->"''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'' Skippy the [[RidiculouslyCuteCritter Adorable Airedale]], and [[MoralEventHorizon now that villain is]] ''[[RoaringRampageOfRevenge going down]]''. '''[[VideogameCrueltyPotential HARD.]]'''

Alternatively, the developer can do this via a very sympathetic AntiVillain (usually a type 4 such as a NobleTopEnforcer) by forcing the player to kill them, 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.

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/{{Roguelike}}
* PlayerPunch/RhythmGames
* PlayerPunch/ShootEmUp
* PlayerPunch/SimulationGames
* PlayerPunch/StealthBasedGames
* PlayerPunch/SurvivalHorror
* 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!"

* In ''[[Literature/TheHungerGames Mockingjay]]'', Prim's death most likely qualifies as the saddest moment in the series.
** The entire series, that book especially, is basically written to make you feel bad about enjoying violence and drama in the media.
* 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 the ''RiftWar'' saga by RaymondEFeist via ''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.

* 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 Amanda 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 Amanda!" send-off.