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Want a big spectacular finale? Want to build a new set? Why not solve both your problems at the same time and trash the set?

Even animators are tempted to do this if the background is elaborate enough. May lead to a Rebuilt Set.

Not to be confused with Die, Chair, Die! or Tantrum Throwing.

As an Ending Trope, Spoilers ahead may be unmarked. Beware.

Examples of Trash the Set include:


Anime and Manga

  • Ah! My Goddess‍'‍s "Lord of Terror" arc was put right at the end of the anime's first season, probably just so it could use this trope.
  • Cowboy Bebop ended with the Bebop sustaining heavy damage.
  • Lucky Star: Minoru's endless abuse from his partner led to him trashing the Show Within a Show's set.
  • GaoGaiGar's second half kicked off with the Bay Tower Base being utterly totaled, allowing them to move up to the Orbit Base. The finale of FINAL cheerfully deals outrageous property damage damage to copies of various Earth landmarks, as well as sacrificing the three Cool Ships to the Goldion Crusher.
  • Ranma ½ ended with the characters trying to prevent the destruction (via draining) of Jusenkyo. They failed. Then they destroyed it worse by flooding it (i.e., mixing up all the curses.)
  • Digimon Adventure pulls this off in the finale of season 01. With the entire Digital World taking the role of the "set."


  • Jackie Chan's Police Story loves this trope.
  • In Star Trek Generations, the Enterprise-D was destroyed for the benefit of a newer, more cinematic version, better fitted for Hollywood action and wide screen format. While the destroyed model was custom-built, the original bridge set did get blown up for real.
    • A more subtle example from the last episode of the series. The final scene is the crew playing poker, joined by Picard for the first time ever, which features an overhead shot accomplished by cutting the ceiling out of the set.
    • Most of Star Trek: The Motion Picture's bridge set was trashed in the second movie and then blown up in the third. A part of it that was relatively undamaged was repaired and repainted for a single scene in the fourth movie, before an all-new set was built for the fifth. Then that set got largely blown up in the sixth movie. However, expecting much else from the first series that comes to mind when people think of Explosive Instrumentation would be somewhat naive.
  • In Conan the Barbarian, Conan torches the temple that had housed Thulsa Doom's cult after killing Thulsa Doom. This was very much for real; they actually did burn down the set, though the flaming brazier that Arnold used didn't land in the throne room, but instead bounced off the balcony and into the rest of the set.
  • During the filming of Titanic, they built a ship in a large tank of water... and then sank it. There's a reason it was among the most expensive movies ever made.
  • Wayne Manor burns down in Batman Begins.
    • Though the mansion used for outside shots was not burnt, as it was an actual home of royalty.
  • Subverted in The Simpsons Movie. The Simpsons' house, as well as most of the town are destroyed, but they start to rebuild them at the end and everything's back to normal in the season premiere.
    • Except for the next season's premiere all the town scenes of Springfield in the opening show the townspeople rebuilding and the couch gag shows the family sitting in a not-yet-finished house.
  • In John Carpenter's The Thing, the Norwegian camp scenes were actually the charred remains of the American site from the end of the film. Rather than go to the expense of building and burning down another camp, Carpenter re-used the destroyed American camp.
  • Gone with the Wind will likely never be topped for this trope. Nowadays, a burning Atlanta would be CGI, but Golden Age Hollywood torched sets for real.
    • Also notable in that one of the burning walls was the paper-mache wall from the original King Kong film.
  • Hard Boiled's teahouse shootout is an opening example of Trash the Set—the teahouse in question was slated for demolition around the time the movie was made, and John Woo got permission to use the teahouse for the shootout in question.
    • The entire movie is a series of Trash The Sets. First the tea house, then the warehouse, then a goddamn hospital explodes.
    • The same thing with the farmhouse in Night of the Living Dead.
  • Dead Snow does this to the cabin. The scene where it burns down was supposed to be in the film, but had to be cut due to being too bright and unclear. The charred remains of the building remain used however.
  • Happens in Alice Cooper's Good to See You Again Alice Cooper, when he gets sick of pretending to be Frank Sinatra. Must be seen to be believed.
  • Gangs of New York did this for the Draft Riot scene, which was a pity if you think about it, they don't often make such detailed and elaborate sets for movies these days.
  • The forest in which George Lucas filmed the Endor sequences for Return of the Jedi was doomed anyway, because the government wanted to build a new highway or a mall or something like that in its place. So the film crew used real explosives for the pyroeffects in the final battle which burned and shredded real wood.
  • The Ministry of Magic gets trashed in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix - led to a Rebuilt Set after the seventh book came out and more scenes at the Ministry were needed.
    • In the final film, Hogwarts itself takes major battle damage from Voldemort and the Death Eaters and parts of the castle (the set of which had been standing for a decade) are nothing more than a ruin at the end. The difficult part was that destroying the sets outright would only reveal that the "stone" walls are really plywood with a plaster skin. Therefore, the damage to Hogwarts had to be pre-designed by the art department, which they did using ruined masonry from World War II as reference.
  • The climax of Buster Keaton's The General features an actual train attempting to cross an actual burning bridge and subsequently falling into an actual river. The resulting wreckage became a minor tourist attraction until World War II, when the train was salvaged for scrap metal.
  • The Power Rangers movie makes good use of the command center set, destroying it "early" and running the same footage backwards to "fix" it for the final scenes.
  • Early in the John Frankenheimer film The Train, a French rail yard is attacked in an Allied air raid. The yard was a real SNCF (French State Railways) facility which was to be closed down, so the production was able to fill it with scrappable rolling stock and engines, bury dynamite all over the site, and blast buildings and all in one long unreplicable sequence.
  • Rock and Roll High School was filmed at the defunct Mount Carmel High School, which had closed a few years before. This gave them the latitude to trash the school building and blow it up at the end.
  • The reason the 1960 movie The Last Voyage has such realistic effects of the cruise ship sinking is simple: the producers really did sink a ship.
  • The Bridge on the River Kwai: the directors spent months and hundreds of man-hours engineering and building the titular bridge. Needless to say, the final scene required perfect acting and camera work...
  • At the end of RoboCop 3, the OCP building in Detroit is blown up via a massive explosion, as a way to symbolize the end of the film trilogy (and the corporation's rule).
  • In Apocalypse Now, footage of the descruction of Kurtz's jungle outpost via pyrotechnics is shown at the end of the director's cut of the movie. Some have interpreted this as the aerial bombing Willard ordered in earlier.

Live-Action TV

  • Bonanza: The season 12 opener "The Night Virginia City Died," the first episode to be filmed on the set of Warner Bros. after spending the previous decade at Paramount. To remove some of the Virginia City buildings used on the old set, a script was devised to bring the "old" Virginia City down in flames ... literally, by having an unidentified arsonist set fire to various buildings around town. Various people are suspected, but it isn't until episode's end that the real culprit—the fiancé of Clem, the town's deputy—is identified, and it happens only after she dies in the last fire she set (she had been sexually abused as a child by her stepfather, who died in a fire she set years earlier). By the episode's end, when the townspeople are rebuilding, the new set is seen for the first time. (The outside scenes set in Virginia City heretofore are at night, when the arsonist goes to work.)
  • Alias in the Season 3 finale.
  • Without a Trace smashed some windows in its Season 4 finale.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street didn't exactly trash the set, but the bloody shootout in the police station for the sixth season finale was used to justify the new set used afterward.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer did this a lot. In the Season 3 finale, Sunnydale High School was blown up. In late season 5, Tara's dorm room was destroyed. The Magic Box was ruined at the end of season 6. Buffy's house was trashed on a more regular basis, and quickly rebuilt for the next episode. During the last season there was extensive Lampshade Hanging as Buffy commented everything in the house had been replaced at least once and Xander (a trained carpenter, at least at that point) mentioned how often he had to replace the windows. Finally, in the series finale, the entire town of Sunnydale fell into a crater.
  • Angel got his office and home bombed in the first season finale, allowing them to find a more expansive location for later seasons. In the final season, the LA Branch of Wolfram & Hart (trashed in season 4 but quickly rebuilt) is completely destroyed by the Senior Partners.
    • Also, Lorne's place got trashed with some regularity, something that he bemoaned once during a reconstruction.
  • War of the Worlds blew up their cottage headquarters in the Season 2 opener.
  • The titular ship in Andromeda was trashed by the Magog, resulting in the bridge being rebuilt much more cool-looking.
    • Albeit much less sensical. There's no pilot chair anymore. Whoever's flying the ship has to stand the whole time.
      • Well at least it was more internally sensical since there were no other chairs or seats of any kind on the bridge even before the make-over.
  • In a rare Game Show example, several panelists progressively destroyed the set of ABC 70's flop Rhyme and Reason at the end of the Grand Finale
  • In a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, the exterior set for M*A*S*H—which had stood since the making of the original movie—was destroyed by a wildfire during the filming of the show's Grand Finale. Rather than spend the money to rebuild the 4077th compound, the producers instead wrote its destruction into the script.
  • In the Docu Soap arena, we have American Chopper, the cast of which rather enjoys trashing their old places and vehicles. Since it's also their place of business, it's not exactly a "set", but...
  • Subverted by The Young Ones, which trashed various portions of the set in every episode - the damage would always disappear by the beginning of the next episode. The main reason that the show featured a guest act or band every episode was so it would qualify for a "Variety Show" budget, not a "Sitcom" budget. This higher budget was needed as the sets were constantly being demolished by the cast. The character Vyvyan played a game called "Murder In The Dark" in one episode, the rules of which were Trash the Set with an axe and with the lights off.
  • Early in the second season of 24, the headquarters of CTU is bombed, destroying much of the facility and killing people. Rather than relocate to a new set, however, the team merely work around the debris and gradually bring the facility back up to speed, and in later seasons the office is just the same as it always was.
  • Done in the Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide Grand Finale—Gordy gets fired, and resolves to catch the weasel once and for all, completely and totally demolishing the set with a large bulldozer and several other pieces of construction equipment. (Trash the Set must be really tempting at the end of a school-related series—the producers and stars get to act out their adolescent fantasies of tearing apart the school....)
  • The third season finale of CSI New York involved a bunch of Irish criminals attacking the lab to recover a small fortune in seized cocaine. The place got shot up, soaked by sprinklers and then finally blown up by a pipe bomb.
      • They shouldn't have tried to mess with Gary Sinise. That dude's awesome when he's given the chance to shine.
  • In one season finale of Little House On the Prairie an entire "Minnesota" village set was burned to the ground.
    • In the 2 hour series finale movie, the townspeople learn that Walnut Grove has been bought by a greedy developer who wants to make money from their businesses. They blow the town up in defiance and leave. In real life, Michael Landon did not want other TV shows using the sets, so the finale was written specifically to employ this trope.
  • The set completely falls apart during the closing credits of the final episode of Police Squad!!.
  • Power Rangers
    • At the end of MMPR season three, just as the Rangers have fixed their "turned into kids" situation, Goldar and Rito show up in the Command Centre with a bomb. The Rangers teleport out just in time to watch their base explode with Zordon and Alpha still inside.
    • In an even bigger cliffhanger, Turbo's finale saw the Power Chamber invaded and completely demolished, forcing the team to follow Divatox into space without their powers. Lucky they met Andros...
    • This started happening more once the series stopped leading into each other. Ninja Ops, Tommy's underground base...
  • Joey's apartment and foosball table were smashed up in the last episode of Friends.
  • The fifth-season finale of The X-Files ended with Mulder and Scully's office burning down, as a farewell to the sets. (The following seasons were produced in LA rather than Vancouver.)
  • The Bill used damage caused by a car bomb to justify one remodelling of the Sun Hill set, and damage from an arson attack to justify a second.
  • Home Improvement tries it with the Tool Time set, although firefighters were, regrettably, right on-hand.
    • For good reason. Tim Taylor Technology, anyone?
    • Subverted in-universe in the series finale. The new management tells Tim to intentionally light the set on fire as a ratings stunt. Tim acts like he's going along with it...until he reveals the management's plan to the audience and brings out the tool-themed band who sing about burning down the set while Al and Tim brandish lighters (but don't burn anything).
  • In 1981 the British Soap Opera Crossroads decided to refurbish its sets at about the same time that actress Noele Gordon was axed, and so her character Meg Richardson was written out in a fire, videotaped by burning the original sets in an empty studio backlot. (It later turned out that Meg had not died in the fire after all. Just before it broke out she had left to take a sea cruise, without bothering to tell anybody...)
  • The big Season 3 finale of Strangers with Candy, combined with a bit of Biting the Hand Humor as the teachers riot and burn down Flatpoint High to prevent it from being converted into a strip mall, symbolic of Strangers With Candy being cancelled for Strip Mall.
  • The series finale of Babylon 5 ends with the station being decommissioned. Series creator J. Michael Straczynski showed up as a random tech to shut off the lights before he left.
    • Earlier, an episode had the station's casino trashed in a massive Bar Brawl, after which the set was rebuilt as the Voice of the Resistance headquarters.
  • Charmed featured the local house/HQ getting trashed all the time, but magic is commonly used to fix the important bits. Although, they did finally blow up the set in the second to last episode.
  • The final season of the new Battlestar Galactica Reimagined started at this, with the titular spaceship suffering more and more damage.
    • In the finale the Final Five Cylons wreck the CIC in order to install Anders to the ship.
    • Also, the destruction of the Pegasus when the set was needed for the Cylon basestar interior.
  • The final episode of Games Master saw that year's set being calmly dismantled and put away by the production team around presenter Dominik Diamond's half-hour farewell. And clips.
  • Doctor Who thoroughly trashed the TARDIS console room set when the tenth Doctor regenerated, then trashed it some more at the start of the eleventh Doctor's first episode. The stunningly beautiful replacement interior makes it even more worthwhile. The 'Coral' TARDIS console room set was, however, left assembled and intact so it could be used in a Call Back appearance in "The Doctor's Wife" as an archived version of the main console room. Then it was dismantled.
    • In the Doctor Who Expanded Universe, the final Eighth Doctor novel, Lance Parkin's The Gallifrey Chronicles, had the console room destroyed by a nuclear bomb that the Doctor materialised the TARDIS around to save other people, so that the spin-off readers had an explanation of why the set would look different in the new TV show.
    • Torchwood just blew its set to smithereens in the five-part "Children Of Earth" miniseries, with Jack in the middle, some time beforehand as the actual site of the Eleventh Doctor's new TARDIS interior.
  • The final episode of The Sarah Connor Chronicles had this, with the Hunter-Killer Drone crashing through the window of ZeiraCorp.
    • Even before, season two opened with their house being set on fire. They even get a new car.
  • The 1st season finale of Leverage shows the team blowing up their home base to avoid having all their secrets falling into enemy hands.
  • Conan O'Brian did this on air to his Late Night set before taking on the reins of The Tonight Show.
  • When The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson was scheduled to get a new set, they did this on the last episode with the old set. Arguably the highlight was Bob Barker (yes, that Bob Barker, 82 years old at the time) breaking the top of Craig's desk with his bare left hand
  • On Happy Days, the original Arnold's restaurant burns down when Chachi leaves the grill on and they build an all new, different set.
  • The primary motivation of every episode of Human Wrecking Balls. Take a location and unleash a pair of professional breakers on it.
  • Sesame Street did it with Hooper's Store in one episode: Biff tries to put a single nail into the wall to hang up Mr. Handford's framed first dollar, and somehow this causes a chain reaction that destroys the store's entire interior. The rest of the episode involved rebuilding it all, with a more modern décor.
  • The season 3 finale of Chuck blows up the Buy More. It got rebuilt.
  • Happens every once in a while on Home and Away. The Diner has had this happen several times, having been destroyed after an earthquake several years ago and more recently being burned down by some angry racist yobbos.
  • Knight Rider had an interesting variation: they trashed the "prop"/cast Member KITT on average once a season so they could rebuild him with different trimmings.
  • Blakes Seven blew up the bridge set of the Liberator at the end of season 3 because it was falling apart anyway. They moved to a new ship in season 4.
  • One early live episode of Hancock's Half Hour involved Hancock trying to sell a house without letting on that there was an airfield nearby. Over the course of the scene bits of the set were scheduled to fall apart from the vibrations of the as-yet unseen planes taking off. Unfortunately the set started falling down ahead of schedule, forcing Hancock to lean against a table for the whole of the scene to prevent it collapsing before it was supposed to.
  • Smallville destroyed two long-standing sets for its final season, the Talon coffee shop/upstairs apartment and the Luthor Mansion.
  • At the end of the first season of Space Cases, the Command Post set was trashed to portray the severely damaged Command Post of the Christa's sister ship. Which caused some minor continuity issues when the second season began immediately after the end of finale in the Command Post...
  • In February 2009, an open oxygen tank plus a spark equalled a burning General Hospital. This paved way for a brand new hospital set, which is the only thing most fans care to remember from February 2009...
  • At the end of the first season of Nikita, Nikita's loft is attacked by a Division strike team, and is subsequently blown up.
    • A few episodes into Season 2, Birkhoff's house, which had been serving as the protagonists' new base, is attacked by a strike team and blown up (noticing a pattern here?)
  • Community has done a Paintball Episode both seasons. May act as a gambit since it forces the network executives to decide to renew or cancel them before the damage to the set becomes irreversible.
  • On the last episode of Super Password, host Bert Convy had Betty White destroy the "Magic Toaster" prop for the Cashword round after she failed to guess the Cashword.
    • Bert himself accidentally broke a different Magic Toaster a few years before. After a Cashword had to be thrown out, he dropped it on the floor behind him... then he realized it.
  • In the premiere of Season 7 of The Facts of Life, Edna's Edibles was destroyed in a fire. The second episode showed the store being rebuilt as "Over Our Heads", a Spencer's Gift-type novelty store.
  • In the season 3 finale of Warehouse 13, the titular Warehouse was vaporized by an artifact-powered high yield explosive device. Time will tell if it gets rebuilt.
  • The entire premise of both Finders Keepers and Estate of Panic - trash the rooms in a house to find hidden objects or money.
  • The third-season opener of Due South, "Bringing Down The House", involves going back to his apartment building, which he discovers has burnt down (off-screen). He tours the wreckage of the building before making his home at the Canadian Embassy in Chicago. This was done when production of the series changed hands from CBS to Alliance-Atlantis.
  • The third anniversary show of I've Got A Secret ended with Steve Allen and Skitch Henderson destroying the old set because a new set was being made.
    • What's more, the set wasn't ready next week, so they did the entire show with two desks made from orange crates and soapboxes.
  • In The Eric Andre Show, the host lays waste to his talk show's set in the opening of every episode. After he finishes, the set rebuilds itself in seconds.
  • In Lexx, every setting gets destroyed, always. Most frequently the immediate cause is Lexx's planet-destroying Wave Motion Gun. The list of casualties involves numerous planets, the entire Light Universe, Heaven, Hell, Earth, and Lexx itself.


  • Many Music Videos end with the band trashing their instruments and/or the set. So do many concerts.
    • The end of the literal video version of The Beatles' "Penny Lane" lampshades this with the line "Trash the set and end the video."
    • Reportedly, the set-trashing of Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit happened due to the (volunteer) cast getting a bit sick of filming, as opposed to being scripted.
  • Overlaps with Film and Theater in the case of Pink Floyd's The Wall, in which Pink trashes the hotel room on the album. This is reproduced in the 1982 movie, when Bob Geldof trashes a hotel-room set, and in the 1990 Berlin Wall event, where Roger Waters breaks windows in a specially-built hotel room set in the upper-left-hand corner of the wall.
    • Not to mention the end of the show, where the gigantic Wall set itself is torn down!
  • In the second season finale of the new Hawaii Five-O, the HPD office is bombed.

Professional Wrestling

  • This happens in the WWE, when the TitanTron (OvalTron on Smackdown) gets destroyed to make way for a new model:
    • In early 1999, Stone Cold Steve Austin tore up the TitanTron (after The Big Show brought it down).
    • In 2001 Rhyno gored Chris Jericho through the OvalTron, resulting in the "big fist" set.
    • In 2008 Triple H destroyed the TitanTron with his sledge hammer, which made way for the current TitanTron HD stage, which is used on all shows from then on.
  • At the beginning of the last episode of WCW Worldwide (a Recap Series) they showed a speeded-up video of stagehands building the set. At the end of the episode, when they admitted it was the last show and there was no more WCW they showed it again but forward, revealing that (1) the version shown at the start of the show was broadcast in reverse and (2) they were actually tearing down the set.
  • In 2010, the WWE stable Nexus made its debut when its seven members came to ringside to beat John Cena, before turning their attention on everyone (the commentators, ring announcer, referee and cameramen) and destroying both the ring and the announcer's table.
  • In the 1980s and 1990s, this happened several times with talk show segments:
    • Piper's Pit, hosted by Rowdy Roddy Piper:
      • During one of the most famous segments of the show's run, one featuring Piper mocking "Superfly" Jimmy Snuka before smashing him in the head with a coconut, the set partition fell over as Piper began whipping Snuka.
      • In 1986, when Piper returned as a face and began dueling with former buddy "Adorable" Adrian Adonis, an overweight wrestler with an effeminate gimmick who had gotten his own talk segment, "The Flower Shop." On an installment of WWF Superstars of Wrestling, Piper and Adonis began debating on their respective sets before Adonis began initiating a gang-style attack on Piper, destroying everything. A week later, in retaliation, Piper hobbled onto the set of The Flower Shop, bat in hand and began smashing the set apart before screaming bloody revenge.
    • The Brother Love Show, hosted by Bruce Prichard as the title character (a smarmy, red-faced "preacher" inspired by the televangelists of the 1980s). On Brother Love's last segment, the Ultimate Warrior tore apart the set (knocking apart the podium in which Love sat "The Book of Love," ripping apart the curtain surrounding the set and tearing the pages of "The Book of Love") before chasing Love to the ring to give him a brutal beating.
    • The Barber Shop, hosted by Brutus "the Barber" Beefcake, a popular wrestler who (with a barber gimmick) was still recuperating from a near-fatal parasailing accident a couple of years earlier. His last segment saw bully wrestler Sid Justice damage everything on the set—throwing the barber chair, smashing the plate-glass window and pushing over the set partitions.


  • Bertolt Brecht's very early play Die Kleinbürgerhochzeit (The Petite Bourgeoisie Wedding) is all about this: the man getting married is a carpenter and has built all of his furniture single-handedly. It breaks down over the course of the play, and ends with the (very drunken) characters falling through the floor and bashing each other over the head with chair legs.
  • God's Favorite by Neil Simon uses this. During the first act, more and more pieces of furniture and finery are removed from the mansion onstage. When the curtain rises on the second act, the mansion has been burnt to the ground.

Video Games

  • In Tomb Raider: Underworld, Croft Manor gets totally burnt and destroyed.
  • Ico castle crumbles down after the final battle.
  • Mass Effect 2: The SSV Normandy SR-1 is destroyed within the first ten minutes and you later visit the crash site. But not to worry, you get a new, similar far more awesome replacement, the Normandy SR-2.
    • In Mass Effect 3, this is combined with Apocalypse How class 0 (at least) on Earth. Among the mayhem is a hapless Alliance cruiser in the background hovering over the besieged city, getting hammered by and futilely shooting at a landing Reaper, which then promptly blows up in a thermonuclear fireball and knocks Shepard over in the blast.
    • Don't forget the final boss fight with Kai Leng, which takes place in the Illusive Man's "office". It gets completely trashed, with Leng's shockwave attacks tearing off the floor panels that created the field-of-stars illusion.
    • The ending in general. Regardless of which option the player chooses, the setting is changed permanently.
  • Azeroth is getting this treatment in the latest expansion. Interesting because, as an MMO, the untrashed set will be Lost Forever. Examined here.
  • In Banjo-Tooie, Spiral Mountain, Banjo's home in the first game, is smashed up. 8 years later, in Nuts & Bolts, it is still in this state.
  • This is the objective of Stage Battles in Brutal Legend.
    • Or rather, trash your opponent's set.
  • The Might and Magic series does this whenever it's looking for a plot reboot.

Web Original

  • The reason Spoony ended his Final Fantasy VIII on such an explosive note was because he was moving and wanted to justify a change of scenery.
  • Red vs. Blue Revelation. For the Recollections Trilogy, Valhalla has been the main setting (basically the Halo 3 version of Blood Gulch). But with Halo Reach coming out the same year and their fancy new CGI scenes, Valhalla has been on the receiving end of what could be some permenant damage.
  • Survival of the Fittest has had a number of moments in each version where a particular location was destroyed through explosions of fire: v1 had the bamboo copice burn to the ground from Jacob Starr's Molotovs, v2's school building suffered a destructive boiler explosion, v3 lost the field hospital to a grenade, and v4's lumber mill was destroyed by dynamite. These are only SOME of the examples of map-changing incinerations.
  • The Yogscast have done this a few times over the course of the Shadow of Israphel series: So far they destroyed the Yog-Cave, Mistral City and BBQ Bay.
  • Parodied on Atop the Fourth Wall in its 100th episode. Linkara had just moved into a new apartment, and since his old house was a bit of a Weirdness Magnet, he set up a little trap at his old place. Cue Phelous walking into his old house and triggering the trap, resulting in an explosion and Phelous dying. Again.

Web Comics

  • The cast of Sluggy Freelance has lost two homes over the years. The first was their original apartment complex, which was taken over by an evil corporation and eventually blown up. The second was the Kesandru house, which lasted several years before being destroyed when Aylee assumed her 50-foot tall form inside it.
  • "Happy 3rd anniversary, Dr. McNinja! You don't have an office anymore."
  • When the creator of Dandy and Company wanted to yank Mistake's owners from the cast, he just had the Villain of the Week burn their house down, forcing them to move away.
  • After the destruction of Gobwin Knob in Erfworld, the new Gobwin Knob was created in a different architectural style suited to its new role as potentially world-conquering imperial capital.

Western Animation

  • During the three-part second season finale "Hunter's Moon", Gargoyles had the clock tower home of the heroes destroyed by a missle. This forced them to relocate back to the skyscraper-top castle they had previously abandoned due to the villain owning it.
  • At the end of the second season of X-Men: Evolution, the mansion is destroyed by a Self-Destruct Mechanism.
  • In the Grand Finale for Gummi Bears, Gummi Glen is destroyed courtesy of Duke Igthorn.
  • In the (second) finale of Kim Possible, Kim's house gets completely obliterated, along with most of her school and her boyfriend's favorite fast food joint.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited series finale, Darkseid lifts up the huge globe on top of the Daily Planet and smashes Superman with it causing it to crash several stories down through the building.
  • ReBoot completely destroyed the ruined Mainframe at the end of season 3. This paved the way for a backup copy of the city to be loaded by the User to replace it.
  • In the Fireball XL5 episode "A Day In The Life Of A Space General," much of the Space City set is destroyed when the title ship crashes into it. It was all a dream, but the crash sequence was filmed at the end of production on the series.

Real Life

  • Fans tore up Cleveland Municipal Stadium after the final Browns game played there; the stadium was eventually dropped into Lake Erie.
  • As an unfortunately discredited rumor would have it, this was subverted (yes) by the Monsanto House of the Future, the old Disneyland attraction. The House was scheduled to be demolished and replaced, but its sturdy plastic construction caused the wrecking ball to bounce off, leaving the building completely unharmed. It eventually had to be taken apart manually, via a whole bunch of workers with a whole bunch of hacksaws. Truth time: According to the House's own introductory video, it was built modularly, meant to be easily assembled and disassembled. Neither hacksaws nor wrecking balls would have been necessary or practical. The rumor probably arose from the fact that the attraction's concrete base proved to be indestructible; wrecking crews gave up on trying to remove all the pilings and they can still be seen today.
  • A long-standing tradition amongst high school theatre groups is the 'striking of the set' in which the cast and crew assist in demolishing the sets used in the show.
    • This troper wants to add that it's not uncommon for parents to get in on this act either. Sets are a pain to strike at times, especially the complicated ones. Additionally, set pieces are occasionally saved, especially for schools with a limited drama program budget.
  • This often becomes a celebration (of sorts) for the cast and crew of long-running Live Action TV shows following the completion of the final episode.
  • Vanilla Ice was offered the chance to destroy the master tape of the video for "Ice Ice Baby" by MTV on the 25 Lame special and did so but began trashing the set with a baseball bat.
  • Hugh Laurie and Robert Sean Leonard shoot up the House MD sets with paintballs during the "Swan Song" special that aired just before the series finale.