The sad fate of many a Mook... mostly because it looks really cool. A sufficiently Bad Ass characters punches, throws, or in any other way applies the force necessary in order to toss someone else through a window. A loud clangy window with shards rippling everywhere.
How we see this trope typically depends on who is doing it. If a heroic character does it, we actually see them throw someone out the window, but typically not the very messy landing. With villains it's the other way around- to emphasize the cruelty. An ambiguously portrayed character may perform this feat, but you'll have to Take Our Word for It, since showing this trope usually inspires some sort of positive or negative feeling with whoever is doing it.
Bar Brawl Variant: Cut to street view of the pub. A character comes flying through the window onto the sidewalk, picks themselves up, and wades back into the fray with much determined sleeve-pushing-up and angry muttering.
A safety note: although fictional characters may be thrown through windows and get up again afterwards, in real life they may easily be killed by lacerations from large shards of broken glass, even when thrown through a ground-floor window. Don't Try This at Home.
When someone does this with an object that's Appliance Defenestration. See Super Window Jump for when someone does this to themselves. Compare Railing Kill. Might overlap with Disney Villain Death. This is one answer to The Window or the Stairs.
See here for a full 7 and a half minutes of compiled Defenestrations and Window Jumps.
open/close all folders
Anime and Manga
Happens to the main character and another cast member in Angel Beats!.
In Beelzebub, Oga is told to do this to a Mook by one of the school's gang leaders. Oga punches the gang leader through the window instead.
In The Cat Returns, just.. don't irritate the Cat King, whether you're performing for him or breaking out in hysterical laughter from another act. (Both victims are tossed through high windows with no glass, but naturally, as cats, they're okay, and show up sitting against the wall in a later scene)
Cowboy Bebop has a very memorable scene where Spike is thrown out of the window by Vicious. He then falls in slow motion with the glass raining down alongside him, as soft music plays and fragmented flashbacks reveals their past together... And he casually flips a grenade through the window as he falls, ensuring a world of hurt for his tormentor.
Bellamy, on his first appearance in One Piece, does this to some powerful pirate after he "cheated" in a game of poker.
Also, Elder Nyon gets kicked out of a window by Hancock. Good thing Nyon is veryMade of Iron, so she doesn't really get hurt.
In New Grappler Baki, an escaped villain who wants to fight Baki kidnaps his girlfriend at Yujiro's behest (way to go dad) to induce him to fight at his fiercest, but comes to regret being in a room so high up. He's only saved by some previously established improbable climbing skills.
In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, during their duel Divine uses one of his monsters to pin Carly Nagisa to a large glass window, hurting her badly with electrical attacks before actually sending her through the glass. The impact kills her instantly. Although she recovers... Well, not entirely.
Played for Laughs in Hetalia, when Austria freaks out when young Italy sneaks into his bed and ends up kicking him off a window. It's supposed to be an allusion to one of the Defenestrations of Prague mentioned below.
Conan from Detective Conan gets thrown off a burning house's window in the Moonlight Sonata arc. Good thing it's a first floor window so the kid isn't that badly hurt. Bad thing? The one who threw him out, Seiji Asou aka Narumi Asai aka the Sympathetic Murderer, did that to save Conan from dying with him. Last thing we know, he burns to death alongside his old home, playing the Moonlight Sonata in his dad's old piano, as Conan and Ran can only sadly watch.
Also, several murders have the victims being thrown off windows and balconies, or put in circumstances that will make them fall off. In fact, during the Night Baron case, Conan gets thrown off again by a killer of the week: this time it's a very high hotel balcony, but he lands in the pool of the place. Later, the victim of the week is then killed in a similar way... plus being Impaled with Extreme Prejudice.
Subverted in a case where it looked that a talented illustrator had commited suicide by jumping off her balcony... but it was a rouse from her killer who staged a complex scenario to trick the police into believing she has killed herself. Conan saw through his act soon, obviously.
Rin Souma from Fruits Basket. She actually survives, though she is seriously wounded. It helps that she was thrown from a "mere" second floor.
In the opening sequence of the Akira movie, little guy Kaisuke knocks a rival gang member right through a window, reminding us that being Ambiguously Gay doesn't mean you can't kick major ass.
In one early chapter of Chrono Crusade, Chrono deals with Rosette's not waking up no matter how hard Azmaria tries by picking her up and tossing her out the window. Rosette wakes up when she hits the pond, climbs back through the window, and spits a fish out onto the floor.
Happens to Eudial in Sailor Moon S, when she attacks Super Sailor Moon and she merely deflects it. She actually lives to tell... just not for long.
This is how Terry's first love Lily perishes in the Fatal Fury first anime special. To make it worse, Geese throws her off a third store window... with a Reppuken.
The DC Universe has Defenestrator, a loony superhero armed with a window frame. He throws criminals through it.
Bane does this to hilarious effect in Secret Six #9: He gets a hold of a mook and is about to execute his Signature Move when the mook pleads with him "Don't crack my spine!" Bane, out of respect "for the man this city belonged to" - Batman - chucks him out the high-rise window instead.
In one issue of The Punisher, a Corrupt Corporate Executive presses Frank's Berserk Button by dealing in slave trade. When he confronts her in her office he tries to throw her out the window but it turns out to be reinforced glass. So he slams her repeatedly against it until the window frame breaks.
He knew it was reinforced glass. It's just that he's The Punisher and that she was evil.
The events of Watchmen are set off by somebody throwing The Comedian out a window. The rest of the plot follows up on the "why".
Superman has had to rescue people that have had this happen to them on multiple occasions.
Daredevil does this to someone practically every time he visits Josie's Bar for information. Eventually, Josie relocates underground, so when Hornhead inevitably shows up to beat the Kingpin's whereabouts out of her patrons, at least he can't throw them through windows.
During the climax of Wall E, just right before Captain McCrea finally shuts down AUTO for good, he actually punches GO-4 out of the cockpit window, causing him to get smashed to pieces upon hitting the floor just below it.
Film - Live-Action
In Beverly Hills Cop, a group of Victor Maitland's thugs throw Axel Foley through a window in the ground floor of a building. It shatters spectacularly.
Die Hard: Just ask John McClane what he did to Hans Gruber, or better yet, ask his brother.
You could even say that he inverted this trope with himself, using a fire hose as a rappelling rope, using his gun to weaken the glass first and then nearly has the non-inverted trope happen to himself when he forgets that a falling hose reel plus hose is quite heavy.
Hilariously performed in The Shadow. Except in this case, the Shadow actually tries to save the Mongol warrior he's interrogating, but the Mongol throws himself off "to serve his Khan." Cut to Moe, the cab driver, reading a book called "Improving Your Psychic Abilities." He says, "I sense someone's coming" just as the Mongol lands right beside his cab!
In Sha Po Lang, this happens to Inspector Ma Kwun at the end.
Not to mention Danger Death Ray, where a mook attempts to take out the hero by - wait for it - leaping at him as he stands in front of a window. The hero merely performs a Nonchalant Dodge, then says "What a shame." The guys, of course, have a field day with the leap, then express disappointment at the lack of a Bond One-Liner.
In Puma Man, both the Big Badand the sidekick start the movie by tracking down and defenestrating people who matched the biological profile of Puma Man (because his cat-like powers would allow him to survive the fall). The only difference is, the villain is the one who expresses something like remorse, saying that he hopes they've found the right one for the sake of the innocent men yet to be "tested". Vadinho, however, didn't throw anybody but Tony out a window and that was because he already knew he was the Puma Man. The Fridge Logic here should be readily apparent.
This happens a lot in Robocop, to bad guys and Robo alike, the most famous example being Dick Jones. Another memorable one is when Robo tosses Clarence Boddicker through several glass windows while Mirandizing him.
In Dirty Work, parodied when Mitch is thrown through a bar window, then, as if unfazed by this, immediately pulls out his tape recorder, and says, "Note to self; learn to fight!"
Max Shreck of Batman Returns pushes his assistant Selina Kyle out a window in an attempt to murder her. It doesn't take, mainly due to Selina being revived by her cat Miss Kitty and her feline friends. . .
In Blade Runner, Zhora is dramatically defenestrated, though she was probably 'retired' by the preceding gunshots.
Braveheart: King Edward grows annoyed with his son's male lover and tosses him out the window.
This happens to Franklin Bean in Cadence. Humorously, if you watch closely, as the cameras change the POV, Franklin falls out the window facing one way, but ends up landing facing the opposite direction.
In Foxes, one of the main characters rides his skateboard by a bully, and pushes him (explosively) into the plate glass window of a supermarket so the kid he's picking on can escape.
In Hancock, the titular character does this to several mooks who are attacking him in a hospital.
Also in Ransom, by the most awesome Scottish person ever, Mel Gibson, Mel throws the bad guy trough a window pane. Subversion here is, it actually buggers him up!
Kick-Ass: Big Bad shot out the window. And then exploded. WITH A ROCKET-PROPELLED GRENADE.
The fourth Mission: Impossible has an assassin being killed that way. Bonus Points for happening at the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world! Also justified by the fact that the window was removed from the room.
At the end of the forgettable Charles Bronson movie Assassination the Big Bad behind the attempted murder of the First Lady gets thrown through a window. We then hear a radio report saying he "died of a heart attack" despite the fact that any number of people must have seen the incident, and the injuries would be more consistent with a suicide or accidental fall.
In The Avengers, Loki hurls Tony through the window of the 80th-or-so floor of Stark Tower in a rage after his attempt to brainwash Tony fails. Tony saves himself by realizing what's about to happen and quickly calling for JARVIS to send the Mark VII armor (which can assemble itself around him even while he's plummeting towards the ground) through the window after him.
In a later scene, Captain America gets blown through a window while blocking an explosive with his shield to save a group of civilians, subsequently landing onto a taxi on the streets below.
This is the fate of the corrupt bishop from Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves courtesy of Friar Tuck, who is thoroughly fed up with the bishop's greed and corruption, and loads him up with enough gold (and thirty pieces of silver) to "pay the Devil ON YOUR WAY TO HELL!"
One of the bad guys gets thrown out of a high-rise window by Burt Reynolds in Sharky's Machine.
Notable in Real Life for the record-setting high-fall stunt performed by "King of the Stuntmen" Dar Robinson.
Curtains offers an odd example; thanks to cutting two separate scenes together, a character is shown falling outside through a second-story window, and then crashing back inside through a first-story window.
Something of a signature move of Chuck Norris movies, through the late 80s (examples include Breaker Breaker and Forced Vengeance), usually executed via screaming jump kick.
Happens to a Yuuzhan Vong Mook in Rebel Stand, courtesy of Kell Tainer. Except the panel doesn't shatter - it pops free of the structure and falls with him.
David Eddings enjoys playing with this trope in his works. In The Belgariad, this is the fate of Silk's nemesis Brill, after a short but ugly battle atop Rak Cthol (well, technically he was thrown over a parapet). Made into a combined CMOA and CMOF by Silk's nonchalant response when questioned about it by Belgarath.
Garion: "It was Brill." Belgarath: "Again?! What was he doing?" Silk: "The last I saw of him, he was trying to learn how to fly." Belgarath: (looking puzzled) "Maybe it'll come to him in time." Silk: "He doesn't really have all that long." (sound of crashing from far below) "Does bouncing count?"
Later, in The Malloreon, the sorcerer Senji relates to the protagonists how the Melcene University, upon learning that he appeared to be immortal, decided to test it by hiring someone to throw him out a window. This turned out very poorly for the defenestrator.
Also played with in The Tamuli. When a character is asked what she did with a mook, she replies that she defenestrated him. The character who asked looks ill until she explains that she threw him out the window.
Brazilian writer Luis Fernando Verissimo likes writing about weird-sounding words. One of his texts was about "defenestration", and he tries imagining how the word might actually be used in the everyday life (brutally injured man in the sidewalk points up: "I was defenestrated...", and a bystander: "Poor man! And then they threw him out the window!").
Jon Spiro wishes he could still do this, but if you throw an employee out a window these days, he'll phone his lawyer on the way down.
The historical backstory of the Vorkosigan Saga includes Mad Emperor Yuri's Defenestration of the Privy Council. (Referred to by various characters but never actually portrayed or described in detail.)
Made even more ironic because Littlefinger was the one trying to seduce Sansa.
And then there's what Jaime Lannister does to that kid at the tower due to him stumbling upon his affair with his sister Cersei. "The things I do for love," indeed.
Arthur C. Clarke's short story "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch". Collected in Tales From The White Hart, which are framed as tales heard but-not-quite-believed by an Expy of Clarke himself and told by the irascible and enigmatic Harry Purvis at The White Hart, a fictional pub near Fleet Street at which scientists, engineers, science writers, and science-fiction writers would congregate. "The Defenestration of Ermintrude Inch" is story of a couple in 1950s Britain, in which the husband, Osbert, accuses his wife Ermintrude of talking too much—specifically 100 times as much as he does. Being a sound engineer for the BBC, Osbert sets up a word-counter, which works at first, but his wife figures out a way to make it so that Osbert has the higher count, which infuriates him, particularly after he figures out that she'd surreptitiously recorded his speech and had him playing on a loop while he was not at home. Ermintrude falls out a window shortly afterward, although it isn't clear if she's pushed. Shortly after the tale wraps up, a woman comes into the pub and chews Harry Purvis out—to which he replies meekly, "Yes, Ermintrude."
In the Evgard story line, Argent, in an attempt to get Columen and Iaspis to safety, pushes some Mereish soldiers out through some windows.
Shitley pushes Michael through a window at one point. When Michael's mother see him, she is worried that he jumped deliberately. Michael points out that if he did, he would have at least opened the window first.
In The Phoenix Guards, by Steven Brust, the main cast meet Mica when he becomes the victims of one of these.
Live Action TV
Pictured atop this image is LOST, when John Locke is spectacularly thrown out a window by his own father and becomes paralyzed as a result.
In The Young Ones episode "Nasty", Vyvyan threatens to put the next person who asks if they have a video through the window. When Neil asks, Vyvyan subverts this trope by ripping the window off the wall, and smashing it over Neil's head.
In Heroes, Peter Petrelli gets telekinetically thrown out of a window. That counts, right?
Matt Parkman is tossed through a window by Jessica.
In the "I Was Made to Love You" episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Spike gets thrown out the window of a college house party by a robot looking for the man she is programmed to love. It's seen as funny in this case, since Spike is, at that point, a character that the audience loves to hate, and of course vampires generally can't be killed by glass unless they get a really bad cut around the neck region.
A different version of this trope occurs in "This Years Girl" when Buffy and Faith are demolishing Joyce's house during their fight. Faith throws open a French door into Buffy's path so she runs right through it.
Angel shoves a vamp out the window in the pilot episode. He bursts in to flames, of course. No cleanup required!
What about the poor chair? It was a good chair. Never did no harm to nobody...
Happened to Angel himself in the fifth season. Illyria easily tossed him out of the window.
Spike gets tossed out of a fifth-floor window by a Slayer. At this point, he's almost jaded.
Spike: Just thought I'd see what it was like to bounce off the pavement. Pretty much what I expected.
In Jekyll, Bejamin Lennox and Christopher Browning find out the hard way that annoying Hyde is a very bad idea:
Hyde: I'm wondering about that wee window up there and if you'd fit through it at speed.
(Christopher stands to attention.)
Benjamin: This is Christopher... and in the event of you attempting any violence on my person, Mr Hyde, Christopher's going to take an attitude, and believe me when I tell you when you don't wanna be there when Christopher takes an attitude. [...] Now, there's two things we can do, here: I can tell you what the hell I'm talkin' about, or you can try an throw Christopher out that itty-bitty window. I don't think Christopher'll fit.
(Gilligan Cut to Christopher, bloody and covered in bits of glass, hauling himself off the pavement.)
The Dark Angel episode, "Art Attack" features this as a major plot point. It happens, it's threatened, and it's mentioned by name.
In the MacGyver episode "Phoenix Under Siege", the villain of the week happens to be a martial arts expert and makes a jump-kick at our hero in a high-rise building, but misses and ends up crashing through the window instead.
Happens in reverse (yes, reverse) in Red Dwarf when the crew end up on an alternate Earth where everything goes backwards. Lister is propelled into a broken window, restoring the glass, and is caught by the thugs he's fighting.
In a Super Sentai teamup special, Tetsu is undercover and really, really doesn't need Eiji revealing that he's SPD. So Tetsu pretends that Eiji is an enemy, and pitches him out of a window to shut him up. It's even more hilarious than it sounds.
In the WKRP in Cincinnati episode "Hoodlum Rock," the polite and well-dressed but evil rock group Scum Of The Earth throw a bellboy out of the window of the hotel they're staying at. But...
Blood: What floor is this on?
Johnny Fever: The ground floor.
In Sherlock after a mook hurt Mrs. Hudson, Sherlock captures him. Then he calls the police to report him, requests an ambulance and details injuries the guy doesn't have (yet), then states that the man fell out the window. He then proceeds to throw the mook out the window.
Lestrade: And exactly how many times did he fall out the window?
In an episode of Everybody Hates Chris, Chris tries to decide if telling his father that he drove the car around town without permission is the best thing to do. He has an Imagine Spot of him doing this, prompting him to keep it a secret.
This played a part in one of the most famous tag team breakups in wrestling history, when Shawn Michaels threw his Rockers teammate Marty Jannetty through the glass window of Brutus Beefcake's Barbershop.
There's an infamous series of spots (including a couple of nasty looking botches) from a WWE(then F) match between Kurt Angle and Shane McMahon at the King of the Ring in 2001 — Shane ended up being thrown through three glass windows that made up part of the set, when the glass didn't break they simply repeated the spot (almost always a big no-no in wrestling) making the whole sequence that more brutal and deranged.
It's usually a big no-no because it makes it look scripted (which it more-or-less is) rather than free-flowing (which is how it's supposed to look.) They got away with it because Kurt Angle had quite obviously been trying to do just this, rather than a spur-of-the-moment thing. Adding to the brutality, he was throwing Shane with a belly-to-belly suplex, which is done by flinging someone upside-down over your head. So when Shane bounced off the plexiglass, he landed on the back of his head and neck, twice, before the glass broke. Then got sent through two more panes.
Discussed in The Ricky Gervais Show when Karl talked about how a baby is more likely to survive being thrown out of a window than an adult because its unaware of what's happening so it won't tense up (which, according to Karl, causes falling damage). Stephen and Ricky told him he was talking crap and (in very serious tones) told him not to throw any babies (or cats) out of windows ever.
Religion and Myths
According to his legend, Saint Bernard of Menthon was a Sheltered Aristocrat who wanted to be a priest rather than giving into an Arranged Marriage. As he was trying to escape from the family castle, he threw himself off a window... located 12 meters above the ground; two angels took a hold of the "flying" Bernard and helped him reach the land unharmed, then guided to the nearby archdeaconry.
Happens from time to time in ice hockey. More likely in smaller arenas that use cheaper glass but even specially-designed NHL-quality glass can shatter with a hard enough hit.
In Metroid Prime 3 the Berserker Lord tosses a Federation soldier through the window in order to herald the boss's entrance.
It's also worth considering that the "window" was an external panoramic viewport overlooking the docking bay of a starship. An external docking bay. This implies that it was very thick tempered glass capable of holding an atmosphere, and the Lord throws the poor Redshirt through it so hard that it shatters into a bajillion tiny pieces.
In 3, if she's still alive, Miranda Lawson will do this to her father with biotics. We don't see the body, but it's through a reinforced window twenty feet down to a factory floor.
In The Force Unleashed, Starkiller gets stabbed, thrown across the room a few times, then thrown out the window INTO SPACE all by someone he thought was on his side.
In escaping the subsequent level, this can be done to Stormtroopers, and there is an Xbox Live Achievement/Playstation Trophy for doing it.
In Floor13, you direct a secret organization whose only purpose is to keep the Government in power. Fail either in the goal or in being secretive enough, and a certain Mr. Garcia shows up to throw you out the window... from the aforementioned thirteenth floor.
Commander Lockhart gets subjected to this in Crysis 2.
How Belger is dispatched in the original Final Fight game.
Oni has a pretty hilarious take on this in the third level. Konoko is at the top of a tower in a factory complex. A squad of TCTF troops is outside, being pinned down by fire from Syndicate goons in the main lobby. Konoko radios to say she'll be right down to help them when a previously-defeated Syndicate goon stands back up.
Demo Trooper: "Fool! I've just triggered my detonation harness! In five seconds this entire tower will be vaporised!"
Konoko looks at the trooper, out the window, and back to him. Cut to an exterior shot of the tower, where the trooper smashes out the window, falls through the skylight of the lobby, and detonates.
In Mad TV, the bosses of the three TV stations do this to the employees they fire, resulting in an animation of the poor schmuck tumbling from a high-up floor of a skycraper onto the sidewalk below.
ClockTower: This is poor Ann's fate. Sometimes. The 10-page prologue manga make this death canon, though.
Deus Ex:Human Revolution inverts this. After the tutorial segment, Jensen is tossed through a window and into the wall behind it. He's realistically cut up badly and bleeding everywhere, with some glass shards actually visibly sticking out of him. This is partially why he's augmented.
The Order of the Stick#355: Roy is fighting Sabine when all her magical enhancements wear off. She surrenders and attempts to seduce him instead, telling him he can do anything he wants with her now, so he cheerfully uses the privilege to toss her out of the warehouse to the street below.
In the prequel book, Start OfDarkness, Xykon is strangling Right-Eye, but after Redcloak stands up to him, he merely throws him into Redcloak, who is standing in front of a window. They fall out, covered in cuts from the window.
Haley gets knocked out of a window by Tarquin in this comic... and later apologizes for her defenstration in this one.
In the pilot episode of The Boondocks, 8 year-old Riley fires a shotgun at Ed Wuncler the Third, knocking him through a window onto the lawn in the middle of a garden party. The twist? He asks Riley to shoot him, to prove how strong his kevlar vest is. Apparently it helps him survive a two-story fall in a pile of broken glass, too.
A vest that is strong enough to stop a bullet, it can stop shards of glass, and a two story fall is quite survivable if you don't hit your head.
Tormentor: Don't worry, I'll git ya some flowers. (he lets go, and as a result Doctor Feelbad is thrown out of the arena and into a hospital, where the referee then counts to three)
In the SWAT Kats episode "The Metallikats", the titular villains do this to Deputy Mayor Callie Briggs because she was the one who denied their parole. Fortunately for Callie, the SWAT Kats show up just in time for one of their Big Damn Heroes moments.
Happens occasionally in Superman The Animated Series, giving Superman somebody to rescue. At least once Clark Kent is thrown out of a high window, and it takes a well-placed open manhole and quick costume change for him to preserve his secret identity.
A flash back to Doc and Brock's college days in The Venture Brothers ends with a rampaging Brock throwing someone through a window. He also does this to a random thug in the pilot episode.
There have been least four notable Defenestrations in Prague in the past 600 years, the third of which is the Trope Namer since the word "defenestration" was first coined to describe the event. (That particular defenestration started the Thirty Years' War.) The fourth and last happened in 1948, the victim being Foreign Minister Jan Masaryk; Dirty Communists were implicated in that. Apparently, Czechs just don't feel it's a proper revolution until somebody gets defenestrated.
The earlier ones (1419, 1483) were associated with the Hussite Heresy and general rebellion in Greater Bohemia&Moravia. Though there wasn't such a thing as a Czech 'nation' at the time, people of the present day nation-state of the Czech Republic often consider Defenestration their nation's National Sport.
There was also the defenestration of Queen Dowager Jezebel sometime around 850 BCE (although it wasn't called "defenestration" at the time). Still, makes it older that, well, a lot of things.
It's also a stunningly powerful aversion of the hero/villain dichotomy with regard to how horrifically it's described. She hits the ground, falls apart like Judas and gets eaten by dogs.
During the Cultural Revolution, Deng Xiaoping's son Deng Pufang was tortured by the Red Guards before being thrown out of a third floor window at the Beijing University; he survived, but was left a paraplegic. While neither openly denounced the revolutionaries, nor Mao for that matter, there are rumors that Deng Xiaoping always held a grudge towards Mao over the incident.
It's common enough that someone came up with a word for it.