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He does it so often, he didn't even notice.
Being an Evil Minion
is a hard (and short) life. If you're not constantly getting killed, you're getting knocked the fugg out
by the Hero.
, instead of following the rules of Mook Chivalry
, try getting smart, sneaking up on the hero when he's busy fighting another fellow Mook, or while in conversation with the Girl of the Week
, and striking him from behind
Sounds easy, right? He's not even looking your way, throwing punches or running his mouth. All you have to is be silent... just a little closer...
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. Most users of this move have a Badass Back
. There is a certain amount of Truth in Television
to this: The reverse kick is a fairly viable move.
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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.
- Sebastian of Black Butler, in the recent manga arc, gave us a pretty epic one while soaking wet to a zombie on a sinking ship...no, seriously.◊
- 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.
- Matsumoto Rangiku of Bleach does this to both Asano Keigo and Kon when they both attempt to thrust themselves into Marshmallow Hell.
- Done to the extreme in the manga version of Bleach: General Yamamoto does this to Haibel's Fraccion, Milla-Rose, Sun-Sun, and Apache. After finishing off their pet beast Allon, the three Fraccion try to take Yamamoto down from behind. Before they can strike, he comments, "Trying to take me down with one arm missing? I admire your spirit. Out of respect for your spirit, I will allow you to leave only slightly charred." With that, he unleashes a massive wave of fire that completely roasts the three Fraccion.
- Not to mention when Kensei Muguruma blows up a Giant Mook of sky-scraper height's face. With his knife.
- Not to mention Kenpachi's at the end of chapter 463. Cuts his opponent in half without looking. All he has to say... "Fucking Boring".
- In Dragon Ball Z, when Frieza fights with Nail, he Flash Steps, intentionally exposing his back to Nail just so that he can do this.
- 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 do 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 what he planned to do, although Cell seemed to wise up and just deal with Ki attacks.
- 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, severely injuring him and has the other opponents inform the referees that his opponent has decided to forefeit the match without turning around even once.
- 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.
- Pride of Fullmetal Alchemist manages to do an offhand BACKSTAB to a subordinate who had outlived his usefulness.
- And Barry the Chopper managed one on a foolish guard who chose to investigate, with an axe, of course, it nailed him square in the head. And it was great.
- Scar used 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. And 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.
- This is how Hime-chan met with Arisaka in Himechan No Ribon.
- Hilariously done in chapter 252 of Mahou Sensei Negima!, with Setsuna splitting a steel ball that was flying at Konoka and a couple of children (they were a few meters behind her and its trajectory was within her reach) in half with her artifact... without even knowing she did it. She was busy worrying. About how she thinks she's getting WEAKER, no less. Sorry Setsuna, but the evidence is against you...
- At the beginning of Midori no Hibi, 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.
- 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.
- In the Ice Hunters arc of One Piece, 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).
- Whitebeard himself recently got one against a giant Vice-Admiral who somehow thought his guard was down.
- When Luffy fights Zoro on Whiskey Peak, they give each other 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. They barely break eye contact or move fending them off.
- Inazuma should get a mention; when a wolf attacked from behind, Inazuma sent it flying with a reversed kick.
- In the Persona 3 manga, Akihiko does this to Junpei when he sneaks up on him while they're lost in Tartarus. The look on his face is pretty amusing.
- 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. Unfortunately for the general, he then asks Lina and Naga who the idiot he just knocked out was, inadvertently calling down the wrath of Jeffrey's insanely overprotective mother.
- How Touma finished off Stiyl's fire giant Innocentius after using the fire sprinklers to wash the ink off of the rune cards that caused it to regenerate.
- A variation: both Accelerator and Fiamma of the Right's powers can automatically protect them from any attack and take out the attacker, even attacks they are completely unaware of.
- 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 it's weak spot dead on.
- Episode 6 of Valkyria Chronicles: 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 was eating at the time) before she knocks him out with a hereto-unforeseen wrench.
- Used by The Stoic Thors to put down The Berserker Bjorn in Vinland Saga.
- Botan, of all people pulls it off in Yu Yu Hakusho. Even if Kuwabara warned her, she still didn'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.
- Asterix 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 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. Iron Man has done his fair share of this as well. Unlike Captain America, Iron Man will hit you with his fist. Either way, though, you're still going to get a face full of metal.
- 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.
- 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.
- River also did that to a random Mook in the bar fight scene of the Serenity movie .
- She actually kicked the mook in the back of his head while standing in front of him. You have to see it to believe it.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Watchmen, Ozymandias does this to Rorschach. Repeatedly. Got to admire Rorschach's tenacity, though.
Film - Animated
Film - Live Action
- Airplane!. The hero is being constantly hassled at the airport by cultists offering
free flowers 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.
- In The Avengers, 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.
- Earlier, Iron Man snarks one time too many for Thor's taste and gets a face full of Mjölnir for his trouble.
- 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.
- Doesn't Bruce Lee also this in The Big Boss? (Unrelated to the Metal Gear character.) He does it in one of his movies, anyway — to two Mooks at the same time.
- Buckaroo Banzai Across The Eighth Dimension. John Bigbooté does it to one of the hunters.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Black Widow does this with pepper spray in Iron Man 2.
- James Bond pulls this off in Licence To Kill, starting a very messy bar brawl.
- 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.
- 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 been fighting for longer than any of the mooks have been alive, though the fact that he can also hear a Nazgul coming up behind him clearly marks him as Canon Badass.
- Trinity does this in The Matrix. With her FOOT.
- This variation was parodied as a Running Gag in Austin Powers: 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.
- Neo also pulled one off during the chateau fight in The Matrix Reloaded: when one mook attempted to backstab him, he blocked over his shoulder.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Crowning 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".
- Doctor Octopus takes it to another level in Spider-Man 2. 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.
- Well, 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.
- In Troy, Achilles parries several blows on the upswing thanks to a Badass Back. Then he walks away without looking.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Live Action TV
- 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.
- In Dungeons & Dragons, some dungeon masters let you be able to sometimes hit other enemies (or players) upon getting a Critical Failure with a ranged weapon.
- 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.
- In one cutscene in Assassins 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 a cutscene.
- He does two in that cutscene, once while walking towards Joker and the second standing in front of him.
- He also does it to one of Ivy's plants in another cutscene.
- 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 3's 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 several games in the series, Dante can fire one of his guns in a direction he's not facing.
- 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.
- 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.
- In Halo 2, Jackal Snipers (instant death on Legendary) can shoot at you without directly aiming, as well as bounce their shots off of walls.
- 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 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 technichally 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.
- 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!"