The premise is simple. Whether to deliver a Neck Snap or slow strangulation, sometimes even other injuries, the (usually) girl takes hold of her victim between her thighs and either squeezes or twists, sometimes both. The result is either a painful death, or unconsciousness from strangulation. This move is often seen in combination with With My Hands Tied thanks to not requiring arms.
This method of attack is far more commonly used by women than men, probably because of the obvious vulnerability of men attempting it and the sexual attractiveness of girls' thighs. Variants could be called "Murderous Calves" or "Murderous Ankles". Same general idea but lower on the legs. The Professional Wrestling move the frankensteiner (or hurricanrana) can overlap with this trope, but it's more a move for a Fragile Speedster.
Somewhat related to Ass Kicks You. Compare and contrast with Armed Legs. Truth in Television; see Real Life section.
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Anime and Manga
Ryomou Shimei's fighting style in Ikki Tousen involves lots of grappling with her thighs.
The title character from Kekko Kamen typically overpowers her opponents with a flying headscissors takedown. Naked.
Hey, she's wearing clothes. A mask and boots...
As an Homage to Kekko Kamen, Angel Blade's finishing move involves this. In accordance with the show's nature, it's done with extra focus on the space in-between.
A favorite move of Shadow Lady, often (and deliberately) positioning her enemy's head just so his face presses against her bits.
Happens every so often in Ranma ½, particularly in the manga. Because Ranma's semi-speciality is his agility, and because his female form is particularly small and light, he's quite prone to bending around in melee range so that he can latch onto his opponent's neck and pull or flip them around. He gets it done to him in at least the manga version of the Pantyhose Taro arc.
It's such a signature move that the third licensed fighting game, Chougi Ranbuhen, actually turned it into Ranma's standard throw move (for both genders.)
In Speed Grapher Ginza actually kills someone with her thighs. The man was a leg fetishist. It was awkward.
In Naruto, Deidara grabs Tobi's neck between his legs when Tobi refused to give back the arm and Akatsuki ring that Deidara lost earlier (this was pretty much Deidara's only option as he'd lost his other arm by this point as well).
In Code Breaker Aoba, recently revealed as a Code:Revenger, grabs Oogami's head tightly with her legs while lifting herself off the ground with her arms. Oogami has his face pressed into her crotch and (substantial) chest while she apathetically looks at him. This sounds more pleasant for him than it was since the girl in question has been shown to have incredible strength.
On one of the many times ''Pokémon's Team Rocket are dangling from a tree, tied up, Jessie tries to throttle James with her thighs. Three episodes later they're pulling off a Totem Pole Trench and Jessie strangles him again, as a reminder of his fate should he drop her.
Abby Chase does this in Danger Girl hanging from an overhead beam, but not before she gets some information from the Hammer soldier. She's wearing a skimpy wetsuit at the time, which is par for the course for this series.
From the Gold Digger series, a move called the Open-thigh knee jump - or something like it. Used with great affect, regardless whether it's a hot lady or an excessively muscled man doing it.
Black Widow does this so often, I kinda want to read the SHIELD combat training manual. Or sit in on some sparring sessions...
Spider-Man frequently does this to subdue enemies.
Bunnie Rabbot in Archies Sonic The Hedgehog does this to a brainwashed Sonic in one issue; made even worse for Sonic since she's a cyborg below the waist.
From Urusei Yatsura: The Senior Year by Gorgo, we have the Thunder-thighs Flying Takedown.
In the Mortal Kombat film, Sonya Blade finishes Kano using this method.
She does the Deadly Ankles thing to Ermac in the second film.
Lust In the Dust. Rosie (played by Divine), but accidentally. She can even crack a lock with her thighs that a hail of bullets failed to open.
Lieutenant Callahan from Police Academy demonstrates an immobilization technique along these lines to her unarmed combat class. Every man in the room volunteers to be next.
It was actually just a throw to get the cadet on the ground and a kick to the chest, ending up with her sitting on his chest with the attendant view from his perspective. Not that detracts from anything, mind...
Deckard from Blade Runner getting his neck crushed between the legs of Pris, the pleasure-model replicant.
Barbara Rose of The War of the Roses grabs her husband in a leg-lock when he's trying to get amorous, squeezing the breath out of him. The next day, the injury causes him to pull a muscle and results in Oliver believing he's having a heart-attack and dying... Which, apparently, inspires him to leave the house to Barbara in his will, which came back to haunt him later on.
Tank Girl, after being captured by Water and Power, comes on to a W&P soldier to lure him closer, then breaks his neck with her legs.
Lena Olin's character tries to do this to Gary Oldman's character in Romeo Is Bleeding.
In Anaconda, in a rare gender reversal Paul Sarone (John Voight's character) does this to Kari Wuhrer.
In Lethal Weapon, Riggs chokes out his torturer this way while his hands are bound. He nearly does it again during the climactic battle with Mr. Joshua near the end of the film.
Murtaugh: Break his fuckin' neck!
Jean-Claude Van Damme does this to a triad mook during the finale of Double Impact to break his neck. Soon afterwards, the Big Bad's Dragon (played by Cory Everson) tries to do this to the other Jean-Claude Van Damme (he's playing both halves of a set of twins, you see), and looks MUCH better doing it, but ultimately fails (unfortunately) and eventually dies of a knife wound.
In Wreck It Ralph, Zangief brags about his ability to crush men's heads between his thighs like sparrow eggs. This is despite the fact that Zangief does not have such a technique in the actual Street Fighter series, save for perhaps suplexes.
In Universal Soldier: Regeneration, the NGU uses his superhuman strength augmented thighs to kill another Unisol. He was using it not only to break the Unisol's neck, but his collarbone, spine and parts of his upper ribcage, an act equivalent to using his thighs to break a column of reinforced concrete.
Briefly and non-lethally used in Miss Congeniality. When Gracie and Matthews are on the wrestling mat, she gets Matthews' neck between her legs, and gives him a rough squeeze after Matthews starts being snarky.
Done by a man in The Gun Seller. In this instance the captor is strangled with his neck at the back of the captive's knee. It is described as a slow death.
Nanny Ogg threatens to do this to Igor in Carpe Jugulum. Yes, you heard me, Nanny Ogg, the jolly grandmother in her eighties. It has been stated in some other book that three marriages and an adventurous youth have given her thigh-muscles that could crack nuts.
Though it isn't actually used in The Sarah Connor Chronicles, on the DVD commentary, the graphics designer for the T-888 mentioned that he deliberately designed the skeletal thighs of the Terminator to have sharp edges on the inside, so that they could be used as scissors to lop off a human's head if it got its legs around them. Though to be fair, he did design the entire T-888 to have as much improvised weaponry as possible built into it, and that's far from the only way the machine has to kill someone.
In an early Power Rangers episode, Kimberly, while lying on a park table on her back, grabbed a putty patroller's neck in between her ankles, squeezed for a few seconds and then threw him to the side.
According to TV game show Would I Lie to You?, Patrick McGuinness was once defeated in an impromptu wrestling contest by Andy McNabb who got his head in a leg-lock. It was a lie.
Echoed in Stargate SG-1 when Vala (Claudia Black, the same actress who played Aeryn) hops onto Daniel Jackson from behind and scissors him into submission.
In the show Nikita (the one starring Maggie Q), the titular character breaks a burly henchman's neck with a triangle choke.
An episode of Scrubs had J.D. mention how strong Elliot's thighs are, which she demonstrates by snapping a lunch tray with them, and then supporting both J.D. and Turk as the bottom tier of their 'World's Most Giant Doctor'.
In the second episode of the fourth series of Misfits, Sadie tries this on Finn to get him to untie her.
Fem 2 Fem's Make Me Love U - Hold Me down / with those legs of steel / and then kiss me / so genteel.
Clamp the scissors on his neck/and choke him till he's green again
Christie "Asya" Wolf, a female bodybuilder with quads bigger than those of most male wrestlers, used a headscissor variation called a figure 4 headscissor as a finishing move.
Many other wrestlers, both female and male, use various headscissor variations as rest holds.
According to Eric Gargiulo, the figure four headscissors was(hopefully no longer is) a favorite of wrestlers who decided to go into business for themselves.
Melina Perez, while acting as a valet for MNM, would use a headscissor choke on MNM's opponents while they distracted the ref. While not exactly murderous, the male wrestlers actually sold it as painful rather than sexay.
The triangle choke, as mentioned in the Real Life section, is used sometimes as a resthold and occasionally as a finisher, especially in wrestling promotions which try to emulate MMA style fights.
The videogame WWF Atttitude has two different sets of female create-a-wrestler dialogue centered around this trope.
As said above, the frankensteiner and hurracanrana moves involve wrapping your thighs around their head and using your bodies momentum to throw them to the ground. Usually usually used by the Fragile Speedster. Moves of this type can be difficult for taller wrestlers to do because they have to work at not hitting their head on the mat.
This is why bigger cruiserweights like Eddie Guerrero would use cruiserweight moves on heavyweight wrestlers, but power moves on smaller cruiserweights like Rey Mysterio.
Randy Orton used to make heavy use of the body scissors when he was the "legend killer". Amusingly, Tyson Tomko showed Randy didn't even know to get out of a basic side head scissor because his cheating tactics made the ref break holds before his opponents did.
This is an attack used by Sophitia in the Soul Calibur series. Worse yet, it's called "From Heaven To Hell." It's an accurate description.
Also used by other characters to set up weapon attacks, such as Taki's A+G and Talim's B+G throws. Talim's command throw, a modification of her B+G, has her break the opponent's arm using her legs before moving on to the weapon hits.
In the Rival Schools sequel Project Justice, Tiffany gains a super where she wraps her thighs around the opponent's head and... spins around their head a bit. Considering her role as the series' Ms. Fanservice, this is definitely plays more into the "sexy" part of this trope than the "deadly" part.
In the first game, Kyoko has a super move called "The Breaker" that's a string of various submission holds. A triangle choke is the final hold in the series.
Ayame from the ninja game Tenchu can do this as a stealth kill. Yeah, a stealth thigh based Neck Snap. She's that awesome.
Snake did this to a Mook in Metal Gear Solid 4. It deserves stressing that he is an old man, and still managed to pull off playing it for fanservice.
Cammy's various frankensteiner variations in the Street Fighter series. Although the frankensteiner doesn't necessarily fit this trope, Cammy's use of it pretty clearly does.
In Street Fighter IV, she's joined by El Fuerte, who has multiple thigh grapples, some of which involve spinning around the opponent's head like the Rival Schools example above. Since El Fuerte's a dude (and a rather goofy one at that), this is probably more comedy than fanservice.
The latest edition brings in Hakan, who takes this trope to a whole new level. His second Ultra involves lying on the ground, and if his opponent so much as touches him, he/she will slip on him, whereas upon Hakan will get on top of his opponent, squeeze him/her between his thighs, and launch him/her out of his ass and into the wall.Here it is in action.
King, Roger and Dr. Boskonovich from Tekken are fans of the Frankensteiner as well. No female characters in this franchise have Murderous Thighs but Nina and Anna Williams, being assassins, do know how to dislocate or break pretty much any bone in the opponent's body with their legs. Anna has a move that does include a headscissor, but the headscissor is used as leverage to break the opponent's leg. Xiaoyu has a Murderous Ankles attack in Tekken 5, but it's tricky to pull off.
In a non-fanservice way, Clark does this for his Frankensteiner (like Cammy, above). And then he turns to the screen, holds out his hands, and yells "HEY!"
Mai Shiranui also got move of this kind in KOF'99. It was initally quite useless and the animations suggest that it was probably intended to be Fetish Fuel to compensate for the loss of Shermie and Vice in that game. The attack is probably based on one she does to a mook in the Fatal Fury movie. She also has had the "Murderous Ankles" version as one of her throws since her debut in Fatal Fury 2.
In Rise Of The Kusai, Tati does this regularly. This would probably be hotter if, A. We didn't see Tati as a scared child in the prequel, Mark of Kri, and B. if Tati wasn't absolutely brutal if her fighting style. Squicky kills are practically a trademark of this series, but Tati manages to outdo her brother Rau, who can slice through about five bodies or more with one swing of an ax. This was probably intentional though, because it characterizes the difference between Rau and Tati quite nicely.
In Shinobido, one of Kinu's One-Hit Kill attcks consist in a mid-air version of this. Goh can do a similar trick if he's hanging from a platform and catch a victim on said platform: he will grab the victim, drag him/her down, catch his/her neck with his legs and break it.
Playing as Jill in the Resident Evil 5 mercenaries minigame gives you the oppurtunity to do this to random majini provided you are behind them and they are stunned, grabbing their knee.
Tanya in Mortal Kombat has this as one of her throws, and a more extreme version as a fatality.
The Mortal Kombat movie example was likely based on the in-game Sonya Blade, who had a leg-grab style throw as a special manoeuvre from the first game. Scorpion had one in MKII.
And Sonya has a fatality version in MK 4 where she cuts the opponent in half.
In some World Heroes games Kim Dragon has a slow squeezing version of this, whooping it up as he (yes, HE) grinds. The actual females (Janne and Ryoko) notably do not do this in their grapples (Ryoko has various judo throws; Janne either shoulder-throws you or slaps you around).
In Outlaw Volleyball, Russian Bridgette Nielsen lookalike Natasha performs the move on a volleyball in one of her victory animations. One of the possible accompanying soundbites is "I could have been Olympic champion... if coach didn't have unfortunate accident." Also, a now-defunct Outlaw Sports game website featured a soundclip of her remarking "These thighs can crush a man's head. [sigh] I really should get new hobby..."
In World of Warcraft, female dwarves have a flirt line where they claim to be able to flatten steel between their thighs.
Catwoman has a few different varieties of this in Batman Arkham City, like wrapping her right leg around the left side of a Mook's neck and yanking him to the ground to strangle him or swinging down from the ceiling and choking them. Batman can also do the ceiling variant, though he holds their necks closer to his ankles.
In one of the opening cutscenes of Bayonetta, she flies at an enemy crotch first, wrapping and restraining it with her unusually long legs.
The Assassin in Super Monday Night Combat features a grapple in which she flips forward and grabs her opponent's face with her crotch, after which she stabs him/her with her knife.
The PSP game Def Jam Fight for NY: Takeover changed the movelist of most fighters, giving them new fighting styles. Some of the ladies gained the submission attribute, granting them a couple of "murderous thighs" moves. Lauren has a grounded head-/armscissors, Cindy got the Christo (headscissors armbar) and Kimora can pull her opponent face first into her crotch into a tight triangle choke. Kimora must have immensely powerful thighs, since her submission seems to do more damage then most other holds.
Pella from Looking for Group kills a guard through the bars of her cage with this technique, promising to compose a song about it later. Fans have since done so, naming this trope.
Stella does a series of handsprings toward you, ending with her sitting on your shoulders with her thighs clamped around your neck. That's pretty hot, but then she starts stabbing you in the eyeballs, which is less appealing. Eek! Oof! Argh!
Doctor What from AH Dot Com The Series was dead for several minutes when a girl he was with accidentally squeezed his neck with her thighs as he practised oral sex on her. The squeezing cut off the blood flow to his brain. Based On A Real Story, even.
The Simpsons episode "You Only Move Twice" [3F23]: A sexy henchwoman of Scorpio performs the Death Thighs maneuver on one of the attacking government troops: she leaps atop of him, encasing his neck with her thighs, squeezes, twists and snaps his neck. It's not a very PG moment.
Truth in Television: Most martial arts that include ground grappling as part of their curriculum have submissions that look like this, such as the Gogoplata and the Triangle Choke, for fairly good reason: a person's legs are much, much stronger than their arms. In fact, for someone with no training in grappling, just wrapping your legs around the other person is effective in restraining them and giving you a more advantageous position. This is especially advantageous for women, since they have much stronger lower bodies than upper bodies.
Capoeira, since it was originally practiced by slaves whose arms were bound.
Do-Jime, the judo variant of this is on the list of banned techniques. The sankaku-jime, on the other hand, is quite tournament legal - and very dangerous in the case of negligent referees (fully SFW).
Vietnamese martial arts like Viet Vo Dao are really fond of this trope.
This is a good way to crush used milk cartons for the sake of recycling.