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"Magic's only part of it, my friend. Diet does the rest."

Myth and folklore are replete with dragons and other creatures spewing fire, corrosive venom, noxious gases, energy beams, lightning, and other exotic and catastrophic exhalations. More modern media have applied the motif to fantastic beasties, creatures from alien worlds, mutants, and even the occasional robot, and expanded the effects to encompass blazing beams of coruscant annihilation. In other words, bright things coming from the mouths of big things that can destroy other things.

Classically a trait of creatures that are, at least physically, animalistic -- no matter how erudite and noble they may be. When humanoids vomit destruction from their mouths, they almost always have at least a hint of corruption or, at best, atavism about them. According to anthropologist David D. Gilmore, this is because of the mouth's symbolism as the organ of predation, evoking one mankind's primal fears of what used to hunt them. Given that a human being's only experience with oral expulsions is usually vomit, it may then follow that anything coming out of the mouth is unpleasant. Whatever the reason, it's right up there with Glowing Eyes of Doom as a surefire sign of inhumanity. Heroes will generally emit blasts of destruction from their palms instead (though villains can do that too.)

A particular type of Street Performer - known variously as a "fire-breather" or a "fire-eater" - uses the magician's sleight-of-hand to appear to do this. Such examples can go on this page as well, since such tricks can be extremely dangerous for both performer and audience.

Compare Eye Beams, Make Me Wanna Shout. See also Throat Light and Hand Blast.

Examples of Breath Weapon include:


Anime and Manga

  • One of Mazinger Z's best attacks, the Rust Hurricane. Mazinger blows a jet of particle-charged wind from its mouth grill that corrodes the enemy into nothingness. Its successor Great Mazinger has the Great Typhoon, which is the same thing but without the rust effect, while Super Prototype Mazinkaiser has the Rust Tornado, an Up to Eleven version of Mazinger's attack.
    • Many Robeasts from Anime/Mazinger, Great Mazinger and UFO Robo Grendizer have breath-based attacks, usually expelling out fire, acid or even poison. One of the seven armies of Mykene Empire (the Reptilian Warbeasts) specialized in this kind of weapons.
  • Most beam attacks in Pokémon, such as Hyper Beam and Aurora Beam, work this way. Pokemon that lack a Breath Weapon have attacks that emerge from other body parts (get your mind out of the gutter; we're talking about hands, pincers, shell-mounted pressure cannons...)
  • Dragonball Z, but villains most times. Notably Nappa, Piccolo and Cell (whose use of this trope inspired the Internet memes "IMMA FIRIN' MAH LAZER", "SHOOP DA WHOOP", and Dr. Octagonapus).
    • Frieza, the ultimate Big Bad, also used a variant of a breath weapon to gain access to Saichourou/Guru's hut before Nail distracted him & lured him away to fight.
    • Any Saiyan in his humongous were-monkey form. GT also gives them fire-breathing powers for some reason.
    • Taken to the logical extreme with Recoome from the Ginyu Force, who gets shut down (literally) by Krillin upon attempting this on a wounded Vegeta, and blows up nearly all his teeth in the process.
    • In a technological variant, Sergeant Metallic (aka Major Metallitron) has a missile launcher in his mouth.
    • And in a particularly hilarious example, Super Buu uses a mouth beam to badly scorch Gotenks, and laughs at him. He's shut up rather quickly when Gotenks opens up wide and delivers the same attack back at him.
  • Several of the Boomer robots from Bubblegum Crisis had beam cannons hidden in their mouths.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam had the Zeong. This attack was the one that finally did in the titular mecha, the Gundam.
  • The Menos Grande and some of the Arrancar of Bleach do this with their Cero attacks. Nnoitra has a slightly creepy variant: he fires his from the tip of his very long tongue. Ew.
    • Taken further by the Espada Barragan Luisenbarn, whose "Death Breath" will cause anything it touches to rot into nothingness.
  • Several Yu-Gi-Oh! monsters do this, most notably the Winged Dragon of Ra.
    • Parodied with Exodia in Yu-Gi-Oh the Abridged Series
    • There's also the well-known Burst Stream of Destruction / White Lightning from Blue-Eyes.
  • Piyoko has her Upchuck Bazooka attack to counter Di Gi Charat's Mekara Beam (which she shoots from her eyes).
  • Superform Age from Heroic Age does this several times, being sure to clean up the local space of annoying bug-aliens by using their own life force and energy to power it.
  • Some Zoanoids in Guyver have this; Derzerb of the Hyper-Zoanoid Five could breathe napalm, and the Zoalord De Galenos fires energy blasts from his mouth.
  • In the final episodes of Fullmetal Alchemist, a cyborg produces a number of guns from surprising places, including a tiny ball turret in his mouth.
  • Bit character Royakan, from Inuyasha, could spit live wolves.
  • From Potemayo, the things on the sides of Guchuko's head shoot a charring variety of beam.
  • The God Warriors in Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind.
  • Friedrich of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, being a dragon, has his Blast Flare and Blast Rain attacks.
  • If mecha count, you can include pretty much any Zoid with a Charged Particle Beam. 9 times out of 10, the cannon fires from the mouth (with the exception of the Death Stinger).
  • Kero of Cardcaptor Sakura gained the ability to breathe fire once Sakura managed to capture The Firey.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima has several dragons (including one that breathes Razor Wind), in addition to a number of robots with mouth-mounted stripper rays.
  • The four-tailed fox form in Naruto is able to fire one of these after charging for a minute and it can destroy mountains. The eight-tailed beast can do this as well. The three-tailed beast also does this in the anime (we never got to see it fight in the manga), which suggests that any of the tailed-beast can.
    • Shukaku also fires balls of concentrated air and the Two-Tailed Cat spits out fireballs, supporting this theory.
    • Some high ranked medical ninja have poison breath attacks as well.
    • And the Mizukage can spit lava and acidic mist.
    • Parodied when Naruto tries to do while (consciously) using his Tailed Beast's power. The 8-Tails describes it as sort of like vomiting, prompting Naruto to actually try and make himself vomit, which works about as well as you'd think (he wasn't in the right form anyway).
  • Many Digimon have breath weapons, at least until the higher evolutions when they usually grow actual cannons.
  • One Piece's Bartholomew Kuma had a mouth beam built into him to add on to his other powers.
    • Franky on the other hand is equipped with both a flamethrower and built in nailgun.
    • A giant bird in the Skypiea arc had a flame-dial in its beak and both Buggy and Kidd had firebreathers in their crews.
    • The Younger Boa sisters can spit poison, to say nothing about what Magellan can do.
    • Before any of these examples was Mr. 5. Using the Bomb-Bomb Fruit, he's able to make any part of his body explode, including his breath, which he loads into a gun.
    • In the first movie, the main antagonist ate the Goe Goe no Mi, which gave him this ability.
  • Dr. Slump's Arale and her deadly N'cha! Beam.
  • Keroro Gunsou has Tamama's signature move, the "Tamama Impact".
  • A common attack of Let and Julia's in Rave Master. There's also a Blue Gaurdian member with a Dark Bring that grants him one.
  • Natsu and all of the Dragon Slayers from Fairy Tail sport this ability, which ranges from shooting fire, metal, lightning, wind, and poison.
  • Ichiban Ushiro no Dai Maou has Peterhausen, a dragon who can shoot drills from out of his mouth.
  • Flame Convoy in Transformers: Galaxy Force has this as part of his Force Chip Ignition power.
  • Zatch/Gash, in his namesake series Zatch Bell / Konjiki no Gash!! gets a series of spells that short bursts of lightning out of his mouth, and in one of the more powerful spells, the lightning forms into a dragon. Not to mention he's also a demon, although he looks exactly like a human child hold the lines down his cheeks and the horn hidden in his hair.
  • Kumo, Kiri, and most probably all other Mystarians in Final Fantasy Unlimited.
  • Most dragons in Slayers just use old-fashioned fire breath, but gold dragons have laser breath.
  • The RahXephon has this as a Wave Motion Gun. And now everyone after me: RRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHH!!!
  • Chikuma Koshirou from Basilisk can create little vacuums that rip his enemies to shreds merely by breathing.


Comic Books

  • Rare example of a human with a Breath Weapon, but no "taint": Fire Lad, of the Legion of Substitute Heroes, has the ability to breathe (and sneeze) fire. (Too bad he also has a raging set of allergies.)
  • Jack Kirby's Demon, Etrigan, from The DCU.
  • Superman has arctic breath (essentially gusts of supercooled air which tend to freeze things in their path) and heat vision; as a counter to these, Bizarro has "freeze vision" and "heat breath", which is a nice way of saying that he breathes fire.
    • Superman (and of course all other Kryptonians and Daxamites) also possess hurricane breath; that is, they can create and direct gale-force winds simply by exhaling, without the winds necessarily being freezing cold. Pre-Crisis, Superman and Supergirl had such precise control over this power that it basically became Telekinesis.
  • IDW's Transformers comics have featured Megatron, seemingly spontaneously, developing or formatting new abilities just because of the raw power at his disposal with Ore-13 ("ultra-energon"). Among these is a Breath Weapon.
  • Mammomax, an X-men enemy who was an elephant man who spat acid...
  • In Hsu and Chan "Pocket Morons Platinum", the Charmander-spoof Gila Mobster performs the Flamethrower attack by taking a swig off his flask & blowing it through the cigarette lighter he holds in his tail.
  • Lesser known Batman villain Fright can exhale fear toxin.
  • The Red Lantern Corps members from Green Lantern don't generally make constructs like the other corps but instead spew burning red plasma from their mouths.
  • Ghost Rider can breathe Hellfire and shoot chains from his mouth.
  • One of Richie Rich's enemies, the Onion, uses onion breath as his weapon, even making it powerful enough to destroy walls.


Film - Animated

  • Most of the dragons in How to Train Your Dragon have some sort of breath weapon. Usually it's the standard shots of flame, but the Night Fury's is like a turbolaser, the Green Death's goes Up to Eleven, the Zippleback breathes flammable gas to create a fuel-air explosion, and the in-movie Dragon Manual refers to attacks involving boiling water, acid and even weirder stuff.
  • Killer Croc does one inadvertently in Batman: Gotham Knight when Bats sticks an explosive of some sort in his mouth and sets it off. "Belching smoke and flame", indeed!
  • One of the abilities of the Monstars in Space Jam is breathing fire as demonstrated on Foghorn Leghorn.
  • Jafar breathed fire during his battle with Aladdin.
  • The evil owl from Rock-a-Doodle for some reason actually spews Lucky Charms out of his mouth.


Film - Live-Action

  • A staple feature of the Japanese Kaiju genre.
    • Godzilla breathes radiation. This appears to be a form of superheated vapor in the Showa era films, but becomes a pure energy beam in the 90s and beyond.
    • Ghidrah fires lightning bolts from its three mouths; these are sometimes called "gravity beams", and in Godzilla: Final Wars they actually have an anti-gravity effect.
    • Biollante spits out either acidic sap or a similarly corrosive effect more like a pollen spray, depending on which form she's in.
    • Destoroyah fires "micro-oxygen" rays that disintegrate matter.
    • Gamera breathes fire ? a continuous stream in the original series, and exploding fireballs in the modern films directed by Shusuke Kaneko. The sonic rays fired by frequent nemesis Gaos straddle the line between Breath Weapon and Make Me Wanna Shout.
  • Another Batman example: The Red Triangle Circus Gang in Batman Returns has a performer dressed as a devil who contributes to the atmosphere of street terrorism by "blowing fire" on a display of jumbo stuffed animals in a toy store. Batman dispatches him by turning the Batmobile around so that the car's exhaust pipe is facing him and shooting out a jet of flame, setting the performer on fire.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End plays this one for laughs, as captain Jack Sparrow possesses bad breath of such potency as to be able to make people swoon.
    • To put how bad his breath is in perspective, when face to...mouth with the Krakken, whose breath is said to be the foulest thing on earth he barely even reacts to it.
  • Imhotep belched out a huge swarm of locusts in The Mummy 1999.
  • Blazing Saddles - during the big fight scene, the grizzled drunk prospector grabs a bad guy and exhales in his face, knocking him out.
  • David Lo Pan from Big Trouble in Little China fires a blinding blast of light from his mouth. The effects are only temporary, which is apparently common knowledge to residents of Little China.
  • Draco from Dragonheart is an odd variant: unlike the typical depiction of dragons, he shoots flames from his nostrils rather than his mouth. This is relevant to the plot, as this way he cannot just shoot flames at the knight standing in his mouth and propping his palate with a sword.
    • Drake in the sequel, on top of breathing the standard fire also has ice breath, which he uses to kill the evil dragon Griffin.


Literature

  • The book of Job describes the Leviathan, a fire-breathing sea dragon.
    • The Book of Revelation has the Two Witnesses (who are about as uncorrupted as mere mortals could be), who stand around outside the Temple and breathe fire on anyone who tries to harm them. They're two olive trees and two candlesticks. With mouths. Symbolically.
  • The Chimera is described in The Iliad as "a thing of immortal make, not human, lion-fronted and snake behind, a goat in the middle, and snorting out the breath of the terrible flame of bright fire" (VI. 179-182).
  • Lord Ebondrake from the Warhammer 40000 Grey Knights novel Hammer of Daemons takes a draconic form and can breathe black flame.
  • In The Cycle of Fire, the Mharg demons have a breath weapon that reduces all life to slime, and leaves the land barren for decades afterwards.
  • In Robin Hobb's fantasy world, dragons breathe a mist of strong acid.
  • Dragons (and their ancestors, fire lizards) in the Dragonriders of Pern series can breathe fire, but as this is a Science Fiction series rather than Fantasy, it has a mundane explanation. They chew a naturally occurring rock, named "firestone", and swallow it into a specialized stomach that mixes the pulverized stone with special acids, creating a pyrophoric gas that can be expelled from the dragons' mouths. Their capacity for this gas is limited, so their riders carry sacks of firestone to resupply them in flight.
  • In Fablehaven, the fairy dragon, Raxtus, feels useless because his breath, a far cry from a weapon, makes flowers grow, unlike the rest of his kind.( it doesn't help that he's puny, and shines more than Edward Cullen at noon.) the rest of the dragons breath acid or fire, or other deadly things.
  • Dragons in Septimus Heap breathe flammable gases, and their first breath is also flammable.


Live Action TV

  • Vypra in Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue could breathe blue fire into her hands and then launch it from them.
    • Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Various monsters can breathe fire and other dangerous things, the Mastodon Dinozord can snort freezing mist out its trunk, Titanus can launch energy balls from his mouth, Lokar's Breath of Doom can upgrade monsters and cause major property damage, the Red Dragon Thunderzord can breathe fire, the Tigerzord can shoot Energy Balls from the tiger head when in warrior mode, Serpentera can fire an energy attack from its mouth (this was once used to vaporize a planet, although Serpentera has not been able to build up sufficient power since), the Frog Ninjazord breathes fire, and the Falconzord shoots laser bolts from its mouth. Additionally, in Zyuranger Bandora can exhale strong winds.
  • Before the disastrous Retool, Kamen Rider Hibiki could shoot flame from his mouth. Assumedly, this ability was removed because it was too Nightmare Fuelish.
  • Sheeyangs in Farscape can spit fire. Unfortunately, the same biological quirks that allow them to do this also mean that they explode violently when shot.
    • Though most Scarrans prefer to emit their deadly heat-beams from their hands, at least one showed he was able to project it from his mouth while speaking.
  • Female Raxacoricofallapatorians from Doctor Who can breathe poison from their lungs as a defense mechanism. One tried it on the Doctor. It didn't work.


Music


Mythology

  • As if being a sea serpent big enough to encircle the world wasn't scary enough, Jormunqand the Midgard Serpent of Norse Mythology also has poisonous breath. In the Final Battle of Ragnarok, Thor breathes in too much of Jormunqand's breath while beating it to death with Mjolnir. He's Badass enough to try and keep going, but only manages to take nine steps before finally dying.
  • The Dragon of Beowulf is the fairly standard fire-breathing, treasure-hoarding, cave-dwelling kind. It probably eats people, too, but we never see it.
  • Add to the list the dragon Fafnir, of the Volsunga Saga, also from Norse Mythology.
  • Older Than Dirt: In Egyptian Mythology the sacred uraei and serpents of the Duat breathe fire to protect the king and gods.
  • The Nuckelavee of Scottish mythology had diseased breath, which blighted plants and made humans and animals ill.


Professional Wrestling

  • The Asian Mist is a move in which a wrestler puts a liquid in their mouth either before or during a match and spray-spits it into their opponent's eyes. It's notable that this is based on a practice in some actual martial arts, where the liquid would be based on some spicy food that is tolerable in the mouth but not in the eyes. Many wrestlers who use it make a show of rubbing their throat before spitting the liquid, as if it is a venom extracted from some secret, extra gland.


Tabletop Games

  • Dragons in Dungeons and Dragons are Colour-Coded for Your Convenience: each tincture is assigned its own special flavour of Breath Weapon. Red = Fire, Blue = Lightning, Green = Poison/Corrosive Gas, Black = Acid, White = Cold Air. Most of its imitators (including Nethack) follow suit, though different games do not always follow the same color-to-damage assignments as the original (though red is more likely to remain fire than any other).
    • Note that metallic dragons have TWO breath weapons (usually some kind of nonlethal but disabling gas attack and one straight-up damage attack) and that there are tons of REALLY WEIRD dragons (Iron dragons breathe molten iron, Mercury Dragons LASER BEAMS, some gem dragons breathe EXPLODING CRYSTALS...)
      • Do not forget class that give a breath weapon. The most classical example are dragon shaman and dragonfire adept
    • Homebrew dragons can get even weirder. There are probably quite a few here. Aside from those there are Wing Dragons and Beige Dragons.
      • Wing Dragons have the only breathweapon that OSHA (the Occupational Safety & Health Administration) would probably approve as harmless. It is sky painting smoke... that they can telekinetically control... and turn optic black... and then blind their targets by surrounding them in... and then do stuff like slitting the throats of in the dark.
      • Beige Dragons have an invisible line of pure elemental ennui that makes you stupider and less interesting as a person.
    • Dungeons and Dragons, et. al., offer a substantial number of nondraconic monsters with their own Breath Weapon: Hellhounds breathe fire, as just one example. A popular method of making a "new" monster is to simply slap a Breath Weapon on an existing animal or mythical creature: the Pyrohydra, for instance, is a Hydra that breathes fire!
      • Also, certain 'metabreath' feats can allow all these creatures to breathe something different, or even shape their breath. Often abused when one type of dragon is impersonating another...
    • 4th edition dragon breath weapons are technically vomit weapons. The edition also adds the Dragonborn as a core Player Character race, who possess their namesakes' signature attack.
      • More specifically, the Draconomicon teaches that the magical energy of a D&D dragon's breath weapon is stored in the stomach, not in the lungs; this is what is meant by "vomit weapon". The expelled effect is explicitly magical, though—it is mystical energy, and not a biological by-product as found in some other D&D creatures.
    • Erfworld's dwagons; at least the red, green, blue, purple, and brown ones; have normal elemental breath weapons (fire, poison gas, lightning, sonic blast, and smoke respectively) while pink ones breath pink bubbles that smother enemies, while yellow ones inverse the trope by having massive bowel movements. Yellow dragons can give you a really crappy day.
    • Played with in Gold Digger. Sliding up the scale, Iron and Copper dragons have fairly generic elemental breath weapons, usually fire. Golden dragons are renowned for having completely random breath weapons, which are affected by their magical auras as well. At the top of the peak, Platinum dragons don't have breath weapons at all, but rather "ether vents", which are essentially small points on their body that can channel destructive levels of magic effortlessly (when used for attack, Word of God has compared them to Star Trek ship phasers.)
  • Many Tyranids from Warhammer 40000 sport bio-plasma attacks, which are basically vomiting hellfire. Some Daemons and Daemonhosts literally vomit hellfire.
    • And if the Deamons are aligned to Nurgle, they just vomit. Of course their vomit is highly corrosive and will probably infect you with every nasty disease know to man (and a few we missed), but in the end of the day you died because a Daemon puked on you.
    • Ork Weirdboyz sometimes do this, vomiting a stream of pure orky psionic energy that makes Your Head Asplode.
    • Technically the Space Marines have this too; namely one of their various glandular implants makes their saliva highly acidic, and can be used either as a weapon or just to help break out of a place. Rarely represented any more in actual game mechanics, there are at least a couple of chapters whose glands mutated over the millenia to either let them spew out a full-on spray of the stuff, or whose saliva forms something other than acid (such as chemicals which, when mixed and spit, of course catch on fire).
  • In Warhammer breath weapons are their own attack type and are commonly seen on dragons and other monsters. Notably the Trolls, who have stomach acid strong enough to dissolve stone and steel, and will not hesitate to "pre-digest" you in battle.
    • Most Trolls use this as a melee attack, which seems reasonable; then there's the Troll King, whose attack has the same range as a throwing axe. Projectile vomit, anyone?
  • Magic: The Gathering has the iconic spell Firebreathing, which grants this power to a creature. Many creatures have similar abilities, especially draconic creatures of the color red.
    • The ability is so common and iconic, in fact, that when a player says a creature "has firebreathing" it's immediately understood by most experienced players exactly what that means, word-for-word. It's also a fairly powerful ability as well.
      • And yet, for some reason, the developers seem reticent to actually make "firebreathing" a keyword, so its not actually the official name of the ability (the ability doesn't have a name).
        • Probably because they are reluctant to keyword anything that's color-specific ("fear" has been replaced by the color-neutral "intimidate"). And besides, the firebreathing ability is so simple that it would take up twice at least twice as much space on a card with a keyword as it does now.
  • The various Breathe Ice/Fire/Radiation/Steam spells from GURPS: Magic.
  • The Dresden Files' RPG has Breath Weapon as one of the available powers. The description broadens it so that the power can cover any self-generated projectile, even if it doesn't come from the mouth. This notably includes the Shen demons' use of flaming poo projectiles.
  • What no love for GURPS and its templates, one of which is dragon and includes a Breath Weapon


Video Games

  • Dhalsim in Street Fighter breathes fire. Another exception to the only-humans-if-corrupted rule, since he apparently gained this ability through his mastery of yoga.
    • Later RetConned to be a gift from Agni, the god of fire. He's still a really nice guy.
  • Sasquatch in the Darkstalkers series shoots ice beams.
  • All dragons in Runescape breathe fire, and some can even shoot fireballs at you from a distance.
  • Final Fantasy's Bahamut, who is especially notable for breathing what is essentially the Flare spell. That's right. Bahamut has nuclear fission breath.
    • Reis in Final Fantasy Tactics, being basically a Dragon in the shape of a woman, can breathe Fire, Ice, or Electricity. Oh, and holy. However that works. This may not have been clear in the original translation (Where breath gets translated Braclet)...
      • I always just thought she had some really nice jewelry.
    • The Dragoons of Final Fantasy Tactics Advance (and A2) can also breathe Fire, Ice and Thunder.
  • Sigma at the end of Mega Man X 6, as well as too many other Mega Man robots to sanely list here.
    • In V for the Game Boy, Mega Man has spent the game using a Rocket Punch, because his Super Mega Buster can't affect this batch of robots. What happened to it, you ask? Dr. Light put it in Rush. He shoots the charged shots from his mouth (having no arms).
  • The Sentinel, when it appears in Capcom's fighting games, generally has one of these too.
  • Breathing fire is one of Bowser's trademark characteristics in the Super Mario Bros. series, but there are a few other critters that have this ability (such as the Dino Rhinos and Reznors in Super Mario World.)
    • The Axem Ranger's Blade ship's Breaker Beam, in Super Mario RPG.
    • The Putrid Piranha and Frost Piranha from Paper Mario have toxic and ice breath attacks, respectfully.
  • Ridley from Metroid often has an attack of that type, although his dragon-like nature makes it seem rather logical.
  • Metal Gear Ray spits a beam of high-pressure water with enough force to cut ship hulls and tank armor.
  • The various dragon forms of the main characters in the Breath of Fire series. It's even right there in the title.
  • City of Heroes and City of Villains has a few of these sort of attacks used by enemies but also available to players.
    • Fire Breath
    • Frost Breath
    • Neurotoxic Breath (Poison)
    • Bile Spray (Acid)
  • The Dragon and Dragon Zombie in the Disgaea series predictably have a breath weapon, using fire (Or wind or ice in the first game) and darkness respectively. There's also the Cockatrice, who uses either petrifying breath or miasma depending on the game.
  • The Pandaren Brewmasters from Warcraft 3 can breathe "fire" (ignited grain alcohol) to a... panda as part of their standard skills, although they are firmly good guys. This also shows up on some of the neutral monsters. There is also a breath of frost, but it shows up much more rarely.
    • Dragons in the same games also have breath attacks. Red dragons breathe fire, black ones breath molten lava, blue ones breath ice or magic energy, green ones acid and in World of Warcraft bronze ones breathe magic, superheated sand that causes rapid aging, although in Warcraft 3 it's clearly lightning.
    • In World of Warcraft, almost all Dragon-type bosses, in addition to regular bolts and fire/frost/poison/whatever else breath have a devastating attack that begins with: "X takes a deep breath..." and generally must be avoided via some sort of trick. Black dragon Onyxia is mostly infamous for her insanely powerful Deep Breath which she uses completely randomly, which makes it hard to avoid. For months, if not years, people have tried to come up with explanations of what makes Onyxia Deep Breath more. Some theories make more sense than others, but all are false. It's really random.
      • Ironically Onyxia is also a subversion of this trope, since her Deep Breath flames seem to come straight from the ground instead of her mouth, perhaps due to graphic limitations?
    • Chimeras have one head that spits acidic bile and another that breath's magical lightning.
      • Hunter-pet Chimeras in WoW breathe frost and lightning. Even if the non-tamed mob has a poison/acid ability as a mob (which it loses when tamed).
    • Frost Wyrms have an ice breath weapon.
      • Though, since Frost Wyrms are giant reanimated dragon skeletons, its debatable if this can be called a "breath" weapon (what with them not having actual lungs and all).
  • Beginning in his first game, Kirby could spit puffs of air with enough force to damage most enemies, and power-ups allowed him to spit puffs of minty-fresh or spicy-hot breath. In later games, after he learned to steal enemy powers, he could gain the ability to exhale fire or ice.
  • Glass Goth, the Final Boss of Chocobos Dungeon 2, has a wide-area beam breath attack.
  • Bloodbane in Valkyrie Profile, "FEEL MY FLAME!"
  • Spyro the Dragon isn't limited to merely fire breath - he goes as far as to launch ice, earth chunks and electricity out of his mouth. Cynder uses shadow, wind, poison and fear.
    • He can only launch chunks of earth if he scoops them up in his mouth beforehand. It's not a breath weapon, it's just spitting.
  • The daedroth and spider daedra in The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion. The daedroth spits balls of fire; the spider daedra breathes lightning, and also casts a touch-range paralysis spell by exhaling green haze into its palm and then slapping the target.
  • The standard dragons in The Elder Scrolls V:Skyrim use a kind of vocal magic to shoot flames out of their mouths. As a player you can eventually learn to do this aswell when you absorbs dragon souls. Also, Frost Dragons shoot ice beams.
  • The Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time had Dodongos and King Dodongo blowing their burning bad breath at Link in the Gorons' Cave, and then later, Volvagia will try to cook the hero during the Boss Battle at the Fire Temple.
    • And let's not forget those ever-annoying Freezzards in the Ice Cave...
  • Scorpion can pull off his ninja hood to breathe fire, usually as a Fatality.
  • Jak III's Dark Makers have access to giant stompy Humongous Mecha Spider Tanks. How could you make this kind of combo even worse for Jak? The head can fire a laser from where a mouth would be on an organic creature.
  • Boomers from Left 4 Dead vomit upon players, thereby calling down hordes of basic zombies to descend upon them.
  • Left 4 Dead 2 features a zombie called the Spitter, who spits acid. It was designed specifically to counter the usual survivor tactic of huddling together at all times.
  • In Lost Souls MUD, a number of species breathe fire by way of phlogiston glands. Esoteric breath weapons are explained by phlogiston absorbing magical essences that infuse the glands' owner.
  • Michelangelo, oddly enough, is granted this ability in the Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo versions of the Tournament Fighters'' Fighting Game.
  • The Flash game Robot Dinosaurs That Shoot Beams When They Roar is all about this...and dinosaurs.
  • The Giant Minotaur boss in God of War had a fiery breath attack.
  • The Breath of Fire series where Ryu can transform into his dragon form (or summon them) will have breath attacks because of... well, they're dragons.
  • Fire Emblem dragons, both manaketes and the laguz, attack with their breath. Sometimes, there are even multiple different types of breath for dragons to use.
  • The final boss of Serious Sam belches huge chunks of molten lava.
  • There is an interesting variant in Psychonauts. The Giant Lungfish boss attacks by belching some boxes, anchors(!) and other heavy stuff at you and then by sucking the air in an attempt to swallow you (temporarily).
  • The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks: The Whirlwind could count as a breath weapon, since you have to blow in the DS microphone to activate it.
  • Plants vs. Zombies - A small sub-class of fungi exude toxic fumes rather than Edible Ammunition.
  • Breath attacks form a skill family in Dragon Quest. The weaker versions are pretty common among low- to mid-level monsters, while the most powerful breath attacks tend to be spammed by bosses. (Especially the Final Boss.) Later games allow the player to recruit monsters or use special character classes that have access to these abilities. What makes them particularly obnoxious is that despite dealing elemental damage, they don't count as magic attacks, so the only ways to protect yourself from them are with equipment, spells or skills which either reduce damage taken from those elements regardless of the nature of the attack, or specifically defend against breath attacks.
  • Monster Hunter used basically every Wyvern, Dragon, or "Boss" monster plus a few minor enemies. Yian Kut-Ku, Rathalos/Rathian, Yian Garuga, and if you want to be technical, a King Shakalaka all have a fire-based breath attack. Mostly fireballs, and in the case of the Yian Kut-Ku, it is simply lobbed out. The Gravios and (more rarely) Basarios have a beam-like weapon that also has an Exhaust after-effect, where they are likely to burn everything within melee range of them after disintegrating you with their throat laser. Among the -prey series there is Giaprey and Ioprey which spit ice and poison based attack respectively. Hypnoctrice has Sleep- based attacks. Congalala, Teostra, and Leostra all have flamethrower-esque attacks.
    • Tri ups the ante considerably. Rathalos and Rathian still spit fireballs, but Rathian can spit three at once or a "blaster" which blows up everything a good ways in front of it. There's also the Qurupeco, which spits an oil-like substance as one of its attacks; the Royal Ludroth, which spits water; the Gigginox with poison; the Baggi and Great Baggi with sleeping agents. Up until now, it was sensible. But then there's the Lagiacrus, which shoots ball lightning from its gaping maw, the Barioth ejects a miniature blizzard as its breath weapon, and the Agnaktor fires what is essentially a heat beam!
      • Which doesn't actually mean it ups the ante, as many monsters in previous games could also do things like that. Khezu could spit electricity, and Gravios's sweeping heat beam was absolutely infamous.
      • Ceadeus launches a powerful stream of water and Alatreon launches ice breath
  • Battle for Wesnoth's Drakes are all capable of breathing fire although one caste (the Clasher unit line) gives up this ability in favour of the protection provided by heavy armour, which restricts their breathing enough to prevent this.
  • Barthandelus, Big Bad and Master Troll of Final Fantasy XIII, has two ultimate moves named "Thanatosian Smile" and "Thanatosian Laughter," both of which consist of him barfing lasers on you.
  • Among the power-ups in Gauntlet Legends and its remake Gauntlet: Dark Legacy are breath weapons, including Fire Breath, Acid Breath, and Lightning Breath. Unlike most of the power-ups, these have ammo-based usage instead of being active for a limited time. A lot of the bosses use breath attacks too. Even though there's no Light Breath power-up but there's a Light Amulet, Skorne can spit beams of light at you.
  • Firebrand, the Red Arremer from the Gargoyles Quest series, gets varying kinds of breath attacks with his powerups.
  • This is one of the available monster powers in Crush Crumble and Chomp
  • Drakan featured among (expected) fire breath - lightning, ice and acid. One will wonder how does a dragon keep all that in him.
  • Certain units in Master of Magic have Fire breath, notably the entire Draconian race.
  • Second and third form dragons from Ogre Battle 64 have these as a possible attack.
  • In the Touhou fighting spinoffs, one of Suika Ibuki's attacks consists of taking a swig of alchohol, and immediately breathing fire at the opponent.
  • Many demons, including the Demifiend and the Embryon, in the Shin Megami Tensei series can use different versions of this ability, {Fire, Ice, Fog, etc.}
  • Pokémon features a few moves like this, namely Dragon Breath and Frost Breath. The anime expands on this making many attacks mouth-based.
  • The final boss of Mass Effect 2 is a gigantic partially-complete Human Reaper that attacks with a gigantic, long-charging beam attack from its mouth. It's also its own worst enemy with the thing, often sweeping its allies off the platform for you.
  • Legacy of Kain: The hellhounds in Blood Omen and some demons.
  • Several enemies in Dark Souls, such as the fire or lightning spitting Gargoyles or the curse breath of Seath the Scaleless. And if you join the Path of the Dragon, you can breath fire too.
  • In League of Legends Kog'Maw's attacks all involve spewing digestive fluids at his enemies. Shyvana also breathes fire when in her dragon form.


Web Comic


Web Original

  • The Lazer Collection: all three videos are completely devoted to this.
    • DOCTOR OCTAGONAPUS! BLAAAAUUUUUGH!
  • Dragon is a villain from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe who transforms into a fire-breathing reptile-man.
    • As his name implies, the villainous Belcher, from the same setting, can let loose with weaponized burps. Mostly he uses noxious gases, but has been known to let loose with a gout of fire occasionally.
  • Trinton Chronicles has Elijah and Lysandra who are both dragons with breath weapons - Elijah has plasma and Lysandra has pheromones.
  • Screech of the Whateley Universe has a scream attack that disintegrates anything in front of her face. She can't turn it off. Up until recently, she didn't dare talk or even whisper.


Western Animation

  • Transformers has a couple of particularly weird variants. First off, there's guys like Transquito, who can spit out a missile. Secondly, there's Nightscream and his teeth-on-a-string trick from Beast Machines. Finally, there's guys like Beast Wars Megatron and Cheetor's Transmetal form, who can fire energy blasts from their alt-mode's mouth in robot mode, which uses said mouth as a hand.
    • Unicron fires a green-blue plasma-like ray of energy from his robot head mouth in Transformers: The Movie, and has a powerful tractor beam in his planetoid-mode mouth.
    • Animated Starscream's head can fire a beam now for some reason due to the Allspark fragment in his face.
    • Is there a continuity the Dinobots have appeared in which they HAVEN'T had a breath weapon? Dinosaurs Are Dragons, after all.
    • Trypticon gains a powerful mouth laser in Transformers: War for Cybertron.
    • Subverted in that many Transformers with beast modes, even ones based off of mythical beasts like dragons (Snapdragon, Hun-Gurr, Sinnertwin, etc), don't have breath/mouth weapons. Sky Lynx has a laser cannon in his dinobird section's mouth but no weapons at all in his lynx section.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender allows the Elemental Powers of air (of course) and fire to be used as breath weapons, and the characters who most often do this aren't particularly atavistic.

 Iroh: Did I ever tell you how I got the nickname the "Dragon of the West"?‌

Zuko just smiles, because he knows what's coming

Azula: I'm not interested in a lengthy anecdote, Uncle.

Iroh: It's more of a demonstration, really. * takes a sip of his tea and proceeds to breathe fire from his mouth*

    • Katara and other water benders can use their breath to cause water to freeze, though they can also use their hands and stances to make ice.
    • The only Benders who aren't really seen using their breath for anything are Earthbenders.
    • Actually...King Bumi kinda did something similar. His breath wasn't earth but he could earth bend with his face, including proper breath.
    • Hei Bai fires an energy beam out of his mouth.
  • Blossom of The Powerpuff Girls breathes ice.
  • Puff of the Static Shock Rogues Gallery.
  • In a variant, Metlar from Inhumanoids had hot lava inside his mouth, which he would scoop out by the handfull and throw at opponents.
  • Godzilla: The Series has Zilla, Jr. breathe a green atomic breath, whereas Cyber-Zilla has the traditional light blue.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic has dragons breathing fire, of course, but Spike's fire has some pretty unusual properties. Scrolls consumed by his (green) fire breath are teleported to Princess Celestia, and she can send mail back in the form of an involuntary belch of Spike's fire.
  • In ThunderCats (2011)


Real Life

  • Fire-breathing is a trivial feat in reality, but strongly associated with tooth decay. Many traditional fire-breathers use gasoline or kerosene, which even diluted causes instant halitosis and rapidly rots the teeth. High proof alcohols (150+) are better; though they can cause notable browning within a week of regular performance, the damage is reversible with more frequent brushing and taking time for the enamel to recover.
  • Meet Giant Torayan. To quote the website: "This GIANT TORATAN doll is the ultimate child's weapon, as it sings, dances, breathes fire, and follows only those orders given by children." Thank you Japan, for bringing the world one step closer to the robot apocalypse.
  • Spitting Cobras can spray their venom into the eyes of predators, blinding them. Unlike many of the fictional examples above, the poison-spit is a purely defensive attack; when hunting, it bites like a standard cobra.
  • Bad Breath. That's all.
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