Sora: Hello? That creep was... [Goofy clamps his hand over Sora's mouth]note
Goofy: Sora, that's a secret!
Similar to the Finger Muzzle, this is a more direct and easier way of shutting someone up. If Alice is being kidnapped, the best way to prevent her from crying out is by grabbing her and covering her mouth. Not only that, but Bob could easily do it if he just wanted her to stop talking for some reason.
This gesture can be threatening or playful, depending on the context. Rescuers may sometimes use this if they have to sneak up on a friend from behind and don't want them alerting nearby foes by yelling in surprise. If in hiding, the more self-controlled character may use it to keep the frightened character from crying out inadvertently.
- The logo for Huttons Hams involved one man doing this to another ("Don't argue, don't argue — Huttons is best.")
- Berserk: Played for laughs during the Griffith rescue, where Princess Charlotte has a quite uncharacteristic temper tantrum at the thought of not going with the now-exiled Band of the Hawk in order to stay with Griffith. To shut her trap, Casca, Guts, Judeau, and her maid Anna all put their hands over Charlotte's mouth.
- Bleach: When Nnoitra forces Orihime to watch Tesra curb-stomp Ichigo, the anime has him place a hand over her mouth. In the manga, he actually forces his fingers inside her mouth, which mimics a common kink in Japanese porn.
- In Brave10, Yukimura clamps his hand over Rokuro's mouth just before their Chained Heat moment, not wanting him to sonic blast the ninjas surrounding them before the crowd of civilians can clear. Rokuro's protests go unheard.
- Death Note: Rem does this to Misa after she makes herself visible and explains Misa's connection to her.
- Dragon Ball Z: Android 20 (a.k.a. Dr Gero) uses this on both Yamcha and Piccolo on separate occasions in order to drain their energy whilst keeping them quiet.
- Fruits Basket: When Kagura almost lets slip to Tohru about Kyo's true form, Kyo covers her mouth with his hand.
- Naruto: Sasuke does this to Sakura in the Forest of Death.
- One Piece: Heartwarming example. As their escape from Enies Lobby begins, Robin uses her powers to do this to Luffy when he starts thanking her for saving him, due to the fact that she should be thanking him for saving her.
- Pokémon: In the episode "Holy Matrimony!", Jessie does this to James several times.
- Sound! Euphonium: People do this to Kumiko a few times (including Kumiko to herself) to cut her off from saying things she probably shouldn't.
- Happened to Lois Lane quite a bit in the Golden Age Superman comics.
- Batman will occasionally surprise his enemies from behind this way.
- In Violine, Redder, after Violine sees him thinking about his (nude) wife, does this to Violine to keep her quiet. Other characters do it too when Violine threatens to reveal their secrets.
- Talywn did this to Vorn in Ratchet & Clank Comic when she, he, and Ratchet were trying to sneak past some Mr. Zurkon robots to defeat Artemis Zogg.
- Shiva appears from nowhere to clamp her hand over Robin's mouth when he starts to call for her after she seemed to have taken off on him without a word to prevent him from giving their presence away when they're tracking the Ghost Dragons back to Sir Edmund Dorrance.
- In the Back to the Future fanfic Back to the Future Prequel, Hank does this as he kidnaps Marty from Doc's garage.
- In the One Piece fanfic Once Again, Ben does this to Shanks to prevent him from interfering in letting Luffy explain.
- Naturally it's played for laughs in Dragon Ball Z Abridged.
Android 20: Hello there!
Nail: I'm... gonna leave you two alone for now...
Piccolo: [muffled scream] Naaaail!
Android 20: Shh, shh, shh... Oh, don't struggle! Just lie back and think of.. Namek!
- In the Naruto fanfic The Tale Of Nagato Uzumaki, Naruto, Hinata and Shikamaru do this at the same time to Fuu before she can say out loud that Naruto is a Jinchuriki.
- Atlantis: The Lost Empire: "I have some questions for you and you are not leaving this city until they are answered."
- In Frozen, Kristoff does this to Anna when their sled suddenly stops in the middle of the woods and Anna is insistent on continuing their conversation about the love experts Kristoff is friends with despite him audibly telling her, "Stop talking." Anna then pushes Kristoff's hand away from her mouth, forcing him to give her a loud "SSHHH!" while he scans the surroundings looking for wolves about to ambush them.
- In The Great Mouse Detective, Basil does this to Dawson, as does Ratigan to Olivia—before she bites it.
- In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Victor does this to Hugo when he tries to spit on a mime.
- A monkey does this to Mowgli in The Jungle Book.
- Then Baloo does it twice in the sequel, the second time carrying him behind his back while doing so.
- Happens to Littlefoot in the first The Land Before Time sequel when he is captured.
- Lilo & Stitch: Nani does this to Lilo near the beginning, and shortly after wraps her entire arm around her mouth as well. Lilo licks her.
- In Mulan, Mulan briefly silences Mushu this way during his "dishonor" rant.
- In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Sally's disembodied hand does this to Santa Claus when she's rescuing him.
- In Disney's version of Peter Pan, Wendy is silenced this way twice, once by Peter and once by a pirate.
- Pocahontas hushes Nakoma this way when John Smith approaches.
- Mojo Jojo does this to the Professor at a critical moment in The Powerpuff Girls Movie, preventing him from calling out to the girls. It turns into more of an arm gag as he kidnaps him from the scene. It's a smart move, since the girls are looking for him and have ridiculously good hearing. They heard his first call of distress from an asteroid in deep space.
- Flora shushes the other fairies this way in Sleeping Beauty. A goon also does this to Phillip for a second.
- In Tarzan, a villain gags Jane this way, causing her to bite him.
- In Almost Famous, Will does this to Polexia after discovering that he's still in bed with her while trying to take a call from Rolling Stone. Hilariously, the hand that he puts over her mouth happens to be the one with all the notes that he was going to use to bullshit his way through the call (because he's extremely far behind on his article), so he's forced to switch hands...
- Beetlejuice ends cheerfully for Lydia as Adam affectionately silences Barbara this way, who is calling him out on his own bad school grades.
- In Blossoms in the Dust, a brassy, fast-talking little girl dropped off at Edna's Orphanage of Love manages to get across the idea that she'sa hooker's child. After the policeman says she was scooped up in a raid, the little girl says "Oh sure, we're always being raided, my mother's a", being cutoff when the cop puts his hand over her mouth.
- When Deakin enters Marica's compartment in Breakheart Pass, he clamps his hand over her mouth and tells her not to scream. When he removes his hand, she opens her mouth as if to scream and he gags her again. The second time she takes the warning and keeps her mouth shut.
- In Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid during the second train robbery. Woodcock, thinking Butch and Sundance were going to harm a female train passenger, opens the door to the car with the safe in it, only to find Sundance has the woman like this while Butch imitated her voice.
- In Cloud Atlas, Joe is ambushing Luisa Rey in her apartment, using this trope to muffle her screaming.
- In The Dark Crystal, Torture Technician SkekTek tries to silence Kira this way when she calls to his caged animals to help her. (Very bad idea. She bites him.)
- Happens twice to Annabelle, the love interest in The General, first by the leader of the Union squad and later by the hero when he rescues her from the enemy's headquarters.
- Indochine: Corinne and Jean-Baptiste's guide has to do this to her to stop her from screaming as the two of them, on a hilltop, watch Jean-Baptiste and the baby taken away by soldiers.
- Irreversible: Le Tenia spends most of the infamous eight minute rape scene with his hand over his victim's mouth. One of the many things that makes the scene so horrible to watch is the fact that Alex is not completely silenced, and her continuous muffled screams can be clearly heard by the audience.
- Played for laughs in John Carter, where Tars does this to John, Sola and Dejah when he helps them escape after they have been sentenced to death. Of course, Tharks have four arms, so it makes sense.
- A goblin does this to himself when told to be quiet by his allies in Labyrinth.
- In Mulholland Dr., Betty is muffling Rita's scream when encountering the corpse.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl: Will does the "rescuer needs to stop the victim from alerting foes" variant on Elizabeth when they sneak out of the pirate's cave.
- Short Circuit: Shortly after Number 5 escapes, Ben and Crosby attempt to persuade their boss Howard Mariner to let them try to catch it instead of destroying it:
Mariner: What if you don't catch it?! What if it goes out and melts down a busload of nuns?! How would you like to write the headline on that one?!
Ben: Nun soup?
Crosby: [putting his hand over Ben's mouth] BEN!
- Happens to Anabel in A Simple Wish by Boots.
- Star Wars: Episode V — The Empire Strikes Back: Early on, Han Solo is trying to find out if Luke has come back to the base from patrol and shuts up C-3PO this way. 3PO expresses exasperation nicely with body language alone.
- Played for horror in The Thing (1982) when the Blair-Thing shows up to kill Garry, simultaneously silencing and assimilating him by MORPHING HIS HAND INTO HIS MOUTH. Afterwards we're shown Garry's body being dragged by the hand-melded mouth.
- In Transylvania 6-5000, a little girl who finds a Frankenstein-like monster in the forest opens her mouth as if ready to scream, but the monster's hand suddenly covers it.
- Happens in Vertigo during The Reveal. Kim Novak has just seen her doppelganger (the real Madeleine) fall to her death and we see Galvin muffling her scream.
- In Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, the titular character does this to Mike Teevee to prevent him from telling the geese that Easter is over. If only he knew what was about to happen, he'd do that to Veruca instead...
- In Big Fish, conjoined twins Ping and Jing find Edward hiding in their dressing room from North Korean soldiers. Jing calls for a guard, but Ping hand-gags her and simply tells the guard to beef up security. Edward, of course, avoids being seen by the guard.
- Decision Before Dawn: Mauer, a fugitive spy behind German lines running from the Nazis, has found the address Barth gave him. It's in a rooming house that has been badly damaged by Allied bombs. While he tries to find his way through the darkness by lighting matches, a hand shoots out and Hand Gags him. It's Barth.
- In House on Haunted Hill (1959), Jonas grabs Nora from behind, clamping a hand over her mouth and warning her that she doesn't belong here and should come with him.
- Dances with Wolves. Ten Bears playfully tries to do this to his wife who's telling an embarrassing story about when they were children.
- Reform School Girls: Charlie and her Girl Posse clamp a hand over Lisa's mouth when they abduct Lisa from her bed and drag her off to her initiation.
- In Seven Samurai, Heihachi does this to Kikuchiyo after he blows his team's cover.
- In Shoot-Out at Medicine Bend, Nell catches Devlin breaking into her bedroom and threatens to scream. Devlin first of all uses his hand to gag her, before leaving her Bound and Gagged on the bed.
- Frankenstein's Castle of Freaks: When Eric surprises Maria in her room, he does so by reaching out from behind the curtain and clamping a hand over her mouth.
- In Septimus Heap, this is done to Jenna by Wolf Boy when she trips over him and is about to scream, giving them away to the Tracker Ball Sleuth.
- In the first book of The Wheel of Time series, Rand's father uses the friendly variation of this to keep him from crying out when they're being hunted by trollocs. Rand nearly breaks his arm in his panic to get free.
- Subverted in Arrested Development when George does it to Tobias. "Stop licking my hand!"
- In The A-Team episode "When You Comin' Back, Range Rider?", Murdock puts his hand over Lane's mouth briefly when he sneaks up to rescue Hannibal. He lets go quickly once he's sure she isn't going to scream from surprise.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: in the episode "Witch", Buffy, all loopy from a spell cast by Amy's body-switched mother, gets booted from the cheerleading squad, letting Amy join. Buffy is about to say too much when Xander puts a hand over her mouth and he and Willow pull her away.
Buffy: Nooo, you don't want her, she's a wMMMFP!
Xander: ["finishing" her sentence] ...a wise choice indeed!
- Daredevil (2015): In "The Path of the Righteous", James Wesley clamps a hand over Karen Page's mouth with a chloroformed handkerchief as he's kidnapping her off the front stoop of her apartment building.
- Doctor Who:
- The Tenth Doctor does this to Tallulah in "Daleks in Manhattan" to prevent a Dalek from hearing them.
- Played straight when a child is abducted by a Cyberman in "Nightmare in Silver", then taken to the next level when the Cyberman detaches its own hand to send after the next abductee.
- Game of Thrones. In "Beyond the Wall", Sandor Clegane does this to a wight they're trying to capture and drag back as proof of the undead army, and is thoroughly squicked when the wight's decaying face peels off in his hand.
- The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries: Frank Hardy does this in the 3rd season episode Scorpion's Sting. Going undercover to trap a notorious international kidnapper, Frank ambushes the kidnapper's daughter in her apartment by sneaking up behind her, grabbing her arm, and putting his hand over her mouth to silence her.
- Happens a few times on iCarly. Most notably, Carly licks Sam's hand at one point, exclaiming that it tastes like peanuts and dirt.
- On an episode of I Love Lucy, Ricky does this to both Lucy and Ethel at once, while the two are gabbing about the possibility of the Ricardos moving to a larger, more expensive apartment in the same building. He then firmly asserts, "I won' swish apar'men's!"
- Midsomer Murders: In "Blood Wedding", the murderer clamps a hand over the mouth of the third Victim of the Week before killing her by thrusting a hatpin into her ear.
- Done often to Adorkable geek Seth by his girlfriend Summer in The O.C., usually in a playful manner when he won't shut up.
- On The Office Jim does this to Dwight while trying to prevent him from doing something stupid. Dwight immediately licks his hand and Jim is left wondering how there was that much saliva.
- Our Miss Brooks: In "Magic Christmas Tree", Miss Brooks puts her hand over Walter Denton's mouth to stop his painfully off-key rendition of "Deck the Halls".
- The Partridge Family: In "Old Scrapmouth," Danny tries to tell Laurie's boyfriend she has braces. Laurie wanted to tell him herself, so Keith covers Danny's mouth with his gloved hand.
- Supernatural: Castiel does the "can't let my friend make a noise" version to Dean in the season four finale.
- Hilariously done by the host of the game show Password to Betty White, whose partner was given the word "Whip" and who, in turn, gave her the clue "Bull..."; the host knew what direction Betty would take it. See here.
Betty: (innocently) "Frog?"
- In Aliens Versus Predator (2010), this is a common way to silence your victims as either a Predator or Alien during grab kills from behind.
- Happens to the titular character in the opening cutscenes in Jak II: Renegade to prevent him from alerting the guards.
- Happens several times in Kingdom Hearts II
- Goofy does this to Sora to prevent him from revealing that they and Pete are from the future after beating the boss in Timeless River.
- Di Z does so to Naminé to prevent her from revealing the truth to Roxas.
- And much later on, before fighting the Experiment in Halloween Town, Sora clamps Jack Skellington's mouth shut when it emerges that he hasn't learned his lesson from earlier with wanting to take over from Santa Claus.
- Before your fight with him, Xaldin does this to Belle after planting the Beast's Rose next to her.
- In the manga adaptation, Pete does this to Megara when kidnapping her for Hades. Even though she bites him on the hand, she gets captured.
- Tachyon does this to Captain Qwark near the end of Ratchet & Clank Future: Tools of Destruction. Unusual for this trope is that he puts one of the legs of his walking throne over Qwark's mouth, due to being out of reach, as well as keeping Qwark pinned down.
- Pollyx also does this to Ratchet in the second level in Into the Nexus.
- Luke did this to Clementine in The Walking Dead in Season 2: Episode 3 when he managed to sneak in Carver's camp to lay out a plan to try and break the group free.
- Happens to Jude in Tales of Xillia by Alvin when grabbing him from behind to prevent him from yelling in surprise and alerting the passing soldiers.
- This is suddenly done to Tanna in Ears for Elves when she's hiding in the temple. Whose hand it is isn't revealed until some pages afterwards, creating suspense. When Luero finally releases her, after the priestess has left the temple chamber, Tanna jumps away and it's shown that even she didn't know who was holding her.
- Girl Genius: Happens to Agatha along with Standard Female Grab Area.
- Homestuck: When Aranea (who is known for telling stories in great detail that go on for ages) starts to tell everyone the story of the pre-scracth troll's Sgrub session, Meenah interrupts her by putting her hand over her mouth and keeping it there while she tells a much shorter version.
- In El Goonish Shive, Susan's Nurture does this to her Nature to symbolize her suppressing that aspect of herself.
- The Most Popular Girls in School: In Episode 71, Mackenzie does this to Trisha 2 in order to prevent the latter from blabbling to the Van Burens about what they're going to France for.
Mackenzie: Shut up, Trisha!
- The True Love List from The Universal Genre Savvy Guide has a rather simple way to get out of this trope:
If someone capable of feeling pain covers my mouth with their hand, I will make use of my pearly whites at the moment when my captor can least afford to be distracted.
- In The 7D episode "Water Ya Doin' Dopey", Happy does this to Grumpy after he almost spills an embarrassing secret about the two.
- The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron April the Gorlock did this to Jimmy Neutron in "Win, Lose and Kaboom" to secretly tell him of a plan to overthrow the evil gameshow host Meldar.
- Happens once in Code Lyoko's "End of Take". Odd attempts to pretend to be a ghost in the factory, banging pipes and moaning, but is held down by Jeremie and Yumi. Yumi puts her hand over Odd's mouth.
- The Fairly OddParents!: In "The Big Superhero Wish!", Timmy tries to get Cosmo and Wanda wish undo his wish for everyone to have superpowers by saying "I wish there were no more superheroes or supervillains". As he's talking, Negachin covers his mouth to prevent him from saying "...and supervillains", causing the fairies to depower only the heroes.
- Happened several times on Goof Troop:
- Pete covers PJ's mouth when PJ tries to call him out on his hypocrisy for spending lots of money on a ski trip after refusing to pay him and Max for shoveling snow. Pete resorts to carrying PJ out of the area to shut him up so Goofy doesn't learn about Pete's ulterior motive for the ski trip.
- Pete covers Pistol's mouth so that the Mrs. Spoonerville contest judges don't learn that the only reason she's doing housework is because he bribed her with fifty dollars.
- Max covers PJ's mouth when he screams really loudly after a stolen perfume bottle goes missing so that he doesn't wake up the whole town.
- PJ covers Pistol's mouth so she won't tell Pete that he has a crush on a girl in his class. When caught, he claims he was helping her swallow her dessert.
- Happens frequently on Inspector Gadget to Penny.
- It also happens to Inspector Gadget himself.
- Happened four times in Josie and the Pussycats:
- Alan is captured this way in "Plateau of the Apes Plot".
- In "Spy School Spoof", the Pussycats were delivering fake plans for a top secret device to the villian, thinking if they could convince them they were on his side, he'd let them go. Once they deliver the plans, Alexander goes on to brag about some of their other "escapades" until Alexandra puts her hand over his mouth, telling him not to overdo it.
- In "The Jumping Jupiter Affair", Alexandra is about to tell off the villian, but Alexander covers her mouth before she can get them in any trouble
- Valerie was captured in this fashion in "Swap Plot Flop".
- Happens a few times in My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic. The 'cover muzzle with hoof' variant is pretty common, but there's been a few cases where a pony actually shoved their hoof into another pony's mouth to keep them quiet, namely Applejack trying to keep Fluttershy◊ or Apple Bloom◊ quiet.
- In one episode of The Simpsons, Bart does this when he drags Lisa away after she annoys Homer with one of her lectures.
- Papa Smurf does this to Sassette in The Smurfs episode "Chlorhydris' Lost Love" when she is about to reveal where Drusilla is keeping Manfred prisoner, but Papa Smurf only wants the information revealed on the promise that they will be released from being Chlorhydris' captives.
- Star Wars Resistance: In "Synara's Score", the Literal-Minded Neeku interprets an order not to talk to anyone about a top-secret job Team Fireball is working on as meaning he has to hand-gag himself whenever he speaks. He later does it to Kaz while Tam and Synara are leaving the repair shop.
- Often happens to April and Irma on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
- The spies on Totally Spies! frequently do this to each other.
- The Transformers has Ironhide doing this◊ to shut up Huffer. Hardhead also does this◊ to Blurr at one point, too.