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Attack the Tail
Attacking the tail For Massive Damage
. Common in cartoons, especially for cats.
Compare Groin Attack
, Literal Ass Kicking
. See also Amusing Injuries
Not to be confused with attacking with tails
Anime and Manga
- In Dragon Ball, the Saiyans' tails are their weak point. If you hold onto their tails, they are in so much pain it immobilizes them (e.g., Goku, Gohan, and Raditz). Subverted later, when it turns out that Vegeta and Nappa don't have this shortcoming (because of their training). When the Z Fighters made a break for their tails, it ended up backfiring because it didn't immobilize the Saiyans like they expected, leaving them open targets. Played straight later, though, when Yajirobe cuts off Vegeta's tail to return him to human form after he'd transformed into his Great Ape form.
- Goku managed to overcome this weakness long before Vegeta was introduced. It's odd how Krillin didn't remember this when he faced them.
- In a more amusing case, when Gohan was left in the wilderness to fend for himself he was occasionally hunted by a tyrannosaur, which he managed to fend off by removing the end of its tail. After he had taken a few levels in badass, he turned the tables (or the tails) by chasing the poor dinosaur and cutting steaks off its tail for his dinner.
- Mazinger Z: In the Mazinger-Z vs Great General of Darkness feature (that served to conclude the first series and introduce the sequel, Great Mazinger), a serpent-like Robeast had one head on each end. The tinier head, located on the tip of the tail, was the REAL head (Mykene Warbeasts were controlled by grafting the head of a Mykene warrior into a Robeast), so when Kouji cut its tail off, the Warbeast lost control and it was destroyed.
- In Ao no Exorcist, it's stated that the tail and the "heart" are a demon's weak spots.
- Gaston Lagaffe was once hurt by someone stepping on the tail of a kangaroo costume he was wearing. There is no official explanation, but a character speculates that he forgot a needle in an unfortunate place when sewing the tail on.
- In an earlier Calvin and Hobbes strip, Calvin freaks Hobbes out by saying there's a giant caterpillar about to bite him before stomping on his tail. Hobbes is not amused.
- There is the tale of salting a bird's tail so that it doesn't fly away. It has been played with in many cartoons, such as the first Woody Woodpecker cartoon.
- Once played with in a Magilla Gorilla cartoon. Magilla tries this on a bird and the bird thinks it won't work, but Magilla drops an entire bag of salt on the bird.
- The first time the protagonists of The Belgariad encounter the dragon (there's only one, long story) they scare it away by damaging its tail, which is effective because it's never encountered anything that could injure it before.
- In one episode of Dinosaurs, Baby notices something small and pink moving nearby, and stabs it with a fork. His moment of triumph is interrupted by the arrival of pain signals from his tail.
- The Moldorm in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening and The Legendof Zelda A Link Between Worlds has a weak point (often shaped like a flower) in its tail.
- In The Legend of Zelda Oracle games, the miniboss Syger (the rolling tiger) has to be hit in the tail.
- In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, in order to defeat Ganon, you must hit his tail.
- In the N64 generation, Dodongos can only be killed if Link attacks their tails or throws a bomb at them. They later return with this vulnerability in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, though you're also given the option of shooting an arrow into their mouth.
- The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask presents two examples excluding the dodongos:
- The wolfos, humanoid wolf-like creatures; they can be attacked in other ways, but an attack in the tail kills them instantly. They even cover their tails with their hands if you aren't quick about it.
- The other example is Twinmold, two giant centipedes; their only weak points are the head and the tail.
- Super Mario Galaxy and its sequel both have Dino Piranha bosses that Mario can defeat only by attacking the bulb at the end of their tail, knocking it up to strike their head.
- A variation occurs with Peewee Piranha in Super Mario Galaxy 2, where you must hit its butt.
- Also, Bowser from Super Mario 64, who is actually defeated by being grabbed by the tail and being thrown across the arena.
- One of the penultimate tactics in the Monster Hunter games against any big monster with a tail is to attack the tail enough that it gets cut off/cracked/broken, among other parts of their body. Doing so rewards you with more rare items and creates more openings in the monster's defenses (like their tail attack's range get shorter, or they flinch more when an attack hits their tail stump.)
- The Serapede in Gears of War is an Elite Mook that is mostly invincible with the exception of its weak point: the tail.
- This is a way to get cool weapons (normally axes and swords) in Dark Souls, as seen with the Belfry Gargoyles, the Gaping Dragon, and Seathe The Scaleless. Cut off the tail and pick up what drops and you'll get a weapon.
- In Star Fox, the tail was one of two ways to damage Monarch Dodora, the other being its two heads. Just shooting it doesn't do damage, though, you needed to make them retract into its body, then shoot the body.
- Final Fighter A+ a flash parody of Final Fantasy has a disgruntled teacher create Bahamut out of a xerox machine as the final exam for a group of school students who refused to fail the class. The White Mage's Study Guido (scan) reveals that its Multiple Choose section (its tail) is its weak point. The Fighter, Pensuke, attacks its tail with his pencil (sword) chopping of the tip, only to reveal the weak point has defenses and he looses Grade Percent (HP). It takes 3 more guesses (attacks) at the multiple choice section (tail), dropping his grade (HP) into the negative, before he gets the right answer and Bahamut blows up violently, taking the school with him.
- In Tom and Jerry, there's hardly an episode where a tail isn't crushed, burned, severed, or hurt in any other way. Tom is the usual victim.
- Looney Tunes: This happens sometimes to Sylvester.
- During the Wizard Duel from The Sword in the Stone, Merlin at one point actually tricks Mad Madam Mim (who is turned into a rattlesnake) into biting her own tail (Merlin, as a mouse, actually attempts to try it himself while Mim is still a tiger).
- In the third act of the Mr. Bogus episode "Bogus In Wilderland", Brattus rides on a water snake who tries to get him. Before the water snake can get Brattus, Bogus swings in and saves him, which results in the water snake biting his own tail instead.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In "Showdown", Splinter defeats Xever/Fishface by duping him into chomping on his own tail.