- CSI: When the lab blows up ("Play With Fire") and when the garage blows up on CSI ("Down the Drain") because of the editing and unexpected nature of both events.
- The high school blowing up in Buffy because it is so gosh-darn thematically perfect.
- The rocket launcher sequence in Buffy ("Innocence") because it is so gosh-darn dramatic. (You go, girl!)
- The opening sequence in Numb3rs' "Burn Rate" for the editing and music ("Hard to Concentrate" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers). This episode also has a good non-explosion scene when the Bomb Squad uses a remote control robot to retrieve and "blow up" a bomb.
- The season finale of Season 1 Leverage (Part 1) right after Alec says, "Sterling, you're in my house. Get out of my house."
- The exploding gas station (I had to have one!) in X-Files' "Dreamland" and "Dreamland II." A Season 6 episode combo, "Dreamland" combines good story with a strong Mulder-Scully relationship without losing X-Files' classic dreamy feel (plus Michael McKean is fantastic). The exploding/non-exploding gas station is an important clue.
- All the explosions in Die Hard because, well, it's Die Hard (and for the line, "We're gonna need some more FBI guys").
- The exploding submarine in Hunt for Red October since it is such a strong pay-off/resolution to a fairly complex set of variables (plus the pay-off lasts right to the end: "You've lost another submarine?").
- Two tense non-explosions: the mailed package in Criminal Minds' "Won't Get Fooled Again" which the little girl holds until the Bomb Squad shows up plus the mailed package.
- Nero Wolfe's "Murder is Corny" which Nero Wolfe anticipates and prevents exploding by calling the Bomb Squad (what can I say: I really like to watch professionals follow procedure).
- I hate to say it since I love Star Trek but watching ships explode in space almost bores me senseless. Wrath of Khan is an exception since the entire end sequence--including explosion--is so well-done, but I am including Spock's death and the creation of a new planet in that sequence.
- Stargate SG-1 explosions--even in space--are generally quite fun. ("More! More!")
- The FIRST (1977) destruction of the Death Star, an example of how old non-digital technology trumps new digital technology through sheer good story-telling.
If it is going to go off, it should go off with a "bang"!