While some might use dodges or blocks to avoid the fist flying toward them, others prefer to simply reach out and catch it like a softball. Since this is almost always a demonstration of strength and superiority, the person catching the punch is rarely hurt by being punched directly in the palm. Instead, it often becomes an opportunity for the catcher to close his fingers around the offending fist and squeeze. Note that this trope isn't just blocking or deflecting a punch. This trope is when the punch just STOPS, firmly placed in the palm of someone's hand. If they really want to demonstrate superior strength, they will proceed to either crush the hand or twist the arm painfully. If they want to showcase how much weaker the puncher is, they may even punch the original puncher in the face with their own fist to add insult to injury. Compare Bare-Handed Blade Block for when catching a sword instead of a fist and Punch Parry for when the fist is blocked with another fist.
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Anime & Manga
- Trope picture: seen in the first chapter of kiss×sis, when Keita catches his teacher's punch. It's also a bit of a deconstruction, as the character got hurt badly enough as to spend several chapters with his right hand in a bandage.
- Oga from Beelzebub does this against Graphiel. Justified because he's Made of Iron.
- Bleach anime episode 166. Ichigo has been beaten up pretty badly during his fight with Grimmjow. Orihime calls out to him, and he's inspired by her words. When Grimmjow strikes at him Ichigo casually catches Grimmjow's fist with his hand. Seen here
Orihime: Please don't die. Don't die, Ichigo! You don't have to win, and you don't have to fight for me. Just don't get hurt. I couldn't bear it.
- Ikkaku later tries this against Shishigawara, but the impact is so great that it breaks two of Ikkaku's fingers.
- In Mahou Sensei Negima!, Negi may often be a target of Anya's Megaton Punches, but the one time he gets serious, he easily blocks her Flame Knuckle and proceeds to explain why she was wrong.
- Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Striker S shows just how physically strong Nanoha is when she does this to Subaru's Power Fist, and later, to the Sankt Kaiser-form of Vivio immediately before she ends those fights. Impressive, since the punches of those two are capable of shattering Deflector Shields.
- In the Dragon Ball Z Lord Slug movie, (and consequently, in the parody by Team Four Star) when Piccolo fights with The Brute, he catches a punch, then brutally crushes the fist and break the brute's arm to boot.
- Additionally when Lord Slug beats the crap out of Goku during the start of the climax, Slug once tries to throw a punch, but Goku catches it and transforms into his "False" Super Saiyan form and immediately breaks Slug's arm. Slug gets better though.
- In Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Batou intentionally lets his idol, a former silver-medalist boxer to knock him out during an investigation. When he later finds out that his idol had betrayed him by spying on the country, he confronts him and challenges him to another boxing match to settle things. He tries to knock Batou out using the same move as before, confident that it worked, but Batou caught the punch with his hand and countered with a right hook, knocking him out.
- Ghost in the Shell: Arise. Motoko does this to another cyborg with an Arm Cannon. Both damage their hands, but the damage to the Arm Cannon prevents him firing on Motoko again.
- Kakuzu caught Choji's punch in an episode of Naruto. It should be noted that Choji's fist was currently about half the size of Kakuzu himself.
- Saint Seiya
- Particularly excessive when Seiya's Establishing Character Moment is catching Cassius' fist in his palm. "Excessive" because Cassius' fist is almost as wide as Seiya himself is tall.
- A variant of this is used by Silver Saint Lacerta Misty and the Marine Shogun Sea Horse Baigan. Both warriors's "impenetrable forcefield" is created by them defending their bodies with their open palms, moving them fast enough their opponent can't even see their hands.
- In Ranma ˝: The Movie, Big Trouble in Nekonron China, the Lucky God Kirin never touches anything himself, he uses his foot-long steel chopsticks to grasp and manipulate objects. Therefore, his defense consists of him catching punches with said chopsticks at absurd speeds, seemingly creating an impregnable wall in front of him until Ranma notices the marks the chopsticks leave on his hand. When he tried it on Akane, though, she just let her first fist stay caught and punched him across the room with her free one.
- In SD Gundam Force, Captain tries to punch Professor Gerbera, only for Gerbera to catch the blow easily.
- Happens in YuYu Hakusho from time to time.
- Toguro does this to Yusuke during their confrontation before the final round of the Dark Tournament. Also a CMOA for Yusuke, as afterward it's revealed that Toguro's hand is mangled (though it heals quickly).
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! ARC-V, Reiji did this to Yuya, then scolded him for not trying to settle things with a duel.
- In Puella Magi Suzune Magica, one of the first things Arisa did with her new Super Strength was to catch a bully's fist and slowly crush her hand.
- In One-Punch Man, Saitama does this to Tanktop Black Hole after the latter tried to discredit Saitama's destruction of the meteor, claiming that Saitama was taking a threatening stance, then lunging down at him. This is after Saitama had swatted away the equally belligerent Tanktop Tiger, which might've been a good indicator that Saitama is more than he appears—not that it stops Tanktop Black Hole. Saitama just casaually catches Tanktop Black Hole's fist, reducing him to a simpering wuss who confesses he was lying to try and make Saitama look bad.
- In Naruto Sasuke did this to some gangsters and then proceeded to beat them up.
- One of Batman's favorite techniques, since it emphasizes just how immovable and unstoppable he is to the superstitious and cowardly criminals.
- Identity Crisis
Deathstroke: That was it, Batman. Your last free shot.
- During the big fight between Deathstroke and the JLA, Deathstroke catches Green Lantern's punch and then tries to override GL's willpower, hoping to use the ring himself without even wearing it. Green Arrow doesn't let him get very far.
- Deathstroke also used this on Batman, the patron saint of this trope, in a memorable scene from an issue of Detective Comics:
- In Frank Miller's Daredevil run, The Kingpin of Crime sometimes used this to demonstrate his immense strength and skill.
- In Final Crisis, Alpha Lantern Kraken does this while fighting Green Lantern John Stewart. The mark of his ring left on her palm clues Batman in that she attacked John, and that she's possessed by Darkseid's ally Granny Goodness.
- Spider-Man once caught the punch of an unruly biker who was trying to bully his way around pedestrians.
- Likewise, Venom caught Spider-Man's punch in the first issue of his initial miniseries.
- Spider-Man actually loves this trope, though he does it more casually and accompanies it with a wisecrack. It makes the Mook look weak as opposed to him looking Badass, though nobody denies he is.
- Ultimate Spider-Man: While Peter was first learning his powers, Flash Thompson tried to fight him and Peter did this instinctively. Flash's hand was broken and his parents sued Ben and May for the hospital bills.
- In The Incredible Hulk #300 Hulk catches The Immortal Iron Fist's punch in his hand and redirects the power of the punch back into Fist.
- In Preacher by Garth Ennis Jesse Custer does just this to a punch thrown by Cassidy, the Irish vampire. Stops it dead. Course, Jesse breaks every bone in his hand doing this, but Cassidy doesn't know that.
- In an X-Men / Star Trek: The Next Generation crossover, Data does this when Colossus takes a swing at him, though he still is shoved back a few feet.
- Done by Superman any number of times, often with a "are you done yet?" look.
- Judge Dredd does this to Bachmann at the end of Trifecta, after she has taken down Jack Point and Dirty Frank (from the spin-offs The Simping Detective and Low Life, respectively) with ease. It's more of a distraction, as Judge Smiley comes up from behind and takes her down.
- In Atomic Robo, one of Vanadis's Brutes does this to Robo's improvised battering ram.
- In Infinite Crisis, Superboy-Prime does this to Connor in their second fight. This neatly demonstrates that the difference between their levels of power is as vast as ever (Superboy-Prime has Silver Age Superman levels of power making him practically a Physical God while Connor is a Half-Human Hybrid who only recently manifested actual Krptonian powers having previously faked them with telekinesis).
Films — Animation
- During the climax of Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie, Ryu battles M. Bison in order to free Ken of the latter's Psycho-Powered mind control. The duel ends as Bison catches Ryu's fist in his palm, raises it above his head, and starts crushing it while Ryu screams. Cue Ken's heroic comeback that frees his friend before the villain grinds his fist to powder.
- In Justice League: Doom, Superman catches Ace's punch with the most peaceful expression. Ace continues to pound Superman's face, and the latter barely flinches.
- Happens a lot in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. Often times on a punch from Batman, showing that he's a Badass Normal among supers.
- At the climax of Atlantis: The Lost Empire, Milo tries to punch Rourke, only for Roarke to catch it and slam Milo's own hand back into his face. This is one example that is done quite believably, as Rourke is a very powerfully built trained soldier fighting a scrawny and untrained scholar.
- One of Ada's punches are blocked this way in Resident Evil: Damnation. Played with in that the punch was caught at full extension.
- Kung Fu Panda:
- Po does this in the first movie, catching Tai Lung's punch between his thumb and forefinger (though Tai Lung is at the end of his strength by that point).
- In Kung Fu Panda 2, Tigress catches Po headbutting the boat's mast in frustration, so she challenges him to throw a punch that she catches in her paw.
Po: YEE-HAHAHA-YEOOOOOOOOW! I think I prefer the mast!
Tigress: Apologies. I used to punch the ironwood trees by the palace to train. Now I feel nothing.
Po: That's severely cool.
- Done by Brainiac to one of Superman's punches in Superman Unbound. Later in the film, Superman returns the favor.
- In My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, Rainbow Dash gets a little carried away while showing off her moves. Applejack catches a wild punch from her.
- Strange Magic: After getting sucker-punched by Marianne despite her being held back by three of his goblin minions, the Bog King expects and catches her second attempt.
Films — Live-Action
- In Back to the Future Part II, Biff's grandson Griff catches Marty's hand when he tries to do the trick that worked in the first movie — saying "Hey, what's that?" and then punching Biff when he turns to look.
- Marvel Cinematic Universe:
- The Avengers:
- In the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man subverts the trope yet again: The Hulkbuster armor's fist is capable of transforming into a ring clamp if a Punch Catch occurs.
- Played with in the Captain America: The First Avenger. After Cap knocks down the Red Skull with a punch, he gets up and throws a punch that puts a massive dent in Cap's shield when he blocks it. Cue another Oh Crap! when Cap realises the Red Skull is a Super Soldier like himself.
- Captain America: The Winter Soldier: The Winter Soldier does this with Cap's shield, thrown at him edge on. From behind no less. This is Cap's first encounter with the Winter Soldier, so it gives him an Oh Crap! reaction.
- Captain America: Civil War:
- Captain America catches Winter Soldier's punch using both hands. However, Winter Soldier simply extends his arm and it launches Cap down an elevator shaft.
- Spider-Man catches a punch from Bucky / Winter Soldier, and takes the time to geek out over his metal arm, holding him in place effortlessly.
- Iron Man catches Captain America's punch.
- Bane does this both fights with The Dark Knight himself in The Dark Knight Rises. A notable contrast is done with both fights. The first fight, he is stopped so dead, Bane forces him to punch himself in the face. The second fight, Batman gets his hand free and lands his first blow on his mask, changing the tide of the fight.
- In The Matrix, at the end, Neo performs an arm catch when Agent Smith is trying to beat him down. Originally this was planned as a recurring motif in the film - Morpheus would do it to Neo, Agent Smith would do it to Morpheus, and so on. This was replaced with the Bring It hand gesture.
- Undercover Brother. When Conspiracy Brother tries to punch Lance in the face, Sistah Girl effortlessly catches and holds his fist.
- Batman & Robin. While Robin is fighting Bane he throws a punch at Bane's head. Bane catches his hand and throws him down a flight of stairs.
- Initiated by the Green Goblin in Spider-Man against the title character, with a badass one-liner to boot.
Green Goblin: Impressive! (kicks Spidey through two display tables and into a lamp-post)
- In Hot Fuzz, Simon Skinner catches Nicholas Angel's fist and crushes it. A few seconds later, Angel returns the favor.
- In Kung Fu Hustle, The Beast combines this with the No Sell to demonstrate just how powerful and skilled he is compared to the Landlord & Landlady, first by performing a foot catch on Landlady's table-shattering kick, and then by catching and twisting Landlord's arm with enough force to rip his shirt sleeve to shreds, and then doing the same to a length of wood Landlady tried to jab into his face, twisting it to splinters.
- DC Extended Universe:
- X-Men: Apocalypse: En Sabah Nur does this to both Quicksilver and Professor X in the physical world and on the astral plane, respectively. Apocalypse then twists Peter's arm, and he crushes Xavier's fist.
- Fright Night (1985). Charlie, Amy and the vampire Jerry Dandrige are at a nightclub, with Jerry trying to seduce Amy. Charlie tries to punch Jerry but Jerry catches Charlie's hand.
- Gruesome Krav from Skulduggery Pleasant, himself extremely strong, once made the mistake of punching Mr. Bliss. Bliss caught his fist and then crushed it.
- In Of Mice and Men, Curley is beating up Lennie. As Curley swings at him, Lennie grabs his fist and holds onto it, then crushes it with his great strength, without even meaning to.
- In Citadel, when Duncan challenged Coach Achala, Achala caught one of his punches and Duncan's whole arm broke.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Spike does this during the Demon Trials, and discovers it's not a good idea when your opponent has flaming fists.
- Warren does it while under the influence of orbs that give him super strength, and breaks the guy's hand.
- Angel and his son Connor do this a few times. So does Vampire Hunter Holtz when he first meets Justine — she's not impressed and follows it up by headbutting him.
- Juken Sentai Gekiranger - Retsu / Geki Blue's brother Gou reappears after several years as a rabid Wolf Man. While Gou's the same age as before the transformation, he's not happy to learn the kid brother he remembers as a crybaby is now both a fellow martial artist and a superhero. After an argument about whether Retsu can handle it, he tries to prove his point by throwing a punch — and is very surprised when Retsu catches his fist and pushes him back.
- Supernatural. In "Hammer of the Gods" a bunch of pagan gods get together to stop the Apocalypse, only for Lucifer to turn up and Curb-Stomp Battle them all. At one point, he does a punch catch to Baron Samedi. We don't see what happens after Lucifer catches his fist, but it involves a lot of blood splattering against the wall.
- The Flash: In the episode "Grodd Lives", the Flash tries to sucker-punch Grodd with a super-sonic punch starting 5 miles away. Unfortunately Grodd senses the Flash's intentions and charges in to grab the punch and hurl Flash away.
- Star Trek: Voyager. Tuvok does this in "Rise" when one of the other illogical humanoids questions his right to give orders. As he's stronger than he looks, Tuvok then squeezes the fist just enough to cause pain, though not to cripple (which would be illogical). He does it again during his Battle in the Center of the Mind in "Random Thoughts". As Your Mind Makes It Real, his opponent feels the sensation physically; as he's an Asshole Victim, Tuvok doesn't stop until he collapses.
- KOS-MOS blocks one of T-elos' punches this way in the third Xenosaga game. She's alot stronger than her so she breaks her arm doing it. T-elos does this to Ziggy just before the second fight.
- Wesker does this to Chris in Resident Evil 5 proving just how much stronger he's become after being reborn.
- Asura from Asura's Wrath does this to a Taison in episode 8. Chakravartin does this to Asura twice, once in his creator form. Both times are done with just one finger.
- In Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack In Time Sigmund the robot ends up fighting Alister at the game's climax. He tries punching him with one fist and he catches it. He tries punching him with his other arm and the same thing happens. Then a cucukoo bird pops out of a chest compartment and whacks him in the face a few times before he knocks Sigmund away.
- In Injustice: Gods Among Us Insurgency Deathstroke catches two of Regime Wonder Woman's punches, showing how good he is fighting against the amazon's old and predictable moves.
- Kyuu does this in Chapter 7 of Rakenzarn Tales when the weaker Samuel tries a sneak attack. It also serves to show how Kyuu has gotten more skilled over the game in comparison to how he was winded from the tutorial at the start.
- Dwarf Fortress: Adventurers can do this, and not just with their hands, if they spot the enemy is about to throw a punch and grab the attacker's hand, interrupting the attack. It works with other attacks and their corresponding body parts as well, leading to foot, horn and beak catches among others.
- Red vs. Blue Season Ten has Maine do this. He was strong before, but this was to demonstrate his new enhancements after his injuries from Season 9.
- Also from Rooster Teeth, in RWBY the team is up against a Mini-Mecha, and after taking a few blows it tries to punch the Big Guy of the team, Yang. This doesn't work out very well at all, as she catches the fist and then explodes the mech's arm with her rebuttal.
- A variation in Break, where the catcher also uses his other arm to secure the attacker. Used against a Ki punch as well just to show off a little more.
- In UC, one of the grey possessed high school students easily catches Kelsi’s fist, at the beginning of their fight. Kelsi is understandably shocked, as a few comics earlier, she knocked down the same high school student, sans possession, with a single angry punch.
- In League of Super Redundant Heroes, Mary-Sue the Flying Brick can catch Apocalizard's fist casually and without looking, despite the supervillain being two or three times her size.
- In Teen Titans episode "Apprentice", Robin tries to punch Slade who just catches it with his hand.
- King of the Hill:
- When Hank finally tells off the idiotic Bostonian he's been stuck with, he throws a punch at him. Hank catches it without missing a beat.
- During a flashback in "Stand By Your Fool" when a drunk Hank pokes a beefy guy in a punk rock bar, the then in shape and badass Bill intercepts the fist.
- Superman: The Animated Series:
- During the final fight, Darkseid catches one of Superman's punches after Superman hits him a few times.
Darkseid: You DARE strike me?!?
- When Superman's drained powers start to return in "Solar Power", Luminus makes a last-ditch attack on him. He gets a few punches in, and then Superman recovers enough to catch his fist and painfully squeeze it moments before decking him.
- During the final fight, Darkseid catches one of Superman's punches after Superman hits him a few times.
- In the Young Justice episode "Agendas", when Match punches Superboy after Superboy uses a Shield patch, Superboy catches it before sending him flying.
- When Ross becomes the Red Hulk, his strength allowed him to pull this on the Hulk in The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes!.
- In ReBoot, Megabyte does this to Matrix.
- Non-superpowered example in Gravity Falls in the season one finale. After Dipper breaks his way inside Gideon's giant robot and the two brawl Dipper is able to catch Gideon's fist and then whack him with it, making the Motion Capture Mecha do the same.
- In the Justice League episode "Kid's Stuff", Superman catches Blockbuster's fist and makes him punch himself in the face.
- In actual combat, catching an opponent's punch would be Awesome, but Impractical. Not only would it hurt and possibly break your hand, but you would need a huge strength difference to be able to pull it off. If you've got the reflexes to catch a punch, it's far easier and safer to simply dodge or deflect the punch. Of course, the whole point of this trope is to demonstrate immense physical superiority, and look totally badass in the process.
- A somewhat more practical method in real life that is less common in fiction is to instead catch the wrist of the punching hand and pull it out to the side.
- One way boxers block a jab is to "catch" it with their same-side hand, basically giving the jab a high-five (illustration◊). The difference is that there's no attempt to grab and keep hold of the punching hand; the hand doing the "catch" is open and relaxed, which dissipates the force of the punch. Rather, the defending fighter will counter with a punch while the opponent retracts the blocked jab.
- Done in boxing training by the coach, through gloves with large pads on the end, meant to absorb the hit. While it doesn't catch the fist per se, it sure does look a lot like this.