"Somebody oughta belt you in the mouth, but I won't. I won't.
(punches) The hell I won't!"
— George Washington McLintock
The enemy is taunting you. He's making fun of your parentage and the size of your manhood. Nevertheless, you start walking away from the confrontation. Maybe you're severely outnumbered or maybe you just want to be the better man. After all, Jesus
said, "Turn the other cheek." But Jesus didn't have his girlfriend watching and wondering whether sex with you was a mistake or not. Suddenly you turn the other fist and strike, taking your enemy totally off guard.
Turning the other fist is sure to surprise your enemy and give you an edge in a uneven fight. It's one of the few dirty tricks a Hero can pull off because that moment of turning away seems to involve a deep moral conflict, even when it doesn't.
A subtrope of I Surrender, Suckers
- The Trope Maker is John Wayne in McLintock!
- Parodied in Leprechaun 4: In Space.
- In My Cousin Vinny, on the third encounter with the Big Pool Player who owes Marisa Tomei $200, Vinny is distracted and in a hurry, and waves the guy off as he, the Alabaman, taunts the New Yorker with the $200. Waves him off, waves him away, tackle. Vinny gets back up $200 richer, hardly breaking his stride.
- In Return of the Jedi, Luke Skywalker seems to turn away from the Emperor's taunting, but suddenly swings back to force grab his saber and take a slash at the old fart. Darth Vader blocks him.
- Toy Story:
Buzz Lightyear: I just want you to know that, even though you tried to terminate me, revenge is not an idea we promote on my planet.
Woody: Oh, well, that's good.
Buzz: But we're not on my planet, are we?
- The title character of Thor is almost persuaded to leave Jotunheim without a fight... until he gets called "princess".
Loki (sounding simultaneously bored and resigned, due to knowing what is about to ensue): "Damn."
- Money Train plays with this. Foster brothers John and Charlie have made a tactic out of this. In a high stress situation where a fight is about to start, (usually with a coworker, boss, or someone else it would be a bad idea to start a fight with) one of the brothers will pretend to act as the peacekeeper/Only Sane Man by stopping his brother from throwing a punch, and then go ahead and do it himself. So, for example:
(Goes to hit Jerk Ass
fellow cop who is insulting him, then John stops him) John:
(Has back to Jerk Ass
cop as he speaks) Charlie, you're not going to hit him! Charlie:
Why not? John:
going to hit him! (John turns and lands a surprise punch on unprepared Jerk Ass
- And at the end Charlie holds John back from punching Patterson, who then does the expected thing...except John then holds Charlie back from hitting him...and then they say, "We both hit him!" (double punch out)
- In the 2009 remake of V 2009, Tyler Evans turns away from some anti-Visitor protesters before swinging around to punch one in the face in order to impress Visitor Lisa, his love interest.
- Star Trek: The Original Series' famous episode "The Trouble With Tribbles" features one by good ol' Scotty when a Klingon is insulting the Enterprise.
- Star Trek: The Next Generation: This is how Picard as a cadet started that fight with those Nausicaans that earned him a knife through the chest in Tapestry, after one of them said he had no guramba and calls him a coward for trying to turn away from a gaming dispute.
- Subverted in Torchwood: Miracle Day, where Gwen goes to pull this off, but Jack grabs her before she can punch the other guy.
- In Nip and Tuck, Tuck gets in a Turn the Other Foot KICK here.... with some rather painful consequences.