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That Satisfying Crunch

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The visceral joy one gets from ruthlessly smashing or otherwise destroying some inanimate object, especially if said object (or whatever it represents) has caused you a great deal of annoyance. Implements favored for this kind of catharsis include, but are not limited to: Baseball Bats, Sledgehammers, Chainsaws, Woodchippers, Heavy Construction Equipment, Clubs, and in some cases High Explosives. As a general rule, the more over the top the means of destruction, the greater the satisfaction.

For obvious reasons, this is rarely something you can do in real life without legal consequences at the least.

Sister trope of Agitated Item Stomping. Ring Ring Crunch is a subtrope. Compare Percussive Therapy when the item being smashed was unrelated to the cause of the rage. Die, Chair! Die! may also be related to this when used as a Catharsis Factor. Not to be confused with Sickening "Crunch!", which involves living beings instead.

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Examples:

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    Advertising 

    Comedy 
  • Referenced by Eddie Izzard in this sketch about chiropractors from Dressed to Kill
    "Make the noise, make the noise! I live for the noise!"

    Comic Strips 
  • A Peanuts had Lucy demonstrating "the tortures of a memory of a lost love", by destroying Schroeder's Piano. (This scene was later animated.)
    "You can't eat! You can't sleep! You'll want to smash things!"
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    Fan Works 
  • One "missing scene" fanfiction for the Stargate SG-1 episode "Windows of Opportunity", where Teal'c gets a door in the face repeatedly thanks to a "Groundhog Day" Loop, has Teal'c taking his revenge during one loop by bringing an electric saw and cutting said door into tiny pieces.

    Films — Animation 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The scene in Office Space when Peter, Michael and Samir destroy the fax machine.
  • Many times in Zombieland. Most particularly the nice minivan and the gift shop.
  • In Hook, Hook tries to hurt Peter by turning his son to his side. He starts out by encouraging Jack to smash a watch that his father gave him. After that, Jack starts smashing a room full of clocks, for everything Peter did that annoyed him.
  • In Men with Brooms, Cutter, feeling frustrated, asks the bartender how much it would cost for another beer, then asks how much for the mug, and finally, for the TV on the wall. After handing over the money, Cutter is told by the bartender to "have at it", and he slings the empty beer mug through the television set.

    Literature 
  • In Spider Robinson's Callahan's Crosstime Saloon series, all drinks at Callahan's bar are fifty cents, and Callahan only accepts one dollar bills. You get the fifty cents back unless you want to step up to the line and make a toast by tossing your empty glass into the bar's fireplace hard enough to shatter it. It is an exceptionally cathartic action, as it turns out.
  • In Robinson's Mindkiller, Joe Templeton deals with a moment of deep frustration by carefully making a pitcher of five-to-one martinis ... then pouring it down the sink, making a pitcher of six-to-one martinis, carrying this to his living room, and throwing it through the television set.
  • In Arthur C. Clarke's first short story, "Rescue Party", aliens exploring the abandoned Earth as the Sun is about to go nova find an office with its contents trashed. Most of them are baffled even after one of them suggests this trope as the explanation.
  • In Warrior Cats, Jayfeather is so upset that Rock didn't tell him that Leafpool and Crowfeather are his real parents that he decides to break Rock's stick. (It Makes Sense in Context.)

    Live-Action TV 
  • One time on The Dick Van Dyke Show, Rob and Laura takes their frustrations out on a pile of dishes that they were going to replace anyway because they had chips in them.
  • Referenced in whichever MythBusters episode had the killer snowplow myth (where a snowplow could blow a car off the road). Additionally, most episodes end in them causing some sort of explosion. "When in doubt, C4"
  • Psych: Lassiter's ex refuses a gift. He then uses them for target practice.
  • Babylon 5, from "A Late Return from Avalon";
    G'Kar: By G'Quan, I can't recall the last time I was in a fight like that. No moral ambiguity, no hopeless battle against ancient and overwhelming forces. They were the bad guys, as you say, we were the good guys. And they made a very satisfying thump when they hit the floor.
  • Chernobyl: Boris Scherbina loses his temper with the Soviet government, screams at them down the phone, tells them he knows the KGB is listening and he doesn't care anymore, and smashes the phone to pieces. note 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Paranoia: One citizen joined the Frankenstein Destroyers, not because he had anything against bots, but just because he liked the delightful crunching noise they made when he caved in their cranial appendages.

    Video Games 
  • The first weapon you get in Ratchet & Clank: Up Your Arsenal gives a nice satisfying crunch.
  • The World Ends with You Sho Minamimoto "Your opinions are garbage! CRUNCH, I'll add 'em to the heap."
  • Mario Party Advance contains a Gaddget called "Stress Press." The entire purpose of it is to smash various objects with an enormous hammer, for the express purpose of making you feel better.
  • When Sasha is teaching Raz how to use the psiblast in Psychonauts, he tells him to picture something terrible, something that absolutely must die. Sasha's target of choice? Tacky decorative lamps.
  • This is the entire reason the game "Boom Blox" for the Wii can be so satisfying. Hurl baseballs, bowling balls, etc, at large, intricate structures and watch them crash to the ground with a nice crunch or boom.
  • An interesting and incredibly dark case with Lobelia in Granblue Fantasy. He's a serial killer who causes a Sickening "Crunch!" with his victims, but the crunch is actually this trope to him, and the entire reason he kills. He even records the crunches because he loves them so much. Ultimately, his own bones crunching is what satisfies him the most, which has him stop killing because he's so satisfied by hearing it as he's constantly killed and revived by his summon companion.

    Web Comics 

     Web Original 
  • The Shovelwarewolf ends up destroying each awful game he's forced to play by the end of each video. He'll usually try for something thematically appropriate, such as nuking a copy of Duke Nukem Forever in a microwave, but he'll settle for just smashing the cartridge or disc if he doesn't have the resources available for anything fancy.

    Western Animation 
  • Looney Tunes had its share. One good example was "Tugboat Granny," when Sylvester's motorboat sped down a waterfall and had a crash landing. The motor runs in the totaled vessel; Sylvester pounds it with a club. The motor sputters; Sylvester gives it one more good pound, and it promptly wilts.

    Real Life 
  • There was a bar that would allow one person to destroy a TV set whenever a particularly hated sportscaster came on.
  • This trope is the exact reason why many people dream of walking into a fine china shop with a large blunt object in hand. And why a common carnival game is throwing balls at clay plates.
  • For some, why the crack of a Neck Snap is a Most Wonderful Sound.
  • Probably the reason behind the genesis of this inventive Japanese business. This is also present in other countries.
  • The car smash fundraiser in which people pay money to swing a sledgehammer at an old car.
  • After nearly being killed by a car while walking alongside a road, Stephen King bought that car with the intention of personally demolishing it. However, his lawyers, not knowing his intentions, had the car junked at a local scrapyard.

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