We've looked at the best on-screen and comic book destructions of the Golden Gate Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and the Eiffel Tower. But some creators have set their destructive sights on something at once more remote and more universal: Earth's moon. So out of all the punches, explosions, and starship fire, who destroyed the moon best?
Apologies to fans of The Tick and Georges Méliès Le Voyage dans la lune, but for the sake of sanity (namely mine), we're going to stick to actual destructions of the moon (or at least big chunks knocked out of it) rather than destructions and defacements. Perhaps next week we'll do the best lunar defacements.
Compiled with the aid of TVTropes' fantastic Detonation Moon list.
Looney Toons, "Haredevil Hare" (1948): In the battle of Bugs Bunny vs. the moon, Bugs Bunny will win every time.
Space: 1999 (1975): The entire premise of this show is that the moon is blasted out of Earth's orbit, causing the lunar colonists to hurtle through space. The moon remains intact, but we get to enjoy plenty of explosions on its surface before it waves farewell to Earth.
Star Blazers (Space Battleship Yamato), "Stop-over at Ganymede" (1980): The Comet Empire launches a fire attack on the Moon in its battle against Earth. It has a pretty demoralizing effect on the Earth population.
What If... the Avengers Had Become Pawns of Korvac? (1982): What is the best way to battle the energy-siphoning Michael Korvac? The Stranger tries hurling the moon at his head, which doesn't work out so well for the moon.
Akira (1982-1990): Tetsuo doesn't actually shatter the moon, but he does leave an impressive crater in it. Even with the moon largely intact, the tides are affected by the moon's change in mass. One of the many hazards of superpowered teenagers is that they can take out chunks of your natural satellite during a temper tantrum.
Dragon Ball (1987, 1989): Dragon Ball has actually destroyed the moon on more than one occasion. Jackie Chun destroys the moon, which prevents Man-Wolf from reverting back to human form. Eventually the moon is restored, but it is again destroyed in Dragon Ball Z, this time by Piccolo.
Amazon Women on the Moon (1987): When the moon gets it in this series of scifi comedy sketches, the string holding up the model moon is left behind.
Adventures of Superman #478 (1991): While time traveling to the year 2995, Superman stops Dev-Em from blowing up the moon. Unfortunately, Linear Man learns that the moon must be destroyed in order to maintain the timeline. So Superman is sent back to his own time, and the moon goes boom.
Mr. Show, "Blowing Up the Moon" (1997): Everyone is behind NASA's most ambitious mission: blowing up the moon. Well, everyone except one chimp, but the chimp can be fired.
Cowboy Bebop (1998): After the moon is destroy in the Astral Gate accident, lunar debris beings to rain down on Earth, killing 4.7 billion people. Although Cowboy Bebop is set decades after the destruction of the moon, we get to see it happen in the sixth episode, "Sympathy for the Devil."
7-Up Commercial (2000): Orlando Jones wants everyone to remember the great taste of 7-Up by defacing the moon, but his laser-based lunar graffiti goes a little too far.
Sonic Adventure 2 (2001): Dr. Eggman has a "that's no moon" moment when he reveals his Eclipse Cannon, then decides to go ahead and test it on the real moon.
The Time Machine (2002): Lunar colonists shatter the moon, leaving Earth virtually inhabitable. While we don't get to see the moon break apart, we get a nice shot of the aftermath.
Tenchi Muyo! (2005): After destroying half the Earth, the villain Z blasts most of the moon away. And he's still just gearing up for his battle with Tenchi.
Three Moons Over Milford (2006): The entire premise of this short-lived ABC Family series is that an asteroid recently hit the moon, breaking it into three pieces and convincing a lot of folks that the world was about to end.
Scott Pilgrim and the Infinite Sadness (2006): Todd Ingram has vegan superpowers, a quick temper, and an apparent love of Tetsuo. That's why, whenever he wants to prove his love to a girl, he punches a hole in the moon. Gif by scruffyjedi.
Impact (2009): This miniseries put the moon on a collision course with the Earth. Human annihilation is narrowly avoided when a crew of astronauts manages to blast the moon into pieces.
Assassination Classroom (2012): The sensei of class 3-E of Kunugigaoka Middle School claims to have destroyed most of the moon, leaving behind a crescent, and pledges to destroy the Earth next.
The Aquabats! Super Show! (2012): The Aquabats cartoons start off with the band crash landing on the moon, although by the time they leave (barely carrying along a parasite-infected Jimmy), it's about to explode. Because, why not?
Iron Sky (2012): A movie about Nazis living on the moon couldn't get away with the moon completely intact. Naturally, at one point, or satellite gets an additional crater.