Examples of percussive maintenance from film/tv/games.
February 20, 2013 9:35 AM   Subscribe

Percussive maintenance is hitting an electronic or mechanical device to get it to work. I'd love to hear about any movies, tv shows, games or commercials where you've seen a character do this (not necessarily successfully). TV Tropes of course covers this pretty well but the more examples I can get, the better. It's for a supercut project.

Anything from a light tap to a sledgehammer is welcome. Bonus points for dialog, non-English language films and older stuff. I'm trying to keep the video fairly short but whatever doesn't make the cut I plan to use in an interactive version.
posted by dunk to Media & Arts (23 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
This is so unbelievably arcane that I can barely comprehend the fact that I am writing it.

In the video game Ratchet & Clank: All 4 One, in the cut-scene that appears after the defeat of Commander Spog (I think is the name), Dr. Nefarious "repairs" Spog (who is a robot) by giving him a swift kick to the head. I happen to have just played this part of the game, so it's fresh in my brain.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:43 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

In the anime Martian Successor Nadesico there's a scene in episode 22 where a girl from Jupiter is trying to get a communications device to work, and can't. Ruri (a 10 year old supergenius) steps forward and kicks it about three times, and then it works.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:52 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just because we were discussing Aliens on MeFi - Drake, one of the Colonial Marines, smashes his camera against a stanchion to get its picture to clear up...
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:53 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

In the movie Armageddon the Russian guy fixes the Space Shuttle by whacking it with a wrench.
posted by zsazsa at 9:54 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Well, it's not exactly -maintenance- for those whose system it belongs to, but in terms of the Doctor fixing a situation, you want: Dr. Who, /The Power of Kroll/, in which the doctor disables a rocket by smashing in a control panel in the rocket silo with a hammer.
posted by oonh at 9:54 AM on February 20, 2013

I just watched a very boring Hallmark movie (The Magic of Ordinary Days) where the farmer explained to his wife how to hit the gas gauge in the truck to get the correct reading. I also had to do this on the Dodge minivan that I drove in high school, though I had to hit it in a different spot on the dash.
posted by Maarika at 10:04 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

In the classic British comedy Keeping Up Appearances, the character Onslow routinely operates the TV by smacking it.
posted by Corvid at 10:09 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's a classic recurring bit from Happy Days wherein Fonzie would do this, typically to a jukebox.
posted by mkultra at 10:12 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Star Wars, Han Solo slams on the bulk head to get the lights to come back on in the Falcon
posted by kanemano at 10:25 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

Just about every episode of Doctor Who has someone hitting something, really. I just watched Planet of the Dead and he hits something in the fly-alien ship to get it to power up, specifically.

Also, any episode of Quantum Leap as Dean Stockwell continuously hits that communicator device.
posted by mikepop at 10:28 AM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

The most recent installment of LARP Trek (a webcomic by MeFi's Own with the premise that DS9 is a role-playing game played by TNG's executive crew) reminded me of the scene in the pilot of Deep Space Nine when O'Brien kicks the station's transporter to get it to work.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:16 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Old man in a rocking chair hits "Emma" the grading machine with a broom after Bart's standardized test breaks it.
posted by obscurator at 11:44 AM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

In the videogame Team Fortress 2, Engineer players fix damage to their constructions by whacking them with a pipe wrench.
posted by baf at 12:56 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

I think Gibbs on NCIS performs regular percussive maintenance on his team, as well as computers and other equipment from time to time...
posted by stenseng at 2:28 PM on February 20, 2013 [2 favorites]

I found that Nadesico clip of Ruri kicking the machine on Youtube. The scene to which I refer starts at 03:52. (I don't know how to encode that in the URL, sorry.)
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 2:51 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Elvis Gratton famously does it in one the first movie. He hits a vending machine, and it turns out there's a guy inside. The guy opens the door and gives him his pepsi.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 8:51 PM on February 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's an episode in Sister, Sister (Tia & Tamera Mowry) where they get stuck in an unfamiliar area of the city ("the ghetto") and need a payphone.

A young man does an impressive tap-bang sequence to the payphone. One of the sisters asks, "Is that the secret trick to get it to work?" (othering the young man with the implication that he has some 'hood knowledge that she didn't). Young man replies, "yes" and inserts a quarter.
posted by batter_my_heart at 12:48 AM on February 21, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Thanks everyone! Some really good ones here. Keep 'em coming!
posted by dunk at 8:20 AM on February 21, 2013

How about a musical number where this happens?: the "Shine on Your Shoes" number from The Band Wagon. You can see the thing not working at the beginning of the clip. The percussive stuff starts at about 4:40.
posted by zorseshoes at 6:41 AM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

There's a decent percussive maintenance gag in Mr. Bean Goes To Town.
posted by zamboni at 7:56 PM on February 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

Also a bit arcane, but there's a scene on a plane in This Must Be the Place where an airplane mechanic takes a major component from the dashboard and shakes and hits it to get it to work.
posted by Ms. Toad at 6:38 PM on April 20, 2013 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: It's finished! Debuted at the awesome xoxo festival in Portland on Saturday. Sorry if I didn't include your suggestion, but it should still make it into the planned physical version. Thanks for your help!
posted by dunk at 8:14 AM on September 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

Awesome! I love the appreciative little smirk Kira gives O'Brien once it works.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:56 AM on September 23, 2013 [1 favorite]

« Older Looking for black powder, white powder   |   Speeding up Lightroom on Mac Pro Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.