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Near-Miss Groin Attack

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Fry: You almost got neutered!
Enos: Well, t'ain't as bad as gettin' killed.
Fry: For me it is!

"That could have been worse!"
Toby (taking this trope philosophically), Scorpion, "Extinction"
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Now that was close! This trope describes circumstances where the narrow aversion of a Groin Attack is Played for Laughs.

This usually happens when a male character is on the floor, scooting backwards away from some kind of disturbance. Suddenly a piece of debris or similar hits the ground between his legs, right where the family jewels were located mere seconds ago. Our hero will then usually display an Oh, Crap! expression, inviting the viewers to share both the male pain and the male relief.

As well as being (obviously) an aversion of Groin Attack, this trope is sister to William Telling. Can also overlap with Knife Outline, where sharp objects will hit a wall around a character's body, pinning them by their clothes. Often the final object will land disturbingly close to a character's crotch. The unfortunate male checking himself afterwards is a Testes Test.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 

    Films — Animation 
  • In Hercules, during the "One last Hope" song:
    Phil: Rule number 95: Concentrate!
    [Teen Hercules throws half a dozen swords at the targets and misses, surrounding Phil with swords, who's on the tip of his hooves avoiding one between his legs]
    Phil: Rule 96: Aim!
  • In The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Phoebus and Esmeralda are fighting, he with his sword, she with a candlestick. At one point she tries to hit him in the crotch with the candlestick, but Phoebus successfully blocks it with his sword, only for Esmeralda to then hit him in the face with the other end.
    Phoebus: You fight almost as well as a man.
    Esmeralda: Funny, I was just going to say the same thing about you.
    Phoebus: That's hitting a little below the belt, don't you think?
    Esmeralda: No, this is!
  • In Puss in Boots, Puss is running around on rooftops and jumps over a church steeple. He's a bit worried that the steeple will get him in the crotch, but it narrowly misses, and he sighs with relief.
  • Rango: While attempting to board a moving stagecoach, Rango briefly straddles between the coach and his roadrunner steed. A stalagmite-like rock formation protrudes from the ground and he almost runs groin-first into it before narrowly jumping to avoid it.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit, this happens in the Show Within a Show "Somethin's Cookin'". Apparently every knife in the kitchen goes flying and pins Roger to the wall. The last knife is a giant meat cleaver that hits the wall in between his legs, barely missing his crotch. Roger gulps loudly.
  • Wonder Park: At one point, Steve's quills very nearly hit Gus' groin.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Bedazzled: During the scene where Elliot meets The Devil as she's playing billiard, and she makes a point to emasculate him by hitting the cue ball right where he's standing on the pool table, just below his crotch, causing him to jump back in discomfort.
  • In the Get Smart movie The Nude Bomb, Agent 86 accidentally fires his gun while stowing it in his pants. He hesitates, discreetly checks, and repeats his Catchphrase, "Missed it by that much."
  • A non-comedic example in Hannibal (film sequel to Silence of the Lambs), Hannibal stabs a thief, aiming for the groin. However, the thief manages to dodge... so the blow lands in the complicated mass of arteries feeding the groin. He dies.
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets: After the Quidditch match in which Harry has been targeted by a rogue Bludger, Harry ends up on the floor with a broken arm, dodging the animated ball as it keeps coming for him. It hits the ground to one side of him, then the other, then between his legs as he dodges.
  • In Howard the Duck, after Howard ends up tied to a table during a brawl in a diner, the Dark Overlord of the Universe (possessing Dr Jenning) telekinetically spins a cleaver and cuts the rope between Howard's legs - when Beverly asks Howard if he's OK, he replies in falsetto pitch.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: When young Indy, a teenaged Eagle Scout, is fighting a grave robber on top of a circus train car, a rhinoceros starts poking its horn through the roof. As the thug pins Indy down, the horn comes up between their legs, this distraction allows Indy enough time to push off the thug and escape.
  • Iron Man 2: When Whiplash attacks Tony at a race in Monaco, Tony has to dodge several of the villain's whip cracks when he gets knocked to the ground. At one point his legs are spread, the whip hitting mere inches from his groin. Tony's expression indicates that this was too close for comfort.
  • Jack the Giant Slayer: This happens to Elmont as the giants are preparing to eat him.
    Elmont: I had this...
  • James Bond:
    • Invoked in The Man with the Golden Gun. Bond visits a gunsmith, who has just completed a custom-made rifle for a client who is missing two fingers; if fired by anyone else, it would shoot an inch below the target. Bond then aims the rifle at the gunsmith and orders him to tell him what he knows about a different client, the assassin Scaramanga. The gunsmith is scared but won't give up the info. Bond fires — between the man's legs.
      Bond: You're right — one inch too low!
    • Goldeneye: When Bond arrives in Russia, he goes to a crime lord called Valentin Zukovsky, with whom he has a history, for information. Unfortunately, that history includes Bond shooting Zukovsky in the knee and stealing his girlfriend, a fact that hasn't been forgotten, and Zukovsky pulls out a gun and shoots at Bond's legs. Bond dodges to one side, then the other, then frantically shouts that he has something to offer for information as Zukovsky aims at his crotch.
  • John Wick: Chapter 3 – Parabellum: During a fight with assassins in a room full of weapons, one of them hurls an ax right at John, which lands between his outstretched legs. Both he and the assassin pause seemingly in mutual sympathy of how narrowly John escaped such a cruel fate.
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen: In the climactic fight, Sawyer alerts Quartermain someone is close, only to relax when he realises the person is invisible. He calls out, "It's okay, it's Skinner!" only for the person to knock him down and say, "What makes you think I'm Skinner?" The attacker comes after Sawyer with a knife, striking the floor between his legs as Sawyer scoots backward.
  • The theatrical cut of Little Shop of Horrors has Audrey II shoot a vine right between the legs of a trapped, terrified Seymour, just below his junk, while appropriately singing "I'm gonna bust your balls!"
  • The Long Kiss Goodnight: During the scene when Mitch is being interrogated by Timothy while tied to a chair, Timothy tries intimidating Mitch by flinging a knife that embeds itself on the chair's surface, a few inches from Mitch's groin.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie: One of the gatekeepers throws its spear at Rocky, who leaps up to avoid it, doing the splits. The spear lands just below, with Rocky noting that it was "too close for comfort".
  • Sleepy Hollow: When Magistrate Phillipse is killed by the Horseman, his head spins on his body before falling off and rolling down the slope towards Ichabod. The head comes to rest between Ichabod's legs, and the Horseman retrieves it by spearing it on his sword as he rides past, the blade striking inches from Ichabod's crotch. Ichabod faints.
  • Stormbreaker: When Alex is tied to a chair, he calls Sayle a psychopath. Mr Grin hurls a knife at him and it just misses his crotch. Alex says it was a good shot, while Sayle calls it a near miss. Alex gulps.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Raphael, in heated response to Donatello's teasing of him getting televised credit for saving April's life, hurls one of his Sai at his brother. It lands right between the latter's legs, prompting him to quickly cease.
    Don: Hey, look! Nyuk Nyuk!! I think he's blushing!
    Raph: I am not!
    Don: I think he's actually turning red — [Raph hurls his Sai, landing it point-first between Donnie's legs] — uh, maybe not.
  • Trainspotting: Begbie slams Renton against a wall and stabs directly under his crotch when the latter makes a joke about Begbie nearly hooking up with a trans woman. The threat is clear, but Begbie clarifies that he'll castrate Renton if he says another word.
  • In Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Dale finds Tucker hung upside down as bait for him, surrounded by booby traps. He accidentally triggers one, causing a huge spear to come flying down and pin the ground right between his legs. After standing in shock for a moment, he tells Tucker "For the first time, I'm glad I'm not hung like a bear."
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    Live-Action TV 
  • Subverted in the Blackadder episode "Bells", when Baldrick is holding up an archery target for Blackadder and Percy, and Percy accidentally shoots way too low. Baldrick then reveals that "the arrow didn't in fact enter my body. ... No, by a thousand-to-one chance, my willy got in the way."
  • Chuck: In an early episode, Chuck Vs. The Tango, Chuck is taken prisoner by an arms dealer called La Cuidad and tied to a chair in her hotel room. When she asks his name, he gives his cover name of Charles Carmichael. In response, she throws a knife at the seat where it narrowly misses his crotch. Terrified, he blurts out "Chuck Bartowski!"
  • Doctor Who: In "The Eleventh Hour", while hanging on to the out-of-control TARDIS for dear life at the beginning, the Doctor very narrowly avoids the spire of Big Ben passing between his legs.
  • Scorpion: At the Cliffhanger of s4e01 "Extinction", the solution to the Disaster of the Week literally goes up in flames when a piece of equipment falls down the Arctic fissure full of methane they're trying to seal up. The fissure explodes, causing a sheet of flames to shoot up into the sky. A drill bit gets launched into the air, where it falls back down and buries itself in the ice between Toby's legs.
    Toby: Well, that could have been worse!
  • Stranger Things: In the finale episode of season 2, when Max's step-brother, Billy, confronts the group and gets too physical with them that he beats up Steve and pushes Lucas into a shelf. She stops him by injecting him with a syringe full of sedatives, then threatens him to never harm them again by using a spike bat and hitting the ground near his groin.
  • The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson: One of the more infamously hilarious bits during the prime of Johnny Carson's run. Ed Ames was trying to show Johnny how to throw a tomahawk at a cardboard target. On his first throw, Ed's ax landed just right below the groin area much to Johnny, the audience and Ed's amusement, the latter who was even surprised that happened.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Muppet Treasure Island: In the last fight scene, Gonzo pins one of the pirates to the side of the ship using starfish as throwing stars. Shortly after, various other pirates get their swords knocked out of their hands, and each time the sword flies towards the pinned pirate, landing disturbingly close to his crotch.

    Video Games 
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum gives a Good Bad Bug in which the titular hero can occasionally give a near Groin Attack to some random Mooks, but it isn't for relief on the audience's part. While the mook will go down, looking at him with Detective Mode afterwards will show he's unconscious; since real groin attacks don't cause unconsciousness, it's easy to headcanon, as per the Fridge page, Batman using a self-defence technique which injures the pelvis to make it painful to stand and impossible to walk.
  • In Far Cry Primal, Jayma taunts Takkar by shooting an arrow between his legs, narrowly missing his groin.
  • Butt-Monkey / Chew Toy Enzo gets this twice during the Bayonetta series.
    • The first game has his groin very nearly smashed by a gravestone during the first graveyard battle.
    • Bayonetta 2 has Enzo's groin very nearly run over, complete with scooting back, when Jeanne makes her entrance via motorcycle.
      Enzo: MOTHERFUCKER!
  • Certain NPCs in Grand Theft Auto IV will sometimes exclaim "You almost shot me in the nuts, yo!" after being incapacitated.
  • Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas: The intro to the "Saint Mark's Bistro" mission has Maccer tied up to the wall, with Salvatore and Maria working on practicing knife-throwing. They flirt, with Maccer demanding they let him go. Salvatore throws the knife, hitting right below Maccer's crotch.
  • Resident Evil Village has a darkly humorous one during the battle against Lord Karl Heisenberg. Heisenberg has gone One-Winged Angel in a metal/mold monstrosity and Ethan Winters has been fighting him with a tank, until Heisenberg knocks him off of it, then nearly gets it to the bits before Chris Redfield blows up Heisenberg's factory.
    "No, no! My metal army! I'm gonna murder that boulder-punching asshole, but you're first.
  • Just before his fight against "Makoto Makimura"/ Weng-Hai Lee in Yakuza 0, Majima barely avoids an acupuncture needle to the crotch when he tries to go for his dagger.

    Web Animation 
  • Red vs. Blue: In season 8 episode 10, Tex beats the living shit out of the Reds and Tucker. Every time Tex goes after Grif, she makes sure to hit him in the 'nads. The one time this is subverted, she is running away from a missile and slides between Grif's legs, and Grif covers up and whimpers at what is about to happen... only for the missile to harmlessly fly between his legs as well. Sadly for him and the rest of the crew, the same cannot be said for the massive pile of explosive barrels behind him.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In one episode, Aang falls into a floor of stalagmites, managing to stop himself between two moments before a third would have impaled between his legs.
  • Happens to Grandpa Max in Ben 10, with crystal spikes landing all around his body as he keeps backing up to avoid it hitting his groin.
  • Futurama: In "Roswell That Ends Well", Fry, while trying to protect his future grandpa, causes a fork to slide off the table of the diner they're at. The fork embeds itself in the seat, inches from grandpa's groin, causing Fry to freak out.
    Fry: You almost got neutered!
    Enos: Well, t'ain't as bad as gettin' killed.
    Fry: For me it is!
  • King of the Hill: Hank sits on a magnet to improve his sperm count when Bobby comes in and talks to Hank about how Hank and Peggy are planning to have another child. When Bobby talks to him, he's holding a screwdriver and puts it down after he says his piece. The screwdriver flies to the magnet as Hank reacts and spreads his legs, narrowly missing his crotch.
  • Love, Death & Robots: In the episode Love, Death & Robots: "Sucker of Souls", Dr. Wenhut just misses having his groin impaled by a broken stalactite.
  • Kai narrowly avoids getting stabbed in the crotch by a booby-trap triggered stalactite in the Ninjago episode "Grave Danger".
  • In the Tak and the Power of Juju (2007) episode "The Gift", Tak has a spear thrown at him and he jumps swiftly enough that the spear hits just below his crotch.
  • In an episode of Ultimate Spider-Man, Spider-Man just misses a pike at the top of a building during an aerial chase scene.
  • Wakfu, when the Brotherhood (sans Yugo) fights against Grougaloragran the Dragon, at one point part of the ceiling crumbles, and we get to see a petrified Sadlygrove with a giant stone stalactite embedded in the ground right between his legs, having barely missed his groind while Rubilax taunts him about it.


 
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Puss jumps over a spire, narrowly managing to clear it.

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