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Improbable Chopsticks Skill

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"Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything."
Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid (1984), just before Daniel catches the fly on his first try

While chopsticks are a staple tool for eating in many Eastern cultures, certain characters take the ability to manipulate things with their chopsticks to an incredible extreme. One common trick is to treat the chopsticks like darts, embedding them into the target. Other improbable uses tend to be feats of dexterity and speed; easily doing something that is considered difficult with even normal hands. Can overlap with Fork Fencing (optional: use both chopsticks instead of just one).

No relation to the ability to play "Chopsticks" well on the piano.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Crayon Shin-chan has a story arc, "Kendo dojo" where the titular character trains under a budding kendo practitioner named Kenta Musashino. Said story is a Whole-Plot Reference to The Karate Kid, including a scene where Shin-Chan snatches a housefly with chopsticks.
  • In GA: Geijutsuka Art Design Class, the girls are sketching a tissue box, when a fly is going to the tissue and is feared to change the shape of it so the girls have to start over. Noda then find a set of chopsticks and suggest that Tomokane use them against the fly. She actually manages to catch it.
    • Later when they are eating they have a game where they have to do different things. Tomokane gets "don't use chopsticks". But since the Japanese word for chopsticks, "hashi", is also how you read the kanji for "the ends", she figure out that she can just use the middle parts of the chopsticks in stead of the ends. It however turn out to be to hard for her to eat rice that way. Kisaragi get her a spoon.
  • In Chapter 15 of Kaguya-sama: Love Is War Kaguya catches a fly with chopsticks like it's nothing and releases it outside. Shirogane then compares her with Miyamoto Musashi.
  • Ranma ½: Prince Kirin from the first movie uses chopsticks as his main weapon, not only catching punches and kicks with them but using them to hurl rice grains hard enough to hurt like bullets.
  • Inverted For Laughs in Sgt. Frog: Garuru's only weakness is that he can't eat with chopsticks unless he resorts to spearing his food.
  • In Toriko, this is used as a Training from Hell for Toriko and Komatsu in Chowlin Temple: they have to manipulate and catch incredibly delicate foods with chopsticks, as well as eating with 5 meters-long chopsticks. Weaponized by Ichiryuu, who can obliterate giant monsters using giant energy chopsticks.

    Asian Animation 
  • Wong Fei-hung has a 1990s cartoon where the titular character seeks training from an Old Master. Who displays his skills by using his chopsticks to snatch a housefly harassing him during lunch.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Garfield strip from January 5th, 1988:
    Jon: Still haven't mastered those chopsticks, huh, Garfield?
    Garfield: Mastered? No ... *Holds up the entire contents of the takeout box between his chopsticks* Perfected? Yes...

    Film — Animated 
  • In Captain Sabertooth and the Magic Diamond, when the pirates are having sushi for dinner, Benjamin displays remarkable skill with the chopsticks, flinging the sushi pieces around and catching them in mid-air with the chopsticks. This greatly annoys Captain Sabertooth, who doesn't even know how to begin using the chopsticks.
  • Part of Po's training (and the first part to go well) in Kung Fu Panda involves fighting over the last dumpling with chopsticks, complete with Fork Fencing (except with chopsticks) and throwing said chopsticks with such force that they stick into a nearby tree like a throwing-knife would.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • Mr. Miyagi in The Karate Kid (1984) has been attempting to catch flies with chopsticks for years. Daniel succeeds on the first try through luck, to his annoyance.
    • The MAD magazine parody has Daniel using the chopsticks to hold a can of bug spray.
  • Subverted and Played for Laughs in the Jackie Chan remake of The Karate Kid (2010). He looks like he's about to perform that feat, but instead takes out a swatter and swats the fly. He then picks the fly up with his chopsticks, then continues eating with said chopsticks, to which Dre remarks, "That's nasty."
  • Order No. 027: This North Korean (yes) action film includes a scene where one of the good guy North Korean commandos throws a chopstick like a dart, and gets it to stick in a South Korean soldier's eye.
  • Toned down in Kill Bill: one of Pai Mei's tests for his students is for them to be able to graciously eat rice with chopsticks after a full day of Training from Hell. (I.E. trying to break a board only a finger length away by BASHING YOUR KNUCKLES AGAINST IT.)
  • The trope of catching flies with chopsticks actually predates The Karate Kid by nearly 30 years! The film, Samurai 3: Duel on Ganryuu Island has a scene where thugs are making trouble/picking fights, they head to where Musashi is sitting, and he is literally picking flies from the air. They stop, watch, then don't both him, figuring he is probably skilled enough to take all of them on. The actual scene, for reference.

    Live-Action TV 
  • One documentary about unusual weapons had a section about shuriken and related weapons. One of the people shown was an Asian martial artist who could throw a normal chopstick with enough force to make it stick in a piece of wood like a dart.
  • In The Japanese Tradition: Chopsticks,note  demonstrations of chopstick use range from inept to animated sculpture.
  • In True Blood, Sookie stakes a vampire with chopsticks.

    Video Games 
  • In an early cutscene in True Crime: Streets of LA, Nick deals with a mafia henchman who is shaking down the owner of the restaurant he's currently eating at by flinging a chopstick at him, apparently with enough force to thoroughly lodge it in his ear. From across the room.

    Western Animation 
  • Carmen Sandiego: The episode, "The Daisho Caper" reveals that Shadowsan from his days as a yakuza member once took down a dozen rivals with just a pair of chopsticks according to a yakuza goon and does it again when fighting Lady Dokuso's men.