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Stuff Blowing Up

AKA Everything's Better With Explosions

Whenever there seems to be a dull, quiet or otherwise non-car-filled moment, [the Director of this film] likes to believe that filming a bunch of cars exploding will distract the audience long enough to forget that these movies are objectively terrible.

I sort of hate that he's right.

First rule of Hollywood: Everything explodes.

Let's face it, everything's better with explosions. A good shot of Stuff Blowing Up will save having to write many pages of character development and inventive language. Television scripts are short. Shortcuts are taken.

There is a pretty good chance the audience has already seen something blow up at least once during a typical day of television.

Note, however, that while we mere mortals react to explosions with some combination of shock and awe, if the folks on-screen are not so close to the blast they're surfing the shock wave away from the epicenter, they'll probably be strolling coolly off in slow motion, not even deigning to turn their heads to acknowledge things going to Hades behind them. From this, we can also infer that if one does not grant an explosion power by looking at it, it cannot strike you down with a piece of shrapnel. If they foolishly glance at an explosion, they may still survive by running from it and jumping, but are much more likely to get killed.

A Sub-Trope of Garnishing the Story.

A Super Trope to:

If only some characters in a work use it, can lead to Follow the Chaos. Compare Kill It with Fire.


Examples:


    open/close all folders 

    Comedy 
  • Humor columnist Dave Barry:
    • He described his interest in Exploding Things in a note in Dave Barry Talks Back:
      "I don't wish to toot my own horn, but I definitely deserve to win several Nobel Prizes for the ground-breaking scientific work I've done in the field of exploding things. Since I wrote my first report, several years ago, about a snail that exploded in a restaurant in Syracuse New York, I have received literally thousands of letters from alert readers sending me newspaper clippings about exploding ants, pigs, trees, yogurt containers, potatoes, television sets, finches, whales, municipal toilets, human stomachs, and of course cows."
    • Dave Barry was rather disappointed to find out that the medical discovery of "exploding head syndrome" did not mean "the actual explosion of a person's head, ideally Barry Manilow's in concert."
      "... you wake up in the middle of the night having 'a violent sensation of explosion in the head.' Big deal. We get that all the time, but you don't see us whining to the Lancet. You see us making a mental note to drink gin from smaller containers."
    • He also, in what has to be one of his best-ever articles, popularized the exploding whale incident in Oregon. This took place in 1970, long before Barry wrote about it, but it's through his article that most people know about it.

    Comic Strips 
  • Little Nemo in Slumberland always had fireworks being set off in some way on the Fourth of July.

    Music 
  • Fatboy Slim "Gangster Tripping". In fact, the final version of the script is a single line: "Blow stuff up."
  • The end of Junior Senior's "Move Your Feet"
  • Keith Moon's raison d'Ítre.
  • "7 and 7 Is" by Love — the only way to cap the blistering tone of the song is with a thermonuclear explosion.
  • The music video for "Hero" by Skillet consists almost entirely of the band performing in front of this non-stop. In the rain.

    Pinball 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Notably an airliner crashing on takeoff in Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons (properly dusty and smoky, not much of a fireball, but a visible shockwave. Nice).
  • The Muppet Show
    • Crazy Harry, who would show up whenever someone would say "dynamite". Or "explosion". Or, once, "fish". He would then press down on a plunger trigger, and things would go boom. Presumably, the entire stage was always wired, just in case.
    • Different Muppets would explode, sometimes precluded by a declaration to "Blow their tops", sometimes without warning. Kermit even admitted to explosions being one of the show's trademarks.
    • The writers of The Muppet Show had three rules as to how to end a sketch quickly: Blow something up, eat something, or throw penguins around.
  • The Thunderbirds titles end with a spectacular set of explosions to tell you that it's made with Supermarionation. Most Gerry Anderson shows seem to have something exploding in their titles, but Thunderbirds is definitely the most spectacular. Most episodes of Gerry Anderson shows usually involve large amounts of pyrotechnics at some point as well.

    Radio 
  • The Goon Show: "You rotten swine, you! You have deaded me again with the dreaded dynamite!"
    • The exploding taxis...
      "Drop that explosion!" [BOOM]
    • Or how to break the world altitude record for pianos.
    • Or Major Bloodnok, who was a walking, talking series of explosive sound effects.

    Roleplay 
  • Destroy The Godmodder: There are plenty, some of them described quite impressively. From the death star to tanks to whatever the godmodder feels like blowing up.
    • The UOSS did this... and took out half the battlefield in the process. The fireworks were so impressive none of the entities did anything that round.

    Tabletop Games  
  • If something doesn't go kaboom at some point in Feng Shui, you're doing things wrong. The Jammers even have it as their battle cry: "BLOW THINGS UP! BLOW THINGS UP!"
  • Similarly, the Death Leopard society in Paranoia has "blow shit up and have fun" as its entire policy. Also tends to happen when: the Troubleshooters use grenades, the Troubleshooters have grenades used on them, something overloads, something that's intentionally explosive explodes, a can of Bouncy Bubble Beverage gets shaken too hardnote , someone Logic Bombs Friend Computer and causes a reactor overload, a T-Shooter pyrokinetically sets off a grenade in someone else's bag while both are in a small roomnote , someone fires too many shots before changing laser barrels, or the GM is getting bored and wants to get the session over with.
  • Orks in Warhammer 40,000 love explosions as much as they do loud guns, fast vehicles and a good fight. So much that for them, a troop transport detonating in midair killing every boy inside and resulting in a catastrophic explosion is just as good a result as if it had successfully landed.

    Theme Parks 
  • The Hobgoblin makes several buildings blow up with his pumpkin bombs on The Amazing Adventures of Spider-Man.
  • Happens quite often at Disney Theme Parks, most notably in The Studio Backlot Tour.
  • Several explosions occur on the Jaws ride due to the skipper's grenade launcher, the biggest one occurring when the skipper accidentally shoots a gas dock.
  • The former Kongfrontation had several buildings partially blowing up, due to the damage from King Kong's rampage.

    Toys 

    Breaking And Destruction TropesTropes That Go BOOM!
Spontaneous Human CombustionThis Index Is On FireTechnicolor Fire
Tropes That Go BOOM!SpectacleWeather and Environment
The RevealClimactic TropesThird Act Stupidity
Bigger Is BetterGarnishing the StoryAltum Videtur
Splash PanelComic Book TropesSymbol Swearing
Stewed AliveAnimation TropesTalking to Himself
Story BreadcrumbsNarrative DevicesStuffed into a Locker
Sticky BombTropes That Go BOOM!Angst Nuke
StripperifficImageSource/PhotographyStupid Crooks
MystAwesome/Video GamesTony Hawk's Pro Skater
Refuge in AudacityOverdosed TropesStealth Pun
Stepping Stones in the SkyRule of CoolTheme Music Power-Up

alternative title(s): Everything Is Better With Explosions; Baysplosions
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