Created By: Seiryu on May 28, 2013 Last Edited By: Seiryu on July 5, 2013
Troped

Psychic Strangle

A Neck Lift or strangulation accomplished by psychic powers.

Name Space:
Main
Page Type:
Trope

Darth Vader never did it this casually.

Also referred to as a "Force Choke."

Sometimes, a villain will demonstrate his (or her) power by having another character's life in their literal hands, via a Neck Lift.

Sometimes, a villain will demonstrate a lot more power by doing this with no visible effort, by doing it with the mind. That's this trope.

Characters are frequently terrified and intimidated (not unduly so) by having a character with psychic powers, a Hair-Trigger Temper, and being the target of that wrath. This trope is a great way to show that the villain could literally end another character's life with a thought, but doesn't.

A sub-trope of Neck Lift. Often accompanied by a Pstandard Psychic Pstance or Magical Gesture. A Death Glare is optional.

Anime and Manga

Film
  • Darth Vader of Star Wars fame is the Trope Codifier, having originally done this in A New Hope, to Admiral Motti.
    • And that wasn't the first time he'd done that. In the prequels, when he becomes convinced that Padme betrayed him.
  • Occurs in Scott Pilgrim vs. The World when Todd lifts Scott up using his Vegan Powers. Scott even manages to choke out "My neck... Your hair..."
  • In The Mummy Returns, after Alex tries to escape the train, the titular Mummy tracks him down with relative ease, and lifts the kid up with his telekinetic powers. He doesn't strangle Alex though, he just gives an utterly hammy finger wag.
  • X-Men: First Class has a variation. When Miora attacks Eric, he deflects the gullets she fires, one of which hits Charles in the back. In a rage, Eric magnetically uses a metal necklace chain to strangle her, but Charles manages to talk him down.

Literature
  • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
    • Grand Admiral Thrawn had this done to him unsuccessfully on two separate occasions.
      • In Outbound Flight the power-mad Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth tries to murder him this way from another ship. He's only saved by Jorj Car'das hitting a Big Red Button Thrawn set up earlier, which sets off fighter droids carrying radiation bombs that kill most of the crew of Outbound Flight.
      • In Dark Force Rising, an enraged Mara Jade tries to kill Grand Admiral Thrawn this way. It doesn't work properly due to her lack of Force training: Thrawn is more confused by it than anything else.

Live Action TV
  • Villains in Once Upon a Time love doing this, from Queen/Mayor Regina, to Rumpelstiltskin himself.
  • In Stargate SG-1 the Priors of the Ori sometimes do this to their enemies. Their Dark Messiah Adria is more direct about it, simply snapping a Jaffa's neck with her mind at one point.
  • Discussed in the Babylon 5 episode "Mind War". Talia's former mentor talks about using a gentler form than normal as a way to assassinate without leaving clues behind: simply telekinetically close off the carotid arteries to starve the brain of oxygen, then release the pressure after the target dies. That's if it was possible to get a completely sane telekinetic...

Video Games
  • In Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, the Anti-hero Kerrigan pulls this on the Big Bad Arcturus Mengsks son, Valerian, in a fit of rage - and while her hand is used in gesture as it is being done, there's no physical contact between the two.
  • In Runescape, one of the abilities for mages is "Asphyxiate." The Player Character reaches out with his/her magical power, and chokes the life from the target over a few seconds.
  • In The World Ends with You, Neku did this to Shiki after being misled that she is the one who dragged him into the Reapers' Game. Fortunately he didn't go all the way with it.

Web Original
  • Dis Raps For Hire: In the second episode of season 2, Bryce Wissel is throwing Corn nuts at Epic LLOYD (of ERB fame) while he's reading the youtube comment that inspires the rap of the episode. After reading the comment he gains the ability to Psychic Strangle Bryce out of pure rage, and takes it a step further by slamming him into the walls, and throwing Bryce at a Screaming Woman.
Community Feedback Replies: 50
  • May 28, 2013
    StarSword
    This could just as easily be called Force Choke and avoid accusations of Trope Namer Syndrome.

    Literature:
    • Star Wars Expanded Universe:
      • Grand Admiral Thrawn had this done to him unsuccessfully on two separate occasions.
        • In Outbound Flight the power-mad Jedi Master Jorus C'baoth tries to murder him this way from another ship. He's only saved by Jorj Car'das hitting a Big Red Button Thrawn set up earlier, which sets off fighter droids carrying radiation bombs that kill most of the crew of Outbound Flight.
        • In Dark Force Rising, an enraged Mara Jade tries to kill Grand Admiral Thrawn this way. It doesn't work properly due to her lack of Force training: Thrawn is more confused by it than anything else.

    TV:
    • In Stargate SG 1 the Priors of the Ori sometimes do this to their enemies. Their Dark Messiah Adria is more direct about it, simply snapping a Jaffa's neck with her mind at one point.
  • May 29, 2013
    Theharbo
    In Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm, the Anti-hero Kerrigan pulls this on the Big Bad Arcturus Mengsks son, Valerian, in a fit of rage - and while her hand is used in gesture as it is being done, there's no physical contact between the two.
  • May 31, 2013
    Stratadrake
    What about Psychic Strangle or something?
  • May 31, 2013
    Larkmarn
    Force Choke is fine.

  • May 31, 2013
    xanderiskander
    I agree with Stratadrake on maybe finding a better name. Possibly make a crowner or something.

    Believe it or not there are some people that have never seen the original star wars trilogy (SHOCK) so I think the title lends itself to Fan Myopia. Force doesn't really describe the psychic aspect all that well either. Which IMO makes the title sound clumsy. Something with psychic or telekinetic in the name would sound better.
  • May 31, 2013
    Koveras
    Force Choke is not fine because it falls squarely under Trope Namer Syndrome. Someone who is not into Star Wars (or has only seen the movies, where the term "Force choke" has never actually been used) will be justified in thinking this is about physically forcing something down someone's throat.

    Phychic Strangle sounds a lot more descriptive and does not require prior knowledge.
  • June 1, 2013
    Stratadrake
    ^ Y'know, it did cross my mind too that the name is exclusive to the Star Wars videogames / side media. Force powers were never explicitly named in the movies. In order to get the name you need (at a minimum) to know that "force" refers specifically to The Force.
  • June 1, 2013
    StarSword
    Sorry, I guess I figured there'd been enough Pop Cultural Osmosis for people to know what it referred to by now. I actually completely forgot it was never actually named in the movies.

    TV:
    • Discussed in the Babylon Five episode "Mind War". Talia's former mentor talks about using a gentler form than normal as a way to assassinate without leaving clues behind: simply telekinetically close off the carotid arteries to starve the brain of oxygen, then release the pressure after the target dies. That's if it was possible to get a completely sane telekinetic...
  • June 6, 2013
    Seiryu
    I'm thinking that, yeah, Psychic Strangle is good. Let's give this one a shot.
  • June 6, 2013
    Koveras
    We can even call it Psychic Pstrangle to continue the gag from Pstandard Psychic Pstance. :D
  • June 6, 2013
    StarSword
    ^Could do that, long as we have the un-weird title as a redirect to aid searches.
  • June 6, 2013
    robinjohnson
    Seconding (or thirding) Psychic Pstrangle with the unweird redirect.
  • June 6, 2013
    Stratadrake
    No, that is straining it.
  • June 6, 2013
    Arivne
    Fourthing Psychic Strangle.
  • June 9, 2013
    Seiryu
    Is continuing the "Psy" gag really necessary?

  • June 9, 2013
    xanderiskander
    Web Original
    • Dis Raps For Hire: In the second episode of season 2, Bryce Wissel is throwing Corn nuts at Epic LLOYD (of ERB fame) while he's reading the youtube comment that inspires the rap of the episode. After reading the comment he gains the ability to Psychic Strangle Bryce out of pure rage, and takes it a step further by slamming him into the walls, and throwing Bryce at a Screaming Woman.
  • June 9, 2013
    aurora369
    Fourthing Psychic Pstrangle. However, needs more examples that aren't Star Wars or shout out to Star Wars.
  • June 9, 2013
    MorningStar1337
    ^ We can make it a Stock Parody
  • June 11, 2013
    TheSlendermanXx
    Change the name to Force Choke, it'll get more hits.
  • June 12, 2013
    Koveras
    The reasons why that is a bad idea are listed above. Force Choke is welcome as a redirect, however.
  • June 12, 2013
    isk2837
    Not sure if it counts since it's magic rather than psychic power, but Harry does this to Draco in chapter 22 of Harry Potter fanfic Brave New World. He even mentions that Star Wars was what inspired him to learn the spell to do that.
  • June 12, 2013
    PoignardAzur
    I think that "Darth Vader Choke" would be a good name. It's clear enough (we talk about choking someone like Darth Vader does, no doubt on it), I think that everybody knows who Darth Vader is, and his method of strangling is one of his most known features (with the fact that, you know, he's Luke's father).
    • In Tekken 5 and its spin-offs (and its sequels ?), one of Devil Jin's victory taunts is him necklifting his enemy with some vague electric telekinesis.
  • June 15, 2013
    StarSword
    Video Games:
  • June 15, 2013
    magnum12
    I second the "Darth Vader Choke" name. Vader is practically the Trope Namer and Most Triumphant Example of the power.

    On a side note, isn't this attack canonically named "Force Grip"?
  • June 15, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ Not in the movies. As for Darth Vader, please read Trope Namer Syndrome.
  • June 15, 2013
    Stratadrake
    Maybe we should unredlink Most Triumphant Example so it redirects to Fan Myopia.
  • June 15, 2013
    Tallens
    Vader would make a good page image though, perhaps the above mentioned scene in the first film. Like so.

    It wasn't the first time he's done that either:
    • In Revenge Of The Sith when Padme goes to find Anakin on Mustafar he becomes enraged when he sees Obi-Wan on her ship and starts force choking her.

    • And Vader again in TIE Fighter to Admiral Harkov after he's been captured.
  • June 15, 2013
    StarSword
    ^That would work pretty well.
  • June 16, 2013
    Koveras
    @Stratadrake: I'd support that.

    @Tallens: Vader on the page image is perfect. :)
  • June 16, 2013
    TrueShadow1
    • In The World Ends With You, Neku did this to Shiki after being misled that she is the one who dragged him into the Reapers' Game. Fortunately he didn't go all the way with it.
  • June 23, 2013
    Momochi
  • June 24, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Although she almost never does, Sue Storm-Richards of The Fantastic Four can do this. She can make airless bubbles appear around the heads (or just the mouth/nose) of her enemies, cutting off their air.

    There's a Marvel Comics mutant I've read of (perhaps on this very wiki) but can't remember the name of who has a telekenetic power, but it only works on very small items. Someone mentioned that it can be quite effective at this though, since his power can effect the oxygen molecules his opponent needs to breathe.
  • June 24, 2013
    lakingsif
    A Choke Hold, using The Force? So, a Force Choke?

    As for an image, I rather like this, or cropped for this. Or sideways on. Then there's this captioned one: "Anakin, you're breaking my heart!" "Don't be so silly Padme... it's pronounced 'neck'!"
  • June 24, 2013
    Buraindo
    I agree with the current title, with Force Choke as a redirect. Might as well mention it in the first line as well (also referred to as... ) to get it out of the way. Image seconded too.
  • June 24, 2013
    StarSword
    ^^Image Macros aren't allowed for page images (barring the page being LOL Cats, anyway). We can still use the image macro's text for the caption, though.
  • June 24, 2013
    Tallens
    The side view probably gets the point across best. The others it's kind of hard to tell what's going on.
  • June 24, 2013
    xanderiskander
    @lakingsif: Not a ChokeHold really. A ChokeHold is when the person is choking someone from behind with an arm gripped around their neck. This trope would involve a Neck Lift with psychic powers.

    Support the sideways image. Also found this image parodying it which I thought was really funny.

  • June 24, 2013
    Tallens
    • X Men First Class has a variation. When Miora attacks Eric, he deflects the gullets she fires, one of which hits Charles in the back. In a rage, Eric magnetically uses a metal necklace chain to strangle her, but Charles manages to talk him down.
  • June 25, 2013
    Seiryu
    OMG, I love the image. I'll get it put up, and update examples.

  • June 25, 2013
    Seiryu
    Any ideas for an image caption?
  • June 25, 2013
    GKaiser
    Psychic Pstrangle is marvelous, with Force Choke as redirect.
  • June 25, 2013
    lakingsif
    ^^ Image caption could be some Revenge Of The Sith dialogue, with a little added:
    Padme: Anakin, you're breaking my heart!
    Anakin: Don't be so silly, Padme... it's pronounced neck!
  • June 25, 2013
    Paradisesnake
    Or maybe something like: "Darth Vader never did it as casually as this."
  • June 26, 2013
    Seiryu
    I like the "Darth Vader never did it as casually as this.

    I also tried getting the picture to have the caption and such but... I kinda fail at the making trope image HTML thing. Help?
  • June 26, 2013
    Tallens
    Image captions always seem to have trouble in YKTTW. It should be alright once it launches.
  • June 26, 2013
    UltramarineAlizarin
    In the draft, the second bullet for Vader has an unclosed spoiler tag because the sentence appears to be cut off after a comma. Not sure how the rest of the sentence is meant to go.

    Also, right-aligned captions don't render properly here. It's possible to left-align the image and caption to get an idea of how it'd look and then push it back to the right at launch.
  • July 2, 2013
    Seiryu
    Ah. Then I have the caption up, and we'll see how it looks after launch, I guess. Also, thank you for pointing out the Vader bullet mishap. It's fixed now.

    NOW! Can I get a fifth hat?
  • July 4, 2013
    StarSword
  • July 4, 2013
    Koveras
    ^ This.
  • July 5, 2013
    Excelion
    I'm amazed we didn't have this trope already.

Three days must pass before this YKTTW is Launchworthy or Discardable

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/discussion.php?id=xc02dz0lsmh32ra6ihf3jsu4&trope=PsychicStrangle