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Ignorant About Fire

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A clueless character allows a fire to burn, or can't handle fire.

This work is a proposed Trope, Tropers can vote and offer feedback in the comments section below.
Proposed By:
Erock on Jul 26th 2011 at 3:27:46 PM
Last Edited By:
dumbmedia on Mar 26th 2018 at 4:40:53 PM
Name Space: Main
Page Type: Trope

Since the one who grabbed this not around, this draft is Up for Grabs.

Alt title: Clueless With Fire, Combusting Idiocy


http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/sims-fire_8074.png
"FIRE! FIRE!" Thank you, Captain Obvious!

A Comedy Trope, although may sometimes be Played for Drama.

A fire is started, maybe through a character's stupidity or clumsiness. The character is either too stupid to notice or too ignorant to care, and only will do something when a more sensible character screams.

Alternatively, a character starts a fire, but either because of clumsiness or stupidity, the fire accidentally spreads around. He then panics and tries to put off the fire by using either ineffectual methods or methods that make it worse.

Sister trope to Explosive Stupidity.


Examples:

Anime and Manga

  • One Piece: Corazon of Donquixote Pirates is so clumsy that he accidentally set himself on fire whenever he tried to light a cigarette.

Film - Animated

  • It's implied that "Man" from Disney's Bambi is this, nearly destroying the whole forest. A cut scene would've shown that "Man" was killed in the forest fire.
  • As part of a fireman routine in Dumbo, one of the clowns tries to put out the fire with gasoline.
  • As cavemen, the Croods from The Croods have never seen fire before. When they see Guy's fire, they think its a living thing or that it's a baby sun. Confused by it, they end up burning themselves and the plains around them, get shot at by rocket cobbs and ending up buried in a giant pile of popcorn.

Film - Live Action

  • National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation: Uncle Lewis causes the Christmas tree to combust by lighting a cigar too close to it. Not only does he not notice the now ashen tree behind him, he doesn't notice that his own back is on fire.
  • In Orange County, Lance and the admissions office girl are high and discussing their childhoods as pyromaniacs. Lance accidentally sets the curtain on fire and the two lazily giggle and boredly say "Put that out." The building burns down completely.
  • Dumb and Dumber had a bit like this. Harry was filling up his car and accidentally spills some gasoline on his pant leg. Just then, a woman pulls up to the pump next to him. As they're chatting, she begins to light up a cigarette (hey, it was The '90s) but can't get her lighter to light. Harry graciously offers her a match; after she gets her cigarette lit, Harry nonchalantly flips the still-lit match behind him...only to set his leg aflame.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle, after the Landlord and Landlady scared them to go away from their house complex, Brother Sum and his advisor is still shuddering from the experience. The advisor tries to light a cigarette for Brother Sum, then he accidentally burns his hair. Then said advisor tried to put it off, but he poured an alcoholic drink instead, making the fire bigger.

Literature

  • Lord of the Flies: The boys light a large fire in the middle of some dry grass. When the grass around them starts to burn, they need a few minutes to realize this.
  • In the backstory of Holes (revealed in the companion book Guide to Surviving Camp Green Lake), Zigzag was arrested for burning styrofoam on a school lawn until the flames got out of control and burned down a classroom. He insists "I wasn't trying to hurt anyone. I just like watching things burn."

Live-Action TV

  • Everybody Loves Raymond. Raymond runs into trouble when attempting to prove to Debra that he is a responsible parent and husband. He buys a can of potent insect spray and liberally applies it everywhere in the kitchen, so as to avoid the expense of calling Rentokil. While he is on the phone, the inflammable spray catches light from the stove. Soon, the kitchen is ablaze. When he finally notices he runs out for the garden hose only to discover it doesn't stretch that far. Debra walks right past him and picks up a fire extinguisher...
  • In Private Practice, Dr. Sam Bennett recalls a time when, as a teenager, his bipolar older sister left some oil on the stove, which caught fire and nearly burned the house down. She watched the flames rise, transfixed, instead of moving to put it out.
  • The 80s Brit Com Whoops Apocalypse has a scene where the deposed Shah of Iran is aboard a space shuttle (yeah...) and a fire breaks out. His idiot sidekick hands him what he thinks is a fire extinguisher, but is actually an oxygen cylinder. (This was foreshadowed in reverse in a previous episode.)
  • In an episode of M*A*S*H they were out of surgical gloves and were cleaning their hands with alcohol between patients. A small fire starts in a pile of discarded scrubs; Klinger notices, grabs a panful of liquid (thinking it's water) and throws it on the fire - only the fire grows bigger. He threw one of the pans of alcohol.
  • In an episode of Father Ted, Ted reminds one of the island women of the time her husband tried to make his own tea and burnt down the house.
  • In The IT Crowd episode "Calamity Jen", Moss attempts to put out a fire with a fire extinguisher, only for the extinguisher itself to catch fire. He then calls for help by sending an email.
  • A recurring sketch on The State was "The Inbred Brothers", a duo from the Deep South who would continually do stupid things. One was having his arm set on fire and not knowing what to do about it, and the other was a fire IN A BOAT.
  • A Running Joke on iCarly was of the main character's brother, Spencer, accidentally making things spontaneously combust. Somehow.
  • A scene from Horrible Histories featured an elderly Victorian gentleman catching his rear end on fire and more concerned about his daughter's suitor's bad language than the fact that he's on fire. (To him, words like "bottom", "trousers" and "leg" aren't fit for mixed company.)
  • The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air had an episode where Will burns up the kitchen. He spends the episode trying to keep it from the rest of the family. Hilarity Ensues.
  • In an episode of The Abbott And Costello Show Joe Besser's character Stinky is seen running back and forth with a small glass, first full of water, then empty. They finally stop him and find out what's going on: he accidentally started a fire and is trying to put it out, one small glass of water at a time.
  • On Home Improvement, Tim would occasionally set himself or something else on fire in his quest for "more power!"

Professional Wrestling

  • At TNA's Hard Justice 2006 PPV, the crowd began singing "The Roof Is on Fire" while Eric Young was wrestling Johnny Devine. The commentators tried to ignore this until the smoke from the burning ceiling forced them to acknowledge it. By then crowd had started chanting "You Can't See Me", as the smoke was obstructing the view of the ring.

Recorded and Stand-Up Comedy

  • British comedian Rob Wilton had a routine where he was a fire chief who spent a ridiculous amount of time taking down the details from an emergency phone call, and an even longer time passing them on to his crew chief. The punchline is, "It's a big fire... should be, by now."

Video Games

  • The AI in The Sims is notorious for starting fires while cooking and failing to do anything productive while there is a fire. Sims automatically queue the "Panic!" action when a fire starts and will only attempt to put the fire out if specifically told by the player to do so.
  • Dwarves in Dwarf Fortress have an unhealthy relationship with fire. Specifically, they have a complete indifference to it. A dwarf on fire will continue with his/her normal routine, setting everything on fire that they pass. This will last until they burn to death or are somehow extinguished.
    "Y'know, it sure is HOT in here. I could use a nice strong alcoholic beverage to cool off. I'll just take a shortcut through the cloth stockpile and make my way to the booze stash."

Western Animation

  • In Regular Show, when Mordecai and Rigby are trying to fix the lock on Margaret's diary with superglue and accidentally use too much, they try to remove the superglue with heat by putting the diary over a grill. But the diary catches on fire and Rigby tries to extinguish the fire with lighter fluid, which makes it worse.
  • In American Dad!, season 9 "The Longest Distance Relationship", when Hayley is moping in for room due to the one-year anniversary of Jeff's abduction thanks to Roger, Francine suggest she sees a therapist but Stan said he has a way to "smoke her out". This results in their house being burned down and Hayley getting hospitalized.
    Francine: Stan! What were you thinking?!
    Stan: Well, first I thought I smoke her out with a controlled fire. Then I lit the fire. Then I thought, "I don't know how to control fire."
  • The Simpsons
    • In an early episode, Homer gets accepted to a college and celebrates by burning his high school diploma. While it's still hanging on the wall. Homer dances and sings about how smart he is, while the entire wall behind him burns down.
    • In "Homer the Smithers", Homer is filling in for Smithers and is trying to make Mr. Burns breakfast. First he spears some eggs and sticks them into the microwave (breaking the door/window to do so) and it catches fire. Then he tries to make toast using an open flame from the stove and it catches fire. Finally, he pours some cereal and milk, and even it catches fire. Earlier in the episode, Homer tries to ask Smithers what to do in case of fire, but Smithers can't hear him. Homer turns his head to discover that Mr. Burns is actually on fire. He doesn't know what to do, so he just quietly says "D'oh!"
    • At one point, Ned's clothes catch on fire, and he does Stop, Drop, and Roll to put the fire out. Turns out all that does is spread the fire.
  • Teen Titans Go!: In "The Best Robin", The team (minus Robin) are incredibly lazy and can't bother themselves to reach for the remote. Cyborg attempts to change the channel by extending his hand, but just ends up smashing it. Then it catches fire. They can't be bothered to put it out, and when one of them suggests calling the fire department, they decided not to because the phone is out of reach.
  • Until the Moral Guardians protested, Beavis And Butthead were often shown to have an affinity for fire and burning things. One scene that had Beavis setting himself on fire with a can of hairspray was edited out of reruns (including the DVD release), but he's still shown with singed hair and darkened skin afterwards.

Web Original

Real Life

  • The story of Mrs. O'Leary's Cow. The Great Chicago Fire in 1871 started at a barn owned by Catherine O'Leary. Because of the weather conditions (high winds), the fire spread until it reached the city and burned a good chunk of it. Afterwards a reporter wrote that the fire was started when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern while it was being milked. There is even a picture that was drawn of Mrs. O'Leary milking the cow when it starts the fire. However, the reporter who wrote the story later admitted that he just made the cow part up. People still blamed Mrs. O'Leary for the rest of her life because, cow or no cow, it started at her barn.

Feedback: 104 replies

Jul 26th 2011 at 4:20:46 PM

Snowclone alert

Needs a better title.

Jul 26th 2011 at 9:31:51 PM

Moss from The IT Crowd has a hilarious variant of this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EBfxjSFAxQ

Jul 27th 2011 at 12:12:45 AM

I agree with pokedude10 - while it's a mildly clever name, it has nothing to do with Nice Job Breaking It Hero, and thus is a Bad Snowclone.

fluffything - Idiot Fire Starter sounds like it describes a character, whereas this describes an event. This is about the actual starting of the fire, not the one who starts it.

How about... Ignorant Ignition?

Jul 27th 2011 at 12:47:28 AM

Probably the most common situation where this trope comes up is cooking. A character will start cooking something, get distracted by something else, and while the character is distracted, a fire gets going, and the character will only notice when it's really gotten going (usually when another character points it out, often by pointing and screaming).

Jul 27th 2011 at 9:14:35 AM

IT BURNS! The pun BURNS!

... yeah, we need a better title than THAT.

Jul 27th 2011 at 9:41:47 AM

Dumb And Dumber had a bit like this. Harry was filling up his car and accidently spills some gasoline on his pant leg. Just then, a woman pulls up to the pump next to him. As they're chatting, she begins to light up a cigarette (hey, it was The Nineties) but can't get her lighter to light. Harry graciously offers her a match; after she gets her cigarette lit, Harry nonchalantly flips the still-lit match behind him...only to set his leg aflame.

Jul 27th 2011 at 2:23:29 PM

In an episode of MASH they were out of surgical gloves and were cleaning their hands with alcohol between patients. A small fire starts in a pile of discarded scrubs; Klinger notices, grabs a panful of liquid (thinking it's water) and throws it on the fire - only the fire grows bigger. He threw one of the pans of alcohol.

Jul 27th 2011 at 3:09:11 PM

The 80s Brit Com Whoops Apocalypse has a scene where the deposed Shah of Iran is aboard a space shuttle (yeah...) and a fire breaks out. His idiot sidekick hands him what he thinks is a fire extinguisher, but is actually an oxygen cylinder. (This was foreshadowed in reverse in a previous episode.)

Jul 27th 2011 at 7:28:38 PM

randomsurfer - while that's a funny scene, it's not this trope. This trope is about cases where someone unknowingly starts a fire, and doesn't actually notice until afterwards. In the MASH example, it's a soldier who throws a cigar into the discarded scrubs and walks off, and isn't seen again in connection with the fire. Then, when Klinger and Radar notice it, things get crazy. But they didn't start it, they just screwed up in trying to put it out.

Jul 27th 2011 at 9:17:02 PM

In Orange County, Lance and the admissions office girl are high and discussing their childhoods as pyromaniacs. Lance accidentally sets the curtain on fire and the two lazily giggle and boredly say "Put that out." The building burns down completely.

Jul 27th 2011 at 9:23:04 PM

If it's not too much snow-cloning, Nice Job Burning It Nero might be better and more distinct... What can I say, I -like- punny titles. =P

...Blazing Idiot?

Jul 27th 2011 at 11:46:41 PM

How about Accidental Arson?

Jul 27th 2011 at 11:49:08 PM

Punnish trope names are good. Ones that are Bad Snowclones, however, are not acceptable. In my opinion, Nice Job Burning It Nero is just as much a Bad Snowclone as Nice Job Breaking It Nero.

I would, however, get behind a reference to fiddling while rome burns as the trope name.

Jul 28th 2011 at 9:09:11 PM

Fiddling While It Burns?

I have to admit, Nice Job Breaking It Nero / Nice Job Burning It Nero makes me chuckle a little. I can understand why it's necessary not to have another snowclone, though.

Feb 7th 2012 at 6:51:45 PM

Bumping because this is near the bottom of the list of YKTTW proposals I have responded to.

If Erock is still checking YKTTW; do you still want to continue with this proposal? Is it Up For Grabs?

As for everyone else, do you think this is a trope worth going ahead with?

Feb 7th 2012 at 6:59:14 PM

Fire Drill Failure, to cover both failing to avoid the fire and failing to escape or try to put it out?

Feb 7th 2012 at 11:26:08 PM

Robert Fulghum's second book of essays is named after the following anecdote (paraphrased and made shorter):

A fire was seen and firemen called. They put out the fire and rescued a man in the building. He had been found asleep on the couch which was the source of the fire. They asked him how it started and he said, "I don't know. It Was on Fire When I Lay Down on It."

Feb 7th 2012 at 11:33:20 PM

Nice Job Breaking It Nero is only one letter off, which makes it way too easy to get confused. Nice Job Burning It Nero would probably be sufficiently differentiated to be okay though.

As an amateur historian though, I have to object to it for gross inaccuracy. Aside from the nonexistence of fiddles, Nero wasn't in Rome at the time and was heavily involved in launching relief efforts for the city. I'd give it another name just to avoid perpetuating myths.

I like Blazing Idiot the most of the alternate suggestions.

Feb 8th 2012 at 1:50:55 AM

The IT Crowd example counts since Moss started that fire in a earlier scene.

Feb 8th 2012 at 3:24:50 AM

^^^^^ @Hidden Faced Matt: Erock hasn't posted to this YKTTW since he first created it in July 2011, so it is definitely Up For Grabs.

He edited a trope page three days ago, so if you wanted to make sure you could send him a PM.

Feb 8th 2012 at 12:04:49 PM

Grabbing. I'll PM him, but in the meantime I changed the name.

Feb 8th 2012 at 1:59:33 PM

I found the original title funny and agonizing, and commend the author. I think Flaming Idiot would be be better than Blazing Idiot.

Feb 10th 2012 at 4:37:09 PM

Yogscast, back when Shadow of Israphel was still a let's play.

Feb 26th 2012 at 5:38:33 PM

British comedian Rob Wilton had a routine where he was a fire chief who spent a ridiculous amount of time taking down the details from an emergency phone call, and an even longer time passing them on to his crew chief. The punchline is, "It's a big fire... should be, by now."

Mar 15th 2012 at 1:35:41 AM

In Private Practice, Dr. Sam Bennett recalls a time when, as a teenager, his bipolar older sister left some oil on the stove, which caught fire and nearly burned the house down. She watched the flames rise, transfixed, instead of moving to put it out.

Aug 30th 2014 at 1:58:10 PM

  • National Lampoons Christmas Vacation: Uncle Lewis causes the Christmas tree to combust by lighting a cigar too close to it. Not only does he not notice the now ashen tree behind him, he doesn't notice that his own back is on fire.

Aug 31st 2014 at 2:20:42 PM

Live Action TV:

  • Raymond Barone runs into trouble when attempting to prove to Debra that he is a responsible parent and husband. He buys a can of potent insect spray and liberally applies it everywhere in the kitchen, so as to avoid the expense of calling Rentokil. While he is on the phone, the inflammable spray catches light from the stove. Soon, the kitchen is ablaze. When he finally notices he runs out for the garden hose only to discover it doesn't stretch that far. Debra walks right past him and picks up a fire extinguisher...

Sep 4th 2014 at 8:55:04 AM

At TNA's Hard Justice 2006 PPV, the crowd began singing "The Roof Is on Fire" while Eric Young was wrestling Johnny Devine. The commentators tied to ignore this until the smoke from the burning ceiling forced them to acknowledge it. By then crowd had started chanting "You Can't See Me", as the smoke was obstructing the view of the ring

Sep 4th 2014 at 9:22:58 AM

  • The AI in The Sims is notorious for starting fires while cooking and failing to do anything productive while there is a fire. Sims automatically queue the "Panic!" action when a fire starts and will only attempt to put the fire out if specifically told by the player to do so.

Sep 9th 2014 at 10:30:02 AM

  • Dwarves in Dwarf Fortress have an unhealthy relationship with fire. Specifically, they have a complete indifference to it. A dwarf on fire will continue with his/her normal routine, setting everything on fire that they pass. This will last until they burn to death or are somehow extinguished.
    • Y'know, it sure is HOT in here. I could use a nice strong alcoholic beverage to cool off. I'll just take a shortcut through the cloth stockpile and make my way to the booze stash.

Sep 9th 2014 at 4:43:41 PM

Maybe grabbing this, if nobody beats me to it

Sep 15th 2014 at 2:16:32 PM

As part of a fireman routine in Dumbo, one of the clowns tries to put out the fire with gasoline.

Sep 15th 2014 at 2:37:38 PM

  • In an episode of Father Ted, Ted reminds one of the island women of the time her husband tried to make his own tea and burnt down the house.

Sep 20th 2014 at 8:53:43 PM

I've had two roommates who were like this. One nearly burned the place down twice and one of those times, all I had to do to put the fire out was drop the candle in a pot of water. The roommate was panicking uselessly.

Sep 20th 2014 at 11:31:40 PM

  • In Regular Show, season 3 "Diary", when Mordecai and Rigby are trying to fix the lock on Margaret's diary with superglue and they used to much, they try to remove the superglue with heat by putting the diary over a grill. But the diary catches on fire and Rigby tries to extinguish the fire with lighter fluid which made it worse.

Sep 21st 2014 at 5:25:16 PM

Maybe the quote can be used for the page?

  • In American Dad, season 9 "The Longest Distance Relationship", when Hayley is moping in for room due to the one-year anniversary of Jeff's abduction thanks to Roger, Francine suggest she sees a therapist but Stan said he has a way to "smoke her out". This results in their house being burned down and Hayley hospitalized.
    Francine: Stan! What were you thinking?!
    Stan: Well, first I thought I smoke her out with a controlled fire. Then I lit the fire. Then I thought, I don't know how to control fire.

Sep 23rd 2014 at 6:28:32 AM

Western Animation

  • In the The Simpsons episode "The Springfield files,, the following conversation takes place:

    Chief Wiggum: Your story is very compelling, Mr. Jackass, um, Simpson. Let me just type it up on my invisible typewriter.
    Homer: Fine. You don't have to humiliate me.
    [leaves, a man enters carrying a blowtorch]
    Man: I just torched a building downtown and I'm afraid I'll do it again.
    Chief Wiggum: Right. Let me just type that up on my invisible typewriter.

Sep 29th 2014 at 7:24:35 AM

A recurring sketch on The State was "The Inbred Brothers", a duo from the Deep South who would continually do stupid things. One was having his arm set on fire and not knowing what to do about it, and the other was a fire IN A BOAT.

Oct 14th 2014 at 4:16:04 PM

I feel like an image from The Sims would be perfect for this.

Oct 14th 2014 at 9:18:27 PM

Something like this?

[1]

This is not my image, so if that goes against the rules, I dunno what else to do.

Dec 8th 2014 at 9:06:34 AM

  • Teen Titans Go: The team gets really lazy in The Best Robin and when they accidentally set the TV on fire they can't be bothered to put it out. They tried to call the fire department, but the phone was so far away that they gave up.

Dec 23rd 2014 at 6:06:27 PM

A Running Joke on I Carly was of the main character's brother, Spencer, accidentally making things spontaneously combust. Somehow.

Jan 14th 2015 at 3:43:51 PM

  • It's implied that "Man" from Disney's Bambi is this, nearly destroying the whole forest. A cut scene would've shown that "Man" was killed in the forest fire.

Jan 14th 2015 at 4:36:25 PM

Yet another Simpsons example:

  • At one point, Ned's clothes catch on fire, and he does Stop, Drop, and Roll to put the fire out. Turns out all that does is spread the fire.

Feb 19th 2015 at 11:19:57 AM

  • A scene from Horrible Histories featured an elderly Victorian gentleman catching his rear end on fire and more concerned about his daughter's suitor's bad language than the fact that he's on fire. (To him, words like "bottom", "trousers" and "leg" aren't fit for mixed company.)

Mar 2nd 2015 at 6:19:03 PM

Mar 2nd 2015 at 10:00:52 PM

Btw can somebody tell me the case of Mrs. What's-her-name's cow in Real Life being the cause of a major fire?

Mar 2nd 2015 at 10:59:22 PM

Mrs. O'Leary's Cow. Basically the story goes like this... The Great Chicago Fire in 1871 started at a barn owned by Catherine O'Leary. Because of the weather conditions (high winds), the fire spread until it reached the city and burned a good chunk of it. Afterwards a reporter wrote that the fire was started when a cow in the barn kicked over a lantern while it was being milked. There is even a picture that was drawn of Mrs. O'Leary milking the cow when it starts the fire.

However, the reporter who wrote the story later admitted that he just made the cow part up. But people still blamed Mrs. O'Leary for the rest of her life because, cow or no cow, it started at her barn. Pretty sad given that it wasn't as if she started it on purpose.

I actually have an article Catherine O'Leary from The Other Wiki here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catherine_O%27Leary. it's got that picture of Mrs. O'Leary and the cow I mentioned (drawing not a photograph).

Mar 3rd 2015 at 10:01:13 AM

I'm not sure if the current title describes the trope very well. Idiocy Induced Fire maybe? Or, if it's more about the guy who started it, Ignorant About Fire.

Mar 3rd 2015 at 10:14:45 AM

The current title could be better. When I looked at it, I thought the trope was about idiots who manage to set themselves on fire.

Maybe something like How Do I Extinguish Fire?

Jul 27th 2015 at 1:24:29 PM

In the backstory of Holes (revealed in the companion book Guide to Surviving Camp Green Lake), Zigzag was arrested for burning styrofoam on a school lawn until the flames got out of control and burned down a classroom. He insists "I wasn't trying to hurt anyone. I just like watching things burn."

Jul 27th 2015 at 1:53:45 PM

There's one other famous example from The Simpsons: in an episode, Homer wants to drink some milk, but his bowl suddenly ignites after he pours it down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6ArcmLYVKs

Jul 27th 2015 at 2:03:50 PM

Jul 27th 2015 at 2:46:50 PM

^^^Actually, what's happening is that Homer is filling in for Smithers and is trying to make Mr. Burns breakfast. First he spears some eggs and sticks them into the microwave (breaking the door/window to do so) and it catches fire. Then he tries to make toast using an open flame from the stove and it catches fire. Finally he pours cereal and milk and even it catches fire. ("Homer the Smithers")

Earlier in the episode Homer tries to ask Smithers what to do in case of fire but Smiethers can't hear him. Homer turns his head to discover that Mr. Burns is actually on fire. He doesn't know what to do so he just quietly says "D'oh!"

I think the "Springfield Files" one doesn't count. It's a Pyromaniac coming in to confess his crime, but Chief Wiggum doesn't believe him.

All Simpsons examples should be combined

Jan 4th 2016 at 9:46:52 AM

In an episode of The Abbott And Costello Show Joe Besser's character Stinky is seen running back and forth with a small glass, first full of water, then empty. They finally stop him and find out what's going on: he accidentally started a fire and is trying to put it out, one small glass of water at a time.

Jan 4th 2016 at 3:41:33 PM

The current laconic does not indicate the proposed trope. The name is also poor, but I like some of the proposed replacements: Ignorant About Fire, Accidental Arson, and Fire Drill Failure.

The Home Improvement example is a bit generic, it could be improved by finding a specific example. Unless ~Arvine} gets to it, I'll try to clean up the example formatting (empasis, Sinkholing, example indentation) tomorrow morning.

Jan 5th 2016 at 3:18:39 AM

Jan 6th 2016 at 3:08:48 PM

  • Until the Moral Guardians protested, Beavis And Butthead were often shown to have an affinity for fire and burning things. One scene that had Beavis setting himself on fire with a can of hairspray was edited out of reruns (including the DVD release) but he's still shown with singed hair and darkened skin.

Jan 6th 2016 at 11:07:15 PM

Anything else this needs? (Index, primarily)

Jan 7th 2016 at 11:24:40 AM

In the Spongebob Squarepants episode titled "Ugh," prehistoric relatives of Spongebob, Patrick, and Squidward see a log that is set on fire by lightning. All three of them stick their hands in the fire to see what happens.

Jan 7th 2016 at 11:53:10 AM

Western Animation

Jan 7th 2016 at 1:36:21 PM

<Mod Hat>

The examples are all over the place. A bunch of them seem to have nothing to do with stupidity and just have to do with pyromania. Collectively, the examples don't seem to have any uniting factor but fire.

The can NOT be launched in this state.

Jan 7th 2016 at 1:48:35 PM

I think you need to do some real polishing here, but there's potential.

The three main themes I'm seeing are I'm seeing here are:

  • People don't notice there is a fire.
  • People set things on fire accidentally.
  • People panic when they notice a fire (generally making it worse).

We need a name and a definition that shows all of that.

Jan 7th 2016 at 6:46:08 PM

^ Well, all of them fit the title. Or Clueless About Fire.

Jan 9th 2016 at 8:55:30 AM

  • Sid from Ice Age manages to make fire using flint and tinder, and proudly declares himself as the "Lord of the Flame", then almost immediately sets his own tail on fire, making him run around in panic.

I also recall The Croods having a similar gag, with one of the cavemen making fire, then running around in panic, setting the high grass on fire, but I haven't seen the entire movie so I'm a bit unsure about the details.

Jan 9th 2016 at 4:30:47 PM

Sorry. My phone has been having trouble posting here for a while. Needed to check if it was working before putting up my example.

Literature:

  • RCN by David Drake: In The Far Side of the Stars, Tovera and Hogg set fire to the townhouse of a rival of Adele Mundy's in retaliation for sending thugs to attack her in the street. Adele had told them not to hurt anyone and the two Hypercompetent Sidekicks deliberately planned the fire to give the owners enough time to escape, but the Upper Class Twit lady of the house stays to grab her jewelry and the Literal Minded Tovera goes in to retrieve her and ends up mildly burnt.

Jan 9th 2016 at 5:23:32 PM

Also, there should be a consensus whether feature length animated films go under "Film" or "Western Animation". Currently Bambi is under the former and Dumbo is under the latter.

Jan 9th 2016 at 11:55:22 PM

Jan 10th 2016 at 8:02:52 AM

^^ As Arivne demonstrates, wiki policy is that western animation films (but not any other animated film) belong in the films section, sub-category of Animated. Technically this applies to a Short Film as well.

Mar 14th 2016 at 8:56:04 AM

  • In Jessie Season 3 "Where's Zuri?", Stuart has a new laid back nanny named Hudson who allows Zuri and Stuart to play with fireworks inside which results in their balcony getting set on fire. By the end of the episode, when Hudson decides to become a more responsible nanny, he puts all his fireworks in a box and offers it to Jessie who doesn't want and tells him to get rid of them, but when he sees a fireplace with a fire going we cut to the apartment on fire with firefighters entering the building and everybody outside the building.

Mar 15th 2016 at 4:54:32 AM

This seems like an example of People Sit on Chairs. It's not really a design choice and it's pretty common for people to not know how to deal with fire.

Sep 13th 2016 at 12:56:32 PM

There seem to be two types of example here, some about people who don't know that fire is dangerous, and some about people who do know but are careless/clumsy. Which one is this trope about?

Sep 13th 2016 at 1:44:37 PM

^ I got the idea the trope is about general idiocy in the face of a very serious fire, with the contrast being Played For Laughs. I think both types of examples fit, especially since the description and laconic mention both.

Sep 13th 2016 at 2:02:12 PM

I have an example: Son Goku in Dragon Ball Z Abridged. In one scene in the Hyperbolic Time Chamber, he lectures Gohan while his hair is literally on fire, and makes no attempt to put it out at first, even as Gohan points out the fire.

Sep 13th 2016 at 2:55:18 PM

This is Launchable.

Title suggestion: Fire Is Hot Stupid (Written as Fire Is Hot, Stupid!)

Sep 13th 2016 at 4:15:21 PM

  • The title character of Pinocchio sees a candle for the first time and tries to grab the flame, eventually setting his finger on fire. As he's still made of wood, he doesn't feel a thing, but Geppetto freaks out and frantically looks for some water to dowse the flame, eventually dunking Pinoch's hand on Cleo's fishbowl.
  • In The Croods, the titular caveman family react with curiosity at Guy's campfire. Thunk gets his butt set on fire and complains that it's biting him. Grug suggests hiding from it by running through the tall grass, which just sets the grass on fire.
  • On the Futurama episode "The Day The Earth Stood Stupid", all the people on Earth except for Fry are made stupid by the Brain Spawn. When an important note is thrown in the fireplace, First Leela, then the Professor try to retrieve it, but they both find that "Fire hot!" The Professor even gets his sleeve set on fire.

Sep 19th 2016 at 7:24:08 AM

In the second book of Tales Of The Magic Land, Urfin Jus was so afraid of setting his wooden soldiers on fire that he didn't even light his oven as long as he was making them. During the siege of the Emerald City, the first fire attack on his army nearly destroyed it, thanks to his soldiers being curious rather than afraid.

Sep 19th 2016 at 10:43:21 AM

  • The Time Machince: When the Time Traveler goes to the distant future, the people there, the Eloi, have lost all manner of scientific knowledge, including fire. When he strikes matches he is able to delight and mesmerize them with the flames. And when he actually builds a large fire, Weena is so fascinated that she wants to play and even jump right into it.

Dec 5th 2017 at 8:47:29 PM

  • The characters in The Book Of The Named are intelligent cat-like animals with rudimentary ranching skills. It isn't until Ratha learns how to tame fire, or her "creature" as she calls it, that the characters learn to fear fire less.

Dec 6th 2017 at 5:14:34 AM

In the Sims 4, a Sim can be smart enough to put out the fire themself.

Dec 7th 2017 at 1:15:12 PM

  • In Charby The Vampirate the fire sprite that ends up living at the cabin with the main characters had never met anyone who could actually be hurt by being set on fire before arriving there so he thinks Menulis is overreacting when he sets him on fire.

Dec 7th 2017 at 7:12:19 PM

Live Action TV

  • One skit on Saturday Night Live has a scene of cavemen hunting party gathered around a campfire. Guest Steve Martin plays The Smart Guy of the group, who develops the idea of encircling their prey to preclude escape. Bill Murray plays The Leader, who is also a Barbaric Bully, and so stupid that he steps into the campfire three times in total, yowling in pain each time.

Dec 8th 2017 at 2:46:06 AM

Added a bit to the description, moved the Simpsons example to the rest of them, rewrote the Teen Titans Go example, and made small grammar and punctuation changes.

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