[[quoteright:322:[[Webcomic/CommanderKitty http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/commander_kitty.jpg]]]]

->''"To prove how aware/crazy/focused a movie character is, a friend will wake the sleeping character. The character will instantly, ferociously, leap up from a deep sleep and pull a knife/gun or kung-fu choke hold on his friend, before apologizing for almost killing him."''
-->-- '''Creator/RogerEbert's Movie Glossary'''

Basically, a character wakes up violently, [[PillowPistol drawing any weapons]] or techniques in the process.

Compare RingRingCRUNCH, InstantWakingSkills. For a similar reaction from someone who is awake, but taken by surprise, see DontSneakUpOnMeLikeThat.

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[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Hunny in ''Manga/OuranHighSchoolHostClub'' does this a few times.
* Happens in ''Anime/GunsmithCats'', in the hospital: a mook is trying to plant a bomb under Rally's pillow (where she also kept her gun), Rally instantly snaps to alertness and shoots the mook. Mook runs off and jumps into his car. Rally notices the bomb and tosses it out the window... onto the mook's car. And we later learn through all this, she wasn't even fully awake.
* In ''[[Manga/RurouniKenshin Rurouni Kenshin Trust & Betrayal]]'' Tomoe drapes a sleeping Kenshin, who at this point in his life is an assassin who sleeps sitting up with his sword held to him, in a blanket. She gets a katana drawn and placed inches from her neck for her trouble, but as soon as Kenshin realizes who it actually is he immediately stops and shoves her away.
* In ''Manga/AkagamiNoShirayukihime'' if Obi manages to fall into a deep sleep and get woken unexpectedly his usual trouble waking disappears and he's on his feet with weapons in hand before he's fully awake. Once he has a chance to take in his surroundings he just lays back down if there's no threat. Zen has woken while drawing his sword, though he stopped when he realized the masked figure waking him was Obi trying to get a rise out of him.
* Portgas D. Ace, of ''Manga/OnePiece'', in his early years of being a pirate, was trapped on [[{{WorldsStrongestMan}} Whitebeard's]] ship before he joined them. During this time he tried multiple times to kill Whitebeard. The only time onscreen we see him (as it's implied he tried this more than once) attack Whitebeard in his sleep, he is violently thrown through the wall. This is a subversion though, since Whitebeard didn't even ''wake up''.
* Played with in ''Manga/YuYuHakusho''. During the prelims of the Dark Tournament, the demons try to attack Team Urameshi after they win the qualifying round to claim their spot. As the others are defending themselves, one demon tries to sneak up on Yusuke, who's sleeping through the whole events, only to get pounded for his trouble when Yusuke suddenly jumps to his feet punching rapidly. Kuwabura thinks this trope is the case, but the others note he's actually still asleep and reacting to muscle memory since his intense training with Genkai has put him on high alert that his body reacts even when he's not awake.

[[folder:Audio Plays]]
* According to ''AudioPlay/TheUnfinishedSpellingErrorsOfBolkien'', this is so common in Rohan, the morning buglers have learned to just run away after playing a single note, lest they get hacked to bits by the troops they just woke up.

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* When Cook wakes up Jason in ''ComicBook/JasonVsLeatherface'' after the night when he is accepted into the Sawyer household, he instinctively grabs him by throat.
* In both the Marvel-616 and Ultimate Universes, ComicBook/CaptainAmerica goes on the offensive as soon as he's defrosted from the block of ice where he was discovered.
* In ''ComicBook/HarleyQuinn Invades Comic-Con International San Diego'', Harley falls asleep beside the hotel pool. When a waiter shakes her awake, she wakes up yelling "Hit! Hit! Hit!" and punches the poor guy.
* In ''ComicBook/{{Violine}}'', when she wakes up her father, he immediately grabs his gun. Fortunately, nothing bad happens.
* ''ComicBook/XMen'': At the bedroom's door of ComicBook/{{Wolverine}} is a note that reads "Trespassers shall be stabbed. Many times." So when ComicBook/{{Cyclops}} needs him to be wakened, he does the smart thing, and [[EyeBeams blasts him out of bed]] [[CuttingTheKnot without stepping in]].

[[folder:Fan Works]]
* A common trope in ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'' stories to show the titular character TookALevelInBadass is to have him attack Haku when the latter tries to wake him up during the [[TheStationsOfTheCanon Wave Mission]]. In at least one, he put Haku into a chokehold with his legs before even waking up.
* In ''FanFic/AngryMarinesRubyQuest'', the first thing Angry!Ruby does after waking up in a dark place is '''"start punching. Everywhere!"'''
* In ''FanFic/{{Moratorium}}'', Harry has a habit of Stunning the first person she sees when she wakes up. Just ask Karkaroff and Dolores Umbridge.
* PlayedForDrama in ''[[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/3054756/6/ Shadows of the Future]]''. After Qui-Gon tries waking up Obi-Wan, [[ShellShockedVeteran he's so caught up in a nightmare from the Clone Wars]] that he pins Qui-Gon to the floor and threatens him with his own lightsaber.
* [[GreenLantern Hal Jordan]] believes this trope to be the case in ''[[https://m.fanfiction.net/s/9592990/6/ A Study in Scarlet Scarab]]'' as, when attempting to wake up [[WesternAnimation/YoungJustice Jaime Reyes]], he ends up with his wrist in a death grip. [[EntertaininglyWrong Hal figures Jaime learned to be more alert while asleep from another superhero]]. The truth is [[TheSymbiote Khaji-Da]] had taken control and stopped him, as he/it doesn't trust Hal (or any GreenLantern for that matter) enough to let him get that close to them.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyEquestriaGirlsLegendOfEverfree'', after Twilight Sparkle's nightmare about [[SuperPoweredEvilSide Midnight Sparkle]] causes her to [[CatapultNightmare wake up screaming]], a half-asleep Sunset Shimmer leaps out of bed and strikes karate poses, her eyes still closed and drool coming out of her mouth.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
%% * ''Film/LethalWeapon''
* ''Film/{{Gladiator}}'': Maximus wakes up armed with a small dagger in his hand.
* ''Film/XMenFilmSeries''
** Wolverine does this to Rogue in ''Film/XMen1'', however goes too far and instinctively stabs her in the chest. She's only saved because she absorbs his healing factor at the same time.
** And again, [[RecurringDreams repeatedly]], in ''Film/TheWolverine''. Fortunately this time without inadvertent stabbings.
* Overlapping with CatapultNightmare in the movie version of ''Film/TheLordOfTheRings''. Upon being woken from a nightmare, Aragorn pulls out his dagger, disturbing the messenger who woke him up. Possibly justified--it might very well be a trained reflex given he spent a long time out in places where orcs were far from the most dangerous beasties around. Drawing a weapon instinctively on waking suddenly could be the difference between life and death.
* Happens in the closing scene of ''Film/DressedToKill''.
* Kyle Reese in ''Film/TheTerminator'' wakes up from a nightmare and reflexively grabs for his rifle.
* Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Creator/BruceWillis) in ''Film/TearsOfTheSun'' is awakened by a subordinate while in the middle of a nightmare. He instantly grabs his pistol, take off the safety and point at his target, ''all in under a second''.
* In ''Film/CaptainAmericaCivilWar'', Spider-Man, just as he regains consciousness after the airport battle, accidentally starts fighting Iron Man.

* In Alex Garland's novel ''Literature/TheBeach'', one character talks in a very pissed-off manner about a time when another character was nodding off to sleep. There came a slight noise in the bushes, and he leapt up with his knife.
-->"He wanted me to see how fucking alert he was."
* Most characters react this way in the brief moment between waking up and being awake enough to think properly. In ''Discworld/TheColourOfMagic'' Hrun the Barbarian is apparently so used to people trying to kill him in his sleep that he reacts before he wakes up:
-->''Hrun made a glubbing noise, turned over, and slept on.\\
With a careful movement, as though handling some instrument of rare delicacy, the woman drew a slim black dagger from her belt and stabbed downward.\\
Before it was halfway through its arc Hrun's right hand moved so fast that it appeared to travel between two points in space without at any time occupying the intervening air. It closed around the woman's wrist with a dull smack. His other hand groped feverishly for a sword that wasn't there ...\\
Hrun awoke.\\
"Gngh?" he said, looking up at the woman with a puzzled frown.''
* ''Discworld/FeetOfClay'' has an apparently dead-drunk Vimes slam an approaching man's hand into a drawer before waking up (he wasn't drunk, but was very much sleeping). Even better, the man was the head of the Assassin's Guild, who take AsskickingEqualsAuthority and KlingonPromotion very seriously.
* In ''Literature/HarryPotter'', Harry warns Ron against visiting Moody first thing in the morning, for fear that Moody will respond this way.
* In ''Literature/TheHungerGames'', Haymitch often sleeps with a knife in his hand, due to his experiences in the Games.
* ''Literature/TortallUniverse''
** Aly of ''Literature/DaughterOfTheLioness'' tends to leap up with knives in hand when woken up unexpectedly.
** In ''Literature/ProvostsDog'', Beka's mage friend Kora takes to being woken up by throwing a fireball.
* At least one of ''Literature/{{Redwall}}'''s Badger Lords has done this. One of his hares had come in to wake him, right as he reached the end of a nightmare about his sworn enemy. The result was a CatapultNightmare complete with a battle cry and a sword hacked straight through a shield. The hare was unhurt, but shocked.
* In Creator/RobertAHeinlein's ''Literature/BetweenPlanets'' the teenage protagonist demonstrates his [[TookALevelInBadass development]] with his time with Venusian guerrillas by [[InstantWakingSkills waking instantly]] with a knife in his hands when the company runner looking for him taps sharply on the support rope of his hammock.
* PlayedForDrama in ''Literature/TheChildrenOfHurin'', where the anti-hero Turin Turambar fails to stop in time and kills his friend this way.
* In Creator/BenElton's novel ''Time and Time Again'' the ex-SAS protagonist is almost choked to death by another character he is attempting to rescue from hospital. A character who has suffered a lifetime of deprivation, beatings and torture and was, until that moment, feverish and unconscious from a bullet wound.
* In David Gunn's ''Literature/DeathHead'' book Maximum Offense, Sven explains the "first second rule" to one of his auxiliaries: When you wake someone up and they hit you within the first second, it's uncontrolled and you shouldn't hold it against them. He's shown applying it equally with him and his subordinates.

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* ''Series/ThirtyRock'':
** Parodied: Tracy warns Liz that he has BadDreams, but not to wake him or he will attack her.
** In another episode, the writers get [[ButtMonkey Kenneth]] to prank a sleeping Lutz by waking him up while wearing a gorilla mask. They underestimate the violence of his reaction -- his first reaction is to punch Ken hard in the face, and his second is to grab [[GolfClubbing a nearby golf club]] -- and by the time they (eventually) break them up, Lutz is throttling Kenneth with the shaft of the club.
* In ''Series/TheBigBangTheory'' episode "One Ring to Rule Them All", Sheldon tries to steal the One Ring movie prop that is around Penny's neck while she and Leonard are asleep. The minute he almost takes it, Penny wakes up screaming and punches Sheldon square in the nose.
-->'''Sheldon:''' ''[whimpering]'' YOU HIT ME! I'M BLEEDING!\\
'''Leonard:''' What the hell was that?\\
'''Penny:''' Sheldon tried to take the ring and I punched him.\\
'''Leonard:''' ''[hugs Penny]'' That's my girl.
* In one of the school episodes of ''Series/ElChavoDelOcho'', Chavo falls asleep in class. Profesor Jirafales obviously gets angry and yells to wake him up, and he immediately proceeds to punch out Quico, who is sitting next to him. His excuse is that he was dreaming that he was fighting with Quico.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'': In "[[Recap/DoctorWhoS15E3ImageOfTheFendahl Image of the Fendahl]]", the Doctor wakes his companion Leela and she pulls her knife on him. She wouldn't normally overreact that badly, but she'd been having nightmares because of the baleful influence of the Fendahl.
* Happened to Duncan once in ''Series/{{Highlander}}'', "Forgive Us Our Trespasses". Duncan is having problems with an old enemy who see him as a mass killer for things that happened during the Scottish rebellions in the 18th century. Duncan has nightmares and woke up struggling and punching until Amanda calms him down.
* When alarmed, ''Series/{{NCIS}}'''s Tony, Ziva, and Gibbs have all been shown to leap for a weapon/punch.
* In a ''Series/WizardsOfWaverlyPlace'' Season 1 episode, Justin goes to wake up Alex for a late night flying lesson, only to get punched in the gut.
* A {{sitcom}} thirty or forty years ago had a commando veteran visit the main character's place on a date. Unfortunately, he'd just had to spend an unusually long time without sleep, so he kept dozing off just sitting there -- and every time she tried to rouse him, he'd come awake frantically lashing out with karate and destroy another piece of furniture...
* Inverted in one episode of ''Series/ParksAndRecreation''- Ron is shown to suffer from a disorder called "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7-1VWbUQOMc sleep fighting]]", shown as him punching and ducking while sleeping on a couch. Leslie nearly gets punched when she tries to wake him up.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* If the player chose the High Chaos path from the OldSaveBonus in ''VideoGame/{{Dishonored}}: The Brigmore Witches'', a scene which has Daud grabbing one his underlings by the throat as he is waken up is shown.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* This is the reason no-one tries to wake up Bun-bun in ''Webcomic/SluggyFreelance''.
* In ''Webcomic/CommanderKitty'', the first thing that Nin Wah[[spoiler:'s android clone]] does upon waking is [[http://www.commanderkitty.com/2011/07/31/is-this-the-dream/ punch CK in the face.]]
* ''Webcomic/TheAdventuresOfDrMcNinja'':
** {{Sidekick}} Gordito is afraid of waking up Dr. [=McNinja=] for this very reason. The doctor himself admits he doesn't just wake up fighting, he [[http://drmcninja.com/archives/comic/13p11/ defends himself in his sleep.]] VERY justified in this case: his parents did "sneak attack" training sessions.
** Gordito himself is often subjected to literal rude awakenings; the Doc only seems to drop him off at his parents' house when he's asleep, leaving him to wake up startled in strange and often dangerous conditions.
* [[http://xkcd.com/225/ Richard Stallman]] in ''Webcomic/{{xkcd}}'' takes a pair of katanas from under his bed and fights off Microsoft's agents who try to kill him. After this comic came out, [[{{Defictionalization}} some fans bought him a Katana]].

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* From ''WesternAnimation/AvatarTheLastAirbender'':
-->'''Sokka:''' ''[wakes up wielding weapons]'' Huh? Did we get captured again?
* ''WesternAnimation/StarWarsRebels'': Chopper, the ''Ghost'' crew's psychotic astromech droid, tends to swing his manipulator arms around and put them in fighting poses when reactivated, sometimes deploying his [[ShockAndAwe spark projector]] as well.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Samurai Jack}}'': Jack does this in the beginning of "Episode [=XCV=]" when he wakes up hallucinating that Aku is nearby.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheVentureBrothers'', both Brock Samson and Molotov Cocktease do this, to Hank and Dr. Venture respectively.
* ''WEsternAnimation/KungFuPandaLegendsOfAwesomeness'': In "Master Ping", Ping is staying at the Jade Palace has has kept the Furious Five awake with his sinuses. During training, Tigress falls asleep leaning against Po. When Shifu asks someone to wake her up, Po nudges her and is immediately dealt an OffhandBackhand.