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Don't try this at home.


Kazumi: Didn't that hurt?

Elan: No. Dashing Swordsmen are immune to damage from shattered glass. It helps us make dramatic window entrances.

Glass is harder than you think it is. It takes a lot of force to break a glass window, and, even if you succeed, you have many shards of sharp glass all over the place that are very likely to injure you. However, that isn't cool. It's so much cooler to have your Badass Action Hero effortlessly leap through a window and come out unharmed.

As a result, fiction tends to make windows and the like a lot softer than they are in real life. After all, impressive visuals beats realism nine times out of ten.

Also note that the stunt glass you see people jump through all the time in movies is not real glass...traditionally it is actually made of sugar. They cook up a nice, thin, cheap sheet of hard candy that looks like glass, but breaks much easier, and is less likely to cut the stuntman to ribbons (the iconic crashing noise is added in post-production). Also afterwards just turning a hose on the area washes it away and nobody can get cut after the jump. Modern "breakaway glass" is usually some form of plastic such as acrylic.

One of the many ways Television Is Trying to Kill Us.

See also A Glass in the Hand, and Grievous Bottley Harm where the strength of glass is also underestimated.

Examples of Soft Glass include:


  • Virtually all bar-fights in any Western series result in at least one cowhand going through a saloon window, often followed by him getting up and running back into the fray.
  • As in Die Hard below, shooting the glass beforehand is in fact pretty standard for a lot of action shows where they want to show they are paying at least a little bit of attention to realism. Plus it shows off the hero's badassitude in that, yes, they're not only going to jump through that window, they've planned out jumping through the window.


  • Wrangler's ad campaign 'We Are Animals' consists of subsequent still frames of people jumping through the pane glass.
  • Exaggerated in the 'Stunt City' deoderant ad, with various men casually smashing through glass (among other things). Starts with one man punching through his medicine cabinet mirror to get at the product, another leaping through a store's glass door, a motorcycle courier jumping through a lobby window (right beside the door), and finally ending with the first man plumetting from a helicopter through a skylight.

Anime & Manga

  • In Ranma ½, sending someone flying through a window is a favorite pastime of the characters (especially female ones). Akane's bedroom window, and the homeroom window at school, are the most common victims. Ironically, after Akane tossed Ranma through the open window one time, he tried to leap back up, only to smack firmly into the glass when she closed it.
  • Averted in XxxHolic: Watanuki's fall from the school's second floor probably wouldn't have done more than break a limb or two if he didn't have the misfortune of breaking his fall on a pane of glass. As it was, he was put in a six-day coma, and it was only through some serious supernatural intervention that he was able to survive at all. It's also implied that blood loss from the numerous cuts from the glass would've been what killed him, specifically damage to his neck, as the scars that Himawari takes in his place as "payment" for his survival seem to indicate.
  • Subverted in the first episode of Welcome to The NHK where Satou tries to break a beer bottle with a karate chop and cuts open his hand doing it.
  • Subaru of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a tendency to smash through windows both intentionally and unintentionally, though being a Combat Cyborg certainly helps the plausibility of her doing this. Also, she's wearing a Barrier Jacket (essentially clothing with magical Deflector Shields), which have been shown to withstand some seriously impressive impacts with no damage to the wearer at all.
  • Fakir of Princess Tutu seems to rather enjoy being far more dramatic and badass than he really needs to.
  • Averted in Perfect Blue, where a character gets a serious cut from leaning through a broken window. Played straight when that window (one in a store, no less) was completely shattered in the first place by being hit by an umbrella.
  • Played straight (or possibly stealth parodied, it's a tough one) in Paprika, when a small, bespectacled, elderly scientist goes bonkers and runs through a top floor window. The window didn't even slow him down.
  • Aversion in Naruto: Kabuto does the preventive glass-breaking thing using shuriken when escaping Kakashi through a hospital window.
  • So does Spike in the Cowboy Bebop movie in a subway.
  • In Domu: A Child's Dream, Hiromi's dad goes after Etsuko in the hospital, shattering an entire sliding door. Possibly justified because he was possessed at the time and could have gotten extra strength from the Psychic Powers.
  • Futaba Kun Change: Futaba goes through glass windows several times, including once nearly-naked, without so much as a scratch. The Justicemaker, on the other hand, can get plenty of shards in his huge head along with comical spurts of blood.
  • Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex has a few scenes where the Major either busts through or is tossed out a window without acquiring any serious injuries, but this is justified since she's a full-body cyborg. The trope is also averted when the Major has to track down "Angel Feathers", a terrorist who's infamous for bombing glass skyscrapers and causing heavy casualties from the glass shrapnel.
  • During the Water 7 arc of One Piece, Luffy breaks into Galley-La headquarters by slingshotting himself through a window, and is completely unharmed despite the many large, dangerously sharp-looking pieces of glass on-panel and him using only his bare arms to shield himself. That said, Luffy is made of rubber and has a fair resistance from cuts and piercing (blunt damage is totally negated).
  • Averted nice and hard in Honey and Clover: a pane of glass breaks over Hagu's head and results in a Game-Breaking Injury that leads to her being Put on a Bus at the end of the last book.
  • Somewhat averted in the Fruits Basket manga, in that when Kyo punches a school window in anger, it does break, but he also is visibly injured by it.
  • In Darker Than Black, during Hei's training of Suou he blocks a punch of hers with his liquor bottle, it shatters, her hand has no visible injury, and she only seems mildly annoyed.

Comics — Books

  • Spider-Man
    • Hilariously subverted in an issue of Ultimate Spider-Man, where Spidey, trying to make a dramatic entrance into the Kingpin's office, finds that Fisk has installed much stronger glass than last time Spidey was around.
    • Also subverted by Spider-Man in Civil War #5, when he punches Iron Man through a wall and then is stopped dead trying to make his window exit. (Note that that's not the actual dialogue in the link...)
    • In another issue of Spider-Man, Peter and his family are staying at Stark Tower, which has been fitted with indestructible windows. After Wolverine taunts him and Mary Jane a bit too much, Peter demonstrates how indestructible they really are by tossing Logan through them. At least Tony got his money back.
    • In Spider-Man Unlimited #5, a minor villian named Fox traps Spider-Man and The Human Torch in a big glass box, in an attempt to suffocate them. It takes Spidey multiple tries to just crack it enough so that air can be let in. Spider-Man can lift 10 tons by the way.
    • Also subverted in an issue of Peter Parker: Spider-Man. The Rocket Racer attempts to make a dramatic entrance, but the window turns out to be harder than he though.
  • Disturbingly subverted in Garth Ennis's run on The Punisher where Frank tortures the ringleader of an eastern european slaving ring by throwing her against a shatterproof window over and over again. The window finally pops out, with the ringleader falling to her death, after the fifteenth try.
    • Also subverted by Frank's "Arch Enemy" (insofar as he can have one), Jigsaw, who got his name (and the face to match) after Frank threw him face-first into a glass pane at a nightclub.
  • Averted in Thieves and Kings. While Rubel does go through a couple windows, in the first case he is just opening the window, not breaking it, and in the second case, recognizing that going through a window can kill you but having no choice, he hides in a large iron pot.
  • Watchmen
    • Averted: the cops investigating the Comedian's death conclude it couldn't have been suicide, because nobody could have smashed that window by merely running at it — he had to have been picked up and thrown by someone extremely strong.
    • Played straight(-ish) later when Rorscharch is escaping the set-up at Moloch's home: he leaps through the window to escape the cops, and doesn't appear to be cut by the glass. He is damaged by the fall, however, and is quickly arrested. It's possible that his long-coat and mask protected him from the glass but, since they don't appear to be armoured at all, this is improbable.
    • Averted again later in a bar Rorschach frequents for information, where he brutally pumps information out of a guy by breaking a glass cup in his hand, then proceeding to squeeze it.
  • Bookhunter is all over the place on this one. Library Police SWAT teams are shown crashing through windows and are naturally unharmed, because they're wearing full armor. Then Agent Bay, a plainclothes Cowboy Cop, leaps through a closed window onto a fire escape and isn't injured at all. And then Chief Spencer gets flung through a plate glass window and gets cut and bloodied in the process. Apparently volition determines whether or not breaking glass injures you.
  • The Defenestrator from DC Comics. Carries a portable window to put people through. Since he's a good guy hopefully the intention is just on his pyschosis (through the window!) and not the shredding from dangerous glass.
  • Sin City architects and automakers must stock up on soft glass since several characters have jumped and punched their way through glass with no harm. Then again, characters in this series are usually Made of Iron.
  • A Star Wars Legacy Comic has Cade Skywalker shattering a display case with the Force, using the resulting shards of glass as shrapnel which he then force-throws at the assembled Siths.

Films — Animation

  • Played completely straight in Final Fantasy the Spirits Within. Gray fires three shots into a large window, and when he fails to do more than make three little holes, runs up to smash through the window, unharmed. The book averts this, in that he simply chucks a chair through it.
    • Played with in the "outtake" of said scene, in which Gray, after firing the shots, runs into the window and bounces harmlessly off of the glass, falling backwards.

Films — Live-Action

  • Subverted hilariously in A Life Less Ordinary: Ewan McGregor's character, a janitor at an office building, gets replaced by an R2D2-esque cleaning robot. Outraged, he grabs the machine, storms into his boss's office, yells "This is what I think of your robot!" and hurls it at the plate-glass window. The robot bounces off the glass, gets up, and proceeds to clean the office floor.
  • Subverted in the opening scene of Karate Kid Part II, wherein the evil instructor from the first movie punches through two car windows while attacking Mr. Miyagi, winding up with two bloody fists for his troubles. Notably, car window glass is usually of the sort that should break into "safe" pieces. By safe they mean just not as sharp and guillotinely as normal plate glass but still capable of lacerations.
  • X-Men 3
    • Another glass-proof Angel is Warren, who is able to jump through a skyscaper window without attaining so much as a scratch, shirtless.
    • And then there's Storm, whose face is slammed through a glass table during a fight scene and yet she doesn't suffer the slightest scratch.
  • And yet another glass-proof Angel — Nicholas Angel in Hot Fuzz, who managed to jump through a glass door without hurting himself. However, he threw a truncheon through it first so it shattered — but still... That's actually played fully straight — the truncheon goes through the window, and Angel then jumps through the door. He also gets straight-up thrown through another window later on, and is none the worse for wear even after hitting concrete. Then again, given the fact that the whole film is an Affectionate Parody of several genres, realism wasn't high on their list of priorities.
    • Subverted shortly after the part where Angel runs through the door when the criminal dives through a pane of glass and gets a bad cut on their leg leaving blood on the glass.
  • Averted in Memento, Leonard knocks a guy out with a wine bottle without breaking it, and specifically choosing it for this earlier when he needed a weapon.
  • Believe it or not, Commando averted this trope. A friend of Jon Matrix (Schwarzenegger's character) died after being driven on the hood of a stolen car through a window. The close up of the guy shows him badly cut from the shards.
  • Last Action Hero, as part of the premise, subverted this and many, many other tropes. After coming out of movieland, Jack Slater takes control of a car by punching through the window. Shortly thereafter, he says that doing that "really hurt".
  • One of Arnold Schwarzenegger's other characters, The Terminator, also punches through a number of car windows — but the Terminator is a robot, soft tissue damage doesn't bother it much, and its bones aren't gonna be broken by anything as wimpy as car window glass. When Sarah mentions this to the police and psychiatrist that are questioning her, the psychiatrist (who, of course, doesn't know the Terminator is real) says the thug was probably on drugs, and broke every bone in his hand without realizing it.
  • During the shooting of another film of his, True Lies, Arnold accidentally smashed a real car window instead of the one made out of sugar.
  • Die Hard
    • Averted, as Bruce Willis shoots the window he's swinging towards to weaken it before smashing through. Plus, he looks terrible afterwards. Then he later steps on broken glass with his bare feet. Not to mention the "Shoot the glass!" part...
    • Also in the first movie, Willis' character has a lot of trouble breaking glass to alert a cop 30 stories below. He eventually uses a chair and while it succeeds enough to use, it only creates a relatively small hole.
    • He does manage to throw a body through the same glass only moments later, though we don't see how much effort it took, or if the body took any damage from the glass.
  • In Lethal Weapon, Riggs takes a shotgun blast from Mr. Joshua and flies back through a window without any injuries worse than getting the wind knocked out of him. Of course, Riggs is crazy enough to ignore many injuries.
  • In Gremlins, Billy smashes open a glass window with a children's toy. The kind that looks like a lawn mower full of little popping balls. Aside from being weird, it's fairly believable. He and Kate manage to climb through the hole without cutting themselves at all, although they don't make it look easy.
  • Subverted at the end of The Game: Michael Douglas' character falls through a skylight and lands safely on a large air cushion. Several technicians Spike Jonze tells him to stay still while he brushes the "glass" fragments away, informing him that "It's stunt glass, but it can still cut."
  • Also averted in Aliens: when Ripley and Newt are locked behind armored windows in the lab, Hudson puts a burst from his pulse rifle into the glass to shatter it and then Hicks dives through the cracked window, letting his armor take most of the hit.
  • Done both straight and subverted in The Hudsucker Proxy. Early in the film, a character commits suicide by jumping off the boardroom window. Later, another character tries to do the same but can't break through the glass, as someone had the foresight to replace it with plexiglass.
  • Premonition has several horrific aversions of this.
    • The protagonist's daughter runs through their glass patio door under the mistaken impression that it's open and gets horrible cuts all over her face and body. Just to be mean, it's implied that this is the protagonist's fault for not putting stickers on it, and provides ammunition when everyone else decides she's going crazy.
    • In her timeline, she puts the stickers up before her daughter gets injured, but in the "normal" timeline, she puts them up after. It's implied that it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy; she realizes that her daughter is going to run into the window, calls out to her and distracting her just before she runs into the window. And not only does she not remember how her daughter got injured, she reacts extremely defensively when asked about it.
  • Averted gruesomely in A Home At The End Of The World, where a character's brother runs through a sliding door he thought was open. The jagged shards of glass puncture his neck, making him bleed to death in seconds.
  • Averted, humorously, in the film Love, Honour & Obey. A gang enforcer tries to punch through a car door's window to grab someone who owes money. He punches it, hard, and keeps punching it again and again with the gang standing around discussing whether they think he will give up before it breaks. you hear it shatter offscreen after a few minutes of conversation
  • There was a really ridiculous example on The Incredible Melting Man, which was once featured on Mystery Science Theater 3000 — a short, portly nurse, running away from the melting man, crashed through a glass door which she could easily have opened.
  • Subverted in I Robot. Detective Spooner attempts to debunk the theory that Dr. Lanning defenestrated himself to commit suicide. He does so by throwing a desk chair at the next pane of glass, and noting that, as safety glass, it shattered in place but did not break.
  • RoboCop
    • Murphy is allowed to shoot former-OCP officer Dick Jones... who subsequently stumbles backwards from the bullet impacts and breaks through a skyscraper window pane like it wasn't even there. He screams all the way down, presumably from the fall rather than the bullets or having walked through a window. Though it looked like the bullets went through Jones and damaged the window.
    • Subverted in an earlier scene where RoboCop is throwing his killer, Clarence Boddicker, through plate glass windows while reading him the Miranda Rights. RoboCop is strong enough to pull the feat off and Boddicker is cut and beaten badly.
  • Both subverted and played straight for humor in the movie version of Lucky Luke starring Terence Hill. During a bar brawl, one of the mooks tries to smash a bottle against a table, and repeatedly fails to actually break it. Luke helps him out by grabbing the bottle and smashing it (successfully) against the mook's head.
  • Strangely averted with Pseudoscience in the Doctor Who Made for TV Movie, when the Doctor first pushes his hand into, and then walks through a sliding glass door, with the claim that the molecular structure of the planet is changing.
  • In Beethoven, Charles Grodin enters the bad guys' headquarters through the skylight.
  • Subverted brutally in the opening scenes of the Japanese movie Hypnosis, where a character kills himself by jumping through a window. His corpse is later shown with the glass still embedded.
  • Beverly Hills Cop: Axel Foley got thrown out of a fucking window.
  • Played straight near the end of the French movie The Fox And The Child, when the fox jumps through a window with thick wooden framing as though it was nothing. Subverted because she nearly bleeds to death on the ground below.
  • Accidentally Doubly Subverted in Stark Raving Mad, in the "knock them out with a wine bottle" variation.
  • Averted in John Woo's Bullet In The Head, where Tony Leung's character has cuts on his face after a close encounter involving gunfire and a car windshield.
  • Subverted in Charlie Wilson's War. Gust Avrakatos takes three tries to smash an office window with a hammer.
  • Subverted in The Destroyer, where Remo Williams cannot break through a glass wall to get out of the trap he and the girl are in. The bad guy waits until Remo is unconscious, and comes into the room to gloat. Remo wakes up, beats up the bad guy, and then uses a diamond embedded in the bad guy's tooth to weaken the glass so he can break through it. He still doesn't get cut by it, though. Also, the special effects were really poor in that scene, where the glass shatters about 1/2 a second before Remo hits the glass.
  • Averted in The Stepfather III, where the killer punches through a car window to get a victim and cuts up his hand pretty badly, resulting in it being heavily bandaged for the rest of the movie.
  • Subverted in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary; a girl attacked by spiders winds up putting her own face through a mirror by accident. Though this doesn't kill her she winds up with several glass shards imbedded in her face and dies when she tries to remove them (taking off most of her own face).
  • Averted in Maniac Cop 2 where Officer Cordell fights off two officers, throwing one through a mirror. It's mentioned a little later that the thrown cop actually died.
  • Even animals sometimes get in on this act, as in the velociraptor's crash through the laboratory window in Jurassic Park. While scales might offer some protection against being cut, it really ought to have shown at least some damage from the collision.
  • This must be a Batman thing, because the Dark Knight Trilogy is known for its (attempts at) realism — and even it suffers from this. Batman once glided through a window without being injured or noticeably slowing down (though the S.W.A.T. team members in The Dark Knight were at least shooting the windows).
    • Batman in the Dark Knight Trilogy is covered in armor. As long as he doesn't dive face first, it should protect him.
    • Averted in "The Dark Knight" when he fires explosive sticky charges onto a skyscraper window and detonates them before gliding through. Again, his armor likely would protect him from glass shards.
  • Averted in Collateral, where Tom Cruise shoots at a window, then throws a chair through it, before jumping through himself. Earlier on, Jamie Foxx shoots out a glass door rather than try to kick/jump through it. Played straight near the start of a film where someone apparently simply falls through a window after being shot, although it's possible that the bullets went through the body and weakened the window first.
  • Parodied in Bridget Jones's Diary, in which two guys hurl themselves through plate glass like action movie heroes and then simply lie whimpering in agony in the glass shards below, too hurt to move.
  • Averted and then subverted in Reeker when someone tries to escape from his room by jumping through the window. The first time he just bounces back, but the second time he manages to break through. Then we find out his throat was slit by the glass.
  • Quite a painful one in the Jackie Chan film Police Story 2, where he jumps through a window from the roof of a moving bus. A candyglass window was set up for the stunt, but Chan misjudged how far the bus had traveled and ended up jumping through a real one. The outtakes over the credits show how painful this was.
  • Averted in The Best Years of Our Lives: after coming home from World War II having lost both his hands, Homer Parrish notices some neighborhood kids trying to catch a glimpse of his hooks and angrily smashes them through a window. This is clearly portrayed as something that wouldn't be possible with real hands.
  • Averted in The a Team film as B.A. falls some distance and lands on a glass pane, which is only dented and he has to shoot the plate to break the glass.
    • In addition, he visibly winces in pain and hobbles for the rest of the sequence.
  • Pan's Labyrinth: Averted in that Vidal beats a man's face into hamburger with a wine bottle without breaking it.
  • In The Mummy Returns, Rick and Jonathan jump out a window, and land unharmed on the awning beneath.
  • Used in Boondock Saints 2: All Saint's Day. The brothers swing from a window washer's platform, and through the window of a skyscraper in order to get at the guys inside. They do fire several .357 Magnum rounds through the window first to weaken the glass, but right after landing, they slide on their knees across a floor that should have been covered in razor sharp shards.
  • Made into a subtle hint of future plot development in the French supernatural thriller Vidocq, where the villain called the Alchemist cheerfully breaks the laws of physics in his every appearance, once jumping through a large window and several stories to the ground, walking away unharmed. Later on, another character does the same with no explanation. Coincidence?
  • Unintentionally averted in The Way of the Gun, when Benicio del Toro's character breaks into a car and has to elbow the window several times before it shatters. The glass was supposed to break on the first try but didn't, so del Toro just kept hitting it until it did. Possible double subversion: he had a screwdriver in his sleeve, and it still took him 3 hits to break the window.
  • Averted in Sabrina when Harrison Ford tricks Greg Kinnear into sitting on some wine glasses in his back pocket. He spends a significant amount of time in significant agony This scene was lifted from a 1954 film of the same name where the scene is played between Humphrey Bogart and William Holden.
  • Averted in Ghost where a piece of window glass comes down on the villain like a guillotine, killing him.
  • Probably one of the craziest examples ever happens in Halloween: Curse of Michael Myers, when Kara flies face first through a window and belly flops to the ground two stories below with no discernible injuries from either the glass or the fall. Honestly, with Made of Iron abilities like that, why the hell is she afraid of Michael Myers? Also, Michael Myers seems to have no problem punching through car windows without sustaining any injuries.
  • Averted in The Human Centipede when the crazy doctor tries smashing through a plate glass bedroom window using an air rifle. He manages it, but it takes several minutes of repeated smacking to do it. Probably would have worked better if he hadnt been hitting it with the barrel of the gun though.
  • In The Good Son near the end Mark is locked in a study room for his seemingly insane behavior, when he sees Henry walking with his mother knowing his intention to kill her he breaks the window with a chair that he doesn't seem to hit very hard.
  • In Jaws 3 near the end when the shark breaks through the aquarium glass it doesn't bump the glass very hard at all causing it to instantly shatter, the scene is quite hilarious considering how fake the shark looks in that shot with the 3D effects.
  • Played with in Uncle Buck. When Buck arrives at his brother's house, he sets himself up for a Dish Dash when he knocks a china plate off the shelf - and it doesn't break. Amazed, he tries banging the plate against the piano. It doesn't go as well.
  • Played straight in Star Trek Generations. The transparent Bridge ceiling, which is supposed to be made of transparent aluminum, shatters and rains down on the crew, hurting no one.
  • Averted in Superman Returns. When stopping disasters caused by an earthquake, Superman destroys all the broken glass from buildings with his heat vision before it can fall on anyone.
  • Another painful one from Hong Kong- during the filming of Enter the Dragon, Bruce Lee got quite badly lacerated during a take of his fight with O'Hara (Robert Wall), as the glass bottles Wall smashed to make his ersatz daggers were quite real
  • Averted in Daredevil. Kingpin throws Daredevil full force at a glass window that cracks a lot but doesn't break. Bullseye is also thrown from a huge height onto a car windshield that doesn't break.
  • Averted in The Manchurian Candidate. Marco punches through a glass coffee table and is in in extreme pain from broken bones. In real life, Frank Sinatra did punch the coffee table and broke his hand, with some bones never completely healing.
  • Played dead straight in Attack of the Clones when Obi-wan jumps headfirst through Padmé's window. This is particularly Egregious because according to the Star Wars Expanded Universe Coruscant's windows are made of transparisteel, not glass. This is a transparent material that is much tougher than glass (they use it for viewports on starships among other things). Of course, Obi-wan's a Jedi Master, so check your assumptions at the door.
  • In Godzilla vs Biollante one of the American agents escapes from Biollante by diving through a plate glass window. Head first! And to make this even more egregious the broken shards are huge. The guy should've been cut to ribbons but was fine the next time he appears.


  • Subverted in Amelia Atwater-Rhodes' Shattered Mirror. Sarah Vida punches through a glass pane and severely injures her hand. She is forced to heal normally when her mother binds her witch powers that would normally make her heal very quickly. To make it worse, she still makes her daughter go through her physically demanding training as a witch-cum-vampire slayer.
  • Mostly averted in Stephen King's The Stand, in which a character intending suicide hurls herself head-first into a skyscraper window; instead of crashing all the way through, she only manages to break through up to the shoulders. She then does kill herself by whipping her head to the side so that a glass shard goes into her eye.
  • Averted in Jack London's White Fang. The title dog breaks through a window to reunite with his master and is badly cut up along his stomach for it.
  • Terry Pratchett's Discworld
    • Subversion of the "glass bottle" variant: in Night Watch, a drunken man smashes a glass bottle... and then screams as this badly injures his hand. Vimes then tells the Watch a story about a man he saw/will see who smashed a bottle the wrong way, and ended up with a handful of broken glass, then his opponent leant forward and squeezed.
    • Also averted several times in Witches Abroad, as Granny Weatherwax smashes several mirrors during the course of the story, and almost gets killed by a shower of broken glass. (The ever-patient Nanny Ogg patches her up, lamenting, "Oh, Esme, you do take winning hard.")
    • In Maskerade a panicked lady clobbers Nanny Ogg with a full bottle of champagne to try and knock her out so as to make an escape. The bottle doesn't break, but the book takes this moment to point out that somewhere in the Ogg family tree is a bit of dwarf, meaning Nanny has a skull you could break rocks with, so all getting hit really does is stun her momentarily.
  • Played straight in the YA novel Lisa, Bright and Dark. The title character, a young girl going mad, walks through a glass patio door in a desperate cry for medical attention. Let's just repeat the relevant bit: She walks through the glass patio door. The narration makes it very clear this is what's happening — no running, no jumping, not even any hard shouldering. She does end up badly cut, but still...
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe
    • Both averted and lampshaded in the novel Wraith Squadron: Iron Fist. A team of New Republic spies instigate a bar brawl with a group of Imperial pilots by having one of their members hitting a fellow teammate in the head with a glass bottle. The bottle shatters because it is made out of stage glass. After the fight, the team member who took the bottle to the face stated that the first bottle didn't hurt him but complained that he was hit by a second bottle and that one was made out of real glass (the bottle didn't even break). Earlier in the book, in their inspiration for setting up the scene later, a person who instigated a bar brawl for similar reasons smacked a member of the team on the head with a bottle, which not only didn't break but gave him a minor concussion and was unable to fight for a while.
    • Also averted when Corran has to break a glass display case in the sealed-off Jedi exhibits at a museum in The Krytos Trap. He takes some precautions, such as wrapping his hand in as much cloth as feasible. It still hurts, but seeing as he needs the lightsaber inside, he didn't have a whole lot of choice.
    • Also also averted in Wedge's Gamble when Corran flings a speeder bike sidecar through a window (long story). The flying glass injures the people on the other side, including Wedge.
  • Subverted in Patricia C. Wrede's Mairelon The Magician, where a thief throws a chair through a window to escape. He then tears the curtains down to protect himself from what's left of the glass.
  • Used in Thieves Like Us, when a girl escapes her captors by going into the bathroom, locking the door, and breaking open the window with a shampoo bottle. Subverted in that she wrapped her hand in a towel to pull out the larger shards still in the frame afterwards and gets a deep cut in her side while climbing out.
  • In The Catcher in The Rye, when Holden, the main character, finds out that his brother died, he breaks all the windows in the garage with his fist. He messes up his hand so badly that he can never make a proper fist again.
  • Horrifyingly averted in The Higher Realm by James Friel, in which a little girl accidentally runs into a glass door, is wounded by the shards and quickly bleeds to death.
  • Averted in Martians in Maggody, when Arly breaks a window with a rock and suffers numerous superficial cuts from the glass fragments. Justified, as she'd overheard the sounds of a sexual assault from inside and couldn't waste time looking for something to wrap her arm with.
  • Mostly averted in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest: when McMurphy punches through the nurse's station's window, he severely injures his hand and has it bandaged up for a long time (however, he's able to break one of the replacement windows with a basketball). The ward windows are made of a durable safety glass that can only be broken if an enormous water fountain control panel is thrown into them with full force.
  • Averted in Mostly Harmless, when Ford Prefect finds himself sitting on the window ledge outside the thirteenth floor of the Guide offices:

 It didn't mean he was going to be able to break the window here by wrapping his fist in his towel and punching. What the hell, he tried it anyway and hurt his fist. It was just as well he couldn't get a good swing from where he was sitting, or he might have hurt it quite badly.

  • Averted in Mercy Thompson. A werewolf in a hurry jumps through the porch window, covering himself in numerous deep cuts. His exasperated alpha points out that he could have died even despite his Healing Factor due to the sheer number of the cuts. Even worse, though, is that a naked woman with normal human healing was standing beneath the window, and she ends up covered with broken glass.
  • Averted in a major way in Ann Rice's Queen of the Damned, where Mekare pushes Akasha through a plate glass window. One of the larger shards decapitates Akasha.
  • In Gaunt's Ghosts, Kolea's wife, along with scores of innocent bystanders, are shredded to pieces when an artillery shell shatters the massive glass skylight above them.

Live-Action TV

  • Subverted in an episode of Rawhide, where Rowdy Yates goes through a pane of glass and is seriously cut up by it.
  • Myth Busters (partially) covered this one.
  • Angel was rather fond of crashing through skylights. He also smashed through a lot of windows. The fact that he's a vampire might account for his ability to survive such an impact, but not the fact that he never gets cut. Subverted in one episode in which he's thrown out of a Skyscraper window. He recovers shortly after but is shown to be in extreme pain and spitting up Blood upon impact.
  • Simultaneously subverted and double subverted in an episode of Bones: It is known that a wine bottle was broken over the victim's head, after which the intact end was shoved into the victim. As it turns out, good quality wine bottles (such as those used in the winery where the body was found) don't break that easily. A cheap knock-off of said winery's bottles, filled with cheap knock-off wine, sold as if it were from that expensive winery, though...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Notably averted in season 6: someone is clubbed and (unintentionally) killed with a wine bottle that never even cracks.
    • Played straight and subverted in "Homecoming". Buffy, Cordelia, and a demon need to get out of a house that's about to explode. Buffy and Cordelia dive through a window, which shatters with no great hello. The demon dives through another window... except it's boarded shut and he just bounces right back onto the grenade. Buffy is a powerhouse, though, smashing through glass is much less of a problem for her.
  • CSI
    • Averted (though not lampshaded) by the second-season episode, "You've Got Male": a woman dies from injuries sustained by being pushed through a sliding glass door in her house. Not only did she bleed to death, she sustained fractures from the impact.
    • Averted in another episode, where one of the Miniature Killer's victims dies when her head goes through a plate glass window and the sharp shards essentially turn her into a Pez dispenser.
  • CSI: NY had an aversion in an ep where the victim was killed after he fell backwards into the glass of his aquarium, shattering it and cutting himself to shreds.
  • Dollhouse
    • Played with when a guy is punched through plate glass and does indeed look like hell afterward. In spite of this, he went through it awfully easily.
    • Also averted when someone on drugs bashes his head repeatedly against a window. He's bleeding even before the glass starts to crack. It does not break. His head does.
  • Averted in The Walking Dead when they try to break the big glass windows in a CDC center. After about a minute of shooting it and hitting it with crowbars, they finally use a grenade to blow open a window. And even then, it seems barely to break.
  • Averted in "The Train Job", the second Pilot for Firefly, when a brawl in what appears to be a classic Western tavern ends begins with Mal getting thrown through the hologram they have in place of a plate glass window. How this actually works is never made clear, though fan-theories abound, but whoever owns that bar is commendably Genre Savvy. Also averted in the pilot when Shepherd Book is hit multiple times with a glass bottle which does not break, but does an effective job of rendering said preacher unconscious.
  • Heroes
    • Done completely the other way round: Claire punches through a car window to intimidate Elle and gets several glass shards in her hand, when realistically, a car window should be made of safety glass that is specifically designed not to create sharp shards because of the great risk that would pose in accidents. Her power is regeneration though, so she's OK.
    • Then subverted at the end of season two: Elle blasts Sylar through a glass door; he keeps running and it seems he's perfectly fine, but in the next scene, he has several gashes and wounds. Regeneration is used again, though, as he injects himself with Claire's blood, healing his wounds, and granting his powers back.
    • Half-played straight, half-averted again when Sylar throws Peter through a window. He sustains injuries (he just lost regenerative powers), but isn't ribboned. In fact, it's inplied that it's the telekinetically-cushioned seven-story fall that caused his injuries.
  • Averted in Day Break. In the pilot episode, Brett throws a guy into a glass display case. In a later scene set a few hours later, we are told that "they're still picking the glass out of his back" at the hospital.
  • In Jeeves and Wooster, Bertie Wooster jumps through a closed glass window, and emerges unharmed.
  • Averted in the Soviet mini-series The Meeting Place Cannot Be Changed. The villain takes a running jump through a glass window, using an innocent bystander as a shield. When the hero follows him, the remaining bits of glass cut him up pretty bad.
  • In an episode of My Family, Ben and Susan house sit an extremely hi-tech apartment, where they do not know how to operate anything or open the windows. A fire starts and they break the glass (which looks pretty damn thick) by throwing a DVD player at it.
  • A version of this happened on the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Puma Man, where the title character effortlessly punches his way through a roof. Mike comments "Thank goodness they made their house out of peanut brittle!"
  • Averted in Harpers Island. When Trish is trying to escape from Wakefield, she looks as though she is about to punch a window, but then thinks twice and grabs a lamp and smashes it with very little effort. For anyone interested, she does get away from Wakefield... only to be killed literally two minutes after this scene by the other killer.
  • Averted in the Pushing Daisies episode "Pigeon": Bradan Caden is killed by glass shards upon crashing into a building.
  • Scrubs
    • Carla has to get into Turk's car and brings fellow nurse Laverne along with her. The car's locked, so Laverne shouts a battle cry ("Lavern Robaaaaaarts!") and punches out the window with nary a scratch. Carla is taken aback and cries "Laverne! I have the keys!"
    • Averted in another episode, where J.D. tries to break a car window with a heavy object to prove a point. It takes him several minutes of repeated bashing before the glass eventually breaks.
    • Near the end of the third season, J.D. and Elliot get back together, then JD tells her he doesn't love her at the reception dinner. She shoves him onto the table, where he crushes several wine glasses. No injury occurs.
  • Subverted in an episode of the original (black and white) Superman TV series. The Man'o'Steel has just deflected an asteroid and is feeling a bit woozy. Jimmy Olsen is over and thinks Clark is sick and puts him in the shower. We hear the crash of breaking glass as Clark falls through the shower door. Jimmy later comments on how lucky Clark was as "there wasn't a scratch on him."
  • Supernatural

The show in general seems to take great pains in making sure this trope doesn't occur, at least in major scenes. Eric Kripke has been known to say that it bugs him. Examples include:

    • Averted when a woman is "attacked" by spiders in her shower... and in the flailing to get them off, puts her arm through the shower door and bleeds to death.
    • Partly averted in another episode. Sam and Dean dive through the window of a church in order to flee from Alastair, and apparently manage to run away surprisingly quickly. However, a later scenes shows them taking care of their injuries; Sam stitches up a pretty nasty cut on his arm, while Dean sports a dislocated shoulder.
    • Also averted when Castiel tries to "speak" to Dean in his angelic voice, shattering every window in the process. Dean tries to hide, but still can't avoid a few cuts. This was mirrored in Real Life. When the fake sugar glass being used didn't look visually stunning enough, real glass was used. Jensen Ackles received a cut as a result. In the same episode, Dean is shown to break into a deserted store, taking pains to wrap up his hand and sweep the frame to keep it from being turned into hamburger meat.
    • In the episode where they end up in the dimension where Supernatural is a TV show, they break through stunt glass at the beginning when they are transported. It's Played for Laughs later on when the boys try to use a spell to return home, running at the glass window on the set.....and failing to crash through in spectacular fashion.
  • Averted in True Blood. Tara's mother hits her with an empty liquor bottle. It didn't break at all and in fact left a nasty wound on Tara's forehead.
  • The Stewart/Colbert/O'Brien Melee a Trois includes a scene where all three smash beer bottles over each other's heads — this is where the Stewart-Colbert alliance breaks up and it becomes a true Melee a Trois, as Jon accidentally breaks a bottle over Stephen. The blooper reel shows Conan going to hit Jon and hesitating at the last minute, disturbed by how real the sugar glass bottle looks, and the weight of it — sugar glass is usually much lighter than the real thing.
  • The West Wing
    • Averted in episode "Noel". Josh, suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder after being shot, puts his hand through the window of his apartment; this results in a nasty cut that requires stitches. Doubly averted, as Josh tries to hide his injury as the result of accidentally putting a drinking glass down too hard on the table — and everyone knows that this isn't even vaguely plausible.
    • Very much not averted when Will Bailey breaks the "glass" between his and Toby's office. The scene showcased the extent of his frustration, as Toby has never been able to break it with his rubber ball no matter how hard he threw it. Funny thing is, the thump of the ball against the window always sounded like plexiglass before this incident. Go figure.
  • Oh mercy, The End of Time. Watching the Doctor plummet through Naismith's stained glass ceiling and land very painfully. He's cut up, but not as badly as the fall should have made him. (Of course, he probably broke most of the bones in his body on the landing, which wouldn't be quite so noticeably bloody and graphic, but still....)
    • "Closing Time" - the Doctor jumps through a window to rescue Craig, and doesn't get so much as a scratch. Fixing the window before Craig's wife gets home is more of a problem (apparently, finding a glazer on a Sunday isn't easy even with a time machine.)
    • Oddly averted in Partners In Crime. Donna was even hitting that window with a wrench and nothing was happening. Maybe deadlocking windows to make them sonic screwdriver proof also strengthens the glass.
  • Played with on QI, when Stephen Fry and Alan Davies had sugar-glass goblets and the other panelists had real ones. After Fry harmlessly broke a goblet over his head and munched on a piece, another panelist carelessly threw his into the floor — where it broke in the usual fashion and startled everyone.
  • In the HBO show OZ, characters repeatedly break through glass walls. Which is even more bizarre considering the fact that it's set... in a maximum-security prison. A maximum-security prison where the walls are made out of glass. Not Plexiglass or even safety glass, but regular, breaks-into-nice-sharp-pieces-perfect-for-shanking-someone glass. Justified in that Em City is designed specifically like that. Also averted in that when Beecher smashes a glass window with a chair, a shard nearly blinds Schillinger
  • Averted in the British police-drama Backup. A policeman breaks a window and quickly enters a building through it. The next in line (the show is about an operational support unit who travel to incidents together) stands in front of the window and spends some time breaking the sharp fragments out of the frame with his baton.
  • Also done in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Conspiracy", where Riker fights an alien-possesed guy who slams him into a glass-topped table. It shatters, and Riker is completely uninjured. (This also raises the question of how stupid they have to be to put glass-topped tables in a spacecraft, rather than, say, transparent aluminum...)
  • This Reporter finds out the hard way.
  • The season one midseason finale of White Collar has Neal Caffrey swinging into a locked room of an art museum this way. Well, technically the window was made of panes of glass separated by wood, which is what he actually breaks, but he should've gotten a few cuts at the very least.
  • The fifth season finale of Psych managed to avert this. Juliette and a psycho crash down onto a coffee table whose glass top breaks. The psycho is underneath Juliette and is seen immediately to be bleeding. By the end of the episode, though, the injuries appear not to have been severe.
  • Played straight in The Cape; the second episode starts with the main character jumping through a plate glass window, out of a skyscraper, onto a car (whose window also shatters) and the only injury he suffers is from being stabbed before jumping out the window.
  • Lost. Locke gets shoved out a window and falls eight stories. He lives. However, much of Lost is about characters surviving/healing from stuff they should not.
  • Averted in My Name Is Earl. To appear threatening the quite strong Joy tries to break an empty liquor bottle which doesn't budge after two blows to a table. Giving up, she states "It will still hurt if she hits Catalina with it"
  • Averted in Castle. After getting his daughter to tie him to a chair (it makes sense in context), Rick falls face first onto a glass cofee table which doesn't shatter but still hurts a lot
  • Averted in Nip Tuck. Julia gets drunk, casually walks through a sheet of glass, gets very badly cut up and ends up in the hospital.
  • Averted in Rescue Me. After punching through a Glass window,Ken bleeds heavily and is shown having a nasty cut treated
  • Averted in Peep Show. After slamming a glass onto a table,a character has to go to the Hospital and is visibly in pain. It is also treated as a bizarre incident with Super Hans noting that "Buddha wasn't too happy."
  • Averted in The Sentinel in an early episode - Blair is trying to break through a locked-down building's window to get to the window-washers lift outside, but after pounding on it and bouncing a chair off of the window to little effect, he finally shatters the window by throwing a bowling-ball. Might have actually been a real building's window.
  • There were several instances in Highlander the Series where Richie crashed through a glass window. Justified at least once in that in the scene, he hit the glass at full speed on his motorcycle (though it's a surprise he wasn't cut, unless the motorcycle gear was heavy enough to protect him.)
    • In the pilot, he averts the trope, cutting Mac's antique shop window with a glass cutter.
  • Averted (Subverted?) in Tracker, where Mel punches out a pain of glass with the "wrap your hand in fabric" method and still gets a nasty cut on her knuckles.

Pro Wrestling

  • For an angle in WCW, Bill Goldberg was required to punch through a real glass window of a limousine. He was originally supposed to conceal a small piece of pipe in his hand to aid with the punching, but after the cameras started rolling he lost it and decided to punch through the window with his bare fist. A shard of glass caused a huge gash down his forearm and he was out of action for months. Watch it here. Watch for him checking his arm after smashing the third window and the subsequent splatter of blood when he pounds on the white hood.
  • In a WWE example, there was the spot during King Of The Ring 2001 where Kurt Angle attempted to suplex Shane McMahon through a sheet of glass. The glass did not break and Shane landed right on his head. It took them three tries before the glass finally broke. Moments later they tried the same thing again with the same amount of success.
    • If you listen to the match commentary on the DVD with Shane and Kurt they talk about this, and proving that he's actually got a bit of badass in him, Shane apparently told Kurt once they were through the first one to just fling him head-first through the glass on the way out. He did, and it looked awesome.
  • Sabu and Cactus Jack had a match in ECW where they brawled through the crowd and backstage area. Sabu got hold of a bottle, which he proceeded to break over Jack's head. Except that it was a real, non-gimmicked bottle, and took several attempts...
  • The set for Brutus Beefcake's Talk Show With Fists, The Barber Shop, has a big glass window that was just begging for someone to be thrown through it. That someone was Marty Jannetty, courtesy of his tag-team partner Shawn Michaels, in a move that solidified Michaels's Face Heel Turn and launched his singles career. Note that in Real Life, the window was not real glass, and Jannetty was applying the blood while he was draped over the windowsill and his face was out of sight. (Interestingly, many people misremember this as "Michaels superkicking Jannetty through the glass," when what actually happened was Michaels superkicking Jannetty to the floor, then picking him up and throwing him through the glass.)
  • This happens a lot in Japanese and American "Death Match" or other Garbage Wrestling venues. The lucky ones work for a league that invests in prop beer mugs and break-away panes of glass that, like most pro wrestling, looks horrid but is relatively safe. The unlucky ones get dropped through actual, thin window panes, have actual glasses and bottles busted over their heads, and get hit with/thrown through actual fluorescent tubes. The latter of which, btw, shatter into countless razor-sharp shards, tend to turn the upper layer of skin and flesh into hamburger, and contain potentially carcinogenic chemicals.

Video Games

  • Horrifically averted in Deus Ex Human Revolution. Adam is thrown by a fully augmented human through a computerized display made of extremely thick glass at the beginning of the game, forcing him to become augmented to survive. They even show the shards in his arms from First-Person perspective! The force required to break the glass has him nearly unrecognisable from the injuries, with two black eyes, deep cuts in his scalp, and he ends up needing to have one arm and most of his chest cavity replaced from the impact, not to mention most of his skull.
    • In a later scene to escape from a building-soon-to-be-destroyed, despite having superhuman augmented cyborg arms that can shatter concrete and don't feel pain, he STILL throws a chair at a window (which bounces off instead of breaking it outright) before going out of it, because his fist would leave a small, well...fist-sized hole instead of the larger one he would need to jump through.
  • Syphon Filter. Just watch for a few seconds.
  • In Chrono Trigger: when the King of Guardia is put on trial by his Evil Chancellor, Marle jumps through a stained-glass window to present evidence of his innocence. It's almost as if the window came pre-fractured for the convenience of jumpers. He also leaves a nice spiked shaped pattern, like any other cartoon shaped hole for glass.
  • Played entirely straight, but not in the way you're thinking, in the original Space Quest adventure game. After your escape pod crashes on a desert planet, one of the things you need to recover from it is a glass shard from the shattered pod windshield. But don't worry, hilariously accident prone Roger Wilco! It's safety glass, and therefore shatters specifically in such a way to prevent any sharp edges. Good thing you've got your Xenon Army Knife. Wait, that can't cut through hot butter...
  • Averted in the last two Timesplitters games, where you can damage yourself by walking into a pane of glass and shattering it with your body.
  • Played straight in Resident Evil 4 and 5. Characters are at least smart enough to shield their face while diving through windows, but it doesn't do them any damage either way.
  • Mirror's Edge gives us a woman diving head first through panes of glass (provided you hit the glass first) with no ill side affects.
  • Averted in Scott Adams' Interactive Fiction game Ghost Town, with the mirror. Smashing the mirror without taping it first is instant death.
  • Canabalt has the protagonist leaping through glass windows without even slowing, much less taking damage.
  • It's both averted and played straight in Heavy Rain. Most of the fight scenes play it straight since they have characters fighting through glass rather easily (characters punching through glass, a fish tank shattering, etc.). When glass actually has to be broken outside of a fight, though, it takes at least three well-placed kicks to break open, thus averting the trope. And then it's averted in another way when Origami Killer forces one of the characters to crawl down a ventilation shaft lined with tons broken glass. The state of the character's clothes and arms afterwards tells you all you need to know about how painful it must have been.
  • In Counter-Strike, as well as several other Source games, once a piece of glass has been chipped in any place, it is possible to run/jump right through it without slowing down at all.
  • In Grand Theft Auto IV the protagonist's method of stealing cars is to simply elbow the window, and unlock it from the inside.
  • Played with in Team Fortress 2 where the Demoman's melee weapon, a glass bottle, breaks when it hits a player, but does equal damage whether or not it's broken.
    • Played straight with Jarate, as the the jar itself always shatters when thrown without damaging anything.
  • In the Splinter Cell games, a whiskey bottle can be thrown to cause a distraction, and it well break. Also, if thrown at someones head, it'll KO them instantly.
  • Shadowgate has a place where you have to break one of three mirrors to proceed, with nothing other than past experience (yours or other players) telling you which one you should break. One mirror cuts you to ribbons if you break it. The other two don't, but while one merely lets you walk through unharmed, the other opens a magic portal to space, sucking you through and killing you.
  • In Sonic Adventure, glass is broken in a few areas, but never is it a danger to you. When ZERO breaks through the wall of monitors, Amy can walk through the shards, no problem. In Speed Highway, Sonic and Tails can break glass by walking on it, but all that means is they have to get back up. Also in Speed Highway, there's a part where Sonic runs down the side of a building through several panes of glass. Not only does he not get hurt from the impact, but he's also never even injured from being rained on by shards of glass.
  • In I Wanna Be the Guy The Kid isn't hurt by falling glass (except for Dracula's wineglass, which is a One-Hit Kill). In I Wanna Be The Guy glass does not kill you.
  • In The Godfather windows shatter easily. Naturally a second floor toss is an insta-kill. First floor? The mook will get back up and attack. Taken to a hilarious extent in the sequel, where you can vault through grilled windows without concern.
  • The Dead Rising games let you punch or kick through sheets of glass with no problem. You won't get hurt even if you're in your underpants.
  • Subverted in Call of Duty Black Ops: In one mission you prepare to go through a glass window, but shoot it multiple times first and while it cracks, it doesn't even give way until your character actually crashes into it.
  • Subverted in Mass Effect 3. Shepard needs to break through a window at one point, but fires his/her pistol at the window first whilst covering his/her face from the shards.

Web Comics

  • El Goonish Shive
    • Subversion.
    • Also painfully averted recently in the fight between Raven and Abraham, where Raven gets blasted through a window by Abraham's attack. We see just his hand on the ground, covered with gashes next to some glass.
  • Order of the Stick
    • Lampshaded: Elan mentions that Dashing Swordsmen get reduced glass damage precisely so they can make dramatic window entrances. It doesn't even have to be dramatic, so he can apparently just break glass by touching it.
    • It seems he's the only character with this ability. For everyone else, it plays out realistically.
  • During a hurricane in Freefall, Sam uses the ship's momentum to bust Florence, who's dangling from a rope, through the window of a building. Florence is completely unharmed in the next comic.
  • Girl Genius
    • Used dead straight in : Othar Tryggvassen, Gentleman Adventurer!, gets thrown through sheets of glass on at least two occasions without a scratch. Of course, since he also survives even worse attacks without a mark on him, this may just be because he's Made of Iron.
    • Maxim the Jägerkin gets tossed through the window of a Sandwich shop without a scratch. Of course the knife wound in his hand from a few panels before is gone too, so maybe it's a Healing Factor.
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja
    • During the McDonald's arc, Dr. McNinja interrogates three workers to learn Ronald's whereabouts. After they refuse to talk, he "super sizes their pain" by throwing one of them out the window. They were robots, but still... and then there's this line.

 Dr. McNinja: More defenestration? Or you gonna talk?

    • The plate glass windows of Doc's office have also been emergency egresses (and ingresses!) to the point where Doc's got a "wall and window man" on call.
  • Averted in Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, where a man is thrown through a window and ends up cut half to ribbons (and possibly broke some bones in the process). Still, Biology Is Failed Forever since it supposedly cut an artery lengthwise (with no cover or pressure) and he was still alive over a minute later.
  • Averted in this strip of Least I Could Do.
  • Averted on YU+ME: dream, when we learn that Sadako died being tossed through a window. Bonus squick points for a large shard destroying her eye in the process, and her realizing this before passing out.

Western Animation

  • The Simpsons
    • Hilariously parodied when Homer punches through a deli window to get some food, then walks to the pharmacy to punch the window to get bandages to wrap his glass cuts in.
    • Homer does this by accident when trying to hit the jukebox and make it start playing a la Fonzie: "'aaaayyy....* smash* AHH!! HEMORRHAGE-A-MUNDO!!!"
    • In another episode Bart throws a brick against a store window only for it to bounce back and hit him in the head without cracking the window.
  • Rocket Power actually explained this trope. When a film crew is in town for a movie, they explain that the fish tank is actually made out of sugar and not glass, which Sam then proceeds to give a lick.
  • One episode of Justice League Unlimited had Wonder Woman stop a fast-moving car by punching it. This is essentially the same as it hitting a wall, and sending the drivers and passenger flying through the windshield (instead of just knocking the thing straight out) and into another car, yet the guys not only survive, but weren't even unconscious.
  • In Batman: The Animated Series, "The Cape and Cowl Conspiracy", like most times, Batman can send a grappling hook through a glass window like it was nothing. Then it was subverted this when Batman was unable to break a large lightbulb by just throwing his utility belt at it, and had to throw a pole at it like a spear. Then, two minutes later, he throws the belt at a glass wall, and it goes straight through it.
  • In The New Adventures of Batman & Superman episode "Critters", Robin is running away from a giant bull, and he at least picks up a trashcan lid to leap through a window.
  • Averted in Captain Planet, of all places; when Linka's drugged-up cousin smashes through a window, he slices his wrists open.
  • Played straight in The Spectacular Spider-Man. When fighting Green Goblin, Spider-Man is thrown out a window, catches himself, swings back up, and breaks back through another window, all while commenting on the definition of Defenestration.
  • A weird place for this to be averted is the Darkwing Duck episode "Life, the Negaverse, and Everything". Three metahumans (metaducks?) and three normals are trapped in a glass tube, likely sealed at the top, as villain Negaduck taunts them. Granted, the powers involved are electricity, plant control, and water, but the glass did hold... until a mechanical doll with an axe or seven took care of the issue.
  • South Park
    • Subverted in the episode "South Park Is Gay": Mr. Slave attempts to assassinate the cast of Queer Eye for the Straight Guy. He manages to crash through their hotel window... and then lies bleeding on the hotel room floor.
    • Later, in two episodes of the "Imaginationland Trilogy" this happens three times in order to break into the same room in the Pentagon. Twice by Cartman, once by Kyle. Part of the window was broken the first time; the second time the window was put together with tape and broken again; the third time Kyle simply dove into the non-broken part of the window.
  • American Dad
    • Half-averted in the episode "Bullocks to Stan". Bullock, attempting to placate Stan's wrath, tries to convince him that their fight was an elaborate test. He then laments not getting to use the "breakaway glass window." It's real, so when he hits it, it doesn't break. He puts a few bullets in it then repeats the act successfully, though he still might have been injured by the glass.
    • Averted when Stan and Francine spies on George Clooney to get to him. In a fit of rage Francine punches a glass window, her hand gets bloody, and has shards of glass stuck in it.
  • Averted about three minutes into the first episode of Clone High, when Abe Lincoln, trying desperately to look cool in front of Cleopatra, leans against the high school's glass trophy case; his arm crashes through it and he immediately starts bleeding.
  • Usually played straight in Code Lyoko, like in "The Pretender" where Yumi jumps through a window unharmed. The ravens in this episode also have no trouble flying through panes of glass — but since they're possessed by XANA, they are basically super-powered birds.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars ironically averts this when there was no need to. In one scene Anakin slashes a window with his lightsabre, presumably to weaken it, then uses the Force to smash the glass. So...what was the lightsabre needed for? Considering the Jedi frequently send large metal robots flying across a room, surely this would be one scenario where the glass shouldn't need weakening.
  • Happens all the time on Jimmy Two-Shoes. Though, given some of the other tropes these characters are subjected too, it might be a mercy move.

Real Life

  • There is an actual word in the English language for throwing someone through a window: Defenestration. It's a real word, and it's existed for over 300 years.
    • Although it refers to tossing someone through an open window. Windows back then were not thin glass plates but rather small, thick tiles set in sturdy wooden lattice.
  • Jackie Chan actually jumped through real glass and sustained serious injuries from doing so. He actually missed the pane of stunt glass, and had to improvise by jumping into the very real pane of glass next to it.
    • In a mall scene of Police Story, the glass is made thicker than usual so it'll look more real. This had a rather unfortunate (or fortunate) side effect of visibly cutting the actors. In fact, Jackie has gone on record in his documentaries saying that his team uses real plate glass anytime it's possible, because fake glass looks too, well, fake. There's a very good reason his stunt team is considered some of the most badass people on the planet (and why they can't get insurance).
    • There is a rumor that during the filming of the car window punching scene from Terminator Arnold broke his his hand punching out the wrong window, which hadn't been replaced by breakaway glass.
  • There was a lawyer named Garry Hoy in Toronto who would demonstrate just how strong their glass was in their skyscraper to new interns. He would jump at the window, and of course it being toughened glass built for skyscrapers he would bounce back. He did this twice in a row before the safety glass popped from its frame and he fell to his death, and won a Darwin Awards for this. Ironically, he was right about the glass — it was the frame that broke, and the glass itself survived the plunge.
  • An abusive man in England killed himself by accident when he hurled his girlfriend into a plate glass window several times. A shard of this broken glass apparently impaled him and severed an artery. Laser-Guided Karma, anyone? At least one internet forum reported this story with the thread title "Windows: Fatal Error".
  • Behold the insane true story of Alan Magee, a WW 2 B-17 gunner. His plane was shot down in 1943 (receiving 28 shrapnel wounds in the process), and after bailing out discovered his parachute wouldn't work. Magee free-fell 22,000 feet, through a train station's glass ceiling... and lived. It's speculated that the glass may have broken the fall.
  • Before reinforced glass became common, there were quite a few instances of people not seeing glass sliding doors, walking into them, and the ensuing horrific consequences. Even now this can still happen, you just have to hit it extremely hard (usually by running).
  • Deliberately done by the NHL. Because of the hard-hitting nature of ice hockey, panels of glass have shattered due to people being checked into it, pucks being shot at it and even somebody closing a door too hard. In order to minimize the chance of injury to players and spectators, the NHL contracts specially-made glass that "pebbles", meaning it sticks together and greatly reduces the number of sharp edges on each broken piece, essentially resulting in real-life Soft Glass.
    • Shower Screens and Enclosures as well as vehicle windscreens are made of this glass, too. Slipping in a shower is common enough, so being surrounded by glass that could shatter and slice you to ribbons is not the best idea in the world. Neither is having a huge sheet of glass in front of your face that could impale you with shards in the event of a car accident.
  • In Tosh.0, Tosh interviews a news reporter who had trouble breaking car door glass with a hammer. He gets it this time around, since the trick is to hit the corner of the car window. Hitting center of the window full-force with a tool designed to shatter said windows resulted in a loud noise and a tiny ding in the glass. However, when applied about an inch in from the corner, a swing from the wrist, not even elbow or shoulder, breaks the entire window.