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A Handful for an Eye

"The eyes are the groin of the head."
Dwight Schrute, The Office

This is a simple yet effective method of improving your odds of victory. A character with no compunctions about cheating flings a handful of something into the eyes of their combatant for a temporary combat advantage.

In most situations this will be a handful of loose dirt or sand grabbed from the ground, but in some instances more dangerous and painful materials can be used to attempt a permanent blinding.

Also see Go for the Eye, Eye Poke, Step into the Blinding Fight and Blinded by the Light. If you're thinking of eyes on the palms then you're looking for Eyes Do Not Belong There.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach:
    • Gin throws wood splinters towards Hitsugaya to distract him, and Jirobo uses sand against Ishida. Ganju also has a smoke bomb with pepper added for this effect but he ends up blinding himself too when he uses it against Yumichika.
    • Kyoraku Shunsui has been known to use his straw hat to temporarily obscure his foe's vision.
  • In episode four of Blade of the Immortal, Rin uses this to escape a thug who caught her off-guard and unarmed.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta uses this against Zarbon in Dragon Ball Z, except he does it in midair.
    • Dragon Ball also has the Solar Flare/Taiyoken, which creates light bright enough to temporarily blind anyone who looks at it. Several characters and even one villain have used it to buy time/escape.
  • Dio Brando squirts blood from his own leg wound at Jotaro in the last battle of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Part 3. It doesn't work, since Jotaro throws a wild punch and manages to hit Dio anyway.
  • In Street Fighter II V, Ken calls out Guile for beating Ryu the previous night. Guile starts the fight by throwing sand in Ken's eyes. Guile justifies his dirty attack by saying "there are no rules in a street fight." We don't see the rest of the fight, but seeing Ken afterwards shows that it didn't go very well.
  • Rokudo Mukuro from Katekyo Hitman Reborn!, after pretending that what was lunging at Tsuna was just an illusion, quickly reveals that it was actually a stone after smashing it into Tsuna's eye area.
  • In the early Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Hirutani (a gang leader) throws glass into Joey/Jonouchi's eyes. It works pretty well, but Hirutani then accidentally steps on some more glass, which alerts Joey/Jonouchi to his position. Good thing too though, seeing as Hirutani was just about to stab Joey/Jonouchi in the back with, (guess what?) more glass.
    • In another fight, this time squarely over Yugi, Jonouchi risked his life while he engaged a Bruce Lee Clone in fisticuffs (he held a blade in his teeth). Jonouchi revealed his first "promise" to Yugi, a can of soda which he sprayed in the punk's face. He followed it with his second "promise", and floored the sap.
  • Happens to Lucario in the Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew Movie. Fortunately, he can sense his surroundings using aura and can continue to fight normally while blinded.
    • It's also a minor Crowning Moment Of Awesome. Lucario is able to dodge a Flamethrower, then he flips into the air, coming down while readying two Aura Spheres that he unloads into two of the Houndoom attacking him, then blasting the third with another.
  • A common tactic for the main character of the obscure delinquent action-comedy Kyou Kara Ore wa!! He goes so far as to carry around small bags of dust which he uses as a defensive maneuver against those who would jump him, or as a first strike tactic.
    • When Itou's mother asked him to teach her nephew how to stand up to bullies, Mitsuhashi taught him the technique, gave him an handful of salt and sent him to defeat the first passerby he met. Itou's cousin tried it on Kagawa-san, a gigantic yakuza who always wears Cool Shades, with predictable results.
  • Reichwein in Monster throws boiling water at Roberto's face to distract him as he runs out the fire escape.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Hiei is about to stab Yusuke with the Shadow Sword when Kurama jumps in the way. Kurama then cuts his own hand on the blade of the sword and throws a fistful of blood into Hiei's jagan eye.
    • Keep in mind that the Jagan is what allowed Hiei to go One-Winged Angel, and carried an immense amount of psychic power, including the bonds holding Yusuke.
  • Just before he's sent to Psyren, Ageha gets pepper-sprayed in the eyes by one of the men who were after his card.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (at least in the manga) Ling uses this against Envy.
  • Several of the characters in Ranma ˝ have done this at one point or another; Ukyo used gunpowder-laced flour, Ranma used beer foam on the Orochi (as opposed to getting it drunk with the booze,) Konatsu and Mousse used pepper bombs, etc.
  • Subverted in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Minor character Alan Subishi gets in a fight with the absurdly powerful master Sakaki. Alan tries to throw sand in Sakaki's eyes. Sakaki swipes the air, and the wind from his attack blows it right back in Alan's face.
  • In episode 18 of A Certain Magical Index, Touma uses a shovel to fling cement powder at his opponent (they were fighting in a construction site).
    • In another episode, Touma throws a tube of grease from a toolbox at an enemy swordswoman. She instinctively slashes it, making the grease splatter into her eyes.
  • Guts throws dirt in Griffith's face/eyes in their first battle in Berserk to try to get an advantage over him.
  • A rare hero-to-hero version occurs in the Dragonquest Dai no Daibouken manga between Hyunkeru & Laharlt.
  • Used with snow in Ginga Densetsu Weed, when Jerome crouches low and swipes a pawful of snow towards the Borzoi brothers. This blinds them momentarily and makes them crash into each other.
  • Ryuko uses the blood from Senketsu to blind Satsuki in one episode of Kill la Kill. This actually works long enough for Ryuko to punch Satsuki in the head and take her sword.
  • In the anime of Golgo 13, a female assassin contracted to kill Duke Togo takes him on in a sandstorm, thinking the sand will irritate his eyes and give her the advantage as she's wearing goggles. Unfortunately Duke turns out to be wearing goggles too.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Wolverine once had flesh-eating anti-Healing Factor nanites thrown at him by a cyborg villain.
  • Spider-Man would sometimes give his opponent a faceful of webbing to temporarily blind them. He first used this tactic during his first rematch against Doctor Octopus.
    • And basically every subsequent encounter with him, to the point that the good doctor began treating his goggles with a special solvent.
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, Bob was once able to defeat Nitro (after Nitro touched his dice) by blinding him by tossing a shaker full of salt into his face before clobbering him with a dinner tray.
  • Rorschach does this, with pepper, to a SWAT team member in Watchmen
  • One of the early stories of Gold Digger had Britney fighting an Empress of Shang-Ra-La (tagging for her human sister Gina). Brit practically had the girl on the rope when she uses the dust trick to gain an advantage. Unfortunately for her, Brit's built like a truck and her senses can pick up on her movement easily, rendering the tactic useless.
  • In Ms Tree #49, after being shot in the back, Michael blinds her attacker with a handful of dust in an attempt to get away.
  • One episode of Marvel Team-Up pitted the Thing and Ghost Rider against the Miracle Man. While Ghost Rider dealt with the supernatural constructions the Miracle Man had created, Ben Grimm went after the main villain himself. The Miracle Man began confusing Ben with illusions, until he remembered the Miracle Man's major weakness — namely, that the Miracle Man needs to see in order to use his powers. Since they were fighting in a desert, all Ben needed was one handful of thrown sand to blind the Miracle Man long enough for his illusions to vanish, after which he was easy prey.
  • When Alpha Flight made a guest appearance in the last issue of Crystar Crystal Warrior, Northstar incapacitated a giant Chaos monster by flying up and tossing a handful of cornmeal in its eyes (the cornmeal having been conjured out of Shaman's pouch).
  • In Sin City, Kevin blinds Marv by slicing him across the brow, allowing blood to fill his eyes.
  • Jonah Hex does it while fighting mountain scum in Hex #4. Given Jonah's penchant for fighting dirty, it would be surprising if this was the only time this trick was used in the various series.
  • Sonja does this Raven in the Red Sonja Raven one-shot.
  • Smurfette in The Smurfs story "The Great Smurfette" used pepper hidden inside her compact to blind Gargamel.
  • Huntress uses her own blood to blind Lady Shiva in Birds of Prey.

    Film 
  • JCVD gets a face full of salt in Kickboxer.
  • A faceful of quicklime is a popular tactic used by villains in Chinese Wuxia martial arts films. Not only does the powder mess with the opponent's vision, but if they try to wash it off with water instead of oil, the chemical reaction will burn their face off.
  • Undercover Brother. During Mr. Feather's climactic fight against the title character, he throws dirt in UB's eyes to blind him.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark. Indy throws sand in the eyes of the Giant Mook German mechanic during the flying wing fight.
  • Predator. In her first escape attempt, Anna grabs a handful of leaves and throws them in Dillon's face. It works about as well as you'd expect.
  • Gladiator, at the beginning of the one on one duel against Tigris surrounded by tigers. The opponent kicks dirt/gravel/dust into Maximus's face.
  • Charlie/Hank attempts this on the dirty cop in Me, Myself & Irene, but since Hank isn't half as smooth as he thinks he is, he accidentally throws the dirt in Irene's eyes instead.
    • Also, Hank spits into his own eyes to discomfort Charlie when the personality assumes control of the body.
  • In The Lion King, Scar blinds Simba by kicking hot ashes into his face.
  • Tank Girl. While the title character is on guard duty, a Water and Power trooper sneaks up on her. She throws sand/dirt in his eyes to distract him.
  • The Big Bad in The Scorpion King throws a fistful of ash in the eyes of The Hero during the climactic battle.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: During the Norrington-Jack-Will fight in the second movie, Norrington kicks sand in Will's face. This is used in part to show how Norrington has gone from honorable to a proper pirate.
  • This happens in The Cable Guy during the medieval times fight.
  • In Riki Oh, the main character gets powdered glass thrown in his eyes, leading to huge amounts of blood coming from them. His eyes work fine a minute later when he washes them with water.
  • In the Tales from the Crypt Movie Demon Knight, the antagonist demon seems to have the upper hand against the female protagonist until she spits a mouthful of blood from the Mcguffin into his eyes. Due to the blood being an extremely diluted mixture of Christ's, it actually has the effect of acid against the demon.
  • In The Lost Boys, two boys are attacked by a vampire in the bathroom. When it informs them that the garlic bulbs floating in the bathtub won't affect it, one scoops up a handful of the water — holy water — and flings it into the vampire's face and eyes.
  • Averted in Ready To Rumble, where David Arquette's character throws powder in the face of Diamond Dallas Page. DDP is unfazed and immediately calls him out on it, saying that that trick doesn't actually work.
  • In The Hunted, Benicio Del Toro's chracter does this to Tommy Lee Jones with his own blood.
  • In Jodhaa Akbar, the eponymous Akbar does this to Jodhaa—with a bowl of flower petals. Her look of disbelief has to be seen to be believed.
  • Happens in The Next Karate Kid, only there it doesn't give any advantage whatsoever.
  • Near the end of The Jungle Book 2, Mowgli actually kicks sand at Shere Khan's face after the tiger has cornered him, Shanti, Ranjan, Baloo, and Bagheera as revenge for burning off his tail just right before luring Khan into a volcano, throwing him into a crack in the ground full of lava, and dropping a stone tiger head on him.
  • In Marked for Death, Hatcher kicks sand at Screwface, but it only works for a second before the villain regains his bearings.
  • In 3 Ninjas, the Big Bad throws a pepper bomb (see Black Egg under Real Life) in Grandpa's face in the final fight.
  • Master samurai Shinzaemon from 13 Assassins faces down his rival and equal in skill at the end of the movie, but demonstrates that they were equal only because the formal conditions of the dojo by kicking mud in his opponent's face and decapitating him (also cutting a much anticipated fight anticlimactically short).
  • In War, Inc., Hauser pours a bottle of hot sauce into Walker's eyes.
  • Sherlock does this twice in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. During the opening sequence, he steals several handfuls of rice and beans from a market stall and later throws them into the faces of a group of thugs who attack him. Much later, he blows a cloud of tobacco ash into Moriarty's face as he lights his pipe, in order to distract him so he can drag Moriarty over the edge of Reichenbach Falls.
  • Attempted in Wild Hogs against one of the "Real" bikers. It turns out sand makes for a poor Groin Attack.
  • Shoot 'em Up. Smith gets an Impaled Palm so when the Big Bad pulls a gun, Smith squirts blood into his eyes.

    Literature 
  • In the climax of the Forgotten Realms novel The Halfling's Gem, Artemis Entreri spits a mouthful of raw sewage into Drizzt Do'urden's eyes.
    • Come on, he has the will power to resist some incredibly powerful sentient artifacts, one which is his favorite sword. With a will of iron and a lot of anger, he could stomach anything.
  • In fact, the canonically first scene of the very long running series starts with Driz'zts father using a flashbang on the leaders of the family they are at war with. It's so bright that even though he closed his eyes, he can't see a thing, but he had trained a lot to fight while completely blind.
  • Cluny, villain of the first Redwall book tries this in his final encounter with the hero. (It doesn't work.)
    • In another Redwall book (Lord Brocktree) the villain Ungatt Trunn does this to the eponymous badger in the big climactic fight.
    • It gets attempted in practically every book, with varying success.
  • Used straight in the first Dragonlance book, Dragons of Autumn Twilight.
  • Wei Xiao Bao in the Jin Yong novel The Deer and the Cauldron uses this method to fight off a bully at least twice his size. The thing used there was actually lye.
  • In Terry Pratchett's non-Discworld book Nation, the hero and the Big Bad agree to a dual whereby they each choose a weapon and can start as soon as they pick it up. The Big Bad waits for the hero to pick up his spear, and is shocked when he suddenly gets a fistful of dirt to the face: the hero had chosen the sand as his weapon.
  • Monk is brought down by a handful of grit in his face in the Doc Savage novel Repel.
  • In The Golden Compass, Lyra instructs the other children to fling snow at the eyes of the Tartar soldiers at Bolvanger. She got the idea from an earlier incident in Oxford, where another child was temporarily blinded by mud thrown in his eyes.
  • Matthew Hawkwood uses this trick in his duel against the Marmeluke in Rapscallion.
  • In Five Hundred Years After, Khaavren suffers a cut to the wrist in a sword fight, and is left facing two opponents while bleeding severely. He flings some of his own blood at his foes' faces, causing them to flinch from the droplets sprayed at their eyes and opening up a chance for Khaavren to strike one down.
  • This trope is one reason John Taylor never goes anywhere without condiments, pepper especially.
  • In ColSec Rebellion, Samella beats a thug by first throwing dust in his eyes, then following it up with a Groin Attack.
  • In the Warhammer-based series Brunner the Bounty Hunter, the title character carries several small packets of salt up his sleeves for this purpose.
  • From the works of J.T. Edson:
    • The fake Belle Starr does this to a shotgun guard in Waco's Badge.
    • Waco tosses a glass of lemonade into Bill Wendee's face to blind him when Wendee pulls a knife on him in "Bill Wendee Likes an Edge" in Sagebrush Sleuth.
  • In Temeraire, enemy dragons are often fought off with pepper-guns. Mostly it just causes a Pepper Sneeze, but unlucky dragons can be permanently blinded.
  • In The Small Bachelor by P. G. Wodehouse, Mrs Waddington blinds Officer Garroway by throwing the contents of a pepperpot into his face in order to escape.

    Live Action TV 
  • In the MST3K episode Warrior of the Lost World, during the big brawl scene, I think.
  • One Malcolm in the Middle episode has the boys trying to teach Craig to fight dirty. That was Dewey's trick, as well as hitting them when they're talking.
  • Standard move in Xena: Warrior Princess, IIRC.
  • This has happened in Power Rangers once, against a Ranger, suited and wearing a helmet that completely covers his face. Now, throwing something opaque and gooey at a Ranger's faceplate would be a good idea, but sand does not work that way.
  • Firefly: Zoe does this when a bar brawl spills outside into the surrounding desert in The Train Job.
  • Murdoc blinds MacGyver with a handful of dirt during a fight in a mine in the episode "Strictly Business".
    • Mac himself blinds a bruiser with a bucket of ashes in "The Escape".
  • In the Pirate versus Knight showdown of Deadliest Warrior, the Pirate tries this against the Knight while on the beach.
    • In the Spartan versus Ninja episode, the Ninja is equipped with Black Eggs (see the Real Life folder below).
  • In the Queen of Swords episode "Fever", Captain Grisham throws a handful of dirt in the Queen's face during a sword fight at a mine.
  • Am interesting variation occurs in Young Blades, when Jacqueline and D'Artagnan have their duel in the first episode. She falls over mid-combat and finds herself underneath a cow, so she aims the udder towards D'Artagnan's face and squirts milk in his eye. This incapacitates him long enough for her to launch a Groin Attack, and ultimately win the duel.
  • In the Castle episode "Under the Gun", Rick Castle is being forced to dig up buried loot from a grave for a pair of criminals. He calls out that he's found it and, when the peer into the grave, he flings a shoveful of dirt into their faces.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series pilot episode "The Cage". While engaging in an illusionary fight against a humanoid opponent, Captain Pike desperately grabs up a handful of dust and throws it into the barbarian's face in an attempt to blind him.
    • In "Shore Leave", Finnegan throws dirt into Captain Kirk's eyes, yelling, "Eat dirt!"
  • In the Psych episode "The Amazing Psych-Man and Tap Man, Issue 2," this is a favored tactic of Gus' masked vigilante persona, Tap Man. Unfortunately, his aim sucks, so he usually only manages to throw sand at his opponent's midsection.
    • Shawn does it with Flax Seed in the series finale. It works, apart from them being stupid enough not to pick up the gun the bad guy drops before running away.
  • In the Baywatch episode "Pier Pressure", Hobie uses the trick to escape from a bully.
  • In the Angel episode "I Will Remember You", Angel throws salt into the Mohra Demon's eyes.
  • In the second episode of Choudenshi Bioman Mika Koizumi did this at the end of her fight with Farrah cat by throwing water in her eyes.
  • This has happened several times to the Daleks in Doctor Who, seeing as "aiming for the eyestalk" with conventional weaponry is a known weakness.
    • In "The Daleks", Barbara put a mixture of mud in a Dalek's eyestalk so that she and she and the others could escape. In "The Daleks' Master Plan", Steven did something similar to attack a Dalek.
  • Cricket's signature attack in the wrestling episode of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. No word on where he gets the sand from...
  • On Chuck, Sarah is halfway around the world locked in an organized street fight with the local champion. Of course, Sarah is winning, and the evil guy invokes this trope against her.
  • In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, this is Ashur's signature move, throwing sand in his opponents' eyes, then attacking them.
  • In episode 3 of Old School, Lennie blinds the thug who is attempting to choke him by squeezing a bottle of dog shampoo into his eyes.
  • In Kamen Rider Gaim episode 36, Takatora is dominating his brother Mitsuzane in a fight until the latter uses this trick. Takatora flinches even though he's in his Armored Rider suit (which has a visor), but it could probably be written off as a reflexive reaction.

    Newspaper Comics 
  • Rangi does this to Lex Murphy in a Footrot Flats strip. Not having any sand available, he improvises by using a handful of dried sheep droppings.
  • In "The Snake Goddess" storyline in the James Bond newspaper strip, Bond blinds an opponent by throwing a potted cactus in their face.
  • One of the Murder, Inc. members tries it on Modesty in the Modesty Blaise arc "Sweet Caroline". However, Modesty is prepared for the trick and blocks the attack.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • This is a time-honored tradition for heels (and some faces) in Professional Wrestling, with salt usually being the substance of choice, but others have been used (for instance, The Great Muta. Just... The Great Muta.) For the record, the substance in question is never real salt. Since salt in the eye can be painful and genuinely dangerous during a wrestling match, and because it doesn't real well to the audience or the camera, they usually will use something more powdered to create a nice big dust cloud for effect. Weightlifter's chalk and baby powder at the most common.
  • In their famous scaffold match against The Road Warriors at Starrcade '86, The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton) used baby powder to blind their opponents. It only worked temporarily, as the Road Warriors ultimately won the match.
  • Many Japanese wrestlers (The Great Muta, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Killer Khan, ...) have spit colored mists into the eyes of their opponents during a match.
    • Tajiri and his various mists—usually green, though a black mist "permanently" blinded Jamie Noble's valet and girlfriend Nidia.
    • Vince McMahon threw dirt into The Undertaker's eyes during their "Buried Alive" match.

    Tabletop RPG 
  • Dungeons & Dragons.
    • In the Dark Sun/World of Athas setting, gladiators are trained to use dirty tricks in combat, such as throwing sand in an enemy's eyes. These tactics are also used by Athasian halflings.
    • 'Sand in the Eyes' is a level 7 rogue attack in 4E.
  • Amber Diceless Role-Playing. The Weapons part of the Other Factors in Combat section mentions heaving fluids, dirt or powder into an opponent's eyes during a fight.
  • Starblazer Adventures, based on the 1970s-80s British Comic Book. The Blinding maneuver could involve throwing dirt in someone else's eyes.

    Theatre 
  • Happens in the offstage fight between Secutor and Retiarius in Androcles and the Lion. Secutor enters from the arena covered in dust and asks if it is fair for Retiarius to win by throwing dust in his eyes. Caesar replies that there's no rule against it.

    Video Games 
  • Sand Attack from Pokémon involves throwing sand in the opponent's face, reducing that enemy's accuracy.
    • Mud Slap functions similarly, but does damage as well.
  • Rogues in World of Warcraft have an attack called "Blind" that incapacitates the target for about 8 seconds, or until they're hit with something else. Originally, they required a special compound called "Blinding powder" but this was outmoded in a patch. The devs added the tag "Once favored by rogues as a blinding agent, it was abandoned for more readily available resources... like dirt" to the now-defunct powder.
  • In Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, the boss Munenori Yagyu, when knocked down uses this when he gets back up up. If it connects, the character's then stunned temporarily.
  • Burglars in The Lord of the Rings Online get a skill called "Dust in the Eyes." They can apparently hold a lot of dust, as an upgrade for the skill allows you to partially blind anyone in the vicinity.
  • Edge's "Disgraceful Kick" special attack in Rival Schools kicks up a cloud of dust when he uses it.
  • Several of Ryuji Yamazaki's special moves in the The King of Fighters series involve kicking sand at the opponent.
  • You can do something like this in Dwarf Fortress's Adventure Mode. It does have a chance of blinding your opponent... by taking out their eyes. Or possibly decapitating them.
  • Two Worlds allows both the player and most humanoid enemies to use it. This often leads to absurd situations where 5-6 opponents keep trying to kick dirt in your face instead of, you know, hitting you.
  • The "Ninjutsu" defense set available to Stalkers in City of Villains has a "Blinding Powder" move, a cone-shaped AoE power which lowers the targets' accuracy and visual range, incapacitates them until the next time they're hit, and even has a chance of confusing them.
  • Super Punch Out features Masked Muscle, who cheats repeatedly. One of his moves is to spit in your eye, making everything blurry and preventing you from attacking for about ten seconds.
  • In a particularly awesome example, in Utawarerumono Hakuoro (the hero) and Oboro (The Lancer) have just started fighting, presumably to the death. Hakuoro is pretty tough, but Oboro is better. When he gets injured along the arm, he flings his own blood into Oboro's eyes, blinding him and throwing off his balance so he can't fight any more. Of course, his arm is bleeding rather heavily, so it essentially ends in a draw.
  • The LucasArts game Full Throttle aloows to throw a fist full of fertilizer in the face of a goggle-less biker with the chainsaw.
  • You can do this in both Bushido Blade games by hitting the Subweapon buttons without a subweapon in your possession. However, this is a serious breach of Bushido and sinks your invisible Karma Meter in the first one.
  • Guild Wars Rangers get the 'Throw Dirt' ability which blinds foes.
    • As did the Mercenary class in Dark Ageof Camelot.
    • The Assassins got a similar skill called Blinding Powder.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the rogue class has access to an ability called "Dirty Fighting" that stuns foes instead of blinding (since the game doesn't have a 'blind' Abnormal Status).
  • This is one of the abilities that Ezio learns in Assassin's Creed II. Considering that dirty fighting seems to be genetic, he improves on Altair's already sneaky tactics. Then in Brotherhood, the guards (Seekers specifically) learn to do it to you. It's to encourage the player to be more aggressive. Or to just jump out of the way.
  • Final Fantasy XI has the Ninja class using components for their Ninjitsu. The Kurayami series of 'spells', which inflict blindness on the target are cast with an object that is crafted with, among other things, gunpowder and pepper. The implications should be obvious there. Tangentially, Ninjitsu ingredients are linked to their use for the most part (Shinobi-tabi translates roughly to ninja socks, used in sneaking past opponents for an invisibility spell, paper dolls are used in a spell that creates shadow copies, and so on.) so a nice dose of burning gunpowder and pepper in the face is an obvious cause for blindness.
  • In Final Fantasy X, Rikku's main method of attack is to use special items that damage the enemy. She can also use different types of grenades to inflict a number of status ailments, one of which is called "Dream Powder" that puts enemies to sleep when Rikku uses it.
  • In most Final Fantasy games, there are items and attacks that will inflict the "Blind/Darkness" state, which can be used by both the player-characters and enemies.
  • Some enemies in God Hand will kick up dirt. If you get hit, you take no damage but the entire screen is briefly obscured by sand clouds. Elvis can do similar with his cigar smoke.
  • Cody can do this after being knocked down in the two Street Fighter games he's appeared in to keep opponents from rushing him. In Super Street Fighter IV, he opens his second Ultra Combo by kicking dust into his opponent's eyes.
  • This has been the effect of Sonya's Kiss of Death ever since it's been worfed from a Fatality to a regular move: she blows some pink-ish toxic dust which stuns the opponent, temporarily blinding them. In a show of attention to detail, the technique has no effect on blind swordsman Kenshi.
  • In Gladius, rogues and some other light classes have a skill called 'Incapacitate Heavy', with an attack animation that involves throwing powder toward their opponent's head. The fact that you can use it on foes facing away from you... well.
  • The mudmen in Left 4 Dead 2 splatter mud over the players' vision with each hit they inflict. The rarely-seen zombified Jimmy Gibbs Jr. can do the same with motor oil.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, this is an Unarmed technique that you can learn from the Great Khans known as the Khan Trick after completing a series of missions for them.
  • A common detective item on modded Trouble In Terrorist Town servers is Pocket Sand, which allows them to blind assailants and gives them enough time to identify and kill them.
  • In Max Payne 3, Cutscene Incompetence results in Max being forced to dig his own grave by mafioso. Using the shovel, he flings dirt into the eye of a mobster.
  • Starting from Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance, Sonya Blade's Kiss fatality was retooled into a short-range blast of pink dust that blinded the opponent for a short while.
  • One of the first tier skills you can pick up in Tomb Raider (2013) is this. After dodging (i.e. throwing yourself onto the ground) you can hit the melee attack button to have Lara grab a handful of dirt and throw it as she gets back up.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Sokka's training duel in Avatar: The Last Airbender , he blinds Piandao with a spray of dirt whipped up by his sword. Piandao compliments his resourcefulness, then proceeds to disarm him with his eyes closed.
  • In one episode of Metalocalypse where Dethklok takes up comedy, Pickles throws sand in the eyes of the heckler who had driven him to avoid the stage for months afer finally working up the courage to perform again.
  • Dale Gribble can do this trick any time he wants, thanks to his "Pocket Sand!"
  • Subverted in the first season of The Simpsons, where Bart uses this trick on Nelson Muntz, only to have Nelson shrug it off and continue his beating anyway.
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "Arctic Splashdown". Jonny throws a snowball in an enemy guard's face to stop him from shooting Hadji.
  • On The Secret Saturdays, Zak flings a handful of mud into Munya's face during their fight in the Amazon in "The Kur Stone, Part 2".
  • In Star Wars: Clone Wars, Anakin and Ventress use the Force to splash water into each others' faces.
  • Kron does this to Aladar with a handful of dirt in Disney's Dinosaur.
  • In the ThunderCats episode "The Demolisher", The Demolisher pulls the Look Behind You trick on Lion-O and attacks him when he turns around. The Demolisher mocks him for falling for the "oldest trick in the book", but Lion-O counters that there is an older trick and throws dirt in his eyes.
  • Adventure Time: Finn and Jake do this to the Farm in "Who Would Win", throwing mud into his face to blind him before pulling his pants down to trip him.

    Real Life 
  • Older Than Steam: Real Life: Ninjas used to have metsubushi — eggshells or bamboo tubes filled with pepper, dust, and ground-up glass — for just this purpose.
  • Okinawan oar-fighting has a couple techniques where the oar blade is used to flick sand into an opponent's eyes; if you're fighting with an oar, odds are you're on a beach.
    • It'd work with water too, albeit more briefly.
  • Terrorists are fond of putting acid in people's eyes. This has been done at protests outside abortion clinics, and by certain Animal Wrongs Groups to protest indigenous hunting rights.
  • Spitting cobra venom can cause blindness if it gets in your eye, and spitting cobras tend to aim for the eyes, or at least the general region of the head.
  • An inversion. While skunks don't specifically aim for the eyes, some owls evolved the ability to withstand being hit in the eyes with skunk spray.
  • Kangaroo rats kick sand into the eyes of snakes and then either run off or, if they outnumber a snake (as they tend to all be in the same area during mating cycles) jump at it and tear chunks of it's flesh off. Single kangaroo rats have also been recorded inflicting Eye Scream by leaping up and biting into an eye, causing the snake to bleed out. They very rarely manage to pull this on birds in their natural habitat, though, especially owls, their greatest enemy.
  • Ma Nature herself does this during the winter. Snow in the eyes is very painful.
**pocket sand!**


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GuylinerEye TropesHellish Pupils
Hammerspace HairTrying to Catch Me Fighting DirtyHey, Catch!
Hand StompFight SceneHard Head
Ham-to-Ham CombatJust for PunHandy Cuffs
Frame BreakImageSource/WebcomicsHate at First Sight

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