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Grenade Hot Potato

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He's practicing for when he fights the boss.

"Five-second fuses always burn three seconds."
Military Proverb

When an armed grenade lands in the general vicinity, there's just enough time for the heroes to pick it up and throw it back (extra points for blowing up the original thrower), pass it to someone else to deal with it (which leads to them realizing they've just been handed a live grenade and try to pass it onto someone else) or, in the more heroic fashion for when the clock is really low, jump on it.

This is, of course, Truth in Television. To avert this trope, the thrower might allow the grenade fuse to 'cook off' a few seconds before throwing so that it explodes right as it's thrown at its intended target and no time for them to evade the blast. This too can have unpredictable results, as the time it takes for fuses to burn is never consistent.

One possible form of Tennis Boss. When used in Darker and Edgier stories, or when the "hero" happens to be wearing a Red Shirt, it tends to backfire horribly.

Subtrope of Hot Potato. See also: Pineapple Surprise. May overlap with Explosive Stupidity.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • In Black Lagoon, Mr. Chang demonstrates that if you are cool enough, you can toss a grenade right back at the thrower without even having to pick it up. (Translation: he kicked it back.)
  • In Dragon Ball, Tao Pai Pai responds to Goku overpowering him by pretending to surrender and then tossing a grenade. Goku kicks the grenade back and it explodes in Tao's face.
  • During one Gundam X episode, as the heroes are fighting on foot, enemy soldiers throw a grenade at them. One of the heroes shouts "You threw it too early!" and kicks it back, blowing up the soldiers they were fighting.
  • The opening for Nyaruko: Crawling with Love! W has the cast passing around a Cartoon Bomb for the first half, ending with Nyarko cheerfully trying to hand it to a panicking Mahiro; thankfully it's just full of confetti and streamers.
  • Sherlock Hound: In "The Stormy Getaway", Smiley and Todd play hot potato with a bundle of dynamite with a lit fuse. The dynamite eventually ends up going into the furnace of Moriarty's steam car. Smiley and Todd breathe a sigh of relief before realising exactly what has happened and jumping for cover before the steam car explodes.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 270 of Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf, the characters pass around some dynamite because none of them want to get hurt by the explosion. First the wolves pass it around, but eventually the dynamite gets passed to the goats and then the goats and wolves pass it to each other. Weslie throws the dynamite at Wolffy right before it explodes.

    Comic Books 
  • Code Name: Gravedigger: In Men of War #4, Gravedigger has to knock a grenade out of the hands of a panicked white officer who was about to throw it into a Nazi fuel dump, and then hurl it somewhere safe in a confined environment before it goes off.
  • One of the many stories in which Lois Lane's quest for a scoop puts her on the wrong end of a criminal's patience finds some mooks attempting to kill her by throwing a grenade through her window. She's able to throw it back outside before it detonates and goes on with her morning routine.
  • While The Punisher oneshot story Return to Big Nothing does not actually feature anyone cooking a grenade, there is a scene pertinent to the trope: The Punisher throws a grenade into a truck full of firearms about to be sold illegally, and as he proceeds to mow down the dealers and their customers, his internal narration counts down from five. The grenade goes off when he reaches one, and Punisher simply remarks, "Short fuse."

    Comic Strips 
  • Modesty Blaise:
    • In "Guido the Jinx", Willie manages to catch a grenade that is thrown at him by a group of mercenaries and toss it back before it explodes.
    • Willy does it again in "The Last Aristocrat"; catching two grenades simultaneously and throwing them overboard before they go off.

    Fan Works 
  • Seventh Endmost Vision: Tifa does this in Chapter 19 against Blast, who is trying to capture Sephiroth with sleep-gas grenades. Even half-dead from falling off the Plate, Tifa manages to kick or catch several grenades during their fight, and somehow manages to get Blast's nose every time, eventually breaking it. Justified since Tifa is a 1st Class SOLDIER in this fic, and thus, superhuman.

    Films — Animated 
  • Stitch and Jumba in Lilo & Stitch do this with a jammed Plasma Cannon. At one point, they actually say "One potato, two potato..." as they toss it back and forth.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Korean war film 71: Into the Fire has a bunch of teens drafted into war goofing around with a grenade... until one of them accidentally rips off the pin. Cue the teens panicking and passing the grenade around each other until it ends up on the group's food supply.
  • Accident Man: When Mac throws a grenade at Mike, Mike kicks it back at him while he is still in the air.
  • The Assignment (1997). In the opening scene, Carlos the Jackal can be heard counting down after pulling the pin on a grenade before throwing it into a Paris café. After taking hostages in Vienna, he trolls one of them by fiddling with a hand grenade as if he doesn't know how to use it, pulling the pin, then tossing the grenade to the terrorist guarding the door, who throws it outside at the police who've just shown up.
  • In The Avengers (2012), a group of alien Chitauri soldiers during the invasion of Manhattan have cornered a large number of civilians in a bank. From the second floor, one of them prepares to throw a powerful energy grenade below to kill dozens of people. They get interrupted by Captain America, however, who knocks the grenade out of the Chitauri's hand and starts brawling with them. As the counter on the bomb audibly winds down, one of the Chitauri frantically picks up the grenade and starts turning around to throw it at Cap - who jumps into the air and holds his shield between them. The Chitauri tries to throw the bomb after him - as much to hurt Cap as to just get the grenade away from himself - but he can't even manage to get it out of his hand before it blows up, enveloping the entire second floor of the bank in the explosion and blasting Cap out a window and onto a car below.
  • The Day That Shook the World: Franz Ferdinand catches the bomb that Cabrinovic throws and flings it away. It lands under the car behind them and explodes, injuring several people. (This was a bit of Artistic License – History; in real life, the bomb bounced off the rear fender of the car.)
  • In Die Hard 2, the bad guys throw several grenades into the cockpit of the military transport that McClane has taken cover in, but they take so long to explode that McClane has more than enough time to look at them for several moments, get on the pilot seat, strap himself and pull the ejection seat lever to safely launch him out of the cockpit before they go off.
  • Beyond the Poseidon Adventure (1979) had an example of 'cooking off'. One of the terrorists is about to throw a hand grenade into the hold (having already pulled out the pin) when Telly Savalas (playing the Big Bad) grabs hold of his hand. The mook struggles against his grip in wide-eyed silence for a couple of seconds until Savalas releases him so he can throw the grenade. Incredibly stupid in real life, but it did make Savalas' character look suitably badass and cool under pressure.
  • A major character in The Bridges at Toko-Ri throws back the first grenade thrown at him. Then the second grenade. Then tries to throw back the third grenade. Cue Gory Discretion Shot.
  • During the climax of Fantasy Island (2020), the grenade — which was intended to be used to detonate the spring — has its pin pulled and then is desperately passed around the various characters as each endeavours to hold the arming lever in place.
  • Gramps Is in the Resistance (a French World War II comedy): The death of Resistance leader André Bourdelle is caused by him mishandling a Mk II grenade. While he's presented with a brand new box of them in his car, he inadvertently removes the pin, then has the car stopped and throws it away... directly into the tennis racket of a German officer who was playing nearby, who then sends it back to the car. Then BOOM.
  • During a car chase in Legacy of Rage, an enemy mook throws a grenade at Brandon, who then picks it up and hurls it back to the thrower. BOOM.
  • In Mosul (2020), two Iraqi policemen with a wounded officer guarding several detained Islamic State drug smugglers are holding out in a café against ISIS fighters. One of the ISIS footmen tosses a grenade into the café, completely uncaring for the lives of his captured comrades. One of the Iraqi policemen quickly picks up the grenade and lobs it back at the sender blowing him up spectacularly.
  • During the Final Battle in No Time to Die, a grenade is thrown down a stairwell at James Bond. Bond picks it up and throws it back where it explodes. Cue several grenades dropping down to land around him, forcing Bond to dive for cover.
  • The Professionals. During the attack on Raza's camp, Jake Sharp fires arrows with dynamite strapped to them into the enemy camp, so when they explode it will look like they're being shelled by artillery. The problem is that once the fuse is lit Sharp has only seven seconds to aim and fire.
  • The Punisher (2004) movie has a grenade sent back to the thrower... via baseball bat.
  • In The Rock, the bad guy Marines pitch a grenade at Stanley Goodspeed, who grabs it and tosses it back at them. Later on, one of the bad guys pops the pins and spoons on two grenades, and loudly counts to three before throwing them through the door towards the good guy. It still takes more than five additional seconds for the grenades to explode.
  • Another baseball bat example occurs in Red (2010), except Marvin uses a gun to smack the grenade back.
  • In Saving Private Ryan Mellish manages to get rid of two German grenades this way. They landed in his lap while he was trying to unjam his rifle, he didn't have much of a choice. A German soldier also pulled this off with an Allied grenade.
  • In Scarecrows, Bert tosses a grenade into the plane when he bails out with the cash. The other robbers scramble for it and pass it from one to another before throwing it out of the plane.
  • In Spies Like Us, Fitz-Hume actually catches the grenade - and has no idea what it is, leading to:
    Fitz-Hume: Hey, what's this?
    Milbarge: You don't want it!
  • A particularly ridiculous example in Steel, where the grenade takes an absurdly long time to explode while Steel is coached through how to throw it.
  • The Tigers The Legend Of Canton (a Hong Kong spoof of the Indiana Jones films) have the protagonist (an Indiana Jones parody called Indiana Chung) snatching a potato masher grenade hurled at him by some Japanese soldiers, and tossing it back to the throwers. The resulting explosion somehow kills everyone not on his side, and instantly ends an action scene.
  • The Terminator. During the final car chase, Kyle Reese is trying to blow up the pursuing Terminator with pipe bombs. After the first ones explode behind the Terminator's motorbike, he tries letting the fuse burn down a bit before throwing them. The second time he does this, the Terminator shoots him while he's waiting for the fuse to burn down.
  • The climax of the original Tremors movie. The graboid "Stumpy" subverts Feed It a Bomb by spitting the homemade pipe bomb back at the rock the humans are hiding on. By accident or design it lands right on their supply of pipe bombs.
  • Schaffer tosses back a German stick grenade in Where Eagles Dare, but makes a tactical retreat a few moments later when another two come his way.
  • In White House Down, Cale throws a grenade at Killick, who simply regards it for a moment before kicking it right back to Cale. Cale manages to avoid getting blown up but would have been shot if not for a timely intervention by the tour guide with a heavy clock.
  • In You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Zohan parodies this by using a grenade for a tennis ball.

  • In Planet Of The Damned, Brion and a soldier enter a building where the bad guys are hiding. They're at the bottom of a staircase. The bad guys toss a grenade down the stairs. The soldier can just watch in stunned silence as the little ball is bounding down the stairs. But Brion leaps into action and catches the grenade with his foot, sending it back up the stairs, much to the shock of the bad guys.
  • Bret King Mysteries: The spies of The Mystery of Rawhide Gap throw a grenade at the heroes in the climax, only for Bret and Ace to throw the grenade back into the room it came from and then slam the door shut, with the explosion knocking all of the villains unconscious.
  • The Citadel of Chaos contain a Games Room where contenders partakes in some Deadly Game that could either kill or horribly injure them. One of those games involves contenders passing a stone charged with an explosion spell around, which can explode at random, and anyone holding it when the spell activates will severely roast their palms and fingers.
  • Happened in a Dear America book set in the Vietnam War. A Vietcong grenade lands near the narrator and fails to go off. He throws it back and takes a bullet for his troubles ... in his canteen.
  • Modesty Blaise:
    • During the climactic battle of I, Lucifer, the villains throw an improvised grenade up onto the roof where Modesty and her allies are holed up. Modesty quickly scoops it up and throws it back just as the fuse runs down.
    • In the short story "A Better Day To Die" (part of the Pieces Of Modesty collection), Modesty is attempting to protect a missionary with no combat skills from a gang of bandits. The missionary ends up demonstrating the cricketing skills he had mentioned earlier by making a diving catch of a Mills bomb and throwing it back at the bandits in the manner of a slips fieldsman, with lethal results.
  • Occurs in the Paradox Trilogy. During the ambush on Falcon 34, one mook throws a grenade at Devi, and she kicks it back at him before it explodes.
  • Sven Hassel witnesses one of his fellow soldiers pulling the cords on stick grenades which are then passed to a comrade who throws them at the advancing Soviet troops. They've worked up a rhythm that enables them to do this without getting blown up.
  • In Timeline-191 novel Blood and Iron, Arthur MacGregor, a Canadian who has taken to guerrilla warfare against the occupying American forces, chucks a bomb at U.S. general George Custer during a parade. Custer catches the bomb and throws it back at MacGregor, killing him.
  • In Without Remorse, the narrator notes that John Kelly and the rest of the SEALs operating in Vietnam personally cut their grenade fuses to a precise length, in order to make the timing more predictable.
  • Worm. Tattletale cooks a grenade at one point. Justified because her superpower lets her know the exact timing of the fuse.
  • A variation on fuse cooking in the Frederick Forsyth novel The Fist Of God. The main character has infiltrated Kuwait during the first Gulf War and has a large supply of plastic explosive that he has been using to disrupt the Iraqi soldiers. He gathers a group of college-age students who were planning to perform their own resistance and is training them. They go deep into the desert, and he shows them how to make a bomb with the explosive and a detonator that has a 1-minute timer. After assembling one, he speaks for a while about how to deliver them. Then one of the students asks "That bomb you're holding isn't live, is it?", to which he replies "Oh no, it's live. I just wanted to show you just how long one minute is. Never panic or run once you start the timer." Then he tosses it over a dune and it goes off harmlessly (he didn't use as much explosive to make this one as he normally would).

    Live-Action TV 
  • A variation happens in the second episode of Band of Brothers: Buck Compton pulls the pin on a grenade and is about to throw it when it slips out of his hand. After bobbling it from hand to hand in an unsuccessful attempt to catch it, he calls "Grenade!" after which he and his squadmates bail out of the trench they were in until it detonates. Except for Joe Toye. Toye, after already having an enemy grenade go off right next to him and survive. Fucking twice indeed.
  • Played With in an episode of a British TV Series called Bernard's Watch. Bernard's Grandad is showing him some WW2 antiques including a grenade pin, the rest of the grenade drops out of a coat so Bernard stops time, takes the grenade outside, drops it in the park, goes back home, and restarts time so the grenade can explode safely.
  • Blake's 7. In "Redemption", two Faceless Goons are teleported over to the Liberator, see Cally and Gan manning the teleport console and prime a couple of grenades to throw at them, only to be teleported right back by our heroes. Realising they're still holding a pair of live grenades the goons throw them away, blowing up their own command centre.
  • Bosch: In the episode "Everybody Counts", Nash has pulled the pin on a grenade and is about to throw it when Bosch wings him with a bullet, and he drops the grenade. Nash has just enough time for an Oh, Crap! when the grenade explodes and kills him.
  • Doctor Who. In "The Dominators", the Doctor has cooked up some explosive chemicals to blow up the evil alien invaders and tells Jamie he can activate them by dropping a pill inside before throwing, which he proceeds to demonstrate.
    Doctor: But whatever you do, and this is important, you must throw it before ten seconds have elapsed, otherwise you're liable to blow up with—
    Zoe: (silently counting until...) Seven...EIGHT...DOCTOR!
    Doctor: What?! (The Doctor tosses the vial away and everyone ducks as it goes bang!) It works!
  • On Lost, when the Others throw a grenade at Keamy, he has just enough time to kick it away... and kill his buddy Omar.
  • In Malcolm in the Middle, Reese and his grandfather play grenade hot potato after the pin is accidentally pulled from one of their grandfather's World War II souvenirs. The grenade ends up being disposed of in the fridge.
  • In the rather surrealistic episode of M*A*S*H, "Dreams", one Dream Sequence had Col Potter riding Sofie around a battlefield, and when a grenade is thrown near him, he pulls out a polo mallet (dream sequence, remember), and whacks it back at the throwers. Then it explodes like fireworks. And this was one of the more mundane of the segments of that episode.
  • Monk didn't toss one back, but did pick one up to put in a fridge. Then he reopened the fridge and neatly set it in the egg holder.
  • On MythBusters, they explored several ways to deal with a nearby grenade, including throwing it in a bucket of water or into a fridge (as per the previous example). Most were ineffective but it was shown that training soldiers to throw themselves on a grenade is in fact, an effective way to reduce casualties, since each grenade only kills one person, and the human body is a better shield against fragmentation grenades than most other common objects lying around on a battlefield.
    • A bucket of water would also work fairly well, though the bucket might hurt somebody if it hit them, the water dissipated most of the blast.
    • Another episode covering general explosive myths had them visit the "Grenade being shot out of the air" trope with a pistol, shotgun, and rifle. To their amazement, the Shotgun (Disintegrating it, leaving nothing to explode) and Pistol (Cut it in half, causing the blasting cap to go off ineffectually separate from the payload) both worked perfectly, but the Rifle was busted because the force of the bullet alone set it off. At 2/3, the overall myth was deemed plausible, assuming you could shoot the grenade in midair, a tricky shot for even an expert marksman. Ultimately, you're probably more likely to survive by batting the grenade away with your gun.
  • In the Israeli drama series Nevelot, a flashback shows a Palmakh commander demonstrating to his troops how to use a grenade in a city apartment, accidentally pulling out the fuse. Unable to let it explode in the apartment or in the cafe at the bottom of the building, he sticks his hand out the window while holding the grenade, allowing it to explode in his hand and saving everyone’s lives before being carried away by ambulance, screaming and crying in agony.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Blood Bowl, some players can use and throw bombs. If a bomb touches the ground, it explodes, so it quickly becomes a game of Grenade Hot Potato as the teams keep throwing the bomb at each other till one drops it.
  • Spirit of the Century goes out of its way to give thrown explosives some explicit special-case rules to randomly determine exactly when and on occasion if they go off after landing and everybody's initial (and potentially fairly hard) attempt to dive clear. A character who gets to act before the grenade/stick of dynamite/whatever goes off can try to douse or disarm it, pick it up and throw it elsewhere, heroically leap on top of it, or simply run away as fast as their legs will carry them (possibly dragging or carrying friends along, though that in turn makes getting away oneself more difficult).

    Video Games 
  • Bayonetta and Jeanne do this in their last boss fight with space shuttle-sized missiles.
  • BioForge: At one point, a marine chucks a grenade into the room you're in. (A grenade with a ridiculously long fuse.) Return to sender.
  • BioShock lets you do this with the Telekinesis plasmid with any grenades or Molotov cocktails. It's one of the most effective ways to deal with enemies that throw them. You can do this with the "Rosie" Big Daddies, too, but it's harder because their grenades latch to the floor if you don't grab them instantly.
  • The Bishi Bashi Special minigame "Oh NO! It's Gonna Explode!!"
  • In Board Game Online, this can be done during the bomb random event. Unlike nearly all other explosives, it simply knocks the player unfortunate enough to be holding it back a number of spaces based on how far they had traveled, making late-game bombs enough of a setback that it can completely prevent the player in the lead from winning.
  • In Call of Duty 2, NPCs would often throw back grenades, and they would never blow up in their hands unless the player "cooked off" the grenade beforehand. In Call of Duty 3 and onwards, the player could do the same... but lacked the same luck/invulnerability/The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard. Attempting this in multiplayer usually results in getting blown up, due to the fact that most everyone cooks frags before they throw them. Certain perks (Toss Back in World At War and Flak Jacket Pro in Black Ops) can magically reset the fuse on a picked-up grenade, preventing this problem.
    • Grenades can blow up in the hands of NPCs, even without being cooked. (The AI does have an edge, though.)
    • The DS version of Call of Duty: World at War gives you an achievement for accomplishing this entitled "Return to Sender".
    • Ditto for the Medal of Honor series, where the player can also kick back grenades in later games.
  • In Day of Infamy, any thrown grenade can be picked up and thrown back, but watch out for Mills Bombs, which have a slightly shorter fuse than normal, or the No. 69 Grenade which explodes on impact. The soldier will even spout a line or two while doing it.
    Scottish Highlander: Hey Jerry! I think you dropped this!
    US Soldier: Bad idea! BAD IDEA!
  • In Destroy All Humans! (2020), soldiers will occasionally throw grenades at you. Given that you play as an alien with psychokinesis, you naturally have the option of throwing it back. Conveniently, grenades grabbed by your PK ability will have their fuse stopped and instead explode on contact.
  • Dishonored grants the "Back Home" achievement for returning a grenade to its sender.
  • This is possible in Half-Life 2, with or without the Gravity Gun. In Episode Two, taking out a Combine trooper with his own grenade earns you an Achievement ("Hot Potat0wned").
    • In Half-Life 2 Deathmatch, this can actually get quite ridiculous. Hitting a grenade with a Gravity Gun slightly increases the time before detonation of a grenade. If someone walks up to you, holding a live grenade with his Gravity Gun, it is possible to indefinitely prolong the detonation by shooting against it with your own Gravity Gun. This, however, is very tricky, since not much time is added to the timer, so stopping to shoot against the grenade may make it detonate before you have the chance to run away. Considering it is very tricky to get into this deadlock under natural circumstances, it doesn't happen very often, though some players do have firsthand experience with this.
    • Black Mesa, the Fan Remake of the original Half-Life, has the achievement "Kinetic Repulsion" for killing an HECU marine with his own grenade, which is significantly harder than in Half-Life 2 due to the lack of the Gravity Gun.
    • This is also possible in both Day of Defeat games, even when the original Half-Life did not have the same support. Also, the grenade actually appears in the character's hand, instead of Half-Life 2's floating physics.
  • Can be done in Halo if you're sufficiently skilled or lucky. To "return to sender" a grenade, you have to throw a sticky (plasma or spike) on it; this changes the direction of the grenades, as the last force was your throw, allowing both to hit the original thrower (who'll probably call you a hacker).
    • A conventional catch-and-throw-back can happen if a thrown plasma grenade sticks to the spike grenade that you're about to throw back at the plasma grenade's sender.
  • A cut-scene in Jak II: Renegade has Vin and Daxter doing this with an activated plasmite bomb and soon enough all of the bombs become active, giving the following mission a time limit.
  • In Looney Tunes B-Ball, when the Time Bomb special move is selected, the basketball turns into a Cartoon Bomb, which one team must toss to the other before it explodes.
  • Magicka: There's bomb-throwing goblins and arrow-firing ones, and both projectiles can be deflected, or if you're lucky returned with the default staff puff-pushback. object.
  • Mario Party:
    • Mario Party 5: One of the modes in the special minigame Beach Volleyball has the series's native Bob-ombs be used as the balls, with their countdown approaching zero with each pass.
    • Super Mario Party: The minigame Lit Potato sees each player along with any ally characters they have all standing in a circle, with certain characters being given bombs. If a player has a bomb in their hands, they can pass it to the player next to them clockwise by pressing a button. When the bombs explode, the character holding them will be eliminated, and this keeps going until only one team remains.
  • Postal 2's kicking allows you to kick thrown grenades back, but enemy AI cannot do this. Better yet? The player can also kick missiles away from them. It's actually a crucial element since missiles and grenades can often kill you instantly, even at full health.
  • Sensible Soccer had a special Amiga Power version with three games between England and Germany. The 1944 game has all the players wearing military gear and replaces the soccer ball with a live grenade.
  • Shadow Ops: Red Mercury. The enemies can, and will, run out of cover, catch a grenade you've thrown and throw it right back at you. Oh yeah, did I mention they can catch TWO grenades at once?
  • In Shadowrun Returns: Hong Kong, there is a cyberware arm implant called the Magnet Arm. Any character possessing this implant will automatically catch and throw back any grenade that would harm the character, including rounds from grenade launchers. The return throw can miss, but it effectively renders the character immune to grenades. Duncan can gain it for his final level-up bonus in the main campaign, and most of the grenadier and commander enemies in the Shadows of Hong Kong bonus campaign have it standard.
  • In the "Bomb Relay" mini-game of Sonic Shuffle, teams of two do this with their bomb on their way to the lake to defuse it before it explodes.
  • One of the Extreme Battle options in Street Fighter 6 drops an enormous bomb into the stage. The fighters have a few seconds to knock it away and get to a safe distance before it goes off, throwing anyone caught in the explosion into the wall.
  • In Sunset Riders, certain enemies will throw lit sticks of dynamite. You have several seconds in which you can pick it up and either throw it back at the attacker or another enemy or simply throw it safely away from yourself. Later on, they replace the dynamite with round bombs that explode on impact, invalidating this tactic.
  • A minigame in Super Mario World 2: Yoshi's Island has you playing catch with an enemy using a slowly expanding balloon. You have to make sure not to be holding it when it pops.
  • The Pyro's airblast in Team Fortress 2 can redirect grenades, along with rockets, arrows, and Jarate. Doing so will change the allegiance of the projectiles to the deflector's team. An unofficial game mode is "Dodgeball", in which a homing rocket is launched, and the players must deflect it to stay alive. This is made harder by the rocket speeding up slightly with each deflection. Last man note  standing wins.
  • In the Touhou Project fighting games, Marisa has both a special move (Magical Recycled Bomb) and a super move (Deep Ecological Bomb) that make her throw pots of charging magic energy. They can be hit back toward her if her opponent is canny.
  • In Uncharted, both you and the AI can do it.
  • In Wild Guns, you can pick up enemies' thrown dynamite and toss it back at them. Your character puts out the fuse when they pick it up, so there's no worry of the dynamite blowing up on them.
  • In World of Warcraft, during the General Pa'valak encounter, at two points, the boss hides inside a shield and summons minions to attack the party while dropping explosives on the players that explode after a few seconds. You can pick up the explosives and either throw them at the shield (weakening it and giving the boss a damage-increasing debuff) and/or throw them at the minions to kill them. A few seconds after landing, though, the explosives arm and cannot be picked up; you must get away from them or take damage.
  • In XCOM, only a little coordination and preparation is needed to perform a Grenade Relay.

  • Parodied in Concerned - Frohman attempts to kill a sniper by grenade, but is informed that he forgot to pull the pin. When he asks for the grenade back, he gets it - minus the pin.
  • In one of the first Girl Genius mini-arcs, Gilgamesh batting a flying grenade back at its thrower...and was later chastised because the grenade annihilated said thrower.
  • One Schlock Mercenary comic shows Nick diving towards a grenade with the narrator suggesting he might be Jumping on a Grenade, only for him to instead chuck it into the teraport cage they'd used to enter.
  • One time in The Whiteboard another player countered Darryl's paint grenade with a tennis racket.

    Western Animation 
  • Arcane. During her Madness Montage, Jinx is casually pulling the pins of her home-made bombs and throwing them into the Bottomless Pit her hideout is suspended over before they explode.
  • In the Archer season 3 "Heart of Archness", when his pirates turn against him, Archer is holed up in a fortress, and during Casual Danger Dialogue he is catching grenades with a butterfly net and tossing them back. He used the net earlier in the episode as a lacrosse stick.
  • Beavis and Butt-Head did this literally in an Army recruiter's office. Amazingly enough, the recruiter was still interested in recruiting them!
  • In Futurama, Fry, Leela, and Bender find a bomb the Professor has given them has a drastically shorter fuse than advertised. They proceed to play hot potato with it for a bit, leading to Leela stating "Hey, be careful with that. You could put someone's eye out." Bender then tried to chuck into space, only for a passing meteorite to send it right back. He succeeded on the next attempt.
  • In G.I. Joe: Renegades, the first episode has Duke pitch back a grenade tossed at him by Cobra security, much to the amazement of his teammates.
  • Wile E. Coyote and Bugs Bunny do this in a Looney Tunes short.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man episode "Subtext" uses a Grenade Hot Potato in the form of one of Gobby's Pumpkin Bombs.
  • Shows up often in classic cartoon shorts such as Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry. Though in these cases, it's usually a stick of dynamite or a Cartoon Bomb.
  • A Rugrats episode had the Rocky and Bullwinkle parody, Blocky and Oxwinkle. In one episode of that, Yuri and Svetlana (the Boris and Natasha look-alikes) plan to blow up the heroes with a time bomb.
    Blocky: Hey, Mister. You left your clock in the middle of the street. Good thing we conveniently showed up to return it to you before someone runs over it.
    (Yuri and Svetlana toss the time bomb back and forth until it explodes)
  • The Simpsons:
    • Played for laughs in "You Only Move Twice", when, as Homer is leaving Scorpio's base in the middle of a battle with the U.S. Military, a cooking grenade lands near Homer's feet and he just casually kicks it away before it explodes.
    • A soldier pulls the pin before delivering an extended And This Is for... speech to the enemy. Key word: extended.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The antagonist of "Blue Shadow Virus" does this with vials of the eponymous deadly disease in order to make the heroes run to catch them so he can make his escape.
  • Star Wars Rebels. In "Empire Day", Sabine gives Zeb a bomb-like device and tells him to throw it high in the sky on her command. Zeb gets a bit nervous as the bomb beeps away, but when he is told to throw it, it turns out to be fireworks so everyone is looking up while Kanan plants a real bomb on a TIE fighter.
  • Steven Universe: Variation in "Message Received", when Peridot finally tells off Yellow Diamond for not listening to her reasons for sparing Earth, Yellow Diamond attempts to shut her up by activating her Communication Device to self-destruct. The Gems and Steven toss the Device around until it is knocked away by Garnet, saving everyone.
    Pearl: Aah! How do we stop it?!
    Garnet: Just get rid of it!
    Pearl: Eh, here, Amethyst! (Tosses the communicator to her.)
    Amethyst: What am I supposed to do with it?! (Tosses it to Steven, who places it in a bubble, in which Garnet then punches into the sky, where it makes a huge explosion.)
  • In the "Final Fight" episode of the Street Fighter cartoon, when Rolento threw his grenades, Guy caught them, JUGGLED THEM, and then threw them back at Rolento. Rolento was so shocked by Guy's skill that he didn't even move out of the way.
  • Variation in the Thomas & Friends special, "Sodor's Legend of the Lost Treasure". Jack, Alfie, Oliver the Excavator, and Marion do this with a box of dynamite lit by sparks from bad coal Ryan took from an old hopper. Thankfully, nobody gets hurt.
  • Tom and Jerry: In "The Yankee Doodle Mouse" Tom and Jerry do this with a lit stick of dynamite, until Jerry takes it away and they switch to fighting over it which ends with Tom in sole possession of it.
  • A variation is played for laughs in X-Men: Evolution when Boom-Boom casually tosses one of her bombs over her shoulder as she's walking out of the Brotherhood house. Quicksilver catches it and tosses it to Blob, who hands it off to Toad before tossing Toad full-body into the next room.

    Real Life 
  • Real grenades tend to have unpredictable fuses, making this trope much more dangerous than in fiction. This also makes 'cooking' the grenade a bad idea - SOP is generally to throw the thing as quickly as you can and get the fuck away if one comes knocking. In foxholes, having a grenade sump or water bucket that grenades can be tossed into to absorb the blast in is generally substituted for putting yourself in even more danger.
    All 5-second grenade fuses burn down in 3 seconds. ~Murphy's Law
  • During the battle of Tarawa (WWII), one of the marines threw back two grenades tossed by the Japanese, catching them in mid-air. When he tried for a hat-trick, the third grenade promptly blew up in his hand.
  • American military manuals do discuss cooking hand grenades in urban combat for two seconds. While its no longer the recommended method, it is mentioned as an option.
  • An Australian-Canadian-Brit (it's complicated), Lance-Corporal (later Lieutenant) Leonard Keysor, won the Victoria Cross during the Battle of Lone Pine (WWI) for continually doing this with Turkish grenades over a period of 50 straight hours.
  • Sergeant First Class Leroy Petry picked up a grenade, and attempted to throw it away from himself and several other soldiers. It detonated as he released it, causing him to lose his hand, and earn a Medal of Honor.
  • This can definitely be Truth in Television: the British Mills Bomb initially had a seven-second fuse, which was long enough that the Germans could get out of the way, or sometimes throw it back. Later versions had a 4-second fuse, which was too short to respond to in such a fashion.
  • In 2001 a Croatian college student was killed while juggling a live hand grenade. Six onlookers were injured. The student went on to win a Darwin Award.
  • During WWI, the British tried giving marksmen shotguns and have them snipe incoming grenades in midair like they were clay pigeons. Likewise (according to popular legend, at least) American soldiers with experience in trap shooting were issued the Winchester M97 Trench Gun and placed where they could shoot grenades being thrown from the German trenches.
  • Russian WWI-era "engineering grenades" (high-powered hand grenades used for destroying fortifications) were ill-advised for use against enemy infantry because their fuses were set to over 10 seconds (thus, if you threw it right into the enemy trench, there was a very high probability of it getting thrown back at you).
  • In WW2, German soldiers forced to retreat from their positions learnt to leave boxes of primed hand grenades behind. Russian soldiers were unable to resist the temptation to throw them at the retreating Germans. Unfortunately for them, the grenades were primed with such short fuses that they'd blow up in the Russians' faces. An unwary soldier who didn't know the fuze color coding could easily blow themselves up. A yellow fuze was 7 seconds, intended for demolition work. Blue was 4-5 seconds, for stick grenades. Red and grey were booby-trap fuzes, being 1 second and instantaneous respectively.
  • A popular video on the internet shows a protester kicking back a gas grenade at the police during the 2013 protests that happened in Brazil. It became quite the meme.


No Time to Die

Throw back one activated grenade, three more shall take its place.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / GrenadeHotPotato

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