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Got the Whole World in My Hand

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Too subtle?

Wondering how villainous a character is? Sometimes you have to wait for them to kick some canines, but sometimes you can tell right off the bat when they stamp themselves with a logo that displays their contempt for humanity by either depicting the Earth (or any other beloved symbol of the free world) being squeezed, seized, nabbed, grabbed or suffering any other kind of torment. Sometimes, they end up doing this literally (usually with a globe). If the latter, you can sometimes expect them to play with the planet/globe as if it were a toy in order to hint that the villainous character is a Psychopathic Manchild.

Take Over the World commonly employs this image. At least they didn't decide to blow it up.

See also Earth-Shattering Poster.

The Trope Namer is a Christian children's song called "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands", referring to God. As such this trope may be used as a subtrope of Rule of Symbolism. What better way to show that you ARE God than to instantly grow to ginormous size and just grab the Earth like a marble out of a bag?


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    Anime and Manga 
  • One picture of Friend from 20th Century Boys has the world floating in front of his outstretched hands.
  • Aquarion Logos uses a rare heroic example at the end of the first half: when the Disc-One Final Boss, the animated concept of Nothingness, starts devouring all other concepts, Akira quickly grabs hold of the concept of "The World" to keep it from being erased.
  • Kokopelli in Bokurano's opening theme song.
  • Death Note: Light Yagami, 'God of the New World'.
  • At one point in the Frieza Saga of Dragon Ball, when Vegeta's life flashes before his eyes while dying from Frieza's blast, one of the images has Frieza "holding" Planet Vegeta as if it were a beach ball while cackling.
  • One of the volume covers of The Lucifer and Biscuit Hammer has Samidare eating the planet with a spoon.
  • Inverted in Puella Magi Madoka Magica. The DVD case for the third disc shows Madoka with one hand on either side of the globe. In this case, it represents that a divine Hope Bringer is watching over the people below.
  • Sengoku Basara's second anime opening has a gigantic Toyotomi Hideyoshi lifting Japan out of the sea with a single hand.
  • Kokage Kuga from Sketchbook says at one point that a terrestrial globe makes her think of this trope. It's so easy to grab.
  • Saiou in Yu-Gi-Oh! GX has a shot of him doing this.

  • Raphael Sanzio:
    • In The School of Athens, Ptolemy and Zoroaster are holding globes of the heavens and the Earth to demonstrate their mastery over the science of astronomy.
    • God, as depicted in Disputation of the Holy Sacrament, casually holds the planet in his left hand as he towers over the throne of Heaven.

    Comic Books 
  • One of the Silver Age Justice League/Justice Society team-ups had all of them trying to find the Seven Soldiers of Victory — who had the know-how to stop a giant nebular hand from literally crushing Earth-Two.
  • X-Men
    • One cover shows Apocalypse crushing a model of the Earth.
    • One story arc involved a Yakuza group whose symbol, a disc surrounded and partly overlapped by four triangles, was said to represent the world held in the claws of a dragon.
  • The Superman Revenge Squad's first appearance depicts stabbing knives into the Superman logo.
  • Hyperion holding his arm up to shield his eyes from the sun as he viewed Earth after flying into orbit as a boy (and in so doing inadvertently "grasping" the earth in his hand) proved to be one of the major formative experiences of his childhood in Supreme Power
  • Monarch's flag in Countdown.
  • Pep Comics #27 features a hand brandishing two rings, one with the Nazi Swastika and the other with the Japanese Sun Emblem punching a hole through the Bill Of Rights!
  • Captain America Comics #1 shows us The Red Skull crushing an American airplane with his bare hands!
  • This "Ten of A Kind" countdown.
  • Multicorp from Brute Force. As Linkara put it "they're either giving the world a hug or saying we've got the world, don't screw with us!"
  • The Spectre has done this on multiple occasions, both in literal and figurative senses. However, he's an odd heroic example of the trope, shown to be protecting Earth rather than dominating it.
  • In All-Star Superman, one of the covers shows Supes himself holding (well, it's sorta floating there) the Earth. Benign example though, as he is fondly observing it.
  • In The Authority, Kaizen Gamorra attempts to carve the mark of Clan Gamorra (a circle with three knots) into the earth itself by destroying Moscow, London and Los Angeles.

    Films — Animated 
  • In The Incredibles, Mr. Incredible works at Insuricare, an insurance company after Supers are banned. Its logo is a giant hand hovering over the globe. Moreover, its slogan is "your life is in our hands".

    Films — Live-Action 

  • A variation appears in Artemis Fowl: The Time Paradox: The Extinctionists' logo features a big, muscular arm surrounding the globe rather than a hand, representing the fact that humans are the dominant species on earth and, in their view, any animal that doesn't serve a useful purpose to humans deserves extinction.
  • The Micromégas implies there are creatures in the universe capable of doing that literally.
  • L. Ron Hubbard's Mission Earth series features a hand with a spiked bracelet grasping a globe of Earth for the cover art of its first volume. In a case of Book Ends, the same imagery appears in the background on the cover of the last book, except this time the statue is cracked and crumbling. While this might imply that Earth is in grave peril, it would be more accurate to interpret it as indicating that the staggeringly-incompetent villains' dreams of planetary conquest are in shambles.
  • Soon I Will Be Invincible: Dr. Impossible's fortress includes a statue of himself holding the world underfoot.
  • The cover of Supervillains and Philosophy.
  • Hayven Celestia: The logo for Planetary Acquisitions is a giant Krakun talon grasping a planet. Appropriate for the Krakun Empire's primary space exploration and slave acquisition corporation.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In Get Smart the KAOS crest is a vulture perched atop the world
  • The Forrester Family Crest (pictured above) in Mystery Science Theater 3000 depicts a hand squeezing the Earth.
    • In the intro to Season 8 and 9, Pearl is stuffing a balloon Earth into her purse, and Season 10, squeezing a foam Earth in the same manner as the crest.
  • The Crest for the Terran Empire in Star Trek: The Original Series episode "Mirror, Mirror" depicts a knife through the Earth.
  • On Falling Skies, when Jimmy is being attacked by the Skitter in the school, he throws a globe at the Skitter's head. The Skitter catches it, in a semblance of this trope, examines it momentarily... then crushes it and tosses it aside.



    Professional Wrestling 
  • In early 2014, the The Wyatt Family (a heel stable in the WWE) began using the song "He's Got the Whole World In His Hands" during their feud with John Cena to accentuate the Wyatt stable characters' gimmicks as a psychopathic cult leader intending to rule the WWE by fear and brute force. Multiple times, Wyatt Family leader Bray Wyatt would begin singing the lyrics to the spiritual in an evil manner; other times, a children's chorus – all dressed in brown cloaks and wearing lamb masks – was brought out to sing the song, in an attempt to intimidate Cena before his matches against Wyatt.

    Tabletop Games 

    Video Games 
  • Agent Under Fire: When James Bond infiltrates the lair of suspected villain Adrian Malprave, he is greeted by a massive stained glass window depicting her holding the Earth in her hand.
  • In Asura's Wrath Asura's gigantic final form, Asura the Destructor, is said to be so big he can wrap his arms around the entire planet earth with ease.
  • The cover image of Choice of Games' The Fleet shows a giant scaled hand clutching a blue world.
  • In the Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series, the Brotherhood of Nod's infantry-producing building is the Hand of Nod, which incorporates this imagery into its architecture in some way. It has an upright hand holding a globe in most games, though in Tiberian Sun the whole building is shaped like a hand resting on its fingers, making it grasping the Earth in a literal sense.
    • In Renegade, the symbol of the Black Hand, the elite corps of the Brotherhood, is you guessed it, a black hand tightly grasping a red-tinted planet Earth.
  • The cover art for Def Jam: Fight For NY depicts a hooded man with New York skyscrapers in his hands.
  • A hand grabbing the Earth is shown in Deus Ex as the symbol of Majestic Twelve. It features prominently in the introduction cinematic. In Deus Ex: Human Revolution, a statue of this symbol is displayed in the basement of the Picus building, with one employee email saying that it looks like "something out of a Bond movie."
  • In Evil Genius 2, all of the victory cutscenes for the various Diabolical Masterminds ends with them grasping a globe and cackling maniacally. The appearance of the globe varies depending on which Evil Genius you're playing.
  • In Hades, Chaos's character portrait shows them holding the Earth not even in their hand, but between the tips of their fingers like a marble. However, Chaos isn't evil at all; rather, this symbolizes their role as the progenitor of all existence.
  • The Combine's insignia in Half-Life 2 vaguely resembles an Alien claw clamped around the world.
  • In Last Alert, the evil syndicate ruling over the world has an insignia of this sort - a skeleton with a barbed-wire "crown of thorns" clutching the planet.
    slowbeef: Jesus' skeleton is crushing the Earth!
  • Played for laughs in LEGO Batman, as when it's revealed that Brainiac's goal is to shrink the Earth and add it to his collection, The Joker starts talking and eventually singing a song about how cool it would be to have the whole world in his pants.
  • For his victory pose in Marvel vs. Capcom 3, Dormammu creates a small model of Earth from thin air, and then crushes it in his hand before laughing.
  • Massmouth 2: In one of the endings, the protagonist, having gained immense power and ambitions of conquest, is shown grabbing the entire galaxy.
  • In Mega Man X8, shortly after Lumine is revealed to be The Man Behind the Man to Sigma and his first form is defeated, Lumine, during his Motive Rant, will reach up to the Earth and then close his fist, implying that he plans to grind the old world into dust.
  • A nice example is the Might and Magic series, where it is a logo for the Kreegan... that does not actually appear as their symbol in-game. It is also a RL logo of NWC.
  • In Persona 3 and Persona 4: Arena, Akihiko Sanada's Persona Caesar invokes this motif: it carries a broadsword in one hand and a model of the Earth in the other. Unlike most examples, though, Akihiko is never depicted as anything other than unambiguously heroic, if obsessed with becoming the best he can at what he does. "The Man who Lusts for Power," indeed.
  • Star Control 2 had a poster with two different hands grasping Earth as if fighting over it.
  • Andross does this on the Game Over screen in Star Fox.
  • Star Wars: Galaxies has a painting, "Portrait of the Emperor" that is unlockable by attending the 2006 SWG Fan Fest. The painting in question depicts Emperor Palpatine smiling evilly as he is holding in his left hand two planets and a moon, with one of the planets, an orange one, being blasted with force lightning being discharged with his index finger.
  • The symbol for the Authoritarian ethics from Stellaris is a hand grabbing the "habitable world" icon.
  • Strider:
    • After starting up the original Strider (Arcade), you're presented with this artwork of the Grandmaster scrolling upwards while holding the Earth in his hands and laughing evilly. This image became representative of him, and has been recreated in some of his later cameo appearances (like his card in Ultimate Marvel vs. Capcom 3.
    • From the 2014 version, in Juroung's introduction cutscene, he's seen creating a small Earth made out of water in his palm and then crushing it. This was possibly a nod to the intro above.
  • In Tokimeki Memorial 2 Music Video Clips: Circus de Aimashou, Mei Ijuin does the "world floating in front of her outstretched arms" variant in a sequence of her Music Video Clip.
  • There's a piece of promotional art for Warcraft III featuring Legionlord Archimonde grasping a world in his hands. One of the Warcraft RPG books by White Wolf has a picture of Sargeras (Archimonde's boss) doing the same.
  • The best example of this ever is in Wild ARMs, specifically, the 3rd game; the Big Bad has an attack called "Nightmare" wherein she is shown as this gigantic being that can literally palm the planet in one hand. Does this attack do massive damage? Cause all status effects? Lower your MP? No. It causes you to fall asleep. Which you are probably immune to at this point in the game. Wonderful!

    Web Originals 

    Western Animation 
  • Parodied in League of Super Evil where the intro has the classic villain shot of Voltar laughing evilly as he's staring at Earth below him, only for a boom mic to ruin the shot and it's revealed that he's actually laughing at a globe.
  • Phineas and Ferb episode "Chez Platypus": Dr. Doofenshmirtz pops an Earth-Patterned Balloon while on his "evil" date.
  • The Simpsons: In one episode, Homer wears a shirt that depicts Uncle Sam holding the globe in both hands and taking a large bite out of it, with the motto, "Try and stop us."
  • The opening to Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? shows our heroes picking up puzzle pieces left behind by the title thief; when put together, they form a 3D handheld model of a globe...which Carmen ends up holding in her hand during the opening's final scene.
  • The logo for Transformers: Armada's "Unicron Battles" arc has the titular villain cradling Cybertron. Granted, it's less effective here because Unicron is slightly smaller than Cybertron, but still.
  • Taken literally in one of the Superfriends shorts. An alien being named Colossus is a giant who looks like a Viking — a Viking who's taller than the planet Jupiter. He picks up the Earth between thumb and forefinger, and puts it in a bottle as a souvenir. (Apache Chief has to defeat Colossus by saying "Inekchok" over and over until he grows to be the same size, then wrestling with him. While thus distracted, Superman lifts the Earth out of the bottle and puts it back in its proper orbit.)
  • At one point in Scooby-Doo in Arabian Nights, Haman literally has the whole world in his hand.
  • Justice League: When the League ends up in a dictatorial Earth in "The Savage Time", one of the things that's immediately different — besides big posters about the LEADER and stormtroopers asking for papers — is how the Daily Planet newspaper headquarters has gone from having a rotating globe at the top to a big hand holding the globe.

    Real Life 


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Grasp The Earth


Hynkel's Globe Ballet

Adenoid Hynkel dreams of ruling the world while doing a ballet with a globe beach ball. Until it sadly ends.

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