Passionate Desk Sweep YKTTW Discussion

Passionate Desk Sweep
A character swipes everything off of a desk, either out of rage or amourousness
Needs Examples Already have? Tropeworthy?
(permanent link) added: 2012-06-19 07:47:00 sponsor: TooBah edited by: eroock (last reply: 2015-11-02 20:43:46)

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Alternate title: Rage Swipe

Inspired by this Bug comic.

Maybe the Cowboy Cop has been forced to turn in his badge, or the Big Bad's plans have just been thwarted, or the hero's Berserk Button just got pressed, or maybe (to show a different type of emotion) the Sexy Secretary has finally said "Yes", and there's no time to waste... How better to show rage, impatience or sudden amorousness than to take one arm and swipe everything off the desk (sometimes accompanied by an inarticulate scream)?! Used as shorthand to show that the character is out of control and they need something to take their frustrations out on.

Related to Flipping the Table, Villainous Breakdown, Professionals Do It on Desks. Often a part of an Anger Montage.


  • Fantastic Mr. Fox. When Mr. Bean, leader of the local farmers, gets word that Mr. Fox has robbed them blind by digging under all of their security, he swipes everything off his desk, flips it, and keeps going, completely wrecking the trailer he was using as a headquarters.
  • The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has Peter do this when his investigations into his parent's deaths end up nowhere.
  • Quite famous scene with a "work place" in Jurassic Park.
  • In Birdman, Naomi Watts' character sweepes a table clean in the dressing room in rage after her acting partner forced himself on her on stage.
  • In The Wall, the first thing the hero does during his Anger Montage is dramatically sweeping all the stuff off the living room table.
  • In The Machinist, the protagonist goes into a rage and wipes dishes from a kitchen table when finding a suspicious photo at his girl friend's place.
  • Deon, the creator of the titular robot in Chappie, goes to sweep a table clean in anger about the kidnapping of his brain child.
  • Johnny does this at the end of The Room as he smashes his room up.

Live-Action Television
  • Done on Herman's Head when Herman and Heddy finally get together... on the boss's desk!
  • Discussed a couple of times on Friends.
    • When Rachel is dating her assistant Tag, she dramatically sweeps all the stuff off her desk:
    Tag: Oh my God. Are you serious?
    Rachel: No, I just always wanted to do that. Can you help me pick this stuff up?
    • David the Scientist Guy (played by Hank Azaria) awkwardly attempts this trope to make love to Phoebe on his desk before realizing that most of the equipment on it is quite expensive. To get him to stop, Phoebe has to point out that he's cleaning up more than spontaneously sweeping off the table.
    David: ...the longer I waited, the more phenomenal the kiss had to be, and now we've reached a place where it's just gotta be one of those things where I just like... sweep everything off the table and throw you down on it. And, uh, I'm not really a, uh, sweeping sorta fella.
    • A third example, Chandler tries it with Monica, sweeping everything off the table in the apartment:
    Monica: Okay, trying to turn me on by making a mess? Know your audience!
  • Played for Laughs on How I Met Your Mother when Robin is dating an Argentinian guy Gael. When they're in Argentina and he sweeps off some fruit with the words "I must have you" and sits her on the table, Robin is turned on. When he sweeps off stuff in her New York apartment, she just desperately cries, "Ooh, Laptop! Laptop! Laptop!"
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: In the season 2 episode "Heavy is the Head", Fitz sweeps a bunch of papers off the desk when he gets frustrated with his difficulty communicating due to the brain damage he had suffered.
  • Will Gardner does this in a state of fury in The Good Wife after he finds out Alicia, Cary Agos, and others are leaving to start their own firm.
  • An exec does this on his way out of the office after getting made redundant in Mad Men.

Video Games
  • Issac Clarke of Dead Space 3 does this in the beginning of the game, right before he's brought into another mission.

Web Comics

Web Video

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