Ring Ring CRUNCH
Ocho: You're late too?!
Gumball: Yeah, the alarm clock went back to sleep mode, and I didn't have the heart to wake it up. You?
Ocho: My alarm clock didn't dare wake me up, not after what I did to the last one!
Our lives are increasingly filled with small electronic devices that make annoying shrill noises at us, usually when we least want them to. This often results in sudden, shocking violence toward such devices. Thus, makers of alarm clocks will never go out of business.
The oldest examples of this trope are all alarm clocks (or occasionally the even older non-digital form of the annoying wake-up, the rooster). Only relatively recently, with the arrival of the ubiquitous cell phone, has this trope wandered out of the bedroom and into public places.
The advent of cell phones has also instituted the expansion of the trope to violence directed toward devices owned by people other than yourself. It's not all that easy to justify whacking someone else's alarm clock (unless it's that pesky rooster owned by the neighboring farmer), but grabbing and smashing the cell phone of an inconsiderate owner — say, someone talking loudly and obnoxiously in a public place, or someone who forgot to turn the phone's ringer off before entering a movie theater — is not only simple, but may be considered a form of public service. (We do not support doing this in real life. The owner may be larger than you and you could get hurt. On the other hand, it may be worth it.)
Other annoying modern noisemakers that may also be subject to this trope include smoke detectors/fire alarms, car alarms (usually requires demolishing the entire car to stop the noise), and carbon monoxide detectors.
A common tactic if the cruncher is Not a Morning Person. See also Cutting the Electronic Leash, a cellphone-specific and generally less violent related trope, Agitated Item Stomping, Shoot the Television.
- In Black Blood Brothers, Jiro turns off Mimiko's alarm clock by cutting it in half (since, according to Kotaro, he isn't good with new technology).
- Specifically averted in Da Capo. Nemu gets Junichi a round alarm clock so that if he tries to hit it, it will just roll away and ring somewhere else.
- In Hellsing, during a lull in the battle aboard the H.M.S. Eagle, an alarm clock starts ringing, only to be promptly smashed underfoot by Alucard. The alarm clock indicates that enough time has passed that Alucard will not be able to be returned to London when it is attacked by the Last Battalion.
- In an episode of Inuyasha, he destroys Kagome's ringing alarm clock so she doesn't wake up and find him in her bedroom.
- Subverted in Lucky Star: Misao takes a damaged alarm clock in Kagami's room as proof of Kagami's "legendary morning violence", before Kagami corrects her.
- In the first episode of the Pokémon anime, Ash smashes his Voltorb-shaped alarm clock against the wall while dreaming - so it doesn't wake him up at the right time, which directly leads him to get Pikachu as his first Pokémon.
- In Soul Eater, the titular character smacks away an alarm clock without waking up...only to get a much ruder (or not, if you're into that kind of thing) wake-up call by Blair...
- While it doesn't get smashed just for ringing (the owner was refusing to shut it off even though the signal was causing problems with a woman's medical device), Souichi grabs the phone of another rider on the train and stomps on it in The Tyrant Falls in Love.
- More of a 'tick tick tick tick SMASH. CRUNCH.' and then probably stomping on the parts in Tsukihime when Shiki is getting some spillover from Roa/SHIKI and causing violent rage of which he's not really aware. He wanted to lie down and get rid of his headache so he could talk to Ciel without... getting... horrible destructive. Good luck, Shiki!
- The Rare Hunters do this to Tea/Anzu's mobile phone in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- After the time skip in Allison & Lillia, Allison is shown to be very hard on her bedroom clocks.
Comic Books[edit | hide]
- In the Fantastic Four comic book, Ben Grimm was forever forgetting his Super Strength and smashing his alarm clock to bits when he went to turn it off. The next panel would usually show him tossing it onto a pile of similarly-smashed clocks.
- Strangers in Paradise had Katchoo go through a new alarm clock every day, often with a large-caliber bullet from a gun she kept under her pillow. She accumulated a large pile of ruined clocks before the Running Gag faded from the series. Interestingly, the story included a Dream Sequence that explained, in heart-wrenching detail, exactly why Katchoo is so upset at being awakened.
- Implied in Leonard Le Genie. While Heavy Sleeper Basile was never actually shown demolishing his alarm clock, some bedroom scenes show it smashed by a large hammer, or simply with an "out of order" sign on it. Unfortunately for him, his Bad Boss usually wakes him up by much less orthodox and more violent means...
- In Electric Girl, Virginia zaps her alarm clock with her electricity powers, and her parents have to warn her not to go through too many clocks.
- Achille Talon once tried to get an annoying transistor radio to shut up by smashing it against a rock and feeding the pieces to his pet duck. Unfortunately, the radio kept working from inside the duck's belly.
- A similar incident takes place in Spirou and Fantasio: a miniaturized radio with the volume turned to the maximum is swallowed by the Marsupilami and lodges itself in his nose, where it keeps working until the marsupilami, exasperated, punches himself in the face.
- In the Soviet short His Wife Is a Hen, the husband has this reaction to the alarm clock after awaking from his nightmare.
Fan Fiction[edit | hide]
- In Progress, Princess Luna is startled awake by Sundance's alarm clock and blasts it through a door and an outside wall. To be fair, it was her first time ever using one.
- In Groundhog Day, Phil does this to his clock radio that won't stop playing "I Got You Babe" every morning at 6:00.
- In The Movie of City Hunter staring Jackie Chan, the movie opens with this, with Jackie expertly shooting the (hanging) alarm clocks set by his assistant. He doesn't even come close to waking up.
- At the end of Enchanted, Nancy's (animated!) cell phone rings during her (also animated) wedding. She takes it out; comments, "Wow, really good reception here," then throws it to the floor with enough force to shatter it to bits.
- In The Mask, the titular character is "trying" to sneak quietly past his landlady's apartment when an alarm clock pops out of his pocket and starts bouncing noisily around. He finally smashes it with a giant cartoon hammer.
- The opening sequence of Muppets from Space has a short montage of various Muppets turning off their alarm clocks with varying degrees of force.
- Out of all of them, the only one to actually break a clock is Sweetums.
- Played with in movie Get Smart. Agent 23 does this to a colleague's phone in a meeting (the colleague was texting during the meeting). The guy sitting on the other side of 23 angrily takes the pieces and says "Next time, use your own damn phone."
- In Bruce Almighty, Bruce throws his pager out the window, where a car runs over it. It still works.
- A Variant of this occurs in Rain Man when Raymond's attempts to get breakfast trigger the smoke alarm in Charlie's apartment, freaking him out until Charlie destroys it.
- Another variant occurs in Animal House when Bluto stops an annoyning crooner's song by smashing his guitar against the wall.
- Up. The old man protagonist does this as a matter of habit, with serious consequences for a bullfrog that wakes him up later in the movie.
- In Brain Donors, this is part of handyman Jacques' morning routine. He even has a dresser drawer full of broken alarm clock parts and a closet full of new clocks for this purpose.
Literature[edit | hide]
- Played with in Dresden Files. Harry has a Mickey Mouse alarm clock specifically so that he doesn't do this.
- He couldn't live with a guy who'd hit Mickey Mouse.
- Ring Ring CRUNCH is the central theme of Ray Bradbury's short story, The Murderer. The protagonist becomes fed up with the ubiquity and intrusiveness of radios, phones, and the like, so he begins to systematically destroy the intrusive devices in his life. He pours ice cream into a speaker grille, stuffs another device in the garbage disposal (which, as a useful and nonintrusive technology, is the only thing he feels sorry about), and even uses an EMP on the bus and basks in the panic and subsequent civility as people are forced to talk to each other.
- In Cryptonomicon, when Randy's wristwatch's alarm goes off, Amy cuts it off his wrist with a kris and throws it into the ocean.
- Similarly, in Zodiac, ST is forced to take the back off his wristwatch and screwdriver it into silence after an alarm to remind him to call his ex-girlfriend goes off while he's breaking into a chemical plant.
- This occurs in the Destroyer series because both Remo and Chuin smash phones all the time. They usually tear them out of the walls.
- In Bitten, Elena muses:
"The phone itself had lost the ability to ring four years ago, when Clay whipped it across the room after it dared disturb his sleep two nights in a row."
- Homecoming has a variation: elderly Abigail Tillerman is rumored to have chopped the cord of her phone and tossed it through the window of the phone company building, after receiving the call that her youngest son had been killed in the Vietnam War.
- The third volume of the Light Novel series Allison opens with "Crash!" and then the prologue's narrator, Allison's daughter, explains, "That crash just now was the sound of Mom chucking the poor, hardworking alarm clock against the wall."
- Chuck: Sarah kills her alarm clock with an expertly thrown knife. She's wearing a night mask at the time, too.
- Variant: In an episode of Friends, Phoebe caves and decides to move in with her cop boyfriend. They are woken in the morning to a bird singing a beautiful song. The boyfriend smiles, takes out a gun and shoots the bird. She apparently learned a bit from him, as she would later hammer her beeping fire alarm. It still didn't stop beeping.
- On a Xena: Warrior Princess Groundhog Day Loop episode, Xena uses her chakram on the rooster that keeps waking her up. All it does is cause an instant reset.
- Mr. Bean once drowned his alarm clock.
- There was an episode of The A-Team when B. A. Baracus, sleeping in a house the team was using for a hideaway, smashed an annoying alarm clock into little tiny pieces with one pound of his fist. "It's too early, foo'!"
- Booth from Bones does this once. While having a particularly stressful day, an ice cream truck passes by with a grating tinny tune blaring in every direction. In addition, the truck displays a prominent, and slightly terrifying, clown (Booth has a well-established dislike of clowns). His solution? Take his pistol out and pop a few rounds in it.
- Saturday Night Live once had a skit advertising a "car alarm silencer." The device being advertised was actually a bazooka that destroyed the offending car.
- On NCIS, Gibbs is notorious for accidentally/intentionally destroying his own cell phone when it gives him any trouble, either by malfunctioning, ringing too much, or simply existing. He's even dropped one into a jar of paint thinner. The other agents on his team now keep plenty of spares in their desks, ready to hand to him at a moment's notice.
- Subverted in Scrubs with a cellphone belonging to Turk. He's talking to an ex when JD throws the phone on the floor. It carries on working. He then jumps up and down on it. It carries on working. Frustrated, he throws it out of the window, and the scene ends. Later, someone else picks it up and returns it. Completely undamaged and not even having ended the call. JD wonders what it's made of, and says he has to get one for himself...
- Overlaps with Sorry I Left the BGM On in another episode. Colin Hay, former lead singer of the 80s band Men at Work, has been popping up all over the place with a guitar, crooning Men at Work's hit "Overkill" and background music. In one scene, JD and Doctor Cox are having an important moment, but Hay's singing is drowning out their dialogue. Doctor Cox abruptly loses his temper and turns around, grabs Hay's guitar and smashes it to splinters against the wall. Hay protests that he knows other songs Dr. Cox could have asked him to play. "Sure you do."
- Both played straight and averted in Buffy the Vampire Slayer. In the first season, she accidentally destroys her alarm when she forgets her true strength. But by the sixth season in the musical episode, she is so filled with ennui that she merely picks it up and holds it, listening to it ring.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation. Worf smashing the mandolin that Geordi is playing in "Q-pid". "Sorry."
- Which is a reference to a scene in Animal House where Bluto smashes a folk singer's guitar before uttering the same line.
- In Drake and Josh, Drake turns off his alarm clock by dropping a dumbbell on it.
- Stargate SG-1 has a fairly tame version. When Jack and Teal'c were off fishing in one episode and Daniel tried calling them, Jack took out the batteries and threw them in the lake, if I remember correctly.
- The Goodies. Hilariously spoofed in "Lighthouse Loonies". Seeing the fog closing in around the Jolly Rock lighthouse Graham switches on the foghorn, startling an over-sensitive Tim who yells at him to turn it off. Graham does so but the foghorn continues to blare, even after they repeatedly flick the switch, pull out the power cord, rip the foghorn to bits and jump up and down on it. Finally in desperation Graham swallows the part emitting the most noise, whereupon silence ensues. Until he opens his mouth to speak.
- Also present in the second episode, "Snooze", with a radio. It seems that Graeme has built a hammer into his wall for the primary purpose of smashing his radio. One wonders why he doesn't just throw it out.
- In Drop the Dead Donkey, Damien is trying to do a to-camera piece and keeps being interrupted by various things (tramps, a Hare Krishna parade, a piano falling off a hoist...) culminating in a nearby car alarm going off. The camera goes to black and he rips the wires out of the car, apparently bare-handed.
- In Seinfeld, the subplot to The Marine Biologist has a woman named Corinne being unfortunate enough to be hit on the head with two thrown noisy devices. Eccentric author Yuri Testikov throws Elaine's pocket organizer out a car window after she's unable to stop it from beeping. The second time, Elaine and Jerry visit Yuri at his hotel room to secretly collect evidence of this action by using a tape recorder, since Elaine wants Yuri to cover the bill for Corinne's injury. Yuri hears the noise from the tape recorder and throws it out of the hotel.
- In an episode of Honey I Shrunk the Kids: The TV Show, Amy accidentally uses her brand-new telekinetic powers to hurl an alarm clock across her bedroom.
- Has happened at least once on The Red Green Show.
- In Corner Gas, there is a montage of Brent repeatedly hitting the snooze on his alarm clock until he finally wakes up and says "Whoa. What a weird dream. I dreamed that I had an alarm clock. I should probably think about getting one of those." He does get one, and later in the episode he smashes it to pieces when it wakes him up and says "Oh yeah, that's why I didn't have one of those." At the end of the episode, he also smashes Hank's new electronic organizer when its alarm goes off and wakes him up.
- In the live-action Superboy series, Clark is ordered by his boss to keep a journal of everything he does. "7:00. Wake up. Need a new alarm clock. Again." Alarm clocks just aren't designed to take being slapped by sleepy Kryptonians.
- Likewise in Lois and Clark, episode "Pheromone My Lovely", Clark is awakened by his alarm clock and accidentally flattens it with a single bash.
- In the Modern Family episode "Chirp", Phil spends the entire episode trying to track down a smoke detector that is making an annoying chirping sound. He eventually becomes so frustrated that he starts smashing the smoke detectors.
- The song Alarm Clock by The Rumble Strips deals with exactly this: Well I don't like doing things/That other folks tell me to do/So I hit him with a hammer/And now he's quite subdued.
- The "Weird Al" Yankovic song "Ringtone", a lament about the anguish of having annoying cell phone music, includes the stanza "Well, it made my wife so sick, she smashed my iPhone with a brick, but I had it fixed and now it's just fine". Oddly, most of the other lyrics (and the video) display violence toward the cell phone's owner rather than the device itself.
- The song Cellphone Vigilante by The Arrogant Worms has the protagonist doing this to people's cellphones going off in appropriate situations.
- Garfield does this regularly to his alarm clock. Other times, he has done it to anything that made a ringing noise, including a telephone (at least twice) and an ice cream truck.
- Alice from Dilbert once did this during a meeting where she was explaining the benefits of titanium rods like the one that happened to be in her possession at that time. A cell phone goes off and she shows just one of the reasons why they are so useful. She hands the offending co-worker the titanium rod with what's left of the cell phone stuck to it with a simple "It's for you."
- Peter does it in a FoxTrot Sunday strip when the alarm clock interupts a dream about making out with swimsuit models.
Video Games[edit | hide]
- Wario Land II, in which your first goal in the game is to kill an alarm clock at the end of the level.
- Killer Bean (from the aptly-named Killer Bean 2) does this too, but with more violence.
Web Comics[edit | hide]
- Strip 342 of Loserz.
- Implied in this Schlock Mercenary strip.
- In Jack, the lead character of the arc "The Games We Play in Hell" uses a knife-hand (this being, as per the arc title, in hell) to silence her alarm.
- Subverted in The Whiteboard: Alarm clock rings. Doc's hand (paw, really. He's a polar bear) comes out from under the covers with what looks like a Desert Eagle. Clock promptly shuts up.
- Hunter of Suicide for Hire on the other hand actually shoots.
- Inverted in Antihero for Hire: since Shadehawk is a deep sleeper, his alarm clock is programmed to explode in order to wake him up during the day. It's not enough.
- There Is No Kill Like Overkill. Also applies to Dennis the Menace UK. (The Colonel keeps ordering 7 of these a week, if my memory holds up.)
- Admittedly, it's hard to tell because of the composition of the panels, but the alarm clock in Antihero for Hire actually explodes because he shot it in his sleep. Which is playing this trope straight.
- Happens in the first strip of SERGOM.
- Done in Sorcery 101. But, as the smasher was a vampire, it was an even worse offense.
- The origin of this trope?
- In this strip of Wapsi Square, Shelly is specifically told not to shoot the alarm clock when she suggests it... so she simply crushes it to tiny pieces with a clinched fist.
- Taken to an extreme in this Sheldon strip.
- An enviable device from this XKCD strip destroys overloud bass speakers.
- In this "Shirt Guy Dom" strip, Dom (or maybe just some guy) awakens in a drowsily angry stupor and eats his alarm clock.
Web Original[edit | hide]
- The computers that hand out assignments to agents of the Protectors of the Plot Continuum tend to have obscenely loud alarms, especially if the agents dare relax for a moment. At least one was threatened with conversion into a toaster. The Canon Analysis Devices have a similar flaw and an even greater mortality rate.
- Two video fragments from Serbu Firearms: were you ever awakened by your neighbour's lawnmower? Then you surely craved to do something like this. Admit it.
- For a visual, check out this entry from "There, I Fixed It".
- Part of the basis for the short animation "ALARM". The main character has several alarm clocks in his apartment. Three of them annoy him to this point. One on top of his TV has its battery ripped out, another is chucked out of a room and smashes into the fridge. The third is shot after he wakes up from the All Just a Dream sequence.
- On SpongeBob SquarePants, Spongebob tried to destroy Squidward's alarm clock , but Squidward opened a closet full of ticking alarm clocks.
- The Venture Brothers' own Brock Samson did this in his college years to Rusty's alarm clock, mostly just to show how intimidating he was.
- Eddy of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy has been known to pummel his alarm clock on occasion.
- One time it shows that Eddy has a pile of smashed up alarm clocks in the corner of his room.
- One episode of the Pink Panther cartoon starts with an alarm clock waking the titular character up. Pink tries to turn it off, but it keeps going anyways. He reaches under the bed for a mallet and pummels the clock into submission. He then gets up and puts the clock into a drawer that was already full of broken alarm clocks...
- There was a similar episode where Pink first smashes the alarm clock using a massive wrench (from a drawer full of wrenches), then cuts the cable to his radio alarm (with clippers from, yes, a drawer full of clippers). The episode was then dedicated to Pink's new cuckoo-clock. Hilarity Ensues.
- Bart Simpson does this to his alarm clock in the song Deep Deep Trouble from the album, The Simpsons Sing the Blues.
- In one episode of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi featuring the girls' stay at a farm, Yumi is woken up by an alarm clock modeled after a rooster. She smashes it, then goes back to sleep; however, a REAL rooster lands in the open window and issues an even noisier wakeup call, to which her response is less than polite ("You stupid turkey!").
- In the classic Warner Brothers' cartoon, "A Bear For Punishment", Junyer has a whole table of alarm clocks. When they all go off simultaneously, Pa Bear frantically tries to shut them off one after another. Junyer silences the whole array by putting a finger to his lips and "shushhing" them.
- Although no clocks were harmed, One Popeye cartoon has Popeye doing everything he can to keep Swee'Pea from waking up, including punching out music students, crushing several cars, and sinking a ship.
- The Hulk likes to do this in The Superhero Squad Show. Anytime a phone rings, Hulk thinks it must be mocking him, so he often smashes it.
- In an episode of Undergrads Nitz has stupidly told Kimmy Burton that he has a travel clock with an assload of features. While he's trying to find a clock to buy on the internet Rocko shows up and has nowhere else to go. Rocko decides the two of them should spend Friday night getting wasted rather than looking for a clock. Nitz doesn't drink and spends the whole night worrying about the clock. When he wakes up an hour before he meets Kimmy to give it to her he realizes hes fucked and Gimpy tells him to relax and its on its way. When it arrives he goes to get ready to meet Kimmy. But since its a travel clock designed for different timezones the alarm goes off waking up a hungover Rocko. Nitz returns to the room to find Rocko smashing it with a bat.
- The rooster variant is the entire point of the Tex Avery cartoon "Cock-a-Doodle-Dog".
- On an episode of Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius does this to Samy, who's acting like a human alarm clock.
- One episode of Adventure Time features a snow golem doing this to an alarm clock bird.
- In an episode of The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat, we have the Everything Talks variant.
- Dan Vs.: Instead of smashing it, Dan actually pulls out his digital alarm clock until the cord snaps and chucks it out the window; the alarm then knocks a passing jogger unconscious.
- In the episode The Uncle of The Amazing World of Gumball, Ocho mentions his alarm clock being to scared to wake him up based on what he did to the previous alarm clock that woke him up. The setting sometimes has normally inanimate objects talk and think and such.
- In the new[when?] Fantastic Four cartoon, Ben has passed the (ahem) torch of alarm clock abuse to Johnny Storm, who keeps melting his.
- In the old X-Men cartoon, Wolverine once sliced up his alarm clock with his claws before he could actually think about it. When he woke up a little more, he said something to the effect of "Hate it when I do that."