Wings are cool. If you have a pair, you can fly, blow people away with their flaps,
and generally look cool.
Unfortunately, because of their size relative to the body, it makes a very good target. So if anything has wings, it has a fairly high chance of having its wings, or just one of them, damaged. Having one or both of their wings damaged might cause the flyer to never be capable of flight again.
Usually doesn't refer to clipping feathers so a bird can't fly
, or to Clipped Wing Angel
See also Anti-Air
. This can also result in a Broken Angel
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Anime & Manga
- In Digimon Adventure, Angewomon gets impaled on the wall by her wings, courtesy of Piedmon. Puppetization followed soon after.
- Invoked in Rosario + Vampire: after defeating Kurumu, Inner Moka explicitly threatened to tear off both Kurumu's wings and tail to ensure that she never tried anything against Tsukune again, and it's implied she would have gone through with it had Tsukune not stopped her.
- In the penultimate episode of Card Captor Sakura Sakura attempts to use the Fly card to fight. Her opponent shoots one of the wings with a laser blast, setting it on fire.
- Angel from the X-Men has large wings: during the Mutant Massacre storyline his wings are mutilated and later develop gangrene so they're amputated. For a while he uses artificial wings; later real wings grow back.
- Happens to King Ghidorah twice in the film Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah. Both times his wings are ripped to shreds by Godzilla's atomic breath, the first being when he first fights Godzilla and the second being when he returns as Mecha-King Ghidorah.
- In Speed Zone, this happens to a commuter plane the Van Sloans are using to get to Los Angeles before the other racers. Due to a very ill-conceived hijacking attempt (while the plane was still preparing for takeoff), the plane ends up on the highway and shears its wings off after going under an overpass. The Van Sloans' solution: have the pilot "drive" the plane to L.A. Yeah, it's that kind of movie.
- Bartleby of Dogma actually uses a Batman Gambit to get rid of his wings. Angels can't die as long as they have their wings and Loki's already long gone. When Jay races up with a submachine gun, ready to shoot him, Bartleby ducks down and spreads his wings, figuring Jay's too stupid to aim, shooting his wings off instead of trying to hit him. He wastes his bullets on those wings.
- The Winter Soldier rips one of the wings off Sam's Falcon flight suit in Captain America: The Winter Soldier.
- Chix Verbil from the Artemis Fowl series is hit in the wing with a softnose laser during the events of Arctic Incident. Holly is able to save his life with some quick thinking and faerie magic, but since the blow ruptured several major arteries, she reckons that he'll never fly again.
- In one of the Gor books Tarl is riding on his tarn (a giant bird used in the military as a Horse of a Different Color) when he's attacked by a wild Ul, a fearsome flying creature somewhat akin to a pterodactyl. In the fight Tarl slashes the membrane of the Ul's wing and it retreats, flying down towards land in a spiral so as to favor the uninjured wing.
- Attacking the other guy's tarn in battle is often done by less scrupulous warriors.
- Happens a lot in the Maximum Ride series, because the main characters have wings and keep getting into trouble.
- Rebel and New Republic fighter pilots in the Star Wars Expanded Universe find that the solar panels on TIE fighters make wonderful targets from the side.
- In the Finnish fairytale, Pessi and Illusia, Illusia-fairy decides to leave her rainbow home to visit the ground below. While being there, however, a spider bites off her wings when she's asleep. Since Illusia can't fly anymore this prevents her from returning home. It also leads her to fall in love with the troll, Pessi, of which the story is about.
- Pog, the Talking Animal bat from the Spellsinger novels, carried a sewing kit to stitch up tears in his wings.
- In We Are All Pokémon Trainers, a common strategy for dealing with flying Pokémon is to freeze their wings, causing the mon in question to crash on the ground.
- Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition Dungeon Master's Guide. Flying creatures with wings will be unable to fly if they take too much damage, due to their wings being a prime target for enemy attack.
- During the Final Battle of Dragon Age: Origins, Riordan sacrifices his life to ruin the draconic Archdemon's wing, robbing it of flight capability and thus allowing your party to engage and kill it on the ground.
- Fallout 3 allows you to target bloatflies' wings in VATS mode. This is roughly equivalent to shooting the legs of dirt-bound foes and will severely reduce their movement speed (although even crippling their wings won't stop them flying altogether).
- Fallout: New Vegas: Crippling a Cazador's wings is an excellent way to soften them up for the killshot. Of course, that assumes you can actually hit them in the first place, and not get stung to death by five or six of his buddies.
- God of War II: At the end of the boss battle with Icarus, Kratos rips Icarus' wings off and takes them for himself, leaving Icarus himself to fall to his doom.
- In Star Fox, your ship can sometimes lose its wings when it's damaged, particularly if you fly too close to something big and clip them yourself. It stays flying thanks to the ship's G-Diffuser system, but its laser goes back to being standard if you had collected upgrades.
- Meta Knight in Buper Smash Bros. Brawl's story mode The Subspace Emissary has one of his wings damaged by the Ancient Minister's laser. It doesn't deter him too much, as he simply morphs them back into a cape to avoid damage; they're good as new the next time he uses them.
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, hitting a Mothula enough times will cause it to lose its wings and drop to the ground.
- Several enemy types in Ōkami are invulnerable, or at least much harder to attack, while flying, but you can use brush techniques to cut their wings off and/or knock them out of the air with gusts of wind.
- In Phantasy Star Universe, or at least the first Playstation Portable spinoff, one of the bosses can be knocked to the ground by hitting its wings enough times. You can hit it with melee weapons, and then the wings grow back and you repeat until you beat it.
- The Chrysalis AI weapon in Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker takes more damage if you hit its turbines than if you hit the fusilage.
- Some minions in Jade Cocoon have access to a 'Rend Wings' attack which is especially effective against flying monsters (there's also a 'Break Legs' attack which is more effective against monsters that are land-bound).
- In Mega Man ZX, Hivolt's weakness (where the Model H Biometal is stored) is located in his wings.
- Valkyrie Profile 2 Silmeria has a mechanic where you can "break" individual body parts off of enemies—with flying enemies, either wing is such a part. Reality Ensues when you manage to break a wing, as the monster in question spends the rest of the battle lying on the ground, unable to move, defend, or attack.
- A number of Shoot 'em Up games (like 1942) require you to shoot off the wings or engines off giant airplane bosses in order to destroy them.
- Spacetrawler: Martina doesn't like killing, and suggests shooting the wings off enemy spacefighters as an alternative. Emily, the one manning the guns, thinks it's stupid.
Martina: That said, is there any way out of this without killing them?
Martina: Don't suppose you could just aim for their wings?
Emily: I'M NOT GOING TO FUCKING AIM AT THEIR WINGS!
- Shrek 4D has its stone dragon antagonist getting defeated when Shrek and Donkey trick it into flying through a small hole in a canyon, which reduces its wings to dust.
- In the TaleSpin episode "Flight of the Snow Duck", Baloo, Wildcat and Molly escape from a Thembrian prison by flying a plane made completely out of ice, while being pursued by military fighters. When one of the wings gets shot off, Wildcat scoops some water out of a lake and tosses over the wing's stub, instantly repairing it.
- The plane on the picture of the main page is B-17G-15-BO Wee Willie, 322d BS, 91st BG, 8th Air Force USAAF, after a direct flak hit on its 128th mission 8 April 1945. The plane got a direct flak hit on wing root, which tore the starboard wing off. Amazingly, pilot and several crew members survived.
- Demonstrating the durability of the F-15, which shows that not even losing a wing would necessarily crash it. Kudos to the pilot too for his Improbable Piloting Skills.
- Tragically occured to Gol 1907, which collided in midair with an Embraer Legacy jet, one of the Legacy's winglets slicing off a good portion of the airliner's left wing, causing it to tumble from the sky into the Amazon rainforest with no survivors. The Legacy managed to make it to a Brazilian airbase and landed safely.