Dynamite Candle

They bring some light alright

Twitchy: [looks in the back of a mine cart] Hey lookie, I found this box of candles! A big box!
The Wolf: A box of candles? Light 'em up!
[Twitchy holds up what is clearly a stick of dynamite with a sparkling fuse]
The Wolf: Wow that's nice and bright. What kind of candles are those?
Twitchy: [looks at the word "DYNAMITE" on the side] Uh, DEE-NA-MEE-TAY. Hmm, must be Italian.
The Wolf: [gasps] Lose the candle!

A character is in a dark area and manages to grab something candle-like and lights it. As he looks around his surroundings, he doesn't notice he actually lit a stick of dynamite! And the room he is in contains a lot more dynamite!

Alternatively, it can be when a birthday cake has dynamite instead of candles.

See also Matchlight Danger Revelation and Explosive Stupidity.

Examples:

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     Comic Books  

  • In the first Paperinik New Adventures story (Donald's superhero alter ego), the hideout is destroyed when Gladstone Gander lights a stick of dynamite, which he believes to be a candle.
    • It's a little more complicated: it was the first story of the original Paperinik, while the rewamp Paperinik New Adventures happened almost thirty years later. Also the example makes more sense than most, since the dynamite was designed to look like a candle (and it was...the top part, at least).

     Film - Animated  

     Film  

  • The Goonies: Notable in that the dynamite is a dusty stick that sits unknowingly in a bundle of candles, so the kids spend the movie lighting candles as they traverse the maze. Only at the end do they light the dynamite and realize how lucky they were to have lit it in a place where it only caused a small cave-in.
  • Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) during the party scene in The Pink Panther.
  • The New Red Green Show: Duct Tape Forever. Edgar Montrose, the absent-minded demolitions expert, brings the cake for the party at the end of the film, complete with quote-unquote "candles"note . One of the other Possum Lodgers asks why his explosives case is full of candles.
    Edgar: If the candles are in the explosive case, then where's the dynamite?
  • In Take the Money and Run, Virgil tries to get rid of a blackmailer by giving her sticks of dynamite disguised as candles.

     Live Action TV  

  • During one episode of The Muppet Show, a blackout affects the entire theater. At one point, the Newsman has a segment, but can't read the story given him, and asks for a bigger candle. Crazy Harry provides; destruction ensues. Unusually for this version of the trope, the only indication that this trope is in effect before the "candle" goes off is the fact that Crazy Harry is the one who gives him the candle—there is no obvious bomb fuse.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Hunteri Heroici", the wierdness of the week is being caused by an elderly Reality Warper with a love of cartoons. He's locked in his own mind, unable to think of anything but his favorite cartoons. As a result, his power causes cartoon-like effects to occur in his immediate vicinity. In one instance, the guy is watching a cartoon involving a Dynamite Candle gag while one of the patients in the same nursing home celebrates his birthday, complete with a candle-filled cake. The end result is not pleasant.

     Radio  

  • In The Goon Show (which is, after all, a kind of audio cartoon), sticks of dynamite will frequently get mistaken for candles or cigars. Usually it's Bluebottle who gets hurt by them. Just occasionally they'll invert the gag by having somebody pretend the dynamite is a candle or cigar. Guess who comes off worst in those situations as well.

     Web Comics  

  • In Everyday Heroes, a neighbor comes to visit the Mighty home with just such a cake. Judging from hints in previous pages, this is Jane's cousin, who is married to her husband's arch-nemesis.

     Web Original  

     Western Animation  

  • ''Tom and Jerry: Tom Cat, very frequently. It was very often Jerry's doing, setting the Dynamite Candle as a trap. Or Tom got Hoist by His Own Petard.
  • The Looney Tunes cartoons:
    • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Wile E. Coyote, very often.
    • Yosemite Sam.
    • Bugs Bunny.
    • The "Happy Birthday" punishment in the Looney Tunes short "It's Hummer Time".
    • In the Looney Tunes short "Dough Ray Me-Ow", the bird gives a birthday cake, with a stick of dynamite for the fourth candle, to the big dumb cat, who insists he's 3 and gives back the dynamite, refusing to take it back. However, when the cat realizes he is 4, he takes the dynamite back, cuing the explosion later.
  • Happened a couple of times in Scooby-Doo, most notably in the crossover with The Addams Family and the episode "Mine Your Own Business".
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In "Be a Clown", the Joker has a fancy looking explosive candle on a cake for the Mayor's son's birthday party. While most of the guests don't suspect anything, Bruce realizes the danger and pushes the tray holding the cake into the swimming pool, where it harmlessly detonates in there.
    • In "Baby Doll", the eponymous villain uses a dynamite candle in an attempt to kill Spunky actually Robin in disguise. Spunky, tied up and failing to blow the fuse, leans and uses his teeth to grab the dynamite and toss it safely away.
  • Happened in one Itchy and Scratchy cartoon on The Simpsons.
  • Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
    Robotnik: I wasn't able to find 10-foot candles, so I had to use 10-foot sticks of dynamite!
  • Played with in the Futurama episode "Law and Oracle", where Bender lights a dynamite stick then leaves it in his mouth like a cigar... but he does a double-take and realizes IT'S DYNAMITE and uses it to break open an invisible safe.
  • In one episode of Animaniacs, Sid the Squid tries to pull the cake variation off, but Slappy recognizes it.