Shockwave Clap

Clapping is pretty loud, but it pales in comparison to the Shockwave Clap. Sometimes it's just a really loud clap and sometimes it has the power to knock people over or cause physical damage. It can have more intuitive uses from time to time, such as blowing out fires.

This is commonly used by characters with Super Strength, since it lets them demonstrate their power without directly attacking someone (which could have messy results). Usually appears in the form of a powerful, high-pressure wave of air.

The "realistic" varieties of Sword Beam create a similar effect, but concentrated into a sharp edge. However, these are usually associated with skill rather than strength.

See also Kung-Fu Sonic Boom, Make Me Wanna Shout, Shockwave Stomp. Not to be confused with Clap Your Hands If You Believe.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • One Piece: how Emporio Ivankov's "Eye Beams" actually work, just replace hands with eyelashes.
    • Newgate, as per his Devil Fruit powers, can do Shockwave Punches.
  • Assassination Classroom: Nagisa is taught this as an assassination technique; clapping his hands in front of an enemy whose senses are on high alert disorients them. In the over-the-top style of the manga this is represented as a nuclear explosion

    Comic Books 
  • A trademark move of both Fantastic Four's The Thing and the Hulk.
    • In a notable instance, at the end of the Fall of The Hulks storyline, the Hulk uses this to stop a building from collapsing by using the shockwave to fill the building with sand (he was fighting on the beach).
  • And clearly The Sentry picked this one up from his buddy the Hulk, as he's shown using it against the minions of the Void.
  • Luke Cage performs this maneuver in the second New Avengers #1. Victoria Hand (Token Good Teammate of the Dark Avengers) meets him at the Avengers Mansion because Cap asked her to, but shows up with a gun on the grounds that she has no powers to defend herself with and the Avengers aren't exactly fond of her. Since he has Jessica and their baby with him, Cage demonstrates that the gun isn't much help by clapping his hands together so hard Hand goes flying.
  • Superman has been known to do this on occasion.
  • In JLA: Incarnations #5, Vibe and his vibrational powers show you how it's done.
  • Flint did a more narrow-focused version of this technique during her time with Stormwatch Red.
  • In X-Men The mutant Arclight, in addition to her superhuman strength, endurance, and durability, has the ability to create seismic energy with her hands that generate shockwaves and geo tremors. As noted below, her film incarnation possesses the same abilities.
  • In his first appearance, Lightning Lad of the Legion of Super-Heroes had his Shock and Awe powers work this way (it was later changed to just using lightning without any clapping). From the story itself:
    Lightning Lad: "My hands are like the positive and negative poles of a battery! Each time I clap them together, a super-lightning flash leaps forth!"

  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Arclight (see above) has this ability. And that's all she does, but apparently she can control it well enough to make sure the shockwave only breaks certain materials.
  • Also used in The Incredible Hulk movie by the titular character to douse a fire.

  • In Sir Thursday, Dame Primus does this with the Second Key, which takes the form of a pair of gloves.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 

    Web Comic 
  • Captain Excelsior: The Thunderclap.

    Web Original 
  • An earth power in Phaeton.
  • Behemoth of Worm can do this, among his many, many, powers.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The Alpheidae, or pistol shrimp, can create bubbles with its claws which implode within a millisecond. The bubble heats the surrounding water to a temperature of nearly 4700°C (nearly as hot as the surface of the sun) when it collapses, producing a shockwave that can kill small fish at short range. At a measured loudness of 218 decibels at 1 meter, the gun also makes the pistol shrimp one of the loudest creatures in the ocean.

Alternative Title(s): Thunder Clap