This is an action trope. It is performed by a character who throws something to another character (usually an enemy) to make him catch it — either to simply distract him or to induce something even more nasty. This can be made to escape a gunpoint situation. "Think fast!" is the same trope, worded differently.
A common way to show that a fighter is highly aware of his surroundings is for him to react to this with a No-Sell (throw an orange at him and it bounces off his chest) or a Nonchalant Dodge (throw an orange at him and he casually moves out of the way, not remotely distracted from the task in hand). Alternatively, they may perform a Catch and Return.
Can also reveal that an impersonator is Not Left Handed. Or is left-handed. Works not only for impersonators, but also for suspects — when you know that the crime was committed by a left-handed person.
- Baki the Grappler: Subverted in two ways in New Grappler Baki. Yanagi throws a teapot full of boiling water to his old foe Shibukawa and, while he is distracted, Yanagi stops his attack just before Shibukawa's face, showing how easily he could have killed him. Soon after that, while Yanagi was in the middle of a fight against Baki, Shibukawa appears from nowhere and throws a teapot all over Yanagi, who starts screaming... before realizing that it was, in fact, cold water. Then Shibukawa sports some laughs and the fight is resumed, without using the surprise to attack.
- A Hey, Catch! is used to distract the Villain of the Week on Case Closed. Lucky it worked, too, because the man was armed.
- Dominion Tank Police: An unusual variant of this trope occurs in episode 3 of New Dominion Tank Police: use one crime to fake out the police while you finish another. The "stick" in this case is a runaway truck full of highly-unstable explosives (meaning, if it crashes, a fair chunk of the city goes boom). The police must mobilize all hands to evacuate the area. Although the truck is eventually stopped by Brenten's Big Damn Heroes moment, the "stick" still works, as it prevents the scheduled bust of a warehouse in the harbor, giving the criminals (who secretly orchestrated the runaway truck) the time they need to clear out the warehouse before it is raided.
- In Full Metal Panic? Fumoffu, Sōsuke accepts a challenge from his high school's karate club and, after it's finally made clear to him that he's expected to fight hand-to-hand, performs a Hey, Catch! with a grenade. While his opponent is thus distracted, Sōsuke decks him with a kick to the head. When Kaname protests that he was supposed to fight without weapons, he points out that the pin was still in the grenade.
- Fist of the North Star: When Rei challenges Raoh with a technique that is powerful enough to defeat even him, Raoh responds by throwing his cape at him while he is in midair, distracting him long enough to hit him with a fatal technique of his own.
- Used occasionally in Ranma ½.
- For example: Ranma distracting Happōsai with a tossed bra. He's such a Dirty Old Man that it's guaranteed to work no matter how many times it's used.
- Or the principal tossing something like a pineapple at the students to distract them. A pineapple that explodes.
- Also used in more serious arcs. In the final battle, Ranma tosses what appears to be Akane's small, dehydrated form at Saffron. Even Saffron is disgusted by Ranma's apparent disregard for the life of Akane, before realizing it was a fake made out of some sticks and leaves. While he doesn't catch it, the distraction still serves its purpose.
- Tristan distracts Yami Bakura by throwing him the unconscious body of Mokuba, long enough to let him hit him for a K.O. It was one of the rare action scenes that didn't involve children's card games in Yu-Gi-Oh!.
- One story in Archie Comics, Archie hears Reggie yell "catch!", and covers his head reflexively. Reggie acts hurt that Archie would suspect him of such a trick and Veronica calls out Archie for distrusting his friend. Archie apologizes, and the next time he hears Reggie yell "catch!", he turns to catch it - and catches a rotten egg in his face, Reggie and Veronica mocking him for being so gullible. Laser-Guided Karma kicks in when Archie is angrily recounting the episode to Betty, and when Reggie overhears Archie shouting "catch!", fearing revenge, ends up diving into a mud puddle, taking Veronica with him.
- Batman: The Joker does this with a baby to kill Gordon's wife Sarah at the end of the No Man's Land storyline.
- One Calvin and Hobbes comic involves Calvin bragging about how he has three water balloons, and Hobbes has only one. Hobbes' response is this trope, and Calvin loses his hold on all four, resulting in him being soaked by all of them.
- Ace Combat: Wings Of Unity combines this with Pre-Mortem One-Liner: After Sunburst knocks an enemy pegasus out of the air with a well-placed punch, making him drop the bomb he was carrying, Sunburst grabs the bomb and throws it back at his foe as he falls away, with a taunt of, "You forgot something!" Boom. Could also count as a Coup de Grâce, since the Mook was likely falling to his doom anyway.
- In Between Minds, done from Chell to Gordon Freeman with a Xen crystal to distract him.
- In With Strings Attached, while John is peacefully reading a book in the Idris' attic, a guy suddenly arrives. John thinks he's there to tell him to leave the book alone, but the guy just throws him an object instead. When John automatically catches it, it explodes in a puff of powder that puts him to sleep—and the story kicks into high gear thereafter.
- Aladdin and the King of Thieves: In the climax, Sa'luk threatens to kill Aladdin in front of Aladdin's father Cassim if he doesn't hand over the Hand of Midas. Cassim throws the magical object in Sa'luk's direction, who catches it with his bare hands — and is immediately turned into a gold statue.
- On Monsters, Inc., Mike throws a sock at the CDA agents (who gather around the poor schlub who caught it for decontamination) as a distraction while Sulley escaped with Boo.
- Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code throws a cryptex to Sir Teabing. The cryptex is extremely important and likewise fragile.
- During a fight scene in Eastern Condors, Yuen Biao faces off against an Elite Mook in a jungle, where he distracts said mook by kicking a coconut at him, and when the mook catches the coconut, Yuen Biao lands a flying kick that knocks out the mook.
- In Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man, Harley throws his gun at one of the armored car guards, and then punches him out when the guard catches it. He does this because he can't shoot very well.
- In The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, Thorin and Azog are battling on a frozen river when they get stuck on a circular piece that tips with their weight. Thorin cleverly tosses Azog the giant rock he uses for his mace and then casually steps off the platform, causing Azog to be pulled into the water.
- In Inception Eames tosses a bomb to a snow-mobile full of projections while skiing past them.
- In Octopussy, James Bond is confronted by a knife-wielding goon in an Indian marketplace. He grabs a lighted torch from a juggler and waves it in the goon's face, then tosses it to him. The goon instinctively catches the torch, enabling Bond to knock him out with a punch.
- In The Man Who Knew Too Little, Wallace mistakes a corpse for an actor playing the part of a corpse, and tries to make him break character:
Wallace: You've gotta see just how dead they are. You never know, they might be able to catch this! [throws a soda can at the corpse]
- Ben Gates from National Treasure, while being held at gunpoint, throws a lighted flare at his adversary, which is quite distracting because the floor is covered in gunpowder at that point.
- Norrington, in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest. Done to a Dutchman member, Hadras, who's holding his own head while stating that he will pry the chest away from Norrington's cold, dead hands. Cue Norrington shouting "Here you go!" and tossing the chest. Hadras promptly catches it, triumphantly of course, but... his poor head...
Hadras' head: Follow my voice, follow my voice! To the left — no, turn around! Go to the right, go to — no, that's a tree...
- Subverted in Prizzi's Honor: hitwoman Irene Walker tries to distract a bodyguard by tossing a baby (actually a life-size baby doll) to him. It doesn't work, causing the hit to get very messy before the shooting's done.
Irene Walker: What kind of man wouldn't catch a baby?
Charley Partanna: A mobster's bodyguard.
- In Return of the Jedi, Han Solo does this to an Imperial officer, tossing him one of the explosives the Rebels were bringing in, and the unprepared officer is knocked backwards off of a catwalk.
- Done in Rollo and the Spirit of the Woods when Millie's first surrounded by the rolleys. She throws her bag in the air and starts running while the rolleys catch the bag and start inspecting its contents, realizing her ploy a moment afterwards.
- Ronin (1998): Early in the film, Sam wants to know more about his teammates for an upcoming heist. Offering to pour computer expert Gregor a cup of coffee, Sam deliberately spills the coffee and when he goes to wipe up the mess, he (again deliberately) knocks a cup off the counter. Gregor catches it, showing that he's more skilled than just a computer guy. Sam later conducts a similar test with Spence; he doesn't pass, showing he's a fraud and getting him kicked off the team.
Sam: Good reflexes.
Gregor: Oh, yeah. They die hard.
- Serenity: While Mal and the Operative are facing off at the Companion lodge, the Operative threatens to have his cruiser lock onto Serenity's "pulse beacon" and launch missiles. Mal responds by tossing him the beacon in question.
- In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Chekov's gun fails to work due to interference from radiation, he tosses it at the marine officer who was interrogating him a minute earlier before legging it.
- Terminator 2: Judgment Day:
- Sarah distracts a guard this way during her escape by tossing keys at him so he would leave his midsection exposed and vulnerable.
- The title Determinator launching tear gas at cops wearing gas masks. He eventually approaches them, hands the tear gas launcher off with a, "Here, hold this," and rips the mask off of the cop to whom he hands it.
- John Robie in To Catch a Thief uses this to disarm one of his resistance comrades. Now working as a chef, the comrade approaches him with two cleavers. John tosses a bottle of fine wine to him, and the comrade drops the cleavers to catch the bottle.
- In the film adaptation of To Kill a Mockingbird, Atticus throws a drinking glass at Tom to show that Tom can't use his left hand, so couldn't have attacked Mayella Ewell.
- In the original Total Recall, Quaid tries to slip onto Mars undetected by disguising himself in an animatronic suit resembling a fat woman. When his covah is again blown, he takes off the mask and tosses it to his pursuers, upon which it cracks wise and then explodes.
Fat Lady Mask: Get ready for a surprise! [cue explosion]
- In Waterworld, the Ax-Crazy Deacon of the 'Deez tosses a lit match towards an open floor hatch only to have it snatched before falling in by a Mook. It is fortunate that the match was caught, because the hatch led to the 'Deez's oil supply!
- In Willow, the title character throws a magic petrifying acorn at Queen Bavmorda. (Willow isn't actually trying for a Hey, Catch! here — he just misses, but Bavmorda obligingly snatches it out of the air anyway.) Unfortunately for Willow, the magic of his quirky village witch doctor is not up to the task of petrifying the uber-sorceress Big Bad, and she shakes it off rather easily.
- Older Than Radio: Used in Mark Twain's Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Huck disguises himself as a girl but the woman he tries to deceive tests him by tossing him a ball of yarn to see if he knows how to catch things in his skirt.
- An especially malicious variant is pulled by Chamdar in David Eddings' novel Belgarath the Sorcerer, a spin-off to The Belgariad series. When Belgarath finds that Chamdar has murdered a young couple by setting their house on fire, Chamdar distracts him long enough to escape by throwing their infant son at him.
- In David Wingrove's Chung Kuo novels, Stefan Lehmann brings a baby along to a meeting with a rival gang boss, purely so he can use it as a Hey, Catch! distraction to make ganking him easier. Real nice guy.
- In Neal Stephenson's Cryptonomicon, Bobby Shaftoe throws Japanese counterpart Goto Dengo his helmet on impulse as he and his regiment are leaving Shanghai. Dengo, in response, demonstrates what he learned from Shaftoe (who taught him how to pitch baseballs in return for learning some martial arts) by pitching him a hand grenade wrapped in a headband. Fortunately, Dengo hadn't pulled the pin.
- Discworld, The Fifth Elephant:
- A small subversion is used in where Vimes throws an orange at a harmless-looking bureaucrat who doesn't catch it. This is later subverted even further when Vimes proves his suspicion that the bureaucrat is an assassin, who opted not to catch the orange based on the fact that it was not a threat. Specifically, the assassin didn't react at all to the orange. It hits him, and fell to the floor. Vimes repeated it with his dwarf subordinate later sending said cop ducking under a table. Later it is explained most people at least flinch or dodge the orange if they aren't going to catch it.
- Vimes later uses the Hey, Catch! tactic to kill the novel's Big Bad, who, being a werewolf, is rather strongly inclined to play Fetch.
- In Lois McMaster Bujold's Ethan of Athos, Elli Quinn removes a goon who was holding her and Ethan at gunpoint by tossing him a small bomb disguised as a message. Small, in this case, meaning it can't quite rupture the hull of a space station.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets Harry throws Lucius the diary wrapped in an old sock, thereby freeing Dobby.
- In Johannes Cabal the Detective Cabal manages to subdue a centuries old incredibly powerful warlock this way, tossing him a vial of holy water. The warlock, Umtak Ktharl, is so evil the holy water boils and bursts the vial in his hand, causing him to lose his concentration and plummet (he has hovering at the time) into a fast-moving river. The narrator muses that the only reason this worked is that Ktharl caught the item (which was the worst thing he could do) because he was so sure it couldn't hurt him.
- In the Malus Darkblade series, a Nurgle lord is taken out when the hero's lackey throws him a sack with a vial of the Greek Fire equivalent.
- In Patricia C. Wrede's The Raven Ring, the heroine's thrown weapons are being blocked by the villain's Time Stop spell. So she tosses him the titular ring he'd been after, and the ring's magic interrupts the spell. At which point he takes a dozen high-speed knives to the face simultaneously.
- In the Isaac Asimov short story "The Singing Bell", this is used to catch a thief and a murderer by tossing him a precious lunar rock, which he misses catching and lets crash on the floor. This proves he'd spent time on the Moon despite pretending otherwise, and hadn't yet readjusted to Earth's gravity.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Buffy once faced a Physical God who could be weakened with a certain magical orb... so Buffy simply tossed it to the god in question, who, not being "the brightest star in the heavens", caught it by reflex.
- In an episode of Angel, the title character throws a pair of sunglasses at a woman who is supposedly completely blind. She catches them.
- Castle: In "The Way of the Ninja", Castle attempts to prove that a suspect is a ninja by suddenly tossing Beckett's coffee cup at him; expecting the suspect to catch. Needless to say, the suspect is not a ninja and the cup ends up smashed on the floor. Beckett is not impressed.
- In one episode of M*A*S*H, Hawkeye was temporarily blinded by an exploding heater. At the end, after he's regained his vision, he strolls into the nurses' tent with a cane, claiming to have had a relapse, so they can go ahead and change since he can't see them. One of the nurses throws him a coffee cup, which he catches... Oops.
- In an episode of Night Court, dozens of people show up at the courtroom after hearing that a lottery winner wants to give away his millions. They show up in wheelchairs (only to be exposed when the baliff says "All rise" and he does), and even dressing like the Elephant Man. The judge expresses his anger at the disguises and tosses something to "a blind man" who catches it easily.
- In Red Dwarf, this is one of the tests performed in an attempt to discover which of the two David Listers on board is the real one, and which is a hungry alien who can change how it is perceived to appear and sound.
- Sherlock Holmes:
- In Sherlock episode "The Lying Detective", Mrs Hudson pretends to be jittery while making tea and drops her cup in slow motion, so Sherlock would drop down the gun he was holding in order to catch the tea cup before it could hit the floor, at which point Mrs Hudson picks up the gun and points it at Sherlock and forces him into the trunk of her car.
- Used by a different version of Sherlock in Elementary when he bursts into interrogation and throws an orange at a suspect's face to test a theory that the suspect is blind in one eye, which would give him a Disability Alibi.
Sherlock: Victor Nardin, think fast! [throws orange]
Sherlock: [to detectives] This man is innocent.
Nardin: Why he hit me?
- In Sons of Anarchy, Agent Stahl tosses a gun to another character in order to get her finger prints on it and frame her for murder.
- In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Ship in a Bottle", Data discovers that he, Captain Picard and Lt. Barclay are in a holodeck simulation by throwing a tool to a holographic, and apparently left-handed Geordi LaForge. (Earlier in the episode, Data had discovered a bug in which the holodeck would get handedness wrong.) Of course, Data threw the tool crosswise right-to-left across 'Geordi's' body, which most people would catch with their left, regardless of their dominant hand.
- Supernatural: Dean does this to Bela by throwing her a lucky rabbits foot that makes the wielder insanely lucky... but causes fatally bad luck when it is lost again.
- Played for Laughs in Whose Line Is It Anyway? when Ryan Stiles was providing an example of the World's Worst Neighbor: "I saw you working out. Let's see how athletic you really are...here's a kitten! Here's a kitten! Here's a kitten! Here's a kitten!"
- In some angles and feuds when a Heel is feigning injury such as an injured arm in a sling and claiming he can't compete and the match should be cancelled, sometimes a Face will toss something at them and the Heel will reach out and catch it with his "injured" arm, proving he was faking it.
- Eddie Guerrero won some of his matches (including his last) this way: while the referee is accidentally hit or otherwise distracted, grab a metal folding chair, bang it into the ring, toss it to his opponent, then fall down as if he just got hit, at which point the ref awards him the match by DQ.
- This is the set-up for Rob Van Dam's Van Daminator - he throws a chair to his opponent, who catches it just in time for Van Dam to kick it into their face.
- In Darwin's Soldiers, O'Neill hurls a lit flare at his captors, who try to get out of the way to avoid being set on fire. He then makes his escape while they are tripping over each other.
- In Blood Bowl, some players can use and throw bombs. If a bomb touches the ground, it explodes, so it quickly becomes a game of Grenade Hot Potato as the teams keep throwing the bomb at each other till one drops it.
- In one Paranoia module, one of the briefing officers suddenly says "Catch" and tosses a grenade to one of the PCs. The pin has not been pulled. If he catches it, then he gets to keep it.
- One piece of Warhammer 40,000 fiction on The Jungle has a Chaos marauder handing an unarmed civilian a live grenade just for fun. Then the hero manages to trick him into picking up a live grenade. And shoots it.
- Command & Conquer 3: Tiberium Wars. GDI Grenadier Squads use this catchphrase as an occasional comic relief in an otherwise dark and edgy story.
- Fallout 2 has an example you can pull on Pretty Boy Lloyd if you force him to dig up the stash he's hidden in a grave in the New Reno graveyard. After a while, he'll circumvent and dig up a land mine he left to protect the stash (but not disarm it). Once he's done exhuming the grave and retrieved the goodies for you, well, might as well make use of the mine, right?...
- One of Erron Black's moves in Mortal Kombat 11 is him underhand tossing a stick of dynamite to his opponent; they'll struggle to catch it, and subsequently sustain an explosion that tosses them into the air like a ragdoll.
- In The Punisher video game, one of the kills the titular Vigilante Man can do, is to toss his shotgun, assault rifle, or machine gun at an enemy who will reflexively catch it, distracting him. The Punisher will then either stab the guy in the face, or shoot him in the head with a handgun.
- Wesker throws his sunglasses at Chris in a Resident Evil 5 cutscene. The glasses themselves were harmless, but the split-second Chris needed to catch the glasses was enough to give Wesker an opening for a vicious assault.
- Resonance of Fate. The opening cutscene has Vashyron toss his opponent a loaded gun to replace his empty weapon. While the surprised target fumbles to aim it, Vashyron dashes forward, slams him into a wall, and puts a gun in his mouth.
- Elite goons from Rise of the Triad would say "Here, catch!" when they toss a grenade at you. Of course, the whole game is rather on the silly side.
- In Starcraft II, the nuclear missiles are inscribed with the words "Take it!"
- In Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception, Nate can sometimes perform this kind of attack in hand-to-hand combat; throwing his gun at an enemy and then knocking him out as he's catching it.
- In the Warcraft RTS games, it was used as a catchphrase for the Dwarven Mortar Team. According to WoWWiki:
From the time the dwarves first learned to use mortars to the present day, there have been only 3 reported cases of the enemy being stupid enough to actually try catching the shell, with a successful catch being made only once. The name of the individual who performed this impressive feat has been lost, along with most of his anatomy and all insect and plant life in a 15-foot radius of the place where he was standing.
- From the E3 Gameplay demo of XCOM 2, we've got a soldier saying when throwing a grenade at three Advent Faceless Goons hiding behind a car: "Here, catch!". A big Kaboom ensues, blowing up the car and the advent goons, and the soldier quips: "And that's how it's done!"
- The Demented Cartoon Movie: "Oh, Juliet!" "Oh, Romeo... catch!" *BOOM*
- Red vs. Blue:
- Played with a bit while Tucker has organized a training exercise to catch Felix. At one point, Tucker throws a grenade, telling him to "Catch!" Felix does so.
Felix: One mississippi, two mississippi, three mississippi...
Tucker: Oh no, NONONONONO!
Felix: FOUR mississippi! [Felix throws the grenade back to Tucker, and it explodes right as it touches him]
- Tucker turns it into a Pre-Mortem One-Liner when he tosses Felix a grenade while Felix is trying to maintain his shield, which is currently stuck with another grenade.
- Played with a bit while Tucker has organized a training exercise to catch Felix. At one point, Tucker throws a grenade, telling him to "Catch!" Felix does so.
- Daray of Charby the Vampirate tosses a decorative sculpture at his deceased brother's girlfriend Torie in order to get her to reveal the dagger she's hiding behind her back while inching closer to him causing her to have her hands full when he punches her in the face.
- Girl Genius:
- Subverted when a person gets thrown... and they don't bother to catch him.
- Agatha tosses her Castle Heterodyne dingbot at a Geisterdame and shouts catch, which allows the dingbot to electrocute the Geisterdame when she reflexively catches it.
- In the Goblins sub-webcomic Tempts Fate, a goblin defeats an adversary whose god forbade him to wield any weapon by tossing him one.
- An unusual form in The Order of the Stick. Haley Starshine says "Catch." while firing two arrows at Tarquin. Of course, she knows full well he can catch them both, but Tarquin is hanging for his dear life at the railing of an airship at the time, and it results in him plummeting to the ground.
- In Weak Hero, before fighting with Ben, Jimmy throws him a pack of wipes to help clean up his bloodied friend. It's a ruse, however, as Jimmy punches him the second that Ben is distracted with his catch.
- DC Animated Universe:
- Batman Beyond: Terry thinks Willy Watt has developed telekinesis and is terrorizing people from his jail cell. Terry's test? Throw a glass of water. It stops mere inches from Willy's head. Yup, found the bad guy.
- Justice League: The Joker throws a doll at Wonder Woman, who reflexively catches it. It explodes in her face.
- Looney Tunes: Daffy Duck twirls a mop like a baton and tosses it in the air ("Conrad the Sailor"). He tells Conrad Cat "Catch!" before the mop lands on his head.
- Teen Titans: In the finale, Beast Boy throws a handful of mud at a girl he believes to be a restored Terra. It hits her in the face.
- According to a witness account in the book The Phantom Major, David Stirling, founder of the SAS, used this as a Bond One-Liner during a raid in North Africa. He opened a door in an administration building, found a German officer sitting behind a desk, and said, "Here - catch!". The German indeed caught the object he was thrown, and cried a horrified "Nein!" when he recognised it as a grenade; Stirling replied "Ja!", slammed the poor fellow's office door closed again, and was several strides down the corridor when the grenade detonated.
- Slingers in ancient times would often inscribe their projectiles with insults, one of them being simply, "Take this."
- Similarly, taunts and insults have been printed or drawn on modern bombs and missiles.