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Bullet Catch

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This is a topic which requires no serious debate. Anyone who can actually catch a bullet has to be pretty amazing. We're talking about something which has the ability to cause death to any normal person (well, in Real Life anyway), and here somebody just grabs it mid-air. How unbelievably cool is that? Sometimes a superpowered character will take it further, flicking the bullet ''back'' to the shooter with the power of the gun (or even more powerful), injuring or killing them instead.

Even more so than its sister trope, Arrow Catch, Bullet Catch is not even close to something anyone can actually do in Real Life. Bullets move faster than the speed of sound, and no human has the physical capability of slowing one down with their pathetic meatbag bodies. Even if you could move your hand in time to catch it, your hand is too soft, and it'll simply tear through your flesh. And even if your hand was somehow tough enough to actually catch the bullet, again remember that a bullet is moving fast, and all that kinetic energy has to go somewhere...meaning it will turn into a ton of heat, quickly melt the bullet, and scorch your hand, making the dramatic holding of the pristine caught bullet completely moot.

Note that to a superpowered character, this is a much easier feat, justified in that they have, well, superpowers. Although eventually you have to wonder whether it would be easier to let them bounce off or just avoid them altogether.

Catching a bullet in the teeth, instead of a hand, is a common variant. See Catch and Return for this trope plus a follow up move. Also see this trope's Sword Counterpart, Barehanded Blade Block. Compare Finger in a Barrel.


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  • In an 1990's Isuzu commercial, Joe Isuzu (actor David Leisure) demonstrated the car's speed (allegedly 952 mph) by firing a gun, getting into the car and driving ahead of the bullet. He then got out, held a target over his face and caught the bullet with his teeth.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Koro-sensei from Assassination Classroom can't touch the special bullet used against him since they disintegrate his cells on contact, so he catches it with two pieces of chalk instead. However, he can catch typical anti-aircraft missiles with no problem.
  • In Attack on Titan Eren uses his titan form to catch a cannon shell at one point.
  • In Baccano!, Graham Specter catches bullets with an adjustable spanner. That would seem substantially more difficult than catching bullets with your hands.
  • Black Butler: Sebastian doesn't just catch a bullet... he catches a bullet from a gun shot point-blank at his master's head. And then "gives it back".
  • In Bubblegum Crisis, Largo catches a railgun dart.
  • Shows up in the intro to Death Note. The character in question is a Shinigami, though.
  • In Dog Days, when Valerio tries to peep on some girls during a Public Bathhouse Scene, they all pull out rifles and open fire on him. But he effortlessly catches the bullets and throws them back with enough force to destroy their towels.
  • The Dragon Ball franchise does this so many times.
    • In Dragon Ball, the Muten-Roshi's island gets attacked by the Red Ribbon Army, who think the old man must be the scientist behind the Dragon Radar. A conclusion they reached purely because he's an old man. At one point in the ensuing fight, a soldier opens up at Kame-sen'nin's back with an automatic rifle. The old master spins around and grabs all the bullets without much apparent effort.
    • When the Crane Hermit pisses off evil Lunch she pulls out a machine gun, unloads an entire magazine on Crane, all of which he catches. Undeterred she reloads and lets loose another full magazine, which he also catches.
    • In the very first scene of Dragon Ball Z, Raditz caught a farmer's bullet, and flicked it back at him with the force of the rifle.
    • In a Cell Saga filler episode, Goku casually catches a bullet fired at him by a mobster. By this point, he's so ridiculously powerful that he's more confused by the attack than anything.
    • Gohan often does this as "The Great Saiyaman" when going up against armed crooks.
    • Dragon Ball Super: Goku effortlessly catches the bullets from an automatic gun when confronted by thieves, and Krillin failing to stop a bullet (it just bruises him) is treated as a sign that he's getting rusty.
  • Variation in Fate/Zero: Kotomine, in his confrontation with Kiritsugu, uses his magically-heightened reflexes to block a bullet from Kiritsugu's Mage Killer gun. The bullet still enters his hand, travels down his forearm, and explodes out his elbow, rendering his arm useless, but he manages to prevent it from hitting his face. Evidently, having the speed to catch a bullet doesn't mean your body is tough enough to prevent harm.
  • In Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children, Cloud Strife deflects bullets with his BFS with little effort. Not quite as cool as a catch, except he stops tons of them.
  • In G Gundam, one of Domon's first scenes has him catching an entire volley of bullets, from multiple automatic weapons, all between his fingers.
  • Kagura does this in Gintama, even catching one in her teeth.
  • Hellsing:
    • In the Flashback episode, Alucard uses his arm to take a bullet meant for Integra. Later, he catches a magic bullet with his teeth.
    • Near the end of the anime-only plot line the main villain catches Alucard's bullets in his head. It doesn't make sense in context either.
  • Hunter × Hunter:
    • Kurapika goes to a mansion to apply for a job, a group of 11 people who wear black hooded robes and masks and are armed with guns and swords suddenly appear and attack him. Using his Dowsing Chain, Kurapika blocks a number of bullets fired at him and jumps onto a chandelier to avoid the sword users and observe the situation.
    • Uvogin demonstrates how tough he is by casually catching a bullet fired at him at point-blank range with his teeth.
  • Irresponsible Captain Tylor catches a nail fired from a nailgun in his teeth. As usual, this suggests that he's either Born Lucky or a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass.
  • Jotaro's Stand Star Platinum in JoJo's Bizarre Adventure is so fast it caught a bullet that Jotaro fired at his own head at point blank range.
  • In Jujutsu Kaisen, when Maki is fighting her sister, Mai, she deflects all six of the bullets loaded in Mai's gun. However, when Mai uses her cursed technique to create a seventh bullet, Maki is caught off guard and is forced to catch the bullet. Since this was a practice battle, Mai was using rubber bullets, which would realistically be slower and less damaging to catch, but Maki may well be able to catch a regular bullet as well.
  • The first episode of Mahoromatic has the title character do this with a pair of punks hijacking a bus.
  • Neuro in Majin Tantei Nougami Neuro, so many times. He catches one with his eyelid, he is just that awesome.
  • Tsukuyomi of Negima! Magister Negi Magi shows early on that enough Shinmeiryuu training lets people catch bullets with their swords (and yet Mana remains a powerful fighter at the higher levels of combat...)
  • When Nabeshin has a Stand off against Alien #1, in Puni Puni Poemi.
  • The anime version of Saint Seiya (although, since even Bronze Saints move at the speed of sound, it's implied they can do it there, too.) Namely: when being shot at with a machine gun, Hyoga merely walks towards his assailant as his Cosmo deflects the bullets. But then, when Seiya is shot at, he catches each and every bullet in his hands, freaking out the enemy when he drops them on the ground. Which of the two is more badass is up to debate.
  • In his unrestrained form, Son Goku of Saiyuki does this twice—once with his teeth.
  • In the very first chapter of Samurai Deeper Kyo, two Mooks pull this off by catching multiple bullets with their teeth. Kyo proceeds to slice them to ribbons so fast they don't even realize what happened. The manga only gets crazier from there.
  • In the manga of Sands of Destruction, Taupy introduces himself to Kyrie (and the reader) by jumping in front of him and catching a dozen or so bullets.
  • In Symphogear AXZ's eighth episode, Badass Normal Genjuurou beats all six main characters by himself during a training session. That includes catching a barrage of missiles from Chris's Megadeth Party with his bare hands and then he throws them back at her all at once. (The strange part is that she fires 24 missiles at him, he catches eight and then throws twelve back at her and they ended up being 17.)
  • A chapter of Toriko has the title character do this, when visiting a shady area where the crime rate is high. He catches the bullet with his "Fork" technique. (Which is just his hand, made to look somewhat like a fork)
    • He later did the same thing again later, except the bullets were acorns.
  • Voltes V featured a Monster of the Week patterned after a samurai. The heroes have trouble fighting it, and The Big Guy, a kendo master, had to teach his older brother The Hero to catch a sword between the hands. The Hero only manages to learn the trick by asking his brother to do the trick with a pistol, stopping the bullet by using two stones.
  • In Yami no Aegis, the main character deflects (and sometimes catches) bullets pretty much every chapter.
  • Gamma from Zombiepowder. inserted armor in his right arm just so he could do this. At least that's what he tells people. In the first chapter he even blocks a rocket from a bazooka with it.

    Comic Books 
  • Alt★Hero: In her first scene, Janelle Jeanneret does this with a tranquiliser dart and taser electrodes, using the latter to shock the hapless shooter.
  • Daredevil, although easily fast and agile enough, lacks the necessary durability to properly pull this off. He does however use his fighting sticks to knock bullets back at the shooter with surgical precision. Before his radar had developed, he even tracked bullets by feeling the way they displace the air around them.
  • Jay Garrick is seen doing this on the cover of Flash Comics #1 (from 1941).
    • Snatching bullets out of the air is a standard tactic of pretty much all of the speedsters in The DCU.
    • Wally had one instance that parodied just how easy this is for speedsters. A psycho with an Uzi opened up on a room and Wally walked around picking a half dozen bullets out of the air, and disarming the man in a very casual manner. He misses one bullet that then kills an exit sign when he returns his perception of time to normal.
  • Iron Fist uses this trope quite casually nowadays.
  • Featured (well, subverted) in the Lucky Luke book "Fingers". Joe Dalton is about to shoot an unarmed Luke when Fingers (who had been playing cards with that Daltons) holds his hand in front of the gun and says that shooting Luke "wouldn't be nice". Joe fires anyway and Fingers catches the bullet. Joe then shoots Fingers in the face and he catches the bullet with his teeth. Luke then grabs Joe's gun only for Fingers to tell him that he had earlier switched all of the bullets in that gun with blanks so it would be "safer for playing cards": the rest was all due to Fingers' near supernatural sleight-of-hand.
  • Power Girl, being a Kryptonian, can do this. On one occasion she was being repeatedly shot by the Crimson Avenger (magic bullets), who she could not hurt in return as she is just a red mist in human form. So she caught one of the bullets and threw it back at high velocity, and that hurt the supernatural gunwoman.
  • Shang-Chi is fast enough to catch a bullet aimed at someone else’s head between his fingers. And durable or skilful enough that he doesn’t injure his hand when he does so.
  • Big The Cat... yes, that Big The Cat. In Sonic the Comic, after appearing to be shot, Big sits back up with the steaming bullet in hand and casually tells the shooter that his gun just went off, and that he should be more careful with it. However, while doing so, Big gets angry and attacks him. Talk about crouching moron...
  • Parodied in Spider-Man. Peter tries to train himself to do this, and is surprised when he succeeds. But then he remembers there were two bullets, and the other one went through his other hand. Upon realizing this, he faints in a very undignified manner.
  • Supergirl:
    • In Supergirl (2005) #11, Kara shoots at a pirate mook and catches the bullet before it hits his face.
    • In the World of New Krypton storyline, Supergirl catches a sniper's bullet before the projectile hits its intended victim.
    • In Injustice 2 issue #26, a death squad is about to gun down innocent civilians. Kara flies in the way and catches all the bullets.
  • Superman:
    • Superman sometimes does this along with his trademark "get shot a lot, bullets bounce off" thing, by catching the bullets as they ricochet off of him so they won't harm any bystanders.
    • He's even fast enough to catch bullets he fired. The Golden Age Superman did this (at nearly point-blank range) to scare the crap out of a crook. In Superman: Birthright, he does it to a gun seller who enabled a school shooting.
      Superman: One minute ago, I saw a little girl screaming because she was staring down the barrel of a gun. She was nine, and she will remember it for the rest of her life. (bang) Now you will, too.
    • Subverted in "Superman and the Legion of Super-heroes". After being sent forward to the 31st Century, Superman is attacked by a bunch of police. He casually puts his hand up to catch the lasers from their guns... and they go straight through his hand, badly injuring him. He then learns that 31st Century Earth's sun is now red, rendering him powerless.
    • On another occasion, while catching a bullet fired at Jimmy Olsen from across a room, Superman took the time to stuff wads of cotton in Lois and Jimmy's ears to protect them from the sonic boom caused by his passage. He doesn't specify whether he just carries cotton with him or if he had to stop and pick some on the way.
  • Marvel's supervillain/anti-hero Taskmaster has picked up the ability to do this. Being Taskmaster, of course, he copied it off of another bullet-catcher, and promptly killed him immediately afterward.
  • The Thor villain called "The Demon" who gained superpowers thanks to some mystic phlebotinum was able to do this to some Communists trying to shoot him. Bonus points for throwing the bullets back at his attackers at superspeed, forcing them to retreat.
  • Ozymandias claims his physical fitness is Watchmen such that he could catch a bullet. Shortly thereafter, he actually does, though he admits he wasn't sure he could really do it, and it does injure his hand. In the film version, he has an inch-thick padding on his palm, into which the bullet sinks (but still breaks the skin). The bullet's momentum also causes him to lose his footing and go tumbling down the stairs, leaving him stunned for a few moments at the bottom.
  • Wonder Woman: During the Golden Age "bullets and bracelets," a "game" where the object is to repel bullets with the bracelets Amazons all wear and then catch them if possible, was a common game for all Amazons, and one of Diana's signature moves.
  • In Youngblood (2017), Suprema catches one of Vogue's bullets to stop her shooting the Crime Condor's condors.

    Fan Works 
  • In Child of the Storm, Harry does this Neo style in chapter 74, thanks to some impressive telekinetic abilities, though chapter 75 reveals that he needs to be aware that he's about to be shot at to pull it off.
    • The Red Son pulls the same trick in the sequel, Ghosts of the Past. This would be because the Red Son is Harry, or to be accurate, the Blank Slate of his body reprogrammed by the Red Room.
  • Jaune Arc, Lord of Hunger: Because Remnant uses kinetic weapons instead of blasters, Darth Nihilus doesn't bother trying to parry bullets. He instead uses the Force to catch incoming bullets and fling them back at the shooter. A particularly impressive example of this is in Chapter 18 when he stops thousands of Dust rounds mid-air and then uses them to form a protective dome around himself.
  • Kid Icarus Uprising 2: Hades Revenge shows Hitler as having the ability to slap bullets out of the air.
  • Last Child of Krypton: An exaggerated example. When Mad Hatter attempts to assassinate the UN Council by having security guards fire assault rifles into the room, Shinji manages to catch all of the bullets, also grabbing the guns for good measure.
  • Star Wars vs. Warhammer 40K: In Episode 41, Mace Windu demonstrates the ability to intercept bullets fired from an Inquisitor's Hand Cannon using his bare hand.
  • Superwomen of Eva 2: Lone Heir of Krypton: Asuka catches several bullets, one of them with her teeth, but she finally proves that she truly is faster than a speeding bullet by going from flying above the city, through all of the Geofront's armor layers, and into the Geofront to save Kaji in the time it takes for the bullet to get from Chiron's gun to him.
  • This Bites!: When told of Porche's unimportance to a meeting taking place, Sheepshead pulls out a gun and intends to kill her. However, the bullet is stopped inches from her face thanks to Luffy placing his palm in front of her and using his Gum-Gum power to absorb the bullet's speed. Luffy is not happy at this.
  • Desperately Seeking Ranma features superpowered people, so this comes up. When Yori does this to save a government agent, he's amazed..and doubly so at how Yori didn't care about the bullet that hit her any more than the hole in her shirt. Yori and Choi then pass it on to the girls around them, who then teach bringing her with to a heist gone wrong to cheer her up (it worked) and the final suspect is told to keep firing to help get in practice (before breaking down in tears once the gun's empty). Later, in showing off bullet catching on a professional gun range with serious types who do NOT believe in Hollywood Gun Safety, Aiko hops over into the lane and invites a shot ... and goes down in a heap. Then, as she's one of the aforementioned magical girls and overtly so at this point, she springs back to her feet while the poor mundanes grumble.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Ace Ventura also manages to catch a bullet in his teeth.
  • Berthold in The Adventures of Baron Munchausen manages to catch a musket ball by running after it. He is the world's fastest man, after all. In his case, he tries to reach out and grab it several times because it's still hot from leaving the musket and it burns his fingers.
  • Austin Powers catches a bullet in his teeth at least once.
  • It should surprise no-one that Bulletproof Monk features this trick.
  • Casshern does this in the 2004 live action movie. With a cannon shell. Which he then crams into a robot's chest. Holy shit.
  • During a flashback in Comic 8, when Mongol is shot by a gang leader, his friend Mudy comes in and catches the bullet with his teeth.
  • The Big Bad of The Dark Tower (2017) does this all the time, being an Evil Sorcerer. The first time we see it, he catches a bullet shot at him from behind, without looking back. Given that The Hero is also The Gunslinger, this is a serious problem.
  • In Davy Crockett and The River Pirates, Crockett fakes this as part of a trick-shooting bet — The bullet he 'catches' with his teeth he put in his mouth while everyone was watching the ricochets.
  • DC Extended Universe:
    • An Invoked Trope in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. Batman fires a 40mm grenade at Superman, only for the Man of Steel to grab it in front of his face. Meaning the grenade is at exactly the right distance when it explodes, giving Superman a faceful of Kryptonite gas. So this was likely a literal Batman Gambit by the firer.
    • Wonder Woman (2017): Technically, Diana is just reacting fast enough to block them with her bracelets, and while the traditional "crossed wrists" and upturned fist poses show up, the manner in which she blocks the bullets almost looks like she is catching them. Humorously, she blocks one bullet from striking Steve and the ricochet landed in Steve's hand, but since it was recently fired it is hot and he reacts accordingly.
    • Wonder Woman 1984: In addition to the usual bullet-blocking, when Diana realizes a bullet got past her and is heading straight for Steve, she catches it with her lasso and throws it back where it came from.
    • SHAZAM! (2019): Dr. Sivana, who has gained superpowers, grabs Billy Batson and holds his head underwater, preventing him from transforming since he can't say Shazam. To save him, Mary tries to shoot Sivana in the eye. Sivana instinctively catches the bullet, but he lets go of Billy to do it, allowing Billy to surface and transform.
  • The hero does this in Barehanded Blade Block fashion in Dead or Alive 2: Kanzaisha (From the trilogy by Takashi Miike), which prompts his opponent to question whether the guy is even human.
  • District 9: The protagonist in alien Powered Armor catches an RPG-7 rocket fired at Christopher's command ship. Then it explodes in his "hand". He survives though. The armor also has the ability to suspend incoming bullets in a force-field generated from one of its arms and then fire them back at the assailants.
  • In The Incredible Hulk (2008), the Abomination catches a rocket out of the air and headbutts it so it would explode on his face. Needless to say, the soldiers who witness it are pretty intimidated, which seems to have been the purpose.
  • Kopps: In his daydream, Benny the cop catches several bullets with his hands and forms a grenade out of them, which he tosses over his shoulder, unflinched by the explosion.
  • In Kung Fu Hustle, The Beast shows off his formidable skills by putting a gun to his own head, firing, and catching the bullet with two fingers. Any remaining dissent was silenced.
  • Leeroy Green pulls this off with his teeth in Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon.
    Sho'Nuff: The Legendary WASAAHHH! Bruce Leroy catches bullets with his teeth... Catches bullets with his teeth?! Nigga, PLEASE!
  • In The Matrix, Neo stops bullets in mid-air simply by holding up his hand. Plucking one of the frozen bullets out of the air afterwards and casually dropping it on the floor only adds to the coolness factor. Justified because he does it within the Matrix, which is a Virtual Reality, in which he has superpowers due to the programming.
  • The Meteor Man's Super Speed allows catching an entire volley of bullets, but the weakening power meant he wasn't perfectly invulnerable when doing so.
  • Downplayed in Mr. Right. The hitman Steve is given an "Elmer Fudd shotgun" that is so weak that Francis can block the pellets with his palm. It is very painful and some of the pellets went past his hand and hit him in the face, but all this does is make his hand and face bleed a little. Steve then complains about how lame the weapon he had been given is.
  • In Out For Blood (2004) a security guard catches a bullet with his teeth.
  • The Prestige discusses the bullet-catch trick as being a crowd-pleaser but with dangerous potential to go wrong, either due to problems with the props or unsolicited audience participation. Sabotage of the trick results in the performer getting a couple of his fingers blown off for extra-owie.
  • The villain of The Returner is fast enough to get his hand up in time to catch a bullet, but not tough enough to prevent it from going clean through his hand and into his head.
  • In Rush Hour, Lee claims that his father did this. Carter doesn't buy it.
  • Star Wars:
    • In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader does this. With blasters. Then force pulling the blaster out of Han's hand before sitting down to dinner. The Expanded Universe confirms that Vader absorbed the blaster bolts after catching them. Most powerful Force-users can do such things, with some (such as the Halcyon/Horn bloodline) having an exceptional talent for it.
    • When Poe Dameron tries to shoot Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens, the latter stops Poe's blaster bolt (a pulse of super-heated plasma) before it can reach him. The frozen bolt then hangs in mid-air for a few minutes throughout the next scene, and it is only after Poe is taken prisoner and the other people in his village had been executed that Kylo Ren releases the shot, startling a few Stormtroopers.
    • Darth Vader tops himself in Rogue One, stopping blaster bolts in midair then shooting them back at the ones who fired them.
  • Terence Hill's character in Super Fuzz has a goon fire some seven shots at him. And he catches first six with the barrel of his (empty) revolver and the seventh, with his teeth!
  • Superman:
    • Clark Kent does this in the 1978 Superman film in order to stop a mugger, palming the bullet to protect his identity.
    • In Superman II, Non catches an RPG rocket and breaks it off with his bare hands.
  • Swordsman has it's Villain Protagonist, Dongfang Bubai catching projectiles fired at her in all three movies. The third film, East is Red, notably has her catching dozens of bullets fired at her direction from several riflemen before throwing those back, killing all the shooters, and in the climax she repeats this feat with cannonballs!
  • Tenet features a twist on this: the Protagonist sees a wall with bullet holes and holds a gun up. Since the bullets are moving backwards in time, they reverse-fire back into the gun. This is weaponized later when Sator holds a hostage in front of a bullethole, until time reverses to the point where the bullet goes through their body into his gun.
    Barbara: You're not shooting the bullet... You're catching it.
  • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines Arnie gets shot in the head, but there's no visible wound. He moves his jaws around a bit, spits out the bullet and tells the shooter "Don't do that." From the looks of it, he was shot in the mouth (although why it didn't tear his lip is a mystery) and the bullet was stopped by the metal of his spine. Presumably it would have ricocheted off his teeth.
  • One of UHF's parody shows has a Rambo-esque character catch a bullet in his teeth, then spit back a hail of bullets like a machine gun. What's more, the assailant explodes as if hit with a tank shell. Even Stanley doesn't believe it.
  • Ozymandias in Watchmen catches a bullet fired at him, but the example is more realistic as he wasn't even sure he could do it, and he was wearing padded gloves that protected his hands, but the bullet still pierced the gloves and his skin, causing him to bleed. And the force of the bullet knocked him off his feet.
  • Magneto does this all the time in the X-Men Film Series, as he has the power to control metal objects. In X-Men: First Class while training he encourages Xavier to put a pistol to his head and pull the trigger. Xavier refuses because this is too easy a test of his powers.
  • In X-Men: Days of Future Past, Quicksilver doesn't so much catch the bullets as push them out of the way with his finger, so they all miss the other mutants when he exits Bullet Time. That's after putting on his goggles, cranking up "If I Could Save Time in a Bottle" on his Stereobelt player, rearranging the shooters so that they all knock each other out, and sampling some spilled soup that is hanging in midair. Quicksilver is just that fast.
  • In You Don't Mess with the Zohan Adam Sandler catches bullets with his hands and one with his NOSE.

  • The climax of Death from a Top Hat is a performance of the bullet catch trick. The murderer tried to sabotage the trick to eliminate a potential witness against him (namely, the person performing the trick). Unfortunately for the murderer, the whole trick had been set up as a trap; among the additions was a trick shot specialist firing the gun with orders to miss. Merlini alludes to one of the stories in the Real Life folder at the end of The Footprints on the Ceiling. He'd just been asked by the District Attorney to perform the Bullet Catch trick at the Policeman's Benefit Ball, and was worried about having an armed audience.
  • In The Destroyer series, practitioners of Sinanju catch bullets as training or to show off. When they're being serious, they prefer to dodge or deflect (when guarding someone else) as it's more practical and efficient. As a demonstration in an early book, Chiun catches several hundred rounds of machine-gun fire (not submachine gun, the actual mounted weapon). That wasn't the demonstration, though - the demonstration was on how to polish and neatly stack the caught rounds at the same time. (He'd sent Remo into gang territory to practice being shot at and was upset that some of Remo's caught bullets had scratches or were dirty.)
  • In the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel "Interference", the character of I.M. Foreman catches a bullet fired at him in his teeth, claiming that he learned how to do that when he saw the trick on Earth; the Doctor's companion Sarah Jane Smith points out that nobody really catches bullets in their teeth, but Foreman simply muses that this explains why it took him so long to learn it.
  • Demonhosts in Eisenhorn books are depicted to be able to catch bolts (essentially mini-missiles shot from a machine gun) in mid-air.
  • In The Golgotha Series, Maude's training as an agent of the secret order Lilith's Load included learning to catch bullets.
  • The Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School: Laurence catches a cannonball in her pocket. Justified because Laurence's "pocket" is an extradimensional cache she can open instantaneously wherever she wishes, and her Super Speed-endowed friend Light Fingers' accelerated intellect lets her yell for "Larry" to do so very quickly.
  • Older Than Radio: A police detective in one of Kalman Mikszath's short stories from the Slovak Relations anthology (1881), manages to trick a superstitious bandit, into believing that he used black magic to catch his bullets (in truth he had two bullets with him from the beginning, and the bandit missed two consecutive shots).

    Live-Action TV 
  • On Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Yo-yo (courtesy of her powers) attempts this to save Mack from machine gun fire. Technically, she catches all of the bullets, with two of them ending up hitting her.
  • Arrowverse:
    • The Flash (2014):
      • Unsurprisingly, Barry and other speedsters either dodge or catch a lot of bullets. The first time Barry has to do so, it's a surprise attack from behind and the bullet breaks the skin of his neck before he can stop it. He gets better at it as the show goes on and he keeps improving on his speed. By season four, he's gotten so used to it he looks downright bored.
      • Zoom manages to catch an entire volley of bullets fired by the Central City Police Department with one hand.
      • This happens in the 1990 series as well, which makes Pollux's Stupid Sacrifice all the more jarring.
    • In the Legends of Tomorrow episode "Outlaw Country", Nate, after shrugging off a hail of bullets, catches one in his teeth.
    • In Supergirl (2015), Kara catches bullets shot by criminals and snipers every so often, as shown here.
    • During the church fight in Crisis on Earth-X, Wally West not only catches multiple bullets, he throws them back down the barrels of his attackers' guns.
  • On Fringe, the mysterious Observers demonstrate this ability.
    • Which prompts the villain of Season 4 to create a high tech gun whose bullets can outspeed the Observers' reflexes, as September finds out.
  • On Heroes, arch-villain Sylar can use his telekinesis to freeze bullets in mid-air Neo style. Although after he gained a superpowered Healing Factor, he generally stopped bothering and just took the hits.
  • Done by Jonathan Smith on Highway to Heaven when a would-be convenience store robber tries to shoot him.
  • On Lois & Clark, this was Superman's preferred response to bullets, rather than showing off his classic Immune to Bullets. (Actually more justified, since it avoided ricochet damage to bystanders.) Early on, he successfully intimidated Lex Luthor by firing a gun at him and catching the bullet before it hit him.
  • The Muppet Show: On the John Cleese episode, Gonzo's act of the night (assisted by Crazy Harry, of all people) involves catching a cannonball with his bare hand. Amazingly, he actually succeeds — only to get his arm stretched out to a ridiculous length.
  • MythBusters tested the catch-a-bullet-in-your-teeth myth. To say the myth was busted is an understatement. They couldn't even get close to theoretically doing it. Not only is human reaction time nowhere near fast enough to catch a bullet, but molars of a PIG (which are larger and stronger than our teeth) couldn't survive a bullet, so never mind the thin teeth at the front of your mouth which is where most magicians catch bullets.
    • They also tested the variant of a ninja swatting away a bullet. Needless to say, it was busted. Human reaction time only gets the hand moving after the bullet has passed. Even if the hand somehow made contact, the bullet would still plow through the soft flesh and keep going into its target.
  • In one episode of The New Avengers, the Russians had developed a super-martial arts training program which would enable those who survived to deflect bullets with their hands. The graduate did fairly well, but it turned out he could only deflect attacks from one direction at a time.
  • A Saturday Night Live sketch about casting for the then-recent Superman movie had the casting agency believe that the actor playing Superman should actually be able to use his powers without special effects. One of the people trying out for the role gets killed while trying to perform the bullet catch scene, and it ends with the final candidate being repeatedly shot at because he keeps missing when trying to do it.
  • Sledge Hammer!'s father, Jack, was a carnival performer who had this as his greatest trick. He did it once. Years later, Sledge needed to learn the trick, and managed to pull it off successfully when shot at.
  • This used to happen every other episode on Smallville. Justified in that the show is about Clark Kent before he became Superman, and it only failed once, when his attacker was using Kryptonite bullets.
  • During his debut episode in Tokusou Sentai Dekaranger, DekaBreak showed off his skills by catching a couple dozen bullets fired at him by the Monster of the Week in-hand. Similarly, Doggie Kruger has shown to be skilled at manipulating bullets in midair with his sword as DekaMaster, first by catching then flinging a bullet shot at him at the fuse of an armed dynamite pack, saving the Damsel in Distress the bomb was attached to; then by cutting down a good thousand bullets fired at him in such a way that they formed an "X" at his feet.
    • Power Rangers S.P.D. reused the footage of the first two tricks, but they edited the bullets into lasers. It didn't work too badly when DekaMaster's counterpart Shadow Ranger caught the blast on his sword and flung it at the death trap, but Omega Ranger (DekaBreak) dropping caught laser pellets at his feet came off kind of silly.
  • It happens a couple of times in The Tomorrow People (2013) as characters with highly developed telekinetic powers are able to stop bullets à la Neo in The Matrix.
  • In Touched by an Angel Raphael pulls this trick in nearly the exact same circumstances as the Highway to Heaven example above.
  • In the pilot episode of War of the Worlds (1988) one of the Martians catches a grenade fired from an M203 launcher by Lt. Colonel Ironhorse. The Martian stares at it in puzzlement as Ironhorse (who doesn't realise he's fighting aliens) gapes in amazement, then the grenade explodes in his hand.
  • Played for Laughs on Whose Line Is It Anyway?:
    Brad Sherwood: Today, we're going to show you how to catch a bullet. (pretends to get shot and goes down)
  • Wonder Woman: In "Death in Disguise", Nightingale fires a small cannon on his desk that is unexpectedly a real weapon at Wonder Woman. She catches the bullet-sized cannon ball.

  • Coldplay's "Paradise" mentions this trope by name: "When she was a girl/She expected the world/But it flew away from her reach/And the bullets catch in her teeth."
  • The music video for Korn's "Freak on a Leash" ends with the little girl catching the security guard's bullet and passing it back to him, although admittedly it was hovering in the air in front of her when she grabbed it. Mind you, that bullet did a lot of weird stuff in that video, such as flying around the band members like an inquisitive bee.
  • Sleeping at last manages to make this sound romantic in their song "Umbrellas": "I would catch bullets with my bare hands/Because you were meant for amazing things."

  • Mr. Cutter, the resident Big Bad of Wolf 359, is revealed to be capable of this in the series finale as a result of Dr. Pryce's modifications on his body over the years. It turns out to be a lot less effective against harpoons, though.


    Tabletop Games 
  • This is one of the things an Aberrant character can do with a high enough MegaDexterity attribute.
  • In the "Enter the Zombie" supplement of All Flesh Must Be Eaten, one of the Chi powers available to Martial Artists (though it can probably also be used by Shooters) gives them the ability to do just this.
  • Optional in Big Eyes, Small Mouth. Two abilities, Deflection and Reflection respectively, allow a character to catch or deflect any incoming missile, and subsequently fire it back at the attacker that initially launched/threw/fired it. The mechanics don't specify what sorts of attacks can and can't be deflected, leaving it up to the GM's discretion.
  • One of the sidebar mini-stories from the Cyberpunk game involves someone with enhanced reflexes doing just this. The storyteller mentioned that he had to get a cyberhand afterwards, but he figured the guy would be getting drinks off that story till the end of time.
  • The Tabletop RPG Deadlands actually allows this. Kung fu martial artists can do this with bullets and then shoot it back to the sender with the appropriate power.
  • The Missile Deflection power in Champions has several different levels of ability (which each cost a few more points than the one before it) that lets you knock away arrows, bullets, cannon shells, and other ranged attacks, up to and including lasers and other energy beams.
    • Simplified a bit (and renamed to Deflection) in 6th edition, but works the same.
  • Characters in GURPS can do this if they have Enhanced Time sense. With great difficulty they can deflect lasers.
  • In Mutants & Masterminds, adding the Precise power feat to one's Deflect power allows a character to do this.
  • Pathfinder has guns in its canonical setting, and characters can use the Deflect Arrows or Snatch Arrows feat against all ranged attacks that are not unusually massive (such as cannonballs or ballista bolts) or spells. As a consequence, a first-level character built to do this can snag a bullet fired at them once every six seconds as long as they have a free hand and can see it coming.
  • In Shadowrun, a short story involved a bounty hunter who was contemplating that he saw two acts right out of legend in a row. He got egged into shooting a Physical Adept who caught his bullet, and then simply flicked it back with enough force to hospitalize the bounty hunter. While players who roll up an adept have access to an ability to catch "slow" projectiles like arrows and shuriken, bullets are outside their capability; and while they can also specialize in throwing weapons, few can actually fling with enough force to neutralize a hardened opponent with one shot.
  • Played with in the Spirit of the Century supplement Strange Tales of the Century. The literal "Catch the Bullet" stunt doesn't actually allow a character who has it to catch a bullet — but it does let them fake it convincingly enough that they get to use their Sleight of Hand skill to defend against the attack (presumably from long practice) and, if successful, make an immediate intimidation attempt against their attacker afterwards.


    Video Games 
  • Trucy from Ace Attorney claims she can catch bullets with her teeth. Although she's most likely talking about the bullet catch magic trick, as opposed to an actual ability.
  • In Alice: Madness Returns, the Menacing Ruin can allow your pepper grinder shots to be embedded into its huge arm, before surely flinging it back at you.
  • A variant is seen in Alien Soldier, wherein the main character can create a brief force field that turns enemy fire into health powerups.
  • Jeanne has the ability to slap away Bayonetta's bullets.
    • Father Balder subverts this during a cutscene by slowing down time, taking the bullets and then repositioning them back at Bayonetta's face.
  • BioShock Infinite has the "Return to Sender" Vigor, which lets Booker create a magnetic force field in front of him. By holding it, he can collect bullets and send them back at the enemy.
    • Subverted in the original two games, where it's mentioned Telekinesis can't be used to stop bullets; the human brain simply can't react fast enough to a gunshot for the power to affect the projectile. It can, however, be used to Catch and Return grenades, as those are moving at human throwing speeds.
  • Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel! has the mysterious Watcher stop the bullets fired by Jack from hitting Col. Zarpedon, Neo-style. It does it again at the end of the game by stopping the bullets from hitting Athena when Lilith orders her execution.
  • One of the weapons in Conduit 2 has the ability to suspend incoming bullets in a force-field, then fire them back at opponents.
  • Devil May Cry:
  • Corvo from Dishonored can do this thanks to his ability of slowing or downright stopping time. He can even use it to reload his gun with his enemies' bullets.
  • EXTRAPOWER: Giant Fist: Zophy is able to do this, and flick it back to his attacker!
  • In Final Fantasy Tactics, the Blade Grasp ability lets you do this due to a bug. The developers decided it was a Good Bad Bug, and it was kept as an Ascended Glitch in the re-release while other bugs (like the infinite JP glitch) were fixed. And since the success rate of Blade Grasp is based on the character's Bravery stat, the chances of catching bullets can be extremely high (a maxed-out Bravery stat is 97, meaning a 97% chance of success for Blade Grasp).
  • Possible in Source engine games, but much easier to do in Garry's Mod. You just need to install a Bullet Time addon and a hostile NPC with a non-hitscan weapon.
  • Henry Stickmin Series: In the climax of Escaping the Prison's Badass Bust Out ending, Henry catches a bullet and throws it back at the one who shot it, terrifying everyone on the police force into letting him nonchalantly walk out.
  • In Killer7, MASK de Smith does not catch the bullet. Oh no. He headbutts it out of thin air. And he wins. He isn't even Made of Iron. He's made out of freakin' adamantium.
  • The primary mechanic in Mars Matrix. Your Mosquito is equipped with a shield that can catch bullets. Hold it down all the way and it turns into a standard bomb, but if you let go before then you can fling the captured bullets at enemies, which turns them into experience cubes. And boy, do you need to master it.
  • In Mischief Makers, Marina's main skill is grabbing things, especially projectiles! It's usually missiles, but even lasers can be caught and thrown back as balls of energy. Other caught bullets sometimes drop as colored gems to be picked up, instead.
  • Near the end of the first Nelson Tethers: Puzzle Agent game, Nelson fires his gun at some of the Hidden People, who catch the bullets in their teeth.
  • No More Heroes:
    • Travis has no problem blocking any bullets flying at him — even ones fired from behind him — so long as you hold that Z button for dear life.
    • In the fight against Dr. Peace, he plays baseball with a bullet and his Beam Katana. Subverted, though, in that he didn't realize it was an exploding shell and gets tossed into the backdrop.
  • The VR game Robo Recall (and its Tech-Demo Game predecessor, Bullet Train) features this as one of the many, many ways to dispatch your enemies, facilitated by their bullets slowing down as they approach you with grab icons. Doing so gets you a "Return to Sender" bonus if it's a killing shot, or a "Ping-Pong" bonus if you deflect the bullets back at them with one of your guns!
  • In Tales of Xillia 2, Alvin interrupts Khronos with a trio of pistol shots aimed at his head, but he effortlessly catches all three of them between his fingers. The fact that he can manipulate the flow of time probably helped him there.
  • In a cutscene of Scenario Campaign of Tekken 6, Lars attempts to murder Heihachi by shooting him. Heihachi catches the bullet... with his teeth and spits it back out. Lars and Alisa leave the compound afterwards.
  • This is your character's special ability in the WWII First-Person Shooter Uber Soldier.
  • Karikeya of Wild ARMs 5. After he throws his shotgun at Greg and tells him to try and kill him with it, he proceeds to catch every single one of Greg's shots with his bionic arm. Greg eventually gets past the arm by shooting Kartikeya's face at point-blank range. Unfortunately, Kartikeya caught that bullet with something else.
  • The World Ends with You features this at the very end of the game, where we find out exactly how Neku died. But before that, Pi-Face tries to shoot Joshua a dozen times (from a revolver) - Joshua then stops all the bullets in midair, a la Neo.

  • In Cloudscratcher Ixia can catch the bullets from a machine gun, which she later explains as the result of some super soldier drugs that allow her to slow down her perception of time.
  • Von Pinn does this in Girl Genius, albeit with bolts thrown by super strong constructs instead of bullets fired from a weapon. Subsequent rounds bounced were then deflected at super speed.
  • Maxima of Grrl Power can do this, and in fact its the very first power demonstrated in the comic. She has Super Speed and Nigh-Invulnerability, so its justified. Also the first hint that something was wrong with the robbery: She could have easily taken out the robbers before they finished pulling out their guns.
  • Jade's pet dog Bec from Homestuck can dodge and catch bullets so easily that the two of them play "fetch" with a rifle.
  • In Megatokyo, Junpei, presumably using his supernatural ninja powers, grabs a bullet inches from the target's head immediately after jumping through a window of a speeding car. Even so, it's downplayed, since he injures his hand in the process; apparently this sort of stunt is a last-resort option.
  • The combat 'bots in Schlock Mercenary have the reflexes and speed to do this without difficulty.
    Narrator: Maximilian Haluska has soldier-boosts enhancing his strength, speed, and reaction time.
    He began this engagement with a report-suppressed gausspistol at the ready.
    Para Ventura has no soldier boosts, and only minimal combat training.
    She won't even blink before Max fires his first shot.
    Tarball is a suborned emergency armed response 'bot, H/V level 1.07.
    His strength, speed, reaction time, and ready weaponry are more than sufficient to neutralize Maximilian Haluska before Haluska can fire his gausspistol.
    Tarball allows the human to fire a single shot...
    ...possibly so he can show off to Ventura by catching the bullet.
    ...which may in turn be why Para Ventura doesn't bother to blink.

    Web Original 
  • Constable Frozen's work Bang has Anna catch a bullet. Elsa is merely bulletproof.
  • In Destroy the Godmodder it gets used occasionally. Mostly by the Godmodder, but sometimes used by other entities to show how powerful it is.
  • In Fine Structure, Arika catches a number of bullets single-handedly in the chapter Capekiller. She's fast enough to dodge if she wanted to, but she was making a point.
  • Subverted in Nigahiga's fake trailer for Fortnite The Movie when Ryan Higa's character tries to catch a bullet but it doesn't work because you can't catch bullets in the game.
  • This What If? article explains that this trope might be possible, provided you shoot the bullet upwards so that the bullet stops mid-air, and have a friend catch it there by flying with a hot-air balloon or something. Don't Try This at Home, though; the falling bullet is dangerous.

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in Chilly Beach, where in a skating performance circus (long story), a man jumps into the air while on skates and attempts to catch a bullet in his teeth.
  • Mighty Mouse (in "The Cat's Tale") and Atom Ant (in the opening titles of his TV series) have both outrun and stopped a bullet fired from a gun.
  • Done in an over-the-top fashion purely for laughs in the "Police Cops" pilot on The Simpsons. Detective Homer Simpson catches a bullet, then throws it back hard enough to wound the criminal who fired it. And that's the end of that chapter.
  • In the opening three-parter of Superman: The Animated Series, Superman catches an entire volley of bullets, then throws them back near the feet of the mooks shooting at him.

    Real Life 
  • A classic stage magician's gag is appearing to catch a bullet, usually in the teeth (Hans Moretti used to do it sometimes) or on a china plate (Chung Ling Soo died when this went wrong). Paul Daniels recreated the effect safely in the '80s, and Penn & Teller upped the stakes to a simultaneous double bullet-catch during their run at the Rio. The principal method was to retrieve the bullet from the barrel using a trick ramrod, after the bullet had been marked in some way. Anyone familiar with Gun Safety will spot immediately that just because you have removed the bullet does not actually make the weapon safe - any debris that happens to be left in the barrel is still entirely capable of being lethal. However, most of the weapons used in the tricks are pyrotechnic models, not capable of firing a real bullet even if one was inserted.
    Announcer: They say it's impossible for a man to catch a bullet in his teeth.
    Announcer: And they were right! It is impossible!
    • David Blane did a more elaborate version of this, where he used a metal cup in his mouth attached to a mouth guard to catch the bullet. In 2017, he got injured performing the trick when the cup broke, according to the news.
    • Breaking the Magician's Code: Magic's Biggest Secrets Finally Revealed explains this the same way, while using a pane of glass to make the illusion convincing. The pane of glass is, of course, rigged to self-destruct when the trigger is pulled.
  • One mobster by the name of Carmine "The Snake" Persico built up a reputation as a man that was hard to kill. In one noteworthy incident, the car he was in was riddled with bullets. One of the spent rounds lodged itself in his mouth, and he spat it out when he got up. Thus, Carmine became known among his compatriots as a man who could literally catch bullets.
  • One story/legend attributed to the Wild West era is of a magician/con artist who goes around town and starts up an act where he bets bystanders that he can catch a bullet. A person in the crowd comes forward, offers to do so, takes aim and fires. The man catches the bullet and takes his cash. Of course, the guy with the gun is a plant, the gun fires blanks and the bullet is a pre-fired round manipulated with some theatrics and slight of hand. This goes well until someone else in the crowd decides to engage in a bit of "audience participation" with a real gun. He didn't catch that one.
    • This might be the story of Raoul Curran, who died in 1880 when an audience member stood up and shot him. Link here.
  • In 2009, a woman survived being shot with a handgun because the bullet lodged itself in her hair and failed to even break her skin.


Video Example(s):


Zoom catching bullets

Exaggerated and justified; Zoom uses his super speed to catch several bullets. He then slowly drops them in front of the horrified police just to rub it in.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (7 votes)

Example of:

Main / BulletCatch

Media sources: