Warning: Contents under pressure.
Everything Is Better With Explosions
"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode.
, isn't it? Well, if you spice it up to maximum, you have Stuff Blowing Up
in complete defiance of science
In the wonderful world of fiction, nothing ever just breaks. If it's even slightly mechanical or electronic, its destruction is loud and accompanied by Impressive Pyrotechnics
. Apparently, circuit boards
, moving parts, and Tokyo
are the most volatile substances in the universe.
And that's just in serious works. In comedies
can blow up, especially if there's an Epic Fail
Objects that are particularly prone to exploding include:
Related to You Have to Burn the Web
. Also related to Unrelated Effects
, where the focus is on how awesome the weapon causing destruction is, rather than how explode-y the item being destroyed is. See also Incendiary Exponent
, Catastrophic Countdown
and Hair-Trigger Explosive
open/close all folders
- Bugs in commercials for Raid.
- "Awesome barbecue! Awesome pool!"
- One commercial for Sprite showed people running at one another. Upon contact, they explode in huge splashes of soda. Apparently, this is supposed to make you want to buy it. No, we don't get it either.
Anime & Manga
- An excerpt from Warren Ellis, on what his comic Nextwave is all about:
"It is people getting kicked, and then exploding. It is a pure comic book, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. And afterwards, they will explode."
- In one issue of
Frank Miller Adventures All-Star Batman & Robin, Frank Miller in a Batman costume sets what looks like a standard, buy-it-in-a-store bottle of bleach on fire with a road flare from his belt. That's commercial bleach, which is almost entirely water. And he sets it on fire. He then throws it into a huge stack of similar bottles, causing a nice big explosion and gloating as it kills the small-time hoods that were stealing it.
- In Astérix in Corsica, a Corsican cheese explodes, destroying a ship. Asterix and his friends already jumped the ship (fortunately for them), but then the pirates came on board (unfortunately for them, as always).
- The Human Bomb.
- Likewise, Nitro.
- Likewise, Gambit.
- The Human Bomb and Gambit each have the ability to make things they touch explode. Nitro on the other hand is himself Made of Explodium, his power being to blow himself up and then reintegrate, being given this power by the Kree Lunatic Legion.
- As Atomic Robo put it:
"My years with Mr. Tesla have taught me that there's one underlying scientific principle common to all existence...everything explodes."
- This becomes a superpower in Strikeforce: Morituri; the character Revenge could convert anything to energy by touching it, with the effect of making it explode. He once defeated an opponent with Super Speed just by touching him once during the fight.
Films — Animation
Films — Live Action
- Happens in pretty much every Michael Bay-directed movie ever made. Particulary in Transformers. In Revenge of the Fallen, even concrete tubes can explode!
- In perhaps the biggest example in film, Battlefield Earth, Planet Psychlo has an entire atmosphere that is made of explodium! Their air reacts violently with strong radiation, so a strong nuclear bomb is all it takes to destroy the entire planet. Wow.
- In a deleted scene in Shanghai Noon, a runaway train explodes when it runs into the END OF THE LINE barrier. The director admitted that the explosion could not be logically explained.
- The film Demolition Man has one of these when the cryo prison explodes at the end of the film when machinery starts to spark.
- There's the aptly named ass-blasters from Tremors 3. Not only do they light their own farts on fire to achieve enough thrust to glide after prey, they explode spectacularly if exposed to any sort of intense heat such as a can of unleaded gasoline ignited by one ass-blaster's own acid spit in Burt Gummer's basement. Burt Gummer being Burt Gummer, the gunpowder he keeps for his weapons goes up in flames soon after that, taking out his entire fortification.
- James Bond films in general are quite prone to this, but some take it to ridiculous new heights.
- In The World Is Not Enough a helicopter explodes the second it touches the lake it's falling into, vaporizing as though it were made of magnesium. It was on fire after being hit by a missile though.
- Quantum of Solace featured the Supervillain Lair which chain-react explodes into a spectacular fireball in the finale. The cause of the explosion? Backing a jeep into a parking garage wall at 15 mph. Structural Engineering at its finest.
- Comedian Dara Ó Briain called the film on this at an awards ceremony; Olga Kurylenko, in the audience, shot back that the building in question was a real hotel. Dara's response? "Yeah, but it's not made of dynamite, is it?"
- It was a hydrogen powered hotel.
- Golden Eye has a radio antenna exploding... Nuff said.
- Licence to Kill has the villain's mountain base explode because of one little beaker of burning gasoline.
- In Where Eagles Dare (1969), Lt. Morris Schaeffer (Clint Eastwood) and Maj. John Smith (Richard Burton) first kill the German soldiers who are transporting them to the Schloss Adler in a Mercedes 340B, then to cover their escape, push the car with the dead bodies over a handy cliff. Halfway down the slope to the creek below, the car explodes for no readily apparent reason. The rest of the explosions in this highly "boom"-prevalent film, however, are justified by the heroes' policy of leaving timed demolition charges behind them wherever they go.
- D-War contains a scene in which six helicopters explode spectacularly within minutes of each other.
- Top Secret has a scene with an out of control jeep that finally slows down almost to a stop... but not quite. It gently taps the bumper of a Ford Pinto, and both vehicles immediately explode.
- Well, it was a Ford Pinto.
- And right in the following scene, the heroes drive away in the same jeep, which is functioning perfectly, although covered in scorch marks. The characters even comment how good German cars are.
- Batman Begins has an electric monorail crash. It explodes spectacularly, what with all the combustible material in a monorail and a microwave emitter.
- Though, arguably, the whole shebang crashed into a parking garage, with all those cars that had fuel in their tanks...
- That would actually make the cars Explodium as well, since cars don't actually explode, though the intensity of the fire can make it look that way. There is, however, no shock wave or dangerous debris.
- Used both ways in Last Action Hero, to lampshade this trope. Early on, in the movies, every car explodes with one shot. One even explodes just from getting a man thrown through the windshield, and another explodes in midair. Later, in the real world, Jack Slater fires his gun three times at a fleeing car, expecting it to explode. Three dents appear in the trunk, and the car drives away.
- Right after, Slater looks at his gun, wondering what's wrong with it.
- And then the villain ends up exploding when he gets shot at the end for a last-second Lampshade.
- In UHF, during "Weird Al" Yankovic's Rambo-inspired Indulgent Fantasy Segue, a Korean soldier explodes in a massive fireball after getting shot with an arrow.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic also sings the title theme of the Leslie Nielsen film Spy Hard. The final note of the song is so ridiculously drawn-out that the song ends with Al's head exploding, rather gruesomely.
- In This Is Spinal Tap, the other members of Spinal Tap claim that their third drummer died by spontaneously combusting on-stage, during a show. The same fate befalls their current drummer, just before they strike it big in Japan.
- If, in Guitar Hero 2, your band covers "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" (a Spinal Tap song) at the Battle of the Bands, as the song ends your drummer explodes in a puff of smoke.
- Cutthroat Island had lots of stuff blowing up real good, especially the villain's ship at the end when the powder magazine igniting caused the entire ship to burst into flames and shrapnel. And this still didn't harm the treasure that everyone spent the movie fighting over...
- This could be Truth in Television though, since it was not unknown for ships that caught fire to explode spectacularly when the flames reach the powder magazine.
- The part where a lantern falling on a table causes an explosion that knocks the windows off a tavern is a particularly blatant example.
- Quite a few things in xXx appear to be made of explodium, but none more so than the state Senator's Corvette that Xander steals and drives off a bridge in the opening scene of the film. That durn thing looks like it blew even before it hits the ground.
- In the 90s cheesefest Hudson Hawk, an ambulance goes off a ramp and explodes in mid-air.
- In the movie Doomsday a car flies through a bus. Despite only hitting the glass windows, and not the engine, gas tanks, or anything else remotely combustible, the entire length of the bus still manages to explode (the car, being driving by the heroes, is perfectly fine).
- This is made even worse by the fact that buses and other large vehicles are nearly always powered by Diesel, which is hard enough to light (not that gasoline is exactly easy) yet alone cause to explode. Then again, CNG and LPG and now Hydrogen are sometimes used as fuels, but still very rarely.
- Subverted in Terminator 2: Judgment Day; a tanker truck overturns and slides into the forging factory and you're thinking of the first film, when a similar tanker truck exploded near the climax. "Nuh uh!" says James Cameron, who has "Liquid Nitrogen" prominently displayed on the side. And then Ahnold notices the T-1000 freezing . . .
- It is played straight earlier on, however, when the big rig being used by the T-1000 crashes into an overpass, rupturing the fuel tank, which explodes, despite being diesel fuel.
- In Accepted, one of the students expresses an interest in learning to blow things up with his mind. In keeping with South Harmon's DIY curriculum, he is allowed to major in mental detonation and classes are engineered to help him do so; later in the movie the same student is seen focusing intently on a pineapple, but beyond this it seems forgotten-until the very end, in a credits gag. The dean of the college who opposed South Harmon's accreditation is walking towards his car when suddenly it goes up in a massive Hollywood fireball. He stares for a moment before we cut over to the same student, looking satisfied, and Justin Long, who is blown away by the speed (and success) with which he has accomplished his goal.
- Double Subverted in Groundhog Day. Bill Murray's character drives a pickup truck over the edge of a quarry. It lands upside down, crushing its roof, but does not explode. Chris Elliot, looking over the edge, weakly suggests that "He might be okay." The truck then suddenly erupts in a massive fireball. To which Elliot concedes, "Well, probably not now."
- Jabba's Sail Barge in Return of the Jedi. Also later in the final space battle, one of the Star Destroyers in the background is hit by a laser bolt from a rebel Calamari Cruiser. The laser bolt doesn't look particularly strong, and the Star Destroyer doesn't appear to be suffering from any visible damage, but regardless the whole ship gets consumed by an explosion like it's the Hindenburg. Shortly afterwards, the Super Star Destroyer Executor gets a similar treatment.
- In Judge Dredd, Rico demands that Central hatch his incomplete clones. Doing this causes the entire cloning facility to suffer a catastrophic meltdown for no apparent reason.
- Although, really, the last four words of that sentence could be appended to a description of any aspect of the movie.
- In Eagle Eye there is no such thing as a simple car crash. Everything just burns up or explodes.
- Everyone who has seen the original Batman: The Movie distinctly remembers this scene.
- Speaking of exploding sharks, Jaws ended with Sheriff Brody stuffing an oxygen tank in the shark's mouth, then shooting it. The tank explodes, spectacularly reducing the shark to chum. Steven Spielberg has said in interviews that he knew how silly it was, but he figured that if the audience was still with him this far into the movie, they'd go that one last step.
- Then in Jaws: The Revenge, the Spectacular Exploding Voodoo Shark gets impaled on the bowsprit of a research vessel and promptly explodes, and rather lamely at that.
- Deep Blue Sea makes exploding sharks cool again (this time, it blows up by impaling it with an explosive powder-covered harpoon and then igniting it).
- In The Incredible Hulk a thrown forklift in a factory explodes quite spectacularly when it hits the... bottled soft drinks? Later on, two cars are seen at the end of an alley way lightly crashing into each other (a crash that would barely cause a fender bender in real life) and a large flame erupts between them almost instantly. Bizarrely averted however when the Hulk rips a police car in half and uses each half as a boxing glove
- The forklift could be justified, all the outdoor forklifts around here run on propane.
- Justified in Runaway where the evil scientist wires his robots and gizmos with "densepacks", which explode if captured by the good guys.
- Subverted (partially) in Duel. In the final scene David Mann (played by Dennis Weaver) drives his car up a dirt road leading to the edge of a cliff. As the truck approaches, he aims his car at it, before jamming his briefcase onto the accelerator and leaping clear just in time. The car itself catches fire when the truck hits it (rather than exploding) and the truck driver, blinded by the smoke and flames, is unable to stop before reaching the cliff, and the truck plunges over the edge. Surprisingly, despite being a tanker, and having "flammable" written on the side, it doesn't actually explode.
- Justified in Van Helsing; a horse carriage falls into a gorge, and naturally explodes in a huge ball of fire. However, the carriage does have a rather large explosive device in it on a timer set to go off about halfway down the gorge.
- A particularly hilarious example occurs in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall (1990). A Johnny Cab bursts into flame after hitting a wall at maybe five miles an hour. It was already shorting out before then, because Ahnuld uprooted the driver. Li-ion battery tech (it was an electric cab) is fairly pyrotechnic stuff (see: laptop battery recalls).
- In the film Grizzly, the killer bear is finally killed when the hero shoots it with a bazooka, causing a massive explosion.
- In the cult classic Streets of Fire, Cody blows up a gang's motorcycles with a shotgun, one shot each. Forgivable as this movie is basically a compilation of action movie tropes played straight.
- Among countless other ridiculous things about the movie Armageddon, the Mir space station explodes shortly after Bruce Willis's team docks there, for apparently no reason other than to get one of the wise-cracking Russian astronauts to escape onto Willis' ship, in order to provide comic relief for the rest of the movie.
- In Deep Impact, an astronomer gets run off the road by a semi-truck, and his Jeep explodes in mid-air.
- Nominally justified at the end of Speed, when a bus with a bomb on it runs into an airplane full of fuel. One gets the impression that the entire movie was a setup for that scene alone.
- At the end of Bride of the Monster, an octopus explodes (apparently due to Mad Science) with stock footage of a nuclear blast. Yes, it's Ed Wood.
- At the end of The Marine the Big Bad runs a semi cab through some small wooden buildings that explode in huge fireballs. While you can see some oxygen tanks in there they still explode on contact when they're designed to take some abuse before they go off in real life. Otherwise, oxygen tanks spontaneously combusting would be the number one killer of the elderly.
- In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Wolverine takes down a helicopter, the tail end of which explodes upon hitting the ground. Not so bad. But then Wolverine exchanges dialog with a crash survivor and walks away, lights a trail of gasoline coming from the same helicopter, and makes it explode again in the background.
- In The Fifth Element, mega-corporation owner Zorg quite literally makes his products with explodium. That way, he can deliver You Have Failed Me retribution upon his mooks over the phone (public phones, anyway), simply by pressing a few buttons. He also builds it into his guns with a bright red button, so anyone stupid enough not to ask the purpose of the button is appropriately punished.
- Justified in the 1953 French film Le Salaire de la peu (The Wages of Fear) and its American remakes Violent Road i.e. Hell's Highway (1958) and Sorcerer (1977); all involve transporting dynamite which has sweated out its nitroglycerin.
- Parodied in one of the Toxic Avenger movies. A car TA is in is launched into the air, flips and lands on its wheels. The driver turns to him and warns that American cars tend to explode a few seconds after landing and they gotta get out of there. They bail just before the car goes up in flames.
- Daybreakers, oddly, seems to have vampires that are made of explodium. And cars and everything else.
- A satellite actually explodes upon colliding with an alien spacecraft in Independence Day.
- Hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide, used for maneuvering thrusters on satellites, is explodium. These 2 chemicals are hypergolic - they ignite on contact with each other without any ignition source.
- The airplane from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, on the other hand, crashes because it was out of fuel... but it naturally explodes anyway.
- Justified in that a tank full of fuel fumes is much more explodey than a full tank of fuel.
- The climactic scenes of the semi-obscure Jackie Chan movie Thunderbolt feature some of the most ridiculous auto racing scenes ever to be recorded on film. Among other things, the race features a number of cars exploding for a variety of reasons, up to and including no reason at all. But the film's Crowning Moment of Explodium comes when Jackie's car launches off another car and flies right through the center of a wooden observation tower which, of course, explodes.
- And, inexplicably, leaves the car without a scratch.
- Apparently, the pickup truck that kicks off the plot in Super 8 is Made of Explodium, as it is all that it takes to derail a train in a spectacular fireball. This is a case of Truth in Television, as train wrecks are one of the more destructive wrecks one can be in.
- Parodied in Loaded Weapon 1 when the bikes Colt and Luger confiscate from two children explode. Also happens even more improbably when Colt flicks a cigarette butt into the sea at the start of the film.
- Con Air. Everything, but everything, including motorbikes just... crashing... explodes like it has c4 strapped to it.
- Inverted in The Artist: When George burns the film reels, they take quite a while to get a good blaze going. However, since film of that era was literally made of explodium (aka nitrate), it should have turned into a massive fire in seconds. Nitrate films (made prior to the introduction of Cellulose Triacetate (safety) film in 1948) had to be stored in thick-walled concrete bunkers because they were so flammable. This video shows some examples in its first 2 1/2 minutes, and an even more spectacular example starting at 4:25. Safety film is non-flammable. Get it hot enough and it will melt, but it won't burn, as this video shows.
- In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra most of Paris appears to be this.
- Naturally the well-riffed Space Mutiny doesn't miss out.
Mike: Ow. Big explosion for a tiny electric cart.
Crow: Yeah, he shouldn't have been carrying that case of cleaning fluid and nitroglycerin and gelignite in there.
- Birdemic takes it Up to Eleven by having birds made of explodium.
- In Frozen, Kristoff's sledge explodes after it falls off a cliff. It should be noted that said sledge lands in thick snow and was only used to transport ice.
- Of course, there was the lantern on it, so he presumably had some oil on on it as well.
- Justified in the first of The Green Hornet Serials. The flying school being investigated is running an insurance scam: take out life insurance on their students, send those students up to solo in planes equipped with incendiary bombs (and almost no fuel), collect insurance on both the plane and the student after the crash-and-burn.
- Played straight in the second serial, when a fire sweeps through an ocean liner in the time it takes the Hornet to get a one-page confession out of a crook.
- In The Chase the female protagonist wishes to make a point, so she shoots a nearby helicopter with one, count it, one shot from a 9mm pistol. It promptly goes up in a fireball, shocking everybody present and defining her acquired badassitude.
- Parodied in 21 Jump Street, when they first crash into a fuel truck and nothing happens, then they crash into a dynamite truck, also nothing happens, then they crash into a chicken transport, whick explodes immediately.
Live Action TV
- Smallville does this so often fans joke about Clark's passive ability to transmute anything near him into explodium.
- MythBusters trades in this trope on occasion. Admittedly, most objects are not Made of Explodium until Adam and Jamie (and retired FBI agent Frank Doyle) get to modify them a bit, but their end results would do Monty Python's "not being seen" sketch proud.
- In one episode, inspired by the ending of Jaws, they test to see whether an oxygen tank explodes upon being shot. It doesn't explode, but the gas spewing out of the bullet hole at high pressure would kill a shark just as well.
- Then there was the time where, after having already explored the myth "you can clean out a cement truck with dynamite", they then made the cement truck cease to exist, for no better reason than that they had enough explosives to do it.
- Also subverted several times. More than once, an explosive device has failed to go off on cue, leading to some very tense moments where a live explosive has to be reset/made safe somehow.
- iCarly: Nearly anything Spencer creates or meddles with ends up on fire. This is roughly split 50/50 between things that shouldn't catch fire, like the doorman bell, or a drum kit, and things he really should be smart enough to not build, such as the overpowered metallic magnetic Christmas Tree.
- This is Lampshaded by Spencer when a cymbal on the drum kit catches fire after being hit.
- Doubly so when he tries putting out one of those fires only to have the extinguisher belch out fire as well.
- Stargate SG-1
- According to the earlier episodes of Naquadah is extremely volatile. It is also superconductive and incredibly strong. It only explodes after it has absorbed too much energy. To blow up a stargate, there must already be a sizable explosion. This is Lampshaded in "200". According to Word of God, important episodes are specifically designed to have as many explosions per second as possible.
- Then there is Naquadriah, which is a much more energy dense (and accordingly, much more unstable) version of Naquadah, which is used because much more power can be drawn from it. It makes for an excellent warhead.
- In the Stargate Atlantis episode "Sunday", an Ancient device (an experimental weapon against the Wraiths) is discovered in an Atlantis lab. It emits radiations that, even after a short exposure, give people exploding tumors. This causes at least five deaths, including Dr. Carson Beckett's.
- Averted in Steven Spielberg's The Duel. Dennis Weaver is chased by a tanker truck all that time, and it doesn't even explode?! Poor Dennis.
- Star Trek was famous for using a minor version of this trope constantly. Whenever a ship gets hit, control panels on the bridge spray sparks everywhere.
- In the episode "The Apple," there are highly-unstable rocks. Spock threw one to the ground, it blew up. A Red Shirt tripped over one, and you can guess what happened.
- One Trek parody has them firing the highly-explosive control panels out the torpedo tubes when none of their other weapons made a dent in the enemy ship's Nigh Invulnerable Force Field.
- Scrubs hangs a lampshade on this in the episode My Unicorn. As Murray's toy plane explodes, J.D. notes, "What an odd-sized explosion..."
- Hello, Top Gear. As James May put it after they somehow lit a car wash alight, "We managed to set fire to something that's basically made of water!"
- For the invention exchange at the beginning of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Pod People, Joel invents a guitar chord that, when played, causes the guitar to explode. It makes for an awesome end to a rock concert.
- In the sci-fi series UFO, the alien Flying Saucers heat up and explode if they spend too much time in Earth's atmosphere.
- Heck, Gerry Anderson shows did that all the time. Most notoriously Thunderbirds — The Movie of which featured a helicopter and a rocket that exploded when they hit the water. The second movie then went on to top that with an exploding missile base.
- Space: 1999 featured the exploding planet Psychon. We're unlikely ever to see the proof for ourselves, as destroying an entire planet apparently is a bit harder than it looks on the telly. So it's a bit disappointing to see that an exploding planet looks like two Roman candles ignited at once.
- See also the Puppet Shows section below.
- Entire planets have also exploded at least four times on Doctor Who. One, at least, was still in the process of formation and had help from several thousand megatons of explosives. Two others were victims of malfunctioning Phlebotinum.
- Let's not forget the time when some Alternate Universe Cybermen's heads blew up from regaining emotions. Or when an entire Dalek fleet went kablooie after flicking a switch.
- Truly monstrous monsters of the week (as opposed to recurring alien races) are often Made of Explodium, especially in the modern series.
- And speaking of exploding planets... take a bow, Battlestar Galactica (Classic).
- Isaac Asimov had this to say about the space fighters used in that series: "The slightest scratch, and they have but one response: they explode into nothingness. (Why build such sure-fire coffins? Or fly them? And how is a crew persuaded to get on board?)"
- Played with, like everything else, in Monty Python's Flying Circus: "Mrs Niggerbaiter's exploded!" "Good thing too." "She was my best friend!" "Oh mother, don't be so sentimental, things explode every day."
- In the Look Around You Season One module "Germs", the scientists grow a culture of germs collected from the wings of a Brown Lady moth. A small tree grows from this, and small "moth apples" are collected from this tree. Quoth the narrator: "They're smaller than crab apples — sweeter, too — but you should never eat them, because they are highly explosive."
- Name any toku series. Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, other franchises. You name it, and everything goes boom when they die. Hell, sometimes they go boom when they go down, even if they survive. One of the very few aversions is Kamen Rider Kiva, where the Fangire shattered into glass instead. Kamen Rider Amazon also avoids explosions by adhering to Bloodier and Gorier instead; you can't show ludicrous amounts of blood well if the enemies blew up, right?
- Kamen Rider Decade changes this. Fangire still shatter - but the usual big explosion happens too (that's not how it works in Kamen Rider Kiva proper.) Monsters taken down by Amazon also spray a much smaller amount of greenish CGI blood for a few seconds before exploding normally (in Amazon proper, monsters were torn apart and sprayed goo everywhere.)
- A notable subversion in Engine Sentai Go-onger. A chainsaw monster goes on a sawing rampage, filling the air in a building with sawdust. A spark is all it takes for the whole building to go up.
- To name a bunch of Power Rangers examples:
- Recent seasons have become increasingly prone to very random explosions. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive episode "Man of Mercury, Part 1" features an exploding folding table, after someone merely kicks it. The Operation Overdrive Pink Ranger's personal weapon can also cause explosions — despite being called the Drive Geyser and firing a blast of water. In the same episode as this, two villains cause a huge explosion by POINTING at each other. These are known among fans as "Kalishplosions" after then-current producer Bruce Kalish. (However, sparks from things like cardboard boxes were common before Kalish.)
- The scene in "Forever Red", when all Red Power Rangers transform and pose in a wide-shot, everything behind them explodes for absolutely no reason. This is the Rule of Cool taken to the extreme. This particular situation, though, is something of a tradition. In any PR teamup, after the combined team poses, smoke clouds in the Rangers' colors erupt, followed by a massive explosion. An explosion's also optional for when an individual team goes through its posing routine. Linkara posits in his reviews of the seasons that it's the combined energy of the morphs leaking out into the atmosphere, which is somewhat backed up by the example below.
- Lampshaded (among many other things) in Power Rangers RPM, in which Ziggy wonders why there's always an explosion behind them after they morph (turns out it's runoff energy from the morphing process), and later one of the Rangers actually uses this explosion to defeat several Mooks. These particular explosions have therefore been dubbed "Ziggysplosions" (since Kalish is no longer the producer).
- When a fight between two Kamen Riders take them past a bus - past, not even into or through, this is the result. Even the Pinto didn't have it that bad... (oh, just so you know: the "monsters" are the good guys in this scene. Long story.)
- The opening credits of Kamen Rider V3 consists of V3 riding through a BBC Quarry while the ground explodes behind him randomly, for absolutely no reason.
- The first episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger alone — hell, just the first two minutes will suffice — could easily pass off for a Michael Bay flick what with The Empire's spaceships' explodium lasers causing lots of massive explosions when aimed at the ground, random unexplained background explosions during the prologue war, said war ending with a space explosion that wipes out everyone into smaller explosions...
- While spraying bullets in all directions, The A-Team would often hit a small bush, which would then violently explode and cause a nearby jeep to flip over (without injuring the occupants of course).
- A standard trope of most TV action shows of the era, due to Network Standards regarding violence. Yes, they considered car wrecks to be less violent than actually shooting somebody.
- House. In the beginning of the season 2 episode "Distractions", a character has a Deadfoot Leadfoot-type of problem while he's driving an ATV, which crashes and explodes in a fireball.
- Stephen Colbert likes to have random things blow up, especially the titles for his new segments.
- '90s Super Hero series Night Man firmly establishes that if you set a vampire on fire, it will explode in a giant fireball.
- The musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The very air itself explodes if it's cool enough. Not so cool: people doing the same thing. Try not to sing.
- Pretty much everything in Blake's 7.
- Practically every car in an accident in CHiPs had to go BOOM. In one episode, the timing was a bit off, though, as it went off a cliff and exploded BEFORE it struck the canyon bottom.
- Pretty much everything in Burn Notice. At least once per episode, they manage to explode roughly a Miami city block.
- To be fair, Fi and her endless supply of C4 usually help.
- Played for Laughs (like everything else) in The Goodies. In "Robot", the household appliances (the stove, computer, etc.) explode when the collide.
- Another Weird Al example: The video of "Eat It" features a guitarist replicating Eddie Van Halen's work from Michael Jackson's "Beat It". At the end of the solo, he's working the guitar so furiously ... kaboom.
- In Van Canto's video of "Kings of Metal", the air is made of explodium. I am not making this up.
- Drummers become this upon joining Spinal Tap.
- All of the instruments and amps featured in the music video for "I Don't Love You" by My Chemical Romance
- In the Beetle Bailey strip for 8/6/2013, Cookie says his recipe has real kick to it. Then the food blows up.
- As a parody of the old Nintendo Power commercial, James "The Angry Video Game Nerd" Rolfe eats a Nintendo Power magazine, causing his head to explode — followed by the world and then the freakin' galaxy! Don't worry; it's all for comedy.
- His other works also have their fair share of explosions — specially after he started destroying the games after his ranting reviews. Best example being the one featuring a Die Hard video game, where he throws the cartridge and it blows up!
- Some of the extra balls you get in The Twilight Zone explode. Others just walk or fly away.
- The Muppet Show
- Explosions happen all the time on the show. In on episode Kermit admits that explosions are one of their trademarks. And if something isn't going to explode on its own, there's always Mad Bomber Crazy Harry to help out.
- One episode is a Western-themed sketch. Kid Fozzie, having discarded his pickles (which function as guns) and his carrot (knife), has an apple bomb which explodes in an impressive display of apple pyrotechnics.
- I don't remember the exact quote, but Jim Henson stated once in an interview that if he didn't know how to end a skit, he'd just have one of the puppets eat one of the other puppets or have something randomly explode
- Any of Gerry Anderson's Supermarionation programs. From Supercar, to Fireball XL 5, Stingray, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (including its 2005 remake) and Joe 90.
- Fireball XL 5 also featured at least one episode where the main base went up in smoke after XL5 made a landing run just as another ship left the same runway.
- Even inanimate concrete structures such as bridges would regularly explode as they collapsed. Case in point.
- Treinta Y Un Minutos gives us Maguitonote , whose actual name is Dante Torobolino, who once drank a cocktail of different kinds of Explodium for a trick and only produced a little burp. Then he exploded. Ever since, he has been exploding both himself and anything that comes in contact with him at random times — once, he accidentally blew up the Mascot of the show's new corporate sponsor when he touched Maguito after having subverted the expected explosion (he managed a trick involving electricity without exploding the bulb, the battery, or himself).
- Eventually, the other characters get fed-up with the constant explosions and send him to rehab (apparently, there are a lot of people suffering from similar conditions, go figure)... the problem was that an immense asteroid was going to impact the Earth, and not even all of the world's nuclear weapons would be able to do something. The strongest explosive force known to man (and puppet) was Dante himself and his uncanny ability to make other things Explodium, and the therapy left him unable to explode even after another nitroglycerin cocktail. Oops.note
- The Goon Show: "Fear of Wages" has two thousand cans of sake explode, possibly because everyone present believes them to be nitroglycerine. "1985" has a desert just randomly explode, possibly because Bluebottle was there.
- Then there's Major Bloodnok, who explodes constantly in a slightly...different fashion.
- Certain things in Paranoia. More specifically, everything in Paranoia. One recommendation for bringing a mission to an end when the shafting has ceased to be funny is to have something — anything — explode. Even the shoe polish can be dangerously explosive.
- Most things in Warhammer 40,000 kind of do this. The races really just have enough guns that blow whatever they are pointed at to atomic smithereens to make a nuclear arsenal look like a lot of nerf guns. And they do it in the most creatively absurd ways possible.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Some creatures explode when killed. The most well-known are Dragonlance's draconians, but there are other, like the greater fiend Balor, the Fiend Folio's dark stalkers and dark creepers, Mystara's huptzeens, etc.
- Some magical items, like the staves of power, can also be broken to provoke a big explosion if the wielder wish to take his enemies with him.
- And of course, there's the gas spore. A variety of floating fungus full of unstable gas that explodes if it receives so much as a scratch. It doesn't help that, unless looking closely, the gas spore can be easily confused with a beholder — the kind of monster you pretty much attack on sight.
- Starfleet Battles applies this to ships when they are destroyed. Since almost everything that qualifies as a ship in this game is fueled with antimatter (which will explode if anything happens to the systems keeping it from coming in contact with literally any portion of the storage tanks), thi is entirely justified.
- This classically afflicts Gauss weaponry (one of the few weapon types to use non-explosive ammunition) in BattleTech. In this case it's explained as a catastrophic capacitor discharge — all the stored-up energy that would normally go into magnetically accelerating a heavy nickel-iron slug to supersonic speeds over the length of the barrel being spontaneously released if something happens to damage the weapon while powered up. (By in-game explosion standards, this one is actually relatively survivable at least for BattleMechs, though it will generally still take out the location the weapon was mounted in.)
- Contrary to the MechWarrior examples below, fusion engines in the board game generally do not explode unless a special optional rule is applied to explicitly make them so for coolness' sake; they simply shut down and can't be restarted once damaged badly enough. However, 'Mechs and vehicles powered by internal combustion or fuel cells instead do have an excellent chance of going out explosively due to engine or fuel tank critical hits.
- BIONICLE has exploding fruit, animals, and boomerangs.
- In Homestar Runner, The Cheat's head is made of Explodium. It frequently blows up, in response to just about anything — including Strong Mad standing near him and eating rocks. In one cartoon, they even use The Cheat in place of Fourth of July fireworks!
- In the Charlie The Unicorn video series, apparently almost every other major character besides the titular equine can explode, which they typically do at the end of each video's musical number.
- In The Demented Cartoon Movie anything can and will explode. Including the earth. Multiple times.
- Parodied in a Weebl and Bob cartoon, Armagooden, where they are "trapped in a Micky Bay film" and "anything we touch is likely to explode." This causes problems when Bob's helmet explodes and he can't get another one.
- In this Flying Man and Friends strip, after Robinson is rescued from slavery, the entire location is engulfed by an atomic explosion with no explanation given as to where it came from.
- In Gunnerkrigg Court, inside Dr. Disaster's space battle simulator, the Enigmarons' Death Ray explodes when Antimony knocks it over. Of course, by this point it was already established that realism was the last thing on Dr. Disaster's mind when he designed the simulation.
- In This Freefall strip, Florence knows there's no logical reason for a desk chair to explode, but she decides to play it safe anyway because it belong to Sam Starfall.
- Spoofed in 8-Bit Theater: after blowing up icebergs with magic, Black Mage stabs another iceberg to get it out of the way... guess what happens? BM even lampshades: "Why would it explode?!", and the comic is actually titled "'Tis A Good Question".
- The Combustion Plants from Kiss Wood.
- Adventurers has the enemy named "Bombat" which explodes as soon as the heroes encounter it.
- In Dominic Deegan, souls are Made of Explodium.
- Dragon Tails: Bluey describes helicopters as being this way. For that matter, most things made or modified by the aforementioned Bluey qualifies.
- Actually justified in Schlock Mercenary, as this strip explains. A drawback of plentiful annihilation-based energy is that starships require huge annie-plants, which explode massively if damaged. Space battles lead to explosions, which the ships usually do not survive. It was a major tactical development when Petey found a way to disable an annie-plant without destroying the entire ship. "Thus, when you find a wounded ship, you may be looking at evidence of extreme competence."
- The annie-plants' own explosiveness is justified as well; an integral part of their generation process involves crushing matter into Neutronium using Artificial Gravity. Neutronium being matter so compressed the atom's nuclei are practically touching each other. Naturally, when this artificial gravity's shut off from damage, these atoms immediately reclaim their usual spacing, and suddenly a few cubic meters of matter become a few hundred. There's a reason why the highly distinctive *SKOOOOOM* noise of this happening is one of the setting's most feared sounds.
- Discussed in Bug; the bug could do without this trope.
- In Titanzer, Johnny doesn't believe a robot has been beaten until it explodes.
- Westward: A nuclear reactor threatens to explode as soon as a saboteur disables its "safeguards"; the author lampshades this in the comic's comments section: "It's just like if somebody went and disabled all the safeguards on your, uh, toaster. Boom!" Later on in the comic, in an unrelated incident, a small spacecraft (an "asteroid pod") mysteriously bursts into flames when it is damaged. This is again lampshaded in the comments section:
Reader: There is something I don't get, why is the pod enveloped in fire?
Author: Clearly because the accident disabled all the safeguards that normally keep the asteroid pod from bursting into flames. It's the Nuclear Toaster scenario.
- Tag Dream invokes this in what appears to be a blatant Chekhov's Gun - a ring repair job specifically designed to explode if it takes a sufficiently powerful impact, apparently because the management mandated that it be unbreakable.
- Conversational Troping in Girl Genius: one of the Jägergenerals asks why the crashing dirigible didn't blow up, and another tells him that that only happens in cheap novels.
- For True Villains, three words. Fallen Angel Flower.
- Lampshaded in The Whiteboard when a human customer (who causes this to everything he touches) arrives with a broken paintball gun. Repairs are completed and he gets the gun back. He arrives back the very next day with it broken again. Doc repairs it again and hands it back to the customer. It breaks apart in the customer's hands in front of Doc. Doc hands the guy a hammer as an experiment. The metal head of the hammer explodes into dust.
- This is a Running Gag in Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Whenever any of the main characters (but mostly Shake) throws something to the ground such as phones, toy drills, video game joysticks, et cetera, it will explode. This is never commented on or even noticed by anyone.
- The Aqua Teens' television explodes almost Once an Episode, usually because of Shake hurling/shooting something at it or throwing it.
- Carl's head exploded out of sheer rage at the end of the episode "Kidney Car".
- Their golf game uses this as the raw material for golf balls. No, nobody knows why.
- It was eventually noticed in "The Clowning", when Master Shake tries to throw a toilet brush on Carl's yard but lands on their own yard and explodes, the Aqua Teens were actually surprised and jumped back when they saw it explode.
- It was mentioned in another episode. Shake causes the TV to explode and tells Meatwad to go get another from the closet. Upon finding out there aren't any left, Frylock comments that he's been using his cloning device on the TV and they ran out because Shake keeps breaking them. He clones another one, which Shake immediately destroys.
- A montage of the series' many, many explosions. Observant viewers will notice that it still leaves out quite a few of them.
- Pretty much anything in The Simpsons can be Made of Explodium, with tricycles and shopping carts getting in on the action.
- In one episode of Futurama, Doctor Zoidberg tries to re-coil a slinky after Bender has straightened it into a straight wire. It goes down two steps, falls over and then bursts into flame.
- Lampshaded in another episode where Zoidberg claims a giant conch shell on the bottom of the ocean as his home. Later in the episode they return to it to find it's burned down, leaving only a charred framework.
Zoidberg: How could this happen?!
Hermes: (equally surprised) That's a very good question!
Bender: So that's where my cigar was.
- Malfunctioning Eddy, the robot owner of a car dealership who exploded when he's startled, excited, or for any other inane reason.
- Apparently, space bees explode whenever they hit something at high velocity.
- Robots in Gargoyles seem to suffer a violent catastrophic failure when defeated.
- As do the robots that Samurai Jack destroys.
- Jack is just that awesome.
- In this short from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy a truck carrying a giant pillow blows up when shot with custard.
- When Grim watches a Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends parody, the house explodes for no reason.
- Who could forget the cinema classic, Exploding Penguins 3: Total Annilation?
- When Billy looks at his bowl of cereal and is mad that it's not pancakes, he throws it out the window and it explodes.
- In the Christmas special, when Billy enters Santa's office the computer monitor explodes after he cuts the screen open with a pen.
- While Star Wars certainly has its share of explosions, in Star Wars: Clone Wars, all machines are somehow even more combustible. For example, the battle droids would just fall over or fall apart in the films; in the cartoon, they light up like Life Day fireworks.
- On two episodes of Sponge Bob Square Pants, Squidward explodes after falling down a cliff on his bicycle. And mind you, this is taking place underwater!
- Pretty much everything that falls or flies a great distance on that show will usually cause an explosion of sorts.
- In "Something Smells" when SpongeBob jumps on a guy's windshield asking him if he's ugly his rancid breath blinds him, after which he puts the boat to a complete stop and it explodes for no particular reason, leaving behind only the frame. A police officer then puts a ticket on the charred frame.
- In "Band Geeks" Squidward is leading his band through downtown and orders the flag twirlers to spin faster. They spin so hard that their flags carry them into the air, and they crash into a blimp which explodes.
- In "My Pretty Seahorse" a background character mistakes Mystery for a kiddie ride and attempts to insert a coin into her. After he finds somewhere to put it she kicks him over the horizon and he explodes.
- In "That Sinking Feeling" when SpongeBob and Patrick's lawns are separated because of Squidward drawing a border around his Patrick attempts to mail himself to SpongeBob. He squeezes himself into the mailbox, then it tips over and explodes.
- Rambo: The Force of Freedom has Rambo racing to stop a pipe from burning away like a fuse and making the fuel tanker it's connected to explode. He brandishes his knife and tosses it, slicing the pipe off at the source. Crisis averted, it seems... but that's not good enough for Rambo. He runs over and throws the remains of the pipe up into the air where — you guessed it — it explodes.
- Code Lyoko: Any of XANA's virtual monsters, when critically hit, explodes either in robot debris, Ludicrous Gibs or plain light (with the exception of the Kolossus). Note, though, that monsters materialized in the real world don't explode.
- "Michael Bay presents: EXPLOSIONS!"
- The robotic Foot Soldiers in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon were a fairly straight use of the trope, a fact which is lampshaded and taken up to eleven a decade later in Turtles Forever.
Michelangelo: (evil grin) Exploding robots.
- An episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had Beezy attempting to tie his non-exsistant shoes while wearing a too tight business suit. The suit explodes under the strain.
- In an episode of Regular Show, a poacher gets karate-chopped with enough force for him to explode in a stories-high mushroom cloud. After being bisected by the attack, of course.
- The Phineas and Ferb episode "Road Trip" has Doofenshmirtz driving a truck full of "boom juice" for use in his -inator's self-destruct systems. At the end, it rolls off a cliff and doesn't explode. And then it does.
- In My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, chocolate milk makes a fairly impressive explosion. Justified in that the chocolate milk belonged to a Reality Warper who's known for doing chaotic things for the lulz, who, before throwing the chocolate milk away, filled a glass from top to bottom with it and then drank the glass.
- In later seasons of Thomas the Tank Engine, if a train comes off the rails and into a large bush, said bush will explode.
- In the Family Guy episode "I Never Met the Dead Man", after Meg runs an Amish man off the road in a race, his carriage explodes, then his horse follows suit.
- Maybe it was a Pinto...
- In the Return of the Jedi spoof "It's a Trap!" Peter and a scout trooper race on regular bicycles in place of speeder bikes and the trooper crashes his bike into a tree. He survives, tries to limp away, then explodes for no reason.
- In Sonic Underground, the SWAT-bots tend to explode at the slightest inconvenience.
- The first animated X-Men: You can't go five minutes without something exploding. Even the walls are made of the stuff.
- Scooby-Doo! Mystery Incorporated probably contains the most explosions in the entire franchise.
- In an episode of The Cleveland Show, Cleveland and Donna get into a low-speed rickshaw chase to get back a blacksploitation film that Donna was in. As they go down the sidewalk, people panic and get out of the way as if they were in a car going a hundred miles per hour, including a man who crashes through a glass window. The last "obstacle" is a fruit vendor, whose cart is very lightly tapped, causing a single apple to fall to the sidewalk. The entire stand explodes, prompting bewildered looks from Cleveland and Donna.
- Uncle Fester in The Addams Family is prone to random explosions just for his own amusement.
- In an episode of Total Drama Island, the contestants are engaged in a cooking competition. The Screaming Gophers attempt to make a flambé and Lindsay uses an entire bottle of cooking oil on it not knowing that she's supposed to also light it, so when Heather lights the flambé herself it explodes, searing off her eyebrows for the next few minutes.