Follow TV Tropes


Bizarro Elements

Go To

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).

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.


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.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Demon Slayer: Kimetsu no Yaiba: The five basic "Breathing Forms" of the Demon Slayer's swordplay reflect the basic elements of Lightning, Flame, Rock, Water and Wind, but over time Slayers have managed to create their own Breaths from the five basic ones, some based on "lesser" elements such as Sound or Fog, other more unusual such as "Beast", "Love", "Snake" and "Insects".
  • Elemental Gelade: some of the Elemental Powers of the Edel Raids are classical, such as Earth, Water, Wind, Fire, Green (Vegetation), Light and Darkness, and also rare ones such as Life, Void and Death... but others are much more exotic and bizarre, including elemental attributes of "Wisdom", "Sword", "Shield", "Love", "Beauty", "Motion" and "Silence". That's without going into the six unknown elements.
  • Fairy Tail: 100 Years Quest introduces the fifth generation of Dragon Slayers, the "Dragon Eaters". While the previously seen Dragon Slayer magics were based on classical elements such as Fire, Metal, Lightning, Air, Poison, Shadow and White (Holy), the Dragon Eaters showcases rather odd elemental attributes, showcasing powers coming from the Blade Dragon, Armor Dragon, Carrion Dragon, Ghost Dragon, Sticky Dragon and... Sword Saint Dragon.
  • Naruto: Some of the elemental Kekkai Genkai fall under this. While we have stuff like Ice Release and Lave Release, there’s also stuff like Dark Release, Explosion Release, and Magnetic Release.
  • 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.
    • There also exists the Mochi Mochi no Mi, a Paramecia that's described as "special". In practically every regard it's functionally the same as a Logia (allows the user to create and transform into a substance), the only difference being it's a man-made substance (Mochi) rather than a naturally occuring one.

  • The surrealist Max Ernst's Une semaine de bonté ("A Week of Kindness") aligns the days of the week with particular elements, including conventional elements like water for Monday and fire for Tuesday alongside more unusual ones, like Thursday with blackness and Saturday with sight.

    Fan Works 

  • The Kane Chronicles has the Cheese element in addition to Fire, Earth, Air and Water. There's also Light, Darkness, Rain, Death, Healing, Ice, Lighting, Storm, Poison, and Sand.
  • The Discworld books assert that surprise is the fifth element. One of them also discusses the Reson (or "thing-ie"), the fundamental particle of magic. Resons come in 5 flavors: Up, Down, Sideways, Sex-Appeal, and Peppermint. This is a parody of the real-world varieties of quarks - they actually are divided into "flavors," including Charm and Strange.
  • Cradle Series: Aura and madra come in many different forms. You've got the basics like fire, water, life and death, then the weirder ones like dream and hunger. Since aura can also be influenced by human creations, some really weird types are perfectly commonplace; sword aura is technically a specialized type of force aura that gathers around edged weapons, but it's generally more common since people use sharp weapons more than blunt ones.
  • Dragons in Trash of the Count's Family each have their own element unique from any other dragon. This means that while some dragons get conventional elements like fire or uncommon but not unheard of abilities like dust, others have "elements" that are conceptual or ideas. Raon's element is "the present", and no, even he doesn't know what that means.
    • Related is the element of "despair" which is generated by prolonged torture or by brutally killing large numbers of people.

  • In his poem Punschlied, Friedrich Schiller identifies Water, Spirit, Sugar and Lemon as the four elements that make up life and the cosmos.

    Video Games 
  • Brütal Legend has the elements Fire, Blood, Metal, and Noise. Each were given to the world by Ormagöden when he killed himself rather than let the hideous First Ones kill him. His fiery breath became the sun, his blood became the sea, his dying scream became noise, and his body became metal, and each element holds a part of his power. The noise echoed through the world and became the foundation for heavy metal music. The metal of his body still retained his love for great speed and allowed for the construction of armor that let its wearer run extremely fast and cars that raced across the land, powered by fiery engines. And his blood contains gifts of power for those daring enough to unleash it.
  • CrossCode: Heat, Cold, and Shock are straightforward enough... then there's Wave. It's associated with aquatic enemies, but instead of the water you'd expect it's a rubbery-sounding green energy that, in the player's hands, grants Combo Platter Powers including Gradual Regeneration, Life Drain, pushing enemies backwards, explosions, illusions, appropriately enough a Wave-Motion Gun, and making enemies more vulnerable to projectiles. The other characters aren't sure what to make of it either.
  • What Dawn of the Breakers calls elements are named after abstractions. The four main ones are Vita, Fate, Terra, and Fortune, and each one has three sub-elements named after colornote . What hero has what element seems to be based on their character's associated color, as even if some heroes use "traditional" elements, this is not related to their abstraction/color element. Fire can be seen being used by various Vita heroes as well as at least one Fate (Calamity Trigger) and one Fortune (Flame of the Suzaku); in-game they're considered Vita/Fate/Fortune heroes first, not "Fire" heroes, in terms of enemy weakness.
  • 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.
  • Doom: The existence of the Pain Elemental implies that pain is somehow an element. Maybe only in hell.
  • 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.
  • DragonFable has several elements ranging from expected (Fire, Ice, wind) to unusual (Fear, Poison, Silver), with Bacon being the only truly bizarre element. Especially given that unlike the other primary elements, it has no balancing counterpart. Bacon becomes very important in the Book 1 finale. Most weapons using the Bacon element have a food motif.
  • 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 #5, 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". Some Fairy-type attacks dip into Lunacy as well (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 physical moves, and sound-based special moves, with a few exceptions for Pure Energy and sound-based attacks.
      • Fighting should technically be just more skilled and powerful Normal attacks, but after gaining special moves now includes Ki Manipulation.
      • Flying is a bizarre umbrella that encompasses the classical Air-type for special moves, but its physical moves are essentially Bird-type (even reflected in an unused type in Gen I) including anything with avian appendages (Beak Attacks, Razor Wings, and moves 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 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. The packaged manual in the second game alludes to a fifth element, and that it is Pizza. Mad Scientists in the fourth and fifth games keep this gag rolling, and the Copy Protection of the fourth game involves answering the elements that make up certain formulas, with the elements including the four traditional ones plus pizza. The Fan Remake of the second game in the series adds a Bonus Boss fight against the Pizza Elemental.
  • 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, Wind, Electricity, Bless, Curse and Almighty), Persona 5 also adds Nuclear (Nuke for short) and Psychokinesis (Psy for short). While other elements can inflict status elements, Nuke attacks deal extra damage to enemies that are suffering from physical status effects, while Psy 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, Tech, Life and Undead as well. As of Trap Team, Light and Dark have been thrown into the mix. In addition, Kaos has his own element.
  • 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.
  • In Cultist Simulator, you work with several bizarro-element 'principles' that have multiple associated elements, some of which are themselves bizarro elements. They are as follows: Moth (chaos, whims, change, nature), Lantern (knowledge, more literal light), Forge (fire, strength, artifice), Edge (betrayal, violence, cleverness), Winter (death, beauty, cold), Heart (uniting, persistence, healing, rhythm), Grail (desire, blood, birth), Knock (doors, paths, visions). There's also Secret Histories serving as Principle #9.
  • Recruitable enemies in Deltarune have elemental types, which more often than not fall into this trope, such as "JEWEL", "ORDER", "DUST", or "PUZZLE". This doesn't have any gameplay significance and is just flavor text.

    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.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: