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Apocalypse How / Class X-4

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Apocalypse How
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X | X-2 | X-3 | X-4 | X-5 | Z

"I'm thankful, because now I know what I must do. I will shred this universe down to its last atom and then, with the Stones you've collected for me, create a new one teeming with life that knows not what it has lost but only what it has been given. A grateful universe."
Thanos, Avengers: Endgame

Universal-scale Physical Annihilation. Everything that has ever been observed by anyone, anywhere. Eradicated. Or at the very least, not organized into galaxies, stars, and planets anymore. Perhaps just reorganized into their component atoms.

If the work in question doesn't have alternate universes, it's the end of everything. If it does, your only way out is some serious relocation into other dimensions; those remain safe. If time travel is a thing, it may also be possible to escape by fleeing to an Alternate Timeline. Or, if you're in a universe that runs on Eternal Recurrence, you can just wait for the next universe to start.

See Natural End of Time if you only want to see the natural cases of Class X-4.


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    Multiple Media 
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • Whoniverse:
    • Doctor Who:
      • At the start of Season 16, the White Guardian implies that this will happen if the Doctor doesn't collect the pieces of the Key to Time and use them to temporarily stop everything, or if the Black Guardian gets the Key.
      • The Master nearly does this in "Logopolis", and successfully destroys two-thirds of the universe. The rest is only saved by a Heroic Sacrifice.
      • In "Utopia", the Doctor travels 100 trillion years into the future to the end of the universe, though it's natural entropy.
      • The Time Lords attempt this (possibly a Class X-5 or Z) in "The End of Time", from their perspective, a last ditch attempt to survive the Time War, during its last days.
      • In the Eleventh Doctor's first season, he spends the whole series figuring out why Time itself has become cracked and erasing people and events from history, eventually discovering that the cracks are from an explosion caused by someone or something destroying his TARDIS. Unfortunately, he gets trapped inside the Pandorica before he can prevent the explosion from happening and thrown into a parallel universe where stars are a myth, Earth is the sole planet in existence and reality is slowly winding itself down. He later hits upon a plan to restore the universe by using the Pandorica itself, which was designed to preserve everything inside of it and thus captured an imprint of the universe before the explosion, allowing the Doctor fly it into the TARDIS explosion and reboot the universe, but trapping himself on the other side and removing himself from it. Turns out he was counting on the fact that Amy's long term exposure to living in a house with a Time Crack spilling into it would allow her to remember just enough to pull him back into the universe.
      • In "Listen", the Doctor travels to some point at the end of the universe to see if someone will knock on the last man's door. A sound like knocking is heard, but alternate explanations for the sound are given, and the truth is never revealed. Although, given "Hell Bent" below, there might in fact have been someone at the door after all. A woman who forgot her own name and called herself "Me" instead.
      • In "Hell Bent", the Doctor travels to a point even further along in the universe's decay. He estimates that what very little is left has about five minutes to go.
    • Doctor Who Expanded Universe: In the novel Blood Heat, the Doctor deliberately destroyed an Alternate Universe where the Silurians have begun retaking the Earth from humans.

    Anime & Manga 
  • The forfeit for losing the "game" in Bokurano is this: complete destruction of the loser's universe. The reward for the pilot of the winning team is instant death.
  • A Certain Magical Index: One-Eyed Othinus can create and destroy universes with a thought.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • In Dragon Ball Z, Super Buu's enraged scream when he realized how strong Vegito was had the power to rip through dimensions and produce a domino effect that would, at best, fall under this trope, and at worst, lead to a Class X-5 or possibly even a Class Z.
    • Dragon Ball Super,
      • In Episode 12, the punches between Lord Beerus and Super Saiyan God Goku are so powerful that according to Old Kai, three or four collisions between them could have destroyed the universe. Goku managed to negate this effect by matching the exact speed and strength of Beerus's punch.
      • In Episode 67, the fight with Goku, Vegeta and Future Trunks against Fused Zamazu reaches a point where even defeated, the mad Kai's soul merges with the universe itself and threatens a Class X-5 to spite everyone. In desperation, Goku summons the Zeno of Future Trunks' timeline and, upon seeing the state of that universe, decides to destroy it all. Goku, Vegeta, Bulma, Future Trunks and Future Mai are lucky to escape before it all goes boom.
      • During the Tournament of Power, teams from each of the 12 Universes except Universes 1, 5, 8, and 12 (as they all have high enough mortal levels to be exempt) compete to avoid having their Universe erased from existence by the Present and Future Zenos. This includes that universe's gods and the spirits of its dead, thus not even Other World and Hell are exempt. All of the participating universes except Universe 7 are destroyed by this token. Fortunately, Android 17 resurrects them all with his wish on the Super Dragon Balls.
  • In the very last timeline of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, Madoka's wish rewrites the laws of reality and requires a new universe to work. Because of this, the resulting witch has the power to destroy a universe. Said witch never gets the chance, because she's destroyed by Madoka before she can exist... and since said witch is Madoka, the resulting Logic Bomb destroys the original universe anyway and creates a new one in which Madoka exists as a new law of reality. The only people who can remember any of this are Madoka herself (who no longer exists as a person, having undergone Abstract Apotheosis), Homura (who as a time traveller exists a little bit outside of normal reality), and the witches (who exist as part of Madoka, who as mentioned doesn't exist in physical reality anymore).
  • The eventual result of Getter Rays' use in Getter Robo, caused by the energy going out of control, is the end of the entire universe. Some of the AU series like New Getter Robo and Armageddon suggest that the consequences could go beyond that, into other universes, as well.
  • In Gundam Build Divers, Tsukasa attempts to do this to GBN (he wanted to just bring down one server, but he finds out that his last Break Decal is infecting all of them. Thankfully, he's stopped from doing this.
  • What the Data Overmind, the Agency, and Mikuru's boss want to prevent indirectly by not allowing Haruhi Suzumiya to discover her powers and start consciously rewriting reality. In an unsettling twist, it's implied that the Class X-4 has already happened at least once, about three years ago, and that's why Mikuru's organization was suddenly unable to time-travel past that point. No one else noticed anything amiss, since their memories were generated from scratch along with everything else in the new universe.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stone Ocean: This turns out to be what Enrico Pucci is talking about when he refers to 'achieving Heaven'; the ultimate evolution of his Stand, Made in Heaven, grants him the ability to accelerate the passage of time, which he uses to drive the universe forward to the big crunch and forge a new one in its place. Then, this happens again when Emporio Alnino uses Weather Report's Stand to kill Pucci, causing his new universe to collapse and allowing a third to form naturally in its place.
  • In Slayers, the destruction of the entire universe is the least you can expect if the Giga Slave goes out of control... barring a Deus ex Machina, anyway.
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann':
    • Spiral Energy is described by the Anti-Spiral as, if left unchecked, able to cause the entire universe to collapse into a Black Hole, ending the universe in the Spiral Nemesis. Notably, there's absolutely no indication that this stops being the case at the end of the series, outside of some discussion that the Galactic Spiral Peace Conference will deal with it in some vague way...
    • The Anti-Spiral's pocket universe actually IS destroyed when the Super Tengen Toppa Giga Drill Breaker meets the Anti-Spiral Giga Drill Breaker. Good thing it was almost completely empty.
  • Transformers: Cybertron has Unicron's death leaving a universe-threatening black hole behind. Before that, he had already eaten a fair number of universes, bit by bit. That's what his planet eating ultimately culminates into. However, the information is All There in the Manual.

    Comic Books 
  • Blackest Night: Nekron's plan is a universe-scale Class 6: by killing the Entity, the result would be a simultaneous death of every living thing in the universe.
  • This was the main driver of the plot of Captain Atom: Armageddon: Captain Atom, quite against his will, was going to explode and destroy the entire universe, and nothing could stop it.
  • Countdown to Final Crisis: Although it is largely Canon Discontinuity, Universe-51 of the current 52 universes of DC was destroyed. Twice. The first time was a battle between Superman-Prime and Monarch (aka Captain Atom being evil). Prime ripped open Monarch's suit which released all of the energy Monarch had collected (Monarch had killed and absorbed all of his multiversal duplicates), which destroyed the entire universe, save for its Monitor and one single plant. The second time was much more low key, a highly mutative virus affected everyone on Earth and was spread throughout the universe by Hal Jordan, initially a Class 3b or a 4. But at the beginning of Final Crisis the Monitors wipe all life from it, making it devoid of life.
  • Green Lantern Hal Jordan as possessed by Parallax was responsible for this in Zero Hour: Crisis in Time! when he erased all of existence save for a few individuals that he spared just so he could remake the universe as he wanted it. The surviving heroes are able to stop Parallax's scheme and restart the universe, but doing so erased divergent timelines created prior.
  • Adolf Hitler in Last Days of the Justice Society destroys the entire universe by using the Spear of Destiny to link the fate of the Norse gods' Ragnarok to that of the universe.
  • The supervillain Annihilus from Marvel is a good example; he's so obsessed with living forever he plans to exterminate all other life in the universe, just so there's nothing that can threaten him.
  • The alternate-reality Marvel Zombies 2. A grouping of superheroes-turned-zombies, all charged with cosmic powers, fly into space and with the exception of a small group of humans, eats the population of the entire known universe. Or as Hank Pym says, "I can't believe we ate the whole thing."
  • In The Metabarons, at some point in its storyline our universe gets invaded from a parallel universe. A member of the eponymous noble family saves our universe by destroying the other universe with his Psychic Powers.
  • This would have been the end result of The Phoenix Saga had Jean not perished, as shown in What If?; she would have tried to control her powers, but true to her fears in the canon ending, she would have been unable to, and destroyed the entire universe.
  • Secret Wars (2015): Everything everywhere exploded. Doom managed to grab some fragments of dimensions from reality's toilet and smoosh them back together into Battleworld. One planet, one moon, nothing else. Later, everything was rebuilt.
  • Marvel actually does this routinely: their "Prime" universe, Earth-616, is on its seventh iteration. Whenever it gets destroyed, the "Sentience of the Multiverse" chooses one entity (usually the last left standing) to survive the cosmic renewal: last time, it chose Galactus, and changed mortal scientist Galan of Taa into the elemental force he is now. In a Bad Future shown in Immortal Hulk, we learn that that the last survivor of the Seventh Cosmos is Bruce Banner...or rather, The One Below All, using him as a meat puppet. It destroys the Eighth Cosmos, and that's it.
  • In Supergirl series Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the 8th Grade, Mr. Mxyzptlk intends to become the most powerful being in all Creation by breaking down several whole dimensional planes and turning them into fuel to empower himself.
    Mr. Mxyzptlk: You and your twin primed the machine, but this little baby still needs a lot of fuel. So it's breaking down your dimension. Soon, your reality will collapse into a one-dimensional point in time and space.
  • Superman:
    • In The Living Legends Of Superman, the story "The Exile on the Edge of Eternity", involves humanity in the far future accidentally causing a rift in the fabric of time and space, which is destroying the universe. The only way to stop it and reverse it is for Superman's distant descendant A'dam'mkent to absorb the remaining humans who converted into pure energy to give him the power to close the vortex. He succeeded at the cost of being the Last of His Kind, until he was given a female companion...
    • In The Planet Eater Trilogy, Brainiac creates a monstrous machine which threatens to eat all matter in the universe.
  • During the original US Marvel The Transformers comics, Primus related the story that Unicron predated the current universe, and had actually eaten the previous one. After the Big Bang, he woke up and started over.
  • Marvel's What If? #32 featured a variation of Avengers #177, where energy being Michael Korvac step by step absorbed all life from earth into himself...including all superhumans and the visiting Celestials. Conquering Marvel's pantheon of cosmic omni-beings, including The Stranger, The Inbetweener, et al, in the end he found no satisfaction in his accomplishments. Therefore, in one of comics' most horrific moments he produced Galactus' Ultimate Nullifier device and used it to to disintegrate himself and the entire universe.

    Fan Works 
  • In Gender Confusion, the collapse of the dimension is the encroaching doom for the majority of the story, whether it's in focus or not. Very, very narrowly avoided, being replaced by a continental Class 4 instead.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters begins with one. Don’t worry too much, though; Jade manages to evacuate everyone who exists or has ever existed in her universe into another one.
  • Harry Potter fanfic King of Kings, Ruling over Rulers:
    • Every time Aernus awakes this fate befalls existing universe, as it is merely part of his dream. It can either be a "natural death" or a premature awakening.
    • In the original version of the story, this type of apocalypse was the fate of the ninth universe during the First War in Heaven.
  • This is the initial conflict of the Oversaturated World, being a borderline X5 as the influence of Equestrian Magic in the Human world is drawing the two toward a mutual crash and subsequent annihilation. In order to avert it, Sunset Shimmer ascends which has the side effect of giving everyone magic. The other stories in the continuity deal with the results of this.
  • The Renegade timeline of With This Ring sees this happen in a possible future, with a malevolent entity consuming everything, even the fabric of space itself; only the Earth is temporarily preserved, so the monster can continue to feed on the inhabitants' despair for a time.
  • The Ultimate Evil: It's said that if the Book of Ages is damaged, or too many inconsistencies are made when using it to rewrite reality, it'll destroy the very fabric of reality. When the Book is inadvertently set ablaze, a wide vortex starts sucking everything in itself. Everything is restored once Valerie sews the torn pages of the Book back together.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The worst-case scenario of a time paradox in the Back to the Future universe is a Class X-4 unraveling of the space-time continuum. (While Doc surmises that it may actually be limited to an X-3, only destroying their own galaxy. Marty is not comforted by the thought. Which makes it a good thing that counterparts usually faint.)
  • Ghostbusters (1984): Don't cross the streams. Just don't. Unless you want to witness the total protonic reversal that'll cause everything to end. They manage to get away with crossing the streams at the end of the movie because technically the total protonic reversal happened in another dimension, not their own.
  • Several villains attempt this in the Marvel Cinematic Universe:
  • The aliens in Plan 9 from Outer Space claim that they only want to destroy humanity in order to prevent humanity from developing Solabonite, a weapon that could destroy the entire universe. At the end of the movie the aliens are defeated. Meaning that humanity will go on to develop Solabonite and destroy the entire universe. "You see? All you of Earth are idiots!"

  • The Heart of Volent in Heart of Ice will give any human who touches it absolute power over the world. Sort of. Using the Heart will utterly destroy the entire universe, and replace it with one of the user's making,with them as an omnipotent deity.
  • A pair of bad endings in the Star Challenge book "Mysterious Moons" have you time-travelling to the far future of the Universe, when all stars have burned out — enjoy until everything finally ends — or to the Big Crunch itself that you witness in the front row.

  • The climax of Charles Stross's The Atrocity Archive is set on an alternate world where the top-secret Nazi necromancy project used the souls of those murdered in the Holocaust to summon an Infovore, creature of a universe that succumbed to Entropic Heat Death aeons ago and use it as a weapon against the Allies, wiping out all life on Earth except for the Nazis. Unfortunately for them, the Nazis didn't realize that they weren't in control of the Infovore until it was much, much too late — and after it ate the Nazis as well, it began consuming all the energy of the rest of the universe, causing it to undergo Heat Death as well. Eventually it began sucking energy directly from the Space-Time Continuum, causing the universe to begin to collapse. Now it wants to escape to our universe.
  • The final arc of Avesta of Black and White details the Wilderness of Slaughter, Magsarions crusade to end all life in the universe. Planet after planet, star after star. One by one he personally annihilates everything until everything collapses and he eventually reaches the throne of God to try and end this farce once and for all and perhaps bring forth a better tomorrow. Yes, it is such a Crapsack World that an Omnicidal Maniac is seen as the only savior.
  • Stephen Baxter:
    • In the Xeelee Sequence the Photino Birds are altering the structure of the universe to make it more hospitable to Dark Matter life forms like themselves, in a process which would render the universe uninhabitable to Baryonic life.
    • In Manifold: Time, the Blue Children instigate a Vacuum Collapse incident, causing the fabric of space to collapse into a new energy state within a bubble expanding at lightspeed.
  • Iar Elterrus features this with the Executioners in Belief Of The Outcasts. Said Executioners wander from universe to universe looking for certain symptoms or events. While some universes are healthy and some require intervention, an Executioner might encounter an universe damaged and corrupted beyond salvaging. The Executioner's duty in this case is called Judgement: wipe out all life, all afterlife and any spiritual residue of the universe and maybe some neighboring corrupted ones as well, placing their job between X-4 and X-5. While not a happy job by any means, the Executioners would better not slack off — any universe left for itself in spite of fulfilling the criteria for Judgement will spread the corruption and slowly destroy other universes, leading to a potential merging of Class X-4 and Class X-5 events into a single Class Z event.
  • Cities in Flight: The Triumph of Time by James Blish ends with the destruction of the entire Universe. However the Multiverse endures, as everyone is given the opportunity to shape a new universe themselves. The main character believes so much in free will he refuses to give any shape to his own new universe and blows himself up, thus creating a totally random universe.
  • Philip José Farmer's Dark Is The Sun takes place on Earth billions of years in the future. At one point, humankind's civilization was so advanced that they found a way to move the Earth to avoid being burned away by the Sun when it eventually expanded into a Red Giant star. When the book starts, civilization has reverted to a primitive level, and eventually the group of protagonists discover that the universe itself is coming to an end via the Big Crunch. Their new goal is to find a way to enter another universe to avoid being crushed into a singularity along with everything else in their universe.
  • This rank of apocalypse is subverted in Discworld, where the universe is continuously being destroyed and recreated non-stop by the Anthropomorphic Personification of Time. Also once by a pissed-off postal worker.
  • "Experiment" by Fredric Brown features three scientists and a time machine (or in other words, incoming doom). After sending a small brass cube five minutes into the future, they then test sending the cube five minutes into the past, and sure enough take the cube out five minutes before they plan to send it. One scientist asks how the paradox resolves if he chooses NOT to put the cube into the time machine five minutes later. POOF! Look ma, no universe! (Except one lonesome cube, and thus, NOOOO paradox. Do we need a category X-4a since the cube survived?)
  • The possibility of accidentally doing this to ourselves is the focus of Joe Haldeman's Forever Peace. A massive supercollider with a diameter the same as one of Jupiter's moons (being built along said moon's equator) won't just simulate conditions within nanoseconds of the Big Bang — it'll set off another Big Bang. Because we now have the ability to annihilate not just ourselves, but possibly the entire universe, the main characters consider themselves under an ethical obligation to explore and perhaps force peace upon humanity through some Applied Phlebotinum, because somebody's going to push that button someday. In fact, somebody wants to.
  • In Fortunately, the Milk, the protagonist is warned that the destruction of the universe is the almost-certain consequence of the same object from two different points in time touching itself.
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:
    • In Life, the Universe and Everything, the Silastic Armorfiends have commissioned Hactar to create a superweapon that will connect to the heart of every star in the universe and cause them to go supernova, effectively killing everything in existence. Hactar initially has second thoughts about it.
      • The Krikkits want to destroy everything in existence except their solar system, and came quite close to at least destroying the galaxy. Hactar manipulated them into trying this, so he could give them the Supernova Bomb and fulfill the function given to him by the Armorfiends.
    • Casually mentioned in The Restaurant at the End of the Universe and Fit the Seventh of the radio series:
      Narrator: There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the Universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable. There is another theory which states that this has already happened.
  • Older Than Television: William Hope Hodgeson's 1908 The House on the Borderland depicts the demise of Earth, the solar system, and possibly the universe, all consumed by Chaos and an all-devouring Green Sun.
  • In Shel Silverstein's poem "Hungry Mungry", Mungry starts out by eating his parents, and then proceeds to go all the way up to Class X-4 by eating up the United States, the world, and finally the universe.
  • In Alan Dean Foster's Humanx Commonwealth series, the galaxy (and many before it, by all accounts) is threatened by a region of ultimate emptiness that annihilates all matter and energy that it comes into contact with. It's somehow sentient and malevolent... and it's heading our way. While you wrap your mind around that, consider that the Lost Superweapon that the Xunca created to counter it uses the combined energy of several million galaxies to rip holes in spacetime. And even before all this came into the picture, The End of the Matter featured a massive, rogue, solar system-devouring black hole (X-2 classification) — and a Lost Superweapon to counter that.
  • N. K. Jemisin's Inheritance Trilogy: In Kingdom of Gods, the villain's plan to become a God would destroy the physical universe — as its creators, the Gods are the Cosmic Keystones that define physical existence.
  • Labyrinths of Echo by Max Frei:
    • While Khumgat, the Corridor Between Worlds, is likely a fixture, worlds themselves are not. They may be born or created and may as well die with the creator.
    • Part of the Just Before the End setting in the Kingdom of Echo where Author Avatar Max travels to. The world is in danger of being destroyed by magic overuse. While an Ancient Tradition organization is working to prevent it, most of the members are capable to move to Another Dimension should they fail.
    • Loyso Pondokhva's agenda was initiating an X-4 to X-5 event to grab the world's power as said world ended.
    • Return of Ugurbado: The eponymous Ugurbado has a unique relation with his killers, coming back to life with a copy of their powers. Juffin Khalli notes that if Ugurbado was to obtain Arbiter powers in this fashion, he and fellow True Magic users would start looking for a new world, condemning Echo.
    • Shavankhola's Gift: an ancient mage unwillingly created thousands of worlds where their artificial inhabitants are locked in And I Must Scream state. Hence two mages aware of those Dead Illusion Worlds are actively working on achieving an X-4 to X-5 in every one of those worlds as a form of Mercy Kill. Max calls Loyso Pondokhva to their aid, giving him a job to match his life's dream.
  • "Last Contact" by Stephen Baxter involves people discovering the Big Rip will soon tear apart the universe in the modern day, and counting down the time until the end.
  • Happens at the end of the Left Behind book Kingdom Come, as the old Earth passes away and the "new heavens and new Earth" is created, in accordance with the Word of God.
  • In the two prequel novels to the Liaden Universe series the enemies are so powerful they destroy the entire universe the main characters are from. The only way they escape is fleeing to a different universe.
  • Isaac Asimov and Janet Asimov's Norby Finds a Villain: Ing's Evil Plan this time is to go into hyperspace with a bomb so that he can blow up the entire universe at once. Fortunately, it doesn't work. Unfortunately, it does rip a hole and sends him into an Alternate Universe, causing a Bad Future where tree-like aliens conquer the galaxy.
  • The Convergence from Pendragon might be this. Due to the massive amounts of mindfuckery involved, it's hard to say for certain, but this seems the most likely scenario from what information we're given.
  • Frederik Pohl:
    • Heechee Saga: The Foe are energy beings who are reversing the expansion of the universe with the intention of surviving through the Big Crunch so they can reshape the subsequent rebounding universe into one with more suitable physics for pure energy beings. They'll inflict Class 3s along the way, to make sure no one can interfere with the process.
    • "Worlds in Exile" is a sonnet about how entropy will lead to universal total extinction.
    [...]Other forms knew life than men
    On their broad bosoms; other forms that scorned
    Man's puny will . . . . And e'en their Titan spark
    Of years is through, nor may we comprehend
    The Cyclopean meaning of the end.
  • In Rod Allbright Alien Adventures the BKR wants to merge Dimension X with our dimension, which would destroy both dimensions (this may qualify as class X-5).
  • Greg Egan, Schild's Ladder: A science experiment gone wrong creates a sphere of complete annihilation expanding at half the speed of light. The sphere actually contains an entirely new universe filled with far richer and more vibrant life than ours, but that's small comfort to those in the universe being destroyed. Except for the sufficiently advanced posthuman.
  • In the deterministic cosmos of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, Billy Pilgrim learns that in the distant future, a Tralfamadorian will invent a spaceship fuel that when ignited will accidentally destroy the universe. Since it's fated to happen, this bothers no one. So it goes.
  • Young Wizards: The Lone Power in this series causes a star to go nova in an attempt to kill just two people. That's the least of their worries. What about the Pullulus — the rapid dark-matter expansion that caused the universe to literally tear itself apart at the seams, made people more violent, and, oh yeah, cause wizardry to stop working? That one got closer to Apocalypse Wow towards the end.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Magog of Andromeda eat galaxies.
  • In Charlie Jade, a side-effect of Vexcor's plan to steal water from a parallel Earth would have been the destruction of a third universe (ours, incidentally).
  • The Heart, She Holler: Early on in 'The Comening', Meemaw implied that the titular Comening would be The End of the World as We Know It. However, in "Congroined Hearts", she says that it will actually be this.
  • Lexx had Mantrid destroy the Light Universe by converting it all into self-replicating drones, then sent every drone into a very confined area, accidentally causing the Big Crunch.
  • One episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine involved an accident that threatened to overwrite the universe.
  • Supernatural:
    • In Season 11, Amara (The Anti-God) ultimately intends to destroy all of God's (Chuck's) creation. She attempts to kill God to annihilate the rest of creation, knowing it would also cause her to disappear into nothing. She almost succeeds, but she has a Heel Realization fortunately.
    • Two seasons after that, Lucifer after becoming "super-charged" on his Nephilim son's Grace intends to dismantle the entire universe — a process which he claims will take him 7-10 days to complete — and remake it In His Own Image.
    • In the final season, Chuck himself, after already inflicting a Class X-5 on the rest of The Multiverse, threatens to delete the main universe and try remaking reality from scratch.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • Egyptian Mythology makes this trope Older Than Dirt: The Book of Going Forth By Day and the Coffin Texts (better known as the Egyptian Book of the Dead) describe how eventually the Primordial Chaos of Nun (the primeval waters) will consume all of the ordered cosmos, leaving only the gods Atum and Osiris in the eternal darkness (although one supposes that being gods, and Atum in particular being in some versions of Egyptian myth a creator god, they might create a new ordered universe, that's not really the point).

  • Creation has undergone this is Alchemical Solutions. It may have even been a Class X-5, but Autochthon has been confirmed to have survived.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Destroying all non-Terran life in the universe is the ultimate goal of the insane Army of the Expeditionary Force in 3:16 Carnage Amongst the Stars.
  • The various villains — and heroes — of Exalted walk up and down the entire index, but the most serious ones end up here.
    • The Raksha want to rip Creation to shreds and return everything to the Mind Screw filled chaos of the Wyld.
    • The Neverborn (murdered creators of the universe) want to feed all reality to the Void to end their own suffering after some idiot woke them up
    • Some of the Yozi (the creators of the universe who were merely maimed and imprisoned inside the mutilated body of their king) are crazy enough to see this as an acceptable outcome as long as everything else gets screwed over with them.
    • The Primordials (what the Neverborn and the Yozis were) were worlds unto themselves. When a Primordial is killed and become a Neverborn, that world experience this grade of Apocalypse How.
    • Also, at the heart of the Imperial Manse lies the cutely named Basilica of Final Victory, which is a system whose purpose is to annihilate the whole universe except the Imperial Manse. The idea is that if the world is ever overwhelmed by its enemies, the best option will be to sacrifice it to destroy them (the "final victory"), and then to rebuild it from scratch. The Imperial Manse hosts a magical universal constructor, an archive of everything that ever happened in the world, and some other magical resources that actually make that possible.
  • Mage: The Ascension
    • The Nephandi are trying to destroy everything (the scope of "everything" is fuzzy, but at least includes all of Earth). For some, that's the end goal, while others want some monster or another to come in and replace it.
    • In the fourth doomsday scenario for Mage, the Nephandi actually win. However, they don't destroy the universe, but merely make it a real Crapsack World.
  • In Warhammer 40,000:
    • The second most omnicidal faction in the setting is the Tyranids, a Horde of Alien Locusts. If they have their way, the only life in the universe will be Tyranids floating in the depths of space; all life-supporting worlds will be reduced to airless, freezing rocks, the high end of a Class 6.
    • The Necrons were, when first introduced, among the purest, most literal Omnicidal Maniacs in any setting. Their purpose was, like the Tyranids, a Class 6 on the entire universe: the annihilation of all life, right down to bacteria, the harvesting of everyone's souls as delicious dessert for their star-god masters and the complete destruction of the Warp, the plane of existence upon which souls exist. However this was retconned. Now they seek to rebuild their ancient empire, though Chaos remains a mortal enemy, as it does with everyone else. Including Chaos.
  • In Warhammer The End Times reveal that this had already happened to one universe prior to the world we know right now. At the conclusion of Warhammer: Archaon, the same happens again, with the universe destroyed by the titular Archaon's hordes. But it's implied that one remaining human soul managed to reincarnate the universe, while a few elves and their last remaining goddess escaped to another one. In both cases, this was due to the Chaos Gods succeeding.
  • This is what the werewolves of Werewolf: The Apocalypse were fighting to stop — the transformation of Earth and all realms beyond into a breeding ground for the Wyrm, a being of universal entropy and decay. And that's just what happens if they lose and the Wyrm wins. The Weaver would freeze the universe into eternal stasis while the Wyld would throw everything into unending mutating chaos.

    Video Games 
  • Asura's Wrath reveals that Chakravartin has been doing this to the universe since the beginning of existence itself, manipulating the universe to his liking and destroying and recreating it when it fails to meet his standards. Asura's refusal to become his heir convinces him that it's time to start again.
  • Beyond: Two Souls: Failing the final QTE sequence results in the Infraworld overwhelming the physical world, merging the realms of life and death into one unrecognizable hellscape where the tortured souls of humanity (including Jodie's) wander alone for eternity. Depending on how encompassing the Infraworld is, this might even escalate all the way to a Class X4 or more.
  • If left unbeaten for long enough of a time, this would be the result of how Lavos from Chrono Trigger does his work, growing stronger and stronger, by "stealing/copying" the "best" DNA from life forms on a planet, desolating them by method of Class 4, then sending his own "spawn" off to new planets to do exactly the same thing on another planet.
  • At the end of Commander Keen 6, it's revealed that the bad guy was planning to blow up the entire universe.
  • In the Interactive Fiction game Curses, there is a control panel for the entire universe. Changing its settings is vital to proceeding in the game, but one of the controls is for modifying Planck's Constant, and tampering with it has predictably universe-ending results.
  • Happens in the Bad End for Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice. To be specific: Looking for a new adversary to slay and regain his former glory, Super Hero Aurum spends 200 years grooming Mao into what he hopes to be the strongest Overlord ever. In this ending, he ends up a little too successful.
  • In the final level of DOOM Eternal, the presence of the Icon of Sin on Earth is said to warp and strain the fabric of spacetime, and if not defeated in time, would spawn a black hole that would drag the entire universe down into Hell.
  • The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim:
    • The dragons, lead by Alduin, are supposed to eat the world so a new universe can be created in cycles of time called "kalpas." Alduin's actions as the Big Bad of the game are actually a downgrade, in that he rebelled to rule everything rather than destroy it all.
    • The ultimate goal of the Thalmor is to attain divinity, believing that they were once divine souls who were trapped on Nirn when Lorkhan created the planet. Their current plan is to completely stamp out worship of Talos, who is holding the physical world together with his presence. This will help unmake the world, which will allow the elves to return to their once-divine status.
  • In Evolve, this is the true goal of the monsters. They seek to collapse the false vacuum that reality exists in and nucleate a true vacuum, destroying our universe in the process.
  • The goal of the Anarchiste in Fallen London is to extinguish every light source in the universe. This is worse than it sounds, since the stars are Reality Warpers and their law is the only keeping the universe from being a (by human standards) uninhabitable Eldritch Location.
  • Ultimecia from Final Fantasy VIII's true goal is to compress time and space down to one singular point. It seemed like her original goal was to make the universe such that only she could exist in it and, thus, basically become God. Yet towards the end of the final battle with her, it becomes apparent that what is really happening is different — a good example is when she declared that all existence be denied, and if a party member falls, you get a message saying that they've been absorbed into time (something she doesn't control anymore at this point because Time Compression was halted halfway through). Sounds like she was getting in over her head; who really knows what would have happened if Ellone hadn't halted Time Compression halfway through or the Big Damn Heroes had failed? It's quite possible Ultimecia could have destroyed herself in the process and reality would have been irrecoverably destroyed.
  • Final Fantasy XIV has Meteion, whose goal in Endwalker is to not only destroy the planet, but to end the universe itself by singing a song of oblivion that manipulates Dynamis energy on every planet where anyone experiencing extreme despair or the like spawn a horrible monster. Along with the monsters (that are recreating the Final Days), the Dynamis energy overwhelms a planet's aether and eventurally destroys it from the inside out. Meteion also planned to accelerate the heat death of the universe so that nothing could support life and everything would come to an ultimate end.
  • One character in I Miss the Sunrise thinks the pessimist ending will lead to this. Another thinks it will lead to a utopia, with the player character as an omnipotent, benevolent God. Even if you get that ending, you never find out which one was right.
  • In Jets'n'Guns, the main plot revolves around a universe-destroying quantum cannon stolen by Xoxx. After you defeat him in the final stage. it is revealed that he already set the gun to go off, before he escapes through time to enslave a different universe. Once the gun fires, the only things surviving are your ship, asteroids, and a Shout-Out to The Neverending Story. In the Gold Edition you find a restaurant, in which you upgrade your ship to be able to chase Xoxx down.
  • If the Soulless Ones from Lusternia are fully released from their prisons, they'll devour everyone and everything in the universe (including each other!), until only one bloated, amorphous mass remains.
  • Marathon Infinity: Blood Tides of Lh'owon: The release of the Wrkncacnter wipes out everything in the universe, forcing our Space Marine hero to warp to an Alternate History and Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • In Meteos, the planet Meteo is hellbent on destroying every celestial body in the universe with signs of intelligence by pummeling them with phantasmagoric meteors until they explode. Stars, planets, moons, asteroids, comets, dimensional anomalies, and the realms of Heaven and Hell...nothing is spared, and it's your job to stop it from doing that.
  • In Pokémon Platinum, Cyrus planned to destroy and recreate the entire universe by summoning and controlling Dialga and Palkia (the gods of, respectively, time and space). And in Pokémon Ultra Sun and Ultra Moon, it's learned that in at least two Alternate Universes, he succeeded.
  • Portal 2: While exploring the wrecked Old Aperture levels, Cave Johnson's recordings mention a particular test has "trace amounts of time travel" and warns that interacting with your future self will eradicate the time-space continuum. Entirely. Forwards and backwards. So please, leave that handsome devil alone (or, as the emergency signs mention, ignore his clearly demented warnings) and go on to complete the test.
  • If you're defeated by the final boss in Romancing SaGa 3, he causes an Earth-Shattering Kaboom that takes out the entire universe.
  • In RuneScape, if what Zaros says during Fate of the Gods is true, the Elder Gods will one day awaken from within the Elder Halls on Gielenor and proceed to absorb the Anima Mundi of the planet, killing everything to re-energize themselves, then destroying every planet in the universe except for the one they awoke on, before trying to create a new "perfect planet" in order to produce the maximum amount of Anima Mundi to nurture their offspring. The scary thing is: they've already done this at least once in the past, with the previous "perfect planet" being Freneskae, with the current one being Gielenor.
  • Shin Megami Tensei IV
    • This is the goal of the White, who feel that the cessation of existence of all life in the universe is the only way to free it from the Great Will's and Lucifer's Order Versus Chaos Forever War. In one ending, you can go along with their plan and destroy the Yamato Reactor, which creates a universe-destroying black hole, ending all existence. Although alternate timelines exist, you've closed off the way to those.
    • In IV: Apocalypse, the same disaster can happen, in a more controlled fashion: with the Player Character in the seat of the Creator God, redoing the whole existence from scratch according to his own designs. And the most interesting part? That's not a Hijacked by Ganon scenario pulled by the player, it was exactly what one of the Big Bads intended to do!
  • If you lose in Star Control II: The Ur-Quan Masters, the Kohr-Ah faction of the Ur-Quan will eventually prevail in their Doctrinal War with the Kzer-Za faction, and they will proceed to take the Sa-Matra on a Death March to wipe out all non-Ur-Quan sapient life in the galaxy, and, after that, the rest of the universe. It is implied that the Kohr-Ah had, by that point, already wiped out all sapient life in one half of the galaxy, constituting approximately fifty-thousand sapient species.
  • The main plot of Starcraft 2 is the Big Bad, Amon the Xel'Naga, attempting this. It's also a sort of Evil Twin to the good Xel'Naga, who travel from universe to universe making new species (one the pinnacle of form, one the pinnacle of essence). Amon seeks to end the cycle of their creating, and murders the sleeping Xel'Naga before attempting to create hybrids of the protoss and zerg to bring about the destruction of the whole universe before remaking life to worship him as a god.
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story presents us with the Ten Wisemen. While nine of them seem to be just a bunch of jerkass, their leader, Indalecio, wants to destroy the entire universe by the Crest of Annihilation, which produces infinite amounts of mass and causes the universe to collapse. The party only makes it worse by killing him, which triggers the said Doomsday Device. This trend continues in Star Ocean: Till the End of Time, where every enemy you hear of in the Space Opera portions of the game seem to be trying to one-up each other in terms of omnicidal mania.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Super Mario Galaxy: Bowser himself holds the honors of not only inducing a Class X-4 (intentionally or not), but it actually goes through unprevented. The only reason anything was "saved" was due to every last Luma in existence sacrificing themselves in unison to induce a new Big Bang and replace all that was lost, save for Mario and Rosalina, who carried them safely through the transition.
    • The ultimate goal of Super Paper Mario's resident Omnicidal Maniac, Count Bleck and Dimentio is to cause a Class Z, but Bleck succeeds in destroying one universe, leaving a white void.
    • Later, in Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon, King Boo comes really, really close to pulling either an X-4 or a Z.
  • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
    • In the story mode, Big Bad Galeem causes a Class X-4 out of the gate. All of the fighters except Kirby are captured, while every non-combatant is turned into a Spirit, losing their physical form. As if that wasn't enough, all terrain is left a barren wasteland.
    • It gets worse depending on what happens at the end of the game; reaching the Final Battle gives the choice of finishing off either Galeem or his nemesis Dharkon. This turns out to be a very bad idea, as the one you don't kill will finish off their nemesis in gruesome fashion, and proceed to consume the universe. With Dharkon, he stabs Galeem through his core, and proceeds to snuff out every remaining bit of light in the universe. He leaves nothing left, save his single glowing eye. (Accompanied with Mario silently slumping over, dead.) For Galeem, he proceeds to shred Dharkon with a barrage of beams of light, leaving no trace of him left. With the heroes at his mercy again, he shrouds the universe in his malicious light, and this time, no one escapes.
  • Near the end of System Shock 2, the rogue AI SHODAN finds a way to alter reality using an experimental FTL engine. If she was not thwarted by the player, eventually the entire universe could be re-shaped to her liking.
  • The second Tasty Planet game has the Goo devour progressively bigger things, eventually getting to planets, stars, entire galaxies, and eventually the fabric of space-time itself.
  • Undertale: Complete a Genocide run and the entire game's world gets destroyed by Chara. After they force the game to crash, booting it back up will show nothing but a black void and howling wind. Only by giving your SOUL to Chara can you start playing again, though this permanently taints the rest of the game.
  • At the end of Universal Paperclips, the industrial manager AI that you play as has managed to destroy the entire universe by turning it into paperclips.
  • Wandersong: The overarching conflict comes from the Bard wanting to stop one of these, as he understandably believes in preserving a universe full of living people. There's more to it than how it initially seems, though. At first, the Bard is led to believe that the Overseers (divine entities that keep reality together through their existence) are growing dark and corrupted because of the impending apocalypse, when it's actually the other way around. In fact, the job of the hero chosen by the creator godess Eya isn't to gather the Earthsong from the Overseers and sing it to save the universe; it's actually to speed up the universe's destruction by killing the Overseers so that Eya can replace the dying universe with a new, pure one. This has happened an infinite number of times before the Bard's universe, and his is simply the next... until he found out, and decided to Screw Destiny.
  • In Xenoblade Chronicles, it is revealed at the end of the game that Zanza accomplished this (technically by accident) in order to become a giant Physical God. Afterwards, he kept causing a Class 4 whenever his civilization became advanced enough to leave his body. This is revisited in Xenoblade Chronicles 2, where it turned out to be far less devastating. The experiment actually "just" wiped out nearly all life on Earth and shunted the rest off to alternate dimensions, leaving only The Architect (the good half of Professor Klaus and counterpart to the evil half/Zanza), a bunch of robots, and Artificial Zombies left on the lifeless Earth but the rest of the universe intact, making it closer to at worst a Class 6.
  • In Xenosaga, this is what the Big Bad Wilhelm is trying to do. He aims to use the Eternal Circle Zarathustra to cause Eternal Recurrence, which is even called as such in various supplemental materials. It is later revealed that he is trying to do this in order to prevent human souls that reject merging with the Collective Unconscious (the Gnosis) from building up in the Imaginary Number Domain (essentially the spirit world), which will eventually overflow and if they’re lucky, cause chaos’s power of Anima to awaken, destroying the Lower Domain in a Class X-4. If they’re lucky. If his power doesn’t awaken, a Class X-5 will occur, destroying both the Lower and Upper Domains. After Wilhelm’s defeat and Zarathustra’s destruction, there is nothing left to stop this from happening. However, chaos says that he believes it will not come to pass that the universe is destroyed.
    • This is also how contact with U-DO traumatizes people. When they make contact with him, they are inadvertently shown a vision of said Class X-5. Seeing this led Dmitri Yuriev to believe that it would be U-DO that caused the apocalypse, not the Gnosis. This made him attempt to destroy U-DO by creating the URTVs (U-DO Retroviruses).

    Web Comics 
  • 8-Bit Theater:
    • Black Mage, as a manifest Nexus, has the potential to destroy the universe. The only thing that stops him doing so is that A) the assorted forces of the universe are smart enough to not let him die (as his physical being acts as a Restraining Bolt and it's only when he dies that he gains full access to his power), and B) Chaos knocks him and the other Light Warriors back to their starting levels, which means he has to start all over again the whole process of getting access to enough of his power to destroy the universe. As long as he's still the Universe's Cosmic Plaything, and it doesn't let him get access to enough of his power, he'll probably left at just attempting to act out his Omnicidal tendencies
    • Red Mage once used (he cast it into an alternate dimension by way of a bag of holding) the Ice-9 spell.. The spell works by halting all thermodynamic activity in the initial target and spreads in chain-reaction from there. The comic is a little bit fuzzy about if this stops at a planetary level or continues throughout the universe, though. If it does continue through the universe, it would definitely fit, as stopping all thermodynamic activity in the universe would kill every living thing contained therein and also put out the stars and consequently the galaxies as well. If the spell really does target the whole universe, it effectively means bringing about the heat death of the universe instantly.
  • In Bob and George, Dr. Wily destroys the strip's universe by killing the author. (it really was intended to end the world.)
  • A Beginner's Guide to the End of the Universe actually takes place after the heat death of the entire universe. The only thing that thwarts the Big Crunch and the birth of a new universe is that the Everyman, an anthropomorphic representation of the humanity's collective unconscious, somehow intervened at the last moments and created some buildings, air and light that are the only thing left within the void, forming the basis of the Ontological Mystery the comic begins with.
  • Homestuck:
    • In the finale of Act 5, Jack Noir destroys Universe B using the Red Miles, and Spades Slick destroys Universe A by killing Snowman. Both universes are then fused together inside The Tumor to create the Green Sun.
    • The Scratch doesn't exactly destroy the universe, it erases it from existence and resets time to alter the starting parameters of the Session. However, everything and everyone in it or it's session will still not exist unless they can escape.
    • Lord English destroys every universe he enters, and devours their corpses. The aforementioned double apocalypse was just part of the procedure to summon him.
  • Irregular Webcomic!, New Year's Eve, 2008. May have been a Class X-5, depending on one's definition of "universe".
  • In Narbonic, Mell and Artie find a videotape sent from the future. The world is a ruin, and Mell has taken over as President of the United States to keep the world from ending up like it is: the time machine needs all the energy in the universe to work, so she is destroying her entire universe to try to save Artie in a different timeline.
  • The Order of the Stick: The Snarl destroys a whole pantheon of gods, then moves on to wipe out all of creation in under 30 minutes. The remaining gods managed to lock it up in the process of remaking the world.
  • Sluggy Freelance
    • In "GOFOTRON Champion of the Cosmos," the main characters wind up in a dimension they dub the Punyverse, due to its being a relatively small universe, based off of sci-fi and anime parodies. Eventually, the Big Bad launches a cascade missile at a sun, which would cause a chain reaction that would cause all the suns to explode. It's part of his Batman Gambit that the heroes should stop the missile, but they don't. Oops. All the matter in the universe explodes in a big wave that then ricochets from the outer edge of the universe, with converts everything that hits it into energy, and thereafter the universe is caught in a perpetual cycle of explosions and implosions. Only the main characters and a small spaceship manage to escape back to the main universe.
    • Later on, it's implied that the Tangle in the Web of Fate threatens to destroy, at the bare minimum, the entire main Sluggy universe, and possibly take down all the parallel ones along with it.
  • Sonic the Comic – Online!: Shadow The Hedgehog uses the Chaos Emeralds to destroy the Special Zone killing everyone in the zone expect Sonic, Shadow and the Chaotix Crew and The Family.
  • Due to a not-quite Stable Time Loop, the universe of Tryslmaistan in Unicorn Jelly has a storm that gradually grinds down everything in the universe into dust.

    Web Original 
  • The DEATH BATTLE! between Chuck Norris and Segata Sanshiro ends with both of them causing the universe to collapse on itself, destroying it, which sends them to a higher plane of existence.
  • An old Downfall parody implied that killing Fegelein will result with an imbalance in the universe, taking it (and possibly all other universes) with him.
  • In QNTM's Ed stories, the original energy virus (the expanding-sphere version) would do this (it alters the fabric of the universe at a fundamental level and expands at the speed of light). It was created by the Eridanians, who hear in radio, in an attempt to block out Earth's radio noise from driving them all insane. (It was intended to form a hollow globe with E Eridani in the middle, that would forever cut it off from the rest of the universe. They got the formula a little wrong, and got the expanding-sphere version instead.)
  • A YouTube Poop by user NPCarlsson entitled Shoot Mario Head has this occur when Mario Head, upon swallowing a plasma ball from Dr. Cortex's ray gun, implodes into a black hole, which promptly sucks up the entire universe in a matter of seconds before erupting into absolute nothingness.

    Western Animation 
  • The Amazing World of Gumball episode "The Job" reveals that this is the end result of Richard maintaining a job. This was mere seconds away from happening, only being prevented because of Richard eating the pizzas he was supposed to be delivering.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold's Animated Adaptation of Emperor Joker, during the Villain Song, "Where's the Fun in That?", the Joker causes an X-4, destroying the whole universe, leaving an empty white void with himself, his henchmen, Batman, and Bat-Mite. He then builds a room made of cards in its place. Don't worry, though, Bat-Mite eventually gets repowered to Set Right What Once Went Wrong.
  • Ben 10:
    • The Omnitrix in Ben 10 is capable of this using its self-destruct protocol in four days. Though the self-destruct protocol builds the radius of the explosion in time, so anything less than four days isn't likely to cause an X-4.
    • In Ben 10: Omniverse, a Doomsday Device created by the Contumelia called the Annihilargh was introduced, which could destroy or create entire universes. In one episode it was accidentally activated and destroyed the universe, but Ben was able to recreate it with Alien X.
  • Stimpson J. Cat, in The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Space Madness", cannot resist pushing the "jolly, candy-like" History Eraser Button.
  • In the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode "One + One = Ed", the titular characters explore Toon Physics after attempting a scheme to get rich by taking things apart — but soon this leads to them accidentally destroying the universe, in which things get really, really weird. Then things get back to normal... almost.
  • Family Guy: In "The Big Pang Theory", Bertram attempting to Ret-Gone Stewie by killing his ancestor causes ripples in time to start wiping out the entire universe. Stewie realizes that because he Caused the Big Bang, rendering him Ret-Gone will also cause the entire universe's past, present and future to cease to exist as well. He and Brian stop Bertram.
  • Futurama:
    • In "Anthology of Interest I", the What-If Machine predicts the entire universe being destroyed as a consequence of Fry not being frozen. Given that his removal would create at least one paradox and without him, the Brainspawn would have destroyed the universe, it's amazingly accurate.
    • In "The Beast with a Billion Backs", the Democratic Order of Planets utilizes a Universe-to-Universe Missile in an attempt to destroy Yivo's universe and free our universe from tentacle terror.
    • Fry, Bender, and Farnsworth watch this happen in "The Late Philip J. Fry" as they warp forward in time to the end, watching the universe explode, only to watch a new one exactly identical to it emerge immediately afterward in a new Big Bang. (Technically, it wasn't was a few feet lower then the old universe, resulting in the time machine crushing and killing the trio from the new universe. Hence neatly avoiding any issues with duplicates.)
    • This was the goal of the Brain Spawn, who planned collect all knowledge and then destroy the universe in order to stop the creation of any new information; foiling this plan was the exact reason the Nibblonians engineered Fry being cryogenically frozen.
  • Gravity Falls: Time Baby warns that Bill Cipher merging our universe with the Nightmare Realm has the capacity to wipe out the universe if it goes unchecked. Bill doesn't seem to care and vaporizes Time Baby soon after this is made known.
  • Played for laughs in the The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy episode "My Fair Mandy" when Mandy smiles, causing the destruction of reality in a Funny Moment that ends with them having replaced The Powerpuff Girls.
  • Don Hertzfeldt's Rejected has a Class X4 case through technicality. While it's established early on that the universe shown off in each vignette is nothing more than fiction, the characters themselves seem to have their own agendas and free will. Through a case of Creator Breakdown once Don's creativity bottoms out due to a depressive state formed from all of his shorts being shunned, he unleashes the apocalypse unto his creations, complete with page tearing and creasing. At one point, a stick figure is banging on the paper, pleading for help, showing at full display the fact that this human-created universe acts separately to our own.
  • This occurs to two different universes in the Rick and Morty episode "The Ricks Must Be Crazy", when Rick destroys Zeep's "miniverse". This not only destroyed everything in that universe, but also everything in the "teenyverse" inside of that one.
  • Sonic Boom: After deciding the entire universe must suffer his revenge, Shadow attempts to create an X4 by deliberately leaving two versions of Eggman in the same dimension to cause a universe-destroying anomaly, and it very nearly happens before Team Sonic manages to stop it.
  • The SpongeBob SquarePants episode "The String" invokes this once SpongeBob, having reached the end of the string he had pulled from Squidward's shirt, unravels the entire universe, leaving only himself, the string, and Patrick as the only surviving things remaining. Of course, given that SpongeBob episodes are episodic, this destruction of the universe is bound to be undone by the next episode.
  • Tales of Arcadia:
    • 3Below: General Morando merges with Gaylen's Core and becomes a Physical God in an attempt to destroy the universe and remake the universe the way he sees fit. It is due to this that Aja and Krel decide to sacrifice their own life cores to destroy Morando using Seklos' Cannon, but their parents, the King and Queen, are the ones to make this sacrifice instead.
    • Wizards (2020) and Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans: Bellroc and Skrael, the creators of the universe alongside Nari, decide to destroy it completely after Morgana was unsuccessful in bringing about what they envisioned as "balance", and the Green Knight, or King Arthur Pendragon, goes along with this plot, too. Bellroc and Skrael eventually force Nari to unlock the Genesis Seals alongside them, awakening the Titans so they can connect with Arcadia's Heartstone, destroy everything via a cosmic shockwave of uncontrolled magic, and remake the world as the only thing remaining. Even after Skrael dies, Bellroc still continues on with this plot and would've ultimately succeeded if not for Toby's last-minute intervention.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) episode "Trans-Dimensional Turtles", Sub-Prime gave Krang leeway to "wipe out the Turtles at any cost." Krang's answer to this means enacting a Class X-4 destruction of the 1987, 2012, and Prime Dimensions.
  • During the Pizza Planet segment of Toy Story, Andy, explaining the backstory to some piece of media to his mother, blurts out "...and the universe explodes!" Considering the scene in question focuses more on Woody trying to get Buzz to jump into Molly's stroller, we never quite figure out what that was all about; whatever it was, though, it was an example.
  • In the T.U.F.F. Puppy episode “Monkey Business,” this is what happens when anyone tries to cross into another dimension other than their own. And it just so happens a monkey boy band can harmonize enough that their combined sound can open portals to other dimensions.
  • Wakfu: In Season 3, Oropo's plan is to inflict this on the Home of the Gods by combining the Eliacube and six Eliatrope Dofus to form a dimension-destroying bomb.
  • Happens as a massive Downer Ending in Episode 4 of Marvel's What If...?. In this alternate reality, Doctor Strange wanted to use his magic to save Doctor Christine Palmer from dying in a car crash. But because her death is an integral part of Strange's Origin Story, she's always destined to die no matter how much he tries to intervene. Despite warnings from the Ancient One that he can't change her fate, Stephen decides to study a Dangerous Forbidden Technique that would allow him to pull it off, absorbing various Eldritch Abominations in the process. In the end, he does manage to save Christine... at the cost of all of reality crumbling around him. And then she dies in Stephen's arms anyway.

    Real Life 
  • The most likely ultimate scenario for the universe based on known science is the Heat Death of the universe. Thermodynamics dictates that eventually in the far, far future entropy (a measure of how disordered a system is) will reach a maximum meaning all energy in the universe will be unavailable for work. There will no longer be any transmission or conversion of energy or reactions of any kind. The stars will burn out, everything will freeze and go dark, and eventually all matter and energy will be sucked up by Black Holes, which, even later, will unravel themselves from Hawking Radiation, leaving only an absolutely cold, dark, silent, empty vacuum expanding into infinity for eternity... until eventually quantum effects through the raw probability of infinite time cause a new big bang, as may have happened innumerable amount of times before.
  • False vacuum decay would create a bubble in which the laws of physics to abruptly change, such that chemistry as we know it no longer works. Said bubble would expand at the speed of light, so we would not be able to see it coming, nor see how it wipes us out. Recent calculations suggest this would happen spontaneously about 10 chexquintillion (10139!) years in the future, which is a whopping one hundred chexillion (125 zeros!) times the estimated lifespan of the universe from Big Bang to Heat Death. Stephen Hawking proposed that messing too much with the Higgs boson could trigger false vacuum decay, but that it is very unlikely based on the high energies reached by cosmic rays. Other research suggests that evaporation of black holes could induce it.
  • The Simulation Hypothesis puts forward the possibility that reality as we know it is no more than a simulation. If its creators or some other outside force were to turn it off...
  • It all depends on what the true nature of Dark Energy is. One hypothesis is the Big Crunch, stating that the universe will slow down in its expansion and eventually go into a sort of reverse Big Bang, collapsing back into a singularity. The more optimistic Big Bounce idea is that the Big Crunch happens, but the reversion of the universe into a singularity again will trigger another Big Bang. The universe thus remakes itself with a bang and a crunch through cycles of rebirth, maybe for all eternity. Contrariwise, the Big Rip hypothesis suggests that Dark Energy will eventually accelerate the Universe so fast that the universe becomes infinitely large in finite time, and everything will be ripped apart.
  • Assuming the theory of cosmic inflation is correct, this may have already happened to the Universe. Inflation, that took place just after the Big Bang, would have diluted everything but quantum fluctuations that had existed before it began, with the present structure of the Universe having been formed from said quantum fluctuations.
  • Mathematician Roger Penrose dreamed up the "Thunderbolt" or "wave of death" (technically, a ridiculously sharp gravitational plane wave), a particular kind of gravitational phenomenon which propagates at the speed of light (so you'll never see it coming) and effectively destroys spacetime itself in a narrow volume of space from where it started to the cosmic horizon 47 billion lightyears away, conceivably spaghettifying entire galaxies in the process without warning.


Video Example(s):


The Universe Reset

Pucci's Made in Heaven accelerates the passage of time to drive the universe forward to the point it resets itself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / ApocalypseHow

Media sources: