[[quoteright:350:[[Film/PulpFiction http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/PulpFictionAdrenaline_8099.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:350: Huh. I don't remember that being there.]]

-> ''"Zoe flat-lines and gets the Adrenaline-in-the-Heart treatment. Mal follows suit with the self-administered Adrenaline-in-the-Heart. ('''Medical note''' -- Records show this is becoming televised treatment of choice as it was also applied in the second season's première of Series/{{Alias}})."''
-->-- '''Two Evil Monks''', Recap of "Out of Gas" from ''Series/{{Firefly}}''

We've all seen it before. The patient is going into shock, he's losing consciousness! His heart's stopped, and the [[MagicalDefibrillator paddles]] aren't working. He's not going to make it! Only one thing left to do. Shot to the heart, stat! His heart's beating; he's stabilizing. Crisis averted!

Shot to the Heart is when an injection of adrenaline is administered directly into a patient's heart, usually by a forceful stab. This can be done for a number of reasons, usually to restart a stopped heart or to restore or maintain consciousness. If the injured person is particularly {{badass}} or [[{{Determinator}} determined]], he may even do it to himself so he can stay conscious long enough to save the day.

The trope was made popular by 1994's ''Film/PulpFiction'', when hitman Vincent Vega does it to save the life of Mia Wallace, who has OD'd on heroin and also happens to be his boss's wife. Today it's right up there with a [[InstantDramaJustAddTracheotomy tracheotomy]] when you need some [[RuleOfDrama drama]], but in reality, this is a '''''very bad idea''''' and a good way to kill your patient. While epinephrine (adrenaline) is used to treat several ailments from anaphylactic shock to cardiac arrest, no doctor since about 1990 would ''ever'' treat a patient by stabbing them in the heart with a giant needle. In the past, an intra-cardiac injection ''was'' used very sparingly, but only by trained medical personnel, only if the heart was ''completely'' stopped and only if every other option was exhausted. In a modern hospital, if you need a drug to get to the heart quickly, it goes into a vein, with chest compressions used to move the blood in the event of cardiac arrest.

In spite of this, it remains a popular trope, especially in medical dramas and [[SlidingScaleOfShinyVersusGritty grittier]] action films, though [[SubvertedTrope subversions]] and [[LampshadeHanging lampshade hangings]] are starting to show up in comedic works.

A subtrope of ArtisticLicenseMedicine. Compare HealingShiv. See also InstantDramaJustAddTracheotomy and MagicalDefibrillator for similar use of emergency medical procedures for drama.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* While no needle of drugs is involved, a scene very much in the spirit of this trope that is actually more or less medically accurate occurs in the very first chapter of ''Manga/SaijouNoMeii''. The title character and a friend are out on a fishing boat when the other boy trips and strikes his chest on the prow. Minutes later he's complaining of severe chest pains and collapses on the floor. A quick cellphone call to Saijou's doctor friend has the boy diagnosed with traumatic cardiac tamponade, and a sudden storm blowing in means that the doctor can't make it to them in time, leaving it up to Saijou to take the nearest sharp object and try to pierce his chest to relieve the pressure ''without'' stabbing too far and skewering his heart.

* In an issue of ''Franchise/{{Batman}}: Legends of the Dark Knight'' Joker ends up near death after accidentally getting a dose of his own poison. He has also planted a bomb somewhere, so saving his life is actually warranted to find it. One of the first things done to him in the hospital is an injection of adrenaline straight into the heart. He flatlines, is resuscitated by the help of a MagicalDefibrillator, and then gets a ''second'' shot of adrenaline to the heart, which actually does revive him this time.
* One arc of ThePunisher has Frank rescue a mafia don from a South American prison camp by firing a syringe into the don's heart via sniper rifle, firing a sarin grenade into the compound (the syringe was an antidote), injecting himself in the heart, and dragging the don out. If you're wondering why ''Frank'' is [[PayEvilUntoEvil pulling a criminal out of the clutches of other criminals]], he spells it out at the end, when the don is reunited with ''all'' his captains, underlings, and anyone remotely important in a single room... then Frank shows up, M60 in hand.

* As shown in the page image, in ''Film/PulpFiction,'' Vincent does this to Mia, since they don't want a drug lord's wife going to the hospital with an OD. In reality, she almost certainly would have died unless 911 was called. The epinephrine may have restarted her stopped heart, but it would do nothing about the heroin still in her system, and she'd probably be tachycardic from the epi. The primary cause of death in a heroin overdose is ''respiratory'' failure; the heart only stops when the brain dies due to the lack of oxygen.
* In ''Film/TheRock,'' NicolasCage does the self-administered version to counter the effects of poison gas. At least he uses the right drug. Rather than epinephrine, he injects atropine, which along with pralidoxime and possibly diazepam is the correct treatment. Just not directly to the heart.
* In ''GetHimToTheGreek'', Russell Brand injects Jonah Hill's heart with an adrenaline shot. Well, Brand's character ''tries'' to do a heart injection, anyway. Being high at the time, he winds up putting the injection somewhere in Jonah Hill's shoulder.
* In ''Film/SherlockHolmesAGameOfShadows'', Holmes invents an epi-pen. [[spoiler:Watson [[ChekhovsGun later uses it to revive him]] after his heart stops from blood loss.]]
* Variant: In ''[[Literature/{{Twilight}} Breaking Dawn]]'', Edward injects vampire venom directly into [[spoiler:Bella]]'s heart in an attempt to [[spoiler:save her life after a difficult childbirth]].
* After falling comatose, Nancy is woken up this way in ''Film/ANightmareOnElmStreet2010''.
* Done unsuccessfully to Alex Murphy in ''Film/RoboCop1987''. The trauma team administers a round of intracardiac epinephrine, along with several attempts at defibrillation, in a last-ditch effort to save the dying cop on their table. He dies anyway, prompting his EmergencyTransformation into the titular cyborg. Justified in that intracardiac epinephrine was still in use when the film was made.
* Angela kills a police officer this way (the syringe was just filled with air) in ''Film/SleepawayCampIIITeenageWasteland''.
* Almost done in the comedy ''[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senseless Senseless]]''. [[CloudCuckooLander Tim]] is a medical student who thinks Darryl might be [=ODing=] on heroin. (He's not.) Still doesn't make sense; if Tim's far enough in his studies, he should know it won't work. If he's not that far, then he shouldn't be trying.

* Done twice in the ''{{Firefly}}'' episode, "Out Of Gas."
** Simon administers one to Zoe after she's injured in an explosion.
** Mal stabs himself to stay conscious after he is gut-shot.
* Clark does this to Chloe in second season ''{{Smallville}}'' episode "Truth".
* On ''TheBigBangTheory'', Sheldon tries to prank Howard with an ElectricJoyBuzzer, but Howard appears to collapse from a heart attack and is instructed to stab a syringe of adrenaline straight through his heart. It all turns out to be a counter-prank.
* In the season 1 finale of ''{{Series/Nikita}},'' [[spoiler:Amanda does this to revive Alex after killing her with the Kill Chip.]] It was the only way to set her free...
* Doc Robbins does this in one ''{{CSI}}'' episode, where a guy revives on his table.
* Happens in the ''Series/StargateSG1'' episode "Avatar," in which Teal'c gets trapped in a virtual reality training program that shocks him every time he dies to increase the realism. The doctor monitoring him has to administer an adrenaline shot when his heart stops after dying for the umpteenth time.
* Mostly averted with ''Series/{{House}}.'' They frequently resuscitate people with epinephrine, but it's usually administered through the patient's IV line.
* Parodied in ''TimeGentlemenPlease'', with a scythe instead of a syringe, and a strong spanish beer for adrenaline.
* Parodied in ''Series/ThirtyRock'' when [[spoiler: Don Geiss]] goes into a coma.
--> Jack: "Can't you just inject something right into his heart?"
--> Dr. Spaceman: "I'd love to but we have no way of knowing where the heart is."
* Happens on ''DowntonAbbey'' - though it's 1912 and this is a new and relatively unusual treatment, and thus [[CoolOldLady Isobel]] has to go behind the stuffy, snobbish Dowager Countess's back to get the doctor to try it on a patient who would otherwise die.
* ''Franchise/{{Emergency}}'' liked this trope, although it was usually done through the patient's skin and muscle, rather than right into the heart with the chest open. This was TruthInTelevision, however, as all the procedures and treatments performed by the paramedics were [[ShownTheirWork directly from LA County's EMS protocols at the time.]]

* The song "Kickstart My Heart" by MotleyCrue was supposedly inspired by Nikki Sixx being revived by an adrenaline shot to the heart after almost dying of a heroin overdose.

* At one point in ''ModernWarfare3'' you need to press X to do this to Soap.
* ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'' forgoes the usual RegeneratingHealth for an auto-injector that refills Marlowe's health when he stabs himself straight in the chest with it. The auto-injector always refills his health to full and replenishes itself after a relatively short time, making it a wonder why medical technology continues to exist in the Bad Company universe.
** ''Battlefield: Bad Company 2: Vietnam'', instead of giving you a MagicalDefibrillator, gives you a mystery syringe full of chemicals capable of reverting cardiac arrest. Given that it's a game, a shot to the big toe is just as effective as a shot to the heart.
* During the infamous ColdBloodedTorture sequence in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoV'', Trevor will administer a shot of adrenaline straight to Mr. K's heart if the player administers so much punishment that it causes his heart to stop.
* Reviving another player in {{Resident Evil 6}} shows a short sequence of you kneeling by their side, then stabbing them in the chest with... something. Whilst they're still conscious. It's never made clear what's being used - it could even possibly be an empty fist being punched into the chest in a very misguided attempt at CPR. Again, on a conscious patient able to call for help.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* {{Conversed}} on a web page ''Two Evil Monks''. In their snarky yet affectionate {{MST}}-like commentary, they inform readers that records confirm that administering Adrenaline-in-the-Heart is becoming televised treatment of choice. It's a part of their picture spam recap of the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "Out of Gas" and the episode "The Enemy Walks In" from ''Series/{{Alias}}''. [[http://www.twoevilmonks.org/firefly/season1/ff107p03.htm See two screen grabs and the commentary at top of the page.]]
* ''Website/SFDebris'': {{Conversed}} by SFDebris while reviewing and {{MST}}ing ''Series/{{Firefly}}'''s "Out of Gas". Chuck says that you really shouldn't take medical advice from Creator/QuentinTarantino's movies, referencing the famous scene from ''Pulp Fiction''.

* People with beesting or food allergies generally keep an emergency kit with an epinephrine autoinjector, but it is administered to the thigh or buttock, ''definitely'' not into the heart.
** Epi-Pens are also essentially spring-loaded, so there's no syringe involved. It's large and strong enough to go through clothing.
* A constant reminder to soldiers during NBC (Nuclear, Biological and Chemical) warfare training: Do NOT inject yourself or anyone else in the heart.
* Injecting potassium directly into the heart is one way that veterinarians euthanize small sedated animals, as it swiftly halts heart contractions.