Traditionally, baseball fields were oriented so that the batter, catcher, and umpire faced east to ensure that the setting sun wasn't in their eyes. As a result, when a pitcher is on the mound facing home plate, his left hand pointed south, so lefty pitchers came to be known as southpaws. The term has since entered general usage to indicate left-handed people. There is a perception that southpaws have an advantage
, because they are different from right-handed opponents. And it has proven to be Truth in Television
in quite a few sports, besides baseball. For example, left-handed sword fighters attacks come from an unusual angle compared to those by right handed opponents, making them more difficult to parry. And left handed—er, footed—soccer players have a likewise advantage over right handed goalkeepers, making them ideal for penalty kicks.
In fiction left-handedness is used as a defining characteristic, and is often treated as a slight positive. For left-handedness as a sign of evil see A Sinister Clue
Contrast I Am Not Left-Handed
. Compare Left-Handed Mirror
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Anime and Manga
- The majority of the Lucky Star cast is left-handed. Miyuki is the only main character who is right-handed, while Konata is ambidextrous.
- Rurouni Kenshin's Saitou Hajime. Since all Japanese sword techniques are taught strictly right-handed, the switch could be very useful in the context of kenjutsu.
- Mio Akiyama in K-On! is a left-handed bass musician, and tends to be fascinated by other left hand objects.
- Uryu Ishida is left-handed, noticeable even when he sews. He even fires his bow left-handed. Word of God addressed this in an in-character "Radio Kon" skit after learning from a fan that formal archery training requires left-handed people to fire bows right-handed: Uryuu has never been formally trained. His father, Ryuuken, is also left-handed, as seen when he fires his bow one-handed from his left hand. However, having been formally trained, he can fire his bow right-handed. As he's refused to train his son, Uryuu's mostly self-taught and does what comes naturally to him instead of what the rules tell him to do.
- Kūkaku Shiba most likely out of necessity. She lost her right arm (it is never disclosed how she lost it) making her left-handed out of necessity. In the manga she has only a stub of her right arm, in the anime she has a prosthetic right arm.
- The ability to box left-handed is a rare and (sometimes) major advantage in Hajime No Ippo. The ability to switch between southpaw and a conventional stance at will is even better.
- FLCL: Haruko and, supposedly, Naota's brother are southpaws (a guitar "player" and baseball player respectively), as pointed out in the DVD commentary. Apparently it has something to do with their coolness, according to the director's opinion.
- Gundam00's Graham Aker, naturally its applied to his mobile suit controls, all of them are configured with its main weapon in the left hand and the shield on the right arm.
- In Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha, main character Nanoha Takamachi noticeably wields Raising Heart in her left hand. In addition, whenever she's shown using a writing utensil, she's holding it in her left hand. Her left-handedness is outright stated in the character blurb of the light novel.
- According to the movie, the late Alicia Testarossa was also left-handed. The fact that her clone/sister Fate was right-handed was a key indication that she was her own person rather than just a copy, which led to her mother rejecting her.
- Ginga Nakajima wears the left Revolver Knuckle and she holds silverwares with her left hand.
- According to the manga, Teana Lanster is ambidextrous. Considering her usual fighting style, it comes in handy.
- The Fourth Raikage, Ay, from Naruto is left handed until he loses his left arm.
- Suigetsu Hozuki is likewise left-handed. This is most evident when he's wielding his favorite BFS.
- A Genin impersonating Naruto in the Forest of Death is quickly discovered because he wears his kunai pouch on his left leg, while the real Naruto is right-handed. Presumably shinobi need to become ambidextrous if they're to succesfully replace another person.
- Edward Elric from Fullmetal Alchemist is not naturally left-handed, but had to learn how to write with his left because... y'know, though he tends to fight more with his right arm.
- It's never stated, but while Roy Mustang is seen several times writing with his right hand, he must have some ambidextrous tendencies. When his ignition gloves are rendered useless in a fight against Lust, he uses his left hand to carve a transmutation circle into the back of his right hand. Transmutation circles are extremely detailed and complicated things, so for him to have done a correct one with his non-dominant hand - especially in a difficult medium like flesh - indicates strong motor skills in both hands.
- Zoro, Vivi, Shanks (until he lost his left arm), Tom (who can be seen using his left hand to hold chopsticks), Rayleigh, and many other characters (especially swordsmen) from One Piece are left-handed.
- Kallen Stadtfeld/Kouzuki from Code Geass is another left-handed mecha pilot, but it may not look that way at first since her Ace Custom Guren has a literal Right Hand of Doom. However, it's because she's left-handed that the radiant wave is on the Guren's right arm: the radiant arm is large and awkward, meaning it can't be used for normal manipulation, and for that reason it's equipped on the pilot's non-dominant side.
- Raphael from Angel Sanctuary is left-handed.
- There are many in The Prince of Tennis, specifically Ryoma.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds, all characters associated with Z-One (including Bruno, Paradox, and Aporia's three incarnations) are left handed; all are androids, so they were presumably designed that way for some reason.
- Kikuchiyo from Samurai 7 appears to be this, he typically wields his sword with his left hand and uses chopsticks with it too.
- Black Cat: In his first fight against Creed, it's shown that he's originally left-handed, and therefore has greater control with it.
- Riffael Raffit of Count Cain is left-handed, though it turns out not to be natural— his right hand was injured badly enough after his suicide attempt in the hospital that he had to learn to use his left. After it heals, he remains left-handed. When his evil Split Personality regains control over his body, it's right-handed— and when good-Riff starts his Split Personality Takeover, he shoots himself in the right arm to hamstring evil-Riff.
- Former #1, Cassandra the Dust Easter from Claymore wields her claymore in her left-hand.
- Midorima Shintarou of Kuroko no Basuke. As part of his many efforts to succeed in anything he does, he specially tapes the fingers of his left hand to preserve their condition.
- Yuuji Yugami from Yugami-kun ni wa Tomodachi ga Inai writes and pitches left-handed. Considering a lot of the other members of the baseball team seem to be right-handed, this serves to accentuate his eccentricity.
- Rorschach of Watchmen.
- Hellboy has a big right hand made out of stone, which isn't really useful for doing anything other than punching things, which makes him left-handed out of necessity. Conveniently, Ron Perlman who portrays him in the films is also left-handed.
- Over time Alan Scott, the Golden Age Green Lantern, developed into this, until it has become Canon that "he always was left-handed".
- In Dan Slott's run on She-Hulk, there's a minor villain/supporting character called Southpaw. She has a large (depending upon the artist) gauntlet over her left arm, hence the name.
- Calvin and Susie in Calvin and Hobbes are both left-handed.
- In Little Big League, the kid manager shows his expert knowledge by correctly identifying a subversion of this effect. (A case when instead of pinch hitting for the left handed batter against the left-handed pitcher, he keeps the left-handed batter in the game). This situation comes up again in the climactic scene when the southpaw heroic batter is matched up against the southpaw Randy Johnson, The Big Unit, for the final out, and flies out to lose the game, as he statistically should when southpaw batter goes up against southpaw pitcher. Additionally, the catch that ends the game is made by another southpaw, Ken Griffey Jr.
- Rocky was a left-handed boxer, which led (in his backstory) to opponents refusing to face him out of fear that it would mess with their mechanics. He defeats the world champion by learning to fight righty for most of the fight, and then switch to his natural stance and go for the KO... which of course occurred in maximum Narm mode.
- Ofelia in Pan's Labyrinth is left-handed. It doesn't give her any specific talents, but it is a clue to her otherworldly origins, as left-handedness was once attributed to changelings.
- In The Princess Bride, both the Man in Black and Inigo Montoya fight left-handed in their duel as a way of handicapping themselves to give their opponent more of a fight. Eventually they both drop the act and fight better with their right hand.
- John McClane is a left-handed. As is Bruce Willis, who portrays him. Video game adaptations tend to forget this for some reason.
- Enforced in the Evil Dead films, in which Ash actually loses his right hand. Of course, Sam Raimi probably decided that Ash should lose his right and not his left hand because Bruce Campbell in Real Life is left-handed.
- Played with in For a Few Dollars More. The Man with No Name shoots with his right hand, but he does just about everything else with his left.
- Then in Lord of the Rings film adaptions there's King Theoden (played by Bernard Hill) who wields a sword with his left hand.
- Frodo uses his left hand at one point when he uses Sting to tame Gollum during the struggle for the Ring.
- Isildur has his swords' scabard on his right hip and holds his father's swords' handle in his left hand.
- In TRON and TRON: Legacy, Tron throws his discs left-handed. This is because Bruce Boxleitner himself is left-handed.
- In The Amazing Spider-Man, Dr. Curt Connors introduces himself to Oscorp's new interns by indicating his missing right arm: "And yes, in case you're wondering, I'm a southpaw."
- In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, there are no less than 7 left-handers: Sephiroth (obviously), Kadaj, Loz, Yazoo, Reno, Cid, and Barret.note
- In Star Wars the original trilogy, Mark Hammil is left-handed so Luke obviously is too, this can be seen when he's shooting and his lightsaber is kept in his right hip. Probably explains why in The Empire Strikes Back Luke lost his right arm instead of his left.
- In The Avengers, Black Widow and Hawkeye are played left-handed by lefties Scarlett Johansson and Jeremy Renner.
- Neo in The Matrix (as Anderson) writes with his left hand but during the fight scene against the Mooks in Reloaded he holds the sword in his right hand.
- Justified since the tutorial program was probably designed for right handed people.
- General Joseph Colton from G.I. Joe: Retaliation. (Bruce Willis, again)
- A Song of Ice and Fire:
- Arya Stark. When her dominant hand is revealed to her fencing master, he reacts favorably because fighting left-handed will reverse her stance and movements, which will help confuse her opponents. Of course, her left-handedness might also be A Sinister Clue about her future.
- Quorin Halfhand learned to fight with his left hand after getting several fingers of his swordhand chopped off.
- Jaime Lannister is forced to start learning to fight left-handed after losing his right hand.
- In Harry Turtledove's Tales of the Fox series, the main character is left-handed, and he remarks that it makes it easier to get around enemy shields for a couple of reasons.
- In the Emberverse novels Rudi Mackenzie's right arm is wounded and has to learn to use his left arm as his sword arm. When practicing with youths in the Free Republic of Richland they complain that he has an unfair advantage as a southpaw. His mentor responds "Yah hey, if someone attacks you using different moves, or if they're a leftie you're just going to say you're taking your bat and ball and going home 'cause it ain't fair? Christ, Weiss, I've known you were a dumb little punk for years, but do you have to show it off in front of strangers?"
- In The Silmarillion, Maedhros learns to wield to his sword with his left-hand after a Life or Limb Decision. He becomes even more deadly afterwards (though this is probably for psychological reasons than anything physical.)
- Alanna from the Tortall Universe deliberately practices at using her sword left-handed after her right arm is injured during training to become a knight. She keeps up the ambidextrous sword usage even after she's healed, which becomes a Chekhov's Skill in a duel against the Big Bad.
- Caramon Majere of the Dragonlance novels fights left-handed. Not much comes of it, but the narration mentions it occasionally.
- Major Perigord Habile Sinistra of The Long Patrol is left-pawed, and mentions it while taunting the Painted Ones. In a later book, Lord Brocktree, there is a minor character named Southpaw, though it's never touched upon whether or not he's actually left-pawed.
- Orm, the main character from The Long Ships, is left-handed as a result of rowing a starboard oar on a slave galley for five years. It is commented upon when he duels, that this makes shieldwork more difficult both for him and the right-handed man he's fighting.
- In Tales of Kolmar, Lanen Kaelar is left-handed like her mother. Her beloved, after he becomes human, discovers that he is not when he tries to learn what she know of swordfighting from watching her.
- Though it doubtfully makes a difference in her fighting technique, chapter 21 of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows implies that Hermione Granger is one (Harry holds out his own left hand to take her right, and thereafter Hermione casts two spells). This merits mention, as Hermione is the best spell-caster of the core three, and it's plausible that left-handed-ness is a sign of a more powerful wizard (and further cements her as an Author Avatar, given J. K. Rowling is left-handed).
- It can also be surmised that, having lost his right hand in a fight with Peter Pan, Captain Hook is a left-handed fighter.
- Artemis Fowl: The title character is ambidextrous, but it's noted in the text that he's slightly more steady with his left hand.
- Margin Play: The protagonist, Amber Eckert, is a lefty, although that fact is never specifically mentioned. There are plenty of clues though, starting in the very first chapter when she carries a rolled-up newspaper in her left hand as she approaches an Angry Guard Dog. It becomes rather important late in the book.
Live Action TV
- Dharma and Greg - Greg's father trained his naturally right-handed son to switch so he'd have an advantage in baseball. When Greg points this can actually be psychologically unhealthy to do to a child, his father seems a little sheepish: "Sorry, son... Won't do it again."
- Mcgee in NCIS always uses his sidearm with his left hand.
- If you ever closely watch any Jim Henson productions, like The Muppet Show or Fraggle Rock, you'll notice a lot of the characters are left-handed. This is due to most of their puppeteers being right-handed, which they use to control the head of the puppet. Their left hand is used to control the hands, hence why so many Muppets are left-handed. It also doubles as a Shout-Out, since Henson himself was left-handed.
- Astute viewers noticed that on Babylon 5, Sheridan and Garibaldi had their communicators on their right wrists, while everyone else had them on their left wrists. When asked why this was, series creator J. Michael Straczynski explained that this is because both actors are left-handed.
- On Home Improvement, both Tim and Al are left-handed. They dedicated one episode to showcasing tools designed for use by lefties.
- Apollo from the original Battlestar Galactica shoots left-handed with a laser, though Richard Hatch is ambidextrous in real life.
- David Starsky is the lefty of the pair, as evidenced with handling a gun. Also, Captain Dobey's daughter Rosie as evidenced in the end of the episode, "Captain Dobey, You're Dead" where Starsky is pleased to learn she can draw with her left hand.
- Sam Axe on Burn Notice shoots left-handed because, as previously mentioned, Bruce Campbell is a lefty.
- Both Bishops in Fringe are left-handed, partly because actors John Noble and Joshua Jackson are both real life lefties, and partly because their handedness visually and symbolically sets them apart.
- Many fans note that Lex Luthor from Smallville fences and plays pool left-handed. Michael Rosenbaum who portrays him is left-handed.
- Whitney Fordman, Lionel Luthor, and Lois Lane are all lefties too.
- However, Lionel fences right-handed.
- Ian Fowles AKA Eagle Bones Falcon Hawk from The Aqua Bats Super Show is left-handed.
- Sawyer from LOST is left-handed.
- Dr. John Watson on Sherlock, as is his actor, Martin Freeman.
- Justin and Ashley from Power Rangers Turbo both write left-handed, while T.J. pitches left-handed.
- Shown on Too Close for Comfort with Jackie. Deborah van Valkenburgh, who plays her, is left-handed.
- In the last season of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, part of Ezri Dax's disorientation as a new host was thinking she was right-handed when she's really left-handed.
- The Peter Paul And Mary song "Right Field" is about a Little League baseball player who never has anything to do in right field because "Little leagues never have lefties that pull."
- Freddie Mercury played guitar right-handed on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love".
- An important visual aspect of The Beatles' stage presence was Paul McCartney playing his bass left-handed, creating a nice symmetry with the two right-handed guitarists, especially when sharing a microphone.
- John Lennon and Paul McCartney were also known to write their songs face to face, with a guitar each, in the early days. Paul being left-handed allowed both of them to quickly understand what chords the other was playing, as though he was looking at himself in a mirror.
- Part of Ringo Starr's appeal was playing left-handed drums on a right-handed drumset.
- Paul being left-handed is often cited as a "clue" in the "Paul is Dead" urban legend. For example, the fact he's shown holding a cigarette in his right hand on the album cover for Abbey Road is said to be further "proof" that it's actually an imposter.
- Other left-handed guitarists like Jimi Hendrix, Tony Iommi (helpful given he cut the tips of two right hand fingers), and Kurt Cobain. (who could play ambidextrously, but chose to use the left)
- There's testimony of Jimi Hendrix playing right-handed because his father, a protestant pastor, didn't allowed him playing left-hand. He was good right-hand, but he was awesome left-handed.
- Subverted by Mark Knopfler, who is a natural left-hander but plays his guitar right-handed.
- B. B. King is another example.
- Carlito's red baron in WWE was the Southpaw from San Juan.
- Although this never really becomes terribly relevant to the gameplay or plot, Link in most The Legend of Zelda games is left-handed, and anyone who depicts him with his sword in his right hand will be subject to much backlash from the fans. The following games are aversions of the trope:
- The Wii version of The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess. It was originally designed for the Gamecube, where Link was a lefty as usual, but the Wii version used motion controls and it was felt that Link's dominant hand should match most players'. To program this in a hurry, the entire game was flipped left-to-right so that Link would be right-handed, even though his handedness does not affect gameplay at all. Ganondorf, normally right-handed, becomes left-handed as a result of the flipping.
- The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword also portrays Link as a righty because of motion controls; in fact, it's the first game since the original where the official art depicts him as right-handed. Holding the Wii remote in your left hand hardly affects gameplay at all, though.
- Word of God is that Link is, in fact, ambidextrous. The majority of his incarnations simply seem to prefer the left hand, however. Indeed, in The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, where no matter which way he faced (left or right), the hand most visible to the player was the one holding the sword, due to Ambidextrous Sprite issues. It was given an in-game explanation that actually made sense - Link carries his shield so that it always points toward Death Mountain for superstitious reasons, and so his sword goes in his other hand.
- Sol Badguy in Guilty Gear wields his sword left-handed, in Reverse Grip no less. Naturally, he regularly defeats his right-handed rival Ky Kiske whenever they go at it. The same applies to Ragna the Bloodedge, the protagonist if Guilty Gear's Spiritual Successor BlazBlue, right down to the Reverse Grip.
- Devil May Cry has Nero in the fourth game, who is a lefty. Though, that most likely has more to do with the fact that his right hand is a demonic claw. The new Dante of the Alternative Continuity is ambidextrous but prefers his left hand. Contrasting classic Dante who was good with both hands but preferred his right.
- Sheva Alomar from Resident Evil 5 is left-handed. This is so the camera would be in a more advantageous position during split screen co-op. Dom from Gears of War is a lefty for similar reasons.
- Hunters from Resident Evil are lefties, so remember to run to their right (your left) if you're trying to evade their slashes.
- Luciana in Yggdra Union. This is one of the handful of ways we're given tell her and her twin sister Aegina apart, other than slight differences in their hairstyles and the colors of their armor.
- Cid Highwind from Final Fantasy VII is the only left-handed member of the group, unless you count Barret. On the Shinra side Reno wields his baton in his left. Sephiroth oddly enough wasn't left handed in the original game.
- Final Fantasy II has no less than four southpaws—Leon, Ricard, Leila, and Scott.
- Also from Final Fantasy is Kain Highwind, though like Link, his dominant hand is somewhat inconsistent; his original artwork shows him as right-handed, but he equips weapons to his left hand in-game. The DS version inverts this; the artwork shows him as a lefty, but he equips weapons to his right hand now! He is generally considered to be left-handed, and he fights this way is Dissidia 012 Final Fantasy (though his artwork shows him right-handed to resemble his original art). There's Golbez and Palom.
- In Final Fantasy Dimensions, Nacht's left-handedness is shown in a subtle fashion—he equips shields in the right-hand slot of the status screen, one-handed weapons in the left.
- Kokoro from Remember11
- Soul Series:
- Raphael Sorel, first introduced in Soul Calibur II, is one of only two left-handed fighters in the entire series (and it's heavily implied he personally trained the other one). It's also on the fence whether he is completely insane, in addition to being irredeemably evil, despite having unintentionally saved the world. This is probably because the two of them fence, and this is the only way they can face the audience when controlled by Player 1 instead of having their backs to them. The Nightmare in Soul Calibur V is left-handed. This is mostly a clue as to who he's pulled a Grand Theft Me on.
- Amy Sorel, Raphael's adopted daughter, is also left-handed.
- Siegfried Schtauffen and thus Nightmare are ambidextrous, but Nightmare prefers to wield his sword in his left hand. In-game, Siegfried wields his sword in his left hand, too, but many promo materials show him wielding with his right hand.
- Katakura Kojuro from Sengoku Basara is the only left-handed character in the series. He is also one of the most superior swordsmen in terms of sheer skill and technique, and mostly relies on Diagonal Cuts from the opposite side than would be expected from a right-handed fighter. But despite how rare it was for samurai back then, no one ever comments on this.
- Soda Popinski is the only left-handed boxer in the entire Punch-Out!! series (though King Hippo seems to be ambidextrous), as seen in both the NES and Wii versions.
- Luke fon Fabre in Tales of the Abyss is left-handed. It isn't a major plot point, but it does make for a touching moment at the end of the game, where Cool Old Guy/Colonel Badass Jade offers his own left hand for Luke to shake, despite being right-handed himself, out of respect for the personal growth Luke experiences throughout the game. It's also because, in Japan, shaking ones left hand is considered to be a greater sign of trust since that's the one you hold your shield in. Jade is not only recognising Luke's development, but also indicating that he trusts Luke enough to let his guard down in front of him. Luke is "mirrored" from Asch due to being his replica—his hair sweeps in the opposite direction from Asch's, too, so it's only natural that they have opposite dominant hands. Asch is left handed as well, he just trained himself to use his right hand for everything including eating, writing, and sword play because it let him interact with the world better and gives him the advantage of being ambidextrous.
- Tales of Vesperia has a few, with a total of three people who swordfight using their left. Yuri being one, though he is just ambidextrous with a preference for his left. Schwann does, and by extension, probably Raven is left-handed as does Gauche. Which is of course a case of both Bilingual Bonus and Punny Name, as Gauche actually means "left" in French.
- Aika from Skies of Arcadia wields her boomerang with her left hand.
- Chrono Trigger: Crono is left-handed.
- Amongst the four protagonists in Wild ARMs 3, Jet is the only one that uses his ARM in his left hand. He does however, cast spells from his right hand and since he's essentially a living reincarnation of a past Filgaia and hence are able to do...stuff with his right hand, he might just have been conditioned.
- Guybrush Threepwood, The Hero of the Monkey Island series, is a weird example. He appears right handed on the cover of the first game◊, yet the same game provides us this picture. (Guybrush always fights in the same direction, so he does not have an Ambidextrous Sprite.) Guybrush is right handed in the Curse of Monkey Island◊ and left handed again in the Tales of Monkey Island. (But not on the cover.) Could he be ambidextrous?
- Patrick Galloway in Clive Barker's Undying is notable as one of the few FPS protagonists to hold most, if not all of his weapons in his left hand during gameplay.
- Subverted by Dunban in Xenoblade; he lost the use of his right arm. But still being right-handed or no he kicks ass.
- Pokémon: Red appears to be left-handed.
- Pokémon Black and White: Shauntal is seen holding a book in her right hand and a pen in her left.
- It's subtle, but Bianca appears to be left-handed or at least ambidextrous; she generally waves with her left hand (in her official art and the anime) and holds a Poké Ball in her left hand in her trainer sprite, although to support the ambidexterity theory she wears her Xtransceiver on her left wrist, and the anime and Black and White 2 show her throwing Poké Balls with her right hand.
- Roxie from Pokémon Black 2 and White 2.
- Pandora's Tower: Aeron wields his sword or whatever other weapon he has equipped in his left hand. There's a very strong case he's ambidextrous, though, as he launches and controls the Oraclos Chain from his right wrist, and has the arm strength to toss himself or others around with it.
- When fighting Magolor in Kirbys Return To Dreamland, he mostly uses his left hand to attack.
- Shadow the Hedgehog is left handed in his own game. This is most likely to oppose him to Sonic, who is right-handed.
- In official art and cutscenes for Mega Man X, Zero consistently wields his saber with his left hand. He may have wanted to keep his right arm free for his buster, but he uses it much less often than the saber. In-game sprites and models are not so consistent.
- Although she is shown as right-handed in gameplay, in some cutscenes Xion from Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days wields her Keyblade in her left hand. Also, Ventus from Birth By Sleep is seen as a lefty in the secret video by that name in Kingdom Hearts II - although, like Xion, he wields his Key right-handedly in the game itself.
- Akihiko Sanada of Persona 3 is an avid boxer, and fights from a Southpaw stance.
- Some FPS games, such as Counter-Strike allow the player to use either left or right handed models in first person view.
- A funny aversion: all console versions of Guitar Hero and Rock Band have a Lefty Flip; however, even if it's on, your character will always play right-handed.
- Lammy of Um Jammer Lammy plays a lefty guitar, as well as...various other objects with her left hand.
- Haruka of Little Busters! is left-handed. It comes up while they're setting her up for the baseball team and they briefly discuss the way she has a small advantage because of it. It wasn't so advantageous when her Big Screwed-Up Family assumed left-handedness was a sign of weakness and beat her for it, though.
- A Double Subversion occurs in The Simpsons episode "Homer at Bat" where, at the company softball championship, Mr. Burns (correctly, according to this trope) sends Homer (a right-handed batter) to pinch hit against a left-handed pitcher. Made clearly ridiculous by the fact that the batter Homer replaced was major leaguer Darryl Strawberry though Homer wins the game for his team anyway since the pitcher hits him with the ball with the bases loaded.
- Then there's Ned Flanders, who specifically opens the Leftorium, a shop for left handers. When he's in danger of going out of business, Homer calls up every left handed person he knows (and then some) to call up to Ned and buy stuff.
- Bart Simpson is a straight example, in homage to Matt Groening.
- Doug, in Nickelodeon's Doug, was left-handed. It was occasionally a plot point, such as when his friends couldn't figure out why he was such a poor beet-ball player until they realized they had been trying to make him bat right-handed.
- It's shows up again in another episode where his much-beloved journal goes missing. No one can read it, partly because of his poor handwriting, but also because as a lefty, he drags his hand through everything he writes, leaving it a smudged mess.
- Tiana, from The Princess and the Frog, is meant to be left-handed, as a Shout-Out to her voice actress, Anika Noni Rose. (Close viewing, however, reveals that she's more ambidextrous than anything else.)
- Mulan is left-handed (but she uses her right hand to hold a sword).
- The archer Hun is left-handed too.
- William Murderface in Metalocalypse is possibly this, he signed his contract with his left hand, as did The Pete Best that had been there. Also: both Ofdensen and Melmord fenced with their left hands.
- Hiccup in How to Train Your Dragon. Interestingly, the film subtly hints at the old superstitions against lefties: He uses his right hand whenever he is around others and defaults to his left when alone.
- In Coraline, Coraline writes with her left hand, as changelings were said to do.
- Let's not forget Chuckie from Rugrats. After finding out, his father goes on a shopping spree at a left-handed store, the gag being that a baby wouldn't have much use for a left-handed steam iron, whisk or shoehorn.
- The other, more obvious joke is that NOBODY needs a lefty version of any of these items, as they're not made for a specific hand in the first place. (Unlike say, a baseball glove)
- Ed from Ed, Edd n Eddy.
- Francine from American Dad! was revealed to be one, but in Catholic school, she was raised to believe that lefties are bad people.
- Wheezey from Dragon Tales is the left side of a two-headed dragon, so it makes sense that she's left-handed.
- Phineas and Vanessa are left-handed. Dan Povenmire, the creator of the show himself, is left-handed.
- Perry the platypus is ambidextrous.
- Sponge Bob Square Pants, the titular character is said to be left-handed in several episodes (in Neptune's Spatula he had two left hands) and in several others he says he's ambidextrous, but he can be seen using his left hand more often than not.
- Fairly OddParents, Timmy Turner is ambidextrous but prefers to lead with his left hand.
- In Adventure Time, Finn the human is technically ambidextrous, but he seems to prefer to lead and write with his left hand. This trope becomes a little more... prominent after "Escape From the Citadel."
- Marceline utilizes a left-handed bass. She appears to be ambidextrous.
- The Earl of Lemongrab is left-handed, A Sinister Clue?
- Billy the Hero is also left-handed, this is evidenced by the fact his gauntlet glove is a left hand glove and he wield his sword in his left hand.
- Shoko was left-handed by necessity.
- Brain and Mr. Marco from Arthur
- Lola Bunny and her parents from The Looney Tunes Show are all left-handed, literally south paws.
- Gravity Falls:
- In a murder case, all clues pointed to Toby Determined who is left-handed. It turns out to be Wax Sherlock Holmes who holds his magnifying glass in his left hand
- Quentin Trembley, the actual founder of Gravity Falls appears to be this as he salutes with his left hand (untraditionaly), rips his pants with his left hand, and holds his key with his left hand.
- Dipper appears to be ambidextrous.
- Rumble McSkirmish is an Ambidextrous Sprite.
- While all the characters from My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic seem more or less ambidextrous, Fluttershy tends to use her left hoof in situations where all other characters favor their right, such as when bowing at the end of Hearth's Warming Eve.
- McFist from Randy Cunningham: 9th Grade Ninja, not by choice though he has a mechanical Right Hand of Doom with a brain in it, not very good for menial tasks.
- Young Macintosh of Brave is shown to be left-handed by the way he shoots his bow.
- Adam Lyon from My Gym Partners A Monkey seems to use his left hand more often.
- In South Park, Stan Marsh might be an example of this. While continuity tends to be inconsistent, episodes such as "My Future Self n' Me" and "W.T.F." show him writing with his left hand. Adding on to this, he's the Author Avatar of Trey Parker, who is a left-handed person in real life.
- The word sinister comes from the Latin meaning "left-handed." It came to be corrupted to mean wicked or evil. In the Middle Ages it was believed that when a person was writing with their left hand they were possessed by the Devil. (This was uncommon, particularly as there were fewer literate people.) Left-handed people were therefore considered to be evil.
- Historical aversions include the Greek Phalanx and Roman Legions. Both of these forces required soldiers to fight right-handed. However, this was because unit maneuvers required men to cover their left neighbor's vulnerable right sword hand with their shield. If sword and shield were reversed, the cooperative ability would not exist. There are a few rumors of an attempt in Roman times to field an entirely left-handed legion, so that it would be reversed for every soldier.
- For similar reasons to baseball, left-handed cricketers are very useful both with the bat and with the ball: for example, it is generally a good idea for a batting partnership to consist of a right-hander and a left-hander, to put bowlers off their line and tire the fielders when the batsmen cross.
- Australian bowler Bill O'Reilly (no, not that one) hated bowling to left-handers and said they should be drowned at birth. A leg spinner is essentially an off spinner against a left-handed batsman, as the ball spins towards them instead of away.
- This advantage is also often attributed (rightly or wrongly) to southpaw players of tennis and other racquet-based games.
- Averted in golf, though. Since golf is (if you'll excuse the terms) Player Versus Environment rather than Player Versus Player, and the slopes of most golf courses are designed for right-handers, there are relatively few left-handed golfers at the highest level (although Phil Mickelson and Mike Weir are two relatively recent left-handed major winners).
- Left-handed auto racers benefit greatly from keeping their dominant hand on the wheel while shifting gears. Averted by the more modern Formula One steering-wheel controls: now they use the left hand to shift down and the right hand to shift up.
- In late antiquity/early medieval warfare, a common trick (the Saxons and maybe the Normans made good use of this) was to fight as though left handed, thus minimizing the enemies' shields and throwing them off.
- Left-handed bowlers can be seen as having a significant advantage over right-handed bowlers. Since most bowlers bowl right-handed, they're all throwing their ball along roughly the same path as each other, which can throw off the oil pattern significantly. Left-handed bowlers generally have fresh oil, since few people bowl along the left side of the lane, and are thus able to get a much more consistent shot. Having a fresh oil track on the lane is a very good thing, as it allows the ball to travel faster, and with more spin, meaning that the pins can be stuck harder, and allowing for greater control of the curve, which is essential in getting a strike, since the best way to get a strike is to hit the pins behind the first pin, with the ball curving slightly to the center of the cluster, so that the pins hit each other in a mushrooming pattern.
- One defense used in medieval castles was to make spiral staircases twist clockwise as they went up so that a right handed defender's body was shielded by the center wall. This made left handed troops a valuable resource when trying to storm such castles.
- This trope also applies to fencing; lefties are MUCH harder to hit if you're used to fighting righties due to the fact that you have to hit the opposite side of their body.
- Same goes for swordplay; in general you are encouraged to fight from your good side for the obvious advantages in free fights (but also because it is a pain to fight from your weak side - or to re-train your good side when you started learning on the wrong side.). Once you get used to how to attack a right handed opponent on his left (vulnerable) shoulder when your opening position has the sword on your left shoulder it is no big deal anymore. (However most lefties also learn to do at least the basic moves also from the right side. Which is of high advantage when your opponent finally got used to you being a leftie and adjusts his attacks so you can attack him from the right.
- In academic fencing, normally only one side of the face is a legal hit zone. In the rare cases of left-right matchups, both sides are exposed which greatly increases the risk of getting hit for the right-handed fencer, since he is often not trained against southpaws.
- There exists a beer company in Colorado named "Left Hand". They produce sinister brews.
- The United States Marines have found that shooting a bolt action rifle southpaw allows a sniper to shoot slightly faster; the bolt on the M 40 A 3 is on the right, meaning that a right-handed shooter would have to remove his hand from the grip and trigger, work the bolt, and return to firing position. A left-handed shooter can keep his eye on target and his left hand by the trigger and work the bolt with his right hand: as the firing hand does not leave the trigger, the interval between firing is reduced.
- A large number of players in the NHL learn to shoot left-handed even if they aren't natural lefties. If they find themselves in a situation sprinting or otherwise only holding their stick with one hand, it ends up being in their dominant right giving them more control. More importantly though, is shooting angles. Generally left-handed shooters will play the left wing and righties will play the right wing although it's not a hard rule and sometimes a coach will flip them depending on how he wants a play set up.
- It's also just a good idea to be able to handle both directions since sticks frequently break in the middle of play. If that happens your option is skate to the bench and grab one from a teammate so you can get back in quickly and it's not always going to face the way yours normally does.
- Most goalies catch with their left hand and hold their stick in their right but some do the opposite and the opposing team generally has to use a different scoring strategy against them because the types of shot a left-winger might normally take on the blocker side won't be as effective if the goalie has his glove on that side (and vice versa).
- For soldiers, law enforcement, and other such lines of work, being able to shoot using either hand adds versatility to the positions one can fire from. If exposing the smallest portion of your body to return fire requires switching hands to take better advantage of available cover, then so be it. And if injury or other circumstances make it difficult to favor one's dominant hand, being able to continue fighting while relying on the offhand can come in handy.
- There have been nine American Presidents who were known to be left-handed: James Garfield, Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman, Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama.
- Students learning the use of compound microscopes often turn the wrong knobs by mistake, causing parts of the scope to loosen and shift out of line. Once left-handed students are shown how to rotate the eyepieces so the microscope is properly configured for a lefty, those wrong knobs face away from them and thus can't be twisted in error.
- Left handed arm wrestlers have a much easier time against right handed ones due to the fact that "righties" often neglect their southpaw.
- Thouroughly averted in the world of power tools. Almost all of them are designed for people favoring the right hand, and using them in the left can be awkward at best, and extremely dangerous at worst. Probably the worst example is lawn edgers or weedeaters, since, by their nature, they fling rocks, dirt clods, and other debris out from them, and, for left handed users, the guard is located on the wrong side.
- Video game controllers designed for left-handed people are also rare to nonexistent, as the companies that make such things know that lefties make up no more than 10% of the potential market.
- There once was a baseball game where both the pitcher and the batter were ambidextrous. They spent a ludicrous amount of time switching their stance against the other until the umpire finally told them to pick a hand and stick with it.
You seem a helpful trope page. I hate to leave you. But there's something you don't know... I Am Not Left-Handed.