thymeloop on Mar 8th 2016 at 2:37:08 PM
Last Edited By:
Arivne on Mar 14th 2016 at 9:33:30 AM
Page Type: trope
When a character has to get through glass, they cut out a perfect, round hole while leaving the rest of the panel untouched. It's a stealthier, quiet alternative to smashing the glass. It creates a larger opening than drilling a hole would, at least large enough that the character can reach inside.
If the person breaking in is prepared, they will have a device specifically designed for this purpose. It's a suction cup with an attached lever, with a cutting element—such as a diamond or laser—on the end of the lever. The suction cup is applied to the glass, then the lever is moved around in a circular motion, cutting a circular area out of the glass.
If a character doesn't have such a device, they will improvise by using the sharp point of a diamond ring instead. Another common variation is the use of sharp claws, in which case the circle is cut freehand.
In real life, this is not possible. MythBusters tested and busted it during one of the "Crimes and MythDemeanors" episodes. To cut out a circle, a glass cutter puts an even scratch (or score) on the glass. In order to get a controlled break along the score, force needs to be applied on both sides of the glass. If the character could take remove the window pane to do this, they wouldn't need to cut a hole.
- In Ponyo, the titular character tries to escape from her dad's house by using magic to cut a hole in one of the house windows. But because the house is underwater, this leads to loads of water coming through the window and Ponyo gets caught in the flow of water instead.
- A variation in The Great Mouse Detective. Basil and Dawson trail Fidget to a toy shop he broke into. Basil sees a hole drilled into the window—a small hole, the size of a single finger—and immediately realizes that's how Fidget got in. Dawson wonders how anyone could fit through such a tiny hole. Basil demonstrates by popping Dawson's finger into the hole, then using that finger to pull the window open on its hinge.
- In Shrek 2, Puss in Boots cuts a circular hole with his claws to get the "Happily Ever After" potion from the Fairy Godmother's storage room. The hole, however, turns out to be too small for the bottle to fit through, and Puss ends up pulling the bottle so hard that the glass plane shatters.
- In the 1959 film adaptation of The Bat, the titular murderer uses a small blade to cut a hole from a glass-paned door, which he then unlocks and opens by reaching inside.
- Funny moment in the Italian comedy Bingo Bongo when the titular character used his sharp nails to cut through the glass window of a restaurant in order to snatch food from a table inside. Watch the scene here.
- Hudson Hawk. While breaking into the auction house, Eddie uses a suction cup device to cut out a hole in a glass door. It's large enough that he and Tommy Five-Tone can slip inside.
- In Mission: Impossible II, Ethan Hunt laser-cuts a hole through glass and jumps through into the lab.
- Undercover Brother. Played for Laughs when Undercover Brother breaks in through a window. He slices a circle in the window and then taps on it. This causes the entire rest of the window to shatter, leaving the cut-out circle intact.
- The Stainless Steel Rat does this when breaking into an Inland Revenue office complex to wipe his and Angelina's tax record clean. At one point he is poised on a very narrow windowsill manipulating a glass cutter and a suction disc, so as to be able to remove the glass circle cleanly without triggering any alarms.
- In the 1960's Batman episode "The Purr-Fect Crime", Catwoman uses her glove/claws to carve a hole through a museum display case.
- Call of Duty: Ghosts. A laser-powered item called the Glass Cutter appears exclusively for the level "Federation Day," where it is used to break in through the building's windows.
- Chris Fisher's illustrated fanfic Of Mice and Mayhem has the Rescue Rangers use a sharpened stylus to cut an access hole in the window of a research laboratory in an effort to rescue Gadget and other small critters caged there. Defeated when one young mouse, eager to be helpful, opens the window lock, which triggers an intrusion alarm.
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