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Left Stuck After Attack

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Say you're in a fist fight with an overgrown blob. You take a swing and hit it hard! Except it doesn't recoil, so you try to back away... except now your hand is stuck! Left Stuck After Attack is when a melee attack hits something or someone, and then whatever they used gets stuck on or in it. The attack could be punch or a kick, it could be with a weapon or even a non-human appendage such as horns or a tail. Their opponent may now use the resulting spare time to reason, run away or just score a few free hits. Sometimes this results in the attacker giving an "Oh, Crap!" Smile, or the one who was attacked giving a Slasher Smile, sometimes both.


How long the character stays like that depends on their strength, general badassness and plot requirements. They may be immobilized long enough to be defeated, captured or killed, may struggle dramatically for several seconds and manage to free themselves just in time to divert their opponent's finishing strike and resume fighting, or may forcefully rip their fist/weapon out mere moments after getting stuck, sending chunks of the wall flying. Either way, the character is trapped, albeit temporary, while being simultaneously shown as considerably strong and/or pissed off.

Often makes for some Fridge Logic, specifically for weapons: if your weapon is lodged into something and you're under attack, why would you waste time to pull it out and not defend/escape instead? It may be justified if the weapon is really, really important somehow; or if the wielder is purely attacking and doesn't have a spare. On the other hand, if you use your limbs, or if your weapon is connected to your body in some way, if pulling them out isn't an option, another option is to cut them off, or at least break the weapon if it's possible. The latter can also happen with handheld weapons, but it's often more of an accident.


Related to Anchored Attack Stance, Blade Brake, Sword Plant and The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In.

Often the result of Deadly Dodging, and may be one way to beat a Bullfight Boss. Can be an intended result of a character's Deliberate Injury Gambit or Pull Yourself Down the Spear where the weapon gets stuck inside the character. May overlap with Sticky Situation. Compare Hand in the Hole, contrast Barrier-Busting Blow, where it's done intentionally and stuck part never happens.


Examples :

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    Anime & Manga 
  • One Piece
    • At the start of his battles in Arlong Park, Luffy slams his feet into the ground to anchor himself for an attack, in which he grabs Momoo and swings him around at the Mooks in the courtyard. He ends up realizing that he's stuck after the attack is finished, when he's unable to dodge Hachi's ink spray. Arlong then tears out a chunk of the ground with Luffy's feet still stuck in it and tosses it into the sea, forcing Luffy's teammates to save him.
    • At the start of the Enies Lobby arc, Sanji is fighting Wanze, who covers himself in an "armor" made of ramen; when Sanji tried to kick it, he got his leg stuck and then got slammed around for his troubles. He then gets wise and proceeds to cut the ramen to pieces with a pair of knives.
  • Ranma ½. After Saotome Ranma in girl form routinely dodges Tendo Akane's attacks, Akane throws a fierce jab. Ranma leaps over the blow, which continues into the dojo wall. Akane remains motionless with surprise rather than being stuck. Ranma simply taps Akane's head as an "I win" gesture. It is then Akane realizes that Saotome Ranma is a high-level martial artist.
  • Naruto:
    • The night before the Chunin Exam's final tournament starts, Hayate assaults Baki of the Sand Village with his sword. But then Hayate's blade gets stuck on Baki's shoulder, who, while ignoring his shoulder, says: "Would you like to know a kind of blade that will never get lodged to things?" Before he can realize it, Hayate is then killed by the answer to the riddle: a blade made of wind chakra.
    • During Naruto's fight with Kabuto, he lets Kabuto stab him in the hand with a kunai, then uses his free hand to form a Rasengan (with the help of a clone) and drives the Rasengan into Kabuto's chest.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: Joey's Battle City duel with Mako Tsunami involves Joey countering one of Mako's attacks with a trap with a blade on a chain that, by anchoring itself to the walls of Mako's whale monster, allows Joey's monster to directly board and destroy, with help from an additional powerup, the otherwise protected by tornado monster.
  • In Fist of the North Star, Mr. Heart combines this with Kevlard to trap his enemies' limbs in his rolls of fat, which also act to insulate him against pressure point attacks.
  • Lampshaded in Blade of the Immortal when two Mugai-ryu assassins try to kill Magatsu Taito. He rams his sword through the palanquin he was sitting in right through the body of his first attacker killing him instantly. The second assassin, while intimidated, points out that ramming a sword that deep through someone causes the flesh and bone to close up around the blade, so there's no way Magatsu can work him weapon free in time to defend himself. While Magatsu freely acknowledges the guy's point, when the assassin attacks he simply pulls out the smaller sword concealed inside his main one and cuts him down.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Wrath stabs Buccaneer with his sword, but it gets stuck when the latter flexes his abs, forcing Wrath to abandon his sword.
  • In Hunter × Hunter, Killua stabs Machi with his hand, but can't retract it, because her pecs were keeping it in.
  • In Magi: Labyrinth of Magic, the monstrous giant ape Garda is able to land her attacks on Alibaba after the latter's sword got stuck in her pectorals.
  • Dragon Shiryu of Saint Seiya uses this in his battle against Capricorn Shura. First goading Shura into stabbing him in the chest with his Razor-Sharp Hand, resisting the attack and trapping the hand in his own chest with his power, to finally use the opportunity to cut his opponent's arm while they are both immobilized.

    Comic Books 
  • X-Men villain The Blob is a giant fat guy who literally absorbs punches into his massive belly, leaving his attackers stuck in him (in some incarnations).
  • Wonder Woman (1987): Diana takes advantage of this to disarm Medusa during the gorgon's attack on the White House, picking up an armchair like a shield and yanking Medusa's sword from her grip as soon as the blade was lodged in the furniture.

    Comic Strips 
  • Garfield: The titular cat once tried to stomp a spider but landed so forcefully that he broke the floorboards and ended up embedded up to his chin in the floor. And to add insult to injury, he missed.
    Garfield: I hate spiders! [CRACK] I hate hating spiders.

     Fairy Tales 
  • The French-Canadian fairy tale The Golden Phoenix has the hero combine this with Deadly Dodging. When he approaches the underground kingdom, Petit Jean encounters a unicorn, who challenges him to combat when he won't go back. Jean steps aside, leaving the unicorn to get stuck in the wall.

    Fan Works 
  • You Are Not At Fault: Asuka embeds her axe into Raziel during one fight, but then she cannot pull it out. Quickly she gives up her axe and draws her knife.
    Without missing a beat, Asuka continued the swing, turning her whole Unit around and adding momentum to her attack as the axe sunk into its right shoulder. The beast did not seem to notice, and Asuka's attempt to pull the axe out was thwarted as the wound appeared to close around the blade. The surface of Raziel's right arm began to writhe as it started pulling the axe into its mass. Realising that it was trying to trap her, the redhead let go of the handle, back-pedalling as she reached for her shoulder-mounted progressive knife.

    Films — Animation 
  • This is how Thrax in Osmosis Jones meets his end, having his poking finger of doom stuck in a false eyelash that falls into a vial of alcohol.
  • In the Soviet animated adaptation of Treasure Island, a drunken fight between Israel Hands and O'Brian starts with them angrily bashing on a table. Hands bashes through the table and O'Brian uses it to bitch-slap him, only to run away in terror when Hands lifts the table and chases him waving it over his head. He quickly gets stuck in a door and O'Brian again scores some free kicks, until Hands finally breaks the table.
  • In The Incredibles, the Omni Droid pulls a very temporary version. It misses a strike at Mr. Incredible and drives its claw into a cliff, then immediately yanks it out and flexes the claw to burst the chunk of rock that came with it.
  • This is how the Big Bad of Quest for Camelot meets his end. The wicked Ruber has used a magic potion to fuse the Excalibur sword onto his hand. With this, he tries to impale Kayley and Garrett but misses. The blow implants Excalibur firmly in its original stone where the ancient magic detects that Ruber is not the rightful ruler, and disintegrates him for such presumption.
  • Tarzan: During their final fight, Clayton comes after Tarzan with a machete, repeatedly stabbing into the cluster of vines where Tarzan's hiding, one of them getting stuck in the trunk of the tree, forcing Clayton to work it loose, which gives Tarzan a chance to put some distance between them.
  • Peter Pan: When fighting with Peter Pan, Captain Hook gets his Hook Hand stuck in his ship's mast.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Alien vs. Predator the titular foes are fighting when the Alien's tail becomes embedded in the stone floor when the Predator it was trying to impale rolls out of the way. The Predator helpfully relieves the Alien of the appendage in question using its Wolverine Claws.
  • The second Azumi film has the ninja leader who tries to attack the titular heroine using his set of Wolverine Claws. Unfortunately for him, a missed swing results in his claws being stuck in a wooden guardrail, and as the ninja leader tries to free himself he ends up being a sitting duck for Azumi to slice up via katana.
  • Jax in Mortal Kombat: Annihilation, ripping his robotized arm out of a wall just in time to deflect an evil robot's acid attack.
  • Tony does this accidentally in the first Iron Man. As he is busy, a Mook tries to headshot him and kills himself with a ricochet.
  • Spider-Man 3:
    • Harry Osborn briefly is stuck in the brick wall. Peter tries to negotiate, but Harry just yells "SHUT UP!!!" and topples part of the wall on him.
    • Later in the same film, Spider-Man gets his arm caught in Sandman's chest.
  • In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, T-800 punches T-1000's face and gets his fist stuck in its head. T-1000 then morphs around the fist, putting Arnie in an armlock.
  • In the comedy film Curse of the Pink Panther, the renowned martial artist Ed Parker plays an enforcer for the antagonists, who punches through a metal shed door and gets his arm stuck for a solid twenty seconds before managing to free himself.
  • In Judge Dredd, the titular hero tricks a body-horrific cannibal cyborg into driving his Swiss Army Appendage into a wall, rips a power cable off, lets out a bunch of catchphrases and electrocutes him.
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Hellboy ducks under Mr.Wink's fist on a chain and it lands in some kind of ore grinder, eventually pulling Wink himself in.
  • The main villain of Heroes of Sung is a dangerous assassin whose Epic Flail ends in a set of bronze eagle claws, which he used to kill several heroes. But in the final battle against Tieh-hu and Tieh-long, he gets defeated as Tieh-long causes his weapon's bronze claw to be stuck into a ceiling just as he's struggling to retrieve it. The villain's momentary weakness allows an opening for Tieh-long to score a killing sword blow, that turns the villain into two vertically.
  • Shaolin Martial Arts: The fight between Shaolin Warrior He Lian and Big Bad Master Yu Pi seems to go in Lian's favour, siince Lian had mastered the deadly Eagle Claw skills that allows his fingers to pierce through solid wood. Alas, Lian accidentally embeds his fingers too deep into a nearby pillar, getting stuck in the process, and ends up unable to defend himself from Master Yu's comeback attack. Which kills him.
  • Happens in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. First, Judge Doom tries to punch Eddie Valiant, but Valiant blocks the blow with a cardboard tub of glue. Judge Doom shakes off the tub, then tries again to slug Valiant. Valiant dodges and Doom's fist strikes the roller of a moving steamroller, where it sticks. Doom eventually ends up rolled flat, though this doesn't finish him.
  • Dragonheart: During their first fight, Draco uses his bladed tail against Bowen, which slices through a standing tree with ease, but when he brings it down on a fallen log, it has just enough give that it doesn't cut through, and his tail gets stuck.
  • In the first Armor of God film, Jackie Chan is pitted against Action Girl quadruplets whose Combat Stilettos cause him a lot of pain. To counter that, he lures them onto a wooden plank balcony. The first lady to try and stomp him has her heel firmly lodged between the planks and is knocked out immediately. The others are forced to either remove their shoes or deal more attention to the floor than to the fight itself.
  • Minotaur: The hero tricks titular monster (not a classical minotaur, but a carnivorous mutant bull) into ramming its giant horns into the cave wall concealing a flammable gas deposit. The wall gets demolished but the right horn is stuck in the rubble and the gas floods the cave. Terrified by its smell, the creature snaps the horn off and flees.

  • The protagonist of Louis L'amour's Galloway does this intentionally. When trapped in a natural drowning pit, he notices a crack in a wall, but it's too shallow to scale. He leaps out of the water and jams his fist in it, then pulls himself up to the safety.
  • In the miniseries Shogun, Lord Buntaro once gets angry with Mariko, his wife, and takes a swing at her with his sword. He intentionally misses, as the swing is just for intimidation, but it gets stuck in a wooden pillar and he breaks it in half trying to remove it.
  • In Triss, when Captain Plugg and Princess Kurda get in a fight, Plugg rushes at Kurda, swinging his battleaxe so hard that it immediately disarms Kurda, sending her sword flying off into the bushes. However, his reckless charge and the force of the swing cause his battle axe to embed itself in a tree. Plugg tries to remove it, but he quickly finds that it's stuck fast, and opts to leave it there and instead chase down Kurda before she can retrieve her own weapon. The axe remains stuck in the tree, forgotten, for the rest of the fight and some time after that, until Sagax, the Big Guy of the heroes' group, happens upon it and finally pulls it out, claiming it for himself.
  • Discussed in one of the Gor books. A well-trained warrior knows to thrust his sword just far enough into his opponent in order to pierce the heart, then withdraw quickly. A brigand or other non-trained fighter tends to thrust deeply, which often causes his sword to be stuck in the other person's body, resulting in either losing the blade or else a waste of a few precious seconds removing the sword. Not good when there are many other enemy troops around who don't practice Mook Chivalry.
  • Similarly in The Malloreon, an assassin loses his blade in his target's servant, which allows the target to survive the assassination attempt.
  • In Casino Infernale, Eddie defeats the Dancing Fool in the fighting-pit by enduring a beating until he can predict the Fool's movements perfectly, then leaning against a wall as if he's about to collapse. The Fool throws what he expects to be a final punch, and Eddie ducks the blow, letting the Fool's fist sink deep into the pit's earthen wall, where he's stuck long enough for Eddie to hit him in the throat.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Xander does it on Buffy the Vampire Slayer but it isn't a superpower thing, just anger at Buffy's mom dying and bad construction. Willow helps him get it unstuck.
  • Saturday Night Live. In the recurring sketch "Top o' the Morning" has this as a regular segment.
    William Fitzpatrick: Now's the time on the show where I make Patrick so mad that he punches a hole in the wall! Let's go to the punching wall!
    [Irish music follows the boys to the punching wall, already filled with holes from prior episodes]
    William Fitzpatrick: So, Patrick.. your sister sure is stubborn, is she not?
    Patrick Fitzwilliam: And what do you mean by that?
    William Fitzpatrick: I had to ask her to take off her knickers four times before she did it!
    Patrick Fitzwilliam: [angry] That's my sister!! [punches a hole in the wall]
    William Fitzpatrick: [impressed] Good. Well done.
  • In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part One", Jake, who has Super Strength, is fighting Sam and punches through a water trough when Sam ducks.

    Myths & Religion 
  • In myth, the classic way for a non-virgin to capture a unicorn is to sucker it into charging you when you're standing in front of a tree, then dive to one side so it gets its horn lodged in the wood.
  • One of the Uncle Remus folktales (based on an old West African folktale) involves Br'er Fox trapping Br'er Rabbit by constructing a "Tar Baby", a doll made of tar, which Br'er Rabbit approaches and tries to make conversation with. When the doll wouldn't respond, the rabbit took that as a lack of manners and punched it, getting his paw stuck. He punched it with his other paw, then kicked it, and eventually got all his limbs stuck in the doll. A similar folk tale, with Anansi the spider as the victim, is told in Anansi Boys.
  • In Geoffrey of Monmouth's legends, a sword known as Crocea Mors (literally "Yellow/Golden Death")note  was said to have belonged to Julius Caesar, until it was embedded in a British prince's shield. Said prince, Nennius, proceeded to remove it and go on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge despite already having taken a head wound which proved fatal.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Supplement Mystara Monstrous Compendium Appendix: The Iron variant of Living Statue can absorb metal. When a non-magical metal weapon hits one it sticks in the statue's body unless the attacker makes a successful saving throw. The weapon can only be removed if the statue is killed.
    • Baaz draconians from Dragonlance turn to stone when killed, trapping their killer's weapon unless they make a saving throw. It's their only special ability.

    Video Games 
  • Battletoads: Fighting mechanical arms is waiting till they get suck in the floor, then attacking.
  • Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped:
    • The knight mobs in medieval stages get their sword stuck on a stone, try to pull it free, and as they manage to do it, they spin themselves because of the inertia, and then the blade gets lodged on the stone again. The sword swing during their spin is harmful to Crash.
    • In the first boss fight against Tiny Tiger, you'll have to avoid his jumping attacks until he decides to stab you with his trident; if you dodge it, he'll get stuck trying to dislodge his trident, leaving himself open to Crash's attack.
  • Dark Souls: Gaping Dragon's most prominent feature is its ribcage which turned into giant maw filled with More Teeth than the Osmond Family, and it loves to slam that on you from above. However, this attack leaves it with those teeth stuck in the ground, giving you some free time before the dragon finally struggles free and begins a Foe-Tossing Charge.
  • Donkey Kong:
    • Donkey Kong Country 2: Diddy's Kong Quest: Kutlass will sometimes get his swords stuck in the ground after attacking, giving you a brief period of time in which he can be Goomba Stomped.
    • Donkey Kong 64: If a Kosha tries to attack a Kong with its spiky club vertically, the club will be stuck in the floor and the Kosha will try to pull it. The attacked Kong can then use explosive oranges or a wave attack to defeat it.
  • Double Dragon: Fighting mechanical arms is waiting till they get suck in the floor, then attacking.
  • Dwarf Fortress: Weapons frequently get stuck in opponents during combat, requiring an extra turn to pull the weapon free... unless you choose to continue with a backup weapon, Good Old Fisticuffs, or biting your opponent. You can also choose to twist the weapon in the wound to inflict more damage.
  • Fable: Twinblade will sometimes perform a downward stab attack that leaves his blades stuck in the ground, giving the Hero a few seconds to get behind him and attack his back while he tries to pull them free.
  • Heroes of Might and Magic IV: In the opening cutscene, Kilgore swings the Sword of Frost at Gelu, but misses and strikes the ground instead, and the frost magic within the sword causes it to fuse with the earth. Kilgore lets go of the sword and shoulder-charges Gelu away before retrieving the sword.
  • Hey! Pikmin: In the first phase of its fight, the Berserk Leech Hydroe gets its head stuck in the dirt after attacking, leaving it open for a few seconds. It wises up for the second phase (where it doesn't bite) and the third phase (where it snaps downwards instead of slamming into the ground).
  • The Legend of Spyro:
    • The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night: In the first phase of his battle, Gaul attacks Spyro by trying to impale him with flying leaps. However, after five of these strikes, his scimitars will become stuck in the ground and he'll be left vulnerable to attacks while he strains to pull them free.
    • The Legend of Spyro: Dawn of the Dragon: While chasing Spyro, Cynder and Hunter in the catacombs, the golem attempts to punch the dragons while they're climbing along a wall. It misses, and its fist punches into the solid rock and remains trapped there. It's eventually able to pull itself free after much straining, at the cost of leaving its harm behind.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker: One of the Helmaroc King's attacks is to peck at Link, after which he'll sometimes get his beak stuck in the ground. That's your cue to smash the crap out of his face with the Skull Hammer to crack his mask open and later attack him with sword slashes.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild: Moblins holding two-handed weapons such as clubs, axes or claymores will often attack with a powerful overhead blow. If this attack misses, the weapon will embed itself in the ground and remain stuck there for a few seconds while the Moblin tries to pull it free, giving Link a brief window to attack them while they're immobilized and vulnerable.
  • Monster Hunter: This can happen to several monsters in different ways, letting a hunter get in some free hits while they struggle to get free:
    • Monoblos, Diablos, Alatreon, and Seltas can all get their horns stuck in a wall if they charge into one.
    • Tigrex can get its teeth stuck in a wall or pillar if it charges into one.
    • The Duramboros' vertical launch lodges its tail into the ground. If sufficiently damaged, the tail can then be mined during this period.
    • As of Monster Hunter 4, Rathalos can temporarily get stuck on the terrain if he misses with a talon swoop attack.
    • In Monster Hunter: Rise, some of Great Izuchi's attacks leave its bladed tail stuck in the ground.
  • [PROTOTYPE] and [PROTOTYPE 2] both have an attack called Groundspike. PC slams his hand in the ground, his biomass travels some distance underground and erupts from beneath the surface as sharp, menacing spikes before retracting. The drawback is that it takes a while to perform, and most of the time you are literally rooted up to a place and vulnerable.
  • Resident Evil:
    • Resident Evil 4: Tricking Garradors into doing this with their claws is a viable tactic against them.
    • Resident Evil 5: Inversion. Wesker punches through a metal wall just after Chris opens the hatch of the plane they're in, depressurizing it. While heroes cling to the scenery, Wesker angrily rips his arm out and is immediately sucked out of the plane by decompression.
  • Shank 2: The Doctor is left with his tonfa-blades stuck in the floor if he misses a leaping attack, and pulls them out with visible effort.
  • Spyro the Dragon:

    Web Animation 

    Web Videos 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Linkara in his Doom comic review, whips out his "I AM A MAN!" punch and in context of the comic, after pulling the fist, he continues with "AND A HALF!" and punches again... only this time his fist is stuck, because it's a half-punch. "Help? Help! I'm stuck here!"

    Western Animation 
  • ReBoot. During Matrix vs Megabyte climatic fight, Megabyte is briefly stuck in the wall. Enzo attacks him from behind, but then Megabyte frees his arm, sending Matrix flying in the process. Almost immediately after, Megabyte gets his Wolverine Claws lodged in the roof long enough for Matrix to recover.
  • In the Shadow Raiders finale, Graveheart finishes Blokk by shoving his powerglove into his abdomen, nearly resulting in unintentional Taking You with Me when Blokk falls off the ledge. Graveheart manages to hold them both with his other hand long enough to slip out the powerglove, letting Blokk fly.
  • In most animated versions of Batman, Clayface's gooshy makeup causes anyone who punches or kicks him to get stuck in him.
  • Star Wars: Clone Wars has an interesting version, where Obi-Wan gets his lightsaber stuck in his opponent. His opponent being Durge, it doesn't have much of an impact besides opening him up to a few punches to the face.

    Real Life 
  • Many kinds of bees have jagged stingers; when they sting, they'll often be stuck on something they're stung, and they have to sacrifice their abdomen to escape, which is often fatal.