Follow TV Tropes


Literally Shattered Lives

Go To
Anybody have some glue handy?

"When I said stay frosty I did not mean literally!"
Patlabor: The Abridged Files Movie

Someone gets frozen or Taken for Granite, and is then smashed into itty-bitty pieces. A great way to make sure that someone is Deader Than Dead and to make Harmless Freezing dangerous. In gaming, this generally falls under the Chunky Salsa Rule and guarantees instant death, although this could destroy their equipment as well.

However, it can occasionally be counteracted by the victim Pulling Themselves Together or restoring themselves From a Single Cell. Alternately, depending on how souls, spirits, and immortality in general work, there may be nothing preventing them from taking control of another body somehow.

In real life, this wouldn't happen (at least with freezing). Fleshy creatures are held together by fibrous connective tissues and are pretty darn dense. When frozen solid, we don't break easily and definitely don't shatter. Drop a frozen corpse and it may crack, but it will definitely stay together—if it doesn't just bounce. This trope is only possible in Real Life with fruits, which tend to be much less fibrous than other living things. This is a serious case of Rule of Cool.


Since this is often a Death Trope, beware of spoilers.


    open/close all folders 


    Anime & Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • The fate of Dire from Phantom Blood after attempting his Thunder Cross Split Attack on Dio. Dio saps Dire's body heat, turning him to ice, and shatters him.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable: Normally, in the Ghost Alley, turning around before walking 20 feet results in the victim getting dragged to the afterlife by a hundred ghost hands. The Big Bad of Part 4, Kira Yoshikage, ends up being shattered by them when he tries to have his Stand attack the hands to escape, only for them to tear Killer Queen apart in retaliation and synchronization kicking in. Though being a spirit himself by this point, it didn't actually kill him as much as he might have wanted it to.
  • This trope happens disturbingly often in Negima! Magister Negi Magi, as you can tell.
    • Pictured above: The Taken for Granite variant happens in a nightmare sequence.
    • In the same series, Evangeline's "Cosmic Catastrophe" / "End of the World" spell, which she used to flash-freeze a massive Demon God in absolute zero temperatures before shattering it with a snap of her fingers. Though subverted in that this actually wasn't fatal for the demon, and it still had to be sealed.
    • This happens to someone's LEGS in a flashback, more exactly, to Negi's cousin and Cool Big Sis Nekane. Subverted in that the person themselves survived, due to a slow-moving petrification spell, but it's not clear if her legs were fully healed/restored or she is using prosthetic as replacement.
  • If anybody so much as touches The Noise in Senki Zesshou Symphogear and does not have their own Symphogear, the person disintegrates into carbon dust. At the same time, this is the fate of any Noise that is destroyed.
  • Statue version: Piccolo from Dragon Ball Z, after being turned into a statue by Dabura's spit, Trunks accidentally knocked him over and shattered him. Luckily, he was able to regenerate.
    • This also happened to Vegeta, but being turned into a statue was the result of his own Heroic Sacrifice via Superpower Meltdown, and he was already dead before he shattered.
    • Metal statue version: In Dragon Ball GT, Dr. Myuu drops a statue of Trunks on the ground which (despite being made of metal) shatters upon impact. Turns out that It was a fake set up by Giru and the real Trunks.
      • Ice version when Goku faces Frieza and Cell in Hell. He freezes the two of them using ice made of rotten souls. After palling around with them, he accidentally knocks over the both of them, shattering them on impact. Goku promptly apologizes.
    • The ice version also happens in the old Dragon Ball. When Goku fights the Red Ribbon at Muscle Tower, he fights a huge monster called Buyon. The monster is very rubbery and impervious to Goku's hits until he manages to smash a wall and have him be frozen by the outside cold. At that point, one hit is enough to shatter it.
    • Also happens in a roundabout way in Dragon Ball Super with Old Kai. In Future Trunks' battle with Dabura, the Z Sword containing the Kai is turned to stone by Dabura's spit, and when Trunks drops it in surprise, it shatters. The Kai's ghost appears later, complaining about his fate, not being able to have kept his body in death like his main timeline counterpart.
  • Variation: The Heart Breaker/Soul Breaker combination Finishing Move in Godannar uses a chemical to turn a Mimetic Beast's body brittle, then the Soul Breaker smashes it into dust.
  • Witchblade: Cloneblade wielders upon final Phlebotinum Breakdown don't freeze, but they crystallize and fall to pieces.
  • Hayate's Misteltein spell in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's does the "petrify then shatter" version, though since her target can come back From a Single Cell, it didn't slow it down much.
  • Most foes that fall to Hyoga's Diamond Dust or Aurora Execution in Saint Seiya, especially if they're just Mooks. He doesn't even have to strike them afterwards —they shatter instants after being frozen solid. Taken Up to Eleven once, when the enemy's feet shattered when he was trying to move.
    • Additionally, in the anime the Gold Saint Camus once imprisoned Hyoga in an indestructible block of ice that would never melt, preserving his student forever. When the other Bronze Saints arrived and discovered that the sword of the Libra Cloth could release him, they fretted over the huge probability of accidentally breaking Hyoga at the same time as the ice. It's averted, though, since Shiryu chose a golden sword and managed to slash the block exactly in the way needed without harming Hyoga.
  • The Medusa-like villain of the Violinist of Hameln movie does this to Raiel after she's fed up with Hamel using his own petrified teammates as ammo. When she's defeated, and her victims start turning back to normal, Hamel and Flute scramble in a panic to reassemble Raiel.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood, the first episode features Freezing Alchemist Isaac McDougal, a Well-Intentioned Extremist from the Ishvalan Extermination (who isn't?) doing this to a prison guard.
  • In Re:Zero, this happens to Subaru no less than three times, each time after being frozen by Puck's true form. The third is the truest to the trope, as he gradually breaks into several pieces, and combined with the circumstances, it causes his biggest Heroic BSoD/Freak Out of the entire series.
  • The final enemy of Ranma ½, the Phoenix King Saffron, was hit head-on by a revised and augmented version of the Hiryuu Shouten Ha that froze him solid and shattered him to bits. Although he came back, the damage was so extensive he was forced to regenerate as an egg.
  • One Piece:
    • Admiral Aokiji almost shattered Nico Robin after freezing her, but was stopped in time by the rest of the Straw Hats. Aokiji, incidentally, gets inflicted with this trope on a regular basis, since his body is made of ice. He can always reform, though.
    • Repeated when Boa Hancock orders the petrified Kuja Amazons who saved Luffy's life to be shattered; Luffy barely manages to avert the impending tragedy with instinctive use of high-level Haki.
    • This also happens to Jozu's arm after Aokiji froze him during the Whitebeard War.
    • Subverted and Played for Laughs with Kin'emon in the Punk Hazard arc. He is petrified by the Shinokuni gas, and then accidentally knocked down by Brook, who appropriately reacts with horror. The cracked parts crumble, revealing it was just a shell as Kin'emon instantly regains his conscience and freaks out over his son.
  • In Reborn! (2004), Xanxus' box weapon does this in its powered up "liger" form.
  • Fairy Tail:
    • Evergreen threatens to do this remotely to the guild members she had Taken for Granite in an attempt to get Erza to back down and surrender, though it's not entirely made clear if she actually could or it was just a bluff. Either way, Erza calls her bluff by the pointy end of a bunch of swords and a punch to the face, and Evergreen instead releases them.
    • Also, Deliora, after being released from an ice prison. Notably, this happened even though the ice was melted, as it turns out he was long dead from the freezing.
  • In Crystal Blaze, women affected by the humanoid weapons turn into glass statues, which then fade away into lots of tiny particles. Failed humanoid weapons who lose control of their powers also turn into glass statues, but don't fade away and just shatter instead.
  • In Tsubasa -RESERVoir CHRoNiCLE-, the Taken for Granite version is also implied to what happens to Kurogane's father.
  • The fate of Chiropterans in Blood+ after being exposed to the rival queens blood. Parts of the shattered remnants of George and Riku are carried by Saya and Kai respectively.
  • In the third movie of Naruto, the Big Bad tended to do this to most of the enemies he petrified, possibly because the petrification was temporary otherwise.
  • On Yu Yu Hakusho, this is how Seiryuu kills Byakko.
  • In Kinnikuman, Planetman from the Six Devil Knights attempts to do this to a frozen Suguru, though he breaks free at the last moment and strikes him away.
    • In Ultimate Muscle, Terry the Kid defeats Rex King by freezing him (his actual weakness), then shattering his T-Rex-shaped arm (which also housed his brain) with his trademark technique "Calf Branding".
  • In Pygmalio, people petrified by Medusa shatter immediately.
  • In Guilty Crown, the Apocalypse Virus causes a person's body to slowly crystallize. It progresses in stages, like a cancer, and the further along a person is the more of their body is crystallized. When they reach the final stages their whole body eventually crystallizes and shatters. Also, if a person's Void is destroyed their body instantly succumbs to the Virus and disintegrates.
  • In Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor, this is what happens to individuals assimilated by the Festum, as their bodies crystallize and then shatter. In the Right of Left OVA, this is also what happens to those who pilot the Fafner Titan Model for over the time limit.
  • This is a common way for Ice users in Bleach, like Hitsugaya and Rukia, to defeat their opponents.
  • How Sailor Moon disposes of the Monster of the Week in Sailor Moon Super S. Her finishing move, Moon Gorgeous Meditation, shows the monster shattering to pieces.
    • Also, in Rei's visions about a Bad Future in the S season, she would see the Senshi Taken for Granite. Then, their petrified bodies would be torn apart by a tornado.
    • This happened to be how one of the monsters in the first season, Derella, died after being hit by Moon Tiara Action.
  • Tome is supposedly killed in this manner in The Daughter of Twenty Faces. It later turns out she was actually just Bound and Gagged inside the statue and was rescued after it shattered.
  • At the last page of chapter 9 of Kami Sen, the heroine Konoha's body got petrified and shattered itself. She got better in the following chapter.
  • A non-human example occurs in Pokémon Adventures during Giovanni's first appearance. After he and Red are attacked by two Magmar, Red incapacitates them but refuses to finish them off afterwards because he believes there's no honor in attacking a defenseless opponent. After he leaves, the Magmar free themselves and try to attack Giovanni, but he sends out his Cloyster, which freezes them solid. He then orders Cloyster to finish them off, and they shatter into pieces displaying how ruthless Giovanni truly is.
  • This is the fate of anyone hit by the Ryunka in Birdy the Mighty Decode. And if that wasn't enough, their remains proceed to melt as well.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • The first issue of My Little Pony: FIENDship Is Magic reveals that King Sombra did this after his Face–Heel Turn. He ignored Princess Amore's plea that he could still do the right thing by turning her into crystal and breaking her body apart.
  • X-Men:
    • In the "Mutant Massacre" storyline, a mutant made of glass or crystal meets his end when he comes across the vicious Marauders.
    • It also happens to Prism, one of said Marauders, quite a few times (the first being the "Mutant Massacre" itself).
  • Linda Park accidentally does this in The Flash while investigating a crime with a future Flash. She sees the villainess Golden Glider out of the corner of her eye while inside a dark building and instinctively throws a desk lamp at her before realizing that GG's been frozen.
  • "The woman they dipped in liquid nitrogen, then shattered like a wineglass," from Elementals.
  • DC Comics villains Mr. Freeze and Captain Cold like doing this. More recently, Superboy Prime killed Sun Boy by freezing his head and shattering it.
    • In the first issue of Gotham Central, detective Charlie Fields gets frozen by Mr. Freeze, gets knocked over, and this happens.
  • Elijah Snow makes a localised application of this trope to Dracula in Planetary (see here); Sherlock Holmes mentions that in this particular case it'll grow back. This is pretty much Elijah Snow's standard attack when he wants someone to go bye-bye.
  • Plastic Man:
  • In Return of Sinister Six, Dr. Octopus does this to Sandman, using a heat ray to melt him and then shattering the resulting glass statue. This bites him badly later as Sandman returns later, very angry and now made of glass shards rather than sand.
  • Nigh-unbeatable Wolverine villain the Gorgon was killed like this, with Wolverine using his claws to reflect the Gorgon's own petrifying gaze back to him, then smashing him once he's turned to stone.
  • In the original appearance of the Absorbing Man in an early Thor comic, Thor tricks him into absorbing the properties of a glass window, and shatters him. He pulls himself back together, though.
  • Emma Frost was shot with a diamond bullet while she was in her diamond form. She shattered in a million pieces. She got better.
  • The Grey Gargoyle is a B-list Marvel bad guy, but his powers are definitely A-list: he can turn anything he touches to stone, including his own body (which he can still move normally afterwards, making him Nigh-Invulnerable — oh, and he can fly). The effects wear off in an hour, but that's not much good to you if he breaks you first. If the Gargoyle were a bit smarter, he'd be a major threat, and as it is he still has his moments — there was a classic cliffhanger where he petrified Iron Man and tossed him from a building. Jasper Sitwell showed up just in time with a truck full of sand, which had been duly foreshadowed the previous issue... but MAN that was close.
    • It got worse in Fear Itself. After becoming one of the Serpent's Worthy and becoming near-godlike in power, he uses his ability on almost all of Paris. And then he spends the rest of the issue flinging Iron Man through all of the statues, ending with a shot of Iron Man lying in a giant pile of statue pieces.
  • X-men's Iceman has been shattered and put back together a few times.
  • Cyclops from the X-Men did this to the criminal with a diamond form who took him in and abused him, prior to his arrival at the school, when he tried to make him kill a security guard.
  • In The Infinity Gauntlet, Thanos turns Thor (the Erik Masterson one) into glass and then shatters him. When Nova tries to save Thor, Thanos turns his body into Lego-like toy bricks and shatters him as well. Thor later appears alive and well with the few remaining heroes left even before the Cosmic Retcon is used to bring back all of Thanos' victims in the first four issues, which seems like an Unexplained Recovery for anyone who hasn't read the Doctor Strange tie in that shows how Strange literally went through Hell and back to restore him to life.
  • In L'Homme qui vendait du froid, a French comic book by Michel Greg (of Achille Talon fame), the villain is handed a freezing-ray gun, with which he threatens the heroes. Since he was mostly a Laughably Evil villain before being given the gun, the heroes laugh at him and call his gun a "toy". In a surprisingly dark Kick the Dog moment, the villain freezes a pignote  and then kicks it, and it shatters to pieces when it lands. The villain soon gets Hoist by His Own Petard, but luckily for him the heroes take much care of not letting him fall while they take him to a safe place.
  • In one story of the Legion of Super-Heroes, the villain turns Colossal Boy's parents to glass. The process is reversible, but as he demonstrates on an incompetent underling, glass is fragile.
  • Averted in The Herder Witch when Padora the witch restrains an attacking bear in ice. The villagers are ready to smash it to pieces, but she explains that doing so will just cause the bear to break free again.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Veronica Cale has her security staff broken down and ground into dust after they're petrified by Medusa's gaze in order to hide the evidence of the gorgons' presence at her company since she's teamed up with them.

    Comic Strips 
  • This installment of Little Nemo In Slumberland where Nemo, Flip, and Impie eat too much ice cream and then freeze. Impie is the first victim, who falls off his stool and shatters. Flip is next; when as someone tries to carry his frozen, paralyzed body away with a pair of ice tongs, he slips out and shatters into pieces. Then the frozen Nemo is brought back home, where he's placed in front of an oven to thaw him out, only his entire body begins to melt away as he screams for help.
  • Knights of the Dinner Table: After a long, long rules debate over who got turned to stone by a gorgon, B.A. decides it's Brian. The gorgon has a morning star. Piece it together. Also, it got worse when all of the flesh-to-stone transformations were reversed.
    Sara: Eew. I think we need a wet-vac.

    Fan Works 
  • Child of the Storm has Harry use this in the sequel, ripping the thermal energy out of thirteen ghouls, freezing them, before using the gathered energy to shatter them into fragments. Clark almost immediately throws up.
  • A major plot point in The Sweetie Chronicles: Fragments is that Twilight Sparkle was shattered and thrown across The Multiverse. While still conscious.
  • In "How Things Smurf" from Raven Child's The Smurfette Village series, Gloria's descendant Amber does this to the demon Asmoday after turning him to stone with the Scepter of Faith.
  • In Pony POV Series, this theoretically can be done to Discord while he's imprisoned in his statue, but the story explains why it can't be safely done. Namely, Havoc, Discord's father, gave his children a 'failsafe' so that if anyone except another member of their family kills them, they can persist in the mortal world in spirit form rather than go back to the spirit world. So while shattering Discord would be fatal, it would ultimately just set him free and allow him to possess someone else. This happened when Galaxia, unknowing of this, killed Discord by shattering after the Paradise Ponies managed to defeat him, allowing him to possess Wind Whistler, whose body he's currently using. Thus the only way to safely shatter Discord would be if someone of his family did it, and the only available option would be his daughter Fluttercruel. This becomes mute as Diamond Tiara, as part of her Deal with the Devil with him shattered him and they're now Sharing a Body. Also, following the Rumors Arc, the Draconequi Elders take away the failsafe meaning if it happens to Discord again, he will die.
  • In Raindancer, Izuku uses this non-lethally when he freezes a bat that was being swung at him and shatters it to pieces with his Quirk, spraying jagged shrapnel everywhere.

    Films — Animation 
  • In the final battle in Aladdin: The Return of Jafar, Jafar petrifies Carpet when he and Aladdin try to reach Jafar's lamp. They subsequently crash, and Carpet is shattered in a hundred pieces, getting restored later only due to the rules of ontological inertia.
  • Happens to Commander Rourke at the end of Disney's Atlantis: The Lost Empire as a result of him being stabbed by a sharpened fragment of the Atlantean Crystal, causing him to crystallize and be smashed to pieces after being sliced by his blimp's propellers.
  • Inverted in Frozen. When Anna turns to solid ice as she is stepping between Elsa and Hans as Hans goes to kill Elsa, the intense cold Anna's body gives off flash-freezes the sword, and the super-cooled metal is shattered instead.
  • Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return has this happen constantly to Dainty China Country due to the evil Jester. However, they are easily mended, if left unconscious for a while afterwards.
  • Happens to Tybalt (a lawn ornament) in Gnomeo and Juliet after being accidentally thrown against a wall by Gnomeo. He is eventually repaired at the end of the film, however.
  • Happens at the end of My Little Pony: The Movie (2017). The Storm King attempts to throw a petrification grenade at the heroes, only for a redeemed Tempest Shadow to jump in the way and get them both Taken for Granite. Twilight pulls Tempest to safety before she can fall off a balcony, but the Storm King rests in pieces.
  • A variation of this happens in The Transformers: The Movie: Galvatron fires a single shot at Starscream, who is reduced to a blackened statue of himself that then dissolves in a cascade of nondescript fragments and ashy dust. Nothing even close to this ever happened in its regular series at the time.
  • Wonder Woman Blood Lines: Medusa shatters several of her victims after turning them to stone, which means that even though the petrification is reversable in this adaptation these victims cannot be saved.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Avengers: Infinity War, Drax is turned into a statue that breaks into pieces when Thanos uses the Reality Stone on him. He recovers after Thanos leaves with Gamora.
  • In the newer Narnia film of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the White Witch can turn opponents to stone with her crystal staff, and starts to use it as a weapon during the battle against Aslan's army; there is one case where she turns a gryphon to stone in midair, whereupon it falls to the ground and shatters. On-screen. In a family film.
  • Trymon, the villain in The Colour of Magic, is turned to stone when his spell backfires and is later moved by workers who accidentally drop him, shattering him to pieces which are made into a rockery. Possibly averted in that he is implied to already be dead from the petrification itself due to the spells he took being returned to the book at that point (it is said that this will happen in the event of the death of the one carrying the spells), and the spell was intended for Rincewind, whom Trymon declared his intent to kill.
  • Simon Phoenix, the villain in Demolition Man. He gets frozen with liquid nitrogen, then his head kicked off by the hero, shattering on the second bounce for good measure.
  • Near the end of Terminator 2: Judgment Day, the T-1000 walks through a pool of liguid nitrogen. First, its legs break off, then its arm. The T-800 is able to shatter it with one round from its handgun. However, the heat from a nearby furnace melted the pieces and allowed it to reform.
  • Dr. Doom tries to do this to Mr. Fantastic in the Fantastic Four (2005) movie after freezing him.
  • Harry Potter:
  • In Hot Shots! Part Deux, "Saddam Hussein" and his little dog both undergo Smashed Human Popsicle. They not only get better but end up melting and reforming together a la the T-1000, leaving Saddam with canine features and a little pink bow in his hair.
  • The opening scene of Star Trek: Nemesis has the thalaron weapon turning the entire Romulan senate into stone, which then shatters.
  • There was also a TV movie called Fatal Error starring Janine Turner and Antonio Sabato, the plot of which was a computer virus which became a biological virus and infected people through their cable boxes, causing them to petrify and shatter.
  • An early draft for The Day After Tomorrow involved the pilot who is frozen in the Scotland scene to walk out of the helicopter for a few feet, freeze and be chopped into pieces by the helicopter blades.
  • Alien: Resurrection. Happens to a redshirt when an escaped alien figures out the connection between the blasts of liquid nitrogen that were used to control it earlier, and the Big Red Button in front of its slime-dripping jaws.
  • At the end of Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, Destoroyah is killed by being frozen alive, causing him to crash to the ground and shatter into a billion tiny pieces.
  • Timecop: One of the mooks gets blasted with liquid nitro, whereupon Claude Van Damme kicks and shatters his arm to pieces, and he falls off a ledge to his death.
  • Mindhunters (2004). In the first trap set by the Serial Killer, Christian Slater's feet get blasted with liquid nitrogen; his ankles then shatter and he falls to the ground and crumbles.
  • In The Hazing, the villain turns one of the characters into a mannequin. When her friends stumble into her on a dark stairway landing, they push her out of the way and down the stairs, shattering her into pieces.
  • Towards the ending of The Blob (1988), the titular abomination is finally "killed" after a snow truck blows up near it, causing the Blob to shatter into numerous crystallized pieces.
  • In Dragonheart: A New Beginning, Drake kills Griffin by breathing ice on him instead of fire. Griffin falls to the ground and shatters. Unfortunately, one of the pieces impales Geoff.
  • Medusa does this to her victims in Clash of the Titans.
  • The Frost Giants from the Thor live action film.
  • Played for laughs with the Nazi East German soldier in Top Secret!.
  • In The Troll Hunter, Hans is under orders to smash apart the petrified remains of trolls he's turned to stone with his UV lights the better to keep trolls' existence a secret. In the case of the Kaiju-sized troll encountered at the film's end, its sheer weight once transformed is sufficient to make it collapse.
  • In TRON: Legacy the programs who are derezzed break into glass-like fragments, which then turn into sand.
  • Done infamously in Jason X. While one of the doctor's assistants is about to dissect Jason, the dormant wraith then comes back to life, and forces her face into a sink of liquid nitrogen, following up with a smash on the counter. It was so gruesome, that when the Mythbusters tested it, they weren't allowed to show the footage, instead of going for a cartoon reenactment.
  • In the first Wishmaster, the Djinn fuses a security guard to a glass door, then shatters it.
  • This happens in the underrated 1954 science fiction movie Gog. A compromised computer AI locks two scientists in a giant freezer room that freezes them solid within minutes. They shatter upon falling over. (Although the shattering occurs off-camera, it's still a pretty gruesome death for a movie made in this era.)
  • At the end of Gamera vs. Viras, Gamera flies Viras up so high into the atmosphere that he freezes over, then he drops him back down into the ocean before, where it reveals that Viras fell apart.
  • In Hellraiser: Inferno, Joseph arrives home to find his wife and child strung up and frozen to death in his living room. He grabs his daughter's hand, only for it to break off and eventually shatter their entire bodies.
  • In the 1987 Cannon Movie Tales version of Snow White, this is the evil queen's ultimate fate. Responding to news that a prince's bride is fairer than she is, she throws a heavy bauble at her magic mirror, which responds to the attack by beginning to crack. She doesn't realize that with each crack, she ages a little bit, and by the time she reaches the wedding — and discovers her stepdaughter is alive once more — she is a hideously withered old crone. As she hobbles out in disgrace, the mirror's destruction comes to an end as the whole thing explodes into dust...and so does she.
  • Iceman at the hands of a sentinel during the first battle of X-Men: Days of Future Past. Two Cosmic Retcons later, he's back alive.
  • Implied to happen to Andrew in Snowpiercer. He has his arm frozen solid and we see somebody swing a hammer before cutting away to screaming.
  • In the opening sequence of Tale of the Mummy, Christopher Lee and some associates succumb to an Ancient Tomb's curse, their flesh becoming crumbly and cracking like porcelain. Particularly harsh for Lee, whose head and chest remain flesh until well after he's snapped in half at the waist, and the poor fellow who was climbing a wall at a time: one by one, his limbs shatter under the strain of struggling in vain not to fall.
  • In Oz the Great and Powerful, Oz comes across a version of "China Town," where people are made of China. The Wicked Witch of the East had sent her flying baboons and most of the inhabitants were shattered. Oz uses his "magic liquid" (glue) to fix China Girl's legs and let her walk again.
  • The Last Leprechaun: After Simpson overestimates his power and tries to control Laura, she freezes him and shatters him.
  • The Empty Mirror: When Hitler finally gets fed up with Freud's analysis of his character, he attacks him with a sledgehammer. This causes Freud to break into a dozen pieces as if he were simply a mirror.
  • Gets the requisite nod in Cube when someone tests a booby-trapped room by throwing their boot inside and it ends up frozen and shattered from a nitrogen gas spray. There are all different manner of traps, so there's no particular reason to use this trope other than the fiendish inventiveness of the designers, whoever they are.
  • Critters 4 has a scene where Ethan freezes a Crite solid by exposing it to liquid nitrogen and then kills it by breaking the frozen Crite into pieces.

  • A Star Trek tie-in novel called Final Frontier has a scene where a character runs down a corridor and ducks into a shuttlecraft bay, but the life support systems and artificial gravity in the bay are not activated. He ends up flash-frozen and floating. His pursuers find him and turn the gravity back on to get him down — and he shatters into a million pieces.
  • In The Spook's Secret by Joseph Delaney, the book's antagonist is killed when a malicious winter deity freezes him solid. Afterwards, his frozen corpse falls over and shatters to million pieces.
  • This happens in the novel Court Duel by Sherwood Smith. The Big Bad is trying to make a point to the protagonists, so he turns everyone at court into statues and smashes someone we haven't really heard from so far, just to up the dramatic tension. Might be more along the lines of Taken for Granite, but it still fits with the shatter-y theme.
  • Happens to one of the Unseen University's senior wizards at the end of The Light Fantastic.
    Twoflower: Will they be able to be turned back?
    Rincewind: No, probably not. I'm afraid they dropped poor old Wert, anyway. Five hundred feet onto cobbles.
    Twoflower: Will you be able to do anything about that?
    Rincewind: Make a nice rockery.
  • Invoked as a threat in Percy Jackson and the Olympians when Medusa says something like, "You see why I cannot spare Annabeth. She is my enemy's daughter. I will crush her statue to dust."
  • In the Ravenloft novel Scholar of Decay, the protagonist fears this will happen to the tiny figurine his wife was accidentally turned into, so protects it with numerous wards and traps. These protections are not enough, although the book's end suggests he's kept the pieces in hope of restoring her somehow, even so.
  • The Dresden Files:
  • In the Rainbow Magic series, Rachel was once frozen in mid-air, and Kirsty worried that if she hit the ground she'd shatter into icy pieces.
  • In The Iron Teeth, the City Killer seems to take pleasure in smashing people after freezing them with its ice breath.
  • Oliver and the Seawigs: This is how the Thurlstone dies. Upon being tickled on the inside, he laughs so hard that his body crumbles.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Averted (then modified) in Hannibal when Dr. Lecter murders Beverly Katz. He freezes her solid, but her corpse holds together as he runs her through a table saw a few times, eventually leaving the slices preserved between glass panes.
  • In Season 3 of Heroes, this happened to an over-intrusive reporter, as well as Knox.
    • Yet another Heroes season 3 example: At the end, Tracy died herself this way, although the preview of season 4 makes it clear she's Not Quite Dead, making her a rare example of surviving this.
  • Happened in the Smallville episode "Forever". The Monster of the Week attempted to turn Clark to wax, and in the process, reversed his powers on himself. Moments later, he fell from a stairway.
    • A version of this trope is hinted at in the first season episode "Cool". The Villain of the Week is a high school jock who has been turned into a sort of heat vampire by meteorite fragments. He sucks the heat away from a girl and we are shown her freezing. He then lets her body fall to the floor, out of frame, and we hear a sound like shattering glass.
  • A variation on Pushing Daisies: the titular bodies in the episode "Corpsicle" are all already quite dead, but Ned briefly alive-agains (alives-again?) a few of them. When one of the bodies falls off its gurney and shatters into several large chunks on the pavement, Ned says "I'm not touching that."
  • On Life Crewes accidentally shattered a murder victim who had been frozen.
  • It happened in, of all places, the Adam West Batman (1966), naturally, by way of Mister Freeze. One of Alfred's fellow butlers went down. One of a bare handful of examples of death on that show.
  • Similar thingy: in the Angel episode, "The Price", a guy gets infected with a parasite that sucks all the moisture out of him. End result: shattered guy.
  • Recent Bones episode "The Science in the Physicist".
    • Notable for deconstructing this a bit; the corpse was flash frozen in liquid nitrogen but shattered by vibrating it in an earthquake simulator. The actual results of simply dropping it are demonstrated when Angela is hit in the head by a bouncing turkey.
  • In The X-Files episode "Roland", a scientist is murdered when his head is immersed in liquid nitrogen and then dropped on the floor.
  • The "Eegah!" episode of Mystery Science Theater 3000 begins with Tom Servo trying to freeze Crow to absolute zero. When Joel tries to get Crow out of the freezing chamber, he accidentally shatters Crow.
  • A not quite fatal variant appears in the old show V (1983) - a plant releases liquid nitrogen, and as the workers are rushing to escape, one worker (whose hand had been frozen) stumbles and shatters it against a railing. This was when Robert Englund, as the friendly alien, showed THEY could easily survive temperatures at the level of liquid nitrogen unharmed.
  • This is how the Screeling, an otherwise-Nigh-Invulnerable creature from the underworld, is killed in the second season premiere of Legend of the Seeker.
  • Busted by MythBusters; flesh and blood don't shatter like that.
  • In an episode of Bewitched Samantha's Father turns Darren into a statue and smashes him. Reluctantly he later puts him back together.
  • In Wizards of Waverly Place Alex uses a spell to freeze Stevie while she is touching the power-transfer orb and then transfers her magical powers to Stevie's brother. Afterwards, Max accidentally knocks Stevie over, causing her to shatter upon hitting the floor.
  • In the series finale of Farscape, John and Aeryn get hit by a weapon which crystallizes them, then shatters them into thousands of tiny balls. They got better in the follow-up movie. Though, as it turned out when they were reconstructed, Aeryn's baby wasn't inside her. It was still inside Rigel, who had collected the balls that fell into the ocean.
    • In an earlier episode, John was Taken for Granite and decapitated by an assassin, obviously they were able to reattach it when they de-petrified him though.
  • In the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "By Any Other Name", the enemy aliens turn two crew members into styrofoam dodecahedrons and then crush one to show their power.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise:
    • Silik kills Daniels with two shots from a futuristic phaser. The first shot slows Daniels down, and the second one shatters him. He gets better, though.
    • In the Mirror Universe episode, Doctor Phlox tortures and then kills a Tholian prisoner by dropping the temperature in its cell until its exoskeleton shatters.
  • In Kamen Rider Kiva, people who have had their Life Energy drained by Fangire become translucent and fragile like glass, though we only ever see one person actually shatter. The same result also applies to Fangire themselves when they are killed.
  • In an episode of Eureka, a scientist is found flash-frozen in a spa. Someone accidentally touches him, and he falls to the ground with predictable results.
  • In a Blood Ties episode, Medusa seduces and petrifies young men. When Vicki takes the statue of her latest victim, she sends a Mook to destroy the evidence, which he does by smashing the poor kid into pieces. After Medusa is dead, her victims get better, except for the smashed one.
  • In The Outer Limits (1995) episode "The Heist", an alien (which may have acted as the A/C for a crashed alien spacecraft) attempts to eliminate all heat sources in its vicinity. We get to see it freeze a female soldier so that she looks like an ice sculpture, and then a drop of water from an overhanging icicle is enough to get the "sculpture" to fall to pieces.
  • In season 2 of Warehouse 13, a woman was stabbed with a knife that turned its victims to glass. The murderer pushed her over and she shattered.
  • Bizarrely discussed in The Daily Show, when a correspondent mentions the weather being so cold that his genitals are frozen and can easily be snapped off "like a graham cracker".
  • In Power Rangers Operation Overdrive, this is how Moltor dies. The viewer is set up for "just another Disney Death" with the character suffering some Harmless Freezing, and then Flurious actually finishes the job with a shattering blast that's almost chilling to watch.
  • The RoboCop: The Series episode "When justice fails" has its baddie frozen solid by taking a blast of sub-zero fluid from a ruptured pipe. He cracks and shatters a few seconds later without further "help".
  • In Once Upon a Time, Rumplestiltskin kills Zelena by stabbing her, turning her into porcelain and then shattering her into pieces. Also, when Ingrid is shown to have accidentally used her ice magic to turn her sister into an ice statue which quickly shatters into pieces.
  • In Tensou Sentai Goseiger, in Epic 23, Alata and Agri defeat the Monster of the Week after Hyde freezes him solid, then smash him to pieces.
  • In the Gotham episode "Mr. Freeze", the eponymous supervillain leaves a frozen victim in the middle of the street. Gordon and Bullock accidentally hit the victim with their car, shattering him. In another episode, he kills someone by freezing her and then shattering her immediately after.
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Making Friends and Influencing People", Donnie Gill freezes a guy who sold him out to HYDRA. As he leaves, Donnie shoves the frozen guy over, shattering him.
  • In the Agent Carter episode "The Lady in the Lake", this happens both the coroner and Detective Henry after being frozen solid due to Zero Matter infection.
  • NTSF:SD:SUV::: In one episode a New-Age Retro Hippie criminal locked in a cryo-prison is accidentally unfrozen in the present day. His arch-enemy, a hard-ass older agent, convinces him to go back into hibernation since neither of them understands the world as it is today. Then he punches the hippie's frozen head, shattering it into hundreds of pieces and collecting some of it so he can use it for his next drink.
  • In Legends of Tomorrow, Captain Cold has been retrieved from a point before his Heel–Face Turn or even Noble Demon days, bringing back his murderous day-one self. When Amaya is about to reverse the Villain World reality has been warped into, Captain Cold freezes her, and then gives us a Bond One-Liner:
    "I am sorry about your friend, Mick. I know you loved her to pieces." [shatters her]
  • The BBC adaptation of Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell at one point features a character who is magically turned into a porcelain statue, which is then smashed to pieces.

    Music Videos 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • At least one medusa in a 3.5 adventure has a habit of decapitating her petrified victims, then setting their heads back in place so that anyone casting stone to flesh would get a nasty surprise.
    • Another medusa from the 2E Complete Book of Villains petrified a thief for breaking into her "art studio", then broke off one of his hands and gave it to his accomplice, promising to sell him the rest of the statue if he brings back a sufficient ransom.
    • This is also the standard operating procedure for the rare male medusas (maedars); they shatter their medusa partner's statues with their powerful punch, then use their innate stone to flesh ability on the remains, providing the couple with meat.
    • A beholder in Lords of Madness had a habit of petrifying people with one eye beam, then doing a little... redesign work with the Disintegrate beam.
    • Forgotten Realms has rare [Duhlark's] glasstrike spell, which turns someone or something into glass. While mundane materials (like a victim's equipment) suffer the same fate, magical items are untouched. For extra "fun", transmuter has an option to leave the victim aware of what's going on. While shattering is implied as the target's fate (otherwise more widespread petrification would do) it isn't necessary, the statue may be even turned into solid glassteel.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • The Dark Eldar have a vehicle-launched missile that, when triggered, uses two stages like a fuel-air bomb: the first freezes a small area, and everybody in it; the second is a traditional explosive blast to shatter them to bits. This is one of the few examples from the setting that doesn't crank the trope to eleven, although it is an unusual weapon, even for a sci-fi setting, and it does demonstrate the Dark Eldar's penchant for exotic and spitefully cruel technology.
    • The Dark Eldar also have access to a piece of arcane wargear called the Shattershard, a piece of a destroyed transdimensional portal that has been turned into a deadly weapon. The user caught the target's reflection on the mirrored surface of the Shard, then breaks it, causing the target's body to shatter in a similar manner. In game terms it immediately removes from play any target that fails a toughness test with no saves of any kind allowed, even if they would be immune to normal instant kill weapons.
    • In the lore, this is supposedly what happened to the Eldar War God Khaine at the hands of Khorne. His fragments reside in the hearts of the Eldar Craftworlds which were made into statues of Khaine. In times of great need, a Craftworld's Exarch can sacrifice himself or herself to summon an Avatar of Khaine from the statue.
    • The C'tan were shattered by the Necrons in the backstory after their infighting and cannibalism weakened them to the point that the Necrons were able to free themselves. Much like the Eldar and the Avatar of Khaine, the Necrons have found a way to exploit the shards in battle by trapping the strongest of them in Tesseract Vaults which allow the Necrons to deploy them on the battlefield without allowing the C'tan shard to turn against them. Unlike the Avatar of Khaine, the C'tan shard is not doing this willingly and is constantly trying to break free.
  • In the Marvel Super Heroes RPG supplement Ultimate Powers Book, there is a power that allows for this. The notes on the power state that if a living thing is transformed and shattered, the change becomes permanent. The author states directly that this choice was made to avoid with the hamburger that would otherwise result.
  • Naturally Role Master with its penchant for Ludicrous Gibs criticals gets in on this:
    Foe freezes solid and shatters into a thousand pieces. Most land within 20 feet from where he was standing.
  • Its cut-down spinoff Middle-earth Role Playing also gets a similar version:
    Frozen solid, then shatters into thousands of pieces after being slammed into the ground.

  • Happens to Ahkmou in an alternate universe BIONICLE story after he is frozen solid by Kopaka and smashed by Onua. The Rahkshi Panrahk's power can also be used to do this, even without the "freezing" step.

    Video Games 
  • Mortal Kombat's Sub-Zero, in keeping with the violent nature of the series, has several fatalities that have him doing this to an opponent.
    • Also, the film has Sub-Zero demonstrate this on a mook to show the heroes the seriousness of the situation. The mook tries a flying kick, only for Sub-Zero to freeze him in mid-air, causing him to smash on landing.
      Kano: So then he freezes this guy, right? And then he explodes! I could see his guts and everything! Almost lost my lunch.
    • Deception included the Hara Kiri, where the losing fighter could commit suicide in order to deny the victorious opponent the glory of performing a Fatality. Naturally, Sub-Zero's Hara Kiri had him perform his classic freeze and shatter Fatality on himself.
    • The funny thing is that it started in the SNES version, as in the bowdlerised one.
    • One more from Mortal Kombat: in Armageddon, there is a point in the Konquest mode in which you grab a weapon that you use to freeze several Mooks, and then crush them.
    • In the PS3 version of Mortal Kombat 9, for one of his Fatalities, Kratos flashes the Head of Medusa at the opponent, turning them to stone and punches them into pieces.
    • In the good and best endings of Mortal Kombat 11, this is how Fire God Liu Kang defeats Big Bad Kronika. He blasts her with a stream of fire that turns her to glass, chops her arms off, then kicking her head off and then pushing the rest of the body to shatter it.
  • In contrast with Medusa turning people to stone, Castle Crashers has the opposite: after defeating Medusa, she shrieks and slowly turns to stone herself. In order to complete the stage, she must be damaged in stone form. One someone hits her or otherwise, she shatters, revealing a sword.
  • Duke Nukem 3D: The freeze-ray gun shoots a stream that steadily drains your opponent's health. When they reach 1HP, they freeze solid. Any sort of damage causes them to shatter, and Duke automatically kicks them when he gets close. However, leaving them alone causes them to unfreeze after a few seconds.
  • Since they're Built with LEGO, almost all characters in the LEGO Adaptation Games, LEGO City Undercover, LEGO Worlds, and LEGO Dimensions fall to pieces upon dying. So far the only character to avert this is Sonic the Hedgehog in Dimensions, who instead gets thrown off-screen like in his classic games.
  • In BioShock, the player can use the freeze plasmid on a splicer, making it freeze in place If the player attacks the splicer enough before it thaws, it shatters into a million pieces. Easy way to dispatch enemies, but if the player does this, he doesn't get any phat loot from the splicer's corpse (since there isn't one). The same rule applies in BioShock 2's multiplayer, as with a shattered body, you can't photograph the missing corpse for research bonus.
  • In Star Ocean, being frozen would lock you in place and if you were lightly stricken, you'd die instantly.
  • Using Ice Beam followed by a missile does this in Metroid Prime. In the 2D Metroid games, the only way to kill Metroids is to freeze them with the Ice Beam, then fire several missiles at them.
    • In Metroid Prime 2: Echoes, the Dark Beam ensnares its victim in dark matter, which serves the same purpose as freezing them - one missile and that's that. It makes wiping Rezbits that much easier and even works on Dark Pirate Commandoes.
    • In Metroid Prime 3: Corruption, you get Ice Missiles instead. Freeze something with those first, and a potent energy weapon should wipe them out. These include, but are not limited to, the Plasma and Nova Beams when fully charged as well as Reptilicus chakrams. You need to wholly freeze the target for this to work, though - chilling isn't adequate.
    • Speaking of metroids, their victims are also subject to this trope, disintegrating into ash as soon as something touches their body. Though like the Kamen Rider example under Live-Action TV, anyone sucked by a metroid to that extent is already dead.
  • The Baldur's Gate series applies this to victims of more traditional petrification.
    • And if you kill someone with cold-based spell, like Cone of Cold, there's a chance that you will change him into solid statue made of frost which will shatter after few seconds.
  • Breath of Fire II has Deathevan do this to your entire party, but then Ryu's 11th-Hour Superpower turns the situation into a Climactic Battle Resurrection.
  • In The Legend of Heroes: Trails in the Sky - Second Chapter, Weissman's fate, he's shot by Kevin Graham with a Salt Bolt, a dangerous material that turns people into granite the moment contact is made. Campanella shows up not long afterwards, and completely shatters the body to make sure he stays dead.
  • In Raidou Kuzunoha vs. The Soulless Army, the petrification status means that, while damage is reduced numerically, every physical blow against a petrified target means they have a chance (based on their Luck stat) of being shattered. Somehow, for Raidou, this still only makes him "faint from his injuries", albeit not for long.
    • Devil Survivor uses the same petrification system except instead of having its own chance it's based on if the attack is a Critical Hit and they're also guaranteed an instant-KO from Force-damage. Always a 'fun' problem to deal with...
      • In most Shin Megami Tensei games that feature a Force element, spells of this element have the ability to always shatter petrified enemies.
    • Devil Survivor 2 also keeps this, but adds in some deaths from toppling over as ice sculptures, and one variation with a flash-fried character blowing away as ash (thankfully, these only happen in cutscenes).
    • Shin Megami Tensei if... features an unholy cross between this trope, Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! (pun fully intended), and Villains Never Lie.
    • Implied in some games where frozen (or shocked) characters are guaranteed to take a critical hit when attacked.
    • In Shin Megami Tensei IV, if a demon dies by an Ice spell, it will be frozen completely and then shatter to pieces.
  • Gears of War 3 featured a post-mortem variant of this: those that were in the cities hit by the Hammer of Dawn were reduced to ash statues. When walking through the ruins of these cities, merely brushing against the statues will cause them to crumble.
  • Diablo II: Frozen creatures shatter when killed by any means, not just blunt force. This is one of the more effective ways of dealing with things that are liable to be resurrected or used somehow by something nearby, though it's an inconvenience for the Necromancer Character Class, who loses out on potential minions.
  • In some Final Fantasy titles, being turned to stone and then struck will cause the character to shatter and they cannot be revived until after the battle.
    • Also, in Final Fantasy IX, being frozen and struck causes instant death, but the character doesn't shatter and can be revived in-battle.
    • In Final Fantasy X, if you're turned to stone, you can be shattered by being attacked. Furthermore, underwater, you shatter instantly. On a side note, if a character is shattered, you can't switch in new party members in that spot and must do the remainder of the fight shorthanded.
      • Characters equipped with petrification weaponry will not just instantly shatter enemies they petrify but will do the same number on any allies they hit... even out of water. Lesson here: don't equip characters with petrification weapons if you know you'll be fighting an enemy with confusion spells.
      • Flying enemies also shatter instantly if petrified, by virtue of physics.
    • In Final Fantasy XI, there are the legendary Crystal Warriors — literally, warriors made of crystal. One mission requires your party to defeat all five of them in turn to progress, after which you see a short cutscene in which they each shatter into shards. There's also an alternate quest which allows a larger alliance to take on all five of them at once. There is an extra reward for this quest: your choice of one of five earrings. Close inspection of the icon for these items reveals that you are actually wearing a shard (an ear, in fact) of one of the Crystal Warriors as jewelry! An even later quest allows you to gain a matching earring (or at least another earring with the same icon) by defeating a pair of previously defeated bosses in a rematch.
    • In Final Fantasy XIV, the Blue Mage spell Ultravibration works this way; it's an Area-of-Effect spell that's only effective on enemies currently affected by one of the class's freezing or petrifying spells, but any such enemy that's not also immune to Instant Death will be immediately destroyed.
  • In Little Inferno, using any ice-related objects on another will turn it to ice instantly, and could be crushed/smashed into pieces.
  • In Yoshi's Island, Yoshi can do this to enemies he's frozen with an Ice Melon.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog does this at the end of the battle against Chaos 6 in Sonic Adventure. It doesn't last though.
  • Cirno in Touhou Project likes freezing frogs and watching them thaw out. Some of them survive, but one out of three shatters. This is chiefly due to Cirno being a klutz with the ice.
  • Happens in Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3, with the Allies' freezing weapons.
  • The "Glass" status in Wild ARMs 3 is another of those status effects that makes a character susceptible to death on the next attack. As the name implies, the shatterable material they're turned to is glass.
  • Another Taken for Granite Example: In God of War, Kratos can be shattered if he's attacked before he can break out.
    • If Kratos gets petrified while in the air, the moment he touches the ground, he shatters.
    • Kratos can also petrify enemies and then shatter them himself. If he petrifies a flying enemy, it'll fall and shatter on its own. Both of these kills give experience bonuses.
  • The Frost Shards weapon from Hexen allows a Mage to do this to an enemy.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, frozen enemies were already dead, but shattering them often yielded a Mana Potion. In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, freezing was temporary and enemies could be finished by breaking them.
  • Love You to Bits does this word from word with Nova getting blasted to bits, and the game revolving traversing the universe in search of them.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, if a frozen or petrified enemy takes a critical hit, they shatter and instantly die.
    • Dragon Age II took the fun out of that by requiring team coordination that would be better focused on simply killing them, though you could set up party A.I.s to automatically perform such actions, making it a lot easier. Unlike the previous game, Shatter effects only did a large amount of damage to the target instead of automatically killing it.
  • In Painkiller, the shotgun's Secondary Fire allows you to freeze enemies, upon which you can shatter them. Some of the Goddamned Bats are best dealt with this way.
  • In Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, attacking with the Dagger of Time allows the Prince to trade one unit of sand for freezing the victim in place so he can shatter them with his sword, instead of having to knock it down and collect its sands.
  • Mass Effect has cryo ammunition, which freezes your enemies. You have the option to melee them, causing them to shatter in hundreds of pieces.
    • Mordin in Mass Effect 2 has the Cryo Blast skill, which is basically the same thing with fewer bullets. Additionally, using Throw or Pull (or other similar biotics) will instantly shatter a frozen enemy. Or you could explode them the old-fashioned way: shooting them.
    • Mass Effect 3 continues to follow this proud tradition.
  • Presumably, this is what happens when you use Earthquake near a petrified enemy in Yggdra Union.
  • A gimmick of frost mages in World of Warcraft: the critical strike chance of all their spells is drastically increased when attacking a target which has been frozen in place.
    • A sludge boss from Ahn'Qiraj requires to be frozen via frost spells and shattered to be defeated. He shatters into smaller sludges that must be killed.
    • Another boss in Ulduar summons invulnerable golems that must be lured over fire until they melt, then taken into water where they become brittle. They still don't take normal damage, but a single hit of sufficient strength will shatter them.
    • Gruul the Dragonkiller, a raid boss from The Burning Crusade, had a twofer attack: Petrify and Shatter. At the end of the Petrify cast timer all the players would freeze in place as if turned to stone, and then Shatter... well, you get the idea.
      • Krystallus reprised this ability in Halls of Stone in Wrath of the Lich King, and then Ozruk gave it another go in the Stonecore in Cataclysm.
  • Jazz Jackrabbit 2 had an obligatory ice weapon that turned enemies into the predictable block of ice. You can then shatter them by butt-stomping them, hitting them with Spaz's slide-kick, or shooting them with one of your other weapons.
    • Hitting Devon Shell's final boss form with a single ice shot dropped his HP to 0. Subverted because instead of being shattered while frozen as per the trope, Devon just thaws out after a couple of seconds, reverts back to his regular form, and falls on his ass.
  • In The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night, Dark Spyro kills Gaul by turning him to stone and shattering him.
    • Previous Spyro the Dragon games also used this. Ice Breath didn't kill enemies; any enemy immobilized by Ice Breath had to be charged into for the kill.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic III: Happens to an unnamed Archmage in the intro cinematic after being turned into stone by a Medusa.
  • In Space Quest V: The Next Mutation, Roger has to freeze his Love Interest Beatrice to keep her from becoming a mutant. Other than Cryonics Failure, attempting to pick up her frozen body results in her breaking into hundreds of ice cubes and a Non-Standard Game Over.
    Roger Wilco: Frosta la keister, baby!
  • Done to Hyrdreigon by Kyurem in Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Gates to Infinity. It turns out to be subverted: as the Voice of Life, Hydreigon's existence is tied to the world. As long as it exists, so will he. It just takes a while to regenerate his form.
  • Speaking of Pokémon, the Pokémon Sun and Moon Pokédex entry for Vanillish states that this goofy and rather harmless-looking Pokémon tends to make very good use of this trope on its enemies.
  • The fire extinguisher in Dead Rising freezes zombies and shatters upon touching or attacking them.
    • This also happens to Evan in Dead Rising 2: Off The Record after being frozen by his own nitrogen bombs and being pushed over by Frank.
  • In Run Saber, the main weapon of female playable character Sheena is the Ice Saber, and its death animation shows enemies freezing and instantly shattering into nothing.
  • Averted in New Super Mario Bros. Wii, where you can freeze enemies in ice blocks and then smash them, but only the ice actually shatters. The enemy stays intact and just falls offscreen in the usual fashion.
  • In Exit Fate, the Freeze magic turns the victim into a One Hitpoint Wonder; if they take any damage at all, they're immediately knocked out.
  • The freeze spell in Pandemonium! allowed you to jump on a frozen enemy, shattering them.
  • Shadow Frost spells in Luminous Arc 2 have a small chance to freeze their target, at which point a single standard attack will always hit and always deal exactly enough damage to kill them, implying this trope in an SRPG without the graphics for it.
  • In Dark Souls, players who are cursed while playing online leave behind their petrified statues in other players' worlds. You can also smash these. It's a lot of fun.
  • In Kickle Cubicle, some enemies can be destroyed by kicking them after freezing them.
  • Frozen enemies in the Mega Man Battle Network series, as well as its spiritual successor, will take doubled damage from any attack that has the "breaking" property attached to it.
    • The golem viruses in the sixth ''Battle Network' game take one damage from everything except attacks with the aforementioned property, which will One-Hit Kill them, as opposed to simply dealing more damage.
  • In Resident Evil 4, using an RPG on the Verdugo while it's frozen does this, for a One-Hit Kill.
  • In BlazBlue: Continuum Shift, Arakune's gag reels feature him being hardened and shattered to pieces when Rachel uses the "Sword of Morning Glory" on him. Since it happened on a gag reel, this isn't considered as a canon event.
    • Jin Kisaragi's Astral Heat involves freezing the opponent in a block of ice and then shattering it.
  • Amorphous+: If you're touched by a gloople when frozen by a Frostie's explosion, you shatter and die. Fortunately, you can do the same to glooples that get frozen.
  • In 3D Dot Game Heroes, enemies that get hit with your sword after being frozen by the Freeze spell are killed instantly.
  • In Rayman 3: Hoodlum Havoc, when you defeat Reflux for the last time, his body is encased in crystal and shatters.
  • In Bubble Symphony, one of the many exaggerated ways to die is getting hit by an enemy snowman's snowball, causing an ice block to form around the character and quickly shatter, and then he/she dies.
  • In Saints Row IV you can freeze enemies with the Blast and Buff superpowers, after which they can usually be shattered by any form of damage. You can get a similar result in Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell with Stone Blast and Coldflame Aura.
  • Downplayed in Professor Layton vs. Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney. When Professor Layton is turned to gold, only his arm breaks off and mysteriously disappears from the crime scene. Turns out Emeer, one of the witnesses, took the arm and sold it to a pawnbroker after mistaking it for a valuable statue.
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has cryogenic weaponry: bullets and laser beams that have a chance to freeze enemies solid. Any damage dealt to enemies after they're frozen is amplified based on the type of damage dealt - with cryogenic damage getting less of a boost, but still a decent one. Lethal damage while frozen will cause the enemy to shatter.
    • Enemies with cryogenic weapons or environmental hazards that cause cryogenic damage will slow down your Vault Hunter, but not freeze them solid.
  • If you manage to lose all your solar energy in Ōkami and have no full astral pouches to save yourself with, Amaterasu dies in this fashion.
  • After you defeat the Final Boss of Phantasy Star Nova, you can find the petrified body of the Big Bad, Reven, stuck to the top of the creature. Hitting him once transitions to a cutscene where he shatters into energy.
  • After the boss battle against it in Splatterhouse 3, the Terror Mask breaks apart, though on a bad ending not before it gives an As Long as There is Evil speech.
  • In Sid And Al Incredible Toons, getting hit with an Anvil on Head will cause Al (but not Sid) to fracture and crumble to nothing, with the sound of glass shattering.
  • In Jade Empire the Spirit Monk can learn to do this with Ice Shard technique.
    • The first time you meet the Forest Shadow she turns the odd messenger from the Pilgrim's Rest Inn whom you were just talking to into a statue and shatters him. She then jumps on the player character and turns them to stone too, but the PC somehow breaks free and she runs away. Of course, later she says that the attack was a ploy to get you to investigate the inn.
  • This is the fate of the penultimate boss of CarnEvil, even screaming how he's shattered before fading away.
  • In Fallout 4, the Cryolator will normally just freeze enemies, but upgrading its ammo to Ice Grenades will also blow them up into ice chunks if you finish them off with it. The frozen bits will then melt, leaving behind unrecognizable blobs of gore.
  • In Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance, Raiden defeats Mistral by splitting open a container of liquid nitrogen and then slicing her up when she freezes.
  • Hearthstone: Heroes of Warcraft: Shatter.
  • In the Don Bluth animated games Dragon's Lair, Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp and Space Ace, each game has one death scene where either Dirk or Ace's whole body or face shatters.
  • In Tomb Raider: Anniversary, Lara must defeat the Twin Centaurs by turning them to stone with their own attacks, and then shoot them in their petrified state to shatter them to pieces.
  • Paladins:
    • Terminus was a mighty stone warrior who served as The Big Guy for the Paladins until his death during the first uprising against the Magistrate, where he took a fatal blow and was shattered to pieces. The Magistrate later collected his broken body and used dark magic to piece him back together as an undead, obedient minion. This translates into gameplay as Terminus falls apart when killed, but his ultimate ability resurrects him on the spot, Pulling Himself Together.
    • The Shattermaw and Shatterstar weapons for Androxus and Jenos are crystal guns that kill enemies by turning them into crystal statues that then shatter.
  • Usable in Dungeon Crawl with Earth magic. Petrify turns targeted enemies to stone and makes them susceptible to Lee's Rapid Deconstruction, which explosively fragments rigid materials.
  • Though it doesn't happen in-game, the Monster Compendium description for the Ratcicle in Crash of the Titans claims that it can do this to its enemies (and that on the bright side, you won't feel a thing).
  • In Warframe, Frost can flash freeze his foes and shatter them at his leisure with his abilities. Gara can accomplish similar feats by turning her foes to glass with her ultimate ability, Mass Vitrify.
  • One of Bubsy's death animations has him literally fall to pieces.
  • Enemies that have been frozen in Enter the Gungeon can be dodge-rolled into to kill them. There's an achievement for doing it too.
  • An Untitled Story features an ability to charge up iceballs that turn most enemies into stepping stones that will shatter when struck with a fireball, pounded or simply left intact for a few seconds.
  • The Spelunky remake features a Freeze Ray that encases targets in blocks of ice that will either melt harmlessly or instantly kill the victim if damaged.
  • This occurs in both Bloodstained games;
    • In Bloodstained: Curse of the Moon, Alfred's ice spell will instantly freeze any enemy, and any non-stage-boss enemy will be shattered with the next hit (stage bosses still take heavy damage). Which is very handy when you happen upon a miniboss with a One-Hit Kill attack.
    • In Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night, most bosses die by slowly turning to crystal and then falling to pieces.
  • The Liquid-Nitrogen Gun in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal freezes enemies that shatter if their HP reaches 0 while they're still frozen. Ratchet: Deadlocked lets you do this with any weapon that has Omega Freeze Mod equipped.
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of War: Equipping the Ice Storm -> Shattering Blow skill in the Wraith Tree causes the finishing blow of a combo on a frozen enemy to shatter, which freaks the other orcs out.

    Visual Novels 

  • The Wotch:
    • In an early chapter, the baddie petrifies Anne's friends and threatens to shatter them, forcing her to back down.
    • Many chapters later, Ms West's pet phoenix Arizona is found petrified and shattered. But Anne did her homework after the previous incident, and this time she knows all the spells necessary to heal it.
  • In Crossworlds, when Lilly has been captured by slavers, Karl sees her about to smash one Kalif has frozen, and does it himself before she can.
  • Girl Genius: When Colette killed all of Beausoleil's bodies in Paris one of their deaths is depicted as them shattering in an explosion of little shards.
  • The goblin-eating gargoyles in Goblin Hollow.
  • A slightly more complicated version appears in 8-Bit Theater. The Fire Fiend Kary proves too powerful for regular ice magic, so Red Mage trapped her in an alternate Universe (in the form of a Bag of Holding) and cast Ice 9, a spell powerful enough to freeze an entire Universe. His plan was to keep her there until the Light Warriors were strong enough to defeat her, but White Mage smashed the bag with her hammer to get revenge for Kary killing Black Belt.
    • The copy of Black Belt created by getting lost in a straight hall was petrified by Black Mage, and due to unknown factors was missing half of his head when discovered later. When White Mage tried to restore him because the original Black Belt died, he rapidly, graphically bled to death.
  • This happens to the title character in minus.. Even though she wasn't frozen or otherwise solidified.
  • Slightly cheesy example, which practically calls out the trope name, in Hearthstone's first Annal. The current villain inadvertently triggers an ice mage's reflexes, and one of the other heroes takes that opportunity to take him down for good.
  • Awkward Zombie demonstrates the consequences of being frozen in mid-air.

    Web Animation 
  • DSBT InsaniT: The best way to defeat Cell is to freeze him, then shatter him!
  • Happy Tree Friends: In "Blast From the Past", when Cuddles is launched into space, he freezes to death before being shattered by a passing satellite. The same thing happens to Sniffles in one of his dreams in "Dream Job", only with a fast-moving rock.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Batman: The Animated Series: Fridge Logic (no pun intended) implies this is the reason Mister Freeze's Freeze Ray gun has a conventional gun barrel built into it.
  • Batman: Assault on Arkham: Killer Frost sneaks into Arkham Asylum in a body bag. When an unfortunate morgue attendant unzips it, she sits up and plants a kiss on him... that freezes him from the neck up. When she drops him his entire head shatters on the floor.
  • On The Critic, Jay once accidentally shattered someone in a cryogenics lab.
  • In Gargoyles, when the titular creatures turn to stone by day, they can be killed by anyone so inclined to destroy a motionless stone statue. During the "City of Stone" arc, Demona cast a spell on Manhattan that turns people to stone by night, specifically so that she can go out and enjoy shattering them to pieces.
  • In the Grand Finale of Gravity Falls Bill Cipher, shatters into pieces when he dies inside Stan's mindscape.
  • In Teen Titans, Robin tried this on Madame Rouge. It barely slowed her down.
  • Another variation: When Rex Shard turns Warden Meece to crystal in the SWAT Kats episode "Chaos in Crystal", Dr. Greenbox inadvertently knocks him over and subsequently shatters.
  • The Ruby-Spears Mega Man cartoon:
    • In the first episode, Dr. Wily threatens Dr. Light that he would use Ice Man to freeze Dr. Light, then have Cut Man slice up his frozen body. They demonstrated with a chemistry table.
    • In a later episode, Ice Man freezes Rush in a block of ice and kicks him into a wall, breaking him to pieces. Fortunately, Rush is a robot, so it isn't fatal.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003), this is the final fate of Drako. While it also occurs to his partner, in his case it turns out to be a lot less lethal.
  • In an episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), Snakeweed is defeated this way when Leonardo throws a canister of liquid nitrogen into his mouth and Raphael destroys it, then shatters him. Like the last time he was defeated, his heart survives, indicating he's still alive.
  • Occurs to Mystique in the X-Men: Evolution episode "Impact". She was later revived by Apocalypse, though exactly how is unclear.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode "The Clowning", Carl suffers from a Viral Transformation into a clown, so Frylock freezes him until he can find a cure. Flash forward to 70 years into the future, where Carl is still frozen and being used as a coat rack before falling over and shattering.
  • In South Park, one of Kenny's many deaths is caused by this.
  • Crystar met his end this way on Robot Chicken.
  • Happens to Shendu at the end of Season 1 of Jackie Chan Adventures as a result of him being blown up after being turned back into a statue by the heroes. The next two seasons, however, are actually about him trying to be resurrected by the villains for this reason.
  • In Adventure Time, this is Bubblegum's fate at the end of season 2. Once again, she survives it, but is not quite the same afterward.
  • In Jonny Quest vs. the Cyber Insects, Dr. Zin freezes one of his henchmen, whereupon he collapses and shatters offscreen.
  • Happens to Hamton in Tiny Toon Adventures in "The Just-us League of Supertoons" after getting turned to stone by Fifi's stink and falling over.
  • In He-Man and the Masters of the Universe (2002), the Snakemen take Snake Mountain from Skeletor and his minions are turned to stone by Snakeface. Merman is even shattered. The Snakemen are later defeated and Skeletor retakes Snake Mountain, using magic to restore his minions. As he passes over poor Merman, he reassembles and unpetrefies him with a wave of his hand.
  • Wolverine and the X-Men: The ultimate fate of Emma Frost, as a result of the Phoenix dying in her body while she was in her diamond form.
  • In the French Slapstick and part Gross-Out Show Oggy and the Cockroaches, this happens to Jack after getting covered in cement. Oggy has to put him back together, and then it's just a matter of Jack "shaking off" the cement layer.
  • My Little Pony:
  • Winx Club has Ogron, Anagan, and Gantlos get frozen in a beam struggle by the Winx, Roxy, and Nebula, and then they fall into a crevice. Slightly subverted in that we don't SEE them hit the bottom and shatter to pieces (giving many the impression that they are still alive, but frozen forever), but in Season 3 we a snake in the Omega Dimension freeze a bird, which falls and shatters to pieces, so there is little reason to doubt the wizards suffered the same fate.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • In the first episode, a bully gets frozen by Rick and later gets tipped over and is smashed to pieces.
    • Ned Flanders meets a similar fate when Rick and Morty feature in a Simpsons Couch Gag.
  • In the Teen Titans Go! episode "Oregon Trail", Starfire freezes to death while the Titans' wagon is going up a mountain, then this happens to her.
  • In Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot, villainous robot Number Five gets frozen solid when a tank at a cryogenic tank farm ruptures. Rusty then proceeds to shatter him.
  • A benign variation appears in the Justice League episode "Flash and Substance". When Mirror Master escapes into one of his mirrors, Batman quickly shatters it with a Batarang, leaving the villain unharmed but trapped in that mirror (presumably until it is repaired in such a way that he reemerges in prison).
  • In a rare example of not being frozen or turned to stone, the characters from Action League NOW! are plastic toys who frequently end up in pieces after being run over by a car, falling into a blender, or having heavy objects fall on them. One notable instance is a flashback scene in "Grief for the Chief", where The Chief was power-sanded down to just a fine powder.
  • Family Guy:
    • A lesser example shows up in the episode "Emission Impossible" when Stewie imagines what life would be like with his then-unborn brother Bertram. He sees them bonding over their mutual hatred of Lois by tripping her, running her over, and burying her in concrete with only the top of her head and her arm visible before Bertram freezes her arm with liquid nitrogen and Stewie breaks it with a hammer.
    • Played straight in "The Courtship of Stewie's Father" during a Cutaway Gag of Kim Cattrall about to have sex with a guy. Being old and brittle, she shatters to pieces when he jumps on her.
    • In "Meg & Quagmire", in order to make Meg get over Quagmire, Peter and Lois try to enforce No Yay on her. During this, Peter shows Meg a picture of an ugly celebrity and blames it on Quagmire; Chris then walks in and turns to stone a là Medusa, followed by him collapsing into small pieces. He turns back next time he's seen, though.
  • The Muppet Babies (1984) episode "Babes in Troyland" had Gonzo use his camera to deflect the petrifying gaze of Medusa, turning the gorgon into stone. Shortly afterwards, Medusa tumbles over and shatters into pieces.
  • This is the plot of the Mickey Mouse (2013) short "Gone to Pieces", where Mickey and Donald accidentally break Goofy into pieces and attempt to put him back together. At the end, Goofy is reassembled but accidentally breaks them.
  • In the Gumby cartoon, "All Broken Up", Goo ends up falling to pieces due to a prank the Blockheads play on her. Luckily for her, Gumby is able to restore her with a device he's been working on, and give the Blockheads a dose of their own medicine before they can do it again. Unfortunately, he accidentally shattered Goo again in the process.
  • In The Dragon Prince, the evil wizard Viren is attacked by several soldiers at the end of the second season. He kills two of them in this way. He turns one into ice and the other into stone.
  • In the American Dad! episode "300", after Roger's Golden Turd is shoved back up his ass, he shatters into 300 pieces that are then scattered around the world.

    Real Life 
  • A proposed method of human corpse disposal is "promession," where the corpse would be frozen with liquid nitrogen and subjected to strong vibrations until the body disintegrated. However, as of 2015, it appears that the company who came up with the idea went under without ever proving the concept.
  • A Straight Dope column discussing the question (including a mention of the above mentioned Promessa process) concludes that, as noted above, (formerly) living tissue has too much fibrous structural integrity to shatter no matter how solidly it is frozen.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Rest In Pieces


Not my daughter you bitch!

When Bellatrix attempts to kill Ginny, Molly intervenes and casts a spell which causes her to disintegrate

How well does it match the trope?

5 (28 votes)

Example of:

Main / LiterallyShatteredLives

Media sources:

Main / LiterallyShatteredLives