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Deface of the Moon

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Chairface Chippendale's plan to write his name on the moon, though foiled by the heroes, was doomed from the start by his own poor font-spacing.

"We gotta go get the Moon. It can't be there right now. It's in the wrong place, the wrong time. We'll replace it with something far more beautiful! My face."

Want to send a message to the whole Earth that you're awesomely powerful, and probably egotistic and evil, too? Or maybe you just want to show to absolutely everyone how much you care for your beloved? Just fire up your biggest laser cannon or longest-range missiles and use them to deface the Moon by blasting your face or INSERT YOUR MESSAGE HERE onto it. After all, the Moon has no weather or pesky tourists to mess it up... so any mark left on it, even if it's just etched into the dust, will probably remain there until the Moon itself is destroyed. Your message will be set in stone, pardon the cliché.

It doesn't have to be the Moon. Any sufficiently large and prominent landmark will do. In a pinch, you can use graffiti, as long as it's large graffiti; but lasers, missiles, or whirlwind carving are more stylish.

Rushmore Refacement is a sub-trope in which you are replacing someone else's face on a monument with your own.

Not to be confused with Detonation Moon, where the Moon is actually destroyed. If you're looking for a face in the moon, see The Man in the Moon.


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  • An old 7 Up commercial had Orlando Jones about to write "7 Up" on the surface of the Moon with a big laser. He fires it, and the Moon blows up with an Earth-Shattering Kaboom, prompting him to angrily ask "Who's been messing with my laser?!"

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the AKIRA manga, Tetsuo impresses his subordinates by flying up and blowing a hole in the moon. Deconstructed in that the massive chunk he took out of the moon severely screws up the tides and washes away half the city, and that the effort he took to do this gives him a full-blown Superpower Meltdown. As per usual, the whole event is demonstrative of Tetsuo's tendency to pull out grand compulsive demonstrations of his power without considering the long-term consequences.
  • Cowboy Bebop:
    • The accidental destruction of a large chunk of the moon is a major part of the backstory, and in an aversion of No Endor Holocaust, an ensuing shower of moon debris makes the Earth barely habitable in the process.
    • In "Jamming with Edward", MPU tries to re-draw the Nazca Lines, which are no longer visible, across the majority of South America using satellite lasers. Edward follows this up by drawing a smiley.
  • The protagonists of Eureka Seven give the moon a small touch-up job reminding the now-saved world about the power of love. Despite appearing at the end of the series, the altered moon is such an iconic image that it actually makes a cameo in the Alternate Universe movie where it's seen at the end of a dimensional tunnel. The moon is notably not defaced in the Sequel Series, Eureka Seven Ao because the setting is actually in the distant past, but it is seen defaced in Elena Peoples Mind Screw visions, hinting at her connection to the original series's time period.
  • In Genesis of Aquarion, the Mugen Punch involves punching a target into the moon and making a huge crater.
  • GunBuster crosses this with Skyscraper Messages by using city lights on the night side of Earth to write out a message for Noriko and Kazumi in the final episode. Welcome Home.
    • The sequel DieBuster not only shows this trope from the opposite angle but the final battle also leaves a giant imprint of Nono as the titular Diebuster mecha on the far side of the moon.
  • The final battle in Kotetsushin Jeeg leaves the moon with a debris ring orbiting it.
  • Little Witch Academia (2017): Shiny Chariot's last performance before disappearing involved her firing a magic arrow so powerful that it impacted the moon and left it marked with a giant 4-pointed star.
  • Naruto:
    • Madara's master plan involves turning the moon into, essentially, a giant hypnotic eyeball.
    • In The Last, after Naruto manages to beat Toneri, Kurama writes "Mission Accomplished" on the Moon to alert the ninja on Earth, though he considers his handwriting terrible.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: In End of Evangelion, the Giant Naked Rei is wounded so grievously that the arc of blood released splashes onto the moon, leaving a large red slash on it. This scene is also alluded to in the second Rebuild of Evangelion movie.
  • In Super Dreadnought Girl 4946, the title character impales a Kaiju on the Moon with Tokyo Tower. And later, during battle with Kirin, a beam attack from the title character chipped the moon.
  • While on Soul Eater's Weird Moon, Crona ends up knocking a few of its teeth loose and later covers the whole thing but the eye in Black Blood, turning a physical crescent moon with a face into a giant floating boob. The fact that such a thing would be made by someone whose mother was highly abusive and neglectful does not go unnoticed.
  • In Spirit of Wonder: Miss China's Ring resident inventor Doctor Breckenridge invents a machine which warps space in such a way that a person can interact with the Moon as if it were within arm's reach and roughly the size of a beach ball. While both the moon and the person remain where they are. Don't think too hard about it. First the Doctor's assistant Jim carves the name of the titular Miss China on the Moon to impress her. Next day they are surprised that nobody in town mentions anything about the Moon, and when they directly ask them if they have noticed anything, they become uncomfortable and evasive. Apparently a psychological Weirdness Censor kicked in: People think that writing appearing on the Moon overnight is impossible, so they go on like it doesn't exist. Well, Miss China certainly noticed, and after some discussion with the help of the invention they have her kick the Moon so hard it shatters, and forms a ring around the Earth. Bet you didn't think that was going to be her ring!
  • Super Robot Wars Z, manga:
  • At the climax of the first season of Symphogear, a chunk of the moon is blown off, then destroyed by the heroes shortly after, leaving the moon with a colossal crater about the size of the Gulf of Mexico, and a ring system made up of the debris.
  • In Trigun, after Knives activates Vash's Angel Arm, Vash directs it upward to avoid destroying the entire city, creating a giant crater in the moon. This, in turn, adds to the dark legend of "Vash the Stampede".

    Comic Books 
  • In Atomic Robo, Robo arrives on Mars after six months of doing nothing, because Stephen Hawking told NASA he could go into "sleep mode" during the flight. He gets revenge by arranging rocks into words visible from Earth: "STEPHEN HAWKING IS A BASTARD".
  • In Balloon Vendor, a 1970-era psychedelic underground comic, inventor Cecil Quill develops a high-powered laser which he uses to project Laurel and Hardy movies on the new moon.
  • In Batman # 353, the Joker, using a stolen supercomputer and some strategically placed high explosives, tried to blast a mountain into the shape of his own face. During their battle, Batman subtly knocked one of the bombs out of alignment. Although the blast creates the Joker's face for a few moments, the edifice almost immediately crumbles. A year later, Joker would return for a three-part storyline (spanning two issues of Batman and an issue of Detective Comics) in which he tried to take over a Banana Republic, which he planned to level and turn into Jokerworld, a country-sized Amusement Park of Doom.
  • Disney Ducks Comic Universe:
    • In Don Rosa's Scrooge McDuck story Attack of the Hideous Space-Varmints Rosa plays some amusing Biting-the-Hand Humor as the ducks accidentally deface the far side of the Moon with three craters that produce a perfect Mickey Mouse silhouette, and worry if they're going to get sued for it.
    • There was a Disney comic from the 1950s where Mickey Mouse, Gyro Gearloose and Mickey's nephews were tricked into entering a theme park rocket ride which turned out to be an actual rocket to the moon. They were brought there by Pegleg Pete, who forced them to paint the moon black, as Pete was extorting money from a songwriting company who needed the light of the moon for inspiration. It says a lot that the fact that everyone can breathe on the moon is the least ridiculous part of this story. (It was All Just a Dream, anyway)
  • A variation was done by Fantastic Four villain Terminus, who used a giant energy beam to carve his name across North America.
  • Volume One of G.I. Joe (IDW) had Cobra developing teleportation and using it to establish a secret base on the moon. At the end of the volume, the machine is destroyed, leaving any troops in the base stranded. The last image of the final comic is them using a bulldozer-style vehicle to carve "HELP US" into the surface.
  • In Judge Dredd, the entire face of the Moon is regularly used for advertising by extremely powerful projectors. Aficionados of romantic moonlit walks need to finish by 9 PM or risk severe Moment Killing.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic (IDW): At the end of issue 78, Cosmos is banished to the moon. In retaliation, she immediately sets to vandalizing Princess Luna's moon rock gardens, using them to spell out insults.
  • Inverted in the Garth Ennis comic Preacher, where Jesse Custer meets a man who was kicked out of NASA's Astronaut Candidate Program after he'd faked the paperwork to be selected for training despite being two or three heads shorter than the others, and devoted the rest of his life to blasting the words 'fuck you' into the Arizona desert in letters large enough to be seen from space.
  • Todd Ingram of Scott Pilgrim uses his amazing Vegan powers to punch a gigantic new crater into the moon for his then-girlfriend Ramona. He repeats this later with Envy Adams; apparently, it's the most flattering thing he can do. It comes back to bite him in the ass though, as Envy puts two-and-two together and realizes it means he cheated on her with Ramona.
  • Spirou & Fantasio: In the story Z is for Zorglub, Zorglub wants to prove he's a genius by advertising on the moon, using temporary ink that will fade after a few months. Unfortunately, his "unorthodox" method for recruiting henchmen - abducting random policemen and brainwashing them until they can only speak "Zorglang" (backwards words) - ends up screwing up his plans: his men do write a brand name on the moon, except it's "acoC-aloC".
  • In the Star Wars Legends comic Darklighter, one of Biggs' academy roommates recounts the story of a man whose neighbor said he never wanted to see his face again. In response, the guy used explosives to etch a drawing of his face onto their home planet's moon, ensuring that his rival would always see it.
  • Superman:
    • In The Last Days of Superman, Superman believed he was dying from a Kryptonian virus, and among the preparations he made for his death was using his heat vision to write "Do good to others and any man can be a Superman. [signed] Superman (Clark Kent)" on the surface of the moon. When it turned out that he wasn't going to die after all, Supergirl and Krypto removed his secret identity from the message; the rest of it, however, was apparently there to stay.
    • At the end of the fourth issue of All-Star Superman, Jimmy (as acting head of P.R.O.J.E.C.T.) orders a "cosmetic, short-term alteration of the moon's surface". It's a note saying "I Love Lucy" - which he uses as a backdrop when he asks his girlfriend (Lucy Lane) on a date. You better believe she appreciated it.
    • In Superman (Rebirth), the Man of Steel and his family take the fight against the Eradicator to the Moon, specifically a moon base built by Batman. The fight ravages the cave and shakes up the moon - Superman fixes up the moon damage and even suggests he can help with the lost base.
    • In Emperor Joker, Joker reshapes the moon to resemble his face.
  • Werewolf by Night dreams about several large companies using the moon as the world's largest billboard; it upsets him tremendously that someone would deface "his love" like that. He is glad when he wakes up because he's sure such a thing could never happen in real life, apparently oblivious to the newspaper with a headline reading "NASA says ads on moon a possibility" lying on his bed.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Calvin and Hobbes, Calvin once fantasized about using the treads of a buggy to spell "Calvin is great" on the moon's surface in cursive.
    • Similar instances had him writing demeaning messages to his father in the snow, or writing "Hey Jet Pilots Do a Barrel Roll!" in the ground as well. A frightening attempt had him attempting it using GASOLINE. And we never even learned what he planned to write...

    Films — Animation 
  • Despicable Me involves stealing the moon!
  • The Joker tries to draw a giant smiley face on Gotham using an orbital laser in Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker. Not just an act of cartoonish evil, as amongst the landmarks to be destroyed in the smiley face would be a hospital where Terry's girlfriend is recuperating, Terry's house where his mom and brother are, and Wayne Manor.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Hancock put Ray's heart logo on the surface of the moon! No attempt is made to explain how he made it pink. Or how it had not made world news yet. The world's supply of reddish shades of spray paint perhaps? The eventual media storm this will cause, does however get lampshaded by Ray;
    Ray: Do you think I'm gonna get in trouble for that?
  • In the 1903 (!) silent film A Trip to the Moon the cannon-fired capsule pokes the man in the moon in the eye.
  • The 2002 Remake of The Time Machine, after some bright spark decided to mine lunar caverns with nuclear weapons, by 2037 the moon's orbit has become disrupted and leaving the Earth barely habitable for the next several aeons, signaling the end of all human civilisation and major technology. When Alexander sees the moon again in 802,701, it is shown to have been split into several chunks and surrounded by an asteroid field of former debris.
  • The film adaptation of the Coneheads when the Remulakians extract the Conehead family, their spaceship hit the moon chipping off a few pieces. You can see the chipped moon in the sky at the end of the film.
  • Averted with Moon, a film set on a mining operation on the moon. The mining takes place on the far side of the moon, as an example of Shown Their Work, since defacing the side of the moon facing earth would have untold effects on local wildlife.
  • In The Wizard of Speed and Time, the heroes use a laser to put an (non-permanent) advertisement on the moon to get the general population to watch the Special Effects show in which their segment will be part. Immediately, the police want to arrest them for "unauthorized use" of the moon (leading one to wonder what "authorized" use would be).
  • In Bruce Almighty, Bruce brings the moon closer for a more romantic evening with his girlfriend, snuffing out certain stars to make the sky look perfect as well. Later, the effects of the moon being closer caused tidal waves on the other side of the Earth, not to mention what might have happened in any of the solar systems that just had their star snuffed out. A number of people also take the disappearance of stars as a sign of the end times.
  • When visiting the past in Star Trek: First Contact, Riker mentions it's strange to look at the moon and not see cities and Lake Armstrong.
  • The Moon Nazis in Iron Sky do this more or less accidentally when the launch of their super-UFO requires firing its Wave-Motion Gun to blast the vessel free of the ground it's stuck in. It works, but the weapon discharge blows a sizeable chunk out of the moon's surface, leaving it scarred forever.

  • Just in time (2019) to 50 years of the moon landing, a joke from the space race era.
    • "Mr. President, the damn Communists have painted the moon red!" "So there. Fetch some white paint and write Coca-Cola on it!"
    • Other variants include writing "Marlboro", wherein the Soviets then painted the warning about smoking underneath.

  • The Arthur C. Clarke short story "Watch This Space" (part of a series of short stories talking about a single moon journey) had astronauts releasing gases into the lunar environment to analyze their reactivity when unfiltered sunlight hit them. Somebody sabotaged the chemical release tube so that, instead of being released as an amorphous cloud, they formed the Coca-Cola logo (he isn't explicit about whose logo it was, just that it had some Cs and Os in it, as well as Ls and As). It didn't ruin the experiment (they analyzed the reactions anyway), but the guy was fired. He didn't care, though, because the company was so grateful for the advertising coup that he was pretty much set up for life. The reason the image wasn't messed up by atmospheric turbulence is because there isn't any on the moon.
  • Robert A. Heinlein's The Man Who Sold The Moon:
    • DD Harriman gets some of his financing for his moon trip by approaching rival soft drink companies and getting them to pay him not to paint their rival's logo on the face of the moon.
    • He also gets funding by convincing another businessman, deeply opposed to Communism, that the Russians were planning to send up a mission to paint the Hammer and Sickle on the moon.
  • In The Star Beast, the Hroshii threaten to burn an incandescent mark a thousand miles long on the face of the Moon to show they "'ain't foolin'" when there were delays in recovering Lummox for them.
  • In Isaac Asimov's "Buy Jupiter", a race of aliens wish to purchase the atmosphere of Jupiter, but negotiators for Earth refuse to sell it to them until the aliens finally admit they want it to use as a billboard advertising their product for passing starships. Then Earth starts thinking about how much the competitors will pay for Saturn...
  • When the Cyb come calling in L.E. Modesitt Jr.'s Adiamante, their first act is to demonstrate the destructive potential of their warships by using a particle beam to mirror-polish a large region of the moon.
  • The Atrocity Archive features an alternate Earth where the Nazis won the war with the aid of an Eldritch Abomination from another dimension, and proceeded to lord their triumph over the rest of the world by having their ally carve Hitler's face onto the surface of the moon with mystic runes.
  • In the 4th book of The Demon Princes, Lens Larque's grand scheme is to explosively imprint his hideous face in a moon over a planet of racist snobs. In something of a subversion, the hero kills Larque before he can realize his triumphnote  but then carries out the plan anyway, because the snobs really do have it coming.
    "Go out into your back garden. There's a great Darsh face hanging over your garden wall."
  • Initially, this was the entire goal of the Baltimore Gun Club in From the Earth to the Moon: fire a huge cannonball into the moon, and prove their success by spotting it in a huge telescope.
  • In Lord of Light, one example of the weaponmaking ability of Lord Yama is how the "fire wand" he made for Lord Agni scarred the faces of all three moons when Agni stood on the seashore and waved the thing.
  • The Han Solo Trilogy tells how one of Han's former classmates once tried to wipe an Imperial logo off a small moon orbiting their Military Academy. He underestimated the power of the stolen antimatter, and the whole moon went boom.
  • The Known Space story "The Woman in Del Rey Crater" has a variation not driven by any kind of vanity; highly radioactive waste is stored in a large moon crater, which has had a giant "verboten" sign blasted over it as a warning of the danger.
  • The novelisation of Red Dwarf mentions advertisers beginning to deface entire constellations with slogans visible from Earth. By artificially inducing supernovas. Just to sell Coca-Cola. (This may or may not be a Shout-Out to the above Arthur C. Clarke short story.)
  • In the backstory to The Probability Broach, one of the superpowers intimidates its rival with a "humane demonstration" of its new weapon — which cracks the moon.
  • In Douglas Hirt's Cradleland Chronicles, in the days of Noah, Lucifer had his minions carve his face into the moon, and he had work started on doing the same to Mars before the Flood put a stop to it.
  • In The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath, a giant stone face carved into the side of a tremendous mountain is an essential plot point. Presumably an example of this trope, as it's carved to resemble one of the Dreamworld's gods.
  • Similarly to Judge Dredd, adverts are beamed onto the moon in the sci-fi-future part of Cloud Atlas. It's been happening for so long that when an old man explains what it was like in his youth, the protagonists find the idea bizarre.
  • As implied by the title, the Pararachnid invaders have done this to the moon in the Doctor Who Expanded Universe short story "Moon Graffiti"; scrawling a rude message about the inhabitants of Earth across the moon's surface.
  • In the Count to the Eschaton book The Hermetic Millennia, Blackie painted a hand across the moon to ensure that Menelaus got his challenge.
  • Rhianna does it in Last Mage, to advertise how she's the Big Bad.
  • In one of the books of the Viriconium cycle by M. John Harrison, it is mentioned in passing that a previous culture had written their name in the stars... but no one could read their writing any more.
  • The Douglas Preston novel Impact revolves around figuring out what punched a hole straight through the Earth. As it nears its climax an even more impressive spectacle occurs when an apparently larger object does the same to the moon, leaving a large field of debris in its wake on the exit side. The protagonists learn that there is an incredibly ancient alien structure on one of Mars' moon which was seemingly "woken up" by a NASA mapping mission. They speculate it to be a computer controlled weapon and that the 2 events were shows of force/warning shots meant deliver a message to any intelligent life that evolved on Earth, and that if unanswered the next shot would destroy the Earth.
  • In The Stone Sky, the moon has a hole through its centre that's visible from Earth, thanks to backlash from the first time the Obelisk Gate was activated, when the Earth tried to hijack it to wipe out all human life and its controllers barely managed to redirect its energy.
  • In In Viriconium by M John Harrison, it is mentioned in passing that a previous civilisation had written their name in the stars ... but no one could read their writing any more.
  • Restaurant to Another World: Similar to Symphogear, a huge chunk of the moon is blown off in the fantasy world, an artifact of the a war between the 8 great dragons and other godlike beings.
  • Neil Asher's *The Owner* series has a railgun weapon test ordered by Earth's evil dictator leave an enormous crater on the Moon, visible with the naked eye from Earth. It is noted that these weapons were also capable of firing missiles with Warp Drive, and had that been used on the Moon, Detonation Moon may well have resulted.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Referenced by Frankie Boyle on Mock the Week, upon discovering the price of the 2012 London Olympics, and the excuse that it will 'improve national morale", Frankie Boyle suggests that "For that money, we could have written 'Fuck off, Germany' onto the moon."
  • The Movie of Kamen Rider Kiva has the Big Bad place a monstrous eye creature on the moon to spy on those resisting his rule; during the final battle he pulls the moon closer to Earth so he can absorb the creature and reach full power. So naturally, Kiva (in a moment of Eleventh Hour Super Power) performs a Rider Kick that propels him and the baddie into the moon, which creates a gigantic Kiva mark (as his Rider Kick always does). Of course, since the villain dies, the moon is returned to normal afterwards.
  • Not for evil, the opening for The Honeymooners showed Ralph's (Jackie Gleason's) face on a rising full moon.
  • Max Thunderman of The Thundermans babysits his younger siblings by having them help carve his initials on the moon.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "Demons", the Big Bad takes control of a Wave-Motion Gun on Mars and puts a new crater on the moon to show that he means business.
  • In Doubutsu Sentai Zyuohger, the first time Yamato uses the Whale Charge Gun (in the Milestone Celebration for Super Sentai's 2000th episode), the blast is so immense and hard-to-control that it flies out into space, shaves a fair chunk off the Moon, then slingshots around the Moon and comes back to Earth to blast the bad guys. Upon seeing this, the Gokaigers start wondering if he's more dangerous than the Dethgaliens.
  • In Cybervillage, Baragozin has drawn his face on the Moon and is displeased about the craters making him look pockmarked.

    Myths & Religion 


    Tabletop Games 
  • The Android: Netrunner agenda Astroscript Pilot Program shows NBN doing this.
  • In Numenera, the moon appears smaller thanks to a wider orbit, and sports a bright green band around its equator at frequent intervals.
  • Mutant Chronicles: During their first assaults on humanity The Dark Legion carved the symbols of the Apostles Muawijhe and Semai into the moons Phobos and Deimos orbiting Mars

    Video Games 
  • In Asura's Wrath, Augus slices the moon deep enough in Episode 11 to make the sliced chunk rise high. Evil Ryu punches the sliced chunk back into place in Lost Episode 1, and Oni not only does the same damage in Lost Episode 2 that Augus did, but Asura's fight with him ends up epically destroying the moon.
  • A picture in the third installment in the Being One flash game series, shows Earth surrounded by an asteroid belt left over from the "Moon impact of 2020", complete with the Moon having huge chunks blown out around the edges.
    • The game that follows - aptly named "Moonrise" - involves the space station you're on coming into view of the moon from Earth orbit, causing werewolves to spring up inside the base.
  • The first Downloadable Content character in BlazBlue, Makoto Nanaya, combines this with Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs to slug a fist imprint into the moon, then punch the enemy through it.
  • When flying towards the Moon in Destiny, three great tears are visible on its surface, similar to giant claw marks. Once on the surface, you can see great city-sized cracks and rifts off in the distance, probably caused by the Hive burrowing into the lunar rock. Then there's the aptly-named Hellmouth...
  • In Dicey Dungeons Reunion, Lady Luck plans to spend her money on painting a self-portrait on the moon so she can look down upon the "pitiful" earth.
  • Disgaea 4:
    • HD Asagi uses this in her final skill, which knocks the enemies around her into orbit... right in the path of the Yoshitsuna's Wave-Motion Gun. As they're being annihilated, she carves a signature into the face of the earth.
    • Flonne's ultimate attack in her Magical Girl form is to carve the word love (overlapping a heart) on the moon's surface.
  • In Earth Eternal, Man's final war actually shattered the moon into a mass of fragments with a Sickly Green Glow coming from between them.
  • In Edna & Harvey: The Breakout, the protagonist Edna can write her name or "Edna was here" on nearly every surface she comes across — including the surface of the moon.
  • Around the middle of the achronic space shooter, Inca, El Dorado escapes Lord Aguirre's flagship, only to discover that conquistadors had carved a trident shape into the moon, alluding to the real-life Paracas land drawing. El Dorado responds by flying up to the moon in his golden spaceship to eliminate the conquistadors in the trenches of the trident.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, the Super Move of DLC character General Zod includes shoving his opponent straight through the moon.
  • Near the end of Marathon 2, Durandal blasts rival uberintelligent AI Tycho's ship out of orbit. It crashes on Lh'owon's moon. Durandal then uses his Wave-Motion Gun to carve a 300 meter-high epitaph into the moon's surface for Tycho. What he writes is "The just fate of fools." In Latin.
  • One of the planets in Mass Effect is described as having a long monologue carved into its surface by batarian space pirates with energy weapons. It celebrates the superiority and achievements of one "Captain Zaysh", and it goes on to say very rude things about the parents of every human in the galaxy.
    • In the second game, Jack gives an Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking list of her accomplishments that includes "destruction of a space station and vandalism". If you ask why she included vandalism, she replies that she crashed the aforementioned space station into a small moon and made a new crater. "[The hanar] really liked that moon."
    • Also from the second game, scanning one of the planets reveals the story of a miner who came to the planet to mine for element zero. After fruitlessly spending his every last dime, in a fit of frustration-induced rage, he hijacked a local mercenary group's gunship and wrote a 208-kilometer message stating "There's nothing here" in Russian, which is visible from orbit. It became a tourist attraction. The third game reveals that some other determined individual went and erased the message, in essence defacing the defacement.
    • The Great Rift Valley on Klendagon is a glancing blow from a incredibly powerful mass accelerator over 37 million years ago. In the second game, it's revealed that it was fired by an ancient race as their final act of defiance against the Reapers. In this case, they weren't actually aiming at the planet at all, but at the Reaper several star systems over. The only reason they hit the planet was because after destroying the Reaper, the round simply kept going!
  • Pizza Tower: When Pizzahead reveals himself in the second phase of the final boss fight, the moon in the background abruptly gains a likeness of his face.
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Dr. Eggman demonstrates the power of his orbital not-fully-powered-up Eclipse Cannon, which he is using to hold the world hostage, by blowing up a huge chunk of the moon. Word of God has confirmed that in all subsequent games, the moon is indeed still damaged, but the player only ever sees the good side.
    • Eggman apparently fixed the moon in Sonic X, immediately after the Adventure 2 arc. Why the newly-formed metal half would have lights on it is another question...
    • In the post-reboot Sonic the Hedgehog (Archie Comics) series, the moon is still damaged.
  • Stellaris: One of the anomalies your science ships can discover while surveying star systems is a large body of writing carved into the surface of a celestial body with a mining laser. Once translated, it turns out to be a short story about an alien mercenary.
  • In the Dojin-soft game Touhou Soccer, one of Youmu's attacks has her [[engrave her technique's name on the moon with her swords, before cleaving it and using the momentum to hit the ball.
  • In Warframe the Moon (also known as Lua) is notably absent from the Earth skyline or the star charts at first. It's mentioned in passing that some people might not even believe it ever existed, or perhaps that it was lost with the fall of the Orokin Empire, which used it as the seat of its power. But during the Second Dream questline not only do you find it, hidden away in Another Dimension, but also restore it to its normal terrestrial orbit. It's quite an impressive sight, too, having massive white and gold Orokin towers sprouting from the surface and connected by huge circumlunar rings, but also being shattered and broken into multiple pieces ever since the Old War.
  • The Golden Ending of Wario Land: Super Mario Land 3 features Wario doing this by paying a Genie to create a planet for him.
  • In World of Warcraft: Cataclysm, the goblins terraform the zone of Azshara into a giant Horde symbol. (See that C-shaped bay at the northeast?) Their leader, Trade Prince Gallywix, also carves his own face into the mountain plateau on which he builds his "Pleasure Palace".


    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers started the episode "Queen's Lair" with this. Her Majesty arranged a little "demonstration" of her Super Weapon, blasting a chunk out of Earth's Moon, and letting everyone else know that if Earth didn't feed 5000 humans to her Soul Jar machine, her next target would be Earth itself.
  • Danger Mouse: In "The Other Day the Earth Stood Still", Penfold projects a gigantic holographic image of Greenback's face onto the surface of the moon so it will function as a massive green light and start the Earth rotating again. It Makes Just As Much Sense In Context.
  • In the Walter Lantz cartoon "Dig That Dog", the huge dog of the story somehow manages to bury the (outer layer) of the moon, leaving a black, scrawny core.
  • In one Family Guy cutaway, Ted Turner announces he colorized the Moon, as a reference to when he colorized Casablanca and King Kong (1933), which is tantamount to vandalizing art (think putting a moustache on the Mona Lisa; it's like that) to film buffs.
  • In the G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero episode "Lasers in the Night", Cobra Commander attempted to carve his likeness into the Moon (specifically, his battle mask, as opposed to his hooded head or his actual face). In that episode however, Destro is outraged that the Commander wasted his organization's resources for "cosmic graffiti".
  • Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law has an escalating battle of powers between Shado the Brain Thief and Mentok the Mind Taker. Their final acts are to reface Rushmore and deface the moon, respectively. Mentok calls a timeout before they do any worse.
  • Inspector Gadget had MAD planting bombs on the moon to turn its surface into a giant MAD symbol.
  • Dr. Wily in the Mega Man (Ruby-Spears) cartoon tries to "Pull za moon, out of its orbit!" in one episode.
  • In the backstory to My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Princess Celestia imprisoned her sister, Princess Luna, in the moon after she turned evil and attempted to create The Night That Never Ends. As a sign of her imprisonment, a profile of the exiled princess appeared on the moon, and it disappears when she is freed in the first episode.
  • Phineas and Ferb
    • "Chez Platypus": Dr. Doofenshmirtz uses explosives to make the Moon in the shape of a Heart Symbol while on a date. On another episode, the boys carve their faces on a passing comet.
    • The Martians sculpt the face of Candace on the planetary surface, but Doofenshmirtz accidentally redoes it so it looks "kind of like a Rhesus monkey wearing a powdered wig".
    • One episode has Dr. Doofenshmirtz planning to put his name on the Tri-State Area by spraying the ozone layer with chemical spray-cans.
  • In The Simpsons, Mr. Burns uses lasers to project a picture of Lisa kissing Milhouse onto the Moon.
    Milhouse: Yeah! Go moon Milhouse!
  • An episode of Skatoony has an alien carve the moon into the shape of his crush Margaret. It goes well, until he places an oversized decoration onto the satellite. Cue Colony Drop.
  • Not caused by sentient forces, but the apocalypse in Thundarr the Barbarian is a comet going between the Earth and the Moon, slicing the latter in two.
  • Chairface Chippendale in the animated and comic forms of The Tick attempted to carve his name into the Moon. He only gets as far as CHA. In the comics, it's blamed on Charo, just to tweak Chairface's ego.
    • Later, The Tick goes to the Moon on a mission to carefully plant explosives so that the CHA will be removed... and botches it, of course. The resulting explosion causes everyone to believe he's dead, and only the C is removed—so the Moon's lettering now reads "HA". Later that episode Omnipotus (a parody of Marvel's Galactus) takes a bite out of the Moon (after The Tick gives him a Patrick Stewart Speech to protect Earth). The half-eaten, scarred Moon is then seen regularly throughout the series.
  • El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera: Sartana of the Dead uses her mystic guitar to carve her own likeness into the Moon.
  • Combined with Logo Joke in the intro for Voltron: Legendary Defender- since the show is now produced by Dreamworks Animation (they acquired the rights to the franchise back in 2012), they have Voltron cutting the moon into the crescent shape with its sword in the intro, with Voltron replacing the moon boy.
  • Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego: Carmen Sandiego attempted to paint her own likeness on the Moon.


    Real Life 
  • One proposal for searching for extraterrestrial intelligence involves looking for suspiciously artificial arrangements of celestial bodies. Such an arrangement would be advantageous because of their visibility over vast distances and time spans. This is why the supposed "Canals of Mars" and "Face on Mars" garnered so much excitement. Sometimes attributed to Carl Friedrich Gauss, one early proposal to send a message to Mars involved growing enormous fields of wheat and lines made of pine trees in the Siberian tundra to demonstrate the Pythagorean Theorem.
  • After the Sputnik debacle, the US was desperately searching for ways to one-up the Soviets in the space race, and a proposal was made that an atomic bomb be detonated on the Moon! Fortunately, they decided to send astronauts instead. As puts it, "they realized the difference between legitimate science and cartoonish supervillainy". As Cracked also mentioned, this makes Neil Armstrong a suitable substitute for a nuke. As Touhou fans know, this is correct.
  • Coca-Cola figured out that it was technically possible to use lasers to beam their logo onto the Moon – not to physically etch the logo onto the surface, but to continuously illuminate it like in a laser show. They were stopped from doing so over concerns that the lasers would interfere with passing aircraft.
  • What would you do if a bunch of foreign invaders marched in, seized your land, gave some of it back in a treaty, then re-seized it and carved giant statues of their leaders' faces into your sacred mountain just to add insult to injury? Hire away one of the key sculptors to carve an even BIGGER statue of YOUR leader's face into the next mountain over, of course!
  • Truth in Television, sort of, for the Moon. Very early on its history it was covered by a magma ocean that solidified and formed the lunar crust, just to be pockmarked by the craters formed by the countless impacts of asteroids and comets suffered by the Moon. Hundreds of millions of years later, lavas would emerge from the lunar interior and solidify forming the lunar seas giving the Moon the aspect it has from Earth, that unless we, or someone else, mess with it will very likely keep as long as it exists.