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Vinyl LP records in media break easily if thrown or manhandled. When they do break, they tend to shatter into small pieces just like breaking glass. They even sound like glass when they break.

This is The Coconut Effect for most of its run. Vinyl records don't break that easily, they generally don't shatter, and they definitely don't sound like glass when they break. This is a carryover from when those big round discs were shellac 78s, which do shatter dramatically (though they still don't quite sound like glass). Shellac records and vinyl LPs look almost alike, and they coexisted for a few years; by the time most of the big round discs were vinyl, people (or maybe just execs) kept expecting them to act like shellac in films and TV, at least as far as durability went.

If a work was written or produced before about 1948, a large-diameter record shattering is almost certainly not an example of this trope, as it would be shellac, not vinyl. By 1952, vinyl records were roughly even with shellac in percentage of records sold. by 1958, new 12-inch diameter discs were virtually always vinyl. The smaller, 7-inch diameter records, were never shellac and therefore, one shattering is always an example of this trope.

Examples of Vinyl Shatters include:


Film Edit

  • Youth in Revolt. Francois breaks his vinyls apart.
  • Semi-Averted in Shaun of the Dead. At least it doesn't sound like glass, though, and they are thrown with quite a bit of force.
  • When Sharon and Susan are fighting at the camp dance in The Parent Trap.
  • Mr. Moses from The Meteor Man would rather give up his own hand than his prize records. A poignant trumpet solo accompanies the shot of one of those records shattering when thrown at a mobster's hand, disarming him and saving an imperiled Meteor Man.

Literature Edit

  • Mentioned in one of the Sports Hall Of Shame books. A coach played an opposing team's song every day, and right before the big game shouted "I never want to hear this song again!" and dramatically threw down the record, but it didn't shatter.
  • In The Catcher in The Rye, Holden accidentally shatters a LP he was going to give to his sister Phoebe.

Live Action TV Edit

  • In an early episode of Blakes Seven there's a character who spends a lot of time listening to a song on an antique gramophone. (The writers have admitted that this was a ruse to fill in time because the script was too short.) Near the end of the episode Blake snatches the disc off the turntable and smashes it.
  • The early '80s titles to Top of the Pops end with a vinyl record exploding into fragments in mid air. (Although this clearly wasn't dramatic enough, as the titles were later updated to have an exploding TV instead).
  • Never Mind the Buzzcocks opening has vinyl records fall and shatter on the ground. The opening has remained the same all the time the show has existed, although different record covers are occasionally shown. This is probabbly in homage to the Top of the Pops example above.
  • In The Mighty Boosh, on a dare, Vince bites into one of Howard's records and breaks it into pieces.
  • In the Mash finale, Major Winchester breaks the classical record he was listening to after he finds out the band he had formed got killed in an ambush. This may or may not be an example of the trope; in 1953, when the Korean War ended, large-diameter shellac records were still quite common.
  • The Barney and Friends episode "Practice Makes Music" has a scene where Tina accidentally drops three 45-RPM records onto the ground, and they shatter into many pieces as if they were shellac (though they do use the appropriate "crunch!" sound of a vinyl record being broken.) Barney then uses his magic to restore things, by turning the three destroyed 45s into one large LP! "Ta-da! Good as new!" he announces, and when the record is played, it switches between the three former discs' tracks in the middle of each song.

Video Games Edit

Web Animation Edit

Western Animation Edit

  • The Golden Disc at the end of "Code of Hero" may count.
  • Garfield and Friends, "Jukebox Jon": When Garfield bowls Odie into the table where Jon's record player is playing self-hypnosis records to help him stop biting his nails, the records come off the turntable and break, each in two large pieces and a bunch of little pieces.
  • The Simpsons episode "The Itchy And Scratchy Movie" has Bart breaking records for kicks.
  • In the Family Guy episode "I Dream of Jesus", Brian and Stewie break Peter's Surfin' Bird record; Stewie stomps on it with his foot and Brian smashes it further with a baseball bat.
  • In Scooby-Doo Meets the Boo Brothers, Shaggy is fed up with the ghosts' song and dance number at one point, swipes the record off their record player, and smashes it on the ground as if it were made of glass.