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"Why don't you make someone else ride your lightning, for a change?"

Using lightning or electricity as a form of travel. It can vary from turning into electricity yourself to traveling along it, using it as some sort of conduit, or even just surfing on a bolt of lightning.

Compare Psycho Electro, Sky Surfing, Elemental Shapeshifter.

Not related to Electric Torture or the Metallica album of the same name.

Examples of Ride the Lightning include:


Anime and Manga

  • Enel in One Piece, who has the power to transform his body into lightning.
  • Negi Springfield devises a technique to absorb his own lightning-based spell and turn himself into lightning, making him considerably faster than most of his enemies.
  • A Certain Scientific Railgun:
    • A character is capable of surfing along steel-framed concrete walls, Spiderman-style, thanks to her abilities to control electricity. When she does that, there is a visible lightning "leash" extending from her body.
    • Taken to a more literal extreme in the OVA, where, in an alley with steel-framed concrete walls on both sides, she uses her abilities to fly through the air. The point of which was to Ride the Lightning fast enough to fit through a small section at the end and circle back around through the next alley to get behind whoever was following her the whole episode, who, in their inability to Ride the Lightning would be forced to turn around to leave. Riding The Lightning, indeed.
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the SS novels where it shows that she can use her ability over large bodies of water to induce hydrolysis in water molecules to Ride the Lightning as well.
  • Laxus from Fairy Tail can turn himself into lightning for a short time in order to dodge an attack.

Comic Books

  • Spider-Man foe Electro is sometimes shown traveling by surfing a lightning bolt.
  • Superman Blue could travel as a lightning bolt.
  • Jenny Sparks does the "transform-into-electricity-via-power-lines" variant for cross-country travel.

Film

Literature

  • This is what Twoflower thinks Rincewind is talking about when he expresses a desire to "harness the lightning" in The Colour of Magic.

Live Action TV

Tabletop RPG

  • The Simbul of Forgotten Realms after lots of experiments with polymorphing into inanimate objects (which sane mages avoid) and self-enspelling acquired an ability she uses when even the most powerful magic-user in her world (and not quite in right mind) must leave in haste: she turn herself into chain lightning, thunders through the area, then the last bolt turns into a meteor and flies away.
  • The Nightbane of Palladium's Nightbane RPG can purchase a Talent called "Lightning Rider", which lets them turn into living electricity.

Video Games

  • In an old hilarious DOS game Space Dude one of environmental stages literally made you ride the lightning - that is, the Surfer Dude had to keep shocking himself, otherwise he would fall.
  • One of Ky Kiske's Chaos Move in the Guilty Gear is named this because it, too, was named after the song "Ride the Lightning."
  • In Guild Wars, there is an Air Magic spell called Ride the Lightning that warps you next to a targeted enemy, dealing lightning damage to the enemy.
  • Cole of In Famous can travel extremely quickly by sliding along electrified wires - and they do have to be electrified. Amusingly, this works of something similar to the principle of a railgun. The sequel introduces the Lightning Tether, which is essentially a grappling hook made of lightning.
  • The Electrical Melee powerset in City of Heroes has "Lightning Rod" as its final power. It works very similarly to the Guild Wars "Ride the Lightning" already mentioned. The user teleports to a targeted location, damaging any enemies near the landing point.
  • Raiden's I NEED MY MONEY teleport attack in Mortal Kombat.

Web Comics

  • Powerful electricity mage "the Maestro" does this in Dominic Deegan. As a side-effect, he's constantly undergoing mild electrocution, which leaves him stuttering.

Western Animation

  • Freakazoid sometimes travels as a head on a zig-zag bolt of electricity/lightning.
  • Transformers pesky Kremzeek.
  • Superman villain Livewire used this trick
  • cg series Spiderman had a villain who did this too
  • Static can rail-slide on power lines, but his typical mode of travel is surfing on a collapsible metal disc.
  • Juice, the member of the Ultimen, in Justice League Unlimited can do this.
  • Darkwing Duck's foe Megavolt can "skate" along power lines.
  • Xiaolin Showdown had the Shard of Lightning, a Shen Gong Wu that let its user travel at the speed of light for the brief seconds in which the lightning struck.

Real Life

  • This is approximately how a railgun works - although it does require a metallic rail (or two) as a medium, it's the closest thing to this trope that exists in reality.
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