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Booze Flamethrower

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"You know why the measurement of alcohol content is called 'proof'? See, comes from back in the old days, when pirates wanted to test the strength of their rum. They used to pour a little bit out on gunpowder. [...] And then the gunpowder, if it burnt when they set it alight, they considered it proof that their rum was good and strong. But see, I ain't got no gunpowder on me, do I? But I'm pretty sure you boys'll make just as impressive of a sound when I set your balls on fire."
Agent Whiskey describes the reason this trope works, Kingsman: The Golden Circle

A form of Improvised Weapon whereupon one fills their mouth with liquor, holds up a torch, candle, or if they're really ballsy, match or lighter, and spits the alcohol out into it, blasting out a stream of flame.

Possible in Real Life, but only with very high proof alcohol (at least 100 proof note , or 50% ABV). Anything lower will sputter a bit, if not put out the flame. Beer and wine aren't going to do it; you'll need to use something distilled. You'll need a good strong whiskey, some fierce vodka, 151-proof rum, absinthe, moonshine, or while not really what one would consider booze, PGA. That's right, pure grain alcohol — 96% ethanol. For things that aren't technically booze, there's methanol, industrial alcohol or wood spirit. Do not drink this stuff! (And for methanol and alcohol fuels based on it, don't even put it in your mouth for this stunt, the tissues of the mouth absorb!) Do not breathe it in! Do not get it on your skin! It is nasty! There is also isopropyl, commonly called rubbing alcohol or electronic alcoholnote . It is expensive and definitely not for drinkingnote , but it burns nicely. Obviously, this is a hazardous stunt best left to practiced performers.

Sister Trope to Aerosol Flamethrower. A more distant cousin, with more Toilet Humour but only slightly less realistic, is Farts on Fire: the idea of harnessing a concentrated source of methane into a weapon. Another way to use booze as fuel for an impressive fireball is the Molotov Cocktail. See also Homemade Flamethrower and Bizarre Beverage Use.


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    Anime And Manga 
  • In the Eat-Man manga, Bolt Crank has the ability to swallow anything and later eject it through his hand. So once he swallowed some industrial alcohol ("200 Proof"), and...
  • Renkotsu of the Shicinintai uses this trick in Inuyasha.
  • Bruce does this in the first episode of My-Otome 0~S.ifr~, pretending to be drunk and stumbling into the train car where the titular Sifr is being held, only to unleash this when they trick to kick him out.
  • After the protagonist of Psycho-Pass sees alcohol being used this way (to trigger a sprinkler system; It Makes Sense in Context), she is briefly under the impression that this is alcohol's sole purpose (being both extremely naïve and under the legal drinking age).

    Comic Books 
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer Season 10: In issue 2, the Scoobies are fighting a pack of stronger vampires, one of whom disperses into a swarm of bees. Spike takes the swarm down by downing a bottle of booze and spewing it through a lit lighter.
  • Vertigo's The Dark and Bloody #5 opens with the protagonist using spat moonshine and his lighter to fend off an attacking murder of possessed crows.
  • Hack/Slash: A variation in Girls Gone Dead. Cassie kicks Laura Lochs into a bar which soaks her in high-proof alcohol. Cassie distracts Laura by pointing out she looks like she has just won a wet t-shirt contest (which is a Berserk Button for the prim and proper Laura). While she is distracted, Cassie ignites her by throwing a flaming shot on her.

    Film — Animated 
  • This happens in Rango after the titular character eats a lit cigar to look tough, and tries to wash it down with "cactus juice" (tequila?)
  • Done by Mr. Peabody in Mr. Peabody & Sherman, where he spits wine into a torch in Ancient Egypt while impersonating Anubis in order to frighten the citizens into canceling Penny's wedding to King Tut.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • In Ashes of Time when the Blind Swordsman, alone in a tavern, prepares to face off against an entire platoon of bandits, takes a swig of wine, precariously balances a lit candle on his sword just as a few bandits tried sneaking behind him... and spits the wine in his mouth into the candle, lighting the first bandit on fire. Cue sword fight.
  • In The Assassination Bureau, Oliver Reed sprinkles the cognac from his mouth on a cigar, lighting it up right into the face of an assassin who pointed a gun at him.
  • In The Car: Road to Revenge, Daria douses the ADA in medical alcohol and acts as if she is about to set him on fire. She takes a swig from the bottle and takes Talen's lighter. She lights the lighter but then spits the booze out across the flame and into Talen's eye.
  • This is how Horny the Clown is beaten in the Slasher Movie Drive-Thru; the Final Girl spits out alcohol she had in her mouth when he shoves lit birthday candles near her face, causing him to catch on fire.
  • Jackie Chan does this after drinking industrial alcohol during his final fight in Drunken Master 2.
  • Dance of the Drunken Mantis, starring Siu Tin Yen as Beggar Cho/Sam the Seed, who also performs the trick against Rubber Legs.
  • In the live-action film version of How the Grinch Stole Christmas!, The Grinch does this to burn down the Whos' Christmas tree after the Mayor pushes his Berserk Button.
  • Jolly Roger kills a man this way (using a Finger-Snap Lighter for the needed flame) in Jolly Roger: Massacre at Cutter's Cove.
  • Gangster boss Rory Breaker does this in Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels. Take Barfly Jack's quote: "Rory gobs out a mouthful of booze covering fatty; he then flicks a flaming match into his bird's nest and the man's lit up like a leaky gas pipe.note "
  • A variant in John Woo's Once a Thief; in the climax, Joe and James have to fight an Elite Mook whose built-in flamethrower proves himself deadly to the two heroes. Joe, dodging the mook's fire, hides behind a counter, grabbed what he assumes is a bottle of booze from a cupboard, and chugs it down... only to discover the "booze" is actually paint thinner. Joe quickly forces himself to vomit, just as the mook is about to trigger his flamethrower on the heroes... and ends up setting the mook on fire by his own weapon.
  • In Pitch Black, one of the protagonists is caught in the dark with a guttering torch and a bottle of expensive spirits. He takes a big swig and blows a huge fireball, illuminating the hundreds of dark-loving beasties surrounding him just before the torch goes out and... crunch crunch crunch...
  • How Marion Ravenwood defends herself when Nazis invade her bar in Raiders of the Lost Ark.
  • Rattle The Cage: Dabaan gives The Alcoholic Talal a bottle of arrack to tempt him. Talal ultimately takes a swig, but spits it out and lights it on fire in Dabaan's face.
  • This is how the Alpha Betas lost their fraternity house in Revenge of the Nerds. One guy playing around with a mouthful of Everclear & a match set the house ablaze, so the Alphas take over the freshman dorms, forcing the nerds out.
  • In the 1990 action film The Rookie, David Ackerman returns to the bar where he took a severe beating to demand information from the bartender. The bartender tells Ackerman to get lost or he'll take another beating, and Ackerman takes a swig of whiskey and responds with this trope before beating the shit out of everyone in the bar.
  • In The Rum Diary, this is done to display the potency of Moberg's moonshine. Kemp later does it to ward off angry Puerto Ricans he stiffed, only to end up setting fire to a cop's mustache.
  • Featured in the spectacular opening of Santa's Slay, when Santa sets a woman's hair on fire.
  • In The Scorpion King, Arpid does this to fend off army ants.
  • In Serial Mom, Beverly uses an Aerosol Flamethrower to set Scotty alight. He staggers on to the stage where Camel Lips are playing and collapses. One of the musicians swigs a mouthful of clear alcohol (probably vodka) and sprays it on to him; causing the flames to flare even more intensely.
  • The Tournament: In the strip club, Joshua spits a mouthful of high-proof booze through Miles' lighter as he is lighting his cigar, turning Miles into a Man on Fire.
  • The fire eater from the circus in The Warrior's Way does this, using it to light the candles on a birthday cake. It becomes a Chekhov's Skill when he later uses it to light a couple of the Colonel's henchmen on fire.
  • Kingsman: The Golden Circle: Whiskey threatens Eggsy and Merlin by dousing their laps in alcohol and describing the origins of the term "proof" to measure alcohol content.

  • The Bellmaker features some of the cast teaching a toad chieftain to do this with strong grog. It winds up causing an explosion when the toad stops being quite so careful.
  • Feet of Clay: Nobby Nobbs does this by accident when a Spit Take after a glass of very, very, very strong brandy combines with a lit cigar. He seizes the opportunity to run as fast as he can, though.
  • Starlight and Shadows: A human warrior does this in Daughter of the Drow — not for damage, but to disable an opponent with infravision.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Allen Haff does one for real in an episode of Auction Hunters; he uses some very strong moonshine to pull it off.
  • Cupcake Wars had an unintentional example; the chefs were given absinthe as a potential ingredient, and one decided to pour some in a heated pan. All she got was fire.
  • Danger5. Soviet Hard Drinking Action Girl Ilsa takes a swig from a bottle and squirts it in the face of a fire-breathing lizardman.
  • The castaways of Gilligan's Island once tried making a giant SOS signal out of burning logs using brandy packed by the Howells. The burning went fine, the signal-sending didn't.
  • In the It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Solves the Gas Crisis," Mac and Charlie show off by doing this with mouthfuls of gasoline. They're not bright, those guys.
  • In the MacGyver (1985) episode "The Eye of Osiris", Mac throws alcohol in the face of a man holding a torch, setting the man's hat and shirt on fire.
  • Scottie in Mythbusters destroyed the balloons in the balloon girl myth this way.
  • In Psych Gus's ex-wife did this as a bar trick.
  • Callen pulls this stunt once on NCIS: Los Angeles. As recommended by the trope description, he uses vodka.
  • White Collar had an unusual example involving a bottle of whiskey chucked into a glass-blower's furnace.
  • One clip on World's Dumbest... features someone repeatedly trying this as a party trick. He eventually succeeds—and sets his hair on fire. Another clip shows a guy who takes a shot of something alcoholic and spews it on someone smoking a cigarette, setting the poor guy's face on fire.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: One of Xena's signature moves. However, in a later season she would only use it against monsters.

  • Taiji Sawada did this for real in an infamous pseudo Performance Video for early X Japan (then called X), the "Orgasm at YASHIRO noodle shop" video.
  • This is how Gene Simmons of Kiss does his famous fire-breathing stunt.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The drunken master monk prestige class can perform this feat with alcohol that they have already swallowed when they are drunk enough.
  • Pathfinder has kerosine, a.k.a. the firebreather's oil, to use this trick either in combat or as a performance on stage. Kerosine isn't safe at all to drink however, resulting in self-inflicted damage if accidentally swallowed on a natural 1 on the d20. The Drunken Master Monk archetype can use a powerful booze-fueled fire breath at 19th level.
  • Ponyfinder: Some sun ponies can improvise a breath weapon by gulping down a mouthful of alcohol, igniting it with their internal heat, and spraying out the burning liquid.

    Video Games 
  • Arabian Fight have a boss battle against an overweight brawler who will occasionally grab his liquor bottle, take a swig, and breathe a stream of flames that does higher damage on your character.
  • In Crash Bandicoot 2: N-Tranced, one of the tribesman enemies in the volcanic island levels attacks this way.
  • Prince Fahook Abdul uses this in his boss fight in Dead to Rights. Drinking the booze beforehand gives him a health boost as well.
  • In Dishonored members of the Bottle Street Gang fight this way using whiskey they distill in their brewery. In their areas you can also find bottles lying around in various nooks and crannies that, if thrown, explode. If it's the same stuff in the bottles as in their breath attack, then breathing it out as fire seems a lot safer than actually drinking it.
  • The bottle-bearing drunks in the top-down arcade brawler Downtown.
  • In the MMORPG Dragon Nest, there are enemies called Pirate Gnoll Bladesmen that do this as an ultimate attack.
  • Auron does a variant for Tornado, one of his Overdrives in Final Fantasy X. What he does is create a huge whirlwind, then throws his whole bottle of sake into it, and the whole thing bursts into flame. Through friction, maybe?
  • Hong Kong Ninja has an Elite Mook enemy who, besides hitting really hard, also carries an alcohol flask. Which they'll occasionally take a swig from and blowing flames at you.
  • Chin Gentsai of The King of Fighters also does this for his Limit Break.
  • Like a Dragon:
    • Yakuza 4 has Daisaku Minami, who can do a lot of capoeira and this too. Referenced in Yakuza: Dead Souls where Goro Majima briefly discusses a guy fitting Minami's description.
    • In Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Nanba's "Homeless Man" class can let him perform this as an attack, which starts with just spewing out flames to outright leaping into the air and unleashing a spiral of black fire to torch all enemies in his wake.
  • In Mortal Kombat: Deception, this is one of Bo' Rai Cho's fatalities.
  • The first boss of Musya is a gigantic kamaitachi carrying a sake gourd. Which it occasionally drinks from before using it to breath a stream of flames if it can't reach you with it's claws.
  • In No More Heroes, Bad Girl uses this to set her baseball bat on fire when she Turns Red.
  • General Brigan, a massive berserker Viking warrior of Odin Sphere uses this as one of his attacks during his boss fights.
  • Captain Slag uses this as an attack in Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction.
  • In Sanitarium the main character is taught how to do this by a carnival fire-eater, which is then used to fight a Puzzle Boss.
  • Maeda Toshie of Sengoku Basara has this as his Limit Break. He can also spit out fireballs or a giant inferno as well.
  • It's not explicit in The Simpsons for the arcade, but this is probably how the drunken bartender breathes fire.
  • Touhou Project has Suika Ibuki, who does this in the fighting games.
  • Pandaren Brewmasters in Warcraft III have both a "throw booze" (slows and inebriates the enemy) and "spit fire" abilities, which can be combined. Later, with the Mists of Pandaria expansion for World of Warcraft, Monks with the Brewmaster spec start having this ability. Extra damage is done to enemies already soaked in booze by the other Brewmaster attacks as it ignites them for Damage over Time.
    • Maginx the Brewmaster in Defense of the Ancients: All-Stars, whose moveset is heavily based off of the WC3 Brewmaster hero, doesn't have the ability to breathe fire. However, his booze can be ignited with any spell damage to deal damage over time.
  • This is one of the Kato's combat techniques in Monster Rancher 2; it was made unlearnable for player monsters in the translation.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In a typical shoot-out with the Russian KGB in Archer, Lana and Archer only have blanks in their guns so have to make these.
  • Family Guy:
  • Bender of Futurama has a habit of belching fire after drinking. Mind, he is a robot powered by internal combustion.
  • King of the Hill:
    • Monsignor Martinez does this with communion wine. As pointed out in the page description, this should not be a strong enough alcohol to produce the effect, but oh well.
    • Cotton does this with sake in one of his war stories. Sake should also not be strong enough, as its alcohol content is only about 5% stronger than wine.
  • Pickles from The Oblongs once used a lighter to tested her own blood alcohol by seeing the flame created by her own breathe. She tells Bob that she's good for welding, but she's too drunk to drive.

    Real Life 
  • Attempted by a guy who wanted to show off at an SCA event. Of course, he'd never done this trick before and was underage to get alcohol so used Coleman stove fuel instead, which is why that link leads you to the Darwin Awards site. (He survived.)


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