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Throat Light

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"All I know is, this Lo Pan character comes out of thin air in the middle of a goddamn alley while his buddies are flying around on wires cutting everybody to shreds, and he just stands there waiting for me to drive my truck straight through him with LIGHT coming out of his mouth?"
Jack Burton, Big Trouble in Little China

Whenever a character becomes powerful enough, they will demonstrate Power Glows with a Battle Aura that can range anywhere from nightlight to supernova. Other characters aren't quite so flashy, instead of turning into a human candle, they become more akin to a human lampshade as light pours out of every orifice (well, the ones on the face anyway... minus the ears and nostrils... okay, fine, just the eyes and mouth), as if they had a (potentially literal) inner fire. This may even be bright enough to be seen through their skin.

Their eyes will glow, their mouth will light up as if they were about to breathe fire... or ice! Characters with a Throat Light can have it be related to just about any elemental power, or due to being a machine, ghost, or some other strangeness. As with most Psychoactive Powers, the lights will blaze strongly when angry, low when sad, and flicker when near death. Sometimes, their mouth can fire up some Frickin' Laser Beam or even a Wave-Motion Gun.


Another use of this trope is not as fun for the glowing person: The light coming out of your body might indicate that you are about to blow up or burn internally from an accumulation of energy.

This can be really intimidating since it tends to be scalding hot/cold.

Compare Pre-Explosion Glow. Contrast with Epileptic Flashing Lights and Ghostly Gape. If taken up to eleven, may become an Energy Being.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach: During "The New Captain Shūsuke Amagai" anime arc, several people have this while wielding Bakkōtō blades, including the assassin Hanza, Captain Amagai's father and Captain Amagai himself.
  • In Rebuild of Evangelion, Shinji and Unit-01's awakened upgrade against Zeruel comes with this.
  • Fairy Tail: Natsu when he has a ball of fire in his mouth.
  • Naruto: The Tailed Beast forms have bright-white glowing mouths, Glowing Eyes of Doom included.
  • Mister Ajikko, a shonen anime about cooking, commonly abuses this effect to describe incredibly good food. With no hint of parodic intent in sight, to boot.
  • Pokémon: Jirachi: Wish Maker: The Fake Groudon has this going for its eyes and mouth. Ironically, it never actually uses fire breath- not that it needs to.

    Card Games 
  • The Visionary from Sentinels of the Multiverse has at least a few cards depicting this. "Precognition" shows her emitting a glowing smoke from her eyes and mouth while the background shows a Bad Future, and Mind Spike depicts her blasting one of the villains with pure psychic energy, some of which leaks out the villain's face.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm, this is a characteristic of all but the most controlled Phoenix Hosts, combined with Glowing Eyes of Doom. It's most prominent with any and all manifestations of the Dark Phoenix, a sign that the Humanoid Abomination in question is becoming little more than a thin shell for the Eldritch Abomination cooking within.
  • In The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, when the priest of Meddar channels his god, light erupts from every orifice, including his mouth, when the god speaks.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Batman Begins, when the city is hopped up on fear gas and they get a look at Batman, he's basically a bat-demon with a hellfire inner glow.
  • In Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, Doomsday has one just before unleashing his heat vision.
  • Big Trouble in Little China. When in his ghost form, David Lo Pan can send a blinding light out of his mouth and eyes.
  • The villain in Cradle 2 the Grave gets a radioactive pill caught in his throat, burning him from the inside as light pours out of his throat and eventually his eyes.
  • In the Swedish cult slapstick comedy Drömkåken, one of the bad guys attempts to cut a chain with a chainsaw, but the chain happens to be conducting electricity. The resulting Harmless Electrocution lights up his mouth in addition to messing up his hair.
  • Ghostbusters. While Dana Barrett is looking into her refrigerator she sees one of Gozer's demons. The demon opens its mouth and a light comes out of it.
  • Godzilla:
  • The Hobbit: When Smaug is ready to breathe fire, bright light shines from his chest up his neck.
  • The creepy alien angel guys from Knowing, whose creepiness is upped by their only apparent communication being opening their mouths and emitting a light and a wail.
  • The Balrog in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has this. It is also glowing from various cracks in its skin, the implication being that it is simply a giant flame in demonic form cloaked by shadow.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • This happens to Extremis soldiers in Iron Man 3 before they blow up.
    • At the end of Guardians of the Galaxy, when Rocket Raccoon joins the other Guardians in sharing the devastating energy of the Power Stone, its purple glow can be seen coming from his throat.
  • The Matrix Revolutions. This happens briefly to Neo at the end as the machines channel their power through him to destroy the Agents Smith, as well as to the Agent Smith that possessed the Oracle.
  • In Pacific Rim, most Kaiju have a bioluminescent version of this. Their power lies elsewhere in comparison to most examples here, however.
  • Devastator from Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
  • White light spews from the mouths of those replaced by aliens in The World's End.

  • The Wheel of Time has Ba'alzamon, whose mouth (and eyes) looks like endless caverns of flame when seen directly. This is a result of his overuse of the True Power and according to Word of God as sign that it has consumed him so thoroughly that he'd die if he hadn't been granted immortality by the Dark One.
  • In the Second Apocalypse books, the throats of sorcerers glow with light when they recite their magical cants.
  • In I, Jedi, when Corran opens himself fully to the Force for the first time, he finds it amazing, incredible, and says that he was completely filled with its power, which spilled and flowed from his eyes and mouth.
  • In the Old Kingdom books by Garth Nix, Free Magic sorcerers flame from their mouths, eyes, fingernails, etc. as they cast, and get that way more and more, the more Free Magic they use, until they wind up as masses of flaming Free Magic. They appear to be fine with that.
  • In Memory, Sorrow and Thorn, the Storm King possesses a victim at the climax in an attempt to return to life. One of the symptoms of said possession is a deep reddish light coming out of the victim's mouth.
  • C. L. Moore's story "Daemon" has this passage:
    I saw the flaming thing descend upon the captain like a falling star. Through his defending arms it swept, and through his flesh and his bones and into the hollows where the soul dwells.
    He stood for an instant transfixed, motionless, glowing with that bath of crimson light. Then I saw the crimson begin to shine through him, so that the shadows of his bones stood out upon the skin. And then fire shot up, wreathing from his eyes and mouth and nostrils. He was a lantern of flesh for that fire of the burning spirit. But he was a lantern that is consumed by the flame it carries...

    Live-Action TV 
  • Supernatural: Several supernatural creatures including angels, demons, reapers and Zeus produce one when they die. The shtriga produces one when it's about to feed.
  • A Goa'uld torture device in Stargate SG-1 causes this effect on the victim.
  • Jim Staal had a recurring character on Laff Traxx, a Sketch Comedy show, where he was the Anthropomorphic Personification of your refrigerator (and EVIL!), who had a light in his mouth whenever he spoke.
  • Doctor Who: The Doctor does this when he regenerates (transforming from one actor to another).

  • "Kingdom" by Dave Gahan.
  • "Pyromania" by Cascada has throat strobe lights.
  • "Ich tu dir weh" by Rammstein features frontman Till Lindemann using this trope with full force. They did this by piercing his cheek and inserting an LED light. Throughout the video, the wire coming out of his cheek is visible. He also wears the light while playing live.
  • Laurie Anderson, on the cover of her "United States Live" box set live album.

  • In Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues, when Luna first receives her power to control electricity, lightning spills out of her body and causes her eyes and mouth to glow with light.

    Tabletop Games 
  • A common look for daemons in Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, and the part-daemonic Dark Eldar Mandrakes in the latter (those with mouths anyway - Mandrakes tend to have featureless smooth faces that manifest either glowing eyes or just this kind of mouth, but not both. Though their infernal inner glow also shines out from slashes and carved runes in their flesh - which is jet black to emphasise the contrast).
  • Happens in Werewolf: The Forsaken, among the adherents of the Temple of Apollo. When on their Sacred Hunt, if the target has trespassed in one of their holy places and once the adherent uses enough abilities towards their prey, Apollo's power pours through the werewolf. Light spills from their mouth and eyes, granting them a number of extra advantages and lighting up the area.
  • In the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, the Scourge subrace of Aasimar (essentially half-angels) has torrents of golden light start pouring out of their eyes and mouth when they activate their racial ability, Radiant Consumption.

    Video Games 
  • In Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale, this happens to Arma when she's being hacked into and taken over remotely or displaying a warning.
  • In Dead Space 2, Isaac's recurring hallucination of Nicole has bright white light pouring out of her eyes and mouth.
  • Destiny features a race of sentient machines known as Exos who all — player characters and NPCs alike — have a visible light at the back of their throats which lights up whenever they speak.
  • In Panzer Dragoon Zwei, Khourieats, a lizard-like animal used for riding and carrying, are killed by imperial decree if they develop one of these. Our hero Lundi decides to hide his because its forelegs mutated into wings as well (and that's just too cool to simply kill off). As it turns out, the light is a manifestation of their Homing Laser Breath, which The Empire didn't want getting out.
  • In a variation, this happens in Deus Ex: Human Revolution to the Final Boss when they overload and burn up from the inside.
  • In Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, Kerrigan finally disposes of Arcturus Mengsk in such a manner. She channels a portion of her immense psionic energies into him; far more than his human body is capable of holding. First, his eyes glow, then this happens, and then he turns into a giant explosion that takes out the wall he's standing next to.
  • The Boys of Silence in Bioshock Infinite do this. They were huge brass helmets with no eyes and a gaping mouth that spews white light, to act as living security cameras in Comstock House. The light changes color if one sees you, and if it goes red, they emit an ear-piercing scream to alert the nearby lunatics.
  • Helios in God of War 3, whose severed head Kratos can use as a lantern, among other things.
  • In The Legend of Zelda game Hyrule Warriors, bright orange light pouring of his open mouth is the second tell that King Dodongo is about to use his fireball attack.
  • Kirby: Nightmare in Dream Land features Nightmare dying in this manner, his eyes gouged in a pale light as he dissipates upon defeat.
    • Parallel Nightmare, his alternate-universe counterpart is greeted with the same fate in Super Kirby Clash after being slain from behind by Aeon Hero/Galacta Knight, pale eyes and all.
  • NEO: The World Ends with You: Played for Laughs; Nagi's reaction to food she loves is to spew a beam of light as though the food is causing her to ascend to godhood.

    Web Comics 
  • In El Goonish Shive, when the Taurcanis Draco charges up an explosive blast, light shines from its mouth.
  • Deliberately invoked by Big Ears in Goblins to scare off a crowd of human civilians, by putting the Axe of Prissan through his head and aligning the glowing yellow orb on top of the magic weapon with his throat. Behold.
  • Girl Genius: The "Fun-Sized Mobile Agony and Death Dispensors" (a.k.a. Devil Dogs) of Castle Heterodyne have this going. Not so much of a Power Glows example, though, since they're clanks.
  • After separating from Flint the Box Head Boy in The Dreamwalker Chronicles combines a glowing disappearing mouth with glowing eye holes when eating dreams.
  • The Order of the Stick: In strip, #1148, the Deva processing Durkon's resurrection has yellow light pouring from his eyes and throat. It's bright enough that Durkon and Minrah have to close their eyes when he briefly talks to them.

    Web Videos 
  • The Joueur du Grenier special about cartoons for boys ends up with a review of the Mister Ajikko anime, mentioned above, and comments about the exaggerated effects. Then JdG says "Imagine if the slightest thing you'd eat would make you—" while eating a bit of chocolate. Throat Light ensues, and then the Earth explodes.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • Jack O Lanterns.
  • Till Lindemann of Rammstein now sports a lit mouth as of the video for "Ich tu dir weh". It's removable, but he got a cheek piercing specifically for the purpose of wiring it.
  • It is possible to get glow-in-the-dark braces.
  • Some baby birds have glow-in-the-dark spots around their mouths, possibly acting as a guide to show the parents where to put food in the dark nest.


Video Example(s):


Lo Pan

As part of his mind control powers.

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