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Deliberate Injury Gambit

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"Let an opponent graze your skin and you smash into his flesh; let an opponent smash into your flesh and you fracture his bone; let an opponent fracture your bone and you take his life! Do not be concerned with your escaping safely; lay your life before him!"

Bob is in a sword fight with Emperor Evulz, and things don't look good for Bob. Emperor Evulz is much faster than him, and Bob just can't land a blow.


Oh no! Emperor Evulz just stabbed Bob's shoulder! Once Evulz pulls his sword out he'll be able to finish Bob.

Not so fast. The hero let himself get impaled on purpose. And now that he's got the villain's sword restrained, the hero has him right where he wants him.

This trope occurs when a character deliberately allows himself to be injured, injures himself, or takes advantage of the fact that he's just been injured and uses it to gain an advantage against an opponent.

In video games, there may be certain abilities/perks which activate when the user gets hit, or when they've lost a good part of their HP. Naturally, some players may try using this gambit to unleash those abilities. In some other cases, you might be fighting an enemy or boss whose attack will leave them vulnerable even if you get hit by it, or when they're normally impenetrable until they lower their defenses when they try to attack you; this leaves a room for you to exploit this to attack them.


More extreme cases of this can result in Death Is the Only Option, a Heroic Sacrifice, or Mutual Kill. Frequently exploits Good Thing You Can Heal!. Compare Taking You with Me, Death-or-Glory Attack, Life-or-Limb Decision. One possible motive for doing so would be to get the opponent Left Stuck After Attack. May be used in order to trigger a Critical Status Buff.

Typical in cases of Bizarre Alien Biology. Compare with Wounded Gazelle Gambit (pretending to be hurt so that they can make a third person attack their target), Exploited Immunity (getting both yourself and your target injured in a way you know won't harm you as much), Attacking Through Yourself (in which the attacker deliberately attacks himself to get at his opponent), Self-Poisoning Gambit (Consuming something that is poisoned in order to lure someone else into also doing so) and Pull Yourself Down the Spear (pulling oneself down a spear to get closer or to make the enemy stuck) Related to Failure Gambit and Confound Them with Kindness.



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    Anime and Manga 
  • Hajime no Ippo: being a Mighty Glacier at the beginning of the series, this was the main way Ippo fought his opponents. Later he evolves into Lightning Bruiser.
    • More so in his fight with Fragile Speedster Woli where he goes from Let him tear my flesh so that I can shatter his bones to Let him tear my flesh so that I can scratch him.
  • Dragon Ball Z:
    • Captain Ginyu punches a hole through his own chest, crippling himself just before using his hitherto-unknown Grand Theft Me attack on Goku, thereby crippling Goku instead.
    • During the fight against Frieza, Vegeta has Krillin critically wound him and is then healed by Dende, exploiting the Saiyans' ability to become stronger after recovering from near-fatal injuries. Sadly, while Vegeta did become much stronger, the boost wasn't nearly enough to make a difference. Not to mention Frieza killed Dende so they couldn't exploit that tactic anymore.
    • Future Zamasu in Dragon Ball Super does this repeatedly, taking advantage of his Complete Immortality. On several occasions, his ally attacks opponents through him, knowing he'll be fine.
  • In Weiß Kreuz Gluhen, Hidaka Ken does a Kill Us Both variant, grabbing Clone Toudou from behind to restrain him and calling for Aya to run them both through. He waves it away afterwards with a flippant, "It's okay, I have two kidneys."
  • Soko does this in Ao no Fuuin. She allows herself to be impaled upon the Black Demon Mask's horn and holds it tight, so it can't back off. She says she'll only let go if the Demon Masks allows them access to the inner part of the Sanctuary.
  • The title character of Inuyasha allows his Aloof Big Brother Sesshoumaru to put his hand all the way through his chest. While Sesshoumaru's attention is thus occupied, Inuyasha rips off his other arm and takes back his BFS. In spite of having a fist-sized hole through the middle of his body, which should have taken a four-inch segment out of his spine, he survives.
  • This happens with disturbing regularity in Claymore:
    • A supporting character does this to trap a yoma's hands, giving Clare the opportunity to kill it.
    • Don't forget much earlier in the series when an unarmed Clare lets a yoma punch her through the stomach, only to throw herself and said yoma down a cliff to grab her sword and regain the upper hand.
    • Deneve, who can regenerate her body from almost note  any wound at a ridiculously rapid rate; her fighting style is best described as "suicidal", because hey, when you can grow back your arm and regenerate the intestines that were just ripped out of you, why not let an enemy mutilate you if it gets you close enough to kill him?
    • Done by Miria, who cut off her own arm in order to lodge the sword it was holding into her opponent's chest. While she can't grow back her limbs, she can reattach them.
    • Raki challenges Priscilla to a fight and gets severely curbstomped for his efforts which allows him to get up and backstab Priscilla through her neck since he has no youki for her to track. Raki spent years of training with Isley just to bulk up enough so he could survive the curbstomp.
  • Bleach:
    • In a fight where Kenpachi lost all his senses except touch, he realised the only way he could tell where his opponent was would be by trapping the sword and grabbing the person holding onto it. The only way he could trap the sword was by letting himself be run through with it. He didn't mind. After the first shot, though, he had enough information to simply catch the sword before it could ever cut him.
    • Zommari had the power to control limbs he tagged with his ability. Immediately and without hesitation, Byakuya deliberately severed the tendons in both his left leg and his left arm to free his body from Zommari's control. Even though he only had one leg and one arm left, he still made defeating Zommari look easy.
    • Yamamoto deliberately tanks Aizen's sword to the gut in the same tactic Kenpachi used to be certain he knew where Aizen was as a counter against Aizen's shikai, which does not affect anyone in contact with said sword. Later on, he sacrifices his own left arm to cast a spell that's designed to take out Aizen. Unfortunately, Aizen manages to escape... but he's so shaken he leaves himself wide open to attack by Ichigo, who previously couldn't even hit him.
    • Masaki Kurosaki once had trouble hitting a hollow because it was too fast. So she decides to stand still. It charges up and bites her... and she shoots it in the head at point-blank range.
    • Gremmy Thoumeaux lets Kenpachi impale him, trapping the sword, then summons a giant hand with his powers in an attempt to crush him.
    • Giselle Gewelle has Blood Magic-like powers, so she goads a bunch of Shinigami into almost splitting her in half... and once they're splattered in her blood, she forces them to kill themselves.
    • Shunsui pulls this against Lille Barro, deliberately slowing his running rhythm so Lille would shoot him. The moment afterwards, Shunsui shows up right behind Lille, saying he did that on purpose to distract this enemy who's supposed to have absolutely perfect aiming skills as his Vandereich power.
  • In Monster Musume, this is part of Zombina's general strategy- run in, get shot to bits, then attack when her opponents think she's dead and have let their guard down. She's not bothered by the wounds because she's a zombie already.
  • Naruto:
    • Naruto allows Kabuto to stab him through the hand with a kunai so that he can hold him while he forms a Rasengan with his other hand to hit Kabuto with. In an anime flashback in Part 2, Jiraiya points out that it's most advantageous to avoid having to do this.
    • Kabuto, himself, kinda pulled this off a little earlier in the same battle. Twice, no less. ("Kinda" because the injury was self-inflicted.) First time was when he fought Tsunade and he slit his own wrist in order to splash her with the blood and exploit her severe blood phobia for a quick victory. The second time was when Naruto used his Me's a Crowd technique and he splashed some blood in the eyes of one clone, effectively blinding it. He possibly uses it a third time when he, around the time he gets hit by the Rasengan, uses a chakra scalpel on Naruto's heart that puts him on the verge of death.
    • When Hayate finds out about the Sand and Sound Village invading, he tries to cut Baki with his sword. Baki doesn't dodge, allowing the blade to become lodged in his thick armor. Baki then kills the trapped Hayate with Razor Wind.
    • Neji lets Kidomaru hit him with an arrow - but directing it away from his heart - to send a chakra burst through the thread to stun him, leaving him defenseless against a killing blow.
    • About the same time, less straight: Kiba stabs himself to force his opponent out of his body.
    • When the Taka group is fighting Killer Bee, Suigetsu takes a punch from Killer Bee, turns into water, and then has Sasuke electrocute them both leaving Bee open to a Power Fist attack from Jugo.
    • The Raikage chooses to attack Sasuke, who surrounded himself in Amaterasu flames while shielding himself with Susanoo, perfectly willing to lose his arm to get in the finishing blow, though Gaara blocks his finishing move, saying that if he did it, he would most likely lose his leg and his life.
    • Deidara pulls this on Gaara: when Gaara rips Deidara's arm off with his sand, Deidara put some explosive clay in it and set it off after forcing Gaara to defend himself with it.
    • In the fight between them in the Chunin Exam preliminaries, Neji takes a Jyuuken blow from Hinata in order to set himself up to use a more advanced technique to stop off her chakra. Hinata's reaction, however, implies that she realized at that moment that for the entire fight, he had been targeting and sealing the pressure points on her arm.
    • Used earlier in the same arc by Sakura, who spams Substitution Jutsu to avoid her opponent's attacks. Eventually, her opponent gets so sick of it that he launches an attack at her and immediately looks for where she's gone now. Only this time, she hasn't used the Jutsu and has actually taken the hit to get close to him.
    • Sorta used by Shikamaru, too. When he's paralyzed by Tayuya's Magic Music, he uses his shadow jutsu to break one of his fingers and "summon" enough pain to focus on it rather than Tayuya's jutsus.
    • Obito intentionally engages Kakashi in a personal duel to the death in his alternate dimension and allows himself to get stabbed through the heart in order to remove a seal on it placed by Madara to prevent him from becoming the Ten Tails Jinchuuriki or committing suicide. It nearly gets him killed thanks to how much he starts bleeding out, especially when Madara tries to force him to commit a suicidal revival jutsu on him and Minato cutting through him to stop it, but he manages to power through and finish the jutsu to seal the Ten Tails into his body, healing all his injuries and giving him godlike power.
  • In the Street Fighter III manga adaptation, Ryu Final, Ryu deliberately impales himself on Akuma's arm. Why? Because the manga reveals that the Shun Goku Satsu consists of thousands upon thousands of punches that deliver a Hadoken at point-blank with each impact, ending with a finishing blow that skewers the opponent's torso. Ryu defeated the technique by lunging forward and letting Akuma punch through him ahead of time, making the Hadoken useless and putting him in perfect range to blow half of Akuma's body off with a Hadoken of his own. Somehow, Ryu survived, with an enormous scar over his chest.
  • Black Cat: Train lets one of his hands get cut off by Creed so that he can shoot away the invisible sword, then shoot Creed himself.
  • One Piece:
    • During the fights with CP9, Sanji's opponent Jabura attacked Sanji with a two-handed attack. Sanji kicked away one hand but not the other, taking half the hit. Jabura gloats that had Sanji used both legs, he would have stopped the whole thing. Sanji's reply: "No, I had to do it...!! The other kick... is to finish you off!"
    • To avoid being petrified by Hancock's abilities, one has to be preoccupied with something else. Luffy is simply so ignorant that it doesn't work. Vice-Admiral Momonga stabs himself in the hand so he can focus on the pain.
  • From Death Note, in an unlikely non-fighting anime variation, L allowed himself a punch in the face from Light in order to nimbly reverse around and kick his opponent across the room. He knows Capoeira.
  • Not straight, but kind of Gundam examples:
    • In Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team Federation elite pilot Shiro Amada rips off his suit's arm to use it as a weapon when all of his other weapons have been disposed of by Zeon ace Norris Packard.
    • Used fairly often in Mobile Suit Gundam 00, e.g. Sergei Smirnov allowing Gundam Exia to cut off his arm only to get the upper hand this way.
    • In one episode of G Gundam, Domon is wrapped up by Cobra Gundam. In order to escape, he dislocates his Gundam's shoulder to give him room to move. Keep in mind that in G Gundam, the Gundam's movements mirror the pilot's, so he had to dislocate his own shoulder in order to do this.
  • Early in the Yu-Gi-Oh!: manga, Yami Yugi goes to rescue Joey from his torturers. He allows one of the men to hit him in order to get them in the correct position to spring a trap.
  • Berserk: Guts does this pretty often when he's not fast enough to dodge incoming attacks, and turns the situation around by tanking the attack in question, before utilizing the properties of the attack to hit the enemy back, a lot worse than he got hit himself, in a similar fashion to the current page quote.
    • In his fight against the Apostle Rosine, he deliberately lets her impale his right forearm just so he can get a good shot off with his Arm Cannon. Later in the fight, when it appears that he has been impaled through the head by her proboscis and killed, it turns out that he turned his head at the last moment and was only impaled through the cheeks. He bites down on the proboscis so she can't avoid his final sword blow.
    • In the Birth Ceremony Chapter of the Conviction Arc, Guts is about to be hit with a giant wheel being swung by an enemy, and has no chance to dodge it. Instead he shoots the wheel-user with his arm cannon at the moment the wheel hits him, and uses the combined force of the wheel and the cannon's recoil to get launched into the air so he can then hit another enemy who's flying above.
    • While fighting a giant Kushan monster, he lets it hit him in order to get knocked up onto a building and fight from a higher location.
  • Hunter × Hunter: Gon versus Genthru during the Greed Island Arc. Gon gets one of his hands blown off and the other near-destroyed in order to kick Genthru in the jaw.
  • Samurai Champloo:
    • Jin does this near the end of the series, as part of the final, crowning technique of his kenjutsu style (which is very closely based on a real school whose philosophy emphasizes moving beyond the binary win/lose mentality). By this point in the story, he understands the meaning and implications of one piece of advice he'd never quite grokked before: "If you ever face an opponent who is so skilled you cannot dodge their attacks, then don't dodge."
    • In episode 25 Mugen blocks Denkibou's Wolverine Claws with his left hand which gives him the chance to deliver his first real but also final hit. It's unclear if it was a deliberate move to create that opening or if he instinctively tried to protect his face.
  • In Saiyuki, the only way Sanzo gets a clear shot at Kami-sama is when Hakkai engages him in close combat, then stands back and lets Sanzo shoot through him—although, when Goku asks, Sanzo is quick to point out that he aimed around him, and Hakkai adds he's only been grazed.
  • In Blood+, Saya impales herself and Karl together on her own sword in order to kill him. Since her blood is poison to him and she has a Healing Factor, only Karl goes down from it.
  • Dragon Shiryu of Saint Seiya has a history of this. The first instance is when he blinds himself to avoid being turned into stone by Algol's Medusa shield. Later in the Capricorn house, he allows Shura to stab him in the chest with his hand and then breaks it off before launching both of them into space. Shura has a Heel Realization and saves Shiryu at the cost of what's left of his life. He does it again in the Lucifer movie, and Siegfried from the Asgard warriors did it to Sorrento Siren in the last Asgard battle but ultimately failed since Sorrento managed to release himself at the very last moment.
  • In the second episode of the Read or Die OVA, Nancy tricks Genjo Sanzo into stabbing her with his bo, which then allows Yomiko to attack and defeat him.
  • Palparepa flies out of his Humongous Mecha to stab Guy for the final strike in GaoGaiGar FINAL. Guy takes the opportunity to give Palparepa some G-Stone to the face and rip the Loud G-Stone right off his eye, given the motion of his arm.
  • In JoJo's Bizarre Adventure: Stardust Crusaders, Jotaro uses his body weight as leverage to snap a cursed sword in half, as touching the hilt would have had him become possessed by it.
    • During Stardust Crusaders's finale, Dio allows Jotaro to unleash a flurry of attacks at him as he knows the force will allow him to reach Joseph's body faster than he can walk there. Suffice to say, this one Makes Sense In Context.
  • Buso Renkin: During his final fight with Shusui Hayasaka, Kazuki knew he couldn't stop his more skilled opponent's Reverse Do finishing move with a traditional defence so he returned his buso renkin to its kakugane form inside his chest just before it hit, stopping an attack that would have cut him in half with his near-indestructible Magitek artificial heart, shocking his opponent long enough to reactivate his weapon and strike a near-fatal blow of his own.
  • A variation of this occurred in episode 4 of GunBuster involving a giant robot and an alien mothership. Noriko allowed the Lightning Bruiser mothership to impale Gunbuster, leaving her in perfect position to hit (and destroy) it with her weapons.
  • Occasionally used in Gantz; since finishing a mission enables you to return unharmed, some characters take the danger of getting injured to finish an opponent. Bear in mind that if you have any vital signs at all, you come back unharmed.
  • An injured and outmatched Captain Buccaneer from Fullmetal Alchemist attempts to attack the homunculus Wrath and gets a sword in the stomach for his troubles... and then he flexes his abs so that Wrath can't pull the sword back out, leaving him temporarily disarmed. A bit later, Buccaneer and Fuu both die in order to land a hit on Bradley that actually inconveniences him enough for Greedling to put out his Ultimate Eye.
    • In a different fight in the same battle, Major Armstrong is getting pounded by Sloth, but it is unable to fight back because he had dislocated his shoulder earlier. Then Armstrong turns into one of the blows, causing it to forcibly pop his arm back into place, allowing him to go back on the offensive.
  • During the assault on Tokyo in Code Geass R2, when the Ax-Crazy Knight of Rounds Luciano Bradley attacks a Black Knight battleship by throwing a disabled, friendly ship into it, Xingke deliberately gets hit by Knight of One Bismarck Waldstein's BFS. He uses force of impact to put himself in a position to get a clean shot at the falling battleship, saving everyone below. It severely ruins his mecha though.
  • Juuza of the Clouds from Fist of the North Star does this in the second part of his duel with Ken-Oh, in which he intentionally drops all of his guard just so Ken-Oh would hit him straight in the chest. This gives Juuza the leverage needed to perform an armbar and attempt to destroy Ken-Oh's arm.
  • Ayumu from Is This a Zombie? is a zombie who cannot die or be re-killed, presumably without some necromantic prompting from Eucliwood. He often uses his nigh invulnerability to his advantage in fights, very noticeable during the group's fight with the serial killer Kyouko.
  • In one fight in Lone Wolf and Cub, one of the ninjas does a Barehanded Blade Block, intentionally delaying the clap until after the blade had penetrated his skull so that it would be trapped to allow the others to swarm Ittō.
  • Pokémon: The Series:
    • A few of Ash's rivals have pulled this off. Morrison from the Hoenn League has his Gligar do this in a battle against a Marowak. The former's wings had been frozen by the latter's Ice Beam, rendering it unable to fly. When the Marowak attacks with a Bone Club, Gligar literally takes it head-on... then retaliates with a finishing blow. Stephan from the Unova League also purposely allows his Sawk to be hit by repeated attacks after it's been tied up by String Shot, allowing it to cut itself free.
    • This type of strategy is especially favored by Paul from the Diamond and Pearl series. Many of his Pokemon have abilities or battle styles that rely on taking damage in order to prepare a counterattack, with at least three of them being taught to trap their opponents in place after baiting them in close. This is what fueled his abusive training of his Chimchar as well; he was convinced that if he could put it in a critical enough condition, he could activate its immensely powerful Blaze ability.
    • Ash doesn't often engage in this on account of being an All-Loving Hero, but there have been a few notable instances regardless:
      • Ash once had Pikachu purposely allow an opponent to hit him, causing Pikachu's Static ability to paralyze the opponent.
      • He once had his Swellow tank Pikachu's Thunder, allowing it to (somehow) convert the electricity into a golden armor that won him a Gym battle.
      • His Goodra relies on Bide as its Finishing Move, which is a move that requires it to absorb as much damage as possible before firing it back at double power.
      • Perhaps the most significant example, however, is when he used it to turn Paul's own gambit against him; he allowed his Infernape to be trapped by Electivire and hit by a point-blank Thunder, which damaged it into activating Blaze — the very thing Paul had failed to do so many times before. Infernape then proceeds to hand Electivire the smackdown of a lifetime, winning Ash one of his biggest rival battles of all time.
  • Vash uses this in Trigun to beat a hypnotist who paralyzes her opponents to create the illusion of a Flash Step ability. He breaks his own finger and twists it, in order to be so focused on the pain that her hypnotism won't work and she'll lose her only attack that makes her dangerous.
  • Battle Angel Alita: Alita's solution to dealing with an opponent with a polearm who is fast enough for the reach advantage to be of use? Let her arm get severed at the shoulder and beat the other girl down with the thick end. Not the first time she pulled such a stunt nor the last. She's a cyborg, by the way, if you were wondering how she can repeatedly hit people with her own severed arm; when they found her, she was a functioning brain in the ruins of a torso.
  • In Rave Master, Musica lets the invisible villain Ltiangle stab him so he can know where he is and counterattack.
  • Toriko has done this at the beginning of his fight with Tommyrod.
    • He did it again later on when he let Tommyrod bite off one of his fingers in order to get close enough to bite off his wing.
    • Tommyrod himself pulled one on Sunny. Tommyrod allows Sunny to cut off his arm, in order to have said arm attack him from behind later on - turns out, that his insect-like nervous system allows his limbs to stay alive and functional even after they been cut off.
    • Tengu Brunch has electric powers, but can't create electricity - only take it from another source and amplify. In his fight with Elg, his powers are rendered useless, because his batteries run out. After he suffers a merciless beatdown from his opponent, he reveals that his body can work as a power plant, turning energy from outside sources into electricity - and all those hits were a great energy source.
  • In The Familiar of Zero, since King Joseph is too fast for him, Saito lets himself get stabbed, then quickly grabs his arm.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul the final episode has Jason/Yamori grab Kaneki by the leg, and Kaneki twist his leg so violently it breaks to get into a position allowing him to spin-kick Yamori's face. Having just spent days being physically and mentally tortured and gifted with a capacity for regeneration that's incredible even for a ghoul, he doesn't even seem to notice the pain and the leg is fine again a moment later.
  • In A Certain Magical Index, after Touma Kamijou dodges or deflects nine arrows from her magic crossbow, Othinus fires the last arrow through her own body so he won't see it coming. Since she is a goddess, she's perfectly fine afterwards.
  • In YuYu Hakusho, Kurama's energy has been sealed. It's still there, just trapped inside his body where he can't use it to manipulate plants. So he allows his opponent, Touya, to give him a deep cut along his forearm. He then sows the Death Plant seed in the wound, where he causes it to grow and stab Touya through the torso.
  • In Snow White with the Red Hair Mitsuhide decides a fight needs to end quickly since Zen and almost all of their other allies are down and only himself and Kiki are uninjured so he disarms the corrupt noble by trapping his moving blade between his arm and torso while slashing the noble across his torso. Mitsuhide didn't have any armor or even his own sword at the time as he'd just escaped his imprisonment minutes earlier.
  • In Black Clover, Vetto allows Asta to stab him with the Demon-Dweller Sword so that Asta would no longer be able to use its Anti-Magic against him and figuring that with his immense stamina he can survive having a sword impaled in his chest for long enough to kill the heroes. This backfires badly because the Demon-Dweller Sword's Mana Drain function is not dependent on Asta actually holding the sword. It continues to drain away Vetto's strength-enhancing magic the whole time. Vetto only realizes this when his Super Senses are reduced to the point he can no longer track Asta's movements.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War:
    • Ishigami was subjected to this in the backstory when he discovered that the boyfriend of a girl he knew was cheating on her. The boyfriend provoked him into attacking when he was confronted in order to make him look like a crazed stalker and destroy his credibility.
    • Discussed by Maki during the New Game arc. After seeing Ishigami have to wait on Miko hand and foot when he accidentally broke her arm, she seriously considers getting Tsubasa to do the same to her so he'll spend time with her.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! VRAINS, The requirements for activating Storm Access is having less than a thousand life points, so those who use this skill let their life points fall to the threshold or using abilities to lower their own life points.
  • In So I'm a Spider, So What? Kumoko is struggling against Potimas shortly after evolving in an Arachne which has both a human and spider head. She deliberately allows him to destroy her human head and takes advantage of his momentarily lowered guard to land a blow.
  • In Rebuild World, since the protagonist Akira is assisted by his Virtual Sidekick Alpha via Augmented Reality displays that show him where to position, where enemy bullets will land, etc, he sometimes (such as at the top of Sarenthal Tower) has to grit his teeth and just go to where he knows bullets will hit to get his way through seemingly impossible gunfights. He has Nanomachine medicine as well as Powered Armor, that ultimately allow him to survive this (though it takes its toll on him).

    Comic Books 
  • Shatterstar from Marvel Comics, not being exactly human, pulls this trick a few times in order to skewer people bear-hugging him. He's able to do this multiple times rather than as a Taking You with Me gambit in part because he heals faster than humans, and partly because his organs are arranged differently.
  • Gambit did this once—he let the bad guy stab him in the leg with a dagger, and fell to the ground howling in pain. Said bad guy assumed he was out of the fight, and turned his attention elsewhere. Big mistake on bad guy's part...
    • In a similar incident, Gambit mouthed off to the Big Bad while all the X-Men were taken prisoner and got himself stabbed in the leg. It turned out that mouthing off was a Batman Gambit; after the captor tied them up and left them with minimal guards, he was able to take the flechette out with his mouth and use it to pick the lock.
  • Star Wars Tales #9, "Resurrection", pits Darth Vader against a resurrected Darth Maul; Vader stabs himself through the chest to kill Maul.
    Maul: What could you hate enough to destroy me?
    Vader: Myself.
  • Spawn tries this against his evil/good/whatever counterpart the Redeemer. He lets the Redeemer blast a hole in his torso so that he could act disabled and surprise him. Unfortunately, the Redeemer just teleports away afterwards. Fortunately, he got better.
    • Rather than expend energy healing that hole in his torso, he left it and allowed his living suit to cover it. In a later issue, he deliberately took a blast to the chest, knowing that most of the damage would blow harmlessly through the preexisting hole while counting on his opponent to assume it would be a mortal (or at least debilitating) wound.
  • Yama does this to Points in Bad Guys, a spinoff of Gargoyles. Yama reminds Points that he will heal at sunrise, but Points won't.
  • As easily repairable robots, the Metal Men have this as their trademark. They'll take any risk, and even sacrifice their "lives," because so long as the necessary parts aren't damaged they'll be back in the next issue, no worse for wear.
  • One version of the Clock King is a nearly unstoppable fighter because he can see a few seconds into the future. Ravager lets him strike her, then grabs his wrist, using her free hand to pound his face into hamburger meat and explaining that being able to see the future is useless if you can't do anything to react to your visions.
  • Although Wolverine is officially a master of multiple forms of armed combat, most of his fights recently seem to break down to getting his opponents to inflict horrific injuries to let him get close enough to shred them back, in a pretty blatant abuse of his Healing Factor and unbreakable skeleton.
    • Being a very strategic fighter, his daughter/Opposite-Sex Clone X-23 is also not above taking advantage of her Healing Factor if she can turn it to her advantage, though she's also a bit more careful with it than Logan since only her claws are bonded with adamantium and her body is more prone to being disabled by broken or severed limbs.
      • In her fight with Lady Deathstrike, Laura deliberately allowed the latter to severely injure her, as a means of getting close enough to cause critical damage to Deathstrike's cybernetic components.
      • During World War Hulk, Laura became one of the only people to actually slow down Hulk by deliberately allowing him to grab her, bringing her close enough to catch him by surprise with her foot claws and put out his eyes (the injury comes in in that she got put through a wall for her trouble). When Wolverine tried the same trick later, it was only because Hulk let him.
  • And of course reversing the X-23 example above, during World War Hulk, Hulk allows Wolverine to try pulling the same trick as Laura did, solely as a means to bring Logan close enough to kick his ass and put him out of the fight for good. Even with an indestructible skeleton and a healing factor, repeated concussions will still leave Wolverine too punch-drunk to fight back.
  • Moon Knight typically ignores blocking or dodging incoming attacks preferring to conserve the energy that would have went towards blocking and attempting to shatter his opponent's morale by giving the impression of being an Implacable Man.
  • In Uncanny Avengers, we see Deadpool face the Red Skull after the latter had taken control of his teammates and reveal he had been souvenir hunting at the old X-Men base, knowing that the Skull would summon the thrall best able to kill him ASAP and gambling that he could survive what Rogue dished out long enough to get Magneto's old telepathy-blocking helmet on her head. It worked.
  • Wonder Woman
    • Wonder Woman (1942): During her fight with Artemis' reanimated skeleton in issue 302, Diana purposefully lets Artemis get in a hit that knocks her down in order to kick the sword powering the reanimation out of Artemis' hands.
    • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: Diana lets Cheetah spear her in order to take the javelin for herself. She's not overly worried about the hole through her shoulder due to her impressive Healing Factor.

    Fan Works 
  • Villainous example in Natural Selection. Ryuko allows Satsuki to wound her with Bakuzan-Gako and Koryu to figure out how they are able to halt Life Fiber regeneration, quickly coming to the understanding that Satsuki needs to cut her from both sides in order to do permanent damage. She also uses this in the same fight by letting Satsuki impale her hands so she could disarm her of the blades.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: Double agent Jo Lupo stabs Riley Finn in the back in the lead-up to the final confrontation as arranged, thus demonstrating her loyalty to the Collective and making everyone overlook Finn, who is Left for Dead but saved by his Healing Factor.
  • Vow Of The King:
    • Tatsuki allows Ikakku to impale her with his zanpakuto so she can blast him point blank with her Breath Weapon.
    • Due to her healing factor, Unohana tends to let attacks hit her just so she can insure her own land.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The movie Excalibur has King Arthur himself doing this after getting speared by his bastard son Mordred, sliding on the spear and then giving Mordred what for with the titular sword. This is an inversion of the scene in Le Morte d'Arthur.
  • In 300, Captain does this during the final last stand after Leonidas wounds Xerxes. The Director's Commentary on the DVD edition suggests this may be a deliberate homage to Excalibur.
  • John McClane in Live Free or Die Hard: "You shot yourself through the shoulder!?" "It seemed like a good idea at the time."
  • In a villainous version, the Uruk-Hai leader in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is impaled on Aragorn's sword, and pulls himself up the blade to get up in his face and snarl. Aragorn promptly yanks the sword back out and lops off his head.
  • Osmosis Jones subverts this (the main character is a white blood cell and he splits his entire body to escape).
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, during the Jack v. Jones fight. Jones of course is immortal, so it wasn't much of an injury.
  • In Rob Roy, the Fragile Speedster Archie Cunningham has Rob at his mercy in a duel to the death. As Archie pauses to gloat, Rob grabs his sword, cutting his hand badly, but tying Archie up in the process. Rob uses the opportunity to hack Archie almost in two. Ironically, Rob had previously cut his own hand on an opponent's sword to avoid a fight.
  • Star Trek (2009) has something similar (allowing Kirk to get close enough to his Romulan attacker's disruptor to snag it), though surely the victim would rather have done without the prior strangling.
  • An extreme example from Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky. A member of the Quirky Miniboss Squad cuts open his stomach and then attempts to use his own intestines to strangle Ricky.
  • Done as a counter by the T-1000 in Terminator 2: Judgment Day — he gets punched through the face by the T-800, then morphs so that what was his head is now his hands gripping his opponent's wrist.
  • In Takashi Miike's 13 Assassins, Shinzaemon allows Lord Naritsugu to run him through with a katana, giving him the opportunity to do the same and ensuring a Mutual Kill. However, this was less a tactical gambit than a personal one; part of the reason Shinzaemon agreed to assassinate Naritsugu was to earn a warrior's death on the battlefield, and with everyone else standing between him and Naritsugu dead, it was becoming worryingly likely that Shinzaemon would actually survive his Suicide Mission.
  • In X-Men Film Series, due to his Healing Factor, Wolverine does this on occasion. In the first movie, he has to pierce his claws through his body to cut the restraints Magneto has him in.
  • In Lethal Weapon 2, Riggs uses his Chekhov's Skill of dislocating his shoulder to escape his bonds.
  • In the climax of Pompeii, gladiator Atticus uses this on Proculus. Atticus is disarmed and dealt a mortal wound from Proculus' sword, then snaps the sword off and uses the broken blade to shank Proculus in the neck.
    Atticus: "Let's see if a Roman can die equal to a gladiator...A gladiator does not beg!"
  • Simon uses an interesting variation at the end of the film The Double to kill James. After he realizes that he and his double share the same injuries, he first locks James in his old apartment and then jumps off a building in a way he knows won't kill him immediately, but will injure him badly enough that he'll bleed out to death if not brought to the hospital. He calls the ambulance for himself before he does it, so he knows he will survive, but James is left for dead.
  • Thorin uses this against Azog in The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies. Trapped in a Blade Lock, he lets Azog's stab through him and strike the ice below. This gets Azog's blade arm stuck, allowing Thorin to deal a lethal blow. Unfortunately, neither of the two survives afterwards.
  • In Next, Cris is a man with the ability to see into the immediate future. He knows none of his pickup lines will work on the woman he meets in a diner. Not even beating up her stalkerish ex-boyfriend gets him a good result. Thus, he allows the boyfriend to sucker-punch him.

  • In The Wheel of Time series, this is called "Sheathing the Sword" - you're not expected to survive it, but you get to take your enemy with you. Nonetheless, at least two main characters do it and survive over the course of the series.
  • In the Kate Daniels novel Magic Strikes, Kate realizes that the enemy is wielding a magic sword capable of destroying Kate and all her allies in a matter of seconds. So she deliberately impales herself on the sword and presses forward until the entire length of the blade is smeared with her blood. Then she invokes the magic of her blood to unmake the sword, saving the lives of her companions with her own sacrifice.
  • In Roger Zelazny's The Chronicles of Amber our hero finds himself in a sword fight with a demon of some sort. At length, he impales it. The demon laughs at him, says "I do not keep my heart where men do" and (now that his sword is stuck in its chest) nearly manages to kill him in the continued fight.
  • The Baroque Cycle has a character stabbed in the liver in a sword-fight. He grabs the sword and pushes it in deeper in a desperate attempt to keep his enemy from pulling it out and finishing him off.
  • In Sharpe's Gold, Richard Sharpe is fighting a superior swordsman, El Catolico, who is armed with a rapier. Sharpe is struggling to defend against the lightning-fast rapier with his rather clumsy heavy cavalry saber, so he allows El Catolico to stab him in the thigh. He traps the blade there and slays El Catolico. Every single one of his allies tells him during his convalescence what a stupid move it was.
  • A less destructive version is seen in Han Solo's Revenge: Han is facing the one man he's ever met who's a quicker draw than him, so avoids a duel by shocking both their right arms into useless paralysis; the gunman is forced to retreat because Han is ambidextrous.
  • In The Shadow of the Lion, an alternate history / fantasy set in Renaissance-era Venice, Marco wins a knife fight against a much better fighter by impaling his own left hand on the other man's knife, then striking the killing blow before the other man can free his knife. An observer of the fight had known about this gambit (and how to counter it) in theory, but the shock of seeing someone actually do it caused him to deeply respect the boy.
  • Honor Harrington's swordmaster notes that this is something she instinctively knows in a fight - she will take an opportunity to defeat her opponent even if it means injury or death to herself. He notes this after a match that by fencing rules he won since he touched first, but in a real duel, he would be dead while she would "only" be missing an arm (in a society with cybernetics and regeneration, this is less of a problem than it seems). This style is especially evident in her space battles, where on one occasion she turtled up and allowed the enemy to batter her ship just to lure it in close enough to use her grav lance on it.
  • In The Dresden Files novel Dead Beat, a villain does this to one of the heroes at the climax. The Corpsetaker, dueling Captain Luccio, allows Luccio to run its/her current body through, and then jumps ship to Luccio's body, leaving Luccio in her former body to bleed out. Fortunately, Harry is clued-in by the Corpsetaker acting differently in Luccio's body and kills it/her with a bullet to the back of the head, and the real Luccio, although trapped in the Corpsetaker's previous body, survives thanks to prompt medical attention.
    • Earlier in the same book, Harry chases a mind-controlling villain out of his head by putting all his weight on a ninja star embedded in his leg. The effect blinds the villain with pain, allowing Harry to break out of the spell.
  • Forest Kingdom: In the Hawk & Fisher spinoff series' book 6 (The Bones of Haven), the leader of an urban-fantasy Special Wizardry And Tactics team throws herself on the sword of a terrorist fanatic to give her squad the chance to take the man down. Doubles as a Moment Of Awesome, as she sneers in his shocked face and asks him: "You didn't think you were the only one willing to die for your beliefs, did you?"
  • Modesty Blaise uses this in the novel A Taste For Death. For various plot reasons, she engineers a fight with a sword master, and realises that the only way she can win is to trap his sword in the shoulder of her sword arm. At which point she drops her sword into the other hand and kills him, because she's just that good.
  • At the end of Mercedes Lackey's A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, the Big Bad Perenor runs elflord Terenil through with his sword... and Terenil pulls himself along the blade to get close enough to stab Perenor.
  • Older Than Print: In Le Morte d'Arthur, Arthur spears Mordred, who impales himself further to strike Arthur.
  • In Inheritance Cycle's last book, when Eragon is fighting Murtagh for the last time, he reads Murtagh's fighting and realizes Murtagh's fighting too fiercely for him to possibly overpower him. So, he tricks Murtagh into attacking him and pulls one of these.
  • In Pact, when the abstract demon, a creature of darkness that cannot exist in direct light, is fighting Blake Thorburn, it deliberately sacrifices a large portion of its body to ignite the fuel that he'd brought in with the intention of burning down its lair, which both renders Blake unable to effectively hurt it and creates smoke cover, allowing it to ensnare him.
  • In Twig, Sylvester is fond of this trope, most notably when he has his own bullet wound reopened so he can expose it to an pain-inducing bullet to get sympathy from his enemies.
  • In Craft Sequence novel Last First Snow an interesting variant is used. The novel focuses around a land-deal to renovate a slum area of town. The tenants of the area don't want to renovate because they believe the development will cause prices to raise and they'll be unable to live there. Eventually, they reach a negotiation with the Lich King Ruler and developer to add the additional protection the ruler/developer wanted, but without causing anyone to lose their home. The villain is shot deliberately immediately after the negotiation is complete. The additional protection is available but hadn't time to upgrade insurance. The resulting chaos of his getting shot will eventually lead to the destruction of the neighborhood, which he can then rebuild, getting around the negotiated terms.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Occurs in the Chuck episode "Chuck Versus the Subway", Chuck finds out that rogue traitor Daniel Shaw has downloaded The Ring Intersect after seeing him flash during a CIA meeting. He tries to reveal this to everyone at court by throwing a knife at him hoping Shaw will flash and catch it, a tactic Chuck's father used on Chuck in the previous episode. However, Shaw doesn't flash and allows the knife to stab him in the shoulder to "prove" Chuck crazy.
  • Doctor Who: In "Smith and Jones", the Doctor mimics a human and allows a plasmavore to drink his blood, nearly killing him. The plasmavore is trying to use his blood to disguise herself as a human; since the Doctor isn't human, her disguise fails and she is executed.
  • Mal does this on Firefly when he gets suckered into a fencing duel with a gentryman. Mal knows nothing about swordplay and fumbles about for a bit, before trapping his opponent's blade by allowing himself to be stabbed and then beating the crap out of the man.
  • Happens in The Flash (2014) episode "Lose Yourself". Iris West-Allen takes down Marlize, a far more skilled fighter, by allowing the latter to get close enough to stab her, and using their proximity to push her into the portal she'd first arrived through.
  • Heroes fourth episode sees Claire driving a car with the guy who tried to take advantage of her at a party the previous night. When he maliciously tells her nobody will believe her, she drives the car at full speed straight into a brick wall; she survives with hardly a scratch, but puts him into critical condition.
  • Used multiple times in Highlander, with one immortal impaling himself on his opponent's sword, in order to immobilize it, and get in close enough for a decapitation.
  • Col. Flagg used to do this a lot on M*A*S*H. In his first appearance, he broke his own arm so he could be brought to the 4077th, then broke his arm again so he could remain there.
  • In Murder, She Wrote episode "No Laughing Murder", the attack on Murray turns out to have been one of these. He couldn't stand the idea of Corrie marrying Kip and hoped to drive a wedge between her and her future in-laws by framing Mack for a murder attempt. After a real murder, he wanted to confess, but he was afraid he'd lose his daughter over it.
  • Happens in The Pinkertons episode "The Play's the Thing". The murderer, using a small tree trunk with a knife stuck between the branches, stabs himself in the shoulder so he can pose as a victim and throw suspicion off himself. This works until Kate and William discover the tree/knife setup inside his tent.
  • Super Sentai and Power Rangers:
    • In Samurai Sentai Shinkenger, Takeru allows his rival to stab him so he can get in a (seemingly) fatal hit. During the finale, the team allows the Big Bad to impale Shinken-Oh, leaving him open to a finishing slash from the Mecha.
    • This made it into Power Rangers Samurai, though without the gruesome sound-effects or blood.
    • In Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger, during the climactic battle between Gokai Red and his arch-nemesis Basco, Red stomps on Basco's foot before stabbing Basco's sword through both of their feet, just to keep Basco from using his Super Speed. This sets him up to shoot Basco at point-blank range.
  • In Torchwood, Jack Harkness sometimes uses his ability to come back from the dead to get one over on his opponents.
  • Ziva allows a foreign operative to beat the crap out of her for a few minutes in one episode of NCIS. Once the other woman gains enough confidence to reveal her plan, Ziva laughs and dispatches her easily.
  • On Warehouse 13, Artie goads MacPherson, who is holding a samurai sword, into stabbing him in the chest, and then holds on to it so that MacPherson will have to run and abandon the sword, a valuable Artifact. He survives but is injured for several episodes.
  • In one episode of The Wild Wild West, Artemus Gordon provokes a fight and subsequently allows himself to get rather brutally beaten, all with the object of ending up on the ground at his opponent's feet so he can steal said opponent's boot knife.

    Mythology and Religion 
  • This is how the Aztec god Tezcatlipoca lost a foot. He and his archenemy/brother Quetzalcoatl were trying to make a new world after the fourth apocalypse, they came across the little snag that all the land was on the bottom of the ocean on the back of a monster called Cipactli. Tezcatlipoca dangled his foot in the water as bait, and while he would probably have preferred not to lose it in the process, it did get Cipactli where the two of them could strangle it.
  • This is how the Norse monster Fenrir was tied up. The wolf grew wise to the attempts of the gods to tie him up and refused to let the gods try it for a third time. Therefore, the war god Tyr placed his hand into Fenrir's mouth, saying that the wolf could bite it off if the gods did not untie the wolf after a while. They didn't, and so Fenrir bit Tyr's hand off. Tyr had anticipated this, and it didn't seem to bother him.

    Standup Comedy 

    Tabletop Games 
  • Common in Warhammer 40,000 in the cases of Tyranids, Orks, and Space Marines.
    • With Space Marines it is partly because they have two hearts and three lungs, and three kidneys too. Tyranids do it because they are disposable drones while Orks have decent regenerative abilities and live to fight.
  • Jace Beleren from Magic: The Gathering does this distressingly often. Only, as a telepath, he is taking the injury with his mind instead of his body. He defeated his Evil Mentor (a giant Sphinx) into going deep into Jace's mind to rearrange the furniture, but Jace effectively burned down the house around him. Jace forgot his mother's face, the sound of his own name, and where he was born, while the Sphinx forgot how to breathe.

    Video Games 
  • In 16 Ways to Kill a Vampire at McDonalds, this strategy is essential for one of the endings. However, if you don't set it up in just the right way, Lucy will lose all of her blood and die instead.
  • A variation occurs in Tomb Raider (2013): Lara escapes her very first predicament by setting the sack she's tied up in on fire.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Raiden impales Vamp with his sword, driving it through his own gut.
    • Throwing the trope right back, Vamp drives the sword in even deeper and twists it (now through both of them) to increase the internal damage.
  • Final Fantasy VII. Cloud vs. Sephiroth. Rather than intentional, though, Cloud attacks Sephiroth, is overpowered, and stabbed. Only then does he actually turn it to his advantage.
    • Limit Breaks in Final Fantasy tend to be based on damage received for the most part. Thus you may be inclined to allow your characters to get hurt to satisfy the Limit Break requirement.
  • Final Fantasy X: The power of the Masamune, Auron's Celestial Weapon, is dependent on Auron's health. The lower his HP, the stronger the weapon.
    • The Overdrive modes Stoic, Comrade, Daredevil, Loner, Victim, and Sufferer fill the Overdrive bar based on suffering some sort of injury or ailment.
  • Yoshimitsu of the SoulCalibur series of 3D fighters has a number of "seppuku" moves, where he stabs himself in the gut, and hopefully his opponent. The moves are very short range and do the same damage to Yoshimitsu that they do to his opponent, but have very high damage and are unblockable. Similarly, his descendant in the Tekken series can pull off the same maneuver. What's more, Yoshimitsu is about the only character who has healing moves.
  • Done (unintentionally) by Travis in the 1st rank battle of No More Heroes: Jeane plunges her hand into Travis' chest in order to crush his heart, which leaves her vulnerable to Shinobu's Big Damn Heroes moment.
  • In the opening cinematic for the first Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi, Piccolo lets Cell punch him in the stomach so that he can grab Cell's arms and hold him in place while Gohan fires a Kamehameha at him.
  • In one section of Knights of the Old Republic, a secondary character of the player's choosing must avoid capture and free the player character and the rest of the party. If Canderous Ordo volunteers, he severely injures himself with a plasma grenade — knowing his special healing implant will revive him once the Mooks have left him for dead.
  • In Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance and Fire Emblem: Radiant Dawn, there are the skills Wrath, which boosts critical hits, and Resolve, increasing by half speed, skill and strength. Both only work when the one using them lost at least half his HP. Guess some players order their soldiers to pull these off for devastating effect on the battlefield.
  • You can do this in Team Fortress 2 as the Soldier. Upon release, the Equalizer was a weapon that increases your speed and attack power when held and your HP is low. At 1 hp, you go nearly as fast as a Scout and can almost 1 hit kill the lighter classes. People lower their health in two ways: either Rocket Jump into the low 20s, or just throw yourself in an all-out attack. The enemy will most likely get a few shots in when you can whip out the Equilizer and smack em about while they reload.
    • That's now a relic of the past. Currently, its effects have been split up into two different weapons: the Equalizer (attack power) and the Escape Plan (increased speed).
  • Fallout 3 has the "Nerd Rage" perk that maximizes your Strength and raises your Damage Resistance by 50% when your health drops into the critical range. This can be useful if you're playing a character trained in close combat, however what you'll end up most commonly using the perk for is increasing your carrying capacity. This means you'll be spending a lot of time preventing your health from being restored outside critical and Critically Encumbering yourself, hoping to eventually lighten the load (stashing your stuff, merging items via repair or crafting, using up explosives, or eating foods that raise your health and undo the Nerd Rage that allowed you to carry it in the first place).
  • Bastion has Werewhiskey, a Critical Status Buff that gives you guaranteed critical hits as long as you're below 33% health. With how absurdly overpowered this is, a valid strategy is to deliberately get damaged until the buff kicks in, then charge through the level one-shotting everything.
  • Runescape has Dharok's Greataxe, which does incredible amounts of damage if a player has low health and is wearing the full set of armor. If you see a player using the axe and "red-barring," stay the hell away from him!
  • Super Smash Bros. Brawl: Lucario's aura mechanic causes his attack strength to grow more powerful the more damage he takes.
    • As of the following games on the Wii U and 3DS, every fighter avails of a variant of this in the rage mechanic, which boosts damage and knockback output proportional to damage sustained by fighters. Lucario, in particular, retains his aforementioned aura mechanic on top of this, meaning that many Lucario players will count on taking damage from their opponents to empower their attacks.
  • Every game in the Dark Souls series features the Red Tearstone Ring, which basically invokes this by giving players who have it equipped a significant damage buff while they are at low health. Dark Souls 3 takes this to the logical extreme by adding the Morion Blade, a straight sword that has the same effect and stacks multiplicatively with both another copy of itself and the Red Tearstone Ring.
  • Dark Souls II has an optional Dual Boss fight against two of the game's Recurring Boss, the Pursuer. Optional Pursuer encounters have a built-in Anti-Frustration Feature where if you leave the room, the Pursuer will go away until you die or rest at a bonfire. A valid strategy for the double encounter is to allow one of them to do his very damaging sword-impalement grab attack on you, which for some reason counts as "leaving the room" to the other Pursuer, leaving you to deal with just one. After killing him, you can go rest at a bonfire and come back for the other one.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog:
    • In the classic games, a number of bosses can be defeated more quickly by getting hit, recovering at least one of the spilled rings, and taking advantage of the remaining Mercy Invincibility to get hits on the boss, bypassing their defenses. For example, the first mini-bosses in Sonic Mania will sometimes glow red making them dangerous to touch, but can still be hit for damage using this tactic.
    • Also in Sonic Mania, reaching each multiple of 100 rings awards a 1-up, which resets whenever rings are spilled. The Hyper Ring power-up makes it much easier to reclaim rings the next time they're spilled. By collecting over 100 rings and then spilling them with the Hyper Ring active, it's possible to earn additional 1-ups.
  • In Dragon Ball Xenoverse and Dragon Ball Xenoverse 2, you can replicate Ginyu's example above by using Holstein Shock to damage yourself before Body Changing either as him or a custom character with his abilities in their loadout. As it damages the user, it can also be used to trigger certain Z-Souls in Xenoverse or Super Souls in Xenoverse 2 that activate at a certain amount of health, or to use Last Emperor.
  • As a Mythology Gag, Ginyu can use additional input to damage himself while charging Body Change in Dragon Ball FighterZ.
  • In Super Metroid, Draygon can be easily defeated by blowing up one of the turrets lining the walls of his boss room, letting him grab Samus, and then struggling in his grasp until he's within Grapple Beam range of those sparking, wrecked turrets. The resulting current will hurt Samus, but flash-fries Draygon in seconds.
  • In the Pokémon games, we have the attacks Revenge and Avalanche that double in power if the target has damaged the user before.

    Web Animation 
  • The Chimney Chickens episode "Date Envy" has a variation where the injury is to cars, but thankfully not characters. Blaze, driving Buzz's car, deliberately crashes it into a girl's car to manufacture an excuse to get her phone number.
  • In DEATH BATTLE!, some of the more daring combatants pull this off in order to get an advantage over their opponent or catch them off guard:
    • Guts vs. Nightmare. Guts is known to do this in canon, and in the fight itself, he lets his face get cut by Nightmare so he can shoot the demon point-blank with his Arm Cannon, and later on leaps through a wall of flames to perform a surprise attack on Night Terror, slicing off Night Terror's sword arm followed by splitting Night Terror's head in two.
    • Lucario vs. Renamon: Lucario runs right through Renamon's Diamond Storm to attack her, sustaining great damage from several shards in the process. It catches Renamon off guard and allow him to finish her off with a Bone Rush.
    • Dragonzord vs. Mechagodzilla ends on one of these: The Dragonzord has impaled Mechagodzilla on its spear, making it look like the match will go to Tommy. Then Mechagodzilla pulls the spear even further in and starts charging the Absolute Zero Cannon. Tommy doesn't dodge in time, and both he and the Dragonzord are completely frozen on a molecular level by the blast and shattered into nothingness by Mechagodzilla's roar.
  • In RWBY, this is used in the end of Fall. From Yang's viewpoint, Mercury was jumping at her to kick her after she defeated him in a match, and so she turned around and countered it. However, a look at the cameras reveals it was an illusion and it really looked like Yang blasted him in the knee unprovoked. This results in Yang being arrested while the crowd boos and her teammates look on in bewildered horror. Though somewhat subverted since Mercury has prosthetic legs that could take the hit.
  • The Thwomps: After almost getting killed, Thwomp 1's last wish is The timewarp.

  • Von Pinn in Girl Genius traps Bangladesh's sword by impaling her hand on it here.
  • In Shadownova, when Fury is blinded by a flashbang Jacob decides to punch him as he escapes, which only results in Fury calculating where he is from the punch and stabbing him.
  • Jordi in Cuanta Vida protects himself from a backstab and disarms the red spy by impaling his own hand on the knife.

    Web Original 
  • Sociopathic Hero Belphanior from The Adventuresis quite prone to that tactic, thanks for his Evil Weapon which eats souls of slain enemies and heals wounds of wielder at the same time.
  • In Whateley Universe, Phase pulls this on Chaka while sparring, since Phase can change the density of parts of her body. The weapon goes right through her intangible chest to nail Chaka. Lancer lampshades this immediately afterward.
    • Generator broke Ironhawk's hostage-taking ploy - and concentration - by intentionally stabbing herself onto the knife he was holding against her. This approach works best when you have a Healing Factor, needless to say.
    • Murphy often combines this with Death from Above and/or Teleport Spam attacks; again, high regen is a key part of this for her.
  • Penny Arcade Dungeons And Dragons Podcast: Binwin falls victim to this several times, surrounding himself with enemies so Jim can unleash a fireball on the lot of them.
  • The Spoony Experiment: Spoony, in his Highlander 2 commentary, wonders why no immortal ever does this in any of the movies or any episode of the tv show. After all, the only blows an immortal cares about are any blows to the head, so an immortal could theoretically take a crippling attack to the gut and then take his opponent's head.
  • This has happened at least once in Shack Tactical videos, where script-triggered injuries could not be healed, meaning that players had to be shot in order to heal them. Due to the absurdity, Hilarity often Ensued.
  • Dragonball Z Abridged: In the Lord Slug movie, Piccolo rips his own ears off when capture by Lord Slug. Then he yells at Gohan to start whistling, which apparently is hideous torture for Namekians.

    Western Animation 
  • Heroic ninja Snake Eyes pulls one off in his duel against rival ninja Storm Shadow in G.I. Joe: Resolute: pinned down and about to be struck down, he allows his enemy's katana to pierce through his left palm, redirecting the blow to hit the ground rather than his head. He then uses his right hand to break the sword in a Moment of Awesome.
  • Popeye and Bluto were known to have tried to deliberately hurt themselves so they can get close to Olive Oyl, who in both cases was working as a hospital nurse. In each case, Popeye force-feeds his spinach to Bluto so he can beat Popeye senseless.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: When the Gungans find themselves in battle against Grievous in "Shadow Warrior", Tarpals winds up getting stabbed by him. Grievous mocks him, but then Tarpals reveals that he did it deliberately. Grievous got a shock staff to the gut and the Gungans actually captured him. Unfortunately, due to the series' Foregone Conclusions, it winds up being a Senseless Sacrifice.
  • Steven Universe: In "The Zoo", Steven and his dad Greg are trying to escape from the titular People Zoo. After hearing a story from two of the residents that a Gem once came into the Zoo because someone got hurt, Greg agrees to take one for the team, but it doesn't work. However, Steven and Greg later find out after disrupting "The Choosening" that hurting the Zoomans' feelings does.

    Real Life 
  • American President Andrew Jackson famously performed this trope in a duel. He wanted to kill his adversary so much that he deliberately waited until after his opponent had fired (and hit him) so that he could take his time and aim for a killshot; combatants only loaded one bullet per round. It worked, and he survived.
  • This occasionally appears in self-defense courses which recommend such tactics as redirecting the knife into your shoulder to get rid of the weapon. For obvious reasons, this is a bad move unless you know what you are doing, are very desperate, and really, really have no better options.
  • There is an old fencing tactic for dueling with smallswords where you allow your left palm to be impaled by the enemy sword, thus preventing the enemy from parrying your deadly blow. You need to be pretty desperate to try this though, and there is a better alternative where you have a piece of fabric (cloak, piece of linen, etc.) hanging from your arm, and you let the enemy pierce that instead.
  • This trope is why boar-spears have crosspieces: they prevent an impaled boar from running up the spear to gore the hunter.
  • There is a legend that the Russian Warrior Monk Alexander Peresvet killed the Tatar warrior Chelubey that way. Chelubey's lance was longer than anyone else's, so when jousting, no man could even strike him before being knocked out of the saddle. Peresvet removed his armor, allowing him to remain sitting despite the strike. Both were lethally impaled, but Peresvet managed to return to the Russian camp before dying.

Alternative Title(s): I Have Two Kidneys


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