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I said "Ooh! Girl." Shock me like an electric eel.
"Baby girl." Turn me on with your electric feel.
MGMT, "Electric Feel"
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This trope appears in romantic works, and is featured prominently in Young Adult Literature fiction novels. The touch of a love interest will either literally or metaphorically feel like a shock of electricity.

Creators of works tend to use this trope to signify to the reader that the crush is The One, or that the protagonist is making a deep and important connection to another character. In particularly blatant examples, the shock may be so strong as to cause both characters to retract their hands as if in pain.

In a visual works, live-action films may employ camera work and auditory spark sounds. In animated works, this effect can be exaggerated and the characters whole body can react. If a robot, android, or cyborg are in this situation, literal sparks may fly.

The French expression for instantly falling in love with someone is "coup de foudre", meaning "struck by lightning".

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The Lightning equivalent to Snow Means Love and Flames of Love. Compare to Romantic Rain if it overlaps with thunderstorms, Love at First Sight, Electric Instant Gratification, and Lightning Glare. Contrast to No Sparks and Dead Sparks.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Parodied in One Piece: when Absalom attempts to kidnap Nami, and she shocks him. He mistakes the electric shock for the spark of love, even saying "It's like I've been struck by lightning!"
  • This is discussed in an episode of Yo-Kai Watch that parodies Shonen Hair when Nate and his friends overhear the girls talking about romance and the new "static hair" fad amongst boys:
    Katie: I read the first time you meet your soulmate it will be like a zap of electricity.
    Chelsea: That sounds so incredibly romantic!

    Comic Books 
  • In Arnold Arre's graphic novel After Eden, mixed with Romantic Rain, childhood friends Jon and Celine go for a relationship upgrade in the middle of a thunderstorm. At the end of the novel, a year after they broke up caused by their friends, they reconciled through widescreen in the middle of a thunderstorm, with the viewers joining in their starting of their relationships.
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    Films — Animation 
  • In WALL•E, EVE revives WALL•E with a kiss that looks like a spark. Justified, as they are both robots.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Asterix and Obelix: God Save Britannia, Obelix (Gérard Depardieu) kisses the hand of Miss Macintosh. The contact between their bodies creates a big electric arc.
  • Buckaroo Banzai: Buckaroo has saved the world! Unfortunately, although he rescued his Love Interest Penny Priddy, it wasn't in time to save her life. Thanks to a little help from the alien John Emdall, though, what Buckaroo intended as a goodbye kiss is literally electric and behaves like a defibrillator. Penny revives, and they get to do The Big Damn Kiss.
    John Emdall: [sideye to the camera] ... So what? Big deal.
  • In Le Gendarme se marie, a big electric arc appears when Cruchot (Louis de Funès) kisses Josépha's hand.
  • Grease. Pops up in the Final Love Duet, "You're The One That I Want":
    I got chills, they're multiplying
    And I'm losing control
    Cause the power you're supplying,
    It's electrifying!
  • When Sam and Suzy share their supposed Last Kiss in Moonrise Kingdom, this happens due to the former being struck by lightning earlier.
  • Used as Book-Ends in Film/Inspector Gadget 2. When Gadget and G-2 first meet and shake hands, a blue spark passes between their fingertips, and the same happens at the end.

    Literature 
  • In the book The Black Stiletto Judy describes the feeling of electricity upon touching Fiorello Bonacini for the first time. With a name like that, and his excellent knife skills which Judy covets, it's no small wonder.
  • In the book Delirium when Lena touches the hand of the handsome security guard, she describes the feeling as: " a tiny electrical shock buzzes through me, and I pull away quickly."
  • Raul from Hyperion Cantos had these whenever he touched Aenea, well before he realized he loves her.
  • Twilight:
    • Bella describes this sensation upon touching Edward in their Bio class. She feels his exceptionally cold hand and feels a shock. Both Bella and Edward pull away their hands.
    • Later on when the romance is in full bloom, Bella describes the feeling of electricity between the two of them during a movie in class when all the lights are off. They are "hyper-aware" of each other then.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's Time for the Stars. The protagonist Thomas Bartlett and a girl named Prudence Mathews are part of the crew of an exploratory starship on a journey to discover new habitable planets. When they're put on the same watch list they start to get to know each other better, and eventually "...our hands would touch in passing over a stack of traffic and we could feel the sparks jump."

    Live-Action TV 
  • Amazing Stories: "The Main Attraction", a Jerk Jock is given the power of magnetism by a meteor but can't turn it off. Turns out there was another one that hit a Hollywood Nerd girl. Of course they are pulled together and when she tries to kiss him little sparks fly between the two.
  • A very literal example in The Flash (2014). Iris touching Barry's hand causes sparks to jump between them. Of course this is justified in-universe as a speedster generating lightning which sparked off Barry, but it still holds the same symbolic effect.
  • Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide:
    • At the house party episode, Ned accidentally kisses Moze because she wore the same dress as his crush Suzy. Over the course of the series, Moze can still feel the sparks from that kiss and tries to forget all about it. When she tries to kiss her crush Famen, there were absolutely No Sparks. Upon the end of the series, with both Ned and Moze getting a Relationship Update, they sealed the deal with a kiss that sends sparks that could light up a 4th of July fireworks display.
    • In an episode about positives and negatives, Ned invoked this trope when tried to set up two emos (or is it goth) with each other. However, in the room where Ned made the attempt, Gordy made the room cry dry in an attempt to build up static electricity, so when the two eventually kissed, it caused a literal explosion of electricity.
  • Another literal case in the Logan's Run TV series. The android Rem and another android (a therapist at a long-abandoned psychiatric clinic) take a shine to one another, and are quite good at denying there's any emotional connection. They're proper androids, after all. Except for the fact there are some odd sparks from their circuitry that go off when they're with one another that are treated like a Crush Blush.
  • In The Flash, Iris remembers a moment like this with Barry when he was comatose. Another, highly-convenient moment like this with The Flash provides the Eureka Moment that clues her into a big secret.

    Music 
  • "Thunder" by Boys Like Girls.
    ''Your voice was the soundtrack of my summer.
    Do you know you're unlike any other?
    You'll always be my thunder inside.
    Your eyes are the brightest of all the colors
    I don't wanna ever love another
    You'll always be my thunder
    So bring on the rain, and bring on the thunder.''
  • "Electric Love" by BØRNS. The music video compliments the song with neon lights.
    ''Baby, you're like lightning in a bottle
    I can't let you go now that I got it
    And all I need is to be struck
    By your electric love
    Baby, your electric love...''
  • The 1966 song "Knock On Wood" by Eddie Floyd (remade by Amii Stewart) has the line "It's like thunder! And lightning! The way you love me is frightening!" It is said that it was written during a thunderstorm.
  • "Queen of Hearts" by Fucked Up, which is about two people falling in Love at First Sight has the following as the chorus:
    ''See it in their hands/Can you feel the sparks?
    They don't understand/what just happened to their hearts''
  • Canadian vocalist Serena Ryder had her own take on the concept on her song, appropriately enough titled "Electric Love"
    ''It's like a laser beam when it's just you and me
    And all our thoughts they turn into e-e-e-energy!''

    Theater 
  • Li'l Abner parodies this in "Oh, Happy Day":
    Oh, happy day when boys and girls on dates
    Can tell electric'ly if they are mates.
    If he goes for her kilowatts and she enjoys his ohms,
    You can bet your magnetic
    Combustible shirt,
    They'll wind up in high-voltage homes.

    Western Animation 
  • Beast Wars: When Blackarachnia gains a Transmetal 2 body and kisses Silverbolt, she ends up shocking him. She tells him "Transmetal 2 power. Get used to it."
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In Ding Dog Daddy, a dog falls in love with a statue of a female greyhound after kissing it when it gets struck by lightning. Near the end, when the statue is removed and melted into a bombshell for the war effort, the distraught dog tries to give "Daisy" one last kiss, causing the bomb to explode.
      "SHE'S STILL GOT IT!"
    • In the Bugs Bunny cartoon "The Greyhounded Hare" he falls instantly in love with a dog track lure in the shape of a rabbit and tries to rescue it from being chased. When he finally catches "her" he kisses it, causing a jolt of electricity to shoot through his body, which he interprets as Sparks of Love.
    • In Plane Daffy, Daffy Duck, a self-proclaimed woman-hater, gets kissed by Nazi spy Hata Mari and becomes a flailing bolt of lightning. When she tries it again, Daffy manages to resist her wiles and she gets shocked.
      Daffy: Something new has been added!
  • Referenced in Steven Universe. Garnet is a fusion (essentially a Fusion Dance of two or more gems that serves as a rough metaphor for their relationship) whose component gems are in a romantic relationship. She has Shock and Awe powers (despite Ruby and Sapphire, her component gems, having fire and ice powers respectively).
  • In Sym-Bionic Titan, when Kimmy kisses Octus, sparks fly quite literally.
  • In the episode "Opposites" of Teen Titans Go!, Cyborg and Jinx's Dating Catwoman scenario get literally electrifying when they kiss one another.
  • Tex Avery MGM Cartoons: Near the end of "The Shooting of Dan McGoo", "the lady who's known as Lou" plants a kiss on Droopy, causing him to shoot into the air like a rocket.

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