"Hold it there! You're doing the old 'Frozen Take' bit, which means that Doug the Dog... *CLONK*... was right behind me. Heh-heh-heh-heh!Being a Mook is a hard (and short) life. If you're not constantly getting killed, you're getting knocked out by the Hero. Some Mooks, instead of following the rules of Mook Chivalry, try getting smart by sneaking up on the hero when he's busy fighting another fellow Mook or while in conversation with someone, and striking him from behind. Sounds easy, right? He's not even looking your way, throwing punches or talking. All you have to do is be silent... just a little closer... *POW* Nope, not only do you still get knocked out (or shot down), the Hero doesn't even give you the courtesy of looking your way first. And of course, you just made him look that much cooler. Compare Foe-Tossing Charge, only even more humiliating for the poor sap on the receiving end. Very commonly featured in a work that is Rated M for Manly. Users of this move tend to have a Badass Back. There is a certain amount of Truth in Television to this: The reverse kick is a fairly viable move. Doesn't mean a flippant Backhanded Apology. See also Excuse Me While I Multitask.
— Slappy Squirrel, Animaniacs
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- Rick Santorum did this in his political advert in 2006, which can be seen here.
Anime & Manga
- The eponymous character of Afro Samurai does this to a guy at least 4 times his size. so hard that he flies through the wall.
- Dutch does this to a panicking Rock in the first chapter of Black Lagoon. Roberta does the same later during a gun battle, when a thug made the mistake of trying to attack her from behind after she agreed to stop shooting.
- Dragon Ball Z:
- When Frieza fights with Nail, he Flash Steps, intentionally exposing his back to Nail just so that he can do this.
- Dragon Ball Xenoverse used this scene as inspiration for the Frieza Race's back attack animation.
- A band of Mooks surrounds Vegeta in Frieza's ship, and the only one that has the balls to attack him from behind (or at all) gets taken out by one of these.
- It's unknown if Vegeta was intending to invoke this trope by turning his back on Semi-Perfect Cell when dominating him, but given his taunting him, it's likely that's exactly what he planned to do, although Cell seems to wise up and just doles out Ki attacks in response.
- In Buu's Reincarnation (the penultimate episode of the series), Vegeta does this to his would-be opponent when the latter foolishly attempts to taunt him, knocking him far enough back to hit a billboard and severely injuring him, then has the other opponents inform the referees that his opponent has decided to forfeit the match without turning around even once.
- Gohan does this to Bido in Dragon Ball Z: Bojack Unbound. It ends up killing him and cuts him in half.
- Master Roshi does this to one of Frieza's minions in Dragon Ball Z: Resurrection ‘F’.
- An enraged Goku instantly teleports and casually backhands Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super.
- When Frieza fights with Nail, he Flash Steps, intentionally exposing his back to Nail just so that he can do this.
- In the original El Hazard OVA, Ifurita demonstrates her newfound independence by laying out Jinnai with a no-look pimp-slap.
- In Fist of the North Star, one would-be Hokuto Shinken wielder is stalking Kenshiro through a town. When he pounces, Kenshiro backhands the faceplate of his helmet in. The punk grabs his ears, announces "You are already dead!", and counts down from ten... exploding on the zero. When Kenshiro backhands you, he knows where to hit.
- Fullmetal Alchemist:
- Pride manages to do an offhand backhand stab to a subordinate who has outlived his usefulness.
- Barry the Chopper then manages the same on a foolish guard who chose to investigate, with an axe, which of course it nailed him square in the head. And it was great.
- Scar uses his destruction on Gluttony, who was sneaking up from behind.
- Melissa Mao delivers one to Kurz Weber in the opening credits of Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu.
- Saito Hajime does it to a belligerent ronin in the Hakuouki Sekkaroku OVA. When the man gets up from it and comes at him a second time, he does it again.
- Alucard from Hellsing loves to go Guns Akimbo without looking in one direction. In the finale, Sir Integra shoots Shröedinger without looking (he got better).
- This is how Hime-chan met with Arisaka in Himechan No Ribon.
- In Kill la Kill, during the election, the Elite Four do this to everyone who tries to attack them while they are heading out.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!:
- Hilariously done in chapter 252, with Setsuna splitting a steel ball that is flying at Konoka and a couple of children (they're a few meters behind her and its trajectory is within her reach) in half with her artifact... without even knowing she does it. She's busy worrying about how she thinks she's getting WEAKER.
- Also done in the Tournament Arc during one of Evangeline's matches.
- At the beginning of Midori Days, the main character is ambushed from behind by the girlfriend of a gangster he beat up at the story's start... and smacks her down without looking. Or, rather, he wasn't looking - Midori, attached to his right arm, heard her coming and acted defensively.
- In an early episode of Mobile Fighter G Gundam, Domon butts into the Gundam Fight between France and Cuba's champions. While the French fighter simply chews him out for breaking the Gundam Fight's rules, the Cuban tries to attack him from behind. Domon deals with him by casually activating the Shining Gundam's beam sword while it's still in the hip sheathe, causing the blade to pierce and destroy the Arachno Gundam's head.
- Kirika in Noir pulls this off in the third episode after using popcorn to help her find the location of the unlucky Mook on the other end.
- One Piece:
- In the Ice Hunters arc, Luffy does this to one of the bounty hunters, Hockera. In a subversion, though, Luffy's not even fighting him—he's fighting two other bounty hunters while Hockera attacks Chopper, and Hockera gets nailed when Luffy snaps his arm backwards. Luffy's not even aware of what happened until Hockera whined at him for interfering in someone else's battle (which, for the record, he would never do on purpose).
- When Luffy fights Zoro on Whiskey Peak, they give each other their full attention—despite Zoro previously having been about to engage Mr. 5 and Ms. Valentine. The latter two get pissed that they are being underestimated and proceed to launch attacks at the "distracted" pair, who barely break eye contact or move while fending them off.
- While being attacked by a pack of wolves, when a wolf attacks from behind Inazuma sends it flying with a reversed kick.
- In the Persona 3 manga, Akihiko does this to Junpei when the latter sneaks up on him while they're lost in Tartarus. The look on his face is pretty amusing.
- In Rurouni Kenshin, Kenshin pulls this off against a mook during one of the Kyoto arc episodes with his sheath.
- This is actually a technique of the Kogan style in Shigurui. Its effects are quite devastating.
- In the Slayers OVA, Jeffrey attempts a pointlessly overdramatic charge at an enemy general and is casually clotheslined by the general and knocked out cold.
- In A Certain Magical Index, this is how Touma finishes off Stiyl's fire giant Innocentius after using the fire sprinklers to wash the ink off of the rune cards that were sustaining it.
- Livio the Double Fang from Trigun has two cross-shaped miniature machine guns that allow him to fire in four directions simultaneously.
- Vash does it to a robot with his gun in episode 9. He even manages to hit its weak spot dead-on.
- Valkyria Chronicles: In Episode 6 a fistfight breaks out between the members of Squads 1 and 7. During the fight, a soldier (that appears be to be Jung) attempts to sneak up on Isara (who is eating at the time) before she knocks him out with a heretofore-unforeseen wrench.
- Used by The Stoic Thors to put down The Berserker Bjorn in Vinland Saga.
- Botan, of all people, pulls it off in YuYu Hakusho. Even if Kuwabara warned her, she still doesn't even look back before thwacking the mook with a metal bat.
- C.T. Smith, from Zombie Powder, while in the middle of a gunfight, using Guns Akimbo. Flips one of his guns over his shoulder and headshoots a mook threatening another main character, then switches back without missing a beat.
- Bunnie Rabbot pulls this on Ixis Naugus once in Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog. Made even worse for Naugus since she used her cyborg fist instead of her normal one.
- Astérix the Gladiator has an entire page of Asterix and Obelix walking through the streets of Rome while being constantly assaulted, and disposing of their assailants this way. At the end, Obelix asks Asterix about all the strange people attacking them, and Asterix answers in confusion: "What people?"
- Batman. It's practically a signature of his to leave one mook not a complete heap so he can backhand him when he tries to sneak up.
- Apparently, the rest of the Batfamily has picked this up from him. Cassandra Cain (Batgirl II) and Steph (Spoiler, later Batgirl III) do this in sync at one point.◊
- Mister E does this with his cane to a Mook in The Books of Magic. (Did we mention Mister E can fight blind?)
- There are a lot of heroes who have done this, but Captain America is especially fond of it. In his case, however, he's far more likely to whack you in the face with his shield.
- One of the funniest times with Captain America was, while in conversation with Ms. Marvel outside Avengers' Mansion on a snowy day, Cap flings his shield to the side, which bounces off a wall, passes behind him—incidentally intercepting the snowball thrown at him by a daring kid who climbed to the top of the outer wall—bounces off the opposite wall, then flies back to Cap's hand. Ms. Marvel remarks on Cap's unexpected show of humor.
- On the cover of Captain America #65◊ he did it to his own sidekick Bucky when Bucky tried to warn Cap about his new girlfriend being evil.
- Darkseid takes this to a new level with offhand Eye Beams.
- In the third issue of the Firefly comic Better Days, River kicks an Alliance soldier in the teeth when he tries to sneak up on and gut her with a knife. Though in this case, it is justified by her Psychic Powers.
- In the Salvation Run storyline when the villains are left on a prison planet, The Joker does this to Lex Luthor during their fight for leadership.
- The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: Arcee, a bot whom many Decepticons are afraid of, goes up against the Constructicons, Bonecrusher backhands her the minute she engages, he was busy beating on Blurr at the time, and only after that did he and the rest of the Constructicons notice and engage her.
- In Watchmen, Ozymandias does this to Rorschach. Repeatedly. Got to admire Rorschach's tenacity, though.
- Iron Man has done his fair share of this as well. When he hits you with his fist you're going to get a face full of metal.
- Judge Dredd does this quite often, a lot of the time telling the person attempting to sneak up on him that it's unwise to do so.
- In one issue of Roger Rabbit's Toon Town, Jessica Rabbit does this to a Toon-Wolf who's trying to give her a kiss — with a frying pan for added pain. Judging from her reaction, this sort of thing happens often.
- Spider-Man's spider sense allows him to pinpoint from where his enemies attack if they are close enough, meaning he can pull this off a lot.
- Kyoshi Rising; during a battle, the Fake Ultimate Hero Kyoshi had encountered early in her journey shows up and declares that she will not humiliate him a second time. Kyoshi smacks him away with Earthbending without breaking stride, much less turning to face him.
- Silly Hat Productions lampoons Umineko's love of Giving Someone the Pointer Finger this way. In one case, Battler knocks down Eva-Beatrice like this several times in rapid succession, all by accident.
- In one Discworld fic, Assassin Miss Alice Band goes for a quiet drink in the Troll's Head. She makes it very clear she's there for information. Then single-handedly beats up the clientele, including several emphatically off-hand back-hands to the bartender who is behind her and reaching for his trusty cudgel, just to point out that she isn't joking. Several other Assassins who arrive to provide back-up have to restrain her from really getting emphatic.
- Batman in I'm a Marvel... and I'm a DC does this to the Green Goblin.
- In It Sounds Better Than "Pity Date", Flash Sentry wipes the floor with two thugs who harass Sci-Twi. One of the thugs tries to sneak up on him and he knocks his elbow into his face without even turning around.
Films — Animation
- In Despicable Me, Gru does this to a shark after Vector had kidnapped his adopted children.
Vector: He punched my shark!
- The title character in Disney's Hercules does this to Hades near the end of the film.
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Po and the Furious Five are trying to free two of Lord Shen's prisoners from prison. After most of the guards are beaten up, the last one sneaks up behind Po, only to get hit with a rather impressive offhand backhand. Tigress compliments him on it.
- The Lion King:
- Rafiki pulls off this stunt on one of the hyenas.
- Pumbaa does this too. Except with his back legs.
- Astérix movies:
- During the last of The Twelve Tasks of Asterix, Obelix and Unhygienix start beating dozens of Romans this way, totally unaware of their presence, all while arguing about who should get the fun on this last task.
- During Asterix Versus Caesar, Obelix asks if he can be nice to the other gladiators, while taking them out with offhanded attacks.
- In Asterix and the Vikings'' after exiting the Viking's club Obelix casually does this to a bouncer Asterix had earlier knocked out to get in. He takes no notice because he's sad that Justforkix has insulted him.
- The alpha trailer for Zootopia has Judy Hopps do the gun version; after Nick disappears in the dark, she draws a tranq gun and shoots him, never taking her gaze off the camera even as she fires.
Films — Live-Action
- In The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, John Bigbooté does it to one of the hunters.
- Airplane!. The hero is being constantly hassled at the airport by cultists offering
freeflowers in exchange for donations. After his love rejects him and flies off in the ill-fated airplane, another cultist leans over his shoulder offering a flower...without changing expression, Stryker slams his fist backward into the man's face.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- In Iron Man 2 Black Widow does an offhand pepper spray right after beating up a hallway full of thugs, not even bothering to look at the guy as she does it.
- The Avengers:
- Iron Man snarks one time too many for Thor's taste and gets a face full of Mjölnir for his trouble. This is right as he's trying to warn Captain America about his poor choice of words.
- Hawkeye doesn't even turn his head or blink as he fires exploding arrows at a Chitauri squadron.
- After the Hulk and Thor manage to take down a Chitauri leviathan into Grand Central Station, the Hulk immediately backhands Thor right out of the shot without a single change in expression.
- Avengers: Age of Ultron:
- Hawkeye pulls it off beautifully when Scarlet Witch tries to Mind Control him. Been there, done that — not a fan.
- Captain America does this on the broken bridge as he is staring at the ground receding below him and one of Ultron's drones comes up behind him.
- Batman clobbers one of Jack Napier's men like this during the battle at the Axis Chemicals plant.
- The Joker does this to his ex-boss Grissom although he's already shot him several times.
- During the fight with the Joker's goons in the alley, Batman does this to one of them and lays him out.
- In another scene Batman does this to a Mook who's around the corner from him.
- Nice dual example with Sir James and Ransome in Casino Royale (1967), during the climactic fight scene, with no break in their conversation.
- Congo. The female ex-CIA protagonist is bribing a corrupt army officer when one of his soldiers starts running his hand through her long blonde hair. She promptly elbows him in the groin without looking, much to the amusement of his CO.
- Despite showing no inclination toward being combat proficient throughout the entire first part of the movie, the main character of Dagon (based on The Shadow Over Innsmouth) somehow manages one of these during a fight when his girlfriend is threatened.
- Gun Kata practitioners in Equilibrium and works influenced by it do this all the time.
- In that film, Preston even pulled off one backhand with a sword: as two mooks attempt to off him, he stabs one sword forwards and one sword back, instantly killing both attackers. Prior to that, he began the same fight by unsheathing the sword of the mook standing behind him and slashing the one in front of him in the face.
- The sword to the back was a sheath that he pulled off one attacker and sharpened into a killing point by blocking an attacker with it such that half the sheath was sliced off.
- Leeloo pulls this stunt in The Fifth Element.
- In G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra while infiltrating the Pit, Storm Shadow casually kills a guard standing behind a pillar without looking at him or slowing down.
- Hudson Hawk does this to Kit-Kat when the latter is inexplicably dressed like him, standing behind him, and mimicking his every move.
- After being made to concede defeat to General Miura, Zealot Lin from Ip Man attempts an attack In the Back. General Miura successfully catches him fighting dirty. When he still refuses to give in, General Miura proceeds to show him that cheaters don't prosper on his watch.
- In the 2008 3D film of Journey to the Center of the Earth, Trevor Anderson (Brendan Fraser) does this to punch out a giant Venus flytrap that is creeping up behind him.
- Judge Dredd. While Dredd and Herman Ferguson are trying to sneak through the Judge headquarters, Dredd does this to another Judge who is trying to arrest him.
- In The Karate Kid II, Mr. Miyagi is trying to rescue Daniel from Arrogant Kung-Fu Guy Chozen. He has just finished defeating all of his Mooks. Then one of them makes the mistake of trying it again from behind...and promptly takes another fall.
- James Bond pulls this off in Licence to Kill, starting a very messy bar brawl.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- Legolas does this during the hand-to-hand fight in Edoras. Finishes off one, another's approaching from behind... bam
- Aragorn also stabs people without looking at them, the idea being that he's been trained in the elvish martial arts. It also helps that he's 87 with a younger man's body, and has thus been fighting for longer than any of the mooks have been alive. The fact that he can also hear a Nazgûl coming up behind him clearly marks him as Canon Badass.
- The Matrix:
- Trinity does this with her FOOT.
- Neo also pulled one off during the chateau fight in The Matrix Reloaded: when one mook attempts to backstab him, he blocks over his shoulder.
- The backfoot variation is parodied as a Running Gag in Austin Powers in Goldmember: every time Foxxy Cleopatra tries to attack Goldmember from behind, he manages to kick her in the face, at one point raising both legs at the same time.
- Oblivion (2013) : The Drones' weapons can turn independently of each other and the general facing of the drone. Several of these ensue whenever the drones fight.
- At the beginning of The One, Yulaw is walking away from the police station after beating up a heavily-armed police escort. He glances back to see one of the cops groggily get up and aim at him. He turns to look forward again, and shoots the cop without bothering to aim.
- Purgatory: Doc Holliday does this with guns, casually shooting the bandit sneaking up behind him as he insults Blackjack.
- Bruce Lee does it multiple times, with nunchaku and a short staff, in his big Multi-Mook Melee fight scene in Way of the Dragon.
- Parodied in the Do You Know Praying Mantis? scene from Robin Hood: Men in Tights.
- RoboCop too shoots without looking, but he pre-targets the bad guys in his computerized head. Given the satirical tone of the series, this is almost certainly done tongue-in-cheek.
- In Rollerball, the protagonist does this, then points out that he could hear the other guy.
- In Roxanne (based loosely on Cyrano de Bergerac), CD (Steve Martin) pulls this off after his Moment of Awesome showing up the bar fly who (poorly) insulted his nose. After the humiliated guy tries to hit him, CD counters and brings his fist up backwards into the guy face. As the guy stands there stunned, CD walks nonchalantly back to his table, not looking back, and asks his companions "Has he fallen yet?" just as the guy drops to raucous cheering.
- Serenity has River pull this on the captain, just to show how Crazy Awesome she is. Likewise bounty hunter Jubal Early on Simon Tam. On both occasions no one is shot; it's just a less-than-subtle way of saying "Back off".
- For bonus awesome points, River's gun remains completely motionless even when she cocks it. How many people can perform that trick?
- Clumsy in The Smurfs does this a few times by accident.
- Spider-Man 2:
- Doctor Octopus takes it to another level: When Mary Jane grabs a 2x4 and starts advancing on him, he uses two of his mechanical arms to snatch it out of her hands and knock her to the floor, all without taking his eyes off Peter. Of course, it's possible the independently intelligent tentacles did it all on their own. The film seems to imply that since the tentacles are basically connected to his mind, they can feed him information about his surroundings from their own built-in sensors (and if you watch closely, one of the tentacles was indeed "looking" at MJ before she struck).
- A similar thing happens during his first battle with Spider-Man. His back is turned completely to the direction Spidey is coming from, yet one of his tentacles seems to spot him coming. Ock then turns around throwing bags of money at Spidey as an attack.
- Star Wars:
- Darth Vader does something similar in Revenge of the Sith: when he's on Mustafar slaughtering the Separatist council, a battle droid shoots at him from behind, and without turning around, he just puts his lightsaber behind him, deflecting the blaster bolt back and destroying the droid. This occurs right before he turns to face the camera, showing off the red-rimmed yellow eyes of Dark Side corruption.
- This is actually a pretty common Jedi ability, and forms the basis of their defense against blaster bolts. A better example would be how Yoda disposed of Sidious's Praetorian Guard in the same movie, offhandedly smacking them both against a wall with the Force without even turning around. Not to mention decapitating two clone troopers with one backflip on Kashyyyk.
- Han Solo proves this isn't just for Force-users in The Force Awakens, casually shooting two Stormtroopers - and then a third one behind him without turning to look. Han himself looks surprised for a moment, suggesting it may have been instinct.
- In Rogue One, K-2SO takes out a squad of stormtroopers with a casual over-the-shoulder grenade toss. Later on, when he is searching for the Death Star plans, he blasts a stormtrooper who enters the room behind him.
- In Troy, Achilles parries several blows on the upswing thanks to a Badass Back. Then he walks away without looking. During the initial battle on the beach of Troy, Achilles even does this defensively. After fighting for some time with his sword and shield, he shifts his shield to his back only for an arrow to impact it less than a second later!
- Undercover Brother. Sista Girl strikes someone behind her with a fist twice: Undercover Brother (while he's sexually harassing her) and a golf course security guard.
- Wolverine elbows Gambit in the face in X-Men Origins: Wolverine as he's coming up behind him to deliver an angry speech.
- Makes an appearance in this short featuring TNA wrestler Kurt Angle. "Less talk, more action"? Pot, kettle, black.
- In Battle Royale, Kiriyama kills Mizuho Inada this way in the novel. The way in which he pulls this off makes him seem almost psychic.
- At that point, Kiriyama already had Hiroki Sugimura's tracking device which made it impossible for anyone to sneak up on him.
- In The Bourne Conspiracy, the eponymous character frequently pulls this off during fist fights: while focused on one mook, another will sneak around behind Bourne and attempt a sucker punch. Bourne will (attempt to) retaliate with a rather devastating single back hand that has all the implications of a "wait your turn" punch.
- In The Dinosaur Lords, when Karyl tries to attack Raguel from behind, the latter smashes him into the ground without looking back, and only turns to finish him off.
- Carrot Ironfoundersson performs a variation of this in Men at Arms, out-maneuvering a slippery crook who tries to escape through a narrow alley and sticking his (very muscular) arm out across the crook's likeliest path. The resultant impact is compared to running into a steel beam at full sprint.
- The big bad of Interesting Times, another Discworld book, does this on a sneaky assassin. With a sword he just finished making seconds ago. Sizzle indeed.
- Followed momentarily by a footnote on the precise details of quenching a recently-forged sword in a person. Oddly enough, this is Truth in Television to some extent.
- During the Wyrmberg sequence of the first book, The Colour of Magic, Liessa Dragonlady attempts to stab a vulnerable Hrun the Barbarian. He instinctively reaches out and grabs her wrist in mid-swing... while fast asleep.
- The big bad of Interesting Times, another Discworld book, does this on a sneaky assassin. With a sword he just finished making seconds ago. Sizzle indeed.
- Cara pulls this off in Soul of the Fire
- Mat Cauthon of the Wheel of Time series does this accidentally in the third book by shouldering his quarterstaff. Justified by Mat's supernatural luck.
- In a later book, after losing an eye, he randomly tosses a dagger behind him while in the woods and kills a rabbit for supper. The way he figures it, luck works better when you're not looking anyway.
- In the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. episode "Fractured House", Lance Hunter and Bobbi Morse simultaneously shoot Mori, baring pausing the argument they're having.
- The Amazing Extraordinary Friends: The Wraith does this to Captain X while battling in the cathedral in "Revenge of the Wraith".
- A variation in the season 4 premiere with a considerably more badass Wesley on the other side of it. Justine picks up a wrench... "I'll take away your bucket". Justine puts down the wrench. That one could be explained as Wesley seeing her reflection in the glass (he was steering a boat at the time).
- A classic badass example is when Wes is interrogating a demon in a bar. The demon starts getting cocky when he sees another demon sneaking up on Wesley... until Wes reaches behind with a shotgun and blows his face off. Which should grow back on that species.
- Done repeatedly to Ronmark by The MC Bat Commander (and once by Jimmy The Robot) in the "Night Of The Cactus!" episode of The Aquabats! Super Show!. The Commander's arm was mutated by space goo and he blames most of the slaps on his arm having a mind of its own until:
Commander: Mind of its own.
Ronmark: But that was your normal hand!
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Part of Spike's Establishing Character Moment. Step one: swagger into the current villain's lair and make fun of a mook's overly dramatic speech. Step two: reminiscence about Contemplating Your Hands at Woodstock, then knock out the mook without even looking at him. Step three: stop to fawn over Ill Vampire Girlfriend.
- There was a variation in which Wesley (before he Took a Level in Badass) fenced with Giles and kept ineffectually lunging at him while Giles faced the other way and read a newspaper with his other hand the whole time.
- Not that Giles isn't on the receiving end; in "Reptile Boy" he's getting on at Buffy for not taking her training seriously. "Are you gonna be prepared if a demon springs up behind you and does this?" Giles then does a karate chop at the back of Buffy's neck; she puts him in an armlock without even bothering to turn round. In fact Buffy does this trope as a Running Gag from the first time we see her stake a vampire; justified due to her supernaturally-enhanced reaction time and awareness.
- In the "Forget Me Not" episode of Dead Like Me, Jerk Ass Ray is choking Daisy when Mason charges to the rescue. Ray casually smashes him to the ground with a single sweep of his arm without turning around. Then, subverted, as Mason bashes Ray's skull in with a metal tray.
- Doctor Who:
- "The Christmas Invasion": The Doctor pulls this on the Sycorax leader with a satsuma. Which, to the uninitiated, is a small citrus fruit.
- "Day of the Moon": River Song pulls one off as she destroys an entire room filled with the Silents and as Rory asks what kind of doctor she is, she kills one more Silent as she nonchalantly answers his question. This is possibly one of the most powerful examples of this trope, as due to the nature of the Silence, you forget all about them the moment you take your eyes off them. As such, River pulled an Offhand Backhand on someone she could not have even known was there.
- A considerably darker-than-most version in the first episode of Game of Thrones, when Jaime Lannister suddenly but casually shoves ten-year-old Bran out a window without turning around.
- Kamen Rider Kabuto'':
- Done with his Rider Kick; any Monster of the Week that tries to attack him from behind gets an energized roundhouse kick to the head for its trouble. This is so far the only time in the whole franchise that the Rider Kick has taken this form.
- Gatack tries imitating it in the Hyper Battle DVD as part of his attempt to be more like Kabuto; unfortunately, he can't get the timing right and keeps getting smacked, all while Kabuto looks on and winces.
- Eliot Spencer of Leverage does this to Iranian secret police.
- A skit in the MST3K episode, Overdrawn at the Memory Bank has Observer attempting to attack Bobo while the latter is sitting down at a table, eating a fast food meal. As Observer rushes forward with a mighty yell, Bobo calmly holds his fist behind him, which Observer promptly smashes his own face into.
- In an episode of New Tricks, Sandra Pullman enters her car only to find a man in the backseat putting a gun to her head and saying he's going to shoot her in revenge. After half-accidentally softening him up by thinking out loud and coming to new conclusions about the current case, which is personally relevant to him, making him lower the gun and start angsting, she tells him to stop whining and punches him out without turning.
- Person of Interest. In "Lady Killer", Root shoots government assassin Hersh who's sneaking up behind her, while smiling at Dr. Carmichael who's standing in front of her, a psychiatrist who didn't believe her story that she's Hearing Voices from an all-seeing artificial intelligence. An earlier episode had Root asking the Machine to provide her with a variable tone so she would know exactly where to aim her firearm, enabling her to hit people hidden behind doors or walls.
- The Sheriff in Robin Hood kills Carter this way by running into a building and hiding near the door, flattened against the wall. He shoves his sword into the opening so that Carter runs into it without even looking.
- Saturday Night Live once did a skit, featuring John Goodman, of a group of ninjas talking about their work. One lamented to the others, "I tried sneaking up behind him, going real, extra careful and quiet, y'know, but he always gives me one of THESE!" while making the Offhand Backhand motion. One of the other ninjas chimes in, "Yeah, how do they do that?"
- Scrubs uses it at least once.
- In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World, a villain casually kicks Malone away when he tries a *Click* Hello on him.
- Stargate SG-1:
- Similarly to the first Discworld examples above, in one episode Teal'c outmaneuvers a Person of Interest by not following his partner to the back door and instead waiting on the lee side of a Dumpster and sticking his arm out right in the suspect's face as he sprints past.
- In a later episode, Teal'c while brainwashed by Apophis gives a casual backhand to O'Neill to shut him up.
- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
- Worf stabs one of the boarding-party Klingons in "Way of the Warrior", his first episode in the series.
- Fake Martok stabs two Klingon guards at the same time in this way in the episode Apocalypse Rising.
- The title character of Xena: Warrior Princess does this constantly.
- In Muppet Treasure Island Polly Lobster is thrown into the side of the ship and loses consciousness. Some minutes later he recovers, and Mr. Arrow (Sam the Eagle) slams him back against it with a wing, without taking his eyes off the duel between the two captains. Minutes later, Sam does it again, while performing a Face Palm.
- One of the many uses of the Hair Trigger Neck Hairs gun schtick in Feng Shui is to allow a seemingly unaware gunman to do this to someone trying to sneak up behind him.
- Legacy of Sentinels of the Multiverse has the card Back-Fist Strike, the art for it is this trope and it's got the most base damage of any of his attacks.
- In one cutscene in Assassin's Creed II pressing the weapon hand button when prompted will have Ezio kill two guards with his hidden blades without so much as a glance.
- In Batman: Arkham Asylum, one of the possible counterattack animations when an enemy is behind him is a variant of this. Unfortunately, it isn't the specific version he's known for in Batman: The Animated Series... He saves that one for cutscenes. Several times, in fact.
- Kyle Blackthorne from Blackthorne could do this as a standard move, even though it was for the most part completely useless.
- In The Bourne Conspiracy, Bourne can do this to enemies that disrespect Mook Chivalry in close combat.
- In a cutscene in Brütal Legend, Eddie does this to a Tainted Coil cultist sneaking up on him, and even briefly interrupts a conversation he's having with potential Love Interest Ophelia. "Hold on a sec... *thwack*" She gets one right afterwards. Eddie: "Right shoulder." Ophelia: *stab*
- Crow does this to Trejo in Def Jam: Fight For New York when he laughed at one of his jokes.
- Devil May Cry
- In every game after the first, Dante can fire one of his twin pistols in a direction he's not facing, a move referred to as "Twosome Time"; notable in that Dante will frequently pick improbable poses for this (i.e. firing forward and left has him point his left gun forward and his right one behind his back). There's also a move that lets him swing his shotgun around like it's a nunchaku, hitting enemies in every direction without specifically having to turn towards them.
- In Devil May Cry 3: Dante's Awakening, Vergil pulls an incredibly badass one of these on a Hell Vanguard, delivering an inhumanly fast Diagonal Cut with Yamato.
- Dante does this in many forms in his intro. Some notable ones include kicking a mook that is being dragged with him because said mook's scythe is stuck in him and another blade by cutting down a ceiling fan onto the mooks below using a scythe blade lodged in his chest. All that and he's just walking over to his jukebox like he wasn't stabbed 6 times by farming tools.
- In Devil May Cry 4, Nero pulls off one with Yamato at the end of the final battle against the Big Bad.
- In Dragon's Lair II: Time Warp, Dirk the Daring does this a few times — a snake tries to attack him from behind, and he gives it a quick bop with his sword in such a way that it looks like it was on accident — but it's a player command, and you die if you don't. Dirk even does this while GRIEVING when he thinks Daphne is dead, his head buried in despair... but when an imp moves in to attack — smack! — and Dirk doesn't even acknowledge it.
- Dynasty Warriors: Sun Ce does this to a mook in a cutscene in the fifth installment.
- He does this again to two mooks on either side of him in one of the seventh game's scenes.
- The Sole Survivor can be seen doing this in The Wanderer trailer for Fallout 4 (about 0:26), casually plugging a Radroach with a rifle shot (one handed) without breaking their stride.
- In the Final Fantasy VII spinoff Dirge of Cerberus, Vincent is struggling with his Superpowered Evil Side Chaos when a mutated hound-like enemy tries to take advantage of his distraction and ambush him from behind. Vincent sends it flying with a casual backhanded swipe.
- One type of demon in God Hand has an attack where it teleports in behind you and tries to slam you. Hitting the Action Command at this point results in Gene doing this (with an over-the-shoulder axe kick) and sending the demon flying about a thousand yards back.
- Beyond the Grave does this sort of thing too when using his Burst Attack, and in some cutscenes.
- Elven War Dancers from Heroes of Might and Magic 5 can harm all the adjacent enemies with one sweep of their swords, including those standing directly behind them.
- In Kid Icarus: Uprising, Dark Pit's Establishing Character Moment has him doing this to Pandora, just as she introduces him as her "new minion".
- In Kingdom Hearts, the Xehanort's Heartless-possessed Riku does this to Donald.
- In The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, while Link is targeting one enemy and another sneaks up behind, he can strike both with one wide swing if they're close enough.
- The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess has an even better one: the Mortal Draw skill. Stand still with your sword sheathed, and if you time it right, you can draw the sword and kill the enemy behind you in a single swipe.
- In Mass Effect 3, after the final battle with Kai Leng, a Renegade interrupt allows you to do this, breaking his sword as he sneaks up on you to shank you from behind, just before using your omniblade to end him once and for all. Given the crap that Kai Leng has pulled on you all game, this is a very satisfying way to take him down.
- Shepard even makes it clear to Kai Leng how satisfying this is to him/her right before he dies.
- In The Movies, one of the scenes allows a character to do this, in defiance of the scene's standard "bad guy sneaks up and chokes the character to death."
- In Rainbow Six: Raven Shield, terrorists can shoot you without turning around. It also doesn't help that they spawn right behind you.
- In Shadows of the Damned, when an enemy attacks Garcia from behind a button prompt will appear to make Garcia elbow said mook.
- In Suikoden V, Dolph's super move during his duel consists of him Flash-Stepping behind his opponent and stabbing them in a vital spot. However, if Lyon's the one dueling him, and the player pulls off a successful guard, she counters the attack by quickly twisting her blade around and stabbing behind her without even looking. It's a small CMOA for her especially since Dolph nearly killed her with that same attack earlier in the game.
- In Super Robot Wars, the weakest attack of Ialdabaoth and Valefor starts out with this... only to continue with spamming kick attacks, finished with a Falcon Punch. Of course, they Flash Step behind the enemy beforehand, so it's less "I know you're behind me" and more "Hey, I'm right behind you".
- It's technically possible to do this from the viewpoint of certain characters in Super Smash Bros. Brawl. Finishing off the Teleport spamming Tabuu this way is extremely satisfying.
- In Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Lloyd does this to the main character, Emil, just about every time they meet. Unusually for this trope, both are using swords.
- In the Team Fortress 2 trailer for the Soldier, said Soldier manages to backhand a Spy ready to backstab him with a shovel.
- Soldiers and Demomen tend to do this when explosive jumping.
- The intro cinematic for World of Warcraft: The Burning Crusade features a variant on this, with a Forsaken mage obliterating a trio of murlocs coming up on him from behind with a Blast Wave spell, and a more regular example with a draenei paladin and his hammer. One watching might feel that "THAT HAS TO HURT!"
- Marvel: Contest of Champions has Deadpool do this as part of his third special attack. First his cell phone rings so he answers it and talks into it while his opponent makes exasperated gestures and looks away. Eventually Deadpool hangs up and shakes his head, only to shoot his opponent with his gun without even looking and then laugh.
- Team Service Announcement:
- In "Scout Combat", the RED Sniper does this with his sniper rifle because the BLU Scout only knows how to run in straight lines, screaming all the way. For further hilarity, Scout just turned a corner when the Sniper rolled his rifle over his shoulder and fired.
- The bot Pyro in "Fake Players" does this with a rocket. Alas, it's his only stroke of brilliance.
- Haloid: Done by Samus to a pair of Elites while dual-wielding energy swords.
- The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
- Svafa, a minor character in The Adventures of Wiglaf and Mordred, does it in this strip
- A MANTIS agent pulls this on Crossroad in this Antihero for Hire.
- You should learn this if you want to be on Axe Cop's team.
- Ritz of Boxer Hockey manages to pull off an offhand CURBSTOMP here.
- City of Dead Sorcerer: In Chapter 74, Prisoner No. 1 offhand backhands Raven so hard that he flies across the courtyard and makes a crater high in the wall.
- In Digger, the first clue that the protagonist is not to be trifled with is that she pulls off an Offhand Backhand in her sleep.
- Dominic Deegan does it with plants.
- Vaelia of Drowtales is the local Badass Normal and the main human character among the fae, and delivers an offhand Groin Attack to a human man who made the mistake of harassing her.
- Thief does this to an elf in this 8-Bit Theater comic.
- More like "Offhand Your Head A-Splode" , but don't try to sneak up on Errant Story's Ian.
- Subverted in a somewhat early storyline in Fans!: Shanna Cochran is the Mundane being slowly drawn into a world where truly strange things happen and she is less prepared than her somewhat Genre Savvy friends, so at one point when she is about to be attacked by government agents, she attempts an Offhand Backhand, not considering that the agent is bigger, stronger, and more skilled than she is. He proceeds to catch her arm and, with the help of his partner, actually lift and carry her bodily away- while she is still in the Offhand Backhand pose.
- In Girl Genius Klaus Wulfenbach does this to knock out an inconveniently located henchman. This is the reason of Von Pinn having a Monocle Pop since Jägermonsters has been shown driven through a brick wall by the recoil of an oversized machine gun without injuries more serious than a nosebleed, and able to joke in a noose or upon losing an arm — the first indication we get that Baron Wulfenbach is superhumanly tough himself.
—And look at me when I'm trying to kill you!
- Gil pulls this off with a throw in this page.
- A more sideways instance takes place between henchmen.
- And now Zeetha shows her skills, too.
- Lampshaded by Bang when Gil does an offhand backboot on her.
- The usual result of Ralph's attacks on Kevin early in Kevin & Kell. An especially effective instance is shown in this strip.
- "Viktor? Is anyone in th—" WHOK
- The first panel of this LFG strip has Richard do this. Interestingly, it's a literal offhand backhand at the same time as an offhanded cast, since he seems to have lit his hand on fire.
- In The Order of the Stick, Xykon is fond of offhandedly blasting enemy Red Shirts with spells; the one on this page suits the trope perfectly.
- In Penny Arcade, Tycho gets an offhand heartrip.
- Sluggy Freelance: In "The Circle", when Hereti-Corp troops led by Kusari and vampires led by Master Urja end up fighting for the same objective...
Urja: (dropping the last dead dead HC mook): You're all alone, little chained Harlequin.Kusari: (stabs out a vampire jumping from behind her without turning) So are you.
- In Dino Attack RPG, when Ben Gunn attacked Rex, Greybeard tried to intervene, but Ben Gunn knocked him to the ground without even looking at him.
- The Angry Video Game Nerd once pulled one of these on Bugs Bunny without looking up from his game.
- The Limp Ninja does this in Ninja Rap.
- The Nostalgia Critic:
- The Critic pulls a double one of these in the One Year Anniversary Brawl.
- At the conclusion of the editorial "Are You Sick of Let It Go?", after singing how sick he is of "Let It Go"-inspired video all over the net, the Critic warn that he'll unfriend anyone trying to start a new meme. Tamara pops up behind him singing "Do you wanna build a snowman?", and he shuts her up with a backhand.
- Angry Joe pulls this off in To Boldly Flee.
- LC gives one to Spazz in Project Million when the latter attempts to run away to Disneyworld.
- Bobby Jacks of Survival of the Fittest pulls off the firearm based version with Andy McCann. Bobby hears the latter cry out behind him and shoots him in the head with a pistol without even turning around. However, this isn't due to Improbable Aiming Skills - Bobby just made a lucky shot.
- Variant on the theme with an offhand Dope Slap in this animated GIF◊.
- Slappy Squirrel in Animaniacs, as quoted above, pulling a huge club out of her purse and....
- Archer does this with a net to catch grenades being thrown at him◊ in "Heart of Archness, Part II."
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
Toph: You're blind compared to me.
- Aang does this with the Big Bad in the finale using the skills he learned from Toph. He also does this to a boulder when he was storming the Earth King's palace.
- Much earlier, Admiral Zhao does this to a North Water Tribe warrior wannabe who tries to attack him during the Siege of the North. Of course, one would have had to be blind and deaf not to see that idiot coming after he announced that he was attacking.
- A non-violent version of this trope appears in The Legend of Korra: Korra, Asami and Mako, recently reunited, embrace each other in a group hug. When Prince Wu tries to join in, he runs into Korra's outstretched palm and is kept at arm's length.
- Earlier in Korra, during her sparring match with Toph, Korra tries to hit Toph with Waterbending and is smacked down before she even finishes lining up for the strike.
- Batman is very, very good at this. In fact, one ad for The Animated Series on Kids' WB referred to this move as "Sucker Punch The Guy Behind You". He does it with such frequency that the average mook is less likely to land a hit if he's approaching from behind.
- In the pilot episode for Batman Beyond, old man Wayne does this to a Mook with his cane.
- Lampshaded in the episode "Payback". Terry gets knocked out from behind and later gets a scolding from Bruce:
Bruce: Why weren't you watching your back?
Terry: I was too busy watching my front! Am I supposed to have eyes everywhere?
Bruce: Only if you want to live to a ripe old age.
Terry: You don't make it sound too inviting.
- Episode Out of the past has this parodied at Batman the musical where you could see (an actor playing) Batman doing this to (three actors playing) The Joker, Two face and the Penguin.
- In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, The Movie for Batman Beyond, Terry manages to pull this off himself, which is part of his claiming/growing into the role.
- Lampshaded in the episode "Payback". Terry gets knocked out from behind and later gets a scolding from Bruce:
- In Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Gentleman Ghost grabs and throws Deadman in this manner. In an earlier episode, Batman does an Offhand Backhand underwater. Yet another episode has Green Arrow doing it between launching arrows fires in a single movement so fluid it almost looks like an accident.
- Cheetor from Beast Wars does this in the season 3 episode Feral Scream part 2. Waspinator attempts to attack him from behind after he's just acquired his Transmetal 2 form. It did not go as planned.
Optimus: Cheetor! Watch out for the other bot!
Cheetor: Which bot? Oh, you mean this one right here?
- Brian uses the kicking variation at the end of the "Patriot Games" of Family Guy. A neat little subversion, as he sets it up so that Stewie thinks he is going to receive some kind of offhanded karmic retribution for constantly and mercilessly beating Brian until the fifty dollars that he bet on a boxing match was going to happen when he least suspected it: As Brian and Stewie are walking down a sidewalk in London, a double-decker bus passes by, and without a single word uttered and without attracting the attention of Chris, Peter, Meg, or Lois, Brian swiftly juts his left leg out so that Stewie trips and is run over by said double-decker.
- In Hey Arnold!, Tsundere Helga likes to monologue about her unrequited love for Arnold when she thinks nobody can hear. However, background character Brainy is always hovering over her shoulder, breathing heavily... and is Offhand Backhanded for his trouble.
- Jackie Chan Adventures has Uncle establishing he is sufficiently badass when he grabs a broom, that Jade just used to trip a mook, and comments to "leave the rough stuff to Jackie" then uses the broom to gut punch said mook after he walks behind Uncle.
- Kaeloo: In the episode "Let's Play Prince Charming", Mr. Cat is just about to attack Quack Quack from behind, but Quack Quack, who is extremely angry at Mr. Cat at that point in the episode, holds up a fist. Mr. Cat then crashes into his fist from behind and is sent flying.
- In The Movie of Kim Possible Ron Stoppable accidentally defeated the Sumo Ninja by a weak Offhand Backhand.
- Shego also does it to her temporarily-evil brother. "He always does that move. It never works."
- Daffy did this to Foghorn Leghorn at one point during their fight in The Looney Tunes Show episode "The Foghorn Leghorn".
- In the Mighty Max episode "Sirius Trouble" Norman does this to a great white shark.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic
- In the season 4 episode titled "Bats", Applejack does this to a cardboard cutout of a tree during the song sequence.
- In the season 5 episode "Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep", Princess Luna is chasing a creature that causes nightmares, and when she comes to Rainbow Dash's dream where she's fighting against changelings, she thinks Dash is having a nightmare already. Dash corrects her that this is her favourite dream — accentuating the point by knocking one of the changelings out with an offhand backhand.◊
- Star Wars Rebels: In "Legacy of Mandalore", Sabine at one point does this to an Imperial Supercommando with the repulsor on her left vambrace.
- In an episode of Static Shock, Future!Static does this to a Mook with a quick bolt of lightning from his finger. Present-day Static is naturally quite impressed.
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003): When the Shredder and the Foot Ninja attack April's antique shop, Master Splinter delivers a classic Batman-style backhand to a Giant Mook. He does this again to another Foot ninja when Karai invades the Lair and maybe once more at one point inbetween.
- ThunderCats (2011)
- Tygra does this to one of the bulldog-like Trollog's in the episode "Berbils". And he's shamelessly awesome doing it.
- Kaynar does this to Tygra in "Trials Of Lion-o Part I" after he attempts to sneak up on him while invisible.
- Total Drama Island
- Cody did this to Duncan in ''Total Drama World Tour]].
- Another one occurred in Total Drama Revenge of the Island when Mike was fighting his alter egos.
- In the Transformers Prime episode "Stronger, Faster", Ratchet — of all 'bots — gets to do this to a Decepticon Mook after injecting himself with synthetic energon.
- This photo◊ of Morihei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido. Pretty much epitomizes this trope.
- This weatherman was delivering a report when some idiot decided to run into the shot screaming, and he knees the attacker and then goes back to reporting without even missing a beat.
- An Older Than Print example: memories of Lord de Joinville, part III, 283-4:
One of the other Turks spurred up to him, and tried to catch him with his spear between the shoulders; but my Lord John saw it coming and swerved aside; and as the Saracen passed on, my Lord John gave him a back-handed cut with his sword across the arm, and sent his spear flying.