Why do people stop alarm clocks with a slap?

In a lot of movies we see a character stopping alarm clocks with a slap, punch or any kind of “attack”. Is there an specific reason for that? Do old time alarm-clocks (with the two bells and little hammer) really work that way?

It looks dramatic.

You never had to hit an alarm clock with much force to turn them off.

Because fine motor skills require a higher level of conscious arousal than I’m capable of at 6 am?

Sometimes the clock is just asking for it

Older alarm clocks had a button that had to be depressed to stop the ringing, as opposed to the LCD ones that require you to slide the button over. Naturally you had to use a different motion.

Imagine that it’s dark, you’ve just been rudely aroused, and you want the thing off as soon as possible. You might not use finesse. You might just reach out and use a broad slapping motion to ensure that you hit the clock, which has a habit of moving around at night.

Then multiple that for comic effect in a movie.

I don’t know about old-time alarm clocks, but new-time alarm clocks certainly work that way. The largest, most prominent control on the device is the snooze bar, which is big enough to get pushed if you just paw blindly at it.

Because gunfire brings the police.

that is why they now run away.

Rolling over and smacking/'slapping the alarm clock isn’t completely unrealistic. A friend of mine used to do it back when we were in college (he still might for all I know). He bought a new alarm clock when we started college and at the end of four years the top was all caved in and the whole thing looked a bit saddle shaped from all of the abuse. Amazingly, it still worked.


And that’s a Roger on that. Over and out.