Groin Attack

Even a superhero isn't immune.

"But the ball! His groin! It works on so many levels!"
Homer Simpson's critique of amateur film, "Man Getting Hit By Football".

It's not always played for comedy, but seeing someone get struck in the crotch is usually just plain funny. Whether the object doing the striking is an errant piece of sports equipment or a deliberately placed foot, the end result is going to be a grown man doubled over and trembling with pain. Bonus points if he then hobbles away and says something in a high-pitched voice. Not only will everyone find this hilarious, but tape it and play it back for the guy and even he will probably laugh. At least, once the swelling goes down. Sometimes a cause of Amusing Injuries, especially if the victim is asking for it. In shows targeted at children, it's often a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, or at least treated as one in-story (see 3 Ninjas and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie). In Japanese media, the blow is often accompanied by the sound of a bell.

Effectively, this is a human's version of Attack Its Weak Point for massive damage.

A subversion of this is Balls of Steel, where a character — for whatever reason — does not take damage from a Groin Attack (or at least doesn't take extra damage).

Of course, this usually only applies to men, as women seem to be immune to the trope. Or that is, at least, how many depictions in popular cultures work out. In reality, females are as vulnerable in their groin as men are. A strike or squeeze to the vulva or clitoris will cause considerable pain and can incapacitate females due to the high amount of nerve endings in these structures. In extreme cases, the female victim may black out. The reason why females sometimes do not seem to suffer as much pain from a groin attack is because the vulva and clitoris, the parts of the female groin which cause pain when struck, are smaller than the target areas of the male groin, and are hence less likely to be hit. Nevertheless, a strike to a female's genitals can be just as damaging and debilitating as a blow to a male. Potential long-term health problems can arise for female victims of groin attacks including nerve damage to the clitoris, fracture of the pubic bone, hematoma, and vulvodynia. In many parts of the world, an attack on the female groin is considered to be sexual assault. EVEN AGAINST A MAN this can be seen as a sexual crime (for obvious reasons).

In contrast to most groin attacks, groin attacks that draw blood or involve some form of mutilation are very likely not to be played for comedy — and owing to the Primal Fear of bad things happening to our nether regions, particularly nasty attacks of this nature can be downright disturbing. Apart from being a hallmark of the Lust variant of the Serial Killer, this form of attack is most often used as either a particularly vicious form of Cold-Blooded Torture or as a way for Antiheroes to punish rapists and other sexual criminals, though a particularly vicious Combat Pragmatist may also use this tactic as just one more way to even the score or gain the upper hand in a fight. It may still come off as funny, though, if the guy is perceived as having brought it upon himself, such as having his gun go off in his pants. See Crippling Castration for examples of groin attacks that lead to the unfortunate victim losing his organs/the ability to procreate.

Along with Taser Tag Weakness, the Groin Attack also seems to be very effective against Superheroes and Supervillains, although some of them are immune.

Compare Freudian Threat. Also see Standard Female Grab Area (which is not the same area, instead the upper arm). Eye Scream, Fingore, and The Tooth Hurts are other primal fear reactions. The Distaff Counterpart to this trope is Breast Attack. Often utilized by a Combat Pragmatist, and commonly followed up by Instant Soprano and/or Share the Male Pain.

WARNING, Reading these may cause extreme paranoia about injury to the pubic area and wincing in sympathy pains. Yes, even if you're female. Also, this is never as funny in Real Life as it is on TV and can actually cause very nasty injuries, so unless you are in a real self-defense scenario, Don't Try This at Home.

Examples belong in subpages:

Alternative Title(s): Groin Kick, Widowmaker, Ballbust, Cuntpunt