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Percussive Therapy

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Jane: Does he ever like to have a temper tantrum now and again? I mean, he's the CEO of a large company and that comes with a lot of pressure, so... maybe he likes to let off some steam, throw a vase around or something?
Grace: Are you suggesting that Mr. Rochester, your employer? — makes sport of throwing decorative glassware? — in the middle of the night? — in his OWN HOUSE? — where his DAUGHTER sleeps? — because he needs to let off little STEAM — every once in a while?

Sometimes you are just angry. Angry enough that you decide to take it out on something or someone. Physically. This violent behavior may target a simple inanimate object, an opponent in a boxing match, or other similar situation, or maybe some convenient villain who happens to be in the area. Anyway, the point is that you are resolving your anger in a violent, but still somewhat socially acceptable way.

The psychiatric term for doing this in a therapeutic context is "catharsis". At one time this was all the rage, but it has fallen into disfavor among psychotherapists in the last few decades, as evidence has emerged that all it does is reward violent outbursts.

Can cross with Percussive Prevention if the person being prevented is getting on the preventer's nerves. Can cross with Percussive Shutdown in cases where a device stubbornly continues to function. This can also cross with Working Out Their Emotions, where they're getting some exercise while also pummeling something in anger. Contrast Get A Hold Of Yourself Man, where the violence is meant to help calm the victim, and Percussive Maintenance, when the violence is motivated (at least partially) by attempting to make something work. Cathartic Chores may involve a good deal of anger directed at things like surfaces or dishes that need to be cleaned. Contrast Cope by Creating.

Subtropes of violence against inanimate objects to relieve stress include:


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  • One Get Rid of Cable commercial had a father smack the armrest of his chair in frustration over his cable problems. This left an impression on his young daughter, who grew up to be a rebellious hellion who marries a bad boy. The commercial concludes that if this series of events happen when your cable's on the fritz, "you will get a grandson with a dog collar".

    Anime & Manga 
  • Crayon Shin-chan: "The Happiness Bunny"—a Japanese woman and daughter who release anger over their abusive husband/father by beating up their stuffed rabbits.
  • Legend of the Galactic Heroes: Reinhard exhibits a tendency to smash wineglasses whenever some particularly bad news is delivered to him.
  • At the conclusion of Mobile Suit Gundam ZZ, Bright Noa allows Judau Ashta to punch him to relieve a bit of the frustration Judau felt toward the Earth Federation leadership, thus inverting the famous Bright Slap.
  • Ranma ½: Akane is often seen breaking cinder blocks to blow off stress. She also does the wall-punching variation once... which injures her hand and leaves her with a handicap against a challenger to the dojo.
  • Played for Laughs a couple times in SPY×FAMILY, since Loid works as a psychiatrist as part of his cover for his current mission:
    • In Mission 2, while he and Yor are running away from a gang of smugglers, he brings up the excuse that they're patients having a relapse, and that physically knocking them out is a new form of therapy known as "Concussive Recovery Method". A caption immediately appears to point out "This is fiction".
    • Later in Mission 29, Anya has to do a school assignment which involves investigating one of her parents' jobs. She mentions Loid's "concussive therapy" in her report, which horrifies her teacher to the point Loid gets called to the school to talk about it. All we're told is that he somehow talked his way out of this with his "incredible equivocation skills".

    Audio Play 
  • Early in season two of Le Donjon de Naheulbeuk, the Barbarian has such an episode.
    Barbarian: This pisses me off, I need to punch someone!
    (minstrel says something)
    Barbarian: I know who I'm gonna punch... (minstrel runs away)

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • In one arc of Batwoman, Kate vents her current frustrations on a boxing bag until her knuckles start bleeding.
    • In the beginning of Batgirl: Year One, after an argument with her father, Barbara Gordon angrily kicks a pile of books.
  • Defenders: Beyond: In the final issue, the non-team meets the One Above All, who throws a bunch of giant monsters at them. Taaia and America don't mind, because it allows them to vent their anger (over seeing what's going to happen to her son for Taaia, and her retconned backstory for America).
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us:
    • After Dick Grayson's death, Batman punches up a training dummy for hours until he tears holes in the knuckles of his suit.
    • Midway through Year Five, Harley gets it in her head that the best way to sort out her emotional issues is to go "smoosh" Shazam for a while with her mallet.
  • Supergirl:
    • Demon Spawn, after having an argument with a bullying co-worker, Linda shuts herself in her office and she is so angry that she punches -and cracks- a wall.
      Linda: That lousy 'Nasty'! She's out to get me fired! That rotten, under-handed stupid w... I'd like punch... OOOPS!
    • Supergirl (2005): In 2008 storyline Way of the World, Supergirl is severely distraught after failing to save a child. Then she runs into super-villain Clayface and decides he is exactly the punching bag she is looking for.
    • After breaking up with her boyfriend in Supergirl (1982), Linda changes clothes, dons her Supergirl's costume and starts her daily patrol, hoping to find someone or something she can legitimately hit.
    • Death & the Family: After finding out that her roommate Lana Lang is sick and has been keeping it a secret from her for weeks, Kara angrily smashes a fruit bowl to pieces as wondering what Lana was thinking.
  • Superman:
    • In Krypton No More, Superman's one-time villain Protector storms the Fortress of Solitude right when Superman is feeling confused and mad after an argument with Supergirl. Clark decides that punching Protector out may be a good way to vent.
      Superman: In a way, I feel sorry for you, Protector! You picked the wrong moment to challenge me! I'm bewildered and I'm mad — and I'm just aching to work off steam! Unfortunately, I'm going to work that steam off on you!
    • The Super-Revenge of Lex Luthor: When Lex Luthor's wife Ardora reveals she has found out he is a criminal after talking to Superman, Lex Luthor vents his anger by trashing their furniture and smashing chairs into the walls.
    • "Luthor Unleashed": Superman finds Luthor's secret lair but discovers that his arch-enemy has fled into space. Since he cannot find Luthor for the time being, Superman takes out his anger on the facility until it becomes a smoking rubble-filled hole in the ground.
    • Superboy 1980: In issue #11, young Lex kicks one bottle in frustration when his latest contraption reaches critical mass prematurely, blows his lab up, and does nothing to Superboy.
  • Warheads: After having to shoot a colleague who was infected and transformed, new recruit Leona works through her feelings by ranting at a training simulation of her boss, Colonel Liger. And then shooting it.

    Comic Strips 
  • Dilbert:
    • One T-shirt had a picture of Dogbert walking away from a smashed computer with a baseball bat over his shoulder. It was captioned "The network is down, but I feel a lot better!"
    • In another strip, Alice, frustrated with her computer, hurls it out of her cubicle following the angry cry of, "STUPID COMPUTER! Won't compile, eh?"

    Fan Works 
  • Doing It Right This Time: Ritsuko suggested to Rei that she should take her feelings towards Commander Ikari out on the Angel. Even Misato, who has ample reason to hate Angels, was a bit creeped out by the results.
  • Enter the Dragon: When he has to deal with Hermione's kidnapping, Harry discovers to his chagrin that dragons are capable of immense amounts of tightly leashed anger, which looks calm on the surface but is actually just waiting for the appropriate time and the right target to explode. As he's unable to immediately track down and devour the culprits, he has great difficulty in keeping a rein on himself, and ends up savaging the whole interior of a mountain, melting stone like wax and ripping open new caverns the size of football fields, to relieve his feelings.
  • The Good Hunter:
    • Chapter 2 plays this trope for drama. Cyril sees red, subverts Bystander Syndrome, and beats up four noblemen that are harassing a commoner. After Cyril leaves the commotion, he feels his blood boiling, wanting more victims to satisfy himself. Fortunately subverted later as he calms himself down without doing anything reckless.
      He had to calm down. He had to stop thinking. He needed to... he needed to kill.
    • From how Klaus states that he finds comfort in simple physical labor, it is implied that Cyril/Klaus has been finding other, non-violent means of relieving stress, lest he succumb to his triggers and bloodlust.
    • After decapitating Father Tobias, a member of The Order Insurgents responsible for the attack on the Union Festival, Cyril begins to hack the headless corpse several times to vent his grief regarding the possible deaths of Sierra and Emil.
  • One Step Ahead: Mac attempts to work out his frustrations over being betrayed by his friends at Fosters by taking a baseball bat to a pile of items that reminds him of everyone. However, he's not strong enough to actually destroy anything, and winds up weakly bopping the floor while sobbing with frustration.
  • In Ultimate DCU Headverse, Maggie Sawyer is so angry with Batwoman, after the vigilante almost botches the transport of a witness, that she smashes three vases when she goes back to her home.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In 50/50 (2011), Adam finds out his girlfriend cheated on him. He and his best friend Kyle take her huge abstract painting out to the garden and start throwing eggs at it, then they throw a knife, then a hatchet; then they cut it with a big pair of garden shears and finally set it on fire.
  • Along Came Polly: There is a scene involving the malicious stabbing of the ex-wife's throw pillows. Ben Stiller's character notes how good it feels. He gets a little carried away and ends up stabbing through the mattress underneath.
  • Analyze This: Following a phone call that gets Paul Vitti all riled up, his therapist suggests "hitting a pillow"—cue Vitti emptying a full clip into a defenseless couch cushion. He definitely feels better afterward.
  • Blue Iguana (2018): When Arkady tells Katherine that she must remain in his debt to save Eddie and Paul, she goes into the hallway, screams in frustration, and hits the wall with her purse.
  • Citizen Kane: After Susan leaves him, Kane tears her room apart.
  • The Room (2003) features a homage to the Citizen Kane scene. Like everything else in this movie, it's hilariously poor.
  • Clockwise: Brian Stimpson has several moments on the worst day of his life:
    • He smashes a payphone to pieces, after a whole line of them have failed to work.
    • He kicks a car which is stuck in mud, causing him to fall flat on his face in the mud, ruining his suit.
    • When he leaves the hall after giving his speech, he slams the doors open louder than anyone else has done.
  • The Crow (1994): Eric Draven plays an emotive guitar solo on the rooftop of his apartment building until the memories of his murdered fiancée become too much and he smashes the guitar in grief and anger.
  • Played for Drama in the first Death Wish movie. Paul Kersey drives off a mugger with a sock full of quarters. Despite being visibly terrified during the mugging, he's shown afterwards swinging around his Improvised Weapon in exhaltation over being able to fight back. This early success encourages him to take up more dangerous vigilante activities.
  • Die Another Day: Colonel Tan-Sun Moon is introduced to the audience while beating on a punching bag to work out some frustrations—then the punching bag is unzipped, revealing that he'd stuffed his anger management therapist in there.
  • Fight Club: The premise of the film is a bunch of guys coming together to do this to each other. Of particular note is the main character beating up the attractive blond guy so badly that his face is ruined. Why'd he do this? Because he "felt like destroying something beautiful".
  • Freddy Got Fingered: Jim tows Gord's skateboard ramp into the street, plows through it with his pickup, and upon seeing the ramp in ruins whoops and says, "I'm feelin' better already."
  • Glass Onion: Subverted. In the climax, Helen starts smashing Miles's glass sculptures and the other Disruptors join in. He humors them, assuming they're only destroying his stuff to get the night's events out of their system. But then the destruction causes a fire, and it becomes clear what Helen's actual goal was: destroy the estate via the unstable energy source Klear.
  • Happy Gilmore: What did those golf clubs ever do to him? Was he just testing their durability? And then just placed 'em in the woods because that's what they were made of!
  • In He's Just Not That into You, when the cool and calculating woman finds out her husband had slept with another, she tries to act rationally about it by suggesting that before they do anything hasty they should go into counselling. It's not until she finds cigarettes in her husband's things (something she had suspected him of having and that he denied to the point of making her feel guilty about asking) that she realizes she wants him out of her house. She smashes some porcelain in anger, and one would expect Defenestrate and Berate trope, but she neatly packs up all his belongings and leaves them on the stairs with a note telling him she wants a divorce and that he better get lost.
  • Lost in Space: At the climax of the film, Dr. Smith comes running into the bridge yelling "We're DOOOOMED!!!" — Major West just knocks him out with a punch to the face, casually noting afterward how good it felt.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Captain America: The First Avenger: Played for Laughs when Peggy Carter pumps several shots into Steve's vibranium shield after catching him being smooched by a Sexy Secretary, then has a visible sigh of relief afterwards.
    • In the beginning of The Avengers, Steve Rogers is using said therapy to deal with the loss of his familiar world after waking 70 years later. He gets so into it he literally knocks a heavy punching bag off its stand. (No worries, he has six or seven lined up to replace it.) He even takes one home.
    • Played for Laughs in Guardians of the Galaxy (2014). Not that Rocket doesn't enjoy more lethal versions of this trope, but after he's guilt-tripped into doing something noble for once he repeatedly kicks a clump of grass sticking through the floor.
  • Office Space has Peter, Michael and Samir take the printer into a field and smash it to pieces with their feet and a baseball bat. Michael really gets into it, having to be pulled away when he starts punching the printer parts. The whole sequence is set to entirely appropriate music.
  • A very dark example is shown in The Patriot (2000). After one of his sons is killed by a sadistic British officer and his oldest son taken by British regulars to be executed, Benjamin Martin takes two of his other sons to rescue his oldest via guerrilla warfare. Benjamin kills the final regular by repeatedly chopping him with a tomahawk, even well after he’s dead. Benjamin’s absolutely slathered in the poor soldier’s blood by the time he’s done.
  • The Personal History of David Copperfield: After the Murdstones break the news that David's mother is dead and buried, David wrecks many glass bottles in the factory in response.
  • Short Term 12: Grace and Jayden thrash an inflatable dog after Jayden has a violent outburst, which helps the latter calm down. Later, they smash Jayden's father's car with a baseball bat instead of beating the man up as catharsis after bonding over their shared abuse.
  • In Shredder Orpheus, Axel, Razoreus, and Scratch blow off steam by improvising drumbeats on oil drums and trashing junked cars.
  • Kylo Ren from Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens doesn't kill personnel willy-nilly like his predecessor did: Whenever he succumbs to anger, he instead whips out his lightsaber and vents his frustration on a nearby piece of hardware (console, etc.), slicing it to charred ribbons. The staff are apparently familiar with this, as two Stormtroopers can tell just from the sound that they should leave instead of investigating further. Shortly into The Last Jedi he destroys his masks in reaction to Snoke's expression of disapproval.
  • In the "One of My Turns" scene in The Wall, Pink goes nuts and breaks everything in his hotel room, his aggression focused seemingly more at objects around him, like his TV and his guitars, than against the groupie who just happens to be in the way.
  • The Whole Nine Yards: Oz hates his life. While driving to work, he stops every nine yards or so to flail around madly and headbutt his horn three times.
  • In ...And Your Name Is Jonah, Danny kicks a trash can when he finds out his baseball teammates don't want Jonah around.
  • At the beginning of The X-Files: Fight the Future, Mulder can't get his drink out of a vending machine. At first he whacks it as if he might fix it, but then he just shakes it angrily, Percussive Therapy-style, mad that he lost his money. Moments later, he actually finds explosives inside the unplugged machine.
  • The movie Zombieland show us how it's done in twice, first when Tallahassee trashes out a family van and then when the protagonists break every single little thing in a store with music in the background.

  • Adrian Mole:
    • In Growing Pains, Adrian's mother throws the telephone across the hall at the end of a phone call with her ex-lover Lucas.
    • In Wilderness Years, Adrian visits a therapist who encourages him to vent his anger by beating a chair with a stick, while imagining the chair is his father. He subsequently complains that it didn't help his issues but did injure his shoulder.
  • At the very start of The Creation Alchemist Enjoys Freedom, Thor tries to protest that he is pointedly not useless by pointing out the fact that the empire's infrastructure and vaulted Holy Weapons are decaying into uselessness and R&D is essential. Duke Bragas Regus, his own father, goes completely apoplectic and punches a table with enough force to cause it to implode while shouting "It's not worth it!" Thor, resigned, then asks where he's being banished.
  • Expecting to Fall into Ruin, I Aim to Become a Blacksmith: After Iris discovers that her Unrequited Love Lotson has a wife, she goes adventuring and gets extremely excited slashing at monsters, yelling at them as if they were stand-ins for Lotson.
  • The Famous Five: Two of the baddies take out their frustrations on an inanimate object, when Julian outwits them:
    • In Five Run Away Together, Mrs Stick bangs a saucepan viciously on the sink, wishing that it was Julian's head under the saucepan instead of the sink.
    • In Five Get Into Trouble, Mr Perton spits out his cigarette and stamps on it viciously, as if he wishes he was stamping on Julian.
  • A very emotional Harry (As Sirius just died) trashes Dumbledore's office at the latter's suggestion at the end of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.
  • "I Like Monkeys": The man decides to severely beat up one of his dead monkeys when he got agitated at his inability to dispose of his monkeys and to use the bathroom. He felt better thanks to it.
  • Keeper of the Lost Cities: In the first book, Sophie throws rocks at a cave wall while in a terrible place emotionally, taking some comfort in the sounds of the rocks shattering. When she runs out of rocks, she kicks a boulder.
  • Life, the Universe and Everything: The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy has this to say on the Silastic Armorfiends of Striterax:
    "The Silastic Armorfiends were an insanely aggressive race who lived on the planet Striterax approximately twenty billion years ago 'when the universe was young'. They were extremely keen on fighting—one of the best ways to deal with a Silastic Armorfiend was to lock him in a room by himself, since he would beat himself up sooner or later. They wrecked the surface of their planet in constant wars, and the whole population lived within bunkers deep below the surface. ''In an attempt to deal with the problems their violent nature created, the Silastic Armorfiends passed a law that anybody who had to carry a weapon as part of their normal work (including policemen, security guards and primary school teachers) must spend a minimum of 45 minutes each day punching a sack of potatoes. It was hoped that this would allow them to work off their surplus aggression. This plan worked only until someone had the idea to simply shoot the potatoes, and the Silastic Armorfiends were excited about their 'first war for weeks'."
  • In the book Man on Fire by A. J. Quinell, one character named Benny gets in trouble with the law after trashing the office of an mayor who promised him a job and later acted like every politician will. Benny tried to pay off his frustration with him, but he escaped, so...
    • They sent two dogs after him. The dogs reappeared 30 seconds later...through the windows... with their necks broken.
  • One of Shaun's typical ways of expressing stress in Newsflesh. If his male coworkers are lucky and/or not the reason he's stressed, he punches walls. If they're not so lucky and/or the problem, he punches them. Female coworkers are safe, although he does cheerily threaten Kelly Connolly with bodily harm on several occasions, when he thinks she's done something to deserve said harm. He never actually acts on those threats.
  • Gianni Rodari's story Planet Of Christmas Trees features a planet on which all work is done by robots and machines and everyone has access to any resources the want. So, for the case when people need to work off some frustration, or kids need to satisfy their breaking impulses, they just go to a castle in the middle of the city which is full of things to break down. The castle are constantly being rebuilt, because once the dishes and furniture run out, it's time for the walls.
  • In Polgara the Sorceress, one scene has Polgara's first romantic interest, Ontrose, suggests in a heated moment that they take a moment to calm down and pick up the sexual tension again after an oncoming battle. Her reaction, once he's left, is to break some plates.
  • Rebuild World:
    • Sergeant Rock Shirakabe likes to take his frustration out on monsters and so serves as Designated Point Man.
    • Carol, due failing an attempt to question Elena and Sara about Akira's strangely strong combat abilities, takes out her frustration mechanical monsters through a barricade.
    • Sheryl, after Viola's Relationship Sabotage efforts on her and Akira push her past her Rage Breaking Point but she realizes she must spare Viola since she's Necessarily Evil, ends up emptying a handgun at the door they left through and throwing the gun on the ground.
  • In Foxglove Summer, the fifth Rivers of London book, Peter is goaded into attacking a tree to let out some of his frustrations that has piled up since the last book, frustrations that are only hinted at to the reader because of the style of the narration. Even during the actual event, the narrative remains just as calmly objective as the rest of the series, meaning that the actual catharsis happens entirely between the lines.
  • Spider Robinson's characters often resort to this. The central character in the short story "Antinomy" is seen punching a window, "shattering the shatterproof glass and two knuckles". One hero of Mindkiller deals with a stressful moment similarly:
    "I went to the kitchen, mixed a pitcher of five-to-one martinis, frowned at it, dumped it down the sink, mixed a pitcher of six-to-one martinis, took it to the living room, and threw it through the television."
  • In Robert Sheckley's "A Ticket to Tranai", the titular "Utopia" planet solves the problem of domestic violence by, among other things, producing cheap Robot Maids which can be kicked apart when a person feels frustrated. The protagonist finds a job as a robot designer, and they tell him to make a robot durable enough for daily work, yet weak enough to be smashed apart by a single kick. He ultimately solves the problem by using special plastic which breaks apart when exposed to a certain chemical and selling a pair of shoes coated with the chemical along with each robot.
  • Trapped in a Dating Sim: The World of Otome Games is Tough for Mobs: After Olivia goes on a Don't You Dare Pity Me! tirade against Leon during her Heroic BSoD, Leon’s Robot Buddy Luxion taunts him into punching him to try and make Leon feel better. This is followed by Luxion setting up a Working Out Their Emotions sparring match with Brad.
  • Whateley Universe: From Silver Linings 2 (Parts 2-9): When Madcap couldn't get a rocket working:
    Madcap got out of the cockpit, stood on the nose of the rocket and hit it with the Star Witch's scepter out of sheer frustration.
    The ship exploded in a ball of fire.
    The force of the blast blew out the glass windows.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Altered Carbon. Lizzy Vernon was driven insane through torture and is being treated in virtual reality by Poe, the Artificial Intelligence that runs the Raven Hotel. Poe encourages Lizzy to hit him as a means of reclaiming her power, pointing out that as an AI he doesn't feel pain.
  • Angel. In "Habeas Corpses", when Angel sees his Love Interest Cordelia having sex with his son, he kicks down the door to the stairwell, then we hear the sound of him doing the same to every other door he comes upon.
  • Arrow:
    • From time to time Oliver Queen has the 'hero is having a bad day, so goes and beats up some criminals' version.
      Diggle: How did it go with your mother?
      Oliver: Not well. Have you found someone for me to hit yet?
    • Roy Harper does a literal version in "State vs. Queen" when he gives his girlfriend Thea Queen (who is upset over her mother's trial) some boxing gloves and gets her to release her anger by pounding on him. And there's this line from "11:59" when Thea is angry that her Archnemesis Dad escaped.
      Thea: I'm gonna go hit the streets.
      Oliver: Thea, no one is gonna give up Merlyn.
      Thea: Well, then I'm gonna hit people on the streets.
    • In Season 2, Laurel Lance takes up vigilantism specifically due to her grief and anger over her sister's death, telling Oliver the only time she doesn't feel that anger is when she's out there pounding on rapists and wife-beaters.
  • Babylon 5: Na'toth's rescue of G'kar from an assassination attempt combines this with Percussive Shutdown. She comes across G'kar helplessly restrained by "pain-givers'' from dispatching the assassin on his own. After convincing the assassin she's been sent as back-up, she starts beating up G'kar. Moments later, G'kar is able to knock out the assassin unobstructed, where before the attempt would have killed him. Then he and Na'toth share words.
    G'Kar: That hurt.
    Na'Toth: Ambassador, it was the only way to disable the pain-givers. I had to hit them as hard as possible, as often as possible and still make it appear as though I were beating you into another incarnation.
    G'Kar: And you didn't enjoy it in the least?
    Na'Toth: I didn't say that.
  • An episode of Blue Collar TV had a fictitious show called Fix It or Feel Better. If the host (played by Jeff Foxworthy) proved unable to fix an appliance, he would recommend the owner get a baseball bat or similar implement, and beat the crap out of the offending machine.
    "Hit it like it was your ex-husband!"
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • "When She Was Bad": Buffy grinds The Master's bones "into talcum powder with a sledgehammer" to help her deal with the trauma from being killed by him in last seasons finale, then being brought back to life to kill the Master in turn.
    • Spike spends much season 7 with an intense case of Badass Decay, presumably due to the after-effects of him being given a soul and then tormented by the First Evil. In "Get it Done", after retrieving his Badass Longcoat, he tracks down the demon and engages in a brutal brawl with the guy (this being the first time we see Spike enjoy himself all season) before snapping its neck. Afterwards, he tells the corpse that a good fight is "good for the soul". Note that, for Spike, as much therapy comes from being percussed as it does from killing his opponent.
    • In "A New Man", after a Humiliation Conga of events make Giles feel outdated and useless, he comes across his old enemy Ethan Rayne and says, "You have no idea how much thrashing you is gonna improve my day."
    • In "Ted", Buffy claims she's not angry over her mother getting a boyfriend. Gilligan Cut to Buffy whaling the crap out of a vampire with a dustbin lid while a nervous Giles stammers that she really should move on to the staking...
    • In "Homecoming", after being dumped by Scott Hope, Buffy is shown making Faith of all people wince by pounding on the training pads she's holding, leading her to suggest that Buffy would make a better Slayer if she got dumped more often.
    • Likewise in "I Was Made To Love You", Buffy is pounding on the pads while venting about her lousy love life. A Reveal Shot then shows that her pads are on a "puffy suit" worn by Xander.
      Buffy: Oh! Puffy!Xander, uh, I'm sorry, I got... guess I got carried away. Are you okay?
      Xander: I'm alive. I can tell 'cause of the pain.
    • Played for Drama in "Dead Things" when Spike encourages Buffy to work off her issues by beating him to a pulp. Buffy is shocked at the damage she inflicts on him.
    • In "Shadow", Buffy is freaked at Glory and Dawn. She auditions for the UFC by ground 'n' pounding a snake demon to death.
    • In "Killed By Death", Buffy is suffering the flu, implied to be a psychosomatic illness due to the whole Angel-turning-evil thing.
      Angelus: Not feeling well, lover?
      Buffy: [knocking him down] That helps.
      Angelus: You know, you being off your game's kinda takin' the fun out of all this. [punches Buffy in the face] Nope, still fun.
    • In "The Gift", Buffy starts whaling on the punching bag in the back of the Magic Box while the gang are trying to work out how to rescue Dawn from Glory. She hits the bag so hard it gets knocked off the chain.
  • In the episode "Little Girl Lost" of Castle, a woman whose daughter was kidnapped smashes a lamp against her husband's painting when she feels he's not concerned enough.
  • Daredevil (2015). In "The Man in the Box", Matt Murdock makes the mistake of taunting Wilson Fisk during a prison visit, only for Fisk (who's bribed all the guards so he Might as Well Not Be in Prison at All) to throw off his shackles and savagely beat Murdock. As Murdock staggers from the room, his Super-Hearing tells him that Fisk's heatbeat is now perfectly calm after his outburst of violence.
  • The Dropout: Elizabeth Holmes, the CEO of Theranos, learns the Board of Directors is going for a vote of no confidence that will leave her out of her own company. She vents her her stress on her iPhone, smashing into her desk until it's thoroughly destroyed.
  • The Expanse: In the wake of Naomi's betrayal in handing the protomolecule to Fred Johnson, Holden is not in the best of moods. All he wants is a cup of coffee. Alas, the coffee machine is being uncooperative, so he gives it a solid jab, which damages it irreparably. Unable to get his coffee, Holden rips the entire machine out of the wall and slams in on the floor.
    Prax: You should try tea.
  • Farscape: Aeryn Sun, subject to Defrosting Ice Queen and Defusing the Tyke-Bomb developments over the course of the series, in the Grand Finale Peacekeeper Wars, refuses to stop shooting at attackers while she’s in labor.
    Aeryn: Shooting makes me feel better!
  • One of the most iconic scenes in Fawlty Towers sees Basil, after his evening falls apart thanks to a drunk chef, a ruined replacement meal and his unreliable Austin 1100, give the car "a damn good thrashing" with a tree branch. The scene took several attempts to get right, as the crew struggled to find a branch that made Basil's enraged, hapless flailing look funny enough.
    • There are also several such moments in The Builders: as well as slapping and kicking him, Sybil throws a heavy cash box at Basil, which damages the mistakenly-built wall behind him. When Basil trips over an oversized garden gnome, he bangs it on the desk and tries to strangle it; meanwhile Polly bangs the phone on the desk to get his attention.
  • For All Mankind. Ed Baldwin during his Not So Stoic moments.
    • After Patty is killed in a training accident while Ed was her instructor, Ed smashes a phone in anger, then grabs a chair. His wife stops him and firmly tells Ed to go mow the lawn instead.
    • Ed has been ordered not to touch a Soviet surveillance camera, but when the Soviet base sends him a message of condolence over his son's accident (which he hadn't been told about) he thinks they're trying to mess with his head and smashes up the camera with a rock hammer.
  • Glee:
    • Finn, still seething after the betrayal of his best friend's affair with and impregnation of his girlfriend, gets to Sectionals with enough time to teach the group a few songs he printed off with the Cheerios printer. After he "trashed the thing."
    • Mercedes had developed a crush on Kurt (unaware that he was gay). After he turned her down, but failed to mention he was gay, she smashed his windshield, then sang a song about it. Possibly the window smashing may not have been to make herself feel better, but to make Kurt feel worse.
  • Something similar happens in Game of Thrones. War is likely to break out between House Lannister and House Stark, so King Robert leaves Ned Stark in charge and goes off hunting. When an incredulous Ned calls him on this, King Robert snaps back, "Killing things clears my head!"
  • The Goodies. In "Lighthouse Loonies", Bill goes insane and ends up chasing Tim around the lighthouse wielding a pie. After eventually copping Tim in the face with it Bill calmly says, "I feel better now."
  • Horatio Hornblower: "The Examination for Lieutenant": Sailor Bunting has a hard time dealing with Finch's death. When Matthews tries to sell Finch's stuff to raise money for his widow, angry Bunting buys it all, puts it in a bag and throws it overboard. It doesn't help him much with his grief, though.
  • In "The Sound of Trumpets" from The Inside Man, AJ and Mark Shepherd succeed in stopping Erica from inadvertently inserting into her laptop a flash drive containing a "logic bomb" that would take down the entire network of Kromocom. Afterwards, the two head up to the office's rooftop where AJ takes a hammer and smashes the flash drive to bits. They didn't really need to shatter it like this, but AJ admits it was very satisfying.
  • In Leverage first season finale, "The Second David Job" Maggie, main character Nate's ex-wife, needed therapy (the regular kind, not this trope) to help deal with the tragic death of their son and Nate's spiral into alcohol. After learning Nate's former boss stalled paying an insurance premium that would help cover a treatment that could have saved their son, she helps take the man down. At the end, villain tries pleading with her. Maggie just punches him.
    "Screw therapy. That felt really good."
  • Subverted in Merlin:
    Arthur: After Sophia left, I wanted to take my mind off her. So, I went for a hunt.
    Morgana: And killing things mends a broken heart?
    Arthur: No, but it's good fun.
  • This happens in one episode of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide as a means for Ned and Cookie to raise money to payback the school for eating the candy they were supposed to sell. Unfortunately for them the “junker car” they were letting their classmates smash was actually the vice principal’s car so they had to raise even more to pay off the damages.
  • Joe tends to do this a lot on NewsRadio.
  • The Professionals. In "Wild Justice", Bodie is alarming his friends with his erratic behaviour. At one point he deliberately provokes a Bar Brawl with the leader of a bikie gang, but the biker refuses to rise to the bait. Afterwards outside the pub, Bodie alarms his Girl of the Week by slamming his fist into the side of his car, crumpling the metalwork.
  • At the start of The Punisher (2017) Frank Castle, having finished his Roaring Rampage of Revenge, is now a construction worker, spending his entire shift (and after hours too) knocking down walls with a sledgehammer to cope with his grief and trauma. It's implied this hasn't been working well, and before the episode is over he finds another use for the sledgehammer, doing what he does best.
  • In Seinfeld, Kramer spends the entire episode "The Serenity Now" bottling up his anger while repeating this mantra. He eventually explodes, destroying a bunch of computers that George had stored in his apartment.
  • Sense and Sensibility (2008): Elinor tells a maid who's been told by Fanny to beat an already-clean carpet that she, Elinor, will do it. Her own whack is quite forceful.
  • Sex Education: The second season features a junkyard. Adam is a troubled teen with a strained relationship with his father and he comes here to smash things as an outlet, which he shows Eric who enjoys the hell out of it. Adam later takes there Ola to deal with her frustrations over Otis. Following the Detention Episode, Ola shows the place to the other girls and they happily wreck things as In-Universe Catharsis for their shared experiences of sexual harassment.
  • Gavin of Silicon Valley is prone to doing this when things don't go his way. He can smash up whole entire rooms of objects, and at one point destroyed almost everything inside his house.
  • Star Trek:
    • Star Trek: The Original Series: While in the throes of Ponn-farr in "Amok Time" Spock is trying to relax in his quarters by playing his Vulcan harp when the bridge signals him. Not really wanting to be disturbed right then, Spock smashes his computer monitor, cutting off Lieutenant Uhura's explanation of why she was calling.
    • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
      • In "For the Uniform", Starfleet defector Eddington is always one step ahead of Sisko, so Sisko pummels a punching bag. It works a little better than most since he also shares his feelings with Dax at the time.
      • Frustrated over how the war with the Dominion is going, Sisko performs a bit of percussive therapy in "A Time to Stand."
      • Also invoked (and then averted) in "Take Me Out to the Holosuite", when Sisko is frustrated at his officers' general lack of baseball skills. Kasidy sarcastically invites him to smash something if it will make him feel better, since he looks like he wants to. He doesn't, but he does explain to her why it's so important to him to win a holodeck baseball game against a Vulcan arch-rival from his academy days.
    • Star Trek: The Next Generation:
      • The Human/Klingon hybrid K'Ehleyr finds herself really pissed off at her old flame Worf in the episode "The Emissary, to the point she goes back to her quarters and takes her fustration out on one of the tables. Having sensed how angry K'Ehleyr was, Troi went to K'Ehleyr's quarters and in order to keep any more furniture from being destroyed suggests she can work out her fustrations on the holodeck.
      • In "Chain of Command": Cardassian Gul Madred has been torturing Picard since the end of the previous episode. Part of the torture involves a remote-activated pain implant. At one point, Madred leaves Picard alone with the remote, so Picard smashes it against the table. Madred walks in and tells him it won't help; he has more remotes. Picard's response:
      " felt good."
    • Star Trek: Discovery: In "If Memory Serves" Hugh Culber engages in some with Ash Tyler after returning from the dead as he had been killed by Voq while Voq was in control of Tyler's body. Saru feels it has to play out like that and doesn't intervene. A less than pleased Captain Pike chooses to overlook the incident but advises Saru to let the crew know that further acts of percussive therapy wouldn't be tolerated.
  • In the Supernatural episode "Everybody Loves A Clown" (S02, E02), Dean deals with his father's death by smashing a window on a nearby car and then taking a crowbar to the trunk of the Impala.
  • Ugly Betty: After Bradford tells her he's postponing the wedding, Wilhelmina goes to the roof and smashes mannequins in a rage with a baseball bat (framed by Dramatic Thunder).
  • The X-Files: It's definitely Agent Mulder's thing.
    • Mulder gets very frustrated in "Bad Blood" and he gives full vent to his anger in kicking the hell out of a trash can. Why? He killed a teen by jamming a wooden stake in his chest and the FBI faces a lawsuit for $446 million dollars. However, said teen was a murderer and a vampire, and Mulder had been drugged anyway.
    • In "Anasazi", Mulder thinks he received a fake tape with "gibberish" instead of top secret government files. He hits a pencil holder and smashes it against the wall. But the files are actually encrypted. Poor Mulder has been drugged, which he doesn't know yet at that moment. He also ends up punching Assistant Director Skinner a moment later.
    • "Wetwired": Mulder is on his way to identify a body which might be Scully. The messenger of his jerk of an informant follows him and insists that he keeps investigating the case, yet gives him only super vague leads. Utterly frustrated, Mulder kicks the door of Plain-Clothed Man's car.
    • "Sein Und Zeit": Mulder attacks his desk when Scully tells him that his mother committed suicide.

  • Limp Bizkit's "Break Stuff" does a good job of describing this trope.
  • Nick Lowe's "I love The Sound of Breaking Glass."
    I need the noises of destruction
    Deep into the night
  • Todd Rundgren's "Bang the Drum All Day".
    Every day when I get home from work
    I feel so frustrated, the boss is a jerk
    And I get my sticks and go out to the shed
    And I pound on that drum like it was the boss's head!
  • Yoshiki Hayashi playing drums. Just go look up his drum solos on YouTube, especially the ones from before he threw out his neck drumming. He's admitted in interviews and in his official autobiography that he actually took up drumming as a way of expressing his feelings.

  • Ruby Quest's Tom feels better when he smashes inanimate objects.

    Tabletop Games 
  • The Kafer Sourcebook for 2300 AD mentions that all devices built by the Kafers are constructed to be very sturdy, because the designers know that sooner or later the user will get frustrated with the item and try to make it work by hitting it with something.
  • Leviathan: The Tempest: A Leviathan whose bestial self is growing unruly can propitiate it (and regain Ichor) by smashing up an object... or a person.

    Video Games 
  • BioShock 2: As subject Delta makes his way through Inner-Persephony, he'll fid an audio-diary from Eleanor Lamb, whose mother locked her in their house after she was deprogrammed as a Little Sister:
    Eleanor Lamb: Hello, mother. As you've always said, I shouldn't be allowed to wander the city in my condition, but without going outside, it's harder to hear much about the world — so I'm learning at home! This, I think, is a ... porcelain tea service, in the style of Louis the 15th, isn't that right? [crash] Now that's a fascinating sound! [tapping sound] And this is called a "stained glass window," hand-crafted by your adoring flock ... they've gone to a lot of trouble to capture your likeness, haven't they? [smash]
  • In-universe: In Dead Space 2, keep hitting the stomp button for a while after killing a Necromorph, and eventually Isaac Clarke will start swearing a blue streak, apparently getting out all his frustrations on these horrible undead abominations that are making his life utter hell.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: After the mission at the Orlesian court in Val Royeaux, Sera can be found venting her frustration at everyone involved by firing arrows into her own door. She imagines the last one being a Groin Attack on the Big Bad himself.
  • At the end of God of War 3, Kratos finishes off Zeus in one of the series' trademark Quick Time Events, which ends with the player rapidly tapping a button to make Kratos pummel his opponent, splattering the screen with blood. Unlike every other QTE, however, this one doesn't end on it's own— it keeps going as long as the player continues to mash the button, past the point where the screen is a solid mass of red. It doesn't end until the player chooses to stop, allowing both Kratos and the player to work out their frustrations with everything Zeus has put them through.
  • Towards the end of the Prolonged Prologue in Kingdom Hearts II, Roxas regains (some of) his memories of his time in Organization XIII, and realizes that he's spent the past six days living a fake life before he could be sacrificed to revive The Hero. Angry at the deception, Roxas attacks a nearby computer terminal to blow off some steam. When Sora sees the smashed terminal in the endgame, he decides to find a way to revive Roxas.
  • Mass Effect 3: Admiral Han'Gerrel, a bit of a General Ripper sort, fires on a geth warship the second you disable its kinetic barriers, even though you and up to three past or present members of your team are still aboard (counting Legion) and wasting his only chance to get the fleet safely out of the system. With a Renegade Interrupt, you get to explain to him how angry this makes you by punching him in the stomach.
  • Oxygen Not Included: If a Duplicant with the Destructive stress response gets too stressed out, they will start smashing up random machines, which can include machines needed to keep your Duplicants alive like batteries or oxygen generators.
  • Pac-Man 2: The New Adventures: There is a pail and oil drum in Pac-Man's yard that he plays like drums. If he is angry, he just slams his fists on them, making him feel a bit better. Subverted when tries this with a set of bass drums in the department store. He ends up breaking them and get chased out of the store by the angry clerk, without any changes to his own mood.
  • Road 96: In one scenario Jarod uses a bat to destroy the Black Brigade's abandoned radio tree in an attempt to work off some of the rage he feels for them getting his daughter killed. While this seems to work at first as he calmly talks with the hitcher afterwards, he abruptly flies into a ranting rage because breaking the tree did nothing to satisfy his need for revenge.
  • The WiiWare game Stop Stress is all about this trope, as you take control of a guy going around smacking things with a hand held object. However, playing the game is about as likely to induce stress as it will relieve it.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Queen of Thieves, after an argument between Nikolai and the heroine late in his first season, Nikolai offers to let the heroine vent her frustration by taking some swings at him with one of his fencing sabers. It's particularly effective in this case because the root of their argument lay in each of them feeling that the other didn't trust them; letting her whack at him for a bit with a weapon, even a safely blunted practice weapon, not only provides the visceral satisfaction of catharsis but also serves as a concrete demonstration that they can and do trust one another.

    Web Animation 
  • A recurring meme in hololive stems from some of their streamers' tendency to bang on their desks in frustration after incidents of poor play or otherwise bad outcomes in whatever game they're playing. Fans have taken it to mean "Desk-kun" is getting hit like in an RPG game and will reply something along the lines of "Desk-kun -10 HP" when that happens. Towa Tokoyami is most associated with the meme and has joked that it's her way of summoning her overseas fans; Amelia Watson's reputation for toxic gamer behavior leads to jokes that she inflicts -50 or -100 HP damage because her rages end up sounding like gunfire.
  • Post Volume 3 of RWBY, James Ironwood has developed a habit of smashing whatever desk he's sitting by or throwing whatever he's holding whenever he becomes particularly angry or frustrated. As the series goes on, these Not So Stoic moments happen with increasing frequency and force. In a Surprisingly Realistic Outcome, this actually makes his issues worse.

  • In Freefall, Dr. Bowman has a "tantrum room" for this very purpose.
  • The Order of the Stick: During a fight with the Linear Guild, Nale (fighting his Good Twin Elan) and Thog (fighting Roy) switch foes. Roy points out to Nale that this might not have been the best of moves... because Roy now has the opportunity to beat the crap out of someone who looks exactly like Elan.
  • One strip of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal points out how you could do this and Percussive Maintenance at the same time because tools used to be big, stupid, and people usually knew how they worked. So once upon a time, the solution to your machine not working was to beat it and set on it with tools. Nowadays, if your computer deletes all your work, you have to take it out on a wall if you don't just swallow your anger while treating the source of your frustration like royalty.
  • One Scandinavia and the World strip features Finland beating the life out of his computer in rage and frustration with many screams of "Perkele!" until his tech-savvy neighbor Sweden steps in and fixes it for him...
  • Shortpacked!: Ethan decides to smash Alternators Grimlock, which had one of the most finicky transformation schemes put to plastic, with a shovel. He pauses when Amber tells him the current aftermarket price... and then goes right back to smashing. (All the more alarming since Ethan has trouble getting rid of anything. He hates Alternators Grimlock that much.)

    Web Videos 
  • The Autobiography of Jane Eyre: There was an accident in Mr Rochester's house—crashing of glass rather violently, and Mr. Rochester got injured. He blames it on having a nightmare, knocking a vase over, and injuring himself with the broken pieces. Jane doesn't buy it, and thinks there is more to it, because he also asked her whether she had seen something. She speculates that Mr Rochester is under lots of stress. She asks Grace, his personal assistant, who gets furious and thinks that Jane should shut it and stop with these insinuations.
  • Critical Role: After Imogen and F.C.G. come out of Ashton's memories of his critical injury and abandonment by the Nobodies, Ashton appears to be calm and taking it quite well. That is, until F.C.G. drops his Calm Emotions spell, at which point Ashton stands up and starts punching a hole through the wall with his bare fists. They do seem noticeably calmer after, which is likely why Fearne prevented Imogen from intervening.
  • The Cry of Mann: After his art show is ruined, Jack goes berserk and destroys not only the work in the living room, but also the work in his artist's studio.
  • Idiotsitter: Episode 5, "Fight Day", revolves around the titular Russel family tradition—beating each other with therapy bats. Billie is the only one to realize how messed up this is, but eventually gets bribed into participating by Mr. Russel for $1,000.
    Billie: We're gonna go in there and we're gonna tell them that this is over because it is a terrible and violent tradition.
    Mr. Russel: Yes, it is. It is terribly cleansing and violently healing.
  • Philosophy Tube: Abigail relates a story in a video she did of how she ended up tearing to shreds an IKEA Trysil wardrobe she's installed for her then-partner when they'd moved into a flat together. It was only months later, when relating the story to her therapist, that she realized she'd been in an abusive relationship and had unconsciously used the wardrobe for catharsis.
    Abigail: I started off with a screwdriver, but I-I... The more I worked, the more I just had to get this wardrobe out of my life. So I went at it with my hands, I was like, smashing it and ripping apart the woodwork, pulling apart the screws and I threw it onto the curb; I fucking Songesandednote  that wardrobe, I Visthusednote  and Dagstorpednote  it 'till there was nothing left but Hövågnote .

    Western Animation 
  • When told she needs to stop working so excessively, Nicole of The Amazing World of Gumball decides to start breaking household objects to relieve stress.
  • Arcane. In "Everybody Wants to Be My Enemy", Jinx goes to the now derelict arcade hideout and works off some steam against the sparring robot. She becomes even more enraged as she remembers her estranged sister Vi and the fateful night at Silco's warehouse, and ends up repeatedly punching the bot's metal faceplate with, essentially, her bare fists. Despite this, she only manages a second-place spot on the leaderboard, just behind Vi, and remains pissed off.
  • On Archer, sometimes Archer's elaborate voicemail pranks on Malory get her so mad she smashes her phone on her desk.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • The day before the eclipse, Aang is having serious mental health issues on account of feeling unprepared for the upcoming invasion. His friends try to help him in various way. One way they try is to have him scream into a pillow. It doesn't work.
    • Throughout the same episode, he attacks inanimate objects for training purposes. It still doesn't help.
    • Zuko deals with his anger in this fashion a lot.
    • The fact that the Fire Nation's firebending depends on rage is a plot point: once free of the need to work out his inner conflict (by realizing he should stop trying to win his father's approval despite recognizing that his father is a monster), Zuko can no longer use it, so he and Aang take a trip to meet the original firebenders: dragons.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes: In one episode featuring Ultron, Thor flies headlong at Ultron and knock's the robots head clean off. When Hawkeye notes it was a "nice shot", Thor describes the experience as "satisfying, indeed."
  • Combined with Percussive Maintenance in Invincible (2021); after the Mauler Twins' attempt to resurrect The Immortal seemingly fails, one of them starts punching his lifeless body. The other says it probably won't work, while the first one says he's mostly just doing it to feel better. It works anyway.
  • Kaeloo:
    • In Episode 105, when Mr. Cat gets angry at Kaeloo, Stumpy and Quack Quack, he goes around kicking sheep and smashing trees with golf clubs in order to calm himself down.
    • When Stumpy suffers a misfortune due to a certain object, like losing a video game or his laptop not picking up the Wifi signal, his reaction is to smash the video game console or laptop into pieces in anger.
  • King of the Hill: In "Hank's Got the Willies", Peggy is jealous that Hank apparently loves his guitar more than her, and she buys a guitar at a yard sale just so she can smash it.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: Fluttershy tries to do this once in the episode "Green Isn't Your Color", kicking a vase, but only managed to slightly rock it.
  • The Powerpuff Girls (1998): In "All Chalked Up", Buttercup gets sick of Bubbles filling up the blacktop with chalk drawings and smashes her chalk out of spite.
    Buttercup: You know what I think of Bubbles and her drawings?! You know what I think?!
    (raises her foot and stomps on the chalk in slow motion)
    Buttercup: THAT'S what I think!
  • Benson from Regular Show does this often, as he has anger management issues. It's lessened gradually, thanks to character development.
  • Ren in The Ren & Stimpy Show does it sometimes. A particularly good example is the beginning of the Adult Party Cartoon episode "Altruists", where he beats Stimpy up as if it's some kind of routine.
  • The Simpsons: In "Two Cars in Every Garage and Three Eyes on Every Fish", as a Shout-Out to the Citizen Kane example, Mr. Burns trashes the Simpsons' living room when his chances to be elected governor are sabotaged. At one point, he has difficulty flipping a table and has Smithers do it for him.
  • Star Trek: Lower Decks shows just why this doesn't work. When Beckett Mariner reprograms the holodeck to allow her to play as a villain and fight the entire crew, the rest of the actual people with her point out just how unheathy it is. It isn't until she nearly kills her own mother's hologram and fights the holographic version of herself that she begins to address her issues in a better way.
  • Star vs. the Forces of Evil: In "Demonicism", Star is frustrated that her attempt to talk Tom out of getting a "demonicism" failed, and decides to vent by going and punching a tree.
    Ponyhead: You know how much I hate trees!
  • Steven Universe: Future: This is what Jasper taught to Steven, saying that the Crystal Gems were holding him back by not letting him express his anger. It's deconstructed when Steven accidentally shatters Jasper, with him barely restoring her gem. It goes From Bad to Worse in a different way when Jasper finally decides to accept him as her diamond only after he nearly gave her a Fate Worse than Death because of her Social Darwinism.
  • In Final Space, when Avocato confesses that he assassinated Little Cato's biological parents, the King and Queen of Ventrexia, Gary becomes absolutely livid and tackles him, then proceeds to tearfully punch him in the face out of sheer anger. Avocato fights back, and it devolves into a vicious fistfight between the two friends. Avocato eventually gains the upper hand, by virtue of being a trained veteran soldier who's noticeably more muscular than Gary, which leads to the two badly-bruised friends to have a deep heart-to-heart conversation, ultimately making their friendship even stronger in the end.

    Real Life 
  • "Rage rooms" are a class of businesses in Japan and several Western countries where people can pay to enter a room full of fragile objects and take out pent-up anger by destroying them. A similar business model also exists where people can rent time to take a sledgehammer to a junk car.
    • In the Philippines some establishments have "rage walls" where people can throw provided pottery and other breakable things at, often with the specific twist that the walls have the names of anger/stress-inducing objects, people, concepts, parts of daily life, etc. painted on them to serve as targets. (Some of these walls will be particularly scarred wherever the words "traffic" or "corruption" are painted on them, for instance.)
  • Athletes at the highest levels put their heart and soul into their play, so when things still don't go well their frustration becomes viscerally palpable.
    • Tennis players will expel their frustrations on the poor rackets at their hands. Novak Djokovic does it often, and his rival Roger Federer once did it against Djokovic.
    • Big hitters in baseball can take out their frustration on their own bats, often after striking out. Among others, Bo Jackson was strong enough in his prime to break bats over his head like a twig. Most players have several bats ready to their particular desired specifications for each game as wooden bats can also splinter from the natural flow of the game, so a few more broken out of frustration isn't going to result in much more than maybe a tut-tut for setting a poor example for kids.
    • High-level hockey players have several sticks designed for them for each game as sticks can break at any time going for the puck, moreso now with modern composite materials used which are lighter and so easier to swing but are also more prone to breaking. Those broken in anger are generally rare as there is an awareness that the sport is already fairly physical and dangerous compared to others — the Hockey Fight may be tolerated somewhat in the North American game but bringing in a stick will be met with widespread condemnation and an assault charge in court. Ironically, it's more often the goalies who end up smashing their sticks against the goal when things are going bad for them — here's Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne after allowing five goals in the deciding Game 7 in their second round series against the San Jose Sharks in the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs and getting pulled early in the third period.
  • According to the book Sick Little Monkeys, during John Kricfalusi’s tenure on the show, Bob Camp had a sign in his office labeled "John's knees" and invited people upset with Kricfalusi to kick it. By the end of Kricfalusi’s tenure on Ren & Stimpy, it had been reduced to a hole in the wall.


Video Example(s):


Kazuya Ryuzaki's Drum Solo

Kazuya vents out all his emotions on the drums at Nana and Okane's suggestion, after finding out the woman he loved, Erika, is one of the Baam, the aliens currently invading Earth.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (1 votes)

Example of:

Main / PercussiveTherapy

Media sources: