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Burning with Anger

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A common way of showing extreme anger for a character is to have them burst (whole or in part) into flames. This can either be a visual metaphor for anger, or played literally if they possess fire-manipulating abilities. Depending on the level of anger as well as the tone of the setting, it can range from merely steam coming out of their ears to a full blown volcanic eruption, and everything in between.

If the character has Pyrokinesis, Power Incontinence, and is Hot-Blooded, anything that causes anger is likely to manifest this way. If said character is evil, he/she will always be like this when angry. If the flames don't cause property damage they're probably a Faux Flame. It can also overlap with Fireball Eyeballs, Flaming Hair, and Wreathed in Flames — people who already have such features may have them flare up into larger, hotter flames.


Compare Battle Aura, Demon Head, High-Pressure Emotion, Nightmare Face, Turns Red (a mostly Video Game equivalent dealing with heightened difficulty that sometimes involves this). Might sometimes be combined with a Looming Silhouette of Rage.

Not to be confused with Angst Nuke, which is not just a visual metaphor, but actually dangerous.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The Super Saiyan transformation in Dragon Ball Z starts out as equal parts this trope and Super-Powered Evil Side, but later on the warriors discover a way to trigger it at will.
  • Sanji in One Piece, occasionally. He burned up so much in Thriller Bark over the thought of an "invisible man" (Absalom) peeping on Nami that he sent out shockwaves. At one point Chopper said, "Awesome! He exploded!" He even weaponized it in the Fishman island arc where he used it as an finishing attack after thinking about the last two years he spent on Kamabakka Island
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Joey Wheeler does this when he gets really riled up. A good way to make this happen is to pretend to be his Only Mostly Dead Love Interest just to screw with him. Or call him names. Or just be Kaiba.
  • Rin from Blue Exorcist goes into a Technicolored volcanic version of this whenever he gets really pissed off, scared, or draws his katana.
  • Happens to Tatsuki in Wreathed in Flames form, in an early episode of Bleach. And this is AFTER rampaging through the classroom trying to murder Ichigo. His transgression? Kissing her on the cheek.
  • Pokémon
    • After Misty called her old, Jessie got so angry she started breathing fire!
      Meowth: Jessie just evolved into a Flareon!
    • When Team Rocket stole food from a restaurant she wanted to eat at, May was so pissed that not only was she wreathed in flames twice, but her eyes were glowing red.
      Dawn: What happened to our princess...?!
    • An earlier episode that took places in a haunted house had Jessie get so mad, her hair catches fire. She runs around screaming from the fire until she puts it out, leaving her bald.
  • In the "Sweet & Sour Puss" episode of Kirby: Right Back at Ya!, Dedede explodes into a volcanic rage wreathing himself with a firey glow both around his eyes and his body after Togeira stores enough anger within itself to unleash a mega-attack on his own castle. He even screams "Now it's payback time!" as he does so.
  • When Natsu from Fairy Tail gets pissed he gets covered in flames and gets even stronger. Give that he's the Fire Dragon Slayer, it's rather appropriate. It becomes even more darkly appropriate with The Reveal that he is (or at least was) also an Etherious, a demon of Zeref whose power and brand of magic is fueled by feelings of anger and hatred. Specifically, E.N.D., the mightiest of all of Zeref's demons and the one made to kill him.
  • In one of the Ranma ½ Anime (but not manga) episodes (Genma Takes A Walk) Genma makes a declaration that is so Hot-Blooded that it causes his head to catch fire. Literally.
  • Naruto's 4-tailed transformation is this trope, literally. Bloodshot eyes, peeling skin, boiling blood, all while Naruto sports a face of pure, unadulterated rage. Cue Angst Nuke.
  • K: Literally happens with Mikoto Suoh in episode 6 when he remembers what Tatara's murderer said in the video clip after shooting Tatara.
  • Chapter 2 of the Touhou manga, Forbidden Scrollery had Reimu dong this after Marisa explained that the reason she splashed her with water despite the lack of any fires in sight was because, well... she wanted to, just in case.

    Comic Books 
  • One of the original examples would be Jean Grey a.k.a. the Phoenix.
  • Red Hulk has this as a literal power; if he gets mad, he starts emitting heat.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Supergirl (2005) arc "The Hunt for Reactron", Thara Ak-Var -a. k. a. Flamebird- bursts into flame when super-villain Reactron attempts to kill her boyfriend and best friend.
    • Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade: During the final battle Supergirl is so pissed off that flames erupt from her back and cape and form flaming wings.
    • In Supergirl (2011) #24, Kara is literally burning after Cyborg Superman stole her flesh to rebuild his own body.
  • Walter ("Wallop") of ClanDestine has the power to transform into a Hulk-like blue monster- either voluntarily, or involuntarily when enraged. In the latter case, his hair bursts into flame (and he gets a whole lot bigger and more monstrous in appearance). If he transformed on purpose while relatively calm, his hair just changes color rather than burning.
  • Blaze in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog has some serious pyrokinesis, especially when in her Super Mode, Burning Blaze. In that form, she is right up to the very top levels of this trope.
  • Gaston Lagaffe: One strip has Lagaffe play a prank on Meddlesome Patrolman Longtarin that ends with Longtarin drenched. Lagaffe says he'll get Longtarin a towel to dry himself off, Longtarin assures him this won't be necessary, and the water is indeed evaporating from the sheer heat of his anger.
  • The hat of the entire Red Lantern Corps. The Red Lanterns gain their power from rage, and that power has an Incendiary Exponent to it; even their Badass Creed connects their hatred with burning their enemies. Oddly enough, Rankorr looks like this trope, but is one of the few with any level of anger management.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Hades in Hercules always has a blue flame of hair on his head, when he gets mad it flares up, goes red and/or his whole body erupts in flame depending on the level of anger.
  • In Inside Out, Anger's head catches fire when he gets especially riled up. This actually becomes weaponized near the end of the film when Disgust insults Anger so she can use his head as a welding torch, cutting a hole in the windows in Headquarters to let Joy and Sadness back inside.
  • Unikitty from The LEGO Movie is a Stepford Smiler with anger issues. When her anger is finally unleashed, she turns red with flame motif on her fur, dubbed "Angry Kitty".
  • In the first Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf movie, when Mr. Slowy gets angry at Wolnie for pestering him over Wolffy, he is surrounded by a flame.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Charlie in Firestarter has Pyrokinesis and Power Incontinence, but when she's angry at somebody else, she doesn't burst into flame — they do. And ditto the Roaring Rampage of Revenge at the end of the film.
  • Played for Laughs in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, where the now dating Liz and Hellboy have romantic spats that involve her involuntarily melting/burning parts of the base... and purposely launching vault doors at Hellboy. Luckily, being half-demon means he can literally take the heat.
  • Anyone treated with Extremis in Iron Man 3.
  • Mrs. White mentions feeling this way in Clue:
    "I hated her, so much... Flames, flames, on the side of my face..."

  • In the Enchanted Forest Chronicles, fire witches' hair bursts into flame whenever they become ticked off.
  • Averted in Pyramids, where Dios is very angry about an escaped prisoner. Due to his having a permanent Death Glare, people are actually taken by surprise that he doesn't leave a line of molten rock on the walls as he looks for the prisoner.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Ninja Sentai Kakuranger, this is the first part of Ninjaman's reaction to being called a "novice". Flames spread across his visor. The other part is growing large if he isn't already and powering up into Samuraiman. Ninjor, his Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers counterpart, wasn't always angry when he transformed, but when he was...
    Ninjor: Evil makes me so angry! Bad just burns me up!
  • In Engine Sentai Go-onger, Kegalesia goes to Mild Bell Pepper level hilariously. Usually, one of her co-villains turns the valve on the side of her head to release steam.

  • One interpretation of "You're On Fire" by They Might Be Giants is that the subject of the song is hot-tempered, and their head is only on fire in the metaphorical sense or in the sense of this trope.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Celtic Mythology: Hero Cu Chulainn was known for his very literally hot temper. He was once dunked into three barrels of icy water to cool him down after a berserker rage — the first barrel heated up so quickly that it exploded, while the second quickly boiled away.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Warhammer the Chaos Dwarfs have Great Taurus as mounts for their lords. They are red bull creatures with bat like wings, and are wreathed in flames that's hot enough to melt armor, and breath fire.

    Video Games 

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Bob and George: Bob has fire producing/manipulating abilities so he tends to go through all the phases depending on just how mad he gets. Applies, of course, to Very Alternate Bob as well. Ironically he's only ever seen angry enough to burst into flames once in the entire series, and hilariously, it's rainbow-colored.
  • Kevin near the end of the first Kevin And Chad comic.
  • Being a teen ifrit, Laura has this issue.
  • This happens to Fae and demons quite often in Dan and Mab's Furry Adventures, most noticeably when Dan makes a comment that sets Abel off. While Abel still appears calm and is speaking rationally, his entire body is engulfed in flames that he doesn't seem to notice-but Dan does.
  • This happens to those with the power of fire in Pacificators. It actually goes beyond the typical 'burning' and straight into life-threatening heatstrokes, so they actually need to cool themselves down quickly.
  • This happens to Grace of El Goonish Shive when she believes her friends are threatened by Jerry the Immortal.
  • In Bad Machinery, when no-one will believe Mildred that the reason she had to be rescued from a lake was that her rival just deliberately tried to drown her, she gets so angry she turns red, and steams her clothes dry in a matter of seconds.
  • Children of Eldair: Kian is shown this way after being sent on a patrol to search for an unknown creature.
  • Sandra on the Rocks: Marie demonstrates the metaphorical version of the trope here.

    Web Original 
  • The Rage Face for "apoplectic fit" has the character spewing lava or blood from their mouth and/or eyes, and standing in front of either a volcanic eruption or a mushroom cloud.

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs
  • The villain named Father from Codename: Kids Next Door can coat himself with and manipulate fire, but he flares up accordingly as he gets angrier.
  • The Fairly OddParents!
    • Wanda has gotten angry enough that the flames show up in her eyes, and her hair lights on fire.
    • Vicky has also gotten angry enough that the flames show up in her eyes.
    • In "Pipe Down!", after Timmy wishes away sound, Timmy's Dad tries inaudibly yelling at him which includes steam shooting out of his ears, his hair catching on fire and exploding until nothing is left but his clothes (which becomes a running gag).
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002) when Skeletor got mad his otherwise empty eye sockets would form glowing red lights in them. The madder he was the bigger and brighter they got. (may not be actual fire so much as magical energy but same principle)
  • In the Looney Tunes short "My Favorite Duck", Porky Pig gets so angry he bursts into flames, is reduced to ashes, then reforms out of a column of smoke.
  • Raven from Teen Titans gets blue flames shooting from her head when angry at her annoying teammates.
    • In one episode, Robin goes up in flames after seeing that Starfire has been betrothed to a Blob Monster.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
    • In the episode "Feeling Pinkie Keen", Twilight Sparkle has struggled the entire episode to figure out Pinkie Pie's "Pinkie Sense," and keeps coming up short. She finally hits her Rage Breaking Point and bursts into flames.
      • Seems like she picked it up from Celestia—the Princess likewise burst into flame when confronting her alternative universe self in one of the comics.
    • Spike also gets in on the act in "Owl's Well That Ends Well". A feather he went through a lot of trouble to obtain for Twilight spontaneously combusts after he finds out Owlowiscious had already given her one of his feathers.
    • Pinkie Pie becomes steaming mad when Applejack tries to weasel out of a Pinkie Promise in "The Last Roundup".
      "Nopony breaks a Pinkie Promise!"
  • When villains throughout Winx Club do something that pushes Bloom too far, she becomes so angry that her whole body literally becomes enveloped within a mass of flames, letting them know that they're completely and totally screwed because she's about to unleash the full force of the Dragon Flame power on them.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender a Fire Bender without sufficient control can do this when angry. This can be shown by anything from smoking hands to screaming fire blasts. For obvious reasons, its something of a safety hazard.
  • In The Legend of Korra Airbending mentor Tenzin's head will redden heavily when sufficiently angered, usually prompted by something his rebellious student Korra has said.
  • Lucius Heinous VII on Jimmy Two-Shoes, being a Captain Ersatz of Satan with a Hair-Trigger Temper, does this pretty frequently. It has been parodied a few times, such as when he then freaked out about his head being on fire, or when Jimmy then began roasting sausages over him. Heloise does this on a handful of occasions as well.
  • Flame Princess on Adventure Time does this frequently. As you'd expect.
  • Trina Riffin on Grojband does this when she writes her diary in "Anger Mode", which happens a lot.
    • Laney Penn's head litteraly catches fire when she's angered.
  • Donald Duck in the Mickey Mouse short "Tapped Out" when Pete ruins his nachos.
    • In the Donald Duck cartoon, "The Autograph Hound", Donald gets an egg smashed on his head by Mickey Rooney. Donald ends up getting so angry, his head fries the egg.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil has Tom, who often gets angry, and as a demon, will often set on fire during those times as well. There's also Hekapoo, whose association with fire isn't quite as big, but still sets on fire when she gets really angry.
  • Ruby from Steven Universe can cause her body to heat up whenever she's angry, it's hot enough to leave scorched marks on the ground and can evaporate an entire pool.
  • Patchy the Pirate gets mad when he sees the fake "Lost Episode" of Sponge Bob Squarepants so his face turns red and steam comes from his ears.
    • In the episode "The Battle of Bikini Bottom" SpongeBob is finally pushed over the edge by Patrick's shenanigans and turns red like a rising thermometer right before he attacks Patrick.
    • In "Squidville", Squidward is so enraged by SpongeBob and Patrick ruining his house with their reef blowers that steam is coming out of his head.
    SpongeBob: Squidward, you're steaming. You're like a steamed vegetable only smarter.
  • Symphony In Slang has this as one of it's many, many visual puns.


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