"Or does it explode?"
— Langston Hughes, "A Dream Deferred" (last line)
Sometimes a comedic piece, rather than a punchline, will have everything suddenly explode instead. The randomness combined with the coolness factor of explosions is guaranteed to get some laughs.
This is an example of Stuff Blowing Up
. Also compare Drop The Cow
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- Near the end of Caddyshack, Carl Spackler uses a bunch of plastic explosives as a last resort against the gopher. (Never mind that there's a crucial golf game going on.)
- The Three Stooges used this ending in quite a few shorts.
- Dr. Strangelove ends in this precise manner.
Live Action TV
- Sealab 2021 ends (nearly?) every episode with Sealab exploding. Sometimes justified by the plot, sometimes purely for Once an Episode Rule of Funny.
- The Sponge Bob Square Pants episode "Dying For Pie" ends with the exploding pie completely destroying Bikini Bottom, using footage from the Bikini Atoll nuclear tests as said explosion.
- Ren and Stimpy:
- "Sven Hoek" ends with Ren, Stimpy and Sven being blown straight to Hell after Ren pees on a board game named "Don't Whiz On The Electric Fence".
- Inverted in "Black Hole", which ends with Ren and Stimpy imploding.
- The Tom and Jerry cartoon "The Missing Mouse" has Tom scared by a lab mouse that swallowed a powerful explosive. By the end a radio announcement declares that the mouse will not explode and Tom gives it a good kick. It explodes anyway.
- Looney Tunes
- Duck Dodgers in the 24½th Century ends with Dodgers and Marvin blowing up Planet X.
- "Captain Hareblower" has Bugs Bunny blowing up Yosemite Sam's ship by throwing a lit match into the gunpowder room. Sam tries to get even by doing the same to Bugs' ship, but Bugs doesn't even try to stop him and Sam makes a hasty retreat. Turns out it was the other kind of powder room (the ladies' bathroom), yet it explodes anyway.
I don't know what he's so worried about... talcum powder doesn't explode
(cue big explosion
Uh, I guess I could be wrong, you know...