Hit Stop

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Agent Smith will feel that for a long time.

Freezing or slowing time right at the moment of an impact to create the impression that something hits harder, or for dramatic effect. For particularly dramatic scenes it may continue into a full-blown Overcrank. Some video games will also use it to make combo input easier. The trope name comes from the term used for this in the Guilty Gear fighting game series.

Compare: Overcrank and Bullet Time.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Used in Usavich when the giant robot smacks Kirenenko and he collides with Putin and their robot.
  • In the final episode of Cowboy Bebop when Julia is shot.
  • Occurs in Bleach episode #144 when Chad punches the arrancar Demora in the face and crushes half of his mask.
  • Used and abused for great effect in Attack on Titan. starting with the opening theme.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Giorno Giovanna's]] Gold Experience is absolutely brutal. It may look like a simple punch, but in fact, it accelerates your perception of time, and all the time it takes to the person to realize that it was hit, to put it lightly, it's like you've been hit it by a truck, and only after that happens you realize all the pain and suffering you've been through. Ohh, and the catch? It heightens your senses, so it's going to hurt you, a lot.
    • Dio's boxing punch on Jonathan during Part I. He tries again when they grow up, but it's no longer effective.
  • In the final chapter of Nounai Poison Berry, this is used when Saotome smashes the fish sculpture he made.
  • Done in the beginning of Barakamon when Handa punches the Director in the face.

    Films — Animation 
  • Used a lot for the comic effect in Kung Fu Panda, especially during Tai Lung's escape, and later when Po lands on Tai Lung butt-first as they fight their way down the long, long, long, long stairway from the Jade Palace.
  • Zootopia: During Judy's training at the Police Academy, the scene where she pushes a rhino's fist into his own face is shown in slow-motion, with drool and teeth protector comically flying.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Matrix Revolutions, when Neo punches Agent Smith in the face in slow motion during their Battle in the Rain.
  • Used a few times in the 2009 Sherlock Holmes movie, while Holmes is going through his fight moves in his head. The actual fight is then shown in real time to prove that Holmes' moves worked.
  • Watchmen had a ton of this.
  • 300, by the same director as Watchmen also made extensive use during fight scenes.
  • Romeo Must Die, complete with x-ray flashes of the underlying damage.
  • In Undefeatable, early on in their final confrontation, Stingray gives Nick two of these, and Nick gives one back.
  • In The Campaign, Cam Brady slo-mo punches a baby. He was aiming for his political rival as they were fighting over the baby to kiss him, but his opponant ducked.
  • In Raging Bull, Jake LaMotta slo-mo punches an opponent for a KO.
  • Serenity: When River Tam kicks some Reaver ass, she punches one in the face in slo mo.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Used all the time in Spartacus: Blood and Sand, as the show had a similar overall style to Zack Snyder's 300.
  • One of the most hilarious moments in Mythbusters was when Jamie slapped Adam across the face while testing cures for drunkenness and seeing how viable having sense slapped into you was, which was repeated in slow-motion for them to watch. Even Adam thought it was hilarious, though he was drunk at the time.
  • Parodied in one episode of Malcolm in the Middle where a bully attempts to punch Malcolm in the face while everyone else in the schoolyard watches. The action goes into slow motion and Malcolm ducks to the side to avoid being hit. The bully's momentum keeps going and, while still in slow motion, makes an Oh Crap! expression as he sees his fist is now going towards Stevie, who is in a wheelchair, and is unable to stop himself. The impact of the punch is just a light tap on the cheek, but once the speed returns to normal, Stevie suddenly falls over in his wheelchair.

    Video Games 
  • Most modern 2D fighting games have this to varying degrees, with some attacks only dealing a few frames of hitstop to help people confirm combos, to special moves and super moves that have a lot of them, to help drive their impact home.
  • Used in Golden Sun whenever a Critical Hit strikes.
  • Happens in Sonic Adventure 2 when Sonic defeats the Egg Golem, but only when seen from the Dark Story perspective.
  • Used in the Mega Man X and Zero series whenever Zero cuts something with his Z-Saber.
  • Time slows during some third-person finishing blows in The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim.
  • The staggering blow to an enemy in Final Fantasy XIII will typically do this.
  • A correctly done Counter Attack in Final Fight: Streetwise, be it by blocking the attack at the right time or parrying, and you're treated to several variations of this trope.
  • By using the slow motion feature during replays in Mario Kart 8, you can create the effect of making an impact from items look devastating.
  • In Under Defeat, the game momentarily freezes when the player is killed.
  • ALLTYNEX Second has this as a toggleable feature. When enabled, the game pauses for a few frames when you kill an enemy with the blade.
  • Jak X: Combat Racing would do this when the player pulled off certain kill moves, along with a close up zoom of the wrecked car and one of several randomized messages appearing on the screen. The player's car also got this treatment when they were killed. Both of these could be toggled off in the menu, even in mid-race.

    Web Animation 
  • Super Mario Bros. Z uses this. A lot.
  • One of the most famous examples in the web animation occurs at the end of the third episode of the Xiao Xiao series.

    Western Animation 
  • On The Ren & Stimpy Show in the episode "Man's Best Friend," we see this trope in effect as Ren hits his owner George Liquor in the face with a oar.
  • Used in the Futurama episode "Raging Bender" when Destructor delivers a devastating punch to Bender's face which dents in his head and knocks off his mouth piece and some teeth, in a shout-out to Raging Bull.
  • Transformers Prime absolutely loved this. Loved it. In one instance, Arcee managed to land a normal-speed hit on Starscream during a hit-induced slow-motion shot.
  • South Park: During Wendy's beating of Cartman in "Breast Cancer Show Ever," there is a seconds-long pause when she delivers the final blow, cutting from the punch to the crowd's reactions.

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