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"Ninjutsu employs explosive powders — as weapons or distractions. Theatricality and deception are powerful agents. You must become more than just a man in the mind of your opponent."
Henri Ducard, Batman Begins

A fairly standard disappearing trick, favored by Ninja, stage magicians, and Batman. Drop a clever little smoke bomb that puffs up and dissipates quickly, slip away during the distraction. A smoke cover apparently qualifies as being "offscreen" enough for Offscreen Teleportation, allowing a user to escape even if he or she was standing in a clear area where his/her exit would be seen at least by the viewer if not an opponent.

Characters who are underwater can achieve the same effect by using a cloud of ink instead of smoke.

Still played straight in most cases, though there are a few stock variations and subversions:

  1. The smoke user forgets to escape, and is still standing there laughing maniacally when the smoke clears, or else is too busy coughing from inhaling said smoke. He sheepishly calms down and surrenders, or mundanely runs away without looking flashy. A variation on this is when they do try to escape, but don't manage to get away before the smoke clears.
  2. The escapee just hides in the room, in a very obvious place, like behind a ficus plant or a narrow lamp. Especially funny if he's in a ninja outfit.
  3. The smoke bomb is a dud and releases little to no smoke, leaving the escapee to just stand there, or the smoke user belatedly realizes he doesn't have any more smoke bombs.
  4. Alternatively, the excess gunpowder in the smoke bomb leaves the user extra toasty.
  5. The Smoke In, where a cloud of smoke is used to give a flashy, dramatic entrance instead of a stealthy escape.
  6. The user simply shouts out "Smoke Bomb!" without actually using one, and tries one of the above techniques.

Compare Stealth Hi/Bye, Disappearing Box. Contrast with Super Smoke. See also Trick Bomb (of which this is a Sub-Trope), Ninja Log and Escape Battle Technique. A Handful for an Eye may serve the same purpose.


    open/close all folders 

  • In Guardian Fairy Michel, Salome uses a smoke bomb to cover an escape in episode 6.
  • Happy Heroes: In Season 13 episode 6, Big M. uses a smoke bomb so that he and Little M. can get out of the Supermen's sight once they find out Big M. and Little M. intended to take over Planet Xing.
  • Mechamato: Paintasso conceals his escape by throwing paint bombs at Mechamato, resulting in colorful smoke that stops the hero from seeing him.

    Anime & Manga 
  • This turns out to be a common tactic used by Titan Shifters in Attack on Titan. The most extreme example in the series, of course, goes to the 60m tall Colossal Titan. Though it's pretty much a Kaiju, its steam clouds somehow allow it to practice the fine art of the Stealth Hi/Bye to the shock and horror of humanity. Science Hero Hange accurately theorizes that it's actually the human "pilot" using the steam to abandon his Titan form and slip away in the chaos. The Female Titan uses the same tactic later on, but in a much more dramatic fashion: calling Titans to eat her Titan form, generating enough steam to allow her to simply join the gathered crowd of soldiers unnoticed.
  • Bleach: Subversion of the first variety. When Ganju is forced to fight Yumichika, he knows he's not Yumichika's equal so decides to use every dirty trick in the book in an attempt to distract Yumichika into losing. At one point, he uses a spell that creates a red cloud of smoke that's designed to make the victim's eyes stream and throat clog. It's not until he starts choking in mid-gloat that Ganju realises he caught himself in the smoke as well as Yumichika. Instead of allowing him time to put distance between himself and Yumichika, the pair stagger out of the smoke together. In the long run, this turns out to be a happy accident for Ganju whose only chance for surviving was for Yumichika to be so convinced Ganju was incompetent that he'd lower his guard enough for one of Ganju's tricks to actually work. This mistake certainly helped on that front!
  • Case Closed: In Kaitou Kid's first appearance, Kid uses a flash bomb to escape undetected from a wide-open roof while surrounded by a crowd of policemen and several helicopters. Justified in that he actually disguised himself as a policeman rather than fleeing.
  • Darker than Black: While Hei doesn't normally need any help disappearing, November 11 once froze his feet in place. He got away when Huang tossed a bomb that melted the ice and gave him a couple of seconds to vanish.
  • Parodied with Rainspider on Desert Punk. He's fond of exiting by laughing maniacally and throwing down a smoke bomb. But when the smoke clears, you actually see him running away, laughing all the while.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Dragon Ball Z: The History of Trunks: In his final battle with the Androids, Gohan briefly loses them by blasting the ground and making smoke.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Frost uses a ki variation of the attack to escape from Android #18 after he managed to knock out Krillin from the arena and later uses it to escape from Vegeta after the latter broke free from the Evil Containment Wave seal. Kahseral also deploys a similar tactic when he realize that he stood no chance against Android #17.
  • A parody of the Smoke In can be found in Dragon Half, when Rosario first appears to the King in a mysterious cloud of mist. The angle changes and the audience can see that behind him is a bucket labeled "dry ice".
  • My Hero Academia: In the past, a pro hero named En had the Smokescreen Quirk with which he could release huge clouds of smoke from his body. Decades later, the same Quirk is wielded by Izuku Midoriya, as En was also a previous wielder of One For All and so his Quirk became bonded to it after death.
  • Naruto. Practically every character in the show is capable of this, and most of them have used it onscreen... often disappearing from plain sight in open areas with just a little puff of smoke around their bodies. Kakashi even pulled this stunt while Naruto, a trained Ninja, stood directly behind him with a knife to his throat in the second "Shippuden" episode.
  • Used by the side characters in the Magic World arc of Negima! Magister Negi Magi in a Big Damn Heroes moment to save Negi's butt from the newly introduced villain. They used a very well-made type of smoke that even blocks magical senses, letting everyone perform a clean escape.
  • Ninja Shinobu-san no Junjou: When Shinobu-san does not feel like confronting Hitoyoshi at all, she pulls out a smoke bomb, immediately disappearing afterwards.
  • Used at the very beginning of One Piece by Higuma the Bear, using it to kidnap Kid!Luffy and get away.
  • Pokémon's Team Rocket frequently escapes by having their Pokemon fill the room with a truly massive amount of smoke that, realistically, would indeed allow most anyone to escape. Koffing/Weezing was the first pick, and later, when Weezing was released, Jessie's Seviper took over this role with its Haze attack. While not actual smoke, James's Cacnea can fullfill the same purpose with Sandstorm, if Seviper isn't available. They're not restricted to Pokemon either, as James performs the trick with an actual smoke bomb in the second "Best Wishes!" episode.
  • A Smoke Out is used at least once by every character of Ranma ˝ with a slightly shady or ninja-esque martial art, including Ranma, Mousse, Kodachi, Genma, Happōsai, and Konatsu. Ukyō Kuonji uses a flour bomb to create the smoke, as part of her Okonomiyaki Martial Art. Note that they all make a similar gesture doing so; apparently, martial artists' Smoke Outs are quite standardized.
  • RIN-NE: The Dirty Coward Demon Masato does this to escape a beating from Rinne.
  • Tsubaki, a pretty young woman from Soul Eater, can turn into a smoke bomb... but it's a cute smoke bomb. It has little eyes and a pony-tail.
  • Viral uses the Smoke Shield of a Macross Missile Massacre as his Smoke Out in the third episode of Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann. He later does this again, with an actual smoke bomb, to escape with Adiane.
  • It pops out from time to time in Yaiba, used by Musashi while training him using Ninjutsu. Kotaro Fuuma also used it at least once while fighting Yaiba, and the same goes for Goemon.
  • Several Zoids make use of this. Command Wolf types, König Wolf types, Guysack, Shadow Fox, and Saberlion. In the video games it's usually possible to equip anything with smoke dischargers.

    Comic Books 
  • In Astro City, the Confessor is fond of this, or so it seems; he's actually a vampire, which means he's actually dissolving into mist.
  • Batgirl: Stephanie Brown pulls off an awesome one after beating up the Scarecrow in issue #3.
  • Batman: Year One has a particularly notable Smoke In, leading to this moment:
  • The dark wizard Necross the Mad does a combination of Smoke In and choking on his own smoke in Cerebus the Aardvark.
    Necross: I've simply got to switch to mirrors! Those smokey entrances are murder on the bronchial passages...
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe: Magica Despell likes to do this with her trademark "foof-bombs".
  • Empowered: Used by Ninjette in book 2... to avoid embarrassment before ThugBoy, and then fleeing through a window. (Note that, since she leaves the tattered remains of Emp's suit behind, she's quite logically buck naked afterward.)
  • Doctor Mid-Nite from Justice Society of America favors the Smoke In, which is especially useful given his ability to see in total darkness.
  • The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past (1992): In the first chapter, Agahnim vanishes into blue mist with Zelda in his clutches.
  • Red Robin: At one point, when Tim is ambushed by a trio from the League of Assassins in Paris, he is annoyed to realize that they're about to use a smoke screen to escape from him and that he can't stop them. They proceed to do just that.
  • Robin (1993): When spotted after sneaking into the GCPD's evidence room to take a look at the evidence being used to frame him for murder Tim uses a smoke bomb and steals a GCPD uniform to casually walk out during the ensuing chaos.
  • Spider-Man: Mysterio is fond of this, as per his illusionist/performer persona.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: Hypnota's signature act involves Serva seeming to disappear from a Disappearing Box, then with a quick puff of smoke seeming to turn into Serva, who quickly closes and then opens the box and finds either herself or Hypnota inside. They then "switch/teleport" a couple more times.
  • X-Men: Nightcrawler leaves a cloud of purple smoke along with his signature "BAMF" whenever he teleports.
  • Toyota the mercenary ninja from Y: The Last Man drops a couple of tiny pellets from the hilt of her sword which explode into a massive smoke bomb.

    Fan Works 
  • Cinder uses a peppermint-scented smoke bomb and a flashbang in Boldores And Boomsticks to escape from the partygoers at the Vytal Dance and ensure Zwei or Absol couldn't track her scent.
  • This is how Calvin and Hobbes escape from a rambling hawk and his son while inside a tornado in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • In an omake for Colors and Capes, Xander uses some smoke grenades to escape Ma and Pa Kent when they ask just how many women he's currently seeing. After the smoke clears, the Fortress of Solitude's AI can neither detect Xander within the premises nor determine how he left.
  • In the Discworld/DC Comics mashup Discworld's Finest, El Pipistrello, being a Batman pastiche, obviously does this. On one occasion, he smokes out, the other people in the room hear the sound of his horse galloping away through the open window... and then Don Bryce de la Waggon comes in, wondering what all the fuss is about.
  • Subverted in The Legend of Zelda: Paradise Calling: Sheik is known for doing this in canon, but when she meets Link and Malon in Kakariko Village, she pulls out a couple of Deku seeds before deciding to spare them the theatrics for once.
  • In The Prayer Warriors, when Jerry faces Percy Jackson in The Evil Gods Part 1, Percy escapes with "a cloud of smoke cause by witchery."
  • In Vinyl and Octavia Fight Ten Thousand Ninjas, the trope is both parodied and played straight.

    Films — Animation 
  • Used by Jafar in Disney's Aladdin, wherein the villain's smoke bomb enables him to escape from two guards who had hold of his arms and were in the process of dragging him away. When the smoke clears, the guards are holding onto each other instead. Of course, he is a sorcerer.
  • In Batman: Mask of the Phantasm, the Smoke In and Smoke Out are major parts of the Phantasm's repertoire. Despite having no more superpower than Batman himself, the Phantasm on several occasions makes a Smoke Out departure while standing in the middle of a clear area; this is never remarked on, let alone explained. It should be noted that Phantasm was even able to use this to escape from Batman himself, who would have instantly spotted any normal escape routes due to experience. The smoke also, at different times, clings to a man's face to blind him and lifts a stone angel from the ground that would have been too heavy for a normal human. As well, Phantasm is able to continue producing the smog even after revealing herself to be Andrea Beaumont and discarding any article of clothing that could hide the technology to produce the smoke. There is a supernatural quality to the Phantasm, though the origin of this power is unknown.
  • Batman Ninja: Having time-traveled to feudal Japan, Batman throws down a smoke bomb to hide himself from advancing samurai, draws his Grappling-Hook Gun... and realizes that it won't work as there aren't any tall buildings in the village, so he has to run away on foot.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Clopin first uses a smoke bomb as a standard magic trick during the Feast of Fools, seemingly replacing himself with Esmeralda onstage. Later, when Frollo orders his guards to capture Esmeralda, she uses a similar smoke bomb as an escape method instead. This is Truth in Television, as Roma performers were known for their skill in escapology and illusions.
  • Justice League: War: Batman tries one against Superman, but Superman uses his X-Ray Vision to locate him easily.
  • The LEGO Batman Movie: Batman uses them a lot, often proceeded by him actually declaring "smoke bomb".
  • Morgana in the The Little Mermaid II: Return to the Sea takes this to a ridiculous extreme. She pulls an "Ink Out" in the middle of open ocean, while surrounded by merpeople on all sides. Of course, she too is a sorceress.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls:

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The boys' grandfather in 3 Ninjas escapes this way while training them and reappears on top of a tree.
  • Batman movies.
    • The Michael Keaton Batman does it after Jack/Joker falls into the vat. He combines it with the batline to make it look like he's flying away.
    • Even though it wasn't even played straight in Batman Begins, Ducard explains that the use of smoke bombs and similar gags are only theatrics to confuse an enemy.
    • In The Dark Knight Rises, Batman throws smoke bombs at Bane's face, but since Bane received much of the same training Bruce did, he doesn't flinch.
    • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Batman uses one during his fight with Superman. He doesn't go far, but it allows him to get the drop on the Man of Steel and shoot him with a Kryptonite gas grenade. In The Art of the Film book, it's revealed the smoke is mixed with lead particles, so not even Superman's X-Ray Vision can see through it.
    • The Batman: Batman attaches a grenade to a fire extinguisher. It explodes and fills the area with CO₂ gas, allowing him to get the drop on Riddler's followers.
  • The Eiger Sanction. Two men are pursuing Hemlock on a dirt road. Hemlock hits the brake lights to fool them into slowing down, then when he's out of sight he does a U-turn that kicks up a huge cloud of dust, obscuring his pickup until he's almost on them and can open fire with a shotgun.
  • The Equalizer 2. Robert McCall shoots the transformer on a power pole to create a cloud of black smoke to give momentary cover from a sniper.
  • James Bond's Cool Car often features a smoke screen among other gadgets. When his car is destroyed in For Your Eyes Only, Bond creates the same effect by driving through a construction site, kicking up a cloud of smoke from a pile of concrete.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe. In Black Widow (2021), a couple of Black Widow snipers are lining up a shot when their target sees them, then releases a smoke bomb inside her apartment so she can safely get out the door. The trope isn't emphasized, but serves as Five-Second Foreshadowing that their target is a professionally-trained Widow herself.
  • Kung Pow! Enter the Fist subverts this with a side-effect nobody else has noticed. A ninja throws a smoke bomb in an open field, but the smoke quickly blows away. It then subverts this again by turning out to have an effect: the smoke bomb revives some Mooks for The Chosen One to beat up again.
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail. A Smoke In version occurs when Tim the Enchanter teleports from a distant mountaintop to a location right in front of King Arthur and his knights.
  • The Phantom (1943): One of the ways the Phantom maintains the natives' belief that he is an immortal supernatural being is by using a smoke in and a smoke out whenever he summons them for an audience. An accomplice is shown handling the creation of the smoke.
  • Runaway. When police raid a hotel room where the villain is selling his Killer Robot design to The Mafia, a floater robot drops from the ceiling to spray smoke everywhere so he can make a getaway.
  • Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes escapes a room by closing the chimney flue while the villain has his back to him, loading a pistol to kill Holmes. When he turns to shoot, the room is full of smoke. So he opens the window so the smoke can disperse, giving Holmes an escape route.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • Done straight in the latest movie, but also subverted when Raphael does a standard ninja Smoke Out, but instead of mysteriously vanishing he's seen running away. Also Lampshaded in the film when Karai and a henchman disappear.
    • There is also a scene where Raphael smokes out... only to leave Casey Jones coughing and waving smoke away... then Raphael leans out from behind a nearby structure and chastizes Casey for just standing there like an idiot.
      Casey: What is it with ninjas and smoke bombs?
    • In Secret of the Ooze, Tatsu immediately does this once his Foot Squad has obtained the last remaining mutagen canister before the Turtles can leave with it.
      Tatsu: Ninja Vanish! [the Foot soldiers toss out smoke bombs to both cover their escape and leave the turtles coughing]
  • The Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz uses this to enter and exit the scene, complete with actual fiery explosions. As a grim side note, in one take of the scene in Munchkinland, the flames started too soon before a concealed elevator in the floor could lower the actress Margaret Hamilton to safety. Hamilton ended up with third-degree burns on her hands and face and spent three months recuperating before she could shoot any more scenes.

  • Forest Kingdom: In book 2 (Blood and Honor), smoke bombs are among Jordan's stage tricks. They prove useful in confusing a band of mercenaries that try to attack and kill he and his allies early on.
  • Used a few times in Harry Potter:
    • Peruvian instant darkness powder is used by Draco and company so they can get into Hogwarts.
    • Harry uses a decoy detonator in book 7.
    • The Peruvian darkness powder is used in The Film of the Book so Harry can overhear Draco's plans of becoming a Death Eater.
  • In The Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins plans to leave his eleventy-first birthday party by slipping on his ring of invisibility at the climax of his speech — which Gandalf quick-thinkingly turns into a Smoke Out by throwing one of his pyrotechnics on the stage. Bilbo is annoyed, but Gandalf explains that he doesn't want rumors going out about vanishing hobbits. Doesn't happen in the film version, though.
  • In Loyal Enemies, Weredragon Gloom can breathe a dark, thick, fog-like substance aptly called "the Darkness". The heroes use it once to escape a pack of werewolf-ghoul hybrids that's pursuing them.
  • Skeeve, of the Myth Adventures series by Robert Asprin, tries to do a Smoke In to intimidate an army by turning invisible, walking up to the spot, setting off some smoke powder, and turning visible once more. Right after turning visible, he finds out that standing in the middle of a cloud of smoke does little for your ability to breathe, and he does his best to be intimidating while in mid-sneeze. It's not even really real invisibility. It's just a portable curtain that happens to hide whatever is immediately behind it.
  • Nick Velvet: In "The Theft of the Clouded Tiger", Nick uses a smoke bomb to lay down a smokescreen between himself and the zoo guards, and another to force the tiger out of its cage and up a ramp into the truck.
  • In Renegades, the Oscar, nicknamed Smokescreen, can summon and control clouds of smoke. The applications for this range from creating a cover for himself and his teammates to subduing villains by making them inhale it. It's implied to be carbon monoxide, as his powers awakened when he was dying in a house fire.
  • Used in Samhain Island when Skyler is captured by the St. Charles's, he drops an object in front of Zac which he thought was a smoke bomb disguised as a snow globe. Turns out it was just a regular snow globe.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Arrow: Malcolm Merlyn does this in "The Magician"; escaping from Nyssa and Oliver by dropping a smoke bomb and vanishing under the cover of the smoke.
  • Buck Rogers in the 25th Century episode "Vegas in Space". Before being sent on a mission, Buck is given devices which cause a complete blackout in the immediate area. While on the mission, he uses one to escape from enemies.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Subverted in "Gone" — the Trio attempt to escape by this method, but when the smoke clears, they are pressed up against a locked door frantically trying to get out. Jonathan, a member of the Trio, does this more successfully in "Life Serial", while pretending to be a Big Red Devil who vanishes in a puff of smoke.
    • An accidental version in "The Initiative", when a projectile hits a fire extinguisher wielded by Spike as an Improvised Weapon, filling the corridor with CO2 gas and enabling him to escape.
    • Tara does this with magic against a demon in "Superstar". She'd taken over the Damsel in Distress role, so was more interested in escaping demons than fighting them.
  • On The Cape, Max and anyone else trained by him can do this at a level verging on supernatural. Subverted in Episode 3 when Vince fights Gregor and gets grabbed by the cape in the middle of his smoke-out. For reference, Gregor is his Evil Counterpart, the former student of Max's who wore the unique cape but ended up abusing its power. He would know all of Max's (and Vince's) tricks.
  • Subverted in Castle; investigating the death of a magician, Beckett and Castle approach a street magician with a motive. The street magician, obviously not keen to answer questions, does the standard Smoke Out disappearance — and Beckett (who, as it turns out, knows a little something about magic) merely rolls her eyes, opens up the box he's standing on (and which he slipped into after dropping the smoke bomb) and yanks him out.
    Beckett: Alakazam, jackass.
  • Near the end of the Cory in the House episode "I Ain't Got Rhythm", when the gang finds that Stickler has been sabotaging Cory's rhythm to take his place in the band, he attempts to activate a smoke ball to escape, but the ball only emits a small puff.
    Stickler: Just pretend there's a lot of smoke.
  • Cowboy Bebop. In "Darkside Tango", Jet and Fad are in an opium den and see a couple of ISSP detectives they're rather avoid being seen by, so Fad smashes the hookah bowl filling the place with drug-mixed opium gas, which not only hides their escape but knocks everyone else out and makes the cops too high to follow them for a while.
  • The Spike TV show Deadliest Warrior gives a highly possible real-world origin for the Smoke Out in the form of "black eggs", literal whole eggshells painted black and filled with either sand, pepper (either ground or as a mace-like extract oil), and/or glass that is thrown into the enemy's face; the theory was, the egg would shatter upon impact (or, if the contents were dry ingredients, crushed pre-throw) and splash all over the enemy's eyes, blinding them for several seconds and giving the illusion that the escaping ninja vanished in a puff of smoke.
  • Doctor Who. Spoofed in "The Masque of Mandragora". The Doctor appears in a puff of smoke by popping up from behind an astrologer's cauldron while he's casting an incantation.
  • Fallen Angels. In "Tomorrow I Die" (based on a story by Mickey Spillane), a gang of robbers take several hostages, load them into two cars and make a Run for the Border, intending to execute them once they're in Mexico. The protagonist is driving one of the cars, so to gain time he drives near the curb of a dirt road, kicking up dust into the vehicle behind, which eventually goes off the road and crashes.
  • The Flash episode "Killer Frost" has a variation, as Killer Frost creates thick mist with her breath and escapes from the cops under the cover of it.
  • Lee Van Cleef's character, an American Ninja, used to do this all the time in the short-lived TV series The Master.
  • Luke does this on Modern Family, at the end of an argument with his parents about how much he dislikes doing magic and wants to quit (leaving Phil confused).
  • The Professionals. In "Fugitive", terrorists are taking an aircraft out of the country and have Bodie with them as a hostage. CI5 trigger smoke bombs on the runway to create confusion so Bodie can escape. The aircraft then starts its engines so the propellers will blow the smoke away to give the snipers a clear shot.
  • Power Rangers characters, good and evil, frequently exit by blasting the ground in front of them to create a dust cloud. It's usually plausible that they could have escaped (we usually see things from the point of view of the one they're escaping from; the person(s) using this trick are gone by the time their opponent can run through the dust cloud, look where they were, and then look around) but the Overdrive season features two ninja characters for whom smoke clouds are essentially just another brand of teleportation.
  • Subverted in Teen Angel, where the title character creates smoke but is left standing in the room. Then, in front of the person he wants to escape from, walks into a closet.
  • The Twilight Zone episode "The Howling Man". After the Devil is released from his cell, he conjures up a cloud of smoke to cover him as he disappears from sight.
  • Wonder Woman: Count Cagliostro (a descendant of the Count Cagliostro) in "Diana's Disappearing Act," one of the few bad guys to just flat-out escape Wonder Woman.
  • A Year at the Top has a supernatural example, where Hanover vanishes a woman who made a deal with him by surrounding himself and her with smoke.

  • Quest in Show: Before going to confront his uncle Droog, Pratt has his allies drop flour in the room, in order to give himself a tactical advantage.

    Tabletop Games 
  • BattleTech: Smoke warheads are an alternate munition type available for long and short range missiles. They don't deal damage, instead they create a smoke cloud in the hex they land in, with the density determined by the size of the missile launcher. This doesn't allow for teleportation escapes, obviously, shooting through smoke imposes a targeting penalty based on the density of the cloud, so it can be useful for retreating or advancing on enemies with superior weapons range.
  • R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk supplement Solo of Fortune II. An ad for Midnight Arms includes the Ninja Smoke Pellet. Throwing it to the ground causes a flash and a cloud of smoke that allow you to confuse and escape your enemies.
  • Dishonored Roleplaying Game: The Fog Caller power summons a thick fog that obscures the surrounding area from sight, and is useful for making a quick getaway.
  • Dragon Warriors. When broken, a Vial of Smoke creates a 5 meter radius cloud of white fog that completely blocks vision, allowing the user to escape undetected. Assassins can create a device called the Smoke Jar that works the same way.
  • Dungeons & Dragons 3rd Edition: From the Tome of Battle – Book of Nine Swords, the Desert Wind maneuver "Leaping Flame" invokes such an effect. A character mastering it can disappear in a burst of flame and smoke when attacked (either from close or at range) and reappear right next to the attacker (if less than 100 feet away). In this case, it is an actual teleportation effect, though.
  • Encounter Critical supplement Asteroid 1618. The ancient vampire Kahglarth can be encountered inside the Vanishing Pyramid. If opposed by an obviously superior foe he will vanish in a puff of smoke and attempt vengeance on the foes later.

  • In The Phantom of the Opera stage musical, the Phantom uses one of these to escape capture, disappearing from one part of the stage — and from the audience — and nearly instantly reappearing in another location. This is, in fact, one of two magic tricks that the actor playing The Phantom performs during the play; the effect is achieved by having the "reappearing" Phantom be performed by another actor wearing an identical face-concealing costume. How this is supposed to work in-universe isn't explained, but it's plausible that the Phantom tricked his pursuers by using the exact same method.
  • Security in the site-specific play Tales Told by Idiots attempts to flee at the end of the show this way. Nothing happens when he throws the smoke bomb, leading the other characters (and the audience) to stare at him for a few seconds, until he says, "If you'll excuse me, I have to go return some smoke bombs," and sheepishly walks away.

    Video Games 
  • Eagle Morris of Aces Wild: Manic Brawling Action! follows up a smoke bomb with a Flash Step as his improved dodge.
  • In Apex Legends, Bangalore's tactical ability is a smoke bomb (even name-dropping the trope name when doing so), obscuring herself from the vision of enemies at a distance to allow her a quick escape.
  • In The Art of Theft, Trilby escapes via smoke bomb if he fails or quits a level.
  • Assassin's Creed has Smoke Bombs as recurring tools. Taken together with a location that has multiple curtains to duck behind or haystacks to leap into, and you can vanish, shank, come back out, and vanish until you run out of enemies or exhaust your supply of smoke bombs.
  • Atlas Reactor: Kaigin has smoke bombs, which block enemy line-of-sight and turns him invisible until the next round. Celeste has smoke grenades, which produce less smoke but deal damage when they hit.
  • In Episode 1 of Back to the Future: The Game, when Marty appears in the '30s, the DeLorean pops in right in between a booze runner car and a pursuing police car exchanging gunfire. His appearance lets the runner get away, and the copper decides to try and run the DeLorean off the road. Then the DeLorean's reactor system conveniently does a heat flush right in the copper's face as part of its post-time-jump cool-down, allowing for a getaway.
  • In the Batman: Arkham Series, Batman can use this to get away from gun-toting mooks should he be spotted. For even more fun, toss a pellet into an unaware group and watch them freak out and fire at each other.
  • Pendles from Battleborn uses smoke bombs to attack enemies and instantly cloak himself. Said smoke bombs also happen to deliver poison damage.
  • In Billy vs. SNAKEMAN, players can do this to run away from a mission (auto-failing and forfeiting the consolation experience in exchange for a refund of the stamina cost.)
  • BioShock:
    • Nitro Splicers use smoke grenades to confuse the player.
    • Houdini Splicers dephase into a cloud of smoke as part of their Flashy Teleportation.
  • BoxxyQuest: The Shifted Spires: Caleb tries to do this, but jumps away before deploying the smoke bomb, which also only emits a small puff of smoke. Both of which make it useless for hiding where he's going.
  • Smoke screen is one of the available special abilities in Brigador, which prevents the enemies from detecting you or firing in your direction as long as you are hidden within it.
  • In City of Villains, Ninjutsu Stalkers' Smoke Flash power enables them to them to shed aggro from nearby enemies to escape or set up for an Assassin Strike, and Ninja Masterminds' Smoke Bomb enables a henchman of their choice to do the same.
  • Combat Arms has smoke grenades among other Trick Bombs what's interesting is that instead, they're generally used to cover a Close Quarters oriented player and make sniping him far more difficult while he gets into the building the snipers are in. If he succeeds expect a Mass "Oh, Crap!" from the said snipers.
  • Shinobi from Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 can use a smoke bomb to throw off enemy targeting. Meaning you need to tell your units to force-fire on the ninja before he slices and dices his way through waves of your infantry.
  • The Ghost motorcycle in Crasher could deploy enough smoke to prevent its enemies from targeting the Ghost, giving it time to get away.
  • An early specialty upgrade in Cuphead is a smoke bomb, which lets the boys turn their Dash move into a Flash Step, bypassing everything between its start and end points.
  • Assassin X from Danger Girl, a boss you fight in a vault, will repeatedly use smoke bombs to cover himself as a method of Teleport Spam allowing him to fling shurikens at you from all over the place.
  • In Dawn of War II and its expansions, Cyrus can be upgraded with an ability to drop a smoke bomb that stuns enemies as he enters and exits stealth mode, making this both a Smoke Out and a Smoke Entrance.
  • Day of Infamy provides several types of smoke grenades to its infantry. The Officer class can straight-up blanket an entire area with concealing smoke after calling in a smoke barrage.
  • Played with in Dead or Alive, where several fighters briefly conceal themselves with a haze of softer, and usually floral origins. Thus, Kasumi can do this cherry blossom petals, Ayane with iris petals, Ryu deploys leaves, and Hayate raven feathers.
  • Octopi in can do a similar trick by emitting clouds of ink.
  • In Destroy All Humans! 2 the Black Ninjas do this all the time, as does Shama Llama.
  • Red Eye in Dirty Bomb is a sniper character who often has to conceal himself with a smoke grenade when things get hot. He is capable of seeing through the smoke, so it's only the opponents (and any unlucky team-mates) who are affected.
  • Equipping certain combinations of biochips in D.N.A.: Dark Native Apostle grants the player certain abilities, and a combo of an HP Chip, EP Chip and a Jump Chip nets you a smoke bomb, which then confuses organic opponents. Replacing a Jump chip with a Weight chip in that combo makes for a longer-lasting version.
  • Dota 2:
    • Riki has a variation; it doesn't cause him to vanish but it does silence enemy heroes and is often used to complement his stealth attacks. At least it helps reducing their vision too.
    • Bounty Hunter's Shadow Walk's animation appears to begin with a smoke bomb.
    • The game also has an item called Smoke of Deceit, which does as expected, plus an added effect: normal means of revealing invisible heroes will not affect those under the effect of Smoke, but being near towers and opposing heroes, attacking, Dust of Appearance will reveal them.
  • A Rogue ability in Dragon Age II. The Duelist Prestige Class has the "Vendetta" talent, which lets you teleport across the battlefield like this.
  • In Dungeon Crawl Stone Soup, Conjure Flame can be used over water in order to generate loads of steam and thus block the enemies' line of sight.
  • The Ninja Spy class in Dungeons & Dragons Online has the Flash Bang. Rather than smoke, the non-damaging ability briefly dazes and blinds a group, allowing time to regroup or escape.
  • The Stage 5 boss in Einhänder does this if you take too long to fight him.
  • Kiki of Emily Wants To Play Too disappears into a puff of smoke after you stare at her long enough. Likewise, Emily and the dolls vanish in the same way after you have successfully found and tagged them when playing Hide-and-seek with them at 12 AM.
  • Shadow of Eternal Champions combines smoke with a Teleport Spam.
  • Unlike most turn-based JRPGs, Exit Fate lacks an "escape" command by default. Having characters with a Smoke Bomb ability in your party and telling them to use it is the only way to quit the battles you are in.
  • In Far Cry: New Dawn, smoke grenades can be used to break enemy sight lines to allow for a safe(r) retreat. Using three of them actually unlocks an achievement. Special enemies like Scavengers and Enforcers also use smoke grenades with abandon against you.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • One of the Ninja abilities in Final Fantasy V allows for instant escape from anything that can be fled from. It's essentially the same as the Thief's !Flee, just more dramatic.
    • In Final Fantasy VI, a Smoke Bomb allows you to instantly escape from any battle that you can normally run away from. It's also used in a cutscene to escape from a burning house, even though that's not how they work and there's no explanation given for how a cloud of smoke allows one to escape from a house that's on fire.
    • Edge from Final Fantasy IV has this as one of his Ninjutsu abilities, which allows the party to run immediately from any non-boss battle.
    • In Final Fantasy XI, Yagudo ninja Gessho pulls a Smoke In in a cutscene.
  • The Raptor frame of Firefall had a smoke grenade ability at one point. Friendlies that stand in the smoke take less damage while enemies suffer reduced accuracy.
  • Armored vehicles of Flashpoint Campaigns have their own smoke dischargers, and artillery can deliver smoke munitions. They are essential for retreating or covering an attack. Southern Storm will have bispectral thermal-blocking smoke as an option.
  • In Genshin Impact, Treasure Hoarders will typically throw down a smoke bomb and escape if their health is depleted by a non-staggering attack. If they were floored by the attack that KO'd them, they'll instead despawn like any other enemy, or shatter in the case of being frozen by Cryo and Hydro or petrified by Zhongli's Elemental Burst.
  • On-map artillery spotters in Graviteam Tactics are able to request smoke shells in lieu of regular HE rounds to screen an attack or retreat.
  • In Hardcore Mecha, the Round Hammer artillery mecha is able to fire smoke shells to confuse the enemies. It is also the only ability of that mech with infinite ammo.
  • The first power Delsin obtains in Infamous Second Son is smoke, and so it's no surprise that he can create clouds of smoke to obscure enemies' view, allowing him to catch them by surprise or sneak away.
  • The commercial version of Insurgency has smoke grenades available for a supply point to be thrown for concealing your team's movement and blinding enemy positions. There's even a smoke grenade launcher. Moreover, regular grenades and even just bullets will kick up smaller dust clouds as well.
  • Iratus: Lord of the Dead features a Smoke Bomb item which can be equipped on Iratus so that it'll be automatically deployed during the next fight, slashing the enemies' accuracy for its duration.
  • Jak X features them as a possible Red Eco pick-up. Like Oil Slick, it doesn't do any damage in its base version, but upgrades to smoke screen charged with electricity that can be lethal if released in a narrow pathway.
  • The unique ability of the Technician class in Jupiter Hell is to deploy a smokescreen, which lasts for 8 turns (12 with Skilled trait), and reduces the line of sight of everyone inside it to 1.
  • Esmeralda does this with pink smoke to escape from Frollo in Kingdom Hearts 3D [Dream Drop Distance]. She manages to escape thanks to Riku lying to Phoebus that he did not see her.
  • A few items in Kingdom of Loathing let you escape from a fight in a smoke cloud, with varying effectiveness. One is sometimes a dud and doesn't do anything, another produces "cheap" smoke and uses up a turn.
  • You can do this in The Last of Us in both the campaign and multiplayer. In multiplayer, it allows you to shank people from the front while they're stunned and also makes it impossible for your opponent to see you or mark you as long you're behind the cloud. You have to be careful though, since without the proper perks, you can easily stun yourself with it by accident.
  • Sheik escapes this way from Link several times in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. In Super Smash Bros. Melee this was actually turned into her recovery move. Impa, the Princess's badass nanny, also shows the ability to do this once. Keep in mind though that, in OoT, there is no actual smoke, only a moment of blinding light. It helps that Sheik is magic, though. To be specific, the sheikahs use Deku Nuts, which blind you and daze you. Link and the player see it as them instantly disappearing, but what actually happens is Link loses his awareness giving ample time for them to get away. You can do this yourself with the in-game enemies, as the Deku Nut is a useable item.
  • In the DS game LEGO Battles, a group of ninjas uses variation 1 from the trope description. After the smoke clears, one of the ninjas is still standing in place, looking sheepish. Then he sidles quickly away.
  • The Rogue Robe in Magicka's Party Robes DLC can teleport backwards while dropping smoke bombs to avoid attacks, though it is much squishier to compensate for that extra evasion.
  • The Vs. mode of a Nintendo DS Puzzle Game Magnetica allows its players to obscure each other's vision through deploying smoke clouds onto the rival's screen.
  • In Mark of the Ninja, you predictably get access to smoke bombs. They can be thrown to block enemy's lines of sight, as well as to disrupt laser sensors. Upgrades also cause enemies exposed to the cloud to choke and cough like it was tear gas. Gas Mask Mooks are immune to this additional effect though.
  • In Monaco: What's Yours Is Mine, the smoke bomb pickup can cover your escape or blind guards while you access key objects.
  • Monster Hunter:
    • The game has several items that fit this trope: The Smoke Bomb, which releases a burst of white smoke and makes it harder for monsters to see you, the Farcaster, which releases a burst of green smoke and teleports you back to the base camp, and Deodorant, which releases a burst of sky blue smoke that clears away the Soiled status effect.
    • The Monster Hunter 4 Ultimate incarnation of Chameleos uses not only poisonous gas emissions as before, but also releases its own fog that interferes with players' sight and hearing.
  • Fleeing from battles in Monster Sanctuary can only be done if you have a smoke bomb at hand.
  • Mordhau's smoke bombs can be used to hide yourself and allies from ranged attacks.
  • Inverted in Mortal Kombat 9, Smoke can throw a cloud of smoke at his opponent's feet that forcibly teleports them to a more vulnerable position. Smoke also plays the trope more straight with his Smoke / Phase towards / away attacks which converts his body to a thick cloud of smoke and reposition himself while evading projectiles.
  • In Muramasa: The Demon Blade, some of the Mook ninjas do this, although they usually use it to reappear back to their original spawning location on the screen. Those same ones also tend to carry regular bombs. Can be done by yourself to escape battles you don't feel like fighting.
  • Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden: Smoke bombs break line of sight and put out fires.
  • The Gelert Assassin of Neopets: The Darkest Faerie teleports with the help of smoke bombs.
  • Neverwinter: gives this skill to the Trickster Rogues in the form of the aptly named Smoke Bomb power, filling a small area with smoke that renders foes incapable of action outside of movement, making it perfect for getaways or wreaking havoc while enemies are rendered helpless.
  • The Ninjas of Nightshade combine this with teleporting around.
  • In Ninja Gaiden, the Xbox series, enemy ninjas will smoke out if Ryu runs out of their encounter boundaries. He can also use smoke bombs to distract the enemy for a while. Karma Runners have made their usage an art in the quest for ever-higher score.
  • Queen Jocasta and King Laius in Oedipus in my Inventory both use cartoony clouds of smoke to leave the scene. In the latter case it might also count as a Big Ball of Violence.
  • Persona 5 has "Smokescreen" as an item Joker can create. When thrown down, it allows Joker to evade enemy pursuit for a short amount of time if he's discovered. It fits perfectly into his Phantom Thief motif.
  • In Pid, Kurt can throw smoke bombs in order to avoid detection by the enemies' spotlights.
  • Swashbucklers of Pirate101 have abilities that create a cloud of smoke and let them become invisible for a few turns. They also do double damage for any attack performed while invisible.
  • In the main Pokémon game series, Smoke Ball is a held item that allows you to escape any fight with wild Pokémon.
  • In Pokémon GO, a Wild Pokémon will suddenly burst into smoke and flee an encounter if you fail to catch it. It's accompanied by a Game Over sentence which reads:
    "Oh no! The wild [insert Pokémon name here] fled."
  • The smokebomb is the only "engineering" device that non-Engineers can learn to create in Project Zomboid. Made from newspaper, rags, and a therapeutic coldpack, a smokebomb can obscure your withdrawal from a zombie horde of a decent size. Combined with electrical skill and spare parts, it can have an adjustable timer, a proximity trigger, or a remote detonator.
  • In Rainbow Six Siege, the smoke grenades are used mostly to block off doorways when defending against rotating defenders and flush out camping enemies by blinding them in smoke. Trying to cover a retreat with them is ineffective as the smoke's distribution over the layers of cover present in any given engagement is too inconsistent. Glaz is also bound to throw them as he storms ahead, since he is the one character who can see through them with thermal vision anyway.
  • Captain Qwark tries to do this in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, but thinks the smoke bomb causes the disappearance. As such, he's still there when the smoke clears.
    Qwark: Hang on, cadets! [POOF] ...Well, that was five bolts wasted.
  • Risk of Rain's Bandit can use this for the intended purpose (escaping from a tight spot), though it works rather by making you invisible and untargetable. It also makes your next attack a Dynamic Entry for extra damage and a stun.
  • If Shadow Man is beaten in a mini-boss fight in Rockman 4 Minus Infinity, he uses a smoke bomb to cover up his escape.
  • Used by Galford and Hanzo from Samurai Shodown.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice:
    • One unlockable ability allows Wolf to turn the blood of fallen enemies into bloodsmoke, creating a large cloud of red mist that temporarily blinds all nearby enemies, allowing him to either escape or commence backstabbing.
    • Owl will sometimes throw a smoke bomb in the middle of the fight, obscuring what he's about to do from the player's eyes.
  • Shounen Kininden Tsumuji has many characters using this trope, since it is a ninja game.
  • The Sims 3: World Adventures: Escape Dust does more than allow you to Smoke Out — it flat-out teleports you back to a safe place (i.e. either your base camp or home). It starts to slide into Mundane Utility territory, because if you get a large amount of them, you can start using them to cut down on your travel time.
  • used to have a Smoke Grenade, which released a thick cloud of smoke that obscured visibility in the nearby area. It was replaced with the Acid Grenade in a later update.
  • In the Sly Cooper games, the Smoke Bomb is a very handy means of escape as it will instantly cause guards to not see you during a conflict or chase, and you can deploy one even whilst running. And if they do spot you running away, the extra distance will greatly help in making an escape to safety.
  • In Splatoon 3 All the members Deep Cut attempt this upon being defeated. Emphasis on "attempt.
  • In Splinter Cell: Conviction, the enemy Splinter Cells will often throw smoke grenades just before they make their entrance.
  • Smoke cover is vital in Squad to move across open fields and flank enemy positions. Of note is that some roles gain access to colored smoke, which can be used to mark and differentiate targets.
  • One of R2-D2's abilities in Star Wars Battlefront (2015) allows him to cover himself in smoke that allows him to evade incoming Stormtroopers.
  • The Queen's guard in SteamWorld Heist escapes their first boss fights with a smoke bomb. The Queen herself uses it to Flash Step.
  • In Steel Division: Normandy 44, smoke can be deployed to obscure line of sight, either to cover an advance or a retreat. Most of the time you see it in use it'll be fired from artillery, but if a command squad lacks an anti-tank weapon then there's pretty good odds it has smoke grenades. Recon units and certain elite infantry have them too. Oddly, the 2e Blindée also has smoke bombers at their disposal.
  • Street Fighter has Ibuki who can do this when she wins in battle. In other games she uses it to get into frame or other times to do an Instant Costume Switch.
  • In Styx: Master of Shadows, Styx can turn his clones into living smoke bombs, bursting into a large puff of obscuring smoke for Styx to infiltrate unhindered or assassinate a particularly hard to reach target. It is not very practical for making escapes though, as Styx cannot do it without a ready clone.
  • The Carrier Beagle in Super Robot Wars BX has a special smokescreen MAP weapon that reduces Accuracy and Evasion of enemies hit by it.
  • An item called a "Smoke Ball" appears in later games of the Super Smash Bros. series. Once thrown, it emits clouds of rainbow-colored smoke for a small period of time. If it hits another character, the Smoke Ball sticks to them and makes it hard to see what they're doing; if it does not make contact, it simply puffs all over the ground and covers a small area with fog.
  • Smoke grenades are quite frequent in, and completely obscure anything inside the smoke (as well as removing scope advantages to the players inside the smoke). A popular tactic is to first drop a smoke grenade into a house or another confined place, and then throw a regular one into the smoke, where no-one will notice it until it's too late. The same effect can also be obtained by destroying the fire extinguishers, which are present inside bunkers and in the police station.
  • In Syrian Warfare, smoke grenades can be deployed to obscure the opponents' vision and thus dramatically slash their accuracy, as well as increase the time they spend aiming, and thus lower their rate of fire. Moreover, deploying smoke grenades at the right time will interrupt the targeting of guided missiles like TOW or Javelin.
  • Used and abused by the titular villain in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shredder's Revenge. Any time Shredder showed up personally, he would laugh, usually after activating some device to divert the Turtles and their allies' attention, and throws a smoke bomb for a quick exit. Naturally, he does this after he's defeated in battle... For the first time. In the rematch, he switches things up by throwing a mutagen vial, as a clear indication that he won't run off this time.
  • Tenchu:
    • Subverted in Tenchu 2. Genbu tried this method twice but failed.
    • Played straight in Tenchu: Shadow Assassins, though. Rikimaru and Ayame have an innate Smoke Out ability for when they're spotted, but can use actual smoke bombs as a substitute for it... which is nonetheless their least effective use, versus creating temporary cover or distracting opponents for a hissatsu.
  • It's not easy, but a well-placed use of Electric Smoke and the dash ability allows one to do this in Titanfall. In a three-story-tall mech.
  • A strange variation happens in Unturned. The smoke grenade attracts hostile creatures (zombies, wolves and bears) into the dense colored cloud it forms, allowing the player to sneak by them safely. Of course, against human foes, the smoke bomb works as expected.
  • El Viento: In the sequel Annet Futatabi, Annet uses a smoke bomb to escape in a cutscene.
  • In Warframe, Ash's 'Smoke Screen' ability throws down a smoke bomb that momentarily stuns enemies and renders him temporarily invisible provided he does not shoot an non-silent weapon.
  • WarGroove: Vesper's Groove, "Smoke Shroud", creates a 5x5 diamond of smoke anywhere near her. Any unit inside the Shroud cannot be attacked or counter-attacked until the beginning of her next turn.
  • Warhammer: The End Times:
    • Gutter Runners in The End Times: Vermintide will usually deploy a smoke bomb and take off if they find themselves observed with no way to easily strike at the players, hiding and seeking another chance to ambush them.
    • In the sequel, Veteran Ranger Bardin is the one player character who can also do that trick.
  • World of Warcraft:
    • Rogues have this as an ability, called "Vanish", which at one point required a reagent called "Flash Powder" to work. And even now that the flash powder is no longer required, the animation still shows the classic smoke bomb going off at the character's feet. The actual effect is to put you straight into stealth mode even from combat.
    • Due to issues involving aggro of pets and NPC enemies, the effect of the dud smoke grenade is often replicated when the enemy just keeps attacking you when they shouldn't be. Supposedly fixed in a very recent patch, though it remains to be seen.
    • Another (newer) ability is actually called Smoke Bomb, but it's mostly unusable for escaping, rather creating an area that can't be targeted into from the outside by enemies. It's practically an inversion as it forces you to stand still if you want to be covered by it and could be used to get into combat by getting a ranged enemy to close in.
    • In the Shado-pan dailies against the mantid, the players can get a Wu Kao Smoke Bomb. Using it puts them into stealth for a short period of time, and for a few seconds, enables actions without breaking stealth. It can be a useful way of escaping from encounters.
    • A recent quest features an ally who can be called upon to shoot a "smoke arrow" to your location, dropping you out of combat like rogues' Vanish. You have a few seconds to get out of the mobs' aggro radius, or if they were chasing you they'll run back to their assigned locations.
  • A naval variation in World of Warships: this is a common tactic for destroyers, who usually drop a smokescreen behind them and sail away in a hurry when they encounter any sort of enemy resistance. Sneakier or more aggressive destroyers will actually hang out in the smokescreen to launch waves of torpedoes at anyone foolish enough to come close to the smoke to investigate. However, experienced players tend to be wise to this tactic and often retaliate by firing into the smoke at sea level (elite players are often quite good at judging from the muzzle flashes where to shoot a ship inside its own smoke screen) or blanketing the smoked-out area with torpedoes of their own. Thus the saying that "smokescreens are torpedo magnets."
  • X-COM
    • X-COM: UFO Defense: Explosions of any kind generate smoke, but Smoke Grenades make the densest clouds. The smoke obscures the units within it and breaks line of sight if there are enough tiles of it, making it useful to cross open terrain with. XCOM Terror From The Deep's Dye Grenades work in the exact same way.
    • XCOM: Enemy Unknown:
    • XCOM 2: The Smoke Grenade is an equippable item rather than a class ability, so any class can make use of it (Grenadiers give it a larger smoke radius with Heavy Ordnance get two uses if it's put in their dedicated grenade slot). It can be thrown as far as the edge of the soldier's view, lasts for 3 turns, and as turns go on the smoke starts visibly dissipating. It can be upgraded to a Smoke Bomb for added effect radius.
    • XCOM: Chimera Squad: Smoke Grenades are a Breach item. They're used when the squad invades the location of an encounter, and makes aggressive perps' shots less likely to hit. There are also Explosive Barrels that sometimes contain smoke; after they explode, the smoke cloud lingers and anyone inside gets the Shrouded status effect, with a bonus to Defense.
  • In Xenonauts, covering a tile in smoke degrades the accuracy of fire passing through it. Sebillians and a few other species are immune, but they have terrible long-range accuracy anyway.
  • There are smoke grenades in Zombs, but the top-down perspective limits their usefulness. This shortcoming is somewhat mitigated by them continuing to function and expand the smoke cloud for a good 15-20 seconds. Same goes for Gassy Grenades.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Ikemen Sengoku, this is one of Sasuke's main tactics, which makes sense considering that he basically took on the fictional(?) ninja Sasuke Sarutobi's role. Most routes have at least one scene of him using a smoke bomb to help his allies escape or giving the main character one of his smoke bombs that she uses later on to help save her love interest.
  • In Reflections on the River, this is one of Zheng's favourite moves. Zheng presents it as magic, but it's actually chemistry.

    Web Animation 
  • In the Chimney Chickens episode Comeback King, Slick Hisoka the ninja is running from Rob McLaury. When Slick gets backed up against a wall, he gets away by throwing down a smoke pellet. Slick is somehow gone in the split second it takes for the smoke to clear.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Summertime Shorts: In "Good Vibes", the human Trixie uses a Smoke In to appear in front of Fluttershy. Unlike her previous attempts at using smoke, it works perfectly.
  • RWBY Chibi has Blake doing this thrice while yelling "Ninja vanish!" A fourth attempt doesn't go well because she ran out of smoke bombs, so she just calls a "Ninja taxi".


    Web Original 
  • Whateley Universe:
    • Phase has his own Utility Belt even though he's just a high school frosh. He's done the Smoke Out, the Smoke In (using it as a costume change too), and even a smoke attack against Kismet.
    • This is also one of The Imp's signature moves; this is helped by the fact that one of her powers is a sort of optical camouflage, which makes her nearly invisible so long as she stands still. She makes this work by convincing her opponents that she is using Flashy Teleportation instead; because she resembles the classic image of a demon (and the associations with the fictional-in-universe comic book character Nightcrawler, who looks much the same way and whose teleportation is accomplanied by a puff of smoke), most seem to fall for it.

    Web Videos 
  • In the Super Therapy! episode "Robin, Are You Gay?", Batman gets out of the session with a smoke grenade.
    Robin: Now how is that not gay?

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in American Dad!. Roger did this twice but he kept falling over unconscious. Klaus tried this in "The One That Got Away", and he ended up in another dimension for 60 years (a few seconds in his world's time).
    Klaus: Wherever it was, I am now their king.
  • Archer: When Krieger gets caught breaking into a restricted area, he escapes by yelling the words "Smoke Bomb!" and running away. In "Dingo, Baby, Et Cetera" a hitwoman uses an actual smoke bomb to escape which Krieger admits is way more effective than his version.
  • Used in Avengers Assemble by Slinger (an Alternate Timeline version of Spider-Man) to escape Doctor Doom's Mecha-Mooks along with his "Defenders" friends. The grenades are clearly special, as the smoke they produce also hinders the robots' sensors.
  • Ben 10: Omniverse: Khyber's pet has one of his predator forms, Buglizard, who possess the ability to produce smokes in order to confuse its enemies and escape or attack, much the same way than Squids and Octopuses would. It's played more or less realistically, in that the smoke usually cover enough area so Buglizard's disappearance would be credible, and he is actually shown escaping to the viewer in some scene. Also subverted in a flashback, where Khyber, when confronted to the actual Buglizard he got the sample from, merely used a gaz mask with infavision to counter the smoke.
  • Batman: The Animated Series. Although in many cases, Bats is such a sneaky badass that he can quietly slip away or appear without the smoke.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • In "Shriek", Batman tries a smoke bomb against Shriek, but Shriek blows the smoke away with a sonic blast just as Batman barely gets behind a counter.
    • In "Eyewitness", the new Batman uses the standard schtick to get away from the police when he is framed for murder. However, the Police Commissioner is Barbara Gordon, formerly known as Batgirl. As such, she knows that stunt by heart and thwarts it easily using a police cruiser equipped with an industrial sized fan, which gives Batman a real challenge to get away.
  • Captain Planet and the Planeteers: An opportunistic rather than planned variant appears in "Smog Hog." While they're covertly watching Greedly sell Road Hogs, one of the Planeteers says that they need a way to get into the factory unobserved. Wheeler comes up with the idea of using the smog produced when one of the Road Hogs drives away as a smokescreen, and it works.
  • Darkwing Duck:
    • DD favors the Smoke In, as his main weapon is a gun that fires various gas pellets. It accompanies his Catchphrase, "I am the terror that flaps in the night..." Like many elements of his character (including his costume), this dramatic introduction is taken from The DCU's Crimson Avenger.
    • This regular schtick backfires on Darkwing at least once when he faces some FOWL goons; he creates some smoke and enters it for his entrance in front of them, but the guards, familiar with this move, simply punch into the cloud and connect, since they know Darkwing would be in there.
    • However, in another episode, Darkwing creates a cloud of smoke and begins his Catchphrase. The goons shoot the cloud of smoke, oblivious to the fact that Darkwing is, in fact, behind them...
    • And fails one time when he tells the the villain, "I am the terror that flaps in the night! I am... obviously all out of my trademark blue smoke."
  • Spoofed in an episode of Dave the Barbarian, where the Stump Sprite appears in a Smoke In and nearly chokes to death on his own smoke.
  • Dinotrux has the Big Bad D-Structs who occasionally makes his escape by slamming his tail into the ground and disappearing in the dust kicked up. He doesn't do it often, but it never fails to impress the heroes whenever he does.
  • DuckTales (2017): In the season one finale "Day of the Ducks", a depowered Magica DeSpell has to resort to a smoke bomb in order to escape from Scrooge and his family. It doesn't work out so well, and she's seen stumbling away as the smoke clears.
  • Ed, Edd n Eddy: In one episode spoofing spy movies, Gadgeteer Genius Edd fashions a jawbreaker-lookalike smoke bomb out of baby talcum powder, explaining that it's still in the experimental phase. Eddy fails to listen and deploys the jawbreaker at a party that the Eds crashed ("YOU'LL NEVER TAKE US ALIVE!"). Edd is proven right, as usual, when the bomb explodes and somehow fills the entire house with baby powder.
  • The Robot Devil pulls this move in the concert hall finale of Futurama, declaring "It's back to hell for me!" and vanishing in a puff of smoke. The camera then cuts to the stunned audience's reaction, and we see him quickly running up the aisle and out of the theater.
  • Gravity Falls has Grunkle Stan who uses this to get out of trouble at times. Unfortunately, he slips up in "The Stanchurian Candidate" by using an expired bomb that fizzles out.
  • Grojband has one episode where Mina used this technique to vanish along with Trina.
  • Jackie Chan Adventures:
    • Shendu and Daloan Wong would often use their magic to do this when they were about to be caught by Jackie and company or the authorities. The authorities would be shocked when the smoke cleared and they were suddenly holding empty air instead of the bad guys.
    • In "Into the Mouth of Evil", Jackie and Jade managed to escape the bad guys when Jackie made a cloud with a bag of curry powder.
  • Spoofed in Johnny Bravo when a criminal is cornered by the police. He throws down a smoke bomb and laughs, but then the smoke clears and he's still standing there. He mutters that he forgot about running away.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Parodied at the end of the episode "Boast Busters". Trixie uses a smoke bomb after being one-upped by Twilight Sparkle, but once the smoke clears we see her running off over the horizon.
    • Even got a Call-Back in "Magic Duel", when Trixie still fails at them, at one point even tripping and falling during the running-away part.
    • In "Luna Eclipsed", Zecora performs a Smoke In to make a dramatic entrance, as part of the special effects she uses to tell the spooky story of Nightmare Moon.
    • In "To Where and Back Again – Part 1", Trixie uses a smoke bomb to help her and Starlight Glimmer escape from Starlight's old village. This time, it works, as the smoke lingers longer and makes the ponies cough and clutch their eyes, so the two are far away by the time they recover.
    • In the next episode, "To Where and Back Again – Part 2", Trixie, with Thorax's help, uses her trademark exit trick to distract a changeling patrol. By taking Trixie's form, and with his knowledge of the hive's passages, Thorax and the magician can make it seem Trixie is doing quick, short-ranged teleportations.
    • In "Grannies Gone Wild", the magician Jack Pot (implied by Jim Miller to be Trixie's father) uses a smoke bomb after his Drowning Pit trick goes awry. Notably, he runs to the other side of the stage after setting off his smoke bomb.
  • In Perfect Hair Forever episode 2, Uncle Grandfather attempts one. He's still there once the cloud dissipates, though.
  • Parodied twice in Phineas and Ferb.
    • In "Isabella and the Temple of Sap", a guru the Fireside Girls meet gives them advice then disappears in a puff of smoke. Gretchen points out that he just moved a little ways away.
    • In "Does This Duckbill Make Me Look Fat?", Dr. Doofenshmirtz is outclassed by Perry in Candace's body bids hir farewell and appears to speed off screen in a Doofenshmirtz-shaped cloud of smoke. When the smoke clears, he's standing there, looking surprised, and asks "What just happened?"
  • In Randy Cunningham: Ninth Grade Ninja the eponymous Ninja uses smoke bombs for every entrance and exit of a battle. It always works, even though he yells out "Smoke Bomb!" every time he uses one.
  • Robotomy "Trials Of Robocles": Chief Suckerpunch smokes out after he explains Jockstrap Island but keeps coming back to respond to comments then smoke out again until he only creates a small puff.
    Suckerpunch: Just great, I ran out of magic smoke!
  • The Simpsons:
    • In an episode, a fortune teller consulted by Lisa appears to attempt a Smoke Out, but when the smoke clears, she's still at her table, quietly waiting for Lisa to leave.
    • In another episode, Mr. Burns attempts to use this trick to escape a tableful of stockholders — however, being ludicrously old and not very fast-moving, he's still fumbling with the door-handle when the smoke clears...
    • Bart pulls it once when Skinner discovers him running a card shark operation at the school fair. "Goodbye gentlemen."
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In an early episode, Plankton passes himself off as a Stage Magician to appear at the Krusty Krab's first talent show and claims that he'll make a Krabby Patty "disappear"—by stealing it. Mr. Krabs stops him, and Plankton tries to make a dramatic exit, complete with a magic phrase and a blast of smoke: "You may win this time...SHIA KAZEEK!" Unfortunately, the bomb simply explodes in his face and leaves him to walk out of the restaurant in shame—"Well, this stinks..."
    • Squidward performed a variation in "Mutiny on the Krusty" which left a splash of ink when he zooms offscreen.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars, "Lair of Grievous": During their duel at the end of the episode Kit Fisto keeps backing into the thick fog to hide his location from Grievous.
  • Subverted in Stroker and Hoop, where David Copperfield tries this and Stroker just shoots into the smoke and kills him (though he turned out to have just been Faking the Dead).
  • In the Filmation Superboy episode "A Devil of a Time", Superboy does both Smoke Outs and Smoke Ins (with magnesium pellets) while masquerading as the Devil.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • The 2000s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon has the Shredder's Elite Guard use this as a cover for Offscreen Teleportation, able to appear behind an opponent they've just vanished from in front of, all without being seen or heard by characters or viewers or having had time to go around and get into position. It's likely a legitimate super-power, what with the glowing red eyes.
    • Played hilariously straight in the Nickeleon show when Donatello creates smoke bombs for the first time. Michelangelo starts abusing them despite Don warning him they're hard to make, and the trope is so exagerated that it seems to give Michelangelo onscreen teleportation. At one point, he says he'll bring Splinter, throws a smokebomb... and when the smoke dissipates, not only has he disappeared, but Splinter is now standing in his place, asking calmy why they asked for him. Of course, at the end of the episode, when they actually need the smokebombs to escape Shredder, it turns out Michelangelo wasted all of them. Donatello made more in the following episodes through.
  • Teen Titans:
    • Used in Teen Titans when Robin used it to get his team away from Now-Evil Terra. Beast Boy lingers for a bit before he runs off into the smoke.
    • Later parodied in Sequel Series Teen Titans Go!, where Robin attempts to outwit Terra by using a smoke bomb, but it only lasts for a half-second and Robin remains in the same position.
  • In one episode of Time Squad, Tuddrussel gets a new Utility Belt full of gadgets and can't wait to try them out—and doesn't bother to read the instructions. When he's captured by George Washington Carver's evil brother Todd and his peanut-suited minions, Tuddrussel hits a random button that deploys a smoke screen...only the smoke is too thick and ends up keeping him from getting away.
  • Total Drama:
    • In one episode or Total Drama Island, Izzy uses this technique to vanish.
    • Inverted a couple of episodes later, when Chris uses the same technique to make an entrance.
    • In the All Stars episode "Suckers Punched" Jose uses the same technique to appear.
  • Smokescreen of The Transformers creates clouds of smoke that he uses to disorient opponents or help himself and his fellow Autobots escape pursuers. Deconstructed when the bad guys still manage to hit him by firing randomly into the cloud of smoke, knowing he's still in there somewhere.
  • In the T.U.F.F. Puppy segment "Super Duper Crime Busters", Kitty overdoes this, smoking in and out of places with the words "Nowhere and Everywhere!" Dudley even tells her they can see her as she tends to go a few feet away to get something.
  • The Venture Bros.:
    • Ninja technophile (literally) Otaku Senzuri does this all the time, but hasn't gotten hang of the hiding part. This leads to a lot of "Where did he go?" "Oh, he's right there." situations for him.
    • The Monarch tries an elaborate smoke-out after "trashing" the Venture compound. He shoots a sizeable puff of smoke with his wrist launcher, grabs Dr. Girlfriend, and they are whisked away on a grappling hook... where they hang for several hours, until everyone else leaves.
    • The Monarch tries this again in the season four finale when he "crashes" the Venture Brothers' Prom. He gives some speech and smokes out both him and Dr. Mrs.The Monarch and the two are seen still standing on the stage when the smoke clears at which point they just walk away.
  • In Wakfu episode "Xav the Baker", a ninja-baker uses a cloud of flour to disappear. (Word of God clarifies there was indeed a Ranma ½ inspiration for the character.)
  • Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner: Played with in "Fast and Furry-ous". The Coyote gets Acme Fleet-Foot Jet-Propelled Tennis Shoes, and test-runs them before the Road Runner arrives. First, the Road Runner makes his "BEEP BEEP" and starts his run with a dust cloud, the coyote in fast pursuit, only for the Road Runner to hold position. When the Coyote realizes the mistake and returns, the Road Runner does the same trick again, and the coyote waits for the dust cloud to clear, only for the runner to escape. Cue the pursuit.
  • Young Justice:
    • This is a favourite trick of Chesire; dropping a smoke bomb and not being there when the smoke clears.
    • Batgirl does it to escape from Lobo in "Happy New Year".

    Real Life 
  • Squids and octopuses do an Ink Out when they feel threatened.
  • Smoke grenades typically aren't used right at the user's feet but can have the same effect. In fact, it is most effective to throw the smoke grenade at the enemy so that he can't see anything. The closer the smoke grenade is to you, the easier it is to know where you are or if you leave that source of cover. However, if an enemy sniper has just shot your commander, you might not be able to immediately divine his location. In such cases, the best policy (after taking cover, of course) is to toss a smoke grenade near your own feet — even if the sniper knows you're somewhere in the cloud, he can't get a clear shot.
  • Smoke screens can be used to provide cover for a retreat (the enemy knows something's going on, but can't see exactly what).
  • Laying smoke is an extremely common tactic used in naval warfare. Particularly since it's incredibly easy for a ship to create a smokescreen, just by injecting fuel oil directly into the smokestacks, or on ships with steam engines by simply restricting air supply to the boilers. Not so much in modern times, as radar does limit its effectiveness, but used correctly can trick an enemy battle line into firing where you don't actually have ships.
  • Has been used in armored warfare since World War II; tanks fitted with smoke grenade launchers can create a smoke screen that allows them to withdraw from the enemy or provide cover for other units. In modern tank combat, smoke screens are often used to foil enemy targeting systems using smoke that's designed to block thermal imaging.
  • In a variation, an increasingly common technique against rapists and sexual assault is to throw glitter bombs at the perp, which, in addition to helping the would-be victim escape, immediately tells the world what the assaulter tried to do.

Alternative Title(s): Smoke In, Smoke Bomb, Smoke Bombs, Smoke Screen


Locking Up the Devil

Ancient folk saying: "You can catch the devil. But you cant' hold him long."

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / SealedEvilInACan

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