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I'm Melting!

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Maybe you ran out of time to fix the killer poison. Maybe you're made of paint or something. Maybe someone froze you and then heated you up really fast. Or, maybe you opened the Ark of the Covenant. Maybe you fell into lava or acid or something else that makes people melt. Point is, you're about to learn how a snowman feels in the spring.

I'm Melting is when a character or other life form, for one reason or another, has a literal meltdown. It might look like:

  • Collapsing into lumpy goo:. Probably one of the best and nastiest looking meltdowns one can find, it basically occurs when the subject slowly turns to goo all over, flesh falling and dripping from their body onto the floor. It doesn't usually leave a viscous puddle either, so much as a pile of soggy dough. This method was popularized by Raiders of the Lost Ark, and was cause for many a nightmare among kids at the time.
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  • From the ground up. The most classic example, in which only the part of the subject that touches the ground actually turns to liquid. Of course, this means that, sequentially, every part of the body will touch the ground, often giving the illusion of sinking into a shallow puddle. (The easiest way to stage this effect in live-action settings is to do exactly that, lowering the actor on a hidden trap door, often with their clothing gathering on the ground for added effect. See The Wizard of Oz or any of several Star Trek episodes.) Oddly, the victim will never be considered dead until their head has melted, which will be alive and speaking until the end despite their heart and lungs melting beforehand.
  • Soda pop. This one was quite popular with Disney cartoons in the early to mid-'90s. In short, this one is very similar to From the ground up, except with the added effect of being very, VERY fizzy. Bubbles tend to actually rise off of the subject and pop in mid-air. Imagine an alka-seltzer sitting in a puddle of water, and you've got the idea here. Sometimes this will leave a nice clean puddle as if the resultant soda went flat, but other times, the subject may completely dissolve into a shrinking pile of fizz.
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  • Bones. One of the rarest types of meltdown, this is when everything but the skeleton is reduced to a puddle of Pepto-Bismol. Truth in Television, since bones, especially human bones, are very difficult to completely destroy. Cremated remains are mainly bits of bone — everything else evaporates. Another Nightmare Fuel method of melting someone.
  • Vaporization. This is regarded as melting, but looks like it didn't just stop with turning the victim to a liquid. In fact, often, the liquid isn't even seen. It's as if they skipped a step, steaming and sublimating from the ground up.

This is a common fate of enemies weak to water, sunlight, salt, certain poisons/acids, and of course, deconstructive nanobots.

Note that this can be a subtrope of No Body Left Behind and Everything Fades, although it can lead to Empty Piles of Clothing in works where Shapeshifting Excludes Clothing. It can also be played for comedic effect, with the victim restored to normal in the next scene. A subtrope of this is Lustful Melt.

Due to the fact in fiction people often say this when they are melting (often as a Stock Shout-Out to The Wizard of Oz), this could be considered an example of Captain Obvious.

As a Death Trope, there may be some unmarked spoilers here. Be careful!


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  • Several football players begin to suffer a meltdown thanks to the heat, until Boomer Esasion passes them all bottles of Pepsi. As they chug, the melting is not just stopped, but reversed. Hm... Does that mean that Pepsi really does bring your ancestors back from the dead?
  • The same principle was used in a Sierra Mist commercial with a man whose legs fuse to the ground as he walks toward a vending machine, getting shorter and shorter as he leaves a denim-textured trail of goo behind him. He gets his drink in time to chug himself back to normal only moments before he would have been unable to reach the machine, then he just has to pour out a single drop to restore his poor puddle of a dog.
  • A commercial for Energizer batteries featured The Wicked Witch of the West herself attempting to destroy the Energizer Bunny by setting him on fire with her broom. She ends up setting off a sprinkler system that melts her.

  • In Me Cvimad Moval, after Flying on a Cloud for a bit, the girl and the snowman land in a sunny area. The location proves to be a bit too sunny for the snowman, as he becomes exhausted from the heat and starts to melt. The girl tries to find some snow to help revive him, but by the time she comes back the snowman has melted completely. Thankfully, the snowman later comes back to life in the form of raindrops, and he and the girl are soon happily playing together once more.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Case Closed, due to the action of APTX, victims eventually melt — even for our survivors (to them APTX became a Fountain of Youth), they did feel their bones melting, and smoke came out from their bodies.
  • Elfen Lied has a particularly gruesome case in the last chapter. Lucy's psychic powers slowly damage her body on a molecular level and during the finale she uses them to such a great extent that parts of her slowly start to liquefy. In her moment of redemption, she uses all the power she has to save Kouta and his friends which literally causes her skin and flesh to melt. First, the arms and legs fall off and during the death scene she is only a melting skull and torso and asks to be covered by a jacket so the others (and the readers) don't have to see her like that during her final minutes. To add to the heartbreak, she uses her one vector to give a gun to Kouta as she begs him to end her suffering.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • End of Evangelion has everyone getting hugged by a hallucination of their most loved person and then promptly collapsing into primordial soup. Anti-AT field: quick, painless and 100% effective.
    • Episode 20 has a similar thing happening to Shinji: he immersed into his berserking Eva so much his body melted into LCL and they had to figure out how to rebuild it and bind his soul in it. Same thing happened to his mother while he was watching, by the way.
  • Happens twice in Guyver: the first time to Lisker when Guyver II's damaged control medal is smashed, and again later in the series when Sho as Guyver I has his control medal torn out by Enzyme. Temporarily subverted in that the second occurrence doesn't immediately result in melting, but Guyot psychically causing Enzyme's body to burst apart when the berserking Guyver I tackled him behind reduce both Enzyme and Sho to a rapidly-disintegrating mound of bioflesh and bones.
  • Amayo Jingorou from Basilisk can turn his body into semi-liquid ooze by covering himself with salt. This is why he's absolutely terrified of the sea, since the salt water dissolves his body completely. This is exactly how he meets his end.
  • This is what happens to all the witches in Brynhildr in the Darkness whenever their "eject" button is pressed or they run out of "death suppressant" pills.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Happens to the Blue Eyes Ultimate Dragon when Yugi fuses a Zombie to it.
  • One of the manga based on Zelda II: The Adventure of Link briefly saw series antagonist Ganon return, only to rapidly melt away after being impaled with the Magical Sword.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Vento Aureo, this happens to anyone hit with a lethal dose of the skin-corroding viruses of Fugo's Stand, Purple Haze. As their body starts succumbing to the illness, they will slowly, painfully melt to death. Just ask Illuso.
  • Little Witch Academia: A monster hit with poison melts into a puddle of goo, which promptly eats a clean circular hole through the floor.
  • An infamous example would be the anime adaptation of Barefoot Gen during the scene in which Hiroshima was bombed. It's an absolutely horrific 3-and-a-half minute sequence of men, women, children and animals graphically melting from the atom bomb's extreme heat. Usually the first part of them to melt is their eyes, which gruesomely drip out of their sockets. Truth in Television, of course, since that actually happened to those unfortunate to be caught in the blast radius during the atomic bombings.

    Comic Books 
  • It would appear that this was the ultimate fate of Dr. Light. Although he was first turned into a candle by The Spectre.
  • Would you believe that wholesome Archie Comics published not one, but two stories featuring this trope?
    • The original Life with Archie series (1958-1991) featured longer, more "adventure" oriented stories than the typical Archie titles, including one with a mysterious Satanic box that melts people's faces off.
    • From 1972 to 1974, Archie published a Sabrina the Teenage Witch spinoff, Chilling Adventures in Sorcery as Told by Sabrina. It had the odd combination of straight-up horror stories with art in the familiar Archie house style and Sabrina acting as Horror Host. One story, in particular, stands out, featuring a boy who teases a stutterer at school. The kindly teacher happens to be a witch, and gives him an enchanted book that melts his face off, and possibly kills him!
  • Judge Dredd: In "The Pit" arc, corrupt SJS chief Herman Roth tries to flee the sector after Dredd exposes him, only to be killed by his mob contacts by getting dunked in a barrel full of bio-acid. His flesh has been melted off his bones when the Judges find what's left of him.
  • In a story from the Post-Crisis Wonder Woman (1987), Wonder Woman's clone, who was created by Ares' daughter to stir up mistrust and hatred among the people of the world invited to Themyscira for a goodwill feast, eventually melted into a pile of goo when she attempted to strangle Lois Lane.
  • This is one of the ways heroes can die from the Morituri Effect in Strikeforce: Morituri.
  • The unfortunate result of one college student's unstable mutation in X-Men. Already holding anti-mutant prejudice, added to activating in front of all his peers, he's horrified enough by his body suddenly melting that he commits suicide before Hope Summers can get to him and stabilize his powers.

    Comic Strips 
  • This happens to Little Nemo once when he has hoped to merely thaw out of a block of ice.
  • Also in a strip by 19th century German artist Wilhelm Busch. Boy Peter leaves the house on a very cold winter day despite being told not to for ice skating, where he promptly freezes in the cold. Fortunately, the hunter finds him and brings him home; but in the oven heat, this trope happens, and all the dolorous parents can do is wipe up the liquid and store it in a jar, which they keep in the larder.
  • The classic Wicked Witch melting is parodied in Brevity.
    Wicked Witch of the West: I'm melting! MELTING!!! And on the good rug too...
  • In one early Dilbert story-line, Dilbert is sent to Accounting. In Dilbert's company, Accounting is a horrific nightmare realm whose employees are literal trolls and their superior is an evil witch (or wizard — gender doesn't really matter in Accounting). Dilbert transforms him into a troll just from breathing the air, and he is promptly put to work erasing budgets for various departments. Then he is given the budget of the Accounting department itself...
    Head of Accounting: Help me! I'm melting! Aaaagh!
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • One of Calvin's Imagine Spots involves it being so hot outside that he melts, leaving only his clothes behind. His melted remains then evaporate and then rain, restoring him to solid form, and a now naked Calvin runs off. The strip ends with Calvin's mother picking up his clothes off the sidewalk while muttering "Not again!"
    • In another Imagine Spot, Calvin imagines drinking one glass of water too many, so that his body becomes 90% water and melts.

    Fan Works 
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf adaptation of Smurfette's origin, Papa Smurf causes Smurfette's physical form to melt back into a lump of clay before he casts the spell that reshapes her into her current real Smurf form. In the story "Days Of Future Smurfed", Empath in one of his jumps into the future sees Smurfette melting back into a lump of clay after Papa Smurf's spell that turns her into a real Smurf eventually fails.
  • When the Entity enters Twilight Sparkle's body in the beginning of The Power of the Equinox, her transformation into Dimmed Star begins by the melting of her flesh, which is followed by the melting of her skeleton. She's too busy laughing madly about the revenge she intends to exact upon Queen Chrysalis to notice this. Her heart remains intact in the buddle that forms, and her new body forms around the heart from said buddle.
  • The Tooniverse Emissary: Instead of turning into trophies as in the fanfiction's source material The Subspace Emissary, cartoon characters are melted into puddles of lifeless paints, which are then scooped up into vials to prevent anybody from reviving them.
  • After the demons stop possessing Professor Peach's in Remnant Inferis: DOOM, what's left of her body (her upper torso due to being cut in half) melts into a bloody puddle.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Wizard of Oz is the Trope Namer, for a scene where Dorothy accidentally splashes the Wicked Witch of the West, who does not react well to water.
  • Subverted in Sky High (2005), in that melting into goo was actually Ethan's power.
  • This happened partially in Electroma, where two robots, wishing to be human, have masks that looked like human faces. Unfortunately the masks melted in the sun.
  • The Incredible Melting Man tells the unfortunate tale of an astronaut who is slowly, painfully, experiencing this effect.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • Seen in X-Men, with Senator Kelly, whose body has turned very unstable by Magneto's mutation-inducing machine. It starts with the hand Storm was clutching, and then everything is broken down until becoming pure water!
    • Iceman in X-Men: Days of Future Past by three Sentinels in the climax, as his "frozen body" form is torn down.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: "DON'T LOOK, MARION! KEEP YOUR EYES SHUT!" This is what Indiana Jones tells Marion when Belloq, Dietrich, Toht and the Nazis open the Ark of the Covenant. Indy and Marion wisely keep their eyes closed, while the Nazis and Belloq suffer God's wrath. Those who look end up being killed gruesomely by the Ark, but Toht is the one whose death stands out, as his face literally melts off of his skull in liquid form. He is left gurgling on his own blood even after most of his skin has been graphically reduced to a fleshy puddle, implying that he's drowning in his own blood as his flesh liquefies.
  • The ghostly trio of Casper are melted away when exposed to sunlight. This is merely a ruse.
  • In Gremlins, the title creatures melt into puddles of green goo (leaving only a skeleton behind) when exposed to sunlight. Gremlins 2: The New Batch shows that somehow, you get the same effect when you get them wet then electrocute them, too.
  • Godzilla vs. Hedorah's titular Big Bad, the pollution monster Hedorah, is shown killing unfortunate people in numerous different ways as he seeks out new sources of pollution to feed on, this method being one of them. Hedorah is able to fire concentrated jets of sulphuric acid vapour from his body which reduce anyone unlucky enough to be caught by the jets to nothing but bones on the ground.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit didn't show it often, but did bring it to disturbing levels with the Dip. When Judge Doom, the Big Bad, is revealed to be a Toon, he meets his end by his own concoction, and his death is very much a Shout-Out to the Wicked Witch's death in The Wizard of Oz.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day: The T-1000 after he is shot in the gut with a grenade by the T-800. He falls into a vat of molten steel, where he shrieks (and transforms into his victims) as he melts away.
  • In Sweet Home, Yamamura dies in a very graphic way as his flesh melts off of his body, leaving only a crumbling skeleton behind. The scene is present in the video game adaptation as well, and is no less grisly on the Famicom.
  • Volcano: Stan when he jumps into the lava to save the subway motorman, and in the process, has his entire body melted into the lava. It probably wasn't meant to be as funny as it turned out.
  • The Joker subverts this trope (what else?) in Batman, when Vicki Vale throws a pitcher of water at him in order to distract him. After impersonating The Wicked Witch and crying "I'm melting!" for a few seconds, he then shouts "Boo!" at Vicki, just before Batman smashes through the skylight in probably the iconic Big Damn Heroes moment of the film.
  • Cube Zero: A particularly disgusting example happens when a character who appears in the opening minutes gets completely sprayed with some sort of odorless tissue-eating acid. He initially thinks that it's water, thirstily gulping it down before noticing that his skin turns waxy and starts to flake off.
  • Happens to an unlucky guy in the The Fly II when the angry man-fly hybrid monster attacks him.
  • In RoboCop, one of Clarence Boddicker's goons, Emil Antonowsky, gets soaked in industrial waste after running his van into a tank of the corrosive stuff. He starts slowly melting (while still alive!), while shambling around in pain. Clarence eventually hits Emil with his car, at which point he's so melted that his body literally explodes into goo on impact. Being Clarence, he seems more upset over the mild inconvenience Emil's goo had on driving than the death of his lackey, the jerk.
  • In Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – The Cradle of Life, the main villain gets thrown into a pit of black acid-like liquid. He spends a few dozen seconds thrashing around while his skin and muscle slowly melt off him.
  • The climax of The Devil's Rain shows the satanic cult melting due to the eponymous occurrence.
  • Happens to Godzilla at the end of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah as he's dying of a literal nuclear meltdown. His body temperature has reached the critical 12,000 degrees which causes the flesh to start melting off of his bones. One close-up shot even shows his own dorsal fins melting away.
  • Several of the vampire deaths in From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money, as the staked vampires' partially-fleshed skeletons remain intact while a nasty black fluid flows out of them, forming a puddle on the ground.
  • The eponymous Monster Clowns from Killer Klowns from Outer Space melt down a security guard by throwing acid pies at him.
    Security guard: What are you gonna do with those pies, boys?
  • Guyver:
    • In the film adaptation of Guyver, after Sean has the unit literally pulled out from his head by Lisker.
    • Also in the more successful sequel, Guyver: Dark Hero. Once the villainous Guyver Zoanoid is mortally wounded in battle, Sean pulls out the unit from his head. It melts down to a skeleton, which was only briefly seen before Guyver finished him off in his signature style.
  • When Jason has to switch bodies in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday, the former one graphically rots away.
  • In Gnaw: Food of the Gods II, "evil" scientist Edmond Delhurst suffers a meltdown death after he accidentally infects himself with a mixture of dog cancer cells and the titular growth hormone. He promptly turns into a gloppy puddle of cancerous goo.
    Neil Hamilton: Edmond? God, you look awful!
  • The final battle of The Battle Wizard, a fantasy kung-fu film, has its main villain dying from dissolving into a pool of white foam after being overloaded with too much chi.
  • This is what happens to anyone who is consumed and digested by The Blob (1988), shown in graphic detail. Some of them have their eyes being liquefied into pools of blood. Others seem to no longer have skin or bones after being snared and entrapped in the terrible stuff. Try to pull them out of the Blob, you'll probably only succeed in pulling an arm off.
  • The Super Mario Bros. movie, of all things. Koopa briefly mentions early in the film that all life started out as primeval slime, vaguely foreshadowing the film's climax, where Mario and Luigi turn the De-evolutionizing De-vo guns on him until he turns back into primeval slime himself. Interestingly, there was a deleted clip from early in the film in which the De-vo chamber operator himself was De-evolved into slime. If you watch the film closely, you'll notice a green puddle during the De-vo chamber fight.
  • In the "Overtoke" segment from Campfire Tales (1991), an oddly destructive weed causes its users to break apart and ultimately melt into a green puddle after prolonged use.
  • In Dracula Untold, the spokesman vampire toward the end of the film has this fate, with his impaled body dripping off of his bones until he is a very emaciated corpse on the stake he was impaled with.
  • When Zack in The Curse tries to get his mother out of their house that's collapsing due to the meteor's influence, he finds out that she has mutated to the point that her entire body breaks apart and melts into a puddle of black goo.
  • In Street Trash, a long-expired alcoholic drink called "Tenafly Viper" causes those who drink it to slowly and grotesquely melt into multicolored sludge. The most famous scene involves a hobo slowly melting into the toilet bowl he's sitting on, his arm breaking off at the wrist when he tries to grab the flush handle to pull himself out. He's quickly reduced to a groaning, half-melted head bobbing around in the bowl.
  • The 1993 Aussie Body Horror film Body Melt involves an experimental diet pill created to make the perfect human, but it goes horribly wrong, causing various horrifying mutations including growing tentacles, exploding body parts, and of course the titular melting bodies.
  • Taken to Crosses the Line Twice levels in Planet Terror, when a would-be rapist's genitals melt off.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Combined with shrinking in Ant-Man, when Darren Cross uses an imperfect shrink ray to reduce an intransigent investor to a tiny glob of fleshy goo.
    • Thor: Ragnarok: The Grandmaster uses a weapon looking like a rod topped by a sphere to execute people who displeased him, as he demonstrates with his "cousin" next to Thor. This results in the victim melting into a blue goo, to Thor's horror. Then the Grandmaster complains that he got some on his shoes.
  • In Flash Gordon, General Kala is shot on a staircase and falls prone, after which a pool of black liquid flows down the steps from her collapsing costume.


  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the inspiration for the Trope Namer. After the Wicked Witch of the West steals one of the Silver Slippers from Dorothy, the girl becomes so enraged, she dumps a bucket of water all over the witch, who then melts before Dorothy's eyes. Note that it's not nearly instantaneous: the witch has enough time for a dialogue in which she asks the stupid question "did you not know water could destroy me?" Even (Especially) as a child, it's obvious to the reader that had she known, Dorothy would have done it weeks ago.
    • Worth noting is that the book provides a surprisingly legitimate reason for this: The witch magically kept herself alive for so long that her body had essentially mummified and dried to a dust that, due to this same magic, held intact right where it all belonged "like brown sugar", until Dorothy introduced a solvent to it. In the film though, water simply causes her to evaporate into steam, presumably because "it's Oz".
  • In Hans Christian Andersen's original version of The Little Mermaid, mer-people dissolve into sea foam when they die. This is the fate that threatens the title character if she can't win the prince's love. In the end it does happen, but her spirit lives on.
  • Enchanted Forest Chronicles:
    • Wizards react the same way to soapy water with a little lemon juice in it. Why this occurs is never explained; it seems to have something to do with their magic, and probably also with the fact their appearance is repeatedly described as "greasy". They recover somehow, but it does put them out of commission for awhile. The lemon juice is a critical component, as well.
    • Later on, Telemain develops a spell that replicates the effect. It's more portable than buckets and can be used multiple times in rapid succession without having to reload (again unlike a bucket), but it doesn't last quite as long as an actual bucketful of soapy lemon water (possibly because the puddle is pure wizard, without the melting agent mixed in).
    • Averted by a friendly witch who was splashed at the same time as the wizards in one book. The princess who soaked them figured the witch would be safe (if wet) because she kept a very tidy and clean home, and there's no way someone that good at house-cleaning would have any problems with soap and water.
  • In the Isaac Asimov short story "Rain, Rain, Go Away", a family of nosy neighbors nonetheless makes friends with a new family that moved in. They noted that the new family seems to be deathly afraid of rain, but writes it off as everyone having their own special quirks. They invite the new family to a carnival, where everyone has a good time until they see storm clouds. The new family is desperate to get home, up to and including crying when they hear radio reports that the rain is going to strike soon. When they finally get home, they only make it halfway:
    Mother: Honestly! You'd think they were... [rain suddenly starts at the family proceeds to melt] ... made of sugar and afraid they would melt?
  • A messy version happens to Messalla when he is caught in a pod with a laser of golden light in Mockingjay, the final book of The Hunger Games trilogy.
  • In H. P. Lovecraft's The Dunwich Horror, Wilbur Whateley's non-human heritage is revealed when his furry, scaly, tentacled, nine-foot corpse dissolves into paste, leaving nothing behind but some discoloration to the floor.
  • Septimus Heap: This is how DomDaniel ends in the climax of Flyte, by melting down in a puddle of slime.
  • In David Eddings' The Tamuli, people are terrified of the Shining Ones for their ability to inflict an extremely nasty fate with a touch: their victims' flesh sloughs off their bones as they rot alive. The Shining Ones are equally horrified by it.
  • Not shown, but it's mentioned in Unseen Academicals that Unseen University's sports instructor, Evans the Striped, died by spontaneous evaporation. Ridcully's a bit put out that one of UU's wizards would die in such an unimpressive fashion.
  • In Peter Straub's Floating Dragon, the nerve agent DRG-16 is accidentally released from a Department of Defense chemical plant, and causes a number of people to meet this fate.
  • In Hallow Mass Chester Sawyer's body dissolves into slime upon his death.
  • In Bujold's Literature/Diplomatic Immunity we find that the Star Creche has a bioweapon that melts people.
  • In Michael Reaves' The Burning Realm, the Deathlings are human victims of a supernatural disease inflicted by a vengeful Cthon. They become more and more sensitive to sensations, and more vulnerable to injury, until they're incapacitated by their condition, go into convulsions, and literally disintegrate into melting flesh and cracked bone.
  • In Death Warmed Over, several zombies and other unfortunate Unnaturals get reduced to goo by an anti-Unnatural racist's plot to annihilate their kind.
  • The villains of Robin Jarvis' Deptford Histories book Thomas have poisoned weapons that doom their victims to melting into piles of steaming sludge at the slightest prick.
  • In the Goosebumps book Attack of the Mutant, the protagonist defeats the titular supervillain by getting him to melt himself. (The Masked Mutant is a shapeshifter who can turn into any solid at will and change back again. The protagonist tricks the Mutant into turning into a wave of sulfuric acid- which is a liquid, meaning he can't change back.)
  • This is part of the drawback of Kent's power in Hero Worship. Over the course of the day, he becomes more and more liquid until he's a puddle on the ground. When he sleeps, he reforms into whatever shape the liquid settles in. To look human, he sleeps in a mold.
  • This is how Heroic RRoD and Villainous RRoD manifest in Quantum Devil Saga: Avatar Tuner. If one spends too much time without devouring anyone, their bodies will start consuming themselves and soon will melt into a black, tar-like goo.
  • Red Dwarf: This is how Rimmer dies in Backwards, being melted from the inside out until he's just a pile of human flesh containing his eyeballs, thanks to the Armageddon virus making it into his light bee. He's aware of the whole process too.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The X-Files:
    • An entire episode revolves around an assassin erasing clones from existence by using a powerful acid in his blood.
    • Alien hybrids most often dissolve into green goo when killed.
  • Vampires in True Blood melt into horrible bloody goo when they get staked.
  • The Doctor Who story "Dragonfire" has the villain Kane, a low-temperature lifeform, commit suicide by exposing himself to strong sunlight, causing him to melt. Probably one of the most gruesome sequences in the history of the show (you see his face drip off his skull), and astonishing when you think it got broadcast in an early-evening family show.
  • This is what Witchblade in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers says after being destroyed by the Shogun Megazord, except this trope is averted, as instead of melting, she topples over and explodes while saying:
    Witchblade: Oh no, I'm falling... falling... what a world...!
  • In the Goosebumps episode based on "Attack of the Mutant", said mutant's supervillain power was his ability to turn into anything, with one exception: If he turns into a liquid, he can't turn back. The Kid Hero defeats him by telling him he should try turning into acid. This is depicted as the villain evaporating away while his costume (and mask) crumple up flat, into a steamy pile of clothes.
  • In the Halloween special of Phil of the Future, the evil cyborg Debbie melted into black goo after overheating when the students disobeyed her orders.
  • In the pilot episode of Supernatural, the Woman in White and her children dissolve into a puddle of water before bursting into flame.
  • The Tokusatsu show Message from Space: Galactic Battle (Uchu kara no messeji: Ginga taisen, better known as San Ku Kaï in Europe or Sankuokai in Latin America) features one villain of the week with water-based powers who melts into foam when killed, which then takes fire. (It stands out because most other villains would rather explode.)
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In "The Dark Age", an old friend of Giles has been killed by a demon they used to summon up, who then inhabits his body. When things get rough for the demon he leaves the body, which promptly dissolves into a puddle of greenish goo.
  • Big Bad Commander Black turns into green foamy goo at the end of Ultraman Leo.
  • In the Star Trek: Voyager episode "Course: Oblivion", the crew of Voyager discover that they are biomimetic copies of themselves when The Doctor injects B'Elanna Torres's dead body with a dichromate catalyst, which instantly causes it to revert into a blob of "silver blood" from the earlier "Demon" episode. Later on, the biomimetic Voyager itself disintegrates into formless particles when force fields holding the dissolving ship together fail.
  • The various Ultra Series' have their monsters killed off in this manner:
    • In Ultraman, Banila is killed by Aboras's Acidic Foam spraying him.
    • Ultraseven:
      • Gabura melts into Yellow Slim after the Alien Shadow's Ship is destroyed.
      • Dally is reduced into Bubbles by a one-time only attack from Ultra Seven.
      • Dancan dies in the "Soda Pop" style after Seven hits him with the Emerium Ray.
    • Return of Ultraman:
      • Alien Nackle goes out like this when he dies after being dropped on his head by Jack.
      • Sasahiller is reduced into foam by Jack's Specium Ray.
  • In Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., this is the result of Radcliffe's failed Inhuman experiment.
  • In an episode of The Mighty Boosh, The Hitcher takes a shower in the Fountain of Youth so that he can become younger and more powerful. Naboo flushes the nearby toilet to stop him, heating up the water in the shower and melting The Hitcher into a green milkshake-like slime.

  • The album Death Valley High by Zombina and the Skeletones is a concept album that tells the story of a troubled young girl who slaughters her classmates in the song "Janie's Got a Dissolvo Ray".
  • The Christmas song "Frosty the Snowman" mentions having fun before he melts away. In the animation based on the song, he melts in the greenhouse where he takes a little girl to keep her warm. Tear Jerker.


  • In The Goon Show episode "The Childe Harold Rewarde," Grytpype-Thynne and Moriarty reduce Seagoon to liquid in a steam-bath and trap him in a bottle. They then threaten to drink him as part of an extortion scheme. Because this is The Goon Show, Seagoon begged the audience for help from within his bottle.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • The spell infallible servant from the book Exemplar of Evil can turn a creature into a foul sludge if slain or captured after casting, making it impossible to interrogate or resurrect. Note that this spell is mostly cast on willing subjects.
    • The Keepers, an Outsider race described in the Fiend Folio, have this as a racial trait. If they are captured or pinned down for more than 10 rounds, they dissolve into a puddle of poison.
  • Red Dwarf: Wax droids risk this if put into too high a temperature setting. Having a wax droid and an iguana in the same party can cause major headaches due to iguanas becoming unresponsive in low temperature settings.

  • In The Snow Maiden that's how the title character meets her end.
  • Subverted in Wicked, in which Elphaba is indeed splashed with water by Dorothy, only to be revealed to have faked her own death using a trapdoor in order for her and Fiyero (who Elphaba cast a spell on so he wouldn't be executed, turning him into The Scarecrow) to leave Oz together. A heartbroken Glinda, though, still thinks her best friend is dead.
  • In the stage adaptation of The Little Mermaid, Ursula dies in this manner after Ariel destroys her nautilus shell.

  • In BIONICLE, it is implied that Zaktan may have done something like this to a Toa of Plasma, since the only sign of him left was an orange puddle, although it's still ambiguous as to what actually happened in that room. Tahu also partly melts Nektann using his heat powers in self-defense, but manages to avoid killing him.

    Video Games 
  • Characters in the Army Men games who are attacked with a flamethrower will flatten out into a puddle and fade away. Justified because all the characters are plastic toy soldiers, which will melt in high temperatures.
  • A variant occurs in Conker's Bad Fur Day, when Conker defeats the Great Mighty Poo via flushing him down the toilet. Also doubles as a nice Shout-Out to the Wizard of Oz example.
    Great Mighty Poo: Arrgh, you cursed squirrel! Look what you have done! I'm flushing, I'm flushing! Oh what a world, what a world. Who would've thought a good little squirrel like you could destroy my beautiful clagginess?
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, Like-likes will slowly melt into a puddle before burning away.
    • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past features an enemy made of ice completely resistant to everything but fire magic, which reduces it to a shrinking puddle.
    • In some older 2.5 betas of Zelda Classic, there is some unused sprites of Wizzrobes, depicting them as melting into a pile of clothes, and reappearing elsewhere. Since there is no way to place these sprites in a Wizzrobe's animation (they just flicker with their normal sprites), this never took off.
    • In Zelda: Wand of Gamelon, quoted above.
  • Super Mario Sunshine has several enemies and even allies that appear to be made of paint. Water, which is your main weapon in the game, will cause these paint beings to melt into a puddle of paint.
  • This can happen to Larry Laffer in Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! if he doesn't bother to remove his leisure suit before either jumping into the mud bath or entering the sauna at La Costa Lotta.
  • Metroid:
    • Shoot tinbots with the plasma beam in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, and they will sink into bright puddles.
    • Super Metroid: A particularly brutal and graphic example occurs when the mini-boss Crocomire is pushed into a pit of acid. After bobbing up and down a bit trying to get out, it screams at a very high pitch and flesh starts peeling off in gooey streaks until only the skeleton remains.
  • In Crusader: No Regret the LNR-81 "Liquefier" Catalytic Cartridge rifle fires projectiles with explosive warheads intended to disperse a catalytic chemical that breaks down molecular bonds especially in organic matter. Living things that get hit vaporize into a ghostly outline before collapsing to the ground into a puddle of base matter.
  • In the Fallout games, plasma weapons have a special effects death where the victim dissolves into a puddle of green slime. In Fallout 3, this is accompanied by a wet, slurpy sort of sound — lasers, which burn the target to ashes, have a crisp, crackling, burning sort of noise. The Fallout 3 versions are considerably different from Fallout and Fallout 2, though plasma still reduces its victim to goo. Or rather, it melts the flesh off the bones, which promptly collapse into the resultant puddle for a stereotypical 'Bones' version. Lasers just cut victims in half (or thirds depending). Fallout 3's lasers actually act more like Fallout 2's pulse rifles in that regard, incidentally. This also happens to the player character upon activating Project Purity at the end of the game, unless the Broken Steel expansion pack is installed.
    • Since there are too many of them to leave intact corpses without excessive performance drag, the Marked Men in the final battle of Lonesome Road all undergo plasma melting after death.
  • Almost all the enemies in Grabbed by the Ghoulies will do this upon death. The effect interestingly begins with the enemy's body glowing a bright green light before falling into a body-shaped stain on the floor.
  • Space Quest:
    • In Sierra's Space Quest being hit by a drop of acid has it "sear its way to your feet" (through your head), but the VGA remake dissolves Roger the protagonist top-down, into a puddle of goo and a really stupid-looking head in a protective helmet. The VGA remake also features the trope name spoken in a sound clip when this happens.
    • In Space Quest II, Roger can fall into a death trap of green acid. Contrary to type, it kills him gradually, complete with descriptive text!
    • In Space Quest III (and an easter egg in Space Quest IV), going unprotected on a volcanic world causes Roger to melt into a puddle. Roger can also (rather easily) fall into the lava, and the Have a Nice Death picture was accompanied with a half-melted, mostly skeletal Roger trying to get out of the goo.
    • In Space Quest IV, being caught by a slime monster causes Roger to fall straight into it, with a suitable shot of his half-skeletal form trying to claw his way back out.
    • Nobody melts in Space Quest V. We thought we'd mention that for the novelty value. The Pukoids seem half-melted, though.
    • In Space Quest VI, Roger can fall into a pool of acid, with a suitable scene of flailing around and bobbing to the surface with his flesh melted off before a ground-up sizzling into oblivion.
  • Some weapon mods like incendiary or toxic ammo in Mass Effect cause this on enemies when they're killed.
    • In the sequel, this is the final fate of those captured by the collectors, and not rescued in time; or a random colonist if you save everyone...well, everyone else, that is.
  • In Duke Nukem: Time to Kill, enemies you kill melt into puddles of blood regardless of the method used to kill them.
  • In FunOrb's Miner Disturbance, the trope name can be your epitaph in case of death by lava.
  • Mortal Kombat
    • In Mortal Kombat II, one of Shang Tsung's Fatalties causes his opponent's flesh to melt off of their skin as he takes their soul. There's also knocking an opponent into the Deadpool.
    • In Mortal Kombat 9, one of Smoke's Fatalities has him fill his opponent's body with corrosive smoke, causing their flesh to melt off of their bones.
    • In Mortal Kombat X, one of Reptile's Fatalities has him spit a puddle of acid at the opponent's feet, causing their body to slowly dissolve until only an arm is left.
    • Downplayed in Mortal Kombat 11 with one of Erron Black's fatalities, wherein he throws a jar of acid on the ground, kneecaps his opponent, then pushes their head into the acid puddle, melting half of their head before stomping on the remaining half.
  • The Particle Beam in First Encounter Assault Recon disintegrates enemies. Alma also does it to several FEAR and Delta soldiers.
  • Memorably, hilariously/disturbingly, and unintentionally occurred in the early releases of Dwarf Fortress v.2010. Due to a mistake in the materials files, if a dwarf got wet in hot weather, all of their body fat would melt off and they'd bleed to death.
  • There exist a couple of Pokémon (especially blobby or water-based ones) that can learn a move called Acid Armor, which is sort of invoking this trope. Contrary to the trope's outcome, though, it doesn't kill the Pokémon, it just raises its defense a lot.
  • Brain Dead 13: In one death scene in the cocoon chamber, a spray of acid hits Lance's face, resulting in his entire face and head melting (except for the eyeballs) along with his entire body, which melts away into nothingness at all.
  • In Tales of Monkey Island, when Demon Bride Elaine sprays Ghost Pirate Guybrush with root beer, he dissolves into a skeleton, before he thankfully rematerializes back into the Crossroads Center.
  • Enemies in Resident Evil 4 and Resident Evil 5 melt after death. The Novistador's acid attacks inflict grisly melting on Leon's face.
  • In the Bubsy series, one of Bubsy's death animations has him melting into a puddle.
  • This also happens to dead enemies in Ninja Gaiden Black/Sigma.
  • Supplemental material for the Ar tonelico series indicates that this happens to Pureblooded Reyvateils when they die—their bodies are created from biofluid, and only retain that shape for as long as the Reyvateil lives. (This doesn't happen to Halfblooded Reyvateils because they're functionally humans with Reyvateil powers.)
  • In Gruntz, this is how Gruntz die (if not blown up, crushed falling into hazards, or exploded) - they turn into a pile of goo that can be later sucked up to reuse for creation of another grunt. Also said word for word as one of their death quotes.
  • Tomodachi Life has this as a representation of a Mii responding to their absolute least favorite food ever.
  • The death screen for the Scions in Battlezone II: Combat Commander has a hand desperately trying to reach out from a pool of biometal as it melts. The ISDF on the other hand features Ludicrous Gibs as a soldier is ripped apart from weapons fire whilst simultaneously melting from said weapons fire. Presumably, the ESRB saw neither judging by the game's rating.
  • Parodied at the end of the first level of LEGO Marvel Super Heroes, when Sandman is hit with water, making him vulnerable for the exact opposite reason of this trope.
    Sandman: I'm melting! MELTING! No wait, I mean, I'm solidifying! SOLIDIFYING! Oh, what a world...
  • Is present in Undertale in a most nightmarish way possible. Killing Undyne causes her to melt. In Neutral Route, her sprite wavers while piano version of "Ruins" plays in the background, and then she melts while screaming that she can't die yet. In Genocide attempting to kill Monster Kid causes her to sacrifice herself. Than her sprite begins wavering again, but now she decides that she cannot die yet and becomes one of two Genocide bosses that actually can do something to stop you. In the end, she melts, but this time she's smiling, because she is sure that someone will stop you. This is explained on a Pacifist Route in the True Lab. It turns out that monsters can't handle large amounts of Determination like humans can; too much of it causes them to melt. While the Amalgamates were injected with Determination that was taken from human souls, it's implied that Undyne had some of her own, although it's unknown if it's possible with other monsters or not.
  • F.A.N.G.'s Establishing Character Moment in the story mode of Street Fighter V has him chase a female scientist and kill her this way. Her melting isn't shown onscreen as the scene cuts to black, but all that's left of her afterwards is a puddle of purple goo, with F.A.N.G. nastily licking some of it.
  • In one of the Moshi Monsters missions, Tomba the walking snowman melts when you have to melt the ice that another character is frozen in. You get awarded a bonus for making it cold again so that he freezes again.
  • In Star Control Origins, the Pinthi virus is stated to cause a wide variety of symptoms among different lifeforms, but almost all of them eventually end up liquefying in the end. The Pinthi themselves often use "liquefy" as a synonym for "kill".
    Pinthi viral colony: If you were to look upon us directly with your eyes, we would appear to you as a pile of sludge. Your eyes would then also turn into sludge. Followed by the rest of you.

    Visual Novels 
  • Kanja S no Kyuusai: The premise involves the terminal disease known as "Candle Syndrome", in which the body seems to almost melt like a candle due to cellular degeneration.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series, when several of Poison Ivy's "children" (and seemingly herself) come in contact with weed killer.
  • Darkwing Duck has a lot of fun with this:
  • Johnny Bravo:
    • When Johnny accidentally hoses down a candy-themed supervillain in a striped costume.
    • In a much later episode, a frost giant swallows him while he's having extremely spicy food as last meal. The next moment, Johnny is drowning in a large puddle.
  • Goof Troop, when Goofy introduces a monster made of toxic waste to a whiff of fresh air. The monster's puddle actually swirls into nothing, with a hilarious toilet flushing sound effect.
  • This is what happens when the Warners get really, really, really bored in Animaniacs.
  • Courage the Cowardly Dog, at least twice. Once when a snowman removed the "anti-melting gene" from Eustace, and again when courage overcomes his personality issues in the last episode, which causes the anthropomorphic personification of his self depreciation (that looks like a Sadist Teacher) to dissolve in a black puddle.
  • Duck Dodgers sees Dodgers and the Cadet do this to a vampire after getting him to eat garlic.
  • Batman Beyond, when Inque comes in contact with water. And later, when her protégé tries to become like her. Oh, he survives. Unfortunately. Worth noting is that Inque is not permanently incapacitated by water, it's just a major inconvenience. However, her form makes her dependent on mutagen, and when someone slips something nasty into it later on, she completely dissolves and evaporates. Although she is never seen again in the series after this, Batman still doesn't trust that she is gone for good.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy:
    • In "Pop Goes the Ed", when the boys try to cool off in a freezer. Sarah kicks them out as one large block of ice, which quickly melts in the sun... taking the boys with it.
    • "One + One = Ed" had Jimmy melt down into a puddle because Eddy removed his "outer lines" (in other words, he pulled off of the ink outlines like they were wires and left the colored part to melt away). The episode later has Sarah confront Ed about it, holding Jimmy in a lemonade pitcher. Turns out it was just their imagination and never happened...or did it?
      Sarah: [yelling] Wait 'till i tell Mom what you did you Jimmy! [holds up pitcher]
      Jimmy: Don't spill me!
  • Arthur himself on Arthur, but it was only a Dream Sequence of D.W.'s.
  • This happens a lot on Kim Possible:
    • When Drakken sent clones of Kim and Bonnie to attack Kim, Kim was able to melt the clones by spraying soda water at them.
    • Kim and Ron held an army of zombie snowmen at bay by melting them with a flamethrower and packets of hot-sauce.
    • Eric met his defeat when Rufus bit him in the ankle, causing his syntho-gel to leak.
    • Shortly after Kim and Ron got together, Ron had a recurring nightmare that, after their first dance, Kim turned into a syntho-drone and melted.
  • In Men in Black: The Animated Series, quick clones tend to melt after a while.
  • KaBlam!:
    • June once does this (using a magnifying glass against the sun) to both her and Henry in an episode.
    • "And Meltman with the power to... uh... melt."
  • A Celebrity Deathmatch episode with Rebecca Romijn-Stamos vs. Naomi Campbell, in which Rebecca is sprayed with stomach acid, reducing her to a puddle of mush.
  • Stunt Dawgs: When Richard P. Fungus destroyed the old camera that somehow allowed the ghost of his deceased Grandfather to exist, said ghost started disappearing and shouted that he was melting. Fungus (correctly) pointed out his Grandfather was shrinking instead.
  • The Simpsons episode "Brother from the Same Planet" has Bart's infamous Imagine Spot of Homer's face graphically melting, arguably one of the most frightening moments of the series.
    Homer: Now how 'bout a hug?
  • Futurama:
    • This happens to Roberto when he eats a piece of Hermes' skin, thanks to years of La Barbara's extremely spicy cooking.
    • The Horrible Gelatinous Blob and his son Brett melt into green gooey puddles whenever they come into contact with salt. Luckily for them, this is only temporary and they re-solidify after a while.
  • An Abominable Snowman follows Bugs Bunny to Palm Springs — he sits in a lounge chair, sweating heavily, occasionally muttering "Gosh, it's hot!" before melting completely into a puddle of water — seems he really was a snowman.
  • In The Smurfs (1981) episode "The Smurfs of the Round Table", Morgan le Fey steals Excalibur, uses it to turn King Arthur and his men to wax, and then casts a spell on the sun to make it burn hotter so that King Arthur and everything in Camelot will melt away. Fortunately, the melting process takes time, which gives the Smurfs enough time to get Excalibur back from the evil sorceress and to restore everyone in Camelot to normal.
  • The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy: In "Ecto Cooler", Billy recites a poem claiming that looking at Sperg's mother would cause your face to melt. Surely enough, Principal Goodvibes looks at her and his face promptly melts.
    Goodvibes: Could someone get me a tissue?
  • Gravity Falls:
    • In episode "Double Dipper", Dipper uses a magic copy machine to make multiple clones of himself. Since the clones are all technically made out of paper and ink, they melt when exposed to liquids. Dipper #2/Tyrone met this fate when he drank a soda without thinking.
    • The cursed wax figures from "Headhunters" were defeated by being melted by fire and other "hot-y melty things", with Wax Sherlock Homles being melted by the summer sun.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Quagmire's Baby", Stewie creates less-than-intelligent clones of himself and Brian to act as assistants, only for them to become unstable when their bodies literally fall apart and collapse into fleshy gooey puddles.
  • He was already basically made of acid, but Meltdown from Transformers Animated collapses into a puddle when exposed to a malfunctioning "genetic modifier". The episode's last shot was of his face appearing in the liquid, but nothing came of it.
  • Pirates of Dark Water had one-off villainess, Cray. She was a skilled alchemist obsessed with regaining her lost youth. After blackmailing Ren to obtain a sample of Darkwater, Cray creates a potion to restores her lost beauty. Towards the end of the episode, the nefarious liquid starts to consume her from the inside and she is reduced to an inky black puddle.
  • Happens occasionally in SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "Re-Hibernation Week", SpongeBob melts into yellow goo when Sandy takes him on one dangerous exercise regimen too many.
      SpongeBob: This squirrel's trying to kill me! Any more of these stunts and I'll be reduced to a puddle.
    • In "Chocolate with Nuts", SpongeBob and Patrick melt when the crazed fish that has been chasing them throughout the episode asks to buy all their chocolate.
    • In "Moving Bubble Bass", this happens to Bubble Bass when Patrick intimidates him for making SpongeBob move his junk, leaving his Eye Glasses floating in midair until they drop into the puddle.
  • The Oh Yeah! Cartoons short "Super Santa: South Pole Joe" had a giant gingerbread man scream that he was melting after a splash of milk turns him into gingerbread pudding.
  • The Garbage Pail Kids Cartoon episode "The Land of Odd" had Haggy Maggie melt after being dripped on by Clogged Duane. She even references the famous scene from The Wizard of Oz.
    Haggy Maggie: I'm melting! Who would've thought a gross little kid like you would ruin my wonderful badness! What a world!
  • Over the Garden Wall: In "Lullaby in Frogland", Adelaide of the Pasture dissolves into smoke and blows away when Beatrice opens the window and exposes Adelaide to the night air.
  • Infinity Train: In the season 3 finale, a Ghom catches Simon just after he tries to "wheel" Grace and sucks out his life force, causing the flesh to melt from his bones and ultimately reducing him to nothing but a pile of ash.

    Real Life 
  • Gastropods. Small, harmless creatures (on land anyways), some with shells. Most of their body is held together with water, so when a little salt is applied they simply burst.
  • Baculoviruses cause their insect victims to gradually melt into a slimy goo. Ironically, they're actually potentially beneficial to humans.
  • Inverted by slime molds, which transform from a stream of amoeboid "goo" to a cohesive, stalked sporing body as a part of their life cycle.

What a world, what a world...


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): What A World What A World


The Trope Namer

The Trope Namer of " I'm Melting!" Dorothy inadvertently rids Oz of the Wicked Witch of the West by splashing her with water.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (13 votes)

Example of:

Main / ImMelting

Media sources:

Main / ImMelting