->'''Dwight Hartman:''' I... I can't feel my legs!
->'''Ray:''' Dude... you never could.
--> ''Film/ScaryMovie 2, after the paraplegic Hartman has fallen out a window.''

A big battle is going on, and one of the good guys gets injured. Usually, it's not a main character, but rather a secondary one who utters the phrase "I can't feel my legs...". When this comes out of their mouth, you know that they're going to end up paralyzed in some way (usually for life). This is a common backstory for the InspirationallyDisadvantaged, WheelchairWoobie, or someone with a DisabilitySuperpower.

This trope is usually a spoiler, as well as a StockPhrase.

This trope is PlayedForLaughs a lot nowadays, with the character saying "I can't feel my legs" ''already a cripple'', and somebody reminding them that they couldn't before. For a related comedic trope, where this situation is [[PlayedForLaughs Played For]] {{Slapstick}}, see BitsOfMeKeepPassingOut.

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!!Examples:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder: Anime / Manga ]]

* [[spoiler: Havoc,]] from ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', utters this after being stabbed by [[spoiler:Lust.]]
* Played with in ''Manga/InuYasha''.
--> '''Jaken''': WHO ARE YOU CALLING A SHRIMP?!
--> '''Inuyasha''': *Picks up Jaken* Want me to stretch you out? *Starts stretching Jaken in amusement*
--> '''Shippo''': Inuyasha, you are such a bully...
--> '''Inuyasha''': Hey! Getting pretty stretchy there Jaken!
--> '''Kagome''': Stop that Inuyasha! SIT BOY! *Inuyasha falls face flat on the ground with Jaken under him*
--> '''Jaken''': *Dizzy* I can't feel my legs...

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* ''ComicStrip/{{Rudi}}'' tries to pick up a woman at the supermarket by "accidentally" hitting her with his shopping cart. But he is nervous and uses too much power...
* {{Wolverine}} gets beaten up by Comicbook/TheIncredibleHulk and wakes up saying he can't feel his legs, then realizes Hulk ''ripped them off''.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Film ]]

* ''Film/TropicThunder'' plays with it by having Tugg say the line after escaping an explosion and collapsing, only for Kirk to point out that it's because his legs are in a cold puddle.
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Silver Bullet'', the film adaptation of Creator/StephenKing's ''Cycle of the Werewolf'', after the kids have killed the werewolf, Jane asks Marty if he's okay, and Marty (who is paralyzed from the waist down and confined to a wheelchair), says "No... I think something's wrong with my legs! I can't feel them!" Cue the DopeSlap in response.
* Donkey in ''{{Shrek}}'':
-->'''Donkey:'''"Oh, man! I can't feel my toes! [looks down at hooves] I don't have any toes!"
* ''TheUsualSuspects''. The following scene occurs at the beginning of the movie. [[spoiler: Later, we hear that Keaton was shot beforehand.]]
-->'''Keyser Soze:''' How you doing Keaton?
-->'''Keaton:''' I can't feel my legs...Keyser.
* ''ScaryMovie 2''. Dwight is paraplegic.
-->'''Buddy: '''Are you okay, Dwight?
-->'''Dwight Hartman:''' I can't... I can't feel my legs. Aaahahaha, I can't feel my legs.
-->'''Ray Wilkins:''' You never could.
-->'''Dwight Hartman:''' Hey you stay out of this, all right?
* In ''Film/XMenFirstClass'', in a state of shock, [[spoiler:Xavier says this multiple times after being shot in the back. Given the character is usually best known for A. his psychic powers, B. being bald, and C. being confined to a wheelchair, this is more or less a ForegoneConclusion.]] However, that does not make the moment any less of a TearJerker.
* MajorPayne tries to tell a bedtime story. It does not end well.
* Played for laughs in ''TheSocialNetwork'' when Mark drags Eduardo outside in the freezing cold to talk about his early ideas for Facebook. When Eduardo says the line, [[NoSocialSkills Mark]] obliviously replies "I know, I'm totally psyched about this too."
* A very depressing (or ''very'' dark-humored) example from a kid's movie, no less. In ''WesternAnimation/{{Antz}}'' , as Z is holding his dying friend's [[spoiler: severed]] head, said friend mutters the exact phrase.
* Kiefer Sutherland's character in ''ToEndAllWars'' says "Guys, I can't feel my legs" after taking a brutal beating from the camp commander after taking the blame for a missing shovel that had actually been misplaced by a camp guard. He ends up in a wheelchair.
* The film ''Extreme Measures'' takes this even further. When the protagonist wakes up in the hospital, after being attacked, he mutters that he can't move ''at all'', at which point the doctor tells him that his neck was broken in the attack and that he's ''completely'' paralyzed.
* [[InvertedTrope Inverted]] in ''Film/{{Alien 3}}'': [[RidiculouslyHumanRobots Bishop]], who's missing his body from the waist down, complains his legs hurt.
* ''Welcome to the Punch'' (2013). Two London crooks get into a shootout with a third party; one of them is injured.
-->'''Jacob:''' How ya doing?
-->'''Roy:''' ''(gritted teeth)'' I can't feel my legs, Jake.
-->'''Jacob:''' ''(concerned)'' Really?
-->'''Roy:''' ''(normally)'' Fuck off.
-->'''Jacob:''' [[DudeNotFunny Oh for fuck...no you fuck off!]]
* PlayedForLaughs in ''Disney/{{Frozen}}''. After a crash, Olaf the Snowman (who doesn't have legs) grabs Kristoff's legs and screams that he can't feel them. Kristoff says those are his legs.
* In the 1942 film ''Kings Row'', Drake [=McHugh=] (probably UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan's most famous role) has both of his legs amputated needlessly by a sadistic doctor after an accident. When he wakes from anesthesia, he says the famous line: "Where's the rest of me?"

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Jokes ]]

* An old joke has a guy waking up in the hospital after an accident:
-->'''Patient:''' Doctor, I can't feel my legs!
-->'''Doctor:''' Of course you can't - I had to cut off your arms.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Literature ]]

* In Literature/TheDresdenFiles book ''Literature/{{Changes}}'', [[spoiler: Harry himself utters this after falling and breaking his back.]]
* Subverted in the beginning of ''Literature/SeekersOfTheSky'': after a crash landing, Ilmar discovers that he cannot feel his legs and thinks his back is broken. However, it turns out, they were simply numb from sitting in a cramped position with [[TagalongKid Marcus]] on his lap for a couple of hours.
* Subverted in the first ''Series/TrueBlood'' novel. Sookie gets beaten almost to death and says that she can't feel her legs. [[spoiler: However, Bill then heals her with vampire blood.]]
* In the ''Literature/WarriorCats'' series, a tree falls in the camp and lands on the young cat [[spoiler:Briarpaw]]. She cannot feel her hind legs. It turns out that her spine is broken and her hind legs are paralyzed.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Live Action Television ]]

* Mad TV, parodying the Budweiser's "Bud-Bowl" advertising campaign, featured a skit where a beer bottle got injured and yelled out, "I can't feel my label!"
* ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' episode "All Hell Breaks Loose". [[spoiler: Piper has been shot.]]
-->'''[[spoiler: Piper Halliwell]]''': Prue, [[ImColdSoCold I'm cold.]] I can't - I can't - I can't feel my legs.
* Stevie used this at least once as a joke on ''MalcolmInTheMiddle''.
* Danny on {{CSI NY}}, after the shooting at the bar where he was shot in the back.
* ''MockTheWeek'', "Unlikely things to hear in a war film"
--> '''Frankie Boyle:''' "I can't feel my legs!" "That's because your arms have been blown off."
* Occurs in ''Series/StarTrekVoyager'' in the season 6 finale. The crew begin searching the badly damaged ''Equinox'' for survivors. Kim and Seven of Nine find one crew member buried under debris. The man mentions that he can't feel his legs, and asks Seven to check and tell him if they're still there. In a subversion, his legs are fine and he is later seen walking under his own power, so they'd probably just gone numb.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'', "The Sontaran Stratagem" - The reaction of two UNIT soldiers when General Staal temporarily paralyzes them from the waist down.
* {{Baywatch}}. Mitch says this verbatim after being slammed into rocks during a particularly dangerous rescue attempt.
* A favorite SoapOpera trope, of course. Though sometimes they like to show, rather than tell--when the injured person is asked to move their legs, the camera cuts to the immobile limbs, thus revealing the person's paralysis.
* Naturally, this happened from time to time on ''Series/{{MASH}}'', most notably in a case where they told a wounded soldier it was merely an effect of the medication, so they wouldn't have to tell him he was paralyzed and dying.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Professional Wrestling ]]

* In an episode of Wrestling/{{WWE Raw}}, the stage collapses on top of Wrestling/VinceMcMahon. As all the wrestlers work together to save him, Vince can be heard telling Wrestling/TripleH that he can't feel his legs, breaking {{Kayfabe}} by calling Triple H by his real name, Paul.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Defied in ''JourneysEnd'' when Stanhope keeps [[spoiler: Raleigh, who's been hit by a shell]] talking so he [[LetThemDieHappy doesn't realize that he's been paralyzed.]]
* In an episode of ''{{Mindfreak}}'' where they stage a decapitation illusion gone wrong, the man in the guillotine uses this line.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Laharl from ''VideoGame/DisgaeaHourOfDarkness'' utters these words in ''VideoGame/{{Disgaea 2|CursedMemories}}''. However this is subverted- he's not paralyzed, he is just really hungry because he hasn't eaten any nutritious food in a long time.
* In ''{{WET}}'' Simmons yells this after his car has crashed. It makes it impossible for him to flee when Rubi [[EveryCarIsAPinto throws a lighter into the leaked gasoline]].
* In ''VideoGame/Sly2BandOfThieves'', Bentley tells this to Murray at the very end of the game after getting crushed beneath Clockwerk's jaws.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Web Original ]]

* In ''Klay World: Pancake Mines'', A Klayman steps on a mine, which blows his legs off. He screams, "I can't... feel... my arms!" The Klayman's head then falls on another mine, setting off a chain reaction of explosions.
* After being paralyzed from being pushed off a cliff [[spoiler:by Vriska]], Tavros of ''{{Homestuck}}'' says the following:
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: [[spoiler: aG]] JUST JUMPED ME OFF A CLIFF]],
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: wITH MY BRAIN,]]
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: aND, uHH]]
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: mY LEGS, aLSO,]]
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: aND NOW, tHEY FEEL,]]
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: iNVISIBLE,]]
-->[[color:#a15000:AT: wOW, i'M SURE THERE WAS A BETTER WAY TO SAY THAT,]]
* {{WebAnimation/Hom|estarRunner}}sar says this in his second appearance.

[[/folder]]

[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/ExtremeGhostbusters'', the local HandicappedBadass Garrett invoked this--PlayedForLaughs, of course, as he is one of the best-adjusted paraplegic around.
** The best part of this scene is the moment right after he says it, when both his teammates in the car look ''genuinely worried'' that something bad has happened to him. Then what he said sinks in.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'', [[spoiler: Danny's clone and female counterpart Dani says this line as she begins to break down from genetic instability. At this point of her 'meltdown', she didn't even ''have'' legs anymore.]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': Falling asleep on a particularly long bus trip, Homer awakes and puts his hands on the blanket spread over his legs, then realizes he can't feel them. He starts punching them, screaming he can't feel his legs, when Marge groggily tells him they belong to the extremely tall guy behind him.
* Happens occasionally as a running gag in ''WesternAnimation/SpongeBobSquarePants''.
* ''WesternAnimation/XiaolinShowdown'' - Dojo, the team's dragon companion, says this while pinned under a boulder. [[TheBigGuy Clay]] lifts the boulder and reminds him that he doesn't ''have'' legs.
* In one episode of ''{{Minoriteam}}'', the paraplegic Dr. Wang tried to invoke this trope by staging an accident that he could file a big lawsuit over.
* In the first episode of ''TotalDrama All-Stars'', Alejandro says that being in the Drama Machine for a year has made his legs numb, his legs eventually recover, but he pretends that they haven't so that Heather would let her guard down.
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