Fireworks are often used to celebrate important holidays and joyous occasions, such as Independence Day (in the US), New Year's Eve, or sporting events such as the Olympics. There are several different forms they usually take, such as circular bursts and sizzling comets. But in the fictional world, fireworks can take any form the producers desire. Animation, and especially CGI, have helped push the boundaries. Subtrope of Spectacle and Rule of Cool.
- In V for Vendetta, V's first public assault on the Norsefire regime involves bombing the Houses of Parliament. Immediately following the explosion is a fireworks display forming the letter "V."
- The fireworks in the credits of Wreck-It Ralph form the main characters' faces.
- The Three Caballeros ends with fireworks spelling out The End in Portuguese, Spanish and English, each in the colors of the Brazilian, Mexican and American flags, respectively.
- In The Rescuers, after Penny is recaptured after her escape attempt, fireworks are used to spell out the message "GOT GIRL".
- Near the end of Kung Fu Panda 2, fireworks form one final yin-yang symbol, a recurring icon throughout the film.
- In Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, the Weasley twins harrass their sadist teacher Dolores Umbridge with magical fireworks. One of them takes the shape of a giant dragon that chomps on Umbridge, another one turns into a giant W, presumably as the Weasleys' signature.
- A downplayed example in Kung Fu Hustle, where the Axe Gangsters carry handheld fireworks launchers that launch fireworks that take the shape of a giant axe. This is their sign to summon help.
- Muppets Most Wanted: During the end credits, fireworks take the form of various Muppet faces, as well as several items that have particular significance in the movie.
- In The Lord of the Rings, Gandalf is a master of fireworks, turning them into the shape of trees or dragons. Of course, he's a wizard.
- At the end of The Phantom Tollbooth, during a carnival celebrating the heroes' success:
The Mathemagician provided a continuous display of brilliant fireworks made up of exploding numbers which multiplied and divided with breathtaking results.
- In the MAD book Don Martin Drops 13 Stories, a homeless alcoholic mixes together all sorts of noxious household products, then drinks it, shoots into the air and explodes as a fireworks display featuring the American flag, George Washington's face, and the words, "Wake up America — Abolish drug abuse."
- In Little Big Adventure 2, you can watch a propaganda film made by the Zeelichian tourism board. The film ends with a fireworks display, with "Welcome to Zeelich" spelled out in the night sky by fireworks.
- Common in Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies, where an exploding rocket or firework will explode spectacularly, and often in the form of clearly legible words.
- The episode "The Good Little Scouts" from Hanna-Barbera's The Jetsons has George Jetson oversee his boss's son Arthur on a scouting trip to the moon. The two become lost, and Arthur produces a flare gun that spells out "HEPL" in four shots in the lunar sky. When George points out the error, Arthur fires a fifth shot that strikes out the misspelling, then a sixth shot that appends the correction.
- A single large rocket is able to generate a facsimile of the US flag at the conclusion of the Tom and Jerry cartoon "Yankee Doodle Mouse," despite the titular cat being tied to it when it was launched.
- The 2008 Beijing Olympics had an actual fireworks display, of 29 'footprints' walking toward the Olympic stadium. While the fireworks were real, the Beijing Olympic Committee broadcast a CGI version to the outside world.