The visceral joy one gets from ruthlessly smashing or otherwise destroying some inanimate object, especially if said object (or whatever it represents) has caused you a great deal of annoyance. Implements favored for this kind of catharsis include, but are not limited to: Baseball Bats
, Woodchippers, Heavy Construction Equipment, and in some cases High Explosives. As a general rule, the more over the top the means of destruction, the greater the satisfaction. Ring Ring Crunch
is a subtrope of this. Die, Chair! Die!
may also be related to this, depending on the game.
This is the most common way of achieving a Catharsis Factor
in video games.
For obvious reasons, this is rarely something you can do in real life without legal consequences at the least.
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- Katchoo in Strangers in Paradise breaks/smashes/destroys (in various ways) her alarm clock every time when it rings in the morning.
- Tim Burton's Batman: The joker shoots a TV set whenever Batman comes on.
- The scene in Office Space when Peter, Michael and Samir destroy the fax machine.
- In The Emperor's New Groove, after she is fired by Kuzco, Izma lets off steam by smashing busts of him.
- Many times in Zombieland. Most particularly the nice minivan and the gift shop.
- In Hook, Hook tries to hurt Peter by turning his son to his side. He starts out by encouraging Jack to smash a watch that his father gave him. After that, Jack starts smashing a room full of clocks, for everything Peter did that annoyed him.
- In Men with Brooms, Cutter, feeling frustrated, asks the bartender how much it would cost for another beer, then asks how much for the mug, and finally, for the TV on the wall. After handing over the money, Cutter is told by the Genre Savvy bartender to "have at it", and he slings the empty beer mug through the television set.
- In Spider Robinson's Callahans Crosstime Saloon series, all drinks at Callahan's bar are fifty cents, and Callahan only accepts one dollar bills. You get the fifty cents back unless you want to step up to the line and make a toast by tossing your empty glass into the bar's fireplace hard enough to shatter it. It is an exceptionally cathartic action, as it turns out.
- In Robinson's Mindkiller, Joe Templeton deals with a moment of deep frustration by carefully making a pitcher of five-to-one martinis ... then pouring it down the sink, making a pitcher of six-to-one martinis, carrying this to his living room, and throwing it through the television set.
- In Arthur C. Clarke's first short story, "Rescue Party", aliens exploring the abandoned Earth as the Sun is about to go nova find an office with its contents trashed. Most of them are baffled even after one of them suggests this trope as the explanation.
- In Warrior Cats, Jayfeather is so upset that Rock didn't tell him that Leafpool and Crowfeather are his real parents that he decides to break Rock's stick. (It Makes Sense in Context.)
Live Action TV
- One time on The Dick Van Dyke Show Rob & Laura took their frustrations out on a pile of dishes that they were going to replace anyway because they had chips in them.
- Referenced in whichever Mythbusters episode had the killer snowplow myth. (where a snowplow could blow a car off the road.)
- Additionally, most Mythbusters episodes end in them causing some sort of explosion. "When in doubt, C4"
- Psych: Lassiter's ex refuses a gift. He then uses them for target practice.
- Babylon 5, from "A Late Return from Avalon";
G'Kar: By G'Quan, I can't recall the last time I was in a fight like that. No moral ambiguity, no hopeless battle against ancient and overwhelming forces. They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys. And they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor.
- Paranoia: One citizen joined the Frankenstein Destroyers, not because he had anything against bots, but just because he liked the delightful crunching noise they made when he caved in their cranial appendages.
- The first weapon you get in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal gives a nice satisfying crunch.
- The World Ends with You Sho Minamimoto "Your opinions are garbage! CRUNCH, I'll add 'em to the heap."
- Mario Party Advance contains a Gaddget called "Stress Press." The entire purpose of it is to smash various objects with an enormous hammer, for the express purpose of making you feel better.
- When Sasha is teaching Raz how to use the psiblast in Psychonauts, he tells him to picture something terrible, something that absolutely must die. Sasha's target of choice? Tacky decorative lamps.
- This is the entire reason the game "Boom Blox" for the Wii can be so satisfying. Hurl baseballs, bowling balls, etc, at large, intricate structures and watch them crash to the ground with a nice crunch or boom.
- In the Global Guardians PBEM Universe, when a muckraking reporter and her film-crew kept following Stone around, looking for something to tarnish up his already shaky reputation with, he finally got so fed up with her that he flattened the newsvan they were using to follow him. And you should take the word "flattened" literally, as he used his Super Strength to drop a bulldozer on it eight or nine times in quick succession. Then he got himself a beer.