The GiantWallOfWateryDoom is a pretty scary threat. Consider that a dam needs to contain outright gigantic amount of water, a bit of MonumentalBattle, or worse, threat of MonumentalDamage can be VERY scary. In the United States, the prototypical dam for this to happen at is Hoover Dam, thanks to TheEiffelTowerEffect and the big potential for SceneryPorn.

That's how you get a DisasterMovie with a Big Dam Plot, where a dam is threatened with destruction or actually destroyed in whole or part. Though a Monumental Damage threat can be very effective indeed, sometimes the attackers do manage to destroy it, or it just happens kind of randomly. In any case, you don't want to stay around.

The outdoor equivalent of the ExplodingFishTanks.
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!!Examples:

[[folder: Anime and Manga]]
* The whole Yuda arc in ''Manga/FistOfTheNorthStar'' ends in a dam being destroyed
* ''Anime/MonsterRancher'' has [[TrueCompanions The Courageous Seven]] face this problem in the episode of the same name: [[HairRaisingHare Evil Hares]] see them entering a town and decide to destroy the dam, wiping out the whole place just to take care of them.
* In the Manga/DetectiveConan [[NonSerialMovie movie "Quarter of Silence"]], a jewel thief had hidden his booty in a village, and while he was imprisoned for the theft, the village was bought out by the government and a dam erected. So, when he gets out of prison, he blows up the dam, which threatens the new town further down the valley. Conan, in desperation, creates an avalanche to divert the disastrous deluge.
* This trope, and the conflict that accompanies it, makes up a large part of ''HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'''s backstory. At first, it's mentioned as your typical 'humble country folk band together to fight the oppressive government' plot, but later [[TheReveal reveals]] show it...wasn't as simple as all that. Even years later, the actions people took during that conflict strongly influence the present day.
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[[folder: Comics]]
* In one of the Creator/DarkHorseComics' ''WesternAnimation/{{Shrek}}'' issues, Shrek tries to get rid of a dam that has flooded his swamp.
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[[folder: Film - Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/IceAge: The Meltdown'': The melting glacier creates a natural dam as most of the ice melts, leaving a thin wall. The animals try to get to the other end of the valley before it bursts.
* In ''OsmosisJones'', the dam is in Frank's nose and it holds not water but mucus. A pollen allergy, compounded by Thrax's sabotage, causes it to break.
* In ''WesternAnimation/FlushedAway'', Toad's plan is to open the floodgates protecting the rat's sewer city so that it gets washed away during the WorldCup halftime.
* ''TeamAmericaWorldPolice'' uses the Panama Canal to the same effect.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TinyToonAdventuresHowISpentMyVacation'', Buster and Babs' subplot is kicked off when an [[EscalatingWar escalating water fight]] ends with Babs intentionally opening a dam and flooding Acme Acres.
* Just right after the Snuggly Duckling scene (and hence the song "I've Got a Dream") from ''Disney/{{Tangled}}'', Rapunzel and Flynn can actually be seen escaping a collapsing aquaduct when the latter is spotted by the palace guards outside the Snuggly Duckling.
* In SupermanShazamTheReturnOfBlackAdam, Black Adam destroys a dam during his fight with {{Superman}} and [[{{Shazam}} Captain Marvel]]. [[spoiler: Superman easily stops the water with his Arctic Breath]].
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[[folder: Film - Live-Action]]
* The destruction of a Hoover lookalike dam figures prominently in the first ''Film/{{Superman}}'' movie.
* The Ents destroy a dam to wash away Isengard in ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings'' movies.
** The [[Literature/LordOfTheRings books]] have the inverse of this trope: the Ents ''build'' a dam to temporarily reroute the river into Isengard.
* ''Film/EvanAlmighty'''s climax has a dam breaking to justify the construction of the ark.
* ''Film/X2XMenUnited'' ended up with the destruction of the power station
* ''Film/DantesPeak'' also has a dam destruction at some point
* ''Film/TheDambusters'', as you'd expect, but then this is the dramatisation of [[RealLife Operation Chastise]].
* ''Force 10 From Navarone'': In this FilmOfTheBook (and the original book), a dam is destroyed in order to wash away a bridge and prevent Nazi troops from wiping out a group of Yugoslavian Partisans.
* In ''Film/FrankensteinMeetsTheWolfMan'', one of the villagers blow up a dam to kill the monsters.
* ''Film/OurManFlint''. The Galaxy organization uses its WeatherControlMachine to destroy a dam.
* One of the major set pieces in ''{{Earthquake}}'' is the destruction of a dam.
* In ''The Emerald Forest'', the natives plan to destroy the dam that's going to flood their forest by singing to the frogs. Kinda makes sense in context... the American hero thinks their beliefs are quaint and plans to use dynamite instead. The dynamite fails, but the dam is brought down in a storm anyway. Did the frogs do it? You decide.
* The threat of a bursting dam - which will drown the entire town - if one of the elements that adds urgency to the plot of ''Film/HardRain''.
* Destroying the Della Norte Dam in Italy is the main objective in the film ''Film/HornetsNest''. It blows up real good.
* The piranha in ''Killer Fish'' become a bigger threat after dam that they were behind of bursts due to a hurricane.
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[[folder: Literature]]
* In ''Death Or Glory'', Literature/CiaphasCain finds his ramshackle band of survivors pinned in a canyon between a hydroelectric dam and an Ork army. After discovering a tunnel through a nearby mountain to the other side, he decides to blow the dam to cover his retreat.
* In ''Literature/{{Animorphs}}'', the heroes supersize a beaver dam so that ''they'' can unleash a GiantWallOfWateryDoom on attacking Yeerks.
* Given all the attention given to Count Ugo Carnifex's aquaduct, and the unstable nature of its construction, a GenreSavvy reader can make a shrewd guess about how the ''Literature/YoungBond'' novel ''Literature/BloodFever'' is going to end.
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[[folder: Video Games]]
* ''Videogame/FalloutNewVegas'' features the Hoover Dam as a major resource, since it's one of the only sources of power in the Mojave Wasteland. The end of the game involves a huge battle for control of the dam. Your character has to either defend it or take it over depending on which faction they're aligned with, and it's possible to destroy the dam or at least render it unusable.
* The ''Videogame/GrandTheftAuto'' series seems to love this trope. In both ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoSanAndreas'' and ''GrandTheftAutoII'', there's a mission where you must put bombs into a dam. Besides, the one featured in ''Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas'' is an {{Expy}} of the Hoover Dam.
* Speedy Dave's arc in ''MegaManBattleNetwork 2'' involves a dam going to be destroyed by explosives.
* In ''VideoGame/CityOfHeroes'', the Positron Task Force revolves around the Clockwork, Circle of Thorns, and Vahzilok all hatching plots involving the city dam in Faultline. The finale of the second part[[note]]the original version too, although that used a generic lab map and the mission entrance was in a different zone[[/note]] which awards the [[JustForPun Dam Hero]] badge has all three plans coming together simultaneously.
* ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany 2'' includes a multiplayer map involving control of a village beneath a dam. If the Americans win, they blow it up.
* One of the missions in ''VideoGame/GoldenEyeRogueAgent'' has the protagonist searching and activating a seismic bomb in the Hoover Dam.
* ''VideoGame/{{Emergency}}'' and ''VideoGame/{{Emergency}} 4'' both include dam break scenarios. In the second case, the dam is already broken and a town is completely flooded when your crews get there.
* Stage 2 of the NES ''VideoGame/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles'' game has you attempting to stop the Foot Clan from blowing up a dam. It is the only stage in the game where [[DownTheDrain you are required to swim]], [[TimedMission you're on a time limit]] that will give you a NonStandardGameOver if you fail to find and disarm all eight bombs before time runs out (which you'll be hard-pressed to do without a map), and you have to do it while [[EverythingTryingToKillYou avoiding electric traps and electric seaweed that want to kill you]]. Yeah. It's ThatOneLevel for a reason.
* In the first ''{{Commandos}}'' game, an early mission has you take out a dam.
* ''DukeNukemForever'' has this in the penultimate level, appropriately titled "Blowin' The Dam".
* ''F/A-18 Hornet'' and its ''Korea'' expansion pack both have missions where you have to [[NukeEm nuke a dam]], namely "Pull the Plug" in the former and "Water Fall" in the latter.
* ''DieHard: Viva Las Vegas'' has a series of levels set at Hoover Dam where [=McClane=] has to disarm a virus bomb.
* ''Videogame/CommandAndConquerGenerals'' has one of these [[OnceAnEpisode once per single-player campaign]], and on two out of three occasions the player-controlled faction are the ones tasked with blowing it up. One suspects it was a royal pain to do in-engine, so the developers [[ShootTheMoney wanted to get their time and money's worth.]] It did look pretty cool though.
* ''SyphonFilter: Logan's Shadow'' has this in the final mission.
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[[folder: Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode "Brother from Another Series" involves Sideshow Bob's brother trying to frame Bob for destroying a dam he's building.
* ''WesternAnimation/ClassOfTheTitans''' second episode ("Chaos 102", part of the three-episode special) has the heroes fighting at the city dam. It's not clear whether the dam is ever actually threatened, though.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'' episode "Jet" revolves around the titular character trying to destroy a dam.
* WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs have a dam protecting their village from flooding. Many stories have the dam breaking or threatening to break, like in Smurfette's initial storyline, where she is actually an agent of Gargamel's trying to flood the village.
* The villain's plot in ''WesternAnimation/ScoobyDooCampScare'' involves dynamiting a dam to [[spoiler:get to a BuriedTreasure in a SunkenCity.]]
* In the first episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheTick'', the Idea Men hold the city dam for ransom with explosives.
* In the BugsBunny cartoon "Wet Hare", villain Blaque Jacques Shellaque dams the stream that feeds the waterfall Bugs is using [[WaterfallShower to shower]]. Bugs keeps destroying the dam and Jacques keeps rebuilding it, until Bugs builds a dam of his own. Jacques blows it up, but Bugs has built a series of dams for him to destroy, leading up to the Grand Cooler Dam. In an inversion of this trope, Jacques' cannon doesn't destroy it; instead, the cannonball bounces back and knocks Jacques into a waiting police wagon.
* Seen in the "Mega X" episode of the ''WesternAnimation/MegaMan'' cartoon.
* ''WesternAnimation/TomGoesToTheMayor'' episode "Bassfest" where the Mayor has the ''wonderful'' idea to hold a concert near a dam. A poorly built dam. Tom realizes that the vibrations from the music will cause it to break and tries to warn everyone or at least have the concert moved. But if you're familar with the gist of this show, [[FailureIsTheOnlyOption you know how well that goes]].
* {{Inverted}} in ''InspectorGadget''. MAD ''creates'' a dam so that it can sell water to Metro City at ridiculously inflated prices, and Gadget has to break MAD's dam and bring water back to the city.
* In the XMenEvolution episode "The Stuff of Heroes", the X-Men have to stop TheJuggernaut from destroying a dam.
* The ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'' episode "Six Strings of Evil" involved this, even though Corey smashed the evil guitar with help from his fellow bandmates and Trina's OnceAnEpisode Diary Mode, it didn't end well for the dam.
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