hand Blast.

Example subpages:


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    Comic Strips 
  • In Hsu and Chan "Pocket Morons Platinum", the Charmander-spoof Gila Mobster performs the Flamethrower attack by taking a swig off his flask & blowing it through the cigarette lighter he holds in his tail.
  • In one of the Calvin and Hobbes Sunday comics, Calvin watches a Kaiju movie and later pretends to be a giant monster rising from the depths of his bathtub, shooting a "fireball" at his archenemy Megalon (read: spits water at his mom while naked).

    Fan Works 
  • The Pyrefrost Beowolf in Raindrop's Hearth's Warming Eve Miracle breathes both fire and ice.
  • The vocaloid fanfic Rotting Camellias features Cul as a fire-breather who works in a circus.
  • Medeva and Beast Boy's dragon form in The End of Ends.
  • In Origin Story, Alex Harris (a Kryptonian trapped in the Marvel Universe) uses her “super-breath” on Reed Richards to freeze him, thus nullifying his stretching capabilities. He compliments her on her creative thinking.
  • Oskar Osäker: True Omnivore: Oskar/Emerald gains the ability to breath fire or plasma after consuming a Dragon that possessed the same ability.
  • In Tales of the Emperasque the Emperor, upon merging with a Tarrasque, gets its powerful kinetic/fiery roar which he combines with his own psyker powers, creating a weapon that can cause class 2 Apocalypse How.
  • What Lies Beyond the Walls has Gila the Putrid, whose breath is so toxic that he manages to bring a rat to his knees and makes him throw up profusely just after Gila exhales in his face.


  • The red dragon in Dungeons & Dragons breathes fire, of course. Differently colored dragons breathe cold, acid, lightning, shadow, and assorted other things.
  • As do the dragons in Medieval Madness.
  • ...and the Dragon from the "Dragon's Keep" table of Full Tilt! Pinball

    Real Life 
  • Fire-breathing is a trivial feat in reality, but strongly associated with tooth decay. Many traditional fire-breathers use gasoline or kerosene, which even diluted causes instant halitosis and rapidly rots the teeth. High proof alcohols (150+) are better; though they can cause notable browning within a week of regular performance, the damage is reversible with more frequent brushing and taking time for the enamel to recover.
  • Meet Giant Torayan. To quote the website: "This GIANT TORATAN doll is the ultimate child's weapon, as it sings, dances, breathes fire, and follows only those orders given by children." Thank you Japan, for bringing the world one step closer to the robot apocalypse.
  • Spitting cobras.

Mints won't help. At all.