Created By: notafraid on June 23, 2014 Last Edited By: eroock on November 17, 2015
Troped

Forced Friendly Fire

A character gains control of their opponent\'s firearm and forces them to shoot it without bothering to disarm first.

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Trope

In the action genre, some characters go beyond a mere Gun Struggle. They will intercept an opponent's gun arm, aim it where they please and force their victim to shoot by squeezing the trigger finger.

Usually the objective here is to wipe out the adversary's fellow mooks. There's no time to disarm them conventionally and risking exposure to shots. Another possibility (contrary to the title of the trope) is eliminating the threat of a weapon by firing all its ammunition. Sometimes in pieces, to be absolutely sure. Then the battle can turn into a hand to hand fight.

There are several interesting permutations:
  • A villain will culminate the murder of his enemy's friends by finally turning the gun on the opponent himself, therefore framing a multiple murder-suicide (or just a suicide, if it's a one on one confrontation). Technically, the victim's hand never left his pistol, so there's no evidence to suggest foul play (so long as the villain wears gloves or wipes his prints off before leaving). Or perhaps he doesn't even care about the frame aspect, but just wants to throw salt in the wounds after making the guy watch his friends die effectively by his own hand. Heroic characters are less likely to do this unless they're outright anti heroes.

  • A martial arts enthusiast perform joint locks on the adversary while simultaneously aiming and shooting. He might even break their wrist, shoulder, or trigger finger to allow for a tricky shot. He might then take the gun off them when the peripheral threats have been eliminated. Occasionally the gun fires because of pain compliance, so the joint locks both force the mook's arm to both aim and shoot.

  • A sufficiently badass character takes Human Shield to its logical conclusion. Not only is he using the person's body to defend himself against their friends, he's using their arm to attack them as well! Usually this is from the standard "stand behind shielding person's back" but a character who's talented enough will contort themselves and their shield so it can work from practically any position.

Requires Improbable Aiming Skills to correctly land shots on moving targets while forcing a struggling mook to aim their arm. Usually characters are able to kill with a bare minimum of shots using this trope. Popular with The Ace, a Cowboy Cop and/or a Crazy Awesome character. Sister Trope to Gun Struggle, which might occur before during and/or after the shots are fired.

Don't Try This at Home, as it's a very bad idea in terms of gun safety (unless in mortal danger).

Needs Wiki Magic Love.


Examples

Film - Animated
  • In Pixar's first Toy Story, Sheriff Woody uses Buzz Lightyear as a Human Shield to escape from Sid's room. To repel Sid's hideous toys, Woody presses a button on Buzz's back that activates Buzz's Karate-Chop Action. This works because Sid's toys are actually not hostile to Woody and Buzz.
    Buzz: Hey, hey, hey! How're you doing that?

Film - Live-Action
  • In Lethal Weapon Riggs storms a room full of bad guys to rescue his partner Murtaugh and daughter Rianne. He forces a mook to shoot a buddy with an arm lock then turns the gun back onto the mook and kills him too.
  • In Live Free or Die Hard, John McClane uses this trope to kill the Big Bad who is standing behind him, shooting through his own shoulder in the process. Therefore inverting the Human Shield variant.
  • Jake is trying to bring Alonzo (who's currently unarmed) to justice in Training Day. But as he's climbing over a railing, Alonzo gets the drop on him and causes Jake's gun to be discharged into the local projects (the Jungle), thereby turning the confrontation into a fist fight. This act was probably the final straw for the disillusioned people living on that street, considering Alonzo's history of using them for his own needs.
  • Undercover detective Damien has to get out of a dangerous casino the hard way in Banlieue 13. So he pulls off an impressive example of the trope, shooting several mooks from multiple angles by locking up a thug's arm in various ways. He also shoots the thug through his leg. He then grabs another mook's arm and forces him to spray bullets around harmlessly before knocking him out.
  • Played with in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indiana Jones is wrestling for a gun with a mook. When a second mook gets the order to shoot them both, Indy and his adversary work together to fire off several shots at the second mook.
  • The Matrix series:
    • The Matrix. In the opening scene several police officers try to arrest Trinity and she attacks them. During the fight she grabs one of them and forces him to use his gun to shoot another officer.
    • Another example of the "cooperative shooting" variant is in The Matrix Reloaded. While Morpheus and the albino ghost twin are fighting over a gun during the freeway chase, they cooperate to shoot at the Agent who has just torn off the roof of the car they're in. To very little effect.
  • Serenity. During River's Bar Brawl, someone pulls a gun with the intent to shoot her. She simply grabs his arm and forces him to aim past her, shooting one of the fighters on her other side.
  • The Dark Knight Saga:
  • Played for drama in Fury when War Daddy forces Norman to shoot a German POW. He refuses, so War Daddy grips his struggling hand and literally pulls the trigger with Norman's finger.
  • Marv does this to thwart an attempted ambush in Sin City.
  • In the very first scene of The World Is Not Enough, this is how Bond kills a couple mooks.
  • In The Lone Ranger (2013), Tonto hijacks a train and a cavalry soldier opens fire on him with a gatling gun. the Ranger lassos the gun barrel and redirects it towards the soldiers that are trying to apprehend Tonto, forcing them into retreat.

Live-Action TV
  • Happens in Leverage during "The Lost Heir Job". Elliot disarms somebody, who then pulls a taser on him. Elliot uses his taser against another mook sneaking up behind him.
  • Nash Bridges: Not as a part of the central episode story, at the start of "Knockout", a gunman gets distracted, incapacitated, and has his firearm still in his hand while it's being fired at his allies immediately after. That's what Nash does when that gunman tells him to sit tight and wait for a moving bridge to crush his partner cop Joe. From the way the bad guys call them at the moment, it looks like Joe has been exposed as an undercover agent, while Nash hasn't.

Video Games

Web Comic
  • In Schlock Mercenary, after General Xinchub captures his old enemies Captain Tagon and Colonel Jaksmouth, just for fun he has his ship (a battleplate) manipulate Tagon's gun arm with its tractor beams to make him shoot Jaksmouth.
    Tagon: Not five minutes ago I wanted to do that. How is it possible for you to suck the fun out of everything?
Community Feedback Replies: 55
  • June 23, 2014
    f1shst1x
    • In Live Free Or Die Hard, John McClane uses this trope to kill the Big Bad who is standing behind him, shooting through his own shoulder in the process.
  • June 23, 2014
    f1shst1x
    • Played with in Raiders Of The Lost Ark, when Indiana Jones is wrestling for a gun with a mook. When a second mook gets the order to shoot them both, Indy and his adversary work together to fire off several shots at the second mook.
  • June 23, 2014
    notafraid
    Thanks for those suggestions, they're certainly notable twists that I hadn't anticipated. I'll add them.

    I'm in two minds about the title. For one I can see that people might be confused and think it's about actual gun proliferation. For another while searching "gun control" I found Fantasy Gun Control and Smoking Gun Control. Neither are about Real Life gun control. The former concerns the absence of guns in (primarily) fantasy works, the latter is about a lack of surefire criminal evidence. So there's an argument for using it because of those tropes not referring to Real Life (or fictional) gun control either. Unless someone can think of a better title?

    Also, can anyone suggest some video games where this happens (particularly as a technique the player can use)? I'm certain I've played some games allowing it, but can't for the life of me remember which.
  • June 23, 2014
    DAN004
    Change title plz. Maybe Grabbing The Enemys Gun Hand?

    And description needs a bit pruning. Especially those four bullets.
  • June 24, 2014
    notafraid
    I thought of a pretty good one: Stop Shooting Your Buddies! Relates to the comedic/bullying action of making someone hit themselves with their own hands, so a pretty similar action.

    I'll trim the bullets and try to absorb some of them into examples.
  • June 24, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ Uh, No New Stock Phrases also means "no phrase sounding titles plz".
  • June 24, 2014
    notafraid
    Fair enough, but Grabbing The Enemys Gun Hand doesn't quite sound snazzy enough to me. It's also ambiguous as it could be confused with a standard disarm. Any other suggestions?
  • June 24, 2014
    DAN004
    I wonder if there's a name for this tactic in real life.
  • June 24, 2014
    robinjohnson
    I propose Gun Hand Grab for the title, based on Dan's suggestion but a bit more concise
  • June 24, 2014
    notafraid
    How about Gun Hand Grab Shoot to emphasise it's not about disarming but forcing them to shoot? Or Gun Hand Grab Then Shoot?
  • June 24, 2014
    Arivne
    Another example of the "cooperative shooting" version:

    Film
    • The Matrix Reloaded. While Morpheus and the albino ghost twin are fighting over a gun during the freeway chase, they cooperate to shoot the Agent who has just torn off the roof of the car they're in.

    If "cooperative shooting" is going to be part of this trope then "Stop Shooting Your Buddies!" would be an Unclear title.
  • June 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    Stock Phrase aside, the description is Walls Of Text.

    this is a relatively simply trope and each of the variations can be described in two sentences.
  • June 24, 2014
    notafraid
    I feel like most of the description is necessary to reflect character motivation and the dynamism of the action and it's variations. But maybe I'm wrong. It is my first trope, after all.

    Does anybody have examples from other media?
  • June 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    ^ Ask yourself,

    would the average troper really put the time and effort to actually analyze the scene blow-by-blow in order to accurately describe the very act of dislocating the gunner's shoulder in order for him to accurately aim the gun to other enemies?

    also, would they not add a variation simply because it wasn't mentioned? Remember Square Peg Round Trope and Tropes Are Flexible exist.

    Those are the only things which are not needed. Analysis and mentioning variations.
  • June 24, 2014
    dokatron
    Ignore. It was Gun Struggle.
  • June 24, 2014
    notafraid
    Shanghai Slave, how about if I gut the joint lock variation and trim the other two down by a couple sentences? I think it's important to acknowledge the potential to frame someone using the trope, and how it can be combined with Human Shield for optimum Crazy Awesome combat advantages.
  • June 24, 2014
    ShanghaiSlave
    yes.
  • June 24, 2014
    boone
    Yep, I've Seen It A Million Times. I edited a bunch of unnecessary words from the article.
  • June 24, 2014
    boone
    And I added an example:
    • Happens in Leverage during The Lost Heir Job. Elliot disarms somebody, who then pulls a taser on him. Elliot uses his taser against another mook sneaking up behind him.

  • June 26, 2014
    Tallens
    • Serenity: During River's Bar Brawl, someone pulls a gun with the intent to shoot her. She simply grabs his arm and forces him to aim past her, shooting one of the fighters on her other side.
  • June 27, 2014
    QuestionMarker
    • In The Dark Knight Rises, Selena Kyle uses this on Daggett's mooks in the bar fight, likely to avoid leaving fingerprints, as she is a wanted criminal.
  • June 30, 2014
    notafraid
    Thanks Question Marker, kicking myself for not thinking of that one earlier. In fact, I guess Batman has done this in most of his appearances across the media, from the comics to the Batman Arkham Series. Should help populate the examples list in other media if anyone can cite some?

    Also, because it used a similar melee combat system to the Arkham games, what about Sleeping Dogs?
  • June 30, 2014
    notafraid
    Remembered two examples from MGS.

    If/when we make a melee version, there's an example of "Knife Hand Grab Then Stab Partner" in Eastern Promises, during the infamous sauna fight.
  • June 30, 2014
    mr.whim
  • June 30, 2014
    notafraid
    Love the Added Alliterative Appeal and to add to it, the melee version could be named Forced Friendly Flaying. Minor problem in that this tactic is not always designed to enforce friendly fire, but that can be accounted for in the description. Thanks man!

    I can already sense that the melee one will have a lot of potential too. Effectively it would occur whenever someone was running with a weapon and their adversary sidesteps or trips them up, diverting their momentum and causing them to accidentally use their club/sword etc on one of their fellows. Unless the act of doing that is a Sister Trope or Sub Trope, as it might be further on down the line.
  • June 30, 2014
    Ominae
    • In NCIS, Gibbs decides to kill the mole responsible for the events that led to the death of a NCIS agent by shooting through his human shield. Though to be fair, the hostage (and another NCIS agent) gestured to Gibbs to shoot through her.
  • June 30, 2014
    DAN004
  • June 30, 2014
    Tallens
    ^^How exactly is that an example of this?
  • July 3, 2014
    notafraid
    Yeah, that sounds more like Shoot The Hostage. The Die Hard and Metal Gear Solid Peace Walker example is more along the lines of what a Human Shield situation needs to qualify for this trope, albeit by differing means.
  • July 3, 2014
    Alvin
    In te Father Brown story, The Three Tools of Death a man (possibly not in a struggle) quickly empties a revolver by firing its bullets to keep someone else from committing suicide.
  • July 13, 2014
    marcoasalazarm
    This had my hat.

    Photo, I guess, it's from the first Lethal Weapon. Definitely needs a link to that trope page once this is launched.
  • July 13, 2014
    CrimsonZephyr
    In the very first scene of The World Is Not Enough, this is how Bond kills a couple mooks.
  • July 13, 2014
    DAN004
  • July 13, 2014
    Tallens
    Leverage is Live Action TV, not film.
  • July 14, 2014
    NemuruMaeNi
    • Nash Bridges: Not as a part of the central episode story, at the start of "Knockout", a gunman gets distracted, incapacitated, and has his firearm still in his hand while it's being fired at his allies immediately after. That's what Nash does when that gunman tells him to sit tight and wait for a moving bridge to crush his partner cop Joe. From the way the bad guys call them at the moment, it looks like Joe has been exposed as an undercover agent, while Nash hasn't.
  • July 21, 2014
    Astaroth
    • In The Lone Ranger (2013), Tonto hijacks a train and a cavalry soldier opens fire on him with a gatling gun. the Ranger lassos the gun barrel and redirects it towards the soldiers that are trying to apprehend Tonto, forcing them into retreat.
  • August 13, 2014
    eroock
    What about this situation (single villain): Villain is pointing a gun at our hero while standing close to him. The hero will then quickly grab the gun and aim it at the villain. The result is a switch in power position.

    Can this variation be included or does it call for a separate trope?
  • August 13, 2014
    DAN004
    ^ that's... distinct. That can work with other weapons too.
  • October 15, 2014
    Arivne
    Film
    • The Matrix. In the opening scene several police officers try to arrest Trinity and she attacks them. During the fight she grabs one of them and forces him to use his gun to shoot another officer.
  • March 19, 2015
    DAN004
    Bump.
  • March 20, 2015
    oneuglybunny
    Film Animated
    • Sheriff Woody uses Buzz Lightyear as a human shield in Pixar's first Toy Story to escape from Sid's room. To repel Sid's hideous toys, Woody presses a button on Buzz's back that activates Buzz's Karate-Chop Action. This works because Sid's toys are actually not hostile to Woody and Buzz.
      Buzz: Hey, hey, hey! How're you doing that?
  • March 20, 2015
    dalek955
    • In Schlock Mercenary, after General Xinchub captures his old enemies Captain Tagon and Colonel Jaksmouth, just for fun he has his ship (a battleplate) manipulate Tagon's gun arm with its tractor beams to make him shoot Jaksmouth.
      Tagon: Not five minutes ago I wanted to do that. How is it possible for you to suck the fun out of everything?
  • March 21, 2015
    Chabal2
    There's a Jackie Chan movie where Jackie is facing a mook with a pump-action shotgun. Instead of disarming him, he just keeps pulling the pump, ejecting unshot cartridges until it's empty.
  • April 19, 2015
    FlashSteps
    I'm notafraid, but I had to create a new account when my old one turned out to not allow a password reset or something. I'm coming back to this old YTTKW, which does have a lot of potential as a trope, and with your help I'm going to launch it. :)
  • April 19, 2015
    Ominae
    Looks like my idea from the Scientific Railgun is not gonna work for this one sine there's a scene that partially plays on this due to ESP powers.
  • May 15, 2015
    eroock
    Wow, this trope is still not live?
  • May 15, 2015
    FlashSteps
    I'm at work but I'm keen to make it live on my break. I'm quite in favour of changing the name to "Jacking The Gun Hand", there's no ambiguity there and it's a cool trope name. I'll see what other edits the tropers above recommended and implement them.
  • June 5, 2015
    Lythande
    Flash Steps, are you still here?
  • June 24, 2015
    FlashSteps
    I am. It's just been a damn long night shift :P No, I will get back to this ASAP. There's a classic example in The Equalizer, and it's cited on the YMMV page. A choice prototype for a link to this future trope-to-be.
  • July 18, 2015
    Ominae
    Question I wanna raise. Any example of this being done due to powers is not allowed?
  • August 18, 2015
    FlashSteps
    Please elaborate. Do you mean ala Screaming Mantis telekinetically forcing a militia leader to gun down his comrades in MGS 4? If so, yes, I think that would be a different variant more suited to telekinesis tropes.
  • August 18, 2015
    Ominae
    Something like that. Said sample you mentioned is also seen in "A Certain Scientific Railgun" too.
  • August 18, 2015
    Knight20
    Call of Duty Black Ops has an example of this where Woods grabs a bad guys shotgun, shoots some other guys with it and then kills him giving the shotgun to Mason.
  • October 14, 2015
    eroock
  • November 16, 2015
    eroock
    To be launched soon.
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