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Lucas: This sucker is filled with 150 grains of black powder. AKA gunpowder. Strap two of these together, and it's bigger than an M-80. Five of them, we've got ourselves a stick of dynamite.
Max: You wanna kill that thing with fireworks?
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One of the wackier ways to cash in your chips, at least in cartoons. As fireworks contain many of the chemicals used in the manufacture of weaponized explosives, they can be a form of Improvised Weapon. In animated shows this tends to backfire, with the user riding a rocket into the air, where it explodes into a firework shaped like the person who was riding it. Of course, they'll still be none the worse for wear because of Amusing Injuries.

This also covers fireworks accidents, even when it doesn't necessarily result in death. It's about the use, intended or not, of fireworks to cause serious harm.

This is Truth in Television. Every year people are killed and injured by accidents involving/deliberate misuse of fireworks. There are persistent efforts to restrict fireworks to organized displays only due to danger, accidents, misuse, nuisance, noise etc. Pets are often traumatized by them and many pets are lost (bolting)/killed (by running into traffic etc.) by fireworks going off.

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There's a chance these fireworks can be used as Chekhov's Gun, especially if they were used earlier. See also Flare Gun, which has its own trope. Compare Fantastic Fireworks, which aren't weaponized.


Examples:

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha: Inverted in the third Sound Stage, where Nanoha re-purposes her Starlight Breaker spell as fireworks to celebrate the anniversary of Fate and Arf's familiar contract.
  • One Piece:
    • Inverted in one instance were a lot of bazooka-wielding Marines are surrounding the Straw Hat crew, Brook uses his Magic Music to make them hallucinate being in a party, and then tell them to fire their bazookas upward like fireworks.
    • Sanji's Aloof Big Brother Ichiji uses this his signature elemental power, creating flashes of light with his punches that can pierce through enemies or explode on impact. It's earned him the nickname "Sparking Red" Ichiji.
  • Sailor Moon: One of the Daimons, Soyia, had this ability. She used it to make Sailor Moon and Sailor Mars look like laughing stock by firing fireworks into the air and making them have to dance to avoid them.

    Asian Animation 
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    Film — Animated 
  • An American Tail: At the end when the mice drive off the cats, the Giant Mouse of Minsk they build includes batteries of fireworks rockets that they fire at the fleeing cats to give them just that much more motivation to leave.
  • Kung Fu Panda 2: Lord Shen uses cannons that shoot firework-like projectile. In this universe, peacocks used fireworks for centuries, but Shen was the first one to weaponize them and use them to take over China.
  • Mulan: At the end, Shan Yu is blasted by a firework that was lit by Mushu. It then hits a tower filled with them, triggering a explosion that kills him. Mulan launched a firework earlier in the movie that hit the peak of a mountain, triggering an avalanche that killed off Shan Yu's entire army.
  • The Rescuers: The animals set off Mr. Snoops' fireworks inside Madame Medusa's riverboat to distract the villains and destroy the riverboat while they save Penny. No one is hurt, but Mr. Snoops' clothes in particular do reduced to tatters from this.
  • Toy Story: Sid ties Buzz to a rocket with the intent of firing it and watching it and Buzz blow up. Woody later uses the rocket to catch up to the moving van (or the car Andy's in, to be more specific), jumping off just before the explosion.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In Cold War, mercenaries recruited by the movie's Big Bad rig up some fireworks on the rooftop of a high-rise building when the Special Duties Unit storms the area during an anti-terrorist operation. The SDU was led to an ambush when the fireworks were used as improvised rocket launchers. This caused severe casualties with several SDU operators killed or heavily wounded, partially due to limbs lost in the ambush.
  • The climactic action sequence of Deep Blue Sea involves stuffing the black powder of multiple flares inside of a hollow spear shaft to create a makeshift pipe bomb and then shooting it at the remaining genetically engineered mako shark to blow it up. It is mentioned that the amount of black powder that the heroes are firing (salvaged from about five flares) is enough for 2.5 sticks of dynamite. This whole scenario was tested by the Mythbusters and it was utterly busted — the only thing that wasn't in the realm of Artistic License – Explosives is that black powder explodes.
  • Dumb and Dumber To: Harry and Lloyd decide to "prank" the (unbeknowst to them) hitman who has joined them on their journey by filling his bedroom with about a hundred firecrackers while he's sleeping. This results in him being set on fire and jumping into the nearby pool to get out of it relatively unscatched.
  • Final Destination 3: The finale takes place at a tricentennial, featuring fireworks. Said fireworks set off a horse that manages to nearly kill one character (and upon failing to do so, kill another), and at the end of the scene, the fireworks nearly hit the three main characters, only to cause the death of the film's only human antagonist.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix modifies Fred and George's triumphant exit from Hogwarts to include a dragon shaped firework chasing Umbridge harmlessly in a shout out to the Fellowship of the Ring example above.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World: Thankfully not fatal, but fireworks encountered by the Crumps in the shop's basement were pretty close...
  • Land of the Dead: The so-called "Sky Flowers" (as Charlie refers to them) are used to distract the zombies and turn them into sitting ducks to either be ran past or killed off effortlessly. It's a major Oh, Crap! moment late in the film when the zombies stop falling for it.
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has a comedic, non-fatal example: at Bilbo's birthday party, Pippin and Merry steal and launch one of Gandalf's firework rockets, ending up with an Ash Face.

    Literature 
  • Discworld
    • The Fifth Elephant: In the finale, Vimes fashions a makeshift rocket from a road flare, despite knowing that the tremendously inaccurate propulsion will make it almost impossible to hit anything. He's counting on his enemy, a werewolf, to fall prey to his own instincts and catch it.
    • In Jingo, Leonard of Quirm has designed a rocket launcher weapon, but because of having to make it in a hurry from available materials, the rocket has "A riot of coloured balls and stars" written on it.
  • In The Fantastic Flying Journey, the passengers of Belladonna use fireworks to scare away a pack of Savage Wolves from a herd of musk oxen.
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: The Weasley twins use fireworks as one of many ways to harass Umbridge. In the film version, they attack her with fireworks while making their epic get away.
  • In Utopia, by Lincoln Child, Dr. Warne kills a terrorist using a fireworks mortar as an improvised bazooka and stops the terrorist's armored truck by using his pet robot, which is carrying about 10 pounds of flash powder, as a suicide bomber.
  • The Wheel of Time: Despite fireworks having been around for about a thousand years, nobody has weaponized them, apparently because the Guild of Illuminators that monopolizes the technology has sought to prevent it. After Mat accidentally discovers their destructive capabilities in the third book, he occasionally uses fireworks as backup weapons, until he is able to work with a disgraced Illuminator to use her expertise to make actual cannons.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Code Red: In the episode, "Fireworks," a teenage street dealer in illegal fireworks causes havoc in the city, including accidentally starting a structure fire that Chief Rorchek's battalion has to deal with. Later, Joe has to reprimand Danny for fooling around with sparklers, the firefighters give a presentation describing how dangerous the careless use of fireworks is and Danny has to help a friend who is severely burned when a firecracker explodes in his hand.
  • Doctor Who: In "The Five Doctors", the Second Doctor uses a firework to drive off a Yeti in the tunnels under Rassilon's Tower.
  • London's Burning had a Very Special Episode set on Guy Fawkes Night in which this trope natually played a role. Blue Watch only had to deal with one directly fireworks-related callout — most of the episode was spent putting out excessively large bonfires that were threatening to take nearby houses with them — but it was a truly spectacular one: A partygoer managed to inadvertently launch a rocket through his host's kitchen window and set the building on fire, and as if that wasn't enough property damage for one night the responding fire trucks had to nudge their way through a mass of parked cars to get to the scene. The man whose recklessness caused the fire in the first place got his brand new car's rear wing thoroughly bashed in.
  • Stranger Things: Downplayed. Although Lucas extols this trope's potential ("Strap two of these [fireworks] together, and it's bigger than an M-80"), the fireworks the characters hurl at the Mind Flayer's earthly form seem to be minor annoyances at best.
  • The Whiz Kid And The Carnival Caper: In the climax, the eponymous Whiz Kid Alvin sets off a fireworks display in order to disorient the bad guys trying to rob the carnival and to alert the police that something is going on they should investigate.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Pathfinder: The spell Snapdragon Fireworks, most likely inspired by the Lord of the Rings example, allows you to shoot off a tiny dragon-shaped firework each round that damages and dazzles opponents. In a campaign that allows the existence of gunpowder, a wide variety of fireworks can be crafted by anyone with a good rank in alchemy and used as weapons, albeit seriously unpredictable and dangerous ones.
  • Warhammer: The Throne of Chaos describes a Cathayan army shooting enchanted fireworks against an invading Chaos horde.

    Videogames 
  • Borderlands:
  • Bully has few types of firecrackers (one what can be thrown at people and one what is set on the ground and detonates after a while) as weapons.
  • In CarnEvil, Final Boss Ludwig von Tokkentakker gets desperate when his health is low and begins launching a barrage of fireworks at the player.
  • In Dead Rising 2, fireworks are usable not only as distractions but also as combo weapons to kill zombies.
  • In Epic Mickey, Mickey and Oswald defeat the Shadow Blot by launching fireworks at him.
  • Jade Empire: Subverted, as the philosophers grudgingly hosting Sir Roderick Ponce von Fondlebottom complain that he keeps winning duels with that "strange firework" of his. By which they mean his gun.
  • Kid Icarus: Uprising: One of powers is called Celestial Fireworks, what launches a firework upwards what blows up after a short while. It is also one of Palutena's moves in Super Smash Bros.
  • Kirby 64: The Crystal Shards has the Fire + Bomb combination, which allows Kirby to turn himself into deadly fireworks.
  • Get Amped: One of the pick-up weapons you can find is a fireworks stick that you can use to launch fireworks at enemies. One of the "accessories" lets the user use different kinds of fireworks to attack enemies.
  • Grand Theft Auto V has a weapon called Firework Launcher, what is a make-shift rocket launcher what shoots skyrockets.
  • In Higurashi Daybreak, Satoko has two weaponsets based on fireworks.
  • Kingdom Hearts:
  • Megaman And Bass: Inverted with Burst Man, as the CD Data entry explains that he likes to shoot off his weapons as fireworks in his downtime.
  • Minecraft: In the 1.11.1 update, fireworks are updated to cause damage to anyone caught in the blast.
  • Mugen Souls:
    • The undisputed goddess Chou Chou's special attack Seven's Impact has her release 7 energy streams that explodes in a barrage of fireworks on her enemy, knocking them high up in the air.
    • Ryuto's special attack AbsoRyutoly Heroic turns his enemy into a ground spinner after he impales them with his sword.
  • In Ōkami and Ōkamiden, the Cherry Bomb brush technique explodes into a shower of fireworks.
  • Paper Mario: Color Splash: At the end, fireworks are fired during the party to celebrate Mario's saving of Prism Island. At one point, Bowser and his minions are seen in a patched-up airship struggling to fly when a stray firework collides with it, exploding and sending the ship, Bowser and the Koopalings crashing.
  • Project Zomboid has sparklers that you can scavenge from household utility drawers. These are completely useless—you can't even combine them with matches or a lighter to have a little celebration. Unless you are the Engineer profession, in which case you can use them as the fuse on an incendiary bomb made from hairspray.
  • Sengoku Basara 3 Utage': In one stage, beating Kanetsugu causes him to be knocked into a giant fireworks cannon and is fired from it alongside a firework what blows up on him.
  • Senran Kagura: Hanabi uses fireworks as part of her fighting style alongside a hammer what itself can store fireworks to turn it into a Rocket-Powered Weapon and launch fireworks.
  • Sly Cooper:
    • Panda King attempted to become a firework artist but after he was shunned by the nobles due of his poor background, he used the knowledge of fireworks to use them as weapons, eventually becoming the demolitions expert of the Fiendish Five.
    • In Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus, the world of aforementioned Panda King has fireworks laying around which you can ignite to launch at enemies or at obstacles.
  • Spyro the Dragon: The original trilogy has several instances where Spyro is able to light up fireworks that can be used to destroy otherwise indestructible chests or powerful enemies. In fact, the third game has an entire level built around the concept (Fireworks Factory).
  • Sunset Overdrive:
    • The Roman Candle shoots out red and blue fireworks in rapid-fire succession. The weapon is a good crowd clearing weapon, because of small explosions made from contact.
    • Firework rockets fired from the One-Handed Dragon set fire on anything they stick to. The burning targets will soon be met with spectacular green explosions when the rockets explode.
  • Super Smash Bros.:
    • One item in the first game is a fireworks launcher that functions as a mortar.
    • In the fourth installment, Villager uses a fountain firework as an upward smash attack.
  • Terraria has the firework rockets sold by the Party Girl. They're furniture that can deals 150 damage to whatever they hit. And yes, you can kill enemies and bosses with them... very quickly in fact.

     Western Animation  
  • Classic Disney Shorts: In the climax of "Magician Mickey", Donald Duck grabs Mickey Mouse's prop gun and uses it against him. It fires firework-like blasts that sends Mickey up into the rafters with stagehand Goofy. Then Donald fires one more shot up at them, which is a huge firework rocket that brings literally the house down. Amazingly, no one seems to have been killed in the inferno caused by the fireworks, but Donald in particular is much the worse for wear.
  • Merrie Melodies: In "It's Hummer Time!", one of the punishments the dog gives the cat is "Happy Birthday," where the cat is given a birthday cake with firecrackers instead of candles and he must blow them out before they go off. Of course he doesn't succeed.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "To Where and Back Again, Part 2", Trixie uses her homemade fireworks as weaponry when fighting the changelings — their Anti-Magic barrier does quite little to protect them from a face full of bottle rockets.
  • The New Adventures of Superman: In "Luthor's Fatal Fireworks", Lex Luthor captures Jimmy Olsen to lure Superman to the West Coast where he unleashes a bombardment of fireworks laced with kryptonite.
  • Phineas and Ferb: In "Dude, We're Getting the Band Back Together!", Dr. Doofenshmirtz tries to strap his archnemesis Perry the Platypus to a giant rocket/firework. Perry, of course, escapes, and Doof ends up strapped to the rocket when it goes off.
  • Tom and Jerry: In "The Yankee Doodle Mouse", Tom and Jerry throw firecrackers at each other, and at one point Tom fires Roman candles at Jerry.

     Real Life  
  • Explosions in fireworks factories are both pretty and terrifying.
  • In imperial China, the "hive of bees" weapon involved archers conventionally loosing an arrow to which was attached a rudimentary rocket. At first intended to greatly lengthen the effective range of arrows, this aspect was dropped when it was realised that an attached and lit rocket made the arrow wildly inaccurate. However, a hundred or more archers each firing such an enhanced arrow at the same time, in the general direction of an enemy, could exert a massive morale impact due to their noise, general unreliability and propensity to explode on impact. And being hit by an arrow is bad enough: being hit by one that then explodes would be worse.
  • On the strike of New Years Day 2016, a drunken man in the Philippines was killed by hugging a giant firecracker.
  • Flare Guns were used as weapons in World Wars I and II, with the German army even developing grenades that could be fired from the guns, and infamously in the Korean War Lieutenant Edward Mastronardi killed a Chinese soldier with a flare gun. On the civilian side they are often seen as an attractive choice for a self-defense gun, as they are loud and bright (likely to attract attention), could easily blind or ignite the clothing of an assailant, and are rather easy to obtain, but they're not guaranteed to do any of this and thus overshadowed by legitimate self-defense weapons if available, like tasers, pepper spray, or conventional firearms.

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