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Punch a Wall

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That's gonna leave a mark. On his hand, that is.
"I'm so angry I could punch a hole in a solid concrete wall!"
Colonel Volgin, Hiimdaisy: Let's Destroy the Shagohod!

When things are going badly wrong, the hero needs to hit something to prove he's a badass, but can't hit anyone because that would be unheroic. So he hits something inanimate. His pain proves he is sincere.

Done by a guy as a sign of Testosterone Poisoning, but also common among Tsundere and people who are simply approaching the limit of what they can take. It can also be the first sign that you're staring into the face of a Mama Bear/Papa Wolf. In some cases, it can also be a form of Self-Harm.

This trope does not cover martial arts techniques which may include punching hard surfaces to harden the knuckles, nor does it cover punching things you need to break, if there is a chance of success. This trope also doesn't count during fight scenes.

A common subversion is the object in question being a little harder than the hitter was expecting. If it's the wall we're talking about, then the most likely case is that they accidentally hit the stud behind the wall.

Tends to avert Invulnerable Knuckles, but not always. Subtrope of Percussive Therapy.

It's also a common reaction to Rage Against the Reflection towards mirrors affixed to walls.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • In the manga version of Mega Man X4, Zero does this repeatedly after a training session, still angry that Colonel refuses to disarm for questioning after being accused (falsely) of taking part in a Maverick Attack. He does it so much that his left forearm is busted up and the internal machinery can be seen.
  • Happens frequently in Ranma ½.
    • Ryōga is probably the most common offender, but most of the cast do it at some point.
    • We also see Akane do this several times (although she usually mildly injures her hand while smashing whatever she hit).
    • A quirky subversion occurs when Ranma is sapped of his strength by a vengeful Happosai. After being trashed by Kunō, an unbelieving Ranma punches a wall in outrage... but a toddler gets in the way. Akane and Ranma are horrified until it's revealed that the child barely even felt Ranma's fist.
  • Kaname does this in Full Metal Panic!. Sōsuke also punches out the screen of his laptop when he gets an e-mail informing him that he is no longer to guard Kaname and he can't contact her anymore.
  • In the Tenchi Muyo! Non-Serial Movie, Ryouko punches a wall when it seems all hope is lost and Tenchi's going to be erased by a time paradox.
  • Soul Eater has a variation. When Black Star hears the location of the organisation that hospitalised Maka he allows some of his soul wavelength to discharge from his open hand into the wall (since all attacks in this series work by hitting the target with the attacker's soul wave and Black Star's is strong enough to do damage without a weapon).
  • In the third episode of Sentou Yousei Yukikaze, Jack puts his fist through a glass window when he learns that his CO willingly put Rei's life at risk.
  • In Holyland, Shougo punches a wall after he thinks that the Sawako gang attacked Shinichi because of him. Yuu also does this to test out his hand protection when preparing to go after the Sawako gang.
  • In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha A's, Signum does this a little while after she hears that Hayate's illness has become life-threatening, realizing that the Book of Darkness is the cause and there is absolutely nothing she and her fellow knights can do about it, save abandon their honor in a last-ditch attempt to feed enough Linker Cores (extracted from living humans) to the Book before it kills their Mistress.
  • During the After Story arc of CLANNAD, Tomoya Okazaki punches a stone wall while walking home from visiting his estranged father in prison. His anger is so great that he tries to punch the wall again, only for his girlfriend Nagisa to pull him into a Cooldown Hug. After the both of them calm down, Tomoya asks Nagisa to marry him, and she accepts.
  • Sakurako punches a wall in order to get the attention of several people in her second trip to the world of Psyren. Later in that trip, Hiryu is slumped against a wall with a bloody and dented spot, and it is implied that he punched it after learning that Tatsuo was captured by the Taboo and implanted with a Taboo core.
  • Cowboy Bebop: Spike Spiegel is mistaken for Vicious in "Jupiter Jazz (Part 1)", and responds by bashing in a nearby wall-mounted pipe before doing the same to his would-be attackers.
  • Case Closed, first episode, Ran, who's not angry at Shinichi at all, punches through a concrete electric pole, laughing afterward.
  • A filler episode in the Zatch Bell! anime has Ted searching for Cherish when he's interrupted by some ill-tempered men he bumps into. Zatch volunteers to take the beating while Ted follows the trail of Cherish's perfume. But his conscience catches up with him, and he comes back to tell the men that if they lay a finger on Zatch, they'll have to deal with him. He then dents the nearby brick wall with a single punch for emphasis.
  • Hinohara does a this in Chapter 102 of Arata: The Legend. His initial intention was to punch Arata for unwittingly causing Kotoha emotional problems by family-zoning her without realizing the consequences for doing so. Hinohara apparently forgot that Arata was just an image projected onto a rock wall or underestimated how hard it was, resulting in a comically injured fist.
  • In Food Wars!, Erina loses her temper and punches a wall, only to fall to her knees holding her hand and saying that hurt.
  • Parodied in Assassination Classroom. Korosensei tries to, only to discover that he, as stated in Nagisa's notes, punches like a wet sponge.
  • Deconstructed in Gundam Build Fighters Try. Saga Adou tends to punch walls when he's frustrated, but near the end of the series it's revealed that doing so has caused hairline fractures in his hand. This bites him in the ass during the final battle, where the damage makes it difficult for him to handle the precision controls of his Attack Drones, and at the end of the series it turns out that he might have to permanently retire from Gunpla Battle.
  • GTO: The Early Years: After Ayumi rejects him, Ryuji punches a fire alarm in anger (with an already-bandaged arm in a sling), creating his own Shower of Angst.

    Comic Books 
  • In the Astro City story "The Tarnished Angel", Steeljack gets so frustrated that he takes out his anger by smashing up a condemned apartment building.
  • The Boys has a variation - The Homelander (a Superman expy) has just been embarrassed by Billy Butcher. Instead of punching a wall, he throws a plane.
  • Daredevil, after his long time on-again off-again girlfriend Karen is killed by Bullseye, screams and trashes his bedroom.
  • Heroes for Hire: Angry about their dire financial straits since Luke Cage and Iron Fist set up Heroes for Hire, Misty Knight smashes one of the chairs in her and Colleen Wing's office. Colleen then points out that because of those straits, they literally can't afford for Misty to go smashing chairs and can't replace it.
  • Ms. Marvel (1977): After her first reunion with her dad, who brushes off her concerns for his life in an astoundingly sexist fashion, Carol Danvers punches a nearby girder. Since she's got super strength, it bends it, while Carol thinks to herself that she's at least inherited her old man's temper.
  • Superman:
    • In Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime was really pissed off at how dark the DC universe had gotten, and decided to take his anger out on the wall. The wall just happened to be the walls of reality itself and this altered continuity in the DCU.
    • In Demon Spawn, after having an argument with a bullying co-worker, Linda Danvers 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!
  • In one arc of the the Hellboy series B.P.R.D., Abe Sapien finds pictures on a wall of his transformation into a fish-man, with his former friends standing around and visibly celebrating the transformation (as they believed that this brought their friend closer to their favorite occult deities); he becomes so upset he punches one of the pictures, breaking the frame and putting a hole through the wall behind it.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): As the survivors of Themyscira gather their dead for large funeral pyres Artemis decks a piece of rubble in anger and grief.

    Fan Works 
  • Bring Me to Life: After Buffy reveals Spike's Attempted Rape of her to him, Angel loses his temper and punches a hole through the wall.
  • In Light and Dark The Adventures of Dark Yagami, L punches a wall in frustration and "made a big whole" after Light uses the Death Note to kill Mikami as he's identifying him as Kira.
    • Earlier "Light was crazy and punched table."
  • In Constant Temptation Mogi punches a wall when the taskforce learns that Light was Kira all along and that L is shielding him from prosecution.
  • In chapter 15 of Ace Combat: The Equestrian War, Shamrock hits the wall with his hoof when he tells Fluttershy that he could have saved Carrot Top, but instead he went to assist the pegasi fighting the griffins.
  • In Gryffindor's Slaves Harry punches a wall after learning he has to marry Snape or be Obliviated and stripped of his magic and inheritance.
  • In We Stand United Sirius punches a shelf in the Potter family vault after realizing Harry had been denied knowledge of his heritage as well as basic info all Muggle-raised students were supposed to receive before starting Hogwarts.
  • In Harry's Unconventional Family Harry punches a wall after he breaks up with Ginny and she spitefully comments that she's been concealing her pregnancy for the last nine months and isn't going to let him see his own daughter.
  • In Adumbration Harry punches a wall after he hears other students gossiping about the forms the boggart in DADA class took when he faced it.
  • In Harry Potter and the Riders of the Apocalypse Harry punches a wall after his very first Potions class with Snape.
  • In Harry Potter and the Rune Stone Path Tonks punches a wall after reading that Harry was unwillingly entered into the Triwizard Tournament.
  • In Like Grains of Sand in the Hourglass a time-traveling Tonks punches a wall after Mr. Weasley is attacked by Nagini and she realizes that she'd forgotten about the incident.
  • In Malfoy Child Harry punches a wall after Blaise tells him that Draco's been abused by his father.
  • RWBY: Scars: After recollecting her past and feeling her friends won't trust her if they knew she was a former terrorist, Blake gets so upset that she punches a wall. It leaves blood smeared on the wall.
  • Power Rangers: Element Fury: When Sunset is upset over her friends being targeted due to their magic, and blames herself for bring magic to the world in the first place, she punches a wall made of pure stone, breaking her hand in the process. Before she can do anymore damage to herself, Clover the Clever quickly puts her to sleep with a spell, and manages to heal her hand with a healing spell.
  • In The Gospel Of Malachel, Misato kicks a wall after an argument with Gendo Ikari regarding the Eva pilots' security.
    Misato kept her temper under control until she was out of the Commander's office, but as soon as she was away she turned and kicked the wall, swearing violently as pain shot up her foot.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hercules, after being told by Zeus he is still not worthy to become a god, Hercules completely smashes the floor in his frustration.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Gran Torino: After Sue returns home from being brutalized by the local gang, Walt punches in the doors of several cupboards, culminating in two glass ones.
  • The Raid 2: Berandal: Rama uses Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs on the wall during his prison sentence.
  • Classic example which is Played for Drama: Jake La Motta beating the shit out of a prison cell wall in Raging Bull, even giving it a few headbutts before commencing his Inelegant Blubbering. It's a clear example of self-punishment.
  • At one point Die Hard The Dragon comes back from trying to kill McClane, and immediately starts smashing the scenery. McClane's wife, of course, takes it to mean her husband is still alive, because only he could make someone that pissed off.
  • James Dean as Troubled, but Cute teen Jim Stark does this to a desk in the police office near the beginning of Rebel Without a Cause.
  • Played for Laughs in They Call Me Bruce. Bruce's Kung Fu master claims that with control of your emotions you can do anything, including punch a hole through a brick wall. Bruce doubts this is possible, and when everyone else agrees the old master losses his temper and punches a hole in the wall, revealing a pretty 'massage girl' on the other side who says he's early for his session.
  • In The World's End, Gary once punched a hole into the wall in the bathroom of one of the pubs as a teenager. Years later, he's again in the same bathroom and wants to punch the wall out of frustration at the exact place but holds off, seeing that the old hole is still there.
  • Don't Breathe: the Blind Man punches his wall repeatedly after shooting Money. It looks like the remorse of an unhinged man, but it's really the Blind Man freaking out about the possibility of authorities finding his kidnapped prisoner.
  • In the opening sequence of West Side Story, Bernardo does this after having been taunted by some of the Jets.
  • An amusing one in True Lies: Harry punches through a car window in a fit of anger. But Arnold mistakenly hits a real window instead of the Soft Glass he was supposed to break, so the ensuing expression of surprise from co-star Tom Arnold is quite real.
  • Avengers: Endgame: After Natasha's Heroic Sacrifice to give the team the Soul Stone, Professor Hulk hurls a bench across the lake in his grief.
  • In The Silence of Adultery, Rachel takes out her frustration with her loveless marriage by punching a file cabinet, right as Michael walks into the room for their first meeting. He later tells her that he fell in Love at First Sight because he knew she was a passionate woman.
  • ...And Your Name Is Jonah: After yet another fruitless drill, Jenny hits a door with frustration over Jonah's inability to speak.
  • In The Innocent (1994), Barlow punches a bulletin board upon learning that two mass murderers are Off on a Technicality.
  • In Ming and Ming, Daming arrives at his apartment to find that he's been evicted. He punches the door in frustration.
  • Youngblood (1986): When Dean comes home after leaving the Mustangs, Kelly punches a wall, furious at him for wasting his opportunity.

  • In The Catcher in the Rye, Holden mentions that after his brother died, he smashed every window in the garage with his bare hands.
  • Chrysalis (RinoZ): Titus is most displeased to learn the true nature of the Colony, doubly so since his allies could have told him sooner if they weren't being difficult, and triply because he's now understaffed to fight the ants. Morrelia watches him angrily punch into the Dungeon wall so hard that he sinks his arm up to the shoulder — then pull it out again without difficulty.
  • In The Darksword Trilogy, Joram punches a tree which falls over and whines endlessly until it gets given brandy.
  • Discworld:
    • In Men at Arms, Vetinari has come to expect Vimes to punch the wall outside his office after every meeting, and recognizes it as a sign that Vimes is really going to buckle down on a case. Conversely, when Vimes doesn't punch a hole in the wall after such a meeting, Vetinari wonders whether he pushed Vimes too far.
    • In Feet of Clay Vimes slams an axe down into the table in the Rats Chamber. Vetinari asks him "What is this?" the next morning and his answer is "That's an axe sir." It's still there in later books, and Moist wonders if it's some sort of symbol. It is said that 'there's always the axe' - a reminder that if somebody goes too far in a quest for power, somebody will always be there to take up the axe.
  • Shaun does this a lot in the Newsflesh trilogy, and has been known to punch the occasional co-worker.
  • Vorkosigan Saga: Subverted in Mirror Dance:
    It was all too much. The window was safely shatterproof, but his hand was not; his soul-driven fist bunched, drew back, and struck. The Countess caught it with a quick open hand; his self-directed violence smacked into her palm and was deflected. "Save that," she advised him coolly.
  • In the Wheel of Time novel The Dragon Reborn, Mat is feverishly searching an entire city for his friends from Tar Valon, who have been targeted by the series' Religion of Evil for assassination. After learning from a local herbalist that he had just missed them (again) he gets frustrated enough to haul off and punch the wall. The herbalist lady calmly lets him know that she'll gladly treat his hand if he broke anything, but will kill him if he just damaged her wall.
  • Rod Allbright Alien Adventures: Book 1 had a variant caused by the hero engaging in some Deadly Dodging - he would likely have had his nose broken by the bully's punch, but instead the punch broke the bully's hand.
  • In Ravelling Wrath, wall punching is one of Rinn's go-to ways of venting frustration:
    I slammed my fist into the wall, putting a new dent alongside all the old ones.
    But it doesn't turn out so well for her in the Stern God's world, where she punches a stone wall and breaks her hand.
  • In Hoshi and the Red City Circuit, Hoshi punches a window in frustration over being forced to carry a shocker, and over her lack of freedom in general.
  • Rosina from The Nowhere Girls punches a locker because she's upset about being blackmailed by Principal Slatterly. Erin asks, "What'd that locker do to you?"
  • Fractured Stars: As Axton and Dash are preparing to transport their prisoners from their damaged ship to the Star Surfer, the ship's AI nags them about lowering oxygen levels. Axton punches the control panel to shut it up.
  • In Hover Car Racer, Jason punches his steering wheel after yet another mysterious mechanical failure causes him to lose a race.
  • Seb from Haze punches things like walls and cupboards when he's really frustrated. There are three patched holes in his bedroom walls, and his parents had to tape "No Thumping Zone" across the crockery stand. His dad has tried to get him to hit a punching bag or a mattress, but Seb needs to hit hard things.
  • The Syrena Legacy: During Galen's temporary break-up with Emma in Of Neptune, he punches a tree until the bark wears off.
  • Bewilderment: Theo once accidentally threw away one of his son Robin's trading cards. Robin punched his bedroom door so hard he fractured two bones in his hand.
  • Zenobia July: When Zen realizes she's completely plucked out her eyebrows by accident, she punches the medicine cabinet and throws the tweezers into the bathtub.
  • The Pants Project: While Liv rants to Maisie about the dress code, he kicks the wall, adding a sore toe to his list of problems.
  • Tempest (2011): After Kona finishes telling Tempest how Sabyn killed Annalise, he punches a decorative mirror, shattering it and cutting his hand.
  • In Dolphin Song, Melody takes out her anger at Alpha Bitch Priscilla by punching a wall.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the episode "Goodbye" from 8 Simple Rules, where Paul dies, Rory is seen with his hand all bandaged up. When asked what happened, Rory simply says that he burned it while pulling a casserole dish out of the oven. But later that night, while Rory is in his room talking to his grandpa, he shows him how he really hurt his hand by removing a poster and showing the big hole in his wall that he made because he was angry over his father dying.
  • George from Alien Nation punches a large dent in a racist suspect's desk to intimidate him into talking. His partner later wonders aloud whether they'll get billed for the desk.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Xander puts his fist through the wall after Joyce dies in "The Body". (Albeit, drywall is not difficult to punch through.) He then gets his hand stuck in the wall and has to be bandaged up. He does say it made him feel better "for a second"; Willow is envious that he got to feel good for that long.
    • In the spin-off series, Angel begins repeatedly punching a hole after he finds out that he can't save Darla because she was already resurrected.
    • In "Release", Faith takes out Wesley's entire shower wall after getting her ass kicked by The Beast.
  • Altered Carbon. Ortega is severely injured and has to have a replacement artificial arm implanted by surgeons who seem more interested in hawking the latest models than operating to save her life. Takeshi Kovacs chooses the Artificial Limb by punching the wallscreen, breaking it in the process.
  • In the 90s British medical drama Cardiac Arrest, Dr. Monica Broome beat up a soap dispenser in frustration at not having beaten up two senior doctors who had been openly looking down her top a short while before.
  • In Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa, Himura smacks the wall multiple times after he discovers that Arisugawa has been kidnapped. Given that Himura is usually The Stoic, it's a good indicator of how worried he is for his best friend.
  • Dexter: Dexter does an epic one of these in season three—he punches the glass out of a cabinet door and smashes the shit out of his office with a howl of "MIGUEEEELL!"...but it turns out it was just in his head.
  • Doctor Who: In "Heaven Sent", the Twelfth Doctor ends up punching his way through a twenty-foot wall made of material 400 times stronger than diamond. It takes him 4.5 billion years to get through; his body reset every few days so he could start anew but he only had a few minutes per reset to actually work away at the wall, which did not reset. Needless to say, his fists are broken and bloody before the reset takes place. Possibly an uber-example of this trope given the time frame involved and the fact that the next episode, "Hell Bent", confirmed that he didn't have to actually do it, but did so anyway as part of a gambit to bring a loved companion back from the dead.
  • Don't Hug Me I'm Scared: After the briefcase teacher's brother Unemployed Brendan has a breakdown, he punches the wall in rage. Nothing breaks, however, except his hand.
  • ER. Enraged at the cops' failure to find his assailant, Dr. Mark Greene trashes the lounge.
  • Mentioned in the Everybody Loves Raymond episode "The Mentor". Ray and Robert are both upset when they meet a man who Frank was nice to back when he was an accountant and he was never nice to them. Amy mentions that Robert was so upset, he punched a hole in the wall of their apartment. Robert, of course, denies this and claims that he only did it because he thought he heard a mouse in the wall.
  • Also, parodied on Friends.
    Ross: [explaining why his life sucks] ...And then none of this would have happened, and I wouldn't have put my fist through the wall!
    Chandler: You put your fist through the wall?
    Ross: No, I missed and hit the door. But it opened really hard!
  • Game of Thrones:
    • A variation happens when Robb Stark substitutes a nearby tree for one of the Lannisters upon hearing of his father's execution.
      Catelyn: You've ruined your sword.
    • Cersei says that Robert beat his hands bloody on the wall in anguish after their first infant son died of fever.
  • Played for drama in an episode of House after Foreman fails to save a patient. He wears splints for his broken fingers for an episode or two afterward.
  • In a Homicide Hunter segment, Joe Kenda notices a hole in the living room wall of a dead woman and quickly deduces that her husband is lying through his teeth about their happy marriage (presumably, he caused it when trying to hit his wife).
  • In How I Met Your Mother, we learn that Ted's apartment got a hole in the wall when Robin got drunk on a six-pack of Molson and went Super-Canadian with a hockey stick and puck... Lily caught the puck, leading to Robin challenging her to a fistfight... which Ted broke up, causing Barney to get angry and punch the hole in the wall, because "You never break up a girl fight! Aagh!"
  • In Last Man Standing, Mike does this in the garage in the episode where Eve gets rejected by West Point.
  • In Luke Cage (2016), Luke does this when Claire pries a little too much into his family issues, and it causes them to break up.
  • On M*A*S*H, there was an episode where Sgt. Zale found out his wife had an affair. He punched the stove in the mess tent, breaking his hand. He was so liquored up beforehand that he doesn't even feel it.
  • In the My Name Is Earl episode "The Mailbox", Earl's latest past Victim of the Week gets so upset about a letter being undelivered that he punches a hole in the wall of his trailer. When the scene cuts away and comes back, we see three more fist sized holes in the wall. By then he calms down.
  • The Office (US):
    • Can't forget Andy Bernard's infamous reaction on to Jim hiding his cellphone in the ceiling tiles and calling it repeatedly.
      Jim: [examining hole] Wow, that's a half inch of dry wall!
    • Gets a Call-Back in a later episode when Nellie Bertram steals his office and he punches a hole in... the exact same spot on the same wall. 132 episodes apart, and his aim is dead on.
      Darryl: He does not like that wall.
  • Roseanne. Dan throws David out of the house after he admits that he had been living with Darlene while she was attending art school. He then angrily tells Roseanne that David is never allowed in the house anymore, right before he punches a big hole in the wall and walks out of the room.
  • In Smallville, Clark likes to vent his frustration on logs. He also once punched a locker into scrap metal in season eight when Chloe runs away and refuses to let him deal with Davis/Doomsday.
  • In The Sopranos episode "Whitecaps", after Carmela reveals to Tony that she has been secretly in love with Furio for months. Tony becomes furious, and raises his fist, appearing to be just about to strike her. He then punches the wall behind her several times in anger.
  • In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, Spartacus is an enslaved gladiator who is forced to kill his best friend, simply for the cheap amusement of the Roman crowd. Unable to do it, his friend instead leans into his sword, killing himself. Afterward in his room, Spartacus brutally destroys his quarters in grief and begins punching the wall savagely, breaking off chunks of brick, ignoring his bleeding hands. After he stops, his hands are completely damaged. His love interest Mira then walks in and comforts the heartbroken Spartacus.
  • In the Star Trek: Enterprise episode "In a Mirror, Darkly", Mirror-T'Pol tells Mirror-Trip how she lured him with a promise of a sexual tryst only to brainwash him as a Manchurian Agent to carry out sabotage (for which he was tortured afterwards). Trip angrily slams his hand into the wall next to T'Pol's head; then it turns out he's activating the intercom to tell the captain that he's completed his repairs.
  • Worf sometimes punches inanimate objects in Star Trek: The Next Generation — they always break.
  • In the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds episode "All Those Who Wander", Spock punches and badly dents the wall of the Enterprise following the death of Hemmer.
  • Jack Black does this in the Tenacious D series when Kyle quits the band. Many, many holes, actually.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Sarah Connor when they lose track of John's signal.
    Cameron: Breaking the computer won't help.
  • In The West Wing's episode "A Proportional Response", CJ and Sam have a vicious verbal fight after CJ finds out about Laurie the Call Girl. She dresses him down pretty thoroughly; he fights back by questioning the "guts, strength, and courage" of her convictions. CJ is very hurt. Sam knows it, and knows furthermore that she was right. So, in frustration, he punches the wall outside CJ's office, done (as with lots of things on the show) while walking down the hallway.
  • One episode of Without a Trace focuses on a missing teenage boy whose blood was found on a broken bathroom mirror at his high school. At first the detectives think he was attacked, but it's eventually revealed that he punched it in frustration after being publicly humiliated by his crush and her friends.

  • Earl Thomas Conley’s 1989 No. 1 country hit “What I’d Say” (not to be confused with the Ray Charles song of the same name) includes a line where a man — conflicted over his feelings for his ex-girlfriend and crazy over thinking about what he’d say to her if they met again — admits there are times he is so angry (over the breakup and how the relationship ended) that he’d “put my fist right through the wall.”

    Music Videos 
  • Avril Lavigne punches a mirror in the video for "Don't Tell Me".

  • In Neil Simon's play Laughter on the 23rd Floor, based on his Real Life experiences working as a writer on Your Show of Shows, this is played for extreme drama at the end of Act 1, and the same punch is played for extreme hilarity at the start of Act 2. Max, the Sid Caesar analogue, gets so frustrated at the Red Scare that he punches a hole in the wall at the end of a fiery rant and angrily shouts that no one should ever fix it. After intermission, there is an empty picture frame around the hole.
  • During Der letzte Tanz, as his seduction is continually rebuffed by a frightened Elisabeth, Mark Seibert's Grim Reaper storms off, punches or kicks a wall, and yells in frustration between verses before resuming his smooth sultry act. This was captured on the 2012 cast recording.

    Video Games 
  • Klavier Gavin from Ace Attorney tends to do this in the courtroom, but not so much out of anger, but more as a cooler replacement for the other attorneys'/prosecutors' desk slams when trying to emphasize a point.
  • Lampshaded in City of Villains, in a mission to rescue humorously overcyborged punks:
    Tank Freak 1: Well, it's been fun. I think I need to go break something. You know, express my generic inner rage and stuff.
  • Done by both Heat and Cielo in Digital Devil Saga.
  • Final Fantasy VII Remake: When Barret Wallace mistakenly believes his daughter Marlene was killed, he completely loses it and punches a piece of concrete rubble repeatedly. Fortunately, he calms down when Cloud and Tifa inform him Marlene is safe.
  • Final Fantasy VIII:
    • Zell Dinct, the party's hand-to-hand specialist, occasionally expresses his displeasure with the situation at hand by punching the floor. One of the times he does this, the team is currently on a moving train, and the impact is so intense that the train's conductor has to get on the horn to assure the passengers that they're not about to derail.
    • Squall loses all patience for discussion of the game's current political situation after Rinoa falls into a coma at the end of the second disc. When Cid and his team remind him that he has a responsibility to pay attention to these matters, his frustration grows so intense that he hauls off and punches a stone wall.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Luzzu punches a wall repeatedly if Gatta dies in Operation Mi'ihen.
  • In God of War Ragnarök after awakening from a particularly emotional dream involving his wife Faye, Kratos begins to punch the wall as a form of meditation. The scene then shifts to Atreus doing the same thing, who tells someone that it's a form of mental exercise that his father taught him.
  • In the midst of HetaOni's time-looping-party-dwindling madness, Alfred does this after seeing Arthur die for him, to clue the player in to the beginning of a massive Heroic BSoD. He rounds out the scene with Berserker Tears and a Precision F-Strike for good measure. Oddly enough, though it's well-established that Alfred possesses some real Super-Strength, the wall hurt his hand instead of the other way around. Not that he notices. Then again, the mansion itself is an entity more powerful than even him. After all, it kills him. Multiple times.
  • In a missable scene from The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, after the first fight against the Imprisoned, Link can find Groose beating on a stone wall and furiously berating himself for his uselessness in the fight.
  • Mass Effect 2:
    • Grunt headbutts a plate glass window in frustration when his krogan hormones start acting up as he becomes an adult.
    • A milder example: a romanced (and upset about it) Thane will brace himself against Shepard's desk during their heart-to-heart in her cabin, and then punch it amid some Manly Tears.
  • Done by Colonel Volgin in Metal Gear Solid 3: Snake Eater, where he makes a rather sizable dent in a concrete wall.
  • Persona 4: Kanji's reaction to Nanako's death is to punch the wall and scream in anguish.
  • In the Wii version of Punch-Out!!, before you face Mr. Sandman in Title Defense, the slideshow reveals he was so frustrated at losing the belt to Little Mac, he leveled an entire two-story building with his bare fists.
  • In Pyre, during a conversation about the player character's ineligibility to escape the Downside, Hedwyn punches the wall of the blackwagon out of sheer frustration and distress. It's a bittersweet departure from his usual gentle, cheerful behavior.
  • After watching his father get half eaten and being unable to pull the trigger on his father to put him out of his misery. Daryl Dixon gets back to his uncle's cabin and punches the mirror shattering it in The Walking Dead: Survival Instinct.

  • Lampshaded in hiimdaisy's webcomic "Let's Destroy The Shagohod!"
    Boss: The Pain is dead.
    Colonel Volgin: I'm so angry I could punch a hole in a solid concrete wall!
  • In 6 Gun Mage the main character is comforted after a frustrating exchange.
    Zeits: Things take time. No tears now.
    Kylie: That's not why I'm ... Look, I punched that wall a lot harder than I thought, ok?
  • After the night at the Crimson goes straight to hell in Chapter 4 of Sunstone, Ally punches the wall of the bathroom and ends up breaking her hand, necessitating her having to wear a cast for much of Chapter 5, which also furthers the plot of it.
  • In Questionable Content, the Hikikomori robot Bubbles smashes a brick wall with her fist right next to Faye's head, after Faye's first attempt to get her outside and socializing goes poorly.
    Faye: That could've been my head, you ass!
    Bubbles: Indeed.
  • White Rooms: After the realisation that his mother is likely dead, Ivan punches the wall... a lot, leaving several holes, and giving himself bloodied knuckles.
  • Mark from Weregeek punches a wall in a fit of pique after getting banned from the Changeling game for assaulting a bystander, brought on by confusion and frustration. He consequentially drives home and struggles to open his apartment door with a broken hand, and has to be taken to the hospital.

    Western Animation 
  • In Nicole's first scene of The Amazing World of Gumball, she punches a hole in a door when Gumball keeps giving excuses not to bring a rented DVD back to a store.
  • In American Dad!, Stan spends an episode plowing his face into the wall every time someone says something he doesn't want to hear. This goes on until he puts his forehead straight into a stud.
  • In the Family Guy episode "Model Misbehavior", Peter admits that he will "pleasure himself" to Lois' modeling photos. Then Chris says he'll do it too, and no one says anything. However, when Meg says she'll do it, everyone is disgusted and Peter gets so angry that he punches the wall and kicks Meg out of the house.
  • Terrence in Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends demonstrates his Establishing Character Moment in the pilot episode as he bullies Mac and Bloo by threatening to punch them, eventually punching a massive hole in the wall just seconds after chasing them.
  • Futurama:
    • Played for Laughs in "The Luck of the Fryrish" when Fry discovers a statue of Philip J. Fry, the first man on Mars, who Fry thinks is his brother stealing his name and dreams. He punches the base in anger.
      Fry: And now he broke my hand!
      Bender: His legend lives on.
    • Played for Drama in "Lethal Inspection" when Bender actually punches quite a few fist-sized holes in the plaster, being a robot.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Cat and the Canary", Wildcat does this at one point — putting a huge dent in the wall, just to remind us that his Charles Atlas Superpower is not to be underestimated.
  • In The Simpsons, Otto summons the strength to crack an exterior wall after learning that Homer has called him a sponge, not a bum.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Jungle Moon", Stevonnie has a dream/memory of Pink Diamond doing this in anger after being reprimanded by Yellow Diamond. They find the broken wall after waking up.
  • In the Young Justice (2010) episode "Downtime", Robin punches a wall in anger and puts a huge dent in there when he thinks Batman is favoring Aqualad over him.

    Real Life 
  • Michael Nesmith of The Monkees once got into a heated argument with one of the PTB over creative control. When he was basically told he had no say in his own songs, he did this, yelling "That could have been your face, motherfucker!". The incident is recreated in the docudrama "Daydream Believers".
  • Bone fractures resulting from this are known in the medical community as "boxer's fracture" or variations on "dumbass fracture".
  • Bob Camp, co-creator of The Ren & Stimpy Show, once shared an anecdote about how John Kricfalusi was so impossible to work with during production on the show that Camp would allow other staff members come into his office and kick a wall which he'd adorned with a sign reading "John's Knees." By the time Kricfalusi was eventually fired, the wall had been reduced to a massive hole.
  • Matthew Perry became friends with Chris Farley while making Almost Heroes, to the point where Perry was so upset by the news of Farley's death in 1997 that he punched a hole through the wall of Jennifer Aniston's dressing room on the set of Friends.


Video Example(s):


Usagi Punches A Metal Post

Usagi gets so jealous of Mamoru and Chibi-usa that she punches a metal pole, causing her fist to become red and oversized as it throbs in pain.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / CartoonThrobbing

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