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Lodged-Blade Recycling

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A character has been stabbed with a knife or some other bladed weapon and left for dead. Then, however, instead of just kicking the bucket, he suddenly pulls the weapon out of his body and uses it to fight back, firmly establishing himself as Made of Iron and a Determinator.

Note that in Real Life, this is a very bad idea because the knife sticking in the wound slows down the bleeding considerably. Pulling it out runs a high risk of bleeding yourself to death within minutes. Additionally, touching the lodged blade can result in you surviving the stab wound only to finish the job yourself by cutting into something important inside. (Imagine, for example, someone stabs you in the chest but manages to miss anything vital. You start yanking on the blade to try removing it and it creates a back and forth sawing motion, cutting right through a lung or massive blood vessel. Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!)


Compare Catch and Return and Human Pincushion.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The regenerative immortal Rin does it in in episode three of Mnemosyne, after being vivisected to death, killing her torturer with the scalpel he accidentally dropped inside her stomach.
  • Final Fantasy VII: Last Order: After being run through by Sephiroth's sword and left dangling over a pit, a much younger Cloud somehow summons the strength to pull himself further onto the blade to regain his footing. Then uses it as a lever to fling Sephiroth across the room and into the wall! It should be noted that this is the Turk's recount of the event, since they didn't witness the actual battle; which has Cloud throw Sephiroth into the Mako pit itself rather than throwing him against the wall.
  • Shootfighter Tekken: actually played realistically with a fist-against-knife fight. Knife guy somehow ends up with the knife deep in his side, and proceeds to demonstrate his badassery by expelling it using just his abdominal muscles. The other characters, including the Heir to the Dojo he's fighting, just stare at him (the viewer is led to think it's in fear or admiration, but...) like he's an idiot, because suddenly he starts spraying blood and faints very soon after.
  • Nanashi pulls Luo-Lang's broken sword from his arm for the final attack in Sword of the Stranger. It was only fair since Luo-Lang picked up Nanashi's own fallen sword to finish him off anyways.
  • In the first volume of AKIRA, a government agent stabs a rebel in the leg. Said rebel pulls the knife out and stabs the agent in the stomach.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, Captain Buccaneer was stabbed by Wrath, but managed to yank the sword off his hand with his uber abs. Later on, he pulled this trope despite being warned not to and died shortly after. However, considering he managed to cripple Wrath with said blade, it also counts as Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Exaggerated in Undead Unluck: Andy is impaled with a katana in the first chapter right before the surrounding area is hit by a meteor. After he regenerates and discovers the sword is indestructible, it becomes his primary weapon. Since a regular sheathe would inevitably be broken, Andy actually stores the damn thing inside his body the same way.

    Comic Books 
  • Kate Kane, a.k.a. Batwoman, does it in the final volume of 52, pulling a sacrificial knife out of her own chest to throw it at Bruno Mannheim, who (almost) performed the sacrifice. Note that she does recognize it as a stupid idea that almost costs her her life, but does it anyway because her lover Renee's life is more important to her.
  • In the graphic novel Jonah Hex: No Way Back, Jonah stabs el Papagayo with the same knife Papagayo just stabbed him with: while it's still stuck through his arm!
  • The Marvel heroine Marrow zig-zags this by having the weapons pre-lodged in her body as they are her own mutated bones.
  • The Savage Dragon once did this in a Crossover with Hellboy. An undead pirate stabbed him in the back and he ended up with the blade stuck in him for almost an entire issue before he yanked it out in order to use it as a weapon against the animated brain of Adolf Hitler. Needless to say, it was one of the more memorable stories in the series.
  • The Suicide Squad has once wound up on Apokolips, and Count Vertigo is stabbed by Kanto (a minion of Darkseid who has kind of a Italian Renaissance Assassin thing going.) Some time later, Vertigo turns out to have been playing possum and stabs Kanto in the back with his own dagger. Darkseid approves of this. Note that Count Vertigo was a Death Seeker at that point in his history and wouldn't care about the potential lethal side effects of pulling out the knife.
  • Guardians of the Galaxy (2020): Star-Lord pulls Artemis' arrow out of his leg and uses it to stab Hephaestus in the throat.
  • The assassin Shrike averted this trope during an encounter with Batgirl, explicitly noting that that pulling the shuriken she threw (back) into his leg would incapacitate him almost instantly and he could still fight with it in. Not that doing so did much good, but....
  • Hack/Slash: In Sons of Man, Ava kills her attacker by stabbing him in the throat with an arrow that is lodged in her arm.
  • In Robyn Hood: I Love NY #11, Robyn stabs Fuchs through the palm with a piece of splintered wood. This doesn't even slow Fuchs down, as he pulls the shard out of his hand and slashes Robyn with it.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1987): The White Magician kills Artemis by grabbing one of her incoming arrows with magic and turning it to lodge itself into her chest then grabs one of her many arrows that had made their way into him, yanks it out and shoves it through her abdomen.
    • Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman: In "Generations" after Cheetah lodges a spear in Diana's shoulder Diana yanks it out and uses it to defeat her superpowered foe. Di gets more leeway with this idea than most given her impressive Healing Factor means the hole left behind heals closed very quickly.
  • In The Transformers: Salvation, the Dinobots end up fighting Sandstorm in the belly of Trypticon when Snarl hurls his sword at Sandstorm. Sandstorm pulls it out and uses it to destroy the staff Bludgeon was using to control Trypticon as the two were actually pretending to fight each other just so they could do that.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • During the climatic battle in Beyond Sherwood Forest, the Sheriff stabs Robin in the shoulder with a dagger. When Sheriff turns and stabs Alina with his sword, thus leaving his back exposed, Robin yanks the dagger out and uses it to stab the Sheriff.
  • In Birds of Prey (2020), Harley repeatedly stabs Victor Zsasz with the tranquilizer dart he had shot into her neck earlier.
  • In The Burning, Alfred stabs Cropsy in the back with the same shears Cropsy had earlier used to pin him to the wall of the mine.
  • The Butchers: After breaking loose from the chair where Gacy had tied him, Simon stabs Gacy to death with the knife Gacy had stuck in his shoulder while torturing him. Justified as Simon was getting progressively stronger and tougher with every serial killer he killed.
  • Brick from Centurion is shot with an arrow. His reaction? Tear it out and use it to stab the archer who shot him. In the eye. It helps she's a girl almost a head shorter than him and she didn't hit anything important. He later ends up run with a spear in a stomach. Knowing the wound is fatal, he pushes the spear deeper, to run the Pict behind him.
  • In The Crazies (2010), the main character at one point gets a knife stabbed through his hand. Shortly afterwards, he kills his assailant by stabbing them in the throat by thrusting his still-impaled hand into their neck.
  • In House of Flying Daggers, near the end, Leo attempts to rape Mei and is punished by having a dagger embedded in his shoulder by the leader of La Résistance. It remains there for the remainder of the film until he pulls it out as a last-ditch weapon to threaten another character, Jin. Mei also pulls out a blade that Leo used to stab her, saying that if he uses his knife on Jin, she will mow him down, even though she will bleed to death.
  • John Wick. When confronting Viggo in the finale, Wick and The Mafiya boss agree to Let's Fight Like Gentlemen. Wick throws away his gun and they trade some blows, but when it's clear Viggo can't win he draws a switchblade. Wick takes a stab to the chest, pushes Viggo off him, then fatally stabs Viggo in the neck with the switchblade.
  • Invoked (and therefore averted) in John Wick: Chapter 2. Wick stabs Cassian in the heart but leaves the knife there, telling Cassian that he'll remain alive as long as he doesn't remove the blade. This is done because he respects Cassian and is not a courtesy he extends towards The Dragon Ares.
  • In Knight and Day, June accidentally impales an assassin with a knife, followed by the assassin pulling it out of himself to attack June with.
  • In Ladyhawke, a character gets hit with a crossbow bolt, pulls it out, rides up to his opponent, and stabs him in the stomach with the bolt.
  • In Left for Dead, Mobius pulls out the Powerful Pick Goldie buried in his stomach and uses it to break her back.
  • In Lethal Weapon 2, Vorstedt opens up the final fight with Riggs by throwing a long knife which impales Riggs through the thigh. Riggs ends up stabbing Vorstedt in the gut with it before crushing him under a shipping container. Riggs is extremely lucky his femoral artery wasn't severed, as he would have bled out in moments.
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Lurtz pulls Aragorn's knife out and throws it back at him — but only after licking it.
  • The Loved Ones: When he escapes, Brent stabs Lola's father with the knife the father had hammered through his foot to literally nail his feet to the floor.
  • In the final chase of Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa is stabbed in the abdomen and is eventually forced to remove the knife to chase the Big Bad. Reconstructed in that the act nearly kills her, but she survives thanks to prompt medical attention. It's also pretty clear that everyone involved knew that removing the knife would kill her and the whole thing is treated as a barely averted Heroic Sacrifice on her part.
  • During the final fight in Parker, Parker stabs Milander in the neck with the ejected clip from his gun. After Milander is dead, he grabs the clip back, slams it into his gun, and uses it to shot Hardwicke.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean:
    • In The Curse of the Black Pearl, Barbossa does this with the knife Elizabeth used on him. Also doubles as The Reveal of the Black Pearl's curse. He then does this again at the end of the movie. This is The Reveal for the fact that Jack is now cursed.
    • When a dying James Norrington stabs Davy Jones through the shoulder as a final act of defiance in At World's End, Jones casually pulls the sword out and keeps it. All the examples are unusually justified because of the supernatural nature of the characters.
      Jones: Hm. Nice sword.
  • In the final battle of Resident Evil: Afterlife, Alice gets stabbed in the hand with a scalpel by a henchman. She pulls it out and uses it to stab the Big Bad.
  • A very twisted variant appears in Return of the Living Dead 3, where the Cute Monster Girl zombie starts mutilating herself by embedding nails, chunks of glass, razor blades, sharp wire and other junk into her body to try and control her Horror Hunger. She promptly uses these implements to kill the gangsters who attack her and her boyfriend.
  • Malcolm Reynolds pulls this during his fight with the Operative in Serenity.
  • Shoot 'em Up has the hero, Mr Smith, use a scalpel he was stabbed with to fight back. Although saying only this doesn't really do the scene justice... After having all his fingers broken, his torturer decides that the next step is to cut out an eye. Smith waits until the knife is close before headbutting the guy and getting the scalpel lodged in his forehead. Since his hands are broken and he's unable to hold the knife, he stabs it through his hand to be able to use it to fight back. The film is full of this kind of craziness.
  • Spy: During Susan's fight with Lia in Paris, the latter gets stabbed in the hand, only to slowly pull it out and start using it herself.
    Susan: That's just not sanitary.
  • In Strange Days this is used at the climax of the movie when Big Bad Max is hanging on to hero Lenny's tie to stop from falling off of a balcony. Lenny (who had previously been stabbed by Max) then pulls the knife out of his own back and cuts his necktie off, sending Max plummeting to his death.
  • Tales from the Darkside: The Movie: In "Lot 249", Susan stabs the mummy with a pair of scissors. The mummy then pulls the scissors out and uses them to rip open Susan's back.
  • In Ten Dead Men, Ryan stabs Lewis in the thigh with a shard of broken glass. Lewis responds by grabbing Ryan's neck and attempting to force his face down on to the jagged glass sticking of his leg. Ryan yanks the shard out and stabs Lewis in the foot.
  • Thor: The Dark World: During the fight on the Dark World, Loki stabs Kurse through the back with a sword. Kurse turns around and impales him on the blade that is sticking out of his chest.
  • Ironhide in Transformers: Dark of the Moon gets a barbed weapon (possibly a timed explosive) thrown into his shoulder during a Mexican Standoff against two Decepticons. He proceeds to pull it out and return the favor to the one who threw it, except through the head. He then slams the 'Con onto a car and punts him into a building, with an explosion following. "Class dismissed!"
  • In the climax of Underworld: Evolution, Marcus stabs Selene through the chest with his wing. Being supercharged by blood of Corvinus, she recovers from pain, grabs the wing, snaps the sharp tip off, pulls it out of her body and impales Marcus's head through the jaw with it.
  • In the prologue to Vampire Circus, one of the villagers stabs Count Mitterhaus in the chest with a knife, only for the Count to pull it out and slash the man's throat with it.
  • Venom: During the climax, Eddie (who's been separated from Venom) gets run through the chest by Riot with a symbiote blade that he then breaks off and leaves in Eddie. Venom then manages to re-merge with Eddie in time to save him, followed by the pair then ripping out the blade and using it to crucially damage the ship Riot is escaping in, causing it to explode and kill him.
  • In another wuxia film, The Wandering Swordsman, the titular hero gets a sword shoved through his back, sticking out through his chest. He then twists the blade around so that it faces the surprised stabber, before grabbing his opponent and pushing the entire blade through his opponent's midsedction.
  • Polar. Mr Blut has Duncan Vizla chained in shackles so he can slowly torture him to death over several days. However a knife he's using snaps off due to a piece of metal left in Duncan's body from an old injury. Duncan later removes the broken blade and uses it as an Improvised Lockpick on his shackles.
  • When stealing the getaway boat in The Guns of Navarone, the commando Brown stabs a German sailor guarding the boat with a stiletto, but the dying German manages to pull it out from his body and stab Brown back fatally.
  • Played with in Abel Ferrara's 1987 film China Girl, when a mob enforcer plunges a very large knife into the stomach of a troublemaker street-gang tough. This kid manages to slowly pull the knife out and then raises it to use back on the enforcer, who's just standing there and watching the kid doing that. And then the tough is skewered through from behind by a second enforcer.
  • Vampires vs. Zombies: In a fit of fury, the General pulls out the stake that is stuck through Mary's heart and rams it into Travis' shoulder. Later, he and Travis have to extract the stake because it is the last one they have left and need it to kill Carmilla.

  • Done by sheer accident in the Discworld novel The Truth, when Mr. Pin knocks William back against his desk and William's arm is pierced by the newsman's spike. Aware only that his arm suddenly hurts a lot, William moves to shove the paid killer away from him, and the protruding tip of the spike cuts his attacker's throat.
  • A bloodless variation in The Hunger Games — Clove throws a knife at Katniss as she flees the Cornucopia, but Katniss hitches up her backpack and the blade embeds into the pack instead. Getting safely away, Katniss is pleased to now have a high-quality knife.
  • At the end of Girls With Sharp Sticks, Guardian Bose does this with the pair of scissors that Sydney jammed into his neck. The scissors don't kill him — the blood loss from him pulling the scissors out, on the other hand...

    Live-Action TV 
  • In season 8 of 24, Jack kills one of Vladimir Laitanin's men using a knife that he'd just been stabbed in the stomach with. He eventually gets it bandaged, and being Jack is fine.
  • Stargate SG-1: Overlapping with I Am Not Left-Handed, Bra'tac did this in "Lost City" after being stabbed in his empty symbiote sac (tretonin having taken the place of his symbiote). Teal'c did almost the exact same thing in "Talion".
  • Star Trek
    • Nausicaans have a culture that revels in violence, moreso than even the Klingons. One episode of Deep Space 9 features a pair of Nausicaans playing a game similar to darts, except using each other as targets. They don't even try to dodge, or anything, just casually removing the dart and returning the attack. Doubles as a Funny Background Event.
    • Star Trek: Picard: When Elnor runs to Hugh's aid after Narissa throws a knife into his throat, she pulls a disruptor on him while his back is turned. He responds by pulling the knife out and throwing it at her, which she avoids thanks to a Teleportation Rescue.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Giles is fighting off a vampire in the park, Jenny aims a crossbow at it — and in the chaos, shoots Giles in the back. As he stands reeling in agony, the vampire laughs mockingly — until Giles yanks the bolt from his back and stakes him with it.
  • Played realistically in the CSI: NY episode "Epilogue". A security guard is stabbed and pulls the knife out and uses it to stab his attacker. He then bleeds to death from the wound he had suffered which he might have survived if he had left the knife in.
  • In one episode of Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Agent Melinda May is tied up and hung from the ceiling. A man tries to torture her by stabbing her in the shoulder, whereupon she thanks him for the knife and uses it to cut herself free and kill everyone.
  • Arrow: In "Streets of Fire", Malcolm's fight with one of the Mirakuru Super Soldiers ends with a variant of this. Malcolm has used up all his arrows on the soldier, who grabs him in a crushing bear grip; however, this allows Malcolm to grab one of the arrows lodged in the soldier's back, rip it out, and stab it into his neck, taking him down.
  • Mission: Impossible: In "The Golden Serpent (Part 1)", Max gets hit in the leg by a shuriken while fighting atop the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Later he is dangling off the side of the bridge with The Dragon about to stomp on his hands. He pulls the shuriken out of his leg and throws it into The Dragon's chest, killing him.
  • In the Hannibal episode "The Wrath of the Lamb", after Dolarhyde stabs Will in the shoulder, Will pulls the knife out and attacks Dolarhyde with it. Since Will throws himself off a cliff shortly afterward, he might not care that pulling knives out of himself is horribly dangerous.
  • Smallville: In "Sacred", the witch Isobel summons two magic swords and throws one into Clark Kent's shoulder, and as it is magical, it stabs him. When she attacks him with the other sword, he pulls out the first to defend himself. As Kryptonians have a Healing Factor, that solves the bleeding issue.
  • In the My Name Is Earl episode "Broke Joy's Fancy Figurine", Earl is trying to help a little girl (Candy) win a beauty pageant so he can make up for breaking Joy's beauty pageant trophy, with the act she's doing for the "talent" portion involving knife-throwing. Upon realizing Candy doesn't want to winnote , Earl instructs her to throw a knife into his leg so she'll lose. Candy's concerned she'll hurt Earl, prompting him to explain that he's been stabbed by lots of girls before, and that "it only really hurts when you twist it, pull it out, and stick it back in." And as it turns out, Earl misremembered.

    Video Games 
  • The Player Character Soap does it near the end of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 to kill General Shepherd with the same knife he stabbed him in the chest with. However, this ends up being a thoroughly Deconstructed Trope. The game makes a point to have it come out slowly and agonizingly, and it was clearly a last resort. In fact, in the third game, he almost dies from it, flat-lining during the prologue, and there's a level where you have to get him to safety before he bleeds out.
  • Early on in Saints Row: The Third, Gat gets stabbed by Loren during a tussle, but being Made of Iron, he just pulls the knife out and throws it at a guard with a machine gun so the others can escape.
  • The sword Ganondorf uses in The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess is the one that was used for his execution. Thanks to the Triforce of Power, he survived, pulled it out, and slew one of the Sages holding him before the rest were able to seal him away.
  • Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots:
    • Played with repeatedly during Raiden's fight with Vamp. Towards the end of the fight, Raiden is pinned to the ground via a knife through the foot. He proceeds to yank his foot out of the ground and stomp on Vamp repeatedly... with the knife still sticking out.
    • Later on, he takes two knives to the forearms and nailed to his back. He extracts them and uses the knives as weapons while they're still in his arms. Finally, he gets stuck with multiple knives, then flexes his cyber muscles to shoot them all out, sticking Vamp with them and allowing Raiden to make the killing blow.
  • An actual gameplay mechanic in The Elder Scrolls series, starting with Morrowind. If you are struck by an enemy archer, there is a small chance that the arrow will appear in your inventory. You can then equip it and fire it back, with the implication being that you took it out of your own flesh. Likewise, if an enemy archer is shot with a better quality arrow than what they possess, there's a chance they will send it straight back at you in the same fashion. This trope also appears in Oblivion and Skyrim, where the odds of the arrow showing up in your inventory are higher.
  • Injustice: Gods Among Us:
    • One of Solomon Grundy's moves is to attack with the knives stuck in his back, and then put them back. (Grundy is a zombie, you see.)
    • A one-way variation is used in his Super Move; he pulls his own headstone out from his stomach and breaks it over his opponent's skull.
  • This is an actual gameplay mechanic in Dwarf Fortress. With the incredibly detailed combat system, blades or projectiles can be lodged in body parts. It is possible to remove these and throw them at enemies. This is usually a bad idea because it causes lots of blood loss. It is also possible to pull a lodged blade out of someone else's body. And occasionally the body part will remain attached if it's not their own.
  • Zombie Revenge has a spectacular aversion in one boss fight. The undead boss has many spikes and other sharp pieces of debris embedded in its back. With the right timing one can use the "pick up weapon" command to yank out a pipe from it. This not only does heavy damage to it but also gives you a decent melee weapon.
  • In Warframe, during The Second Dream quest, after the player's Warframe is impaled with the Stalker's War sword, the Warframe reawakens, snaps the sword lengthwise, and pulls the sword straight out of its torso. Once the quest is over, you acquire the Broken-War Sword to use normally and to craft War, which is quite a good sword itself.
  • In Mordhau, you can reuse swords, arrows, and throwing axes that lodged into characters. Pulling out lodged weapons from living characters will never hurt them.
  • In Resident Evil 4 Leon throws his knife at Salazar and pins him in the hand. Salazar's bodyguard immediately yanks the knife out and throws it back at Leon.
  • In Darksiders III, when battling Wrath of the Seven Deadly Sins, Fury is traumatized to see her cool horse, Rampage arriving at the battlefield with an angelic spear embedded in his side. Wrath callously pulls the spear out after Rampage dies, then impales Fury with it and slams the spear into the ground until he snaps off the tip, still lodged in Fury's stomach. Fury then calmly pushes the spear tip out through her back, backflips onto Wrath's head, and pushes the tip out of her body and into his face, killing him (or so she thinks). Realistically, she passes out from bleeding afterwards, and is only saved by the Lord of Hollows' intervention.

    Web Animation 
  • In Part V of Dead Fantasy, even after Tifa gets a katana lodged into her upper arm, she takes it out and continues fighting.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • At the end of Ryan Vs. Dorkman 2, Dorkman is being cruelly stabbed by Ryan, but he manages to push Ryan back, pull out the lightsaber from his chest, and kill Ryan with a well-placed saber throw.

    Western Animation 


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