It's not always played for comedy, but seeing someone get struck in the crotch is usually just plain funny. Whether the object doing the striking is an errant piece of sports equipment or a deliberately placed foot, the end result is going to be a grown man doubled over and trembling with pain. Bonus points if he then hobbles away and says something in a high-pitched voice. Not only will everyone find this hilarious, but tape it and play it back for the guy and even he will probably laugh. At least, once the swelling goes down. Sometimes a cause of Amusing Injuries, especially if the victim is asking for it. In shows targeted at children, it's often a Dangerous Forbidden Technique, or at least treated as one in-story (see 3 Ninjas and Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie). In Japanese media, the blow is often accompanied by the sound of a bell.
Effectively, this is a human's version of Attack Its Weak Point for massive damage. A subversion of this is Balls of Steel, where a character for whatever reason does not take damage from a Groin Attack (or at least doesn't take extra damage).
Note that in real-life situations, this kind of attack can often be far less effective than fiction will usually present it. In a real fight, many people will exhibit drastically reduced sensitivity to pain due to adrenaline, and actually may not even notice being struck between the legs. This will be even more so if they are on drugs or in some psychotic state, as criminals dispatched with this method in fiction often are.
For some reason, this usually only applies to men. Female characters are rarely subjected to groin attacks of any kind, and when they are, they are also likely to just shrug off in a moment.note Female genitals also lack the squish factor that comes from swinging in the wind. On the symbolic level, a groin attack on a male especially if it's delivered by a female represents that male being brought low by a well-placed blow to the very source of his masculine pride.
In contrast to most groin attacks, groin attacks that draw blood or involve some form of mutilation are very likely not to be played for comedy and owing to the Primal Fear of bad things happening to our nether regions, particularly nasty attacks of this nature can be downright disturbing. Apart from being a hallmark of the Lust variant of the Serial Killer, this form of attack is most often used as either a particularly vicious form of Cold-Blooded Torture or as a way for Antiheroes to punish rapists and other sexual criminals, though a particularly vicious Combat Pragmatist may also use this tactic as just one more way to even the score or gain the upper hand in a fight. It may still come off as funny, though, if the guy is perceived as having brought it upon himself, such as having his gun go off in his pants. See Crippling Castration for examples of groin attacks that lead to the unfortunate victim losing his organs/the ability to procreate.
Compare Freudian Threat. For certain kinds of groin injuries (actual or threatened) specifically related to sexual encounters, see both Vagina Dentata and Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex. Also see Standard Female Grab Area (which is not the same area, instead being the upper arm). Eye Scream, Fingore, and The Tooth Hurts are other primal fear reactions. The Distaff Counterpart to this trope is Breast Attack. Often utilized by a Combat Pragmatist, and commonly followed up by Instant Soprano and/or Share the Male Pain. Not an uncommon aftereffect of Tar and Feathers. May be used as part of a "Balls" Gag, though the overlap is smaller than one might think.
WARNING, Reading these may cause extreme paranoia about injury to the pubic area and wincing in sympathy pains. Yes, even if you're female. Also, this is never as funny in Real Life as it is on TV and can actually cause very nasty injuries, so unless you are in a real self-defense scenario, Don't Try This at Home.
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- In an Airheads commercial, during a school play where the lead star is singing "The life of a sailor! That's the life for me", the other students were bored with the play, and one of the students eats an Airhead, causing his head to turn into a balloon, deflate across the room, knocking down sets, and hitting the lead character in the groin, with predictable results:
Lead character: [oblivious to the deflating head going across the room] The life of a sail... [balloon head hits him in the balls, causing a zoom up on his face, as his voice grows high pitched] ...oooooorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! That's the life for me...!
- This Rolling Rock commercial was banned, because it featured a ton of people getting hit in the nuts, thanks to a foul ball.
- In the Netherlands' promotion for the M&M's "Peanutball", Red kicks said "Peanutball" to demonstrate its durability. It bounces around and hits him right between the legs. Red reacts appropriately, despite not having a groin to begin with.
- Playing this trope along with Violent Glaswegian for laughs, Irn-Bru briefly had a commercial where a smacked vending machine retaliates by firing a can of Irn-Bru into the offender's groin. Rumor has it this offended enough people that the vending machine's revenge was turned into a Glasgow Kiss instead.
- This Progressive commercial shows a woman using a voodoo website to punish her cheating boyfriend in various embarrassing and painful ways. At the end, while he's on a couch making out with an attractive lady, she drags a pair of pliers towards his crotch - and clicks. While the actual effect is left ambiguous, the man reacts by violently wincing in pain and his partner looking down at his groin with a concerned face.
- There was Pepsi commercial during the Superbowl that, at some point, involved Justin Timberlake getting hit in the crotch several times by a mailbox post. For those who wanted to see it... The "hits keep on coming" at about the 30 second mark.
- In another Superbowl Ad, Burt Reynolds gets hit in the groin - among the list of 20 different cliches of a Superbowl Ad.
- One of the perfect ingredients for a Doritos commercial.
- From the Parody Commercial Big Bill Hell's: "Don't wait! Don't delay! Don't fuck with us, or we'll rip your nuts off!"
- This ad for John West involves a commercial fisherman fighting a grizzly bear over a salmon the bear has just caught. The man is losing until he manages to kick the bear in the balls.
- Get Fuzzy for April 21st, 2013. Bucky and Satchel are practicing swatting mosquitos with their eyes closed. When Rob happens by, Satchel accidentally hits Rob in the groin, sending him to the floor in agony.
- This happens to Garfield of all characters when a stunt on the fence goes wrong.
Jon: eeeEEIIIYIIIEEOOOGarfield: Oops, a little low.
- Implied in another strip when Garfield throws a snowball at Jon.
- During one series of Pearls Before Swine strips featuring softball, Pig takes a line drive to his "oompa loompas."
- Hitting Dracula in Monster Bash sometimes causes him to say a line implying that he's being hit in the crotch.
Dracula: Not below the belt!
- Multiple times in the Cool Kids Table game Homeward Bound 4. Jake the Deinonychus slips when trying to glide off a tree and attack a human, and ends up slamming his cloaca into the branches. Ironically, this was in an attempt to eat the nuts of a guy who had shot him previously. But after however many failures, he finally manages to eat them two-thirds through.
- Sick Sad World: Implied during the Elliot Rodger case. One of the people Rodger murdered was stabbed 94 times, half of which on his lower body. Mari remarks Rodger might have been working some things out.
- In Destroy the Godmodder, trying to aim for the groin of the titular character usually paints the attacker as a newbie to the game. Why? It never does anything. He's the Godmodder.
- Spc. Crota from Darwin's Soldiers sneaks under a guard and shoots him in the groin.
- In The Gamer's Alliance, groin attack is Ax's preferred method of dealing with male enemies. Poor Refan gets to experience it first hand.
- In The Complete History Of America Abridged, one of the poses used to illustrate the intensity of combat in The American Civil War is one actor kicking another in the groin.
- In The Rose Tattoo, the fight Alvaro gets into culminates with him taking a hit to the groin from the Traveling Salesman's knee.
- In A Very Potter Musical, this is what happens to Snape during the snake attack death scene.