[[quoteright:204:[[TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}} http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/hokc204_1438.png]]]]

->'''Zoe''': Preacher, don't The Bible have some pretty specific things to say about killin'?\\
'''Book''': Quite specific. It is, however, somewhat fuzzier on the subject of kneecaps.
-->-- ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', "War Stories"
%% One page quote is enough - don't put THAT quote from Skyrim here. Use the Quotes/ page instead.

The act of deliberately damaging someone's knees to incapacitate them or limit their mobility. This can be performed by shooting the victim's kneecaps, or by striking them with kicks, melee weapons, or other up close and personal means.

Since this is an extremely painful type of injury, knee-capping can be used as a brutal form of MutilationInterrogation. This can kill two birds with one stone for the savvy torturer, as the permanently debilitating nature of the injury makes it much more difficult for the victim to escape. Tearing up all that muscle, those sinews and those complicated bones with a bullet would in RealLife probably leave you crippled for life, if you weren't killed by blood loss or shock.

Knee-capping can also be used as a tactic in combat to drastically hamper the mobility of an opponent. Needless to say, this type of fighting is a bit too dirty for most upstanding protagonists, so it is often reserved for villains, {{Anti Hero}}es, and {{Combat Pragmatist}}s.

In real life, it is often not the kneecap itself that is the target of these attacks, as opposed to the joint and tissue beneath it. A piece of CommonKnowledge is that kneecaps don't repair when broken/shattered. They do when treated properly, it just takes a ''very'' long time. Additionally, unlike in film and television, you would ''never'' actually aim to shoot out someone's kneecap or leg to disable a target in such a manner (see the RealLife section below).

A sub-trope of TryingToCatchMeFightingDirty. Compare AgonyOfTheFeet for other mobility hampering injuries, and AnArmAndALeg for occasions when the legs are lost completely.


[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In the first episode of ''Manga/BlackLagoon'', Revy reveals herself to be a fan of the act, and suggests performing it on Rock just for the hell of it.
* Chinatsu from ''Manga/{{Jormungand}}'' brings us a particularly zealous example: When she's not gunning people down as part of her hitman duties, she apparently likes to build complex mechanical torture devices... including one designed to shoot a bound captive in the knee. In the same spot. ''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill 27 times.]]''
* ''Manga/{{Ibitsu}}'': When the Strange Lolita corners Hikari and a classmate in the gym after school one night, she takes the classmate out of the picture by smashing her kneecap with a sledgehammer.
* In ''Manga/RurouniKenshin'', [[TheChick Kaoru]] ends up fighting [[CreepyCrossdresser Kamatari]] in a one-on-one matchup after Misao is taken out. Her final move (after her bokken and Kamatari's scythe are both broken) is to break Kamatari's kneecap with the handle of her wooden sword.
* ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'': Happened to Hiyori after she did a GroinAttack on Urahara. He was unhurt, she was hurt instead.
* ''LightNovel/{{Durarara}}'': Slon gets shot in the knees near the end of season two of the anime.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Munchkin}}'' card game gives us the Hammer of Knee-capping, usable only by dwarves.

[[folder: Comic Books]]
* In the ''ComicBook/{{Spawn}}'' comic, Twitch shoots Spawn in the knee to stop him from escaping. He is rather shaken when Al doesn't even slow down -- Hellspawn have amazing regenerative abilities.
* In ''ComicBook/BatmanNoMansLand'', Jim Gordon does this to ComicBook/TheJoker after he kills his wife, Sarah Essen.
* ComicBook/{{Impulse}} is once shot in the knee-cap by Deathstroke in ''ComicBook/TeenTitans''. And, given the accelerated healing abilities of [[ComicBook/TheFlash The Flash Family]], he immediately burns through any painkillers and the doctors in the ER have to ''re-break it repeatedly'' because it keeps healing automatically but incorrectly.
* Franchise/{{Batman}}'s BattleButler Alfred once threatened to knee-cap ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} in his good leg to stop him [[{{Determinator}} running back into battle with a bad leg]].
* Used twice in ''ComicStrip/TheFarSide'': one is two goons threatening to "persuade" a guy with a wiffle bat (captioned "Ineffective tools of persuasion"), while another has goons waiting outside a guy's window, one doubting they're up to the task, as the guy has "kneecaps from hell" (they're each about the size of his head).
* This seemed to be ComicBook/BuckyBarnes's preferred method in dealing with enemy agents during his tenure as ComicBook/CaptainAmerica.
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', Magneto was disappointed with his children for weakening the Brotherhood in his absence. So he knee-caps Pietro, ''his own son'', with a shotgun and forces his daughter Wanda to watch.
* One of [[ThePunisher Frank Castle's]] preferred methods of interrogation, since he's almost always carrying some kind of pistol, it's quick, and it's hideously painful. Although often he'll just shoot a victim's ''legs'' full of holes until they tell him what he wants to know, not just the knees.
* During the finale of ''ComicBook/{{NYX}}'', Bobby {{Body Surf}}s into one of Zebra Daddy's mooks, and forces the guy to shoot ''himself'' in the knee. And oh yeah, he feels ''everything'' that the people he takes control of do.
* In ''[[ComicBook/MarvelStarWars2015 Skywalker Strikes]]'', Sana is confronted by some Rodian thugs who try to rob her while also looking for Han Solo. When they pull out blasters on her, she simply says "knees"... to the voice-activated [[ShotgunsAreJustBetter Scattergun]] turret sitting by her feet.

* In ''Ghosts of the Past'', sequel of ''Fanfic/ChildOfTheStorm'', Bucky Barnes demonstrates his proclivity for using this tactic to temporarily disable his opponent.
** And in chapter 30, Syrus was going to pull this on [[spoiler: Stevie]], a thirteen year old boy, with a MAC-10 machine pistol, out of sheer spite.
* In the ''Franchise/MassEffect''[=/=]''VideoGame/CommandAndConquerTiberianSeries'' crossover ''Fanfic/{{Renegade}}'', Spectre Garrus Vakarian doles out plentiful kneecaps to his opponents.
* In ''FanFic/NewKidOnTheBlock'', the Kid accidentally does this to Zoom. He wasn't expecting Zoom to be as breakable as he was.

* ''Film/DjangoUnchained'': [[spoiler:Django]] does this to [[spoiler:Stephen in the climax. [[UpToEleven BOTH knees]]]].
* In ''Film/UndeadOrAlive'', after the protagonists find out that the zombies pursuing them can't be killed with a bullet to the brain as one would expect, Sue opts to shoot out the zombified sheriff's kneecaps to make it much harder for him to catch up. This leads to a humorous scene later in which Cletus is forced to carry him piggy-back while chasing the heroes.
* There's an ''ensemble'' knee-capping scene in ''Film/Terminator2JudgmentDay''. The Terminator has promised John Connor he won't kill anyone. But they still need to get into heavily guarded areas, so he starts shooting people in the knee instead. (Although treated as a joke, the fact the man T-800 first shoots is an elderly guard who likely will never walk again gives that scene a bit of MoodWhiplash.)
-->'''T-800''': He'll live.
* The protagonist of ''Film/NobodyWillSpeakOfUsWhenWereDead'' gets her knee corkscrewed during a torture scene.
* ''Film/CasinoRoyale2006'' ends with Bond locating and knee-capping TheManBehindTheMan.
* ''Film/DieHardWithAVengeance'': "[[NotWithTheSafetyOnYouWont Have to take the safety catch off.]]" ''Dakka''
** In the next film, the BigBad again does this to the sidekick.
* A new and unusually intelligent mook looking to join {{B|igBad}}ucho's drug gang in ''Film/{{Desperado}}'' gets put into a savage GangInitiationFight against an [[ThresholdGuardian established member]] of the cartel. He gets his knee cap completely smashed during the fight, (prompting Bucho to quip "He'll never dance again") but manages to win and earn a spot anyway. For the rest of the movie he wears a crude brace by his knee and has issues moving around.
** In ''Film/OnceUponATimeInMexico'', when the Mariachi finally confronts Marquez, he blows both of the evil general's kneecaps out with a sawed-off shotgun before delivering final vengeance by blowing his head off.
* Referenced in ''Film/ReservoirDogs'', where Mr. White tells Mr. Orange that his gut wound is the second most painful place to be shot after the kneecap.
* Meg shoots a mook in the knee at one point in ''Film/TheReplacementKillers''. She later sees the same mook when she's captured and makes a smartass quip about it, to which he responds by kicking out one of her knees and making a quip of his own.
* In the beginning of ''Film/{{Inception}}'', [[FemmeFatale Mal]] is threatening Arthur with a gun in order to get Cobb to talk. Cobb points out killing him won't actually work in a dream. "But pain...? Pain is in the mind," Mal says sweetly, and shoots Arthur in the knee. Luckily for him, Cobb kills him, instantly waking him up.
* In the climax of ''Film/JackieBrown'', Ordell threatens to shoot both of Jackie's kneecaps if she doesn't give him back his money.
* Near the beginning of ''Film/TheSubstitute'', Shale's girlfriend is kneecapped by a street gang, setting the plot in motion.
* During the Spanish Inquisition segment of ''Film/HistoryOfTheWorldPartI'', Torquemada plays kneecaps like a xylophone. [[EarWorm In song!]]
-->'''[[Creator/MelBrooks Torquemada]]''': I asked in a nice way, I said pretty please! I bent their ears, now I'll work on their knees!
* ''Film/WelcomeToThePunch'' (2013). [[CowboyCop Max Lewinsky]] tries to arrest [[VillainProtagonist Jacob Sternwood]] as he's fleeing a heist, only to get shot in the knee. Three years later when the main events of the movie take place, the constant pain and psychological trauma fuel Lewinsky's obsession with catching Sternwood when he returns to London.
* Bubba Zanetti shoots the titular hero in the knee at the climax of ''Film/MadMax1''. After Max disposes of Zanetti he drags himself back to his feet and ''hops'' after Toecutter dragging his useless leg behind him and cementing his status as one of the most badass heroes in film history. Max wears a knee brace in subsequent films.
* In the action prologue of ''Film/KingsmanTheSecretService'', Harry shoots the terrorist in both kneecaps during the interrogation scene.
* Mike Locken, the protagonist of ''Film/TheKillerElite'' (1975), gets shot in the elbow and knee by a colleague who has turned traitor but who is [[NothingPersonal reluctant to kill Locken]]. HollywoodHealing is averted as Locken has to undergo a lengthy and difficult rehabilitation.

* In one of the Creator/RaymondChandler short stories, the protagonist stops one of the crooks from escaping by shooting in the most painful spot he could think of that wouldn't kill him: the back of the knee.
* In Todd Strasser's book ''Literature/GiveABoyAGun'', the two boys who shoot up the dance shot the star quarterback in the knees. Since he's a football player, this is one of the most damaging things they could do to him without killing him.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles'': ''Literature/DeathMasks'', [[AntiHero Harry]] favors this method when dealing with a SmugSnake of a Denarian.
** Harry does this again to a minor league threat, Binder in ''Literature/TurnCoat''. He was trying to hit him center of mass but was feeling the effects of being close to a grenade exploding, so his aim was understandably off.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Stardoc}} Blade Dancer]]'', this has ''already'' happened a few times to Jory, over the course of her [[BloodSport shockball career]], by the time the story begins. [[spoiler:[[FromBadToWorse And then]], it happens a few ''more'' times. By the last chapter, the [[AnArmAndALeg leg has to be amputated from the knee down]].]]
* Tywin Lannister from ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire'' issues this as punishment to deserters.
* Tenel Ka does this to [[TheDragon Tamith Kai]] in ''[[Literature/YoungJediKnights Shadow Academy]]''.
* In ''[[Literature/TheColSecTrilogy Exiles of ColSec]]'', Samella threatens Lamprey with this [[spoiler:when she's got him at gunpoint after he's just [[CurbStompBattle beaten the snot out of]] [[TheHero Cord]]]].
* In ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'', Angua explains that dwarves are so prone to "running at people and trying to bite their knees off" that [[PoliceCodeForEverything the Watch have a code for it.]] Knees are in fact frequently mentioned as a favorite target of dwarves who've gotten into a fight with a larger being, at least when they're not [[GroinAttack aiming a little higher]].
* ''[[Literature/CiaphasCain Death or Glory]]'': Cain's guide assumes he can do whatever he wants (in this specific case, get sloshed on duty) because Cain needs him.
-->'''Cain:''' You can find water without kneecaps, can't you?
* In ''Literature/HorusHeresy'', during his escape, Vulkan stops Curze by breaking his knees with a giant power-hammer.
* In ''Literature/{{Twig}}'', Mary is shot through the back of the knee by [[spoiler:Sylvester]], in order to stop her from pursuing. With the advanced medical skill of Radham Academy she's back on her feet pretty quickly, but it provides a few months head start.
* In an early example, ''{{Literature/Winnetou}}'' I has an example of this, when Old Shatterhand is forced into a rifle shootout with Indian chief Tangua. After Old Shatterhand announced to aim for his right knee - and after his own shot went wide - Tangua turned sideways in order to offer a smaller target. Of course, Old Shatterhand aimed for the right knee, hit it - and the left knee, as it was in a line with it.

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* ''Series/CriminalMinds'': In the season 6 episode "Today I Do", a self-ascribed motivational speaker turned serial killer shatters the kneecap of her most recent victim with a hammer after the victim refuses to eat the popcorn she made for her. She later turns this into a self-help lesson, by teaching the victim to "walk in the face of adversity".
** In another Season 6 episode, "Into The Woods", one of the kid hostages helps the other flee by hitting the [=UnSub=]'s bad leg via log.
* In ''Series/TwentyFour'', Jack Bauer shoots a terrorist in the kneecap to get him to talk. In another season, he shoots TheDragon's wife near the kneecap to get him to talk.
* In the ''Series/{{Firefly}}'' episode "War Stories", this is how [[BadassPreacher Shephard Book]] gets around the whole "don't kill" rule.
* In ''Series/{{Carnivale}}'', Jonesy's limp is the result of being kneecapped by mobsters when he refused to [[ThrowingTheFight take a dive]].
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer''
** Darla threatens to do this to Buffy in the episode "Angel":
--->'''Darla''': So many body parts, so few bullets. Let's begin with the kneecaps. No fun dancing without them.
** The demon Balthazaar also orders it done to Wesley in the episode "Bad Girls", but Wesley wiggles his way out of it.
** Possibly slightly ironic, Wesley does it to a guy at Wolfram and Hart in season 5 of Angel, when he finds the guy isn't working to save Fred.
* This was threatened on ''Series/VeronicaMars'' when Logan was being tortured. His tormentors were playing Russian roulette with him, pulling the trigger after each "wrong" (i.e. not what they were looking for) answer given. After two "wrong" answers, they moved from his arms to his knees.
* ''Series/LoveHate''. The IRA do this to Aido, kicking off the plot of series 3.
* ''Series/PersonOfInterest''. John Reese's trademark combat tactic, to the point where his handiwork is instantly recognizable to anyone who's familiar with him. He frequently shoots assorted bad guys in the knee to stop them from pursuing him rather than killing them. Fortunately for him, his targets are almost always too busy clutching their knees and groaning to shoot at him from the floor. It eventually becomes the trademark tactic of ''everyone'' who [[ThouShaltNotKill uses a firearm in Team Machine]].
* ''Series/{{Scandal}}'': Olivia, apparently, to Abby's abusive husband. With a tire iron. Yay!
* In ''Series/TimeTrax'', after Darien manages to beat a 22nd century boxer (thanks to being trained by the boxer's father), the boxer is taken to the locker room and is nearly kneecapped by the mob for losing. Luckily, Darien and the boxer's father show up just in time. He ends up sending them both back to the future.
* In ''Series/BurnNotice'', Michael in his voice-over notes that even a well-placed kick right beneath the knee will cripple most opponents, who in turn can make useful {{Improvised Weapon}}s when out of other options.

* The Capitol Steps' song parody "Breakin' Knees Is Hard To Do" mocks the Tonya Harding/Nancy Kerrigan incident (see RealLife below).

[[folder:Professional Wrestling]]
* Often in DavidVersusGoliath-type matches, the smaller wrestlers wisely attack their bigger opponents' legs.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* The Kneecapper technique in ''TabletopGame/PsionicsTheNextStageInHumanEvolution'' allows you to do this to an opponent. It reduced the victim's movement speed to 1 if it hits.
* "Leg attacks" in ''TabletopGame/BattleTech'' are a special maneuver in which an infantry platoon or squad of battle armor troopers try to inflict crippling damage on an enemy HumongousMecha's leg joints and artificial muscles...[[PersonalSpaceInvader by actually climbing or jumping onto the moving machine's legs and planting explosives and/or attacking with their carried weapons]] and [[PowerFist Battle Claws]] (the latter being exclusive to Battle Armor). It's not quite as inherently dangerous a move as it may sound, but it ''does'' first of all require avoiding the guns of a target with potentially superior mobility long enough to actually get that close, may not do as much damage as hoped, and leaves the attackers potentially vulnerable to a retaliatory GiantFootOfStomping.

* In ''VideoGame/TheElderScrollsVSkyrim'', an unusually high number of generic guards will sometimes tell you that "I used to be an adventurer like you. [[MemeticMutation Then I took an arrow in the knee.]]"
* In ''VideoGame/KingdomOfLoathing'', this is the general modus operandi of the [[EverythingsBetterWithPenguins Penguin Mafia]]. You can even acquire one of their kneecapping sticks for your own use as a weapon.
-->This is a stick used by the Penguin Mafia to break the knees of those who fail to bend to their whim. Because if you're not going to bend to the Penguin Mafia's whims, your knees are not going to bend in the right direction anymore.
* In the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' series, the player can kneecap the infected/infested/zombies/abominations to pull off kicks and tricks against the enemy although kneecapping is also arguably justified when fighting zombies. This is especially useful in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'' where Leon ([[GoodBadBugs and Ashley]]) can suplex the infested after a kneecap shot.
* ''VideoGame/CarnEvil'' specifically models damage to the kneecaps, with a successful blowout treated as a kill. Oddly, shooting one kneecap will visibly and gruesomely damage both of them simultaneously.
* Gnomes in ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', being, well... [[OurGnomesAreWeirder gnomes]], tends to set them at about kneecap height, one NPC even does threaten this when you fight her in northrend.
** A post one the roleplaying forums on 'rogue cant' (criminal jargon) suggested gnome rogues can be called "Kneecappers" for the above reason.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Fallout 3}}'', the unique sawed-off shotgun is called "The Kneecapper".
** Also, throughout the series aiming at a leg has always been a viable strategy.
* Renegade!Shepard threatens this near the beginning of ''VideoGame/MassEffect1'' to get Fist to tell him/her where Tali is.
* The Scout in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' has an aluminum bat melee weapon, and one of his common catchphrases is "Say goodbye to your kneecaps, [[GoshDangItToHeck chucklehead]]!" There's no in-game difference when you attack someone's kneecaps, though, so his taunt is a bit meaningless.
* On the other hand, ''VideoGame/TeamFortressClassic'' allows the Sniper to cut an enemy's speed in half with a leg hit, and the effect is permanent until healed by a medic. Most thigh-area shots seem to hit [[GroinAttack the pelvic region]] instead due to HitboxDissonance, so the safest way to cripple an enemy player is a rifle bullet in the knee. This especially infuriates and hamstrings medics and heavy weapons guys.
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'': [[spoiler: Happened to both Sokolov's kneecap by Colonel Volgin's handgun.]]
* ''Videogame/MechWarrior'' has a long and rich history of Kneecapping. Depending on which game you're playing, it can either turn enemy [[HumongousMecha BattleMechs]] into limping wrecks (Such as ''[=MechWarrior=] 4'' and its subgames) or [[CriticalExistenceFailure straight out destroy the enemy]] (Such as ''[=MechWarrior=] 3'' and it's expansion). In ''Mechwarrior Living Legends'', kneecapping an enemy mech (or yourself) will cause the mech to [[RagdollPhysics ragdoll]], but leave the pilot completely in control of the torso, weapons, and jumpjets; which can lead to players being killed by a crippled mech propped up against a building, or by a kneecapped mech flailing wildly end-over-end through the sky with its jumpjets on full blast. Kneecapped mechs are irreparable once they've gone ragdoll, though crippled legs (which greatly slow down the mech and prevent it from walking backwards) can be repaired.
* Kneecaps can be targeted in both ''VideoGame/TheGodfather'' games, temporarily making the victim kneel haplessly.
* In ''VideoGame/SplinterCellConviction'', Sam does this to both knees of [[spoiler:[[CorruptPolitician Vice President Samson]]]] when he says he is diplomatically bulletproof.
* Kneecapping is pretty much Raul Menendez's favourite tactic in ''VideoGame/CallOfDutyBlackOps2''; he cripples Woods for life by blasting him in both knees with a combat shotgun, and in an infinitely more sadistic instance, does the same to [[spoiler:Hudson]] even though the latter is already restrained, unable to escape, and has just volunteered to die in order to save his comrades. The [[AllThereInTheManual supplemental story]] "Rightful King" explains that he first learned to do this ''as a child'', while helping his dad sell drugs for easy money in an earthquake-ravaged 1970's Nicaragua.
* This is [[ArmsDealer Marcus Kincaid's]] [[EstablishingCharacterMoment intro]] in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands 2}}''. A hapless NPC asks for a refund on one of his guns, claiming it doesn't work. Marcus responds, "Hmm, I dunno...", and proceeds to kneecap the guy with the weapon in question. Then he gives a big grin and adds "Looks like it works to me."
-->'''[[BossSubtitles Marcus - No Refunds!]]'''
* Can be done in ''[[VideoGame/{{Postal}} Postal 2]]'', most reliably with the SniperRifle. Unlike taking AnArmAndALeg with the machete or hedge clippers, this isn't much more reliable than going for center mass. It's mostly just for the VideoGameCrueltyPotential of leaving {{NPC}}s crawling around. Strangely, some enemies will pull out a pistol while falling, but they're never use it.
* Joel from ''Videogame/TheLastOfUs'' does this as part of his JackBauerInterrogationTechnique where he stabs a hunter's kneecap to [[spoiler:find out where they have Ellie]].
* Shooting Police Officers on their knees in ''VideoGame/WatchDogs'' forces them out of the battle, and gives less negative Karma points than killing them. Unfortunately, this doesn't work on any other NPC in the game, meaning that shooting an escaping criminal on their leg usually makes them flinch/kills them.
* Happens in a cutscene in ''Videogame/LANoire''. Jack Kelso greets [[spoiler: [[BigBad Leland Monroe]]]] by [[WhyDontYouJustShootHim kneecapping him immediately]]. This solidifies his status as the CowboyCop [[RedOniBlueOni compared to]] Cole Phelp's ByTheBookCop, only enforced further by the subsequent one-liner.
-->'''Jack Kelso:''' [[JackBauerInterrogationTechnique That's my opening negotiating position!]]
* The Elongated Crushblat in ''[[VideoGame/{{Pikmin}} Hey! Pikmin]]'' is a flamingo-like creature with abnormally long legs. To reach its body, Olimar has to throw Pikmin at his feather-ornated knees to make it crouch, allowing him to throw Pikmins at it.
* In''Videogame/CruzBrothers'', Tray has two stun move where he'll shoot his opponent's knee, Trevor has a similar move but he simply kick the shin so it breaks.

* ''Webcomic/TheBeastLegion'' : In issue 4, [[http://www.thebeastlegion.com/issue-04-page-44gorgoraths-final-wish/ Dragos intentionally breaks Xeus' knee after defeating him so that he cannot escape]].
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', Higgs uses this move against Zola. Unfortunately for him, she is too high on combat drugs to fall down.
* In a March 2011 ''Webcomic/WapsiSquare'' there's a distant flashback that shows Jin, before she became part of the Chimera, being shot through the back of the knee with an arrow. {{Squick}}.
** It gets worse on the next page where her feet/ankles are knifed.
* ''Webcomic/LifeAndDeath'': [[http://www.drunkduck.com/Life_and_Death/index.php?p=804249 Death disables someone this way.]]
* Viktor in ''Webcomic/{{Lackadaisy}}'' had this happen to him in the recent past, courtesy of former [[PsychoForHire associate]] [[FourEyesZeroSoul Mordecai]].
-->'''Mordecai''': That is how one reasons with Viktor.
* [[spoiler:Gamzee]] in ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'' shot [[TheBigGuy Equius]] through the knee with an arrow to [[KneelBeforeZod force him to kneel.]]
* In ''Webcomic/VGCats'', Leo finds out [[VideoGame/AnimalCrossing Tom Nook]] isn't a raccoon to trifle with. 'My leg-benders!'

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In the deleted scenes montage in ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', Yugi threatens Tristan with this with a wrench. He follows through it on the end [[FelonyMisdemeanor when Tristan quotes]] ''WebVideo/DragonBallZAbridged'' too many times.

* The titular protagonist in ''WesternAnimation/{{Archer}}'' does this to a few members of the Irish mob who had been selling fake cancer medicines. Archer, being {{h|eroicComedicSociopath}}imself, uses a ''shotgun'' to kneecap them while playing a deranged version of ''Series/FamilyFeud''.
* In the ''WesternAnimation/HeyArnold'' episode "Parents' Day", a jousting match takes place between Arnold's grandfather Phil and Helga's father Bob. Helga, conspiring to make Arnold's family win after her dad [[AdoptionDiss calls Arnold an orphan]], secretly tells Phil to go for her dad's knees due to how stressed they are. Phil proceeds to swipe at Bob's knees, with Bob dodging the first time only to get sweeped into the gelatin below the second time, rendering Phil the winner.

[[folder:Real Life]]
* Figure skater and Olympic hopeful Tonya Harding's then-husband attempted to help her [[JustForPun get a leg up]] on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan by paying off her bodyguard to attack Kerrigan's (right!) knee shortly before the 1994 Winter Olympics, in hopes of taking Kerrigan out of the competition. The attempt failed, since Kerrigan still won the silver medal; Harding came in 10th.
* Knee-capping was often used as a punishment by the IRA and other Northern Irish paramilitary groups. There were four versions of it: A) [[ThisIsADrill a drill]] B) putting a gun at the back of the knee and firing C) a sledgehammer, and D) [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill cinder blocks]], originating with Protestant terrorists and gleefully adopted by their Republican counterparts. Many patients from the UK and Ireland will travel to have every day hip or knee replacement surgeries in Northern Ireland because the surgeons there... well, let's just say they've had plenty of practice.
* Historically, kneecap mutilation was a possible punishment in ancient Dynastic China. One of the authors of a tome of military strategy was subject to this punishment as a result of court politics.
* It's generally averted in real life, however. All reputable firearms training (civilian, police, and military) teach to aim center-of-mass at the torso, as it's a much larger and easier target to hit, and contains most of the body's vital organs. Even assuming you actually ''hit'' them, shooting someone in the knee may still not be enough to incapacitate them, at least not quickly enough to be of value.
* When playing baseball, base runners will often slide, feet first, into 2nd or 3rd base in an attempt to avoid being tagged out or to break up a potential double play by clobbering the infielder covering the base. This is legal to do because the rules state that base runners have the right-of-way. Because infielders know what's coming and have a sense of self-preservation, they are very good at getting out of the way and the collisions that do occur usually don't result in anyone getting hurt. It is, however, considered very bad form (and will almost always lead to a bench-clearing brawl) when a runner intentionally aims for an infielder's knees by sliding with their cleats up. Ty Cobb was notorious for doing that.
* Many soccer players end up with a torn ACL as a result of another player colliding with their knee at a bad angle.
* Some self defense classes advocate stomping or kicking the knee from the side. If done correctly, the target will have their weight resting on that leg and the joint is stiffer. Because knees were not meant to bend that way and the weight keeps the knee from just bowing out of the way, this can buckle the joint and effectively ruin their chances of standing any time soon.
* Over the [[http://www.btselem.org/press_releases/20150118_use_of_live_ammunition_in_wb last few years]], the Israeli Defense Force has semi-officially adopted kneecapping stone-throwers and rioters as a preferred method of crowd control, rather than outright killing them. Mindful of the negative PR a street full of dead teenagers could produce, many of their marksman have switched to the .22LR caliber, since it's small enough to avoid guaranteed death if it hits the torso, but will certainly shatter a kneecap. And these marksmen are ''very'' good shots.