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"This little hamlet has too much boring and not enough burning... Torch everything!"

In Real Life, Pyromania is a mental disorder that compels a person to set fires and causes the sufferer to feel enjoyment and stress release (and in some cases even sexual releasenote ) from starting and watching fires. In addition to being a very rare disorder, it also has the standard mental disorder caveat of no two cases being identical and usually coming bundled with other issues and a difficult childhood.

While real-life pyromaniacs tend to be somewhat mentally unstable, fictional characters with this disorder tend to exhibit it to the level of evil, murderous Ax-Crazy behavior who really only get their kicks from death and murder with fire. Pyromaniac characters enjoy lighting fires, watching fires, playing with fires, killing with fires, and generally make and use fire whenever they're able to. Whether they have inherent fire powers or merely use flamethrowers or other incendiary weapons, you really don't want to get in their sights.


Note that using or favoring Kill It with Fire does not automatically make a character a pyromaniac; having a mental disorder that makes the character feel enjoyment in the act of starting fires is what makes one a pyromaniac.

May overlap with Ax-Crazy. Compare Psycho Electro for electricity-based powers and Mad Bomber for a common, terrifying overlap. For a more lighthearted take on mental illness-induced criminality, see Sticky Fingers.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Baccano!:
    • Nice Holystone. There's a reason she wears that eyepatch and has those scars. Not only does she have the eyepatch, but she hides small explosives in the empty socket!
    • Randy and Pecho, apparent Mooks and career arsonists, inadvertently kick off the plot of one arc with their enthusiastic blazes. They use fire to end the arc as well.
  • Berserk: During most of her formative years, Farnese was one as taking part in burnings was the only source of relief that she had from her Lonely Rich Kid existence, which got mistaken for religious devotion by the Holy See. As an adult, she even derived sexual gratification from it, at one point even masturbating to people being burned at the stake. This side of her disturbed her greatly, even though she tried desperately to convince herself that she was not wrong. Eventually, she manages to get over it.
  • Black Lagoon: Claude "Torch" Weaver was a pyromaniac wielding a flamethrower. Unusually he was also an Affably Evil Family Values Villain and was unusually nice and collected even while he was indiscriminately setting things on fire. He was eventually defeated when Revy managed to shoot his fuel tank.
  • Code:Breaker: The Anti-Hero Ogami. It makes sense, considering that his designated powers are burning people by touching them. Not to mention that he's an emotionless, automatically violent person who loves dealing out swift punishment. His catchphrase is even telling people to "Burn."
  • Fairy Tail: Natsu routinely lights objects of his interest on fire, including food (though of course he does eat fire). However, he's a pillar of sanity compared to his Evil Counterpart Zancrow of Grimoire Heart, who torches his own underlings just because he heard them say Fairy Tail is strong and thus "disgracing" the name of the strongest dark guild.
  • FLCL: Mamimi is obsessed with her handheld game Fire Starter, in which the player has to burn down buildings as effigies to the Lord of the Black Flame, Canti. It's heavily implied that she burned down her old school. This is worse in the manga, where at one point she says she was "too busy setting fires" to come over and visit Haruko.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Urumi likes to blow things up. She considers a Molotov Cocktail to be a "practical joke", and gets a "look" that's a mix of glee and malice when she blows up a building. Being a super genius, she never leaves any evidence.
  • The Laughing Vampire: Sooto Henmi. An A-student in elementary school, he likes to set fire to the neighborhood and watch the reactions of the crowd. Like all self-respecting criminal, he keeps a diary and news clippings of the crimes he has committed.
  • Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro: Kasai. He really loves burning things, but he's a bit more complex than that.
  • Miss Hokusai: The heroine loves watching houses burn down while the firemen tear down the neighboring houses. She says it's just mesmerizing. (thankfully she doesn't set fires herself)
  • Monster: Johan has set lots of buildings on fire (some of them with people in them) throughout his life (and he's still only a young adult in his late teens or early twenties), but since he's The Sociopath who's extremely fond of Dissonant Serenity, it's hard to tell if he actually derives any pleasure from setting the fires or watching them burn (or even killing people for that matter). The neo-Nazis seemed fond of setting buildings on fire and burning people to death, which probably helps to explain why they sought out Johan and wanted him to join them (aside from the whole "master race" thing), though they clearly took pleasure in attempting to wipe out people they thought were inferior or who stood in their way.

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering: Being Red aligned with, among other things, fire, passion and impulsivity, quite a lot of Red-aligned people have pyromaniacal tendencies. This includes a large number of Red mages and planeswalkers, including Jaya Ballard and Chandra Nalaar, who often excel at pyromancy.
    I've lit most everything on fire—trees, rocks, even the water. Now it's time to burn the clouds. Chandra Nalaar, Flavor Text for Chandra's Spitfire

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Batman:
      • Firefly, one of the more minor members of the Rogues Gallery, is this.
      • As well as Firebug, another minor Batman villain.
    • The Flash: The villain Heatwave became this under Geoff Johns. It's hinted he burned down his childhood home while his family was inside. Became canon (for a time, at least) as a result of the "Top was responsible for the Rogues undergoing Heel Face Turns" storyline: what makes this incarnation of Heat Wave a sympathetic, even tragic, villain is that he is genuinely mentally ill and he recognizes it; when his pyromania first surfaced, he unintentionally set the family home on fire and was so captivated by the flames that he couldn't make himself move to go for help as his family burned to death inside. While he did commit murder by arson once (a childhood friend who made the mistake of pranking him by locking him in a freezer), Heat Wave constantly burns places down despite not wanting to and all his attempts at seeking therapy have failed.
  • Donald Duck becomes one of these after taking a blow to the head in the Carl Barks story "The Firebug". When another pyromaniac menaces the city, Donald helps bust him to prove that he's the only true "firebug" in town — and then gets himself thrown into jail as well after lighting a fire in the judge's trash can.
  • Judge Dredd: Judge Fire, one of the Dark Judges, is a skeletal Hanging Judge wreathed in flames. He gained his powers because he preferred burning people alive as the means of execution, starting with a primary school that he burned to the ground for "noise violations".
  • Mega Man: In Issue #3, in response to that issue's Drunk on the Dark Side plotline, Roll wonders how she would react to having all that power. Rock then goes into an Imagine Spot where Roll sees a dirty room, then pulls out Fire Man's weapon, declaring Fire is the ultimate cleanser!.
  • Viz parodies this in strips featuring boy band Busted as pyromaniacs/arsonists who set anything on fire "for a laugh".
  • X-Men: Pyro is sometimes portrayed as a pyromaniac, like in X-Men: Evolution and the live-action films.

    Fan Works 
  • The Kiryuin family in Natural Selection show traits of this seeing as their favorite method of destruction involves burning things to the ground. Ryuko set fire to the Honnouji slums twice over in a fit of rage and Ragyo burned down the hospital she was born at as well as several rival companies that offended her sensibilities.
  • Pyro Goblin, the Starter Villain for Optimus and Sari in TFA Kaleidoscope, fits the bill. Besides the name, she's absolutely obsessed with fire and burning things alive. She's also a Mad Artist who views burning things to ash as some form of art.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame: Judge Frollo exhibits pyromaniac tendencies — including a number of references to the fiery pit of Hell — and is often preoccupied with burning down buildings.
  • In The Lion King II: Simba's Pride, it's obvious that Nuka has issues even before his "WHOO, FIRE!" outburst.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Alone in the Dark (1982): One of the main villains was a preacher who liked to burn churches with people in them before he was put into a mental institute.
  • Backdraft: Ronald Bartel.
  • In Big Bully, David's childhood friend Ulf, who liked to play with fire, ironically grew up to become a firefighter. He still displays some of his old habits, like when he entertains some schoolkids at a safety drill by lighting his own arm on fire.
  • The Car: Road to Revenge: Ash has a flamethrower built into her arm and loves to watch things burn.
  • In The Crime Doctor's Strangest Case, Mallory Cartwright admits to being 'careless with matches' and has a habit of setting fire to things; including, at the end of the movie, a police car.
  • The Crow: Top Dollar is a crime lord who institutionalized the yearly arsons of Devil's Night that plague Detroit by starting the first fires and then expanding the idea each year while reaping profits on the side. At a conference between the major gang leaders he announces that he's grown bored of it all, and to top himself declares that he's going to burn down the whole city purely for his own amusement.
  • Don't Go in the House: The killer was repeatedly burned by his abusive mother as a child, and after she died, he snapped and began channeling the rage he felt towards her on random women, who he would burn to death in his home (hence the title) with a flamethrower while wearing a fireproof suit.
  • Four Brothers: Bobby Mercer. He burned down his brother's treehouse when they were younger and threatens to burn a member of the city council alive. The aforementioned brother is also afraid that Bobby will burn down his new house too.
  • The Long, Hot Summer: Ben Quick is accused of being a "barn burner". A Southern term and phenomenon, it means someone who will exact revenge for a real or perceived injustice or slight by setting fire to his antagonist's barn, or to another outbuilding if the barn isn't accessible.
  • In The Gravedancers, Sid is haunted by the ghost a child pyromaniac who was responsible for the housefire that killed his entire family. As a ghost, he possesses pyrokinetic powers.
  • Not Our Son, a Biopic of serial arsonist-killer Paul Kenneth Keller, starring Neil Patrick Harris.
  • The Old Dark House (1932): Saul, who is kept locked in the attic so he won't burn down the eponymous house.
  • Point Of Origin, a Biopic about the prolific arsonist and mass murderer John Leonard Orr.
  • Submarine: Jordana loves setting things on fire, and many of her dates with Oliver involve doing so. She always dresses in red to highlight this. Unlike many examples of the trope, she's not insane or especially dangerous, merely sort of a jerk, and Oliver treats her pyromania as a quirk that proves she's not too gooey.
  • Super 8: Cary constantly totes a satchel of fireworks, blows things up at random intervals, and builds his own M80s. Lampshaded when Charles chews him out about his extreme obsession with fireworks.
  • Tales of Halloween: Alice in "The Weak and the Wicked" likes to burn things. When first encountered she about to burn the lost trick-or-treater with her cigar; she later douses the Stranger in high-proof alcohol and tries to light him up; and a flashback shows that, as a child, she killed the Stranger's parents by burning down their caravan with them inside.
  • Tiger House: Callum is sent to fetch bleach and cloth to wipe down Mark's room to remove all trace of Shane's blood. Instead, Callum returns with petrol cans and announces the best way to remove all trace is to burn the room. Shane remarks that Callum has always been a little too fond of setting fire to things.

  • Adrian Mole: In The Cappucino Years, Adrian's house is burned down by his sons' pyromaniac tutor, Eleanor.
  • The Bagthorpe Saga: Daisy Parker may well be the youngest ever pyromaniac. She started at the age of four and has since solidified her reputation as an all-round Holy Terror.
  • Books of Bayern: Fire-speakers are compelled by their powers to burn bigger and hotter flames, and unless the speaker has proper training they will burn themselves to death following the voice of fire. The temptation grows stronger the more skilled a fire-speaker is, and even those with the discipline to resist will eventually be consumed anyway by their own power. The only hope is to learn a language opposite of fire, like wind or water, to temper it. A rebellious captain seeks to use fire-speaking in war, but his men are so poorly-trained that they incinerate themselves before they even see battle.
  • Circle of Magic: Ben Ladradun. Originally he was just setting small, careful fires to impress on his city the need for a fire brigade, and later to test the fire fighters. Then he accidentally killed someone, and the thrill of it drove him to start burning populated buildings.
  • Edenborn: Deuce is fascinated by fire. He designs his IVR domain around volcanos and flames, keeps a number of lighters on him at all times, and practices a form of fortunetelling based on how objects burn.
  • The Fire Raiser, by New Zealand author Maurice Gee, is about a group of kids tracking down the title character during World War I. Later made into a Mini Series.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' book 2 (Winner Takes All), Roxanne, one of the mercenaries hired by Hardcastle, loves setting random fires for the fun of it.
  • Gaunt's Ghosts: Brostin. In his civilian life before the destruction of Tanith, he was a firefighter and also an arsonist. After the Founding, he was aptly assigned as a flametrooper. Whenever Brostin uses his weapon or witnesses a fire, he is shown drawing personal satisfaction from it. And he's a chainsmoker too. His smoking habit is half "safe" release, half Addiction Displacement; it gets a lot stronger when he can't or shouldn't be lighting everything on fire.
  • Haunted (1988): As it turns out , Christina was one of these and set fire to the house when she and her brothers were inside. None of them survived.
  • Hidden Talents: Torchie often starts small fires in his room, at meals and even in the middle of lessons. He also carries around half a dozen lighters with him so he can watch the sparks. His fire-starting is actually due to Power Incontinence rather than pyromania, but that still doesn't explain all the lighters.
  • Jason X: To the Third Power: Blister.
  • My Sister's Keeper: Jesse. The ironic part is that his father is a fire fighter.
  • The One Who Started Fires: The title character, a young girl, sets a large number of fires, and kills over a hundred people.
  • Parable of the Sower: Taking place in a dystopian future with social chaos, a new drug is on the street that causes consumers to become pyromaniacs who experience sexual release — or something Better Than Sex, seemingly — when watching fire.
  • The Pilo Family Circus: Mugabo the Magician. A sorcerer with a talent for fire magic, his pyromania doesn't emerge until his Freak Out at the end of the book, where it manifests as a voice urging him to turn the showground black and orange.
  • The Radix: Erich Metzger's assistant, Franca. We only see her in one scene (where she's burning his victim's house) and know she's this from his lone remark.
  • Ripliad: Tom Ripley is an unusually calm example of this. Because his parents died of drowning, he has something of a phobia of water and a corresponding comfort with fire. Thus, he feels really good in one book when he torches some mobsters' car with the occupants still inside.
  • A Series of Unfortunate Events:
    • Count Olaf really likes to burn houses down and enjoys it even more if there is someone inside.
    • He also doesn't mind the occasional hospital full of children.
  • Stephen King:
    • Firestarter: Charlie the pyrokinetic, surprisingly enough, avoids the trope, due to her father willfully traumatizing her at a very young age precisely to avoid it.
    • 'Salem's Lot: The big town fire in 1951 had been deliberately set by a local teenage boy.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • This is something of recurring issue among Targaryens, who are often fascinated by normal fire, dragonfire and/or wildfire to worrying degrees. It has to be said that most have been able to handle it in a socially acceptable manner when they have been bitten by the firebug, crises notwithstanding. Then you get the few nutjobs, like Aerys, who go overboard at the stupidest times.
      • The Dance of the Dragons was an exceptional display of the family breaking out the pretty, pretty flames at the least provocation across the board, no matter if they were Black or Green. (Take-home lesson: MAD doesn't work when many of those with the nukes secretly, and deep-down, just really enjoy seeing them explode, and will unconsciously lean towards taking the opportunity to let loose when it comes up.)
      • Aerys Targaryen, the Mad King, eventually became a full-fledged pyromaniac. Jamie reveals in book four that the king, in the later years of his marriage, was generally "uninterested" in the queen except for on days when he'd seen someone burned to death in front in him.
    • Speaking of Targaryen kings and wildfire... that which connects them all is the Guild of Alchemists: Targaryen kings who heavily promoted their work, especially the creation of the deadly and unstable wildfire, were then facilitated in kind by the Guild, occasionally eclipsing the influence of the Order of Maesters at court. All members of the Guild we've heard of or met seem to love seeing their wildfire concoction getting used just a little bit too much.
    • The Red Priests can get in on this action, although most seem to be more pragmatic in their (very liberal) use of fire than you'd typically expect for the trope. After all, fire is their god: frivolous use just for your own jollies would probably get higher temple officials to frown at you and cut you down to size, pronto. Followers they egg on to heights of worrying "devotion", however... they get a pass.
  • The Stand: Trashcan Man, who got his name due to lighting trashcans on fire at his school.
  • The Squad: Lucy. She even judges the quality of alcohol by how flammable it is.
  • Worm has Burnscar, a pyrokinetic who becomes more mentally unstable the more she uses her power.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Barney Miller: There's a serial arsonist setting fires throughout the neighborhood. Hapless liquor store owner Mr. Cotterman decides to torch his place for the insurance money, letting the arsonist take the blame, but as luck would have it just as he comes to the squad room (to set up his alibi for when the fire is scheduled to start) he finds out that they just caught the arsonist.
  • Blue Heelers had a special two part episode at the start of the 2003 season in memory of the horror bushfires that summer. All the fires were caused by a pyro.
  • The Closer has Bill Croelick, a very creepy pyromaniac, as a Recurring Character; it's mentioned that he's sexually aroused by the smell of burning flesh, and he repeatedly comments on the ways to make people go up in flames. He's not the culprit in either of his appearances (though it's heavily implied that he did set a girlfriend on fire years ago, but due to witness death the verdict at trial was Not Guilty), and even helps Priority Homicide find the culprit both times with his knowledge of fires.
  • Criminal Minds: A number of unsubs have been pyromaniacs, notably the unsub in "Ashes and Dust". It was subverted in "Compulsion", where the unsub was revealed not to be an arsonist, but to suffer from scrupulosity, an extreme form of OCD.
  • CSI has a somewhat sympathetic and restrained pyromaniac. When the team's investigating an arson case that killed a teenager, one of the suspects is a woman with a history of pyromania. She reveals to Nick that she controls her urges by burning her junk mail in the fireplace. She's not the culprit.
  • CSI: NY had two of them in the two part season 9 opener. They suspect a convicted arsonist/pyro is behind a fire which contained a booby trap that killed a firefighter; he insists he didn't do it (supported by the fact he only started fires which did property damage and went out of his way to avoid killing anyone) and offers to help. It turns out the real killer was an investigator who learned a lot from him from interviews and got obsessed with him (and maybe became a pyromaniac herself). However, at the end of the episode he suffers a relapse in the next part...after being jailed for taking revenge on the people who hurt him as a kid, he is seen using his glasses as an improvised magnifying glass to start a fire in a paperback book in his cell.
  • Deadliest Catch: Edgar Hansen enjoys fire a little too much. He created the Northwestern's "flaming last hook" ritual and one year during the ritual lit himself and the crab table on fire. Other times he torments crew members with a Aerosol Flamethrower.
  • Dexter: Lila, in Season 2, was a serial arsonist. When she blew up the cabin with Doakes inside, she told Dexter the explosion was "brilliant". She then tried to kill Dexter, Astor, and Cody by lighting her apartment on fire.
  • Doctor Who: The Seventh Doctor's companion Ace had a love of fire and improvised explosives that was unhealthy enough to get her expelled from school in London and arrested on arson charges, but came in handy when Seven needed a distraction or destruction.
    Seventh Doctor: I don't believe you've met my young friend Ace, an expert in calorification,†  incineration,§  carbonization,º  and inflammation.‡ 
  • Fire has the platoon and the arson squad trying to chase down a pyromaniac who has been lighting fires for over a year. It turns out that one of them is the pyro, discovered when a trap he sets kills a firefighter.
  • Firefly: Jubal Early is a bounty hunter who tries to capture River Tam but finds it more difficult to extract her from the ship than he had anticipated. He compares her to his most troublesome previous bounty, a pyromaniac midget: "...little man loved fire."
  • Game of Thrones:
    • This appears to be a genetic trait among the Targaryens, many of whom have an obsession with heat or fire and (sometimes correctly) believe themselves immune to it. They also have a fixation on lost dragons. Aerys Targaryen's last words were "Burn them all." Also, that's how he killed Ned's father. Since he did not have dragons, he decided the next best thing was burning people so he could pretend to be one.
    • During the wildfire explosion in "Blackwater", everyone looks horrified except Pyromancer Hallyne, who's giggling.
  • Hunter: A season 1 episode features a villain who uses a flame thrower to set various buildings on fire, with a backstory of burning civilians in the Vietnam War.
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: An arson suspect from is a pyro. Stabler takes advantage of this while Perp Sweating him.
  • In Living Color!: Jim Carrey's "Fire Marshal Bill".
  • Lock, Stock...: Lee's uncle, nicknamed Firebug. He threatens to set fire to anyone who pisses him off, frequently sets fire to people's clothing and property, and apparently carries a lighter and can of WD-40 with him at all times.
  • MythBusters: The titular Mythbusters are self-professed pyromaniacs as they absolutely love to light things ablaze and blow stuff up. Thankfully they channel it For Science!
    "The only thing that separates us from a couple 14-year-old pyromaniacs is ballistic glass."
  • Paramedic Leslie Shay is killed in a fire set by a serial arsonist in an episode of Chicago Fire. The murder investigation crosses over into Chicago P.D..
  • New Tricks: In "Where There's Smoke", the team investigate the death of a London Gangster in a suspicious pub fire. Initially convinced that the fire was set to kill the gangster, Brian realises that it is almost impossible to reliably start a fire in the method that the arsonist used unless you are very practiced. He discovers that the fire was actually the work of a serial arsonist, and the deaths were incidental. The serial arsonist turns out to be a retired Metrpolitan Fire Brigade fire investigator, who had responsibility for investigating his own arsons.
  • Thumb Wrestling Federation has N Fuego, who can set fires by dancing.
  • In the The X-Files episode "Fire", the Monster of the Week is an Irish arsonist who targets British aristocrats and has a thing for their wives. He embodies several fire tropes.

  • "John Orr The Arsonist" by And Then There Were None is about the real-world serial arsonist of the same name.
  • The Crazy World of Arthur Brown's "Fire", complete with blazing pyrotechnical effects and flame-shooting mask.
  • Blue Öyster Cult's Spy In The House Of The Night is about a pyromaniac who gets his kicks from being normal on the outside, but a secret arsonist by night. Tellingly it's also a Shout-Out to The Doors song The Spy In The House Of Love about a sexual voyeur.
  • Cascada has a song called "Pyromania."
  • The Dead Milkmen song "If You Love Somebody, Set Them on Fire" is all about a pyromaniac, and even begins with the sound of a match being lit.
  • Lampshaded by Def Leppard in Rock of Ages and of course Pyromania, the album it's from. The cover art depicts a cross-hair pointing at a burning building, which strongly implies the viewpoint of a rocket launcher that's just been fired.
  • In "Lament for a Toy Factory", Doctor Steel sings about burning down the toy factory that fired him with "gasoline-filled Super Soakers."
  • The song "Raze" by Exodus starts with this lovely bit:
    Let's start a fire, biggest one you've ever seen,
    You bring the matches, I'll bring the gasoline,
    Ignite it, delight it, the flames grow higher,
    Burn the world upon a funeral pyre!
  • "Arsonist's Lullabye" by Hozier is sung from the perspective of a pyromaniac who seemingly finds peace when he falls in love, only to conclude:
    But my peace has always depended
    On all the ashes in my wake
  • "The City Sleeps" by MC 900ft Jesus is about an arsonist who lights fires to get a spiritual thrill.
  • The narrator of "Psalms 40:2" by the Mountain Goats is a pyromaniac seeking a meaningful connection with God through setting fires.
  • The Offspring song "Burn It Up".
    I wanna burn it up. Yeah, I'm a pyro.
  • "Firestarter" from The Fat of the Land by The Prodigy was controversial to some people because they felt it would glorify fire vandalism.
  • Till Lindemann of Rammstein loves fire and is a certified pyrotechnics expert.
    • He even had the entire band be trained in pyrotechnics so they can put even more fire and flamethrowers on the stage as they perform.
    • The song "Feuer Frei" means "fire at will", "Benzin" is "gasoline". There's also "Mein Herz brennt" (my heart is burning), "Sonne" (sun), "Wollt ihr das Bett in Flammen sehen" (do you want to see the bed on fire), "Feuer und Wasser" (fire and water). "Asche zu Asche" (ash to ash) is about being burnt at the stake. Even the band's name is a reference to an air show disaster which is famous for the video footage of a huge fireball of a plane crashing into a crowd of spectators.
    • Though he apparently really got into the pyrotechnics to distract the audience while he's singing since he's nervous performing in front of people.
  • From Tom Lehrer's "My Home Town", from Songs by Tom Lehrer:
    I remember Sam!
    He was the village idiot
    And though it seems a pity, it
    Was so
    He liked to burn down houses just to watch them glow
    And nothing could be done
    Because he was the mayor's son.
  • Whiplash's "Burning of Atlanta", which is about some pyromaniac setting Atlanta on fire.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: This is canonically one of the primary reasons a Mechwarrior would choose to pilot a Firestarter, a design which is so niche in its utility that it is of little strategic use when rampant use of incendiaries is not called for, outside of impromptu scout or picket duty. The number of Firestarter pilots whose mini-biographies include phrases like "morbid fascination with fire" is almost excessive, and at the very least constitutes a plurality of printed bios for the design's pilots. The rather low sadism-to-efficiency ratio of choosing to burn enemy infantry alive as opposed to just using a machine gun probably doesn't help the mech's reputation as vehicle of choice for the kind of mechwarrior who got kicked out of most of the reputable companies for enjoying themselves a bit too much.
  • Champions has a few villains like this, including Blowtorch and Firebug.
  • Dungeons & Dragons had the Pyrokineticist Prestige Class. One of the qualifications? You had to have set a significantly-sized building on fire just to watch it burn.
  • Feng Shui: Quite a lot of Jammers are pyromaniacs as well as bomb-happy. They're usually the ones with the cyber-mounted flamethrowers.
  • Games Workshop games:
    • Warhammer:
      • The Bright Order — the College of Magic which specializes in fire magic — is something of a subversion. Aqshy, the Wind of Fire, tends to inspire rampant pyromania in human wizards who use it regularly, so a significant part of a Bright Wizard's training is dedicated to resisting the pyromaniac urge that might overtake him.
      • The Skaven of Clan Volkn, which lives within the volcano of Fire Mountain, have a decidedly unhealthy fasciation with fire and the setting thereof, and is particularly known for its prosperity for using large number of warpfire throwers in battle.
    • Warhammer 40,000:
      • Each and every Ork Burna Boy, and most Skorcha gunners, at least to the degree that orks can be called "mentally ill" by human standards. Orks will happily kill each other for their equipment or their position in the hierarchy, but skorcha wielders are considered unhinged because they will set orks on fire just to see them "do the burny dance". The Arch-Arsonist of Charadon, an Ork warlord, measures his success in worlds burned. Orks do not do things by halves (well, except people anyway).
      • As cleansing fire is quite effective as a demonstration of what happens when you turn to Chaos, many Inquisition-affiliated factions have people who are living the dream of setting things on fire and getting rewarded for it. The Sisters of Battle are a playable faction particularly infamous for it given that they're known for being highly fanatical and their rules in simple terms allow for a lot of flame weapons to end up on their side of the battlefield.
      • The Salamanders chapter of the Space Marines are from a volcanic planet with a constantly shifting gravity, generally have had rules boosting the effectiveness of their flame-based weapons, and their culture even includes numerous very intensive rituals for deaths, mostly involving cremation. Pyromania jokes just write themselves from there.
      • The Fire Lords chapter of the Space Marines has something of an obsession with flame, and makes heavy use of flamer weapons and incendiary missiles during battle.
    • Warhammer: Age of Sigmar:
      • The Daemons of the Eternal Conflagration are renowned for their specialization in, and obsession with, the use of fire and the convocation includes more Flamers of Tzeentch than any others. Led by a Lord of Change known as the Radiant Lord, Tzeentch turns to the Eternal Conflagration when the god of magic feels the time for subtlety is at an end and those who stand in the way of his goals, and everything else in the vicinity, needs to be reduced to ashes.
      • The members of the Pyrophane Cult are obsessed with the wyrdflame, believing that true glory lies in fiery destruction. Members of the Cult revel in the use of sorcerous fire to burn everyone who stands against them and their dark god blesses them for bringing corrupting flame to his enemies.
    • Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: Pyromania (called "Firebug") is a mental disorder that forces the character to roll willpower whenever given a chance to start a fire (which is surprisingly often) and gives Fellowship penalties from depression whenever the character isn't setting fire to stuff. Most characters who acquire it tend to live short, interesting lives before being put down by law enforcement or their fellow party members after setting fire to something they really shouldn't. And if the party Red Wizard ever gets it, run. Run like your pants are on fire, which they will be shortly if you do not.
  • In GURPS having Pyromania forces you to make a self control roll every time the opportunity to light something on fire pops up.
  • In Nomine Belial, Demon Prince of Fire literally is this trope. His demonic minions aren't bad at following in his footsteps either, especially his Calabim.
  • Pathfinder: Elananxes are cruel catlike fey with a close affinity to fire — they are immune to fire damage themselves and their bites are inherently fiery — and these two things combined lead them to have an intense love of wildfires, which they often start themselves, as they greatly enjoy both watching the flickering of the flames and the suffering of other creatures caught in the fire.

  • In Cosi, by Louis Nowra, one of the inmates of the mental asylum is a pyromaniac who was institutionalized after setting his mother's cat on fire. He asserts that it would all have been fine if his mother hadn't inadvertantly let the flaming feline into the house when she came out to see what the noise was, resulting in the whole building burning down.

  • The BIONICLE fandom likes to joke about Tahu possibly being one of these. ("BURN STUFF!" became a popular meme at one point.) Occasionally referenced in the canon:
    Tahu: What do you have in mind, and does it include explosions?

    Video Games 
  • Arcanum: You can play one. While it's one of the lamer character backgrounds (the bonus is rather useless when you intend to specialise in Explosives anyway), the description is just lovely:
    You like fire. No, you LOVE fire! Fire fire fire! You were always picked on as a kid for being scrawny (-1 Strength and -1 Constitution) but you showed them! You studied explosives (+ 20 Expertise) and you burned their homes! Burned them to the ground! Ha ha! Then you ran away from home and snuck aboard the IFS Zephyr, which seemed highly flammable and an excellent target. You probably would have torched the zeppelin if it hadn't been shot down.
  • Battlerite: Ashka loves burning his enemies with his powers.
  • Borderlands:
    • Borderlands 2:
      • Krieg becomes one if you put points into his "Hellborn" skill tree.
      • Many psychos from both games exhibit pyromaniacal tendencies. In the second game, there's a cult of psychos who worship the Firehawk (aka Lilith) and are completely obsessed with fire.
      • Pyro Pete, from the "Mr. Torgue's Campaign of Carnage" DLC. As Torgue himself helpfully points out, "HIS GIMMICK IS THAT HE REALLY LIKES FIRE". In his case, it's implied that his pyromania and psychotic behavior is all just kayfabe.
    • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!: Flame Knuckle appears in a flamethrower-equipped power suit and attacks you with incendiary weapons when it's destroyed.
      Flame Knuckle: "Be cleansed with heat!"
      Jack: Man. That guy REALLY likes fire.
  • Call of Duty: World at War has Doctor Richtofen as a character from the Nazi Zombies DLC. Out of the group of four sociopath soldiers who make up the playable characters, Richtofen is the most unhinged. Whenever a nuke powerup is detonated he will shout "Watch, watch the BEAUTIFUL FIRE!!" very enthusiastically.
  • Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars: Flame Tank pilots are... very enthusiastic about their role.
    • If reselected while in the middle of salvo, their responses include "Yes... YES!" and "It's beautiful..."
    • When they are told to attack an enemy, they shout "PURGE THEM WITH FIRE, PURIFY THEM!" and "UNLEASH THE GLORY OF THE FLAME!"
  • Dead Rising: Paul Carson, who enjoys carrying molotov cocktails in a zombie-infested mall. He is a psychopath you face when he corners two women but upon defeating him, he trips and light his own balls. You can save him and he can give you some molotov cocktails.
  • Don't Starve: Willow is also known as "The Firestarter", and for good reason. She regenerates Sanity from being near fires, but also has lower maximum Sanity and will automatically and randomly start fires with the lighter she carries if her Sanity gets low. On top of this, most of the time when you have her inspect an object, she'll contemplate how flammable it is.
  • Dynasty Warriors: Zhu Ran was best known for carrying out the fire attack in the battle of Yiling. He was made playable starting with Dynasty Warriors 8: Xtreme Legends, and - unsurprisingly - his moveset revolves around using a flaming bow to set his enemies ablaze. He's very eager to carry out his historical orders at Yiling - "Just thinking about it gets me all worked up!"
  • Fallout:
  • Final Fantasy VI: Kefka Palazzo commits most of his atrocities using fire. For starters, he has a brainwashed Terra burn fifty of the Gestahlian Empire's finest soldiers alive, he torches Castle Figaro to persuade Edgar to hand over Terra, he has Thamasa burned to the ground (to which he explicitly states "This little Hamlet has too much "boring" and not enough "burning." Burn it to the ground!"), it was heavily implied that his misaligning the Warring Triad also resulted in several fires on the planet, and don't forget his frequent use of the Light of Judgment which kills people by incinerating them after his ascension to Godhood.
  • Fire Emblem Awakening has a minor case with Frederick, who manages his obsession by limiting himself to lighting campfires.
  • Gears of War 2: It's implied that Delta squad rookie Ben Carmine is somewhat pyromaniacal, with Marcus and Dom remarking on his love of fire and how he was always talking about it. This is reinforced by his multiplayer lines when he picks up and uses a flamethrower ("AHAHAHA, burn, bitch!")
  • Guild of Dungeoneering: The Pyromaniac Battle Scar starts with the character learning some level one fire magic, and ends with them regularly setting themselves on fire.
  • Halo Wars: The UNSC Flamethrower Marines are described as "pyromaniacs to the core" and their in-game combat chatter backs it up, with the Marines shouting things like "I can't believe I get paid to do this!" The Halo encyclopedia released in 2011 gives a large dose of realism, saying that anyone who used a flamethrower in active service is prescribed psychological assessment immediately afterwards.
  • League of Legends:
    • Annie — setting things on fire is pretty much her MO. She also has a flaming bear for a pet that she summons for more burning of her enemies.
    • Brand's visual design, backstory and even name all revolve around fire, in addition to every single one of his abilities and most of his dialogue. In fact, he takes the obsessive, murderous compulsions of pyromania to the absolute extreme; His sole purpose for existing is to Set the World on Fire, and when chosen in the Champion select he asks if the player is ready to do just that.
  • Link from The Legend of Zelda has always had a thing for bombs, and the original The Legend of Zelda was the only game in the series (until the Oracle games) that required you to start several forest fires in order to progress, especially if you didn't have a guide telling you where to burn.
  • While at the Ason Desk in L.A. Noire, Cole Phelps investigates several arson cases and runs into firebug Herbert Chapman, who has a history of starting fires for entertainment.
  • Marathon: Durandal's description for the TOZT-7 Backpack Napalm Unit is as follows:
    I don't believe it is necessary for me to state the personality disorders evident in an individual who enjoys, or more accurately revels, in spraying their enemies with flaming napalm aerosol.
  • Mega Man:
    • Mega Man & Bass: Burner Man. It was what he was created for, for Asimov's sake!
    • Mega Man Powered Up makes Fire Man this. Just about every single line is him screaming "FIIIIIIIIRE!" at the beginning or end of it.
  • Mega Man Battle Network: Mr. Match's entire schtick is setting things on fire, which he relishes even after leaving WWW. Of course, he barely holds a candle to the fire-themed NetNavis he operates throughout the series. He has a new one in every game, and each one is swathed with flames and at least as manic about fire as the man himself.
  • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater: The Fury was an astronaut who was burned over all of his body from an accident while on a mission, and became unable to feel pain. During this experience, he saw the Earth obscured by a wall of fire, and subsequently became obsessed over this vision of the Earth in flames. Most likely from some form of PTSD, he turned into a psychotic pyromaniac, and sought to burn all of his enemies with his powerful flamethrower.
  • One Piece Mansion: Durian sets rooms on fire, making them explode from the tenant's stress.
  • Planescape: Torment: Ignus. He's perpetually on fire, due to a portal to the Plane of Fire being opened inside his body. It was his poorly chosen punishment for trying to burn Sigil to the ground.
  • Psychonauts:
    • Phoebe has some... issues with starting fires. She occasionally has psychic "outbursts..." While Played for Laughs, in some ways she's a more realistic example than most on this page—she's a nice, generally level-headed person, with her pyromania presented as a bad habit that she's trying to break.
    • Raz will start having urges too. "Oops, sorry bird." When you continue to torch innocent woodland creatures, Raz will lampshade this sadism.
  • Rimworld: Colonists with the "Pyromaniac" trait have a chance to start fires in anytime, and will almost always light things on fire during a mental break. They can feel good by having an incendiary weapon, but they can never extinguish fires.
  • Sacrifice: Most of Pyro's proles.
    Flame Minion: Fire? Fire! Heeheehee! Fire! Hahahaha!
  • Scribblenauts: Spawn a Pyro and he burns down anything possible.
  • The Sims 3: A trait that, ironically, is only found in natural children of NPC firefighters. They can set things on fire, turn fruits into flame fruit, and survive longer while on fire.
  • Sly Cooper and the Thievius Raccoonus: Sly calls the Panda King one when he threatens to bury a village in snow with fireworks. He does this again in the third game, but this make the Panda King angrier.
  • Starcraft:
    Firebat: "Let's burn."
    • The sequel adds a helpful description text to the firebat in the campaign, claiming that the rate of pyromania in firebat recruits is 'only' around 70% and that recruits tend to be drawn from prisoners with arson sentences. That's a lot of fire-starting crazies...
  • Suikoden: Several villains, like the psychotic Black Knight Yuber and the more psychotic Luca Blight.
  • Syphon Filter: The French Mercenary uses a flamethrower. You use it to your advantage — he's slow to turn, and his flamethrower isn't very fireproof.
  • Team Fortress 2: The Pyro. Apart from the fact that most of their weaponry causes people to be set on fire, the game makes it very clear that the Pyro takes delight in starting said fires: About the only intelligible things the Pyro can utter are a maniacal laughter made when using the flamethrower & the occasional "ouch" when getting hit by something. In the Meet The Team shorts and Valve comics, even when not burning their enemies alive, The Pyro will idly play with their lighter and torch whatever they happen to have on hand. And while according to "Meet the Pyro", they seem to think all this fire does something else, the comics have shown that even then they've got a pretty damn strong affection of burning stuff.
  • Town of Salem: The Arsonist simply wants everyone to burn. They can visit a player to douse them in gasoline, and at night they have the option to ignite the doused players. Since being ignited will kill the victim no matter what, the Arsonist can rack up a high kill count if they are not dealt with quickly.
  • Touhou Project: Mononobe no Futo enjoys setting things on fire when she's feeling scared or simply emotional, such as when she was deeply moved by a thought she had and decided she had to burn something. In Hopeless Masquerade her Last Word is to set the entire stage on fire, which causes continuous damage to the opponent. The whole thing is a Historical In-Joke about the person she's based on's involvement in the burning of Buddhist temples during a religious war.
  • World of Warcraft's Fire mages. Indeed, one of their talents pre-Mists of Pandaria was named "Pyromania". It also bleeds into their gameplay; whereas Arcane mages draw their power from their mana supply (representative of the great mysteries of magic) and Frost mages' spells are strengthened by the debilitating effects on their enemies, Fire mages are mostly empowered by internal procs, representing the sheer rush of successfully lighting everything on fire.

  • Another Gaming Comic features the fire-obsessed Nuclear Dan, who dissects every gaming system he comes across to master its use of fire and explosives. His standard reaction to any provocation is to cast Fireball, usually centered on himself.
  • The Black Brick Road of O.Z.'s rotten scarecrows (and apparently Straw Shawn too, if to a lesser extent) enjoy settings things like people's houses on fire. And, being scarecrows, they themselves are made of highly flammable materials!
  • Blade Bunny: After much speculation as to why a robot of all things had made itself a campfire, someone asked him in-comic. He replied that he just likes watching things burn.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Flame Princess sometimes can't control her natural desire to burn things and is prone to going on fiery rampages.
  • Archer: Cheryl Tunt noticeably likes to set fires, mostly in trash cans, and likes to watch fire burn. In two Noodle Incidents, she watched a dumpster fire and wanted to wander around town hoping to find a fire to watch. In one episode, she and Pam also had dates with firemen and it can be assumed she was attracted mostly by his profession. In a flashback, her brother reveals she set their gazebo on fire when she was a little girl, probably around seven or eight. In short, she's fascinated by fire and has a bunch of other stuff wrong with her, making her a rare realistic example of this trope. The series also eventually confirmed/acknowledged she was mentally ill when her brother Cecil tried to get conservatorship over her, though nothing really changed due to subsequent seasons constantly changing their theme and it'd be terribly inconvenient if Cheryl were institutionalized.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Subverted. Quite a few of the more psychotic firebenders seem way too happy to burn things. However, it's later explained that firebending is fueled by rage except for Aang, Zuko, and Iroh, who fuel it with energy and passion and those who enjoy it don't enjoy fire as much as they enjoy the result.
  • Beast Wars brings us Inferno. His mindset can be described as: "Burn! BURN FOR THE ROYALTY! BUUURRRRRNNNNN, MAXIMALS!!! AAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!"
  • Beavis and Butt-Head: Beavis. "FIRE! FIRE!" At least until the Moral Guardians took notice. Allegedly, a young boy burned down his house after watching Beavis and Butt-Head... even though his house didn't have cable, meaning that they couldn't watch the show. In the revival, Beavis is allowed to say "FIRE! FIRE!" again.
  • Biker Mice from Mars: In the 2006 revival, the episode "Biker Mice Down Under" has Ronaldo Rump hire a reptilian villain named Flare to do away with Stoker. Flare happens to have flamethrowers built into his gloves and is shown to have a fixation on using his flamethrowers to burn Stoker and the Biker Mice to death.
  • G.I. Joe: Renegades: Firefly Not only a dedicated pyro, he is also known to talk to the fires he starts as one might talk to their lover. Or he'll talk about the fires in a religious context. The guy is completely bat-shit insane.
  • King of the Hill: Joseph, from the later episodes. Whenever he and Bobby find something he almost always suggests that they burn it. In an episode when Bobby is a guidance counselor for girls with problems, Joseph at one point bursts in to say "I have these strange desires to burn things" and in another when a TV crew working for Dusty Hill of ZZ Top is filming at the Hill's house, they tell the neighborhood that there's buried treasure in Hank's lawn and Joseph pours gasoline and lights it with a lighter.
  • The Lion Guard: Mzingo the Vulture just enjoys dropping torches and setting the Pride Lands on fire.
  • Samurai Jack: Aku plays this trope in the darkest way possible. He's a monstrous arsonist who enjoys destruction and murder purely for its own sake.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Played for Laughs with Sea Hawk, who has a habit of setting his own ships on fire at the drop of a hat. It's one of many reasons that Mermista broke up with him. He claims that where he's from this was seen as nothing but a fun quirk.
    • In a later episode, after dealing with the many people after Sea Hawk because he set their ships on fire, they run into someone mad that Mermista set one of their boats on fire. She sheepishly says she just wanted to see what it was like.
  • The Simpsons:
    • Ralph Wiggum has shown signs of pyromania on a couple of occasions. He shows Bart the place where he claims to have seen a leprechaun, who told him to burn things. When asked by a fire safety man if he was going to start any fires, he replies that "at my house, we call them uh-ohs". In The Simpsons: Road Rage, he'll also spout out the "the leprechaun tells me to burn things!" line when you pick him up.
    • Reverend Lovejoy is also implied to have these tendencies, such as his being overenthusiastic towards a burning as well as buying a van whose sole purpose is to burn books. In one episode it is implied that he had burned down a previous church of his.
  • Total Drama: Izzy was the first member of the team to successfully start a fire with a massive explosion while laughing like a lunatic and we later found out she burned down the mess hall at her military camp.

    Real Life 
  • Let's just say that Real Life pyromania is very much a case of Truth in Television and leave it at that. The main difference is that real life pyromania comes in varying degrees of severity (like all mental illnesses); some people merely like fires too much, but can control their compulsions most of the time, while others are the arsonists and killers you hear about on the news and in mental hospitals.
  • Oddly enough, serial arsonists frequently tend not to be pyromaniacs. Rather than deriving any particular thrill from the fire itself, many of them get off instead on the sense of power and control they get from having provoked a response (i.e. firefighters and their equipment, police, news coverage, evacuations, etc.) to the fires they set, and of having caused destruction and/or death. For this reason, serial arsonists are often likened to rapists, due to the similar mentality. Whether the true pyromaniac is more or less dangerous is a matter of opinion.
    • Notorious California arsonist John Orr (the subject of the above-mentioned Point of Origin) is not considered a true pyromaniac for this reason. Orr applied for positions with numerous police departments around Los Angeles County, but was rejected by all of them. He eventually was hired by the Glendale Fire Department, and exhibited an apparent knack for fire cause investigation, eventually becoming the city's lead arson investigator. Though sometimes stumped, he frequently zeroed right in on the origins of arson fires, piecing together detailed descriptions of the arson devices and how they were used from barely any evidence. One such incident was a fire in a hardware store in 1984 that killed four people, including a two-year-old boy and his grandmother. Initially thought to have been an electrical fire, Orr took over the investigation, insisting that it was arson, and traced the fire to an (almost completely destroyed) improvised incendiary device planted on a shelf full of polyurethane varnish. Orr was arrested by the BATF in 1991, after a four-year investigation by them and the Los Angeles County and Bakersfield Fire Departments. It turns out that Orr's uncanny ability to locate and identify evidence of arson was because he was the arsonist, with BATF linking him to over 2,000 fires, including the hardware store. Orr is considered a sociopath and narcissist, and was evidently motivated by a desire to prove that the police departments he previously applied for should have hired him.


Video Example(s):



Being the evil Elemental of Fire, this is a given.

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Example of:

Main / PyroManiac

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Main / PyroManiac