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Second Person Attack

You walk through the subway, his eyes burn a hole in your back.
A footstep behind you, he lunges prepared for attack.
Scream for mercy, he laughs as he's watching you bleed.
Killer behind you, his Blood Lust defies all his needs.
Iron Maiden, "Killers"

This is a trope where someone attacks the victim through the POV of that victim. It gives the illusion to viewers of what it's like to actually get PUNCHED (KICKED, OR TAKING ANY HIT) IN THE FACE! Ouch!

Similar to Camera Abuse, except for the fact that there's not supposed to be any camera - the attack is just viewed through the victim's face. Many cases are represented by a Hit Flash of some sort at the point of impact, but there are a few exceptions, like the use of a Smash to Black in live-action uses of this trope. It may also result in an Impairment Shot if the P.O.V. Cam stays where it is after the hit.

While sometimes this is purely for stylistic reasons, other times its a form of censorship in action shows directed at younger audiences because you never see the hit. A character punches the screen, cut to another character flying across the room, but you never see the point of contact.

Compare Sean Connery Is About to Shoot You.


Examples:

    open/close all folders 

    Advertising 
  • These three commercials for Bayer Advantage Flea and Tick control gruesomely show the POV of the fleas as they get killed by a yarn ball, a feather duster, and a frisbee.
  • In the latest commercial for World of Warcraft featuring Chuck Norris, he does not one, but two Second Person Attacks! The first time, he punches one of the enemies in the game, and the second time, he punches the camera after the line, "I'm Chuck Norris, and I approve this game."
  • This commercial for the Gillette Fusion Pro Glide takes place during a boxing match and it contains a very intense punch thrown at the screen by one of the boxers (complete with sort of a glass-shattering effect), as well as a near hit by the other boxer just before that.
  • In an old commercial for Storm Water Guns, the kids all fire their guns at the camera simultaneously towards the end.
  • Subverted in this commercial for the Samsung Galaxy Gear featuring a montage of clips from vintage TV shows and their gadgets. In one scene, a giant robot mech threw an "atomic punch" at the camera, but the scene changes before the punch could be landed.
  • This old Listerine commercial animated by Pixar features a bottle of Listerine challenging you to a boxing fight and ultimately defeating you with a series of knockout blows.

    Anime and Manga 
  • Used frequently during the battle scenes in the Pokémon anime.
  • Also used in the 17th episode of Sonic X during the fighting sequences.
    • In episode 46, Cream the Rabbit finishes off the robot Emerl with a double stomp, knocking it into the ocean.
  • Street Fighter II: The Animated Movie has a lengthy one at the end of Chun Li's fight with Vega, during which she kicks him repeatedly. It's shown almost entirely from Vega's POV, excluding when she puts him through the wall with both feet.
  • Cowboy Bebop combines this with the "Hey, You!" Haymaker in "Cowboy Funk." The episode "Pierrot Le Fou" looks to have another example with a gun, but it switches to Spike's POV before he actually fires.
  • The fourth opening of Naruto ends with the titular character throwing a punch at the screen, which then fades to white.
  • Taken to the gory extreme in Anime/School Days, where the viewer is treated to the view from inside the stomach/womb of a character being sliced open.

    Films - Animation 

    Films - Live Action 
  • The Great Train Robbery can be considered the Ur Example to this trope, as its last shot has director Edwin Porter, in a very early kind of cameo (not the leader of the outlaw band as was mainly believed), taking aim and firing point blank at the audience. The film is well known for the scene.
  • In Charlie's Angels:Full Throttle, one of the crooks Camera Abuse and is punched by Alex Munday
  • In Lou Ferrigno's film Hercules the title character was punching a bear multiple times through the POV of the animal, complete with ridiculous strobe Hit Flash effects.
  • The film Hidalgo has at least one instance of a Second Person Attack, as seen in this trailer around 2:08.
  • The gun-barrel sequence in James Bond films, naturally. Only the attack is viewed from the barrel of the gun. In one variation, the bullet actually goes THROUGH the barrel itself!
  • In Tales from the Darkside: The Movie, we see the cat lunging at his victim, with the camera going right to the victim's mouth, just to make it clear that it's an Orifice Invasion.
  • In Resident Evil: Apocalypse, a sniper is taken out by Alice.
  • In Sneakers, Martin is pistol whipped, thrown in the trunk of a car, driven to what turns out to be the Big Bad's hideout, and is pistol whipped again when Wallace finds him awake. This second pistol whipping is shown from Martin's perspective, using the Cut To Black version.
  • It was also used for dramatic effect all throughout the fight scenes in the 2005 boxing film Cinderella Man.

    Live Action TV 
  • This clip from the ESPN documentary show, E:60, gives viewers the virtual effect on what it would be like to be attacked by a thrown knife. Only difference being that a large sheet of glass was used, and there's no enemy here.
  • The first season finale of Salute Your Shorts featured departing character, Michael, leaving to avoid a large and very aggressive bully. In the episode's climax, Michael decides to face the bully ddown. The camera switches to Michael's POV for the confrontation just before the bully delivers an anticlimactic One-Hit KO and the screen goes black.
  • In Wipeout they use what's called the Smash Cam. This is intended to show how the contestant fell from their own point of view (or at least the point of view of their lifejacket).
  • Used in Scrubs during this particularly awesome scene.
  • In an episode of Sesame Street's segment show Elmo's World called "Water", a boy is shown squirting a jet of water at the camera with a hose during a montage of kids playing with water.

     Music 
  • The music video for They Might Be Giants "Bastard wants to hit me" ends with said bastard punching the singer from his point of view.
  • The music video for "CNR" by "Weird Al" Yankovic contains a couple of examples: one where the titular character, Charles Nelson Reilly, hits someone in the face with a shovel, and then punches the camera at the end.

    Professional Wrestling 

    Sports 

    Video Games 
  • In God of War 3, one part of the Poseidon battle has you seeing Kratos' brutality through Poseidon's eyes, up to the point where he gouges them out with his thumbs.
  • The opening of the game Sonic Riders has Knuckles punching Storm a few times like this.
  • The opening of Sonic Colors has Sonic punching Dr. Eggman like this as well.
  • A gruesome example occurs in No More Heroes. When Travis cuts off the head of Rank 3 assassin Speed Buster, we see it fly to the ground from her POV.
  • In Wild Star: Meet the Exiles video has representative Kit Brinny accidentally punching out the cameraman. Also an example of Camera Abuse.
  • The Super Nintendo Entertainment System and Wii versions of the game Punch-Out!! essentially use this perspective, with only a transparent version of the player visible in the foreground. Most boxing games, in fact, seem to use this perspective. But only if you play it poorly, you see you're supposed to beat the other guy up.
  • The Fight Night games use this trope when boxers get stunned during matches. Players get to see through the eyes of that boxer as his opponent knocks him out with a brutal punch.
  • Teleroboxer is fought in first-person view (obviously, since it was released for Virtual Boy). When you get knocked out, the robot's view screen gets turned off like a television.
  • Also done a lot in the console 3D Pokémon games because battle animations weren't built for two Pokémon to ever hit each other or even be on the same side of the arena.
  • 4-D Boxing offers two first-person cameras, from the viewpoint of either you or your opponent. Hit Flashes abound.
  • Quite a few attacks in Super Robot Wars do this, probably so the animations can play fine regardless of how the target looks. A good example would be Mazinkaiser's Final Kaiser Blade.
  • Happens in all three Modern Warfare games. In the first, you're given semi control of the original leader of a country as he's lead into an arena and executed. In the second, the character you control is shot by General Sheppard, tossed into a ditch, and burned, while still alive. In the third, in a mission where you control a Russian Secret Service Agent, you've almost gotten the President to safety when Makarov turns out to be inside the helicopter you were going to escape in, shoots you, and takes the President.

    Western Animation 
  • Gargoyles does this once in season 1 and several times in season 2.
  • The Arthur episode Arthur's Big Hit is one of the rare cases where no Hit Flash was used.
  • In the Looney Tunes cartoon "My Little Duckaroo"", Daffy Duck gets punched in the face by Nasty Canasta.
    • Bugs Bunny short "Rabbit Punch". While in a boxing match, Bugs hands a sling shot to his opponent and pulls back on the sling. He then puts a boulder in the sling and launches it into the opponent's face. We see the attack from the opponent's POV: watch it here.
    • Also occurs twice in the cartoon Homeless Hare when Bugs Bunny drops a brick on the antagonist's head, and later, when he, himself gets whammed in the head by a large I-beam thrown by the antagonist, temporarily leaving Bugs dazed and confused.
    • In the Porky Pig cartoon, The Lone Stranger and Porky, the unseen narrator annoys the villain so much that he fires his guns at the camera, shooting the narrator to death.
    • In the beginning of the 1996 cartoon, From Hare to Eternity, Yosemite Sam becomes so annoyed by the unseen group of singers singing too much, that he takes a baton and throws it at the camera, striking the group with a "clang".
  • Used and abused in The Powerpuff Girls, especially in certain cases where the viewer can suffer the virtual effects of getting punched and kicked DOZENS OF TIMES IN A ROW.
    • Especially used in the opening sequence to some extent.
  • Often done in Batman: The Animated Series, Superman: The Animated Series, and Justice League.
  • Also frequently used in Teen Titans.
    • The title sequence even has Cyborg making a huge punch.
  • This is done at least Once an Episode in Ben 10 and its spinoffs.
  • At the end of the Codename: Kids Next Door episode, Operation: S.P.A.C.E., Numbuh 1 points his mustard gun toward one of the characters, and his blast fills the entire screen and fades to black.
    • Operation: E.N.D.: Numbuh 4 to Chad: "Don't ever call me SQUIRT!" Cue punch that sends Chad flying.
    • Operation: R.O.B.B.E.R.S.: Numbuh 5 uses the S.P.L.A.N.K.E.R. to knock out one of the members of the Six-Gum Gang.
    • Operation: L.U.N.C.H.: Lizzie uses Numbuh 1's combat machine to punch Robin Food and the lunch robbers.
    • Operation: N.A.U.G.H.T.Y.: A Wolverine-like character uses his candy cane claws to slash one of the villains.
  • Used in an episode of Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends when Bloo gets punched in the face by a young girl for taking some toy glow-in-the-dark vampire teeth.
    • In another episode where Bloo was spying on who was supposed to be "the best imaginary friend ever", in one scene, that best imaginary friend knocks out Bloo with a shovel.
  • An episode of The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy titled "Chicken Ball Z" begins with Mandy repeatedly punching Billy in the face at a karate dojo.
    • Towards the end of the episode "Sister Grim", the giant nun (formed by many regular sized nuns) sends Grim home with a big punch after they find out that he wasn't actually a nun the whole time.
    • At the end of the episode "Hoss Delgado: Spectral Exterminator", Hoss fights a werewolf. They jump up, and the camera pans, The Matrix-style, to (almost) the POV of the werewolf. Hoss fires his slime gun at the werewolf, filling the screen to a fade-to-black.
  • Subverted in the Dexter's Laboratory cartoon "Beard To Be Feared". Action Hank was about to punch an enemy through the POV of that enemy, and just when he was throwing the punch, it cuts to a TV showing the episode of Action Hank that Dexter was watching. Dexter was then shown wincing at the punch.
    • Played straight, however, in "Dexter Detention", when a bully Dexter was sitting next to in detention punches him in the face.
    • In the episode "A Mom Cartoon", Dexter's mom fights another woman at the supermarket for some new gloves. At one point, Mom punches and kicks the other woman multiple times through the POV of that woman.
  • Beavis And Butthead does this at least twice — once in the episode "Nosebleed", and again in the introduction to the 3D Jackass movie. Both times it was Butt-Head punching Beavis.
  • Happens in the Christmas special, Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, where, of course, Grandma got run over by Santa's reindeer and sleigh through her POV.
  • At the end of the Ed, Edd n Eddy episode, "Who Let The Ed In?", Eddy hits Ed with an invisible potato in an invisible slingshot.
    • This trope also occurs in the Valentine's Day special when Kevin tosses the end of the gym rope towards Eddy, and it hits him in the face.
    • In the episode, "The Good, The Bad, and the Ed", Rolf challenges Eddy to a series of dangerous challenges. One of the challenges involved Eddy and Rolf getting giant boulders smashed against themselves in a giant Newton's Cradle. At the start of that challenge, Eddy's POV shows Ed tossing one of the boulders, smashing him hard.
    • In the episode "Who, What, Where, Ed!" after Ed accidentally breaks all the eggs from the fridge and offers Eddy a bite from his popsicle from, the camera shifts to his POV as Eddy says "Hold that thought", and whacks him in the face with the frying pan he was planning on cooking omelettes in. The whack covers the whole screen black with no Hit Flash.
  • In the SpongeBob SquarePants episode, "Pizza Delivery", when the fish ordering the Krusty Krab pizza refused to pay for the pizza because Spongebob and Squidward forgot to bring him his soda, Squidward comes back at his door and shoves the pizza in the customer's face, "Well, this one's on the house!"
    • Also occurs twice in the episode "Sandy's Rocket", with Spongebob and Patrick's use of the net guns to capture Mr. Krabs, then Sandy.
    • The episode "The Two Faces of Squidward" involved Spongebob slamming the door repeatedly on Squidward's face in order to restore his face to normal after he had a hard time being handsome. The trope doesn't apply at the end, however, when Mr. Krabs tried doing the same thing to him, only this time, to make him handsome again.
  • All the bumpers in Cartoon Network's Acme Hour feature cartoon slapstick and violence in the first person. Several bumpers involve Second-Person Attacks - to name a few: getting run over by a steamroller or a train, getting whacked in the face by a plank, falling from a skyscraper, and getting knocked in the head by a falling weight.
  • There were infamous scenes from episodes of Beast Wars: some have a a single or double Second-Person Attack, plus the Impairment Shot of seeing double and falling over after the punch occurred. The double Second Person Attack is here, while the single one with an Impairment Shot is here
  • In The Simpsons, in the episode "Husbands and Knives", a triple Second-Person Attack is made by Art Spiegelman, Daniel Clowes and Alan Moore, who all simultaneously punch Comic Book Guy when he was trying to destroy a rival comic book store that's ruining his business. "Worst Second-Person Attack ever."
    • The early episode "Bart the General" also shows Nelson punching Bart from his point of view once.
  • Occurs in the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode, "1000 Years of Courage". Here, Courage picks up a banana, attempting to eat it, but it turns out to be a living baby creature. Courage makes a dash for it as its mother hits him over the head twice with her purse.
  • Used several times in The Fairly OddParents: at least two in the TV movie Abracatastrophe; one in the beginning of the movie Channel Chasers; the episodes "Mighty Mom and Dyno Dad", "Scary Godparents", "Kung Timmy" (and several others), and occasionally in the Crimson Chin bridging sequences in the Season 0 episodes.
  • The Ellipse-Nelvana version of The Adventures of Tintin was fond of this.
  • Jonny Quest episodes
    • "Dragons of Ashida". When one of the dragons starts up a hill after Race Bannon, Race rolls down a boulder at it. We see the boulder approaching from the dragon's point of view, just before it hits.
    • "A Small Matter of Pygmies". When Race, Jonny and Hadji roll boulders and logs down the hill at the pygmies climbing up it, we see the boulders and logs approaching from the pygmies' point of view.
  • A common sight in Donkey Kong Country is a POV shot from the villains as DK throws a haymaker at their face.
  • Hero Factory episode The Trials of Furno has a shot showing Rotor's point of view as Furno lays a few punches on him.
  • Occurs in X-Men: Evolution, when Storm punches Mystique out in "The Cauldron, Part One".
  • Also seen in Jackie Chan Adventures, especially in the Title Sequence where Jackie punches the main villain of the season, and then transforms back into his live-action form as he shakes his hand in pain from punching said villain.
  • Likely inspired by the Looney Tunes example above, an episode of Darkwing Duck has Darkwing tricking Negaduck into coming down an elevator, which Darkwing has attached a large rubber band to the entrance of. We switch to Negs POV when Darkwing lets loose the anvil he had been holding in the sling shot.
  • Happens during the memorable theme song of Stone Protectors.
    We're the band that knows how to rock
    Lots of flash, lots of sock!
    Don't be fooled by this handsome bunch
    'Cuz this band can really punch!
  • In a cut away gag on Family Guy has Lois talking about how easily Peter gets jealous when he thinks guys are hitting on her. The flashback occurs during a concert from the singer's POV, when he says that their next song is dedicated to all the ladies in the audience. Cue Peter emerging from the back row and running all the way up to the stage to knock him out.
  • An episode of Time Squad has Napoleon Bonaparte's wife knocking him out this way.
  • Many episodes of Dragon Booster.
  • Twice in the first episode of Winx Club
  • The third episode of WITCH


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