"THIS HAND OF MINE GLOWS WITH AN AWESOME POWER!"Sometimes, you need to let the Big Bad have it right where it hurts. Sometimes, you just gotta burn that smirk off of The Dragon's face in the most direct and painful manner possible. Sometimes, The Hero deserves to know just how powerful you are when you're Drunk on the Dark Side. Sometimes, you just need to give them the Face Palm of Doom for massive damage. The Face Palm of Doom, named so because it is a Face Palm... of Doom, is basically when you grab someone by the face, or sometimes just by the head, but usually the face, and proceed to unleash the pain by releasing some kind of energy, or in a more bloody series, crushing it. As you can imagine, such a move is probably extremely painful and is usually pretty high up there in terms of power. Due to the nastiness inherent in assaulting someone's visage, as well as the frightening potential for Eye Scream, this trope is generally indicative of The Unfettered, an Anti- or Unscrupulous Hero, the Obviously Evil, or someone who has had their Berserk Button mashed extremely hard or otherwise reached their Rage Breaking Point. It is essentially the bare-handed equivalent of shooting an opponent executioner-style, and carries many of the same connotations. Compare Neck Lift.
— Domon Kasshu, Mobile Fighter G Gundam
open/close all folders
Anime & Manga
- Gundam works:
- This is one of the Signature Moves of the School of Touhou Fuhai (The Undefeated of The East) in Mobile Fighter G Gundam, represented by protagonist Domon's Shining and God Finger attacks and Master Asia's Darkness Finger. The novelization explains its function and origin a bit, saying that it was made to adhere to Buddhist tenets of Thou Shalt Not Kill, and works by sending ki from the palm through the three central fingers and into an opponent's head, where it shorts out their motor functions and disables themnote . It even get two Shout Outs in its franchise:
- The Destiny Gundam's MMI-X340 "Palma Fiocina" palm beam cannon.
- In-universe it's based on the Astray Red Frame, which can channel its battery power through its handplugs, generating a "lightning ball". In his first battle with Gold Frame, Lowe uses a super-charged version that blows up Gold's head, but also takes out Red's right arm.
- The Turn X's weld-off/destruction manipulator, which Gym even calls Shining Finger.
- Though Gundam Build Fighters Try normally averts this (since The Hero's Gundam uses an entirely different fighting style), there have been two instances of this type of attack: in episode 4 he uses the Musha Godmaru (a Super-Deformed, samurai-styled God Gundam) and performs its version of the God Finger, and in episode 20 during his showdown with his sempai-slash-Cool Big Bro, he ends the fight with this kind of attack.
- Guts from Berserk does this to a scummy knight of the Holy Iron Chain during the "Retribution" arc, actually lifting him off the ground by his face despite his heavy suit of armor. After interrogating him, he then throws the knight at a horse-riding enemy, still gripping him by the face.
- Kallen's Guren Mk-II and its derivatives from Code Geass come equipped with a right-handed Radiant Wave Surger which she uses to blow up any Knightmare Frame in contact. There's a reason why people call her the daughter of Domon.
- Hei of Darker Than Black uses this to fry people's brains so often that it's practically his signature move.
- Fist of the North Star: This is how Falco executes Jakoh. More exactly, he melts his face off.
- Fullmetal Alchemist
- Scar kills his victims in this manner; he grabs them by the head and makes their bodies disintegrate. Somewhat justified in context, however, as the arm he uses is covered in alchemic symbology tattoos that is used to "deconstruct" the matter of an object (or creature), but because it is alchemy-based he can only use it on things that he understands at least some of the material makeup of, and as his religious faith forbids the study and practice of alchemy, he is only able to use it in the most, well, direct manner.
- This is how Ed beats Pride: by grabbing his face, physically and metaphysically, and ripping his soul out of his body.
- In addition, Kimblee does this as well in the 2003 anime version, making his victims explode. As a matter of fact, the former's eponymous injury is the result of the latter performing a Face Finger Poke of Doom on him.
- The Big O: The eponymous mecha's signature attack (Sudden Impact) can work like this by it grabbing an opponent's head and retracting the pressurized pistons inside the arms and subsequently releasing them for massive damage.
- In Ghost in the Shell, the Spider Tank grabs the Major's head and crushes it.
- In Alive: The Final Evolution, the normally Idiot Hero protagonist goes Let's Get Dangerous on a powerful enemy and does this using his heat powers. The formerly bishounen enemy is left with permanent scars on half of his face and later adopts a rather large Eyepatch of Power.
- Bleach: A sign that there's a large imbalance of power is when one combatant grabs their opponent by the head and violently throws them away. Grimmjow does this to both Rukia and Ichigo, while unleashing a Cero at point-blank range. Ichigo's inner Hollow does this to Ichigo during their Battle in the Centre of the Mind and the inner Hollow later does this to Ulquiorra, a tit-for-tat response to Ulquiorra having earlier performed the same move on Ichigo. Ichigo eventually becomes powerful enough to grab Aizen by the face and drag him to a battlefield of Ichigo's choice; the man-handling and violence of being thrown to the ground doesn't hurt Aizen anywhere near as much as the damage Ichigo does to his pride.
- One Piece
- Miss Monday attempts to punch Zoro's face into the ground at one point. He is completely unfazed, and responds by casually pulling this on her until she passes out.
- During the Water 7 arc, Blueno attempts this on Franky, unfortunately for him he only succeeds in pissing him off and prompting Franky to give a much more effective Face Palm of Doom right back at him.
- Whitebeard did the same thing at several points, but using his Quake Quake powers, resulting in a mini earthquake limited to the victim's head. Needless to say, nobody really got back up from that one.
- The first thing that Bellamy is shown doing post-timeskip is crushing a man's skull with one hand.
- Sabo, after proving himself to be alive after all, proves his strength by taking out a vice-admiral by crushing his head, complete with the iron mask he was wearing.
- In Katekyo Hitman Reborn! Tsuna does this to Mukuro at the end of their fight.
- Baccano!, in which the immortals, most notably Szilard, "consume" one another by placing their right palm on someone's forehead and essentially vacuuming up their entire body in an exceptionally grisly manner...
- In Hellsing, Seras gives one to Zorin Blitz during their fight, intending to crush her face. Zorin retaliates by giving a Face Palm Of Doom of her own, attempting to Mind Rape Seras. This totally backfires, allowing Seras to move ahead with her previous plan, albeit with the addition of utilising a wall as a kind of makeshift cheese grater. Suffice to say the results are quite messy.
- Dragon Ball Z
- Broly loves doing this, as do several villains in the Dragon Ball series.
- Goku does the top of the head variation during his fight with Kid Buu. He combines it with a ki attack that goes right through the Planet of the Kais.
- Syn Shenron, in Tenkaichi, grabs people by picking them up by the face and unleashing a volley of ki blasts straight into the face of whichever unlucky schmuck stupid enough to challenge him.
- In Session #5 of Cowboy Bebop, "Ballad of Fallen Angels", Vicious does this to Spike after the latter disarms him with a bullet in the shoulder (thus using his still good arm). Then, Vicious uses this grip to throw Spike through a stained glass window.
- Araya Souren from Kara no Kyoukai absolutely loves this trope. Even losing his arm afterwards won't stop him from subsequent attempts.
- Lyrical Nanoha
- Showing surprising strength in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha The Movie First, Precia grabs one of the Adminitration Bureau mages in this manner and bodily lifts him off the ground before throwing him at one of his fellow Bureau mages when they entered the room containing Alicia's body
- In Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force, Diego attempts to crush the head of Veyron in this manner. Keyword being "attempts". Then the latter rips out the former's arm and returns the favor much more successfully.
- Lutecia performs this as well in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha ViVid, making Fabia eat an energy blast to the face at point blank range.
- In Axis Powers Hetalia The Movie , everyone is fighting the mooks: America is boxing, Japan is wielding a stick katana, and Russia....you guessed it.
- Simon in Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann does this in the crushing variety in a giant robot TO a giant robot. Considering the series, it and everything around it explodes spectacularly.
- Happens in a flashback in Tiger & Bunny when a young Yuri Petrov activates his NEXT power and sets his father's hand alight. Rather than screaming in pain, his dad (who arguably deserved it, incidentally) starts to laugh and puts his hand over his son's face, leaving a massive palm-shaped burn. This is not enough to save him, however.
- While being attacked by a teacher, Tsukune from Rosario + Vampire does this. The look on the dude's face is priceless.
- In the second Fatal Fury OVA, Terry has a nightmare of Krauser doing this to him.
- Obito, from Naruto, uses this against the Edo-Tensei Third Hokage after having absorbed the Juubi, by latching his hand onto his face and releasing a black omni-element material through his hand as a spear. It obliterates the Third's entire upper body. He later attempts to use it on Sasuke and Naruto but is saved by Minato and Naruto's quick thinking.
- Spider-Man anti-hero Kaine uses this as his preferred method of murder, the "Mark of Kaine". He grabs the poor victim's face, then rips it off, leaving them dead and with a gruesome handprint as a souvenir. Ouch.
- In the recent Amazing Spider-Man story arc Grim Hunt, Peter does something similar to one of the villain that was dogging him through most of the arc. Fittingly, it was to avenge Kaine, who was dead. Again. He got better.
- It should be noted that the Mark of Kaine is simply a stronger version of Peter's "stick-em powers" that Kaine has thanks to his Clone Degeneration.
- Black Adam to Psycho-Pirate: "No more silly faces."
- The Hulk does this to Cyclops in World War Hulk to block his eye-beams, which takes Scott out for the rest of the fight.
- Last Child of Krypton: In chapter 1 Sachiel attacked Unit 01 like this when Rei was piloting it: the monster grabbed the robot's face and slammed an energy spike through it.
- In the Naruto fanfic Time Braid, during one of the loops Sakura kills Kabuto by creating a Rasengan inside his brain.
- Mokou grabs a mental representation of Eirin Yagokoro like this before reducing her to ash in Rhapsody Of Subconscious Desire.
- Kung Fu Hustle: The hero uses this as a ranged attack. It first makes a crater in the ground, then creates a palm-shaped hole in a building.
- Seen in the film Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, see Literature (and it was more gruesome, beside — instead of merely burning Quirrel, Harry's touch actually caused him to crumble into ash.
- This is what happens to one of the last victims of The Thing (1982): it grabs his face, digs its finger into him, then starts absorbing his body from there.
- The T-101 does this to a female guard in Terminator 2: Judgment Day, though since he had been instructed not to kill, it is not as Squick as it could have been.
- In The Dark Knight Rises, Bane (presumably) does this to Daggett after he outlives his usefulness.
- The preferred Finishing Move of the Blanks in The World's End.
- Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Harry Potter + The Power of Love + Face Palm of Doom = Quirrell's face blistering and burning.
- In a Star Wars novella, a condescending hotel clerk offended a highly intelligent droid working for a powerful Dark Jedi. The droid asked the man to lean closer because he couldn't hear him, then grabbed his face and slowly crushed it.
- Ser Gregor Clegane of A Song of Ice and Fire kills Oberyn Martell this way, described in gory detail.
- The last creature that Molly encounters in The Taking is one of three that do this to steal souls. Their touch is described as cold and greasy.
- In the backstory of The Lord of the Rings, the elven king Gil-galad met this fate by Sauron, who grabbed him by the head and lit him on fire.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Essentially how The Master dies in Season 8.
- Star Trek: In "The Enterprise Incident", Spock uses the infamous "Vulcan Death Grip" to kill Kirk. However, there's no such thing as a Vulcan Death Grip. It's a trick.
- You know how Daleks have those plunger-arms in Doctor Who? In the new series, they can crush a man's skull with them.
- "What are you gonna do? Sucker me to death?"
- Later on four of them do it again, the resulting head is smoldering!
- In Taiyou Sentai Sun Vulcan, Vul Shark's Shark Jaws attack consists of grabbing the enemy's head with both hands several times.
- In Sherlock, the assassin known as 'The Golem' puts one of his massive hands over a target's face and crushes the life out of them.
- This is the preferred method of the angels of Supernatural for killing demons. It's usually accompanied by a flash of light.
- In Game of Thrones, this is The Mountain's way of killing Oberyn Martell
- The clawhold submission, commonly called the Iron Claw, popularized among fans of the USA by the Von Erich Family.
- There's a clawhold variant of the STO (a judo-based legsweep takedown), notably used by Kensuke Sasaki, Kenzo Suzuki, and Lord Tensai.
- Bison Smith was known for his Iron Claw Slam, which is similar to a chokeslam.
- Devil Masami liked to smother AJW rookies by clamping her hands over their noses and mouths, then bending their head/neck. Face two palms of doom?
- One of Canadian Mafia Princess Tiffany's signature moves was to apply a reverse Indian death lock, grab the side of her opponent's head and then cover their nose and mouth with her other hand.
- WWE sometimes plays this trope for laughs, such as when The Big Show once eliminated a jobber from the Royal Rumble by facepalm-shoving him backwards over the ropes.
- Since his late 2011 return, Kane has added this to his arsenal, clamping his hand over his foe's nose and mouth to suffocate them into unconsciousness. This even works on John Cena
- Mega Man X: According to the Day of Sigma OVA, Sigma gets his signature scars on his eyes when X pulls off of these off on him. It should be noted that X's attack looks a lot like Shining Finger, due to X being voiced by Mark Gatha (who also voiced Domon Kasshu) at the time.
- In X4 it's shown that Zero gives him those scars. Gotta love Retcons.
- The above might not count as we never saw just how Zero put those scars there.
- Sigma pulls this on your character in the hard mode of X8.
- In X4 it's shown that Zero gives him those scars. Gotta love Retcons.
- In Disgaea 3: Absence of Justice, Mao has the Blast Finger attack, which is probably a Shout-Out to the Shining Finger, considering the nature of the series.
- From Bloody Roar (At least in the Primal Fury installment), one of Gado's Beast Drives is exactly this. He grabs his opponent by the face and lifts them into the air before letting off a one-handed Kamehame Hadoken and slamming them head-first into the ground.
- Mage!Hawke pulls this in the Dragon Age II Destiny trailer, despite the fact that you can't actually do that in-game and it was definitely not the climactic move of the fight.
- Lü Bu's Ex Attack in Dynasty Warriors 7 is to grab his opponent in the face and slams him/her to the ground. In the eight game, his EX Musou attack has him drag an enemy on the ground by the head.
- Yoshimitsu in all of his Tekken appearances, and his predecessor in his SoulCalibur appearances too... basically, a life-drain attack that consists of grabbing the opponent by the face and sucking out their life-horse. An alternate version, however, allows you to ''heal'' them by channelling your own life-horse into them... nice way to show off.
- Though, in some games, if the opponent blocks it the effects are istantly reversed. Yes, this means that if the opponent reverses the healing version, he heals you.
- In some of the Soul series games, Astaroth was able to grab a prone opponent by the face, squeeze their head, then stand them upright. The attack was pretty weak, but it prevented your opponent from getting a wake-up attack.
- Ganondorf's side-B special move in Super Smash Bros. Brawl utilizes this. In addition to the "energy attack" part of this trope, he also literally picks his opponent off the ground by the face before exploding their face with dark fire (if the two of them are on the ground), or grabs their face and them slams them back down into the ground (if done in the air) Ouch.
- One of Testament's throwing moves in Guilty Gear is to grab his opponent's face and impale the victim with spikes extending from his palm.
- Knights of the Old Republic II: The Sith Lords: Darth Sion leads with this and eventually moves on to a Neck Lift in an unusually visceral beating for the Franchise/StarWars universe.
- In the Street Fighter series, one of T. Hawk's specials is grabbing his opponent by the face, leaping into the air while windmilling them around (still by the face) and slamming them to the ground.
- Sagat gets a simpler one starting from his first Zero appearance - no leaping or windmills, just grab and knee as many times as you can buttonmash in.
- An even earlier example from Sagat comes from his promo art in Street Fighter II◊ where it would later be depicted as him killing Gou Hibiki, Dan's father.
- Now, M. Bison/Vega/Dictator does it as his 2nd Ultra, right before he gives you "The Psycho Abortion."
- Seth's forward throw does this as well, picking the opponent up by the face, and smashing them face first with a heel kick.
- Sagat gets a simpler one starting from his first Zero appearance - no leaping or windmills, just grab and knee as many times as you can buttonmash in.
- Happens at the end of Devil May Cry 4. Except instead of grabbing the face of the False Savior and then releasing the energy, Nero uses the Devil Bringer to project an even bigger hand which is closer to the Savior's scale. Then he just crushes its face.
- Final Fantasy VII: Crisis Core has Genesis do this to Angeal and set off a point blank magical explosion. It seems to only knock him out for a minute, as he turns up soon after looking no worse for wear.
- Dissidia: Final Fantasy has a pretty impressive one in Jecht's "Triumphant Grasp" HP attack (known as "Jecht Finger" in Japan). He charges, ON FIRE, down at you, GRABS. YOUR. FACE, and then causes an explosion in his hand. This causes him to shake out his hand from the pain, and this is the guy who kicks a meteor into your face and can plant his huge sword half-way into the ground with one hand!
- Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep: Master Xehanort does a back-of-the-head version of this to Ventus at one point. In the CG version of that scene, he grips Ven's head hard enough to crack his whole helmet before freezing and dropping him to the ground. Ouch.
- He'll also rarely try it on you while you're fighting him with Terra, though you can escape with button mashing before you get frozen.
- In BlazBlue, Ragna's immensely narmy defeat of Mu-12 happens like this.
- In Resident Evil 4's Separate Ways campaign, one of Saddler's attacks involves grabbing Ada's face and slamming her head into the ground. Fail the Quick Time Event, and it crushes her skull.
- The last scene of the prologue in .hack//GU//rebirth features not-Tri-edge doing this to the main character during their curb stomp battle, complete with Haseo's first-person view of it. 
- One of Chuck Greene's special moves in Dead Rising 2 can involve this. Chuck grabs a zombie's head (whether it's a Face Palm of Doom or not depends on whether the zombie is facing Chuck) and viciously slams its head into a nearby surface, usually resulting in Your Head Asplode.
- If Adam Jensen from Deus Ex: Human Revolution grabs your face, he's about to break your neck.
- One of the consumes for the claw power in [PROTOTYPE] and [PROTOTYPE 2] involves Mercer or Heller grabbing the victim's head, and shoving it into their torso.
- In StarCraft II:Heart of the Swarm Kerrigan uses one to turn Mensk's face into a psionic bomb, which inevitably explodes, killing him.
- Gwyn, Lord of Cinder has this as a move in Dark Souls. He'll grab your character by the face and lift you up before blasting you across the room.
- At the end of Borderlands 2, if you let Lilith kill Handsome Jack. She grabs him by the face and kills him with her Siren powers.
- Tamaki of To Heart 2 has a toned down version, the classic wrestling move the "Iron Claw". It leaves her victim (generally her younger brother) unconscious, after an unsettling cracking noise.
- Dwarf Fortress, being Dwarf Fortress, allows your adventure character to pull one off. On top of the usual take-downs or throwing them by the head, it brings the additional joy of allowing you to follow it up with gouging and pinching off bits and pieces of their face, including eyeballs. In fact, if you want a viable wrestling character, it's either this or chokeholds. Regular dwarves occasionally do it as well, but usually just snap limbs, or die trying.
- A fairly low-level female Brawler grappling move in Dungeon Fighter Online involves using one hand to pull in a target on a (very short ranged) chained hook while loading the other hand with something gunpowder-based and converting the grab to a face lift. Nasty, surprisingly hard for other foes to interrupt and can result in igniting multiple targets when the explosion hits.
- Code MENT: "Laser arm!"
- "Laser arm?"
- "Laser arm."
- "Laser arm?"
- In There Will Be Brawl Ganondorf does this to Link, by ramming his arm through Zelda as she went to protect him, and explodes Link's head while Link was at full health. Quite a Heel–Face Door-Slam.
- In RWBY, this is how the fight between Weiss and the White Fang Lieutenant ends. He grabs her by the face and slams her head into the ground hard enough to knock her clean out. Then, still holding her face, he throws her up in the air and smashes her through to the next train compartment with his chainsaw. What a brute.
- In Star Wars: Clone Wars, General Grievous uses a variation where he grabs an opponent's head with his clawed foot, smashes it into the ground and then throws the corpse into the ceiling.
- In Teen Titans, Pantha has a move called "Pantha's Claw" that leaves a red burn on the victim's face.
- In the Grand Finale of Superman: The Animated Series, Superman wins the climactic fight against Darkseid using this move defensively: while Darkseid is charging his Omega Effect, Superman holds his hands to Darkseid's eyes, causing a massive explosion which blackens his eyes and opens up massive, red-glowing wounds on his face. (As his next appearance in The DCAU would show, they scarred permanently.) And Darkseid is a god. Pretty good move, that.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "Zuko Alone," when Zuko is fighting the thuggish soldiers. He knocks one of the soldiers' weapon out of the way and then grabs his forehead and knocks him down.
- Also, although there was a Gory Discretion Shot, it's very likely that this is how Ozai gave Zuko his scar. Examine it closely, and the burn is a clear impression of a hand.
- In Legend Of Korra, Amon takes people's bending away by grabbing their foreheads.
- Blight does this against Mr. Freeze in Batman Beyond, almost melting through Freeze's glass-dome helmet in the process.
- There is an eye gouging technique which involves placing the palm on the forehead to gain leverage, and ramming the thumb into the above mentioned target. It's a fairly dirty move, but there is no denying it gets results when things deteriorate that far.
- Also a method of throwing your opponent to the ground in Sambo, by pressing the base of your fingers onto your opponent's nose from beneath.
- Jujitsu and the related disciplines have a throw which consists of placing your hand on your opponent's face, rotating the head back, and pushing down. It's amazingly effective on most people and looks practically effortless.
- Some monkey-influenced styles of Kung Fu and Silat go one step further by having you continue the Face Palm Of Doom all the way to the floor and bouncing your victim's head off whatever surface happens to be avaliable - such as concrete, tarmac, or your own knee.