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Bizarro Elements

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The range of elemental powers on display are pretty creative, although the word elemental is getting stretched... We're past all of your fire, lightning, and ice, granddad. The cool kids now use smoke, concrete, video, and neon, which admittedly is an element (points to neon on the Periodic Table).
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Everybody knows the Four-Element Ensemble: Earth, Fire, Air, and Water. Those elements are the basis of almost everything related to magic in almost any Fantasy setting. Throughout the years, some writers try to break the monotony by adding a fifth element to the mix, like Heart, Metal, Wood, and Lightning. But sometimes, it is just not enough. Bizarro Elements are Elemental Powers pushed Up to Eleven in the weirdness factor.

Instead of the aforementioned elements, the basis of a work's universe revolves around seemingly random and very unusual elements, like say "Banana", "Cookie Dough" or "Cement". They are not necessarily conflicting with the classical elements, and can be added atop the elements as a fifth one — or beyond — the silliness of their nature being the main characteristic. They aren't limited either to magical usage, as they could be on an atomic level part of the very fabric of the universe. Mostly Played for Laughs, but is often taken very seriously In-Universe.

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To be considered a Bizarro Element, the element must truly be unconventional and rather unseen. Over the years, some Bizarro Elements became so wildly accepted and popular that many "secondary elements" started to pop here and there, becoming their own tropes. (For a most precise list of these "promoted" elements, see the "Other Elements" folder in Elemental Powers.)

For a similarly irreverent take on modern chemical elements, see Parodic Table of the Elements. Compare and contrast What Kind of Lame Power Is Heart, Anyway? and Heart Is an Awesome Power, depending on the situation. When used effectively, can be Lethal Harmless Powers.


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Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece: Logia Devil Fruit grants its user complete control over an element or force of nature, as well as power to turn into that element. These elements are, in ascending order of weirdness: Fire, Ice, Lightning, Snow (different from and weaker than Ice), Magma (different from and stronger than Fire), Smoke, Gas (in general), Sand, Light, Darkness and Swamp. Non-canon materials also add Paper, Syrup and Jelly.

    Literature 

    Video Games 
  • Destiny features Solar, which represents fire as well as nuclear force; Arc, which represents electromagnetism; and Void, which represents gravity and dark energy.
  • Used to somewhat parodic levels in Doodle God. In the game, you start with the Four-Element Ensemble then combine them to create new objects and elements that could then be used in further combinations.
  • In The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion — Shivering Isles, Relmyna Verenim says that previous alchemists have identified a fifth element, Light. She herself claims Flesh is a sixth.
  • The SNES version of Final Fantasy VI (released as III in the US) has Fire, Ice, Lightning, Wind, Water, Poison... and Pearl, actually a clumsy bit of censorship of what was originally "Holy", based on a superficial resemblance of the spell of that name to a string of pearls.
  • Kingdom of Loathing has Hot, Cold, Spooky, Stench, Sleaze, and Cute.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: Battle Chip elements, aside from "regular" ones like Fire, Aqua, Elec, Wood or Wind, also has (depending on the game) Break, Cursor, Sword, Invisibility (basically sneaky chips), Obstacle, Recovery and Plus, aside from Non-Elemental.
  • In the adventure game Obsidian, one of the dream worlds involves a giant robotic spider, and the puzzles therein each embody one of four machine versions of the elements; Air, Fire, Metal and Oil, with biblical descriptions of each at the end of said puzzles. Solving each puzzle imbues the spider with that element. And completing all of them brings the spider to life, at which point it attacks the player and devours them, transitioning to the next level.
  • OFF's universe is based on four elements: Smoke, Metal, Plastic, and Meat. There is also an artificial Element Number Five, Sugar, very addictive and made from burned corpses.
  • Zigzagged and a bit downplayed in Pokémon: if most of the types are classical elements, some sound unconventional but actually are classical powers. A lot of this comes down to the original, and revised physical/special split:
    • Most of the original special types are exactly what you would expect them to be. Fire, Water, Grass (weirdly specific way to describe plant powers, which is the term used in some other translations), Electric, Psychic, and Ice.
      • The last original special type, Dragon, was initially unique to one mon-line (the one used by Final Boss to have a defensive advantage against all four starter types) with only one move (essentially mystical fire that always did set damage.) As time went on, it kept 'mystical fire' for its special moves, but its physical moves became anything used with a reptilian or a dragonlike body part ("Dragon Tail", "Dragon Claw").
      • Dark uses Casting a Shadow for its special moves as you would expect, but its physical moves are just fighting dirty, ("Bite", "Sucker Punch", "Foul Play"). In Japan, this type is called the "Evil"-type so the latter moves play truer to what Dark-types are supposed to represent.
      • The Fairy-type is a combination of Light, Holy, Heart with a touch of "sinister". Fairy also includes quite a bit of references to Lunacy (most moon-related moves already in the game before the Fairy type's introduction were retconned to be Fairy-type, and one of the Fairy type's strongest attacks is called Moonblast).
    • The real bizarro elements are the physical types writ large.
      • Normal is mostly Non-Elemental physical moves, and sound-based special moves, with a few exceptions for Pure Energy.
      • Fighting should technically be just more skilled and powerful Normal attacks, but after gaining special moves now includes Ki Attacks.
      • Flying is a bizarre umbrella that encompasses the classical Air-type for special moves, but its physical moves are essentially Bird-type (even reflected i an unused type in Gen I) including anything with avian appendages ("beaks", "Razor Wings," and anything related to feathers are also put in this category).
      • Instead of just having an Earth-type, it's split into Rock-type for large stones and projectiles and Ground for sand, mud, and earthquakes. Probably to deal with the logic of how defense works with physical trait types like Flying. A bird can fly above an earthquake and take no damage, but you can kill two birds with one stone if you shoot them out of the sky. And on the reverse end, a Fighting-type could crush bricks with their fist, but get dampened by digging into sand. A third element, the Steel-type, was introduced in Gen 2 and has been included in every game in the series since. The handful of special Rock and Steel moves tend to respectively be Gemstone Assault and using metal's reflectiveness to weaponize light, with a lot of focus put on mirrors.
      • Bug is just for any Natural Weapon associated with insects like horns and stingers. Bug-type is weak to Flying-type, since "the early bird gets the worm" but this also makes them weak to Air moves, not just Bird moves. The logic behind this may be that Bug-types are so light that they're easily blown about by the wind.
      • Poison is for the poison Standard Status Effect, and is anything from natural animal venom and poisonous plants, to unnatural toxic waste and literal trash. For a while the animation of one of its strongest moves, Gunk Shot, was just throwing a cartoon metal garbage can at the opponent.
      • Ghost is mostly about Soul Power, hexes, and curses, with many of its mons looking like the undead. There's a slight overlap with Dark types in that some moves involve Casting a Shadow.
    • It should be noted that Flying, Fairy, Grass, Bug and Dragon are also egg groups (designations of which Pokémon can breed with each other), which suggests that these types are based more on physical attributes rather than just elemental powers (and Fairy was an egg group well before it became an actual type as well).
    • And let's not forget about the mysterious "???" type, which was only used for the "Curse" attack and has been removed since Gen V.
  • The Quest for Glory series normally involves the traditional four elements of fire, water, earth, and air. Getting accepted into the main wizard's school involves solving puzzles based on those four elements. Mad Scientists in the fourth and fifth games, however, insist that there is a fifth element, and that it is pizza. The Copy Protection of the fourth game involves answering the elements that make up certain formulas, with the elements including the four traditional ones and pizza.
  • Warframe, being a sci-fi game with weird powers coming from the Void, has an interestingly scientific set of elements.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts series, every member of Organization XIII has an "attribute" around which their attacks and powers are themed. The classical elements are in there, as are some natural extensions of the elements and a few bizarre ones. In the order of the Organization's ranks, these attributes are: Nothingness, Space, Wind, Ice, Earth, Illusion, Moon, Fire, Water, Time, Flower, Lightning, and Light.
  • In addition to the standard Shin Megami Tensei elements (fire, ice, force, lightning, light, dark and almighty), Persona 5 also adds "Nuclear" and "Psychic". While other elements can inflict status elements, Nuclear attacks deals extra damage to enemies that are suffering from physical status effects, while Psychic attacks deal extra damage to foes suffering mental status effects.
  • The first Persona game has an obscenely high number of elements, some of them being extremely specific.
    • First, instead of one or two physical types, all weapon and gun types have their own elements. So there are One-handed Sword element, Two-handed Sword element, Spear element, Whip element, and so on. The same applies to guns, resulting in Handgun element, Shotgun element, SMG element, and Rifle element.
    • There are 16 magical elements, divided into 4 groups.
      • The first group is "Elemental" types, covering the standard elements Fire, Ice, Wind and Earth.
      • The second group is "Force", covering elements that are more physical forces. It includes Electricity, Nuclear, Gravity, and Blast.
      • The third group is "Light", including weird subtypes such as Expel (focusing on instant death), Bless (focusing on recovery), Miracle (revival), and Prayer (status buffs).
      • The fourth group is "Dark", with each of its subtypes also opposing a Light subtype. It includes Death (instant death, opposes Expel), Curse (physical status ailments, opposes Miracle), Nerve (mental status ailments, opposes Bless), and Occult (status buffs with side-effects, opposes Prayer).
  • Terra Battle originally features only Fire, Ice, Lightning and Darkness elements. However, the 4.0.0 patch introduces two new elements that are more scientifically named, Photon and Graviton.
  • Skylanders features the original four, but adds in Magic, Undead, Life, and Tech as well. As of Trap Team, Light and Dark have been thrown into the mix.
  • Tokyo Mirage Sessions ♯FE has physical attacks based on the major weapon types of one of its parents series; Sword, Lance, and Axe form an Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors, with Bow being seperate. The magic elements also include Body (Status Ailments, as well as dark magic) and Mind (Different Status Ailments, as well as holy magic).
  • DragonVale features ten basic elements: Plant, Fire, Earth, Cold, Lightning, Water, Air, Metal, Light and Dark. It's the Epic Dragons that give us the real Bizzaro Elements. These include, in the order the game lists them, Galaxy, Rift, Rainbow, Gemstone, Crystalline, Seasonal, Treasure, Sun, Moon, Olympus, Apocalypse, Dream, Snowflake, Monolith, Ornamental, Aura, Chrysalis, Hidden and Surface.

    Web Original 
  • In the world of Aventures, one of the numerous Churches ruling the land is the Church of Whispers. At first, it sounds kinda silly when compared to say the Churches of Light, Blood, or Air, but it actually is one of the most influential Churches, led by the spooky Sister Maeda, and its apostles are blessed with a Power Nullifier ability.
  • In the Olde English Comedy short "Unity Force", the titular parody team's members have the powers of the 'four elemental powers of the universe': fire, karate, invisibility, and blue.
  • Homestuck has twelve main elements. Time, Space, Void, Life, Light, Rage... Hope... Mind? Doom? Heart? Blood? BREATH!?
    • It makes slightly more sense when you consider them ability sets than elements. For example, Mind has seer powers, Blood is about strength of bonds, Heart is related to souls, etc.
    • They're also less elements and more abstract forces that can be symbolised with elements. The four kids are given elemental associations, but only one of them really develops elemental powers related to their aspect. Breath is as much personal inspiration/motivation as it actual wind powers.
  • xkcd's "Elements" subverts this trope by having all 118+ chemical elements as bend-able elements in direct parody to Avatar: The Last Airbender, with cultures and nations attached to each element being inferred.
  • The same subversion is found in The Order of the Stick; Redcloak has a tendency to summon elementals directly off the periodic table, which always prove superior to the four classical elements. Played straight when Vaarsuvius discovers that there's a semi-elemental plane of ranch dressing.
  • Adventurers! also uses periodic table elements for a very long (and fortunately mostly unseen) Plot Coupon sidequest. As far as magical elements go, Ardam is confused when he casts a scan spell on a monster, and its "element" is "tastes like orange Tang" (the opposite of which is, according to Karn, "doesn't taste like orange Tang".)

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Current physical concepts of our universe name the four fundamental forces as Gravity, Electromagnetism, Strong Nuclear Force, and Weak Nuclear Force.


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