Stuff Blowing Up

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"Whenever there seems to be a dull, quiet or otherwise non-car-filled moment, [the Director of this film] likes to believe that filming a bunch of cars exploding will distract the audience long enough to forget that these movies are objectively terrible.

I sort of hate that he's right."
Cracked.com reviews the trailer for Fast And Furious 5.

First rule of Hollywood: Everything explodes.

Let's face it: Everything's better with explosions. A good shot of Stuff Blowing Up will save having to write many pages of character development and inventive language. Television scripts are short. Shortcuts are taken.

There is a pretty good chance the audience has already seen something blow up at least once during a typical day of television.

Note, however, that while we mere mortals react to explosions with some combination of shock and awe, if the folks on-screen are not so close to the blast they're surfing the shock wave away from the epicenter, they'll probably be strolling coolly off in slow motion, not even deigning to turn their heads to acknowledge things going to Hades behind them. From this, we can also infer that if one does not grant an explosion power by looking at it, it cannot strike you down with a piece of shrapnel. If they foolishly glance at an explosion, they may still survive by running from it and jumping, but are much more likely to get killed.

A Super-Trope involving:


If only some characters in a work use it, can lead to Follow the Chaos. Compare Kill It with Fire.

Examples of Stuff Blowing Up include:


Advertising[edit | hide | hide all]


Anime and Manga[edit | hide]

  • Three key phrases can be used to succinctly sum up Blame!: Walking the Earth, Amazing Architecture and Stuff Blowing Up.
  • The final episode of Excel Saga features Nabeshin espousing the philosophy that "Explosions fix everything!", then giving a graphic demonstration: a fused Excel and Hyatt are returned to their original bodies when he dynamites the room they're standing in.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, this is Nanoha's solution to practically everything. Humongous Mecha Cosmic Horror on a rampage? Blow it up. Student not following orders? Blow her up. Need to make friends? Blow them up. Need to save daughter? Blow her up. Some people forgot to equip brakes? Active Guard with Holding Net. There are some things Full Power Total Destruction can't solve, but for everything else, there's Starlight Breaker.
  • In Speed Grapher, main character Tatsumi Saiga adquires the power to make anything blow up by taking a picture of it. He then decides to save the girl who gave said power to him, Kagura Tennouzou.
  • Armored Trooper VOTOMS loves blowing stuff up, especially Scopedogs, but just about anything is fair game.
  • In Ranma ½, Akane tries to get some hard-boiled eggs by popping a tray of about a dozen or so in the microwave. It explodes spectacularly, blasting its own door off its hinges with such force, the shockwave knocks Ranma (a powerful martial artist) off his feet and the door itself breaks through the plumbing, flooding the kitchen.
    • This could be Truth in Television, as when you put eggs in microwaves, they do actually explode. Violently. Seriously kids, Don't Try This At Home.
    • Earlier, in the OAV version of the same story, Kasumi reminisces about her childhood and how she couldn't cook anything either—up to, and including, setting a pot of boiling water ablaze.
  • At the end of The Movie of Space Runaway Ideon, the Ideon explodes so hard it takes down a galaxy with it.
  • In Super Dimension Fortress Macross (and a few of its sequels,) the first part of the Daedalus Attack consists of the title mecha punching into an enemy ship. The second part consists of deploying lots and lots of Humongous Mecha from the "fist" to deliver a Macross Missile Massacre within the ship's interior, causing it to explode spectacularly.
  • In Robotech: The Shadow Chronicles Ariel has a vision of Space station Liberty being blown up Space station Liberty really is blown up, with blast radius of hundreds of kilometers - wiping out the Haydonite Fleet.
  • Naturally, this trope is Nice Holystone's one true love. She even has explosives stored in her eye socket.
  • This is the standard response of Louise (of Zero no Tsukaima) after she gets magic. And even slightly before...
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is particularly fond of filling the screen with explosions. Namely, if something is pierced with a drill, it explodes. The first Big Bad is defeated by getting a hole DETONATED on his torso, and the second one EXPLODES SEVEN TIMES.
    • Don't forget that it opened with a zooming space-galaxy-thing shot...which then blew up. Then there were lots more explosions. Really, with a start like that you should've expected this sort of thing.
      • And then we have the volcano that spontaneously explodes when Kamina and Simon combine for the last time. The movies had the Chouginga Dai-Gurren-Dan create a Galaxy-sized volcano, for the sole purpose of making it explode seconds later, due to their own pure awesomeness that summoned it in the first place.
        • When the Dai-Gun Doten Kaizan was destroyed, it was done in parts. First Guame's part, due to the thousands of beams pulled after Gurren-Lagann, then Cytomander's, then Adiane's and finally Viral's part, by a Giga Drill Breaker... all from the inside. Safe to say, the recurring explosion looked fucking awesome, and somehow missed Viral, despite the Giga Drill also hitting him in the head. From below. And he survived being inside a giant mecha that blew up several times.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion has a particularly awesome explosion in End of Evangelion when Asuka in Unit 02 throws a battleship at a bunch of tanks.
  • In Axis Powers Hetalia, one of Hong Kong's hobbies is to detonate firecrackers, according to his profile. More than one fanwork goes further and depicts him as a full-blown explosives expert.
  • The "Cowboy Funk" episode of Cowboy Bebop involves the crazed Teddy Bomber; who blows up buildings throughout the episode (the last one nearly taking Spike and the cowboy Andy with it). Jet even states that the reason why no one goes after Teddy Bomber is because they don't want to get blown up.
  • Slayers plays with this a lot. To the point that by the beginning of the second season, as soon as hot-tempered ultra-powerful sorceress Lina Inverse starts chanting her most powerful spell (which usually results in mile wide craters, at least), the other characters are running for the hills and trying to evacuate civilians.
  • Deidara is an awesomely insane Mad Bomber who enjoys blowing things up with clay. In fact, he met his demise by self-detonation.
    • And in the first Naruto film the Big Bad, Doto, blows up his own fortress for no apparent reason.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Solf J. Kimblee is an alchemist whose power is to turn things into bombs. He thoroughly enjoys himself doing so.
    • Not to mention Roy Mustang. Things go boom when he snaps his fingers. Literally. He enjoys it less than Kimblee though.
  • One Contractor in Darker than Black was a little boy who could blow up anything he'd left handprints on. This was impressive enough when the results were seen from a distance or when he was just using gravel as cherry bombs, but when he marked everything in the room with handprints? Yeesh.
  • Gadgeteer Genius that she is, Skuld of Oh My Goddess! could probably drum up a flamethrower from old engine parts, or a disintegrator ray from a disassembled TV set, but, nope, she relies on bombs. AND HOW!
  • Dragon Ball Z is made of this trope by the end of the Frieza saga. Planets get blown up left and right.
  • The preferred method of dealing with Genetic engineering mishaps in Blood Plus is 'Option D', which means dropping missiles on the affected area. On a smaller scale, Kai uses special bullets which ultimately cause parts of Chiropterans to explode.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: This is how Homura planned on defeating Walpurgis Night. Using her Hammerspace, or stuff she just put there ahead of time, she attacks with hundreds of rocket launchers, mortars, mobile artilleries, and a building covered wall-to-wall with explosives. Too bad none of it helped.
    • Also note that this was her original shtick in previous timelines, she relied exclusively on homemade explosives until one of her teammates complained about stuff blowing up in front of them. So she started stealing guns from the local Yakuza.
  • Zeorymer's Dimensional Coupler Cannon warps space to blow stuff up directly. Its Meioh attack creates a Sphere of Destruction visible from space.
  • Dirty Pair: Pretty much the entire point of the series.


Comedy[edit | hide]

  • Humor columnist Dave Barry described his interest in Exploding Things in a note in Dave Barry Talks Back:

"I don't wish to toot my own horn, but I definitely deserve to win several Nobel Prizes for the ground-breaking scientific work I've done in the field of exploding things. Since I wrote my first report, several years ago, about a snail that exploded in a restaurant in Syracuse New York, I have received literally thousands of letters from alert readers sending me newspaper clippings about exploding ants, pigs, trees, yogurt containers, potatoes, television sets, finches, whales, municipal toilets, human stomachs, and of course cows."

    • Dave Barry was rather disappointed to find out that the medical discovery of "exploding head syndrome" did not mean "the actual explosion of a person's head, ideally Barry Manilow's in concert."
      • "... you wake up in the middle of the night having 'a violent sensation of explosion in the head.' Big deal. We get that all the time, but you don't see us whining to the Lancet. You see us making a mental note to drink gin from smaller containers."
    • He also, in what has to be one of his best-ever articles, popularized the exploding whale incident in Oregon. This took place in 1970, long before Barry wrote about it, but it's through his article that most people know about it.


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • This is pretty much the job description of the Nextwave squad, and they love it.

Elsa Bloodstone:"They explode! My life has taken on new meaning!"

    • This is pretty much exactly the author's description of the comic, too.

Warren Ellis: "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."

  • In the Hellboy story Wake the Devil, the vampire Count Giurescu and the cavalry horse he's riding explode into skeletal parts when Hellboy hits them with the post that he's been tied to. Naturally, though, that isn't the end of it.

Hellboy: That's interesting. No matter how hard you hit them, horses don't usually explode... vampires either, for that matter.

  • Tinus Trotyl was all about this trope and Non-Fatal Explosions.
  • This is the main power of at least 2 X-Men characters: Remy "Gambit" LeBeau, and Tabitha "Boom-Boom" Smith. Gambit charges objects (usually normal playing cards) with explosive energy, while Boom-Boom creates hand-held balls of similar power.
  • Sin City features a grenade-thrower whose grenades emit massive explosions that are strong enough to send cars flying... despite the fact that grenades don't work that way.
  • In All Fall Down, Count Von Deadly goes out this way, when he loses the ability to control his magic powers.
  • In a Deadpool one-shot, he wants to hire a filmmaker to shoot a movie on his life (by the way, unusually for Deadpool, this is a pretty serious story, where the fourth wall remains intact). When he attends the premiere, he's utterly disappointed that the story of his life was essentially turned into this trope.

Deadpool: Aww, c'mon! Was it explosion discount week in Hollywood?


Fan Fic[edit | hide]

I nodded to myself and finished the tag I was drawing. Then stared at the huge pile that had materialised while I had been thinking.
"Got a little carried away?" Shikamaru asked dryly.
"Don't be silly," I said airily. "There's no such thing as too much explosives." Granted, explosive tags were usually fairly expensive and most ninja never used more than one or two per fight. But since I made my own, that didn't matter to me.
"Just what are you planning to blow up?" he asked. "Because I need to know when to make sure I have an alibi."


Film[edit | hide]

  • What happens in every action movie ever made to the point where it's a genre defining characteristic.
  • Star Wars and the Death Stars, baby (in this case, the stations themselves, not their targets). You'd think a reactor would have fail-safes so that if containment was breached or the reaction controls were destroyed it would automatically shut down, rendering the station lifeless, but no, it goes kablooie. And it is sweet.
    • The first Death Star has an excuse - it was seconds away from firing a full-power, planet-destroying blast. Do you have any idea just how much energy would have been built up in the reactor at that point? It has to go somewhere. The second Death Star has less of an excuse, but the superlaser was in use, albeit only as an anti-ship weapon.
      • The second Death Star was unfinished at the time.
      • The novel Death Star explained the colossal explosion: hypermatter reactors of a size large enough to power the Death Star superlaser are experimental technology. The Battle Lance hypermatter testbed ship, with an unusually large one as a trial run for the Death Star's weapon, had an unknown screwup with its reactor, and suddenly and permanently ceased existing.
    • The X-Wing Expanded Universe books like to describe exactly how each TIE fighter that's shot down explodes, in exquisite detail. Other stuff blows up quite frequently also. Lampshaded by this quote:

Donos: "Pretty. What do we blow up first?"
Wedge: "Write that down. That ought to be the Wraith Squadron motto."

    • For that matter, Every TIE Is A Pinto. Witness tiny ships like TIE fighters exploding into fireballs, most noticeably when Han takes out the last one in Episode IV, resulting in a massive multi-stage explosion from something that carries very little fuel and no exploding weapons. In the Expanded Universe it's explained they don't even have any internal life support (it's built into the pilots' suits), so there's no atmosphere to burn.
  • The finale of Suspiria has the whole Academy blowing up bit by bit, starting with a ceramic panther and then ending up with a classic explosion with fire.
  • Played for laughs in UHF during the Rambo parody scene, when air-to-air missiles fired from a helicopter cause giant structures such as the Eiffle Tower to explode, and the main character uses a bow-and-arrow to cause an enemy soldier to explode.
  • Michael Bay demands things to be awesome. And by 'awesome', he means 'stuff blowing up'.
    • It's a shame he didn't blow up the tiger.
      • There is a version where he blows up the Awesome Verizon Guy. Is that enough?
      • Apparently he saves the tiger-splosions for his attack tigers.
    • In his work on the Transformers movies, he's strived to outdo himself: the rendering of a giant robot caused a computer to overheat and catch fire! Although it didn't explode. Yet.
  • James Bond has the usual exploding vehicles, villain lairs and general buildings of any action movie. And Q usually arms him with mines or some sort of exploding gadget (such as exploding toothpaste and a pen-grenade).
    • Don't forget the video game, Golden Eye: 007, where—shot enough times--everything explodes.
    • At the climax of Live and Let Die, the villain -- rapidly pumped full of high-pressure CO2—explodes.
  • In Independence Day, the aliens apparently have firestorm cannons that blow up famous landmarks.
  • The climax of the movie version of Stephen King's Firestarter fits this trope quite well.
  • At the end of Michaelangelo Antonioni's Zabriskie Point, a luxury designer house, built way out in the desert, explodes for no discernible reason whatsoever. Since this is a late-60s art film, with psychedelic dream sequences and a Pink Floyd soundtrack, it is probably an Angst Nuke played out in the head of the young woman protagonist watching it. It is worthy of note that this was once voted "Best Cinematic Explosion Ever". And just in case you miss it, the explosion is shown several times, and topped off with a trippy slo-mo montage of various domestic items being blown sky-high, all set to "Careful with that Axe, Eugene."
  • The Joker in The Dark Knight really likes explosions:

Joker: See, I'm a man of simple tastes. I like dynamite... and gunpowder... and gasoline! Do you know what all of these things have in common? They're cheap!

  • The Day After is a powerful Deconstruction, thanks to multiple nuclear missiles fired at Kansas City and Whiteman Air Force Base, resulting in a huge monstrous fireball that vaporizes all living things within its reach, and knocks over every building (the latter done via stock footage of the 1950s of real nuclear bomb tests).
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy trailer, framed as a Hitchhiker's Guide entry on movie trailers, featured "the requisite montage of explosions, followed by a woman in a bikini."
  • "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" As well as the van, the film heavily features three minis among its vehicles. The gang dispose of them by letting them fall off cliffs, whereupon the third mini blows up before hitting the ground.
  • Speed Racer has loads and loads of gratuitous explosions, but the whole movie is built on rule of cool and car-fu so no one really cares.
  • ZE KVICK FUSE!?!
  • "Knock down THAT wall, knock down THAT wall, and knock down THAT farging wall!" BOOM! "Now, I'm really mad. This is farging war!"
  • "It's gonna be big!!!" "Is it gonna be today?!?"
    • The 2nd movie ends with a literal truckload of high-explosives (2.5 tons, to be exact) blowing up, along with the oil refinery where it was parked. It leaves a huge crater.
    • The 3rd movie involves Burt's truck and house blowing up.
  • Der Clown's love for spectacular explosions is continued in the movie Payday which features an Autobahn being blown up over its entire width with hand grenades, sending police cars flying, and an aircraft bombed with gold bars so it turns into one big giant fireball.
  • Swordfish begins In Medias Res with a bank full of booby-trapped hostages. The police, being Too Dumb to Live, attempt to "rescue" one, despite her terrified resistance. The resulting explosion takes out dozens of cars and cops in Bullet Time.
  • About half of XXX is made of Stuff Blowing Up. Lots of it.
  • The whole premise of Steven Spielberg's 1941.
  • About half of The Marine is made of Stuff Blowing Up. Lots of it.
  • The Star Trek reboot features things exploding. Many things exploding. Explodily. Which were produced by Industrial Light and Magic. And it was awesome.
  • The Die Hard film series is notable for having bigger and bigger explosions in each installment. Summing it up: the first has a floor of a building. The fourth has an entire building.
  • Tim from Monty Python and the Holy Grail introduces himself with various explosions. Perhaps that's why they used coconuts instead of horses.
  • Koyaanisqatsi has sequences of quarry blasting, nuclear bomb tests, air-to-ground ordnance tests, vacant buildings being demolished, consumer durables fitted with explosives and an unmanned rocket being destroyed in flight with an extended take of the flaming pieces descending. All set to the Philip Glass soundtrack. And it's awesome in a sad sort of way.
  • This scene from Jaws 5: Cruel Jaws is possibly the most contrived and WTF-enducing way to slip an explosion into a film ever.
  • Toho are the masters of this, showcased not only in their Kaiju films (Especially Godzilla), but several of their disaster films as well.
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall. It definitely does not get torn down at the end.
  • In Poseidon, one of the main characters pushes a cannister into the bow thruster, so that they can escape through it. Somehow, despite only damaging the thruster motor, a huge fireball is thrown out of both ends of the thruster. (Also note, when the bow thruster was pushing starboard, the air was being pushed into the room. It was being sucked out when it started pushing to port. Since in either situation, air should just be sucked in one end of the thruster and blown out the other, there seems to be no reason for this. Air pressure in the thruster room should remain neutral, though there would be draughts.)
  • The alternate ending of Apocalypse Now.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • In Havemercy, Royston's Talent is making things explode. He manages to state this in the wordiest way possible.
  • While he was generally on the side of huge explosions being a bad thing, H. Beam Piper not only nuked a major city in Uller Uprising, Space Viking (one of the most Badass names in literature) featured three uses of the Bethe-cycle bomb, commonly known as the "hellburner." What does this do, you ask? This creates A MINIATURE SUN WHICH LASTS SEVERAL HOURS in the target area, destroying everything within about a thousand miles. Anyone pack the marshmallows? The craters are still smoking roughly two weeks later.
    • Later in the same book, during a space battle an enemy cruiser rolls a series of natural 20s on its saving throws and actually survives several hits from nuclear antiship missiles. Frustrated beyond endurance, the hero's gunner smacks it with a planetbuster bomb. The resulting explosion lit up the sky for an entire hemisphere of the planet they were orbiting at the time.
  • In Soul Music by Terry Pratchett, there's a dramatic scene near the beginning when a wooden carriage is speeding along a narrow mountain road. The carriage misses a turn and crashes far below in the canyon, exploding on impact. (With the mandatory wheel rolling away from the wreckage, which is, in accordance with ancient narrative tradition, on fire.)
    • Blowing anything (especially themselves) up is very much a staple of the Ankh-Morpork Alchemists' Guild. Well, that and turning lead into gold gold into less gold.
    • In Hogfather, the wizards of Unseen University make the ultimate hangover cure by tossing together every normal hangover cure they can think of, and three magic spells. The final ingredient, provided by Munstrum Ridcully, is Wow-Wow Sauce, a condiment that contains two-thirds of the making of gunpowder. The other wizards, seeing this trope coming, hide behind the furniture. When Ridcully upends the entire bottle, nothing happens. It's only as Ridcully is chiding his colleagues' lack of backbone when the fireball erupts.
  • Subverted at one point in Fleet of the Damned by Allan Cole and Chris Bunch, when an interstellar PT boat crashes and the safety mechanisms work:

Sten's hand was poised over the emergency power cutoff breaker when the ship's computer decided that it might be dying but preferred something less Wagnerian than what would happen, and beat Sten to it.

  • The Lord of the Rings: "Then there was a crash and a flash of flame and smoke. The waters of the Deeping-stream poured out hissing and foaming: they were choked no longer, a gaping hole was blasted in the wall."
  • In the Harry Potter series, this is the result if the Killing Curse (Avada Kedavra) hits an inanimate object instead of its intended target, it will explode.
    • Played for laughs in the sports sections. Making fun at the fact that Americans Hate Soccer, they have an alternate sport to the popular wizard-esque football Quidditch: Quodpot, in which the players try to catch an explosive quaffle and not let it fall down.
  • Matthew Reilly: This is pretty much his signature style. Hell, by the third book of his Shane Schofield Trilogy this was being lampshaded all over the place.
  • In Wizard and Glass, the fourth book in the Dark Tower series by Stephen King, Roland et al. blow up an entire oil field. It is impressive.
  • The Dresden Files: It's not a proper day in the life of Harry Dresden if something hasn't exploded. Also, the premise of one of the best Batman Cold Open beginnings ever.

"The building was on fire, and it wasn't my fault."

    • Much later on, when he's told that his duel has to stay within the confines of the arena, his response is, "Well, I have this thing with buildings..."
  • In the finale of Darkness Visible we get Marsh throwing a bottle of pyroglycerine from the dome of St Paul's Cathedral, with predictably messy results for the crowd of bad guys below.
  • Each of the Draconian races from Dragonlance die in...inconvenient ways, including one breed that explodes on death.

Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • Monty Python's Flying Circus blew lots of things up just for the fun of it. "The Exploding Version of the 'Blue Danube'" speaks for itself. No less explosive is the ever-popular "How Not To Be Seen" sketch, which ends in an orgy of Stock Footage explosions. Episode 16 has a Running Gag of random exploding animals, including That Poor Cat (offscreen). Other exploding things in the series include a penguin on a television set and Mrs. Niggerbaiter, whose friend's son says after she spontaneously explodes, "Don't be so sentimental. Things explode every day."
  • The Myth Busters usually go out of their way to make sure something gets blown up, set on fire, or otherwise destroyed at least once an episode. Routinely lampshaded to the point where, for one season, host Jamie Hyneman's introductory credit clip was of him declaring "Jamie want big boom!"
    • Possibly the most extreme example is when they blew up a spare, nearly unsalvageable cement mixer with a ridiculous amount of explosives, which required the FBI's assistance, and that everything within a mile of the blast zone be shut down (including a portion of a nearby highway). They openly admitted it had nothing to do with the myth they were testing (whether you could use dynamite to clean the slag from the interior of a cement mixer), and was just a big boom.
      • That was also the scariest explosion they'd ever done. They were standing more than a mile away, but realized they may have miscalculated when pieces of the truck were still landing behind them.
      • They topped that explosion while testing the myth that you could use the pressure generated by an explosion to create a diamond. Vaporizing the cement truck used 800 pounds of explosives. This time they used 5,000 pounds, and it left a crater. (It made diamonds all right, though they were kind used for industrial processes, not gemstone-quality ones.)
    • One spectacular explosion was not expected, or wanted. Unfortunately, the attempt to redo the JATO car myth in "Supersized Myths" ended prematurely when the rockets malfunctioned.
    • And of course they produced a montage of explosions in the series that was set to Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture".

Jamie: "That's what we do on Mythbusters, we blow [[[Sound Effect Bleep]]] up."

      • With that in mind, it says something about the show that awesome explosions are the second most interesting thing it has going for it.
  • Power Rangers, its parent show Super Sentai, its sister show Kamen Rider, heck, Tokusatsu in general does this a lot. In the Power Rangers fandom, they're known as "Kalishplosions" after Bruce Kalish, an executive producer who used them to the point of absurdity. (For example, Operation Overdrive has two villains point their weapons at each other. Point. Then the scenery explodes just because.)
    • This came under some incredibly heavy lampshading in RPM's episode "Ranger Blue". When given the opportunity to ask questions about the Ranger tech, Ziggy asks:

Ziggy: Sometimes when I morph, I can't help but notice this gigantic explosion right behind me for no apparent reason.

This, combined with the fact that gratuitous booms were a Chekhov's Gag brought up later in the episode, has earned them the second nickname of "Ziggysplosions".
  • Every time a caravan is used on Top Gear, the presenters make a point to blow it up at the end. Of course, when they went on a full-blown caravan holiday they set it on fire and it went a little further than expected. It ended with them towing the burnt-out shell of the caravan back to London.
    • Clarkson also directly invoked the trope when challenged to make an advert for a VW car, inserting random explosions into sequences such as a funeral.
  • British show Brainiac ended most episodes with an "explosive of the week" segment, where three scantily clad women set up an explosive, detonated it, and gave the explosion a score. Other seasons had similar gags, such as a golf pro putting into a hole to cause a trailer to blow up, and various No Celebrities Were Harmed style setups like "Tina Turner and her Bunsen Burner," all of which ended with something blowing up. The show also seemed to try and throw thermite in at any excuse they could come up with.
    • One of the show's stated goals is to destroy as many caravans as possible (until recently, it shared a presenter with Top Gear).
  • Castle blew up Kate's apartment. She survives.
  • Farscape delivers many explosions, probably the most impressive being when they ignited an inhabited moon's atmosphere. Inverted in one two-parter, where their plan is to cause Scorpius' Commander Carrier to slowly implode by Talyn sacrificing himself by Starbursting inside. They opt for this instead of the explody route because this means that most of the Command Carrier's crew will have a chance to escape. But this still causes a lot of burst pipes and other Stuff Blowing Up, which leads to some Nightmare Fuel when something explodes in a character's face, instantly burning off most of their skin and hair. Oof.
  • Lost has blown up, to date: some of the airplane wreckage, Danielle's cabin, Arzt, the Swan station, Michael's raft, the Flame station, the submarine, a bunch of Others, one of the mercenaries, and an entire freighter. Good thing there's so much dynamite and C-4 on the island!
    • Kate blew up her drunken abusive father after putting him to sleep.
    • Eko tried to blow up the Swan's blast doors, but they call them blast doors for a reason! There was still a big explosion, though.
    • It was a meme at Television Without Pity that John Locke blows things up.
    • Ilana has blown up (leaving her backstory a complete mystery, with just four episodes left). And the rest of the dynamite, along with the Black Rock.
    • Sayid was also killed by an explosion.
  • The Thunderbirds titles end with a spectacular set of explosions to tell you that it's made with Supermarionation. Most Gerry Anderson shows seem to have something exploding in their titles, but Thunderbirds is definitely the most spectacular. Of course most episodes of Gerry Anderson shows usually involve large amounts of pyrotechnics at some point as well.
    • A couple of favorites to watch out for:
      • Thunderbirds: the Australian atomic reactor (vast magnesium flash and white mushroom cloud)
      • An airliner crashing on takeoff in Captain Scarlet (properly dusty and smoky, not much of a fireball, but a visible shockwave. Nice).
  • The Muppet Show had Crazy Harry, who would show up whenever someone would say "dynamite". Or "explosion". Or, once, "fish". He would then press down on a plunger trigger, and things would go boom. Presumably, the entire stage was always wired, just in case.
    • It wasn't just Harry. Different Muppets would explode, sometimes precluded by a declaration to 'Blow their tops', sometimes without warning. Kermit even admitted to explosions being one of the show's trademarks.
      • The writers of The Muppet Show had three rules as to how to end a sketch quickly: Blow something up, eat something, or throw penguins around.
  • Stargate Atlantis features an episode where characters get infected with explosive tumors, turning them into unwitting suicide bombers. The awesomeness of the episode is of course reduced by the fact that people die, and is completely pooched when Beckett dies at the end thanks to gratuitous Idiot Ball.
    • In fairness, he was warned, the other characters tried to stop him, and he wanted to prove he was a bad-ass doctor who could solve any medical issue.
    • SG-1 also blows things up quite frequently, generally alien ships. Teal'c once commented about a show-within-a-show:

Teal'c: I do not understand why everything in this script must inevitably explode.

      • In one episode, Sam Carter blows up a sun.
  • It's a rare episode of Burn Notice that doesn't feature something blowing up.
  • Reno 911 is known to feature gratuitous explosions in unlikely circumstances. For example, in one episode, Deputy Junior gingerly disposed of the feces of a police dog that had accidentally consumed a large amount of C4 explosive. Lieutenant Dangle then unknowingly tossed something into the garbage can, causing a massive, fiery explosion.
  • In the SCTV recurring sketch Farm Film Report, its hick critics preferred films with this trope ("Blowed up real good!"). They loved Scanners and were awfully disappointed with Antonioni's Blowup for not actually having stuff blowing up in it (they did like Zabriskie Point though). They also had every celebrity interview end with the celebrity essentially willing themselves to blow up, and would end their show with the catchphrase "May the Good Lord take a likin' to ya and blow ya up real soon!" And they would themselves explode.
  • An honorary spot for this trope goes to the German action TV series Alarm Fuer Cobra 11. A series about a team of highway cops in which cars explode on the slightest impact with other vehicles walls, trees or anything that touches something else than their wheels. (Examples here.) Even a car just scraping a tunnel wall would explode just giving the driver enough time to bail out of the vehicle and run away. In later seasons of the show the directors cut down on the vehicle explosion rate.
  • On The Daily Show, voting is so awesome, it explodes.
  • "[...] Their songs are, on the whole, very simple and usually follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon which then explodes for no adequately explored reason."
  • Years before Spike TV came out, Saturday Night Live featured a sketch called "The Man Channel" which contained nothing but clips of Stuff Blowing Up (mostly cars driving off cliffs) in Slo Mo.
    • When Linda Hamilton hosted, she had a monologue stating she wasn't Sarah Connor. It mostly goes "here's my school... * kaboom* I bought this house after Beauty and The Beast... * kaboom* ". Exception is a Man On Fire ("oh, my first boyfriend").
  • The opening scene of the season 2 premiere of Shark ended with a bus containing a witness to a mob hit exploding just outside of the courthouse. It wasn't hugely relevant to the plot, but it was lovingly replayed in slow motion several times throughout the episode, both before and after commercial breaks. Well, it was quite a lovely explosion.
  • Even low action quotient teen mystery drama Veronica Mars managed to have a plane blow up.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles absolutely loves explosions. But being a Terminator series, that's just sensible.
  • The Discovery Channel TV show Destroyed In Seconds is all about this Trope.
  • One Comedy Channel ad for "Super Sitcoms" featured at least two cars exploding. All it needs now is footage of a giant robot, and we have the new Awesome Channel.
  • Torchwood blew up bits of Cardiff in "Exit Wounds" and the Elaborate Underground Base and Jack Harkness himself. in the Children of Earth miniseries.
  • Things have a distinct tendency to explode around the Doctor - and by "things", we mean anything from computers to (on thankfully rare occasions) entire planets. He's actually disappointed when Every Car Is a Pinto doesn't happen in "The Sontaran Stratagem". His companions are generally there to help minimise collateral damage, but Ace bucked the trend by bringing her own supply of home-made explosives (Nitro-9) on her travels. The Doctor tended to discourage this...except when it was useful to him ("Hand me some of that Nitro-9 you're not carrying").
    • Naturally, this was lampshaded on occasion, like this scene from "The Pirate Planet":

Romana": What about the Bridge and the time dams?
Doctor: Bridge and time dams, K9?
K9: Piece of cake, master. Blow them up.
Romana: isn't that a bit crude?
Doctor: Well - it's a bit crude, but immensely satisfying.

  • The Season 3 finale of Buffy involves a fight vs. a giant demon that was invulnerable to anything less than the force of an erupting volcano. The Scooby Gang decides that several tons of ANFO[2] should be an adequate substitute, which is why Sunnydale High School needed four years to be rebuilt.
  • Related to the above, in the commentary for the pilot episode of Firefly, Joss said he hadn't had so much fun since blowing up Sunnydale High during the explosion-ful opening war sequence.
  • There is also a TV show called "Explosions Gone Wrong", where they explain the causes behind disastrous explosions. These are typically explosions at places that produce or store volatile chemicals. One of the segments includes a storage area for pressurized gas cylinders.
  • Keeping Up Appearances is a prissy comedy of manners. A church gets blown up.
  • Deconstruction in aussie soap Offspring. Where the main character's stalker ex-hubbie repeatedly blows up her possessions in a misguided attempted to win her back. Not Everything Is Better With Explosions it seems.
  • Ghoulardi was famous for blowing up toys, model cars, etc. on the air. Many of these things were sent in by his faithful viewers.
  • The eventual fate of the space simulator on Community.
  • Babylon 5: Sheridan's answer to the capital city of the Shadows is one medium-sized starship and a gigaton of nuclear explosives. The results are predictable.
  • The ability to blow things up is actually Piper's power in Charmed. It's explained as the natural progression of her first power to stop time: at first she halted molecular movement, and now she can accelerate it.
  • The Great Game in Sherlock.

Machinima[edit | hide]

  • Parodied in the Red vs. Blue Season 3 DVD in which the intro features nothing but explosions from the first three seasons, then cutting to Grif who's excited about how cool it is.
    • Reconstruction plays this fairly straight. One particular sequence of note is where Agent Washington disposes of Agent South's body by piling a bunch of exploding crates next to it and shooting at them.


Music[edit | hide]


Newspaper Comics[edit | hide]

  • Little Nemo in Slumberland always had fireworks being set off in some way on the Fourth of July.


Radio[edit | hide]

  • The Goon Show: "You rotten swine, you! You have deaded me again with the dreaded dynamite!"
    • Not to mention the exploding taxis...
      • "Drop that explosion!" [BOOM]
      • Or how to break the world altitude record for pianos.
      • Or Major Bloodnok, who was pretty much a walking, talking series of explosive sound effects.


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • If something doesn't go kaboom at some point in Feng Shui, you're doing things wrong. The Jammers even have it as their battle cry: "BLOW THINGS UP! BLOW THINGS UP!"
  • Similarly, the Death Leopard society in Paranoia has "blow shit up and have fun" as its entire policy. Also tends to happen when: the Troubleshooters use grenades, the Troubleshooters have grenades used on them, something overloads, something that's intentionally explosive explodes, someone Logic Bombs Friend Computer and causes a reactor overload, a T-Shooter pyrokinetically sets off a grenade in someone else's bag while both are in a small room,[3] someone fires too many shots before changing laser barrels, or the GM is getting bored and wants to get the session over with.


Theme Park[edit | hide]


Toys[edit | hide]


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Act of War counts with a graphic engine capable to bring some impressive explosion effects, with everything so carefully designed to be as realistic as possible the game's stuff blowing up looks awesome, even after all these years it can go toe to toe with some other Real Time Strategy games.
  • One of the most useful Brush powers in Okami involves drawing Cherrybombs to blow up an enemy Imp or two, gain access to secret caves, & fluster the natives. You get this power from Bakugami, a boar god.
  • This seems to be pretty much the motivation of the character Haggard of Battlefield: Bad Company for joining the US Army.
    • This is also a good reason to play the actual game, as most of the original environment is destructible, as advertised. It even gives you cosmetic awards for destroying enough walls and trees.
  • With the name Blast Corps, you can't go wrong with the title.
    • Ironically, your job in the game is to prevent something from going boom: An out-of-control radioactive materials carrier that was en-route for disposal. It is now very unstable, and will explode if it hits anything. You stop it from exploding by destroying anything in it's way.
  • The Bomberman franchise is all about Stuff Blowing Up. It's even in the name.
  • Same with Missile Command. Shoot things that blow up out of the sky with other things that blow up.
  • Anything and everything explodes in Worms, up to and including the worms themselves.
    • And their graves, too, if you pummel them enough.
  • The Command & Conquer series of course, everything explodes there, sometimes even infantry! from simple grenade explosion and RPG attacks to continental conflagrations capable to send energy signatures to alien civilizations and global altering missiles, trust me, you will enjoy it, in fact, is rated the reason number 1 in the TOP TEN of the series according to this video.
    • Don't forget in Generals: Zero Hour, where there is a general dedicated to everything in his army blowing up in one way or another. To illustrate: This general can get an upgrade where all of his buildings and units explode on command.
  • Half the appeal of Ratchet and Clank is getting to blow up hordes of enemies with progressively larger and more explosion-inducing BFGs. On top of that, practically every enemy in the game explodes when defeated. Even if you just beat them up with a wrench.
  • Supreme Commander and to a lesser extent its spiritual source Total Annihilation, have all units and buildings explode on death, many of which do little damage, though some late game resources generators explode like a Nuke, and all air units do damage when crashing.
  • Lemmings. There's just something therapeutic about clicking the Nuke button after you fouled up a stage and watching your green-haired critters cutely explode en masse. There are also stages where you only get Bombers.
  • World of Warcraft: Goblin Engineering. Honestly, there is only one thing there that doesn't blow up (Goblin Jumper Cables XL), and even that can kill the user.
    • This actually ends up becoming almost a motto to the Goblin Engineers. One NPC somewhere says "It's not about making machines not blow up, it's about making them blow up in the right place."
    • There's a boss in the newest expansion who will happily declare: "Corpse go BOOM! Hahaha."
    • "Nothing says engineering like a 20% failure rate!"
    • To quote Bilgewater vendors: "Goblin products are built to blast!"
    • Meet Fargo Flintlocke, a dwarf who can give Goblins a real run for their money. One of his greetings is most telling, "Ah, scrap th' plan! Just blow somethin up!" He refuses to leave Stormwind unless he has explosives with him, he decides to shorten a plane flight by lighting all his fuel at once, and his method of downing a Horde zeppelin is firing the player out of a cannon onto it, then blowing it up.
  • GoldenEye and Perfect Dark for the Nintendo 64 feature consoles, chairs, tables, plants—basically anything you can find from Office Depot—that blow up real good. In PD, a floating crate that explodes is an important plot element. Fortunately, if it is lost, you can use one of the EXPLODING GUNS to make it through the important point. Yes, one of the guns explodes.
  • This is practically the goal of Just Cause 2. You're overthrowing a corrupt island government using chaos, and the easiest way to make chaos is by Stuff Blowing Up. So lots of stuff will blow up.
  • The Demoman and the Soldier from Team Fortress 2. The former is armed with a grenade launcher and a sticky grenade launcher. The latter is armed with what can only be described as a semi-automatic rocket launcher.
    • The Engineer has some explosions as well. His sentry gun, when upgraded to level three, fires clusters of four rockets in addition to its dual chainguns. The sentry and his other buildings always explode when destroyed, even if by blunt force. This is just a visual effect, however.
    • There's also all Payload/Payload race maps, where the winning team triggers a large explosion; justified as it IS a bomb they are escorting.
    • And the Bombinomicon allows anyone to automatically explode upon death, regardless of cause.
  • Many, many older video games. Even when explosions aren't appropriate. Usually when boss dies, they send out numerous small explosions. Most bizarre examples include:
    • Moon Crystal where bosses, no matter if pirate captain or fake count.
    • Dinosaur Bosses in some versions of Joe & Mac.
    • The bosses in Adventure Island games, who are animals.
  • Crypto, the main protagonist of Destroy All Humans!! makes it very clear that he likes to blow stuff. (Up! Blow stuff up!) So much so, that the DAH! games have more explosions in them than an action movie. "WHEN DO I GET TO BLOW STUFF UP?!" "Pox handles all the technical stuff, I just... blow stuff up." "They look so cool when they go boom and fall down!"
  • In My Sims Kingdom, Dr. F's profile says that he wants to either send a rocket into space, or blow it up; he's not choosy. Indeed, as you arrive, the rocket they're trying to launch blows up. Later, Alexa practically has to restrain him from pressing the self-destruct button while it and its pilot (a human, this time) are in space.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Prison Island explodes as the player characters are leaving it.
  • As a Ninja in Shinobido you can use many explosive stuff, including bombs, mines, explosive toys and explosive sushi. If you use this one, Hilarity Ensues.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, a bug you smoke out sets a fire in a bomb storage building. The results are... predictable.
    • Every enemy that's killed in Twilight Princess seem to explode as well.
    • In The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Seasons, you could use your fire item inside a house filled with bombs too. The results were a little different though.
      • Actually, if you had good enough timing, you could escape that fate. And it's hilarious.
      • Acutally its that you do it once it explodes, Do it twice the king moblin notices it was YOU doing it and have the moblins stun you leaving you to blow up, of course this also happens if you Stay in the building the first time
  • One of the main features of most Vehicular Combat games, e.g. the Twisted Metal series.
  • Despite being a fantasy world, Dwarf Fortress. One of the most tragically wasteful traps in the game is the Booze Bomb, which is essentially a huge heap of barrels, a lever, and a caged fire monster. When goblins reach the barrels, you pull the lever (which should be located in another room, preferably a long way away from the bomb) and the cage releases the fire monster, which hurls a fireball at a goblin. The barrels ignite, and the goblins vanish in the fireball. This can also happen accidentally, say when a burning dwarf decides he needs a beer.
    • The booze bomb is a myth. Fire + booze = non-damaging alcohol mist, not a boom. The goblins die instantly from the all-consuming fireball, not the mist that covers up all the action.
  • The ending of Deadly Creatures. Redneck gas station owner George Striggs is trying to kill one of the protagonists, a scorpion which has repeatedly stung his crotch at this point, with a shotgun. He chases it outside the building and ends up getting spooked by a rattlesnake on top of one of the gas pumps (which is burning at this point). His first reaction is to shoot the snake, and hits the pump in the process. The whole station goes BOOM. You can hear fire engine and ambulance sirens during the credits.
  • The Super Smash Bros. games naturally love stuff going boom, with many character attacks using explosions (Snake's whole repertoire of moves is made up of C4, rocket launchers, landmines, and grenades), and several items that create pretty big bangs as well, such as Bomb-Ombs, Smart Bombs, motion-detecting mines, Electrodes, and exploding crates and barrels.
  • Touhou has this in spades, for good reason, considering the genre. Marisa, in particular, uses her Love Sign: Master Spark to solve all her problems, whether it be finding new spellbooks from other magic users, making new friends, or finding the real path through an illusionary maze.
  • A homebrew game for the Nintendo DS called Brix DS features sticks of dynamite grouped together as a single stick, set atop several grey and black bricks. The object of the game is to remove the grey bricks and to not let the dynamite fall onto the ground; the player must land it on the black bricks. The physics of the game are programmed well, and they become a huge factor after the first two level sets. Where does Stuff Blowing Up come in, then? If the dynamite touches the ground, it explodes, sending any remaining bricks flying off the screen. This can result in some amazingly laugh-out-loud losses. After level set five, bricks that explode on removal show up, which only ups the ante for the humor in losses, despite the increased difficulty.
  • The cannonball in Backyard Soccer, which explodes in the goal.
  • In the Hunt is a Shoot'Em Up where your character is a submarine that only uses explosive torpedoes, Peace Through Superior Firepower/Surface to Air Missiles and depth charges as its attacks. The enemies are mostly machines that use stuff like bombs and missiles on you. The only things that don't go boom are the three organic enemies in the game and environmental terrain.
  • Neverwinter Nights has an "On Death, Explode" script that can be assigned to any custom creature in the game. There is also a lesser variant which produces a "stinking cloud" effect on death.
    • There are also fire traps, which range from "minor" to "deadly" (and beyond "deadly" to "epic"), in terms of the damage they do. Deadly and Epic traps will kill most characters if they aren't immune or highly resistant to fire damage.
  • Left 4 Dead had propane tanks and oxygen tanks that would explode when shot at or set on fire and you could set off a big chain reaction if you made a cluster of them in a small area. The sequel ups the ante by including a grenade launcher.
    • The Sacrifice DLC introduces Explosive Barrels, combining the effects of an explosion and then spreading fire. Custom maps that have a cluster of these barrels are prone to heavy use of this trope.
  • The game Split Second uses this trope as a gameplay mechanic. As you build your power bar, you don't use it to boost or turbo like other racing games. Instead, you activate a Power Play, which is basically a fancy way of saying you make things blow up. Be it a gas station or a airfield watchtower, it goes boom!
  • Halo Two words: Plasma Grenades!
  • Bomb Man and Grenade Man from the Mega Man series specialize in this department.
    • Crash Man and Napalm Man have to count for something too, considering both have bomb launchers for hands...with said explosives prominently displayed emerging from the weapon barrels.
  • Mages in the Dragon Quest series can cast the "Bang", "Boom", and "Kaboom" spells which cause massive explosions that damage all enemies.
  • Explosive rounds in Mass Effect.
    • From Lair of the Shadow Broker: Thane from ME2 has a highly detailed and lengthy method of taking down an enraged Krogan unarmed, but if that proves impossible/ineffective, plan B is a bomb.
  • Jessica Philomele in Mana Khemia carries a large purse containing all kinds of explosive alchemic concoctions, which she promptly proceeds to throw at her enemies during combat.
  • Splosion Man, obviously. You play a manic Action Bomb trying to escape from an underground laboratory complex, causing many, many explosions along the way.
  • At the end of Comic Jumper, Captain Smiley seems to think this is the reason why his comic series is now a roaring success.
  • Garden Gnome Carnage will fill your screen with nonstop crashing sleights, airstrikes, bricks, gold bricks which are even more explosive than regular bricks, and diamond bricks which blossom into huge explosions when they hit the ground.
    • The sequel Hyper Princess Pitch manages to have even more explosions, particularly when your summon the godess of explosions. And even more so when you find the cheat code 'excessive', and even more so when you find the secret stage and unlock Pitch's ultimate move
  • Minecraft has the famous Creeper, an enemy best described as a suicide-bombing leaf monster. On the players' side of things, it also features TNT blocks, which when placed in close proximity with one another (or triggered Creepers) can create chain reactions. Sufficiently large explosions have been known to crash the game and even break the current world's save file.
    • Beds, out of all things, violently explode in a fiery ball when used in the two alternate dimensions.
  • Metal Slug: as a general rule, the more explosions there are on the screen, the better you're doing.
  • The recurring Explosion spell in the Tales (series).

Web Animation[edit | hide]

  • Nearly every scene in the aptly named Flash cartoon The Demented Cartoon Movie ends with Stuff Blowing Up. The planet Earth gets blown up a total of ten times, and over 40 "nuclear explosions" happen, many of them thanks to the words "Zeeky Boogy Doog." * BOOM*
  • You CAN'T sing in the Charlie the Unicorn toons. Kinda lampshaded in the second video.
  • "Curse you, random explosions!"
  • In the G-Mod "action film" Billy Mays Vs. Vince, Vince's favorite way of taunting Billy is blowing his stuff up. Mighty Putty? Blows up a wall. The Ding King? Blows up a car door. Orange Clean? Blows up a dresser. Kaboom!? Drops a lamp on Billy's head. Then blows Billy up.
  • G Mod videos tend to involve lots of explosions, simply because they're so ridiculously easy to set up and film. A good example is Rubber Fruit's videos, which typically feature some perfectly comedy-timed explosions. This is probably the finest example there is (0:50 onwards).
  • The Strong Bad Email "hremail3184" from Homestar Runner. During the email, Strong Bad talks about all different kinds of explosions, such as "those ones with the blast-wavy Saturn-rings that are so popular lately." The email ends with Strong Bad blowing up his own computer.


Web Comics[edit | hide]

The Green Grocer: What would you say the opposite of being banned from shopping is? Being forced to shop? Being banned from selling? Banning someone else from shopping?
Bizarro-Aorist: Exploding.


Web Original[edit | hide]

Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The vast majority of episodes set within the DCAU end with the villain's hideout exploding, for reasons ranging from self-destruct devices to joy buzzers falling into loose wiring. On one of the Batman Beyond commentaries, the creators admitted that whenever they couldn't figure out how to end an episode, they'd just have a building blow up.
    • One noteable example took place nearing the end of Bruce's reunion with Ra's al Ghul, who at this point should have racked up quite a bit of Genre Savvy and was smart enough to install automated fire extingishers into his lair. Unfortunately, once the fires are put out, Ra makes the critical mistake of pronouncing, "It's safe." Sure enough, one loose electrical wire strikes the Lazarus pit, resulting in... well, you know.
    • Mad Stan from Batman Beyond embodies this, and became an Internet meme involving him popping out of somewhere, followed by everything blowing up.

Mad Stan: You think this is a joke? Look around, Batman! Society's crumbling! And do you know why? Information overload, man! As a society we're drowning in a quagmire of vid-clips, e-mail, and sound bytes! We can't absorb it all! There's only one sane solution: BLOW IT UP!

    • From Justice League: Flash rogue and Cloudcuckoolander The Trickster (Voiced by Mark Hamill) comes up with a ridiculous plan to grease the bottom of fake vomit and get the flash to run over it so he slides into a wall of spikes. "And then... Everything explodes!"
    • Another example is in the Superman the Animated Series episode "My Girl" which involves Lex Luthor selling terrorist a gun that makes things blow up like they're been strapped to dynamite.
  • Use of this in the most absurd ways possible is a major Running Gag on Aqua Teen Hunger Force. A specific example is that anything Master Shake throws will make a mini-explosion when it hits the ground (one has to wonder if it's a Super Power or something). The episode "Kidney Car" ends with Carl's head exploding after he has his car destroyed by Shake twice.

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

    • In the golf videogame, Zombie Ninja Pro-Am, not only do most opponents explode when you hit them with a chainsaw or guitar chord them to death, but the golf ball you hit occasionally in between killing people Carl, robotic turkeys from the future, and machine-gun packing tulips? That golf ball will explode if it goes out of bounds, and detonate spectacularly when you finally get it in the hole, presumably a) because the shape of the hole focuses the blast or something but more likely b) Rule of Cool.
  • In Avatar: The Last Airbender, Azula manages this. With a volleyball. They do know Kung Fu, and they use it to it's full extent of What Do You Mean, It's Not Awesome?~.
    • Avatar has also blown up a dam, Zuko's ship on multiple occasions, an abandoned Earth Kingdom city, anything with Combustion Man, anything involving the Day of Black Sun, and Zuko himself (when he practiced lighting bending). All of which just goes to show that you CAN, in fact, combine Stuff Blowing Up and a good plot in the same cartoon, and still come up with a Crowning Moment of Awesome for your animation studio with an extra-special dose of WIN.
  • Beast Wars [along with most of the Transformers cartoons] has a lot of explosions. At least one of the Transformers will be blown up in every episode.
    • Not counting Waspinator, of course, who gets blown to bits in nearly every episode regardless.
    • Rather hilariously, there is actually a Transformer called Landmine. That's right. An alien robot with the name of an explosive.
    • Lugnut has perfected the art of making things explode. Behold! The P.O.K.E!
  • Whenever the supervillain Drakken's hideout doesn't get blown up, Kim Possible almost always remarks how unusual that is.
    • Well, it's tough to make cheese blow up. Even if it's the World's Biggest Block Of Cheese. That one just melted.
  • Family Guy loves to blow stuff up. One episode had Meg racing against an Amish guy on a horse and the pair falls off a cliff. The wagon explodes, then, after a moment of looking nervous, the horse explodes, despite having no signs of injury.
    • In an another episode, Brian and Stewie blow up a house. The explosion is shown from multiple angles.
    • Peter sticks dynamite in a watermelon to give to Meg, calls it a "thanks for being such a sweetie" watermelon, then runs the hell out the room.
  • As the creators of the show have pointed out in commentaries, just about every episode of Futurama ends either with something blowing up or a courtroom scene. Occasionally both.
    • One episode has a scene where they're being chased by giant space wasps. One colides with the hive wall and bursts into a powerful explosion for no reason whatsoever.
  • In The Incredibles, the big robot apparently self-destructs so completely it's reduced to something finer than powder.
    • But wait, there's more. On the "special features" DVD, there is an easter-egg self-parody video that makes homage to the amount of times that things explode in the movie, as well as the buttons that are pressed and the doors that are opened and shut, by stringing them all together to the tune of "The Anvil Chorus" from Verdi's opera Il Trovatore. The sequence ends with this quote- "The Incredibles- no sequence unexploded."
  • Looney Tunes just loves to repeat that same explosion animation whenever the opportunity calls for it. However, the most unique use of that animation is Three Little Bops, where the Big Bad Wolf attempts to blow up (rather than down) the brick house with a large stick of dynamite. To do this, he lights it up from afar (one of the pigs blew out his match when he tries lighting it on the doorstep), but as he rushes back to the brick house, the fuse runs out. Cue the oft-used explosion animation, but rather than move on to the black smoke phase, the animation remains in the red smoke, playing the beginning blast at different points of the screen to the beat of the music, until it finally moves on to the black smoke and the usual fade back to the main animation of the short.
  • At the end of Powerpuff Girls episode "Twisted Sister", fourth Powerpuff Girl Bunny exploded because of the unstable ingredients the other Powerpuff Girls used to make her.
  • Parodied in a Robot Chicken sketch which features a fake trailer for "Michael Bay Presents: Explosions!"
    • MA BA SPLOOM!
  • An episode of The Fairly Odd Parents opens with a displaced rooster crowing to signal the beginning of a new day. After Timmy wishes his life were like an action movie to get rid of the boredom, we reset the episode to the rooster, which explodes.
  • Sealab 2021 features the Sealab blowing up in pretty much every episode.
  • The Simpsons loves to blow things up in ridiculous ways. One of the best occurs when Homer tries to cook Mr. Burns breakfast and everything he tries ends up bursting into flames, even a bowl of cereal.
    • The exploding cereal bit is taken up in The Fairly Odd Parents to illustrate Timmy's Mom's bad cooking.
      • There was also the episode "Action Packed!" where a chicken calls in the day and explodes, Timmy's dad balls up the newspaper and throws it backwards, where it explodes, and then passes Timmy an audio tape asking him to pass the butter, which then self-destructs.
    • And don't forget the Flying Nun. "This isn't funny!"
    • The Simpsons episode with the monorail also had a tree falling on a log cabin, which promptly exploded.
    • Also the truck prominently labelled "Milk" swerving off the road and exploding.
    • And also Hans Moleman's car, which careens off the road towards a tree, halts safely just in front of the tree without as much as a scratch, and then explodes anyway.
    • In one of the Clip Shows, Bart shakes up a beer can that Homer would drink as an April Fool's Joke. So that it would explode (and leak) right in his face. As it turns out, he shook it so hard that the whole house blows up, leaving Homer in a coma for several weeks. Thus, launching the Clip Show. The cops, however, take this poorly.

Bart: April Foo-

  • House Explodes*

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 proceeding on foot. Call in a code 8.
Lou: [on the radio] We need pretzels. Repeat, pretzels.

    • In the eppisode were Sideshow Bob tries to cancel television, when Bart is going to jump from the Wright Brothers plane into the car, first he drops his bag which misses the car, gets run over, then exlpodes.
    • In another episode were for some reason the kids are rampaging through Bart's class, they tip over the teachers desk, wich then explodes into flames.
  • Occurs in a similar and almost as frequent manner on South Park. One of the openings even boasts "MORE EXPLOSIONS!".
    • In the episode "Cartoon Wars" Kyle's big wheel goes flying off a cliff after a chase with Cartman. The toy bike breaks like a toy bike should until it hits the ground, when it promptly explodes for no reason.
  • Raw Toonage parodied in one of the trailers here.
  • Explosions are cool!
  • In the world of SpongeBob SquarePants, falling off a cliff not only merits you an explosion, but a mushroom cloud. Just ask Squidward.
    • And when they try to make a movie, Sandy gets a bit excessive with the fake explosions. 'Did somebody say boom?'
  • In an early episode of X-Men: Evolution, the team has just gotten their hands on a device that needs to be destroyed. Cyclops prepares to blow it up with his eye lasers, when Shadowcat suggests that she can just ruin the device by phasing through it. Everyone else looks at her like she's crazy.
    • Then there's Gambit and Boom-Boom...
  • What does a military do when a skeleton is trying to be Santa Claus, scaring the crap out of the kids? Blow him up with fucking missiles!
  • An early episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes had several robot clowns destroying Miseryville with several explosions. Heloise, watching from a distance, lamets on the fact that she's not there to enjoy it.
  • "'Cause I'm the Evil Midnight Bomber What Bombs At Midnight! Boom, baby, BOOM!"
  • After having his apartment/lair explodes, again, Doofensmirtz of Phineas and Ferb wonders "why does everything blow up so easily?"


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • Above-ground nuclear weapons tests were mostly this, especially later on. After a point, they weren't testing to see if it worked, or what it could do, they were just blowing stuff up for the sake of blowing stuff up. The higher-ups usually justified it as intimidating the filthy communists/capitalist pigs.
    • Tsar Bomba being a 50 megaton atomic bomb that the Russians let off during the Cold War... Could have been 100 megatons, but the Russians were concerned about fallout. They only made and detonated the one... Not practical to put on a plane I guess...
  • Ultimate example: The Big Bang!
    • Properly described, the Big Bang wasn't really an explosion at all, but more like a balloon swelling up at a steady rate. The phrase "Big Bang" was concocted by an advocate of the rival "steady state" cosmological theory, and was intended to poke fun at the notion that the universe arose from a single point's expansion. But the idea of all creation bursting forth from the mother-of-all-Bangs was so captivating that this trope supplanted the swelling-balloon image in popular culture.
  • BLEVEs.
    • Usually backronymed as 'Blast Levelling Everything Very Effectively'.
  • Grain elevator dust explosion, triggered by sparks from seized bearing.
  • In his book Project Orion, George Dyson says of his father who worked on Project Orion, Freeman Dyson, that physicists love explosions. He shares an anecdote about how when he was cooking breakfast on a gas oven, he accidentally turned the gas valve up too high, causing a flash of flame to burst out as his father was entering the room. Freeman's reaction was to say, "Oh good, an explosion!"

Notes

  1. Yes, I think "toast" is an appropriate description.
  2. Ammonium Nitrate and Fuel Oil, aka 'the fertilizer bomb'.
  3. true story