Created By: abhishekjOctober 21, 2012 Last Edited By: abhishekjDecember 31, 2014

Body Blow Backfire

When a hit backfires

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope
Formerly Feeling The Hit.

Sub Trope of Punch Punch Punch Uh Oh, which occurs when someone tries to hit the enemy, but the enemy's Made Of Iron so they don't feel the hit. In this version, the hitter ends up hurting themselves, rather than the target.

In some examples, the blow rebounds back through the weapon used, which is normally a staff/rod, making it vibrate. In these cases, the vibration spreads back into the hitter and renders them incapable of action. Often Played For Laughs

Compare No Sell, which is this trope for special powers rather than weapons.

Contrast with Invulnerable Knuckles, where a fighter never suffers any realistic damage to his fists. Subversions of Invulnerable Knuckles don't generally highlight the power of the punch's target (eg: someone punching a wall and hurting their fist, which would be an example of the trope, doesn't mean the wall is all-powerful, it's just a wall.) This trope is meant specifically to show how powerful the target is.

See Also Broke Your Arm Punching Out Cthulhu.

Examples

Film
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II, Donatello hits Tokka with his staff. Tokka doesn't feel anything, but the staff twangs, and this goes back into Donatello, who wobbles.
  • Superman (1978). A group of robbers is escaping by boat. Superman shows up and stands on deck facing them. A robber comes out of a hatch behind him and hits him over the head with a metal bar. Superman isn't hurt, but the impact causes the bar to vibrate and stuns the crook.
  • At the end of Get Smart, Larabee punches Hymie the robot in the gut. There's a metallic clang, and Larabee flinches away cradling his hand.
  • Moonraker: When James Bond fights Jaws in an elevator, he hurts his fist when he punches Jaws' metallic teeth.

Live Action TV

Rolling Updates.
Community Feedback Replies: 26
  • October 22, 2012
    Chernoskill
    What about if someone punches another person with his bare fist and painfully grips his hand afterwards? Like in the James Bond movie Moonraker where he fights Jaws in an elevator and hurts his fist when punching Jaws' metallic jawbone/teeth.
  • October 22, 2012
    abhishekj
    That may qualify as Made Of Iron. To be fair, so might my example, but I'd like to see if there's enough examples out there for it to be a separate trope.
  • October 23, 2012
    Arivne
    Film
    • Superman (1978). A group of robbers is escaping by boat. Superman shows up and stands on deck facing them. A robber comes out of a hatch behind him and hits him over the head with a metal bar. Superman isn't hurt, but the impact causes the bar to vibrate and stuns the crook.
    Superman: Bad vibrations?
  • October 23, 2012
    StarSword
    Film:
    • At the end of Get Smart, Larabee punches Hymie the robot in the gut. There's a metallic clang, and Larabee flinches away cradling his hand.

    Also, I had this happen in a D&D session one time. I tried to bash a door down with my mace. The DM told me I just numbed my hand. I reacted by having my character go into a minute-long string of cursing in Abyssal that among other things impugned the door's lineage, workmanship, and the size of its gonads.
  • October 23, 2012
    abhishekj
    Actually Chernoskill, your example would fit. I'll add it in, and modify the description as well.
  • October 23, 2012
    DracMonster
    We got this one - Punch Punch Punch Uh Oh

    EDIT: Wait, no, my mistake, this would be a Sub Trope of that.
  • October 23, 2012
    abhishekj
    The Get Smart and Moonraker examples seem to fit that. The Superman and TMNT ones do as well, but add on to it. I'd like to see if there are enough examples for it to be a separate related trope.

    EDIT: Good point on the Sub Trope. I'll add that into the description.

    EDIT 2: ELECTRIC BOOGALOO: Actually, Get Smart and Moonraker fit as well. The way I see it, PPPUO is when B isn't affected by A punching him. This is when A's fists hurt when trying to punch B, or when A hits B with a rod, only for the "hit" to make the weapon vibrate, which in turn makes A vibrate as well.
  • October 23, 2012
    DracMonster
  • October 23, 2012
    SalFishFin
    Fire Emblem has the Devil Axe, a very powerful axe for its level, with the drawback that it has 31% chance (minus the unit's Luck Stat, which caps at 30) to backfire and hurt the attacker.
  • October 24, 2012
    abhishekj
    Regarding the Fire Emblem example, wouldn't that count as Evil Weapon?
  • October 24, 2012
    DracMonster
    Needs a name that properly encapsulates the trope.

    Body Blow Backfire?

    Punch Punch Punch Oh My Hand if snowclones were allowed...
  • October 24, 2012
    abhishekj
    Body Blow Backfire is perfect. Thanks!
  • October 24, 2012
    abhishekj
    I just came across Invulnerable Knuckles. To me, the first part of this trope, damage from punching someone, seems to fall under that. However, the second part, with a wobble spreading back through the weapon, is more like a sister trope. If so, I'll add those examples to Invulnerable Knuckles, and remove them from here. Thoughts?
  • October 24, 2012
    DracMonster
    Actually, Invulnerable Knuckles is lack of normal "wear and tear". This would be where the puncher suffers pain specifically to point out that the opponent is just that tough. (Or that the hero was stupid enough to try punching a robot. Or kicking. Obi-wan, I'm looking at you...)

    Narratively, they're separate concepts, although you should stick a "Contrast Invulnerable Knuckles, where a fighter never suffers any realistic damage to his fists." in there.

    EDIT: Wait, I reread Invulnerable Knuckles, but I still think this should include being hurt from punching. It's still really a separate concept. Invulnerable Knuckles description could be altered.
  • October 24, 2012
    abhishekj
    I should have clarified. Most of the examples for Invulnerable Knuckles are subversions, since the trope is so common, listing every actual example would be extremely tedious. I was wondering if this is simply a subversion. However, I do see your point, and will add a note of it in the description. Thanks for your input!

    Can you think of anything I'm missing before this YKTTW is Hat-worthy?
  • October 25, 2012
    Omeganian
  • October 25, 2012
    abhishekj
    Thanks! I've added a note in the description about it being similar.
  • December 27, 2012
    randomsurfer
    See also Punch Catch. From that page:
  • April 12, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump?
  • April 12, 2014
    Alvin
    Film: The Kentucky Fried Movie segment "A Fistful of Yen" has the hero get this after punching a large Mook.
  • April 15, 2014
    randomsurfer
    • This is a staple of Jackie Chan's movies. He'll hit a guy, then (whether or not the guy reacts) he'll shake his hand while making an "ooh that smarts!" face.
    • Get Smart: One of Max's many Catch Phrases comes from this.
      Max (to a Mook): I'm used to dealing with gorillas like you.
      Max punches the Mook in the gut several times. The Mook No Sells.
      Max: (puts his arm around the Mook's shoulder) Listen, I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about a gorilla.
  • April 15, 2014
    DAN004
  • April 22, 2014
    DAN004
    Buuuuuump
  • April 22, 2014
    Omrega
    Is this only if the opponent is Made Of Iron? What if they're wearing something made of iron?
  • April 22, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that would count, I guess.
  • December 31, 2014
    DAN004
    Bump to see if this goes anywhere

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable