Created By: Beed28 on July 15, 2013 Last Edited By: Tallens on September 30, 2015

Planet Shaking Quake

A quake so big it's felt across the entire planet

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Description Needs Help

Sometimes, when an earthquake strikes, it's felt across a large area. However, a quake can be large enough to be felt across an entire planet.

Often a giant explosion or a particularly large meteor can cause such event.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Film 
  • In The Core, after the core is sucessfuly restarted, the entire surface starts shaking from the World-Healing Wave.
  • Implied in Star Wars A New Hope, Red Leader's initial Proton Torpedo hit on the Death Star's exhaust port was enough to send some Stormtroopers and another Imperial soldier staggering and falling in a corridor though we don't see how local to the explosion the corridor is.
  • In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock planet-wide quakes are one of the indications the Genesis Planet isn't stable.

    Comic Books 
  • True of course for Krypton from the Superman series, because the tremors were the prelude to the whole planet blowing up.

    Literature 
  • Robert J Sawyer's Quintaglio Ascension deals with a race of intelligent dinosaurs living on an inner moon of Jupiter. While intelligent, they are ruled by a theocracy that sees the frequent earthquakes not as evidence that their planet is being torn apart by its close proximity to a massive planet's tidal pull, but as the God With The Great Red Eye expressing displeasure at the fallen nature of saurian-kind. The task for more scientifically inclined saurians is to get their people to realise their planet is doomed, and to get the Race off to a more stable planet, such as, er, the third world from the Sun. The last scene is of a saurian spaceship from the Earth colony philosphically watching their former homeworld being shattered and reduced to a ring system...
  • In the original book of When Worlds Collide, months before the collision, Alpha passes close enough to Earth to cause earthquakes strong enough for material to erupt from the Earth's core. Which is the salvation of the rocket project, since it releases a previously unknown element heat-resistant enough to use in an atomic rocket engine.

    Live Action TV 
  • In Doctor Who, at the beginning of the episode "The Stolen Earth", just before the Earth is teleported, an earthquake shakes a suburban neighbourhood, shaking tiles off of houses and causing a milk van to bounce. Afterwards, it's implied that the earthquake was felt across the whole world.
    • Then later, in "Journey's End", when the TARDIS is towing the Earth back home, various characters on Earth are shown being shaken up by the ride.

    Religion 
  • The Book of Revelation describes an earthquake worse than any in human history, which causes "the cities of the nations" to collapse and apparently reshapes the geography of the planet.

    Video Games 
  • At the end of Super Metroid, the entirety of Zebes is shaking during the Catastrophic Countdown to an Earth-Shattering Kaboom.
  • Happens in Borderlands 2 as a result of Handsome Jack's excavation operations to break into the Vault on Pandora.
  • In Wild ARMs 1, in the beginning during Rudy's prologue after getting a holy berry to help your friend treat his sick father it turns out that last holy berry was the only thing sealing a way an evil monster that had threatened the village many years ago, and it's release causes the whole world to shake. You defeat it, but the villagers are still really ticked with you, and ask you to leave.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic:
    • Occurs on the planet Makeb as the Hutts' deep mining operations are on the verge of tearing the planet apart.
    • The planet Quesh had its atmosphere permanently poisoned fifty thousand years ago during an event known as The Quake, a series of ground quakes that rocked the planet over the course of three centuries and completely rearranged its geologic face.
  • Towards the end of XCOM: Enemy Unknown, capturing the Ethereal device causes the alien Temple Ship to appear over south Atlantic Ocean, sending tremors across the planet that can be felt in the XCOM HQ, even if it is located in Europe or North America.

    Western Animation 
  • The Schoolhouse Rock episode "The Shot Heard 'Round the World" uses that phrase describing the American Revolution literally: in a shot of the globe, a Written Sound Effect saying "Bang!" in the proto-US is followed by a Speech Bubble from somewhere in China saying "What was that?"
  • Happens a few times in Futurama:
    • The episode "The Farnsworth Parabox" has a Universe Shaking Quake at the end. At the end of the episode, the crew ends up with a box containing their own universe. When Bender grabs the box and shakes it around, the entire place violently shakes, flinging people into the walls. Despite this, no apparent damage from the shakingnote is seen throughout the universe in later episodes.
    • In "That Darn Katz!", the cats cause this when they take the rotation energy from the Earth to their own planet. This causes the Hawaiian Islands to literally crash into each other, causes the Eiffel Tower to fly away from Paris before Big Ben crashes into its spot, before being crushed by the Statue of Liberty in turn, and literally bounces a filming studio out of Hollywood, sending everyone flying away, except for director Calculon as he was sitting in a hovering chair.
    Calculon: Cut! That extra looked at the camera. We'll have to do it again.
    • In "Game of Tones", an alien spaceship travels through space transmitting a series of musical tones strong enough to literally shake a planet apart. When it starts approaching Earth, it causes fissures to open up in city streets, as well as causing the ocean to violently ripple about.

    Real Life 
  • This is absolutely Truth in Television, at least if you're a seismometer. The epicenter of tremors is triangulated based on multiple seismometers far from the quake, and major quakes can cause Earth to ring like a bell for days.

Rolling Updates

Community Feedback Replies: 27
  • July 15, 2013
    StarSword
    Real Life:
    • This is absolutely Truth In Television, at least if you're a seismometer. The epicenter of tremors is triangulated based on multiple seismometers far from the quake, and major quakes can cause Earth to ring like a bell for days.
  • July 15, 2013
    OlafMerchant
    Videogames

    • Borderlands 2: Happens as a result of Handsome Jack's excavation operations to break into the Vault on Pandora.
  • July 15, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Removed spoiler tags from the unnecessary parts.
  • July 15, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    True of course for Krypton, because the tremors were the prelude to the whole planet blowing up.

  • July 15, 2013
    Beed28
    ^ And in what Superman was that? Was it the comic? Any of the films? It needs more detail.
  • July 15, 2013
    DAN004
    Often a giant explosion or a particularly large meteor can cause such event.
  • July 17, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    ^^Uh... every version of Superman back to the Golden Age? Featured as a flashback in so many stories that I'm amazed anyone could not know it's canon.

  • July 25, 2013
    LikeSnowyNights
    Should this trope be fixed to include other events that cause a wave or vibration effect. Some fantasy/supernatural shows have a similar "globally felt" moment where people all around the world can feel something because of its magnitude.
  • July 25, 2013
    Beed28
    ^ You can go ahead.
  • July 26, 2013
    randomsurfer
    The Schoolhouse Rock episode "The Shot Heard 'round the World" uses that phrase describing the American Revolution literally: in a shot of the globe, a Written Sound Effect saying "Bang!" in the proto-US is followed by a Speech Bubble from somewhere in China saying "What was that?"
  • August 8, 2013
    Exxolon
    Red Leader's initial proton torpedo hit on the Death Star's exhaust port was enough to send some stormtroopers and another imperial soldier staggering and falling in a corridor though we don't see how local to the explosion the corridor is.
  • August 8, 2013
    xanderiskander
    under videogames:

    • Wild Arms 1: In the beginning during Rudy's prologue after getting a holy berry to help your friend treat his sick father it turns out that last holy berry was the only thing sealing a way an evil monster that had threatened the village many years ago, and it's release causes the whole world to shake. You defeat it, but the villagers are still really ticked with you, and ask you to leave.
  • August 9, 2013
    DAN004
  • August 9, 2013
    Beed28
    ^ Needs some elaboration or it's a Zero Context Example. Also, did you mean Twenty Twelve... hang on, Film/2012... uh, Film/{{2012}}...?

    Wait a minute... didn't we have a film page for 2012? What the hell's going on?! Why isn't it working?
  • August 9, 2013
    DAN004
  • August 31, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature
    • Robert J. Sawyer's The Quintaglio Ascension deals with a race of intelligent dinosaurs living on an inner moon of Jupiter. While intelligent, they are ruled by a theocracy that sees the frequent earthquakes not as evidence that their planet is being torn apart by its close proximity to a massive planet's tidal pull, but as the God With The Great Red Eye expressing displeasure at the fallen nature of saurian-kind. The task for more scientifically inclined saurians is to get their people to realise their planet is doomed, and to get the Race off to a more stable planet, such as, er, the third world from the Sun. The last scene is of a saurian spaceship from the Earth colony philosphically watching their former homeworld being shattered and reduced to a ring system...
  • September 14, 2013
    Tallens
  • September 15, 2013
    abloke
    Religion
    • The Book of Revelation describes an earthquake worse than any in human history, which causes "the cities of the nations" to collapse and apparently reshapes the geography of the planet.
  • September 15, 2013
    Koveras
    • Towards the end of XCOM Enemy Unknown, capturing the Ethereal device causes the alien Temple Ship to appear over south Atlantic Ocean, sending tremors across the planet that can be felt in the XCOM HQ, even if it is located in Europe or North America.
  • October 13, 2013
    DAN004
    Improve description plz?
  • October 13, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Linked the Quintaglio Ascension example to its work page. Also redirected the Book Of Revelation example to its own page (it was linked to The Bible page).
  • October 22, 2013
    Tallens
    Another from Star Wars The Old Republic
    • The planet Quesh had its atmosphere permanently poisoned fifty thousand years ago during an event known as The Quake, a series of groundquakes that rocked the planet over the course of three centuries and completely rearranged its geologic face.
  • November 3, 2013
    Lumpenprole
    In the original book of When Worlds Collide, months before the collision, Alpha passes close enough to Earth to cause earthquakes strong enough for material to erupt from the Earth's core. Which is the salvation of the rocket project, since it releases a previously unknown element heat-resistant enough to use in an atomic rocket engine.
  • March 9, 2014
    Tallens
    Bump.
  • May 10, 2014
    Tallens
    I don't think that example about the Death Star in Star Wars really counts.
  • July 4, 2014
    Tallens
    Still need to expand the description a bit. Any suggestions?
  • September 30, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=2gc4ndzhffawb0n78fka6u9m