''The recoil of a real-life projectile weapon on television is inversely related to the recoil it has in real life.''

Firearms depicted in films and television seldom (if ever) demonstrate realistic recoil action (ironically, it is usually more realistic in comedies or when used for comedic effect). The practical reason for this is because blank-firing prop guns have no projectile, meaning very little mass is pushed out of the barrel, hence minimal recoil (Newton's third law) -- it is not true that they have none, however, or they would not even be able to cycle their own action. No matter what type of small arms are used in fiction -- even fully automatic, high-caliber ordnance and heavy-gauge shotguns -- the shooter will not so much as flinch.

This often leads to [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFJjaj7pXsA nasty]] surprises for first-time shooters who [[RealityIsUnrealistic expect that]] the 10-gauge shotgun or .454 Casull revolver they rented at the range will have no discernible "kick", when both actually sport recoil powerful enough to bruise the shoulder or sprain the wrist -- possibly even fly back and smack the unprepared shooter in the face.

Naturally, this makes GunsAkimbo with automatic weapons wholly impractical in real life (of course, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4nfZu8VqgQ impractical]] never stopped anyone in pursuit of [[AwesomeButImpractical cool]]).

On the flip side, ''real'' shoulder-fired rocket launchers have very little to no recoil: they are open at the back and make use of Newton's third law of motion, which states that for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction (rocket power relies on this law of physics), imparting no momentum ("recoil") on the shooter (sometimes, it is augmented with counterbalancing weighted objects expelled backwards). There is ''some'' recoil, originating from either friction between projectile and tube, compressed-air expulsion system, or anything else needed to throw several pounds several feet forward. In fact, they're alternatively called recoilless rifles for this lack of recoil. Grenade launchers, meanwhile, use the same propulsion method as normal firearms, yet have very easily manageable recoil simply because the projectile moves much slower than your typical bullet. Yet, when used by a fictitious character, both of these somehow pack enough force to violently push back the wielder. Presumably, this is due to the erroneous belief that anything that destructive ''has'' to have a powerful kick. See MissingBackblast and BlownAcrossTheRoom for related [[TheCoconutEffect misconceptions]].

The trick to this trope is finding any film or TV show that ''doesn't'' do this. Subversions are much more common outside of live action simply because there are no actors around forgetting to simulate recoil as they fire blanks. Video games tend to be more realistic in regards to firearms, but explosive "launching" weapons still pack monstrously unrealistic recoil ([[MissingBackBlast on the other hand, player characters tend to not be blown to smithereens for using such weapons indoors or with their back to a wall, something suicidal with most recoilless weapons]]). In some video games, you can even [[RecoilBoost use recoil for extra propulsion]].

The other side of BlownAcrossTheRoom. See also SteelEarDrums for another ignored part of guns being fired.

!![[OmnipresentTrope Since the trope is so prevalent]], it's only worth listing [[AvertedTrope exceptions]]:


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* In the final chapter of ''Anime/MacrossPlus'', when struggling against Sharon Apple and other threats, Myung has the common sense to arm herself with the submachine gun of a fallen guard (by itself, quite a rare occurrence) but wastes almost the entire magazine when she tries to use it in full-auto, being overcome by recoil and spraying bullets everywhere. She gets a few shots in the right direction, however...
* Seras Victoria in ''Manga/{{Hellsing}}'' notes after becoming a vampire that she barely feels the kick on a huge gun, demonstrating her new super strength. She later gets an even bigger gun and can fire it with ease. Although when she uses a huge (even by her standards) anti-aircraft gun, she still needs to have it brace itself against the ground to account for the fact that she lacks the sheer ''mass'' to avoid being knocked over by the recoil (The gun weighs several times more than she does - when ''unloaded'').
* ''Manga/{{BLAME}}'': In the manga, not only does Killy's [[WaveMotionGun graviton beam emitter pistol]] produce recoil, but on the first occasion when he [[UpToEleven turned it up to full power]] the recoil was enough to break his arm.
* In ''Manga/GunslingerGirl'' all the weapons have realistic recoil, including handguns. The only reason that the girls can handle even large weapons, despite their own small size, is that they are [[RobotGirl cybernetically enhanced]].
* ''Manga/CannonGodExaxxion'': The manga features guns so powerful that they're just as likely to kill somebody standing several feet ''behind'' as well as in front of them unless you're wearing a suit of PoweredArmor. This is often a source of dramatic tension, as the main character is trying to be as heroic as possible in a world far into the cynical end of the SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism & accidentally vaporizing innocent bystanders isn't exactly the sort of thing heroes do.
* ''Manga/{{Dragonball}}'': In Goku's first tournament, Jackie Chun is knocked out of the ring, but he manages to get himself back into the ring before he touches the ground with the recoil from a Kamehameha. Goku learns from this, and at the next tournament, pulls off a similar trick to defeat Tien while he's busy taunting him about how he can fly and block his Kamehameha. And at the tournament after that, he uses a Kamehameha out of his feet to propel himself.
* ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'': Negi uses the recoil from a magic arrow to avoid a blast by [[spoiler:his father]] during their fight in the Mahora Budokai.
* In the climax of the ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' episode "Heavy Metal Queen", Spike fires his pistol several times in space, using the recoil to push himself back towards the spaceship to avoid being blown to smithereens. Lacking friction, each shot adds to his speed, which helps explain his rapid movement. Still -- it looks like a massive recoil.
*** According to [[http://www.imfdb.org/wiki/Cowboy_Bebop IMFDB,]] Spike uses a Jericho 941 R chambered in 9x19mm. Assuming a +p+ load, that's a 7.45g projectile at 435m/s. Spike weighs, say, 80kg. Each round fired will accelerate Spike by (7.45g * 435m/s)/80,000g = 0.0405m/s. A full 15 rounds would give him a velocity of 0.6075m/s. Taking into account propellant gases at an alpha of 1.75 (no atmosphere), he should end up at just over 1m/s, or a relaxed walking pace.
** The bigger problem of that scene is that he held his breath while unprotected in space. He should have instead expelled all the air from his lungs. At least he had the presence of mind to put earplugs in to keep his eardrums from exploding.
* ''Franchise/GhostInTheShell'':
** Batou's anti-tank rifle ([[{{BFG}} "Your standard issue big gun"]]) features a realistic recoil dampener (a device to temporarily store the kinetic energy and then slowly dissipate it, converting the sudden "kick" into more manageable "sliding" action).
** In the movie version, most characters are cyborgs, but a mook must brace himself before firing hypervelocity armour-piercing bullets from a submachine gun. Said armour-piercing bullets [[ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy effectively ruin the gun's accuracy]] ([[ExplosiveOverclocking and the gun itself]]), leaving him open to summary beatdown shortly afterwards.
* ''Anime/RocketGirls'': In episode 2, the protagonist, a lightly built teenage girl, is given a gun and told to practice firing on a shooting range. She doesn't expect the recoil and falls over backwards.
* ''Anime/DarkerThanBlack'': Suou in the second season shoots PTRD antitank rifle from the hip like it's a pop gun, regardless of it being larger than she is, extremely heavy, and having a really mean recoil even despite its huge muzzle brake. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] by the gun being not real but manifested through her [[SuperHero super powers]]. When her [[HalfIdenticalTwins twin brother Shion]] shoots it, he uses a real rifle with all its drawbacks accounted for.
* The [[HumongousMecha Jagd Mirage's]] main caliber, ''Twin Towers'' [[WaveMotionGun buster launchers]] in ''Manga/TheFiveStarStories'' neatly avert the trope. ''Jagd'', a heavy artillery support MH, generally needed to properly deploy before firing, [[MultiArmedAndDangerous releasing numerous additional arms and legs]] to anchor itself in the ground, brace its own structure and deploy special shields to protect itself from the enormous recoil and backblast of its own guns. It was also mentioned that [[AwesomeButImpractical it was almost completely defenseless in the deployed mode]], and thus was always accompanied by a squad of other mechas for protection. Due to its impractical nature, [[SuperPrototype only two]] were ever built.
* Played with in ''Teki wa Kaizoku''; the main character jerks his wrists whenever he fires his laser gun like it's recoiling even though laser weapons shouldn't, but immediately after we first see him fire it he's called on that and he admits that pretending his gun recoils is just a hobby of his. Sure enough, if you pay attention in future fight scenes he keeps doing it but nobody else does.
* In ''LightNovel/TheFamiliarOfZero'', when [[InstantExpert Saito]] successfully uses the 'Staff of Destruction' [[spoiler:(really a rocket launcher that wound up in their world after a soldier from Earth had been transported there)]] without any recoil.
* In ''Lightnovel/FullMetalPanic'', the Laevatein (the MidSeasonUpgrade to the Arbalest) is equipped with a giant gun called a demolition cannon; when in its Howitzer Mode, the recoil is so great that the Laevatein ''will'' be knocked off its feet unless the physics-defying Lambda Driver is active.
* In ''Manga/DesertPunk'', Kanta's preteen sidekick Kosuna complains almost literally that her small pistol is not cool enough to match her self-persona. Kanta then takes her to an arms dealer, who first forces her to go dig holes for several hours before allowing her to try out an assault rifle. While she exhibits accuracy that astonishes Kanta and the arms dealer, she brings the gun back admitting that firing it is physically punishing for a girl her size and that she'd be completely ineffective in combat with it.
* The manga adaptation of Creator/JamesPHogan's novel ''The Two Faces of Tomorrow'' has a scene where a SpaceMarine floating outside the space station in a spacesuit fires a particle beam rifle. Small thrusters on his jetpack fire to counter the weapon's recoil.
* In ''Anime/PrincessMononoke'', a village woman takes a shot at Ashitaka with a newly designed (and still relatively primitive) musket. The recoil blows her off her feet and through the crowd of people standing behind her. [[LadyOfWar Eboshi]] uses the same musket before and after this with much less recoil, although she is much more skilled in combat.
* Done correctly in ''LightNovel/ACertainMagicalIndex'':
** Mikoto's [[MagneticWeapons railgun]] is the obvious example. Due to the way she creates the magnetic rails literally out of thin air [[ShockAndAwe using her power]], there's nothing for the "gun" to recoil against; the energy from the shot merely blasts back against the air, which has the benefit of causing a nice big DramaticWind.
** Mugino's "Meltdowner" ([[FrickinLaserBeams basically a giant plasma beam]]) is not described in as much detail as Mikoto's railgun, but it is perfectly possible for a plasma weapon to fire with effectively no recoil. It is also possible to use it as a plasma rocket if necessary; she [[RecoilBoost uses this to survive a fall at one point]].
** Actually averted in the case of Seike, a member of Scavenger. She actually sustains massive recoil from the gun she fires, which she takes advantage of by reducing the friction below her feet to zero to propel her at high speed.
* ''Manga/CityHunter'' represents recoil correctly, with first time shooters failing miserably (and sometimes getting blown across the room) due the recoil of shooting a [[HandCannon .357 Magnum revolver]]. The only times it ''looks'' played straight is when it's {{Justified}} by the shooter being either Ryo or Mick Angel (who have [[CharlesAtlasSuperpower trained extensively enough]] to handle the recoil of a .357 Magnum of even a .44 Magnum ''Desert Eagle'' one-handed) or Umibozu (who is gigantic and strong enough to casually ''bend metal'', so firing a [[MoreDakka machine gun]] is easy for him).
* In ''Anime/MobileSuitGundamThe08thMSTeam'', during his fight with Packard, Shiro attempts to shoot Packard with [[AlphaStrike every single gun on his Gundam at once]]. While it makes a very impressive show of firepower, the combined kick of all the automatic weapons going off at once means none of the shots come even remotely close to hitting their target. Packard doesn't even bother dodging; as a more experienced soldier, he knew exactly how that stunt would turn out.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* A sequence in the Creator/DCComics MiniSeries ''[[GreenLantern Guy Gardner]] Reborn'', parodying [[Creator/MarvelComics Marvel's]] ThePunisher, has the title character burst into a room with GunsAkimbo, and rapidly lose control of them, injuring himself.
* ''ComicBook/{{Preacher}}''
** The undersized, weedy, egotistical villain Odin "Meatman" Quincannon has a suitably oversized weapon (a sodding great magnum -- not compensating for anything of course). When he tries to shoot it one-handed, it breaks his arm.
** A very young Tulip is carefully taught about guns; a powerful handgun sends her slamming back into a deep snowdrift.
* ''ComicBook/SinCity'' monologues sometimes refer to the sensation of recoil but it's minimal.
* ''ComicBook/LuckyLuke'' has a grandpa in a wheelchair who shoots a shotgun several times in the book. The recoil always sends him rolling backwards into the nearest pond or something.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* Averted in ''FanFic/AeonEntelechyEvangelion'', where Shinji while piloting Unit-01 tries to use a High-Velocity Assault Rifle one handed (the other hand was busted) and fail. Being written by the physics student helps.
* It seems to be present in ''Film/JamesBond'' fan film ''WebVideo/DiamondsCut'', although guns are fired too rarely to be really sure. However, one could consider the arms’ dealer missing Bond with his pistol at point-blank range as either an aversion of this or plain ImperialStormtrooperMarksmanshipAcademy at work.
* Averted ([[PlayedForLaughs in somewhat amusing fashion]]) in the ''VideoGame/HeroesOfTheStorm'' fanfic ''FanFic/HeroesOfTheDesk''. Valla fires a very large [[MagneticWeapons sniper rifle]] while standing ([[WhatAnIdiot much to the chagrin of her minder]] who goes so far as to ''call in a medical team''). She gets blown across the room and lands painfully on her rear, resulting in a big bruise for her trouble.
* Averted in ''[[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5670737/1/I-wouldn-t-exactly-call-that-sitting I Wouldn't Exactly Call That Sitting]]'' when [[LittleMissBadass Dawn]] uses a shotgun to kill a vampire, the recoil knocks her off her feet. [[Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer Xander]] promptly gives her a pair of pistols and takes the shotgun for himself.
* ''[[FanFic/TheNowakverse Under the Bridge]]'' has an interesting aversion: The "Gray Mouse" invented a weapon which she calls "Darned Nearly Recoilless Rifle". It uses .22 rimfire ammo (which is kind of mouse-sized artillery), it is held like a bazooka, and "darned really recoilless" means that the recoil would still knock the operator over.
* Wholly averted in ''FanFic/FalloutEquestriaEmptyQuiver'' with War Crime, the pony-portable full-auto sniper rifle chambered for the massive .50 MG round. The first time Night Strike fires it, she promptly receives a lesson in just what 'kicks like an apple farmer' means.
** Arguably played straight when it comes to Thumper's 40mm slug and other shotgun-type ammunition, however; there is some noticeable recoil, but for the size of the shell being fired it's hardly what one would expect - that is to say, Night Strike doesn't wind up snapping her neck every time she fires one of them from it.
* During the climax of ''Fanfic/TheNextFrontier'', Bob finds himself firing a sub-machine gun for the first time. Unprepared for the recoil, as he's only had minimal training with firearms and none with a fully automatic weapon, he ends up reflexively holding down the trigger and wastes about a third of a magazine. [[DownplayedTrope He learns quickly.]]

* In ''Film/BigTroubleInLittleChina'', Jack attempts to fire a fully-automatic submachine gun, but ends up spraying bullets in every direction, [[IMeantToDoThat only taking out a bad guy by accident]].
* In ''Film/PiratesOfTheCaribbeanAtWorldsEnd'', the midget member of Jack's crew charges out of a cellar wielding what looks to be a cannon over his arm. He shoots it and is blown right back into the cellar.
* ''Film/TrueLies'', when Creator/JamieLeeCurtis' character attempts to fire a MAC-10 at the terrorists -- and completely loses control of the weapon due to its recoil, sending it tumbling down a flight of stairs, [[ShurFineGuns firing by itself all the way down]]. Not only that, she actually killed a bunch of people in the process.
* ''Film/MenInBlack'' has an absurdly tiny gun called the Noisy Cricket. When Agent J fires it, the recoil tosses him into a car several parking spots behind his firing position. In [[WesternAnimation/MenInBlack the animated series]], J gets [[HollywoodSilencer a silencer of sorts]] that reduces the recoil.
* In ''Film/ToySoldiers'' when teenaged preppy Creator/WilWheaton picks up a full-auto AK and ''tries'' to blast the villains with it; about two bullets go in the right direction, the rest of the magazine goes into the ceiling. And he obviously would like to make the gun stop but can't.
** On the History Channel series ''Lock and Load'', it's shown to be completely common with the AK-47. Even the trained shooter had trouble keeping it on target at short range.
* In ''Film/PoliceAcademy4CitizensOnPatrol'', Tackleberry lets one of the new recruits, an old lady, use his giant .357 Magnum. It sends her flying into the back wall of the shooting range.
* During the production of ''Film/DirtyHarry'', Creator/ClintEastwood spent time firing a real .44 Magnum revolver so he could accurately portray its recoil. In the sequel Callahan states that he uses a .44 Special load to minimize the recoil (which would mean he's no longer firing "the most powerful handgun in the world" though still powerful enough to "to blow your head clean off").
* {{Justified|Trope}} in ''Film/TheTerminator'' (where Arnie fires shotguns and assault rifles one handed) by the fact that he is a cyborg. Except in later Arnie action movies (where he's playing a human) he kept on doing the same thing. It should be noted that Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger, a gun enthusiast and former soldier in the Austrian military, has mentioned in interviews that he's [[RuleOfCool well aware of how unrealistic this is]].
* In the Japanese film version of ''Hakaider'' (a DarkerAndEdgier story starring a villain from tokusatsu series ''Series/{{Kikaider}}''), the titular Android uses a custom shotgun that acts more like a handheld cannon. When a {{mook|s}} gets his hands on it and attempts to fire, the recoil literally (and gorily) tears his arm out of its socket.
* ''Film/HalfPastDead'' has a shoulder-fired rocket launcher that packs enough recoil to launch a person back by a considerable distance. The immediate shot after then shows no recoil whatsoever.
* In ''Film/PineappleExpress'', two deadbeat stoners without any previous knowledge or experience find AK-47s in the underground lair of the drug lord. Not only do they have all the knowledge necessary to load and use them, they are able to engage in a protracted firefight with the Drug Lord's {{mooks}}, while the guns are ''on full automatic'', without reacting to any recoil or blowing out their eardrums.
** It gets hilariously averted at one point in climax when Saul is about to deliver the coup de grace to the female officer, shouting ''"Fuck the Po-Leece!"'' before emptying the clip... Only for the recoil to kick the rifle up to the ceiling after the first round... In slow motion.
* Tiffany Case, when prompted by Bond to fire a machine gun at the Baja California oil rig in ''Film/DiamondsAreForever''.
* ''WesternAnimation/BatmanUnderTheRedHood'' averts this when Red Hood fires the rocket launcher at Black Mask's office. There is no recoil, but the backdraft of a recoil-less rocket launcher is correctly shown, and he is sensibly firing from an open rooftop with nothing to his back.
* ''Film/BeverlyHillsCopII'' has Billy firing a LAW rocket while holding it loosely in front of himself sideways as he reads the directions. "Extend here. Press here." click-Whoosh! It is correctly shown with very little recoil.
* Played straight most of the time in ''Film/TheATeam'', but there is one notable aversion when they use recoil to maneuver a parachuting tank ([[ItsALongStory long story]]).
* ''Film/RaceForTheYankeeZephyr''. The DamselScrappy is told to fire a captured AR-10 battle rifle in the air [[WeNeedADistraction while the hero sneaks in to rescue her father]], but she's unbalanced by the recoil and shoots up the villains instead. This is a RuleOfFunny example as she's standing on a cliff above the villain's campsite, and the recoil is portrayed as pulling the muzzle down rather than pushing it up as would happen in real life.
* Similar to the ''Film/TrueLies'' example, during a gun battle in ''Film/TheAdventuresOfPlutoNash'', Dina picks up an automatic pistol, but ends up shooting in all directions due to recoil, but she took out most of the mooks until stopped by Bruno the robot which he takes care of the rest with his guns.
* In ''Film/TheDeadPool'', Creator/ClintEastwood takes a harpoon gun off its deck stanchion and uses it to shoot a villain from the hip. The force launches the villain into the air. Naturally, Eastwood suffers no recoil.
* ''Film/TheBeastOfWar'' averts this with the tank cannons. Whereas most films would show just smoke and flame spitting out the barrel, in this film they used [[http://www.warriorsinc.com/FilmThoughts.cfm?ProjectID=7 modified blanks that shot water equal to the weight of an actual round, creating a realistic recoil.]]
* In the Soviet film ''Film/ComeAndSee'' a German soldier armed with a flamethrower is seen being thrown back slightly every time he fires.
* The protagonist of Film/TheAxe hurts his shoulder when trying to shoot a handgun one-handed. Repeatedly.
* Averted on one occasion in ''{{Film/Red}}'', since the woman with the RPG suffers no ill-effects from firing it, [[spoiler: at least until [[CrazyAwesome Marvin]] shoots her second rocket out of the air.]]

* In ''Literature/TheDrawingOfTheThree'', by Creator/StephenKing, a gunman quickly loses control of his heavy automatic weapon while trying to shoot Eddie because he does not expect such a huge recoil. Lampshaded by the narrator's [[LampshadeHanging going into some detail]] about the absurdity of the trope. As King points out, unless the hitman gets Eddie with the first few shots he will probably miss entirely as recoil spins him slowly around, and this is exactly what happens. However, this stands in some contrast to reality, as evidenced [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xBZWCHWqwGc&feature=related here]].
** In ''Literature/{{Cell}}'' when one of the protagonists [[spoiler:is fatally injured by hit-and-run hooligans]]. Another character had picked up an AKS-47 assault rifle from a gun enthusiast's house, but when he fires 'Sir Speedy' it empties most of the bullets into the air.
* There's a non-fiction book in which it's pointed out that ''Franchise/{{Rambo}}'' should have two spontaneously-dislocating shoulders due to the abuse they've taken from firing machine guns akimbo (he'd be deaf too, but that's [[SteelEardrums another trope entirely]]). The fact that [[CommonKnowledge Rambo never used Guns Akimbo in any of the films]] should not detract from the author's point.
* The novel ''Gradisil'' by Adam Roberts plays about with this one a little, in the form of sniper rifles designed for use [[RecycledInSpace in space]]. Because of the whole weightlessness thing, a hugely powerful rifle fired during a space walk would have a tendency to fire the shooter backwards off whatever he was standing on. Instead of the obvious solution (fastening the shooter or gun to the deck) the guns are specifically designed to emit an equal and opposite blast of gas on firing meaning that the net recoil is zero. Unfortunately, Roberts tends to forget that the same implications apply when guns are fired inside space craft.
* In ''Literature/{{Sharpe}}'', the recoil of muskets bruising people's shoulders is repeatedly mentioned, and in particular the seven-volley Nock gun has such a powerful recoil that only exceptionally tall, bulky and strong men like Sergeant Harper can safely fire it. Which was TruthInTelevision. Also more briefly covered in the TV adaptation.
* Sci-fi author Creator/HarryHarrison loves averting this trope with 'recoilless' handweapons ranging from a .75 calibre HandCannon (see ''Literature/TheStainlessSteelRat'') to an underarm-fired .50 calibre {{BFG}} in ''Literature/{{Starworld}}''. In his story "The Jupiter Plague" Harrison describes the "small tangent flames" that shoot out sideways from the end of the barrel when the weapon is fired. Apparently his 'recoilless' hand weapons work by venting the hot gasses out small holes in the sides of the end of the barrel, and angled toward the back, to counteract the recoil. Ouch!
** This is known as a "muzzle brake", and is in fact used in real life to reduce recoil. They're typically only used on very long-barreled rifles, not on handguns, because the vented gases can be dangerous (gas ports along the top of the barrel called "compensators" are much more common on handguns).
* In Creator/DanielKeysMoran's "A.I. War", the as yet unpublished sequel to ''The Last Dancer'' (available [[http://www.kithrup.com/dkm/dkmfic/toons.html here]]), a bounty hunter shoots Trent with both barrels of a shotgun. Unfortunately for the bounty hunter, they happen to be on the surface of Ceres (one of the asteroids in our Asteroid Belt) at the time, which has an escape velocity of far less than the recoil of even one of the barrels of the gun. He is surprised to find himself flying off of Ceres in the direction of Earth at a few tens of meters per second.
* In ''Literature/TrueGrit'', 14 year-old Mattie discovers the effects of recoil at the most inopportune time and place.
* In ''Literature/WorldWarZ'', early on when a doctor is combating a zombie in his clinic during the early stages of the outbreak, he aims a Desert Eagle pistol at the zombie's chest; however, because he wasn't expecting the high recoil, the shot ended up in the zombie's head, which ended up saving his life.
* In Creator/PoulAnderson and Creator/GordonRDickson's first ''Literature/{{Hoka}}'' story, ''The Sheriff of Canyon Gulch'', Alexander Jones gets in trouble when he assumes that his skill with a laser pistol will translate into skill with a six-shooter. He's never experienced recoil before.
* Pointedly averted in the book ''Literature/PatriotGames'' Jack Ryan gets his hands on one of the terrorist's submachine guns and fires on them. Before firing he remembers his military training and aims with his target in the upper right part of the sight to account for the recoil and make sure that subsequent rounds will still be on target.
* In ''Literature/UnLunDun'' when Deeba first fires the unGun she falls over because of the recoil. She gets better at firing it later on, though.
* Justified in the ''VideoGame/{{StarCraft I}}'' novelization ''Liberty's Crusade''. Jim Raynor teaches protagonist Michael Liberty (a reporter) how to shoot a [[SpaceMarines Marine]] Gauss rifle while wearing PoweredArmor. Mike aims, then stops and asks Raynor how to handle the recoil. Raynor is impressed that he thought to ask, a couple {{redshirt}}s pass credits around, and Raynor explains that the suit compensates automatically.
* ''Year of the Dragon'' by Robert Daley. In the opening shootout, one of the Chinese gang members shoots off his own toes after being knocked over by the recoil of his full-auto shotgun.
* In Marion G. Harmon's ''Literature/WearingTheCape'' novel ''Bite Me: Big Easy Nights'', the gun shop owner clearly expects Jacky to be bit by this when she insists on firing her gun posed like an old-style duelist. She demonstrates her superstrength can handle it.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In an episode of ''Series/TheWestWing'', CJ Cregg's temporarily-assigned Secret Service agent takes her to a firing range. She aims, pulls the trigger... and falls on her ass. [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wJx3JeAzAH0 Watch it here.]] It's pretty hilarious, especially if you already know a bit about handguns. Doubly so for anyone who watches Series/{{NCIS}}, as her agent is the same actor who plays Leroy Jethro Gibbs, a Marine corps-trained sniper. Apparently Mark Harmon's characters are very good shots. They even go the extra distance and get the sound of the guns firing correct. Toby also falls on his ass in a later episode while skeet shooting.
* ''Series/CSIMiami''
** A criminal is identified by the characteristic injuries he received from the recoil when he fired a rocket launcher. This is strange in and itself, since a rocket launcher doesn't have that big recoil. An ordinary rifle or shotgun kicks more.
** In one episode, a guy ends up fricasseeing himself by firing a bazooka from inside an extremely enclosed area.
** In another episode, ''Deep Freeze'', Natalia dislocated her shoulder after doing some shooting practice with a shotgun.
* ''Series/CSINewYork'': A killer was identified because they weren't used to recoil of the revolver they used, and left a nice long scrape of knuckle skin on the brick wall they were shooting from behind, as well as a nick on the top of the gun's frame where it hit the attractive concrete handrail at the top.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Psych}}'' has Det. Lassiter training a rookie detective who happens to be completely insane. When he takes her to the firing range, he comments that she isn't bracing herself properly to fire his gun, but she shrugs him off. The recoil from the gun blows it out of her hands.
* ''Series/YoungIndianaJones'': Almost echoing a scene from ''Film/IndianaJonesAndTheLastCrusade'', one episode has Young Indy in a hot air balloon with Remy and a captured German officer being chased by a squadron of fighter planes. Indy tries to fend them off with a machine gun, oblivious to warnings that the gun will "walk up" if he doesn't brace properly, and sure enough, the recoil sends the barrel pointing upwards and punching several nasty holes in the balloon. ("''That'' is walking up.")
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** While Teal'c does do GunsAkimbo, he is a truly exceptional individual from a [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy race]] of [[SuperSoldier bred warriors]]. The rest of the cast hold their guns with both hands, even when firing pistols.
** In the P90's case, this isn't exactly a bad idea, as its recoil is [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f76wGxg3fzw almost negligible.]]
** The first season finale, where [[NonActionGuy Daniel Jackson]] of all people actually goes GunsAkimbo with an M9 in one hand and ''an [=MP5=] in the other''. He winds up doing more damage to the walls than anything else.
** In "Children of the Gods", they correctly portray a rocket launcher as having next to no recoil.
* In an episode of ''Series/HowIMetYourMother'', Robin takes Marshall to a shooting range to help him get over Lily leaving him for the summer. He picks up the gun, shoots it, and it recoils to smack him right in the face, knocking him on his ass.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}''
** John Crichton uses a pulse rifle to [[RecoilBoost propel himself]] from one spaceship to another in one episode. Whether an energy weapon would produce enough recoil to do this is another question entirely.
** In the Farscape-verse, pulse rifles are actually projectile weapons that fire highly energized pulses of a refined explosive oil (oh, you know what I mean). Guns have been shown to malfunction, sending the pulse a few inches before it nose-dives and makes a hole in the floor.
* A somewhat questionable aversion occurs in ''Series/QuatermassII'', when an astronaut fires a submachine gun on an asteroid, and the recoil knocks him off the low gravity surface and out into space.
* ''Series/SueThomasFBEye'': Averted when a semi-trained sniper killer was identified by a black left eye. They were able to figure out that he was only an amateur copycat (and not the expert killer they were tracking) as he put his face too close to the scope and got smacked in the eye by the recoil, a mistake that real snipers would never make.
* ''Series/KamenRiderOOO'': The Birth Buster used by Kamen Rider Birth actually has a huge recoil, enough to knock an unprepared person flat on their butt. Like any weapon in RealLife, it evidentally takes practice to use it untransformed (and according to its user, even transformed), as while Date (the primary user) has no problems with it, Goto gets thrown off his feet the first time he tries due to not having the proper knowledge of its use.
** This was done earlier in ''Series/KamenRiderKiva'' and mixed with the above Noisy Cricket example from Men in Black.
* In a departure from the franchise's usual recoil-less [=BFGs=], the Dual Crusher from ''Series/GoGoSentaiBoukenger'' / Drill Blaster from ''Series/PowerRangersOperationOverdrive'' knocks the user flat (and that's for morphed Rangers; it could be worse for someone untransformed). A special armored vest had to be developed to disperse the energies.
** Season two of the original series had the Power Cannon, a giant bazooka which had recoil enough to make all six Rangers stumble back.
** In ''Series/PowerRangersWildForce'', this became something of a plot point with the Megazords. The first time the Wild Force Megazord used the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FcSOBnzuuRs Bear Blaster,]] it recoiled noticeably and the energy blasts went wild (still hit the target, though.) It was later revealed that the Bear Brothers were too powerful for the Lion Zord to handle and greatly injured him. The next episodes were then spent finding the Soul Bird (to heal the Lion Zord) and the much stronger MightyGlacier Gorilla Zord to replace the JackOfAllStats Lion Zord in controlling the Bear Zords and forming the Kongazord (itself a MightyGlacier compared to the JackOfAllStats Wild Force Megazord.)
* ''Series/TheGoodies''. Played straight for slapstick comedy in the Pirate Post Office episode. Graeme tries to fire a shotgun from a boat and the recoil knocks him over the side.
* Although recoil is generally not addressed, in an episode of ''Series/TheWalkingDead'', Carol complains of a sore shoulder due to not being used to the recoil of a rifle she was using.

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' goes out of its way to avoid this, in a setting that normally has a total disregard for such details: Imperial Guard rocket launchers are stated to have no recoil when used properly, and a bolter in the hands of a non-SuperSoldier has been known to break bones.
** And this is despite the fact that Bolter ammunition is explicitly stated in several places to be self propelled. Probably the charge needed to actually get the bolt out of the weapon would not be enough to break somebody's arm..
** Bolt rounds are spin-stabilised bi-propellant rounds. They have a conventional "soft launch" charge roughly equivalent to a 10-gauge shotgun (even the bolt pistol uses those), but certain bolters take "Astartes-grade" ammunition, which are far bigger/more powerful. However, since the Astartes are [[PoweredArmor power armoured]] [[SuperSoldier augmented]] SpaceMarines, they can handle it.
** The RPG lines, starting with ''TabletopGame/DarkHeresy'', don't go into specifics about HOW MUCH recoil there is but firing a single shot gives a small bonus to your shooting roll; firing on semi-automatic reduces or negates the bonus, and firing at [[MoreDakka full automatic]] either negates the bonus or instills a penalty (the different lines use slightly different mechanics). Similarly, there's one weapon literally called the HandCannon: it's so large and has such recoil that you need to wield it two-handed or suffer a penalty as if it were a rifle. And of course, mostly due to this trope, there is an item called a Recoil Glove that lets you fire two-handed ranged weapons (and the Hand Cannon) single-handedly without penalty.
* In the ''TabletopGame/{{Rifts}}'' RPG, the [[PoweredArmor Glitter Boy]] boom gun (the {{BFG}} of all {{BFG}}s) requires the wearer of the armour to engage foot anchors and backpack thrusters to absorb the massive recoil.
* ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'', in its relentless pursuit of accuracy, avoids this at every turn and even tries to establish realistic recoil of weapons that don't exist.
* In one ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' sourcebook it is stated that while firing both barrels of a large calibre elephant gun might just [[DidYouJustPunchOutCthulhu save your life]], it will break your shoulder even so.
* In ''{{TabletopGame/Shadowrun}}'' recoil penalties are applied any time a player wants to shoot more than one bullet in a turn.
* The ''TabletopGame/{{Traveller}}'' science-fiction RPG has man-portable energy weapons (the game's {{BFG}}) that can only be fired while wearing a suit of ''PoweredArmor'' that automatically locks your body into one of several safe firing positions.
* Justified in ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening''; if a Mage has knowledge of the force arcanum, they can enchant a weapon to disperse the opposite reaction of the forces, completely removing any recoil from the gun.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* Quite averted in the ''VideoGame/ArmA'' series. Various guns have different amounts of recoil modified by whether you are standing, crouching, lying prone or bracing the weapon and while rocket and missile launchers don't have recoil, they do sport an almost lethal backblast zone behind them and definitely should not be fired at too steep an angle or with your back to a wall.
* In ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid3SnakeEater'' the RPG-7 has minor recoil, allowing Snake all the time he needs to fix another grenade to the end of the weapon and fire again before his target can react. There's also a scene where a character holds their gun gangsta style so that the recoil will drive their aim in a horizontal sweep with minimal effort on their part. It's mentioned later in a radio conversation that [[ShownTheirWork it's a Chinese]] [[{{Foreshadowing}} technique]].
* All of the ''Franchise/ResidentEvil'' titles have featured appropriate recoil for small arms and especially shotguns, but pointedly ''not'' for rocket and grenade launchers, which kick hardest of all. ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' was the first to introduce muzzle climb on fully automatic weapons, which is realistic, but a good example of why its absence is usually considered an AcceptableBreakFromReality. Rocket Launchers still have a little more kick than they should from part 4 onward, but it's been toned down considerably.
* In ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'', firing a gun will cause it to move on your screen (even back during the original ''VideoGame/HaloCombatEvolved''), but in the early games this generally had little-to-no effect on gameplay, since the reticle itself would remain essentially stationary (even if you're firing an assault rifle at full auto); this is sort of justified by Master Chief being a Spartan SuperSoldier with superhuman strength and and half-ton armor. Later games made recoil much more of a gameplay factor, particularly with automatics; for example, the ''VideoGame/Halo5Guardians'' assault rifle actually has pretty significant muzzle climb.
** One notable aversion even in the earlier games is the SMG, whose ''VideoGame/{{Halo 2}}'' incarnation had particularly insane muzzle climb at full auto.
** Particularly averted in ''VideoGame/Halo3ODST'', where automatic and semi-automatic weapons have very noticeable recoil. For example, rapidly pulling the trigger on a pistol will result in significant muzzle climb, while slowing the rate of fire down will result in much more fire control. This is justified in the story by the {{player character}}s not being [[HollywoodCyborg augmented]] and [[PoweredArmor power armor]]-wearing {{super soldier}}s, but elite unaugmented soldiers.
* Avoided in the ''VideoGame/CallOfDuty'' games. The rocket launchers have zero recoil, the cannon on the first game's tank will actually make you move back a couple feet and all guns have as realistic recoil as possible. A notable and severe exception is the [=M240B=] in VideoGame/ModernWarfare 2 - it's a 7.62mm heavy machine gun that weighs 27 pounds empty. The recoil is severe to the point that the ideal firing position is from a tripod, and if the gunner doesn't have enough time he makes do with the built-in bipod. In the game, however, it has the ''least'' recoil of all the machine guns and can be fired easily from the shoulder - and as such, [[ArbitraryGunPower it is also the weakest of the game's machine guns, despite firing the largest bullet among them]]. The worst part is that they could have done that realistically by using the Mk. 48, a much lighter and smaller version that ''can'' be fired from the shoulder. It still has a hefty kick, though.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect'' averts this quite reasonably; high-powered shotguns and sniper rifles have a lot of recoil, and automatic weapons have higher recoil depending on how long the trigger is held down.
** To the point that a major selling point for the [[CoolGun Locust SMG]] in ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' is how insignificant the recoil is.
** Other weapons are described as made for more durable races, like the Claymore or Widow. The tooltips describe how the weapons were remanufactured specifically to avoid breaking the arm of a human wielder.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Killzone}}'', all the standard rifles, pistols, and grenade launchers have realistic amounts of recoil, the rocket launchers have no recoil at all (which would make the Helghast launcher a bit of a game breaker in multiplayer if ammo wasn't almost nonexistent for it) and the really big guns, the chain gun and squad cannon (an anti-materiel repeater) have such high recoil (excluding the alt fire for the chain gun) and are so bulky that they require a steadycam-esque harness in order to be even wielded effectively.
* Avoided in ''VideoGame/RedOrchestra'', where all guns have realistic recoil – line up every shot with your rifle, or you'll be pumping enough lead in the ceiling to make the room a radiation shelter. An unfortunate side effect of this in the first game is that the game does not make much distinction between the recoil of the full sized bolt-action or semi-auto rifles and that of the submachine guns, firing much smaller bullets but at [[MoreDakka five hundred to one thousand bullets per minute]] as the only handheld full-auto weapons in the game, making those [=SMGs=] completely impossible to control and nearly unusable in any capacity. ''Heroes of Stalingrad'' fixed this.
* The tank cannon in ''VideoGame/GrandTheftAutoIII'' causes the vehicle to roll backward slightly if it is stationary when you fire. It's possible, when driving forwards, to rotate the cannon and fire repeatedly behind you, using it as a makeshift booster and accelerating the tank to huge speeds.
** It is possible to use the tanks recoil to make the tank ''fly'': turn it around, start firing while driving, go up an incline while constantly firing.
** Possible additional subversion in ''San Andreas'' -- CJ's adjustment to the recoil of a Desert Eagle could be the reason it's not a one-hit kill until "gangster" skill is reached with it, while in the preceding ''Vice City'' a .357 Colt Python is.
* In ''VideoGame/FarCry2'' the PKM without the accuracy upgrade has so much recoil that you'd get better range with a shotgun. The real PKM fires slowly enough that even a moderately-long burst could be kept on target with less effort than the player in this game needs.
* Explained with a hand wave in the ''VideoGame/{{Hitman}}'' series. Forty-Seven, being a peak-human clone, handles any sort of gun with ease, minus the recoil.
** Averted in ''[[VideoGame/HitmanBloodMoney Blood Money]]'', all guns have recoil. His trusted .45 Silverballers can even be upgraded to full-automatic, and are then harder to control...add the "Akimbo" upgrade and say your good bye to your accuracy.
* ''[[VideoGame/LEGOAdaptationGame LEGO Batman]]'' avoids this, as several firearms cause recoil, and shooting things from a small ledge is not recommended. Whether the developers did this to be realistic or simply add more FakeDifficulty is up to the individual.
** This is probably done for stylistic reasons. ''LEGO Star Wars'' has ''blasters'' kick upwards or back from recoil. The recoil from a blaster, which is a plasma weapon, would logically be imperceptible.
* Inverted by the Rocket Launcher in ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'', which has no recoil at all even though the rockets being stored one in front of the other means the full force of their propulsion would be on the launcher.
** Consider the Heavy's case with the lack of visible recoil from his minigun. It is somewhat justifiable by his enormous size and strength. Though we do see the gun jerk around a lot when it is fired.
** The Scout's Force-A-Nature unlockable shotgun takes knockback to its illogical extreme. It has ''so'' much recoil that [[RecoilBoost a single shot can send ol' Scoutsy flying into the air]].
* In ''VideoGame/EternalDarkness'', recoil is usually shown with at least some realism, with all shotguns and rifles having some recoil, and the Holland & Holland elephant gun literally knocking the character to the floor if they don't take a moment to brace themselves (doing so still causes the character to take a long step back).
* In ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'' the ballistic weapons all have fairly realistic recoil (the energy weapons, on the other hand, have none...). The SCRAM Cannon, Superball gun, and grenade launcher function on the Wave Motion Cannon have little to no recoil. Go full-auto without compensation on the pistol or SMG, and you'll likely wind up shooting the ceiling.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'', Diddy Kong gets recoil from his Peanut Popgun when he shoots it. He also gets more recoil the more he charges it before firing it.
** Lucas' PK Fire has enough recoil to be considered a possible recovery technique when fired in the opposite direction.
** Samus' charge beam also has a bigger recoil the more charged it is. Her missiles don't have nearly as much, though.
** Despite how quickly he fires subsequent shots, the recoil is enough to make [[VideoGame/StarFox Fox']] Blaster point 90 degrees upwards. Falco's, on the other hand, has very little recoil, though he does [[RuleOfCool cross his arms and hold it sideways]]. Wolf's has very little recoil. They're all energy weapons, however, and should have none.
** The laser gun item has the most recoil of all, even though it too fires nothing but energy, every character has to hold it with both hands and it still almost hits them in the face every time they fire. The Super Scope, however, has very little recoil and can fire rapidly, and only a little more when a shot is charged. It still only shoots light, however.
** Averted with the Cracker Launcher. As with real life rocket launchers, the recoil is insignificantly low, and you have to look real closely to see characters twitch with each shot slightly. This allows the use of [[MoreDakka rapidly firing it.]]
* In the ''VideoGame/HalfLife'' series the .357 Magnum revolver has ridiculous recoil and the RPG has very little.
** The RPG is launched using compressed gas, then the rocket actually ignites once it is clear.
** Then there's the M249 from Opposing Force, which will visibly push you backwards as it fires.
* In ''VideoGame/EarthwormJim'', where at one point when you're hanging from a pully, the only way to move forward is to shoot in the opposite direction.
* The blunderbuss in ''VideoGame/AmericanMcGeesAlice'' has a powerful recoil that knocks Alice backwards on her rump whenever she uses it, making it dangerous to use near ledges and cliffs.
* In ''VideoGame/CaveStory'', a fully-powered-up machine gun has enough recoil to enable you to fly by pointing it downward or crash down by pointing upwards, but there's no recoil in left or right.
* ''VideoGame/{{Oddworld}}: Abe's Exodus'': A Slig's submachine gun has some recoil, and this is actually a troubling aspect in the game where you have to possess a Slig in order to kill around 50+ Slogs in order to progress, but you have to watch where the Slig is being pushed back, because there's an electrical fence right behind him, and touching those things is instant death.
* In ''VideoGame/BattlefieldBadCompany'' none of the weapons have discernible muzzle climb in-game (ie. the aim doesn't change). However, if you watch the gun when fired from the shoulder without using the sights, it kicks very aggressively in the shoulder. This is particularly noticeable on the automatic weapons like assault rifles, [=SMGs=] and machine guns.
** ''Bad Company 2'', however, seems to have fixed the climb issue, so one must be a tad more careful when aiming any automatic weapon. It's particularly noticeable on guns like the [=MG3=], which fires so freakin' fast that you shouldn't expect to hit much of anything unless you're firing in bursts.
* ''VideoGame/QuakeII'''s machine gun features a stint of muzzle climb as you hold down the trigger that stabilizes after one or two seconds of continuous fire. It's usually a good idea to aim slightly below where you want the bullets to go and let the muzzle climb rake your aim up to your target[[note]]this is called "walking the burst" and is commonly used with real-life machine guns where the operator will start firing and then use the bullet impacts as a reference point to adjust his aim[[/note]]. Said weapon's muzzle climb is absent in multiplayer.
* In the 3rd case of ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'', the fact that the murder weapon was a .45-caliber revolver is a high point of contention, as the feeling is that it could only be used by someone with a large enough frame to take its recoil. It doesn't prevent the idiots from accusing a blind, frail 14-year old boy in the first place, mind.
* In ''Franchise/JakAndDaxter'', Jak's {{BFG}} actually does jerk back after firing. However, that doesn't stop him from running around and shooting everything in sight with a [[MoreDakka machine gun]].
* The [=AVRiL=] from ''VideoGame/UnrealTournament2004'' and ''VideoGame/UnrealTournamentIII'' pushes the player back several feet, potentially knocking them off a platform. Oddly, the Redeemer, a nuclear cruise missile launcher, and the normal Rocket Launcher, even when firing three rockets at once, have minimum recoil.
* A fully charged shot in ''VideoGame/MegaMan5'' and ''IV'' is powerful enough to push the player back by a few pixels.
** In ''VideoGame/MegaMan9'', similar to the ''Earthworm Jim'' example, there are some zero-gravity sections in which the normally-negligible recoil from your ArmCannon becomes your only means of controlling your movement.
** In the ''VideoGame/MegaManX'' series, you can see X being pushed slightly back with each shot in the first three games, but it's the same no matter what's being shot, whether it's a small plasma pellet, a huge energy blast or actual solid objects. It's also only noticeable when standing still and shooting. The upgraded normal shots in ''VideoGame/MegaManX2'' and ''VideoGame/MegaManX3'' have no noticeable recoil, X actually moves his arms forward in a punching motion. This is the same with Zero. After the first 3, X suddenly has enough recoil from fully charged shots to push his arms over his head, despite that not being the case before, and Zero gets recoil from firing ANY shot.
* In ''VideoGame/SilentHill3'' Heather's wrists jerk from the recoil of her initial handgun, and she's thrown completely off-balance from shooting the shotgun. Curiously, the submachine gun's recoil doesn't faze her at all, despite it using the same ammunition as her handgun in real life.
* Played straight in many arcade light-gun shooter games, but averted in a few games (such as ''VideoGame/TimeCrisis'') that have devices in the guns that produce some blowback. Then again, played straight in ''Time Crisis 3'' and onwards when the same amount of blowback occurs with each usable weapon - be it handgun, machine gun, or shotgun (or if the mechanism breaks and the cheapskate arcade owner won't fix it, or if you turn off recoil in ''Time Crisis 4''[='=]s hidden options screens).
* ''VideoGame/S4League'' has the Gauss Rifle, one of the more powerful automatic weapons. Firing it continuously causes your aim to move slightly upwards, making less effective at long range. However, it's subverted if you only fire one or two shots at a time, in which case your shots won't fire the wrong way, making the Gauss Rifle a mild case of DifficultButAwesome.
* All guns in ''VideoGame/{{Spelunky}}'' push the player back a few pixels, which can easily drop one off the edge on the slippy ice surface.
* Justified in ''VideoGame/StarCraft''. Terran PoweredArmor compensates for recoil automatically (see Literature, above).
* Usually played straight in ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'', but Midget Shotgunners subvert it [[PlayedForLaughs to humorous effect]]. When they shoot at you they frequently get knocked flat on their backs.
** Averted with the Unforgiven, the most powerful revolver in the game, which has recoil just shy of smacking the shooter in the face.
** In the [[VideoGame/{{Borderlands2}} second game]], [[BoisterousBruiser Salvador]], "The ''[[MoreDakka Gunzerker]],''" has the ability to go GunsAkimbo with ''any'' two weapons the player desires, be it machine guns, shotguns, pistols, sniper rifles, or rocket launchers. Naturally, [[TheBigGuy the stout and solid fella]] has no issues with recoil, though seeing as he's spent most of his life abusing steroids, it's probably justified.
* Using any assault or battle rifle in ''VideoGame/KillingFloor'' when not playing as a Commando (a class that has a recoil reduction bonus) will tilt your aim a good thirty degrees upwards after even a moderate burst. Same for the Sharpshooter's weapons, particularly the M14 EBR and the M99.
* ''VideoGame/RedneckRampage'' is an interesting case. It's among the first -- if not ''[[UrExample the very first]]'' -- FirstPersonShooter to have severe recoil and muzzle climb from an automatic weapon, namely the AK-style "huntin'" rifle. If you don't let go of the trigger, you'll end up shooting the ceiling in no time even if your target is an Alien Hulk at point-blank range; controlled bursts are ''mandatory'' when using the rifle. The [[HandCannon .454 Casull revolver]], the shotgun, and the Alien Teat Gun will push Leonard backwards a little with each shot, as does the "huntin'" rifle in addition to the muzzle climb. Very plausible considering Leonard's comically gangly.
* In the [=PS2=] remake of the original ''VideoGame/{{Wild ARMs|1}}'', Rudy Roughknight displays this trope. While he's the youngest member of the cast, he uses a large HandCannon (with some magical properties) called an [[http://i.imgur.com/3mKPv.jpg ARM]] as his main weapon, and despite his small frame, he wields it with one hand.[[note]]The only time he grips the gun with both hands is for his ultimate attack.[[/note]] However, this unusual strength is actually a plot point instead of a case of MusclesAreMeaningless [[spoiler: [[TheReveal as it's later revealed]] that Rudy isn't human, but an artificial construct (called a "Holmcross" in game, though it's probably meant to be "''Homunculus''") that were, quite literally, built to wield such weapons.]]
* In ''VideoGame/WingCommander'', starfighter cannons have no recoil whether they are energy or projectile based, with one exception: the [[ChargedAttack fission cannons]] on the Dragon have enough recoil to send your ship backwards if it's at zero throttle.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/8p23/ This]] strip of ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'' subverts the trope with Gordito, a child, experiencing large blowback. Also, note the AltText.
** [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/25p75/ This strip]] has Dr. McNinja, hanging from a rope, shoot a gun with no apparent recoil. However, the alt text states that that part was cut out.
* Subverted in ''Webcomic/ItsWalky'': [[http://itswalky.com/d/20000221.html "Get a smaller gun, Joyce."]]
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', when three Jaegermonsters [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20030430 attempt to fire a ]] [[HumongousMecha Clank]] [[{{BFG}} gun]], which sound effects indicate is meant to act like a machinegun, the one holding the weapon from behind is realistically enough slammed into the wall behind him.
** Of course, Jagers being Jagers, the one who did the firing recovered in short order with nothing more than a broken nose ("Oooh! Lemme see!").
** Klaus, on the other hand, has no trouble at all [[http://www.girlgeniusonline.com/comic.php?date=20070122 shooting one all by himself]].
*** Possibly a different model of same gun. The one in the first example is so big it takes all three of the Jaegers to hold it up. While Klaus is so massive that he's very nearly as large as his own Clanks, the gun appears to be slightly smaller than it ought to (although it's otherwise identical, right down to the detailing).
* ''Webcomic/DeadWinter'', [[http://deadwinter.cc/page/260.htm here]]. Note the UnsoundEffect.
* Done correctly in ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'':
** Plasma weapons fire a turbulent beam of energy, with cavitation and eddies which virtually eliminate recoil. On the other hand, it also has the ability to magnetically couple the beam to the weapon in rocket mode. This doesn't so much give it recoil as turn it into a very small vehicle with a [[WeaponizedExhaust very dangerous wake]].
** Gauss weapons use a mag-pulse to propel projectiles at just under the speed of sound, and are advertised as recoiless. It's eventually pointed out that "recoiless" is not the same as "zero recoil," and a much-diminished Schlock briefly uses one to fly around in a large cup.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Averted in ''Literature/NewYorkMagician''; Michel mentions at least once that firing his Desert Eagle, despite his extensive training with it, has still made his wrist hurt.
* Also averted in ''WebVideo/CriticalRole''. Percy's {{BFG}}, Bad News, has extremely powerful recoil. He tries to fire it from a narrow platform in Episode 11, and Matt makes him roll a save to see whether or not he's knocked off. Perhaps less realistically, he uses the kickback to launch himself off the ground and into a dead sprint in Episode 22 - but hey, it's D&D, RuleOfCool.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* ''WesternAnimation/TheBoondocks'': In the first episode, "The Garden Party", Ed Wuncler III asks Riley (an 8-year old) to shoot him with his SPAS-12 combat shotgun to prove his bullet-proof armor works. Riley gladly obliges, and while the armor works, the force of the gun knocks Ed over and out a second-story window, and causes Riley to fall over and suffer an injured wrist.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'',
** When Bart and Lisa are shipped off to a military school, the instructor gives them submachine guns when they train on the firing range. ("As you've transferred here from a public school, you should already have experience with smaller arms.") Whereas Bart does quite well, Lisa's gun gets stuck on autofire, the uncontrollable recoil pushing her every which way -- including up off the ground when the gun is pointing downward.
** Bart does quite well because he isn't given an SMG, but a multiple grenade launcher, a weapon with limited recoil (though how he adjusted for the grenade arc is another matter, especially the shot that destroyed Skinner's car when it was a several hour car ride away. Additionally, Lisa was given an M16 pattern assault rifle, and a full sized one at that, thus her difficulty controlling an extremely unwieldy weapon for an eight year old girl with, as shown in a later episode, the physique of a gymnast (small, with the weight of her head off-setting her balance point to her torso rather than her lower body, meaning a much higher center of gravity than most of the recruits, especially Bart who has always had a gut reminiscent of Homer's (though no way near as flanderised, ironically, excluding the episodes when he was rendered obese via snack foods.)
* In an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheTransformers'', "Heavy Metal War", Wheeljack tries his new "shock blast cannon", a shoulder-mounted bazooka-like weapon, out on an incoming Megatron - only to knock himself to the floor with the quip, "That's a shock, alright..." Kind of a justification, as Wheeljack built the thing himself, and as a MadScientist, it probably wouldn't be the first time he'd forgotten to take into account something as simple as recoil.
* ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'':
** The recoil from Yosemite Sam's six-shooters is strong enough to make him airborne when firing downward.
** Seen in a number of WesternAnimation/PorkyPig shorts; one example comes from ''Porky's Phoney Express'', where Porky is fighting Indians on horseback, and every time he fires his gun, he's knocked offscreen until the seemingly elastic reins pull him back into his saddle.
** This also happened in ''WesternAnimation/PorkysDuckHunt'', when Porky fires his shotgun rapidly into the air and creates a deep trench underneath him.
** Whenever WesternAnimation/{{Wile E Coyote|And The Roadrunner}} tries to fire a cannon, it's more than likely that the cannon will take off in reverse (with poor Wile E. in tow) while the cannonball remains in place.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', Peridot [[MacGyvering re-engineers an injector into a cannon]] capable of firing a boulder of 1 meter diameter well past observable range, and this trope is fully used while she demonstrates it. Then when it comes time to fire it at a target, she gets arrested by the Newton's Third Law Police and she flies right into into the cliff behind her, ''à la [[WesternAnimation/WileECoyoteAndTheRoadrunner Carnivorous vulgaris.]]''
* One Commander [=McBragg=] story from ''WesternAnimation/TennesseeTuxedoAndHisTales'' pretty much ''defies'' this Trope. The Commander's story involves him testing a new rifle with an ''incredibly'' powerful recoil, one which knocks him dozens of feet backwards no matter how he tries to brace himself, and even sends him crashing through a ''natural'' cave wall when he tries to brace himself that way. (Ironically, when he falls into a deep pit with walls too smooth to climb, he uses the gun's recoil to escape, shooting downward and propelling him up and out.)

[[folder:Real Life]]
* From UsefulNotes/WorldWarII and on, anti-tank weaponry were referred to as "recoilless rifles", since the traditional anti-tank rifle had so much recoil that it was impractical. While almost ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin, recoilless rifles fire normal artillery shells from a rifled barrel, but use special perforated cartridges and a Venturi chamber to propel the combustion gases out the back at a high velocity, canceling out the recoil force. They are a modern evolution of the old back-to-back recoilless cannons of the 10th century.
* Though technically recoilless, many anti-tank weapons still have some recoil – in some that are fired from the shoulder (like the Swedish [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Gustav_recoilless_rifle Carl Gustav]]), it can be severe enough to loosen the gunner's teeth if firing several shots in rapid succession. Another exception was the British PIAT system; this was a shoulder-fired spigot mortar that used a heavy spring to launch its anti-tank bomb. The spring delivered a punishing kick to the operator's shoulder, which was just one of the reasons the PIAT was disliked by British troops. Another reason was that the projectile was held in the tube by gravity. That's right: if you aimed it so the muzzle wasn't at least horizontal, the projectile would slide out of the tube. Yet another was that the heavy spring used to launch the projectile meant that it was extremely difficult to reload once it had been fired; it was ''supposed'' to re-cock itself using the force of the recoil, but since there was ''so much'' recoil, most of the time the weapon itself undid that by knocking the user flat on his ass.
* In the "Ammo" episode of the History series "Lock 'n Load", Creator/RLeeErmey points out the effects of recoil when shooting a Barret .50 cal sniper rifle - he hadn't allowed for it properly, and the scope hit him in the face and cut him on the bridge of his nose. This and the black eye mentioned above, frequently accompanied by a nasty arc-shaped cut right below the eyebrow, are known as "scope bite" and were a common injury suffered by first-time big-game hunters on safari in Kenya "back in the day", due to using big-bore, hard-recoil bolt-action rifles like the .375 Holland & Holland Magnum or .458 Winchester Model 70 African with a telescopic sight with insufficient eye relief[[labelnote:*]]the distance between your eye and the eyepiece when you are "locked in" to the scope and have the correct field of view through it[[/labelnote]]. According to the late Col. Jeff Cooper, the professional hunters who led the safaris referred to this as "Kaibab eye", and few people who ended up needing stitches for the cut made the same mistake twice (most often, they took the 'scope off and used the rifle's iron sights exclusively after such an experience). The professional hunters, by comparison, rarely bothered with telescopic sights on their "working rifles" in these heavy calibers, as they would usually only shoot to finish off an animal that had been wounded and not killed by the client's shot, and most shooting at large African game (rhino, Cape buffalo, etc.) was done at ranges under 50 yards, where a telescopic sight was more of a hindrance than a help anyway.
* Continuing JustForFun/TelevisionIsTryingToKillUs line, one [[RareGuns Desert Eagle .50]] + one lady who expected it to work like prop guns = [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dFJjaj7pXsA something painful]]. The recoil of Desert Eagle itself is actually depending on the cartridge: when using standard .357 Magnum, the recoil is light [[HandCannon due to the sheer mass of the gun]]. But loading it with .50 AE or .44 Magnum/Cor-bon [[ArtisticLicenseGunSafety without proper training]] equals limp wrist, which equals the Eagle soaring back and into the shooter's face.
* In basic rifle training it's not uncommon for a drill or other training cadre to demonstrate the M16's lack of recoil by firing it off their nuts. Yes, you can place the stock in your crotch and fire full auto downrange without injuring yourself. Note: this is due to M16 using the relatively small 5.56x45 mm cartridge and [[InvokedTrope being designed to have an easily-controllable recoil during full-auto fire]], as well as allowing soldiers to carry more ammunition due to its lower weight. [[GroinAttack Crotch-firing with firearms using bigger 7.62 mm cartridges (like the FAL) should be reserved for people aiming for Darwin awards]]. Sometimes replaced by the Drill Sergeant volunteering a Private to stand still while the Drill Sergeant jams the buttstock of the weapon against his nose and fires. Civilian rifles designed for large cartridges (.308, .30-06, .45-70, 9.3x74) and then re-chambered by the factory in .223 Remington (civilian version of the 5.56mm NATO) or .243 Winchester calibers may even dispense the recoil pad altogether and still not generate enough recoil to feel a distinctive kick, thanks to the gun's heavy weight (as made for the larger cartridges) dampening the recoil. This can occasionally lead to situations where people ''with military training'' end up suffering some of the already mentioned injuries when they try to use a rifle that does produce a significant kick without specific instruction.
* In the days of frontloaders, cannons really did have a harsh recoil[[note]]they still do; it's rocket launchers that don't[[/note]], meaning that every time you used one, it rolled back. This made it a great retreating tactic occasionally used in the American Civil War, where retreating Union soldiers often took their cannons with them by firing them at the Confederates because they didn't have the manpower to move them otherwise. Of course, if the ground was soft and/or wet, the guns had a tendency to bury themselves up to their spokes if they weren't wheeled forward after each recoil. On the other hand, it's annoying to have to wheel the thing back each time, so prepared artillery positions usually had shallow pits dug underneath the cannon so that they would roll back after firing. This characteristic makes cannons easier to reload on ships and fortifications: the cannon slams back against its rigging when fired, is reloaded, and then is lugged back out the gunport to fire again, reducing the workload for the guncrew by half. Usually this is depicted correctly [[RuleofCool because it's awesome]]. The development of recoil-compensation mechanisms for artillery was one of the major advances in UsefulNotes/WorldWarI: it allowed for fast, accurate fire, greatly improving the effectiveness of artillery.
* The AA-12 automatic shotgun was specifically designed to absorb most of its own recoil[[note]]specifically, it's an open-bolt weapon using a variation of "advanced primer ignition", where the round is fired off as the bolt is still moving forward to chamber it, which negates some of the recoil[[/note]]. Given the amount of recoil a shotgun (especially a 12-gauge one) produces from only one shot, this was necessary to begin with just to make it a practical weapon, but it would be a welcome feature on any gun. See it in action [[http://cdn.makeagif.com/media/1-24-2014/qji3Zo.gif here]].
* The [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American-180 American-180]] has little to no recoil despite its very high rate of fire (1,200 rounds per minute), though perhaps justified that it uses .22 LR rounds.
* The realities behind this trope put the lie to that old UrbanLegend of [[ShotAtDawn firing squads]] loading blanks into all but a single rifle. According to the legend, this is so that no man would know who fired the fatal shot, but fact is the telltale thump from the live round would be a dead giveaway to whoever ended up shooting it, while the men who fired blanks would know from the lack of felt recoil.
* While not 100% this trope, there's a bit of this in handguns. Small, low caliber guns can often have more felt recoil than bigger, larger caliber guns even though you're dealing with more energy in the latter case. This is because the less mass also means less inertia to overcome and therefore more energy transmitted to the shooter (and that most small pistols use simple "blowback" operation that absorbs less recoil than the more common locked-breech system). This fact is often a surprise to new shooters who assume that a smaller pistol will be easier to handle. This often leads to tragedy when parents give their children 'low power' pistol as starter guns. What begins as a well intentioned attempt to teach their children respect and safety in regards to firearms can quickly lead to severe injuries or, in some cases, the death of the firing individual.
* The [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HyAl9qK3Rlg High Impulse Weapon System]] is a recoil damped shoulder-fired weapon, approximately equivalent to a mortar round. The video notable includes both someone firing it who is used to the recoil, and someone who isn't.
* [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nock_gun The Nock Gun]], a seven barrelled flintlock musket which turned out to be AwesomeButImpractical. The recoil was so great that people frequently wound up with broken shoulders after firing.
* In a very dark case of this, [[http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6121915 a gun enthusiast took his son, who was no older than eight years, to a firing range to fire a gun for the first time]], [[WhatAnIdiot where the kid was handed a full-automatic Micro-Uzi]]. His older son actually warned his father about it being too powerful, but the father said for the kid to shoot it anyways. So, he did, and while he was able to keep the gun from flying out of his hands, the recoil caused the boy's forearms to rotate back and face the gun toward his head without ceasing to fire. He died from a shot to the face.
* A very similar case to the above occurred in 2014 at a shooting range in Las Vegas, when a nine-year-old girl was allowed to fire a Mini-Uzi[[note]]which fires at 950 rounds per minute, only barely more controllable than the Micro-Uzi's 1,200[[/note]] on full automatic. That time it was the shooting instructor who got a bullet in the face.
* There are many many videos on youtube in which 'responsible' gun owners give either children or young women powerful guns to fire without preparing them for the recoil. In most cases they are lucky to get off with bruises and sprains, though as the examples above show, the results can be lethal. [[StopBeingStereotypical Actual responsible gun owners]] ''[[StopBeingStereotypical really]]'' [[StopBeingStereotypical hate it when people do this]][[note]]This is ''not'' a case of the NoTrueScotsman fallacy, because there are clear, non-negotiable [[UsefulNotes/GunSafety safety rules in place for handling guns]], and violating these rules makes one an irresponsible gun owner; no ifs, ands or buts.[[/note]].