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Putting a Hand Over His Mouth
aka: Putting A Hand Over Her Mouth

Past Pete: Just who was that creep, anyway?
Sora: Hello! That creep was... *Goofy clamps Sora's mouth with his hand*note 
Goofy: Sora, it's a secret!

Similar to the Finger Muzzle, this is a more direct and easier way of shutting someone up. If Bob is being kidnapped, the best way to prevent him from crying out is by grabbing him and covering his mouth. Not only that, but Alice could easily do it if she just wanted him to stop talking for some reason.

This gesture can be both threatening or playful, depending on the context. Rescuers may sometimes use this if they have to sneak up on a friend from behind and don't want them alerting nearby foes by yelling in surprise. If in hiding, the more self-controlled character may use it to keep the frightened character from crying out inadvertently.

It bears noting that this method of trying to subdue someone can be defeated if the person doing it is capable of feeling pain, namely by biting down hard on said person's hand.

Compare with Finger Muzzle, "Shut Up" Kiss, Standard Female Grab Area, and Finger On Lips. See also Bound and Gagged.


    open/close all folders 

     Anime and Manga 
  • Jessie does this to James several times in the Pokémon episode "Holy Matrimony!"
  • Played for laughs during the Griffith rescue in Berserk, where Princess Charlotte has a quite uncharacteristic temper tantrum at the thought of not going with the now-exiled Band of the Hawk in order to stay with Griffith. To shut her trap, Casca, Guts, Judeau, and her maid Anna all put their hands over Charlotte's mouth.
  • In Fruits Basket when Kagura almost lets slip to Tohru about Kyo's true form Kyo covers her mouth with his hand.
  • In Naruto Sasuke does this to Sakura in the Forest of Death.
  • Bleach: When Nnoitra forces Orihime to watch Tesra curb-stomp Ichigo, the anime has him place a hand over her mouth. In the manga, he actually forces his fingers inside her mouth, which mimics a common kink in Japanese porn.

    Comic Books 
  • Happened to Lois Lane quite a bit in the Golden Age Superman comics.
  • Batman will occasionally surprise his enemies from behind this way.

    Fan Works 

    Film: Animation 
  • In Mulan, Mulan briefly silences Mushu this way during his "dishonor" rant.
  • In Disney's version of Peter Pan, Wendy is silenced this way twice, once by Peter and once by a pirate.
  • Pocahontas hushes Nakoma this way when John Smith approaches.
  • Happens to Littlefoot in the first Land Before Time sequel when he is captured.
  • Flora shushes the other fairies this way in Sleeping Beauty. A goon also does this to Phillip for a second.
  • A monkey does this to Mowgli in The Jungle Book.
  • In The Great Mouse Detective, Basil does this to Dawson, as does Ratigan to Olivia—before she bites it.
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor does this to Hugo when he tries to spit on a mime.
  • In Tarzan, a villain gags Jane this way, causing her to bite him.
  • Lilo & Stitch: Nani does this to Lilo near the beginning, and shortly after wraps her entire arm around her mouth as well. Lilo licks her.
  • In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally's disembodied hand does this to Santa Claus when she's rescuing him.
  • Atlantis: The Lost Empire: "I have some questions for you and you are not leaving this city until they are answered."

    Film: Live Action 
  • In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid during the second train robbery. Woodcock, thinking Butch and Sundance were going to harm a female train passenger, opens the door to the car with the safe in it, only to find Sundance has the woman like this while Butch imitated her voice.
  • In the first Pirates of the Caribbean, Will does the "rescuer needs to stop the victim from alerting foes" variant on Elizabeth when they sneak out of the pirate's cave.
  • In Irreversible, Le Tenia spends most of the infamous eight minute rape scene with his hand over his victim's mouth. One of the many things that makes the scene so horrible to watch is the fact that she is not completely silenced, and her continuous muffled screams can be clearly heard by the audience.
  • In Transylvania 6-5000, a little girl who finds a Frankenstein-like monster in the forest opens her mouth as if ready to scream, but the monster's hand suddenly covers it.
  • The Empire Strikes Back - early on, Han is trying to find out if Luke has come back to the base from patrol and shuts up C-3PO this way. 3PO expresses exasperation nicely with body language alone.
  • Beetlejuice ends cheerfully for Lydia as Adam affectionately silences Barbara this way, who is calling him out on his own bad school grades.
  • Happens to Anabel in A Simple Wish by Boots.
  • Played for laughs in John Carter, where Tars does this to John, Sola and Dejah when he helps them escape after they have been sentenced to death. Of course, Tharks have four arms, so it makes sense.
  • In The Dark Crystal, Torture Technician SkekTek tries to silence Kira this way when she calls to his caged animals to help her. (Very bad idea. She bites him.)
  • A goblin does this to himself when told to be quiet by his allies in Labyrinth.
  • In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the titular character does this to Mike Teevee to prevent him from telling the geese that Easter is over. If only he knew what was about to happen, he'd do that to Veruca instead...
  • Happens in Vertigo during The Reveal. Kim Novak has just seen her doppelganger (the real Madeleine) fall to her death and we see Galvin muffling her scream.
  • In Mulholland Dr., Betty is muffling Rita's scream when encountering the corpse.
  • In Cloud Atlas, Joe is ambushing Luisa Rey in her apartment, using this trope to muffle her screaming.
  • In Almost Famous, Will does this to Polexia after discovering that he's still in bed with her while trying to take a call from Rolling Stone. Hilariously, the hand that he puts over her mouth happens to be the one with all the notes that he was going to use to bullshit his way through the call (because he's extremely far behind on his article), so he's forced to switch hands...
  • Happens twice to Annabelle, the love interest in The General, first by the leader of the Union squad and later by the hero when he rescues her from the enemy's headquarters.

    Literature 
  • In the first book of The Wheel of Time series, Rand's father uses the friendly variation of this to keep him from crying out when they're being hunted by trollocs. Rand nearly breaks his arm in his panic to get free.
  • In Septimus Heap, this is done to Jenna by Wolf Boy when she trips over him and is about to scream, giving them away to the Tracker Ball Sleuth.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens a few times on iCarly. Most notably, Carly licks Sam's hand at one point, exclaiming that it tastes like peanuts and dirt.
  • Doctor Who. Played straight when a child is abducted by a cyberman in "Nightmare in Silver", then taken to the next level when the Cyberman detaches its own hand to send after the next abductee.
    • The Tenth Doctor also does this to Tallulah in "Daleks in Manhattan" to prevent a dalek from hearing them.
  • Done often to Adorkable geek Seth by his girlfriend Summer in The O.C., usually in a playful manner when he won't shut up.
  • On an episode of I Love Lucy, Ricky does this to both Lucy and Ethel at once, while the two are gabbing about the possibility of the Ricardos moving to a larger, more expensive apartment in the same building. He then firmly asserts, "I won' swish apar'men's!"
  • Subverted by Arrested Development, when George does it to Tobias. "Stop licking my hand!"
  • Castiel does the "Don't let my friend make a noise" version to Dean in the Season Four finale of Series/Supernatural.

    Video Games 
  • Happens several times in Kingdom Hearts II
    • Goofy does this to Sora to prevent him from revealing that they and Pete are from the future after beating the boss in Timeless River.
    • And much later on, before fighting the Experiment in Halloween Town, Sora clamps Jack Skellington's mouth shut when it emerges that he's not learned his lesson from earlier with wanting to take over from Santa Claus.
    • Before your fight with him, Xaldin does this to Belle after planting the Beast's Rose next to her.
    • In the manga adaptation, Pete does this to Megara when kidnapping her for Hades. Even though she bites him on the hand, she gets captured.
  • Happens to the titular character in the opening cutscenes in Jak II: Renegade to prevent him from alerting the guards.
  • In the game Aliens Versus Predator (2010), this is a common way to silence your victims as either a Predator or Alien during grab kills from behind.
  • Tachyon does this to Captain Qwark near the end of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools Of Destruction. Unusual for this trope is that he puts one of the legs of his walking throne over Qwark's mouth, due to being out of reach, as well as keeping Qwark pinned down.
    • Pollyx also does this to Ratchet in the second level in Into the Nexus.

    Webcomics 

    Web Original 

     Western Animation 
  • Happens once in Code Lyoko's "End of Take." Odd attempts to pretend to be a ghost in the factory, banging pipes and moaning, but is held down by Jeremie and Yumi. Yumi puts her hand over Odd's mouth.
  • Often happens to April and Irma on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
  • Happens frequently on Inspector Gadget to Penny.
    • It also happens to Inspector Gadget himself.
  • The spies on Totally Spies! frequently do this to each other.
  • Happened several times on Goof Troop:
    • Pete covers PJ's mouth when PJ tries to call him out on his hypocrisy for spending lots of money on a ski trip after refusing to pay him and Max for shoveling snow. Pete resorts to carrying PJ out of the area to shut him up so Goofy doesn't learn about Pete's ulterior motive for the ski trip.
    • Pete covers Pistol's mouth so that the Mrs. Spoonerville contest judges don't learn that the only reason she's doing housework is because he bribed her with fifty dollars.
    • Max covers PJ's mouth when he screams really loudly after a stolen perfume bottle goes missing so that he doesn't wake up the whole town.
    • PJ covers Pistol's mouth so she won't tell Pete that he has a crush on a girl in his class. When caught, he claims he was helping her swallow her dessert.
  • In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart does this when he drags Lisa away after she annoys Homer with one of her lectures.
  • Happened three times in "Josie and the Pussycats":
    • Alan is captured this way in "Plateau of the Apes Plot"
    • In the episode "Spy School Spoof," the Pussycats were delivering fake plans for a top secret device to the villian, thinking if they could convince them they were on his side, he'd let them go. Once they deliver the plans, Alexander goes on to brag about some of their other "escapades" until Alexandra puts her hand over his mouth, telling him not to overdo it.
    • In "The Jumping Jupiter Affair," Alexandra is about to tell off the villian, but Alexander covers her mouth before she can get them in any trouble

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alternative title(s): Putting A Hand Over Her Mouth; Hand Gag; Hand Gagging; Putting A Hand Over Their Mouth
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