Created By: dRoyJuly 10, 2011 Last Edited By: MacronNotesAugust 15, 2013
Troped

Clip Its Wings

It has wings? Hit 'em!

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Wings are cool. If you have a pair, you can fly, blow people away with their flaps, and generally look cool. Unfortunately, because of their size relative to the body, it makes a very good target. So if anything has wings, it has a fairly high chance of having its wings, or just one of them, damaged. Having one or both of their wings damaged might cause the flyer to never be capable of flight again.

Usually doesn't refer to clipping feathers so a bird can't fly, or to Clipped Wing Angel.

See also Anti Air. This can also result in a Broken Angel.


Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In Digimon Adventure, Angewomon gets impaled on the wall by her wings, courtesy of Piedmon. Puppetization followed soon after.
  • In the penultimate episode of Card Captor Sakura Sakura attempts to use the Fly card to fight. Her opponent shoots one of the wings with a laser blast, setting it on fire.

Comic Books
  • Angel from the X Men has large wings: during the Mutant Massacre storyline his wings are mutilated and later develop gangrene so they're amputated. For a while he uses artificial wings; later real wings grow back.

Film
  • Happens to King Ghidorah twice in the film Godzilla VS King Ghidorah. Both times his wings are ripped to shreds by Godzilla's atomic breath, the first being when he first fights Godzilla and the second being when he returns as Mecha-King Ghidorah.

Literature
  • Chix Verbil from the Artemis Fowl series is hit in the wing with a softnose laser during the events of Arctic Incident. Holly is able to save his life with some quick thinking and faerie magic, but since the blow ruptured several major arteries, she reckons that he'll never fly again.
  • In one of the Gor books Tarl is riding on his tarn (a giant bird used in the military as a Horse Of A Different Color) when he's attacked by a wild Ul, a fearsome flying creature somewhat akin to a pterodactyl. In the fight Tarl slashes the membrane of the Ul's wing and it retreats, flying down towards land in a spiral so as to favor the uninjured wing.
Attacking the other guy's tarn in battle is often done by less scrupulous warriors.
  • Happens a lot in the Maximum Ride series, because the main characters have wings and keep getting into trouble.
  • Rebel and New Republic fighter pilots in the Star Wars Expanded Universe find that the solar panels on TIE fighters make wonderful targets from the side.
  • In the Finnish fairytale, Pessi and Illusia, Illusia-fairy decides to leave her rainbow home to visit the ground below. While being there, however, a spider bites off her wings when she's asleep. Since Illusia can't fly anymore this prevents her from returning home. It also leads her to fall in love with the troll, Pessi, of which the story is about.
  • Pog, the Talking Animal bat from the Spellsinger novels, carried a sewing kit to stitch up tears in his wings.

Tabletop RPG
  • Dungeons And Dragons 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide. Flying creatures with wings will be unable to fly if they take too much damage, due to their wings being a prime target for enemy attack.

Theatre

Video Games
  • Fallout 3 allows you to target bloatflies' wings in VATS mode. This is roughly equivalent to shooting the legs of dirt-bound foes and will severely reduce their movement speed.
  • Fallout New Vegas: Crippling a Cazador's wings is an excellent way to soften them up for the killshot. Of course, that assumes you can actually hit them in the first place, and not get stung to death by five or six of his buddies.
  • In Star Fox, your ship can sometimes lose its wings when it's damaged, particularly if you fly too close to something big and clip them yourself. how the thing can keep flying with no wings is anyone's guess.
  • In The Legend Of Zelda The Wind Waker, hitting a Mothula enough times will cause it to lose its wings and drop to the ground.
  • Several enemy types in Okami are invulnerable, or at least much harder to attack, while flying, but you can use brush techniques to cut their wings off and/or knock them out of the air with gusts of wind.
  • In Phantasy Star Universe, or at least the first Playstation Portable spinoff, one of the bosses can be knocked to the ground by hitting its wings enough times. You can hit it with melee weapons, and then the wings grow back and you repeat until you beat it.
  • The Chrysalis AI weapon in Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker takes more damage if you hit its turbines than if you hit the fusilage.
  • Some minions in Jade Cocoon have access to a 'Rend Wings' attack which is especially effective against flying monsters (there's also a 'Break Legs' attack which is more effective against monsters that are land-bound).
  • In Mega Man ZX, Hivolt's weakness (where the Model H Biometal is stored) is located in his wings.

Web Comics
  • Spacetrawler: Martina doesn't like killing, and suggests shooting the wings off enemy spacefighters as an alternative. Emily, the one manning the guns, thinks it's stupid.
    Martina: That said, is there any way out of this without killing them?
    Emily: Nopers.
    Martina: Don't suppose you could just aim for their wings?
    Emily: I'M NOT GOING TO FUCKING AIM AT THEIR WINGS!

Western Animation
  • In the Tale Spin episode "Flight of the Snow Duck", Baloo, Wildcat and Molly escape from a Thembrian prison by flying a plane made completely out of ice, while being pursued by military fighters. When one of the wings gets shot off, Wildcat scoops some water out of a lake and tosses over the wing's stub, instantly repairing it.

Real Life
Community Feedback Replies: 36
  • July 10, 2011
    terrafox
    • From the movie Wanted: "Shoot the wings off of the fly!"
  • July 10, 2011
    fluffything
    • Happens to King Ghidorah twice in the film Godzilla VS King Ghidorah. Both times his wings are ripped to shreds by Godzilla's atomic breath, the first being when he first fights Godzilla and the second being when he returns as Mecha-King Ghidorah.
  • July 10, 2011
    Reflextion
    • Fallout New Vegas: Crippling a Cazador's wings is an excellent way to soften them up for the killshot. Of course, that assumes you can actually hit them in the first place, and not get stung to death by five or six of his buddies.
  • July 11, 2011
    dRoy
    In Digimon Adventure, Angelwomon (is that the name?) gets impaled on the wall by her wings, courtesy of Piedmon. Puppetization followed soon after.
  • July 11, 2011
    KZN02
    See also Anti Air
  • July 11, 2011
    Confusion567

    Can I suggest the title Wing Clip, or some variation (Clip His Wings)?
  • July 11, 2011
    Xandriel
  • July 12, 2011
    dRoy
    ^ Sure.
  • July 12, 2011
    Arivne
    Tabletop RPG
    • Dungeons And Dragons 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide. Flying creatures with wings will be unable to fly if they take too much damage, due to their wings being a prime target for enemy attack.
  • October 31, 2011
    dRoy
    Is this trope more common in video games than in any other medium?
  • November 19, 2011
    Tambov333
    Bump.
  • November 19, 2011
    MetaFour
    • Spacetrawler: Martina doesn't like killing, and suggests shooting the wings off enemy spacefighters as an alternative. Emily, the one manning the guns, thinks it's stupid.
      Martina: That said, is there any way out of this without killing them?
      Emily: Nopers.
      Martina: Don't suppose you could just aim for their wings?
      Emily: I'M NOT GOING TO FUCKING AIM AT THEIR WINGS!
  • November 19, 2011
    elwoz
    Several enemy types in Okami are invulnerable, or at least much harder to attack, while flying, but you can use brush techniques to cut their wings off and/or knock them out of the air with gusts of wind.
  • November 19, 2011
    Stratadrake
    Support Clip Its Wings for a title -- mirrors other Attack Its Weak Point subtropes.
  • January 21, 2013
    morenohijazo
    Yeah, this is a For Massive Damage subtrope.
  • January 21, 2013
    StarSword
    Seconding Clip Its Wings, with the following note in the description:

    Usually doesn't refer to clipping feathers so a bird can't fly, or to Clipped Wing Angel.

    Role Playing Games:
    • Fallout 3 allows you to target bloatflies' wings in VATS mode. This is roughly equivalent to shooting the legs of dirt-bound foes and will severely reduce their movement speed.

    Literature:
    • Rebel and New Republic fighter pilots in the Star Wars Expanded Universe find that the solar panels on TIE fighters make wonderful targets from the side.
  • January 21, 2013
    Landorkus
    I third the title Clip Its Wings. It's clever and mirrors a real-life phenomenon that actually does harm birds.
  • August 12, 2013
    MacronNotes
    Since the sponsor hasn't touched the draft since forever, I'm taking care of it now.
  • August 12, 2013
    IAmATropist
    Not sure if this counts...
  • August 12, 2013
    DragonQuestZ
    • In Phantasy Star Universe, or at least the first Playstation Portable spinoff, one of the bosses can be knocked to the ground by hitting its wings enough times. You can hit it with melee weapons, and then the wings grow back and you repeat until you beat it.
  • August 13, 2013
    Tallens
    • In the Tale Spin episode "Flight of the Snow Duck", Baloo, Wildcat and Molly escape from a Thembrian prison by flying a plane made completely out of ice, while being pursued by military fighters. When one of the wings gets shot off, Wildcat scoops some water out of a lake and tosses over the wing's stub, instantly repairing it.

    Real Life:
  • August 13, 2013
    Larkmarn
  • August 13, 2013
    samitv
    • Happens a lot in the Maximum Ride series, because the main characters have wings and keep getting into trouble.
  • August 13, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Literature
    • In the Finnish fairytale, Pessi and Illusia, Illusia-fairy decides to leave her rainbow home to visit the ground below. While being there, however, a spider bites off her wings when she's asleep. Since Illusia can't fly anymore this prevents her from returning home. It also leads her to fall in love with the troll, Pessi, of which the story is about.
  • August 13, 2013
    Astaroth
    • Chix Verbil from the Artemis Fowl series is hit in the wing with a softnose laser during the events of Arctic Incident. Holly is able to save his life with some quick thinking and faerie magic, but since the blow ruptured several major arteries, she reckons that he'll never fly again.

    • Some minions in Jade Cocoon have access to a 'Rend Wings' attack which is especially effective against flying monsters (there's also a 'Break Legs' attack which is more effective against monsters that are land-bound).
  • August 13, 2013
    SharleeD
  • August 13, 2013
    AgProv
    Literature Mustrum Ridcully's first reported words in the Discworld cycle. The wizards of Unseen University thought they were getting an ineffectual Radagast the Brown character who loved nature, especially birds.

    What they got was a chief wizard who loved nature. Specifically, shooting at it.

    Winged you, yer bastard!
  • August 13, 2013
    DAN004
    • In Mega Man ZX, Hivolt's weakness (where the Model H Biometal is stored) is located in his wings.
  • August 13, 2013
    randomsurfer
    • In one of the Gor books Tarl is riding on his tarn (a giant bird used in the military as a Horse Of A Different Color) when he's attacked by a wild Ul, a fearsome flying creature somewhat akin to a pterodactyl. In the fight Tarl slashes the membrane of the Ul's wing and it retreats, flying down towards land in a spiral so as to favor the uninjured wing.
    Attacking the other guy's tarn in battle is often done by less scrupulous warriors.
    • Angel from the X Men has large wings: during the Mutant Massacre storyline his wings are mutilated and later develop gangrene so they're amputated. For a while he uses artificial wings; later real wings grow back.
  • August 13, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    This can result in a Broken Angel.
  • August 13, 2013
    Stratadrake
    @Agprov: That doesn't sound like an example.
  • August 13, 2013
    Tallens
  • August 13, 2013
    AgProv
    @Stratadrake; Explanation.

    Ridcully is a very keen hunter. His character is based on the sort of old-time English country squire who would shoot at anything that moved. Such a person would hold to the point of gentlemanly etiquette that dictates it is unsporting to shoot at a bird on the ground - hence you may only shoot while they're in flight, on the wing. Hence hitting a bird or other winged creature in flight, perhaps not fatally, is winging it. ("It has wings - hit 'em!")
  • August 13, 2013
    Dacilriel
    In the penultimate episode of Card Captor Sakura Sakura attempts to use the Fly card to fight. Her opponent shoots one of the wings with a laser blast, setting it on fire.
  • August 13, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^^ Not An Example. The trope is about wings being a weak point, not flight, not some hunter's code of honor.
  • August 14, 2013
    CaptainPeregrin

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable