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Playing With: Knuckle Cracking
Basic Trope: A character cracks their knuckles emphasize their badassness.
  • Straight: A Bruce Lee Clone cracks his knuckles while some punk insults his former master and then beats him in the face when he lays a hand on his girlfriend.
  • Exaggerated: Before a fight, a Bruce Lee Clone cracks every joint in his body like a wordless rendition of Dem Bones.
  • Downplayed: ???
  • Justified:
    • For a case where it's a crack of the neck after the fight, the hero has a metal skeleton with a tendency to clang and a flair for the dramatic.
    • The opponent got in the first hit, and dislocated something in Bruiser Bob. Bob pops it back into position, and hits back.
  • Inverted: Our hero is the sort to nervously crack his joints but when his nerve builds up he stops and proceeds to kick ass.
  • Subverted: A character sees a crowd of mooks and walks over rubbing his knuckles as we hear the cracking... before it's revealed that he's walking over glass.
  • Double Subverted: ...and then the gang leader cracks his knuckles and knocks the character out with a single punch.
  • Parodied:
    • As the character cracks his joints, the clicks play out "Pop goes the weasel"
    • A combat/martial arts instructor devotes lessons entirely to dramatic joint cracking.
    • Degree of joint cracking is an explicitly accurate (or treated by characters/a character to be so) measure of combat capacity.
    • Humongous Mechas which regularly cracking joints before engaging in combat.
  • Zig Zagged: ???
  • Averted: Guy walks into a bar, gets insulted by a drunk, slowly gets wound up, kills the drunk, has a beer, leaves. The End.
  • Enforced: The movie is being paid for by the American Orthopedic Society
  • Lampshaded: "You think you're scary cracking your knuckles like a Bruce Lee wannabe?"
  • Invoked: Fighting is always a tough, exhausting process for the character with plenty of injuries even if he wins so he reassured his friends by nonchalantly cracking his knuckles when he wins.
  • Exploited: A foe makes a target of the weak clicking joints.
  • Defied: A stoic Determinator cocks his neck and starts to walk slowly towards a cowering fighter, the fighter offers to give The Determinator a massage for that crink in the neck rather than fighting.
  • Discussed: "Dude, he's cracking his knuckles and staring at us. I think he's getting pissed."
  • Conversed: "You know how Bruce Lee would always crack his knuckles in the movies as a warning whenever he was upset? Well what would he do if the guy was just feeling loose and flexible that day and couldn't crack them?"
  • Deconstructed: An old master is bed ridden after not receiving a single injury in a fight in his life but his joints have become gnarled from all that clicking.
  • Reconstructed: A group of old masters have been in hiding, using their arthritis as an excuse but after someone calls them out with the latest new medical research and points out that the toughening of the joints makes their fists harder, they leap back into action.
  • Played For Laughs: Two fighters preparing for a fairly honorable duel try to out do each other in a pre-fight warm up "Click off"
  • Played For Drama: A retired fighter returns home to find his family killed and his home burnt down. He silent slinks in misery and grasps the charred remains of his home in his hands and crushes the wood in his grasp and a deadly resolve comes over him.

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