The use of guns is, of course, a standard of certain genres, and [[GunsAndGunplayTropes many a trope has been dedicated to analyzing their use]] and the various StockPhrases that they bring.

In this case, you have two characters: one is an experienced marksman, and one is inexperienced. At some point in the story, the need for the inexperienced individual to use a gun comes along. Sometimes the training takes place on a simplified ShootingGallery, perhaps during a [[HardWorkMontage montage]] of some type. It may also work as a moment for the relationship between the two characters to be showcased: sometimes as parent and offspring, sometimes as mentor and student.

During this scene, the inexperienced shooter is having difficulty hitting his or her targets. At this point, the experienced marksman approaches, and gives one piece of advice:

"Don't pull the trigger. ''Squeeze'' the trigger."

Sometimes this particular [[StockPhrases stock phrase]] is followed up by further advice, the most common being a breathing method (such as "take a deep breath"). Often, this advice is shown as the only thing the novice needed, as he or she [[InstantExpert now hits the targets with relative ease.]]

This is, of course, partially TruthInTelevision: many novice shooters ''do'' yank on the trigger and thus pull their gun way off.

But it's not the sole barrier between a novice and an elite sniper.

Fortunately, much like real life, most movie shooting happens at ranges of 50m or less, where the main barrier to hitting something is simply [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy remembering to aim at all]]. With that particular low barrier to entry, movie style coaching is probably sufficient, at least to ensure you don't shoot yourself.

(It is worth noting, without *some* form of coaching, most people will copy their shooting style from what they see in film and TV. The problem with that is that ACTORS certainly don't need to be carefully aiming when they pull the trigger, and may in fact be hamming up things like recoil for [[RuleOfCool dramatic effect]])

A subtrope of InstantExpert.



[[folder: Comics ]]

* Horrifically averted in ''ComicBook/TransformersMoreThanMeetsTheEye''. Swerve is told that he must take down a crazed [[spoiler:Fortress Maximus]] with the large riveter gun he has. Swerve freaks out and explains that he's not trained in weapon combat and is a horrible shot. Rodimus tells him to do it anyway (apparently being a firm believer in this trope). [[spoiler:Swerve [[RealityEnsues misses his target]] and ends up shooting Fort Max's hostage instead. He survives, but is in a coma for the next few issues.]]


[[folder: Film -- Animated ]]

* In ''Disney/{{Pocahontas}}'', John Smith gives the inexperienced Thomas advice on how to handle his gun, including a gentle reminder to "keep both eyes open". This becomes an IronicEcho when [[spoiler:Thomas shoots Kocoum]].


[[folder: Film -- Live Action ]]

* In ''Film/{{Zombieland}}'', Tallahassee gives this bit of advice to Little Rock, something that comes in handy later when she and Wichita are under attack by a horde of zombies.
** Little Rock, a 12 year old, had brandished firearms before this, but had not fired except into the air while brandishing. She was unable to hit a large vase with a long arm at twenty yards, a feat which would be considered laughably easy by most youth shooting programs. As soon as she hears Tallahassee's advice, she hits the target, playing this trope straight.
** Also, Tallahassee's advice is more focused on having her relax, calm down, and take her time while aiming down the sights. And she never displays any amazing feats of marksmanship, so this makes for a comparatively realistic example.
* ''Film/BangkokDangerous'', or, at least, the [[CulturalTranslation American version]] of the movie, has a scene in which Joe (Creator/NicolasCage) gives this advice to his student Kang.
* TheMovie version of ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen'' shows Quartermain giving this advice to Tom Sawyer.
** Quartermain has ImprobableAimingSkills in this film (he can fire an ordinary rifle at a great distance without aiming for the center of mass), which he passes to Sawyer after one session (in which the latter ''fails'' to hit the target).
* In ''Film/HarleyDavidsonAndTheMarlboroMan,'' the Marlboro Man says "Squeeze the trigger, Harley. Don't yank it, it's not your dick. ''Squeeze'' it." In this case, however, there's no training taking place; the Marlboro Man is making a [[DeadpanSnarker snarky]] comment on Harley's piss-poor shooting skills.
** Later, when the two eponymous heroes are facing the BigBad and his legion of bulletproof henchmen, Marlboro Man says it again as sort of crash course training: "Don't yank. Don't pull. Squeeze." The trope is partially averted in this case, though, because no matter how many times he hears this advice, Harley Davidson's gun skills never get better.
* ''Film/CowboysAndAliens'' had a similar line from Meacham when he teaches the shopkeeper how to shoot.
--> ''"Don't yank it, now, it ain't your pecker."''
* From Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/LoveAndDeath'':
-->'''Sonya:''' I'm not leaving here until we shoot Napoleon. Here. ''(Hands Boris a pistol)''\\
'''Boris:''' Oh, I see. Thanks. I'm the hit man.\\
'''Sonya:''' Remember, you can't take any chances. Now, make sure the barrel of the gun is pressed against his head or his chest. And don't pull the trigger, Boris. Squeeze it.\\
'''Boris:''' Where did you go to finishing school? On a pirate ship?
* Leon gives this advice to Mathilda in ''Film/TheProfessional'', allowing her to hit her target on the first try, with a paintball rifle from a rather long distance too.


[[folder: Literature ]]

* ''[[Literature/CiaphasCain Duty Calls]]'': Early in the novel, Cain, Jurgen, and snack-seller Zemelda Cleat are pinned down by ambushers. When Zemelda picks up a fallen weapon, Cain gives her a one-sentence lesson in weapon handling.
--> Tuck that into your shoulder, pull the trigger gently, and Emperor guide your aim.
** Possibly justified in that Cain didn't expect Zemelda to hit anything with the clumsy stubber she'd grabbed, and was just hoping she'd distract the attackers. Also possibly justified in that anyone who wants to survive long in [[CrapsackWorld [=40K=]]] had ''better'' be able to pick up basic weapon skills in a hurry. (And in part it's Zemelda's ability to survive in that fight that gets her recruited by Amberley.)
* Inverted in ''Four Day Planet'' by Creator/HBeamPiper. The protagonist (a good pistol shot) has trouble with the 50-mm gun on a monster-hunting ship until he is told, "I see what your problem is. You're squeezing the trigger." There follows a realization that jerking the trigger is actually the best technique: It's a fixed mount gun, and the usual reasons for squeezing the trigger on a pistol or rifle don't apply.


[[folder: Live-Action TV ]]

* Used in the ''Series/CriminalMinds'' episode "L.D.S.K.", wherein resident geekboy Reid is trying to pass his firearms qualification test, and resident sharpshooter Hotch is giving him lessons, telling him "front sight, trigger press, follow through". Hotch also mentions the "squeeze, don't pull" advice. Reid fails his test twice, even with Hotch's help, but proves his competence in the climax of the episode, where he gets a perfect [[BoomHeadshot headshot]] to the [=UnSub=] via Hotch's distraction gambit and his spare gun. He went on to joke that [[DeadpanSnarker he was actually aiming for the leg]] (or at least, we think it was a joke).
* In the ''Series/MastersOfHorror'' episode "The Screwfly Solution", this advice is given from mother to daughter, with the usual effect.
* Played with in an episode of ''Series/UltimateForce'' when Henno gives a pistol to an ambassador he is protecting with the titular instructions. However, he then reveals he was actually suggesting a suicide method.
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Numb3rs}}'', Charlie, in order to understand how a criminal sniper operates in the field, tries to learn what shooting a gun feels like because his usual [[AwesomenessByAnalysis math-heavy approach]] was failing to give him the whole picture. After struggling with a rifle in the shooting range, Don gives Charlie a few pointers; relax his hands, fire the shot in-between breaths, etc. It works; [[DownplayedTrope Charlie's next shot is a lot closer to the bullseye, and his prediction on where the suspect will set up his sniper nest is off by only one window.]]
* Jack teaches Gwen how to fire a gun in the second episode of ''Series/{{Torchwood}}''. She becomes an expert after that one session. Oh, and Gwen is a cop who has never handled a firearm. Justified, as she was only a PC (constable), who are not issued guns.
** Possibly justified in that we're never really sure how long the session goes on for (possibly hours), and some people ''do'' have a natural gift.


[[folder: Theatre ]]

* Stephen Sondheim's ''Theatre/{{Assassins}}'' sets this to music in "The Gun Song", which, apart from [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin doing exactly what it says on the tin]], contains the line:
-->''And all you have to do is squeeze your little finger''\\
''Ease your little finger back''\\
* ClickHello*\\
''You can change the world . . .''


[[folder: Video Games ]]

* Inverted in the video game ''VideoGame/UnchartedDrakesFortune'', right in the beginning when Drake hands Elena [[IntrepidReporter (a journalist)]] a pistol. His advice is "Just point...and shoot," which is something one would only expect to hear from somebody who's never, ever held a gun in their life.
* Averted in the first ''[[VideoGame/SilentHill1 Silent Hill]]'' game. Harry, who's never handled a gun before, is given one by policewoman Cybil Bennett. Her instructions are pretty terrible and do not include this advice. She even says, "Before you pull the trigger..." which of course is the wrong way to manipulate a trigger. Calling Harry a mediocre shot is being charitable. The scene can be seen [[ here]], where Cybil dives pretty deep into ArtisticLicenseGunSafety.


[[folder: Webcomics ]]

* Somewhat averted in ''Webcomic/DeadWinter''. After Liz [[AccidentalAimingSkills headshots the wrong zombie]], Alice [[ gives her]] the usual "squeeze the trigger" advice. She fires again...and hits a vending machine.
-->'''Liz:''' It seems that hat grants him some sort of magic shield...


[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'', Marge is shown how to shoot by former neighbor Ruth Powers in ''Marge on the Lam.'' Ruth tells Marge to squeeze the trigger, although she does not mention the part about not pulling the trigger. Marge does show immediate skill as a marksman.
--> My cans! My precious antique cans! Aw, look what ya done to 'em...