It's time for the Second TV Tropes Halloween Avatar Contest! Details here
Just be careful in the bathroom.
He's a homicidal killer and he has a scary look
And on his right arm, where his hand should be, he has a razor sharp hook!
A character replaces their hand with a hook or similar object. Bonus points if a crocodile is somehow involved.
This is an example of Fashionable Asymmetry
, and subtrope
of Artificial Limbs
, and is one of the stereotypical attributes of pirates
. More generally, it serves as a Red Right Hand
, though such uses may have reached a Dead Horse Trope
level. Such an individual will invariably be Dressed to Plunder
See also Hooks and Crooks
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Anime & Manga
- One Piece
- Sir Crocodile; this itself is a reference to Captain Hook, who lost his hand to a crocodile. Crocodile himself seems to love the creatures, and how he lost his hand has yet to be explained. It is also bigger than his head and gold-plated. He can remove the gold sheath, which allows the hook to inject deadly scorpion venom on contact, and there's a hidden knife blade if that hook is broken.
- Ax-Hand Morgan also has... well...
- Zellogi, one of the minor Shinigami from Death Note, has a Hook Hand.
- Mobile Suit Crossbone Gundam, keeping with its Space Pirate motif, introduces a weapon called the "hook shield" in The Steel 7; as its name implies it's a small shield with a literal Grappling-Hook Gun on the end.
- Mobile Suit Gundam AGE has the pirate-themed Gundam AGE-2 Dark Hound, which has a pair of grappling "hooks" mounted on its backpack.
- Aquaman loses his hand to piranhas after the villain Charybdis steals his ability to control sea life, and replaces it by simply tying a harpoon head to the stump; later he'd be fitted with a more elegant hook that he could launch on command or swap out with a cybernetic hand. In the Justice League cartoon, he gets trapped under a rock, and is forced to cut it off himself in order to rescue his infant son.
- This was parodied in the first issue of Young Justice, where Robin has a nightmare about his hand being eaten by cockroaches and being replaced by a batarang hook thing. Self-Deprecating Humor at work — Peter David wrote both Aquaman when the hook was first introduced and Young Justice. The other two characters' nightmares were Superboy's jacket becoming fiery wings (David's Supergirl) and Impulse ricocheting from one unbalanced personality to another, before snarling "Impulse FLASH!" (David's Incredible Hulk).
- The DCU
- A hook-handed assassin killed circus acrobat Boston Brand, turning him into the ghostly hero Deadman.
- The Hook was one of the New Blood heroes introduced during the Bloodlines Crisis Crossover event in 1993. He was a hook-handed Vietnam vet who gained the power to cut through anything with his hook.
- Plastic Man once faced a villain called "the Trowel" who had lost a hand and had it replaced with a bricklayer's trowel.
- One of the villains in Hero Camp is the Hook, a former pro wrestler who lost his hand in an unfortunate but never-explained accident. His dislikes include the Chicago Cubs (he's from chi-town) and things that take two hands to do.
- Arkham Asylum guard Aaron Cash in Arkham Asylum: Living Hell lost his hand in a scrape with inmate Killer Croc and was fitted with a crude hook. When Croc corners him during a riot, he says "tick tock" in reference to Captain Hook and the crocodile. Cash and Croc have since developed a severely adversarial relationship, as you can imagine.
- Naturally enough, Cash makes a few cameo appearances in the Batman: Arkham Asylum video game. Croc obligingly continues to fill in the other half of the motif with an almost obsessive "tick tock" chanting.
- Castenado from Garth Ennis' Just a Pilgrim has two hooks, to match his two peg legs and the two missing eyes covered by eyepatches and cement him as the ultimate pirate.
- Phil, The Mentor in Pirate Club. He didn't actually lose his hand to a killer whale as he might tell you; he's been a garbage man for decades and accidentally got his hand caught in the mechanism. However, being an old guy with a hook for a hand causes him to be idolized by the Pirate Club.
- Minor Marvel Comics malcontent Razorfist has a slight variation in that both his arms terminate in large blades. Unlike a normal hook, however, this leaves him totally incapable of manipulating anything at all of his own volition; his enemy Toxin theorizes that when Razorfist decided to be fitted with the blades he was subconsciously absolving himself of any real sort of responsibility while forcing others to tend to his needs.
- The new Vengeance, ex-cop Kowalski, lost his hand to a lunatic (the last heir to an ancient curse, naturally) who ate it to tide him over until he could finish him off for dinner. He would get a pincer hook thing, but after finally encountering Ghost Rider again in the desert, he became a Spirit of Vengeance and his hook became a more familiar (but angular-y) shape.
- In Ms Tree, Dan Green has a pincer hook in place of his left hand (which he lost to a bomb).
- To replace the forearm he lost in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (2003) remake, Leatherface gets a hook hand (composed of a bone, belts, and a meat hook) in the comics set after the film.
- Lucien Machete in the Topps Comics Zorro series. He adapts his hook hand into a Swiss-Army Weapon.
- Sky Pirate Captain Plunder in Sonic the Comic has a hook inplace of his left hand.
- The Outsiders once fought a villain named Nunchuku, who instead of hands, had, well... what do you expect? He was arguably one of the less silly opponents The Outsiders faced.
- The Punisher villain Mr. Badwrench had a (you guessed it) wrench in place of a hand. Frank kills him with it.
- Hsu Tanaka in Hsu and Chan lost a hand in a swordfight with his lifelong rival Akira Yamamoto, and subsequently had it replaced by a simple prosthetic claw that can bend solid steel.
- Gaspar, the evil dolphin hunter in the "Dossier on Pluto" arc from Modesty Blaise.
- Done jokingly in A Very Potter Musical; after Snape cuts off his hand during Voldemort's rebirth, he replaces it with a hook.
Films — Animation
- Captain Hook from the Disney version of Peter Pan, pictured above.
- The version of Captain Hook in the Shrek movies, who plays piano in a bar despite his Hook Hand.
- The thug with a hook for a hand in Tangled who dreams of becoming a concert pianist. His dream comes true in the end.
Films — Live-Action
- Homer Parrish in The Best Years of Our Lives - played in the film by a real double amputee
- Edward Scissorhands
- C. A. Rotwang, the mad scientist in Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film Metropolis, wears a fully functioning prosthesis in place of his lost hand.
- In Dr. Strangelove, Dr. Strangelove (a.k.a. Merkwürdigliebe, the German translation of Strangelove), a former Nazi and strategy expert (Sellers in his third role). The wheelchair-bound Strangelove is a type of "mad scientist" whose eccentricities include a severe case of alien hand syndrome, so that his right hand, clad in an ominous black leather glove, variously attempts to strangle Strangelove or make the Nazi salute.
- Dr. Strangelove was actually translated as Dr. Seltsam (Strange) in the german version, both in the title of the film and for the character himself.
- Dr. No fitted himself with metal manual prostheses after Tongs cut off his hands.
- Sanford Scolex (aka Dr. Claw) from the 1999 Inspector Gadget movie. Lampshaded, too: "It has a sort of postmodern Captain Hook feel to it...Too bad 'Hook' is taken, huh?" It carried over (with more simplified mechanisms) into the second one.
- In the movie I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, the killer has a hook for a hand. (In I Know What You Did Last Summer, he killed with a gaff hook that he carried.)
- The Claw, the villain from the Dick Tracy movie Dick Tracy's Dilemma. He accidentally electrocutes himself when his hook jams in some wiring while trying to kill Tracy.
- The (mostly good) tow truck driver in Adventures in Babysitting, right after Chris has told the kids a horror story about a killer with a hook.
- Moon, from the martial arts fantasy "Fox Legend". After a fox demon gnawed off her left hand, she had it replaced with a hook-like knife.
- Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman, Candyman.
- You fool, you've doomed us all! The only thing that could be worse would be invoking Candle Jack and
- In Puppet Master, the puppet Blade has a tiny little hook for one hand. Befitting his name, the other hand is a little knife.
- Godzilla gives us Gigan, who has hooks in lieu of hands among his other Spikes of Villainy. In Final Wars his hooks are now curved blades, and in the final battle he replaces the blades with dual-pronged chainsaws.
- Captain Hook in, well, Hook. Kinda explains itself, really.
- In the 2003 Peter Pan, Jason Isaacs plays the only Captain Hook who's actually shown as having an ugly scarred stump of his right arm, before we see him strapping on the heavy complicated leather harness that holds his hook in place.
- A heroic example happens in the 1977 film Rolling Thunder, where the main character (a former Vietnan POW) loses his hand and replaces it with a sharp set of hooks.
- Leatherface's brother Tech (alternatively known as Tinker) from Leatherface: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre III.
- Sported by one of the killers in Lovers Lane. The other two just have removable hooks that go over their hands.
- In Evil Dead 2, after he has to cut off his own hand, Ash attaches a chainsaw to the stump.
- Matthew, the Villain Protagonist of The Seventies Slasher Movie Scream Bloody Murder. Weirdly, despite Matthew's general Ax Crazyness he only uses his pseudo-appendage to kill one person, not counting his suicide at the end.
- One of the bad guys in Surf Nazis Must Die is hook-handed and goes by the name Hook.
- Judge Dredd. One of the Angel Family, the cyborg known as Mean, has a hook at the end of his cybernetic arm.
- Despite the title, the killer in The Hook of Woodland Heights has a barbecue fork in place of one of his hands.
- In Live and Let Die, Tee Hee Johnson, The Dragon to Big Bad Kananga, has a vicious-looking pincer in lieu of a right hand. He threatens to cut James Bond's little finger with it during an interrogation. In fact, his whole arm is mechanical — he lost it to a caiman.
- Forest Whitaker's character in Smoke (1995) has lost his left arm in a car accident and wears an arm prosthesis with a snatch hook.
- In The Hobbit, the orc chief Azog loses his left hand in a fight with Thorin and has it replaced with a prosthetic consisting of a metal rod impaled through the stump and protuding through his elbow, with a twisted claw at the end.
- One baddie in Charade has a hook hand as a leftover from WW2. He even has a spare one in his suitcase.
- Both anthology films Campfire Tales (1991) and Campfire Tales (1997) feature a version of the Urban Legend about an escaped mental patient with a hook hand.
- Manon in The Alligator People lost his left hand to an alligator, and now has a hook in its place. This loss pisses him off so much that he has developed an undying hatred for the things, and he periodically gets drunk and shoots at them with his revolver.
- In Book 5 of the Lone Wolf series, Shadows on the Sand, during the palace prison escape path, you can meet "Hammerfist the Armourer", a huge weaponsmith with a hand replaced by a warhammer for both fighting and metalworking.
- One yarn involves a pirate with a peg leg, eyepatch, and hook hand recounting to a landlubber how he came to receive each of them. He tells of how he lost his leg to a shark and lost his hand in a skirmish with the Royal Navy, but lastly he explains that the eyepatch came from a time when he glanced up at the crow's nest and a seagull crapped in his eye. That's not what did it, of course, but it happened to him on his first day with the hook.
- Captain Hook from Peter Pan might be the Ur Example. He's definitely a major reason for this trope's piratical associations.
- Fergus in the Outlander series. He's not a pirate, but a Loveable Rogue. Until he's not.
- In the James Bond novels, Felix Leiter has a hook for a hand in all of his appearances after Live and Let Die when he was mauled by a shark.
- In A Series of Unfortunate Events, Count Olaf's associate Fernald has two hooks for hands (and in fact is generally referred to by the narration as "the hook-handed man"). It is never told how he lost his hands, but since he works for a Pyro Maniac (and has also few traits of it) he probably acidentally spilled gasoline to his hands, and lit a match withouth wiping it off...
- Panamon Creel from The Sword of Shannara Trilogy.
- The Areas of My Expertise: According to John Hodgman, most (well, at least 9) of the U.S. presidents, though George W. Bush has a chainsaw instead. He also claims that in the original Hollywood script for the 2008 election, John McCain would win, Sarah Palin would remove her rubber hand and reveal that she had a hook hand as well as an assault rifle for a leg, become the de facto president, and change the title of President to "The American Huntress". Admit it, that sounds pretty cool.
- Captain van Hoek in Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle ends up with one of these.
- Eugenides in Megan Whalen Turner's King of Attolia uses a hook as a replacement for his right hand. It seems mostly useful in battle, since the inner edge is described as knife-sharp.
- In The Sharing Knife, Dag lost his hand years ago, but commissioned a device for his arm that can have any number of implements screwed into it, including a hook with some pincers, a spork, a fake hand for public appearences, and even a specially modified bow.
- The title character in Dr. Adder has a humane cow-killer for a right arm.
- Malazan Book of the Fallen: The warrior caste of the K'Chain Che'Malle replaced their forearms with massive blades.
- Not quite a hook, but close: In Moby-Dick, Captain Boomer of the Samuel Enderby has lost an arm to the white whale and had it replaced with a harpoon.
- Marethyu from The Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel, whose hook represents The Grim Reaper's sickle.
- In the Jules Verne novels From the Earth to the Moon and The Purchase of the North Pole, veteran artilleryman, engineer and mathematician J.T. Maston has a hook (with fittings for a pen or a chalk) for the right hand and a guttapercha skullcap to cover a horrible scar in the head. His wounds are explained as the result of him designing a giant mortar during the American Civil War, which exploded at the first test shot, killing more than 300 men and disabling even more including him.
- A relatively minor example in the Aubrey-Maturin series, wherein midshipman William Reade has a hook to replace the hand he lost in combat. Reade views it in good humor, at one point saying that he might have a disadvantage in passing for lieutenant as he was a tripod instead of a quadruped.
- A non-villainous example is Patrick Stump in Fall Out Boy's series of music videos, the Youngblood Chronicles. His left hand is chopped off early on, and in a later video, it's crudely replaced with a hook.
- In the Big Finish Doctor Who audio adventure "Doctor Who and the Pirates", Evelyn initially claims that Red Jasper has two hooks for hands. When Sally points out he would not be able to fire a pistol, Evelyn admits she was embellishing, but it is not clear if Jasper has one hook or none.
- New World of Darkness naturally has a place for the old Urban Legend slash horror story of the Hook-handed Killer. There are even at least two versions statted out; one of the minor ideas in the Urban Legends sourcebook is a maniac with some dash of supernatural power who embodies this, and there's also a True Fae version.
- Captain Kadd from The Abduction of Figaro by P.D.Q Bach is a stereotypical pirate in all ways, including this one.
- Gahlok Va, from BIONICLE, has a hook in place of its left hand.
- Lord Sam Sinister from LEGO Adventurers, being a Classic Villain, naturally wears one on his left hand.
- Two enemies in the Wario Land series, Captain Coin from Wario Land 4 and Captain Skull from Wario World, have a hook for at least one hand (the latter also has a cannon replacing the other hand).
- Dr. Loboto in Psychonauts. Part hook. Part pepper grinder. Part of your Paper-Thin Disguise as Loboto involves using a trophy as a hook.
- White Raila in The Witcher, has one in the books (as the result of being tortured by elves, the same event that made her hair white with trauma). In the game it is said but not shown.
- Monkey Island
- Kargath Bladefist from the Warcraft series. The manual says he cut it off himself after reaching the station of grunt, and replaced it with a sickle. When Kargath became leader of the Shattered Hand clan, it became customary for warriors to replace one hand after being accepted as full warriors of the clan. The Burning Crusade saw the return of the clan and their continued self-mutilation as a result of their constant exposure to fel energy; now Kargath and many of his subordinates have replaced both fists with blades.
- Warlords of Draenor retcons the explanation for this tradition. The orcs who became the Shattered Hand were slaves of the ogres, with becoming a champion in their arena being the only hope for freedom. Kargath became a champion but discovered the "freedom" was being chained to a wall by his right hand beneath the arena alongside the other champions. Kargath cut his chained hand off with a rock and bound a blade to the stump, with the other champions eagerly taking his lead.
- Cyan from the Piranas pirate gang in Urban Rivals cut off her own hand solely to affix a hook to it for pirate cred.
- Freed the pirate from Battle Fantasia has a very large hook hand.
- Considering it isn't the real Captain Hook, this may deserve a different entry. In 2010's Epic Mickey, the title Mousey hero fights an animatronic Captain Hook, corrupted by one of the Mad Doctor's machines. You can destroy him, send him to the obligatory Crocodile, or rescue "Tinkerbell" to go get Pete Pan.
- Star Fox Adventures, General Scales uses two of them in place of a left hand.
- One NPC you meet in the Frogwares game Sherlock Holmes: The Awakened is an utterly miserable guy with one of them. The punchline to his sordid story is the one time he had to go to the toilet.... You get to help him by delivering a prosthetic instead, because you need the hook to solve a puzzle. It's that kind of game.
- Digimon World 3 has the pirate-themed Digimon Hookmon. It's kinda in the name.
- The main character in Treasure Adventure Game has one, fitting in the nautical theme of the game. It acts both as a weapon and as a tool for hanging off certain parts of the scenery.
- Nazi science sneers at any example list which doesn't contain Colonel Haken from Irregular Webcomic!
- Bikke the pirate in 8-Bit Theater is under the distinct impression that a grim, rusted hook takes the place of one of his hands; this is pointedly not the case. He later gets one that fits over his hand, but it keeps falling off. Perhaps it's one of those cheap plastic ones that you get in those old pirate costumes they sold in plastic bags.
- Harvoc from Emergency Exit. He is a mailman.
- Torg's blind date from early on in Sluggy Freelance. Mind you, that's just one of her... hum... less than ideal characteristics.
- While an actual Hook Hand has not been seen in El Goonish Shive, the official explanation for Abraham's attack involves a stalker with a hook for his left hand.
- In The Order of the Stick, the captain of Hinjo's boat, Captain Axe, has... well, guess.
- In Nodwick, a ninja-pirate captain wields a nunchaku on his hook by putting the hook through the middle link of the chain.
- In Rusty and Co., Cleave-Hand the gnoll has a axe head for right hand. Until Roxy tears it off, at least.
- Captain Cherry from Skullkickers.
- Demon Fist: Naturally, the pirate captain. Of the deadly grapple variety.
- Hobbes from v3 of Open Blue, who lost his hand while being tortured by the Inquisition.
- The kidnapper from the "The Basement" series of LoadingReadyRun videos has no hands. He replaced one with an axe; thus the character acquired the nickname Axe Hand.
- The Captain from University Ever After gets one after losing his hand when a building where he was partying collapsed.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender: In "The Ember Island Players", the actor playing Jet has a pair of hook hands instead of Jet's hook swords.
- Dr. Hutchison from Rocko's Modern Life. The hook is extremely prominent, and she uses it to scratch someting to announce herself, but she is generally a friendly warm person. However, this just accentuates her Stepford Smiler characteristics, and the viewer is constantly sure she's gonna start killing everyone. (According to the creator, the hook was due to the fact that they were told by executives that they needed a female character with a good hook. They decided to take that a bit more literally than intended.)
- Hutchison's mother has hooks instead of hands. And Hutchison's daughter is born with a hook hand.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Patchy the Pirate.
- Total Drama Island features an episode concerning the campers chased by "The Escaped Psycho Killer with a Chainsaw and a Hook" (always referred to by his full title).
- Lockdown in Transformers Animated has a hook for one of his hands. Given how that entire arm doesn't match his paint job and his history of collecting "trophies" from his victims, it's strongly implied to have previously belonged to a mark of his. He also has a chainsaw on his other hand.
- The Hook urban legend was used as the basis for an episode of Freaky Stories (and a Musical Episode at that).
- Roostre in Twelve Ounce Mouse, whose hand was cut off as part of a conspiracy by Shark and the Square Businessman to keep him from interfering with their plans. For some reason having a simple hook for a hand has had no impact on his ability to play guitar.
- Gripper from Rambo: The Force of Freedom has a big clamp in place of his right hand.
- Laser Pirate from Teamo Supremo, who combines this trope with Laser Blade.
- In the Johnny Bravo episode "Johnny Goes to Camp", Johnny begins telling a campfire story about a man with a hook for a head. The other campers (who are all Hollywood Nerds) call him out on the biological implausibility of such a thing.
- Lefty from John Callahan's Quads! had both of his hands replaced by hooks.
- Captain Stickybeard from Codename: Kids Next Door has a candy cane as Hook Hand. (He also has an eyepatch and a peg-leg; this guy pretty much has every pirate stereotype.)
- In an episode of Beetlejuice, BJ and Lydia run into the pirate Jean LaFoot, who has both a peg-leg and a hook hand.
- Hargon from Korgoth of Barbaria has one.
- In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "You Scratch My Back" there was the Columbian enforcer turned smuggler Enrique El Gancho, aka "Ricky the Hook". (Unfortunately, he was more or less a secondary villain of the episode, with Catwoman being far more important to the plot.)
- The radical Muslim cleric Abu Hamza al-Masri has a hook for a hand.
- Motivational speaker Jeff Steinberg, who is probably best known for this album cover.
- Private investigator J.J. Armes. (He even had an action figure!)
- '60s garage rock group The Barbarians had a one-armed drummer, Victor "Moulty" Moulton, who sported one of these.
- Rock climber Aron Ralston had to self-amputate his arm after it was trapped under an enormous boulder. He's since replaced it with a climbing axe◊, which looks a lot like a hook.