Detonation Moon
That's No Moon!...oh, wait, yes it was. Oops.

"Mr. President, are you suggesting we blow up the Moon?"
"Would you miss it?"

It's bad enough when some bad guy tries to put his John Hancock on the Moon; things get really serious when it's destroyed. This happens in many continuities in many shows many times. Think of an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, only on the Moon.

A sister trope to Deface of the Moon. Compare with Grasp the Sun for a symbolic use of celestial bodies. Expect there to be No Endor Holocaust. If the destruction of the moon does result in serious damage to Earth or nearby planets it may overlap with Colony Drop, especially if done on purpose. Sometimes results in a Shattered World.

Something that is only occasionally referenced is that a satellite body does affect the surface of the parent object. Destroying or otherwise removing the Moon from its orbit would cause serious trouble.

Punning on the 1950 SF classic Destination Moon.


    open/close all folders 

  • A 7-Up commercial had the spokesman attempt to project the 7-Up logo onto the moon with a laser. Unfortunately, the laser was a little too powerful, and... well, boom.
    Orlando Jones: OK! Who has been messing with my laser?!

  • In the manga of AKIRA, Tetsuo teleports to the moon and blasts a huge hole in it, then shapes the resulting debris into a ring around the moon. The damage alters the tides on Earth.
  • In Assassination Classroom, Korosensei has destroyed 70% of the moon, leaving it forever a crescent, and has announced that he intends to do same to the Earth in one year.
  • Aldnoah.Zero had this happen to the Earth in the middle of a war between Earth and Mars. A gate on the Moon that allowed travel to Mars (sparking a colonization effort that later declared independence with then led to a war) exploded, destroying half the moon and sending large numbers of shards raining down on Earth, killing millions and drastically altering the landscape, as well as leaving a ring of asteroids in Earth's orbit. This event is known in the show as Heaven's Fall.
  • Cowboy Bebop has this as a background event, where the damage to the moon in a gate research accident killed the bulk of humanity and drove most of the rest to colonize the Solar System. Earth itself is largely a wasteland now, meaning No Endor Holocaust is largely averted here: The initial shockwave devastated the portion of Earth facing the moon and debris continues to rain down on the damaged landscape. Meteor showers are treated like a weather event by the survivors who live in underground bunkers. The surface can't even be mapped due to the constant creation of new impact craters.
  • Dragon Ball Z
  • This happens some times in Dr. Slump, it being a gag manga with no realism at all. Usually it's Arale who destroys the Moon with her Super Strength, by chucking boulders at it. Afterwards we see the Moon all patched up, like a broken vase.
  • In Fairy Tail, a village asks the heroes to destroy the moon, which has turned purple and started turning the villagers into demons at night. Subverted, as they only had to remove the aftermath of a ritual that took place on the island, which made the moon look purple and messed with the memories of the villagers, who really were demons to begin with.
  • Happens in Gundam Build Fighters Try when Sekai uses an attack so powerful that it straight up splits the moon in half... even if he used it on Earth. Of course, the moon in this case is a virtual moon generated by the system used for Gunpla battles, it still serves to highlight Sekai's potential as a Gunpla fighter.
  • In the final episodes of Jewelpet Sunshine, one of Jewel Land's two moons is partially destroyed by Jewelina under the Dark Magic's influence.
  • Medaka Box: Medaka does this to prevent the moon from crashing into the Earth, by herself. How she manages to do it is never explained. Unless "she's Medaka" is considered sufficient explanation.
  • In The Last: Naruto the Movie, the final battle takes place on the surface of the moon, which is falling slowly towards Earth (and most of the film took place inside it, as it's a Hollow World). During the battle, Naruto's opponent Toneri unleashes the power of his Tenseigan, cutting the moon in half. It's mostly subverted, though, as rather than shattering or falling apart, the moon somehow manages to hold together.
  • Origin: Spirits of the Past uses this trope, though instead of the moon being completely destroyed it's just split into tree.
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, this is shown going on inside Tamaki's head in Episode 23 as a metaphor for his Berserk Button of Haruhi being pursued by another guy, the unsuspecting Kasanoda.
  • A test of the Von Braun's Tandem Mirror engine in Planetes reduced a significant area of the Moon into dust. Judging from the artwork, the damage covered a region larger than the state of California.
  • The Sonic X adaptation of Sonic Adventure 2 also shows the moon getting blown up, though while the games never explain how the moon presumably gets fixed, in Sonic X Eggman fixes it himself, dubbing it the "Eggmoon". He then uses the repaired moon to try and block out the sun.
  • In Space Battleship Yamato, the Comet Empire, after defeating Earth's space navy, puts the cherry on its sundae of conquest by destroying the moon.
  • Z does this in Tenchi Muyo!, after he destroyed half the earth, for no other purpose than getting Tenchi's attention. Like the majority of the events in the third OVA, this is subjected to a Reset Button.
  • In Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann, Anti-Spiral uses the moon to attempt to destroy the earth, causing the Gurren Brigade to attempt to destroy the moon. Notable in that the otherwise VERY soft sci-fi makes it abundantly clear that the approach of the moon and it's removal would have a negative effect on the planet (In the end, the descent can be stopped and the moon is revealed to be a giant spacecraft named "Cathedral Terra". The spacecraft is repossessed by the heroes and the real moon is pulled out of a Pocket Dimension to avoid damage to the Earth).
  • In Yatterman Night, Dokurobei manages to blow up the moon during an attack on Dekkaido. A ring of debris from the detonation is all that remains of it now, save the giant ominous skull.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh!, Yugi has one of his monsters stab the moon to destroy it. Yes, it was a moon generated by another card and not the actual moon, but it still has the tide-changing effects...and it wasn't a monster card so he shouldn't have been able to attack it.note 
    • There is now a real-life card that references this scene - and allows a player to reenact it in the right circumstances.
  • In Idolmaster: Xenoglossia, the moon was destroyed 108 years before the start of the story, causing chunks of it to fall towards Earth frequently.
  • In Symphogear, Fine attempts to destroy the moon with an enormous cannon, but it is deflected and only knocks off a chunk. The heroes then blow up the chunk, giving the moon a ring for the rest of the series.

     Comic Books 
  • The Doctor Who comic strip "The Love Invasion" featured an alien who intended to improve the lives of the human race and his (in the long run) with the first item on his agenda being "destroy the moon". He nearly goes through with it.
  • The moon gets destroyed in the "Five Years Later" period of Legion of Super-Heroes. In this case there is an Endor Holocaust, with lunar fragments being a serious threat to Earth for some time afterwards (until Earth got destroyed as well).
  • The moon of the planet Sakaar (from Planet Hulk) is broken into pieces. By the end of the storyline, the same thing happens to Sakaar.
  • In a What If? story about the Avengers' enemy Korvac, Korvac and the Stranger become involved in a shoving match, with the moon itself as the object being shoved. The moon, behaving at least somewhat according to the laws of physics, gets ripped to shreds by tidal forces and forms a debris ring around the Earth. There is No Endor Holocaust, but it doesn't matter because Korvac ends the universe with the Ultimate Nullifier.
  • In I Hate Fairyland, Gert kills the sentient moon narrator by shooting him with a cannon. She then kills the stars to avoid any witnesses.

    Fan Works 

  • Conquest: During the battle between the Imperial and Federation fleets over Earth, the Eclipse-class super star destroyer "Obliterator" uses its spinal superlaser to destroy the Moon along with its several hundred million inhabitants.
  • In a supplementary blog for The Empress Returns (sequel to The God Empress of Ponykind), the Blood Angels and their allies loaded a moon full of doomsday weaponry before ramming it into Hive Fleet Leviathan, destroying the Tyranid synapse ships and saving Baal from being consumed.
  • Shinji And Warhammer 40 K: In the final arc, Kaworu blows up a chunk of the Moon in order to try to destroy an Eldritch Abomination. Many people wonders whether humankind is definitely and inescapably screwed or it is not as bad as it looks. Fortunately it looks like the debris is floating away Earth.

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Moon inexplicably combusts in Amazon Women on the Moon, with a small piece continuing to dangle from a wire, after the first astronauts to visit it incur the wrath of the Amazons living there.
  • Flash Gordon: Ming pokes the moon out of orbit so it is sent on a collision course with Earth.
  • Man of Steel: In one of the scenery shots of Krypton, you can see its moon partially blown up.
    • This is a Continuity Nod to the Silver Age comics' justification for Krypton having forbidden rocketry. Krypton's principal moon, Wegthor, had their first space colony — until scientist Jax-Ur's nuclear missile missed the meteor he was aiming at.
  • A torn-apart moon is a constant sight during night sequences in Oblivion (2013) . Malcolm Beech reminisces when it was blown apart to cripple the human race pre-invasion.
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, one of the moons of the Klingon homeworld (Praxis) has apparently blown up; interestingly, in this timeline this seems to have happened 30 years before the event in the Prime universe, where it was a major plot point in Star Trek VI and was the event that paved the way for the end of formal hostilities between the Federation and the Klingon Empire in the TNG-era.
    • One could infer this was due to the Klingon's having studied the Narada from the previous film during the 25 years they held Nero and his crew prisoner. Presumably, by studying the technology of the mining ship, the Klingons inadvertently accelerated the accident that lead to the destruction of the moon in the Prime-verse, which was caused by over-mining.
  • This happens in the not-too-distant future in the 2002 film of The Time Machine, when some genius decided that using nuclear weapons to dig caverns beneath the surface was a good idea. It causes a bit of an armageddon. The moon's still there despite their effort, but only about half or so is intact, the rest having settled into orbit or hit the Earth.
  • In The Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, Professor Sherman Klump dreams that he accidentally planted a nuclear weapon on the Moon instead of on an asteroid heading for Earth.
    Sherman: Oh no! I done blowed up the wrong one!

  • The novel Die dunkle Seite des Mondes (The Dark Side of the Moon) of the Charity series by Wolfgang Hohlbein ends with the Moon being shattered by a massive hyperspace wave, as a result of something that was done in one of the previous novels in the series. Considering the wave was about to do the same to Earth, the destruction of the Moon is considerably more preferable. One of the characters mentions that humans will have to learn to live without the tides, while another character points out that the tides will still be there, as the main mass of the moon is still in orbit.
  • Happens offscreen between the first and second Empire from the Ashes books. Fortunately, it is replaced with a gravity generator to avoid problems with tides.
  • In Incarceron, it's mentioned that the Years of Rage have taken their toll on the moon. It still appears to be in orbit, but its innards have been hollowed and its face is pockmarked, effectively killing the tides.
  • In the novel Moonfall by Jack McDevitt the moon is smashed into itty-bitty bits by a mysterious giant comet just days after a commercial moonbase has been built there.
  • In Perelandra and That Hideous Strength, it is stated that when, on the World Half Empty Moon, the people's wickedness is complete, it will be shattered.
  • The Cthulhu Mythos short story "Remnants" by Fred Chappell has the Old Ones destroying and re-engineering the Moon into a giant five-pointed star for their own arcane purposes.
  • Neal Stephenson's Seveneves begins with the sentence "The moon blew up without warning and for no apparent reason." The remainder of the book is about dealing with the disasters that result.
  • The Army of Mars nuked the moon in Kurt Vonnegut's The Sirens of Titan
  • In Star Trek: Articles of the Federation, Romulan admiral Mendak tries to sabotage the free Reman settlement on Klorgat IV by blowing up one of the planet's moons.
  • In the Star Wars Expanded Universe, at one point a prototype Death Star aims at the planet Kessel, misses, and blows up its moon instead. Mako Spince was expelled from the Imperial Military Academy when he attempted to blow the Imperial seal off one of Carida's moons as a joke but used too much antimatter.
  • In one of Stephen Baxter's more nonsensical stories, the US government executes "operation Sunday Punch" to blow a huge chunk out of the moon, in order to intimidate the other nations of the world. It doesn't end well.

     Live Action TV 
  • In the cartoon segments of The Aquabats! Super Show!, the moon blows up after the Aquabats succeed at rescuing Jimmy from a collapsing underwater city beneath the moon's surface.
  • On The Big Bang Theory The guys are bouncing a laser off the moon to see if it's viewable from Earth and Penny's dim-witted date is worried the moon will blow up. Leonard reassures him that they set the laser to stun.
  • Doctor Who discusses it extensively in the Series 8 episode "Kill the Moon". Strange happenings on the moon (fault lines enlarging, a sudden but inexplicable increase in mass, and resulting disastrous effects on Earth tides) causes humanity to launch a mission to blow up the moon with a bunch of nukes. By the end of the episode, they discover that the moon is actually an egg that's about to hatch, and they subvert the trope by stopping the countdown at the last second. Then played with even further—the newborn... thing... immediately lays a new Moon-egg, which explains why we still have a moon in episodes that take place further into the future.
  • From the TV-series version of The Hitch Hikers Guide To The Galaxy, a description of the songs of the rock group Disaster Area:
    "[They] are, on the whole, very simple and usually follow the familiar theme of boy-being meets girl-being beneath a silvery moon which then explodes for no adequately explored reason."
  • On Mr. Show, America inexplicably decides to blow up the moon and is met with huge approval, with people writing patriotic country songs and throwing parties in honor of the event. When Galileo, the monkey assigned to guide the missile that will blow up the moon asks (via sign language) why they're doing it, America erupts into outrage, until Galileo is fired and replaced with Mr. Wiggles, a monkey that doesn't know sign language, and the destruction of the moon goes through as planned.
  • Inverted in Space: 1999 where the Moon gets blasted into space but survives more or less intact, but the Earth suffers devastating effects from the loss of their tide-control device.
    • In a later episode it's revealed that the Earth survived, but humanity screwed the environment anyway.
  • The ABC Family dramady, Three Moons Over Milford, in which the moon was shattered into three pieces by an asteroid, leaving people uncertain about the future of life on Earth.

  • Gunpowder Tim, Master-at-Arms of The Mechanisms, was found by the crew floating in the midst of the shattered remains of the Moon, his eyes burned out by the blaze of the explosion. As revealed in Gunpowder Tim vs the Moon Kaiser, he was entirely responsible.


    Tabletop Games 
  • In Hc Svnt Dracones Deimos was accidentally eaten by MarsCo's orbital construction Geomats, the computers had labelled it "flotsam" and no one caught it until it was too late. They constructed a BlueSky station in memoriam of the small moon in the wake of the PR disaster, but many still wonder if it was really an accident. Earth's moon, on the other hand was the site of an observation base keeping an eye on the new ecosystem developing on the planet that had been nuked to sterilization a few centuries earlier, then one of the expeditions brought something back and the entire rock is covered with what looks like crystallized blood.

    Video Games 
  • Deserves special mention in Cityof Heroes, cause while most examples on the video-game list are just creative licensing to show power, in City of Heroes Big Bad Lord Recluse actually does it. No-name villain, Darrin Wade, kills Big Good, Statesman, then flies to the moon to become a god, Lord Recluse's retort: He launches one of his nuclear war-heads at the moon then takes a rocket up there to finish the job himself. Scary part is he has more of those warheads and nothing left to lose...
  • In Lost Episode 2 of Asura's Wrath, Oni Punches Mantra Asura so hard the moon splits in half, and they start blowing up more of it as they start fighting more.
  • In BlazBlue, Makoto Nanaya's Astral Finish ends with her uppercutting her opponent into the sky. The force of the punch makes him hit the moon and shatter it.
  • Zetta's Zetta Beeeam Neo attack in Disgaea 4 causes the Netherworld's moon and the asteroid belt near it to detonate in a glorious screen-filling explosion with every use.
    • The poor moon can't catch a break in Disgaea 5, either, where the number of moon-destroying attacks has increased drastically. Even some of the less impressive units like the Rabbit and Eryngya blow it to smithereens with their final attack.
  • The end of Kirby's Adventure sees the pink guy fly after Nightmare, eventually ending up on the moon's surface. Before the battle, the moon is whole; after the battle, it becomes permanently crescent, which is retained for every subsequent game in the series.
  • In Nazi Zombies Black Ops 3 map Der Eisendrach Easter Egg mission ends with Origins gang detonating the Moon with Element 115 missles to destory Griffon Station, the moon base for Group 935.
  • In Paladins, the moon appears to have been blown apart. How it got that way is unknown.
  • In Rogue Trip you can use a teleporter on the flying saucer level to warp to the moon. If you placed a remote bomb at the crashed saucer and blew it up from the moon, the earth would explode, shortly followed by a hail of flaming rocks that destroys the moon and kills you. And all that for a cheap vacation.
  • In Shattered Horizon, a mining accident on the moon has caused billions of tons of rocky debris and mining equipment to be thrown out in orbit around earth, essentially leaving a huge hole in the moon, as well as a ring of rocks and debris around the earth.
  • In Skies of Arcadia, the six Moons bombarding the planet with meteors plays an important role in the game's backstory. More ridiculously, there's an Limit Break that allows you to smash one of them into the enemy... naturally, this is ignored once the battle's over.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Eggman blows up half of the moon with the Eclipse Cannon to show the world he's not messing around when he announces he's conquering the world. Fans have all sorts of theories why the moon seems none the worse for the wear in all following games, including one where the final battle happens on the surface and the Sonic universe having a multiple moons for every time there's a visible moon.
  • While it doesn't happen in-game in Team Fortress 2, Saxton Hale accidentally blows up the moon in the non-canon Mac update comic. Using an Apple product called iBlewUpTheMoon.
  • A version of this happens in The Legend of Dragoon after destroying the final boss, although it technically isn't a moon, It's the unborn god of destruction. First it's shown collapsing in on itself into nothingness, followed by a brief pause, followed by a massive explosion that engulfs the tree that literally created life. Did we mention how big the tree was?
  • In Touhou Soccer, one of Youmu Konpaku's better shots has her completely ignore the ball, fly up into the air, and to one side of the moon. She then slices the Japanese characters for her shot into the moon, and then SLICE IT IN HALF. Explosion and everything. She then apparently remembers the ball, and comes down and whacks the ball with her sword. The soccer ball, to its credit, handles a slash that cleaved the moon in two very well, as it may well be Made of Indestructium .
  • Happens with every casting of Fei's Big Bang spell in Xeno Gears. Also an example of Slap-on-the-Wrist Nuke.
  • In Stellaris you may find this in orbit of a fallen empire.


     Web Original 
  • The now-defunct Citizens' Association to Blow Up the Moon. CABUM
  • In Colour My Dreams, you need to do this after solving a puzzle to get past the endless hallway.
  • Frank J. Fleming of the blog IMAO, advocates the United States Nuking the Moon to convince other coutries that the U.S. is crazy and not to be messed with.
  • RWBY: Remnant's moon is only half-intact, the other half shattered into a dense field of debris. It hasn't been explained just what happened to make the moon that way, especially since Remnant's civilizations lack any kind of space technology, making them rather unlikely to be the culprits.
  • Tech Infantry has the Moon blown up in order to have the broken pieces rain down upon the Earth and make in uninhabitable.

     Western Animation 

     Real Life 
  • Project A119. The US during the Cold War had a plan to detonate a nuclear weapon on the moon during the 1950's. Officially called the much less insane-sounding "A Study of Lunar Research Flights". Cancelled in lieu of a better idea of landing a ship there instead.
  • The rings orbiting the planet Saturn may have formed when a moon orbiting it broke up either by straying too close to its parent planet or was destroyed in a collision with another moon.
  • Uranus' moon Miranda has bizarre terrain and it was once thought that long ago it was completely shattered has since reformed. This theory is no longer considered credible. Current thinking is that Miranda once had a subsurface ocean like Europa and Enceladus are thought to, but the whole thing froze and warped the surface.
  • Some planets may eventually lose their moons billions of years from now. Because it is orbiting the Red Planet faster than that planet can spin, the Martian moon Phobos may eventually collide with Mars, and it is widely believed that it will not be the first moon Mars has lost this way; and even though the Moon is actually moving away from the Earth until it slows down so much that it it literally stuck above one side of our planet permanently, the dying and expanding Sun will eventually cause the Moon to spiral back toward Earth, causing it to shatter and collide with our own planetnote  (ironically, this was also how our Moon was born).
    • Triton, Neptune's largest moon, is spiraling towards its host planet, and will eventually enter the planet's Roche Limit in about 3.6 billion years. Once this happens, Triton will actually disintegrate because of Neptune's tidal forces; Triton will become a huge set of visible rings around Neptune (Triton out-masses Saturn's rings several hundred times over).
  • The US Air Force once came *this* close to doing this during the Cold War... as an intimidation tactic. Lucklily, they didn't go through with it.