Top 5 Violent Scenes in Typically Non-Violent TV Shows

Written by Guest December 06, 2011


Television shows follow many self-created conventions. Typically you will not see the Golden Girls getting into a shootout nor would you see Jack Bauer and the terrorists having afternoon tea (other than that one time with RoboCop and his wife). The surprise breaking these conventions can cause a show to feel lost or seem too desperate to provide a twist. Here are five different episodes of five different shows that showcase an excellent escape from their typically calm nature into something more feral and raw with great success.

5. Jerry Seinfeld’s Illegal Cable Nightmare (“Seinfeld”)

I can’t think of many comedies where the main character gets killed in a hail of gunfire by the FBI. It not only makes sense for Jerry to be paranoid and sceptical about following Kramer’s advice about getting an illegal cable hook-up, but the fear of punishment is something we all feel. I know I at least run many worst-case scenarios through my head if I do something I shouldn’t do. Now I know to wear a kevlar jacket if I ever need to watch TV through less-than-legal means.

4. Marshall Eriksen Fights His Brothers (“How I Met Your Mother”)

Marshall is a giant teddy bear. You sometimes just want to give him a big hug. Sure he’s large, but you know he wouldn’t hurt you. This is exactly what the gang thought after Barney and Ted are about to get into a bar fight. They didn’t think Marshall could really fight (see Exhibit A: the first part of the video). Yet in reality, he’s a real Russell Crowe (see Exhibit B: the second part of the video). We also get to hear the always hilarious, yet seldom used, original heavy metal song “Murder Train” written by Robin’s ex-boyfriend.

3. The Riding Lawnmower (“Mad Men”)

Despite being on the same network as the bloody (and equally amazing) Breaking Bad and the rotting goriness of The Walking Dead, Mad Men is way more grounded in its tone. Mad Men is the most realistic show on television, so it is never over the top with depictions of action scenes or violence. That just makes this scene even more surprising, horrific and comic. The episode is called “Guy Walks Into an Advertising Agency”, and this scene serves as the punchline to that joke.

2. William Shatner (Almost) Gets Mugged (“Boston Legal”)

In a vast career, William Shatner’s portrayal of Denny Crane is probably the most entertaining. Denny plays  a hyper-Republican lawyer who is considered the greatest in Boston. Him encountering a mugger and behaving this way is nothing surprising in the least to viewers who know his character, but it’s a twist on the traditional mugging of a character that you rarely ever see on TV. This scene illustrates what Boston Legal does best: be politically relevant, dramatic and hilarious at the same time.

1. The Entire ‘Modern Warfare’ Episode (“Community”)

My favourite episodes of Community are ones that follow a “gimick” and go all out with it while still being great character pieces. This is one of the earlier “gimick” episodes and is by far one of the greatest episodes of a comedy ever created. The premise of the episode is that the Dean of Greendale Community College (played by Jim Rash), announces a school-wide paintball game with the lone survivor winning priority registration for the following year. Chaos ensues. This episode provides references to Die Hard, Rambo, 28 Days Later, Predator, The Terminator and many more. The writers parody the action genre while celebrating it with a great cast of well-constructed characters being put into a situation that the typical show never does. Extra credit goes to the writers for being able to go so over-the-top that the atrocities of school shootings never enters the minds of the viewers – something that the writers could have easily accidentally slipped up with. I only provide a trailer for the episode, but if you are a fan of TV, definitely do yourself a favour and watch this episode. It may convert you to cult-like awesomeness that is Community fandom.

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