Percussive Shutdown
Also available in golf club, crowbar, sledge hammer, and sawed-off shotgun varieties.

Trent: Some plan; just shoot everything.
Ozu: Sometimes, the simplest solution is the best.

When all else fails, sometimes the easiest way to turn off a thing that needs to be turned off is to break it.

Characters occasionally come across situations where a device in their vicinity that is integral to the plot; more specifically, integral to derailing the plot, and it has to be prevented from doing so. But such devices rarely come with an "off" switch, so what are the intrepid heroes to do?

Why, smash it to bits, of course! When there is simply no better option available, you might as well.

Compare Percussive Prevention when this tactic is applied to a character rather than an object. Contrast Percussive Maintenance, which is using violence to get stuff working again. Can overlap with Percussive Therapy if the continued failure to deactivate the stubbornly functioning device becomes a source of frustration for the character. Supertrope to Shoot the Television and Ring... Ring... CRUNCH. Compare Cut the Juice for a more conventional shutdown procedure.


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    Anime and Manga 

    Films — Animation 
  • Inside Out: The emotions Anger, Disgust and Fear have realised that giving Riley the idea to run away was a mistake, and are trying desperately to correct the mistake by removing the idea bulb. But it proves to be unmovable. So they try smashing it. But it also proves unbreakable.

    Films — Live Action 
  • Subverted in The Avengers. When Tony first encounters the portal generator, the first thing he tries is blasting it with his repulsors. This does absolutely no damage to the device; it does however create a shockwave which knocks Selvig back to his senses, giving Selvig an opportunity to explain how the generator can be de-activated.
  • In Sing Street, the evil school's principal wants to finish a dance at the gym by turning the lights back on. The school bully prevents this by smashing the light switch, making it impossible to do so. Everyone cheers and the dance continues.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Bionic Woman episode "Doomsday Is Tomorrow". With the doomsday device's countdown running out, Jaime tries to stop the explosion by destroying the circuits of the ALEX 7000 computer that's controlling the countdown.
  • Castle: During a particularly tense two-parter episode, Castle and Beckett have been chasing a group of domestic terrorists attempting to set off a dirty bomb in town. Eventually, they do find the bomb, but with only seconds left on the timer.... With no time to pick a wire to cut, Castle just yanks all of them at once... this works.
  • Mr. Bean once opted to turn off a light by shooting it, in order to forego the effort of getting out of bed to do so manually.
  • Torchwood: On both occasions where resurrection gauntlets are used to bring characters back to life, they end up going out of control and sucking the life out of hosts with no way of being turned off. So Jack just shoots them.

    Video Games 
  • In Horizon Zero Dawn, a sidequest ends with Aloy finding a lure that a merchant had brought into a city, causing Glinthawks to attack. When the merchant stammers that he doesn't know how to shut it off, Aloy gives him a contemptuous look before stabbing it with her spear.

    Western Animation 
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender: After Sendak takes the castle and captures Lance and Shiro, Allura and Keith are stuck outside after the particle barrier is activated, leaving Pidge the only Paladin still at large on the inside. Allura directs Pidge to the castle's star drive chamber, in order to shut it down and prevent Sendak from getting away with the castle, and also the Lions. Unfortunately, the drive activates before Allura can go through the proper shutdown sequence, disrupting communications. With no other options, Pidge just says "whatever" and smashes the controls with her bayard, preventing the launch.