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Possessive Wrist Grab

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Gotta show who's in charge here.
In many works, especially involving a male and female as prominent characters, one character will grab the other's wrist in such a way that the character's dominance is expressed to the audience. Inversely the grabbed character appears weaker by comparison, or less powerful.
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Some characters, usually male, assert possessiveness, whether intentional or not, by grabbing the wrists or arms of another character. Even when the characters' genders are the same, or reversed, the effect still remains.

Values Dissonance may cause this trope to be seen as offensive to some, but waved off, consequence-free, and even used in a romantic context in another region. This most often occurs in works where the culture of origin is patriarchal where gender roles are more prominent, or even enforced.

Compare Caught the Heart on His Sleeve, Dragged by the Collar, Angry Collar Grab and the Standard Female Grab Area in which it describes the phenomenon as it applies to combat situations.

See also Headlock of Dominance in which it applies to fights being dominated by a character whose got others in a headlock.

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Examples:

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    Anime & Manga 
  • In The Feelings We All Must Endure, Sachi's boyfriend grabs her by the wrist quite painfully to end an argument. This is one of the first indications that their relationship is not as cloud-free as Sachi wants her friends to believe. Her boyfriend later turns out to be a majorly insecure control freak who ends up cheating on her as she gradually slips from under his control.
  • In Natsume's Book of Friends, Nishimura grabs an uninterested Natsume by the wrist to forcibly drag him along as Nishimura talks about his crush on the new transfer student.

    Comic Books 
  • In the X23 series, after Julian forcefully kisses Laura, he grabs her arm when she turns to leave. Laura is not impressed by the act, and her dialogue becomes noticeably angrier afterwards. note 
  • Batman grabbed Catwoman's both wrists to get her hands off him during their first meeting way back in 1940.
  • Examples from Superman stories:
    • In Krypton No More, Superman grabs Supergirl's arm when she is smashing his Fortress' trophies to make a point, but he relents when she asks him point-blank if he is threatening her.
    • In "Breaking the Chain", Power Boy grabs Supergirl's wrist when she wants to go out alone. Power Boy backs off when she glares at him, but this is one of the first clues of his possessive, abusive nature.

    Films — Animated 
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    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Madea's Family Reunion, Carlos does this to Lisa at one event the two attend.
  • In Sheena, Vic & Sheena are on the run from some bad guys, and Vic pulls Sheena by the wrist to keep her going. Note that Sheena is Queen of the Jungle and Vic is an urban reporter, yet he still has to grab her to keep her running.

    Literature 

    Live-Action TV 
  • Korean Dramas feature wrist grabs frequently, so much so that some people have gone so far as to document their occurrences and categorize them by type (there's even a triple wrist grab):
    • Taekyung in You Are Beautiful has a penchant for grabbing characters' wrists, especially Go Mi Nam's. Sometimes it's to stop her from leaving, and others to drag her somewhere.
    • In Boys Over Flowers Goo Joon Pyo is prone to wrist-grabbing Geum Jan Di. And the other way around when Jan Di gets angry.
    • In Heartstrings Lee Shin tends to grab Lee Gyu-won's wrists when he wants to talk to her in private or pull her away. On the other end, Gyu Won grabs his wrist to get him to stay, although this is often from behind.
  • This appears several times in the Ellery Queen television series, which is set in 1947 New York City:
    • In the pilot episode, Ellery enlists the aid of a financier's secretary to catch a thief. In order to show her how the drugstore delivery man fixed her door to allow him to re-enter her apartment, Ellery takes her by the wrist and leads her into the hallway outside of her apartment and lets the door close behind them. She thinks they're locked out, and he demonstrates they aren't.
    • In "The Adventure of Colonel Nivin's Memoirs", a female publicity agent arrives at a private club to meet with her client (the author of the titular memoirs) and discovers his corpse. Just then, she hears a door close and turns to follow the person she thinks in there when she is seized by the wrist by the "Indian" orderly who thinks she is responsible for the colonel's death.
    • In "The Adventure of the Blunt Instrument", rival publishers who were formerly husband and wife have an argument over business (an author has a contract with him that's about to expire and she's been making offers to woo the author into switching to her publishing house). As the quarrel escalates, the man grabs the woman's wrist and she pulls her arm away and twists it out of his grasp.
  • One episode of New Tricks combines this with an Eureka Moment and has the criminal of the week give himself away by grabbing Sandra's wrist as she tries to walk away from him. He tries to play it off as just an emotional moment, but it gets the team thinking along a new line of enquiry that unravels the guy's plan.

    Web Comics 
  • Yeong-Gi from I Love Yoo holds on to Shin-Ae's wrist so she won't leave. Twice.


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