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Conventionally, bombs are associated with Stuff Blowing Up, but then there are special ones with different effects.

Types include Smoke Bombs, Knock Out Bombs, Sticky Bombs, Stink Bombs, and Phlebotinum Bomb.

Some Real Life examples are flashbangs, stringer grenades, fireworks (explode into pretty), and the aforementioned smoke grenades. Then there are the infrared-emitting hot-smoke grenades used for targeting IR-sensitive missiles. Or baffling them, it all depends.

Compare and Contrast with some Booby Traps. See also Grenade Tag.

Examples of Trick Bomb include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • In the 1988-89 DC Comics Invasion crossover, a member of the alien Dominator species develops and detonates a "gene bomb" which targets those with the "metahuman" gene (responsible for the emergence of Earthling superheroes) and causes them to lose control of their powers. For some, it eventually proves lethal.
    • The Invasion example (along with Invasion itself) was parodied in an issue of X-Men, with a Jean Bomb that destroyed relationships. Guess whom it resembled?
  • Batman and Robin use these.
    • Similarly, The Joker occasionally uses bombs that harmlessly distribute scraps of paper with "BOOM!" written on them. They are externally indistinguishable from his bombs that actually kill people.
  • Lobo used a "guilt grenade" against The Mask since it was the only way for Lobo to defeat an otherwise "cartoon-invulnerable" opponent.
  • The Super Mario Bros.. comic had a story called "Duh Stoopid Bomb!" The bomb would temporarily turn anyone in the blast radius into an idiot.
    • They also had the Smart Bombs that were meant to counteract the effects of Duh Stoopid Bomb.

Film -- Live Action


  • Discworld: Scent bombs are used as a routine countermeasure now that it is generally known that the Ankh-Morpork city watch has a werewolf on staff.
  • Matthew Reilly: flashers and tear gas grenades are fairly reasonable, but he also uses liquid nitrogen grenades and anti-firearm grenades. That's right, a bomb that takes out firearms by filling the air with sticky confetti that gets into the parts of a gun and stops it firing a second time.
  • The hero of Hornet Flight gives the British the schematics of a new German radar system, allowing them to use trick chaff bombs to mess with the Germans, making them believe there is a tremendous wave of enemy airplanes coming to attack them.
  • In Starship Troopers, Johnny Rico uses a device that shouts "I'm a thirty second bomb! I'm a thirty second bomb! Twenty-nine! Twenty-eight! ..." in the Skinny language to clear out one of their command bunkers.
    • The vocal countdown is designed to create mayhem, but this also counts as a subversion, because the bomb is an actual explosive, blowing up when it reaches the end of the countdown.
  • The Star Wars Expanded Universe mentions grenades such as CryoBan (freezes stuff), "goop" (fast-setting glue, used to entangle rioters) Bothan stun spores (causes disorientation and nausea) and thermal detonators (create Spheres Of Destruction).
  • The Stainless Steel Rat loves nonlethal gas bombs, including blackout-gas (temporary blindness), knockout gas, lachrymose and regurgitant[1].
  • In The Machiavelli Interface, Emile Khadaji supplies a number of rebel groups with nonlethal weapons, including vomit- and diarrhea-inducing gas bombs.

Live Action TV

  • There was a Propaganda Bomb in an early episode of Mash. A friendly fire bomb landed at the unit, and didn't explode. Hawkeye and his friends tried to disarm it but that just set it off, which is when they discovered it was only leaflets. The propaganda read:
Give yourselves up. You can't win.
—Douglas MacArthur.

Real Life

  • Airborne Leaflet Propaganda, often used during World War II.
  • Bombs filled with chaff (metal strips used to confuse radar).
  • Any nuclear missile can be turned into a trick bomb of massive proportions when detonating it high in the atmosphere. All nuclear explosions create a certain electromagnetic pulse, which can damage nearby electronic equipment, which usually isn't that much of a problem when compared to the detonation itself. But when it goes of high in the atmosphere, the earth magnetic field amplifies the effect and could knock out entire countries or continents with a massive EMP blast.
  • Stun, Incendiary, and Smoke Grenades.
  • Stinger Grenades, which scatter dozens of little rubber balls upon detonation to stun and possibly incapacitate anyone caught in it's range.
  • Tear gas grenades.

Tabletop Games

  • The closest thing Dungeons and Dragons has to a standard grenade is alchemist's fire, a liquid stored in throwable bottles that ignites on exposure to oxygen. From there things get a little weird. Bottles of holy water can be thrown to do damage to undead, acid flasks ... do acid damage, tanglefoot bags release an adhesive to slow opponents down, choking powder makes it hard to breathe, and thunderstones deafen the subject. The catchall term for these is "grenadelike weapons". Alchemist's fire and acid flasks are particularly useful in low-level parties for finishing off trolls, which will eventually regenerate from wounds inflicted by any other type of damage.
  • Warhammer 40000 has a number of special grenade types available to different species. These run from relatively "normal" grenades such as smoke and stun grenades right the way up really exotic things such as Stasis Grenades (which stop time in a small area) and Warp Grenades (which tear a hole in the fabric of reality and suck anything nearby into the Warp).

Video Games

  • Any shooter with smoke/flash/stun grenades counts.
  • The Bowser Bomb in Mario Party 2 explodes... and turns the tiny Baby Bowser into a full-sized Bowser.
  • Borderlands: Certain grenade mods qualify. They can range from the mundane (cluster bombs, mines, Sticky Bomb), to the weird (ones which fly into the air and blast massive amounts of a given element on anything below, teleporting grenades) to the completely insane (grenades which release particles which smash into enemies then return to you to restore health).
  • Transformers: War for Cybertron has grenades that heal.
  • Flashbangs are normally used to disorient people but when Alan Wake uses them, they either One-Hit Kill the normal Taken and possessed objects, or deplete the stronger Taken's shadows to take 'em down.
  • Super Smash Bros Brawl has Sticky Bombs, smoke bombs, and "smart bombs" (bombs that inexplicably explode slowly).
  • In Dragon Age Origins the grenades simply did area damage, but a spell called the Spirit Bomb turns NPC's into potential explosives that can also infect others.
  • Dragon Age II presents a wider variety, with bombs that slow, stun and damage, or even revive fallen party members. A few rogue-specific skills are named and defined as bombs, a few more a labeled with a bomb icon and exhibit the same grenade range and visual effects.
  • In Hogs of War, pigs promoted into the Medic class-line gain access to a Medicene Ball, which functions exactly like a grenade but releases pink healing gas instead of firey explosive death. Espionage pigs also get a 'poison gas' grenade, which is pretty much Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • Bomberman Hero has salt bombs. For killing slugs.
  • Assassin's Creed Revelations: Coin, Caltrops, cherry, splinter, stink, smoke, and blood bombs.
  • Resident Evil Operation Raccoon City: Pheromone Bombs attract zombies and B.O.W.S. to it.
  • In Mass Effect 1, the grenades can be modded to be incendiary grenades, concussion grenades, chemical grenades, flashbangs, and radioactive grenades. In Mass Effect 2, grenades were a much smaller part of gameplay, only available as DLC powers in the form of flashbang grenades and incendiary grenades.
    • Mass Effect 3 adds more Trick Bomb varieties; in addition to standard frag grenades, there are inferno grenades, biotic lift grenades, cluster grenades and stick grenades,. Also, unlike the last game, the only grenade launcher in the game (the M-37 Falcon) is classified as an assault rifle rather than a heavy weapon. Meaning it can be armed with Incendiary Ammo, Warp Ammo, Disruptor Ammo, Cryo Ammo, and Armor Piercing Ammo. So in addition to it being able to launch an infinite supply of incendiary grenades and biotic grenades due to using thermal clips, it can also launch grenades that electrocute people (disruptor) and grenades that snap-freeze targets (cryo).
  • The Witcher contains five different types of bombs, manufactured using alchemy just like potions and blade coatings. The only one that acts even remotely like a traditional explosive is Dragon's Dream (releases a cloud of flammable gas that Geralt can detonate with the Igni sign). The other four bombs produce poison, evoke fear, stun, and blind, respectively.
    • The Witcher 2: Assassins of Kings adds a fragmentation bomb, an incendiary bomb, one that releases noxious gas, a light bomb (illuminates the area), and a psychoactive gas bomb.

Web Comics

  • The H-Bomb in Life with Lamarr is packed with Triple-H Hash which will cause all living things in the blast radius to become permanently stoned and anyone with 500 kilometres of the epicenter to get serious munchies.

Web Original

Western Animation

  • Static Shock: Richie made a shock bomb that Static could use if he ran out of juice, and a net bomb that shot a net out when it hit something. When he came into his own intelligence superpowers and became Gear, he came up with others, such as quick-cement bombs.
  • Stunt Dawgs: The Weapon of Choice.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender had smoke, slime, and stink bombs in addition to the usual exploding type. And some that explode and stink.


  1. He once said of the latter "The IIER had made me throw up often enough and I wanted to return the favor"
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