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Detachable Lower Half

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This person is putting his abilities to good use.

In real life, people can survive bifurcation, but the lower body can't survive because the nerves are no longer being connected to the brain and it lacks a source of oxygenated blood, therefore victims need either prosthetics on the lower body area or have to use a wheelchair for mobility. In fiction, on the other hand, people can survive without a lower body and the lower body survives without being attached to the back nerves and blood vessels: not only that, but they can also reunite both halves and become whole again. Unlike Losing Your Head regrowing it never happens. Sometimes used as a superpower, and rarely uses psychic powers to control it. Usually used as an ability.

It is usually justified for robots, because they either have a power source that keeps the lower body and upper body to keep going even when separated from the hip, or might have a normal core processor (which is the most common case). The Undead may also exhibit this ability to have the upper body and lower body apart.

See: Helping Hands, Detachment Combat.

Related: Appendage Assimilation, Half the Man He Used to Be, Having a Heart, Pulling Themselves Together, Saw a Woman in Half, and Who Needs Their Whole Body?.


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    Anime and Manga 
  • Subverted in Naruto with Suigetsu in the anime-only expansion of Chapter 347 called "Zebuza's Blade".
  • Den, the leader of Barjack from Battle Angel Alita, is... well, not a cyborg, but a separate personality of another character who operates a drone body via radio waves; he maintains two different lower bodies, a humanoid one and a horse-like one, which makes him resemble a centaur when he uses it. It's a bit of a mystery why, since he's about twelve stories tall and attaching the two halves of his body is a big operation.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Majin Buu gets bisected by Goku. He's not slowed down by it at all since he's made of what is basically bubblegum and can regenerate, so Buu pulls himself together quickly. And uses his separated legs to knock out Tien.
  • In One Piece, Luffy and crew encounter the living lower half of a samurai on the island of Punk Hazard. They later find the rest of the samurai, scattered across the island. Inflicting this fate on foes is revealed to be one of Trafalgar Law’s special abilities.

    Comic Books 
  • Robin (1993): Tapeworm can leave behind part or all of the flat segmented tail he has in place of legs and just regrow it.
  • Ultimate Wolverine Vs. Hulk: Wolverine's upper and lower halves become separated when he fights the green giant.

    Comic Strips 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Happen in the Not Safe for Work C-Budgeted movie Erotic Ghost Story 2. In the climax of the movie, where two demons are having a threesome with a woman, which is at first a Foreshadowing of what happens a few minutes after where she REALLY gets split in half by the Big Bad male demon called Wu Tung. And like the foreshadowing, both halves are still alive. She pleads for her lower half back, because of her no longer feeling arousal, due to both halves being no longer attached. Once Wu Tung notices another girl who was watching and is out to stop him, he stops and tells the girl in half to put herself back together.
  • Inspector Gadget 2: One of G2's own gadgets is splitting herself in half, so her legs and torso can work as separate combatants.
  • Like a Matryoshka Object all but the smallest of the Polichinelles from The Nutcracker and the Four Realms are able to split themselves in half to store their smaller members inside themselves, This is later used as a plot point as the largest of them ends up storing Mother Ginger inside itself to escape the the soldier army.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Happens to Amanda in episode 39 of The Amanda Show, where her lower half runs away from her offscreen because "It doesn't like the pants". Her upper half stays floating and completely oblivious of what happened until one of the audience members points it out to her. She then asks for someone to find her lower half. One of the employees walks over to her with her lower half, as she explains to why it left and has both halves taped back together.
  • Played with in Scrubs with the running theme of the detachable head.
  • In the Red Dwarf episode "Queeg", Rimmer starts suffering glitches after a meteor collision damages the hologram projection suite. The first symptom is when the top half of his body finds itself hovering in mid-air, while his legs have walked off on their own.
  • Clearly happens to Miguel in an episode of Passions as a result of Kay botching up a spell.

  • The stop-motion video for the song "Prison Sex" by tool depicts a doll placed in time-out. To keep the doll from running off, its legs have been detached and hung up out of reach and are seen still twitching.

    Myths & Religion 
  • Philippine Mythology: Manananggals are vampires with this ability. The upper half detaches at night and flies away to feed (a favorite treat is using its long tongue to feast on fetuses); if it does not rejoin the lower half by daybreak, the manananggal dies. The best way to prevent the manananggal from becoming whole is to sprinkle either salt or garlic on the lower half which remains stationary during its nightly sortie.

  • This was the gimmick of the Duocon figures from The Transformers G1's 1987 toyline. Each one was a robot that was made up of two vehicles- Battletrap had a helicopter for his upper body and arms and an SUV for his lower body and legs, while Flywheels had a jet and a tank, respectively. Transforming the robots involved splitting their bodies in half, then folding them into the vehicles (this was easy due to both having very simple transformation mechanics with almost no articulation in either mode).

    Video Games 
  • The Muda Kingdom in Super Mario Land has robot enemies called Mekabons who throw their heads at Mario. Both halves can be Goomba Stomped separately.
  • Gimghamphatts from Onimusha 2: Samurai's Destiny does this during the last boss fight.
  • Metroid Prime: Hunters: The cyborg Weavel can do this, with his lower body functioning as a turret.
  • The Harvester from Dragon Age: Origins - Golems of Amgarrak is a massive boss who detaches the large lower part of its body when it goes One-Winged Angel.
  • In at least one of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles video games, Krang will attack this way. Justified in that it's an android body.
  • In the SNES classic Chrono Trigger, many of the bosses upper and lower halves that act independently of each other, and have different strengths and weaknesses. In many cases, killing one section leaves the other to keep fighting, but a few will fully die only when the primary section is taken out.
  • Sword Man of Mega Man 8 has his torso float independent of his legs. Dr. Wily built him that way when the ancient sword that he modified into Sword Man's Flame Sword proved too heavy to use without an anti-gravity device built into the upper half.
  • Ninja: Shadow of Darkness has skeleton mooks who breaks into half from the waist after receiving enough hits, but surprise surprise, both halves can continue attacking your hero independently. The lower half being a flailing pair of skeletal legs is as hilarious as it sounds.

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • Commander Hoek and Lieutenant Stimpy have this happen in the episode "Black Hole" of Ren & Stimpy.
  • In the Star Trek: The Animated Series episode "Bem", the titular alien (Ari bn Bem) can detach parts of his body, including his head and lower torso. Justified by Bem being a colony creature, meaning he is made up of several separate organisms that share a single collective sentience.
  • Megabyte from ReBoot does this on occasion, usually to sit in his Cool Chair.
  • In Phantom 2040, Hubert Graft detaches his lower half from his everyday legs to an attack droid. It is quite clear from his reaction that doing this is quite painful for him.
  • Rushu from Wakfu can do this. And ironically can travel much faster because of it.
  • Tends to happen in Tex Avery MGM Cartoons.
  • LEGO Star Wars: The Yoda Chronicles has this as a Running Gag with Darth Maul. He is knocked off of his robot lower body and runs around chasing it or the legs run around on in the background.
  • In Dayo: Sa Mundo ng Elementalia (known in the English Dub as "Niko: Journey to Magika"), Anna and the Manananggals - like their mythological equivalents - can split their bodies in half at the waist, which allows them to reveal their wings to fly, although they must rejoin their body halves together again before sunrise or it will kill them. Oddly enough, this only applies when they're in the human realm - in their home realm of Elementalia/Magika, they can survive in sunlight and can use their wings without splitting in half.


Video Example(s):


Vroon Gets Blown Away

The recoil on the Zenryoku Zenkai Cannon is seriously strong. So much so that Juran gets cold feet at the prospect of firing it and passes it to the much stronger Vroon. They hold him by his legs, forgetting that he has a Detachable Lower Half, resulting in the recoil sending his top half flying into the distance.

How well does it match the trope?

4.6 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / RecoiledAcrossTheRoom

Media sources: