"There ain’t a magical wall at 15 meters—had a hole punched in my cheek at about 90 meters over a year ago back on Ballast. Could’a lost an eye or even been killed. Remember when you hear that call or a thump to keep your head down.”
The hero dives behind cover
, narrowly dodging several bullets and appearing to be safe. But it's not meant to be; an enemy mook grabs a frag from his belt, shouts "frag out!"
, and immediately lobs the grenade at the hero. He manages to crawl a few paces away before the frag erupts into a massive fireball, tossing the hero through the air
; amazingly, the hero runs off, apparently unscathed except for a few burns. He just survived an encounter with a concussion frag.
Of course, this isn't how it works in Real Life. Real frag grenades throw shrapnel, with a kill radius of fifteen meters; these fragments, of course, are no more likely to throw you into the air than a normal bullet (let us rephrase that...
). The Hollywood portrayal of grenades are closer to concussion grenades, which rely upon sheer explosive force; this gives them a much shorter range than frags, which is why modern militaries rarely use them.
There are several types of concussion frags seen in media:
- Grenades which are clearly frags explode into fireballs, while an invisible wall prevents the shrapnel from traveling more than two feet. Alternatively, the explosion may look realistic and have fairly realistic range, but somehow manages to blow things across rooms.
- Concussion grenades are used as a type of stun grenade instead of being lethal. In video games, they'll likely act like a type of flash-bang with a different status ailment (like not being able to turn or move).
- Concussion grenades are presented fairly realistically, but act exactly like frags in the same medium. This is common in games and movies set in World War II, where the Allied frags will have exactly the same effect as the concussive German "stick grenades".
- Concussion or frag grenades have effects that neither of them has in real life; for instance, setting things on fire (although this may be justified if there is some sort of a fuel tank nearby).
Remember, this only applies to grenades that look like or are referred to as frags. If things are exploding when they shouldn't, the object is Made of Explodium
. For stun grenades, see Blinded by the Light
. May cause an Impairment Shot
in video games. When frags are presented realistically, expect a bad case of The Coconut Effect
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- In 'The Rock'', a mook, after about three seconds of "cooking", lobs a frag at Goodspeed, who happens to be in a minecart type container. After staring at it for about five seconds, Goodspeed throws it back, where it lies for another few seconds as the mook and his partner runs away. It detonates in a fiery explosion about three feet away from him, and, needless to say, nobody gets hurt.
- In Act of Valor, every time one of the SEA Ls throws a frag, the explosion sets everything nearby on fire. Later, when two terrorists detonate their bomb vests, shrapnel is seen flying around the area; the two SEA Ls nearby get thrown through the air, but don't seem to take any shrapnel wounds.
- System Shock almost gets it right. The main advantage of concussion grenades is that they do high damage that is consistent against enemy types (frags, obviously, aren't very effective against armored robots) - but that also have a significantly larger blast radius than frags for some reason. The sequel inverts this, with the "disruption" grenades having a smaller blast radius but, thanks to an oversight in the grenade launcher's upgrade system, do less damage than the standard frags.
- Dawn of War: Frag grenades deal Ao E damage and cause units to fall.
- Metal Gear Solid 3 seems unsure about what its grenades do. Sigint outright states that they frag, but actually getting hit by one results in a backflip and a burn. Hit an enemy with one, and he'll spend about two seconds in the air before bouncing around on the ground a bit. Humorously, the descriptions for the frags throughout the series generally states that they have an effective range of two feet. The grenades do, however, have a much larger blast radius when standing. Going prone will minimize their effect.
- Subverted in Halo, where the UNSC frag grenade has the largest range of any grenade, being capable of draining your shields from a fairly long range; Reach took it up to such an extent that players accused it of being unrealistic, nicknaming them "mini-nukes". Aside from the range and the fairly realistic explosion visuals, though, this trope is played straight: the explosion can launch vehicles airborn, making it a hard counter to the Warthog, and killing someone will launch them through the sky.
- Played straight in Resident Evil 4, where the pressed-steel, generic fragmentation grenades blow enemies about 15 feet across the map.
- Averted in 5 and Revelations, where they visually resemble real life concussion grenades.
- Downplayed in the Counter-Strike series, particularly the later ones - frag grenades have a reasonably large damage radius (up to several meters), and the "explosion" is mostly visible only through the shockwave kicking up dust and debris. Their lethality, however, is downplayed for gameplay purposes, though having one land right next to you is still pretty bad news, even if you have full body armour.
- Due to some truly remarkable game mechanics in Operation Darkness, sometimes an enemy who is too close for effective use of a sword can be defeated with a grenade without injury to the thrower.
- Averted in 7.62 High Caliber, as grenades have very small explosions and actually "fire" individually tracked projectiles upon detonation in an expanding cloud. The best response to an impending explosion that you can't run from is to drop prone, since the fragmentation cloud clears ground level in a few meters. It's also fully possible for someone within the casualty radius to be totally unharmed as the fragments manage to miss him, and they leave bullet holes in all surfaces perforated by the explosion. Fragmentation grenades mainly differ in how many fragments they throw out (and what range), and the time to detonation.
- In the Medal of Honor series, both the American frag grenades and the German concussion grenades launch enemies across the room or into a backflip.
- "Frag" grenades in F.E.A.R. have a visible and rather large-radiused concussion blast.
- S.T.A.L.K.E.R. averts this. There's a fairly explicit distinction between the RGD-5 (concussion) and F1 (frag) grenades available. The F1 has a much larger blast radius and its pieces of shrapnel, much like in the 7.62 High Caliber example above, are actual projectile entities that scatter randomly and even leave pockmarks in the scenery.
- The first Far Cry is quite guilty of this. Pineapple-style frags are called such, and yet their explosion is more akin to a stick of dynamite or pyrotechnic charge: lots of sparks and smoke, no shrapnel, and a pretty bad radius. Killing a human enemy with one is damn rare and difficult, as they flush out immediately after seeing the 'nade fying their way.