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Human Knot
"As I foretold, you have annoyed me." Moments later, my arms and legs were tied up in knots. Square knots, to boot. I hate square knots—they're not natural to the human anatomy.

Victims getting abused by tying their limbs and other body parts into knots are usually demonstrating the strength of their abuser. A popular tactic in art styles that use Rubber Hose Limbs, it can be used in other mediums as well. In Real Life, the bones usually prevent the limbs from bending the way they would need to for this trope.

Knotty Tentacles is a subtrope, covering examples of prehensile tentacles, snakes, and characters with stretching superpowers. Both tropes are subtrope of Bound and Gagged, which covers all examples of characters getting tied up (albeit usually in a less literal fashion).

Compare with Barehanded Bar Bending, where the strong character does this same thing to a nonliving object, usually something made of metal. This trope, in contrast, is usually Played for Laughs as a subset of Amusing Injuries.

May be used as a part of Curb-Stomp Battle.

Not to be confused with Knotty Tentacles.

Compare: Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh..., Rubber Hose Limbs, Accordion Man, Squashed Flat and Be The Ball for other victims of Amusing Injuries.


Examples:

Anime & Manga
  • In Dragon Ball Z, Goku evades Princess Snake's repeated attacks (in her snake form), resulting in her tying herself into knots.

Film
  • In The Jungle Book, Kaa (the snake) is tied into a knot.
  • Sir Hiss (also a snake) in Robin Hood is tied in knots and stretched like a rubber band.
  • Lola Bunny leaves Bugs Bunny in a ridiculous knot at the foul line in Space Jam. Bugs made the mistake of pressing Lola's Berserk Button by calling her "doll."

Comic Books
  • A non-comical example in 52: Ralph Dibny knocks out a demon, pumps him full of gingold (a substance that makes a body super-elastic), then ties him up in a giant knot. By the time the demon regains consciousness, the gingold already begins to wear out (with all the nasty consequences of a regular body being tied into a knot), and Ralph offers another portion for the information he needs from the demon.

Magazines
  • One cover of MAD from 1999 has Steve Austin doing this to Alfred E. Neuman.

Literature
  • In the Joes World books, Greyboar the strangler is renowned for tying enemies into knots, especially their necks, and takes a professional pride in making each knot a different one. He also sometimes ties his foster brother and agent, Ignace.
    "As I foretold, you have annoyed me." Moments later, my arms and legs were tied up in knots. Square knots, to boot. I hate square knots—they're not natural to the human anatomy.
  • The Matador Series has Spasm, a chemical that causes every muscle in your body to contract at once, tying you up in knots, and leaves you stuck that way for six months or so.

Live-Action TV
  • In the live action Batman TV series Batman, Robin and Batgirl are tied in a "Siamese Human Knot" by Nora Clavicle.
    "The slightest move by any one of you will only draw the Human Knot tighter, crush your bones and strangle you!"
  • Bull does this to Dan Fielding in an episode of Night Court when Dan tries to stop him from leaving Harry's office.
  • On the old Seattle variety show Almost Live!, there was a series of kung fu parody shorts called "Mind Your Manners with Billy Quan". In one of them, "Fumes of Fury", Quan jumps on the shoulders of his nemesis to choke him with his thighs, but his nemesis ties his legs in a knot. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_cXlSlPboI

Newspaper Comics
  • Happens to Beetle Bailey sometimes when Sarge beats him up, on those occasions when Sarge doesn't just leave Bailey lying in a heap on the ground after stomping on him.

Western Animation
  • Mr. Bogus:
    • This happens in the second act of the episode "Meet Mr. Bogus" during a wrestling match on TV that Bogus has engaged in. The behemoth that Bogus is fighting against just easily grabs him by the arms and ties him up before using a belly flop on him.
    • This was also used in the first act of the episode "Museum Madness". Bogus finds himself facing off against the pharaoh's pet cobra, before fighting the cobra in a Big Ball of Violence. After the fight ends, Bogus is victorious, with the cobra all tied up in knots.
    • In the first act of the episode "Babysitting Bogus", the baby does this to Bogus at the start of the match when Bogus tries to pull off some karate moves against the baby. This leads to Bogus getting tied up to one of the crib's bars.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • Slightly inverted example (it's a small character pulling a Curb-Stomp Battle on a big one and tying him up into a pretzel): Jerry pulls this off on Tom in the Gene Deitch short "The Tom and Jerry Cartoon Kit" to show off his new "Judo for Mice" skills. To add more insult to injury, Jerry does it with just one hand.
    • In another cartoon, "Puttin' on the Dog", Tom Cat disguises himself as a dog to infiltrate a dog pound. When Tom is ultimately unmasked, he climbs to the top of a flagpole, and ties his own limbs into knots to keep himself anchored there, beyond the dogs' reach.
    • Another cartoon, "Sufferin' Cats!", has Jerry being chased by Tom and another cat; by running around both of them, Jerry managed to tie both of them into a knot.
  • Happens to Taz in an episode of Taz-Mania, courtesy of visiting wrestler Rex the Wrecker.
  • Adventure Time: In Lady & Peebles, Ricardio shows off his new body by twisting Lady Rainicorn in a knot and throwing her to the side.
  • While appearing in a charity wrestling event, Darkwing Duck faced a huge wrestler specializing in molding opponents' bodies like balloon sculptures. Darkwing falls to his grip, and gets reshaped into a show poodle. Launchpad and Goslyn call Darkwing away on a case just in time: The wrestler's next intended sculpture was octopus.
  • Another use of the "cat tied into a pretzel" gag occurs in the Pixie & Dixie short "Judo Jack", when Jack applies his pretzel hold to Mr. Jinks.
  • In the Looney Tunes short "Muscle Tough" ("Muscle Tussle"), Daffy Duck gets his arms tied up in a bow when he attempts some Barehanded Bar Bending with a fishing pole.
  • The Twelve Tasks of Asterix: Cylindric the German ends up with all his limbs tied into knots via judo.

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