[[quoteright:320:[[Anime/MaiHiME http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/mai_hime_ring_of_fire.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:320:Mai Tokiha gets [[{{Pun}} all fired up.]]]]

->''"I fell into a burning ring of fire\\
I went down, down, down\\
And the flames went higher\\
And it burns, burns, burns\\
The ring of fire\\
The ring of fire."''
-->-- '''Music/JohnnyCash''', "[[TropeNamers Ring Of Fire]]"

A commonly seen element of a climactic battle involving TheHero being encircled by a flaming ring. Much like a boxing ring or a gladiatorial arena with sealed exits, it is used to indicate that neither the BigBad nor TheHero have the option of running away from the FinalBattle, and the story will end with one of the two dead. Most frequently used by villains, especially {{Magnificent Bastard}}s who want TheHero to be DeaderThanDead, but can occasionally be enacted by TheHero when the BigBad has run away from similar confrontations in the past. FridgeLogic tends to come into play as soon as the viewer realizes that sending the flames directly ''under'' the feet of the hero is probably a better idea on the part of the villain, but let's face it, [[RuleOfCool it looks cool]]. The Ring of Fire is a great set up for a hero and villain to meet in a final confrontation, symbolic in that there is no escape from the fight and representative of the emotion of the scene. Expect it to be a part of the TheVeryDefinitelyFinalDungeon or any other situation where failure is not an option.

This can often indicate research failure, since natural flames have a natural aversion to forming the perfectly circular rings seen in movies, and unless a propellant has already been shaped into a ring a real fire would fill in the area where the victim is standing, and that's assuming there's no wind to change the direction of the flames. Then again... Nine times out of ten, AWizardDidIt.

Music/JohnnyCash is considered the TropeNamer due to the song "Ring of Fire" being one of his best-known recordings. Although often mistakenly accused of being either about addiction to drugs or having a sexual connotation, the song was co-written by Cash's future wife, June Carter, during the time when she and Cash - while both still married to other people - were having an affair and the song expressed her fears regarding this.

A combination GhostButler and the SphereOfPower. Compare BattleAmongstTheFlames.

[[JustForFun/IThoughtItMeant Not to be confused with]] [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ring_of_Fire a certain tectonically active area of the Earth.]]



* The use of the Ring Of Fire for climactic duels was called out in a car dealership commercial wherein the customer wanted a very special discount... after they defeated the dealership's champion to prove the quality of the cars. Scary-looking [=MMA=] fighter steps into the ring of stones and the customer strikes a match to light the ring of fire.
* Subverted in a [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-cK_8icKRU British advert]] for vindaloo-curry flavour Pot Noodles ([[UsefulNotes/RamenAsDehydratedNoodles Instant Ramen]] to Americans), in which the Ring which is on fire turns out to be a bodily part. Apparently Johnny Cash was amused by the idea, and happily allowed his song to be used in this way.

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Anime/YuGiOh'' also has one leap up around the arena during the duel with Panik with the intent of turning Yugi into a cinder. The GagDub ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'' plays Johnny Cash's song (quoted above) as it happens.
* Karen has one spring up around her in the ''Manga/{{X1999}}'' movie, though it is her major power to manipulate and create flames.
* In ''Anime/{{Mai HiME}}'', one springs up around the main character as her full powers ([[PlayingWithFire flame-based, of course]]) manifest for the first time.
** In the ElseWorld sequel ''Anime/{{Mai Otome}}'', that continuity's Mai takes this to ridiculous extremes -- she creates a giant version of the floating rings around her arms and legs and ''flies through it'' like a trained seal to obliterate enemies on the other side.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', ungodly powerful Head Captain Shigekuni Yamamoto-Genryûsai can make fire consume an area simply with the initial release of his zanpakuto. The two captains that he fights lead him away from the execution grounds simply to keep everyone else in the area from dying.
* ''VisualNovel/FateStayNight'' Archer does this as a part of his reality marble "Unlimited Blade Works"
* In ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'', Kenshiro's final battle with Jagi takes place on a rooftop. Jagi eventually reveals he led Kenshiro there because there was a huge container of oil, which he breaks and then throws on a match on. Since [[IHaveTheHighGround he has the high ground]] Jagi will presumably be safe because of ConvectionSchmonvection, but it quickly devolves into Kenshiro being trapped in a ring of fire. Not that it matters though. Ken just destroys the floor and falls down to the safety of the ground below.

* Slightly subverted in ''Film/BramStokersDracula'' (1992) has Van Helsing create one to protect himself and Mina from the bad guys, rather than the standard final duel setup. He also manages to do it simply by chanting Latin and drawing a circle around them on the ground with a flaming brand.
* At the end of the movie version of ''[[Film/HarryPotter Harry Potter and the Philosopher's/Sorcerer's Stone]]'', Voldemort stops Harry from running away with the Stone by summoning one. In the book magical ropes were used, but RuleOfCool prevails in the movies.
** In ''[[Film/HarryPotter Half Blood Prince]]'', Bellatrix creates one around the Burrow to keep the other wizards from going after Harry to help.
* Parodied in ''WesternAnimation/FindingNemo''- it's bubbles. And doesn't work at first.
* The Jet Li movies ''Film/RomeoMustDie'' and ''Film/Cradle2TheGrave'' have climactic fights in a ring of fire.
* Happens in ''[[Film/FreeWilly Free Willy 2]]'' after the oil slick catches fire and something blows up. Jesse is only able to escape by diving underwater holding onto Willy's dorsal fin.
* In ''Film/{{Predators}}'', Royce prepares a circle on the ground with gasoline or something else, then when the Berserker Predator attempts to attack him, he drops a torch to set it ablaze and surround them with fire. This blinds the Predator, as it only sees in infrared.

* In the ''Literature/SixteenThirtyTwo'' series, the MassTeleportation effect which transports the entire town of Grantville into the past takes on this form and is even called the "Ring of Fire" in-universe.
* ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': In ''Changes'', Harry and Susan battle the Ick (and its [[OurVampiresAreDifferent Red Court]] handlers) in the Erlking's court. Said duel takes place in a Ring Of Fire with ''screaming faces'' floating in it.
** The trope makes another appearance in ''Ghost Story''. Fun fact about fire? It burns magic, too. [[spoiler: The bad guys trap Sir Stuart inside one so he can't Mortimer Lindquist when they abduct him.]] Although part of the restraining effect probably comes from the [[GeometricMagic circular shape]].

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Highlander}}'': In "Homeland," Duncan [=MacLeod=] and Kanwulf face off within a ring of fire.
* When testing gasoline fire myths, the ''Series/{{Mythbusters}}'' made a Ring Of Fire in the workshop. It soon turned up to be [[ConvectionSchmonvection really hot inside it]].
* In ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'', Castiel reveals (and is later a victim of) the fact that flame circles made with a certain sort of holy oil will contain an angel until the fires burn out.
* In the finale of ''[[Series/SpartacusBloodAndSand Spartacus Gods Of The Area]]'' the surviving gladiators are all brought into the arena, and a ring of fire is set about them. Likely as an in-universe invocation of RuleOfCool. The Romans overseeing it explain that anyone who falls/gets thrown outside the ring is disqualified, anyone who falls inside the ring dies. Gneaus later uses it to set his net on fire, and then throw it on someone. [[spoiler: Crixus, Ashur, and Gneaus are all thrown outside the ring, Ashur burning himself in the process]].
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'': In "The Door", the Children of the Forest summon one to prevent the Wights from invading their home. Unfortunately, the White Walkers are unaffected by fire and walk through it. Then the Wights tunnel under it.

* Music/JohnnyCash's "Ring Of Fire" (co-written by his future wife, June Carter) is the TropeNamer and describes a metaphorical "fire ring". Music/FrankZappa covered the song on his album ''Music/TheBestBandYouNeverHeardInYourLife''.

* OlderThanPrint: The Valkyrie Brynhildr in Myth/NorseMythology was imprisoned in one of these after deciding the outcome of a battle against Odin, the King of the Gods.
** Also figures prominently in the operatic version by Music/RichardWagner, ''[[Theatre/TheRingOfTheNibelung Die Walküre]]''.

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* The Puerto Rican version of the World Wrestling Council (WWC) is commonly referred to as the first professional wrestling promotion to use fire as hazard during matches, eventually developing the concept into a "Ring Of Fire" match, where flames would shoot up under the bottom rope if someone tried to exit the ring.
* In perhaps the single biggest argument against {{garbage| wrestler}}, Tarzan Goto and Atsushi Onita had a [[GimmickMatches barbed wire match]](another gimmick WWC pioneered, although this was in Wrestling/{{FMW}}) Wrestling/{{Sabu}} and [[Wrestling/EdFarhat The Sheik]] where Sheik tried to burn Goto and Onita with a flaming stick and ended up setting the wire on fire. The wrestlers panicked and bailed under the bottom "ropes" when they realized the ring was starting to melt.
* As part of [[Wrestling/DavidHeath Gangrel]]'s entrance in the Wrestling/{{W|orldWrestlingFederation}}WF, a ring of fire would appear on the stage, and he would rise up through a trapdoor in the center of it.
* [[GimmickMatches The Inferno match]] involves a ring of fire, with the object being to push your opponent into source till [[ManOnFire he]] (or his {{clothing|damage}}) catches.
* In 2014-2015, there was a possibly unintentional detailing of WWC' history with fire, as the feud between Mighty Ursus and Wrestling/{{Carlito C|olon}}aribbean Cool started with lighter fluid and escalated to a full on ring of fire.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* West End Games' ''TabletopGame/{{TORG}}'' had a mechanic that generated a Ring Of Fire that went up to 11. The game is based around variant realities, and when two "possibility-rated" characters (read: [=PCs=] and important villains) from different realities face off, they can invoke a 'reality storm' that separates them from any other interference so that they can get down to the business of forcefully shoving their realities down each other's throats.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* This is one stock [[KillItWithFire Fire]] attack in ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', used by a number of powersets. The ring of fire actually has [[StandardStatusEffects effect of immobilising the target]], trapped in a circle of damage-inflicting flames.
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomHeartsII'' during the battle between Axel and Roxas, Axel sets the stage on fire in an attempt to defeat and eliminate Roxas.
* Link's final showdown with Ganon in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaOcarinaOfTime'' also takes place in a ring of fire. He knocks Link's sword outside of the ring first.
** This is recreated in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', with an electrified magical barrier standing in for a flaming one.
** Additionally, in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaMajorasMask'', fights with the Garos, mysterious Ninja-esque enemies in Ikana, take place in a ring of fire that randomly appears.
** In a minor subversion, during the escape part in ''Ocarina of Time'', a ring of fire surrounds Zelda, forcing Link to battle two Stalfos to get rid of it
** Also in ''Majora's Mask'', Odolwa, the boss of the Woodfall Temple, occasionally starts a large ring of fire around Link. Frustratingly enough though, he can go right through it without being harmed. Despite being ridiculously invulnerable to his fire, you can kill him with two fire arrows.
* In the prequel to ''VideoGame/DissidiaFinalFantasy'', ''Dissidia 012'', Feral Chaos's [[LimitBreak EX Burst]] is to teleport himself and his opponent into a giant arena surrounded by flames so he can issue a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown when they have nowhere to hide or run.
* The [[BashBrothers Axe and Sword twins]] in ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaTheTwoThrones'' fight you in one, and both you and the twins can take damage if you get too close to the fire.
* The battle with Sticky Fingaz in ''[[VideoGame/DefJamSeries Def Jam: Fight For NY]]'' takes place inside of a ring as the player tries to get their girlfriend back from him.
* ''VideoGame/KingsQuestVAbsenceMakesTheHeartGoYonder''. [[spoiler:Mordack becomes a ring of fire in the final battle to burn Graham to ashes.]]
* In the original ''Franchise/{{Pokemon}}'' games, the move Fire Spin would trap the opponent in a circle of fire for 2-5 turns, preventing them from attacking. This was later changed to just damaging them every turn, but it still prevents them from switching out or running.
* ''VideoGame/BrutalLegend'' allows the player to create one. By Double Teaming with a Fire Baron, they can share a motorcycle, crack open a Molotov Cocktail, and burn a trail of fire. If the player completes a circle, it will enclose, burning enemies inside. It's meant to be a HerdHittingAttack.
* ''VideoGame/MitsurugiKamuiHikae''[='=]s final battle takes place at a ruined shrine on fire, where the arena is surrounded in flames.

* [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyI Kary]] uses one of these to keep the Light Warriors from escaping from her in ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* ''Literature/{{Sapphire}}'': Daisuke creates a green ring of fire during his duel with Michiru. [[spoiler:She defeats him by ''[[ScrewTheRulesIHavePlot teleporting out of the ring]]'', [[SugarWiki/MomentOfAwesome then leaps back into it and skewers him]].]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* The Disney version of ''Disney/{{Aladdin}}'' has this happen to the Aladdin in the final battle with Jafar. It's magic fire, so it's somewhat justified.
** Which is then used to neat effect for Jafar's ScaledUp moment.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** In the episode "The Chase", Azula does this to Aang by setting a building on fire, though she can actually control the flames as she's doing it, somewhat {{justif|iedTrope}}ying it.
** In the series finale, the heroes are captured in a ring of fire when they're caught near the camp of [[spoiler:the Order of the White Lotus]].
* A joke version occurs in ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'' when Toot tries to protect her adopted Nicaraguan "baby" in one.
* Played with in ''Disney/TheLionKing 2'' when a dim-witted villain surrounds himself in one of these.
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', a prison warden prevents an escape using a whip to create one of these, earning applause from the prisoners because of the amount of skill with which it was done.
** Another example is in the episode with the Radioactive Man movie, where the movie producer flashes back to the 1960s TV series, in which Radioactive Man and Fallout Boy fight The Scoutmaster's henchmen, and one of them creates a ring of fire by rubbing two sticks together.
* Occurs in the climax of ''[[WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs The Smurfs Christmas Special]]''.
* [[WesternAnimation/MisterT Mister T]] is trapped in one of these in the episode "The Fortune Cookie Caper" by a villain called the Firebug. Hilariously, the bad guy set up the circle of flames so that there was ''a fire hydrant inside it.'' Cue Mr. T [[http://www.agonybooth.com/recaps/Mister_T/Fortune_Cookie_Caper.aspx?Page=7 awesomeness]].