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Power Cable Attack

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A classic attack move. Your opponent has the advantage. Maybe he's stronger, maybe you are down... any number of things. What do you do?

Pull out a nearby power cable and let the bastard eat the output, of course!

Can be a rather family unfriendly scene. Same for its aftermath, with the target being extra crispy. When water is involved, it might suffer from the same implausibilities mentioned in Electrified Bathtub.


Subtrope of Improvised Weapon. Sister Trope to Shock and Awe. Compare Electric Torture and High-Voltage Death. Taser Tag Weakness is when the electricity source is one that's supposed to be used for attacking.


Anime and Manga

  • The third episode of the NSFW Usagi-chan De Cue! has the cyborg Dekao rebuilt into a war machine and dropped into a shopping mall to destroy bunny-girl Mikami and Cat Girl Koshka. While Mikami plays dodge-'em with Dekao's steel tentacles, Koshka drops a severed power cable into an open service port on Dekao's body. After a few moments of electric arcing, Dekao explodes.


  • In Watchmen, Rorschach is imprisoned among a lot of criminals who recognise him and want payback, During a riot started so that Rorschach can be dealt with in the absence of warders, he turns the tables on them by flooding the cell wing. He then stands on the insulation provided by several mattresses, and dips the end of a broken power cable into the water as the vengeance-bent cons wade through it. Several are holding onto metal things.
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  • In the Archie Comics' Sonic the Hedgehog miniseries Sonic Quest, the mechanical Silver Sonic bashes Sonic through a wall in the Death Egg, exposing live power cables. Sonic grabs one of the sliced cables and zaps Silver Sonic, knocking the robot out of commission.

Fan Fic

  • In Betrayal of the Best Kind, Harry kills a number of Death Eaters by enchanting a nearby wooden power pole to grow into a tree again, making the power lines snap.


  • In The Matrix Revolutions, Smith!Bane blinds Neo using a broken power cable. Neo uses his newly acquired "See A.I. soul" ability to kill Smith!Bane by knocking his head off.
  • James Bond
    • Goldfinger. While fighting OddJob inside the Fort Knox vault, Bond kills him by using a cut power cable to electrify metal bars as Oddjob is retrieving his metal-rimmed hat from them.
    • The Spy Who Loved Me. Bond tries it again during his fight with Jaws on the train by breaking the bulb on a table lamp and electrifying Jaws' metal mouth. Unfortunately he's using regular current so he only stuns Jaws for a moment, but that's enough time for Bond to kick him out a window.
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  • Judge Dredd. While fighting Mean Machine Angel, Dredd pulls an electrical cable out of Mean's arm and electrocutes him with it.
  • In the film version of Little Shop Of Horrors, Seymour defeats Audrey II by electrocuting it with a fallen cable.
  • In Spacehunter: Adventures in the Forbidden Zone, Wolff jabs a sparking power cable into one of Overdog's claws. The power feedback fries Overdog and thus causes cascading blowouts throughout the entire fortress.
  • Detective John McClane from Die Hard with a Vengeance has One Bullet Left, and takes out all the villains by aiming for the power line going to a building. The severed line becomes tangled in the villains' helicopter blades, causing them to crash. Once the vehicle touches ground, current flows, igniting the aircraft fuel tank for a spectacular fiery finish.
  • Slater dispatches the Ripper in Last Action Hero by using the Ripper's axe to chop a set of power lines, causing them to fall onto the wet rooftop that they're fighting on and electrify the roof.
  • Stargate-verse: In the finale movie, The Ark of Truth, Mitchell takes out a Replicator infested Merrick by yanking out some power cables and using the live ends on him.
  • In Batman Returns, Catwoman does it to herself and her former boss.
  • Terminator:
    • In Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, the T-850 jams a power cable into the T-X's face. It only knocks her back and does no damage.
    • In Terminator Genisys, Kyle Reese jams a power cable into the T-800's endoskeleton's torso. It only stuns it for a few seconds before it pulls the cable out.


Live Action TV

  • Angel: In "Peace Out", Angel jams a power cable into Jasmine. It only knocks her back and does no damage.
    Jasmine: I was forged in the inferno of creation, vampire. Do you really think a little electricity would destroy me?
    Angel: Worth a shot.
  • Blake's 7. In "Power", Avon is challenged to a duel, and bizarrely asks for a gauntlet as his choice of weapon. He then uses the gauntlet to remove a "heliofusion rod" from a nearby power generator and disintegrate his opponent's sword.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Revulsion", B'Elanna Torres uses a live cable to destablize a homicidal hologram intent on crushing her skull with a hammer. Somehow the cable's end manages to stick in the hologram despite him being an Intangible Man.
  • The Highlander episode “Saving Grace” has a variant. Duncan is battling his opponent on the Paris Metro track. The opponent traps Duncan’s leg and a train is coming. Duncan doesn’t have a power cable handy but he uses his jacket to essentially lure the guy into putting his sword back too far and touching the electric third rail. This temporarily kills him, Duncan time to escape while the opponent is decapitated by the train before he can revive.


  • LEGO Exo-Force: After both of their Mecha Expansion Packs were destroyed, Ha-ya-to in the Blue Falcon defeats the Iron Condor II using a electric cable to shock the machine.

Video Game


  • In Sluggy Freelance, during the "Oceans Unmoving" arc, Bun-Bun attached a power cable to a rope made of conductive material that Blacksoul was using to board his ship. While wearing a silk dress to protect himself, unfortunately he forgot the entire ship was made from the same material as the rope and the rest of the crew got tasered, except Kada who wears rubber pants.

Western Animation

  • In the Superman: The Animated Series episode "Prototype", a man has been driven mad by his Power Armor. The guy manages to temporarily blind Superman with his laser gun, but as soon as he recovers, the first thing Superman sees is a high voltage warning. He rips out the cable and sticks both ends into the armor.
  • In the Justice League Unlimited episode "Panic in the Sky", the Watchtower is attacked by an army led by Galatea, a clone of Supergirl, when power is out. Galatea fights the real Supergirl in the control room, and has the upper hand due to being artificially aged to maturity. But then, power is restored, so Kara rips out a major power cable and jams it into Galatea. The cable is thicker than both girls together.
  • In Iron Man: Armored Adventures, the episode "Extremis" has the man who took the titular serum defeat Tony (a Curb-Stomp Battle). After Tony takes a small dose himself, they have a rematch. Tony's dose gave him the ability to sense and control any technology around him, so he uses it to locate a major power line under them and pulls it out right into the enemy's chest.
  • While pursuing the terrified youngster Hogarth, The Iron Giant becomes tangled in the power lines from an electric substation. The massive current plays havoc with the robot's workings. Taking pity on his pursuer's suffering, Hogarth pulls the main circuit breaker, and the robot topples supine, seemingly lifeless.
  • An episode of Mummies Alive! has underground power cables being summoned by a spell that used to summon snakes back in ancient Egypt.
  • In the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) episode, the Big Blowout, Donatello dons a full body protective suit and tries to stop Technodrome by shoving an energized power line into a tread.

Real Life

  • During Hurricane Irene, a road rage incident involved someone throwing a downed and live powerline onto someone else's car.

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