->"''It's a shock, you know? I mean, I knew the Sith were evil and all, but the reality of it kind of slaps you in the face.''"
-->-- '''Mission Vao''', ''VideoGame/KnightsOfTheOldRepublic''

There's some times when playing a VideoGame can be a little dehumanizing. After all, if your character is TheFaceless, then there's no cinematic depiction of his grief that his DoomedHometown was wiped off the map. And to the player who doesn't see it except if they ''possibly'' read the instruction manual, it's not that motivating.

Enter the Player Punch. The script gives our hero a {{sidekick}} or [[MoralityPet supporting character]] who is given a good degree of [[CharacterDevelopment characterization]] or is just plain adorable. Over time, the player begins to [[VideogameCaringPotential take a liking to them]] when suddenly BAM! The villain displays a startling KickTheDog moment in [[FriendlyTarget killing them off]] (usually in a non-resurrectable PlotlineDeath), or worse, forcing the ''player'' to kill them by kidnapping them and turning them into a TragicMonster. It isn't just [[ItsPersonal personal]] now for the character. The ''player'' has been drawn into the situation because they ''liked'' [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Skippy the Adorable Airedale]], and [[MoralEventHorizon now that villain is]] ''[[RoaringRampageOfRevenge going down HARD.]]''

Alternatively, the developer can do this by forcing to the player to kill a sympathetic AntiVillain (usually [[SlidingScaleOfAntiVillains a type 4]] such as a NobleTopEnforcer), which causing the player to question why did it have to end like this?

Can also be utilized by making the villain into such a [[SmugSnake smug jerk]] that the player wants to rearrange his face, or by suddenly having a former ally commit a FaceHeelTurn.

In unusually cruel and dark instances, the player is simply punched without the presence of a villain, or anybody else, to blame and take revenge on... Or even any other kind of positive resolution.

See also DeathByNewberyMedal, DroppedABridgeOnHim, GutPunch, StuffedIntoTheFridge. MacguffinDeliveryService is one way of doing this. Contrast MoralMyopia. Related to TheComputerShallTauntYou.

Naturally, as a {{death trope|s}}, '''UNMARKED SPOILERS''' are below.

* PlayerPunch/ActionAdventureGames
* PlayerPunch/AdventureGames
* PlayerPunch/FightingGames
* PlayerPunch/{{First Person Shooter}}s
* PlayerPunch/FourX
* PlayerPunch/HackAndSlash
* PlayerPunch/{{MMORPG}}
* PlayerPunch/PlatformGames
* PlayerPunch/PuzzleGames
* PlayerPunch/RealTimeStrategy
* PlayerPunch/RolePlayingGames
** PlayerPunch/FinalFantasy
** PlayerPunch/TalesSeries
* PlayerPunch/{{Roguelike}}
* PlayerPunch/RhythmGames
* PlayerPunch/ShootEmUp
* PlayerPunch/SimulationGames
* PlayerPunch/StealthBasedGames
* PlayerPunch/SurvivalHorror
** PlayerPunch/FatalFrame
* PlayerPunch/ThirdPersonShooters
* PlayerPunch/TurnBasedStrategy
* PlayerPunch/VisualNovels
* PlayerPunch/WideOpenSandbox

!!Non-video game examples:


[[folder:Anime and Manga]]
* During the virtual reality filler arc in ''Anime/YuGiOh'', the heroes are fighting their way through a horde of Duel Monsters when the FairyCompanion [[TakingTheBullet throws herself into the path of an oncoming attack on Yugi]]. He can only hold her and watch as she smiles weakly and dies, driving him to tears and a frustrated cry of "I've had ''enough''!" before Yami steps in and starts [[LetsGetDangerous getting dangerous]].
* For Issei in ''LightNovel/HighSchoolDXD'', it's losing Asia in Volume 6 when she got teleported to the void though Ise didn't know it at that time. He then ''ate Shalba'' with the use of his Juggernaut Drive and was howling in despair at the sky.
* [[Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion Rei Ayanami's death]]. Made all the more horrible by the fact that she finally realized she ''cared'' about someone about three seconds before it happened.
** The scene where Shinji is forced to kill Kaworu.
* The Eclipse in ''{{Manga/Berserk}}''. The abridged series put it quite nicely when it said, "but it's like the only time in the history of anime that the demons win. Every other show ends with the Ancient Hero of Bullshit showing up at the last minute, wielding the legendary Sword of Deus ex Machina and slicing the hell out of us. Well not this time! This time, WE WIN! Griffith turns evil. Everyone gets raped or eaten or killed. Fuck you. THE END!"
* ''Manga/ZekkyouGakkyuu'' has, because of its premise, at least one punch for the reader ''every chapter''. And Yomi's background is bascially nothing ''but'' one player punch, after another.
* In ''Anime/DanganRonpa3 Future Arc'', a LOT of watchers were in complete distraught at the end of Episode 2, when Aoi Asahina, one of the survivors of the first game and having built up a sizable fanbase beforehand, was out and out murdered. This was to the point a lot of watchers decided to quit, citing DarknessInducedAudienceApathy. Enough that turns out in the next episode, it turns out that Aoi didn't die, she just got stabbed by a toy knife and the blood was made of tomato ketchup. As a result, the relief of her survival eclipsed what would've become the next PlayerPunch: the one who actually died was an EnsembleDarkhorse: Great Gozu.
** Afterwords, the writers seems to kill off more fan favorite characters with as of Episode 5, [[spoiler: [[ShyBlueHairedGirl Miaya]] being the robotic avatar of [[HateSink Monaca Towa]]]], Tengan being murdered by Munakuta, and [[CreepyCute Seiko]] ended up becoming the third murder victim of the attacker.
* The KoihimeMusou anime has a cross-media version. It is a more light hearted rendition than the original VisualNovel although it hints that these are events that occur before the outbreak of war following the fall of the Han Dynasty. Plenty of lines in the show can trigger a PlayerPunch in the people who played the games since they know what is coming. Kayuu keeps saying that she will live a long life? [[spoiler: Nope! She dies in every scenario.]] Shuyuu and Sonsaku's loving relationship? [[spoiler: the latter will be murdered and the former will go mad, starting a civil war that almost undoes all that they have accomplished as lord and vassal.]]

* In ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Mockingjay]]'', Prim's death most likely qualifies as the saddest moment in the series.
* In the final ''HarryPotter'' book, ''Deathly Hallows'', Dobby's HeroicSacrifice/ TakingTheBullet kicked ''many'' readers right in the stomach due to how unexpected it was. Hell, many, if not all, of the deaths were metaphorical punches or kicks.
** [[AC: Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf]]
* For readers who came to ''Literature/TheRiftwarCycle'' by Creator/RaymondEFeist via ''VideoGame/BetrayalAtKrondor'', Locklear's senseless death can be this after spending so much time with the character in the video game.
* ''Literature/EndersGame'' has an in-universe example: [[spoiler:Ender finds out that his "final exam" was a real battle, and thus, not only did he kill hundreds - possibly even thousands - of his fellow troops, he's also committed outright ''genocide'' against the Formics. [[MyGodWhatHaveIDone He doesn't take it well.]]]]

* In the DirectToVideo movie ''[[Series/KamenRiderDouble Kamen Rider W Returns: Kamen Rider Eternal]]'', the main villain is a scientist who kidnapped multiple people and imprisoned them inside his special prison camp, called 'The Village', in order to create telekinetic super soldiers. Katsumi, the main character, spends the entire movie trying to free those prisoners, only for them to die after leaving the prison camp, due to having implants in their heads. After the villain starts to gloat about this, you just know it's time for ass kicking.
* In ''Series/GAROTheOneWhoShinesInTheDarkness'', once the [[spoiler:completely human]] BigBad gives the command to murder [[spoiler:his entire family, including young children]], it feels like this.
* ''Series/GameOfThrones'' is infamous for doing this sort of thing (as is its source material, ''Literature/ASongOfIceAndFire''). The most infamous example is probably the Red Wedding, in which [[spoiler:Robb Stark, his pregnant wife Talisa, and his mother Catelyn were betrayed and murdered in cold blood]], although killing off its DecoyProtagonist got the show quite a bit of attention too.
* ''Series/OrphanBlack'' gets into the action with the episode "The Scandal of Altruism", a major case of TheBadGuyWins and DownerEnding. [[spoiler:Kendall Malone, from whom both the Leda and Castor clones were cloned (due to BizarreHumanBiology), is shot and immolated, apparently destroying all traces of her genetic material. This leaves the clones, several of whom possess severe genetic illnesses, with a major recourse to unlocking the cause of these illnesses now closed to them. Additionally, Cosima's research on her illness and genetic code is seemingly destroyed, rendering her last several months' worth of work futile. As icing on the cake, we are told that Delphine is dead and learn that Beth Childs was blackmailed into committing suicide, as she was threatened that if she did not do so, the other clones would be killed. Of course, the faction responsible for this turns out to be the same faction responsible for Kendall's murder and the destruction of Cosima's research.]] The show has had {{Wham Episode}}s before, but nothing approaching how devastating this episode was. It's almost a ''Game of Thrones''-level gut punch.

* Played for laughs in this ''Webcomic/PennyArcade'' [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2008/05/26 strip]].
** [[http://www.penny-arcade.com/comic/2009/06/08 And again]], regarding VideoGame/TheLastGuardian.
* ''Webcomic/CaptainSNES'': In a flashback to the 8-bit days, Mother Brain has taken almost all of Captain N's power, called Omega Energy, and used it to make a pit which can defy the inherent innocence of Videoland and [[KilledOffForReal kill someone permanently]]. She initially planned to drop Lana into it, but Captain N uses the last of his power to pause time and save her. He explains that his power can't be taken so simply, as it comes from his friendship with the other characters, including his best friend Duke (a dog)...
-->'''Mother Brain:''' Omega energy is greater than your idiotic friendships! And I'll ''prove'' it!
-->'''Captain N:''' Um, we already won, Mother Brain.
-->'''Lana:''' Yeah, I think it's already been-
-->''[Mother Brain knocks Duke into the pit]''
* ''Webcomic/{{Goblins}}'' gives us [[http://www.goblinscomic.org/10222013/ this]], after [[spoiler:[[RetGone undoing]] the comic's biggest CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming]].
** What makes it horrible is [[spoiler:that's a mind-controlling leash, and the last person to make use of it [[RapeIsASpecialKindOfEvil raped and beat her to the point that she needed healing potions, daily]].]]
* ''Webcomic/{{Homestuck}}'''s [[MonsterClown Gamzee]] in [[spoiler: killing the two biggest EnsembleDarkhorse characters in the comic and later on going on to raise the BigBad, and then mentally abusing Terezi.]] It's hard to find someone who ''doesn't'' want him gone.
* Kind of a meta-example, but you'll never look at ''VideoGame/TeamFortress2'' in quite the same way again once you've read ''Webcomic/CuantaVida''.

[[folder:Web Original]]
* Non-game example (albeit in a series ''about'' video games): In ''WebOriginal/LifeInAGame'', it's bad enough that the various [[TheDragon Jackals]] have been harassing and attacking Guy since he came to the Game, but when one of them murders [[{{Sidekick}} Subplott]], that's when he finally loses it.
* In ''WebVideo/{{Kickassia}}'', when WebVideo/TheNostalgiaCritic kills Santa Christ. ''Santa Christ'', he who reads to sick orphans, fights monsters for fun, will mend your curtains for free, and makes ''really'' good fondue. And even though the ClapYourHandsIfYouBelieve sequence is played for laughs, Critic's broken look as he realizes what he just did will stay with you for a while.
** ''WebVideo/SuburbanKnights'' does it again with the death of Ma-Ti. He was little more than a living RunningGag, appearing throughout multiple videos to shout "Heart!", got his butt kicked by everyone in the Brawl, and his first appearance established that he wasn't even the ''real'' Ma-Ti. But SK portrays him as TheWoobie who just wants to be involved with the rest of the group, but is treated like dirt. His HeroicSacrifice is genuinely tragic, and the Critic is crushed.
** And then in ''WebVideo/ToBoldlyFlee'' Ma-Ti has become bitter and jaded, manipulating events so that the Critic will escape the Plot Hole and leave his friends. When he wakes up in his house, he finds out that ''he's just a character'' and meets up with Doug Walker, his ''creator''. This is when things get bad.
* Creator/BenCroshaw calls this "The Token Shocking Moment" and complains about its overuse in modern military-themed shooters (most especially ''VideoGame/ModernWarfare'') in several WebAnimation/ZeroPunctuation episodes.
** He later dedicated an entire ''Extra Punctuation'' column to examining the Player Punch in ''VideoGame/SpecOpsTheLine'' and what made it so effective and shocking.
* When {{Lets Play}}er Nate From the Sunshine State gets to point in his playthrough of ''VideoGame/{{Halo 3}}'' where Miranda Keyes is killed from behind by the Brutes, you can hear him loudly inhale in shock... and then he growls in authentic rage, "I don't care what I have to do, '''''I will exterminate your entire f*cking species! I swear to f*cking God!"''''' And for the rest of the LetsPlay, every Brute he kills gets a "F*ck you! That's for Miranda!" send-off.[[/folder]]