Created By: Ardiente on April 28, 2011 Last Edited By: Ekuran on July 15, 2011

Destruction is Cool

Destruction and violence are awesome.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Destruction Is Cool is when destructive, violent, and generally aggressive acts, movements and scenes are represented and/or perceived as awe-inspiring and/or awesome. Grand battles, a Wave Motion Gun, Stuff Blowing Up, Incendiary Exponent... or simply a punch to the face, or even a Precision F-Strike (there's a reason this dialogue trope is named like a military procedure). They're worthy of respect. They're demonstrations of dynamism and power. Power to impose one's will to the world, power to protect.

Of course, such power might be better demonstrated in construction, but somehow building and growing takes too much time, thought, planning, and effort for it to be enjoyable in narration, especially in visual media. You can't argue with the visual "impact" violence and destruction have.

There might a biological justification in that apes (chimpanzees in particular) can and do enjoy quick, intense releases of violence and noise as a way of social self-promotion. It get to the point that if a chimp leader is unable to throw the daily tantrum as intensely and noisily as usual (say, because of sprained ankle or a cold or something equally silly), the other chimps think he's gone soft, and it won't be long 'till he's toppled.

Contrast with Construction Is Awesome. See the related Evil Is Cool, which this trope may lead to, but evil can create as well.

As it is nigh-universal, examples should be kept to subversions, lampshades and other surprises.


Examples

Comics
  • X-Men gives us Cyclops' Optic Blast. The guy keeps under control most of the time, thanks to his visor. But, when he takes it off and unleashes it at full power... dayum.

Live-Action TV
  • MythBusters takes this trope Up to Eleven, sticks 5,000 pounds of high explosives to the scale, and then it blows that up as well.

Web Comics
Community Feedback Replies: 19
  • April 28, 2011
    Jordan
    From Order Of The Stick, "thog like breaking stuff".
  • April 28, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^ why is this so hilarious I don't even
  • April 29, 2011
    Damr1990
    Myth Buster Runs on this trope
  • April 30, 2011
    Ardiente
    Bumby bump

  • May 3, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • May 3, 2011
    Ekuran
    Bump.
  • May 4, 2011
    jaytee
  • May 5, 2011
    Ardiente
    Truffault Was Right would be a distinct trope: "Showing bad things will make them seem attractive because Evil Is Cool". This trope is different, it's about how blowing shit up and destroying it is awesome: no violence between persons needs to be involved, no war, and it isn't about drugs or bad food or anything like that. Simply, breaking stuff and launching nukes is awesome. See Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha for a very triumphant example (magical attacks don't hurt people, but they are very spectacular).

    You know, something should be done about that habit people have in YKTTW of posting potholes in bold like they were shouting them. It's annoying, especially if they are mistaken.
  • May 5, 2011
    jaytee
    Shouting would be

    TRUFFAUT WAS RIGHT.

    Nitpicking aside...

    Your description straight up says the acts are "destructive, violent and generally offensive," so if this trope is actually about how cool fireworks and other explosions are (as opposed to war and violence), it isn't clear at all. Perhaps this should be explicitly limited to examples of explosions (etc) for explosions' sake (a la the Myth Busters example), rather than including scenes of war, which would like be covered under Truffaut Was Right.

    You know, something should be done about that habit people have in YKTTW of defending aspects of their proposals that are not reflected in what they've written and therefore exist only in their own head. Just sayin' :)
  • May 6, 2011
    Ardiente
    ^That would be Stuff Blowing Up. Stuff blowing up is just one of the ways Destruction Is Cool. Ludicrous Gibs and Diagonal Cut also count. And I meant "offensive" in the classic sense: something that "offends"/"hurts"/"injures with intent"/"attacks": offendere means "to strike against". In the past, this was the common word. Now it's "attack"/"assault", but attack doesn't include the actual hurting, only the attempt to do so, and "engage", which is becoming more and more common, actually only refers to the act of initiating a violent interaction. You engage an opponent simply by putting yourself in a fighting stance. You attack him by throwing a punch. You offend him by landing that punch.

    Dammit, guess I'll need to say tings differently or this will go over everyone's head, Antiquated Linguistics and all that.

    Anyway: striking against stuff or people, and showing the results of striking against stuff or people, in a dramatic way, can be seen as fun and cool. Truffault Was Right is when the intent of the story was to show how bad it was (apparently) and it failed. Truffault isn't a subtrope, because it's also about drugs and other hurtful things, and it isn't a supertrope, because this trope covers cases where the intent was to make destruction as appealing as possible.
  • May 6, 2011
    jaytee
    As always, the following applies:

    Goal: Clear, concise, and witty. Acceptable: Clear. Fast Eddie

    ;)

  • May 7, 2011
    Ardiente
    How bout now?
  • May 10, 2011
    Ardiente
    BUMP
  • May 13, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • May 13, 2011
    Ekuran
    I bump in the name of Destruction.
  • May 19, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump in the name of Freedome for al humens. It gave them hop.
  • June 23, 2011
    Ardiente
    bump
  • July 13, 2011
    hcobb
    How about Project A-ko's daily commute of destruction?
  • July 13, 2011
    MiinU
    Comics

    • X-Men gives us Cyclops' Optic Blast. The guy keeps under control most of the time, thanks to his visor. But, when he takes it off and unleashes it at full power... dayum.
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