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This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Silent Hunter: What about the arm?

//There are big blood vessels in the arm, too. Even as far down as the wrist, there are blood vessels so large that an injury to them is likely to cause death by blood loss.

Red Shoe: There's a Michael Connely book (the guy who wrote Blood Work) where a character shoots herself in the arm, thinking it'll be "just a flesh wound". The bullet bounces off her shoulder joint and finds its way to her heart.

Seth Is Scream 1&2 a subversion where Dewie's injury that anywhere else would be a flesh would left him with a limp because it severed a tendon?

Yoshi348: Isn't there any NON subversion/aversion examples for this trope?

Seth: In almost every action movie known to man, the hero gets shot/stabbed but just keeps on fighting and at the end you see him with a bandage or two, maybe even put in an ambulance but nothing major because he survived what would kill an ordinary person or at least leave them unable to keep fighting. He effectively shrugs it off. Lets see, Conan, Running Man & Predator just listing arnie's examples there are loads of them. Its less prominent nowadays as we like to see our hero's hurt so we can e-mote over them but it used to be par for the course.

With this many examples listing subversions/exceptions is faster.

Uberschveinen: The problem with examples is that both fatal shooting and non-fatal shootings are potentially completely realistic. If you are shot, you will either die pretty fast or survive, and then live or die extremely slowly given the capacity of modern medical tehcnology. If you could access a hospital within a reasonable timeframe of the shooting, then it'll polarise the wound into two types. The ones that hit an artery or a vital organ, and the ones that don't. If it hits a big artery, like the femoral artery, you're screwed, since the only way to stop someone bleeding out from a major artery requires surgery, and even if you stop the bleeding they've usually lost enough blood that they'll go into medical shock. If it hits a vital organ, the heart or brain or high up the spine, you be dead. Lungs are technically a vital organ but that you have two means that you can survive a significant injury to just one if you're not bleeding into the lung that fast. If it hits you in the nad syou're in trouble because of the potential of blood loss. If it doesn't hit one of these then you'll probably live to a hospital, and if you make it to a hospital it'll have to be a pretty severe wound to kill you. If it just hit bones or muscle and minor veins, you're not going to die except by complications. If it hit other organs then you might be in trouble. If it hits the digestive tract and they manage to sew it up before you leak digested food you'll live. If they didn't you're probably going to die. If it hits your liver you're screwed.

Extremely long story short, any shooting wound can be either pretty mundane or mortal. As a result it's pretty hard to classify an example of this trope, with the exception of being shot in the upper chets since that's almost invariably fatal.

Silent Hunter: What seems to be the current version of the trope is the bullet slicing along the outside of the arm. How realistic is that one?

Uberschveinen: If it doesn't hit an artery or a vital organ you're fine. There are no vital organs or arteries on the outside of the arm.


adam850: Isn't this originally from MP and the Holy Grail?
King Arthur: [after Arthur's cut off both of the Black Knight's arms] Look, you stupid Bastard. You've got no arms left.
Black Knight: Yes I have.
King Arthur: Look!
Black Knight: It's just a flesh wound.

Edit: I was going to put this in, but this is a guns trope.

Earnest: Heh, I actually used that quote for Crosses the Line Twice. :D

Jordan: Thanks for adding the thing about Watson's mysterious injury- I wonder why Conan Doyle messed that up, although I suppose shrapnel could have hit him in both places (assuming a magic bullet of course).

Blind Justice 15: What about when a main character who is much weaker than his or her opponent, and gets the everliving crap beaten out of them repeatedly, and the character still gets up when they should have gone down long ago?

Jordan: I was just thinking, should someone being shot in the butt be included as a subtrope or on a new page- that's always shown to be non-serious/humorous, but I believe you'd slowly and painfully bleed to death if that happened in reality.

INH: Getting shot in the butt is actually not that likely to kill you (provided you get medical attention in a reasonably timely manner), unless the bullet severes the femoral artery, in which case you'd have a very good chance of bleeding to death. But, yes, it would be a very serious injury and would be very painful.
H. Torrance Griffin: After re-reading the manga, I wonder how much of a subversion is the routine dismemberment of Gunnm's main character is. Yes she is a full conversion cyborg, and yes the standard design is modular enough for the Brain to survive almost indefinitely if the heart/lung system is still attached and not _too_ banged up; but how much fighting spirit and skill does it take to keep in battle after losing an arm, both legs, and large parts of her torso on two separate occasions (first time she lost only after her remaining elbow came apart under the strain, the second time she actually won).

Uberschveinen: I have no idea of what actually happens in there, but it comes down to shock, traumatic and medical. If enough of the cardiovascular system is missing, or if enough blood is missing from the system, or if there's not enough oxygen in or pressure on the blood then the body simply can't pump enough oxygenated blood to where it's needed. This results in the complete shutting down of the affected areas, and eventually this spreads to the vital bits. This is medical shock and is frequently fatal in a hospital and irreversibly fatal out of one. If it is traumatic shock then they're fine. It's basically when something terrible happens that is so stressful that the body basically overloads its stress responses, tries to do everything and nothing at the same time, and as a result eventually spirals into the body just giving up and shutting down. It's extremely rarely fatal, because not only is it preventable by just having adequate emotional resilience, but anybody with any medical knowledge at all can prevent it quickly and effectively. It's only a danger if something terrible happens that overwhelms you and then you're left alone for hours or days.
Some Guy: Made a mild structural edit. The original wording implied that a significant amount of excessive force lawsuits are a result of people misunderstanding this trope, and that "shoot to wound" is commonly called for when dealing with armed criminals. Which, well, isn't true. Nobody complains when gun-wielding thugs are dealt with via Shoot To Kill. The "excessive force" thing comes up more in cases where police officers shoot a guy forty times in the chest for taking out his wallet. All of which has very little to do with the trope at hand, hence my editing.
Kaninchen Zero: The main Trope page asserts (in the Saving Private Ryan entry) that getting shot isn't all that painful. I wonder if that editor made the claim from direct experience or is passing along something she heard. In my experience, getting shot hurt a lot (and yes, required a very long convalescence).
Melloncollie: What exactly is this trope about? From the description, it's about the concept of "nonfatal" wounds being unrealistic, but a lot of the examples just sound like Made of Iron.