[[quoteright:300:[[Webcomic/ChildrenOfEldair http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/finger_twitching_revival_1.png]]]]

So...[[ConvenientComa you're unconscious.]] That sucks for you, huh? After all, this is probably the result of [[TapOnTheHead being banged on the head]], [[SoapOperaDisease having some horrible illness]], or just [[CurbStompBattle being so injured that you can't voluntarily wake up or move around.]] The doctors around you are talking openly about the likeliness of you never waking up. [[KilledOffForReal Bye-bye, you.]]

But wait! You're not licked yet! As you slowly begin to rouse yourself, a telltale sign of your impending consciousness will show itself. It will often go unnoticed, perhaps when everyone has turned away. But it will indeed happen: ''your fingers will twitch back to life.''

This is an extremely common trope, usually done in extreme close-up on the hand as a last-second CliffHanger of a scene or even the entire show/film. The dual categories of whose fingers could be twitching determines the tone of this trope. If it's a hero or a love interest, this is a moment of renewed hope and happiness (and usually is then immediately followed by the full wake-up scene); if it's a villain, the moment is a threat. The ubiquitiousness of this trope covers up the fact that twitching fingers may not always be the most likely part of the body to first signify someone's revival - eyes could open, shoulders could adjust, chest could rise and fall with breath. But even when the arms and fingers of a character have been significantly hurt, and are even bandaged up or suspended in one spot, this is more often than not the way we'll be shown that the character is coming back to his/her senses.

See also PlayingPossum, NoOneCouldSurviveThat, RaisedHandOfSurvival, and TheEndOrIsIt.

Compare to EyeAwaken, which this may be [[SisterTrope used along with]]. Additionally, by its nature, this is more often than not a [[SpoileredRotten spoiler trope]].

Could also potentially be horrific if the character whose finger twitches goes completely unnoticed. Those around could go on to assume that the character is deceased and treat them as such. This can then lead to many situations like abandonment, burial, cremation and the likes... all while the character is still alive.

Movement as proof of life, incidentally, is not always TruthInTelevision: Creepily enough, even dead bodies can sometimes move or make noise caused by the contraction of tendons and the presence of gas escaping from the corpse. Burned bodies often curl into a fetal position as the tendons dry and contract, which can give rise to stories of deceased persons suddenly "sitting up" on the pyre.

When this happens because of SpecialEffectFailure revealing that the "corpse" is a live actor, that's TheLivingDead.



[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* ''Anime/DragonballZ'' loves this trope. There are simply too many examples of this to list.
* This situation occurred in ''Manga/IkkiTousen'', when one of the characters was stabbed in the spine. The doctors said that he may be permanently paralyzed and never wake up from his coma. Then, at the last few minutes of the show, said character [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome raises his hand into a fist]].
* Also happens in ''[[VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry Higurashi No Naku Koro Ni Kai]]'', when [[spoiler:Shion finally finds Satoshi, who is in a medicated coma. Irie says that Satoshi suffered massive brain damage, but has a good chance of recovering. Then, a split second before the scene changes, we see Satoshi shed a tear.]]
** This also happens in the anime-original arc, Yakusamashi-hen. [[spoiler:After the Hinamizawa Gas Disaster, Satoko is in a [[ComatoseCanary coma]], but moves slightly when Ooishi mentions Rika's death. Unfortunately, she gets bumped off before Ooishi realizes that she must know something.]]
* ''Manga/OnePiece'' ''loves'' this one. It uses variants all the time, especially explicitly in the anime -- for example, during the final stages of Luffy's final battle with Crocodile.
* This also happens in the first two minutes of the ''Anime/DotHackSign'' intro episode when Tsukasa wakes up to find himself trapped within The World.
* In ''Manga/HighSchoolOfTheDead'', this is an indicator of being infected by [[ZombieApocalypse ''them'']].
* Used during Asura's resurrection in ''Manga/SoulEater''. The anime gets across the manic twitching, scratching and banging ''perfectly'' as the Kishin, unable to see, struggles out of his prison.
* Used in ''{{Manga/Gantz}}'' manga at the end of the Onion Alien arc: [[spoiler:Kato]] appears to be dead, but after a bit of suspense he twitches slightly - enough for Gantz to consider him alive and teleport him back safely.
* Invoked in ''Manga/JoJosBizarreAdventure'' Part III. Jotaro needs to draw Dio off of a down and out Polnareff, but not reveal that he's conscious and PlayingPossum, so he decides to tap his fingers on the ground. Upon hearing the noise and realizing this trope might be in effect, Dio decides to MakeSureHesDead by shooting him ([[spoiler:Star Platinum catches the bullet just under Jotaro's skin]]), listening for his heartbeat from a safe distance ([[spoiler:Star Platinum temporarily stops his heart]]) and then grabbing a street sign to decapitate him as a final precaution ([[spoiler:which brings him within range for Star Platinum to shatter his skull]]).
* Shown in ''Manga/{{Magikano}}'' [[spoiler:before Haruo goes into EleventhHourSuperpower mode]].
* Inverted in ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'' by [[spoiler: Sayaka]]. Her whole body twitched except her fingers.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* In ''Fanfic/HopeForTheHeartless'', this happens with [[VillainProtagonist the Horned King]] when he recovers following his fight with the [[SavageWolves Mad Pack]].
* Happens in the Gmod adaptation of squirrelking's Half-Life: Full Life Consequences: Free Man. Although John Freeman is only out for a second or so, and after this he immediately flies awkwardly into the sky.
* Used for a HopeSpot in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/12439354/1/Prophecy-of-the-end Prophecy of the end]]''. Sara sits by a comatose Laurel when Laurel's hand suddenly twitches. Unfortunately, it was just a reflex and she remains in a coma. [[spoiler:She wakes up later with an EyeAwaken]].

[[folder:Films -- Animated]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/WallE'', [[spoiler:when the main character regains his memories and his personality, the first thing to move is his fingers, and they twitch downwards slightly before fully closing around EVE's hand.]]
* Played with in ''{{Disney/Hercules}}'': Hercules appears to have successfully killed the Hydra but perished in the process. The hydra's fingers begin twitching and uncurling, making the onlookers fear that it isn't quite dead, until its hand fully opens to reveal Hercules very much alive inside it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheRedTurtle'', the first sign of the mother being alive in the turtle shell is her hand moving.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/{{Frankenstein 1931}}'': ''It's alive . . . it's alive, it's alive! IT'S ALIVE!!'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rSCBvu_kijo]]
** At the beginning of ''Film/BrideOfFrankenstein'', Henry is diagnoses dead by the villagers after the explosion, so they take his body home and place it on a table. Soon after, the maid cries out when his hand starts moving, then he comes to. Of course, as one of the main characters he had to have PlotArmor.
* When The Pale Man comes to life in ''Film/PansLabyrinth'', it starts first with this trope.
* Obviously (and quite so) done in ''Film/TheStrangers'', where it's clearly obvious from the whole lead-up that Creator/LivTyler's TooDumbToLive character is going to scream and show that she's still alive. Adding yet another disappointment to an already subpar picture.
* In the recent film of ''Film/TheIncredibleHulk'', Emil Blonsky indicates his impending revival by his fingers coming to staccato life as Gen. Ross is walking away from his hospital bed. Even though his fingers are almost fully wrapped up in bandages and his whole arm and hand are in a suspension cast. Now ''that'' is a commitment to this trope.
* This happened in ''Film/IndependenceDay'', followed shortly by an EyeAwaken, when the captured alien woke up in the middle of the {{Area 51}} scientists trying to remove its bioarmor.
* Happens at the end of ''Film/{{Christine}}'', after the car has been compacted into a cube. A bar from the grill starts to move, showing that the car maybe NotQuiteDead.
* Subverted in ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtlesIITheSecretOfTheOoze'' with Super Shredder, who collapses a heavy pier onto himself as the Turtles he is trying to take with him escape. The Turtles emerge from the water to look upon the wreckage, only to find Super Shredder's hand emerging from the wreckage to their horror. Raph exclaims "NoOneCouldHaveSurvivedThat!" And then the hand falters and falls limp upon the ruins of the pier, never to rise again, signifying that yes, the Shredder is finally done for.
** But played straight near the start of the film where Shredder's hand can be seen slowly rising out of a pile of garbage to show that he survived the first movie after all.
** Later subverted ''again'' in the Fox TV series ''Series/NinjaTurtlesTheNextMutation'', which claims that yes, Super Shredder ''DID'' survive it and was somehow restored to a non-mutant form.
** Similarly done in ''Film/TeenageMutantNinjaTurtles2014'', with the Shredder again. Time will tell if this was playing the trope straight or subverting it.
* In ''Film/TheTerminator'', Reese shoots the T-800 several times with a sawed-off shotgun when it tries to move in on Sarah in [=TechNoir=]. Shortly after it hits the floor, its fingers twitch, offering the audience their first clue that the big scary guy isn't human.
** In ''Film/Terminator3RiseOfTheMachines'', the T-X's fingers twitch just after being rammed head-on by the T-850's pickup. In this case, it shows just how tough the new Terminator model is.
* This is done in ''Film/WilliamShakespearesRomeoAndJuliet'' to signal that Juliet is beginning to revive. The only problem is, this is happening '''JUST''' [[DrivenToSuicide as Romeo is preparing to drink the poison!]]
* Played with at the end of ''Film/XMenTheLastStand''. Magneto's fingers cause a chess piece to twitch, implying his powers are returning.
* Disney Channel movie Susie Q uses this trope in a surprisingly dark moment early in the film. The title character Susie is returning home from a dance when she and her date and involved in a serious wreck with a drunk driver on a bridge. The accident causes the car to be half on the bridge and half off; inside the car the couple seems to be unconscious or dead until Susie's hand feels out and grabs hold her date's hand. Then the car slips off the bridge, flips and falls into the river below causing the pair to drown. Yes, this really is a Disney movie and no, they don't show anymore.
* Happens in the Jet Li vanity vehicle ''Film/TheOne'' [[spoiler:when he is fighting himself, and he kicks his own ass, then gets up and kicks his own ass]].
* When Tommy Jarvis kills Jason in ''Film/FridayThe13thTheFinalChapter'', Jason tries to pull this off. However Tommy has none of it and starts [[ExtremeMeleeRevenge chopping away at him,]] shouting "Die!!!" with each chop.
* ''Film/TheLastDaysOnMars'' (2013). A ZombieInfectee takes off her space helmet on the Martian surface [[HeroicSacrifice to stop the hero trying to get her to safety]]. As the hero [[DiedInYourArmsTonight holds her body]] and sheds ManlyTears, a twitching space glove signifies she's about to attack him as a zombie.
* ''Film/{{Cliffhanger}}''. During the mid-air heist a federal agent is shot. As the last villain prepares to depart the airplane, he steps on the man's hand. It twitches in response, then the camera pans to show he's wounded but NotQuiteDead yet. And he has a submachine gun. Although he's killed soon after, his subsequent actions put a wrench in the villains EvilPlan and kick off the rest of the plot.
* The first sign that Inger has successfully been brought BackFromTheDead in ''Film/{{Ordet}}'' comes when her clasped hands twitch and then unclasp.
* ''Film/FaustLoveOfTheDamned'': After Claire tries to have her master "M" killed to take his place, the first thing indicating that he's NotQuiteDead are his fingers moving.
* In ''Film/TenCloverfieldLane'', Howard sedates Michelle after her first assault on his life. Her coming to afterwards is preceded by a twitching of her hand in close-up.
* In ''Film/{{Moon}}'', the first sign of clone Sam 3 awaking from stasis is the twitching of the fingers of his right hand.

* This trope was used a few times in ''StarWars: Literature/GalaxyOfFear''. In ''City of the Dead'', whole body twitching marks people who've been killed and [[OurZombiesAreDifferent brought back]] with a serum. ''Ghost of the Jedi'' follows an EyeAwaken with this trope. In the obligatory TheEndOrIsIt ending of ''Army of Terror'', [[spoiler:Eppon's finger twitches on the final page, implying that Gog's ultimate weapon is not only alive, but survived [[YourHeadASplode having its head blown off with a cortex bomb]].]] However, the narration also says that perhaps it's the wind, and since [[WhatHappenedToTheMouse this is never heard from again]], perhaps it was.
* Creator/AlanDeanFoster's novelization of ''Film/TerminatorSalvation'' has Marcus Wright badly hurt but right as Kate Connor is about to call him dead, they see his metallic fingers curing around Blair Williams' hand.
* In the novelization of ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil3Nemesis'' when Jill thinks she's [[OneHitKilled one-shotted]] the Nemesis with a gas explosion, her first clue to [[RunOrDie run for dear life]] is when she spots it's finger twitching.
* In ''Film/GoodbyeLenin'', the first sign of the mother waking from her coma is the twitching of her fingers.
* The {{Literature/Miss Marple}} story ''The Moving Finger''. It's not related to the story, but rather how the narrator survived his motorcycle suicide that led him to the country.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* [[spoiler:The first Sheriff of Nottingham]] in series 3 of ''Series/RobinHood''. Though it takes him a surprisingly long time to return from his [[NotQuiteDead Not Quite Death]].
* A Chinese soap titled ''Freezing Point'' ends with (long story) the protagonist in the hospital in a coma, her fingers twitching back to life as her love ones surround her and beg her to PleaseWakeUp.
* It was subverted in Season 5 of ''Series/DesperateHousewives''. [[spoiler:Edie]] is accidentally electrocuted, falls down... then we get a close up of the Twitching Hand right before the credits. The following episode starts with the character already cremated, IIRC.
** Sadly true in real life, since it's obvious that she's ''still'' being electrocuted at this point, which would cause muscle spasms.
* Happens in ''Series/{{House}}'', and the entire episode is in first person perspective, as they guy is helped to get back from his current state.
* While not a direct example, some characters in the re-imagined ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'' often wake up or regain consciousness via this. One example would be Baltar in Torn: Up to that point, the audience is not sure what happened to Baltar since New Caprica. At the beginning of Torn, we get a MindScrew dream sequence ending with Baltar's hand twitching and Baltar waking up aboard a Basestar.
* In ''Series/HappyDays'' when the Fonz is frozen by Mork he comes back by first wiggling his thumb.
* The ''Series/DoctorWho'' MadeForTVMovie has the Doctor doing this as he's WakingUpAtTheMorgue. The shot alternates with FrankensteinsMonster coming to life in the black-and-white movie the morgue attendant is watching. Yes, they tried to make the Doctor out to be quite spooky. Afterward, he escapes the morgue via BarrierBustingBlow, maintaining the spookiness factor, and then we see him looking confused and clutching his shroud tightly around himself and flinching when the morgue attendant screams and faints when he sees him.
** Happens twice in "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS17E1DestinyOfTheDaleks Destiny of the Daleks]]".
* In one episode of ''Series/{{Mash}}'', a soldier's "corpse" is shipped to the 4077th along with a bunch of wounded. For most of the episode, the viewers are the only ones who see the soldier try to move enough to call for help.
* ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' 7x02: Sam and Dean's first fight with one of the season's brand-new monsters ends with them dropping a car on it. At the end of the episode, we see its hand sticking out from under the car, fingers twitching, and the pool of blood retreating back into its body. {{Justified}} in that the creatures are {{Nigh Invulnerab|ility}}le.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' - Jenny is knocked unconscious when a demon-possessed old friend of Giles breaks out of the library cage...and collapses into a puddle of liquid. As the pool touches Jenny's hand, it twitches, and she comes to...[[spoiler: now possessed.]]
* On ''Series/TheXFiles'' this trope shows up in season 8's "Dead Alive" to show that Mulder was alive and ''not'' turned into a Super Soldier from TheVirus. The trope turns this moment into a CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming, since before this episode, Mulder had been [[spoiler: dead for three months]] and abducted/missing for at least four months before that, leaving behind a very distraught Scully behind. The episode ends with Scully clinging anxiously to his hand, a FingerTwitchingRevival, an absolutely heartbreakingly relieved look on Scully's face, and a badly timed joke on Mulder's part.
-->''(Mulder's hand twitches in Scully's, and he wakes up to find Scully sitting next to his hospital bed)''
-->'''Scully (on the verge of bursting into tears):''' Hi.
-->'''Mulder:''' Who are you?
-->''(Scully is devastated until she sees Mulder crack a smile)''
-->'''Scully:''' Oh, God, don't do that to me.
* On ''Series/GeneralHospital'', this was the first indication that heroine Laura was coming out of her catatonic state.
* On ''Series/{{Glee}}'', when Burt has a heart attack, he ends up in a coma and it's unknown whether or not he will wake up or not. At the very end of the episode, his son Kurt is sitting at his hospital bedside holding his hand when his finger twitches ever so slightly. Kurt calls for a nurse, and the next episode reveals that he's okay.
* ''{{Series/ER}}'' combined this with EyeAwaken when a hungover Doug woke up following one of his random one-night stands.
* ''Series/AllMyChildren'': After falling from a bridge and washing up on shore, the first indication that Tad Martin had survived the attempt on his life was when his hand began to move.
* ''Series/OneLifeToLive'': Having been shot several times in the back, Todd Manning was presumed dead and thrown into a trunk by his assailants. But just before the trunk was slammed shot, the sight of his hand moving was enough to show that he'd survived.
* At the end of the ''Series/EmeraldCity'' episode [[Recap/EmeraldCityS1E2PrisonOfTheAbject "Prison of The Abject"]], this is the first sign that [[spoiler:Mombi has revived herself after Lucas's rather enthusiastic attempt to kill her]].
* ''Series/GreysAnatomy'': The season 9 finale ends with Richard Webber lying in a pool of electrified water, twitching. The following episode saw intern Heather Brooks finding Webber, though when she steps into the water to try to help him, she too is electrocuted. However, Brooks falls and [[TapOnTheHead hits her head on an edge, and doesn't twitch when she hits the ground]]. Played straight when both are rescued later; Webber survives, though Brooks doesn't (however, the head injury killed her, though the electrocution definitely didn't help).

* In the music video for "Anna Molly" by Incubus we see a girl who is found in a forest presumed dead. However leading up to the end of the song we find the girl start to faintly respond... while a nearby doctor prepares to lobotomise her. Her fingers twitch and we even see a tear slip out of her unblinking eyes as the buzzsaw draws nearer. Fortunately she regains control of her arm and grabs the doctor, causing him to drop the saw on the floor. JustInTime.

* This is how the characters in ''Theatre/{{Rent}}'' realize Mimi is alive.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* At the end of ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2'', the player is [[spoiler: lying (apparently) mortally wounded on the ground with a knife in your chest, when their fingers twitch. After furiously pressing a button, they then proceed to [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome pull the knife out of their own chest, and throw it into the Big Bad's eye.]]]]
* It happens at the end of the childhood section of ''VideoGame/FableII''.
** Justified in the fact as a hero, he(or she) can only die of old age, but was still busted up enough it took a long time to recover from.
* Happens in ''Franchise/DevilMayCry'' when Dante first [[ImpaledWithExtremePrejudice acquires]] Alastor. Again in ''Franchise/DevilMayCry 3'' when he first [[LimitBreak devil triggers]]. And ''again'' in ''Devil May Cry'' 3 after the first Vergil battle -- which is Vergil's cue to stab him ''[[OnceIsNotEnough again]]''.
* [[spoiler:[[TheDragon The Supreme Hunter]]]] does this in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' after the first fight. Granted, he did [[spoiler: regenerate [[FromASingleCell from a puddle of his own remains]], starting with the hand.]]
* Cao Cao in ''VideoGame/WarriorsOrochi 2''. In Orochi's Story, the end of one of the levels has Orochi's forces whoopin' Cao Cao's ass. The cutscene afterwards shows Dian Wei carrying his body off the battlefield, making it look like he's dead...until they zoom in on his hand.
* ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfKyrandia'' uses it in a [[TheStinger stinger]] at the end of the second game: Malcolm is freed from his [[TakenForGranite statue form]], but all we get to see is him twitching his finger.
* Happens in ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'' as [[spoiler: Ganondorf]] survives his attempted execution.
* Get the reinforcement points high enough in ''VideoGame/MassEffect3'' and choose the Destroy end. The last second will be of Shepard, who everyone thinks died, starting to move.
* [[spoiler: Asch's]] finger-twitch is one of the many, ''many'' things that makes the ending of ''VideoGame/TalesOfTheAbyss'' so [[GainaxEnding damn]] [[MindScrew confusing.]] Let's put it this way - despite the fact that his finger obviously twitches, this trope might be either played straight or subverted, [[spoiler: because we don't know if he lives in the end or not.]]
* A variation happens in [[VideoGame/ParasiteEve2 the second]] ''VideoGame/ParasiteEve'' game: once Aya reaches the Akropolis Café, she sees a young woman there. She faints, but her hand twitches as she wakes up and transforms into a monster right before Aya's eyes.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/GrisaiaNoRakuen'' [[spoiler:after the climactic showdown on Heath Oslo's floating fortress which ended with blowing the whole thing up]] the camera is left with a wide view of the ocean and nothing but a single arm, which twitches feebly before cutting to the credits. [[spoiler:So, yes, Yuuji survived as shown in the afterstory, though they never explained how he survived the basically fatal wounds he already had let alone being right on top of a massive explosion and dropped in the ocean.]]

* ''Webcomic/TimesLikeThis'': [[http://www.timeslikethis.com/index.php?id=469 Just when you think Philip is dead...]]
* ''Webcomic/ChildrenOfEldair'': This is the first sign of life Embera shows after Koe brings her to his home after a month and a half comatose.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Subverted/averted in ''WesternAnimation/JusticeLeagueUnlimited''. [[spoiler:When Galatea, Supergirl's [[EvilTwin evil clone]], is beaten by Supergirl by way of massive electrical shock, we see the fried Galatea on the floor as Supergirl and Steel walk away. Her fingers twitch ever so lightly. However, we never hear from her again nor do we learn her fate, so this might have been a Finger-Twitching Revival that was ignored by its creators, put there to use if they wanted. Unused, it could just be residue bodily response to the electricity.]]
** Or it could have been just to imply the character is still alive, since the show was reluctant to kill humans or human-like characters on screen due to AnimationAgeGhetto.
* Ernie, the giant chicken mascot (and combat enemy to Peter Griffin) in ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' first clip show, Homer is put into a coma because of Bart's prank. When Bart tearfully admits he pulled said prank, Homer starts to come to in this manner... only to go into outright absurdity as Homer seemingly revives because he's downright ''furious''. In the seconds before he woke up, his heart-monitor began to display Bart's outline;
--> '''Homer''': Why you little-!
* [[AvertedTrope Averted]] in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TransformersPrime'' when [[spoiler:The Decepticons [[WhamEpisode discover the location of the Autobot base and blow it up]].]]