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Water Tower Down

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A common method used in order to Kill It with Water. See that water tower on top of the building? Well, it turns out these are — ahahaha — filled with water. Knock down the water tower, and a huge torrent of the stuff will come crashing down below. It will displace and pummel any living thing beneath it, and extinguish fire extremely quickly. In a fantastic setting, water-weak creatures will often be wiped out by it. Try not to think too hard about why a water-weak opponent would choose to fight anywhere near a water tower.

Not to be confused with Watership Down.


Anime & Manga

  • Digimon Data Squad: In "The Singer's Secret", Chrysalimon throws a water tank at Gaogamon which floods the roof on impact. It's what finally defeats Gaogamon.
  • Fist of the North Star: Yuda does this during his final battle in order to make it harder for Rei to use his legs and his aerial attacks. Rei defeats him by using Hishou Hakurei.
  • Shaman King: Yoh rushes into a burning building to save the children trapped inside, and manages to crack open the water tower on the roof with nothing more than a length of stairway banister thanks to Amidamaru's swordsman skills.

Comic Books

  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: In the tie-in comic Viva Las Buffy, Buffy is combating vampires on a rooftop. Realizing she's outnumbered, she tosses a conveniently nearby priest into the rooftop water tower and tells him to bless the water. He does so, and Buffy knocks down the tower so the vampires disintegrate from exposure to the now holy water.
  • Detective Comics #825: In "Return of Doctor Phosphorus", Batman tries to stop Doctor Phosphorus - a Playing with Fire villain - using this trope, but it barely slows Phosphorus down.
  • Robin (1993): When Monsoon nearly drowns Tim the water tower isn't shown but implied when she somehow gets a massive amount of water from above to flood the alley he's in with.
  • Untold Tales of Spider-Man: Occurs in the first issue, where an inexperienced Spidey fights The Scorcher (an armored arsonist) in a warehouse.
  • Watchmen: Nite-Owl and Silk Spectre take advantage of one of these to temporarily subdue a fire. It keeps going, but the water clears enough of a path for them to rescue the apartment tenants.

Films — Animation

  • Bartok the Magnificent: Ludmilla meets her end being crushed by a falling water tower.
  • Looney Tunes: Back in Action: Daffy Duck causes DJ to run the Batmobile into the Warner Bros tower and knock it over, flooding a few scenes, ending the chase scene, and getting DJ fired.
  • Rango: Used accidentally by the titular character to take out the hawk. It doesn't contain water, just dirt, but it's more than heavy enough to crush it. He does use water to solve his problems at the climax, but the water tower's not involved.

Films — Live-Action

  • Dark City: Mr. Book is thrown through a water tower because that's his weakness.
  • The Expendables 2: In the Action Prologue, the Expendable team noticed a wave of enemy reinforcements coming at them while being pinned down by enemy soldiers. Hale Caesar takes care of that by blasting down a water tower, unleashing a tidal wave that wipes out a dozen or so of the mooks.
  • Highlander: In the original film, the Kurgan slashes out the supports of a water tower on the top of a building in order to give him extra cover from which to ambush Connor Macleod (they are fighting on the roof at the time).
  • Iron Man 3: Savin collapses the Rose Hill water tower by melting the structural supports, in an attempt to drown Tony. This prompts an Oh, Crap! moment from him.
  • Spider-Man 3: This is how the Sandman is taken out at the end of the movie. Of course, he doesn't actually die. Just stops fighting.
  • The Tower: As a Shout-Out to The Towering Inferno, the protagonists use the water tank at the top of the building to try and solve the crisis. Unfortunately, it only buys them minutes, slowing but not stopping the collapse of the River Tower.
  • The Towering Inferno: The ending has the heroes blowing up a set of huge water tanks at the top of the building in an attempt to extinguish the fire. It's what finally puts out the fire.
  • Watchmen: Nite Owl uses his airship's gatling cannon to cut down the supports of a water tower on the roof of a burning building, flooding it with water. Though given that the roof was weakened enough to allow Silk Spectre to crash through it, he was lucky not to collapse the roof and kill everyone.
  • Wild Wild West: At the beginning of the movie, one of these is knocked out in the middle of an arrest attempt. Things go badly from there.


  • Axis of Time: In Designated Targets, a water tower is destroyed in an assault on a Japanese-held Australian town, killing a spotter team on it.
  • Going Postal: During a fire at the Post Office, the rainwater tank on its roof (which acts as a counterweight for its freight elevator) breaks free and falls into the fire, causing a massive steam explosion that kills the golem Anghammarad. It's noted that neither water nor fire would have been enough on its own.
  • The Napoleon of Notting Hill: In this G. K. Chesterton novel, threatening to do this is how Wayne finally gets his enemies to surrender. Indeed, Chesterton described the use of the Waterworks as a weapon as part of the original inspiration.
    "In the event of your not doing so, the Lord High Provost of Notting Hill desires to announce that he has just captured the Waterworks Tower, just above you, on Campden Hill, and that within ten minutes from now, that is, on the reception through me of your refusal, he will open the great reservoir and flood the whole valley where you stand in thirty feet of water. God save King Auberon!"
    Buck had dropped his glass and sent a great splash of wine over the road.
    "But—but—" he said; and then by a last and splendid effort of his great sanity, looked the facts in the face.
    "We must surrender," he said. "You could do nothing against fifty thousand tons of water coming down a steep hill, ten minutes hence. We must surrender. Our four thousand men might as well be four. Vicisti Galilaee! Perkins, you may as well get me another glass of wine."


  • We Are Our Avatars Escapist:
    • In the fourth thread, Marcus tipped a water tower over, the water of which Terra then electrified.
    • In the seventh thread, Alice had Greed's Pokémon drop a water tower on a small horde of infectees.

Video Games

  • Baldur's Gate: The Cloakwood Mine was abandoned when the miners dug into a riverbed. Years later the Iron Throne somehow got the hole sealed and the water pumped out, to resume the mining with illegal slaves. After killing the local leader in charge of the mine, you take his key to the seal and then you can figure out the rest...
  • The Matrix: Path of Neo: During the "Rooftop Rescue" Mission you can blow up or shoot out the top part of a water tower so that the spilling water slows down an Agent.
  • Maximum Carnage: In the first fight against Doppelganger, it's possible to instantly defeat him by throwing a nearby water tower at him.
  • Need for Speed: Most Wanted and Carbon use these as pursuit breakers. Drive through the supports and the tower falls on the pursuing police cars.
  • Suikoden V: Lucretia floods an entire castle in order to kill the enemy mooks inside.
  • Xenoblade Chronicles 2: The heroes drop a water tower in Torigoth in order to deal with the powerful Fire-element Blade Brighid. Pyra is seemingly unaffected, hinting that she is not really a Fire Blade. Deconstructed when it's pointed out that destroying the city's primary water tower has serious repercussions; the crop fields are flooded, and even once that is dealt with, the farmers have a lot of trouble watering their fields. People complain about it for the entire rest of the game.

Western Animation