Stop Hitting Yourself

This trope is about a tactic, either bullying or combat, that consists of forcing/making someone hit themselves. Deals both physical and psychological damage. Especially when it's about bullying, expect the bully to taunt the victim "why do you keep hitting yourself?" or, even more often "Stop hitting yourself!", hence the trope name.

In more dramatic examples, someone might have a piece of their person removed and used as a weapon against what remains of them. Especially when Only Like Can Cut Like, the easiest way to do it is to take a piece of that "like" to harm the rest of it. A weapon system could be turned against its own platform. A projectile may be reflected or caught and returned back at the attacker. More fantastic examples might even include a duplicate being created to attack the original or someone being forced to fight a time displaced version of themselves. If you've got psychic powers, maybe you can make people endlessly fight themselves in a nightmare? To a director, just seeing the actor fumble around on the green screen could be worth it.

Related to Why Did You Make Me Hit You?, which is about shifting the blame from the perpetrator to the (particularly weak-willed) victim, which may go hand in hand with this trope. Compare Attack Reflector, Deadly Dodging and Misguided Missile. Compare Primal Chest-Pound, when someone purposefully hits himself on the chest to show off his fierceness and toughness. Likewise compare Kicking My Own Butt, when someone voluntarily beats themselves up for some reason. People Puppets is a particularly effective way to play this game. Supertrope to Psychic-Assisted Suicide, subtrope to Hoist by His Own Petard.


Anime and Manga
  • In Naruto, the Third Raikage is so tough that he can No Sell most things. Then Naruto finds out what exactly can hurt him: his own technique. So by the aid of Frog Kata, Naruto bends Raikage's arm when he's going to strike, causing him to hit himself, wounding him deeply.
  • Played for laughs in chapter two of Ghost in the Shell. Major Kusanagi gets irritated with the Minister of Internal Affairs when he starts to insinuate that he may interfere with later operations if she doesn't toe a particular line—their last mission caused a bit of a political mess. She asks to be linked to his cyberbrain directly (this is all happening over teleconference) and makes him punch himself in the face.
  • At the end of the Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex episode "Missing Hearts", Motoko challenged Batou after he boasts about the physical superiority of male prosthetic bodies. He puts up his fists, ready to strike, but she simply smiles back at him. In that brief instant, Motoko hacks Batou's body and makes him punch himself out.

Films — Animated
  • In Toy Story, Woody smacks Buzz Lightyear with his own arm, but not part of a game. It was to help Buzz realize that he is a toy and not a space ranger.
  • One gorilla plays the punch yourself game with another in the Disney version of Tarzan. It only works twice before the subjected gorilla throws the other away.
  • In a serious, non-mocking example, Rourke does this to Milo near the end of Atlantisthe Lost Empire when the latter tries to fight him.
  • The Incredibles: Mr. Incredible is only able to defeat the Omnidroid the first time around because he sneaks inside it while it is still targeting him, causing it to hit itself until it is destroyed. This insight becomes invaluable when the heroes are fighting the new, improved Omnidroid in the climax.
    Mr. Incredible: The only thing hard enough to penetrate it is... itself!

Films — Live-Action

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling
  • Cheerleader Melissa is fond of using a Kondo clutch to stomp the back of MsChif's head in with her own foot. Or was until they became allies anyway.
  • Amazing Kong's accordion rack is an elevated stop kicking yourself. MsChif was a favored target of this one too, until they became allies anyway.
  • Beth Phoenix played a stop kicking yourself game with Melina at the Royal Rumble.
  • In one of Raw's more unexpected instances, Jinder Mahal of Three MB tried to make Santino Marella hit himself with his own cobra by playing a flute to charm the attack/snake puppet.
  • After being repeatedly pie faced by Allysin Kay at SHINE 3, Christina Von Eerie responded by making Kay pie face herself, after spitting in Kay's hand.

Standup Comedy

Tabletop Games
  • The "Puppeteer" mutation in Paranoia can be used to do this.

Video Games
  • The confusion status inflicted by enemies in some Role Playing Games is centered around either this and/or invoking Friendly Fire.
  • Team Fortress 2 An inexperienced engineer can be injured and killed by his own sentry if an enemy tricks him to walk within its fire range.
  • Skullmonkeys A cutscene has a hamster entering into a skullmonkey's skull through its orbit. While the tiny rodent is wreaking havoc inside the poor monkey's head, the latter starts headbutting a rock. A few seconds later, it punches itself for the desperation. As soon as it faints, the hamster pops out unscathed and says:
  • Kirby: Some of the bosses have attacks that can be inhaled by Kirby to be spit back at the boss (or, rarely, gives him a copy ability). In Kirby Super Star and its remake, you can also use the Mirror ability to directly reflect the boss' projectiles back at them.
  • Mega Man 2: Metal Man is the only Robot Master to be weak against his own weapon, the Metal Blade, as seen in the rematch against him.
  • Mega Man Zero: this game introduces the Zero Knuckle, a weapon that Zero can use to pick a special weapon from enemies. This can also be used on a few of the bosses' attacks to be used against the boss, i.e Noble Mandrago's planted seeds (it only does little damage for Mandrago) or Weil's falling swords (the sword you gain only has one use, but is fairly strong).

Web Original

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons. A regular tactic of bully Nelson Muntz complete with the line "Stop hitting yourself!"
    • When the class is given video cameras and assigned to make documentaries, Nelson's is called "Stop Hitting Yourself" and consists of Nelson filming Milhouse while using Milhouse's own fist to hit him in the head.
    • Nelson attends a party given by a wealthy family. He is seen doing the same thing to a butler while saying, "Stop buttling yourself!" The butler politely responds "Would that I could, sir."
    • In "Brawl in the Family" Nelson noogies a rare spotted owl while shouting "Stop endangering yourself!"
    • In a Treehouse of Horror episode parodying Harry Potter Nelson points Milhouse's wand at Milhouse's head to change it into a banana, an ostrich, and Mr. T. The incantation is "Stop Zapping Yourself!"
  • X-men. Sabertooth tried to play this game with Wolverine, to see how well he would take his own claws.
  • Ben 10: Alien Force, when Ben turns into Waybig to fight a giant Vilgax, he grabs Vilgax's arms and does this to him. Kevin even laughs and says "Classic."
  • Towards the end of the Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends episode, "Land of the Flea", the Imaginary fleas that live on Eduardo jump onto Mr. Herriman and take control of his body, which includes making him hit himself. When they tell Frankie and the other imaginary friends that if they don't stop trying to kill them with powders, collars, and baths, they will destroy Mr. Herriman, or at least make him keep hitting himself.
  • There was an episode of Kim Possible where the characters entered a MMORPG that was based in medieval times where someone had started kidnapping various players. Wade took on the role of a wizard and cast a spell to make the villain hit himself with his sword (as well as taunt him by saying "Quit hitting yourself with your sword").
  • In the Kung Fu Panda short Secrets of the Furious Five, Master Viper fights a Killer Gorilla bandit. At one point she coils around his neck and wrist, forcing him to hit himself in the face.
  • Teen Titans had Jericho fight a villain by using his possession power to possess a villain, which means taking over their voluntary movements and force him to start literally punching himself.