A character has something driven into the palm of his hand and right out the other side. Usually a knife, but may be a bullet. Crucially, it is done deliberately and usually (if it's not a bullet), quite slowly.
This may be done for several reasons:
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Anime and Manga
- Preacher: Bad guy drives a knife all the way through her hand. Into a car dashboard. Tulip eventually gathers the strength to pull it off by herself (excruciating pain included) in order to get free and save her boyfriend.
- Bullseye gets a taste of his medicine and then some, when Daredevil pushes his hands into the path of a bullet. While fighting in a church. There is no symbolism or anything.
- In another instance The Punisher (Who was going through a difficult period in his life and decided not to kill him) shot Bullseye in both hands in revenge for framing him for the murder of an innocent family.
- In ElfQuest, Shuna willingly subjects herself to this trope when Strongbow is falling to his death from a cliff. With nothing but bare stone for him to aim a cord-trailing arrow at, she extends her hand and allows him to shoot it through her palm, after which other elves can pull the archer to safety.
- In The Punisher MAX: In The Beginning, Frank Castle is being attacked by an Ax-Crazy tank named Pittsy. Pittsy beats the Punisher's face into hamburger, then grabs a nastily large shard of broken glass and proceeds to stab him repeatedly with it. Crowning Moment of Awesome when Castle resolves the situation by catching the glass in his palm...then snapping off the larger part of it, picking up Pittsy and throwing him out a window.
- Arkham Asylum: A Serious House on Serious Earth has Batman impaling his hand on a piece of glass. The original script called for it to be merely scratched but the art depicted the glass going right through his hand.
- In Batman, Ra's Al-Ghul came back from the dead after his body was destroyed. His first attempt was into the body of a martial artist action star, who had poisoned his own body to foil Ra's plans. Ra's took control of the body, but it was dying and numb of feeling. To demonstrate this, Ra's stabs his own hand, and continues to talk to his daughter Talia while his eye is visible staring out the clean, bloodless hole in his palm.
- Wolverine once put some sugar on his hand and described an old trick of killing a fly without scratching one's self while at a bar, then when the fly landed he demonstrated that he was nowhere near that subtle by pinning his hand to the table with his knife (killing the fly) and getting up to confront the man behind him.
- Constable Angel in Hot Fuzz is stabbed in the palm by a Mall Santa with some scissors.
- Eric Draven in The Crow first demonstrates his regenerating powers by getting shot through the middle of the palm of his hand.
- Roy Batty in Blade Runner keeps himself alive for a few crucial moments longer by driving a nail into his own palm.
- Chuck Noland in Cast Away does this to himself with a sharp piece of wood, which leads to the creation of Wilson.
- In The Butterfly Effect, the main character does this to himself, to get stigmata-like scars on his hands as a little kid, as a part of a complex plan to get his religious present-day cellmate to believe him. (Time Travel is involved.)
- In Eraser, the heroes take cover from a shuriken bomb under the door of a tipped-over refrigerator. Holding it above their heads, Arnold Schwarzenegger's character gets one right through the center of his palm and yanks it straight off.
- Will Scarlet (Christian Slater) in the film Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves has his hand pierced through by Robin's arrow.
- Elektra in the Daredevil movie with her own knife. Pulling it out looks agonisingly painful.
- And Bullseye again, seeing as this scene is derived from the comic books example up top.
- The title character of The Pawnbroker does this to himself at the end of the movie.
- The heroine of the movie Nikita snaps and does this to a policeman with a pencil. She actually stabs it into the back of his hand, which paradoxically looks as though it would hurt more.
- From Dusk Till Dawn: Richard Gekko gets a bullet through his palm. In one scene, he looks through it at his brother.
- Dolph Lundgren's character in Johnny Mnemonic does this to Jane, specifically because he has a Christ complex.
- Blood Simple: Abby nails someone's hand to a windowsill with a steak knife.
- The General: Martin Cahill believes one of his associates betrayed him, so he has someone nail his hands to a pool table.
- Used to great effect in remake of The Crazies. The victim even manages to kill his attacker, while the knife is *still* impaling his hand.
- In the film Starship Troopers, the main characters are in basic training, learning how to throw knives. One cadet asks Sergeant Zim why throwing knives is important in an age when pressing a button can unleash nuclear weapons with far more power. Zim orders him to lay his hand against a wall, and throws a knife through his palm, pinning it. He explains (while the cadet moans painfully in the background) that by disabling a hand, you can prevent that button from being pressed.
- In Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, Ricky gets stabbed in the hand and just nonchalantly rips the object out while staring at his aggressor.
- In Hellraiser III: Hell On Earth, Pinhead pulls two nails from his head and shoves them through the palms of his hands, deliberately mocking the resultant crucifixion imagery to freak out Joey.
- In Return Of The Living Dead III, Julie shoves a shard of glass into her hand to drown out the pain of her Horror Hunger.
- Solozzo did this to Luca Brasi in the movie version of The Godfather to prevent him reaching for his gun. This is, of course, pure Rule of Scary: in the book Solozzo simply held Brasi's arm.
- In the film Total Eclipse, which is based on the dysfunctional relationship between poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, Rimbaud stabs Verlaine's palm with a knife. Verlaine later returns the favor with a bullet.
- The titular protagonist of El Mariachi is shot through the hand by his lover's vengeful ex, preventing him from ever playing guitar again. El Mariachi responds by shooting the man through the chest.
- Happens in a fight in Young Guns 2, and Chavez y Chavez, Lou Diamond Phillips' character, gets stabbed in the hand with a knife. He then proceeds to knock the fuck out of the guy who stabbed him, one of the other young guns, and casually asks if the fight is over and offers the knife back. By pulling it out.
- Ripley 8 does this to herself in Alien: Resurrection to demonstrate her inhuman nature.
- When a sudden eye grows out of protagonist's palm in The Gate, he promptly stabs it with a shard of glass. Oh, and he's just a kid.
- In X-Men: First Class, Magneto does this to a Nazi in a bar in Argentina.
- Among the more disturbing images in Ingmar Bergman's Persona is a hand being nailed to something.
- Averted in Stigmata. Frankie's wounds are through her wrists, and she gleefully notes that they should be through her palms if she has stigmata. However, Father Kiernan notes that historic crucifixions were done through the wrist.
- The Passion of the Christ: You'll never guess which scene.
- In Colombiana, the heroine is confronted, as a small girl, with the man who has just killed her parents. He asks her to hand over an object her father has given her for safe keeping, and holds out his hand across a table. She unclips a knife hidden under the table and pins his palm to the tabletop. Ouch.
- Alice suffers this in Resident Evil: Afterlife, due to a surprise knife attack by Bennett.
- Parker does this to give himself a grip so that he can throw an assassin off his balcony.
- Logan corners a woodland hunter at the start of The Wolverine and runs an arrow through his hand, claiming the arrow he pulled from a dying bear was poisoned.
- Fighting creatures in the Redwall series suffer from this a lot, frequently instead of having a weapon go through more vital areas because the author wants to keep them around or make them suffer. A common variation is having their paws pinned to objects by arrows going clear through.
- In the classic Chinese novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms, the captain of a besieged city is hurling taunts along with his troops down at Sun Ce's army, leaning on a wooden beam with one hand and making rude gestures with the other. Recently recruited Taishi Ci turns to Sun Ce and says "Watch this" before taking his bow and firing a shot that pins the captain's hand to the beam from fifty yards away.
- Two examples from Stephen King:
- In Feet of Clay, Carrot deliberately sticks his hand in the path of a villain's silver-tipped crossbow bolt to shield Angua, a werewolf for whom even a superficial wound would've been toxic.
- Also used in The Truth, when William's hand gets impaled by The Spike during the struggle with Mr. Pin. This backfires on Pin when William frantically smacks at his attacker, and "spikes" him in the neck!
- In the fourth The Dresden Files novel, Harry gets a letter opener driven through his hand by the Winter Queen. Here it definitely demonstrates the stabber's badassery, not the victim's.
- Jack Shandy does this to himself, twice in On Stranger Tides as part of the voodoo magic needed to take Blackbeard down. He essentially wields a sword with a spike in the hilt that goes through his hand, because it needs to be touching his blood to cancel out the bad mojo that Blackbeard is using.
- In Neverwhere, Vandemar does this to himself after being unimpressed by Croup's knife-throwing act (in which Croup didn't even hit one of his own fingers). Being a supernatural whatever-the-hell-he-is, he feels no pain and doesn't bleed.
- Grandma Mazur takes an icepick through the hand in the second book of the Stephanie Plum series. While she rallies, it's also one of the more vulnerable moments for the character, as it forces her to admit that she's not as tough as she claims to be.
- In one episode of Angel, Holtz does this to a new recruit as a punishment, but also a test of her determination. When she refuses to remove the awl pinning her hand to the desk and leave, Holtz knows she has what it takes to join him in his Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
- Angel also saved somebody from being killed by an arrow by catching it through his palm in "War Zone".
- In "Double or Nothing" Angel is playing an Absurdly High-Stakes Game that if he loses will cost him his soul (which will turn him evil). He hands Cordy a wooden stake and says she knows what to do if that happens. When Angel does lose the game, Cordy immediately rams the stake through the Big Bad's palm, holding him in place so Angel can lop off his head.
- In an episode of M*A*S*H, Colonel Blake gets a syringe through the palm courtesy of an uncooperative patient.
- Happens to Ducky in NCIS. He's a little miffed as a doctor but since he specializes in forensics, he says he will be fine.
- In Rizzoli & Isles as well as the first novel the tv show is based on, Hoyt uses scalpels to impale Det. Jane Rizzoli to the floor. She ends up with scars in both her palms and the back of her hands.
- Played for laughs in Scrubs: Dr. Cox' brother-in-law is introduced after he's nailed a piece of wood to his hand with a nail gun. He doesn't seem to care too much about it (because he's been shot full of painkillers). JD, however, immediately faints.
- Monty Python's Flying Circus - A housewife (Terry Jones) shows that tv viewers are indeed idiots by a few demonstrations, one of which involves nailing her own hand to the side of a van and getting dragged away.
- At the tail end of one Stargate SG-1 episode, Col. O'Neill interrupts Heru'ur's attempted Hand Blast by throwing a combat knife through said villain's hand.
- In the Stargate Atlantis episode "The Defiant One", Major Sheppard has to attack an especially persistent Wraith with a knife after they've run out of ammunition. Being able to regenerate, the Wraith just take advantage of being stabbed in the palm to disarm him.
- Thomas from Downton Abbey got himself shipped home from the trenches of World War One by intentionally getting a German sniper to shoot him through the hand.
- In Homeland Quinn does this to Brody with a penknife while interrogating him, either through losing his temper or as a preplanned Rabid Cop act to give someone else the chance to play Good Cop.
- On Heroes, Peter wins a nasty fight against Sylar by blocking the latter's powers, beating the living daylights out of him, and then pins him to a table by driving a nail gun through Sylar's palms and groin.
- From The Borgias, Cesare stabs Giovanni Sforza through the hand with a dinner knife. Giovanni instinctively pulls back and... it's not pretty.
Religion and Mythology
- Jesus is often depicted nailed to the cross this way. See Real Life below for why this wouldn't work.
- In Resident Evil 4, Leon does this to one of the villains by throwing his knife. Leon gets it back, since one of said villain's bodyguards throws it back at him. This is a notable example because it's not done for any of the reasons listed above, being instead a Shut Up, Hannibal! showing that, for Leon, the time for bantering with Salazar is over.
- It's possible to do this in Red Dead Redemption with throwing knives and carefully aimed gunshots.
- In Bioshock Infinite Booker can get stabbed through the hand with a knife by an enemy acting like a tram ticket salesman, which you can avoid by realizing he's acting suspicious and shooting him first. If you let him stab Booker, Elizabeth's shoddy bandaging job with part of her dress will remain visible on Booker's hand for the rest of the game.
- An uncommon HEAT action in Yakuza 3 and 4 when Kazuma is holding a knife near a wall is to throw the mook at the wall, then stab his hand against the wall.
- On Futurama, Fry accidentally nails his hand to a sign. A "No Employee Accidents in X Days" sign.
- In one of the first episodes of the Uncancelled Beavis And Butthead, Beavis accidentally screws a screw into his hand when trying to screw it into the butt of one of Stewart's action figures. Then Butthead tries to unscrew it, but ends up screwing it into Beavis' OTHER hand. After the screw is removed (and Beavis overdoses on painkiller pills) he's mistaken by a cult for the reincarnation of their leader - and he's Cornholio, to boot!
- Also in the earlier episode "Wet Behind The Rears" Beavis gets speared through the hand by a javelin.
- In The Simpsons episode "Bye Bye Nerdie" Homer gets shot through his hands (among other places) when he carelessly hands Maggie a nailgun.
- Despite all known imagery of the Crucifix, likely averted in actual crucifixions. Driving the nails through the palms into the wood would achieve little, as the weight of the person would cause them to tear free. Therefore, the nails would be driven between the bones of the forearm near the wrist. Or people would be tied with rope around the wrists.
- Not entirely certain. There are other people who claim that it is possible to hang by ones hands like that. Or that they nailed your hands and tied you to the cross.
- One of the many versions of Pick a Card Penn & Teller did had a blindfolded Penn ready to stab a card on the table while Teller spreads them out and shuffles them around. Naturally, he stabs down before Teller's finished, driving the blade right through Teller's hand— and impaling the Three of Clubs on the blade.