I Will Tear Your Arms Off
A specific form of Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon
in which a character is so consumed by rage that he threatens to rip someone's limbs off with his bare hands. The delivery of the line tends to be either Large Ham
or Dramatic Deadpan
, depending on the character.
The threat is very rarely carried out, at least on screen. If the character is actually capable of this kind of violence, he may mention having once done this as a casual aside
. If it is carried out and the victim is a recurring character, he will usually get better. May overlap with Comedic Sociopathy
and Bloody Hilarious
Film — Animated
- During the song "I Wanna Be Like You" from The Jungle Book, when Baloo and Bagheera are trying to rescue Mowgli from King Louie and the apes, Baloo actually tells himself, "I'm gonna tear him limb to limb..."
- In How to Train Your Dragon, when Gobber tells the recruits that he lost his leg and hand to a dragon, Snotlout says, "I'll avenge your beautiful hand. And your beautiful foot. I'll cut the legs off every dragon I see. With my face."
- Happens frequently to Doctor Octopus. Usually goes like this:
Super Hero: I hope you're ready to lose those arms.
Ock: Insolent fool! My tentacles are constructed with [whatever 'indestructible' metal he's building his arms with this month] plating! You could not even hope to scratch them!
Super Hero: I wasn't talking about the metal ones.
- Quicksilver is a speedster, so in The Children's Crusade Hulkling threatens to rip Quicksilver's legs off if he talks Wiccan into doing anything stupid.
Film — Live Action
- Humorously, in Pom Pom's Eleven, after they discover a robot in the stash that Homeschool Winner had taken to them, Strong Bad attempts to make it tear Homeschool Winner limb from nonexistent limb. Unfortunately, it ends up shutting down before it can do so.
- The Princess Bride: Inigo and Fezzik need to get into a castle.
Westley: Give us the gate key.
Yellin: I have no gate key.
Inigo: Fezzik, tear his arms off.
Yellin: Oh, you mean this gate key [pulls it out].
- In Star Wars: A New Hope, Chewbacca wails, Han Solo translates.
Threepio: He made a fair move. Screaming about it can't help you.
Han Solo: Let him have it. It's not wise to upset a Wookiee.
Threepio: But sir, nobody worries about upsetting a droid.
Han Solo: That's 'cause droids don't pull people's arms out of their sockets when they lose. Wookiees are known to do that.
Chewbacca: Grrf. [Complete with smug smile and crossed arms]
Threepio: I see your point, sir. I suggest a new strategy, Artoo: Let the Wookiee win.
- Judge Dredd: Rico's ABC robot is holding Judge Hershey by the neck. When Dredd refuses to join Rico's plan to take over the city, Rico threatens to have the robot rip her arms and legs off.
- Varsity Blues: Billy Bob threatens to do this to Coach Kilmer if he gives his teammate a pain-deadening shot of cortisone instead of taking him off the field. "If that needle goes anywhere near Wendell's leg, I swear to God on my mother's grave I will rip your arms off and beat you to death with them!"
- Not played for laughs at all in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban. Hagrid recounts how he met Sirius Black the night of the Potters' murder, and he says that if he had known his role in their deaths, he'd have torn Sirius limb from limb. Hagrid is a half-giant, so he means it, and can follow up on it.
- This trope is made Older Than Print by Beowulf; Beowulf tears Grendel's arm off while locked in a pure test of strength with the monster. He then displays it as a trophy over the door.
- Happens a few times in the Redwall series, often followed up with a threat to feed the removed body parts to the victim. On at least one occasion said threat is made by a badger, and they quite easily could follow up on it.
- A recurring theme in prejudice against orcs in Unseen Academicals is that they rip people's limbs off. In Mr Nutt's Crowning Moment of Awesome, he very calmly asks an Angry Mob if they'd like him to start.
- "I'll rip your bloody arms off!" was the catch phrase of Aunty Jack of the Australian cult comedy series The Aunty Jack Show.
- The Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret : "Give me my money, or I will rip off your arm and stuff it down your cock-hole."
- "And Crilly if you try to bullshit me like that again, I will rip off your arms."
- In the Doctor Who story "The Caves Of Androzani", Sharaz Jek threatens to have the Doctor's arms slowly ripped out by andriods if he doesn't tell him what he wants to know. Unusually for this trope, the androids start making good on this threat before the Doctor gives in.
- In one episode of Blake's 7, Vila threatens an (absent) Tarrant with this gem:
I'll get you for this, Tarrant! I'll rip off your arm and beat you to death with the wet end!
- Similar to the above example, Ziva of NCIS threatens a nerd who gropes her, in nearly the exact same manner.
Remove your hand or I will rip your arm off and beat you to death with it.
- Suffice to say, you don't want to piss her off cause she is very well capable of following through with the threat, being a former Israeli assassin and all.
- Spoofed in the Mystery Science Theater 3000 episode Teenage Crime Wave when the movie's Failure Hero tries to intimidate the villain.
Ben: [growling] Someday I'd like to take you apart.
Servo: [also growling] Put your legs where your arms are supposed to be, and vice versa.
- Star Trek: Voyager. Seven of Nine's response to the Standard Female Grab Area trope is a coldly understated version. "Remove your hand or I shall remove your arm."
- Angel. In "Belonging", Cordelia finally gets an acting gig, only to find she's just expected to smile vacuously in a bikini. After seeing how Cordelia is being patronized by the Smug Snake director, an infuriated Angel offers to rip his head off, pointing out that as he has Super Strength he can do that literally.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Riley Finn catches Spike in Buffy's bedroom, sniffing her clothing.
Riley: What are you doing here?
Spike: What, me? I was um ... uh ... what are YOU doing here?
Riley: Looking for the girl who's gonna rip your arms off when she finds out you were in her bedroom.
- The Prisoner: In "The Girl Who Was Death", Number Six or the lead in his bedtime story pursues his quarry through an amusement park, breaking up a fashion shoot a couple of times - the photographer is not at all amused: "'Ere, wot's yer game, Sherlock Holmes?! You'll never pick up yer teeth with a broken arm! I'll tear off yer leg an' I'll beat you over the 'ead with it!"
- Farscape. Chiana doesn't like being groped by Rygel in "Bone to be Wild".
"If your hand is still there in one microt
, I'll snap it off and use it as a good luck charm."
- Done literally in LEGO Star Wars II by Chewbacca. Given that it is LEGO, it is more humorous than horrific.
- Dragon Age: Origins: "Sten, tear his arms off."
- One of Jax's Fatalities in Mortal Kombat II.
- Sheeva gets in on the act in the 2011 reboot. One of her fatalities is tearing her opponents arms out of the socket, beating them to death with them, and then applauding with them!
- Fallout: New Vegas: In the Dead Money DLC, you and the other team members wear explosive collars rigged to go off if any of the others die. If you explain this to dissuade God (a hulking Nightkin) from killing you, he says he could just tear off your limbs and leave you on the ground, since he could probably get out of range before you bleed to death. Even after he joins you, he'll casually mention tearing off your arm and wear it around his neck.
- Preston Stormer threatens to do this to the DJ Mak Megahertz in one of the Hero Factory podcasts. It's implied that he carried out the threat, too, but Mak's a robot, so he gets repaired.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Man Ray threatens to do this to SpongeBob if the latter doesn't release him. Of course, since Spongebob is capable of regenerating arms, this isn't as big of a threat to him as it could have been. Later in the episode as he tries to pass as a reformed villain, he makes the same threat to Patrick when the latter's stupidity made the task of returning a wallet to him like a good person impossible to accomplish (Patrick, doesn't even think it's his wallet, despite his ID being in it).
- In The Ren & Stimpy Show episode "Sven Hoek", this is one of the threats Ren gives Stimpy and Sven for messing up the house.
- One episode of Regular Show had Rigby and Mordecai scribble various complicated mathematical equations all over the kitchen counter as a result of them being hallucinated by special drink that makes you smarter, and when Benson finds out all about this, he scolds the two into erasing all the "graffiti" on the counter or else he will tear their limbs off.
- Adventure Time's protagonist Finn had his right arm literally ripped off at the start of Season 6, with his own father being responsible. Finn's response to this? Build a Star Scraper so tall it penetrates the outer atmosphere, find him (currently in space), forcefully rip his right arm off, and REATTACH IT TO HIS OWN ARM-STUB.
- "I'll rip your legs out of your ass!" is a common saying/threat in Poland.