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Rage Against the Reflection

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The perfect end to the Joker's one bad day.

Sam: What happened to your hand?
Suzy: I got hit in the mirror.

A character, deeply unsatisfied with their current state of being, looks in a mirror or a pool of water. After a while, the character will either say (or sing, in a musical) something about themselves or just become angry, and disrupt the reflection in some way to show their dissatisfaction. This can involve punching or throwing something at a mirror in order to shatter it, slapping or stirring water to distort the reflection, or otherwise make the image of themselves go away. For some added Angst, the puncher could injure their hand in the process.

Can occur with characters who have been transformed (whether physically or otherwise) or feel like they're being forced to become something they're not. If it's the transformed variant, sometimes the reflection will show their original form instead of their current form. Also sometimes used by characters who are either ugly and suffering because of it, or made a decision that they regret and are angry at themselves about it. Could also be used by a character who has unresolved parental issues and can't stand the resemblance reminding them of that relationship. Contrast Distracted by My Own Sexy where characters like looking at themselves, and for an extreme case see House of Broken Mirrors.

Not to be confused with the Rap Metal band Rage Against the Machine.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Butler II: Ciel does this when he thinks he sees Alois in the mirror.
  • Black Lagoon: Roberta does this after she takes a Shower of Angst following the death of her master, Diego Lovelace.
  • D Grayman takes this to a whole new level. The Earl of Millennium is driven mad by his two new split personalites that conflict with first and are an obstacle to his holy mission. Torn apart he looks at the mirror and first plays the trope rather straight by tearing it apart not by punching it but by scratching to shattering till his fingers bleed! But then he decides to go even further and to blow up not the reflection but the real source of the problem: that is to say his own face .
  • Digimon Frontier: Takuya does this after he recovers from his Next Tier Power-Up, which caused him to go berserk and attack all his friends.
  • In Ergo Proxy, Raul Creed punches his reflection on two occasions as his frustration and inner turmoil grow. The second time, he hits hard enough to break the mirror and injure his hand.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist: Al does this by pressing the palm of his hand against a mirror, cracking it. At that point in the manga, it's the first time we saw the depth of his angst with his lack of a human body.
  • In Future GPX Cyber Formula, after suffering a humiliating defeat at the hands of Hayato and his Super Asurada 01 in the England race trials, Shinjyo looks himself at the bathroom mirror and punches it.
  • Ban does this in Get Backers, after a brutal beating of his opponent. He catches a glimpse of his reflection in a nearby mirror and remembers his mother's cries that he was a monster, not her son. Cue the mirror-smashing.
  • Grimm's Fairy Tale Classics's rendition of Beauty and the Beast has Beast looking at his reflection in a water pond, then screaming in despair and throwing a rock at it. Maria/Beauty sadly looks at him from a window.
  • Happens to the main character in IRIA: Zeiram the Animation during a shower scene.
  • Kaiju Girl Caramelise: When in the hospital after an outburst over the mistreatment she faced over her apelike face, Rairi comes across a makeup kit that promises that anyone who uses it can look like a famous model. She decides apply the makeup — but she sees that her face barely looks any different in the handheld mirror that came with the kit. We then cut to a distant shot of the hospital as a shattering sound is heard, implying Rairi tossed the mirror away.
  • Princess Tutu has a scene with an interesting variation — at one point, Fakir smashes through a window and threatens Kraehe with a shard of glass. She was actually in the middle of questioning her motives, but when she sees her reflection in the falling shards of glass and hears Fakir's accusation of being a "crow", she accepts who she is and mockingly responds "Why yes, I am a crow!"
  • Pulled by Misaki Touno in Private Actress, right after she crosses the Despair Event Horizon. What follows is her using her own blood to draw a cross on the wall and her pulling a Bath Suicide.
  • Kamina in RahXephon returns to Tokyo Jupiter in an attempt to figure out who he actually is, and ends up throwing a chair at a mirror out of frustration.
  • In Soul Eater, Stein has a moment during his Sanity Slippage, complete with bloody knuckles.
  • Space Pirate Mito: Ranban punches the mirror and then rages against it. Or rather, rages against Mito, who he considers his "mirror-image" since they share the same blood (his drips on the mirror shards as he says this) and were both in line for the throne. He wonders how it can be that they're so alike, yet only he was "cursed" with a genetic defect that lead to him being imprisoned by the rules of their society.
  • Happens twice in Tokyo Babylon, once with Seishirou oddly enough given that he's not a character associated with self-hatred to say the least, and at the end with Subaru, with the added subtext of his reflection being a symbol for his dead twin sister Hokuto.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, after a particularly traumatic outing makes Kaneki realize something is wrong with him, he rushes home and looks in the mirror. The sight of his left eye sporting a Ghoul's iconic kakugan leads him to punch the mirror in horrified denial. In the anime, it's also because he sees the smiling face of the woman who nearly killed him in the glass — and she's laughing.
  • In the Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Ms. Chono breaks a mirror out of rage at being stood up.
  • In Yu-Gi-Oh! ZEXAL, Shark smashes his mirror when he learns that he is really a Barian.
  • Zuko ends up smashing a mirror in Zuko's Story when he first peels the bandages away from his scar.

    Comic Books 
  • Batman:
    • Two-Face does this in his Golden Age origin, in which he throws a flowerpot against the mirror. This becomes a recurring theme of adaptations of the character inevitably trashing a mirror when he finally gets a look at himself after his scarring.
    • Starting in the 1980s, this was added to the Joker's backstory as well starting with The Killing Joke. In this version, after the man that would become the Joker suffers his worst day ever, it's topped by him looking at seeing his disfigured face in a puddle as he starts laughing. While the Joker himself admits that he might be mis-remembering this, and he's retold many different stories about his past, this particular detail tends to repeat itself.
  • Darth Vader: Dark Lord of the Sith. Emperor Palpatine gives Vader a 'gift' of Padme's former spaceship. Vader looks at his reflection in the surface, then Force-crushes the droid who's polishing up the hull to its previous mirror-finish. He then takes the spaceship and flies it into the atmosphere of Mustafar without Deflector Shields, scorching that surface to twisted and blackened metal.
  • Doom Patrol:
    • The backup story for volume 1 issue 100 shows that Cliff Steele, aka Robotman, reacted to seeing his robot body in the mirror for the first time by destroying the mirror in anger.
    • Alias the Blur, member of the Brotherhood of Dada. The story goes that a beautiful actress fell in love with her reflection in the mirror. As she grew older and her face grew less pretty, she thought her mirror lover had been replaced by an impostor and attacked it with acid. The sight of her distorted reflection in the melted glass terrified her so much she shot herself in the head and was left in a coma. The love and devotion the actress put in the mirror, now mutilated and warped, became Alias the Blur, The Ghost Who Eats Time. When Alias the Blur is ultimately destroyed, the comatose actress finally died.
  • Fantastic Four: Doctor Doom smashes anything reflective when not wearing his mask. The shot of Doom hunched over, fist in a smashed mirror is re-used during one story arc for Reed, after Doom burns his face.
  • The Flash: Mirror Master subverts this in his origin story. After realizing he had killed his father (whom he had never met before due to being given up into foster care as a baby), Evan McCulloch checks on his mother. Evan sees she has committed suicide over the loss by smashing the mirror in the bathroom and using a piece to slit her wrists. Evan then stares at the smashed mirror for 12 hours afterwards.
  • When Michael Myers in Halloween: Nightdance starts seeing visions of his past as a child in the reflections of a hall of mirrors, he stabs the nearest one with his knife.
  • In Justice Society of America, Damage says that after his face was irreparably destroyed by Zoom, he smashed out all the mirrors in his apartment.
  • In Morbius' '90s solo series, Michael uses Spider-Man's blood to develop a serum that changes him back into a human. While out on the street, he is attacked by a gang who beat him up. Crawling out of the gutter they left him lying in, he makes his way across the sidewalk to look into a shop window and sees he has reverted back to his vampire self. He runs off after punching a hole in the shop window.
  • In the first volume of the third series of Orfani, there's a scene where the Villain Protagonist Jsana Juric accuses her stepfather Sàndor Kozma by ignoring her and focusing solely on his job as the EMR's President, and then, she takes a perfume gift and she throws it into a mirror and smashing it.
  • The Sandman (1989): In "The Kindly Ones", Hippolyta Hall does this in her hallucination journey.
  • Superman:
    • Superman (1939): In issue #172, Superman loses the powers he's had since his youth, bringing him down to normal seemingly for the rest of his life. Frustrated, he punches a mirror...and cuts his hand.
    • "Superman and Spider-Man": As dwelling on the accident which ruined his face, Doctor Doom removes his mask, stares at his disfigured, naked face in a mirror and angrily smashes the reflecting surface to bits. As putting his mask back on, Doom considers to ban mirrors after conquering the world.
  • Swamp Thing:
    • In the flashback of the Patchwork Man's origin in issue three of the original 1972 series, he sees that he has become a Frankenstein's Monster in the mirror shown to him by Anton Arcane, responding by destroying the mirror.
    • Issue 23 of the original series had Swamp Thing see his reflection in the mirror after accidentally making Ruth Munroe faint and instinctively shatters the mirror by throwing a figurine at it.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): When Priscilla Rich sees her alter ego Cheetah as her reflection talking to and taunting her, her reaction is to punch the mirror until it cracks.
    • Wonder Woman (Rebirth): When Diana is suffering from a magically enhanced snakebite, while also confronting the fact that her memories have been tampered with, she punches and shatters a mirror as she tries to remember who she truly is.

    Fan Works 
  • In The Chong Sheng Trilogy, the author's original character, Zha, invokes this trope after learning that his father, whom he thought was dead, is actually very much alive and fighting on Zuko's side against the throne.
  • In Crushed Spirit, while Percy doesn't smash the Steamworks mirror, he does say some rather nasty things about himself upon seeing his reflection.
  • In the Kingdom Hearts fanfic Darkness Born, slightly subverted in that it's not the character's own reflection that enrages them. Marluxia hallucinates his abusive father in his mirror, mocking him and calling him weak. He screams at it to shut up and punches out the mirror. The broken glass slices up his hand, arm, face, and legs.
  • In Desiderium Intimum Harry punches a mirror after a potion Snape forces him to drink makes him publicly reveal his greatest desire is to have sex with Snape.
  • Defied in Eleutherophobia: Ghost in the Shell. After watching himself be victim-blamed on the news, Tom looks in the bathroom mirror and thinks about how he can pull the same cruel expressions as the Puppeteer Parasites who wore his body, but decides not to smash it.
  • In Firebond, Harry breaks a mirror after his and Draco's magical compatibility forces them into an unwilling bond.
  • In Harry Potter and the Power of the Present Harry punches a mirror during a fit of self-loathing after accidentally hurting Hermione.
  • Richie smashes a mirror when he sees how emaciated he still looks and why people were scared by him in public after escaping abandonment and repeatedly starving to death in the Highlander fic Long Journey Back. Then he grabs a shard of broken glass and attempts to commit suicide by hacking off his own head. Duncan and Methos have to talk him out of it.
  • In the Pony Psychology Series, Rainbow Dash is flying by one day when she hears yelling. Inside? Pinkie Pie screaming hateful insults at herself while smashing a mirror with her FACE. This severely weirds out poor Rainbow.
  • In the 25th chapter of The Power of the Equinox, Dimmed Star is angry with herself after she (under the influence of the Entity) attacks and nearly kills Pinkie Pie, traumatizing her seriously. When she sees her own eyes mocking her in shattered mirror fragments, she destroys them completely.
  • In Episode 17, Chapter 5 of Mega Man: Defender of the Human Race, after discussing the latest plan with Wily, Bass comes across a mirror. He then remembers the words Roll told him before "Search your heart", and feeling conflicted between his increasing feelings for her and his own Blood Knight nature, he ends up smashing the mirror in anger. He even wonders if the shattered pieces still reflect somehow how he's feeling inside.
  • In The Return of the Legendary Amarens Harry smashes a mirror with a shampoo bottle after realizing that he came into his creature inheritance and Draco and Snape are his mates.
  • RWBY: Scars:
    • In one chapter, Weiss argues with Mirror, a hallucination of herself that she sees in her reflection, and punches the mirror, injuring her hand. Her aura heals the injury but her sleeve is left bloody. She tries to pass it as ketchup to her teammates. When her sister Winter sees it, she thinks that Weiss has started self harming again.
    • At a critical moment when she's starting to recover, Weiss yells at Mirror and smashes her mirror, giving Mirror a scar identical to her own. Her brother Whitley notices the outburst while passing by her room films it and shows it to their parents. Jacques revokes Weiss' status as heir due to her unstable mental state and gives it to Whitley (which was Whitley's intention as he knows Weiss' life would be easier if she had more freedom).
  • In Shattered, Snatcher does this after being turned back into The Prince.
  • Smurf Village Upturned: Vanity shatters every mirror in his house in the wake of Papa Smurf's Heroic Sacrifice, blaming himself for what happened and taking his guilt and grief out on his surroundings.
  • A variation in The Venture Brothers fanfiction The Sorrows of Young Werner, telling the backstory of Baron Ünderbheit. The future Baron tells his manservant to smash the mirror when he wakes up in hospital with his jaw blown off.
  • A variation happens in Stars Above: The mirror image Homura rages against is a doppelganger of herself, with an affinity for mirrors.
  • Time to Disinfect: A mental breakdown caused by her mother's abuse drives Mari to lash out at her "blank-eyed" reflection and punch her bathroom mirror hard enough to crack it.
  • In Vengeance from the Grave, Harry punches a mirror when he discovers that the Unspeakables transferred his consciousness to the body of a stranger after he jumped off the Astronomy Tower.
  • In What Remains Harry smashes all but one of his and Draco's mirrors after a potion a stranger threw at him leaves him severely disfigured.
  • In Venenum Vinco Bane Harry punches a mirror after a spell Dumbledore cast on him gives him reptilian pupils like Voldemort's.

    Films — Animation 
  • There's a scene in Aladdin where Jasmine slaps at her reflection in a pool and says "Maybe I don't want to BE a princess anymore!"
  • In the opening montage of Beauty and the Beast, the Beast slashes a portrait of himself in human form with his claws and hides his face in shame. There are also numerous broken mirrors in his castle, as Belle later finds out.
  • After the appliances in The Brave Little Toaster fall down a waterfall and nearly die, the Toaster blames himself and his fear of water. Looking at his reflection in a puddle, he swats at it in frustration.
  • Happens in The Congress when Robin Wright has a Heroic BSoD because she feels uncomfortable with the cartoon world, then, she smashes a mirror headbutting it.
  • A variation occurs for Coraline when she looks in a mirror and finds her parents trapped in a frozen prison. She panics and starts pounding her fists against the glass to try to save them until the mirror shatters and reveals nothing but a blank wall behind it.
  • The Shadow Man in Happily Ever After kicks a puddle of water upon seeing his reflection in it. It's a pretty obvious clue as to who he is and why he's with Snow White. It's the Prince under a curse.
  • The Lion King II: Simba's Pride has this with Kovu's reflection. Why? Unlike Simba, who saw Mufasa in his reflection, Kovu sees Scar.
  • Mike Wazowski in Monsters University brushes his hand through his reflection in the lake in anger during his Heroic BSoD when he realizes that everyone was right about him not being scary and his dream of being a scarer is impossible.
  • Neither a mirror or pool of water, but in The Nightmare Before Christmas, when Sally tries to talk Jack out of Subbing for Santa by showing a picture of Jack as the Pumpkin King, Jack simply takes the picture and breaks it over his knee.
  • Variant in Pinocchio: after Lampwick has been completely transformed into a donkey, he kicks a couple of mirrors to pieces, but in panic rather than anger.
  • After Fiona has left to marry Lord Farquaad, Shrek sees his ogre reflection in broken glass shards and splashes mud upon them. Earlier, when Fiona sees her ogre reflection in a bucket of water, she dashes it aside.
  • The Swan Princess has Odette slapping at her reflection in the lake, in swan form, at several points in the movie.
  • Disney's Tarzan has young Tarzan slap at his reflection in a pool because of his frustration with being so obviously different from the "other" gorillas.
  • In Turning Red, this is downplayed. When Mei chastises herself in front of her bedroom mirror she grabs it and shakes it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happens to the hero in π, who smashes his bathroom mirror in pain during a severe migraine attack.
  • Edward Norton's character in 25th Hour has a long monologue into a bathroom mirror, complaining about all of New York until he finally lays into himself. He never actually attacks the mirror, but he comes as close as one can without. In an expressionistic touch, it's the reflection that does the talking.
  • A slightly different take in 28 Days Later, when one of the soldiers who's got the rage virus stares fixatedly at his reflection in a free-standing mirror, before fleeing. It's just as well he didn't strike it as a little girl was hiding behind it.
  • Kevin Costner's Elvis-obsessed bank robber, cop killer and terrorist, Murphy, in 3000 Miles to Graceland. Both he and Kurt Russell's character (Michael) are later revealed to be the illegitimate, unrecognized offspring of The King (for reals); whereas Michael learned to accept it and got on with his life, though, Murphy was driven insane by his heartless abandonment. Once this information comes to light, Murphy pauses in the middle of a shootout to gaze straight into a grimy mirror as he hallucinates Elvis singing "My Way."
    "...Do you recognize me now? Because I recognize you." (shoots at mirror, shattering it)
  • .45: When Big Al is holding Kat in front of the dresser mirror and is demanding that she declare herself a whore, Kat reaches out and smashes the mirror instead.
  • The titular protagonist of the splatter movie Adam Chaplin, punches the mirror full of rage during an Angsty scene while is thinking about his dead wife.
  • In Ah La Barbe a man sees a series of grotesque faces in the mirror when he apparently starts hallucinating after eating shaving cream. Eventually he smashes the mirror with his razor.
  • Martin Sheen punches the mirror in the beginning of Apocalypse Now; the director called to Sheen to shadow-box in the mirror, but Sheen misjudged his punch and hit the mirror instead - that's real blood on his hand later in the scene.
  • In April Showers, Sean smashes a bathroom mirror after he has a flashback to being unable to tell April he loves her before she was killed in the school shooting. He has a bandage on his hand for the rest of the movie.
  • Happens in a deleted scene of Bad Country where after the death of Jesse Weiland's wife and baby, Detective Bud Carter is drunk and goes into a bar fight by injuring most of the people present there, then, he shoots a mirror with his pistol while shouting random curses.
  • Beyond the Lights features a symbolic one. After the disastrous BET Awards performance, Noni breaks down and smashes several glass-covered posters of herself- even attempting to yank one off the wall before Kaz stops her (after which he uses his CLEAN WHITE SHIRT to bandage her wounded hand!).
  • In the short movie Binding Silence, the protagonist suffers an abstinence from reading a cursed book, then, destroys his bedroom until he looks himself in the mirror for some seconds and punching it.
  • In Bride of Frankenstein, the Monster sees his reflection while drinking from a pool. He churns the water in disgust, only to see the reflection reappear to his horror. This is based off a scene in the original Frankenstein.
  • Terry Gilliam's fantasy The Brothers Grimm goes wild playing with this. The Big Bad Vain Sorceress, the Mirror Queen, is confined to her bed in a decaying tower having cast a spell on herself centuries ago to live forever, not realizing it wouldn't keep her from aging - she's now a shriveled old crone. However, the reflection in the giant mirror in the room shows the former glory of the place, and of her. She uses her magic to convince men to look only at the reflection (which she can make move independently of her bedridden self), and from there seduce and control them. She almost does this to Jacob Grimm but a tossed rock from below (his brother Will signaling for help) cracks the mirror and breaks the spell on him. In the climax, after she restores her youth in reality, she uses the mirror to tease Jacob by seemingly invoking a Disney Death on the wounded Will; actually she is putting him under her control. To stop this, Jacob breaks the mirror with a hatchet - and the real Queen cracks in a similar manner. When the mirror is smashed to bits, so is she, though the final shot suggests she still isn't dead and could be put back together.
  • In Carrie, the titular character smashes a mirror in her room by telekinesis.
  • Happens in Chromeskull: Laid to Rest 2 when the tile antagonist watches his disfigured face.
  • Subverted in Conan the Destroyer. Before taking the Heart of Ahriman, Conan had to kill the guardian Toth-Amon by smashing the mirrors around him.
  • Countess Dracula: During her Villainous Breakdown, Elisabeth sees her now aged relection in a mirror lying the floor and angrily smashes it.
  • In The Country Girl, alcoholic Frank looks up from his drink, sees his sad-looking reflection in the mirror, then chucks his glass, shattering the mirror.
  • In The Crow (1994), Eric Draven smashes the vanity mirror before applying the trademark makeup of the titular avenger, suggesting a severance with his past self in order to avenge the murder of himself and his fiancée.
  • In Daft Punk's Electroma, after being forced to detonate the switch on his only companion's back and trekking in the desert alone for some time, he tries to reach his own switch, but is unable to reach it. He removes his helmet and sees his true face in the refection, then he smashes the helmet in a fit of rage.
  • In the film version of Dolores Claiborne, Dolores has a flashback and then smashes a pane of window glass where she'd been looking at her reflection.
  • In Elysium Kruger punches and partially shatters a mirror after his face is reconstructed. Seeing one of the shards is what gives him the idea to kill Delacourt.
  • Done literally in Evil Dead 2 and Army of Darkness; in the first film, Ash's reflection actually reaches out of the mirror and grabs him by the collar to tell him flatly that they're both freaking out. In the latter, Ash smashes a mirror into shards and each shard's reflection comes to life as an evil mini-Ash.
  • In Ex Machina, after Caleb fails with his Robotic Reveal in the bathroom, he sees his reflection in the mirror which he then smashes with his fist.
  • In Eyes of Laura Mars, the murderer angrily stabs a mirror with a knife.
  • In Face/Off, after Sean Archer undergoes plastic surgery that gives him Castor Troy's face. Upon waking up after the surgery and seeing his enemy's face in the mirror, he takes his rage against the reflection out by trying to smash the mirror with a coat hanger, only to be stopped by his friends.
    • A clever version happens later in the movie where Archer (in Troy's body) and Troy (in Archer's body) are in a back-to-back Mexican Standoff with a mirror between them and they both turn to fire through their reflections, showing the faces they really want to kill.
  • The song "Hopelessly Devoted To You" from Grease ends with a variation of this trope.
  • Harry Potter:
  • In a variation of this, after performing oral sex on a Jerk Jock, one of the titular characters in Heathers takes a drink of water and spits it at her reflection in the mirror. The self-loathing in that scene certainly explains why the character is so rotten to everyone else.
  • In The Hideous Sun Demon, when Gilbert McKenna transforms for the first time and sees himself in the mirror, he smashes it.
  • High School Musical 2, during the song "Bet On It" where he muses about his motivation, Troy expresses frustration at his reflection in the country club pond.
  • In Home Sweet Home (2005), Cham Yim-hung, the deformed woman who kidnaps May's son for mistaking him as her deceased son, immediately smashes the glass door of an electrical grid upon seeing her reflection, causing a blackout throughout the entire apartments complex.
  • In Hulk, Hulk smashes the water in a lake when he thinks he sees his father's reflection.
  • Happens in I Miss You, I Miss You after Tina's identical twin sister Cilla has died. Tina takes out some of her anguish on her mirror image, imagining that it's actually Cilla she's seeing. Eventually the mirror cracks.
  • In the Italian splatter movie Infidus (by the same guys who did Adam Chaplin), there's a scene where Barabba (one of the protagonists) watches a video from a laptop sent by his brother Spaccio about the former's first killing and betrayal by the latter's thugs, then, enraged about it, Barabba punches the mirror.
  • In Iron Man, when Tony Stark learns from a CNN report that Stark Industries weapons were used by terrorists against innocent people in Yinsen's hometown, he blasts a glass wall in his lab with his gauntlet's repulsor, after catching his reflection in the glass.
  • Played for Laughs in Italiano Medio (Average Italian Man in Italian). While Giulio Verme is preparing to participate to Master VIP (a parody of Reality Televisions like X-Factor and Got Talent), his inner sane personality talks to him to come back to his senses through a mirror, then, Verme smashes it with a very light punch.
  • Killer Workout: When the body count is mounting and everything is unravelling, Rhonda takes a moment to fix her hair and makeup. She surveys the results in a hand mirror, and then angrily hurls the mirror away, where it smashes. This is because she is really Valerie and knows that all of her beauty is false. The makeup covers residual scarring on her face, and the hair is a wig to disguise the fact she is bald because of the tanning bed accident.
  • A mirror smash is done by the woman criminal with a disfigured face, played by Ingrid Bergman, in a 1938 Swedish film En kvinnas ansikte (A Woman's Face), and in a 1941 Hollywood remake starring Joan Crawford.
  • In Left Behind (2000), Rayford Steele throws his wife's Bible at the mirror in their bedroom, although this is more how angry Rayford is at God for his wife being Caught Up in the Rapture than anything that he sees in himself.
  • Happens in the 1999 movie adaptation of The Mod Squad when Julie Barnes discovers that Billy Waites is a pimp and lied to her all the time. Then, after drinking his wine and destroying his car, she smashes the mirror of her bathroom by punching it.
  • In Moonrise Kingdom, Suzy is revealed to have injured her hand punching her mirror when she was feeling particularly disgusted with herself.
  • In the Rags to Riches caper film P And B, the main character is tipsy and laughing at his reflection in a bathroom mirror. We see him gradually sober up, put out his cigarette in the eye of his reflection, and begin to cry.
  • In Pan's Labyrinth, Captain Vidal slashes his mirror with his razor while shaving, symbolizing the more self-destructive aspect of his obvious father issues.
  • In Sam Peckinpah's Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid Garrett shoots at his reflection right after shooting Billy.
  • At the end of The Phantom of the Opera (2004), the Phantom smashes several mirrors after Christine leaves him.
  • In Phenomenon: George is angry at who he has become and yells at a mirror. When angrily gesturing at his reflection, he inadvertently smashes it with his telekinesis.
  • Punisher: War Zone. Jigsaw sees his reflection in a mirror and breaks down crying at seeing how disfigured he is. Loony Bin Jim assures his big brother that he’ll never have to look at his reflection again, then proceeds to smash every mirror in the room by slamming himself into them, head-butting them, using exaggerated pseudo-martial arts, and just throwing heavy objects at them, howling like a madman the whole time, while his brother laughs in approval. Later when both characters are arrested, the traditional double-sided mirror in the interrogation room is shown to have been broken as well.
  • In The Relic, the brain-eating monster that is the film's antagonist breaks every mirror it encounters because it doesn't like being reminded that it isn't human anymore.
  • In the Italian crime movie Romanzo Criminale (Criminal Novel in Italian), Ciro Buffoni, one of the main characters, gets out of jail and returns home, mourning about his brother Aldo's death, then, he smashes a mirror with a heavy punch.
  • The infamous film The Room (2003) has Tommy Wiseau's character do this to a mirror during his wimpy Anger Montage. Appropriately mocked on Rifftrax:
    "I hate you, guy who looks like me!"
  • Occurs in SLC Punk!!: Heroin Bob punches a mirror in a fit of pique (or to emulate the iconic Black Flag album). Parodied in that unlike almost every example here, the consequences of punching a mirror are explicitly played out.
  • Snow White:
    • The 1987 Cannon Films take has the evil queen, upon learning that a prince's bride-to-be is fairer than she, toss something at her magic mirror to break it. It wildly spins and starts to fracture. As she heads off to the wedding in a huff (to discover that said bride is the revived Snow), each crack in the mirror progressively ages her, leaving her an old hag by the time she arrives. When it shatters once and for all, she does the same, crumbling to dust.
    • In Snow White: A Tale of Terror, the wicked stepmother has a mirror which once belonged to her mother. When the stepmother loses her mind and starts trying to kill Lilli, the mirror guides her, showing her reflection as being young and beautiful. The stepmother is killed when Lilli stabs it with a dagger, destroying the reflection.
  • Near the end of Spider-Man 2 Harry does this by throwing a knife at a mirror after hallucinating that his father is talking to him from the mirror. It reveals the entrance to the Green Goblin's secret armory.
  • In Sudden Impact, Sondra Locke's character smashes the mirror after she herself resembles the image she painted of herself.
  • Before the end of Summer of Sam, After Dionna's left Vinny for his infidelities, the latter one, before the arrival of his friends, sniffs cocaine and, enraged, shouts profanities and smashes his mirrored furniture.
  • Zigzagged in Tiger House. Following her fight upstairs, Kelly stares at her now Unkempt Beauty, with dishevelled hair and other people's blood smeared across her face. It looks like this trope is in play when she picks up a bottle and slams it into the exact centre of her reflection: smashing the mirror. However, she then starts carefully picking the fragments of mirror out of the frame: taking the largest of them and wrapping it in a towel. It is then revealed that she actually broke the mirror so she would have something sharp enough to cut the zip-ties on the Bound and Gagged hostages.
  • In Tommy it is Mrs Walker who smashes the mirror — thus revealing Tommy's true self and releasing him from his self-imposed prison.
  • In Tropic Thunder, when Kirk Lazarus finally starts breaking character and remembering who he really is, he drives the point home to himself by shattering his reflection in a nearby mirror.
  • In Unknown (2006), one of the characters smashed a bathroom mirror out of frustration.
  • V shatters a mirror and breaks down crying in The Movie of V for Vendetta.
  • In a particularly hard-to-watch scene from the film Vulgar, the main character returns home after being brutally gang-raped by an insane father and his sons. He demolishes his house and smashes his mirror with a wrench while screaming at his reflection, after which he uses a shard of glass to cut his hand.''
  • In the 2010 remake of The Wolfman (2010), Lawrence angrily flips a mirror around when he sees the bite wound he received less than a month prior has healed without leaving a single mark.
  • In Zardoz, Zed shoots his former Exterminator self inside the Tabernacle.
  • Parodied in Zoolander. At Derek's lowest moment, he looks into a puddle in the road, gets philosophical, and then a car goes by and splatters him with said puddle.

  • Amoridere
    • Nezumi, in Broken Gate, doesn't feel emotions as she shatters the mirror, however, as the narration cites, if she had felt any emotions, her actions could be described to be done out of "an annoyed rage".
    • Toki in the poem Fragmented Rose does this out self-hate.
    • The subject of Shattered Mirror breaks the titular mirror because of her resemblance to her Abusive Parents.
  • Esther of The Bell Jar does this with a hand mirror upon gazing at her disfigured appearance in the reflection.
  • Tess of Blind Lake is a young girl with a bad habit of breaking mirrors when she sees "Mirror Girl" looking back at her.
  • The Shadow King in The City of Dreaming Books sees his reflection for the first time in ages:
    "I saw the monster into which I had transformed myself. Not the one fabricated by Smyke, but the real monster deep inside this paper shell, for which I myself bore responsibility. I smashed the mirrors — smashed them all in a towering rage."
  • At one point in The Girl Who Would Be King, Lola smashes her reflection in a mirror.
  • One could interpret the prologue of book eight of Guardians of Ga'Hoole this way.
  • Honor Harrington: In Field of Dishonor, Pavel Young, now the Earl of North Hollow, enters his new office and comes face to face with a large wall mirror. He promptly rips it off the wall and smashes it to the floor, because seeing his reflection triggered a flashback to the deeply humiliating Insignia Rip-Off Ritual that drummed him out of Her Majesty's Navy. It's the first sign that he's genuinely losing his marbles.
  • In Horus Heresy, Fulgrim does it several times after his guilt catches up with him in form of Ferrus Manus, Abel to Fulgrim's Cain, appearing in various reflections as a silent, if mocking reminder of what he did.
  • Very justified in "I Miss You, I Miss You" where Tina works through her unresolved issues with her dead identical twin sister Cilla through the mirror, imagining that she's talking to Cilla and not her own reflection.
  • I Got a Cheat Skill in Another World and Became Unrivaled in the Real World, Too: At the start of the story, Yuuya smashes his mirror when he can't hold back his frustration and anger over all the abuse he's endured his entire life, no matter how much he tried to do good to honor his grandfather's wishes, and feeling that it will likely continue throughout his life. Fortunately, this act results in him accidentally opening the hidden door to his house's secret room, which in turn holds the door to the other world.
  • In The Irregular at Magic High School, Miyuki imagines (?) she sees her younger self in a mirror, who tells her that she can't deny her incestuous attraction to her brother, much to Miyuki's anguish.
  • In Les Misérables, Fantine throws her mirror out the window after she sells her teeth and hair and becomes a down-on-her-luck whore.
  • The Pants Project: When trans boy Liv first sees himself in a skirt, as required by his new school's dress code, he throws a shoe at his bedroom mirror.
  • In Rachel Griffin, Siegfried smashes the reflective looking glass when it shows how his girlfriend was Mind Raped and molested by the villains.
  • Older Than Print: In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, after Xiahou Dun gets his Eyepatch of Power, he's said to have at least had a very frightening, "wanting to break things" expression on his face every time he got near a mirror.
  • In the Star Wars Legends novel "Death Star" Darth Vader punches out a mirror in his quarters out of anger and frustration over his life in general.
  • The Stormlight Archive has a variant with Shallash, one of the ten Heralds (divinely empowered humans worshipped by the Vorin faith as angelic quasi-divinities) who goes around destroying every religious depiction of herself she can find. This seems to have started due to her guilt at abandoning her duties and lying about it, but over the years it seems to have become a full-on compulsion, to the point where we several times see her stop what she's doing to destroy pictures of herself.
  • In the Discworld book Witches Abroad, Granny punches out a mirror in the house of late fairy godmother Desiderata Hollow because the face she sees in it is not hers, but that of Big Bad Lady Lilith, who is scrying through the mirror in order to find Desiderata's magic wand. Extra symbolism points for Lilith being Granny's sister — not a twin (Lily is older, Granny looks older), but still very similar siblings.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Liz Lemon has a self-loathing speech in front of a mirror in the "Retreat to Move Forward" episode of 30 Rock.
  • In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "A Hen in the Wolf House", Cal is choking Raina as she desperately tries to talk him down. When he sees a reflection of himself in the mirror, he lets her go and smashes the mirror instead.
  • Andor. On seeing his reflection on the instrument panel of a crashed spacecraft, Kassa smashes it and everything else in the room in a blind rage. Having lived all his life with a primitive jungle-dwelling tribe, he's presumably never seen a mirror before.
  • Angel:
    • In "Life of the Party" Lorne does this after having his sleep surgically removed, while hallucinating his reflection reminding him about all the work he still has to do. After a moment's silence his reflection continues speaking from the now cracked mirror.
    • Also happens in series 2. Pylea brings out the full manifestation of a vampire's demonic state. Angel is overcome by the strength of his demonic side when he transforms and only comes to his senses upon seeing his monstrous reflection in a pool of water. He smashes his fist into the water to disrupt his reflection and then goes into a state of shock that leaves him catatonic for hours.
    • Also in season 2, Angel comes upon the place where Darla — who was a vampire for centuries, slain, then resurrected as a human by an evil law firm — had been staying and discovers that all of the mirrors have been smashed. Angel explains that she couldn't bear to look upon herself now that her human soul forced her to feel guilt for her vampire atrocities (Angel never had that problem when his soul was returned because he'd still been a vampire and thus had no reflection).
  • Battlestar Galactica (2003): An enraged Adama punches the mirror, cutting his hand, after discovering his long-time friend Saul Tigh is a Cylon.
  • On The Big Bang Theory, Raj shouts "What is wrong with you?" to his reflection after a disastrous date with one of Penny's friends (and after the friend screams the same thing to Penny, who in turn screams it at Raj).
  • Breaking Bad: in "Four Days Out", Walt repeatedly punches his reflection in a bathroom tissue dispenser after hearing the news that his cancer is in remission. Ordinarily this would be good news, but for Walt, it means his "exit strategy" for getting out of the crystal meth business just vanished. There are multiple interpretations to his rage here, none of which are mutually exclusive. Along with the above, it also robbed of him of a convenient excuse to continue doing criminal deeds. This gained even more traction in the Grand Finale four years later when he admits that everything he did, he did because he enjoyed doing it.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • A variation on this is in the season four episode "Who Are You?" Faith and Buffy have switched bodies, and Faith gets an eye-opening experience at what it's like to be Buffy and to have have friends and family who love her and trust her. This affects her so deeply that at the end of the episode where she and Buffy face off, this exchange takes place:
      Buffy-in-Faith's-body: You can't win this.
      Faith-in-Buffy's-body: Shut up! Do you think I'm afraid of you? (starts punching Buffy, beating her own face) You're nothing! Disgusting! Murderous bitch! You're nothing! You're disgusting!
    • Buffy suffers long-term depression after being dragged back from the afterlife at the beginning of Season Six. Her attempts to rediscover her passion in a Destructive Romance with Spike only make things worse. In "Dead Things", when Buffy (incorrectly) thinks she has murdered an innocent woman, she savagely beats an unresisting Spike, describing him in terms that clearly mirror her own fears over what she has become.
    You don't have a soul! There is nothing good or clean in you. You are dead inside! You can't feel anything real!
  • Castle: Ryan smashes a mirror while staring at his reflection after a VIP is shot and killed on his watch in "At Close Range".
  • In the Criminal Minds episode "Outfoxed", the unsub saw their reflection as a teenager, and shot it.
  • In Criminologist Himura and Mystery Writer Arisugawa, one of the victims of the week is discovered to have a broken mirror in his apartment, which is the last clue Himura needs to solve the case. He finds out that the victim suffered from dysmorphophobia, which caused him to avoid mirrors so he wouldn't have to see his (imagined) ugly face. Because of this, Himura realises that the victim and the supposed culprit, a bandaged man who avoided looking into mirrors, are one and the same.
  • One CSI: NY episode had a woman insist that her brother was killed by an intruder who broke into their apartment despite there being no evidence of anyone else in the room. It turns out a car accident she had been in several months earlier caused her to develop Capgras delusion, which prevents her from recognizing her own reflection, and she had accidentally killed her brother while trying to fight off the "intruder" (her own image in a large window). In the police station, she denies this and after glancing at the two-way mirror in the interrogation room, she attacks it, yelling that it's the killer.
  • Dark Angel episode "The Berrisford Agenda". Alec is haunted by his past and angrily punches his reflection in the mirror. Possibly a callback to when Ben glares at the mirror in "Pollo Loco".
  • In season five of Dexter, after Lumen tells Dexter she is leaving because she no longer wants to be involved in his killing, he looks down at the plate he's holding, sees his own face reflected there, then throws the plate against the wall.
  • Doctor Who: In "Let's Kill Hitler", the Doctor is badly poisoned and activates the TARDIS voice interface because he can't work the controls anymore. The interface uses a holographic image of the Doctor himself to communicate. The Doctor tells the TARDIS to shut it off and show him someone he likes instead.
  • Dollhouse: Episode "The Public Eye" - After releasing Echo and the Senator, Bennett smashes her forehead into her black reflection on the reflective surface of the monolithic server, breaking the glass.
  • An interesting version happens in Farscape during the second season finale. Harvey, in Scorpius' image, appears to John in a mirror; when John punches it, the mirror shatters, but the image remains. He punches it at least five more times, and as soon as the glass falls, Harvey reappears, taunting him. When Aeryn enters the scene, we see that the mirror actually did shatter: John's been punching the wall for the last minute, and his knuckles are bleeding. And then everything goes to hell.
  • During the second season of Heroes, Nathan sees a hideous version of himself in the mirror (probably what he would look like if Adam didn't heal him with his blood) as a reminder of what a jerk he used to be in the first season. He punches the mirror too in one episode. Didn't help him from becoming a jerk again in the next season...
    • Somewhat subverted with Niki/Jessica in the first season. Niki's reflection looks like her, but is not Niki.
  • Law & Order: Criminal Intent: In "Betrayed", a domineering husband learns that his Trophy Wife has run away, and turns and punches her mirror; cutting his knuckles in the process.
  • There is a lot of symbolic focus on characters looking into mirrors in Lost season six's sideways timeline. Sawyer smashes a mirror with his bare fist after an argument with Miles.
  • In Once Upon a Time, in the first episode with Belle, Rumplestiltskin has a sheet over the one mirror in his home, which seems at first like a reference to this trope and its use in Beauty and the Beast (as it turns out Rumplestiltskin is the Beast). It turns out to be a subversion: his actual reason turns out to be that the Evil Queen is capable of spying and work magic through mirrors — he winds up pulling the sheet off to rant at her a bit.
  • The Outer Limits (1995):
    • In "Caught in the Act", a college girl named Hannah is possessed by an alien and goes around seducing people, then eating them after sex. In the girl's bathroom, Hannah loses her temper after the alien tries to seduce her roommate and punches the mirror. She then picks up a shard and attempts suicide, but the alien regains control and makes her drop it and continue its mission.
    • In "Skin Deep", Sid Camden, who hates himself, punches the mirror after he deactivates the Holographic Disguise that made him look like Chad Warner.
  • Implied in The Phantom of the Opera (1990) miniseries, where Erik declares, "My eyes are the only part of face that I can look at in the mirror without wanting to break the glass."
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • When Damar tosses his glass of kanar at his reflection, it signifies the beginning of his Heel–Face Turn.
    • In "Second Skin", Kira is held on Cardassia, surgically altered to resemble a Cardassian spy and is told she actually is her. This is her reaction as she looks at her altered face in the mirror, uncertain if it's true.
  • Ted Lasso: Nate spits at his reflection in a mirror after impulsively kissing Keeley.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles: Sarah Connor punches and breaks a mirror at the end of "Strange Things Happen at One Two Point".
  • Titans (2018): In "Origins", the orphanage nuns lock Rachel up in a cell to stop her Superpowered Evil Side escaping. When said evil self appears in the mirror, Rachel smashes it, but Evil-Rachel continues to taunt her, with the broken shards even levitating out of the frame to speak to her when she's not facing the mirror.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): In the episode "The Mirror", a Fidel Castro-like dictator acquires a mirror that shows him images of his enemies and those destined to betray him. After killing most of his allies after seeing them in the mirror, the dictator sees an image of himself. He goes crazy and smashes the mirror before committing suicide.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "A Saucer of Loneliness", the extremely depressed Margaret yells "I hate you!" at her reflection several times before breaking down in tears.
  • Characters on Twin Peaks who are subject to Demonic Possession by BOB have the tendency to smash their heads into mirrors. Since the reflection is always of BOB himself, this nicely demonstrates the conflict between BOB and his victim.
  • In one episode of Without a Trace, the team are looking for a missing teenage boy whose blood has been found on a shattered bathroom mirror. It turns out he punched it in a rage after the girl he had a crush on cruelly humiliated him.

  • The music video for Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful" features, among other scenes, an anorexic woman looking at herself in the mirror disapprovingly, then punching the mirror to shatter it, symbolizing her refusal to agonize over her body.
  • Mentioned in "Pretty Girl Lie" by Baby Queen about trying to maintain an impossible ideal.
    I'll break the mirror so I look the way I feel
    My role models were never real
  • The iconic cover of Black Flag's first LP "Damaged" features vocalist Henry Rollins punching a mirror.
  • At one point during the music video for "Symphony" by Clean Bandit, the protagonist, a man whose boyfriend died in a traffic accident, screams at his own reflection and attacks his bathroom mirror with a conductor's baton.
  • The song "I Break Mirrors With My Face in the United States" by Death Grips namechecks the trope in its title and throughout the lyrics.
  • The song "Clean Sheets" by Descendents:
    When I looked in the mirror
    I saw your face and thought of the past
    But now I know how dirty you are
    I took my fist and smashed the glass!
  • Eminem seems found of this trope. Using it in the songs "When I'm Gone" and "Going Through Changes".
    • He also used it for his EP's, The Slim Shady EP, artwork.
  • The video from "Everybody's Fool" by Evanescence shows Amy Lee punching a mirror... And she hurts her hand in the process. Now guess the emotional tone of the song.
  • In Korn's "Here to Stay" the singer supposedly smashes his head into a mirror during the line about it but the audience sees it from the other side of the mirror so it just looks like he's slamming his head through glass. There is also no mirror finish shown on the pieces of broken glass that spin back to face the audience.
  • The protagonist of "Vicious Wrath", by Krisiun makes reference to this at one point late in the song (during the second, longer guitar solo):
    My twisted image, mirrored in red
    Break the reflection, into shards
  • An anorexic woman throws things at her bathroom mirror in the video for Linkin Park's "Burning In The Skies" (the same scene is in the Music Video of "Breaking The Habit").
  • The music video for I Would Do Anything for Love by Meat Loaf is based on the story of Beauty and the Beast. There's a scene where Meat Loaf (as the Beast) smashes a hallway of mirrors.
    • Leading to a hilarious joke on VH1's Pop Up Video, where the titular pop-ups show a running counter of the "years of bad luck" Meatloaf has accumulated on that scene.
    • Likewise, the literal video version, has the line "Break things to show that I'm upset/That's 56 years of bad luck" during that scene.
  • "Awase Kagami" ("Self-Portrait in Two Mirrors") by Miyuki Nakajima, complete with both the speaker's hands bleeding after breaking the mirror.
  • Mark Owen's (of Take That (Band)) solo song "Clementine" has the subject of the song do this though it's less rage and more a Despair Event Horizon and the final line suggests a Downer Ending.
    Into the mirror she stared at herself,
    Asked "Is this my life? Is this what I'm here for?"
    Her reflection chose not to respond,
    And so she froze to the spot like a cold stone statue,
    And bathed in her tears, said her time was through.
  • P!nk smashes a mirror in the video for her song "Don't Let Me Get Me".
  • In the music video for "Jessie's Girl", Rick Springfield smashes a mirror with the neck of his guitar, because he doesn't think he's good enough to get a woman like Jessie's girl.
  • The music video for "Animal I Have Become" by Three Days Grace ends with the lead singer, wanting to destroy the Animal once and for all tosses a stool at a mirror.

  • "No point in blaming a mirror when the face is crooked" is an actual Russian proverb.


    Professional Wrestling 
  • During the Kiss 2 Kill Music video, Jimmy Jacobs breaks a mirror with his fist.

  • This performance of "Vesti la Giubba" from Pagliacci ends with Pagliacci looking in a mirror then breaking it.
  • The title character of Richard II breaks a mirror when his reflection fails to show any maturity or hardship after his deposing. "A brittle glory shineth in this face — as brittle as the glory is this face".
    • Inverted in the sequel Richard III where the titular character, after successfully wooing the widow of a man he murdered, decides to buy a mirror to see if he has suddenly become less hideously ugly.
  • All of the mirrors in Herbert's bathroom in Tanz Der Vampire are shattered. Considering he's a vampire, and from the way he dresses it's clear that he tries to pay a lot of attention to his appearance, there's a heavy implication that he probably smashed them when he discovered he no longer had a reflection at all.

    Video Games 
  • In Cyberpunk 2077, V can possibly punch a motel bathroom mirror out of grief over Jackie's death following the Relic heist.
  • In the flash game Die Anstalt, Dolly the sheep does this when shown a mirror.
  • It's implied in Deus Ex: Human Revolution that Adam Jensen does this to his mirror a lot. The superintendent of his apartment building has all but given up on even trying to replace the computer-backed, rather expensive mirrors.
    • Implied until he outright states during the showdown with Taggart that the first thing he did upon viewing his post-surgery self was put his fist through the mirror.
    Adam: I never asked for this.
  • Implied in Fallout: New Vegas - going into Boone's motel room in Novac reveals a broken bathroom mirror and a bottle of drugs left in the sink. Of course, every mirror in the game is broken, but that still doesn't mean he didn't break his.
  • Haunting Ground has Daniella, who will stop and scream whenever she sees her reflection for a moment or two before breaking the mirror.
  • Infinity:
    • Ever17: In Coco's Route, the Kid has a truly epic Freak Out in front of the locker room mirror. The reflection therein looks nothing like the Kid; he's a Tomato in the Mirror.
    • Remember11: Done by both Kokoro and Satoru upon first learning about their "Freaky Friday" Flip. Hotori's first episode is a result of that too, but you don't find out until much later.
  • Used as Foreshadowing in Luigi's Mansion 3. Hellen Gravely's bedroom features a vanity mirror with deep cracks. You later find out that the seemingly beautiful Hellen is actually a monstrous hag if she doesn't apply enough of her magic makeup.
  • Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain ends with Venom Snake smashing a mirror with his prosthetic hand because he just learned he's not actually the real Big Boss, but his best MSF soldier who was surgically altered to look like him.
  • Near the end of Morpheus, an apparition of Jan Pharris bemoans his heavily deformed face, and his stepsister, Claire Moon being crippled by polio. Then he punctuates it by smashing his own mirror. Weirder still, it was fully intact until you approached, and behind the glass is the combination to his father's cabin.
  • Done by Ulala Serizawa to a mirror in the animated introduction of Persona 2: Eternal Punishment.
  • In Phantasmagoria: A Puzzle of Flesh, Curtis Craig sees disturbing visions every time he looks in the mirror, and Curtis can break it with a hammer at one point later in the game. As soon as he does, though, an eerie fleshy substance is seen behind it before the mirror changes back to normal again.
  • If Walker shoots the hallucination of Konrad in Spec Ops: The Line, he shatters like a mirror with the wrong reflection.
  • Having fallen into dereliction after his daughter's death in Splinter Cell: Double Agent, Sam Fisher gives the ole mirror a bloody-fisted whack.

  • Butch of Chopping Block did this once because "the damn thing was always staring at him."
  • In one S.S.D.D. comic Tessa smashes the mirror in her bathroom after the Oracle appears in it and states that she's getting boring, fortunately her Healing Factor got most of the glass out of her hand.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • Lemongrab does this in the Adventure Time episode "You Made Me!", in the form of turning around and pointing/yelling at his face in a mirror when a group of kids calls him "crazy".
  • In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Sozin's Comet, Part 3", Azula rages at her hallucination of her mother in a mirror as she realizes that she is completely alone and unloved, thus also clearly raging against herself.
  • Batman Beyond:
    • In "Heroes", Magma shatters a reflective computer panel over how some kids looked at him as if he was a monster, despite having rescued them.
    • In "Out of the Past", Bruce, freshly rejuvenated by the Lazarus pit, is exercising in a gym, and Terry is impressed by this glimpse of what he was like in his heyday as Batman. While Bruce himself marvels at this, he suddenly throws the barbell he was using into a mirror.
      Bruce: It's unnatural, a cheat.
      Terry: But you're strong again.
      Bruce: No. If I stay here, I'll be weaker than ever.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In "Two-Face: Part 1", upon awakening after getting caught in an explosion, Harvey Dent demands a mirror. When he sees the grotesque scarring of half his face, he screams with horror and anger, and his transformation into the villain Two-Face becomes complete (except for the occasional Hope Spot that keeps Batman tormented that his old friend might be saved).
    • In "Baby-Doll", Batman is chasing Baby Doll through a funhouse, into the Hall of Mirrors. She's caught up short when one of the mirrors shows her as she would have been if she did had not been born with a rare condition that makes her forever look five years old. Cue Villainous Breakdown during which she empties her gun into the mirror.
    • In "Terror in the Sky", Francine Langstrom does this when witnessing their transformation into Man-Bat in the mirror of an airplane bathroom.
  • In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Red Hood (the Joker's Alternate Universe good twin) breaks a mirror after looking at his newly warped face.
  • BoJack Horseman: In "Time's Arrow", in her mind, when a younger Beatrice sees her present-day self reflected back in BoJack's rear view mirror, she bats at it in disgust, causing it to crack.
  • In the Duckman episode "Noir Gang", the Love Triangle between Cornfed, Duckman, and Tamara has just come to a head, with Cornfed revealing that he's in love with Tamara as well and that she returns his feelings. Duckman storms out and Cornfed gazes at his own reflection in the mirror, then punches it out.
    Cornfed: Ow.
  • In the Futurama episode "I, Roommate", a sober Bender winds up lying in an alley in a puddle of his own bodily fluids (mostly oil). He sees his reflection in the puddle, and, predictably, smacks it.
  • Gargoyles did it twice:
    • In "Reawakening", Big Bad Demona resurrects her clanmate Coldstone in the form of a Cyborg. When he sees his image in a mirror, he shatters it in disgust.
    • In "The Mirror", Demona uses a magic mirror to capture Puck and have him do her bidding. Among the things she wants is for him to Kill All Humans, but he tells her he's not powerful enough for that. Another thing she asks for is to no longer turn to stone during the day (as all gargoyles do). At the end of the episode, Puck grants this wish by having her turn into a human during the day. When Demona realizes this, she smashes the mirror in horror.
  • In the Justice League episode "Metamorphosis", this is pretty much the first thing Metamorpho does after his transformation.
  • The Lion Guard: Like his future brother-in-law, Kion, fearing that he's becoming more like his evil great-uncle now that (among other things) he has a matching scar, slaps a pool of water when his reflection turns into Scar.
  • A variant in Miraculous Ladybug's Christmas Episode: Adrien is so angry about how Christmas has gone with his father that he decides to destroy the city's Christmas tree with his Cataclysm attack. At the last second he can't do it, but since the attack is already charged he quickly looks around for something else to use it on, and chooses an advertisement for his father's fashion company, which Adrien himself models for. (For added symbolism, he's said before that he models mostly just to make his dad happy.)
  • Jenny does this in the first episode of My Life as a Teenage Robot (And the original Oh Yeah! Cartoons short the series is based on), lamenting on how no one would want to be friends with a robot. In her case, she vaporizes the mirror.
  • ReBoot has Matrix do this twice during an All Just a Dream episode. First time is when he's rebooted as Megabyte and a vidwindow reflection does a Hannibal Lecture, and Matrix smashes it which makes him look normal again. Second time is when another vidwindow appears and a reflection of himself does another Hannibal Lecture, and Matrix shoots that.
  • In the animated version of The Ricky Gervais Show, this happens in Karl's film pitch when Bryan (who hates Tom Cruise) wakes up in the hospital with his brain in Cruise's body.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The Batman (1989) example is parodied in "Last Exit to Springfield" with the shadowy silhouette reveal of Lisa's horrific Braces of Orthodontic Overkill when the family has no dental insurance.
    • And again in "Homie the Clown" when, after Krusty the Klown gets extensive plastic surgery, this exchange takes place:
      Surgeon: Now, when I remove the bandages, don't be alarmed by the total stranger staring back at you...
      Krusty: [looks in mirror] AAAAAAAAAAAAAAGGHHHH! [turns around, revealing his face] I LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME, YOU MORON!
      Surgeon: Oh, nonsense, Krusty. You look at least 10 years younger. Plus, I did your breasts.
      Krusty: Does anyone hear me complaining about the breasts?
  • The Smurfs (1981): In the episode "Hats Off to Smurfs", Vanity becomes so horrified at how disfigured his face becomes after he started wearing the yellow hat created by Gargamel that he smashed all the mirrors in his house.
  • In one episode of SpongeBob SquarePants, Patrick is talking to his reflection about going on the "Fiery Fist o' Pain" roller coaster. It calls him a coward, causing Patrick to punch it out—not the mirror, the reflection. After it's knocked out of view, he says to the blank mirror, "I thought we'd settled this the last time!"
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Jungle Moon", Stevonnie experiences Pink Diamond's memories in a dream, of her demanding her own colony to Yellow Diamond. Stevonnie sees whose memories these are and wakes up after witnessing Pink smash a reflection of herself through her own eyes.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: In "The Way of All Flesh", Metallo finally comes to terms with his Sense Loss Sadness and knows he is trapped inside of lifeless robot body for the rest of time. He declares that he is no longer John Corben, tearing much of his artificial skin off and smashing his reflection in the mirror.
  • Work It Out Wombats!: In "Measure for Measure," when Ellie doesn't find a hat she wants, Mr. E expresses grief that the Everything Emporium didn't have everything. He then fires himself by yelling at his reflection in the mirror, telling him that he is fired.
  • Young Justice (2010): In "The Fix", Tigress (Artemis) smashes the mirror when she looks into it and sees her real face staring back at her, rather than the illusion everyone else sees, as she is so angry at the lie she is living.


Video Example(s):



After being shown the truth, Rayman would not allow the atrocities that will happen. In fact, Rayman is no more, from this day forward he is known as Ramon.

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Main / ThatManIsDead

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