"When you hit a man as hard as you can ten times and it only makes him sing like Little Richard, there aren't a whole lot of Plan B's."In a fistfight, one participant (frequently The Hero) gets in close to his (usually much-larger and frequently The Brute) opponent, and lands a flurry of punches into his gut. The opponent just looks down and smiles, completely unharmed, giving the hero a moment of sudden dread, before inflicting some violence upon him in return. In some cases, this can be the beginning of a Curb-Stomp Battle. The big guy may also say something like "Is That the Best You Can Do?" or "Stop it, that tickles." Almost exclusively limited to the comedy-action genre, though it occasionally appears as part of a Professional Wrestling Squash Match, as a particularly cruel form of what wrestling fans call "no-selling." See also No-Sell, The Worf Barrage, and Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!.
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Anime & Manga
- Digimon Savers: Belphemon has a fight with the DATS crew like this. Four Ultimates/Megas, two Perfects/Ultimates and Daimon Masaru himself wallop Belphemon (himself an Ultimate/Mega) with pretty much their entire repertoire without actually doing any harm. In retaliation, he eats a few time-distorting bombs and starts vomiting energy blasts that rip open space and time.
- Digimon Frontier. Duskmon, Duskmon, Duskmon! Takuya believes a little too strongly in the "teamwork-overcomes-all" thing, and talks the others into following his plan for attacking the ridiculously invincible Duskmon, whom they hadn't been able to scratch before. This time, they follow his plan, and... Duskmon is completely unharmed again. Takuya, disbelieving, attacks again and again with one vicious punch or kick after another... as Duskmon stands like a statue. His thoughts as he realizes - as it really, truly had never occurred to him before - that an opponent can simply be stronger are an example of good character development in Digimon Frontier.
- Dragon Ball Z has loads of these. Except it's more like Punch Punch Punch raised to the power of a dozen, with a few ki blasts for good measure. Cue the Uh Oh when the villain either takes the flurry of punches without moving at all or emerges from a giant cloud of dust.
- Vegeta even did some Lampshade Hanging on this in the first season when Vegeta and Nappa emerge from the cloud of dust: "This is our favorite part; you know. You should see the looks on your faces." Which made it all the more annoying after Vegeta does his Heel–Face Turn and then repeatedly becomes the victim of this trope.
- Vegeta does get a few more chances to do this, though. In his fight against Android 19, he even allows the Android to take a hold of him and begin to steal his energy through its hands, only to remove said hands. Then in his fight against Semi-Perfect Cell, he takes a direct blow to the face, before telling Cell that that one 'was free...' then proceeds to lay a beatdown on him.
- The villains aren't the only ones who does this. Goku, after going Super Saiyan for the first time, gives Frieza a lot of free hits for several minutes, and only gets injured when he purposefully takes a direct hit to the face from a fricking Death Beam (after making a show of easily dodging several Death Beam Spams beforehand)... and all that does is a minor scratch. "Uh Oh" doesn't begin to cover it. Just to clarify: Death Beam goes through anything it touches, and all it does to Goku is knock his head up a bit. And then he delivers his speech....
- Broly is the undisputed king of this trope, because he combines this with Implacable Man. It's not that he takes the blasts and punches on purpose, it's just that he can't be bothered to move in anything less efficient than a straight line toward his target. There is a more literal moment when Goku delivers a fully-powered Kamehameha at point blank. Not only does Broly seem unaffected, he sneers and says, "What the hell was that?"
- Super Android 13 does this to Vegeta, Piccolo and Goku, one right after the other. Goku's scene is the best known - he rushes 13 and hits him with a flurry of punches and kicks, while he just stands there. After a little while, 13 decides that it's just irritating, catches Goku's kick, and punches him in the crotch hard enough to knock him out of Super Saiyan. Uh Oh indeed.
- Hercule/Mr. Satan was a frequent victim of this too, thanks to being so weak in comparison to the other characters.
- During the Saiyaman Saga, some thug picks a fight with Gohan, and punches him in the face. His reaction afterward? "I think I broke my hand on that guy's face!"
- Durarara!!: Shizuo' reputation as The Dreaded is firmly established when a random thug panics and smashes a wooden club across the back of his head... and all it does is piss him off (uh, that is, even more than he already was).
- Done straight in Mobile Fighter G Gundam twice in the same episode — First Domon tries it against Neo Russia's Argo Gulsky, then again when the two are fighting inside their Gundams. Both times, Argo ends the exchange by hitting Domon in the head with an ax-handle blow.
- Mobile Suit Gundam 00 pulls this trope off in the final episode: as Setsuna charges at Ribbons's mecha into melee range where Setsuna is dominant, we expect him to do some damage then fly off as usual. Instead, Ribbons pulls out a beam saber and casually swats him out of the sky. The "Uh Oh" part of the trope comes right after as the Reborns Cannon transforms, revealing that it's a freaking Gundam. Setsuna's expression is priceless. Yes, the memetic line is said by a good guy.
- Fist of the North Star
- Subverted during Ken's fight with Mr. Heart. Ken throws a single punch at Heart, who is so obese that his belly fat absorbs it, holding Ken in place so Heart can hit him. Ken, after getting up, decides to use a different tactic: he kicks the same spot repeatedly, displacing Heart's bulk so Ken can reach his pressure points and cause Heart to asplode.
- Later played straight in Kenshiro's first fight with Souther due to Souther's partial immunity to Kenshiro's Hokuto Shinken.
- Also played straight in the second (Asura) major arc, when attempts to fight Kaioh for the first time, where Kenshiro fails to even scratch him.
- Happens to Eimer in Glass Fleet when the "boss" of the big scary prisoners she's been kicking around finally shows up. (He is, however, taken out with one hit by Cleo not too long after.)
- Naruto has a tiny example. When Naruto faces the Idiot Brothers in a filler arc, Naruto uses his shadow clones attack the two big guys all at once. Nothing happens except for them both agreeing that it "itches".
- Sasuke tries kicking Killer Bee with all his might. All it does is make Bee drop his sword... so he can write some new rap lyrics.
- Happens a couple times in Berserk. The first time, Guts is fighting Wyald, and after slashing Wyald several times and knocking him to the ground, Wyald gets back up and knocks Guts around a little. Sorta subverted, as Wyald was really pissed at Guts instead of just shrugging it off. The second time happens right after the Eclipse. Guts is attacked by a nameless Apostle, fighting it with a new sword given to him by Godo. After chopping its arm off and disemboweling it, Guts finds that the blade has broken off at the hilt, leaving him unarmed and having to use the new Arm Cannon that Godo and Rickert made for him. Fortunately, he finds the Dragon Slayer, the strongest weapon Godo has forged, at the last minute, and promptly uses it to tear the monster apart.
- In One Piece, Luffy started the big fight against Arlong with a whole flurry of attacks, Arlong was not impressed. Slight subversion in that Luffy isn't really fazed by this either, probably because he was still soaked in seawater and probably unable to hit quite as hard as he could have.
Arlong: Was that all you got?
Luffy: Nah, just warming up.
- Later on, Franky slams his metal fist into Rob Lucci, who does not budge or show any sign of being harmed. Franky is outwardly alarmed, especially in that he had earlier sent one of Lucci's fellow agents flying with that same move.
- Mahou Sensei Negima!
- Subverted when Rakan asks Negi to punch him as hard as possible. Activating all of his power-ups and channelling as much magic as he can to his arm, Negi punches Rakan in the stomach to no immediately apparent effect. In the following panel, Rakan suddenly coughs up a torrent of blood and hits Negi for punching too hard.
- Played straight later on when Negi actually fights Rakan. He brings out his new ultimate move, turns into lightning and beats the crap out of Rakan for an entire chapter, at which point Rakan falls unconscious. The next chapter starts with Rakan getting up, unharmed, and beating the crap out of Negi.
- A form of this also happens during Ku:nel Sanders fight with Kaede; he essentially lets her unload on him because he's actually not there, and is using an invincible illusion to fight in the tournament, so it's impossible for him to be injured.
- Also simultaneously played straight and averted. In The Very Definitely Final Dungeon, an advance team lead by Kotaro runs into Fate. Since one of the party has an invisibility artifact, Fate has no idea they're there, which gives Kotaro the idea to kill him. It doesn't work and Fate beheads Kotaro. Than it's revealed that that sequence was just an Imagine Spot, Kotaro hasn't moved an inch, and Fate's still walking down the hallway oblivious.
- Hellsing: Alucard never does not do this. In every single fight, he takes the barrage of attacks face-first, getting shredded to bits by bullets... And effortlessly regenerates, leaving his enemy deep in the Uh Oh phase.
- After curbstomping Luke Valentine, Alucard starts taunting him, demanding that he display this trope. When Luke doesn't, Alucard goes from disappointed to murderous.
- Done in Higurashi: When They Cry (Kai!) when Okonagi punches Akasaka in the chest; he's feeling smug until Akasaka mutters, "Weak". Guess what happens next. It's actually different than some people might expect — Akasaka says "You call that a punch? Lemme show you a real punch...", Okonagi backs up to his car clearly afraid, Akasaka punches through the bulletproof windshield, and Okonagi faints from the attack barely missing his face. And then the True Companions come out to celebrate their victory for the day!
- Zaraki bares his chest, and gives Ichigo one free swing at him, anywhere he liked. Ichigo puts everything into his attack, and as a result, Zaraki is unfazed, and Ichigo's hands are bleeding, because Zaraki's natural reiatsu levels are crazy high.
- Big Bad Aizen himself decides he wants to spice things by pulling off this trope After he's obtained his Hougyoku conquered self by taking two full sword strikes from Urahara and Isshin, stopping them both, pushing them back, getting chained up, then taking a full unloaded punching onslaught from Yoruichi who just appeared in the chapter. The Uh-oh comes in after Aizen gets back up, virtually unharmed. His response to all this? "What's wrong, this can not be the end, can it? I would make my next move quickly if I were you, for I plan on crushing you one by one into tiny fragments, down to the very last remnant."
- It's reversed in chapter 419; Aizen, having basically evolved into an Eldritch Abomination, throws everything he's got at Ichigo (including one of his signature monologues). Ichigo's response: "Is that all you've got?"
- Ulquiorra does this on multiple occasions, sometimes in the same battle. In one instance, after Ichigo has thrown everything he's got at him, Ulquiorra uses Ichigo's zanpakto, which Ichigo is trying to impale him on, to slice his shirt off to show off his Espada number.
- Jackie Tristan shows off her strength by destroying some nearby rock formations with a Shockwave Stomp, but Renji won't take her seriously. Offended, she gives him two kicks, each generating a Kung-Fu Sonic Boom that obliterates more of the rock formations, but he isn't even hurt. He then rams his sword hilt into her gut and knocks her unconscious.
- In the DVD extra episodes, Ladd Russo takes a direct hit from Graham Spector without flinching, then rips Graham's weapon out of his own wound and sends Graham flying across the screen. This is a case of one Crazy Awesome character out-crazying another.
- Also occurs in the main series when a group of mobsters shoot Szilard Quates full of bullets. He promptly returns the favor.
- Given the number of immortal (and not technically immortal but still crazy powerful) characters in the show...
- Ranma ½
- Occurs after Ryôga learns the breaking-point technique. The training for said technique has taken his already Herculean endurance and increased it to ridiculous, exponential levels. So Ranma pounds Ryôga into the ground, and is ready to declare victory, when... Ryôga gets up like nothing had happened. Ranma proceeds to have an epic Oh, Crap! moment.
- In general, when Ranma is fighting a new enemy (particularly in movies) he begins with his Chestnut Fist attack, which usually accomplishes nothing.
- Soul Eater
- One episode has Maka get into an argument with Black Star. She punches him in the face to no effect (because of both the power gap and the fact she doesn't use punches as often). He shrugs it off and tells her to challenge him to a duel if she wants to solve things that way.
- Becomes even funnier if you consider that in the last episode of the Anime she literally just punches out the series's Cthulhu.
- Before either of these, in the second fight between Maka and Crona, Maka repeatedly punches Crona in the face after she realizes that her Sinister Scythe is not effective against someone with Black Blood. As it turns out, all Crona got was messy hair, and Maka described as being like punching lead.
- Neon Genesis Evangelion
- Asuka vs. Zeruel. She empties three pallet rifles and two rocket launchers at the Angel, who doesn't even balks... then Zeruel counterattacks and cuts off her arms in a single attack
- Also, the beginning of said fight in Rebuild 2.0. When Zeruel shrugs off multiple N2 mines and perforates the Geofront's armor with a single shot, Hyuga's Oh, Crap! expression is simply priceless.
- Later, Rei, with some help from Mari, manages to shove an N2 bomb through Zeruel's AT Field and right up against its core... which does absolutely nothing to the Angel. Keep in mind that N2 bombs have roughly the same explosive yield as a nuke, and previous Angels were shown to at least be stunned by such a blast.
- Rosario + Vampire has multiple layers of this in chapter 6 of the second serialization; Tsukune's friends take on the doppelganger but are themselves defeated in the process... and then Tsukune removes Moka's rosario and plants it on the doppelganger to temporarily weaken him before attacking him as much as possible until the rosario comes off. Then Inner Moka shows up and delivers a Pre-Asskicking One-Liner about doppelgangers. Cue the Evil Laugh and a very brief Curb-Stomp Battle at her hands.
- In Fairy Tail, Natsu, Erza, Gray, Wendy, and Lucy give it everything they've got when they attack Master Hades. Their foe is surprised by their ability and synchronization, but even their best attacks fail to scratch him. The heroes have barely enough time to realize that they are in serious trouble before Hades apparently vaporizes Wendy.
- Subverted in Angel Densetsu. To the outside observer, most fights against Kitano play out as follows: assailant wails on Kitano as hard as they can, assailant expresses shock at the fact that Kitano refuses to fall, Kitano lays out assailant in a single hit. In reality, while Kitano is pretty tough, he's also highly skilled at dodging just enough to nullify a blow while appearing to take its full impact. He's also an Actual Pacifist who hates fighting, and enough of a Cloudcuckoolander that half the time he won't even realize he's in a fight to begin with. And that single, knock-out blow at the end? It's even odds that either the assailant panicked and knocked himself out somehow, or Kitano accidentally blundered into him and the impact knocked him cold. Of course, if you've frightened Kitano enough that he decides he has to actually hit you, then may God have mercy on you.
- Most of the time, he won't hit you. He'll push you. 5 meters in to the air and 15 in length. Opponents knock themselves out when hitting the ground.
- YuYu Hakusho
- In the Yusuke vs. Toguro fight of the Tournament Arc, once Yusuke takes off his aura handcuffs, he, quite frankly, pummels Toguro into the ground. The "Uh-oh" comes when Yusuke jumps out.
- Then subverted when Toguro punches Yusuke into a wall, destroying nearly everything on its path. Yusuke is in a wall, with dust all around. He finally stands up, and Toguro smirks and says, "That didn't even hurt you, did it?" Yusuke gives an affirmative, showing that Toguro is Genre Savvy as well.
- In A Certain Scientific Railgun:
Accelerator: Hey, what's wrong? Why'd you stop? ...Oh, I get it. Sorry! That was your best move wasn't it? Pity, I was hoping for more out of a fellow Level 5!
- Mikoto gets moment of this when she, in a fit of rage, attacks Accelerator with everything she has. Finally, she breaks out the "railgun" against him... and when he doesn't even notice it, she completely loses hope and gives up.
- Accelerator in general tends to cause this in anyone stupid enough to attack him without having some kind of plan to circumvent his powers.
- Any mage or esper who goes up against Touma not knowing what he can do usually has a moment of this, as they throw their strongest supernatural attacks at him and watch as the attacks and their effects simply vanish when they touch his right hand.
- Happens between Kid Muscle and his opponent Pumpinator in an episode of Ultimate Muscle. At the beginning of the match, Kid tries some kicks that served him well in his previous fight, but they bounce right off Pumpinator harmlessly. It turns out that because Pumpinator is a humanoid athletic shoe, he's extremely resistant to wear and tear, to the point of being nearly invulnerable to striking. Kid figures a way around this by applying a series of submission holds.
- The "plot"of the Doom comic is triggered by one of these scenes, where the protagonist tries to punch out a Cyberdemon while under the influence of a Berserker Pack, but finds that it wears off just as he throws the punch.
Marine: OOH, HERE IT COMES! THE NIGHT TRAIN! Choo Choo Cha' BOOGIE! Choo choo cha'... choo ch... choo cha...*Bonk* oh my.
- In one Lucky Luke book, on a Mississippi riverboat. Subverted in that our cowboy still succeeds, although his punches just tickle his opponent.
- One issue of Moon Knight involving the... title hero fighting a number of voodoo zombies (yes, really) has one of these.
Moon Knight: You're going down', ugly. You're going down and you're STAYING... you're not going down.
- In a Transformers comic, Ironhide answers a challenge from a Decepticon called Stockade. This happens.◊ This is kind of funny if you're familiar with the toys — Ironhide is quite a bit larger than Stockade.
- During Infinite Crisis, Black Adam assaults Superboy Prime. Prime appears to be hurt by Adam's magic-charged punches... before revealing magic doesn't hurt him and punching Black Adam across the room and back into his own reality.
"The magic it hurts! Actually, it tickles."
- Herbie Popnecker, the Fat Fury, has such a powerful resistance to damage that he sometimes doesn't even notice that he's being attacked. Occasionally a villain will attack Herbie strongly enough to be noticed and he'll glance about in puzzlement muttering "Something...?"
- In the sixth issue of the original series, Daredevil finds that his punches are completely ineffectual on the massive Ox, and a typical scene for this trope occurs. To put this into perspective, in the very first issue of the series, a young Matt Murdock punched a boxing speed bag straight off its suspension, and this was before he started a regular workout regimen. In short, Ox is freaking hardcore.
- In a similarly early issue, during a confrontation with Ka-Zar, Daredevil learned the hard way that the jungle life makes you stronger than a mastodon. "No use! It's like trying to stop a steamroller! I expected that blow to his stomach to topple him..."
- The Kingpin put it on a higher level. We have a whole page of Daredevil punching him from all possible angles, with no visible effect. Next page, Kingpin starts the payback with a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown.
- Almost the entire fight between The Punisher and The Russian in "Welcome Back, Frank". Frank is giving his all, and The Russian is just laughing it off
- In the Superman vs. the Amazing Spider-Man Special, Lex Luthor secretly energizes Spidey for the inevitable first meeting fight. After a few good licks, the energy wears off, and Spidey experiences this trope.
- Another crossover feature Batman and The Hulk has Bats punching various points of Hulk's body trying to find a weak spot. After a couple panels, Batman looks up to see a very angry Hulk who says, "You try to... hurt Hulk?!
- Played with, the first time Superman fought the Hulk (in the second Superman / Spider-Man team-up). After getting sucker-punched by the Hulk and sent hurtling, Supey plants himself in one spot and tries to No-Sell the Hulk's punches (This was Pre-Crisis Superman who could move planets). It works for a while, but of course, Hulk's strength increases the longer a fight goes on, so Supey is starting to feel it — when he figures out how to calm Hulk down, ending the fight.
Spider-Man: Gosh, that worked. I think I made him blink!
- This happens a lot to Spidey since he's always the underdog character. While trapped on a deserted island, he punches Venom in the face with everything he has. While it actually draws blood from Venom's mouth, he laughs it off and tells Spidey that he has First Blood.
- It comes back the other way in a later issue, when Eddie Brock tries to attack Spider-Man, only this time the symbiote is not around. Eddie is a peak human specimen, almost as strong as Captain America, but Spidey barely notices his punches. "Give it up, Eddie. Without the symbiote you're out of your league here."
- The famous "Nothing Stops the Juggernaut" story from Amazing Spider-Man #229-230 is basically two issues of this. Spidey tries to deter the Juggernaut from kidnapping Madame Webb. He not only tries dozens of punches, but girders, webbing, a manhole cover, a load of bricks, a wrecking ball, a gas truck and more. Nothing works, but Spider-Man refuses to let another of his friends get hurt.
- Another Spider-Man example happens in his first encounter with The Hulk. He throws his hardest punch and not only hurts his own hand but the Hulk doesn't even blink.
- In the Atlantis Attacks story of a Spider-Man Annual, Spider-Man and She-Hulk are trying to stop a rampaging Abomination. She-Hulk gets knocked out and the fight moves on to a bridge. Spidey notes that all the civilians are clear, and Abomination is focused solely on him. He muses that maybe he can end this now, by putting everything he has into one, tremendous. . . PUNCH!!!
- This happens a lot to Spidey since he's always the underdog character. While trapped on a deserted island, he punches Venom in the face with everything he has. While it actually draws blood from Venom's mouth, he laughs it off and tells Spidey that he has First Blood.
- A one-off story from the early days of Excalibur — the first half of #3. You get this trope twice: first Captain Britain tries to stand up to the Juggernaut (who's just broken out of prison), hits him several times to no effect, then gets knocked a couple miles away by one punch. Then, as the Juggernaut is trying to leave, Phoenix steps in, and introduces herself to the helmetless Juggernaut...
- The team even tried to warn Captain Britain that this would happen. Under normal circumstances, the only way to stop Juggernaut against his will is via telepathic attack, so naturally team telepath Phoenix was going to handle it, since Juggernaut was already without his telepathy-blocking helmet. But at that point in his career, Captain Britain was to hot-headed to listen. Thus, this trope came into play, and hilariously so.
- Likewise in an X-Men tie-in with this same tale the X-Men are in England when they also run into Juggernaut. Rogue lands, draws back her arm, and lets fly with a punch that shatters windows up to 1/4 a mile away. The next panel her has her staring at the smoke coming from her own fist and saying "Ah'm Impressed'. Panel after that? The rather bored-looking Juggernaut saying "Me, too" before he backhands her two miles into the air.
- Happens in Stumptown #4 when Dex is trying to punch a large thug named Whale.
Dex: Sorry, but I had to try, you understand.
- In Cruelty, Tobias both bloodies Reis and knees him in the groin — and is shocked that Reis seemingly feels no pain.
- The Mask contains a few examples between Big Head and Walter. Notably, Kathy!Big Head once insists on fighting fair, no weapons, as she delivers a series of meek punches at Walter. Walter responds by punching her head through the wall behind her.
- Superlópez: While facing off against the Galactic Gladiator, Superlópez attacks him with a flurry of punches. The Gladiator no-sells the attack, while Super's hands are badly hurt.
- One Twisted Toyfare Theatre strip features Galactus landing on top of Four Freedoms Plaza, having been called to destroy Earth because the Silver Surfer found no-one capable of standing in his way (the Thing had stayed behind while the others went off on a mission, and fell asleep in front of the TV). When Galactus refers to The Thing as "fugly", The Thing socks Galactus right in the gut. After there being absolutely no reaction, The Thing offers up his opinion as to what to do next: "Well, I'm stumped."
- The Phantom likes to let others try to punch him and take it without flinching before punching the other guy across the room. It works even with men who look as buff as himself and are noted for being especially strong.
- The troll in With Strings Attached grabs Paul's leg and slams him against some walls, repeatedly. With this result:
“Are you quite finished?” the very annoyed Paul said as he dangled, arms folded over his chest. The troll goggled at him for a few seconds, then screamed “AIEEEE!”
- Lots of people in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, including the muggers, Lieyla of the “Terrible Trio,” Spectrem of the Guardians, and the mine-robbers at Boidan Mine, find out what a waste of time it is to try and hurt Paul.
- In Mega Man Reawakened, Roll tries to punch and kick a Hammer Joe; it blocks her attacks easily with its heavy armor.
- In Batman: Dead End, Batman punches a Predator. After taking three hits, the Predator simply Neck Lifts Bats and throws him across the alley.
Films — Animation
- The Incredibles: Dash uses speed to get a lot of blows on a Mook, who shrugs them off and punches Dash off of his glider with one blow. This turns out to be a good thing, as the glider then crashes. The "uh oh" part doesn't come from Dash realizing the mook is shrugging off the punches — he is distracted by the cliff face the glider is on a collision course with.
- Subverted when Mowgli does this to Baloo upon first meeting him in The Jungle Book. Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... becomes a Punch! Punch! Punch! Hi There... as Baloo takes it upon himself to teach Mowgli how to throw a decent punch.
- In Kung Fu Panda , Tai Lung experiences this when he realizes that, due to how hugely fat his opponent Po the Panda is, the technique he's perfected and used to defeat the furious five won't work. Po is simply too fat for the nerve-targeting strikes to affect him, doing nothing more than tickling him. With his signature move taken from him, Tai Lung cannot defeat Po.
- In The Guardians of the Lost Code, after Freddy achieves his "Warrior Form" for the first time and starts fighting Mutey's Warrior Form, he repeatedly punches her and says "I'm getting the hang of this!"... then Mutey catches his next punch and sends him flying.
- In Phineas and Ferb The Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension, Perry punches Playaborg back when he's about to attack his owners Phineas and Ferb. Cue Phineas giving a shocked look and Perry realising his cover's blown.
Films — Live-Action
- Played straight by Russell Crowe in the boxing film Cinderella Man.
- Pure, flat out, Godzilla. Time after time, in his first movie the Japanese defense forces threw everything at him, and he just kept coming. He does it again in The Return of Godzilla to the Super X, and pretty much beats the shit out of Baragon in an almost literal Curb-Stomp Battle with Baragon in Godzilla, Mothra, King Ghidorah: Giant Monsters All-Out Attack!.
- He was also partially the victim of this trope in his second battle with Biollante in Godzilla vs. Biollante because she had so much mass that she was able to shrug off even his most powerful blasts without taking much damage.
- Indiana Jones
- He does this in Raiders of the Lost Ark against a gigantic Nazi bruiser. How he finishes the fight is disturbing.
- He has a similar encounter with the same actor, but wearing a turban, in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Again, his body ends up horribly mangled.
- Luckily for him, in the third film that actor's character missed the Zeppelin. They planned to have a fight in the third film, and from the looks of it they were going to subvert this trope by giving the guy a glass chin. (There's some footage in the "Stunts of Indiana Jones" special on the DVD.)
- A variation occurs later in the film, when Col. Vogel and Indy fight atop the tank. Once Indy finally gains the upper hand, he smacks Vogel's head against the turret a few times... then he realizes the tank is about to roll off a cliff...
- Subverted in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull where Indy punches the Russian henchman several times, only for him to manically grin through bloodied teeth. Indy makes for one last punch — but the guy falls flat on his back to be carried off by giant ants.
- The Man in Black is the victim of this when he goes up against Fezzik (played by André the Giant) in The Princess Bride.
- Carlos, the Jerk with a Heart of Gold from the film *batteries not included, attempts a flurry of punches to the Gentle Giant Harry'snote midsection to no avail. A bad idea, considering that Harry was already more than a little upset about Carlos shoving him down a flight of stairs earlier. Harry flashes Carlos a satisfied grin just before knocking the crap out of him and tossing him out the front door.
- Done dead serious in Rocky IV, when Apollo Creed fought — or tried to fight — Ivan Drago in an exhibition match. The first round and a half were like this for Rocky as well until he landed a brutal haymaker on Ivan Drago which changed momentum in the fight.
- Rocky himself uses it to magnificent effect against Clubber Lang's punches in Rocky III.
- A standard feature of many James Bond films, often requiring 007 to rely more on his wit than his brawn.
- The best example is the series of encounters between Bond (Sean Connery) and the sumo-wrestler-sized martial arts expert Oddjob (Harold Sakata) in Goldfinger. Bond's futile attempts to harm Oddjob early in the movie set us up for their classic final encounter in the gold vaults at Fort Knox. Everything Bond throws at Oddjob is met with a wordless smile from the latter, who never so much as flinches. With an atomic weapon ticking off in the room, how will Bond manage to defeat an enemy seemingly immune to violence and pain? (Bond throws gold bars at him, to no effect, for crying out loud.)
- Minor example in The Man with the Golden Gun, when Bond faces 2 sumo wrestlers. After beating one off, he gets carried by the other, and tries to beat him, to the beat of the soundtrack no less- but the guy doesn't even flinch. Bond has to give the poor wrestler a painful wedgie in order to escape.
- Jaws seemed completely impervious to any kind of injury at all, which honestly makes you wonder why Bond ever tried to take him in close combat after the first time. Also not helped by Bond's insistence on punching Jaws in the mouth. The guy survives electrocution to the mouth, a shark encounter (the shark is the one who gets bitten by Jaws), falling out of a plane, and falling out of an exploding space station. Even though Jaws suffered some Flanderization in Moonraker, all Bond could do to stop him was to incite a Heel–Face Turn with a bit of psychological manipulation.
Bond: Don't worry, they'll make it. It's only 100 miles back to Earth.
- Another good example: Lippe from the beginning of Never Say Never Again. Bond's fight with him is very reminiscent of Oddjob's, but it's much longer. They tear up most of the clinic in the process. In the end, Lippe is blinded with...Bond's urine sample, which causes him to crash into a wall and impale his back with beakers full of chemicals.
- Abstract example in The Living Daylights during the battle with Whitaker: Bond shoots his 8 bullets at Whitaker, just for all of them to be deflected by Whitaker's body armor. Whitaker then takes out a machine gun and rips apart the room.
Whitaker: You've had your 8, now have my 80!
- Tomorrow Never Dies has two: one during Bond's infiltration of Carver's building, in which a minor mook just laughs after two punches to the face (but falls with the third), and Stamper, a straighter example whose feelings of pain and pleasure are reversed, with predictable results. The latter mechanic is also present in Renard from The World Is Not Enough, who can take pain and use more strength than normal due to his total lack of senses.
- This happens in Big Trouble in Little China. Although not bigger than Jack, Rain is a minor god.
- During a barfight in the movie Michael, one of the drunks hammers at Michael's gut, then punches him twice in the face. Mike doesn't even blink — but then, he's an archangel.
- During the climactic brawl in The Cannonball Run, Burt Reynolds ineffectively slams several punches into the jaw of a massive biker. The biker mockingly suggests "Why don't you try this side?", pointing to the other side of his jaw. Burt replies "Thanks" and then slugs him with a wrench on the indicated side of the jaw, knocking the biker out.
- In the fight against the Big Bad in Blade, Blade gets several free shots at his opponent before said opponent grins at him and says "My turn", then proceeding to smash him across the room.
- When Hellboy encounters Mr. Wink in Hellboy II: The Golden Army, he initially punches Mr. Wink in the abdomen several times, with no effect. He pauses a second, and Mr. Wink gives Hellboy a huge punch.
- In The Mask, Ipkiss unleashes rapid punches in the Big Bad's face. He stops for a second, panting, and gasps "I'm winning!" in an amazed voice. The Big Bad immediately seizes the initiative.
- Batman Returns: Batman can't beat up a heavyset bruiser. So he stuffs a bomb earlier lifted from a clown in the guy's pants and throws him into a sewer. Ouch.
- Happened more than once in various Bud Spencer movies.
- In at least one instance, Bud's character doesn't even notice that a mook is punching him in the back, and only takes annoyed action when the mook smashes a chair on him.
- Subverted in the grand fight scene at the end of Blazing Saddles, where an effeminate, tuxedo-clad dancer beats ineffectually on the chest of a large cowboy before bursting into tears and collapsing into the cowboy's arms. The cowboy comforts him. ("There, there.")
- Nicely subverted in Balls of Fury: Maggie repeatedly pummels a Giant Mook standing between her group and their escape route, only to have him gather himself and give her a look that seems to imply a serious ass-kicking is about to commence. Then, he falls over.
- In Necessary Roughness, when the football team is confronted in a bar by their undefeated rival-college team, Paul Blake (a middle-aged quarterback) delivers a one-two punch to the jaw of the rival team's star linebacker. Said punches have no effect, and we hear someone off-camera (probably one of Paul's teammates) say "Oh, Lord!" just before a massive bar-fight breaks out.
- In Master of the Flying Guillotine, one of the martial artists uses a special technique that renders him invulnerable. His smaller and quicker opponent lands blow after blow to no effect before finding his weak spot.
- In Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan, a teenage boxer gets into a fistfight with undead killing machine Jason Voorhees. Even more ludicrously, he punches Jason multiple times in the face, y'know, the one covered by a hockey mask? After he tires out, Jason decapitates him with one punch.
- Done in the first 3 Ninjas film, with a particularly large mook, before the heroes remember about vulnerable spots and beat the crap out of him.
- This happens to John Wayne's character while fighting a massive oilfield roughneck in the movie Big Jake.
- The Incredible Hulk: The Hulk has just finished bashing and pummeling the Abomination into the ground (with the help of cars used as boxing gloves). The Abomination simply spits out a few teeth and asks, "Is that all you've got?"
- The Lord of the Rings: Hobbits attacking a cave troll should have this effect, but the scene is hardly played for laughs. Most of Gimli's fights would look like this, except that he has an axe.
- In Yellowbeard, the title pirate is in a British prison and one of the guards attempts to discipline him by beating him with a stout wooden rod. Yellowbeard doesn't notice.
- The movie version of Wild Wild West has Jim West trying to fight the last of Loveless's modified henchmen, only to end up invoking this trope. He gets the crap kicked out of him, nearly gets thrown out of the Spider Tank, and is only saved by a quick application of I Surrender, Suckers.
- In the movie version of Popeye starring Robin Williams, Olive Oyl's luckless younger brother attempts to get money for his family by challenging a pro wrestler to a fight. He pounds on the guy for several minutes to no avail; before the wrestler smiles and pounds the crap out of him, necessitating Popeye to come in and finish the fight.
- When Ivan Ooze breaks into the Command Center in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Alpha the robot tries to karate chop him — cue belch noise, Ivan electrocuting Alpha, and Zordon giving him a Pick on Someone Your Own Size.
- The protagonist of The Time Machine (2002) repeatedly punches the Morlok leader in the face, only to have him laugh it off.
- In the film revamp of Get Smart, while Agent 86 is beating on a very big Indian henchman who doesn't feel a thing.
Agent 86: This is just ridiculous!
- Tony Jaa faces a big guy who does this in The Protector. He eventually turns the tables with elephant bones applied to joints.
- Jackie Chan experienced this with a Giant Mook in Rumble in the Bronx. After punching the mook just earned him a contemptuous look, he tried beating him with a motorcycle helmet. The mook continued to look amused. So then Jackie grabbed a gigantic adjustable spanner, at which point the mook put up his hands and begged for mercy.
- When the turtles first encounter Tokka and Rahzar in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, Donatello winds up and baseball-swings his bo into Tokka's chest. The only damage is to Don's cool.
- Played dead serious in The Dark Knight Rises when Batman comes face to face with Bane. First, Bane lampshades all of Batman's psychological tricks, not even batting an eyelid at gunpowder flashes going off in his face. Then Batman throws himself into the fight, punching so hard that his shouts and the sound of his blows echo off the walls... and Bane just stands there. A horrifying Curb-Stomp Battle ensues.
- X-Men Film Series:
- X-Men: The Last Stand: In a deleted scene, Wolverine fights Juggernaut for the first time and actually drives his claws through Juggernaut's arm. Juggie doesn't even flinch, triggering an immediate Oh, Crap! moment from Logan—that he lampshades after Juggernaut curb-stomps him. Later in the film, Logan fights a mutant who can regenerate lost body parts. After a couple of unsuccessful attempts with his claws, Logan decides to Take a Third Option and goes for a more traditional weak spot.
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Logan goes mano-a-mano against Fred Dukes a.k.a. The Blob without using his claws to get information from him. Logan's glove-clad punches prove rather ineffective.
- X-Men: Apocalypse: Quicksilver uses his Super Speed against Apocalypse, and the former gets in some good hits before the latter compensates for Peter's ability, which leaves the speedster helpless. Xavier, who had generated a psychic connection between himself and Maximoff, copies the young mutant's idea and initiates a Battle in the Center of the Mind against Apocalypse on his own terms. Professor X also delivers several punches before Apocalypse gets around Charles' telepathy as well.
- Subverted in Star Trek Into Darkness: Cowboy Cop Kirk, still furious at the death of Admiral Pike, gets no results trying to sucker-punch John Harrison. Fortunately for everyone involved, Harrison has already surrendered (for reasons of his own) and just looks at Kirk in bemusement rather than throwing any punches back.
- If Looks Could Kill: When Michael fights Zigesfeld, he lands quite a few direct punches to his face, which accomplishes absolutely nothing except to make him really angry. Zigesfeld then backhands him using his mechanical hand, and this literally sends Michael flying.
- Spider-Man 3: In Spider-Man's first encounter with the Sandman, Spidey throws a punch that does nothing but get his hand stuck in Sandman's gut. Cue Oh, Crap! reaction before Sandman's Megaton Punch.
- In Easy Street, The Tramp whacks The Bully over head several times with his nightstick while The Bully's back is turned. The Bully doesn't even notice till he turns round.
- Sur la piste du Marsupilami:
- A variation occurs in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batman's punches are clearly hurting Superman until the kryptonite gas wears off and Superman clearly takes less damage with each punch, culminating in completely ignoring the last one.
- The Girl Who Played with Fire has this when Paolo Roberto, boxing expert, fights a giant who has a medical condition which means he cannot feel pain and an exceptionally thick skeleton. The only the time the giant actually shows any sign of feeling any of the blows was when Miriam kicked him in the balls. And Paolo hitting him in the head with a plank helped as well.
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has a version of this. The Green Knight challenges Arthur's Knights to a test. Whomever accepts gets to make one attack on the Green Knight, and he will not resist. The condition being that the Green Knight will be able to do the same a year and a day from that day. Sir Gawain steps up and CUTS THE GREEN KNIGHT'S HEAD OFF. The Green Knight then picks it back up and says he'll see Sir Gawain in a year and a day, gets back on his horse, and rides off.
- In Hitler's War, a character punches a bartender with "a blow that would have dented a Panzer". The bartender barely feels it, and punches back. Cue stunned reactions.
- Max the Silent from Andrew Vachss's Burke books has done a variant of this on occasion. For example, as recounted in Terminal, he has twice purposely let Muay Thai practitioners knee him twice — which, for those not in the know, is supposed to hurt like hell.
- Happens in The Fifth Elephant when Carrot takes on Wolfgang. Carrot can floor Detritus (who is made of rock) in a fair fight, which gives you an idea of just how tough Wolfgang is.
- Some bad guys try to beat up Niobe's bonny husband in With a Tangled Skein, because they want to rape her. Then they comment that it's like punching rock. Then he schools them.
- Turn Coat: At the climactic fight against the Naagloshii, Harry throws the most powerful magic he's ever cast at it, but doesn't have nearly enough power in him to do serious damage. Fortunately, Listens-To-Wind is powerful enough to beat it down until it runs away.
- The Achilles Curse in the Greek Mythology series Percy Jackson and the Olympians is shown to invoke this trope, with a subversion in that it has a weakness being in the part that keeps the bearer mortal.
- Towards the end of The Boy who was as hard as Stone this is exactly what happens to a gang of bullies, when their victim fights back.
- White Gold Wielder has Thomas Covenant call forth a Sandgorgon, previously noted for unending, inhuman aggressiveness and unrelenting power, to breach the centuries-reinforced gates of Revelstone. This is played straight right up to a sharp aversion when it turns out the Sandgorgon's blows are building resonant force within the gates until they tear themselves asunder in what could only be termed an explosion.
- Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Holmes has Holmes and Watson attempting to gain entry into Dr. Jekyll's mansion. Butler Poole refuses to let them in and when they won't go away, he has another, larger servant named Bradshaw make them leave. Holmes, being a boxer, tries to fight the guy... but Bradshaw doesn't even budge from a punch across the jaw. Holmes then tells Watson maybe they should do as Poole says and skedaddle.
- The Wonder Years: The season 2 episode "Fate" saw Kevin attempt to stand up to a school bully, Eddie, and defend Winnie's honor. He lands at least two haymakers ... which have no effect. Unfortunately for Kevin, Eddie's punches are far more effective.
- Family Matters: Frequently used with Urkel when trying to fight someone bigger and meaner than he was. Most prominently seen in:
- Season 2's "Requiem For an Urkel," where Urkel boxed tormenter Wille Fuffner in a three-round bout. Urkel winds up with his "Urkel uppercut," but Fuffner literally smiles. Urkel has time only to utter part of his "whu-oh" before Fuffner lays into the nerd, prompting others to stand up for the hapless Urkel.
- Season 5's "Psycho Twins," the series' petulant Pro Wrestling Episode where Urkel and Carl wind up having to stand in for one of Carl's friends, who is a professional wrestler, in a match against the WWF's Bushwackers. The trope kicks in when Urkel and Carl try, desperately, to get the upper hand and actually do OK … that is, until Luke learns that Carl is a police officer … and both he and Butch hate cops!!! The No-Sell, whuh-ohs and a severe beating soon follow.
- Walker, Texas Ranger: Season 5's "Warriors," where a despot tries to perfect a genetically enhanced superhuman so he can clone and create an entire army of them to stage a hostile takeover of the world, the villain and his sidekick try to kidnap the woman who is using the same genetic formula (but for good). Walker and Trivette arrive to try to foil the kidnapping and – in a twist of this trope – try every kick and punch in their arsenal, and also fire their entire supply of ammunition into the muscleman's body … to no effect. Just before they can decide what to do next, the muscleman beats up Walker and Trivette and helps his boss make a getaway.
- In Smallville, "Bizarro", Bizarro gets on the bad side of this when he walked into a beam of sunlight, not knowing it is his Kryptonite Factor. In the light, while he's still rather powerful, he's no match for Clark Kent.
- Even Hercules fell victim to this in Hercules: The Legendary Journeys once, when he went up a really big guy who took a number of blows without much reaction. Herc throws in some lampshading ("Doesn't that hurt?"), but eventually beats the guy.
- Angel is famous for this.
- Especially with season four's Dragon, The Beast. He does it to Faith in one episode, and in another classic scene, he stands there and repeatedly soaks the best shots of almost the entire cast (Angel, Wesley, Gunn, and Lorne), effortlessly bouncing flurries of punches, axe strikes, sword blows, bullets, and shotgun slugs, before casually throwing them through walls or off buildings.
- Also played with for humor, when Angel faces off vs. Hamilton in the series finale. After throwing his best haymaker into Hamilton's stomach and only hurting his own hand, Angel sheepishly asks, "Did that hurt at all?" Hamilton replies, "Lil' bit," and then lifts Angel off the ground by his neck. "But it's all part of the job." Hamilton was played by Adam Baldwin, the sterotypical Colonel Badass. The aforementioned is a surprise to anyone?
- Happened to the chronically clueless Colonel Crittendon in Hogan's Heroes when he attempted to use "killer judo" on a large German officer.
- This happens a lot in Get Smart, usually leading to a "Listen, fella, I hope I wasn't out of line with that crack about..."
- In an episode, Maxwell Smart is infiltrating a camp of desert nomads when he bumps into a massive guard. "Where I come from," Max says with confidence, "we have a saying. 'The bigger they are, the harder they fall.'" After firing off a judo chop, two body blows, and a punch to the jaw that have no effect, Max muses, "Haven't heard of that one, eh? Well, maybe you know this one. 'The quality of mercy is not strained...'"
- A variant used is when Max tries repeatedly punching a big guy in the gut, and the opponent confidently withstands it. However, something happens or is done to distract him from bracing himself and Max takes advantage to knock him out with a hard punch.
- Star Trek
- This also happens to Ensign Chekov in the heat of a barfight against Klingons in the Star Trek: The Original Series episode "The Trouble with Tribbles".
- This happens to Lt. Worf so often, he's the namesake for three related tropes: The Worf Effect, The Worf Barrage, and Worf Had the Flu.
- In "Conspiracy," None of the blows that LaForge, Worf, and Riker land on the alien-possessed Admiral Quinn faze him even slightly—note Riker's Oh, Crap! look after kicking Quinn in the face. Eventually, it takes resident Combat Medic Dr. Crusher gunning him down with a phaser before he's subdued.
- There's the Deep Space Nine episode "Valiant", in which a cadet crew try a highly dangerous plan to destroy a Dominion Warship. They make the shot, explosions cover the outside of the enemy hull, cheer cheer cheer... and then the explosion clears, and they see the ship is totally unharmed. And then Everybody Dies.
- Unusually, Stargate Atlantis has this happen to a Red Shirt Action Girl in the episode "The Prodigal".
- Deliberately invoked by Daniel Jackson in an episode of Stargate SG-1. Spotting a communicator he needs while he's being tortured, Daniel punches the Jaffa holding him in the stomach, eliciting no reaction aside from a haymaker that knocks him over the table, letting him sneakily grab the communicator.
- In Super Sentai and Power Rangers, the really big-ass Megazords sometimes allow themselves to take a beating just for the Hell of it, before pounding the Monster of the Week flat.
- Sometimes the opposite happens, like against Samurai Fan Man and the Frankenstein Monster. For example (one that most MMPR fans are familiar with), Dora Franke (Frankenstein Monster) beats up Daizyujinn (Megazord), Daizyujinn's finishing sword strike just bounces harmlessly off his chest, later, after a temporary retreat, Dragon Caesar joins Daizyujinn and gets picked up by the tail and thrown into Daizyujinn, and then they form Gouryujinn (Dragonzord Battle Mode) who still gets pounded. The Rangers then use the mighty Ranger Slingers (not seen in MMPR) which do nothing but break his bolt and chain weapon. They use the Dragon Antler (Power Staff) finisher on Dora Franke, but all he does is use the energy to upgrade to Zombie Franke (who later is seen manhandling Daizyujinn AGAIN), until Dai Satan (Lokar) upgrades him to Satan Franke. Even against Zyutei Daizyujinn (Mega Dragonzord) he doesn't go down easily until they use the empire attack (big Z-sphere) to disintegrate him in a bright flash of light.
- The A-Team:
- Kamen Rider:
- Happens in Kamen Rider Kiva, with Dogga in his true form; attacks by most weaker Fangire would have this reaction.
- Happens in Kamen Rider Decade when Decade gets into a fight with Den-O (who was, at the moment, in Ax Form). Twice.
- This is the theme behind the Diamond Dopant in Kamen Rider Double, who's basically composed of indestructible diamond. Double normally has an Oh, Crap! reaction when his most powerful attacks don't even scratch him.
- How Kamen Rider Fourze Cosmic States makes its debut. After immediately switching to the form for the first time, the Aries Zodiarts attempts a point-blank shot to the chest with his rod, only to be forced back. Not even using commander-level powers would save him from the Curb-Stomp Battle that ensued afterwards.
- Happens in Kamen Rider Wizard when Wizard obtains his Infinity Style, Legion, a previously unstoppable Phantom, slashes away at him with his halberd. The 'Uh Oh' part comes when Legion breaks his halberd on Wizard's armor. Wizard doesn't even try to block, he stands there letting Legion attack him for a few moments before kicking his tail.
- In the Red Dwarf episode "The Last Day", Lister fires his bazookoid into Hudzen 10 at point-blank range: after a short pause, Hudzen just smirks and knocks him across the room.
- In an episode of Buck Rogers, Buck faces a man who had all his pain nerves removed so he is an Implacable Man. Trope ensues.
- Implied in Deadliest Warrior with the Spetsnaz.
- Doctor Who: Happens in "The Curse of Peladon" when a soldier attempts to stop Grun, the King's Champion. He punches Grun several times to no effect.
- Near the end of the fifth season of Eureka, Jo walks up to a mirror and looks at herself. Mirror!Jo reaches out and grabs her by the throat. Jo slams her in the face a few times and Mirror!Jo doesn't even flinch.
- Murdoch Mysteries: In "Belly Speaker", a drunken Arthur Conan Doyle attempts to start a Bar Brawl. After punching out two drinkers, he is confronted by a huge black man. He delivers several punches to the face with no effect.
- In The Flash (2014) episode "Grodd Lives", Grodd doesn't even seem to notice Flash running around him over a dozen times punching away at him. Grodd then manages to grab him and throw him through a wall.
- Arrow: Happens to Laurel in "Midnight City" as she tries to rescue the aldermen from Brick's van. She throws several punches at Brick which he shrugs off with no effect, before announcing that he doesn't like hurting women and casually tossing her aside.
- Relic Hunter: In "The Emperor's Bride", Sydney disarms the woman who is holding her at gunpoint. The woman (who is quite the Amazon) then casually grabs her wrist. Sydney then throws several punches with her free hand which have no effect (except for gradually irritating her captor).
- A bread-and-butter part of professional wrestling, and has been used by both faces and heels.
- As used by faces, it is often used when in the midst of a comeback after several minutes of being dominated by his heel opponent. Often the heel will back off but be caught before he can land a sucker punch.
- When used by a heel, his hapless opponent will try to land several punches before realizing the mess he found himself in ... and before he can beg off, he'll get the snot kicked out of him. This routine is used especially by Wrestling Monsters to make them appear unstoppable and feared.
- Hulk Hogan made himself rich off this routine. The most common way, of course, was after he kicked out of an opponent's pinfall attempt after hitting his finisher; his opponent would land several punches but Hogan would blow them off, before the heel would try to beg for mercy and throw another punch (which would invariably be blocked and lead to Hogan's finishing sequence, or try an illegal tactic ... which would be foiled or also have no effect (and the heel begging off) and Hogan then going into his finishing routine.
On occasion, when the storyline dictated this, Hogan was on the reverse end of this, especially when a fearsome new heel wrestler was debuting and challenging Hogan in their first televised confrontation. This formula — used with Zeus (to capitalize on the then-new No Holds Barred movie starring Hogan and Tiny Lister) and The Undertaker — saw Hogan trying to land a few punches to make the new heel go away, but the heel would be the one who would smile and Hogan would sell concern and fear ... just before he got his ass kicked. (All, of course, to sell tickets to future matches.)
- Kane and The Undertaker (who would typically literally catch their opponents' third or fourth punch in their own hand before striking back), Sting, Eugene and Santino Marella. May be employed by a Giant Mook or Kung Fu-Proof Mook. Compare The Law of Diminishing Defensive Effort; when the character who does this starts actually blocking or evading for real, you know the attacker can really hurt him.
- Subverted in Ayako Hamada's inevitable match with Aja Kong in Arsion. Kong takes Hamada's strikes with little reaction before throwing her to the mat and kicking her. Hamada cries out in pain...then smiles. Still, it took Hamada about two years to figure out how to beat her.
- Athletes in combat sports such as boxing and Mixed Martial Arts sometimes offer free shots to their opponents to intimidate them. This is generally considered to be poor strategy, since even if the resulting blow doesn't do much damage, your opponent still gets points for free shots.
- Unless your name is Ricardo Mayorga. (And as long as you're not fighting Tito Trinidad.) He took those kinds of shots all the time over his career.
- Edison Miranda hilariously showed why, unless you're Mayorga, you shouldn't try to do this. In his fight with Lucian Bute, he took a shot and put his hands on his hips, mugging for the crowd. Bute was not amused. The next punch Bute landed was a titanic right uppercut that knocked Miranda out. Hilarious.
- Nate Campbell tried to pull this one too, and it turned into one of the ultimate What an Idiot moments in boxing history. Campbel badly hurt his opponent Robbie Peden with a nasty body shot, and Peden spent the next 30 seconds or so frantically dodging Campbell while he tried to recover. Peden finally answered back with a punch and Campbell stood straight up, arms down at his sides, to give Peden another free shot. Peden missed a pair of jabs, and Campbell continued to stand there, wide open. Peden gave him a look as if to say "Ok, you asked for it", and knocked Campbell out with a single punch.
- During K1 2001 World Grand Prix Mark Hunt and Ray Sefo showed what it looks like when both fighters use this strategy at the same time. Guess what country they come from. Of course Foe Yay goes of the charts.
- Muhammad Ali saying "That all you got, George?" in the eighth round of the Rumble in the Jungle, then proceeding to knock George Foreman out. In a later interview, Foreman said "When he said that, I was like 'yup, that's all I got.' I knew I was in trouble." This was where Ali famously used the Rope-a-dope strategy, a kind of one-man Defensive Feint Trap that suckered Foreman into using up all his energy, while Ali stayed relatively undamaged by using the slack of the ropes to dissipate the punches' power.
- Happens to the player in many games if it includes a Hopeless Boss Fight.
- In Dragon Ball Z: Budokai, Hercule's "Present for You" attack begins with him punching his enemy... and doing zero damage. He then panics and offers them a video game (with a concealed bomb in it) as a peace offering. His throw also involves ineffectively punching his enemy rapidly, hopping back and then attempting to hit his enemy with a flying kick, only to be effortlessly swatted high offscreen... and then promptly falling on his enemy.
- In Shenmue II, Ren attacks Dou Niu with a few kicks to the side, and Dou Niu then grabs Ren's leg with one hand. Ren then begins to punch Dou Niu in the chest, at which point Dou Niu grabs Ren by the neck with his other hand. Dou Niu never flinches though the whole thing.
- Daigo's Team-Up assist in the Rival Schools games starts off with this. He dives down to protect his partner, while the opponent takes a few shots at him. Daigo absorbs the punches without so much as flinching before he responds with a Megaton Punch to the stunned opponent to finish it off.
- In God Hand when Gene flashes back to his first meeting with Olivia and the Three Evil Stooges, he attempts to take on Bruce by punching him a number of times. They don't faze Bruce, and he proceeds to knock Gene to the ground while telling a joke.
- In Halo 3, Sergeant Johnson confronts a Brute Chieftain, and punches him in the chest. The Brute doesn't even react, and then calmly knees him in the torso and hurls him off his feet.
- In Super Punch Out the final boss, Nick Bruiser, lets himself be hit without defending for a while. While he suffers some superficial damage, he doesn't flinch at all; problem is, the more he's hit during that phase, the stronger he gets, which is no good when he starts moving. Attacking him like this makes him barely take 10-15% of damage, while allowing him take a whooping third of the player's lifebar with each blow.
- Kazuma Kiryuu, of the Yakuza series, is frequently on the receiving end of Punch! Punch! Punch! Uh Oh... moments in a somewhat rare instance of the trope being invoked in favor of the player. In one cutscene in Yakuza 2, a thug smashes a wine bottle across the back of his head. Kazuma doesn't even flinch, and the thug looks very frightened in the few seconds before Kazuma turns around and hurls him over a railing. Even better, this can happen in gameplay too. With the right upgrades, when Kazuma is in HEAT mode, enemy attacks won't cause him to recoil or fall down.
- A quite unnerving one occurs in BlazBlue: Continuum Shift where the final boss, after you have defeated him, comments that the fight was "a good warmup"... Yes, it's you, the player, who gets the "Uh-oh" line.
- Most players expect only The Spiny to be invulnerable to stomping, for obvious reasons. Wigglers are one of the Mooks in the Marioverse that look particularly vulnerable to stomping, being just an oversized caterpillar. But they will instead shrug it off and literally Turn Red. Yes, even your reliable Goomba Stomp doesn't do anything.
- Donkey Kong Country
- A Good Bad Bug in City of Heroes would occasionally have a squad of mooks spawn after a mission who would chase the player down across the entire zone until the player left or they were defeated. The bug was that occasionally the spawned mob wouldn't be level-appropriate, as they were supposed to be, but level 1 or 2, even when the player would be at levels 20+. The programming for these mobs meant the "chase hero down and fight them" rule overruled the normal "avoid starting fights with players X-number of levels higher" rule, resulting in the hilarious sight of a squad of enemies earnestly blasting away with all their powers at a player who could just stand around and completely ignore them.
- This trope sums up most of Norman Jayden's fight with Mad Jack in Heavy Rain. Jayden throws punches (and pieces of scrap metal!) left and right at him, but Mad Jack either dodges or lets them bounce off of him harmlessly. Note that this happens even if you time the button presses correctly.
- The intro movie to DC Universe Online has Superman powered up enough to pull this on Black Freaking Adam.
- Done in Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance with Senator Armstrong. During the second phase of the fight, when Raiden is reduced to 0.1% health he runs up to the boss and proceeds to deliver some Rapid-Fire Fisticuffs on the boss, who simply stands there and takes it. After a brief pause, in which Armstrong brushes off his chest and adjusts his glasses, Raiden delivers yet another round of punches to no avail, causing him to scream "Why Won't You Die?!". While Armstrong does take damage from it, it's mostly Scratch Damage that barely takes off 10% of his health.
- The Batman: Arkham Series has "Beatdowns", a move in which Batman (Or anybody else) confuses an enemy with his cape (or with something similar), and then proceeds to punch them in this fashion. The move has been part of the series from Arkham City onwards.
- Batman: Arkham City invokes this trope with the lieutenants. If you're not careful to flip over their heads after getting in your half-dozen ineffectual punches, they'll smack you down with one hit. There are also enemies wearing body armor, which require either a beatdown, a special move or a ground takedown to go down.
- Body armor enemies return in Batman: Arkham Origins, and there are enemies similar to lieutenants. In the ending, Batman unleashes three beatdowns to Joker in the Blackgate prison chapel.
- In Batman: Arkham Knight the armored henchmen and lieutenants are combined, and the end result is a larger-than-average thug with very fast reflexes, very high damage, and they need to be taken down with either an beatdown or a special move (Militia variants require two). In predator, they carry miniguns, and need either a very long beatdown to go down, or have to be tricked to activate an instant K.O trap. In addition, fear takedowns don't work on them in either scenario. And if you take out a lieutenant before the rest of the thugs, it makes so much noise that your position is immediately blown.
- In the RWBY episode "Mountain Glenn", Ruby falls into an underground area and loses her weapon. When she encounters two mooks, she tries to punch them, but they easily shrug them off and then knock her unconscious.
- The Death Battle between Iron Man and Lex Luthor has Tony realizing how much stronger Lex's Warsuit is in comparison to his Model 13 Iron Man armor when Luthor simply laughs off his flurry of punches while gloating.
- The Order of the Stick:
- This happens to Miko Miyazaki when she attacks the Monster in the Darkness in strip #374, including the obligatory "That tickles!" Note that the Monster wasn't so much retaliating as wanting to play a game... specifially, "Who hits the lightest?" Means, its hit sends her flying whilst it held back as much as it could... She and her horse went through a brick wall and landed miles away. Unless you count her frustrated "Tickles!?", she never actually has time for an "uh oh". The Monster simply says "My turn first" and the hit comes while she is still talking to herself/her horse.
- And again when Belkar and Haley encounter the Monster. Belkar attacks it with a flurry of stabs... and the Monster doesn't even notice Belkar attacking it. The two of them promptly decide to run away as fast as they possibly can.
- And again in the arena fight between Roy and Thog. When Thog enters a rage and disarms Roy, Roy (while prone and extremely wounded) punches Thog a few times in an act of defiance. Thog doesn't even flinch, and catches Roy's third punch.
- In Zebra Girl, the second time the protagonists meet Professor Broadshoulders, Jack punches him in the jaw. Broadshoulders responds with a stern glare, and Jack replies: "I'm sorry."
- In Girl Genius, we have this. The one attacking is the larger one, though.
- Flaky Pastry: A variation has Nitrine in her power armor throwing a couple of effective punches... until the power ran out in 30 seconds and the suit froze up. She turns it into a Chekhov's Gun later.
- In Everyday Heroes, Iron Jane's first attack on Mr. Mighty turns into the Agony of the Feet; her next attempt fared no better.
- Captain Gamer OOC makes use of this in Strip #4... until the camera pulls out to reveal that Guts Man only has a single point of energy left.
- In Fite!, King Frogera unleashes a flurry of claw swipes on Lucco, then looks up to see that Lucco is now giant. Lucco then effortlessly picks King Frogera up and eats him.
- In Dominic Deegan: Oracle For Hire, Brett Taggerty, a buff jock hopped up on White Magic, is interrupted from beating up a smaller man by Rachel Hart. Taggerty angrily cries out "How about I break your face instead?" and punches at Hart's face with a strong right. The punch only break's Taggerty's hand, to which Hart replies "I break things with my face."
- During the "Great Bermuda Punch-Out" storyline in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe (a sort of no-holds-barred MMA fight where the competitors have to be superhumanly strong), a minor supervillain named Steeplejack hit the aptly named Strength dozens of times. Strength just stood there and let Steeplejack tire himself out.. and then punched the guy through an 8' thick concrete wall.
- Referenced in the That Guy with the Glasses Brawl, when Angry Joe tries punching Sean Fausz.
- In the Whateley Universe, Chaka, on her first day at Whateley Academy gets into it with Hippolyta, a six-foot tall amazon. Chaka lays the smackdown with a mammoth punch to Hippolyta's gut. Nothing. A little too late, Chaka realizes she's trying to punch someone who could probably stop a LAWS rocket with her abs.
- In Super Academy, this is how Dark Cop realizes he's bitten off far more than he can chew against Deathside.
- Happens to Daffy Duck on several Looney Tunes shorts.
- Riley does this to gargantuan implacable boy Butch Magnus Milosevic on The Boondocks. It doesn't work out for him at all.
- Batman Beyond:
- Terry gets this treatment from his generation's equivalent of Bane.
- Later, in "Out of the Past", he gets it once again from one of Ra's Al Ghul's henchmen while he isn't wearing the Batsuit. Then Bruce, younger thanks to a Lazarus Pit punches the guy with more success.
- Batman: The Animated Series: Before Terry, Bruce went through this while fighting one of Scarface's goons.
- It also happened in "The Last Laugh" when the Joker had a giant robot clown called Captain Clown. Batman clearly didn't know it was a robot at first, and hurt his hand trying to punch it. (Later, even knocking it upside the head with a crowbar barely slowed it down; he had to knock it into a car compactor to finally destroy it.)
- Frisky Dingo's Killface actually exclaims, "Punch, punch, punch!" when attacking Antagone, and when he sees she isn't fazed at all he says, "Nothing?"
- Donkey Kong suffered this in the Donkey Kong Country cartoon after having a curse placed on him that removed his strength. He went up against Krusha and rained a volley of punches onto the burly Kremling's stomach. Krusha's response was a sarcastic "Oooo, you're tickling me".
- In one Freakazoid! episode, the eponymous hero throws himself at the villain Guitierrez and attempts to take him down then, after a few seconds of fruitless struggle, tries tickling him. Guitierrez doesn't even flinch. Finally, Freakazoid looks up at him and says "You're not liking any of this, are you?" just before the villain throws him away.
- This happens in an episode of Star Wars: Clone Wars, albeit with a lightsaber instead of fists: Obi-Wan is fighting Durge, a giant alien bounty hunter, and manages to stab him in the chest. Durge looks down, begins to laugh, and proceeds to beat the crap out of Obi-Wan.
- Justice League Unlimited:
Aquaman: "King of the Seas," remember?
- In the episode "Grudge Match", FOUR of the DCAU's toughest heroines basically throw the kitchen sink at Wonder Woman, even pinning her down — for about two seconds. She straightens up effortlessly, and everyone else is groaning after they land. Diana was tougher under mind control than she ever was in regular episodes — possibly as a result of her holding back most of the time so as not to unintentionally kill someone.
- Diana herself ends up getting the short end of the stick in a fist-fight with Mongul in "For the Man Who Has Everything". He barely registers her blows. She hurts her own hands. In all fairness, Mongul is supposed to be tougher and stronger than Superman.
- This also happens to Downpour when he tries to punch Aquaman. Aquaman then easily smacks him down.
- Superman himself is on the receiving end of this when fighting Doomsday. After everything he throws at Doomsday does nothing and Doomsday himself has about killed Superman, Supes tries lobotomizing him with his heat vision as a move of pure desperation. Unfortunately for him, Doomsday had already become immune to this. Only a timely eruption and quick thinking on Superman's part was able to save him.
- Teen Titans: Happens a couple times between Robin and Slade in Season 4, thanks to Slade's newfound demonic powers. Robin lays a series of hard punches and kicks to Slade, who just contorts back into an upright position and cracks his neck, completely unfazed. Cue Robin's Oh, Crap! expression and Slade flinging him across the block.
- Subverted in ReBoot: Near the end of the third season finale when Matrix (Enzo) returns to Mainframe to free the system from Megabyte. After mocking the sprite and challanging him to "fight like a real sprite", Megabyte gives Matrix one free punch. Matrix sends the virus flying, who is suitably astonished at the dent in his chest. Played straight earlier, when Bob tried to stall Gigabyte while Mainframe shut down. It didn't work out too well.
- Any time Darkwing Duck tries to use his martial arts on a bigger and stronger opponent, it goes something like this. He never learns.
- In episode 22 of season 1, at the start of the fight against Rubilax, it seems at first that Sadlygrove has the upper hand, raining blows on the Shushu. But Rubilax just laughs it off, complains that it tickles... before starting to grow and revealing that the harder he's hit, the bigger he gets.
Rubilax: Oh, yeah, it's always a bit surprising the first time.
- In episode 9 of season 2, Sadlygrove punches Shushu General Anathar as hard as he can and realizes too late that Anathar has just copied Rubilax's power.
- In episode 22 of season 1, at the start of the fight against Rubilax, it seems at first that Sadlygrove has the upper hand, raining blows on the Shushu. But Rubilax just laughs it off, complains that it tickles... before starting to grow and revealing that the harder he's hit, the bigger he gets.
- The Monarch invokes this trope in The Venture Bros. episode Showdown at Cremation Creek Part 2 when he attacks Klaus Nomi but fails due to his "plastic armor".
- The Powerpuff Girls: For the most part of an episode, this happens repeatedly to the girls against a very Godzilla-esque monster, who just shrugs off all their attacks and systematically punts them into the ground. Until Bubbles politely asks it to leave.
- The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes! episode "To Steal an Ant-Man" has an unusual example in that not only is it a villain who's throwing the ineffectual punches, he's doing so against somebody smaller than him. Of course, the giant is just a random thug and the "smaller" guy is the still-huge and Nigh Invulnerable Luke Cage.
- In the Young Justice episode "Darkest", Impulse delivers a flurry of punches to Tommy Terror's face. Tommy doesn't even flinch and Impulse ends up hurting his own hands.
- Solomon does this towards Octus in his Mr. Lunis-disguise in Sym-Bionic Titan, not realizing at first that he's a robot.
- SpongeBob SquarePants: Happens when SpongeBob gets repeatedly punched by Flats but doesn't feel anything. Subverted, as Flats keeps trying until he gets exhausted days later.
- Happens in a Donald Duck cartoon in a unique way: Donald enters a boxing match and, at the sound of the bell, comes out swinging punches. However, he is revealed to be ineffectually hitting the ref. The ref then points him at his opponent, who is roughly on par with a Greek Titan in terms of size and strength compared to Donald.
- Ben 10:
- Ben's first encounter with Vilgax had the alien warlord effortlessly shrugging off Ben's attacks. When Diamondhead breaks his fists (Literally) punching Vilgax...
Ben: Oh, man! I guess I shoulda seen that coming...
- In the Ben 10: Omniverse episode "Oh Mother, Where Art Thou", the Dittos experience this against the mature Pretty Boy clones.
Ditto #1: Take this! And this! And some of that! (Pretty Boy clone doesn't even flinch)
Ditto #2: I think he's taking it a little too well...
- Ben's first encounter with Vilgax had the alien warlord effortlessly shrugging off Ben's attacks. When Diamondhead breaks his fists (Literally) punching Vilgax...
- The Popeye cartoon "Be Kind to Aminals" has Popeye stopping Bluto from punching his horse by eating some spinach and standing in front of the horse to take the blow. The effects are like Bluto punching a metal statue until he gets exhausted.
- In Gravity Falls episode "Fight Fighters", Dipper finds himself fighting the super-powered Ryu expy Rumble McSkirmish. Dipper manages to land a single uppercut...which only lowers Rumble's health bar by 0.5%.
Dipper: Oh no.
- A giant cat takes a running start with his fist out towards Mighty Mouse in "The Cat's Tale." All his blow lands is a painful case of accordion arm.
- Same thing happens to Scooby-Doo as he attempts to throw a punch to the gut of the mummy ("Scooby-Doo and a Mummy, Too"). His karate chops are even less effective.
- In an episode of Superman: The Animated Series, Luminus creates a device that turns the light of the sun red, in order to dampen Superman's powers. At the climax the machine gets destroyed, so he starts punching Superman in desperation. He manages to land the first few punches, but Supes' strength returns too quickly, and he stops the last one with his palm, crushing Luminus' fist.
- In a Book 2 episode ofThe Legend of Korra, Bumi aggressively pummels a dark spirit with a flurry of punches. After delivering it an uppercut, the spirit only makes an aggravated look at him, prompting Bumi to smile awkwardly at it while sweating profusely before it punches him back.
- Happens to Samurai Jack in his battle against The Guardian, once the combat devolves into fisticuffs. Jack socks The Guardian in the jaw jaw four times; The Guardian simply grins it off, grabs Jack's arm and punches him across the room.
- Part of Harry Houdini's stage act, but eventually led to his appendix bursting and his death. Though it's a bit more complicated: Houdini was already in the early stages of appendicitis when he took the blow. He simply chalked the pain in his abdomen up to getting punched (without having adequate time to prepare for the blow) and didn't seek medical attention until it was too late.