Action Bomb

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"Video games are encouraging people to be bombs."

So, the Five-Man Band has been cornered by The Dragon, and they seem locked in a fight which will kill them all. Unless they get a massive amount of fatal damage in soon, they're screwed—whoops, there goes Joe, blowing himself up right on the enemy and positively obliterating him. That crazy shmuck!

An Action Bomb is anybody or anything which tends to use "Blowing Myself Up" as a combat technique. Though it kills the user, this is actually a logical tactic for those willing to expend their lives; the more accurate an explosive device is, the more likely it is to accomplish its goal, and how much closer do you get than right next to the target?

A common variation is the enemy that won't commit suicide (other than trying to attack you in the first place), but will detonate violently when/if killed.

If the user is expendable enough, he'll die. If the user is special or a hero, expect to see him either have it as a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that will one day get him Killed Off for Real, or resurrected and re-deployed ad infinitum.

See also Having a Blast, Mad Bomber, Taking You with Me and Why Am I Ticking?.

Examples of Action Bomb include:


Anime and Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Chaozu in Dragon Ball Z. Vegeta and Goku also tried exploding to defeat their enemies at least once (resulting in a huge Tear Jerker for the former), and Cell actually killed Goku doing it.
    • Most, if not all, of Dr. Gero's Androids incorporated very powerful self-destruct devices. 17 and 18's are removed by Shenron on a wish from Krillin, (which is used as a plot point in GT because 17 was not made aware of that fact,) while 16's is removed by Bulma. The problem is that she doesn't make him aware of that either, so 16 attempts to use his now nonfunctioning self-destruct mechanism against Cell. When it fails, Cell kills him.
    • The Saibamen used by Nappa and Vegeta in the first saga.
  • In Getter Robo, Musashi has been immortalized for this as part of his various Heroic Sacrifices.
    • Despite the fact that in the original series, it was actually a subversion. Musashi had been trying to bomb the enemy with every intention of escaping before the missile his ship had been carrying could go off. The firing mechanism jammed, and in his confusion, Musashi wound up crashing straight into the enemy, missile and all.
    • Played completely straight in Shin Getter Robo VS. Neo Getter Robo, in which Musashi, completely overpowered by his enemies, decided to take them with him by crushing the extremely volatile energy reactor of his Humongous Mecha.
  • Quatre Winner's Sandrock Gundam from Mobile Suit Gundam Wing. It sacrifices itself while letting Quatre escape to safety.
  • The Marriage in StrikerS Sound Stage X are composed of some sort of material that allow them to turn their arms into weapons. This same material can be converted into a powerful liquid explosive and detonated by the Mariage at a thought, letting them perform a final attempt at their enemies' life should they somehow be captured alive.
  • In Cyborg 009, three teenagers get bombs implanted in them and are given the mission of killing someone they know and love: the eponymous Cyborg, Joe/009.
    • Also, in the older Tv series Albert/004 has a nuclear bomb stored in his stomach. And in the 80's movies, he does use it to save his teammates. He manages to survive, though.
  • In Ninja Scroll, Zakuro is a sadistic explosives expert who specialises in setting explosive traps to kill her enemies... including using living creatures as disguises for her bombs. She turns a mutilated captive ninja into one of these in her first battle, then kills Yurimaru with a setup involving a rigged warehouse and a small explosive sewn into a living rat.
  • Dance in the Vampire Bund has vampires pull creative twists on this twice so far. One reporter secretly involved in a conspiracy has herself turned so she can cut herself open and sew a sizable block of C4 in her abdomen before attending a press conference given by Mina Tepes. In an apparently seperate case an agent of a rival vampire clan implants vials containing a chemical that reacts explosively with the blood of vampires and rigged to rupture with a cell-phone signal inside the bodies of numerous minions, and tries to blackmail Mina by dispersing them within the Tokyo subway system.
  • In Happiness!, Koyuki's Sphere Toms have the ability to blow themselves up, which they use several times over the course of the series.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Fu tries to commit a Heroic Sacrifice by jumping at Wrath while covered in lit dynamite. The explosives never go off, but he dies nonetheless.
  • Yasu "The Weasel" from Shin Mazinger Shougeki! Z-hen has a literal bomb in his stomach to be used only when the situation is otherwise hopeless.
  • In Hunter X Hunter this was Netero's trump card against the Chimera Ant King. By stopping his own heart after all of his other efforts barely scratched the King, he activated the extremely powerful bomb implanted in his body. It very nearly worked too.
  • Shana and Alastor in Shakugan no Shana do this to end the first season in a Dangerous Forbidden Technique version, although she thought it was a certain fatality when she did it.
  • The Church of Drowning in God's Grace from "Book of Bantorra" have the tendency to turn their "meats" (brainwashed slaves) into living bombs by implanting the bombs in their chest.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • Damage's superpower coupled this with enhanced physical abilities, with the added bonus of being invulnerable to his own blast.
  • Used as a joke in an issue of The Legion of Super Heroes. Tryouts. Next applicant: X-Bomb Betty. "I can create an explosion of 150 million megatons." Rejected for having a power that can only be used once.
    • Not for war crimes?
    • How can she be sure it even works?
    • For comparison, the Chicxulub impact was a "mere" 100 million megatons, and the Tunguska event is estimated at no more than 30 megatons. A blast of 150 million megatons is approaching biosphere killer.
  • Marvel's Nitro - an exploding b-list villain best known (in-universe) for killing Captain Marvel (Not that one, the alien one). In a universe that wasn't run entirely on Writer on Board, he'd also be known as the monster who blew up 600 people in Stamford, CT.
  • Marvel also had z-lister Powderkeg, a mutant baddie who sweated nitro-glycerin.
  • One of the Dirty Pair comics had bioengineered exploding chihuahuas.
  • Fred Perry's Gold Digger has the Peebos, which originated as artificially intelligent robot bombs before developing into a group Robot Buddy for the series.
  • Naturally, this was the schtick of The Human Bomb.
  • The Heroic Sacrifice of Rex Splode in the one-issue Invincible summer blockbuster crossover "The Invincible War.
    • One of the first villains Mark ever faced was a disgruntled teacher abducting students and turning them into walking bombs. Only one of his victims is still alive, and while he's no longer volatile his torso is still metal and wires.
  • The premier superteam of the USSR in The DCU, the People's Heroes, featured Molotov, a heavyset man who could make himself go kaboomski and reform sooner or later depending on the magnitude of the 'splosion.
  • Frag, of DC's Blasters, who haven't been seen much lately.
  • One of these was present when Judomaster was introduced to the Justice Society of America title, working as a Yakuza super-assassin. Built like a sumo wrestler, called himself Kamikaze, and self-detonated by shouting "Banzai!". Set up the loophole to her Nigh Invulnerability powers - only direct attacks against her are deflected - then probably never showed up again.


Fan Works[edit | hide]


Film[edit | hide]

  • In the Lord of the Rings The Two Towers, the movie, during the battle at Helms Deep, The Uruk-Hai constructed a bomb in the drainage tunnel at Helm's Deep, with an Uruk with a torch blowing himself up to set it off.
  • Russel Casse in Independence Day: "Hello boys! I'm baaaaaaack!"
  • Robert Neville in the theatrical ending of I Am Legend.
  • Bomb #20 in Dark Star:

In the beginning, there was darkness. And the darkness was without form, and void. And in addition to the darkness there was also me. And I moved upon the face of the darkness. And I saw that I was alone. Let there be light.

  • Dr. Strangelove, in the famous scene where Major T J Kong rides the nuke down to its destination below, thereby causing the Soviets to detonate their doomsday device and end the world.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In the later Flinx and Pip novels of Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, the eponymous hero has learned how to deliberately trigger the Superpower Meltdown of his Psychic Powers and uses it intentionally to escape tricky situations, since he knows it won't hurt him or anyone he really cares about. It doesn't always work, something he remains frustratingly Genre Blind about.
  • Lidia Leoni decided that she had a long life and she rather go out fighting for the Resistance than waiting for old age or a stray bomb to kill her.
  • In T.J. Bass's The Godwhale, the character Drum has an explosive planted in him during surgery, then is sent to a rebel group as a "diplomat" by the world government. It's discovered and temporarily defused, but will detonate at any attempt at removal and kill him if left alone. Drum goes back home and pulls a Self-Sacrifice Scheme, blowing the Capital City sky-high.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Stargate SG-1. In "Singularity" SG-1 rescues a small girl who turns out to have had an inoperable Naqahdah bomb put in her by Nirrti to destroy the SGC. Ultimately the girl is given to the care of Dr. Janet Fraiser, the SGC medic, after they discover that the bomb will dissolve if she is kept away from the Stargate.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Basics" the crew of Voyager pick up a wounded Kazon who unfortunately turns out to have been chemically altered to become a suicide bomb.
    • Unfortunately for Voyager, it came off as a weak copy of TNG episode 81, "Reunion", which used largely the same stunt.
    • Enterprise featured a group of Scary Dogmatic Aliens on board, who...well...you can guess from the trope name.
  • In Lexx, the state of the art in both spaceships and bombs consists of semi-sentient, biomechanical insects.
  • Played with in Heroes, where anyone with the nuclear explosion ability will survive their own explosions. Not so much for everyone around them.
  • Dave Lister's suggested method of dealing with a Polymorph (in the Red Dwarf episode Polymorph. natch) was "why don't we go down to the armory, get a nuclear warhead and strap it to my head. I'll nut the Smegger to oblivion!". this after said creature had drained all his fear.


Music[edit | hide]

  • Joe in The Protomen's Act II (accidentally) becomes this to destroy Wily's control tower. It works, but things don't change.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • GURPS: Transhuman Space considered a borderline case: more powerful missile weapons are called "Autonomous Kill Vehicle". After all, if it got all the elements of a ship except the habitable part, what's point to call it a "torpedo"? You can rate it a specialized auto-piloted vessel just as well.
  • Dungeons & Dragons monsters, especially in 4th Ed. have the all-too-common feature of exploding upon death, usually doing more than any of their regular attacks would do. Results in many an amusing combat with everyone swarming an enemy for a round or two, then scattering to let the mage kill it with fire from range and watch it go boom.
    • In the 4E Eberron book, there are details about if a PC is infected with Filth Plague, and if it progresses to it's critical state, the infected loses all surges, cannot heal, and when reduced to 0 hit points, explodes and all creatures within a burst 3 contract the Filth Plague.
  • Brave New World World War 2 supplement Glory Days. A "Bomber" is a delta who can make his body explode and then reassemble himself. The Japanese perform kamikaze attacks by dropping Bombers on Allied ships.
  • Warhammer 40,000: The Tau Empire has an upgrade for battlesuits that allow them to detonate upon losing a melee fight.
  • Frequently played for laughs on various Magic: The Gathering cards, such as Mogg Fanatic, Goblin Grenade, and several others.
  • BattleTech has several advanced optional rules allowing for 'Mechs and the occasional other unit to explode for damage if hit the right way or if the pilot decides to self-destruct, all the better to emulate certain dramatic scenes from the novels with. And of course, the Booby Trap piece of equipment will, for a suitable investment in tonnage for explosives and wiring, simply let a unit blow up right on cue.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Bungie software loves this trope. Almost every single one of their games has one of these:
    • The Marathon series had the Simulacrum BOBs. Extra bonus for looking like friendlies., Also, the Lookers.
    • The Game Mod Excalibur: Morgana's Revenge had the exploding Forraje clones, which were basically palette swaps of the original Simulacrums.
    • The Myth series has wights.
    • Oni had those demolition guys
    • Halo has the Flood Carrier Forms. And the suicide grunts. Really, anything stuck by a plasma grenade instantly becomes this (including other spartans in multiplayer). The suicide grunts are just volunteering.
  • The Pikmin series has the Volatile Dweevil, which is pretty much an exploding spider.
  • Warcraft has Goblin Sappers, who deal great damage to units and incredible damage to structures. Wisps, the Night Elf worker units, can also blow themselves up, but this can only damage summoned units (though it also dispels buffs that don't help you). In the Frozen Throne expansion, the Horde get Troll Batriders, which can suicide-bomb enemy air units for massive damage.
    • And warlocks in World of Warcraft have a hellfire attack that is a slow motion version of this. An AoE fire blast that damages the warlock in addition to nearby enemies. And a couple of quests give you control over a giant zombie that runs around, aggros things, then explodes to kill them.
  • The Pokémon that can learn Selfdestruct or Explosion. The most powerful moves in the games.
  • Serious Sam has the iconic headless bombmen: zombies with grenades for hands that beeline towards you screaming at the top of their lungs (despite the 'no heads' thing. It's All There in the Manual). The running joke is that Mental could have taken over the universe by now if he had just left them silent.
    • Also, the marsh-hoppers.
  • The black bird in Angry Birds. Coupled with the fact that almost all of the birds attack using themselves as projectiles.
  • Super Mario Bros.. has an interesting take on this with the Bob-Ombs and Bullet Bills. According to first-wind-up-key accounts, Bob-Ombs enjoy blowing themselves up quite a bit, and think it akin to punching someone in the face (since they rarely really shatter, only flying offscreen). Ironically, their king seems to be the only one who can't do it through sheer force of will.
    • Bombette and Bobbery from the Paper Mario series, who use (with one exception) explosion attacks.
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The spell Kamikazee, which has the added bonus of instant-killing all non-boss enemies with no damage to allies. Either Imps or Minidemons always attempt to use it, but due to their woefully inadequate MP, they fail every time. The Rockbomb enemies also self-destruct as a very rare technique, hence the name.
    • Of course, the Kamikazee spell (or Sacrifice in the older games) kills the user. The better spells are Thwack (Defeat), which can kill an entire enemy party with about 50% probability, and Whack (Beat), which can kill a single enemy with about 80% probability. And for less MP too.
    • There's even an item in some Dragon Quest games called a Kamikazee bracer that blows the user up when they die and kills all opposing enemies.
  • In The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask, Link can use the "blast mask" to create an explosion right in front of his face. This can hurt, but the damage can be blocked by putting the shield in front of his face. There are also rat-like enemies who have bombs strapped to the ends of their tails, and explode upon touching Link. In-universe, this inspired an invention called a "bombchu" (also found in Ocarina of Time which is a sort of bomb modeled after these rats, which hovers over the ground like a heat-seeking missile.
  • Some bosses in the Donkey Kong Country series can invoke living, explosive creatures. In Donkey Kong Country Returns, Stu can release a wood-shielded living mine that will slowly follow Donkey and Diddy. In Donkey Kong 64, Puftoss will release speedy Puftups that will chase Lanky until hitting him, or until exploding due to tiem running out. 64 also inverts the trope in one sidequest: A rabbit is tied to a crate of explosives, and several living flames will walk onto him to make him explode; the objective is to prevent this during a time limit.
  • The Scarfy in the Kirby series. Attempting to Inhale him often caused the Scarfy to mutate, chase after you and explode! There's also the enemy, Bomber, who is almost always perched dangerously close to the edge of a platform and then falls off promptly after Kirby comes on-screen blowing up on impact with the ground and (sometimes conveniently) taking all other enemies on screen with him. Having Kirby Inhale him will grant you one of the more powerful Copy Abilities...
    • Crash. Crash basically nukes the screen when used, annihilating anything that isn't a Boss (even most sub-bosses will kick the bucket when this ability is invoked, but if the boss doesn't die it will be close to death anyway).
  • Devil May Cry has the Wrath Mook. Particularly dangerous in heaven or hell mode.
  • Prinnies dood! They explode when thrown, and can also do it of their own accord with their "Prinny Forever" attack in Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, though it just leaves them with critical health in that case. Thursday's "Arigato Roboto" functions in a similar fashion..
  • In the "Kingdom Come" mission in Grand Theft Auto 3, the player is ambushed by "Spanked Up Madmen" spawning from mook-making vans, who behave much like the Simulacrums in Marathon, complete with weird random chatter such as "Come to daddy"! "I got a present for you!" etc.
  • In .hack//G.U. series there's a type of monster with shell hats. Nearly all the monsters in this group have an attack where they go cover themselves with their shell and then explode.
  • Almost every single one of the Heaven Smiles in Killer7 does this, to the point that they have no other means of self-defense than blowing themselves up when they get close enough to the player.
  • Half-Life 2: Episode One introduces the "Zombine" enemies (combine troops taken over by headcrabs). They can use grenades but not throw them, meaning that they will essentially commit suicide when using them by rushing at the player with one in their hand (although it is possible to use the gravity gun to "steal" the grenade and get rid of it before it explodes, or to run like hell and let them blow themselves and the rest o of the zombies to bits).
  • The Command & Conquer series features many of these.
    • In Red Alert: The Aftermath there are Demolition Trucks that detonate in nuclear explosions. They are stated by be driven by computers in the manuals but have normal human move sounds (arguable the manuals had that thrown in for censorship). The Soviets have the MAD Tanks that self-destructs in a large shock waves damaging vehicles and structures in a large area.
    • Tiberian Sun have Hunter-Seeker robots that latch onto opponents and explode. They're also as dumb as a box of rocks, picking their targets entirely at random. Sometimes they'll One-Hit Kill something really expensive or important... other times they'll go after a random soldier off in the corner of the map.
    • Red Alert 2 sees the return of the Demolition Truck for the Soviets (for Libya at least), now driven by a human, and the Terrorist for Cuba who is a suicide bomber. Crazy Ivans can plant bombs on friendly units to make the suicide bombers. It is a popular tactic online to use these on Attack Dogs.
    • In Generals the GLA also have a Terrorist and the Bomb Truck. The GLA also build Demo Traps that self-destruct when enemies go near, or can be set to detonate when ordered.
    • In Generals: Zero Hour the GLA Fake Buildings can explode to damage nearby enemies. The demolition GLA subfaction can also purchase the "Demolition Upgrade" allowing all units and base defenses to self-destruct. This same subfaction also replaced the Demo Trap with the more lethal Advanced Demo Trap and has even more powerful Terrorist, and their Combat Cycles come mounted with suicide bombers.
    • In Tiberium Wars Nod has the Fanatics, who are groups of suicide bombers.
    • In Red Alert 3 the Empire of the Rising Sun has the Yari Minisub can kamikaze into other ships and Burst Drones that attach to enemy vehicles and explode. The Empire has the Honorable Discharge Top Secret Protocol which makes units explode when destroyed. The Empire also has the Final Squadron (X\Omega) Protocols that call in planes to kamikaze targets. The Soviets have the Corrosion Protocol that sacrifices a unit to spread toxins and the Terror Drone Surprise Upgrade Protocol that causes Terror Drones to emerge from destroyed vehicles.
    • In Tiberium Twilight Viseroids self-destruct for their attack. Viseroids can only be obtained by capturing a tech building.
    • Various units tend to explode when killed, as well: grenadiers, flamethrower infantry, anything with raw Tiberium, shot-down bombers and airships...
  • Self-Destruct is a common attack in Final Fantasy:
  • Shining Force 2 has a battle where there are concealed rock bombs, that act like enemies, and when they are killed they destruct.
  • Lemmings - the Bomber skill.
  • Worms - the Kamikaze (most of the games), Suicide Bomber (a cheat in Worms 2, an actual - but nerfed - weapon in Worms Armageddon and Worms World Party) and Airburst (Worms 4 Mayhem) weapons.
  • Chrome Dome in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Tournament Fighters has a super move where he self-destructs in a huge explosion. Fortunately, his pieces immediately come back together; his opponent isn't so lucky.
  • Nexus War- Pariahs have the Explosive Murder ability. The fact that they know they'll just wake up twelve hours later fully healed with their equipment banged up makes it a bit less of a sacrifice, though, so they really just tend to do it for laughs.
  • City of Heroes has the Embalmed of the Vahzilok, walking corpses made by a Mad Scientist and equipped with explosive backpacks.
    • Also, some of the Circle of Thorns Mages will try to blow themselves up when critically low on Hit Points.
    • In City of Villains, one power the Mastermind player characters can pick up in the Traps powerset lets them do this to their own minions.
    • With the addition of the Cyborg purchasable add-on pack, players can now self destruct to cause a lot of damage. It is actually preferable to simply allowing the enemies to kill you, as Self Destruct circumvents the game's death penalty.
    • Even though you don't die using it, one can consider any of the "nova" powers that Blasters, Corruptors, and Warshades get as they involve running into a mob and releasing all your power at once.
  • Nethack has the quite annoying gas spores, which can only be dealt with in melee if you're at least level 3 or so, and even then it's very dangerous. Other enemies, such as Yellow Lights, blow up and give you status effects.
  • The Tek War FPS (and corresponding novels) have android enemies that look just like normal civilians, except they explode when they touch you. Luckily you have a weapon that kills androids really quickly... at point-blank range.
  • Shofixti ships in Star Control have a very weak main projectile weapon—and a very powerful self-destructive "Glory Device" as a secondary weapon.
  • In Age of Wonders the main weapon of Goblin Bomber unit is a large Cartoon Bomb carried as a backpack. In the second game it has no other attacks and cannot even answer melee strike—only walks to the target and triggers wall-crushing explosion. One of items (looking like a Cartoon Bomb) gives a Hero or Wizard the same Self Destruct ability... and Resurgence.
  • The Boomer zombies in Left 4 Dead (There's a clue in the name). Interestingly, the blast doesn't hurt anything, but it causes knockback and covers anyone nearby in bile that immediately attracts a horde of regular zombies. And blurs vision. Originally, Boomers were literal walking bombs where its exposion could cause major damage to the survivors. Seeing how play testers kept accidentally shooting the Boomer in close quarters and lost a chunk of their health, Valve decided to make the Boomer's death explosion cover survivors in "non harmful" bile instead. The purpose of the Boomer is not to be an Action Bomb, however. It's there to barf on you to attract the horde of normals... the Action Bomb mechanic is there to discourage killing them up close.
  • Persona 4 has Teddie using a self-destruct attack to save the party from a seemingly-invincible boss. It leaves him flattened and disheveled, but he gets better.
  • Star Wars: Galactic Battlegrounds features building-shredding Explosive Droids in one of the Rebel campaign missions.
  • In the PS 1 game Wild 9, one of your allies has the special ability to explode on contact with anything, repeatedly, with no ill effects. Naturally, you have to toss him into things to solve puzzles.
  • The Atomic Powered Robot from EarthBound, but more famously the Territorial Oak, one of the most terrifying enemies in the game.
  • Mortal Kombat:
  • The laser-proof Balloon Fish in UFO Aftermath, best known wherever hardened UFO Aftermath players gather to cry into their beer about the entire squad being wiped out by a One-Hit-Point Wonder who happened to be behind a door and they neglected to send off one "volunteer" to open said door.
  • Smash TV featured Mr Shrapnel. He'd wander around, grunt if he was hit by a stray (or not so stray) bullet, stand still for a while, and detonate himself into a few examples of his namesake. One of the better examples on the page, since while he's wandering he's very low down on the player's threat level: You have other things to worry about. And then it stops, and suddenly you realise that you've been ignoring several of the most dangerous enemies in the game and they take a helluvalot of damage to kill safely before they explode all up your face.
  • Gauntlet (1985 video game) Legends had some enemies with an ominous red barrel and a fuse strapped to their back. The general warning was a suicidal scream before they charged you.
  • The Poppers from X-COM: Apocalypse, small, blue, two-legged aliens whose one attack is to run up to your agents and explode with a huge blast radius. Very deadly in the early game. Oh, and they also explode if you kill them with explosive/incendiary weapons. Their explosion is slightly more powerful than the dedicated Heavy Explosive produced by Marsec. Said Heavy Explosive is essentially a Time Bomb used for demolition work, meaning it is also an Incredibly Obvious Bomb. Yep.
  • In Famous has kamikaze Mooks who run up to you and explode. Which you can hear coming from a mile away because they scream at the top of their lungs.
  • The Goddamned Rats in Psychonauts, which not only damage you by exploding, but also release a cloud of confusion gas that temporarily screws with the game controls. There are also Personal Demons, tiny humanoids with huge heads that just explode.
  • Age of Empires II: The Conquerors adds the Petard, a unit which does massive damage to buildings, but dies in the attempt. In the first Age of Empires, there are Demolition Ships and the Saboteurs that are only available in the last Genghis Khan campaign mission or via a Video Game Cheats.
  • Flying Bombs were an enemy in Wario Land 1, with the rather annoying attack pattern of attaching to Wario's head, being difficult to remove and then exploding on a short timer.
  • StarCraft has Infested Terrans and Scourges. Starcraft 2 has banelings.
  • Survival Crisis Z has Dead Weight fat zombies, who explode like a grenade when killed. Best to keep your distance.
  • One of the Ninjitsu in older Shinobi titles was the "Jitsu of Mijin", a self destruction attack that destroyed all onscreen enemies in exchange for a life from your stock. Musashi would reform himself right where he had been standing, unless the player was stupid enough to use it when no lives were left, in which case it would be Game Over.
  • The aptly-named Splosion Man.
  • League of Legends has Kog'Maw, whose unique passive ability is to not die when his health reaches zero, but instead get a few additional seconds and a different running animation. The fact that he is one of the characters with the highest range in the game, kind of justifies the high damage of the explosion. Also makes him one of the best teammates to save up that speedbuff for.
  • Shambles of the shivering isles add on for Elder Scrolls Oblivion trigger a area of effect frost spell upon dying. Yes, a frostplosion.
  • Some of the hobbes in Fable II have kegs of black powder strapped to their back, and will light them and run screaming towards you if they see you. Fortunately you can take them out from a distance with a spell or a ranged attack.
  • The Nuclear Anomaly perk from the Broken Steel Expansion Pack for Fallout 3 allows you to channel your radiation poisoning level into a devastating shockwave when your health drops to 20 or less. You explode once every 10 seconds untill you get to over 20 HP. the Glowing One enemy can do this at will.
  • Rachni workers in Mass Effect attack by bursting and spraying toxic fluid everywhere. Justified, as they're eusocial pseudo-insects, and eusocial organisms generally don't place a high value on the life of an individual—real-life eusocial insects have combat strategies that vary from "just as suicidal" to "slightly less suicidal"
    • Abominations in the sequel.
  • Outpost 2 gives both factions Starflares and Plymouth Supernovas. They both sound far more impressive then they actually are.
  • The Sonic the Hedgehog games for the Sega Genesis have a few enemies like this.
    • The original Sonic the Hedgehog has bomb-shaped robots that lumber around for a few seconds before exploding, releasing four fireballs in the process. They get a size upgrade in Sonic CD.
    • Sonic and Knuckles has enemies in Lava Reef Zone who disguise themselves as rocks. When you get close, they lose their disguise, blink for a second, and explode, very much like the above example.
  • The Amiga/C64 version of Impossamole has suicide bombers with dynamite strapped to their backs.
  • ADOM has the elemental vortex. Its sole attack is to stand next to you and explode into a fire/ice/lightning/acid ball. Engage at range or not at all! They can't explode in the dark.
  • All units in Total Annihilation can self-destruct, damaging nearby units. The Roach and Invader are tiny little bots that are specifically designed to self-destruct and produce explosions much bigger than their size would suggest. For bonus fun you can load a bunch of them into a sea transport ship and detonate that, or fly them into the enemy base with dropships.
    • The Commander can also be used this way as a measure of last resort, provided the server settings allow you to continue playing after your Commander dies.
    • The spin-off Total Annihilation Kingdoms lacked the standardised self-destruct as the units were organic (it being a fantasy setting) but later added the Giant Rat unit for Taros, a giant rat with a barrel of magical explosive strapped to its back and the ability to turn invisible.
    • Spiritual Successor Supreme Commander only has powerful death explosions for some units, while it took until the Forged Alliance expansion to add the Fire Beetle mobile bomb to the arsenal of one faction. However, some of the experimentals, most notoriously the Aeon Czar, will wipe out anything around them when destroyed. The Seraphim Ythotha then goes one better and leaves behind a quantum lighting orb thingy that fries nearby enemies when destroyed.
      • The Czar doesn't just Action Bomb when destroyed, the hull wobbles down to earth and destroys anything it lands on as well! The Ythotha's orb was originally intended as a feature for the Galactic Colossus, but got Dummied Out until Forged Alliance came along.
  • Painkiller had a zombie in the theatre level that carries a big barrel of gunpowder and runs toward you. Shooting the barrel makes im blow up his buddies. Not shooting the barrel... well, you just don't want to do that.
  • This enemy from Mega Man 3. It's pretty much a grenade with legs.
  • Both System Shock games had them: The small robot bombs in the original and the Robot Buddies-like protocol droids in the sequel.
  • The rover-like Scouts in Metal Arms, although they're smarter than usual by setting off an alarm and summoning reinforcements before suiciding.
  • The later levels of the first Klonoa game (and its Wiimake) introduce bomb enemies that explode after being thrown. Several puzzles in these levels involve throwing them at just the right time.
  • Metroid Prime 3: Corruption features two Action Bombs made by the Space Pirates. Crawlmines crawl around everywhere and explode when Samus shoots or touches them; Aeromines are floating robots that have energy shields and weak lasers, which explode if an enemy gets too close.
  • Breath of Fire III has "Tankbots" that use sacrifice which hits all allies with a chance of inflicting all but one HP of damage.
  • You're the Action Bomb in Every Extend, sacrificing a life with every attack. The challenge is to gain points rapidly enough to replace the lost lives.
  • Dead Space pits you against an enemy with a large, fragile bulb in place of one arm. If it reaches you, it slams this against the floor, detonating it in a suicide attack.
    • But if you cut it off in time, you can throw the bomb into a group of enemies.
  • In Turok 2, the Endtrails have self-destruct mechanisms that they activate when critically injured.
  • Phantom soldiers in Dynasty Warriors 6: Empires have a nasty habit of exploding when you attack them. In previous Empires games, your weapons would pass right through them.
  • In Ace Online, the Bomber B-Gears can become this when they access their Elite Skills (formerly Finish Move Skills). Their move, aptly named Big Boom, is Exactly What It Says on the Tin, blowing itself up, in which the attack power is Cast from Hit Points. Since they can just respawn from the nearest map gate, dying itself is not usually a problem (notwithstanding the tiny SPI penalty for dying or rarely, the EXP penalty should the pilot is cash-strapped). The real problem is its (relatively) long Cooldown of 30 minutes, when and where it should be used (because of the cooldown, it is only wisely used for anti-gatecamp measures or as last ditch anti-rush defense), and the possibility of being hit by an M-Gear's Power Nullifier skill (since being hit not only cancels the skill, but the bomber retains the cooldown).
  • Armored Core for Answer has a unique version called Assault Armor. In the game, each NEXT is equipped with a Deflector Shield called Primal Armor, powered by Kojima Particles. In for Answer, these deflector shields can be weaponized and exploded outwards, hence the trope. While these will outright take out lesser enemies (such as your common tank, helis, MTs, and some weaker Normals), these won't do much to another NEXT, barring depleting their Primal Armor. The side effect of using this is that your own Primal Armor takes more time to recharge back and recharges slowly, while the opponent's can recharge back almost immediately.
    • While it does take a chunk of Armor Points, and there are shoulder weapons that explicitly amplify Assault Armor usage (one of the opponent NEXTs you encounter uses exclusively Assault Armor), newer rebalanced Regulation has reduced it's usefulness to somewhere between Awesome but Impractical to Cool but Inefficient. This might seem like a raw deal, but in exclusively Player Versus Player match, Assault Armors are still used for anti-rushers, since besides all that, a less-advertised effect includes "blinding" your opponents, preventing them to lock on to you for a specific amount of time.
  • Minecraft gives us the creeper, who's a standard version except for one annoying feature: being utterly silent until the "Sssssssssss..." noise that translates to "you have about three seconds to live." The most annoying part isn't even dying: they do heavy damage to the landscape, including whatever structure you were working on. You might recover most of your tools and maybe your armor, but now there's a 20-foot hole where your beautiful house used to be.
    • If a thunderbolt manages to strike a Creeper, it super charges them, making their explosion attack even more deadly and the craters they leave behind are a lot bigger than a normal Creeper's explosion.
      • As of the final version, creepers are by far the deadliest mob in the game, capable of inflicting a One-Hit Kill on players without armor on hard difficulty from a long distance, and even capable of one hitting players on easy difficulty at point blank range.
  • Gears of War has several! The first game has Lambent Wretches who don't actively explode, but go ka-boom after they're killed, as well Nemacyst, who are more of Action Missile. The second game introduces Tickers, animals (roughly dog-sized) with bombs strapped to their backs who do exactly what's expected. Gears 3 takes it up a notch with Lambent versions of almost every preexisting enemy, as well as completely new, lambent-only foes, including the morphing Drudges and the mighty Lambent Berserker.
  • The controversial Flash game Kaboom: The Suicide Bombing Game.
  • Spore Galactic Adventures can have creatures do this. This is actually the only way for creatures to attack a captain that is using stealth.
  • In the Game Mod Batman Doom, the Penguin's robotic Penguin Bombs are this. In the last boss fight with the Penguin, they keep spawning and coming at you from all sides while you're trying to deal with the boss.
  • Team Fortress 2 has one weapon, the Ullapool Caber, that allows the Demoman to become this. It's a stick grenade used as a melee weapon. Whacking an enemy with it does a large amount of damage to them and anyone else nearby while taking out most of your health and sending you flying straight up in the air. It is possible to survive this, but not likely. Combine it with the Chargin' Targe, and you gain the ability to charge at high speeds, followed by an explosion that will probably wipe out anyone nearby, be they Scout or Heavy Weapons Guy. Alternatively, using Sticky Bombs to jump can turn you into a guided missile.
    • A Soldier holding an Equalizer can use a Taunt Attack that makes him rip a grenade from his bandolier and pull the pin. Everything that is close enough will receive 500 damage. He won't survive without overheal or ubercharge.
  • The Bionic Commando arcade game has kamikaze soldiers with explosive backpacks.
  • The literal Demonic Spiders of Doom 3 have an explosive variant.
  • The penultimate dungeon in Ys: The Ark of Napishtim has Cartoon Bomb-shaped enemies that ignite their fuse when they see you and inflate before exploding.
  • The Martian Drones of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds
  • Gaia Online MMORPG zOMG! spends the first two areas setting up the Fluff-type enemies as mildly annoying at worst and no real threat. Then you enter Zen Gardens and are greeted by Cherry Blossom Fluffs, which explode when aggravated for improbable amounts of damage. And they mob. Newcomers learn quickly not to harass the fluffs.
  • The Typhoon augment in Deus Ex Human Revolution lets the player become one of these.
  • In the second mission of Contra: Shattered Soldier, you encounter rocket-riding mooks.
  • The Savage in Hard Reset. It's an explosive, beachball-sized robot with two stubby legs that either runs up to you and explodes, or rolls itself towards you like a super-fast bowling ball... and explodes if it hits you. They explode if you kill them too, which can potentially start chain reactions.
  • Heavy Weapon has the ICBM, Cruise Missile and Blimp enemies. ICBMs will rise up from the background and drop on certain parts of the screen, while the cruise missile will come in horizontally and turn downwards as soon as it goes over your tank. Thankfully, both of them do not explode with a huge blast radius. Blimps will detonate into multiple indestructible shots that rain on you when you defeat them.
  • Sparky in Kickle Cubicle.
  • Outlaw Bombers from Oddworld: Stranger's Wrath.
  • Plants vs. Zombies: For the plant's side, we have Cherry Bombs (hits a 3x3 radius), Potato Mines (kills the first zombie that steps on it), Doom Shrooms (a nuke) and Jalapenos (hits a line of zombies). The zombies have the Jack-In-The-Box zombie, who plays "Pop Goes the Weasel" on his box until it randomly blows himself up with any plants in a 3x3 radius.
  • In Evolva, Flame Parasites catch fire, and explode after a few seconds, when they're killed.
  • With Terraria, an enemy called the Clown may appear rarely on a blood moon ON HARDMODE. This clown throws bombs, effectively destroying your house if it's near it. And, true to this trope, it explodes with the force of a bomb upon death. Ranged attack is advised.
  • Nightmares in Pathways into Darkness explode with a small blast radius when killed.
  • Omega Defense Spawn in Descent 2. A few other enemies, as well as bosses, also deal explosive damage when killed.
  • In addition to the Bob-ombs, the pink Bullet Birds, the red Bomb Boos and the dull red Yoshi Koopas also explode in Something Else.

Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Schlock Mercenary, probably as a Shout-Out to the Voyager/TNG example above, features former Ambassador Ch'vorthq. Ch'vorthq is a genetically engineered bomb, set to go off at a meeting between the Creethlings (for whom he is the nominal ambassador) and the Golbwerians, killing the Golbwerian diplomats and allowing the Creethlings to attack in force. He's disarmed before he can do any actual damage. Unusually, Ch'vorthq doesn't know he's a bomb; he thinks he's a legitimate diplomat, and is horrified to discover that his employers/designers didn't actually want him to make peace. However, the 'disarmament' only stoped him from being forcibly detonated - he could still blow himself up at will. Or, rather, (since he's ugly, not crazy), setting a part of his anatomy on a short fuse and throwing it. At this point, he's lost both his arms and one of his eyes this way, but since then has managed to remain sufficiently in the background that further Heroic Sacrifice hasn't been necessary.
  • Agatha's Dingbots in Girl Genius has the ability to do this, a rather uncomfortable fact that the Baron's army learned when they found themselves fighting several swarms of them.
  • In Sluggy Freelance Bun-Bun uses this tactic during his last fight with Blacksoul:You're not taking me with you. I'm taking you with me."
  • Ran in Bob and George is built of shoddy Soviet materials, and breaks so often (and is made so cheaply) that his creator simply set a machine to automatically download his memory and personality into a new body and teleport it back to the location of the previous one when he dies. Result, when the heroes are facing an army of Robot Masters? Ran Bombs!
  • Nuclear Dan's entire strategy in Another Gaming Comic is to do this. Subverted in that he's normally immune to fire, but justified that any time he isn't, he still does it. It is surprisingly effective.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Andy the bomb from Red vs. Blue is eternally frustrated that he's never able to fulfill his purpose. Sadly, he appears to not be able to perform.
  • Orion's Arm: The early modified humans Homo Jihadi had a modified endocrine system, "naturally" producing explosives that accumulate in their bones and other calcium-containing tissues. They were modified at the zygote stage and have not been known to reproduce. It did not help the reputation of genetic engineering...
  • In Girlchan in Paradise one character detonates himself using his most powerful (and only) technique. He then proceeds to be poorly edited in so that he isn't dead.
  • Kalani from We're Alive. He saved the tower by flying a helicopter into a tanker truck rigged to explode


Western Animation[edit | hide]


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The Kamikazes of World War II and the terrorists that carried out the 9/11 attacks, both of which involved deliberately crashing planes with people in them into what they wanted to destroy (though the kamikaze pilots were alone). Also, various instances of solo suicide bombers, usually against nonmilitary targets.
    • The Russians trained dogs to dash to the nearest tank and crawl under it. Then they wired the poor mutts with pressure-triggered explosives. Although it must be noted that their first batch of dogs was trained using Russian Tanks. Guess what happened on the first battlefield trial. They did better in the Crimean War, training pigeons to fly to men wearing red jackets, and attaching black-powder grenades to them.
    • There were also variants of Kamikaze: aside from damaged planes or pilots with the initiative to do this on their own, the "cherry blossom" (ohka) rocket-propelled plane and the kaiten manned torpedoes were designed explicitly for this purpose, with no additional armaments or autonomous capacity, and once the pilot was seated in the cockpit, it was impossible for him to get out.
  • Late in World War II, American military researchers hatched an ambitious plan to release massive numbers of bats over the industrial cities of Japan; the bats would descend upon countless buildings and roost in hard-to-reach places. As each bat was to be equipped with a small incendiary device, it was predicted that the result would be widespread, uncontrollable firestorms and a devastating final blow to the Japanese war machine. The program was taken very seriously and preliminary testing showed promising results, but plans to outfit millions of bats with bombs were scrapped when a more definitive solution became available. Yet it worked—for a given value of worked. The bats certainly did what they were expected to (went and roosted someplace), but failed to do what they were supposed to (roost in something with military importance). Bats would either suffocate or freeze to death during any trip to an actual target, and it wasn't exactly an improvement over conventional incendiaries that didn't require the military to breed and care for hundreds of bats.
    • It's a remake of a trick from the Russian epic: the newly widowed princess Olga is persuaded to stop her Roaring Rampage of Revenge if her foes will give her some nominal tribute... say, three pigeons and three sparrows per household? They wonder how forgiving she is... until the next night, when the birds returned to their dry straw nests—with fuses.
    • Those Wacky Nazis had their own, "Goliath" a rolling bomb on treads. It was remote controlled to move through any terrain, then rigged to explode when it reached its target. They also planned, much like the Japanese, to build an intelligent version of their V2 missiles, by using prisoners to guide them instead of soldiers. In other words, the first Cruise Missile system ever. They didn't seem to consider the fact that said prisoners probably wouldn't be too willing to aim these AWAY from the people that imprisoned them...
  • By definition, any suicide bomber is one of these.
  • Some real-life ants and termites actually do this. It's called Autothysis.
  • There is an idea to load a ship with missiles and plow it into a carrier group to overload the defenses of the group. The ship won't survive and it would not be a cheap endeavor but carrier's are expensive and valuable.