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Infernal Retaliation

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"Established wisdom for modern zombie hunters: The only thing worse than a horde of zombies is a horde of flaming zombies."

The evil twin of Man on Fire, Incendiary Exponent, and Out of the Inferno, this is where someone sets whatever is trying to kill them on fire... and it then continues to try and kill them. While on fire.

Sometimes it is just a delayed reaction and the fire will prove fatal, but that is little comfort considering it may prove fatal to the heroes first. Might also apply to Nuke 'em if the target is gigantic. Eldritch Abomination: Bad. Eldritch Abomination that gets nuked, and stands back up pissed off and blazing radioactive fire? Worse.

A standard form of Taking You with Me and Video Game Cruelty Punishment, many who are set alight become...well, hell bent on setting anyone and anything on fire as well.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • An experiment in Highschool of the Dead demonstrates that a molotov cocktail does not, in the short term, improve an assault from "them".
  • In Inuyasha, Jaken uses his staff to try to burn one of another villain's attacking pieces. Bad idea.
  • Lupin III: One of the story elements consistent across the franchise is Lupin's encounter with Goemon. The manga, the Green Jacket series and Episode 0 all feature Lupin throwing a special chemical onto the samurai that bursts into flames when it comes into contact with the air. Not content to let Lupin get away with this, Goemon tosses a rope at Lupin, which carries the flames over to light him on fire as well. As it's Lupin, they recover.
  • Partial example: in Naruto, Sasuke sets the 8-Tails on fire with Amaterasu, which makes it flail around and hit his teammate Karin, setting her on fire (luckily, he found a way to put her out).
  • In One Piece, one of Smoker's troops tries to fight Caesar Clown's poison Blob Monster by setting it on fire. This makes it it stop for a moment, then it violently explodes, spreading the still living pieces of the monster all over.
  • In the Pokémon anime, the battle between Ash's Charizard and Blaine's Magmar seems to end with Magmar diving into lava while holding Charizard in a headlock. However, it turns out that being dunked only made Charizard angry when he explodes from the lava with Magmar in tow and proceeds to Seismic Toss him right back into the volcano.
  • Heroic example: A few villains from Fairy Tail have tried to burn Natsu. This ends… poorly.
  • Another heroic example, this time from Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: At one point while trying to capture the Dai-Gunzan, the Gurren Lagann is hit by cannon fire from the Dai-Gunzan while trying to jump down onto it. It sets the whole machine on fire, but this hardly slows it down, since Kamina has a better idea: drop-kicking Viral's Enki in the face.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • One Deadpool story shows him and Siryn fighting Juggernaut. After trying to stop him with meat cleavers fails, Deadpool dumps a vat of molten steel onto him. He and Siryn then end up fleeing from a burning Juggernaut.
  • Fables, in The March Of The Wooden Soldiers arc. The Adversary sends enchanted wooden soldiers to attack Fabletown, and the residents decide to fight wood with fire...the problem, as someone only gets to point out after they have done it, is that hard wood burns, if at all, then very, very slowly, and... yeah, the evil puppets are made of, oops! Hard wood! And so now they're dealing with inhuman, nigh-unstoppable killer puppets that are on fire. And setting Fabletown on fire.
  • Hellboy: Blood and Iron. Pyrokinetic Liz heats up metal Hecate; she gets BIGGER and makes things very uncomfortable for Hellboy, who she's holding. Oops.
  • In one Justice League of America issue, Orion is set on fire while fighting a White Martian. Since fire happens to be a weakness of Martians, he just goes with it.
  • In the classic Spider-Man story Nothing Stops The Juggernaut, Spidey tries increasingly destructive methods to stagger the unstoppable X-men foe, culminating with blowing up a tanker truck of gasoline. Juggernaut is unharmed, but now on fire.
  • It happens again in the X-Men issues of Fear Itself, when Juggernaut is possessed by a godlike being (which means that he's now empowered by two gods instead of the usual one) and Cyclops rolls out several battle plans to stop him. All are ineffective, but then we get to this:
    Plan 24: Haemopyrokinetic Adam X deployed to attempt to incapacitate Juggernaut by igniting blood. Result: Blood ignition a success, but worse than ineffective. For fifteen minutes unstoppable Juggernaut is rendered an unstoppable Juggernaut that ignites anything it touches.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Bridge, a team fight with Gigan, Megalon, and Irys having to contend with Grand King Ghidorah results in this when Megalon bombards Ghidorah with a barrage of napalm grenades. Being so incredibly durable, Ghidorah doesn't even seem to notice being half covered in napalm and just flies into a rage.
  • In the League of Legends fic Magic of a Young Girl's Heart, Annie blasts a Killer Robot named Vigil with fire magic. It barely hurts the machine, but it does make its external armor very hot, meaning it can seriously burn its enemies just by touching them.
  • This Bites!: At Thriller Bark, Lassoo attempts to get rid of Cerberus by using his Flame Dial-powered attacks. Cross and Soundbite lampshade this trope as Cerberus gets up and resumes chasing them while on fire.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Epic (1984) the children attempt to use fire against the Spirit of Evil, but it's ineffective and the Spirit of Evil then uses the fire against them.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The titular Xenomorph in the Alien has always been averse to fire, but they are able to withstand it. The Dragon of Alien³ manages to survive being drowned in MOLTEN LEAD. The pain it experiences is enough to break its programmed instinct, and it is now fully intent on tearing Ripley and the Queen inside her to pieces for such a painful insult.
  • The General, i.e. the master spider, of the film Arachnophobia gets tossed into some flaming debris at the end...and comes running back out and takes one last go at the protagonist, who needs to shoot it with a nail gun to put it down permanently.
  • Christine pulls this off with one of the guys who vandalized her: After blowing up a gas station, while still burning, she chases him down a road.
  • Demonstrated in the remake of Dawn of the Dead (2004): The DVD has an extra about a guy holed up in a gunshop who tries molotov cocktails on the zombie horde from his roof. All he gets is lots of walking, charred zombies who all smell like smoky bacon (he's running low on food).
    • In the actual movie, a group in the parking garage lock the zombies outside a chain-link fence, then set them on fire when they realize that they're getting through. The zombies do burn enough to die, but that may be justified by the group dousing them in gasoline beforehand.
  • Death Warrant: In the climax, Burke kicks the Sandman (a serial killer) into a furnace. The fight initially seems to be over, but the Sandman then jumps out in flames, still trying to kill him.
  • Friday the 13th:
    • During the climax of Friday the 13th Part VII: The New Blood, Jason gets set on fire by Tina. It doesn't faze him one bit. Notably, in the course of filming this scene, Jason's actor/stuntman Kane Hodder set a record for the longest uninterrupted onscreen controlled burn in Hollywood history.
    • He's set on fire again in Freddy vs. Jason. It doesn't keep him from killing anyone. To top it off, spraying beer eventually puts him out before it can do any real damage. Doubly ironic as it was being dosed in more highly concentrated alcohol that set him on fire in the first place.
  • The clerk at the beginning of From Dusk Till Dawn.
  • In Gangster Squad, Karl ambushes Keeler and strangles him. With the last of his strength, Keeler manages to back Karl into a furnace and set his coat on fire, but Karl doesn't even flinch, keeps squeezing until Keeler dies, then casually removes his coat.
  • Ghostbusters (1984). Burning the Marshmallow Man isn't 100% effective. Burning him a lot more is.
  • Godzilla
    • In Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Godzilla spends much of the movie in a state of nuclear meltdown, glowing red and generally causing trouble for everyone, especially Destoroyah. There's also a threat that when he finally does meltdown, the fallout will effectively bring about The End of the World as We Know It. Luckily, the adolescent Godzilla-like creature is there to absorb all the radiation.
    • Godzilla: Final Wars has Gigan blasting Mothra with his eye laser as she spreads her wing scales, which explode in a spectacular fireball. She emerges from the explosion completely ablaze and rams Gigan, destroying him in another spectacular explosion. She later recovers and flies away.
  • Halloween II (1981) ends with Michael being blown up in a room full of ether. Cue a massive mountain of man walking through a hospital hallway on fire. It doesn't actually make him more dangerous (he's weakened due to being on fucking fire), but he's still going, the scamp.
  • In Maleficent, the soldiers set the animated thorn wall Maleficent built to protect the fairy lands on fire. They succeed in setting them on fire. They fail, in that the thorn vines still attack them and are now on fire.
  • Happens in Maniac Cop 2, when a guy whom Cordell's after tries to stop him with a molotov cocktail. He's on fire, and kills the guy.
  • Happens in the 2008 horror film Mirrors. Makes some sense as the "villain" Anna is possessed by some sort of otherworldly evil force and hence probably isn't bound by normal human limits.
  • In The Mummy, an attempt to set a determined Medjai on fire has seemingly no effect. Said Medjai, robes aflame, appears almost blissfully unaware of the fact as he tries to take the key artifact from Jonathan.
  • Notable exception to this rule are the zombies from the original Night of the Living Dead (1968). They did fear fire and setting one ablaze would cause it to run off in a panic.
  • In Ong-Bak, during a fight at a gas station, Tony Jaa's character gets his pants soaked in gasoline from the knee down, before dodging behind some barrels, which are promptly blown up by gunfire. After a few seconds, Tony comes leaping out of the inferno and kicks a couple of guys with his flaming legs.
  • In Raiders of the Lost Ark, during the fight in the burning bar, a Sherpa gets his sleeve soaked in booze and then set aflame. He still takes a couple of swings at Indy before going down. This is done for effect but is Accidentally Accurate: alcohol burns from fumes, not liquid, and the coat he's wearing is quite thick.
  • Mutant beast Kothoga/Mbwun in the movie version of The Relic is set on fire: he just chases the Final Girl around some more. It takes a follow up explosion and its shockwave to pulp him and do him in for good.
  • RoboCop 3 sees two members of the Splatterpunks set RoboCop on fire. Robo being Robo, this does nothing to hurt him and he continues his pursuit like a fiery angel of vengeance.
  • The Russian movie Stalingrad, if the trailer is anything to go by, features a scene where an entire Soviet infantry company charge a German defensive position through a wall of fire. Naturally, they get ignited by it... and keep charging.
  • In Spectre, Bond throws a candle at Hinx that sets his jacket on fire. Hinx gets a few hits in and then removes it.
  • Several incarnations of the monster in The Thing (1982) keep causing trouble even after catching fire.
  • In The Thing from Another World, the protagonists attempt to light The Thing on fire. Unlike the Carpenter film and the original short story, the Thing just charges out of the room, setting it ablaze in the process.

  • Happens after a fashion in the Lone Wolf book Wolf's Bane. Early on in the story, Lone Wolf is trapped in an otherworldly plant stem. Your options include cutting your way out, shouting your way out, and using magic. The problem comes with the last option, since the player isn't told which spell Lone Wolf will use. He ends up casting his lightning hand spell, which does effectively open the stem up, but it also causes the apparently flammable sap in the stem to ignite and burn furiously. You take damage from the resulting inferno if you're not immune to fire.

  • In the prologue of the book Ghost Soldiers about the Bataan Death March in WWII, a burning U.S. P.O.W. set his Japanese executioner on fire.
  • In Gormenghast, Steerpike sets Barquentine ablaze from a candle, and the old man grips tightly on to him, setting him alight as well. The attacker jumps out the window into the moat and drowns him, surviving with disfiguring burns himself.
  • InCryptid: In Calculated Risks, Sarah and Antimony are facing a horde of zombified Johrlac. Once she runs out of bullets, Antimony sets several of them on fire with her magic, causing Sarah to lampshade this trope as they flee.
  • Kravh of the Sporewiki Fiction Universe sets himself on fire in combat. It does harm him, but he's too crazy to care.
  • In Stone of Tears, the second book of the Sword of Truth series, Zedd, Chase, and Chase's daughter encounter a beast from the Underworld. The little girl uses a magic wand to set it on fire... and the beast start laughing and presses the attack. It's eventually defeated (but not killed) when Zedd encases it in a block of ice and order guards to chop it to bits.
  • The Thrawn Trilogy: While fighting with an invisible Defel in The Last Command, Han Solo douses him in whiskey from a cask and sets him on fire. Han notably doesn't expect it to actually kill the Defel since whiskey doesn't burn very hot, and indeed the "wraith" keeps fighting. But now Han has a good target and is able to subdue his opponent.
  • Mentioned in the fourth The Trials of Apollo book. Zombies (also called by their Greek name, vrykolakai) are unfazed by fire and will continue to advance through a wall of flame and be completely unfazed even as their bodies burn. Apparently, this immunity to fire is why Hades didn't make the Phlegethon the border of his relm.
  • It is noted both in World War Z and The Zombie Survival Guide that flaming zombies have caused added havok (and increased property damage) on more than one occasion.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Babylon 5 TV movie Thirdspace has a scene near the end where a Narn security guard's arm is set ablaze during a brawl. Rather than try to extinguish it, he continues to beat on his opponent.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In one traditional Cree story, two children are being chased by the severed head of their mother, and they start a wildfire behind them to stop her. However, she rolls straight through the fire, and then they're being chased by the flaming severed head of their mother. (Fortunately, shortly afterwards she goes through a river and the fire gets put out, but by then she's a skull.)

    Professional Wrestling 
  • At TLC: Tables, Ladders, & Chairs 2020, Randy Orton defeated The Fiend in a Firefly Inferno Match by setting The Fiend's back on fire. The Fiend ignored the flames and attacked Orton again until Orton knocked him out.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Frequently seen with inferno missiles (basically napalm rounds for short-range launchers) against BattleMechs in BattleTech. Infernos do not cause actual damage to 'Mechs, they just add to their heat troubles; especially under the old Master Rules, where the amount of extra heat for being on fire from infernos was fixed at a relatively modest six points per turn and additional hits just increased the duration, sufficiently cool-running 'Mechs could play this trope dead straight.
    • It's even been canon at least once—Comstar infantry hit Phelan Wolf's Wolfhound with an Inferno missile during the Battle of Tukayyid. His answer was to leap off the cliff, crush the infantry squad, and rampage among the Comstar forces in the pouring rain while on fire because Inferno napalm does not simply wash off. This has the net effect of making his attack psychologically terrifying in spite of his relatively small machine, because he pilots a 'Mech with Anubian stylings that is alternately streaming fire from every limb from the Inferno missile or scorched black from the same while acting completely unfazed, because its Clan cooling technology leaves Phelan unhindered by the flames. The Comstar unit broke in the face of his assault.
  • In Call of Cthulhu, there are rules for nuking Cthulhu. He comes back 24 hours later and is now radioactive.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Golems in several editions are often strengthened by some magical attacks. For example, flesh golems are hasted by electrical attacks, and iron golems are healed by fire attacks.
    • In Forgotten Realms there is the undead monster "Blazing Bones". It's created when someone under death-preventing contingency magic is killed by fire while using another magic and one clashes with another. It is a skeleton with remains of its living mind, it's aflame, feels it and quickly discovers that hurling or pouring fire into someone else helps it. very soon it's destructively insane. Magical fire damage "heals" it, but it's obviously not going to be grateful for this.
    • In the 4th Edition, hitting an elder treant with a fire attack sets it on fire, causing ongoing fire damage... but also lets it do extra fire damage with its melee attacks.
  • In Mage: The Awakening, it is necessary to assign a weakness to a zombie (otherwise you have to devote a success to making it so they can only be destroyed by essentially being reduced to a fine paste) which can include fire.
  • In Pathfinder, several spells or special abilities will set targets on fire for damage over time. This condition can usually be ended by taking an action to put yourself out, but more durable characters or monsters can easily decide they have the hitpoints to spare and keep attacking while on fire.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The monstrous Tyranids were damaged as normal by fire attacks, but could continue moving and attacking. In fact, several models (particularly those who were affected by the Frenzy rules) were subject to this. Khorne Berzerkers were as tough as a "normal" Space Marine, had even better armour and ran faster to get into combat, making it quite likely that turning a flamer on one would only lead to him running full pelt into you whilst on fire.
    • In previous editions, using any heat weapons (flamers, melta-guns, plasma weapons, and so on) did nothing to the Eldar Avatar... because he is a molten iron incarnation of the Eldar god of war. This has since been nerfed: he is now only immune to flamers and meltas.
    • The Necrons, being ancient alien souls sealed inside advanced necrodermis bodies, are not much bothered by fire.
    • After Wazdakka Gutsmek found an Imperial Titan, he attacked it by crusing up a ramp, jumping and then chrashing through its shields. He then proceeded to slaughter the crew... while on fire. He then held out his victims through the shields, burning them until only their skeletons remained and kept three skulls as a memento. Said skulls are STILL burning.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has a Gift, Kiss of Helios, that allows a werewolf to take no damage from natural sources of flame and minimal damage from things like napalm or gas fires. Not only that, but thanks to being aflame, their blows do hideous amounts of damage to their foes.

    Video Games 

  • AdventureQuest has the Razorclaws, wolves transformed by dark magic to act as assassins for their sorcerous masters. They are most vulnerable to fire, but if you are foolish enough to actually use fire on a Razorclaw, it will catch fire and perform a vicious attack on you for serious damage.
  • Setting a molotov thrower aflame in Far Cry 3, either with your own incendiary weapons or by shooting theirs, usually results in having him chase after you on fire until he burns to death.
  • Borderlands 2 has Krieg the Psycho as a player character version of this. His Hellborn skill tree is all about dealing fire damage and getting buffed when set on fire. He even has a chance to set himself on fire when using incendiary weapons.
  • Alien: Isolation:
    • Using the flamethrower on the alien will at first cause it retreat to the nearest air vent when set on fire. If you happen to be between it and the nearest vent when you lit it aflame, you might just get run over by it in the process. On higher difficulties, using the flamethrower too much will cause it to run straight at you and ignore the fire entirely.
    • The Working Joes, being androids, don't even react to being set on fire outside of becoming hostile.
  • This significantly reduced the effectiveness of the flamethrower in the First-Person Shooter Aliens vs. Predator for the PC, as setting aliens on fire would simply result in them continuing to attack you while on fire, and since they're already extremely fast attackers, this usually meant you dying even more quickly than usual. This was adjusted in Aliens vs. Predator 2, where, since Aliens aren't so goddamn fast anymore, the flamethrower kills 'em real good before they can get to you. Worsened in the 2010 game. Not only does it fire kill the aliens too slowly, if they grab you while they're on fire, they have a tendency to explode.
  • Fire in Besiege is one of the most effective forms of crowd control for groups of enemy soldiers, with the trade-off being that ignited enemies get a solid 10 or so seconds of attacking before dropping dead, all fire-type weapons being short-range, and your contraptions typically ignite easier than toilet paper soaked in gasoline. This can be averted with liberal use of armor plating, or getting the hell out of there after lighting them on fire.
  • Hoppers in The Binding of Isaac, once lit ablaze, become "F. Hoppers", which have three times the HP and move faster. What's worse, setting them on fire isn't the player's fault; they get that way by jumping into fires that naturally spawn in the room. The only way to prevent it from happening is to kill, or douse the fires, before they can. And then there are the rooms where said fires are locked off behind rock walls...
  • BioShock: The in-game advertisement for the Incinerate plasmid ends with "Warning: Fire spreads," and it's not just a joke — anything that is on fire can set other things on fire, due to a clever bit of programming that makes fire particles themselves double as ignition triggers. Even touching a burning corpse will hurt the player, although he is thankfully immune to persistent burning himself. Most mooks will get distracted and try to find water if lit ablaze, but beware if they run into oil slicks... especially if there happen to be Exploding Barrels nearby. Big Daddies, meanwhile, are undeterred by fire and will continue to attack until one of you goes down. A not-so-clever bit of programming makes it so that they will sometimes aggro in response to non-player-inflicted damage. Set a splicer on fire and then hypnotize him to attack a Big Daddy? That splicer may be the least of your concerns in a moment. attacks or are somehow immune to fire. To be fair, though, it's one of the only early-game advantages of the Sheaim.
  • Blood allows you to set zombies on fire, and when they erupt into a zombie torch, they hurt you with touch.
  • While the Bomberman series more or less revolves around killing everything with fire based explosives, one of the possible skull item effects from Bomberman 64 and Bomberman 64: The Second Attack sets the person unfortunate enough to pick up the item on fire. While in this state, the burning bomber has about 30 seconds to kill everyone else with their burning body (can't use bombs since their body sets off any bombs he drops or touches) before the fire finally kills him.
  • Fire burns the vampires bad in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But not right away. They can still tag you for a nasty burn before dusting.
  • Burn, Zombie, Burn. It's pretty much the whole title. Running around lighting zombies on fire makes them faster and deadlier. On the plus side, it increases your score multiplier.
  • In Marvel vs. Capcom 2, one of Jill Valentine's special moves is a zombie summon. One possible summon is a flaming zombie. Instead of grabbing and holding an opponent in place like normal zombies, these explode.
  • A possibility within the Nazi Zombies mode of Call of Duty: World at War. While flamethrowers will generally be a good weapon against the zombies for most of the game, it becomes more dangerous later on as they get more health. However, being careful and just running around, lighting zombies aflame and keeping your distance while they burn usually works.
  • In Castlevania: Portrait of Ruin striking a zombie (or ghoul) with a fire attack causes them to become skeletons, even if the attack should've reduced their HP to zero.
  • In the Fall from Heaven II mod for Civilization IV, which is set in a fantasy world, the bringers of Apocalypse, the Sheaim, have an axemen replacement called the Pyre Zombie, which is, well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin; A zombie inherently on fire. Of course, whenever one of them perish, all enemy units in the vicinity are damaged, which makes the "PZ" the perfect bane of any army that cannot perform ranged
  • Happens in one of Corpse Party's Wrong Ends when Yoshiki tries to fend off a sentient anatomical model by setting it alight with a Bunsen burner. The model collapses into a pile, then quickly gets back up and kills Yoshiki by embracing him while still on fire.
  • In Cthulhu Saves the World, in "Cthulhu's Angels" bonus campaign, the boss Evil Bridge, when attacked with fire attacks (like Fireball spell), catches fire. When on fire, Evil Bridge's damage is increased by 50%, and the bonus stacks the more fire spells are used.
  • The Immolation spell in Dark Souls II technically transforms you into this variation, considering you're Undead. It causes gradual damage to everyone that comes near you, but also saps your own HP. The Scorcher enemies in Brume Tower will also do this if hit with any fire damage, becoming faster and eventually turning into an Action Bomb.
  • Shadows in Deadly Premonition become extremely fast if set on fire and run straight for York once ablaze. However, they die quickly from the fire, too.
  • Dishonored 2: Using incendiary attacks on a Clockwork soldier is useless due to its mechanical nature. However, thanks to its wooden components, it will be set on fire, so now there is a giant robot on fire trying to kill you. Strangely enough, you do not seem to be damaged by the flaming frame of the Clockwork soldier.
  • Doom³ features a zombie that is already on fire when it attacks you. Ordinary zombies, however, seem abnormally sensitive to fire.
  • There is a certain point in Dragon Age: Origins where you have to protect a village from an oncoming zombie horde. You can find barrels of oil, and suggest to the head of the guard to light it on fire, weakening the initial wave. If Zeveran is in your team at this point, he'll wisely snark that it may create flaming undead, instead. Subverted in that, yes, fire does help against the zombies, with no serious repercussions. Although if you push back the waves, the stupid AI will inevitably kill themselves by walking into the burning oil.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • Occurred in the Let's Play Boatmurdered with Sankis — whose power, if anything, became even more terrifying once he was aflame.
    • The fortress' method for dealing with the various goblins invaders, killer elephant herds, and crazed mandrills became "flood everything outside the mountain with lava". This eventually backfired fantastically when a puppy got caught in the lava outside and wouldn't stop burning. In itself this would have been fine, but one of the dwarves then decided to go and retrieve the puppy. That dwarf got lit on fire and went back into the fortress, not only igniting random things but also spreading smoke everywhere, which causes insanity. In the wake of this came Sankis's rampage mentioned above, which catalyzed a chain of events which eventually reduced the entire fortress into a desolate, smoking, miasma-filled ruin. Well, more of one than it already was, anyways....
    • In general, earlier versions of Dwarf Fortress had dwarves be generally non-plussed about picking up things on fire and being on fire themselves, which was highly amusing until you realized it made it nearly impossible to keep a fire under control.
    • Variant: Butchering a Fire Imp corpse occasionally sprays clouds of boiling fat everywhere, setting anything flammable in the room ablaze.
    • Bronze Colossi are not immune to lava, but their large size mean they melt slowly. If the one you just immersed in magma gets out too soon of the trap, it will integrate the heat into its attacks, multiplicating its danger.
  • Territorial Oaks in EarthBound are a special kind of evil: Not only do they burst into flames automatically when you kill them through any means, but this deals instant damage in the hundreds, which you can only survive if you have enough HP left for the rolling health meter to stop before you leave the battle screen. Did we mention that your maximum HP at the point where you start to encounter them is likely to be in the ballpark of 150?
  • In The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, any mook set on fire will continue to attack (though thankfully they won't set you on fire) — in fact, you have to get a specific high-level perk to make enemies flee when they're at low health and on fire.
  • The boss of the Iifa Tree in Final Fantasy IX, the Soulcage isn't very tough, and given that it's both wood-based and undead, you wouldn't be wrong in surmising that it's weak to fire. Setting it ablaze will result in it catching fire and attacking with Fire Blades, a hard hitting party attack. The flaming status can be canceled by an ice-elemental attack. Of course, given that it's an undead monster in a Final Fantasy game, there's a certain shortcut...
  • Gears of War gives us the Berserkers, 10' tall female Locust with nothing but murder and anger on their minds and an armoured hide resilient to bullets. Setting them on fire makes their hide vulnerable, however it also makes them even angrier, allowing them to charge and swing their fists at double speed.
  • In Haunting Ground, following the final boss battle, Fiona manages to push Lorenzo into a pit of lava. For a moment, she thinks she's finally killed him, until he claws his way out, now a flaming skeleton with a Touch of Death.
  • The Grand Theft Auto games let you have some fun with this. Touching fire lights you on fire, but it generally isn't enough to kill you if you have enough health, leaving you with the option to walk into people and set them on fire. Several of the games allow the player to become immune to fire-damage by completing the Fire Fighter minigame. Like the Saints Row example above, this makes using fire based weapons like the Flamethrower or Molotov Cocktails a much more viable option for causing mayhem without significant risk of burning oneself to death in the process.
  • In Half-Life 2, while regular headcrab zombies will scream and hold their arms out in agony when on fire, fast zombies don't even notice, right up until the point where they fall down and die from it. The fire doesn't do any additional damage to you, though. Poison zombies also seem to be oblivious to the flames when set on fire. Incidentally, burning, legless Zombie Mooks dragging themselves along the ground towards you, while what's left of the Zombie Infectee screams in terrified agony through a Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong...
  • Halo: In Halo 3, using fire against the Flood can sometimes lead to this. Sticky grenades have a similar effect in all the games. Subverted completely with the Pure Form Flood, as they die near instantly from Firebomb grenades or the Flamethrower and it's even the recommended way to deal with them in the official Strategy Guide (the fact that most levels with high concentrations of them often gives you a Flamethrower or two in conspicuous spots should also be a hint).
  • In the original Kingdom Hearts, it's possible to set Captain Hook's pants on fire if you light him up with a Fira spell. However, he could damage you by flying into you as he's bouncing around his ship to get the fire out.
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, this happens when your nemesis goes One-Winged Angel by invoking a revenge demon immediately before falling into lava.
  • Left 4 Dead:
    • Generally speaking, setting the zombies on fire is a very good idea... but the Hunter, although the flames will kill him eventually, gets a huge boost to his attack power while on fire. Said boost was later nerfed by a patch (and only applies if the survivors set them on fire directly with Molotovs, gas cans or incendiary ammo instead of the Hunter intentionally lighting himself with pre-existing flames in the map), but it's still present.
    • The Boomer doesn't directly react being set on fire, but because it gradually wears down his health, it turns him into a walking time bomb, able to explode in the vicinity of the survivors even if they avoid shooting him and try shoving him away.
    • The Witch doesn't like fire either: normally, she'll leave you alone if you're not the one who pissed her off, even if you're shooting her. Set her on fire, however, and you'll be her one target no matter what. Thankfully, a burning Witch is also slower than a regular one, and only has to be evaded for 15 seconds before she dies.
    • Finally, in Campaign mode for the first game, the Tank gains a tremendous speed boost when lit on fire in exchange for an exact countdown (not related to his health) until his death. In Versus multiplayer and on all modes of the sequel, however, it's treated as Damage Over Time, and each tic of damage breaks his gait, so fire ends up slowing him down.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Keese are generally invulnerable to straight-up fire attacks. This, in fact, usually sets them on fire, turning them into the far more dangerous Fire Keese.
      • In the Oracle of Seasons/Ages games, Fire Keese not only do more damage but can also fly above Link's sword's reach.
      • In an inversion, Keese hit by a cold- or ice-based weapon turn into Ice Keese, becoming shrouded in freezing mist rather than flames but otherwise acting much the same as Fire Keese do.
    • In the handheld games, setting a Gibdo on fire is a mixed bag, as the wrapping burns away to reveal a faster-moving, hopping Stalfos, who's harder to hit but takes far less damage to defeat. Probably worth it near the beginning of the game, when your dinky starting sword takes like 8 or 10 hits to defeat a Gibdo; perhaps not so much later.
    • Ask any player about what happens when they accidentally got too close to a Gibdos or ReDead in the 3D games after using a fire arrow but before the arrow finishes them off.
    • In Breath of the Wild, enemy weapons can catch fire and light you on fire. Fire attacks and explosions will allow opponents to burn you.
  • The Ents in The Lord of the Rings: The Battle for Middle-earth are normally slow and tough, but when set aflame they become enraged, moving and attacking much more quickly, while taking damage over time from the fire. After a few moments of rampaging they'll try to find some water to douse the flames. Mûmakil also rampage when set alight, though there's no way to extinguish the fire and they'll eventually die.
  • In Minecraft, flaming zombies will burn the player when attacking. Becomes even scarier when you realize that sunlight naturally lights them on fire.
  • Could be good or bad in Ogre Battle 64, depending on who you did it to and your outlook. Setting a Zombie on fire would cause them to pull a terminator-like transformation into a Skeleton. Happened both to enemy Zombies and your own Zombies. Skeletons were generally better than Zombies, but it was a huge pain to create them.
  • Ignus from Planescape: Torment is permanently on fire as a result of the collective hedge wizards in the Hive opening a portal to the elemental plane of fire inside his body and turning him into a living effigy as a way of punishing him for an act of mass arson. As a punishment, it failed miserably — it only made him happy.
  • Pokémon:
    • The Abilities Guts and Flare Boost can grant the user a 50% boost to their Attack or Special Attack (respectively) while they're afflicted with the Burn status effect. Flare Boost is the more straight example as it only activates in response to the user being Burned, while Guts can also activate when it's Poisoned or Paralyzed. Notably, Guts also ignores the usual 50% Attack reduction from a Pokemon affected by Burn, meaning that it gets stronger instead of weaker when set on fire.
    • Pokémon with Flash Fire are not only immune to Fire type moves (including the status inducing Will-O-Wisp), it also fuels their Fire type attacks by 50%.
  • In the expansion pack of Postal 2, Apocalypse Weekend, setting zombies on fire is about as effective as dousing them in lemon juice. Actually, it's even less effective, as the fire will do nothing (these zombies require their heads to be destroyed before they'll stop attacking), and unless you cut their legs off beforehand, they'll just run up to you and set you on fire too.
    • Setting people on fire who are already aggressive towards you will often result in them running blindly in your direction and setting you on fire as well before you can back away, due to the short throwing arc of your matches. The random pathing of a burning NPC makes it even harder to avoid getting caught on fire by a passing burning protestor.
  • In Prince of Persia (2008), the main characters knock a giant warrior king off the edge of a tall tower, and he falls into a pool of black ooze. When the tower falls apart and the they land on a lower platform, the creature crawls from the ooze, scaling the wall by force. The title prince's response?
    Prince: Oh good, now he's on fire.
  • In The Punisher, setting mooks aflame with the flamethrower isn't one hundred percent effective; they panic and run amok, sometimes into you. Ouch.
  • Resident Evil 4:
  • It works even worse for the player in Return to Castle Wolfenstein: While flame works well against the sword'n'shield zombies, it turns the unarmed ghost-skull ones into mean firebreathing mofos.
    • Their Wolfenstein successors, the Despoiled, are constantly engulfed in magical fire from the start. Naturally, it's not a good idea to get too close to them. And, they're quite immune to the flamethrower.
  • A serious threat in Saints Row. Burning people can set other people on fire, and burning cars explode, scattering burning debris which can also set people on fire. The zombie homie you can summon is rather nonchalant about being lit ablaze. Potentially dangerous to you, certainly dangerous to your enemies.
  • Saints Row 2 has a damn minigame focused around this. You're driving an ATV while on fire and your job is to light as many people on fire as you can. The player character is wearing a fireproof suit for the duration though (which can be unlocked for general use by completing all levels of the minigame). The third game allows the player to purchase immunity to fire as an upgrade, allowing quite a bit of fun with flame based weapons with little risk to the player.
    • While this trope applies to every Saints Row game since touching a flaming enemy will catch you on fire, it is especially notable in Saints Row: The Third with the Decker Specialists, women with high tech skates that allow them to move extremely fast. When a normal enemy is set on fire, they run around aimlessly, and the same thing applies with the specialists, only at super speed.
  • In the original Syphon Filter, in stages where a lot is burning, there will be some mooks, on fire, running wildly to you! Since you'll die instantly if caught on fire, the best option (and * Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World: The final battle. What is cooler than a badass Dual Wielding a sword and axe? A badass Dual Wielding a sword and axe who is on fire..
  • In Team Fortress 2, the soldier achievement Semper Fry requires you to kill opponents while on fire. To explain, on of the Soldier's melee weapons, the Equalizer, increases his speed and attack when he is at little health. So more damage = more power. Fire = more damage. Fire = more power.
only, actually), is to put said mook out of his misery.
  • Done to hilarious effect in TimeSplitters. Hell, there is even a game-mode based around it! (Virus) One person starts on fire and must find and light everyone else on fire. Also, it burns away armor only first, then health. If you know where all the pickups are, in deathmatches you can continue to collect kills for a long while if you don't get hit too much, just by running into people and shooting them as they try and flee and find an extinguisher. Also everyone has hilarious screams while on fire, so you may as well do it anyway!
  • The Flamers in Unturned are zombies that are naturally on firenote . They're no different from regular zombies in behavior or stats, except they explode in a massive fireball when they die that hurts a ton and turns any zombie within the blast radius into another Flamer. They're one of the main reasons for a player to collect and use ranged weaponry.
  • Vampire: The Masquerade – Bloodlines has the Grout's Mansion level, where you have to find a lost vampire primogen who was studying madness. And of course, he has a lot of human test subjects. When you arrive at the mansion, you will soon realize that all this madmen have somehow been able to free themselves and aren't exactly happy to see you. So, after you punched, shot and sliced your way through the mansion, you come across a vampire hunter, who sets the whole place on fire. And also, it seems like some of the test subjects have survived your fights in the mansion and now are on fire as well. And instead of running out of the mansion (they are insane after all) they decide to try killing you again. They are much more vulnerable now, it usually takes only two shots to kill them. However, considering that vampires are very vulnerable to fire, they can also take out you with two hits. It's helpful to have a machine gun when these guys approach you.
  • Viva Caligula has two major gamebreakers: the flambeau, and Necromancy. Combine the two: Your own personal army of flaming skeletons! The fire doesn't bother the undead, but any living enemy they touch will burst into flames, steadily draining their health until they collapse, at which point you can add another skeleton to your army.


    Web Original 
  • DEATH BATTLE!: In "Goro vs. Machamp", Goro sets Machamp on fire and burns it via his fire breath. This only activates Machamp's Guts ability and strengthens it instead.
  • The Volume Four opening of RWBY has the heroes facing off against a Geist, an incorporeal Grimm that possesses inanimate objects like boulders to use for a body. When it replaces a blown-away arm with a tree, Ruby crows, "Big mistake!" and opens fire with incendiary ammo. "BIG MISTAKE!" screams Jaune, as this has simply given the Geist a flaming arm instead.
  • A nuke was one of the methods proposed by the SCP Foundation to kill the so-far-indestructable SCP-682. It was turned down mainly because the brass was worried about what SCP-682 could become if it survived, as it generates a defense mechanism against whatever is used on it. One of the pages mentions launching SCP-682 into the sun with a giant cannon. It came back a little while later, on fire.

    Western Animation 
  • In Beast Wars, Megatron, while in a temporarily weakened state due to an imminant Power Makeover, gets thrown into a pool of lava. The result? He emerges in dragon form.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Lois Kills Stewie", when Lois assumes Stewie is dead after being caught in an explosion. He's not.
  • Phineas and Ferb features this. At the climax of the episode, Isabella, Phineas and Ferb find themselves on the run from a giant colossus made entirely of corn. They cross a rope bridge that hangs precariously over fire and Phineas cuts the rope, causing the giant to fall into the flames below. The victory is extremely short lived because it leaps up from the flame and continues the chase while on fire. The group chides Phineas for this and he responds by telling them he thought the monster would pop due to it being made out of corn.
  • When El Tigre had to battle Sartana of the Dead's grandson; Django of The Dead. El Tigre managed to get Django to drop into a lava pit in the final battle, but came back using the lava around his hands and arms to blast himself back onto the platform and use said lava to retaliate. Until he accidentally touched his own guitar with his lava hands and destroyed himself.

    Real Life 
  • Truth in Television. No, really:
  • Another example reiterated in a comedy routine. Man lights bonfire. Man sees mouse. Man throws mouse into bonfire. Burning mouse runs into man's house. Man has no house. Man tells story on news.
  • A similar example has happened with a man and a spider and with a lady and a snake.
  • One US President allegedly suggested using nuclear weapons to disrupt a hurricane. National Geographic pointed out that the most likely effect of this would be the resulting nuclear fallout being spread by the completely unaffected storm, effectively creating a radioactive hurricane.
  • The Palawan Massacre: Japanese soldiers herded 150 American POWs into trenches, then doused them in gasoline and lit them on fire. Japanese riflemen and machine gunners shot those who climbed out of the trenches, but one American prisoner, burning from head to toe, ran through a hail of bullets, and caught the closest Japanese guard in a bear hug, burning him to death. While the guards were distracted with this, eleven men managed to escape by jumping off an adjacent cliff, and were rescued by Filipino guerillas.

Video Example(s):


Magma Django

After Django falls into magma, Sartana brings him back with some extra firepower.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / InfernalRetaliation

Media sources: