From RogerEbert's Movie Glossary:

->To prove how aware/crazy/focused a movie character is, a friend will wake the sleeping character. The character will instantly, ferociously, leap up from a deep sleep and pull a knife/gun or kung-fu chokehold on his friend, before apologizing for almost killing him.

Basically, a character wakes up violently, [[PillowPistol drawing any weapons]] or techniques in the process.

Compare RingRingCRUNCH, InstantWakingSkills. For a similar reaction from someone who is awake, but taken by surprise, see DontSneakUpOnMeLikeThat.

----
!!Examples:
%%
%%
%% no-context examples have been commented out. After remedying this, you may remove the markup
%%
%%

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Hunny in ''OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' does this a few times.
* Happens in ''GunsmithCats'', in the hospital: a mook is trying to plant a bomb under Rally's pillow (where she also kept her gun), Rally instantly snaps to alertness and shoots the mook. Mook runs off and jumps into his car. Rally notices the bomb and tosses it out the window... onto the mook's car. And we later learn through all this, she wasn't even fully awake.
* In ''[[SamuraiX Trust & Betrayal]]'' Tomoe drapes a sleeping Kenshin in a blanket. She gets a katana drawn and placed inches from her neck for her trouble.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Comicbooks]]
* When Cook wakes up Jason in ''Comicbook/JasonVsLeatherface'' after the night when he is accepted into the Sawyer household, he instictually grabs him by throat.
* In both the Marvel-616 and Ultimate Universes, {{Captain America}} goes on the offensive as soon as he's defrosted from the block of ice where he was discovered.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
%% * ''Film/LethalWeapon''
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'': Maximus wakes up armed with a small dagger in his hand.
%% * Happens twice in ''{{Anastasia}}''.
* Wolverine does this to Rogue in the first ''Film/XMen1'' movie, however goes too far and instinctively stabs her in the chest.
** And again, [[RecurringDreams repeatedly]], in ''Film/TheWolverine''. Fortunately this time without inadvertent stabbings.
* Overlapping with CatapultNightmare, Aragorn in the movie version of ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''.
* Happens in the closing scene of ''Film/DressedToKill''.
* Kyle Reese in ''TheTerminator'' wakes up from a nightmare and reflexively grabs for his rifle.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In Alex Garland's novel ''Literature/TheBeach'', one character talks in a very pissed off manner about a time when another character was nodding off to sleep. There came a slight noise in the bushes, and he leapt up with his knife.
-->"He wanted me to see how fucking alert he was."
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Harry warns Ron against visiting Moody first thing in the morning, for fear that Moody will respond this way.
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Haymitch often sleeps with a knife in his hand, due to his experiences in the Games.
* [[TortallUniverse Aly]] tends to leap up with knives in hand when woken up unexpectedly.
* Most characters react this way in the brief moment between waking up and being awake enough to think properly. In ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'' Hrun the Barbarian is apparently so used to people trying to kill him in his sleep that he reacts before he wakes up:
-->Hrun made a glubbing noise, turned over, and slept on.\\
With a careful movement, as though handling some instrument of rare delicacy, the woman drew a slim black dagger from her belt and stabbed downward.\\
Before it was halfway through its arc Hrun's right hand moved so fast that it appeared to travel between two points in space without at any time occupying the intervening air. It closed around the woman's wrist with a dull smack. His other hand groped feverishly for a sword that wasn't there ...\\
Hrun awoke.\\
'Gngh?' he said, looking up at the woman with a puzzled frown.
* At least one of ''{{Redwall}}'''s Badger Lords has done this. One of his hares had come in to wake him, right as he reached the end of a nightmare about his sworn enemy. The result was a CatapultNightmare complete with a battle cry and a sword hacked straight through a shield. The hare was unhurt, but shocked.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/BetweenPlanets'' the teenage protagonist demonstrates his [[TookALevelInBadass development]] with his time with Venusian guerrillas by [[InstantWakingSkills waking instantly]] with a knife in his hands when the company runner looking for him taps sharply on the support rope of his hammock.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In the ''Series/DoctorWho'' story "Image of the Fendahl", the Doctor wakes his companion Leela and she pulls her knife on him. She wouldn't normally overreact that badly, but she'd been having nightmares because of the baleful influence of the Fendahl.
* Parodied in ''Series/ThirtyRock.'' Tracy warns Liz that he has BadDreams, but not to wake him or he will attack her.
** In another episode, the writers get [[ButtMonkey Kenneth]] to prank a sleeping Lutz by waking him up while wearing a gorilla mask. They underestimate the violence of his reaction -- his first reaction is to punch Ken hard in the face, and his second is to grab [[GolfClubbing a nearby golf club]] -- and by the time they (eventually) break them up, Lutz is throttling Kenneth with the shaft of the club.
* When alarmed, ''{{NCIS}}'''s Tony, Ziva, and Gibbs have all been shown to leap for a weapon/punch.
* A {{sitcom}} thirty or forty years ago had a commando veteran visit the main character's place on a date. Unfortunately, he'd just had to spend an unusually long time without sleep, so he kept dozing off just sitting there -- and every time she tried to rouse him, he'd come awake frantically lashing out with karate and destroy another piece of furniture....
* Happened to Duncan once in ''{{Series/Highlander}}'' 'Forgive Us Our Trespasses''. Duncan was having problems with an old enemy who saw him as a mass killer for things that happened during the Scottish rebellions in the 18th century. Duncan had nightmares and woke up struggling and punching until Amanda calmed him down.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Stand-Up Comedy]]
* According to ''TheUnfinishedSpellingErrorsOfBolkien'', this is so common in Rohan, the morning buglers have learned to just run away after playing a single note, lest they get hacked to bits by the troops they just woke up.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Video Games]]
* If the player chose the High Chaos path from the OldSaveBonus in ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}: The Brigmore Witches'', a scene which has Daud grabbing one his underlings by the throat as he is waken up is shown.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Webcomics]]
* This is the reason no one tries to wake up Bun-bun in ''SluggyFreelance''.
* In ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'', the first thing that Nin Wah[[spoiler:'s android clone]] does upon waking is [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/07/31/is-this-the-dream/ punch CK in the face.]]
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', {{sidekick}} Gordito is afraid of waking up Dr. [=McNinja=] for this very reason.
** Gordito himself is often subjected to literal rude awakenings; the Doc only seems to drop him off at his parents' house when he's asleep, leaving him to wake up startled in strange and often dangerous conditions.
** The doctor himself admits he doesn't just wake up fighting, he [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/13p11/ defends himself in his sleep]].
** VERY justified in the case of Dr. McNinja. His parents did 'sneak attack' training sessions.
* [[http://xkcd.com/225/ Richard Stallman]] in ''{{Webcomic/xkcd}}'' takes a pair of katanas from under his bed and fights off Microsoft's agents who try to kill him. After this comic came out, [[{{Defictionalization}} some fans bought him a Katana]].
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers, both Brock Samson and Molotov Cocktease do this, to Hank and Dr Venture respectively
* From ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
--> '''Sokka:''' *wakes up wielding weapons* Huh? Did we get captured again?
[[/folder]]

----