[[quoteright:250:[[Series/TheColbertReport http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/cit_Unleash_Nerd_Fury.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:250:[-[[SchmuckBait Got a match?]]-][==]]]

->''"We didn't start the flame war''
->''Peeps were hatin' on it 'fore I left my comment"''
-->-- '''Website/CollegeHumor''', [[http://www.collegehumor.com/video/3980096/we-didnt-start-the-flame-war "We Didn't Start the Flame War"]]

There is something about the anonymous nature of the Internet that makes people [[{{GIFT}} behave]] in ways that they wouldn't when they're face-to-face with other people. What starts as a minor disagreement like "how to [[{{Shipping}} ship]] two minor characters," or "what constitutes {{canon}} or {{fanon}}," escalates until the users are insulting each other, flinging expletives and profanities and shouting at the top of their virtual lungs. Inevitably, someone will be [[GodwinsLaw compared to]] [[HitlerAteSugar Hitler]]. Also inevitably, the InternetToughGuy will get involved, resulting in legal threats (anything from DMCA takedowns and people trying to drag the legal staff of people or businesses involved into the flame war to [[RougeAnglesOfSatin often hilariously misspelled]] accusations of "defamation" and even possibly an actual FrivolousLawsuit), and sometimes even actual threats of violence or RealLife harassment.

After a time, the flames may abate, but usually more because of exhaustion than anyone actually getting a point across. Once everyone has recovered their stamina, all it takes is one innocent (or [[{{Troll}} not-so-innocent]]) person bringing the subject up to [[InternetBackdraft start things all over again]]. In even worse cases, people insist on taking the flame war or their grievances from old flame wars to the people once involved ''elsewhere,'' or seek to get uninvolved people involved and taking a side, which is why ThisVeryWiki and some other sites have strict rules against importing or exporting drama.

In fandom related communities, a lot of the flame wars are the result of a BrokenBase, FandomRivalry, FandomHeresy, or other FanDumb behavior -- which, in turn, is the result of people regarding the fandom as SeriousBusiness. In a way, it can be even more bothersome than dealing with {{troll}}s who come onto the community to bash the entire fandom. Sometimes a fandom Flame War can reach such levels that it becomes a [[http://catb.org/jargon/html/H/holy-wars.html Holy War]], a massive, prolonged battle of insults. The Console Wars and PC vs. Mac debate are good examples of these prolonged, though rare, wars.

God help you if you actually start discussing [[BanOnPolitics politics or religion]].

See MisplacedNationalism for a specific form. See also InternetBackdraft.
No examples, please. There will always be something that can cause this.
''[[PassThePopcorn Anyone got popcorn?]]''