"Explosive weapons are best used when dealing with crowds or in situations where precision is not a high priority."
—Fallout: New Vegas loading screen.
When it comes to Fiction, nearly every weapon can be found as a Weapon of Choice. They can range from the wildly improbable or impractical to the mundane. Somewhere in-between these lie those who use thrown explosives and incendiaries as a weapon of choice.
A person who wields grenades as a weapon of choice will frequently be portrayed as having poor impulse control. They may feel about explosions the same way a Pyromaniac feels about fire. As such, this trope frequently overlaps with Mad Bomber. They may also have a "fiery" or carefree personality. Oddly, there are a small number of grenadiers who are coldly logical and controlled in temperament, perhaps to contrast their fiery and out-of-control weapons. Usually, they favor Grenade Tag for the calculated subterfuge.
In reality, grenades and their ilk are dangerous, unpredictable weapons that are reserved for specific situations where they aren't likely to cause collateral damage. However, in fictionland they can frequently be thrown at any enemy, regardless of range or surroundings, without fear of injury to oneself or one's allies.
This trope will usually only show up in settings which have sufficient technology for thrown explosives to exist, although this isn't always the case.
Anime and Manga
- In the anime Gunsmith Cats, "Minnie" May Hopkins has a slight tendency to use home-made concussion grenades in inappropriate situations. However, she's every bit as skilled in their use as Rally is with handguns. A single one will just leave a couple of gang members stunned for a minute or so. She can use three to blow out a pursuing car's drive shaft. And when she's really pissed off, she'll set off a dozen of them at once, causing extensive damage to whatever building she's in (typically shown with a Discretion Shot of the outside of the building with all the windows breaking and billowing out smoke).
- Nice Hollystone of Baccano! is an explosives expert and keeps numerous grenades on her person. Or in her person. She really likes explosions.
- In the Coyote Ragtime Show, each of Madame Marciano's 12 SISTERs has a Weapon of Choice. One of the smaller ones prefers very large hand grenades.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, Sanosuke's former resistance comrade Katsuhiro Tsukioka employs this tactic, with the aid of flint rings on his fingers to ignite the fuses as and when needed.
- Henya from the Juppongatana uses dynamite sticks to both sustain his high-flying style and attack his opponents.
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn Gokudera is a bomber with the personality to match. Although for firey personality he displays good control over his projectiles.
- Isis in Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force battles through the use of various explosives and other chemicals. This allows her to go toe-to-toe with the villains who have been all but invincible against the previous heroes, as their Anti-Magic doesn't help against getting blown up.
- Jillas in The Slayers, a Gunslinger Fox with a penchant for using any sort of explosive means.
- Karasu from Yu Yu Hakusho has the ability to create a wide variety of organic bombs out of his ki energy, ranging from dynamite sticks to flying eye bombs and trap bear-like mines.
- Minene Uryu from Mirai Nikki, completely in sync with her reputation as terrorist.
- In Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica, Homura Akemi usually fights with explosives.
- Frenda in A Certain Magical Index uses explosives - usually hidden in distinctive stuffed dolls, but sometimes in hand-held missiles - as her weapon of choice.
- There is a grenade-throwing IRA mercenary in the Sin City story "Big Fat Kill". He mentions that while he prefers using grenades, he'll use his knife against Dwight since he killed his friends. At that point, It's Personal.
- Spider-Man's arch enemy, the Green Goblin, and those who followed his designs all use pumpkin-shaped grenades as their weapon of choice. Though they will use explosives not shaped like pumpkins if necessary.
- Malazan Book of the Fallen has Morath munitions which are primitive explosives contained in ceramic jars. Malazan armies use them with devastating results to the enemy. They are carried by sapper specialists who are usually elite soldiers. The regular troops consider sappers to be madmen for their willingness to carry and use the explosives.
- Grenedier, one of the villains from the Kingdom of Champions supplement.
- All three playable characters from Resonance of Fate can equip the "Grenade Box", which allows them to throw grenades, elemental grenades, Molotov Cocktails, or even dog shit.
- Jin from Persona 3 uses grenades as his weapon of choice.
- Alfred Schrödinger from Wild ARMs 3 uses explosives both in and out of battle.
- Ray in Call of Juarez: Bound in Blood can throw dynamite sticks (Thomas can't).
- In Timesplitters: Future Perfect, enemies can only carry one weapon at a time and grenades are treated as a specific weapon (compared to 2, which had some weapons with underslung launchers and various mines but otherwise lacked them, probably because explosions were always an instant kill). Meaning any equipped with grenades will only use grenades. This is Lampshaded in story mode;
Mook Officer: Grenadiers; Use your grenades!
- Everyone in Team Fortress Classic has some sort of grenade tailored to their class, and Crazy Awesome gameplay styles were generated from using them. In Team Fortress 2, only the Demoman lobs grenades around.
- Multiple characters in Bomberman, including the eponymous character, as one might guess from the title.
- In Battle Bugs Ant, Bee and Pill Bug throw bombs. Robber Fly can use a bomb too, but only after stealing it from enemy bugs.
- Various bomb and grenade-related powers can be obtained in Freedom Force. Liberty Lad in particular specializes in them.
- Characters specializing in the Throwing skill in Jagged Alliance 2 can be trained as one of these after they're given a proper supply of grenades. Very useful on night maps: grenades don't give away your position, for one, and the same skill applies to throwing knives, which can One-Hit Kill unaware enemies.
- X-COM soldiers can specialize in grenades, but the game's limit on items that can be carried to the battlefield makes it rather impractical. Aliens make very powerful grenades, and sometimes carry no other weapons.
- Bug!! had the snail boss... which grew a helicopter out of its shell, flew, and started dropping increasingly deadly bombs all over the arena. There were also literal army ants that shot out grenades from their tails.
- Soulcalibur III has the Dagger Create-a-Character style use a small bomb in several of its moves. It is used officially by the Magnificent Bastard Chester from the Alternate Continuity mode Chronicles of the Sword.
- Rip Saber from Slam Masters II, who uses hand grenades against his fellow wrestler rivals.
- Fatman from Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, a bomb expert in both setting and defussing bombs, though he only uses the former skill in his Boss Fight.
- Black Arts Viper in Metal Gear Ghost Babel is also an expert at setting up traps with bombs at incredible speed.
- And predating both, good ole' Red Blaster in Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake, standing in the ceiling and chucking grenades at you.
- All games also provide Snake with usable grenades and even a grenade launcher at times.
- In Super Smash Bros., Snake has a variety of explosives at his disposal. Due to Moral Guardians thinking that kids would be eager to get their hands on that hidden pistol in your bedroom, Nintendo opted to have Snake use explosive weapons (which are rarer) in Brawl. He can use a mortal launcher, C4 packs, frag grenades, claymores, remote control missile launchers, a RPG and, for his Final Smash, a grenade launcher.
- From Panzer Bandit, playable character Ein can throw bombs two-at-a-time or roll a single one towards his target. His Mirror Boss Tsuvai can only throw two bombs in a close mortar-like angle.
- The Thief Assist Character from Magic Sword throws bombs at a high angle, making him somewhat effective against airborne threats.
- Twisted Metal has both the Ricochet (a big spherical black bomb that sends enemies flying when hit) and Remote (more straightforward remote-controlled bomb) pickups introduced in the second game.
- Riot officer Kurtis Stryker from Mortal Kombat, who can throw grenades at two different heights, and even in pairs.
- Cyrax, who debuted alongside him, can throw delayed-explosive grenades at close or far range, which would send the character soaring through the sky.
- The Joker in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe can use bombs in much the same way Cyrax does.
- No-Face in Mortal Kombat Special Forces uses both bombs and a flamethrower to fight.
- Suminagashi from Bushido Blade 2 uses three small bombs as his subweapon.
- The Napalm Bomber from Game Boy's Kung-Fu Master uses incendiary rounds as his gimmick.
- In the Tenchu series, bombs are usually among the selectable items to carry into a mission. They pack a very mean punch, but are usually not as effective due to the difficult to handle and slightly delay if it miss, not to mention the high risk of getting caught in the blast radius, which really hurts for poor Rikimaru/Ayame/etc.
- In terms of characters using bombs, Fatal Shadows has Hitoha, who uses incendiary bombs along his fire gauntlets.
- From the classic Mega Man series there are several Robot Master, like Bomb Man (1), Crash Man (2), Napalm Man (5), Burst man (7), Grenade Man (8) and Commando Man (10).
- Mega Man gains the Napalm Cracker ability from Napalm Man in Rockman 6: Unique Harassment. It can be aimed in eight directions to blow up enemies and blocks to access secret areas. The explosive itself can hit multiple times upon contact.
- Doctrine Dark from Street Fighter EX is themed around using bombs in several ways. And wire. Lots of wire.
- One of the twin Smith Bros. in Sunset Riders is this, chucking bombs at you while the other does the same with candles to try to set you on fire.
- The Engineer profession in Guild Wars 2 can equip a backpack full of assorted types of grenades.
- The Knight class in King Arthurs Gold can carry up to three bombs, which explode in Bomberman fashion and destroy both blocks and enemy units. Interestingly, the thrower can be hit by the explosion (to facilitate bomb-jumping) but not other teammates.
- League of Legends has Ziggs, the Hexplosives Expert. He fits this trope to a T - he carries such a huge amount of bombs that, being a yordle, a member of a teensy furry race, he is more bomb than animal (by mass). He throws them as his basic attack and two of his abilities, one of which produces a whole cluster of them. His ability repertoire is closed by a remotely detonate-able satchel charge and a Mega Inferno Bomb, which is powerful enough to produce a mushroom cloud.
- In Fallout: New Vegas, one can encounter the Powder Gangers, a gang of escaped convicts who favor dynamite and are not afraid to throw it around liberally and in large quantities. Then there's the Boomers, who go from merely favoring bombing everything that opposes them to building a sort of cult of explosives.
- Covert Action has 3 type of grenades that can be thrown or rigged as booby traps or remotely triggered - frag (puts enemies down for good), flashbang (much the same, but temporary and isn't stopped much by cover) and gas (fills a room with Knockout Gas stunning everyone without a gas mask). The latter can become the weapon of choice, because it doesn't cause alarm like others and doesn't require aiming or line of sight like a gun.
- Magick Chicks had Tiffany, surprisingly, seen with grenades more often than with swords, despite her introduction Eerie Cuties. Specifically, she used a LEGO-Tiffany-shaped smoke bomb to cover grab-and-run rescue, and later she threw flashbang in much the same package at a possessed student. Which the Hekate's minion with perfectly deadpan expression flicked back into her face.
- Although she uses a grenade launcher instead of throwing them, Nora Valkyrie from RWBY certainly demonstrates the "poor impulse control" aspect of this trope.
- In Avatar: The Last Airbender, there's a group of repeated antagonists (possibly qualifying as a Quirky Miniboss Squad) known as 'The Rough Rhinos'. Each of them has specialized in a different weapon - including The Faceless, the only one of them wearing a full helmet, who specializes in explosives - specifically, he throws dynamite-sticks at anything that moves.
- On the hero's side, there's Chey, a member of Jeong Jeong's group who uses small grenade-like exploding balls.
- Batman Beyond gives us Mad Stan. His catch phrase (and approximately half his spoken dialog) is "BLOW IT ALL UP!" Yes, the bold and caps are necessary.
- The Tick (animation)
I'M THE EVIL MIDNIGHT BOMBER WHAT BOMBS AT MIDNIGHT! AH HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!
- Which were essentially Sticky Bombs that came in timed, remote control and mine varieties.