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Made of Explodium
Warning: Contents under pressure.

"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."
Teal'c, Stargate SG-1, "200"

Everything Is Better With Explosions, isn't it? Well, if you spice it up to maximum, you have Stuff Blowing Up in complete defiance of science and logic.

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, anything can blow up, especially if there's an Epic Fail involved.

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 
  • Mazinger: Many Mechanical Beasts from Mazinger Z exploded easily -and spectacularly- even if there was no reason for it (other than animating spectacular explosions, of course). Aeros B3 reinforced this trope: it was loaded with explosives since its purpose was diving in Mount Fuji and exploding within it to awaken the volcano and bury the Institute under a tidal wave of lava. A subversion was Balanger M1, that were clusters of submarine, guided mines did NOT explode but stuck to their target and shocked it with electricity. Several Warrior Monsters and Saucer Beast from Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer also followed this trope.
  • Daimos: Some Robeasts exploded even if Kazuya only had punched through them or sliced in two pieces with a karate chop or sweeping kick. It was justified in the episode 9, though, when he fought a mecha had a nuke inside.
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS: The titular ATs (Armored Troopers) of the franchise use a liquid called Polymer Ringers Solution that lets the machines move in a human-like way with hydraulics, similar to an advanced breaking fluid. Unfortunately the stuff is absurdly flammable, causing it explode when subjected to sudden changes in temperature. One wonders why they decided "explodes easily" was an acceptable vehicle design flaw.
    • Furthermore, as each of the Story Arcs of the show reach a climax, more and more explosions will be observed by the viewer, usually with absolutely EVERYTHING blowing up in the current location of the story in the final episode for that arc.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann gives it their usual treatment. While every mech that's beaten blows up, you can tell how important it is by how spectacular the explosions are. The ones found at the end of the arcs generally have them making three-pronged dust clouds and blowing up repeatedly. The Final Battle had the Big Bad blowing out about seven times, and in different colors each time.
    • Apparently someone had the nerve to edit out said final explosion from the Sci-Fi airing of the dub. And they WILL PAY!
    • The Mugann, in particular, are literally Made of Explodium, on purpose: When defeated, they turn into lots of pieces that fall down and explode on impact. The intent is to make their enemies afraid to destroy them near populated areas.
  • Samurai 7: Not only do robots immediately explode when cut in half, the explosion begins at a point between the two halves, where there isn't actually any robot left. Perhaps it's volatile gas igniting from the sparks of the sword's passage?
  • Pokémon has been doing this trope for attacks to blast Team Rocket off since the beginning of the show, and has been using it recently even when TR's not involved.
    • How the hell does a stream of water explode from hitting a barrage of sharp leaves?
    • In the games, there are actually two attacks (Selfdestruct and Explosion) and an ability (Aftermath), which cause Pokémon to explode in a way that only knocks them out.
    • One of the examples of Bulbapedia's "Anime Physics": "Nearly everything explodes in the anime. Most attacks explode when they connect with an opposing attack, even if the attacks would not normally do so." The entry lampshades the water/leaves explosions and the "moves amplified in power and even made to explode just to enable them to blast off Team Rocket", and notices "Some moves explode when they clearly cannot, such as a Bite attack."
    • Taken to the extremes with James' Carnivine. Early on in the DP saga, it caused an explosion if it did pretty much anything.
  • Pick a Gundam show, any Gundam show. If your mobile suit gets hit in the torso, it will explode in a spectacular manner. If a ship (spacefaring or seafaring) takes a certain critical amount of damage, it will explode in a spectacular manner. In addition, Gundamverse tanks appear to be Made of Explodium as well, since they regularly blow up when struck by the large caliber machine guns often wielded by mobile suits. This is rather puzzling when you think about it, since it's damnably hard to get a tank to explode in real life.
    • The original show indicated this was the result of a mobile suit's reactor going critical, and even managed to play it for some drama in the first episode - when Amuro straight-up chopped the first Zaku in half with his beam saber, the resulting explosion made a decent-sized hole in the colony and ended up sucking quite a few people and objects out into space.
    • The Leos of Gundam Wing are the worst by far; they seem to be painted with C4. There's even an infamous scene where a pair of Leos explode due to a buster rifle shot that misses them.
      • Without their forcefields, the Virgos are this, to the point where even punching off their head/camera causes them to blow up.
      • Somewhat averted in the OVA Endless Waltz when the Serpents don't explode, mainly because the main characters deemed this battle a "bloodless war".
      • This was Lampshaded in SD Gundam Force when they enter Lacroa (an knight gundam themed world using Gundam Wing mecha) the Pawn Leos explode and revert back to an card form when damaged the rest of the group is confused while zero bring up that they always do this
    • And just to show that someone (probably thousands of "someones") have far too much free time on their hands, this page on The Other Wiki relating to the Applied Phlebotinum specific to Gundam includes a discussion on exactly why Mobile Suits are Made of Explodium.
    • In Gundam 00, everything blows up. One example involved the 00 Gundam quartering an asteroid its swords, triggering expansion in pockets of frozen gases sufficiently to cause the surface to rupture with extreme force and leading to a spectacular explosion.
    • Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team takes an interesting approach to this trope. While it generally follows the exploding rule, many mecha are simply damaged to inoperation from machine gun fire about as often as they explode. However, during one scene, it's discovered a mobile suit is going to completely explode, starting from its reactor. Since mobile suits are operated by nuclear power, this is a very big deal, and it becomes a scramble to evacuate before the suit explodes. which makes one wonder why no one else ever makes a big deal about all the Zakus and Doms blowing up all over the place...
      • The 08th MS Team is by far the most realistic of all Gundam shows to date; the only time a mobile suit is documented as exploding was when the Federation were sending GM teams into the Zeon base in hopes of setting off booby traps left in the base entrance. This, however, did not work.
      • This goes double in Gundam Unicorn, Marida Cruz was shooting to kill. But she made sure that no reactors are hit. And when it took out the colony with it.
      • There is also Usso making a point to not destroy suits via a hit to the reactor. This is for two reasons, the first is that by this point the earth is so war-ravaged that everyone doesn't know how many more blast it will take before become something of a dust ball. And the second is as much as the suits are smaller now, they are still VERY much nuclear... and a hit to the reactor will bring one to critical mass QUICKLY.
      • In Gundam F91, the Crossbone Vanguard invents a weapon specifically to avoid doing this. The shotlancer is a hydraulic lance that can be fired like a giant lawn dart or used as a melee weapon; either way, the intent is that it damages the enemy mobile suit's reactor cooling systems, triggering the safety cutoff.
    • War in the Pocket takes 08th MS Team in the sense Mobile suit combat leaves metal husks. With the exception of the Kampfer fight scene, the mechs don't explode cleanly and flaming debris hits the general population with particularly brutal results.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion's Angels sometimes play with this. The third (which is the first encountered) encountered blows up in a cross-shaped explosion, the seventh and tenth form new lakes when they explode, and the sixteenth blows up the entire city when it dies. This is probably out of convenience, as it takes several episodes to clear out the body of one of the Angels that DOESN'T blow up.
  • In Jojos Bizarre Adventure, this is what the Stand Killer Queen does — its power turns objects and even people into explosives.
  • Any monster defeated by Voltron.
  • Cinque's Inherent Skill in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is the ability to turn any metal into explodium. She usually applies it to her knives.
    • Wendi has a similar technique, and when she shoots a disabled Type III Gadget Drone with a shot that causes this, it causes a massive explosion.
    • Also, the Relics in StrikerS. Being filled to the brim with magical energy, they explode spectacularly when they break. One of them was the cause of the airport fire at the start of the season.
  • The various Knightmare Frames in Code Geass can be counted upon to violently explode even after the most minor of hits; a single, glancing strike from a sword or Slash Harken is often enough to do it. The few times when it doesn't happen actually come as quite a surprise. This is probably because of the Sakuradite they all use, which makes you wonder why they would use it in such lightly guarded machines.
    • One of the worst offenders is in Turn 18, when a Mook Mobile literally explodes when Suzaku uses his Knightmare to spin kick it. And it blocked!
  • For some strange reason, Negi's duplicates in Mahou Sensei Negima!'s Kyoto Arc don't just poof back to paper like normal when you kiss them. Instead, they explode.
  • Everything in Uchuu Senkan Yamato that is not the title ship.
  • Stated in the Anime World Order review of Bubblegum Crisis as one of the many reasons why the average life expectancy of an AD. Police officer is fairly low.
    Daryl Surat: "The mortality rate in the AD Police is something like 90%, getting into a helicopter makes that shoot up to 100%"
    • Also refereed to by name in the Baoh review of the same podcast, lamenting the idiocy of one of the bad guys by attempting to kill Ikuro/Baoh via a specially made explosive bullet whilst riding a helicopter. Long story short, Ikuro/Baoh grabs the bullet and fires it back, killing the guy and blowing the chopper to bits and pieces.
  • In later seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh!, various monsters explode when defeated and the shockwave blow away the duelists somewhat. It becomes more questionable since they're holograms, so they shouldn't cause any physical force at all.
    • Kaiba actually mentions this in his second duel with Yugi, explaining that the shockwaves from his dragon being destroyed would be powerful enough to blow him off the castle.
    • Commented on in the Abridged version: "For some reason, playing a Children's Card Game has caused me to become severely injured." "Somehow a hologram with no real physical form just hurt me."
  • Dead Leaves features exploding lipstick as part of Pandy's most successful moves.
  • One Piece has Mr. 5 whose devil fruit makes his entire body this.
  • Ranma ˝: Bakusai Tenketsu. Okay, even if you can destroy things by hitting some sort of natural weakpoint in their structure with your bare finger (even though your finger couldn't penetrate their surface in the first place, realistically)...why would they blow up with maximum shrapnel?!
    • Gosunkugi once receives a mail-order armor which he puts on to help him overpower Ranma. It turns out that there's a mechanism installed into it (described in the instruction manual and all), which will cause the armor to blow up if he doesn't defeat Ranma within a certain time limit. Yes, for absolutely no reason.
  • Dragon Ball: Daimaou Piccolo explodes after Goku punched through him.
    • The Cell Jrs explodes when Gohan hits them. This happens again with Bujin and Bido in the Non-Serial Movie Bojack Unbound.
    • Gotenks' Dynamite Kick is actually just a normal kick. But Buu explodes a few seconds later.
  • When the Kaiju climb up onto the dock in the first episode of Gaiking: Legend of Daiku Maryu, there's an explosion with every step they take. The entire dock appears to be made of Explodium.

    Comic Books 
  • 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."
    • And it lives up to that hype, too.
    • Tabitha's super power is described as "mutant powers of blowing things up and stealing all your stuff."
    • Elsa's reaction when she shoots the first of a horde of what look like clay golems and it explodes spectacularly:
      Elsa: "Oh my god. They explode? My life has taken on new meaning!"
  • 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."

    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.

  • In Dragonlance Tales, the characters are confronted by a door secured by a gnome-built time-lock (with lots of levers, mirrors and other bits — gnomes are inveterate tinkerers). One character goes to touch it, but another shouts:
    "Be careful! It might explode!"
    "Why? Do you think it's trapped?"
    "No! It was built by gnomes!"
  • Justified in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series: in one scene, a character blows up trees to kill portions of an enemy army. Granted, it's explained that it's really just superheating the sap, but still...
  • Tom Clancy also lampshaded explodium cars in Debt of Honor. In a crash involving two sedans and a semi, both sedans exploded in huge fireballs soon after the crash. This was an important plot point — the cars had faulty gas tanks — and one of the accident investigators remarked that real cars don't blow up when they crash, That Only Happens In Movies.
  • Discworld:
    • The small, doglike swamp dragons are living, breathing explodium. The internal chemical factory required to breathe fire is incredibly unstable; when a swamp dragon hiccups, people dive for cover. As in the Pokémon example, this might seem a bad evolutionary decision, but Pratchett points out in Guards! Guards! that exploding as a defense is a good evolutionary move, from the perspective of the whole species. Not from the perspective of the dragon landing in different chunks around the scenery.
    • Played with in a couple of references to Bloody Stupid Johnson's inventions, which included a chiming sundial (which tended to explode around noon) and an explosive somehow made out of sand and water, as well as a small ornamental fountain which, when switched on, gurgled ominously for a few minutes then fired a cherub a thousand feet in the air.
    • In the opening of Soul Music, a coach runs off the road and falls into a gorge. When it hits the ground, it doesn't just break, it "erupts into fragments.... Then the oil from the coach lamps ignites and there is a second explosion, out of which rolls — because there are certain conventions, even in tragedy — a burning wheel."
    • The regiment in Monstrous Regiment manage to MacGyver some explosives when they're held prisoner in a kitchen that has flour and some matches in it. (Justified. Flour can and will explode violently if dispersed into the air and then ignited.)
  • Songs performed by Fake Band Disaster Area in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe are described as following "the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason."
    • Also their actual music, which sounds best when listened to from bunkers at least 40 miles away from the stage. The band itself plays from a spaceship on the planet's orbit — or, preferably, some other planet's. The music once terraformed a planet by causing its crust to flip over (with an assist from a stray Improbability Field in the vicinity).
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, both by J.K. Rowling): Whatever touches the horn of a creature called an Erumpent is injected with a substance (pure Explodium, perhaps?) that causes it to explode.
  • In Animorphs, Yeerk Bug fighters routinely go head-to-head with other spaceships armed with laser beams and zip through galaxies like it's nobody's business, but apparently their Achilles' Heel is getting gently pushed by a slow-moving bulldozer, which causes them to explode.
  • If Harry Dresden takes out his blasting rod, then the best course of action is to run. When burning down buildings is a Running Gag, then you know this trope applies.
    The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault.
  • In The Tomorrow Series a handy petrol tank gets improvised into a fiery bomb of death on a number of occasions. In the most extreme case, they use a petrol tanker truck.
  • Gerald Kersh's short story Comrade Death features the concept of Made of Explodium itself weaponized. Anything exposed to a chemical called "Disintegrol" becomes an extremely powerful and volatile high explosive. A single pin prick to a technician's hand blows the man into pieces.
  • Lyra in Northern Lights manages to, if not totally demolish Bolvangar, at least cause rather a lot of damage by turning on the gas stoves in the kitchen all the way, lighting them and throwing a huge bag of flour in the air. This is Truth in Television, to an extent; see Real Life below.
  • In Tales of Kolmar, Kantri can commit suicide by exploding in flame. It's not a particularly large or forceful explosion, but it does burn hot. This also happens when they die without killing themselves, though normally there's some delay.
  • In Horatio Hornblower, the accurate dangers of working with black powder are explained. Men who work in the powder store have to wear slippers because shoe nails can strike a spark that would send everyone sky-high. When Hornblower rigs a powder store to explode, he continually thinks of himself being surrounded by violent death.
  • Justified in Greg Egan's Orthogonal trilogy, where it drives the main plot: Because of the way physics works on an atomic/quantum scale in this universe, any matter will create an immediate and massively explosive reaction when it comes into contact with orthogonal matter (more or less matter from Another Dimension). Air included. Doubles as a very straight but justified example of Collision Damage.

    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 ThunderbirdsThe 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

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In the Beetle Bailey strip for 8/6/2013, Cookie says his recipe has real kick to it. Then the food blows up.

    New Media 
  • 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.

    Puppet Shows 
  • 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.

  • 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.

    Tabletop Games 
  • 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.

    Video Games 
  • The player, enemy soldiers, and aliens. This is the full list of everything that doesn't explode in Metal Slug.
  • In the Dragon Age series, the Abominations will explode upon killing them. They're the only enemies that do this, and there's no obvious explanation as to why. The game also features the Walking Bomb spell, which causes the targetted enemy to take a small amount of damage every couple of seconds. If the target is killed before the spell's duration ends, it explodes in a huge shower of blood that does massive damage to everything near it. There's also an upgraded version of the spell that has the possibility of inflicting other enemies who were caught in the blast radius, which may cause them to explode.
  • Halo 1 averted this completely with all UNSC vehicles, but played it straight with Covenant vehicles.
    • Played straight in Halo 2 and 3 for all vehicles.
      • Even more so with Covenant vehicles. Damage them enough, and they explode. Then what's left of the vehicle explodes a second time.
    • Halo 2 and 3 have this with the Grunt Birthday Party skull (gameplay modifier). In Halo 2, EVERY enemy explodes with the force of a Plasma Grenade when killed with a headshot. In Halo 3 it's only Grunts and weaker. However, in Halo 3, each time a Grunt dies this way you get the sound of children cheering YAY! each time... and confetti comes out of their heads in an explosion of confetti.
      • In Halo: Reach you can equip it to your multiplayer character. Headshots are not needed however.
      • Halo 3 also has the final fight with 343 Guilty Spark end with him exploding 7 seconds after being fatally wounded.
  • In Metroid Prime, one can only wonder how the Chozo managed to survive long enough to be killed by Phazon, considering that they made wall hangings of Cordite. As in, they made decorative objects out of gunpowder for modern-day artillery weapons. And yet they're supposed to be one of the smartest races in the universe. How they didn't spontaneously blow up in unclear, though.
    • The entire Metroid Prime Trilogy gives us Phazon, which in the first game does nothing, except look pretty and kill anything that touches it. In Corruption, several stashes exists throughout the game, holding a large number of crates with Phazon, that blow up when shot enough. And it's not just a modest explosion either, if you shoot them with the Phazon Beam.
  • In Half-Life, any dead person or monster will blow up when taking enough damage, leaving behind nothing but their intestines. Even their clothes turn into bloodsplatter and intestines.
    • Half-Life 2 features exploding barrels in almost every single one of its environments. The developers actually considered making one of the levels an exploding barrel factory to explain their abundance. There is in fact a room in the sewers filled entirely with explosive barrels and a steady stream of manhacks to blow up with them.
    • In Poke646, a Half-Life mod, some completely random things explode for absolutely no reason at all, not even being shot. Ladders, microwaves, and even masonry explode when you approach them. It kinda makes you wonder how stringent the building codes are in Nation City...
  • In Command & Conquer Generals there are some specific units designed to detonate as a means of attack, most of them in the GLA. Also in Zero Hour General Jaziz of the GLA lives this trope as almost every one of his units and structures can be rigged to explode.
    • Clicking "Surrender" in a skirmish battle in Tiberian Sun instead of "Quit" causes everything you have to blow up. Resulting in instant defeat, but atleast you go out with a bang. If playing LAN/Internet multiplayer, this applies to every game in the series; even the freeware OpenRA engine keeps this aspect intact.
  • The buildings in Blast Corps have a particular habit of turning into fireballs upon collision with the dumptruck, bulldozer, dune buggy, or from just trying to get out the vehicle while parked next to it.
  • Hehehe... Living Bomb. The mages of the World of Warcraft can turn anybody into explodium.
    • Goblin engineers insist that if their machinery is not on the verge of exploding (or in the process of doing so) it's not working right. The use of highly volatile chemicals as structural components probably doesn't help.
    • There are some fan jokes that goblins themselves are Made of Explodium.
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, you can pick up an enemy, put lightning on the enemy, and when you throw the lightninged enemy it will explode violently on impact. This is incredibly awesome.
  • In Doom 3, if you break any of the glass parts of the Hydrocon machine with a stray bullet, it will go up in a Level-Shattering Kaboom, killing everything in the area, including you. Unless you are in God Mode, in which case you can obtain the BFG early.
  • In Super Robot Wars, any disabled unit will explode, whether it's a robot, a monster, or even a person. They also tend to take the massive explosion at the end of an animation like a man, then bounce along the ground and blow up from the inside. It's particularly funny when something gets cut in half with a BFS, slides BACK TOGETHER, and then just blows up.
    • Later versions added Dynamic Kills for just this reason: killing enemies with certain attacks causes them to use different death animations, such as "not sliding back together when killed with a massive sword."
      • Super Robot Wars Z introduced custom death animations for each and every unit in the game. So Coralians crumble into dust, Invaders mutate uncontrollably and blow up in masses of blood and ichor, and Dimension Beasts collapse into miniature singularities.
      • Little known mecha strat Vixen 357 on the Genesis had this problem in spades as well.
    • Likewise in Shining Force; they get the standard dissolve in the battle sequence, and then on the map they'll spin around and explode. Possibly even more bizarre, since mostly what's causing this to happen is swords and axes, applied to (generally) flesh and blood creatures. And if you kill a boss, then all the mooks explode. A Wizard Did It, I guess.
  • GoldenEye 007 takes this trope to the logical extreme: everything explodes if shot a few times. This includes model helicopters, television screens, computers, security cameras, wooden crates, and even chairs. Note that explosions tend to set off nasty chain reactions in this game: A few stray shots in a room filled with computers can kill everyone in the room. This makes the penultimate "official" level annoyingly difficult, as civilian personnel (whom you're not allowed to kill) operate the sensitive terminals you're assigned to destroy, meaning you have to scare them off lest they be killed in the ensuing explosions.
    • Don't even get me started on the Archives level, where nearly each room is filled with cardboard boxes and filing cabinets with almost the entire world's supply of explodium inside them.
    • Unfortunately, the statues in Statue Park do not explode, but it would have been cathartic to watch Lenin's head explode.
    • The list above only skirts on the absurdity: blueprints and keycards will cheerfully explode if handled correctly.
    • If subjected to fire from an explosive weapon, you'll also see sympathetic detonations from grass and shrubs.
    • Take a gun, stand very close to a wall, fire a shot while zoomed in as far as possible, and look very carefully. That's right; all bullets in the game cause really tiny explosions. I guess they saved time when making the game by only creating damage routines for explosive weapons, and then making everything an explosive weapon.
  • The original (1998) Si N game also had furniture and electronics that explode violently (with visible shockwaves) when hit.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company: Most walls and fences, any military vehicle, red barrels, any fuel tank, bright-red crates with explosive placards and more.
    • Even doors, windows, small boxes and garbage bags will go up in a satisfying cloud of dust if struck with your knife. ** This is true of many games in the Battlefield series, where a vehicle that's been critically damaged - even if not by exposive weaponry - will spontaneously explode not once, but twice, both instances of which will damage or even kill anyone too close to the wreckage. This also happens to vehicles that are abandoned, leading to hilarity ensuing when someone runs for awesome helicopter or plane that's been sitting around for too long only for it to blow up in his face and kill him.
  • Fighting Force 2 does the same thing, but it only requires Hawk Manson's fists to make things such as computers, soda machines, tanks, and even file cabinets burst into flames. Yeah...he's a man-and-a-half.
  • And then there's LEGO Star Wars, where if you can't blow something up by using a blaster or a lightsaber, you can by using the force on it. What's even more amusing is that the most common explosives are houseplants. Seriously.
    • All of the LEGO Adaptation Games use this trope in overkill terms. If anything, the original LSW is almost sparing in the stuff that can be blown up with little more than a few punches.
    • There's also an extra that you can buy for droids that makes them self-destruct when you press the X button. It's the same power as a thermal detonator. Hilarity Ensues.
    • In the "Lair of Grievous" level of LEGO Star Wars III: The Clone Wars, the first time you fight General Grievous and work him down to one point of health, he pulls the grating on the ceiling down and climbs on it as he uses his feet to hold onto two of his lightsabers, then when he throws them at you they explode upon hitting the ground.
  • Any enemy that is a machine of some type in Gunstar Heroes.
  • In Evil Genius, any object that catches fire will take damage continuously. After it takes enough damage, it explodes. This means any object in your base, even bunk beds and lockers, will explode and cause everything around them to catch on fire, leading to some humorous situations in, say, a room filled with bunk beds. True story.
    • Even the fire extinguishers explode.
  • Metal Gear
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater features a somewhat bizarre variant: all of the boss characters, upon being defeated, will give their few last words before suddenly exploding violently. An explanation is provided that they all had bombs implanted in their bodies to prevent their remains from falling into the wrong hands should they be killed in action.
      • This does not explain, however, the reasoning behind The Fear's explosion showering the entire area in hundreds upon hundreds of arrows, which appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Did he even carry a quiver? Not like the huge fire-snake-person-thing the Fury transforms into when exploding makes any more sense...
    • Also in Metal Gear Solid 3, when a barrel is shot, it's gonna go boom and alert everyone to Snake's presence AND set him on fire if he's too close to them. Although soldiers killed by exploding barrels don't add to the player's body count, making it sort of useful in Pacifist Runs.
    • The burning-away of the FROGS in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is even more nonsensical, and it happens to them all. Apparently, like everything else in the series, this is due to nanomachines.
    • Upon defeating a boss in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, they explode.
  • Similar reasons and effects for Deus Ex. Any MIB, augmented agent, or robot will explode violently when killed, leaving behind gory gibs and/or metal chunks, so as to prevent anybody else from taking them apart and studying their augmentations. In the case of The Men in Black and augged agents, this is due to being intentionally implanted with explosives in order to destroy evidence. In the case of robots, high density batteries are really volatile.
    • In the sequel, only Knights Templar powered armor suits explode, along with mechs if shot and destroyed (disabling them with EMP will avert that though). This can add some Fake Difficulty in some areas with cameras: gunfire won't set off the alarm, however, shooting the camera until it explodes with the force of a grenade will.
    • Also in the sequel, special agents working for the Illuminati dissolve into poison gas when killed, providing a hazard, but not necessarily an explosion.
  • In Mass Effect, using cryo or snowblind ammunition on an opponent causes their corpse to ice over, and then, a few seconds later, it shatters with a rather un-shattery "boom!"
    • In the second game most mechs will explode when destroyed. The YMIR mech in particular is notable for the fact that if destroyed with a headshot its death explosion is massively increased.
    • As it turns out, once you get past their Made of Indestructium hull, the Element Zero drives of Mass Relays are effectively weapons of mass destruction. Destroying one can quite easily wipe out an entire solar system.
    • If the Overload power is used on an enemy that's carrying a flame thrower, it automatically explodes. Similarly, if the Warp power is used on an enemy protected by a Biotic Barrier and destroys said Barrier, the Barrier itself explodes.
  • In the first Splinter Cell one of the missions requires you to throw a grenade under the gas tank of a transport truck to destroy it, causing the whole thing to blow up into a pile or crumpled metal. The truck was transporting an unarmed nuke, which is, thankfully, not Made of Explodium.
  • Really, explosions are just a surprisingly kid-friendly way to get rid of enemies in a game. Most of the enemies from games like The Legend of Zelda explode cartoonishly when killed, Mario monsters tend to burst away in a puff of smoke, etc.
  • All three Mother games feature exploding enemies — mostly robots, but then you get to the trees. Yes, you read that correctly. Exploding trees. The worst offenders are the Territorial Oaks found in Earthbound's Peaceful Rest Valley, which appear remarkably similar to the other trees in the landscape (aside from the fact that they're, well, moving).
    • Any enemy that explodes in EarthBound sucks except the smiling orbs (but those are still pretty bad). They all hurt when you fight them, so you can either kill them last and have them hurt your party, or kill them first and suffer the explosion. The worst offender is the robots that heal HP. So now you really have to decide which one to kill first.
  • Two-for-one deal in Phantasy Star Universe; the MMO takes after many console {{RPGs}} in that non-boss enemies and monsters killed undergo Critical Existence Failureliterally. Creatures explode in a puff of green smoke (with a satisfying "thoomp") unless they're SEED-forms, which gives you grape-flavored demise. It's the robot Guard Machines that embody this trope, though; once killed, they go haywire and explode violently. It's kinda like dealing with those Territorial Oaks mentioned above; exploding robots hurt in this game!
    • Despite being about to experience critical existence failures, the robots are nice enough to spin their heads around and beep wildly before exploding; giving you time to get clear.
  • Just about everything in Metal Wolf Chaos. Hell, even concrete explodes when shot at.
  • Everything in Worms explodes. EVERYTHING. Sheep, cows, birds, bananas, your (grand)mom, crates (especially ones with sheep in them), mail envelopes, and so on.
    • Health crates explode. If someone's unwell worm doesn't quite reach one within its turn, blowing it up is a hilarious way to finish them off.
  • Most everything Terran in StarCraft, except for people, unless you count their meaty corpses, too. For that matter, everything Zerg is a bag of blood and chitin, and everything Protoss is made of Magic Smoke.
    • If possible, played even straighter with the Zerg Scourge in the original, flying units that cost the same as a Zergling and exist for the sole purpose of crashing into enemy flying units, exploding on contact, and the Zerg Banelings in the sequel, which are like the Scourge but ground-based and so bloated with explodium that they roll into targets and explode on contact.
    • Infested Terrans. They're designed to run up to you and explode for roughly the same damage as a nuke. It's awesome.
  • In Diablo II, a Necromancer can make an enemy's corpse explode. This usually creates more corpses, leading to a chain reaction of exploding flesh. Somehow, the Assassin is able to mimic this with non-magical devices.
    • And don't forget the exploding cow corpses in Tristram. As mentioned below, that's due to built-up gasses, but that doesn't quite explain how the damn things can nearly kill a character.
  • The GBA RPG Robopon 2 is a shining example of this trope: everything in this game explodes, from the boat that the hero uses in the prologue to the time machines that a mad scientist is forced to recreate over and over because, you guessed it, they keep exploding. One whole chapter of this game focuses around a construction company that blackmails people into paying protection fees - anyone who doesn't pay gets their house exploded. Let's not also forget that Robopon, the game's fighting robots, explode upon being defeated.
  • City of Heroes has the classical Exploding Barrels to start with, which are somewhat normal if not logical. Then there are exploding robots. Not too much of a problem there, although when the basic robots blow up while the ones armed with explosive missiles and powered by fusion reactors don't go boom, there's a bit of head scratching to go around. Then you run into mission objects like the Explosive Desk of Doom. It's even worse in Mayhem Missions, where villains are rewarded for destroying street-level objects, including newspaper stands, cars, trash cans, parking meters, SWAT vans, fire hydrants, and cardboard boxes. All of these explode, regardless of what particular power used to destroy them; freezing or slicing cardboard boxes cause the same pattern of scattered pieces as hitting them with a rocket. Most explode remarkably violently. This can lead to some interesting chain reactions, as the nuked police department car ignites a trio of other nearby cars, each of which blow up a few seconds later and destroying nearby cardboard and metal crates, all of which simultaneously explode a short time later.
    • There was a rather amusing bug introduced during July of 2009 where Rikti drones would re-explode for eternity after they were defeated. It was nicknamed the 4th of July Bug.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (2006) has several amusing examples of this; notably, at one point in the infamous Let's Play of the game, the player attempts to ride a speedboat up a wooden incline (the aerial speedboat is hardly a new gimmick in games, after all). Upon hitting the water again, the speedboat promptly explodes, presumably from fall damage. One could also argue that every last one of Robotnik's machines is Made of Explodium, for obvious reasons.
    • Even more baffling is the sequence where the player has to destroy a train while chasing it with a machine gun equipped motorcycle... and at least TWICE during said Let's Play the motorcycle explodes for no apparent reason.
    • Also, cars will spontaneously explode in the event that they flip over and get stuck. Having the vehicle flip itself right-side-up instead would have made too much sense, and probably would have involved at least three loading screens.
  • Quite a few Mario objects explode for various reasons, such as robots and airships, but for some unknown reason, Kingfin (underwater shark skeleton) explodes into about three million pieces after being defeated in a rather overly dramatic way.
  • In Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, pretty much everything will explode if shot. Of particular note are the Stormtroopers and civilians found in some levels- if you manage to shoot them, they explode with a burst of flame and a rather pathetic scream.
  • In Grim Fandango, the solution to one puzzle depends on the fact that packing foam is highly combustible. Packing foam used to ship people. (They're skeletons and thus don't breathe, but they'd still be more than a bit inconvenienced by catching fire or being blown up.)
    • In an example of good game design, you find out about this early on, when a character working with some of the stuff and a machine has a mechanical problem and catches fire. If you haven't grabbed the fire extinguisher by now, you automatically run over and grab it; either way, he stops you and beats out the fire himself, because some of the contents of the fire extinguisher are what catalyze the explosion.
  • Starting with Final Fantasy VIII, every single boss monster has their own special explosion animation, ranging from dissolving into pieces to outright giant explosions — all for no reason at all other than the fact that they've run out of HP.
  • Pretty much any enemy (human or not) in the Contra series.
  • A rather unusual example of this occurs in Braid. If you go to the ridiculous lengths necessary to get all the secret stars, upon replaying level 1-1, you'll discover that the Princess is Made of Explodium. Granted this is probably supposed to represent something, but still.
  • In Fallout 3, the 200-year-old decaying cars littering the landscape do not merely explode when hit by enough stray (or deliberate) fire. Oh no. They go up in a massive mushroom cloud that shakes the scenery, which not only destroys everything nearby but irradiates the area for a short while afterwords. Presumably, cars just before the apocalyptic war were nuclear-powered.
    • Reading the game's back-story, you'll find that this is explained in the "alternate history" of the game world. Nuclear technology was much more common and advanced in the game world. Also, the Earth's petroleum resources were exhausted a decade before the Nuclear War. And finally, it can be assumed that sitting around for two centuries in an irradiated hellscape does no favors to the cars' safety measures.
    • Try having a firefight in a crowded parking lot. Or not, because it'll last about 10 seconds until everyone is dead. One has to wonder what a car wreck on a crowded highway was like in Fallout world.
      • Maybe it wasn't the war that caused the end of the world, just a 2000 mile long pileup on interstate 70.
    • Also in Fallout 3, the Bloody Mess perk makes most enemies like this, especially with a head shot. Sometimes a body shot will do the same thing, but with even more exploding than normal (normally all limbs just fall off). Although this effect on its own might be enough to take the perk, the additional 5% damage with all weapons doesn't hurt.
  • The Commanders from Total Annihilation take a beating, sure, but they still go BOOM. Violently. And in multiplayer, you'll more than likely be wiped clean off the map (stupid Game Ends setting).
    • In multiplayer where the only victory comes as Total Annihiliation of the other side, yes, abusing this is a good backup in case you're gonna make a last ditch effort and just lost the Kbot facilities, meaning no more suicidal spiders. Simply load your commander onto a carryall and park it in the center of the enemy base.
    • Spiritual Successor Supreme Commander continues the proud tradition, with Armoured Command Units going down in a massive nuclear blast. Possibly justified by the fact they're the size of a ten-storey building and nuclear-powered in the first place.
    • In both games, Energy is stored in the form of Antimatter. Metal or Mass is stored in the form of... well, matter. As you may know, when matter meets antimatter, there is an explosive reaction. Can you spell "containment breach"?
  • In the second Bonus Level in Medal of Honor: Underground, there are creepy white-faced guys in camo suits that are deadly effective with their machine guns. When killed, they shortly afterwards explode, causing damage or death to the player if he's too close. This only happens when they're shot, however - using a grenade or beating them to death with an empty gun does not result in them exploding.
  • The pyroroamers in Geneforge. They blow up when they die. And since they are so weak and usually travel in packs, it's easy to start a chain reaction.
    • Also note that any power spiral is capable of "amazing pyrotechnics" if you so much as shut it down improperly. This is actually lampshaded in the fourth game.
  • In the shooting gallery level in Call of Duty: World at War, shooting at the bridge of enemy merchant vessels will cause them to blow up just as spectacularily as the fuel tanks on the deck. In the tank level, shooting through the firing slits of bunkers several will cause them to blow up, though there is no evidence of anything explosive stashed inside.
    • In a humorous nod (or is it?) to this trope, in Modern Warfare 1, there's a cheat called "Bad Year", in which all enemies, when killed explode in a shower of tires. This is best served in a mission where you can kill a lot of enemies without suffering much return fire.
  • On that note, all of the more-or-less intact-looking cars in both Modern Warfare games will explode when sufficiently damaged by being shot up or when grenaded/missiled.
    • There's actually a reward for blowing up cars in the multiplayer games.
    • For Modern Warfare 2, there's actually an entire Spec Ops Mission dedicated to blowing up all of the cars on the bridge. You don't finish the level until all the vehicles have been destroyed.
  • The online RPG Mechquest, do Mechs simply fall over when beaten? Oh no, they just have to explode instead! Every single one of them.
    • Almost every one. Some of the pirate mechs just kneel down. But hey, it's cool.
    • They will sometimes explode for the most illogical of reasons, such as HURT FEELINGS. No joke.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, if one sets the violence setting high, when you over-kill an enemy (i.e. your KB's either a crit or just that damn awesome) they will explode in a rain of guts and body parts.
  • At one point in Beyond Oasis (also known as The Story of Thor), Ali can guide Efreet to attack a small iceberg, which explodes when destroyed.
  • Any destroyed vehicle in Warhawk explodes in an impressive fireball. Even if it was from being beaten with a wrench. If left unattended long enough, vehicles will spontaneously explode and respawn.
  • Almost every enemy in Dynamite Headdy dies with a rather high-pitched explosion. The bosses make huge explosions with lots of bouncing debris when you beat them. Collect enough of the debris, and you get a continue. Sure, why not?
  • Bosses in Secret of Evermore explode extensively when they die, no matter what they are. This includes bosses half-submurged in water, such as the giant squid and swamp snake. One of the bosses, Aegis, even explodes before the fight, then again after.
  • As a variation, in the survival horror game Shadowman for the N64 and PSX, everything explodes into bloody chunks, including rocks. How a gun that shoots spirit energy can damage a rock in the first place is a different mystery.
    • Because they're not rocks; they're sewn-up bags of flesh called Govi that contain the game's Plot Coupons. Looking closely, you can see the Govi pulsate as if alive when you're able to harvest the Dark Souls within them. And the pale-blue "rocks" around deadside are actually piles of offal.
  • Virtually all vehicles in Grand Theft Auto will explode if they take enough damage, and a single bullet to the fuel cap will blow one up instantly. Even mobile staircases at airports will burst into flame if they are pushed over.
  • In inFAMOUS, you can use your superpowers to make grenades made of electricity. As well as missiles. It's never explained how this works, but it's too awesome to worry about.
  • Ratchet & Clank... need I say more? Almost anything can explode: Lamp posts? Rocks? Iinflatable dolls? Why not mushrooms and small critters? You name it, there is even an upgrade that lets you create a ground slam that causes all the breakable objects around you to explode!
    • Starting in the second game and in most titles thereafter, the Baleful Polymorph weapon can turn enemies into animals that explode once upgraded.
  • Just about anything can be set ablaze in Garry's Mod. Burning wooden objects don't char, though; they take damage and blow up after a few seconds. And the splinters continue to burn for a short while longer.
  • In Total Carnage, the goal is to capture the Big Bad for an execution by electric chair. If you succeed, you get the satisfaction of pumping him with 60000 gigawatts of electricity, at which point he explodes about a hundred times in many beautiful colours, leaving only a charred skeleton and a Title Drop by the game's voiceover.
  • Every single boss in Skies of Arcadia goes up in a fiery explosion after you defeat it. For the ship battles, this makes some sense. But when it's a giant hollow Jello monster filled with poison with skulls floating around in it? Or what appears to be a gigantic evil toucan? They explode about as violently as the ships do.
  • Let's not forget about 'Splosion Man. A person thing 'splosion man practically made out of pure "splodium".
  • In the Crusader games, pretty much every bit of decoration can explode. The funny thing is, computers can still work even after being blow into pieces!
  • Wayne's World (SNES/Genesis): Any enemy that Wayne kills with his guitar are destroyed in a fiery explosion.
  • In the Touhou game Shoot The Bullet, once Aya has taken the requisite number of successful pictures, the enemy character suddenly explodes for no obvious reason.
    • This trope goes down to the very roots of Touhou. In every single game (except the fighting spin-offs), the animation for defeating a boss results in them exploding. Yes, even if you didn't fire a single shot at them the entire time. Apparently, the character in question is so ashamed that she wasn't able to beat you that she felt like she needed to explode.
    • On a different note, there is a shot type and several spellcards based on exploding frogs.
  • In the Land of Dragons from Kingdom Hearts II, one of the NPCs randomly mentions that the tents in their encampment are filled with explosives. Which would explain why they explode when you hit them with a giant key. Well... maybe not.
  • The little known laserdisc arcade game Road Blaster (known as "Road Avenger" on the U.S. Sega CD) has examples of this trope in the many (but not all) of the "miss" sequences which all involve the car. However, it could also just be the game's Rule of Cool.
  • What Star Fox 64 tells you is that you lose a life if you choose to retry a level. What it doesn't tell you is that the life counter (I repeat, the LIFE COUNTER!) explodes as it goes down by one.
    • Speaking of Star Fox 64, every single enemy explodes on death. Even the ones underwater. And it's awesome.
    • Special mention goes to the final Vs. unlockable where you can play as the Star Fox members themselves on foot with laser cannons. Guess what happens when they die.
  • Quite a few Grandia bosses, even those made of meat. Must have been something they ate.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin for Mass Destruction on the Playstation, but the game must have been coded by a few blokes from Free Radical as even BUSHES, TREES, ROSE GARDENS, PLAIN OLD STONES, AND CAVERN ENTRANCES (even those underwater) explode when dealt enough damage. Even crazier, everything in the game, EVERYTHING, can actually be blown up twice, except for caverns, doubling the score output. AND... EXPLOSIONS CAUSE SPLASH DAMAGE TO OTHER STRUCTURES! Finding the correctly positioned building in an enemy city and activating the Torus bomb usually results in a nigh-unstoppable chain.
  • In the obscure survival horror game Space Griffon VF9 EVERY enemy explodes violently, even the little grey blob guys who look like they're made out of a cross between papier mache and play doh.
  • In the old Mindcraft game Strike Squad (think X-com with very very early VGA graphics, despite they coming out around the same time) dying to anything, due to having a single death sprite for every NPC type, caused peoples' entire BODY to explode violently in pixelated gore, even say, being stabbed, or being shot by a pistol.
  • Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon, being a D&D-based game, features the aforementioned exploding "gas spores". And yes, at first glance, they can be mistaken for beholders. Especially the first one, that startlingly appears right as a door open. That sword slash was pure reflex, I swear!
  • One of the Red Eco upgrades in Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier lets you imbue opponents you hit with the glowing red stuff, making them explode if you punch them out. (This is especially fun if there are lots of enemies in the area and you use the time-slow power.)
  • In I of the Dragon, if a town's main building is reduced to zero HP, the town explodes — which won't harm you at all, but will slay any enemy nearby and even give you the EXP for their deaths! As a result, attacking the very towns you're supposed to protect can be one of the better ways to level up.
  • In Lemmings and its sequels, some obstacles can be passed by turning lemmings into Bombers, who then explode after a five-second countdown. If you mess up a level, you can start over by hitting the Armageddon button and causing all lemmings in the level to explode. Oh no!
  • In the Disgaea series, if you throw a Prinny, they explode. Any prinnys caught in the explosion also explode.
    • Starting from the third game, any humanoid who magichanges with a Prinny becomes equally explosive for the duration of the effect. As the weapon the Prinny changes into isn't visible while not attacking, one can easily forget that it's there and accidentally blow up the unit in question by throwing them. It also adds exploding barrels with the same explosive properties.
    • The fourth game adds monster fusion, which allows any kind of monster to also become explosive if a Prinny merges with them. They're too huge to be picked up and thrown, but can explode if they caught in an explosion from another source. The new Battlesuit class also has an ability that causes them to immediately selfdestruct if their HP drops below a certain threshold.
  • A not-particularly-well-known game called Big Mutha Truckers includes a side mission where you must haul a tanker filled with a sensitive, volatile chemical from one location to another within a time limit, on threat of a massive explosion. The guy riding shotgun with you while you make the delivery literally calls the chemical "Explodium".
  • A gag in Escape from Monkey Island has a wooden catapult exploding in a huge fireball when it goes over cliff.
  • Many thing in Bloodrayne 2 explode when you hit them with a knife or throw a person at them
  • In many early arcade racing games, any collision at any speed results in an explosion of fiery doom (but presumably not too much doom, as you generally get returned to the track with a shiny new car three seconds later.) Pole Position is probably the most well-known example of this, but other games like Sega's Turbo and Hang On do this as well.
    • The TV commercial for the home version of Pole Position lampshades this one pretty heavily.
  • In the MechWarrior series from 2 onwards, most enemies have a tendency to explode when destroyed, instead of perhaps just falling over or remaining upright but deactivated. In 2 and 3, any mobile or aggressive target usually ends up disappearing in a sizable explosion and polygonal bits when destroyed. This includes 'Mechs, tanks, aircraft, and even humans in Power Armor. Particularly egregious with Elementals, the the aforementioned power armored enemies. In Mechwarrior 2 and even in MechWarrior 3, they explode into a fireball several times the size of the original armor suit, in spite of the fact that according to the games, they can't be carrying nearly enough in them to explode like that. 'Mechs on the whole seem suspiciously prone to exploding as opposed to anything else.
    • Destroying a 'Mech in MechWarrior 2 usually causes it to explode violently, sometimes remaining visibly intact only for the pieces violently fling themselves across the screen. The occasional 'Mech will remain on the field as an armored, intact hulk (which can be shot apart), usually as a result of a cockpit hit. Some 'Mechs played the explosion animation close to 10 times after being destroyed, and some would even do so long after the pieces had been blown across the map.
    • In MechWarrior 3, 'Mechs and vehicles explode when they were destroyed, with 'Mechs bursting into flames and flopping over when destroyed. The only exception was for a 'Mech killed with a leg hit—these would just fall over and crash on the ground, disabled and out of the fight. To make up for this lack of pyrotechnics, one could cause a fusion plant explosion by the simple expedient of overheating a 'Mech, yours or theirs. Obviously, anyone close enough to witness these were usually not happy about it.
    • In MechWarrior 4, some vehicles will simply turn into skeletal outlines of their former selves when destroyed, and aircraft usually cause a small explosion when shot down. Fairly reasonable, all things concerned. However, every defeated 'Mech violently flings itself to the ground and then goes critical with a blown reactor, no matter what kind of damage destroyed it—a shot through the torso, both legs blown off, or a cockpit hit. The end result is invariably a chunky 'Mech-shaped pile of burnt debris, looking every bit like a total loss. The tendency for every 'Mech to do this raises questions as to how your technicians manage to salvage equipment and weapons off these blown-up remnants...including entire intact, viable 'Mechs.
  • In Minecraft, you have the Creeper, a walking creature made of pure Explodium. Needless to say, they must chase you. SSSSSSSSS...
    • There's also the TNT block, which, if struck or activated, will detonate. Which means it's a bad idea to build your house out of them.
    • You can't forget that BEDS of all things explode if not used in the Overworld. It's because you can only sleep at night and there's no night in, say, The End.
  • Just Cause 2. Nearly everything that is destructible, when destroyed, explodes violently, be it a car, a fuel tank or a crane. For dramatic effect, evacuated cars turn fender-benders into fireballs, and for a different kind of dramatic effect, flying or landing aircraft detonate themselves instantly if a wingtip touches a building.
    • Land vehicles are only prone to exploding when you're not behind the wheel. As soon as you get into the driver's seat, you have beat the crap out of the car to destroy it. It's basically Action Movie: The Game.
  • In the SimCity series, most power plants explode after 50 years, sometimes with fire. If it's a nuclear power plant, it will render a large swath of the land uninhabitable with fallout, and in SimCity 4, cause a literal nuclear explosion.
    • In the spinoff Streets of SimCity, any building will blow up if shot enough times.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, walls with cracks in them. Any wall with a crack. Doesn't matter whether it's solid concrete, a metal plate or even cardboard. If it's got a crack and another explosion comes near, the wall (or is it the crack itself?) will explode with more explosions. Sometimes this also happens just by being near the wall. For some reason this also happens in other Build Engine games. (Blood, Shadow Warrior, Redneck Rampage)
  • In any Gundam' game, whenever a Mobile Suit or Mobile Armor has been shot enough, it blows up, even if you would normally only expect an arm to fall off or a leg to be severely damaged.
    • The Gundam Vs Series does play around with it a little, though. Certain attacks will cause the defeated machine to split in half at the waist before exploding, while others will destroy half of the machine while the other half goes through the standard explosion animation. In Extreme Vs., every machine falls apart to some degree before it explodes.
    • The Koei-developed Dynasty Warriors: Gundam first caused mobile suits to have limbs fly off upon their destruction and explode, ostensibly to save processing power via Everything Fades. The later games caused the death explosions to become dangerous to other enemies and damaging them, often leading to a chain-reaction of enemy Mecha-Mooks popping off in sequence and clearing a field. Reborn now only has mobile suit pieces fly off when overkilled, but now the torsos as well as the limbs all explode dramatically and harm enemies. A single exploding suit can spread enough exploding limbs to damage two dozen other mobile suits. Firing a charged shot into a packed crowd is basically summoning an explosion on command.
  • When you kill an enemy in Little Samson, it tends to explode for some strange reason.
  • In Portal 2, GLaDOS reveals whoever is running the facility has to actively maintain it to keep it from exploding. For Science! Also, when you light turrets on fire with a laser, they burn and then explode. Also for science!
  • Any motorized vehicle in Jaws Unleashed. Somehow taking a bite out of a boat causes it to go *BOOM*.
  • A June 2011 patch for Team Fortress 2 added doves for several of the maps. If you shoot them, hit them with a melee weapon, or even just brush against them, they explode.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion has a spell called "Enemies Explode." Sadly, it does not technically live up to its name. (It merely sets them on fire.)
  • In RollerCoaster Tycoon, whenever a vehicle crashes it explodes. This even includes the water slide's rubber rafts.
  • LHX Attack Chopper, everything when shot was reduced to a smoking hole in the ground. This includes tanks, armoured personnel carriers, planes, choppers, buildings, soldiers, tress and camels.
  • The Flame Parasites from Evolva, who explode after death.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Flame Atronachs note  also seem to be made of Explodium. Strangely enough, earlier incarnations of this monster, appearing in previous installments of TES are not made of this trope.
  • In Ghost Recon: Future Soldier's first level, you encounter some technicals with machine guns. When you kill the gunner - not even touching the vehicle proper, thus disqualifying this from Every Car Is a Pinto - the vehicle promptly explodes for no reason!
  • Averted in Mini Robot Wars, even though all the characters (the Minirobots and the Star Travel Inc. machines) are…well, mechanical; they just fall down when they die. Even missiles and projectiles do not explode. In fact, the only things that explode are the Action Bombs of both sides and the Final Boss(es.
  • Total War Shogun 2 has every castles in Japan apparently filled with gunpowder, given the tendency of gates and walls to blow up when destroyed, shooting units into the air.
  • Apparently, in the X-Universe series, even your spacesuit is made of explodium, when your Oxygen Meter runs out after two hours in game time (or gets run over or shot, but that's not as funny).
  • In the classic SNES video game, Tales of Phantasia, to acess the mountains you must first break it with a pickaxe you bought from the nearby town and when you use the tool it causes the rock blocking your path to explode. Made of Explodium indeed.
  • Everything in Superman 64, as demonstrated by ProtonJon here.
  • In Borderlands 2, when guns manufactured by Tediore are reloaded, the user throws them forward dealing damage proportionate to how much ammo was left in the clip, after which the user has a new gun digistructed for them.
  • In Saints Row: The Third, there's a mission where you have to rescue a potential ally from a BDSM club with him pulling a pony cart that you and Pierce are riding. The Morningstar follow suit, but when you shoot the gimps pulling the carts, they explode like if you had destroyed any other vehicle.
    • The sequel gives you superpowers one of which is basically a fire blast. With an upgrade any enemy killed by the fire blast will explode, possibly setting nearby NPCs/vehicles on fire. Add that to the fact vehicles explode when damaged enough anyway, battles can get interesting.
  • The Pokémon Voltorb and its evolution, Electrode. Their Dex entries talk about how they explode with any provocation. A few others, like Claydol, Graveler, the Koffing line, Lickilicky and Boldore, also use Selfdestruct very easily.
  • World in Conflict: On the multiplayer map "Mauer", there's a bunch of walls (including part of the Berlin Wall) which impede the movement of your units. Destroying the walls will allow you to move between areas, and when you do so the wall segments explode. Somewhat justified in the case of the Berlin Wall segments since a campaign mission which takes place on the same map has the Soviets rigging the wall with explosives. However there's also a bunch of wooden fences which also go kaboom rather inexplicably.
  • The original Medal of Honor has the obligatory Exploding Barrels as well as exploding crates and other objects.

    Web Animation 
  • 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.

    Web Comics 
  • 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.

    Web Original 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has Pegasus' wife. Yeah. She really needs to stop doing that.
    • Michael Bay's Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series has Tristan's voice.
  • Cars and heads (the collars, so Justified) are included in Survival of the Fittest. In the case of the exploding car, this causes an entire building to go up in a huge fireball too.
  • In an OCT on Deviantart, one character encounters an Explodes After Large Impact Tree. They're extinct now. I hope they didn't cure cancer.
  • Inverted in Orion's Arm. Monopoles aren't explosive themselves but on contact they cause just about anything else to explode.
  • In the Flash animation "Kerri's Big Invention" by Legendary Frog, several of her inventions spontaneously burst into flame for no good reason, including (most ludicrously) a drinking bird.
  • Lampshaded and subverted (at the same time no less!) by MikeJ of That Guy with the Glasses in his Speed 2 review: "I hope if I throw this ball against that wall nothing explody will happen." *throws ball against the wall and nothing happens* "Oh."
  • Lampshaded by Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z Abridged after being defeated by Zarbon. "Why did I explode?"
  • From ASDF Movie5:
    "Hello, Mine Turtle!"
    Followed by someone else stepping on the Mine Turtle... which promptly blows up.
  • A humble water glass in the What If? entry "Glass Half Empty", and perfectly justified by pressure physics. If the bottom half is the empty half (as in, hard vacuum-empty), the bottom of the glass will literally blow off in a fraction of a second, and the top will smash into the ceiling and spray shards everywhere.
    Randall: The lesson: If the optimist says the glass is half full, and the pessimist says the glass is half empty, the physicist ducks.

    Western Animation 
  • 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".
      Meatwad: Why'd he do that?
      Shake: Why wouldn't he?
    • 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.[1]
    • 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 everything in The Simpsons is Made of Explodium, with tricycles and shopping carts getting in on the action.
    • Taken to ridiculous lengths when a car the Simpsons had recently bought in winter lost control on the ice. The Simpsons bailed out only to watch the car skid into the middle of a frozen lake, break through the ice and sink into the water, and then explode, raining fiery fragments down onto them.
      Homer: Aww, I knew this would happen!
    • In another instance of deliberate lampshading, the impossibly Badass protagonist of a Show Within a Show (who just happens to be Homer's namesake), among other stuff (like picking a bullet in mid-air), he grabs a mook and throws him over a couple of other mooks, they explode.
    • In Lisa the Simpson, Homer, Bart and Lisa watch a documentary series on spontaneously exploding buildings.
    • In Homer Goes to College, Homer's Epic Fail power causes a simulation of his work station, with no nuclear material inside, to go critical and explode. Later, he does the same thing to a model proton accelerator.
    • While attempting to make a meal, Homer manages to burn a few things to where they burst into flames. Eventually, he just decides to fix a bowl of corn flakes. They burst into flames.
  • 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 Fosters 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.
    Leonardo: Robots?
    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.

    Real Life 
  • Pure elemental fluorine is the most reactive (unstable) substance known to man. Its entry in the lab safety section of the CRC Handbook of Physics and Chemistry, note  simply reads as follows:
    (Chemical name:Things that substance reacts violently with)
    Fluorine: Everything
Anything elemental fluorine touches, other than a fluorine-based compound like Teflon, bursts into flame as it strips electrons from more stable atoms. This includes things like glass, air, metal, and, in the right conditions, the non-reactive noble gasses. The pain goes double if you are dumb enough to put it with sodium or other alkali metals mentioned above.
  • The Hindenburg famously exploded due to using Hydrogen for lift. It had been designed for inert Helium, but the United States refused to sell it to the German government owned airship out of fear of a repeat of early WW1, when Zeppelins rained destruction on cities, not one being shot down for the first few years until the invention of the incendiary bullet. The Germans basically shrugged and filled it with Hydrogen instead; they had a perfect safety record for four decades(since the aircraft was invented) using Hydrogen, which they viewed as being similar to how we see gasoline in automobiles: potentially dangerous, but with careful control, harmless. In 1937 they were proven wrong. Amazingly, 2/3 of the people on board survived the massive explosion.
    • The Hindenburg deflagration (no part of it exploded) was caused by static discharge igniting the doping (paint) on its outer skin. At least one NASA scientist claimed that the vast majority of the hydrogen contained in its gas bags simply escaped into the upper atmosphere without burning, and claimed the main blame lay with the doping, which contained significant amounts of aluminum powder and iron oxide, which can, in the correct proportions, form thermite. Tests by the MythBusters indicated that it was actually a combination of these two theories: The doping was responsible for the brightness of the flames (and, contrary to a major argument put forth by detractors of the incendiary paint theory, actually did cause some minor thermite reactions), while hydrogen was the main cause of the speed and severity of the burn. So, really, it was doubly Made of Explodium (well, Made of Incendium, but you get the idea).
  • Explosive Reactive Armour is one of the few Real Life examples where being made of explodium is an intentional design feature. ERA works be coating a Tank's exposed surfaces with carefully designed explosive bricks. When hit by an anti-tank round making use of explosively formed plasma, the ERA brick detonates "reacting" with an explosion of its own that disrupts the plasma jet, neutralizing the attack. Because the Tank's armour is thick enough to resist the unfocused outward blast blast of the ERA brick the tank is left completely unharmed despite lots of shock and awe.
  • Nuclear bombs, nuclear reactors or any installations handling nuclear fuels. Basically any scenario where the mass of fissionable material goes above its prompt critical mass (critical mass is not dangerous and in fact is necessary for commercial nuclear reactors to provide any usable energy at all) and you don't control it or do anything to stop it, it's all over. Though they tend to melt more than explode (save for bombs and major screw-ups like Chernobyl - see "don't control it or do anything to stop it"), they still qualify for this trope.
    • NOT nuclear fusion, however, contrary to what fiction would have you believe. You need to force nuclear fusion to happen (stars have the benefit of their immense mass and gravity to do it for them), and any interruption just makes it shut down. In fact nuclear fusion bombs only work by first detonating another nuclear fission device to generate the extreme pressures needed to force it to happen.
  • As a general rule, almost any chemical that contains a large percentage of nitrogen by weight. Nitrogen gas is extremely stable, so nitrogen compounds have a nasty habit of reverting to gas given the slightest opportunity. This results in a rapidly-expanding ball of hot gas, which is... well, basically what an explosion is. Show a chemist a compound with a long chain of nitrogen atoms, and they'll probably be cowering behind a blast shield as fast as possible.note  A few examples:
    • There are entire families of chemicals that are so unstable they cannot be synthesized without blowing up the test apparatus. Or they blow up soon after they're synthesized. When the procedure recommends using Teflon and stainless steel apparatus to minimise shrapnel — that's Explodium.
      • Indeed, most of the "Things I Won't Work With" are explodium of various kinds, and the writer, Derek Lowe, has a talent for describing, in graphic detail, the highly hazardous traits of the substances in question, in a smartass tone rivalling some of the style's masters and champions.
      • Or make other things explodium: Chlorine trifluoride sets such things as sand, water, concrete, and asbestos on fire. (Not to mention organic materials like cloth, wood, and test engineers.)
      • And speaking of fluor compounds, Dioxygen Difluoride. Even when freezing at -183 Celsius, it still blows up. Just a few molecules of it put together with some sulfur can let out enough energy to rival your breakfast.
      • Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane. Because regular Nitro wasn't 'splody enough.
      • N-amino azidotetrazole is already explodium by itself, but some of the derivatives are even worse. One of them, which isn't named, is explosive enough to go off when trying to get an infrared spectrum of it. In layman's terms, an infrared light shining on it sets it off. To put it in perspective, most things mentioned in this part of the page have been made in large amounts and even have some use. These compounds don't even have that luxury.
    • Ammonium nitrate is an extremely useful fertilizer that completely falls into this, especially since agriculture on an industrial scale requires significant amounts of it to be stored and shipped in bulk, and if safety regulations are lax or non-existent, incidents occur. In 1947, a recommissioned Liberty Ship carrying 2300 tons of ammonium nitrate happened to be moored next to another freighter hauling 1800 tons of sulfur in Texas City, Texas, USA, along with assorted sundry goods like munitions. As far as anyone can tell, the fertilizer somehow ignited in the hold of the first ship, generating an explosion felt in Louisiana, the next state over. Look at AZF below, and remember that that was a mild explosion compared to its historical predecessors.
      • BASF, a chemical company, ran an ammonium nitrate manufacturing plant in Oppau, a small suburb of Ludwigshafen, Germany, during World War I and a few years after. As the explosive qualities of the fertilizer were unknown, they used dynamite to loosen the packed material. Somehow, nothing untoward happened for over a decade until one day in 1921, when the plant was simply... erased, taking about 80% of the town and at least 500 lives with it.
    • Another ammonium nitrate plant: AZF.
    • Finally, every contact explosive, starting with nitroglycerin and ending with nitrogen triiodide. NI3 has been known to explode when exposed to radiation. That's right, a contact explosive so sensitive that bits of atoms hitting it will set it off.
      • Nitrogen triiodide has the interesting property of only being explosive when dry. As it's made using a wet chemical process (that is, one involving being dissolved in water), making it is perfectly safe, and leaves you with a solution you can paint on a surface and allow to dry to a thin layer of explosive that will detonate on contact (but not be thick enough to carry the explosion past the points of contact or produce enough force to be dangerous, if you do it properly). There are reports that painting various surfaces in bathrooms (such as the floor, or toilet seats) with this went through a phase of being a popular prank in at least one teacher's college.
  • Take a look at the largest non-nuclear explosions in human history.
  • Eucalyptus Trees. They're filled with highly-flammable oil, and can literally EXPLODE in bushfires. In the Land Downunder, even the trees can kill you. Of course, if it's a tree that gets you, you've been lucky. Plus, with the ability of several eucalyptus trees to shed dead branches, they don't even need to be made out of explodium to kill you.
  • Sandbox Trees (among other plants) use a form of seed dispersal known as explosive dehiscence, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They can propel seeds ~300 ft/100 meters (roughly 88-89 meters) away, and presumably in uncomfortable ways into any poor sucker standing nearby when one goes off. Yes, there's a reason the tree is nicknamed the dynamite tree.
  • If it burns and you can mix it with air, it can explode. This includes pretty much any kind of organic dust.note  Therefore mills of all kinds, especially the old-timey ones that use stones, are made of explodium.
    • It has been suggested this very phenomenon was the cause of the Great Fire of London in 1666, in which it is estimated 700,000 out of the population of 800,000 lost their homes.
    • Grain elevators explode for this reason also.
    • It wasn't a torpedo that blew the Lusitania, that "just" shook up the coal dust in the bunkers. It was a sparking wire that actually set the whole lot off. Combined with fifteen thousand rounds of .303 ammunition, of course.
    • Submitted for your consideration — next time you put a spoonful of sugar on your cereal, remember this story. The resulting fire melted 3 silos full of sugar into sugar magma that didn't solidify for weeks.
  • Oil wells and coal mines may not explode, but they won't stop burning if set aflame. A certain coal mine has been on fire for over ten years.
    • Under the right circumstances, a coal mine can catch fire THEN explode. Without proper ventilation, methane gas can build up. Under exactly the right conditions, it can explode like a fuel-air bomb, but this is rare. More common is a layer of burnable concentration forming, and a sheet of flame ripping through the mine if it's touched off. That's bad, but the horror comes if it hits a pocket of coal dust that's just right to go off in a dust explosion. This is why coal mines that aren't properly maintained are death traps. On the other hand, with proper ventilation, mining practices, maintenance, and protective equipment, coal mining is a quite safe occupation.
    • The Kuwaiti oil wells that Saddam ordered to be set alight would have allegedly burned for a hundred years if not extinguished (Jump to 4:30 in the video).
    • The so-called Door to Hell in Darvaza, Turkmenistan, which has been burning since 1970s.
  • Sodium, when placed in water, will react to form hydrogen gas, which then catches fire from the heat of the reaction. Potassium explodes even more spectacularly, but while the elements further down the same column of the periodic table are more reactive still, they're so heavy you need a much larger sample to get the same volume of gas.
  • Imagine a factory that makes rocket fuel. Imagine the entire facility coated in highly unstable, incredibly dangerous powdered fuel due to lax safety protocols. Imagine this facility also stockpiling said rocket fuel from floor to ceiling. And then imagine somebody firing up a blowtorch in this same facility. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the PEPCON Disaster!
    • For the record, the material that exploded in the PEPCON disaster was ammonium perchlorate, and it had accumulated that much because it was the oxidizer in the Space Shuttle's solid rocket boosters, and the Space Shuttle Program at that time was on a lengthy hiatus thanks to the Challenger Explosion.
  • Rockets as such, because they store enough energy in their humongous fuel tanks to rival small nuclear bombs. Once an N1 rocket exploded on the launch pad because of a loose bolt that entered a fuel pump. The result? The largest non-nuclear man made explosion in human history.
  • Before decent paint became cheap, it was common to coat ships in pitch.
    • Keep in mind that said ships were made of wood. And since many of them carried cannons, that meant they had gunpowder onboard. Be careful with that match!
      • Careful measures were taken to ensure that this didn't go off, like no fire whatsoever in the Powder-Room, all light came through a window from the next chamber, and the powder-room itself was below water-level.
  • Cracked has done a couple:
  • This beetle literaly farts out an explosive rocket fuel.
  • Early examples of the Russian BMD-series (Infantry Fighting Vehicles designed to be dropped out of planes) had magnesium armor in order to save weight. This was abandoned after it was discovered that the vehicles had a tendency to catch fire when hit by RPGs.
    • Both the BMP-1 and -2 also have fuel tanks as doors.
  • The very air was made of explodium in the New London, Texas school explosion.
  • It is theorized that magnetic monopoles may cause the catlyization of baryon decay. That means if you pass a monopole through a normal atom the atom will decay into a burst of gamma rays and neutrinos. Worse, the monopole is a catalyst which means that it isn't consumed in the reaction and will go on to cause all the other atoms it meets to decay. Physicist seem to be quite sure that they exist.
  • Pistachio nuts are susceptible to spontaneous combustion and explosion when stored in large quantities and are classed as "explosive" materials under various cargo transportation guidelines.
  • The Halifax Explosion of 1917.
  • A whale once exploded in Taiwan.
  • Praya dubia will explode if brought above a certain water pressure, due to their bodies being internally pressurized to survive the abyssal depths.
  • While, strictly speaking, we aren't talking about combustion here, any piece of machinery that involves a compressed air or steam boiler can produce a hell of a bang if it is operated improperly. MythBusters demonstrated what happens when a water heater explodes--now imagine that scaled up to the size of a maritime, commercial, or locomotive boiler.
    • This type of "explosion" (it's technically not a proper explosion but that's splitting hairs) is called a BLEVE (Boiling Liquid Expanding Vapour Explosion) or SSEVE (Sublimating Solid Expanding Vapour Explosion).
  • The xenon arc lamps in a movie theatre projector are so highly pressurized that they shatter with explosive force (especially the ones at IMAX theatres where the person changing the bulb actually wears body armor), not to mention they are made of a material that is weakened by the oils on human skin. They often fail catastrophically (BOOM!) instead of simply burning out, often times destroying the lamphouse. One story on the film tech forum tells how the electrode was embedded into the wall on the other side of the projector booth after one such incident.
  • What happens when farmers misapply chemical growth accelerators to their crops? Exploding watermelons!
  • Since matter goes boom when exposed to antimatter, one could say that, technically, the entire universe is made of explodium. Just one gram of matter and one gram of antimatter could create the same amount of energy as detonating over 42 kilotons of TNT.
    • Thankfully, actual antimatter seems to naturally occur only in the form of occasional individual antiparticles, never enough in one place to even accumulate a single gram, and most of it annihilated with matter in the first seconds of life of the Universe, surviving just a very small amount of matter that is what forms the current Universe. Just why this is when one would expect the Big Bang to have produced matter and antimatter in equal amounts is still one of the big unsolved cosmological mysteries.
  • Cesium and francium, the top two alkali metals. While all alkali metals build up hydrogen when exposed to water, and only lithium will not eventually explode, cesium and francium are especially dangerous. Cesium will explode immediately upon contact with water, and will light on fire if exposed to air. Francium has a half-life of 22 minutes, meaning that a chunk of it would vaporize itself from the sheer amount of radiation and turn into a radioactive fireball of doom that would incinerate everything nearby, and will probably continue doing so, even after decaying into something else (astatine, radium or radon, the first two of which are still very dangerous), until it cools down. Fortunately, it's extremely rare, with only a few million isolated atoms on Earth.
  • Some Japanese aircraft during World War II, particularly the A6M Zero, G4M "Betty" and Ki-43 "Oscar", were very lightly armored, lacked self-sealing fuel tanks, and had ineffective (or non-existent) fire-suppression systems. As a result they had a tendency to catch on fire and explode even from relatively light hits. It certainly didn't help that some Japanese aircraft often had higher than normal magnesium content in their structural framework and skins...
  • Linseed oil is a common paint thinner used in oil painting. It doesn't have fumes and it's all-natural, pressed from flax. But it oxidizes quickly in an exothermic reaction, strong enough that if you soak a rag in linseed oil and then leave it to dry crumpled up, the amount of surface area in a limited space means that the heat builds up very quickly. Give it thirty minutes, and your rag will spontaneously catch fire.
  • Russian Tanks have an alarming tendency to be this, take the modern T90 for example, it has unprotected fuel tanks on the rear, it's autoloader design means that any single point around the turret will have an live shell right next to it, pointed inwards and completely unprotected in case of an ammo explosion and mostly happens to be either A: Rockets B: High Explosive Shells or C: HEAT shells.
    • This was why during The Gulf War, one of the more iconic images of the destroyed Iraqi Army's Russian-made tanks (and Chinese-made versions of Russian tanks) was the burnt shell of a tank with the turret either several feet away or upside down on top of the tank. An explosive of some sort (a rocket, missile or armor-piercing anti-tank round) would penetrate the hull, causing a massive build-up of heat and pressure, or simply leave the tank burning. The heat, pressure or fire would then spread to the exposed ammunition, causing an ammunition cook-off massive enough to hurl the turret up to forty to sixty feet in the air, which typically weigh some several tons.
  • Wet charge in a Steel Mill. A charge of scrap containing water, snow or other watery impurities such as organic residues, or oil or lubricants, loaded in an electric arc furnace or basic oxygen furnace, will cause a VERY showy - and dangerous - explosion. The water or oil will evaporate suddenly and splash molten steel and gases around, causing havoc and even damaging the oven itself. This is called a wet charge. The usual way of avoiding it is to pre-heat the charge to 300 degrees C to evaporate and burn off any moisture and oil.
  • Noble Gas compounds tend to be ... touchy. The fluorides and oxides are an uneasy partnership of either Fluorine or Oxygen (both of which love stealing electrons) and an element that does not like sharing electrons. Eventually, the Noble Gas will get its electrons back while the Fluorine and Oxygen atoms go off to fluorinate or oxidize something else.
  • Aircraft carriers in general. Since they're loaded up with tons of munitions and fuel, anything that can set them off whether it be enemy fire or accidental discharge of friendly weapons on board can lead to extremely dangerous fires that can destroy the ship.

Made of EvilMade Of IndexMade of Good
Mad BomberThis Index Is On FireMan on Fire
Koosh BombStuff Blowing UpOutrun the Fireball
"Just Joking" JustificationRule of FunnyMedium Shift Gag
Impressive PyrotechnicsSpectaclePre Explosion Buildup
Loyal PhlebotinumApplied PhlebotinumMade of Indestructium
Koosh BombTropes That Go BOOM!Paper Bag Popping
Made Myself SadComedy TropesThe Magazine Rule
Let Us Never Speak of This AgainImageSource/Web ComicsPuff of Logic
Macross Missile MassacreRule of CoolMarked Change
Killer RabbitFunny/Western AnimationFacepalm

alternative title(s): Law Of Inherent Combustibility
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