Drive-Thru Whale: Would you like flaming skulls with that?
Strong Bad: Do you have to ask?
Strong Bad: Do you have to ask?
— Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free
Compare Crystal Skull.
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- A Fire Kills PIF featured a man who fell asleep with a burning cigarette. The ad focused on the sagging burning tip of the cig. The ad ends with the burning part falling, and the video cuts to a burning skull letting out a bloodcurdling scream.
Anime and Manga
- In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, the logo of Team Gurren is a flaming skull with Cool Shades, bearing no small resemblance to the Gurren itself. At the end of the series, Gurren Lagann takes command of Arc Gurren Lagann takes command of Super Galactic Gurren Lagann takes command of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, a Humongous Mecha the size of a galaxy, which is comprised entirely of giant flaming skulls.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's, Badass Biker duelist Mukuro Enjo uses a deck full of monsters with flaming skulls for heads.
- Ghost Rider is made of this trope. His film incarnation is currently the picture.
- Blazing Skull was a Golden Age hero in the Marvel Universe. No prizes for guessing what his gimmick was.
- Superman villain the Atomic Skull (the second one) in The DCU.
- This is a favorite of Gina Diggers' father, making his head appear to be on fire, as a means of Twerp Sweating would-be suitors to his daughters. (He's an archmage. It's just an illusion.) Brittany even calls it the "magical equivalent of polishing the shotgun."
- The French comic Mutafakaz has Vinz, whose flaming skull◊ passes by without comment.
- In the Doctor Who Magazine comic story "Hunters of the Burning Stone", the titular villains' heads appear to be flaming skulls. This turns out to be a Call-Back to the earlier TV story mentioned below.
- Judge Dredd: One of the four Dark Judges, Judge Fire, is permanently immolated so he can burn the "sins" out of the living, with his head being a blank skull.
- In The California Voodoo Game, one character uses a magic spell to make his head appear as a flaming skull in order to scare off a loa.
- In the Russian fairy tale Vasilissa the Beautiful, the Wicked Witch Baba Yaga's cottage is surrounded by flaming skulls. When Vasilissa survives Baba Yaga's tests, the witch sends her home with one of the skulls to light her way, whereupon it kills her evil stepmother and stepsisters.
Live Action TV
- In the first ever Doctor Who story, the Doctor and friends frighten the cavemen who have captured them by placing skulls inside a fire he started.
- In the episode "Hollywood Babylon" of Supernatural, the monster in the horror movie being filmed has a skull wreathed in flames.
- Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Ghost Rider shows up in the fourth season, complete with flaming skull. Everyone keeps trying to find mundane explanations for his abilities—and they always fail.
Jeffrey: Is he Inhuman?
Coulson: Claims he made a deal with the Devil.
Fitz: Which is nonsense.
Coulson: You know, the rationalist in me wants to agree, but the skull on fire presents a pretty compelling argument for "Hail Satan."
- The aptly named symbol of punk band The Offspring, Fire skull.
- Featured on the cover Oz's ''Fire in the Brain''◊. On an unrelated note, that's Quorthon's hand.
- Appears in the Mystery Skulls' animated music video of Ghost. It's originally ghostly fiery hair, but it quickly reverts to plain old fire once the eponymous ghost is angered.
Stand Up Comedy
- According to Bill Cosby, this is what happens when your wife discovers you've given the children chocolate cake for breakfast.
I've always heard about people having a conniption, but I've never seen one. You don't want to see them. My wife's face split; the skin and hair came off her face, so there was nothing except a skull! And orange light came out of her hair, and it lit all around, and fire shot from her eye sockets and began to burn my stomach, and she said: "WHERE DID YOU GET CHOCOLATE CAKE FROM?!"
- Games Workshop games:
- In Warhammer, Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40,000, the skulls fired by the Skull Cannon daemon engines of Khorne are coated in a pitch made from boiling blood and saturated with a measure of Blood God’s burning fury so that the madly laughing skull ignites when fired, before exploding in a shower of flaming bone shrapnel.
- The Burning Head spell from the Lore of Fire conjures a burning skull that the wizard can cast towards the enemy.
- The Tomb Kings make use of Screaming Skull Catapults, macabre war engines that fire volleys of skulls enchanted to burst into flame as they sail through the air while letting out the hideous death screams of their former owners. In-game there’s an upgrade for the catapult that lets you fire the skulls of the specific race being fought at them. This hurts their morale rather badly.
- In Warhammer 40,000, the Speed Freak Big Mek Wazdakka Gutzmek once destroyed a Titan by crashing through its head and killing everybody on-board. Wazdakka kept the crew's still burning skulls as a trophy of his victory, mounting them on his warbike’s handlebars.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- There are several types of undead that take some variation of this form; most notably, the Flameskull.
- A feat called "Spell Theatrics" lets a caster change the visual effects of a spell. The example given is making a Fireball into a flaming skull.
- In adventure G3 Hall of the Fire Giant King, King Snurre's symbol is a flaming skull.
- The Yu-Gi-Oh! card game has a card actually called Burning Skull Head, as well as Skull Flame and Supersonic Skull Flame. Fittingly, Burning Skull Head and Skull Flame are FIRE-attribute Zombies (Supersonic Skull Flame is WIND instead).
- The Legend of Zelda series has Bubbles, flaming skulls which flutter around on little bat wings. Less awesome and more annoying in this case, as they seal Link's ability to draw his sword. However, that was absent all together in games after The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and would just either freeze or burn Link. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild has the similar Cursed Bokoblin/Lizalfos/Moblin enemies in the main dungeons, though the "fire" in this case is actually the vaporous form of Malice.
- Lost Souls in the Doom series are pretty much Bubbles, only more lethal than annoying.
- Clive Barker's Clive Barker's Undying by Clive Barker has a spell called Skull Storm which allows you to throw not merely flaming skulls, but flaming skulls that chatter with each other and explode upon impact.
- Mortal Kombat
- Shang Tsung fires these as a projectile attack.
- Quan Chi does something similar, except they look more magical and glowy.
- And Scorpion has one for a head.
- One of the early powerful Wizard spells in Puzzle Quest is called "Flaming Skulls".
- An attack unique to The Grim Reaper enemies in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice involves transporting the enemy into a Pocket Dimension, where they float down a large pillar and then are mobbed by burning skulls.
- In Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People Episode 2: Strong Badia the Free, the Drive-Thru Whale prompts Strong Bad to set a pile of papier-mache skulls on fire with the hint "would you like flaming skulls with that?" Strong Bad, being Strong Bad, replies "You have to ask?"
- Prometheus from Mega Man ZX could summon 4 of these as one of his attacks.
- One of the numerous varieties of Goddamned Bats of Terraria is one of these, and can usually be found in dungeon areas.
- Variants of these appear as standard enemies in some dungeons throughout the Golden Sun series.
- Flaming skulls are a destroyable hazard in Samurai Warriors 3 in its Murasame Castle Mode stages.
- Castlevania: Symphony of the Night has large flaming skulls that serve as mid-level enemies.
- RuneScape has wearable flaming skulls as a reward for redeeming a specific subscription card from specific stores within a certain time period. Sadly it is cosmetic only and gives players no advantages; it does look awesome though.
- In Kirby's Return to Dream Land, Mr. Dooter's EX form juggles these as an attack.
- In DragonFable, Xan the Insane Pyromancer has a flaming skull for a head.
- Shadows of the Damned has Johnson, Garcia Hotspur's best friend. He's an eloquent and generally well-spoken individual who also happens to be a mohawked floating flaming demon skull covered in gems, piercings, and tattoos who can turn into a gun that Garcia can use. He also has the ability to make Freud throw up his hands and quit in disgusted frustration.
- Toukiden has Blazing Souls and Shadow Souls, oni that take the form of floating flaming skulls that can breath fire.
- Mage Towers in War Dragons have these in the middle of each one.
- Path of Exile has the summonable Raging Spirit minions, which take the form of flaming skulls that zip around and attack enemies. Unlike other minions, Raging Spirits have a very short life-time and cannot be targeted by enemies, making them more like self-targeting attack spells than meat-shields.
- The Eschaton Screamers from Sundered are flying monsters that can spit flaming skulls as projectiles.
- Lewis from Mystery Skulls Animated has a skull for a head and fire for hair, and when he's mad enough that fire quickly spreads.
- Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends
- Parodied when Bloo tells a ridiculous fantasy story, these are seen.
- And again in the episode "Mac Daddy", where Bloo insists they paint flaming skulls on the side of the soapbox racer and Cheese insists on bunnies. They compromise on flaming bunnies instead.
- Dexter's Laboratory has an episode where DeeDee has to get a tattoo after receiving the wrong decoder ring in her Princess Pretty Puff cereal box. The tattoo artist says a flaming skull is among the popular choices.