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A Handful for an Eye

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"I’m gonna put some dirt in your eye."
Peter Parker, Spider-Man 3

This is a simple yet effective method of improving your odds of victory. A character with no compunctions about cheating flings a handful of something into the eyes of their combat opponent for a temporary combat advantage.

In most situations this will be a handful of loose dirt or sand grabbed from the ground, but in some instances more dangerous and painful materials can be used to attempt a permanent blinding.

Also see Smoke Bomb, Go for the Eye, Eye Poke, Step into the Blinding Fight and Blinded by the Light. If you're thinking of eyes on the palms then you're looking for Eyes Do Not Belong There.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Black Clover: In the Devil Banishers Arc, a member of the titular group uses Sand Magic to temporarily blind Noelle during their kidnapping of Asta and Nero.
  • Berserk in their second duel Guts uses his sword to knock dirt into Griffith’s eyes to get an advantage which causes outrage in the watching Band of Hawk, ironically Griffith was just praising Guts’s drive to do anything to win earlier.
  • In episode four of Blade of the Immortal, Rin uses this to escape a thug who caught her off-guard and unarmed.
  • Bleach:
    • Gin throws wood splinters towards Hitsugaya to distract him, and Jirobo uses sand against Ishida. Ganju also has a smoke bomb with pepper added for this effect but he ends up blinding himself too when he uses it against Yumichika.
    • Kyoraku Shunsui has been known to use his straw hat to temporarily obscure his foe's vision.
  • A Certain Magical Index:
    • Touma uses a shovel to fling cement powder at his opponent (they were fighting in a construction site).
    • In another episode, Touma throws a tube of grease from a toolbox at an enemy swordswoman. She instinctively slashes it, making the grease splatter into her eyes.
  • Dragon Ball:
    • Vegeta uses this against Zarbon in Dragon Ball Z, except he does it in midair.
    • Dragon Ball also has the Taiyōken/Solar Flare, which creates light bright enough to temporarily blind anyone who looks at it. Several characters and even one villain have used it to buy time/escape.
  • A rare hero-to-hero version occurs in the Dragon Quest: The Adventure of Dai manga between Hyunkeru & Laharlt.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist (at least in the manga) Ling uses this against Envy. On another occasion, Fu gets a cut on his forehead and blood briefly spills into his eyes. He quickly wipes it away, but Wrath takes advantage of the split-second distraction to land a crippling blow.
  • Used with snow in Ginga Densetsu Weed, when Jerome crouches low and swipes a pawful of snow towards the Borzoi brothers. This blinds them momentarily and makes them crash into each other.
  • Golden Kamuy: During the final confrontation of of Tsugimoto and Tsurumi, Tsugimoto reveals he has taken a handful of the gold dust they found on the well, and throws it in his eyes before Tsurumi can get a gun.
  • In the anime of Golgo 13, a female assassin contracted to kill Duke Togo takes him on in a sandstorm, thinking the sand will irritate his eyes and give her the advantage as she's wearing goggles. Unfortunately Duke turns out to be wearing goggles too.
  • Dire does this to Dio Brando in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Phantom Blood as he is dying he spits a rose at DIO and successfully takes his eye out.
    • DIO tries this tactic too as he squirts blood from his own leg wound at Jotaro in the last battle of JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders as a last-ditch effort. It doesn't work, since Jotaro throws a wild punch and manages to hit DIO anyway.
    • Done repeatedly during the fight with Hanged Man in Stardust Crusaders. Hanged Man can perform Reflective Teleportation, and one of the reflective surfaces it hides in is people's corneas. If the surface suddenly stops reflecting anything, however, it has to immediately jump out. As such, kicking sand in people's eyes becomes a major part of the fight.
  • Subverted in Kenichi: The Mightiest Disciple. Minor character Alan Subishi gets in a fight with the absurdly powerful master Sakaki. Alan tries to throw sand in Sakaki's eyes. Sakaki swipes the air, and the wind from his attack blows it right back in Alan's face.
  • Ryuko uses the blood from Senketsu to blind Satsuki in one episode of Kill la Kill. This actually works long enough for Ryuko to punch Satsuki in the head and take her sword.
  • A common tactic for the main character of the obscure delinquent action-comedy Kyō Kara Ore Wa!! He goes so far as to carry around small bags of dust which he uses as a defensive maneuver against those who would jump him, or as a first strike tactic.
    • When Itou's mother asked him to teach her nephew how to stand up to bullies, Mitsuhashi taught him the technique, gave him an handful of salt and sent him to defeat the first passerby he met. Itou's cousin tried it on Kagawa-san, a gigantic yakuza who always wears Cool Shades, with predictable results.
  • Love Stage!!: Izumi throws a handful of dirt in the eyes of one of three men who try to rape him; the other two get a kick to the groin and an artist bag to the face.
  • Reichwein in Monster throws boiling water at Roberto's face to distract him as he runs out the fire escape.
  • Pokémon Adventures: Team Magma member Courtney sprays spicy Tamato Berry juice into Sapphire's eyes to temporarily blind her.
  • Happens to Lucario in the Pokémon: Lucario and the Mystery of Mew Movie. Fortunately, he can sense his surroundings using aura and can continue to fight normally while blinded.
  • Pokémon: The Series: James was fond of having his Koffing/Weezing use Sludge attack to blind opponents.
  • Just before he's sent to Psyren, Ageha gets pepper-sprayed in the eyes by one of the men who were after his card.
  • Several of the characters in Ranma ½ have done this at one point or another; Ukyo used gunpowder-laced flour, Ranma used beer foam on the Orochi (as opposed to getting it drunk with the booze,) Konatsu and Mousse used pepper bombs, etc.
  • Rokudo Mukuro from Reborn! (2004), after pretending that what was lunging at Tsuna was just an illusion, quickly reveals that it was actually a stone after smashing it into Tsuna's eye area.
  • In Street Fighter II V, Ken calls out Guile for beating Ryu the previous night. Guile starts the fight by throwing sand in Ken's eyes. Guile justifies his dirty attack by saying "there are no rules in a street fight." We don't see the rest of the fight, but seeing Ken afterwards shows that it didn't go very well.
  • In the early Yu-Gi-Oh! manga, Hirutani (a gang leader) throws glass into Jonouchi/Joey's eyes. It works pretty well, but Hirutani then accidentally steps on some more glass, which alerts Jonouchi to his position. Good thing too though, seeing as Hirutani was just about to stab Jonouchi in the back with, (guess what?) more glass.
    • In another fight, this time squarely over Yugi, Jonouchi risked his life while he engaged a Bruce Lee Clone in fisticuffs (he held a blade in his teeth). Jonouchi revealed his first "promise" to Yugi, a can of soda which he sprayed in the punk's face. He followed it with his second "promise", and floored the sap.
    • Insector Haga (Weevil Underwood) hires a kid to sabotage Jonouchi's deck. When the kid demands his reward, he hands him a common card instead of a rare card like he promised. When the kid protests, Haga sprays bug spray into his eyes and runs away. In the anime version of this scene, Haga sprays him with silly string instead.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Hiei is about to stab Yusuke with the Shadow Sword when Kurama jumps in the way. Kurama then cuts his own hand on the blade of the sword and throws a fistful of blood into Hiei's jagan eye. Keep in mind that the Jagan is what allowed Hiei to go One-Winged Angel, and carried an immense amount of psychic power, including the bonds holding Yusuke.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • Batman: The Dark Knight Returns has Batman use this against the Mutant Leader in his second fight. After realizing the hard way that being past his physical prime makes a direct confrontation suicidal, Batman lures him into a mud pit, evening the odds between them. He then gives the guy a superficial but extremely fast-bleeding cut above the eyes, then throws a handful of mud into his face to compound the blinding, and proceeds to beat him down whilst he is wiping blood and mud from his vision.
  • Huntress uses her own blood to blind Lady Shiva in Birds of Prey.
  • Black Dynamite: Black Dynamite defeats the man-snake by throwing dust in his eyes and kicking him off a cliff.
    Man-snake: Ssss-simpleton! The Order of the Illuminati cannot be defeated, the eye sees all!
    Black Dynamite: [flings dust] How about now?
    Man-snake: I'M BLIND!
  • Billy Butcher of The Boys uses this tactic on an opponent once; it's incredibly effective, because he uses broken glass as his weapon. Which he spends a panel or two breaking down into appropriately vicious shards. It's not, directly, the damage done that stops the opponent, but the opponent's understandable fear of being permanently blinded.
  • One of the early stories of Gold Digger had Britney fighting an Empress of Shang-Ra-La (tagging for her human sister Gina). Brit practically had the girl on the rope when she uses the dust trick to gain an advantage. Unfortunately for her, Brit's built like a truck and her senses can pick up on her movement easily, rendering the tactic useless.
  • Jonah Hex does it while fighting mountain scum in Hex #4. Given Jonah's penchant for fighting dirty, it would be surprising if this was the only time this trick was used in the various series.
  • In Knights of the Dinner Table, Bob is once able to defeat Nitro (after Nitro touches his dice) by blinding him by tossing a shaker full of salt into his face before clobbering him with a dinner tray.
  • One issue of Marvel Two-in-One pits the Thing and Ghost Rider against the Miracle Man. While Ghost Rider deals with the supernatural constructions created by the Miracle Man, the Thing goes after the main villain himself. The Miracle Man confuses Ben with illusions until he remembers the Miracle Man's major weakness: he needs to see in order to use his powers. Since they're fighting in a desert, all Ben needs is one handful of thrown sand to blind the Miracle Man long enough for his illusions to vanish, after which he's easy prey.
  • In The Maze Agency #3, Jen blinds the thief, who is holding her at gunpoint, by firing a blast of compressed air into his face.
  • In Ms. Tree #49, after being shot in the back, Michael blinds her attacker with a handful of dust in an attempt to get away.
  • Sonja does this Raven in the Red Sonja Raven one-shot.
  • When Alpha Flight makes a guest appearance in the last issue of The Saga of Crystar, Crystal Warrior, Northstar incapacitates a giant Chaos monster by flying up and tossing a handful of cornmeal in its eyes (the cornmeal having been conjured out of Shaman's pouch).
  • In Sin City, Kevin blinds Marv by slicing him across the brow, allowing blood to fill his eyes.
  • Smurfette in The Smurfs story "The Great Smurfette" used pepper hidden inside her compact to blind Gargamel.
  • Spider-Man gives his opponent a faceful of webbing to temporarily blind them, he does it so much it’s practically his Signature Attack. He first used this tactic during his first rematch against Doctor Octopus.
  • In Tragg and the Sky Gods #6, Keera is fighting a Duel to the Death against Lorn when she blinds the redhead by throwing sand in her eyes before grabbing her and attempting to toss her into the Spikes of Doom.
  • Rorschach does this, with pepper, to a SWAT team member in Watchmen.
  • Wolverine once had flesh-eating anti-Healing Factor nanites thrown at him by a cyborg villain.
  • Wonder Woman (1987): During "The Witch and the Warrior" Argent gets taken out by Scirocco after Scirocco has blinded her with sand.

    Comic Strips 
  • Rangi does this to Lex Murphy in a Footrot Flats strip. Not having any sand available, he improvises by using a handful of dried sheep droppings.
  • In "The Snake Goddess" storyline in the James Bond newspaper strip, Bond blinds an opponent by throwing a potted cactus in their face.
  • One of the Murder, Inc. members tries it on Modesty in the Modesty Blaise arc "Sweet Caroline". However, Modesty is prepared for the trick and blocks the attack.

    Fan Works 
  • During their first battle in Common Sense, Meowth finds himself pinned by Charmander and thinks fast by grabbing some dirt off the path they're fighting on and throwing it in his eyes. While acting like it's one of his moves, no less.
    "Meowth used Sand Attack!"
  • The Harry Potter story Effects And Side Effects has Harry take out a dragon by blowing sand from the beach he was vacationing on into its eyes, causing it to break its neck crashing into the nearby cliff.
  • Fate/Long Night: Shirou opens a pepper shaker and throws it at Nymeria's face, then runs away while she is blinded.
  • In Incarnation of Legends, Bell finds himself on the backfoot of a spar with a Rakian soldier, so he digs his swords into the sand to fling it at his opponent's eyes to try and take back the advantage. Bell still loses and gets knocked out cold, but the men around him praise him for holding his own despite not having a falna and don't seem to take issue with this bit of Combat Pragmatism.
  • The Last Kiss Goodbye (a Star Trek: Voyager uber fic). While being held at gunpoint by notorious hitman The Bermanator, Hollywood private eye Jane Kates asks for the obligatory Last Request. The beautiful Damsel in Distress assumes it will be a Last Kiss, and is not amused when Kates wants a hot cup of coffee instead. Which Kates then throws in the Bermanator's face.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe fic Multiverse of Madness: Clea Cut opens with Peter doing this to Clea with his webbing during the initial confrontation in Kamar-Taj. He later does this twice to Maya Hansen of Earth-717, first striking her mask with webbing when she confronts him as Iron Woman and then striking her eyes directly when she lifts the mask to try and get around the webbing.
  • Pokémon Reset Bloodlines:
    • An accidental example happens in the Erika Interlude sidestory. While Grass-types are usually immune to spore attacks, A.J's Venonat uses a Stun Spore followed by a Supersonic, knocking the spores into Ivysaur's eyes and causing him irritation. Erika is forced to pull him back to get him medical attention, forfeiting the bout.
    • In the main story, when Ash challenges Giovanni in the Viridian Gym, at one point Ash's Squirtle notes that some of his water attacks splash into the eyes of Giovanni's Rhydon causing him a minor nuisance. They capitalize on this with Brine, which being a salty water attack causes heavy irritation.
  • Vow of Nudity: When Fiora attempts to use her recently-purchased red, yellow, and blue sand as the material component to cast color spray, she discovers the shopkeeper had merely glamoured ordinary sand to look she blinds her target with the sand instead.
  • Among the tactics Sailor Mercury uses during her fight with Zoicite in White Devil of the Moon is throwing a handful of hastily conjured ice crystals into his face.

    Films — Animation 
  • Kron does this to Aladar with a handful of dirt in Disney's Dinosaur.
  • Near the end of The Jungle Book 2, Mowgli actually kicks sand at Shere Khan to momentarily blind him while he escapes.
  • In The Lion King (1994), Scar kicks hot ashes into Simba's face, briefly blinding him as he lunges and attacks him.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A faceful of quicklime is a popular tactic used by villains in Chinese Wuxia martial arts films. Not only does the powder mess with the opponent's vision, but if they try to wash it off with water instead of oil, the chemical reaction will burn their face off.
  • Master samurai Shinzaemon from 13 Assassins faces down his rival and equal in skill at the end of the movie, but demonstrates that they were equal only because the formal conditions of the dojo by kicking mud in his opponent's face and decapitating him (also cutting a much anticipated fight anticlimactically short).
  • In 3 Ninjas, Snyder throws a pepper bomb (see Black Egg under Real Life) in Grandpa's face in the final fight.
  • The Jackie Chan action film, The Accidental Spy, have Chan doing this in a bunch of fight scenes, notably in a Turkish bath when a half-naked Chan gets cornered by enemy agents and Chan momentarily disarms one of his captors by blowing a handful of soapsuds into his eyes. Later on a Giant Mook tries grabbing Chan, only for Chan to retaliate by grabbing bottles of shampoo and squirting it's contents into the mook's eyes. When the fight spills into Istanbul's Grand Bazaar, cue Chan (still half-naked and all that) grabbing spices and salts from nearby stalls and throwing them into the faces of his pursuers.
  • Angel With The Iron Fists contains a fight scene in a saloon, where the titular Angel, Lorna blinds a mook by spraying hair frizz serum into his eyes.
  • The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. The Prospector in "All Gold Canyon" spends half the episode searching for the elusive vein of gold only to be suddenly shot In the Back when he finds it. He turns the tables by Playing Possum until the claim jumper jumps down into the hole the prospector dug, whereupon he throws a handful of dirt into his face and wrests the gun off him.
  • In Bloodsport, the villainous Chong Li is on the verge of losing the final match, so he takes a capsule of powder from his shorts to blind Frank Dux. The ploy is successful until Dux finds his focus and remembers his blind-fighting training.
  • James Bond
    • Licence to Kill. Bond is searching a marine research warehouse and finds a tank full of maggots. Grimacing, he plunges his hands inside and finds it's used to hide packages of cocaine. Just then a guard comes up behind and holds him at gunpoint. Bond asks if he can take his hands out, then throws maggots in the guard's face.
    • In No Time to Die, the Big Bad has ordered Madeleine Swann to drink poisoned tea, with The Dragon standing over her to make sure she does.
      Madeleine: Do you know what this does? It makes you blind. Just a drop of this in your eye, and you'll never see again. Losing one eye in a tragedy. Losing two...
      Cyclops: No more games!
      Madeleine: It's not a game! (throws tea in his good eye)
  • This happens in The Cable Guy during the medieval times fight.
  • Cry Blood, Apache: During their knife fight, Vittorio flings a handful of snow into Pitcalin's face.
  • In the Tales from the Crypt movie Demon Knight, the antagonist demon seems to have the upper hand against the female protagonist until she spits a mouthful of blood from the Mcguffin into his eyes. Due to the blood being an extremely diluted mixture of Christ's, it actually has the effect of acid against the demon.
  • In The Empire Strikes Back, Luke Skywalker grabs a broken hose that is spraying exhaust and uses it to blind Darth Vader.
  • Five Shaolin Masters: The final battle between Tsai Te-Chung and The Dragon, both of them being staff users, taking their brawl into a knee-high creek. Tsai managed to overpower his opponent by twirling his staff with enough energy to send muddy water into his opponent's eyes, blinding the villain long enough for Tsai to land a fatal thrush with his staff.
  • In Frankenstein Created Woman, Hans uses a pepper shaker to blind all three of the Upper Class Twits during the Diner Brawl.
  • The Gentlemen: When one of the kids in the cafe attacks Coach, Coach grabs a squeeze bottle of vinegar and squirts it in the kid's eye.
  • Gladiator, at the beginning of the one on one duel against Tigris surrounded by tigers. The opponent kicks dirt/gravel/dust into Maximus's face.
  • The final battle of the martial arts film, Hand of Death have the hero Yun Fei fighting The Dragon on a beach. Being a Combat Pragmatist, when the villain orders another fighter to back him up Yun Fei then hurls sand into his opponent's face so he could fight his enemies one at a time.
  • In Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, an evil witch throws a handful of dirt and leaves into Hansel's face.
  • The Horror of Party Beach, during the fight at the beginning. Quip from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 guys: "Oh, my radial keratotomy!"
  • In The Hunted (2003), Benicio del Toro's chracter does this to Tommy Lee Jones with his own blood.
  • In I Was a Teenage Werewolf, Michael Landon pulls a handful of soil out of a nearby wheelbarrow and throws it at the middle-aged high school student who's been beating the tar out of him so far. It doesn't really help.
  • In Jodhaa Akbar, the eponymous Akbar does this to Jodhaa—with a bowl of flower petals. Her look of disbelief has to be seen to be believed.
  • In Johnny Reno, during the fight in the saloon, Reno tosses a glass of whisky into Yates' eyes.
  • JCVD gets a face full of salt in Kickboxer.
  • The final battle of the kung fu film Kid From Kwangtung takes place in a temple, and the hero managed to turn the tide of battle around by grabbing a set of burning joss sticks and blowing it's flames - later, ashes - into the villain's eyes.
  • Krampus: During the fight at the Christmas recital, Max presses a handful of artificial snow into his opponent's eyes.
  • In The Lost Boys, two boys are attacked by a vampire in the bathroom. When it informs them that the garlic bulbs floating in the bathtub won't affect it, one scoops up a handful of the water — holy water — and flings it into the vampire's face and eyes.
  • In Marked for Death, Hatcher kicks sand at Screwface, but it only works for a second before the villain regains his bearings.
  • Masters of the Universe: Julie escapes from Beast Man by splashing ammonia in his face.
  • Charlie/Hank attempts this on the dirty cop in Me, Myself & Irene, but since Hank isn't half as smooth as he thinks he is, he accidentally throws the dirt in Irene's eyes instead.
    • Also, Hank spits into his own eyes to discomfort Charlie when the personality assumes control of the body.
  • Murder by Decree: When Holmes walks in on Slade and Spivey murdering Mary Kelly, Slade tosses a handful of hot coals in Holmes' face.
  • Murder on the Orient Express (2017): After being shot in the supply room, Poirot uses his walking stick to flick a handful of spilled flour into Arbuthnot's face.
  • Happens in The Next Karate Kid, when Ned throws mud into Julie's eyes, only it doesn't give any advantage whatsoever, as Mr. Miyagi had taught Julie how to focus her senses.
  • Never Say Never Again: James Bond defeats the Giant Mook Lippe by splashing his own urine sample in his face. Blinded, Lippe thrashes around and crashes into a shelf full of glass beakers, getting impaled on the shards.
  • In Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Paul squirts hot sauce into Veck's eye. Despite the hostages yelling at Paul to attack him while he's incapacitated, Paul wastes time celebrating the cool move he did. Veck wipes himself off, recovers, and points his gun at them again, putting them back to square one.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • During the Norrington-Jack-Will fight in the second movie, Norrington kicks sand in Will's face. This is used in part to show how Norrington has gone from honorable to a proper pirate.
    • Jack won the first duel of the saga by catching Will in a choking cloud of soot. Later on, Barbossa throws a handful of gold coins at Jack's face, causing him to reflexively try to shield his eyes.
  • Predator: In her first escape attempt, Anna grabs a handful of leaves and throws them in Dillon's face. It works about as well as you'd expect.
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indy throws sand in the eyes of the Giant Mook German mechanic during the flying wing fight.
  • Averted in Ready to Rumble, where David Arquette's character throws powder in the face of Diamond Dallas Page. DDP is unfazed and immediately calls him out on it, saying that that trick doesn't actually work.
  • Rhymes for Young Ghouls: When one of Popper's goons tries to grab Joseph on the beach, Joseph throws a handful of sand in his face and unleashes a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown on him. It only ends when Popper's other thugs overwhelm Joseph through sheer weight of numbers.
  • In Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, the main character gets powdered glass thrown in his eyes, leading to huge amounts of blood coming from them. His eyes work fine a minute later when he washes them with water.
  • In Rurouni Kenshin, Kanryu Takeda threatens Kenshin and Sanosuke with his gatling gun and tries to force them to Kneel Before Zod. Instead, Sanosuke throws an egg at his face. He quickly wipes himself off, but the distraction allowed the two to get out of the line of fire.
  • The Sadist: When Charlie is about to shoot Ed, Ed blinds by spraying him in the face with gasoline from the gas hose he is holding.
  • A Score to Settle: During the fight in the brothel, Jimmy the Dragon sprays air freshener in Frankie's eyes to blind him.
  • Memnon in The Scorpion King throws a fistful of ash in the eyes of The Hero during the climactic battle.
  • Sherlock does this twice in Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. During the opening sequence, he steals handfuls of rice and beans from a market stall and later throws them into the faces of a group of thugs who attack him (comically, the beans just cause the thug concerned to pause in confusion before clobbering Holmes). Much later, Holmes blows a cloud of tobacco ash into Moriarty's face as he lights his pipe, in order to distract him so he can drag Moriarty over the edge of Reichenbach Falls.
  • Shoot 'Em Up. Smith gets an Impaled Palm so when Mr. Hertz pulls a gun, Smith squirts blood into his eyes.
  • Spaceballs: Lone Starr sprays a guard's face with shaving cream.
  • Spider-Man does this a lot to his foes, webbing them in the face, stopping them temporarily.
    • In Spider-Man Spidey does it the Green Goblin just as he’s about to shoot him and MJ. Later on he webs J Jonah Jameson’s face just to shut him up.
    • He does the same to The Lizard in The Amazing Spiderman. Unfortunately, thanks to the reptile claws he just peels it off quickly.
    • Most impressively Spider-Man does this to Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War echoing the original comic. Though it successfully blinds the Titan, Thanos still manages to fight off both Dr Strange and Drax while blinded; and then rip the webbing off his face very pissed at the “insect” who did it.
  • The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men: When Robin, Little John and Scarlet demand Midge's gold, he claims it is hidden in his sack of flour. He digs his hands into the flour to find it and, as the three outlaws are leaning over the sack, he flings a handful of flour into their faces. He then starts whacking them with his staff while they are blinded.
  • Stripped to Kill: During the fight in Roxanne's apartment, Cody tosses a cup of coffee in the killer's face, causing his shot to miss and allowing her to jump behind the couch.
  • In the Taiwanese film Superior Darter, the protagonist lose his vision when a bandit mook ambushed him with poisonous powder chucked into his eyes, just as he's busy slicing up other bandit mooks. The protagonist spends the rest of the film blinded and training himself to fight without his sight.
  • In Swashbuckler, Lynch does this to Jane when they are fencing on the beach, flicking a handful of sand into her eyes. She attempts to return the favour, but Lynch is prepared and blocks it.
    Ned Lynch: Never fight fair when you're fighting for your life.
  • Tank Girl. While the title character is on guard duty, a Water and Power trooper sneaks up on her. She throws sand/dirt in his eyes to distract him.
  • In the Hong Kong gangster movie To Be Number One, Ho and his friends lure a rival gang into a restricted area then throw powder on them, protecting their own eyes with scuba goggles. With their opponents blinded, they then charge in with axes to finish the job.
  • Undercover Brother. During Mr. Feather's climactic fight against the title character, he throws dirt in UB's eyes to blind him.
  • In War, Inc., Hauser pours a bottle of hot sauce into Walker's eyes.
  • Warlock (1989). While Redferne is fighting the Warlock hand-to-hand in the cemetery, the Warlock starts strangling him. Redferne grabs a handful of earth and throws it in the Warlock's eyes to make him break his grip.
  • In Warrior of the Lost World, during the big brawl scene, I think.
  • During the fight with the Punks in The Warriors, Rembrandt sprays paint into the eyes of one his attackers.
  • Attempted in Wild Hogs against one of the "Real" bikers. It turns out sand makes for a poor Groin Attack.
  • In the Wonder Woman movie, one of the Amazons cause a spray of sand by dragging her spear on the beach while riding a horse, blinding several German soldiers in the process.

  • Ares magazine Special Edition #1 (Summer 1983) short story "The Oaken Sword". Mordred (yes, that Mordred) grabs a handful of mud and throws it into the eyeslit of the helmet worn by Sir Corwin to distract him.
  • A Clean Kill In Tokyo. Lacking any other kind of Improvised Weapon, John Rain grabs a handful of sand, walks up behind an assassin sent to kill him and throws it in his face. However the assassin is a Consummate Professional who doesn't try to wipe his eyes even though Rain notes that he must be in agony, instead putting all his efforts into trying to lay hands on his attacker despite being blinded.
  • In ColSec Rebellion, Samella beats a thug by first throwing dust in his eyes, then following it up with a Groin Attack.
  • The title characters in David and the Phoenix use handfuls of dust to escape when they're captured by griffons.
  • Wei Xiao Bao in the Jin Yong novel The Deer and the Cauldron uses this method to fight off a bully at least twice his size. The thing used there was actually lye.
  • Monk is brought down by a handful of grit in his face in the Doc Savage novel Repel.
  • In Dragon Bones, protagonist Ward falls victim to the trick during a training fight, and notes that, while he cannot use such dirty fighting methods due to his Obfuscating Stupidity, he does learn all of them, and memorizes them in case he needs them in a real fight. His aunt Stala, who teaches him fighting, uses such methods, as, after all, a real enemy would do so, too, and she wouldn't be doing Ward a favour if she'd let him labour under the illusion that there is such a thing as "fairness" in a real fight.
  • From the works of J.T. Edson:
    • The fake Belle Starr does this to a shotgun guard in Waco's Badge.
    • Waco tosses a glass of lemonade into Bill Wendee's face to blind him when Wendee pulls a knife on him in "Bill Wendee Likes an Edge" in Sagebrush Sleuth.
  • In Five Hundred Years After, Khaavren suffers a cut to the wrist in a sword fight, and is left facing two opponents while bleeding severely. He flings some of his own blood at his foes' faces, causing them to flinch from the droplets sprayed at their eyes and opening up a chance for Khaavren to strike one down.
  • Gatling: During their brawl in Border War, Dumony grabs a handful of mud and throws it in Gatling's eyes, blinding him.
  • In The Golden Compass, Lyra instructs the other children to fling snow at the eyes of the Tartar soldiers at Bolvanger. She got the idea from an earlier incident in Oxford, where another child was temporarily blinded by mud thrown in his eyes.
  • In the climax of the Forgotten Realms novel The Halfling's Gem, Artemis Entreri spits a mouthful of raw sewage into Drizzt Do'urden's eyes.
    • Come on, he has the will power to resist some incredibly powerful sentient artifacts, one which is his favorite sword. With a will of iron and a lot of anger, he could stomach anything.
    • In fact, the canonically first scene of the very long running series starts with Driz'zt's father using a flashbang on the leaders of the family they are at war with. It's so bright that even though he closed his eyes, he can't see a thing, but he had trained a lot to fight while completely blind.
  • Journey to Chaos: Tiza uses this trick during her duel in the Kyraa desert. She pretends to trip on her ceremonial clothes in order to scoop sand into her mouth with which to spit at the right moment. The surpise and distraction of getting sand in his eyes costs Tej the duel.
  • In Terry Pratchett's non-Discworld book Nation, Mau and Cox agree to a dual whereby they each choose a weapon and can start as soon as they pick it up. Cox waits for Mau to pick up his spear, and is shocked when he suddenly gets a fistful of dirt to the face: Mau had chosen the sand as his weapon.
  • Nightside. This trope is one reason John Taylor never goes anywhere without condiments, pepper especially.
  • In A Practical Guide to Evil, when Barika tries to capture the Wandering Bard after she showed up to monologue, the Bard blinded her with a pocketful of sand long enough to Wander away.
    Bard: I'll see your creepy shadow tentacles and raise you...the Sands of Deception! *fling*
  • Princesses of the Pizza Parlor: "Princesses on the Lonely Isle": Possibly an unintentional action by an animal intelligence. A monster "slapped the sand, sending clouds of grit to blind its attacker".
  • Matthew Hawkwood uses this trick in his duel against the Marmeluke in Rapscallion.
  • Recoil by Brian Garfield. The protagonists have to kidnap a member of The Mafia who always carries a .357 Magnum ready in his pocket. As he approaches, one of them is holding a styrofoam coffee cup that actually holds window cleaner (ammonia) which he throws in the mobster's eyes after greeting him so he'll look in their direction.
  • Redwall
    • Cluny, villain of the first book, tries this in his final encounter with the hero. (It doesn't work.)
    • In another Redwall book (Lord Brocktree) the villain Ungatt Trunn does this to the eponymous badger in the big climactic fight.
    • It gets attempted in practically every book, with varying success.
  • In The Small Bachelor by P. G. Wodehouse, Mrs Waddington blinds Officer Garroway by throwing the contents of a pepperpot into his face in order to escape.
  • Storm Breaking: At one point, an assassin with more ego than skill tries to take out Melles ... who is a master assassin. Since Melles had been doing paperwork before the fight, he opens the curb-stomping by throwing the sand tray from his desk note  at the attacker's face. The tray is deflected, the sand isn't.
  • In Temeraire, enemy dragons are often fought off with pepper-guns. Mostly it just causes a Pepper Sneeze, but unlucky dragons can be permanently blinded.
  • In the Warhammer-based series Brunner the Bounty Hunter, the title character carries several small packets of salt up his sleeves for this purpose.
  • RiverClan warriors in Warrior Cats have been trained for aquatic combat, one technique being blinding a foe temporarily with water.
  • In The Dresden Files novel White Night Harry successfully delays Lord Raith by magically flinging some keys into his eyes. Butcher goes into great detail about the ballistic qualities of keys.
  • Deadworld Isekai: The Pocket Sand skill facilitates tossing gathered particulate matter into enemy faces.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • In "I Will Remember You", Angel throws salt into the Mohra Demon's eyes.
    • In "Untouched", Cordelia splashes hot coffee in the faces of the thugs trying to kidnap Bethany, but it doesn't slow them down for long.
  • The Aquabats! Super Show!: During the animated flashback in "The Thingy!", MC Bat Commander attempts to throw sand into the eyes of the rest of the team. However, a gust of wind blows the sand into the eyes of a kid completely unconnected with the fight.
  • Arrow. Oliver Queen in his Arrow disguise does a Super Window Jump into his half-sister's apartment. Thea begs the hooded man not to hurt her...then throws the scattered glass in his eyes, tries to karate-kick him and then jumps over the balcony, leaving Oliver rather dumbfounded over how his little sister has Took a Level in Badass.
  • Banacek: In "Horse Of A Slightly Different Color", Banacek is able to disarm a gunman by flinging a soapy cloth into his eyes.
  • Baywatch. In "Pier Pressure", Hobie uses the trick to escape from a bully.
  • Black Sails. Jack Rackham opens one fight by throwing red wine in the face of his opponent. On another level, throwing the booze had a different purpose: the red wine staining the man's shirt and skin made it difficult to tell just how much he was bleeding from the first (and only) cut Jack inflicted, so by the time he realized that Jack had cut an artery, it was too late — Jack knew he'd only have to withstand the man for a few seconds after that first slice.
  • In the Castle episode "Under the Gun", Rick Castle is being forced to dig up buried loot from a grave for a pair of criminals. He calls out that he's found it and, when they peer into the grave, he flings a shoveful of dirt into their faces.
  • In the second episode of Choudenshi Bioman Mika Koizumi did this at the end of her fight with Farrah cat by throwing water in her eyes.
  • On Chuck, Sarah is halfway around the world locked in an organized street fight with the local champion. Of course, Sarah is winning, and the evil guy invokes this trope against her.
  • The Coroner: When Davey tries to arrest a suspect at a building site in "The Captain's Pipe", the suspect grabs a handful of sand out of a wheelbarrow and flings it in Davey's eyes before attempting to escape.
  • CSI: NY: In "Point of View," Det. Flack approaches a perp on a rooftop and the guy attempts to get away by scooping up a handful of sand and grit from the surface and flinging it in Flack's face. Fortunately Danny is sneaking up behind the guy and nabs him.
  • Danger 5. Faced by an evil Nazi bank robber, Claire throws a handful of coins that somehow become a Flechette Storm.
  • Deadliest Warrior:
    • In the Pirate versus Knight showdown, the Pirate tries this against the Knight while on the beach.
    • In the Spartan versus Ninja episode, the Ninja is equipped with Black Eggs (see the Real Life folder below).
  • This has happened several times to the Daleks in Doctor Who, seeing as "aiming for the eyestalk" with conventional weaponry is a known weakness.
    • In "The Daleks", Barbara put a mixture of mud in a Dalek's eyestalk so that she and she and the others could escape. In "The Daleks' Master Plan", Steven did something similar to attack a Dalek.
  • Father Brown: In "The Devil You Know", the murderer is forcing Father Brown and Inspector Mallory to dig their own graves at gunpoint. When the killer is focusing on Father Brown, Mallory tosses a spadeful of earth into the killer's face. While the killer is blinded, Father Brown and Mallory bolt.
  • Firefly: Zoe does this when a bar brawl spills outside into the surrounding desert in "The Train Job".
  • Funky Squad: In "A Shot in the Dark", Driscoll throws a drink in Ponch's eyes to blind him.
  • Game of Thrones:
  • It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia episode "The Gang Wrestles for the Troops", Cricket gets talked into playing the heel wrestler, the "Tali-Bum", and he uses the opportunity to inflict some suffering back to the gang by opening with blowing sand into Mac's eyes. No word on where he gets the sand from...
  • In Kamen Rider Gaim episode 36, Takatora is dominating his brother Mitsuzane in a fight until the latter uses this trick. Takatora flinches even though he's in his Armored Rider suit (which has a visor), but it could probably be written off as a reflexive reaction.
  • Kung Fu (1972):
    • In "Blood Brother", a thug throws flour in Caine's face, but he doesn't even react and takes him down anyway.
    • In "Nine Lives", a man named Perlee challenges Caine to a wrestling match. Caine trounces him like his usual opponents, but Perlee cheats by throwing mud in his face, which blinds Caine long enough for Perlee to tackle him and get some hits in before Caine regains the advantage and wipes himself off.
    • In "A Small Beheading", Captain Brandywine Gage tries to throw sand in Caine's face, but Caine blocks it with his arm.
  • Leverage: In "The Wedding Job", Eliot wins his fight against the Butcher of Kiev by jamming an appetizer in his eyes. The Butcher is blinded by the fresh lemon juice.
  • Lost in Space episode "Revolt of the Androids". When one of the title androids attacks Professor Robinson and Don West, both laser beams and physical blows prove useless against it. Professor Robinson is forced to grab an handful of dirt and throw it in the android's eyes so they can escape.
  • MacGyver (1985):
    • Murdoc blinds Mac with a handful of dirt during a fight in a mine in the episode "Strictly Business".
    • Mac himself blinds a bruiser with a bucket of ashes in "The Escape".
  • One Malcolm in the Middle episode has the boys trying to teach Craig to fight dirty. That was Dewey's trick, as well as hitting them when they're talking.
  • Maverick: In "Point Blank", a pair of crooked gamblers are planning to beat the crap out of Bret. He tricks tthem into thinking he is planning a big score, and then starts sketching a map in the dirt to explain how it will work. When they kneel down to look at the map, he tosses a handful of dirt into the face of one of them and then kicks the legs out from under the other.
  • In episode 3 of Old School, Lennie blinds the thug who is attempting to choke him by squeezing a bottle of dog shampoo into his eyes.
  • This has happened in Power Rangers once, against a Ranger, suited and wearing a helmet that completely covers his face. Now, throwing something opaque and gooey at a Ranger's faceplate would be a good idea, but sand does not work that way.
  • Psych:
    • In the episode "The Amazing Psych-Man and Tap Man, Issue 2," this is a favored tactic of Gus' masked vigilante persona, Tap Man. Unfortunately, his aim sucks, so he usually only manages to throw sand at his opponent's midsection.
    • Shawn does it with Flax Seed in the series finale. It works, apart from them being stupid enough not to pick up the gun the bad guy drops before running away.
  • In the Queen of Swords episode "Fever", Captain Grisham throws a handful of dirt in the Queen's face during a sword fight at a mine.
  • In Spartacus: Blood and Sand, this is Ashur's signature move, throwing sand in his opponents' eyes, then attacking them.
  • During the titular final game of Squid Game, one of the two remaining contestants throws sand at the other's eyes to temporarily disorient them. It begins to rain not long after, preventing either of them from using the same trick again.
  • Star Gate SG 1: Ares' first prime (played by Wayne Brady) does this to Teal'c in the episode "It's Good to be King".
  • In the Starsky & Hutch episode "Bloodbath," Starsky grabs a handful of sand off the ground and throws it into the face of a cultist he's fighting.
  • Star Trek: The Original Series:
    • "The Cage". While engaging in an illusionary fight against a humanoid opponent, Captain Pike desperately grabs up a handful of dust and throws it into the barbarian's face in an attempt to blind him.
    • In "Shore Leave," Finnegan throws dirt into Captain Kirk's eyes, yelling, "Eat dirt!"
  • The first Alien Barossa from Ultraman Z briefly subdues the Ultra during their fight by grabbing an entire mound of dirt from a nearby construction site and flinging into the Ultra's face.
  • Wagon Train: In "The Esteban Zamora Story," Flint and the title character get ambushed by some sheep rustlers and knocked unconscious. When they wake they're confronted by the rustlers' leader. Esteban tells him that in his country, bandits wouldn't rough people up unnecessarily like that; they might just throw some dirt in your eyes. The man chuckles and says he'll have to remember that. Then Esteban throws some dirt in his eyes.
  • Wanted: Dead or Alive: In "Dead End", a Mexican cowhand tries sneaking up on Josh as he is asleep. Josh, who is actually awake, palms a handful of dirt from the ground and tosses it in the cowhand's face as he gets close.
  • Standard move in Xena: Warrior Princess, IIRC.
  • Am interesting variation occurs in Young Blades, when Jacqueline and D'Artagnan have their duel in the first episode. She falls over mid-combat and finds herself underneath a cow, so she aims the udder towards D'Artagnan's face and squirts milk in his eye. This incapacitates him long enough for her to launch a Groin Attack, and ultimately win the duel.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • This is a time-honored tradition for heels (and some faces) in Professional Wrestling, with salt usually being the substance of choice. For the record, the substance in question is never real salt. Since salt in the eye can be painful and genuinely dangerous during a wrestling match, and because it doesn't show up real well to the audience or the camera, they usually will use something more powdered to create a nice big dust cloud for effect. Weightlifter's chalk and baby powder are the most common. At WrestleMania IX, Yokozuna's manager Mr. Fuji helps him win the WWE title with some salt in the eye. When Hulk Hogan comes out to complain, he gives him an immediate match, tries the same gambit with him... and accidentally hits Yokozuna instead, leading to the shortest title reign in WWE history.
  • In their famous scaffold match against The Road Warriors at Starrcade '86, The Midnight Express (Dennis Condrey and Bobby Eaton) used baby powder to blind their opponents. It only worked temporarily, as the Road Warriors ultimately won the match.
  • When Jim Cornette and Paul E. Dangerously had their tuxedo match at the 1989 Great American Bash, Paul threw baby powder in Cornette's face to get an advantage. Later, when he tried to do it a second time, Cornette kicked his hand, causing him to blind himself.
  • Many Japanese wrestlers (The Great Muta, Yoshihiro Tajiri, Killer Khan, ...) have spit colored mists into the eyes of their opponents during a match. Usually green, though a black mist "permanently" blinded Jamie Noble's valet and girlfriend Nidia.
  • Vince McMahon threw dirt into The Undertaker's eyes during their "Buried Alive" match.
  • In Ohio Valley Wrestling the managers of Chad and Tank Toland, Melissa Coates and Jillian Hall, took to using rubbing alcohol.
  • Angel Fashion has some kind of cleaner/freshener he claims is for shining up his belt but we all know it's really for his opponent's eyes.
  • At Vengeance 2003, John Cena paused in the middle of his match with The Undertaker to drink from a water bottle. Later, he sprayed water from his mouth into Undertaker's face.
  • One of James Storm's tactics is to drink beer before or during a match, and later spit the beer into his opponent's face.
  • At WrestleMania 36, AJ Styles threw dirt into Undertaker's face.
  • At Mystery Vortex IV, Marty Scurll threw powder into Zack Sabre Jr.'s face.
  • At Game Over Man!, Marty Scurll tried to throw powder into Chuck Taylor's face, but Chuck kicked his hands and caused him to blind himself.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Amber Diceless Role-Playing. The Weapons part of the Other Factors in Combat section mentions heaving fluids, dirt or powder into an opponent's eyes during a fight.
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • In the Dark Sun/World of Athas setting, gladiators are trained to use dirty tricks in combat, such as throwing sand in an enemy's eyes. These tactics are also used by Athasian halflings.
    • Edition 3.5 has two feats from the Sandstorm supplement. "Sand Dancer" allows to throw sand or dust in an opponent's eyes after doing some tumbling. The upgrade "Sand Spinner" does the same thing, but to every creatures surrounding the thrower.
    • "Sand in the Eyes" is a level 7 rogue attack in 4th edition.
    • Dungeon magazine #55 adventure "Tulips of the Silver Moon". If the villain Magheo starts losing a fight he will throw iron filings into his opponent's eyes, blinding them for 1-4 minutes.
  • Starblazer Adventures, based on the 1970s-80s British comic book. The Blinding maneuver could involve throwing dirt in someone else's eyes.

  • Happens in the offstage fight between Secutor and Retiarius in Androcles and the Lion. Secutor enters from the arena covered in dust and asks if it is fair for Retiarius to win by throwing dust in his eyes. Caesar replies that there's no rule against it.

    Video Games 
  • This is one of the abilities that Ezio learns in Assassin's Creed II. Considering that dirty fighting seems to be genetic, he improves on Altaïr's already sneaky tactics. Then in Brotherhood, the guards (Seekers specifically) learn to do it to you. It's to encourage the player to be more aggressive. Or to just jump out of the way.
  • You can do this in both Bushido Blade games by hitting the Subweapon buttons without a subweapon in your possession. However, this is a serious breach of Bushido and sinks your invisible Karma Meter in the first one.
  • The "Ninjutsu" defense set available to Stalkers in City of Villains has a "Blinding Powder" move, a cone-shaped AoE power which lowers the targets' accuracy and visual range, incapacitates them until the next time they're hit, and even has a chance of confusing them.
  • In Dragon Age: Origins, the rogue class has access to an ability called "Dirty Fighting" that stuns foes instead of blinding (since the game doesn't have a 'blind' status).
  • The Brawler subclass in Dungeon Fighter Online, as a Combat Pragmatist fighter, he/she can kick dust to their enemies, among other dirty tricks. The Knight can use this too, dubbing this technique "Lion Kick". But in her defense, its skill description is: "Originally, it is a dirty trick among gladiators of the Imperial Coliseum. It's adapted into the Knights' battle training for its impressive efficiency.", and: "...The Knights worship chivalry. But when it comes to protecting their country and leader, they are willing to throw everything behind."
  • You can do something like this in Dwarf Fortress's Adventure Mode. It does have a chance of blinding your opponent... by taking out their eyes. Or, in a bug, possibly decapitating them.
  • In Fallout: New Vegas, this is an Unarmed technique that you can learn from the Great Khans known as the Khan Trick after completing a series of missions for them. Unusually for this trope, the nature of the game's engine and coding mean that it is possible to not just blind but actively kill someone (and even do so very gruesomely with the Bloody Mess perk) with just a handful of Mojave sand.
  • In most Final Fantasy games, there are items and attacks that will inflict the "Blind/Darkness" state, which can be used by both the player-characters and enemies.
    • In Final Fantasy X, Rikku's main method of attack is to use special items that damage the enemy. She can also use different types of grenades to inflict a number of status ailments, one of which is called "Dream Powder" that puts enemies to sleep when Rikku uses it.
    • Final Fantasy XI has the Ninja class using components for their Ninjitsu. The Kurayami series of 'spells', which inflict blindness on the target are cast with an object that is crafted with, among other things, gunpowder and pepper. The implications should be obvious there. Tangentially, Ninjitsu ingredients are linked to their use for the most part (Shinobi-tabi translates roughly to ninja socks, used in sneaking past opponents for an invisibility spell, paper dolls are used in a spell that creates shadow copies, and so on.) so a nice dose of burning gunpowder and pepper in the face is an obvious cause for blindness.
  • The LucasArts game Full Throttle aloows to throw a fist full of fertilizer in the face of a goggle-less biker with the chainsaw.
  • Genshin Impact: Treasure hoarders with shovels can throw dirt at your character; if it does a brown smudge covers up most of your screen for a few seconds.
  • In Gladius, rogues and some other light classes have a skill called "Incapacitate Heavy", with an attack animation that involves throwing powder toward their opponent's head. The fact that you can use it on foes facing away from you... well.
  • Some enemies in God Hand will kick up dirt. If you get hit, you take no damage but the entire screen is briefly obscured by sand clouds. Elvis can do similar with his cigar smoke.
  • Guild Wars Rangers get the 'Throw Dirt' ability which blinds foes.
    • As did the Mercenary class in Dark Ageof Camelot.
    • The Assassins got a similar skill called Blinding Powder.
  • Guilty Gear has a variation during a fight between Ky and Sol in REV 2's after story, when Ky smashes the pommel of his sword against Sol's jaw, grabs the shattered pieces midair, and throws them in his eyes. In this case, it's less pragmatism and more that Ky was really pissed off.
  • Several of Ryuji Yamazaki's special moves in the Fatal Fury and The King of Fighters series involve kicking sand at the opponent.
  • The mudmen in Left 4 Dead 2 splatter mud over the players' vision with each hit they inflict. The rarely-seen zombified Jimmy Gibbs Jr. can do the same with motor oil.
  • Burglars in The Lord of the Rings Online get a skill called "Dust in the Eyes." They can apparently hold a lot of dust, as an upgrade for the skill allows you to partially blind anyone in the vicinity.
  • In Max Payne 3, Cutscene Incompetence results in Max being forced to dig his own grave by mafioso. Using the shovel, he flings dirt into the eye of a mobster.
  • Starting from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance, Sonya Blade's Kiss fatality was retooled into a short-range blast of pink dust that blinded the opponent for a short while. In a show of attention to detail, the technique has no effect on blind swordsman Kenshi.
  • In Onimusha: Dawn of Dreams, the boss Munenori Yagyu, when knocked down uses this when he gets back up up. If it connects, the character's then stunned temporarily.
  • Sand Attack from Pokémon involves throwing sand in the opponent's face, reducing that enemy's accuracy. Mud Slap functions similarly, but does damage as well, and unlike Sand Attack, will fail if the target is immune to Ground-type attacks.
  • Edge's "Disgraceful Kick" special attack in Rival Schools kicks up a cloud of dust when he uses it.
  • River City Girls: The Entitled Jerks "love to fight dirty" which means tossing sand in their enemies' faces.
  • Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice: The "Fistful of Ash" item allows you to throw ashes at your opponent, temporarily stunning them and leaving them open to attack.
  • One of the Warrior's Tier 2 talents in Shattered Pixel Dungeon allows him to blind an enemy for a few turns by throwing a random item (that isn't a ranged weapon) at him.
  • On a bigger scale, this works in Spec Ops: The Line. Throwing a grenade at sand will lift a big dust cloud that will make enemies retch and cough, stopping them dead in their tracks.
  • In Spider-Man (PS4), successfully performing a Perfect Dodge against someone who's trying to shoot you will cause Spider-Man to automatically web their face while dodging the shot, stunning them as they try to get the webbing off. An upgrade, Payback Strike, allows Spider-Man to leap over to them for an instant knockout.
  • Cody can do this after being knocked down in the two Street Fighter games he's appeared in to keep opponents from rushing him. In Super Street Fighter IV, he opens his second Ultra Combo by kicking dust into his opponent's eyes.
  • Super Punch-Out!! features Masked Muscle, who cheats repeatedly. One of his moves is to spit in your eye, making everything blurry and preventing you from attacking for about ten seconds.
  • In A Tale of Two Kingdoms, one possible way of defeating Rashakk Skullcrusher in the duel is to fill your bag with sand, and throw it in his face.
  • Some Foots in the first stage of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III The Manhattan Project can stun you by throwing sand in your eyes.
  • One of the first tier skills you can pick up in Tomb Raider (2013) is this. After dodging (i.e. throwing yourself onto the ground) you can hit the melee attack button to have Lara grab a handful of dirt and throw it as she gets back up.
  • A common detective item on modded Trouble in Terrorist Town servers is Pocket Sand, which allows them to blind assailants and gives them enough time to identify and kill them.
  • Two Worlds allows both the player and most humanoid enemies to use it. This often leads to absurd situations where 5-6 opponents keep trying to kick dirt in your face instead of, you know, hitting you.
  • In Utawarerumono Hakuoro (the hero) and Oboro (The Lancer) have just started fighting, presumably to the death. Hakuoro is pretty tough, but Oboro is better. When he gets injured along the arm, he flings his own blood into Oboro's eyes, blinding him and throwing off his balance so he can't fight any more. Of course, his arm is bleeding rather heavily, so it essentially ends in a draw.
  • A Very Long Rope to the Top of the Sky: The Powdered Glass attack:
    Throws powdered glass in the enemy's eyes.
  • This is one of the core powers of Inaros from Warframe. He summons a pile of cursed sand, then flings it a solid 10 meters downrange, blinding everyone who gets struck by it and stunning them, opening them up to a One-Hit Kill Finishing Move. As an added bonus, said sand also Life Drains enemies for a trickle of health.
  • The Witcher 3 features a magically-enhanced version of this during the assassination of King Radovid of Redania. Bonus points for it coming from someone who had lost her eyes at the orders of the victim.
  • Rogues in World of Warcraft have an attack called "Blind" that incapacitates the target for about 8 seconds, or until they're hit with something else. Originally, they required a special compound called "Blinding powder" but this was outmoded in a patch. The devs added the tag "Once favored by rogues as a blinding agent, it was abandoned for more readily available resources... like dirt" to the now-defunct powder.

    Web Original 
  • Scanlan and Vax of Critical Role use this trick...on a mindflayer. With a bucket of goblin shit. And it works.
  • In Darwin's Soldiers Dr. Shelton blinds a guard with sand while making a run for the trucks after bluffing his way out of Texas Base.

    Web Comics 

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Finn and Jake do this to the Farm in "Who Would Win", throwing mud into his face to blind him before pulling his pants down to trip him.
  • Arcane: Claggor chucks some sand into his opponent's eyes after he's been knocked down to give him a chance to get back up.
  • In Sokka's training duel in Avatar: The Last Airbender, he blinds Piandao with a spray of dirt whipped up by his sword. Piandao compliments his resourcefulness, then proceeds to disarm him with his eyes closed.
  • In Beast Wars, during the Maximal/Predacon "truce" (which apparently allows combat so long as no weapons are used) Rattrap kicks a bunch of dirt in Waspinator's face, temporarily blinding him (even though he's a robot). Rattrap then proceeds to give Waspinator a noogie.
  • In Ben 10: Alien Force, during his first duel with Albedo, Ben, as Swampfire, generates mud and hurls it into Albedo's eyes, which would probably blind him permanently if he hadn't been Humungousaur at the time.
  • Cow and Chicken: In "Supermodel Cow", Chicken blinds the Red Guy by jamming his ice cream cone into his eyes.
  • Fantastic Voyage episode "Revenge of the Spy". When Erica Lane discovers that Lisette Clochard is The Mole she attacks her. Lissette picks up some dirt and throws it in Erica's eyes, blinding her.
  • A variant in Gravity Falls is Mabel's attack glitter, which she blows into Soos's eyes when he tries to stop the twins in "Not What He Seems." "It's pretty, but it hurts!"
  • Jonny Quest TOS episode "Arctic Splashdown". Jonny throws a snowball in an enemy guard's face to stop him from shooting Hadji.
  • King of the Hill: Dale Gribble can do this trick any time he wants, thanks to his "Pocket Sand!"note 
  • Koala Man: When dealing with Damo and Darren, Koala Man deals with Darren by splashing eucalyptus oil into his eyes, which hurts his eyes and he gets scolded by the shopkeeper for doing that. When dealing with the Tall Poppy, Koala Man beats him by splashing eucalyptus oil into his eyes which causes him to accidentally step on a large figurine Liam asked Vicky to make which hurts his foot and he falls over.
  • Miraculous Ladybug: The villain Kung Food grabs a handful of spice from his bag and blows it in Cat Noir's eyes.
  • Metalocalypse: In one episode where Dethklok takes up comedy, Pickles throws sand in the eyes of the heckler who had driven him to avoid the stage for months after finally working up the courage to perform again.
  • My Little Pony 'n Friends: In "Crunch the Rockdog, Part 1", Gusty tries blowing dust into the eyes of rock monsters, but it doesn't work since they are made of rock.
  • The Secret Saturdays: Zak flings a handful of mud into Munya's face during their fight in the Amazon in "The Kur Stone, Part 2".
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
  • The Simpsons:
    • Subverted in the first season, where Bart uses this trick on Nelson Muntz, only to have Nelson shrug it off and continue his beating anyway.
    • While in an ice cream shop, Marge tosses a handful of sprinkles into the eyes of the employees.
      "All I see is a horrible rainbow!"
    • In his final fight with George Bush Sr., Homer throws a handful of sewer muck in Bush's face to blind him.
  • Sonic Boom:
    • In "Counter Productive", Charlie throws sand into Knuckles' eyes.
    • In "In The Midnight Hour", Sticks squirts paint into Dreamcaster's eyes.
  • In Star Wars: Clone Wars, Anakin and Ventress use the Force to splash water into each others' faces.
  • A signature move of Karai from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) is the use of blinding powder, a move she has used repeatedly on Leonardo.
  • In the ThunderCats episode "The Demolisher", The Demolisher pulls the Look Behind You trick on Lion-O and attacks him when he turns around. The Demolisher mocks him for falling for the "oldest trick in the book", but Lion-O counters that there is an older trick and throws dirt in his eyes.
  • We Bare Bears: In "Ice Cave", during the big fight at the end Charlie ends up blowing crumbled-up Cheese Poofies into Ralph's eyes to distract him.

    Real Life 
  • In mixed martial arts fights, a cut above the eye can quickly end a match if the bleeding can't be kept under control. Referees will declare a technical knockout for safety reasons if they determine that the blood is interfering with the fighter's vision and rendering them unable to properly defend themselves. Fighters sometimes exploit this policy by focusing their strikes on any minor cuts on their opponent's forehead or eyebrows in an attempt to open the cut more and make the bleeding more pronounced.
  • Older Than Steam: Real Life: Ninjas used to have metsubushi — eggshells or bamboo tubes filled with pepper, dust, and ground-up glass — for just this purpose. It can be argued that pepper spray is just a more modern implementation of this tactic.
  • Okinawan oar-fighting has a couple techniques where the oar blade is used to flick sand into an opponent's eyes; if you're fighting with an oar, odds are you're on a beach. It'd work with water too, albeit more briefly.
  • Spitting cobra venom can cause blindness if it gets in your eye, and spitting cobras tend to aim for the eyes, or at least the general region of the head.
  • Horned lizards can spray their own blood at a predator's eyes.
  • An inversion. While skunks don't specifically aim for the eyes, some owls evolved the ability to withstand being hit in the eyes with skunk spray.
  • Kangaroo rats kick sand into the eyes of snakes and then either run off or, if they outnumber a snake (as they tend to all be in the same area during mating cycles) jump at it and tear chunks of its flesh off. Single kangaroo rats have also been recorded inflicting Eye Scream by leaping up and biting into an eye, causing the snake to bleed out. They very rarely manage to pull this on birds in their natural habitat, though, especially owls, their greatest enemy.
  • Ma Nature herself does this during the winter. Snow in the eyes is very painful.
  • Tai Chi (yes, that "meditation thing" your elderly neighbors do in the park) is actually a very pragmatic, or even cheap, martial art.note  One fairly common move involves windmilling the arms while crouching, then extending the arms to the front and back with open palms. This is actually meant to be a move used to scoop a handful of dirt, sand, or detritus and throw it at your opponent's face.



Video Example(s):


Spiced flaxseed

Shawn throws delicious spiced flaxseed he stole from Gus's office into the murderer's eyes.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / AHandfulForAnEye

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