Follow TV Tropes


Why Am I Ticking?

Go To

A character unwittingly becomes a walking, talking bomb through Applied Phlebotinum. They can have explosive devices implanted in them by the villain, or in other cases, they are the bomb due to applications of combustive or out-of-control super powers.

Whichever way, they're extremely hazardous to the health of the people around them, made all the more urgent by the fact that they may not even know that they're the threat.

In Video Games, this type of effect is frequently employed by bosses (and sometimes by players) as a Herd-Hitting Attack. Expect Ludicrous Gibs if the character blows up.

Not to be confused with Action Bomb, which is when a character blows themselves up as a form of attack. See also Explosive Leash and Strapped to a Bomb. May take the form of a Typhoid Mary, Walking Wasteland, and/or Poisonous Person. When used by a villain, it has a high chance of being their Moral Event Horizon. If the ticking is literal, it may be due to playing Grenade Tag with a Sticky Bomb. If overhearing it affords others a chance to run for cover when the walking bomb approaches, this trope overlaps with The Croc Is Ticking.



    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • The 80's anime version of Astro Boy has Astro fall in love with a robotic atom bomb called Nuka. It ends about as well as you'd expect.
  • Bleach's Mayuri Kurotsuchi turns his subordinates into living bombs. This is the least of his many offenses.
  • Blue Drop: When they attacked, the Arume had girls float down from the sky and then blow themselves up while smiling. This is a completely voluntary process, though the Arume don't like it when you don't go through with it.
  • Chargeman Ken! has one of the most infamous (and memetic) uses of this trope in an episode where the evil aliens turn a kind-hearted scientist into a human bomb. When Ken finds out he gives a perfunctory apology, then dumps the scientist out a trapdoor onto an enemy spaceship, blowing them to Kingdom Come.
  • In Cromartie High School, a simple time bomb is attached to Mechazawa, but the situation devolves to the point where the students give up in disarming the mechanism in Mechazawa and deliberately move on to other things like figuring out how the heck Hideki Takahashi's antenna things work.
  • In a one-shot episode of Detective School Q, a bomber claims that he has planted three bombs in the school. He is captured before the second bomb goes off, and claims that the third will kill Dan Morihiko. The bomber had planted the bomb on Dan's assistant during the confusion of the second explosion, in the belief that she will still be standing next to him when the timer expires.
  • The 2003 anime version of Fullmetal Alchemist has State Alchemist Zolf Kimblee who, quite differently from his original manga counterpart, uses his alchemic powers to turn people into living bombs by rearranging the chemicals in their bodies. Eventually, he got bored with killing the enemy and started blowing up his own allies just so that he could see them explode. By the time he's released from a military prison by the series' resident General Ripper, he's become little more than a Psycho for Hire who likes making people blow themselves up.
    Kimblee: Don't worry, you still have plenty of time. I transmuted it into a material that absorbs oxygen very slowly. So you can enjoy the precious time you have left... before you explode.
    • Alphonse also lands in this trope when he basically becomes a walking unstable Philosopher's Stone as a result of an Emergency Transformation after meeting Kimblee, who did the same thing to him.
    • Also in the Manga/Brotherhood version when Kimblee turns the warden's wristwatch into a ticking time bomb. Subverted in that it turns out to be just a toy.
  • Gantz warns characters who stray from the combat zone with a beeping sound. Then their heads explode.
  • In a post-series interview, Gundam SEED director Mitsuo Fukuda said that they considered a plot where Flay was implanted with a bomb and died outside the Archangel with Sai.
    • Actually happens in ∀ Gundam. When nuclear warheads are dug up and fought over, causing most of them to detonate, Loran takes the two remaining ones and stores them in the missile silos inside Turn-A's chest until he can safely dispose of them. Until that moment comes many episodes later, he has to worry about the warheads going off if Turn-A is struck in the chest.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Genthru from the Greed Island arc has the power to attach time bombs to whoever he wished by simply touching them and saying "Bomber". Activating the countdown, however, requires him to explain how his power works to his victims.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • In Part 4, Diamond is Unbreakable, Big Bad Yoshikage Kira's Stand "Killer Queen" has the power to change any object into a bomb as its primary ability, which he can detonate at will by moving his finger as if pressing a trigger. This includes people. Aya Tsuji is killed this way. The explosion usually consumes the victim without a trace true to his nature as a Serial Killer. Late in the story, Kira develops Killer Queen Bites the Dust, a literal Time Bomb implanted into an individual that automatically explodes anyone who tries to learn Kira's identity from them, at which point a "Groundhog Day" Loop occurs and the previous morning is repeated. The person actually carrying the bomb, however, isn't harmed by Bites the Dust.
      • The exact way this works is actually very unusual. Killer Queen touches an object to mark it with its power then afterward if someone touches that object they explode.
    • In Part 7, Steel Ball Run, Oyecomova's Stand "Boku no Rhythm wo Kiitekure" has the ability to manifest pins on anything that he touches, including water, smoke and of course, people. Once these pins are removed the item to which they were attached explodes with the force of a small bomb.
  • The protagonist of Rumiko Takahashi's first published story, "Those Selfish Aliens", is kidnapped left and right by various organizations, cults, and aliens — each of which plants a bomb inside him to annihilate their enemies. By the end, he's literally a walking, talking Doomsday Device that can destroy the galaxy if he so much as trips, so the entire armed forces of the world (and the aliens) have to protect him from everything and anything.
  • Zambot 3: Killer the Butcher would have the Gaizok kidnap a bunch of people, modify them into bombs, and then release them back into human society. Eventually, the timers will run out and boom. This is one of the most depraved acts that you could possibly imagine... And the mildest atrocity that The Butcher committed.
  • In a DVD-exclusive episode of 009-1, Mylene/Agent 009-1 wakes up after having sex with a handsome dark-skinned musician and is told by him that he knows she's a spy, and that he has put a bomb inside her body and will detonate it if she tries anything. Though it turns out that he didn't actually put the bomb in her, it was in his own head, which blew up when he hit the detonator. Mylene, who had started to feel genuinely attracted to the guy before said revelation, cries and mourns him because she thought they would've been happy together.

    Audio Plays 
  • In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio "Bang-Bang-a-Boom", pop star Nicky Newman is revealed to have had a tiny bomb slipped to him, disguised as an asprin, but capable of going off with enough force to blow up an entire space station; the Doctor and Mel have to render Nicky unconscious and stop him performing in the Intergalactic Song Contest in case his stage fright causes enough internal shifts to set the bomb off.

    Comic Books 
  • The Fourth Doctor became a living bomb in his first American comic-book outing, a colored version of the Doctor Who Magazine story "The Star Beast." A small gang of aliens knock him unconscious and surgically implant the remote-controlled bomb into him. When he escapes, he spends the rest of the story complaining of a stomachache, until he realizes at the cliffhanger that he is the bomb. This being the Doctor, he swiftly thwarts the signal with a piece of lead roofing.
  • This was done in the last Cybertron Scenes of G.I. Joe vs. the Transformers II, issue four. A refitted Starscream (now a Cobra Nightraven) has escaped to rejoin Shockwave, who became Decepticon leader after Megatron's defeat (Vol. 1) and disassembly (Vol. 3). Just as Shockwave is about to take a seemingly repentant Starscream back (since he wanted to "come home"), a recording begins to play, where Cobra Commander tells of Starscream's faults. Shockwave senses a trap, but the next scene has the room he, Starscream, and several other Decepticons were in destroyed as it was revealed in the last words of the recording, "But it's nothing the forty-five pounds of plastic explosive I lined his housing with won't fix."
  • In Iron Man story "The Big Bang Theory", the armor's software has been tampered with, turning it into a bomb.
  • At the climax of Lex Luthor: Man of Steel, Lex Luthor sends his “ally” Hope to fight Superman, only for an injury during the battle to reveal wiring in her gut. Luthor promptly activates a self-destruct mechanism built into Hope to try and frame Superman for her death, revealing the entire story was all a deranged scheme to tarnish Superman’s reputation. The poor woman doesn’t even realize what’s happening until she hears beeping...
  • The Strikeforce: Morituri character Jason Edwards, pseudonym "Revenge", was pretty much halfway between X-Men's Gambit and Fullmetal Alchemist's Solf J. Kimblee (the 2003 anime's version, mentioned above). He made matter degrade into energy, at varying rates and intensities, with a touch. When confronted with a speedster (capable of breaking the speed of sound on foot), he just had to wait until the speedster next punched him. The speedster exploded moments later.
    • Earlier in the series, as the Morituri become more successful at repelling the Horde, they try to terrorize humanity into submission by secretly implanting bombs into unsuspecting humans and detonating them in public.
    • Technically all of Morituri are this since they can all die explosively at any minute. Most noticeably the death of one causes a hull breach in the ship they're using to take the fight to the Horde fleet.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (IDW): Just as the Turtles think they’ve saved Slash by breaking him free of Agent Bishop’s mind control, they get a horrifying revelation; while Bishop had Slash under his control, he implanted a low-yield nuclear device in his body as a failsafe in case Slash fell back into enemy hands. With no way to disarm the device within its time limit, the heroes are forced to drop Slash into the middle of the ocean (at his own request) so that he won’t harm anyone as he explodes.
  • Recurring Wolverine character Elsie Dee appears to be a little girl (with a highly annoying speech impediment) but is actually a robot stuffed with bombs, and set to go off when she happens to get near Logan.

    Fan Works 
  • Dreaming of Sunshine features Shikako, who uses this in at least two fights. When fighting Kimimaro she is unsuccessful, probably due to exhaustion and Kimimaro's great power. Later, during the Second Chunin Exams, she accomplishes it successfully against her kidnappers and blows one's head clean off.

    Films — Animated 
  • In Cars 2, Mater gets a time bomb bolted to his engine (initially without his knowledge) as part of the villain's plan to kill Lightning McQueen. It backfired.
  • Riddick in Dark Fury has a small bomb implanted into his neck. During the big fight scene he cuts it out with a knife and throws the activated bomb at his captors. Bad ass.
  • In the beginning of Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, the Rogues manage to capture Flash inside the Flash Museum. Zoom details his plans.
    Zoom: I'm going to bring this shrine to your ego down on your head, along with 10 square blocks of Central City and everyone around.
    Captain Cold: What? What are you talking about? We didn't bring any bombs.
    Zoom: Oh, but I did. [tiny bombs attached to Captain Cold, Captain Boomerang, Top, Mirror Master, and Heatwave start ticking]
    • Fortunately for them, the Justice League arrives and disarms the bombs.
  • A unique variant in the "Stink Bomb" story of the movie Memories: a hapless employee at a pharmaceutical company accidentally ingests some funny red-and-blue capsules (instead of the blue-and-red ones that would have cured his flu.) As a result, he constantly emits from his sweat glands a HIGHLY toxic gas that can kill any animal instantly and short out electronics. Worse, its range, toxicity and density increase as he gets more stressed out, which is kind of a problem when the Japanese Self Defense Force and the American military send whole fleets to catch him. He doesn't catch on that there's anything wrong with him until literally the final second of the story.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alien: Resurrection, the survivors find one of the evil scientist's victims, a man who has been implanted with an alien embryo. Considering that a monster is going to burst out of his chest in a matter of hours they're wary of taking him along and constantly on alert to kill him if it happens.
  • The villainess of Angel With The Iron Fists is taken out in this manner, where after making a getaway on her escape boat, it's revealed that the "hidden" Time Bomb is actually on her boat's bottom deck. Cue an explosion a long distance away.
  • The kids in Battle Royale have exploding bomb collars attached to them that go off if they stray into areas of the island that are marked as off-limits, or just generally if they do anything to piss someone with a detonator off.
  • Birds of Prey (2020): At the climax, Sionis is holding Cassandra at knife point, when she pulls out a grenade pin, revealing that she slipped one on him when he wasn't looking. She then shoves him away and Harley kicks him off the pier, leaving him to blow up just before he hits the water.
  • The movie Casino Royale (1967) had Woody Allen, as Jimmy Bond Jr., being tricked into swallowing an explosive pill, which then explodes and blows up the casino.
  • In a more literal sense of the trope name, Casino Royale (2006) has a terrorist who sets off a bomb he believes to be attached to a fuel truck next to a prototype jumbo jet. Unbeknownst to him, however, Bond had attached the bomb to his belt during the preceding fight scene. He gets just enough time to locate the source of the beeping before he goes boom.
  • In Cyborg 2, the evil corporation that makes the titular cyborgs has developed an untraceable chemical that can be put into any cyborg, turning them into a remote-detonated bomb. The main character is an assassin gynoid built just for this purpose and doesn't take it very well. At the very end of the film, the Big Bad Corrupt Corporate Executive gets tired of trying to capture the heroine and decides to just transmit the command code to blow her up. However, instead of activating the heroine's bomb, The Mentor (Jack Palance!) starts ticking... which is bad news for the Big Bad, because the bad guys had just captured The Mentor and he's tied up just a few feet away from the Big Bad. The Mentor sneers "Looks like you kissed the wrong ass goodbye!" then blows the Big Bad sky high.
  • In The Dark Knight, The Joker plants a cell phone-triggered bomb in — yes, in — one of his henchmen as part of his Gambit Roulette to be captured by the Gotham police, kidnap Lau and escape. The henchmen in question had already died from the implanting before the Joker triggers it though.
  • This was how Snake Plissken was roped into all the shenanigans of Escape from New York, although in his case he not only knew the bomb was there but had a handy-dandy countdown timer. Used again in the sequel, only with a virus instead of a bomb. And still with a countdown timer to exactly when the virus would kill him. Subverted there, because the virus was just a "fast, hard-hitting case of the Flu".
  • An earlier Bond film, For Your Eyes Only, has 007 battling a henchman in a heavy JIM suit underwater. Said henchman is defeated when Bond attaches the demo charge from the MacGuffin (as a bonus, it's actually ticking) to his diving suit, and it explodes before the henchman can remove it (he can't remove him with such a stiff suit, anyway).
  • Occurs in the film Godzilla vs. Destoroyah after too much radiation causes Godzilla to become a ticking nuclear bomb that will destroy all life on earth once he goes into meltdown. Luckily for everyone, Junior absorbs most of the radiation and mutates into a full-grown Godzilla.
  • When Tae-go commandeers a Japanese jeep and throws the driver out in The Good, the Bad, the Weird, he stuffs a lit stick of dynamite down the back of the driver's pants. The driver has a few seconds to realise something is horribly wrong before he blows up.
  • In Hard Target, Chance drops a primed hand grenade down Fouchon's pants and then tosses him away.
  • This is the basis for the plot of the movie Impostor, based on a short story by Philip K. Dick. The main character of the story is suddenly arrested and told that he's not the man he believes himself to be: he's really an Artificial Human that is designed to be indistinguishable from the original except that, when he encounters the proper "trigger", he will explode. He doesn't believe it, escapes from his would-be executioners, and tries to find evidence to prove that he isn't an impostor. At the end of the movie, he discovers that he really is an impostor, and then promptly explodes.
  • Live Wire has a rather nightmarish example in the toxin the bad guys develop. It looks like ordinary water, but whoever ingests it goes into convulsions, and their bodies graphically start to tear apart before they go up in a massive explosion.
  • If enough time to say "No fair!" is enough to be a time bomb, then we should certainly count the unluckiest pirate from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. You know, the one who got a lit grenado shoved between his curse-bared ribs, then was pushed back out of the moonlight so his flesh re-formed and rendered it inaccessible.
  • Mission: Impossible III: the female agent near the beginning, and later Ethan Hunt. Admittedly, it was a small bomb, only enough to turn their brains into mashed potatoes, not enough to 'gib' them.
  • In Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005), Mrs. Smith slips a bomb into Mr. Smith's dinner jacket. He discovers it in time when a bystander asks him if he "knows he's ticking".
    Mrs. Smith: It was only a little bomb.
  • Resident Evil: The Final Chapter: During her Final Battle with Dr. Issacs, Alice is beaten down, but then laughs and reveals that during the struggle, she slipped a grenade on him and ripped out the pin. Issacs has just enough time to realize what happened before a hole gets blown out of his side.
  • Done earlier in (Roger Corman Presents) Suspect Device, which starts off looking to be a rip-off of Three Days of the Condor, but the main characters turns out to be a robotic bomb programmed with a set of mostly consistent memories based off the designers... and decides that he really doesn't like the people who made him that way.
  • In Swordfish, the opening scene involves a heist wherein hostages are collared with proximity-triggered claymore bombs. Police manage to drag a hostage away, not knowing this. But she does.
  • In Touch of Evil, no one takes any notice of the woman passenger in the car who keeps saying, "There's this ticking noise in my head." It's actually not in her head at all; it's in the trunk.

  • Able Team. When Carl Lyons is captured by the Unomundo organization he pretends to do a Face–Heel Turn, planning to escape when he has a suitable opportunity. Later when sneaking around their headquarters he breaks into a room which has X-Rays taken of his neck, showing an implant the size of an AAA battery, in the same position as a surgical scar which Carl assumed was a result of his injuries when captured. There are also a series of photographs of a South American peasant with a similar scar, before and after his neck is blown open. Later when the rest of Able Team arrive to rescue Carl, they have to cut out the device with a shard of mirror glass (in case the bomb is magnetically triggered).
  • In Brian W. Aldiss's short story "All the World's Tears", those people refused permission to breed by the Mating Center are modified so that if another person so much as touches them, they explode.
  • In All Capable to Bear Arms (a Russian Alternate History thriller with a lot of Mind Screw and Black Comedy) by Sergey Lazarchuk the protagonist secret agent deduces that his radioisotope-powered heart implant is really a nuclear bomb that will destroy all his team and any evidence if something goes wrong. He's wrong. Actually he is programmed to kill his team and destroy all evidence, because nukes are too easy to detect.
  • Apprentice Adept In Blue Adept, the hero is forewarned that the villain will try to force a magic bomb that will destroy him if he returns to Phaze (the world of magic) with it. The bomb turns out to be a bullet, which the villain shoots into the hero, who realizes Just in Time what it really is.
  • In Consent to Kill, Mitch Rapp equips a (drugged, so he is not aware of it) terrorist with a suicide vest, and then sends him out to be reunited with this father (who had been funding Islamic terrorism for years, including using his son in attacks). This greatly confuses the allies of the father, who take quite a while to figure out that this wasn't a rival Islamic terrorist group.
  • Simply by nature of their physiology, swamp dragons in Discworld are highly combustible. They extract flammable chemicals from everything they eat- and to do this, their digestive tract reconfigures itself with every bite. If anything goes wrong, they blow up- and if they're lucky, the explosion will be connected to one of their two outlets, and they won't die. Now, they only ever get this explosive indigestion if they're nervous. But they all know that if they ever let their nerves get to them, their bodies will explode. In short, Terry Pratchett is an evil, evil man.
    • The swamp dragons are deconstructions of standard fantasy dragons. The first time they were major plot elements was in a book where a standard fantasy dragon was the villain; the contrast makes the point that a dragon without massive amounts of magic fueling it would lead a hapless short life but just might manage some awesome tricks before his end. Sure, Pratchett is an evil man, but there's more to swamp dragons than just that.
    • In The Last Hero it's implied that swamp dragons are descended from moon dragons, which are basically perfect for their habitat as they have natural rocket propulsion. Pratchett isn't an evil man, the dragons just work better in space.
    • The swamp dragons, the jargon used, and the people who breed them are a spot on caricature of horses and "the horsey set" who breed them.
      • Horses are animals whose primary purpose seems to be the conversion of piles of money into manure. There's a reason horse-racing is known as 'the sport of kings'. It's wildly expensive and incredibly finicky.
      • Horses' other purpose is to get sick in almost uncountable ways. Overexertion will kill them. (Riding a horse to death). So will lack of exercise. Their diseases fill books. Break a leg and it's off to the glue factory. They have to have the proper mixture of feed, water, and exercise every day. In short, swamp dragons have nothing on horses.
      • Except maybe a tendency to die explosively. As Vetinari himself points out, (albeit not in comparing them to dragons) horses "...they very seldom explode. Almost never, in my experience, apart from that unfortunate occurrence in the hot summer a few years ago."
      • Actually, given that one of the big 'dragon-breeding' groups is known as the Cavern Club, it may be more of a reference to "the pedigree dog set".
  • The aliens in the sequel to The Fifth Wave, The Infinite Sea put bombs in little children's throats then send them into groups of unsuspecting survivors, often saying "my throat hurts" then, when the bomb detects carbon dioxide from the breath of a human being looking at him or her, they die in an explosion big enough to turn a barn into a smoking crater. This becomes a very important plot twist when the main characters encounter Megan, a little girl that Sammy/Nugget met on a bus bound for Camp Haven, with such an explosive device attached, and deployed to ensure their demise, they were able to remove it and use it on a Silencer pursuing an injured Evan, were it not for Evan, they would not have known the threat she inadvertently posed until it was too late
    • The removed bomb was instrumental in defeating Evan's Pursuer, Grace, when Poundcake blew into the bomb, sacrificing himself to take the aforementioned Silencer down with him in a fiery green demise
  • The Franny K. Stein book Frantastic Voyage has Franny create a grape-sized doomsday device powerful enough to destroy most of the Earth as a security measure in case her ideas are at risk of falling into the wrong hands. Her dog Igor unwittingly eats the doomsday device, requiring Franny to travel inside Igor to deactivate the doomsday device before it's too late.
  • Stephen Donaldson's Gap series featured Kazes — people who had been kidnapped, drugged, brainwashed, operated on, given false ID and sent to their victims' offices for a brief visit: FEWER internal organs, more explosives.
  • Subverted in children's series Hank the Cowdog: Hank hears a clicking sound and thinks there's a bomb, but it turns out to just be Drover's teeth chattering because he's scared.
  • Philip K Dick's awesome short story "Imposter" features a man trying to prove that he is not a living bomb. At the end, he realizes that he IS the bomb, and it's the realization that causes him to explode.
  • Oliver Twisted: Played with in the climax, the body of Bill Sikes, after being possessed by his victim's Vengeful Ghost, blows apart from the inside out, with tendons and gore spreading across the rooftop.
  • Podkayne of Mars: Pod's little brother Clark is bribed to smuggle a "gift to the captain" on board the spacecraft. However Clark isn't an idiot (why not just give the gift to the purser?) and breaks into the package from underneath and disarms what turns out to be a small nuclear weapon. That he decides to keep.
  • A subplot in Sewer, Gas & Electric involves a greedy capitalist who has been fitted with an explosive collar. It will go off in twenty-four hours, killing him, unless he manages to earn $1000 by begging in Grand Central, and feed all the bills through a shredder attached to the collar. Naturally, people are less likely to give him money when they see what he's doing with it...
  • "Cortex Bombs" are mentioned, but not actually featured, a few times in William Gibson's Sprawl Trilogy. In Neuromancer Case goes to the Finn to get a scan for implants and Finn asks if he's paranoid about bombs note  While in Count Zero the med team on a corporate defection operation states that cortex bombs are an occasional occupational hazard of these things, but the current fashion is to get them addicted to designer drugs administered by a modified insulin pump.
  • In the Star Wars Legends novel Conviction, C-3PO is unknowingly fitted with a bomb inside him in an attempt to kill Queen Mother Tenel Ka of Hapes, to whom he is the designed translator.
  • The Eternal Emperor of the Sten series has a bomb implanted in his body with a dead man switch, to preclude an autopsy and preserve his mystique.
  • The War Against the Chtorr
    • While on his first mission into a Chtorran nest, the protagonist catches the Sergeant Rock character trying to sneak a radio-detonated bomb into his backpack. After some argument the bomb stays, given that the Chtorrans kill by eating you alive.
    • An Offscreen Moment of Awesome is how the United States defeats a Fourth World invasion. Turns out the US sold the invading countries most of their weapons or the electronic circuitry used in those weapons, but said nothing about the trojan horse software that enabled them to sabotage or even detonate those weapons on command.
  • In Graham Mc Neil's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Nightbringer, a drug-addict cartel leader explodes a few minutes after ingesting a Dark Eldar poison from a tampered-with drug inhaler.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens in one of the later seasons of Alias, when Will is abducted and has a small bomb implanted in his head. Neither he nor Sydney realize the bomb is there until it starts ticking, making this trope quite literal.
  • In the Season 5 premiere of Angel, Wolfram & Hart's client threatens to detonate a virus bomb hidden somewhere in L.A.; it turns out to be inside the client's own son.
    • Illyria was also one of these in a later episode.
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future had a rare heroic example of this. When confronted with a questionable ally, Power locked an explosive cuff on him and informed him that it would be detonated if he tried to run or turn traitor. No surprise the series was produced by JMS.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "Victory of the Daleks" gives us Professor Edwin Bracewell, who was created by the Daleks to back up their proof of them being his "creations". The Daleks also created Bracewell as a bomb, should things start to go wrong. Thankfully, the Power of Love manages to stop him from detonating.
    • "The Woman Who Fell to Earth": Alien headhunter Tzim-Sha has his data coil implant DNA bombs in the Doctor and her new friends as a means of eliminating them as witnesses. During the final showdown with the Doctor, he activates them, only to discover that the Doctor removed them earlier and tricked him into absorbing them into himself when he interacted with the data coil.
  • One episode of La Femme Nikita featured Nikita interrogating a captured informant, who had information about the identity of a suicide bomber with a bomb implanted inside their body, sent to destroy the agency. Nikita develops a bond with the informant, but eventually realizes that the informant herself is the suicide bomber, when a brain-scan shows a reaction when she looks at a reflection of herself in a computer monitor. The agency then seals the informant up in a metal blast coffin to die alone in the dark, while Nikita looks on.
  • Ratus of The Ferals gets this after gorging himself on cakes from a factory later discovered to have been targeted by terrorists. They were certainly more innocent times.
  • In Season Four Episode Two of The Flash (2014) titled "Mixed Signals", the villain of the episode, Ramsey Deacon, traps Barry in his now tech enhanced suit and sets off the Babble Protocol, a self destruct device put in place by Cisco.
  • The bad guys on Fringe created a pair of exploding pyrokinetics For the Evulz.
  • Get Smart. This trope happens literally when KAOS agents plant a bomb in android Hymie, then send him to a CONTROL conference. The bomb is revealed when Hymie steps up to the microphone to give a speech.
    Max: Hymie, what's that ticking noise?
    Hymie: It's a bomb, Max.
    Max: A BOMB? Why didn't you tell me?
    Hymie: I didn't want to alarm you, Max.
  • In an episode of Grey's Anatomy, a man comes into the ER after he accidentally shot himself, with a homemade replica bazooka. The shell remained inside the man, unexploded. A first-day paramedic had her hand on it, stabilizing the man and stopping the bleeding.
  • This is the gradually-building character arc of radioactive-powered Ted Sprague in season one of Heroes, culminating in the season finale "How to Stop an Exploding Man".
    • Also a recent third-season/fourth-chapter episode has Matt set up as a suicide bomber.
  • In an episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaigernote , the Monster of the Week wears a collar that provides him with a Beehive Barrier. After the Gokaigers discover its weak point, The Evil Prince fits the collar with a bomb in the hopes that it'll kill the Gokaiger. Also qualifies as Shoot the Dog (or worse) since the MOTW was Locked Out of the Loop and didn't know he was a suicide bomber.
  • Martial Law: Sammo gets knocked out once, and when he wakes up he's strapped to a jacket that is a time bomb.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • One episode found Hawkeye operating on a soldier which had a live grenade forced into his body during combat. Cue massive Oh, Crap! from the entire operating room when they realized what was happening. As noted under Real Life, this is very much a Truth in Television risk of modern combat.
    • In another, a wounded North Korean soldier was mistakenly brought to the ER without being cleared of weapons or ammunition first. Turns out he had a grenade on him, and tried to take the entire ER with him. Fortunately, Hawk was able to keep him from arming the grenade long enough for the soldier to be sedated.
  • The Season 3 finale of The Mentalist had the victim of the week being wired to an explosive device in order to force him to steal transaction records and deliver them to the man responsible for wiring him, a convenience store clerk at a gas station. Lisbin ends up enduring something very similar, although she survives after Jane managed to both get the drop on him and simultaneously kept him thinking that they are following his directions, and she survives.
  • In a The Muppet Show sketch, the Lunch Counter Monster eats a machine with a bunch of fancy equipment. At the end, the still-speaking device concludes that all of those parts are needed to perform its main-function; to be the most powerful explosive in the world. The Monster puts a hand to its ear as it hears a ticking before exploding.
  • Used in the Okinawa episode of The Pacific: The Japanese send a wave of panicking Okinawan civilians through the Marines' lines. One of them, a woman with a baby, is panicking and on the verge of tears, pleading for someone to take her baby from her. The Marines, none of whom understand her language, are confused...until she opens up her coat and reveals she's been wired with explosives. Woman and baby go up a second later.
  • Stargate:
    • Cassandra in Stargate SG-1. Done to Ry'ac, Teal'c's son by the Big Bad in yet another effort to wipe out Earth, even if it was a virus bomb instead of a nuclear bomb. Also, Teal'c plants an explosive in an enemy Jaffa's symbiote pouch when he's on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
      Ba'kad: Where are you going?
      Teal'c: I am leaving. You are about to explode.
    • And the infamous "tumor bombs" of the Stargate Atlantis episode "Sunday", in which malicious alien biotechnology causes some red shirts to become afflicted with... yeah. Sheppard and McCay both lampshade the ridiculousness of their situation. It's mainly a plot device to allow Beckett to perform a heroic surgery as his final act before getting killed off by the bio-bomb, though he does save the patient.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • The ending of the third season. Archer and Big Bad Dolim duke it out... and Archer plants one of the small bombs the crew were planting to take out the reactor of the Xindi version of the Death Star on Dolim's Awesome, but Impractical uniform (if Xindi-Reptilian uniforms were more like Starfleet ones, he coulda just yanked it off.) Archer presses the button and steps behind a pillar. Dolim looks down. Goodbye, Dolim.
    • Happened earlier with some religious cultists worshiping the Sphere Builders. In this case, the worshipers had chemically-triggered explosives implanted in their bodies. That one then led to a nice case of Why Am I Not Ticking when the crew manages to neutralize the chemicals.
      Archer: Go ahead. Try to blow yourself up. I'll wait.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. Happens as part of a Batman Gambit to capture Voyager in "Basics". The crew pick up a dying Kazon in an escape pod with failing life support. The Doctor mentions that his injuries back up his story, though he has an unusually high red blood cell count. Still suspicious they place the Kazon in the brig, and at a crucial point in the battle his chemically-altered body explodes, rupturing a plasma conduit and knocking out Voyager's defenses. Pedantic types may wonder why the ship's designers ran a plasma conduit so close to the brig. The answer is two-fold: 1) Voyager is a small ship and space is at a premium. Think of the difficulties you can have trying to route an IDE ribbon cable in a mini-tower PC case. 2) The ship's designers obviously didn't expect that prisoners would have a living bomb encoded into their blood chemistry. Seska, being a Magnificent Bastard, knew of both of these flaws and played them to the hilt.
  • Torchwood:
    • Captain John Hart had this happen to him twice in the second season. In "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", he falls victim to a trap set up in the MacGuffin and a bomb that is encoded to his DNA attaches itself to his chest. He'll explode in ten minutes, as Ianto gleefully follows him with his stopwatch. He clearly doesn't explode, as in the finale, "Exit Wounds", he reveals that a wristband has been "molecularly bonded" (read: fused) to his wrist that contains remote-detonated bombs to ensure his obedience to Jack's long-lost brother Gray, who still bears a bit of a grudge and is trying his best to kill Jack and his team. Keep in mind that Captain John was a guest star and thus had this happen to him every single time he was on the show.
    • In Children of Earth, the bad guys kill Jack, surgically implant a bomb into his stomach, and then set him free once he comes back to life to re-enter the Hub. The team gets all of two minutes warning before Jack blows up into itty bitty pieces, taking out the entire base.
  • Ultra Series examples:
    • Ultraman have the revived Red King swallowing six hydrogen bombs, ready to explode anytime, making him difficult to deal with since any attacks could result in the bombs going off and causing a meltdown. Ultraman deals with it by using the Ultra Mind to lift Red King into the air, and sever the monster's head, where the bombs are still lodged in it's neck, taking the monster elsewhere so it can detonate harmlessly.
    • In Return of Ultraman, a misplaced missile ends up being embedded in the tail of the kaiju Ghostron and poised to explode in a few minutes, which is further made complicated when Ghostron, rather than rampaging across some big city like most earlier monsters, instead chose to sit down outside a chemical factory with the missile's subsequent explosion risking a serious meltdown. For the episode's climatic battle, Ultraman Jack - rather than firing a beam attack at Ghostron - instead grabs Ghostron and lifts him into the stratosphere where the missile can detonate safely.
    • Giga Dread from Ultraman Neos is highly unstable and rigged to explode, causing difficulties when HEART and Ultraman Neos attempts to fight it. For the final battle, HEART instead uses a zero-gravity ray to disable Giga Dread so that Neos can lift it into space and have it explode without hurting anyone.

    Puppet Shows 
  • In Captain Scarlet and the Mysterons, the Mysterons' first attempt to murder the World President involves killing and cloning Captain Brown in order to turn him into a human bomb. The President narrowly manages to escape after seeing smoke rising from Brown's neck.

  • Kenny Everett's spoof Captain Kremmen of the Star Corps. In a plot possibly inspired by Philip K. Dick's "Impostor" (see Literature above), the evil Thargoid aliens surgically implant a bomb in Kremmen in order to destroy their enemies at a peace conference. The bomb is set to explode when Kremmen says the Trigger Phrase: "A bomb? In me? Don't be silly!" The bomb destroys the entire universe. It was All Just a Dream.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In the BattleTech universe during the Word of Blake Jihad, a large group of B-list characters were killed off during a strategy session when former WoB POW Fitz Donner suddenly exploded. It turned out that when he'd been captured by the Blakists they'd stuffed him full of explosives and let him be "rescued" in order to get him into the same room as the people he killed.
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the "quivering palm" attack, a special skill available to high-level monks, which sets up "vibrations" in the target upon a successful touch attack. It doesn't make a ticking noise, but for the next few weeks, the monk who made the attack can wish the target to die as a free action, and the target will die instantly. You may laugh now.
  • GURPS:
    • Bio-Tech has rules for "bio-bombs", people or animals born with bodies made of explosive compounds. In a weird variation, the same book lists cow milk that turns into an explosive when curdled as a near future technology.
    • A Pyramid article about a Dungeon Fantasy dungeon in which each room was a square chamber containing ten goblins, but with a twist. One room had the goblins compelled to fight the heroes, but screaming that if they were hit with a sharp weapon, they would explode. Nine of them were delusional. The tenth one wasn't.
  • Magic: The Gathering has a set of creatures called Bloodfire, which can be sacrificed to do a certain amount of damage to every creature that can't fly, every creature, or every creature and player. There's also an aura which grants the bloodfire ability to any creature. There's also Goblin Grenade, where a goblin basically walks up to the target while carrying a bomb.
  • Shadowrun had "cortex bombs" that were implanted into victims' heads or other areas of the body to compel obedience to the people who implanted them or ensure their death when desired. They ranged in size from "kink bombs," which weren't powerful enough to kill the bearer but were useful for taking out key pieces of cyberware, to "cranial nukes," which were powerful enough to take out the bearer and everyone in the bearer's vicinity and damage the surrounding area. The Super Nintendo adaptation fits the main character Jake with a mid-level bomb, just enough to make Chunky Salsa of his skull and take the goodies within his Neuro-Vault with it.
  • The Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG has 'Number 40: Gimmick Puppet of Strings' effect, which places string counters on everyone on the field, even his allies, and causes them to blow up.

    Video Games 
  • Right in the second mission of 007 Racing; upon arriving in New York, James Bond receives a voice message from some anonymous caller that his car has been rigged with a Time Bomb, and there are twelve other bombs planted all over Manhattan. Cue an intense Timed Mission where Bond speeds all around the streets of Manhattan to collect twelve detonators, and then jettison his car into the Hudson River so that all the bombs can detonate safely without hurting anyone.
  • In Alpha Protocol, Mike can kill Leland this way. The victim's reaction is priceless.
  • The M-60 firecrackers in Army Men II, which are taped to soldiers, making them wander around with a lit fuse on their backs and a bomb as big as them. They show up in three ways: various soldiers (green and others) have them on one level, forcing you to shoot them before they get close; as a usable item which you can put on enemies, disarming them and making them wander around, hopefully killing enemies or at least eventually themselves; and in one of the Have a Nice Death endings, where a firecracker is taped to Sarge, and he can't get it off before exploding.
  • In BloodRayne: Betrayal, Rayne can infect enemies by biting them, making them turn green before detonating them. It's capable of infecting other enemies, thus causing chain reactions.
  • In Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Crazy Ivan units can cause a case of this to any unit or building they touch, whether it's the enemy, neutral or your own. (Those poor, poor mind-controlled cows!)
  • In Cyberia, you play the role of an elite agent sent to a secret research-facility in the arctic, to recover the 'Cyberia Weapon' - apparently, a form of advanced Nanotech. As you progress through the facility, it becomes clear that the barely-controlled nanotech killed most of the workers (and it can kill you too, if you're not really, really careful). At the end, however, you finally reach the Cyberia Weapon, a floating, semisentient, silvery nanotech entity, and report back to your boss: "I found the weapon!" "That thing isn't the weapon. You are." At that point, you've got 'bout 5 seconds before your head explodes, destroying the Cyberia Weapon along with your gray matter. Though it's never spelled out, one can assume that the agency decided that the Cyberia Weapon couldn't be controlled, and that it would be safer to destroy it - along with any inconvenient witnesses. Fortunately, the Cyberia Weapon proposes a Third Option - by merging with you, he can defuse the bomb, and you can both survive - albeit not as individual entities.
  • In Dawn of War 2, the Sorcerer hero in the Last Stand game mode has a spell that will make an enemy explode with considerable force if slain during its duration.
    • In Chaos Rising, a fully corrupted Cyrus can attach a bomb to his own troops and send them at the enemy.
  • In Deus Ex the Cyborg Agents Gunther Hermann and Anna Navarre both have "Killphrases" that cause their Augmentations to self-destruct when uttered, blowing them into a shower of meat-bits. JC and Paul are also fitted with nanotech "Killswitches" - very slow "Killswitches".
    • Somewhat justified, since they're not cyborgs with prosethic, augmented bodyparts like Gunther and Navarre, but fully biological humans (genetically-engineered ones, but still) with a special strain of nanomachines that operate from their bloodstream, modifying their body on the fly like building flashlights from behind their retina. Destroying something tailor-made like that takes a while, of course, but it's still mostly an Informed Flaw, the bouts of pain that come with the killswitch happens mostly with Paul to illustrate his Worf Effect, and it's not a really good lampshade all things considered.
    • It should be noted, however, that they're not literally ticking. While their killswitch is very real and as lethal as the name implies, it's going from "scientific superpowered nanomachines" to the Gray Death virus that is killing civilians left and right. Discovering this is an important part of the plot, but it also comes to the fact that, while they'll not turn into crimsom wall paint like their former colleagues do, they'll get eaten from the inside by their very own power source!
  • Disgaea's Prinnies are only explosive when thrown.
  • Mages in Dragon Age have a spell called Walking Bomb that causes enemies to explode messily when they run out of hit points, hopefully doing some damage to their comrades. And an advanced version that spreads the spell to any enemies caught in the blast radius of the original victim. It's like a gory Fourth of July. In Dragon Age: Origins the spell dealt damage based on your spellcasting ability and could be pumped up to absurdly high levels, but in Dragon Age II it was changed to only deal a percentage of the target's maximum hitpoints, so it couldn't be used on mooks to inflict insane damage on nearby bosses anymore.
  • The Bomb Crag in Dragon Quest has Sacrifice, which kills your party, and the caster. Fortunately, it almost never casts Sacrifice.
  • Dungeon Crawl features the Inner Flame spell, which allows you to enchant an enemy to explode violently into clouds of fire when they die. Just try not to stand right next to them when you kill them.
    • As of version .13 Scrolls of Immolation inflict this on every enemy in visual range. This can often lead to glorious chain reactions. Additionally, Inner Flame will not turn mindless allies (such as skeletons and zombies) hostile. Have fun, necromancers!
  • Larcen's Cinekill in Eternal Champions has the Dark Champion hold up a bundle of dynamite, and then make it vanish. Larcen scans the room, but the Dark Champion waves a taunting finger. Suddenly, Larcen feels at his stomach, his eyes go wide...
  • Fallout: New Vegas features an energy weapon based perk that causes any enemy killed with energy weapons to emit a small radius of high damage (capable of starting chain reactions if it kills another enemy, since it is also an energy attack). Capable of turning a group of weak enemies into a rather large explosion.
    • The Gun Runners' Arsenal DLC has the Two-Step Goodbye, a Ballistic Fist that causes corpses to explode if it manages to kill with a crit.
    • In the same vein, the player character has had the option to place explosives in people's inventories and have them go off a few moments later since the first game.
    • In the Dead Money DLC, this trope applies to you if you wander too close to a malfunctioning speaker or radio.
  • A recurring class of enemies in the Final Fantasy series are literal bombs. When they are near death, they explode, doing a lot of damage to the party. Most games with Blue Mages allow this skill to be learned, allowing the player to become one as well.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has a boss that can plant a bomb on a random player in each alliance. Strangely, not only does the bomb explode multiple times, but it doesn't even hurt the player. The bomb's explosions does hurt anyone else near the affected player and knocks them back quite a ways.
    • The concept is revisited during the Eden raids with Gaia (as the Voidwalker) where she'll use time-delayed versions of her dark magic spells, visually and audiably indicated by a ticking clock that will set off after some time. It's later revealed that she has actual control over time.
  • Minor example in the Gears of War series. Once you take a Meat Shield, one of the ways to finally execute your captive is to stick your grenade into the victim and shove, hopefully sending him exploding into his buddies. It's only a minor example for taking less than 3 seconds from tagging to detonation, if only for game balance.
  • Goose Goose Duck: One of the Duck roles is Demolitionist, who can only kill by placing bombs on other players that explode after a delay. The bombed player is unaware of their situation until the timer is at 15 seconds left, at which point they're alerted and have that much time to put the bomb on someone else or they explode. Upon exploding, all that's left of the player is their smoking feet, which can not be reported as a normal dead body can.
  • Grand Theft Auto series:
    • The demo version of Grand Theft Auto 2 has a six-minute time limit. The explanation? Your character's belly is full of explosives. Better make the most of it. Once time runs out, you actually gain bonus points for the destruction caused by you exploding.
    • Grand Theft Auto III: There is a mission titled Kingdom Come where Claude has to kill suicide bombers, that chase him and if close enough detonate themselves.
  • The Time Bomb command in Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance places a timer on everything within a small radius, causing them to detonate in a fiery fashion once it finishes counting down. The damage isn't terribly impressive unless the victims are clustered together, though.
  • League of Legends Zilean's Time Bomb skill works like this, though not of the messy kind, due to the game's Teen rating.
    • Tristana's Explosive Charge ability plants a bomb on the target that explodes after 4 seconds.
  • Mega Man (Classic) zigzags this with Proto Man (Blues in Japan). Proto Man was given his free will due to a nuclear reactor core. Dr. Wily ended up sabotaging this core to make it dangerously unstable, which will make Proto Man explode if it's set off by some sort of blunt force. Dr. Light figured that the best solution would be to swap out his core at the cost of removing his free will, but because he wanted to remain his own person, Proto Man fled from Light's custody, becoming a self-serving Anti-Hero. However, what zigzags this is that throughout the series, we never once see Proto Man explode from his unstable reactor core, even when he gets sliced in half by King in Mega Man & Bass.
  • Metal Gear Solid Revolver Ocelot puts a bomb in Solid Snake's items that are to be retrieved by the torture machine as soon as the player escapes from the cell. The player then must select the bomb from the items inventory and press the button to discard it. If the player doesn't do this in time they are killed by it.
    • Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes has a more brutal example, in which Big Boss rescues a prisoner only to find out that the whole rescue was a set-up—the prisoner has a bomb surgically implanted in them to blow Big Boss up. Fortunately, they manage to get the bomb out. Unfortunately, Paz had another bomb in her. She jumps out of the helicopter to prevent it from killing Big Boss, but it's too late. The bomb catches both him and the helicopter, resulting in Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain. Along with implied rape on the recovered audio tapes, one can without a doubt conclude that this is one of the darkest installments of the series yet.
    • This can also be set up in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater. TNT is normally used to destroy food storage and armory sheds, and even the Hind parked at the Bolshaya Past base. With the Infinity Face Paint, however, you can afford to experiment. TNT can be set almost anywhere to create distractions and chain reactions. This includes attaching TNT on guards' backs. You have to sneak up on them, but they'll never notice they've been rigged. Cue as many explosive shenanigans as you want.
  • The Blastblight status effect in the Monster Hunter series covers the victim in blast powder that eventually detonates in a painful explosion. Rolling around will remove it, but your AI partners aren't able to do this and thus can become a threat to your well-being.
    • In Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate, the game where Blastblight debuted, it was called Slimeblight, as the only monster that used it at the time was Brachydios, which uses an exploding slime mold to inflict the element, unlike other monsters which use a red substance.
    • Magnamalo and Apex Mizutsune can inflict Hellfireblight, which is similar to Blastblight, but can also be removed by wiredashing, which leaves a hellfire flame behind. If a monster hits it, it does a small amount of damage and is a guaranteed knock down if it is the first time the monster has been hit with a hellfire explosion.

  • This is Cyrax's fatality in Mortal Kombat 3. Smoke's, too, in a different way: Instead of a suicide bomb, he turns his opponent in a (for five more seconds) living bomb.
  • One thing of note of the Nonary Game in Nine Hours, Nine Persons, Nine Doors is the players has each swallowed a small bomb while they're sleeping, which will kill them under certain conditions. Early on, one of the players (The Ninth Man) suffers this fate. You don't get to see the bomb going off, but you do get to see the aftermath. However, for most of the others, this trope is averted. Only the Ninth Man, Guy X and possibly Ace had bombs in them in the first place.
  • The villainous plot of No One Lives Forever: a chemical that reacts with the biochemistry of living organisms (humans included) to create a powerful explosive.
  • In PlanetSide 2, a bug caused C4 explosives to be sticky to anything, allowing players to strap C4 to each other. Much joy was to be had by tossing a C4 brick onto the head of an enemy MAX Powered Armor as he's walking back into a spawnroom full of his allies. Particularly devious players would strap C4 onto a friend in Infiltrator armor before having him run into a group of enemies. Sadly removed in a patch, which limited C4 to sticking to vehicles and level geometry.
  • [PROTOTYPE 2] gives us the new power Bio Bomb, where you stab someone, infect them with an unusually...volatile variant of the virus, and walk away nonchalantly before the poor bastard explodes into tentacles. Example here.
  • In the beginning of Sam & Max Hit the Road, Sam and Max beat up a mad scientist only to find out he's a robot. They take his severed head (which turns out to be a "damned ugly time bomb") with them. After the opening credits, they arrive at their office, eventually leading to this exchange:
    Max: Sam, either termites are burrowing into my skull, or one of us is ticking.
    Sam: Oh, yeah! (pulls out the head) Where should I dispose of this where it won't harm anyone we know or care about?
    Max: Out the window, Sam. There's nothing but strangers out there.
    (Sam chucks the head. BOOM.)
    Sam: I hope there was nobody on that bus.
    Max: Nobody we know, at least.
  • Serious Sam There are suicide bombers that run at the player yelling despite being headless.
  • In the SNES Shadowrun game, main character Jake heads to a seedy street doc in an attempt to get his datajack working. The street doc is working and suddenly utters "Oops". To quote Jake: "What do you mean oops? What happened? And what's that ticking sound?" Turns out that Jake has a cortex bomb in his head, and has thirty hours before his body ends at the neck. The doctor gives him a refund, however.
  • In Star Trek Online there's the space intelligence ability Torpedo: Transport Warhead which causes your next torpedo launch to be transported to the target, bypassing shields and having a chance to knock one subsystem offline along with other effects depending on the torpedo fired. This torpedo is put on a fuse with the length depending on the torpedo fired. The visual for this fuse is a countdown timer above the ship it was fired at.
  • In Super Scribblenauts you can do this to anything, be it object, animal or human by putting giving it the "Explosive" adjective or something similar.
  • Throwing a Gooey Bomb in Super Smash Bros. Brawl will turn enemies into time bombs, although if you're not careful they can walk up to you and fob it off Hot Potato-style.
  • In Tales of Vesperia, the bosses Schwann and Alexei have an attack that causes a bunch of energy to form around the target. Said energy explodes after a few seconds, doing considerable damage to the target.
  • A certain Team Fortress 2 server mod has a "roll the dice" function, and some of the options are: Low gravity, god mode, burning, invisibility, instant death, instant kill shots for 15 seconds and time bomb. The response to getting time bomb is usually along the lines of "GODAMMITSONOFBITCH". It even include a loud ticking sound and a loud explosion. And "'blank' is a time bomb" shows up on everyone's screen when the poor bastard rolls the time bomb.
    • In the game proper, the Bombinomicon will occasionally give players bombs for heads and tell them to blow up its owner.
      Hey, you got a head, great! Now it's a bomb-head.
  • A modification for Unreal Tournament called "Unreal 4 Ever" has the aptly-named Fleshbomb Rifle: any living entity struck by one of its darts starts glowing red and emitting a high-pitched sound. After a few seconds the unfortunate target goes kaboom with Redeemer-scale force, and any enemies caught in the blast are credited to whoever fired the weapon.
  • One of the ways to use your hacking skills in Watch_Dogs is to hack the explosives of guards. Sometimes they manage to stop it. Otherwise...
  • Wild ARMs 3 makes this a STATUS EFFECT.
  • World of Warcraft loves this trope, to the point where "You are the bomb" has become a Memetic Mutation.
    • Many bosses (and some mooks) turn players into bombs, forcing them to run away from their party members or blow them up; the most infamous of these is Baron Geddon's Living Bomb ability in Molten Core, the first 40-man raid dungeon in the game, and the inspiration for the above Fauxtivational Poster. For a nastier variant, some bomb-type attacks render their target immobile, forcing everyone else to run away.
      • If a tank takes too many stacks of Festergut's debuff, which is applied to melee attacks, he or she will explode and instantly die, typically causing a wipe. Steelbreaker has a similar ability if he is killed last (generally considered the hardest way to defeat the Assembly of Iron), but it is applied in one hit and takes longer for the victim to explode, basically serving as a soft enrage.
    • High Astromancer Solarian has what is probably the other most well-known example in her Wrath of the Astromancer ability, which also makes a player explode after a few seconds. This time, the blast actually sends anyone it hits high into the air, where they will easily die from fall damage even at full health.
    • Halion also has two particularly nasty versions. In one mode he places Mark of Combustion on players, which deals significant damage over time but can be removed easily. When it's removed, it creates an explosion and burns the ground in an area dependent on how long the person afflicted. In his other mode, he casts Mark of Consumption, which operates similarly but instead of exploding sucks people to the center of its damage area.
    • Occu'thar summons eyes attached on each player. After 10 sec, it fully bores into the host and detonates, inflicting 24375 to 25625 Shadow damage on all players. The tanks need to stay on the boss, as the raid can typically afford to take the damage from their eyes and the boss has a Breath Weapon, but if anyone else fails to kill their eye in time by AOE, the raid will wipe.
    • The Warlock class has a spell called Seed of Corruption, which deals a decent amount of damage to its target—until the spell runs out, or the target dies, at which point it explodes and hits everyone in the vicinity. Placing these on all available opponents has at times given warlocks some of the highest damage output in the game under the right circumstances. In Wrath of the Lich King, Mages received a spell called Living Bomb with much the same effect.
    • Valiona, during her ground phase, puts a debuff on players that explodes when dispelled. The twist here is that players have to stack on the afflicted player and dispel the debuff so that the damage can be split between them.
    • Imperator Mar'gok in Warlords of Dreanor's Highmaul raid regularly turned the current tank into a living bomb, necessitating a Tank Swap. Depending when during the fight it occurred different Tank Swap tactics had to be utilized. In 1 phase the current tank simply had to run away as the new tank taunted. In another the affected tank was randomly teleported into the rest of the raid, necessitating an even quicker response in running away. Later the affected tank began to be rooted in place, meaning they had to both know it was coming and start running in advance and the new tank had to pull the boss (and melee) away from the bomb.
    • Player characters finally got in on the action with Living Bomb, a mage spell that does Exactly What It Says on the Tin.

  • In one strip for Brawl in the Family, Navi asks Link why he's beeping when his health isn't low. Link has a gooey bomb stuck to his back, which is the source of the beeping... until it explodes, causing his health meter to start beeping.
  • Drowtales: Anyone who is 'tainted' is liable to lose control of the demon possessing them, turning into an Eldritch Abomination-type demon that can continue to infest others. Naal'suul was so badly tainted that she was always on the verge of losing control of her seed, and Laele'aell became a shambling mass of demons barely contained in a body. The only reason people do this willingly is that the seed (e.g. weakened demon) acts as a vaccine against stronger demons, especially among demon summoners. Unfortunately, the vaccines were intentionally botched by Snadhya'rune so that the bombs would go off in 25-50 years.
  • Schlock Mercenary uses this trope occasionally, marking the bomb-users down as way beyond any Moral Event Horizon:
    • The Creethlings send an ambassador, Ch'Vorthq, to negotiate peace with the Golbwerians, and hire Tagon's Toughs to make sure he gets to Golbwer safely. While the bizarre looking envoy was supposedly genetically engineered to be the perfect diplomat, the Toughs soon discover that he is actually composed of a living explosive, and was meant to kill the Golbwerian High Command during the negotiations.
      • After Ch'Vorthq is literally disarmed, he joins the Toughs as their cook, after having the missing limb replaced with a whisk.
      • Later on, he uses the control he was given over his explosive metabolism to turn his other arm into a hand grenade to use on some pursuing troops. He ends up with one whisk arm and one relatively normal robotic arm, as the crew cook and diplomat.
      • More recently the implant that was preventing him from exploding began to fail, resulting in Tailor having to perform an operation that's one part surgery, another part bomb disposal. On a body that is slowly burning to death.
    • A flashback reveals that somebody once used Tagon's girlfriend as the carrier for a horrific nanotech weapon in an attempt to kill his father, a senior military officer. Father and son survived; the rest of the family were collateral damage. A series of similar attacks all over the planet killed the majority of its leaders overnight as the start of a major war. Also, the incident destroyed the relationship between the father and the son for years.

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In a crossover episode of Batman Beyond, Mad Stan puts a bomb on oblivious Zeta and sets him loose in Gotham.
  • In one episode of the Claymation series Bump in the Night, main character Squishington goes on a gorge-fest with the lights off and, feeling ill the next morning, discovers he's ticking. He tentatively suggests that it might just be a clock, only for main character Mr. Bumpy to declare that nobody would be stupid enough to eat a clock, even in the dark, before cheerfully reasoning that it must be a bomb. Hilarity Ensues before Squishington finally hiccups/vomits up the source of the ticking... an alarm clock. Which promptly explodes, scorching, but otherwise not hurting, the two.
  • The Fairly OddParents: Wishology: Timmy tricks Destructionator into consuming all the bombs he had stuffed into Earth, then revealing he'd stolen the detonator while they were fighting up in space. Destructionator barely has time to react before he explodes.
  • Parodied in Freakazoid!, in a short where The Lobe has our hero Strapped to an Operating Table, and saws off the top of his skull "to see what makes him tick". He reaches into Freakazoid's open skull... and pulls out a time bomb, which soon explodes in his face.
  • Bender unknowingly has a bomb implanted in him in the Futurama episode "War is the H-Word". It's set to explode if he utters the word "ass", which is his favorite word. He's then sent along with Henry Kissinger's head to a peace summit with the intent of blowing up the enemy high command along with the rest of the planet... long story short, he repeatedly averts the use of the word in question for no apparent reason. When Bender DOES find out, however, he cackles evilly and puts it to good use: blackmail.
    • They eventually change the trigger word to one they would never expect Bender to use. Antiquing. Of course he says it.
  • An episode of Inspector Gadget featured Gadget racing to find a MAD-planted bomb hidden in an amusement park. Unbeknownst to him, he's been carrying the bomb all along. It's concealed inside a cheap carnival prize he won at the start of the show.
  • Men in Black, animated series: Frank the Pug accidentally eats a small bomb that, when detonated, creates a miniature black hole in its range. Quoth Frank, on realizing it: "I'm gonna get sucked inside myself!"
  • In The Smurfs, Sassette was introduced as one of these when Gargamel caused the blue clay that she and Smurfette were made of to be explosive upon exposure to the noonday sun, but she was defused by Papa Smurf after she was turned into a real Smurf.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "Dying for Pie", Squidward gifts Spongebob a pie that turns out to be a bomb, which will explode when it lands in his lower intestine several hours after being eaten. Mr. Krabs had seen that same scenario played out eleven times in the past. Subverted at the end of the episode, when it turns out Spongebob hadn't eaten the pie, but it blows up when he accidentally throws it into Squidward's face.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars:
    • "Holocron Heist": Cad Bane plants a bomb in his droid, and activates it when he needs a distraction to escape.
    • "Kidnapped": When Zygerrian slaver Darts D'Nar discovers that the Jedi have deactivated all of the bombs he'd planted around the city of Kiros while Obi-Wan distracted him by allowing himself to be beaten up, D'Nar reveals that he still has one bomb left, attached to the back of his tactical droid, and makes an immediate escape while Obi-Wan is distracted dealing with it.
    • "Sabotage": After a bombing at the Jedi Temple, the cause is discovered to be nanomachine explosives unwittingly fed to a civilian Temple employee by his wife.
  • In "Beauty of the Obese, Part 2", Stripperella has to save Enorma Ray, a supermodel that has been booby-trapped. Literally. As in, her breasts are ticking time bombs. With actual sound effects, no less!
  • An old Tom and Jerry short had Jerry impersonating an escaped white lab mouse who had consumed a highly unstable explosive and could detonate at the slightest touch, just to mess with Tom's head. Naturally, the real lab mouse eventually shows up too.
  • Transformers:
    • From Transformers: Prime. After Makeshift disguised as Wheeljack gets tossed back through the ground bridge to the Decepticons, he gleefully states he knows the location of the Autobot base...only for the bomb that was strapped to his ass to start beeping.
    • Also from Transformers (this time the '80s cartoon), Megatron punishes Swindle for selling his teammates for parts by planting a bomb in his head. He has to retrieve and repair his teammates in order for the bomb to be deactivated.
  • Hank becomes a living bomb in The Venture Bros. episode "Ice Station Impossible" after exposure to the experimental "Goliath Serum" which boosts the metabolic rate of living things to explosive levels. An ant exposed to it in a test film detonates with enough force to destroy a tank, so you can imagine the destruction potential with a human being. Subverted in that it turns out it doesn't work on humans. Unless Ranch dressing really is the cure, or Professor Impossible was lying or mistaken.
    • Subverted in Home is Where the Hate Is. The Monarch plants one of Sgt. Hatred's miniature explosive devices at the base of Dr. Venture's spine. After bragging to Hatred that Venture will soon explode in his home (thus violating the Guild of Calamitous Intent's bylaws and ruining his career), both are shocked and terrified when the unknowing Venture joins them in the hot tub they are sitting in. They brace themselves for the blast, but it turns out to be little more than a bubble of air that Venture dismisses as flatulence.
  • Young Justice: In "Satisfaction", Speedy wraps a length of detcord around Mercy's robotic arm while fighting her. She has just enough time to realise why he is looking smug before he presses the detonator.

    Real Life 
  • Suicide bombers are a disturbingly common and particularly depraved phenomenon. Not all of them are voluntary, fitting the trope more precisely.
  • In one particularly jarring case, this was used in a bank robbery attempt.
  • There was once a soldier who got hit by a rocket. It was stuck in his body, and both the soldier and the bomb were still live. The surgeons risked their lives (and their clean pants) to remove it from him.
    • Explosives being lodged in living soldiers is a fairly common problem in modern warfare. Sometimes the doctors risk their lives, others are left to die from the wounds because it risks the lives of many other injured men and doctors who could save far more lives. At least one case involved a surgeon wearing heavy body armor.