Created By: SonofRojBlake on April 26, 2010

Impaled Palm

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A character has something driven into the palm of their hand and right out the other side. Usually a knife, but may be a bullet.

This may be done for several reasons:
  • To make us empathise with their pain, while injuring them in a way that allows them to carry on operating mostly unhindered.
  • To demonstrate their badassedness when they simply withdraw the object and carry on
  • To demonstrate their extreme badassedness when it was then that drove the object into their own palm in the first place.
  • To imply some parallel with some guy who once suffered similar wounds.

  • Constable Angel in Hot Fuzz is stabbed in the palm by Santa Claus.
  • Eric Draven in The Crow first demonstrates his regenerating powers by getting shot through the middle of the palm of his hand.
  • Roy Batty in Blade Runner keeps himself alive for a few crucial moments longer by driving a nail into his own palm.
  • Er... Jesus.

Community Feedback Replies: 42
  • April 26, 2010
    Tom Hanks's character in Cast Away does this to himself, which leads to the creation of Wilson.
  • April 26, 2010
    Jonny B
    Ace Levy in Starship Troopers.
  • April 26, 2010
    "•Constable Angel in Hot Fuzz is stabbed in the palm by Santa Claus.
  • April 26, 2010
    In The Butterfly Effect, the main character does this to himself, to get stigmata-like scars on his hands as a little kid, as a part of a complex plan to get his religious present day cellmate to believe him. (Time Travel is involved).
  • April 26, 2010
    • In Eraser, the heroes take cover from a shuriken bomb under a tipped over refrigerator's door. Holding it above their heads, Schwarzenegger's character gets one right through the center of his palm and yanks it straight off.
    • Von Pin does this purposely to catch Bang's sword in Girl Genius
  • April 26, 2010
    Will Scarlet (Christian Slater) in the film Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves has his hand pierced by Robin's arrow.
  • April 26, 2010
    The manga and the anime "Season 0" of Yu Gi Oh has Yami Bakura do this to sort-of-his-own-hand: the person his body actually belongs to pulled off a sort of Evil Hand, although, being a good guy doing it to a bad guy, without the evil part. So he impaled his hand on the roof of a tower of a Tabletop Game board. Hmm... is that still badass, or just geeky?
  • April 26, 2010
    In Resident Evil 4 Leon does this to one of the villains by throwing his knife (he gets it back, since one of said villain's bodyguards throws it back at him).
  • April 27, 2010
    How about the classic thorn in paw example?
  • April 27, 2010
    Electra in the Daredevil movie with her own knife.
  • April 27, 2010
    General Armstrong does this to a hapless official in Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood. And as it turns out, that isn't the only thing she impales...
  • April 27, 2010
    In the manga of Kare Kano, Arima impales his own palm after raping Yukino Luckily, his dad is a doctor.
  • April 27, 2010
    Everyone who has ever been crucified, including Brian.
  • April 27, 2010
    In one episode of Angel Holtz does this to a new recruit as a test of loyalty.
  • April 27, 2010
    Many of these are Macho Masochism.
  • April 27, 2010
    @General Goose: Brian and the others weren't nailed to their crosses though, were they? As I recall they were just strapped to them.
  • April 27, 2010
    Contrary to popular belief and portrayal, this did not Happen to Jesus. The human palm cannot hold up its own weight with a nail; It would be sliced by it. Realistically, Ito nail someone to a cross, the spikes would need to be driven through the wrist.
  • April 27, 2010
    • The title character of The Pawnbroker does this to himself at the end of the movie.
  • April 27, 2010
    Polar Bear
    • The heroine of the movie Nikita snaps and does this to a policeman with a pencil.
    • In one episode of City Hunter, Ryo Saeba fires his gun through his own hand to slow the bullet so he can shoot the bad guy without harming an innocent bystander.
  • April 27, 2010
    Anytime someone wants to make a Stigmata reference. Or a a Jesus Christ reference.
  • April 27, 2010
    Jesus's impaled hands are a case of not doing the research: Romans actually nailed people by their wrists, otherwise it wouldn't be able to support their weight.
  • April 28, 2010
    Of course, Jesus will still be depicted with nailed palms in practically every Did Not Do The Research adaptation.
  • April 28, 2010
    From Dusk Till Dawn: Quentin Tarantino's character gets a bullet through his palm. In one scene, he looks through it at his brother.
  • April 28, 2010
    Happens to Ducky in NCIS he's a little miffed as a doctor but since he specializes in forensics he says he will be fine.
  • April 28, 2010
    @Arutema: Yes, I believe that's called The Coconut Effect.
  • June 7, 2010
    Dolph Lundgren's character in Johnny Mnemonic does this to Jane, specifically because he has a Christ complex.
  • June 7, 2010
    In both the first anime and manga/second anime of Fullmetal Alchemist, Roy Mustang is stabbed through his palm, damaging the design on his gloves, and impeding him from using his powers. In the latter, he was also pinned in a Crucified Hero Shot and used as a human sacrifice, so it's probably deliberate symbolism.
  • June 7, 2010
    Sometimes used to resemble stigmata.
  • June 7, 2010
    I'm pretty sure somebody did this to Luca Brasi in The Godfather.
  • June 7, 2010
    Preacher. Tulip. Bad guy drives a knife all the way through her hand. Into a car dashboard. She eventually gathers the strength to pull it off by herself (excruciating pain included) in order to get free and save her boyfriend.
  • June 7, 2010
    Polar Bear
    More movie examples:
    • Blood Simple: Abby nails someone's hand to a windowsill with a steak knife.
    • The General: Martin Cahill believes one of his associates betrayed him, so he has someone nail his hands to a pool table.

  • June 7, 2010
    In an episode of Durarara Seiji stabs Shizuo through the hand with a pen. He concludes that he'd better buy some band-aids before pulling it out. Or superglue.
  • June 7, 2010
    Used to great effect in remake of the The Crazies. The victim even manages to kill his attacker with the knife impaled through his hand, while its *still* impaled through his hand.
  • June 7, 2010
    I am almost positive that Jesus was crucified through his wrists, as there were no bones in his hands to catch the nails and keep him from falling. Let me look it up.

    edit: Nope, it appears that you can be hung by your palms, with better results if weight is placed on the feet somehow. Knowledge!
  • June 7, 2010
    Fighting creatures in the Redwall series suffer from this a lot, frequently instead of having a weapon go through more vital areas because the author wants to keep them around or make them suffer. A common variation is having their paws pinned to objects by arrows going clear through.
  • June 7, 2010
    • Electra in the Daredevil film adaptation tries to catch one of her own knives when Bullseye throws it back at her. So Yeah.
    • John Cusack's character (Charlie Arglist) in The Ice Harvest gets his hand nailed to the floor.
  • June 7, 2010
    Angel also saved somebody from being killed by an arrow by catching it through his palm in War Zone.
  • June 8, 2010
    Bullseye gets a taste of his medicine and then some, when Daredevil pushes his hands into the path of a bullet. There is no symbolism or anything.
  • June 8, 2010
    In the classic Chinese novel Three Kingdoms, a captain of a besieged city is hurling taunts along with his troops down at Sun Ce's army, leaning on a wooden beam with one hand and making rude gestures with the other. Recently recruited Taishi Ci turns to Sun Ce and says 'Watch this.' before taking his bow and firing a shot that pins the captain's hand to the beam from fifty yards away.
  • June 8, 2010
    The titular character of Naruto does this in a Shinji-esque "I musn't run away" deal.
  • June 8, 2010
    To expand on the Starship Troopers example: The main characters are in basic training, learning how to throw knives. One cadet asks Sergeant Zim why throwing knives is important in an age when pressing a button can unleash nuclear weapons with far more power. Zim orders him to lay his hand against a wall, and throws a knife through his palm, pinning it. He explains (while the cadet moans painfully in the background) that by disabling a hand, you can prevent that button from being pressed. Note that advanced medical science allows Sergeant Zim to put his cadets through serious abuse for training purposes. On the very first day, he breaks "Dizzy" Flores's arm during a demonstration.

    To expand on the Naruto example, I believe the eponymous ninja is under the influence of a mind-altering Genjutsu at the time. Inflicting pain by stabbing himself allows him to break the illusion.

    This is not the first time Naruto has stabbed himself; at the beginning of the Zabuza arc, he is poisoned by a cut on his hand. Rather than compromise the mission, he stabs himself in the palm to bleed out the poison.
  • June 8, 2010
    My mother did this to herself once.

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