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This is an action trope. It is performed by a character who throws an object in the air, performs some action sequence while it is airborne, then catches it on its way down. It pays off if the object in question is cumbersome and makes desired action impossible but it can be used in other situations too.

The velocity with which it would need to be launched tends to make this implausible in Real Life.

Compare Precision-Guided Boomerang, Excuse Me While I Multitask and Dish Dash.


Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Dragon Ball Z
    • During the Namek arc, Zarbon does it with one of the Dragon Balls.
    • Also, in the Gohan vs. Cell fight, upon becoming SSJ2 in a blaze of glory and awesome, he snatches back the bag of senzu from Cell, gets attacked by several mini-Cells, throws the bag in the air, brushes his opponents away and... casually waits for the bag to fall in his hand, his near-permanent Death Glare locked on the horizon. This cements how much the mini-Cells are not a match against Gohan.
  • Dragon Ball Super: Gohan and Mr. Satan toss baby Pan and catch her several times while sparring with each other. Even though Pan laughed throughout the experience and clearly enjoyed it, Chi-Chi tears into the men for doing that.
  • In an early episode of Baccano!, Firo does this with his brand-new hat several times while fighting four thugs.
  • Cho in Rurouni Kenshin does it with a baby hanging to the handle of his sword.
  • In Full Metal Panic!, Sōsuke is carrying Kaname in one hand of his Humongous Mecha and Kurz in the other, while being pursued by enemy gunships. As one closes in, he throws Kaname into the air, draws his gun, blows up the helicopter, discards the gun, and catches her — all in one smooth motion. Somewhat atypically for the "toss a person" variant used in this and several other listed examples, Kaname is knocked unconscious by Sōsuke's stunt. Kurz muses that it might not be a good idea for them to be around when she wakes up.
  • Ranma ½
    • Ranma does this with a fishbowl containing an eel, which he keeps from spilling as he's attacked by Ryōga.
    • Even earlier, Ranma was trying to grab the Phoenix Pill medicine which hung from Cologne's neck, but the old woman kept giving her bowls of piping-hot ramen. Their hands, moving back and forth in jabs and defenses, kept at least one bowl floating in midair for a few instants.
  • This is Jubei's introduction and Establishing Character Moment in Ninja Scroll. He simply had to take care of three disgruntled assailants before he could finish his delicious rice-ball. So, he tosses said rice-ball straight into the air as two of his would-be murderers leapt into him, blocks the first with his sheathed sword and knocks him silly with a headbutt, takes his spear and smashes the second incoming idiot unconscious with it, then cuts the pistol of the third in half and sheathes his sword in one fast motion so fast the audience couldn't' see it, and then opens his hand and lets the rice ball fall back into it, nonchalantly finishing his lunch afterwards. It's as badass as it sounds.
  • In vol. 4 of the manga Tokyo Akazukin, Meganekko assassin Vivian throws both her swords into the air to reload her two handguns before catching them again. It helps that she has four arms...
  • Leo does this at the beginning of the Rose Guns Days manga… with a cigarette butt. Cool guys don't need no hands for this trope.
  • Samurai Champloo. At the end of "Gamblers and Gallantry", three swordsman throw their straw hats into the air before attacking Jin, who slays them all before the hats hit the ground.
  • Spy X Family: In one chapter where Yor is frantically carrying Becky to the hospital after mistakenly thinking the latter had consumed alcohol, Yor tosses Becky into the air right before Yor gets hit by a truck. Then Yor, who apparently wasn't hurt by this, uses the momentum of the hit to rapidly roll forward and catch Becky.

    Comic Books 
  • Les Innommables: Alix is seen infiltrating a gang as a prostitute, one of which offers her a bowl of rice before the evening's work. She takes it tosses it in the air, and kills them with the chopsticks while the bowl is still in the air.
  • Lucky Luke is frequently seen firing his six-shooter while his hands were busy a split-second ago. He's fast enough to not bother with the "throw whatever he's holding in the air first" step, though; he'll have re-holstered his gun and caught the item in the exact same spot as before at the end of the move. Then again, he is able to visibly shoot faster than his shadow...
    • He does it once while pouring a bottle into a glass, firing behind him, and then catching the bottle again without spilling a drop.
    • At another time, while he's holding an ally about to fall down a chasm with both hands, he needs to fire both his guns, and then he catches up his friend again.
    • In yet another, he tosses a gun into the air, then shoots the gun while it's in midair, causing it to shoot the guns out of the hands of the three bad guys.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animation 
  • Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius: During the big fight with the Yolkians at the colosseum. Jimmy throws Cindy a can of Purple Flirp, a sugary drink, to give her a power boost. She drinks it and throws it up in the air before using a flying kick against a Yolkian and catching it after landing.
  • In Kung Fu Panda 3, Tigress has to fight a Jade Zombie while protecting Lei Lei, a young panda girl, tossing her several times in the air to freely perform some kung fu move, before catching her back unharmed.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Jackie Chan does this (as well as Dish Dash) frequently with a Priceless Ming Vase and other stuff.
  • Trinity in The Matrix Revolutions does a trick with throwing and catching a gun.
  • A heroine of DOA: Dead or Alive, when being caught by enemies immediately after taking a shower, managed to pull this trick with her bra. And she not only caught it on its way down, but also put it on.
  • A particular example with a vase in a museum in Batman & Robin.
  • Also in Batman Returns, where it's a special case in that the objects being juggled are the weapons. Two men on stilts with heavily scarred faces toss flaming sticks back and forth during a gang-style riot - in the process burning the clothes of terrified bystanders rushing past.
  • Hellboy pulls a version of this in Hellboy II: The Golden Army while carrying a baby. He tosses it in the air long enough to load his giant pistol and fires it after the baby is back in his other hand.
  • Done hilariously near the beginning of Hidalgo. "Heads or tails? *WHACK* Tails. You lose."
  • Part of the stage trick "The Transported Man" in The Prestige.
  • In Inspector Gadget (1999), the title character does this with a dog, but it is All Just a Dream.
  • The Mask, done by a superpowered embodiment of id with the girl he's dancing with.
  • In The Princess Bride, Inigo does this with his sword during his fight with the Man In Black. The Man in Black then sees him and raises him with his own sword.
  • Sonny in I, Robot throws the container of nanites forward (while running very fast), disables a hostile robot and catches it further down the corridor.
  • Kill Bill put a spin on this in a deleted scene. Bill is being rushed by three swordsmen. He balances his sheathed sword on the ground, draws it, and kills the three men... re-sheathing the sword afterward. The scabbard hadn't had time to fall down.
  • Western film My Name Is Nobody has the gunslinger, who is carrying his saddle by the pommel over his shoulder, let go of the pommel and then draw and reholster with that hand three times before again grabbing the saddle, which hasn't had time to drop below his shoulder. Perhaps trick photography?
  • In the Will Smith movie Hancock, the title superhero does this with a small child.
  • In The Chronicles of Riddick, during the fight on Crematoria, Riddick kicks the knife of a Necromonger from his hand, kills two of them bare-handed, then catches the knife as it falls back and tosses it into another enemy.
  • The Transporter. The protagonist snatches the green cloth off a table where several mooks are playing cards, sending a Beretta flying into the air in Slow Motion. He then uses the cloth as a Improvised Weapon to take down the mooks until the gun drops into his hand where it comes in handy for Knee-capping.
  • Sunset: During the fight in Victoria's house, Mix is slammed against a set of shelves and a (presumably valuable) vase falls off. Mix catches it, then throws it towards Australian houseman who is coming to punch him. The houseman is forced to abort his attack to catch it. The vase goes throw several more tosses before being shattered when Mix punches through it to hit the houseman in the face.

    Literature 
  • A variation in The Murderbot Diaries. When Dr. Mensah is startled by a journalist appearing out of nowhere, she drops the bottle she's holding and jumps backwards...right into Murderbot who's raced down the corridor in time to catch the falling bottle and inform the journalist that he has 47 seconds to leave before Station Security arrives to detain him.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Book of Boba Fett. After being adopted by a Tusken tribe, Boba is shown being instructed in the use of a gaffi stick for fighting. The instructor knocks it out of Boba's hands because he's not holding it correctly, and Boba gaining skill in the use of the weapon is shown when he's able to knock it from his instructor's hands. However the instructor just catches the gaffi stick on the way down and has Boba on his back in moments.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess: Xena does this frequently. Once, with a baby.
  • Hilariously parodied in Scrubs during the fight against the "ninja surgeons". The briefcase conveniently stays in the air during the whole Kung Fu Fighting. Of course, it is one of J.D.'s Imagine Spots.
  • In the live-action The Flash (1990) show, The Flash uses this to fight the Trickster. He grabs a bunch of juggler's clubs, throws them in the direction of the Trickster, then runs the other side of him, catches the clubs and throws them back, and repeating. The Trickster is trapped in a circle of rapidly moving Flash and flying clubs until one of the clubs hits him on the head and knocks him out.
  • Kamen Rider Double: When Kamen Rider Accel uses Trial form, this is part of that form's Finishing Move. He throws the secondary Transformation Trinket into the air, kicks his opponent an insane amount of times, then catches the device while his opponent blows up behind him. "9.8 seconds... that's the time until your despair."
  • Hustle "Conning the Artists". A Japanese man, seeking revenge for a con, forces the gang to each eat a piece of fugu fish, one of which is poisoned. Billy tries to fight him instead of eating his piece, which gets knocked into the air and lands in Billy's open mouth after he's been taken down.
  • Kamen Rider Fourze. Kou Tatsugami is always carrying around a pair of walnuts, which he uses like worry-balls; in one of his earliest appearances, he fights off Foundation X goons, starting by tossing the nuts in the air and ending with holding the remaining enemy in an arm-lock, his free hand casually extended to catch the falling nuts. Because he's a badass, that's why.
  • Angel
    • In "The Prodigal", Angel is facing a demon when he's attacked by two vampires working for the demon. He throws the axe he's carrying in the air, stakes both vampires with hidden wrist-mounted stakes at the same time, then catches the axe and beheads the demon with it.
    • In "Release", Faith slices Angelus, throws the knife in the air, punches him, then catches the knife to cut him again.
  • In one challenge on Survivor, contestants faced off against each other while each balanced a ball on a flat surface with one hand, using the other hand to try and knock their opponent's ball to the ground. Since the rule was that the loser was the person whose ball hit the ground first, some of the smarter players realized they could throw their own ball high in the air and then use both of the their hands to attack the opponent with downward strikes, pushing their opponent's ball to the dirt before their own finally landed.
  • In the pilot of Bionic Woman, Jaime knocks a switchblade from a mugger's hand, takes him down with some martial arts moves then catches the knife as it falls. That's when she realizes she's been programmed as a Super-Soldier.
  • Game of Thrones. Played with in "Dark Wings, Dark Words". Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie refuse to surrender to some outlaws. An archer among them looses an arrow straight up in the air. "When I'm done talking, that arrow is falling down on your fat head. So I advise you move, because I'm done talking." They quickly jump to one side and the arrow falls exactly into the spot where they were standing.
  • Titans (2018). In "Lady Vic", Dick Grayson/Robin catches a Classy Cat-Burglar stealing a Priceless Ming Vase. Both of them show off their dexterity and Nerves of Steel by tossing the vase to each other or up in the air as they spar, until Robin flat-out asks this Mysterious Woman why she's not trying to run away instead. She unmasks to reveal herself as Barbara Gordon in her pre-Batgirl days, committing crimes for kicks.

    Video Games 
  • Some Super Mario World ROM Hacks of the Nintendo Hard variety require Mario to juggle multiple items across a chasm to continue onward. If the creator is savvy, they'll also have eliminated the carry two items at once glitch.
  • A lot of Fire Emblem critical hit animations have the character throw their weapon or shield in the air, make a jumping attack, and catch it on the way down. Ike is particularly known for this — his trademark Aether move involves him throwing his sword up and jumping after it — and it even carries into his Super Smash Bros. Brawl moveset.
  • One of the moves from the Dual Pistols power set in City of Heroes involves tossing your pistols in the air, catching them, and "punching" them forward. This serves no purpose other than Rule of Cool, but then, so is most of that power set.
  • The intro to Sonic and the Black Knight has Sonic do this with a chili dog.
  • Up to ridiculous amounts in Sonic Generations. At the beginning of the game, Sonic throws a chili dog in the sky. After the whole game and action, the universes are back to normal, and he catches the chili dog, simply saying "Still warm! Time travel.". Also doubles as Brick Joke.
  • In The Legend of Dragoon, Dart's initial Dragoon Magic attack, Flame Shot, has him throwing his sword into the air, charging a ball of fire in front of him and shoulder-tackling it to the target. He catches his sword after the impact.
  • A recurring situation in Rayman games since the second one. Rayman has to throw a barrel at an enemy who is shooting at him, so he has to throw the barrel above himself, block the projectile, catch the barrel, walk and repeat this until he's close enough.
  • In Injustice: Gods Among Us, Deathstroke's special attack has him slashing his opponent with his sword, then throwing it in the air, firing a few rounds with his pistols, then grabbing it and stabbing his opponent, and finishing him off with another round of guns.
  • In Battlefield 3 it's possible to do a variation of this with jets and rockets launchers as seen here.
  • Gambit in Marvel vs. Capcom 2 (and some Capcom-made Marvel fighting games before that) has the move Royal Flush where he throws his staff up, then unloads his cards at the enemy, then he catches the staff back and flicks a finger, making the cards explode.
  • In Splatoon 3, two players on the winning team of a battle may perform a fist bump under certain conditions. If they have a win pose that features their weapon, they may toss the weapon up off-screen to fist bump, then catch it right after.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • Archer does it with infant. On a rooftop!
  • Robin does this at least Once per Episode with his bird-a-rangs on Teen Titans (2003).
  • One of General Grievous' signature moves in Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
  • Variation: In the Spongebob Squarepants episode "Pre-Hibernation Week", Sandy and SpongeBob are shown playing "extreme jacks", where one rolls a bowling ball down a chute and must pick up jacks positioned under the other end of the chute before the ball hits him or her on the head.
  • Grougaloragran does it with Yugo's baby carriage in the first episode of Wakfu to dodge Nox's Sword Beam. But then the carriage just stay hanging in the air (showing there is some magic at work) even before Nox stops time.
  • Jun the Bounty Hunter of Avatar: The Last Airbender tosses her steaming cup of tea in the air, throws the large, burly man she's been fighting across the room, catches the cup without spilling a drop, and nonchalantly takes a sip.
    Toph: I don't know who this Jun lady is but (crosses her arms and smiles widely) I like her.
  • In The Powerpuff Girls (1998), Mojo Jojo once did a cooking sequence where he threw knives into the air and caught them after working on some food.
  • Justice League. In "Wild Cards", a villain with Super-Strength to match Superman's own is keeping him away from a bomb that's ticking down. Eventually Superman just throws him vertically in the air, defuses the bomb, then catches the villain on his way down.

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