Created By: spacemarine50 on September 27, 2013 Last Edited By: spacemarine50 on February 13, 2014
Troped

Finger In A Barrel

Inserting your finger in a gun barrel to avoid being shot.

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Page Type:
Trope
Indexes: Zany Cartoon, Television Is Trying To Kill You, Guns DO Not Work That Way, Guns and Gunplay Tropes

You wascally wabbit!

What if someone's pointing a gun at you at point blank and you're not Nigh Invulnerable or Immune to Bullets? Well, you can hope the gunshot won't kill you, the guns fails, or stick your finger in the barrel.

What happens is that the shooter fires anyways (even though they shouldn't). The victim and his finger is uninjured, the gun explodes, and the shooter is injured and has a Ash Face. In the real, the victim maybe alive, minus a hand, and the shooter is uninjured and the gun's still intact. A variation is using another object instead of a finger to do the same thing.

Subtrope of Televisionis Trying To Kill You and Guns Do Not Work That Way. Compare Bullet Catch. Barehanded Blade Block is the sword counterpart. Point That Somewhere Else works a lot better, and less riskier on your fingers.

Also see Reliably Unreliable Guns and Convenient Misfire when the gun fails without the finger.

Nothing to do with Finger Gun and Finger Firearms.

Examples

Comic Books
  • When the Fantastic Four first encounter Prince Namor, the Submariner is preparing an invasion of New York to combat "the human filth." At one point, some Atlantian soldiers are preparing a large gun for firing when Ben Grimm stuffs his whole arm down the barrel, causing the weapon to explode. Ben then brings four dazed and unconscious Atlantians to Reed's laboratory, saying, "Hey, Reed: I found ya four volunteers."
  • Jerom does this multiple times in the Belgian comic 'Suske en Wiske''. Being Made of Iron, he doesn't take any damage. Instead, the guns tend to explode in the bad guys' faces, giving them an Ash Face.

Film
  • In X-Men Origins: Wolverine, in the past, Dukes does this with a tank cannon, causing the tank to explode from the inside. It's a good thing Duke is super tough.
  • Subverted in Me, Myself, and Irene. Charlie attempts to talk down the villain, putting his thumb over his gun. The villain just shoots off his thumb.
  • In Support Your Local Sheriff when Old Man Danby comes to get his son out of jail, he walks into the sheriff's office and points a gun in his face. The sheriff just looks up at him and casually sticks his finger in the gun.

Literature
  • A variation in the first Artemis Fowl book. Mulch is being attacked by a gang of goblins, and their ringleader summons a fireball and then inhales it up his nostrils, with the intention of breathing fire over Mulch. Mulch responds by jamming his thumbs up the goblin's nostrils; he gets his thumbs burned, but the goblin's innards take most of the damage .
  • Done in one of the Callahan's Crosstime Saloon books, but in this case the character in question was Immune to Bullets.

Live-Action TV
  • Mythbusters tested this trope, and it's busted. The victim will lose his finger if not his hand, gun still works if not a bit damaged, and the shooter is always uninjured.
    • They also made a parody of this trope: [1]

Western Animation
  • The Trope Codifier if not the Trope Maker are Western Animation//Looney Tunes cartoons, where this is such a standard tactic that it's not clear why anyone even bothers with guns. Most prominently used by Bugs Bunny on Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam when they're (literally) gunning for him, but there's Eleventy Zillion other examples.
  • Seen in the Tom and Jerry short "Quiet, Please!". Jerry tires to wake up Spike by firing a shotgun, and Tom sticks his fingers down both barrels to stop it, leaving him with throbbing, swollen fingers.
  • In Lilo & Stitch, when Stitch steals Jumba's plasma pistol, Jumba jams a carrot in the barrel right as he fires. This causes the gun to go into an overload spiral, eventually exploding violently and leveling the house.

Real Life
  • Now for some Fridge Logic: there are several problems pulling it off, but fiction only deals with the victim being injured instead of the shooter. There's also:
    • Getting your finger in the barrel. As fiction usually uses a shotgun with this trope, not a problem to stick your index finger. But any pistol or rifle is too small for the index, and maybe too small for all fingers.
    • The shooter always lets it happen. He never resists it by moving the gun around or shooting before the finger's in the barrel.
    • The shooter always fires anyway with the finger in the barrel. He never tries to unlodge the finger.
    • The shooter is never military-trained. You will get a gun butt to your face if you try this trope against them.
  • A scientific paper done a little over a century before indicates that this may have been more common in early firearms, where the barrels were often made from multiple strips of metal welded together.
  • Apparently the real-life Gyrojet guns (a family of guns that fired tiny rockets) could actually be defeated this way, since unlike a normal firearm it had almost no muzzle velocity.
Community Feedback Replies: 32
  • September 27, 2013
    dalek955
    • Apparently the real-life Gyrojet (a handgun that fired tiny rockets) could actually be defeated this way, since unlike a normal firearm it had almost no muzzle velocity.
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004

    I've also seen this in some old cartoons, particularly Tom And Jerry and Bugs Bunny, but I cannot provide context. :/
  • September 27, 2013
    DAN004
    Compare Bullet Catch.
  • September 28, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Namespaced and italicized the Mythbusters example.
  • September 28, 2013
    DracMonster
  • September 28, 2013
    nitrokitty
  • September 30, 2013
    spacemarine50
    ^Is that Zero Context Example, even though it takes it's own page to describe every single instance?
  • September 30, 2013
    DracMonster
    Lemme try something a little more approproiate:

    • The Trope Codifier if not the Trope Maker are Looney Tunes cartoons, where this is such a standard tactic that it's not clear why anyone even bothers with guns. Most prominently used by Bugs Bunny on Elmer Fudd and Yosemite Sam when they're (literally) gunning for him, but there's Eleventy Zillion other examples.
  • September 30, 2013
    AP
    • Spider Man does this with webbing, which makes more sense.
  • October 1, 2013
    Melkior
    Expanding the television Mythbusters example, "Not to mention that the projectile would continue as originally aimed and be just as lethal if it hit anything vital."
  • October 8, 2013
    Bisected8
    Nitpick: The gyroget was an entire range of firearms, not just a handgun. There was pistols, carbines, rifles, pepperbox pistols...
  • October 8, 2013
    TonyG
    Seen in the Tom And Jerry short "Quiet, Please!". Jerry tires to wake up Spike by firing a shotgun, and Tom sticks his fingers down both barrels to stop it, leaving him with throbbing, swollen fingers.
  • October 11, 2013
    oneuglybunny
    Comic Books
    • When the Fantastic Four first encounter Prince Namor, the Submariner is preparing an invasion of New York to combat "the human filth." At one point, some Atlantian soldiers are preparing a large gun for firing when Ben Grimm stuffs his whole arm down the barrel, causing the weapon to explode. Ben then brings four dazed and unconscious Atlantians to Reed's laboratory, saying, "Hey, Reed: I found ya four volunteers."
  • October 11, 2013
    DracMonster
    Here and here are page image candidates.

    (But jeez, not ONE picture of Bugs Bunny doing this on the entire internet? Y U SO FAIL, GOOGLE?)
  • October 11, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    ^ Allow me to deliver.
  • October 11, 2013
    DracMonster
    ^Your Google-Fu Is Stronger, I admit defeat.
  • October 11, 2013
    dalek955
    • In Lilo And Stitch, when Stitch steals Jumba's plasma pistol, Jumba jams a carrot in the barrel right as he fires. This causes the gun to go into an overload spiral, eventually exploding violently and levelling the house.
  • October 11, 2013
    spacemarine50
    • @ Spiderman example: Which work (the comic, movie, book; exact title) did that happen in?
    • Paradise has the best image so far.
  • October 12, 2013
    AgProv
    Discworld:
    • In Men At Arms, Carrot uses a variation of this trick to dissuade Detritus from firing a very large crossbow, which combined with his inability to understand the words "safety catch", is posing a danger to everyone within a twenty yard radius. Carrot deliberately places his fingertip on the bolt head and physically swivels the weapon to a less dangerous trajectory.
  • October 12, 2013
    spacemarine50
  • November 29, 2013
    Astaroth
    • A variation in the first Artemis Fowl book; Mulch is being attacked by a gang of goblins, and their ringleader summons a fireball and then inhales it up his nostrils, with the intention of breathing fire over Mulch. Mulch responds by jamming his thumbs up the goblin's nostrils; he gets his thumbs burned, but the goblin's innards take most of the damage .
  • November 29, 2013
    darthcaliber
    Re the Spider-Man example: it happened recently in the newspaper comic but I'm pretty sure it's been done before in other media.
  • February 2, 2014
    spacemarine50
  • February 3, 2014
    Andygal
    Done in one of the the Callahans Crosstime Saloon books, but in this case the character in question was Immune To Bullets.
  • February 3, 2014
    Generality
    Subverted in Me Myself And Irene. Charlie attempts to talk down the villain, putting his thumb over his gun. The villain just shoots off his thumb.
  • February 10, 2014
    Mamona
    Comic Books
    • Jerom does this multiple times in the Belgian comic Suske En Wiske. Being Made Of Iron, he doesn't take any damage. Instead, the guns tend to explode in the bad guys' faces, giving them an Ash Face.
  • February 12, 2014
    spacemarine50
    Ready to Launch? And also how do I post a weblink and a page image?
  • February 12, 2014
    Lakija
    ^ Use this Uploader!

    This allows you to upload a new image from your computer. It will add code for the caption, too. Next just pop it in here: The Sandbox!

    While you're checking your image, also make a weblink like so: [[URL texttexttext]] Click the little pencil next to this comment to see how I've done it. Also, don't hesitate to read all the troper tools and text formatting info.

    When you're editting in the sandbox, just hit preview to check that it looks good.
  • February 12, 2014
    spacemarine50
    ^deliver. Image I want to be on the page. The weblink I want is separate from the image.
  • February 13, 2014
    Arivne
    Namespaced and italicized work names.
  • February 13, 2014
    Lakija
    ^^ That's what the markup [[URL texttexttext]] is for; it makes a weblink.

    I can resize the image, if that's what you're after.

    Okay. I think I have to make it smaller. It's a bit on the large side. Let me know what you think.

  • February 13, 2014
    Tallens
    • In Support Your Local Sheriff when Old Man Danby comes to get his son out of jail, he walks into the sheriff's office and points a gun in his face. The sheriff just looks up at him and casually sticks his finger in the gun.
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