Created By: Ronka87 on December 1, 2009
Troped

Hyper Destructive Bouncing Ball

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Trope
(Idea by Vree)

A ball (or some other projectile) bounces around incredibly quickly in a small location and causes vast amounts of damage. Hilarity Ensues.

Unlike the Pinball Projectile, the trajectory of the Hyper-Destructive Bouncing Ball is completely random and always leaves a swath of destruction in its wake. They tend to display unbelievable inertia and won't stop ricocheting unless someone/thing catches it. They also take the Law of Conservation of Momentum and, as Yahtzee would say, throw it in a bin, as it's not uncommon for one to inexplicably speed up when it hits a wall. No wonder it's generally Played for Laughs.


Examples:
  • In an Archie Comics story where the cast are portrayed as superheroes, Evilheart (Reggie) and Pureheart (Archie) fight a baddie who has a ring that causes objects to rapidly degrade. Every weapon they fire at him, he simply destroys. To get the better of him, Evilheart tosses out a little black ball, which bounces all over the room. Because it is so quick, the villain can't hit it, and eventually his weapon runs out of juice. There is a subversion, though, because in trying to destroy the ball, the villain also destroys all his loot-- which means it can't be returned to the victims, so Evilheart has to pay reparations.
  • This happens in the remake of Flubber (or at least, it did in the trailer)
  • This apparently actually happens if you fire a shot into a tank, and this idea was used in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • One of the Toyman's weapons in Superman: The Animated Series was a substance called Gloop (?) that bounces faster the longer it bounces. The idea is that eventually it'll become fast enough that the impact'll break bones.
  • The Order of the Stick: "Follow the bouncing ball children", of course, the ball has a Symbol of Insanity on it...
Community Feedback Replies: 22
  • November 14, 2009
    Kellor
    In Men In Black, J touches some alien device and it bounces wildly all over the headquarters until K catches it. In J's defense, it was just floating out in the open.
  • November 14, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    Note that these also take the Law of Conservation of Momentum and, as Yahtzee would say, throw it in a bin. It's not uncommon for one to inexplicably speed up when it hits a wall.
  • November 15, 2009
    Vree
    Whoo! I'm credited! If only I could outsource all of my "great" ideas. :p

    There are definitely RL examples to this (I kno it's a high risk for bullets entering the skull cavity for example) but I don't really have the expertise to verify this.
  • November 15, 2009
    Cao Cao
    In Gaston Lagaffe, this comes up on three occasions: once when Gaston throws around a superballe and it bounces crazily until his office is devastated (and Fantasio swallows it), once when his cat tries to grab it and goes into a frenzy, and once when he plays jokari with it.
  • November 15, 2009
    Game Chainsaw
    In Order of the Stick Xykon uses a bouncing ball enshrined with runes of insanity to cause chaos in a unit of paladins.
  • November 15, 2009
    jasonred79
    SPEEDBALL from Marvel comics. Too bad he's Penance now.
  • November 15, 2009
    Tzintzuntzan
    In the Darkwing Duck episode "Smarter Than a Speeding Bullet," the evil agency F.O.W.L. invents the "Fowl Ball" (cue groaning) -- a giant, remote-controlled ball that bounces around and smashes everything it lands on.
  • November 15, 2009
    Prfnoff
    The SCP Foundation has SCP-018, an affront to the laws of thermodynamics.
  • November 15, 2009
    Generality
    Do we need to have separate pages for whether super-bouncy balls are intended as weapons or not?
  • November 15, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    The Flubber example is due to Robin William's character doing something to a bowling ball to make it anti-grav.
  • November 15, 2009
    foxley
    In Astro City, the Junkman has trick marbles that are attracted to a target and adhere to him. The more the target tries to dislodge, the faster he attracts them.
  • November 16, 2009
    triassicranger
    If I know my histroy, during one of the World Wars they tried to make what was called "The Bouncing Bomb", where you dropped a bomb off a plane and it would roll and bounce leaving damage to buildings as it went. I don't know if it actually worked.
  • November 16, 2009
    henke37
    I think it was a weapon in one of the Worms games, or one of the clones.
  • November 16, 2009
    Ronka87
    I don't think we'd need a separate trope for weapons and jokes; it's the same idea, just Played For Drama instead of laughs, and if there get to be enough "serious" examples, we can just remove the "Played For Laughs" tag.
  • November 17, 2009
    Caravelle
    As Vree and Cao Cao point out, it's truth in television : Gaston Lagaffe's "superballe" is just an extra-bouncy version of those terribly bouncy little balls they sell... I don't know where, I just know I had a few as a kid.
  • November 24, 2009
    random surfer
    In Mystery Men The Bowlers bowling ball (which houses the spirit of her dead father) does this when finally unleashed. (Moved from the Pinball Projectile ykttw; it fits this better.)
  • November 27, 2009
    ThisWickedDay
    There's a nasty use of this in "Diamond Dogs" by Alastair Reynolds. The party are in a mysterious alien structure that requires them to solve puzzles to move from room to room. When they take too long over one of the early rooms, a small ball pops out of one wall and starts bouncing around, getting harder and faster and causing bruises, then broken bones, until it finally goes clean through someone's arm. And these guys are wearing spacesuits.

  • December 1, 2009
    Frodo Goofball CoTV
    @triassicranger: here is footage of a bouncing bomb, but I don't think this particular design counts as this trope. Its purpose was not to cause more carnage but (1) gave the aircraft more time to escape before it exploded, and (2) was more effective against dams.

    • In ""Harry Potter", Bludgers are balls enchanted so that they do this.
  • December 1, 2009
    Known Unknown
    Ball Kirby.

    The Toyman uses one of these disguised as a regular toy bouncy ball in Superman The Animated Series. It keeps accelerating until it's got enough force to crush steel. One of the more Nightmare Fuel inducing scenes of the show.
  • December 1, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    I can't believe I'm going to be the first to mention the crazy metal balls of iron extracted from the blood of prison guards that allowed Magneto to escape his plastic prison in "X-men 2: X-Men United"...Although this may be a variation as Magneto is in complete control of the objects, or at least appears to be...the end result however is a Crowning Moment of Awesome for fans of Marvel's mighty magnetic menace.
  • December 15, 2009
    Ronka87
    Bump. Gonna launch this in a few days, after exams are over. Any more examples?
  • December 15, 2009
    Unknown Troper
    In the game Jak 3 there is an upgrade on one of the weapons that alows the bullets to bounce off of walls. When used outside it would usually only hit one or two walls and fly into the sky, but when used indoors and in small spaces it could cause HDBB effect (especially if you rapidly send out shot after shot, created a Multi-Hyper Destructive Bouncing Ball effect).
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