Puppet General Hammond: Sergeant, make it spin! Puppet Sergeant Harriman: Spin? Sir... it doesn't spin. Puppet General Hammond: What? It has to spin. It's round! Spinning is so much cooler than not spinning. I am the General, and I want it to spin! Now!
(While you're on this page, turn on You Spin Me Round for the appropriate atmosphere.)
This trope shows off the awesome power of spinning things at high speeds, or flying around in a circle. In skilled hands, this ability can be used to create tornadoes or even bend the space-time continuum.
Spinning makes pretty much everything cooler.
A Super Trope to:
Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann is the ultimate example of this trope — if Heroic Resolve is forced into physical form, it becomes a drill. In fact, this is formulated as "Spiral Power," and is stated to be the reason for everything from why a gyroscope becomes more stable while spinning, to the process of evolution (DNA is helix-shaped).
GeneralGuamethe Immovable takes this to the logical extent; he powers both his personal mech, the Gember, and his flagship, the Impregnable Fortress Dai-Gundo, by rolling into a ball and spinning in place (He's an armadillo evolved into humanoid form through sheer willpower). His last words: "Round and round, are you watching this transpire your majesty? Your humble servant Guame is still spinning!"
Tower of God: Mule Love is a Wonsoolsa, meaning that he can use certain Shinsoo techniques that require the Shinsoo to spin.
Who got beaten to the "punch" by Mazinger Z himself with the Daisharin Rocket Punch, which doesn't itself spin, but has its power disproportionately magnified by winding it up. EI-15 in GaoGaiGar used the same trick to duplicate "Zonder Broken Magnum."
Speaking of Gao Gai Gar, Big Volfogg's Hissatsu! Dai-Kaiten Madan technique. He turns on his Mirror Coating and spins like a top, firing little shards of mirror energy (or something) at the target. If you're lucky. If you're unlucky, he'll also hit you while spinning.
Which lead to the unintentionally hilarious battle of spinning tops against Polturn in FINAL.
And then there's UFO Robot Grandizer, who could launch fist drills, drill missiles, and flying buzz saws.
Naruto's signature Rasengan attack, Neji's Kaiten, Lee's Leaf Whirlwind, Kiba's Wolf-Fang Over Fang and Kakashi's Kamui. Uzumaki means whirlpool, Naruto means Maelstrom, the Uzumaki clan symbol is a spiral. The symbol of Hidden Leaf has a spiral included. Tobi's mask has a spiral pattern.
And then there's Uchiha Madara's fighting style.
Howsabout all of the anime series that contain a Transformation Trinket with a spinning element? For example, the wands used in the second season ('sharp') of Ojamajo Doremi feature a spinning musical note in the middle.
The Silver Alchemist from Fullmetal Alchemist. In Brotherhood, he isn't even touching the ground when he does his spinning attack.
Whenever Vita from Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha uses Graf Eisen's Rocket Form, she'll always spin around a few times before smashing her target. Destruction Form is a drill.
Ranma ˝ has Ranma's "Hiryű Shoten Ha" (where Ranma needs to lure his enemies into a spiral in order to blast them with a tornado) and Ryű Kumon's "Demon Gods' Mad Violent Dance" (where he spins around at high speed while at the same time unleashing a rapid-fire barrage of vacuum blades in all directions). Let's not forget several attacks from the Golden Pair, and a few of Ranma's practice katas.
Panda Z doesn't do a lot of spinning, but its Anime Theme Song, Voyager (by JAM Project) supports the general policy: "Rock and Roll! Can you feel it now? Just spin around!"
Science Ninja Team Gatchaman features the Ninja Art: Tornado Fighter technique, wherein all five members of the team stand on each others shoulders and spin around, creating a whirlwind powerful enough to knock everything in the room down.
On Battle Of The Planets this move was known as the "whirlwind pyramid". It could work with as few as two of the team.
Rurouni Kenshin. Kenshin's ultimate attack, the Amakakeru Ryuu no Hirameki: if blocked, the vacuum from the backwash of the first strike sucks the enemy in, leaving him open for the second. Also seen in any variant of the Ryuu Kan Sen, where the centrifugal force increases strike effectiveness and allows some degree of evasion.
Jukai from Outlaw Star attacked by spinning rapidly causing a tornado.
Perhaps in her case it has more to do with her affiliation with time, particularly an analogue clock, considering one of her transformation sequences (when she's spinning, and viewed from above) is sometimes superimposed on a clock's face with her spin in sync with the clock's rotating hands.
In Steel Ball Run, the seventh part of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, both of the main character's attacks are based around a technique called The Spin in conjunction with an Improbable Weapon. Gyro uses steel balls, and Johnny fires his fingernails.
Spinning-based attacks occasionally turn up in the Digimon franchise, most prominently in Digimon Frontier, where all of the Dark Legendary Warriors except Duskmon have some sort of spinning attack, and several of the good legendary warriors have spinning attacks too. Calmaramon subverts this trope when her spinning attack is entirely unusable, because it causes her to lose control of her beast spirit.
Fate/stay night has Gilgamesh with his sword Ea, which is described as closer to a rock drill than a sword. It's made of three sections that rotate in opposite directions, and it works by drawing in and compressing air so hard that time/space collapses, revealing a glimpse of the true form◊ of the world before Heaven and Earth were separated, before hurling the enemy into the rift. Unfortunately, while the visual novel's artwork of this attack is fairly awesome, the animated version is just a cheap-looking blob of semi-transparent red.
Maki, the Airmaster, successfully turns her gymnastics into a unique fighting style that gains its power from, among other things, a mid-air spinning tuck. She also specializes in fast-rotating capoeira-style kicks.
The Beetle from Getter Robo Go is much, much smaller than the other Humongous Mecha in the series (roughly twice the size of its pilot, and he's a Japanese teenager), and only used for scouting. Gou unlocks its full potential by spinning it really fast, to the point that once it jumps into the air, it effectively becomes a humongous drill capable of tearing full-sized mecha in half.
Ranewater Calder from Zombie Powder spins during his Jet Ripper attack.
Soul Eater's Maka, who wields a Sinister Scythe, tends to incorporate spinning into her fighting technique. The 3rd Ending Theme has Black☆Star and Kidd doing flourishes with their weapons, too.
TSUBAKI. FIRST OPENING SONG.
Pretty much every Weapon who can be spun, gets spun around at some point, often simply for the look of the thing.
In the Tournament Arc of Flame of Recca, the fighter who fights Tokyia on the first round is considered dangerous because his attacks have a spin.
In Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple, this is the basis for Siegfried's entire fighting style. At first he spins to deflect attacks and then counter, using his opponents own momentum for power. Later on, he trains in Tibet, and after being inspired by a spinning pillar, improves his spinning powers to the point where he can deliver untold amounts of pain on anything near him. He becomes a spinning tornado of destruction (and song!).
Suzaku was given the Fan Nickname of "Spinzaku" for the sheer amount of spinnery he pulls off throughout the series. The most egregious example is his flying twenty feet across the room to deliver a spinning kick, then falling short and delivering a punch instead.
Sayoko is definitely not above this either. For that matter, neither is Lloyd. Or Euphemia. In fact, just search 'Code Geass spin' on YouTube and see all the variations.
Don't forget about Gino! He's done it once too!
"TAKE THIS! THE SPIN OF MY LOYALTY!"
The king of this trope is Beyblade, that whole show is about spinning things!
Although not necessarily a spin attack per se, Hajime No Ippo's Date Eiji has the Corkscrew Blow, which is essentially a right cross delivered with a full inward rotation of the wrist. This was shown to be capable of stopping an opponent's heart for a brief moment, putting them in an awfully precarious position given their current location and profession.
In Iron Fist Chinmi, one of Chinmi's teachers is a practitioner of Whirlwind Fist kung fu, which revolves around the martial artist spinning rapidly in place at high speed, giving them incredible skills at deflecting blows and striking in retaliation. Chinmi eventually likens the style to a spinning top, then realizes that the weak spot is to attack the practitioner from directly above — while they can deflect any blow that comes from their side, they can't defend against an aerial strike.
School Rumble: The opening is basically/apparently ABOUT spinning. And it even shows Harima and Karasuma spinning (the girls too, but they are arranged in a roundabout fashion).
Luffy of makes a lot of his normal attacks stronger simply by twisting his limbs. Gum-Gum Rifle is pretty much just Pistol, but with the fist releasing the twist. Gum-Gum Pinwheel might be the most simple, with Luffy simply twisting his body around, grabbing the foe, and unleashing. Luffy's peak use of this is when he uses it to defeat Crocodile with his Gum-Gum Storm, continually spinning while using a Gum-Gum Gatling to perpetually pummel him until be breaks through the ceiling of the underground chamber they were fighting in and up into the streets of Alabasta
Sanji has his basic Party Table attack, with him getting on both hands and legs stretched out while spinning.
Speaking of Sanji, don't forget Diable Jambe, where he spins around so fast his leg bursts into flames.
Also, Zoro has Tatsumaki.
The king of this though is Mr. 2 Bon Clay, who spins with pretty much all the time, regardless of whether he's fighting or not.
This show introduced the "Spin-top" Bakugan that have a top that spins when the Bakugan opens. They've gone on to become their own archetype, albeit they were seldom used before the New Vestroia season (where two of the main heroes use Spin-Top Bakugan).
Ah! My Goddess: When Aoshima tricked Belldandy into coming into a Love Hotel with him and then tried to rape her, the visual implies strongly that she set the bed spinning at high speed before sending it smashing through a wall to fall into the sea. Fortunately for Aoshima, it floated.
The ending credits of End of Evangelion (which are actually in the middle of the movie) wind up the screen while spinning.
Nurse Angel Ririka SOS is a Magical Girl series from the 90s, so some spinning is inevitable. Yet it goes out of its way to incorporate it. The heroine transforms into a ballerina-nurse who wields a baton. Fight scenes are pretty much non-stop spinning.
Ginga Nagareboshi Gin has the Zetsu Tenrou Battouga attack, where the user spins really, really fast while flying through the air. May not sound that impressive, but the main character slices a giant bear's head off with it. A couple of the manga-only Battougas also involve spinning somehow.
Comics — Books
Superman is a master of solving problems with unrealistic uses of spinning.
As an example, in one animated adventure he put out a forest fire by spinning over a lake and creating a waterspout.
There was one joke about Superman not arriving in time to save someone from a fire, so he covers them in barbecue sauce and flies around them fast in an attempt to "reverse the fire process."
Speedsters such as The Flash sometimes use the tactic of spinning or running in a circle to produce a whirlwind. Flash has also been depicted shooting tornados from his arms by spinning them.
There's also a Flash villain named The Top who gets his super speed by spinning. Also he can brainwash people, by spinning.
Really, any DC Comics character who can move faster than average seems to enjoy doing this. "Practical" applications vary from summoning strong winds to friction heating to I Am a Drill.
This is lampshaded by Flash villain Captain Boomerang in Suicide Squad. After kicking a third-rate terrorist speedster off the side of a castle, Boomerang yells after him that the Flash sometimes saves himself from falling by spinning his arms really fast. Once the terrorist splats:
Boomerang: Huh, guess you weren't quite in the Flash's league. You sure as hell weren't in mine.
Marvel villain Whirlwind has this as his theme. He's a mutant who can spin really fast to deflect attacks and move quickly, and not only can he spin his arms really fast to generate whirlwinds, but he also has wrist mounted sawblades.
Riptide, an enemy of the X-Men, also has the mutant power of spinning real fast and flinging pieces of fast-growing bone shurikens.
There is also Torpedo of the New Warriors who had spinning fans on her wrists and ankles in order to create super strong currents.
Likewise, Ray Park does that spin in every role of his
Not completely illogical, because the point is to build momentum for an attack. Plenty of Jedi also use this technique. But as described in the Real Life section below, spinning around in the middle of a fight is generally a terrible idea as it leaves your back completely open for the time it takes to complete a circuit.
Jedi can do it because they have the Force to watch their backs. (Just look at Obi-Wan's one-second wonder from A New Hope!) In his younger days Obi-Wan was a master of Soresu, the most defensive form of lightsaber combat focusing heavily on spinning the lightsaber to create a nearly impenetrable defense against blaster fire and lightsaber strikes.
Luke does a gratuitous front-flip at the beginning of the sail barge fight in Return of the Jedi.
Shaolin Soccer. The more spinning you see before a strike, the more powerful it is. No exceptions.
Star Trek (the 2009 reboot): Spock's Jellyfish is so far the only Star Trek vehicle to feature a permanently spinning part of its external body: whenever the ship's flying, its tail components spin in opposite directions.
It is not without precedence: at the end of Star Trek: First Contact, the Vulcan vessel's landing gear spins slowly as it deploys. (This was purportedly inspired by the Vulcan shuttle from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, which did some weird somersault thing to dock with the Enterprise.)
Speed Racer... words cannot describe how awesome the spinning was... on the last lap of the Grand Prix...
Legion: Gabriel wields a mace that is quite obviously not deadly enough as the head starts spinning once Michael pinned against a wall but looks like he may escape. Did I mention it was a huge mace with mechanical spikes to begin with?
In Daleks Invasion Earth 2150 AD, the saucer-shaped Dalek spacecraft has two rows of windows that spin in opposite directions, which was a fairly cool effect for 1966.
West Side Story uses a scene of Maria spinning around and changing colors as a transition from her preparing for the school dance to her attending the school dance.
Wuxia mrtial arts films are often filled with spinning acrobatics. As mentioned above, in a real fight, this is not a good idea.
Superman. Superman uses this twice: first when he spins like a top while drilling into Lex Luthor's underground lair, and second when he flies around the Earth to make it spin backwards and turn back time.
When shown from the outside while in the process of traveling through space-time (after dematerializing and before rematerializing), the TARDIS is sometimes shown spinning.
In the special "Planet of the Dead", the Doctor tracks Rhodium particles with a strange device, expressing his disappointment that the little dish isn't going round. He subsequently gets very excited when it starts to spin.
Averted with Daleks, who have a tendency to spin around in circles before they blow up. Then again, that's probably better for everyone else.
The Eleventh Doctor seems to love spinning 270 degrees right in order to go left. He's just a bit uncoordinated like that.
The bad guys in Walker, Texas Ranger were usually finished with a roundhouse kick. It also became his most powerful move on Chuck Norris Facts.
In just about every season, Power Rangers would have a spinning attack whether it would be on a Zord, or a Ranger.
Special mention goes to Power Rangers Samurai (and of course Samurai Sentai Shinkenger) whose general motif revolves around spinning discs used as powerups for the Rangers' various weapons and zords. In fact, the secondary zords all have a giant spinning discs as part of their designs. As a bonus, each disc also features a pattern which forms the template of a zoetrope that animates when used in the spin swords.
The first Super Sentai, Himitsu Sentai Goranger, changed into their costumes by simply spinning round once on the spot.
Robot Wars had plenty of spinning metal. House robot Dead Metal's saw blade cut through most armor like butter, and Hypnodisc's spinning disc weapon did its fair share of massive damage. Some robots used spinning in one place as their main attack or defense mechanism.
A similar show, Battle Bots, also had its fair share of fighters with spinning weapons. Those with the spinning saw blade variety and variations thereof fared rather well, but the best was to Son of Whyachi's spinning weights, especially after it took down one such saw blade-type in a single well-placed attack. Not only that, but said vertical-spinner (Nightmare) was originally going to do a quick spin right before impact, but the Hell Razors popped up the wheels.
Mechavore, especially after it ripped off BioHazard's lifting arm. Battle Bots has a higher default weight-class than Robot Wars, meaning that its spinners tend to be more powerful and face heavier armor.
In the DVD commentary, Joss Whedon admitted that he had no clue how the engine on board Serenity in Firefly worked, except that when it wasn't spinning, things were bad.
The miniseries The Lost Room featured a number of Objects which gave their wielders various powers — some very useful, some not so much. One of the protagonists scoffs as they are going to confront an enemy with the Scissors which, they have been told, allow the wielder to "rotate objects." "What is she gonna do, spin us to death?" As they enter a room, a large, heavy object flies quickly at them in a wide arc, knocking them to the ground, and provoking the revelation: "Oh. Rotate."
In Wonder Woman, the eponymous heroine spins to change from Diana Prince to her super self. The comics have since used this as well.
Superman spins from Clark Kent to Superman in later seasons of Lois and Clark.
The Wonder Woman and Superman spinning transformations are lampshaded in a Halloween episode of Bones; Brennan and Booth finish up a case while dressed for a Halloween party. Brennan is dressed as Wonder Woman, and at the end of the episode does a little spin, which Booth finds hilarious.
Despite the page quote (which was a tongue-in-cheek puppet parody of the show, itself), there was never any explanation given for why the eponymous Stargate needed to spin in order to "dial".
In Stargate SG-1, this was addressed by having the majority of gates not spin - any gate with a DHD dials automatically, while the SGC (who presumably never figured out the communication protocol for fast dialing) manually dials every time, hence the spinning. (Compare an old school rotary dial telephone to a modern day touch tone to understand the difference.)
The spinning is done away with almost completely in the Stargate Atlantis spin off, as the Pegasus Stargates all work digitally, with no spinning parts. The lights do activate in a circular pattern as the gate is dialed, though.
To continue the "rotary phone" analogy, the first-generation Stargate found in Stargate Universe functions by rotating the entire gate, rather than by simply wheeling around an inner track. While horribly inefficient, it looks awesome, thus confirming that this trope is in play.
In addition, SG-1 season seven's "Heroes (Part 1)":
Emmett Bregman: Could we get a shot of the gate spinning? Samantha Carter: ... sure. It's really cool. Steam comes out of it and everything.
Inverted in Babylon 5. All the cooler and more advanced spaceships (Minbary, Shadows, Vorlon, White Stars) have artificial gravity and don't need to spin, unlike Terran ships and the eponymous station.
Kamen Rider Imperer from Kamen Rider Ryuki has Spin Vent. His Contract Monsters also do frontflips in his Final Vent before they slam into the target one by one and Imperer knees the target in the face.
Game of Thrones has the spinning rings of the astrolabe sun in the title sequence. They briefly show the backstory of the show, and finally the Title Card.
Newsboys concerts sometimes feature two drummers and their sets strapped to a raised platform that tilts and spins above the crowd. It started with the "Take Me To Your Leader" tour, but the audience loved it so much, they kept it.
It is a gospel part of Wrestling Physics that any high-flying move will be more powerful if done while spinning. Initially, this was just spinning in the direction of motion (ex: 450 splash), but then people started spinning backwards (Shooting Star Press) just 'cause it looked cool (unless you botch it at Wrestlemania, Brock), and you eventually got people like M-Dogg 20 who made their careers out of spinning like tops in every possible direction any time their feet left the ground. Utterly absurd when you think about it, but hey, it seriously does look really, really cool
For the record, with the Shooting Star Press, you're meant to land with your lower body first, as that's where the downwards motion is. Ain't nothin' illogical about the Shooting Star Press.
When John Cena became WWE champion, it led to the creation of the infamous "spinner belt," which had a spinnable jeweled WWE logo over the usual gold plating. Serious fans were not pleased.
The same thing happened when he became US Champion, though it changed back to the old design after he lost it.
When Rob Van Dam held both the ECW Title and the WWE Championship he said he would wear the former proudly. Noting the other one, he said, "And look at this one—it spins!"
R-Truth spins for no apparent reason after hitting opponents with his flying attacks. Because spinning is cool!
One of his signature moves, the Lie Detector (Corkscrew flying forearm smash), involves him running at an opponent, leaping into the air, spinning, and smashing his forearm into his opponent mid-spin.
John Morrison's Starship Pain (Split-Leg Corkscrew Moonsault) involves as much spinning as you can get in one move.
The Spinaroonie. However, since this is a drawn out break dance taunt, it's a good opportunity for Booker T's opponent to recover, attack, and likely win.
The GF makes an appearance in some editions of Talisman too. You always have your Epic Flail and get to roll two dice with it (everyone else gets only one), but if you roll boxcars you decapitate yourself.
Night Goblin Fanatics in Warhammer, doped up on Psycho Serum and spinning an Epic Flail in great, infantry-crushing circles while they revolve around the battlefield, crushing everything in their path, friend or foe.
Most Critical Hit animations have the character spin their weapon before attacking. Heroes and a few other classes will mix spinning with thrown swords, where the weapon spins in mid-air before they drop it on the opponent. This is pretty much the basis of Ike's Aether skill.
The class that takes this Up to Eleven is the Berserker, who is just as likely to spin himself for his critical animation (Female Path of Radiance Swordmasters do a Shoryuken style spinning sword uppercut for a critical). Both of these look really cool.
And then there's the Warrior's axe-critical from the GBA games. Judging from the fact they basically turn into a tornado, they're apparently part Tasmanian Devil.
F-Zero: In the infamousFalcon Punch scene, this is part of the real reason for the explosion. Rick was driving around Black Shadow'sDoomsday Device thing at high speeds. While spinning. While his engine was spinning inside his vehicle. This somehow made it unstable, which is a pretty serious design flaw when your arch-enemy is a racer with a lot of racer friends.
Both Captain Falcon and Ganondorf can spin around mid-punch which actually make the attack slightly stronger.
Elsewhere, Meta Knight's side-B turns his sword into a drill with which he flies horizontally across the stage, and neutral-B spins him in place like a tornado (mashing the B button will allow him to take flight). Likewise, Donkey Kong's up-B spins him up into the air like a helicopter. Falco gets in on the spin act, too, with his chain-A. Finally, taking a cue from Super Mario World, Mario can spin his cape at opponents with side-B, and has an attack called "Mario Tornado."
Luigi has his own version of the Mario Tornado, called the Luigi Cyclone, which (with Rapid B-Button presses) can send him pretty high into the air. Most Luigi players will prefer using this move for vertical recovery rather than his up-B.
Also in Brawl, Zero Suit Samus has a taunt which involves her twirling around while her whip spins around her body. Admittedly, this doesn't accomplish much of anything, but it looks amazing.
Kirby has a midair attack where he spins around, kicking at nearby opponents. It looks better than I'm making it sound, seriously.
Jigglypuff can spin along the ground like a wheel, with devastating effects. The game manual labels that as Rollout, which is a move in the Pokémon games.
Link's signature spin attack can launch him in the air and hit the enemy several times before sending them flying.
Rob. Almost every one of his attacks involves spinning. His side B causes him to spin like a top, his down B causes him to charge up a top, which does a lot of spinning, his down smash is a spinning attack, and his neutral air is a spinning thruster attack.
The Topman Tribe in the Battlerock and Dreadnaught galaxies. Bowser would also get his own version of the Star Spin to use against you from the second time you encounter him.
Before spinning with a cape, Raccoon Mario from Super Mario Bros 3 could spin and hit enemies with his tail.
New Super Mario Bros Wii gives us the propeller hat, which allows Mario limited flight if he, you guessed it... spins. He also slows his descent by spinning as he falls, and can turn his fall into a deadly, drill-like attack.
Mario And Luigi Superstar Saga has a few Bros Attacks that involve spinning. Notably, the Splash Bros Advance changes the attack from a combined jump attack to sending Mario drilling into the enemy.
Kirby's Tornado copy ability basically makes him spin around like... well... a Tornado. Whilst it can be difficult to use, when used correctly, it can even take out Final Bosses without any trouble whatsoever or the use of whatever Ultimate Weapon Kirby is often forced to use at this point. Example — Dark Nebula in Kirby: Squeak Squad. In the Kirby's Dream Land games, having the Animal Friend, Coo, and the Parasol copy ability would have you spinning around like crazy too.
In Kirby and The Amazing Mirror, when the Master, Meta Knight's very own sword in this game, ability is obtained, his attack whilst dashing makes his sword into a drill with which he flies horizontally across the level, just like Meta Knight does in Brawl. (except Kirby can't change direction)
The Sword and Hammer abilities also do this. Kirby's attack whilst dashing with the Hammer has him spin horizontally and with both Hammer and Sword, attacking whilst in the air makes Kirby spin around.
Wipeout: If you do a barrel roll during a jump, you gain a massive speed burst that drains a considerable amount of shield energy. Since you're already high up in the air, it's quite likely to shot you right off the track into buildings or over the railings of bridges.
The ever-present Spin Attack, originally called the "Whirling Blade" when it debuted in A Link to the Past. The Wind Waker version can upgrade it to a Hurricane Spin Attack, which is a faster, longer and more mobile version of the attack, but pushes the spinning a bit too far and causes Link to be dizzy afterward.
Plus, Twilight Princess added a tool called the Spinner. It rotates walls in dungeons, and you can ride grooves. And features heavily in the arguably most fun boss fight in the game.
Metroid has the Screw Attack, and the Spin Attack (a/k/a "Ghetto Screw Attack" in many strategy guides). The former makes Samus invincible, frequently combines with the space jump to allow infinite midair attacks, and usually deals a one-hit kill to all but bosses and (usually) metroids. The latter is a significantly weaker, one-time-only version achieved by spin jumping with the charge beam fully charged.
Metroid Prime 2 had those annoying Quad enemies (and their boss Quadraxis) who would attack by spinning at Samus like a top.
Sonic (spiny hedgehog), Shadow (genetically engineered spiny hedgehog), and Knuckles (spiny echidna) can do a spin attack. Tails (fuzzy fox) is just as deadly. Tails has whirling tails of fuzzy doom.
Then in Sonic Adventure...Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles still have their jump-spin attacks, and can roll. Sonic also has his spin dash. Amy can learn to stand still and spin with her hammer, although since her stages are primarily 'flee from the robot' and the maneuver is very stationary one may never find a use for it. And then Tails gets to spin his tails around, until you get his power up ... and then he gets to keep attacking while moving, nonstop. Even Gamma gets in on the spinny action, as an easy way to clear a room with him is holding the target button and spinning wildly.
Blaze the Cat spins... and also creates a Fiery Tornado.
Mas many moves, many of which involve spinning: Tatsumaki Senpuukyaku, Spinning Bird Kick, Spinning Clothesline, Spinning Piledriver, Cannon Drill, Psycho Crusher, and even the Shoryuken had the character turn 360 degrees. Toss in the Rolling Attacks (which are just spins in another plane) and it's easy to see how someone can get dizzy.
The character Zangief's whole move-set was designed around full rotations of the D-Pad, often resulting in an onscreen Spin in the performed attack. He's the spinning Russian man! And, in honor of Zangief, other grapplers in the Street Fighter canon (like Hakan in Super SFIV) gained 360-spin (really 270) power grabs.
Zangief took Mike Haggar's piledriver move and added his own extra "twist." Throw in a few back drops and power slams, and you have his ultimate technique, the Final Atomic Buster.
And in the Alpha series, Guy has the Bushin Tatsumakisempuukyaku which is basically a Hurricane Kick Shoryuken. The move was ported with him to SNES-only Final Fight 3.
Super Street Fighter IV outright overkills with this, as nearly every single new Ultra attack involves some sort of spinning. In fact, of the 35 characters total, around 26 of them have an Ultra that involves excessive spinning of some kind (though your count may vary if you count repeated rolling and flipping as "spinning"). Especially infamous is Akuma's one. And giving the name the Fan NicknameSuper Spin Fighter IV.
At level 30, Barbarians in Diablo II gain access to the Whirlwind attack. The in-game description of "Whirling dance of death" is sufficient enough to describe what that move is and does.
The Blademaster's Bladestorm from Warcraft 3 somehow makes him invulnerable to most magic attacks while he is spinning. Also applies to his Defense Of The Ancients cousin the Juggernaut (NOT an example of The Juggernaut, incidentally) with the weaker Bladefury.
Also from Warcraft 3, the Demon Hunter's repertoire of "autoattack" moves includes a spinning attack. One person I know has put forth the theory that this is the entire purpose of their signature weapons (which aren't particularly well designed for other attacks).
The Cabal Online Warrior class has at least a complete rotation in at least one axis for almost every skill. Most of the other classes also have skills that involve rotation.
The swordsman's technique Tempest. The swordsman makes a rolling leap through the air, twirling their sword around like a giant human rotary saw. Ruca, the main character of Tales Of Innocence, can keep an enemy in the air for several seconds by chaining together Tempest, its enhanced version, and the burning version, Fire Tempest. The combo is both effective and awesome. It can also be used for flight in games with a battle mechanic that allows it to be spammed.
Tales Of Symphonia gives us Presea, who wields a large ax that can be at least as large as she is. Most of her techniques involve at least one good full spin of the ax, but her advanced punishment techniques send her spinning like a top.
Also from Tales of Symphonia, Colette has a few attacks involving her spinning while holding out her twin chakrams.
And to round out the Tales of Symphonia examples, Regal is a kick-based fighter with a wide range of horizontal and vertical spins, including the Crescent attacks, which make him do vertical spin kicks that cut.
For another example that Western gamers can recognize, Yuri of Tales Of Vesperia is a big damn showoff, as he cannot go one battle without his weapon spinning in one way or another. A lot of his animations involve him twirling the weapon around for no reason, notably the end of his physical combo. On top of that, his most popular arte is easily Shining Fang, which has him spinning his weapon vertically and is a crucial part of his infinite combo.
Karol has multiple flavors of spinning attacks like the aforementioned Fire Tempest (Vertical spinning), Roaring Revolution (Rolling forward), and Ultra Punishing Swing and its variations (Horizontal spinning). The most notable of the latter would have to be his Ultra Punishing Storm, that makes him spin fast enough to create a tornado and fly into the air.
One of Kunzite's best moves in Tales Of Hearts is the Kuuhasenmeidan, where he dives headfirst into the enemy with all four of his blades pointed forward and spinning like a drill. Overlaps, of course, with the one about drills (it's even in the move name).
Dizzy: a game character and series based around the idea of rotation.
The titular character of Crash Bandicoot has two basic attacks, one of which being mega-spinning.
Yousuke of Persona 4 spins around with both weapons in hand for his follow-up attack.
Teddie's follow-up attack has him drill into the enemy with his claws, spinning around as he does.
Yukiko spins with her fan to strike her tarot card, in which her Persona proceeds to spin around before attacking or healing; Chie's Persona spins its weapon during some spells/attacks and Yousuke even does a spinning jump to strike his tarot card. Persona 4 has A LOT of cool spinning.
In Drill Dozer, almost everything possible is achieved by spinning your drill, including deflecting bullets, navigating screw-patterned air vents, controlling a fountain to defuse EMP bombs, removing screws to defuse more bombs, playing a complex hot-potato game with even more bombs with a giant mech, launching up the sides of buildings, flying via attaching a propeller to your drillbit, slaughtering the police force, and causing a giant drill-tipped missile to suddenly reverse direction and crash into the enemy gang's HQ building. The only thing you don't accomplish by this is defeating the main villain, which the character, a pink-haired schoolgirl, accomplishes by simply punching him in the face.
Ayane from Dead Or Alive spins with almost every attack she makes.
Tequila's ultimate Tequila Bomb attack in the John Woo game Stranglehold has him spinning around in slow-mo with guns in hand, arms outstretched like an angel of death (if you're using Guns Akimbo, that is), and blasting the hell out of every bad guy in the general vicinity. And to top it off, we get the doves flying in slow-mo along with this.
Another video game example or five... any gaming wrestler who uses the Giant Swing is guilty of this too. Yes, King, this means you. For the record, the move is a) grab victim's legs b) spin in place to build up speed c) release d) wave. D optional.
In Paper Mario The Thousand Year Door, when you are attacked, you can press A to cover up and reduce some of the damage taken, or if you think you're up for it, you can press B for a "super reversal" where the attacker takes one point of damage. Of course, when you do this command, Mario spins in place momentarily. Likewise, most attacks have a hidden set of alternate Action Commands which cause Mario to perform them more "stylishly" for a bonus; some of the "stylish" versions involve spinning.
Also the Super and Ultra Hammer's Attacks involve spinning.
In the first game, Mario could spin in whatever direction the player was holding at the time. Whilst it's main use was to get to places quicker, if a certain badge was equipped it could cause the Dizzy (read: Confused) status ailment whenever he used it to run into an enemy.
There's also an item called the Dizzy Dial, which causes the Screen to Spin around when used and is supposed to cause the Dizzy ailment when it works.
The Mad Duck enemy in EarthBound has a move in which it "[makes] something spin around!" What it is that's spinning will forever be a mystery. The something might just be whoever was affected by said attack, seeing as it renders the attack target unable to concentrate. (Read: Silence status ailment) Just a small theory though...
Also featured very prominently with Katarina, Wukong and Draven. It's basically Memetic Mutation at this point.
Not to forget Dravens brother Darius who even has two ingame quotes in which he asks how a "he", with which obviously Garen is meant, to be able to do "it" after he tries to spin around for more than 360° and fails.(Darius is the only champion with a spin ability that ends after 360° and does not last for several seconds)
Mike Tyson's Punch-Out!! for the original NES has Super Macho Man, who uses his Super Macho Man Combo (a series of spinning backhands, which are technically illegal) as his signature move.
Kung Lao. His hat is a giant sawblade! He spins around to create a deadly energy...thing!
Kabal also has the ability to spin others as a disorienting move, and to messily dismember opponents with later fatalities. Cyrax spins his own head to somehow not only fly off the screen like a helicopter, but turn it into a death-propeller and chopping up his opposition.
The Shift series has the screen spin halfway whenever you shift. Touching gravity arrows also causes the screen to spin to the appropriate perspective.
Chrono Trigger has the main character have two attacks that involve spinning - Cyclone (spin in place and hit things inside the arc with your sword) and Confuse (spin around an enemy smacking away at the foe trapped inside the circle). Notably almost all of Crono's early Dual Techs (X-Strike with Frog was the big exception) involved combining someone else's trick with Cyclone to basically make a version of the other person's attack that was bigger, stronger, or hit more targets.
Multibeam frigates in Homeworld have to spin their whole body around their axis before they can fire for no reason.
The "research complete" screen in Master Of Orion II treats the player to an animation of the newly researched gadget spinning in holographic form in the air. These "spinny tech items" were actually pretty impressive back in the day!
In Spiral Knights, the charge attack of the Calibur line of swords and the Fang of Vog is a 360° spin that can hit multiple times. The Spur and its upgrades are mechanized swords with built-in motors that are constantly spinning.
In Housepets!, one of Peanut's comics had Spot (Superdog) claiming to see the future. His girlfriend says his super-vision can't do that, but he simply replies, "Spinning was involved."
In Dubious Company, Tiren gets knocked off the airship. To survive the fall, she starts spinning while repeating her mother's lesson that spinning controls everything...
Tiren (on landing):"...even gravity." (beat) "Hugk!"
Many speedsters from the Global Guardians PBEM Universe are capable of spinning for short periods of time in order to create certain effects or to instantly change into their costume. Gyro, however, is a speedster who specializes in spinning. His powers make him function a lot like a human gyroscope.
Avatar The Last Airbender: Airbending is based on the real-life martial art "ba gua", which utilises spinning to generate the maximum amount of energy. Aang mostly just spins his staff.
Rigby suggests this in Regular Show while trying to help Pops get over his stage fright. It works momentarily, but ends up making him so dizzy he falls into an alternate universe.
In the episode "Beyond the Sea" of Generator Rex, Rex takes his huge sword, pulls a lever, and turns it into a gigantic spinning buzzsaw. It does pretty much the same amount of damage as it does as a sword, but looks a whole lot cooler. The buzzsaw also has an advantage in that it continues to do damage after the original impact, while the sword expends most of the power on impact. He can also make his giant hands spin to drill under something or just make his punches hurt more.
Futurama: The episode where they deliver a huge block to the pseudo-Egypt planet. After the pharaoh dies, Fry decides to celebrate by spinning until he falls down. He gets roughly one revolution.
The Simpsons: "Treehouse of Horror VII" features drooling aliens Kang and Kodos disguising themselves as presidential candidates, Bill Clinton and Bob Dole. During a speech, Kodos (Clinton) tells his audience that they must move forward, and always "twirl towards freedom", while spinning in circles. To his fortune, the crowd explodes with enthusiastic cheers.