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A character is in a dark area and manages to grab something candle-like and lights it. As he looks around his surroundings, he doesn't notice he actually lit a stick of dynamite! And the room he is in contains a lot more dynamite!
Alternatively, it can be when a birthday cake has dynamite instead of candles.
- In the first Paperinik story (Donalds superhero alter ego), the hideout is destroyed when Gladstone Gander lights a stick of dynamite, which he believes to be a candle.
- The Goonies
- Inspector Clouseau (Peter Sellers) during the party scene in The Pink Panther.
- The New Red Green Show: Duct Tape Forever. Edgar Montrose, the absent-minded demolitions expert, brings the cake for the party at the end of the film, complete with quote-unquote "candles". One of the other Possum Lodgers asks why his explosives case is full of candles.
Edgar: If the candles are in the explosive case, then where's the dynamite?
- In Take the Money and Run, Virgil tries to get rid of a blackmailer by giving her sticks of dynamite disguised as candles.
Live Action Television
- During one episode of The Muppet Show, a blackout affects the entire theater. At one point, the Newsman has a segment, but can't read the story given him, and asks for a bigger candle. Crazy Harry provides; destruction ensues.
- In The Goon Show (which is, after all, a kind of audio cartoon), sticks of dynamite will frequently get mistaken for candles or cigars. Usually it's Bluebottle who gets hurt by them. Just occasionally they'll invert the gag by having somebody pretend the dynamite is a candle or cigar. Guess who comes off worst in those situations as well.
- Wile E. Coyote and Tom Cat, very frequently. Yosemite Sam, too.
- Bugs Bunny invented this trope.
- This clip from the Looney Tunes short "It's Hummer Time".
- In the Looney Tunes short "Dough Ray Me-Ow", the bird gives a birthday cake, with a stick of dynamite for the fourth candle, to the big dumb cat, who insists he's 3 and gives back the dynamite, refusing to take it back. However, when the cat realizes he is 4, he takes the dynamite back, cuing the explosion later.
- Happened a couple of times in Scooby Doo, most notably in the crossover with The Addams Family.
- Happened in one Itchy and Scratchy cartoon.
- Happens to Stinky Pete in the Show Within a Show in Toy Story 2.
- Hoodwinked: "Dee-na-mee-tay. Hm, must be Italian."
- Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog:
Robotnik: I wasn't able to find 10-foot candles, so I had to use 10-foot sticks of dynamite!
- Played with in the Futurama episode Law and Oracle where Bender lights a dynamite stick then leaves it in his mouth like a cigar... only to do a double-take and realize IT'S DYNAMITE and uses it to break open an invisible safe.