Can I use 24 gauge speaker cable?

I’ve been trying to google this but I only get vague answers.
I want to know if I can use 24 gauge cable as speaker cable. And if not: why not?
Usual answers are “no, you should use xx gauge”, but I’m looking for why is that? Will the speakers of the amp go off in flames if the resistance is too high? I don’t even get that because the resistance isn’t even that much of a difference between speaker cable sizes, compared to the speakers resistance.

I’m talking about ca 16ft / 5m distance between amp and speaker. By the way should that measure 16 ft or double (32ft because one cable is plus and the other minus)?
Cakyol has his head on completely straight and seems to be grounded in the laws of physics. I use 24 gauge wire for one of my systems with a 3.5 watt tube amp and high sensitivity vintage (Frazier) speakers - it sounds incredible, top to bottom. Generally for higher output, I would personally go with a larger gauge - BUT nothing fancy or expensive. I have been very happy with the high quality, flexible Installgear wire from Amazon (Cakyol’s second link) on my main system (a more beefy McIntosh tube system). A friend of mine with 40+ years experience and some of the best sounding gear you're ever heard, goes with 14 gauge wire from Home Depot.  Hell, if it was good enough for the iconic Paul Klipsch, that's good enough for me.

williewonka, and several other of these bloviators for that matter, on the other hand are marinating in snake oil. PLEASE don’t get sucked into the "cable science" nonsense (non-science)! All auditory hallucination paid for with obscene amounts of money and bolstered by clever marketing designed to steal your cash. And don’t bother to argue with them - predictably, they’ll now attack my system, hearing, sophistication, credibility, etc, with zero science to back up anything they try to put forth. Just put them on mute, move on, and enjoy the MUSIC.
Once again, the forum shows that some people can hear differences with thicker wire, better interconnects, etc while other people either can’t or won’t. This is not meant as a diss, but rather than query the Hatfields and McCoys on this, why not buy (if you don’t already have some) a couple of different gauges of wire at the Home Depot and listen for yourself?

Better yet, if you can borrow several different manufacturer’s speaker cables instead of raw wire, compare those as well. That way, instead of relying on someone’s opinion of what you can or cannot hear, you’ll know...
Totally agreed @tbakin63. Of course it looks kind of awesome to have these cables worth 1000’s of dollars but it’s nothing more than jewelry. If Mr Klipsch (and other highly regarded people in the industry too by the way!) says it’s not worth it to spend a lot the I believe them.

My current cables are quite nice looking Dynavox cables, 4 x 10AWG wires inside. But they’re also quite huge. That’s why I’d love to see some smaller cables in my house. So why not go with the smallest cables I could find at the Home Depot, i.e. 24 AWG? :-)

Next week I’ll have the chance to play around with a 3Watts/channel tube amp. I’ll be testing the telephone cables for sure! I just wanted to make sure I won’t melt anything or set stuff on fire :’)
@williewonka Excellent response and explanation. I've bought cheap wire before and have upgraded to something much better but have never really understood most of the aspects you describe. This clarifies some of the things I've suspected. I did spend quite a bit more moolah but some of the cables are way outside my budget. Some of them are way outside most peoples budget. Finding  audiophile class wiring at prices the average consumer can afford is difficult.  I would imagine too that the amount of money you spend would be commensurate with the system it's being applied to. No sense in spending a fortune on boutique speaker cables for a Walmart stereo in other words. 
@jsd52756 This is exactly my thinking. I'm a contractor and I know if you are going to run any kind of power equipment over any distance from the power source you want to have a heavier gauge extension cord. If you don't you'll not only not have enough power you will burn out your saw or whatever it is in a short period of time. A lighter cord will get much warmer as well. I can only imagine the possible damage to both speaker and amp over several years.