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Pulling Themselves Together

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Mr. Potato Head: Where's my nose?
Mrs. Potato Head: Here it is.
Mr. Potato Head: Here's your arm.
Mrs. Potato Head: Gimme that. That's mine.
Mr. Potato Head: Honey? The moustache?

An enemy is beaten, blown to pieces, or else frozen/petrified then shattered. But wait! The pieces are combining! It's reassembling itself! Time to leg it!

This Subtrope of Nigh-Invulnerability may be greeted with shock, horror and cries of "Why Won't You Die?!" This is different than From a Single Cell, where a monster/character regrows itself from a single part instead of reassembling itself from the already existing parts that were blown off. Can be seen as a specific form of Healing Factor, that manages to avoid the Shapeshifter Baggage otherwise involved.

This trope is particularly common among undead beings. Zombies are typically portrayed as halfway to falling apart by default, and often lack much in the way of physical sensation; as such, more intelligent ones may become very sanguine about having to pick up fallen body parts and sew them back on. Similarly, skeletons will often collapse into piles of loose bones at the slightest jostling but just as quickly reassemble themselves, sometimes with the bones moving back together under their own power. In some cases, collapsed skeletons' component bits may simply reassemble at random, without seeming to recompose the original skeletons that made them up to begin with. Constructed beings, such as golems or living scarecrows, also commonly possess similar abilities.


See also Helping Hands, Losing Your Head, Who Needs Their Whole Body?, Appendage Assimilation and Good Thing You Can Heal. Cranium Chase is a subtrope that involves the head. For Dem Bones, this is a way for them to "heal" from damage. Depending on which characters are doing this, it can quickly turn into Nightmare Fuel.

For the intentional combat/utility version see Detachment Combat.

Not to be confused with the OTHER kind of pulling yourself together.



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  • Happens to a minivan in a Liberty Mutual auto insurance ad, after a collision causes the (unoccupied) car to fly apart into dozens of components.
  • This happened to Vince and Larry the Crash Test Dummies a lot in a 1980's safety campaign for the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • A few Cadbury adverts feature Creme Eggs doing this, however they come back wrong and end up as the then-new Creme Egg Twisted.

    Anime & Manga 
  • Doraemon: Nobita and the Birth of Japan have a race of living Dogu statues as enemies, the first one which Doraemon defeats with ease by reflecting it's hypersonic waves upon itself causing it to smash into bits against a rock. But unbeknownst to the gang, those statues are actually futuristic robots from the 23rd Century made of "memory clay"; seconds after being smashed, the robot simply reassembles itself together and continues their rampage.
  • Mazinger Z: Several Mechanical Monsters had this capacity (and Dr. Hell perfected the trick every time): Deimos F3 could reassemble itself every time that it was blown apart. Belgas V5 could disassemble and reassemble itself at will, and every body part was weaponized and could attack and fight separately. Briver A3 could reassemble itself every time that it was blown apart, every body part was weaponized, AND the head had greater attack capability that the rest and was better protected.
  • In Naruto:
    • Sasori's puppet body punched to pieces by Sakura, but he pulls it right back together by the strings because his body is just a shell that he can reassemble and his heart is the only important part.
    • Kakuzu's body mostly consists of black threads that allow him to detach and extend limbs to great distances. Hidan can survive being torn apart but needs Kakuzu to stitch him back together; otherwise decapitation would pretty much render him harmless.
    • Orochimaru can rapidly reattach severed parts (up to being bisected), because apparently his whole body is made of snakes.
    • Any physical damage suffered by those brought back to life with Impure World Resurrection is reversed by the pieces coming together like an object made of ash crumbling in reverse.
  • Dragon Ball Z has a couple of these; Meta Cooler's metallic body can pull itself back together by use of whip-like metallic tendons that sprout from the body parts; Majin Buu takes it to another level by being able to reform himself after being blown into a cloud of atoms, as he's made of a bubblegum-like substance. It's only after every atom is his body is completely vaporized that he is truly defeated. Though in the fight against Vegito, Buu is beaten so badly at one point that he's having visible difficulty putting himself back together.
  • Claymore
    • Clare, and presumably others of her kind that cannot regenerate limbs outright, have a limited ability to do this if the wound is fresh, the limb is intact, and she has a bit of time to concentrate on making them knit together solidly.
    • A better, more recent example is the nigh indestructible Abyssal Eaters.
  • Alucard of Hellsing absolutely loves doing this after letting his enemies blow him to pieces, using his incredibly powerful Healing Factor to reform his body just before tearing said enemies apart.
  • One Piece
    • Buggy the Clown ate the Bara Bara no Mi Devil Fruit, that allows him to separate any part of him and levitate it, but also to reassemble himself after doing it or be cut.
    • The Logia users can do this too, turning their body into their element and shapeshifting it back into them. Aokiji (and Crocodile and Kizaru to a lesser extent) seems to be the best example of this, as most other Logia users just let attacks pass through them without effect, rather than actively "pulling themselves together" after the attack lands.
    • After the Timeskip, it is revealed that Brook can put his bones back together if they are knocked apart.
  • Mecha-Mooks Decoe and Bocoe claimed to have done this in Episode 48 of 4Kids's Sonic X. The original Japanese version says Chuck Thorndyke repaired them.
  • Chevaliers from Blood+ have been shown to be able to reattach severed limbs and use them normally within a short timespan.
  • Nosferatu Zodd from Berserk can reattach his own severed limbs on the rare occasions someone is able to deal that much damage to him. The Ogre that attacks Enoch village demonstrates the same ability when Guts chops off his arm.
  • Akasha Bloodriver from Rosario + Vampire has this ability, as apparently do all Shinso vampires. Even better, if her body parts are completely destroyed, she's implied to be able to regenerate on a From a Single Cell level.
  • Comes to bite Shibugarasu in the ass in Inuyasha. After having stolen the Shikon Jewel, which makes demons incredibly strong and allows them to reassemble their bodies when killed, it loses a foot while trying to flee from Kagome and Inuyasha. Even though Kagome is not a good archer by that point and the demon is already way out of reach, she ties the foot to a magic arrow and shoots in the general direction. With the foot trying to reattach itself to the body, the shot is an instant hit. Unfortunately, she blew up the Jewel in doing so, scattering pieces of it across Japan and kick-starting the plot.
  • Arcueid Brunestud was able to assemble pieces of her body back together after being killed and torn apart by Shiki in Tsukihime. This process happened off-screen, though. She also used packing tape to do this.
  • Doctor Minoru Kamiya in YuYu Hakusho does that to one of his arms when Yusuke shoots part of it off.
  • This is done by Giselle Gewelle from Bleach, who nonchalantly reattaches half her side after being nearly split into two.
  • Genma from Ninja Scroll is able to re-attach his body parts after they've been sliced off.
  • Zeno from Yona of the Dawn is revealed to have this ability, strong enough to the point where his severed head reattaches itself to his body.
  • DIO from Jojos Bizarre Adventure has done this a few times in the series, due to being a vampire. In Phantom Blood, after being essentially split lengthwise, pushes his two halves together to allow them to heal. Stardust Crusaders has him calmly asking a horrified onlooker to fetch his dismembered leg during his fight with Jotaro, as if asking for his leg back to reattach it is a completely normal thing.
    • In Battle Tendency, former ally Straizo does this after being blown up by a bouquet of grenades. While it gives Joseph and Smokey a chance to run, it shows how much Joseph is unprepared to even fight a vampire, let alone a Hamon master vampire. Straizo has trained for years to fight against vampires, so he knows everything they can do and thus can perform these moves with little difficulty.
    • Cioccolata from the fifth part, Golden Wind, provides an example in the anime. After we are treated with a lovely scene with Cioccolata as a mass of squirming, dismembered parts, he uses his surgical knowledge and skill to literally sew his parts back together again.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul, Ghouls with an abnormally powerful Healing Factor are capable of doing this. The most infamous example is Noro, who is immediately pulled back together with tendrils of......something when he's kicked in half. In the sequel, Seidou Takizawa demonstrates the same creepy ability as tendrils re-attach his still moving arm. Even other Ghouls find this kind of thing downright unnatural.
  • In Kill la Kill, Satsuki tries to decapitate Ragyo; her head goes flying, but since she's fused with Life Fibers, a thread keeps it connected to her body, and she's able to pick it up and reattach it. The only way to kill her is to cut the Life Fibers in a way that they can't regenerate.
    • This ability is common to all hybrids of human and Life Fibers, which means that Nui Harime and Ryuko herself display it, too.
  • This was what made the Daimon Nekoneru a threat in her episode of Sailor Moon, as she repeatedly rebuilt herself, being created after a Daimon seed entered a jigsaw puzzle of a cat. Unfortuanly, this effect was negated once Sailor Moon got the Heart Scepter and used the Moon Spiral Heart Attack on it.
  • In Ajin, the eponymous ajin regenerate from any damage and resurrect upon dying. If the lost organic matter (be it blood, flesh, body parts or whatever) is too distantly separated, the whole body regenerates ex nihilo from the biggest piece available; however, if, say, one's decapitated head is close enough to the rest of the body, this trope occurs, with the lost body part being pulled back towards the rest by threads of IBM matter. This is exploited by notoriously savvy villain Satou in a gunfight, when he cuts his hand off, tapes it to the wall and uses this as an anchor of sorts so he can afford to step out into the enemy's sights, knowing that if they kill him his corpse will simply be pulled back towards his hand upon regeneration.
  • In Mobile Suit Gundam Wing, Heero breaks his leg after jumping out of a hospital building and being too out of it to pull his parachute in time. He nonchalantly pops it back into place, much to Duo's disgust.
  • Tora from Ushio and Tora can survive being bisected or mutilated and put himself back together, though usually with some help. The only drawback is that he cannot focus his powers on being invisible to normals while he's regenerating.
  • All of the zombies in Zombie Land Saga have this trait, with their limbs popping off like dolls. (Thankfully devoid of blood.) This doesn't hurt them in the slightest, but becomes a problem when it happens in public and risks revealing their nature.
  • In Nurse Hitomi's Monster Infirmary, Revenant Zombie Fujimi is constantly falling apart, and often has to get Hitomi-sensei to sew her up again, much like Sally in the page image.
  • Rebuild World: After a certain Super Serum is developed based on Lost Technology Nanomachines medicine of Old World Precursors, combatants start appearing capable of doing this and healing From a Single Cell. When Akira first encounters this in the Inner Kuzusuhara Ruins Assault, with an arm Akira severs with his sword attaching right back to its host, he says What the Hell Are You?. Later there’s a monstrous mass capable of the same, as well as a Super Soldier, each of which can split into multiple beings and recombine themselves.
  • The☆Ultraman has a skeletal kaiju M Onster Of The Week called Skeldon which can pull itself together after being blasted into pieces by the humans. Even Ultraman Joneus' Finishing Move couldn't stop it from reassembling! As it turns out, it needs to have it's energy drained off to be properly destroyed.

    Asian Animation 
  • In episode 3 of YoYo Man, a robot made of special magic blocks is blown apart by the Yoyo Supermen, only to start reassembling itself brick-by-brick. Fefe alleviates the problem by creating a bubble buffer to prevent the robot from rebuilding itself.

    Card Games 

    Comic Books 
  • DC Comics:
    • Subverted to nightmarish effect in the Obsidian Age story arc of Justice League of America. Plastic Man is frozen and shattered into thousands of pieces which lay scattered on the ocean floor far in the past. He is completely aware, yet unable to pull himself together, and survives in this manner for 3000 years before he is collected and reconstituted by the league in the present time.
    • In Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan does this after being disintegrated in a Freak Lab Accident in his origin story. It takes months and several partial manifestations before he fully reappears in his present form. He does it again towards the end, this time within minutes.
    • Wonder Woman Vol 1: The magic that is reanimating former Amazonian Champion Artemis' vengeful skeleton quickly pulls her back together if someone manages to disassemble any of her. The only way to get her to slow down is to steal her sword, which is where the magic reanimating her is focused.
  • Marvel Comics:
    • The Absorbing Man can shatter if he turns himself into some fragile material, but he can also pull the pieces together.
    • Immortal Hulk: After sliced to pieces and put in jars, Hulk is able to will his organs to come back together, consuming a scientist who was trying to threaten him.
    • Man-Thing goes through this about once an issue.
    • ROM: Space Knight: The mutant human/Dire Wraith hybrid Jimmy Marks can use his considerable Psychic Powers to reconstitute himself after being reduced to molecules.
    • The Silver Surfer is capable of doing this, provided there's something capable of cutting him to pieces.
    • Spider-Man: In The Clone Saga, Spidercide gains this ability after fully awakening his shapeshifting powers.
    • Terror from Terror Inc. has the ability to replace parts of his body with those of others, including animals. Good thing too, since his body is constantly rotting away. He can secrete a substance akin to an extremely fast-working digestive enzyme from his skin, which makes tearing off body parts even from still-living people easy. An added perk is that he gains access to memories and skills related to the body parts he assimilates: an eye allows him to see what the original person saw, an arm from an artist can help him draw accurate sketches and so on.
    • The X-Men 2099 villain Junkpile does a variation. Though he doesn't heal himself with his own body parts, he repairs damage to his body by pulling metal objects to him telekinetically and using them for raw materials to replace broken or damaged body parts.
  • In The Savage Dragon, there was a villain named Abner Cadaver who was a mystic zombie who could sew body parts onto himself. One of his last appearances showed him sewing the body parts of various superhuman in order to do battle with the titular character.
  • In a Don Martin Captain Klutz story, the Captain gets ripped to comedic shreds by an enemy. Told literally to "pull himself together", he yanks at one of the wings on his hat and his various pieces all slither back together and reconnect.
  • In Cattivik, he'll usually do this to himself after being tore apart or destroyed. In a particular episode this happens twice to some mummies. In both cases, the results of their efforts were laughable to say the least.
  • 2000 AD:
    • Judge Dredd: During the "Necropolis" arc, the undead Judge Mortis has his head (which is a sheep's skull) blown off by a group of Academy students he was trying to kill. Within a few seconds the body has reattached the head and continues its pursuit.
    • The Ten-Seconders: Moments after Malloy blows up Arachne's body, Harris tells him that they better fast-track their escape from the compound—he just noticed Arachne's body starting to remerge.

    Fan Works 
  • Jack from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series has this. Exploited by Calvin at one point, taking him apart to make him fit in his backpack.
  • Evershade: Karen's healing forces lost bodyparts to return to her and reassemble her body whole again.
  • Hard Being Pure: When Noa tries to fling her cut-off hand away from her, the hand spider-crawls back to her.
  • Vampires in Luminosity have this ability. Even if someone tears them apart, unless the flesh is actually kept separate, the pieces will slowly reassemble over time. Bella figures out how to make her power function as an even stronger version of this trope, reassembling rapidly after being broken into pieces and set on fire (the standard way to kill a vampire).
  • No Plumbers Allowed: Armsmaster's best guess at how the Bob-omb's Non-Fatal Explosions work is that they're breaking apart at the moment of detonation and near-instantly reforming so fast that even with his best cameras he could only capture what happened in a single frame.
  • Touhou Ibunshu: Nightmarishly invoked with the Kashoyo, dead fairies exposed to a horrid flame that removed creation from them, turning them into ambulatory voids desperate to be filled with anything. Patchouli and Koakuma encounter a group when taking a stroll, and the former is so unnerved she uses a spellcard invoking the power of an assault rifle, reducing them to Ludicrous Gibs... and the whole mass flows together into a lumbering humanoid shape, still intent on eating them. One of Remilia's spellcards is enough to destroy it, inflicting so much damage it's simply unable to keep doing this because of material capacity restrictions, but it's a taxing card, and more and more Kashoyo keep popping up in random parts of Gensokyo...
  • Under the Northern Lights: The lich Wiglek can restore any damage to himself and simply reabsorb any parts of him that are cut off, although he will never look better than a walking corpse.

    Films — Animation 
  • The Iron Giant can do this to an amazing degree when he gets smashed to pieces by an oncoming train, so he just transmits a signal to his detached parts which automatically move towards him and connect back to his body, down to his smallest part being a football-sized screw for his jaw. The ending reveals that even after being blown up in the atmosphere by a nuclear explosion, his countless paperweight-sized pieces can be seen migrating to an unknown location so he can reassemble himself.
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas: Sally the ragdoll, whose detachable limbs often fall off at the slightest physical provocation. Fortunately, she carries a sewing kit around with her for that exact reason.
  • Toy Story:
    • Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head have detachable parts. For Mr. Potato Head, it becomes something of a Running Gag. Also counts as Organ Autonomy.
    • Bo Peep in Toy Story 4. She's made of porcelain so she can break easily. One of her arms broke off, and she just put it back with band aid tape. It works just fine afterwards, looking no worse for wear.
  • In Frozen (2013) this seems to be a property of Elsa's Snowlems, as demonstrated by Olaf and Marshmallow. Sure you could fairly easily kick their heads off, split them in half, or toss them off cliffs in pieces, but since all of the pieces remain animated, and they're made of snow, they could just put themselves back together, as good as new.
  • Mune: Guardian of the Moon:
    • Glim and her father might be made of fragile wax, but they can reassemble missing bits just by heating them and sticking them back. As demonstrated when Glim's father accidentally rips off her arm, and she just sounds annoyed, asking in a deadpan voice to give it back, before putting it in place.
    • The assistant to the Guardian of the Sun is a Rock Monster made of several stone slabs simply stacked together and holding thanks to gravity. It just takes a push or a trip to disassemble him completely into disparate pieces, but he can just will himself back into shape. It happens several times in the movie, and he implies that he's very much used to it.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The T-1000 from Terminator 2: Judgment Day. At one point, it gets a piece of an arm shot off; said piece just liquefies and flows back into its foot. The major example is when, after being frozen with liquid nitrogen and shattered by a bullet, the hundreds of pieces liquefy and it completely reforms. Bonus points for the fact it wasn't in perfect order after reforming, losing control of its shape on occasions (Although this is implied to be due to molecular damage from being frozen rather than from being blown apart). This is made more clear in the extended version.
  • Played for laughs in Hot Shots! Part Deux, when Saddam Hussein does that in an obvious homage to T2 and The Fly.
  • In The Spirit, this is how The Octopus and The Spirit are revealed to be practically immortal.
  • In Hellboy II: The Golden Army, the titular army can do this after being smashed to pieces.
  • Walt Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks: An animated suit of armor is blown apart by a grenade, quickly re-assembles itself and continues attacking. On YouTube here, starting at 6:45.
  • In Dead & Buried, one of the undead locals loses an arm by getting hit by a car. The figure, whose face is not seen, grabs the detached arm from the car's grill and runs off. Later in the film, a shopkeeper is seen using a small brush to apply paint to the area of his own shoulder where the arm was severed, implying that he's re-attached the lost limb and is touching up the seam to conceal any sign that his unhealing, dead flesh was damaged.
  • Wolfman pulls himself back together after being blown apart with dynamite in The Monster Squad to show that, yes, only a silver bullet will do the trick.
  • In the movie Just Visiting, a medieval knight and his sidekick are accidentally sent to the present time by a cocky/kooky wizard, who goes in after them. In one scene, the wizard's potion goes awry and explodes, tearing him apart (in a non-gory fashion). Just when it seems there is no hope for the displaced knight, behold! — pieces of the wizard (whose body parts have turned into metal for some reason) crawl towards each other and the wizard puts himself back together!
  • In Men in Black II, the villainess has captured the damsel and apparently killed her guardians, the worms. J and K find them lying in pieces in their apartment — then they wake up, start grumbling, and drag themselves over to their lower halves to reattach them.
  • In Ghost Rider, Johnny blasts Legion apart with a Hellfire-powered shotgun. He just pulls himself back together like nothing happened. It did provide enough of a distraction for Johnny to deliver the finishing blow, though.
  • Hector does this in Saturn 3.
  • Mentioned, though not seen, in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers: The Movie. After the Rangers defeat a dinosaur skeleton, Rocky suggests they leave ASAP in case he pulls himself together.
  • The Leprechaun does this in the first, fourth, and fifth films.
  • X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The end of the film shows Wade Wilson's hand looking around for his decapitated head before he shushes the audience.
  • Sam's pulls himself together after being blasted about by Kreeg's shotgun in Trick 'r Treat.
  • In Scarecrow Slayer, the Scarecrow reassembles itself after being smashed to smithereens by Mary's Car Fu.
  • In Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, one of the monsters does this; its limbs appear first, then it slowly assembles itself. It can also reassemble itself when attacked, even after being sandwiched between two cars.
  • Asylum: In "Frozen Fear", Walter murders his wife Ruth and cuts her body into pieces. Later the individual pieces start moving around on their own to extract revenge on him and his lover.

  • In Baccano!, after immortal characters are injured, their blood, flesh, internal organs and bones will start flowing back to their body, ultimately leaving them with no physical damage at all. This works even if the person is on a speeding train and the parts are left smeared on the tracks (eventually). Yikes.
  • Ted Hughes' The Iron Man (on which the The Iron Giant is loosely based) starts this way. The Iron Man walks out of nowhere and falls over a cliff. One hand scuttles about blindly until it finds an eye, then picks up an arm and reassembles the whole body from there.
  • Discworld
    • Reg Shoe is a zombie, and becomes a member of the Ankh-Morpork City Watch after a career as an undead rights activist. He's repeatedly injured in combat, but can and does sew his parts back together as long as he still has one hand in place.
    • In Feet of Clay, the golem Meshugah can do this.
    • A vampire photographer in The Truth carries a glass vial of emergency blood on a string around his neck. If he's reduced to dust by the bright light of his camera's flash, the vial falls and breaks, and contact with the blood causes the pile of dust to re-form into a solid body.
    • At one point in Soul Music, Death does this. And it's awesome.
    • Pyramids: When all the mummies are returned to life, the king has to seek out his organs by hand (his eyes are in a closed canopic jar), relying on his memory of the room when he was still a ghost. Only when he puts them back does he realize he did this in full view of the two mortuary employees.
  • Stephen King's Christine: Both the novel and movie adaptation involves a murderous vintage automobile that can heal itself from ANY damage, via a sort of time reverse power. Even after being crunched under the car crusher, Dennis still has nightmares four years later of Christine finally repairing herself and coming after him for revenge. Just look at the impressive visuals in this clip from the movie on 8:54 -
  • In Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell the Gentleman with the Thistledown Hair keeps trying to put his body back after it's been ground to powder, but the pressure keeps up and he eventually dies.
  • Colt Regan: Nihil tend to do this unless severely discouraged from doing so.
  • In Skulduggery Pleasant, the title living skeleton occasionally loses limbs in combat, and simply pops them back into the joint and carries on. In fact, he had to reassemble himself entirely after his original death/resurrection. Apparently, he's even capable of replacing missing parts with other people's bones, as his skull in the first three books was not his own. He does need medical attention if any of the bones are broken or cut, though.
    • Darquesse quite literally lost her head in the fight against alternate!Mevolent who beheads her with Godkiller. It took her less than 30 seconds to put it back on again...
  • The Dresden Files
    • The Denarian Tessa's alternate warrior-form body can rebuild itself if badly damaged by transforming into thousands of tiny mantis-like insects that reform together into the original body.
    • In White Night, the blood and ichor from the uberghouls do the same thing.
  • Referenced as a joke in one of the Nightside novels, in which Alex books an act by "Mr. Explodo" to entertain his bar patrons. Mr. Explodo explodes on stage, then invokes this trope.
  • The vampires in Stephenie Meyer's Twilight Saga can do this if they aren't incinerated after dismemberment. This process is only alluded to in the main novels, but is prominently featured in the novella The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner.
  • In Robert E. Howard's The Scarlet Citadel, Tsotha-lanti tells Conan the Barbarian that "if you hack me in pieces, the bits of flesh and bone will reunite and haunt you to your doom! The next moment, Conan cuts off his head. The head remained alive, and the body attempted to recover it. Fortunately, at that moment, a friendly sorcerer took away the head, the body ran after him, and the king was rid of the need to find a solution.
  • In the Wild Cards novel Inside Straight, Jonathan Hive is sliced in two by an assassin. Fortunately for him, he's The Worm That Walks and has plenty of practice reintegrating.
  • A passing remark in The Lovely Bones: "I was in my heaven by that time, fitting my limbs together." The protagonist is a Posthumous Character whose murderer cut her body up before disposing of it. Evidently this affected her soul (or whatever) as well.
  • Across a Billion Years by Robert Silverberg has an Absent-Minded Professor with a bad habit of detaching his limbs when deep in thought or nervousnote . In one comic relief scene he managed to unscrew both his arms and legs simultaneously and needed outside assistance.
  • In The Nekropolis Archives, zombie protagonist Matthew Richter gets a spell that allows him to do this in Dark War. However, the effects are only temporary; more in-depth repair is eventually necessary to fully reattach the severed parts or they'll end up falling off again.
  • The main characters in Eden Green are immortal thanks to their alien needle symbiote. When one, the villain Tedrin, has his arm blown off, he picks it up and fits it against his shoulder to allow it to heal back into place.
  • Family Skeleton Mysteries: Sid the ambulatory skeleton can disassemble and reassemble himself as needed. In book 2, he learns how to do it from longer distances.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • "I Fall to Pieces" had a psycho stalker doctor who could disassemble and reassemble himself.
    • "The Trial" had a lizard warrior that would come back together every time he got chopped up. Angel eventually cut him in half, then chained up the pieces on opposite sides of the room, before moving on.
  • Ash vs. Evil Dead: Kelly takes out Ruby with a grenade, which severs one of her arms and legs. Ruby's Healing Factor is still working fine however, so all she has to do is re-attach the missing limbs.
  • Herrick is pulling himself together offscreen during the entire second series of Being Human.
  • In an episode of Bewitched Samantha's Father turns Darren into a statue and smashes him. Reluctantly he later puts him back together.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Dracula in the episode "Buffy vs. Dracula". Even after she dusts him, the dust pulls itself back together to reconstitute him. Also subverted as Buffy isn't the least bit startled and just restabs him.
    (Buffy stakes Dracula after he's reforming)
    Buffy: You think I don't watch your movies? You always come back...
    (Dracula's dust starts to reform)
    Buffy: I'm standing right here!
  • Dead Like Me reapers can reattach fingers fairly easily.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Dæmons": Gargoyle creature Bok reforms himself after being blown apart by a bazooka.
    • "The Pandorica Opens": A battered Cyberman guarding the Underhenge, which had its head cut off by locals, manages to retrieve it while attacking the Doctor and Amy.
    • "Resolution": The Dalek recon scout manages to teleport in its missing parts from thousands of kilometres away after one-third of its body is re-energized by being placed under a UV lamp.
  • Heroes: Tracy Strauss does this at the very beginning of Volume 5.
  • Kamen Rider Double: On the Darker and Edgier side of the Toku coin, the Clay Doll Dopant's ability, asides from shooting large blasts, is to reassemble herself after she's been crushed to a billion pieces. In fact, an arc from Double shows this power in action. It's Darker and Edgier because you don't know it's going to happen the first time, and it looks like a sympathetic character just got completely crushed. You don't learn the truth until next week.
  • The Djieiene spider in the Lost Girl episode "Arachno Faebia" can do this as long as its heart is safe in its Soul Jar.
  • This happens to the earth elemental in "The Accidental Occidental Conception", the second episode of The Middleman.
  • Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers
    • One of the more memorable Monster of the Week types was Hatchasaurus, a very strong dino-bird thing who could reassemble himself no matter how thoroughly trashed, because the important part was elsewhere.
    • An even more memorable monster was Bones, who is pretty much Hatchasaurus, except that his Soul Jar is his head.
    • Also, Eye-Guy was a monster who was made of eyes, and he had a similar ability; in this case, the Soul Jar was his main central eye, which he could separate from the rest of his body and keep elsewhere, keeping most of him safe.
  • In episode 6 of MythQuest, a mysterious knight is beheaded, willingly, by Caradoc, and then gets up, retrieves his head, and places it back on his shoulders.
  • The Replicators from Stargate SG-1, as long as they have enough intact blocks remaining.
  • In one episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Odo transforms into a glass, which is then dropped and shattered. In classic Terminator manner, the shards transform into liquid and melt together to reform Odo.
  • In Supernatural, the Leviathans have a regular Healing Factor, but when their heads get cut off, it instead reattaches itself to the body if left alone for too long. The Winchesters and Bobby use this to figure out a semi-permanent way of dispatching them by storing the body parts far away from each other.
  • Quite a few Kaiju in the Ultra Series of Tokusatsu science fiction shows can do this.
    • Depparas, a Walrus Kaiju from Ultraman Taro is a bit of a special example of this case; if blown apart, he can pull himself back together, but none of the damage he suffered during the explosion is repaired, resulting in him becoming a shambling mutilated mess that only just resembles his original form.
    • Even the heroes do that from time to time due to a DeusExMachina or one of their weapons.
    • There's also Sakuna Oni from Ultraman Tiga, an Oni slain years ago, sliced to pieces and subsequently buried all over the countryside... until the seal holding the Oni in it's place worn off. Cue giant oni limbs popping up all around the countryside and merging together into a monster.
    • The pilot of Ultraman Dyna has a rather weak monster, Darambia, attacking the Martian Base, which Ultraman Dyna defeats in seconds. Unfortunately, Darambia's pieces then merges together into a second, far stronger form of Neo Darambia.
    • Sigma-Zuigul from Ultraman Gaia has this ability as well, which Gaia found out after defeating it, where the cyborg's body parts then reforms again. It needs to be blasted in it's central red eye to be permanently killed.
  • The Young Ones: "Bambi" reveals that Vyvyan is apparently capable of this, despite it not being explicitly shown.

    Music Video 
  • Happens in Daimhnait Doyle's song "Tattooed" where she starts off in 6 pieces (head, torso, arms, and legs) but then reassembles herself during the first chorus of the song.
  • Similar to that of the above song done by Daimhnait Doyle, Exit Project's "Healing Slow" has an identical premise, only the singer starts off in 5 pieces (head, upper torso, arms, and lower half), is reassembled for the entire run of the song, and unlike Doyle is unable to reattach her head.
  • Happens to Holly Henderson in the song "Breakdown" as a result of her right arm, right hand, left leg, left foot, and left ear being detached from her body.
  • Dave From The Grave has this implied happen to him mostly offscreen in the song Ash On Yo Head due to going from a head and right hand to a full body with none of his other body parts being seen prior to him becoming whole again.

    Myths & Religion 
  • From Egyptian Mythology, the sorcerer Nefrekeptah had to face a serpent both immune to magic and who had this ability as the Final Boss guarding the Book of Thoth. When standard freezing spells didn't work, Nefrekeptah went for the direct approach and cut of the serpent's head, and threw it far into the river. However, the head came back almost instantly and blocked his path again. Nefrekeptah again cut off its head, threw it into the river, and this time put sand on the neck before the head could come back. The head couldn't reattach, and though the serpent couldn't die, it just lay there, helpless.
  • Similar to the above example, the English folk tale of The Lambton Worm and the Scottish story of Michael Scott both feature serpents who can bring themselves together again. In the former, if the snake is fought mid-stream and then hacked to pieces, it cannot re-form. In the latter, the middle section of the snake has to be taken and cooked for it to remain dead.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons:
    • Trolls, and anything with regeneration, can reattach severed body parts by holding them against their stumps for a round or so, including heads if they have a spare.
    • Ravenloft: Lebendtod, a type of undead, can remove and re-attach their heads or limbs at will. An anecdote in their 3E monster description tells how a necromancer sent several boxes of loose body parts to a rival's home; once inside, the parts re-assembled themselves and the lebendtod attacked.
    • Some skeletal undead have been depicted with the ability to reassemble themselves in various D&D editions and Dragon articles. One type of skeleton, once several are knocked to pieces, even combine their bits into a bigger, more dangerous monster.
  • Warhammer 40,000: Necrons are known to do this, sometimes even reforming after being reduced to molten slag. Their former masters the shattered C'tan are also able to do this, and it would be a very bad thing for everyone (especially the Necrons) if they succeed.
  • Warhammer Fantasy: The Great Necromancer Nagash did this after his body was chopped into pieces, burned to ashes, taken in several containers far away from each other, and scattered to the winds. The process took over a thousand years though, and his hand, which wasn't burned because it crawled away after being severed, never returned to him.

    • Zaktan is able to do this. In fact, the first time he ever did it he even freaked out the guy who caused it (as in, his Bad Boss who just disintegrated him) along with everyone else in the room as he slowly pulled all his scattered molecules back together. Which is why the writer could easily Retcon his apparent "death".
    • While Zaktan is a cut above the others (in that he could come back from almost-complete disintegration), really, almost any character is capable of doing this if their pieces are still intact and they know the secret of how to rebuild themselves, as most beings in this 'verse are mechanical with only some organic tissue. One of the most memorable instances is in the teaser for the planned game that never made it out, showing Onua spill out of his canister in pieces and assemble himself. Had the game been finished we would have gotten to see such a sequence for each of the original six Toa.
  • In Treasure X, the skeletons of Xeo and Apexia are able to pull their limbs and heads out of their sockets. A lot of times they end up with the wrong limbs in the end when they try to piece themselves back together. The lack of this ability is considered a quirk of Rexia's world.

    Video Games 
  • The Binding of Isaac: Globins collapse into a puddle of meat on death. If you don't kill the meat fast enough, they'll come right back to life. Also, any monster can potentially do this if they're a Red Champion variant.
  • Brain Dead 13: Lance does this in miraculous ways in some scenes whenever he loses a limb, like his hand or his head. Heck, there's even one resurrection scene that has the pieces of his body falling on top of each other and reconnecting him if he dies in the confrontation with Fritz.
  • Dark Souls: Skeletons don't normally do this, but if one does, it means there is a necromancer in the area that is causing it, and you need to go kill him first if you want the skeletons to stay dead when you kill them.
  • Dead Space: The Hunter, a recurring boss, is capable of both of this and regenerating its limbs. It's not as perfect as some of the other examples, though, but the only ways to stop it are freezing it solid and burning to a crisp with a rocket engine.
  • The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion: With high enough Marksman skill, the Skeletons will shatter, only to come back together as if nothing had happened; in this case it's a (possibly unintentional) side effect of the game using the same animation for paralysis and death.
  • Final Fantasy:
    • Final Fantasy VII: In The "Reunion, a mysterious signal beckoning those who are injected with Jenova's cells. This is actually how Jenova, an extraterrestrial creature, puts itself back together after being disassembled. The various test subjects Cloud meets throughout the game - mostly homeless men who were driven insane from the lab trials — all assemble at the North Crater, as they carry Jenova's cells. Professor Hojo postulates the "JENOVA Reunion Theory" in his notes.
    • Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers: The being known as Goldenrod can do this, as we learn when she and Layle fall from a height. It can be postulated that any Yuke can do it.
  • Five Nights at Freddy's: "Pulling X back together" are Arc Words and mostly has to do with the Animatronics and souls possessing them in some way. Possibly including the child from 4, whom was the first one to be told these words.
  • Jazzpunk features a robot who can spontaneously fall apart on cue and then un-fall-apart.
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2: Scarecrows, as said by the Farmer, presumably literally, since they were destroyed not too long ago:
    Farmer: They'll pull themselves back together before long. Like I said, they're adaptive. And brainless. They just keep coming back for more.
  • League of Legends: Zac's passive splits him into four balls of goo on death that each have a quarter of his total health. If they reconnect before his enemies can destroy them, he respawns on the spot with a portion of his health.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • Stalfos, skeletal enemies, do this in some of the games. It necessitates either defeating all of them quickly, or blowing up their collapsed bodies with bombs. The Stal enemies in Breath of the Wild only die for real when their heads are destroyed (which theoretically isn't difficult, since they only have 1 HP; their tendency to jump around before rejoining the body is what adds a little challenge). Most of a Stal's bones will always reassemble with each other instead of mixing with others', with two exceptions: arms drop as weapons, and an armless Stal will happily grab whatever matching limb is on hand and shove into its empty sockets; likewise, detached skulls aren't picky about which neck they reattach to and will simply bond with whatever headless body happens to be closest to them at the moment.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time: You can use your sword to slice wooden signs to pieces, then play Zelda's Lullaby on your ocarina to cause the pieces to float up, reattach themselves, and reconstitute the sign. This can be done in other games, such as by playing the Song of Healing in The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask and conducting the Wind God's Aria in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker.
  • LocoRoco: For a player example, some of the hazards and enemies can split Locoroco up into several pieces. However, a bit of "Noi! Cheburatta roi!" and they're back together in no time.
  • Metal Arms: Glitch in the System: The zombie robots. Using the tether to bodyjack an enemy robot causes Glitch to have to do this afterwards. One Boss Fight also requires you to do this to yourself to escape an impossible situation.
  • MySims Kingdom: T.O.B.O.R. is strewn across Rocket reef by the explosion of the rocket he was test-piloting. While you have to gather every part to where his head is, once you do so, he pulls himself together in a tornado of assembly, slightly better for wear, but unwilling to risk being caught in another explosion.
  • Never Dead: This is the central gimmick. The protagonist is immortal and has a Healing Factor but is not immune to having limbs or his head shot off, so you have to eventually collect your missing parts in order to remain useful in combat — although each part remains functional in the meantime; for instance, amputated arms can still fire the guns they're holding.
  • Paladins: Terminus is an undead stone warrior who shatters into bits when killed, but his ultimate resurrects him on the spot by magically reassembling his parts, allowing him to continue the fight.
  • Resident Evil 6: Rasklapanje can pull itself back together in very short order, but its dismembered torso, legs, and hands can all chase after you independently of one another before they decide to recombine.
  • Skullgirls: Ms. Fortune's backstory involves her getting cut up into pieces and having the parts thrown at the bottom of a river. However, as she had swallowed the Life Gem, she survived, and gained the ability to detach and reattach her limbs at will. A central gameplay mechanic is the ability to remove her head and have it act separately from the body, and her ultimate attack is to shoot out all her limbs like rockets to pull her opponent towards her head and engulf them in a giant blood explosion.
  • Space Quest 6: The endodroid can pull the same stunt as the T-1000. Just don't let it happen around Roger.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Dry Bones and Bony Beetles, two types of skeletal Koopas, will collapse into piles of bones when struck by an attack. After a few seconds, the bones will pull themselves back into shape and the skeleton will continue on its way.
    • Luigi's Mansion: Dark Moon: Luigi has to fight Greenies possessing suits of armor in the Treacherous Mansion; in most cases, he has to defeat them by knocking them over, causing the armor to break apart and making the ghost vulnerable. However, in the Boss Battle with the Tough Possessor later, it can possess two — and then three — suits of armor at once, and if Luigi knocks only one down, it will put itself together quickly. To make the Tough Possessor vulnerable, he has to knock them all down at the same time. (Unfortunately, once he manages to do that twice, it possesses one gigantic suit of armor...
    • Mario & Luigi: Dream Team: The boss Earthwake can do this after it's knocked into the water by Luigi's hammer attack. It also takes itself apart when chasing Giant Luigi across the battle arena or using things like its hammer or forcefield attack. Considering this thing has Floating Limbs and is made of about twenty seperate buildings, this isn't particularly difficult for it to do.
  • Ultima VIII skeletons are incredibly fast and powerful, and if you somehow manage to put one down... you've not got long before it's back on its feet at full strength. Options are to throw it in a lake first, or just use a necromantic spell to put it down for good. IX's much weaker skeletons will also pull themselves together shortly after defeat, though you can prevent this by picking up one of the parts, such as the skull (preventing it from rejoining the group). For added fun, collect a full skeleton then drop the bones in a populated city.
  • World of Warcraft: Some bosses do this, most notably the Bonus Boss Viscidus from Ahn'Qiraj and the water elemental boss from Violet Hold. In both cases, they are Nigh-Invulnerable while in their normal form — the objective is to shatter them and then kill the pieces.

  • This happens to Helix in Freefall after Florence gets angry at him and pulls off his limbs/head. Justified as he is a robot.
  • In Undead Friend the undead characters tend to lose their limbs in combat a lot, but their ghost partners have the ability to stitch their limbs back on with ease.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 
  • Durge from Star Wars: Clone Wars. He does it several more times in the Expanded Universe.
  • Happened to Tom of Tom and Jerry at least once.
  • Also happened in Looney Tunes.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode Reality Trip, Danny got turned into an orange jelly version of himself and promptly got ran over by a roller coaster car, leaving his splattered remains on the grass. A minute or two later, he is completely back to normal and a bit disoriented.
  • The Dummies of the CGI animated short The Incredible Crash Dummies regularly had limbs knocked off with no problems.
    (Slick and Spin crash a motorcycle)
    Slick: That was beautiful, Spin — I just went to pieces!
    Spin: Really? Did the camera get it?
    Slick: I forgot to take the lens-cap off.
    Spin: Get me my leg so I can run away!
  • Gadget and the Gadgetinis: Penny built Digit and Fidget with "Rebuilding Systems".
  • The Junkions in Transformers: The Movie can do this: they're Made of Plasticine but can simply pull their arms and legs back on after taking a hit, making them surprisingly tenacious foes.
  • Beast Wars: Waspinator is regularly is blown to pieces, but is able to reassemble himself. This is referenced in Waspinator's appearance in Transformers: Animated, as the episode ends with him body's one remaining arm picking up his severed head.
  • Futurama: Bender can do this as well. In "I Second That Emotion", he dismantles himself so that he can flush himself down the toilet bit by bit, and is next seen in the sewer with his arms and legs all mixed up, regretting the fact that he threw out his own assembly instructions. In the pilot, Bender is seen putting both his arms back in their sockets one after another... somehow. That is, first, he uses his left arm to reattach his right arm, then his right arm grabs his left arm and also puts it back in. Fry, who is standing right next to him, is dumbfounded.
  • The characters of SpongeBob SquarePants have been known to fall apart and reattach themselves on a regular basis. In one instance we see that Plankton has his left and right legs marked, suggesting that he has lost them before.
  • Bonkers features a character named Fall-Apart Rabbit, whose schtick is to literally fall to pieces and then reattach himself again, usually with the parts on all the wrong places.
  • Robin finally manages to freeze and shatter Madame Rouge in Teen Titans (2003). He barely has enough time to disable the trap before Rouge reforms and captures him.
  • In Justice League Unlimited, J'onn gets torn in half by the Annihilator, but turns intangible and reforms himself.
  • Both Martian Manhunter and Plastic Man can do this in Batman: The Brave and the Bold.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius: When Jimmy Neutron commands his robotic dog Goddard to play dead, rather than falling over, the dog explodes — then the pieces fly back together, unharmed.
  • Ugly Americans has an episode where Mark's nightmares started coming true (as one of three trials). In one scene where he runs through a door, only to wind up in outer space, falling back to earth. When he landed on the ground, he instantly liquefied into a puddle of blood. (skydiving from space without a parachute hurts, kids) Mark's coworker Leonard was not impressed as Mark was late for an important event, so cue Mark's skeleton pulling itself out of the puddle, with the rest of the body reforming as he stood up.
  • On Jimmy Two-Shoes, Lucius VI is constantly losing body parts. It might have something to do with how old he is.
  • Grenader, the walking, talking grenade and minor threat to the Skysurfer Strike Force is able to do this after he blows up.
  • An alien criminal in Men in Black: The Series was given powers similar to Grenader above. They eventually caught on to the idea of grabbing his head before it could reattach.
  • Eeyore from Winnie-the-Pooh. The Running Gag of his tail falling off and having to be reattached is one of the reasons why he's always so upset.
  • Mr. Scatterbrain from The Mr. Men Show. His nose came off in the episodes "Hobbies" and "Reptiles", and his entire face came off in the episode "Bugs".
    • Also, in the episode "Bugs", Mr. Persnickety loses his mustache, which happens again in the episode "Dance Dance Dance", along with Miss Sunshine's hair.
      • And yet, somehow, they're always back to normal by the next episode.
  • Animaniacs: The Warners have this ability.
  • Nine of Frankenstein's Cat has the ability to do this.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012), the rock titan General Traag reassembles himself with nary a scratch after being at the epicenter of a bomb explosion.
  • On The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy, Grim can take himself apart, and can put himself together rather easily, apparently stashing his robe and scythe in Hammerspace. He can even be disassembled and carried in a backpack. (Although he doesn't like that much.)
  • In French-German Draculito, mon saigneur Draculito's grandmother loses limbs nearly in every episode. Which doesn't stop her from being the most badass protagonist.
  • In Filmation's Ghostbusters, there was Scared Stiff, Prime Evil's cowardly Butt-Monkey "robot ghost" henchman; he tended to fall apart a lot.
  • In the cartoon version of Beetlejuice, this tended to happen to Jacque, a beret-wearing skeleton with a French accent, rather often, especially when he was a victim of the title character's pranks.
  • Willoughby's Magic Hat, an odd 1940s Columbia Studios cartoon, had a little schnook of a guy, imbued with superhuman strength from a cap knit from Samson's hair, fighting a Frankensteinian robot, who, when he's knocked into pieces, reassembles into a monster tank.
  • Mr. Cat from Kaeloo can simply reattach his limbs if they come off. The same applies to Quack Quack, who is Nigh-Invulnerable.
  • In Skeleton Warriors, the titular monsters have the power to effortlessly reassemble themselves no matter how badly they are smashed apart, referring to this as "the power of invulnerability". Combined with Baron Dark's ability to convert any human he touches into a new Skeleton Warrior, they are an extremely demoralizing foe to face.
  • Venomous Drool from Fangbone!. His body parts seem to have a certain degree of self-autonomy, as he was able to command his servants to put him back together after he was originally split apart and still-separated parts react to the presence of him or his minions. Fangbone and Bill witness this firsthand in "The Field Trip of Mayhem" when Drool is blown to pieces, only for his head to talk back to them.

    Real Life 
  • Some sponges are capable of reforming once they have been blended, ground up, or sliced to pieces. This is rather unusual, since scientists don't think it would work well in the wild, where currents are likely to disperse the little sponge bits. Even more bizarre is that other species of sponge will instead use the opportunity to form many new sponges out of the pieces rather than try to rebuild a single sponge.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Pulling Himself Together, Pulling Herself Together, Pulling Themself Together


John White

Having been vaporized by the ray sphere, John had to literally put himself back together.

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Example of:

Main / PullingThemselvesTogether

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