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"Wooooooahhhh making small rocks float up off the GRROOOOOOUUUUUUUND!"

A character that has previously been shown to be able to swirl dust must now show off that they've gotten even stronger. How do they go about this? Frequently, by causing the very ground around them to break apart and start to float away. This debris might even orbit the character as if they were generating a magnetic/gravitational field.

Bonus points if the chunks are large enough and a character is Badass enough to use them as stepping stones.

They may also cause a sudden shallow but pronounced indentation in the ground, as if they weighed several tons. This indentation will be much larger than their footprints (possibly the result of their Battle Aura becoming a lesser form of a Sphere of Destruction). Has nothing to do with vomit or Ludicrous Gibs.

Examples of Chunky Updraft include:


  • Dragon Ball Z is famous for this. It was first done in Dragon Ball by King Piccolo, but most famously in the "Over 9000" scene.
    • Parodied (along with a few other tropes) long before it was played straight, in Doctor Slump, another Akira Toriyama classic. This time, with robots.
  • Bleach may be the spiritual successor to Dragonball Z in this regard.
  • Akira did this too, with both Tetsuo and the SOL weapon (which seems to be just a space-based laser). At least Tetsuo had an excuse.
  • Happens sometimes in Saint Seiya too, Ikki using it the most.
  • Rin, a little boy who is the reincarnation of an insane alien, Sion, does this at least once in Please Save My Earth.
  • Subaru from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha can do this when "awakening." More precisely, when she peruses her insane Combat Cyborg power output.
  • Yu Yu Hakusho employs this fairly frequently during the Dark Tournament arc.
  • Some very powerful demons in the Inuyasha anime do this when they're really pissed off - Sesshoumaru is the most notable.
  • The first indication that Saki's powers in Futari wa Pretty Cure Splash* Star are based on the earth, besides her flowery transformation sequence, is how she calls upon a Battle Aura from the ground. Later on, after her Cure Bright powerup, dirt clods fly up into the air as she does this.
  • This occurs in Sailor Moon whenever the sailor senshi teleport.
  • Happens in FLCL's climax.
  • Mirajane causes this in Fairy Tail after a rival mage lays a serious beat-down on her brother.
  • Naruto causes this whenever he transforms into his later Demon Fox forms.
  • In Soul Eater, Death the Kid's use of soul resonance does this, along with other similar examples. When Shinigami and Death Scythe's soul resonance causes this in episode 48, the onlookers several metres away get hit by the updraft.
  • A gentle variety of this occurs in Macross Zero. When singing at a pond decorated with Protoculture-like markings of the Mayan people, Sara Nome can cause rocks to rise into the air.
  • In Ranma ½, when using the perfected form of the Shishi Hokodan, Ryouga's ki will lift huge chunks of rock into the air, propelled by the technique's massive pillar of force.
  • Bio-Booster Armor Guyver envelops the invocator of a bio-booster armor in a Sphere of Destruction ringed by Chunky Updraft. Needless to say, you don't want to be in grabbing-range when this happens.
  • Fist of the North Star Might be the Trope Codifier.
  • Jack Rakan from Mahou Sensei Negima.
  • Whenever Mewtwo unleashes one of his powerful psychic attacks, the ground beneath him will always be torn up by said attack.


  • Resident Evil Extinction Scene occurs when Alice (Milla Jovovich), Umbrella's greatest bio organic weapon, is now alone in the desert wastelands of the remains of the United States. She has a psionic attack while asleep and having a nightmare/vision that causes the surrounding rocks, boulders and her motorbike to be lifted, and subsequently destroyed as she awakes with a start. This makes her massive development seem even more powerful since she was not even consciously trying to do anything.
  • Jean Grey/Phoenix does this towards the end of X-Men: The Last Stand.
  • In Death Trance, The Goddess of Destruction causes this to happen during her awakening.

Video Games

  • This happens in Chrono Trigger every time the giant parasite Lavos finally emerges to destroy the planet.
  • The GDI Ion Cannon from Command and Conquer 3 does this, likely as a consequence of the jumbo magnetic fields required to fire a kiloton ion beam all the way from orbit.
  • Very common in attack animations from Nippon Ichi games such as Disgaea and Makai Kingdom. As an example, the animation of Revya's Demon Blade from Soul Nomad and The World Eaters turns the whole map into chunky updrafts.
  • An early cutscene in Final Fantasy X has Auron walk across a puddle of water and droplets begin floating up from its surface. At the same time, it is made clear that it's not Auron who causes it, but Sin, which is still miles away from there. Ominous foreshadowing at its finest.
  • Final Fantasy XI has this as the animation for the Monk job ability "Boost", which is actually learned at level 5 and used incredibly trivially, considering it 1) causes a small but cumulative increase in attack power to the next hit, as long as that hit comes within 3 minutes of the first use, and 2) can be used once every 15 seconds. This has not stopped egregiously dumb players from putting inconsiderate things like "/shout Yaaaaaahhhhh!" or "/emote goes Super Saiyan." in their Boost macros.
  • Happens towards the end of The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask.
    • That might've been trying more to show that the moon is so close that loose debris was falling up into it. Sure, that wouldn't actually happen, but it still looked cool.
  • Doctor Doom has this as a special attack, name of Molecular Shield, in the Marvel vs. Capcom series.
  • Age of Conan uses this as part of the buff animation for the 'Claws of Stone' spell of the Bear Shaman class. After the Chunky Updraft, a circle of rock pillars emerges from the ground and collapses into rubble.
  • Kristoph Gavin is so frustrated by his defeat in the first case of the fourth Ace Attorney game that he does this in his Freak-Out animation... using the lobsters on the courtroom floor left over from the previous witness' Freak-Out animation.
  • Dawn of War 2's Orbital Bombardment does this; mostly with enemy units.
  • A few Super Robot Wars attacks feature this. Special mention goes to Folka Albark's Gou Sho Sen, which actually shows where the rocks are coming from - namely, the trench the robot carves into the ground by pure force of awesome.
  • Shamans in World of Warcraft have this as a shielding ability.
  • In Yoshis Island, Giant Baby Bowser creates one when he roars, with boulders huge enough to tear huge gashes in the platforms Yoshi is perched on when they fall.
  • Guild Wars has Armor of Earth, an elementalst spell.
  • In Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire, the move Superpower makes small rocks rise as the user gathers energy for a massive attack.
  • In Barkley, Shut Up and Jam: Gaiden, performing Chaos Dunk causes chunks of rock to fly upward (even if it's inside a spaceship) as well as rain and thunders (once again, even inside the spaceship).
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2, the main protagonist's aura creates a lot of Chunky Updraft during his Limit Break acquisition sequence.
  • Common in Asura's Wrath whenever Asura and Augus power up.
  • The Issue 22 expansion of City of Heroes introduces an enemy group that uses Earth powers with Chunky Updraft-style graphics. The combination of violent shaking and rapid motion has been known to produce Chunky Downdraft in players.
  • In the Play Station 2 remake of Tales of Destiny, Stahn's Phoenix blast caliber starts with this (And lots of yelling).

Web Animation

  • In a Homestar Runner thanksgiving special, Stinkoman manages it while lampshading "Whoa, making small rocks float up off the ground!".

Web Comic

Western Animation

  • In the final episode of Justice League Unlimited, Superman punches Darkseid hard enough to make this happen. Ow.
    • Similarly, in the same series, Flash once runs so fast that he starts leaving large gashes in the Earth from his footsteps. And then ends up with a true Chunky Updraft that he doesn't seem to know how to stop.
  • As seen above, Ron Stoppable truly showed this trope in the Grand Finale of Kim Possible. Orbiting rocks, orbiting alien equipment, battle aura, while floating. (Witness the fully Badass moment here.)
    • He does this in an earlier episode as well. He spends the episode training in a secret martial arts retreat and at its climax produces a battle aura and chunky updraft immediatly before splitting a glacier.
  • Aang of Avatar: The Last Airbender has done this several times, usually when entering the Avatar State. Subverted/justified in that it's not the special effects team following Rule of Cool, but is actually caused by Aang's ability to control both earth and air. (The Chunky Updraft is usually followed by pwnage and explosive damage to surrounding architecture, environments and personnel.)
  • Kida (still in her crystallized form) actually does this during the climax of Disney's Atlantis the Lost Empire, gathering the stone faces representing the dead kings of Atlantis so she can save her kingdom from an erupting volcano.