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I know vermin should be gotten under control, but even they don't deserve that.
"How does Brundlefly eat? Well, he eats very much the way a fly eats. Brundlefly breaks down food with a corrosive enzyme. He regurgitates on his food, it liquefies and then he sucks it back up. Ready for a demonstration, kids?"
—Seth Brundle, The Fly (1986)
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While not one of the classical four elements, and not quite as common a "secondary" as electricity or ice, acid and the manipulation and control thereof is far from a rare inclusion in the roster of Elemental Powers and Stock Superpowers.

Acid tends to be very closely tied to poison — indeed, some works may not even draw a distinction between the two at all. When acid and poison are present in the same setting or game system, rather than being one and the same, the difference between the two tends to be that poison is treated similarly to disease and other status conditions — i.e., it is more a form of constitution and lingering damage that keeps sapping health rather than a true attack — while acid attacks deal direct, one-off physical damage like other elemental attacks do.

When not tied to poison, acid may instead be linked with water.

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Power over acid is rarely associated with pleasant or benevolent figures: even when used by a heroic character, acid tends to be associated with harsher, darker heroic archetypes than other elements are. It's very rare indeed to see the Ideal Hero wielding acid as a weapon. Control over acids tends to also be associated with reptiles, likely due to their own ties to poison and less than stellar reputations; after fire and ice, acid is possibly the most common Breath Weapon for dragons. Acid is also often associated with Blob Monsters, slimes and similar creatures.

Specific acid-based powers can take a number of forms. One common variation is for a character or creature to be able to create and release acid from their mouth, usually in the form of acidic Super Spit or a corrosive Breath Weapon. Another, more passive possibility is for the acid to be secreted from the skin, either constantly, at will or in response to certain stimuli, creating a caustic coating that damages anyone making direct contact with the acid's user. Acid can also be portrayed as dealing Armor Piercing damage, to represent it eating through enemy armor.

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Note that, in real life, corrosive substances come in two distinct kinds: acids (low pH) and bases (high pH). As the differences between the two may not always be obvious to someone without some chemistry training, fiction tends to fold bases into acids and treats any reactive, corrosive substances as a nonspecific acid.

See also Hollywood Acid, for unrealistic depictions of acidic substances in general.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In Houshin Engi a earthworm Yokai Sennin wields the Paopei Kojueki (Liquid Crinsom Orb), which allows him to emit splashes of acidic liquid to melt his enemies. Earlier, one of the Four Demon Generals uses the living Paopei Kakoten, whose insides are filled to the brim with acid, which can be used to consume anything swallowed or as a defense mechanism (destroying Kakoten will result in a flood of acid).
  • In My Hero Academia, Mina Ashido has the ability to generate acid from her body, and can control its corrosiveness and viscosity.
  • Naruto:
    • One of Mei Terumi's attacks, Boil Release, involves her breathing out a cloud of acidic gas.
    • The Six-Tailed Beast can produce a highly corrosive acid both as a gas-based Breath Weapon and as a corrosive slime covering its body. Its host, Utakata, is thus himself able to secrete a film of highly acidic liquid.
    • Katsuyu, the slug that Tsunade summons, can spit acid strong enough to melt rock.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: The angel Matarael oozes a powerful acid from the eye in the bottom of its body.
  • One Piece: While Magellan's Devil Fruit technically grants him power over poison, one of his attacks performed through his detachable horns is shown to melt stone.
  • One-Punch Man: Deep Sea King can spit globs of powerful acid, while Groribas has acidic breath. The latter does not, however, get a chance to demonstrate this before Saitama literally knocks his block off.
  • In Queen's Blade, the resident amoral Slime Girl Melona demonstrates in the first episode that she can squirt acid from her breasts. It instantly dissolves clothing and armor.
  • The Seven Deadly Sins: One of Hendrickson's attacks, Acid, corrodes and eats away at the flesh of his opponents.
  • In Toriko:
    • Devil Orochi is a monstrous, demonic serpent who can puke his own gastric juice on his prey. Usually while holding it still in his claws, abusing his Healing Factor.
    • Coco ability to produce poison allows him to create corrosive acids and gases as well. For example, he won his first battle against a G.T. Robot by oozing a small amount of metal-corroding Aqua Regia inside its core.
    • Yuu, Base Chief of the Gourmet Corps, can cover his opponents in a special salt which can corrode them.
    • Area 8 of Gourmet World is called the "Rain Area" for the many types of unusual rains all over the continent. A specific region, the Poisonous Meadows, are washed by poisonous rain, with cases of highly acidic hailstorms now and then.
  • Ushio and Tora: A Flashback reveals that ages ago, when Hakumen no Mono was still in China, one of her tails could transform into a living mass of acid to destroy her enemies. One of her avatars, Shumuna, is a monster made of living, corrosive mist that consumes her victims by melting them alive.

    Comic Books 
  • Hack/Slash villain Acid Angel can secrete acid when she gets sexually aroused. In both the corrosive sense and the LSD sense.
  • In Justice League Elite, Menagerie's blood turns acidic when she is merged with her alien creche. She uses this to her advantage, getting in close enough for opponents to cut her, and then letting the acid spill and burn them.
  • Marvel:
    • Man-Thing is scary enough for the unwary as a shambling plant monster, but the fact that he secretes a deadly corrosive substance when he encounters fear scares the hell out of people who know about him too.
    • X-Men: Legion's 762nd personality can breathe out a cloud of acidic green fog.
    • X-Statix: Anarchist can sweat acid and shoot blasts of acidic liquid from his hands.
  • Paperinik New Adventures: Evronian spores look harmless, if disgusting, but can and will react to the slightest offense with a spray of deadly acid, capable of melting metal and severely poison anyone who breathes them.

    Fan Works 
  • Cycles Upon Cycles: In addition to the normal acid-spewing monsters that the Zerg employ, they've also developed two new Nydus Worm variants: the Aggressive, which sprays the area with acid to soften up the enemies before releasing their payload, and the Destroyer, which hoses down the area with acid at the cost of its own life. Both were developed after the Swarm assimilated the essence of a Thresher Maw.
  • Silent Ponyville Chronicles: The "wrapped-up" monsters spray acid from their chests.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alien: The titular xenomorphs have extremely corrosive blood. This seems to be a defensive adaptation as anything capable of puncturing them is quickly dissolved, and in a pressurized space like on a spaceship trying to take them out directly could cause catastrophic decompression.
  • The Fly (1986): Jeff Goldblum's character Seth Brundle uses his stomach acid in the Cronenberg remake, both to externally digest food and, in one stomach-turning scene, as a weapon. It's actually specified as containing digestive enzymes.
  • Pacific Rim: Otachi can spit a corrosive blue acid that makes short work of any type of metal, which it uses to help kill the Russian jaeger.
  • Python: The giant python sprays corrosive acid on its victims before eating them. Because of this, the police at first suspect the main character, who works at the only chemical plant in town.
  • Starship Troopers: The Tanker Bugs, which take the place of human mechanized armor in the Arachnids' Hive Caste System, are able to secrete a highly corrosive acid from their mouths that melts enemies within seconds.

    Literature 
  • In New Jedi Order, the Jedi-hunting voxyn beasts can vomit acid (which is, unusually, not depicted as stereotypical acid, but rather mucus that happens to be strong enough to burn through faces), and their blood is both acidic and a neurotoxin.
  • Temeraire: Certain breeds of dragon, such as the Longwings, are capable of spitting highly corrosive acid from bony nozzles growing from the sides of their jaws, an ability that makes them highly valuable in war. They are descended from naturally occurring poison-spitting dragons, which were selectively bred for stronger poison until this became so concentrated as to become actively corrosive.
  • The Zombie Knight: Moss and Stoker can use their powers to create super-concentrated, soul-strengthened acid which will eat through almost anything. Without soul power, it would still take minutes or hours, but with it it takes mere seconds.

    Live-Action TV 

    Roleplay 
  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • After being transformed into a bug monster, Benjy's mucus becomes acidic and has corrosive qualities. He first uses it to melt the school's auditorium wall and crawl through into the air ducts.
    • Devin's superpower allows him to manipulate acid, and his blood is changed to be more acidic, thus allowing him to control it.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Acid is one of the five types of "energy damage", rarer than the main trio of Fire, Cold and Electricity but more common than Sonic (and without Sonic's lower raw power). It's sometimes treated as the Pure Energy form of elemental Earth (in the same way that Cold and Electricity are associated with Water and Air respectively). Like Sonic, Acid attacks usually deal full damage to objects.
    • Numerous monsters are capable of using innate acid-based attacks, mostly Aberrations or creatures with the Earth or Water subtypes. Getting Swallowed Whole usually deals both acid and bludgeoning damage each turn.
      • Oozes tend to deal acid damage on contact (which has the side effect of destroying player's armor and weapons), as do mud elementals.
      • Two of the five types of chromatic dragon have acid Breath Weapons and are immune to acid themselves, making it the only damage type to be repeated. The water-elemental, swamp-dwelling black dragons breathe acid in a line, while the forest-dwelling air-elemental green dragons breathe a cone of corrosive gas. Among the metallic dragons, the hill-dwelling earth-elemental Copper dragons also breathe a line of acid similar to the Black's.
    • Wizards and sorcerers have access to a number of acidic spells like acid splash, acid fog and Melf's acid arrow. Some acid spells have the benefit of creating a physical substance rather than Pure Energy (thus allowing them to bypass Anti-Magic defences), while others have the secondary effect of damaging the target again on the next turn.
    • Notably, Psionic abilities separate acid out from the other elements — someone who knows energy bolt can alternate freely between blasts of fire, cold, electricity or sonic energy, but acid can only be created by specialised powers like breath of the black dragon.
    • Acid is also the damage type most likely to possess Anti-Regeneration properties (except against regenerating enemies who are themselves acid-themed). Most iconically, acid and fire are two of the few things that can permanently harm or kill a troll.
    • Acid flasks are one of the more common "grenadelike weapons", along with flasks of Alchemist's Fire and Holy Water. While weak they're a favorite of Rogues, especially in editions where they can be used to perform acid-damage Sneak Attacks.
  • Pathfinder:
    • In addition to inheriting most of the examples from Dungeons & Dragons 3.5, brine dragons, nightmare dragons, rift dragons and gandarevas are given Breath Weapons that spit waves of acid, while swamp and sewer blights join the corrosive Blob Monster brigade. In 2nd Edition, however, green dragons no longer possess their traditional acidic breath weapon, and breathe clouds of poisonous gas instead.
    • Mukradis are peculiar monsters rambling gigantic, three-headed centipedes, with each head having a different ranged weapon — one of which is, of course, acidic spit. A subterranean variant supposedly exist whose heads all vomit up animated acid instead.
    • The Alchemist class, an unorthodox spellcaster whose "spells" take the form of strange brews, has a list of abilities that's a little more biased towards acid and poison than most spellcasters.
    • Starfinder: Entropy slugs, crate fiends and synapse worms can spit acid, and entropy slugs are immune to acid damage themselves. The corrovoxes of the Hive also have organic acid cannons grafted onto their forearms.
  • Princess: The Hopeful: Tempesta is associated with acid, among other things, and some Tempesta charms grant abilities such as an acidic touch.

    Video Games 
  • Bloons Tower Defense 6 introduces the Alchemist tower, whose basic attack is throwing flasks of acid that deals Damage Over Time. Some upgrades allow his to throw stronger acid that deals damage faster, or create mini acid pools that damage bloons running over them.
  • In the Borderlands series, acid mods are one of the main damage types guns can have. They have a chance to start doing Damage Over Time with every hit, and also do more damage to armored enemies (since the acid burns through the armor).
  • Code:Realize: Although the characters refer to it as "poison", the player character's skin and blood act more like a fictionalized super-acid in the way that she burns and melts whatever she comes into contact with. After testing it on a variety of materials up to and including a sample of titanium, Victor concludes that the reaction is something more alchemical than natural.
  • Dark Souls:
    • The Acid Surge is a pyromancy spell foreign to the Great Swamp. The user emits a cloud of acid that corrodes weapons and armor.
    • The Acid Horn Beetle residing in the Shrine of Amana is a subspecies of the Poison Horn Beetle. They can emit an acidic cloud which corrodes weapons and armor.
    • The Corrosive Ant Queen is a species of corrosive ants native to Jugo. Only one exists in Drangleic. She can emit a blue acidic mist which corrodes weapons and armor, but cures poison. The fact that she lives in the Gutter implies that she used to be one of Lord Aldia's experiments until she outlived her usefulness.
    • The Corrosive Urn item is filled with secretions harvested from giant corrosive ants, in which you can throw it at someone to inflict acid damage on their equipment.
  • Digimon:
    • The small, often slime-like Baby Digimon are generally too young and weak to have the unique attacks their more evolved forms have, and are generally limited to spitting out streams of acidic bubbles to warn off foes.
    • Raremon, an undead Digimon created by another Digimon's attempt to become a Cyborg backfiring horribly, vomits out a wave of acid as its primary attack.
    • Both Hybrid Digimon associated with the Water element, Ranamon and Calmaramon, possess acid-based attacks — Ranamon can create literal acid rain, while Calmaramon can spew a wave of black acid from her mouth.
    • Megidramon is sometimes depicted as possessing acidic spit.
  • Dota 2: Razzil Darkbrew is an alchemist themed chiefly around use of acid and other corrosive and unstable liquids. One of his main attacks, Acid Spray, creates a cloud of acidic gas that then collects into a damaging Acid Pool on the ground.
  • Evolve: Gorgon has an acid spray attack. This is one of its most damaging attacks, rapidly melting through the health of anything caught by it.
  • Final Fantasy has the recurring ability Acid, an enemy-exclusive attack that douses the target in corrosive liquid and can inflict status ailments. In some games, Blue Mages can learn it by withstanding the attack.
  • Grim Dawn has Acid as the instantaneous version of Poison damage (which is over time; DOT damage for each element gets a different name than the instant version). Many skills in the game give you access to heavy acid damage; in particular, it seems to be a favorite of the Witch God Dreeg and his followers.
  • Ghost 1.0 has several primary and secondary weapons that let the player shoot acid, inflicting Damage Over Time. Enemies that can do the same start appearing from the Greenhouse sector onward.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 has the Spitter, which spits globs of acidic goo that coat whatever surface they impact, damaging any Survivors standing on it. The damage ramps up over time, making it especially dangerous if the Survivors are caught in the midst of a horde.
  • Marble Madness features Oozies, living puddles of acid that ooze around the floor, ready to dissolve any marble immediately on contact.
  • Mass Effect: Rachni soldiers and brood warriors spit acid as a ranged attack.
  • Mega Man 11 has Acid Man, a Robot Master who has both an acidic shot and an acidic shield.
  • Mega Man X3: Toxic Seahorse (aka Acid Seaforce) is one of the bosses; his ability is to manipulate an acidic substance, as well as turn into globs of acid. When X defeats him, he gets the Acid Burst weapon, which shoots bouncing globs of harmful acid.
  • Mortal Kombat: Reptile. His fatality in Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3 has him vomit a gallon of Hollywood Acid on his opponent, melting their flesh clear off their skeleton. He also has acid fatalities in Mortal Kombat 4 and Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance.
  • Pikmin:
    • Caustic Dweevils spit jets of acid to attack. In practice, this is animated and treated as a jet of water, with the exception that, unlike normal water, it also harms captains.
    • In the animated shorts, White Pikmin — which are generally only depicted as poisonous in the games — are shown to be able to spit small jets of acid capable of swiftly dissolving metal.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Poison-type is traditionally associated with acid in its flavor and attacks.
      • Numerous Poison moves — such as Acid Downpour, Acid Spray, Acid and Gastro Acid — are themed around corrosive substances rather than strictly toxic ones.
      • The Poison-type Pokémon Gulpin and Swalot are also explicitly themed around gastric acids. The Dragon/Poison-type Dragalge can, according to the Pokédex, spit acid powerful enough to dissolve the hull of a tanker.
    • Sliggoo, while a pure Dragon-type, is stated in its Pokédex entries to produce a highly corrosive mucus capable of dissolving anything. It uses this defensively, covering itself in a coating of caustic slime to drive off attackers, and offensively, spraying its acidic secretions at prey to liquefy them and turn them into a slurry that it can eat despite have no teeth. This is not reflected in any of its moves or abilities, though.
  • In Resident Evil 2 (remake), acid grenades are an option for the grenade launcher in Claire's scenario. They're easier to find (since, unlike flame rounds, they can be crafted), but their corrosive effect doesn't quite deal as much damage as flame rounds (although some enemies are weaker to them) and the splash of acid has a smaller radius.
  • Starcraft: Several zerg units use "acid" attacks.
  • In Uninvited, the servant ghost kills you by engulfing you into his "misty form", which covers you in a thick, sticky goo that turns out to be acid that turns you into a "lifeless lump of flesh".
  • In Warframe, combining Toxin and Electicity mods will provide the Corrosive element, which is especially effective against the ferrite armor used by the Grineer, stripping it away to make foes easier to damage.
  • Warhammer Chaosbane, Nurgle's beasts leave acidic trails of slime in their wake, and can vomit a wave of corrosive slime at you.

    Web Comics 
  • Awful Hospital: Dolphins can shoot acidic mucus out of their blowholes. This is a powerful area attack that penetrates 50% of their enemies' defenses.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Vultures protect themselves from predators by projectile vomiting. Besides being gross, their stomach contents are also highly acidic.
  • Acid attacks are also very common among humans, as someone will for one reason or another mix volatile chemicals and then splash it on a person, normally causing severe damage.

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