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Little Girls Kick Shins

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She'll do it, too! Just watch her!

Little girls kick people in the shins when they're angry. There doesn't seem to be any particular reason for it (sometimes it's that tiny rugrats can't kick much higher, but bigger kids still tend to go for the shins), but fiction writers everywhere seem to have agreed that when little girls are violent, the ideal expression of this violence is to kick people in the shins. Girls' lashing out violently at everyone about them is treated as cute and adorable or as hilarious, rather than brattiness or jerkassery.

A standard tactic of the Bratty Half-Pint, regardless of gender. A girl who does this is going to grow up to be a Kick Chick (in fact both tropes might come from a similar line of thinking).

Compare with Agony of the Feet. Related to Girl Scouts Are Evil when it is invoked. Compare Groin Attack, in which the kick happens...a bit higher up. Also compare Dismissive Kick.



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     Anime and Manga  

  • Sakura from the Cardcaptor Sakura anime and manga kicks her older brother in the shin with her rollerblades in the first issue/episode, as well as a couple other times in other episodes.
  • Happens to poor Aoki-sensei in Kodomo no Jikan, among other things.
  • Rozen Maiden has Shinku, who often kicks Jun when he displeases her enough. Suiseiseki, the other tsundere, isn't averse to this tactic either.
  • In Chrome Shelled Regios, Felli usually kicks things when she gets upset. If said thing is a person, it's usually in the shins. Note that she once kicked a refrigerator so hard she dented the door, so you can probably guess this hurts a lot. Indeed, when really angry, she once kicked her brother's shin so hard that it broke.
  • In the Saint Seiya anime, Seiya visits the Orphanage of Love he lived in for a while and forgets to address a little girl who's standing next to him. The girl immediately kicks him in the shin.
  • Yu-Gi-Oh!: In the Doma Arc, Rebecca and her grandfather start talking about how the monster attacks and bad guys involve Atlantis. Honda/Tristan laughs and calls them crazy. Rebecca kicks him in the shin.

     Fan Fiction  

  • The Doctor Octopus fanfic series The Life After Death Trilogy has Mouse, Ock's adoptive daughter, utilize this on several occasions.
  • In A.A. Pessimal's Discworld fic Strandpiel, Rebecka Smith-Rhodes-Stibbons, aged four or five, reacts badly to the death of a beloved family pet. She displays she takes after both her parents - with the magic-user's ability to see Death coming to take the soul of the old family dog. Then screaming with rage and kicking Death vigorously in the shins. Her Assassin mother is bemusednote  to see Bekki screaming and kicking at an empty space. Her Wizard father can not only see who Bekki is kicking, but he (with the aid of a Witch who is present) also drags her away, still furiously screaming and kicking. Ponder Stibbons, not for the first or the last time, stammers apologies to a poor Anthropomorphic Personification who is only doing his job, and now has to do it with aching shins.


  • Pharaoh's son kicks Moses in the shins in The Ten Commandments, presumably so we don't feel too bad when the little brat dies.
    • Actually, the boy was kicking Moses's rod which he just used to demonstrate God's power by turning into a cobra, but it was still a defiant and insulting gesture to both Moses and God, so therefore we still don't mind too much what happens to the little brat.
  • A little girl kicks Patrick in the shins for taking away her "toy" (Actually one of the Smurfs) in the film version of The Smurfs.
  • In It Happened at the World's Fair Elvis Presley gets kicked in the shins by a very young Kurt Russell.
  • Edith in Despicable Me kicks Dr. Nefario in the shins when he takes a chemical vial away from her. Earlier she kicks Gru's front door (while he's directly against it), in retaliation for pretending to be a recorded message.
  • Happens during Goofy’s job in A Goofy Movie when a young girl kicks Pete.
  • Not that is particularly little at the time, but the teenaged Marian kicks Robin the shins when he is teasing her at the start of The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men.
  • In Diamonds on Wheels, Susan kicks the thug holding her in the shins to make him let go when the kids make their escape from the warehouse.
  • In Mrs. Santa Claus, Nora kicks Officer Doyle in the shins for her Establishing Character Moment.


  • The First Law gave us the daughter of Crummock-i-Phail, who gets away with quite a bit more than her siblings do. Her father remarks that he always remembers who she is by her kicking.
  • Nazca (of the Gentleman Bastard Sequence) was given steel-toed boots by her father for the very purpose of indulging in this practice whenever she so pleases.
  • Turtle from The Westing Game is known for this, especially in response to her braid being touched. This actually helped her solve the mystery when a single kick caused two separate people to start limping.
  • Discworld:
    • In The Wee Free Men, when the nine-year-old witch needs to distract the Elf Queen: "Tiffany kicked her on the leg. It wasn't a witch thing. It was so nine-years-old, and she wished she could have thought of something better".
    • A generation earlier, Esk from Equal Rites likewise used kicks against the Dungeon Things.
  • Subverted in To Kill a Mockingbird: Scout Finch tries to do this. In the book she's surprised to see her victim fall back in real pain — "I had meant to kick his shin, but aimed too high."

     Live Action Television  

  • One of the "Punishment Games" in Silent Library involves having a player stand there and let a little girl walk into the library and kick him in both shins.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • In "Chosen" Dawn returns, after having been drugged and kidnapped so she would be out of harm's way for the final battle. Buffy ordered Xander to do it and gave her a note explaining... Dawn stops midway through, tazers Xander, and takes control of his car, driving back. When she sees Buffy Dawn punts her in the leg, which hurts the Slayer.
    • Used to show the juvenile nature of two adult characters in "The Initiative". Xander encounters ditzy vampire Harmony and the two exchange death threats and vow to fight to the death... which starts with them kicking each other in the shins, then quickly gets even more ridiculous and funny.
  • Married... with Children: In a two-part episode, Al wouldn't allow a woman to breastfeed her baby in the shoe store. In retaliation, Marcy brings several women with babies to protest. He then recognizes one of them as Jefferson holding a doll. Enraged, Al took it from him and asked if he knew what Al intended to do with it. Then a little girl appeared and Jefferson suggested returning it to the little girl he took it from. Al did and got kicked for that.
  • Done in I Love Lucy when Lucy takes on a babysitting job. However, the mother neglected to mention it would be for twins (when she met Lucy to drop one of them off. She waited till both were out of sight to drop off the other twin). So when Lucy goes to get one of the snacks and encounters the other who demands the same thing. The twin starts whining and kicks her in the leg.
  • In a Deleted Scene of Firefly, River Tam kicks her older brother's shin when he calls her "really crazy" after suggesting they get married. River is older than usual for this trope, so it's probably to suggest her childlike nature as The Ophelia.
  • A heightwise rather than agewise version of this trope occurs in Agent Carter. Carter and Jarvis have to interview Howard Stark's ex-girlfriends, none of whom are happy about it. Cue a montage where all the girls slap Jarvis across the face in lieu of Stark. Carter intercepts a slap from a short Asian beauty, who responds by kicking Jarvis in the shin instead.
  • Good Omens (2019): 10-year-old Pepper disarms War by kicking her in the shins to make her drop her Flaming Sword.
  • El Chavo del ocho: La Chilindrina sometimes pulls this on El Chavo or Quico when they make her mad. It's also been inverted: when El Chavo is kicking around the ground in anger, La Chilindrina walks by and she gets kicked in the shin.


  • Dice Funk: Anne does this to Rinaldo in order to buff him with magic.

     Video Games  

  • Little Kay might be doing this to Edgeworth in case 4 of Ace Attorney Investigations: Miles Edgeworth. It's kinda hard to see if it is this or his privates.
  • Laura from Silent Hill 2 does this often, but she's regarded as a Bratty Half-Pint by the main character.
  • The little girl Earthling in Toejam and Earl in Panic on Funkotron does this as her main attack.
  • In Grandia, Justin informs his friend Sue that he's sailing to the new continent alone, not with her like she had assumed. Sue's response is to run home in tears... only to run back up to him after a few seconds, call him a traitor while kicking him in the shins, then run off again (she ends up stowing away on the ship he takes and comes along anyway). Later in the adventure, she tries to do the same to Gadwin, but he's The Big Guy and doesn't even seem to notice or care.

     Web Original  
  • Invoked in the Something Awful Let's Play of Princess Maker: Lizzie's last name is Shinkicker. (And she does indeed kick much shin, as well as ass.)
  • This Not Always Right entry.
  • Whateley Universe: It has happened at least once, from Palantir to Murphy, when the latter was preventing the former from going to rescue her friends, in The Secret of the Forger's List (Chapter 4):
    A few dozen yards down the tunnel was a very upset Irene who was in a tug of war with Murphy.
    “My friends are in there!” she squealed at the slightly larger girl with the rainbow-colored hair.
    “What are mine, chopped tuna?” Murphy yelled back. “You’re not…” was a far as she got before Irene reared back and landed a solid kick to the older girl’s shin. “Son of a…” yelped Joanne as she crumpled to the floor, loosing her grip on Palantir in the process.

  • During the shopping trip in Freefall, Hazel (Florence's friend Niomi's daughter) does this on occasion. Most notably when she punishes a stranger for grabbing Florence's tail ("...and if you pull the doggy's tail again, I'll kick you again!"), as seen in the page image.

     Western Animation  
  • Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends: A Running Gag in the episode "Store Wars" is Bloo calling people a "ripoff artist" and kicking them in the shins when he doesn't agree with them. He ends up doing this to many store owners, Mac, and a police officer. At the end of the episode, Coco calls him a ripoff artist and kicks him in the shins.
  • Happens to Pete in A Goofy Movie when he tries to show Goofy how much better he is at handling children.
  • Though they're teenagers, the spirit of this trope still applies when Kim Possible and her sidekick Ron switch bodies and are confronted by Shego. Ron (in Kim's body) kicks her in the shin and they run away.
  • Gender-swap version in Teen Titans; Mas can't do much without his brother Menos, but how many other twelve-year-olds will run up and kick someone who's six times bigger than they are?
  • Done multiple times to one bad guy (Covington) by Molly of TaleSpin, to the point that he yelled "No! Not the shin!"
  • Velma does this in the Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! episode "Jeepers, It's The Creeper" when the villain grabs Velma's glasses (after she says "You wouldn't hit someone with glasses, would you?" and he rears his fist back to punch her).
  • In the episode "Nightmare on Pound Street" of The Hub's Pound Puppies, Mr. McLeish's niece gives her uncle a kick, in part because she believes (along with her brother) the only reason McLeish bothers to spend time with them is to kiss up to their father, the city's mayor.
  • Louise in Bob's Burgers does this in "Bob's Day Afternoon" when Sargent Boscoe tries to take the phone from her. Immediately inverted when he kicks her back.

     Real Life 
  • This can very much be Truth in Television. For a young enough child, the shins are one of the more accessible targets on an adult. They also have the benefit of being very, very sensitive when struck (as anyone who's bumped their shin in the dark can attest).


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