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[[quoteright:288:[[VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/SuperMario_explosion_2152.png]]]]
[[caption-width-right:288:"[[WheresTheKaboom Where's the kaboom?]] [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes There was supposed to be a castle-shattering ka-"]] *BOMB*]]

StuffBlowingUp in RealLife tends to be sudden and brief. But "sudden and brief" makes for poor television and film, particularly when setting the scene up is something of a money sink. Thus, explosions are inexplicably delayed, slowed down or otherwise manipulated to get the desired effect. The defining characteristic is a delay between the ''cause'' of the explosion and the explosion itself. Hovering a finger over the detonator button doesn't qualify. This delay may be a fraction of a second or several minutes. OutrunTheFireball is one incarnation of this trope.

There are several flavours of delayed explosion that the connoisseur can enjoy:

* Deja vu Delay, where [[RepeatCut the same explosion is seen several times]]. This may be from different angles, each segment slightly overlapping, to make it less obvious.
* Expository Delay, where the explosion is delayed just long enough for the audience to be shown the trigger that causes the explosion.
* Gag Delay, where the victim or victims have time to think [[WheresTheKaboom the explosion has been averted]] before it actually goes off. See also the RuleOfFunny.
** Unintended Delay, in which the perpetrator thinks the explosion has been thwarted and panics a bit before it happens, is usually a sub-type of the above.
* Polite Delay, where the explosion has the good manners to not erupt out of the top of the lift shaft/burst through the door/steam out of the tunnel until after the characters in the vicinity have leapt to safety.
* Realistic Delay, where the difference in speed between sound and light is observed and used for dramatic impact. Rare, unless it's a nuke.
* Shoe-Drop Delay, where the delay is purely so a character can react to the imminent explosion and be noticed doing so, generally while lit by the fires of that same explosion.
* Staggered Delay, where what should clearly be a number of explosions occurring simultaneously is broken down into stages, in order to give the hero a fighting chance of making to the end of the corridor before the last one goes off. Note that this is specific to situations where the explosives are set off by a single detonator, and not when one explosion triggers another. Contrast the Polite Delay, which is a single, slow-moving explosion, although both can be a form of [[OutrunTheFireball Outrunning the Fireball]].

And of course:

* {{Egregious}} Delay, where there is no discernible reason other than the makers wanting it that way. See also RuleOfCool.

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!!Examples:
[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime]]

* ''Anime/TengenToppaGurrenLagann'', as mentioned, is replete with Egregious Delays but also has plenty of Expository Delays and Shoe-Drop Delays. There's also a couple of deja vu delays in episode 8. Bring your own Kleenex.
* The Fleija device in ''Anime/CodeGeass''.
* ''Anime/KiddyGrade'' has a number of Expository Delays, particularly in the spaceship combat scenes.
* ''UchuuSenkanYamato'' (Star Blazers), esp. the second season: the Argo/Yamato's main armament beams enter (or sometimes go completely through) the enemy ship at one or more points, then there is a brief interval before the entire ship is ripped apart by explosions.
** Since the space battles are essentially a metaphor for naval combat, this phenomenon reflects the destruction of the British battlecruisers at Jutland: a flurry of hits, followed by an annihilating explosion an instant later as the flash of the detonation reached the main-armament propellant magazines.
* Franchise/{{Gundam}}. ''The entire franchise'' (and many RealRobot shows thereafter). [[HumongousMecha Mobile suits]] are MadeOfExplodium, so you just ''know'' they're going to blow up when they're critically damaged, but very often there's a Shoe-Drop Delay so the victim can display an OhCrap face before his mobile suit explodes. Of course, if the fatally damaged mecha contains a major character, there may well be a full on Egregious Delay to let the character give his dying speech.
** But not always. Quickly killing off a MauveShirt with barely an OhCrap is a good way to show that WarIsHell.
* {{Manga/AKIRA}} had a BrickJoke example near the beginning, where an extremist tries to set off a grenade in a police station only to have it fizzle out. As the main characters are walking away from the building minutes later, an explosion comes from said station.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/MonstersVsAliens''. [[spoiler: The alien spacecraft's self-destruct countdown reaches zero, but waits until 5 seconds later to actually explode.]]
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* Typically speaking for Hollywood movies and TV production in general, anytime you see a time bomb count down to zero, the explosion will follow ''exactly'' three seconds after. This is usually a result of editing techniques in order to establish another shot to properly show the explosion.
* ''Jackie Chan's ''Film/NewPoliceStory'' has an extreme example of a Staggered Delay
* ''Film/FinalDestination1'' includes a single Realistic Delay amongst the generally unbelievable escapades.
* The Death Star in ''Franchise/StarWars''.
** In Attack Of The Clones, there's an example of the "Realistic" delay (i.e. light before sound) - But it's not realistic anyway since there's no sound in space so it's a moot (or is it mute?) point...
* ''Film/IndependenceDay'' has several of these.
* In ''Film/PearlHarbor'', we see at one point a bomb crash on a building. It doesn't immediately go off, and the guy who was in the building thinks it's a dud. In fact it does detonate a couple of seconds later. Gag Delay or Shoe-Drop Delay? You decide. Could even be a half-hearted attempt at Realistic Delay; detonators of that period could be somewhat persnickety.
* ''Film/TheDarkKnight'' has a particularly macabre example of a Gag Delay. When the Joker pushes the button, a few minor explosions happen, but not nearly enough to take down the whole building. The Joker has time to abuse his detonator before the real blast occurs. This is because in real life the explosions were set in separate parts of the building intentionally so that it'd have a domino effect, [[ThrowItIn but Heath Ledger didn't know that was supposed to happen.]] Whacking the control during the WheresTheKaboom moment was ad-libbed, and running like hell when the explosions began in earnest was ''[[EnforcedMethodActing the actor running for his life]].''
* ''Film/Tremors2Aftershocks'' mixed the Polite Delay and the Gag Delay. A time bomb gets thrown into [[CrazySurvivalist Burt's]] truck full of explosives but no one knows what the time delay is. Cue everyone taking cover as Burt runs past yelling that they have to get farther away.
* ''Film/{{Elf}}'': Buddy is sent to test toys, including a particularly annoying set of "Jack-in-the-Box"s. The last one takes a little extra to pop up, just long enough for Buddy to drop his guard.
* In the movie ''Film/TheFury'', Gillian - who has telekinesis - realizes Childers is the BigBad, and when he tries to comfort her after her friend dies (because he had her friend killed), she tells him to "Go to Hell!" and we watch as she uses her telekinetic powers to blow his head off. We see him holding his head in pain as the pressure builds, until he gives a graphic demonstration of the ChunkySalsaRule from eight different places in the room.
* ''Film/JingleAllTheWay'' has the postal worker claim that there's a bomb in the package he's carrying in a desperate attempt to ward off police. After he flees the building (leaving said package behind), [[AccidentallyAccurate it actually goes off]].
* ''Film/ABridgeTooFar''. American paratroopers are running towards a seemingly undefended bridge when the Germans blow it up in their faces. Everyone dives for cover, but afterwards their officer advances cautiously to see if there's anything left. Two more charges go off, [[HumiliationConga soaking him in river water]]. His response is an understandably bitter "Shit!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:LiveActionTV]]
* ''Series/{{NCIS}}'' has an episode where there's a bomb in a cabin. Everybody dashes out the door, jumps over the car and hunkers down behind it... and they wait there for what would seem to have been about half an hour or more before it finally blows. It was hilarious.
** They saw the bomb, but not a counter. It could have been set for a certain time. And given the usual cliche, extremely funny.
* A first season episode of ''Series/{{Chuck}}'' has Chuck and Casey scrambling out of Casey's SUV when Chuck recognizes the ringing cellphone in the back seat as an [=NSA=] bomb. They have enough time to get clear and for Casey to glare at Chuck for making a mistake before the fireball engulfs the car.
* Averted in the MadeForTV film ''SpecialBulletin'' when [[spoiler: a news crew accidentally catches a nuclear explosion. The audience sees the mushroom cloud and immediate blast wave following it]].
* ''Series/ZoneFighter'' often has the monsters suffer this after the title hero shoots them with his Meteor Missile Might.
* Pick an ''Franchise/UltraSeries'', ''Franchise/SuperSentai'', ''Franchise/KamenRider'' or ''any'' {{Tokusatsu}} show on the whole. This trope is in full force. StuffBlowingUp is everywhere, and it all obeys only the RuleOfCool.
* Several times on ''Series/HogansHeroes'', Carter counts down an explosion, "5, 4, 3, 2, 1" and nothing happens. Once, he will then say, "I said 'one'." BOOM!
* From one of Creator/JeffDunham's Creator/ComedyCentral specials, "Spark of Insanity": According to Achmed the Dead Terrorist, suicide bombers sometimes play practical jokes on each other.
--> '''Achmed:''' RAAAAAAAAA... ''({{beat}})'' What the-- ''([[KilledMidSentence imitates explosion]])''
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'': The first few times Piper tried to blow up demons, there was usually a small delay before it actually happened. As she got better at using it, it became almost instantaneous.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Radio]]
* ''TheGoonShow'' and silent TNT:
->'''Neddie''': Can't anyone hear it go off?
->'''Bluebottle''': Only idiots.
->''(Pause)''
->'''Neddie''': Perhaps it's gone off already. I'll go back and check.
->''(Kaboom! followed by running feet)''
->'''Eccles''': 'Ere, what was that big explosion?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Role-Playing Games]]
* In ''Roleplay/DinoAttackRPG'', loosely inspired by the above example from ''Film/TheDarkKnight'', the explosives that the Brickster set up throughout the Dino Island Laboratory did not explode until a few seconds after he pushed the button on his detonator, causing him to panic and start mashing the detonator until they ''did'' explode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:TabletopGames]]
* The Delayed Blast Fireball spell in ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''. Although technically a time bomb, Delayed Blast Fireball can equally well be used to generate a Shoe-Drop Delay. Its implementation in ''BaldursGate'' was such that it is most often used just as a regular fireball, but the 'delayed' part turns it into an Expository Delay.
** Aside from having the ability to delay it, DBF is also ''more powerful'' than regular Fireball, as it has a higher level {{cap}}. For a sufficiently high-level caster, DBF's maximum damage is twice as high as a regular Fireball.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:ThemeParks]]
* Two former attractions at [[Ride/UniversalStudios Universal Studios Florida]] had an instance of this:
** In the original ending of the ''Ride/{{Jaws}}'' ride, the boat's skipper would shoot a grenade into the shark's mouth. The shark would then go back underwater, and then there would be a several-second delay before the shark would explode.
** At the end of ''Ride/JimmyNeutronsNicktoonBlast'', Carl would zap King Goobot with Cosmo's wand. There would then be a brief pause, and then his eggshell would explode.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* A RunningGag in ''VideoGame/SuperMarioWorld'' is Mario destroying the castle he clears by stepping on a dynamite switch and blowing up the castle, with seemingly random success. At one point,[[note]]specifically, after Roy's castle[[/note]] as depicted in the page image above, Mario steps on the plunger and the fuse seems to break right before it hits the castle. Mario goes to inspect it... and ''then'' the castle blows up, resulting in an AshFace for Mario.
* ''TimeCrisis 3'' has enemy guards raiding the boat of the two protagonists, only to see a bomb tick down to zero followed with "Bye!" displayed on the timer.
* In ''VideoGame/Disgaea2CursedMemories'', there's Adell's final technique, Vulcan Blaze. After beating the crap out of his target [[RapidFireFisticuffs at ridiculous speed]], he takes the time to strike a dramatic pose before the person in question inexplicably explodes.
* In ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTheWindWaker'', putting the last jewel in its statue causes it to glow. Link prepares for the inevitable explosion...and after several seconds of nothing he lets down his guard. ''THEN'' it explodes, [[CrowningMomentOfFunny blasting Link right into the rising Tower Of The Gods.]]
* Attacking red frogs in ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}'' will trigger this in them. As such, due to both this and their unpredictable jumping patterns, they're among the more dangerous beasts to encounter in the game.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'' is one of the many [[EasternRPG JRPGs]] to feature cool delayed explosions. Lampshaded in [[http://youtu.be/ZVtK9X9liXE?t=9m45s this moment]] of WebVideo/MondayMorningMooks
* ''VideoGame/StarcraftI: Brood War'' uses both the Deja Vu Delay and the Realistic Delay in the Protoss campaign's ending cutscene. The massive release of energy caused by the [[YinYangBomb Uraj and Khalis crystals]] in the Xel'naga pyramid--the power of several nuclear explosions--is shown twice, first in a quick ground-level cut, then again in a more distant cut in midair. The shockwave of sound in the second cut is heard seconds after the bright light of the explosion is seen.
* ''VideoGame/SuperBomberman'' had "dud" bombs, where rarely bombs would fizzle out partway through their fuses and not explode when they were supposed to. If they weren't set off by something else, the bombs would eventually reset themselves with a longer fuse before finally exploding.
* ''VideoGame/CounterStrike: Global Offensive'': the bomb explodes a few seconds after the timer runs out, during which it blinks white and makes a different kind of beep. Any defusal attempt in progress, even if the progress bar is within milliseconds of completion, fails.
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' has a expository delay with the Det. packs in the sewer, except you don't see Neo press the button unless the camera is in the right place.
* While it isn't explosion-based, TheBindingOfIsaac has the [[FrickinLaserBeams Brimstone]] and [[DelayedReaction Anti Gravity]] combination.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' had a grueling LampshadeHanging that seemed to last minutes where they showed a house exploding from several angles, repeating each shot several times (including one with Stewie and Brian diving out of the way over and over).
* ''WesternAnimation/InvaderZim'' had ''extremely'' egregious decay in an instance where the explosion was very atypical of most explosions by being really, ''really'' slow. It was also glowing green. When it goes off after [[spoiler:Dib, who is under a similar time-slowing effect, is hurled into it,]] it's fairly normal though.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs'' AnimatedAdaptation of "The Fake Smurf", Hogatha attempts to destroy the Smurfs by sabotaging the bridge with Jokey's "surprises", but instead of the "surprises" going off when she pulled the trigger at the moment the Smurfs were crossing the bridge, they ended up going off when Hogatha herself started crossing the bridge.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:RealLife]]
* The explosives-laden destroyer in the [[WorldWarTwo St. Nazarre raid]] didn't explode until several hours after it was supposed to, serving as a Gag Delay (apparently it went off right as the German commander was mocking the British attempt to ram the docks with a destroyer, doing almost no damage) and a very Impolite Delay (it held off long enough to catch a lot of German souvenir-hunters on deck).
* More generally, this trope is exactly ''why'' "dud" explosives of any kind need to be treated with all due caution.
[[/folder]]

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