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Playing With / Burn the Undead

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Basic Trope: Fire is effective at destroying undead.

  • Straight: Zombies burn easily.
  • Exaggerated: A zombie that withstood several SMG clips goes up like a firecracker when Alice throws a lit cigarette at it.
  • Downplayed: It does work, but it takes a lot of heat to the point where killing them with kinetic weapons is sometimes more efficient.
  • Justified: The zombies were embalmed before burial. As a mixture of formaldehyde, methanol, ethanol, and several other chemicals, embalming fluid is highly flammable.
  • Inverted:
    • Fire makes undead stronger.
    • The most reliable way to keep a skeleton from Pulling Themselves Together is to freeze and shatter them.
  • Subverted: Bob takes a flamethrower to a vampire, expecting it to burn rapidly. The vamp sarcastically says, "Ow, that really hurts."
  • Double Subverted: But when Alice gets out a gun loaded with incendiary rounds, the vamp catches fire rapidly. Turns out they're only invulnerable to fire on the outside.
  • Parodied: A vampire is stalking Bob. By pure coincidence Bob chooses that moment to light up a bong and the vampire runs away screaming and crying.
  • Zig Zagged: Skeletons and mummies are vulnerable to fire, but not ghouls or vampires. The lich is vulnerable to fire, but sometimes casts "Resist Flame" on himself in combat.
  • Averted: Fire is no more effective at destroying undead than anything else, or is completely ineffective.
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  • Enforced: The network wants more action, less cerebral character drama. Using this trope is an excuse to give Bob a flamethrower.
  • Lampshaded: "Did you just slay a vampire with a cigarette lighter? I thought you had to stake them."
  • Invoked: The necromancers who created the zombies needed a way out if they were Turned Against Their Masters, so they made the zombies weak to fire and prepared fire spells.
  • Exploited: Alice loads her shotgun with incendiary shells, knowing that zombies burn well.
  • Defied: A necromancer enchants his zombies with heat resistance spells.
  • Discussed:
    Bob: Alice, why are you pouring lamp oil on the zombies?
    Alice: I'm gonna light them on fire.
  • Conversed: "You know, they missed an opportunity to have Alice and Bob use that gas stove as an impromptu zombie barbecue."

Back to Burn the Undead.


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