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Neck Lift

Sometimes a character needs to demonstrate his or her strength by making some poor schmuck feel helpless. The standard method of demonstrating Super Strength is to grab the victim by the neck with one hand and pick him up. If you want to maintain a slight atmosphere of plausibility, you can then slam him up against a wall. To be truly Bad Ass, however, you should simply hold him in mid-air, using sheer force of personality to keep him from realizing that he can escape simply by tilting his head back. You may even decide to shake them a little bit.

Victims of this demoralization technique are typically helpless, unable to resist in any fashion despite the fact that the attacker has generally put them in a position to deliver a solid kick (or punch) to an assortment of vital targets. Of course, meanies with the strength to pull off this trick often have Nigh-Invulnerability as well.

May or may not come directly before a Neck Snap — typically, though, a Neck Lift is a way to show that you're serious about this and won't take any bull. Usually a result of Artistic License - Physics if a human-sized lifter doesn't even lean back to counterbalance the weight they're holding up. This trope principally runs on premium unleaded Rule of Cool though to make the lifter look like one hell of a Badass and for general spectacle so physics schmysics. Even moreso if they're performing this trick via telekinesis, resulting in the Psychic Strangle.

For added effect there can be a shot, image, or description revealing just how high the attacker can lift the victim's feet from the ground.

Compare Standard Female Grab Area.

Related: Barrier-Busting Blow, Hoist Hero Over Head, High-Altitude Interrogation, Minion Maracas, Vertical Kidnapping.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sesshomaru of InuYasha does this several times.
  • In the Excel♥Saga anime's 25th episode, Lord Il Palazzo does this to two Ropponomatsus at once, one in either hand. Then he pops their heads off with a single squeeze.
  • A brainwashed Ginga does this to Subaru during their battle in Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha StrikerS. Subaru managed to escape and do an attempted counter, which earned her a one-handed slam into the ground.
  • Naruto
    • Before Sasuke goes off to Orochimaru, Naruto tries to stop him, and somewhere in the middle Sasuke lifts Naruto with just one hand. Despite having been badly beaten before being grabbed, Naruto was still able to force Sasuke's attack off target.
    • Pain's bodies did this to a few people during their attack on Konoha when trying to extract information from them on Naruto's whereabouts.
    • Kakuzu does this to Choji and Ino at the same time.
    • Itachi does this to Sasuke in their first battle.
  • The super-strong tiger warrior Lime to Ryōga in Ranma ˝. Particularly horrifying since Ryōga has considerable superhuman strength and is Made of Iron himself, but Lime even more so. It ends with Lime crushing Ryōga's throat and almost bringing him to the point of death. But when Ryōga's Shishi Hokodan fills him with "heavy" depression ki, he becomes too heavy for even Lime to lift.
  • Mahou Sensei Negima!
    • A favorite move of Nagi (Negi's father), having done it against Fate during a Flash Back and when Albireo copied him in his match against Kaede during a tournament. Also a scene where the real Nagi used this on the last Mook Demon of an army he'd just torn through. He finished it in a Neck Snap.
    • Also, mercenary leader of the Black Hounds Alexander Zeystev (also known as Chiko-tan) did this to Nodoka while attempting to take her in; there was a tremendous bounty on her and her friend's capture (she became bait).
    • In a "heroic" and unarguably awesome example of this, Negi does this to Tsukuyomi in chapter 292, and judging by the look on Tsukuyomi's face, it seems Negi is dead serious and she knows it. Unusual for this trope, Tsukuyomi does try to slice off the arm doing the grabbing. It is less than effective.
    • Chapter 333. Lifemaker grabs Negi in a Neck Lift.
  • A slight variant of this shows up in the original Blood: The Last Vampire short film — Saya has a habit of grabbing those that piss her off by the mouth.
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • Majin Buu does this to its master Babidi, to keep him from talking and using the spell to seal him again before killing him off. It's kind of subverted, though: Babidi is the size of a small dog, probably not much more than the weight of a sack of rice.
    • #20 does this to Yamcha in order to impale him with extreme prejudice.
  • In Lupin III: The Woman Called Fujiko Mine, Oscar does this to one of his subordinate police officers. Its made all the more impressive by his being a thin, extremely feminine-looking Bishounen.
  • In the Cowboy Bebop episode "Ballad of Fallen Angels", Vicious does this to Spike, while sporting one of his rare Slasher Smiles, just before sending him out a cathedral window.
  • Bleach
    • Grimmjow does this to Orihime twice. First after he rescues her from death at the hands of Loly and Menoly.. Later, during his and Ichigo's fight as she questions him.
    • Ulquiorra inflicts this on Ichigo twice. First while he's beating him up while in his first Resurrección form, and again while in his Segunda Etapa form, choking Ichigo with his tail before blowing a hole through his chest.
    • In anime episode #314 the hollow in Haruko's body does a two-handed version to Kon (who's in Ichigo's body). Kon escapes by kicking Haruko's body in the stomach.
    • Anime episode #321. Yumichika's reigei grabs him by the neck and lifts him up and presses him against a tree while taunting him.
    • Later in the Thousand-Year-Blood-War-Arc, Juhabach does this to Zaraki Kenpachi of all people, which is quite a feat given that the latter is over two meters tall. Of course, this being Juhabach, he only does it after he's thoroughly curbstomped Kenpachi.
  • Sengoku Basara:
    • Big Bad Nobunaga does this to the hero Date Masamune. Despite the fact that he is holding up a grown man with one hand, he makes it look painfully easy.
    • Happens to Masamune again in the second season and again by the Big Bad, though this time it looks a bit more convincing seeing as Hideyoshi is (at least) twice Masamune's size.
  • In a rare heroic example, Kato does this to two Red Shirts (at the same time!) in Gantz to show off the power of the Gantz suit and convince them to wear theirs, thus increasing their chances of survival (not that it helps). This may count as more of a variant in that he grabs them by their shirt collars rather than by their necks proper.
  • Hellsing: Alucard did this to Rip van Winkle in the 4th OVA.
  • In the 8th episode of 07-Ghost Ayanami (in Mikage's body) does this to Teito.
  • D.Gray-Man
    • Tyki does this to Allen at one point before destroying his arm.
    • Although he's not a villain by any means, Allen angrily does this to a broker in the first Reverse novel.
  • In episode 15 of Bakemonogatari, the cat spirit possessing Hanekawa performs one on Araragi after cutting his throat, in an effort to solve the problem at hand by removing him from the equation.
  • Karate Shoukoushi Kohinata Minoru: During their fight in chapter 64 Kevin does this to Minoru.
  • In Silent Mobius, Kiddy greets detective Ralph Baumers this way the first few times they meet. They wind up going out later.
  • Hanaukyō Maid Tai La Vérité episode 11. Konoe's Onee-sama does this to Yashima Sanae while fighting her and to Taro when he insists on trying to rescue Mariel.
  • Gunslinger Girl. Henrietta does this to a purse snatcher, who's rather surprised when he's lifted off his moped by a ten-year old girl half his size.
  • Mewtwo from Pokémon: The First Movie actually did this to Fergus, one of the captured trainers, with his own mind.
    • In the Diamond and Pearl arc, Hunter J has her Drapion do this to Ash.
  • In episode 20 of Uragiri wa Boku no Namae wo Shitteiru Cadenza does this to Kuroto.
  • Puella Magi Madoka Magica: Kyouko is very fond of doing this, especially to Homura. Justified in that she, as a Magical Girl, has superhuman strength and can thus effortlessly lift her.
  • Saint Seiya. Ohko does this to Shiryu at the climax of their fight. Subverted in that Shiryu takes the opportunity to strike Ohko's arm with his knee and break it.
  • In episode 9 of Black Butler II Sebastian does this to Hannah.
  • Shinji chokes and lifts Asuka up in End of Evangelion at one point.
  • Hunter × Hunter: In the 2011 anime remake Hisoka does this to Gon.
  • The first time Yamaki of Digimon Tamers really loses his composure, he does this to Henry while loudly blaming him for everything that's gone wrong. (For reference, Yamaki's an adult and Henry's ten years old.)
  • In One Piece, Zoro once gets caught in a Neck Lift by Miss Monday, a bodybuilder-like woman. His response is a Face Palm of Doom.
  • Tokyo Mew Mew. In one of the last couple of episodes of the anime's first season, Deep Blue grabbed Ichigo by the throat and lifted her into the air.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, Shizuri Mugino does this from time to time. She's so strong that she can do it to a fat adult and then punch or throw him across the room. It backfires when she does it to Shiage Hamazura, who uses the opening to gouge her eye, then pull out a gun and shoot her several times.
  • Sakura Wars TV: A variant happens in the first episode. When Sakura is trying to apologize to Maria for accidentally ruining their stage production, Maria responds by bodily lifting her off the ground by the front of her kimono, coldly telling her to get out, and then flinging her across the hallway.

    Comic Books 
  • There is a Tumblr blog dedicated to this.
  • In comics parlance, this is also known as a Byrne Hold, named after artist John Byrne who was unusually fond of using it on comic covers.
  • X-Wing Series: Wedge Antilles does a version of this to Sate Pestage, grabbing him with both hands by the front of his robes and slamming him against a wall. Pestage has referred to a nonhuman Rogue as "animal filth". Wedge snapped.
    Wedge: Don't make me go Vader on you. Ibitsam was a pilot and a friend and she died to save your sorry hide.
  • Superman does this fairly rarely, but when he does, you know that shit just got real and the boy scout is out for the moment.
  • This cover of Angel and the Ape #4, in which Gorilla Grodd does it to Dumb Bunny.
  • Shortly after being introduced as leader of the Mutant Liberation Front in New Mutants #87, Stryfe does it to MLF member Wildside as punishment for incompetence, as seen here.
  • In Superboy Volume Six, Fairchild surprises Superboy with on of these when she Reveals her powers for the first time.
  • In the Songs of the Orphan Child arc of X-23's solo series, Mr. Sinister does this to Laura after she neatly dodges one of his energy blasts and plants all of her claws in his chest. It even ends in a Neck Snap, though thanks to her Healing Factor Laura gets better.

    Comic Strips 
  • Once happened in What's New? with Phil and Dixie to a game-company flack, who'd interrupted yet another attempt by the hosts to address the topic of Sex in D&D. One panel shows him being subjected to this trope; the next reveals that it's Dixie, rather than Phil, who's doing it.
  • Beetle Bailey. In the strip for December 15th 2012, Sergeant Snorkel and his dog Otto go to a restaurant. When the maitre'd says that they don't serve dogs, Sarge grabs him by the neck and lifts him into the air to change his mind.

    Fan Works 
  • Early on in his fight with Chridion, the main character of Christian Humber Reloaded charges him while underestimating his strength, only to get picked up by his neck and slammed into a tree.
  • Downplayed in Weird Incident Shit, when Reimu Hakurei carries Problem Sleuth to the Hakurei Shrine by the collar.
  • In chapter 26 of Phantomdare1's Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs story, Tracks Of Light, Purple Eyes grabs the back of Summer's neck and lifts her up into the air, trying to get her partner, Ben, to fight him. It works. Later on in the chapter, Ben returns the favor.
  • Reality Is Fluid has this done in a mental conversation between Captain Kanril Eleya and an Undine psi master. The Undine grips her by the neck and varies the level of pressure depending on how angry it is, as a mental representation of Mind Rape.

    Films — Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast: As seen above, the Beast holds Gaston over the edge of the roof after defeating him. Notable in that both the laws of physics were maintained because the Beast holds onto a gargoyle to stay balanced, and the Beast is savvy enough to hold Gaston over the edge of the roof (making escape through jerking his head back a very bad idea). The Beast also has a far longer reach than Gaston so punching or kicking is also out of the question.
  • Quasimodo does this to Captain Phoebus by his collar in The Hunchback of Notre Dame. After calming down a bit, he looked vaguely surprised to see that he'd done this, and was kind enough to let the captain back down on the ground.
  • In Starchaser: The Legend of Orin, the evil android Zygon does this twice (with one hand, no less!), first to strangle Orin's first Love Interest, then later to Orin himself (though this time, his victim escapes). In a subversion of this trope, though, kicking Zygon in the groin wouldn't have done much good anyway, since he's a fricking robot.
  • In Mulan, Shan Yu does this to an Imperial Redshirt. Quite intimidating in this case because Shan Yu holds his sword to the poor sap's throat at the same time.
  • The Incredibles
    • Mr. Incredible loses his temper and does this to his obnoxious boss at the insurance company, then throws him through several walls.
    • He does it again with Mirage. He's taken a few lessons from the bad guys, apparently.
  • Emperor Zurg neck-lifts "Buzz 2" in Toy Story 2. It helps that they're both made of light-weight plastic.
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Judge Doom does it to Roger when he captures him in the bar. Doubles as Foreshadowing: how can this work, when Roger clearly has mass and Doom is too thin? Judge Doom finds it funny to Neck Lift poor Roger.
  • The Viking captain actually does this to his first mate after he refuses the first mate's warning that the Leviathan is about to destroy their ship during their search for Atlantis in a deleted opening for Atlantis: The Lost Empire.
  • Aladdin. When the guards break into Aladdin's hideout and capture him, one of the guards does this to Aladdin.
  • Commander Vachir of Kung Fu Panda does this combined with Minion Maracas to Zeng during Tai Lung's escape from Chorh-Gom, to keep him from leaving and reporting his failure. Justified by the latter being a much-smaller goose, and unusual in that it's a good guy doing it to another good guy. (He's a bit Hot-Blooded.)

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In a cut scene of Daredevil, Kingpin does this to a guard implied to have squealed. This is a slightly more realistic example than normal, as the guard's back is against a wall, plus Michael Clarke Duncan does actually look like he would have the weight and strength to do it.
  • Predator
    • The title villain grabs Dutch by the neck, picks him up and examines him closely before administering a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
    • The Predator from the sequel does this to a female police officer named Leona — lifting her to just the right height for it to realize she is pregnant. He lets her live.
  • In Give My Regards to Broad Street, Big Bob does this to Paul's roadie. (Paul has left by then, but we see it.)
  • Darth Vader does this to Captain Antilles in the beginning of Star Wars (episode IV), following it through by crushing the guy's windpipe and killing him, quickly establishing that he is not someone you want to mess with. He also has a much more famous long-ranged Force-assisted version which appears to use even less effort and is in-universe referred to in such diverse terms as Force Choke and Virtual Garrote.
    Darth Vader: Where are those transmissions you intercepted? WHAT have you DONE with those plans?
  • The Matrix
    • When Neo first wakes up from the Matrix in the gel pod, a Docbot happens along, grabs him up by the neck and removes the plug from the back of his neck.
    • An agent picks up Trinity by the neck in The Matrix Reloaded. In contrast to the usual way this trope is played, she continues to fight and kicks him repeatedly until she then gets slammed down onto the floor.
    • The Matrix Revolutions. Smith does it to Neo at the end of their Battle in the Rain.
  • In the live-action Street Fighter movie, Bison neck-lifts Dhalsim (but doesn't kill him, since he's still needed alive) after Dhalsim makes the mistake of openly questioning Bison's sanity (which happens to be Bison's Berserk Button).
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Justified in both cases because they're Red Lectroids, not humans.
    • John Whorfin does this to the attendant at his mental facility, followed by a Neck Snap.
    • John Bigbooté to the Secretary of Defense by grabbing his necktie (Necktie Lift?).
  • Star Trek
    • Klingon Commander Kruge to Admiral Kirk (two-handed) during their fight in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock.
    • Nero's Dragon Ayel does this to Kirk in Star Trek. Kirk uses this as an opportunity to take Ayel's weapon and do him in. (Justified, as Vulcans and Romulans are much stronger than humans.)
  • In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, Blaster does it to Max after Max tries to ignore Master's order for him to disarm the truck's booby-trap. And holds him there while Master chews him out and repeats the demand. When Max fails to be impressed, Master decides to have the town's electricity supply choked instead. EMBARGO ON!
    Master: Blaster, in three seconds, break neck. One...two...th—
    (Click Hello from Aunty's enforcers intervene just in time)
  • Constantine. The demonic half-breed Balthazar does it to Constantine after he bursts into Balthazar's office.
  • Tank Girl. The title character does it to Jet Girl twice inside a tank after Jet Girl saves her life.
  • Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines has the T-850 doing this to John Connor to convince him not to give up when the cops arrive at the cemetery.
  • Jonathan gets this treatment by the title vampire (Leslie Nielsen) in Dracula: Dead and Loving It, but he counters with an eye poke.
  • V in V for Vendetta does this to Creedy at the end of his final battle, strangling him. Played slightly more realistically than most examples, though, because even with his great strength he needs both hands, and leans against a gate to keep his balance.
    V: Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bullet-proof.
  • Young Frankenstein. The Monster does this to the police officer who was tormenting him with lit matches.
  • The Heroic Trio has the Big Bad doing this to two of the girls at the same time.
  • The creature from Jeepers Creepers does a Neck Lift to the crazy cat lady from behind, and walks forward with its victim held in front of itself like a shield, still gasping out a death-rattle.
  • Judge Dredd. The ABC robot does it to Judge Hershey. Rico threatens to have the robot break her neck and rip her arms and legs off, but eventually orders it to let her go.
  • The Shadow: The title character does this to Farley Claymore after tricking him into running out of bullets and driving him insane.
  • In Bullet Proof Monk, Strucker becomes young and superhumanly strong after reading the Scroll and then holds Kar by the neck off the roof. Kar proceeds to punch him in the head and then catches himself by his toes.
  • Done by the Big Bad in The Tuxedo to Jimmy and Del, simultaneously. Justified, as he is wearing the titular suit (it's Powered Armor).
  • Legend. Done by Darkness to Jack, but by grabbing his face.
  • Big Trouble in Little China. Thunder does this to Wang Chi when Wang and Jack attack him.
  • Done by the ancient and powerful vampire antagonist from Fright Night and its remake on anyone who happens to inconvenience him, the hero included.
  • There's a really badly done version in Men In Black II, where villainess Serleena grabs and lifts the pizza shop owner (actually an undercover alien guarding the Light of Sartha) by the chin. Then again, the fact that he turns out to be a hollow skin animated by alien energy might explain that...
  • In The Avengers, Loki does this to Tony Stark (and chucks him out a 50th story skyscraper window) in a fit of pique after Loki's attempt to brainwash him fails spectacularly.
    • It doesn't help Tony that he immediately starts throwing jibes of the "performance issues" variety.
  • Scrooged. While Frank Cross is being visited by the ghost of his old boss Lew Hayward, Lew grabs Frank by the throat, lifts him into the air and pushes him through a building window (without breaking it) and letting him fall.
  • Though Bane uses the Neck Snap all the time in The Dark Knight Rises, he only does the classic Neck Lift once...on Batman himself.
  • Superman (1978). While Superman and Lex Luthor are in Luthor's underground lair, Superman grabs Lex by his shirt front and lifts him into the air and off the lead-lined box he's sitting on.
  • Superman II. When the three Kryptonian supervillains break into Perry White's office, Non grabs White by his lapels, lifts up up and rams his head into the ceiling, knocking him out.
  • Aliens. Ripley does this to the alien queen during their fight using the mechanical arm of the cargo loader she's strapped into.
  • Wild Wild West. During Jim West's battle with the last of Dr. Loveless' mooks (the one with the metal plate in his head) inside the giant spider robot, the mook grabs him by the neck and lifts him into the air.
  • The Running Man. During the faked scene where Captain Freedom fights Amber, he lifts her into the air by the neck (we see her feet dangling above the floor) before breaking her neck.
  • ˇThree Amigos!. When Lucky Day swings down into the yard of El Guapo's fortress, El Guapo grabs him by the neck and lifts him into the air.
  • Prometheus. The Engineer does this to the android David just before breaking his neck and ripping his head off.
  • RoboCop 2. When Cain (in his RoboCop 2 robot body) meets Angie in the warehouse, he grabs her head and performs a Neck Snap, then lifts her off the ground and holds her in the air.
  • Happens a few times in the Underworld films. An awesome example in the first film, where Lucian's Number Two Raze rushes the Vampire Elder Viktor in his Lycan form, only for Viktor to catch him in mid-air with his hand by the throat, hold him a little, and perform a Neck Snap followed by a finishing stab with a silver sword. This is the first we see how truly strong Viktor is, given how normally a fight between a vampire and a transformed Lycan usually results in the Lycan tearing the vampire to shreds.
  • In The Haunted Mansion, the evil ghost can materialize enough to catch protagonist Jime Evers (Eddie Murphy) this way, then flies upward and sends him through a widow.
  • In Rocky IV Ivan Drago does this to his own manager, after he insults the boxer, and presses the Berserk Button by doing so.
  • In End of Days, Satan effortlessly lifts Jericho (played by Arnold Schwarzenegger) over his head by grabbing his neck and holds him in front of an open window to threaten him.
  • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America does this to The Winter Soldier before slamming him down.
  • The Minotaur to Theseus, during their fight in Immortals.
  • A Nightmare on Elm Street Part 2: Freddy's Revenge: Freddy grabs one of his victims by the neck and lifts him up against a door before gutting him.

    Literature 
  • Bud White does this to a prisoner in the "Bloody Christmas" part of L.A. Confidential. In a subversion, he does get kicked in the balls.
  • In Ender’s Game, when Ender is in a life or death fight, he lets himself get into a hold like this, then feints towards a Groin Attack before headbutting his oppressor. The headbutt kills the guy.
  • In the Warhammer 40,000 novel Dark Adeptus, the Chaos Marine Urkrathos does this to Rear Admiral Horstgeld, and explicitly encircles the victim's neck with his massive armoured fingers. Duke Venalitor from Hammer of Daemons also does this to Alaric, though it's not mentioned if he encircles Alaric's neck.
  • Redwall
    • Captain Plugg in the book Triss regularly picks up his minions by the neck and beats their heads together. Since he's a fox and most of his crew are rats and weasels, he's likely to be significantly bigger and stronger than they are, so it's not as unlikely as usual with this trope that he could easily do this.
    • Cluny the Scourge does the same to his own minions when they displease him, and though he is the same species as them, it is explicitly stated that he is much bigger and stronger than the average rat.
    • At the end of Martin the Warror, Martin's love interest, Rose, is effortlessly lifted and fatally slammed against a wall by the Big Bad. Again justified in that the lifter is a stoat and the liftee is a mouse.
    • Heroic example, in that badgers are occasionally known to do this when they get into fights with their enemies. At least in this example, the vast difference in size and strength is fully justified.
  • In War of the Spider Queen the half-demon Blood Knight does this to a dark elf prisoner. Justified in that he is eight feet tall and insanely strong and she is barely five feet tall.
  • Vorkosigan Saga
    • Referenced in the short story "Labirynth"; when undersized, scrawny, brittle-boned Admiral Miles Naismith regrets his inability to do this (and briefly contemplates ordering one of the troopers nearby to do so on his behalf) as he confronted the man who almost manipulated him into murdering a teenage girl.
    • In a story set several years later, the aformentioned woman notes that she does this on bodyguard duty when loomingnote  and smilingnote  fail to make people back down.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Vampire Diaries uses this when Katherine holds Caroline against a wall in "Masquerade". Classic cut to Caroline's feet dangling in mid air with cute booties. Klaus and Damon are fond of this troupe too.
  • True Blood really, really loves this trope. Vampires (and in one instant, a maenad) use it to demonstrate their strength. When they do it to eachother, the strongest vampire always comes out on top. For extra effect, sometimes a younger (weaker) vampire does it to an older one, who then immediately flips the situation around and does the same thing to their attacker. Out of all vampires who do this, Eric Northman loves it best.
  • Heroes
    • Jessica Sanders grabs her father by the throat, picks him up and slams him against a wardrobe. Particularly ridiculous example (at least before the slam,) since, regardless of strength, she will be considerably lighter than him.
    • Angela sees Knox holding up Claire, and tearing her head off, in one of her dreams.
    • Sylar picks up Jackie Wilcox by the neck before murdering her in Season One and again with Ando in Isaac's Loft, which turns into a telekinetic Neck Lift when Sylar gets distracted and stops in place while walking forward and carrying Ando by the neck. In the volume 3 finale, he does this to Claire.
  • Star Trek: The Next Generation
    • Data does this to Picard in the episode "Power Play".
    • Also done for The Worf Effect in "The Dauphin".
    • Data also does it to a rogue Borg before crushing its neck. Why? He got angry.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
    • The new puppet leader of the Cardassian Union, Legate Broca, was neck-lifted by a very deteriorated, yet incredibly strong female shapeshifter.
  • Chuck
    • Mr. Colt does it to Sarah.
    • Casey also likes to use this on Chuck occasionally. He also did it to a traitorous old mentor once... although he followed it up by crushing his throat.
      • In the same episode with the traitorous mentor, Chuck performs this on a mook. He was hopped up on Laudanol (a fictional drug which suppresses emotions) and was horrified when he realized exactly what he was doing. He later does a much less extreme version to Shaw in the season three finale (he's got the grip, but Shaw remains on his feet, albeit bent over backwards and hanging on Chuck's arm). This time he's fully aware of what he's doing, and lets him go, satisfied in having beaten him.
    • Casey really makes a habit of it, as he does this numerous times throughout the series aside from the aforementioned instance with the old mentor.
  • Lennier does this to Marcus in an episode of Babylon 5. Minbari are stronger than humans.
  • Repeatedly on Smallville. You're not an evil Kryptonian unless you pull off this stunt. Literally everyone on the main cast gets on the receiving end for at least once. Clark also does it from time to time, but the straightest example is in "Kandor" when he does this to Tess who is hiding clone Jor-El.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles
    • A common trick, though most of the time this is usually followed by the Terminator in question crushing its victim's neck.
    • Cameron does this to Marty to emphatically tell him he must not call home.
    Cameron: (lifting Marty up by his collar) If you call your mother, that man knows where to find you. Then he'll kill her. He'll kill you.
    Sarah Connor: (clearing her throat) Cameron...
    Cameron: (still holding Marty up) Would you like a bed-time story?
  • Power Rangers
  • Elliot does this to J.D. in one Season 4 Scrubs episode. Evidently, she gets VERY strong when she's mad...
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer
    • Buffy accidentally does this to Cordelia in the first episode of when Cordelia startles her, thus helping to cement Buffy's (total lack of) social standing at her new high school.
    • Also in the first episode, the Master does this to Darla deliberately.
    • Vamp Willow also does it to Percy in "Doppelgangland".
  • Done several times by vampires/demons on Angel, and once, in a season 2 episode, by a telekinetic named Bethany.
  • In addition to the Buffy examples above, this trope appears to be a favorite in every single vampire show ever. Confusingly, it's often used in what appears to be an attempt to choke the (un)life out of another vampire. Sometimes a justified trope when the one doing the lifting is just using it to intimidate and/or silence the other vampire. Even the undead need to be able to move air through their throats to talk...
    • A lot of vampire media seems to forget that, actually. Such as in the season 1 finale of Buffy, where Angel says (using his lungs to push air out of his mouth) he can't perform CPR because he doesn't breathe. If anything, a vampire should be BETTER at CPR given their enhanced strength and the fact that any air they push out should have more oxygen than a regular persons (since the vamp didn't use any).
    • In Moonlight, Mick St. John frequently follows this up with a Neck Snap. (Is it any wonder that Benjamin Talbot is investigating him?)
    • In a particularly notable example on Forever Knight, Nick does this to the perp of the week, suspending him out of an Nth story window.
  • In the Stargate Atlantis season 3 opener, "No Man's Land", Major Lorne discovers the hard way that the Wraith-to-human retrovirus doesn't work on females when a Wraith Queen catch him in a Neck Lift. She's killed before she can feed on him, though.
  • Bernard and Fran do this to Manny in Black Books, in the episode where Manny's parents come to visit.
  • In an episode of The X-Files, a shapeshifting alien pretending to be Mulder does this to Scully.
  • In Continuum Travis does this to a woman before choking her. He is quite bigger than her and as a Super Soldier he is extremely strong.
  • The demons of Supernatural are fond of this. Notably, Azazel to Dean in a drug-induced vision and Alastair lifting up Dean and placing him on his own torture rack while berating Dean on the sloppy job he did on Alastair.
  • In Once Upon a Time season 2, Dr. Archie Hooper gets caught in a Neck Lift from Regina or rather, Cora disguised as her daughter, before killing him in appearance.
  • Pilot does this one-limbedly to Aeryn during a particularly nasty argument in an episode of Farscape. Justified since he's a giant crustacean many times her size.
  • In Lost In Oz, Loriellidere grabs Selena by the neck and throws her into a wall.
  • The Hound in Game of Thrones does this to a guy who attempted to rape Sansa during a riot before disemboweling him.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Matthew 18:28: But when that servant went out, he found one of his fellow servants who owed him a hundred silver coins. He grabbed him and began to choke him. "Pay back what you owe me!" he demanded.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • The Chokeslam (lifting your opponent by their neck then slamming them to the mat) used by big, powerful wrestlers such as The Undertaker, Kane, and The Big Show. The way the chokeslam actually works is (like most pro wrestling moves) with the person on the receiving end doing a good bit of the work; they jump. They're also very rarely held in the air for any amount of time, just long enough to get them to the highest point before bringing them down. Typically the wrestler delivering the move will lift with the other hand on the victim's hip, unless he's doing it to two guys at the same time.
    • Because of the way it is done, choke slams are among the safer moves in professional wrestling, but like pretty much every move, they can still cause concussions and paralysis among other injuries if someone does not know what they are doing, as a Wrestlecrap writer found out the hard way. Do Not Try This at Home.
  • The Amazing Impact is a chokeslam grabbing the back of the neck. The most known user in North America is Matt Morgan, who throws people into the turnbuckle with it.
  • Some wrestlers will use a two armed hanging neck lift as a submission hold, although these days it is usually used as a transition to another move.
  • Prior to the popularity of the Chokeslam, many wrestlers were known to simply lift their opponents up by the neck and shake them about, usually as a power move. Both faces and heels used this move. This was a textbook move for Hulk Hogan, who was known to use this move multiple times on Randy Savage (during matches) and on manager Bobby Heenan (when Heenan attempted to interfere in his matches); Hogan also used this many times in his heel days back in the early 1980s as a power move, with then WWF Champion Bob Backlund a frequent victim in addition to the long line of jobbers.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons: The 3.5E supplement Complete Scoundrel shows a Gray Guard named Ambros Brasmere doing this to a necromancer.

    Theater 
  • In Pokémon Live!, Giovanni grabs Ash by the chin/neck, lifts his head and shoves him away; it'd probably be closer to an actual neck lift if they weren't the same height.

    Video Games 
  • In Asura's Wrath the title character's first journey to hell starts with one of these.
  • Spidey grabs mooks like this in Spider-Man 2: The Video Game. From there on, he can do a variety of things to the helpless dude.
  • Super Smash Bros.
    • One of Ganondorf's special moves in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is a superpowered version of the chokeslam mentioned above. Only he grabs and lifts his victim by their face instead. Ouch.
    • He also did this to Tetra and later Link (although he hauled Link up by the arm) in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. Considering that Tetra and Link are both children and Ganon is about twice the size of most adult characters in the game, it's not so far-fetched.
  • General Scales sure loves doing this in Star Fox Adventures.
  • Big Bad Sarevok does this in the intro movie of the first Baldur's Gate. He then bashes the unfortunate victim through a grate, breaks his neck, and tosses him off a high building.
  • Mass Effect
    • Saren does this to Commander Shepard in Mass Effect 1. And is treated to a human specialty, a punch to the face.
    • In Mass Effect 3, letting the quarians exterminate the geth means Legion will do this to Shepard. The result? A knife in the back from Tali. Both of these examples are justified; the first is performed by a cyborg (who is also noticeably bigger and heavier than Shepard,) and the latter by a robot, so they would both have the necessary strength to do this.
  • In Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, Zelgius does this to Valtome when he speaks ill of Sephiran, and threatens to go one step further if he continues.
  • In The Force Unleashed, Galen lifts a human captain into the air with the force, in an obvious Shout-Out to the moment aboard the Tantive IV. Except the captain squeals, and Galen does a Neck Snap on him.
  • Resident Evil
  • Some enemies in Iji can do that before electrocuting their victims. It's a One-Hit Kill for anyone other than Iji herself. That includes Dan, so choose carefully where you put your Trapmine!
  • Prototype
    • This is how Alex Mercer holds his victims. Hilariously, some of the NPC comments while being held include reminders that their foot is now level with your crotch. Sadly, they don't follow through on this.
    • The final boss turns the tables and does this to Mercer, before launching him across an aircraft carrier and revealing his true form.
  • With the popularity of professional wrestling, this makes its way into many Fighting Games too. Especially if one character is just really strong.
    • Kuma from the Tekken games is happy to chokeslam you if you he can get to your side, but King (the actual wrestler) has to settle for more mundane manoeuvre.
    • Seth in Street Fighter IV uses this as a grab.
      • T Hawk uses a variant for his Storm Hammer; his animation shows him grabbing the opponent by his face, twirling his arm to wind up while in the air, then slamming him down. Something had to step up to meet the Spinning Piledriver. Another hold he's used is to just lift and choke. Note that he's considered taller than Mighty Glacier Husky Russkie Zangief.
    • Also in The King of Fighters it is utilized by countless characters. Rugal, Goenitz, Magaki, both Zeros and Saiki to name a few. Taken Up to Eleven by Ryuji Yamazaki, as seen here(from the 2.25 mark).
    • A subset of this may be from Soul Calibur's Cervantes, who if memory serves has done this with his twin swords.
    • In most of the 'Mortal Kombat' games, Jax can do this. He then follows up on the neck grab with as many as five punches to the face. This move is one of the few that does more damage than the iconic MK uppercut (before they nerfed the uppercut).
    • In the last fight in Mortal Kombat: Shaolin Monks, Kung Lao attempts to attack Shao Kahn with his bladed hat. Kahn catches him in midair by the neck, holding him there for a few seconds, and then tosses him away.
    • Kibagami Genjuro in Samurai Shodown 2 uses what looks like a chokeslam as his throw.
  • Heat of Digital Devil Saga does this at least once. Between that and punching down stone walls (!) it is clear the game likes to remind you he dumps most of his attribute points into strength.
  • Another World has the protagonist Lester being lifted into the air by the neck (or the collar) by one of the titular world's evil aliens. His only way out of the predicament is to kick the alien in the nuts then shoot him when it lets go.
  • Ripa Moramee (the earlier, larger, meaner Arbiter) seems to be fond of doing this in Halo Wars.
  • The OVA included in Maverick Hunter X has Sigma do this twice (sorta). The first time, he lifts Zero by the head, though Zero also has a hold on Sigma's other arm. The second time, Sigma does a pure neck lift to X.
  • A reoccurring element in Legacy of Kain games. In the original Blood Omen, Kain does this to a servant during a cut scene. In Soul Reaver 2, Kain does this to Raziel during the opening cinematic. In Blood Omen 2, this is one of Kain's standard moves, and from the neck lift he can do a neck snap, smash their face in with the hilt of his weapon, administer a Groin Attack with a blunt or hacking weapon, impale the target with a piercing weapon, or throw the target about thirty feet. It returns in Defiance, only this time he's doing it with his mind.
  • Tales Series
    • Strongest attack of the summon Efreet in Tales of Symphonia during the fight against him to test your worthiness, where he'll grab one member of the party in his fist, lift them up and concentrate fiery explosions on said character.
      • The cutscene in Palmacosta introduces us to the Desian Lord Magnius. While the Desians are making a display of an execution, an innocent bystander makes the mistake of leaving out his title — complete with Neck Snap.
    Palmacosta Man: Oh no, it's Magnius from the Palmacosta Ranch!
    Magnius: That's LORD Magnius, vermin!
    • Barbatos Goetia uses one of these for his Death Abyss arte and at the start of his "No Items Ever!" mystic arte. He follows up by throwing the victim to the ground in both cases, where they're subjected to more abuse.
  • Terra-Xehanort does this to Aqua in the pre-final battle cutscene in Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep. Or at least it's supposed to be her neck; the actual animation makes it look like he's grabbing and hoisting her by her breasts.
    • Perhaps he's meant to be holding her specifically by the straps across her chest, playing with the trope a little.
  • Riku Replica did it to Zexion in Kingdom Hearts: Chain of Memories. The animation makes it look like he's picking him up by the collar, though.
  • Dragon Age II has Fenris do this to his former master.
  • In Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty, this seems to be one of Solidus's favorite things to do to Raiden.
  • In Valkyrie Profile, spoiled brat Jelanda accidentally ingests a vial of ghoul powder and undergoes a Body Horrorific transformation. Grabbing an unfortunate nearby knight by the helmet mid-transformation with one of her transformed arms, she lifts him up in the hair and slowly crushes (and presumably his skull as well) as the powder completes her transformation into a raging monster http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQPa6LLNcCQ&feature=related.
  • This is Batman's default Mook interrogation technique Batman: Arkham City... when he's not slamming them into walls or dangling them off railings.
  • In Diablo III, if you get caught in Diablo's Bone Prison attack during the final showdown, he will do this to you and drain your health before slamming you to the floor with authority.
  • In Saints Row 2, the leader of the Brotherhood gang tosses his empty minigun at the protagonist and slaps the gun out of their hand, then performs this move on them, during a cutscene fight. He then delivers a couple of mean gutpunches and brings you down onto the roof, slamming you by the shoulders a few times before that section of the roof collapses and you're both sent tumbling down.
  • In Dark Souls, one of Gwyn's attacks has him grab the player by the neck, holds them up in the air and then creating an explosion that blows them away fro him.
  • Bioshock Infinite. Booker can do this to human opponents with the Skyhook device. The game sometimes has him do a Neck Snap with the Skyhook to kill them.
  • In one of her most badass moments from the Dawnguard DLC of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Serana does this to Arch-Curate Vyrthur after learning that he is behind the prophecy that has torn her family apart.

    Web Animation 
  • Hal was on the receiving end of one of these by Turbo Mecha Sonic in the Easter Egg of Bowser's Kingdom episode 8.
  • In Haloid a Covenant Elite does this to an ODST near the end of the initial battle.
  • In Red vs. Blue, the Meta does this to Sarge, which backfires when Sarge takes the opportunity to attach a tow cable from a jeep to the Meta. The others push the jeep off a cliff, sending it to its death.
    • Following up in a later season where Carolina is subject to this, courtesy of Maine/The Meta. Followed up by being thrown off of a cliff.
  • In Death Battle, Superman does this to Goku and then shoots him in the face with his heat vision.

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • In Justice League, Divided We Fall, Superman does this to Lex Luthor when Flash apparently died stopping Brainiac/Luthor.
  • In Transformers Animated, Blackarachnia does this to Optimus Prime after downloading Bulkhead's strength, Megatron does this to both the Constructicons (who are nearly his size) at the same time, and Starscream does this to Bumblebee.
    Starscream: (to Bumblebee) YOU INTERRUPTED MY SPEECH!
  • General Grievous does this in his introductory scene in Star Wars: Clone Wars with his cybernetic leg before slamming the victim through the ground.
  • Transformers
  • Danny Phantom, the show, seems to like this one. Danny Phantom, the character, is understandably less fond. Throughout most of the show, this trope is almost Once per Episode. It's only subverted by the fact that a Neck Lift is a lot less effective if the person being grabbed can shoot lasers out of their eyes or occasionally freeze the attacker solid. Still don't work on Vlad, though.
  • Looney Tunes Bugs Bunny
    • Big Top Bunny. Bruno the bear does it to Bugs Bunny so Bugs will let Bruno do the 1,000-foot-high dive first.
    • Hair-Raising Hare. When Bugs walks over the Monster (who was lying on the ground) the Monster grabs him by the neck and lifts him into the air.

    Real Life 
  • Some small mammals will go limp if you do this from behind, grasping them by the loose skin there, as it taps into their infantile reflexes from being carried by their mothers. Don't carry grown cats by their necks alone, though; they can get hurt that way. And if that warning alone isn't enough to heed the advice, picking up a grown cat by the neck also doesn't tend to make them go limp, either, and you can also get hurt that way. Typically gorgeous Ragdolls are very likely an exception; but then, Ragdolls usually go limp when you pick them up anyway.
  • Not bare-handed, but a catchpole-assisted Neck Lift is one way for animal-control workers to restrain aggressive cats without being clawed to ribbons. Not recommended for more than a few seconds, due to the risk of strangulation or neck injury, but often unavoidable if the cat must be retrieved from a confined and/or precarious space that humans can't enter.
  • Leopards often hold their kills by the neck when they lift them to drag them up a tree.
  • U.S. President Abraham Lincoln was a wrestler in his younger days. When he moved to Salem, Illinois in 1831, an local named Jack Armstrong challenged him to a match as a sort of initiation. Lincoln was said to have "grabbed the bully by the neck, held him at arm's length, and shook him like a little boy." After the fight, the two became lifelong friends.

My Kung-Fu Is Stronger Than YoursFight SceneNeck Snap
Mystical PlagueMagic and PowersNew Powers as the Plot Demands
Morphic ResonanceImageSource/Animated FilmsPrince Charming Wannabe

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