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An Arm and a Leg

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The ocean... as deep as his sorrows.

"Where's the rest of me?"

Essentially, limb loss as dramatic device. Can come about in a variety of ways:

  1. Self-amputation: The character deliberately removes the limb themselves, under duress or otherwise.
  2. Accident: The loss is accidental, or occurs during battle.
  3. Deliberate: Another person/entity deliberately rips, cuts or otherwise separates the limb from the owner. It may happen in battle, but it's not a type 3 unless the amputation was deliberate.

May be the predecessor to Artificial Limbs, Arm Cannon, Hook Hand or Swiss Army Appendage. Frequently appears in the backstory of a Handicapped Badass. If played for laughs it's Only a Flesh Wound. Characters with Appendage Assimilation will simply stitch a new appendage on the gaping hole. If it's a severed hand, expect it to be be used in a Dead-Hand Shot.

Interestingly enough, you almost never see a limb actually sewn back to the body of the victim, which is probably the most sensible thing you can do once deprived of it (provided that you're able to retrieve the lost limb in a reasonable amount of time and keep it in sanitary conditions). And while this is actually a well known, albeit rare occurrence in surgery with a decent ratio of success in terms of restoring partial or even full limb mobility (at least considering the complexity of the procedure; there is a lot of stuff that needs to be joined back together in your hand mind you, not to mention the constant time pressure), most people are unaware of it and would probably ridicule the very idea.


Note that this trope only applies when limb loss is deliberately used to advance the plot. It does not apply to pre-existing conditions or incidental carnage amongst background characters. If the incident leading to the loss is featured in a flashback by all means include it, but if we only see the character after it happens it doesn't count.

Compare Knee-capping and Agony of the Feet. Fake Arm Disarm is a bloodless version of this trope, while Literal Disarming is this trope done for the explicit purpose of removing someone's ability to fight or wield weapons. If the injury specifically represents or comments upon some aspect of the character it counts as Symbolic Mutilation.

Arranged by medium as usual, but please note what type it is at the beginning of the entry.



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    Comic Books 
  • In the Marvel Universe, John Walker, the former US Agent, loses an arm and a leg to Nuke and his energy axe. While he knows Tony Stark and could easily get a replacement, he refuses on the grounds that he doesn't want to become like the cyborg who did this to him. Mind you, it's shown that he can kick more than enough ass on his own. He later gets new biologically-created limbs to replace the ones he lost.
  • This Trope was integral to the backstory of Marvel villain, Master Pandemonium. Originally a spoiled rich actor named Martin Preston, a car crash one night after drinking heavily severed one of his arms. Dying and yelling for help, the demon Mephisto appeared and offered him a deal, which he accepted. Mephisto summoned four demons; one of them wrenched its own arm off, and used it to replace the lost limb, while the other three repeated the trick with Preston's good limbs. Since then, as Master Pandemonium, the four demons are his servants while in Mephisto's employ, and he can detach any (or all) of his limbs, which causes them to turn into the demons who donated them. He is most often a foe of Ghost Rider.
  • In All Fall Down, the speedster, Pronto, suffers this when he loses both legs in the first chapter.
  • Aquaman's hand was eaten off by piranhas.
  • In Avengers Arena, Nico Minoru loses an arm. The subsequent blood loss ends up giving her a power boost, though.
  • Black Moon Chronicles: During the final battle with Haazheel Thorn, he rips off Hellaynnea's arms when she tries to stop him from killing Wismerhill.
  • In The Crow, Eric slices off both of a mobster's legs, leaving him to die from blood loss.
  • In Deep Gravity, Warner, a shuttle pilot, is attacked by a venomous native lifeform on Poseidon's surface, and the doctors have to amputate his legs. (It's not a case of Amputation Stops Spread, though — they stop the spread by other means, but the toxin has already done its damage.) However, Warner points out that he doesn't need legs to fly his shuttle, and ends up rescuing the rest of the surviving cast that way.
  • ElfQuest's warrior troll king Guttlekraw likes to punish disobedient elf slaves "one finger, then one limb at a time." Case in point: Ekuar, who lost half a leg, one arm, and one finger of the remaining hand that way. He was the luckiest.
  • Hitman has Hacken who has his compatriots cut off his hand after he's bitten by a zombie penguin. They later reveal that he was never in danger.
  • In Infinite Crisis, Risk of the Teen Titans had his right arm ripped off by Superboy-Prime. Later, during the Sinestro Corps War, Risk attempted to take revenge against (now) Superman-Prime, only to have his left arm ripped off as well.
    • Not incidentally, both of these events were written by Geoff Johns, who has a fondness for this trope.
  • Judge Dredd: Judge Logan has the misfortune of repeatedly losing limbs. After being wounded during the Fargo rescue, he got an Artificial Limb in place of his left arm before switching it for a specially regrown one. Then he lost that one to Mortis' rotting touch.
  • In the Justice League "Age of Obsidian" arc, The Flash has both his legs torn off by Tezumak. His legs are later restored by magic.
  • Justice League: Cry for Justice; Roy Harper gets his arm chopped off by Prometheus. This, combined with his daughter's death, drives him over the Despair Event Horizon and he becomes a more brutal Anti-Hero.
  • In Legends (DC), the villain Sunspot uses his power blast to get out of the ankle cuff that Guy Gardner holds him upside-down by, but in the process he accidentally blasts off his right foot. Guy tends to Sunspot's injury, but threatens to cut off the villain's left hand if he uses his power blast again.
  • One of Madman's earlier adventures involves him rescuing an alien who landed among a Lamanite tribe two thousand years earlier. The Lamanites thought he communicated with the gods, and thus cut off his legs and one of his arms to prevent him from leaving.
  • In The Mice Templar, Leito has his arm chopped off by Captain Tosk. Later, Leito gets his revenge on Tosk by slicing off both his arms.
  • James Wa of The Order lost both of his legs to a drunk driver, ending his baseball career. However, he went on to create a brand of high-tech prosthetic legs and made a fortune.
  • The Pitiful Human Lizard: The titular Human-Lizard loses an arm in a fight against a huge monster. However, by then he'd already gained his Healing Factor, so all he has to do is put the arm back where it was on his body, and let his power do the rest.
  • A late arc in Gail Simone's run of Red Sonja has type 1: Sonja destroys both her hands by charring them in a fire to prevent herself from wielding a weapon.
  • The penultimate issue of Reyn has Reyn himself losing an arm while fighting Brother M'Thall. It isn't until after he loses his arm where it's revealed that Reyn is not human, since he doesn't bleed the way a normal human would.
  • Robin Series: Johnny Warlock lost his hand when Robin tossed a sealing quick-hardening gel on his gun and Johnny fired it even as he was being warned that doing so would have disastrous results for him. He later replaced it with a hook.
  • Spider-Man has Peter's old high school rival-turned-buddy Flash Thompson lose both his legs in Iraq.
    • Peter losing a leg is also the reason he retires as a superhero in the original Spider-Girl comics.
  • Spotlight: Wheelie: the title character loses his arm to a Chaosterous, for a time, before retrieving it. Reattaching it without proper medical help proves difficult, and the arm remains functionally dead, and makes transforming incredibly difficult, not least because whenever Wheelie transforms said arm just dangles from his undercarriage.
  • Superman supporting character Professor Hamilton lost his arm during "The Fall of Metropolis" when he was shot by a hallucinating prostitute and his arm was too badly damaged to be saved by the time he's rescued.
  • Transformers: More than Meets the Eye: Dismemberment happens all the time, the limbs themselves can usually be replaced. The situations all have some significance: Cyclonus severs Rung's arm is Played for Laughs, Drift cutting off Pharma's hands leads to the latter's Disney Villain Death, and Ratchet later takes them up. Black Shadow rips off Hyperion's arm while simultaneously blasting away another Wrecker to show how powerful he is and Empurata cuts of the victims hands and head and replaces them with claws and a Cyber Cyclops head.
  • In Uncanny X-Men Vol. 2, Emma Frost loses an arm against Mr. Sinister. Being in diamond form, she doesn't die from blood loss or anything, and she gets better.
  • In Violine, an early villain, Muller, falls to his apparent death in a crocodile infested moat. After losing both arms in fighting them off, he takes a level in badass, obtains clawed arms, and becomes the series' bigger bad.
  • The Walking Dead has Type 3. The Governor takes Rick's arm as punishment for refusing to fight in his gladiatorial arena
  • In issue 1 of Wolverines, Daken has one of his arms ripped off by Sinister, who takes it along with Wolverine's corpse for research purposes. Ordinarily this wouldn't be an issue for him, but in the last issue of The Logan Legacy, his Healing Factor had been stripped from him by Siphon, leaving him in danger of bleeding out.
  • Hellion of the X-Men lost both his hands, and Karma lost one of her legs, to the Purifiers. They were later fitted with prosthetics.
  • Being a particularly violent series, X-Statix (and its predecessor X-Force) has featured this trope a few times:
    • The Coach of the original team had a large left arm as part of his mutant powers. He lost it sometime after Edie Sawyer joined the team.
    • Ocean of O-Force loses both her legs to the zombies summoned by Arnie Lundbeg. After he realized what a little shit he'd been, he used his powers to restore her legs.
    • El Guapo loses both of his legs on a mission.

    Fairy Tales 

    Fan Works 
  • A Brighter Dark: The author has a certain style. Whenever someone gets directly hit, it will usually either be Killed Off for Real or this.
    • Kaze loses an arm in attempt to assassinate Garon during his own execution.
    • Selena lops off the arm of a Hoshidan soldier during Corrin's escape from Hoshido.
    • Hans has his arm nearly severed in a fight with some Nohrian soldiers, and has to have it amputated.
    • Corrin gets her ear chopped off during a major battle. We later learn that she lost an eye in the same battle, after Takumi shot it out with an arrow.
    • Hinoka losses An Arm and a Leg in the same battle as above.
  • In A Midsummer Night's Dream chapter 8, we learn Spitfire lost a leg and wing crashing her zeppelin into Rasputin.
  • In All My Kittens, Duchess can tell that Bob has had a tough life on the streets by how he's missing half of his tail and how he walks with a limp.
  • An Arm and a Leg is a Frozen fanfic where Anna is hit by Hans' sword a few seconds before freezing. She loses her right arm.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Blood Is Thicker than Friendship, Applejack gets one of her hindlegs torn off defending Ponyville from a hydra.
  • The Marvel Cinematic Universe fic Canid has Fenrir, Loki's cursed wolf son, biting off the hand of his guard Tyr as a major turning point for the story.
  • Cycles Upon Cycles: Saren gets his arm bitten off by a Zergling while invading a Zerg colony.
  • The interlude of The Dark Lords of Nerima has Prince Herb and one of the Joketsuzoku elders launching a successful Combination Attack against Queen Beryl that shreds one of his arms. This does nothing to slow him down; he removes what's left with an energy blade, uses its heat to cauterize the wound, and gets right back to leading his forces.
  • In the Gelel arc of Dreaming of Sunshine, Shikamaru gets his arm turned to stone and crushed by Ishidate.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fic Equestria: Total War, Pinkie has a hind leg torn off by a manticore. Being driven temporarily insane by the horrors of war, she then stabs the manticore in the eye with the shattered remains of her leg.
  • Forum of Thrones: One of the most prominent mutilations in the entire story take place in Chapter 4, when Argilac Durrandon, the Storm King, mutilates Corilyan Celtigar, ambassador of Dragonstone, over something he perceived as a slight against his beloved daughter.
    • Before he is killed, the Solver posing as Butterfly loses his sword hand in his fight against Samantha.
    • Holt Torv, the head torturer of Harrenhal has lost his foot on the battlefield years before the story starts.
    • At the end of the Raid on Maybros, Sadie gets into a duel with Durren Stallhart. It ends as well as you might expect, with Durren slicing off Sadie's sword hand and nearly killing her.
  • Guardians, Wizards, and Kung-Fu Fighters:
    • During the Sack of Torus Finley, Aldarn shoots off one of Servantis' hands, with the rest of that arm needing to be removed after it becomes gangrenous.
    • Elyon blasts off one of Ludmoore's hands as he's in the middle of teleporting to flee his attacked manor.
  • Hivefled has several ghosts who bear the wounds of their deaths; Keskay Sigsia's arm is missing as it was eaten before she died, while Ukuthe Lorain died of blood loss when her arm was torn off and now has it floating beside her shoulder stump.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Jericho, Jericho himself suffers all three types of this trope all on the same day, the day wherein he loses his horn and left eye, then has to cut out parts of his eye because parts of it didn't fall out with the majority of the eye and so he has to prevent an infection. Then, on the same day, a half-crab, half-octopus creature in a swamp hacks off a hoof (most of it, at least) and destroys another; this ends up giving Jericho's right foreleg/arm blood poisoning.. And then, within days, his right foreleg dies of said blood poisoning, and so he has to cut it off. Using only his mouth, a sword, and a bonfire. This prompts C, the Skinwalker, to cut off his own regenerating arm and give it to Jericho. Jericho's hunt for magic capable of restoring his foreleg/arm, eye, and horn drive the plot of Act 2.
    • A few chapters later, to prevent Cherry Berry from raping him, he chews off his chained right forehoof. Twice. Because the skinwalker's limb regenerates, and is semi-sentient, and actually took mild offense to Jericho's first attempt at chewing part of it off. Soon thereafter, someone takes a knife, pins Jericho down, and cuts a three-inch-in-radius hole cut out from around (and including) Jericho's nipple, forcing him to cauterize the bleeding wound by boiling it closed with scalding-hot steam, before forcing himself to eat the wad of nipple-flesh in order to prevent it being taken and used for dark magic against him. Jericho has not being having a very fun time, is what we're trying to say here.
    • Word of God says that the writing and editing team are very fond of this trope when concerning the narrator (Jericho) himself. Their team motto is even "Fuck Jericho". Word of God also states that the author is a sociopath who simply enjoys making beloved characters suffer.
  • Jewel of Darkness: During the fight in Midnight's lair at the end of the Jump City arc, she rips off one of Cyborg's arms and smashes it. Of course, since it's a robotic limb, he just rebuilds it by the arc epilogue.
  • In Marionettes, Trixie gets her right front leg sliced off by Masquerade's BFS during the final battle. Due to being an android, Trixie isn't as badly affected as a normal pony (in part because she doesn't have blood to bleed out), but still has to force herself to remember that fact and that her creator, Dr. Bright Future, can just make her a replacement later to avoid completely freaking out.
  • In the Supernatural fanfic "Missing Pieces", Sam Winchester loses his left leg in a car accident while he's still at Stanford, the rest of the story looking at Sam, Dean and John's contrasting efforts to adjust to such a brutal injury.
  • In the Total Drama fanfic Monster Chronicles Cody ends up losing his right hand to Cedric during the events of the final chapter, and replaces it with the talisman.
  • In the Legend of Korra fanfiction Phantom Skin Feeling The Cold Air Ikki loses her right arm as a result of injuries sustained after saving her sister, Jinora, during Kuvira's attack on Republic City. It is revealed in a later chapter the full extent of why Ikki lost her arm in the first place - she was defending an unconscious Jinora from Earth Empire soldiers, and the unstable rubble surrounding them collapsed. Ikki ran to push Jinora out of the way, resulting in her right arm getting crushed beyond repair.
  • The main character, Char loses an arm in the Temporal Tower arc of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Silver Resistance.
  • Yang is thankfully spared this in Ruby and Nora, but the Aswang wasn’t.
  • In The Sage's Disciple, Kiritsugu loses an arm to Lancer during his attack on the Hyatt Hotel due to Crow warning Kayneth he was coming. Irisviel replaced it with an Artificial Limb made of Alchemy-enhanced iron.
    • When Kirei tried to remove the Crow Mask during the Banquet of Kings, it burned his hand to charcoal and cursed it with the inability to heal.
  • Saying No plays this for rather Black Comedy as Harry and Ron experiment with summoning charms to disarm Voldemort. It doesn’t get any better for this particular Dark Lord.
  • In the Magical Girl Crisis Crossover Shattered Skies: The Morning Lights, complications from a shattered kneecap result in Cure Marine's left leg being amputated above the knee by the heroes' makeshift medical staff.
  • Sam & Mickey's "Surgery" has Barbie hospitalized after losing her right arm. A fight with the nurse over some booze costs Barbie her left arm as well.
  • In Tavi's Blood And Fire: Nihlus survives his encounter with Saren but loses a hand to an attack on the Spectre compound.
  • In the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfiction Thorn of the Rose, Thorn Blackfeather gets one of his forelegs caught in a massive gear, requiring it to be amputated.
  • In Glory and Honor, the second installment of Thundercracker's Glory, Shockwave loses both an arm and a leg in Unicron's attack on Cybertron. He takes advantage of this by leaving both limbs behind in the ruins to fake his death and begin plotting a revolt against Galvatron.
  • The Crimson Badger of the The Urthblood Saga: Captain Perrett has his leg cut off in the final battle, but still manages to kill two Long Patrol hares before he dies. Captain Bandon also loses his left leg but survives. Urthblood himself loses his swordpaw in the duel with his brother.
  • In Winter War, Isane manages to wound the Barragan Fragment... but it turns out its blood has the same "age things to death" power as the whole thing, and some of that blood splattered on her hand and lower arm, necessitating an amputation to save her life. In the Backstory of the same fic, Kensei lost most of his leg under similar circumstances- he was hit by one of Barragan's attacks, and Rose saved his life with an emergency amputation.
  • In The Legend of Zelda fanfic Wisdom and Courage, Veran launches a major attack on Termina, and in the process, sets fire to Romani Ranch. According to Romani, Cremia's arm was so badly burnt in the fire that it has to be cut off, therefore making her unable to work on the ranch anymore.
  • In Juxtapose, Shigaraki has Izuku at his mercy and threatens to kill him for being All Might's successor, but he makes the mistake of waking Izuku up after knocking him unconscious previously. Cue Shigaraki's hands getting sliced off by Scalpel.
  • In RWBY: Scars, Yang has one of her arms torn off by an Ursa at the end of Volume 3.
  • In And everything's gonna change, now., it's mentioned that Raven's dad Victor lost a hand a while back. He's stopped cooking since then.

  • In "Barrett's Privateers", the Canadian crew of inept privateers try to hunt American merchant ships during the American Revolutionary War, and their sole survivor ends up arriving legless at Halifax, damning everyone in the world.
  • In Eric Bogle's song "And the Band Played Waltzing Matilda", a young Australian soldier loses his legs in World War I:
    And as our ship pulled into Circular Quay
    I looked at the place where my legs used to be
    And thank Christ there was nobody waiting for me
    To grieve and to mourn and to pity.
  • In the Fall Out Boy music video for “The Phoenix”, Patrick's left hand is chopped off to separate him from the MacGuffin. The injury remains for the rest of the Youngblood Chronicles and he wears a Hook Hand for most of the series.
  • In Iron Maiden's concert video, Raising Hell, one of the illusions magician Simon Drake did involved cutting off guitarist Dave Murray's hands.
  • In the traditional Irish song "Johnny, I Hardly Knew Ye", which shares a tune with "When Johnny Comes Marching Home" and "The Ants Go Marching", the returning soldier the song is sung about is missing at least one arm and one leg, in addition to having been blinded.
  • Metallica's "One" is about a soldier who was wounded by a land mine but, unfortunately, survived.
    Landmine has taken my sight
    Taken my speech
    Taken my hearing
    Taken my arms
    Taken my legs
    Taken my soul
    Left me with life in hell
  • In the Vocaloid song "Fear Garden", Rin cuts off people's arms to use as flowers in her garden.
    • In one of the PVsnote  for a different Vocaloid song, "Hello, Planet", Miku's arm falls off due to damage from the debris-rain. However, it is restored when her tear makes the plant grow and it carries her all the way to heaven.

    Myths & Legends 
  • Celtic Mythology:
    • The MacAllister family crest includes a severed hand holding a dirk. The story behind it was that one of the MacAllisters was in a boat race out to a sand dune and back, with the first to touch shore winning. Upon realizing he was not going to beat his opponent, he cut off his hand, put his dirk with family crest in it for identity, and then threw it onto the beach for the win.
    • The Irish god Nuada did something similar to the MacAllister above — the first to touch Irish soil would be the one who ruled, so in order to defeat his rival he cut off his own hand and threw it onto the beach. (Problem was, a maimed man cannot rule, so he had to wait until another god built him a silver hand.)
    • The warrior king Mesgegra lost a hand in battle. Conall Cernach fought him with one hand tucked into his belt to make it fair. Conall killed him.
    • When Cu Chulainn Died Standing Up, his enemy Lugaid chopped off his head, but the sword in Cu Chulainn's hand fell and chopped off Lugaid's hand. Out of spite, Lugaid and his men then chopped off Cu Chulainn's hand. Conall Cernach pursued Lugaid to avenge Cu Chulainn, and again fought with one hand tucked into his belt to make it fair. Even then, Conall was only able to win when his horse took a bite out of Lugaid's side.
  • At the bend of the river Scheldt, legend tells of a giant who demanded toll from everyone who wanted to sail past his fortress. If they couldn't or didn't want to pay the toll, the giant (Sus Antigoon) cut off their hand as punishment. Silvius Brabo, a Roman soldier, sought to bring an end to Antigoon's cruelty and defeated him. After this defeat Brabo cut off Antigoon's own hand and threw it into the Scheldt. Supposedly this is where the city of Antwerp, Belgium got its name from. "Hand" & "Werpen" (to throw).
  • The Norse god Tyr lost his hand to Fenrir.
  • Old German hero epos "Walther", set in the same universe as the Nibelungs. To cut it short, in the final fight King Gunther loses a leg, Walther a hand (and Hagen an eye).

    Newspaper Comics 
  • In Doonesbury, B.D. lost his leg in Iraq.
  • Becky from Funky Winkerbean lost her left arm in a drunk driving accident, caused by Wally Winkerbean... her future husband.

  • Dice Funk: Jayne loves tearing the arms off of her foes and even keeps one in her pack. This is arguably an Establishing Character Moment.
  • In SAYER, Jack is forced to remove a pound of his flesh to conceal a stolen device in his pocket from floor scales—and allowed to choose between flaying a section of his torso or amputating his left hand. He chooses the amputation.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Often done voluntarily in Cyberpunk 2013/2020 in order to replace them with metal.
  • In the Shadowrun novel 2XS protagonist Dirk Montgomery loses his arm when it gets burned by the magic spell of the wasp spirit queen. Luckily for him, he gets a cyberarm installed for free as a reward for taking out the insect spirit hive.
  • In both 3.5 and 4th editions of Dungeons & Dragons artificers that become reforged remove one of their limbs and replaces it with an artificial one.
  • In Pathfinder, followers of Zon-Kuthon consider this an honor.
  • Fairly standard practice in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, many characters will have their limbs removed and replaced with mechanical devices:
    • Adeptus Mechanicus priests require this of themselves. Young adepts will have some augmentation but are still wholly human. Skitarii and regular Adepts will have a good few limbs replaced and augmented with bionics. Senior Adepts will be more machine than man and often have replaced all of their limbs (and parts of their brain in extreme cases).
    • The Iron Hands chapter requires the amputation of one of their hands as a rite of initiation, which is replaced with a bionic replacement. This is to honor their founder, Ferrus Manus, who slew a dragon by drowning it in lava; the lava fused the dragon's metallic skin to Ferrus's hands.
    • In one version of the fluff, whatever happened to end Rogal Dorn's life apparently left his hands behind, the skeletal remains of which have the names of various Imperial Fist champions etched (in minute detail) into them over the millennia.
    • Most of the Ork's "medicine" boils down to "find a spare, lob it off, then get sewing". This sometimes extends to their heads as well. They were intentionally created to allow this sort of patchwork surgery to work and to survive the horrible shock of losing multiple limbs without dying. Most notably the Power Klaws often look like they're not gloves, but bionic replacements for their hands (not that an ork minds it).

  • In William Shakespeare's works:
    • Parodied in The Merchant of Venice when Bassanio's new wife demands the wedding ring he has been forced to give away:
      Bassanio: Why, I were best to cut my left hand off
      And swear I lost the ring defending it.
    • In Titus Andronicus:
      • Lavinia has both her hands cut off—after being brutally raped and having her tongue cut out.
      • Titus is forced to cut his own hand off and send it as ransom for his kidnapped sons. They're beheaded anyway. It's a cheery play.
    • Mentioned is Twelfth Night as part of the reason Antonio the pirate is wanted in Illyria: he instigated a sea-fight in which the duke's nephew lost a leg.note 

    Video Games 
  • During the Etherstorm saga from AdventureQuest Worlds, Galanoth, Dragonslayer extraordinaire, goes up against Desoloth, quite possibly the most powerful dragon in existence, and tries to take him down. Unfortunately, Desoloth bites off Galanoth's arm, and is only saved from death by his friend Warlic summoning up all his magical power to restore him. Unfortunately, he cannot bring back Galanoth's arm, so he has to get a new one, which he obtains from X'Dir who had sought to use it as a bargaining chip to try to get Galanoth to join Desoloth during the Etherstorm War, only to meet with the Dragonslayer's full-on wrath.
  • Aaron Cash of the Batman: Arkham Series, after a nasty run-in with Killer Croc, is left with a missing left hand, and a deep burning hatred for the supervillain.
  • Hopes to BlazBlue that Ragna doesn't lose a limb in every installment of the main series; he's currently lost one arm to type 3 and his other to type 2 to save Noel.
  • In Brain Dead 13, Lance can end up dead like this in a "manicure" if you don't help him escape Vivi's attempts to cut off his hand.
  • Buried: An Interactive Story uses the Deliberate version. Roger has the chance to use his gun and save Dennis from the entities, but knows that shooting would blast off Dennis's hand. It's up to the player whether he goes through with it.
  • In The Cat Lady, this is the first Sacrifice of Blood necessary to leave the Queen of Maggots' realm and return to the world of the living. Fortunately, it's only temporary.
  • Dead Space
    • The game is literally begging you to cut off the necromorphs' limbs to effectively deal with them.
    • An audio log found in the second half of the game documents a (former) survivor's efforts to remove his own limbs before committing suicide so his remains couldn't be turned into a necromorph. It doesn't work.
    • Also, in prequel game Dead Space Extraction, the main character Nathan McNeill has to amputate his own arm after a huge Necromorph impales it and he needs to get out of there fast.
  • In the final DLC of Dragon Age: Inquisition, Solas removes most of the Inquisitor's left arm in order to prevent the mark from consuming them completely. However, certain epilogues show that they get a crossbow Arm Cannon to replace it.
  • Partway through Fear Effect, Glas gets his arm cut off. He gets it back in the true ending. Notably, this is one of the few cases in video games where the trope affects not only the plot but the gameplay; Glas is, naturally, unable to dual-wield his weapons after that point.
  • The climax of the A Realm Reborn arc of Final Fantasy XIV ends up with the Sultana's bodyguard and general, Raubahn, loses his arm when trying to avenge the faked death of his charge.
  • Gene from God Hand had his right arm cut off by Felix when he tried to save Olivia. Olivia repaid him by putting the titular limb on the stump. Later, Azel tears the left God Hand off of himself in a panic as he is being consumed by Angra.
  • Marvel Ultimate Alliance sees Colossus missing his right hand and part of his right leg below the knee after the fight with an Odinforce-empowered Doctor Doom. This was reversed with all the rest of the horrible things Doom wreaked when Odin got his powers back.
  • Becker's left arm gets ripped off in Max Payne 3 when one of his own grenades explode in close proximity.
  • Metal Gear Solid: Ocelot (type 3 when he loses an arm thanks to Gray Fox and type 1 the second), Liquid (type 3, post-death, his arm was removed by Ocelot to replace his own missing arm), Gray Fox (type 3), Raiden (several occasions, type 1 and type 2 as of Revengeance)... in 4, even the Metal Gears themselves lose limbs.
    • Big Boss and Miller lose an arm, and a literal arm and leg, respectively, in the aftermath of Ground Zeroes. Hence the name of the main game, The Phantom Pain.
  • Modern Warfare. Then-Lieutenant Price and Captain MacMillan attempt to assassinate Renegade Russian Imran Zakhaev, whose arm gets blown off in the process. MacMillan assumes that shock and blood loss will finish him off. They don't.
  • Shinobu in No More Heroes has her hand sliced off by Travis after the fight (type 3).
  • In Ratchet: Deadlocked, Al is hit with a blaster shot and has several parts replaced by cybernetics. The blaster only hit Al in the butt, yet he winds up with cybernetics in many random and seemingly unrelated places, leading some fans to suspect Al is just a little too into robots. Perhaps he had an "interface port" installed for Helga
  • Resident Evil 7: biohazard's Ethan Winters has his left arm chopped off in the game's prologue, and the same can happen to one of his legs if Jack catches up to him. They both get reattached almost immediately thanks to Ethan's infection.
  • Resident Evil 2 Remake: This is the best way to deal with zombies in the remake. Headshots no longer do any more damage than a body shot, barring a lucky critical hit. But, it only takes a couple of bullets to blow a leg off, rendering them unable to walk. At that point they can only crawl slowly on the ground, and due to the way the AI works they are completely unable to attack you if you are behind them. This makes them very easy to finish off with a knife.
  • Return of the Obra Dinn: Happens to both Seaman John Naples (who got his leg cut off by the Captain's Steward Fillip Dahl, possibly in an effort to free the mermaids from the lazarette) and Bosun Alfred Klestil (who got his arm ripped off by a kraken at the end of Chapter VII, though he only makes it through to the beginning of Chapter IX).
  • In the second chapter of Tales of Monkey Island, Guybrush loses his left hand in a swordfight.
  • Taming Dreams has Berdanre, who's lost his arm, leg and spouse in a tragic accident.
  • In Undertale, during the final fight with Mettaton EX, you can blow his arms and legs off if you shoot his heart enough. This lowers the required Ratings level needed to Spare him.
  • In The Walking Dead the player can choose to initiate a type 3 when a man's leg gets trapped. Especially notable because not only are you the one to do it, it's rather realistic; being incredibly gory, and even with you brandishing a fire axe, it takes four swings to make it all the way through, the receiver passing out from shock and soon after dying due to blood loss.
    • And in Episode 5, after he's bitten, Lee can cut his arm off (or have someone else do it) in an attempt to save himself from the zombie infection. It doesn't work; he'll die at the end of the episode no matter what.
    • In a much less severe case, in the third season Clementine is missing half of her left ring finger.
  • In Wasteland 2 Casey James performs a type 1 in order to ensure peace between two feuding tribes.
  • This trope is used in Xenoblade Chronicles X as the cornerstone of its Robotic Reveal.

    Visual Novels 
  • Type 3 happens in Chaos;Head when Nanami's right hand gets cut off and then send to the main character, as a way to intimidate him.
  • Shirou of Fate/stay night in the Heaven's Feel route loses his left arm. This also counts as Major Injury Underreaction. ("Man, I panicked too much. All I lost was my left arm!") Shirou's arm is later replaced by Archer's.
  • During the climactic battle scene of Grisaia no Rakuen Travis walks calmly to the battlefield to face Yuuji. When he arrives, he's horrified to realize everyone is already dead and he has no idea where Yuuji is. Before he realizes anything is wrong, Yuuji takes his left hand with a combat knife, causing him to fire wildly with the gun in his right hand before he loses that too.
  • In Katawa Shoujo, both Emi Ibarazaki and Miki Miura went through Type 2 in their backstories. Emi was involved in a car accident that cost her both her legs and her father. Miki lost her left hand in an undisclosed workshop incident.
  • In the School Days Updated Re Release, there's a bad end where Kotonoha is on the receiving end of a Type 3. After Makoto chooses her over Sekai, the mentally broken Sekai goes Murder the Hypotenuse and pushes Kotonoha on the train line they're standing next to. Makoto tries to catch Kotonoha but fails to save her from being hit by the train... and finds himself holding the dead Kotonoha's torn-off hand.
  • Depending on the player’s choices in Sunrider Mask of Arcadius, Ava Crescentia can lose her right arm (along with her right eye) when a console explodes in her face. The sequel shows that she survived and that the Sunrider’s medics were able to regenerate her arm, though she’ll wear a glove throughout the game as its skin tone doesn’t match the rest of her body yet.
  • In Winter Shard, Frederick gets his right arm torn off by Temonz. He gets a replacement right arm that can tear through flesh and drain the warmth from any living and undead being after making a deal with Krotus.

    Web Animation 
  • Damaged: In episode 6, Emily's arm comes off.
  • In the first episode of the original run of Fist Master, Martial Ape, an evil Jerkass sensei in the mold of John Kreese, tries to challenge Panchi, the teacher of main characters Akio and Red. Panchi agrees to accept the challenge if Martial Ape can defeat Red. When the two fight Red promptly kicks his ass, with Martial Ape only getting in one or two blows while Red leaves him crying for mercy, and she was still warming up and hadn't gotten serious yet. When Red spares him, however, Martial Ape goes to backstab her, only for Panchi to suddenly do a Flash Step, grab ahold of one of his arms, and initiate the following conversation:
    Panchi: On a scale of one to ten, how attached are you to this arm?
    Martial Ape: Ten! Ten!!!
    Panchi: [Rips Ape's arm off] Not anymore.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • The Blubb-O's Drive-Thru Whale entreats customers to "Sever your leg, please. It's the greatest day!"
    • In "DNA Evidence", Bubs tells Marzipan that analyzing the DNA evidence she found will cost her "an arm and a leg". Marzipan, who has neither arms nor legs, replies "Not a problem."
  • In The Most Popular Girls in School, the cheerleaders and the Van Burens fight for Deandra The New Girl's loyalty, which results in a tug-of-war that rips off both of Deandra's arms (And the viewers can't even pretend it didn't happen, because the characters like bringing it up in later episodes). This causes Trisha to deliver a hilarious “The Reason You Suck” Speech to Ashley Katchadourian for failing to watch the bathroom door. Later Deandra has them replaced with one realistic-looking prosthetic and one cyborg arm— she couldn't decide on one set.
  • Mystery Skulls Animated:
    • Mystery tore off Arthur's possessed arm, but only after ??? used it and the other bits of Arthur it had gained control of to murder Lewis.
    • Lewis burnt Shiromori's arm to a crisp and as it started crumbling to dust he ripped off the hand that was holding his locket. She regrew it and her head, which Lewis had punched off, very quickly to his surprise.
  • RWBY:
    • At some point in Mercury's past, he lost both of his legs and had them replaced with prosthetic limbs. This eventually becomes extremely useful to the villains. Mercury is very sensitive to Pyrrha's magnetism Semblance and is able to assess her abilities after only seconds of sparring, allowing him to gather valuable intelligence about her that Cinder can exploit. He is also capable of withstanding Yang's Semblance-empowered attacks and make it appear as though his legs are broken without being genuinely harmed. This allows Emerald to use her powers to frame both Yang and Pyrrha, and by extension Ozpin (as their headmaster), without Mercury being injured or anyone catching on.
    • At the end of Volume 3, Adam vows to Blake that he will destroy everything she cares about. When he sees her horrified reaction upon realising Yang is trying to find her, Adam decides to start with Yang, cutting off her arm when she rushes in to save Blake. Blake is so guilt-ridden that she goes on the run. In Volume 4, Yang struggles to come to terms with the loss of her arm and suffers PTSD in the form of nightmares and flashbacks to Adam maiming her. When Ironwood, without prompting, commissions a state-of-the-art cybernetic replacement for Yang, Oobleck tells her that there are a lot of people who want her back to "normal", but does not elaborate on who or why. Yang only reluctantly accepts the arm and begins to wear it when she realises that the reason Taiyang isn't searching for Ruby, who has left to hunt the villains with only Jaune's team for company, is because Taiyang cannot look after Yang and search for Ruby at the same time.
  • Voodont: At the beginning, Sam gets ready to cut off Ellie's arm using a Voodoo Doll that she made. By the end of the short, the doll rips its own arm off and Ellie is heard screaming in the background.

  • Angels 2200: On her very first day in captivity one of Hammer's captors cuts off her hand in revenge for the death of her son.
  • Archipelago actually manages to invert this seemingly un-invertible trope: Raven starts as a disembodied spirit and his body gradually becomes more complete as he becomes more and more human. He's completely corporeal except for his right arm and wing by chapter nine. He looks like an amputee but he's actually the reverse.
  • In BACK this is how Abigail finally manages to defeat the Dead Man (a.k.a. "Damned" Heat): by flinging a guillotine blade at his legs whilst he's making a whirlwind, slicing his feet clean off.
  • Blaster Nation has been building up since the beginning to the story of how Logan lost his arm and became unable to work as a butcher (and amazingly resentful of his son). Lacking the support of his wife and son on an overloaded workday, he got tired and careless while trying to unjam the meat grinder.
  • In a Boy And Dog strip, one of Rowan's parents reads him a story in which the protagonist cuts an arm off of what he mistakenly thinks is a walking skeleton.
  • In Creative Release, a webcomic with a fruits theme going on, two apple-themed characters are missing their right arm.
  • The post-apocalyptic setting of The Demon Archives makes this inevitable, but more surprising is when it happens to protagonist Tenzin fairly early in the story, as he literally loses one arm and one leg in battle.
  • Dominic Deegan had one of his legs blown off when Raf Malish's soul exploded and he was caught in the blast radius.
  • Happens several times in Drowtales with golem limbs being common replacements.
  • A particular squicky example of Type 3 appears in Flipside: when Bloody Mary chews Maytag's hand off, Maytag's primary complaint was she wasn't awake to experience it. Maytag then kindly allows Mary to eat the rest of her arm as well, because Mary needs the food and that's just the sort of girl Maytag is. Anything for a new thrill!
  • Girl Genius
    • Oggie summarily amputates Dimo's left arm to save him from a bioweapon infection. Unlike most examples of version one, Dimo is actually grateful for the intervention.
    • Later, Captain Vole casually tears the arm off an assassin to counter his Dead Man's Switch.
    • In a side-story, Agatha is happy to get a chance to test her Pocket De-Arming Device, which chops off its target's arms.
  • The monster Mr. Fingers in Goblins can disintegrate the bodies of creatures that touch it.
    "Your kind grows its limbs back, right?"
  • Gunnerkrigg Court starts to get dramatic when we see in flashback how Antimony's father Anthony lost his forearm. He cut it off himself, on advice from the psychopomps, as a "flesh antenna" to allow him to speak to his dead wife.
  • In Harbourmaster, Tal loses his left arm to Mormo's attack at the beginning of One Deal is What We Made.
  • Missing arms are a recurring motif in Homestuck, along with wounds to the eye.
    • Caliborn bites off his own leg to escape the shackle placed on it by his sister after assuming full control of their shared body.
  • Karate Bears rewrite goldilocks to their advantage.
  • MSF High: Fable lost her left arm while summoning a large creature of the void to save her coven.
  • In No Rest for the Wicked, Claire's father cut her hands off at the Devil's orders.
  • In The Order of the Stick, Durkon's mother is missing one arm in a flashback scene.
  • Paradigm Shift: A werewolf attacking in a frenzy is shown ripping the arm from a terrified vagrant — one of several attacks mostly shown by their human-jigsaw aftermath. The author has studied anatomy with care, and it shows.
  • In Prophecy of the Circle, Annen Duskeir lose an arm after having been bitten by a tekk during a battle and expelled from Oros with no choice but to return to Tieke City without medical care during his trip in the desert. This handicap makes him more likely to lose his balance.
  • In Schlock Mercenary, a lieutenant lost his arm in the first job.
    • Elf Also had her legs blown off at the knees and replaced with mech legs. She was actually fairly happy with the replacements as they added significantly to her then short stature. Said legs were even used at one point as a blast barrier, by Capt. Taggon.
  • Basi of Without Moonlight received serious injuries during a mission before the story started, resulting in an amputated arm.

    Web Original 
  • Does it surprise anybody that even this trope has its own genre of internet pornography? Didn't think so. It's often depicted as an extreme (and permanent) form of bondage.
  • Hero House has Vegeta blowing off his own hand in season two.
  • From Killerbunnies, we have Oleander, who technically lost her leg to an accident in that the accident caused her to suffer an injury, warranting amputation. Atlasnaya is mentioned to have lost an arm and leg each to an accident, after she was sold to the Bratfa.
  • In the Project Freelancer flashback sequences of Red vs. Blue, there's an Insurrectionist soldier who (somehow) survives a MAC strike with nothing worse than his left arm being blown off, and replaced by a cybernetic replacement. In Season 10, he loses said arm to a knife-throw from Carolina, shortly before being blown away by Maine's Brute Shot. A deleted scene reveals that he survives that, too, having lost his other arm.
  • In C0DA, Jubal-lun-Sul voluntarily has Khajiit surgeons remove his hands. It is implied to be part of his realizing that he is in a work of fiction, and, having achieved CHIM, uses "ghost hands" to give himself a Story-Breaker Power. It's just that sort of work.
  • Toki lost her right leg in a landmine accident.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventures of the Galaxy Rangers: It's implied that Zachary Foxx's bionics had to be installed due to injuries he received in the pilot episode. He takes a couple of direct blaster hits to his left side.
  • Adventures of the Gummi Bears; in one episode, Gruffi uses a mechanical suit of armor to infiltrate Igthorn's castle and rescue King Gregor. When its arm is clubbed off while fighting Igthorn's ogre, the bad guys are surprised when it casually picks it up and reattaches it. Well, it looks like it's doing so casually. As a shot of Gruffi fixing it inside the suit reveals, sweating and worried as he does so, it's not as easy as it looks.
  • Adventure Time: Shoko's parents sold her right arm for a computer.
    • Finn, Shoko's reincarnation, was also heavily implied to lose his right arm at some point. Three different possible visions of the future and a view into an Alternate Universe show him with a prosthetic arm, and a cursed sword is now attached to the same arm. It does indeed happen at the beginning of the sixth season, as a result of him and said cursed sword trying to pull back a chunk of dead guardian that his father was riding away on. He eventually gets a robotic arm, only to lose it in the Grand Finale. In Finn's last scene, he still has not replaced it and it is unclear if he ever did.
  • Big Guy and Rusty the Boy Robot: In the episode "The Champ" Big Guy fights with an alien invader, Po, who threatens to blow the Earth up if his challenge is refused. As a gesture of good Faith, Big Guy offers a handshake at the start of the fight. Po uses this as an opportunity to yank Big Guy off of his feet. During their rematch later that episode, Big Guy offers a handshake again, and Po once again takes advantage... except this time the arm was meant to come off, and explodes hilariously in Po's face.
  • The Dragon Prince: Because she failed, and later refused, to assassinate Prince Ezran, Rayla begins slowly losing function and feeling in her left hand via an enchanted wristband, which she says will continue until she completely loses it. However, she's willing to pay that price to keep Ezran alive. However, when Azymandias (the actual Dragon Prince) hatches, he easily rips off the bracelet, sparing her hand.
  • Final Space: In Episode 2, the Lord Commander uses his telepathic powers to tear off Gary's left arm. He gets a robot arm as a replacement for the rest of the series.
  • Futurama
  • The Hollow: The Last Ironwood Tree missing left branch is the MacGuffin that Adam, Mira, and Kai has to find in order to get back home.
  • Justice League: In the episode "The Enemy Below", Aquaman cuts off his hand to save his son.
  • In the second season of Legion of Super-Heroes, Lightning Lad's arm is blasted off by one Imperiex's cannon blasts. He later has a mechanical replacement fitted.
  • The Simpsons
  • In SpongeBob SquarePants, Mr. Krabs' attempt to retrieve a stray dime in "Squid's Day Off" lands him in the hospital due to this trope.
    Mr. Krabs: ME ARMS!
    SpongeBob: Oh, No... Not Again!
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: In "Revival", Savage Opress gets his right arm cut off by Obi-Wan Kenobi. He gets a prosthetic later.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012): In the episode "Tale of Tiger Claw", Tiger Claw's mutant sister Alopex decides to spare her brother's life. But when he tries to shoot her in the back, Alopex proceeds to cut off his right arm, warning him that she could've easily taken his life instead.
  • In the original Thunder Cats, a villain threatens to do this to a hostage during a Prison Riot unless Mandora surrenders. (The hostage was an android, possibly why the writers figured it wouldn't matter, but that didn't make the poor guy's pleas for mercy sound any less discomforting. Fortunately, Mandora agrees and they let him go.)
  • ThunderCats (2011) manages to pull this off despite an affinity for Bloodless Carnage.
    • "Ramlak Rising" gives us a type 3 in the peg-legged Fishman Captain Koinelius Tunar, who lost his leg (and an eye) to the titular Ramlak, a Sand Sea monster who destroyed his people's homeland.
    • "Between Brothers" has a type 2 when Panthro, in an effort to defeat his Arch-Enemy Grune, restrains him on the threshold of a collapsing magical portal, fully expecting to die with him when it closes. Instead, Panthro suffers an instantly-cauterizing Portal Cut, losing both arms mid-bicep.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man has Dr. Curt Connors, whose arm gets crushed at the end of the first season when the Green Goblin attacks the Helicarrier. His arm is amputated between seasons, and the direct consequences of this lead to him becoming the Lizard in season two.
  • Qilby in Wakfu lost his left arm when Phaeris the dragon bit it off when he helped end Qilby's world-wrecking rampage in the past.
  • In Young Justice, the original Roy Harper/'Speedy' had part of his right arm amputated by Cadmus scientists, from which they drew DNA to perfect their cloning technology for the creation of the second Roy Harper/'Red Arrow'. He was later able to replace it with a high-tech weapon developed by LexCorp, whereupon he took on the name 'Arsenal'.

    Real Life 
  • There's a psychological condition (curiously found nearly entirely in men) where the sufferer feels that the only way for them to be comfortable with their own body is to have a limb removed. Standard hospital practice is to transfer anyone who requests a healthy limb be removed into psychotherapy. Unfortunately, some such people have died of complications after having a Back-Alley Doctor take their limbs off.
    • Research into ways to help people cope with amputation trauma has raised the possibility that some cases of Body Integrity disorder may be caused by a lack of mirror neurons in the brain. In those cases psychological assistance won't do any good.
  • Aron Ralston is a well-known Real Life type 1 example; his arm became trapped under a boulder while hiking, and he wound up cutting it off when it became clear that his choice was between self-amputation and death by dehydration. The film 127 Hours was made about his trial.
  • Surfer Bethany Hamilton lost one of her arms in a shark attack. She too had a movie made about her life, Soul Surfer.
  • The Hudud punishment for theft and highway robbery (without homicide) is to amputate the person's hands.
  • A good percentage of sportsmen and women who partake in the Paralympic Games, as it's one of the physical impairments that allows them to partake in the games.
    • Oscar Pistorius was the first double leg amputee to take part in the Olympic Games (he took part in the Paralympic Games as well). His amputations later became a key point when he was accused of murder - it was asked whether he'd been wearing his prosthetic legs or not.
  • In the Battle of Trafalgar, Spanish commander and Badass Bookworm Cosme Damian Churruca got both of his legs ripped off via a very well-placed English cannon shot. He still did what he could to give instructions until he bled to death.
    • Speaking of the Battle of Trafalgar, Admiral Nelson had only one arm, the other having been amputated some years earlier.
  • Mapuche chieftain Galvarino was subjected to this by the Spaniards. He later had blades attached to his stumps and returned to fight with his people.
  • In 1194, Duke Leopold V of Austria had his foot crushed when his horse fell on him at a tournament in Graz. While advised by his surgeons to have the foot amputated, none declared competence to do so; he ordered his servants to chop it off with an axe, after three swings succeeding. Nonetheless, he succumbed to gangrene and died.
  • Retired Staff Sergeant Travis Mills, who lost parts of all four limbs in Afghanistan.
  • The Belgian Congo's Force Publique were responsible for a disturbingly high number of cut hands, given mutilation was the punishment for enslaved natives that didn't fit their work quotas, and the soldiers had to bring the hands of the people they shot as proof the bullets were not spent hunting. And at times the troops would exploit a Loophole Abuse, cutting the limbs off random people. Usually women or the elderly, in a disturbing example of Pragmatic Villainy: they wouldn't have been harvesting rubber in the first place, and obviously a slave without hands can't harvest the rubber. Fingore was also a "standard" punishment for slaves of all kinds. Double if they were former prisoners of war.
  • The combination of powerful bullets and primitive medical technology made the loss of limbs very common as a result of wounds in The American Civil War. Probably the most notable example was Confederate General John Bell Hood, who lost the use of his left arm at Gettysburg and later lost his right leg at Chickamauga. Amazingly, this did not derail his military career, as he went on to become commander of the Confederate Army of Tennessee.


Example of: