[[quoteright:312:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Stress-BreakSomething_2336.gif]]
[[caption-width-right:312:Let it out, buddy.]]
->'''Jane:''' Does he ever like to have a temper tantrum now and again? I mean he's the CEO of a large company and that comes with a lot of pressure, so... maybe he likes to let off some steam, throw a vase around or something?
->'''Grace:''' Are you suggesting that Mr Rochester, your employer? - makes sport of throwing decorative glassware?- in the middle of the night?- in his OWN HOUSE? - where his DAUGHTER sleeps? - because he needs to let off little STEAM - every once and a while?
-->-- ''WebVideo/TheAutobiographyOfJaneEyre'', "Interrogation" - [[http://youtu.be/hbnXKlZQyl0 Ep. 14]]

Sometimes you are just angry. Angry enough that you decide to take it out on something or someone. [[ViolenceIsTheOnlyOption Physically.]] This violent behavior may target a simple inanimate object, an opponent in a boxing match, or other similar situation, or maybe some convenient villain who happens to be in the area. Anyway, the point is that you are resolving your anger in a violent, but still somewhat socially acceptable way.

The psychiatric term for doing this in a therapeutic context is "catharsis". At one time this was [[IncrediblyLamePun all the rage]], but it has fallen into disfavor among psychotherapists in the last few decades, as evidence has emerged that all it does is reward violent outbursts.

Contrast GetAHoldOfYourselfMan. Also contrast PercussiveMaintenance, which is when the violence is motivated (at least partially) by attempting to make something work. As a rule of thumb; slapping your printer = Percussive Maintenance. Throwing it out of the window = Percussive Therapy.

See also DartboardOfHate, in which the character takes out his frustrations on an enemy's image, and PunchAWall, a subtrope that specifically deals with punching vertical surfaces.
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!!Examples:
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[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''ShinChan'': ''"The Happiness Bunny"'' - a Japanese woman and daughter who release anger over their abusive husband/father by beating up their stuffed rabbits.
* In ''LegendOfGalacticHeroes'', Reinhard exhibited a tendency to smash wineglasses whenever some particularly bad news was delivered to him. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that drinks (and thus glasses) are readily available in those meetings where such news is delivered to.
* How about ''[[Anime/MobileSuitGundamZZ Judau Ashta]]'' punching ''Bright Noa, of all people''?
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[[folder:Comics]]
* One ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}'' T-shirt had a picture of Dogbert walking away from a smashed computer with a baseball bat over his shoulder, and the caption "The network is down, but I feel a ''lot'' better!"
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[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/AlongCamePolly'': There is a scene the malicious stabbing of the ex-girlfriend's throw pillows. Creator/BenStiller's character notes how good it feels.
* ''Film/AnalyzeThis'': Following a phone call that get Paul Vitti all riled up, his therapist suggests "hitting a pillow" -- cue the emptying of a full clip into a pillow. He felt better.
* ''Film/TheCrow'': Eric Draven plays an emotive guitar solo on the rooftop of his apartment building, until the memories of his [[TheLostLenore murdered fiancee]] become all too much and he smashes the guitar in grief and anger.
* ''Film/FightClub'': The premise of the film is a bunch of guys coming together to do this to ''each other''. Of particular note is the main character beating up the attractive blond guy so badly that his face is ruined. Why'd he do this? Because he [[ForTheEvulz "felt like destroying something beautiful."]]
* ''TheWholeNineYards'': Matthew Perry hates his life. While driving to work, he stops every [[FridgeBrilliance nine yards or so]] to flail around madly and heatbutt his horn three times.
* ''HappyGilmore'': What did those golf clubs ever do to him? Was he just testing their ''durability''? And then just ''placed'' 'em in the woods because that's what they were made of!
* ''OfficeSpace'' has a rewarding example, with baseball bats and the malfunctioning printer.
* The movie ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'' show us how it's done in twice, first when Tallahassee trashes out a family van and then when the protagonists break every single little thing of a store with music in the background.
* In the "One of My Turns" scene in ''TheWall'', Pink goes nuts and breaks everything in his hotel room, his aggression focused seemingly more at objects around him like his TV and his guitars than against the groupie who just happens to be in the way.
* At the beginning of ''Film/TheXFilesFightTheFuture'', Mulder can't get his drink out of a vending machine. At first he whacks it as if [[PercussiveMaintenance he might fix it]], but then he just shakes it angrily, Percussive Therapy style, mad that he lost his money. Moments later, he actually finds explosives inside that unplugged machine.
* In ''Film/HesJustNotThatIntoYou'', when the cool and calculating woman finds out her husband had slept with another, she tries to act rationally about it by suggesting that before they do anything hasty they should go into counselling. It's not until she finds cigarettes in her husband's things (something she had suspected him of having and that he denied to the point of making her feel guilty about asking) that she realizes she wants him out of her house. She smashes some porcelain in anger, and one would expect DefenestrateAndBerate trope, but she neatly packs up all his belongings and leaves them on the stairs with a note telling him she wants a divorce and that he better get lost.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* ''Literature/LifeTheUniverseAndEverything'': ''The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'' has this to say on the [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Silastic Armourfiends of Striterax]]:
--> The Silastic Armourfiends were an insanely aggressive race who lived on the planet Striterax approximately twenty billion years ago "when the universe was young". They were extremely keen on fighting - one of the best ways to deal with a Silastic Armourfiend was to lock him in a room by himself, since he would beat himself up sooner or later. They wrecked the surface of their planet in constant wars, and the whole population lived within bunkers deep below the surface. ''In an attempt to deal with the problems their violent nature created, the Silastic Armourfiends passed a law that anybody who had to carry a weapon as part of their normal work [[ArsonMurderAndJaywalking (including policemen, security guards and primary school teachers)]] must spend a minimum of 45 minutes each day punching a sack of potatoes. It was hoped that this would allow them to work off their surplus aggression. This plan worked only until someone had the idea to simply shoot the potatoes, and the Silastic Armourfiends were excited about their "first war for weeks."
** [[TheModernDayRambo Note the initials "S.A.S."]].....
* In the book ''Film/ManOnFire'' by A J Quinell, one character named Benny gets in trouble with the law after trashing the office of an mayor who promised him a job and later acted like every politician will. Benny tried to pay off his frustration with him but he escaped so...
** The sent two dogs after him, they appeared 30 seconds later... through the windows... with their necks broken.
* In ''[[{{Literature/Belgariad}} Polgara the Sorceress]]'', one scene has Polgara's first romantic interest, Ontrose, suggests in a heated moment that they take a moment to calm down and pick up the sexual tension again after an oncoming battle. Her reaction, once he's left, is to break some plates.
* SpiderRobinson's characters often resort to PercussiveTherapy. The central character in the short story "Antinomy" is seen punching a window, "shattering the shatterproof glass and two knuckles". One hero of ''Mindkiller'' deals with a stressful moment similarly:
-->I went to the kitchen, mixed a pitcher of five-to-one martinis, frowned at it, dumped it down the sink, mixed a pitcher of six-to-one martinis, took it to the living room, and threw it through the television.
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[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Glee}}'':
** Finn, still seething after the betrayal of his best friend's affair with and impregnation of his girlfriend, [[BigDamnHeroes gets to Sectionals with enough time]] to teach the group a few songs he printed off with the Cheerios printer. After he "trashed the thing."
** Mercedes had developed a crush on Kurt (unaware that he was gay). After he turned her down, but failed to mention he was gay, she smashed his windshield, then sang a song about it. Possibly the window smashing may not have been to make herself feel better, but to [[InvertedTrope make Kurt feel worse]].
* ''Series/{{Buffy|the Vampire Slayer}}'':
** Season 2 episode 1, where she ground TheMaster's bones to dust using a sledgehammer.
** Spike spends much of the 7th season of the show with an intense case of BadassDecay, presumably due to the after-effects of him being given a soul, and then tormented by the First Evil. After retrieving his BadassLongcoat, he tracks down the Monster of the Week and engages in a brutal brawl with the guy (this being the first time we see Spike enjoy himself all season) before snapping its neck. Afterwards, he tells the corpse that a good fight is "Good for the Soul."
** "A New Man". Giles, after a HumiliationConga of events make him feel outdated and useless, comes across his old enemy Ethan Rayne and says, "You have no idea how much thrashing you is gonna improve my day."
** In "Ted" Buffy claims she's not angry over her [[ParentWithNewParamour mother getting a boyfriend]]. GilliganCut to Buffy whaling the crap out of a vampire with a dustbin lid while a nervous Giles stammers that she really should move on to the staking...
** Played for drama in "Dead Things" when Spike encourages Buffy to work off her issues by [[BastardGirlfriend beating him to a pulp]]. Buffy is shocked at the damage she inflicts on him.
** In "Shadow" Buffy is freaked at Glory and Dawn, thus she auditions for the UFC by ground 'n pounding the snake demon to death.
* When Series/{{Angel}} sees his LoveInterest Cordelia having sex with his son, he kicks down the door to the stairwell, then we hear the sound of him doing the same to every other door he comes upon.
* Joe tends to do this a lot on ''NewsRadio''.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine'' episode "For the Uniform", Eddington is always one step ahead of Sisko, so Sisko pummels a punching bag. It works a little better than most since he also shares his feelings with Dax at the time.
** Also invoked (and then averted) in the episode "Take Me Out to the Holosuite," when Sisko is frustrated at his officers' general lack of baseball skills. Kasidy sarcastically invites him to smash something if it will make him feel better, since he looks like he wants to. He doesn't, but he does explain to her why it's so important to him to win a holodeck baseball game against a Vulcan archrival from his academy days.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' episode "Chain of Command II": Cardassian Gul Madred has been torturing Picard since the end of the previous episode. Part of the torture involves a remote-activated pain implant. At one point, Madred leaves Picard alone with the remote, so Picard smashes it against the table. Madred walks in and tells him it won't help; he has more remotes. Picard's response:
-->''"Still.. It ''felt'' good."''
* ''Series/TheGoodies''. In "Lighthouse Loonies" Bill goes insane and ends up chasing Tim around the lighthouse wielding a pie. After eventually [[PieInTheFace copping Tim in the face with it]] Bill says calmly, "I feel better now."
* Subverted in ''Series/{{Merlin}}''
-->'''Arthur:''' After Sophia left, I wanted to take my mind off her. So, I went for a hunt.\\
'''Morgana:''' And killing things mends a broken heart?\\
'''Arthur:''' No, but it's good fun.
* Something similar happens in ''Series/GameOfThrones''. War is likely to break out between House Lannister and House Stark, so King Robert leaves Ned Stark in charge and goes off hunting. When an incredulous Ned calls him on this, King Robert snaps back, "Killing things clears my head!"
* ''Series/TheXFiles'': It's definitely Agent Mulder's thing.
** Mulder gets very frustrated in "Bad Blood" and he gives full vent to his anger in kicking the hell out of a trash can. Why? He killed a teen by jamming a wooden stake in his chest and the FBI faces a lawsuit for $446 million dollars. However, said teen was a murderer and a vampire, and Mulder had been drugged anyway.
** In "Anasazi", Mulder thinks he received a fake tape with "gibberish" instead of top secret government files. He hits a pencil holder and smashes it against the wall. But the files are actually encrypted. Poor Mulder has been being drugged, which he doesn't know yet at that moment. He also ends up punching Assistant Director Skinner a moment later.
** "Wetwired": Mulder is on his way to identify a body which might be Scully. The messenger of his jerk of an informant follows him and insists that he keeps investigating the case, yet gives him only super vague leads. Utterly frustrated, Mulder kicks the door of [[TheAdjectivalMan Plain-clothed Man]]'s car.
** "Sein Und Zeit": Mulder reacts by attacking his desk when Scully tells him that [[spoiler:his mother committed suicide]].
* ''Series/HoratioHornblower'':
** "The Examination for Lieutenant": Sailor Bunting has a hard time dealing with Finch's death. When Matthews tries to sell Finch's stuff to raise money for his widow, angry Bunting buys it all, puts it in a bag and throws it overboard. It doesn't help him much with his grief, though.
** In "Duchess and the Devil", Midshipman Hunter, the surly seaman of the week, gets utterly furious when the Duchess brings them a basket of fruit. When Styles wants to take some, it pushes Hunter's BerserkButton and he starts trampling the fruit underfoot and then throws the battered fruit into an oubliette. Never mind that they're in Spanish prison and vitamins might come handy, because it is English beef he wants, and English beer! Scurvy or no scurvy...
* In "Little Girl Lost" of ''Series/{{Castle}}'', a woman whose daughter was kidnapped smashes a lamp against her husband's painting when she feels he's not concerned enough.
* An episode of ''BlueCollarTV'' had a fictitious show called "Fix It or Feel Better". If the host (played by JeffFoxworthy) proved unable to fix an appliance, he would recommend the owner get a baseball bat or similar implement, and beat the crap out of the offending machine.
-->"Hit it like it was your ex-husband!"
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[[folder:Music]]
* Music/YoshikiHayashi playing drums. Just go look up his drum solos on Website/YouTube, especially the ones from *before* he threw out his neck drumming. He's admitted in interviews and in his official autobiography that he actually took up drumming as a way of expressing his feelings.
* Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" does a good job of describing this trope.
* Nick Lowe's ''[[http://youtu.be/JhvjTcPRYy4 I love The Sound of Breaking Glass]]''.
--> I need the noises of destruction/Deep into the night...
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* In-universe: In ''VideoGame/{{Dead Space 2}}'', keep hitting the stomp button for a while after killing a Necromorph, and eventually Isaac Clarke will start swearing a blue streak, apparently getting out all his frustrations on these horrible undead abominations that are making his life utter hell.
* ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'': Admiral Han'Gerrel, a bit of a GeneralRipper sort, fires on a geth warship the second you disable its kinetic barriers, even though you and up to three past or present members of your team are still aboard (counting [[spoiler:Legion]]). With a Renegade Interrupt, you get to explain to him how angry this makes you by punching him in the stomach.
* ''VideoGame/PacMan2TheNewAdventures'': There is a pail and oil drum in Pac-Man's yard that he plays like drums. If he is angry, he just slams his fists on them, making him feel a bit better. Subverted when tries this with a set of bass drums in the department store. He ends up breaking them and get chased out of the store by the angry clerk, without any changes to his own mood.
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[[folder:Web Comics]]
* One ''ComicStrip/ScandinaviaAndTheWorld'' strip features Brother Finland beating the life out of his computer in rage and frustration with many screams of '''[[PrecisionFStrike Perkele]]!'''. until tech-savvy neighbour Sweden steps in and fixes it for him....
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Video]]
* ''WebVideo/TheAutobiographyOfJaneEyre'': There was an accident in Mr Rochester's house -- crashing of glass rather violently, and Mr Rochester got injured. He blames it on having a nightmare, knocking a vase and injuring himself with the broken pieces. Jane doesn't buy it, and thinks there is more to it, because he also asked her whether she had seen something. She speculates that Mr Rochester is under lots of stress. She asks Grace, his personal assistant, who gets furious and thinks that Jane should shut it and stop with these insinuations.
* {{WebVideo/Idiotsitter}}: Epsiode 5, "Fight Day", revolves around the titular Russel family tradition-beating each other with therapy bats. Billie is the only one to realize how messed up this is, but eventually gets bribed into participating by Mr. Russel for $1,000.
-->'''Billie''' We're gonna go in there and we're gonna tell that this is over, because it is a terrible and violent tradition.
-->'''Mr. Russel''' Yes it is. It is terribly cleansing and violently healing.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
** The day before the eclipse, Aang is having serious mental health issues on account of feeling unprepared for the upcoming invasion. His friends try to help him in various way. One way they try is to have him scream into a pillow. [[SubvertedTrope It doesn't work]].
** Throughout the same episode, he attacks inanimate objects for training purposes. It ''still'' [[SubvertedTrope doesn't help]].
** Zuko deals with his anger in this fashion ''a lot''.
* ''WesternAnimation/AvengersEarthsMightiestHeroes'': In one episode featuring Ultron, Thor flies headlong at Ultron and knock's the robots head clean off. When Hawkeye notes it was a "nice shot", Thor describes the experience as "satisfying, indeed."
* Ren in ''TheRenAndStimpyShow'' does it sometimes. A particularly good example is the beginning of the ''Adult Party Cartoon'' episode "Altruists", where he beats Stimpy up as if it's some kind of routine.
* When told she needs to stop working so excessively, Nicole of ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' decides to start breaking household objects to relieve stress.
* Benson from ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'' does this often, as he has anger management issues. It's lessened gradually, thanks to character development.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': Fluttershy tries to do this once in the episode "Green Isn't Your Color", kicking a vase, but only managed to slightly rock it.
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