[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert3 http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/504bab75fd10b8706ffa2d3f2797b2ec.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Communists don't believe in electric bills.]]

->''"We've got lightning guns. We can do ''anything''."''
-->-- ''ComicBook/AtomicRobo and the Shadow from Beyond Time''

%% One quote per page, thanks. Additional entries can go on the Quotes tab.

In RealLife, for electric current to flow there must be a difference in electrical potential. There must be negative and positive termini for current to flow between. Not so in fiction. Quite often, it will be possible for some device or [[ShockAndAwe some person]] to simply fire a lightning bolt more or less straight forward toward another presumably electrically neutral object, with no sign of [[ChargedAttack building up charge separation]] beforehand. It is rare to see lightning weapons or electricity-based ElementalPowers that have electricity behaving the way it does in RealLife.

This trope is primarily about electric weapons or attacks that appear to throw electricity around as if it's a massive object like a bullet, a shell, or an arrow, rather than a system of electrons moving in response to electric potential, and sometimes [[ChainLightning hitting multiple enemies simultaneously]]. Aversions are electric weapons or attacks that actually follow the rules of how electricity works.

When this is an actual gun, it can be regarded as a [[RuleOfCool cooler]] version of the basic RayGun or flamethrower. No matter how outlandish the idea is, adding UsefulNotes/NikolaTesla as (the inspiration for) the creator will [[TeslaTechTimeline immediately suspend any disbelief a reader may have]].

Science shows like Mythbusters and others have explored the possibility. The general consensus is that it's possible in a couple of ways, but requires so many conditions/complications that the idea of creating a practical one is virtually zero.

Recently there have been a few examples of lightning gun technology deployed in real life, [[RealityIsUnrealistic though it obviously doesn't function the same as in fiction.]]




[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'' ''Bount Assault on Soul Society'' arc, episode #108. During his final battle with Ichigo, Jin Kariya reveals that his doll's control over wind allows it to generate and throw lightning at his opponents. He wears it on his arm and points it at Ichigo while shooting lightning bolts at him.
* During a fight with Rakan in ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', Negi temporarily ''[[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v27/c242/2.html transforms into lightning]]'' primarily to boost his speed. This much is HandWaved through the magic system, but then it subverts part of the usual fault: Rakan is able to [[http://www.mangafox.com/manga/mahou_sensei_negima/v27/c244/3.html sense the momentary charge up of energy]] and counterattack accordingly.
* ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEED'''s [[IncrediblyLamePun Lightning Strike]] (from the MSV line) is not actually an example; despite the name, its main weapon is actually a high-powered railcannon. However, in ''[[Manga/MobileSuitGundamSEEDAstray Gundam SEED Delta Astray]]'', [[TheEmpire the Earth Alliance]] obtains and modifies a Lightning Striker so its railgun can also [[HealingShiv recharge MS' batteries at a distance]].
* Averted in ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'' in which the main character's electricity attack must be used through conductive material.
* Anime/GreatMazinger's Thunder Break[[note]]Also possessed by the mass produced knock-offs made by the Myceneans[[/note]] and [[Anime/UFORoboGrendizer Grendizer]]'s Space Thunder; when partnered up in ''VideoGame/SuperRobotWars'', they gain a combination attack called the Double Lightning Buster. In the ''{{Anime/Mazinkaiser}}'' {{OVA}}, [[FanNickname Shin Great Mazinger]] has a more powerful version which ''SRW'' dubbed the Double Thunder Break.
* Misaka Mikoto from ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun''. She is an electromaster, which is a nice way of saying "someone who can generate electricity and use it". Her powers revolve around electricity, and magnetism, and her most basic attack is blasting someone with electricity to unconsciousness. And since all espers are low-level reality warpers, she can completely ignore the laws of physics if she focuses on the electricity. In one episode, Mikoto happens to be near a power station, and she accidentally caused a city-wide blackout because her gathering of electricity accidentally caused the power station to overload.
* As his name suggests, [=RaiRyu=] from ''Anime/GaoGaiGar''. He also lends his power to his combinations [=GekiRyuJin=] and [=GenRyuJin=].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* The ''[[Franchise/StarWars Millenium Falcon]]'' temporarily gets one in ''Comicbook/DarkEmpire II'' after finding a floating city ruled by [[NinjaPirateZombieRobot a cyborg Jedi that basically a floating head and torso in a metal sphere]] in some SpaceClouds. Comes in use against Boba Fett later.
* Used frequently throughout ''[[ComicBooks/AtomicRobo Atomic Robo]]'', as evidenced by the page quote. They gather electrical charge and amplify it to "'''obscenely''' dangerous levels through an even '''more''' dangerous process."

* ''Film/TheMatrix'' features guns that fire lightning bolts as common weapons in [[AfterTheEnd the real world]].
** Not as cool as it sounds. They are somewhat effective on the sentinels due to instantly stunning them but it takes quite a few seconds of continous fire to fry one. And sentinels are [[ZergRush never alone]].
** They'll do a number on a person, though, but that's not what they were designed for. Humans in the real world are all supposed to be on the same side.
* In ''Film/{{Stardust}}'', lightning is ''captured'' to use in this way. In the movie Tristan uses captured lightning to attack a witch. It doesn't go very straight, though, and behaves a bit more like real lightning.
* In the 2005 film version of ''Film/WarOfTheWorlds'', the Tripods use electron particle beam weaponry.
* The Franchise/{{Ghostbusters}} use a very specialized version of this trope for their Proton Packs (guns that fire very specific charged particles to weaken and trap ghosts).
* ''Film/TheRunningMan''. Dynamo's "Electrical Launcher".
* One of the Prawn weapons in ''Film/{{District 9}}'' is a LightningGun that appears to home in on targets and completely ''splatters them all over the surrounding scenery''.
* ''Film/BattleInOuterSpace''. The {{Ray Gun}}s the Earth forces use appear to shoot bolts of electricity.
* ''Film/FirstMenInTheMoon'' (1964). The Selenites have a large crystal-tipped cannon that can fire lightning bolts. They use it to kill a huge caterpillar-like monster.

* In ''Literature/BallLightning'', the Thunderball Machineguns fire electrified...''structures'' but is considered firing lightning.
* The Scepter of the Ancients in ''Literature/SkulduggeryPleasant'' fired lightning. Then again, it was [[DarkIsEdgy black]], [[AWizardDidIt magic]] lightning...
* In Victor Appleton's ''Literature/TomSwift and his Electric Rifle'', Tom Swift creates a weapon that fires a concentrated charge of electricity like a bullet. The charge could pass through any material: it took effect at a pre-set range from the rifle.
** True Story: The modern day Taser gets its name from an acronym of this example ('''T'''homas '''A.''' '''S'''wift's '''E'''lectric '''R'''ifle). Apparently the inventor was a fan.
* The [[http://www.technovelgy.com/ct/content.asp?Bnum=208 Wunderland Treatymaker]] from ''Literature/ManKzinWars'' is a KillSat-scale, double-barreled version of a DisintegratorRay. It wouldn't fit this trope, except that Known Space Disintegrator Rays work by making all the atoms in the target temporarily positive ions. There is also a variant that makes all the atoms in the target ''negative'' ions. The Treatymaker had one barrel of each type. Correspondingly, when it was fired, a ''thirty mile long'' bar of lightning flowed between the two points where the beams touched the planetary surface.
* The Great Race of Yith from Creator/HPLovecraft's ''Literature/TheShadowOutOfTime'' are described using lightning guns. How exactly they work is not described, but apparently they look kind of like old-fashioned cameras.
* In the Creator/DaleBrown books from ''Warrior Class'' on, Tin Man PoweredArmor suits mount electrodes that can fire electric blasts over a distance. No attempt is made to explain how it works. Possibly the softest element in the series.
* In the novel ''Literature/TheEarTheEyeAndTheArm'', Lightning Guns make an appearance under the incredibly cool name of "Soul Stealers."
* Brian Gragg aka "Loki Stormbringer" from the Literature/{{Daemon}} books uses the Laser-Induced Plasma Channel weapon (aka "electrolaser" or LIP-C) to kill folk.
* ''Literature/DustOfDreams'', book nine of the ''Literature/MalazanBookOfTheFallen'', has the K'Chain Nah'Ruk who wield weapons whose descriptions put them ''very'' close to tesla coils. They generate enough electricity to enable them to shoot lightning at their enemies.
* Lin Carter's ''Thongor of Lemuria'' novel ''Thongor Fights the Pirates of Tarakus''. Thongor's fleet of floaters (air boats) is armed with a weapon that fires lightning bolts, the energy for which is stored in sithurl crystals.
* {{Averted}} in ''Literature/TheWheelOfTime'' - magic users are capable of creating lightning, but it really does work by moving electrons to build up a large negative charge in one area and then releasing it. As a result, Mat is still vulnerable to Rahvin's lightning at the end of book 5 despite his AntiMagic medallion.
* The Clanker Tesla Cannons from ''[[Literature/{{Leviathan}} Behemoth]]'', a cluster of Tesla coils tipped with long spines, which makes it look like a radio array (the illustration, however, looks like a square-barreled cannon). It's designed to shoot down airships by simulating a lightning strike and set their hydrogen alight.
** The sequel's eponymous Goliath is a supercharged version, designed to sync up with Earth's electromagnetic field, and is powerful enough to set the air on fire. [[spoiler:At least, that's what Tesla was ''convinced'' it would do.]]
* In the ''Literature/ParadoxTrilogy'', charge throwers are lightning guns designed to be non-lethal anti-armor weapons. They shoot bolts of electricity which pass straight through DeflectorShields and short out PoweredArmor.
* ''Literature/DamselsOfDistress'': Jen has electric powers and uses them to charge her electrobolter, a gauss gun that fires small metallic particles that channel electricity in between them, making it look like the gun shoots lightning.
* In the ''Literature/MagicExLibris'' series, the Hero Isaac has one of these starting with the second book. It has six settings, from "stun" to "[[TheresNoKillLikeOverkill make a dinosaur extra-crispy]]". Or, you know, a Dragon make of mining equipment...
* In ''Literature/HeartOfSteel'', Alistair uses one of these to incapacitate Cyborg!Jim. He calls it the Jovian Stormcaller.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Warehouse 13}}'' has a gun that shoots an electrical pulse.
* The Initiative in season 4 of ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' used these to fight demons.
* The Series/{{Mythbusters}}, while testing the myth of using water to increase a taser's range, created one of these by firing a large squirt gun from inside a Tesla coil.
** Another show set out to recreate sci-fi themes tried to create a lightning gun. While they were able to create a rudimentary one using ionized gas, it was large, clunky, short ranged, and could only be used in a specially conditioned room.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'' has Zats, snake-shaped handguns that fire stun lightning.
* ''Franchise/TheGreenHornet'' episode "Invasion from Outer Space". The "alien" Vama can throw lightning at opponents using a battery-filled belt.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu''.
** The Yithians (Great Race) often have lightning guns. In the ''Fragments of Fear'' adventure "Valley of the Four Shrines" one of the Yithians has one.
** ''The Stars Are Right!'' supplement, adventure "Music of the Spheres". The Mi-Go have an electric rifle that throws a bolt of electricity.
** ''Terror from the Stars'' supplement. The Mi-Go have a "electric gun" that fires a bluish bolt of sparks that does damage, causes muscle spasms and can cause death.
* The ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dark_Conspiracy Dark Conspiracy]]'' supplement ''Darktek'' has the "E.T. Stun Gun". It fires a laser to ionize the air, then discharges an electric current that followed the ionization path, much like the real-world electrolaser.
* ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' has the Particle Projection Cannon (PPC) which ionizes a path to fire what is effectively a lightning blast against [[HumongousMecha battlemechs]]. It, and all its derivatives, are considered the heavy tier of the energy weapons category of armaments. Tech 2 and 3 rules introduce many flavors of PPC such as the snub-nosed PPC which has a very large short range but a steep fall-off in medium and long range reach, make it effectively a SawedOffShotgun.
* In ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons'', blue dragons have electric breath weapons and shocker lizards shock their prey.
** Also weapon enhancements that deal electricity or lightning damage can be applied to ranged weapons that then deal the damage via the ammunition.
** Likewise Wands of Lightning, that throw Lightning Bolt spells.
** Javelin of Lightning, a classic item that on hit creates a lightning bolt blasting everything behind it.
** In the ''TabletopGame/{{Planescape}}'' adventure ''Doors to the Unknown'', the units of the world of Logicus behind the Third Door have lightning guns.
** [[SteamPunk Cygnar]] in the TabletopGame/IronKingdoms has them too.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' has electrolasers. However these are merely stunguns that don't need a wire. Electrolasers are actually in development, see Real Life.
** ''Wild Cards''. One of Modular Man's {{Shoulder Cannon}}s can be a lightning gun.
* ''Battlelords of the 23rd Century'' supplement "Lock N' Load: Weapons and Tactics" has weapons called "Thunderbolt Generators" that fire bolts of lightning.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Champions}}'' supplement ''Gadgets!'' has an Electric Gun that fires lightning bolts.
* Steve Jackson Games' ''TabletopGame/{{Toon}}''. The "Mektoon" section of the ''Tooniversal Tour Guide'' has a Lightning Cannon as a possible mecha weapon. [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin It's a cannon that fires a Lightning Bolt]]. It doesn't just damage an enemy Mek but can fry its computer and controls as well.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Scion}}'', the Level 6 Sky Boon Levin Fury lets a character fire lightning bolts as projectiles. In the canon fiction, there is even a scene with a signature character doing just that.
* ''TabletopGame/{{Rolemaster}}'' campaign setting ''Shadow World''. The underground insectoid creatures known as Krylites have devices that can throw lightning.
* Members of Task Force VALKYRIE in ''TabletopGame/HunterTheVigil'' can get their hands on the MJOLNIR Cannon, a man-portable electrolaser; a more powerful vehicle-mounted version also exists. It's mentioned that these weapons have a tendency to attract ''real'' lightning bolts during thunderstorms.
* A standard weapon produced by [[MadScientist Nockers]] in ''TabletopGame/ChangelingTheDreaming''. Inserting a metal rod into a ball of pure technology, then poking the ball of technology with a stick causes lightning to shoot out of the rod. A small stick can thus be attached to a trigger of something that looks like a gun, with the metal rod in the barrel.
* In ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'', Necron tesla cannons and Staffs of Light function as these. Justified, mainly in that the Necrons are so technologically advanced compared to other civilizations, even after millions of years of hibernation!
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has the somewhat unstable Skaven Warp Lightning Cannon, which fires magical lightning bolts of massively variable potency. Additionally there is the warp-lightning spell that Skaven warlocks can use, and a number of lightning-based attack spells in the Lore of the Heavens, which can be used to call down bolts of lightning from on high.
* ''TabletopGame/CastleFalkenstein''. The ''Steam Age'' supplement introduces the Lightning Hurler (more formally, the Focussed Electrical Discharge Cannon). It fires a lightning bolt as far as the horizon that can burn its target to ashes. It's even capable of destroying the walls of a fortress.
* The Lightning Gun in ''TabletopGame/BleakWorld'' [[CaptainObvious deals shock damage]].
* In [[TabletopGame/IronKingdoms Warmachine]], the Cygnar army uses a lot of electrical weaponry (both melee and ranged) to the point that it's practically their [[PlanetOfHats hat]]. Most of their lightning-based ranged attacks are short- or medium-ranged, and they also have some electrical spells such as ChainLightning. A few units from other armies can also use electrical ranged attacks, such as the [[OurElvesAreBetter Retribution of Scyrah's]] Electromancers.
* ''TabletopGame/Space1889''. The Moon Men have weapons that can throw lightning. The Lightning Cannon and the Electric Rifle are two possible inventions in the main book.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is a {{Standard FPS Gun|s}}. As the entry says, it typically functions as an automatic weapon.
** In ''[[VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004 Unreal Tournament 2003]]'', it's an oddly justified sniper rifle. In-game description states that when the trigger is pressed, the weapon [[ArtMajorPhysics emits a proton beam]], "painting" the target with a positive charge. Milliseconds later, it emits a huge electric discharge that seeks said charge difference, hitting whatever the gun was pointed at with scary accuracy. In truth, it was put into the game so that no one can camp somewhere and snipe anything that moves without being seen. The sequel compensated for this by reintroducing a proper sniper rifle with old-style non-smokeless gunpowder.
*** The Ballistic Weapons mod however introduced a proper lightning gun, the [=HVC Mk9=]. This gun has a continuous homing electrical attack as primary fire (it can lift and swing around players and smaller vehicles; that and the gun's shape is a possible shoutout to ''VideoGame/HalfLife2'''s Gravity Gun) and a chargeup red attack which has short range but massive splash damage as secondary fire. Both quickly overheats the gun but can be rectified via the manually operated heatsink.
* ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaSymphonyOfTheNight'' features a sub-weapon called the Aguena, a gun-like device that throws out a small projectile which causes powerful electricity to arc across from the weapon to an enemy, unlike most of the time when lightning is created via spell.
* The Yithian Energy Weapon in ''VideoGame/CallOfCthulhuDarkCornersOfTheEarth'' appears to be electrical-based, though its "bolts" don't branch out or zig-zag like other examples of this trope. It has an inexhaustible power supply, and was built for the specific purpose of killing [[StarfishAlien The Flying Polyps]]. It also has a charge-up function, which will jam the mechanism if not discharged in time.
* Found in ''Quake'', in the [[VideoGame/QuakeI first]], [[VideoGame/QuakeIIIArena third]] and [[VideoGame/QuakeIV fourth]] games. It fires a sustained blast of lightning for pretty good damage. It's not the most powerful gun out there but it's a lot of fun.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Marathon}}'', you get the fusion pistol, which is highly effective against robots and flies. Why flies, just don't ask.
* The Arc Charger in ''[[VideoGame/{{Resistance}} Resistance: Fall of Man]]''. Related to LightningCanDoAnything.
* ''VideoGame/{{Xenophobe}}'' had a Lightning Rifle as an available weapon.
* The Thundershock gun from ''VideoGame/MetalSlug 7''.
* The Scientist/Priest in ''VideoGame/TheChaosEngine'' uses one of these.
* Soviet Tesla Coil weapons from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRedAlert'' and its sequels.
** Also, the Black Widow volt auto rifle from ''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerRenegade''.
* The Wunderwaffe DG-2 in ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty World at War''. It hits an enemy with a bolt of lightning, then reflects off the enemy and hits any other enemies near by with the same one hit kill power, with up to ten enemies being killed with one shot.
* The Emaciator in ''VideoGame/{{Turok}}: Rage Wars''.
* ''VideoGame/ThePowderToy'' has CRAY, which can fire up to 8 rays of, among other things, lightning. It also causes enough lag to drop the game from 50 fps to 2.
* ''VideoGame/{{Painkiller}}'' features the famous [=ElectroDriver=], a gun that shoots lightning ''[[NinjaPirateZombieRobot and]]'' shuriken. It also has a tertiary fire mode that shoots shurikens which ''themselves'' shoot lightning.
-->'''[[WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation Yahtzee]]:''' All you really need to know is that there is a gun that shoots shurikens and lightning. I wish I could make something like that up. '''It shoots shurikens and lightning!''' It could only possibly more awesome if it had tits and was ''on fire!''
* ''VideoGame/GoldenEye1997'' for N64 has the AwesomeButImpractical taser weapon, which is only accessible through cheating. It resembles a typical stun gun (handheld box with two electrified prods on top), but can hit enemies at any distance. Despite the awesome/hilarious "[[ShoutOut Taser]] [[GameBoy Boy]]" design and infinite ammuntion, it has the same effect as a bullet without leaving holes and about half the firing rate of the laser gun (which also has infinite ammo.)
* The hero of ''VideoGame/InFAMOUS'', Cole, is a living version of this, able to fire off electrical bolts of varying power and precision.
* The R-Gray 2's and Wave Rider 02's secondary attack in ''VideoGame/RayStorm'' and ''[=RayCrisis=]''.
* ''VideoGame/JetForceGemini'' has the Shocker, a late-game weapon that isn't all that powerful and has really short range. So why even bother? Because [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential slowly electrocuting giant bugs is hilarious!]]
** Additionally, one area late in the game has a room with quite a lot of EliteMooks frozen in blocks of ice. If you use any regular gun to fight off the other enemies you're likely to break the ice and have them all on you at once, but the Shocker won't give you that problem.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonCrawl'' actually tries to do electricity with a little more realism; airborne monsters resist electric attacks because the electricity can't go to ground (although, the player doesn't then get shocked when hitting them, which would actually be kind of hilarious)
* ''VideoGame/RedFactionGuerrilla'' has the Arc Welder. Indispensable for hijacking tanks without scratching them.
* Fitted to the Piranha, the main [[ThoseWackyNazis Die Spinne]] fighter, in ''VideoGame/CrimsonSkies: High Road to Revenge''.
* Not quite a gun, but ''VideoGame/{{Tyrian}}'' featured a Lightning Cannon as an available weapon for one's ship.
* ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxter'' series:
** ''VideoGame/JakIIRenegade'' has Peacemaker, which shots an electric orb that also hits nearby targets with electric arcs. It returns in [[VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander third game]]. [[XtremeKoolLetterz Krimzon Guards]] are also equipped with guns which one function works as this, but only at short range.
** ''VideoGame/Jak3Wastelander'' features the Arc Wielder, an upgrade to his machine gun, which does this. It's great for crowds, and ''really'' good against machines.
** There's another one as a plane-equipped weapon in ''VideoGame/JakAndDaxterTheLostFrontier''. It arcs between targets, making cheating at target-shooting plane minigames a doddle.
* The game ''VideoGame/OperationInnerSpace'' has a battery weapon that fires batteries that in turn fires lightning. But it does (try to) comply with electric charge rules. It's still devastating.
* The ''VideoGame/{{Earthsiege}}'' games had the Electron Flux Weapon (ELF) which the manual called "Lightning bolt on a leash". In the game it acted as a lightning bolt-looking continuous beam weapon.
* The Tesla Gun in ''VideoGame/{{Wolfenstein|2009}}'' produces an electrical discharge that arcs out at any targets that come within range. If nothing or no one is nearby, though, it just kinda throws sparks.
** The Spark Shot subweapon in ''VideoGame/FrontMission Gun Hazard'' works in a similar manner: it only fires at available targets and stays on them until they die or it runs out of ammo. It's also convenient in that even if you keep the fire button held, it only consumes ammo when it has enemies to lock on to.
* The various lightning wave cannons in ''VideoGame/RType'' generally home in on targets if there are any available, although they do fire outward as a constant beam even if there aren't any. Bonus points for the fact that not a single lightning bolt looks alike, regardless of how they arc into enemies.
* Massive storms of weaponized lightning are the signature attack of the Kamui fighters in ''VideoGame/{{Kamui}}''. However, the ships must build up a charge before releasing it, it can only hit targets beneath the fighter, and it flies out in random directions if no enemies are around (if there are, it instead homes in on them from said random directions).
* ''Franchise/RatchetAndClank''
** The Tesla Claw in the original ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClank'', as well as the Spitting Hydra in the third game (although this does take time to fire, that seems to be more about attaining a target lock than building up a charge). Other guns, such as the third game's Rift Ripper and N90 Hurricane (both fully upgraded versions of more basic weapons) develop the ability to send out arcs of lightning from whoever they hit.
** ''VideoGame/RatchetAndClankGoingCommando'' has the Plasma Coil, the shot of which arcs to nearby targets from whatever it hits, and its upgraded form, the Plasma Storm, which sends a plasma orb that shocks everything as it travels until it dissipates. Moreover it is possible for some guns to buy for [[GlobalCurrencyException Platinum Bolts]] the Shock Mode for some weapons which adds an effect similar to Plasma Coil (albeit much weaker) to them.
* The Electron Mace from ''[[VideoGame/{{Syndicate}} Syndicate Wars]]'', described as a "Lightning Whip" and one of the coolest directed energy weapons in a squad based RTS. It's really just the Church's Pulse Laser equivalent that shoots blue bzzt-bzzt rays instead of red pew-pew beams.The reboot will bring it back, but firing [[FlatWhat purple]] bolts instead.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsBattlefront'' features the ARC Caster, which charges and fires a bolt of lightning towards an enemy. It also has the capacity to arc to 4 additional targets.
* The Arc Projector in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' uses electricity to take down enemies, and is particularly good against shields and synthetics. A good example of ShownTheirWork, as the gun works by ionizing targets with a non-visible laser to create a potential difference.
** With the release of the Rebellion DLC for multiplayer, the Reegar Carbine is now available in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3''. It works on much the same principle as the Arc Projector. Even though it is classified as a shotgun, it is more like a flamethrower, but with an electric current instead of flames.
* The ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeTrilogy'' has a number of electricity-based weapons. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime'' features the Wave Beam, which fires three waves of electricity, has a limited homing capacity and whose charge shot stuns enemies for a short time. Its missile combo, the Wavebuster, fires a constant stream of electricity which automatically homes in on a target, regardless of whether you are locked on to it, at the cost of around 5 missiles per second of use. The beam is also used to activate various power conduits during the game. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrimeHunters'' has Kanden's affinity weapon, the Volt Driver, which fires short bursts of electricity. Its charge shot fires a slow-moving ball of lightning, which, when used by Kanden, has homing capabilities and disrupts the target's visor. ''VideoGame/MetroidPrime3Corruption'' features the Grapple Voltage, which can be used to leech energy from various targets to recover your health, or can be used to activate various terminals or to overload enemies at the detriment to your health.
* Claire Redfield gets to use the spark shot in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil2''.
** If nothing else, though, there was ''some'' thought put into the Spark Shot. Careful examination reveals that it's basically a heavily modified stun gun, and it does have pitiful range and aiming ability.
* In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil6'' [[spoiler:Piers Nivans]] grows ''organic'' one in place of his arm when it's torn off and he injects himself with TheVirus. It works wonders on final boss, can be charged up for stronger attack and uses his health (which, thankfully, regenerates) in place of ammo.
* Two guns in ''VideoGame/{{BioShock|1}}'' have electrical alternate ammunition: the Shotgun, which fires electrified slugs, and the Chemical Thrower, which fires a steady stream of "electric gel". Presumably the latter works somewhat like a flamethrower, with a taser for a pilot light and the "electric gel" being some superconductive fluid.
* The Tesla Cannon in the ''VideoGame/{{Blood}}'' series has always behaved like a machine gun. In both games, the primary firing mode shoots self-contained orbs of electricity on full auto, while pushing the secondary fire button drains the capacitors and blasts the target with a far more powerful and costly jolt, generating a blue shockwave at the point of impact. In the second game, ''Blood II: The Chosen'', said shockwave continues to expand for a few seconds before dissipating, and anything that gets caught in it gets zapped by a lightning bolt coming from the pont of impact.
* ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter'' averts this with its Air Taser (or simply "Taser" in the first game). You need to launch a wire that connects to the enemy before you can shock him. Oh boy you can shock the enemy, [[VideogameCrueltyPotential usually until he's on fire]]. Also counts as a "silent" weapon (ignoring the enemy's cries as he is roasted to death). However, the Air Taser suffers from several flaws, some critically: you need to zap an enemy for some time before he dies, you can only zap one at a time, and of course, it doesn't work on enemies using Flak Jackets (unless you're aiming to the head or limb, something hard to do without the lockon on a heated gunfight).
* ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}} 2'' gave us the Helghast [=VC5=] Electricity Gun. It's the [[{{BFG}} most powerful weapon in the campaign]], so much so that you only ever get to use it in one mission. But what a mission, where you casually electrocute scores of Helghast soldiers and drones, all while listening to the poor sods [[VideoGameCrueltyPotential make the most amusing noises]] as they fry.
* In ''VideoGame/Fallout2'', the [=YK42B=] Pulse Rifle is one of the most powerful guns in the game. It does electrical damage but it doesn't have a visible lightning bolt or even a muzzle flash (unlike it's little brother, the YK32 Pulse ''Pistol'' which fires a purple energy bolt). ''VideoGame/Fallout3'''s Tesla Cannon however... is [[{{BFG}} a brutally strong blue-white beam]] and has some splash damage as well.
** ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas''' Lonesome Road DLC introduced the Arc Welder, a huge industrial tool-turned-weapon capable of shooting a constant, high-voltage stream of lightning. In Old World Blue DLC, there is also the LAER (Laser Assisted Electrical Rifle), implying that it's a electrolaser weapon which use lasers to create a conductive plasma conduit in the air and then discharge electricity.
** ''VideoGame/Fallout4'''s Automatron DLC added the Tesla Rifle, a short range weapon that can arc damage between targets.
* In ''[[VideoGame/StarTrekEliteForce Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force]]'', one of the weapons is the Arc Welder, a device which emits a large stream of electricity as long as the trigger is held down (and its "ammo" lasts).
* ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAuto2'' had an Electrogun that shocked people down to their bones.
* ''VideoGame/AlienSwarm'' has a Tesla Cannon; originally designed for repairs, it was quickly weaponised and deployed. A version also featured in a custom campaign for the ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament'' mod. Unlike most Lightning Guns, however, it does not do a whole lot of damage by itself, making it a poor primary weapon. The real draw is how it [[StandardStatusEffects slows down targets]] and "jumps" between them.
* ''VideoGame/EscapeVelocity Nova'''s Auroran Triphammer, a super-heavy weapon that first fires a thin stream of conducive material at a target (because vacuum [[SpaceIsCold is notoriously non-conducive]]) and then channels obscene amounts of electricity down it. Slow to fire and slower to reload, but it packed huge firepower.
* ''VideoGame/DungeonSiege I'' had these drop from Goblins, the settings Steampunk inventors. Short ranged, though effective, but not as powerful as the gatling guns.
* In the web game ''Raze'', one of the ten weapons is a PIERCING LIGHTNING GUN. Say good-bye to your sanity after getting this.
* Both ''Franchise/JurassicPark'' games for SNES use a variety of lightning gun. In the first, an overhead (usually) shooter, it's your most basic weapon with unlimited ammo and requires charging for maximum effectiveness. In the second, a platform shooter, it's the weakest non-lethal weapon, again with unlimited ammo, and sees quite a bit of use since you're only allowed to use lethal force on raptors, the t-rex, and humans.
* The default weapon in ''VideoGame/DestroyAllHumans'' fires electricity straight ahead and zaps whatever's in your way (and goes through people, meaning you can hit two or three at the same time). Upgrades can produce a ChainLightning effect, very useful against crowds. In one game, Crypto also gets a gun that shoots ball lightning.
* ''Videogame/MechWarrior 4'' brings back the Particle Projector Cannon class of weapons, a mainstay of the games since the beginning. Where early games had it as an energy beam or a PlasmaCannon, the PPC in 4 comes out as a screeching electrical blast that burns big black patches in enemy 'Mechs and leaves electricity crackling along their frames. Taking a hit from one also results in [[InterfaceScrew an electrical overload in your HUD.]]
** The trailer for the abandoned ''[=MechWarrior 5=]'' promised some very lightning-like PPC shots in its trailer, during the fight scene where a ''Warhammer'' tangles with an ''Atlas,'' with several bright, jagged bolts resembling blue-white lightning being prominently demonstrated in the course of the trailer.
* This basically describes the entire premise of the free indie-game [[http://gamejolt.com/freeware/games/action/thunder-gun/385/ Thunder Gun]]. Your character shoots ChainLightning at the endless horde of robots (and mutant cyborgs). Every shot from your gun is potentially a HerdHittingAttack if you charged the gun long enough. The only exception is when the rain comes and you are forced to put away the big gun in place of a pistol.
* Nex in ''Nexuiz'' is a scoped lightning gun.
* The Riot from ''VideoGame/{{Einhander}}''.
* The Plasma Laser in ''VideoGame/{{Raiden}}'' series. Although it might not look like one at first, it is obvious enough to still count as one LightningGun from the way it creates patterns similar to lightning while locking on multiple targets.
* The Electrolaser from ''VideoGame/AceCombatJointAssault''.
* Batman gets one in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamCity'' which can be used to stun mooks and activate machinery.
* The Nemesis in ''VideoGame/CaveStory'' is a gun that shoots powerful bolts of lightning, [[LowLevelAdvantage unless it's leveled up to level 3]], in which case [[JokeItem it shoots rubber duckies]].
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'' has standard weapons that shoot a bullet that also deal shock damage like the S&S Orion, but some of the Eridian weapons like the Thunderstorm shoot lightning exclusively.
* [[DubNameChange Fog/Max]] from ''VideoGame/TalesOfLegendia'' turns his gun into one with his Rage Laser attack.
* While there are no guns in the ''Zelda'' series, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaSkywardSword's'' final boss fight the Skyward Strike electrifies your sword, allowing you to attack the boss with a beam of electricity.
* While it's described as a "cattle prod", the Hammer in ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve2'' is an attachment for the [=M4A1=] that fires a lightning-like archs of electricity. Its primary purpose is to stun enemies and knock them down, though it can kill enemies with low HP.
* The Tesla in ''Videogame/GunsOfIcarus''.
* Emitter weapons in ''VideoGame/SwordOfTheStars''. They can arc to hit a second enemy ship (making them very useful against armadas). They also make fantastic point defense weapons.
* ''VideoGame/DukeNukemManhattanProject'' features an unlockable Lightning Gun as the most powerful weapon in the game. It actually seems to draw lightning down from the sky, and hitting it once will instantly reduce any enemy on screen into bloody chunks.
* ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilation'', but it's a rather rare weapon, only used by two units (the Zeus and Panther).
** Used by Creonite construction units in ''VideoGame/TotalAnnihilationKingdoms'', described as a 'taser'. Lightning is also used by the other sides as a weapon, but there it's magical in origin.
* "Shock" magic tends to work like this in ''Franchise/TheElderScrolls''. In ''[[VideoGame/TheElderScrollsIIIMorrowind Morrowind]]'', it takes on the "ball of electricity" appearance instead.
* The Plasma Gun weapons of ''VideoGame/MegaManStarForce'' work this way, as does the Thunder Zerker form's paralysing charged shot.
* The Ion Disruptor from the ''VideoGame/{{X}}-Universe''. The FlavorText justifies it by having it first fire a stream of ions at the target, then firing the main blast. What's left unexplained is how it can jump from its initial target to any other nearby object. This includes shrapnel from the otherwise near-useless Cluster Flak Array point-defense gun; [[FanNickname ionized flak]] is a decent loadout, though heavily prone to friendly fire.
* ''VideoGame/{{Netstorm}}'' has Thunder Cannons, which fire discrete "chunks" of lightning, and Vander Towers which zap any airborne units that get too close.
* ''VideoGame/TransformersFallOfCybertron'' features a weapon called EDK Techvolt.
* The Shock elemental damage type in ''VideoGame/BloodCrusher2'' stuns enemies, [[OneHitKill unless they're standing in water.]]
* Admiral Thompson from ''VideoGame/{{Dubloon}}'' fights using a gun that shoots lightning, [[SchizoTech in a setting]] that is mostly similar to UsefulNotes/TheGoldenAgeOfPiracy.
* In Creator/{{Toaplan}}'s {{Shoot Em Up}}s ''Truxton'' and ''Batsugun'', the weapon selections include a lightning laser cannon.
* ''Videogame/{{Arcanum}}'' lets you upgrade your [[StaticStunGun Shocking Staff]] into ball-lightning shooting Tesla Rod. Which can then be mashed together with a sniper rifle to produce even more powerful [[{{BFG}} Tesla Gun]]. For those who favor magic, there's Force school, which allows you to shoot classical lightning bolts and ball lightnings that can ''desintegrate'' pretty much anything in the game.
* After completing a colossal amount of research while playing as Eden in ''Videogame/{{Outpost 2}}'', you eventually unlock the Thor's Hammer turret, a slow-firing, artificial lightning cannon available on both static defensive structures and the almighty, twin-linked Tiger vehicle chassis.
* ''Videogame/{{Titanfall}}'' has the Arc Cannon, a chargable Titan weapon that can [[ChainLightning hit multiple enemies simultaneously]], but has limited range. The Capacitor mod trades the ability to fire mid-charge for a more powerful full-charge shock.
* In ''VideoGame/StarWarsTheOldRepublic'', Republic Troopers (especially the Vanguard sub-class) can use several lightning attacks from their all-purpose guns.
* ''VideoGame/StarWarsGalaxies'' had the Lightning Cannon and Light Lightning Cannon for Commandoes and Bounty Hunters respectively.
* ''VideoGame/PhantasyStarOnline'' has the Maser Beam.
* ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyTactics'' has the Blaster (the Blast Gun in the [=PS1=] translation). It fired a random thunder-elemental spell when cast (either the first tier, second tier, or third tier), and was regularly affected by the rules of spellcasting in that higher Faith for both sides means more damage, though it functions independently of attack stats like regular guns.
* ''VideoGame/FirstEncounterAssaultRecon'''s second expansion, ''Perseus Mandate'' introduces the [=LP4=] Lightning Arc Weapon. Unlike the typical trope, it works as an extremely powerful battle rifle, with low shot capacity, slow rate of fire, and unerring accuracy the lightning can even arc slightly to hit the target if it dodges out of the way like the [[DemonicSpiders Nightcrawler Elites]], the enemies you're most likely to use the gun on, are fond of doing. And since the muzzle arcs with electricity, it's also an example of MuzzleFlashlight that doesn't have to be fired to work.
* In ''Videogame/BattleZone1998'', the [[spoiler:Furies]] use a heavy, rapid-fire HitScan lightning gun dubbed the "Bolt Buddy" by NSDF pilots. Come ''Battlezone II'', the Scions use a long-range burst-fire lightning gun in their gun towers and on upgraded tanks as a nod to their [[spoiler:relation to the Furies]]. Scion tanks can [[MorphWeapon morph]] the lightning gun into a continuous, highly deadly but short-ranged electricity arc.
* In ''Videogame/{{Evolve}}'' the assault character Markov uses a modified arc welding tool creatively called the Lightning Gun. Its short range is compensated for by its ability to automatically lock onto targets and arc between enemies. His modification uses a similar weapon, renamed the Tesla Gun. The Tesla Gun lacks the arcing feature and does less damage initially, but does more damage the longer it fires uninterrupted until it surpasses the original.
* ''VideoGame/NuclearThrone'' has lightning guns as a subset of energy weapons. True to form, they fire lightning bolts that usually arc toward the nearest enemy. The weapons range from the basic Lightning Pistol, to the [[MoreDakka automatic Lightning SMG]] and the [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Lightning Shotgun]], to the area-clearing [[BigFreakingGun Lightning Cannon]], which shoots a ball of lightning that shoots lightning bolts, and [[UpToEleven explodes into more lightning bolts]] after impacting a wall or enemy.
* ''VideoGame/WorldofWarcraft'': Shamans can do this in the Warcraft universe, both flinging lighting from their hands (in ball and chain lightning variety), and totems that explode with electricity. Being a fantasy setting though, it's a case of AWizardDidIt.
* VideoGame/{{Destiny}} has an entire subset of weapons infused with Arc energy in general, but there are a few standouts:
** The Thunderlord, a Year 1 exotic machine gun with sparks coursing up and down its length, creates electric explosions and increases in fire rate the longer the trigger's held.
** The Zhalo Supercell, an exotic auto rifle introduced in Year 2, is essentially a bright blue-green AK-47 with the ability to electrocute small groups of enemies with ChainLightning, as well as an additional perk that gives it regenerating ammo every time the player scores a double kill. It is ''exactly'' as awesome as one would expect.
* Vikavolt, a [[BigCreepyCrawlies Bug]] and [[ShockAndAwe Electric]] Franchise/{{Pokemon}} that was introduced in ''VideoGame/PokemonSunAndMoon'' is stag beetle that looks and acts like a living lightning gun. It has reminded people of [[VideoGame/{{Gradius}} Vic Viper]].
* In ''Videogame/FromTheDepths'', the Particle Cannon fires particles at a significant portion of light speed that can perform a OneHitPolykill. The weapon [[DesignItYourselfEquipment can be configured]] to be a highly accurate sniping ChargedAttack weapon that produces a distinctive supersonic thunder clap when fired, to a continuous electric-like arc of particles flung out at random trajectories. With the game's ([[AnachronismStew relatively]]) realistic combat, the latter is pretty useless and mostly used for gimmick ships.
* Winston's Tesla Cannon in ''VideoGame/OverWatch'' throws out short range electricity that search out for something to connect the arc. It's fairly short ranged due to how realistic it acts, but it can hit multiple enemies at once and only requires you to aim in the general direction of the enemy.
* Bit Monster's ''Gunner Z'' has the Arc Cannon as one of the Tier 3 (strongest tier) weapons. It fires a powerful bolt of electricity that can chain onto other targets until its maximum targets hit is reached, you can spend money to increase all the stats of the Arc Cannon including how many targets can the electricity bolt hit.

* Gilgamesh Wulfenbach in ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has one, and it's been a ChekhovsGun. And he has used it (in conjunction with other devices) [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome to call down lightning]].
--> '''[[LargeHam Gil:]]''' "This is ''not'' a trick! I did not get ''lucky!"''
** The later use of his hand-held scepter is closer to the "classic" LightningGun. [[MadScientist Agatha, Tarvek, and Othar]] have [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20121123 improved]] Gil's gun. [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20121126 Immensely.]] [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20121219 Impressively.]]
* ''Webcomic/AMiracleOfScience'': [[http://www.project-apollo.net/mos/mos363.html It's a BALL LIGHTNING gun!]]
* Ezekiel in ''[[http://dynamoguns.blogspot.com/ Dynamo Guns]]'' owns a rare gun called the Tesla Colt that shoots twisty lightning bolts.
* In ''Webcomic/SequentialArt'' Scarlet asked to "fix stuff" [[http://www.collectedcurios.com/sequentialart.php?s=199 built with something like this]].
* In the back-story for ''Webcomic/TheMansionOfE'', soldiers were armed with a magical version of these, until [[TheMagicGoesAway the magic went away]].

[[folder:Web Original]]
* The most commonly appearing experimental weapon from Pelvanida Base's arsenal in ''Roleplay/DarwinsSoldiers'' is an "electric rifle."
* WebVideo/CorridorDigital made [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDlif8Km4S4 a video]] about guns that fire [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking lightning, death and dubstep]].
* ''Wiki/SCPFoundation'', [[Characters/SCPFoundation [=Characters/SCPFoundation=]]], [[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-2954 SCP-2954 ("Looping Kaiju Killing")]]. SCP-2954-1 look like radio telescopes on pedestals. They can fire an electrical arc similar to a lightning bolt.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TaleSpin'''s FiveEpisodePilot, it's noted that the Air Pirates have been recently raiding cargo planes for bizarre things like fishbowls and other assorted items while leaving behind valuables; one of these is the [[GreenRocks red crystal]] that Baloo's plotline revolves around, a seemingly worthless stone that turns out to actually be a tiny electrical generator. Eventually, one of Sher Khan's scientists puts together all the clues and realizes that Don Karnage is using the stolen supplies to build a Lightning Gun, but it's too late to stop the [[AirborneAircraftCarrier Iron Vulture]] from attacking Cape Suzette with it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheMysteriousGeographicExplorationsOfJasperMorello'', Kovacs uses a SteamPunk variation to shoot the creature when it attacks Jasper. Electricity guns are apparently commonplace. There are even advertisements for them on the website.
* Unagi of ''WesternAnimation/SushiPack'' frequently throws electricity at his opponents, and in one episode he was able to target random objects (he'd gained the ability to turn them into living things).
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'', a lighting gun eventually becomes the weapon of choice of Macbeth and his underlings. After the Gargoyle Griff manages to steal one, it becomes his weapon of choice as well.
* {{Creator/Filmation}} 1960's cartoons
** ''Series/{{Batman}}'' series episodes
*** "Partners in Peril". The Penguin's umbrella shoots out a lightning bolt to fry a police communications console.
*** "My Crime Is Your Crime". The Penguin uses a trick rack of pool cues that fire a bolt of electricity, knocking out the Dynamic Duo.
** ''WesternAnimation/{{Superboy}}'' series episodes
*** "Superboy's Strangest Foe". Two aliens use lightning pistols to destroy a railroad trestle.
* Master firebenders in ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'', such as Iroh, Azula, and Firelord Ozai don't use actual guns, but fire off lightning bolts in a very similar fashion. Zuko, Aang, and Iroh can also catch lightning and redirect it. The "physics" behind it - separating negative and positive ki - is very reminiscent of polarizing the air or targets as several above weapons do.
* Creator/CartoonNetwork Groovies episode "Jabberjaw". At one point the {{villain}} slithers toward the {{heroes}} firing a weapon that shoots bolts of electricity.
* [[TheDragon Grune]] from ''[[WesternAnimation/{{Thundercats 2011}} [=ThunderCats (2011)=]]]'' has a [[CarryABigStick mace]] that [[ShapeshifterWeapon doubles]] as one of these.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheNewAdventuresOfJonnyQuest'': In "Warlord of the Sky," villain Dragna's {{Mooks}} carry rifles that fire bolts of electricity. This is in addition to them being able to [[ShockAndAwe electrocute people by touch]].

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Not quite the same thing, but the [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electrolaser electrolaser]] comes close. And made into a weapon care of the [[http://www.army.mil/article/82262/ U.S. Army]]. The electrolaser design has the potential to scale right up. Making an ionised beam of air a significant length just by blasting away with a laser is possible, but currently impractical due to power requirements. On the other hand, the world of nonlinear optics brings up the phenomenon of 'light filamentation', a high intensity pulse of light that generates a long, thin trail of plasma. Possible applications suggested by the discoverers include triggering lightning discharges.
* And then there's [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWNNHVHVD4c this guy]].
* An electron beam that could be considered close to a lightning gun -- which would make every functioning vacuum tube in existence a little lightning factory. It ''can'' generate a lightning on shutdown, if the transferred charge cracks back through a path of conveniently ionized air. Relativistic electron beams self focus in air. This means that if combined with an electrolaser type system to aim them, you could make a long range and highly accurate lightning weapon that would also produce a hazardous amount of beta radiation (so you wouldn't want to hold one if you weren't very well armoured).
* Close contact tasers will arc electricity across the electrodes, so it's kind of like a lightning gun. A ridiculously short range lightning gun.
** Long range tasers were designed as a {{defictionalization}} of this trope. The inventor read the story "Tom Swift and his Electric Rifle" as a kid and thought that it would make a great stun weapon. The end result was less flashy but affordable with current technology
* Supercritical steam systems are desigined to work at pressures and tempuratures which very few others can do.