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Harmless Electrocution

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Not pictured (nor immediately evident): long-term neurological and/or physiological damage.

"You sure you can't set that thing to 'Kill'?"

From the same twisted laws of physics that allowed people to be frozen without problems comes harmless electrocution! Whether it's cartoon, comedy or action film, electricity just doesn't seem as damaging as other hazards; no, at worst you'll fall over with a Non Sequitur, *Thud*, be left with soot all over your clothes and face and your hair all fluffed up, and for the next few minutes at least, your movement (especially walking) will be jerky and spasmodic. Despite briefly conducting enough juice to make your skeleton visible through your skin, there'll be no lasting damage, even from the most traumatic Electric Torture.

Of course in Real Life, electricity can cause skin burns, muscle damage and death. Even at low power levels it can inflict great pain; just ask anyone who has been the victim of a taser. (And even at those lower levels it can kill - if someone is hit in the chest with a taser, for example, or suffers from a weakened heart.) Those who survive severe shocks (especially by lightning) often suffer from brain damage afterwards, whether directly or via cardiac arrest. An alternating current is more likely to kill you than a direct current, but a direct current is still very dangerous. Don't Try This at rich palms no deposit bonus codes, especially considering the unfortunate consequences of kids playing around with electricity because they saw it on cartoons.


Please note that straight examples are those where it does far less damage than it should, subversions are where we expect them to be fine but they do suffer, even if they end up with super powers. Characters with electrical immunity should be aware that not everyone is like that.

Related tropes include Lightning Can Do Anything, especially for lightning as a source of powers, and Electricity Knocks You Out. Contrast High-Voltage Death, where electricity is far from harmless. Also contrast Magical Defibrillator, where electricity is used to heal and/or revive people.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Pokémon:
    • In the early episodes Ash gets shocked at least once per week (without any long-term suffering) and some time later he even teaches a girl to respect her own Raichu by developing a tolerance to its shocks. This is to say nothing about how often Team Rocket got fried.
    • In the first episode, Professor Oak and Ash both get shocked at the same time when Pikachu goes in for a second electric shock.
    • An extreme Pokémon example: Ash's successful tactic in the episode Pikachu Re-Volts relied on his ability to stand up to his hypnotized Pikachu's malicious electric attacks as they caused nearby machinery to explode.
    • At one point, Ash actually asks Pikachu to jolt him to help him think.
    • Dawn/Hikari gets shocked once in a while, usually by accident. Her hair always needs serious reconditioning afterward by Piplup's Bubble Beam attack just to return it to normal.
    • In Casey's first appearance, she thought Pikachu was cute and tried to hug him, despite Ash's warnings; both of them ended up shocked. "Bad idea..." said Casey after it happened.
    • Meowth even uses this to his advantage at one point, where not only does he free a poacher's caged-up Pokémon, but he comments that he's been electrocuted by Pikachu so much that the electrified bars are nothing to him.
    • Strangely averted when everyone seemed worried when Clair got hit by one of Pikachu's electric attacks while protecting her Dratini. Jarring since the main characters (Ash in particular) have been shocked so many times that it's surprising they even flinch any more.
    • However, Pokémon: Zoroark: Master of Illusions averts this with Kodai's weapon of choice, an extending claw with a powerful electric shock, which is specifically shown to be able to kill and almost does when he uses it to mortally wound Zoroark and torture and almost kill Zorua. What makes this more dangerous than an electric Pokémon's attack is never discussed.
  • Excel♡Saga: This happens to Excel in the anime while she was a prisoner. She even asks for more just as the next prisoner supposedly dies from the same electrocution.
  • Ed ends up electrocuting herself in one episode of Cowboy Bebop. After Faye and the others question if she's dead, she literally springs back up and continues on her business as if nothing ever happened.
  • This is played straight in comedic scenes, but otherwise averted in A Certain Scientific Railgun - For example, Mikoto Misaka has used her electric powers to stop Kuroko's shenanigans, leaving her charred and smoking, yet she's fine in the next scene. In combat, however, she will hold back for fear of killing people, and even without direct hits she has made her opponents' bodies start to go numb. She can control her output, but it's not perfect and she accidentally ruined a toy while trying to be precise.
  • The Riding Bean OVA shows how a taser isn't enough to awake Bean when he's taking a nap. Played for laughs but also telling us that he is absurdly Made of Iron.
  • Thankfully averted in Higurashi: When They Cry with Shion's taser of doom.
  • Ranma ½:
    • Happens once to Hikaru Gosunkugi in his introductory episode of the anime, when struck by lightning.
    • Once, Kodachi hid some blackmail photos in the collar around her pet, Mr Green Turtle's, neck. When Ranma tried to rip it off, it shocked him unconscious and had to be taken to bed to recover, while it made the aforementioned giant crocodile go belly-up in his pond. Further attempts just zapped the hell out of Ranma and Kuno, who stupidly thought the collar was a belt and wore it around his waist.
    • A late-manga adversary, Rouge, would turn into a flying, fire- and lightning-using Asura when she was splashed with cold water. Regular lightning blasts would crumple even the Made of Iron Ranma and Pantyhose Taro down to the ground, but they'd be up and running a few moments later. In the climax of the story, a fully powered-up Rouge-Asura tried to fry Pantyhose Taro's enormous flying minotaur form with multiple lightning bolts but he would keep dodging them all —while Ranma, piggybacking on Rouge's back, was zapped silly just by the contact current. Then it turned out the individual lightning was a distraction, as Rouge was actually collecting a titanic ball of electricity in the sky, which poured into a massive pillar of lightning that zapped Pantyhose Taro into blissful oblivion until the end of the chapter. He was back up and joyfully planning world domination just two pages later.
  • Lum's standard attack in Urusei Yatsura is electricity. Of course, this is a comedy series, so at worst the targets are knocked out. At one point she zaps a whole bunch of people and only Ataru remains conscious, because he's gotten used to it.
  • One Piece:
    • Zig-Zagged when fighting the Big Bad of the Skypeia Arc, Enel, who is made of lightning after eating the Goro Goro no Mi (Rumble-Rumble Fruit). On one hand, it's definitely played straight that electricity is fatally dangerous, and taking down one side-character in a confrontation is allegedly enough to kill every single person in a river at that point in time. On the other hand, most characters get blasted away multiple times by his lightning and only come out with burns; there's not a single named character that dies from his lightning (though considering what series we're talking about, that's no surprise at all; Nobody dies in One Piece!). Luckily for Luffy, this isn't a problem due to some wacky Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors.
    • Played straighter with Nami. Her Clima-Tact (a Weather-Control Machine in the form of a staff) is a lethal weapon against most enemies that she faces... but this trope comes into play every once in a while when she gets particularly angered with some of her crew mates....
  • Zig-zagged in Gundam. In the original series, Amuro's Gundam gets shocked by the Gouf's heat rod and he suffers the usual cartoon electrocution reaction (minus the sight gags). In Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team, Shiro is in an identical situation, but it's portrayed more realistically by showing him suffering muscle spasms, losing control of his bladder, and briefly blacking out.
  • Inuyasha:
    • Inu-Yasha gets struck by lightning in one of the movies, and is perfectly fine less than two minutes later.
    • In an early episode, he gets hit repeatedly with a lightning-shooting halberd and is shown to be in considerable pain with each strike, but again has no problems less than a minute later.
  • The title character of Beelzebub is a big shout out to Lum of Urusei Yatsura, down to the green hair color and the effects of electricity, meaning the worst that happens is people get charred or temporarily knocked out. Being a gag series, no-one expects an adorable baby to actually kill someone with his electricity, do they?
  • In an episode of the Tenchi Muyo! OVA, Noboyuki discovers the fuse box Tenchi was working on unattended (Tenchi had been working on it, but Tsunami accidentally spooked the hell out of him and he went running into the women's baths by accident). Noboyuki goes to flip the switch, turning the lights back on, but electrocuting him in the process.
  • In Shugo Chara!, Amu gets electrocuted on an electric line, but she survives.
  • Sailor Moon: In SuperS Episode 7, after a Lemures tied Moon, ChibiMoon, and Jupiter together with a metal chain, Jupiter got the idea to use Supreme Thunder in an attempt to break the chain, and realized that was a bad move a split second too late. The ash faced Senshi were left panting after getting electrified.
  • Killua from Hunter × Hunter was trained as a professional assassin since birth and he learnt how to endure various kind of torture, including electrocution. Even though, he still feels the pain, it does not affect him actually and the pain is visually not presented either. He later specializes his Nen in producing electricity with his aura, something that can only be done by someone who has suffered electrocutions on a regular basis.
  • Downplayed in My Hero Academia with Kaminari's Shock and Awe power. Occasionally it's noted in-universe that this could easily kill someone, but in practice it never causes lasting damage, even when he pumps out millions of volts indiscriminately. Overusing it fries his brain and turns him into a moron, but he completely recovers after an hour or so (in contrast to permanent physical injuries other characters receive from non-electrical attacks).
  • Averted at first in Zombie Land Saga. When she was alive, Ai Mizuno took part in a performance during a thunderstorm, which results in her being struck by lightning and killed. This results in her being afraid of lightning after coming back as a zombie. Later played straight when Ai and the other zombies are struck by lightning again, and all it does is cause them to glow and temporarily alter their voices.

    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • The Ranzz family from Legion of Super-Heroes. They all got powers from being repeatedly electrocuted by lightning beasts.
  • Subversion: In the X-Men, Storm's powers go awry and she ends up badly burned by a lightning strike she created, which is part of the reason she spent awhile as Mohawk Storm.
  • In The Phantom Affair, Wedge Antilles is shocked twice by some electrified bars. Both times, afterward he's obviously limp and in pain, but manages to drag himself to his feet in both cases, and then escape to fly combat.
  • In the 1950s and '60s Batman, The Joker used harmless hand buzzers. From the '70s and onwards they received a deadly upgrade.
  • Happens in Disney comics all the time. In one Romano Scarpa story, Donald Duck gets a passion for electrical work. This results in him trying to connect all the electrical appliances in his house together. After the expected massive short circuit he sits smoking on the floor with a melted screwdriver in his hand, and Uncle Scrooge, who was on his way to visit, comes up to him.
    Uncle Scrooge: I didn't knew you were interested in this kind of work... and how did you survive, by the way?
    Donald: Training, Unca Scrooge... Training!
  • Happens a lot of times in Mortadelo y Filemón. Since the comic runs on Amusing Injuries and Slapstick, consequences are usually nothing more than being carbonized for one or two panels.
  • Happens to Blossom in The Powerpuff Girls story "Smart And Smarter" (Cartoon Network Block Party #59). She's facing off against Mojo Jojo, who uses his heat ray to counter Blossom's ice breath. Blossom then produces static electricity from her hands, not noticing that the trail of melted ice had trickled to her foot which subsequently electrocutes her. The end panel has her burnt to a crisp and rather befuddled.
  • Miles Morales has a "Venom Blast" ability that allows him to stun people with an electric jolt. In the most extreme cases, even when he's generating it through his entire body, the villain just falls unconscious long enough for the police to show up. This trope is actually why the Venom Blast is the young Spider-Man's favorite tactic: he hates the idea of hurting people, villains included, and almost never uses his Super Strength to its fullest, to the point that even Badass Normals can throw him around. With his Venom Blast, he can just poke the bad guy and swing home.
  • Wonder Woman Vol 1: At one point Wondy gets strung up to an electrified board by some criminals who intend to kill her and sneakily switches the giant knife switch from an AC to a DC current, which she calls harmless, before they electrocute her. This bizarre bit has its roots in Edison's propaganda circuit during the 1880s meant to discredit AC as more dangerous so he could keep collecting royalties on DC.

    Fan Works 
  • Discussed in Amazing Fantasy. When Izuku's Venom Strike power first activates, it shocks Peter so badly that he's sent flying down an alleyway. Izuku is horrified and worries that he accidentally fried Peter's brain, racing to call a hospital until Peter stops him.
  • Astral Journey: It's Complicated has Geri, Emma, Melanie, and Brandy are all subjected electrocution. This ended up being subverted' as understandable painful but lived.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Flint attaches a jumper cable directly to a power line, shocking him for a few moments (complete with X-Ray Sparks), but is none the worse by the next scene.
  • Yellow Submarine: When the sub's motor conks out, George confidently goes to examine it — and lights up like a Christmas tree when he touches it.
    John: What do you think?
    George: I think I burnt me finger.
  • In Fantastic Mr. Fox, Mr. Fox and his possum friend successfully climb over an electric fence, despite being zapped constantly as they do so (their skeletons are shown each time, and this is a stop-motion film by the way). This is then averted near the end of the movie when the rat villain gets shocked: He actually dies from it.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In Avengers: Age of Ultron Hawkeye incapacitates Scarlet Witch with a taser arrow to the forehead and she's good after a few onscreen minutes. Justified in that the arrow was most likely intended to only stun with as little harm as possible.
  • In Spies Like Us, Emmett (Chevy Chase) uses his own body to close an electrical circuit. Partially justified in that he was doing it to save the world.
  • Our Man Flint:
    • Derek Flint and Lloyd Cramden use an electrical socket and their own bodies as an impromptu defibrillator. They're both fine afterward.
    • In Like Flint has Lloyd Cramden electrocuted again, this time by a malfunctioning electronic bugging device. No aftereffects.
  • Hot Shots!, Played for Laughs, complete with visible skeleton despite being live-action.
  • Duplex has Barrymore's character, Nancy, caught in her own Booby Trap.
  • Batman: The Movie (1966). The Joker uses his electric hand buzzers on the Penguin and the Riddler with no permanent effect.
  • In Down Periscope, this often happens to Nitro, the Stingray's electrician. Since he's undoubtedly absorbed quite a bit of voltage during his years of service (a fact that is not lost on Cmdr. Dodge), getting shocked doesn't bother him so much any more.
  • During the climatic fight in Commando, Matrix throws Bennett into a high voltage generator, which sparks and goes haywire as our victim (who, by the way, is wearing a chainmail vest note ) screams like a little girl. About eight seconds later, however, Bennett immediately bounces back in the fight and is arguably fighting better than he did before the electrocution.
  • In Predator 2, the Hunter climbs a building, his prey's skull and spine in hand, and he bellows into the air while hoisting his spear and his trophy. Lightning strikes him directly through his spear, sparks flowing all over his body, and he doesn't even react to it.
  • Multiple examples from Star Wars:
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, R2D2 unknowingly tries to interface with a computer through a power socket. He screams, with his dome spinning and smoke pouring from his innards before Chewie can pull him away, but by the next scene is fine, and his robot arm is apparently undamaged. Possibly justified, as if the standard Imperial network connection port is roughly the same size and shape as a main's socket (brilliant design choice there, guys), some sort of overvoltage protection would seem a prudent droid design feature.
    • In the same movie, Vader tortures Han with some sort of electrical device that causes a lot of pain but doesn't injure him badly. Possibly justified, since a device that inflicted lots of pain without significant physical injury would be useful for torturing someone you wanted kept alive.
    • In Return of the Jedi, when the Emperor tortures Luke with Force lightning, he seems to recover from it just fine, although it's clear his life was in danger moments before. Darth Vader, on the other hand, doesn't. However, the issue isn't completely overlooked. In the Expanded Universe novel The Truce at Bakura, it is explained that Luke suffered severe burns, and he later finds his persistent body aches and fatigue are due to constant micro-seizures from the lightning attack. Additionally, it's implied that the Force lightning fried Vader's respirator.
    • In Revenge of the Sith, Palpatine shocks Yoda with such force that he's literally Blown Across the Room. However, this may have been a simple ruse, because he gets up again a moment later.
  • A minor character in the comedy The Great Outdoors had apparently been struck by lightning 66 times and survived, albeit with a near-impenetrable stutter, constant palsy-like trembling, and the ability to detect thunderstorms (not that it does him much good: he gets struck for the 67th time before the ending credits roll).
  • In rich palms no deposit bonus codes Alone 2: Lost in New York, one of the Wet Bandits, Marv, is electrocuted by one of Kevin's traps, complete with X-Ray Sparks, but seems fine afterward. In the same sequence, Marv takes several bricks to the head from three stories up; you can easily make the case that he has super-powers, for all the injuries he inexplicably survives.
  • In rich palms no deposit bonus codes Alone 3, this happens to two of the spies. Jernigan sits on a chair electrified by a golf cart battery and comes out with only some burns on his clothes. Unger also gets zapped when he tries to cut a live wire. Beaupre asks for Unger's status, and Unger replies "I'm all right" in a high-pitched voice.
  • In the '90s comedy Pure Luck, the protagonist, Eugene Proctor, is said to have been struck by lightning twice, and to have once electrocuted himself when plugging in a coffee maker, but still lived to tell the tale.
  • In Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation, Ilsa knocks Benji out via shocking him with a defibrillator, so that she can steal the disk. Benji is (more or less) fine after a minute.
  • In the climax of Back to the Future, Doc Brown is attempting to connect the power cords needed so that the lightning bolt that's about to hit the clock tower can be used to power the flux capacitor and send Marty back to the future. He takes too long doing this and has just connected the plugs when the bolt strikes, resulting in it (partially) being channeled through him, but he comes out of it none the worse for wear. note 

  • Averted in Charlaine Harris's Harper Connelly series. Harper has the ability to detect the location of the dead after being struck by lightning. In addition, she is scarred, and has muscle spasms and debilitating migraines as a result of the lightning strike as well.
  • The title character of Crazy for Cornelia, who's obsessed with electricity, gets forced to undergo ECT. She still keeps her personality intact afterwards—yeah, right, that would happen.
  • In the Invasion crossover event in the Star Trek Expanded Universe Neelix falsely claims to be immune to the dangerous effects of electricity so that the team will let him short-circuit a lock by sticking his fingers in a light socket. Why this matters is unclear, since Janeway also needs to link hands to complete the circuit. Neelix recovers, but is knocked to the floor; Janeway is mostly uninjured but finds that her arm is stuck between the bars because her muscles have gone into spasm. Their limited resources mean Janeway has to be phaser-stunned to escape.
  • Subverted in The Truce at Bakura. Set directly after Return of the Jedi, throughout the book Luke Skywalker aches and suffers from The Emperor's Force Lightning, even though he hadn't been shocked by it for all that long.

    Live-Action TV 

  • Doctor Who:
    • In "Terror of the Zygons", the Doctor uses his own body to close a circuit. The villains pronounce him dead when they find his body, only for him to get up surprised he's still alive after they leave. Justified since Time Lords can withstand things humans wouldn't.
    • In "Evolution of the Daleks", the Doctor survives hugging a pole as it's being struck by lightning. Not only is he completely fine, but it works to his favor as a gamma strike used to reanimate an army of Dalek-Human hybrids gains some of his Time Lord DNA which causes the soldiers to rebel against their masters.
    • Averted by the Twelfth Doctor in "The Doctor Falls" where being electrocuted by a Cyberman starts his regeneration.
  • The title character in Jack-of-All-Trades acts as a living conduit for the electrical power source for a hand-cranked wooden submarine. Not only does he get Einstein Hair and a rictus grin during the experience, but all of this takes place while Jack and his English genius-girl partner are rescuing Benjamin Franklin. You know, the guy with the kite and the key in the rain?
  • Averted in Supernatural. During a fight, Dean receives an electric shock so powerful it causes massive damage to his heart which doctors cannot fix and Sam spends a large part of the episode trying to figure out how to save him.
  • In MTV's late 90's reality show Fear, on stunt involved a young woman named Holly whose challenge was to grab on to two exposed wires and hold them both for five seconds. As she was doing this, a Do Not Try This at rich palms no deposit bonus codes banner scrolled across the bottom of the screen, which stated that she was experiencing a high-voltage/low-amperage shock was proven to be medically harmless.
  • Happens to Eaglebones during The Aquabats! Super Show! musical number "Doing Science!".
  • Zyuden Sentai Kyoryuger has a Rule of Funny example in episode 34, where Utusemimaru uses one of his Finishing Moves on Ian as revenge for a prank; while the attack normally destroys Monsters of the Week, Ian just gets twitches cartoonishly while giving off X-Ray Sparks.
  • Happens twice in the same episode in John Doe to the titular character. The first time, he regains colored vision but loses his knowledge of everything (he can't even drive stick afterwards). The second time restores the status quo.
  • Happens on many episodes of rich palms no deposit bonus codes Improvement.
  • At the end of episode 3 of Dead of Summer, Amy gets struck by lightning while standing in the middle of a lake, only to be out of the hospital in a day.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation: Geordi receives a visible electric shock from a computer panel until Data grabs him and throws him partway across Main Engineering. The trope is somewhat averted by the fact that Geordi remains floored while he asks Data what happened.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl has been tasered at least twice in his life, both when his father was trying to get elected mayor of Camden.
  • Happens in The Mentalist in Ball of Fire, where Jane is tortured with a cattleprod. At the end of the episode, he's moving stiffly and described by Lisbon as "creaky", but the doctor apparently said he'll have no lasting damage. Jane responds by suggesting the doctor should try it sometime.
  • In an episode of Time Trax, a college physics professor is secretly a time traveler from the 22nd century. As a demonstration for his class, he uses a large Van de Graaff generator to demonstrate that voltage isn't the deadly part of electricity by passing it through his body harmlessly. High current is deadly. Truth in Television, as a Van de Graaff generator produces a lot of DC voltage with very little current.
  • Happens to George Ikaruga in an episode of Ultraman Mebius, when Lim Eleking (the chibi-fied form of the electric eel kaiju Eleking) physically manifests itself in the GUYS headquarters. George tries to pick up the creature while its tail is connected to an electrical outlet, and ends up getting shocked into unconsciousness in a comical manner, complete with his hair getting all spiky in the process.
  • The Outer Limits (1995): In "What Will The Neighbors Think?" Mona gets electrocuted, with a charge which looks pretty significant (around a minute at least, and knocking her out). She's not only unharmed, but gains telepathy because of it.
  • Happens fairly frequently on The Brittas Empire:
    • Colin gets electrocuted trying to retrieve juggling balls from a live wire in "Sex, Lies and Red Tape". Despite being electrocuted (and falling a significant height as a result) however, he's only mildly stunned, and he's okay several scenes later.
    • Gordon himself gets electrocuted when he is linked up to one of Colin's contraptions in "Playing with Fire", but aside from a couple of twitches and slight burns, he's okay.
  • El Chavo del ocho has this in a couple episodes, notably in "El foco" and "El cortocircuito", with a chain of people holding hands and just shaking around as they're electrocuted.

  • One of the animations in Hurricane is a clown electrocuting himself while plugging in an amp.
  • Happens to Bud when he chews the wires under the table in No Good Gofers.
  • Sparky in Metallica, who's strapped into an electric chair and merrily bobs his head while he's being electrocuted.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Averted with Goldust's electrocution during his feud against Stevie Richards, which saw Goldust develop Hollywood Tourette's. He'd eventually recover from it but would remain with a speech impediment for the rest of his career.
  • Konnan using a taser on Brother Runt was one of his biggest Kick the Dog moments in TNA, but Runt suffered no long term complications from it.
  • Matt Hardy tried to convince Reby Sky that a taser was harmless by having Jeff use it on him but she remained unconvinced after seeing his reaction.
  • During his feud with Abyss, Dr. Stevie (or a hired wrestler of his) would often use tasers on Abyss to subdue/defeat him in their matches. Needless to say, this did not stop Abyss, who would show the next taping with no long-lasting issues, even after taking the taser to the balls at times. Occasionally, Abyss would wind up doing the same to him and his opponents should he gain the upper hand on him, who too would show up with no lasting effects.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In GURPS it is nearly impossible for a TASER or electrolaser to kill someone (like real life, at least if the co. that makes them is right). On the other hand even an outlet in a house can do lethal damage.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In Edition 3.5, the Nonlethal Substitution metamagic feat can turn elemental damage into non-lethal damage. When applied to electricity and lightning spells, this trope is the result: the subject can't be killed by them, but roughed up enough to fall unconscious.
    • Someone who is under the effect of a "protection from electricity" spell could suffer an electrical attack dealing up to 120 points of damage without a single injury. Of course, it's justified since A Wizard Did It. (Or maybe a sorcerer. Or a cleric. Or a favored soul. Or a ranger. Or a druid.)
  • Shadowrun: Stick & Shock ammo is special subsonic bullets that deliver a non-lethal electrical jolt to the target rather than dealing the normal bullet damage. One shot can potentially drop a normal, unaugmented human but if you wanted to actually kill them you'd have to empty a lot of rounds into them due to the way in which Stun damage works.

    Theme Parks 

  • Chiara from BIONICLE regularly hurls lightning around and zaps people just to prove a point. They don't seem to suffer any permanent damage, but Chiara has been shown to be more than capable of killing creatures with her powers when she wants to....

    Video Games 
  • Video game characters in general can usually be on the receiving end of electrical attacks with no lasting damage.
  • In Chrono Trigger, In a very aptly named skill, "Volt Bite", the titular protagonist can cast a Lightning Spell at the prehistoric amazon party member to charge her with electricity. She then promptly jumps over to an enemy and delivers an electric bite to said enemy without taking any damage herself.
  • In Mario & Luigi: Superstar Saga, Luigi frequently electrifies Mario, just so that they walk facing the same direction.
  • Zigzagged as a buff in the Paper Mario series. A character can become charged with electricity, which causes anyone who isn't similarly electrified to be zapped for a small amount of damage if they make direct contact.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum, Batman doesn't actually suffer any terribly noticeable injury to himself if he runs into an electric field, unlike mooks who get knocked right out. Batman's armor takes the brunt of shock. Same thing happens with getting too close to explosive gel blasts.
  • In Batman: Arkham City you get a gadget that acts as a wireless taser. Given that it causes enemies to spasm and hit each other, though, it might be an aversion...
  • In Batman: Arkham Knight the Batmobile gives off a powerful electric shock when it hits someone so that they won't be run over as it knocks them away instead. However, this counts as an Acceptable Break from Reality because while Batman can be counted on not to run over and kill people with his car, the player cannot, and surviving electrocution is more reasonable than surviving getting bulldozed by a tank.
    • Batman is also able to hack into the militia's drones and make them fire electricity at their own controllers, seemingly to no permanent damage.
  • The electro bolt from BioShock (unless combined with water.)
  • In the opening credits of Dawn of War 2, it is averted with the Farseer quickly killing a Space Marine with a bolt of lighting from her hands. It doesn't kill the Force Commander she attacks with it afterwards, but he is breathing heavily and worse-for-wear from it. On the other hand, electric attacks in the gameplay fall completely under Critical Existence Failure.
  • Pikmin: Pikmin are instantly fried by bursts of electricity in the first two ovo188, though the yellow ones and Bulbmin are unaffected. As of the third game, any Pikmin can survive it as long as you whistle at them quickly enough, the electricity instead leaving them unconscious and twitching for a moment before they expire.
  • Pokémon: While most Electric attacks deal damage, Thunder Wave is a weak jolt of electricity that deals no damage, but instead just inflicts the Paralysis effect. And if the target is already sleeping, poisoned, frozen, or burned, it does nothing whatsoever.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Pikachu's and Pichu's electricity are as normal of an attack as any other. No paralysis, no burns, nothing. Even on Squirtle and Charizard, who in their own series would be hurt much more than other monsters being electrocuted, although Pichu's lightning attack will damage Pichu itself.
  • The Sims:
    • Averted, as getting electrocuted makes all your needs drop severely. If they drop low enough, the Sim will die.
    • In The Sims 3, being electrocuted gives you the singed attribute, which lasts an indefinite length of time but always more than a day. Not only does it ruin their mood, but doing any further electric work is more likely to fail, and if they get electrocuted again while singed, they automatically die.
  • Played straight, and eventually averted, in Spyro the Dragon. Zoe, a fairy who auto-saves your progress, zaps you. In Hero's Tail it's revealed that it hurts, and that it's making Spyro's brain cells disappear.
  • A few Street Fighter characters have the ability to electrocute opponents (Blanka and Crimson Viper being the most notable,) visible skeleton and all. The opponent is flung away and knocked flat on his or her back, but is really hurt only as much as if hit by a fierce punch and goes right back to fighting.
  • In Um Jammer Lammy, doing Bad or Awful on Stage 6 results in Yoko jolting Lammy, Rammy, or PaRappa (depending on who you are playing as) with lightning. Their skeletons are shown (despite the fact that they are made of paper), but they are not harmed in any way. Lammy gets shocked again in a flashback during the Stage 7 cutscene, resulting in her hair turning into an afro.
  • In Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, electrical damage only causes the player's skeleton to show (except for on the 3DS port, in which they simply spin around in a circle). They don't get hurt.
  • Aversion in Sonic & Knuckles, Knuckles gets shocked in one cutscene, and remains winded and out of it for quite some time afterwards.
  • Running into the electric fences in Jet Set Radio Future only causes the player to fall on their back, and lose some health in the process.
  • Surgeon Simulator 2013: Taking a metal object such as tweezers and sticking them in the sockets will zap your hand, wreck your watch, cause erratic movements and reverse the controls. Doing that and then injecting yourself with drugs that reduce bloodloss nets you an achievement and performing any surgery with zapped controls also nets you an achievement.
  • In Dead Space, Isaac can step on some powered rails. There will be some sparks, he will briefly struggle, but after a while you can control him again and the damage isn't even very high. Maybe justified by the fact that he's wearing an engineering suit.
  • Azure Striker Gunvolt starts with the main character receiving Electric Torture, which, due to his powers, not only is harmless, but allow him to recharge and break free.
  • Zig-zagged in Deus Ex: Mankind Divided: Electrified areas will damage Adam fairly quickly, but if he can escape it before suffering Critical Existence Failure, his regenerative aug kicks in and repairs him back to perfect health. However, aside from briefly depleting his energy store, all those complex cybernetics in his body seem to come through it unharmed, even though early in the game a concussive blast is enough to severely damage them. Later on, Adam can upgrade his systems to grant complete immunity to electricity.
  • In Hamtaro: Ham-Hams Unite!, Hamtaro can unplug the fountain in Sky Garden and Stickie the socket. This shocks him, but he shakes it off.
  • Neighbours From Hell: Several pranks involve Rottweiler being electrocuted. He will always survive the shock with nothing more than frustration.
    • A common season 3 prank in the first game involves creating a puddle teeming with live electricity in Rottweiler's basement. Naturally, Rottweiler will inevitably trip on the puddle and get shocked.
    • One episode in the first game has Woody reactivate a circuit that Rottweiler had shut off for repairs, leading to Rottweiler getting shocked when he actually begins the repair work.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • Roy electrocutes Simon during their battle near the end of The Cartoon Man. As they're both essentially cartoon characters at the time, Simon is barely affected.
  • The Monument Mythos features anomalous flora known as the Special Trees which occasionally zap nearby humans with bolts of energy. This leaves no electrical trauma on the bodies of its victims, but it does transport them to a parallel universe where almost every aspect of the world is somewhat different, which in most cases will destroy their lives anyway. It's also a very different story if someone attempts to climb the Special Trees, which absolutely does harm them.
  • Used repeatedly in Episode 13 of World's Greatest Adventures as R. H. Talltales keeps walking into an electrified fence.

    Western Animation 
  • Too many Looney Tunes cartoons to count.
  • Likewise, too many Spongebob Squarepants episodes to count, as well as other Nicktoons intended for comedy as opposed to exposition (The Fairly OddParents!, The Mighty B!, My Life as a Teenage Robot, etc.)
  • In one episode of Megas XLR, Kiva finishes her rushed attempt to fix Megas in time to stop a Glorft attack by handing Jamie some wires to pass a current through his body.
  • In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold episode "Deep Cover For Batman", the character Red Hood is tortured for a while with some kind of adjustable-current electric chair by Silver Cyclone of the Injustice Syndicate. He starts laughing cackling and says 'it tickles!' This could have more to do with the fact that he's a slightly cracked badass and alternate-universe good Joker than any actual lack of suffering, but after he's freed he fights perfectly handily with his impressive acrobatic abilities undampened.
  • The Simpsons sometimes uses this trope.
    • Played with during rich palms no deposit bonus codesr's appearance on a Japanese game show, where the host moves rich palms no deposit bonus codesr to the "lightning round", which is exactly that: being struck by lightning. The host verbally averts the trope, although as usual, rich palms no deposit bonus codesr's no more damaged than he ever is.
      Sadistic Host: He may appear unharmed, but he has actually been burned internally.
      Sadistic Audience: (impressed murmurs)
    • There is an unexpected subversion in the Frank Grimes episode (which went out of its way to self-reference and subvert many standard Simpsons tropes). A new worker called Frank Grimes gets employment at the power plant, but is aggravated at rich palms no deposit bonus codesr's terrible ineptitude and how good his quality of life is compared to his own. His frustration builds throughout the episode until it climaxes in him going insane and imitating rich palms no deposit bonus codesr - eventually he grabs a live power cable believing that he will survive the electric shock (like how most characters would do in the show), but he doesn't. He dies. And still gets no respect.
    • In "I Won't Be rich palms no deposit bonus codes for Christmas," Bart flashes back to a time when he wakes up on Christmas Eve to see rich palms no deposit bonus codesr getting hanged and electrocuted by Christmas lights. Obviously, rich palms no deposit bonus codesr is okay.
      rich palms no deposit bonus codesr: Next year, this is your job!
    • In "All's Fair in Oven War," when rich palms no deposit bonus codesr is destroying the old kitchen with a sledgehammer, he eventually hits some uncovered power lines, electrocutes himself, and gets sent crashing into the fridge. As per usual, he shrugs it off.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • A hilarious inversion happens in the episode "Jet Scream." While Rocko and Heffer are on a plane, Heffer makes a break for first class and is somehow able to get through the electric force field without getting shock. Rocko, on the other hand, however, isn't as lucky and is immediately zapped by the electric force field as he follows along. When Rocko returns to his seat, his shirt is shown to have taken the least of the damage in comparison to his blackened-burnt skin.
    • A straight example occurs in "Carnival Knowledge" when Rocko gets out of his bumper car. For every step he takes on the floor, he gets electrocuted. When he approaches Heffer, Rocko is shown to be okay (aside from the fur on his head sticking up straight).
  • The KaBlam! episode Under New Management had Henry and June trying to fix a faulty sign together. They turn off the sign's power beforehand...but just as they touch it, Mr. Foot accidentally flips the switch back on and electrocutes them. Of course, they end up on the ground with black marks all over them and their hair sticking up (though surprisingly, we didn't see their skeletons.
  • After Kim Possible kicks her into a signal tower that zaps her and collapses on top of her in So the Drama, Shego receives only minor damage to her clothes, hair, and dignity. Possibly justified since she IS an energy-channeling metahuman.
  • Played straight AND averted in Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Legend of Korra :
    • In a first season episode, Iroh gets struck by natural lightning. He isn't injured by it (managing to use his technique to redirect lightning), but nevertheless ends up with the usual comedic charring and hair on end.
    • In the second season finale, Azula shoots Aang in the back with lightning. He would have died if not for Katara and the healing water she had with her, and it still leaves a permanent scar where he was hit (as well as on the exit spot).
    • In the grand finale, Azula shoots lightning at Katara, and Zuko intercepts it with a Diving Save. He redirects it, but improperly (meaning at least some of it got channeled through his heart), and it nearly kills him.
    • Lighting bending is used for the second on-screen death in the entire franchise at the end of season 3 of Korra . Mako lures Ming-hua down to an underground pool, gets clear of the water, and then shoots lighting up her water arms, killing her almost instantly.
  • Futurama:
    • Happens to Fry in the episode "The Luck of the Fryrish" while he attempts to retrieve a horse racing ticket from some electrical wires while using a conducting rake.
    • Zig-zagged with Bender. In the first episode, Fry and Bender are trapped in a room, with the only way out blocked by a metal grate. Bender says he can't bend it because he's programmed to bend for only constructive purposes. After a brief encounter with a broken lightbulb, he's become the Bender we all know and love. In another episode, however, he gets zapped with enough juice to literally melt his body, but his internals seem unharmed.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Maternal Instincts", Vlad electrocutes Danny with a device that causes him to lose his ghost powers, complete with X-Ray Sparks.
  • In the Sonic the Hedgehog (SatAM) episode "Ro-Becca", Antoine gets struck by lightning and then shoots dozens of feet into the air, wailing like a dying cat, only to land right in Ro-Becca's arms.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • Derpy accidentally does it to herself in "The Last Round-Up". She gets shocked while kicking lightning out of a stray storm-cloud, but just ends up covered in ash and still maintains her usual cheerfully vacant expression.
    • The Apple family farm has a unique cultivar of apple called the "Zap apple". A ripe zap apple is rainbow-fleshed, but its name derives from what happens if one attempts to pick an unripe fruit — as Sweetie Belle learns the hard way in "Family Appreciation Day". The shock flings her over the heads of two friends.
    • The visible-skeleton gag shows up courtesy of a joy buzzer in "Griffon the Brush-Off".
  • This occurs in Harvey Beaks when Officer Fredd electroshocks people who cause mischief with his taser gloves.
    • In "Old-Fashioned Dade, Dade gets frustrated when Fee and Foo monopolize their friend Harvey because he (Dade) wanted to spend time with just Harvey and himself at the annual Old Fashioned Days festival which is 1970s themed. So he devises a plan to get Fee and Foo kicked out of the festival when he overhears one ride operator talking to the other ride operator to not let anyone touch the control panel for the Disco Go! ride or it will go haywire and tricks them (Fee and Foo) into thinking that the control panel was insulting them. So the twins start vandalizing it until it causes the ride to rapidly spin out of control, causing collateral damage and being spun out of the park. Upon seeing this, Officer Fred freaks out and finds Fee and Foo vandalizing the control panel for the ride and electroshocks them with his taser gloves, captures them in a net and throws them out of the festival. Later in the episode after seeing Harvey get bummed about his friends Fee and Foo getting thrown out of the festival, Dade starts feeling guilty and sneaks Fee and Foo back into the festival by stowing away inside a bass drum and tells them that it was his fault that he got them kicked out of the festival, causing Fee to get furious and start attacking Dade, causing them to bust out of the bass drum and they all make up by performing a song on stage with the band about how much they love Harvey. When the song is finished, Officer Fred sees that Fee and Foo sneaked back in and he chases after them along with Harvey and Dade and the four start laughing in amusement until Officer Fredd electroshocks them and the episode ends with a freeze frame of all four of the friends being electroshocked and becomes a photo that gets added to Dade's photo collection of him and his friends.
    • In "Comet Night!" when Miriam, Fee, Princess, Claire, Piri Piri, and Randl's Mother arrive at the rollerskating rink which has been remodeled and refurnished into a retirement home within the past 25 years. Fee starts to notice Miriam going overboard and carried away and suggests they go back to knitting, but Miriam didn't want to seem boring to Fee and the other girls, so they go inside and start mayhem which causing injuries to the elderly residents and property damage. It gets to the point where the receptionist calls the police to restore order but Officer Fredd arrives at the spur of the moment to help just and then he starts starts electroshocking the elderly retirement home residents with his taser gloves mistaking them for troublemakers and the receptionist tells him that she called the police because of Miriam, Fee, Princess, Clair, Piri Piri and Randl's Mother who are causing chaos as she points him to the real problem, but when Randl's Mother sees Officer Fred laying down the law, she escapes the retirement home not wanting to be incarcerated again and the other three girls leaving Miriam and Fee at the retirement home where the two are holding hands and spinning on skates but then all of a sudden Officer Fredd electroshocks them with his taser gloves and Miriam and Fee suddenly fall to the floor on their backs rendering them incapacitated. Officer Fredd continues electroshocking them while they are still lying on the floor face up, in spite of Miriam's objections, and the nursing home residents gather around them and start cheering and applauding out of enjoyment. Afterwards, Miriam and Fee are are arrested and taken to a jail cell for disturbing the peace, disorderly conduct.
  • Dastardly and Muttley in Their Flying Machines: In "Zilly's a Dilly," Klunk fits the planes with lightning rods that shoot out lightning to their intended target. Just as Klunk warns him not to, Dastardly touches the tip of a rod and gets zapped.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In Episode 53, Stumpy pushes a fork into an electric socket (to show the viewers what not to do) and gets electrocuted, but he is completely fine. At the end of the episode, Bad Kaeloo gets angry and ties Stumpy, Quack Quack and Olaf to a giant fork and repeatedly sticks it into an electric socket.
    • In Episode 104, Stumpy, who is being grabbed by robots, puts his fingers in an electric socket. This somehow brings the robots under his control, yet does no harm to him at all.
    • Averted in Episode 72, where Stumpy dies after being electrocuted and has to be brought back to life by a spirit.
  • In the Mona the Vampire episode, "Robot Baby Sitter", Belinda is jolted out of her seat and in mid-air momentarily after Mona shuffles her feet across the carpet, and gives a static shock.
  • Inspector Gadget averts this in "A Star Is Lost", where Gadget ends up in the hospital after an encounter with a badly grounded electric guitar, but play it straight in "Gadget and Old Lace", where he gets X-Ray Sparks from an electrified chicken, but comes out unscathed.
  • Ready Jet Go!: In One Small Step, while attempting to turn on the engine of the super saucer, Jet 2 is electrocuted. However, he turns out okay, and since he's a robot, it doesn't inflict much damage as it would a human or alien.
  • In one episode of Jayce and the Wheeled Warriors, Jayce tries to short circuit a computer whose self-destruct mechanism he has inadvertently triggered by pulling out two wires and touching them together. Herc warns him that he will electrocute himself doing this and tells him to drop the wires. However, though the shock briefly knocks Jayce unconscious, he is otherwise unharmed. (The attempt to short out the computer doesn't work.)

    Real Life 
  • Aversion: Lightning strikes that leave no apparent physical injury have been shown to often alter the personality of the strikee.
  • Aversion: As mentioned in the article introduction, tasers and similar electric stun devices can kill, when aimed at the heart or anywhere above the lower torso, when used on people who already have weak hearts or who are under the influence of amphetamines or cocaine or other drugs/have other medical conditions that affect heart rate and similar, used on someone in water, or simply turned to too high of a voltage. Unfortunately, taser abuse and misuse is one of the most common forms of Police Brutality.
  • A static discharge can be pretty painful without inflicting any noticeable injury.
  • Plenty of people survive encounters with household electricity with nothing worse than a tingly arm. However, electricity is capricious. Slight changes in what the person is touching can mean the difference between a shock passing harmlessly between the thumb and forefinger or fatally between the thumb and foot by way of the heart.
    • Someone actually won a Darwin Award for exactly this, managing to kill themselves with a 9 volt battery.
    • The example with the 9 volt battery, along with the number of lightning strike survivors, highlights a myth about electrocution: that it's the voltage that kills you, which isn't true. It's the current, or "amperage". Now, that said, it IS possible to survive obscenely high currents, and that's because at those amperages, the electricity doesn't actually enter the body, but dances across the skin, which won't kill you (though it will probably make you WISH it had).
  • Running carefully controlled electrical currents through the human body has legitimate therapeutic and medical benefits, such as heart defibrillation. The most extreme is electroshock therapy, which is painless when done correctly and can cure suicidal depression when no other treatment is successful. (Though it does carry side effects such as memory loss.)
    • While short-term memory loss is a temporary side effect, in the long term patients are able to form and recall new memories as well or better than depressed patients who do not do ECT. Loss of/increased difficulty in recalling memories from before the treatment has been reported, but is impossible to test and prove or disprove.
  • As already listed under Cracked's "6 Real People With Mind-Blowing Mutant Superpowers", certain genetic anomalies can lead to people like Ma Xiangang to come into direct contact with electricity without being shocked. This comes from his hands being much rougher and drier than others, functioning like a pair of insulated gloves.
  • The fossil collector and palaeontologist Mary Anning was struck by lighting while she was 15 months old. While the three people next to her were killed, she survived, though she had to be revived with a hot water bath. Before this, she was ill, but the lightning strike actually seemed to cure her ailments and caused her to become more curious, intelligent, and lively.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Harmless Voltage


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If she weren't a cartoon character, she'd be dead as a doorknob!

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