[[quoteright:330:[[Film/BajoLaSal http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/BajoLaSal1_118.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:330:Buried in a salt field; a very bitter end.]]

This is a stock type of camera shot that is also popular for [[FilmPosters posters and cover art]]. The story typically has death or murder as a central element, but featuring a corpse front and center, especially a very maimed one, prominently on the box art is usually not considered a good way to sell. So a compromise is used, an artfully limp and bloody hand is shown, perhaps holding (or dropping) an important object. Of course, the hand may be [[AnArmAndALeg separate from the body]], or itself badly damaged.

SisterTrope to LastGraspAtLife, where the focus on the hand is because it's the last part of a falling/drowning person to disappear. Contrast RaisedHandOfSurvival, where a hand is moving and indicates the character is alive.

Subtrope of GoryDiscretionShot. See also EmpathyDollShot.

'''As a DeathTrope, all spoilers will be unmarked ahead. Beware.'''

!! Examples:


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* Happens to a middle school student whom ''Manga/VampirePrincessMiyu'' bit for blood [[AccidentalMurder and accidentally killed]] [[VampireBitesSuck by fully draining her]] in [[WholeEpisodeFlashback the fourth OVA.]] First there's a ScreamDiscretionShot to the school building and a bunch of students as another girl finds her, then a while later the girl's body is shown from a long distance, and last but not least there's a shot of her hand [[LongHairIsFeminine and some strands of her long hair.]]
* In ''Anime/CodeGeass'', after being shot, Shirley pronounces her love for Lelouch in front of him before dying as her hand drops in her own blood.
* Happens in ''Anime/FullmetalAlchemistTheConquerorOfShamballa'', mixed with an EmpathyDollShot. A scream is heard, followed by a gust of wind, then cue a hand underneath a pile of debris right next to a teddy bear.
* Subverted when Bradley is chasing Lan Fan's blood trail in ''Manga/FullmetalAlchemist'', there's a brief moment where her hand pops into screen giving the impression that she is dead. Seconds later, it is revealed that she only cut off her arm and tied it to a dog to lure Bradley away.
* In ''Anime/DragonBallZ'', as Vegeta draws his final breath on Namek, his tear-blurred vision fades from his point of view, and we next see a close-up of his gloved hand falling onto the ground, followed by a shot of his body shivering with his eyes closed before becoming still and lifeless, followed by a gust of wind blowing on his body.
** In the movie ''[[Anime/DragonBallZDeadZone Dead Zone]]'', this is how the death scene of two members of the QuirkyMinibossSquad is handled. Goku uses a Kamehameha to launch Ginger into a building that he earlier knocked Nicky into using his Power Pole. Ginger hits Nicky, Kamehameha and all, and the building explodes. Ginger's twitching hand sticks up from the rubble afterwards before going limp.
* Flashbacks to the background story of the Uchiha Clan massacre in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' would show a bloodied hand ripping out of the paper doors, while the shadowed figure of the perpetrator Itachi Uchiha looms above the body.
* Happens to Nono Motoe in ''Anime/BloodC''. Or better said, we see her legs after she and her twin sister Nene are ''horribly'' eaten alive in front of their friend Saya Kisaragi. And then it's subverted: it was all an act. They ''do'' get killed off again... [[CruelAndUnusualDeath and it's much worse]].
* ''Anime/WolfsRain'': A flashback of Toboe's life as a pet had him accidentally kill his own elderly owner because of his unrestrained playfulness. The last shot is off the woman's gasping pleas to Toboe to get off her and her outreached hand falling to the floor as she dies.
* ''Franchise/{{Gundam}}''
** In ''Anime/TurnAGundam'', all that can be seen of Will Game are his hands, limply dangling from the cockpit hatch. When Sochie (in a then-rare moment of humanity towards someone of the Moonrace) says they need to help him, Loran sadly says that "those are nothing but hands anymore."
** In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamSEEDDestiny'', Shinn often has traumatic flashbacks to his sister Mayu's detached hand gripping her pink mobile phone ''after she and Shinn's parents have been accidentally blown up during a battle''. He keeps the phone as a gory TragicKeepsake.
* In ''Anime/StreetFighterAlphaTheAnimation'', when Shun dies [[DiedInYourArmsTonight in his "brother" Ryu's arms]], right after the kid's FamousLastWords we see his hand going limp.
** Similarly, in ''VideoGame/TheKingOFFighters: KYO'' manga, Maki Kagura's bloodied hand is the only thing we see of her after the teen Goenitz kills her in front of her twin sister Chizuru.
* In ''Anime/{{Another}}'', the last we see of the nurse Mizuno Sanae after she's been [[ElevatorFailure crushed inside a malfunctioning elevator]] is her limp, bloody hand poking out of the wreckage.
* In the first episode of ''Anime/{{Madlax}}'', the titular ActionGirl is speaking to an injured boy named Pete whom she has just rescued in the jungle. They're talking about having a date once they're done, but in the middle of their conversation Pete passes away from his injuries; the first signal we get is how he stops talking after he tells Madlax his name, and the second is how his hand goes limp.

* The cover to ''ComicBook/CaptainAmerica'' #25 features Cap's gloved hand laying dead on the cover, amidst newspaper scraps. This was the issue that he supposedly died.
* ''ComicBook/BeforeWatchmen'': In Minutemen, The Silhouette's death is depicted with a bloody slashed hand, instead of her mutilated corpse. The Liquidator, her killer, is also seen this way, his hand sticking out of a bathtub instead of the audience seeing his corpse.
* ''ComicBook/TheTransformersLastStandOfTheWreckers'': Had an AnyoneCanDie story and the final issue had a variant cover with a hand lying limp on the ground.
* In issue 234 of Archie's Sonic the Hedgehog, Antoine D'Coolette is heavily injured when Mecha Sonic self-destructs. Sonic says he can get him to a hospital in time, but as he scoops up Antoine and starts running, Antoine's hand falls limply. WordOfGod is that Antoine was originally intended to have died in that issue, but was saved partly due to fan reaction.
* In issue #44 of IDW's ''[[ComicBook/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIDW Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles]]'' comics, Bebop and Rocksteady deliver a brutal NoHoldsBarredBeatdown on Donatello, apparently killing him; we see them walk out with Donnie's [[https://40.media.tumblr.com/89a2fdcda689e2c62cb0d6473f339097/tumblr_inline_nll37xuW0H1qbhwme_540.jpg limp bloody hand]] in the foreground.

* The Royal Artillery Memorial (1919) in London. Revolutionary in that one of the statues of four soldiers around it actually lies ''dead''- but he's actually covered by his gas cape; his outline and his boots are visible- the only part of his actual body shown is his hand. (It's still an incredibly moving piece of sculpture.)

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* ''Disney/SnowWhiteAndTheSevenDwarfs'', complete with dropped apple. Of course, it's only "sleeping death".
* In ''Disney/AtlantisTheLostEmpire'', the last shot of the dying king of Atlantis as he pleads to Milo to save Atlantis is his hand becoming limp as death claims him.
* Towards the end of ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', a dying Kerchek's hand falls to the ground after he tells Tarzan to [[TakeCareOfTheKids take care of the other gorillas.]] It was even animated in a slow-mo like fashion.
* ''Literature/ThePlagueDogs'': The scene where the dog shoots the hunter in the head.
* ''Disney/{{Hercules}}'', as soon as the Three Fates cut Meg's string of life, we see a close-up of her hand going limp.
** Earlier in the film we have an unusual version, where the [[HydraProblem hydra's]] clenched fist going limp is treated dramatically after the monster is crushed by an avalanche caused by Hercules. However it's not in empathy for the monster, it's for Hercules, who was seemingly crushed too, [[spoiler: but who actually happens to be ''held'' in the fist.]]
* As the rats clear away the wreckage of their hoist device in Creator/DonBluth's ''WesternAnimation/TheSecretOfNIMH'', they find the limp arm of their leader, Nicodemus, which is the only part of him visible amid the large pieces of debris.
* ''Disney/TheLionKingIISimbasPride'': After Zira falls to her death in a raging flood, the last we see of her is [[LastGraspAtLife one of her paws being submerged.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/ThePrinceOfEgypt'', after Moses accidentally causes an Egyptian slave-driver to fall to his death, there's a brief glimpse of the dead man's arm amid the wreckage of the structure he landed on.
** There's also the scene where Ramses' son dies as a result of the final plague (The death of Egypt's Firstborn). He is seen carrying a large vase into a building and off screen with the picture focusing on the entrance of the building. A light enters and exits quickly. The sound of breaking glass is heard and his arm falls through the doorway indicating his sudden death.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* In ''Film/HarryPotterAndTheChamberOfSecrets'', the flashback of Tom Riddle shows a hand hanging from a corpse on a barrow, carried by four unnamed medic wizards down a stairway. We later learn that the dead girl is the very girl whose ghost haunts the ladies' room in the second floor, and that she was killed by the basilisk on the orders of none other than Tom Riddle himself.
* The image comes from the Mexican film ''Bajo la Sal'' ([[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3640956672/tt1110207 Under the Salt]]). The movie itself also uses this shot several times to depict the murdered women found this way.
* ''Film/{{Brick}}'' uses this [[http://www.imdb.com/media/rm4137652736/tt0393109 on the poster]] and in the film for the protagonist's dead ex-girlfriend in the beginning.
* ''Film/CitizenKane'' starts off with a shot of Kane's hand holding a snow globe, then dropping it when he dies.
* George A. Romero's ''Film/DawnOfTheDead1978'' movie has a zombie hand too, and those are the living dead. The hand doesn't have the courtesy to lie there prettily though. It grasps.
* After Kate is slashed to death in ''Film/DressedToKill'', the last we see of her is her bloodied hand, shuddering in its death throes, protruding through the partially open elevator door.
* [[http://beauchampcollegemedia2011.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/249/ The poster]] for the first ''Film/SawI'' movie had this.
* The horror movie ''Film/{{House}}'', starring William Katt.
* [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nMlDPsRwZE4 The ending]] of the 1930 film version of ''Literature/AllQuietOnTheWesternFront''.
** Also a scene in the middle showing a [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ciq9ts02ci4 French soldier's hand gripping some barbed wire after the rest of him has been blown to pieces.]]
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanTheCurseOfTheBlackPearl'', Captain Barbossa drops an apple as he dies.
* William Wallace after his execution at the end of ''Film/{{Braveheart}}''.
* After Neil kills himself in ''Film/DeadPoetsSociety''... though the drama is ruined somewhat by the subsequent slo-mo shot.
* Seen with Wilson's [[AteHisGun suicide by gunshot]] in ''Film/TheGreatGatsby''.
* Orange Juice's death in the film version of ''Literature/LifeOfPi''.
* Cora's death in ''[[Film/ThePostmanAlwaysRingsTwice1946 The Postman Always Rings Twice]]''.
* ''Film/WelcomeToThePunch'' (2013). During a struggle in the morgue, the detective protagonist bumps into a laden gurney and a hand drops out from under the sheet. This is how he discovers his partner has just been murdered, due to her [[CouldntFindAPen habit of writing notes on the back of her hand]].
* ''Film/MadMax'':
** ''Film/MadMax1''. Max forces his way into the hospital room where the Goose lies under an oxygen tent after being burnt alive in his car by Toecutter's gang. Cue the Goose's charred arm falling out from under the tent. Max then pulls back the cover, and [[GoryDiscretionShot only his horrified expression hints at what's under it]].
** Subverted at the end of ''Film/MadMaxBeyondThunderdome''. After Max causes a crash, the hand of [[TheDragon Ironbar]] falls out of his vehicle, strokes the woman's dollface on his standard, then turns upwards for a final defiant FlippingTheBird.
* In ''Film/BatmanForever'', when Two-Face falls to his death in Riddler's DrowningPit, the last we see of him is his hand sinking into the water as his TwoHeadedCoin falls into its palm [[KarmicDeath (Tails up)]] before it goes under.
* ''Film/JurassicPark''
** When Jophrey the worker is ([[UncertainDoom apparently]]) killed at the beginning, his death is signified by a closeup of his slowly relaxing hand slipping free from Muldoon's grasp in dramatic SlowMotion.
** A much more, uh, literal variation is done with Arnold. After being attacked by a raptor, Ellie bumps up against a cabinet, and Arnold's hand comes down and appears to grab her shoulder. She sighs in relief, only to turn and discover it's ''just'' [[AnArmAndALeg his arm]].
* ''Film/TheLostWorldJurassicPark'':
** Another very literal interpretation is done with the helmsman of the ''Venture'': all that's found is his severed hand gripping the wheel.
** On the ''Venture'''s deck, a crew member's dead body is signified by his arm sticking out from behind a control panel (which is obscuring the rest of him), holding the remote control for the ship's hold doors in his hand.

* The storyboards for ''Ciem: Vigilante Centipede'' [[http://bulldozerivan.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d5754my include a scene of Candi's hand sliding down the glass as she's being knocked out with gas]].

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** When the Doctor [[DeaderThanDead dies permanently]] in the episode "Turn Left", his body is covered with a sheet, but his limp hand falls into view and drops the sonic screwdriver.
** A gruesome one in "The Caretaker". When the VictimOfTheWeek gets blasted by the Skovox Blitzer, a hand is severed from the arm with charred smoking flesh and bones jutting out.
* Used in an OnTheNext trailer for a TonightSomeoneDies episode of ''Series/DowntonAbbey'', which featured the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. [[NeverTrustATrailer Subverted, though]]; the clip of a hand falling limp onto a bed [[ManipulativeEditing was actually an entirely innocent gesture by a character who fully recovers]] (though somebody else does die).
* Also subverted in ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', when Mal told [[TheMedic Simon]] that Kaylee had died from the gunshot wound that Simon had previously repaired. After Simon frantically runs down to the infirmary... Kaylee is there, smiling and perfectly happy. Cut to Mal laughing his ass off.
* In ''Series/GameOfThrones'', the final indicator that Joffrey has been KilledOffForReal is a closeup of his bloodstained fingers twitching and then going still.
* ''Series/{{Rome}}''. After Caesar is murdered, his loyal slave Posca is shown hauling a cart through the streets, and Caesar's bloody hand drops from it.
* ''Series/TokusouSentaiDekaranger'' TheMovie: When [[BigBad Volka]] is defeated the first time, his hand falls to the floor and [[EyeLightsOut the lights in his eyes go out]].

* Happens in ''Webcomic/TowerOfGod'' after Nia's death, as to confirm Lurker's statement that he is dead. We see his blood covered legs.
* This happens twice in ''Webcomic/KissWood'' after the Professor is shot by a Watcher and only a hand is shown of Ahbon's corpse as its crushed under rubble. Subverted with the latter, as he survives with only his hand injured.
* In ''Manhua/RavagesOfTime'', this is how Xiao Meng meets his unhappy end, across several pages [[http://mangafox.me/manga/the_ravages_of_time/v32/c257/25.html several pages]] that culminate [[http://mangafox.me/manga/the_ravages_of_time/v32/c257/30.html thus]].
* Hai An's death in ''Manhua/InfinityGame'' as the rest of his body is obscured by the explosion smoke.

* Used at the beginning and end (for separate characters) in the music video for Beast's "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HTbC1UsBtek Breath]]".
* In the video for Golden Earring's "Twilight Zone", the protagonist hangs up the phone, then leaves his hotel room, pausing to shove the dangling arm of a corpse into the cabinet he'd presumably hidden a murder victim in.

* Most productions of ''{{La Boheme}}'' signal the moment of Mimí's death to the audience by having her hand fall to the side of the bed, [[DistractedFromDeath unnoticed by the other characters.]]
* One version of the logo for ''{{Heathers The Musical}}'' has Heather Chandler's hand in this position.

* In the final video on the Campaign of ''VideoGame/AgeOfEmpiresIII: The Warchiefs'', Custer's hand is shown falling to the ground, showing that Custer is dead.
* [[http://www.giantbomb.com/dead-space/61-20800/all-images/52-179977/dead_space_cover/51-851818/ The box art]] for ''VideoGame/DeadSpace''.
* ''VideoGame/Left4Dead's'' [[http://media.giantbomb.com/uploads/0/904/766043-left4dead_windows_cover_large.jpg cover art]] is of a dead hand-- it's in the opening movie as such.
* ''VideoGame/{{Fallout}}''
** One of the very few images of Courier 6 from ''VideoGame/FalloutNewVegas'' is of a very sad-looking hand, [[http://images.wikia.com/fallout/images/6/61/Courier_buried.jpg poking up out of a shallow grave.]] It even carries over to his/her Caravan card in the special edition: a gloved hand bursting out of the ground.
** ''VideoGame/{{Fallout|1}}'' had such a shot in the Shady Sands ending if you took too long and the town got destroyed by the mutants.
* During a flashback in ''VideoGame/ProfessorLaytonAndTheUnwoundFuture'', Claire's hand is the only part of her body that's exposed amidst the rubble following the catastrophic explosion that killed her and several other people.
* This is how the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2f96hKqkY_Y intro]] for ''VideoGame/WarcraftIII'' ends.
* Used in ''[[VideoGame/SonicTheHedgehog2006 Sonic 06]]'' when Sonic is killed during the Last Episode.
* One of the endings for ''VideoGame/BioShock1'' shows this for the protagonist, on his deathbed.
* The GameOver screen for ''VideoGame/KingOfTheMonsters'' shows the arm of a corpse hanging over a wrecked car [[SceneryGorn with the smoldering ruins of a Japanese city in the background]].
* During the early-game WhamEpisode of ''VideoGame/{{Xenoblade}}'', the only thing we see of Fiora's likely horrifically-mangled corpse is her arm, before the MiniMecha she was riding in is tossed away.
* In the ''VisualNovel/SchoolDays'' HQ-exclusive bad ending ([[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YGNuDAvtiMI seen here]]), Kotonoha is pushed by Sekai onto train tracks and is fatally hit by the arriving bullet train. Right after the train hits, the scene cuts to Makoto holding the poor girl's [[AnArmAndALeg torn-off hand]]
* The introduction to ''Animism: Book of the Emissaries'' has one after a running man is attacked by a wolf.
* Played with in ''Haunted Legends 6: The Dark Wishes'' as Duke Roberto is only ''believed'' to be dead due to dark magic, despite receiving one of these during the introduction.
* Used in conjunction with RaisedHandOfSurvival during the special animated promotion for ''VideoGame/{{Elsword}}'''s Lu and Ciel: when Karis kills Ciel this trope plays out, soon followed by the latter.
* At the start of ''VideoGame/FinalFantasyXIII'', we know that Nora is dead when they zoom in on her hand in Snow's grasp and the fingers go limp. The whole of her is shown when he loses his grip, but it's a signal that she's already gone when she falls.
* In ''VideoGame/FireEmblemFates'', as a fatally wounded Elise perishes in Xander's arms, her hand goes limp.
* The ''Honor and Glory'' promotional cinematic for ''VideoGame/{{Overwatch}}'' includes a shot of a [[MechaMooks Bastion unit]] dying with a trembling outstretched hand like this near the end of Reinhardt's rampage through the enemy ranks.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2003'' cartoon ''loved'' this trope. Standouts include Splinter (who in reality wasn't seriously hurt, although that didn't stop producers from using the shot to suggest it in the episode's promo), Tang Shen (who did).
* Near the end of the ''WesternAnimation/JonnyQuestTheRealAdventures'' episode "Undersea Urgency", Jonny and other survivors of a doomed UnderwaterBase (overrun by Film/{{CHUD}}-like creatures awakened by a a seaquake), one of surviving scientists tries to go back for one of the dead creatures (ForScience!). Turns out the creature (and it's inhuman maw full of razor-sharp teeth) is NotQuiteDead. Cue DeadHandShot.
* ''WesternAnimation/SWATKats'' used this. In "The Metallikats," gangster Katscratch is blasted by Mac Mange's laser gun, and goes crashing into a pile of crates, which collapse down onto him. We see his burned hand sticking out from under them. Then in "Razor's Edge," some of Dark Kat's ninja {{Mooks}} throw a guard into another pile of crates, burying him, and we see his twitching hand fumble for, and press, a silent alarm before he apparently dies or passes out.
* In the ''[[WesternAnimation/SupermanTheatricalCartoons Superman]]'' theatrical short "Destruction, Inc.," we see the hand of a murdered night watchman sinking into a swamp at the beginning.
* One battle scene in ''Anime/TransformersEnergon'' has an unfortunate Autobot do this after being blasted by Tidal Wave.
* ''WesternAnimation/CodeLyoko'': In "The Key," after the Schyphozoa has drained Aelita's memory, the girl drops in a CrucifiedHeroShot to the floor. The camera focuses on her hand, which reaches for some semblance of life, but then drops back.
* The Creator/DiCEntertainment ''WesternAnimation/GIJoeARealAmericanHero'' two-part episode "The Greatest Evil" had the episode's villain, a drug dealer known as the Headman, die from an overdose. The very end of the episode shows his lifeless hand protruding from the rubble of his lair to confirm that the overdose killed him.