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Chunky Updraft

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After unlocking more power, Trunks set his sights on updrafting a mountain.

"Wooooooahhhh making small rocks float up off the GRROOOOOOUUUUUUUND!"
Stinkoman, Homestar Runner

A character that has previously been shown to be able to swirl dust must now show off that they've gotten even stronger. How do they go about this? Frequently, by causing the very ground around them to break apart and start to float away. This debris might even orbit the character as if they were generating a magnetic/gravitational field.

Bonus points if the chunks are large enough and a character is badass enough to use them as stepping stones.

They may also cause a sudden shallow but pronounced indentation in the ground, as if they weighed several tons. This indentation will be much larger than their footprints (presumably the result of the force of their Battle Aura pushing against the ground, or possibly becoming a lesser form of a Sphere of Destruction). Has nothing to do with vomit, Ludicrous Gibs, or Chunky Kong.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball:
    • The series, particularly Dragon Ball Z, is famous for this. It was first done in Dragon Ball by Master Roshi, when he used his Lightning Flash Surprise Attack. The effects become more dramatic and spread further out as the characters get more powerful; in his first appearance, Future Trunks makes the corpses of Frieza's minions fly up into the air.
    • Parodied (along with a few other tropes) long before it was played straight, in Doctor Slump, another Akira Toriyama classic. This time, with robots.
  • Bleach may be the spiritual successor to Dragonball Z in this regard.
  • AKIRA did this too, with both Tetsuo and the SOL weapon (which seems to be just a space-based laser). At least Tetsuo had an excuse.
  • Happens sometimes in Saint Seiya too, Ikki using it the most.
  • Rin, a little boy who is the reincarnation of an insane alien, Sion, does this at least once in Please Save My Earth.
  • Subaru from Lyrical Nanoha can do this when "awakening." More precisely, when she peruses her insane Combat Cyborg power output.
  • YuYu Hakusho employs this fairly frequently during the Dark Tournament arc.
  • Some very powerful demons in the Inuyasha anime do this when they're really pissed off - Sesshoumaru is the most notable.
  • The first indication that Saki's powers in Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash* Star are based on the earth, besides her flowery transformation sequence, is how she calls upon a Battle Aura from the ground. Later on, after her Cure Bright powerup, dirt clods fly up into the air as she does this.
  • This occurs in the first anime of Sailor Moon whenever the sailor senshi teleport.
  • Mirajane causes this in Fairy Tail after a rival mage lays a serious beat-down on her brother.
  • Naruto causes this whenever he transforms into his later Demon Fox forms.
    • The first time we really see this in action, though, is when Rock Lee opens the third inner gate during his fight with Gaara in the Chunin Exams. It was most likely a Shout-Out to Dragon Ball.
    • Orochimaru and the Third Hokage's combined chakra does this to the roof tiles they're standing on at the start of their fight.
    • Naruto causes this when entering Tailed Beast Mode for the first time. When he begins to transform his chakra into Kurama's form, the updraft stops in midair.
    • The transformation of the Gedo Mazou statue into the Ten-Tailed Beast provides so much updraft that a good part of the battle between Tobi and Naruto's group takes place on the resulting airborne boulders.
  • In Soul Eater, Death the Kid's use of soul resonance does this, along with other similar examples. When Shinigami and Death Scythe's soul resonance causes this in episode 48, the onlookers several metres away get hit by the updraft.
  • A gentle variety of this occurs in Macross Zero. When singing at a pond decorated with Protoculture-like markings of the Mayan people, Sara Nome can cause rocks to rise into the air.
  • In Ranma ˝, when using the perfected form of the Shishi Hokodan, Ryouga's ki will lift huge chunks of rock into the air, propelled by the technique's massive pillar of force.
  • Guyver: Bio-Booster Armor Guyver envelops the invocator of a bio-booster armor in a Sphere of Destruction ringed by Chunky Updraft. Needless to say, you don't want to be in grabbing-range when this happens.
  • Jack Rakan from Negima! Magister Negi Magi.
  • Whenever Mewtwo unleashes one of his powerful psychic attacks, the ground beneath him will always be torn up by said attack.
  • Walpurgisnacht in Puella Magi Madoka Magica, a Witch so powerful her mere presence rips up thirty-story buildings and circles them in the air like juggling balls.
  • Rurouni Kenshin:
    • Kenshin's swordman's spirit manifests by rustling leaves around him, shredding those that come close enough to him or his sword. This appears to be something normal of very talented/focused swordsmen, as Yahiko generates the same effect during a dramatic fight in the manga's final arc.
    • In contrast, Makoto Shishio's swordsman's spirit can make fire erupt violently into the stratosphere like miniature volcanos.

    Films — Animated 
  • Kida (still in her crystallized form) actually does this during the climax of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire, gathering the stone faces representing the dead kings of Atlantis so she can save her kingdom from an erupting volcano.
  • In Turning Red, this is seen when all of the panda women are lifted by the magic of the ritual circle.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Man of Steel the shot focuses on a few small rocks levitating before either Superman or Zod takes off.
  • Resident Evil: Extinction Scene occurs when Alice (Milla Jovovich), Umbrella's greatest bio organic weapon, is now alone in the desert wastelands of the remains of the United States. She has a psionic attack while asleep and having a nightmare/vision that causes the surrounding rocks, boulders and her motorbike to be lifted, and subsequently destroyed as she awakes with a start. This makes her massive development seem even more powerful since she was not even consciously trying to do anything.
  • Jean Grey/Phoenix does this towards the end of X-Men: The Last Stand.
  • In Death Trance, The Goddess of Destruction causes this to happen during her awakening.
  • Chronicle features Andrew Detmer doing this when he first learns how to fly, scooping up woodchips and pebbles from the ground as he telekinetically lifts himself into the air.
  • The trailer for The Last Jedi shows Rey doing this.

  • As the telekinetic powers of the characters in the music video for "Bury It" by CHVRCHES grow, bigger and bigger things start spontaneously rising into the air. (Haley does in fact use some of them as stepping stones, before demonstrating that this is actually unnecessary.) By the end of their power-up montage, things are randomly drifting into the air from blocks away.

    Video Games 
  • This happens in Chrono Trigger every time the giant parasite Lavos finally emerges to destroy the planet.
  • The GDI Ion Cannon from Command & Conquer: Tiberium Wars does this, likely as a consequence of the jumbo magnetic fields required to fire a kiloton ion beam all the way from orbit.
  • Very common in attack animations from Nippon Ichi games such as Disgaea and Makai Kingdom. As an example, the animation of Revya's Demon Blade from Soul Nomad & the World Eaters turns the whole map into chunky updrafts.
  • An early cutscene in Final Fantasy X has Auron walk across a puddle of water and droplets begin floating up from its surface. At the same time, it is made clear that it's not Auron who causes it, but Sin, which is still miles away from there. Ominous foreshadowing at its finest.
  • Final Fantasy XI has this as the animation for the Monk job ability "Boost", which is actually learned at level 5 and used incredibly trivially, considering it 1) causes a small but cumulative increase in attack power to the next hit, as long as that hit comes within 3 minutes of the first use, and 2) can be used once every 15 seconds. This has not stopped egregiously dumb players from putting inconsiderate things like "/shout Yaaaaaahhhhh!" or "/emote goes Super Saiyan." in their Boost macros.
  • Thunder spells in Final Fantasy VIII tear up the ground before unleashing a bolt of lightning upwards. One of the rare times you'll see a video game developer doing the research.
  • In Kirby's Return to Dream Land and all Kirby games beyond, the Crash ability has this effect added to it when you charge it up.
  • Happens towards the end of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask.
  • Doctor Doom has this as a special attack, name of Molecular Shield, in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
  • Age of Conan uses this as part of the buff animation for the 'Claws of Stone' spell of the Bear Shaman class. After the Chunky Updraft, a circle of rock pillars emerges from the ground and collapses into rubble.
  • Kristoph Gavin is so frustrated by his defeat in the first case of Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney that he does this in his Freak Out animation... using the lobsters on the courtroom floor left over from the previous witness' Freak Out animation.
  • Dawn of War 2's Orbital Bombardment does this; mostly with enemy units.
  • A few Super Robot Wars attacks feature this. Special mention goes to Folka Albark's Gou Sho Sen, which actually shows where the rocks are coming from - namely, the trench the robot carves into the ground by pure force of awesome.
  • Shamans in World of Warcraft have this as a shielding ability.
  • In Yoshi's Island, Giant Baby Bowser creates one when he roars, with boulders huge enough to tear huge gashes in the platforms Yoshi is perched on when they fall.
  • Guild Wars has Armor of Earth, an elementalst spell.
  • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the move Superpower makes small rocks rise as the user gathers energy for a massive attack.
  • In Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, performing Chaos Dunk causes chunks of rock to fly upward (even if it's inside a spaceship) as well as rain and thunders (once again, even inside the spaceship).
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, the main protagonist's aura creates a lot of Chunky Updraft during his Limit Break acquisition sequence.
  • Common in Asura's Wrath whenever Asura and Augus power up.
  • The Issue 22 expansion of City of Heroes introduces an enemy group that uses Earth powers with Chunky Updraft-style graphics. The combination of violent shaking and rapid motion has been known to produce Chunky Downdraft in players.
  • In the PS2 remake of Tales of Destiny, Stahn's Phoenix blast caliber starts with this (And lots of yelling).
  • This happens when Cloud and Sephiroth face off in Kingdom Hearts - Final Mix.
  • The intro of Batman: Return of the Joker (NES version) shows this happening around Batman in an Ass Kicking Pose.
  • The box art for Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time and the teaser key art for Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus feature this, the former due to a depiction of a crack in time, and the latter for depicting the eye of the extremely powerful villain of the game, the Nether Leader. Ratchet & Clank (2016) also has this in its box art for the Deplanetizer in the background.
  • In Meteos, the Sages of Hevendor can do this, though because of the Limited Animation, it looks more like they're spitting out rocks.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, this happens when Goku or a Saiyan Player Character transform into Super Saiyan 3 or when any character uses a ki-charging move.
  • When Jesse gets the Levitate power in Control, small objects near her can get caught in her (invisible) levitation field and float along with her. Nearby lights also tend to flicker.
  • The final boss Hell Chaos in Splatterhouse releases one each time it emerges from the ground, with the chunks of earth then subsequently raining down to damage Rick. This is actually more dangerous than the giant monster's attacking hands, since the falling rocks are less telegraphed and harder for Rick to avoid.

    Web Animation 
  • In a Homestar Runner thanksgiving special, Stinkoman manages it while lampshading "Whoa, making small rocks float up off the ground!".
  • During his fight with an infected Lewa in one of the BIONICLE online animations, Onua uses the Mask of Telekinesis to lift up the rubble around him (and unwittingly, a nearby electric bug) and hurl them at Lewa. He manages to block the rocks with his axe, but the bug knocks the infected mask off his face.


    Western Animation 
  • Justice League:
    • When Flash unleashes his full power to stop Brainiac-Luthor, he runs so fast that he leaves large gashes in the Earth from his footsteps. And then ends up with a true Chunky Updraft that he doesn't seem to know how to stop.
    • In the final episode, Superman punches Darkseid hard enough to make this happen. Ow.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Ron Stoppable truly showed this trope in the Grand Finale. Orbiting rocks, orbiting alien equipment, battle aura, while floating. (Witness the fully badass moment here.)
    • He does this in an earlier episode as well. He spends the episode training in a secret martial arts retreat and at its climax produces a battle aura and chunky updraft immediately before splitting a glacier.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
  • At the climax of the Regular Show episode "Think Positive", after spending all day trying not to lose his temper at Mordecai and Rigby, Benson turns into a white-hot ball of rage that rips up the turf beneath him, and even starts pulling up trees, along with the golf cart Mordecai and Rigby just crashed.
  • When Twilight Sparkle from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic merely starts to fly after getting powered up with the magic of Celestia, Luna, and Cadance, the ground starts tearing up into the air before she even begins.
  • In Star Wars Rebels Ezra Bridger's first use of The Dark Side causes rocks in the cavern to float around him as the power overwhelms him, eventually passing out from the strain. In the series finale, bits of rubble float around him as he telekinetically holds air within the bridge so he and Thrawn will survive the subsequent hyperspace jump, only this time he is in control.

    Real Life 
  • The mushroom cloud from a nuclear weapon's detonation is composed of dust and debris from the blast being sucked into the updraft created by the bomb's heat
  • In this footage of the second of the 2015 Tianjin explosions, the blast can be seen not just vaporising an entire building, but launching pieces of debris of varying sizes (up to the size of shipping containers) into the air and towards the camera's location. It is highly unlikely that whoever was filming survived at such close range; if the shockwave didn't get them first, the flying debris almost certainly did.
  • Powerful tornadoes often suck up large pieces of debris, even automobiles, and toss them hundreds of yards. Lighter objects may be blown around the tornado repeatedly, giving the impression the material is ‘orbiting’ it.

Alternative Title(s): Debris Updraft