Forced Friendly Fire

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In the action genre, some characters go beyond a mere Gun Struggle. They will intercept an opponent's gun arm, aim it where they please and force their victim to shoot by squeezing the trigger finger.

Usually the objective here is to wipe out the adversary's fellow mooks. There's no time to disarm them conventionally and risking exposure to shots. Another possibility (contrary to the title of the trope) is eliminating the threat of a weapon by firing all its ammunition. Sometimes reducing the gun to pieces, to be absolutely sure. Then the battle can turn into a hand to hand fight.

There are several interesting permutations:
  • A villain will culminate the murder of his enemy's friends by finally turning the gun on the opponent himself, therefore framing a multiple murder-suicide (or just a suicide, if it's a one on one confrontation). Technically, the victim's hand never left his pistol, so there's no evidence to suggest foul play (so long as the villain wears gloves or wipes his prints off before leaving). Or perhaps he doesn't even care about the frame aspect, but just wants to throw salt in the wounds after making the guy watch his friends die effectively by his own hand. Heroic characters are less likely to do this unless they're outright anti heroes.

  • A martial arts enthusiast perform joint locks on the adversary while simultaneously aiming and shooting. He might even break their wrist, shoulder, or trigger finger to allow for a tricky shot. He might then take the gun off them when the peripheral threats have been eliminated. Occasionally the gun fires because of pain compliance, so the joint locks both force the mook's arm to both aim and shoot.

  • A sufficiently badass character takes Human Shield to its logical conclusion. Not only is he using the person's body to defend himself against their friends, he's using their arm to attack them as well! Usually this is from the standard "stand behind shielding person's back" but a character who's talented enough will contort themselves and their shield so it can work from practically any position.

Requires Improbable Aiming Skills to correctly land shots on moving targets while forcing a struggling mook to aim their arm. Usually characters are able to kill with a bare minimum of shots using this trope. Popular with The Ace, a Cowboy Cop and/or a Crazy Awesome character. Sister Trope to Gun Struggle, which might occur before during and/or after the shots are fired.


Examples:

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     Film - Animated 
  • In Pixar's first Toy Story, Woody uses Buzz Lightyear as a Human Shield to escape from Sid's room. To repel Sid's hideous toys, Woody presses a button on Buzz's back that activates Buzz's Karate-Chop Action. This works because Sid's toys are actually not hostile to Woody and Buzz.
    Buzz: Hey, hey, hey! How're you doing that?

     Film - Live-Action 
  • In Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond does this to Doctor Kaufman to make his death look like a murder-suicide.
    Bond: Me too.
  • In Lethal Weapon, Riggs storms a room full of bad guys to rescue his partner Murtaugh and daughter Rianne. He forces Mr. Larch to shoot a buddy with an arm lock then turns the gun back onto Larch and kills him too.
  • In Live Free or Die Hard, John McClane uses this trope to kill the Big Bad who is standing behind him, shooting through his own shoulder in the process. Therefore inverting the Human Shield variant.
  • Jake is trying to bring Alonzo (who's currently unarmed) to justice in Training Day. But as he's climbing over a railing, Alonzo gets the drop on him and causes Jake's gun to be discharged into the local projects (the Jungle), thereby turning the confrontation into a fist fight. This act was probably the final straw for the disillusioned people living on that street, considering Alonzo's history of using them for his own needs.
  • Undercover detective Damien has to get out of a dangerous casino the hard way in Banlieue 13. So he pulls off an impressive example of the trope, shooting several mooks from multiple angles by locking up a thug's arm in various ways. He also shoots the thug through his leg. He then grabs another mook's arm and forces him to spray bullets around harmlessly before knocking him out.
  • Played with in Raiders of the Lost Ark, when Indiana Jones is wrestling for a gun with a mook. When a second mook gets the order to shoot them both, Indy and his adversary work together to fire off several shots at the second mook.
  • The Matrix series:
    • In the opening scene of The Matrix several police officers try to arrest Trinity and she attacks them. During the fight she grabs one of them and forces him to use his gun to shoot another officer.
    • Another example of the "cooperative shooting" variant is in The Matrix Reloaded. While Morpheus and the albino ghost twin are fighting over a gun during the freeway chase, they cooperate to shoot at the Agent who has just torn off the roof of the car they're in. To very little effect.
  • Serenity. During River's Bar Brawl, someone pulls a gun with the intent to shoot her. She simply grabs his arm and forces him to aim past her, shooting one of the fighters on her other side.
  • The Dark Knight Saga:
  • Played for drama in Fury (2014) when War Daddy forces Norman to shoot a German POW. He refuses, so War Daddy grips his struggling hand and literally pulls the trigger with Norman's finger.
  • Marv does this to thwart an attempted ambush in Sin City.
  • In the very first scene of The World Is Not Enough, this is how Bond kills a couple mooks.
  • In The Lone Ranger (2013), Tonto hijacks a train and a cavalry soldier opens fire on him with a gatling gun. the Ranger lassos the gun barrel and redirects it towards the soldiers that are trying to apprehend Tonto, forcing them into retreat.
  • Subverted in Cutters Way (AKA Cutter and Bone) In which Cutter grasps the dying Bone's hand to aid him in aiming his pistol at the murderous upper-class villain.
  • In Deadpool, Deadpool uses a mook to shoot the other mook driver in the knee during the car chase sequence.
  • Star Trek Beyond: Uhura is actually seen redirecting a weapon one of Kraal's men is firing at another one while they're attempting to board the Enterprise.
  • During the battle aboard the fishing boat in The Guns of Navarone, Andrea wrestles with a German sailor and twists him around, making him fire his gun, hitting and killing the German patrol boat captain.

     Live Action TV 
  • Happens in Leverage during "The Lost Heir Job". Elliot disarms somebody, who then pulls a taser on him. Elliot uses his taser against another mook sneaking up behind him.
  • Nash Bridges: Not as a part of the central episode story, at the start of "Knockout", a gunman gets distracted, incapacitated, and has his firearm still in his hand while it's being fired at his allies immediately after. That's what Nash does when that gunman tells him to sit tight and wait for a moving bridge to crush his partner cop Joe. From the way the bad guys call them at the moment, it looks like Joe has been exposed as an undercover agent, while Nash hasn't.
  • In an episode of Highlander, Duncan and Richie get caught up in a bank robbery. Richie ends up grabbing a female robber from behind. While struggling, she fires her submachinegun and accidentally hits her partner and lover. It turns out that she's Immortal, and he wasn't. And now she blames Richie for his death and wants his head. Luckily, Duncan knows her and trains Richie to counter her signature move.

     Video Games 

     Web Comic 
  • In Schlock Mercenary, after General Xinchub captures his old enemies Captain Tagon and Colonel Jaksmouth, just for fun he has his ship (a battleplate) manipulate Tagon's gun arm with its tractor beams to make him shoot Jaksmouth.
    Tagon: Not five minutes ago I wanted to do that. How is it possible for you to suck the fun out of everything?

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