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X-Ray Sparks

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The application of high voltages to animated flesh and bone renders the former translucent and the latter luminescent, allowing the skeleton to be seen in the style of a classic X-ray for as long as the current flows. Stock Femur Bones may be involved and sometimes other funny or unusual things may appear.

Despite the impressive light show, the victim will usually suffer no ill effects beyond looking a bit singed and shocked. On the other hand, a Disintegrator Ray (which is far more likely to be lethal) can also produce these sparks as it zaps the victim to dust (or leaves only the skeleton behind).

The trope name is a tribute to the "X-Ray Specs" that have been advertised in the back of comic books since time immemorial.

While definitely not Truth in Television, the source of this trope is probably the fact that a really high voltage is required in order for an X-Ray machine to produce pictures of your bones.


Not to be confused with taking an X-Ray of a Spark, or Hit Spark.


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  • In Happy Heroes, it's common for a character's skeleton to become visible for a second whenever they are electrocuted.
  • In a few episodes of Motu Patlu, the characters' skeletons become visible as they are electrocuted, such as in "Electric Shoes" when Motu and Patlu get shocked by the electric shoes.
  • Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf: In episode 241, Wolffy is electrocuted twice, once when he is struck by lightning while watching the goats from his castle and once when Weslie uses a machine he's made to electrocute him. Both times, his skeleton is visible as he's being electrocuted.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the anime Daphne in the Brilliant Blue, both Maia and Gloria get a shocking experience at the start of episode 26.
  • Digimon Data Squad: When Agumon touches Puwamon's tail. He does it again straight away.
  • Doraemon: In "Action Quiz", the Action Quizzer electrocutes Noby and Big G each time they get one of its questions wrong. There are two instances where Noby and Big G's skeletons are visible as they are being electrocuted.
  • Dr. Stone
    • In the anime episode "Where Two Million Years Have Gone", Senku rubs a ball of sulfur with leather and generates a powerful Static Electricity charge in himself. When he touches Chrome, the electricity shocks Chrome and causes his skeleton to show through his skin.
    • In Chapter 53 of the manga, Ginro touches the wires coming out of the battery they've just built, causing him to leap into the air in pain as his skeleton becomes visible.
    • Anime episode "Humanity's Strongest Tag Team". Senku uses a taser device on his finger to electrify his enemy Hyoga, whose bones can be seen inside his body as he is hit by 100,000 volts of electricity.
  • In FLCL Progressive episode 2, Jinyu's car becomes six smaller drones that attack Haruka. They fire electrical bolts at her, some of which hit Ide. Each time one of them hits him, his skeleton can be seen through his body.
  • Gigantor: "Battle of the Giant Robots" has a truck display an X-ray skeleton when hit by a robot's weapon.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Team episode 10. Ikuyo Suzuki puts Taro in an electrified chair to help him stop falling asleep while studying. When he's shocked, his skeleton can be seen through his skin.
  • In episode 7 of the anime The Girl Who Leapt Through Space, happens to Bougainvillea and Mintao while they are trapped inside their mechs.
  • Shown in Harukanaru Toki no Naka de OAV episode "Kokoro no Yukue" when Kotengu is struck by lightning as a punishment for losing a tengu competition.
  • Happens to most of the main cast in episode 2 of Kiznaiver.
  • Mob Psycho 100 anime episode #2 "Doubts about Youth - The Telepathy Club Appears". When Reigen is giving a client an intense massage to cure his curse, the power he puts into it causes the client's skeleton to become visible inside his body.
  • One Piece:
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • When Ash first meets Pikachu, Pikachu shocks him for a good ten seconds and his skeleton is shown every other second. Pikachu then goes for another electric shock, this time affecting Professor Oak as well. This trope occurred whenever Pikachu electrocuted others in the first few episodes of the first season, (including other Pokémon such as Bulbasaur and Pidgey), but has been almost not been used since.
    • Occurs to Ash and Pikachu in the first episode of XY when Clembot shocks Ash and Pikachu before causing them to fall outside of the gym that Ash was trying to enter.
    • Occurs to Ash, Lillie, Mallow, as well as a few other characters in episode 42 of Pokémon Sun & Moon.
    • In episode 57 of Sun & Moon, this occurs to Rowlet, Lycanroc, and Litten when Pikachu shocks them.
    • In episode 60 of Sun & Moon, this occurs to Ash.
  • In the Shaman King manga, when Ren uses his new lighting powers on Yoh. And then he looks back and says: "You are very good, Ren," while we still only see his bones.
  • Naga and Diol both get an electrifying experience from one of Lina's spells in an episode of Slayers.
  • In Tamagotchi! Yume Kira Dream episode 7, while she is getting a haircut from Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi as they use their Yume Kira bag-induced hairdresser transformations, Tropicatchi sheds a tear that falls and touches the electrical outlet for the equipment they're using, giving her a shock and making her skeleton visible for a couple of seconds.
  • Seen occasionally in Urusei Yatsura when Lum electrocutes Ataru for being a pervert.
  • Happens to the villains in Yatterman, due to the two main protagonists using electrified weapons.

    Comic Books 
  • Happens to Superman, Wonder Woman, and Aquaman in an issue of Aquaman New 52.
  • Comic Cavalcade: When King Vulture's Electronomizer is used on Wonder Woman her skeletal and nervous system are visible in white while her body becomes a black silhouette.
  • In Léonard le Génie, this happens almost every time Basile has to power up some new invention.
  • When Galactus starts consuming Battleworld during the events of the Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars limited series, the effects of his machinery absorbing the world cause all the inhabitants, all the heroes included, to succumb to this effect, leaving their skeletons visible. Thankfully, he's stopped before this can be completed.
  • Sin City: Happens to Marv when he is executed at the end of The Hard Goodbye. Twice.
  • During Sonic: Mega Drive: The Next Level, this happens to Knuckles when he fails to destroy a fire-breathing electric robot by hitting it in the tail. The robot is unimpressed.
  • Tends to happen to Wolverine whenever he's struck by a large amount of electricity. Like Storm's lightning.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Animation 
  • Happens with Jafar's death scene in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, however the effect was toned down drastically ever since the 2005 DVD release.
  • Happens every time someone gets electrocuted in April and the Extraordinary World. First seen with the gendarmes and April's parents on the cable car, and later with Julius in Pops' mansion, and then various people in Rodrigue and Chimène's base.
  • Happens to several submarine crew workers in Atlantis: The Lost Empire during the scene where the Leviathan starts destroying the submarine they are in.
  • Happens in Cats Don't Dance, near the end when Darla hits a machine with a wrench, she flashes many different colors, but her skeleton is seen every couple of frames. Also, during the ending, the turtle shakes hands with Pudge (who is still filled with static electricity from earlier), resulting in this.
  • Occurs in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs when Flint attaches a jumper cable to an electrical tower at the power station.
  • In the Dragon Hunters CGI movie, when Lian-Chu saves Zoe from electric beasts and returns their lightning attacks with his knitting needles, their skeletons very briefly flash before they're knocked out.
  • During the musical number in Eight Crazy Nights in which all of the townsfolk are singing about how badly they treated Whitey over the years, this happened to Whitey when they made him be the TV antenna.
  • The Fantastic Mr. Fox and Kylie the Opossum climb an electric fence and their skeletons are seen. (Despite being a stop-motion film, this effect is done with 2D animation.) It also happens later to Rat when fighting Fox in the sewer. It doesn't end well.
  • Happens to Batty in FernGully 2: The Magical Rescue.
  • Happens in Flushed Away whenever a rat receives a gigantic electric shock. Best example goes to one of the chase scenes, in which one henchman rat jumps into the sewer water with a toaster, and is electrocuted to death.
  • Scrat when struck by lightning in the first Ice Age movie.
  • Happens to Ursula at the end of The Little Mermaid, as a result of King Triton's trident electrocuting her just moments after Prince Eric skewers her with the broken bow of a ship.
  • In Monster Mash, Frank's skeleton is visible every time he gets electrocuted.
  • In Monsters vs. Aliens, briefly happens to Susan when Doctor Cockroach attempts to revert her to normal size.
  • When Remy and his brother Emile attempt to cook food by chimney smoke in Ratatouille, they get struck by lightning (attracted to the TV antennae) and their skeletons briefly appear for one or two separate frames.
  • In Shark Tale, Ernie and Bernie, the two Rasta Electric Jellyfishes, make Oscar's bones flash whenever they shock a fish with their tentacles.
  • Happens to the goons in Sleeping Beauty when they're all hit by Maleficent's lightning.
  • A variant with the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as she is becoming the Witch: she becomes so shriveled and thin that as she holds her hands up to the sky the lightning flash behind them reveals the bones.
  • Played with in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. When Peter B. gets hit with Miles' electric strike, instead of his skeleton being made visible, Peter's nervous system very briefly lights up.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie: At a fight show in Las Vegas, Zangief and Blanka go toe to toe. After Zangief tugs on Blanka's hair, Blanka retaliates with an electrical display of sparks, making Zangaief's bones visible.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit: Happens to the title character during the short cartoon Somethin's Cookin' at the beginning when his fingers get stuck in some electrical sockets.
  • Played with in Winnie the Pooh when Eeyore is struck by lighting. Instead of bones, it's his stuffing.
  • During the credits sequence to Wreck-It Ralph, Ralph faces off against Blanka when going into Street Fighter II, but before Ralph can even do anything, Blanka zaps him, revealing the wrecker's gigantic skeleton. The sprite style is almost exactly as in Street Fighter II.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Chopping Mall. While the janitor Walter Paisley is mopping in a furniture store, he encounters one of the robots called Protectors and has a confrontation with it only to get electrocuted by its taser, screams in agony, and then gets killed. For a split second, you can see Walter's skeleton while he's being electrocuted.
  • Ghostbusters. While the electrical bolts are hitting Dana Barrett and Louis Tully and turning them into Gozer's demons Zuul and Vinz Clortho, you can see their skeletons inside their bodies. Initially they appear as human skeletons, upon the completion of their transformation they appear as Terror Dog skeletons.
  • Happens to Tree in Happy Deathday 2U when she drops her hairdryer in a bathtub shes sitting in to reset the time loop - her skeleton flashes very briefly for a few frames while she's being electrocuted, before waking up in the next time look with smoking and raised hair.
  • The film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York features an infamous scene where Marv (Daniel Stern) gets electrocuted; an effects shot briefly replaced him with an actual screaming skeleton puppet wearing the same hair, beard, and clothes as him, before turning back to his regular fleshy self in the next scene.
  • Hot Shots!: Topper Harley walks out of an office into a hallway filled with electrical wires that are giving off sparks. He closes the door, and through the door's translucent windowpane, the audience sees Harley's skeleton as he's electrocuted. The skeleton then falls to the ground bone by bone. When the office's door is opened, Harley is whole again but has frazzled hair.
  • When The Incredible Mr. Limpet becomes a toon fish after falling off a pier.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Happens in Guardians of the Galaxy, when Gamora is fighting Nebula; Nebula jabs her electrified staff into Gamora, lighting up her skeleton for a few seconds as Gamora screams in agony. A few seconds later it happens as Gamora grabs Nebula's staff, we see a close up of Gamora's skull.
    • Happens in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, after crash landing on Berhert, Rocket places devices on the Ravagers' foreheads and electrocutes them all at once. Their skulls, sternums, and ribs become partially visible among the electrical arcs.
  • The Mask:
    • Happens to Stanley Ipkiss in the first movie when he becomes the eponymous Mask for the very first time.
    • In Son of the Mask, this is the fate of Loki when Odin struck him with lightning to remove his godly powers. This also happens when the father of the baby mask gets possessed by Odin, and electrocutes Loki to stop him from chasing him.
  • Star Wars
    • Averted with Emperor Palpatine, but not Darth Vader when the latter was carrying the former near the end of Return of the Jedi. The Emperor, caught by surprise, inadvertently sent Force Lightning into himself displaying nothing despite screaming in pain. As Vader conducted the Force Lighting, it displayed Vader's skull inside his head and some of his mechanical implants.
    • Pretty much anyone hit by Force Lightning (except Emperor Palpatine) in Return of the Jedi is subject to this trope. See also Mace Windu in Revenge of the Sith.
  • TRON: Near the end of the film, Dumont and the other programs are pinned against a wall as the MCP electronically drains them. As energy pulses through them, their skeletons (and Dumont's skull) can be seen through their bodies.
  • In the 1953 adaptation of The War of The Worlds a soldier is hit by the Martians' Disintegrator Ray. There's a closeup shot of him as his body glows a bright green, with the skeleton showing through the glow before the whole thing fades away, and the unlucky victim vanishes into nothingness.
  • In Willow, occurs as Queen Bavmorda is struck by lightning as a result of her own backfiring magic.
  • In Young Frankenstein, this trope is used as the monster is brought to life (using lightning). Only (alas) the monster's skull is shown illuminated under his skin.


  • In The Wheel of Time books, someone hit with balefire has their colors "inverted" and just fades from view in the brilliant white light of the Death Ray.

    Live-Action TV 
  • During The Aquabats! Super Show! musical number Doing Science, Eaglebones receives this when messing around with electrical circuits.
  • The Beverly Hillbillies: It happens to Jethro when he connects the telephone wire to the high-voltage electrical wire in "The Party Line".
  • Notoriously used in the Made-for-TV Movie The Day After to show those closest to Ground Zero being vaporized. Not only is this appropriate, it's actually pretty close to accurate — or at least, close enough for TV's sake. In Real Life in a nuclear blast, for those closest to Ground Zero, their soft tissues would be vaporized a split-second before their hard tissues (bones) would be. Obviously, no-one has lived to tell the tale of whether or not these twin processes happen fast enough for the eye to see, but both processes happen fast enough for the dead person's shadows to be literally burned into the ground.

    The effects themselves were realistic, but the special effects department's choice of photographs on which to create the effects made less sense. A few seconds earlier, Kansas City was a scene of panic and rioting; the people shown being vaporized are enjoying a day by the riverside, at weddings, in schools, in bars and coffee shops, etc. Some of the photos used in the vaporization scenes are actually stills from earlier in the movie.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Since 1988, the Dalek energy guns make the victim's body briefly flash lime green while their bones glow bright white. According to dialogue, the victim dies as their internal structures are chaotically rearranged. Earlier it was just a circular area of film around the victim turned negative.
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": An elderly woman who attempts to flee from the Judoon runs into the edge of their enforcement field, leading to this effect occurring as she is disintegrated.
  • During Leverage's Season 4 finale, Chaos makes the mistake of flirting with Parker while her adoptive father, Archie Leach, is present. During the resulting tase-induced jitters, his skeleton can be briefly seen.
  • Super Nova, the second Lexx TV movie, shows Giggerota's skeleton briefly because the super nova's shockwave dissolved her flesh and clothing a fraction of a second before her bones. It probably wouldn't happen like that in real life, but it looked cool enough that it was used in every version of the show's opening credits.
  • MythBusters: When examining the effects of lightning striking a house, the animations showing Adam or Jamie electrocuted while on the phone or under the shower naturally portray this with X-Ray Sparks. In-fact, many myths involving electricity do this for the animation as a visual gag, usually followed by the use of the "HYAUH!!!" Stock Scream.
  • Strange Hill High: Happens to Abercrombie when is electrocuted while trying to unplug the projector at the end of "Health & Safety".
  • In Supernatural, when demons are killed within their hosts by specially enchanted blades, their skeletons are briefly visible through the flesh as an internal light flickers.
  • Anytime anyone is electrocuted in Ultraman Mebius.

    Music Videos 
  • Also happens to Paramore lead singer Hayley Williams in the music video for "Hard Times".
  • Happens to "Weird Al" Yankovic in the animated video for "I'll Sue Ya" when he tries to use a hairdryer while standing under a still-running shower.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Mr. Potato Head Show: This happens to Baloney in the spy episode, when he tries taking notes using a spy-gadget electrifying pen...that isn't just a prop!
  • Muppets from Space: happens to Rizzo during poker when Gonzo after his lightning space message.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Champions supplement Gadgets. The illustration for the "Deathwind" Commando Suit shows the skeleton of the victim of its electrical charge attack inside the victim's body.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Ravenloft setting adventure Web of Illusion. In Mahakala, Arijani's temple to Kali, there's a room with a trap that hits the PCs with lightning bolts. One of the illustrations shows a lightning bolt hitting a PC's head and the PC's skull showing through their skin.
    • In the Book of Exalted Deeds, the illustration for the spell heavenly lightning shows a shocked victim's skin and flesh turning transparent.
    • The cover for the 1e module The Secret of Bone Hill features a female mage blasting another spellcaster with a lightning bolt spell, making his skeleton flare up.
    • 2nd Edition AD&D Forgotten Realms Lands of Intrigue boxed set, "Book Two: Amn". A picture of a wizard casting a Lightning Bolt spell at a human opponent shows the skeleton inside the opponent's body.
  • GURPS 3rd Edition supplement Myth. One of the illustrations (on page 98) is an archmage named Rabican using a magical sword to fire a lightning bolt at a Fallen Lord named Shiver. Shiver's skeleton can be seen inside her body when the bolt hits her.
  • Paranoia. The illustration of the use of the mutant power Electroshock shows the victim of the power being electrified, with the victim's skeleton shows through their skin.
  • Toon supplement Tooniversal Tour Guide, "Dungeons and Toons" setting. The illustration for the High Voltage Handshake shows a victim of the spell displaying his skeleton through his skin.

    Video Games 
  • Happens to the title character in Alex Kidd in High Tech World.
  • In the Doujin fighting game Another Force, Yuna's special attacks all have the ability to show off her opponent's skeleton.
  • The Ray Gun from Another World, when it hits a victim, leaves a charred black skeleton that quickly crumbles into dust.
  • In Balloon Kid, touching a spark at any time causes Alice to get electrocuted and knocked out.
  • In the beat-em-up game Battle Circuit to nearly all characters who are hit by an electrical attack.
  • Happens only in the SNES port of Battletoads and Double Dragon, as well as the Battletoads arcade game. Oddly, this also happens when you touch a buzzsaw, though this could be a glitch or an error on the game's part.
  • BioShock franchise:
    • Used in the BioShock plasmid videos to demonstrate electrocution, bizarrely they use the same thing to show being set on fire.
    • BioShock Infinite: Shock Jockey vigor; in the animation used to demonstrate how to use the vigor, when the imp is electrocuted, his skull is visible through his head. When the vigor is used against opponents, their bones show through their bodies.
  • BlazBlue:
    • The series has Rachel Alucard, who can shock her opponent by planting a lightning rod, a stun gun, or summoning a bullfrog that electrifies itself. The skeletons of the victims look extremely cartoony despite the characters themselves being depicted in a detailed anime artstyle.
    • Later games add two more characters capable of zapping the enemy to the mix: Kokonoe (via gadgets) and Celica A. Mercury (via her automaton Minerva).
  • The Tesla Cannon in Blood does this to its targets; even the ghost-like Phantasm's skeleton becomes visible!
  • BloodRayne: Betrayal:
    • If Rayne is struck by Kagan's lightning, her skeleton flashes for the duration of the spell. Also happens when you beat him the first time, he electrocutes her to stun her.
    • The "Electric Eyes" also do this if you try to go Raven Form in front of them. For some reason, the electric frogs do not cause this effect.
  • Occurs in BloodStorm whenever a character is electrocuted by the character Talon.
  • In Brain Dead 13, both Lance and Moose suffer from this in one death scene involving one of the deadly lightning rods, and both bodies become gray and blink their eyes a bit before they become dust.
  • Happens to anyone who gets zapped by Volt's lightning in Brawlout.
  • If Bug! gets killed by a lightning bug, he turns black and crumbles. Otherwise, the first instance occurs.
  • In the beat-em-up game Captain Commando to anyone shocked by sexy dominatrix enemies who have electrified sais. Most enemies (including the dominatrixes themselves) can be electrocuted by the title characters' electric attacks and will display their skeletons. Interestingly, when the playable Baby Commando (a baby genius in a mech suit) gets shocked, his x-ray looks like a fetus.
  • Maria from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night will show her skeleton whenever she's electrocuted.
  • In Cel Damage, during Fowl Mouth's PSA on digging, one of the many injuries that Flemming gets is this, due to him hitting an electric line with his shovel.
  • Command & Conquer:
    • Infantry in Command & Conquer: Tiberian Sun have an animation when killed by any form of laser attack and, weirdly, when blown up by a Hunter-Seeker Drone.
    • Command & Conquer: Red Alerts Tesla Coil: infantry dying from Tesla Coil weapons are briefly shown as glowing skeletons before collapsing in a pile of glowing bones. Infantry that gets hit by such weapons without dying, however, show no effect whatsoever and certain units like the Attack Dog play their normal death animations. This same effect within Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 is also used for non-dog infantry dying to Prism weaponry, thanks to sharing the same code as Tiberian Sun's lasers.
  • Crash Bandicoot series:
    • Getting killed from an electrocution in Crash Bandicoot 2: Cortex Strikes Back or Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped shows the title character's bony corpse and his pink boxers with red hearts.
    • A very strange example happens in the fourth boss fight of Crash Bandicoot: The Wrath of Cortex with Crunch Bandicoot. Although Crunch is a see-through hundred-foot genie made of air during that fight, he will somehow show a skeleton whenever he takes damage or prepares an electric blast to throw at your biplane.
    • Returns in Crash Tag Team Racing, where Crash shocks himself in one Die-O-Rama by foolishly touching a broken electrical wire for no apparent reason.
    • Occurs in the Crash Bandicoot N. Sane Trilogy, which are remakes of the first three games. As Coco is now playable, she too can get electrocuted.
    • Crash, Coco, Dingodile, Tawna, and Dr. Cortex are each playable in Crash Bandicoot 4: It's About Time and getting electrocuted by anything will X-ray their skeleton. Surprisingly, the underwear gag also applies to the female characters, meaning players can see Coco and Tawna's sports bra and panties alongside their bones. Dingodile's x-ray reveals he has on quite a large pair of underwear, while Cortex doesn't show anything.
  • In Creatures Adventures, norns that are struck by lightning show their skeleton briefly. It's completely harmless.
  • Crush the Castle 2. One of the weapons that become available is a jar full of electric eels. If it hits anything made of metal, the electrical charge flows through all adjacent metal items. If the charge hits one of the human targets, you can see the person's skeleton inside their body as they're killed.
  • Happens in Cuphead to Cala Maria when she enters the second phase of her boss battle, courtesy of her pet eels.
  • In Cyberbots, any mech hit by an electrical attack will briefly show all of their mechanical insides. While it's hard to see because the animation plays so fast, the metallic insides of each mech are incredibly detailed.
  • In the fighting game Darkstalkers to characters when they are hit by an electric attack, but some don't have a skeleton to show when hit (for example, Pyron shows a constellation, Jedah shows runes, etc.).
  • In the 2013 Deadpool game, the Merc with a Mouth gets this when he needs to open a door by making contact with a severed cable, grabbing it with both hands.
  • Happens in a boss fight near the end of Donkey Kong Country 3: Dixie Kong's Double Trouble!. Just hit K.Rool's flight pack and he'll fall onto the electrified floor.
  • Characters in Don't Starve, as well as some mobs, will show their skeletons when struck by lightning even when said character should not have a skeleton, such as a robot, a plant and a possible non-physical projection. Characters who are supposed have skeletons also have bones where there shouldn't be, such as in their hair.
  • In Nexon's game, Dragon Nest, this happens if you or an enemy is affected by the "electrocuted" status debuff.
  • In the first Duke Nukem I, this happens when the title character, strangely, takes damage from any source. That means he'll seemingly get electrocuted from simply touching a trash can or even water.
  • In EarthBound, the Conducting Menace and Conducting Spirit enemies, which have Psycho Electro powers, always look like this in battle.
  • This can happen to John and Sam in Eastward if they get hit by an electric attack.
  • Happens to Lil or Laarg in the PS4/PSVita game Escape Plan if either one of them is killed by electricity.
  • Happens to any character that hits the electrical sign stage hazard in Eternal Champions.
  • This happens to any enemy in Fable III when using the Shock Gauntlets. Killing them with it leaves their corpses as bare skeletons.
  • Family Guy: The Video Game!
    • While Stewie is exploring Peter's brain, he will meet images of Lois. If one of Lois' images moves too close to one of Peter's nerves, she'll be shocked and her skeleton will become visible inside a yellow aura as she's destroyed.
    • While in Peter's bladder, Stewie must kill clones by shooting at them. When they're killed, their skeletons become visible inside a yellow aura.
    • However, worth noting is that the game's graphics are quite crappy, so the skeletons are random 2D sprites that don't look like they actually belong to any of the characters.
  • Happens in Final Fight 2 and 3 whenever a character is hit by an electrical prod. In Final Fight 3, this extends to enemies as well as the character Dean can electrocute all characters around him, including his own teammates. Most characters share the same electrocution sprite, so different body types will still have one universal skeleton.
  • Flashback has this when Conrad is killed by a disintegrator or electric floor.
  • Fork Parkers Crunch Out: Whenever you shock your employees back to life, they flash as a skeleton for a bit.
  • Happens to the flying Furby when coming in contact with a thundercloud in the Big Fun in Furbyland minigame "In the Clouds".
  • Go Go Hypergrind sees this happen to anyone who suffers the "Lightning" injury. A screenshot of Decker the Wolf being shocked by a neon sign is even shown on the back of the case.
  • When the Lowain-Elsam-Tomoi trio gets zapped by the electric eels in the Bzzt! Amped Up Summer event of Granblue Fantasy, the image icon shows them as skeletons.
  • In Henry Stickmin - Escaping The Prison, if Henry doesn't react quick to stop the guard coming at him with a taser, he'll get shocked with a bit of his skeleton showing.
  • In the Home Alone Licensed Game for the Sega Genesis, if Kevin, Harry, or Marv get caught by the Robot in the Ultra Modern House or the Ghost in the Colonial House, they will get electrocuted by them, causing this to happen. Kevin can also assemble an electrical grenade weapon to use against Harry and Marv, with the same effect.
  • Occurs in Iji to anyone caught in a Komato Annihilator's "Destroy" attack.
  • In The Immortal, electrocution leads to this for a brief moment. Unlike typical examples, it's High-Voltage Death at its finest. It's one way you can execute trolls, and likewise Mordamir can do this to you.
  • The first inFAMOUS game did not feature this. inFAMOUS 2, however, has this happen upon hitting someone with a bolt attack, as well as when using the Bio Leech. This means you'll be seeing plenty of skeletons if you stick to your default electrical attacks. The only exceptions are the larger mutant bosses, who do not react when hit by electrical attacks.
  • In Invisible, Inc., this happens to any guard knocked out with a neural disrupter.
  • In JumpJet Rex, taking damage from electricity will make Rex's skeleton visible for a moment.
  • The taser weapon in the Sega Genesis game Jurassic Park: Rampage Edition is insanely powerful, able to kill dinosaurs and people in a single shot. When you use it, you see the skeleton of whoever or whatever you use it on before they collapse into ashes.
  • Happens in KartRider: Drift to anyone struck by the lightning cloud powerup.
  • In The King of Dragons, when the Dragonian boss is defeated, he will be struck by a small lightning bolt, x-raying the beast for some seconds before he collapses into blue flames.
  • The King of Fighters series doesn't feature this trope despite having a fair share of electrical attacks. This could be due to the series having a slightly more realistic tone than its fellow classic 2D fighters, such as Street Fighter. However, Benimaru's taunt in KOFXIII will cause him to pose and accidentally get struck by his own lightning, x-raying him as he gets shocked. The taunt can damage his opponent as well, but merely pushes them away instead of shocking them.
  • Occurs in both King of the Monsters games. The second game is particularly interesting as shocking the alien bosses with Atomic Guy's Lightning attack will reveal their intricate and bizarre skeletal anatomy. Blink and you'll miss it though.
  • In the Sega Saturn game The Legend of Heroes II: Prophecy of the Moonlight Witch, originally called The Legend of Heroes III: White Witch in Japan, can occur when any playable character is struck by a lightning spell.
  • This happens to Zanthia in The Legend of Kyrandia, Book Two: The Hand of Fate if she touches the electricity generated by the mill. In this case, only her clothes are left.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Touching an electrical hazard in A Link to the Past will pixelate the background and will briefly display Link's skeleton.
    • Getting electrified in The Minish Cap will briefly show Link's x-ray skeleton.
    • Getting zapped in Four Swords Adventures will display the shocked Link's x-ray skeleton, complete with a loud spark sound effect. However, the electricity effects overlayed over the player character's sprites make this instance very hard to see, so one could only tell by slowing down the footage or looking at the game's sprite sheets.
  • Shows up in every other LEGO Adaptation Game when a character is struck by an electricity-based attack or hazard.
    • LEGO Jurassic World: Owen shocks the Indominus Rex during the Final Battle, causing her to go skeletal while the Raptor Squad and the T. Rex laugh at her.
  • Happens in Leisure Suit Larry 5: Passionate Patti Does a Little Undercover Work when you stick your fingers in an outlet. As they had decided to remove the accidental deaths from the LSL series around this time, it isn't fatal.
  • Happens in Little Big Adventure whenever someone is electrocuted.
  • LittleBigPlanet
    • Touch any electrified material in LittleBigPlanet, and you get the same result. Sackboy lights up, twitches violently for a few seconds, and then explodes. (Don't worry, he comes back normal from the previous Checkpoint after his Critical Existence Failure.) If the electrified object is moving, Sackboy gets stuck in midair during electrocution, and the object may even go right through him. Some people on YouTube have found a way to save the Electrified Sackboy as a costume they can put on whenever they want, making for a very cool, glowing Halloween effect.
    • In the sequel, players can see a continued animation, by selecting a Sackbot that has touched an electric material. The Sackbot's head grows so huge that its own eyes pop out of its head and it is thrown into Death Throws. Something pretty creepy for a game aimed towards small children and family audiences.
  • In Lollipop Chainsaw, this happens to Juliet if she gets struck by Vikke's lightning bolts in Stage 2. Nick's skull (for those who have not played the game, Nick is a severed head who is Juliet's boyfriend, and is attached to her hip) is also visible as well, and he always makes a funny little remark as he and Juliet are shocked. Oddly enough, these are the only electrical sources that make their skeletal structures visible, being hit by any other electrical source simply makes Juliet fall on her back. You even get a trophy/achievement for being shocked 10 times, and the trophy/achievement icon shows her skeleton.
  • In Madworld, when anyone who gets thrown at an electric sign (or other source of electricity), or when the protagonist, Jack, is hit by electricity, their blocky skeletons will be seen. Also, one of the bosses, Rin-Rin, requires you to counter-attack her attacks by kicking her into a video monitor, resulting in this. (It is also possible to throw her into electric signs too, but it's not very easy to do so) Unfortunately, this trope didn't return in Anarchy Reigns (the spin-off of Madworld), so instead the characters flash blue when electrocuted.
  • In Magicka, using an electric component in your spell will shock the enemies and show their animation skeleton.
  • Happens in Makai Kingdom when anyone is hit with an electric-based attack.
  • Metal Gear series:
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater has the cruel main antagonist Colonel Volgin, who claims to have body that carries a charge of ten million volts. In a brutal torture scene, Volgin both shoots lightning beams and delivers electrified body blows to Naked Snake, with some of the impacts showing off Snake's x-ray skeleton. Poor Snake.
    • The North American instruction booklet for Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots has a comic book sequence explaining how to play the game, the functions of each weapon, etc. When demonstrating the Metal Gear Mk. II, the Mk. II tazes a guard, making his skeleton visible.
    • Also seen in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, when Strangelove is electrocuting Big Boss during the torture sequence. However, it's difficult to actually see his skeleton given these cutscenes are done in a very rough, sketchy comic book style.
    • Something hilarious to note is that the Japanese version, due to censorship laws, censored the torture to make the electricity a "tickle machine", and the violent sound effects are replaced with a cartoonish sound and Big Boss laughing.
  • Happens in the Metal Slug series whenever any of the main playable characters gets zapped.
  • This usually happens to the Ninja Turtles in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Arcade Game and the sequel when they're hit by energy weapons or walk into a hazard that emits energy other than fire. (Fire tends to Ash Face them.)
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • Raiden's bowdlerised fatality in the SNES port of Mortal Kombat involves him shocking the opponent to such a degree that they're reduced to a skeleton which collapses into a pile of dust.
    • Nightwolf's lightning fatality and Stryker's taser fatality in Mortal Kombat 3 will make the opponent rapidly flash blue, black, and white. If you look closely, you can see the opponent's blue skeleton throughout the flashing. This was removed in the N64 port of Mortal Kombat Trilogy (an update of the same game).
    • When it's time to finish off Cyrax or Sektor, they will short circuit, showing off an x-ray of their cybernetic skeleton.
    • In Mortal Kombat X, Raiden's more powerful electrical attacks (and Triborg Smoke's electrical attacks) will briefly turn the opponent into a light blue glowing skeleton. Raiden's second fatality (where he jams a pole through the opponent's mouth and summons lightning to the pole) will make the opponent's bones glow from the inside, so you can very clearly see the opponent's skeleton as they wriggle before returning to normal (although they are now dead).
    • In Mortal Kombat 11, some of Raiden's electrical attacks (including his throw) will quickly turn his opponent into a bright white skeleton. Given that these particular skeletons looks like glowing plastic bones, it looks more comical and humorous than something played seriously as one would expect from this infamously gory franchise.
  • Mae being subject to Harmless Electrocution is a Running Gag in Night in the Woods, and when she is, her skeleton is invariably visible. It stands out as one of the only real visual gags in a relatively realistic story.
  • Happens to the playable characters in Ninja Baseball Bat Man. Apparently, Beanball Roger and Stick Straw's bats also have bones in them.
  • Occurs to any character when they touch an electrical material in The Outfoxies.
  • Paprium: as Alex can be seen showing off her skeleton when she is hit by an enemy with an electrified baton in the trailer.
  • In Party Animals, players who get tased are knocked to the ground and immobilized for a few seconds while their skeletons are shown.
  • Characters that get hit with the Shock status in Persona 4: Arena Ultimax show up as this. Aigis and Labrys have basic metal frameworks instead, while Teddie, Margaret, Elizabeth, and Marie don't have skeletons at all.
  • Zombies that are killed by electrical attacks in Plants vs. Zombies 2 do this. That includes the Bug Zombie. Some really bizarre anatomy can be seen for some of the more mutant zombies, including large stock femur bones in places where they shouldn't be.
  • In Pocket Fighter, also known as Super Gem Fighter Mini Mix, to any character who is electrocuted by something.
  • Happens to the characters in Po Po Lo Crois, as well as most of the enemies when they are hit by an electric spell.
  • Occurs in The Queen of Battlers 2 to any character hit by Nue's electrical attacks.
  • In the beat em up game Raging Justice, player characters and enemies will flash into realistic-looking glowing blue skeletons when they are hit by stun guns or other electrical hazards.
  • Happens in Rampage World Tour to the playable characters whenever they hit any active electrical signs, appliances, or exposed wires.
  • Sailor Moon: Happens in the Super Nintendo game Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon S when selected characters are electrocuted by Sailor Jupiter.
  • In Stage 2 of Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: The Game, you frequently run into movie sets that have people in Godzilla and alien costumes. The people in the alien costumes will shoot bolts of electricity at you from their ray guns, resulting in this. The same electrocuted sprite (as well as the burning sprite) is used for all characters but were made primarily for Scott's body shape and structure, so both sprites will make Stephen Stills look skinny for a second, or Ramona and Kim look flat-chested.
  • Happens in Sengoku 3 if you use a lightning technique to any of the enemies. Even to the poor little monkeys.
  • Occurs in the first Shock Troopers game. Unfortunately, this was removed in the sequel.
  • Happens in the arcade game of The Simpsons. Interestingly, when Marge gets zapped you can see that she has bunny ears hidden in her hair.
  • In The Simpsons: Hit & Run, this happens whenever a player character is struck by a blast from the wasp-shaped surveillance drones around Springfield.
  • Happens in The Sims 2: Attempting to repair anything without enough Mechanical skill causes you to flash as a bright green/blue skeleton, then wind up with your clothing turned to soot and hair completely frazzled.
  • Occurs in Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. Go ahead, get hit by a laser or get shot by a gun triggered by stepping into a spotlight. Zap!
    • Sly can get access to the Amp (the lightning stick) from Infamous 2, and thus can electrocute nearly all enemies and show their skeleton just by whacking them.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog series:
    • Happens to Knuckles in Sonic and Knuckles when he is counterattacked by Robotnik after trying to reclaim the Master Emerald.
    • Predating this, sprites found from a prototype of Sonic CD revealed that Sonic was originally going to get this effect when shocked by the electric wires of Wacky Workbench, but this was scrapped due to policies regarding the image of the company's mascot.
    • In Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing: Transformed, going through an electrical current in the Curien Mansion track, Graveyard Gig, will have this happen to you. It also occurs when you drive through the laser grids in Race of AGES, or when Gillius or Metal Sonic attack you with their All-Star attack. Also, Metal Sonic apparently has a skeleton, Sonic and Shadow's quills are part of their skulls while Aiai and Meemee's ears are part of theirs, the Sonic characters have toe bones despite not having toes, Ulala and Pudding have very slim and nice bones, and Wreck-It Ralph, of course, has a gigantic skeleton. It's worth nothing the bones have an N64 texture quality, so don't expect anything detailed.
  • Space Quest:
    • Happens in Space Quest VI: Roger Wilco in The Spinal Frontier when Roger uses the hand icon on the electrical outlet in his room, resulting a death being reduced to ashes, clothes intact.
    • The slot machine death ray and the Sarien pulserays in the first game both completely turn Roger to ashes with this effect.
  • Occurs when a spy is blown up by a bomb or electrocuted by a Bucket Booby-Trap in Spy vs. Spy.
  • Street Fighter:
    • Street Fighter II has Blanka (pictured above) who can shock his opponent with his power he learned from eels. This could be considered a Trope Codifier for video game instances, considering that it was one of the very first games to show this trope in clear-cut detail.
    • Street Fighter Alpha 3 featured the return of Blanka, and his signature electrocution special move will X-ray anyone who gets shocked by it.
    • Necro, Urien, and Ryu in Street Fighter III each have some sort of electric attack that'll display their opponent's skeleton.
    • The return of Blanka in Street Fighter IV also welcomes the return of X-ray sparks. Special Agent C. Viper also makes this happen with her painful stun gloves. Gouken and Oni have electrified hadoukens.
    • The electrifyingly sexy Laura in Street Fighter V has electrical attacks that make this trope happen. Her second V-Trigger in particular has her grab the opponent in a tight chokehold and electrify them while their skeleton flashes, which looks pretty painful. Blanka and Urien return as playable DLC fighters, and this trope happens whenever they shock someone. Also in the Shadoloo Base stage, players KO'd on the right side of the screen will be knocked into a power turbine, getting them electrocuted up until the machine explodes.
    • Street Fighter X Tekken features Blanka and Cole from inFAMOUS, who comes from a game all about electric powers.
    • This trope can actually reveal some interesting things about some of the characters. In Street Fighter III, Necro, who has stretchy limbs, is shown to have his bones broken into smaller sections like an accordion. Twelve, a non-human Voluntary Shapeshifter, averts the trope entirely. Q, an Ambiguously Human man of mystery, doesn't show his skeleton when shocked, and instead shows his muscular system. In Street Fighter V, Necalli, an ancient Aztec demon, has no visible skeleton, instead just showing a black silhouette when he's shocked. While also likely a bug, when Karin or Chun-Li are electrocuted in their swimsuit costumes, their skeletons can be seen wearing their sunglasses.
  • Starting with the second Streets of Rage, any player character who gets electrocuted will display an x-ray skeleton. Examples include getting shocked by Electra's electrified whip in the second game, and getting bitten by Diva's electrified snake in the fourth game.
  • Super Mario Bros. series:
    • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, happens all the time to Mario if he gets zapped by any of Luigi's lightning techniques. Can also happen to Luigi himself, too, such as in one of the results of messing up the inputs for his Thunder Bros. Combination Attack.
    • In the Super Mario Strikers intro, a Hammer Bro gets slipped onto an electric fence.
      • Also occurs in the sequel Mario Strikers Charged to not only a Birdo and a Pianta in the opening clip but also to all characters when knocked into the electric fence (Or hit by Dry Bones' Skillshot). However, the biggest note of importance is that each character's skeleton is designed to look realistic. That means that the cutesy cartoon characters such as Toad and Yoshi are shown to have realistic and textured jawbones, ribs, and spines. Sweet dreams, kids.
    • Happens in the Super Mario Galaxy games when Mario (or Luigi) gets shocked. In the first game, if the shock killed Mario, he would die as just a skeleton, but this was removed in the sequel.
  • This was a feature of Pikachu's electrical attacks in the original (and ONLY in the original) Super Smash Bros. 64. Ness (with PK Thunder), Samus (with Charge Beam), and the Ray Gun did the same thing, but like Pikachu, they could only do so in the first game. This even provides something of a visual gag if Samus gets shocked because instead of showing us her skeleton, we just see the human figure inside her power suit. On the other hand, when Kirby and Jigglypuff get hit by electric attacks, only their eyes are visible, implying (sensibly) that they have no skeleton. Funnily enough, Mario and Luigi's noses appear to be part of their skeletons.
    • The fan project Super Smash Flash 2 brings this back, granting all characters in its roster a free x-ray when hit with an electrical attack.
    • Smash Remix gives all newcomers their own skeletal models, and like with Samus, Kirby, and Jigglypuff in the original game, some Easter eggs are included: Dark Samus is unsettlingly blue and veiny like the metroid she is, Bowser becomes Dry Bowser, Wario's moustache and grin is still prominent, and Sonic's is based on the scrapped sprite that was going to appear in Sonic CD. In addition, there's an option to make the skeleton display permanently.
  • In Tatsunoko vs. Capcom: Ultimate All-Stars, Yatterman-2's grab attack consists of her electrocuting her opponents with their skeletons (or inner mechanical parts for robots) showing. For some reason, this is the only electrical attack that does this.
  • The title characters in some Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles arcade game show this effect when they are zapped by beams from roving robots on wheels.
  • Patients in the hospital management sim Two Point Hospital can suffer from a disease called "Shock Horror", which causes them to spontaneously experience electrical shocks. They leap in the air and appear as a silhouette with a glowing skeleton when doing so.
  • In Ty the Tasmanian Tiger, Ty can inflict this effect on enemies using the Zappyrang.
  • In Um Jammer Lammy, if Lammy and/or Parappa starts performing at either the Bad or Awful rank on the Teriyaki Yoko stage, they will be struck by lightning resulting in this effect. It is seen again in a flashback in the Stage 7 cutscene when Lammy plugs in electrical equipment.
  • In Undertale, this happens to Papyrus when he steps into his own electrified maze. Of course he's also a skeleton to begin with.
MM* Occurs in the fighting game Verdict: Guilty!.
  • Happens to every fighter in Voltage Fighter Gowcaizer whenever they are hit by high voltage attacks, such as Brider's electrical attacks. The art quality of the character's skeletons are quite detailed, moreso than similar games that featured this trope.
  • Happens to Simon in Wai Wai World when he is the one sent through the teleporter to the selected stage.
  • In Wario Land 3, this happens to Wario should he get hit with an electric attack.
  • The 2017 remake of Wonder Boy III: The Dragon's Trap shows the main character this way during transformation sequences.
  • Happens in Yandere Simulator since the August 12 update, you can cause this by unscrewing a light panel in the restroom and turning the lights off whilst the victim is doused in water.

    Web Animation 
  • In The Grossery Gang webseries, in the "Get Well Spewn" arc, the lottery ticket scanner is used as a makeshift x-ray on a sick Pizza Face, shocking him and a nearby Rocky and Meathead, revealing their x-rays. This is despite the fact that they're living food.
  • The fate of the carpenter in a Lego rendition of "The Gas Man Cometh".
  • In Mighty Magiswords, the Electric Eel Magisword can shock people, but the X-ray effect is only used some of the time.
  • Pencilmation: Somewhat inverted in "Reaper By The Dozen". The reaper trying to kill Pencilmate gets zapped by the wires from Pencilmate's television. Being a skeleton already, he is shown with skin (and Goofy Print Underwear) before turning to dust.
  • A scene in RWBY has the large-bodied Hazel grab Nora's head, discharging electricity onto the poor girl's head. Unfortunately for Hazel, Nora's semblance allows her to absorb electricity to gain strength, and she uses the extra energy to throw him to the ground. During the process, Nora's skeleton can be briefly seen glowing through her skin.
  • In Season 6 of Sonic for Hire, Sonic straps Crash Bandicoot to an electric chair demanding to learn The Epoch's location. After obtaining the info, Sonic leaves the chair on, electrocuting Bandicoot along with his sparking skeleton. He did so because Crash didn't comment on his Liam Neeson impression, ignoring the fact he was too busy frying to a crisp.
  • X-Ray & Vav: X-Ray is subject to this in the first episode, somewhat ironic.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Super Power Beat Down, episode "The Joker & Harley Quinn vs. Deadpool & Domino": When the Joker shocks Deadpool with his lethal joy buzzer, the Merc with a Mouth's skeleton briefly flashes into sight.

    Western Animation 
  • Happens to Steve in the American Dad! episode "Cheek to Cheek: A Stripper's Story" when the police taser him for yelling at them, which they took as an act of aggression.
  • In Amphibia episode "Taking Charge", Hop Pop gets this when he gets shocked by the Zapapedes along with Anne, Sprig and Polly when they were holding onto him at the same time.
  • Largely averted in Avatar: The Last Airbender (where electrocution is taken very seriously), but in the noncanonical, Denser and Wackier Super Deformed Shorts, this happens to Katara in "School Time Shipping" when Azula zaps her with lightning.
  • In the Avenger Penguins episode "Surprise Fate", Caractacus P. Doom makes his goon Harry Slime repair an antenna during a thunderstorm. Slime gets struck by lightning and has his skeleton made visible in the process.
  • This happens repeatedly in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!, with the first appearance of Thor, he uses mystic lightning on frost giants, showing their skeletons. In the first appearance of the Hulk, he is struck by an electrical weapon that reveals his skeleton.
  • In episode 3 of The Awesomes, The Awesomes are taking part in a virtual simulation where they must defeat a gigantic cockroach. When Muscle Man jumps on top of the cockroach, Hotwire shocks it, affecting Muscle Man in the process.
  • In the Beavis and Butt-Head cartoon "Head Lice," this results from the misuse of a bug zapper.
  • Discussed in one episode of Bob's Burgers. When Zeke is getting zapped on an electric fence, he asks if his bones are glowing.
  • The animated version of The Boondocks. In the episode "The Passion of Rev. Ruckus", as Uncle Ruckus is delivering a sermon he's struck by a lightning bolt while inside a church. He's perfectly fine afterwards though, which is odd considering other serious injuries in the show are usually longer lasting.
  • In the short-lived Disney cartoon The Buzz on Maggie, one episode had Aldrin electrocute Maggie with a hand buzzer, resulting in this. It should be noted that Maggie is an insect.
  • The Camp Lazlo episode "Hallobeanies" has a scene of Scoutmaster Lumpus having his skeleton revealed while being struck by lightning.
  • On Chip 'n Dale: Rescue Rangers, this happens to each of the five Rangers at least once throughout the series. One good example is in the episode "Does Pavlov Ring a Bell?", Monterey Jack shakes hands with the electrically charged lab rat Sparky and receives an electric shock strong enough to reveal his skeleton.
  • In the original Courage the Cowardly Dog short, "The Chicken From Outer Space," after Eustace is mutated into a giant murderous chicken, Courage proceeds to vaporize him with a ray gun. Eustace turns into a skeleton a few times before dissolving into ash.
  • In the Van Beuren Studios Cubby Bear short "Mischievous Mice", one of the mice electrocutes Cubby's cat this way with a lightbulb socket.
  • A few episodes of Danny Phantom have this, most notably "Maternal Instincts", in which Vlad electrocutes Danny with a device that causes him to lose his ghost powers temporarily. Despite Danny having a very cartoonish skeleton, this scene is not in any way played for laughs.
  • Happens from time to time in Darkwing Duck. Pretty much any episode with the lightning-wielding Megavolt.
  • Happens from time to time in Dexter's Laboratory. In the intro sequence for The Justice Friends shorts, Val Hallen tries to put in a lightbulb, but Krunk instead shoves him into the exposed wire, causing him to get shocked.
  • Happens to Ed in Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show when he gets shocked by Eddy's pack of electric gum, then transforms into various forms of himself that have been used previously on the show.
  • Used in several episodes of The Fairly OddParents; in one instance, it shows Wanda with a bone inside her hair swirl.
  • Family Guy
    • Happens to Ernie the Giant Chicken in the Season 10 episode "Internal Affairs", when Peter violently slams his head onto a cloning machine, breaking the machine and causing the leftover voltage to shock him.
    • In the Season 16 episode "Switch the Flip", Brian (who is in Chris Griffin's body) says a long swearing insult to God in order to get him angry and strike him with lightning (so the electricity can power the machine to switch their bodies back). However the "regular God" is unbothered and says "don't look at me", and it pans to the Indian God of thunder, who calmly says "You can't say that. No, no no no no." and hurls several lightning bolts at Chris. Chris is then electrocuted, and his skeleton shows while the ensuing electricity powers the machine up and returns everyone back into their bodies.
    • Happens to Stewie once while impregnating himself with Brian's children.
    • Happens to both Brian and Stewie in "Big Trouble in Little Quahog" when hit by the shrink ray.
  • Final Space: In "The Closer you Get", this happens to Clarence when H.U.E. zaps him with a taser.
  • Fred and Barney Meet the Thing used this trope in the Thing segment episode "A Hot Air Affair at the Fair", where the Thing at one point catches a lightning bolt and throws it at the Yancy Street Gang's leader Spike, electrocuting him and making his skeleton visible in the process.
  • Ghost Force: The opening sequence shown in the trailers has the sparks reveal Andy's nerves and organs as they run down his body when he suits up.
  • The Gravedale High episode "He Ain't Scary, He's My Brother" ended with Frankentyke and his older brother Big Frankie having their skeletons made visible after being struck by lightning.
  • Several episodes of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy use this, but the best example goes to "Scythe 2.0", when Billy, Mandy, and Grim are riding in an elevator in the Underworld, and everyone's skeletons flash...but since Grim, the Grim Reaper, is already a skeleton, he gains skin just for this gag.
  • Happens to Trina in the Grojband episode "Super Zeroes" when she's struck by lightning.
  • A rare and one time occurrence of this happens in Hey Arnold!, though not as a result of a direct shock, but rather done for the sake of dramatic lighting. In the episode "Four-Eyed Jack", as Grandpa Phil leaves the room, lightning crashes outside of the boarding house, showing Grandpa's bones (not too far from what he actually looks like) as he laughs heartily.
  • In Home Movies, Duane and McGuirk both show their skeletons in electrocutions, unusual for a show that's otherwise low-key and absent of exaggerated cartoony action.
  • Inspector Gadget:
    • Happens to Chief Quimby in every Title Sequence, while inside a safe, as the self-destructing sheet of paper explodes to his face.
    • Happens to Inspector Gadget too, in the episode "Gadget and Old Lace", when he is shocked by the electric chicken.
  • Every time Johnny Bravo (or someone else on the show) gets electrocuted by something, you can be 100% sure that this will be the result.
  • Justice League Unlimited:
    • In the final episode, Superman's bright red skeleton can be seen when hit by Darkseid's "agony matrix" device. The device was shown to be a sort of "rope" of lightning that would cause his skeleton to appear every few frames while it directly stimulated his pain receptors.
    • In the beginning fight sequence of "Kids Stuff", this happens to KGBeast when Batman throws a batrang at his mechanical backpack. The backpack short circuits and zaps KGBeast, showing his skeleton three times before he collapses on his knees.
    • In the episode "Hunter's Moon", Vixen gets shocked in the back by a mechanical appendage, revealing her skeleton for a few frames before she's knocked out.
  • In the episode of Justice League Action, "Plastic Man Saves the World", Vixen's skeleton can briefly be seen when she attempts to punch a robot that activates an electrical field as a countermeasure.
  • In Episode 122 of Kaeloo, Stumpy is electrocuted and his skeleton becomes visible for a second or so.
  • Any number of Looney Tunes and Tom and Jerry cartoons, though the examples are mostly from newer adaptions rather than their golden age episodes.
    • Happens in one Looney Tunes cartoon where Taz gets zapped up by a Christmas tree's lightbulbs.
    • In the 2006 Christmas Special, Daffy Duck gets hurled onto a telephone wire.
    • In the 2011 reboot, The Looney Tunes Show, Bugs and Daffy get struck by lightning while sitting on a rainy rooftop, revealing their realistic bones for a split second.
  • Lucky Luke: Used repeatedly in an episode of The New Adventures of Lucky Luke where a lightning strike grants Averell Dalton (and then Rantanplan) temporary Super Intelligence. Afterward, the Daltons uses a machine producing electricity to extend the effect.
  • MAD: In one sketch based on Star Wars, C-3PO shocks Chewbacca, and Chewy's skeleton shows through his skin.
  • Occurs in season 1 episode 4 "Curse of the Deep" to Diana and season 1 episode 13 "They Lurk Beneath" to some aliens in Martin Mystery.
  • Mickey Mouse:
    • The Mickey Mouse Club: This happens to Donald Duck in one of the gong gags at the end of the theme song.
    • Occurs in the 2013 Disney short "Get a Horse!" when Pete is flung into telephone wires.
    • The Mickey Mouse short "Swimmin' Hole" has Pete steal the swimming hole and secure it with an electric fence. Mickey, Donald, and Goofy try to get past the fence, only to get electrocuted with their skeletons visible.
  • Mike, Lu & Og:
    • In the pilot "Crash Lancelot", Lu becomes an x-ray as Og adds a nuclear-powered motor to her custom-made car.
    • This happens to Mike in "Nobody's Nose" when she is zapped by a Personal Rain Cloud that Queeks conjured up.
    • In "Scuba Doobie Doo", air-mailman Floyd flies his plane into a thundercloud, causing both him and his dog to become skeletons.
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • Happens to Bogus in the claymation short shown after the third act of the episode "Hipster Tripster", after getting struck by a lightning bolt during a thunderstorm.
    • Happens to Bogus, after getting struck by an electric surge in the first act of the episode "Computer Intruder".
    • Happens to Bogus again in the episode "The Bogus Invasion", when an attempt to high-five a fully-functioning robot causes his skeleton to be shown for a few seconds.
  • In the theme song of My Life as a Teenage Robot, Jenny gets hit by a laser beam, showing that she has a human-like skeleton.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Inflicted on Gilda the Griffon in "Griffon the Brush Off" when Pinkie Pie uses a joy buzzer.
    • In "Bloom & Gloom", when Apple Bloom tries catching the twittermite swarm after having her exterminator cutie mark removed, the twittermites first shock her into this. In a Freeze-Frame Bonus, we can see an apple-shaped bone at the base of her spine.
    • In "Newbie Dash", Rainbow Dash wanders into a thundercloud which zaps her with a lightning bolt and lights up her skeleton in the process. Again in a Freeze-Frame Bonus, we see that pegasi have a cloud-shaped bone above the pelvis, and also that they have bones in their feathers, all the way to the wingtip.
  • The Oh Yeah! Cartoons short "Max and the Pigeon Incident" has Max's skeleton made visible when he gets electrocuted on a powerline while trying to catch the pigeon bothering him.
  • On Phineas and Ferb, this happens to Candace in the episode "It's About Time!" when struck by lightning in prehistoric times.
  • PJ Masks: This happens to Romeo in "Robot Goes Wrong" when he pushes a button on his remote control, while he was trying to find a way to free himself from Owlette's feathers.
  • In Rex the Runt, Bad Bob attempts to repair Johnny Saveloy's eternal youth machine while he (Johnny) is strapped into it by twisting a random pair of electrical wires together, giving both Bob and Johnny an x-ray sparks effect. Bob is unharmed, but the results for Johnny Saveloy are rather more permanent.
  • Samurai Jack: In the episode "Jack in Space", when Aku's drone form into a giant weapon to destroy the space shuttle, Jack rushes out to destroy it. As it fires on the ship, Jack manages to block the attack with his sword, but at same time getting electrocuted with his skeleton flashing.
  • Secret Squirrel episode "Scuba Duba Duba". Scuba Duba hands Secret Squirrel an electric eel. When the eel shocks him Secret's body momentarily disappears, leaving only his skeleton.
  • The Sheep in the Big City episode "Party of the Shear" has General Specific attempt to get into a club. When the bouncer refuses to let him in, General Specific attempts to move the velvet rope aside, only for the electrified velvet rope to electrocute him and reveal his skeleton.
  • Frank Grimes from The Simpsons:
    "Extremely high voltage? Well, I don't need safety gloves 'cause I'm Homer Simp—" (BZZZZT).
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) episode "Ro-Becca", Antoine gets this upon being struck by lightning.
    Antoine: This is ze worst day of my life! [sobs] WHAT ELSE COULD HAPPEN?!
    [cue this trope]
  • South Park usually doesn't use this trope during electrocutions, but there have been a couple exceptions:
    • Towards the end of Bigger, Longer & Uncut, Cartman, with his newfound lightning powers, blasts the beejezus out of Saddam Hussein, showing his skeleton several times.
    • Happens to Terrance and Phillip in the film as well when hit with the electric chair, though their skeletons are brief and transparent over their bodies, so it almost appears as though their eyes continue changing in size
    • In Part 2 of the "Cartman's Mom is a Dirty Slut" two-parter, Kenny has to sacrifice himself to get the power in the hospital back up, so he willingly electrocutes himself to start the generator back up. H
    • Happens in the episode "Wing" where a member of the Chinese Mafia slips and falls into electrical wires.
  • A disturbing take on this trope happens in Spider-Man: The New Animated Series with Electro. In his appearances, the victims that he shocks will flash into skeletons. While the 3D-rendered characters look cartoony, the skeletons do not. These episodes are quite dark, and the trope is portrayed seriously as the psychopathic and suffering Electro violently electrocutes female victims, who plead for him to stop. Sally, the one who gets electrocuted often cries, screams, and begs for it to stop in a distorted voice. All of this while she flashes as an almost-rotten-looking and photorealistic skeleton. Sickening! Spider-Man gets zapped too.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • SpongeBob and Patrick are shocked by Man Ray's stolen laser gauntlet, and turn into skeletons for a few seconds... even though they're both invertebrates and therefore have no skeletons. Given how stilted the animation actually looks, it's more likely they were parodying the trope rather than playing it straight.
    • In the season 5 episode "Breath of Fresh Squidward", Squidward electrocutes himself when he accidentally touches his electric fence when trying to get SpongeBob and Patrick to leave. Again, squids don't have skeletons.
    • In the season 11 episode "Karen's Virus", Karen knocks back Plankton into broken wires, and he gets electrocuted. However, the animation is exaggerated, and Plankton is turned into a detailed one-eyed horned skeleton that stretches around manically, so it actually looks pretty disturbing.
  • Asajj Ventress, when hit by Dooku's force lightning in Star Wars: Clone Wars.
  • Superman: The Animated Series has this happen to the already-electrifying Livewire when she blows up a water dam and gets all wet. Worth noting is that Superman himself in the series gets electrocuted by different enemies plenty of times, but it never ever happens to him.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles:
    • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987), Baxter Stockman was placed in a Disintegration Chamber by Krang after one failure too many. A fly entered the chamber with him, and after a brief X-ray spark Stockman was transformed into a giant mutant fly. This instance provided plenty of Nightmare Fuel; Baxter Stockman was pleading frantically for his life before and after being thrown in, and his screaming skeleton during the X-Ray spark was truly horrifying.
    • Nickelodeon's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles uses this for many of the electrocutions, but especially on poor, poor Donnie. Also happens whenever Casey uses his homemade taser.
  • The Thing: In "A Hot Air Affair at the Fair", the Thing catches a lightning bolt and throws it at Spike, causing his skeleton to become visible as he's being electrocuted.
  • Total Drama:
    • Demonstrated in an episode of the first season where Heather gets shocked by an Electric Jellyfish.
    • A teaser for Total Drama World Tour features this happening to Duncan when he gets hit by a laser beam.
  • Happens to all of the Titans on Teen Titans Go! at least once when they get electrocuted by something.
  • "The Legend of Grimace Island", the second video of the series The Wacky Adventures Of Ronald Mc Donald, has a scene where Ronald gets struck by lightning and has his skeleton visible while standing near the crow's nest.
  • Wander over Yonder: This happens to Lord Hater when Wander shocks him in "My Fair Hatey", but since Hater's already a skeleton, it just means his clothes disappear.


Video Example(s):


The death of Frank Grimes

When Frank Grimes goes insane and starts mimicking the risky things that Homer does and claiming that he's Homer Simpson, he sees the high voltage cables and stating that he doesn't need safety gloves, he unintentionally electrocutes himself to his demise once he grabs holds of the cables.

How well does it match the trope?

4.91 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / XRaySparks

Media sources: