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Shoot the Television

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"Aww, this show ain't no good..."

"So I bought a .44 magnum, it was solid steel cast,
And in the blessed name of Elvis, well, I just let it blast,
'Til my TV lay in pieces there at my feet,
And they busted me for disturbing the almighty peace."
Bruce Springsteen, "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)"

When a character is finished watching TV and has a Hair-Trigger Temper, is an Eccentric Millionaire who replaces electronic devices like normal people replace rolls of toilet paper, or just can't get the remote control working, they'll whip out a gun and shoot the television set (or otherwise destroy it).

In the event that a news item or message on television is the cause of the sudden anger or frustration that makes someone do this, the trope may be a slight variant on Shoot the Messenger. Other times, it may just be a sign that someone is so wealthy that they can afford to live in a way that involves wasting expensive home appliances in this manner. Of course, there's also the concept that it wasn't their television they went and broke, either due to House Amnesia or lack of consideration for other people's property.

In Video Games, television screens and monitors occasionally appear as an interactive, breakable object which the player character can destroy, especially when a villain character appears on these to taunt the player.

The Trope Codifier is Elvis Presley, who was known for doing this at least once, possibly many times.

Subtrope of Percussive Shutdown. Compare Agitated Item Stomping, Ring-Ring-CRUNCH!, Appliance Defenestration, and Cutting the Electronic Leash. Sometimes coincides with Computer Equals Monitor or Screens Are Cameras, in the event that the destroyed TV screen is part of a larger system. Not to be confused with Smash TV. If the character is shooting your television screen, that is Camera Abuse.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Moldiver: In the episode "Overzone", Mirai Ozora becomes frustrated with Mao Shirase's teasing to the point where she hangs up and destroys the screen by throwing her phone at it.
  • Sword Art Online: At the start of the "Phantom Bullet" arc, when XeXeed, the top player in Gun Gale Online, is giving an interview on in-game television, the Serial Killer known as Death Gun stands up and shoots at XeXeed on a screen while watching TV in a bar inside the game. The other players laugh at Death Gun, until XeXeed's player suffers a heart attack and dies in real life, resulting in him being logged off.

    Comic Books 
  • Górsky & Butch: A politician appears on a TV screen in a pub. Someone calls for it to be turned off, causing one of the patrons to throw a shoe at the TV, smashing the screen.
  • The Powerpuff Girls: In the story "Drama-O-Rama" (issue #48, DC run) has Sedusa throwing a boot at her TV and shattering the screen after she sees the girls' latest heroics.
  • Sonic the Comic: Dr. Robotnik throws a Sledgehammer at the TV near the end of the Story "Mock the Doc".
  • Spider-Man: In The Spectacular Spider-Man #144, the mercenary Boomerang gets angry when he sees a talk show where Peter is promoting his book, Webs, and throws a boomerang at the set. Then, his current employer tells him it's coming out of his salary.
  • Superman:
    • The Superman Adventures: In the aftermath of another failed scheme to destroy Superman, Lex Luthor skims over how much it costs in favor of how "a creature of no obvious intelligence" beat him again or how he "[maintains] this pretense", then yells and chucks a bust of Albert Einstein into a big-screen monitor depicting his nemesis. Shortly, a team Mercy addresses as "cleaners" files in, looking like this isn't even the first time, to fix the screen and get a new bust.
    • In The Untold Story of Argo City, Supergirl is watching a video depicting a possible future where she will be forced to kill her father or her cousin. Eventually, she gets so angry and distressed that she puts her fist through the monitor.
    • Subverted in The Strange Revenge of Lena Luthor. Lena Luthor is having a heated argument with her brother Lex when all of a sudden, the tv explodes. Lena becomes frightened, thinking her telepathy has been altered into some form of telekinesis that she cannot control, but later it is revealed the TV was stealthily destroyed by a crook who was gaslighting Lena.
  • Viz: The series has a Running Gag in the reader submissions to the "Profanisaurus" column, where readers who noticed some accidental Double Entendre claim that they smashed their TV/computer/whatever and sent [someone distantly responsible] the bill. This is a reference to the notorious Sex Pistols/Bill Grundy incident.

    Comic Strips 
  • There was a Bloom County strip which featured an old lady shooting her TV.
    "Vanna White! Got her in mid-spin!"
  • One strip of Calvin and Hobbes has Calvin's dad, after having his attempt to take a picture of their vacation rebuffed, muttering how the next time he sees a Kodak commercial he'll put an ax through the TV.
  • In Dick Tracy, Pantsy throws his shoe through the screen of the prison television showing footage of his capture.
  • One FoxTrot had Andy watching interminable news coverage of the O.J. Simpson trial, which was interrupted by news that a UFO had landed on the White House lawn and an alien was addressing the onlookers - and then back to the O.J. trial after ten seconds. Andy remarks "Now I see why Elvis shot that TV".
  • One Pearls Before Swine strip has Dilbert creator Scott Adams shoot his TV set while dressed like Elvis.

    Fan Works 
  • In Marks of Time, chapter 10 has a funny moment when the elves discover a television. Meredith finds the remote and presses the power button. The screen makes "frightening images and painfully loud sounds", then Gilorn shoots an arrow at the TV, destroying it.
  • In Bart Simpson: Attorney at Law, Jeremy throws a champagne bottle at the TV when his blackmailing scheme falls apart.
  • A variation appears in In Shades of Red and Gold, with Yang punching a TV after she finds out from the news that her adoptive father Tony Stark has been captured in Afghanistan.
  • In Amazing Fantasy, Stain is so pissed to see Mount Lady on TV that he throws a knife at it before stomping on it and crushing it.
  • The Bolt Chronicles: Bolt and Penny tour Graceland in "The Imaginary Letters" while in Memphis. The dog describes their visit, making reference to Elvis's penchant for shooting out TV sets while doing so.
    Bolt: Elvis sure had funny ideas about classiness, too — like the "Jungle Room," all festooned in shag carpet, or another room loaded with installed televisions. He was known to shoot his TV sets sometimes when he got angry, so I guess it made sense to have a bunch on hand.
  • In the final chapter of Book Two of The Last Son, Graydon Creed fires a full clip at the TV when he watches an interview with Superman revealing his alien origins.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines: At one point, when the Team Rocket trio is ransacking a manor (that belongs to James' parents), Meowth ends up throwing a table at the TV screen because he doesn't know how to change the channels and because he apparently doesn't like the Johto girl in the Weather Channel.
  • Cat Tales: In "Such an Idiot", Harvey Dent/Two-Face has been having a nervous breakdown over how his philosophy on duality and life being black and white no longer fits, feeling that the concept of fate has betrayed him. While watching TV one day, he watches two people arguing about that very thing (that life isn't black and white), turns to a mirror to debate between shooting himself or his reflection, and ultimately decides to do what for him has been otherwise unthinkable and Take a Third Option — by shooting the television instead.

    Films — Animated 
  • In WALL•E, while in an elevator, EVE shoots a screen after it shows the "Caution: Rogue Robots" image.
  • In Beavis And Butthead Do America, Beavis asks Muddy Grimes if they can watch TV in his hotel room before flying to Vegas to "do" his wife. Muddy promptly shoots out the hotel TV to show that this is not an option.
  • Sing 2, Jimmy Crystal furiously throws a remote at his TV, instantly breaking it, after a celebrity news program reveals that his daughter was "fired" from Buster Moon's show.
  • In "Thelma the Unicorn", Nikki The Narwhal breaks the TV with her own horn after hearing the celebrity news program of her career going downhill by her "murder attempt" at Thelma since the former's manager resigned and the latter's success at her opening act for the concert got her jealous.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 1941: The insane USAAF pilot Wild Bill Kelso lands his fighter at a roadside gas station and announces that he's searching for two squadrons of Japanese Zeros that supposedly attacked San Francisco. The locals tell him that the radio said the Zeros are just a figment of imagination due to war nerves. Kelso responds by drawing his .45 and shooting the radio. Then he somehow manages to blow up the gas station too.
  • Lois Einhorn from Ace Ventura: Pet Detective reveals herself as Ray Finkle when commentary during the Super Bowl halftime show on the "Kick Heard Round the World" that ruined Finkle's career pushes her over the edge:
    Lois Einhorn: THE LACES WERE IN! THEY WERE IN! [shoots the screen]
  • And Starring Pancho Villa as Himself: Villa is shown a newsreel of President Diaz giving a Balcony Speech, promising the crowd he'll destroy Villa, who draws his pistol and puts a bullet through the screen, right over Diaz's head.
  • In The Air Up There, Urudu gets partial revenge for the raid on Winabi by Nyaga's goons by shooting Nyaga's thirty-two-inch TV set with remote.
  • In Batman, the Joker does this twice. The first is when he takes a boxing glove gun to the TV for mention of Batman in connection to an assassination that Joker pulled off on one of Grissom's underbosses, demanding to know, "What kind of a world we live in where a man dressed up as a bat gets all of my press?!" The second time, Joker shoots the television screen with a real gun after learning on the news that his poisoning scheme involving beauty products has been foiled by the Batman.
  • In the original Critters movie, interstellar bounty hunter Ug fires his weapon at a TV set in a bowling alley, which causes a ruckus with several of the town locals.
  • In the 2004 movie Control, Lee Ray Oliver is a sociopathic criminal in a medical experiment; after he fails in a rigged video game test, he flies into a rage and destroys the TV.
  • In Dobermann, Dobermann becomes so enraged at what he is seeing on Joe's surveillance system that he shoots the monitor.
  • Drive, He Said: Paranoid Conspiracy Theorist Gabriel takes a samurai sword to his TV set, then kicks and beats it with a chair in order to avoid being "sterilized" by "the death ray."
  • In the movie Dropout Father, Dick Van Dyke's character shoots the TV with a hunting rifle.
  • Elvis (2022): Playing off of the real figure's history of shooting his TV, the film's final act sees a drug-addled Elvis fire several rounds into a wall of televisions in a paranoid frenzy, highlighting how much his captivity at the International Hotel is eating away at him.
  • In Frida, Diego Rivera brandishes a revolver after his friend insults him, but shoots the gramophone instead.
  • In Future Force, John Tucker shoots a TV set in a strip club, which angers the owner; John hands him a wad of cash to defuse the situation.
  • Good Burger: Kurt angrily kicks in the TV when he sees Dexter and Ed getting positive publicity on the news for the Good Burger restaurant.
  • Heathers: J.D. shoots the television set in his living room when he and Veronica are "celebrating" the fake suicides they orchestrated. This is the moment when Veronica realizes that J.D. is simply Ax-Crazy and rejects him.
  • In Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Otis kicks the TV in a rage when he can't get it to work.
  • The Drake shoots his television in Hobo with a Shotgun after the local news praises the titular hobo.
  • In The Horror Show, police detective Lucas McCarthy is tormented by visions of dead mass murderer Max Jenke (Brion James) while he and his family are watching a stand-up comedian on TV. The visions drive Henricksen's character to take out his police issued handgun and shoot the TV set, to the shock and dismay of the rest of his family.
  • In Men with Brooms, Gordon, feeling very frustrated, asks a bartender what he owes him for his drink. Then he asks him the same question of the beer mug and the television, before placing the money on the bar and chucking his mug into the TV set.
  • In Missing in Action, Chuck Norris shows that you don't need a gun, just a good karate kick!
  • In The Muppets, Tex Richman finishes a round of fencing and then sees on the news that the Muppets are raising the money to buy their theater back. He throws his fencing blade at the TV in response.
  • In P2, Angela finds a TV playing footage of Thomas molesting her while she was unconscious. She angrily smashes the screen with a fire ax.
  • In The People's Joker, Jason Todd does this (in a nod to the Batman (1989) example above) after seeing Batman on a Bachelor-style reality show, loudly proclaiming his intent to find a wife. Joker is understandably pissed, since it was her TV.
  • In Police Academy 3: Back in Training, Tackleberry is calling Lights Out for the recruits when the TV calls out, "You're dead meat, copper!" Tackleberry, being a Gun Nut, responds to the fictional defiance in this manner.
  • RoboCop: As RoboCop, Murphy visits his old home and discovers that his family no longer lives there and the house is now part of a model housing development, with monitors in every room showing a realtor giving an enthusiastic sales pitch. Murphy wanders around the house as memories of his former life come back to him, growing ever more angry and frustrated until he puts his fist through one of the monitors.
  • Royal Warriors: Bull, the last surviving member of the villains, angrily blasts his rickety old TV set with his shotgun when seeing a news broadcast from Michelle, the heroine he's hunting with intent to kill. Notably, when Michelle threatens him on a live news broadcast.
  • In Shredder Orpheus, when the Furies cut Orpheus's head off on live TV, Razoreus smashes the screen in with a skateboard in response.
  • Silent Night, Deadly Night Part 2: Towards the end, Ricky sees a Christmas parade on the tv and subsequently puts an axe through it.
  • In Speed 2: Cruise Control, Alex shoots at some large screens displaying the villain John Geiger.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990), Shredder is introduced watching a wall of TV screens. When April appears on the news and indicates that she knows too much about the Foot Clan, Shredder throws a knife at her face on the TV screen. If you look closely, several others TVs also appear to exhibit the same damage.
    Shredder: Find her. Silence her.
  • In Traxx, a shootout between the title character and some bad guys is halted by a television news report on recent studies finding that "most overly aggressive, sociopathic males have tiny, little wazoos." The bad guys respond to this by shooting out the TV screen before returning to the fight with the hero.
  • In Used Cars, Roy L. Fuchs smashes his TV set in a rage during President Carter's televised address, after the broadcast is hijacked by the employees of his brother Luke's used car lot, who were seeking to "advertise" their rival business on TV and destroy several cars on Roy L.'s lot in the process.
  • What No Beer (1933): A bootlegger, disgusted that referendums to repeal Prohibition are winning landslide victories, shoots the radio in the middle of reporting election returns.
  • Averted in Wrong is Right. Terrorist leader Rafeeq doesn't like what Patrick Hale is saying about him on his WTN news report, so raises an assault rifle as if he's going to drive the butt through the screen, but then lowers it without doing so. This fits with what Rafeeq said to Hale earlier about how terrorism can't exist without the media.
  • In Young Doctors in Love, during the Christmas party, the hospital owner Dr. Prang shoots a TV showing financial news. This foreshadows his bankruptcy and how he would react to it.

  • Dave Barry:
  • BattleTech Expanded Universe novel "Hearts of Chaos" has a gun store owner doing this to his TV after his turncoat planetary governor welcomes an invading renegade Draconis Combine unit with open arms, having sabotaged the planet's defenders. After Cowboy Payson points out that the governor and the local news company had both clearly been prepared to turn traitor—they even had the Draconis Combine logo ready to air the same day as the invasion—the angry proprietor annihilates the screen at point-blank range with a double-barreled shotgun. Having had his catharsis, he dryly quips "I've always wanted to do that."
  • In Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, it's mentioned that Dudley did this (with his foot) when his favorite program was canceled. Of course, Uncle Vernon bought him another one, and the old one was left in Dudley's second room.
  • Done with a flamethrower towards the end of Fahrenheit 451.
  • An interesting case in a short story involving time travel: the characters are in a Flying Car when a Tarbleck, who's a Charm Person, comes on the screen and orders them to stop. They try to wreck the screen, but unfortunately get the order anyway. Fortunately, they both try to carry out the order, crashing the car and disabling the screen.
  • In Bruce Coville's novel Jennifer Murdley's Toad, Jennifer Murdley was a very unattractive-looking girl. One day when she was six she was watching television and saw a commercial for a Barbie doll. Knowing she would never be as pretty as the doll, she started to cry. When her father saw her crying and realized why, he got so enraged at TV that he smashed it.
  • Diogenes Club: In "Swellhead'', Richard shoots the television in his room in the Elaborate Underground Base because he suspects it might be spying on him. It is never established if it was or not but, given everything else Richard learns about the base, it is probably a sensible precaution.
  • In John Pierce's "A Case of Jurisdiction" Regan's wife goes up on a hill behind their house and shoots the TV with a rifle. He promptly calls the sheriff to report the murder of one of the heroes on the Western he was watching. When he fetches the portable TV from his bedroom and turns it on after the sheriff and his deputy show up, a funeral for the hero in question is taking place. Then his wife shoots that set while the deceased's girlfriend is begging the other hero not to go off and shoot the villain.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The 1979 made-for-television biopic about Elvis Presley titled The King, starring Kurt Russell as Elvis, at one point depicts Elvis shooting his TV after catching a news report which claims he isn't as popular as he once was.
  • In Johnny Bago, Elvis Lives in a trailer park in the spot next to Johnny's; when Johnny goes over to complain about the noise from the TV, Elvis shoots it. Johnny decides not to say anything about the barking dog.
  • Sammy Jaye did it in a sketch on Good News World. After installing a digital TV and discovering the programs are just as crap as regular television, he shoots the set (in a callback to an earlier joke about Elvis) to demonstrate the only power the average viewer has over television.
  • Dragnet did one. The guy got angry at the people who lived at the roominghouse with him because they never watched the shows he wanted (they only had one TV). He shot the TV and then killed the manager before getting shot by someone else in self defense, running up to his loft room, and dying.
  • In one episode of Babylon 5, Garibaldi has been bugged all day by an old station artificial intelligence. Eventually, his annoyance leads him to shoot out the speaker of the transport tube he's in, just to get some relief from that damn voice.
  • On the M*A*S*H spin-off AfterMASH episode "All About Christmas Eve", Father Mulcahy gets a TV so that the long-term patients at the Missouri Veteran's Hospital can have it for Christmas and beyond. However, the airing of a soap opera with a story about a cheating wife infuriates a vet who fears that his wife is running around on him, and he summarily shoots the TV. Some vets are still staring through the hole in the set when all is done.
  • In The Twilight Zone (1959) episode "Execution," Joe Caswell, an outlaw transported from 1880 to 1960, does this to a television set, not out of anger, but because he believes the man on the screen is about to shoot him.
  • In the Season 4 finale of Bates Motel, Norman Bates, enraged at his ex-stepfather, takes his flat screen TV outside and smashes it.
  • On Dexter, Debra attempts to throw the remote through Quinn's plasma screen, but he stops her.
  • In one episode of The Office (US), Jan throws a trophy into Michael's TV during a fight.
  • In Wiseguy, after Frank McPike is thrown out of his house by his wife, he drowns his sorrows at a bar when the jukebox starts playing "Hit The Road, Jack." Frank calmly walks over to the jukebox and shoots it.
  • In the Dinosaurs episode, "Terrible Twos", when Baby enters the terrible twos, Fran attempts to calm him down with a Blarney birthday video. Upon seeing it, Baby slingshots his bottle at the TV while saying, "Eat glass, Blarney!", destroying it. For added humor, Blarney actually sees Baby slingshot his bottle and screams in fear.
  • Miami Vice: Switek does this at the end of the episode "Phil the Shill" when he sees the titular con man (played by Phil Collins) posing as a faith healer on TV. He even shouts "This one's for you, Elvis!"
  • In "Little Guy, Black Hair" from Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency, a cursed television has Suzie Borton's husband, Bob, in a trance. When Farah and Tina discover this, the Mage speaks to them through the television and then he and Suzie direct Bob to kill them. Farah shoots the television to pieces, ending the curse.
  • In the first episode of Cobra Kai, Johnny Lawrence is enjoying a movie before a commercial pops up with his old enemy Daniel LaRusso. He tries using the remote control but he can’t get the TV to turn off, so he throws a bottle of alcohol at the TV and destroys it.
  • The Boys. In "The Big Ride", Starlight gets annoyed about all the PR hype surrounding her, and uses her Glowing Eyes of Doom to break the TV screen of a taxi she's travelling in.
  • Arrow
    • A news report on a gangster taking over the Glades is interrupted by one of his thugs smashing the screen with a baseball bat before shaking down the owner.
    • When Oliver Queen gives a press conference exposing Damien Darhk and HIVE to the world, a television broadcasting this suddenly shatters, followed by a shot of Darhk glowering at the ruined screen, having presumably broken it by magical means, or just the force of his Death Glare!
  • Game On: At the end of one episode, the boys decide to test if a gun is actually real by aiming it at the TV and firing. It turns out to be real.
  • The Professionals. The episode "Long Shot" opens with an assassin viewing surveillance footage of Cowley, Da Chief of CI5. He stops the projector on a closeup of Cowley and throws a knife at the image, announcing that he will carry out the hit the day after tomorrow.
  • In the fourth episode of Chernobyl, the Soviet cleanup team manages to borrow a police robot from West Germany to clear the most radioactive section of the plant's roof. But the robot is fried within seconds of being deployed. As soon as it fails, Boris Shcherbina realizes that the Kremlin deliberately low-balled the radiation level to the West Germans, for the sake of downplaying the disaster on the world stage. Scherbina calls the Kremlin and deafens every KGB agent wiretapping his phone as he rips into the entire Soviet leadership, up to and including Gorbachev, for wasting months of time that has resulted in more radiation exposure for everyone present just because they don't want to look bad. Then he hangs up. Or rather, he smashes the receiver against the phone until it's disintegrated and walks calmly out of the trailer, dragging its remains behind him and asking one of the soldiers to requisition a new one.
  • In Married... with Children episode "But I Didn't Shoot The Deputy", Al insists to Peg that he has been handling his new gun, that he bought to protect the family from a loose burglar, with care only for Bud to admit that he was taking potshots at the television while watching Donahue.
  • Father Ted: Early in the pilot episode, Father Jack gets annoyed when Dougal turns on the TV while Jack's napping, so he hurls a liquor bottle through the screen. The episode ends with him doing so again after they've finally gotten it repaired.

  • Bruce Springsteen's song "57 Channels (And Nothin' On)" is about a man who, after his investments in television, cable, satellite dishes, and home entertainment fail to bring him happiness, takes out his frustration by shooting the television set. The lyrics reference Elvis in this regard. (This visual is also present in the song's Music Video.)
  • John Prine's "Spanish Pipedream" (aka "Blow Up Your TV"), later covered by John Denver, recommends something like this as part of adopting a back-to-the-land lifestyle.
  • In Pink Floyd's The Wall, Pink smashes his hotel room TV (with a guitar, in The Movie) at the beginning of "Another Brick in the Wall Part 3".
  • In Queensrÿche's song "The Mission," on the album Operation: Mindcrime, Nikki is watching television, where a televangelist says, while Nikki loads a gun, "I'm asking for hands to be uplifted for just a moment. God the Holy Ghost is calling out to embrace you. I want you to reach deep into your hearts and your pocketbooks and take his hand." Nikki says "Bless me father for I have sinned" and shoots the tv.
  • Referenced in Mitch Benn's "Everybody's Elvis" with the lines "Ain't no channel surfin'/Just shoot your TV dead".
  • Bob Dylan's "TV Talkin' Song".
    It will lead you into some strange pursuits
    Lead you to the land of forbidden fruits
    It will scramble up your head and drag your brain about
    Sometimes you gotta do like Elvis did and shoot the damn thing out
  • Mark Chesnutt has a variation in "Bubba Shot the Jukebox," in which a man shoots out the jukebox in a crowded bar because it "played a sad song, that made him cry."

    Video Games 
  • The level "Charlie Don't Surf" in the first installment of the Modern Warfare franchise has an achievement called "Your Show Sucks" for shooting or otherwise destroying all the televisions showing Al-Asad's speech.
  • In Batman: Arkham Asylum and Arkham City, Batman can throw batarangs at most TV monitors which the games' villains appear on, cracking the screens.
  • Dead or Alive 2: In Tina Armstrong's ending, her father Bass at one point is watching a runway show and appreciating the model he sees, until the camera zooms in on her face showing that it's Tina, causing him to put his fist through the screen.
  • There are a couple of times in Max Payne when muzak or something else annoying is playing through a speaker. If you shoot out the speaker, Max will reply, "Thank you."
  • Jim Raynor does this in the opening cutscenes of StarCraft II, when Emperor Mengsk refers to him as "a clear and present threat" to the Dominion during a news conference interview. He later gets a note from the owner billing him for the damages, and at the Hyperion cantina, the TV has a note on it that says, "Do not shoot screen!"
    Jim Raynor: It ain't over 'til it's over, you son of a bitch. (shoots the TV screen with his revolver pistol)
  • Late in Portal 2, the player can use the portal gun and the in-game momentum mechanics to hurl objects (or oneself) at monitors on which Wheatley appears. Other times, you find a handy turret and set it down to happily shoot away at the screens. Destroying them all earns the player an achievement/trophy.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, an NPC in Sector 7 mentions that Barret did this using his gun-arm with an outdoor television monitor when President Shinra came on making an announcement. This did not win him any fans, since the only other functional television in the area is in AVALANCHE headquarters.
  • In the "Dexter Industries" mission in Hitman: Absolution, part of the 'Sore Losers' level challenge demands the player destroy a video game console two guards are enjoying by shooting (or otherwise breaking) the television screen.
  • Instinct begins with a cutscene of your character, a bachelor tired of living, destroying the TV he's watching with a flung beer bottle.
  • In the final stage of Revolution X, the player is confronted by a wall of monitors on which Head Mistress Helga taunts you. The player must destroy all of them before facing her directly.
  • Played for laughs in Obsidian. The two vidbots in charge of the department of Mediation get annoyed with each other to the point that they use old movie clips to shoot each other in the screen - one of them being the famous scene from The Great Train Robbery (1903).
  • In Double Dragon Neon, one of Skullmageddon's major grievances toward the Lee brothers is that they can't stop destroying the numerous TVs in his hideout. There's also an in-game achievement for destroying all the TVs.
  • The arcade game The Outfoxies featured all your opponents on TV screens. As each one is offed, your character would mark them off in different ways depending on who you played. Eve does this exact trope by shooting the TVs with her gun. Bernard White comes close when he punches them with his steel right hand.
  • One running gag in No Straight Roads is someone (usually Mayday) punching a TV set out of anger from whatever's being broadcasted on it. This is repeatedly lampshaded.
  • In Disney Magic Kingdoms, during the Turning Red Event, Tyler is said to have "hucked a controller at the TV" hard enough "to crack a flatscreen".
  • Amanda the Adventurer: The good ending has Riley put a stop to all the madness by smashing a brick right through the television that played the tapes.

    Visual Novels 
  • In Sunrider 4: The Captain's Return, Kayto Shields furiously puts a bullet through his TV while his arch-enemy, Veniczar Fontana, is giving a speech proclaiming PACT's victory over the Solar Alliance.

    Web Animation 
  • In one episode of Helluva Boss, Blitzo is shown doing this for fun — he gets a TV, changes the channel until he finds something that annoys him, shoots the TV, grabs another TV, repeat.

  • In The Order of the Stick, upon seeing Tarquin kill Nale through the Three Fiends' scrying television as she was trapped in her home plane, Sabine picks up the couch she was sitting on and chucks it through the screen in a rage.
    Lee: That's coming out of your holiday bonus.
  • In one strip Pixie and Brutus, when Pixie stumbles upon a movie on television, it takes Brutus half-sleepingly correcting her saying "Freddy Cougar" to realize that she was watching a horror movie and immediately smashes the television with a headbutt.

    Web Original 
  • Hockey writer Sean McIndoe, a.k.a. Down Goes Brown, during 2012 twice jokingly attributed this to Jack Johnson, who was traded from the Los Angeles Kings that would win The Stanley Cup. There was a third in Sean's book, in a brand new recap of the year's finals:
    Overtime: Jeff Carter looked pretty good during the replay of his winning goal right up until that sledgehammer smashed through the screen, report people watching the game at Jack Johnson's house.

    Web Videos 
  • The narrator of CinemaSins did this while sinning Super Mario Bros. (1993).
    "WHAT THE FUCK GODDAMN PIECE OF SHIT FEVER DREAM OF A MOVIE AM I WATCHING?! [bang] Sorry, I just shot my television. Can someone tell me how this thing ends?"

    Western Animation 
  • Animaniacs:
    • In the Slappy Squirrel short "Slappy Goes Walnuts", Slappy throws her remote at the TV when one of her old cartoons cuts to a commercial before she could finish her catchphrase.
      Skippy: What happened to your TV set?
      Slappy: It's having a bad day.
    • In another Slappy Squirrel short, "No Face Like Home", Slappy throws a bomb at a TV playing a bland environmental cartoon.
    • In "The Warners' 65th Anniversary Special", just before the first commercial break, obscure Warner Bros. cartoon star Buddy destroys his television set as he vows to destroy the Warners for ruining his (nonexistent in real life) stardom.
  • Batman: The Animated Series:
    • In "Heart of Ice", Mr. Freeze shoots a TV with his Freeze Ray when he becomes unable to stomach Ferris Boyle's smugness at the Humanitarian of the Year awards.
    • In "Joker's Wild", the Joker's reaction to Cameron Kaiser building a casino in his likeness is the fly into rage and throw a flowerpot at the television.
    • In "Lock-Up", Lyle Bolton destroys his TV by pushing it over, annoyed at how the media portrays Gotham's supervillains.
    • "Joker's Millions" has the Joker shooting the Video Will in which his benefactor reveals that most of the money is fake.
    • In "Judgement Day", the series' final regular episode, Two-Face shoots out a bar-room TV when he hears via a press conference that he is a dangerous new vigilante's next target. The bartender almost calls him out on it, but has second thoughts about it and lets him go.
  • Valerie of Danny Phantom shoots her television with an ecto-gun during a news report on her "Arch-Enemy"'s growing popularity.
    Mr. Grey: [offscreen] Valerie, was that the ectogun?!
    Valerie: [hiding the weapon behind her back] No!
  • In the DuckTales (1987) episode "Time Is Money, Part 3", Scrooge McDuck's rival Glomgold watches a news report on how a diamond mine has been ruled as Scrooge's property. Angry, Glomgold asks Bouncer Beagle for something to throw. He gets a vase and chucks it at the screen, causing the newscaster to duck.
  • Family Guy:
  • Futurama:
    • Lrr does this with a disintegration ray when the season finale of "Single Female Lawyer" is knocked off the air as the result of someone (Fry) at the broadcast station spilling soda on a console.
    • In "The Late Phillip J. Fry", Leela does this when she sees a newscast about an explosion at a party she thought Fry went to rather than meet her for their date.
    • In "Cold Warriors", Professor Fansworth does this when his rival Wernstrom said that there was no cure for the cold epidemic around town and New New York had to be destroyed.
  • The Garfield and Friends episode "Renewed Terror" has Jon watching The Buddy Bears on TV, when the magazine subscription guy he's been trying to avoid all day interrupts the show, saying the price of the magazine Jon signed up for (to try to get rid of the guy) has been lowered to 40 cents an issue. Jon is so terrified he throws his shoe at the TV, effectively breaking it.
  • Harley Quinn: Joker and Harley both display this tendency, which causes a little friction when Harley is living in Poison Ivy's apartment.
    Poison Ivy: You have been here two weeks and have destroyed nine TVs.
  • Inhumanoids has Auger destroy a TV Once an Episode by throwing his shoes at it for reporting news that annoys him. A later episode has a net set up in front of the TV seemingly to prevent this.
  • Justice League: In "Eclipsed", angered by "Glorious" Gordon Godfrey's comments about her outfit ("I've seen showgirls with more modesty"), Wonder Woman smashes the TV with her fist. Downplayed earlier when Green Lantern turns off Godfrey's show by zapping the off button with his ray.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "The Front", Bart and Lisa write a script for an "Itchy & Scratchy" cartoon that ends with Scratchy's head (now just a skull) going through a ceiling and into Elvis Presley's television set. Elvis promptly produces a revolver and shoots Scratchy's skull through the TV.
    • In "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", Chief Wiggum, after he had been kicked out of The Be Sharps, becomes so upset while watching Johnny Carson that he begins wildly shooting the TV in a fit of rage. His wife wakes up next to him and irately tells him to use the remote control instead:
      Chief Wiggum: I can't find it.
      Mrs. Wiggum: Well, check your holster.
      Chief Wiggum: [does so] Oh, yeah.
      • He then changes over to The Tonight Show, to find Joan Rivers mocking him. He then wings the remote at the TV.
    • Discussed in "The Springfield Connection" by Bart when asking newly hired police officer Marge if she would need to take a bullet for the mayor if someone tried to shoot him, which she states she would, then for him to ask if she would have to for a Coke machine or a television set with the mayor on it.
    • The trope is inverted in "The Cartridge Family": Homer uses his new revolver to turn the TV on. Hilariously, the image that comes on the screen when it does turn on is of a cowboy, having been shot, falling off a roof.
    • In "Steal This Episode", Homer gets into movie piracy business until FBI commandos catch him and shoot up Homer's laptop while arresting him.
    • In "Marge Simpson in 'Screaming Yellow Honkers'," the police officer who hosts an educational film about road rage recommends shooting the TV (along with picking fights and writing threatening letters) as an appropriate outlet for anger.
  • In the Star Trek: Lower Decks third season premiere "Grounded", Mariner switches off the news story about her mother's trial by hurling a potted plant at the viewscreen. The camera pulls back to her father scolding her — sitting in front of a full wall of smashed viewscreens. When Admiral Buenamigo calls and gets a glimpse of the decor, he wonders why Admiral Freeman still keeps potted plants in the house.
  • In one episode of SWAT Kats, after Feral blames the titular duo for letting a criminal escape, Chance angrily throws a can of milk at the television.
    Jake: Ah, great. Morbulus is gone. So's our TV.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: In "A Better Mousetrap", the Turtles witness a news conference where Baxter Stockman displays his Mouser robots (Which had destroyed the Turtles' old lair in the first episode) as a pest exterminator. Raphael gets so angry (as is his wont) that he stabs a TV set with his sai.

    Real Life 

Alternative Title(s): Shoot The TV


Slappy Smashes the TV

A variant of this where Slappy throws a brick at the TV when one of her old cartoons cuts to a commercial before she could finish her catchphrase.

How well does it match the trope?

4.88 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ShootTheTelevision

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