Played for Laughs. The most frequent variation involves the can being full, with resulting cranial trauma. In Real Life this could result in a concussion, especially if done with a full can. It should also be noted that the ability to smash a can against one's forehead is not as impressive of a feat as it used to be due to the fact that modern beverage cans are made of thinner aluminum than vintage beverage cans. Compare Beergasm, Rockers Smash Guitars. Contrast I'm Crushing Your Head.
- In an ad for "Foster's Lager", a girl does this, and she's called a keeper.
- One of Miller Lite's "Man Law" commercials had the Men of the Square Table debating whether crushing cans on your forehead was macho or just moronic. They decided on moronic.
Eddie Griffin: Cans ain't as thick as they once were. I mean, back in the day, you crushed a can against your forehead, you were saying something. But now ...Burt Reynolds: Lame.
- Head crushing was the subject of a Miller Lite commercial back in the late 80s. Former Bears safety Gary Fencik did the crushing while making comments about being known for "using your head" (Fencik graduated from Yale). Another patron tries to imitate him, and knocks himself cold.
- One Pepsi commercial had can-crushing as a final test for initiates in a Buddhist monastery.
- Ogre from Revenge of the Nerds.
- Perhaps the first character to do it on film was Bluto in Animal House.
- In Shaolin Soccer, "Iron Head" does a variant with a glass bottle.
- Parodied in Sorority Boys when Doofer confesses he crushes beer cans on his head out of peer pressure and he undergoes a lot of CAT scans.
- Invoked by Mr. Tulip, in The Truth, who smashes a bottle of alcohol against his forehead. The narrative notes that he is not doing this to be perceived as tough by the drinkers at Beirs, but simply because he had a bottle that he no longer needed and putting it down on a table required more concentration then he deemed necessary. This is implied to be what causes the other customers in Biers to later lock the door in case Mr. Tulip and his partner come back. For those less familiar with Discworld, Biers is Ankh-Morpork's resident bar for the undead.
- Deconstructed in one humorous college survival guide, which shows a step-by-step guide to doing this, the last step being that you will not make a good impression on your girlfriend's parents, with the boy meeting the parents with the marks from crushing the can still on his head.
- Wilson did this in Home Improvement, and wound up giving himself a headache in the process.
- Buddy Lembeck from Charles in Charge bragged about crushing a number of cans in a row, and could have done more if they were empty.
- One episode of Boy Meets World had Mankind teaching Topanga how to do this.
- Also, Cory tried to do it to impress the wrestlers in season 2.
- Gary in Men Behaving Badly tried this once to prove how tough he was. Not only did he fail miserably but he also managed to skewer his hand with a fork.
- Similar to the above, The Rockford Files had an ex-con try to intimidate Jim by crushing a can on his forehead. Jim pointed out that beer cans had switched from steel to aluminum while he was in prison, and anyone can do that now.
- Stargate Atlantis: Lieutenant Colonel John Sheppard once instructed Ronin in proper beer can crushing technique. It was their day off.
- Taken Up to Eleven with X-Play's Johnny Extreme, who slams beer bottles against his crotch.
- An episode of My Name Is Earl had Earl attempt this... with what appeared to be a full can. Ouch.
- In David Frizzell's "I'm Gonna Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home", the wife sarcastically announces that she will renovate the house to meet the husband's drunken needs so he won't be staggering home anymore. Among the things she promises: "And for you, I'll always keep in stock those soft aluminum cans / And when you're feeling macho, you can crush 'em like a man."
- Referenced in "Crushin' It" by Brad Paisley, which is even book-ended by the sound of a can being crushed: "I can stomp it with my boot, clench it with my fist / Smash it on my forehead, yeah, I got this."
- The Sandman smashed several cans against his head during his entrance.
- He would do this until he split his forehead open too.
- This was also a trademark of "Stone Cold" Steve Austin.
- A 2002 Over the Hedge strip showed RJ, Verne, and Sammy drinking cola, burping, then smashing the cans against their foreheads. Verne wound up with his can stuck directly through his head, with RJ remarking "That's gonna leave a mark."
- A prop comedian (name forgotten) once demonstrated the ultimate way to one-up tough guys who crush beer cans on their foreheads: He showed a beer can, crushed it against his forehead, and subsequently un-crushed it by inflating it back to its original shape.
- A variant occurs in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade in the Castle Brunwald section, where Biff will do this after you offer him a stein (or trophy) of ale.
- In the first Ratchet & Clank game, Ratchet does this to the second can of Heart Container juice.
- Soda Popinski does this with a plastic
- In Brütal Legend, the headbanger legions do this with beer bottles repeatedly without detriment, thanks to their extremely Hard Heads. Understandably, the keeper of Beerhenge does this more then anybody ever.
- In Monday Night Combat's Spunky Cola trailer, the rough-and-tumble Tank does this with a can of, well, Spunky Cola. The wimpy Sniper actually knocks himself out trying to do the same.
- Variant in World of Warcraft's Mists of Pandaria expansion. In the Pandaren starting zone, you encounter a Pandaren named Ironbrow who proceeds to break bamboo, wood, and stone with his forehead. Eventually, you bring him a jade pillar to test his mighty brow against...and he ends up getting a concussion, while the pillar remains intact. Next time you meet him, he's wielding the jade pillar as a weapon.
- PvP has the can full.
- Krakow, when Kia the Succubus tried to demonstrate that she could be "one of the guys" too, but the can is full.
- In Bigger Than Cheeses, Thanatos and Violent Bob engage in a bout of this, escalating as they crush larger (and filled) containers of beer with their heads until Thanatos does a running headbutt into a beer truck, with explosive results.
- In one strip of Air Force Blues, Barbie manages to tick off Lt. Col. Rowland during an euphoric high from getting to pilot the F-22 for the first time. After he comes back to relative sanity two strips later, Rowland crushes a Diet Coke can on Barbie's forehead to express his displeasure.
- Linkara attempted this in his Adamantium Rage review, but the can remained intact. "Ow!"
- When a character in a later review manages to successfully perform the stunt, Linkara flashes back to his failed attempt and proceeds to call the character a "showoff".
- In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan video Epic Wub Time, Vinyl Scratch does this with a wooden beerstein.
- In Futurama, Bender once did this with a whole keg.
- Captain Hero is shown doing this in the series premiere opener of Drawn Together, also with a keg.
- One episode of The Raccoons has the Three Pigs try this. The third one only succeeds in putting a can-shaped indentation in his forehead.
- Mentioned in Daria.
Jane: I bet that any minute now, Kevin will astound and amaze his friends by crushing that can with his skull...
- In an earlier episode, Jodie mentioned to Daria that was all Kevin was really good at doing.
- The Simpsons: Marge Simpson does this with a wine bottle in one episode.
- Celebrity Deathmatch had Nick Diamond attempt this with a beer bottle once to impress a guest host. It didn't work.
- Lilo & Stitch do this a few times.
- Lola in The Looney Tunes Show
"There's no one more stable than me..."
- Done by Sheen in The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron to practice for Jimmy's "college party".
- Robotic villain Atlas does this in Teen Titans episode "Only Human" with an oil drum.
- Joel O'Keefe, frontman for the Australian band Airbourne smashes unopened beer cans on his head during live shows until they burst, then throws them to the audience.