Follow TV Tropes


Demolitions Expert

Go To

"What makes me a good demoman? If I were a bad demoman, I wouldn't be sittin' here, discussin' it with you, now would I?!"
"One crossed wire, one wayward pinch of potassium chlorate, one errant twitch... and KABLOOIE!!!"
The Demoman, Team Fortress 2

When a group needs to stop Stuff Blowing Up (or cause it), the Demolitions Expert is the guy they will turn to. He's an expert at defusing or planting explosives, and will often get creative about ways to design or use them.

Often a member of The Squad or a Caper Crew. Differs from a Mad Bomber in that he's (usually) more disciplined and focused. If he is wounded and unable to do the disposal of a bomb himself, he may guide another squad member through the process. A Demolitions Expert is often the Token Minority of The Squad or a Caper Crew.

Depending on the setting, he may also be The Engineer.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Baccano!: Nice Holystone serves this function in the delinquent gang during the 1932 arc. With gusto.
  • Wille of Jormungand. One of his favorite tactics is rewiring bombs then turning them against their planters; a habit that landed him on the FBI's Blacklist. The only other member of the team on that list? Koko.
  • Deidara from Naruto. He uses explosive clay in the form of creatures he makes with the mouths on his hands.
  • Jun the Swan on Science Ninja Team Gatchaman. She's wired a number of enemy machines (including a nuclear reactor) to explode, and has a yo-yo bomb containing fusion cylinders.

    Comic Books 
  • This is Robina Arthur's very particular set of skills in Desolation Jones.
  • In the Disney Ducks Comic Universe, Donald Duck took this job and became so good he could blow up a building without blowing down a house of cards in a nearby house, or spreading more than two tiny pebbles outside the perimeter of the building.
  • This is Lightfoot's official role in G.I. Joe, although several other Joes sometimes acted as demolitions expert, including Tripwire, Tunnel Rat and Depth Charge.
  • In Hunter's Hellcats, Juggler is a safecracker and the team's expert with explosives.
  • Tinus Trotyl, although usually more of a Mad Bomber, has occasionally shown his demolition skills by clearing a road blocked by a rock avalanche, defusing an old WW2 bomb, and saving a mountain village from an avalanche. He does tend to have a little too much fun doing it though, and isn't shy of giving spectators heart-stopping scares while he's at it.

    Fan Works 
  • Between Minds, a HalfLife/Portal fic by 3theCaptain has Sam, a short, Asian teammate who seems to take glee in blowing as many things up as she can.
  • In the Discworld Tarot series, Guild of Assassins explosives expert Johanna Smith-Rhodes is most definitively not asked by Lord Vetinari if she can conceive of a way to remove the Tump Tower, an embarrassing hangover from corrupt financier Reacher Gilt, in such a way that there is the absolute minimum of loss of life, there is no collateral damage from its collapsing, potentially over a very high-rent area of Ankh, and the whole thing is completely deniable, and can be put down to the Tower being built too tall from shoddy materials to a bad design. Johanna's proposal involves the right sort of explosive Devices placed in exactly the right amounts in exactly the right places on the night of a very bad thunderstorm. The contract to inhume an entire building appeals to her; at the time of writing she is yet to come up with a working plan.
  • Shikako, the self-insert of Dreaming of Sunshine, learned how to seal by starting with explosive tags. By the finals of her first Chuunin Exams, she's got the explosive seals down to a touch. She's of the opinion that if explosives can't solve your problems, you're not using enough of them.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Deserter has Chaplain Reynolds. Kaleb recruits him for the squad because he is the best dynamite man in the army. He instructs the squad on the correct use of explosives as a weapon.
  • In Executive Decision, the special forces team includes such an expert, who is badly injured when they first board the plane. The two civilian experts brought along on the mission work on figuring out how to defuse the bomb, until the expert wakes up and is able to talk them through it (not to mention stopping them from cutting the Wrong Wire).
  • A Fistful of Dynamite stars James Coburn as a 19th century IRA explosives fanatic who is for some reason running around Mexico during the Revolution with a steady supply of nitroglycerin, blowing things up just right.
  • Firefly from G.I. Joe: Retaliation.
    Making more things go boom by 9:00 a.m. than most people do all day.
  • Corporal Miller from The Guns of Navarone.
  • In The Hot Rock, Greenberg is the Caper Crew's demolitions expert. His main task during the first heist is blowing up a car outside the museum to distract the guards. He later creates the bombs the crew use when storming the police station.
  • The members of the EOD team in The Hurt Locker, James in particular.
  • Left Ear from The Italian Job (2003). Helps the Caper Crew with all of their explosive needs.
  • Logan Lucky has redneck safe-breaker Joseph "Joe" Bang. He's quite wacky, but he knows his science about explosives. He can build a bomb out of bleach, salt substitute and gummy bears, for instance.
  • Mei-lin of Mercenaries. She's introduced improvising a cherry bomb to blow up the prisoners' toilets for fun.
  • Zig-Zagged in Munich, where after the bombs used by the team continuously malfunction, the bomb expert admits that he was trained to dismantle bombs rather than to build them. He ends up blowing himself up while building one.
  • Ocean's Eleven has Basher, master of power-cutting and safe-blowing explosions.
  • "Nitro" Jones in Once Upon a Texas Train. Of course, his eyes and his hands aren't what they once were...
  • Bill Dolworth in The Professionals is hired specifically because the teams needs an explosives expert.
  • Referenced in Pulp Fiction. Mia's Show Within a Show Pilot Episode "Fox Force Five" featured five foxy chicks. "The black girl was a demolition expert."
  • In Sky Bandits, Barney is an expert dynamiter. However, his Mad Bomber tendencies mean that he always uses too much dynamite.
  • The War Wagon: Billy is recruited for the crew because of his expertise with explosives: being as good with explosives as Lomax is with a gun. The blase way in which he handles nitroglycerine tends to unnerve everyone else.

  • Captain Federer in the Ciaphas Cain series is the 597th's chief sapper, which means he has two jobs: build things on the battlefield, and blow things up on the battlefield. Guess which one he prefers. In one memorable instance in Caves of Ice he plants a bomb to take down an ork Gargant using a truly colossal amount of ordnance. It doesn't get used to its original role, though — instead it's repurposed to touch off an entire fuel depot, creating a shockwave felt on an orbiting troop ship. Federer's reaction is elation. And then there's the persistent rumor that he was in training for the Adeptus Mechanicus, but was kicked out for blowing up the school...
  • Halo:
    • In Halo: First Strike, Grace-093 is the Spartan-IIs' best demolitions expert, described as being able to "shape a charge to cut through a single steel bolt with only a whisper sound, or rig a hundred thousand liters of kerosene to blow into a firestorm from hell".
    • In Halo: Ghosts of Onyx, Spartan-III Dante is described as being almost magical with finding, disposing, and setting bombs, and serves as Team Saber's explosives expert.
    • In the Halo: Evolutions short story Headhunters, Roland is the explosives expert of the duo. His partner Jonah is also trained for demolitions duty, in case Roland bites it.
  • The heartless troop in The Hearts We Sold has Cal. He's the group's scientist and technology guy, so he handles making things blow up when they fight monsters. Riley takes over after he dies. She's not quite as refined or careful as Cal was, but what she lacks in precision, she makes up in passion.
  • Ben in The Leonard Regime.
  • In River of Teeth, Hero Shackleby is hired by Houndstooth based on their reputation as both a demolitions expert and a Master Poisoner. Mainly it's Hero's job in the gang to devise a plan on how to scare the hippos out of the Harriet by using explosives without demolishing the already cracked dam. Not only does Hero manage that, they also have a back-up plan on hand in case that is not enough fire power. Hero is also black, though not the only minority in the crew.
  • In the Star Wars Legends X-Wing Series, Wraith Squadron member Kell Tainer is the teams explosive expert and is frequently called upon to disarm booby traps or create new explosives, which he sometimes refer to as "works of art".
  • Wet Desert: Tracking Down a Terrorist on the Colorado River: They are called in to blow up the spillways at Hoover Dam so that water can be drained at lower water levels. And later to pre-emptively breach dams which can't be saved farther down the Colorado.

    Live Action TV 
  • On The 100, Raven serves as an all-purpose engineer, but building bombs is acknowledged as being her specialty.
    Bellamy: That bridge has survived a nuclear war and 97 years of weather.
  • In an episode of Barney Miller Detective Yemana is searching their records so they can track down a professional bomber. He rattles off a list of names, noting how many of them have the nickname "Boom Boom".
  • Burn Notice: Ex-terrorist Fiona doubles as this, in addition to being the resident Gun Nut. Whenever the team needs something to blow up, Michael can just turn his head and say, "Fi...".
  • Doctor Who: The Seventhe Doctor's companion Ace was a self-taught one, with a couple bugs to work out, but if Seven needed some Stuff Blowing Up, he could be reasonably sure Ace "wasn't carrying" a couple cans of her favored concoction.
    Ace: Do you feel like arguing with a can of deodorant that registers nine on the Richter scale?
  • The FBI: In "The Problem of the Honorable Wife", Maury Maddock served as an army explosives technician in The Korean War, but defected to the North Koreans. He is employed by a ring of Dorty Communists to blow up an army warehouse. Erskine sums it up when he examines the remains of one of Maddock's bombs and comments that they looking for an 'an amateur, expert bomb maker'.
  • Spike on Flashpoint
  • Hogan's Heroes: Sgt. Carter has a real genius for - and very much enjoys - blowing stuff up. He's also the team Cloud Cuckoolander, all of which might be slightly worrying if he wasn't such a nice guy.
  • Angus MacGyver in MacGyver. He served in a bomb disposal unit in Vietnam War (or the Second Gulf War in the remake).
  • Edgar Montrose from The Red Green Show is a parody of this, as his hearing loss and missing finger can attest.
  • Revolution: Nora Clayton. She seems to specialize in trip wires and can even make a little gun to hide up a sleeve. You can see it in action in episode 5 and the first season finale.
  • In the Sherlock Holmes 1954 episode "The Case of the Careless Suffragette", the title character hires Boris Turgoff, proud anarchist who makes bombs big and small, to build a small bomb for her.
  • Malcolm Reed from Star Trek: Enterprise loves blowing shit up. He once disables a Romulan drone ship with a single phase pistol set on overload.
  • The Wild Wild West: Artemus Gordon. Usually he falls into the "creatively blowing things up" category, but on at least one occasion he's called upon instead to defuse a situation.

  • Dino Attack RPG has at least two major explosives expert, both rather crazy. Demoman is a drunk but Firecracker (an expy of the Hitler Rants version of John Mallory) is a psycho who joined the team solely so that he could blow stuff up (he even got fired from a demolition company because of how much he loves dynamite).

    Video Games 
  • Battleborn has DLC character Ernest, a pudgy pink bird of the military-themed Peacekeeper faction who serves as the demoman of his faction. While he uses primarily explosives in his kit, he also has some support options with his Power Egg, which buffs allies around it.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company: one of the four core protagonists, Haggard, has a terrible case of pyromania, which was what threw him into B-Company to begin with.
  • Borderlands 2 gives us a number of examples, all of whom are as skilled with explosives as they are bonkers.
    • Tiny Tina, the deadliest 13-year-old on Pandora and the game's signature Cute and Psycho Cloudcuckoolander. She's the main supplier for the Crimson Raiders on the matters of bombs, boomers, kablooies and such, and according to Roland, she's one of the best at her trade on the entire planet.
    • The second boss in the game is Boom-Bewm, the Sibling Team of Bandit explosives experts Boom and Bewm. Light the fuses, bitches!
    • The second DLC introduces Mr. Torgue, founder of Torgue Corporation. Despite being a screaming maniac, he personally designed all of Torgue's weaponry (all of which are of the Explosion element).
  • In Brink the Soldier class focuses on the Stuff Blowing Up aspect of this trope, planting HE charges to complete objectives, and utilizing special grenades and satchel charges against enemies, whilst the Engineer class focuses on the Bomb Disposal aspect, disarming explosives planted by enemy players (though they can also plant land mines).
  • Command & Conquer: Generals has two examples:
    • Aside from the rocket launcher, the Chinese Tank Hunter can plant a TNT charge on buildings and vehicles. The explosion is not particularly powerful, but they can place it instantly by getting close enough. It's not a good idea to run them over with a vehicle unless you consider it disposable.
    • Colonel Burton, the USA's Hero Unit, can plant demo charges that'll one-shot anything short of a superweapon structure or command center. The main problem of it is that they take a very long time to plant and take up Burton's full attention to plant, so he'll be uncloaked the whole time and unable to retaliate; if you force him to do anything else before he's done, he'll have to start over from scratch. Jarmen Kell, the GLA's own Hero Unit, also has access to those same demo charges if you're playing as General Rhodall "Demo" Juhziz.
  • The Objective Specialist Mercenaries of Dirty Bomb can handle the bomb planting and disposal aspects of this trope twice as fast as any other Merc. Fletcher and Proxy in particular also have sticky bombs and trip mines, respectively. Lesser so is any Merc with access to the "Mechanic" Augment, which speeds them up in defusing and planting, though not to the same level as an Objective Specialist. Fragger and Thunder also qualify; they have frag grenades for blowing up deployables and groups of enemies, and flashbangs that double as EMP grenades, respectively.
  • EarthBound: Jeff, Loid's Expy in the sequel to MOTHER. However, it should be noted that in this game, anyone can use the bombs, unlike in the first only Loid can. However, Jeff is still the only one who can use the bottle rockets, of which the strongest kind deals so much damage that it is a Game-Breaker.
  • In the Gears of War franchise, Samantha Byrne is Delta Squad's EOD member. Though her knowledge only comes into play once in Gears of War 3, it is used more in the novels.
  • Grim Dawn: The appropriately-named Demolitionist class uses various manners of potent explosives, amplified by a little extra magic, to take on their foes. Their official role before the collapse was to tackle both fortifications and massed enemies, scattering both; now, they blow up every abomination against nature that crawls the wilderness.
  • Halo 3: ODST has Michael "Mickey" Crespo, who rigs the bridge leading to the ONI building to blow up to prevent Covenant ground forces from crossing it, and later destroys the ONI building to prevent it from falling into enemy hands.
  • The Mercenaries who specialize in explosives in the Jagged Alliance series. Many of them them are a bit more enthusiastic about their craft than is really healthy, hence why they're in some Banana Republic getting shot at instead of knocking down old factories or doing practical effects for action movies.
  • A late-game mission in Metroid Prime 3: Corruption involves Samus protecting a group of demolition specialists as they make their way to a heavily reinforced door that cannot be opened any other way.
  • Minecraft: Story Mode: Magnus of the Order of the Stone. His demolition skill is why Axel suggests enlisting his help to fight the Wither Storm.
  • Loid from MOTHER has some of the best weapons in the game, including bombs and bottle rockets.
  • This is specifically the role that Alias plays for the squad in Red Faction II.
  • In the Sly Cooper series of video games, starting from Sly 2: Band of Thieves onward, Bentley is the team's "Brains and Demolitions Expert" as the back of the game box says. He uses a wide variety of unique explosives to pull off amazing heists, as well as defend himself. In the third game, the crew end up recruiting The Panda King (a villain from the first game) as a dedicated demoman.
  • Havoc Squad, the Republic Trooper's team in Star Wars: The Old Republic, begins the game with a dedicated demolitions man nicknamed "Fuze". Like the other veteran Havocs, he defects to the Empire, who puts him to use designing bombs. However, he returns to Republic when he realizes that the Imperials are testing his creations on civilians. His replacement, Tanno Vik, is an ex-street gang member with such a broad criminal streak that he was actually dishonorably discharged, but was recommissioned because he's just that good. And it's not an unjust assessment — on the mission he was tapped for, he plants a few pieces of heavy ordnance that destroy an entire Imperial cruiser (albeit from the inside) and the superweapon prototype it was carrying.
  • The Demoman in Team Fortress 2 is either this or a Mad Bomber (it depends on whether he's on your team or not). His weapons of choice are a grenade launcher and a gun that shoots sticky mines. Then, if you want, you can even replace your melee weapon with a Stick Grenade unlock. However, it's not thrown; instead, it's meant to hit people, essentially turning Demoman into an Action Bomb.
  • In Warcraft II: Tides of Darkness, the dwarves (Alliance) and their Evil Counterpart the goblins (Horde) are specialized units that blow stuff up. Each unit is only good for a single explosion, killing the demolitions team in the blast of its own attack. They are, it would appear, so willing to die for the cause that they chose a specialty that makes every mission a suicide mission.
    • Warcraft III: Reign of Chaos, the dwarves, having suffered terrible losses among their sapper teams in the Second War, have been developing a method of delivering those explosives that do not require the demolition dwarves to themselves to get near the target. Hence, the dwarven mortar team replaces the old sapper units.

    Visual Novels 
  • Grisaia Series: Yuuji himself, as a jack of all trades, can handle explosives, under his tutelage Sachi becomes somewhat of an expert in both her after story in Meikyuu, and in Rakuen.

  • Schlock Mercenary currently has as the company demolition expert Lt. "Pi" Pibald, a Mad Bomber swinging between acute (if not always unjustified) paranoia and lapses in self-preservation related to explosives. There were two previous demolition experts: Hob blew himself up (heroically) and Pronto was too enthusiastic about duct tape, but ended up simply shot in the chest.
    • In addition to the aforementioned characters, the entire profession was recognised in Maxim 3: An Ordnance Technician at a dead run outranks everybody.
  • In Stand Still, Stay Silent, one of the main army jobs is Cleanser, which includes burning down and blowing up buildings in which Plague Zombie monsters could be dwelling.

    Western Animation 


Video Example(s):


Panda King

The Panda King is the chief demolition expert of the Fiendish Five and would later become this for the Cooper Gang.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

Main / DemolitionsExpert

Media sources:

Main / DemolitionsExpert