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What happens when you combine Kung-Fu with Feng-Shui.

A.k.a. Demolition Fu; redecoration through battle. Sheet of Glass meets Punched Across the Room, the Rule of Cool and Made of Iron: In a hand-to-hand fight in a furnished room (e.g. a Bar Brawl), as many props as possible will be destroyed. This may or may not exclude the walls themselves. Luckily, this is covered under Hero Insurance.

Furniture in movies is actually incredibly rickety; no furniture maker would get away with stuff so easily broken. Except the kind that makes stuff out of balsa wood and sugar glass for the movies, that is. Of course, the intended effect is to make the fighters look so badass that they can break solid furniture.

Higher-powered versions of the trope (for example, those involving Humongous Mecha or Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever) involve the destruction of entire buildings, and from there we go to fighters re-arranging the landscape: compare Scenery Gorn.

When two characters use this to resolve their UST, it's Destructo-Nookie. Allowing this in Video Games results in Die, Chair, Die!. When used as part of a grand finale, it's Trash the Set.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Tends to happen a lot in Ranma ½, even moreso in Fan Fic. The Tendō home tends to bear the brunt of many fights. The very first time Akane expressed her feelings towards Ranma, it was with the dining room table. It just went on from there.
  • A mild example in Fruits Basket. Shigure's front door seems to get destroyed if somebody even thinks about fighting near it. This is heavily lampshaded by Shigure himself.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In later arcs of every incarnation, the (weaker) fighters will often smash eighty-meter-high mountains to rubble. Early on in Dragon Ball Z, Piccolo actually destroys the moon. Because it was a softer target than his moon-powered opponent (Gohan-oozaru).
    • Master Roshi did the same thing earlier, destroying the moon during the first World Martial Arts tournament in order to stop the rampage of a young, transformed Goku by reverting him to his normal form.
    • In the manga, Goku is actually questioned about his missing tail when he arrives for the second Tournament Arc and explains that Kami removed it permanently before restoring the moon, closing both plot holes at once.

    Comic Books 
  • One Lucky Luke album has a running gag of the bar owner removing the large mirror behind the bar, only for it to be broken accidentally after the fight.
  • Pretty much every superhero comic includes a measure of this.
  • This happens in one issue of Gold Digger, where the annual Explorers' Society banquet results in the hall being demolished every year. During the free-for-all, Brianna comments that the titanium alloy reinforced tables were a great improvement in cover compared to the wooden ones they had the last time she was there.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): When Wonder Woman has to fight a brainwashed Superman during "The Witch and the Warrior" they end up punching and throwing each other through several New York City skyscrapers and making an absolute mess of Times Square.
  • Happens at times in the Asterix comics, given that's a consequence of when someone enhanced by a potion that gives Super-Strength fights in a closed space. Asterix and the Great Divide has a case when two enemies, one with a sword, and another with a club, wreck the pirate ship that always seem to get in the way of the Gauls.

    Fan Works 
  • In Origin Story, The Avengers and Shield attack the house in which Alex Harris and Louise Fulford (and Ben Grimm) are hiding out. At the end of the fight, there are holes in the ceiling, one part of the house has collapsed, another part of the house has been vaporized, and a part of the lawn is on fire.

    Films — Animated 
  • Resident Evil: Damnation: During their fight in the office, Ada punts a table at Svetlana, and later throws a pitcher of water at her.
  • Quite a lot of the Valley gets destroyed during the final battle of Kung Fu Panda, including the archway above Mr. Ping's noodle shop, which is shown repaired in the sequel.
  • The climactic battle of Mulan is at first Shan Yu tearing the imperial palace apart - he punches and charges through a door, cuts thick columns with his door, one of whom falls through a wall, and then jumps through the ceiling to find Mulan already at the rooftop - and then Mushu fires a huge rocket onto Shan Yu that sends him onto a tower full of fireworks.

    Films — Live Action 
  • The fights at the pub and dojo in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
  • Many, many Jackie Chan movies (e.g. the casino room fight in Rush Hour 3).
    • Arguably parodied in The Tuxedo when he accidentally activates "demolition mode" on the eponymous suit, which proceeds to destroy everything in sight.
    • Interestingly inverted in some movies as well. Rush Hour and Shanghai Knights have fights take place in rooms filled with priceless artwork, and the combatants go out of their way not to break anything.
  • Kill Bill
    • The fights between the Bride and Vernita Green, and between the Bride and Elle Driver.
    • The big fight at the House of Blue Leaves also qualifies, mainly in the furniture destroyed by Go-Go Yubari's flail.
    • It was averted somewhat in the second film, however, when Beatrix needed to practice in order to eventually punch a hole through a wood board from close range.
  • How about those 1940s action serials? Especially ones directed by Spencer Gordon Bennet and Fred C. Brannon. Anything that is not nailed down will get thrown or smashed during a fist fight.
  • James Bond: Bond does it so often in fact that 00- license might as well be the license to cause severe property damage.
    • In the pre-credits scene in Thunderball, Bond and Bouvar rampage through a well-appointed sitting room. In one minute and fifteen seconds of screen time, the inanimate casualties include three tables, two chairs, a hutch, a grandfather clock, a large tapestry, a table lamp, numerous ceramics, and a fireplace poker.
    • The battle in the Venetian glass museum in Moonraker, to this day, still holds the record for the largest amount of Soft Glass used in a single scene of a movie. By the end of the fight, almost everything in the room has been shattered.
    • GoldenEye: "You have a licence to kill, not to break the traffic laws!" was how Q put it... Then again, he says something along the lines of blowing up any vehicles he gets into being a "standard procedure" for an MI6 agent... it is uncertain if this is meant to be ironic.
    • Tomorrow Never Dies includes a scene where Bond gets literal Hero Insurance for his car, leading to this delightful exchange:
    Q: Now, will you need collision coverage?
    Bond: Yes.
    Q: [stares at Bond] Fire?
    Bond: Probably.
    Q: Property destruction?
    Bond: Definitely.
    Q: Personal Injury?
    Bond: I hope not, but accidents do happen.
    • Die Another Day: It's cheerfully lampshaded Bond and Gustav Graves trash a fencing club during a duel which gets out of hand; after the fight, as various ruined furnishings are carried out, a bellhop remarks, "The place needed redecorating anyway."
    • Casino Royale (2006): The toilet fight, in which Bond and his quarry manage to go through several cubicle walls and smash at least one sink.
  • True Lies had a fairly amusing bathroom fight scene. After Arnold and his foe had taken the fight elsewhere, an old man emerges from a toilet stall with an expression of shock and bewilderment. The opening of Casino Royale may have been inspired by this scene...
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines for obvious reasons. Between the two time-traveling robots of death, property damage essentially ranges in the quadrillions of dollars, total nuclear annihilation notwithstanding.
  • The fights between Inspector Clouseau and his manservant Cato in the various films of The Pink Panther series, in magnificent slo-mo, with zero martial arts skill.
  • The bathroom fight between Morpheus and Agent Smith in The Matrix. In the series as a whole, resistance fighters will often take shortcuts through sheetrock walls to attack their opponents. Agents will do this to concrete subway terminals. The final brawl of the trilogy takes this to Dragon Ball levels - the fighters knock down skyscrapers by throwing each other into them, and one body-slams the other so hard he punches a six-foot-deep, sixty-foot-wide crater in a city street.
  • The fight between Ramirez and Kurgan in Highlander.
  • John Woo's gunfights frequently result in the scenery getting torn apart, and in the game Stranglehold, even your punches have this effect, smashing columns if you smack someone into them this way.
  • After Lara's mansion gets shot up in the first Lara Croft: Tomb Raider movie, her two assistants are seen sweeping up the next day, and she remarks "I just woke up and hated everything" to a deliveryman.
  • The fight between the Beast and the Landlords in Kung Fu Hustle, and then the Beast versus the Chosen One.
  • It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World uses this to demolish a gas station.
  • Lampshaded in Sunset since the scene is actually being shot in a film about Wyatt Earp, in the presence of Wyatt Earp himself who comments on how unrealistic it is.
  • Both used and defied in Ip Man. At the start of Ip Man's fight with Jin, the former is merely evading Jin's blows, which happen to fall on the stuff in his house. After a while, his son comes in and conveys a message from his wife to get serious or all the pottery etc. will get smashed... so he does. No more vases are lost. Ip ends up getting into another furniture-wrecking fight in the fourth film.
  • An old TV is smashed against someone's head at one point during Legion. Doubles as an in-movie Hilarious in Hindsight given some of the lines earlier in the film.
  • Iron Man 2: Rhodey tries to shut down Tony's drunken partying, and Tony doesn't mind showing his disagreement by first asking his DJ for some asskicking music, then proceeding to toss Rhodey through a window. Rhodey doesn't give up so easily, so the fight proceeds on to the weight room, the boxing ring, and through ceilings. Of course, both are wearing Powered Armor, which makes it double the awesome.
  • Red (2010): There is a scene where Frank pays a visit to CIA headquarters, and decides to introduce himself to Cooper. Being the Combat Pragmatists that they both are, nearly every piece of furniture in the office (from an innocent telephone to a wall-mounted flat screen television) ends up destroyed.
  • Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005): The titular couple do everything except destroy their house before the scene segues into Destructo-Nookie. When the cops show up due to a noise complaint, they explain the damage as being part of a remodel.
  • Gale and HI's brawl in the trailer home in Raising Arizona. Just about every blow exchanged in the brawl puts a dent or hole in one of the trailer's paper-soft walls. At one point, HI is hurled straight through a wall. In another, Gale punches through a wall and pulls out a stick that he uses to whack HI's head.
  • A Clockwork Orange: The fight between Alex's droogs and Billy Boy's gang is a long sequence of prop chairs, bottles and sheet glass breaking over people's heads. In a bit of meta-humor, they're fighting in a theater.
  • The Cannonball Run: During the big fight, Captain Chaos pretty much totally demolishes an old shack: mostly by tossing bikers through the walls.
  • Yet another bathroom fight in Death Grip, where the fight between Torch and Kenny trashes several stalls, breaks off a sink, and results in a large hole in the wall when Torch kicks Kenny into the wall, and then keeps kicking until Kenny falls through. The latter was apparently the result of a happy accident on-set where Jacobus broke through the wall and Bosch decided to just keep kicking since the damage was already done.
  • Played for Laughs in Revenge of the Pink Panther. The minion of Mafia boss Philippe Douvier introduces four of their best assassins, whose job is not to kill Inspector Clouseau but martial artist Mr. Chong, the man they've hired to kill Clouseau. Chong proves his suitability by taking out all four men with his bare hands, smashing up Douvier's expensive apartment in the process. He then walks up to Douvier's desk and smashes that up too. Douvier gets out of his chair, wordlessly hands a broom and dustpan to his minion, then leaves.
  • Tiger Cage 2 has a scene between Waise Chow and David. In the Curb-Stomp Battle between David and Waise, inside Chiu's office, Waise kicks David through a glass door, kicks David to break a small wooden table, kicks him through a non-glass door, and then kicks David into a glass table... while the thugs enjoy the fight drinking Scotch without ice. In a strange effect, Waise uses a high kick to break through the remains of said glass door to go through it.

  • Justified in Young Legionary: Keill and Oni are young members of an entire race of highly trained soldiers. The two of them have a game called Demolition where they would destroy every piece of furniture in a room as quickly and stylishly as possible using nothing but their martial arts. Later in the story, they gleefully trash the tacky, pretentious lounge area of the antagonists' spaceship.
  • Defied in Exile's Honor: the furniture in The Broken Arms is so sturdy that in a fight against a charging bull, the bull would come out second. This is to avoid having to replace furniture after brawls.
  • Subverted in one of The Dresden Files books. Harry hits somebody with a barstool in MacAnally's, and remarks that "When you hit someone with a chair, it doesn't break. Whoever you hit with it is the one that breaks."
    • Played straight and justified in Turn Coat, when Thomas takes a chair and uses it to beat down Madeline Raith. Thomas is strong enough that the chair breaks. Which Harry notes is particularly impressive, considering the chair in question is steel. Madeline is on a similar level of strength, and survives.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens several times in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Somewhat justified in that the combatants are super-strong, super-tough robotic assassins from the future. Punching each other will do little damage, so they tend to try and pick each other up and throw them through walls, out windows, and even through floors and ceilings.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Among many, many, other examples, her first fling with Spike is somehow engendered from this.
    • Made into some sort of Lampshade Hanging / Character Development combination, as in later seasons Xander became a talented carpenter, due to all the experience he had repairing and replastering Buffy's house.
    • Becomes a minor plot point in the season 6 episode "Flooded", where Buffy deals with mounting bills following her mother's (and her own) death. When a demon attacks her in her house, she moves the fight to the basement where there are fewer breakables; after the fight, she and the gang discuss how much her mother must have spent constantly redecorating and Xander notes that the furniture is all cheap and low-quality.
    Faith: Whoa. Memory Lane. Same old house.
    Buffy: Yeah, well, every piece of furniture's been destroyed and replaced since you left, so, actually, new house.
  • This occasionally happens in Star Trek during fights on the ship, making some people wonder why they still use breakable furniture in the future. Because if they didn't, somebody could get hurt.
  • Charmed tends to have furniture destroyed and windows bashed open when a demon teleports into the house. Slightly averted in that the characters can fix it using magic (maybe they use magic to make the local furniture more comfy to land on if thrown across the room). Their guardian angel is a handyman. Lampshaded by the characters several times as the series went on, particularly the tendency for people (both good and evil) to get hurled into the giant grandfather clock.
  • In what has been dubbed "the best girlfight ever" by Alias fans, Sydney and Fake Francine had a spectacular fight in their shared apartment, using or breaking just about everything that wasn't nailed down.
  • Inverted in Red Dwarf, in the episode "Backwards": Lister and company step out into an utterly-destroyed bar, at which point a fight begins - and since time is running backwards in this universe, the fight fixes everything. (There is a bit of Fridge Logic, though - the fight starts because Lister "undrank" someone's pint... which, if time ran forwards, would only happen after the fight was over.)
  • Fast Forward. A spoof of Kung Fu (1972) has a cowboy trying to break a chair during the requisite Bar Brawl, only he can't break it as he's moving the chair in Slow Motion; he then reverts to normal speed to build up enough force to break the chair.
  • Parodied (like everything else) in the pilot for Angie Tribeca. Angie's morning workout culminates with her trashing her apartment, including tearing down a bookshelf and punching the refrigerator hard enough to leave dents in the door. When she finally leaves for work, she passes by a line of repairmen ready to fix everything she just destroyed.
  • CSI: NY: In "Corporate Warriors," two martial arts-trained executives go at it in a pool bar. One stumbles out into the street and dies. Upon being called to the scene, Stella and Danny trace his steps back to the bar and find it utterly trashed. The owner, who had retreated to safety in the bathroom during the brawl, comes out and bemoans the fact that she had just refurbished the place and now it has to be done all over again.

  • the Mountain Goats song "Oceanographer's Choice" has the Alpha couple doing this to their run-down Tallahassee home.
  • Hair Metal and early Visual Kei bands in The '80s and the early Nineties were notorious for sometimes doing this for real. Mötley Crüe and Guns N' Roses were probably the most notable for Hair Metal with the infamous TV thrown out the window (though that was more of a publicity stunt) and the fan riot when Axl Rose walked off the stage, while X Japan was most notable for the Yoshiki vs Dynamite Tommy fight that somehow destroyed an entire bar and the hotel room Noodle Incident that led to a fire, explosion, and the equivalent of US $60,000 (at the time) worth of damage.

  • The Magnus Archives: The narrator of the episode "Arachnophobia" kicks and smashes his television to kill the spider sitting on the screen.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Destroying furniture is a time-honored tradition in Professional Wrestling. Nothing says badass like bodyslamming your opponent through the announcer's table.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Feng Shui roleplaying game does this in spades. One of the game's cornerstones is that if you're not invoking this trope, in every fight scene, you're missing half the fun. In the published adventures for the game, for any location where a fight might break out, there will be section of the text devoted to describing the furniture and other features of the room, specifically for the purposes of how they could be used as improvised weapons or otherwise feature in combat. A description of a restaurant, for example, will not just mention chairs and cutlery, but also the possibility of using the rotating server in the center of a table for spin kicks, or that someone is definitely going to be dunked in the lobster tank head first and emerge with a lobster pinching their nose, or...

    Video Games 
  • The arcade version of Ninja Gaiden has your hero able to throw enemies into telephone booths, crates, signs, vending machines, and barrels, all to get powerups inside (and causing no additional damage to your enemies, oddly enough).
  • In BloodRayne 2 you can throw opponents onto spikes and out windows...or simply toss them through the occasional breakable wall or other scenery. One office area is a room full of cubicles, all of which can be smashed by flying Mooks.
  • Bayonetta. Early on in the game, Bayonetta tosses a chapel at a particularly gigantic angel. It just keeps progressing from there, with the penultimate fight between Bayonetta and Father Balder resulting in the latter tossing the skyscrapers of their own city at Bayonetta.
  • A major gameplay element of Power Stone. Some characters had moves meant specifically for environmental destruction.
  • Being a pastiche of Hong Kong action movies, Sleeping Dogs (2012) allows Wei to smash mooks into background objects such as telephone booths, parked cars, fish tanks and various kinds of furniture.
  • One Finger Death Punch has new buildings and objects being lowered into the background constantly. You can't interact with it at all, it's there solely to get destroyed by flying enemies. Meanwhile, Smash Rounds are based entirely around using your opponents to wreck the required number of scenery objects.
  • Mostly averted in the Pokémon series (indoor battles do not wreck wherever they take place in), but given one deliberate nod during the beginning of Pokémon Black and White when a battle takes place in the main character's bedroom. The room ends up completely trashed after the battle, though it is quickly returned to normal after the next one.
  • Unbound Saga allows you to destroy all indoor environments in massive fight scenes, with your character practically name-dropping the trope aloud:
    Rick: [bursting into a small room with mooks and destroyable objects] Nice Feng Shui... let's rearrange their furniture!
  • It is essentially a tradition of the Dark Souls series to have bosses trash stuff during battles. The fights against Ornstein and Smough in Dark Souls and the Old Dragonslayer in Dark Souls II are quite hard on the pillars in the locations they're fought in, for example. Carried over and made even more extreme in Elden Ring, where every boss and miniboss seems to have a terminal hatred of stone pillars, walls, and other structures and the power to back it up.
  • There are two stages in Super Smash Bros. where this can be done, namely Suzaku Castle, where fighters can be launched through the signposts on the stage, destroying them, and Mishima Dojo, where fighters can be launched through the walls and ceilings of the dojo, destroying them (and is actually the only way to allow for KOs to occur on the stage). In both cases, the destroyed objects will eventually regenerate.


    Web Original 

Alternative Title(s): Demolition Fu