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Feed It with Fire

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Grease fire = Problem.
Grease fire + water = BIG problem.

Pyrrhon: Try my pyroweaponry on for size!
[boss turns red]
Pyrrhon: That's... odd.
Palutena: Apparently adding heat to heat only makes things hotter.

The Monster of the Week is apparently Immune to Bullets, but not only that, it's getting stronger too! Maybe you shot it with an Energy Weapon, maybe you intervened in a situation and caused a worse problem to appear, or maybe you just hit its Berserk Button, but it didn't die, and now it's stronger than ever. This is the process by which attempting to kill or destroy something ends up making it grow, become more powerful, or otherwise help it out.

This occurs most often as a form of Energy Absorption, although Energy Absorption is one specific type of this. If punching a man makes him get stronger, or attempting to stamp out a religion gives it martyrs and helps it spread, that's a case of this. If shooting a laser at the enemy makes it grow stronger, then it's both. If you're using lightning to animate a dead body, that's just Energy Absorption.

See Also:

Compare Heal It With Fire, Infernal Retaliation. Contrast Kill It with Fire, Feed It a Bomb, Revive Kills Zombie and Gone Horribly Right.

A form of Attack Backfire.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Cells at Work!: The cedar allergies episode shows that every specialized cell reacting the way it's supposed to the presence of allergens causes a feedback loop that causes apocalyptic devastation.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Android 19 absorbs Ki blasts to increase its power through its hands. Vegeta killed it after popping its arms off.
    • Cooler, from one Non-Serial Movie, tried to kill Goku and Vegeta by absorbing their ki, but they destroyed him instead by overloading his circuits.
    • In the series proper, Goku also kills a minor minion in the Buu saga this way.
    • Also, each time a part-Saiyan heals from a near-mortal wound, they come back significantly stronger. Vegeta dangerously, deliberately uses this to his advantage, in addition to the incidental uses by most of the other part- or full-Saiyans. Turns out that teaming up a guy who gets dramatically stronger after recovering from injury with a guy whose power is to heal other people's injuries works pretty well.
    • In Dragon Ball Super, Goku Black seems to have an upgraded form of the Saiyans' ability to become stronger after near-death, in that any damage he sustains at all makes him stronger. This leads him to occasionally make comments that make him sound like a masochist; he revels in the sensation of pain whenever he feels it, since he knows it will only make him stronger.
    • Any damage Bergamo takes causes him to become bigger and stronger. However, there is a limit to how much he can take. When it is exceeded, he reverts to his original size.
    • In the manga version of Super, Vegeta gains a Super Mode called Ultra Ego. In it, any damage he takes during battle makes him stronger, but it is a double-edged sword because he gives in to his blood lust and becomes extremely reckless, plus his injuries do not heal on their own, so he'll likely end a fight incredibly injured and exhausted.
    • In Dragon Ball GT, Goku tries to take down Super 17 with a variety of ki based attacks, only to discover that he can increase his strength level by absorbing them.
  • In Fairy Tail, all of the Dragon Slayers can eat their element (so long as they didn't directly make it and it wasn't created by God Slayer magic) to heal themselves and boost their attacking power. This results in a literal example of this trope's name: the main male lead, as a Fire Dragon Slayer, eats fire. He can eat other types of magic too, but it gives him indigestion — this is noted in-universe to be a very rare ability amongst the already rare practitioners of Dragon Slayer Magic. Of specific note is the Big Bad Acnologia, a Dragon Slayer who is now a dragon. His slaying magic has no specific attribute — rather, it's magic itself that he feeds off of. That's why he's so powerful in the present day, and why literally nothing the protagonists throw at him can affect him in any way.
    • This ability is also shared by those who practice Devil Slayer Magic and God Slayer Magic, which gives all three styles a distinct advantage over more common Caster Magic styles.
  • Kirby: Right Back at Ya! had a Monster of the Week called Flame Feeder. As Dedede said when Kirby tried to torch it, "Ha ha! Flame Feeder feeds on fire!"
  • Subverted in YuYu Hakusho, where the demon Byako gets stronger by absorbing the energy from Kuwabara's aura sword, until he takes in too much, causing him to get indigestion.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Von Stroheim, Nazi cyborg and also one of the good guys (yes, really), attacked a very weakened Kars with his ultraviolet rays, to finish him off. But Kars had sneakily managed to wear a certain mask and a certain stone, so basically the rays that should have killed him, turned him into a god instead. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero...
  • One of the angels in Neon Genesis Evangelion would evolve to meet any new threat. NERV starts pumping ozone into the tank holding the angel, as it was being harmed by ozone at that point. The angel then evolves to become ozone tolerant, starts consuming it with gusto, and spreads once more.
  • In Kill la Kill, Gamagoori's Shackle Regalia uniform allows him to get stronger when struck. If his opponent decides not to attack, he'll simply whip himself to get the strength he needs, making it pointless to simply not attack Gamagoori.
  • In Bleach, Gerard Valkyrie's special ability, The Miracle, is that he gets larger and stronger, as he takes more damage. An attempted No-Holds-Barred Beatdown made him the size of a skyscraper. While he can still feel pain and take injuries, he also has a Healing Factor.
  • In The Seven Deadly Sins, one of Meliodas' abilities, Revenge Counter, is a blast that is double the power of the amount of damage he took.
  • In Fate/Apocrypha, Berserker of Red aka Spartacus has a Noble Phantasm called Crying Warmonger: The Howl of the Wounded Beast. This causes him to become more powerful with each injury he takes. He has a powerful Healing Factor as well. Eventually, all that power causes his body to warp into a humongous blob with multiple heads and limbs. There's a limit to how powerful he can become this way, and when it is reached, he explodes.
  • One chapter of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid Life demonstrates that this is why you shouldn't throw snowballs at Snowlems.
  • Minor Urusei Yatsura character Shingo is not only immune to electricity due to growing up in the Mendou Electric Jungle, but actively feeds on it to fuel his strength. Zapping him with electricity, such as from Lum's Shock and Awe powers or from electrified fences, only makes him faster and stronger. Draining electrical charge from him, on the other hand, makes him weaker and more sluggish. He also has limited Energy Absorption powers, as he is able to drain electrical energy from Lum to fuel himself, even when she isn't actively emitting a charge.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories manga, Donald repeatedly attacks Larxene with Thunder, unaware that electricity is her element. This powers her up, but she plays like it's hurting her so he'll keep doing it, before finally revealing the truth.

    Comic Books 
  • The DCU:
    • In Superman/Wonder Woman #2, Apollo hits Superman with a blast of concentrated sunlight. Superman asks him "You don't know much about me, do you?" before punching him straight back to Olympus. It comes back with a vengeance when Apollo intentionally powers up Zod and Faora.
    • A similar thing happens when Superman is attacked by the Green Lantern villain Evil Star. His star blasts strengthen Superman, as the sun is a star.
    • Hercules once beat up Aquaman and, unaware of his nature, tried to kill him by holding his head underwater. This healed his injuries and strengthened him enough to turn the tables.
    • The Firestorm (DC Comics) villain Killer Frost fuels her An Ice Person powers by absorbing heat, so blasting her with heat or fire will make her more powerful. Ironically, she can be defeated by freezing her, as it takes away her energy.
    • Dark Nights: Metal: The Dark Knights all have bodies made of dark matter, which absorbs solar energy. Because of this, they can endure Superman's attacks and become stronger by absorbing his energy.
  • Marvel Universe:
    • Sebastian Shaw of the Hellfire Club in X-Men has powers that work like this. He absorbs the energy from attacks, so punching him makes him stronger. There is a limit to how much he can absorb and when it is surpassed, he can be harmed, but it takes a lot to reach his limit.
    • Strong Guy of X-Factor has a similar power-set to Sebastian Shaw; he absorbs kinetic energy from external sources, and can then redirect it through his body, meaning the more you hit him, the stronger and tougher he gets. However, his version is a case of Blessed with Suck, as he also suffers a form of Power Incontinence; if he doesn't expend the energy quickly, it makes his body bloat with distended musculature, which is putting him in constant pain.
    • Invoked in Immortal Hulk: Bruce Banner is trapped in a military based filled with ultraviolet emitters that prevent him from Hulking out. Joe Fixit takes over Banner's body and works out a solution: he can't turn off the emitters, but he can boost their power, which turns the ultraviolet rays into X-rays and from there, to... gamma rays. Cue the mother of all Hulk-outs.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes Calvin and Hobbes first attack the living snowman with snowballs. They simply stick to the monster, inspiring it to add more snow and features, quickly becoming the first of the Deranged Mutant Killer Monster Snow Goons.

    Fan Works 
  • Adaptation: The Empire 88 captures Taylor and takes turns beating her to a pulp, then healing her for the next round, in front of a crowd, to send a message. What they don't realize is that she is essentially a Saiyan, getting stronger every time she's beaten. (And then Othala's regeneration-based healing causes Taylor to regrow her tail and transform into a giant berserk monkey.)
    Taylor: You shouldn't have done this. You really, really shouldn't have done this.
  • A Devil Amongst Worms: As a being empowered by the fear of being controlled, Makima is in many ways the exact worst opponent for the Simurgh, seeing as how the Simurgh has basically become synonymous with people being controlled or puppetered against their will and most of its plans involve controlling people and directing them, pretty much any action taken by the Simurgh only increases Makima's power.
  • Dungeon Crawler You: Taylor obtains a Pyrophilia spell that temporarily causes fire and heat to heal him instead of harming him, allowing him to pull stunts like treating a wound by packing it with napalm.
  • Dungeon Keeper Ami ultimately just keeps getting stronger when her enemies attack her, albeit with plenty of difficult fights along the way. It's really no wonder that everyone keeps assuming she's really an evil genius (when the truth is, she's a sweet and kind genius who keeps getting backed into a corner).
    • She's forced into a rigged battle against a Horned Reaper, where she's penalised for using magic?
      When she eventually wins by Ring Out, she's granted his knowledge of scythe summoning and techniques as a prize. Bonus points because the prize is intended as an insult — scythe techniques are wholly unsuitable for a small fast combatant like Ami — but she successfully uses it as the basis of her fearsome remote-controlled "reaperbot" army.
    • Keeper Althel calls on his dark god and unleashes an ancient dragon to rampage through her dungeon, bent on smashing her and/or her Dungeon Heart?
      She sacrifices its life force to Metallia, gaining her a boon from Metallia and a dragon corpse with tremendous alchemical value.
    • The dwarves try to cut her off from her Dungeon Hearts?
      The dark energy that can't reach her gets into their water supply and mutates them into partial youma who instinctively obey her — which gives her tens of thousands of loyal minions and control of the city.
  • In Origin Story, the light-based energy beams fired by both Sentry and the second Moonstone empower, strengthen, and heal Alex Harris. Sentry learned from this the first time he fought her, and as a result he doesn't even try to use his blast the second time. Moonstone pointedly didn't learn from it, and pays the price.
  • In Who Is This Lord Tirek You Speak Of?, the Mane Six try to use the Elements of Harmony on King Sombra. A number of factors cause the Elements to empower Sombra instead of defeat him (As a tyrant, Sombra is a being of Order, not Chaos; the Mane Six all had different ideas on how they wanted the Elements to beat Sombranote , so they weren't really in harmony with each other; Sombra had prepared counterspells against the Elements of Harmony).
  • A World of Bloody Evolution: Attacking Yang Xiao Long with a Heavy Flamer is not the brightest move.
  • God Slaying Blade Works:
    • Godou Kusanagi attempts to use his Stallion Authority (a horse made of flames from The Power of the Sun) against Apollo. Not only does it power Apollo up, he takes control of it. Both combatants then comment on what a stupid idea that was. After Apollo's divinity is negated by the Warrior Authority, the Stallion is able to hurt him.
    • Shirou Emiya tries to use the Curses Without End Authority, which he gained from Angra Mainyu, on Ahriman. Since Ahriman is an alternate universe version of Angra Mainyu, it has no effect on him and he effortlessly gains control over it, making him more powerful. Ahriman also has a Battle Aura that corrupts and takes control of anything it touches, so when Shirou tries to attack him with weapons, he simply takes control of them before they can hit him and adds them to his arsenal.
  • In the Pony POV Series, trying to fight a Concept with the thing they're Anthropomorphic Personification of results in this trope. For example, Rancor, the Draconequus of Violence, is physically impossible to harm by violence, and can only be hurt indirectly by things that aren't.
  • In Raindancer, Vlad King attempts to restrain a villain in the midst of attacking his students by trapping him against a wall of blood. Unfortunately, this same villain happens to have the ability to empower himself by consuming the blood of others.
  • In The Bridge and related spinoffs, the Guardian Beasts can all absorb fire to strengthen and heal themselves, and they can also absorb their respective element. For example, Yonggary is the Guardian Beast of Metal. In his guest appearances in Equestria: Across the Multiverse, trying to shoot him is useless as he just absorbs the metal bullets to become stronger.
  • Fates Collide: Marcus Black is immune to poison and becomes stronger when exposed to poison, so Serenity is unable to defeat him.
  • Lost to Dust: Beowulf is revealed to have a similar power to Yang Xiao Long; any damage he takes makes him more powerful.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: A heroic example when Tsurara gains ice powers without cold resistance, requiring a constant heat source to survive. She is eventually employed to cool Japan's nuclear power plants, and begins dating a man with semi-controlled fire powers.
  • With This Ring: The Justice League fights Mister Atom over a lake of nuclear waste, and discovers that not only can he absorb the radioactivity to heal and become stronger, he can even absorb Superman's Eye Beams and Captain Atom's energy blasts if they hit in the right place.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In the film Evolution, the trope title plays out literally when fire induces rapid growth in the alien invaders.
  • The Ultimate Evil from The Fifth Element is basically the ultimate example of this trope. Any hostile action at all directed at it will cause it to grow stronger, as it feeds off of negative feeling.
  • Literally true with Gamera. In one movie, he is healed by crashing into an oil refinery and absorbing the resulting explosion.
  • In The Avengers, Thor uses a lightning blast on Iron Man. As it turns out, being hit by an electricity surge just charges up his armor more. (Neither are a fan of Explaining Your Power to the Enemy.)
  • Kronos, an alien energy accumulator, wandered about Mexico and California absorbing energy from power plants and growing just a bit larger each time, so the Powers That Be decided to drop a nuclear bomb on it. This does not work as planned.
  • Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla II: Mechagodzilla II has an artificial diamond armor that channels the energy weapons of kaiju into its strongest weapon, the Plasma Grenade, which hits with devastating force. Neither Godzilla nor Fire Rodan could harm the mecha with their breath weapons, and Fire Rodan was mortally wounded by a point-blank Plasma Grenade shot.
  • According to the novelization and other sources for the Terminator franchise, not only are Terminators fireproof and heat-resistant, but they can actually use fire and other energy sources to boost their power. Terminators actually conserve energy most of the time by keeping the majority of their internal systems dormant until they become mission-critical. For example, their strength, processing power, and tracking programs are only operating at low levels. In the first film, the Terminator used the fire that burned away its flesh to push all of its systems to maximum, and in the second film, the ambient heat of the steel mill brought the heroic Terminator back to life to finish its mission.

  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): Naturally, in a LitRPG setting, anything that doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Notably, while the dungeon waves are cause for most nations to batten down the hatches and try to survive the unending tide of spawning monsters, the Colony — which is capable of hatching thousands of new ants every day — treats waves as a source of plentiful biomass and experience, helping them to rapidly expand.
  • A Dearth of Choice: A semi-sapient wolf pack manages to break Timmy the Baby Bone Hydra apart, but they don't take the time to destroy the individual bones, so once they're defeated, he's soon back up and running — and he proceeds to add their bones to himself, giving him substantial stat boosts.
  • Fred and George Weasley of Harry Potter designed their fireworks in Order of the Phoenix to be like this. Trying to use typical spells to get rid of them will make them worse, such as a Stunning Spell causing one to violently detonate.
    Fred: I hope she tries Vanishing one next, they multiply by ten every time you try.
  • In the book Pyramid Scheme, the aliens wanted to provoke the humans into nuking their device so it could absorb the energy and become unstoppable.
  • In The Andromeda Strain, the scientists at the containment facility figure that if whatever they're studying gets out of control, they'll nuke it. Bad idea — the strain has mutated to the point where it can feed on nuclear radiation.
  • In the novel Meg, blinding the nocturnal giant shark made it deadlier, as its other senses compensated for its blindness and now it could hunt during the day.
  • A human example happens in The Heroes of Olympus where Annabeth and Percy drink from the River Phlegethon, a river of literal fire, to resist the poison of Tartarus.
  • In Pratchett's Feet of Clay, the Watch figure out that it's possible to heal a golem with spare clay and a stint inside a kiln.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played straight many times in Stargate SG-1.
    • An alien time-capsule absorbs staff blasts to help it grow.
    • An Ori shield generator absorbs the orbital fire directed towards it and uses it to expand.
    • Intervening in the internal politics of the Goa'uld System Lords has frequently backfired, causing a consolidation of power where before there were fragments and internal fighting.
    • Heroic example in the season 10 finale, when the team absorbs enemy fire to power a time machine.
  • Adam from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is able to absorb energy from the electricity guns that the Initiative use. It only really comes up once though, presumably to prove that Guns Are Useless.
  • Another inversion where it applies to the main character is Kamen Rider Fourze, where its Fire States powers up from being exposed to one of the Monster of the Week's flames.
  • Supergirl (2015): In "World's Finest", a crossover with The Flash (2014), when Flash blasts Livewire with lightning, it only powers her up. In his defense, on his own show, the electric-wielding villain Blackout was overloaded and defeated just from trying to absorb his body's electricity.
  • The Ultraman Max kaiju, IF, is basically this trope embodied. It starts off as a harmless-looking egg, which the humans decide to destroy using missiles, only to result in the egg growing it's own organic missile defense system to retaliate and attack the humans back. Ultraman Max steps in and destroys IF's default organic form, only for the monster to take on a kaiju form the same size as Max and retaliate (complete with it's own version of the Maxium Cannon!), defeating Ultraman Max and going on an unstoppable rampage. Ultimately, that stops IF is a little blind girl playing her flute, which causes the monster to generate it's own organic musical form and slowly play away until it gets lifted into outer space, an organic musical kaiju. And the humans learns that very day, using weaponry, no matter how powerful, doesn't solve all problems.

    Myths & Religion 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Feng Shui has this as a Creature Power called "Conditional Escalation," which temporarily gains you a point in one of your stats each time a particular condition is meant (getting hit with a gun, a fu power, a successful spell, taking a certain amount of damage, causing a certain amount of damage, etc.)
  • Magic: The Gathering:
    • Some cards get more powerful in this manner, such as Fungusaur, which gets permanently slightly bigger every time it survives damage, and the Phytohydra from Ravnica which transforms damage directly into power.
    • This can sometimes apply to players as well. Hallow and Purity can convert damage spells directly into health. Coincidentally, an awful lot of damage spells are fire-based.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: Dragon ogres gain much of their power (and immortality) from lightning. Casting lightning bolt on them is a bad idea. One dragon ogre character has the special rule "Lightning Rod". Any lightning-based attack used within a certain radius will automatically redirect to him, and it grants him power just the same as his weaker relatives.
  • The Awful Green Things From Outer Space: Very common in games until the crew work out what weapons will kill the things and which will make them grow larger.
  • Dungeons & Dragons: Some monsters benefit from certain attack modes.
    • Electricity and lightning cause shambling mounds to increase in size and Hit Points.
    • Hitting an iron golem with magical fire restores lost Hit Points — apparently, it's because it softens them up, allowing them to reforge themselves. Many golems, particularly those with the "immunity to magic" trait, behave in a similar manner, like clay golems absorbing acid and flesh golems absorbing electricity (for the Frankenstein connection).
    • Cutting off one of a Lernean hydra's heads causes two to grow in its place, increasing its Hit Points and number of attacks.
    • Arcane oozes are healed by any magic that deals acid damage, while lightning damage will grant them a haste effect.
    • In one of the more literal applications of this trope, trying to burn brown mold causes it to grow explosively.
    • Fire trolls take no damage from fire-based attacks, but will instead regain ten hit points of health for every round during which such an attack covers at least half their bodies.
    • When a giant strider is subjected to an attack or hazard that deals fire damage, it gains an amount of Hit Points equal to those that would otherwise have been removed.
    • Striking a zeugalak with electricity-based attacks doesn't harm it, and instead limbers it up by granting temporary points to its Dexterity. As such, they cavort during mountain thunderstorms, giving bellows of excitement that can be heard for miles.
  • Promethean: The Created: The titular Golem-like beings heal Hit Point damage when exposed to electrical current and can learn to recharge their Mana stores through electrocution as well.

    Video Games 
  • Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga: During the battle against her, Mom Piranha alternates between being resistant to electricity and weak to fire and the other way around. Hitting her with an attack she's currently resistant to will only restore some of her health.
  • Pokémon:
    • The move "Bide" increases its attack power with every point of damage taken during the time your Pokémon "bides its time," and "Rage" starts out as a weak move, but each hit your Pokémon takes pumps its Attack stat as long as it keeps using the move.
    • There are also some Pokémon abilitiesnote  that heal a Pokemon's health or raise a stat when the Pokémon is hit by a certain type of attack, instead ofnote  damaging them.
  • In Crysis, the alien ice field absorbs a nuclear weapon's blast to grow.
  • Adult Sheegoths in Metroid Prime absorb most energy weapons into the ice crystals on their backs, and Elite Pirates can do the same with a handheld energy absorber; both are used to power their ranged attacks.
  • The maze game Monster Hunter (PC) contains ten different types of monsters, each having only one weapon it's vulnerable against, and using a weapon which isn't their weakness will either stun them briefly, or outright empower them. For instance, against Man-Eating Plant enemies (the most common mooks in the whole game) you need to blast them with weedkillers; using a flashlight (meant for gremlins), dousing the plant with Holy Water (only compatible with ghosts) or solvents (weakness of Blob Monsters) will make the plant glow red and become faster.
  • In the Shin Megami Tensei games (and many other rpgs, even Pokemon has the Absorb <element> traits), some monsters Absorb certain elements, healing them instead of dealing damage. This means an enemy with fire absorb will literally feed on fire.
    • In Devil Survivor a monster called Kudlak will arise stronger everytime it's killed, unless done so in a special way. It tries to goad the party into killing it.
  • In Disgaea 2, Dragons, Aqua Demons, and Mystic Beasts are innately immune to fire, ice, and wind respectively, but if they're donning equipment with a Lover on it, they absorb a percentage of the damage they would've taken as HP instead.
    • There's also the Holy Dragon, who can absorb non-elemental special attacks, which is much more useful (Or annoying) then the abilities possessed by the previously mentioned monsters, due to how prevalent such attacks are.
    • Considering how ridiculously over the top some of the stronger attacks are, it can be quite comical to see these monsters get healed by things like disintegration, world ending explosions, or being sliced in half.
  • Endless Sky tries to discourage the "exponential freighter growth" strategy (ie using your income to buy more cargo ships, which increase your income, which means you can buy even more ships...), by triggering pirate raid fleets every time you lift off or jump to a new system if your fleet has a large ratio of cargo capacity to guns. However, a sizable fleet of armed freighters can generally disable all the pirates in short order — which means you can then go around plundering and seizing all the pirate ships and selling off all their stuff to boost your income even further. Especially with cargo holds large enough to steal their reactor cores and engines.
  • In The Story Of Thor for SegaMegaDrive, there's an enemy that takes the form of a string of flames moving around the area. Predictably, attacking it with fire-based attacks restores its health.
  • In Final Fantasy IX the villain Kuja has just figured out that he can use the game's Limit Break system in order to make himself nigh-unstoppable, after absorbing a whole bunch of souls. All he needs is a lot of aggressive energy to trigger the transformation. So naturally he walks right up to the heroes and starts a boss fight.
  • In the Final Fantasy games in general, a character or monster with an elemental resistance greater than 100% will be healed when attacked with that element.
  • Mega Man 2:
    • Using Bubble Lead on Bubble Man will fully heal him.
    • Using Crash Bombs on Heat Man will fully heal him.
    • Using any weapon other than Bubble Lead on the final boss will fully heal it.
  • In Mega Man 7, using Freeze Cracker on Freeze Man will heal him by 4 units. He'll also look at the player as if to mock them.
  • Same with Cold Man in Mega Man & Bass, where using Ice Wall on Cold Man will also heal him by 4 units.
  • In Rom Hack Rockman 4 Minus Infinity has Dust Man. When he is Sucking-In Lines, anything fired at him except Toad Spell heals him instead.
  • In Godzilla Save The Earth, Megalon would be healed if he was struck by electric attacks, rendering King Ghidorah, Mecha-King Ghidorah, and opponent Megalons' ranged weapons useless. Rodan is simularly immune to fire. Mecha-King Ghidorah was weak to all ranged weapons, but if he has his energy shield up when the beam first strikes he restores some health instead and the rest of the beam is rendered completely ineffective.
  • The "Absorbs Element" trait in any number of Final Fantasy games.
  • In Batman: Arkham City, Solomon Grundy is powered by an electric generator, so shooting him with the Remote Electrical Charge refills his health bar.
  • In The Elder Scrolls series, Atronachs are a type of unaligned lesser Daedra which are essentially the Elemental Embodiments of the elements they represent. The most common are the Flame (also known as "Fire"), Frost, and Storm varieties. Each type of Atronach is is immune to magic of their respective associated element, and in some cases, can even absorb it to increase their health/power.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3: The Shogun Executioner is a colossal mecha that can one-shot almost anything and is healed by Tesla attacks. And you only face Soviets when using it, who didn't seem to get the memo and keep using Tesla weapons on it.
  • In Fell Seal: Arbiter's Mark, the Adaptive Affinity counter skill makes any elemental attack which hits a unit power up that unit’s attacks of the same element. Casting a fire spell on a fire-elemental Pektite, for instance, will make the Pektite’s own fire spells stronger (and also heal it). There’s also the Reaver class’s Bloodlust passive, which makes them hit harder as their health gets lower.

    Web Animation 
  • RWBY:
    • Yang's Semblance increases her strength and power whenever she takes damage that increases each time she is struck. The more powerful the blow, the more powerful she becomes. Neo easily fights her by deflecting her blows, which prevents her from being able to power up. She can also be overpowered if an opposing force is too strong for her Semblance to handle.
    • Adam's Semblance allows him to absorb any impact his sword takes and convert that energy into a powerful counter-strike. When his and Yang's very similar Semblances are compared, Yang complains that he can dish out damage without having to suffer through it first. She then fights him the way Neo fought her, deflecting his sword to only strike his body.
    • Nora's Semblance lets her channel electrical energy to her muscles, vastly increasing her strength, power and speed. A prolonged shock from a cattle prod lets her smash her opponent through a boulder. Getting struck by lightning lets her One-Hit KO an entire opposing team. Her Semblance can be overpowered if the force is strong enough.
  • Dreamscape: Kaila can absorb certain attacks into her pitchfork and counter with a beam of darkness.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Fire Guy is capable of absorbing fire attacks, which makes him surprisingly useful against foes like Killer Monster.

  • Adventurers!: Ardam uses fire magic on a tree monster, but it heals it instead of, y'know, burning it. As Karn points out, it's a red tree. It is difficult to be Ardam.
    Try water! That might hurt it!
  • Champions of Far'aus: An almost literal example word for word, Rom tries attacking Faunza with fire magic when Catharine has trouble fighting her off, but since Faunza is a monstrov with fire as one of her two power sets, it just gives her an energy/mana boost.

    Western Animation 
  • In Space Ghost Coast to Coast, the replicator pods on Ghost Planet are found to grow when hit with Space Ghost's destructo ray. This being Space Ghost, it takes him awhile to stop shooting his ray even after he realizes that it's making it grow. Eventually, he uses this to make the one next to Zorak gigantic.
  • In the Kaiju parody episode of Dexter's Laboratory, Mandark's MASER Tank only makes the monster grow larger and more powerful.
  • Godzilla: The Series had a Monster of the Week aptly named the Fire Monster in the aptly titled "Ring of Fire" episode that got stronger whenever Godzilla used his atomic breath on it. H.E.A.T. had to resort to using nitroglycerin to knock it out since it doesn't create flames when detonated.
  • Futurama, when the plan to overload the energy being Melllvar's electro-quantum structure (described as being "like putting too much air in a balloon") doesn't work:
    Leela: It's not working! He's gaining strength from our weapons!
    Fry: Like a balloon, and... something bad happens!
  • One of the villains of Captain Planet and the Planeteers is once tricked into using a lightning attack on Captain Planet himself... Apparently striking someone, created by the spirit of the Earth who is more or less a force of nature himself, with lightning will empower him. A similar thing happens when a weakened Captain Planet is set on fire. He emerges from the flames fully healed.
  • In the Earthworm Jim cartoon episode "Hyper Psy Crow" the title supervillain, powered by coffee, is theorised to be destroyable by "overloading him with coffee until he explodes in a fantastic explosion of nervous energy!" Instead, he becomes even more powerful as Hyper Hyper Psy Crow.
    Jim: You idiot! You fight fire with WATER!
  • Gigabyte and the Web Virus from ReBoot. Viruses with the ability are referred to by Bob as "Class-5".
  • In The Venture Bros., The Monarch and his men tried to kill Captain Sunshine with a solar powered cannon, forgetting that he is strengthened by sunlight.
  • In Little Wizards, our heroes decide the best way to destroy a puffpod plantation is to feed the entire supply of plant quick-growth potion to a single plant. This causes it to grow a single puffpod so large it explodes like a giant bomb, literally blowing the entire plantation out of the ground in the process.

    Real Life 
  • Zig-Zagged when it comes to religions: while persecuting them can result in the victims being declared martyrs (regardless of the intents of the victims) and thus giving its followers some capacity to weather the persecutions, the growth of a religion is usually more the result of other factors unrelated to the deaths of its adherents. The cases where it does result in an increase in membership are often labeled as Self-Fulfilling Prophecies after the fact when it is known and proven that the marginalization and persecution of a religion are shown to be the result of a sentiment of "this idea has to be eradicated or it will spread".
  • In biology, this trope occurs when an infection is partly eradicated by an antibiotic, but not completely, giving the thing time to adapt and thus making it immune to this antibiotic in the future, and thus creating even worse strains.
    • On the reverse, immune systems generally become stronger the more infections they are exposed to and have to defend against.
    • On the other hand, a lot of the adaptations that provide antibiotic resistance come with some sort of drawback, making the bacteria less capable of surviving in a environment not flooded with that antibiotic.
  • This trope is among the reasons the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri is so dangerous. See, most pathogens can't stand heat, which is why human body evolves the ability to induce fever to kill them. But N. fowleri is thermophilic, a.k.a., heat-lovingnote , and so fever instead drives them into frenzy, overwhelming the immune system and guaranteeing death.
  • Water-based fire extinguishers are the absolute last thing you want to used on electrical fires, grease fires, or a potassium fire (or any other combustible metal)
    • For grease fire, a paltry bucket of water will just vaporize on contact, causing a steam explosion and filling the air with a fine mist of burning grease. See the page image for how that looks.
    • For electrical fires caused by a short circuit (that is to say, almost all of them), adding water to the mix just make the short circuit worse.
    • Combustible metals usually react violently with water. Specifically, they react to create hydrogen gas. Hydrogen + Fire = Bad
    • See Fire and Explosive Safety for more info