Although many reviews describe significant advances in burn care, no studies have yet examined why these papers had such profound impact. Our objective was to identify the most highly cited, as well as the most clinically influential studies in burns, and describe their characteristics, to inform future research in the field. Web of Science was searched using keywords related to burns to identify the 100 most-cited burns papers. Study design, year and journal of publication, and subject of the paper were recorded. A mixed-methods approach was used to identify papers in burn research leading to change in clinical practice. Characteristics of these papers were compared with identify any factors predictive of future citations or clinical influence. The 100 highly cited papers were cited between 159 and 907 times. There was no correlation between total citations and journal impact factor, year of publication, or subject area. Level of evidence did not predict future citations or influence, but may be influenced by evolving research standards. Of 23 clinically influential studies, 6 were not among 100 most-cited. Using papers only from the 100 most-cited list was not sufficient to identify leading researchers in burns. Citation analysis is a beneficial, however not alone sufficient to identify landmark papers, particularly for multidisciplinary fields such as burns.