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Wake him up early, will you?!

"There I was, on the one-yard line ready to score a touchdown to win the Super Bowl, when the new guy's alarm clock went off! If he wakes me up one more time like that, he's gonna get struck by Lightning!"

Our lives are increasingly filled with small electronic devices that make annoying shrill noises at us, usually when we least want them to. This often results in sudden, shocking violence toward such devices. Thus, makers of alarm clocks will never go out of business.

The oldest examples of this trope are all alarm clocks (or occasionally the even older non-digital form of the annoying wake-up, the rooster). Only with the arrival of the ubiquitous cell phone, has this trope wandered out of the bedroom and into public places.

The advent of cell phones has also instituted the expansion of the trope to violence directed toward devices owned by people other than yourself. It's not all that easy to justify whacking someone else's alarm clock (unless it's that pesky rooster owned by the neighboring farmer), but grabbing and smashing the cell phone of an inconsiderate owner — say, someone talking loudly and obnoxiously in a public place, or someone who forgot to turn the phone's ringer off before entering a movie theater — is not only simple but may be considered a form of public service. (We do not support doing this in real life. You may get hurt or charged with a crime. On the other hand... Worth It.)

Other annoying modern noisemakers that may also be subject to this trope include smoke detectors/fire alarms, car alarms (usually requires demolishing the entire car to stop the noise), and carbon monoxide detectors.

Subtrope of Percussive Shutdown. A common tactic if the cruncher is Not a Morning Person. A typical reason for this reaction is I Was Having Such a Nice Dream. Compare Cuckoo Clock Gag for another kind of clock used for comedic effect. See also Cutting the Electronic Leash, a cellphone-specific and generally less violent related trope, Agitated Item Stomping, Shoot the Television. May go hand in hand with That Satisfying "Crunch!" (for which this is a Sub-Trope).

Example Subpages:

Other Examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • BoBoiBoy: In Season 2 episode 10, Adu Du is frustrated with his alarm clock, which keeps going off, and hits it with a hammer to quiet the alarm, to no avail. Then it goes off once again, and Adu Du decides to destroy it with his ray gun, which works once and for all.
  • In the Soviet short His Wife Is a Hen, the husband has this reaction to the alarm clock after waking from his nightmare.
  • Lamput: In "Diet Doc", when the alarm clock rings the morning Fat Doc goes to exercise and get fit, he crushes the clock with his fist.
  • The Hong Kong animated film Color Old Master Q features a hapless alarm clock attempting to wake the titular character. It gets bashed with a wrench for its troubles. In spite of being reduced to a clockwork pancake, it succeeds in waking Old Master Q with a little help from Murphy's Bed abruptly dumping Old Master Q on the floor and closing up so he can't get back on it.
  • Oye Golu: At the beginning of "Oye Chiku", Adi's alarm clock goes off and Golu hits it with a hammer.
  • A few Simple Samosa episodes, among them the series premiere "Sumo Momo", begin with Samosa being woken up by his alarm clock, which he then throws onto a wall, causing it to break and land in a box of broken alarm clocks.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Black Blood Brothers, Jiro turns off Mimiko's alarm clock by cutting it in half (since, according to Kotaro, he isn't good with new technology).
  • Specifically averted in Da Capo. Nemu gets Junichi a round alarm clock so that if he tries to hit it, it will just roll away and ring somewhere else.
  • Futari Ecchi has a coworker of Makoto's wake up and throw her ringing alarm clock against the wall, then goes back to sleep. It's mentioned that this is a habit of hers and she's not good with mornings.
  • In Hellsing, during a lull in the battle aboard the H.M.S. Eagle, an alarm clock starts ringing, only to be promptly smashed underfoot by Alucard. The alarm clock indicates that enough time has passed that Alucard will not be able to be returned to London when it is attacked by the Last Battalion.
  • Inuyasha once destroys Kagome's ringing alarm clock so she doesn't wake up and find him in her bedroom.
  • Subverted in Lucky Star: Misao takes a damaged alarm clock in Kagami's room as proof of Kagami's "legendary morning violence", before Kagami corrects her.
  • One-Punch Man: Saitama wakes up from an action-packed fight dream when his alarm clock starts ringing, to which of course he punches it to stop it. This sends it straight through the floor. Though granted it seemed it was done out of habit rather than annoyance.
  • In the first episode of Pokémon: The Original Series, Ash smashes his Voltorb-shaped alarm clock against the wall while dreaming — so it doesn't wake him up at the right time, which directly leads him to get Pikachu as his first Pokémon. The Journeys season reveals that wasn't the first time: he did the same a few years prior and missed out Professor Oak's summer camp as a result.
  • In Soul Eater, the titular character smacks away an alarm clock without waking up...only to get a much ruder (or not, if you're into that kind of thing) wake-up call by Blair...
  • More of a 'tick tick tick tick SMASH. CRUNCH.' and then probably stomping on the parts in Tsukihime when Shiki is getting some spillover from Roa/SHIKI and causing violent rage of which he's not really aware. He wanted to lie down and get rid of his headache so he could talk to Ciel without... getting... horrible destructive. Good luck, Shiki!
  • While it doesn't get smashed just for ringing (the owner was refusing to shut it off even though the signal was causing problems with a woman's medical device), Souichi grabs the phone of another rider on the train and stomps on it in The Tyrant Falls in Love.
  • The Rare Hunters do this to Tea/Anzu's mobile phone in Yu-Gi-Oh!.

    Comic Books 
  • Achille Talon: Achille once tries to get an annoying transistor radio to shut up by smashing it against a rock and feeding the pieces to his pet duck. Unfortunately, the radio keeps working from inside the duck's belly.
  • In Astro City, we meet the Silver Adept, the premiere sorceress of the Astro City universe in this manner. Raitha, the Silver Adept's personal assistant, finds her sprawled on her bed after a long night partying, reminding her that it's after 8:30 am.
    Silver Adept: I set the alarm, I swear I set the alarm!
    Raitha: [noticing an alarm clock embedded in the wall above the door frame] I don't doubt it.
  • In the NSFW comic The Big Bad Wolf Club, the trope is played straight when a rabbit smashes his alarm clock with a huge hammer as it wakes him up at 7:00 AM. Near the end of the comic, the alarm clock is waking him up at 7:00 PM, and he calmly shuts it off.
  • In Electric Girl, Virginia zaps her alarm clock with her electricity powers, and her parents have to warn her not to go through too many clocks.
  • In the Fantastic Four comic book, Ben Grimm was forever forgetting his Super-Strength and smashing his alarm clock to bits when he went to turn it off. The next panel would usually show him tossing it onto a pile of similarly smashed clocks.
  • Implied in Léonard le Génie. While Heavy Sleeper Basile is never actually shown demolishing his alarm clock, some bedroom scenes show it smashed by a large hammer, or simply with an "out of order" sign on it. Unfortunately for him, his Mean Boss usually wakes him up by much less orthodox and more violent means...
  • In Reid Fleming, World's Toughest Milkman, Reid begins a Monday morning by hurling his alarm clock at the wall. When that fails to silence it, he leaps on it, cursing, throws it into the toilet, and then urinates on it.
  • In Spirou and Fantasio, a miniaturized radio with the volume turned to the maximum is swallowed by the Marsupilami and lodges itself in his nose, where it keeps working until the Marsupilami, exasperated, punches himself in the face.
  • Strangers in Paradise has Katchoo go through a new alarm clock every day, often with a large-caliber bullet from a gun she kept under her pillow. She accumulated a large pile of ruined clocks before the Running Gag faded from the series. Interestingly, the story included a Dream Sequence that explained, in heart-wrenching detail, exactly why Katchoo is so upset at being awakened.
  • X-Men:
    • In an old comic, Kitty Pryde used her tendency to fry electrical equipment she "phases" through to the detriment of her clock radio.
    • Cyclops on the other hand, merely looks at his alarm clock.

    Comic Strips 
  • In Dennis the Menace (UK), the Colonel orders seven exploding alarm clocks a week.
  • Alice from Dilbert once did this during a meeting where she was explaining the benefits of titanium rods like the one that happened to be in her possession at that time. A cell phone goes off and she shows just one of the reasons why they are so useful. She hands the offending co-worker the titanium rod with what's left of the cell phone stuck to it with a simple "It's for you."
  • Peter does it in a FoxTrot Sunday strip when the alarm clock interrupts a dream about making out with swimsuit models.
  • Garfield does this regularly to his alarm clock. Other times, he has done it to anything that made a ringing noise, including a telephone (at least twice) and an ice cream truck.
  • Done with a talking clock in one Mad Magazine short. The clock says "Time to Wake Up" repeatedly until the CRUNCH, after which it says, "Murderer... murderer... murderer..."

    Fan Works 
  • In Being Dead Ain't Easy, to put it simply, Seto Kaiba is not a morning person.
    When the alarm goes off at 5:30AM, I hafta duck 'cause instead of turnin' it off, the freak groans, grabs the clock, and chucks it across the room. The poor clock smashes against the wall and dies.
  • In the fanfic The Best Night Ever (a Whole-Plot Reference to Groundhog Day below), Prince Blueblood whales the springs out of the alarm clock for playing "Equestria Girls" every bucking iteration of the loop. And remember, this is a pony doing the Ring Ring Crunch; a hooved mammal.
  • A fan-art by Bobthedalek has Trixie in a hammock being woken up by a Twilight-Sparkle-shaped alarm clock screeching "WAKE UP, IT'S TWILIGHT TIME!" The clock is visibly battered, and Trixie is wielding a baseball bat by telekinesis to make it even more so.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: When Penny's alarm clock awakens her in "The Insomniac," she silences it by slapping its top.
  • Hobbes does this with a doorbell in Calvin & Hobbes: The Series.
  • In Christmas Miracle, a half-asleep Harry banishes his alarm clock at the wall after failing to reach the off button.
  • In THE GREENGRASS COMPLEX Harry shoots his alarm clock every morning. According to Neville, six thousand have been destroyed in this manner.
  • Green Tea Rescue: Ochako smashes her alarm clock after it interrupts a particularly steamy Erotic Dream about Izuku following the Sports Festival.
  • In Ben 10: Hero High Earth Style, Gwen gets Ben an alarm clock for his birthday specifically because it can't be crunched as it is locked in a clear case which requires one to be awake enough to unlock it before it can be shut off.
  • In I'll Play Your Game Draco smashed an alarm clock he'd had all of a week because being woken suddenly makes him panic.
  • Metro: In "Metro 1: Chewing Through the Straps (Part 3)", this is referenced, as possibly by implied Super-Strength, but avoided:
    As much as Geneviève "Spark" Etincelle enjoyed most of her classes, at least those on the designated "tech" track, there was little to love about waking up on a Monday morning to get ready to attend them. She reached over to silence her alarm clock as quickly as an Exemplar could without smashing it.
  • Subverted in Pokemon: The Origin of Species when Red swings his pillow in an attempt to silence his alarm, but it's slightly out of reach.
    As if whoever decided where to place it had done so after measuring the length of the boy's arm and a pillow.note 
  • In the fanfic The Powers of Harmony, Twilight Pulls an interesting take on this. The alarm goes off, so she throws it out the window hard enough for it to fly for hundreds of yards. It hits one of her bodyguards.
  • In Progress, Princess Luna is startled awake by Sundance's alarm clock and blasts it through a door and an outside wall. To be fair, it was her first time ever using one.
  • In the fanfic A Slice of Life, Celestia does this to her alarm clock. It's vaguely ironic that the Sun Princess, responsible for bringing the dawn at the beginning of each day, is not a morning pony.
  • Summer Days and Evening Flames: Gilda's first morning with an alarm clock, since she is now a Royal Guard cadet, she needs to wake up on schedule. Unlike most examples, Gilda comes to regret the event, since it leaves her talons aching for a few days, she needs to spend precious money to buy a new one, and the only one she could afford is a cuckoo clock with a pop-out bunny.
  • In Time Travel? Really!, Rose smashes her alarm clock every morning after it goes off and then casts Reparo on it.
  • Subverted in The Symbol of Peace and Justice. Gohan smashes his alarm clock upon waking up, but the sound continues, and he realizes it was actually the doorbell ringing.

    Films — Animation 
  • Happens in The Christmas Tree, when Mrs. Mavilda's alarm clock goes off. The awful sound design makes it an unintentional Funny Moment in a So Bad, It's Good kind of way.
  • At the end of Enchanted, Nancy's (animated!) cell phone rings during her (also animated) wedding. She takes it out; comments, "Wow, really good reception here," then throws it to the floor with enough force to shatter it to bits.
  • In The Grinch, an alarm clock meets this fate when it wakes the Grinch up with Christmas songs. He first hits it, then throws increasingly larger objects at it to get it to shut up.
  • Peanuts:
    • Seen in Snoopy, Come Home, when sleeping in Woodstock's nest on their journey to see Lila in the hospital, Snoopy is startled awake by his very loud alarm clock and smashes it with his fist. Then Woodstock laughs at him, so Snoopy conks him on the head as well.
    • The opening sequence of The Peanuts Movie features a wake-up montage. Peppermint Patty smashes her alarm clock with a hockey stick.
  • The Smurfs: A Christmas Carol has Grouchy give his alarm clock a single fist pound to shut it off.
  • Carl Frederickson in Up pounds his alarm clock with a fist to stop its ringing. This gets a Call-Back later when he's in the South American wilderness. A frog chirps and wakes him, and gets rewarded with the groggy thump of a fist.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In The Amazing Spider-Man, this is the first sign that the newly empowered Peter Parker Does Not Know His Own Strength. Not to mention it shows off his new reflexes, the clock only gets in about two rings before the crunching.
  • Another variant occurs in Animal House when Bluto stops an annoying crooner's song by smashing his guitar against the wall.
  • Axe Murdering with Hackley: At the start of the movie, we see Hackley stop his alarm clock ringing by taking an axe to it.
  • In Brain Donors, this is part of handyman Jacques' morning routine. He even has a dresser drawer full of broken alarm clock parts and a closet full of new clocks for this purpose.
  • In Bruce Almighty, Bruce throws his pager out the window, where a car runs over it. It still works. God did it.
  • In The Movie of City Hunter starring Jackie Chan, the movie opens with this, with Ryo Saeba expertly shooting the (hanging) alarm clocks set by his assistant. He doesn't even come close to waking up.
  • Played with in movie Get Smart. Agent 23 smashes a colleague's phone in a meeting (the colleague was texting during the meeting). The guy sitting on the other side of 23 angrily takes the pieces and says "Next time, use your own damn phone."
  • In Groundhog Day, Phil does this to his clock radio that won't stop playing "I Got You Babe" every morning at 6:00. To be fair, that was only two days that it played the song. He just happened to live the first day over and over for decades.
  • In The Killing Kind, Terry responds to be being awoken from a very Freudian nightmare by smashing his fist down on the alarm clock several times and then hurling it across the room.
  • Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome. A kid smashes one up with a hammer because living After the End he's no idea what the ringing sound means.
  • In The Mask, the titular character is "trying" to sneak quietly past his landlady's apartment when an alarm clock pops out of his pocket and starts bouncing noisily around. He finally smashes it with a giant cartoon hammer.
    The Mask: Snooze!
  • A Variant of this occurs in Rain Man when Raymond's attempts to get breakfast trigger the smoke alarm in Charlie's apartment, freaking him out until Charlie destroys it.
  • As a Running Gag in the Finnish film Rollo and the Spirit of the Woods, whenever Rolli is awakened by an alarm clock, he starts humorously hitting it with a hammer before throwing it into a flowerbed where it finally shuts down. The second time he's shown doing this, there's already about half a dozen alarm clocks in the flowerbed. And by the end of the movie, he still has about as much of them in the cottage he resides in.
  • A Wakefield Project: When Eric is awakened by his alarm clock, he shuts it off. Then it starts back up again, to which he unplugs it. Then it starts up AGAIN, at which point, Eric picks it up and throws it against the wall. It does the trick.

  • This occurs in the Destroyer series because both Remo and Chuin smash phones all the time. They usually tear them out of the walls.
  • Played with in The Dresden Files. Harry has a Mickey Mouse alarm clock specifically so that he doesn't do this. He couldn't live with a guy who'd hit Mickey Mouse.
  • Journey to Chaos: Eric is having a pleasant dream about how he has returned to Tariatla only to be woken up by his alarm clock, so he stabs it with his Tariatlan mage spear. Then he twists the crystal blade to make sure it's dead.
  • Ring Ring CRUNCH is the central theme of Ray Bradbury's short story, "The Murderer". The protagonist becomes fed up with the ubiquity and intrusiveness of radios, phones, and the like, so he begins to systematically destroy the intrusive devices in his life. He pours ice cream into a speaker grille, stuffs another device in the garbage disposal (which, as a useful and non-intrusive technology, is the only thing he feels sorry about), and even uses an EMP on the bus and basks in the panic and subsequent civility as people are forced to talk to each other.
  • Neal Stephenson examples:
    • In Cryptonomicon, when Randy's wristwatch's alarm goes off, Amy cuts it off his wrist with a kris and throws it into the ocean.
    • Similarly, in Zodiac, ST is forced to take the back off his wristwatch and screwdriver it into silence after an alarm to remind him to call his ex-girlfriend goes off while he's breaking into a chemical plant.
  • The Tillerman Family Series: Homecoming has a variation: elderly Abigail Tillerman is rumored to have chopped the cord of her phone and tossed it through the window of the phone company building, after receiving the call that her youngest son had been killed in the Vietnam War.
  • In The Woman Who Made Machines Go Haywire, Iris's clocks go a bit crazy due to her jinx, leading her to wreck them regularly.
  • Women of the Otherworld: In Bitten, Elena muses:
    "The phone itself had lost the ability to ring four years ago, when Clay whipped it across the room after it dared disturb his sleep two nights in a row."

  • The song "Cellphone Vigilante" by The Arrogant Worms has the protagonist doing this to people's cellphones going off in appropriate situations.
  • The song "Alarm Clock" by The Rumble Strips deals with exactly this: Well I don't like doing things/That other folks tell me to do/So I hit him with a hammer/And now he's quite subdued.
  • The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Ringtone", a lament about the anguish of having annoying cell phone music, includes the stanza "Well, it made my wife so sick, she smashed my iPhone with a brick, but I had it fixed and now it's just fine". Oddly, most of the other lyrics (and the video) display violence toward the cell phone's owner rather than the device itself.

  • In Metamor City Morgan has a stainless steel alarm clock that takes a vampire-strength karate chop every evening.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The opening sequence of Muppets from Space has a short montage of various Muppets turning off their alarm clocks with varying degrees of force. Out of all of them, the only one to actually break a clock is Sweetums.
  • Sesame Street had a short skit in the early 1990s that subverted this, with an alarm clock being used to count up to twelve in a boogie-woogie style, and among hitting twelve it rings very loudly and then breaks apart on its own.

  • Used regularly in the narrative intros and outros to Bleak Expectations. Anytime Elderly Pip gets frustrated with Mr. Sourquill's gadget of the week it's guaranteed to be broken in some manner or another. A notable example being the clock which gives various dings and chimes for every hour, minute, and second; it suffers a very quick Appliance Defenestration.
  • The cellphone variant was used in "The Frequent Flyer"; a very funny parody of "The Ancient Mariner" by Sebastian Faulks on The BBC Radio 4 literary Panel Game The Write Stuff.

  • The Gun O'Clock toy-clock-thing invokes the trope by having a pop-up target that must be "shot" with the included light gun to silence the alarm.
  • The Transformers: The G1 Decepticon character Snapdragon's bio said that he was extremely lazy and proud of it, and his quarters were littered with the remains of destroyed alarm clocks since being woken up was his Berserk Button. Why an alien robot needed to sleep in the first place was never explained.

    Video Games 
  • In the Super Famicom version of ClockWerx, the protagonist's destruction of his alarm clock somehow sends him to a Clock Punk dimension which he spends the game trying to escape.
  • In Cool Spot, Spot smashes an alarm clock with a hammer when you run out of time.
  • Grow Cannon starts with a man breaking his alarm clock so he can keep sleeping, you need to wake him up.
  • In the now defunct Roblox game Pokémon Brick Bronze, the player character smashes their alarm clock when they wake up, also throwing it out the window.
  • Suikoden Tierkreis has a weird variation on this trope. One character, Nomno, is a Heavy Sleeper, reflected in combat by a unique ability called "Waking" that causes him to start every battle asleep, then gain the "Fury" status effect when he wakes up.
  • In Tearstone 2: Thieves of the Heart the player character smashes their alarm clock with a baseball bat from under their pillow, which suggests that this is a fairly common occurrence.
  • Wario Land II starts off with one of the most elaborate examples. The Black Sugar Gang sneaks into Wario's Castle in order to steal his treasure, and as part of the scheme, they place a living Waddling Head alarm clock in the castle which proceeds to wake up Wario and distract him from their thievery. The first level is completed upon destroying the clock.

    Web Animation 
  • "ALARM" By Mesai is a short film that is essentially built around this trope about a young man with apparent insomnia dealing with his Crazy-Prepared system that wakes him up in the morning: involving a Sound System, his Cellphone, and multiple traditional alarm clocks to try and keep him awake. Eventually he gets sick of this system and decides to leave his apartment: screaming as another Alarm Clock rings at him as he is getting dressed which he promptly tosses and breaks against the wall before stepping out and heading for the elevator. Only to see hear an Alarm Clock ringing and seeing himself wearing his pajamas reflected in the elevators wall that he finds out he was asleep the whole time and has slept through the entire day. Waking up at sunset to see that the Alarm Clock on his desk is still ringing, he pulls out his handgun and shoots the alarm clock to destroy it.
  • On the first episode of Bad Days, Spider-Man crunches his alarm clock on waking up. A wastebasket full of broken alarm clock bits shows this is a daily occurrence.
  • The online Furby cartoon Furby Goes Back to School has a Furby managing to do this, smashing his alarm clock with a shoe (the clock and shoe are noticeably bigger than Furby!)
  • generic purple protogen: In "A Protogen *Tries* to Wake Up", the purple protogen shoots down his alarm clock with a shotgun to silence it. Needless to say, this doesn't stop him from setting off.
  • In the Minecraft animation If Herobrine Had a Brother, Herobrine turns off his already beat-up alarm clock by slamming a pickaxe through it.
  • Red vs. Blue: Family Shatters: "The Unbearable Lightness of Zero" shows Zero's wakeup routine: when his alarm clock goes off, a small target pops up from it, which Zero shoots.

  • Inverted (or played straight?) in Antihero for Hire: Shadehawk is a deep sleeper, so his alarm clock is programmed to explode in order to wake him up. It's not enough. (Or maybe he shot it in his sleep? It's hard to tell because of the composition of the panels.)
  • In Jack, the lead character of the arc "The Games We Play in Hell" uses a knife-hand (this being, as per the arc title, in hell) to silence her alarm.
  • In The Green Avenger, Abby accidentally smashes her alarm clock.

    Web Original 
  • The computers that hand out assignments to agents of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum tend to have obscenely loud alarms, especially if the agents dare relax for a moment. At least one was threatened with conversion into a toaster. The Canon Analysis Devices have a similar flaw and an even greater mortality rate. Though in the case of the CADs, their cause of death is much more likely to be an inability to handle especially high levels of Canon Defilement than pissed-off agents. The latter is still far from unknown, though, since the shrill alarm has a nasty habit of blowing their cover.
  • For a visual, check out this entry from "There, I Fixed It".

    Web Videos 
  • "Alarmageddon"
  • In Freeman's Mind, Freeman mentions this when facing some turret guns.
    Freeman: I break alarm clocks, I can break you, too!
  • Joueur du Grenier: The Beat-em Ups review opens with Grenier punching his alarm clock.
  • Two video fragments from Serbu Firearms: were you ever awakened by your neighbour's lawnmower? Then you surely craved to do something like this. Admit it.

    Real Life 
  • This is one justification for robotic alarm clocks like "Clocky" that actually run away and hide after you hit the snooze button once. Then you have to get up and look for the clock when it rings again.
  • The cheaper alternative, of course, is to just put the clock across the room, where you can't reach it from the bed. Then again, there are accounts of people demonstrating the ability to deal with such troubles and stay asleep.


Video Example(s):


''Good Morning Blu''

While waking up in the morning Linda tries to turn off her alarm clock this way though this doesn't seem to work but it is soon revealed that Blu is mimicking her alarm clock and shortly afterwords then starts mimicking a car alarm.

How well does it match the trope?

4.27 (11 votes)

Example of:

Main / RingRingCrunch

Media sources: