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Angry Fist-Shake

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"Hey! I'm Allen. And you know what's gonna happen? I'm gonna shake my fist, THIS FIST, at YOU! And there's not a THING you're gonna do about it! Shake-shake-shake-shake-shake-shake-shake!"
Angry Allen, Aperture Hand Lab

How do you show you're really pissed off, but don't want to be Flipping the Bird? Raise a clenched fist to the sky and shake it, as if you're contemplating punching/strangling God! Even better if you have a Gloved Fist of Doom, or there are a ton of fellow angry citizens raising their fists with you to show their solidarity and defiance towards The Man. More often though, it's Played for Laughs as an intentionally futile expression of a character's frustration: especially if the character is getting frustrated by something most would consider irrelevant. May be used frequently by the Extreme Doormat, rather than actually committing violence even when it would be definitely justified. Though might also be used by any character if they can't actually commit violence against the person they are frustrated with (for example, if that character is a cop). When multiple people do it though, the effect is rather different: either leading to a character being ganged up on, or a dramatic confrontation with an antagonist. If done by The Woobie, may be a sign that the character is becoming a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds (and will become this if they don't start getting treated better). Similarly, The Cutie may do this right before she breaks: in which case don't expect the other characters to take it seriously until it is far too late.


Will often result in Milking the Giant Cow if overdone by a Large Ham. May also be used for a particularly defiant Villain: Exit, Stage Left (usually accompanied by some variation on "I will get you, you'll see!"). If it's done toward a person, it's often a threat to engage in Good Old Fisticuffs.

Can overlap with Say My Name, Big Word Shout. Compare Bicep-Polishing Gesture, Fist of Rage, Fist Pump.



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    Asian Animation 

    Comic Books 
  • A common pose for Doctor Doom, especially when confronting the Fantastic Four.
  • When Gargamel's plans fail, expect this pose from him whenever he vows to get his revenge on The Smurfs.
  • In Krypton No More:
    • Superman does this -combined with a Skyward Scream- after visiting a chemical plant. He lifts his fist and swears that he will not let Earth die.
    • In the next issue, super-villain Protector strikes Supergirl and her cousin with lightning bolts before hightailing it. Angry, Supergirl shakes her fits as she cries out: “Wait till I get my hands on that guy!”

    Comic Strips 

    Fan Works 
  • The World of the Creatures has a moment where Jon Stewart does this after Stephen Colbert makes a bad joke.
  • Gimme Shelter has Fleur de Lis giving one to a taxi after it hits the puddle next to her without so much as slowing down.


  • Star Wars Legends:
  • Done by the protagonist of H. P. Lovecraft's In the Walls of Eryx in order to intimidate the Venusian natives. They're not exactly intimidated.
  • At the end of the Tough Magic series, Uncle Rick does this to Holois, after she hits his nose one last time.
  • Vrotheus the Vile does this to one of the heroes in Fancy Apartments. Considering the vampire had just flown through him, he probably felt he had reason.
  • A variation in Animorphs. Cassie infiltrates the Yeerk pool with the aid of a pacifist Controller to rescue Katran. As she goes osprey and hauls tailfeather out of the pool, she notices the guy making this gesture- or at least, that's what it looks like to the Yeerks, she knows he's pumping his fist in elation.
  • T*A*C*K: Will says that bully Red Jameson gave him a friendly wave after Will outwitted him at the spelling bee, allowing him and Toria to make their escape. Toria makes a small correction: "Will, no one waves with their fist!"

  • "10000 fists" by Disturbed.
  • In the video for "Come Dancing", Ray Davies of The Kinks does this to his date's younger brother.

  • Done in an animation in No Good Gofers where the player's golf ball goes through a clubhouse window.
  • General Yagov in F-14 Tomcat does this to his foe, "Hitman".

    Video Games 
  • All the time in Final Fantasy VII, though since everyone's hands are just polygon blocks, you're free to imagine what the fingers are doing while they flail about.
  • Happens at the beginning of Knuckles story in Sonic & Knuckles. Knux is relaxing in Mushroom Hills with his li'l animal buddies when a lone Egg Robo drops a bomb. Once he gets up and sees the culprit, Knuckles does this before giving chase.
    • In Sonic's story, Sonic walks in on Knuckles doing this to Dr. Eggman stealing the Master Emerald towards the end of Hidden Palace Zone.
  • When Fancy Pants Man does it in The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 2 in response to stolen ice cream, the mayor of Squiggleville comments that "Not even a fist-shaking as magnificent as that will bring back that tasty frozen treat!"
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: The killer in case 1-5 begins doing this once you begin to get close to nailing him.
  • In the "Where Are They Now?" Epilogue of Shovel Knight, King Knight's epilogue has him forced to scrub the floors of Pridemoor Keep, with his scene ending in him tossing the rag on the ground and angrily shaking his fist.
  • In Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel!, Aurelia's downed animation has her shake her fist in anger before Fight For Your Life is initiated.
  • Metal Gear: Big Bad Liquid Snake does this a lot in Solid, being quite the emotional and melodramatic man. It sticks around in the sequels when his traitorous right-hand man, Revolver Ocelot, becomes possessed by his spirit.
  • In Cuphead, Baroness von Bon Bon tends to shake her fist in anger A LOT whenever you defeat one of her minions.
  • In Aperture Hand Lab, one of the tests pits the player against Angry Allen, a bully-like robot who threatens the player by shaking his fist (THIS FIST!) at them. Hilariously, he treats his fist-shaking as the ultimate act of vileness. The player is required to shake their fist back at him to progress. And then he threatens with a double-shake, and the player is required to do the same.
  • One of the reloading-an-already-loaded weapon animations in Deep Rock Galactic has the Gunner reach for the ammo belt of his "Hurricane" guided rocket launcher, pull out one of the rockets and wave it around like a toy spaceship (sometimes making engine noises in the process). If the gun has run out of ammo, the Gunner will reach in, find nothing to play with, and shake their fist in frustrtation.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 
  • Girl Genius: After Dimo crushes one of the Geisterdamen's giant riding spiders she shakes her fist skyward while angrily yelling in her unknown language.

    Web Video 

    Western Animation 
  • The Simpsons have this as the standard angry reaction (if they're not going straight for bodily harm).
    • In a Treehouse of Horror episode when Bart becomes The Fly, he acts like he's trapped in a spider's web shouting "Help me!" When the spider gets close Bart reveals he's just faking and flies away. The spider shakes four of its legs at Bart.
    • In "Lemon of Troy" when Homer steals Flanders's RV away from the impound lot the lot's owner and his son (Homer and Bart's Shelbyville counterparts) shake their fists at the fleeing Springfieldianites.
    Homer-2: Ooh, you lousy Springfielders, you... shake harder, boy!
    • In "The Old Man and the Key", Grandpa Simpson shows a picture of himself in the newspaper yelling at a cloud, shaking his fist.
    • Occasionally a more ridiculous variation would be featured, such as in the parody sequence at the start of "Bart's Friend Falls in Love" where Bart is Indiana Jones and Homer is one of the South American Indians chasing him in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark. As Bart makes his escape, Homer runs out into the street in just his underwear and angrily hops up and down while bellowing "savage" gibberish.
    • In "Simpsons Tall Tales," the episode starts with the family at the airport celebrating having won a trip to Delaware. When Homer notices additional fees tacked on to their plane tickets, he tells the ticket agent to waive the fees, when she doesn't, he shakes his fists in her face. Cut to the Simpsons running after a freight train, while Homer says "Oh, stupid anti-fist shaking laws!"
  • Dexter's Laboratory - Dexter has been known to do this when Dee Dee comes in and ruins his latest experiments.
  • Dan Vs. - Dan frequently does a double-fisted version.
  • Dr. Claw of Inspector Gadget often does this while proclaiming "I'll get you next time, Gadget!".
  • End credits of Captain Planet and the Planeteers shows Looten Plunder shaking his fist to the sky, shouting "You'll pay for this, Captain Planet!"
  • Used as a (rather unique) gag in an episode of Green Lantern: The Animated Series, in which Kilowog and Razer are having an argument. Hal tries to defuse the situation, and tells them to shake hands in a bid to get them to make up. Since neither of them are from Earth, they don't quite understand this custom, and both then proceed to shake their fists at one another.
  • The Perils of Penelope Pitstop: The Hooded Claw does this when Penelope escapes from one of his death traps or the Ant Hill Mob rescues her.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
  • As Asterix, Obelix, and Getafix row away from the New World in Asterix Conquers America, there's a clifftop shot of the Indian medicine man, who tried to extort the Magic Potion recipe from Getafix earlier, collecting herbs with his spear. When he sees the Gauls leaving, he shakes his spear at them.
  • The S2 King of the Hill episode "The Man Who Shot Kane Skretteburg" has the characters shaking their fists at the teenagers causing trouble.
  • Spongebob Squarepants: In the episode No Weenies Allowed when Spongebob was fighting Sandy in Karate, he got knocked into a family's potato salad. The husband the yelled "It took us 3 days to make that potato salad, three days!" (Cue fist shake).
  • In the Batman: The Animated Series episode "Joker's Favor", normal man Charlie Collins gets cut off on the highway, causing him to shout at the other driver, this trope included. When he realizes that the other driver is The Joker, Charlie quickly unfolds his hand and tries to act like he's just waving, complete with a terrified smile.
  • The Loud House: In "Pasture Bedtime", while at the pool party, Clyde does this to the dog that steals his and Lincolns' clothes, leaving both boys in their underwear.
  • When Donald Duck gets angry, he often starts jumping up and down in the same spot while shaking his fists and quacking unintelligibly.
  • American Dad!: In "The Phantom of the Telethon", Roger suggests that Stan hold a telethon to raise money for the CIA. He initially dismisses the idea, but then claims sole credit when Francine and Steve say they like it. Roger angrily shakes his fist and declares "I will have my vengeance!" before storming out of the room...and then storms back into the room, shakes his fist again, and declares "Someone please tell me when dinner is ready!" Stan, recalling these events later on, concludes that Roger is mad because nobody told him about dinner.