Made of Explodium

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.
Warning: Contents under pressure.

"I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode."

Teal'c, Stargate SG-1, "200"

Everything Is Better With Explosions, isn't it? Well, if you spice it up to maximum, you have Stuff Blowing Up in complete defiance of science and logic. It's as if everything is Made of Explodium.

In the wonderful world of fiction, nothing ever just breaks. If it's even slightly mechanical or electronic, its destruction is loud and accompanied by Impressive Pyrotechnics. Apparently, circuit boards, moving parts, and Tokyo are the most volatile substances in the universe.

And that's just in serious works. In comedies, anything can blow up, especially if there's an Epic Fail involved.

Objects that are particularly prone to exploding include:

Related to You Have to Burn the Web. Also related to Unrelated Effects, where the focus is on how awesome the weapon causing destruction is, rather than how explode-y the item being destroyed is. See also Incendiary Exponent and Catastrophic Countdown.

Examples of Made of Explodium include:


  • Bugs in commercials for Raid.
  • "Awesome barbecue! Awesome pool!"
  • A recent commercial for Sprite showed people running at one another. Upon contact, they explode in huge splashes of soda. Apparently, this is supposed to make you want to buy it. No, we don't get it either.

Anime and Manga

  • Mazinger Z: Many Mechanical Beasts exploded easily -and spectacularly- even if there was no reason for it (other than animating spectacular explosions, of course). Aeros B3 reinforced this trope: it was loaded with explosives since its purpose was diving in Mount Fuji and exploding within to awaken the volcano and bury the Institute under a tidal wave of lava. A subversion was Balanger M1, that were clusters of submarine, guided mines did NOT exploded but stuck to their target and shocked it with electricity. Several Warrior Monsters and Saucer Beast from Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer also followed this trope.
  • Daimos: Some Robeasts exploded even if Kazuya only had punched through them or sliced in two pieces with a karate chop or sweeping kick. It was justified in the episode 9, though, when he fought a mecha had a nuke inside.
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS: The titular ATs (Armored Troopers) of the franchise use a liqud called Polymer Ringers Solution that lets the machines move in a human-like way with hydraulics, similar to an advanced breaking fluid. Unfortunately the stuff is absurdly flammable, causing it explode when subjected to sudden changes in temeperature. One wonders why they decided "explodes easily' was an acceptable vehicle design flaw.
    • Furthermore, as each of the Story Arcs of the show reach a climax, more and more explosions will be observed by the viewer, usually with absolutely EVERYTHING blowing up in the current location of the story in the final episode for that arc.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann gives it their usual treatment. While every mech that's beaten blows up, you can tell how important it is by how spectacular the explosions are. The ones found at the end of the arcs generally have them making three-pronged dust clouds and blowing up repeatedly. The Final Battle had the Big Bad blowing out about seven times, and in different colors each time.
    • Apparently someone had the nerve to edit out said final explosion from the Sci-Fi airing of the dub. And they WILL PAY!
    • The Mugann, in particular, are literally Made of Explodium, on purpose: When defeated, they turn into lots of pieces that fall down and explode on impact. The intent is to make their enemies afraid to destroy them near populated areas.
  • Samurai 7: Not only do robots immediately explode when cut in half, the explosion begins at a point between the two halves, where there isn't actually any robot left. Perhaps it's volatile gas igniting from the sparks of the sword's passage?
  • Pokémon has been doing this trope for attacks to blast Team Rocket off since the beginning of the show, and has been using it recently even when TR's not involved.
    • How the hell does a stream of water explode from hitting a barrage of sharp leaves?
    • In the games, there are actually two attacks (Selfdestruct and Explosion) and an ability (Aftermath), which cause Pokémon to explode in a way that only knocks them out.
    • One of the examples of Bulbapedia's "Anime Physics": "Nearly everything explodes in the anime. Most attacks explode when they connect with an opposing attack, even if the attacks would not normally do so." The entry lampshades the water/leaves explosions and the "moves amplified in power and even made to explode just to enable them to blast off Team Rocket", and notices "Some moves explode when they clearly cannot, such as a Bite attack."
    • Taken to the extremes with James' Carnivine. Early on in the DP saga, it caused an explosion if it did pretty much anything.
  • Pick a Gundam show, any Gundam show. If your mobile suit gets hit in the torso, it will explode in a spectacular manner. If a ship (spacefaring or seafaring) takes a certain critical amount of damage, it will explode in a spectacular manner. In addition, Gundamverse tanks appear to be Made of Explodium as well, since they regularly blow up when struck by the large caliber machine guns often wielded by mobile suits. This is rather puzzling when you think about it, since it's damnably hard to get a tank to explode in real life.
    • The original show indicated this was the result of a mobile suit's reactor going critical, and even managed to play it for some drama in the first episode - when Amuro straight-up chopped the first Zaku in half with his beam saber, the resulting explosion made a decent-sized hole in the colony and ended up sucking quite a few people and objects out into space.
    • The Leos of Gundam Wing are the worst by far; they seem to be painted with C4.
      • Without their forcefields, the Virgos are this, to the point where even punching off their head/camera causes them to blow up.
      • Somewhat averted in the OVA Endless Waltz when the Serpents don't explode, mainly because the main characters deemed this battle a "bloodless war".
    • And just to show that someone (probably thousands of "someones") have far too much free time on their hands, this page on The Other Wiki relating to the Applied Phlebotinum specific to Gundam includes a discussion on exactly why Mobile Suits are Made of Explodium.
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam 00, everything blows up. One example involved the 00 Gundam quartering an asteroid its swords, triggering expansion in pockets of frozen gases sufficiently to cause the surface to rupture with extreme force and leading to a spectacular explosion.
    • Gundam 08th MSTeam takes an interesting approach to this trope. While it generally follows the exploding rule, many mecha are simply damaged to inoperation from machine gun fire about as often as they explode. However, during one scene, it's discovered a mobile suit is going to completely explode, starting from its reactor. Since mobile suits are operated by nuclear power, this is a very big deal, and it becomes a scramble to evacuate before the suit explodes. which makes one wonder why no one else ever makes a big deal about all the Zakus and Doms blowing up all over the place...
      • The 08th MS Team is by far the most realistic of all Gundam shows to date; the only time a mobile suit is documented as exploding was when the Federation were sending GM teams into the Zeon base in hopes of setting off booby traps left in the base entrance. This, however, did not work.
      • This goes double in Gundam Unicorn, Marida Cruz was shooting to kill. But she made sure that no reactors are hit. and when it took out the colony with it.
      • There is also Usso making a point to not destroy suits via a hit to the reactor. This is for two reasons, the first is that by this point the earth is so war ragaved that everyone doesn't know how many more blast it will take before become something of a dust ball. And the second is as much as the suits are smaller now, they are still VERY much nuclear... and a hit to the reactor will bring one to critical mass QUICKLY.
      • In Mobile Suit Gundam F91, the Crossbone Vanguard invents a weapon specifically to avoid doing this. The shotlancer is a hydraulic lance that can be fired like a giant lawn dart or used as a melee weapon; either way, the intent is that it damages the enemy mobile suit's reactor cooling systems, triggering the safety cutoff.
    • War in the Pocket takes 08th MS Team in the sense Mobile suit combat leaves metal husks. With the exception of the Kampfer fight scene, the mechs don't explode cleanly and flaming debris hits the general population with particularly brutal results.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion's Angels sometimes play with this. The third (which is the first encountered) encountered blows up in a cross-shaped explosion, the seventh and tenth form new lakes when they explode, and the sixteenth blows up the entire city when it dies. This is probably out of convenience, as it takes several episodes to clear out the body of one of the Angels that DOESN'T blow up.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, this is what the Stand Killer Queen does—its power turns objects and even people into explosives.
  • Any monster defeated by Voltron.
  • Cinque's Inherent Skill in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha is the ability to turn any metal into explodium. She usually applies it to her knives.
    • Wendi has a similar technique, and when she shoots a disabled Type III Gadget Drone with a shot that causes this, it causes a massive explosion.
    • Also, the Relics in StrikerS. Being filled to the brim with magical energy, they explode spectacularly when they break. One of them was the cause of the airport fire at the start of the season.
  • The various Knightmare Frames in Code Geass can be counted upon to violently explode even after the most minor of hits; a single, glancing strike from a sword or Slash Harken is often enough to do it. The few times when it doesn't happen actually come as quite a surprise. This is probably because of the Sakuradite they all use, which makes you wonder why they would use it in such lightly guarded machines.
    • One of the worst offenders is in Turn 18, when a Mookmobile literally explodes when Suzaku uses his Knightmare to spin kick it. And it blocked!
  • For some strange reason, Negi's duplicates in Mahou Sensei Negima's Kyoto Arc don't just poof back to paper like normal when you kiss them. Instead, they explode.
  • Everything in Uchuu Senkan Yamato that is not the title ship.
  • Stated in the Anime World Order review of Bubblegum Crisis as one of the many reasons why the average life expectancy of an AD. Police officer is fairly low.

Daryl Surat: "The mortality rate in the AD Police is something like 90%, getting into a helicopter makes that shoot up to 100%"

    • Also refereed to by name in the Baoh review of the same podcast, lamenting the idiocy of one of the bad guys by attempting to kill Baoh via the use of a Rocket Launcher on a helicopter
  • In Pink Innocent, merely shaking a laptop will make it instantly burst into flames.
  • In later seasons of Yu-Gi-Oh!, various monsters explode when defeated and the shockwave blow away the duelists somewhat. It becomes more questionable since they're holograms, so they shouldn't cause any physical force at all.
    • Kaiba actually mentions this in his second duel with Yugi, explaining that the shockwaves from his dragon being destroyed would be powerful enough to blow him off the castle.
    • Commented on in the Abridged version: "For some reason, playing a Children's Card Game has caused me to become severely injured." "Somehow a hologram with no real physical form just hurt me."
  • Dead Leaves features exploding lipstick as part of Pandy's most successful moves.
  • One Piece has Mr. 5 whose devil fruit makes his entire body this.
  • Ranma ½: Bakusai Tenketsu. Okay, even if you can destroy things by hitting some sort of natural weak point in their structure with your bare finger (even though your finger couldn't penetrate their surface in the first place, realistically)...why would they blow up with maximum shrapnel?!

Comic Books

"It is people getting kicked, and then exploding. It is a pure comic book, and I will fight anyone who says otherwise. And afterwards, they will explode."

    • And it lives up to that hype, too.
    • Tabitha's super power is described as "mutant powers of blowing things up and stealing all your stuff."
    • Elsa's reaction when she shoots the first of a horde of what look like clay golems and it explodes spectacularly:

Elsa: "Oh my god. They explode? My life has taken on new meaning!"

  • In one issue of Frank Miller Adventures All-Star Batman & Robin, Frank Miller in a Batman costume sets what looks like a standard, buy-it-in-a-store bottle of bleach on fire with a road flare from his belt. That's commercial bleach, which is almost entirely water. And he sets it on fire. He then throws it into a huge stack of similar bottles, causing a nice big explosion and gloating as it kills the small-time hoods that were stealing it.
  • In Asterix in Corsica, a Corsican cheese explodes, destroying a ship. Asterix and his friends already jumped the ship (fortunately for them), but then the pirates came on board (unfortunately for them, as always).
  • The Human Bomb.
  • As Atomic Robo put it:

"My years with Mr. Tesla have taught me that there's one underlying scientific principle common to all existence...everything explodes."

Films -- Animation

Films -- Live Action

  • Happens in pretty much every Michael Bay-directed movie ever made. Particulary in Transformers. In Revenge of the Fallen, even concrete tubes can explode!
  • In perhaps the biggest example in film, Battlefield Earth, Planet Psychlo has an entire atmosphere that is made of explodium! Their air reacts violently with strong radiation, so a strong nuclear bomb is all it takes to destroy the entire planet. Wow.
  • In a deleted scene in Shanghai Noon, a runaway train explodes when it runs into the END OF THE LINE barrier. The director admitted that the explosion could not be logically explained.
  • The film Demolition Man has one of these when the cryo prison explodes at the end of the film when machinery starts to spark.
  • We can't have this page without mentioning the aptly named ass-blasters from Tremors 3. Not only do they light their own farts on fire to achieve enough thrust to glide after prey, they explode spectacularly if exposed to any sort of intense heat such as a can of unleaded gasoline ignited by one ass-blaster's own acid spit in Burt Gummer's basement. Burt Gummer being Burt Gummer, the gunpowder he keeps for his weapons goes up in flames soon after that, taking out his entire fortification.
  • James Bond films in general are quite prone to this, but some take it to ridiculous new heights.
    • In The World Is Not Enough a helicopter explodes the second it touches the lake it's falling into, vaporizing as though it were made of magnesium.
    • Quantum of Solace featured the Supervillain Lair which chain-react explodes into a spectacular fireball in the finale. The cause of the explosion? Backing a jeep into a parking garage wall at 15 mph. Structural Engineering at its finest.
      • Comedian Dara Ó Briain called the film on this at an awards ceremony; Olga Kurylenko, in the audience, shot back that the building in question was a real hotel. Dara's response? "Yeah, but it's not made of dynamite, is it?"
    • GoldenEye has a radio antenna exploding... Nuff said.
    • Licence to Kill has the villain's mountain base explode because of one little beaker of burning gasoline.
  • In Where Eagles Dare (1969), Lt. Morris Schaeffer (Clint Eastwood) and Maj. John Smith (Richard Burton) first kill the German soldiers who are transporting them to the Schloss Adler in a Mercedes 340B, then to cover their escape, push the car with the dead bodies over a handy cliff. Halfway down the slope to the creek below, the car explodes for no readily apparent reason. The rest of the explosions in this highly "boom"-prevalent film, however, are justified by the heroes' policy of leaving timed demolition charges behind them wherever they go.
  • Dragon Wars contains a scene in which six helicopters explode spectacularly within minutes of each other.
  • Top Secret has a scene with an out of control jeep that finally slows down almost to a stop... but not quite. It gently taps the bumper of a Ford Pinto, and both vehicles immediately explode.
    • Well, it was a Ford Pinto.
    • And right in the following scene the heroes are back in the jeep, which seems to be functioning perfectly though covered in scorch marks.
  • Batman Begins has an electric monorail crash. It explodes spectacularly, what with all the combustible material in a monorail and a microwave emitter.
    • Though, arguably, the whole shebang crashed into a parking garage, with all those cars that had fuel in their tanks...
  • Used both ways in Last Action Hero, to lampshade this trope. Early on, in the movies, every car explodes with one shot. One even explodes just from getting a man thrown through the windshield, and another explodes in midair. Later, in the real world, Jack Slater fires his gun three times at a fleeing car, expecting it to explode. Three dents appear in the trunk, and the car drives away.
  • In UHF, during "Weird Al" Yankovic's Rambo-inspired Indulgent Fantasy Segue, a Korean soldier explodes in a massive fireball after getting shot with an arrow.
  • Weird Al also sings the title theme of the Leslie Nielsen film Spy Hard. The final note of the song is so ridiculously drawn-out that the song ends with Al's head exploding, rather gruesomely.
  • In This Is Spinal Tap, the other members of Spinal Tap claim that their third drummer died by spontaneously combusting on-stage, during a show. The same fate befalls their current drummer, just before they strike it big in Japan.
    • If, in Guitar Hero 2, your band covers "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight" (a Spinal Tap song) at the Battle of the Bands, as the song ends your drummer explodes in a puff of smoke.
  • The So Bad It's Good Cutthroat Island had lots of stuff blowing up real good, especially the villain's ship at the end when the powder magazine igniting caused the entire ship to burst into flames and shrapnel. And this still didn't harm the treasure that everyone spent the movie fighting over...
    • This could be Truth in Television though, since it was not unknown for ships that caught fire to explode spectacularly when the flames reach the powder magazine.
    • The part where a lantern falling on a table causes an explosion that knocks the windows off a tavern is a particularly blatant example.
  • Quite a few things in XXX appear to be made of explodium, but none more so than the state Senator's Corvette that Xander steals and drives off a bridge in the opening scene of the film. That durn thing looks like it blew even before it hits the ground.
  • In 80s cheesefest Hudson Hawk (a definitive Your Mileage May Vary movie), an ambulance goes off a ramp and explodes in mid-air.
  • In the movie Doomsday a car flies through a bus. Despite only hitting the glass windows, and not the engine, gas tanks, or anything else remotely combustible, the bus still manages to explode (the car, being driving by the heroes, is perfectly fine).
    • This is made even worse by the fact that buses and other large vehicles are nearly always powered by Diesel, which is hard enough to light (not that gasoline is exactly easy) yet alone cause to explode. Then again, CNG and LPG and now Hydrogen are sometimes used as fuels, but still very rarely.
  • Subverted in Terminator 2; a tanker truck overturns and slides into the forging factory and you're thinking of the first film, when a similar tanker truck exploded near the climax. "Nuh uh!" says James Cameron, who has "Liquid Nitrogen" prominently displayed on the side. And then Ahnold notices the T-1000 freezing . . .
    • It is played straight earlier on, however, when the big rig being used by the T-1000 crashes into an overpass, rupturing the fuel tank, which explodes, despite being diesel fuel.
  • In Accepted, one of the students expresses an interest in learning to blow things up with his mind. In keeping with South Harmon's DIY curriculum, he is allowed to major in mental detonation and classes are engineered to help him do so; later in the movie the same student is seen focusing intently on a pineapple, but beyond this it seems forgotten-until the very end, in a credits gag. The dean of the college who opposed South Harmon's accreditation is walking towards his car when suddenly it goes up in a massive Hollywood fireball. He stares for a moment before we cut over to the same student, looking satisfied, and Justin Long, who is blown away by the speed (and success) with which he has accomplished his goal.
  • Double Subverted in Groundhog Day. Bill Murray's character drives a pickup truck over the edge of a quarry. It lands upside down, crushing its roof, but does not explode. Chris Elliot, looking over the edge, weakly suggests that "He might be okay." The truck then suddenly erupts in a massive fireball. To which Elliot concedes, "Well, probably not now."
  • Jabba's Sail Barge in Return of the Jedi.
  • In Judge Dredd, after hatching one of Rico's incomplete clones, the entire cloning facility seems to suffer a catastrophic meltdown for no apparent reason.
    • Although, really, the last four words of that sentence could be appended to a description of any aspect of the movie.
  • In Eagle Eye there is no such thing as a simple car crash. Everything just burns up or explodes.
  • Everyone who has seen the original Batman: The Movie distinctly remembers this scene.
  • Speaking of exploding sharks, Jaws ended with Sheriff Brody stuffing an oxygen tank in the shark's mouth, then shooting it. The tank explodes, spectacularly reducing the shark to chum. Steven Spielberg has said in interviews that he knew how silly it was, but he figured that if the audience was still with him this far into the movie, they'd go that one last step.
    • Then in Jaws: The Revenge, the Spectacular Exploding Voodoo Shark gets impaled on the bowsprit of a research vessel and promptly explodes, and rather lamely at that.
    • Deep Blue Sea makes exploding sharks cool again (this time, it blows up by impaling it with an explosive powder-covered harpoon and then igniting it).
  • In The Incredible Hulk a thrown forklift in a factory explodes quite spectacularly when it hits the... bottled soft drinks? Later on, two cars are seen at the end of an alley way lightly crashing into each other (a crash that would barely cause a fender bender in real life) and a large flame erupts between them almost instantly. Bizarrely averted however when the Hulk rips a police car in half and uses each half as a boxing glove
    • The forklift could be justified, all the outdoor forklifts around here run on propane.
  • Justified in Runaway where the evil scientist wires his robots and gizmos with "densepacks", which explode if captured by the good guys.
  • Subverted (partially) in Duel. In the final scene David Mann (played by Dennis Weaver) drives his car up a dirt road leading to the edge of a cliff. As the truck approaches, he aims his car at it, before jamming his briefcase onto the accelerator and leaping clear just in time. The car itself catches fire when the truck hits it (rather than exploding) and the truck driver, blinded by the smoke and flames, is unable to stop before reaching the cliff, and the truck plunges over the edge. Surprisingly, despite being a tanker, and having "flammable" written on the side, it doesn't actually explode.
  • Parodied in Van Helsing; a horse carriage falls into a gorge, and naturally explodes in a huge ball of fire. However, the carraige does have a rather large explosive device in it on a timer set to go off about halfway down the gorge.
  • A particularly hilarious example occurs in Arnold Schwarzenegger's Total Recall. A Johnny Cab bursts into flame after hitting a wall at maybe five miles an hour.
    • It was already shorting out before then, because Ahnuld uprooted the driver. Li-ion battery tech (it was an electric cab) is fairly pyrotechnic stuff (see: laptop battery recalls). Plus, Rule of Funny.
  • In the film Grizzly, the killer bear is finally killed when the hero shoots it with a bazooka, causing a massive explosion.
  • In the cult classic Streets of Fire, Cody blows up a gang's motorcycles with a shotgun, one shot each. Forgivable as this movie is basically a compilation of action movie tropes played straight.
  • Among countless other ridiculous things about the movie Armageddon, the Mir space station explodes shortly after Bruce Willis's team docks there, for apparently no reason other than to get one of the wise-cracking Russian astronauts to escape onto Willis' ship, in order to provide comic relief for the rest of the movie.
  • In Deep Impact, an astronomer gets run off the road by a semi-truck, and his Jeep explodes in mid-air.
  • Nominally justified at the end of Speed, when a bus with a bomb on it runs into an airplane full of fuel. One gets the impression that the entire movie was a setup for that scene alone.
  • At the end of Bride of the Monster, an octopus explodes (apparently due to Mad Science) with stock footage of a nuclear blast. Yes, it's Ed Wood.
  • At the end of The Marine the Big Bad runs a semi cab through some small wooden buildings that explode in huge fireballs. While you can see some oxygen tanks in there they still explode on contact when they're designed to take some abuse before they go off in real life. Otherwise, oxygen tanks spontaneously combusting would be the number one killer of the elderly.
  • In X Men Origins: Wolverine, Wolverine takes down a helicopter, the tail end of which explodes upon hitting the ground. Not so bad. But then Wolverine exchanges dialog with a crash survivor and walks away, lights a trail of gasoline coming from the same helicopter, and makes it explode again in the background.
  • In The Fifth Element, mega-corporation owner Zorg quite literally makes his products with explodium. That way, he can deliver You Have Failed Me... retribution upon his mooks over the phone (public phones, anyway), simply by pressing a few buttons. He also builds it into his guns with a bright red button, so anyone stupid enough not to ask the purpose of the button is appropriately punished.
  • Justified in the 1953 French film Le Salaire de la peu (The Wages of Fear) and its American remakes Violent Road i.e. Hell's Highway (1958) and Sorcerer (1977); all involve transporting dynamite which has sweated out its nitroglycerin.
  • Parodied in one of the Toxic Avenger movies. A car TA is in is launched into the air, flips and lands on its wheels. The driver turns to him and warns that American cars tend to explode a few seconds after landing and they gotta get out of there. They bail just before the car goes up in flames.
  • Daybreakers, oddly, seems to have vampires that are made of explodium. And cars and everything else.
  • A satellite actually explodes upon colliding with an alien spacecraft in Independence Day.
    • Hydrazine, used for maneuvering thrusters on satellites, practically is explodium.
  • The airplane from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, on the other hand, crashes because it was out of fuel... but it naturally explodes anyway.
    • Justified in that a tank full of fuel fumes is much more explodely than a full tank of fuel.
  • The climactic scenes of the semi-obscure Jackie Chan movie Thunderbolt feature some of the most ridiculous auto racing scenes ever to be recorded on film. Among other things, the race features a number of cars exploding for a variety of reasons, up to and including no reason at all. But the film's Crowning Moment of Explodium comes when Jackie's car launches off another car and flies right through the center of a wooden observation tower which, of course, explodes.
    • And, inexplicably, leaves the car without a scratch.
  • Apparently, the pickup truck that kicks off the plot in Super 8 is Made of Explodium, as it is all that it takes to derail a train in a spectacular fireball.
    • The train itself too. This troper joked with his friend that they phoned in a favor from Michael Bay to do the entire train crash scene.
  • Parodied in Loaded Weapon I when the bikes Colt and Luger confiscate from two children explode. Also happens even more improbably when Colt flicks a cigarete butt into the sea at the start of the film.
  • Con Air. Everything, but everything, including motorbikes just... crashing... explodes like it has c4 strapped to it.


  • In Dragonlance Tales, the characters are confronted by a door secured by a gnome-built time-lock (with lots of levers, mirrors and other bits—gnomes are inveterate tinkerers). One character goes to touch it, but another shouts:

"Be careful! It might explode!"
"Why? Do you think it's trapped?"
"No! It was built by gnomes!"

  • Justified in Terry Goodkind's Sword of Truth series: in one scene, a character blows up trees to kill portions of an enemy army. Granted, it's explained that it's really just superheating the sap, but still...
  • Tom Clancy also lampshaded explodium cars in Debt of Honor. In a crash involving two sedans and a semi, both sedans exploded in huge fireballs soon after the crash. This was an important plot point—the cars had faulty gas tanks—and one of the accident investigators remarked that real cars don't blow up when they crash, That Only Happens In Movies.
  • The small, doglike swamp dragons of Discworld are living, breathing explodium. The internal chemical factory required to breathe fire is incredibly unstable; when a swamp dragon hiccups, people dive for cover. As in the Pokémon example, this might seem a bad evolutionary decision, but Pratchett points out that there are very few predators prepared to eat explosive prey.
    • In Guards! Guards!, exploding as a defense is called a good evolutionary move.[1]
    • Played with in a couple of references to Bloody Stupid Johnson's inventions, which included a chiming sundial (which tended to explode around noon) and an explosive somehow made out of sand and water, as well as a small ornamental fountain which, when switched on, gurgled ominously for a few minutes then fired a cherub a thousand feet in the air.
  • In the opening of Soul Music, a coach runs off the road and falls into a gorge. When it hits the ground, it doesn't just break, it "erupts into fragments.... Then the oil from the coach lamps ignites and there is a second explosion, out of which rolls -- because there are certain conventions, even in tragedy -- a burning wheel."
  • The regiment in Monstrous Regiment manage to MacGyver some explosives out of what they find in their jail cell.
  • Songs performed by Fake Band Disaster Area in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy are described as following "the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon, which then explodes for no adequately explored reason."
    • Also their actual music, which sounds best when listened to from bunkers at least 40 miles away from the stage. The band itself plays from a spaceship on the planet's orbit—or, preferably, some other planet's. The music once terraformed a planet by causing its crust to flip over (with an assist from a stray Improbability Field in the vicinity).
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, both by J.K. Rowling): Whatever touches the horn of a creature called an Erumpent is injected with a substance (pure Explodium, perhaps?) that causes it to explode.
  • In Animorphs, Yeerk Bug fighters routinely go head-to-head with other spaceships armed with laser beams and zip through galaxies like it's nobody's business, but apparently their Achilles' Heel is getting gently pushed by a slow-moving bulldozer, which causes them to explode.
  • In The Tomorrow Series a handy petrol tank gets improvised into a fiery bomb of death on a number of occasions. In the most extreme case, they use a petrol tanker truck.
  • Gerald Kersh's short story Comrade Death features the concept of Made of Explodium itself weaponized. Anything exposed to a chemical called "Disintegrol" becomes an extremely powerful and volatile high explosive. A single pin prick to a technician's hand blows the man into pieces.
  • Lyra in Northern Lights manages to, if not totally demolish Bolvangar, at least cause rather a lot of damage by turning on the gas stoves in the kitchen all the way, lighting them and throwing a huge bag of flour in the air. This is Truth in Television, to an extent; see Real Life below.

Live-Action TV

  • MythBusters trades in this trope on occasion. Admittedly, most objects are not Made of Explodium until Adam and Jamie (and retired FBI agent Frank Doyle) get to modify them a bit, but their end results would do Monty Python's "not being seen" sketch proud.
    • In one episode, inspired by the ending of Jaws, they test to see whether an oxygen tank explodes upon being shot. It doesn't explode, but the gas spewing out of the bullet hole at high pressure would kill a shark just as well.
    • Then there was the time where, after having already explored the myth "you can clean out a cement truck with dynamite", they then made the cement truck cease to exist, for no better reason than that they had enough explosives to do it.
    • Also subverted several times. More than once, an explosive device has failed to go off on cue, leading to some very tense moments where a live explosive has to be reset/made safe somehow.
  • iCarly: Nearly anything Spencer creates or meddles with ends up on fire. This is roughly split 50/50 between things that shouldn't catch fire, like the doorman bell, or a drum kit, and things he really should be smart enough to not build, such as the overpowered metallic magnetic Christmas Tree.
    • This is Lampshaded by Spencer when a cymbal on the drum kit catches fire after being hit.
      • Doubly so when he tries putting out one of those fires only to have the extinguisher belch out fire as well.
  • According to the earlier episodes of Stargate SG-1, Naquadah is extremely volatile. Why, oh WHY would the Ancients build Stargates out of them?
    • Lampshaded in "200". According to Word of God, important episodes are specifically designed to have as many explosions per second as possible.
    • Then there is Naquadriah, which is a much more energy dense (and accordingly, much more unstable) version of Naquadah, which is used because much more power can be drawn from it. And because it makes for an excellent warhead.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis episode "Sunday", an Ancient device (an experimental weapon against the Wraiths) is discovered in an Atlantis lab. It emits radiations that, even after a short exposure, give people exploding tumors. This causes at least five deaths, including Dr. Carson Beckett's.
  • Averted in Steven Spielberg's The Duel. Dennis Weaver is chased by a tanker truck all that time, and it doesn't even explode?! Poor Dennis.
  • Star Trek was famous for using a minor version of this trope constantly. Whenever a ship gets hit, control panels on the bridge spray sparks everywhere.
    • In the episode "The Apple," there are highly-unstable rocks. Spock threw one to the ground, it blew up. A Red Shirt tripped over one, and you can guess what happened.
    • One Trek parody has them firing the highly-explosive control panels out the torpedo tubes when none of their other weapons made a dent in the enemy ship's Nigh Invulnerable Force Field.
  • Scrubs hangs a lampshade on this in the episode My Unicorn. As Murray's toy plane explodes, J.D. notes, "What an odd-sized explosion..."
  • Hello, Top Gear. As James May put it after they somehow lit a car wash alight, "We managed to set fire to something that's basically made of water!"
  • For the invention exchange at the beginning of Mystery Science Theater 3000: Pod People, Joel invents a guitar chord that, when played, causes the guitar to explode. It makes for an awesome end to a rock concert.
  • In the sci-fi series UFO, the alien Flying Saucers heat up and explode if they spend too much time in Earth's atmosphere.
    • Heck, Gerry Anderson shows did that all the time. Most notoriously Thunderbirds -- The Movie of which featured a helicopter and a rocket that exploded when they hit the water. The second movie then went on to top that with an exploding missile base.
    • Fireball XL 5 also featured at least one episode where the main base went up in smoke after XL5 made a landing run just as another ship left the same runway.
    • Space: 1999 featured the exploding planet Psychon. We're unlikely ever to see the proof for ourselves, as destroying an entire planet apparently is a bit harder than it looks on the telly. So it's a bit disappointing to see that an exploding planet looks like two Roman candles ignited at once.
  • Entire planets have also exploded at least four times on Doctor Who. One, at least, was still in the process of formation and had help from several thousand megatons of explosives. Two others were victims of malfunctioning Phlebotinum.
    • Let's not forget the time when some Alternate Universe Cybermen's heads blew up from regaining emotions. Or when an entire Dalek fleet went kablooie after flicking a switch.
    • Truly monstrous monsters of the week (as opposed to recurring alien races) are often Made of Explodium, especially in the modern series.
  • And speaking of exploding planets... take a bow, original recipe Battlestar Galactica.
    • Isaac Asimov had this to say about the space fighters used in that series: "The slightest scratch, and they have but one response: they explode into nothingness. (Why build such sure-fire coffins? Or fly them? And how is a crew persuaded to get on board?)"
  • Played with, like everything else, in Monty Python's Flying Circus: "Mrs Niggerbaiter's exploded!" "Good thing too." "She was my best friend!" "Oh mother, don't be so sentimental, things explode every day."
    • As does the penguin on top of the television.
    • And Radio 4
    • "... This demonstrates the importance of not being seen."
    • And now, the Exploding Blue Danube!
    • One episode had animals randomly exploding throughout—one scene with a sign pointing to an offscreen zoo sounded like a battlefield.
  • In the Look Around You Season One module "Germs", the scientists grow a culture of germs collected from the wings of a Brown Lady moth. A small tree grows from this, and small "moth apples" are collected from this tree. Quoth the narrator: "They're smaller than crab apples -- sweeter, too -- but you should never eat them, because they are highly explosive."
  • Name any Toku series. Kamen Rider, Super Sentai, other franchises. You name it, and everything goes boom when they die. Hell, sometimes they go boom when they go down, even if they survive. One of the very few aversions is Kamen Rider Kiva, where the Fangire shattered into glass instead. Kamen Rider Amazon also avoids explosions by adhering to Bloodier and Gorier instead; you can't show ludicrous amounts of blood well if the enemies blew up, right?
    • Kamen Rider Decade changes this. Fangire still shatter - but the usual big explosion happens too (that's not how it works in Kamen Rider Kiva proper.) Monsters taken down by Amazon also spray a much smaller amount of greenish CGI blood for a few seconds before exploding normally (in Amazon proper, monsters were torn apart and sprayed goo everywhere.)
    • A notable subversion in Engine Sentai Go-onger. A chainsaw monster goes on a sawing rampage, filling the air in a building with sawdust. A spark is all it takes for the whole building to go up.
    • To name a bunch of Power Rangers examples:
      • Recent seasons have become increasingly prone to very random explosions. Power Rangers Operation Overdrive episode "Man of Mercury, Part 1" features an exploding folding table, after someone merely kicks it. The Operation Overdrive Pink Ranger's personal weapon can also cause explosions -- despite being called the Drive Geyser and firing a blast of water. In the same episode as this, two villains cause a huge explosion by POINTING at each other. These are known among fans as "Kalishplosions" after then-current producer Bruce Kalish. (However, sparks from things like cardboard boxes were common-ish before Kalish.)
      • The scene in "Forever Red", when all Red Power Rangers transform and pose in a wide-shot, everything behind them explodes for absolutely no reason. This is the Rule of Cool taken to the extreme. This particular situation, though, is something of a tradition. In any PR teamup, after the combined team poses, smoke clouds in the Rangers' colors erupt, followed by a massive explosion. An explosion's also optional for when an individual team goes through its posing routine. Linkara posits in his reviews of the seasons that it's the combined energy of the morphs leaking out into the atmosphere, which is somewhat backed up by the example below.
      • Lampshaded (among many other things) in Power Rangers RPM, in which Ziggy wonders why there's always an explosion behind them after they morph (turns out it's runoff energy from the morphing process), and later one of the Rangers actually uses this explosion to defeat several Mooks. These particular explosions have therefore been dubbed "Ziggysplosions" (since Kalish is no longer the producer).
    • When a fight between two Kamen Riders take them past a bus - past, not even into or through, this is the result. Even the Pinto didn't have it that bad... (oh, just so you know: the "monsters" are the good guys in this scene. Long story.)
    • The opening credits of Kamen Rider V 3 consists of V3 riding through a BBC Quarry while the ground explodes behind him randomly, for absolutely no reason.
    • The first episode of Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger alone—hell, just the first two minutes will suffice -- could easily pass off for a Michael Bay flick what with The Empire's spaceships' explodium lasers causing lots of massive explosions when aimed at the ground, random unexplained background explosions during the prologue war, said war ending with a space explosion that wipes out everyone into smaller explosions...
  • While spraying bullets in all directions, The A-Team would often hit a small bush, which would then violently explode and cause a nearby jeep to flip over (without injuring the occupants of course).
    • A standard trope of most TV action shows of the era, due to Network Standards regarding violence. Yes, they considered car wrecks to be less violent than actually shooting somebody.
  • House. In the beginning of the season 2 episode "Distractions", a character has a Deadfoot Leadfoot-type of problem while he's driving an ATV, which crashes and explodes in a fireball.
  • Stephen Colbert likes to have random things blow up, especially the titles for his new segments.
  • '90s Superhero series Nightman firmly establishes that if you set a vampire on fire, it will explode in a giant fireball.
  • The musical episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The very air itself explodes if it's cool enough. Not so cool: people doing the same thing. Try not to sing.
  • Pretty much everything in Blakes Seven.
  • Practically every car in an accident in Chips had to go BOOM. In one episode, the timing was a bit off, though, as it went off a cliff and exploded BEFORE it struck the canyon bottom.
  • Pretty much everything in Burn Notice. At least once per episode, they manage to explode roughly a Miami city block.


  • Another Weird Al example: The video of "Eat It" features a guitarist replicating Eddie Van Halen's work from Michael Jackson's "Beat It". At the end of the solo, he's working the guitar so furiously ... kaboom.
  • In Van Canto's video of "Kings of Metal", the air is made of explodium. I am not making this up.
  • Drummers become this upon joining Spinal Tap.
  • All of the instruments and amps featured in the music video for "I Don't Love You" by My Chemical Romance


  • The Goon Show: "Fear of Wages" has two thousand cans of sake explode, possibly because everyone present believes them to be nitroglycerine. "1985" has a desert just randomly explode, possibly because Bluebottle was there.
    • Then there's Major Bloodnok, who explodes constantly in a slightly...different fashion.

New Media

  • As a parody of the old Nintendo Power commercial, James "The Angry Video Game Nerd" Rolfe eats a Nintendo Power magazine, causing his head to explode—followed by the world and then the freakin' galaxy! Don't worry; it's all for comedy.
    • His other works also have their fair share of explosions—specially after he started destroying the games after his ranting reviews. Best example being the one featuring a Die Hard video game, where he throws the cartridge and it blows up!

Puppet Shows

  • One episode of The Muppet Show is a Western-themed sketch. Kid Fozzie, having discarded his pickles (which function as guns) and his carrot (knife), has an apple bomb which explodes in an impressive display of apple pyrotechnics.

Tabletop Games

  • Certain things in Paranoia. More specifically, everything in Paranoia. One recommendation for bringing a mission to an end when the shafting has ceased to be funny is to have something—anything—explode. Even the shoe polish can be dangerously explosive.
  • Most things in Warhammer 40,000 kind of do this. The races really just have enough guns that blow whatever they are pointed at to atomic smithereens to make a nuclear arsenal look like a lot of nerf guns. And they do it in the most creativly absurd ways possible
  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • Some creatures explode when killed. The best-known are Dragonlance‍'‍s draconians, but there are other, like the greater fiend Balor, the Fiend Folio's dark stalkers and dark creepers, Mystara‍'‍s huptzeens, etc.
    • Some magical items, like the staves of power, can also be broken to provoke a big explosion if the wielder wish to take his enemies with him.
    • And of course, there's the gas spore. A variety of floating fungus full of unstable gas that explodes if it receives so much as a scratch. It doesn't help that, unless looking closely, the gas spore can be easily confused with a beholder—the kind of monster you pretty much attack on sight.


  • Bionicle has exploding fruit, animals, and boomerangs.

Video Games

  • The player, enemy soldiers, and aliens.This is the full list of everything that doesn't explode in Metal Slug.
  • In Dragon Age the Abominations will explode upon killing them. They're the only enemies that do this, and there's no obvious explanation as to why.
  • Halo 1 averted this completely with all UNSC vehicles, but played it straight with Covenant vehicles.
    • Played straight in Halo 2 and 3 for all vehicles.
      • Even more so with Covenant vehicles. Damage them enough, and they explode. Then what's left of the vehicle explodes a second time.
    • Halo 2 and 3 have this with the Grunt Birthday Party skull (gameplay modifier). In H2, EVERY enemy explodes with the force of a Plasma Grenade when killed with a headshot. In Halo 3 it's only Grunts and weaker. However, in Halo 3, each time a Grunt dies this way you get the sound of children cheering YAY! each time... and confetti comes out of their heads in an explosion of confetti.
      • In Halo Reach you can equip it to your multiplayer character. Headshots are not needed however.
  • In Metroid Prime, one can only wonder how the Chozo managed to survive long enough to be killed by Phazon, considering that they made wall hangings of Cordite. As in, they made decorative objects out of gunpowder for modern-day artillery weapons. And yet they're supposed to be one of the smartest races in the universe. How they didn't spontaneously blow up in unclear, though.
    • The entire Metroid Prime Trilogy gives us Phazon, which in the first game does nothing, except look pretty and kill anything that touches it. In Corruption, several stashes exists throughout the game, holding a large number of crates with Phazon, that blow up when shot enough. And it's not just a modest explosion either, if you shoot them with the Phazon Beam.
  • In Half-Life, any dead person or monster will blow up when taking enough damage, leaving behind nothing but their intestines. Even their clothes turn into bloodsplatter and intestines. There was a warhead that could be shot to explode, leading to a Nonstandard Game Over.
    • Half-Life 2 features exploding barrels in almost every single one of its environments. The developers actually considered making one of the levels an exploding barrel factory to explain their abundance. There is in fact a room in the sewers filled entirely with explosive barrels and a steady stream of manhacks to blow up with them.
    • In Poke646, a Half-Life mod, some completely random things explode for absolutely no reason at all, not even being shot. Ladders, microwaves, and even masonry explode when you approach them. It kinda makes you wonder how stringent the building codes are in Nation City...
  • In Command & Conquer Generals there are some specific units designed to detonate as a means of attack, most of them in the GLA. Also in Zero Hour General Jaziz of the GLA lives this trope as almost every one of his units and structures can be rigged to explode.
    • Clicking "Surrender" in a skirmish battle in Tiberian Sun instead of "Quit" causes everything you have to blow up. Resulting in instant defeat, but atleast you go out with a bang. If playing LAN/Internet multiplayer, this applies to every game in the series; even the freeware OpenRA engine keeps this aspect intact.
  • The buildings in Blast Corps have a particular habit of turning into fireballs upon collision with the dumptruck, bulldozer, dune buggy, or from just trying to get out the vehichle while parked next to it.
  • Hehehe... Living Bomb. The mages of the World of Warcraft can turn anybody into explodium.
    • Goblin engineers insist that if their machinery is not on the verge of exploding(or in the process of doing so) it's not working right. The use of highly volatile chemicals as structural components probably doesn't help.
  • In Star Wars: The Force Unleashed, you can pick up an enemy, put lightning on the enemy, and when you throw the lightninged enemy it will explode violently on impact. This is incredibly awesome.
  • In Doom 3, if you break any of the glass parts of the Hydrocon machine with a stray bullet, it will go up in a Level-Shattering Kaboom, killing everything in the area, including you. Unless you are in God Mode, in which case you can obtain the BFG early.
  • In Super Robot Wars, any disabled unit will explode, whether it's a robot, a monster, or even a person. They also tend to take the massive explosion at the end of an animation like a man, then bounce along the ground and blow up from the inside. It's particularly funny when something gets cut in half with a BFS, slides BACK TOGETHER, and then just blows up.
    • Later versions added Dynamic Kills for just this reason: killing enemies with certain attacks causes them to use different death animations, such as "not sliding back together when killed with a massive sword."
      • Super Robot Wars Z introduced custom death animations for each and every unit in the game. So Coralians crumble into dust, Invaders explode in masses of blood and ichor, and Dimension Beasts collapse into miniature singularities.
      • Little known mecha strat Vixen 357 on the Genesis had this problem in spades as well.
    • Likewise in Shining Force; they get the standard dissolve in the battle sequence, and then on the map they'll spin around and explode. Possibly even more bizarre, since mostly what's causing this to happen is swords and axes, applied to (generally) flesh and blood creatures. And if you kill a boss, then all the mooks explode. A Wizard Did It, I guess.
  • In World of Warcraft, Goblin steampunk technology has a huge tendency to explode while you're using it. Most Goblins treat this as just a hazard of the job, while others seem to revel in it.
    • There are some fan jokes that goblins themselves are Made of Explodium.
  • GoldenEye 007 takes this trope to the logical extreme: everything explodes if shot a few times. This includes model helicopters, television screens, computers, security cameras, wooden crates, and even chairs. Note that explosions tend to set off nasty chain reactions in this game: A few stray shots in a room filled with computers can kill everyone in the room. This makes the penultimate "official" level annoyingly difficult, as civilian personnel (whom you're not allowed to kill) operate the sensitive terminals you're assigned to destroy, meaning you have to scare them off lest they be killed in the ensuing explosions.
    • Don't even get me started on the Archives level, where nearly each room is filled with cardboard boxes and filing cabinets with almost the entire world's supply of explodium inside them.
    • Unfortunately, the statues in Statue Park do not explode, but it would have been cathartic to watch Lenin's head explode.
    • The list above only skirts on the absurdity: blueprints and keycards will cheerfully explode if handled correctly.
    • If subjected to fire from an explosive weapon, you'll also see sympathetic detonations from grass and shrubs.
    • Take a gun, stand very close to a wall, fire a shot while zoomed in as far as possible, and look very carefully. That's right; all bullets in the game cause really tiny explosions. I guess they saved time when making the game by only creating damage routines for explosive weapons, and then making everything an explosive weapon.
  • The original (1998) Sin game also had furniture and electronics that explode violently (with visible shockwaves) when hit.
  • Battlefield: Bad Company: Most walls and fences, any military vehicle, red barrels, any fuel tank, bright-red crates with explosive placards and more.
    • Even doors, windows, small boxes and garbage bags will go up in a satisfying cloud of dust if struck with your knife. ** This is true of many games in the Battlefield series, where a vehicle that's been critically damaged - even if not by exposive weaponry - will spontaneously explode not once, but twice, both instances of which will damage or even kill anyone too close to the wreckage. This also happens to vehicles that are abandoned, leading to hilarity ensuing when someone runs for awesome helicopter or plane that's been sitting around for too long only for it to blow up in his face and kill him.
  • Fighting Force 2 does the same thing, but it only requires Hawk Manson's fists to make things such as computers, soda machines, tanks, and even file cabinets burst into flames. Yeah...he's a man-and-a-half.
  • And then there's Lego Star Wars, where if you can't blow something up by using a blaster or a lightsaber, you can by using the force on it. What's even more amusing is that the most common explosives are houseplants. Seriously.
    • All of Traveller's Tales' LEGO games use this trope in overkill terms. If anything, the original LSW is almost sparing in the stuff that can be blown up with little more than a few punches.
    • There's also an extra that you can buy for Droids that makes them self-destruct when you press the X button. It's the same power as a thermal detonator. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Any enemy that is a machine of some type in Gunstar Heroes.
  • In Evil Genius, any object that catches fire will take damage continuously. After it takes enough damage, it explodes. This means any object in your base, even bunk beds and lockers, will explode and cause everything around them to catch on fire, leading to some humorous situations in, say, a room filled with bunk beds. True story.
    • Even the fire extinguishers explode. I once had my entire base burn to the ground because of an exploding fire extinguisher.
  • Metal Gear
    • Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater features a somewhat bizarre variant: all of the boss characters, upon being defeated, will give their few last words before suddenly exploding violently. An explanation is provided that they all had bombs implanted in their bodies to prevent their remains from falling into the wrong hands should they be killed in action.
      • This does not explain, however, the reasoning behind The Fear's explosion showering the entire area in hundreds upon hundreds of arrows, which appeared seemingly out of nowhere. Did he even carry a quiver? Not like the huge fire-snake-person-thing the Fury transforms into when exploding makes any more sense...
    • Also in Metal Gear Solid 3, when a barrel is shot, it's gonna go boom and alert everyone to Snake's presence AND set him on fire if he's too close to them. Although soldiers killed by exploding barrels don't add to the player's body count, making it sort of useful in Pacifist Runs.
    • The burning-away of the FROGS in Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots is even more nonsensical, and it happens to them ALL. Probably due to the nanomachines.
  • Similar reasons and effects for Deus Ex. Any MIB, augmented agent, or robot will explode violently when killed, leaving behind gory gibs and/or metal chunks, so as to prevent anybody else from taking them apart and studying their augmentations. In the case of The Men in Black and augged agents, this is due to being intentionally implanted with explosives in order to destroy evidence. In the case of robots... well lets just say they have lots of circuit boards inside.
    • In the sequel, only Knights Templar powered armor suits explode, along with mechs if shot and destroyed (disabling them with EMP will avert that though). This can add some Fake Difficulty in some areas with cameras: gunfire won't set off the alarm, however, shooting the camera until it explodes with the force of a grenade will.
    • Also in the sequel, special agents working for the Illuminati dissolve into poison gas when killed, providing a hazard, but not necessarily an explosion.
  • In Mass Effect, using cryo or snowblind ammunition on an opponent causes their corpse to ice over, and then, a few seconds later, it shatters with a rather un-shattery "boom!"
    • In the second game most mechs will explode when destroyed. The YMIR mech in particular is notable for the fact that if destroyed with a headshot its death explosion is massively increased.
    • As it turns out, once you get past their Made of Indestructium hull, the Element Zero drives of Mass Relays are effectively weapons of mass destruction. Destroying one can quite easily wipe out an entire solar system.
    • If the Overload power is used on an enemy that's carrying a flame thrower, it automatically explodes. Similarly, if the Warp power is used on an enemy protected by a Biotic Barrier and destroys said Barrier, the Barrier itself explodes.
  • In the first Splintercell one of the missions requires you to shoot the gas tank of a vehicle, causing the whole vehicle to explode.
  • Really, explosions are just a surprisingly kid-friendly way to get rid of enemies in a game. Most of the enemies from games like The Legend of Zelda explode cartoonishly when killed, Mario monsters tend to burst away in a puff of smoke, etc.
  • All three Mother games feature exploding enemies—mostly robots, but then you get to the trees. Yes, you read that correctly. Exploding trees. (one even illustrates this page) The worst offenders are the Territorial Oaks found in EarthBound's Peaceful Rest Valley, which appear remarkably similar to the other trees in the landscape (aside from the fact that they're, well, moving).
    • Any enemy that explodes in EarthBound sucks except the smiling orbs (but those are still pretty bad). They all hurt when you fight them, so you can either kill them last and have them hurt your party, or kill them first and suffer the explosion. The worst offender is the robots that heal HP. So now you really have to decide which one to kill first.
  • Two-for-one deal in Phantasy Star Universe; the MMO takes after many console Role Playing Games in that non-boss enemies and monsters killed undergo Critical Existence Failure -- literally. Creatures explode in a puff of green smoke (with a satisfying "thoomp") unless they're SEED-forms, which gives you grape-flavored demise. It's the robot Guard Machines that embody this trope, though; once killed, they go haywire and explode violently. It's kinda like dealing with those Territorial Oaks mentioned above; exploding robots hurt in this game!
    • Despite being about to experience critical existence failures, the robots are nice enough to spin their heads around and beep wildly before exploding; giving you time to get clear.
  • Just about everything in Metal Wolf Chaos. Hell, even concrete explodes when shot at.
  • Everything in Worms explodes. EVERYTHING. Sheep, cows, birds, bananas, your (grand)mom, crates (especially ones with sheep in them), mail envelopes, and so on.
    • Health crates explode. If someone's unwell worm doesn't quite reach one within its turn, blowing it up is a hilarious way to finish them off.
  • Most everything Terran in StarCraft, except for people, unless you count their meaty corpses, too. For that matter, everything Zerg is a bag of blood and chitin, and everything Protoss is made of Magic Smoke [dead link].
    • If possible, played even straighter with the Zerg Scourge in the original, flying units that cost the same as a Zergling and exist for the sole purpose of crashing into enemy flying units, exploding on contact, and the Zerg Banelings in the sequel, which are like the Scourge but ground-based and so bloated with explodium that they roll into targets and explode on contact.
    • No mention of Infested Terrans? They're designed to run up to you and explode for the same damage as a nuke. It's awesome.
  • In Diablo II, a Necromancer can make an enemy's corpse explode. This usually creates more corpses, leading to a chain reaction of exploding flesh. Somehow, the Assassin is able to mimic this with non-magical devices.
    • And don't forget the exploding cow corpses in Tristram. As mentioned below, that's due to built-up gasses, but that doesn't quite explain how the damn things can nearly kill a character.
  • The GBA RPG Robopon 2 is a shining example of this trope: everything in this game explodes, from the boat that the hero uses in the prologue to the time machines that a mad scientist is forced to recreate over and over because, you guessed it, they keep exploding. One whole chapter of this game focuses around a construction company that blackmails people into paying protection fees - anyone who doesn't pay gets their house exploded. Let's not also forget that Robopon, the game's fighting robots, explode upon being defeated.
  • City of Heroes has the classical Exploding Barrels to start with, which are somewhat normal if not logical. Then there are exploding robots. Not too much of a problem there, although when the basic robots blow up while the ones armed with explosive missiles and powered by fusion reactors don't go boom, there's a bit of head scratching to go around. Then you run into mission objects like the Explosive Desk Of Doom. It's even worse in Mayhem Missions, where villains are rewarded for destroying street-level objects, including newspaper stands, cars, trash cans, parking meters, SWAT vans, fire hydrants, and cardboard boxes. All of these explode, regardless of what particular power used to destroy them; freezing or slicing cardboard boxes cause the same pattern of scattered pieces as hitting them with a rocket. Most explode remarkably violently. This can lead to some interesting chain reactions, as the nuked police department car ignites a trio of other nearby cars, each of which blow up a few seconds later and destroying nearby cardboard and metal crates, all of which simultaneously explode a short time later.
    • There was a rather amusing bug introduced during July 2009 where Rikti drones would re-explode for eternity after they were defeated. It was nicknamed the 4th of July Bug.
  • |Sonic the Hedgehog 2006 has several amusing examples of this; notably, at one point in the infamous Let's Play of the game, the player attempts to ride a speedboat up a wooden incline (the aerial speedboat is hardly a new gimmick in games, after all). Upon hitting the water again, the speedboat promptly explodes, presumably from fall damage. One could also argue that every last one of Robotnik's machines is Made of Explodium, for obvious reasons.
    • Even more baffling is the sequence where the player has to destroy a train while chasing it with a machine gun equipped motorcycle... and at least TWICE during said Let's Play the motorcycle explodes for no apparent reason.
    • Also, cars will spontaneously explode in the event that they flip over and get stuck. Having the vehicle flip itself right-side-up instead would have made too much sense, and probably would have involved at least three loading screens.
  • Quite a few Mario objects explode for various reasons, such as robots and airships, but for some unknown reason, KINGFIN (underwater shark skeleton) explodes into about three million pieces after being defeated in a rather overly dramatic way.
  • In Star Wars: Rogue Squadron, pretty much everything will explode if shot. Of particular note are the Stormtroopers and civilians found in some levels- if you manage to shoot them, they explode with a burst of flame and a rather pathetic scream.
  • In Grim Fandango, the solution to one puzzle depends on the fact that packing foam is highly combustible. Packing foam used to ship people. (They're skeletons and thus don't breathe, but they'd still be more than a bit inconvenienced by catching fire or being blown up.)
    • In an example of good game design, you find out about this early on, when a character working with some of the stuff and a machine has a mechanical problem and catches fire. If you haven't grabbed the fire extinguisher by now, you automatically run over and grab it; either way, he stops you and beats out the fire himself, because some of the contents of the fire extinguisher are what catalyze the explosion.
  • Starting with Final Fantasy VIII, every single boss monster has their own special explosion animation, ranging from dissolving into pieces to outright giant explosions—all for no reason at all other than the fact that they've run out of HP.
  • Pretty much any enemy (human or not) in the Contra series.
  • A rather unusual example of this occurs in Braid. If you go to the ridiculous lengths necessary to get all the secret stars, upon replaying level 1-1, you'll discover that the Princess is Made of Explodium. Granted this is probably supposed to represent something, but still.
  • In Fallout 3, the 200-year-old decaying cars littering the landscape do not merely explode when hit by enough stray (or deliberate) fire. Oh no. They go up in a massive mushroom cloud that shakes the scenery, which not only destroys everything nearby but irradiates the area for a short while afterwords. Presumably, cars just before the apocalyptic war were nuclear-powered.
    • Reading the game's back-story, you'll find that this is explained in the "alternate history" of the game world. Nuclear technology was much more common and advanced in the game world. Also, the Earth's petroleum resources were exhausted a decade before the Nuclear War. And finally, it can be assumed that sitting around for two centuries in an irradiated hellscape does no favors to the cars' safety measures.
    • Try having a firefight in a crowded parking lot. Or not, because it'll last about 10 seconds until everyone is dead. One has to wonder what a car wreck on a crowded highway was like in Fallout world.
      • Maybe it wasn't the war that caused the end of the world, just a 2000 mile long pileup on interstate 70.
    • Also in Fallout 3, the Bloody Mess perk makes most enemies like this, especially with a head shot. Sometimes a body shot will do the same thing, but with even more exploding than normal (normally all limbs just fall off). Although this effect on its own might be enough to take the perk, the additional 5% damage with all weapons doesn't hurt.
  • The Commanders from Total Annihilation take a beating, sure, but they still go BOOM. Violently. And in multiplayer, you'll more than likely be wiped clean off the map (stupid Game Ends setting).
    • In multiplayer where the only victory comes as Total Annihiliation of the other side, yes, abusing this is a good backup in case you're gonna make a last ditch effort and just lost the Kbot facilities, meaning no more suicidal spiders. Simply load your commander onto a carryall and park it in the center of the enemy base.
    • Spiritual Successor Supreme Commander continues the proud tradition, with Armoured Command Units going down in a massive nuclear blast. Possibly justified by the fact they're the size of a ten-storey building and nuclear-powered in the first place.
    • In both games, Energy is stored in the form of Antimatter. Metal or Mass is stored in the form of... well, matter. As you may know, when matter meets antimatter, there is an explosive reaction. Can you spell "containment breach"?
  • In the second Bonus Level in Medal of Honor: Underground, there are creepy white-faced guys in camo suits that are deadly effective with their machine guns. When killed, they shortly afterwards explode, causing damage or death to the player if he's too close. This only happens when they're shot, however - using a grenade or beating them to death with an empty gun does not result in them exploding.
  • The pyroroamers in Geneforge. They blow up when they die. And since they are so weak and usually travel in packs, it's easy to start a chain reaction.
    • Also note that any power spiral is capable of "amazing pyrotechnics" if you so much as shut it down improperly. This is actually lampshaded in the fourth game.
  • Every vehicle in Total Overdose: A Gunslinger's Tale in Mexico has some cinema-realistic level of resistance to damage from collision. But leaping from that vehicle instantly transforms it into Explodium, a rolling missile that will impact with great balls of fire. Even if that vehicle is coasting along at a crawl and nudges into an obstruction with all the force of a kitten, it will go boom.
  • In the shooting gallery level in Call of Duty: World at War, shooting at the bridge of enemy merchant vessels will cause them to blow up just as spectacularily as the fuel tanks on the deck. In the tank level, shooting through the firing slits of bunkers several will cause them to blow up, though there is no evidence of anything explosive stashed inside.
    • In a humorous nod (or is it?) to this trope, in Modern Warfare 1, there's a cheat called "Bad Year", in which all enemies, when killed explode in a shower of tires. This is best served in a mission where you can kill a lot of enemies without suffering much return fire.
  • On that note, all of the more-or-less intact-looking cars in both Modern Warfare games will explode when sufficiently damaged by being shot up or when grenaded/missiled.
    • There's actually a reward for blowing up cars in the multiplayer games.
    • For Modern Warfare 2, there's actually an entire Spec Ops Mission dedicated to blowing up all of the cars on the bridge. You don't finish the level until all the vehicles have been destroyed.
  • The online RPG Mechquest, do Mechs simply fall over when beaten? Oh no, they just have to explode instead! Every single one of them.
    • Almost every one. Some of the pirate mechs just kneel down. But hey, it's cool.
    • They will sometimes explode for the most illogical of reasons, such as HURT FEELINGS. No joke.
  • In Neverwinter Nights, if one sets the violence setting high, when you over-kill an enemy (i.e. your KB's either a crit or just that damn awesome) they will explode in a rain of guts and body parts.
  • In SEGA game The Story Of Thor, at one point you can get your fire spirit to attack a small iceberg. It hits it until the iceberg explodes.
  • Any destroyed vehicle in Warhawk (1995 video game) explodes in an impressive fireball. Even if it was from being beaten with a wrench. If left unattended long enough, vehicles will spontaneously explode and respawn.
  • Almost every enemy in Dynamite Headdy dies with a rather high-pitched explosion. The bosses make huge explosions with lots of bouncing debris when you beat them. Collect enough of the debris, and you get a continue. Sure, why not?
  • Bosses in Secret of Evermore explode extensively when they die, no matter what they are. This includes bosses half-submurged in water, such as the giant squid and swamp snake. One of the bosses, Aegis, even explodes before the fight, then again after.
  • As a variation, in the survival horror game Shadowman for the N64 and PSX, everything explodes into bloody chunks, including rocks. How a gun that shoots spirit energy can damage a rock in the first place is a different mystery.
    • Because they're not rocks; they're sewn-up bags of flesh called Govi that contain the game's Plot Coupons. Looking closely, you can see the Govi pulsate as if alive when you're able to harvest the Dark Souls within them. And the pale-blue "rocks" around deadside are actually piles of offal.
  • Virtually all vehicles in Grand Theft Auto will explode if they take enough damage, and a single bullet to the fuel cap will blow one up instantly. Even mobile staircases at airports will burst into flame if they are pushed over.
  • In In Famous, you can use your superpowers to make grenades made of electricity. As well as missiles. It's never explained how this works, but it's too awesome to worry about.
  • In Ratchet & Clank... need I say more? Almost anything can explode: Lamp posts? Rocks? Iinflatable dolls? Why not mushrooms and small critters? You name it, there is even an upgrade that lets you create a ground slam that causes all the breakable objects around you to explode!
    • Starting in the second game and in most titles thereafter, the Baleful Polymorph weapon can turn enemies into animals that explode once upgraded.
  • Just about anything can be set ablaze in Garry's Mod. Burning wooden objects don't char, though; they take damage and blow up after a few seconds. And the splinters continue to burn for a short while longer.
  • In Total Carnage, the goal is to capture the Big Bad for an execution by electric chair. If you succeed, you get the satisfaction of pumping him with 60000 gigawatts of electricity, at which point he explodes about a hundred times in many beautiful colours, leaving only a charred skeleton and a Title Drop by the game's voiceover.
  • Let's not forget about 'Splosion Man. A person thing 'splosion man practically made out of pure "splodium".
  • In the Crusader games, pretty much every bit of decoration can explode. The funny thing is, computers can still work even after being blow into pieces!
  • Wayne's World (SNES/Genesis): Any enemy that Wayne kills with his guitar are destroyed in a fiery explosion.
  • In the Touhou game Shoot The Bullet, once Aya has taken the requisite number of successful pictures, the enemy character suddenly explodes for no obvious reason.
    • This trope goes down to the very roots of Touhou. In every single game (except the fighting spin-offs), the animation for defeating a boss results in them exploding. Yes, even if you didn't fire a single shot at them the entire time. Apparently, the character in question is so ashamed that she wasn't able to beat you that she felt like she needed to explode.
    • On a different note, there is a shot type and several spellcards based on exploding frogs.
  • In the Land of Dragons from Kingdom Hearts II, one of the NPCs randomly mentions that the tents in their encampment are filled with explosives. Which would explain why they explode when you hit them with a giant key. Well... maybe not.
  • The little known laserdisc arcade game Road Blaster (known as "Road Avenger" on the U.S. Sega CD) has examples of this trope in the many (but not all) of the "miss" sequences which all involve the car. However, it could also just be the game's Rule of Cool; it depends on who you ask.
  • What Star FOX 64 tells you is that you lose a life if you choose to retry a level. What it doesn't tell you is that the life counter (I repeat, the LIFE COUNTER!) explodes as it goes down by one.
    • Speaking of Star Fox 64, every single enemy explodes on death. Even the ones underwater. And it's awesome.
    • Special mention goes to the final Vs. unlockable where you can play as the Star Fox members themselves on foot with laser cannons. Guess what happens when they die.
  • Quite a few Grandia bosses, even those made of meat. Must have been something they ate.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin for Mass Destruction on the Playstation, but the game must have been coded by a few blokes from Free Radical as even BUSHES, TREES, ROSE GARDENS, PLAIN OLD STONES, AND CAVERN ENTRANCES (even those underwater) explode when dealt enough damage. Even crazier, everything in the game, EVERYTHING, can actually be blown up twice, except for caverns, doubling the score output. AND... EXPLOSIONS CAUSE SPLASH DAMAGE TO OTHER STRUCTURES! Finding the correctly positioned building in an enemy city and activating the Torus bomb usually results in a nigh-unstoppable chain.
  • In the obscure survival horror game Space Griffon VF9 EVERY enemy explodes violently, even the little grey blob guys who look like they're made out of a cross between papier mache and play doh.
  • In the old Mindcraft game Strike Squad (think X-com with very very early VGA graphics, despite they coming out around the same time) dying to anything, due to having a single death sprite for every NPC type, caused peoples' entire BODY to explode violently in pixelated gore, even say, being stabbed, or being shot by a pistol.
  • Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon, being a D&D-based game, features the aforementioned exploding "gas spores". And yes, at first glance, they can be mistaken for beholders. Especially the first one, that startlingly appears right as a door open. That sword slash was pure reflex, I swear!
  • One of the Red Eco upgrades in Jak and Daxter: The Lost Frontier lets you imbue opponents you hit with the glowing red stuff, making them explode if you punch them out. (This is especially fun if there are lots of enemies in the area and you use the time-slow power.)
  • In I of the Dragon, if a town's main building is reduced to zero HP, the town explodes—which won't harm you at all, but will slay any enemy nearby and even give you the EXP for their deaths! As a result, attacking the very towns you're supposed to protect can be one of the better ways to level up.
  • In Lemmings and its sequels, some obstacles can be passed by turning lemmings into Bombers, who then explode after a five-second countdown. If you mess up a level, you can start over by hitting the Armageddon button and causing all lemmings in the level to explode. Oh no!
  • In Disgaea, Disgaea 2', and Disgaea 3, if you throw a Prinny, they explode. Nearby prinnies also explode.
    • In 3, any humanoid who magichanges with a Prinny becomes equally explosive for the duration of the effect. As the weapon the Prinny changes into isn't visible while not attacking, one can forget that it's there, and then...
  • A not-particularly-well-known game called Big Mutha Truckers includes a side mission where you must haul a tanker filled with a sensitive, volatile chemical from one location to another within a time limit, on threat of a massive explosion. The guy riding shotgun with you while you make the delivery literally calls the chemical "Explodium".
  • A gag in Escape from Monkey Island has a wooden catapult exploding in a huge fireball when it goes over cliff.
  • Many thing in BloodRayne 2 explode when you hit them with a knife or throw a person at them
  • In many early arcade racing games, any collision at any speed results in an explosion of fiery doom (but presumably not too much doom, as you generally get returned to the track with a shiny new car three seconds later.) Pole Position is probably the most well-known example of this, but other games like Sega's Turbo and Hang On do this as well.
    • The TV commercial for the home version of Pole Position lampshades this one pretty heavily.
  • In Minecraft you have the Creeper, a walking creature made of pure Explodium. Needless to say, they must chase you. SSSSSSSSS...
  • Just Cause 2. Nearly everything that is destructible, when destroyed, explodes violently, be it a car, a fuel tank or a crane. For dramatic effect, evacuated cars turn fender-benders into fireballs, and for a different kind of dramatic effect, flying or landing aircraft detonate themselves instantly if a wingtip touches a building.
    • Land vehicles are only prone to exploding when you're not behind the wheel. As soon as you get into the driver's seat, you have beat the crap out of the car to destroy it. It's basically Action Movie: The Game.
  • In the SimCity series, most power plants explode after 50 years, sometimes with fire. If it's a nuclear power plant, it will render a large swath of the land uninhabitable with fallout, and in SimCity 4, cause a literal nuclear explosion.
  • In Duke Nukem 3D, walls with cracks in them. Any wall with a crack. Doesn't matter whether it's solid concrete, a metal plate or even cardboard. If it's got a crack and another explosion comes near, the wall (or is it the crack itself?) will explode with more explosions. Sometimes this also happens just by being near the wall. For some reason this also happens in other Build Engine games. (Blood, Shadow Warrior, Redneck Rampage)
  • In any Gundam game, whenever a Mobile Suit or Mobile Armor has been shot enough, it blows up, even if you would normally only expect an arm to fall off or a leg to be severely damaged.
    • The Gundam vs. Series does play around with it a little, though. Certain attacks will cause the defeated machine to split in half at the waist before exploding, while others will destroy half of the machine while the other half goes through the standard explosion animation. In Extreme Vs., every machine falls apart to some degree before it explodes.
  • When you kill an enemy in Little Samson, it tends to explode for some strange reason.
  • In Portal 2, GLaDOS reveals whoever is running the facility has to actively maintain it to keep it from exploding. For Science!! Also, when you light turrets on fire with a laser, they burn and then explode. Also for science!
  • Any motorized vehicle in Jaws Unleashed. Somehow taking a bite out of a boat causes it to go *BOOM*.
  • A June 2011 patch for Team Fortress 2 added doves for several of the maps. If you shoot them, hit them with a melee weapon, or even just brush against them, they explode.
  • Oblivion has a spell called "Enemies Explode." Sadly, it does not technically live up to its name. (It merely sets them on fire.)
  • In Rollercoaster Tycoon, whenever a vehicle crashes it explodes. This even includes the water slide's rubber rafts.
  • LHX Attack Chopper, everything when shot was reduced to a smoking hole in the ground. This includes tanks, armoured personnel carriers, planes, choppers, buildings, soldiers, tress and camels.
  • The Flame Parasites from Evolva, who explode after death.
  • In The Elder Scrolls V Skyrim, Flame Atronachs [2] also seem to be made of Explodium. Strangely enough, earlier incarnations of this monster, appearing in previous installments of TES are not made of this trope.

Web Animation

  • In Homestar Runner, The Cheat's head is made of Explodium. It frequently blows up, in response to just about anything—including Strong Mad standing near him and eating rocks. In one cartoon, they even use The Cheat in place of Fourth of July fireworks!
  • In the Charlie the Unicorn video series, apparently almost every other major character besides the titular equine can explode, which they typically do at the end of each video's musical number.
  • In The Demented Cartoon Movie anything can and will explode. Including the earth. Multiple times.
  • Parodied in a Weebl and Bob cartoon, Armagooden, where they are "trapped in a Micky Bay film" and "anything we touch is likely to explode." This causes problems when Bob's helmet explodes and he can't get another one.

Web Comics

  • In this Flying Man and Friends strip, after Robinson is rescued from slavery, the entire location is engulfed by an atomic explosion with no explanation given as to where it came from.
  • In Gunnerkrigg Court, inside Dr. Disaster's space battle simulator, the Enigmarons' Death Ray explodes when Antimony knocks it over. Of course, by this point it was already established that realism was the last thing on Dr. Disaster's mind when he designed the simulation.
  • In This Freefall strip, Florence knows there's no logical reason for a desk chair to explode, but she decides to play it safe anyway because it belong to Sam Starfall.
  • Spoofed in 8-Bit Theater: after blowing up icebergs with magic, Black Mage stabs another iceberg to get it out of the way... guess what happens? BM even lampshades: "Why would it explode?!", and the comic is actually titled "'Tis A Good Question".
  • Adventurers! has the enemy named "Bombat" which explodes as soon as the heroes encounter it.
  • In Dominic Deegan, souls are Made of Explodium.
  • Dragon Tails: Bluey describes helicopters as being this way. For that matter, most things made or modified by the aforementioned Bluey qualifies.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, actually a Justified Trope, as this strip explains. A drawback of plentiful annihilation-based energy is that starships require huge annie-plants, which are loaded with antimatter and coated on the inside with neutronium, and thus explode massively if damaged. Space battles lead to explosions, which the ships usually do not survive. It was a major tactical development when Petey found a way to disable an annie-plant without destroying the entire ship. "Thus, when you find a wounded ship, you may be looking at evidence of extreme competence."
  • Discussed in Bug; the bug could do without this trope.
  • In Titanzer, Johnny doesn't believe a robot has been beaten until it explodes.

Web Original

  • Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series has Pegasus' wife. Yeah. She really needs to stop doing that.
  • Cars and heads (the collars, so Justified) are included in Survival of the Fittest. In the case of the exploding car, this causes an entire building to go up in a huge fireball too.
  • In an OCT on Deviantart, one character encounters an Explodes After Large Impact Tree. They're extinct now. I hope they didn't cure cancer.
  • Inverted in Orion's Arm. Monopoles aren't explosive themselves but on contact they cause just about anything else to explode.
  • In the Flash animation "Kerri's Big Invention" by Legendary Frog, several of her inventions spontaneously burst into flame for no good reason, including (most ludicrously) a drinking bird.
  • Lampshaded and subverted (at the same time no less!) by Mike J of That Guy With The Glasses in his Speed 2 review: "I hope if I throw this ball against that wall nothing explody will happen." *throws ball against the wall and nothing happens* "Oh."
  • Lampshaded by Vegeta in Team Four Star's DBZ Abridged after being defeated by Zarbon. "Why did I explode?"
  • From Asdfmovie5:

"Hello, Mine Turtle!"
Followed by someone else stepping on the Mine Turtle... which promptly blows up.

Western Animation

  • This is a Running Gag in Aqua Teen Hunger Force. Whenever any of the main characters (but mostly Shake) throws something, to the ground such as phones, toy drills, video game joysticks, et cetera, it will explode. This is never commented on or even noticed by anyone.
    • The Aqua Teens' television explodes almost Once an Episode, usually because of Shake hurling/shooting something at it or throwing it.
    • Carl's head exploded out of sheer rage at the end of the episode "Kidney Car".

Meatwad: Why'd he do that?
Shake: Why wouldn't he?

    • Their golf game uses this as the raw material for golf balls. No, nobody knows why.
    • It was eventually noticed in "The Clowning", when Master Shake tries to throw a toilet brush on Carl's yard but lands on their own yard and explodes, the Aqua Teen were actually surprised and jumped back when they saw it explode.[1]
    • It was mentioned in another episode. Shake causes the TV to explode and tells Meatwad to go get another from the closet. Upon finding out there aren't any left, Frylock comments that he's been using his cloning device on the TV and they ran out because Shake keeps breaking them. He clones another one, which Shake immediately destroys.
  • Pretty much everything in The Simpsons is Made of Explodium.
    • Taken to ridiculous lengths when a car the Simpsons had recently bought in winter lost control on the ice. The Simpsons bailed out only to watch the car skid into the middle of a frozen lake, break through the ice and sink into the water, and then explode, raining fiery fragments down onto them.

Homer: Aww, I knew this would happen!

    • In one episode the driver of a tanker truck had to swerve to avoid something, the truck slid, tumbled end over end, and finally exploded in a huge fireball. The side of the truck had MILK painted on it in huge letters.
    • And don't forget Chief Wiggum (dressed as a beer stein) and a (the?) flying nun.
    • Not quite an explosion, but after setting a cooked breakfast alight, Homer makes Mr Burns some cereal, and it too bursts into flames.
    • Similarly, such things as tipped over lawn chairs and tricycles burst into flames for no apparent reason.
    • There's also the episode with the monorail. Homer uses a giant letter M as an anchor and it tears Springfield oldest tree apart, sending it falling right on top of the log cabin where Jebediah Springfield was born, and it explodes.
    • Hans Moleman's car is run off the road in one episode, and rolls down a hill towards a tree. The car stops several feet centimeters short of the tree. Before exploding.
    • In another episode, Bart plays a prank on Homer by putting his can of beer in a paint shaker and putting it back into the refrigerator (as it is still shaking). When Homer opens the can, it detonates in a Springfield-sized mushroom cloud.

Bart: April f-- (an explosion of beer blasts out of the windows and chimney of the Simpsons' house and takes the shape of a mushroom cloud)
(Lou and Chief Wiggum stop the police car)
Lou: That sounded like an explosion at the old Simpson place.
Chief Wiggum: Forget it. That's two blocks away.
Lou: Looks like there's beer coming out of the chimney.
Chief Wiggum: I am procceding on foot. Call in a Code 8.
Lou: (into radio) We need prezels. Repeat, prezels.

    • Averted Subverted: In one episode, Homer decides he wants to be like Thomas Edison and become an inventor. In one montage near the beginning, an attempted invention explodes on two build attempts. He goes back to the design on his chalkboard and thoughtfully erases the stick of dynamite.
      • It explodes even bigger as a result.
    • In an episode about babysitting, a baby carriage rolls into a ditch and bursts into flame.
    • In one episode, Marge and Lisa shoot a truck's wheels with bees, puncturing the tires. Then the passengers jump out as the truck explodes.
    • Played straight in an early episode when Spinal Tap's tour bus is driven off the road by Otto and explodes.
    • In another instance, the impossibly Badass protagonist of a Show Within a Show (who just happens to be Homer's namesake), among other stuff (like picking a bullet in mid-air), he grabs a Mook and throws him over a couple of other mooks, they explode.
  • In one episode of Futurama, Doctor Zoidberg tries to re-coil a slinky after Bender has straightened it into a straight wire. It goes down two steps, falls over and then bursts into flame.
    • Lampshaded in another episode where Zoidberg claims a giant conch shell on the bottom of the ocean as his home. Later in the episode they return to it to find it's burned down, leaving only a charred framework.

Zoidberg: How could this happen?!
Hermes: (equally surprised) That's a very good question!
Bender: So that's where my cigar was.
Hermes: That just raises further questions!!!

    • Malfunctioning Eddy, the robot owner of a car dealership who exploded when he was startled, excited, or for any other inane reason.
  • Robots in Gargoyles seem to suffer a violent catastrophic failure when defeated.
  • As do the robots that Samurai Jack destroys.
    • Jack is just that awesome.
  • In this short from The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy a truck carrying a giant pillow blows up when shot with custard.
  • While Star Wars certainly has its share of explosions, in Star Wars: Clone Wars, all machines are somehow even more combustible. For example, the battle droids would just fall over or fall apart in the films; in the cartoon, they light up like Life Day fireworks.
  • On one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Squidward explodes after falling down a cliff on his bicycle. And mind you, this is taking place underwater!
    • Pretty much everything that falls or flies a great distance on that show will usually cause an explosion of sorts.
  • The Rambo cartoon has Rambo racing to stop a pipe from burning away like a fuse and making the fuel tanker it's connected to explode. He brandishes his knife and tosses it, slicing the pipe off at the source. Crisis averted, it seems... but that's not good enough for Rambo. He runs over and throws the remains of the pipe up into the air where—you guessed it -- it explodes.
  • Code Lyoko: Any of XANA's virtual monsters, when critically hit, explodes either in robot debris, Ludicrous Gibs or plain light (with the exception of the Kolossus). Note, though, that monsters materialized in the real world don't explode.
  • "Michael Bay presents: EXPLOSIONS!"
  • The robotic Foot Soldiers in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon were a fairly straight use of the trope, a fact which is lampshaded and taken up to eleven a decade later in Turtles Forever.

Leonardo: Robots?
Michelangelo: (evil grin) Exploding robots.

Real Life

  • William the Conqueror famously exploded, although he had already been dead at this point. His body was too large for his tomb, and when attendants tried to shove him inside, his stomach ruptured.
  • Nuclear bombs, nuclear reactors or any installations handling nuclear fuels. Basically any scenario where the mass of fissionable material goes above it's critical mass and you don't control it or do anything to stop it. It's all over...
  • Take a look at the largest non-nuclear explosions in human history.
  • Eucalyptus Trees. They're filled with highly-flammable oil, and can literally explode in bushfires. In the Land Down Under, even the trees can kill you.
    • Of course, if it's a tree that gets you, you've been lucky.
    • With the ability of several eucalyptus trees to shed dead branches, they don't need to be made out of explodium to kill you, even.
  • Sandbox Trees (among other plants) use a form of seed dispersal known as explosive dehiscence, which does Exactly What It Says on the Tin. They can propel seeds ~300 ft/100 meters (roughly88-89 meters)away, and presumably an uncomfortable ways into any poor sucker standing nearby when one goes off. Yes, there's a reason the tree is nicknamed the dynamite tree.
  • Any form of organic dust will explode if mixed with enough air. Therefore mills of all kinds, especially the old-timey ones that use stones, are made of explodium.
    • It has been suggested this very phenomenon was the cause of the Great Fire of London in 1666, in which it is estimated 700,000 out of the population of 800,000 lost their homes.
    • Grain elevators explode for this reason also.
    • It wasn't a torpedo that Blew the Lusitania, that just shook up the coal dust in the bunkers, it was a sparking wire that actually set the whole lot off.
  • Submitted for your consideration—next time you put a spoonful of sugar on your cereal, remember this story. The resulting fire melted 3 silos full of sugar into sugar magma that didn't solidify for weeks.
  • Oil wells and coal mines may not explode, but they won't stop burning if set aflame. A certain coal mine has been on fire for over ten years.
    • Under the right circumstances, a coal mine can catch fire THEN explode. (Without proper ventilation, methane gas can build up. Under exactly the right conditions, it can explode like a fuel-air bomb, but this is rare. More common is a layer of burnable concentration forming, and a sheet of flame ripping through the mine if it's touched off. That's bad, but the horror comes if it hits a pocket of coal dust that's just right to go off in a dust explosion. This is why coal mines that aren't properly maintained are death traps. On the other hand, with proper ventilation, mining practices, maintenance, and protective equipment, coal mining is a quite safe occupation.)
    • The Kuwaiti oil wells that Saddam ordered to be set alight would have allegedly burned for a hundred years if not extinguished (Jump to 4:30 in the video).
    • The coal mine fire in Centralia, Pennsylvania has been active since the 1960s, and will keep going at least another 200 years.
  • Sodium will explode if placed on water. Potassium and other elements in the same periodic table column are even more reactive (except cesium, which is in fact more reactive, but sinks in water so fast the explosion is contained by its weight).
    • The metals themselves don't actually explode at all, but react with water to produce hydrogen, which is then ignited by the heat of the reaction. Cesium is better explained here .
  • Derek Lowe has science blog with category "Things I Won't Work With". Most of the mentioned compounds are explodium of various kinds - and a few of them can be set off by infrared light. Some are produced from more than one material already on that list ("when elemental fluorine is the most easily handled reagent in your scheme, let me tell you, you're in pretty deep").
    • There are entire families of chemicals that are so unstable they cannot be synthesized without blowing up the test apparatus, or blow up anyway soon after they're synthesized.

In every case, the solution detonated spontaneously on standing. And by “spontaneously”, they mean “while standing undisturbed in the dark”, so there’s really just no way to deal with this stuff.

      • ...Or make other things explodium: Chlorine trifluoride sets such things as sand, water, concrete, and asbestos on fire. (Not to mention organic materials like cloth, wood, and test engineers.)
      • Of course, azides are mentioned again and again - it's not even that they are toxic in much the same way as cyanides, it's that a few of them are stable enough to be used in detonators and firearm cartridge primers, while others are much more capricious. Say, silver salts are notorious for reacting on light, azides for decomposing explosively at a slightest excuse, which makes silver azide… about as troublesome as one would expect. But, of course, some inspired scientists decided to make a compound for which this was the most convenient precursor. Go figure.

Personally, my metal azide requirements are minimal, and very easily satisfied. I can get all I need by looking at a structure drawn on a whiteboard from about twenty feet away, thanks, and have no desire to actually prepare any of these things. I do not see this as an irrational reluctance. For example, last year I wrote about mercury azides, a most alarming class of compounds whose synthesis would be much easier if the two solvent layers didn't keep getting disturbed by explosions.

After warming things up (you'll note the relative use of that term "warming"), they saw that:
> "Within minutes, the mixture turned yellow, the color intensified, and a lemon-yellow solid precipitated while the reaction proceeded. Keeping the reaction mixture for about 15 min at -64 °C resulted in a violent explosion that destroyed the sample container and the surrounding stainless-steel Dewar flask."
Did I mention that this prep was performed on less than one millimole? [3] Spirited stuff, that tetra-azide. The experimental section of the paper enjoins the reader to wear a face shield, leather suit, and ear plugs, to work behind all sorts of blast shields, and to use Teflon and stainless steel apparatus so as to minimize shrapnel. Hmm. Ranking my equipment in terms of its shrapneliferousness is not something that's ever occurred to me, I have to say. It's safe to assume that any procedure which involves considering which parts of the apparatus I'd prefer to have flying past me will not get much business in my lab, no matter how dashing I might look in a leather suit.

      • It's a cyanide! It's an azide! It's cyanogen azide. At least, this stuff is likely to destroy itself too quickly to have a chance at killing you - unless you stand too close.
    • In the same vein, someone thought perchloric acid is not quite bad enough just for being merely a strong acid, aggressive oxidizer and explosively unstable at once, and hey, it's curious what abomination would result from mixing it with fluorine of all things. The product's freezing point is a little above boiling point of oxygen, which was hard to miss because this stuff invariably detonates when the first crystals form; boiling point is significantly below water freezing, but as a gas its attitude isn't much better.
    • Hexanitrohexaazaisowurtzitane. Because regular Nitro wasn't 'splody enough.
  • Imagine a factory that makes rocket fuel. Imagine the entire facility coated in highly unstable, incredibly dangerous powdered fuel due to lax safety protocols. Imagine this facility also stockpiling said rocket fuel from floor to ceiling. And then imagine somebody firing up a blowtorch in this same facility. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: the PEPCON Disaster!
    • Now, the same with a highly flammable fertilizer: AZF.
    • Then taken Up to Eleven in Korea, with a train full of the same fertilizer colliding with a train full of fuel.
  • Rockets as such, because they store enough energy in their humongous fuel tanks to rival small nuclear bombs. Once an N1 rocket exploded on the launch pad because of a loose bolt that entered a fuel pump. The result? The largest non-nuclear man made explosion in human history.
  • Ammonium nitrate is an extremely useful fertilizer that completely falls into this, especially since agriculture on an industrial scale requires significant amounts of it to be stored and shipped in bulk, and if safety regulations are lax or non-existent, incidents occur. In 1947, a recommissioned Liberty Ship carrying 2300 tons of ammonium nitrate happened to be moored next to another freighter hauling 1800 tons of sulfur in Texas City, Texas, USA, along with assorted sundry goods like munitions. As far as anyone can tell, the fertilizer somehow ignited in the hold of the first ship, generating an explosion felt in Louisiana, the next state over. Look at AZF above, and remember that that was a mild explosion compared to its historical predecessors.
    • BASF, a chemical company, ran an ammonium nitrate manufacturing plant in Oppau, a small suburb of Ludwigshafen, Germany, during World War I and a few years after. As the explosive qualities of the fertilizer were unknown, they used dynamite to loosen the packed material. Somehow, nothing untoward happened for over a decade until one day in 1921, when the plant was simply... erased, taking about 80% of the town and at least 500 lives with it.
  • And while we're coating things in flammables, before decent paint became cheap, it was common to coat ships in pitch.
    • Keep in mind that said ships were made of wood. And since many of them carried cannons, that meant they had gunpowder onboard. Be careful with that match!
      • Careful measures were taken to ensure that this didn't go off, like no fire whatsoever in the Powder-Room, all light came through a window from the next chamber, and the powder-room itself was below water-level.
  • Cracked has done a couple:
  • This beetle literaly farts out an explosive rocket fuel.
  • Early examples of the Russian BMD-series (Infantry Fighting Vehicles designed to be dropped out of planes) had magnesium armor in order to save weight. This was abandoned after it was discovered that the vehicles had a tendency to catch fire when hit by RPGs.
  • The very air was made of explodium in the New London, Texas school explosion.
  • Finally, every contact explosive, starting with nitroglycerin and ending with nitrogen triiodide. The latter is so sensitive that it will detonate when a fly lands on it.
    • A fly is nothing. NI3 has been known to explode when exposed to radiation. That's right, a contact explosive so sensitive that bits of atoms hitting it will set it off.
  • It is theorized that magnetic monopoles may cause the catlyization of baryon decay. That means if you pass a monopole through a normal atom the atom will decay into a burst of gamma rays and neutrinos. Worse, the monopole is a catalyst which means that it isn't consumed in the reaction and will go on to cause all the other atoms it meets to decay. Physicist seem to be quite sure that they exist.
  • Pistachio nuts are susceptible to spontaneous combustion and explosion when stored in large quantities and are classed as "explosive" materials under various cargo transportation guidelines.
  • The Halifax Explosion of 1917.
  • A whale once exploded in Taiwan.
  • Praya dubia will explode if brought above a certain water level, due to high internal pressure.
  • While, strictly speaking, we aren't talking about combustion here, any piece of machinery that involves a compressed air or steam boiler can produce a hell of a bang if it is operated improperly. MythBusters demonstrated what happens when a water heater explodes-- now imagine that scaled up to the size of a maritime, commercial, or locomotive boiler.
  • The xenon arc lamps in a movie theatre projector are so highly pressurized that they shatter with explosive force (especially the ones at Imax theatres where the person changing the bulb actually wears a kevlar vest), not to mention they are made of a material that is weakened by the oils on human skin. They often fail catastrophically (BOOM!) instead of simply burning out, often times destroying the lamphouse, one story on tells how the electrode was embedded into the wall on the other side of the projector booth after one such incident.
  • What happens when farmers misapply chemical growth accelerators to their crops? Exploding watermelons!
  1. From the perspective of the whole species. Not from the perspective of the dragon landing in different chunks around the scenery.
  2. Basically Fire Demons/Elementals
  3. < 0.25 g in this case