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Boom in the Hand

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Peter: Quagmire, check it out! I took ten M-80s and stuck them all together. I call it Peter Griffin's Bunker Busting Mega Ultra Super—
[the explosives detonate in Peter's hand and everybody screams]
Lois: Oh my god! You blew off all your fingers!

When using any kind of explosive, it is important to know when is the right time to start it. It is good not to start it too late. Otherwise, somebody could notice and disarm it. On the other hand, it's also a bad idea to light the fuse before you are even close to ready to throw it.

These guys are dumb enough to ignore the latter reason, and this results in them holding onto a bomb that eventually detonates while they are still holding onto it. This of course means that they'll be the ones suffering the effects of the explosive with their hand taking the most damage.

However, this does not just apply to those who start the bomb. This can also apply to those who grab an active bomb and take too long to get rid of it.

In video games, this can happen to the player if they are not careful, and they will take damage for it.

Characters who do this are likely to suffer from Explosive Stupidity. Dynamite Candle is also a possibility. Can also occur with grenades if characters decide to Throw the Pin. Compare Where's the Kaboom?, Grenade Hot Potato, Pineapple Surprise, Jumping on a Grenade, Sticky Bomb, and Strapped to a Bomb.

Very much Truth in Television: numerous people are injured every year with fireworks or other explosive devices that detonate while they're still holding them. Don't Try This at Home.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Katsuki Bakugo from My Hero Academia is an interesting example because of his Quirk, which is the ability to sweat nitroglycerin and set it off at will on his hands. He is quite adept at using it for explosive blasts and Grenade Jumping.
  • Pokémon: The Original Series: In the episode Pokémon Paparazzi, Ash and Todd are struggling to not fall down a waterfall after one of Team Rocket's traps. James throws bombs at them, making them slowly slip. Just as he is about to throw one more, Ash uses Todd's camera to pretend to be taking the bad guys' photo, distracting them long enough for the bomb to go off in James' hand. They don't really get hurt, however, just covered in soot.

    Comic Books 
  • Zot!: In the web-exclusive issue Hearts and Minds, Zot discovers that his mind has been unknowingly transferred into a robot body, when a bomb explodes in his hand but simply leaves him with a metal stump.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Several of Ajax's goons die in this fashion in Deadpool. Not so much because they held on to a grenade for too long, but because Deadpool shot the grenade itself before the guy holding it could throw it.
  • A variation in Dredd comes with Kay losing an arm. The spoilered character attempted to shoot Anderson with her own gun... apparently not knowing that a Judge's gun self-destructs if its holder fails a DNA scan.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action: During the car chase in Vegas, one of Sam's goons lights a stick of dynamite to throw at the heroes. When they make a turn, the goon refuses to throw the stick out as to not hurt any innocent people despite Sam's demands. This results in the dynamite he is holding blowing up on them.
  • Shanghai Surprise: The film's title refers to a type of bomb disguised as a pouched belt, which the villain loses his hands to at the start of the film.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: A failed attack roll with an explosive weapon causes a follow-up roll to determine what happens to the explosive. There's a chance that the attacker is still holding it when it explodes.

    Video Games 
  • The Call of Duty franchise often lets you hold a live grenade in your hand for a bit before you throw it, referred to as "cooking" a grenade, so it hopefully explodes near an enemy while giving them less time to throw it back or get away. While a valid tactic, it slides into this trope if you either miscalculate the time you have left before throwing or forget about it entirely. It can be easy to do either when in the middle of a firefight. At least one of the games in the series lets you cook grenades in one hand while holding your gun with the other, so you can still shoot while getting ready to throw. This even works if you're dual wielding weapons, though obviously you'll have to put one down to get a grenade ready.
    • This primarily applies to standard frags, though. Special ordinance like semtex, flashbangs, and molotovs can be held indefinitely until thrown.
  • Conker's Bad Fur Day: One objective that you are given in the chapter of Uga Buga is to take a bomb and throw it into a volcano as it is ticking down. Failure to get to the inside of the volcano in time will result in the bomb exploding in Conker's hands.
  • Crash Bash: In the Crate Crush category of minigames, if you lift a TNT crate, the countdown will start from 3. If you hold it for too long, it'll go boom and hurt you.
  • Dota 2: If the Alchemist charges his Unstable Concoction ability for too long, it will blow up in his hand and stun him. This is a much bigger downside than it seems because, due to game mechanics, he can only throw the Concoction at enemy heroes, meaning he has a very real chance of blowing himself up if he uses it too early or the enemy can get away from him.
  • Henry Stickmin Series: In Stealing The Diamond, Henry can attempt to use a plasma grenade for one segment. However, he ends up being unable to throw it due to being stuck to his hand, resulting in it blowing him up.
  • Killzone allows you to cook grenades, with the remaining fuse time being helpfully indicated by lights on the grenade itself. However, there is absolutely nothing stopping you from doing so until it explodes in your hand.
  • Kirby: In games where Kirby has the Bomb powerup, holding the bomb in his hand for too long will make it explode in Kirby's hands, hurting him for a bit.
  • The Legend of Zelda: In all gamesnote , bombs become active the moment they are taken out of the bomb bag. From The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past onwards, Link is capable of picking them up and throwing them. However, holding onto them for too long will result in them exploding on Link, hurting him. Interestingly, in The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening, bombs that are picked up have their fuses reset and freeze while Link is holding them. Link also can't be harmed by his own bomb explosions.
  • Mastermind: World Conqueror: If your minions fail to blow up a facility, you are shown how. It turns out one of them took the bomb with them when they bailed.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • This trope can happen to anybody who grabs a bob-bomb or sticky bomb and hold on to them for too long. Both become active the moment they are picked up, so it is important to throw them soon, or they will blow up on you instead.
    • In Super Smash Bros. Brawl onward, Electrode can also be picked up. However, he is seconds away from detonating when one can do so, which means that you will have to immediately throw him the instant you pick him up.
    • Any character who has explosives as part of their moveset also falls under this. The Links pull out active bombs for their down special (except for Link in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate who uses remote bombs), and Snake's neutral has him pulling the pin out of a grenade. These specials can inflict self-damage.
    • Super Smash Bros Ultimate features Bomber as an item that can be picked up. Whoever picks it up will lift it above their head upon usage and let Bomber explode in their hands, damaging everybody near them. Unlike other examples though, the person holding Bomber remains unharmed. However, Bomber will harm the holder if left unused for too long.
  • In Streets of Rage 3, grenades will explode in your hand if you hold onto them too long. The fuse on a grenade starts counting down as soon as it's revealed, so if you find a grenade but don't pick it up for a few seconds it might explode the instant you pick it up!
  • In Mass Effect: Andromeda, cooking a grenade too long will result in it exploding in your hand unless you took the Sticky Grenade upgrade.
  • Demoman from Team Fortress 2 has a melee weapon called the Ullapool Caber that is a WWII-style German hand grenade that he uses as a mace, with predictably explosive results.
  • Star Fox: Assault has Grenades being among the vast arsenal Fox can pick up during an on-foot mission. Grenades can be held for a while before exploding, and will begin to give off a noticeable glow beforehand, visually reminding the player to toss it quickly before this trope can apply.
  • The original Half-Life allows you to cook frag grenades, which will explode in your hand if held for too long. This carries over to Black Mesa, where you'll be rewarded with the achievement "Well-Done" for your troubles.

    Web Animation 
  • Crispy Toast: In Donkey Kong - The BLU Heist A Demoman fires a sticky bomb at Donkey Kong, which DK promptly catches only for the Demo to laugh and remotely detonate it in DK's hand.

  • Questionable Content: Clinton lost his hand as a child when a firework exploded prematurely, though prosthetic technology is advanced enough that he's perfectly happy with the replacement.
    Marten: Modern cybernetics is really sending mixed messages to kids. "Don't play with fireworks, or you'll end up with sweet robot body parts."

    Web Videos 
  • The Nostalgia Critic: In his review of Steel, the critic points out how unrealistically long it takes for a grenade to detonate. He explains that if the scene were any realistic, the grenade would have exploded while Martin explained how to toss it, which meant it would have been in Steel's hand when it exploded.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog episode, "Pseudo Sonic", Scratch mistakes the titular robot for the real Sonic and tries to stop him with a bubble gum bomb. However, like the real Sonic, Pseudo Sonic won't hold still, and Scratch tells him, "Hey, hey! Hold still! This thing's gonna ex... plo-ho-hode!" while still holding onto the bomb. Cue the bomb exploding and Scratch getting covered in bubble gum.
  • In one American Dad! episode, Steve blows his thumb off with a firework trying to impress a girl. She lets him touch her breast, with the injured hand after the thumb's been reattached and the painkillers prevent him feeling anything.
  • In the Beast Wars episode Gorilla Warfare, Optimus Primal has an explosive mind-altering bee attached to his chest, which he returns to the Predacons during the episode's climax. After removing the bee from his enraged leader, Scorponok stands around looking at the device until it explodes in both of their faces.
  • Family Guy: While the Griffin family are playing with fireworks, Peter takes ten M-80s, ties them together, and lights their fuses. As he explains what he has created, the M-80s explode in his hand, blowing off his fingers.
  • Looney Tunes:.
    • It actually happens twice in "Operation: Rabbit". First, Bugs Bunny hands Wile E. Coyote a lit stick of dynamite; Wile. E is smart enough to douse the fuse, but is too busy bragging to notice the lit fuse on the other end. Later, Wile E. has to dispose of an exploding robot meant for Bugs by throwing it out the window, but it detonates right in his hands.
    • In one of his attempts to catch the road runner, Wile E. prepares to throw a lit stick of dynamite with a slingshot, only for it to explode in his hand. In another he makes a lasso with lit dynamite sticks, but no road runner comes...
  • In one episode of The Simpsons Mrs Glick tells Bart the story of her brother Asa, who died in World War 1. A flashback sequence shows him pulling the pin on a grenade and giving an extended And This Is for... speech to the Germans, causing the grenade to explode before he can actually throw it.
    Asa: This one's for you, Kaiser Bill. Special delivery from Uncle Sam and all the boys in D company. Yeah... Johnny, Harris, Brooklyn Bob. And Reggie. Yeah, even Reggie. He ain't so stuck up once you get to know hi—
  • Sport Goofy In Soccermania: During the last seconds of the game, the Beagle Boys rig a soccer ball with a remote bomb and leave it up to one to detonate it the moment Goofy kicks it. However, Goofy manages to score because said Beagle Boy was pushing the wrong button. This results in another one taking the remote and pushing the correct button while the bomb was in their hands.
  • Super Mario Bros.
    • One episode of The Super Mario Bros. Super Show! has the Mario Bros toss a bomb to a koopa troopa causing it to panic the moment it catches the bomb. Upon catching the bomb, the koopa troopa jumps off of it's vehicle while it is still holding the bomb.
    • In the Super Mario World episode, "The Night Before Cave Christmas", King Koopa steals Mario's bag of presents that Oogtar stowed away in. Oogtar discovers that one of the presents is a Bob-omb that Koopa planned to give to Bully, one of his children. Oogtar sets the Bob-omb off and hands it to Koopa, who says, "Stop! You're not supposed to go off till' Christmas...", and it explodes in his face before he can say "Morning".

    Real Life 
  • This happened to Harold Lloyd while he was making a publicity still for a film. He was told to light a cigar with a prop firecracker, which turned out to be a Not-So-Fake Prop Weapon and exploded in his hand. He lost his thumb and part of his index finger, but it could have been worse. He had lowered the firecracker to complain about the smoke from the fuse seconds before it went off. He used a prosthetic glove for the rest of his career to hide his injury.
  • NFL defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul infamously became an accidental spokesman for fireworks safety when he allowed a firecracker to explode in his hand on the Fourth of July (alcohol was involved in the decision-making process). Despite prompt medical attention, he still lost multiple fingers.
  • Overlapping with Deadly Prank, some sadistic tourists threw a macaque monkey a bag of food that had a firecracker in it, unbeknownst to the monkey, which led to one of its fingers being blown off after the monkey grabbed the bag which then exploded. Poor thing...
  • Averting this trope is the reason militaries strongly discourage the practice of "cooking" grenades (i.e. holding onto them for a couple seconds after pulling the pin before throwing them). In theory it gives the targets less time to react to the incoming explosive, which is a good thing. In practice, however, grenade fuse times are far from exact, so an attempt to "cook" one with an unusually short fuse will result in this trope.