%% Image selected per Image Pickin' thread: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=1321263364006540800
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[[quoteright:350:[[VideoGame/MetalGearSolid http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/solid-snake-neck-snap_2632.jpg]]]]

->''"You best protect ya neck!"''
-->-- '''Music/WuTangClan'''

Next to "OffWithHisHead", snapping a person's neck is one of the surest ways to kill someone in media.

Typical procedure: [[AliceAndBob Alice]] stalks [[AliceAndBob Bob]]. Catching him unaware, Alice grabs Bob's chin with one hand and his opposite temple with the other. Bob just has time enough for [[OhCrap his eyes to go wide with the realization of how screwed he is]] when Alice wrenches his head to the side with a [[SickeningCrunch hideous cracking of bone]]. Bob is always killed instantly and usually [[DiesWideOpen with his eyes open]]. Sometimes Alice appears to put in an effort (or has superpowers or something) but often is remarkably blase about it.

Note that in RealLife, it takes a considerable amount of strength and/or training to snap a person's neck[[note]]Go ahead and (carefully) check your own neck - it takes considerable effort to turn your own head past its normal stopping point. The human spine is not to be trifled with! People who actually suffer broken necks tend to have had ''very'' hard trauma from falling or a car accident.[[/note]], especially if the character getting it snapped is considerably big and strong. It's possible if you know where to grab and twist, and can pin your opponent to get leverage. In real life, spinal/neck manipulation is allowed in certain martial arts competitions such as the UFC and other MMA events. However, it looks very different than in the movies, and there is almost always time to "tap out" before injury, much less permanent or lethal injury. To perform the "neck snap" like in the page's image you would have to be extraordinarily stronger, to a point that is nearly superhuman.

Also note that in RealLife nothing dies instantly from a fractured neck unless it sends vertebrae fragments into, or contorts, the brain-stem in such a way as to shut down all lower brain functions. A broken neck is no guarantee of a "silent kill" either as, if the aforementioned brain-stem damage is not inflicted, all you are left with is a quadriplegic victim, dying, but not yet dead, and still able to speak and scream.

The frequency of this in film and TV is possibly because it offers a fairly brutal way of killing someone [[BloodlessCarnage without having]] to use or show any blood. It is also often used as storytelling shorthand for "this character is a Badass". Not to be confused with [[KnuckleCracking Neck Cracking]].

'''As a DeathTrope, expect spoilers.'''



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/ChoujinSensen'': Tomobiki manages to kill Baron Saijou with his last ditch effort of telekinesis; [[spoiler: he used his blown-off left hand to strangle Baron]].
* Kirika snaps a man's neck using his own tie and a fall down an elevator shaft in the first episode of ''Anime/{{Noir}}''.
* Balalaika, in a truly ruthless and badass moment from ''Manga/BlackLagoon'', snaps the neck of [[spoiler:the leader of the Washimine group]] in one of the final episodes of the anime.
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', we see Nagi doing this during a PensieveFlashback. To a demon. With one hand. In a NeckLift. He's just that strong.
* How do you go from NonActionGuy to badass in ''LightNovel/ShakuganNoShana''? In your first fight, you kill four jerks and then kill the fifth by snapping his neck effortlessly.
* The Dummy-Plug controlled Unit 01 from ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' breaks Unit 03's neck before brutally tearing it apart. Done somewhat realistically in showing the Eva struggling to do so.
* Byakuran from ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' does this to [[spoiler:Tsuna]] at the final battle of the future arc. Turns out that his victim survives, fortunately. Nearly scared the heck out of Uni and everyone else, though. This is [[{{Bowdlerise}} toned down]] in the anime. Instead of the neck, Byakuran was either trying to snap his spine or crush all the bones in his body. Sounds less scary, until [[FridgeHorror you count how many bones AND organs he probably broke this time]].
* ''Anime/CowboyBebop'' episode "Boogie Woogie Feng Shui". Jet snaps the neck of a syndicate goon after interrogating him. The offhand, blase manner discussed in the trope description is justified here -- Jet uses his [[HollywoodCyborg cybernetic arm]]. [[spoiler: In a later Jet-centered episode we learn that his cybernetic arm is no more stronger or more resilient than any other human arm (although he has little to no feeling in it). He's just ''that'' Badass.]]
* ''Anime/DragonBallZ''
** Dodoria snaps the neck of the Namekian Elder after Frieza [[MoralEventHorizon kills one of the escaping children with a smile on his face.]]
** This is subverted in the Tournament Saga: Videl apparently snaps Spopovich's neck in self defense when it was becoming apparent that he is trying to kill her, and nearly gets herself disqualified as a result, but then he not only revives himself, but even spins his neck back into place in the most disturbing way possible.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', Tobi is told demonstrating a technique requires a live subject and a dead subject. A bit annoyed, he immediately pulls two of his prisoners [[ThinkingUpPortals from a portal]] and breaks one's neck.
* Subverted with [[spoiler: Nicholas]]'s death in ''Manga/{{Cyborg 009}}'', since he gets this done to him [[spoiler: ''via {{Telekinesis}}''. (And considering how it was done, he likely had had ''all of his limbs snapped at once'', not just his neck.)]]
* Kasumi Gyoubu from ''Manga/{{Basilisk}}'' kills two out of three of his enemies this way. [[spoiler:(Though [[BackFromTheDead not all of those deaths stuck.]])]]
* Subverted in ''Manga/MagicalRecordLyricalNanohaForce'': [[spoiler: Deville attacks Isis InTheBack and says that he heard her neck break, but it doesn't take.]]
* In ''LightNovel/FateZero'', Kiritsugu kills his wife Irisviel (or rather, [[spoiler:a representation of the Holy Grail]] in her form) in this manner.
* Though she seems to prefer going for the spine, Nico Robin of ''Manga/OnePiece'' certainly isn't above doing this when she feels like it. Even worse, she has powers that allow her to make copies of her limbs appear on surfaces up to a fair distance away, meaning she doesn't actually have to physically be anywhere near the person she's doing it to.
* In ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'', there's the Dorm Supervisor, who punishes people this way while somehow not killing them. She's snapped Kuroko's neck at least twice and Mikoto's at least once. She's actually scary enough that at least two Level 5 Espers feared her.
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'':
** This happens to [[spoiler: Quilge Opie]] when he gets HammeredIntoTheGround by [[spoiler: Ayon.]] However, he then gets up and pops his neck back into place.
** Later, it also happens to [[spoiler: Giselle Gewelle]] when Ichigo knocks her and her friends through a building. However, since [[spoiler: Giselle]] has a HealingFactor, she ''also'' nonchalantly pops her neck back into place.
* In ''Manga/ACertainScientificAccelerator'', Seike is a teenage girl who is somehow able to break a grown man's neck with her bare hands even though her powers (control over friction) don't include enhanced strength.
* In ''Anime/HeatGuyJ'', on orders from Clair, a small robot boy does this to a security guard before making a copy of the guard's face to wear, in order to gain access to the building where J is housed.

[[folder:Card Games]]
* There's a ''TabletopGame/MagicTheGathering'' card called Neck Snap. Thanks to GameplayAndStorySegregation, it can be used on things that don't even ''have'' necks.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* Marv does this to a guard or two in ''ComicBook/SinCity''. Hartigan isn't as super-strong and must make do with slicing throats.
* ''Franchise/{{Batman}}'':
** SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker snaps [[spoiler:his own neck]] towards the end of ''ComicBook/TheDarkKnightReturns''.
** Similarly, [[spoiler:Joker]] gets his neck snapped in ''ComicBook/TheNail''. [[spoiler:By ''Batman''. To be fair, Joker had just killed Robin and Batgirl in front of him.]]
* In ''ComicBook/GothamCityGarage'', Batman -ComicBook/LexLuthor's chief enforcer in this universe- executes James Gordon by snapping his neck.
* Vandal Savage does this to a secretary fairly prominently in ''ComicBook/KingdomCome''.
* Genevieve Savidge from ''ComicBook/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' season 8 does this to a fellow Slayer by smacking her really hard for dirtying her blouse.
* ''ComicBook/{{Legion of Super-Heroes}}'' v.3, in a CrowningMomentOfAwesome for Princess Projectra. After Nemesis Kid stole her planet, enslaved her people, and murdered her husband, he didn't think he had anything to fear from her. [[BadassBoast She begged to differ]]. ''*KRRAK!*''
* ThePunisher does this in pretty much any media he appears in. Though just a human, still in great shape.
* Happens quite a few times in ''ComicBook/FallOfCthulhu'', a graphic novel based on Creator/HPLovecraft's mythos. Justified as the ones doing the snapping are usually not quite what you would call human.
* ComicBook/TheIncredibleHulk gets his neck snapped from [[FutureMeScaresMe The Maestro]]. He survives but is free to be taken advantage of by a slave girl while he's healing.
* ComicBook/WonderWoman does this to [[Characters/JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Maxwell Lord]] in ''ComicBook/InfiniteCrisis'', and to the monstrous Grendel in ''ComicBook/SecretSix''. Her killing of Lord becomes a lynchpin moment in the DC Universe, leading indirectly to the events of ''Infinite Crisis'', ''52'' and ''Flashpoint''.
* In "The Warrior Princess", an arc of the ''ComicBook/XWingSeries'' comics, there is a resistance movement fighting an Imperial presence, one of the members is captured, strapped into a chair, and tortured. Then the beloved leader of the resistance walks in, tells him that he'd done well and will be sent home and set free, and then gets behind him and breaks his neck. Then he makes out with the head of the local Imperial forces in front of the dead man's staring eyes. ...As it turns out, the leader of the resistance is secretly evil!
* In ''ComicBook/UltimateXMen'', in the ''ComicBook/{{Ultimatum}}'' storyline, [[spoiler: Magneto does this to Professor X]].
* Dudley Soames, a.k.a. Torque, a ComicBook/{{Nightwing}} villain, is a ''survivor'' of this.
* This is how [[ComicBook/TheFlash Barry Allen]] killed his ArchEnemy Reverse Flash in ''ComicBook/TheTrialOfTheFlash''. He was put on trial for murder and acquitted. Reverse Flash recovered. Reverse Flash also likes to [[AxCrazy break multiple people's necks at super speed]], then slow down and watch them drop all at once.
* ''ComicBook/GreenLantern'': Hal Jordan kills Sinestro by breaking his neck. Sinestro recovered.
* ComicBook/TheKingpin made his final ascent to power when he snapped the neck of his boss, Don Rigoletto.
* ''ComicBook/TheAuthority'': Killer cyborg Seth does this to Midnighter. It has no effect.
* ''Franchise/SpiderMan'': This is how Gwen Stacy died. The shock of being stopped so abruptly by the web line attached to her foot broke her neck.
* Darth Vader is ambushed by a group of Jedi in an EU comic. One of them is properly prepared for the fight (she was the only one who knew that it was coming, having lured the rest to the meeting area under false pretenses), and disables his lightsaber before going in for the kill. He proves in an instant with this trope that he doesn't need a lightsaber to kill.
* Colossus from the ComicBook/XMen angrily kills Riptide this way during the extremely dark ''Mutant Massacre'' storyline.
* In several ''ComicBook/WhatIf?'' stories, ComicBook/TheMightyThor has killed the Hulk and Sentry in this fashion.
* In ''ComicBook/NewXMen'' #116: "E Is For Extinction Pt. 3", Emma Frost/The White Queen snaps the neck of Cassandra Nova.
* The Yelena Belova version of ComicBook/BlackWidow does this to a female opponent in ''Black Widow'' #3 (Greg Rucka-written mini-series).
* In ''ComicBook/TheBojeffriesSaga'', Ginda Bojeffries does a Neck Snap on UsefulNotes/DavidCameron during Prime Minister's Question Time.
* The 2013 run of ''ComicBook/UncannyXMen'' has GenericDoomsdayVillain Matthew Malloy inflict this on uber-powerful X-villain Exodus in a pretty blatant case of TheWorfEffect.
* Wonder Woman kills [[spoiler:Huntress]] this way with the Lasso of Truth in Year Three of the ''ComicBook/InjusticeGodsAmongUs'' prequel comic.
* Ankha (who does have superstrength) kills Carrie this way while Meriem is paralysed and can only watch helplessly in ''ComicBook/{{Cavewoman}}: Ankha's Revenge''.
* ''ComicBook/{{Copperhead}}'':
** Boo manages to kill Josiah this way when he briefly gets his hands free while captive.
** How Clara kills Martineau.
* Kinju Dayal takes out a guard with one in ''ComicBook/{{Spiritus}}'' after waking up in her new robotic body.

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* ''Fanfic/ScarTissue'': When Shinji loses control and goes berserker, he is able to snap necks easily. Several characters as Asuka note it and he feels pretty disturbed about it.
* ''Fanfic/ThousandShinji'': Done by Asuka in chapter 14. Justified, since she had SuperStrength in this history.
* Occurs in a DarkerAndEdgier FanFiction of ''WesternAnimation/TheLandBeforeTime''. The fan fiction's name: ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/4044080/1/Land_Before_Time_Twilight_Valley Land Before Time: Twilight Valley]]''. [[JustifiedTrope Justified]] in that only smaller bipeds (under 400 lbs) get their necks snapped in this manner and it's usually a 1000 lbs+ dinosaur doing the snapping... and the dinosaurs have essentially taken a CQC course.
* In ''Film/TheDarkKnightSaga'' fanfic ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/5659751/1/Knightfall_The_Movie Knightfall: The Movie]]'', Bane does this to a guard at Arkham, by wrapping his arms around the guy's head and neck, and twisting, similar to Jason Voorhees in ''Film/JasonX''.
* In ''[[http://www.fanfiction.net/s/2953859/1/Metal_Gear_Solid_Fight_of_Metal_Gears_2 Metal Gear Solid: Fight of Metal Gears 2]]'', Jake Snake breaks one bad guy's neck and arm and [[GrievousHarmWithABody throws them at another]] before snapping off his head.
* In ''WebVideo/YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries'', Tristan can break necks ''with his mind''.
* Some characters in ''Fanfic/AceCombatTheEquestrianWar'' die this way, though the neck-breaks usually happen from impacts of punches and kicks in an all out fight, rather than a stealth attack.
* Subverted in the ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'' fic Fanfic/{{Xenophilia}}: after several ponies suffer a bad case of BullyingADragon, Lyra Heartstrings grabs one of the attackers with telekinesis and it looks like she killed her. However, it turns out she knocked her out with a sleep spell and only jerked her head a bit to make it perfectly clear that she could have.
* ''FanFic/MyLittleMagesTheNightmaresReturn'': This is how Nightmare Moon finishes off [[spoiler: Celestia]] after she's been stabbed by [[TheDragon the Grand Master]].
* ''FanFic/ThePowersOfHarmony'': [[TheDragon Eclipse]] kills [[spoiler: Granny Smith]] this way, only for Applejack to use the Element of Honesty's "Rejection of Fate" power to [[ResetButton rewind time a few minutes]], long enough to save her.
* In ''[[FanFic/SovereignGFCOrigins Origins]]'', a ''MassEffect''[=/=]''StarWars''[[spoiler:[=/=]''[=Borderlands=]''[=/=]''[=Halo=]'']] MassiveMultiplayerCrossover, smuggling kingpin Jack Johnson has his neck snapped as punishment for...[[ForTheEvulz something]]. [[spoiler:That it doesn't work right away is a hint that the person doing it doesn't have the Force powers he's appeared to have been granted through his association with the Republic Intelligence Service.]]
* In ''[[Fanfic/YugiohTheThousandYearDoor Yugioh! The Thousand Year Door Redux]]'', after defeating [[spoiler:Count Bleck]] in a duel, the Shadow Queen preforms a NeckLift and then snaps [[spoiler:his]] neck.
* In ''Webcomic/MassEffect3Generations'', one Brute certainly seems to have its neck snapped, or at least bent out of shape, by the charging Grunt.
* ''FanFic/{{Hachin}}'': This is how Bataar kills [[spoiler: [[BigBad Unegan]]]]; when the latter is trying to kill Mulan, he comes up behind him and twists his neck 180 degrees.
* Garfield does this to [[Franchise/BackToTheFuture Doc Brown]] in ''Fanfic/GarfieldInAlongCameASplut'', but in an [[AccidentallyCorrectWriting unintentionally accurate example]], it doesn't kill him, one of the few things that ''does'' make sense about an otherwise MindScrew of a story.
* In chapter seven of ''Fanfic/{{Bait and Switch|STO}}'', Crewman Cdebaat, a Tellarite {{redshirt}} attached to Eleya's away team, gets his neck broken by an Orion matron who manages to get the drop on him with a [[InvisibilityCloak stealth module]].
* "Fanfic/AenrhienVailiuri" has a supremely pissed-off Romulan named Morgan t'Thavrau do a one-handed NeckLift on a Kazon who just insulted her ability to command her ship. When the Kazon proves DefiantToTheEnd, she breaks his neck and tells her security officer to send in the second-in-command.
* In ''Fanfic/TheBridge'', Kaizer Ghidorah does this to Enjin and then throws his body into a lake. Thanks to his HealingFactor and AdaptiveAbility, he survives and repairs himself with his body reinforced so it can't happen again. Indeed, when Monster X later attempts to snap Enjin's neck, he fails no matter how much strength he uses.
* ''FanFic/ThePiecesLieWhereTheyFell'': [[spoiler:Night Blade's illusion sequence in chapter 45 ends when he does this to the fake Page, having figured out she wasn't real.]]
* Sabrina in ''Fanfic/PokemonResetBloodlines'' adopts this as her method of "removing" unremarkable people from the world, starting with Dario. Her PsychicPowers certainly help on making it quick and clean, though she does note she plans to refine the process later on.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* Happens to [[spoiler: [[Creator/BrianBlessed Clayton]]]] at the end of ''Disney/{{Tarzan}}'', [[HoistByHisOwnPetard which he caused himself]] by carelessly chopping through vines he got himself tangled in. [[JustifiedTrope Justified in this case,]] as it pans out like a long-drop hanging with the vines in place of a noose.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TitanAE'', [[spoiler: Korso]] kills [[spoiler:Preed]] this way after the latter's ''second'' FaceHeelTurn. The former is a fit, trained soldier and it still takes him considerable effort to do it, so it is quite well-done [[FamilyUnfriendlyViolence (perhaps shockingly so for an animated movie with only a PG rating.)]]
* The DarkerAndEdgier animated ''WesternAnimation/WonderWoman'' made-for-DVD movie of 2009 has both Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor doing this to a pair of guards.
* Much like in the comic it's based off of, the second part of ''WesternAnimation/BatmanTheDarkKnightReturns'' has Batman decide that he's done playing around and snap [[spoiler:SelfDemonstrating/TheJoker's]] neck, rendering him paralyzed without killing him. [[spoiler:The Joker, satisfied that he finally made Batman lose control, finishes the job himself by ''snapping his own neck'' completely, killing himself and making sure that Batman would be hunted down by the police for supposedly killing him.]]
* Humorously suggested by Rhino in ''Disney/{{Bolt}}'' when infiltrating the animal shelter. Note that [[DeathbringerTheAdorable Rhino is a normal-sized hamster with no powers]].
--> '''Bolt''': There's a guard. \\
'''Rhino:''' I'll snap his neck.
* In ''WesternAnimation/SupermanDoomsday'', Doomsday kills a deer and several humans this way.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''
** Gimli does this to an orc in the movie version of ''The Two Towers''. Gimli's version is exceptionally badass in that he does it with one hand while facing the orc and while trapped under a huge corpse.
** Aragorn does too during the Battle of Pelennor Fields in ''Return of the King''.
* Varla snaps a man's neck during a fight in ''Film/FasterPussycatKillKill'' At least that was during a knock-down, drag-out fight though. She uses her entire body, and it takes her several seconds to accomplish.
* In ''Film/FutureWar'' The Master breaks a female lab assistant when she falls from a air duct
* During John [=McClane=]'s first brawl in ''Film/DieHard'', he does this to a guy by putting him in a choke-hold and falling down the stairs with him. Missing the usual "walnut-snapping" sound effect.
* [[Franchise/StarWars Darth Vader]] appears to crush a Rebel ship captain's spine while strangling him in ''Film/ANewHope'', but that's not a typical example, as it wasn't exactly a surprise, and he has super-robot-strength arms.
* A Spinosaurus kills a Tyrannosaurus this way in their laughably bloodless battle in ''Film/JurassicParkIII''. Same sound effect even. One of the raptors also performs this trick on the last remaining mercenary.
* In ''Film/{{Dogma}}'', the angel Bartleby is accosted by a security guard, and says, in what is arguably the best use of a ShoutOut in movie history: "[[Series/TheIncredibleHulk Don't make me angry. You wouldn't like me when I'm angry.]]" The security guard doesn't heed the warning, and a few seconds later is on the receiving end of a one-handed version of this trope.
* In the beginning of ''Film/SupermanII'', Non breaks the neck of a guard as part of General Zod's plan to take over the planet Krypton.
* ''Film/ManOfSteel'':
** Faora does this to a few soldiers who get in her way.
** After a drawn-out aerial battle with Zod, this is how Superman finally kills him, having no other choice as Zod is about to fry a human family with his EyeBeams. The shock of having to kill someone with his bare hands leaves him traumatized, not to mention having to kill the last of his people left this side of the PhantomZone to save his adoptive world.
* ''Film/TheGoldenChild'': A {{mook}} villain [[HeelFaceTurn converted to the side of the good guys]] breaks the neck of another, unconverted Mook to prevent him from skewering Chandler Jarrow with a crossbow bolt and allow the rescue of the title character.
* In ''Film/BigGame'', [[spoiler:the vice president]] is killed by having his neck slammed against a bathroom sink, snapping it in the process. Helps to MakeItLookLikeAnAccident.
* In ''Film/TheMatrixRevolutions'', Morpheus uses this to kill a {{mook}} guarding an elevator.
* Hayabusa does this to a random {{mook}} while sneaking into the bad guys lab in ''Film/DOADeadOrAlive'' TheMovie.
* This is how Sonya Blade in the ''Film/MortalKombat'' movie finishes her nemesis Kano. [[MurderousThighs She used her legs to do it]]. Hey, he ''did'' [[TemptingFate ask her to]] [[ExactWords give him a break]]...
** One of the early scenes in the sequel has Shao Kahn snapping Johnny Cage's neck.
* ''Lethal Weapon''
** After returning from the dip in the water that was supposed kill him in ''Film/LethalWeapon2'', a very pissed Riggs attacks a mook with a chain and twists his neck around.
** In ''Film/LethalWeapon4'', Wah Sing Ku does this to a man simply by grabbing him by the throat (one handed) and twisting it around purely by the strength of his wrist, complete with SickeningCrunch. [[RuleOfCool The film gets away with this totally ridiculous example by virtue of Ku being played by]] Creator/JetLi.
* Thor in ''Film/ThorTheDarkWorld'' does this to a Marauder by twisting his head ''with one hand''.
* The president in ''Film/AirForceOne'' does a pretty realistic one, with considerable effort and a quiet little snap.
* In ''Film/DeathBecomesHer'', Madeline is [[FingerPokeOfDoom pushed down a long flight of marble stairs]] and winds up in a heap with her head twisted around backwards. We do hear several bones break during the tumble.
* In ''Film/{{Commando}}'', [[Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger John Matrix]] snaps the neck of one of Arius's henchmen while aboard a plane (differing slightly as the said henchman is knocked out first). This leads to the immortal line, "Do not disturb my friend, he is dead tired."
* Arnie again: Douglas Quaid pulls off two sickening neck snaps in the original ''Film/TotalRecall1990'' when he is first ambushed by the BigBad's goons after he leaves Rekall.
* Arnie once more in ''Film/TrueLies''. Bonus points for being performed while hanging upside down using only his legs to hold onto a rope.
** He also does this to the TortureTechnician, having even warned him beforehand.
* Arnie is ''in love'' with this trope. In ''Film/{{Eraser}}'' he does this by trapping a mook's head with a fridge door and ''twisting his torso''.
* In ''Film/ClearAndPresentDanger'', the drug lord's right hand man Felix kills his lover/informant Moira by breaking her neck while they're making out.
* In ''Film/TheLongKissGoodnight'', amnesiac Samantha hits a stag and crashes her car. In the aftermath, she finds the deer bleeding to death and snaps its neck to put it out of its misery. Then she wonders [[AmnesiacDissonance How did I]] [[ProfessionalKiller do that]]?
* Borderline example in the ''Film/{{Elektra}}'' film, where a ninja mook snaps his own neck, just by turning the head ''very fast''.
* ''Film/TheAvengers1998''. Mrs. Peel's clone does it to a Prospero Project Lab staff member while breaking into the facility.
* In ''Film/TheGrudge'', this is how [[StringyhairedGhostGirl Kayako]] is murdered by her husband, thus starting the curse. In the sequel, this is also how [[spoiler:Aubrey]] and [[spoiler:Doctor Sullivan]] meet their ends.
* In ''Film/KungFuHustle'', the uber-martial-artist known as the Beast becomes annoyed at the prattling of the mob boss who's hired him and gives him an irritated backhand that causes his head to twist around at least 720 degrees. The Beast runs the mob from that point onward.
* In ''Film/TheDescent'', Juno does this to a Crawler.
* Subverted in ''Film/JasonX''. Jason-fucking-Voorhees snaps someone's neck, not quickly, but slowly, and having to use all of both arms. Creator/KaneHodder (Jason's actor) clarifies that script called for him to go for the quick snap, but decided that such a kill was SoLastSeason and instead convinced the director and writer to go with the slow kill instead.
* In the first ''Film/ResidentEvil'', Rain Ocampo does it to a zombie attacking her and Alice does it repeatedly to zombies with kicks (including multiple dogs) and one MurderousThighs attack.
* Silk Spectre in ''Film/{{Watchmen}}'' does this to a mugger.
* Mystique in ''Film/XMenTheLastStand'' neck-snaps a guard with her feet since her hands are chained to the ceiling.
* In ''[[SoBadItsGood Penitentiary II]]'', Creator/MrT kills Ernie Hudson this way, albeit with a crush rather than a snap. As he says, "I'ma kill ya! I'ma kill ya slow!"
* Happens twice in ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossThe8thDimension'':
** Lord John Whorfin performs a NeckLift on an attendant, pins him against a wall and snaps his neck.
** During the infiltration of Yoyodyne, John Parker snaps the neck of a Red Lectroid.
* ''Original Gangstas'' has one neck snap scene involving a teen.
* The TV movie ''Chameleon'' has Kam (played by Bobbie Philips) snapping a neck on a person.
* The infamous ''Film/HenryPortraitOfASerialKiller'' has several neck snap scenes including the disturbing videotape scene of a mother and son getting their necks snapped.
* ''Film/HardToKill'': Mason Storm (played by Creator/StevenSeagal) snapping a neck on one of his assassins who tried to kill him years ago.
* ''Film/JamesBond''
** In ''Film/FromRussiaWithLove'' Bond tries this on Red Grant during their fight scene, and fails.
** In ''Film/YouOnlyLiveTwice'' Bond tries it on the assassin who killed Henderson, and succeeds.
** In ''Film/{{Thunderball}}'' Bond does this to Col. Bouvar in the teaser, with the assistance of a fireplace poker. He also does it to two SPECTRE frogmen during the underwater fight at the end.
** In ''Film/{{Goldfinger}}'' Oddjob breaks Tilly Masterson's neck by throwing his hat at her. At long range. In a forest. ''At night''.
* ''Film/EnterTheDragon'' has a few neck snap scenes including one character (Creator/JackieChan in his cameo appearance) getting his neck snapped by Creator/BruceLee himself during a battle.
* ''Film/TheDevilsRejects'': [[TheSpeechless Tiny]] does this to [[KnightTemplar Sheriff Wydell]], who's trying to kill his sister [[EvilIsSexy Baby]], and the Sheriff ends up with his [[CrossesTheLineTwice head on backwards]]. Somewhat [[JustifiedTrope justified]] in that [[IronicNickname Tiny is seven feet tall]].
* Creator/ChuckNorris dispatches three or four Vietnamese soldiers this way in the third ''Film/MissingInAction'' film. Somewhat unusually, it's used for stealth kills.
* In ''Film/KissOfTheDragon'' Jet Li's character disposes of a pair of sadistic martial artists with a pair of neck snaps but with unorthodox methods. The first he catches in the middle of a flip and forces him head-first into the floor, and the second he finishes with a brutal roundhouse kick to the head while the guy is on his knees.
* Jet snaps another villain's neck using an axe kick in ''Film/TheExpendables''.
* In ''Film/IronMan2'', Ivan Vanko does this to a prison guard who tries to apprehend him.
** Later, Black Widow appears to break a guard's neck with her legs, but this is inconclusive.
* Vampire Eli snaps the neck of a jogger in ''Film/LetTheRightOneIn'' after feeding to prevent him from turning.
* Additionally, it is also performed by Abby in the remake ''Let Me In''.
* In ''Film/MrAndMrsSmith2005'', Mrs. Smith assassinates a target in this way.
* ''Film/{{Hanna}}'' has the title character (a child assassin played by Creator/SaoirseRonan) snapping the neck of the Marissa Wiegler decoy.
* During ''Film/TheImaginariumOfDoctorParnassus'', Valentina breaks the neck of a chicken.
* ''Film/TheHuntForRedOctober''. Captain Ramius takes the easy route and just crushes [[ThePoliticalOfficer Putin's]] windpipe.
* In the 1980 WWII film ''The Sea Wolves'', Roger Moore's character dispatches a Nazi mook this way.
* In ''Film/StarTrekFirstContact'', Data (being an android with incredible strength) dispatches one of the Borg this way.
* ''Film/ScaryMovie4'' played this for laughs in Cindy's boxing scene with multiple broken necks from trips and falls.
* Michael Myers from the ''Franchise/{{Halloween}}'' series is quite a fan of this trope. There's Grady's death in ''Film/Halloween4TheReturnOfMichaelMyers'', the hermit in ''Film/Halloween5TheRevengeOfMichaelMyers'', and Mrs. Strode's death in [[Film/{{Halloween 2007}} the remake]].
* In ''Film/BodyguardsAndAssassins'' the final assassin does this to a MauveShirt. Unusually enough he has to use a scarf for leverage and wastes a fair bit of time pulling it off.
* This is how "The Frenchman" kills his first victim, a sniper, in ''Film/TheTournament''. He sneaks up on her using his LeParkour skills, then grabs her head and twists it.
* ''Film/TheBourneSeries'':
** ''Film/TheBourneUltimatum'' subverts this, with Nikki jumping on an assassin's back and trying to snap his neck, only to be flung back into the wall behind them.
** ''Film/JasonBourne'' plays it straight, with Bourne doing this to the [[spoiler:Asset]].
* ''Film/TheLeagueOfExtraordinaryGentlemen''. During the fight in Dorian Gray's mansion, Captain Nemo does this to one of the Fantom's mooks.
* ''The Annihilators'' from 1984 has a rather [[SpecialEffectsFailure bad]] example, with the character simply grabbing an enemy soldier in a headlock and lightly squeezing and pushing his head to the side with his palm, with the soldier's head falling limp with a popping sound effect.
* Kable kills Hackman this way in ''Film/{{Gamer}}''. He has to do it twice before Hackman finally dies.
* Cato does this to one of the other tributes in ''Film/TheHungerGames'' after Katniss succeeds in blowing up all the food the career tributes had hoarded. It's [[FightSceneFailure not terribly convincing]], but they are minors acting and adding a crunching sound effect would have pushed the films rating up from PG-13.
* In ''Film/TheRaid'' this is how [[spoiler: Mad Dog finishes off Jaka.]]
* A rather interesting variation occurs in ''Film/{{Prometheus}}'' in which not only does [[spoiler:the Last Engineer]] use this on [[spoiler: David]] but also [[spoiler: decapitates him]]. However at the same time it's subverted as [[spoiler: being an android, David's head is still able to function, though he needs Shaw to carry him out of the ship]].
* In ''Film/EndOfDays'', {{Satan}} kills a guy by grabbing his head and twisting it 180 degrees.
** This method is also used in the Creator/FrankLangella version of ''Film/{{Dracula 1979}}'', when the Count [[spoiler: kills Renfield. Later, he nearly does the same to Harker, but is stopped by Van Helsing.]]
* In the 1929 film version of ''Film/TheDesertSong'', General Birabeau grabs Azuri by the neck.
* Bane's preferred method of making a point in ''Film/TheDarkKnightRises''. One case subverts the instant death effect that this trope usually has, as when Bane snaps the neck of SmugSnake[=/=]CorruptCorporateExecutive Daggett, Daggett can be heard screaming afterward.
* Kenshiro kills Goliath in ''Film/FistOfTheNorthStar'' by twisting his neck around.
-->'''Goliath:''' Who are you?
-->'''Kenshiro:''' The Fist of the North Star. '''*snap*'''
* ''Film/TheRunningMan''. During the faked scene where Captain Freedom fights Amber, he performs a NeckLift on her before breaking her neck.
* Tragically performed by son against father in ''Film/DesertHeat'' after being pushed too far by an abusive father.
* Used on the Asian man in ''Film/{{REC}}''.
* In the made-for-video B-movie ''Airline Disaster'', Agent Vitale snaps a female hijacker's neck. A rare example that suggests that a) it takes effort and b) it actually hurts the person being killed.
* ''Film/RoboCop2''. When Cain (in his Robocop 2 robot body) meets Angie in the warehouse, he grabs her head and breaks her neck, then does a NeckLift on her body.
* ''Film/{{Unbreakable}}''. David Dunn uses this technique during his climatic confrontation with the orange-clad janitor/serial killer/kidnapper. It's justified, since David is explicitly superhuman and is implied to have well above average physical strength. Even so, he only pulls it off after putting the janitor in a chokehold for over thirty seconds straight and forcing the guy to tire himself out. In addition, it takes him multiple attempts to finally snap the neck cleanly, thus ending the fight. The scene in question can be seen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-waJsBs0eBQ
* ''Film/ShowdownInLittleTokyo'':
** A {{yakuza}} thug captured by the heroes snaps his own neck to avoid being interrogated.
** Kenner also breaks a mook's neck during Minako's rescue at the boss's mansion.
* A [[MindOverMatter telekinetic]] does this to a cop in ''Film/{{Momentum}}'' with a simple wave of the hand. Given that they are shown to be able to break open bank vaults with their minds, this is justified.
* One of the primary methods used by the wrestlers in ''Film/ProWrestlersVsZombies'' to kill the zombies, always from a sleeper hold. In particular Shane Douglas does one after another to his zombified family, giving him a chance to whisper agonized goodbyes before snapping their necks.
* In ''Film/BlueJasmine'', Jasmine's husband Hal committed suicide in prison by hanging himself. Jasmine's listeners think it must have been horrible to suffocate to death, but she enlightens them that hanging actually kills you by neck snap.
* In ''Film/Cube2Hypercube'', at the end Simon murders Sasha by breaking her neck.
* ''Film/{{Anaconda}}'': Bizarrely, ''[[ItCanThink the Anaconda]]'' uses this on it first victim.
* Happens at least three times in ''Film/TankGirl'': Tank Girl to a Water and Power trooper after offering him an "oil change"; a Ripper to a W&P trooper during the attack that freed Tank Girl, and a Ripper to a W&P trooper during the attack on the W&P fortress.
* Done realistically in ''Film/TheAmerican''. Creator/GeorgeClooney's character runs a rival hitman off the road, then grabs his head as he leans out the window to shoot him, using his weight to break the man's neck over the car door.
* In ''Film/ColdMountain'', Ruby does this to a rooster that won't shut up, then immediately prepares it for supper.
* In ''Film/MacheteKills'', a man enters an S&M dungeon and lets himself get strapped down, thinking he's about to have a good time. Unfortunately for him, he gets [[DoesNotLikeMen Desdemona]], who violently whips him a few times, then wraps the whip around his neck and pulls until it breaks.
* Pachenko in ''Film/DeathRace''. In the movie it's legal to kill other drivers during races, but for Jason Statham's character [[ItsPersonal it's personal]]. So instead of simply running him over when he gets the chance, Jason gets out of his car in the middle of a race, just to snap Pachenko's neck.
* The eponymous villain in ''Film/{{Madman}}'' tries to hang one of the characters, but the intended victim manages get himself breathing again. So he grabs his foot and pulls him downard, and the guy breaks his neck.
* ''Film/{{Assassins}}'': After Bain is arrested and put in a police car, he disposes of a cop sitting in the driver's seat by kicking out the side window and breaking his neck from behind, using only one hand in a casual effortless way that suggests the cop's spine was made of cardboard.
* In ''Film/{{Unknown 2011}}'', the assassin does this to his first onscreen kill, the hero's nurse at the hospital.
* ''Film/TheKentuckyFriedMovie'', "A Fistful of Yen" segment. Butkus does this to the three guard contestants in various ways in the ''Series/TheDatingGame'' parody .
* ''Film/ScreamPark'' has Roy dispatched this way after a Neck Lift.
* Ronan the Accuser does this to The Other in ''Film/GuardiansOfTheGalaxy'', using a shockwave from his hammer to twist his head right around.
* ''Film/TheBellWitchHaunting'' has one of the possessed perform this on the priest one-handed.
* ''Film/{{Haywire}}'' has a semi-realistic example where Mallory breaks a mook's neck using the edge of a table for leverage.
* ''Film/StreetFighter'' has an unexpectedly realistic one. Cammy (played by diminutive Music/KylieMinogue) attempts one on a mook but he stays standing and it appears to not work as she has to flip him and punch him to actually take him out.

* In the David Palmer novel ''Literature/{{Emergence}}'', Candy Smith-Foster (an eleven-year old girl) kills an enemy agent by pretending to cry, then snapping his neck when he hugs her. (She is a black belt with the ability to access greater-than-normal strength, and they're in free-fall in an orbiting spacecraft at the time.)
* Creator/RobertAHeinlein used this a few times.
** In his short story "Literature/{{Gulf}}", "Kettle Belly" Baldwin killed a guard this way when he and "Captain Gilead" escaped from the New Age Hotel.
** ''Literature/TheMoonIsAHarshMistress'', Professor Bernardo de la Paz mentions that during a brawl he snapped the neck of one of the Warden's guards using a maneuver called the Istanbul Twist.
* The eponymous VillainProtagonist of ''Literature/TheDayOfTheJackal'' does this several times in several different ways, usually in order to protect his SecretIdentity.
* Played straight near the end of Book 11 of ''Literature/TheSagaOfDarrenShan'' when [[spoiler:Steve kills [[MoralEventHorizon Shancus]] this way.]] Justified in that [[spoiler:Steve is [[OurVampiresAreDifferent superhumanly strong]], and to make things easier for him, it's a child's neck he snaps.]]
** Also averted once in Book 3, in which Darren, weakened from a lack of blood, fails to snap the neck of a sheep he planned to feed on, and in a rather upsetting scene, has to repeatedly bash the terrified animal's skull in with a rock as a mercy kill.
* ''Literature/HonorHarrington'':
** Happens by accident in ''The Shadow of Saganami'', when an arms dealer supplying anti-Manticoran terrorists makes a desperate, [[TearJerker/{{Literature}} ultimately unsuccessful]] attempt to prevent one of his fellow crew members from firing on a RMN shuttle coming to board the dealer's ship, after sensor readings by the ''Hexapuma'' showed that the dealer was running under false transponder codes.
** Done deliberately in ''Flag in Exile'' by an assassin sent to kill Honor on a guard.
** Done deliberately to a SuperSoldier in "From the Highlands". It works because 1) Anton Zilwicki is even stronger than the Scrag and 2) Anton [[WrestlerInAllOfUs knows exactly how and where]] to apply the needed force.
* Prince Xizor does this to a would-be assassin in ''Literature/ShadowsOfTheEmpire''.
* Near the end of ''[[Literature/TheFirstLaw The Last Argument of Kings]]'', [[spoiler:Frost]] does this to a maimed and tearful [[spoiler:Severard. Both turn out to have been informing on Glokta, though he at first didn't realize that Frost was a traitor, too, and was seemingly going to let Severard live. Then the epiphany hits, and Frost silences Severard before going for Glokta.]]
* Discussed rather horrifyingly at the end of ''Discworld/UnseenAcademicals'', when [[spoiler: [[BewareTheNiceOnes Mr. Nutt]] gets tired of Andy Shank threatening and bullying him and his friends, and puts Andy in a headlock while [[ToThePain casually discussing]] just how much force it would take to [[OffWithHisHead rip someone's head off]], as orcs like Nutt were rumored to do. Nutt doesn't go through with it, but it does give Andy pause enough to leave Nutt alone.]]
* In Creator/RobertEHoward's Literature/ConanTheBarbarian story "Literature/ShadowsInZamboula" Baal-pteor offers HumanSacrifice like this, to save [[ThePowerOfBlood blood]] for the god; he has killed hundreds.
* Creator/GeorgeRRMartin's [[Literature/TufVoyaging Haviland Tuf]] short story "A Beast for Norn". During a fight between a strangling ape and an ironfang, the ape kills the ironfang by breaking its neck.
* In ''[[Literature/{{Sharpe}} Sharpe's Trafalgar]]'', the eponymous hero proves his Badass nature by deliberately snapping the neck of a man trying to blackmail him. He does note it took a lot of effort.
* Walter and Phyllis kill her husband Herbert this way in ''Film/DoubleIndemnity''. Since UsefulNotes/TheHaysCode was in place at the time, it is not shown on-screen in the film.
* In the final duel between Corwin and Strygldwyr in ''[[Literature/TheChroniclesOfAmber The Guns of Avalon]]'' the combatants end up grappling, and each tries to do this to the other. Corwin succeeds, if only barely.
* In ''TheWarOfTheAncients'' novel trilogy, [[TheDragon Archimonde]] kills [[spoiler:Malorne]] this way, who was trying to protect his son [[spoiler:Cenarius]]. To his credit, it still took considerable effort, despite Archimonde being a giant demon. [[spoiler:Malorne]] was no pushover either.
* Suggested in the ''Literature/GauntsGhosts'' novel ''Traitor General'': When [[{{Pyromaniac}} Brostin]] is a bit too careless in his stealth, [=MkVenner=] oh-so-gently places his palm on the other guy's neck. We're not told how Ven's going to do it, but considering that this is one of the most badass guys in an already badass regiment, Brostin wisely decides not to press his luck.
* Appears and is discussed in ''Term Limits''. After a Senator gets his neck broken by an assassin, a soldier comments that the one time he tried to do that in the field, he failed miserably and had to cut the man's throat instead. The fact that people with the strength and skill needed to break a man's neck with one's bare hands is so rare helps point to the discovery that the killers were [[spoiler:ex-US Special Forces]].
* In the ''Literature/NoughtsAndCrosses'' series, [[spoiler: Jude, as general of the Liberation Militia,]] does this to a subordinate who has betrayed them. He does this one handed, by jerking her upwards while he was standing behind her chair and she was turning to look up at him. He is a fit, strong man, the attack came totally by surprise, and one might suspect that her neck might be less muscled and more fragile than the normal victims of this trope, so it's difficult to tell how realistic this example is.
* In ''Literature/HisDarkMaterials'', Will Parry accidentally kills a man who invaded his house by pushing him away, resulting in the man tripping over Will's cat, falling down the stairs and hitting a piece of furniture, bending his neck at a twisted angle. ''WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids?!''
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', [[spoiler: Cato]] does this to [[spoiler: the boy from District 3]] in a fit of rage after [[spoiler: Katniss set off a chain reaction with the landmines surrounding the Careers' food supplies, destroying all the food]].
* Averted in ''[[Literature/BelisariusSeries An Oblique Approach]]'' where Princess Shakuntala attempts this on a guard and fails comically. After Raghunath Rao mocks her with monkey noises, she steps back and kills the guard with [[WaifFu a kick, a palm strike, and three elbow-strikes.]]
* In the ''Literature/ParadoxTrilogy'', symbionts are strong enough to kill people this way, and it seems to be one of their preferred tactics. In particular, two important characters are killed by symbionts in this manner in ''Honor's Knight''.
* In ''Literature/TheLordOfOpium'' the drug lord [[BigBad Glass Eye Dabengwa]] manages to do this with a ''punch''. He has many cybernetic implants, however, possibly increasing his strength.
* In ''Literature/VampireAcademy'', this is one of the tactics used by the superstrong Strigoi to kill. Used by Isaiah to kill Mason Ashford in ''Frostbite''.
* In ''Literature/TheNekropolisArchives'', protagonist Matthew Richter dispatches the warlock Yberio in this manner.
* Eden's first death in ''Literature/EdenGreen'' is a tender neck snap from her arch-nemesis, Tedrin.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/{{Angel}}'' uses this trope SOOO much. There are so many times that this is how Angel and co. dispose of pretty much every one of their enemies. In order of most common cause of death: Neck snapping is number one, with shot to death (by bullet or arrows) in a close second, followed by decapitation. No, but really. It's so common, it could be used as a drinking game. Angel especially has used this on [[WhatMeasureIsANonHuman demonic entities more than anyone else]]. He also used it to kill Marcus Hamilton (albeit just by punching him in the face really hard) and Drogyn in the series finale. Angelus mentioned when he killed Jenny Calendar with one that he never gets tired of doing it. Maybe Angel just got into the habit.
** It was also used as a diversion once-Angel got into the Scourge by snapping Doyle's neck. But, it turns out Bracken demons can survive a neck snap, and Doyle stands up after Angel leaves and pulls his neck back into place.
* ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' loves this trope too.
** This is how vamps kill humans who they don't drain.
** Angelus kills Jenny Calendar this way in his crossing of the MoralEventHorizon.
** Alt-Master kills alt-Buffy this way.
** Buffy kills Der Kindestod this way.
-->'''Xander:''' He's dead, right? I mean, I heard something snap.\\
'''Buffy:''' That would be his neck.
** And it's pretty much Caleb's signature move, to almost Narm levels.
** Moloch, in his robot body, does this to his subordinate, Fritz, in the episode "I Robot, You Jane".
** In the comics, [[spoiler: Angel]] kills [[spoiler: Giles]] in this manner, mirroring Jenny Calendar's death.
* Sayid from ''Series/{{Lost}}'' does this to another... With his ''[[WithMyHandsTied feet]]''.
* ''Series/{{Farscape}}''
** In an especially jarring example, Captain Crais does this to a subordinate ONE-HANDED. C'mon, the guy has some training but he's not exactly a ninja.
*** The subordinate's head also barely moves a few degrees. There's no way Sebacean necks are so fragile. They're supposed to be [[spoiler:genetically-engineered SuperSoldiers]].
** Scorpius also managed a one-handed NeckSnap in the fourth season, but then again, Scorpius is much stronger than the average Sebacean.
** Aeryn snaps several necks too throughout the series. Clearly it is the Peacekeepers' favored close-up method of killing.
* In the ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Journey to Babel", an Orion spy breaks the neck of the Tellarite Ambassador using the Vulcan execution technique tal-shaya in order to frame Ambassador Sarek for the crime.
* In ''Series/JessicaJones2015'', [[spoiler: Jessica]] kills [[spoiler: Kilgrave]] this way.
* ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''
** In an episode, Quark asks Garak to kill him, and Garak demonstrates various methods he could use on the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUo8W_tbGtE holosuite.]] One of these is sneaking up on holo-Quark and performing this maneuver, leading the real Quark to lampshade this trope by exclaiming, "Did you hear that sound? Of bones snapping? I don't want that to be the last thing I hear!"
** In one of the more memorable ''Deep Space Nine'' scenes, Weyoun taunts Ezri Dax with some personal information he got during her MindProbe interrogation, forgetting that he's standing next to Worf who promptly breaks his neck[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YoPXogkXsk .]]
** Worf develops a real fondness for the NeckSnap, as he can be seen using it to dispatch no fewer than four Jem'Hadar on ''Series/StarTrekDeepSpaceNine''.
** In "Hard Time", [[spoiler:O'Brien]] killed his cellmate this way.
** In "To the Death", a Jem'Hadar "First" snaps the neck of his "[[NumberTwo Second]]" for [[YouHaveFailedMe insubordination]]. The main point the producers wanted to get across with that was that the Jem'Hadar are far less sympathetic than prior ''Trek'' antagonists....
*** The Jem'Hadar First is visibly angry that Sisko doesn't discipline Worf in this manner.
* ''Series/{{Firefly}}'':
** After his attempt to turn in Simon and River for the reward money goes wrong in "Ariel" and he gets arrested right along with them, Jayne decides to get the two out of there and kills one of the two Feds holding them in their cell by snapping his neck while handcuffed (though it takes some doing), giving Simon the opportunity to disable the other one.
** In "Bushwhacked," Mal also uses his handcuffs to snap the neck of the settler-turned-Reaver who is trying to kill the Alliance officer at the end of the episode.
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'':
** [[spoiler:Knox]] pulls this on [[spoiler:Scott]] during the volume 3 finale. [[SuperStrength Justified]], of course.
** Arthur Petrelli pulls this off [[{{Telekinesis}} with a wave of his hands]] on [[spoiler:Maury Parkman]].
** Earlier in the same volume, Peter does this to Sylar. With '''[[SuperStrength one hand.]]''' (He [[UnexplainedRecovery gets better]] though.)
* Duncan uses this in a ''Series/{{Highlander}}'' ep to mercy kill a suffering friend at the Andersonville prison camp.
* ''Series/{{Battlestar Galactica|2003}}'':
** Number Six does this to a Caprican baby in the opening few minutes of the pilot by reaching into the stroller and twisting when the mother isn't looking. Justified in that babies' necks are ridiculously easy to break.
** Appears to be the preferred unarmed killing technique of Cylons. Of course they are stronger than humans. Examples include Caprica killing Boomer when the latter threatened Hera, Gina killing the guard outside her cell, and Boomer killing a Simon in the GrandFinale.
* If Creator/StevenSeagal appears in ''Series/MadTV'', someone is about to get a neck broken. Likewise in a lot of his movies.
* While it's not done by another person, on ''Series/BigLove'', [[spoiler:Kathy Marquardt's neck is snapped when she crashes a truck with her braid stuck in the door.]]
* ''Series/DoctorWho''
** The Fourth Doctor does this to a minor villain non-fatally in "The Seeds of Doom".
** The Master does it to [[spoiler:Chang Lee]] in the TV Movie, killing him ([[BackFromTheDead He got better, though]]). He also did it to the wife of Bruce (the guy whose body he stole).
** Jack recommends doing this to the Master in "The Sound of Drums".
** The Weeping Angels turn out to be very fond of this in Series 5. It quickly replaced the "trapping victims in the past" method from ''Blink'', likely to avoid villain decay (since that's easy to undo with a TARDIS). The Doctor tried to explain this as an exception since they needed the body or soul to talk, but they go on doing it after creating "Angel Bob". Of course, sending people to the past is a way to feed, and they already get enough power from draining the ship's engines.
* ''Series/{{Kings}}'': Silas, driving alone and angry in the country at night, hits a deer, then gets out of the car and snaps its neck with his bare hands. Of course, since this is ''Series/{{Kings}}'', this is all very [[WhatDoYouMeanItsNotSymbolic symbolic]] and there is an awesome monologue first.
* A favored method of killing by the Terminators in ''Series/TerminatorTheSarahConnorChronicles'', and frequently done one-handed, and usually in the middle of a NeckLift.
* Most bad guys in ''Series/{{Supernatural}}'' prefer this method of killing someone, with demons usually doing it with {{Telekinesis}}. Since it's mostly supernatural beings, the ease with which the neck breaks is [[JustifiedTrope justified]]. Most notably, this is how [[spoiler:Lucifer eventually kills Dean in an alternate future.]]
* One of JD's fantasies on ''Series/{{Scrubs}}'' involved his faking his own death and setting up an elaborate funeral solely so that Dr. Cox would hug him. When fantasy-Cox learns this, he snaps JD's neck. "WorthIt!"
* Series/{{Dexter}} uses this method [[spoiler:to dispose of [[BigBad George King, a.k.a., the Skinner]], during the Season 3 finale]].
* ''Series/TwentyFour'': Jack Bauer ''loves'' this move. As with Sayid, Jack uses his legs for half of the kills. One was even with the [[UpToEleven back of his leg while he was tied up]]!
* In ''Series/KamenRiderFaiz'', [[spoiler:Kusaka]]'s neck gets snapped by Kaixa, [[spoiler:who is Kiba]].
* In ''Series/DarkAngel'', Max (Jessica Alba) snaps Terrance's neck in the episode Prodigy (Season 1, Episode 7). In ''Pollo Loco'' she mercy-kills her serial killer 'brother' Ben in the same way; he, in turn, had been snapping the necks of his victims.
* ''Series/StargateSG1''
** [[ProudWarriorRaceGuy Teal'c]] does this to a Jaffa leader (who has been torturing him, as well as his son and mentor -- thus making it ''very'' satisfying) in the episode "Orpheus", though it takes some squeezing.
** Adria may be a subversion, she uses her PsychicPowers to kill a Jaffa this way in SG-1 episode 10.07 "Counterstrike".
** Similarly, Niirti is killed this way by one of her telekenetic "experiments".
* One episode of ''Series/CriminalMinds'' has a particularly poor example when a CIA agent has neck broken. Her chin was moved gently to rest on her collar bone while a cracking sound played on the soundtrack.
* This is how Lucas kills Merlyn in ''Series/AmericanGothic1995''.
* ''Series/TorchwoodMiracleDay'' episode 2 ("Rendition") has a suitably bizarre example where Rex [[spoiler:neck snaps a bad-girl CIA agent. Not only that, he does so in a manner that results in her head being rotated 180 degrees! In keeping with the theme of the series, however, she doesn't die and later tries to attack Rex while looking like Meryl Streep from ''Death Becomes Her'']]. Further neck-snapping goodness occurs during the Miracle Day finale, too.
* The 2000s TV version of ''Film/{{Sheena}}'' often featured the heroine dispatching bad guys this way, usually after morphing into a monster.
* The remake of ''Series/HawaiiFive0'' has an episode in which Kono does this to a mook.
* In the Season 1 ''Series/{{Andromeda}}'' episode "A Rose in the Ashes", the prison warden does a one-handed neck-snap to a revolting inmate. Justified, in that the warden is an android.
** Also, the inmate is able to still talk for a minute before expiring.
* This is discussed and demonstrated in an episode of ''Series/{{NCIS}}''.
** Actually, it's been demonstrated at least twice now, first on [=DiNozzo=] and then on [=McGee=]. In both cases, it was Gibbs providing the demo with the "victim" not really wanting to participate.
* In the miniseries ''Masada'', one of the Zealots breaks a Roman soldier's neck by placing the palms of his hands on each of the victim's cheeks and twisting?!
* ''Series/{{CSINY}}'' has an ep where the victim was killed by a man who was a martial arts expert-he used a single blow to snap the vic's neck from behind.
* The Salvatore Brothers and other vampires in ''Series/TheVampireDiaries'' use it all the time, very often against each other. [[JustifiedTrope justified]] because in this series, vampires are supposed to be super strong, but still, [[DeathIsCheap Death is Cheap]] when this does not kill them. (It does kill the humans, though).
** [[spoiler: Jeremy has his neck snapped by Silas, the original vampire, after the latter feeds on him, though whether it was this or the massive blood loss that killed him is unclear.]]
* Beautifully subverted in ''Series/TrueBlood'', in which Sarah Newlin -- an ordinary human with no combat training in a world full of vampires -- attempts the classic twist-from-behind on an unsuspecting woman, who is very confused as to what is going on. [[spoiler:Then Sarah beats her to death with a shoe.]]
* Happens a number of times in various ''Series/{{The Outer Limits|1963}}'' episodes. One episode involves a suspect ''snapping her own neck'' to avoid being questioned. Slightly justified because she was a mutant with enhanced strength. It's also possible that the same mutation also weakened her neck. Another episode starts with a frail-looking woman having sex with a man and then snapping his neck afterwards. Actually, his neck comes off revealing him to be an android. She's an android too. This was a test of a UsefulNotes/MataHari-type KillerRobot, so her strength is justified.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'':
** Arya Stark snapped the neck of a pigeon she caught, [[ReducedToRatburgers intending to eat it]].
** Other characters like The Hound sometimes snap people's necks in battle. Furthermore, when Biter attacks him, he retaliates by snapping Biter's neck almost instantly.
** This happens to Locke, courtesy of a warged Hodor, bringing his quest to bring back Bran and Rickon to a sudden and unpleasant end. Somehow, we don't feel bad about it.
* ''Series/{{Arrow}}'': pretty much Oliver's preferred method of killing other than his bow.
* ''Series/CharliesAngels'': a rather unexpected (for the era) use of this trope when a mook does this to a female roller derby athlete at the start of "Angels on Wheels."
* Parodied relentlessly in a ''Series/KeyAndPeele'' sketch ''Strike Force Eagle 3'', spoofing 1980s low-budget action movies: the mulleted hero infiltrates the BigBad's facility by doing this to every mook guard along the way with increasingly silly and unlikely techniques such as breaking a guard's neck by ''tugging on the guard's beard''. The absurdity peaks when the hero takes out a line of four mooks by throwing a frisbee at one; the struck guard's neck breaks, and as he slumps down he bumps into the guard next to him... breaking that guard's neck in the impact, and continuing down the line.
* ''Series/{{Oz}}'': After Chris Keller discovers that an old friend tried to sell him out to the cops, he coaxes the man into giving him a blowjob in a janitor's closet, then snaps his neck afterwards.
* In "Series/{{Hannibal}}", the eponymous character snaps the neck of one of his victims. Playing it straight, however, this doesn't so much as kill the victim as leave him permanently disabled and confined to a bed or wheelchair for the rest of his life...among other things.
* In the ''Series/EmeraldCity'' episode [[Recap/EmeraldCityS1E10NoPlaceLikeHome "No Place Like Home"]], West casually snaps a guard's neck with a [[MindOverMatter wave of her hand]], when he tries to attack [[spoiler:Tip/Ozma]].
* In ''Series/SevenDays'', this is Parker's favorite method of dispatching a bad guy, usually with his legs. Notably, he does it to a terrorist in the pilot. Then, some time later, he does it to the terrorist's brother, who has come for revenge.
* Series/{{Blindspot}}: happens at least twice in season 2: to a Chinese criminal in ep 19 and guard in 21.
* Series/MidnightTexas: happens in "Blinded by the Night", full 180 degree twist.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* In Ivy's (banned) "Temptation of Sonata" music video, as a reenactment of Tifa and Loz's fight in ''Anime/FinalFantasyVIIAdventChildren'', Tifa's victory involved a necksnap on Loz. It ended up banned due to her essentially infringing on copyrights.

[[folder:New Media]]
* There are youtube videos demonstrating the proper technique, many of them [[SomeAnvilsNeedToBeDropped overemphasizing the danger]] of the neck snap, since it's already both extremely dangerous and relatively simple to perform. The videos often [[InternetBackDraft come under fire]] for potentially inciting violent behavior that could either be justified by or hidden under the label of "self-defence". [[RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgment The matter is hotly debated.]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/CallOfCthulhu'' supplement ''Fearful Passages'', adventure "Sleigh Ride". One of the giganteus sneaks up behind Professor Chance and wrenches his neck with a sickening crack.
* You can do this in ''TabletopGame/{{GURPS}}'' as part of grappling, but you usually fail at the required rolls, unless you have high ST and/or points in the NeckSnap technique.
* Through feats or class features, this is a combat option in ''TabletopGame/{{Pathfinder}}''. There is a Brawler archetype, the Strangler, which has a high-level ability called Neckbreaker; opponents pinned in a grapple must make a save or die instantly.
** A somewhat more realistic variation exists through the Neckbreaker feat, which is available to anyone willing to sink the feats into it. A successful attack deals considerable damage directly to the target's strength or dexterity score as their spine is violently twisted. Once paralyzed through nerve damage and their scores drop to zero, any further damage from this attack is done directly to their constitution score - once that hits zero, they're dead.

* In ''Theatre/SweeneyToddTheDemonBarberOfFleetStreet'', the Beadle, Judge Turpin's [[TheDragon dragon]], does this to the poor little bird that was Anthony's gift to Johanna in a quite cruel KickTheDog moment before threatening Anthony with the same if he ever steps foot on their street again. In the non-musical version of the play by Christopher Bond that the musical was based on, Sweeney kills the Beadle by dropping him right down the chute with the chair in such a way as to break his neck upon landing, a nod to the way the original Sweeney murdered his customers in ''The String of Pearls''.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/PrinceOfPersiaWarriorWithin'' lets you do this in combat if you only have one weapon, usually vaulting over the enemy, stunning it in the process and strangling it. If it's already critically wounded, you then disarm it and execute it Anakin-style with both your and its own weapon -- otherwise you just take a long, long time twisting its neck which potentially makes you vulnerable to its friends.
* At the end of ''VideoGame/TheLegendOfZeldaTwilightPrincess'', Zant apparently becomes disillusioned with Ganon, knowing that he's not a god after all, and snaps his ''own'' neck [[CantLiveWithoutYou killing both himself and Ganon.]]
* In one early cutscene in ''VideoGame/JadeEmpire'', Master Li snaps a Lotus Assassin's neck by karate chopping it. It should be noted that his strength was sufficient to [[CrowningMomentOfAwesome shatter a ship with a punch]], so breaking someone's neck is really to be expected.
* In ''VideoGame/EnslavedOdysseyToTheWest'', one of Monkey's animations for taking down a turret is identical to a NeckSnap, but done to the turret's barrel.
* ''7 Days a Skeptic'', game two of the ''VideoGame/ChzoMythos''. Particularly noteworthy for being the absolute sickest breaking sound (and therefore most effective breaking sequence in recent memory) despite the ''VideoGame/KingsQuest''-like graphics. Also shows up in 6 Days a Sacrifice when [[spoiler: the tall man kills the clones.]]
* Danette from ''VideoGame/SoulNomadAndTheWorldEaters'' constantly threatens to snap people's necks. [[spoiler:When she actually ''does'' so at one point, she manages to surprise Gig, who had long since written it off as mere boasting.]]
* ''MortalKombat''
** This is how Shao Kahn kills Johnny Cage in ''Mortal Kombat Annihilation'' and [[spoiler:Kung Lao]] in ''Mortal Kombat 9''.
** Speaking of ''Mortal Kombat'', snapping your opponent's neck is just one of the ways to finish off a "Kreate-A-Fatality" in ''Mortal Kombat Armageddon''.
*** Heck, in two of the stances you can do this to an opponent ''without'' it being a finisher. So you could technically snap a neck 3 times in succession as the last 3 hits of your Fatality.
** Havik can snap his own neck. To ''regenerate health''. He is a freakish undead contortionist thing, so it makes sense. Kinda...
** In the opening sequence of the ''Deadly Alliance'', this is how Shang Tsung kills [[spoiler:Liu Kang]].
** This is actually a rather popular way of [[FinishingMove finishing an opponent]] in the series; Hotaru and Tanya both twist an opponent's neck past the point where their head should even be attached (Hotaru with his bare hands, Tanya with her MurderousThighs) while Quan Chi has a rather lame neck-''stretching'' move in ''Deadly Alliance'', and Scorpion himself has this as his Hara-Kiri ''and'' as the final blow for one of his fatalities in ''Deception''. It's also starting to become customary to break a person's neck before ripping it off Sub-Zero style (or breaking the appropriate bones before dismembering them, if not specifically going for the head)
** ''Mortal Kombat 4'' also has several non-lethal neck snappers. Tanya, Sonya and Reptile all have a "bone breaker" move that makes them twist the opponent's neck 180 degrees before it snaps back into place.
** Quan Chi has this as part of his X-Ray move in ''VideoGame/MortalKombat9'', but it's specially notable in that he's controlling the oponent, meaning he's ''making them snap their own neck''.
** The culmination of Jax's second fatality in ''VideoGame/MortalKombatX'' ends with a NeckSnap...but not after he [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill already ripped out his opponent's ribs and jammed them into their temple]].
* In the Fight Club activity inside ''VideoGame/SaintsRow2'', you must finish off your opponents in this way. It is portrayed as being rather difficult though, as it will later involve a lot of ButtonMashing [[PressXToNotDie to kill]], and it is done in a full rear chokehold like in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid''. This is also how human shields are disposed of when unarmed or equipped with a rocket launcher.
** In the sequel ''VideoGame/SaintsRowTheThird'' Killbane, leader of rival gang The Luchadores, does a one-handed version to [[spoiler: Kiki [=DeWynter=]]] after she provokes him by calling him [[DoNotCallMePaul by his real name]].
** In Third, this is an optional way of disposing of human shields.
** [[spoiler: played straight in the optional "Kill Killbane" ending in Third, which is basically an interactive cutscene (his neck's a-breakin' regardless what happens). Regardless of the type of protagonist design (male, female, skinny, amazon) it takes some effort to break the neck, and it's rendered somewhat realistic by being done as a legitimate wrestling hold, but one taken to a lethal end.]]
* ''VideoGame/{{Oni}}'':
** Konoko does this in one of her more elaborate attacks. It involves running up to your opponent frontally, simultaneously grabbing them by the neck, jumping in the air and using your momentum to do a [[HurricaneKick 360° spin kick]], with the guy's neck as a pivot axis. Since his body only goes about 180°, you get rewarded with a satisfying crack. Did I mention you can use it to knock down multiple opponents, if they are clustered together?
** [[BigBad Muro]] (who can be controlled in certain levels with a cheat code) plays this one straight if you sneak up behind an opponent and use the default grapple.
* In the original ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid'', the quietest way to kill guards after you have snuck up on them is to snap their necks (although for some strange reason, the guards still seem to bleed after the move is successfully performed as if shot or hit with a killer punch/kick even though that shouldn't happen).
** This is given a nod in ''VideoGame/SuperSmashBros Brawl'', where it's one of Snake's throws.
* ''Franchise/ResidentEvil''
** In one of the first [[CutScenePowerToTheMax cutscenes]] in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil4'', Leon demonstrates his new [[TookALevelInBadass badass upgrade]] by breaking a villager's neck, using only his foot and the mook's own weight (at least if you hit the buttons on time). [[http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=gCn3Z3m6eMY But don't take our word for it.]]
** In the mercenaries minigame, HUNK's special move is the neck breaker...But it's quite noisy this time. Although it kills the target instantly, the mook will still shout out or sigh; on top of that, they'll bleed out of their mouths. Not sure whether that makes it more or less realistic.
** When Chris or Jill performs a neckbreak in ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'' and ''VideoGame/ResidentEvilTheMercenaries3D'', they simply fall down silently. In Chris's case, they don't even try to resist and will simply stand straight up with their arms to their sides when grabbed, [[JustifiedTrope but that's because they've been stunned by a solid hit beforehand]].
** In ''VideoGame/ResidentEvil5'', Wesker can perform a 180-degree neck snap on Chris mid-acrobatic leap if the player misses PressXToNotDie.
** Several enemies will do this to Leon if he misses a [[PressXToNotDie cutscene button prompt]], specifically Mendez and U3. Mendez does it with one hand, although right before that he [[SuperStrength bends heavy steel rods together and throws you twenty feet]], so it's not too surprising.
* Sophitia from ''[[VideoGame/SoulSeries Soul Calibur]]'' does it with her ''[[MurderousThighs thighs]]''. To be more specific, she jumps on the opponent's face crotch-first, and gives a sharp hip-twist, with the trademark crunchy noise, [[SlapOnTheWristNuke though it's a rather weak attack.]]
* Later games of the ''VideoGame/SyphonFilter'' franchise gave Gabe and other characters the ability to do this if they attack a {{mook}} from behind with nothing equipped.
** Gary Stoneman in ''VideoGame/SyphonFilterTheOmegaStrain'' uses this as a stealth assassination attack, and the main player character can learn it as well.
* This, along with several other special unarmed attacks, can be used to execute prison guards in ''Franchise/TheChroniclesOfRiddick: VideoGame/EscapeFromButcherBay''. What's more is that you can grab them from the front and do it.
* ''Franchise/StreetFighter''
** In ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIV'', Cammy caps off Gyro Drive Smasher, one of her Ultra Attacks, with one of these.
** Makoto from ''VideoGame/StreetFighterIII'' also uses this as a command throw.
** As does Ibuki, which becomes a ''triple'' Neck Break when powered up.
* ''VideoGame/TatsunokoVsCapcom'': Hurricane Polimar's level 3 Hyper Combo caps off with him breaking the prone opponent's neck with a slight twist of his foot. It does quite a bit of damage, too.
* A chokehold and neck snap are elements of one of Heihachi's basic throws in the ''VideoGame/{{Tekken}}'' series. However, as disgusting as it looks, opponents do not immediately die from it. Other characters in the ''Tekken'' series whose moves include neck snaps are: Feng, Christie, Lili and Zafina. King has one as the start of one of his most powerful combination throws, which also includes a [[UpToEleven suplex, power bomb, and piledriver.]]
* In ''VideoGame/{{Shinobido}}'', this is one of the more popular ways to kill someone with a stealth kill attack. Usually performed in midair (Goh will use his arms, Kinu her [[MurderousThighs legs]]) or while hanging from a cliff (drag the victim down and break his/her neck). The other ways are usually bloodier (slicing throats and impaling with extreme prejudice).
* In a cutscene from ''VideoGame/TheWitcher'', Geralt gets one of these on a Salamandra mook. Bonus points for breaking his neck [[ExcuseMeWhileIMultitask while he's pissing in an alley]].
* In ''VideoGame/VampireTheMasqueradeBloodlines'' a vampire with Obfuscate powers or simply some skill in stealth can do this to score an instant kill on an unsuspecting victim. And the trope is justified by the fact vampires are wicked strong.
* In ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar 2'', characters dispose of their human shields by doing this.
** In the third game, the [[FinishingMove execution move]] for the SawedOffShotgun has the player opening the loading catch, wrapping around the enemy's neck, and giving it a sharp twist, resulting in a broken neck accompanied by a spray of blood.
* In ''VideoGame/TheKingOfFighters '98'' Rugal (non-Omega) has the "Dead End Screamer" which in its SDM/MAX version starts with him snapping the opponent's neck with his feet.
* Early on in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment'', if your Dexterity score is high enough, you have the option to use this on anyone who stops you while trying to escape from the Mortuary. Things go better for you if you just bluff your way through, though.
* The BigBad of ''VideoGame/BaldursGate'', Sarevok, shows his villain credentials in the opening when he uses his monstrous strength to crush an adult man's neck one-handed.
* Despite putting guards in a headlock being his preferred way of dealing with them, it took until ''VideoGame/SplinterCellChaosTheory'' for Sam Fisher to learn this trick, as the lethal variant on his new 'death from above' attacks.
* In ''VideoGame/HeavenlySword'', King Bohan does this to [[spoiler:Whiptail]].
* Upgrading the [[BackStab Stealth Consume]] ability in ''VideoGame/{{Prototype}}'' makes Alex switch to snapping his target's neck from behind via SuperStrength rather than ripping them open; quicker and cleaner.
* ''VideoGame/TheGodfather: The Game''
** One of the execution styles involves a neck snap from the front on a weakened opponent. Another involves a snap [[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill after choking the guy to death]].
** The sequel retains the snap-after-choking, as well as an upgrade that replaces the garotte stealth kill, and is much faster. Oddly enough, though, it is executed by grabbing the victim with your garrote wire. For some reason, your character strangles them with the wire for a second or so, complete with distressed gurgling from the victim, then snaps their necks to kill them quicker.
* In ''VideoGame/TheWarriors'', some of the bigger and stronger warriors will use this as their sneak attack if you come up behind an enemy from out of the shadows. The smaller guys usually stick to the karate chop to the neck routine.
* One of the many ways of killing your enemies in ''VideoGame/{{Tenchu}}''.
* Seen A LOT in ''VideoGame/Uncharted2AmongThieves''. Whenever you sneak up on an enemy with a melee attack, expect to see some necks broken, and a very satisfying snap. Also, in the online co-op modes, there are exclusive enemies that sneak up behind you, grab your neck, and attempt to snap it. If your buddies don't take him out in time, well, hope you've gotten used to hearing that snapping sound so much.
** Also given a slight nod to realism, as when Nate breaks an opponent's neck, he's almost always putting his full body weight into the effort, either getting them on the ground first to abuse his leverage, or otherwise maneuvering them into a position in which he can exert a lot of pressure. They still die silently, though.
* Done several times in the ''VideoGame/GodOfWar '' series.
* Subverted in ''VideoGame/GodHand''. The Cobra Twist {{Action Command|s}} looks like one of these, but not only does Gene need several tugs to do it, it's not even fatal.
* ''VideoGame/{{Borderlands}}'': The General Knoxx {{DLC}} features friendly {{NPC}} Athena who is introduced performing one of these on a random {{Mook}}, complete with "Oh Snap!" FlavorText.
* ''VideoGame/TalesFromTheBorderlands'', Sasha does this to one bandit, and Rhys does it to another...''[[EpicFail but completely fails]]''.
-->'''Bandit''': Oh, Eric? Aw, is that you? Wait wait wait, what is this? Is this real or is this--is this a joke?\\
'''Rhys''': ''[on the bandit's back, still struggling]'' Oh this is ''real'' real! ''[Sasha stands up and giving a [[SmugSmiler smirk look]] at Rhys]''\\
'''Bandit''': Wait, wait wait wait, that's not Eric!\\
'''Rhys''': No it's not Eric. It's your--doom! Stop squirming!\\
'''[[DeadpanSnarker Sasha]]''': You need some help over there? It looks like you're struggling a bit. I already took out mine so...I'm not really doing anything.\\
'''Bandit''': Nah, nah, nah, don't help him! Come on, let him do it himself! If he can!\\
'''Rhys''': Shut up!\\
'''Sasha''': Nah, I think he's right. You should handle it yourself.
* ''Franchise/MassEffect''
** Thane Krios of ''VideoGame/MassEffect2'' demonstrates this on one of his target's guards when you first encounter him. In fact, according to the Shadow Broker's [[http://masseffect.wikia.com/wiki/Shadow_Broker_Dossiers/Thane_Krios dossier on him]], it's his preferred assassination technique on any species including the krogan, who have necks like ''tree trunks''. He needs a "running leaping [[EverythingsBetterWithSpinning spinning]] neck-snap" to get up enough momentum for that last one. However, [[CombatPragmatist half the time he'll just plant a bomb instead]].
** Shepard can perform one on a mouthy mercenary captain if a Renegade interrupt is taken during Miranda's loyalty mission. Shepard is fortunately both a trained combatant and a cyborg.
** Basically the first thing you see Samara do on her recruitment mission is snap the neck of an Eclipse merc with her {{Combat Stiletto}}s.
* ''Franchise/DragonAge''
** In the [[VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins original game]], Riordan does this to a mook to escape from a dungeon cell when you first meet him.
** In ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' , Fenris does this first to a mook whom he was questioning after pinning him to the ground. Later he ''crushes'' [[spoiler:Denarius']] neck effortlessly with one hand after lifting him off the ground by it. It's justified; his tattoos grant him magical combat boosts.
* In ''VideoGame/FableIII'', one of the fancy counter animations when using a sword has you do a slo-mo forward flip over them. You snap their neck on the way over.
* In the ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' [[SupplementalMaterial/TeamFortress2 Supplemental Material]] video "[[http://www.teamfortress.com/sniper_vs_spy/day05_english.htm Meet the Spy]]", the Red Spy breaks the Blue Medic's neck with a karate chop.
** The supplemental comics reveal Soldier seems to be a fan of the technique, trying to snap a messenger's neck through the door, and successfully killing a lawyer, Creator/TomJones and a ''bear'' with it. He has even fixed necks he snapped by mistake with the same technique.
--> ''"Well, I'm calling a surprise witness: My hands! And they will prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your lawyer's neck is guilty! Of being broken! '''HUTTAH!'''"''
* In ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'', High King Maulgar did this to the previous High King as a show of his strength, killing him and [[KlingonPromotion becoming ruler of Outland's ogres]] under Gruul.
* In ''VideoGame/DeusExHumanRevolution'' Adam can both do a "normal" snap and a fancy version where he grabs an enemy by the face and spins his mechanical hand a full 360 around the joint. He is a cyborg after all. And then there's the version he can do [[BarrierBustingBlow from the opposite side of a concrete wall]].
* In ''VideoGame/{{Crysis}} 2'' one of the BackStab animations is this. Alcatraz is using PoweredArmor that gives SuperStrength.
* In ''VideoGame/SuperPaperMario'', whenever Mimi [[spoiler:transforms into her true spider-like, Rubee-pooping form,]] she snaps her neck. With an audible sound effect. And it rotates a full 180, turning her head upside down. WhatDoYouMeanItsForKids
* In the opening cinematic of ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedRevelations'', the protagonist Ezio snaps a soldier's neck like a twig. Considering that he's a trained killer and pretty darn buff, it's reasonably believable.
** Not to mention that Ezio can pull this off as an unarmed execution move in ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedII'' and ''VideoGame/AssassinsCreedBrotherhood''.
* Two different neck snaps are present as finishing moves in ''VideoGame/DarkSector''. One is fairly pedestrian, the other is an unusual and especially brutal variant where Hayden bends an enemy over backwards, places it in an upside down headlock and lifts up sharply, breaking the neck.
* In the ''Franchise/{{Halo}}'' games from ''VideoGame/HaloReach'' onward, there are assassination animations that utilize this trope against three enemies: the Grunts (in which the Spartan simply cups its head and twists), the Elites (the Spartan leaps on its back, grabs its snout and pulls), and other Spartans (the Spartan knocks his target on his/ her stomach, leans down, and casually twists the head).
* Available as a melee attack in the reboot of ''VideoGame/{{Syndicate}}''. You are an advanced cyborg, after all.
* In ''VideoGame/NeverwinterNights2'', you can cut the [[ScaryDogmaticAliens githyanki]] high commander's post-defeat ranting short by breaking her neck.
* In ''VideoGame/AnarchyReigns'', the Rin sisters can do this if they grapple an someone from behind. They jump onto the enemy's shoulders and give the necks a good cracking. However it's generally not lethal unless said enemy has little health at that point.
* In ''Headhunter'', protagonist Jack Wade does a swift, one-handed NeckSnap when doing a stealth kill from behind. He must have some impressive arm strength.
* ''Videogame/BioshockInfinite''. Booker can do this to human opponents with the Skyhook device. The game has him do a NeckLift with the Skyhook on them first.
* In ''VideoGame/{{Nidhogg}}'', you can score a kill on a downed opponent this way if you attack them while standing near their head.
* A difficult but high-scoring move in ''VideoGame/ToriBash'' involves holding your opponent's head somewhere in the vicinity of your elbow and giving a good, hard twist. On 'softer' game modes, the neck joint will break and be rendered useless. On any game mode which involves dismemberment (including the default setting), it's a good way to ''[[OffWithHisHead messily decapitate someone]]''.
* One of the most popular Do-It-Yourself modding projects in ''Videogame/DwarfFortress'' is to add these as a move in wrestling. It's as simple as going to the anatomy files, finding the neck, and adding the [JOINT] tag. From then on, you can snap a neck like it was an elbow or knee. Realistically enough, this isn't quite an instant kill, but still cripples instantly, while the actual kill is done by the ensuing asphyxiation.
** The game has since been updated to allow blunt attacks to pull nearby joints when attacking a body part. A good blow to the head will not only injure the head itself, but will also pull the neck, possibly with enough force to sever the upper spine. This is assuming [[ChunkySalsaRule the head itself isn't destroyed by the attack.]]
* ''VideoGame/TheMatrixPathOfNeo'' has this in some versions, most notably if the enemy is near death and Neo does his run up the chest, then kick in the head move which kills the guy. Even with modding, a blow to the neck can still have this effect.
* In ''Videogame/StyxMasterOfShadows'', Neck snapping is [[StealthExpert Styx's]] preferred method of muffled killing when striking from behind. Though this is generally a lot quieter then Styx simply jamming a knife into someones chest and let them scream (Styx covers his victim's mouth when readying a Neck Snap), the SickeningCrunch of his victim's neck snapping will still draw the attention of nearby enemies.
* In HitmanAbsolution and Hitman2016, 47 can snap his targets' necks if he needs them dead and has no weapons equipped. Note that the kill is automatic upon grappling an assassination target in Absolution.
* The playable Red Hood in ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'' both plays this straight and subverts it. One of his stealth takedowns from behind just quickly snaps his opponent's neck. However, corner takedown victims lose their balance, giving Red Hood enough leverage for a more powerful snap.

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/{{Yarudora}} series vol. 3: VisualNovel/{{Sampaguita}}'', [[spoiler:Boy]] performs this on a {{mook}} guarding the enemy headquarters, in order to [[StormingTheCastle storm it]] with maximum surprise effect.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Drowtales}}'':
** Sandaur finds a group of rebels attacking his students. Being a BadassTeacher, he [[CurbStompBattle Curb Stomps]] the crap out of the attackers, [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=7950 grabbing the final attacker by the neck and finishing him off with a quick twist.]]
** Later on, Quain'tana [[http://www.drowtales.com/mainarchive.php?sid=11598 personally delivers one]] to Suu'be, her [[TheStarscream traitorous Dev'ess]], after the latter attempts TheCoup and tries to wipe out Quain's bloodline.
* The X-Ray Skeleton does this to Ms. Green in ''Webcomic/AwfulHospital''.
* In ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'', Dr. [=McNinja=] does this to a random security guard in one of his early stories.
* The technique is described in loving detail in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' webcomic, ''Pillars of Faith''. Given Faith has Slayer strength, this is performed as a decapitation technique involving a double torque.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Gnoph}}'', Abbey dispatches a {{Mook}} this way early on, demonstrating her superhuman strength.
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}''
** An imprisoned owlbear is incapacitated after going on a rampage against its cruel captors. Upon hearing that the creature will be kept alive and tortured, a fellow prisoner [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/02142008 uses this method]] to give the owlbear a mercy kill.
** [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/08242008 And there is the one where Kin kills Tayshun]].
** In the ''Tempts Fate'' subcomic, [[http://www.goblinscomic.com/tempts-fate-5/ Tempts Fate does one to a monster]] as an OffhandBackhand.
* Pella, the bard from ''Webcomic/LookingForGroup'' snaps a guard's neck with her thighs, promising to write a song about it when they escape.
* ''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick''
** Miko Miyazaki does this to Sabine [[spoiler:on her first day in jail as a fallen paladin]]. Of course, since Sabine's an [[OurDemonsAreDifferent Outsider]], it just annoys her.
** Xykon does this to [[spoiler: Lirian]] in ''Start of Darkness''.
** Durkon kills [[spoiler:Zz'dtri]] in this manner.
* Nikol, in ''Webcomic/SeventySeas'', at one point [[http://70-seas.com/?p=486 snaps, and then unsnaps a monk's neck]].
* Choo-Choo Bear of ''Webcomic/SomethingPositive'' does this as an act of mercy to [[http://www.somethingpositive.net/sp05312003.shtml a cat wearing a beagle hat]].
* [[DiscussedTrope Discussed]] in ''Webcomic/BugMartini'' [[http://www.bugmartini.com/comics/a-real-pain-in-the-neck/ here]].
* ''WebComic/{{Homestuck}}'''s [[spoiler: Aranea Serket]] meets their end via one of these, courtesy of [[spoiler: Her Imperious Condescension]].
* The ''Pitch Black'' comic "[[http://pitchblack.thecomicseries.com/comics/209 Animal Guards]]" shows that this doesn't always work too well on PettingZooPeople, specifically [[AbnormalLimbRotationRange owls]].
* In ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'', Sanaa Wilhelm/[[spoiler: Trygvassen]] administers one of these to "Snapper" Boikov when he very foolishly tries to [[StandardFemaleGrabArea take her hostage.]] Doubly impressive in that she does it by kicking him.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* In episode 7 of the ''WebAnimation/XiaoXiao'' series, the main character snaps a couple of {{mooks}}' necks, but it sounds less like a snap, and more like someone tapping a brick against a cookie jar.
* Hilariously parodied in the Escapist webseries ''WebVideo/DoomsdayArcade''. When Shanks and Lund have to break out of a prison, the guards' necks snap with the slightest twist. They even manage to snap their necks by touching them on the shoulder and ''staring'' at them.
* Done with a one-handed NeckLift in ''Literature/MagicalGirlHunters''. Then again, the person being killed is a 5-year-old girl...
* [[Wiki/SCPFoundation SCP]][[http://www.scp-wiki.net/scp-173 -173]] loves this method.
* ''Machinima/RedVsBlue'': Season 9, when South kicks a Mook headfirst into a locker. His head gets stuck there, and he doesn't get back up, so we can assume that it fits this trope.
* This is how [[FirstEpisodeSpoiler Chase dies]] in ''Literature/{{Pyrrhic}}'', [[MercyKill mercy killed]] by [[spoiler: his best friend Joshua.]]
* In ''WebAnimation/DeathBattle'' "[[WebAnimation/{{RWBY}} Yang]] vs. [[VideoGame/FinalFantasyVII Tifa]]", this is how the loser gets finished off, in a fairly creative variant of this move. [[spoiler:Yang grabs Tifa from behind on opposing sides of her head, and then she fires both of her shotgun gauntlets, so the recoil pulls her arms away and... Well, you get the idea]]. Barbara Dunkelman (Yang's voice actress, who was watching the fight on livestream) looked pretty visibly mortified afterwards, [[NightmareFuel and for fair enough reason]].
** Again, a creative variation of this move is used in "Franchise/{{Batman}} vs. Franchise/CaptainAmerica". [[spoiler:Read: Batman's GrapplingHookPistol meets Cap's neck meets street-lamp]].
* ''WebAnimation/ASDFMovie'': "Turn that frown upside down!" "[[LiteralMinded Okay!]]" (''crack'')

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Stan Smith does this several times in ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad''. Stan, while being high on crack, kills a monkey this way (which wouldn't really be that hard). He also kills Jay Leno this way in a fit of anger.
** In another episode, Bullock's date tries to surprise him from behind, bit his CIA training causes him to instinctively assume she was a terrorist and snap her neck.
* Patrick Smith's short ''Delivery'' features two brothers fighting over a package. One of them eventually defeats the other by snapping his neck. [[spoiler:And the box they were fighting over? Empty.]] According to Smith, it was a meant to be a rebuttal to all those AnvilOnHead cartoons, saying that his character will die if one falls on them.
* ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic'': [[ShrinkingViolet Fluttershy]] does this to a bear in "[[Recap/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagicS2E3LessonZero Lesson Zero]]". Yes, this is a little girl's show. (The bear's fine. Apparently, it's a violently effective form of chiropractic therapy.)
* ''WesternAnimation/RobotChicken'' parodies this all the time, including the "Happy Ending" and "Jared Gets Fat" sketches from Season 1
* ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'': [=McBain=] does this to the trope namer of CommieNazis.
-->'''Marge:''' That's what I call break-neck speed! (laughs)\\
'''Bart:''' (serious) Mom, a man just died.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsTheCloneWars'', Asajj Ventress and her allied Nightsisters decide to test the loyalty of their newly-empowered minion, Savage Opress, by commanding him to kill his brother. Savage does so with a NeckSnap. (Not with a Force Choke NeckLift, mind you, as is traditional in this universe—Opress has only an instinctual knowledge of the Force in this episode, and no formal training. He does it with his bare hands.)
* ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers''
** Brock Sampson tries to walk a reluctant Hank Venture through this in "Ghosts of the Sargasso". Fortunately, Hank isn't strong enough to actually break any necks, but he does knock out a couple of the goons and ties them up, with bows.
-->'''Hank:''' And that'll knock him out... even more?\\
'''Brock:''' That'll kill him.
** In "Ice Station Impossible!" Hank, facing possible doom as a human bomb, asks Brock to kill him if the need comes.
-->'''Hank:''' How would you do it?\\
'''Brock:''' You're asleep, quick jerk of the neck. Never feel a thing.\\
'''Hank:''' You've ''thought'' about this!\\
'''Brock:''' Yes, I have.
* Captain Scarlet kills a Mysteron replicant this way in one episode of ''WesternAnimation/GerryAndersonsNewCaptainScarlet''.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StarVsTheForcesOfEvil'', a flashback shows one of Star Butterfly's babysitters once taught her how to do this. When she was still a toddler.
* In ''WesternAnimation/StevenUniverse'', Pearl is doing this to one of the centipeetles, while cheerfully talking to Steven.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DrawnTogether'', Captain Hero is trying to find a giant retard that has been destroying the city. He finds a dead man in a car [[WhatAnIdiot and tries to get the information out of him]]. When he gets no response he decides "Maybe a little neck-snapping will jog your memory!" and proceeds to do just that. And when that doesn't work, he decides [[InsaneTrollLogic "Maybe a little spooning will jog your memory!"]]

[[folder:Real Life]]
* This is the intended result of long-drop hanging style of execution. It is actually very difficult to achieve, and that is the reason why hanging has been pretty much superseded by firing squads, electrocution, and lethal injection.
** To give some perspective on how difficult it was to do the long-drop correctly, you had to calculate the length of the rope very carefully based on the weight of the convict. Too short and the neck wouldn't break and you had to wait for him to strangle to death. Too long and the force applied to the neck would be so great that...well, the ''best'' outcome was a snapped rope. The worst outcome was a [[OffWithHisHead total decapitation]]. More than a few hangings were botched in this way, such as [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Jack_Ketchum Black Jack Ketchum]], and there have been several judicial hangings in Iraq (not Saddam Hussein) where this has happened.
* There are many who defend the use of "neck cranks" and other similar moves in MMA who, when challenged about the dangers of such movies, claim that it is extremely difficult, if not outright impossible to actually kill someone doing one in competition. Some beg to differ, but as of mid-2015 there have been no deaths from neck snaps reported in sanctioned MMA competitions such as UFC.
* After two deaths in as many days where broken necks were a factor at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix (Roland Ratzenberger broke his neck and died instantly in a high speed crash during practice, Ayrton Senna was killed the next day in the race by multiple head injuries, one of which was a broken neck), UsefulNotes/FormulaOne initiated an extensive evaluation program of the HANS device (Head And Neck Support) that attaches their helmet firmly to their shoulders with a strong carbon fibre rig and straps which prevents the violent whiplash accidents can cause from snapping the victim's neck, finally officially adopting it in 2003. There's been more that a dozen years since, with drivers walking away from 50G+ crashes.