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Trash The Set / Live-Action TV

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Trashed sets in live-action TV.


  • Early in the second season of 24, the headquarters of CTU is bombed, destroying much of the facility and killing people. Rather than relocate to a new set, however, the team merely work around the debris and gradually bring the facility back up to speed, and in later seasons the office is just the same as it always was.
  • The 100 ends its first season by destroying its two major sets: the Ark station falls out of orbit, and the 100's camp is incinerated by the dropship's engines. Only the dropship itself is left standing in Season 2.
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  • In a "team transportation" example, Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. blew up the Bus two episodes before the Season 2 finale, and replaced it starting in the Season 3 premiere with Zephyr One, an even bigger and cooler plane. Also one with notably more filming space on the set.
    • Two-thirds through Season 4, the Playground gets blown up by the May LMD. When it's revisited near the end of the season, it's shown to have been left in utter ruins.
  • In the Docu Soap arena, we have American Chopper, the cast of which rather enjoys trashing their old places and vehicles. Since it's also their place of business, it's not exactly a "set", but...
  • In the final episode of American Horror Story: Roanoke, Lee blows up the house with herself still in it in order to insure that no one ever makes the mistake of moving in there and falling victim to the ghosts haunting the area ever again.
  • The eponymous ship in Andromeda was trashed by the Magog, resulting in the bridge being rebuilt much more cool-looking and places for the crew to actually sit (except for the pilot, strangely, who had a seat before but had to stand after).
  • Angel got his office and home bombed in the first season finale, allowing them to find a more expansive location for later seasons. In the final season, the LA Branch of Wolfram & Hart (trashed in season 4 but quickly rebuilt) is completely destroyed by the Senior Partners.
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    • Also, Lorne's place got trashed with some regularity, something that he bemoaned once during a reconstruction.
  • In early episodes of the PBS Antiques Roadshow, we saw crew members taking down the set and packing it as the closing credits rolled.
  • Arrow: Laurel's workplace, CRNI, is destroyed in the first season finale by the earthquake leveling the Glades.
    • The season 2 finale has two examples: in the present, the Arrow lair is wrecked by Slade's Mirakuru soldiers, while in the flashbacks the Amazo (a standing set all season) is sunk.
    • The season 4 finale sees a squadron of Ghosts raiding the Lair, shooting it up to hell, shattering the costume cases and computers, and causing one of the ceiling light structures to fall.
    • The season 5 finale has an epic example, as Lian Yu, one of the core settings of the show's Myth Arc, gets rigged with explosives as part of Prometheus' final gambit; upon his death, his Dead Man's Switch triggers them, destroying the entire island.
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    • The penultimate episode of Season 6, "The Ties that Bind", sees Diaz having his men assault and destroy both the Lair and the New Recruits' HQ.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: In the first season finale, Kelly burns down the cabin, finally destroying the damned place.
    • Thanks to time travel, the second season finale also features the destruction of the cabin. Specifically, Baal's defeat causes the whole thing and everything in it to burst into flames, and be Dragged Off to Hell.
  • The series finale of Babylon 5 ends with the station being decommissioned. Series creator J. Michael Straczynski showed up as a random tech to shut off the lights before he left.
    • Earlier, an episode had the station's casino trashed in a massive Bar Brawl, after which the set was rebuilt as the War Room, a focal point for seasons three and four.
  • Battlestar Galactica:
    • The final season as a whole was a gradual example of this, with the eponymous spaceship suffering more and more damage.
    • In the finale the Final Five Cylons wreck the CIC in order to install Anders' to the ship.
    • Earlier, the destruction of the Pegasus in the escape from New Caprica was written in because the space occupied by the Pegasus CIC set was needed for the Cylon basestar interior sets.
  • In the season three finale of Better Call Saul, Chuck relapses hard into his electromagnetic sensitivity, causing him to turn off all power to his house. However, against all reason, he becomes convinced that there's still some device operating in his home, and he tears the house apart in search of that last little spark of electricity. When the rampant distruction turns up nothing, he goes almost catatonic, and, while rocking himself back and forth, he tips over his gas lamp onto the floor, setting the whole house ablaze.
  • The Bill used damage caused by a car bomb to justify one remodelling of the Sun Hill set, and damage from an arson attack to justify a second.
  • Early on in Season 2 of Bizaardvark, the hot chocolate bar is destroyed by Dirk and crew, and is eventually converted into a new office for Liam.
  • Blake's 7 blew up the bridge set of the Liberator at the end of season 3 because it was falling apart anyway. They moved to a new ship in season 4.
    • ..which was trashed in turn at the end of season 4.
  • Bonanza: The season 12 opener "The Night Virginia City Died", the first episode to be filmed on the set of Warner Bros. after spending the previous decade at Paramount. To remove some of the Virginia City buildings used on the old set, a script was devised to bring the "old" Virginia City down in flames ... literally, by having an unidentified arsonist fires to various buildings around town. Various people are suspected, but it isn't until episode's end that the real culprit — the fiancé of Clem, the town's deputy — is identified, and it happens only after she dies in the last fire she set (she had been sexually abused as a child by her stepfather, who died in a fire she set years earlier). By the episode's end, when the townspeople are rebuilding, the new set is seen for the first time. (The outside scenes set in Virginia City before this point are at night, when the arsonist goes to work.)
  • Bones trashed the Jeffersonian institute via bomb blasts, just in time for the main characters to retrieve emotional keepsakes in the finale.
  • A 1979 episode of Bozo's Circus in Chicago had Bozo, Cooky, Whizzo, and Golly the Gorilla trashing their set at the end of their re-enactment of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
  • Breaking Bad:
    • For a given definition of "set", the RV that Walt and Jesse used as a mobile lab in the first two seasons is destroyed in a compactor halfway through Season 3 before Hank has a chance to get a search warrant for it.
    • The superlab introduced in Season 3 is burned down in the last episode of Season 4 after Gus' death for fear of the impending DEA investigation.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this a lot:
    • In the Season 3 finale, Sunnydale High School was blown up. In late season 5, Tara's dorm room was destroyed. The Magic Box was ruined at the end of season 6. Buffy's house was trashed on a more regular basis, and quickly rebuilt for the next episode. During the last season there was extensive Lampshade Hanging as Buffy commented everything in the house had been replaced at least once and Xander (a trained carpenter, at least at that point) mentioned how often he had to replace the windows and finally declares that he is tired of the picture window being smashed in over and over again, and refuses to repair it again. It remains boarded up for several episodes. There's also a dining-room chair in the battle-weary Summers household that's conspicuously duct-taped through most of the end of the series. Finally, in the series finale, the entire town of Sunnydale fell into a crater.
    • Also, Spike's factory is set aflame thanks to Angelus' recklessness. However, Spike did revisit the charred ruins.
    • The Bronze seems to have an unlimited refurbishment and furniture-replacement budget and, throughout all seven seasons of Buffy, seems to have self-repairing capabilities (like the school) since major damage is completely fixed by the next episode. Exceptions are when Olaf the Troll trashed it in "Triangle", which was used as an excuse to introduce a new Bronze set a few eps later, and when Xander rebuilt the window jamb after a Sex Bot tossed Spike through the window.
  • Casualty: Holby City Emergency Department has been destroyed several times.
    • The most recent of these was a fire, used to accommodate the show's move from Bristol to Cardiff. While the new set in Cardiff still retained the general shape and layout of the Bristol set, it is obviously quite different - both outside and in.
      • Changes to the exterior set in the past have gone mostly unexplained.
  • Charmed (1998):
    • There was constant damage to the Manor, and Leo's cover was as a handyman who routinely fixed some of the damage. It's a Running Gag that the grandfather clock in the foyer gets blown up during demon attacks - with Piper saying in one episode "we can't afford to keep fixing that thing". It even gets blown up in a flashback to The Roaring '20s.
    • The second-last episode had the house getting completely destroyed in a big battle. As the last episode revolves around preventing said battle and the deaths of those involved, that was filmed first.
  • The season 3 finale of Chuck blows up the Buy More. It got rebuilt.
  • Community:
    • The show did a Paintball Episode for its first two seasons. May act as a gambit since it forces the network executives to decide to renew or cancel them before the damage to the set becomes irreversible.
    • It's also lampshaded twice-over the second time it happens: first, them trashing the campus is actually the villain's plan to force the school to shut down since they won't have the money to repair/rebuild. Later, after they find a way to get the money to save the school, Abed is talking to one of the janitorial staff, giving a play by play of the whole adventure. The janitor is not amused, and sarcastically suggests that next time they just spray paint everywhere with a hose.
      Abed: We pretty much already did that. Did you not see the library yet?
      Janitor: I'm working my way over.
    • Notably they do not repeat this in subsequent seasons. The smaller budgets for later seasons involve subsituting a pillow fight and a game of "the floor is lava". When they eventually do another paintball episode, it goes underground in a parody of espionage tropes.
  • In 1981 the British Soap Opera Crossroads decided to refurbish its sets at about the same time that actress Noele Gordon was axed, and so her character Meg Richardson was written out in a fire, videotaped by burning the original sets in an empty studio backlot. (It later turned out that Meg had not died in the fire after all. Just before it broke out she had left to take a sea cruise, without bothering to tell anybody...)
  • The third season finale of CSI: NY involved a bunch of Irish criminals attacking the lab to recover a small fortune in seized cocaine. The place got shot up, soaked by sprinklers and then finally blown up by a pipe bomb.
    • They shouldn't have tried to mess with Gary Sinise. That dude's awesome when he's given the chance to shine.
  • Desperate Housewives had a tornado tear through the neighborhood in season 4. On the DVD, the producers were amazed ABC allowed them to trash the entire street set. They ended up using the delay brought about by the writer's strike to advance the storyline several months and thus explain how Wisteria Lane looked so cleaned up.
  • Doctor Who:
    • The Davies-era TARDIS console room was destroyed in-canon in the cliff-hanger between "The End of Time" and "The Eleventh Hour", when it's set on fire by the Tenth Doctor's regenerative energy and then further damaged by the subsequent TARDIS crash. The stunningly beautiful replacement interior makes it even more worthwhile. The "Coral" console room set was not genuinely destroyed, however, but left assembled and intact so it could be used in a Call-Back appearance in "The Doctor's Wife" as an archived version of the main console room. Then it was dismantled. And then rebuilt at the Doctor Who Experience in London, then moved to Cardiff. (The Experience had various replica console rooms, but that one was the real thing.) And then they had to use it again for "The Day of the Doctor". But, at least they knew where to find it — and actually filmed at the Experience.
    • Averted with the changes to the Eleventh Doctor's second console room set and then the Twelfth Doctor's console room, which aren't given any explanation within the story beyond the Doctor fancying a change. In real life, this change was due to the show moving from the Upper Boat studios to Roath Lock — it was easier to build a new set at the latter.
    • "Twice Upon a Time": The Twelfth Doctor's console room, the final one of the Moffat era, was seemingly fine after getting blasted by his regenerative energy, just with a lot of smoke hanging in the air and a couple sparks here and there. However, Thirteen presses one button and the ENTIRE console room explodes!
    • Torchwood blew its set to smithereens in the five-part Children of Earth miniseries, with Jack in the middle, so that the studio could be used to accommodate the Eleventh Doctor's first console room.
  • The third-season opener of Due South, "Burning Down the House", involves Fraser going back to his apartment building, which he discovers has burned down (off-screen). He tours the wreckage of the building before making his home at the Canadian Embassy in Chicago. This was done when production of the series changed hands from CBS to Alliance-Atlantis.
  • In The Eric Andre Show, the host lays waste to his talk show's set in the opening of every episode. After he finishes, the set rebuilds itself in seconds. The Season 2 finale is just the opening set-trashing for an entire episode.
  • In the premiere of Season 7 of The Facts of Life, Edna's Edibles was destroyed in a fire. The second episode showed the store being rebuilt as "Over Our Heads", a Spencer's Gift-type novelty store.
  • From the season 2 finale "Liars, Guns, and Money" onwards, Farscape practically specialized in ending each season with a literal bang by spectacularly destroying a large set. An especially good example of this is the shot of gallons of water cascading down a ship's staircase in the season 3 finale "Into the Lion's Den", which was impressive enough to be used in the next season's intro sequence.
  • The entire premise of both Finders Keepers and Estate of Panic - trash the rooms in a house to find hidden objects or money.
  • When Full Frontal with Samantha Bee started its hiatus in summer 2018, Sam Bee not only attacked her set with a crowbar, she blew it up with a viking funeral.
  • Pretty much any Home and Garden show such as Fixer Upper where the emphasis is on "flipping" or major remodeling. The first step in the process is demolition of the outdated parts of the house.
  • Joey's apartment and Foosball table were smashed up in the last episode of Friends.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • Season 5 features the Sparrows ransacking Littlefinger's brothel—a frequent shooting location in the first four seasons—after their arrival in King's Landing.
    • In "The Winds of Winter", the Great Sept of Baelor is blown up in a wildfire explosion, along with part of King's Landing.
    • "The Dragon and the Wolf" ends with the Night King using the undead Viserion to destroy Eastwatch and its surrounding portion of the Wall.
    • "The Bells" show Daenerys hitting her breaking point and fully unleashing dragonfire on King's Landing, burning the city to the ground and almost completely demolishing the Red Keep, destroying sets that have been standing since the first season.
    • Finally, in "The Iron Throne", after the death of Daenerys at the hands of Jon, Drogon puts the Iron Throne to the torch before flying away with her lifeless body. A final act of spite on Drogon's part to deny Jon the throne, or did Drogon really know that his mother's lust for power was what really doomed her? Either way, the destruction of the Iron Throne symbolically puts an end to the Seven Kingdoms Aegon established and to the old order of absolute monarchy in Westeros.
  • The final episode of GamesMaster saw that year's set being calmly dismantled and put away by the production team around presenter Dominik Diamond's half-hour farewell. And clips.
  • In February 2009, an open oxygen tank plus a spark equaled a burning General Hospital. This paved way for a brand new hospital set, which is the only thing most fans care to remember from February 2009...
  • The Gifted:
  • The Good Wife: In the last-but-one ever episode men with sledgehammers arrive to smash down the walls of the lawyers' offices. Never mind why.
  • Gotham: Being a Batman origin story, Wayne Manor is naturally a major set piece. Midway through Season 5, it gets utterly destroyed by bombs planted by Jeremiah Valeska as part of his gambit to make Bruce accept him as an Arch-Enemy.
  • One early live episode of Hancock's Half Hour involved Hancock trying to sell a house without letting on that there was an airfield nearby. Over the course of the scene bits of the set were scheduled to fall apart from the vibrations of the as-yet unseen planes taking off. Unfortunately the set started falling down ahead of schedule, forcing Hancock to lean against a table for the whole of the scene to prevent it collapsing before it was supposed to.
  • On Happy Days, the original Arnold's restaurant burns down when Chachi leaves the grill on and they build an all new, different set.
  • In the second season finale of the new Hawaii Five-0, the HPD office is bombed.
  • In the first season finale of Helix, The Scythe blows up Arctic Biosystems, leveling the entire facility. As a bonus, this kills off everyone outside of the core cast.
  • The final episode of ESPN's talk show His & Hers (as its hosts are moving to SportsCenter) had a minor case; Jemele Hill stole the show's logo sign, and Michael Smith poured his drink on the ground.
  • Hogan's Heroes managed to outsource this: since hiring an actual demolition crew was expensive and couldn't destroy the set themselves, they allowed for the Gorn filled Nazisploitation filmIlsa, She Wolf of the SS to be shot in their set under the condition that they utterly destroy it. Which they did, via a climax where the prison camp is blown to hell.
  • A 1987 episode of The Hollywood Squares was done while the crew was taking down the set and packing it to do a week in Florida. Halfway through, all the stars had to get up and leave their squares so they could move them out, so they all played on a set of audience risers so they could finish the game. Check it out (starts around 3:00).
  • Happens every once in a while on Home and Away. The Diner has had this happen several times, having been destroyed after an earthquake several years ago and more recently being burned down by some angry racist yobbos.
  • Home Improvement tries it with the Tool Time set, although firefighters were, regrettably, right on-hand.
    • For good reason. Tim Taylor Technology, anyone?
    • Subverted in-universe in the series finale. The new management tells Tim to intentionally light the set on fire as a ratings stunt. Tim acts like he's going along with it, since not complying meant cancellation...but then he and Al instead decide to reveal the manager's plan to the audience and instead make their last show a Curtain Call. They bring out the tool-themed band who sing a cover of the Talking Heads song "Burning Down The House" while Al and Tim brandish lighters. Nothing gets burned until the end, by accident, which was quickly doused.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street didn't exactly trash the set, but the bloody shootout in the police station for the sixth season finale was used to justify the new set used afterward.
  • The primary motivation of every episode of Human Wrecking Balls. Take a location and unleash a pair of professional breakers on it.
  • The cast of Spanish News Parody show El informal had a habit of destroying the set's table on every season finale.
  • iCarly: In the season 4 premiere "iGot a Hot Room", Carly's bedroom is burnt down by a gummy bear lamp Spencer made. Interestingly though, this was the first appearance of Carly's bedroom in the series all together, making an inverse of this trope.
  • The third anniversary show of I've Got A Secret ended with Steve Allen and Skitch Henderson destroying the old set because a new set was being made.
    • What's more, the set wasn't ready next week, so they did the entire show with two desks made from orange crates and soapboxes.
  • Knight Rider had an interesting variation: they trashed the "prop"/cast member KITT on average once a season so they could rebuild him with different trimmings.
  • One of Ernie Kovacs' series of specials ended this way — Ernie was under the impression that his company (which was pretty much him) would get the balance of the unused production budget when the series of specials were finished. When he found out this wasn't true, the last episode had an elaborate set, and every member of the cast was issued a small hatchet...
  • When The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson was scheduled to get a new set, they did this on the last episode with the old set. Arguably the highlight was Bob Barker (yes, that Bob Barker, 82 years old at the time) breaking the top of Craig's desk with his bare left hand
  • Conan O'Brian did this on air to his Late Night set before taking on the reins of The Tonight Show.
  • Robbie Rotten's lair in LazyTown is a no brainer, no thanks to a bounty hunter destroying his stuff and all.
    • This made Robbie relocate to RottenTown so he can be with his people & built a new lair under RottenTown Hall looking like the old lair but with some changes. A list would be too long to put here.
  • The 1st season finale of Leverage shows the team blowing up their home base to avoid having all their secrets falling into enemy hands.
  • In Life Goes On, Corky accidentally causes the destruction of his father's recently opened diner and it remains that way for several episodes until it is rebuilt.
  • In one season finale of Little House on the Prairie an entire "Minnesota" village set was burned to the ground.
    • In the 2 hour series finale movie, the townspeople learn that Walnut Grove has been bought by a greedy developer who wants to make money from their businesses. They blow the town up in defiance and leave. In real life, Michael Landon did not want other TV shows using the sets, so the finale was written specifically to employ this trope.
  • Liv and Maddie: Towards the end of the Season 3 finale "Californi-a-Rooney", the tower in Joey and Parker's hideout that is revealed to hold up the whole house falls apart, causing the entire house to collapse. In the end, the Rooney family moves in with Liv's Aunt Dena in Los Angeles.
  • Lost Girl: The series' penultimate episode has Bo burn down the building where she'd lived for the show's entire run.
  • In a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, the exterior set for M*A*S*H — which had stood since the making of the original movie — was destroyed by a wildfire during the filming of the show's Grand Finale. Rather than spend the money to rebuild the 4077th compound, the producers instead wrote its destruction into the script.
  • Two episodes of The Mentalist, "The Great Red Dragon" and "Red John", involve the CBI offices being dismantled. Even Jane's couch is taken away.
  • Monster Garage: The "Cop Car Donut Shop" episode was the last show filmed before they moved to a larger garage. They decided to send it off "in true Monster fashion," inviting a weird band to play music and shoot assorted donuts and confetti so as to "trash the place before leaving": not so much destroying the garage but at least leaving it a big, fat mess. One camera was noted on-air to have been damaged as a result.
  • In the final episode of The Musketeers, the season's Big Bad blows up and burns down the Musketeers' garrison building.
  • MythBusters:
    • Typically, the crew will find a nice, empty expanse to perform their stunts, but once in a while they have to use actual locations, in which case they locate places where it's safe to do this trope (example: they performed their "Falling Elevator" test in a condemned hotel slated for demolition which let them undo the elevator car's safety and drop it 90 feet to the basement below). In the Grand Finale, they placed their test dummy Buster on a rocket sled and launched him into a brick wall at supersonic speed, destroying him beyond any chance of repair.
    • In a less literal sense, when a myth involves something blowing up, and they bust the myth without a satisfying explosion, it's practically a MythBusters guarantee that they're not done until the object in question is destroyed ("replicating the results"). And sometimes they do it just for fun, whether it depicts the myth or not, such as removing hardened concrete from a mixer trucknote  with an explosion that had to be watched from a couple miles awaynote .
      Jamie: Jamie wants big boom.
    • The Grand Finale had them destroying every single gadget that they had created throughout the show that was still lying around, culminating with giving Buster a Viking Funeral via the aforementioned rocket sled launch.
  • Done in the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Grand Finale — Gordy gets fired and resolves to catch the weasel once and for all, completely and totally demolishing the set with a large bulldozer and several other pieces of construction equipment. He succeeds. (It must be really tempting at the end of a school-related series—the producers and stars get to act out their adolescent fantasies of tearing apart the school...)
  • This was the entire premise of Never Ever Do This At Home, which took a house that was about to be demolished and performed things that you should "never ever do at home" in the name of "science". Such as, for instance, moving a piano from upstairs to the ground floor by placing explosives on the ground under it.
  • Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn:
    • In a break with the usual end of season/series aspect of this trope, the season three premiere "Quad with a Blog" ends with the Get Sporty Cafe burning in a fire. It isn't fixed until the end of the fourth episode "The Great Mullet Caper", which was all about determining what the Cafe's theme would be.
    • In the season four premiere "Dude, Where's My School?", the quads accidentally destroy their school with an accidental flood and they and their friends are forced to enroll in new school Boulder Academy.
  • At the end of the first season of Nikita, Nikita's loft is attacked by a Division strike team, and is subsequently blown up.
    • A few episodes into Season 2, Birkhoff's house, which had been serving as the protagonists' new base, is attacked by a strike team and blown up (noticing a pattern here?)
    • Happens again with their next base near the end of the season.
    • Season 3's story arc involves shutting Division down for good, and the final episode has Nikita blow up Division HQ.
  • Person of Interest:
    • In the third season finale, after Samaritan comes online, an NYPD team raids Team Machine's library headquarters and trashes it.
    • Happens again in the series finale with their replacement subway base, this time by Team Machine's own hands. When Samaritan operatives storm the base to kill them, their way of escape is to blow out a wall and take a car they had been harboring on a journey through the New York subway system.
  • The set completely falls apart during the closing credits of the final episode of Police Squad!.
  • Power Rangers
    • At the end of MMPR season three, just as the Rangers have fixed their "turned into kids" situation, Goldar and Rito show up in the Command Centre with a bomb. The Rangers teleport out just in time to watch their base explode with Zordon and Alpha still inside.
    • In an even bigger cliffhanger, Turbo's finale saw the Power Chamber invaded and completely demolished, with comic-relief villain Elgar personally smashing the tube that once held Zordon / Dimitria.
    • Once the different series stopped leading directly into each other, "villain breaks into / takes over the base and wrecks it" became a staple of the finale. Aquabase? Infiltrated and flooded. Clock Tower? Destroyed. Ninja Ops? Smashed to pieces by Lothor. Tommy's computer-cave? Blown up by Zeltrax. The Jungle Fury pizza place got out unscathed, but the villain base got demolished in a drag-out brawl.
    • This also happens in just about every Sentai series.
  • Preacher (2016): Two instances in the first season finale, one minor and one major:
    • After the reveal of God's absence from heaven, some of the townfolk are shown tearing apart the interior of Jesse's church, complete with Odin Quincannon pulling down the cross.
    • Near the end of the episode, Annville's power plant vents methane over the entire town, eventually causing an explosion with enough force to completely destroy the whole town. Special focus is given to the shock wave shattering Jesse's church, the last remains of which are shown pitifully collapsing afterwards.
  • The final episode of Press Gang featured the newsroom set being burnt down, which was partially because writer Steven Moffat was utterly sick of it by that point and was determined to destroy it.
  • Punky Brewster: The story arc "Changes" has Henry's photography studio destroyed by a fire. It leads to him collapsing from exhaustion and being hospitalized, which in turn leads to Punky being sent back to Fenster Hall.
  • Revenge:
    • In the Season 2 finale, the Grayson Global offices are blown up by the Initiative as part of a False Flag Operation to get Conrad into the Governor's mansion.
    • A few episodes before the end, Victoria apparently commits suicide by blowing up Grayson Manor.
  • In a rare Game Show example, several panelists progressively destroyed the set of ABC 70's flop Rhyme and Reason at the end of the Grand Finale.
  • In the third season of Robin of Sherwood, the outdoor sets used for the recurring village of Wickham were slightly redressed to appear as the village of Cromm Cruac in the eponymous episode, and then really burned down in the episode's fiery climax.
  • On Saved by the Bell: The New Class The Max burns down when Ryan forgets to turn off the Christmas lights. It is rebuilt with a new look the following season.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Biff tries to put a single nail into the wall to hang up a picture in Hooper's Store, and somehow this causes a chain reaction that destroys the store's entire interior. The rest of the episode involved rebuilding it all, with a more modern décor. At the end of that episode, when Biff offers to hang Mr. Hanford's framed first dollar, Mr. Hanford, to make things safe, says "I'll hang this one myself."
    • The five-part hurricane episode has Big Bird's nest destroyed.
    • In the "Six Dollar Man" skit, Professor von Fission's titular creation ends up wrecking both itself and his entire laboratory. He laughs it off, telling a shocked Kermit, "What do you expect for six dollars??"
    • A 1970s sketch features Roscoe Orman and Emilio Delgado (better known as Gordon and Luis) as two old men who share a bed, and Roscoe insists that the window be open (despite the cold weather outside) while Emilio insists it be closed. Finally, Roscoe agrees to leave the window closed... then smirks at the camera before producing a giant hammer and demolishing several of the walls - but sparing the window, which remains closed.
  • Shaka Zulu: In the last episode, when Shaka's reign is ended through assassination, his capital city is burned to the ground, leading to a whole bunch of extravagant shots where the setpieces are roundly trashed.
  • Shake It Up!, like M*A*S*H is another example of real life dictating a set change. The original dance floor/studio set caught fire in between seasons, so the writers incorporated this into the show's plot and replaced it with a set more efficient and camera-friendly while allowing more physical room for dancers.
  • Smallville destroyed two long-standing sets for its final season, the Talon coffee shop/upstairs apartment (by missile) and the Luthor Mansion (by fire).
    • It's also possible that the set decorators were frequently bored with the design of the Watchtower, since by season ten the insides were damaged almost every other week by one thing or another. Good thing they had two rich people on their team...
  • At the end of the first season of Space Cases, the Command Post set was trashed to portray the severely damaged Command Post of the Christa's sister ship. Which caused some minor continuity issues when the second season began immediately after the end of finale in the Command Post...
  • As noted in the Film section above, the Star Trek: The Motion Picture bridge set was often trashed on Star Trek: The Next Generation, often representing a derelict or battle-damaged older Starfleet bridge, though in at least one case it was trashed to represent a non-Starfleet science outpost that had been raided.
    • At the end of the episode "Frame of Mind", Commander Riker trashes the set of Dr. Crusher's play "Frame of Mind", because the play (in which he portrayed a mental patient attempting to convince his doctor of his sanity) had been at the center of the Mind Screw he was subjected to while being mind-probed by aliens. Once he was rescued, he couldn't sleep knowing the set (which was scheduled to be struck the next day) still stood, so he ripped it apart himself.
  • Voyager itself got a serious trashing in the two-part Star Trek: Voyager episode "Year Of Hell", though by the time the episode ends, time is reset and Voyager is back to its normally pristine condition.
  • Pretty much every set on Star Trek: Enterprise got trashed during the Curb-Stomp Battle in "Azati Prime". Despite extensive Damage Control, the sets were still half-destroyed going into Season 4, after which they were rebuilt.
  • The big Season 3 finale of Strangers with Candy, combined with a bit of Biting-the-Hand Humor as the teachers riot and burn down Flatpoint High to prevent it from being converted into a strip mall, symbolic of Strangers with Candy being cancelled for Strip Mall.
  • In the Supernatural season 2 finale, "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One", the Roadhouse set was completely destroyed after it was burnt to the ground.
    • In the second episode of Season 7, "Hello Cruel World", the Leviathans completely destroy Bobby's home, which had been a fixture of the show since the end of the first season.
  • On the last episode of Super Password, host Bert Convy had Betty White destroy the "Magic Toaster" prop for the Ca$hword round after she failed to guess the Ca$hword.
    • Bert himself accidentally broke a different Magic Toaster a few years before. After a Ca$hword had to be thrown out due to an illegal clue, he dropped it on the floor behind him before he realized it.
  • Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles did this at the ends of both seasons.
    • The violent action scene that surrounds the Cliffhanger between the first and second seasons began with the Connors' car being destroyed by a bomb in a murder attempt, and ended with their house being destroyed by a gas explosion after the antagonists set it on fire.
    • The final episode of the second season climaxed with Weaver's office being well and truly demolished by a Skynet drone attack.
  • Timeless: Within the first five minutes of the Season 2 premiere, Rittenhouse blows up Mason Industries in an attempt to kill the heroes and destroy the Lifeboat. Afterwards, the team has to relocate to a secret government bunker.
  • The Ultimate Fighter: On this reality television show featuring MMA fighters cooped up in a Las Vegas mansion, it became almost customary (and probably encouraged) for stir-crazy fighters to start trashing the house in the final weeks of the show, either out of anger or boredom. Whatever damage they cause to the house is worth many times that in spectacle and viewership. In one episode, an angry "Rampage" Jackson punches his way through a gym door like it was made of cardboard, clearly showing that the set builders fully expected the place to be trashed. Even UFC president Dana White expressed embarrassment on-camera over how flimsy the doors were.
  • In Ultraman, the headquarters of the Science Patrol featured a wall-sized computer with lots of flashing lights making bell-like sounds. In the final episode of the 1966 series, one of Zetton's minions took over a human's body and, for no apparent reason, destroyed the computer by shooting a lightning ray gun at it. Lots of sparks and switch explosions. The Science Patrol building exterior took some hits as well, and even briefly caught fire, but in the end only suffered minor damage.
  • The 2nd season finale of The Walking Dead has Hershel's farm burned down and overrun by walkers.
    • In the mid-season finale of season 4, the prison is pretty much destroyed thanks to the tank The Governor brings along with him.
    • The Season 8 mid-season finale sees the Saviors firebombing Alexandria and burning it to the ground.
  • In the season 3 finale of Warehouse 13, the eponymous Warehouse was vaporized by an artifact-powered high yield explosive device. The season 4 premiere has it restored via a time travel Reset Button.
  • War of the Worlds blew up their cottage headquarters in the Season 2 opener.
  • The Portuguese version of Wheel of Fortune was hosted by a famous comedian, Herman Jos&eacute, that at the time could pretty much do anything due to his massive popularity. So what did he do during the series finale? He comes out with a leather jacket and a shotgun, and proceeded to shoot at the prize displays throughout the show. As a grand finale, he also shot up the puzzle board. Needless to say, everyone was nervous and Wheel never came back for a long time.
  • The Dutch version of Whose Line Is It Anyway? known as "De Lama's" does this during its final recording. During the introduction, part of the backdrop partially came crashing down, and the rest of the destruction occurred during the final game after some scenery getting knocked over by accident made the whole thing escalate. One performer even grabbed a paint can from behind the set to write "See you next week!" on the wall. It was later mentioned in an interview that this specific recording was meant to be the second to last episode to be broadcasted, the actual last episode having been recorded beforehand. The performers thought it would be funny to make it look like the studio was completely rebuilt just for one last episode.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place:
    • Though the destruction did not happen onscreen, in the final season Alex's school was destroyed by an asteroid and her graduation ceremony happened in the wreckage.
    • In "The Wizards Return", the reunion special, Evil Alex burns the family couch◊.
  • The fifth-season finale of The X-Files ended with Mulder and Scully's office burning down, as a farewell to the sets. (The following seasons were produced in LA rather than Vancouver.)
  • On the You Can't Do That on Television episode "Ripoffs", the set collapses at the end of the show because the warranty has expired.
  • Subverted by The Young Ones, which trashed various portions of the set in every episode - the damage would always disappear by the beginning of the next episode. The main reason that the show featured a guest act or band every episode was so it would qualify for a "Variety Show" budget, not a "Sitcom" budget. This higher budget was needed as the sets were constantly being demolished by the cast. The character Vyvyan played a game called "Murder In The Dark" in one episode, the rules of which were Trash The Set with an axe and with the lights off.


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