A character, usually endowed with Super Strength
, throws a punch but misses their opponent and smashes the obstacle instead - and smashes so hard, their fist gets lodged in the resulting hole and they become anchored to the place. Their opponent may now use the resulting spare time to reason, run away or just score a few free hits
How long the character stays like that depends on their strength, general badassness and plot requirements. They may be immobilized long enough to be defeated, captured or killed, may stuggle dramatically
for several seconds and manage to free themselves just in time to divert their opponent's finishing strike and resume fighting, or may forcefully rip their fist out mere moments after getting stuck, sending chunks of the wall flying. Either way, the character is trapped
, abeit temporary, while being simultaneously shown as considerably strong and/or pissed off.
Also applies to weapons secured to / replacing the fist, such as Wolverine Claws
and Blade Below the Shoulder
(and may be a result of Blade Brake
gone wrong). In such cases, the character may quickly strap the weapon off (if that is possible) or break it
to free themselves.
Often the result of Deadly Dodging
. May overlap with Sticky Situation
. Compare Hand in the Hole
, contrast Barrier-Busting Blow
, where it's done intentionally and stuck part never happens. See also Sword Plant
, where it's done with a melee weapon that can be easily discarded.
Anime and Manga
- At the start of One Piece's battles in Arlong Park, Luffy slams his feet into the ground to anchor himself for an attack only to promptly realize after the attack that he's stuck himself into the rock.
- After Saotome Ranma in girl form routinely dodges Tendo Akane's attacks, Akane throws a fierce jab. Ranma leaps over the blow, which continues into the dojo wall. Akane remains motionless with surprise rather than being stuck. Ranma simply taps Akane's head as an "I win" gesture. It is then Akane realizes that Saotome Ranma is a high-level martial artist.
Film - Animation
- X-Men villain The Blob is a giant fat guy who literally absorbs punches into his massive belly, leaving his attackers stuck in him (in some incarnations).
Film - Live action
- This is how Thrax in Osmosis Jones meets his end, having his poking finger of doom stuck in false eyelash that falls into vial of alcohol.
- In the Soviet animated adaptation of Treasure Island, a drunken fight between Israel Hands and O'Brian starts with them angrily bashing on a table. Hands bashes through the table, and O'Brian uses it to bitch-slap him, only to run away in terror when Hands lifts the table and chases him waving it over his head. He quickly gets stuck in a door and O'Brian again scores some free kicks, until Hands finally breaks the table.
- Who Framed Roger Rabbit loves this trope. First, Judge Doom tries to punch Eddie Valiant, but Valiant blocks the blow with a cardboard tub of glue. Judge Doom shakes off the tub, then tries again to slug Valiant. Valiant dodges, and Doom's fist strikes the roller of a moving steamroller, where it sticks. Doom eventually ends up rolled flat, though this doesn't finish him.
- In The Incredibles, the Omni Droid pulls a very temporary version. It misses a strike at Mr. Incredible and drives its claw into a cliff, and immediately yanks it out and flexes the claw to burst the chunk of rock that came with.
- Jax in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, ripping his roboticized arm out of a wall just in time to deflect an evil robot's asid attack.
- Tony does this accidentally in the first Iron Man. As he is busy, a Mook tries to headshot him and kills himself with a ricochet.
- Harry Osborn briefly is stuck in the brick wall in Spiderman 3. Peter tries to negotiate, but Harry just yells "SHUT UP!!!" and topples part of rhe wall on him.
- Later in the same film, Spiderman gets his arm caught in Sandman's chest.
- In Terminator 2, T-800 punches T-1000's face and gets his fist stuck in its head. T-1000 then morphs around the fist, putting Arnie in armlock.
- In the comedy film Curse of the Pink Panther, the renowned martial artist Ed Parker plays an enforcer for the antagonists, who punches through a metal shed door and gets his arm stuck for a solid twenty seconds before managing to free himself.
- In Judge Dredd, the titular hero tricks a body-horrific cannibal cyborg into driving his Swiss Army Appendage into a wall, rips a power cable off, lets out a bunch of catchphrases and electrocutes him.
- In Hellboy II, Hellboy ducks under Mr.Wink's fist on a chain and it lands in some kind of ore grinder, eventually pulling Wink himself in.
- The protagonist of Louis L'amour's Galloway does this intentionally. When trapped in a natural drowning pit, he notices a crack in a wall, but it's too shallow to scale. He leaps out of water and jams his fist in it, then pulls himself up to the safety.
- One of the Uncle Remus folktales (based on an old West African folktale) involves Br'er Fox trapping Br'er Rabbit by constructing a "Tar Baby", a doll made of tar, which Br'er Rabbit approaches and tries to make conversation with. When the doll wouldn't respond, the rabbit took that as a lack of manners and punched it, getting his paw stuck. He punched it with his other paw, then kicked it, and eventually got all his limbs stuck in the doll.
- Xander did it on Buffy the Vampire Slayer but it wasn't a superpower thing, just anger at Buffy's mom dying and bad construction. Willow helped him get it unstuck.
- Saturday Night Live: In the rucurring sketch "Top o' the Morning" has this as a regular segment.
William Fitzpatrick: Now's the time on the show where I make Patrick so mad that he punches a hole in the wall! Let's go to the punching wall!
Irish music follows the boys to the punching wall, already filled with holes from prior episodes
William Fitzpatrick: So, Patrick.. your sister sure is stubborn, is she not?
Patrick Fitzwilliam: And what do you mean by that?
William Fitzpatrick: I had to ask her to take off her knickers four times before she did it!
Patrick Fitzwilliam: angry That's my sister!! punches a hole in the wall
William Fitzpatrick: impressed Good. Well done.
- Fighting mechanical arms in Battletoads&Double Dragon for NES is waiting till they get suck in the floor, then attacking.
- In Resident Evil 4, tricking Garradors into doing this with their claws is a viable tactics against them.
- Inversion in Resident Evil 5. Wesker punches through a metal wall just after Chris opens the hatch of the plane they're in, depressurizing it. While heroes cling to the scenery, Wesker angrily rips his arm out and is immediately sucked out of the plane by decompression.
- Prototype and Prototype 2 both have an attack called Groundspike. PC slams his hand in the ground, his biomass travels some distance underground and erupts from beneath the surface as sharp, menacing spikes before retracting. The drawback is that it takes a while to perform, and most of the time you are literally rooted up to a place and vulnerable.
- Reboot: During Matrix vs Megabyte climatic fight, Megabyte is briefly stuck in the wall. Enzo attacks him from behind, but then Megabyte frees his arm, sending Matrix flying in the process. Almost immediately after, Megabyte gets his Wolverine Claws lodged in the roof long enough for Matrix to recover.
- In Shadow Raiders finale, Graveheart finishes Blokk by shoving his powerglove into his abdomen, nearly resulting in unintentional Taking You with Me when Blokk falls off the ledge. Graveheart manages to hold them both with his other hand long enough to slip out the powerglove, letting Blokk fly.
- This is how the Big Bad of Quest for Camelot meets his end. The wicked Ruber has used a magic potion to fuse the Excalibur sword onto his hand. With this, he tries to impale Kayley and Garrett, but misses. The blow implants Excalibur firmly in its original stone where the ancient magic detects that Ruber is not the rightful ruler, and disintegrates him for such presumption.