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It's a bill from the guy who fixed the window.
Windows are there to be broken in fictional settings. And not just broken in Bar Brawls
or by the sonic boom of some fast or loud thing happening in the middle of your action movie.
No, you can damage a window in more "subtle" ways.
If your teenager needs to get the attention of his crush who's grounded
, he can throw pebbles at the window
. Too much force, though, and CRACK!
If your crime syndicate
is trying to scare a witness into leaving town so they don't have to Make It Look Like An Accident
, they may toss a rock or a brick through the window, and CRACK! Threatening message sent.
The good guys are trying to get a Well-Intentioned Extremist
to give up his hostages? Fire up that tear gas canister gun, and CRACK!
Canisters released right at the guy's feet to get him to come out with his hands up.
The most innocent variation is kids playing ball.
One kicks or hits the ball too far. We hear the window break offscreen, and the children scatter to avoid getting in trouble for it.
Frequently, a cat is heard
from behind the broken window.
Other variations include:
Generally the window never shatters as it would with a person getting thrown through. The object just goes through and makes a hole big enough for itself.
Note that this trope isn't about
a guy getting thrown out a window. That would be Destination Defenestration
.Nor is it about the frustration and annoyance caused by a certain PC operating system.
Anime and Manga
- Vivian Stanshall's LP version of Sir Henry at Rawlinson End includes the following scene:
There was a terrific crash and a brick smashed through the window. About the brick was wrapped a note, which read simply: (Irish accent) "Hello, now. Oi'm yer new neighbour."
Henry was plainly delighted. "He seems a decent enough egg. At least he didn't have the impertinence to present himself at the front door."
- Doomtown lets you install Stained-Glass Windows in one of your buildings to set this up (so that e.g. your dudes in the Town Square can join the fight).
- Parodied (as many, many superheroes tropes) in Rat Man. A superteam break-in plan to enter a villain house requires one of them to stealth to a windows, cut the glass, and crawl inside. Then he signals the other to enter... which they do by purposely smashing every other windows in the process.
- Happens in Tintin in America, with a note reading, "For the last time: mind your own business!" From the implication that this is not the first time, Tintin starts to realize who he's up against.
- Arby's restaurant has frozen burgers thrown into their restaurant with the note tied to them. The workers in Arby's are not terribly threatened.
- Geico insurance has one that proudly proclaims "Casey Mears drives [list of vehicles], Geico insures [previous list]. We insure almost everything Casey drives!" Casey hits a golf ball, it breaks a window. Announcer repeats, "...almost," as Casey drops the club and sheepishly backs away.
- In After the Thin Man, a stone with a note attached flies through the Charles' kitchen window. Hilarity Ensues when their dog Asta grabs the note in his jaws and is pursued through the house.
- In The Incredible Hulk (2008) tear gas canisters are fired through the windows of a glass bridge at a cornered Bruce Banner. Very bad idea...
- Parodied in the Mel Brooks movie High Anxiety. The main character, the new head of a mental asylum, receives a rock to the window with a message - a friendly welcome note from the psycho ward.
- Forrest Gump and Jenny Curran throw rocks through the windows of her father's house.
- The main action of Honey, I Shrunk The Kids starts when Ron, one of the Thompsons from next door, hits a baseball through the Szalinskis' upper window, which activates Wayne's shrinking machine and gets in the path of the laser that was making it so that it blew up the apples he was using to test the machine out.
- In Home Alone 2, Kevin breaks the window of the toy store in order to set off the alarm.
- Played with in Hot Fuzz, where Nicholas Angel throws his nightstick to shatter a glass window...before jumping through the still-intact door beside it.
- Repeatedly in Penelope. Every last suitor up to the point Penelope's mother realized shatterproof glass was a good idea.
- Another 48 Hrs. must set a record for most broken glass in a single film.
- The original Die Hard turns this into a plot point when the villain shoots out all the glass around the barefoot hero.
- In The Matrix when a helicopter crashes into a glass building.
- In Blade Runner, Zhora runs through several store window panes while being shot by Deckard.
- In Gia, the made-for-TV movie adaptation of the life of Gia Marie Carangi, Gia smashes her girlfriend's window to let herself in.
- In Young Frankenstein, the title character is playing darts with Inspector Kemp, and the conversation is unnerving him enough that the darts end up in all sorts of unlikely places, including through the window.
- In the climactic chase scene of 1973's What's Up, Doc? (with Barbra Streisand and Ryan O'Neal), a giant pane of glass is being carted across the street and is missed several times by the chase entrants and is finally shattered by a pursuer swinging down from the roof on a street banner.
- In The Last Castle, the prisoners construct a trebuchet to put rocks through the warden's office window.
- Remember The Titans features this in classic "brick through the window" form.
- In Footloose, Ren tries to start a movement to repeal his town's "no dancing" law... and late at night, he gets a brick through a window of his home for his troubles.
- Animal House: Pinto goes the rocks-at-the-window route to get the attention of his girlfriend Clorette. Suffice it to say he succeeds.
- Nabi the cat gets a rock through his window at the end of There she is!! Step 3, then several more rocks during the course of the dark and dramatic Step 4.
- In Sarah Caudwell's The Sybil in Her Grave, someone throws a rock through Daphne's window to scare her away. The kicker is that Daphne threw it herself, to make herself look sympathetic and persecuted.
- In Jodi Picoult's Salem Falls, a molotov cocktail is thrown through the main character's window after it becomes common knowledge that he was previously convicted of rape. It's discovered before it can cause too much damage, and it is implied that it was poorly made and more to send the message than cause real damage.
- During Galaxy Of Fear, Zak Arranda has recurring Bad Dreams about his dead parents standing or floating outside of his window hammering on or otherwise trying to open it. In one, they break it.
- In EVERY FPS with windows, you can shoot them for no reason. Just fun.
- Sometimes, though, as seen in Half-Life, they'll be bulletproof or bullet-resistant glass to keep players from going places they're not supposed to.
- Played with in Freeman's Mind "I refuse to believe every window in this place is bullet proof *smashes window* YES!"
- Time Splitters 2 takes the cake: 3 bonus timed missions involve breaking EVERY windows in the area, one with the grenade launcher fixed to an AKA 47, one with bricks, one with a grenade launcher.
- And the game even remember how many windows you broke in your career.
- In Mirror's Edge you can jump through windows by puncing at them just before impact.
- Paper Boy: you get bonus points for each non subscriber's window you put a paper through.