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Knockback Slide

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When you get hit, don't fall down! Slide back!

When two characters fight, sometimes a character will get hit hard enough that they should be Punched Across the Room or otherwise thrown clear through the air... but instead, they will brace for impact, take the hit, and sliiide backwards on their feet, carving or ripping trails in the ground (and kicking up plenty of dust) as they do so, until they come to a stop. Bonus points if they also reach one hand down to the ground for extra grip.

Improbable as this may be for a character to get forced backwards without getting flipped over in the process, damn, it sure looks cool! And any character with enough badassery can pull it off.

A similar phenomenon can happen in Video Games specifically when a character blocks their opponent's attack with a Defend Command — it pushes them back, but without them losing their guard, taking (much) damage, or actually getting knocked off their feet in the process.

Compare Three-Point Landing for a similarly awesome-if-improbable occurrence.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Bleach does this on more than one occasion. Notably, due to the nature of the cast's Not Quite Flight powers, a character will often skid back and throw up dust in midair.
  • Extremely prevalent in Dragon Ball. It's a quick way of showing that the opponents are fairly equal, or if the attack was a signature move, that the catcher is about to deliver a world of hurt.
  • Happens a few times in Hajime no Ippo, when a character takes a particularly strong hit with their guard up. Kind of ridiculous when you realize the canvas they're standing on is meant to provide solid footing so the boxers won't slip when throwing their punches.
  • Pictured above: Appears in Haruhi-chan, episode five, when they're playing dodgeball and the Computer Club President catches Haruhi's supersonic throw.
  • Heart Catch Pretty Cure: Cure Moonlight does one after receiving a big hit from Dark Pretty Cure, unlike most examples here the fact that she withstood the attack with just a slide back is treated as badass for Moonlight as she lost to the same attack in the first episode.
  • Happens a few times in Hunter × Hunter during the high-powered dodgeball game in the Greed Island arc as characters make use of the rule that a hit doesn't count if you manage to catch the ball or deflect it to an opponent.
  • Happened at least once or twice in the Inuyasha anime.
  • Jojos Bizarre Adventure has a good one around 0:30 in this clip.
  • Ninja battles in Naruto are often the cause of much sliding.
  • One Piece: Luffy's Jet Bazooka sends Blueno sliding a few meters. While at first it looks like he successfully tanked it and Luffy prepares to use Gear Third, Blueno passes out and collapses before he gets the chance.
  • Happens at least once per episode in Pokémon: The Series.
  • Happens every so often in Yu-Gi-Oh!. Odd since said monsters are holograms and thus have no physical substance nor can create wind.
  • This happens quite a few time during Genkai's Tournament in YuYu Hakusho.
  • Vampire Hunter D Bloodlust: D does one of these early on when he gets knocked off of Meier Link's carriage. Played for Laughs when his left hand yells "My face!" as he's being dragged along the ground.

    Comic Books 

  • The Matrix Revolutions plays with this one during the final fight between Neo and Smith: at one point, they hit each other and go flying in opposite directions. Neo makes an elegant Three-Point Landing while Smith crashes into the ground and slides several yards. It's played with in that in that the ground slides with him.
  • In Big Brother 2007, Sunny Deol gives a thug a knockback with such force it looks as if the guy is being pulled by a speeding narm truck when he hits the ground.
  • In Supercop, during the training exhibition for Michelle Yeoh, the cadet in the red tank top pushes Jackie into a knockback slide with a Battering Ram Head move. Jackie blocks it and is pushed backwards several feet in the gravel, kicking up some dust in the process.
  • In The Host (2006), a main character spears the beast's face with a street sign pole. The monster then convulses forward in retaliation, but the character stands his ground and slides a good distance backward as the evil thing perishes.
  • Pacific Rim does with a building-sized mecha taking a blow from a giant monster. Even better, it stops just short of a seagull.
  • In Godzilla: Final Wars, this is the only reaction from Monster X when Godzilla blasts him with his Atomic Breath.

    Video Games 
  • Although Pokémon (as a turn-based RPG) doesn't actually utilize knockback, in its 3D incarnationsnote  (such as Pokémon Colosseum) various Pokemon species have recoil animations that portray them as taking a hit and sliding back while on their feet.
  • Super Smash Bros.: Wavedashing in Melee is an Exploited version of this. By air-dodging diagonally into the ground, a character can skid forward in a cloud of dust... but still counts as standing still, meaning they can use attacks that couldn't be used while running. A more easily seen version of this trope in Melee (and Brawl) is in the Home Run Contest, while the sandbag is slowing to a stop. A stricter interpretation is the slide suffered after shielding an attack, which may be enough to get just out of range of a follow-up. Luigi in particular may slide clear across the stage.
  • The MMORPG Mabinogi uses this as a combat mechanism. It also subverts this trope whenever you occasionally get knocked back and slide before you tumble over and regain your composure.
  • In Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage, named male enemy characters who are defeated are shown in a cutscene being pushed into a Knockback Slide from the attack that defeated them. (Mamiya, on the other hand, gets knocked onto her ass.)
  • In Monster Hunter series, guarding attacks can result in this depending on what weapon you're using and how strong the attack in question is. Attacks that won't budge a lance or gunlance user (who are slow and pack heavy-duty shields), for instance, can make a sword and shield user (who move quickly, but only have a simple buckler or arm guard) get pushed back multiple body lengths and rendered incapable of action until they stop sliding. Certain skills allow you to reduce how far you get knocked back, but the nimbler weapon types will never be able to match the defensive capabilities of the slower ones, which tends to make dodging the superior defensive option for them; guarding being better utilized as a last resort.
  • This is the most Raiden of Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance manages to do to Senator Armstrong while fighting him hand-to-hand: make him slide back about a foot after hitting him as hard as possible.
    Raiden: Why Won't You Die??!
    Armstrong: Nanomachines, son!
  • Final Fantasy XIV has some enemies that can cause knockback against you, which forces your character to slide backwards as they stagger. Stronger attacks cause you to slide back further.
  • Happens in the Doom (2016) reboot when fighting the Cyberdemon, though in this case, it is less Punched Across the Room so much as it's being Thrown Across the Room. Nevertheless, the Doom Marine still manages to stay upright and skid to a dead stop though the sheer rage in his system.
  • If you parry an attack that's too powerful for the Penitent One to successfully parry in Blasphemous, it slides him back a short distance instead of stunning the enemy. However, you still don't take damage from the attack if this happens.

  • We don't see the slide, but in Antihero for Hire Crossroad lands in this pose after being tossed.
  • In Girl Genius, Merlot does this with a giant robot here.
  • In the middle school brawl between Ben and Jimmy in Weak Hero, the first hit of Ben's that connects sends Jimmy skidding across the construction site, only kept upright by blocking the attack with his arms.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • It actually can happen in real life, but it takes certain kinds of surfaces, such as dusty dry earth or sand (the particles give up a lot easier than the person's stability does) or hardwood floor (as in the Risky Business slide.)
  • Playing tennis on clay courts will also cause the players to slide in this manner (though of course not nearly as dramatically as in fiction).
  • Film of Bruce Lee demonstrating his famous One Inch Punch starts with his target standing in front of a chair, then Lee punches, and the man is knocked into the chair which slides backwards a few feet. Yes, Lee's one inch punch really was that powerful. His six inch punch was even more devastating, causing the chair to slide backwards several yards.